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Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Two cultures in Chicago

Action photos from the conference on Human Capital, Genetics and Behavior at the University of Chicago. See also Cognition uber alles.

This was a small, intimate meeting and, overall, very enjoyable. The two cultures represented were behavior genetics and economics, which I believe have a lot to say to each other. Greg Cochran and I were the theoretical physics interlopers ;-)

Video from most of the talks will be available online -- I will post a link.

Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending lead the opening discussion. Steven Durlauf is the moderator on the left.



30 comments:

ronthehedgehog said...

if i'd ever met cochran face to face, i'd feel an overwhelming urge to take a shower.

BobSykes said...

Actually, a large part of human behavior is instinctive and genetically determined. In fact, every aspect of living organisms has a significant genetic component.


Cochran is a distinguished scientist and a decent man and does not deserve such aspersions.

benny bozetti said...

Lol clicked on some of your past comments here. Rushton's a fool, Bouchard's a fool, now Plomin and Cochran are fools too. And ronthehedgehog is .... a pioneering thought-leader?

ronthehedgehog said...

Absolutely, and not at all.

Do you have any idea at all what geneticists think of behavioral genetics?

nooffensebut said...

"not one single gene or genes has been identified which affect any psychological trait"

EPIC FAIL!

nooffensebut said...

Blue means it's a link, Mr. Jeremy.

nooffensebut said...

How could I have expected that you knew how to search Wikipedia??

Hey, look! Me, too!

"An association between the 2R allele of the VNTR region of the gene and an increase in the likelihood of committing serious crime or violence has been found."

I could also cite specific studies that did find a main effect of the 3R allele. It might just have a main effect for externalizing problems in African-American men, like the latest study shows. Anyway, technically a gene-environment interaction is still an effect of a gene.

ronthehedgehog said...

Anyway, technically a gene-environment interaction is still an effect of a gene.

Genes and environment together determine traits. No?! It couldn't be?!

Give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing the truth of a tautology.

It might just have a main effect... You mean the population is stratified? No?!

Everyone but some freaks with extra chromosomes or other gross genetic abnormalities is a blank slate to begin with, but what environment writes on the slate depends on the individual slate. The title of that paper is so funny, because there isn't anything other than gene environment interaction. The model equation phenotype = genotype + environment is retarded. It's just a linear approximation to a surface, the gxe plane to trait surface. So it's good for a narrow range of genes and environments, and sucks otherwise.

nooffensebut said...

You are just trying to confuse an issue to distract from your fail. MAOA has a replicated effect. Because moronic political correctness rules over academia, the only gene-environment interaction most scientists dare study for MAOA is its interaction with child abuse, even though the interaction with IQ is greater. Of course, these "environmental" factors are not purely environmental. Do the 6 percent of African-American men with MAOA-2R have a "gross genetic abnormality"? Because half of those who do have shot or stabbed someone. That's a main effect. So is Brunner's syndrome. Maybe all those knock-out mice are faking it.

botti said...

This is the same Steve Jones who claimed human evolution had stopped or slowed down, right? I would take his comments about The Bell Curve with a grain of salt.

http://johnhawks.net/weblog/topics/evolution/selection/jones-evolution-stopping-2008.html

ronthehedgehog said...

Wait are we talking about mice? All this time we were talking about mice?

You are just trying to confuse an issue to distract from your fail.

Huh? The air's a bit thin for you, and you're so far down you can't hear me. Keep climbing. Eventually you'll hear me. But you'll need oxygen.

ronthehedgehog said...

Steve Jones is just an example. His opinion is the mainstream opinion of geneticists on behavioral genetics.

Peter Connor said...

If this pathetic blather is a typical effort of yours, you are in no position to criticize scientists' cleverness.

botti said...

***The warrior gene is most common in…Chinese.***


This misconception appears to have arisen from a copying error. Nooffensebut has addressed this on his/her blog.

http://theunsilencedscience.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/kill-popular-science.html

botti said...

Do you have a survey of geneticists or some reference to support this? I note, for example, that James F Crow wrote a supportive blurb on Frank Miele's book with Jensen.

Abruzzi_spur said...

But I haven't criticized scientists. Did I misunderstand? Did you mean that Rushton, Murray, and Cochran are scientsists?


You should also look up "blather".

Abruzzi_spur said...

He means that all geneticists who've expressed an opinion have expressed a negative opinion, but this would be biased.

nooffensebut said...

"The warrior gene is most common in...Chinese."

I see you fell for the Idiot Test. It's a good thing that I got to you before those warrior Chinese. Now, don't anybody say that I talk too much about this.

Here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wPNnAn2MEo

stevesailer said...

I used to compete against Steve Durlauf in speech and debate in 1973-75. I think I lost every single time. He's really smart.

stevesailer said...

Yeah, but Steve Jones' power riffing on "God Save the Queen" more than makes up for his confused ideas about genetics.

diegoforlan2014 said...

The instincts of which you speak are universal. All men have. It's distinctions between men who have a genetic basis.
You've made the classic mistake of confusing intra with inter, within with between.
Cochran is a paleto. A paleto with a PhD is still a paleto.
It is clear that most readers are also paletos Steve, even when associated in GS.

diegoforlan2014 said...

Terreblanche and Baldwin and Buckley are heroes. The problem is not with multi-cultural/racial/national. It is the multiple. There is value in uniformity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5KVE7IN9E0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFeoS41xe7w

BobSykes said...

Ad hominem attacks and insults are the very opposite of scientific and rational argument. You cannot change anyone's mind by calling them an ignorant oaf.

a last a loved a long the said...

Cochran attended this conference.

http://www.google.ru/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.splcenter.org%2Fblog%2F2009%2F03%2F18%2Fmainstream-scholars-attend-racist-conference-hosted-by-jewish-astrophysicist%2F&ei=jahXU5PAEInCywHp1oCAAg&usg=AFQjCNEYH5GE1vjcvxF5uAWRVj70P1EfUg&bvm=bv.65177938,d.aWc&cad=rjt

jorge_videla said...

steve's just another racist chink.

Arkangel said...

Ron you're wrong genetics do matter have you ever tried teaching your dog to recite Shakespeare?

Arkangel said...

Ron you are wrong. Genetics do matter have you tried teaching a dog or cat to recite Shakespeare? Are you telling me their genetic makeup has no implications for this task?

ihatechinks said...

Arkangel, you and BobSykes (related to Bill Sikes maybe?) have made the same mistake of thinking of human varieties as if they were different species.

In fact, an Abo is more like a Swede at the genetic level than two chimps in the same troop.

Dumb humans and smart humans belong to same species and all both have genetic potential which non-humans don't have.

ihatechinks said...

Just another drunk mic. What d'you expect.

aseuss said...

I know this conference is long over, Dr. Hsu, but if you see Cochran again you should remind him that there is a long list of Chinese inventions that proves that the Chinese were far from dilettantes. A lot of these researchers like Cochran like to say something like, "Why didn't the Chinese create anything?" Uh, how about paper, printing, the printing press, gunpowder, cannon, compass, crossbow, blast furnace, seismograph, rudder, canal locks, rotary fan, kite, matches, segmental arch, differential gear, etc. China had few economic or military competitors in its sphere, so it did not have to refine these inventions for sale or for purposes of war. it's actually amazing that they did progress pretty far with gunpowder, considering the lack of an arms race: I think that going from gunpowder as firecrackers to using it to propel a metal object through a cylinder, to create the cannon, was quite a leap.

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