My Comments on Certain Eugenic Selection Hypotheses

From very limited data, it has been generalized that agriculturalized populations, regardless of climate do tend to have higher intelligence by about 13 IQ points compared to non-agricultural populations (LINK). The explanation given was that the population growth induced by agriculture produced greater genetic diversity, which would have included the development of some gene variants which give rise to greater intelligence. I would add that individuals with slightly higher intelligence would have proven fitter to survive and reproduce in agricultural societies even in warm climates, and this is because the food surplus created by intensive agriculture can allow for economic niches which more intelligent individuals can utilize to their reproductive advantage by obtaining higher social status than ordinary peasants. Agriculture also produces more easily tradeable essential goods (grain) than hunting and gathering, and this produces a greater incentivize for cooperation. Cooperation must be maintained by laws, which often criminalize behaviors resorted to by less intelligent individuals (theft, murder, etc.), removing less intelligent individuals from the gene pool.

However, one common argument in favor of the hypothesis that agriculturalization increases intelligence may be incorrect. The observation that arctic Native Americans (genetically similar to East Asians) have significantly lower intelligence than agriculturalized East Asians fails to account for a possible non-genetic negative influence on IQ in arctic populations. The mercury pollution of fish and whale stocks can decrease the measured IQ of extant hunter-gatherer populations significantly; this includes arctic Native Americans (LINK). The influence of mercury needs to be controlled for in order to gain an accurate understanding of arctic peoples’ intelligence. One should also account for the reported intelligence of Mongolians, a historically nomadic pastoralist population, which according to Lynn and Vanhanen has an average IQ of 101, greater than that of arctic Native Americans, but less than that of the Chinese (105), Japanese (105), and Koreans (106). This Mongolian average IQ is also greater than that of the long agriculturalized population of Vietnam (94). This probably indicates that pastoralism has some of the eugenic effects associated with agriculture and that both agriculturalization, as well as climate, significantly influence the selection for intelligence.

Variations in climate likely affect several other characteristics besides intelligence. Cold weather can reduce child mortality by killing pathogens and pathogen vectors which cause illness disproportionately in children, removing a selective pressure which would be compensated for with higher fertility and earlier maturation. If a high birth rate is less necessary and maturation can be delayed, there can be greater energy investment in each individual child, which can allow for the development of greater intelligence. Higher intelligence in humans; as well as lower fertility, longevity, and delayed maturation; does appear to co-occur in human populations which have evolved in colder climates (Rushton, 1985) (Lynn and Vanhanen) (Rushton, 2004). There is some recent research indicating that the negative relationship between IQ and fertility exists even when controlling for other  “potential mediator variables” (Boutwell, 2013). As usually implied by proponents of the cold-winters theory, living in northern latitudes in pre-modern times may also have its own reasons for positively selecting for intelligence as it would have been needed to plan ahead to cope with the limited food availability induced by cold winter weather.


The variation in life history strategies induced by climate cannot be attributed to the existence of greater “r selection” in tropical latitudes than in colder climates at more polar latitudes because cold weather itself is a seasonal, density-independent, and therefore “r-selective” pressure on northern populations (Anderson, 1991). The infectious diseases which plague the tropics are also more density-dependent and therefore more “K-selective” than seasonal cold weather, making the selective pressures in the tropics more “K-selective” than those in northern latitudes (Anderson, 1991). (r/K selection theory categorizes selective pressures by the degree to which these pressures depend on population density to exist (Pianka, 1970)). r/K selection theory on its own it does not appear to be the best way to understand the origins of life-history strategies, compared to demographic models examining the relationship between age-specific mortality and life-history (Reznick et al., 2002). J.P. Rushton noticed important data trends, but attributing of these trends to r/K selection was flawed.

There is some evidence, from measured reaction times, that intelligence has decreased by about 12 to 14 points among Europeans since the late 19th century (Woodley et al., 2013). The authors suggest that this could be due to a decline in infectious disease which previously limited the reproduction of the underclasses. However, one might also suspect that the underclasses could have eventually adapted to this selective pressure; perhaps this occurred, but it was only after the underclass population had been decreased significantly by disease, making it difficult for the underclasses to automatically rebound to their previous demographic percentage.





British Genetics in Detail


When considering what to write about, I remembered a 2016 press release which gives a more detailed look at British genetics which is not frequently discussed in the political right, and given the type of language used in its presentation, this is understandable. Like the mass media’s framing of the possibly dark-skinned “Cheddar Man”, a normal Mesolithic European who was not genetically a modern sub-Saharan African (LINK), the language used in the presentation of these results appears to be another ruse intended to create a narrative to justify current liberal immigration policy and cosmopolitanism in the UK. Nevertheless, the uninterpreted numerical results presented by AncestryDNA are intriguing and appear to fit with other genetic and historical information about the ethnogenesis of peoples of the British Isles.

Read the findings here, admixture percentages are included for different regions of the UK:

The three largest admixtures in the British Isles are:

  • “British”, an Anglo Saxon admixture (Somewhat of a misnomer as the Anglo-Saxons were not the original Britons). It reaches its highest percentage in England at 35-40 %, which agrees with earlier results on Anglo Saxon admixture in England, using DNA samples from actual Anglo-Saxon graves.
  •  “West European” French/German admixture, primarily located in the areas once inhabited by the Continental Celts (starting c. 500 BC), and likely the genetic remains of this ancient people. It peaks in Southeastern England, possibly due to the Hallstatt culture’s greater influence in that area. It also generally correlates with the geographic distribution of the mostly continental French, German and Alpine Y-haplogroup R-U152/S28 in the British Isles.

  • “Celtic” Irish admixture (different from the Continental Hallstatt Celts). This Irish admixture is ubiquitous in the British Isles but most represented in the “Celtic Fringe” areas: Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. This is the same pattern observed with the genetic affinity of modern Brits and Irish to Bronze Age Irish specimens from Rathlin Island (Cassidy et al., 2016), and the frequency of Y-haplogroup R-L21. It may be a genetic remnant of the first possible Celts to arrive in the British Isles in the Bronze Age. In some areas of Britain, it could also be partly imported by migrations and raids out of Ireland onto the western coast of Britain around 400 AD and about a century later in western Scotland creating the Dál Riata kingdom.

AncestryDNA Irish EthnicityRoman Britain map immigration raids invasion


Estimated Scandinavian admixture

The Scandinavian admixture is around 9-10% throughout England and, not surprisingly, peaks in the East Midlands, the heart of what was once Danelaw territory. Trace levels (~1-4 %) of admixtures from the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe are ubiquitous throughout the British Isles.

The results obtained by Ancestry DNA show “British”/Anglo-Saxon admixture peaking, not in East Anglia (as in Martiniano et al., 2016), but in Yorkshire, the East Midlands, and Southwestern regions of England. It may be that the genetic model produced by Ancestry is able to be more accurate because it considers several admixtures from distinct geographic areas of Western Europe, helping to minimize errors caused by the aggregation of regional admixtures during analysis.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the knowledge of wether or not the genomes from Anglo-Saxon remains were used to define the “British”/Anglo-Saxon admixture of AncestryDNA. However, in the comments below one amateur genetics article, one individual, Bruce Petersen, with three grandparents from Denmark and one from Norway reported having 63 % “British” admixture, and 33 % Scandinavian admixture. This result suggests that the “British” admixture of AncestryDNA is indeed Anglo-Saxon, as it is found at a clear majority percentage in the approximate geographic homeland of the Anglo-Saxons (Denmark) and to a lesser degree in England, and to an even smaller degree in other parts of the British Isles which have not been permanently settled by Germanic peoples. A parsimonious explanation to make with this data is that the Anglo-Saxons and Danes are those responsible for bringing the “British”/Anglo-Saxon admixture of AncestryDNA to England. If this is true, the name of this admixture as “British” is mistaken; it should perhaps be called a “Jutlandic” or “North-Sea” admixture instead.

The combination of “British”/Anglo-Saxon and “Scandinavian” admixture totaling around 50% throughout most of England may be why modern Danes have such a high genetic affinity to modern Brits (even compared to Norwegians and Swedes) as indicated in Athanasiadis et al., 2016. At Eupedia it is reported that about 50 % of the Y-chromosomal lineages in England are likely of Germanic origin, and given the ~50 % Germanic autosomal admixture in England, a parsimonious explanation is that nearly equal numbers of men and women migrated to England among the Anglo-Saxons, and possibly among the Danes also.

It would appear from the modern distribution of both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian admixture that there was likely heavy gene-flow from England into Wales sometime after the early middle-ages, possibly in the Norman era.

East Anglia and London, areas of Britain which experienced disproportionately high Romanization, not surprisingly have the greatest Italian/Greek admixture in the UK at 2.53 % and 2.51 %, and the greatest Iberian admixture at 3.43 % and 3.39 %, respectively. An obvious explanation for this is that the  Romanization of these regions would have allowed for the introduction of some admixture from the Mediterranean basin, although it was only enough to have a lasting impact at trace levels.

London has the greatest “European Jewish” admixture (3.66 %) in the UK, well above that of the rest of the country, including East Anglia, at ~1.60 % or less. This may indicate a disproportionately high concentration of Jews around London at some time in history, a few of which left their tribe and intermarried with the non-Jewish population.

The Finnish-Russian trace admixture which peaks in Scotts may have been brought by Saami admixed Norsemen, or it could be a calculation error caused by the greater Mesolithic hunter-gatherers admixture in the Scotts (especially Orcadians), which is also present in Northeastern Europe.

Jayman also did an interesting post noting the percentages of some of these admixtures in the US, although one must account for the ethnic heterogeneity of the aggregate of samples for each state (you have to scroll down in his article)



The Origins of the Ancient Anatolians

Admixture similar to that of an individual of the Sredny Stog culture was found in Hittite-era Anatolians by Davidski, using qpAdm. In corroboration with other data supporting the Steppe Hypothesis for Indo-European origins, this would support a hypothesis that Indo-European language began developing on the Pontic-Caspian steppe prior to the Yamnaya culture (3300 – 2600 BC) as the pre-Anatolians would have developed out of the Sredny Stog culture in Ukraine c. 4500-3500 BC. David W. Anthony previously suggested this hypothesis for the origin of the (now extinct) Anatolian language family, that it is a result of early Indo-Europeans migrating out of the Sredny Stog culture (southward along the west coast of the Black Sea, by his estimation) and eventually into Anatolia. He makes this argument based on archaeological, linguistic, and mythological evidence, in The Horse the Wheel and Language. But now it appears that we have some genetic evidence which agrees with this hypothesis as well.


On “Moral” Nihilism

WARNING: I am writing in “autistic” mode which most people will find counterintuitive.

I agree with JF that “moral” nihilism is a factually true position. But I also consider subjective valuations to be necessary for human life, and I think that societies cannot exist in a state of order when the subjective values of the populace are significantly divided. The claim that there is an objective axiology of good and bad may keep order both in a society and in an individual, even though it is a factually incorrect claim (as far as I can tell). [edited]

The problem with Stefan Molyneux’s argument for objective values of good and bad is the same problem as the consensus-based “traditionalist” argument for objective values of good and bad: the naive idea that all humans and all human groups have the same “moral” intuitions, when in fact they don’t, and this often shows itself in very non-trivial matters; moral intuitions differ with biological parameters such as intelligence, personality and evolutionary strategy — and this is one reason why it is not normatively preferable to force interpersonal association.

However, if we take the point of view provided by Curt Doolittle, then it seems that JF (and Ryan Faulk) miss something: that morality, operationally defined, is not valuations of “good and bad” but simply a fact of non-parasitism present in some behaviors. If Doolittle is correct, some behaviors can be objectively described as moral and others as immoral, but whether they are good or bad is a preferential value judgment. I ultimately side with Doolittle on this particular point, he does manage to maintain Hume’s Law in his concept of moral objectivism, but I would be willing to openly discuss this topic with JF and/or Faulk if I have time.

I should note before finishing that the notion of objective good and bad, as well as the Aristotlean understanding of telos, which inherently implies an ought that is an is, conflates normative and positive., i.e. violates Hume’s Law. [edit: It also seems to be an anthropomorphic mental error, as far as I can tell].


Recent Insights on European Genetics

Back in October 2017, one commenter proposed the idea that the Sea Peoples were Luwians (a people who occupied southern and western Anatolia in the late Bronze Age). I think this may likely be the case. Southern Europeans, especially Italians and Cypriots are highly admixed with Bronze Age Anatolians. Modern Cypriots are genetically almost the same as the Bronze Age Anatolians, and Cyprus was very heavily invaded by the Sea Peoples. See this article for historical information on Sea Peoples raids.


The immigration of Phoenicians and Roman importation of slaves from the Levant would have added to the gene flow from the Near East to Mediterranean Europe, and both Levantine (“England_Roman_outlier”) and Bronze Age Anatolian admixture are present in modern Italians according to these models. I suspect the common admixture between Italians and Cypriots from Anatolian “Sea Peoples” is a reason why Cypriots and some Aegeans, show up as having Italian admixture according to 23 and Me (see Eupedia Autosomal Maps). The Mycenean samples also had significant admixture from the Anatolian Bronze Age, possibly indicating some substantial gene flow from Anatolia into Europe directly prior to the expansion of “Sea Peoples”.

7th-century Slavic tribes shown in orange

Also according to the models done on Eurogenes, it appears that the Greeks, in addition to their large Mycenean ancestry also have a great deal of early Slavic ancestry, which I suspect is from Slavic invasions of Byzantine Greece. This Slavic admixture (rather than the Dorians as I previously guessed) may be responsible for the more northern genetic affinity of modern Greeks compared to their Mycenean ancestors.




Other News

Davidski has reviewed many of the more recent genetic studies, which are being produced quite rapidly, and covering a lot of previously unknown territory.

As I have already predicted above, the notion that Sicilians have acquired greater amounts of admixture from different parts of the Near East since the Bronze Age (different from the Anatolian Neolithic “Barcin” admixture) appears to be empirically supported:

Some of his other articles on the genetics of Northern Europeans seem to confirm what I had noticed last year, that the main difference between the Baltic and Slavic ethnic groups and other Northern Europeans is their greater affinity towards Mesolithic and Paleolithic European hunter-gatherers. Germanic and Celtic ethnic groups appear to roughly form a genetic cline with the French (mostly Gauls) and Irish (Gaels) on one relative extreme and a (Germanic) Swedish Iron age specimen at the other. Many of the Bell Beakers who have been recently analyzed in the Olalde et al. 2018 study, Anglo Saxons, and Iron Age Britons appear in the middle of this cline.

The impact of the Beakers still remains something of a mystery to me; genetically their admixture is very similar to modern Northwestern Europeans, but their skull morphology is often brachycephalic, a feature in modern times largely confined to the mountainous areas of continental Europe. Either there was a very strong selection for less brachycephalic individuals among the beakers in the last 4000 years, the lowland and island areas of NW Europe became populated by a meso- to dolichocephalic group with admixture very similar to the Beakers, or the brachycephaly of the Beaker people was caused by a cultural habit, possibly a cranial deformation, that later went out of style.

Thanks to the recent Veeramah et al. 2018 study, we now also have a glimpse at the genetics of migration era individuals.

Is suspect that the Roman soldier excavated from Germany for this study was of Iberian or Aquitanian origin, based on his placement on the PCA.

It would appear from the admixture model given by Davidski that the Gepid included in the study was descended from genetically Northern European Germans who had acquired significant admixture from Central Asia (possibly through the Alans, a Scythian people who had dwelt near the Caucasus and migrated into Europe). The “Ostrogoth” excavated from Crimea, unlike the Gepid, is modeled as having no Northern European admixture but appears highly admixed with gene flow from the Balkans and from Armenia, and this seems to agree with his rough position on the PCA given. Furthermore, the “Ostrogoth’s” archeological context also associates him with the ancient Greek city of Pantikapaion. So it seems plausible that this “Ostrogoth” may have simply been a Greek heavily admixed with peoples from the eastern shore of the Black Sea, and not at all an ethnic Ostrogoth.



The Characteristics of Ideologues

After several unempirical, and overly philosophical attempts to determine the origins of general political ideologies, I have attempted to gain more accurate information on the subject.

Please keep in mind that what is being discussed here is characteristics related specifically to ideologies and sentiments, not necessarily political parties, as one’s choice to vote democrat or republican, for instance, could depend on one of a number of ideologies or sentiments favored by that party (it makes for imprecise analysis to use party as a proxy for sentiment or ideology).

In a dataset drawn from the US, both conservatism and religiosity had strong negative correlations with general intelligence measured in adolescence, when age, sex, race, earnings, education, and religion were held as control variables (Kanazawa, 2010). These correlations [of political ideology and religiosity] with intelligence are twice as strong compared to those relating political ideology to sex or to race, or religion to sex (Kanazawa, 2010). General intelligence, in the view of Satoshi Kanazawa, enables one to deal with the costs of novel phenomena, hence its correlation with liberalism (Kanazawa, 2010). In another study, data from the UK showed racial prejudice, largely mediated through ideology, to be associated with relatively lower intelligence in childhood, and data from the United States showed prejudice against homosexuals to be associated with poor abstract reasoning, often mediated through authoritarianism; education and socioeconomic status were controlled for both data sets (Hodson & Busseri, 2012). Conservatives also think less analytically and more holistically than liberals (Talhelm et al., 2014), similar to most people outside of Western cultures.

Libertarians, unlike “conservatives”, think in a very analytical or characteristically “Western” manner (link). People who have classical liberal sentiments towards economics and social issues also have above average verbal intelligence (Carl, 2014). Data from Great Britain and Brazil indicates center-right, and to a lesser degree center and center-left views correlating with higher intelligence (Rinderman, et al., 2011). Anti-regulation and economic “conservatism”, a.k.a. economic “liberalism” in European vocabulary, also correlates with higher intelligence (link).

“Liberalism”, which has a left-wing semantic connotation in American English, and appears associated with mental illness, but the correlation appears strongest in females; the research on this subject seems to indicate gender as having a stronger correlation with mental illness than political ideology (females being mentally ill significantly more often than males) (link).

As far as beauty and ugliness go, the trends are that left-leaning scholars appear to be more attractive than right-leaning scholars and right-leaning politicians more attractive than left-leaning politicians (link).

Now I will add my own anecdotes and notes related to this subject:

Social conservatives are often highly natalist in sentiment, often appear to marry early, and sometimes display low trust sentiments. I am tempted to say that these characteristics, along with their lower average IQ, greater holistic thinking, and poorer abstract reasoning, associates them with certain clannish populations. Clannish Europeans east of the Hajnal Line responded to high mortality with high fertility and high nuptiality, and appear to have lower average intelligence than historically outbred Europeans. Various types of liberalism likely derive from the less clannish, outbred European strategy associated with higher IQ, lower mortality, lower fertility, and more people remaining unmarried. See the bloggers: HBD chick, JayMan, and Evo and Proud for more information on the effects of outbreeding and other selective pressures on Western Europeans. Alternative Hypothesis has also done interesting work correlating certain allele variations with political attitudes often different between indigenous Westerners and third world migrants.


Mycenaean DNA and Other Curiosities

[I did not have time to write this, but I did so anyway, to let out intellectual frustration.]

Last summer a study was published on the genetic origins of the Mycenaeans and Minoans. It turns out that they were similar, but the Mycenaeans, whom we know had an Indo-European language, possessed a small amount of steppe-related admixture which the Minoans did not (so as a side note, this is more evidence for the “Kurgan hypothesis”). Both Mycenaeans and Minoans are related to modern Mediterranean Europeans, but in fact possessed less Northern European admixture than modern day Greeks (which contradicts the Nordicist narrative). I think this difference may be due to a subsequent Dorian invasion after the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization. The Dorians did worship a Nordic-looking deity, Apollo, and a new addition of Northern European blood, possibly from an off-shoot of the Corded Ware, may be the reason for the inclusion of characters with a Nordic pigmentation in the myths of Hesiod and Homer, who both wrote after the Dorian invasion.

From Eurogenes

Now regarding the perennial arguments about Nordicism and non-WASPs, it should first be noted that even Madison Grant acknowledged in The Passing of the Great Race that both Nordic and Mediterranean phenotypes were present in the British Isles, not only in the Irish, but also in the Welsh, English, and Scotts. All of these ethnic groups possess some admixture from both “Nordic” peoples from the Corded Ware Culture and its successors, and to a lesser degree, earlier Neolithic inhabitants of a more Mediterranean appearance. The confusion that has arisen here is due to the conflation of geographic and linguistic groups: “English”, “Irish”, “Scottish”, with phenotypes. As I showed before, none of these ethnic groups possess significantly more Levantine blood than continental Germanic and Scandinavian peoples. Any differences in phenotype are for a different reason, such as possessing more of an older admixture from the Megalithic era, due to geographic isolation (which makes more sense than a pseudohistorical migration of Semitic tribes into Northwestern Europe, which would have left significant amounts of Y chromosomal haplogroup J1, which is at low to null frequencies in the native British and Irish populations (edited)).

Another thing I would like to bring up is that Irish admixture is now present to some degree in Icelanders and Norwegians because of their slave trade in the Viking period. It is also present in the Scotts because of a migration from Ireland into Scotland during the early middle ages under the Dal Riata kingdom (which is why Scotland spoke Gaelic for several centuries and has many surnames beginning with Mc and Mac). The Vikings did take many slaves from Scotland and Ireland and brought them to Norway and Iceland, and eventually, they became incorporated into the Norse population. This admixture event is evident in the Y-chromosomal makeup of Iceland and Norway, in contrast to that of other Scandinavian and continental Germanic peoples (the Icelanders and Norwegians have more R1b-L21, which peaks in Ireland and Scotland).

Likewise, the Swedes and Germans probably have a small amount of Slavic admixture at the present time, given that a minority of them possess a Y-Chromosome lineage (R1a-M458) predominate among Western Slavs and much less common in other ethnic groups.

So it is clear that Nordic peoples possess some amount of admixture from non-Germanic ethnic groups. Notions of Germanic purity are at the present time difficult to prove.

I wrote this piece as someone probably classifiable as Nordic, with a long angular face; a high, long, European nose; green eyes; pale skin, and golden brown hair (in full light). My intent here is not to support Mediterranism or Nordicism but to provide a perspective of realism regarding European phenotypes and their relation to ethnicities and geographic areas.