[ExI] Genes and the Great Vowel Shift

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Feb 25 01:39:15 UTC 2008

At 03:54 PM 2/24/2008, you wrote:
>On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 10:20 PM, hkhenson wrote:
> >  Now I am well aware that correlation does not equal
> >  causation.  Still, I don't see how you can just rule out a 
> possible connection.
> >
>Correct. Nobody can *prove* there is no connection.
>And neither can you or Clark prove that there is a connection.
>We know of no genes that cause this effect, so until you find them.......

We won't find them until we look.  This is a suggestion of what we 
might be looking for.

>Social memes and customs seem much more likely as we see them in
>action with our own eyes.
>One of the funniest things I ever saw was after a Scottish family
>moved down to London. The whole family spoke in broad Scottish accents
>(much stronger than Scotty in Star Trek). But the children had to
>survive in school where oddities like accents were severely mocked
>(and worse).  After a few months, while I was visiting them, I saw the
>children coming home from school, shouting and playing with their
>school friends. Conversation was in cut-glass upper class accents.
>They waved goodbye to their friends then came indoors and spoke to
>their parents in broad Scottish accents. I don't think they even
>realised what they were doing. They just had one way of talking at
>home and a different way at school.

If you have not read The Nurture Assumption you should.

>I suppose it is much the same with immigrant children who also speak a
>completely different language at home. It isn't driven by genes. It is
>learned behaviour.

Right.  But the ability to learn is the result of genes.  Not only 
that, but the very ability to learn is switched off by genes at some 
point, Henry Kissenger and his brother being cases on point.

>When printing started in the Renaissance, people learned to read this
>new language aloud in the style of where the books were printed
>(London for England) and rapidly spread the style outwards. This
>happened much too quickly for inherited genes to have anything to do
>with it.

If they had been distributing books on tape you would have a stronger 
case.  But literacy itself went up so slowly that it might well have 
been an effect of genetic selection.

There is a major "political correctness" opposition to significant 
genetic selection happening post agriculture.  It's really silly in 
the context of a transhumanist group because if races differ in some 
way that makes a difference (and they probably do) genetic editing 
will be able to wipe out the differences anyone cares about.  And 
before the kids with these upgraded psychological traits grow up, 
genes are likely to be abandoned anyway.  :-) or :-(, take your choice.


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