[ExI] IQ and beauty

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 15:30:22 UTC 2015

On Oct 9, 2558 BE, at 1:50 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 9 October 2015 at 09:16, rex  wrote:
>> Current thought is that the large majority of species that have ever
>> existed are extinct, but that's irrelevant to my observation that a
>> "just so" argument that exaggerated traits may progress to extinction
>> does not imply that they will frequently do so.  It's similar to
>> group selection: it seems plausible and was accepted without question
>> for decades. Eventually, the conditions necessary for group selection
>> were elucidated and found to be be so restrictive that group selection
>> almost never happens in the wild.
>> I suspect extinctions due to runaway exaggerated traits are also
>> rare. So far, not a single example has been presented. A quick search
>> didn't turn up any examples, but it did reveal an example where sexual
>> dimorphism "improved the carrying capacity of the environment, and thus
>> presumably population viability."
>> http://www.kokkonuts.org/wp-content/uploads/Sexy2die4.pdf
> <snip>
> There is currently great concern about the amount of published
> research that cannot reproduce results when retested.
> Nature has published a new article.
> <http://www.nature.com/news/how-scientists-fool-themselves-and-how-they-can-stop-1.18517>
> Quote:
> The issue goes well beyond cases of fraud. Earlier this year, a large
> project that attempted to replicate 100 psychology studies managed to
> reproduce only slightly more than one-third. In 2012, researchers at
> biotechnology firm Amgen in Thousand Oaks, California, reported that
> they could replicate only 6 out of 53 landmark studies in oncology and
> haematology. And in 2009, Ioannidis and his colleagues described how
> they had been able to fully reproduce only 2 out of 18
> microarray-based gene-expression studies.
> -----------------
> Evolutionary theory has been one of the worst disciplines for the
> 'Just so' story fallacy.
> Quote:
> Just-so storytelling.
> As data-analysis results are being compiled and interpreted,
> researchers often fall prey to just-so storytelling — a fallacy named
> after the Rudyard Kipling tales that give whimsical explanations for
> things such as how the leopard got its spots. The problem is that
> post-hoc stories can be concocted to justify anything and everything —
> and so end up truly explaining nothing. Baggerly says that he has seen
> such stories in genetics studies, when an analysis implicates a huge
> number of genes in a particular trait or outcome. “It's akin to a
> Rorschach test,” he said at the bioinformatics conference. Researchers
> will find a story, he says, “whether it's there or not.
> -------------------------
> A good story is not evidence.
> Even when evidence is provided, you need to get it checked by groups
> that don't believe the good story. Because the claimed evidence may
> not really be there either.

A few years ago, I wrote a set piece on this sort of thing:


By the way, Ian Tattersall's book _The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack_ mentions the kind of 'Rorschach test' with regard to how some researchers in paleontology argue that the 'fossils speak for themselves.' Happily (for me because this is my hobgoblin), he points out no fossil ever spoke to him -- even in the metaphorical sense. ;) 


  Sample my Kindle books via:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20151009/058ba846/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list