[ExI] IQ and beauty

rex rex at nosyntax.net
Thu Oct 22 13:32:07 UTC 2015

spike <spike66 at att.net> [2015-10-21 22:11]:
> >... On Behalf Of rex
> ...
> >...This fact is often used in just so stories to "explain" why Blacks have
> different body types from Eskimos.
> _______________________________________________
> Little need for the air quotes, professor.  Eskimos and Inuits really do
> have that shape, generally.  The ones I saw did.

The quotes are there to indicate that the "explanation" really
doesn't explain anything; like many, many, other observations, it's
merely consistent with the data. A major bane of evolutionary biology
is the plethora of just so "explanations" and the tendency for some
people to forget that plausibility is not sufficient to establish an

> I had an idea, since we are talking about evolution and sex selection.  We
> are considering elk, and we assume they don't ponder too much about their
> mates, but rather just do what feels right to their beastly selves.  Humans
> on the other hand have a lot of frontal lobe stuff going on, and we very
> much do ponder attributes about potential mates, imagine the children we
> might produce with them and so forth.

Really? I've done it for perhaps 10-15 minutes total -- in my
lifetime. I don't recall talking about it with anyone much,
either. Come to think of it, one of the Watergate Plumbers did -- the
guy who used to hold a lit cigarette lighter under his arm until the
smell of burning flesh became too much for onlookers. Can't recall his
name at the moment. Anyway, he briefly discussed the child-bearing
virtues of his broad-beamed wife in one of his books. I found it odd
enough to recall the incident, if not his name. Little guy, big
mustache, FBI, raided Leary at Millbrook. Normally, I know his name.

> Imagine the native people inhabiting the bitter cold Arctic regions.  Every
> population produces some round-bottoms, some boney ones, some tall slender
> etc, but it is easy enough to see what body type is going to work better in
> a particular setting.

Far from easy for me. Absent some physics background, how would I know
that a relatively small surface area is advantageous in a cold
climate, all else being equal (which it never is)? More crucial, how
would I know _how_ advantageous? That is, suppose I know enough
physics to know about relative cooling rates, but not nearly enough to
translate that to a quantitative estimate of its importance. Of what
use is the information then? Perhaps it has no practical importance
whatsoever, because evolution works over huge time scales and this
allows strong selection for things like body type to act, when the
same level of selection pressure would do nothing measurable in a few
generations, much less a lifetime. IOW, there may be, and probably
isn't, any significant advantage to choosing a short plump mate over a
tall slender one if you live in a traditional Eskimo village. Other
considerations would probably absolutely swamp any theoretical advantage.

>A vacation trip many years ago to Fairbanks Alaska
> was most educational: plenty (if not most) of the locals seemed to be that
> body type: roundish, short-limbed, short in general.  It seems to me an
> Inuit or Eskimo would look at his or her potential mates and intentionally
> choose the ones who will be less miserable in the long cold winters.  The
> humans know what is coming; they wouldn't just go on beastly intuition, but
> rather choose with some frontal-lobe contemplation.  You just wouldn't be as
> likely to choose a boney-ass mate up in that setting.  Ja?

It's far from clear to me that your average unschooled human knows
that endomorphs tend to be more comfortable in cold weather than
ectomorphs are.


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