[ExI] note from a foaf in japan

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Sat Mar 26 13:53:25 UTC 2011

Il 25/03/2011 10.23, Kelly Anderson ha scritto:
> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM, Keith Henson 
> <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:00 AM,   Kelly Anderson 
>> <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> It seems unlikely to me that humans are genetically diverse 
>>> enough to account for highly social behavior in the face of 
>>> disaster as a genetic issue. It seems much more likely to be a 
>>> 100% cultural issue.
>> I would not discount the genetic angle.  I know it is not 
>> politically correct, but consider the differences between wild and 
>> tame foxes that came about in only 20 generations (with much of it 
>> in 8).  It depends on a consistent selection criteria.  If you
>> have not read Gregory Clark's work, you should.
> I am familiar with the fox experiment in Russia (Siberia). In that 
> experiment, 1% of each generation was selected for each trait 
> (aggressive and tame) and 99% were put down.

I have a big problem believing these numbers.
Simply, I don't think they started with 10^16 foxes and then culled down
the 99% too aggressive or not enough tame.
Given a normal figure of 6 kitten per litter or 10 (very optimistic), it
is difficult to believe that.
A fox couple would need to have 100 kitten, and the female fox would
need to give birth ten times (at least) during her life (improbable, as
the live 1.5 years in the wild and up to twelve - very rarely - in
captivity and I suppose their fecundity after the first two years is
very low).

Now, the article of  1992 give number a bit different from yours:
5% of the males and 20% of the females could breed in in the first
This is a severe selection, but not as severe as you wrote.
Humans were/are selected under historically a bit less severe conditions.

>From what I remember, it is common, during history, that only 40% of the
males and 80% of the female reproduce.
We can add to this that humans are able to move in other places, if
local conditions are unfriendly. And they are able of assortative
mating. These possibilities can, alone, make up for the difference in
selective pressure.

> That is a VERY heavy selection mechanism. Lots of genes go away very 
> quickly under that heavy of a culling.

Again, this is against what the article say.
After any selection, they added new foxes from commercial breed farm.
These foxes were at the early stages of domestication (the point where
the experiment started). So, the chance of interbreeding of recessive
traits is very low (2-7%) for every generation.

> Humans have never faced that level of culling, so getting rid of any
> specific set of genes is very difficult.

Given the wrong premises, I can not agree with the conclusions.

> We know this because two humans from any part of the world are more
> closely genetically related than two chimpanzees from 20 miles apart
> in Africa. The bottleneck around 600,000 years ago (Tambura(sp)
> supervolcano??) was estimated to reduce the human ancestor population
> to around 4000 individuals. So the chances of that big of a genetic
> drift coming in seems very slight to me.

The drifts is, probably, not so big. But I would call it difference, as
drift recall some random process. And this is all but random.

> If the Japanese had put down 99% of their population on
> socialization principles, then I would be more likely to believe
> there was a genetic component.

In China, numbers I red said that 10% of the people (usually the poor)
didn't reproduce in normal conditions (peace time). And this is
consistent with the rate in other places like Western Europe.
This rate is a mean, so it is very probable that poorer men didn't
breed, where poorer women had a chance to reproduce with wealthier (than
them) men.
This would have amplified the reproductive fitness of the wealthier men
a bit.

> Obviously, I could be wrong here, but I think it would be hard to
> prove either way. However, from a genetics standpoint, there just
> isn't a heavy enough hand IMHO to have Occam come down on genetic vs.
> culture in this particular case.

The problem is, if culture is the culprit, it would work everywhere in
the same way. This, in the US is not true, as North-East Asians are law
abiding more than Europeans that are more abiding than Latino Americans
that are more law abiding than blacks.
They are all exposed  to the same culture (or cultures) and the outcome
is very different. And this is consistent.

> By the way, I'd love to get a hold of a mating pair of those tame 
> foxes.

You only need money.
$6,950 (USA only) (delivery at your door in max 90 days)

> Have we had a serious disaster in those populations? I can't think of
> one off the top of my head.

I don't remember big riots or revolts during the fall of the East block.
The only violence outbreaks were when some groups in power tried to take
the power from another group (Romania was a coup against the Chaucescu -
Gorbachev fell because a coup by the communist party).

Nothing like LA riots or LO after Katrina and likes.

>> I suspect several thousand years of farming in north temperate 
>> zones worked some fairly serious changes in the genetics of the 
>> populations, changes that a few decades of cultural variations 
>> don't erase.

> Only where there is a selection pressure, such as melatonin in the 
> skin leading to skin cancer... You have to spell out the 
> selection/survival vector for this to be a credible genetic theory.

Change in melatonin happened for Vit D deficit, not the reverse.

>>>> What are the difference in behavior between Sendai (Japan) and 
>>>> Bam (Iran) or Indonesia, Italy, Chile and China or New Orleans 
>>>> (US)?

>> You might include Haiti.  Re China:

> I think Haiti went to hell after the earthquake. Roaming bands of 
> rapists and such. Having been to Haiti myself, it isn't hard to 
> believe. They have a really messed up culture from decades of living
>  off of the generosity of the first world.

I don't remember they had any different culture before.
IIRC, when Haiti gained his independence from France, they killed all
the whites in their half of Santo Domingo (male, female and children).
It could not be strange the Dominicans (the other half of the island) as
black as them, but a colony from England, hate and despise them with all
their heart and their past relations (probably even the current) were
very violent.

> Yes, I believe you are absolutely right here. I don't think that is 
> much of an argument for genetics, just an argument for the 
> persistence of underlying culture in the face of totalitarianism. 
> Just look at the comeback of Christianity in Russia...

But Christianity is coming back in Russia because it was resilient or
because the genetics of the russians make it easier to it to return.

>> Clark makes a case that impulse control has been intensely
>> selected in stable societies along with literacy and numeracy.

> If you were going to pick something, that might do it. However, you 
> would pretty quickly weed out any effective warrior class, which 
> could have downsides if other societies did not pick the same.

In fact, stable societies don't like warrior classes. They want soldier
classes. Warriors' ability to wage a war don't scale where the ability
of soldiers scale much better. And, usually, stable societies are able
to field much more soldiers than unstable ones, for more time and with
stable goals.

In fact, modern and less modern armies usually make a point to kill
their soldiers that don't respect orders and kill out of the
battlefield, without orders and without a good reason.

IMHO, modern armies want soldiers that have an internal "switch" they
(soldiers) are able to turn on and off at will. The "switch" to kill and
use violence.

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*Mirco Romanato*

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