Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Why Most High-Achievers Are Men (& Why We Cannot Afford Sexual Egalitarianism)

BOOK REVIEW of "Smart and SeXy: The Evolutionary Origins and Biological Underpinnings of Cognitive Differences between the Sexes".  London: Arktos Media, Ltd., 2016

Roderick Kaine, who has previously written for the neo-reactionary movement under the name Atavisionary, is an American trained as a biochemist. His first book, now available from Arktos, is both a genetically based explanation of cognitive differences between the sexes, and a demonstration that the economic and demographic costs of sexual egalitarianism will bring about the destruction of Western Civilization if that ideology is not abandoned.

There are several well-established differences in cognitive functioning between men and women. First, adult men appear to have a three to five point advantage over women in average IQ. Second, and more important, there is a much wider range of variation in male intelligence, with more men at the highest and lowest levels, and with women tending to bunch in the middle. Third, women tend toward greater verbal ability, while men have greater mathematical ability and much greater visuospatial ability.

One consequence of these differences is that men greatly outnumber women among high achievers in engineering and the hard sciences, a circumstance which, in the author’s words, “engenders astonishing levels of envy among some women.” Elaborate but unconvincing theories revolving around discrimination and “stereotype threat” have been elaborated to account for these differences and justify preferential treatment of women in these fields.

Yet these differences in cognitive ability can easily be explained by studying the human brain. Male brains on the whole are 8 to 10 percent larger than female brains, and controlling for body size differences does not eliminate the difference. The correlation coefficient between brain size and IQ is about 0.35 or 0.4 when the most accurate measuring techniques are used. One area, the inferior parietal lobe, is 25 percent larger in males. The male brain also has about 15 to 16 percent more neurons than the female.

As a proportion of the brain, men have significantly more white matter than women and women have more grey matter than men. Unadjusted for overall volume differences, however, men have about the same amount of grey matter as women and the male advantage in white matter is even more profound.

During the fetal stage, testosterone promotes asymmetry between brain hemispheres by delaying the development of the left hemisphere. This allows for the fuller development of the male’s right hemisphere, associated with visuospatial processing. Conversely, lower fetal testosterone in women means that the left hemisphere develops earlier and better, giving them a relative advantage in verbal intelligence. Broca’s area, a region of the left hemisphere involved in language processing, has also been observed to contain more grey matter and enjoy higher blood flow in women than in men. This indicates that language centers contribute more to general intelligence (g) in women than in men.

Much more HERE

An Air Force Pilot's a Christian? After Her! 

The once reliably center-right Economist provided further evidence of its descent into mainstream media territory (i.e., solidly leftist) with a recent article echoing anti-religion zealot Mikey Weinstein. Weinstein’s feathers were ruffled (again) because a decorated U.S. Air Force pilot told the base newspaper, “The overarching thing that defines all my life is my relationship with God. … The reason and purpose behind everything I do is to glorify God and make His Name known.”

The Economist seconds Weinstein’s claim that this statement constitutes a “gross violation” of Air Force policy against statements that could “reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.” Weinstein goes on to argue, and the article’s author concurs, that the officer’s statement is evidence that the Air Force is being subverted by religious zealots and doesn’t know what its actual mission is.

A profile in Ebony magazine says Christina Hopper, now a major, “is the first African-American woman to fly a fighter jet in a combat mission during a major war. She is the recipient of the Air Medal for her courage and bravery during the destruction of a Republican Guard supply line in treacherous flying conditions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” But by all means, Mickey, complain about her faith.

More recently, Weinstein harangued the Air Force for not being more vocal about the fact that the newly appointed commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy is a proud, same-sex-married lesbian. He also filed an inspector general complaint against a blog allegedly written by another active duty Air Force officer that raises a seemingly valid question regarding the prospective commandant’s integrity. Weinstein didn’t specify how gender disorientation pathology does contribute to the Air Force’s mission, but he argues that the blog’s author should be prosecuted for violation of a number of Uniform Code of Military Justice articles. He’s unsurprisingly silent about the prospective commandant’s violation of Article 83 (Fraudulent Enlistment).

The Air Force needs to firmly push back against Weinstein’s bullying once and for all. Past concessions have only emboldened Weinstein and his misnamed Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Air Force leadership should first acknowledge the obvious distinction between actively proselytizing and making a simple statement about what’s important to the speaker. We should give Airmen a little credit and trust that they’re smart enough not to “reasonably construe” that such a statement amounts to “official endorsement” and an expectation that the Airmen adopt the speaker’s religion or face punitive consequences. They should also strongly rebut MRFF’s ridiculous charge that religion hinders the service’s ability to perform its mission. Given that religion, character and morality are all intertwined, absence of religion/morality/character arguably poses a much greater threat to the Air Force — and nation — than a decorated officer’s acknowledgement of what she finds important. After all, isn’t the Air Force supposed to “Aim High”?


We must stop pandering to risky food fads

Beneath the obsessions for gluten-free and dairy-free diets there is growing harm caused to health by excessive hygiene

I suggest you finish your breakfast before reading this column.

When the National Health Service announced last month that it would no longer prescribe gluten-free food, it surprised me that it had been doing so in the first place. Whether you have genuine gluten intolerance — such as those with coeliac disease — or are merely following the fad, why should the taxpayer subsidise your diet, when the shops are groaning with gluten-free products? As I shall explain, perhaps the NHS should prescribe worms instead.

Where nutrition is concerned, the line between medical disorder and dietary preference has blurred. There are genuine medical issues relating to food, but they are hidden under a heap of fads. The recent news that milk consumption is dramatically down among young people seems to be because of a large amount of fashion with a small amount of disease.

It is the medical issue that concerns me here, but before I get to that, a word about fads. Lucrative obsessions among the wealthy with “clean” food, raw food, “detox” diets and “superfood” are pseudoscience, shamelessly exploiting gullible people and worsening the epidemic of eating disorders. Much of anorexia starts with “orthorexia”, or fussy eating, driven by irresponsible advice from celebrities who should know better. Nutrition education should be a priority, and public heath authorities need to get over their monomania about the sugar industry and start thinking about the damage being done by food fads.

At the heart of the problem is a misunderstanding of the concept of dose. Any kind of food is bad for you in excess, but that does not mean it is bad for you in small doses. Likewise, if something is harmful when missing from the diet, it does not mean it is good for you when supplied in overabundance. Vitamin C is vital for people with scurvy, but of zero benefit for people who are getting enough vegetables and fruit in their diet.

However, with that off my chest, there is nonetheless a growing food and health problem. Beneath the nonsense fads, beneath the worship of kale and goji berries and the absurd detox mythology, there clearly is increasing food intolerance among a smaller number of people. It urgently needs attention, because otherwise we might find in a few decades that more and more lives are ruined by allergies and illnesses.

This is a global issue. The menu in the restaurant in Guatemala City where I dined on Friday was sprinkled with symbols: gluten-free, dairy-free or peanut-free. These are real dangers for some people, who must avoid wheat, milk and nuts, three of mankind’s oldest staple foods. In a world where almost everything has been getting better, allergies have got steadily worse. Why?

I reckon the cause is now pretty clear: a lack of worms. The allergic reaction to these foods is caused by immunoglobulin E, a component of the immune system whose day job in the past was to combat parasitic worms. A recent study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that key proteins from 31 species of parasites are very similar to allergenic proteins. A protein in birch pollen that triggers hay fever is very similar to a protein found in parasitic worms that causes the infection schistosomiasis, for example.

It’s not that the immune system is “bored” now we have got rid of worms. The theory is more persuasive than that: worms have the capacity to damp down inflammatory immune reactions in their hosts, the better to survive. So human immune systems evolved to “expect” suppression by parasites; without it they overreact. To put it another way, we outsourced part of the regulation of our immune system to parasites.

Milk intolerance may be different because in most parts of the world it is caused by a sugar, lactose, whose indigestibility is a genetic trait. The gene for lactase, the enzyme that tackles lactose, is switched off in mammals when they are weaned. Only in Europe and parts of Africa, where people began milking cows a few thousand years ago, did mutations spread that kept the gene for digesting lactose switched on during adulthood.

But much milk intolerance in westerners is probably not lactose intolerance, but an allergic reaction to a protein called beta casein A1. Hence the growing popularity of “A2 milk”, a product pioneered in New Zealand from cows that don’t make A1. So milk intolerance, too, may be about proteins and may also be related to wormlessness.

As recounted in a fascinating book, An Epidemic of Absence, by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, the correlation between the disappearance of worms and the appearance of asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes and dietary intolerances is remarkably precise in time and place. In and around the Ethiopian town of Jimma asthma suddenly became common in the 1990s only in the places and at the time that hookworm was eradicated. No other factor — air pollution, dust mites, pesticides, viral epidemics — could explain the change. In Karelia, a region divided between Finland and Russia, very similar people had far more coeliac disease and allergies on the Finnish side, where sanitation was much better and parasites fewer.

Moreover, experiments have now been done to give allergic people hookworms or whipworms. Sure enough, their allergic symptoms — from asthma to irritable bowel disease — often clear up fast. A whole industry of “helminth hackers” has emerged in the United States supplying worm eggs through the post for people with intolerances. Be warned that it is not necessarily worth it.

Ideally, we would now work out how the worms regulate the immune system and replicate the effect with safe pharmaceuticals. That should not be beyond the wit of 21st-century science.

It is probably not just worms. The impoverishment of our gut flora — the bacteria in our intestines — in the modern world, as a result of excessive hygiene and antibiotics, looks increasingly likely to be the cause of various other health issues, including obesity and possibly autism, though early experiments on the latter are inconclusive. Open Biome is a “stool bank” that will supply you with faecal transplants from healthy people to enrich your gut garden. It will also pay good money for faecal donations from healthy people. Now there’s a tip you did not expect to read in The Times.

I do hope you enjoy your lunch.


‘Sick and tired’ of hospital’s Islam bias

The new $2.3 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital will open this year with a prayer room for Muslims but without a “chapel” after ­bureaucrats opted for a “spiritual care” area to cater for “multiple faiths”.

The move has angered Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi, who says Aus­tralians are “sick and tired” of ­accommodating a minority religion while undermining Christian traditions and heritage.

The hospital’s new “spiritual care” room is a departure from other major hospitals in the state, including the Queen Elizabeth and Flinders Medical Centre, which have chapels.

A chapel and a separate prayer space for Muslims exist at the current Royal Adelaide Hospital, while the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has recently opened a “sacred space” for all ­religions.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling, a key figure in Labor’s Catholic right faction, told The Australian yes­terday in a brief statement that arrangements for the chapel at the new hospital “are the same as they are at the current RAH (Royal Adelaide Hospital)’’.

However, the new hospital is yet to be opened and SA Health has spruiked its still unveiled ­religious areas as “a dedicated space for private, individual or group prayer, meditation and quiet reflection” on level three of the vast building. Both spaces — the prayer room and the spiritual care area — are understood to be devoid of religious symbols.

The prayer room has separate washing facilities for men and women, and compass points to show the direction of Mecca.

Senator Bernardi, a South Australian, said the new hospital’s arrangement was “everything that’s wrong” with the approach to integrate other cultural groups, and the prayer room was “clearly designed for Islam”.

Separate washing areas were “all the symbolism I need that this is tailor-made to accommodate to a tiny minority’’, he said yesterday. “We’re bending over to ­appease a minority for fear of causing offence while undermining our tradition and heritage.

“In a hospital environment, catering to all faiths is important, but what’s happened here is all faiths are supposed to share the space except for those of Islam, who once again want to exclude themselves and be granted ­special status.

“If you’re going to give priority to a particular faith, it should be to the Christian faith because that’s the overwhelmingly dominant ethos and part of our cultural ethos.”

The 2011 census showed that 61.1 per cent of Australians identified as Christian and 2.2 per cent as Muslim, with the Christian majority higher in South ­Australia.

The Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth has a multi-faith prayer room and a dedicated room for the Muslim community. Similar facilities are planned for the delayed new $1.2bn Perth Children’s Hospital, not expected to open until later this year.

Perth church leaders lobbied the then Barnett Liberal government in 2015 for a Christian chapel to be built at the Perth Children’s Hospital. Now retired Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft called the Perth hospital’s multi-faith centre “an empty shell for people who are grasping for hope”.

Muslims Australia president Kayser Trad said Senator Bernardi’s concerns were “further evidence of (his) paranoia and narrow-minded bigotry”. He said decisions about prayer spaces related to the needs of the hospital’s demographic, with Muslims requiring wash facilities for a variety of limbs, including feet.

“Many non-Muslims find using a wash basin to wash the feet objectionable,’’ Mr Trad said.

Anglican Diocese of Adelaide administrator Bishop Tim Harris said he understood the new hospital provided areas that would be “genuinely multi-faith’’.

“While the Christian presence is still significant, and numerically still the majority, we recognise we are no longer living in times of the church receiving privileged status in public space, nor do we seek such privileged or priority treatment in publicly funded facilities.’’

The hospital was supposed to open in April last year before a legal dispute between government and builders delayed it; now it is a year overdue and $640 million over budget.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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