HBD 101

Given the popularity in recent years of books like Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, and the ready availability of reference material on the internet — and given also the accumulated wisdom of the ages, the testimony of our own eyes, and simple common sense — it always comes as a bit of a shock to me to see how many people are still in the stupefying grip of what’s called the Standard Social Science Model, which Wikipedia describes as the paradigm that “the mind is a general-purpose cognitive device shaped almost entirely by culture”. You’d think that by now this would have taken its place alongside phlogiston and the luminiferous aether, but it’s as stubborn as kudzu.

As a public service, then (and being too lazy to write anything tonight), I’ll take this opportunity to plug one of the best bloggers on the subject of human biodiversity, who goes by the name ‘Jayman‘. For an opening salvo, here’s a post of his entitled All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable.

For much more, browse the selections at HBD Bibliography.

Lastly, no survey of the topic would be complete without reading the incomparable hbd*chick.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    Just read two of his entries. Thanks for linking. He seems to be the leftist version of hbd*chick.

    Posted March 1, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  2. Bill says

    This seems to be another area where the politics outweigh the science. I ascribe neither to the tabula rasa or to hereditary determinism. Generally speaking I think that about 50% of our behavior is inherited and the other half comes from the environment. What makes for the fascination is the area where the two meet, especially when there is a major conflict between the hereditary vs. the environment.

    Sometimes hereditary is overwhelming. I have heard of cases of sociopaths being raised by excellent parents and all the siblings being outstandingly good persons. There are also cases where the person is extremely plastic to the point of never having any major innate behaviors.

    One of the biggest ironies I have seen lately, I posted to my blog, that liberals, the great exponents of the ’empty slate’ theory of mind, are fighting sex orientation change efforts where teen-agers, uncomfortable with homosexual thoughts are being counseled towards heterosexuality, with..wait for it….that sexual orientation is a fixed, inborn trait. So much for science in this area.

    Posted March 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink