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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Happiness is in your DNA; and different races may have different propensities for it

20 10 11 - 13:26

From an innocent source:


That personality, along with intelligence, is at least partly heritable is becoming increasingly clear; so, presumably, the tendency to be happy or miserable is, to some extent, passed on through DNA. To try to establish just what that extent is, a group of scientists from University College, London; Harvard Medical School; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of Zurich examined over 1,000 pairs of twins from a huge study on the health of American adolescents. In “Genes, Economics and Happiness”, a working paper from the University of Zurich’s Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, they conclude that about a third of the variation in people’s happiness is heritable. That is along the lines of, though a little lower than, previous estimates on the subject.

{snip}

Where the story could become controversial is when the ethnic origins of the volunteers are taken into account. All were Americans, but they were asked to classify themselves by race as well. On average, the Asian Americans in the sample had 0.69 long genes, the black Americans had 1.47 and the white Americans had 1.12.

That result sits comfortably with other studies showing that, on average, Asian countries report lower levels of happiness than their GDP per head would suggest. African countries, however, are all over the place, happinesswise. But that is not surprising, either. Africa is the most genetically diverse continent, because that is where humanity evolved (Asians, Europeans, Aboriginal Australians and Amerindians are all descended from a few adventurers who left Africa about 60,000 years ago). Black Americans, mostly the descendants of slaves carried away from a few places in west Africa, cannot possibly be representative of the whole continent. - The Economist


Personality and happiness level might both be heritable. Well, who would have thought that?

Answer: everyone, about 200 years ago. It was common knowledge and (and still is) common sense.


The iris controls the size of the pupil and gives a person's eyes their colour. It grows into a complex and unique pattern as a fetus develops and remains the same throughout a person's life. This fact has been successfully exploited in iris-based biometric systems, which work on the principle that each iris is completely different to any other.

But that is not strictly true, as Kevin Bowyer at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and his colleagues have found. They have developed a system that can pick out similarities between irises, instead of differences. Initial tests show it can distinguish between people of two different racial backgrounds and shows promise in determining gender.

{snip}

When they turned the system on a database of unknown irises of 1200 people, it predicted whether a person was Chinese or Caucasian with over 90 per cent accuracy, and correctly identified gender 62 per cent of the time. - New Scientist


Amazing.

seventeen comments

But what do we expect from Mr. I-Hate-Science-Unless-It-Shows-Me-What-I-Want?
"Personality and happiness level might both be heritable. Well, who would have thought that?

Answer: everyone, about 200 years ago. It was common knowledge and (and still is) common sense."

No, it's not common knowledge or common sense to believe it's heritable, or the opposite either. Without extensive study of the influence of both environment and genetics, no one has any clue what causes personality or happiness. They might have beliefs about it, but they have no knowledge (=justified belief) of it.

And 200 years ago, no one had done any of that work.

Also, considering only a third of happiness was found to be heritable, you're not justified in saying "personality and happiness might be heritable" without clarifying it. But what do we expect from Mr. I-Hate-Science-Unless-It-Shows-Me-What-I-Want? - 20-10-’11 16:46
TD
"No, it’s not common knowledge or common sense"

then :

"Without extensive study"

So basically you wait that 1000 people walks in some ghetto with a Nazi shirt and get nearly all killed before not doing it? TD - 20-10-’11 17:03
The same guy who said the first thing, obviously.
Well, no, since I didn't say that that requirement applied to Nazi-shirt-ghetto-walking, only knowledge of what causes personality or happiness.

Why would you think that what works for one would automatically work for the other? The same guy who said the first thing, obviously. - 20-10-’11 17:15
To the 1st and 3rd commenter
You mad? To the 1st and 3rd commenter - 20-10-’11 18:18
DS
@The same guy who said the first thing...I have never seen any evidence that this site hates science. The fact that it's a WEBSITE sort of proves that it isn't anti science. This one very glaring falsification is, frankly, enough to call into question everything that you just said. Besides, you're splitting hairs...hmmmm, sounds like some other guy DS - 20-10-’11 19:51
Neither.
@DS, You didn't take into account the qualification. It, or rather its runners, hate science when it suggests something they don't like. There are numerous examples of this; the most recent I can think of was some study about happiness as correlated with government spending, and the post criticized its assumed lack of proper experimental controls, without posting any evidence of such lack, of course.

But when the result is something amenable to the site runners, then they're all for science, and say it reveals the truth that their idea of common sense suggests anyway. Like the above study, which the runners assume supports their idea of heritability, even though the study only shows this as 1/3 of the factors.

The fact that it's a website just proves that they're not against science that leads to technology they like. Why would they? That science doesn't lead to any nasty conclusions such as that individualism might actually be good for society.

@To the..., mad crazy or mad angry? Neither. - 20-10-’11 20:02
DShhhh
It hates science when it is used to "prove" something that only backs up some redundant "fact" that supports whatever is considered politically acceptable at the time. Science, like many other schools of thought, is then being used as a political tool...something that it has a long history of. It focuses on scientific studies that you're most likely NOT going to hear discussed in main stream outlets. It's the same tactics as every dictatorship, only under the guise of being "nice" and "fair" and not offending anyone. As far as what is not liked, you obviously didn't like the article, and you haven't as usual done anything except state an opinion...such as "That science doesn’t lead to any nasty conclusions such as that individualism might actually be good for society." I ask you to prove that our rampantly ego-centric society has NOT been digging it's own grave for quite some time now...and stop splitting hairs. DShhhh - 20-10-’11 21:19
Perhaps you just don't have a comb.
"It hates science when it is used to “prove” something that only backs up some redundant “fact” that supports whatever is considered politically acceptable at the time."

Even if the research is done flawlessly, and the conclusion is clear and inevitable?

If that's a case then you've misunderstood how science is done. Science is worthless if you're willing to reject clear results because you don't like their implications.

You can question whether the research was done correctly, but if the research was done correctly, then you must accept the conclusion, or else yes, you "hate science".

You can also say, perhaps correctly, that the only reason that particular study was attempted was because it was relevant to some political issue. Fair enough; there's lots of possible research questions, and we can't answer them all. We have to pick and choose, and you're free to say it's stupid to do research on the effects of art classes on well-being or whatever.

But that's a separate issue from whether the study was done correctly and the results are convincing.

"As far as what is not liked, you obviously didn’t like the article, and you haven’t as usual done anything except state an opinion"

Actually, I don't remember stating an opinion at all. I just pointed out that the results were not something anyone knew before, and that they weren't as strong as the article said.

"such as “That science doesn’t lead to any nasty conclusions such as that individualism might actually be good for society.”

That was in reference to whatever science is required for the existence of websites. That is to say, computer science. I'm pretty sure computer science is politically neutral.


"I ask you to prove that our rampantly ego-centric society has NOT been digging it’s own grave for quite some time now"

That's completely irrelevant to anything this topic is about, so why would I? Not to mention, that's not a question science can address, since it's laced with opinion.

"and stop splitting hairs."

Well, I never worry about whether I'm splitting hairs, just whether I'm correct. You can decide for yourself if I was splitting hairs this time. Perhaps you just don't have a comb. - 20-10-’11 21:36
I have several, would you like one?
"Even if the research is done flawlessly, and the conclusion is clear and inevitable?" - how about specifying which study. "Science is worthless if you’re willing to reject clear results because you don’t like their implications." - Pardon the fact that I'm not as verbose as you on a keyboard, but that's the same thing that I said. "Actually, I don’t remember stating an opinion at all", "You can question whether the research was done correctly, but if the research was done correctly, then you must accept the conclusion, or else yes, you “hate science”, "We have to pick and choose", "But that’s a separate issue from whether the study was done correctly and the results are convincing", "Actually, I don’t remember stating an opinion at all. I just pointed out that the results were not something anyone knew before, and that they weren’t as strong as the article said", "That’s completely irrelevant to anything this topic is about, so why would I? Not to mention, that’s not a question science can address, since it’s laced with opinion", "Well, I never worry about whether I’m splitting hairs, just whether I’m correct"...hair splitting and opinions all at once. I have several, would you like one? - 20-10-’11 21:57
FUCK HOAW DARE YOU!!
I AM SO MAD HOW DARE U FUCKING BRING COMMON SENESE AND TRUTH INTO THEI NTERNETS NOTHIGN ITS TRUE UNTIL LIBERAL-BIASED PROFESSORS ON TENURE IN A UNIVERSITY SAY IT IS SO OOOO FUCK YOUUUUUUUUU FUCK HOAW DARE YOU!! - 21-10-’11 10:03
Emo boy who wears girls jeans
You hurt my feelings. Why are you yelling? Emo boy who wears girls jeans - 21-10-’11 12:05
I hear proles have a big problem with that.
'“Even if the research is done flawlessly, and the conclusion is clear and inevitable?” – how about specifying which study.'

Why, are you incapable of thinking hypothetically? I hear proles have a big problem with that. - 21-10-’11 17:25
Adolf Hitler
I heard Dave Schuel and JooPe are Gay lovers. Adolf Hitler - 21-10-’11 20:10
Poop... funny...
Why do so many retarded people like this site. You know Vijay wants to kill you right? Poop... funny... - 21-10-’11 21:08
PooPe
Yes, yes, Vijay would kill me...but I would know about it and kill him first. THAT is what he really wants! PooPe - 21-10-’11 21:20
nihilistic meditation
The best prole is a self-sacrificial one, so he is only transcending his caste. nihilistic meditation - 22-10-’11 09:56
wow gold
We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you. wow gold (URL) - 25-01-’13 21:56


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