Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why did God create inferior races?

According to the theologians, God did not make all men alike.
He made races differing in intelligence, stature and color. Was
there goodness, was there wisdom in this?

Ought the superior races to thank God that they are not the
inferior? If we say yes, then I ask another question: Should the
inferior races thank God that they are not superior, or should they
thank God that they are not beasts?

When God made these different races he knew that the superior
would enslave the inferior, knew that the inferior would be
conquered, and finally destroyed.

If God did this, and knew the blood that would be shed, the
agonies that would be endured, saw the countless fields covered
with the corpses of the slain, saw all the bleeding backs of
slaves, all the broken hearts of mothers bereft of babes, if he saw
and knew all this, can we conceive of a more malicious fiend?

Why, then, should we say that God is good?


Individual Differences in Executive Function Are Almost Perfectly Heritable

Individual Differences in Executive Function Are Almost Perfectly Heritable

Your ability to control thought and behavior relative to your peers - a set of capacities known as "executive functions" - is almost entirely genetic in origin, according to a newly in-press paper from Friedman et al. Over 560 twins completed tests to measure fundamental components of these executive functions, and the results were analyzed in terms of how similar identical twins performed to one another relative to fraternal twins (all twins in the study were reared together). Astonishingly, the results show that the variance common to all executive functions is correlated roughly twice as much between identical twins as between fraternal twins, and that individual variance in executive function falls directly in line with what would be expected from a perfectly heritable trait.

The components of executive function (as determined through previous latent variable analyses) can be loosely described as inhibition (the ability to resist habit), updating (the ability to quickly change the focus of attention or the contents of working memory), and shifting (the ability to quickly change goals and respond appropriately).


The results from this approach are jaw-dropping: variance shared among each variety of executive function (inhibition, updating, and shifting) is nearly perfectly heritable: the contribution of the "A" component to those correlations is 99%. This heritable variance in the common executive function predicts nearly all of the genetic variance in the inhibition factor, consistent with the idea that those constructs are isomorphic from a heritability standpoint. Second, genetic influences on updating and shifting were roughly half due to the common executive function (43% and 44%, respectively) and half due to unique genetic influences (56% and 42%, respectively). Thus, the overall picture is that executive functions, in both their unity and diversity, are somewhere between 86 to 100% heritable.