And hell, this might as well be “random Star Wars thoughts day” from me, because here’s another one:

You may or may not have seen that post going around about how scary the Force is because letting yourself go too far into it is at least partly what causes you to “fall into the Dark Side” and it basically eats you up when that happens.

That’s not even necessarily the most insidious interpretation of the Force’s habits.

There’s an excellent analysis out there that points out that Force sensitivity should not, logically speaking, be a heritable trait, essentially because any being that can pass superpowers on to its offspring is going to be very successful reproductively and soon enough everything will have superpowers and then they won’t be superpowers anymore.

And this was intended as an argument against heritability, but unfortunately for that argument there’s a lot of evidence that it is a heritable trait.

Here’s where it gets insidious:  Anakin Skywalker is described as fitting the characteristics of a prophesied being who will bring Balance to the Force, as a being mysteriously created by the Force itself.

It’s very possible to interpret the bringing of Balance as Anakin killing Palpatine in ROTJ.

It’s also very possible to interpret the bringing of Balance as Anakin helping to destroy the Jedi Order (and killing a lot of Force sensitive people as a natural extension of that).

And of course, it could also be that both actions together are what brought Balance, but that still includes the destruction of the Jedi Order.

Take that second option together with the idea that Force powers are heritable, and you arrive at:  The Force wants people to have superpowers, but not too many people.  If too many people have superpowers, it’s time to make a superpowered baby to help initiate a purge.

Fuck you, Force, you’re an asshole.

anonymous asked:

If it's racist to believe that populations differ in average IQ for genetic reasons then racism has been utterly vindicated by decades of science.

I don’t think I’ve defined racism that way on this blog, and I also really haven’t investigated the research at all.

Also, even if the research does what you say it does, “racism” is a broad category, and “we found that there are heritable differences in IQ that lead to differing adjectives across populations” doesn’t seem to at all justify shouting slurs at people or burning crosses, just because all those things might fall into the category “racism”.

If I decide that “Ilzoism” consists of the belief that American citizens are more likely to be named “Bob” than Chinese citizens are, and also the belief that it’s morally permissible to throw water balloons at people on every full moon, studies on naming patterns still won’t suddenly vindicate my balloon-chucking habits.

You really have to look at this from Garnet’s perspective

Fusion is very important to her

Fusion IS EVERYTHING to her

It’s what she IS

If the lyrics of the extended theme song are anything to go by, back home fusion is looked down on. On Earth she’s free to exist as the combination of Ruby and Sapphire

“I will fight for the place where I’m free/to live together and exist as me”

In “Keeping It Together” She was emotionally destroyed to see what Homeworld thought of fusions and the mockery they made of it with the Gem Cluster, and it nearly made them destabilize…

and now…

In Garnet’s eyes, her own friends don’t even respect fusion. They only see it as a way to make themselves feel important and strong. Pearl and Amethyst see fusion as a means to their own end.

She feels they don’t respect fusion

She feels they don’t respect HER…

                    “Congratulations on your marriage, your Nation thanks you.”

PLOT IDEA: Nearly one hundred years ago an invisible murderer swept across the nation killing all those in its wake. It cared not of your skin, gender or age it’s only cared to burn your body from the inside out. It was a plague that snatched children from parent’s tight holds and lovers from firmly clasped hands with no remorse. It took ten years for the virus to run its course and die out before the nation could rebuild the number that they once had before the plague came. To ensure that they would become the once prosperous nation they once were the remaining leaders created a set of new laws that bind their citizens to bettering the entire nation.

When each citizen reaches the prime age of eighteen they are contracted in marriage to another individual who will heritability benefit the growth of the country. The female’s after being paired would travel on Contract Day to their husband’s birth city to live with him in a home that was provide to the couple by the government. The male’s would stay in their birth city but, move out of their parent’s home and into a home that was provided to them. In some cases, the couple was transported to another state where they were more needed.

Each couple would then produce at least four children and if they were to produce more the government would compensate them for their bountifulness. If a couple could not produce the quota, they were subjected to punishment by the government. This punishment varied from each person but, they were typically never heard from again. If a spouse dies, a new one would be assign to the widow and the family would be relocated, if their quota has not already been met. It was rare but, not unheard of for such a thing to happen. 

In the year 2133 it is time for Muse A to meet their spouse Muse B on Contract Day. As soon as they sign their contracts they will receive a packet on their spouse, information on their vocation, keys to their new home and a if they are a female a ticket for the train to their new home town. All the classes and schooling they’ve taken has led up to this day. Now, all that’s left is to actually meet and begin their lives.

Joseph S. Dejarnette was a psychiatrist most famous for his support of the eugenics movement (the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics). He opted for sterilization(surgery on the reproductive organs, so one can’t have children) of the “feeble minded,” alcoholics, drug addicts, and those suffering from other mental illnesses.  

He himself performed hundreds of involuntary sterilizations at Western State Hospital in Staunton.  

Look what has just launched in our online shop!!

A whole new section dedicated to some really useful products that can make our day to day lives easier! Awesome! I have attached a sneaky preview of my favourite of our new products and they’re designed to be used in the kitchen. I love to cook, however I haven’t done much lately due to hand and wrist pain, these products are going to be a life saver for me and get me back into the kitchen!

Take a look at the range here - http://bit.ly/hmsausefulprod

Which of these do you think would really help you out? Are there any that you already have and use? I’m really excited to have these in our shop now, just in time to tie in with our monthly theme!

A new study suggests that Holocaust survivors’ descendants may have altered stress hormones because of epigenetics. (thanks tinglealley.)

Claims that these kinds of epigenetic changes – changes in the expression of our genes – are heritable remain somewhat contentious, but the studies keep coming and the evidence that this is possible really seems to be mounting. Two fascinating books on the subject are Tim Spector’s Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes, based on his years of studying identical twins as a professor of genetic epidemiology, and Sharon Moalem’s Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes, based on his work in rare diseases, neurogenetics, and biotechnology.

Some recent articles:

Chimp Intelligence “Runs In Families,” Environment Less Important

A chimpanzee’s intelligence is largely determined by its genes, while environmental factors may be less important than scientists previously thought, according to a Georgia State University research study.

The study found that some, but not all, cognitive, or mental, abilities, in chimpanzees depend significantly on the genes they inherit. The findings are reported in the latest issue of Current Biology.

“Intelligence runs in families,” said Dr. William Hopkins, professor in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State and research scientist in the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. “The suggestion here is that genes play a really important role in their performance on tasks while non-genetic factors didn’t seem to explain a lot. So that’s new.”

The role of genes in human intelligence or IQ has been studied for years, but Hopkins’ study is among the first to address heritability in cognitive abilities in nonhuman primates. Studies have shown that human intelligence is inherited through genes, but social and environmental factors, such as formal education and socioeconomic status, also play a role and are somewhat confounded with genetic factors. Chimpanzees, which are highly intelligent and genetically similar to humans, do not have these additional socio-cultural influences.

“Chimps offer a really simple way of thinking about how genes might influence intelligence without, in essence, the baggage of these other mechanisms that are confounded with genes in research on human intelligence,” Hopkins said.

The study involved 99 chimpanzees, ranging in age from 9 to 54, who completed 13 cognitive tasks designed to test a variety of abilities. Hopkins used quantitative genetics analysis to link the degree of relatedness between the chimpanzees to their similarities or differences in performance on the various cognitive measures to determine whether cognitive performance is inherited in chimpanzees.

Genes were found to play a role in overall cognitive abilities, as well as the performance on tasks in several categories.

Traditionally, researchers studying animal intelligence or animal learning have shared the view that environment and how previous behavior is reinforced affect how animals perform on a particular task.

“In our case, at least, it suggests that purely environmental explanations don’t really seem to tell the whole story,” Hopkins said. “Genes matter as well.”

Hopkins also studied the structure of chimpanzee intelligence to determine whether there were any similarities to the structure of human intelligence.

“We wanted to see if we gave a sample of chimpanzees a large array of tasks,” he said, “would we find essentially some organization in their abilities that made sense. The bottom line is that chimp intelligence looks somewhat like the structure of human intelligence.”

In the future, Hopkins wants to continue the study with an expanded sample size. He would also like to pursue studies to determine which genes are involved in intelligence and various cognitive abilities as well as how genes are linked to variation in the organization of the brain.

Hopkins also would like to determine which genes changed in human evolution that allowed humans to have such advanced intelligence.

(Image: Anup Shah / Nature Picture Library)




Why is educational achievement heritable?

New research, led by King’s College London finds that the high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behaviour problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence.

The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 who were part of the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded UK Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.

In total, 83 scales were condensed into nine domains: intelligence, self-efficacy (confidence in one’s own academic ability), personality, well-being, home environment, school environment, health, parent-reported behaviour problems and child reported behaviour problems.

Identical twins share 100% of their genes, and non-identical twins (just as any other siblings) share 50% of the genes that vary between people. Twin pairs share the same environment (family, schools, teachers etc). By comparing identical and non-identical twins, the researchers were able to estimate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors. So, if overall, identical twins are more similar on a particular trait than non-identical twins, the differences between the two groups are due to genetics, rather than environment.

Eva Krapohl, joint first author of the study, from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s, says: “Previous work has already established that educational achievement is heritable. In this study, we wanted to find out why that is. What our study shows is that the heritability of educational achievement is much more than just intelligence – it is the combination of many traits which are all heritable to different extents.

“It is important to point out that heritability does not mean that anything is set in stone. It simply means that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning and that much of these differences are influenced by genetics.”

The researchers found that the heritability of GCSE scores was 62%.  Individual traits were between 35% and 58% heritable, with intelligence being the most highly heritable. Together, the nine domains accounted for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores.

Heritability is a population statistic which does not provide any information at an individual level. It describes the extent to which differences between children can be ascribed to DNA differences, on average, in a particular population at a particular time.