Daniel Hannan has a number of interesting posters with his article on Nazism but not all are translated or translated well. I therefore reproduce them with translations:
Workers of the mind and the fist choose the frontline soldier, Hitler. Against hunger and desperation, choose Hitler
This poster is a bit hard to read but its text is all rendered clearly here. The body of the poster reads: "Wir Arbeiter sind erwacht – wir wählen Liste 2 Nationalsozialisten" -- which translates as: "We workers are awoken. We choose List 2, National Socialists"
Does dislike of homosexuality give you heart attacks?
An academic study has just emerged which says that it does. "Homophobia is bad for your health" is the intended message. And the study itself is a refreshing piece of work that uses representative data, extensive controls, careful analysis and cautious wording. It is far better than most academic journal articles I read. So its conclusions should settle the matter?
Sadly, No. The study is a correlational one so warrants no conclusions about cause. Whether attitudes to homosexuals CAUSED the heart attacks or whether something associated with such attitudes caused the attacks is not known. And the authors acknowledged that. They suggest that certain health variables could be the "guilty" third factor.
And the elephant in the room there (I seem to be a master elephant detector) is of course IQ. Unless they are motivated by fundamentalist religious convictions, anybody who admits to anti-homosexual attitudes these days has to be either dumb or very brave. And bravery in the matter seems very rare. Homosexuals are sacred these days. And low IQ people do have worse health.
And the correlation between health and attitudes is weak anyway so other factors could very well be involved.
And there are some signs that all is not well with the results anyway. Both religiosity and conservatism showed negligible correlations with "antigay" attitudes -- where we would expect both of those to be strong predictors. So the conclusions of the study are very dubious indeed. I suspect that the underlying data was not robust enough to support the weight that the authors put on it.
The study is: Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Anna Bellatorre, and Peter Muennig. "Anti-Gay Prejudice and All-Cause Mortality Among Heterosexuals in the United States". American Journal of Public Health: February 2014, Vol. 104, No. 2, pp. 332-337.
Despite its inconclusiveness, it will no doubt be quoted joyously and uncritically for many years to come. People who can believe that women and men are really the same will believe anything.
As the great steamroller of secularism rumbles towards them, Christians generally have become much less mindful of denominational differences between them. Unbelief and Leftist oppression have become the current enemies for all Christians. So true Protestants (NOT including Anglicans and other "social" churches, who are generally too "modern" to believe in anything much) appreciate the solid opposition to abortion and homosexuality from Catholics, for instance. And Christians do need to band together. The secular steamroller has largely crushed belief and church loyalty in Britain, Western Europe and Australia. Only in the USA, Russia, Poland and Latin America is belief in the risen Lord still strong.
Young people therefore may not know that Protestant/Catholic rivalry was once intense -- and not long ago at that. Within living memory we were all rather like Ulstermen.
When I was a kid I went to a State (government) school and the Catholic school was just down the road. And we all used to walk home in those days -- none of that namby-pamby nonsense of parents picking us up. So there was opportunity for us to get into mischief. And one sort of mischief was that the kids from the two schools used to chant sectarian rhymes at one another. I suppose it was better than coming to blows. I remember the rhymes very well but I am a bit embarassed about it all now so I will repeat only one of the rhymes: "Mary, Mary, mother of God, baked a cake and it was a sod". Apologies from my 70-year old self for my 10-year old self.
And at that time Protestants and Catholics even tended to go to different shops. Two big Department stores in Brisbane exemplified that: McWhirter's and T.C. Beirne's. Protestants shopped at McWhirter's and Catholics shopped at T.C. Beirne's. It actually felt weird to go into the "wrong" one of those.
And the thought of a Catholic marrying a Protestant was quite rage-provoking. A Protestant father contemplating one of his children marrying a Catholic would utter the most dire warnings against it and back up the warming with threats of disinheritance etc. Catholics were equally vehemently against "intermarriage" but would acquiesce in it as long as the children of the marriage were brought up Catholic.
Now here is the amusing thing: Despite all the rage and heartburn, young Catholic and young Protestant people still married one-another at a great rate. I take some interest in genealogy and when you look at genealogical records in Australia, the number of intermarriages is astounding. It is true of my own relatives and forebears, of course. I have both Irish and English ancestry. Young Catholics and Protestants clearly found one-another fascinating. Forbidden fruit? That could be part of it.
There is a rather good novel by Ruth Park called "Harp in the South" about a Catholic family in Australia about 100 years ago which captures it all rather well. There are two friends -- one Catholic and one Protestant -- who get on very well with one-another -- except on one day of the year -- the day when the Orange order marches and they sing of how "King Billy slew the Papish crew at the battle of Boyne water" etc.
So even in the old days there was goodwill lurking, despite different traditions -- JR
Political Orientation and Moral Conviction
Comments on: "Political Orientation and Moral Conviction: A Conservative Advantage or an Equal Opportunity Motivator of Political Engagement?" by Linda J. Skitka G. Scott Morgan Daniel C. Wisneski, University of Illinois at Chicago (Preprint here (PDF))
There is a paper coming out in a book edited by Joe Forgas that tends to throw Haidt's findings into a cocked hat. Haidt found that conservatives were more morally complex than are liberals. Since liberals often proclaim: "There is no such thing as right and wrong", that is not exactly a surprising finding. Liberals do nonetheless use moral language: "Racism is wrong" etc., but I showed long ago (Ray, 1974) that they do so only as a matter of convenience. For them it is just a device to influence others. Any such beliefs are not deeply held.
I'm critical of a few points in the introduction to the paper -- e.g. the homage to the risible Lakoff, who confuses the diachronic with the synchronic, but I think the big problems in the paper are methodological. The use of meta-analyses is in principle admirable but in practice can deteriorate severely where the author has a barrow to push. One of the better known studies in this field did to my particular knowledge omit from consideration around 100 relevant studies -- in order to come to fairly conventional conclusions.
Another problem is the shotgun approach to sampling. Lumping general population samples in the with student samples is most incautious. The two groups often give very different results. One one occasion I repeated a study I had dome among students using a sample of army conscripts. A correlation of .808 among students dropped to something negligible with the more representative sample. I never wrote that study up but I probably should have. It was in the era when "positive" results were essential so it would probably not have been published anyway.
And I am pretty confident that something similar would have happened in the Skitka work. The students would have given complex responses and the ordinary folk would have given much simpler responses. So combining the two would have given you medium complexity across the board and erased Right/Left differences. In short, I don't think Skitka & co, have made their case.
Mother Jones has however welcomed the study. The Left like to think they are moral, despite their propensity for mass murder.
So, who are the smartest scientists?
The paper below is a curious one. The authors seem to be making mountains out of molehills. There IS for instance a correlation between IQ and conventional religion but it is slight -- unlikely to be of any practical importance and probably artifactual anyway. See here
But the thing which amused me most was the claim that social scientists are more religious. I spent many years teaching the social sciences in Australian universities and during that time went to a lot of conferences both in Australia and overseas -- where I met many fellow social scientists. And it is true that most social scientists are religious, but the religion is Leftism. Anybody who can still believe in socialism after all the socialist disasters of the 20th century is in the grip of deep faith. I think I only ever met three Christian social scientists. So I would have thought that social scientists were the LEAST religious academic group as far as conventional religions are concerned. So the study below would seem to rely on some very strange sampling. Journal abstract included below
SOCIAL science professors at elite institutions are more likely to be religious and politically extreme than their counterparts in the natural sciences, argues a new paper. Why? Natural scientists are just smarter.
“There is sound evidence of a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity and between intelligence and political extremism,” reads the paper in the Interdisciplinary Journal on Research and Religion which examines existing data on academic scientists’ IQs by field, and on religious beliefs and political extremism among science professors in the US and Britain. “Therefore the most probable reason behind elite social scientists being more religious than are elite physical scientists is that social scientists are less intelligent.”
The paper, written by Edward Dutton, adjunct professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Oulu, in Finland, and Richard Lynn, a retired professor of psychology from the University of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, who is known for his work on race and IQ, continues: “Intelligence is also a factor in interdisciplinary differences in political extremism, [with] physicists, who have high IQs, being among the least extreme and lower-IQ scholars being among the most extreme.”
In an interview, Dutton said social scientists aren’t stupid, or necessarily extreme in their politics or overly religious. But, statistically speaking, they have lower IQs than their colleagues in biological and physical sciences and are likelier to be extremely conservative or liberal or religious, or both.
Dutton said that there are many similarities between political extremism and religious fundamentalism; in other research, he uses the term “replacement religions” to describe the phenomenon.
“[Physical] scientists are overwhelmingly atheist,” Dutton said. “This is predicted by their high IQ, which allows you to rise above emotion and see through the fallacious, emotional arguments.” Arguments about God are all emotional arguments, he added.
The paper is a meta-analysis of existing data showing several things: that natural scientists have higher IQs than social scientists; that low intelligence “predicts” political extremism and religiosity; and that physical scientists at elite institutions are less likely to believe in God or be politically extreme than their counterparts in the social sciences.
The connection between all three research areas has never been made until now, Dutton said. But — in just one example of potentially problematic methodology — the logic can’t be extended to academe in general. Several studies cited in the paper drawing from a wider mix of colleges and universities than simply the most elite show that life sciences professors are more likely to attend church than their peers in the social sciences, not less. The paper assumes this is because professors at elite institutions are smarter than their peers elsewhere.
The researchers also use IQ as the sole measure of intelligence (they mention Howard Gardner’s multiple forms of intelligence, but argue that they could also be considered personality traits).
The researchers acknowledge some of their limitations, including that some older data in the analysis involve a very small sample size. Dutton and Lynn say that future research involving larger academic samples would be “extremely useful” in exploring these areas in greater depth.
Dutton said he knew his paper would upset some readers, but that he invited feedback from fellow scholars. The point of research, even when controversial, is to “get closer to the truth of human life,” he said.
Interdisciplinary Journal on Research and Religion. 2014 Volume 10, Article 1
Intelligence and Religious and Political Differences Among Members of the U.S. Academic Elite
Many studies have found inverse correlations between intelligence and religiosity, intelligence and political conservatism, and intelligence and political extremism. Other studies have found that academics tend to be significantly less religious and more liberal than the general population. In this article, we argue that interdisciplinary differences in religiosity and political perspective among academics are predicted by interdisciplinary differences in intelligence between academics. Once personality factors correlating with religiosity have been substantially controlled for, physicists, who have higher average intelligence, are less religious than are social scientists, who have lower average intelligence. Physical scientists are also less politically extreme than are social scientists.
History is crazy
No wonder the Left keep revising history. The reality is so strange that only conservatives could cope with it.
Take for instance the death of Queen Victoria at the age of 81 in 1901. She died in the arms of a member of her family. Who was that family member? You would never guess. It was Kaiser Bill, Wilhelm II, German emperor! He was her grandson.
And yet Germany and Britain were at war only 13 years later.
Such a strange sequence of events requires explanation. Because she had so many daughters, Queen Victoria became the grandmother of Europe. An English princess was a great catch so the German emperor -- father of Kaiser Bill -- got one. Her descendants eventually occupied the thrones of no less than nine European countries
And Edward VII, Victoria's son, who was such a scapegrace in his youth as to be the complete despair of his strait-laced parents, actually turned out to be a very good King. He had the mildly reformist ideas of his father -- Prince Albert -- and was a generally good-natured soul who was known for treating everybody equally, regardless of their rank or importance. So if there was a problem for Britain anywhere in the world, the Foreign Office would send him out to visit. Even as a young man he was a great success abroad. When he visited America in his capacity as Prince of Wales in 1860, he was so popular that he spent months there, meeting just about everybody who was anybody. Prayers for the Royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776.
So on his Royal visits he would shake hands all round, make all the right noises and charm everybody. And that part of the world would then resume lying down peacefully under the British crown. Having met the King himself and finding him such a pleasant and reasonable chap, how could they do otherwise? So against his parents' initial expectations, Edward turned out to be a great asset to British diplomacy. And Edward's wife was the sister of the Tsarina of Russia! And that Tsarina had a son who in time became Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. So the new Tsar was Edward's nephew. Beat that!
And, as it happens, Edward got on well with his nephew the Tsar. But NEITHER got on well with Wilhelm II. Queen Vic. kept the peace between them all while she was alive but after that it all went downhill. So we see that personalities can influence politics. Wilhelm was even a frequent visitor to Balmoral in Vic's lifetime and there are as a result of that a number of photos of Wilhelm in Highland dress.
I have written previously on the multifarious causes of the dreadful WWI. This adds another, though more minor one.
Below is a picture of Wilhelm as a child accompanying his father (later Friedrich III). Both are in Highland dress, at Balmoral. So Queen Victoria's autumn retreat in Scotland was a familiar place for Wilhelm.
Bible critics assume what they have to prove
They say that domestic camels arrived in Israel after the times that the Bible says. But they admit that some camel bones dated from earlier periods have been found. To fit their theory they say that the earlier finds "probably belonged to wild camels". How do they know? They don't. They are just assuming what they have to prove.
A more reasonable summary of the findings would be to say that most people were too poor in earlier periods for many of them to own camels -- hence the rarity of camel remains in those earlier periods.
Dromedary camels are thought to have first been domesticated by humans in Arabia around 3,000 BC. Considering that Arabia and Israel share a land border, how absurd is it to say that domestic camels were unknown in Israel at that time?
Atheists really give me the pip sometimes, even though I am one myself. Why do they have to keep denigrating faith? It seems childish and insecure to me
Camels are mentioned in Biblical stories involving Abraham, Joseph and Jacob as well as other famous characters. But archaeologists have found that the mammals were not domesticated in Israel until centuries after famous figures were said to have ridden them.
They claim this shows that text in the Bible was compiled long after the events described in it and challenges the holy book as a historical document.
Camels were not domesticated in Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs – when Abraham, Jacob and Issac are said to have lived - between 2,000 and 1,500 BC.
Dr Erez Ben-Yosef and Dr Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the moment when domesticated camels arrived in the southern Levant.
They found camels came in the 9th century BC, not the 12th as previously thought.
‘The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development,’ Dr Ben-Yosef said.
‘By analysing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Aravah Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries,’ he said.
It is believed that camels were originally domesticated in the Arabian Peninsula for use as pack animals sometime towards the end of the second millennium BC.
The oldest known domesticated camel bones were discovered in the Aravah Valley, in the southern Levant, which runs along the Israeli-Jordanian border from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea and come from a time when the valley was an ancient centre for copper production.
Dr Ben-Yosef dated an Aravah Valley copper smelting camp where the domesticated camel bones were found in 2009 and discovered they dated to between the 11th and 9th century BC.
He led another dig in the area in 2013 to determine exactly when domesticated camels appeared in the southern Levant.
Together with Dr Sapir-Hen, he used radiocarbon dating and other techniques to analyse the findings of these digs as well as several others done in the valley.
In all the digs, they found that camel bones were unearthed almost exclusively in archaeological layers dating from the last third of the 10th century BC or later – centuries after the patriarchs lived and decades after the Kingdom of David, according to the Bible.
The few camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers probably belonged to wild camels, which archaeologists think were in the southern Levant from the Neolithic period or even earlier.
LOL! I rather naughtily left a pitfall in my comments above. A reader writes to me that Israel has Southern borders only with Egypt and Jordan. It has no borders with Saudi Arabia. That is true. But I did not mention Saudi Arabia. I spoke of Arabia. Jordan is part of Arabia. Look at any map of the area for starters.
Having sisters: Another elephant discovered
An NYT writer, Charles Blow, has come across some survey findings by Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra to the effect that people who have sisters are more "sexist" and more likely to vote Republican. There have been all sorts of efforts to turn that finding into something discreditable to conservatives. One theory is that where there are girls around boys get let off from helping with housework and think that is a good racket for the rest of their lives.
The key to understanding the finding is however the word "sexist". It is of course largely a term of abuse. The factual content to it is however that the "sexist" person thinks men and women are different. Thinking that way does of course have all the evidence on its side but what Leftist ever cared about evidence? So, to the Leftist, people who think that way are evil and are rightly referred to with a term of abuse.
Once we get past the abuse, however, the implications of the finding become self-evident: Growing up with girls leaves you in no doubt about how different they are. It is a reality check. Those evil sexists are simply more in touch with how things actually are.
And that also explains the Republican orientation. It is in fact probably more an anti-Democrat orientation. Democrats are always preaching feminist nonsense so people who know from experience how much nonsense it is turn to the realistic party -- the Republican party.
So I am once again a discoverer of elephants in rooms. I have only pointed out the bleeding obvious -- but nothing as simple as "sexism" being realistic can enter a Leftist mind, of course. To them the elephant is invisible.
Steve Sailer has some useful notes on the matter
Do lesbians make good parents?
Most of the concerns people have about children raised by "two mommies" are social and psychological. But psychology and sociology are playgrounds of the Left. I have taught in both psychology and sociology Departments of Australian universities and find sociologists in particular to be almost amusingly Leftist. Karl Marx is still their chief inspiration.
So you know what to expect when you find studies by social scientists that tell us anything about homosexuality. Homosexuals these days are a positively revered class who can do no wrong. So finding out what is actually going on from such sources is a major challenge. It is however a challenge I often took on in my own research career. If you read the "small print" (usually the "Results" section of a research report) you get at least a hearty laugh. The statistics obtained in the course of the research often contradicted the conclusions drawn by the researcher. But statistics frighten people so they get away with it. I actually used to teach statistics, however, so I had a ball.
And it all comes back to me when I read the latest article in an obsessively Leftist newspaper about homosexual parents. The article pulls no punches. It is headed Study finds same-sex parenting is not harmful for children". No nuances there! An excerpt:
Children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well in their education, emotional and social development as those raised by heterosexual parents, new research shows.
The report on same sex-parented families in Australia, commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), found "there is now strong evidence that same-sex-parented families constitute supportive environments in which to raise children''.
The findings are at odds with Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi's recent comments that the "gold standard" for children's development is having a biological mother and father who are married.
Report author Deb Dempsey, who reviewed all the research on same sex-parented families, said there was a wealth of evidence that showed the children were doing fine."
Well, author Cosima Marriner is right about a conflict of findings. Conservative authors generally come to much more adverse conclusions. So what is going on? I did my usual trick and looked up the original research report. I immediately found that Cosima had been a very naughty girl. The research was about lesbians only. The authors concluded that there was too little research about male homosexuals available to draw any conclusions. So Cosima definitely over-generalized.
The real fun of the fair however came in a section of the report that was rather forbiddingly titled "Methodological issues and studies of children's wellbeing". I reproduce a couple of paragraphs from it:
"Evaluating the effects of family structures upon children's wellbeing and development is complicated, particularly when the population of interest is a very diverse, stigmatised, numeric minority. Some questions have been asked about the methodological rigor of research studies on the wellbeing of children raised in same-sex parented families, by scholars who (implicitly or explicitly) have political or moral objections to same-sex parenting (see Marks, 2012; Regnerus, 2012; Schumm, 2012) and by those who do not. For instance, Tasker and Patterson (2007), two respected psychologists who support the rights of lesbian and gay parented families and have published widely on various aspects of the wellbeing of children raised by lesbian and gay parents, commented that the field would benefit from a wider variety of data collection methods. They noted that most of the data collected about children raised in lesbian and gay parented families comes from self-reports by their parents, supplemented with psychometric testing of children by the research team. Few studies have been blind, or made use of psychometric tests administered independently of the researchers. That said, many researchers emphasise the importance of contextual, qualitative studies in learning about the family experiences and processes in same-sex parented families from the point of view of parents, children and other family members (Biblarz & Savci, 2010; Dempsey, 2012b; Goldberg, 2010; Goldberg, Kinkler, Richardson, & Downing, 2011; Lindsay et al., 2006; Riggs, 2007).
Researchers in this field have noted a range of limitations with regard to how their samples of participants are drawn. Although this is beginning to change, many studies are based on small and homogeneous samples of highly educated and middle-class participants. Many of the comparative studies conducted to date on children or young adults raised in same-sex parented families are based on volunteer samples of participants rather than random samples. This means that it is unknown how representative and generalisable the studies' results are. Further to this, many researchers in this field note that their participants were mostly white and well educated, which does not reflect the likely socio-economic, ethnic and racial diversity of the same-sex parenting population. That said, it is important to emphasise all research designs have limitations and not to dismiss the cumulative findings from many small scale or volunteer sample studies, as some critics of this literature attempt to do (see Marks, 2012; Regnerus, 2012; Schumm, 2012). Amato (2012) indeed pointed out that if there were noteworthy harms accruing to children resulting from parental homosexuality per se, which is often the concern of those scholars who criticise research designs and methodology, these would be revealed in research on high socio-economic, ethnically homogeneous samples of parents and children."
So there you have it. The data was mostly what lesbians say about themselves and their children: Self report studies. Does anybody sniff bias there?
But it gets worse. Most of the studies were of high status parents: Richer and better educated. So the studies were not even a fair sample of lesbians. ANY children of high status parents should have done better at school etc.
And if you look at it with my perverse eye you see a suppressed correlation. If the studies showed (which they mostly did) that the children of such parents only did "as well as" the children of heterosexual families that means that something has been suppressing the status advantage that the Lesbian children should have had. And what could that be? Would it be the fact that they had no daddy? That's what it looks like. Once you control for education in homosexual/heterosexual comparisons, the homosexual children come out looking disadvantaged. Some studies did apparently control for education but it seems that most did not.
So where do we go from there? Is it just too difficult to examine fairly the questions involved? I think it is -- but only if we rely on social science research. Demography is informative too. What if we interview actual prison inmates, drug addicts etc. And what if we find that a higher than proportionate percentage of them do not come from a normal heterosexual family with both a mommy and a daddy regularly present? That is what we find and that is what the redoubtable Senator Bernardi was referring to.
But no research involving people will ever be watertight so in the end we always have to draw our conclusions on a balance of probabilities. And our conclusions will always be influenced by our other beliefs. Cautious conservatives, for instance, will shudder at the thought of experimenting on children -- while Leftists will always think that the existing state of society is so unsatisfactory that anything which might improve it should be tried. It would be nice if Leftists would admit to uncertainty on some occasions though. I just did. Are you listening, Cosima? -- JR.
Feminists will always be a disgruntled minority of harpies huddled in a corner moaning to one-another
Most women will acknowledge some feminist sympathies -- equal pay for equal work etc. But I am not talking about those women. I am talking about the feminists you encounter at universities and writing in the papers. They are often quite good at changing official policies (generally set by men) but their influence on the behaviour of other women is minimal.
The big and unsurmountable problem for feminists is that young women are intensely interested in young men. They are more interested in young men than young men are interested in them. As a result, young women tend to PANDER to young men. There! I've said it. The word that sends feminists molten. A women pandering to a man deserves the lowest depths of hell and damnation from a feminist perspective.
I am moved to those thoughts by something I saw this morning as I was having a cup of tea with Anne at the seaside (Wynnum). It was a classical example of the pandering I just mentioned.
What was happening was that two young men -- perhaps around age 20 -- were fishing without much success. But fishing they were and they stuck at it despite catching only the occasional tiddler. And they had a girl with them, a rather aspirational girl of about 18, about 5'5" tall with fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. And she was in great shape wearing tight short denim shorts.
So what was she doing? She was just there for the company. She did have her own fishing rod and cast it in a few times but mostly she just pottered around or sat in a nearby shelter watching. She was there because the men were there and for no other reason. They paid their fishing much more attention than they paid her but she was nonetheless in great good humor, full of smiles. She was happy just to be there with the men.
And that is how it goes in the teenage years. And as the years progress it gets even worse from a feminist perspective. Young women enter into intimate relationships with men -- not even requiring a wedding ring first these days. But a wedding is still the vision for most women.
So feminists are up against human nature just as much as other Leftists before them. Leftists once thought that they could mould a "new Soviet man" but were thwarted by human nature. They simply drove Soviet man to drink. A new feminist man is just as remote. Feminized men tend in fact to be rather despised by most women. Most women like men to be men. Look at all the women who "wait" for husbands and boyfriends in the armed forces who are "away" on deployment. Such a relationship looks a very bad deal from a certain point of view. But men in the forces tend to be real men -- and women will put up with a lot to have such a man. Where it matters, feminism is an abject failure.