February 26, 2006

Graphs for genius germs part V

Part V is now up over at GNXP -- I figured I'd get more feedback there due to larger readership. Feel free to leave comments there, as the ball's already rolling. Below are the graphs I refer to (for some reason it didn't work well when I tried incorporating both into a single post).


  1. Help me out here: what are we looking at?

  2. Oops, I forgot to update this w/ a link to Part V -- it's my crossover post at GNXP. I posted it there since I figured more people go there than here. The graphs are visuals for the post, and they show how many Summer-Fall births there are among the various deciles of Index Score in Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment. So, they highlight data points that falsify the hypothesis that geniuses and giants in the arts & sciences are likely to be Winter-Spring -- by hypothesis, due to early infection.

  3. Here's a related suggestion; suppose that a lactobacteria of uncommonly protective effect, colonizes at birth, but requires considerable feeding with rich dairy products, to exert this effect. In the past, only the rich could have afforded this. Your causal factor needs to go down slowly after mid-19th century perhaps. Urbanization greatly accelerated from 1850-1950; so much so, that infectious diseases were in as many cases favored, as disfavored by the causally accompanying improvement in health knowledge, at least up to 1900 or so. It is only in the 20th century that cities could stop being consumers of population, and start to add to this growth themselves, on the global scale.
    Why are the cities of China and India not participating, if the microbe was universal?
    What practices are localized to Europe historically, and its genius-enriched regions? This is what makes me think of dairying, and of the housing of herd animals overwinter alongside people in ancient times.
    Seasonality can also arise from the life cycles of animals and plants. Perhaps a woman needed to have in winter and spring, a rich fatty source of preferred food for some such microbe, as during calving times of year.

  4. John: that would make sense about the germ needing certain food sources. Like I said, infection is not the only cause here.

    As for India & China -- they don't participate in the upper deciles of the sciences up to 1950, but Murray has separate inventories for Art & Lit for India, China, & Japan. I only focused on the West in the arts b/c the people's birth months are known, unlike in East & South Asia.


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