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Chat transcript - Matt Ridley 11/28/2003 
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Post Chat transcript - Matt Ridley 11/28/2003
The following is the chat transcript from our November 28, 2003 chat with Dr. Matt Ridley where we discussed "The Red Queen." Actually, the conversation drifted to all sorts of interesting things. Enjoy...

Fri Nov 28 14:58:50 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Hi
Fri Nov 28 14:58:51 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Hello Dr. Ridley!
Fri Nov 28 14:59:15 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Hello everybody
Fri Nov 28 14:59:15 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Hi Micheal
Fri Nov 28 14:59:17 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:hi guys
Fri Nov 28 14:59:19 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:What do you prefer being called? Matt? Mr. Ridley? Professor Ridley? Bob?
Fri Nov 28 14:59:24 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:hi Michael
Fri Nov 28 14:59:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Matt
Fri Nov 28 14:59:35 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:hi Matt
Fri Nov 28 14:59:37 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Ok, excellent . Thats relatively simple.
Fri Nov 28 14:59:39 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Hi
Fri Nov 28 14:59:47 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:I am Tara
Fri Nov 28 14:59:47 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:We enjoyed your book
Fri Nov 28 14:59:58 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:I am going to exit and come back under a different name. So that I can boot if needed.
Fri Nov 28 15:00:00 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:some of us have crazy monikers
Fri Nov 28 15:00:03 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Hello Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 15:00:04 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:hi jer
Fri Nov 28 15:00:14 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Hi Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 15:00:15 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Thanks! Which book did Peter refer to?
Fri Nov 28 15:00:15 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:H i Chris; Dr. Ridley, howdy
Fri Nov 28 15:00:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Hi
Fri Nov 28 15:00:49 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:The Red Queen - it was discussed on the forum
Fri Nov 28 15:00:51 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Matt - we have all just finished "The Red Queen"
Fri Nov 28 15:00:57 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I just took another look over Red Queen at lunch; since I've only read it 2-1/2 times!
Fri Nov 28 15:00:59 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:although several of us have read Genome and others
Fri Nov 28 15:01:13 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Ok -- thanks, I forgot temporarily which one you had been discussing.
Fri Nov 28 15:01:17 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:Genome was super.
Fri Nov 28 15:01:19 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Ahh
Fri Nov 28 15:02:09 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I've had a feeling that there was sometning fundamentally different about "Red Queen" , compared to other books of this genre. And I think I hit on what it is
Fri Nov 28 15:02:11 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:We have read Stpehen Pinkers "Blank Slate" and thought your book would be a nice followup
Fri Nov 28 15:02:12 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I've also written Nature via Nurture since, which has been a lot of fun to do. It's not out in paperback till next June
Fri Nov 28 15:02:26 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Go ahead Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 15:02:54 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:Matt, will you be able to answer a few questions about Nature via Nature.
Fri Nov 28 15:02:54 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Genome, and N v N, and others, have lots of facts and answers; Red Queen almost seems designed to get teh reader to think about
Fri Nov 28 15:03:14 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:this way of looking at nature, and man
Fri Nov 28 15:03:29 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Hi alana
Fri Nov 28 15:03:35 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Hi!
Fri Nov 28 15:03:36 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Its more, oh, socratic one might almost say
Fri Nov 28 15:03:46 2003:alana [0/] Msg:How are you all doing?
Fri Nov 28 15:04:11 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:jeremy....are you also Matt Ridley?
Fri Nov 28 15:04:16 2003:alana [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 15:04:37 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Lol, not hardly!
Fri Nov 28 15:04:47 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:who just said that?
Fri Nov 28 15:04:53 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Hello Alana
Fri Nov 28 15:04:56 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:You are right that in Red Queen I indulge very much in the idea of a mystery, writing about an unsolved problem -- both the origin of sex and the origin of human mating habits. I've since made that a big theme of my writing that science writing should be about what we don't know as much or more as it is about what we do know.
Fri Nov 28 15:05:00 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Hi Chris
Fri Nov 28 15:05:05 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I thought your treatment of the reason for sex was very effective
Fri Nov 28 15:05:08 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Welcome :)
Fri Nov 28 15:05:18 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Ah, but was it right?!
Fri Nov 28 15:05:51 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:You are still not sure?
Fri Nov 28 15:06:25 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:There is a guy called Mark Ridley who recently wrote a book championing the mutation theory of sex rather than the parasite theory. Many people think he is me, and we were friends at college but we are different people. His argument seems to be more popular than mine these days.
Fri Nov 28 15:06:55 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Is this the same as the vicar of Bray?
Fri Nov 28 15:07:14 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:I've heard the name I believe
Fri Nov 28 15:07:35 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I think there is too much "
Fri Nov 28 15:07:46 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:"either or" in this entire field.
Fri Nov 28 15:07:48 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Its kind of funny that a man that has almost the same name as you is championing a theory of sex, Mr. Ridley.
Fri Nov 28 15:08:14 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Therea are some ideas that are dead wrong; but many ideas... sexual selection and red queen, for example... are complementary
Fri Nov 28 15:08:20 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I guess also I am disappointed that a really convincing new experiment linking sex to parasites has not appeared. But I still think it is a major motor of sexual evolution, the need to change the locks against disease. No, I think it's not the Vicar of Bray theory; it's the theory championed by Kondrashov -- that sex is necessary to repair randome mutations
Fri Nov 28 15:08:38 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Yes - he is quite well known - nearly as well known as Mattt Ridley
Fri Nov 28 15:08:42 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Welcome Michael
Fri Nov 28 15:09:02 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes, sexual selection I have no doubt is a 'right' theory, though I guess one could argue how much it is responsible for human traits
Fri Nov 28 15:09:12 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:to what degree
Fri Nov 28 15:09:58 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I just read a book by Schwartz, "sudden origins,", very dissapointing; I bring it up because I've realized that dispute with darwinian selection is alive and well, to.
Fri Nov 28 15:10:06 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:We will probably read another fo your books in the future. Anything new on the horizon?
Fri Nov 28 15:10:16 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Hello Monty ;)
Fri Nov 28 15:10:18 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Matt, in your book you seem to explore the idea more than answer it--do you think that display must be honest?
Fri Nov 28 15:10:27 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Jeremy might have a point - it would be surprising if there were jsut one solution
Fri Nov 28 15:10:36 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:D arwin thought human races were sexually selected. I'd probably disagree. But I think many features of human bodies and minds may be sexually selected
Fri Nov 28 15:10:47 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Hello! So what did I miss?
Fri Nov 28 15:11:09 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Monty - people have been arriving late...not much yet
Fri Nov 28 15:11:11 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:To chris: nothing new on the horizon at present!
Fri Nov 28 15:11:28 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Must display be hoinest
Fri Nov 28 15:11:30 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Hi Monty
Fri Nov 28 15:11:50 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Hello Peter.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:05 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Tara - what do you mean by that?
Fri Nov 28 15:12:10 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:"must display be honest?"
Fri Nov 28 15:12:16 2003:alana [0/] name.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:16 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Females are selected for making good mate choices.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:23 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:Thank you.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:23 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:yes, you discussed that in the chapter, The Peacock's Tale
Fri Nov 28 15:12:27 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Must display be honest? I think this is a great question, and Geoffrey Miller has some fascinating ideas about this. It's very analogous to the question must advertising be honest? Mostly yes.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:33 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:D isplay will move toward honest over time.
Fri Nov 28 15:12:42 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:ahh
Fri Nov 28 15:13:28 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Females are selected for detecting honest advertising.
Fri Nov 28 15:13:32 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:thank you, I found that chapter very interesting
Fri Nov 28 15:14:07 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:especially the whole narrow waist/large breast discussion
Fri Nov 28 15:14:15 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Females who select dishonest advertising usually have fewer offspring.
Fri Nov 28 15:14:17 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I agree that is a great question - it is a very interesting area
Fri Nov 28 15:14:20 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:I read the interview on PBS about Genome and am intrigued by genetic engineering. I wonder how far it will go...will be one day control things enough where sexual selection isn't much of a factor anymore?
Fri Nov 28 15:14:27 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i had never thought of it in that way
Fri Nov 28 15:14:48 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Sexual selection is one of those ideas that gets more and more intriguing the more we explore it. There's some new suggestions, for instance that the reason birds display to their mates, while mammals fight over their mates is to do with their sex chromosomes. Birds have femaleXY, mammals have male XY
Fri Nov 28 15:15:11 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Monty, this part was about males selecting females
Fri Nov 28 15:15:20 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I would think if we artificially selected human traits that sexual selection would be still a factor...because we would be choosing traits that we find attractive for our offspring.
Fri Nov 28 15:15:23 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:OK. Sorry.
Fri Nov 28 15:15:25 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Sorry I keep answerign the question before last!
Fri Nov 28 15:15:40 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Matt, don't worry about that
Fri Nov 28 15:15:45 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - thats ok. We can all look up and reference the appropriate question
Fri Nov 28 15:15:45 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:we are patient
Fri Nov 28 15:15:49 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Males selecting females is rare in mammals, with humans being the only candidate.
Fri Nov 28 15:16:23 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:you don't think that it is connected with the problem birds have with the extended period looking after their young
Fri Nov 28 15:17:02 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I am intrigued with the fact that female birds are the weaker species genetically, the reverse of mammals.
Fri Nov 28 15:17:02 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Interesting sidebar on the XY thing; physiologically, the x only triggers a cascade. The actual details of maleness are on... I think i'ts chromosome 9 ; anyway, its the same one birds use. So we aren't
Fri Nov 28 15:17:12 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:really as different as it first appears
Fri Nov 28 15:17:35 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Weaker? In what sense is a female bird weaker?
Fri Nov 28 15:17:40 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Peter, I think you are right. It has something to do with shared parenting.
Fri Nov 28 15:17:48 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:People sometimes say they are chocked by the idea of choosing the genes of your kids. But we've been doing that, half consciously, by picking healthy, good looking or successful mates for years. Sexual selection is ancient eugenics. But it's intriguing that when you give people the chance to pick their babies for desired traits consciously (as IVF already does) -- few people seem to want it. Nobel prize winners' sperm banks have been a failure!
Fri Nov 28 15:18:32 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I wonder if it's a preservation instinct of some kind kicking in
Fri Nov 28 15:18:57 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:One of those currently innappropriate mechanisms that you talk about, like the substrate of racism
Fri Nov 28 15:19:18 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:which made sense when protecting yourself from "other" was of paramont importance
Fri Nov 28 15:19:20 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt, I believe that is because we were not selected to choose mates in that fashion.
Fri Nov 28 15:19:21 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - excellent answer! I guess it comes down to the reality that anything humans do is really a part of natural selection. We're an element of nature...and our conscious decisions should not be considered artificial. If that makes sense.
Fri Nov 28 15:19:33 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I read an article you wrote with Bobbi S Low that deals with selfishness - which makes a similar point I agree with that view
Fri Nov 28 15:20:02 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:But I bet we could royally screw up things eventually...or maybe not.
Fri Nov 28 15:20:02 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I'd have agreed with Peter till recently. But I'm contemplating the XY idea. It argues that a bunch of aggressively sex-determinign genes get moved to the Y chromosome (the new seauence of the hjuman Y is really interesting by the way) and set out to make that sex the chooser.
Fri Nov 28 15:20:28 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:We instinctively and emotionally select mates. I don't believe we intellectually select mates. That's why Nobel Laurate sperm banks fail
Fri Nov 28 15:21:02 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Monty - not enough people value intellect it seems
Fri Nov 28 15:21:17 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:wb Nostradafemme :)
Fri Nov 28 15:21:22 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I don't think we'll really understand it at the "genetic" level until we understand the mecahnisms of epigeneitc information better. So much of the battle takes place at the level of imprinting,
Fri Nov 28 15:21:25 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes, Chris, I do think the separation between natuiral and artificial is vaguer than we admit. Technology is a natural evolution of the way we are. That does not make it either good or bad
Fri Nov 28 15:21:30 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I also believe that is why environmentalism will also fail. We intellectually know we are destroying the world, but keep emotionally choosing SUV's and mansions because it attracts better quality mates.
Fri Nov 28 15:21:33 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:maybe most people with genius genes fail?
Fri Nov 28 15:21:35 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:and imprinting is acomplished by methylation
Fri Nov 28 15:21:45 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:D om! Welcome
Fri Nov 28 15:21:50 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Hi :)
Fri Nov 28 15:22:04 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:p eople won't value the environment until they need it
Fri Nov 28 15:22:16 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I think that if we are to understand the role of genes in our daily life and our choices we need to look at emotional and subjective responses
Fri Nov 28 15:22:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I agree with Monty that we value not absolute comforts but relative ones. The guy with the fastest car gets the girl, not the guy with the adequately fast car.
Fri Nov 28 15:22:26 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:My brother has a genius IQ and he is not very successful at all.
Fri Nov 28 15:22:41 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Thank you Matt.
Fri Nov 28 15:22:43 2003:alana [0/] Msg:It seems as though people keep getting booted.
Fri Nov 28 15:22:59 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:By the way, I really enjoyed your booka nd had it read in 5 days!
Fri Nov 28 15:23:25 2003:alana [0/] Msg:In my opinion IQ is only a small portion of what makes someone successful.
Fri Nov 28 15:23:35 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:D o you think really brainy people have sort of gone too far in that direction, combining excellent brains and getting over-excelletn brains There is a theory like this to explain schizophrenia
Fri Nov 28 15:23:47 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:You really hit it on the nail why sex was important, by trying to keep ahead of parasites!
Fri Nov 28 15:23:47 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Humans always try to attribute the tags of "good" and "bad" to everything, yet these terms are relative and only a reflection of what a particular societal group deems to be good or bad.
Fri Nov 28 15:23:51 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Hi dom
Fri Nov 28 15:23:59 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:autistics often have genius IQ's also
Fri Nov 28 15:24:04 2003:alana [0/] Msg:yes
Fri Nov 28 15:24:09 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes to tarav
Fri Nov 28 15:24:15 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Lo again, not sure what happened :) Nice to see a UK time chat :)
Fri Nov 28 15:24:29 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I agree Chriss.
Fri Nov 28 15:24:30 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:D om - Dawkins was UK time
Fri Nov 28 15:24:33 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:It's 8pm here in the UK
Fri Nov 28 15:24:39 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:is there research into that idea, Matt?
Fri Nov 28 15:24:47 2003:dom [0/] Msg:o h *blush*
Fri Nov 28 15:24:55 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:D om lol
Fri Nov 28 15:25:07 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:o f overexcellent brains?
Fri Nov 28 15:25:08 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:The book that Dawkins referred to, on that topic, is "The Redundant Male"
Fri Nov 28 15:25:08 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Not that I know of, beyond a few speculations. How would you test the idea?
Fri Nov 28 15:25:10 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Alana - by the way...I totally agree
Fri Nov 28 15:25:20 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:the parasite idea, not the too good brain idea
Fri Nov 28 15:25:27 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Sorry!
Fri Nov 28 15:25:39 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt, are you currently writing a book? And if not, what was the title of your last publication?
Fri Nov 28 15:25:51 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Alana - studies show that "A" students typically work for the "B" and "C" students. I'm not sure on how to process this information.
Fri Nov 28 15:26:19 2003:alana [0/] Msg:lol Chris
Fri Nov 28 15:26:21 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes there is research into the parasite idea. the best work is Curtis Lively's and I find it very convincing. But it's slow work and hard toi get funded
Fri Nov 28 15:26:39 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Maybe, Chris, it relates back to our sensitivity to "different". Average people just don't trust really smart people.
Fri Nov 28 15:26:45 2003:alana [0/] Msg:It takes more to be successful that just making the grade.
Fri Nov 28 15:26:51 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Matt, test the overexcellent brain idea?
Fri Nov 28 15:26:52 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Redundant Male has been reissued under a different title I think. By Cherfas and Gribbin
Fri Nov 28 15:27:16 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I feel uncomfortable about over excelent brains being selected - might these people not be described as nerds - I wonder whether they woudl be more reproductively succesful than average
Fri Nov 28 15:27:40 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Testing the overexcellent brain idea is what I was originally referring to. How would you?
Fri Nov 28 15:27:41 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:The cover of my edition is a picture of Michaelangelo's "Adonis".... I got some looks at work walking around with that book I can tellyou
Fri Nov 28 15:27:42 2003:dom [0/] Msg:alana, it depends on your definition of success. Stephen Hawking isn't a millionaire, but still...
Fri Nov 28 15:27:55 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Yeah..I know what you mean.
Fri Nov 28 15:27:57 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt, what are your thought on the selection process of those who practice birth control versus those who refuse to.
Fri Nov 28 15:28:14 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Matt, I'm not sure! I was hoping you'd have some ideas!
Fri Nov 28 15:28:44 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:To Peterdf: yes, that's what we are saying -- that nat selection chooses good brains but sometime the children of 2 people with good brains end up with 'too-good' brains
Fri Nov 28 15:29:11 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:The idea that people who might be slightly more intelligent might be more successful - if intelligence correlates to "charm" is a much better argument
Fri Nov 28 15:29:23 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes
Fri Nov 28 15:29:24 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:like the silicone valley problem with austism
Fri Nov 28 15:29:27 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Yes, it really comes down to how we define "success." Some think of success as ones ability to make lots of money. Others think of it as how pleasant of a home life one has...while others think of it as how well knwon they can become.
Fri Nov 28 15:29:50 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Has silicon valley an autism hot spot? That's really interesting
Fri Nov 28 15:30:00 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:The idea doesn't ring true to me. The capabilities of brains have been built up, one on the other. It seems to me that "too much" at the "highest", most cerebral, level,
Fri Nov 28 15:30:05 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:Tarev, what is the Silicon Valley prob. with autism?
Fri Nov 28 15:30:07 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:yes, i read an article when i taught an autistic child
Fri Nov 28 15:30:09 2003:dom [0/] Msg:I think a lot of intelligence is actually based in the nurture rather than nature aspects of development. I knew a guy at Uni who was 15, doing the same course as me (19). Very smart, & deeply unhappy.
Fri Nov 28 15:30:12 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:tara that is interesting - i didn't know about that!
Fri Nov 28 15:30:20 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:they call it the geek syndrome
Fri Nov 28 15:30:21 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:would not cause the wide scale malfunction of organinc mental illness
Fri Nov 28 15:30:28 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:geeky autistics
Fri Nov 28 15:30:39 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Will nature select out those more intelligent people who practice birth control by being swamped, displaced by those who fall prey to cultures and religion that encourage large families over time?
Fri Nov 28 15:31:03 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Monty - I hope so.
Fri Nov 28 15:31:04 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I think that "geek syndrome" may just be a pop label that the media slapped on that phenomenon.
Fri Nov 28 15:31:05 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i wish i knew where i read it-- maybe Time?
Fri Nov 28 15:31:05 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 15:31:05 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:geeky is what computer nerds are expected to emulate.
Fri Nov 28 15:31:19 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Monty is our resident Francis Galton
Fri Nov 28 15:31:31 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:the child I had really resembled the profile
Fri Nov 28 15:31:38 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Francis Galton?
Fri Nov 28 15:31:39 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:( Said with all due respect... Galton was a brilliant man)
Fri Nov 28 15:31:55 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:D arwin;s cousin, father of eugenics
Fri Nov 28 15:32:00 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:D id I get the name wrong?
Fri Nov 28 15:32:05 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Cool!
Fri Nov 28 15:32:10 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:There is certainly more schizophrenia in intelligent families. That's why Maudsley told Galton eugenics would not work
Fri Nov 28 15:32:15 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:No thats right Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 15:32:55 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Weed out the mad men and you weed out the genii
Fri Nov 28 15:33:04 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Matt - it sure seems that way.
Fri Nov 28 15:33:12 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:He's remembered almost as a villain, but you know, his ideas were reasonable, given what was known; and Galton was one of the firsst to bring mathematical rigor to evolution
Fri Nov 28 15:33:23 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Lots of nobel prize winners have schizoid relations
Fri Nov 28 15:33:24 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Hey y'all, I'm at work and have to work for a few minutes,
Fri Nov 28 15:33:25 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Eugenics wasn't my concern as much as Birth Control is the new selection tool that's been here since 1920.
Fri Nov 28 15:33:26 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:p erhaps my family is at a higher rate of intelligence because I have schizophrenia
Fri Nov 28 15:33:28 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:I have always wondered about why that is true. Do super intelligent people simply ponder the big questions so much they go insance?
Fri Nov 28 15:33:28 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:hopefully brb
Fri Nov 28 15:33:34 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:insane*
Fri Nov 28 15:33:45 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:By the way, I had only two and am permantly fixed.
Fri Nov 28 15:33:52 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Chris - have you seen Pi?
Fri Nov 28 15:33:59 2003:dom [0/] Msg:the film - not the number :)
Fri Nov 28 15:33:59 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I am deeply concerned about human overpopulaton.
Fri Nov 28 15:34:00 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Truth - I have seen it firthand in intelligent families
Fri Nov 28 15:34:03 2003:p oi [0/] Msg:that is a weird movie
Fri Nov 28 15:34:05 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:firsthand*
Fri Nov 28 15:34:12 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:D om - Nope
Fri Nov 28 15:34:31 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Thats about a mathematician who goes mad from thinking about numbers too much
Fri Nov 28 15:34:40 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:someone should really research this topic--HINT, HINT!
Fri Nov 28 15:34:41 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:well I obtained its door opening by practiced spiritual pursuits which later gravitated to consistantly hearing voices
Fri Nov 28 15:35:03 2003:dom [0/] Msg:I think its more to do with spending your youth learning maths instead of social skills - makes it very hard to relate or be related to
Fri Nov 28 15:35:17 2003:alana [0/] Msg:LOL at a mathematician who goes mad thinking about number too much. I know some people like that
Fri Nov 28 15:35:25 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:meditations and so forth
Fri Nov 28 15:35:47 2003:dom [0/] Msg:We need mental grounding from interaction with other people (sanity is just what is agreed by the majority), so 'intellectuals' can easily appear distant/aloof/mad
Fri Nov 28 15:35:51 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt Ridley, what is your take of the next century with 9 to 11 billion people and degrading environment and energy shortage? What will humans and societly look like after we pass through the bottleneck?
Fri Nov 28 15:36:02 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:There does indeed seem to be an area of the brain that causes people to hear voices, believe in gods and demons, and generally experience "mystical" things
Fri Nov 28 15:36:14 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I like Simon Baron-Cohen's idea that there is a spectrum from empathisers to systemisers and that many males are more towards systemising, but that autistics are right out that the end
Fri Nov 28 15:36:41 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Systemisers?
Fri Nov 28 15:36:47 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I hear voices. I've learned to ignor them. They eventually weaken and go away.
Fri Nov 28 15:36:54 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:from what I have read its most likely from the hippocampus in the thalamic region of the brain that forms the voices
Fri Nov 28 15:37:00 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:I hear my own voice, it's annoying
Fri Nov 28 15:37:26 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:the child i worked with was not working at learning anything--it came naturally, yet he had major social issues
Fri Nov 28 15:37:44 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Truth, do you work in neuroscience?
Fri Nov 28 15:37:47 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:it must be more nature
Fri Nov 28 15:38:05 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I'm an environmental optimist. We have this fantastic piece of good fortune that population is levelling out, probably below 10 billion by mid century. Feeding the population from ever more concentrated farms on smaller and smaller acreages now looks realistically possible and that leaves more and more of the earth's surface for wilderness etc.
Fri Nov 28 15:38:14 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:no but I have studied my disorder of schizophrenia
Fri Nov 28 15:38:37 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Ok. :)
Fri Nov 28 15:39:13 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:But, Matt, unfortunatlely the reason we are assessing smaller numbers is because the aids epidemic in Africa. Otherwise the figure of 15 billion would have been reached instead.
Fri Nov 28 15:39:14 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Matt - Doesn't that mean more-intensive farming? Call me alarmist but pushing nature rarely works out for the better.
Fri Nov 28 15:39:26 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I guess systemisers are people who like systems, machines,etc
Fri Nov 28 15:39:40 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Matt - what is your view of the debate between people like Christopher Wills who argue that human evolution is still happeneing and others like Steve Jones who say that it is effectively not happening
Fri Nov 28 15:39:53 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I'm a systemiser.
Fri Nov 28 15:40:06 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:I think one of the keys to our species survival is the teraforming and colonization of other worlds...such as Mars or the moons of other planets.
Fri Nov 28 15:40:14 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:If we farmed as we did 50 years ago, we would need twice as much acreage to feed the world population of today. Say goodbye to the rainforest.
Fri Nov 28 15:40:22 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i think they are naturally systemisers, which effects their socializing
Fri Nov 28 15:40:30 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Peter, I believe that evolution with humans is not really happening.
Fri Nov 28 15:40:30 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:Mars should be our next frontier.
Fri Nov 28 15:40:50 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Matt - have there been that many changes in the past 50 years to famring?
Fri Nov 28 15:40:58 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I know people that think that human evolution has stopped due to technology making our lives better.
Fri Nov 28 15:41:01 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:crop rotation?
Fri Nov 28 15:41:16 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I believe genetic diversity is rapidly accumilating, waiting for the future bottleneck and wean the genetic diversity down.
Fri Nov 28 15:41:19 2003:dom [0/] Msg:p eter - I think we as a species can call on the unique ability to evolve society-scale intelligences, and so can evolve memetically whether or not our genes are changing as fast.
Fri Nov 28 15:41:38 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:I think they still do slash & burn in some areas of the world - and these are areas that just can't afford it
Fri Nov 28 15:41:45 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I reackong natural selection still happens in humans (eg, people who are incompetent with contarceptives are having more babies -- dawkins joke) but its 'direction' keeps changing so there are few consistent trends
Fri Nov 28 15:42:10 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:dom - I meant Darwinian evolution as opposed to cultural evolution
Fri Nov 28 15:42:49 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:The last 50 years have seen incredible changes in farming -- mainly new high-yielding varieties plus a vast increase in the use of fertiliser. See Vaclav Sim's book
Fri Nov 28 15:42:50 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Back
Fri Nov 28 15:42:56 2003:dom [0/] Msg:I would argue that cultural evolution is as important if not more to an intelligent lifeform
Fri Nov 28 15:42:58 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:True, the birth control selection pressure hasn't been happening for very long.
Fri Nov 28 15:43:12 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Matt, I'm glad that you put humans in with all life as still evolving
Fri Nov 28 15:43:16 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Intensive farming = things like BSE...
Fri Nov 28 15:43:17 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:But over time voluntary birth control may fail.
Fri Nov 28 15:43:30 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:D om - I think you might be right
Fri Nov 28 15:43:32 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:it scares me to put humans separate from other animals
Fri Nov 28 15:43:32 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I think there will always be people that choose not to use birth control.
Fri Nov 28 15:43:41 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:If one understands the concept of "Tragedy of the Commons", volunteers loose out.
Fri Nov 28 15:43:55 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Tara -agreed
Fri Nov 28 15:44:01 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:BSE -- yes, big mistake. But organic farming has its dangers, too -- the biggest of which is land hunger as I mentioned.
Fri Nov 28 15:44:10 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:man is the only animal that denies it's an animal
Fri Nov 28 15:44:12 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:And at some point, birth control would need to be legislated like hunting is.
Fri Nov 28 15:44:19 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:b ack.
Fri Nov 28 15:44:27 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Matt - I agree up to a point it is incredibly difficult to define consistent selective change - I've called this problem - the wilderness of mirrors - but I still think that there are some changes we can identify
Fri Nov 28 15:44:37 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:Chris- I'm glad!
Fri Nov 28 15:44:44 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Monty, what makes you say that?
Fri Nov 28 15:45:05 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:b rb again
Fri Nov 28 15:45:34 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Because those who have the genetic -environmental predisposition to use birh control will be displaced by those who do not.
Fri Nov 28 15:45:34 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Michael - we are the only animal with the intellect to do so. But it is a big mistake when we do I believe.
Fri Nov 28 15:46:12 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Hmmm. I just thought the decision whether or not to use birth control was more ideological and environmental.
Fri Nov 28 15:46:17 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:To Peterdf: can you give an example?
Fri Nov 28 15:46:20 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:Unfortunately, the more intelligent tend to have fewer children.
Fri Nov 28 15:46:41 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:D om and Chris - I agree cultural evolution is far more important in or day - to - day lives - but i think it is important for our view of ourselves
Fri Nov 28 15:46:53 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Brain size has been shrinking for 15,000 years according to Richard Wrangham!
Fri Nov 28 15:46:55 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:If 1% of the population could never be convinced to use birth control and it is genetically wired, and they have on average 6 kids, how many generations would it take for this group to displace the rest of the population?
Fri Nov 28 15:47:21 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I disagree, I think there are lots of intelligent people with large families. But if there are statstics that prove me wrong I can always change my mind.
Fri Nov 28 15:47:40 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:alana, initially, it is.
Fri Nov 28 15:47:51 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:But over time it becomes less so.
Fri Nov 28 15:48:28 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Matt - is he correct?
Fri Nov 28 15:48:31 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Matt I think that in group/out group behaviour might have been selected against due to losses in war - I think that trends might be spotted during historical time
Fri Nov 28 15:48:35 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:And it is often the intelligent people who choose to have few or no kids. What do you think that does to our genetic pool?
Fri Nov 28 15:48:51 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Chris -- is who correct?
Fri Nov 28 15:49:11 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Matt - Richard Wrangham - about our brain size shrinking
Fri Nov 28 15:49:25 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:It does next to nothing, Monty. Because intelligence, and human capability, are not simple mendelian traits like bean color
Fri Nov 28 15:49:25 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:What would cause this
Fri Nov 28 15:49:44 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:we need forced breeding programs for intellectuals.
Fri Nov 28 15:49:46 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I'd kind of wonder why are they choosing to have few or no kids. I think the answer is that they want the best for their offspring and realize that having kids is a great big responsiblity. But I think lots of people with large families realize that too.
Fri Nov 28 15:49:54 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Exactly Michael! lol
Fri Nov 28 15:49:55 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:And: to have children, you still have to find a mate. Sexual selection is as strong as ever
Fri Nov 28 15:49:58 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:p rograms to encourage promiscuity among the more intelligent teens
Fri Nov 28 15:50:05 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Ok, well it's poor data: averaged from skulls found by archeologists, but it's pretty consistent. And it's corrected for shrinking brain size.
Fri Nov 28 15:50:09 2003:nostradafemme [0/] Msg:Chris, shrinking brain size could be due to environmental factors.
Fri Nov 28 15:50:23 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Jeremy, perhaps not, but over a large population base, with birth control being so absolute, it will have a general effect.
Fri Nov 28 15:50:35 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:I have three children, but they are each separated by nine years.
Fri Nov 28 15:50:58 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I don't have any children.
Fri Nov 28 15:51:01 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Maybe. But within the group of "non birth controllers", 99.9% of human variability is stil extant
Fri Nov 28 15:51:31 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I think it is likely that the reason for the Scandinavian people being so none agressive might be because that they "exported" "aggressive genes during the Viking period - there are other examplesessive
Fri Nov 28 15:51:36 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:And the reasons for not using birth control are not necessarily lack of intelligence. Remember "why intelligent people believe weird things"
Fri Nov 28 15:51:49 2003:alana [0/] Msg:I agree jeremy.
Fri Nov 28 15:51:59 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Shrinking brains size is not such a bad thing. Ask women who must give birth!
Fri Nov 28 15:52:03 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:The enviro factors for shrinking brains size -- farming's poorer diet -- only partly explains it. Wrangham thinks sedentray living required us to tame each other by killing dangerously over-m ature men and that led to smaller brains
Fri Nov 28 15:52:14 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Good pojnt Monty
Fri Nov 28 15:52:22 2003:Chris [0/] Msg:Monty - true.
Fri Nov 28 15:52:25 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Neanderanthals I believe had much bigger brains than cro-magnons.
Fri Nov 28 15:52:33 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:No
Fri Nov 28 15:52:38 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:No?
Fri Nov 28 15:52:55 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Hmm, Monty/Matt, that gives me an idea: I just remembered that there is a host of negative , are a host of negative effects associated with C-section.
Fri Nov 28 15:52:56 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I thought that Neanderantals had something like 2000cc!
Fri Nov 28 15:53:12 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Perhaps what is actually happening is non-Csection humans are being selected
Fri Nov 28 15:53:22 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:I would rather women develop wider hips that our species have a reduction in cranial capacity
Fri Nov 28 15:53:23 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Corrected for body size, I think they were smaller, but I may be wrong.
Fri Nov 28 15:53:27 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:with smaller head as a coincidental side effect
Fri Nov 28 15:53:53 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:monty, it's a body to brain comparison
Fri Nov 28 15:54:01 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:But that evolution favored the modern human because not so much for bigger brain, but for pre-defined brains structure for language and logic.
Fri Nov 28 15:54:08 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:elephants have huge brains
Fri Nov 28 15:54:18 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:b ut in comparison to their bodies
Fri Nov 28 15:54:20 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Tara - do they? I heard the opposite
Fri Nov 28 15:54:21 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Elephants are pretty smart too
Fri Nov 28 15:54:24 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Ahh
Fri Nov 28 15:54:28 2003:dom [0/] Msg:rats are smart
Fri Nov 28 15:54:30 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:b ut not in comparison to their bodies
Fri Nov 28 15:54:32 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Relative to their bodies
Fri Nov 28 15:54:38 2003:dom [0/] Msg:squirrels are amazingly clever
Fri Nov 28 15:54:44 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:the same thing with Neanderthal man
Fri Nov 28 15:54:48 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:There is a gene that seems to control brain size by deciding how long to allow brain cells to multiply. The gene's size correlates nicely with brain size. very intriguing. I'm waiting to see the chimp version.
Fri Nov 28 15:54:56 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:they were huge
Fri Nov 28 15:55:16 2003:alana [0/] Msg:What's important I think is not the size of the brain, but the structure. Parrots can learn rudimentary human language. It has to do with the structure of their brains I think.
Fri Nov 28 15:55:19 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:jaws found from them are bigger than some apes
Fri Nov 28 15:55:26 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Timing is the key to a lot of develpment, maybe all
Fri Nov 28 15:55:34 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Neanderthal was comparatevely the same size as humans.
Fri Nov 28 15:55:34 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:I did'nt know about Wrangham's argument - where can I findd out more?
Fri Nov 28 15:56:12 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Wrangham has unpublished papers that I refer to in NVN (my book). He may have published them by now
Fri Nov 28 15:56:51 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I need to get a copy of NVN on paper. I "read" it on tape, which is a great way to read, but hard to go back for reference
Fri Nov 28 15:56:57 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Monty -- it's certainly true they were not much different, but they may also have had smaller frontal lobes under those sloping foreheads?
Fri Nov 28 15:57:26 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Yes, the taped version was about 40% abridged
Fri Nov 28 15:57:33 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:( Not to be confused with NIN)
Fri Nov 28 15:57:47 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I try to get unabridged tapes, but it isn't always possible
Fri Nov 28 15:58:01 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Neanderthal 1500cc, Homo erectus 900(early)-1200cc, Homo sapiens - 1400cc
Fri Nov 28 15:58:03 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:It took 3 days to rtead the abridged version!
Fri Nov 28 15:58:08 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:D id you narrate it, Matt?
Fri Nov 28 15:58:21 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Thanks dom -- I stand corrected
Fri Nov 28 15:58:29 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:yes, I narrated it
Fri Nov 28 15:58:42 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:I like when the author does that narration
Fri Nov 28 15:58:43 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Although to be fair, modern human varies considerably - 1000cc - 2000cc, average 1400cc
Fri Nov 28 15:58:57 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Ah. That's why I was willing to accept the abridgment. I always think , read by the author gives me a certain protection from too bad a trashing
Fri Nov 28 15:59:31 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:My brain isn't any number of cc's, us Americans have cubic inch brains
Fri Nov 28 15:59:44 2003:alana [0/] Msg:wb truth
Fri Nov 28 15:59:51 2003:Truth2Know [0/] Msg:thanks Alana :)
Fri Nov 28 15:59:52 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:BTW thank you for taking the time to record it.
Fri Nov 28 15:59:53 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:dom, what about body size?
Fri Nov 28 15:59:57 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I prefer to measure my brain in subic miles
Fri Nov 28 16:00:03 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 16:00:04 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:LOL
Fri Nov 28 16:00:06 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:sorry, cubic
Fri Nov 28 16:00:11 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Thats good
Fri Nov 28 16:00:12 2003:dom [0/] Msg:I will never understand that - Im too young for Imperial, the units are sheer madness!
Fri Nov 28 16:00:16 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 16:00:22 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:My son says the same
Fri Nov 28 16:00:37 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:I prefer not to measure mine in pounds...cause that would take me being dead first
Fri Nov 28 16:01:06 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - is your son going to follow in your footsteps with science?
Fri Nov 28 16:01:09 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:It would be interesting to see us retain our intelligence and yet also have our brains shrink. Would certainly require less calories!
Fri Nov 28 16:01:10 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:chris, do you have a big head?
Fri Nov 28 16:01:12 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:XXXVII times XXXVII
Fri Nov 28 16:01:16 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Tara - HUGE!
Fri Nov 28 16:01:19 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 16:01:23 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:o h no!
Fri Nov 28 16:01:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:There is some evidence for a correlation between cubic capacity of gray matter only (which can be measured in scanners) and IQ
Fri Nov 28 16:01:41 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:versus white matter?
Fri Nov 28 16:01:47 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:My son likes physics at present
Fri Nov 28 16:01:57 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - what do you think about IQ as a measurement of ones intellectual capacity? Ok, now tell us your IQ. lol
Fri Nov 28 16:01:59 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Only dead brains are gray. Living brains are redish brown
Fri Nov 28 16:02:16 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I think white matter was irrelevant, they found, but I might be wrong
Fri Nov 28 16:02:24 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - physics...well he is in the sciences and I suppose that is a good thing in your eyes
Fri Nov 28 16:02:31 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:yes
Fri Nov 28 16:02:40 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Hello Bobbi :)
Fri Nov 28 16:02:41 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:My IQ? I don't know it
Fri Nov 28 16:02:52 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:hi bobbi
Fri Nov 28 16:03:01 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Matt, a personal question feel free to ignore... but I'm curious... do you think of yourself as a writer who does science, or a scientist who writes books?
Fri Nov 28 16:03:01 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:It seems like the white matter are the neual connections between processing centers.
Fri Nov 28 16:03:02 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - I wonder how accurately IQ measures intellect
Fri Nov 28 16:03:12 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Jeremy - damn good question.
Fri Nov 28 16:03:13 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i think/hope Chris was joking when he asked
Fri Nov 28 16:03:17 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt, are you presently writing a book?
Fri Nov 28 16:03:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I think IQ measures something objective, but I think it's subjective to say it's the only measure of intelligence that matters
Fri Nov 28 16:03:43 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Monty, not to be a spoil sport, but thats the third time someone asked
Fri Nov 28 16:03:44 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Jeremy -- damn good question
Fri Nov 28 16:03:48 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Tara - of course. I was joking when asking his, but not about whether or not he views it as a decent yardstick for measuring intellect.
Fri Nov 28 16:04:07 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:that's what i thought, chris
Fri Nov 28 16:04:12 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:I didn't see the answer.
Fri Nov 28 16:04:17 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:In James Watson';s new book, he mentions his IQ: 122.
Fri Nov 28 16:04:18 2003:dom [0/] Msg:b ody/brain ratios - 4.781, Early Paleolithic Humans: 5.352, Late Upper Paleolithic Humans: 5.406, Recent Humans: 5.288
Fri Nov 28 16:04:35 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Monty -- no, I'm not writing one now
Fri Nov 28 16:04:36 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:the ability to color coordinate is the best measure of intellect. Homosexuals do better.
Fri Nov 28 16:04:43 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Sort of an anti brag. His point being, they accomplished what they did with hard work and perseverence, cause they really weren't all that bright
Fri Nov 28 16:04:49 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:dom - get your head out of that book
Fri Nov 28 16:05:01 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol Peter
Fri Nov 28 16:05:06 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:What was your last book?
Fri Nov 28 16:05:08 2003:dom [0/] Msg::P
Fri Nov 28 16:05:12 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I think my answer to Jeremy is that I am a writer who does science
Fri Nov 28 16:05:24 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Nature via Nurture was my last book
Fri Nov 28 16:05:24 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:122 isn't shabby, Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 16:05:39 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:His latest book is Nature via Nurture; its a fabulous book, and you should buy it immediately
Fri Nov 28 16:05:49 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - do you have anything planned for the future - new books, lectures, new recipes?
Fri Nov 28 16:05:53 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:D om -- cool figures. where from?
Fri Nov 28 16:06:09 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:thanks, dom
Fri Nov 28 16:06:11 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:And for the immediate reaction, "But that question is settled", well, yes it is. So the book isn't an argument, its an education
Fri Nov 28 16:06:24 2003:dom [0/] Msg:err... those ones were quoted on a yahoo newsgroup for archaeology, I could find a more reputable source if you like
Fri Nov 28 16:06:25 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:maybe i need to re-read some archaeology
Fri Nov 28 16:06:31 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Sorry, my I.Q is only 115, but I've head that places me at the top 15%.
Fri Nov 28 16:06:37 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:OH... and don't forget to order it through BookTalk : )
Fri Nov 28 16:06:48 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Exactly. Listen to Jeremy
Fri Nov 28 16:06:49 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i took it while at university and haven't read up on it since
Fri Nov 28 16:07:04 2003:alana [0/] Msg:i don't know my iq
Fri Nov 28 16:07:11 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i probably should, since my memory obviously has failed me!
Fri Nov 28 16:07:17 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol
Fri Nov 28 16:07:22 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Well yea, Hypatia, I know it is n't shabby... but it doesn't explain, in and of itself, one of the great breakthroughs of the 20thy century
Fri Nov 28 16:07:56 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Matt, is there anything you like to share with us?
Fri Nov 28 16:08:01 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Matt - I am looking for inside information...on your future plans with writing and such. :-B
Fri Nov 28 16:08:08 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Part of being successful is also a matter of luck and being in the right place at the right time for some things.
Fri Nov 28 16:08:14 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:What is your burning passion, your big issues?
Fri Nov 28 16:08:18 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I'd guess the chemist who was also chasing the structure of DNA was actually smarter. Can't think of his name off hand. You know the vitamin C guy
Fri Nov 28 16:08:27 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:good question, monty
Fri Nov 28 16:08:29 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:And, oh, how many kids do you have?
Fri Nov 28 16:08:51 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:monty, you are obsessed!
Fri Nov 28 16:08:55 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Yes, alana--totally agree!
Fri Nov 28 16:08:56 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:I'm looking for subjects for a new book, and I'm briunging up 2 kids and doing a miscellaneous other bits of writing, speaking etc
Fri Nov 28 16:08:57 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Yes, another good question. It would be nice to get to know you on a more personal level. What issues are you passionate about? Do you support Bush?
Fri Nov 28 16:09:01 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:Hello Niall
Fri Nov 28 16:09:11 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i think we all know your burning passion, monty!
Fri Nov 28 16:09:15 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:And please nobody ask Dr. Ridley to give give them a baby, it really embarrased Dr. Pinker
Fri Nov 28 16:09:25 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:lol Jeremy oh wow
Fri Nov 28 16:09:27 2003:hypatiasm [0/] Msg:Let's not forget the woman who came up with the pictures of the helix, but died before the Nobels were handed out.
Fri Nov 28 16:09:32 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Are you thinking of maurice wilkins Jeremy?
Fri Nov 28 16:09:37 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:No
Fri Nov 28 16:09:52 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:hi niall glad you could make it
Fri Nov 28 16:09:54 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Wilkins was on their team, and he did share the nobel
Fri Nov 28 16:09:58 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:No!
Fri Nov 28 16:10:01 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Pauling
Fri Nov 28 16:10:08 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Yup, thank you, Linus Pauling
Fri Nov 28 16:10:19 2003:MichaelangeloGlossolalia [0/] Msg:b ehind every great woman there's a great man with a notepad
Fri Nov 28 16:10:24 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Sombody asked an author guest to give them a baby? That would embarrass me if someone did that to me as well.
Fri Nov 28 16:10:46 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Crick is my candidate for the smartest scientist of the 20th century (including Einstein)
Fri Nov 28 16:11:03 2003:Monty_Vonn [0/] Msg:Crick? Who is he?
Fri Nov 28 16:11:06 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:I've never heard his side of the story, but Watson seems to think that by all rights, Pauling should have beaten them... but he got stuck up a blind alley
Fri Nov 28 16:11:08 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Someone asked Steven Pinker if he had donated sperm - it was a woman by the way
Fri Nov 28 16:11:19 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:it was NOT me
Fri Nov 28 16:11:25 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:We know Tara
Fri Nov 28 16:11:27 2003:dom [0/] Msg:Matt: original paper is: Ruff et al (1997) Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo. Nature 387 173-176.(Seealso comment by Kappelman in Nature 387 126-127 and by Gibbons, Science 276 896-897.)
Fri Nov 28 16:11:27 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i can't remembe who it was
Fri Nov 28 16:11:33 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:Francis Crick, discovered the double helix and much of the genetic code
Fri Nov 28 16:11:36 2003:alana [0/] Msg:Oh my gosh tarav
Fri Nov 28 16:11:48 2003:Chris_O_Connor [0/] Msg:D om has the best online science encyclopedia it seems
Fri Nov 28 16:12:00 2003:alana [0/] Msg:That would have been funny to see though.
Fri Nov 28 16:12:07 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:alana, i would never ask that kind of a question!
Fri Nov 28 16:12:13 2003:tarav [0/] Msg:i don't want kids!
Fri Nov 28 16:12:18 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:How can you give someone a baby my email?
Fri Nov 28 16:12:26 2003:Matt_Ridley [0/] Msg:b y email, I eman
Fri Nov 28 16:12:37 2003:p eterdf [0/] Msg:Linus Pauling was working in America at the same time as Watson and Crick and his son was in Cambridge - it is a fascinating story
Fri Nov 28 16:12:40 2003:jeremy1952 [0/] Msg:Hmm. I wonder. Now that we are discovering more about epigenetic coding, I wonder if Crick didn't send the whole ent

Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:18 pm
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Matt Ridley 11/28/2003
Sorry about all the little smilie faces. I simply copied and pasted the chat transcript and those faces are an automatic thing - whenever certain combinations of letters and symbols appear.


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."

Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:26 pm
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