Lion of the Blogosphere

Neurocriminology in the Wall Street Journal

The Saturday Essay in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal is about the genetics of criminology.

The important points are:

“More than 100 studies of twins and adopted children have confirmed that about half of the variance in aggressive and antisocial behavior can be attributed to genetics.”

“Numerous studies have found that identical twins, who have all of their genes in common, are much more similar to each other in terms of crime and aggression than are fraternal twins, who share only 50% of their genes.”

“In a landmark 1984 study, my colleague Sarnoff Mednick found that children in Denmark who had been adopted from parents with a criminal record were more likely to become criminals in adulthood than were other adopted kids.”

The essay also explains the difference between the typical murderer and the serial killer. The typical murderer has low future-time orientation, while the serial killer has high future-time orientation, which is required in order to be able to kill multiple times without getting caught. Note that the term “future-time orientation” is my term and is not used in the essay.

This leads us to the common sense way to permanently reduce crime, which is to prevent the criminal-prone from reproducing. How could we do that? Pretty easily, actually. If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Posted in Biology

32 Responses

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  1. Obviously we should sterilize criminals because crime is heritable. The author was desperately clinging to Omega-3 supplements (has this study been replicated??) and early intervention as a way to avoid the irresistible logic of eugenics to combat crime. But I doubt any of these measures work because if they did then the press would be loudly trumpeting them.

    If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit.

    I’d rather pay them money to get a vasectomy if they are eligible for release than let them back on the street early.

    We also need to make sterilization mandatory in exchange for longterm welfare use and to other social miscreants like drug addicts.

    The typical murderer has low future-time orientation, while the serial killer has high future-time orientation, which is required in order to be able to kill multiple times without getting caught.

    They’re also more intelligent than regular criminals because serial killers have to be smarter to evade law enforcement while still committing crimes.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    April 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    • When I was in my late teens and early-20s I had a fascination with serial killers. I really wanted to know what made them tick. For a little while, I thought criminal profilers like John Douglas had the answers, but I came to realize that profilers are little more than psychics with badges.

      I started writing letters to some of these guys–mostly obscure no-names who I thought would be willing to talk about their crimes–and many of them did. I was surprised at how stupid many of them seemed, even when their letters weren’t rife with spelling and grammatical errors.

      Serial killers are usually dumb proles who kill other dumb proles and avoid detection until they’ve killed at least a few dumb proles because nobody cares when you kill a dumb prole or two. We know Ted Bundy’s name because he was one of the exceptions, not the rule.

      Robert

      April 28, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      • For a little while, I thought criminal profilers like John Douglas had the answers, but I came to realize that profilers are little more than psychics with badges.

        The joke at the FBI is Douglas’ behavioral science unit is the “Bullshit Unit”.

        I was surprised at how stupid many of them seemed, even when their letters weren’t rife with spelling and grammatical errors.

        Ah, but I said they were smarter compared to ordinary criminals. Many normal murderers are illiterate and wouldn’t even have been able to write you at all.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        April 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      • The bombers may be the smart ones, but that may be due to Kaczynski being an outlier

        http://maamodt.asp.radford.edu/Serial%20Killer%20Information%20Center/Serial%20Killer%20IQ.htm

        islandmommy

        April 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      • If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit … We also need to make sterilization mandatory in exchange for longterm welfare use and to other social miscreants like drug addicts

        Seems to me that irreversible sterilization of violent criminals and also anyone on public assistance for longer than a year (and any minor children they may have already created) is one of the most unequivocally and powerfully positive politicizes a Western society could do – and one of the least probable polities the equalitarian mandarins would ever consider.

        Ian

        April 29, 2013 at 5:50 AM

  2. If only there were some obvious physical clue that would enable one to identify a person genetically predisposed to aggressive, antisocial behavior….

    Tarl

    April 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

  3. “If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit.”

    It would. But it’d take several generations before we noticed a difference.

    JayMan

    April 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    • No. The part where he mentions the .5 IQ points over a generation is irrelevant to this discussion. The part where he mentions population changing IS relevant (NAMs replacing Jewish kids in NYC schools). Sterilization ends the line of that population, leaving the desired population to reproduce. That population’s genetics aren’t changing, but you are increasing the average by eliminating the left tail.

      theoak

      April 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      • No. I’m afraid you are wrong.

        anon

        April 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    • If a third of all blacks go to prison at some point, then it seems like it could have a positive affect on the black population.

      de Broglie

      April 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      • black criminals overwhelmingly victimize other blacks, so yes, the primary beneficiaries would be black. this policy will not be adopted although it should.

        LOTB wrote:
        “If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit … We also need to make sterilization mandatory in exchange for longterm welfare use and to other social miscreants like drug addicts”

        permanent sterilization would turn people off. just give pregnancy tests every 3-6 months, and offer payments to men who turn over their dna in order to do paternity tests.

        aki (@DSGNTD_PLYR)

        April 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    • Someone with low future-time orientation might think taking several generations to notice a difference isn’t worth it.

      destructure

      April 29, 2013 at 2:58 AM

  4. Offering reduced sentences to convicts who are willing to get sterilized would help slow down the demographic shifts that are killing the middle class. Plus, with the recent uptick of prole white females in jail and prison, this policy would have a eugenic effect on the white gene pool. Of course, this will never happen, but it’s nice to dream.

    On a related note, I’m a big fan of Project Prevention:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Prevention

    Robert

    April 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    • The Powers that Be seem to think that a larger population is an unequivocal good. I guess it means lower wages and more national power (larger total GDP, larger government, etc). Their equalitarian beliefs have them ignore negative trends in average human capital (hey Gladwell said anyone can be a genius with 10,000 hours of practice).

      Ian

      April 29, 2013 at 5:54 AM

      • This apparent paradox is curious, but I believe can likely be better understood by viewing a larger population as probably being necessary for some type of economic / monetary (and by extension military) reason that has to do with long term competition with Asia. That’s my guess. I would also guess that there are plans in place for strict eugenics policies some time down the line in the mid to long term future, once (and if) the chess game is won. There really isn’t any other logical future.

        The thing that disturbs me is not knowing whether or not the PIB see a difference between prole whites, blacks, hispanics, and even upper-middle white bobos, or if the ultimate plan is to have everyone mix genetics on a much larger scale and monitor the middling result as one big mass of humanity whose reproduction is carefully controlled. This would essentially lead to the social conditions that would produce the ideal communist state, characterized by an undifferentiated and unremarkable population. However, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t want to live with that type of population even if it did give me my communist paradise. Despite the liberal political theater, is it plausible that the version of Bill Clinton of the year 2150 really wants be surrounded with NAM neighborhoods everywhere that he goes? At some point in time, perhaps hundreds of years from now, the white liberal top-out-of-site and/or ruling class is going to be confronted with the fact that there are too many NAMs or underclass in general (if all mixed). At that point, there is going to be a radical departure from liberal social policy. The alternative is too unbelievable from what I know of them. I don’t believe that white liberals really want, or will stand, to live in black/Hispanic neighborhoods and to settle for a black / Hispanic gene pool for their children when said gene pool increasingly becomes all that is available (other than Asian).

        Of course, endogamous populations may be preserved insomuch as they are politically allowed to continue to operate in such a fashion. Whites are not permitted to promote such social values as group-think.

        Tom

        May 3, 2013 at 3:23 AM

  5. Kind of silly that the author refuses to make the step from “some behavior is influenced by biology and past life experience” to “all behavior is influenced by biology and past life experience”. You CANNOT give people lenient sentences because their brains are structured in a certain way. ALL criminals committed their crimes because their brain wiring made them do it – unless you believe there is a transcendent soul that is responsible for human actions. If you believe in science, go the whole hog and admit that all brain functioning can ultimately be traced back to brain structure and biology. If you start excusing people for something silly like “their brain made them do it”, there is no looking back.

    hardly

    April 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

  6. ” If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit.”

    Right, but instead we are offering convicts the opportunity to knock up their prison guards and father multiple children while still in jail. That certainly doesn’t bode well for the future.

    Peter the Shark

    April 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

  7. welfare for sterilization! We’d be free of the dregs in a generation or two. We already pay them welfare anyways, costs money to put them in jail.

    XVO

    April 28, 2013 at 7:24 PM

  8. Some people in the alt-rightosphere seem to have a well-rubbed magic lamp, thinking that genetic engineering higher IQs (as the Chinese are well on their way to doing) will be the way to integrate ghetto blacks into mainstream society and lessen their anti-social and criminal behavior. But research like this shows, that’s the last thing you want. Higher IQs are only helpful if other factors could be addressed as well – a lowering of genes for dominance need, aggression, criminality, impulsivity, hypersexuality, and a heightening of genes for empathy, cooperation, and general beta-herb-ness. Forty million Toure Nebletts and Angela Davises would be a disaster.

    Ian

    April 29, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    • Caucasians and Asians by in large do not have the prevalent problems found in Blacks, such as lower IQs, which are the result of other qualities inherent of them, such as aggression, impulsivity, hypersexuality and low time future orientation. To even imagine the upgrading of Black IQ to the levels of other races, is like making modifications of the Windows 3.1 system to work more efficiently on a prerequisite level of the Win 95 or any post 95 OS’s.

      In a counter argument of HBD to address their flaws, a simple observation of Sub-Sahara Africa and its primitiveness in its architecture before the arrival of the Europeans, compared that to the rest of the world, including those of the Pre-Columbian societies, Blacks by far, are unevolved and incapable of producing anything that was multi-story, complex and symmetrical, which requires a great deal of coordination and cooperation to build. This speaks volumes of Blacks and their inability to develop anything that is sophisticated.

      Just Speculating

      April 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      • Granting that is the case, American blacks aren’t all that black. They are mixed. Anyway, any program to sterilize criminals is just a sort of biological selection. It would help any and all groups because it reduces the reproduction of those individuals who express the most socially undesirable traits.

        not too late

        April 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      • American Blacks are still less intelligent and unsuitable for work that requires professionalism and problem solving. I work enough with them in the past to make such generalizations. They tend to be sloppy and inconsistent. And then there’s the aggression and impatience that I’ve seen in both American Blacks and African immigrants, which makes them unsuitable for any type of job that requires problem solving and managing people besides their own, basically the normal folks.

        Many of the top corporate companies have very few Black employees at the marketing and presentation end of things. No surprise there!

        Just Speculating

        April 30, 2013 at 11:42 PM

  9. Hey, just a point of fact, and I could be wrong on this, but don’t siblings “on average” share 50% of their genes?

    1/2 the genes come from either parent, but of those 50%, it’s pretty much random the combination that any sibling gets, right?

    So it is mathematically possible for a sibling to share no genes, as well as be essentially identical twins, right?

    Or am I completely wrong here? It’s been a long time since bio.

    Buzzcut

    April 29, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    • Identical twins have the exact same genes as each other.

      It’s so unlikely for siblings to share no genes (they would be a clone of one parent or the other), that it’s fair to call it impossible.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 29, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      • No. A person gets half the genes of a parent. The siblings may get different non overlapping halves of the chromosomes. A clone is theoretically possible because most if the genes are the same but the DNA is from both parents. They each submit a single set of chromosomes that is created by mixing up the each of the parents pairs. Look up meiosis on wikipedia for a decent explanation.

        de Broglie

        April 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      • It is mathematically unlikely, but possible, right?

        You share 50% of your genes with each parent, but not necessarily with a sibling.

        Buzzcut

        April 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      • Extraordinarily mathematically unlikely. Given the odds, you might as well assume 50% are shared.

        de Broglie

        April 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    • You’re right, of course. When I read that my first thought was, where [TF] do they find these bubble-brains. The guy has no idea what he’s talking about. Worse is that next week he’ll be arrogantly lecturing readers that since humans share 98% of their genes with Chimps, there’s no way a criminal sterilization program can work because we don’t know the genes for aggression any better than we know the genes for genius.

      Portlander

      April 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      • Exactly. We don’t need to know which genes are for aggression in order to identify those persons who possess those genes. People have been breeding (via selection) animals and plants for specific traits for thousands of years. Those folks had no idea what a gene or chromosome was, but they sure did know what traits they wanted. Breed your best cattle and eat the rest. Save the best corn for next year’s seed and eat the rest, etc. Even primitives can do this.

        not too late

        April 30, 2013 at 10:46 PM

  10. Heh, after reading this I see in todays paper a case in point:

    A young killer seen licking his victim’s blood after stabbing him has followed in his father’s and grandfather’s violent footsteps.

    Shayd Robinson, 21, was convicted of murder yesterday for stabbing Aaron Hadfield to death during a road rage attack in January last year.

    His father, Tom Robinson, has also stabbed and killed someone, and his grandfather, Benjamin Robinson, almost killed a man when he shot him in the back during an armed robbery…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/8618158/Young-killer-follows-in-fathers-footsteps

    Kiwiguy

    May 1, 2013 at 2:20 AM

  11. Looking for the “genes for aggression” is a red herring. The will to be aggressive is not the problem. Aggression has plenty of fine uses and we’d be in trouble if all of a sudden we were sapped of our will to be aggressive. Unplanned or ill-conceived aggression is the problem. In blacks, their specific brand of less controlled aggression, which is a result of impulse control and future planning deficits, stems from a variety of physiologic factors including less frontal lobe activity and mass as well as their higher levels of testosterone. In a very real way, it goes hand-in-hand with hyper-sexuality. How else are you going to fuck more if you can’t quickly and violently kill your competition (evolutionarily speaking)?

    The ability to be effectively aggressive is a good trait as long as one has the ability to thoughtfully dole it out. Lacking all ability to be aggressive is a great way to become a victim of an aggressor. A more productive activity would be to look for the genes that cause the difference in the DHEA/testosterone balance between whites and blacks. However, this will likely be futile, as greater DHEA production is a result of having evolved in cold weather. Also, you likely won’t be able to change the mass of or activity in the frontal lobe – the part of the brain responsible for planning and impulse control.

    Tom

    May 3, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    • Blacks generally cannot plan for the future. Their tendency for high impulsivity and low time future orientation might be the reason as to why they have much lower savings and entreprenuerial rates, and sparse investment activity compared to Whites and Asians. Their inablity to follow through many complex tasks and projects requiring deep thought is also one of their flaws.

      After 50 years of liberal welfare, Blacks are still unable to propel themselves away from gov’t dole and gov’t jobs.

      When it comes to crime, it’s no surprise that Blacks are rarely serial murderers who elude the authorities.

      Just Speculating

      May 3, 2013 at 12:56 PM


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