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Nov 13 2012

Irony alert

Guess who just “called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich”?

Bobby Jindal.

He went on:

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

Bobby Jindal. Creationist. The guy who allows state funds to pay to teach children from A Beka Books. That Bobby Jindal — the disaster from Louisiana is complaining about dumbed-down conservatism and insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Does he realize that if the Republican party wised-up and tossed out the anti-intellectual wing, he’d be one of the first up against the wall?

67 comments

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  1. 1
    okstop

    Speaking of stupidity, is there any chance you can weigh in on this paper that claims human intelligence peaked a couple thousand years ago?

    (http://bmi205.stanford.edu/_media/crabtree-2.pdf)

    I can spot some bad structural features to the argument, but I’d love to hear the take of someone who actually, y’know, followed all the science in it.

  2. 2
    markr1957

    That Bobby Jindal who only just returned to govern the State of Louisiana after an extremely long absence campaigning for the very people he now decries as stupid, just as Louisiana voters begin to notice that we have an absentee Governor, a very fucking rich absentee Governor too.

    Oh well, what does he care? He can’t run for Governor again thanks to term limits, and he screwed up any chance he ever had of being big at the national level any time soon with his lame state of the union response. I actually once thought he was a better choice than the mega-corrupt blue-dog Democrat who ran against him for Governor first time around, but after he supported creationist teaching being funded by the state he has lost all credibility. He is a shrewd operator though, which probably accounts for why he’s trying to distance himself from the extremists and wingnuts he so recently supported.

  3. 3
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    He’s absolutely right!

    It’s certainly not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within their party. In fact, a vast amount of stupidity has been forthcoming since the election, and there’s no reason to expect the flow to stop.

  4. 4
    consciousness razor

    It’s not just Jindal either. Huckabee was saying the same sort of shit on the Daily Show. (Stewart as usual is pretty useless in that interview.)

    Most of them still seem to think they can change their “economic” platform without changing their “social” one (or at best massaging it a bit to loosen it up, while keeping all the religious garbage). That can’t happen. The Democrats and the media aren’t likely to make them realize that either. So, I figure they’re not going to change any time soon. They might try lying with different codewords, but that’s pretty much it.

  5. 5
    unclefrogy

    all this talk about how the republicans should change their views that has been going on since the election was declared I find ridicules. If they changed all the things they have been advised to change they would be democrats.
    I read an interview with Ryan in which he is blaming the “urban” voters for their defeat.

    uncle frogy

  6. 6
    nurseingrid

    This would be the same Bobby Jindal who, despite having been governor of Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, still whined about the federal government wasting money on frivolities like “volcano monitoring.”

  7. 7
    holytape

    What he meant to say is that they need to be the party of a certain level of stupidity. Not too stupid, yet stupid enough. It’s kind of like Goldilocks, but instead of porridge, it’s dead brain cells.

    Higgs Bisons

  8. 8
    Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam

    This is the kind of thing that would qualify him for a Bryan Fischer Award nomination over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

  9. 9
    raven

    Speaking of stupidity, is there any chance you can weigh in on this paper that claims human intelligence peaked a couple thousand years ago?

    I’m not PZ obviously, but have been following this.

    There is one hard data point. Our brains are getting smaller even in proportion to body weight.

    But this doesn’t necessarily mean we are getting dumber. The brain is a huge energy hog, 20% of glucose, and it could simply be getting more efficient.

    A lot of these theories imply that humans are no longer under selection pressure. I don’t buy it. We are under huge selection pressures to drive cars correctly, not drink too much, live in massive cities we didn’t evolve for, and any other feature of modern life. Including getting an education and doing complicated things.

  10. 10
    markmckee

    The Republican part exists to meet the needs of the rich but there are not enough rich to win elections. Thus they have cultivated the crazies.

    I find it offensive that people like Jindal and Frum and Hughes talk so much lately, – after the election – about how the Republican party needs to change it’s TALK on the issues. And they seem to refrain about changing their programs and platforms. The Republican party’s convention platform called for no abortion in cases of rape of incest. This wasn’t fringe, it was a central tenet of what they believe. And no one blasted it at the time.

    Talk is cheap.

  11. 11
    raven

    I read an interview with Ryan in which he is blaming the “urban” voters for their defeat.

    That might be true.

    But it is pretty stupid even for Ryan who has never come across as very bright.

    The USA is one of the most highly urbanized nations on the planet, something like 80% of us live in metro areas.

    census.gov:

    The urban areas of the United States for the 2010 Census contain 249,253,271 people, representing 80.7% of the population, and rural areas contain 59,492,276 people, or 19.3% of the population

    Ryan is basically saying most people didn’t vote for him and Romney. Which we already knew.

  12. 12
    Doug Little

    The Bobby Jindal who believes in exercism?

  13. 13
    raven

    Jindahl and Huckabee are two of the more opportunistic sociopaths of the Tea Party.

    I doubt either one believes anything except they need more money and power.

    We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

    Yeah like that is even possible. The GOP vacuummed up the uneducated and reality denier voters long ago. That is their base.

    Romney and Ryan were both extremely vague on what their plans were. I gave up even trying to figure it out. But one thing is clear. <b.If they had been honest about their plans, even the morons wouldn't vote for them.

    It’s a catch 22. Be vague and lose some voters or be honest and lose more.

  14. 14
    raven

    about how the Republican party needs to change it’s TALK on the issues.

    What they really mean is that they should lie a lot more and hide their true platform and intentions better.

    The GOP platform had a section opposing UN Resolution Agenda 21. Which is some John Bircher fantasy right up there with the Space Reptiles and Bigfoot.

  15. 15
    d.f.manno

    You know all those science-fiction dystopias about computer networks that become self-aware and try to destroy humanity?

    I fear what would happen if the Republican Party ever became self-aware.

  16. 16
    robro

    I wonder what stupid things he thinks were said. I’m sure most of us think of Akin, Mourdoch, and even Romney’s numerous stupid gaffes, but Bobby J. might have something else on his mind. He’s so vague he could be referring to almost anything.

    As for the Republican party not being the party of the rich, that would be great…but I”ll believe it when they and the Democrats (the other party for the rich) really do something about campaign financing. According to the NYTimes, over $1.5 billion was spent on this presidential campaign. That’s a lot of money, and money buys lots of access.

  17. 17
    chrisdevries

    It seems Mr. Jindal is suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect. He is unable to recognise his OWN ignorance on matters of science and economics, but perfectly willing to call others stupid for their racism, xenophobia and perhaps misogyny (if he’s referring specifically to the stupid comments that Akin and Mourdock made, although that’s not altogether clear).

    People who think learning about our world in a logical, scientific manner is idiotic, not to mention blasphemous (because God tells us all we need to know and we cannot possibly comprehend His creation if he doesn’t want, or ask us to) are a natural fit for Dunning-Kruger. The fact that they are deliberately ignorant while claiming absolute knowledge should, however, be a sub-category of the phenomenon.

    Let me explain. Normally, one’s confidence in hir information is directly proportional to how much one knows about the world, and all people fall somewhere on the spectrum of *totally ignorant/100% confident* to *very knowledgeable/confident only in knowledge derived from huge mounds of evidence, but never 100%*. Creationists like Jindal actually inform us, and their peers who are flawed in other ways, that accepting ignorance is the only way to have confidence in any knowledge because God>>>>>Humans, and faith in the absolute authority of God is the only way to know ANYTHING…or something.

    My question is where Jindal is getting the authority to tell his peers they’re doing and saying stupid things. If he’s claiming knowledge from his lived experience (that you cannot alienate most of the electorate and still win), he is actually defying his own practice of believing that God’s word is final on everything and only knowledge from the Bible is authentic (which makes this even more amusing). And if he is claiming that his admonishment IS actually derived from Biblical knowledge, he really needs to read his Bible more because God is racist, misogynistic, homophobic AND xenophobic. It’s like a meta version of the Dunning-Kruger effect. He’s so ignorant that the knowledge and authority he’s claiming defy the principles from which his ignorance is originally derived. That makes Mr. Jindal quite the moron!

  18. 18
    Dick the Damned

    Raven @ 9

    A lot of these theories imply that humans are no longer under selection pressure. I don’t buy it. We are under huge selection pressures to drive cars correctly, not drink too much, live in massive cities we didn’t evolve for, and any other feature of modern life. Including getting an education and doing complicated things.

    I’m not so sure about this. Some of it might’ve been true until fairly recently. In my experience, the people having lots of kids are quite often on the pogey*. (As a way of life. And education is a dirty word.)

    Their generation time is very short, but they’ve only been at it since the inception of welfare states, so there’s not been many generations. Maybe not enough to show up in statistics yet.

    It could also be the case that the people i hear of being fecund on the public purse are the ones that stick in my mind. I guess there might be some statistics on this issue, unless it’s too much of a political hot potato.

    I’m in favour of countries having welfare systems, by the way.

    Maybe the selection pressure is on women, particularly well-educated ones with careers, to put off motherhood until very late, with a resultant small number of offspring. Meanwhile, a lack of selection pressure on a growing segment of the population might result in an overall diminution of selection pressure leading to increased intelligence.

    * welfare

  19. 19
    robro

    Here’s another number: the Center for Responsive Politics estimates here that the 2012 political campaigns spent $6 billion. It’s not clear if includes state and local elections, but it does include the presidential, senate, and house campaigns.

    They estimate the presidential campaign spent $2.8 billion…another billion on top of the NYT.

    As my dear old dad used to say, there’s something wrong when a politician spends more than the position pays. A president earns $400k, so that’s certainly not the pay back.

  20. 20
    sc_cfa46e863cd6c4a1db3b332b659bb79a

    In all likelihood, this is him gearing up for a run at the Presidency in 2016. He puts this out there right now, then when the race for 2016 is on, he can drag it out, dust it off, and claim the “hope and change” platform for himself before anybody else in the GOP can.

  21. 21
    Trebuchet

    @nurseingrid, #6:

    This would be the same Bobby Jindal who, despite having been governor of Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, still whined about the federal government wasting money on frivolities like “volcano monitoring.”

    Jindal actually didn’t become governor until 2008. The governor at the time of Katrina was Kathleen Blanco, who, sad to say, is a Democrat. Her response to the event was every bit as effective as Michael “heckuva job Brownie” Brown’s.

  22. 22
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    I’m not so sure about this. Some of it might’ve been true until fairly recently. In my experience, the people having lots of kids are quite often on the pogey*. (As a way of life. And education is a dirty word.)

    Their generation time is very short, but they’ve only been at it since the inception of welfare states, so there’s not been many generations. Maybe not enough to show up in statistics yet.

    It could also be the case that the people i hear of being fecund on the public purse are the ones that stick in my mind. I guess there might be some statistics on this issue, unless it’s too much of a political hot potato.

    I’m in favour of countries having welfare systems, by the way.

    Maybe the selection pressure is on women, particularly well-educated ones with careers, to put off motherhood until very late, with a resultant small number of offspring. Meanwhile, a lack of selection pressure on a growing segment of the population might result in an overall diminution of selection pressure leading to increased intelligence.

    * welfare

    There’s always selection pressure. The big question is towards what. There’s some mild selection pressure towards not killing yourself with gross stupidity, but extremely high intelligence is not necessarily adaptive either. There’s by catch such as vulnerabilities towards depression and suicide. Other factors are probably more important in the large picture. At least in my neck of the woods, the acceptance of divorce has lead to increasing selection pressures for men. Fewer men than women are procreating (in other words: Women are “recycling” men that have kids from a previous relationship more than men are “recycling” women with kids.)

    Intelligence as measured by standard IQ-tests are highly trainable traits anyhow. There is surely some genetic variations, but developmental factors are abound, and getting better. I am not a evolutionary biologist, so I lack the superpower of pulling data out of my rear, but it would surprise me greatly if any pressures towards less intelligence genetically outweighs the benefits of better education and better diet.

  23. 23
    d.f.manno

    @ Trebuchet (#21):

    The governor at the time of Katrina was Kathleen Blanco, who, sad to say, is a Democrat. Her response to the event was every bit as effective as Michael “heckuva job Brownie” Brown’s.

    A large chunk of Blanco’s state was underwater. What was Brown’s excuse?

  24. 24
    Rutee Katreya

    I’m not so sure about this. Some of it might’ve been true until fairly recently. In my experience, the people having lots of kids are quite often on the pogey*. (As a way of life. And education is a dirty word.)

    Filing that under ‘shit that never happened’.

    Their generation time is very short, but they’ve only been at it since the inception of welfare states, so there’s not been many generations. Maybe not enough to show up in statistics yet.

    So you’re setting about on making your hypothesis unfalsifiable already? I am hardly surprised.

    They might try lying with different codewords, but that’s pretty much it.

    Oh joy. Does that mean new decoder rings in our crackerjacks?

    I read an interview with Ryan in which he is blaming the “urban” voters for their defeat.

    Oh racist assholes, please change quickly or stfu.

  25. 25
    johnmckay

    As someone who comes from a state with volcanoes and currently lives in a state with volcanoes, all have to say to Bobby Jindal is, to quote Tbogg, “go eat a bag of salted dicks.”

    PS – Show us you’re birth certificate, Bobby!

  26. 26
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    It could also be the case that the people i hear of being fecund on the public purse are the ones that stick in my mind.

    Poverty and poor education to tend to positively correlate with high fecundity overall, but that means little or nothing regarding active selective pressures, as there’s no evidence I’m aware of that any particular genetic traits measurably correlate with poverty. Some genetic trait that made it hard to drive well, OTOH, could easily be selected against in the modern world, because screwing up while driving has a fairly good chance of removing you from the gene pool, frex.

  27. 27
    A. R

    Two things here:

    1. PZ, you owe me a new septuple log scaled, multinodal processing irony meter with high-capacity circuitry and emergency breaker system.

    2. http://pinkie.ponychan.net/chan/files/src/132911021574.gif

  28. 28
    consciousness razor
    They might try lying with different codewords, but that’s pretty much it.

    Oh joy. Does that mean new decoder rings in our crackerjacks?

    I hope so. It would give me a reason to buy crackerjacks again. They’ve been getting really stale for the past few decades.

  29. 29
    Randomfactor

    Somewhat OT: Pharyngulites wanna skew a poll at Unskewedpolls.com?

    http://www.unskewedpolls.com/pepoll/

  30. 30
    golkarian

    It’s a common phenomenon, I’m from Canada and it’s amazing how many creationists insult Americans for being dumb, even though creationism is such a big part of that prejudice.

  31. 31
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Randomfactor:
    Done.
    That was fun.
    May I have another please?

  32. 32
    machintelligence

    I am not a evolutionary biologist, so I lack the superpower of pulling data out of my rear, but it would surprise me greatly if any pressures towards less intelligence genetically outweighs the benefits of better education and better diet.

    I am an evolutionary biologist (by training, not currently practicing) so consider the source. I think the basic argument is that hunter-gatherers need more raw brain power to survive than farmers. Wolves need to be smarter than sheep, and domesticated sheep don’t need to be as smart as their wild cousins. After all they have outsourced the solutions to all of their problems to shepherds.Food finding, protection from predators and health care are all taken care of. Since the brain is an expensive organ to maintain, their brains have shrunk (if you don’t use it you loose it.)
    With the invention of written language humans now have essentially unlimited data storage, so memory is not as important as it was. Smaller head size means lower mortality at birth, so there may be some selection in that direction. As to overall intelligence (what ever that is),culture now provides such a large array of tools that it may not be possible to make meaningful comparisons over centuries, let alone millennia.

  33. 33
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    re: unskewedpolls.com

    Is there something about the right wing that suppresses web design? Or do they just not want any of that newfangled post-90s style tainting their websites like the Founding Fathers intended?

  34. 34
    Amphiox

    I’m not so sure about this.

    You can be sure.

    Ask yourself this:

    “Does every single individual human being currently have the same number of children and grandchildren as every other individual human being?”

    “Are there any existing environmental factors that you can think of that might change the number of children and grandchildren an individual human being might have”

    If the answer is “no” to the first and “yes” to the second, then there is still selection pressure on our species.

  35. 35
    Amphiox

    One thing that most certainly is still under selective pressure and would have been under increased selective pressure since the invention of agriculture is social intelligence – the capacity to deal with increasingly large numbers of other people at a time.

    But intelligence, as with everything else in evolution, will always be a cost-benefit question. Brains are disproportionately energy hungry. The bigger your brain the more energy you have to devote to sustaining it (and growing* it, and training/teaching it).

    And there is also the issue of diminishing returns. When you already have an average brain size of 1400cc, gaining one extra cc will net you a smaller relative increase in intelligence than gaining one extra cc when your brain size was 800cc, but the increase in maintenance cost will be roughly the same.

    So there comes a point when the cost associated with growing and keeping a bigger smarter brain is no longer worth the benefit of additional intelligence provided by that big brain, compared to one that is just a little less big, but still quite intelligent, if not quite so much.

    And the cost of maintaining neural tissue also means that any adaptions that allow you to maintain the same level of intelligence while using less brain tissue will be highly favored. Increasing the sophistication/efficiency of the connections in the brain can do this. But another way of doing this is with culture and social networks. You can off-load brain-power into your social network by having individuals specialize and cooperate, and you can off-load brain-power into artifacts, like cave paintings, papyrus rolls, books, and i-pads. And this allows you to maintain the same if not greater functional level of intelligence, but have a smaller, cheaper brain to maintain for yourself.

    *and that means the energy issue applies not just to the individual carrying the brain, but the mother who has to support the initial growth of the fetal brain

  36. 36
    mildlymagnificent

    Hang on, I remember now. Wasn’t it Jindal who ignored all the scientists and engineers working on solutions to the oil spilling from the Horizon drilling blowout – and spent millions on creating “sandbars” that were worse than useless?

    Oh yeah, he can tell us all about saying “something stupid”.

  37. 37
    Amphiox

    It could also be the case that the people i hear of being fecund on the public purse are the ones that stick in my mind.

    There may be at least a little bit of r vs K reproductive strategy selection going on here. If your circumstances are such that your ability to care for your offspring to the point where they will be able to produce offspring of there own (the point when you become a grandparent and have officially and completely self-replicated, replacing yourself with a descendent who can do everything you can do from the evolutionary standpoint including reproduce themsevles), there might be some instinctive push towards having more offspring, since the likelihood of at least some of them not making it to the point of reproducing themselves (or finding/winning a mate to do so) goes up.

    So one question that has to be checked is, do these supposedly more fecund impoverished people end up having more or less grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and further descendents several generations down the line, than do the supposedly less fecund better off people who have fewer children but devote more resources to making sure those children succeed in life.

  38. 38
    anteprepro

    Stupid Republican yells at other stupid Republicans for being too stupid. Sounds about right.

  39. 39
    Amphiox

    The strongest selection pressure of all on our species for most of its existence has probably been sexual – the ability to convince an individual of the opposite sex to make babies with you.

    It is doubtful that the advent of civilization has changed the overall strength of this selective force on our species much at all (though it may of course have changed the details pertaining to it).

  40. 40
    A. R

    The strongest selection pressure of all on our species for most of its existence has probably been sexual – the ability to convince an individual of the opposite sex to make babies with you.

    Which is why my molecular virologist genes are being selected against!

  41. 41
    jedibear

    I think if you look closely, you can see that it’s the kind of stupid he’s complaining about. Naturally, he doesn’t see his own stupid as stupid.

    Of course, that could just be me reading too much into it.

    The alliance of Christian Dominionists and Libertarians that is the current Republican coalition is unnatural and unsustainable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end in a civil war of words, or even an out-and-out schism.

  42. 42
    A. R

    jedibear: There has been some discussion of such a Rethuglican civil war.

  43. 43
    machintelligence

    The strongest selection pressure of all on our species for most of its existence has probably been sexual – the ability to convince an individual of the opposite sex to make babies with you.

    And it is a female choice driven system. This is why paternalistic cultures have to work so hard “guarding” females.

  44. 44
    Ichthyic

    Stupid Republican yells at other stupid Republicans for being too stupid. Sounds about right.

    Brawndo.

    It’s got what plants crave.

  45. 45
    chigau (違う)

    ….Wolves need to be smarter than sheep…

    Why?
    Why does a ‘predator’ need to be ‘smarter’ than its ‘prey’?
    In order to survive, doesn’t the prey need to be smarter than the predator?

  46. 46
    Ichthyic

    I’m sure it relates to issues of stalking and planning.

    sheep just have to run.

  47. 47
    Ichthyic

    …or it could be, since humans are predators, we tend to project other predators as being more intelligent.

    In fact, a sheep is likely as trainable as a dog, if you work at it right.

    OK, maybe not.

  48. 48
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    One problem: if the Republicans drop all of the hateful and exploitative crap, what’s left?

    I have a feeling that what Jindal actually means is “hey, guys, you’re not veiling it well enough with sophisticated rhetoric — stop showing your hands!”.

  49. 49
    jthompson

    Social conservatives are *pissed* at the wealth-worshipers in their party. They’re convinced that the WWs determination to have their taxes set in the negative range has cost them the opportunity to oppress any of the groups the social conservatives hate. (GLBT, women, minorities, etc.)

    The WWs aren’t going to take this for long without shooting back. What we’re watching may be the first shots in their civil war.

  50. 50
    chigau (違う)

    Ichthyic

    …or it could be, since humans are predators, we tend to project other predators as being more intelligent.

    ya think?
    and
    because we can ‘train’ it, that makes it ‘more’ ‘intelligent’?
    really?
    [I have exhausted my ration of ''''' for tonight]

  51. 51
    John Morales

    [OT]

    Ichthyic @47, humans are not just predators, we’re scavengers and gatherers too.

    (Omnivory FTW!)

  52. 52
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    So one question that has to be checked is, do these supposedly more fecund impoverished people end up having more or less grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and further descendents several generations down the line,

    The short answer appears to be ‘Yes.’ This is one reason why impoverished countries and overpopulation problems are so often linked. In areas with poor/no social safety nets, there’s definitely some degree of having lots of children in hopes that at least one will survive to care for your old age, and ideally that burden can be spread among several surviving children. However, unless you’ve got some really fierce infant/child mortality going on, that’s going to result in a net population increase, and infant/child mortality is dropping all over as sanitation and basic medical care become more widely available. However, a large part of the fecundity often found among impoverished and poorly educated people stems from simple lack of availability/knowledge of options. I said earlier that high birthrate correlates with poverty and low education, but that is not precisely correct; lower birthrates correlate with increased prosperity and education for women. Basically, women who have access to birth control, education in how to use it, and self-determination in their own lives have a lot fewer kids.

  53. 53
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Hell yeah, that blows my irony meter out of the water and takes down the local grid.

    Bobby “Berms” Jindal? The idiot and walking environmental disaster? A member of the Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things where the Things are Environmental Disasters? Asshat.

  54. 54
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Louisiana voters begin to notice that we have an absentee Governor

    That is the very best sort of governor Jindal can be.

  55. 55
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]
    We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism.

    Elitist!

  56. 56
    DLC

    How in hell can they be the Not-Stupid party while they continue to support silly ideas like creationism and “global warming doesn’t exist” ? They just seem to live in their own self-perpetuating fantasy world, in which facts are malleable and reality can be altered by legislation.

  57. 57
    grumpyoldfart

    Don’t worry – he doesn’t really mean it. Just win the next election and then back to the Dark Ages.

  58. 58
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Ya know, I hadn’t particularly registered this little gem, what with all the Mr. Gumby shouting:

    we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

    Wow! Aha. Yes. Right, so STFU and GTFO already. All y’all.

  59. 59
    DaveL

    It could also be the case that the people i hear of being fecund on the public purse are the ones that stick in my mind.

    Most likely this is in fact what it going on. I once took the liberty to look up my state’s statistics on food stamp recipients. It turns out they keep statistics on how many beneficiaries there were per household, and broke it down by the number of adults. I don’t remember the actual figures, but single-adult households averaged about 1.5 children, and two adult households averaged just above 2 children.

  60. 60
    mikmik

    I just saw McCain being interviewed on the news. He is calling for an investigation into the handling of the Benghazi, Libya attack. He accuses Obama and Clinton of lying!
    He says it is up to them to prove they’re not. I think it’s far past the time for McCain to prove that he is not part of a C.I.A. experiment that went horribly awry.

  61. 61
    vaiyt

    But another way of doing this is with culture and social networks. You can off-load brain-power into your social network by having individuals specialize and cooperate, and you can off-load brain-power into artifacts, like cave paintings, papyrus rolls, books, and i-pads. And this allows you to maintain the same if not greater functional level of intelligence, but have a smaller, cheaper brain to maintain for yourself.

    The question is whether these advantages correlate to reproductive success.

    What complicates studies of selection pressure on humans is that we’ve completely borked the system, as far as measures of success go. In our case, the sneaky, weak fish that infiltrates the alpha fish harem to reproduce is the norm. Adaptations that make us more efficient in our tasks are as likely to help as to hinder or be neutral to our reproductive success.

  62. 62
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Thank you, Bobby Jindal. You gave me a much needed laugh. Not a happy laugh, mind, but a ‘oh shit, these people really don’t get it, do they?’ laugh.

    My rabid right wing neighbor has already swallowed three right wing lies — Romney wasn’t conservative enough to attract real Americans, Sandy gave Obama an unfair advantage, and the GOP needs to stop soft-pedalling their conservatism as real Americans would all vote conservative if they understood it. Does it ever occur to these idiots that many of us understand modern US conservatism and that is why we don’t vote for them? The appeal to ignorance is the hallmark of the modern GOP.

    1. PZ, you owe me a new septuple log scaled, multinodal processing irony meter with high-capacity circuitry and emergency breaker system.

    I think the Leica company makes that one.

    One problem: if the Republicans drop all of the hateful and exploitative crap, what’s left?

    The bullshit?

    (Omnivory FTW!)

    Unfortunately, we shall soon all start to starve as there are very few of these ugly things left on the road.

  63. 63
    Q.E.D

    OT sheep IQ

    In fact, a sheep is likely as trainable as a dog, if you work at it right

    According to my anecdotal experience of sheep, once, no, just no. A couple of Lesbian shepherdesses left their flock of sheep on my family’s property to graze while they were away. when I went to visit, our city dog, who had never seen sheep before, had all of her herding instincts go on overdrive. She darted out of the car and ran around them in circles, barking. while trying to retrieve dog, one sheep got separated from the herd and dashed headlong towards the rocks, beech and freezing Maine ocean in November. When I got to the sheep to try to rescue it it had got tangled in plastic fencing and went totally limp as if it had lost all will to live. Once I freed it and it found the rest of the sheep it perked up considerably and seemed to have instantly forgotten its traumatic episode.

    When the sheperdesses got there with their two sheepdog collies, the dogs they quickly, professionally, rounded up the sheep into one tight flock then herded them into a single file to walk off our property down the road.

    Sheep dumb, dogs smart.

  64. 64
    Ichthyic

    According to my anecdotal experience of sheep, once, no, just no

    sarcasm detector is awaiting your purchase.

  65. 65
    raven

    Jason Thibeault blog:

    A staggering 68 percent of registered Republican voters stated that they believe demonic possession is real. Meanwhile, only 48 percent of self-identified Republicans believe in another equally if not more scary natural phenomenon: climate change.

    The GOP can’t get away from the stupid, ignorant, and reality deniers.

    Most GOPers believe in demonic possession. Half don’t accept global warming*. Roughly half are birthers. Most of them probably don’t accept evolution.

    Being dumb and ignorant is who they are.

    *Oddly enough a lot of coastal jurisdictions are starting to make plans and spend money because of rising sea levels. Plans are being floated in NYC for $20 billions of Dutch style storm surge protection. Which sounds like a lot until you realize one storm caused $30 billion in damage.

    Some of these politicians don’t believe in global warming or sea level rises. But the seas are rising nevertheless and they seem to believe in not watching things wash away on high tides.

  66. 66
    gravityisjustatheory

    okstop
    13 November 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Speaking of stupidity, is there any chance you can weigh in on this paper that claims human intelligence peaked a couple thousand years ago?

    (http://bmi205.stanford.edu/_media/crabtree-2.pdf)

    I can spot some bad structural features to the argument, but I’d love to hear the take of someone who actually, y’know, followed all the science in it.

    I haven’t read through it in detail (just the summary I read in a newspaper), but the most obvious flaw to me seems to be that he’s defining “intelligence” to mean “ability to survive in a hunter/gatherer society”.

    And ignoring any sort of intelligence needed to grow crops, raise animals, build cities, trade, remember which of the hundreds or thousands of other citizens can/cannot be trusted, conduct warfare, and all the other things humans do since the dawn of agriculture.

  67. 67
    lpetrich

    Yes, I remember Bobby Jindal’s sneering at volcano monitoring as wasteful government spending.

    I recalled which state he is governor of and I remember thinking: is that also true of hurricane monitoring?

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