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January 12, 2003

So now GNXP is racist..?

Over at Richard Bennett's Blog, Gene Expression has been charged with being racist.. oh well!

Honest debate about HBD and the consequences to social policy is not racism, but then I doubt that Richard bothers to read past the headlines and blog-bytes gnenerated on GNXP.

Razib adds: Racist? God-that-I-don't-believe-in I'm tired of this crap. I've addressed these issues before. I believe in equality before the law. But, I believe different groups probably have different aptitudes (not moral inferiority or superiority)-and the axiom of equality-that all groups have the exact same tendencies as our common evolutionary heritage, could cause serious problems when applied to public policy.

One more thing: I've said this before, but this needs repeating (from The New White Nationalism by black sociologist Carol Swain):

At least one important survey suggests that a belief in the biological inferiority [notice the loaded terminology here] of some races in regard to intelligence is more common than generally supposed. Smith College professor Stanley Rothman and Harvard researcher Mark Snyderman surveyed a sample of mostly scientific experts in the field of educational psychology in the late 1980s and found that 53 percent believed IQ differences between whites and African Americans were at least partly genetic in origin, while only 17 percent attributed the IQ differences to environmental factors alone (the remainder either believed the data was currently insufficient to decide the issue or refused to answer the question).

The footnote pinpoints the study as the Survey of Expert Opinion on Intelligence and Aptitude Testing, in American Psychologist 42 (1987): 127-44.

In 1994, when I was disgusted by The Bell Curve like any decent human being-and politically liberal high school senior, I read an article in Newsweek that reported the findings. I just tucked them away in a distant corner of my brain, not wanting to believe any of it.

More good points: My friend and guest blogger Jason Soon has some very level headed things to say on the message board (check out some of the comments-I used to joke with godless that we were "Darwin's Wolves," but my readers are a veritable pack!):


This is a matter of True Vs False - end of story - and taking a position on this one way or the other doesn't make anyone a cross burner. Anyone who implies otherwise is no different from the sorts of relativists who can't separate the political from the Truth. As for interest - some people are interested in this human biodiversity stuff because it's intrinsically interesting. Not because it supports an agenda, not because they wear white hoods in their spare time but because they find it interesting. I find it interesting and fascinating. Perhaps people like Richard don't believe people are capable of finding this interesting for its own sake because he's a political hack and like all political hacks everything is about Politics (that sounds a bit like the relativists too). The Positive and the Normative are 2 different things, Richard, get it?....

Couldn't say it better myself.

From the message board:

ATTENTION EVERYBODY:

I think this conversation has been too important to keep in this archived little comment box, so I created a thread with all the text copied over to Razib's newly created message boards. I think it would be cool if people could register in, and the conversation could continue over there instead.

Here's a link to the boards:

http://www.gnxp.com/gnxp_board/index.php

Posted by Jason M. at January 14, 2003 02:56 PM

Posted by suman at 05:55 PM




What's more irritating than sites like Bennett or Atrios caliing GNXP racist is that they, like Truth Teller/ Litt, never offer reasons for why they think this site is racist. Pathetic name calling without substantiation.

Posted by: -R at January 12, 2003 06:34 PM


Anybody who thinks Rushton is a serious scientist is clearly a racist. I'm real sorry, but phrenology is not an accurate way to measure IQ, and penis size doesn't predict it either.

But take heart: The Aryan Nation supports you: http://www.twelvearyannations.com/thefacts/fact12.html

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 07:04 PM


richard, see http://gnxp.blogspot.com/2002_12_01_gnxp_archive.html#90033435

william calvin of university of washington, who's written several books on human evolution has let slip in a recent book ideas that echo rushton rather closely.

the exact quote page 41 of A BRIAN FOR SEASONS:

"...The Asians and Europeans, besides being less rich in genetic variations that they can tap, seem to have specialized somewhat toward one end of the parental-care spectrum, concentrating on relatively fewer offspring (their biology results in having fewer fraternal twins) who grow up more slowly (somewhat slower growth rates, later puberty, and so forth"

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 07:43 PM


That's completely ridiculous - you're assuming that the small family sizes we see in Asia and Europe today have always been that way, and they haven't.

Similarly, in 1950, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for African-Americans was less than 5%, and today it's around 70%. There hasn't been a major change in the genetic makeup of African-Americans in the last 50 years, so this change is due entirely to government policy and other cultural factors.

Please try to get your penis out of your brain.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 07:49 PM


Ahhh... the sophomoric retort of yet another gas bag like Richard Bennett.

Surely he meant to say "bigot" or "hatemonger" instead of "racist"? After all, these are just a few of the ad hominem terms reflexively used by what passes for the intelligentsia of the left.

Well, oh Wise One, what should be used to measure IQ? SATs, perhaps? And obviously race and IQ have touched a raw nerve with you. Why is that? Does this violate your belief in the innate equality of the races? Such innate equality explains, for example, the complete dearth of Korean power forwards in the NBA, true? Or is it that the NBA is a "racist" organization that completely disfavors Koreans and so must be sued so that Koreans can face a level playing field like the brothers in the 'hood?

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 12, 2003 07:54 PM


Richard Bennett:
"Please try to get your penis out of your brain."

I give you a LOT of credit for being (offhand) the first left winger to actually substantiate your position- as opposed to Atrios, Overcounter, Truth Teller/Litt. That is... until you, like so many of your kind, felt the need to resort to NEEDLESS 8th grade level accusations.

We haven't had a left winger who could actually debate any of the scientific points raised so I, for one, would prefer to read your post and the rejoinders to it on its merits alone. Please try again without the unnecessary nonsense.

Most of the people on this blog or who read it would probably prefer open rationale dialogue.

Posted by: -R at January 12, 2003 08:14 PM


richard-

you haven't said anything about the twinning rates. this is biology. twinning is important in biology as an indication of litter size-the most fertile women in history (the german women that won prizes in WW II for instance) had a tendency toward twins.

and yes, family size is a multifactorial trait-but you simply disregard there could be average biological differences a priori. calvin wasn't making a 1:1 correspondence, simply indicating the plausibility of different adaptive strategies based on a biological fact.

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 08:14 PM


btw richard, would you support banning abortion for non-white races because white supremacists support abortion rights for them? oh wait, that's *different*....

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 08:15 PM


Would someone here care to define "racism"? Do that, and it will be pretty easy to determine whether or not GNXP is "racist" or not.

Posted by: Oleg at January 12, 2003 08:18 PM


well-i think there are people who don't name call. charlie murtaugh hasn't throw mud our way in a while-though he's not convinced by HBD-when orwin was in the blogosphere, he tended to keep his cool even when godless lost it a few times. some of the other blogs that link to me are pretty non-conservative in orientation-or have different points of intersection (Raving Atheist for instance) with this blog besides HBD.

civility is not some extreme demand-it is given every day. but i think it tends to be people that read us more. i won't deny that on first blush the stuff mooted on GENE EXPRESSION is shocking, because we say in public what many ppl say in private.

no one need fear the truth. it's always going to be there no matter how much we debate.

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 08:21 PM


[This is Razib-to cut & paste the whole article into the message board kind of sucked for people who scrolled down, so the you can find it at
http://www.gnxp.com/rol.txt if you want to read it-it is PROFESSORS OF HATE from Rolling Stone, something of a hatchet job, but what do you expect?]

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 08:47 PM


I'm not sure of Richard's beef with you guys. I first visited your site today after his post that linked to you, and searched in vain for anything that smacked of racism. I don't think it's racist to posit that there are differences between the races; I think it's racist to take generalized information about a race (e.g., African-Americans score lower on IQ tests) and turn that into all African-Americans are dumb and inferior and deserve to be treated differently and in a less dignified manner.

Also, Bennett is not a left-winger. He may think you're raving lunatic racists, and he may overuse ad hominem attacks, but he's probably not that far from Bork, Derbyshire, or K Lo.

Posted by: Andrew at January 12, 2003 08:48 PM


Actually, the Pioneer Fund does say that African-Americans are dumber and more violent that white Americans, and that they should be racially profiled by law enforcement because of it.

But the larger issue is that "race" is not a construct with any biological meaning.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 08:52 PM


1) i'm a libertarian who might be called conservative because i oppose multiculturalism because of its attack on liberal principles (free speech, sexual equality, freedom to criticize religion, etc.)-so the pioneer's fund's politics aren't mine. that being said-so what if i overlap with some of the pioneer fund's ideas? as conservatives like to point out-planned parenthood and maggie sanger have eugenic origins, but how pissed do liberals when when pro-lifers try to smear them by assocation?

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 09:05 PM


The difference is that Planned Parenthood of today has dropped the feminist eugenics and evolved, but the Pioneer Fund hasn't.

That's major, dude.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 09:42 PM


"even when godless lost it a few times"

I never lost my cool ;)

Posted by: thelurkingemeritusgodlesscapitalist at January 12, 2003 09:44 PM


i thought you didn't read blogs anymore? and don't tell me you didn't make it clear you thought orwin was an unenumrate idiot? (more than you think most people are :)

richard-human biodiversity doesn't have any specific political implications. after all, most pioneer fund recipients would agree that east asians are more intelligent on average (some, like ed miller are married to them)-but none of them thing that asians should rule whites. similarly, if whites are on average more intelligent than blacks, it doesn't follow that they should rule blacks.

i oppose apartheid and minority rule. on the other hand-we must also ask some questions from a utilitarian perspective-and smoke on what first principles are inviolable. for me, equality before the law is inviolable.

"racial profiling" is an explosive topic-and i haven't made up my mind on it. believe that some racial profiling for airlines might be warranted (which would stop people that look like me) because the cost if we don't is so high. on the other hand, stopping young black males for drug offenses i don't accept simply because the trade-off between civil liberties and enforcing a law that is disputable in its effectiveness is too high.

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 10:06 PM


But the larger issue is that "race" is not a construct with any biological meaning.

First of all, Mr. Bennett I'm glad you consider that the larger issue, b/c that is the one that is essentially the most verified by mainstream science:

http://www.nytimes.com/ads/usair/popJan7.html;sz=720x300;ord=2003.01.13.05.23.40

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/24/science/24RACE.html

My thanks go to Science magazine, Mr. Wade, and the NYT. I will consider any objections from here on out, as either petty or semantic, but race does have a place in human understanding just as sure as "breeds" or "species" have a place in our understanding of animals.

"Anybody who thinks Rushton is a serious scientist is clearly a racist. I'm real sorry, but phrenology is not an accurate way to measure IQ, and penis size doesn't predict it either."

I'm real sorry, but anybody who straw-mans Rushton's position like this has clearly never read Rushton. Please admit you have never read him. Rushton has never said that penis size correlates with IQ. What Rushton does do is compile copious amounts of data about the three broadest racial categories (both spatially and temporally), commonly known to lay people as Asians, Blacks, and Whites and try to account for why all that data consistently has Asians and Blacks at opposite ends of the spectrum, with Whites in between. There is a consistent pattern on over 60 strains of data that include childhood development, on-set of puberty, twinning, crime-statistics, secondary-sexual characteristics, sex hormones, IQ data, family stability, and yes Richard, penis size (please insert immature wise-cracks or straw-men here), among many others. The data is compiled from a wide range of sources, and its accuracy is better in some areas than others. Rushton has an r/K selection theory he uses to account for this data which is interesting if it is not true (which I can't say for sure); even if not, it hardly shouldv be considered "racist, except maybe as a politically-motivated cop-out. Also the data as a whole cannot be ignored, or off-handedly dismissed, and the pattern can more rationally be said to have a partial genetic explanation than an %100 environmental one- which is the TRUE extremist position.

Basically, you're among the same radicals who attack evolution, sociobiology, and every other search brave and honest people do to discover the truth about mankind. It's not the answers you are attacking, it's the questions themselves!

Posted by: Jason M. at January 12, 2003 10:10 PM


Also, while I know he's looking, I'd like to give a shout-out to my hero, godless.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 12, 2003 10:12 PM


So, if race has no biological meaning, then how exactly do commercially available tests for it work?

See this webpage: http://www.ancestrybydna.com

Posted by: Oleg at January 12, 2003 10:20 PM


What in the world is an "Asian", and how do you know what the average IQ of one of these fictional things might be? Are North Indians included among them, or are they considered European like all other Aryans?

And what about the Caucasoid Ainu and Polynesians, and they white or are they Asian?

I've noticed that Asians don't drive very well, but I don't know that I'd jump to too many conclusions about this, since the worst among them are the Indians, who are basically Caucasian as I noted above. It's probably just bad training.

Similarly, Semitic Jews and Semitic Arabs belong to the same "race", but everybody knows the Jews are smarter. Why is that?

Evolutionary biologists hate Rushton, who they view as an interloper bringing their bandwagon to disrepute. Here's a little from a critique of Rushton at the UC Santa Barbara's web site:

"Although Rushton explores some interesting phenomena in his target article, the theoretical framework he uses to integrate them suffers from a series of defects. These include 1) the failure to fully understand the theory of kin selection (see, e.g., Dawkins 1979); 2) the failure to distinguish the operation of kin selection as a selection pressure from the operation of adaptations that evolved in response to kin selection (e.g., phenotype matching); and 3) the failure to distinguish circumstances reliably present during human evolutionary history that we can have evolved adaptations to (e.g., encounters with near and distant kin) from recently emerged circumstances that we cannot have evolved adaptations to (e.g., encounters with those of other races)."

See: http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/research/cep/rushton.html

The point, dear ones, is that genetic variation within so-called "races" is more than that between races, so the whole exercise in stereotyping is BS.

BTW, has science identified even a single allele that's race-specific?

Incidentally, the quotes on the back cover of "Race, Evolution, and Behavior" come from such luminaries as Jensen, Eysenck, and Levin. Need I say more?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 10:29 PM


"ancestry" is a social construct. as are probabilities that organ transplant searches will yield an immune system match in any given group-a social construct.

yeah mr. bennet, i admit it, black people are animals! so are white people, yellow people, brown people, and all the mixes. we are all animals.

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 10:29 PM


"What in the world is an "Asian", and how do you know what the average IQ of one of these fictional things might be? Are North Indians included among them, or are they considered European like all other Aryans?"

the research in question tends to use NE Asians as "Asians," Africans as "blacks," and Europeans was "whites," since these three groups are most separated. intermediary groups muddle the issues.

the ainu aren't caucasoid-genetic studies cluster them with other asians (you seem to be referencing old morphological studies). the polynesians are similar to the malay people with some melanesian mtDNA.

"Similarly, Semitic Jews and Semitic Arabs belong to the same "race", but everybody knows the Jews are smarter. Why is that? "

they don't belong to the same race. askenazi jews are semitic via their male line, but their mtDNA indicates a small sample from the local populations (generally only in the first generation). additionally, jews are a small population that's gone through bottlenecks and founder effect-so they won't necessarily be like their ancestors 3,000 years back (and the Cohen's can be traced that fair through the y-chromosome). some would argue that the jewish strategy (ashkenazi) implies a eugenic strategy-the masses had few children while the wealthy and rabbinical families had many (this from hungarian records).

"The point, dear ones, is that genetic variation within so-called "races" is more than that between races, so the whole exercise in stereotyping is BS."

yes-but it is the AVERAGES that matter-the races different on average, but there is plenty of overlap. and these averages matter. west africans tend to have faster twitch muscles, only a small difference ON AVERAGE between west africans and the rest, but this matters because world class sprinters are faster only by a small degree from the pack. it is the tails of the bell curve that can really be effected, even if two populations have only a small difference in on average, that would still mean a big difference when you go to the antipodes of the spectrum. so yes, 90% of the variation is between individuals, but that 10% between population matters too-it matters in things that you might consider mundane like organ transplants, but i don't, because i'm from an ethnic minority that is screwed by the current system so skewed toward your race my white brother-saying race is a "social construct" is costless in your case, but i sure as hell care.

now, onto to UCSB-well yeah, cosmides et. al. promote evolutionary psychology, the study of SIMILARITIES, they are philosophically opposed to delving too much into differences (commonalities aren't only political easier to study, they are probably practically easier to research since everyone is part of the sample). i don't buy all of rushton's theoretical framework (he sounds like a group evolutionist to me)-but his data is there. what convinced me is twinning rates-how can you fake that? and i know enough devlepmental biology and zoology to know that differential twinning rates indicate something.

and jensen and eysenck aren't as disreputable ans you present. both of them started out as environmentalists, but later came to a synthetic position between environment and heredity.

lots of scientists like wilson, ridley, pinker etc. might not come out say there are race differences in things like intelligence, but they all grant IT IS POSSIBLE [1]. that is what bothers when people try to exclude these discussions are beyond the pale.

[1] Ulricha Segerstale says that Wilson did say it was possible in DEFENDERS OF THE TRUTH, Pinker says it is possible (though he doesn't accept it himself) in BLANK SLATE, and Ridley says it is possible, and seemed to hint likely, in GENOME.

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 10:47 PM


"Actually, the Pioneer Fund does say that African-Americans are dumber and more violent that white Americans, and that they should be racially profiled by law enforcement because of it."

"The difference is that Planned Parenthood of today has dropped the feminist eugenics and evolved, but the Pioneer Fund hasn't."

Richard, do you actually examine these claims, or do just accept your truths pre-packaged, and spit libel at everyone who doesn't?

First, I would like you to direct me to any (ANY!) statistics that don't show that African-Americans on average have lower IQs than whites, or that A-As on average don't commit more violence than whites. Either that or direct me to pioneer fund literature of any kind that says that ALL blacks are "dumber" (loaded terms)and more "violent" than ALL whites.

Second, the Pioneer Fund doesn't support forced Eugenics of any kind. (nor am I aware of any official policy recommendations)

Third, I'd like to point out that because of fashionable, nihilistic charges of "racism", few scientists are granted funding for any research that might suggest genetic components of human aptitude or behavior. It's not surprising that the Pioneer Fund granted more money to the ultra-famous Minnesota Twins project, than anyone else.

Give up on trying to discredit research funded by Pioneer Fund, it's just not a workable angle.

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/pioneer.htm

http://www.pioneerfund.org/speak2.html

Posted by: Jason M. at January 12, 2003 10:57 PM


"BTW, has science identified even a single allele that's race-specific?"

Yes. Try looking at the link I posted. Here it is again: http://www.ancestrybydna.com . It kinda proves that race is a biological reality, since a person's racial composition can be determined from a genetic sample.

By the way, do you believe that species is a social construct as well?

Posted by: Oleg at January 12, 2003 11:04 PM


"The point, dear ones, is that genetic variation within so-called "races" is more than that between races, so the whole exercise in stereotyping is BS."

And genetic variation between the "sexes" is more than that between "sexes". Obviously gender differences must be BS, right? Anybody that tries to study those non-overlapping segments on the tail ends of the gender curve must be some sort of hate-filled "sexists" in your mind, eh Richard?

Well, some people think that no questions are outside the realm of honest discussion and exploration. Some still hold to the idea that knowledge is its own virtue.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 12, 2003 11:07 PM


"And genetic variation between the "sexes" is more than that between "sexes". Obviously gender differences must be BS, right?"

Don't push him - a lot of these politically correct types DO believe that gender differences are socially constructed.

Posted by: Oleg at January 12, 2003 11:09 PM


there aren't species Oleg, only "kinds."
[wink to those in the know :)]

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 11:09 PM


only europeans have cystic fibrosis & only europeans have Rh- (concentrated among the basques, but found among others).

Posted by: razib at January 12, 2003 11:12 PM


"Rare" blood types are almost always race specific:

http://www.bloodbook.com/rare.html

Posted by: Oleg at January 12, 2003 11:18 PM


"Anybody who thinks Rushton is a serious scientist is clearly a racist."

i saw him present some of his data in person. his statistics had reliability and seemed to have internal validity.

"phrenology is not an accurate way to measure IQ"

you can discount the skull as peripheral, but you can't discount the size of different brain structures.

"you're assuming that the small family sizes we see in Asia and Europe today have always been that way, and they haven't."

yes, there's evidence against a very strict application of rushton's ideas.

"the complete dearth of Korean power forwards in the NBA"

is probably because there are less than a million koreans in america, but nearly 40 million blacks. if basketball becomes as popular in korea as baseball has become in japan, there will be a korean in the NBA. godless was dead wrong about yao.

"What Rushton does do is compile copious amounts of data about the three broadest racial categories"

rushton is incomplete and too simple. it is more accurate to say people changed into whatever worked where they lived.

Posted by: jody at January 13, 2003 12:29 AM


Jason claims this link proves something about race:
http://www.nytimes.com/ads/usair/popJan7.html;sz=720x300;ord=2003.01.13.05.23.40

It's an ad for air trips to the Bahamas.

You're going to have to do better than that, cross-burners.

The biological basis of race, if there is one, isn't any unique genes or alleles that are found in some races and not in others, it's a set of probabilities about particular combinations of genes. Probabilities, however, aren't empirical facts, and none of the boundaries between these groups are more than arbitrary. It makes no sense whatsoever to talk about such groups as Asians or Mesoamericans as if they were meaningful. What's the racial identification of Latin Americans today? They're mestizos, mixtures of European, Mongolian/Amerindian, and African. Rushton can't deal with such mongrelization (or "hybrid vigor", if you prefer), so he defines them out of existence rather than have his head explode.

The first test of the validity of any scientific theory is whether its system of classification can deal with all the observed data, and Rushton can't even get to first base in describing the world we live in today.

BTW, I'm a registered Republican, and anything but a multiculturalist or cultural relativist. The Western Civilization is the most perfect expression of the human spirit yet devised, and it's not accident that the greatest achievements of people of all races have taken place in Western society. That's important, and worth contemplating. The probability that sickle-cell immunity and twitching calf muscles are found together isn't interesting, and it isn't important.

I have spent most of my life fighting with liberals who want to see me as a member of one group or another, and I didn't fight those battles to have the adversaries replaced by a bunch of bone-headed pseudo-scientists who want to group me with others in the same way.

You people couldn't possibly be more misguided.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 12:41 AM


"The probability that sickle-cell immunity and twitching calf muscles are found together isn't interesting, and it isn't important."

People like Richard Bennett say basically that racial differences do not matter and if they do they are not of any significant importance - Its almost impossible to attack this kind of logic as with this kind of logic nothing at all really matters. I would like Richard though to travel to the View From The Right forum http://www.counterrevolution.net/vfr/
and try to make this kind of case to Jim Kalb. I find him the best authority on clarifying this sort of reaction.

Posted by: ShakeyKane at January 13, 2003 12:54 AM


http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/20/health/20GENE.html

The intended link. Sorry. More later.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 12:57 AM


Richard Bennett:
"You're going to have to do better than that, cross-burners...You people couldn't possibly be more misguided."

That you actually believe that Razib, Jason or anyone here who reads or writes on this blog is capable of cross burning (you've used racist inuendos too many times for me to dismiss this as stupid jest) reflects more on your illogical, misguided nature.

You may deny it all you want. However, your inability to even conceive of the idea that people might not be racist just because they disagree with you on this issue is EXACTLY like the general 'attack the credibility of the sources when we don't have an argument' mentality of the extreme left wingers you 'supposedly' so despise.

We've seen this attitude before with regards to HBD and other controversial issues. You may be able to support more of your positions then some of your associates. Yet, in the end, if this is all your stance comes down to then your argument will fail/ is failing too.

Posted by: -R at January 13, 2003 02:19 AM


Let me put my POV here since I'm a guest blogger. When I first came across GeneXP I thought Razib and Godless were cranks. Then I found they really knew their stuff. I made almost the same sorts of arguments Richard Bennett does here about differences between Semitic Arabs and Semitic Jews, why Amerindians don't have as high an average IQ as East Asians etc and they answered my queries competently. My attitude now is that *measures IQ differences between the races are undeniable and have been persistent* but I'm still agnostic as to whether their persistence is primarily genetic. I like to keep an open mind on these things but the main thing keeping me agnostic is lack of a compelling story/chain of causation about how exactly climatic differences translated into these differences (I too find the Rushton story simplistic). However anyone with any degree of intellectual honesty has to admit that (i) there is a biological basis to race - a race is an extended family. anyone who denies the biological basis of race is intellectually no different from a creationist - humans are animals, animals can speciate from breeding among the same pool in the same environment and so can humans - that's my layperson understanding. No less a scientist than Steven Pinker has openly acknowledged that there is such a thing as race and there is a possibility that persistent differences in IQ *may* be genetic in nature.

This is a matter of True Vs False - end of story - and taking a position on this one way or the other doesn't make anyone a cross burner. Anyone who implies otherwise is no different from the sorts of relativists who can't separate the political from the Truth. As for interest - some people are interested in this human biodiversity stuff because it's intrinsically interesting. Not because it supports an agenda, not because they wear white hoods in their spare time but because they find it interesting. I find it interesting and fascinating. Perhaps people like Richard don't believe people are capable of finding this interesting for its own sake because he's a political hack and like all political hacks everything is about Politics (that sounds a bit like the relativists too). The Positive and the Normative are 2 different things, Richard, get it? If we were to hold a 'more PC than thou' contest I think I would win hands down Richard. You defended Trent Lott on your blog, I attacked him - you're a Lott defender therefore you must be racist, right? On economic policy I'm a libertarian on social policy I'm a bit of a wishy washy centrist liberal - I've actually admitted on my blog that affirmative action (on behalf of blacks) might be a defensible policy as a form of intergenerational restitution for past wrongs. Is your head ready to explode yet because you can't handle all these complexities, Richard?

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 13, 2003 02:37 AM


Hey Jason,

Hurry up and put that beauty on the FP. You are a well-spoken cat.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 03:06 AM


one thing on rushton's theories-i'm skeptical of his climatic theory. the r vs. K is more persuasive, though i'm not totally convinced. but as i've said before-to me, there is the FACT of human differences, vs. the theories that explain it. i made the joke about "kinds" because arguing with richard remainds me of my arguments with creationists-richard throws a bunch of questions, i try to answer as best as i can, and then a whole batch of new questions get thrown at me.

what is the most plausible explaination for the cross-cultural poor performance of some racial groups on g-loaded tests? in my reading of the situation, race is the most parsimonious explaination-races are subdivied by religion, history and social systems, but when race "x" scores low or race "x" scores high on g-loaded tests (or any phenotype) i think we should be open to positing a biological underpinning to this trait.

similarly-though on a greater and more well developed scale, many people accept that evolution has occured. BUT, they are still more unsure of the exact mechanism.

Posted by: razib at January 13, 2003 03:12 AM


The basic problem with Rushton is that his data are much too low-quality to support his sweeping claims about the three pseudo-racial groups he claims to study. If you want to make generalizations about the adaptations certain population groups have made in the course of evolution, you're compelled to offer more than the kinds of snapshots Rushton offers without specificity as to time and place. I've already pointed out that the sexual behavior of American blacks is vastly different today than it was just 50 years ago. In order to support an evolutionary argument that black sexual behavior is somehow linked to a survival strategy, you would have to show longitudinal data going back for several tens of thousands of years. Since we don't have this data, the "theory" that races have adopted different strategies of kinship and family structure is no more than speculation. If you want to speculate about such things, by all means please yourself, but offering it up as some sort of legitimate scientific hypothesis supported by evidence is just simply bullshit.

Given that his data are woefully insufficient to support his claims, but that he makes the claims with the force of theory supported by evidence, the only reasonable conclusion that a man of science can reach about Rushton is that he's a racist, a liar, and a kook.

Even within his limited historical scope, Rushton's analysis of the data is dishonest. One particular study you should read is "Re-analysis of J. P. Rushton's Crime Data" by Cernovsky and Littman ("Canadian Journal of Criminology, Jan. 1993). These scientists found a weak correlation coefficient of .24, suggesting that only 6% of the variance is shared, and that relying on Rushton's crime data to predict individual behavior results in a false positive rate of 99.9%.

Given the woeful inadequacy of his data, his evident dishonesty in analyzing it, and the dubious benefits of theorizing in an empirical vacuum, there's little reason to consider any of this as serious fruit for discussion. We all know the stereotypes about the tendencies of people of different races, and we all know they're little more than inherited bias and bigotry. To pretend otherwise is to engage in self-deception, and ultimately to support the liberal/progressive fictions that lead to systems of quotas and preferences. The only way to get beyond this morass is to abandon the concept of race entirely, as we have to do when dealing with Latin America. If there are no races, then there can't be racial quotas, affirmative action programs, and reparations policies.

Think about where this goes, what kind of data is required to keep the discussion honest, and what you'd be doing with your time if you weren't engaging in the science of racism. And make no mistake about the fact that Rushton is warmly embraced by the Klan, the American Nazis, and similar groups - and they don't even need to distort him to support their arguments for genocide and outmigration. That's the whole point.

Now I realize that some of you come from places like India where the racist caste system is a part of everyday life, and that growing up around it has made you true believers in racism. I've been in India in and I've heard these rationalizations about the dim witted, licentious, dishonest, criminal harijans coming from the lips of the high-born. We had the same sort of rationalizations in the American South during slavery - you couldn't teach slaves to read because they were too dumb, so it was against the law (why did it have to be?). Slaves didn't feel pain, so it was OK to whip them (why would you want to?) Slaves were sexually loose, so it was OK to rape them (why again would you want to?)

The human mind has an infinite capacity for rationalization, and what you would find in the discussions on this site - if you could view them dispassionately - is that capacity on display.

So I just close by saying that your guru Rushton might be right, but if he is it's the result of accident and not of data. Science, unfortunately, deals with data, not with dumb luck.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 03:48 AM


roger clegg in this NRO article:
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/commentprint050100b.html
says the black out-of-wedlock rate in 1940 was 20%, but you say 5% in 1950. what's up with that? (my memory is closer to clegg)

respond to the rest later....

Posted by: razib at January 13, 2003 03:59 AM


Good to see you adopt a more rational tone Richard, but earlier you were calling us all cross burners because we believed race is more than a social construction (and as it turns out anyone who understands some biology knows that race is more than just a social construction so you've given up that tacks) and that there are persistent differences in IQ and that the possibility of a genetic component to these differences cannot at this stage be ruled out. Now you're implying that all of us take Rushton as our guru when 3 people (Razib, jody and myself) have just expressed the view that Rushton's story is unconvincing ad simplistic. And who's the one fixated with sexual behaviour? There are lots of people who read this site from a number of different interests, my main interest is IQ and the g factor and IQ enhancement, there may be others with more prurient interests, some who are nativists, some who are not. The point is you've just broadbrushed everyone here as a cross burner when you've not produced a shred of evidence that at least Razib or Suman or myself have ever advocated anything racist, aside from our epistemological beliefs.

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 13, 2003 04:18 AM


Apparently what set off this whole brouhaha was some alimony story. Richard refers to the dreaded GeneXP once again in his own comments facility thus:
>>>
It's interesting to note that the bloggers who're all over this story, with the exception of Bareback Sullivan, all link to the racist Gene Expression web site, and that the man in question happens to be black.

Take that for what it's worth.

Posted by Richard Bennett at January 12, 2003 08:04 PM
>>

- It's interesting to note that GeneXP itself didn't comment on this alimony story. I guess it must have transmitted its racist innuendoes to its acolytes through telepathy. Hell, I didn;t even know the guy in the story was black till Richard pointed it out.

- It's interesting to note that the only 2 bloggers to think that too much was being made out of the Trent Lott remarks were Richard Bennett and Steve Sailer who links to that evil racist GeneXP log

- It's interesting to note that Richard Bennett links to Kolkata Libertarian who is a member of the GeneXP collective

So much for facetious comparisons.

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 13, 2003 04:43 AM


HAHAHA! way to jason, that was hilarious.

ever hear of the old game 6-degrees-of-adnan-khosogi? all international scandals can be linked to the saudi arms dealer.

now richard wants to make 1-degree-of-gene-expression, you link, therefore-u-r-racist :)

whatever.

i was going to get to that jason-richard seems to think if he tears down rushton, we are totally without any support or base. he thinks if rushton is wrong about one (or more) things he is totally discredited. richards attitude to how science must work reminds me of another richard-richard lewontin and his attacks on e.o. wilson's "sloppiness" (wilson preferred to think he had a fertile mind).

Posted by: razib at January 13, 2003 04:56 AM


Whatever my differences with Razib and Jason over such minor matters as the existence of a Supreme Being, whenever somebody like Bennett pops up I'm reminded which side is winning the argument about human biodiversity.

Bennett: The reason why the black illegitimacy rate has worsened faster than that for whites or orientals since WW2 is easy. The same environmental or cultural shift in the USA- loosely, towards "permissiveness"- has impacted more on the tribalistic phenotype of the Negroid (whose living conditions have converged with those of other Americans since desgregation) than on the more civilised phenotypes of Caucasoids and Mongoloids. This disparity is also reflected in the greater propensity to bastardy among less intelligent, working-class whites than among yuppies, whether white, brown or yellow. IQ correlates with class as well as race, and the pretence of classlessness in the States is almost as fatuous as its parade of colour-blindness.

You may not think Phil Rushton's a real scientist (what, like Ashley Montagu or Franz Boas the skull-measurement fiddler?) but he has been a Guggenheim Fellow twice and earned a DSc of London University, not honoris causa but by publication- a very rare distinction. He also has more guts in his little finger than a gaggle of enviro-marxoids possess in their tenured entirety.

Rushton's climatic account of evolved differences between hss's subspecies may be open to question, but not only "scientific racists" think that way. Jared Diamond has another take on the same lines. Ridiculing Rushton as a phrenologist takes no account of the work he and his Western Ontario colleagues have done on MRI scanning and its correlations with IQ, which have confirmed the inspired guesswork of the Galton/Pearson era. We don't dismiss evolution because not every detail of Darwin's fieldwork in the Galapagos was impeccable.

Stop regurgitating Stephen Jay Gould and get with the DNA programme before you dismiss "race" as an intellectual artefact. Or be like the more prudent backtracking leftists and call it "ethnicity", "population group differences" or whatever.

Posted by: WJ Phillips at January 13, 2003 06:41 AM


"The only way to get beyond this morass is to abandon the concept of race entirely. . . If there are no races, then there can't be racial quotas, affirmative action programs, and reparations policies."

I love how Richard throws this one out AFTER Jason points out that:

"Perhaps people like Richard don't believe people are capable of finding this interesting for its own sake because he's a political hack and like all political hacks everything is about Politics"

First he calls Asians a "fictional thing", then it's pointed out to him that genomic scientists are saying otherwise (although the idea of race has always been as legitimate for describing humans as "sub-species" or "breed" has been for describing animals), then all of a sudden it doesn't matter to him if race is true or not, it needs to be discarded to combat those dirty liberals. In Richard's world Truth must always defer to Richard's politics.
Then after attacking race its time to deny IQ, even though any intro to psych book will tell you its legitimate. Then its time for some more of his guilt-by-association- anybody funded by the pioneer fund is scientific racist crank. Even though a lot of good mainstream research is funded by pioneer.

Richard can be as skeptical as he likes about Rushton, as many here are too; it is a scientific fact that race is real, and that it is important part of human existence. Most of us find that interesting and don't deserve slanderous, and frankly hate-filled, insults b/c of it. It is a scientific fact that races, human populations, differ in a broad range of phenotypical traits, and that that is an important part of human existence. Eskimos have different body types than Dinkas. Some races are immune to certain diseases and alone in others. Many have different tolerances of alcohol, milk, etc. Some run faster, some are fatter, some are stronger. All of these differences are fascinating, and they all have implications for their respective populations. There is almost an infinite amount of these differences, and GnXp has every right to be fascinated by, and discuss them. Jon Entine and Sally Satel are two people who do a good job of focusing on some these differences. Here's a sample (from Africana.com, a repository for anti-black propaganda, no doubt):

http://www.africana.com/DailyArticles/index_20010927.htm

In contradistinction to your bogus charge of crossburner, people here care about human differences b/c we care about the human race, and people who care about mankind want to explore it, and know what it is. That is not a shameful thing.

Of course we know what the great controversy is, Richard; we aren't trying to define race out of existence b/c we're afraid that blacks might be more resistant to malarial infection, we're trying to kill the idea that different populations might differ in ability, personality, behavior and aptitude in the crib, before it even has a foundation, aren't we?

Well let me tell you something, people tried to kill sociobiology in the crib too, 26 years ago, and that didn't work either. Ability, personality, behavior, and aptitude all have inherited genetic components. Identical twins raised apart are more similar then fraternal twins raised together. This applies heavily to both personality and intelligence. You cannot deny that personality, intelligence, and behavior are in part inherited, and that it differs between individuals. That said, you can now NOT DENY, that it's a legitimate question to ask whether it can differ in some part between GENETICALLY DISTANT, groups as well.
I think some fairly consistent behavioral and intellectual patterns do exist among the races to warrant a suspicion that this is the case. Do you see the patterns? Well Jared Dioamond did when he wrote Guns, Germs, and Steel to account for these ethno-geographical differences. Cultural realists like Thomas Sowell point out that ethnicities that leave their home of origin bring with them the values, or "cultural capital" of the motherland. Therefore Asians who move to America still transmit many of the values of Asia (hard-work, math skills) to their children, and blacks who move to (or are forcefully brought to) America, still culturally maintain some African modes of behavior (love of rythym, verbal skills). Diamond's theory then adds to this, letting us know that these cultural traits were fostered long ago by geographical contingency at the beginning of sedentary soiciety (regarding the suitability of place for agriculture and domestication), giving some cultures a "head start" over others. Together Diamond and Sowell provide an %100 environmental theory for why the races differ in performance and behavior. (While still others, deny any patterns, or "higher civilizations", exist at all.) Speaking for myself, the consistency of the patterns and the work of many independent researchers (such as Scarr, Gottfredson, Lynn, Jensen, etc.) makes me think that this is not the most parsimonious or plausible explanation. Perhaps you are familiar with the trans-racial adoption studies, the odd cross-cultural coincidences of outcome (Asians have good visual-spatial skills both in and outside of Asia; blacks have better verbal than mathematical intelligence both in and outside of Africa), the head-size data, etc. and are not particularly convinced by anything but a pure environmental explanation. FINE! Does that give you a right to call us bone-headed, crossburning, psuedo-scientific hate-mongers, because we feel otherwise?!!

Give it up Richard, why don't you leave the business of searching out the truths of humanity to people that actually give a good god damn about the nature and reality of man the animal, and you can go back to your boring opinions about what's in the news?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 07:41 AM


Richard,

Do you believe that ancestry (not race, perish the word) is irrelevant to an MD when she takes a patient's medical history with an eye towards administering the patient certain drugs?

Do you think that guilt by association is a rational argument?

(An example of guilt by association would be to charge every anti-Zionist with anti-Semitism. The fact is, a lot of anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic, but there are principled anti-Zionists who are not.)

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 08:14 AM


Richard, Why _are_ Jews smarter than Arabs?

Razib, the local maternal lineages were not just in Europa, but everywhere Jews settled. The conundrum is why Ashkenaz has produced so many brilliant people.

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 08:36 AM


OK, kids, here's an IQ test. Read this passage and tell me if it's racist or not:

The reason why the black illegitimacy rate has worsened faster than that for whites or orientals since WW2 is easy. The same environmental or cultural shift in the USA- loosely, towards "permissiveness"- has impacted more on the tribalistic phenotype of the Negroid (whose living conditions have converged with those of other Americans since desgregation) than on the more civilised phenotypes of Caucasoids and Mongoloids.

Is there such a thing as a "Negroid phenotype"?

If so, what does it consist of, and how does it differ from the so-called Caucasoid and Mongoloid phenotypes? What are the underlying genotypes? What happens then they're interbred?

Does the concept of race have more or less predictive value in terms of individual behavior than the concept of social class?

Are predictions based solely on race more or less valid than predictions based solely on tanning or hair length?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 11:36 AM


Incidentally, you need to add: "resizable=yes" to the OpenComments Javascript for this blog.

Thank you.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 11:37 AM


Richard. The black illegitimacy rate has always been higher than the white rate in the USA. In 1900, in 1950, in 2002.

The rates for all races has been rising, but the black rate went from, in Moyniham's famous report (in 1964), from 25% to the nearly 70% today. The white rate in 1964 was much smaller, and, as you know, is still smaller today (about 20-30%, in my recollection).

No, blacks aren't genetically all that different than they were 50 years ago. But the differences in the illegitimate birth rate continues.

You can argue whether that's genetic or social in origin, but it's dishonest to make the claim you did, and you know it.

David

Posted by: David at January 13, 2003 12:36 PM


Richard, I'll answer your question if you answer mine.

But maybe you don't think of me as a kid, in which case, you'd be right.

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 01:14 PM


"Does the concept of race have more or less predictive value in terms of individual behavior than the concept of social class?"

Interesting you should ask. A-As from SES housholds that earn more than $70,000 annually, perform worse on the SAT than whites from SES household's that earn less than $20,000 annually. And blacks from households that earn more than $50,000 annually, score worse than whites from families that earn less than $6000 annually!

"Are predictions based solely on race more or less valid than predictions based solely on tanning or hair length?"

Yes.

Here is some more food for thought from the refereed journal Intelligence:

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997mainstream.pdf

Mainstream science on Intelligence:

[on measured b-w differences] "Most experts believe that environment is important in pushing the bell curves apart, but that genetics could be involved to"

Richard, YOU are the extremist. GnXp is not. Period.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 01:42 PM


btw everyone, the alpha male, just posted a another GnXp style level-headed response over in Bennett's comment box. Particularly moving is his talk about supporting the one-man, one-vote in South Africa. The people I associate with at GnXp, for the most part, I believe are responsible Humanists. We have honest questions, and we want honest answers.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 01:52 PM


"Are predictions based solely on race more or less valid than predictions based solely on tanning or hair length?"

Yes.

http://www.sallysatelmd.com/html/a-nytimes3.html

Posted by: Jason M. at January 13, 2003 01:59 PM


Since Richard appears to be disinclined to answer my questions, I'll leave them open to anyone else who wishes to give 'em a go.

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 02:33 PM


"Is there such a thing as a "Negroid phenotype"?"

Obviously.

"If so, what does it consist of, and how does it differ from the so-called Caucasoid and Mongoloid phenotypes?"

Geez... different skin color, hair color, hair texture, eye color, blood types, diseases, mental differences, skull shape, bone structure, musculature, ear wax, etc., plus "on average" differences in things like height, weight, fat distribution, IQ, and so forth. This is all off the top of my head, if I looked online for like five minutes I could probably come up with much more.

"What are the underlying genotypes?"

What kind of response do you want to that question, a list of genes? I'm sure it's out there, look it up yourself.

"What happens then they're interbred?"

Then you get a mixture. Have you never met anyone of mixed race before?

"Does the concept of race have more or less predictive value in terms of individual behavior than the concept of social class?"

Well it would depend on what exactly you're trying to predict, now wouldn't it?

"Are predictions based solely on race more or less valid than predictions based solely on tanning or hair length?"

Obviously.

"Incidentally, you need to add: "resizable=yes" to the OpenComments Javascript for this blog."

That must be the first intelligent thing I've heard you say.

Posted by: Oleg at January 13, 2003 04:17 PM


Diana, your questions don't strike me as especially interesting.

It is interesting that nobody's got anything of a critical nature to say to the loon W. J. Phillips about his "Negroid phenotype" with an supercharged sex drive. His comments are the precise reason that the Rushton/Jensen exercise in racial stereotyping is destructive: it forecloses an honest examination of social policy.

If you want to talk about human biodiversity, and not just beat up on black people, you will have to start by discarding any theory that lumps all humans into three large groups. There probably are some meaningful clusters of traits that were influenced by separate development over periods of thousands of years, but they would most likely be tribal traits, and to analyze them you would have to look not at three groups but at three thousand or more. Once you'd digested that data, which doesn't exist, you would then have to look at the various historical patterns of trade, migration, and interbreeding before you could say anything about the extant populations of the United States, Western Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and the various parts of the Far East, as well as Latin America and Africa.

Humans are much more magnificently diverse than any three-race theory can predict, and I suspect all of us who've lived or at least traveled widely know this from our experience, speaking as someone who's lived in three western countries, as well as Libya, India, Malaysia, and Singapore.

It's downright hilarious to read people talking about the "Mongoloids" as a monolith when there's so much diversity in East Asia, where the Chinese are often regarded as a master race among Asians to such a large extent that there are laws limiting Chinese economic activity in Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia. And that construct is a bizarre fantasy when you spend time with the ethnic Chinese of Singapore and listen to them carry on about the various ethnic groups within China and their stereotypes, such as the Fukienese, the Hokkienese, and the Hakkas. But nope, to the disciples of Jensen and Rushton, they're all the same, as are the Pygmies and Watusis of Africa and the inner-city blacks of Detroit.

You can't have science without data, and you can't have science without legitimate, refutable hypotheses. The race theorists have neither, and therefore they don't have a productive discussion.

I'd love to stick around and try and de-program some of you who's swallowed the Sailer/Godless Capitalist (why can't he use his real name?) line on race, but it seems like an awfully time-consuming task, so I'll just sit back and watch you fight among yourselves for a while.

Please don't bore me -- that's all I ask.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 04:31 PM


Diana, your questions don't strike me as especially interesting.

Why, because you cannot answer them without shooting yourself in the foot?

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 05:24 PM


Richard Bennett:
"I'd love to stick around and try and de-program some of you who's swallowed the Sailer/Godless Capitalist (why can't he use his real name?) line on race, but it seems like an awfully time-consuming task..."

You really showed us.

"... so I'll just sit back and watch you fight among yourselves for a while."

When I think of "fighting", I think of people throwing punches or cuss words. When was the last time you saw this on this site? This doesn't happen among anyone who regularly reads/ writes on this blog b/c we prefer to engage in civil debate.

Please don't bore me -- that's all I ask."

If you've been reading this blog for this long, you were probably rarely bored by it so there is no need to worry about that.

Posted by: -R at January 13, 2003 05:29 PM


"Similarly, Semitic Jews and Semitic Arabs belong to the same "race", but everybody knows the Jews are smarter. Why is that?"

Richard, you don't find my questions interesting. How about your own question? Why is that? Why indeed? Please tell us.

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 05:45 PM


Waving the flag of surrender.

So quick...so brutal.

David

Posted by: David at January 13, 2003 05:47 PM


"How about your own question?"

I don't know that it is true, but it's a popular stereotype and I wanted to see if anyone challenged it, which they didn't.

If you think it's true, what's your evidence?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 13, 2003 07:04 PM


Wow, suddenly I've gotten very interesting. :)

In fact, I've puzzled about this very issue myself. I'm not at all sure that Arabs are less intelligent than Jews. The Arabs I've known have been extremely bright, but there's a possibility that I'm encountering a self-selected group of energetic overachievers.

On the other hand, the contribution of Ashkenazi Jews to science (and many other fields, but let's restrict ourselves to science) is all out of proportion to numbers. The amount of extremely high-achievers in science is pretty striking. I'm sure you aware of the cluster of Nobel Laureates educated at City University of NY; all children of Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants.

Admittedly drawing a direct line between this and genes is circumstantial. But you can't have such achievement without the genetic potential.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

I'm also _very_ interested to hear your thoughts on genetic propensity to disease, and the effects of genetic inheritance on reactions to medications.

And, whether or not you think that guilt by association is a rational way to argue a point.

Posted by: Diana at January 13, 2003 07:40 PM


Richard Bennett said "The point, dear ones, is that genetic variation within so-called "races" is more than that between races, so the whole exercise in stereotyping is BS.

"BTW, has science identified even a single allele that's race-specific?"

I read some relevant papers on this in Science within the past several weeks, so I'm happy to answer. King and Motulsky[1] say, referring to Rosenberg et al.[2] among others:

"Previous genetic analyses of human history have consistently suggested that most human genetic variation is due to differences among individuals within populations rather than to differences among populations [citation omitted]. The Rosenberg et al. analysis of many more markers and many more people confirms this result: 93 to 95% of genetic variation is due to genetic differences among individuals who are members of the same population and only 3 to 5% of genetic variation is due to differences among the major population groups.

"The power of the method lies in the construction of clusters on the basis of accumulated small differences in allele frequencies across many markers and many people. Statistical clustering of genotypes--composed of 4682 alleles from 377 markers in 1056 individuals from 52 populations--yields groups corresponding to major geographic regions of the world [citation omitted]. Creation of two clusters reflects ancient human origins in Africa and rapid expansion throughout Eurasia, and migrations to the Americas from East Asia. Creation of five clusters yields groups corresponding to five major geographic regions of the world: Africa, Eurasia (Europe, the Middle East, Central and South Asia), East Asia, Oceania, and America. There is excellent agreement between membership of individuals in these clusters and their self-identified regions of origin. Similar results were obtained by the same statistical approach based on fewer populations and fewer markers [citation omitted].

"Population substructure could be consistently identified within some geographic regions but not others. Within Africa, for example, analysis consistently yielded the same four subclusters: Mbuti Pygmies, Biaka Pygmies, San peoples, and speakers of Niger-Kordofanian languages (Bantu, Yoruba, and Mandenka populations)."

Rosenberg et al.[2] were just as blunt; from their abstract:

"We studied human population structure using genotypes at 377 autosomal microsatellite loci in 1056 individuals from 52 populations. Within-population differences among individuals account for 93 to 95% of genetic variation; differences among major groups constitute only 3 to 5%. Nevertheless, without using prior information about the origins of individuals, we identified six main genetic clusters, five of which correspond to major geographic regions, and subclusters that often correspond to individual populations."

Just to clarify what these clusters mean: in the body of the paper, they say

"Genetic clusters often corresponded closely to predefined regional or population groups or to collections of geographically and linguistically similar populations."

It would appear, Richard, that your statement about variation does not prove what you think it does.

About region-specific alleles, Rosenberg et al. say:

"Only 7.4% of these 4199 alleles were exclusive to one region; region-specific alleles were usually rare, with a median relative frequency of 1.0% in their region of occurrence [footnote omitted]."

They conclude:

"We have found that predefined labels were highly informative about membership in genetic clusters, even for intermediate populations, in which most individuals had similar membership coefficients across clusters. Sizable variation in ancestry within predefined populations was detected only rarely, such as among geographically proximate Middle Eastern groups.

"Thus, for many applications in epidemiology, as well as for assessing individual disease risks, self-reported population ancestry likely provides a suitable proxy for genetic ancestry."

While these references are particularly concerned with disease frequency and treatment outcome, it is hardly arguable that they also provide insight into the existence of what have been classically identified as "human races" -- that being what the referenced "self-reported ancestry" was based upon. One might only disagree at the rist of abandoning science entirely.

I have included conventional citations below, in case you don't have access to Science Online.

[1] Mapping Human History. Mary-Claire King and Arno G. Motulsky; Science 2002 December 20; 298: 2342-2343. (in Perspectives)

[2] Genetic Structure of Human Populations. Noah A. Rosenberg et al.; Science 2002 December 20; 298: 2381-2385.

Posted by: Troy at January 14, 2003 01:28 AM


Hmmm, none of the HTML tags worked. The relevant links are:

King and Motulsky, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/298/5602/2342

Rosenberg et al., http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/298/5602/2381

Hopefully the remainder of the post was readable even without the many tags...

Posted by: Troy at January 14, 2003 01:30 AM


Diane, it's not good science to generalize from the high-achievers in a group down to all the other members, for reasons that are fairly obvious -- the vast majority of every population group doesn't win Nobel Prizes. Also, the clustering of a group of prize winners around a particular neighborhood, school, and time period tends to support an environmental explanation: CCNY's Ashkenazis significantly ouperformed all other Askenazis groups at a particular time, so why is that?

There's a similar statistic about Texans winning the Miss America pageant out of proportion to their numbers. It's probably not the case that Texan women are better looking, but they do have some folks down there who do a bang-up job of preparing their babes for the contest.

Nobel Prize winners are just about exclusively male, but the reasons for that are obvious.

Troy, thanks for proving my point: 95-97% of human variation is independent of race.

It's interesting that the focus of HBD advocates is solely on racial separation, and the co-mingling of people from different parts of the world that's proceeded with increasing speed for the last 200 years doesn't interest them. I wonder why that is.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 07:07 AM


"It's interesting that the focus of HBD advocates is solely on racial separation, and the co-mingling of people from different parts of the world that's proceeded with increasing speed for the last 200 years doesn't interest them. I wonder why that is."

"HBD advocates" are the majority of scientific experts. You're attempt to pigeon-hole us as something obscure or immoral has consistently failed. If you'll look through the archives you'll see that "racial separation" (whatever that is) isn't anything close to what Razib "soley focuses on", he has excellent pieces on archeo-genetics, which involves the merging and splitting of populations. One recent post was about sexy ethnic-mixed girls of Ireland. Ok, now on to Steve Sailer, and his obsession with "racial separation":

"It's at least arguable that the mixing of various European nationalities that has been going on in America for generations, especially since the immigration cutoff of 1924, has been more important than the much more limited mixing of different continental-scale races that began a few decades ago. When you peer closely enough, white Americans just don't look that much like Europeans anymore, apparently due to genetic blending among white Americans."

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/marriage.htm

So much for that straw-man . . .but I'm sure you've got plenty more.
.
"Troy, thanks for proving my point: 95-97% of human variation is independent of race. "

And humans share 99% of their DNA with the chimpanzee; thank you Richard for proving my point that you lack even basic perspective on the human race. Troy was quoting from the study Nick Wade was reporting on. You know the one that verifies the existence of five large world populations clusters (i.e races).

btw Richard, what % of variation would you say is independent of gender? I imagine if the website dealt only with that issue, you wouldn't be acting so hysterical. I wonder why that is? Maybe that idea just interferes less with your Republican political goals.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 08:41 AM


Richard.

As a product of that "intermingling," it interests me greatly. But thanks for going along with the stereotypes existing in your own fevered mind.

The fact of the matter is that while a few people have "intermingled," it remains relatively rare. Even the often mentioned idea that American blacks are "20% white" has been discredited--it's obvious that there's a bimodal population of 50%+ "blacks" mixed in with the large majority of American blacks with little white admixture.

While genetic differences between groups are only 3-5% of the differences between people, it could be that these are the "important" differences. For me, these include things like blacks' pre-disposition to aggressive prostate cancer (something my father hopefully has beaten at the relatively tender age of 53). Now, if doctors treated everyone the same, they might treat him like a white man, and do the "watchful waiting" thing. In which case, we could have watched him to his grave.

Another "little" genetic difference we're well aware of is sickle cell anemia. Another one is cystic fibrosis.

You may dismiss these "little" genetic differences, but they have real effects on medicine and quality of life. I'd prefer that they get researched and quantified. You'd prefer they didn't exist. Too bad we don't live in your cloud-cuckoo land.

David

Posted by: David at January 14, 2003 08:47 AM


[correction] 'Your' attempt to pigeon-hole. . .

"the focus of HBD advocates is solely on racial separation"

Mixed people and populations are extremely interesting. The mixed-populations of Mexico and Latin America ARE of particular interest to HBD (see below/isteve.com).

Also, see Gene Expressor Juan ascaņo.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 08:51 AM


"Diane, it's not good science to generalize from the high-achievers in a group down to all the other members, for reasons that are fairly obvious"....

According to whom? I'm pointing out that there are so many high achievers in one group. The mean IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 117; a full standard deviation higher than any other measured group. That is the case no matter where they are measured, I believe.

It is also the case that A. Jews have produced proportionately more Nobel laureates (or theoretical scientists, whatever your yardstick) than any other group. Is there a relationship between that mean IQ and those high achievers?

"Also, the clustering of a group of prize winners around a particular neighborhood, school, and time period tends to support an environmental explanation: CCNY's Ashkenazis significantly ouperformed all other Askenazis groups at a particular time, so why is that?"

The CCNY is only one of many examples of high achievement of A. Jews. Whereever Ashkenazi Jews have gone since leaving the ghetto, educational standards rise and industries dependent on brainpower take on prominence.

Richard, if you want a good, cheap education for your kids, pull out a map, locate Hymietown, and move there. The public schools will be just fine. (There will also be a lot of Asians, for diversity. The Asians want the best for their kids and know where to go.)

I do agree that environment is important. Without the free institution of CCNY, the Ashkenazi Jewish boys would have had nowhere to go. If the US weren't a free society with great educational institutions and a relative lack of traditional anti-Semitism, these boys would have sold rags like their g-fathers. That much is crucial. I also agree that motivation is a huge factor. The descendants of the immigrant Ashkenazi Jews are not quite as desperate to achieve as their ancestors. It's an interplay of genes and environment.

BTW, Richard, can you please explain why that cluster of CCNY brilliance seems to be limited to Ashkenazi Jews, and not to Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans?

The comparison to Texas babes is ridiculous, and I'll just let it pass.

I agree that maleness and mathematical ability are related (see Benbow, Stanley), if that is what you are saying. It's hard to tell, your words are so distorted by sarcasm and hate.

Finally, I have no problems with racial intermarriage and I believe that we are slowly but surely creating new and exciting racial mixes. The current five-race template (not three, you are behind the curve there) is currently true, but it won't be forever and that's fine with me. I predict a long and prosperous future for homo sapiens, once we get beyond this current unpleasantness with radical Islam (the last of the three great revealed religions to be pulled, kicking and screaming, into modernity) and intelligent persons of all races will be intermarrying. I particularly think that intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews is a great thing, and do not believe that Judaism is threatened by this in the slightest.

Posted by: Diana at January 14, 2003 09:01 AM


Intellectual McCarthyite Richard Bennet has banned Razib from commenting on his blog.

"Have you no shred of decency, sir? Have you no shame?" As Joseph Welch said to Senator McCarthy.

I guess the pressure must really be getting to him.

Posted by: Diana at January 14, 2003 11:19 AM


"We studied human population structure using genotypes at 377 autosomal microsatellite loci in 1056 individuals from 52 populations. Within-population differences among individuals account for 93 to 95% of genetic variation; differences among major groups constitute only 3 to 5%. Nevertheless, without using prior information about the origins of individuals, we identified six main genetic clusters, five of which correspond to major geographic regions, and subclusters that often correspond to individual populations."

These dudes don't say what diferentiates a cluster from a sub-cluser, but they didn't find support for Rushton's three-race theory, nor did they find that race is significant. They also found six races, not five.

I don't dispute that race exists as a fuzzy statistical probability; I simply dispute that it has signficant predictive value for individual behavior.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 11:48 AM


"The comparison to Texas babes is ridiculous, and I'll just let it pass.

I agree that maleness and mathematical ability are related (see Benbow, Stanley), if that is what you are saying. It's hard to tell, your words are so distorted by sarcasm and hate."

One of the things we know about the male and female brains is that males dominate at the extremes of intelligence (there are more male geniuses and male idiots), while females dominate the middle. Given the vagaries of distribution, we can't draw too many conclusions about the whole from studying one of the extremes.

Incidentally, not all biological phenomena have a genetic basis; such things as pre-birth conditions and post-birth diet, nurture, and education actually influence brain size as well as IQ.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 11:53 AM


Richard said: "I'm less permissive than you, Razib. Because you made a libelous statement in your last comment. . .Free Speech doesn't mean I have to provide you with the means to break the law."

Libelous statement?! By paraphrasing YOUR libelous statement? Richard, you are going for the record as the most mean-spirited, oblivious, hypocritical, anti-social person I've come across in a long time.

Just curious, do you think calling someone a "crossburner" is breaking the law too?

On preview:

"I don't dispute that race exists as a fuzzy statistical probability; I simply dispute that it has signficant predictive value for individual behavior."

Wow. Getting more moderate by the second. Now, let me ask you a few questions:

1)Do you think human intellect, behavior, and personality has a genetic component?

2)Does that mean that families could share certain intellectual, behavioral, and personality traits?

3)Are racial groups an extended family that is inbred to some degree?

4)Wouldn't that mean that it is possible for racial groups to share intellectual, behavioral, and personality traits?

5)What evidence convinces you, that (if you have answered "yes" to all of these premises), although it would have been possible for them to differ, all current races are instead EXACTLY equal in intellect, personality, and behavior?

Please respond.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 12:05 PM


1) we don't say there is not environmental, pre-natal or epigenetic factors out there-we simply assert that conventional genetic factors are something that shouldn't be ignored

2) you might not be able to predict individuals based on an average difference that is small-nor should you if you want to presuppose equality before the law-but much of public policy is based on large numbers of people. for instance, if you you see that blacks are 12% of the population and 1% of physics Ph.D.s (I'm not sure of the exact number, but I'm sure it's around 1% if you don't include Indians as black), you have something that requires some attention.

If you believe in an environmental explaination, you have can conclude a few things. If you are a liberal, you'll probably chalk it up to racial discrimination and encourage all sorts of spending on outreach, mentoring and figuring out didactic methods that can inculcate physics into black students so they want to go into graduate studies in that field. If you are a conservative you will probably want to emphasize black cultural influences and social pathologies and recommend some sort of renewal through religion or civil society.

But, if you believe that there is a different of around 1 standard deviation in IQ, and that at least SOME of this is genetic, that the average IQ of blacks will be somewhat lower than whites no matter what steps you take to improve environment, encourage best feeding and the like-than there will always be fewer blacks who are physics Ph.D.s. If you want to solve this issue-you have to look to genetic engineering-which some people have moral qualms with, but might be the only solution if you want a society where races have equal aptitudes AS WELL as opportunities....

Posted by: razib at January 14, 2003 12:08 PM


or more accurately... in statistical DISTRIBUTIONS (caps lock is ugly *sigh*) of intellect, personality, and behavior?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 12:11 PM


" If you want to solve this issue-you have to look to genetic engineering-which some people have moral qualms with, but might be the only solution if you want a society where races have equal aptitudes AS WELL as opportunities...."

I don't want to solve it, and I don't believe that equal outcomes are a legitimate goal of public policy.

But you do have a point, in a round-about way. Charles Murray wrote The Bell Curve out of frustration over the fact that the social programs he had designed didn't successfully lift black Americans out of poverty; it's his excuse for failure. Meanwhile, others conceived of modifications to the welfare system that made it more effective. So rather than making excuses, like Murray, I'm on the social engineering bandwagon that wants programs to be effective.

And I don't support eugenics, or "genetic engineering" as you call it.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 12:41 PM


"3)Are racial groups an extended family that is inbred to some degree?"

No, Jason they aren't; modern families typically include people who wouldn't have met in the dark past of 40,000 years ago when Rushton's races were formed, and in between family and race lie several layers of aggregation.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 02:04 PM


"I don't dispute that race exists as a fuzzy statistical probability; I simply dispute that it has signficant predictive value for individual behavior."

Nice use of the word "behavior"--indicating that all human actions are conscious and willful. Substitute the word "reactions" for behavior and things change.

Any predictive value on reactions to certain drug dosages? Think this is a trivial and "uninteresting" question?

If so, it's only because you have a job where the main task is shooting the shit, and not being responsible for human lives, as an MD is. Any MD who doesn't take into account the "fuzzy statistical probabilities" inherent in ethnic origin ought to have their MD's license pulled.

BTW Richard, isn't is just plain bad faith for you to be commenting on the blog of someone who ISP you banned from your own?

Posted by: Diana at January 14, 2003 02:07 PM


Check the trackback:

http://www.bennett.com/archives/week_2003_01_12.html#001285

Amazing.

Posted by: Franco at January 14, 2003 02:34 PM


ATTENTION EVERYBODY:

I think this conversation has been too important to keep in this archived little comment box, so I created a thread with all the text copied over to Razib's newly created message boards. I think it would be cool if people could register in, and the conversation could continue over there instead.

Here's a link to the boards:

http://www.gnxp.com/gnxp_board/index.php

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 02:56 PM


I've unblocked Razib from my blog, but if he makes any more obscene remarks there, I'll ban him again permanently.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 14, 2003 04:19 PM


I guess Razib extracted his penis from his brain, or whatever.

Posted by: Diana at January 14, 2003 05:42 PM


Richard commented to Razib on GnXp (unprovoked!!):

"Please try to get your penis out of your brain."

(not to mention calls us cross-burners)

Razib commented to Richard on Richards blog:

"i have a pretty high tolerance of attacks directed at me-as you might have noticed since you told me take my penis out of my mouth on my own blog"

Richard bans Razib for this and implicitly threatens criminal suit!:

"I'm less permissive than you, Razib. Because you made a libelous statement in your last comment (which I've corrected), you're banned from posting comments on this site.

Free Speech doesn't mean I have to provide you with the means to break the law."

And then accuses Razib of obscenity!:

"I've unblocked Razib from my blog, but if he makes any more obscene remarks there, I'll ban him again permanently."

This is no ordinary hypocrite.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 14, 2003 07:10 PM


Richard commented to Razib on GnXp (unprovoked!!):

"Please try to get your penis out of your brain."

(not to mention calls us cross-burners)

Razib commented to Richard on Richards blog:

"i have a pretty high tolerance of attacks directed at me-as you might have noticed since you told me take my penis out of my mouth on my own blog"


Hey, Richard why is it OK for you to use the word 'penis' on Razib's blog yet no one is allowed to use it or, for that matter, even state correctly that you used used the term previously on your blog?

I realize asking an extremist like Richard a logical question gets one nowhere but I couldn't resist...

Posted by: -R at January 14, 2003 07:27 PM


I put the following comment on Omphalos:

LOL! What? You've banned Razib after one comment while you've put half a dozen on his blog???

"Have you no shred of decency, sir? Have you no shame?"

Of course, you know where _that_ quote is from!

(I have responded to your weak objections to my post about Ashkenazi Jews and HBC on Razib's blog, and I look forward to reading your responses, which I am sure Razib will allow.)

For those of you too young to know, the quote is from an exchange between an attorney named Joseph Welch and Senator Joseph McCarthy. Welch directed the questions to McCarthy. I think the comparison quite apt.

Posted by: Diana at January 14, 2003 07:55 PM


"Hey, Richard why is it OK for you to use the word 'penis' on Razib's blog yet no one is allowed to use it or, for that matter, even state correctly that you used used the term previously on your blog?"

I banned him for claiming I said something I didn't say, not for using the word "penis".

I hope that clears things up for you, -R.

(Why is it that you people are afraid to use your real names? You can't be an Alpha Male in disguise, you know?)

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 01:51 AM


"I banned him for claiming I said something I didn't say, not for using the word "penis"."

Richard said:"I've unblocked Razib from my blog, but if he makes any more obscene remarks there, I'll ban him again permanently."

Richard, don't you ever get tired of making it all up as you go along?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 15, 2003 02:12 AM


"Why is it that you people are afraid to use your real names?"

First, if you'll check the rest of he Internet (slashdot, memepool, etc.)you'll see that pseudonyms are the rule instead of the exception.
Second, thanks to the racism sensationalists who perpetuate a climate of fear and suspicion, honest discussion is kept stifled under the threat of social and occupational consequences.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 15, 2003 02:26 AM


Discussing the inferiority of the "Negroid Phenotype" under a false name is the equivalent of doing the same in the flesh from the safe confines of a hood and white sheet. If your ideas are so all-fired scientific, you shouldn't be ashamed of them.

Incidentally, Jason, the statement Razib claimed I made (which is not quoted correctly above) was both libelous and obscene. But I can understand why you'd rather talk about that than about the wisdom of your hoped-for eugenics program, of course.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 02:33 AM


aha - i get it now - the distinction that Bennett is trying to make. Telling someone to get their penis out of their *mouth* is forbidden in Bennettland, because Bennett thinks that fellatio (in this case auto-fellatio) is a dirty act. After all, those damned barebacking homosexuals and non-missionary-position enjoying straight couples...they're bound straight for HELL, you know.

But telling someone to get their penis out of their *brain*...why, that's just a colorful figure of speech. Not in the least obscene.

In Bennettland, that is. Where not p = p and gravity is a liberal fiction to keep us all pinned to the earth.


(Of course, how would you enter your brain with your penis if not through the mouth? perhaps through the ear? logistical difficulties, richard, logistics...)

Posted by: rollseyesheavenward at January 15, 2003 03:47 AM


Claiming someone said something they didn't say is objectionable where I come from -- we call it "lying", and we find a lot of that sort of thing in the works of Dr. Rushton.

Any more questions?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 04:15 AM


Richard said: "Jason claims this link proves something about race . . . .
It's an ad for air trips to the Bahamas.
You're going to have to do better than that, cross-burners."

So I burn crosses, then? Wouldn't that be a lie, too? Or do you have some sort of creative excuse for yourself? . . .yeah, it figures.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 15, 2003 06:53 AM


Sorry I wasn't paying attention, what was "the statement Razib claimed I made (which is not quoted correctly above)" that was "both libelous and obscene."?

"But I can understand why you'd rather talk about that than about the wisdom of your hoped-for eugenics program, of course."

Actually the most effective social engineering program would be to destroy all the social welfare programs, otherwise known as income redistribution programs, that disproportionately support African-Americans. Get rid of them and I wonder what would happen to their birthrate. Care to answer that, Richard?

Why do you keep ignoring my and David's question about drug dosages and ethnicity?

Posted by: Diana at January 15, 2003 07:06 AM


I've often thought that the old welfare system, the one that created all the single parent households through the "man-out-of-the-house" rule, had a genocidal intent. Welfare itself doesn't have to be eliminated, only the perverse incentives, and that was largely done by the Ron Haskins welfare reform of 1996.

As to drug doses, they're an individual issue and should always be monitored. I'd prefer for my doctor to check my blood pressure instead of assuming that it's the statistical average for people of my phenotype.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 10:37 AM


Richard.

You can find my real name easily enough. Both GC (the "O.G.") and Razib discovered it promptly. Probably took them all of 5 minutes. Razib even managed to find a photograph of me (it's fun having a stalker:).

If you'd like I'll email it to you privately. I don't broadcast it on here because I don't care to have weird spam (the yahoo account I provide is there to help take care of the Nigerian scammers, etc). Nor do I necessarily desire that everybody knows my street address, phone number, voting records, etc, which are also widely available and accessible to anyone who cares to spend about 5 minutes of their time.

You're a tech guy. It'll probably take you less than 5 minutes if you cared to "discover" my true identity.

Regarding drugs. Your doctor should take your individual BP, sure. But, you're white....therefore, if it's high, it would PROBABLY be more beneficial to start you on beta-blockers/ACE inhibitors. Then move to diuretics etc, if those don't work. For blacks, it's the opposite.

If your doctor didn't care, I hope you don't have a stroke in the interim before you switch drugs.

Of course some blacks will respond to ACE inhibitors and some whites will respond to diuretics. But shouldn't you start on the one most likely to work?

In the future, we might all have our genotypes recorded, so we'll know which drug to use in advance. We're not at that point, so we use cruder methods, like racial classification and probabilities.

Why is that so hard to understand?

David

Posted by: David at January 15, 2003 12:38 PM


"Of course some blacks will respond to ACE inhibitors and some whites will respond to diuretics. But shouldn't you start on the one most likely to work?"

Your analysis of which drug is more likely to work is simplistic and medically wrong. Beta blockers are indicated when high blood pressure exists in combination with prostate enlargement, not as a racial matter. Now it might happen that blacks have a higher incidence of high blood pressure without prostate enlargment than whites, but the issue is really the combination of symptoms, not the race.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 01:33 PM


Really Richard?

Hypertension has nothing to do with prostate enlargement. I challenge you to find any real medical journal article making that claim.

Try this:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20001201/2453.html

Bucindolol
Bucindolol (Bextra) is a nonselective beta-blocking agent with mild vasodilating properties. ...There also appears to have been a differential race effect, with treatment benefit occurring in nonblacks but no benefit and even potential harm occurring in black patients.

Or this:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/344/18/1358

"The benefits of [ACE] inhibitors and beta-blockers may be smaller in black patients than in patients of other races...."

Do you do ANY research? Or do you just spout excrement and hope it sticks, like your cross-burning comment.

Don't make me hit you with a clue by four.

David

Posted by: David at January 15, 2003 01:46 PM


To make it easier on poor Dick, here's a link to a search page in the New England Journal of Medicine, THE journal for American medical research:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/search?qbe=nejm;344/18/1358&journalcode=nejm&minscore=5000

Here's a sampling of the titles:

"Racial Differences in the Response to Drugs--Pointers to Genetic Differences"

"Racial Differences in the Outcome of Left Ventricular Dysfunction"

"Lesser Response to [ACE] Inhibitor Therapy in Black as Compared with White Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction"

"Racial Variation in the Use of Coronary-Revascularization Procedures--Are the Differences Real? Do They Matter?"

"Race and Responsiveness to Drugs for Heart Failure"

Get the picture?

David

Posted by: David at January 15, 2003 02:15 PM


High blood pressure is age-related, and so is prostate enlargement. People who have both are typically prescribed beta blockers because they treat both ailments.

Beta blockers have to be titrated, because the effective level for any given patient can be anywhere from 1mg to 20mg, so this is a highly variable therapy to begin with.

If a black patient suffers from both hypertension and prostate, his doctor should give him Hytrin, same as he would a white guy, and titrate the dosage, same as he would for a white guy.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 04:55 PM


Richard. So what?

If you have both, you might start off on a beta-blocker, whatever race. However, after a few months, it's more likely your hypertension doesn't respond if you're black.

You don't automatically have prostate enlargement and hypertension at the same time, especially if you're say...female.

If you JUST have hypertension as was the point in my original post--or any other number of cardiovascular maladies, your race makes a difference as to what drugs you're more likely to respond to. Your prostate comment was just out of left field. And of course you ignored diuretics and ACE inhibitors.

Admit you're wrong, Richard. I'll still respect you in the morning.

David

Posted by: David at January 15, 2003 05:12 PM


Richard Bennet:
"Your analysis of which drug is more likely to work is simplistic and medically wrong. Beta blockers are indicated when high blood pressure exists in combination with prostate enlargement, not as a racial matter. Now it might happen that blacks have a higher incidence of high blood pressure without prostate enlargment than whites, but the issue is really the combination of symptoms, not the race."

A good doctor will be able to treat patients after assessing what sypmtoms and signs they manifest. A great doctor will not only be able to do this but utilize outside factors like race, ethnicity etc.. among others to optimize care.

Please note:
Marked variations in disease occurrence and survival exist among different subgroups of the US population. Some of these are attributable to demographic and social factors such as age, gender, race/ ethnicity, sexual orientation, geographic location, and socioeconomic status (SES). Although physicians have limited ability to influence these characterisitics, it is important to recognize the role of these factors, access to health care, and compliance with recommended preventive and therapeutic regimens, all of which can influence disease etiology and prognosis."

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 14th ed., Chapter 4, page 14

Harrison's is the DEFINITIVE teaching text for the entire field of Internal Medicine. How many doctors have you taught medicine to?

Let's continue your education:
"There are numerous examples of differences in the risk, incidence and expression of disease across ethnic groups: sickle cell anemia and other hemoglobinopathies are found almost exclusively in persons of African, Arabic, Indian, Greek, and Italian ancestry; the age- adjusted prevalence of hypertension in African- Americans is two to four times that of whites (with the highest rates in black women); the prevalence of non- insulin diabetes mellitus is approximately twice as high in African- Americans and Native Americans as in whites; the age- adjusted mortality rate for stroke and sudden death are higher in blacks than in whites; the rates for symptomatic coronary artery disease are higher in black than in white women; the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis are approximately twice as high in blacks as in whites; osteoporosis and vertebral fractures occur more frequently in women than in men and in white than in black women; ankylosing spndylitis and reiter's syndrome are more common in whites."

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 14th ed., Chapter 4, page 14-15.

A doctor who doesn't consider race for many conditions is not providing optimal care and is risking malpractice. No one is suggesting that race is the only factor to consider when assessing patients. But, even when there is also a strong environmental component (like in TB) that can explain some of those differences, there is likely to be a probable genetic etiology that contributes (for example, blacks almost never get osteoporosis because they have much more osteoblasts and thicker bones than whites or Asians).

You did a service to your patients by not becoming one if you aren't prepared to optimize their care due to your absurd, non- orthodox and potentially harmful views on the racial aspects to health care (and again, no, I'm not suggesting and nor is anyone else that race is the only outside factor to consider so don't misrepresent me).

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 06:49 PM


Richard Bennett:
"If a black patient suffers from both hypertension and prostate, his doctor should give him Hytrin, same as he would a white guy, and titrate the dosage, same as he would for a white guy."

Just because you know what Hytrin is doesn't mean you know much else about pharmacotherapy.

Richard Bennett:
"Beta blockers have to be titrated, because the effective level for any given patient can be anywhere from 1mg to 20mg, so this is a highly variable therapy to begin with."

Yeah, this dose might be applicable for some B- Blockers or for many B blockers in patients who have renal and- or kidney failure and can't properly metabolize the medication. But for some B blockers, this is way too low a dose to start with.

Let's continue your education:
I will use the generic names of the B blockers for this discussion.

acebutolol- start 400 mg po qd (means once a day, BID means twwice a day, tid means three times a day) or 200 mg po bid


labetalol- start 100mg po bid, max 2400 mg/ day

metoprolol- start 25-50 mg po bid, max 450 mg/ day

propranolol- start 20- 40 mg po bid, max 640 mg/ day

timolol- start 10 mg po bid, max 60 mg/ day.

Info comes from Terascon Pocket Pharmacopaeia 2000. p. 30.

Stop commenting on stuff you don't know enough about to comment on.

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 07:06 PM


"You did a service to your patients by not becoming one ..."

replace 'one' with 'a doctor'

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 07:08 PM


Thanks to the white-sheeted -R for proving my point about the need to titrate beta blockers - the range typically runs about 15 to 1.

The point that you boys (I'm guessing you're boys under your hoods) are missing it that race doesn't determine the reaction of a given person to a given medicine - it may be a convenient marker, but it's really the individual's DNA that makes this distinction (as well as lifestyle, diet, occupational stress, etc.). When doctors have DNA maps of their patients, race and ethnicity won't be used to provide theme with clues about what diseases to look for and what dosage levels to start with.

Inheritence is individual, not racial.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 07:31 PM


Richard Bennet:
"Thanks to the white-sheeted -R for proving my point about the need to titrate beta blockers - the range typically runs about 15 to 1."

Your point was what the effective starting dose of Beta Blockers were, and that therapy is often started on Beta Blockers at doses well over 20mg a day.

That is why Richard Bennet wrote: "...because the effective level for any given patient can be anywhere from 1mg to 20mg, so this is a highly variable therapy to begin with."

I responded by using medical text to prove my point. Richard Bennett respponded by accusing me of wearing a white sheet like the KKK.

Everyone: THIS IS THE ILLOGICAL THOUGHT PROCESS OF AN EXTREMIST.

Extremists don't refute the other guy's argument, they just pretend they didn't argue the point they've been intellectually "schooled" on and attack the other guy's credibility because they dare to disagree with the extremist.

Richard Bennett:
"The point that you boys (I'm guessing you're boys under your hoods) are missing it that race doesn't determine the reaction of a given person to a given medicine - it may be a convenient marker, but it's really the individual's DNA that makes this distinction (as well as lifestyle, diet, occupational stress, etc.). When doctors have DNA maps of their patients, race and ethnicity won't be used to provide theme with clues about what diseases to look for and what dosage levels to start with."

I quote directly from the text of one the most highly regarded scientific texts in the world to buttress my point. You respond by not providing any evidence to show why that text (Harrison's) is wrong but your own opinion after you slander me by comparing me to the KKK. Extremist thought process at work.

Richard, I realize by your writing that you harbor a petty side and an obvious quick temper like most extremists, but this is a forum that values logical thinking over emotion laden rhetoric. You have your own forum to dispense your illogical thinking. I have no need to resort to the UNJUSTIFIED and UNSUBSTANTIATED level of personal insults you need to use to argue a case. In fact, your own writing makes most of my points for me.

When you start substantiating your rebuttals better (i.e. stop using yourself as the ultimate reference for one thing when someone's using scientific text) and stop accusing others of racism just because they disagree with you, maybe you'll get someone who reads your own blog to corroborate your points when you're outside of it.

Has anyone noticed nobody's stepped forward to back Richard up on this blog?

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 08:41 PM


Razib, Richard has provided and is providing great amusement for the time being. Many are also learning from the education he is receiving here. However, he has been shown to be an extremist, hypocrit, and a petty insult thrower. For all these BUT especially the latter, you should consider banning his ISP when this thread dies. His role will no longer be needed on this blog.

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 08:52 PM


Bennett is a waste of oxygen.

Posted by: iagreewithr at January 15, 2003 11:35 PM


I'm going to answer Diana and Dave's question since Richard can't and won't:

The following is a list of abstracts from peer reviewed journals regarding the role of race in tx'ing and dx'ing patients.

There were some fascinating recommendations on cardiac meds and the role of race. Many (but not all) of the studies I came across focused on the need to consider race especially with regard to blacks. My comments precede the abstracts, which are interesting to read also.

For those of you who want to test out many possible drugs on your patients without regard to race until you find the appropriate combination that suits your individual pt, listen to Richard- because I'm sure he's trained as many Doctors as the authors of Harrison's Principles of Int Medicine and treated as many patients as Freud. I'm sure black HTN pts will appreciate trying out various B blockers for blood pressure control instead of their MD looking at the literature and first prescribing a Ca Ch blocker or diuretic.

For those of you who want to get a short glimpse into how the peer reviewed scientific process transformed medicine in America into the best in the world, here it is:

1)Author suggest differences in HSL signalling pathway may contribute to adipose tissue deposition differences between black/ white women.

Metabolism 2002 Nov;51(11):1514-8

Differences in the lipolytic function of adipose tissue preparations from Black American and Caucasian women.

Barakat H, Hickner RC, Privette J, Bower J, Hao E, Udupi V, Green A, Pories W, MacDonald K.

Department of Biochemistry, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.

The purpose of this study was to determine the potential causes of the lower lipolytic rates in obese Black American women compared to obese Caucasian women. Subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue were obtained from subjects during abdominal surgery, and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) mass, mRNA, and activity were determined. HSL mRNA levels did not differ between the Black American and Caucasian women in either subcutaneous or omental adipose tissue. However, HSL mass was approximately 35% lower (P

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 11:48 PM


(cont'd)

4)Author finds vasodilator response to methacholine is much less in blacks than whites. Suggests vascular biological differences between races.

Hypertension 2002 Aug;40(2):195-201

Effects of black race on forearm resistance vessel function.

Kahn DF, Duffy SJ, Tomasian D, Holbrook M, Rescorl L, Russell J, Gokce N, Loscalzo J, Vita JA.

Evans Department of Medicine and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass, USA.

Presentation, response to therapy, and clinical outcome in hypertension differ according to race, and these observations could relate to differences in microvascular function. We examined forearm microvascular function in age-matched black (n=56) and white subjects (n=62) using intra-arterial agonist infusion and venous occlusion plethysmography. In normotensive subjects (n=70; 34 black and 36 white normotensives), methacholine-, sodium nitroprusside-, and verapamil-induced vasodilation was equivalent in black and white subjects. In hypertensive subjects (n=48; 22 black and 26 white hypertensives), the vasodilator response to methacholine was markedly lower in black subjects compared with white subjects (P

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 11:48 PM


(cont'd)

9) Author suggests L- arginine tx may be beneficial for some black patients compared to whites in those with microvascular endothelial dysfxn.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2002 Apr 17;39(8):1314-22

The presence of African American race predicts improvement in coronary endothelial function after supplementary L-arginine.

Houghton JL, Philbin EF, Strogatz DS, Torosoff MT, Fein SA, Kuhner PA, Smith VE, Carr AA.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York 12208, USA. Houghtj@mail.amc.edu

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of our study was to determine if the presence of African American ethnicity modulates improvement in coronary vascular endothelial function after supplementary L-arginine. BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction is an early stage in the development of coronary atherosclerosis and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and cardiomyopathy. Amelioration of endothelial dysfunction has been demonstrated in patients with established coronary atherosclerosis or with risk factors in response to infusion of L-arginine, the precursor of nitric oxide. Racial and gender patterns in L-arginine responsiveness have not, heretofore, been studied. METHODS: Invasive testing of coronary artery and microvascular reactivity in response to graded intracoronary infusions of acetylcholine (ACh) +/- L-arginine was carried out in 33 matched pairs of African American and white subjects with no angiographic coronary artery disease. Pairs were matched for age, gender, indexed left ventricular mass, body mass index and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. RESULTS: In addition to the matching parameters, there were no significant differences in peak coronary blood flow (CBF) response to intracoronary adenosine or in the peak CBF response to ACh before L-arginine infusion. However, absolute percentile improvement in CBF response to ACh infusion after L-arginine, as compared with before, was significantly greater among African Americans as a group (45 +/- 10% vs. 4 +/- 6%, p = 0.0016) and after partitioning by gender. The mechanism of this increase was mediated through further reduction in coronary microvascular resistance. L-arginine infusion also resulted in greater epicardial dilator response after ACh among African Americans. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that intracoronary infusion of L-arginine provides significantly greater augmentation of endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in those of African American ethnicity when compared with matched white subjects drawn from a cohort electively referred for coronary angiography. Our findings suggest that there are target populations in which supplementary L-arginine may be of therapeutic benefit in the amelioration of microvascular endothelial dysfunction. In view of the excess prevalence of cardiomyopathy among African Americans, pharmacologic correction of microcirculatory endothelial dysfunction in this group is an important area of further investigation and may ultimately prove to be clinically indicated.

10) Author finds blacks have enhaced response to subling NTG (important agent for cardiology).

Hypertension 2001 Dec 1;38(6):1349-54

Effects of race and hypertension on flow-mediated and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation of the brachial artery.

Gokce N, Holbrook M, Duffy SJ, Demissie S, Cupples LA, Biegelsen E, Keaney JF Jr, Loscalzo J, Vita JA.

Evans Department of Medicine, Cardiology Section and Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, MA, USA.

Black Americans have increased morbidity and mortality rates from cardiovascular disease, greater prevalence of hypertension, and altered responses to vasodilator medications compared with those of white Americans. Hypertension and black race have been linked to impaired vascular function in the microcirculation. To examine these effects and their interaction in the conduit vasculature, we examined vasomotor responses of the brachial artery by using high-resolution vascular ultrasound in 228 subjects (48% hypertensive, 54% black). Subjects had no history of diabetes mellitus and were matched for age and gender. Flow-mediated dilation (8.5+/-5.3% versus 11.7+/-6.3%, P or =65 years, black patients, and urban dwellers. However, the proportion of PRSP cases was higher among white persons (10%) than it was among black persons (5%) and among residents of suburban counties (10%) versus urban counties (6%). PRSP cases were more common in November-April (8%) than they were in May-October (5%), particularly for persons aged > or =65 years (10% vs. 1%). By use of logistic regression, white race, suburban residence, and winter respiratory season were found to be independent predictors of infection with PRSP. The incidence of PRSP is increasing in Baltimore, and the seasonality of PRSP suggests that recent antibiotic use, which is more common in winter months, may rapidly affect the prevalence of resistant pneumococcal infections.

Posted by: -R at January 15, 2003 11:48 PM


The anonymous -R uses spam as a method of argument. This is novel.

Upstream, I should have said the effective dose of the popular beta blocker *Hytrin* is 1-20mg.

Now back to our regularly-scheduled irrelevancies.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 12:37 AM


Let me repeat the point that the anonymous -R tries to hide under his spamming:

"The point that you boys (I'm guessing you're boys under your hoods) are missing it that race doesn't determine the reaction of a given person to a given medicine - it may be a convenient marker, but it's really the individual's DNA that makes this distinction (as well as lifestyle, diet, occupational stress, etc.). When doctors have DNA maps of their patients, race and ethnicity won't be used to provide theme with clues about what diseases to look for and what dosage levels to start with."

The various studies provided by the spammer don't contradict this, they simply show instances in which the shorthand is convenient.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 12:43 AM


Richard Bennett:
"The anonymous -R uses spam as a method of argument. This is novel."

Fascinating. You consider me meticulously citing from established scientific texts and commenting on those texts as 'spam'. No wonder you consider citing yourself in response to this as effective rebuttal.

"Upstream, I should have said the effective dose of the popular beta blocker *Hytrin* is 1-20mg."

Well, I accept your admission of error. In fact, I want to admit something too. I was wrong, Richard. Very wrong...


You see...

I ACTUALLY THOUGHT YOU KNEW WHAT HYTRIN WAS!!!!

Hytrin is an alpha adrenergic blocking medication. Trade name- terazosin. It produces competitive block of alpha 1 adrenoceptors. They decrease peripheral vascular resistance and lower arterial blood pressure by causing relaxation of both arterial and venous smooth muscle. These drugs cause only minimal changes in cardiac output, renal blood flow, and glomerular filtration rate. Not only is it not a B blocker, but real live bblockers (like atenolol) may be necessary to blunt the short term effect of reflex tachycardia.

I didn't cite the pharmacological text this came from since you don't seem interested but don't make me do that and humiliate you further.

"Now back to our regularly-scheduled irrelevancies."

Actually, I can't take all the blame for this (mis) education. Clearly, Razib, Jason M, David, duende, and Diana have not been effective either in directing your studies.

Posted by: -R at January 16, 2003 12:59 AM


Richard Bennett:
"Let me repeat the point that the anonymous -R tries to hide under his spamming..."

Anybody who considers citing and commenting from established scientific text to refute the positions of someone who has no experience in treating or researching medical matters as 'spam' has no idea how the scientific process in America works.

"The point that you boys (I'm guessing you're boys under your hoods) are missing it that race doesn't determine the reaction of a given person to a given medicine - it may be a convenient marker, but it's really the individual's DNA that makes this distinction (as well as lifestyle, diet, occupational stress, etc.). When doctors have DNA maps of their patients, race and ethnicity won't be used to provide theme with clues about what diseases to look for and what dosage levels to start with."

I have no problem thinking that race is one of many factors that could play a role in medicine. I have no problem thinking DNA maps might one day be extraordinarily useful for treating patients.

"The various studies provided by the spammer don't contradict this, they simply show instances in which the shorthand is convenient."

Everyone, this is nonsense. The many cases I cited absolutely contradict Richard's positions. There is no way he can get around this no matter how hard he tries to interpret those results compared to his stance. Read my posts, see for yourself what real experts have to say about racial differences with regard to HTN, Hep C, adipose tissue deposition, alcohol ingestion, chemotherapy...etc.

You can believe Richard or people who spend their lives studying this stuff.

Proud to be Richard's type of spammer.

Posted by: -R at January 16, 2003 01:12 AM


So you're now arguing, Minus, that race exists as an independent variable from DNA, as does, say, sexual orientation, social class, or suburban residence?

That's a novel definition of race, and one that doesn't seem to square with your assertion that race is a biological fact.

Perhaps you can explain.

And by the way, the alpha blocker Hytrin is prescribed for hypertension to people of many different colors and penis lengths.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 02:34 AM


Bennett:
"So you're now arguing, Minus, that race exists as an independent variable from DNA, as does, say, sexual orientation, social class, or suburban residence?"

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

"That's a novel definition of race, and one that doesn't seem to square with your assertion that race is a biological fact."

I have no idea what you definition you think I've been arguing for or how you came to whatever conclusion you are coming to here.

"Perhaps you can explain."

I'm the one who needs an explanation.

"And by the way, the alpha blocker Hytrin is prescribed for hypertension to people of many different colors and penis lengths."

It's easy to get the question right after so many attempts if someone gives you the correct answer.

Posted by: -R at January 16, 2003 08:02 AM


Richard.

1) You make the same point I do. Until individuals' DNA sequences are used, doctors will have to rely on cruder guesses at your genetic makeup. This cruder guess is your family history and RACE.

2) As to being a "boy" under a white sheet. Well, it depends on your definition of "boy." If you're a Southerner, you might call me "boy" because I'm "colored," no matter my age. If you're old, you might call "boy," as in "sonny-boy." But maybe, you're just an asshole who resorts to ad hominems when he can't defend his ridiculous assertions like announcing a link between prostate enlargement and hypertension.

3) Do you enjoy beating your wife? See how that works? Some "assertions" don't get answered because they're just cheap shots.

You refuse to recognize simple medical realities. I've met your kind before, like my co-worker who simply refused to believe that blacks might be imprisoned at higher rates maybe...just maybe because they commit more crimes in America (for whatever reason).

How's the weather up there in cloud-cuckoo land?

David

Posted by: David at January 16, 2003 08:50 AM


Minus, David grasps my point about the role of race in medicine:

"You make the same point I do. Until individuals' DNA sequences are used, doctors will have to rely on cruder guesses at your genetic makeup. This cruder guess is your family history and RACE."

The key concept is "crude guess".

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 10:13 AM


But race also exerts an influence on the medical condition that's independent of genetics, in much the same way that sexual orientation, social class, and suburban residence do (and your textbook says these are all factors in etiology and epidemiology).

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 10:14 AM