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January 15, 2003

Stand up and be counted

After all the controversy these past few days, I decided to take stock, and note what the ethnicities of the people who have accounts on this blog are. Of the people that are active in posting or moderating, you have two brown guys (Suman is a Hindu Bengali and I am a Muslim one, though we are both atheists), duende & Jason M. are Irish-American, while David is 1/4 African-American and I know some of the rest is German. Jason Soon is Chinese Malaysian by origin, Australian by nationality. Of people with accounts that haven't been active there's one brown guy (Christian by origin, not religious), two Scots, a Jew and a white guy who's ethnicity (and name) I don't know.

We could make some bizarre satire about a race-hatred group that can't figure out who to hate because we include too many types of people.

Posted by razib at 01:51 AM




So the idea is that only WASPs can be racist?

That's not really a novel concept, since many of the radical left have advanced it for years, and it's not at all accurate, as anyone who's familiar with the Indian caste system knows full well.

Racism is a global phenomenon, and it's probably much more advanced overseas than it is in the United States, where we have at least come far enough to know that it's impolite.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 02:40 AM


Richard, you don't know any of us. If you want to argue that we're muddleheaded that's fine. But you still seem stuck with the idea that people who in good faith accept the possibility of a genetic component to racial differences that go beyond sporting ability are racist, whereas to me not accepting that this is a possibility leaves me with the unpalatable options of either being a Cartesian or a 100% environmentalist.

I think Razib's point about our different backgrounds is relevant because it may well be that the reason Razib and I don't read so much 'code' into these debates the way you do is the lack of lived context in Jim Crow south and all that. Whereas to you any reference to these matters can seem like highly charged code for 'a lynchin' and past hysterias about 'coloreds' for me it is a purely intellectual debate (I can't speak for anyone else). I don't bear blacks any ill will, in fact I don't know any (aside from a lecturer in law school who was from Nigeria), I have as little regard for inbred Aryan Nation types as you do and I have a kick-ass jazz and blues collection.

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 15, 2003 03:02 AM


I should add in case Richard think I live in some lilly white neighbourhood (well I suppose I do)that I don't know any blacks because I'm in Australia. I'm as far removed from all this 'code' you're reading into these things as possible.

As for Aborigines, well, unfortunately the white settlers killed most of them except for those left in the bush.

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 15, 2003 03:05 AM


It can be argued that there aren't enough afro-americans blogging here... and that they are being race-bashed the most over here... i don't wanna start a flame-fest with jason soon (or anyone else for that matter).. just want to make a point that i think is relevant... i'm trying to point out a weakness in your argument...

Posted by: amadeus at January 15, 2003 03:29 AM


What's your opinion of the Bumiputras, Jason -- do you find them lazy and stupid, or do you feel they've been exploited by the British and their agents, the Malaysian Chinese? Is the affirmative action that's practiced in Malaysia warranted for them?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 04:20 AM


well, Richard you certainly have an inflammatory way of putting things that some of the more immoderate posters on this blog can only sometimes match (Godless and Razib talk about statistical averages in performance of psychometric tests). As a matter of fact, one prominent Malaysian to advance the theory that Malays are congenitally 'stupid and lazy' compared to Chinese and therefore warranted affirmative action because they developed in friendlier climes was none other the prominent Malaysian nationalist and current PM Mahathir. As for me, as I have suggested in past posts, I admit the *possibility* of a genetic component to persistent measured differences (is admitting a possibility really enough to justify consignment to hood wearer territory? what does Steven Pinker think of this?) and there is a lot of data on this in America. I don't know how significant this possibility is as per Malay vs Chinese - obviously Malays and Chinese are closer to each other than they both are to Caucasians but there is sufficient genetic distance between them to put them in different racial 'extended families' too. Nor is there data on IQ for Malays for me to judge how strong the actual disparities are (comparable to say the 1 standard deviation differences one finds in other comparisons). Cultural differences may well be sufficient to account for the disparities in commercial and educational performance - the British practiced benign neglect with respect to the Malays under the misguided idea of 'protecting their culture' while Chinese and Indians were recruited into Malaysia specfically to work the mines and fields. In conclusion I'm not certain - my degree of uncertainty on this issue is less than my degree of uncertainty with respect to the existence of genetically based disparities in the case of blacks and whites though I remain agnostic on both.

As for your other inferences I went to a Malay school (90% Malay students) for 2 years in primary school, and my uncle by marriage is a bumiputera (and so by implication is my cousin). One can have civil discussions on this issue without lynching anybody, you know.

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 15, 2003 05:14 AM


Richard
Incidentally you should note - go back to the old gnxp blog at blogspot and read the comments facilities. You can see the record of the discussions I've had with Razib and Godless over HBD where I was putting the culturalist perspective. I was arguing the Jared Diamond/Tom Sowell case with them. I still find Diamond's book far more compelling than the sketchy story that Rushton has produced. I still fundamentally think that the 'culturalist' story may be important and don't think there's enough evidence to stick to any quantification at this stage. But I'm happy to stick up for GeneXP. Why? Because if I thought that lack of a detailed story currently was enough to exclude something as a hypothesis then I should be in favour of Intelligent Design. And because I like to think I'm open minded and the main posters on GeneXP and most of their readers are open-minded.
The other reason is the anti-Cartesianism I alluded to. My open-mindedness to HBD is an unavoidable consequence of consistent adherence to philosophical materialism and reductionism. Let me reproduce the following argument from Godless' old blog
1. Human beings, like all living things, were shaped by the forces of evolution. In particular, natural selection pressure applied to humans.

2. All traits evidenced by humans are the result of chemical processes. Under the hood, all your pains, thoughts, and feelings are nothing more than a very complicated cocktail of neurotransmitters and nerve cells.

3. Your genetics fundamentally influence your behavior by controlling which chemical processes are triggered in response to environmental stimuli. Furthermore, genetics are affected by natural selection.

4. Therefore, we must admit that it is possible for there to exist genetic differences between individuals that are more than skin deep and were shaped by natural selection pressure

Add in the 'race as extended family' idea and logic leads you to some acceptance of HBD even if Rushton's story is a crock

Posted by: Jason Soon at January 15, 2003 06:15 AM


Richard: Razib's point, which I thought was rather obvious, is that none of us would be welcome at an Aryan Nations conference.

Isn't that what you suggested on the other comment line when you offered their website for reference?

I must admit you are a past master not only at the surly, casually hurled insult, but at changing the topic at will.

Commenters should keep this in mind when responding to Richard's contributions herein. Focus on what was said, not how he misinterprets what was said to fit his agenda.

Posted by: Diana at January 15, 2003 06:47 AM


While I find the scientific case for HBD compelling, I do have to admit that I think that campaigning for a more widespread acceptance of (or even knowledge of in the US) this fact is foolish. We're very level-headed people, and can avoid lynch mobs, but most of the world is NOT. Also, there is such a slippery slope here. As far as I can tell, none of the posters here are racist in the sense of having hostility towards any group, but some do seem to explicitly equate IQ with moral worth, and Rushton seems to me to be both pseudoscientific and hostile to blacks.

Posted by: michaelvassar at January 15, 2003 07:17 AM


michaelvassar, I must admit I found your comment amusing. What I heard you say is that, while most of us civilized folk can handle the truth, we shouldn't talk about it too loudly because there is no telling how the great unwashed will take the news. How is that for being bigoted?

Posted by: Brandy at January 15, 2003 07:38 AM


I don't think that Michael is being bigoted at all; I think he is bringing up a commonsense point that should be aired.

Michael: that said, facts are facts, and if they can't be aired in the US, where can they be? Suppression of the truth will only lead to an explosion.

Posted by: Diana at January 15, 2003 07:57 AM


I whole heartedly agree with michaelvassar on his point. It may be bigoted as Brandy says to claim that the great unwashed have difficulty accurately and sensibly interpreting facts, but it doesn't make it any less true.

It may also display a bit of arrogance to claim that we, the readers of gene expression, are "levelheaded" and can discuss emotionally charged issues rationally, while a great many people aren't and can't. But again, it strikes me as being somewhat true.

Finally I agree with Michael that there is often a tendancy to equate IQ with moral worth, and it is at this point that it's possible to flirt with more racist ideas.

Posted by: Steve at January 15, 2003 08:44 AM


"Rushton seems to me to be both pseudoscientific and hostile to blacks"

I think calling Rushton "psuedo-scientific" is going too far. As a scientist Rushton is actually rather well-noted within his field. Part of what Rushton did, for his ill reputation, was collect a comprehensive amount of data, and document the intruiging pattern that the data showed. I don't exactly see how that is "pseudo-scientific" in itself. As for the r/K selection theory Rushton uses to account for the data, I would say that that explanation (even if not true) better accounts for the pattern than any other theory yet raised. In fact, as Razib has noted, the distinguished neurophysiologist William Calvin has repeated a theory very similar to Rushton's [to account for all the same data] in his new book "a brain for all seasons":

[Online Free Here]:

http://www.williamcalvin.com/

""...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: Jason M. at January 15, 2003 09:05 AM


Michael, check the archives for July or August of last year. Razib expounds on his concern for low-IQ people. I won't speak for him, but I don't believe that low-IQ equates moral inferiority. However, I agree with Herrnstein and Murray that people with low-IQs often have trouble comprehending the complex, nuanced moral codes that the high IQ elites invent for themselves.

Posted by: duende at January 15, 2003 09:32 AM


"people with low-IQs often have trouble comprehending the complex, nuanced moral codes that the high IQ elites invent for themselves."

And people with high iq's are often adept at exploiting those moral codes and rationalizing their behaviour. If there were some sort of objective way to assess (or even define), the all purpose "moral worth" of an individual,M, I wonder how much it would correlate with g.

Posted by: Steve at January 15, 2003 10:50 AM


" As a scientist Rushton is actually rather well-noted within his field..."

Before turning to race-baiting, Rushton was a well-respected psychologist of learning theory, but on the sociobiology front he's considered a crackpot, a crank, a liar, and a fabricator of data. So no, Jason, Rusthon's theories about race, IQ, criminality, and family structure are not scientific in any way, and he's not respected in this field.

Let me give you one small example of his dishonesty: the claim that blacks have large penises in order win the race of sperm to egg assumes reproduction by gang-bang. Historically, this pattern of behavior is not typical in Africa, but the completely opposite pattern of polygyny is.

You don't have to get past the first chapter in Rushton's book to see him reporting data from "a previously unpublished study [he] conducted" about age of first sexual experience for his big three races. A scientist would explain when and where he conducted the study, he would explain his methodology, and he would subject it to peer review. Rushton does none of that, and he pretends you can draw inferences about a hundred thousand years of evolution from one snapshot of one contemporary, self-reported behavior.

This is not science, it's crap.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 10:56 AM


"Cultural differences may well be sufficient to account for the disparities in commercial and educational performance - the British practiced benign neglect with respect to the Malays under the misguided idea of 'protecting their culture' while Chinese and Indians were recruited into Malaysia specfically to work the mines and fields."

Chinese in Malaysia today are the offspring of immigrants who came in the 1920s to do the technical and managerial tasks required in tin mines, rubber plantations, and oil fields, so you have both a selection effect and a historical one. If you take the cream of one nation's population and transport it to another nation, you create a disparity of intelligence and drive that's likely to continue for a few generations, whether it's in Malaysia or in the US.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 11:01 AM


1) mahathir mohammed got shit on for suggesting in a book in the early 1970s that chinese might be genetically superior (he's a malay). asians don't have problems talking about certain topics

2) as far as this blog being biased against blacks, it is somewhat americo-centric, so we focus on the black-white issue. hispanics are racially diverse, so it is hard to generalize, and asians also are racially diverse and their numbers small. many social programs, if not aimed at blacks, effect them disproportionately. many social taboos and codes exist because of america's black-white relationship. i myself belong to a group that doesn't score too hot on IQ tests-but don't have a problem talking about it, in the end, i am an individual, as we've mentioned as individuals, race isn't as important. i'd like to invite someone who is black to offer their perspective, but david is probably the only one that would offer to post. the few black posters i've had on all my blogs are so offended that they don't even think they should address the question at hand. i can understand why, because what i suggest is highly disturbing for someone with black racial consciousness. i don't know what we can do about that

3) except not report the truth. but the fact is that genetic science is advancing, computers are getting to be better biological data processes, and we will start finding various SNPs (single nulceotide polymorphisms) that differentiate individuals, and the frequencies of various polymorphisms will probably different between human populations. pressuming an open scientific culture-complex interactions of genotype & phenotype will be easier to elucidate in OUR lifetimes, within the next 10-20 years.

4) evil has no IQ. i've said this ad nauseum. i think that the tendency toward crime of low IQ people has more to do with a combination of impulsive behavior of RELATIVE economic deprivation than anything else-not some inner devil motivating them :) the high IQ types will commit white collar crimes where social recriminations will be lower. there have probably between as many high IQ dictators (mugabe) as low IQ ones (idi amin). the low IQ ones probably cause more short term damage, but the high IQ ones probably last a lot longer

Posted by: razib at January 15, 2003 12:06 PM


Richard.

1)Why do you keep harping on Rushton? I'll be honest, I never actually read his stuff. I've never commented on the r/K stuff or whatever on this board.

2) I'm not surprised black posters would be offended. The problem is that many people can't separate themselves from the group--what's true for the group average doesn't apply on an individual level. Of course, most blacks don't have a problem with the statement, "Blacks are more athletically gifted than whites," even if the black person you ask is an overweight version of Urkel. It's just when you talk about potential deficiencies that people get defensive.

David

Posted by: David at January 15, 2003 01:02 PM


I was responding to Jason M's praise of Rushton, David.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 01:25 PM


"mahathir mohammed got shit on for suggesting in a book in the early 1970s that chinese might be genetically superior (he's a malay). asians don't have problems talking about certain topics"

These two sentences contradict each other.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 01:27 PM


Not necessarily, Richard. It depends who he got shit from.

Posted by: Steve at January 15, 2003 01:55 PM


"I was responding to Jason M's praise of Rushton"

The main thing I will praise Rushton for is his recognition/compilation of an interesting pattern of data. The pattern and its plausible genetic origin is worth more of my time to defend than the man himself. To save myself time I will put in a quick word, and leave it at that (unless someone starts a thread about it). Rushton is neither a crank, or a pseudo-scientist. I think Stephen J. Gould lied and had a lot of bad ideas during his career, and the collective evolutionary and Intelligence community will attest to this:

http://www.world-of-dawkins.com/Catalano/the_g_files.htm

(What a great link!)

. . .Still I would not call Gould a "pseudo-scientist", because, frankly, like porn or art- I'll know it when I see it. I am not well-versed enough to answer every little charge against Rushton (or any scientist for that matter), but I can say, IF ANYTHING, that Rushton is merely "Gould-bad"- not "Cold-fusion" bad, and not "William Dembski" bad. Rushton saw some data and gave it an explanation. Scientists who create interpretive models to explain a pattern of data can still be scientists, I'm sorry. Punk ek. sucks, but it can still be in Shermer's "borderlands"; and I think that Rushton can AT LEAST be there, too.

"You don't have to get past the first chapter in Rushton's book to see him reporting data from "a previously unpublished study [he] conducted" about age of first sexual experience for his big three races. A scientist would explain when and where he conducted the study, he would explain his methodology, and he would subject it to peer review."

I don't have the book at hand to evaluate all this, but I will look into this at a later date. As for now the argument does little to my world-view. The reason is, is that this is fairly easy data for me, or anyone, to find whether Rushton did a study or not. A small example:

"According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted in 1995, the median age at first intercourse is 16.5. This age has not changed since the 1990 survey. There was no difference in the median age at first intercourse between whites and Hispanics or between males and females, but it was significantly younger for black males (13.6) than for white (16.4) or Hispanic males (15.9). **"

http://www.ppin.org/education/adolcon.html

"Results: Overall, the teenagers in the sample had a median age at first sex of 16.9 years. Black males had the lowest observed median (15.0), and Asian American males the highest (18.1); white and Hispanic males, and white and black females, reported similar ages (about 16.5 years). Hispanic and Asian American females had rates of first sex about half that of white females, although these protective effects were explained by differences in family structure. Even after controlling for background characteristics, black males had rates of first sex that were about 3-5 times the rates of the other gender-and-ethnicity groups. In addition, Asian American males were less likely than Hispanic males to be sexually experienced, and Hispanic males had almost twice the rates of sexual activity of Hispanic females.

Conclusions: Socioeconomic conditions account for ethnic differences among females in the age at first sex, and cultural influences may contribute to the difference between Hispanic males and females; explanations for black males, however, remain elusive."

http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/3012198.html

Yep, they remain elusive all right; elusive when certain explanations are forever forbidden.

Whether Rushton's evolutionary model is true or not actually never interested me that much. It makes for a good just-so story, but what IS interesting to me is the pattern that Rushton laid out for me.
Pseudo-science is either demonstratably false or unfalsifiable, yet the majority of Rushton's work is neither of those things. That is the most I will say for now.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 15, 2003 02:10 PM


Hey, don't knock cold fusion. There are a lot of reputable scientists who are doing work on it. There are still skeptics, but there are many people who have been able to replicate the Pons-Fleishman experiement...

Posted by: jimbo at January 15, 2003 03:06 PM


well-mahathir has been in power for 20 years. someone "dissing" his own race's capacities in such a manner would not be allowed to take power in many other areas. the difference is yes, there are people hostile to the idea of race differences, but the topic itself is NOT taboo. i don't expect everyone to buy HBD, but it would be nice if bringing it up is not evidence for racist inclinations (and yes, most people who talk about it today are racialists, in part because those that aren't don't want to be branded as racialists, so those who talk about it are racialists-and round & round it goes)

Posted by: razib at January 15, 2003 04:03 PM


Rushton fabricates data, and he misrepresents the research of others. As I said on the first thread:

"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%."

BTW, if you go into Blog Config and enable HTML in comments, life will be better.

On to Mahatir - who gave him shit, Razib? And do you think he remains in power because of his personal popularity? When he felt threatened the leader of his own party's Youth Wing, Ibrahim, he charged him with sodomy and tossed him in jail. While antics like that are common in ASEAN (witness Lee Kwan Yew's show trial of J. B. Jeyaratname), they're dictator's tricks, not popular appeal.

Finally, Razib likes to use the term "Human Biological Diversity" to describe this subject matter, but I would suggest that Racial Determinism is a more accurate label. Scientists who deal with HBD in a genuine sense are much less obsessed with African American IQ scores, criminal offenses, and penis sizes than you guys are, and they aren't at all likely to take African Americans as proxies for native Africans.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 15, 2003 05:31 PM


mahathir's book THE MALAY DILEMMA was banned in the early 1970s-presumably by the UMNO leadership at the time.

Posted by: razib at January 15, 2003 06:11 PM


"Scientists who deal with HBD in a genuine sense are much less obsessed with African American IQ scores, criminal offenses, and penis sizes than you guys are, and they aren't at all likely to take African Americans as proxies for native Africans."

i don't think this is true about not using african-americans as proxies, for this reason: the two assertions contradict each other. phenotypes we tend to mention have some adaptive significance, and might have been effected by selective sampling during the slave-trading era. on the other hand, most scientists that study neutral parts of the genome-"junk DNA" & mtDNA are looking at stuff that has no adaptive significance, and might not even code for anything-so even if you take the biggest & strongest africans, it should be an appropiate sample of mtDNA lineages (there is some evidence now that mtDNA might have some adaptive value-but this is a recent development). for instance, i'm pretty sure caan & wilson in their original OUT OF AFRICA paper used african american women as proxies for africans, because they had no reason to think that this group would not have the reasonable sample of mtDNA lineages-especially as most of the white-black gene flow historically had gone from white males into the black population, so the mtDNA would not be effected.

the reason cavalli-sforza et. al look at junk DNA is because it is a stable record of genetic change over eons, not effected by local adaptations. they are forming cladistic trees-something that might be skewed by convergent evolution caused by changes in gene frequencies if those genes code for something obviously effected by the environment (as an example, say you find genes that effect height, the dinka and bosnians are tall people, so if you used those genes, that wouldn't work because it would reflect adaptation, on the other hand, looking at mtDNA works because the different lineages are only dependent on the mutational clock).

Posted by: razib at January 15, 2003 06:22 PM


"mahathir's book THE MALAY DILEMMA was banned in the early 1970s-presumably by the UMNO leadership at the time."

Yet the good dentist Mahatir has lead the UMNO for some twenty plus years now. One wonders how substantial the shit storm really was.

It was my experience, when I lived in Malaysia, that racial stereotyping was quite commonplace, and something for which people didn't seem at all bashful about. Several Malays told me, knowing that I spent time in India, the story about the man locked into a room with an Indian and a cobra, holding a gun with one bullet. You can guess the recommended course of action, I imagine.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 02:38 AM


"...they had no reason to think that this group would not have the reasonable sample of mtDNA lineages-especially as most of the white-black gene flow historically had gone from white males into the black population, so the mtDNA would not be effected."

And since we're all descended from Africans, even those of us in the Mongoloid Master Race, there would similarly be no reason to believe that the mitrocondrial DNA of Chinese women should be any different from that of native African women, is there?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 02:41 AM


uh, what's your point richard? mitochondria performs the same function no matter race. yes, all lineages go back to "mitochondrial eve." the general way the Out-Of-Africa theory is validated is that africans have many lineages as compared to eurasians, who are all part of one lineage (comparison)-which has several africans in it from any random sample. this implies that eurasians are a subset, or derivative, of the african population. similarly, the eurasian mtDNA lineages bifurcate between east asians and europeans-and in europe there are as many seven lineages (7 daughters of even & all). utlimately, all mtDNA is a bit different-because it is building up mutations over the generations (at a constant rate). africa has the longest period of homo sapiens development, so it has the richest and most varied mtDNA. other populations tend to be formed via bottlenecks, founder effect, and genetic sampling, *ergo* they display far less diversity.

Posted by: razib at January 16, 2003 02:50 AM


Given that Africa has the richest and most varied DNA, mitochondrial and otherwise, isn't it more hazardous to make generalizations about the genetic nature of Africans than about others?

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 10:06 AM


you would think-and in fact, there are large phenotypic variations within africa. but there is a difference between nuclear DNA and mtDNA-the latter will mutate at a constant rate, and traditionally has been viewed as immune to adaptation (though not genetic drifit & bottleneck). on the other hand, nuclear DNA codes for many phenotypes, so it is effect by selective pressures. in other words, yes, there is diversity-the nilotic peoples can process lactase far better than those of west africa. on the other hand, remember that most of africa's people originate in the Bantu expansion about 1-3 thousand years ago (starting around ibo-land and ending to the east of cape).

Posted by: razib at January 16, 2003 11:15 AM


Jason should realize that even the Han of China are inbred. He should be aware of Dr. Sailer's definition of race. So his remarks about "inbred" Aryan Nation types are way out of line.

And Mr. Bennett has a race fetish. If he's so concerned about blacks and "racism," then why doesn't he ask the most ardent leftists in Congress - Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, et al - why none of the them live in the majority black areas of Northeast and Southeast Washington, D.C.? Could it be because of the social pathologies of blacks in these areas? Or is it because the local newstands don't carry The New Yorker, and the liquor stores don't carry merlot? BTW, I know of what I speak as I am a native of Washington, D.C., as is my father. He was born in Southeast Washington.

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 16, 2003 08:40 PM


Roger says I have a "race fetish", and he does so on the Gene Expression web site, a site dedicated to the discussion of race and intelligence.

Now I've heard it all.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 16, 2003 10:24 PM


Roger,

Jason is "out of line" for insulting the Aryan nation?! Please.

And as for this "fetish" thing, I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I don't see how it applies to anyone present, really. Frankly, all of us present have been talking about race, regardless of our positions, so whatever the alleged crime, we're all "guilty" in equal proportions. Despite what Richard or Roger imply, I'm not sure how either arguing for or against environmental or genetic explanations is unhealthy or inherently deviant.

(BTW, Richard is a Republican, although his positions on biological diversity are insecurely marxist)

Posted by: Jason M. at January 16, 2003 11:04 PM


I wonder, young Jason the artist, if you're at all familiar with the spiritual father of the eugenics movement, one T. D. Lysenko, without whom there might be no Pioneer Fund today.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 17, 2003 02:25 AM


Lysenko was the spiritual father of the academic Marxists who tried to destroy the "reductionists" of sociobiology. The same Marxists who could never graciously concede that the "selfish gene" was just meant as a friggin' metaphor. Those anti-Darwinist Marxists who attacked anyone who attempted to study man with the same naturalist principles that are applied with uniformity to both animal and nature. Those Marxists who fought tooth-and-nail to eradicate any genetic or nature based inquiry into human behavior. Those Marxists who held back progress through fear by constantly attacking their non-100% environmentalist enemies in public with poisonous associations from the past.

It would all be so convincing, if just that winter wheat would work. . .

Posted by: Jason M. at January 17, 2003 06:43 AM


" T. D. Lysenko, without whom there might be no Pioneer Fund today. "

You are a very confused person, Richard.:

"Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. . .was a prominent figure in the Soviet Union because of his controversial, unscientific, approach to biological science. . .[he had a] theory of heredity that REJECTED THE EXISTENCE OF GENES."

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trofim_Lysenko

Hardly the "spiritual father" of the pioneer fund, or eu-GENE-ics.

It was actually FRANCIS GALTON who was the father of eugenics, and although i believe he was a brilliant, brilliant man, I would have to consider his more humble cousin Charles Darwin as my true spiritual father:

"There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,- as in
the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain. But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristies are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the lighthearted, talkative negroes."

[Charles Darwin, Decent of Man 1871]

http://media.isnet.org/iptek/Darwin/Descent/chapter_07.html

140 years later, and he still has the final word. I bow so very low.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 17, 2003 08:45 AM


Rose, Lewontin, Kamin, Gould. . . Soi-disant Marxists and barely modified Lysenkoists. And such an aptly titled work:

"NOT IN OUR GENES"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0394728882/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-6397851-0999140?v=glance&s=books&vi=customer-reviews

Really? Not even a little bit?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 17, 2003 09:06 AM


"...the lighthearted, talkative negroes..."

Indeed.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 17, 2003 11:04 AM


you were joking about associating lysenko with the pioneer fund or genetics right? tell me you were joking....

Posted by: razib at January 17, 2003 11:08 AM


Yep razib,

Commie Lysenko invented eugenics and "dry sex" is actually a racist euphemism for rape. Seems it's becoming a rule that those who protest the loudest here, also know the least.

Indeed. Indeed. Richard.

Its not like blacks are celebrated in this country for their oratory, rap, preaching, trash-talking, slam-poetry, and all around smoove talking or anything. That Darwin sure was a goon. But I'm sure if he were here right now, you would terminate that bigot with your crushing omniscience and super-human moral rectitude. Maybe you could start with the persuasive tactic of calling him a goose-stepping genocide-monger. Then you could go in for the kill by refuting the pseudo-scientific concepts known as species and sub-species. He will be shocked to hear that the cornerstone of his theory is actually somehow an "artefact", and that opulations in relative isolation actually DON'T undergo different selection pressures! Well. . . .yeah. . .maybe for malarial resistance and stuff, but not for things like pesonality and aptitude. Oh, wait you have already admitted that those ARE partially genetic:

Jason said: But aptitude, personality, and behavior are not [partially genetic] I guess?

Richard: I didn't say that, and I don't believe it. I said most things are a combination of nature, nurture, and culture, as is individual intelligence.

So I guess the question now becomes: Why could sub-Saharan populations be more selected for malarial resistance, but NOT for any of the genetically influenced personality and intellegence traits that you have already attested to?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 17, 2003 12:29 PM


Malaria resistance isn't confined to Sub-Saharan Africa, it's common in India, Greece, Italy, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific; in short, everywhere that malaria is common, local populations have developed a resistance to it.

Now the interesting thing about intelligence is that it's universally a survival value, as I understand intelligence, so there's no genetic reason that one group would develop more or less of it than any other group; it's not something that has localized importance. I believe Darwin would agree with me on that. It's also not the case that human populations developed in isolation from each other, or that they simply came out of Africa in one wave 110,000 years ago and then split between Europe and Asia 40,000 years ago, as your Pioneer Fund eminences suppose. The paleoanthropologists have documented a considerable amount of genetic transfer between the regions where your classical five (or is it six today?) races developed, and the pattern seems to be one in which the genes that have survival value transfer, but those that are insignificant to survival - like hair texture - don't.

This genetic transfer was once the foundation of a theory that the out-of-Africa migration was pre-homo sapiens, because that theory required genetic transfer to account for the independent development of a new species in several regions at once. While we no longer believe that homo sapiens evolved according to the regionalism hypothesis, the transfer component of the theory is valid.

Darwin, of course, had no idea about genes, and if he had he probably wouldn't have carried on like that about the happy-go-lucky laughing Negroes.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 17, 2003 09:11 PM


Lysenko's theories about inheritance were as insane as Rushton's, razib, so in that sense he was the spiritual father of all movements that hijack the science of inheritance to make a political point.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 17, 2003 09:15 PM


intelligence is a survival trait to SOME EXTENT. if it was so important, than groups like cockroaches wouldn't last for hundreds of millions of years. higher intelligence people in fact often have issues like schizophrenia and depression. Matt Ridley in GENOME notes that teenage boys with high IQs have many times the rate of immune system dysfunctions than those with normal IQs.

Posted by: razib at January 17, 2003 10:02 PM


"Lysenko's theories about inheritance were as insane as Rushton's, razib, so in that sense he was the spiritual father of all movements that hijack the science of inheritance to make a political point."

*sigh* Richard, please have the integrity to admit a mistake. Really, I made a bigger deal of it than I should have. . .I make stupid mistakes all the time, no biggie. (but don't quote me on that :) )

"Malaria resistance isn't confined to Sub-Saharan Africa, it's common in India, Greece, Italy, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific; in short, everywhere that malaria is common, local populations have developed a resistance to it."

Yeah, and intelligence isn't "confined" to Eurasia either. Some of my most brilliant acquaintences have been black, and guess what? A few were even a little morose and taciturn (Oh, the complexity of reality! :) ). The idea is that if the frequency of the malarial, or cystic fibrosis genes can cluster in some sort of geographically relevant way among populations, then the genes that affect intelligence and aptitude probably do too.

"Now the interesting thing about intelligence is that it's universally a survival value, as I understand intelligence, so there's no genetic reason that one group would develop more or less of it than any other group; it's not something that has localized importance."

Except. This. Is. Totally. Totally. False.

I guess by your logic we should all be able to run as fast as cheetahs and fly, b/c, HEY, running 60 mph can't really be anything but good!
But down here in the real world of the way things work you will see that selection, almost by definition, involves trade-offs. If not, we would all be able to wrestle mountain lions and comprehend astro-physics. Razib mentions a few important trade-offs (a large % of high intelligence mathematicians and geniuses are schizophrenic [which is highly heritable]. Think "A Beautiful Mind" or Einstein's father) , but I think an important omission was the link between IQ and Myopia.:

http://psycprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/archive/00000144/

Poor eye-sight and high intelligence are traits very often found together, and its not just b/c "those nerds read so much, they wear-out their eyes". Inability to see 15,000 years ago was a much greater liability to survival than it is in our post- ben franklin era. Intelligence would have been a costly trade-off if it was packaged with some sort of liabilities. Trade-offs, especially the ones necessary for intelligence, are one of the great stories of evolution. A brain is actually a very expensive thing: it eats a lot of energy, it takes a long time to develop, etc.
The belief that wildly different environments would all select for the same intelligence, or even worse, the same KIND of intelligence (mathematical,visual-spatial, verbal)is pretty anti-thetical to honest evolutionary thinking. Look at how specialized men and women have become in areas of intellect (men=visual-spatial/ women=verbal, men=more geniuses and dummies, women= more evenly distrubuted on curve), and men and women shared the SAME co-evolutionary environment.

As this relates to the race issue, you are the only one who has framed this debate in terms of "inferiority" or "superiority", I'm assuming whatever the frequencies of aptitude, and kinds of aptitude, nature might have selected for in certain populations, it was the optimal contextual solution.

This is just to show you that we are operating from a theoretical platform with more internal coherence than you are Richard. Perhaps you should reconsider some of your assumptions.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 18, 2003 04:20 AM


Your arguments aren't convincing, Jason.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 18, 2003 10:48 AM


Richard. You're obsessed with penis size, for you have mentioned it ad nauseum, while in my recollection it has never been mentioned by the authors of this blog.

Life would be a lot easier if you laid off the insults and worked on your data.

David

Posted by: David at January 18, 2003 11:53 AM


"Now the interesting thing about intelligence is that it's universally a survival value, as I understand intelligence, so there's no genetic reason that one group would develop more or less of it than any other group"

"Your arguments aren't convincing, Jason."

Well, that certainly was a nuanced and carefully reasoned objection. Can I ask you a question? If intelligence (of a level you must purposely keep undefined) is so completely nessecary for survival, then why weren't all those individuals who DO EXIST on the left-side of the bell-curve "selected away" a long time ago. We have already admitted that their low IQs have a large genetic component, yet how is it that these walking paradoxes are still among us?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 18, 2003 02:19 PM


On a related note, I had a hunch and did some "google research", here is what I found:

"Race exercises a considerable influence over myopia. High degrees with degenerative changes are very common in certain races, such as Chinese, Japanese, Arab, and Jewish persons. Myopia is uncommon in black, Nubian, and Sudanese persons. The variation probably is due more to heredity than habit. "

http://www.emedicine.com/oph/topic668.htm

hmmm...asian and jewish. Aren't those the ethnic groups considered the most "nerdish"? Seems as though my hunch was right.

How do I have the power to make predictions like this Richard? Why would I assume myopia would occur less in sub-saharan Africans? How could I be right? I sure am lucky at these kind of guesses.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 18, 2003 03:14 PM


You're confusing correllation with causation, a typical rookie mistake.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 18, 2003 03:37 PM


Well determining correlation and causation always is a problem isn't it? Did you ever stop to think that maybe you are confusing YOUR correlation/causation- Or is there a different standard for the 100% enviro-assumption? I already linked to an article that examined the connection between intelligence and myopia . Most have concluded that it is NOT simply an activity that intelligent people do that makes them have much more myopia:

"However, in the study Miller cites, where Myopia was twice as common among the extremely precocious students than among their siblings (whose IQs averaged 115), the non-gifted sib tended to spend about the same amount of time reading (Benbow 1986)."

Once again myopia correlates with race in a cross-cultural Rushton pattern: black-->white-->asian (which I used to predict data that I was unfamiliar with!). My assumptions are these:


A)That intelligence and myopia are highly correlated

B)That myopia and higher intelligence occur in a genetically related way.

C)That whites and asians have much higher statistical rates of this genetic myopia/intellect than blacks.

D)That blacks of sub-saharan ancestory would have less of these high-IQ/myopic individuals, thereby affecting the nerd curve.

It would seem that all these assumptions are, to a certain degree, supportable.

Myopia, IQ, brain-size, and head-size are all inter-correlated. This all expresses itself racially in a way that environment or culture will, once again, totally explain only in convolution. Blacks have the smallest, O-A [on-average], head size (This has been confirmed in peer-reviewed study), whites-->asians. Blacks also have smaller, O-A brain sizes (also peer-reviewed), whites-->asians. Head-size and IQ are correlated, and Individuals of different races that are matched by IQ, have virtually identical head size. All of this (except the myopia) can be found in this review of the fradulent, peer-review flunking, marxist propaganda known as "the mismeasure of man":

http://www.sv.ntnu.no/psy/Bjarne.Fjeldsenden/Cognition/BrainsizeIQ.html

It is written by your favorite man, Jp Rushton, and it is PEER-REVIEWED, but you will probably dismiss it anyway because you are above all evidence or citation.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for a better defense of this curious assumption:

"Now the interesting thing about intelligence is that it's universally a survival value, as I understand intelligence, so there's no genetic reason that one group would develop more or less of it than any other group; it's not something that has localized importance."

Let me put it like this Richard: SOMETHING has to account for, in all those many eons of human evolution, why an ape population could fork, one part of the split could grow more intelligent and survive, while the other part of the split could stay the same in intelligence and survive. It is NOT the default assumption that all possible evolutionary environments will necessarily result in, or select for, the same level or kind of animal intelligence. Perhaps all human populations, in some sort of grand cosmic coincidence, ALL do have exactly the SAME distributions of aptitude, but it wouldn't be because of your flawed theoretical foundation for assuming it.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 18, 2003 06:49 PM


For an artist, you're pretty smart Jason!

Posted by: the alpha male at January 18, 2003 10:06 PM


For an alpha male, you're pretty anonymous.

Jason, your claim that "Blacks have the smallest, O-A [on-average], head size (This has been confirmed in peer-reviewed study)" is false.

Now why is it more acceptable to use head myopia as a proxy for IQ instead of the more traditional Rushtonian artifact, penis size? It seems odd.

As to apes and humans, you're talking about a split that took place 7,000,000 years ago, while homo sapiens only arose 110,000 years ago, or thereabouts. As I mentioned on my blog, it's not fruitful to compare such distant species.

Back to the drawing board for you, little fella.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 19, 2003 01:18 AM


Thanks alpha, the feelings are surely mutual.

"As to apes and humans, you're talking about a split that took place 7,000,000 years ago, while homo sapiens only arose 110,000 years ago, or thereabouts. As I mentioned on my blog, it's not fruitful to compare such distant species."

As I mentioned on your blog, the "something" I was refering to wasn't the mechanism for speciation, but the "something" that must account for the fact that both animals from the evolutionary split could survive in equal measure despite having respectively higher and lower intelligence. This was part of a larger argument to challenge your bogus assertion that: "EVERY group would select for the SAME DISTRIBUTION of intelligence in ANY POSSIBLE environment". Your idea that there is some sort of "optimal" intelligence that would be beneficial to any animal in any possible set of environmental circumstances is bad, baseless, and wrong.

"Jason, your claim that "Blacks have the smallest, O-A [on-average], head size (This has been confirmed in peer-reviewed study)" is false."

Richard, are you ever tired of being wrong? No, really?:

JENSEN, A. R. (1994). Psychometric g related to differences in
head size. Personality & Individual Differences, 17,

597-606JENSEN, A. R., & JOHNSON, F. W. (1994). Race and sex
differences in head size and IQ. Intelligence, 18, 309-333.

RUSHTON, J. P. (1994). Sex and race differences in cranial
capacity from International Labour Office data. Intelligence, 19,
281-294.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 19, 2003 02:47 AM


I guess you haven't paid much attention to population figures recently, Jason, if you think that monkeys are as common as humans on the planet Earth; did you mean on some other planet, perhaps? Speciation occurs as a result of mutation and selection, but obsolescence of previously-existing species isn't part of the bargain, at least not immediately, although many of our ancestral species have actually ceased to exist, as have some less-competitive parallel hominds, such as the Neanderthals, homo habilis, and others. Most folks figure we killed them off.

The Pioneer Fund studies on brain size and race aren't credible, Jason, and neither is their Holocaust Denial.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 19, 2003 03:04 AM


"The Pioneer Fund studies on brain size and race aren't credible, Jason, and neither is their Holocaust Denial."

Once again peer-reviewed, reproducable, research is brushed aside by his infallible grace.

"I guess you haven't paid much attention to population figures recently, Jason, if you think that monkeys are as common as humans on the planet Earth...blah...blah..blah...we killed them off."

Richard, you've stopped making points that support any sort of position. I'll just cut-and- paste the relavent point you failed to address and hope you either A)Have mercy on yourself and stop responding or B)Start to actually use evidence and reason to support your extraordinary claim instead of quippy unsupported assertions to the contrary, sarcastic disses, and -your personal favorite- nazi and klan references.

"Your idea that there is some sort of "optimal" intelligence that would be beneficial to any animal in any possible set of environmental circumstances is bad, baseless, and wrong."

unless you can respond intelligently to why I should think otherwise, please refrain from responses which waste my time.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 19, 2003 04:11 AM


I have expanded my argument on your blog, if you have a response please do so there.

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

Posted by: Jason M. at January 19, 2003 05:57 AM


"The Pioneer Fund studies on brain size and race aren't credible, Jason, and neither is their Holocaust Denial."

I don't see the connection Richard.

"For an alpha male, you're pretty anonymous."

Nice one Richard. I can't wait to hear your next retort.

Posted by: the alpha male at January 19, 2003 10:42 AM


I am having trouble finding anything about "holocaust denial" as it relates to some sort of official position, or funded research, and Pioneer. Not that I would ever expect Richard to substatiate a claim. What I am aware of is some of Pioneers universally celebrated research like "the Minnesota twins" project. In my mind, it takes things such as non-repeatability, unfalsifiability, and conclusive peer rejection to discredit research; not where it got its money from. Its the data not the donor. Afterall, you just don't "take someone's word for it", no matter what the research or who funded it- how does the data itself look?- Is the only relevent question.

Posted by: Jason M. at January 19, 2003 01:30 PM