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July 15, 2003

Dusty Baker pt II - Entine Weighs In

If you missed Sailer's Sunday column on the controversy*, you should catch Entine's take on it today in the Wall Street Journal:

Let's review Anthropology 101. Population groups have distinct body types. Elite football players, dependent on speed and jumping ability, are disproportionately of West African descent. Why? Because, as dozens of studies have shown, they have (on average) smaller and more efficient lungs, higher oxidative capacity, more fast-twitch muscle fibers, and a muscled but lean body type.


Note that sprinters of West African ancestry, including African-Americans, hold 494 of the top 500 100-meter times. Their genetically prescribed morphology and physiology is a disaster for endurance events--there are almost no elite endurance runners of West African ancestry--but a goldmine for sprinting and jumping. Allowing for individual variation, Snyder was intuitively right.


Mr. Baker's observations are common sense. Does anyone really think an Eskimo would perform as well in Wrigley Field in July as someone of African ancestry who has spent all but a speck of his evolutionary history along the equator? "The single most important factor in heat toleration is body proportions," says David Brown, a University of Hawaii anthropologist and morphology expert. "If the relative fitness levels are similar, those with more skin surface area to overall body mass--those with relatively longer limbs--are more heat efficient. It's easier to sweat, dissipate heat and keep core body temperature steady." Check that anthropology textbook: Africans have longer limbs and more skin surface area than whites, who have more than Asians. Stout-and-short Eskimos, who are of Asian ancestry, don't perform as efficiently in scorching weather as whites or blacks. Is it racist to acknowledge this?

*Choice quote: "We've been lectured for years that "race is only skin deep," that the only differences between races are surface features evolved to adapt humans to local climates. Now, though, a new dogma appears to be emerging - that race isn't even skin deep!

Posted by Jason Malloy at 07:36 AM





Does anyone really think an Eskimo would perform as well in Wrigley Field in July as someone of African ancestry who has spent all but a speck of his evolutionary history along the equator?


This is a dumb point by someone who, I can only presume, doesn't know jack about baseball. The answer is "yes I DO think an Eskimo would perform as well in Wrigley Field in July as someone of African ancestry", if that Eskimo is a professional baseball player of comparable skills to the black player. I'm not denying the guy's earlier points about morphology etc., but sheesh, since *when* is the *heat* the controlling factor in how well a ballplayer plays the game? The effect Dusty was talking about is *there*, but it's not *anything* like the *dominant* effect. To focus on it *this much*, to the point where you declare an Eskimo necessarily worse than a West African in Wrigley in July, is insane. It's like yammering on and on about how if you drop your book off a table when the moon is on the other side of the planet, and someone on the other side of the planet drops his book, yours'll accelerate faster due to the moon's gravitational pull, and land sooner. I mean, the underlying effect is *true*, it's just that it's damn negligible and may not even be measurable on such a scale.


Also, people don't have an "evolutionary history". The Eskimo ballplayer doesn't "remember" his "evolutionary history" of having ancestors who were Eskimos for thousands of years. *HERE* is the "history" of the Eskimo ballplayer: he was born in a small town in Alaska, but his family moved somewhere where baseball is played (i.e. So-Cal or Florida) cuz if they hadn't he wouldn't be in the majors, he played little league, Pony, and high school baseball in these warm climes he lived in since oh age 8 or so, was totally used to it, totally accustomed to it, and after all was good enough to get drafted either out of high school or perhaps college (meaning yet 4 more years of climate acclimation). After a couple years in the minors, he got called up, and now he's playing in Wrigley. Total years spent practicing how to play baseball in warm climes: 15+. Is that enough for you? Also please note that this history is suspiciously similar to the black player.


I just don't understand why you guys think that the controlling factor which utterly decides how well a ballplayer plays baseball is the heat. There's, uh, lotsa other stuff to baseball besides heat tolerance. I'm sure Dusty Baker knows that, because he was just kinda chatting away for lack of something truly interesting to say. But what's you guys' excuse?


Posted by: Name: at July 15, 2003 09:03 AM



Empirical question.


Exactly. One which neither Baker or David Brown has answered or even investigated. Rules of thumb are not a substitute.



I *do* know that differences in other attributes... between racial groups do impact success in sports


I thought we were talking about baseball, in particular.


Of the 54 black rookies, 82 percent turned out to enjoy better careers than their white doppelgangers


Interesting finding, but doesn't really tell us anything about a day-night/warm-cold split. Remember that I never questioned the underlying statement that different racial groups have different physical attributes. Just whether this effect is necessarily measurable (and significant) on the scale of day ballgames v. night ballgames.



He doesn't remember it, but his genes remember it.


Duh. But the idea that because of those genes, this Eskimo ballplayer has a hard time playing baseball in the daytime, is silly.


He's been playing baseball in the daytime since he was at least 8 years old. He wouldn't be in the major leagues if he couldn't do it.


Remember that the group of people "ballplayers" are not a random sampling of their respective races. They are biased to be people who are good at playing baseball under typical baseball conditions (main example: warm, sunny). I think part of my frustration here is that the Dusty d-fenders aren't recognizably talking about baseball; some seem to think (or pretend to think) that baseball is a sport primarily of heat-endurance.


Seriously, listen to the tape of his comments, Dusty was just shooting his mouth off, groping (awkwardly) around to find an interesting answer to a boring obvious question along the lines of "So, skipper, do you think your team will improve in the second half this year? Can Cubs fans look forward to a playoff run?" To take his attempt at cleverness this seriously is a mistake.

Posted by: Name: at July 15, 2003 09:39 AM


I just don't understand why you guys think that the controlling factor which utterly decides how well a ballplayer plays baseball is the heat.

I don't think anybody said that it was a "controlling factor", simply that all things being equal, people with equatorial adaptations will have an easier time than those who don't. The effects are assumed to be additive. Again, this was Dusty's impression as a manager, and I don't see any reason to fault him for it, as it is theoretically plausible as well*.

Now other variables are always involved, and I don't rule out that white players might not be handicapped more by the heat on average than black people. The important thing is that it's open to testing - the stats are all there for whatever stat nerd that wants to crunch them - and I'm willing to acknowledge the results if they seem solid. Until then I think the public needs to stop overreacting to innocuous comments about race and individual and group differences in general.

*I'm more skeptical about Latinos, but that's open to testing as well.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 11:39 AM


Jason

Where do South Asians fit into your scheme? After all, they have also had many thousands of years to adapt to torrid climates, and the Indian subcontinent has quite a range of elevations, so we ought to be able to find world-class Indian sprinters and long-distance runners, right? Yet we don't, despite the fact that Indians outnumber sub-Saharan Africans by nearly 2-to-1 ...

There is nothing more tiresome than triumphalist shooting down of straw men. Acknowledging the fact that human body type varies with climate does not in and of itself establish that "race" is any more clearcut or meaningful a term than its' detractors say it is.

Anyone who has ever been to West Africa will tell you that there is no single "West African" bauplan - there are groups that are tall and lithe, especially near the Sahel fringe, while others close to the Atlantic coast are short and squat, and so on.

Thinking globally, there can scarcely be two human subgroups who are more genetically distant than, say, coastal West Africans and New Guineans; yet they not only have similar body types, but share so many other external attributes (like "kinky" hair, lip shape, and nose size) that it is difficult even for members of either group to tell them apart. Are Negritos and West Africans nevertheless to be grouped together as one "race"?

The problem with guys like you and Steve Sailer is that you are eager to see clear-cut differences where none exist. No practicing researcher in the field of genetics will deny that human variation exists, or that a very small portion of that variation is geographically tied, but there simply aren't any clean divisions into "races", whatever you'd like to believe.

Depending on how many principal components you want to employ, you can always seperate humanity into the supposedly "traditional" racial categories with which you are familiar, but the truth is that there is nothing special about using one number rather than another. Using one criterion, there are just two "races" (Afro-European vs. East-Asian/Amerindian), the traditional 3 that early 20th century nativists acknowledged, 4 if we split Amerindians off from East-Asians, 5 if we seperate Oceania, or even 6 or more. The number of "races" we can obtain is a straightforward consequence of linear algebra: if you have N independent variables and an N-by-N matrix, you can recover as many as N eigenvectors, but nothing sanctifies choosing a certain number as "realer" than another. In that sense, "race" really is nothing more than a dubious ideological construct weighed down by sordid baggage.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 15, 2003 12:19 PM


I don't think anybody said that it was a "controlling factor", simply that all things being equal, people with equatorial adaptations will have an easier time than those who don't.


There's no "all things being equal" experimental setup to examine here, and there never will be. Again, ballplayers are not chosen at random from their racial groups, they are selected in a complex way highly correlated with "their ability to play baseball".



Again, this was Dusty's impression as a manager,


I think it's open to debate whether it was truly his "impression as a manager", if that is supposed to mean some kind of empirical observation he has made or thinks he has made. From hearing his comments I'm honestly not sure that it is, as opposed to say some kind of belief that he holds (which may or may not be true, of course).



I don't see any reason to fault him for it


Actually I don't "fault him for it", I fault people who chime in and say "Yeah that's totally right! West Africans would definitely do better than Eskimos at Wrigley Field!" Dusty's statements were one thing, but to take that ball and run with it all that way is quite another.



Now other variables are always involved, and I don't rule out that white players might not be handicapped more by the heat on average than black people.


I don't "rule it out" either of course, but there is no actual evidence for it. And the racial argument (the mere statement that there are differences between racial groups) ignores the fact that "baseball players" are not a random sampling of their respective populations, they are selected to be...good at baseball! (warm or cold) Surely you agree that even if "whites" in general and on average can't handle warmth as well, a particular white guy who made it to the majors could easily be (in fact probably is) out in the tail of that bell curve and thus better able to "handle warmth" than even most blacks....


Until then I think the public needs to stop overreacting to innocuous comments about race and individual and group differences in general.


Please don't get me wrong, I'm not coming at this from a PC direction, I don't think Dusty should be fired or even chastised. His statement may or may not be empirically true but it's not "wrong" for him to have said what he said. What is wrong, in my view, is to paint baseball as if it is a sport in which performance is completely determined by temperature and the player's reaction to it. In your zeal to rush to Dusty's defense against the PC crowd you (and whoever you quoted) have kinda ignored the particulars of "baseball" and launched off into some parallel universe in which baseball is essentially no different in kind from "Competitive Heat Endurance"... and that offends me. (As a baseball fan. :-)

Posted by: Name: at July 15, 2003 12:50 PM


The problem with guys like you and Steve Sailer is that you are eager to see clear-cut differences where none exist. No practicing researcher in the field of genetics will deny that human variation exists, or that a very small portion of that variation is geographically tied, but there simply aren't any clean divisions into "races", whatever you'd like to believe.

straw-man.

Posted by: razib at July 15, 2003 12:55 PM


Absolute straw-man.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 01:01 PM


"straw-man.
Posted by razib at July 15, 2003 12:55 PM

Absolute straw-man.
Posted by Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 01:01 PM"

Is that the best you guys can do by way of refutation? Pathetic!

FYI - Neither Steve Sailer nor Jon Entine are authorities in my book, so don't bother giving me references to them, or to crank sites like "Vdare" if you're serious about stating your argument. I gave you a link to a real scientific paper to back my claims - where are yours? And why don't you bother to answer the statements I've made?

This sort of amateurish distraction does nothing to refute the arguments I've made. Stick to the science, or admit that you've got nothing to back your bluff. Steve Sailer and Jon Entine are nothing more than half-trained dilettantes who know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to know they're talking crap. If you want to put yourselves in the same category, by my guest.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 15, 2003 01:30 PM


"But Juvenal, when you do a scree plot, some eigenvalues are clearly much larger than others. And variation along those dimensions is thus more important for explaining differences. It all depends on how much variance is explained by any given principal components axis, and how much you want to zoom in. None of us has ever disputed that more resolution gives more granularity."

My point is that all the eigenanalysis gets you is a breakdown of that small proportion of genetic variation that displays a geographical structure. I don't see what point there is on focusing so much on this portion of human variation when the genetic variation within most African populations dwarfs the amount of variation in the rest of the world. What point is there in talking about "African" vs. "European" or "Eskimo" genes, when the average African village has more genetic variation than all of Eurasia? Who would the representative "African" be then?

NB - Another thing worth mentioning, especially for all those who are fond of quoting Cavalli-Sforza's work (which nobody here has done), is that, to the extent that the samples in his and others' studies were intentionally chosen from relatively isolated and "unmixed" populations, they tend to overstate the amount of between-group population that exists in the broader population. This is particularly true of most countries in which the majority of the population is resident in urban areas. If there is a risk of error in one direction, it is in that of exaggeration of extant differences, rather than the opposite.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 15, 2003 01:42 PM


Is that the best you guys can do by way of refutation? Pathetic!

Juvenal, if the job is to refute that Sailer has a conception of races as "clean divisions", then I can't think of a more succint route to challnge you than to link to something where he says the opposite. I have more to say later, but until then it's not my obligation to engage in chest-beating with you.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 01:55 PM


"Can you enumerate exactly what you think we're getting wrong?"

I have no objection to scree plots or statistical analyses in general - they are my bread and butter, so why should I? My problem is with suggestive but shoddy hypotheses, and with people like Jon Entine and (in particular) Steve Sailer, who I consider terrible simplifiers, catering to that vast majority of mankind with neither the patience nor the brainpower to understand statistical subtleties.

For instance, the notion of "pure" races is one I'm sure even Sailer wouldn't dare defend in front of the knowledgeable, yet one often gets the impression from reading his work that any genetically "intermediate"* populations one finds are a result of "race-mixing", rather than a reflection of the fact that human genetic variation is a matter of continua instead of distinct "races."

There are certainly "scientists" out there who do the cause of science harm in denying that any human variation occurs along geographical lines, but they are a much lesser threat than those who propagate silly notions like "dysgenics" and "racial purity." There are all sorts of kooks out there who are itching to hijack legitimate science to further their ludicrous agendas, and I don't see that there is anything to be gained by fostering the notion that "race", in the naive sense that they understand it, is a reality being denied by "politically correct" scientists.

*From the viewpoint of traditional "racial" classifications.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 15, 2003 01:59 PM


juv,

we might be dilletantes, but you should characterize our quack ideas correctly, there are many flavors of quackery....

no one on this blog believes in platonic ideals of race-if you've read this blog frequently, you would know that, if you didn't, you should asked before stating what you THINK WE BELIEVE.

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000402.html
http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000365.html

see examples of my rejection of platonic ideals of race....

let me restate a maxim, "population substructure matters."

Posted by: razib at July 15, 2003 02:06 PM


"Juvenal, if the job is to refute that Sailer has a conception of races as "clean divisions", then I can't think of a more succint route to challnge you than to link to something where he says the opposite. I have more to say later, but until then it's not my obligation to engage in chest-beating with you."

Who's asking you to do so? What I will state flat-out here is that I've read too much by Steve Sailer that is either slanted to support a racialist viewpoint (e.g, denying that hybrid-vigor might be a reality in our species, lest he be forced to approve of "race-mixing"), or out and out misleading (taking a picture from Cavalli-Sforza and altering the colors to suggest something different from the original) to trust whatever he has to say.

Given Sailer's record, and Jon Entine's miserable understanding of his subject matter, neither writer carries the slightest authority to speak on these issues, and in any case, good scientific practice recommends going to the original sources wherever possible. Would you rather be held to the standard of a real scientist or not? If you do, then please point me to real studies, instead of Sailer and co.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 15, 2003 02:06 PM


Steve Sailer that is either slanted to support a racialist viewpoint (e.g, denying that hybrid-vigor might be a reality in our species, lest he be forced to approve of "race-mixing")

Once again, absolutely false

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 02:09 PM


Who's asking you to do so? What I will state flat-out here is that I've read too much by Steve Sailer that is either slanted to support a racialist viewpoint (e.g, denying that hybrid-vigor might be a reality in our species, lest he be forced to approve of "race-mixing")

dude! please talk about eigenvalues and scree plots before you keep telling us what steve thinks!

here:

http://www.vdare.com/letters/tl_081902.htm
"Steve Sailer's definition of race—an extended and inbred family group—is, of course, accurate biologically and thus is the only definition of race that bears any relation to reality.

However, his favored solution to the "race problem" is pure evil: racial intermarriage so extensive that distinct races cease to exist.

This is genocide. Miscegenation destroys irreversibly and utterly that which took Nature tens of thousands of years to create and which our ancestors fought and died to preserve. "

i know steve has no problem with race mixture-his wife joked to me that his kids should marry asians. you obviously haven't READ ENOUGH if you think he opposes race mixture on principle.

Posted by: razib at July 15, 2003 02:11 PM


If you do, then please point me to real studies, instead of Sailer and co.

Juvenal, i didn't, and have never, linked to Sailer as a scientist or an authority. The point of linking was to challenge what you were saying he said and/or believes.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 02:13 PM


Juvenal -
obviously, depending on which data are used and which elements we want to use in building a model, we might end up with two races or twenty-eight; and even for two models that group human beings into the same number of races, the division might be quite different depending on our assumptions. So if race is an 'ideological construct weighed down by sordid historical baggage', we could instead devise a new word for these model categories if you like. But it seems a bit much trouble.
The thing that is of primary interest to me is what sort of predictions a given model can make. Of course the models are simple and reality is messy, so the predictions are statistical and probabilistic in nature - but even a simple model like Rushton's does make testable predictions.
Out of curiosity, do you think that there are any meaningful statistical clusters in human genotypes? That is, suppose we
- sequenced everyone on earth
- constructed a (very) high-dimensional space so that each genotype could be mapped to a point in this space
- applied K-means or other clustering algorithm to the points

Are these points going to be one globular distribution, or will there be distinct subclusters? As you note the number of clusters would depend on your model parameters - but all I am predicting is that clusters will exist.

Posted by: bbartlog at July 15, 2003 02:31 PM


Juvenal,

In defence of the non-scientific journalist who advances a view on race (or anything else, for that matter) I would say that he is absolutely entitled to speak, and even to posit his view on such scientific principles as he comprehends.
Not only that, it is increasingly important that as many as possible lend their voices to countering the threat of cultural marxism and its proxy, liberalism.

If you do not think so would that be for scientific reasons, political rerasons or your own racial interest?

I have no problem with the latter, by the way. Racism is natural and good. It is the preference for one's own kind. I don't know where you will find that in the genome. But it's there.

Posted by: Guessedworker at July 15, 2003 03:02 PM


Guessed Worker, I can't tell if you're trying to troll or not, but you're not really adding anything valuable to this debate.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 03:34 PM


People who comment on the different achievements of different racial groups in sports often neglect to take into account two very important factors:

1. People go into sports because they have certain role models. Kids want to emulate the champs, that's why you have such an overproduction of soccer talent in Latin America, which spans from the white, through the mulatto, to the Indian without any distinction of race. That's why white kids in the US wanna be football or baseball players, while white kids in Yugoslavia want to play basketball and are damned good at it too, even though they are not Negroid.

2. The forces (market, government, etc.) that control sports also select which types of sports will be promoted. Are American women very good soccer players while American men aren't because they differ genetically? Did Eastern Europeans dominate chess because they are more intelligent, or was it because chess was heavily promoted?

Posted by: Dienekes at July 15, 2003 04:32 PM


Juv, if races don't exist, how could race-mixing result in hybrid vigor? You can't mix things that don't exist.

Posted by: Rob at July 15, 2003 05:31 PM


People who comment on the different achievements of different racial groups in sports often neglect to take into account two very important factors

.Have you read Entine's book? These things should really be evaluated on a case by case basis. And, as always, nature and nurture can both be factors. No one is saying that *every* difference between two hypothetical individuals or groups has to be genetic, but you can have a method for answering these questions:

a) compare the differences in achievement X between person or group A and person or group B
b) discover a physiological difference P between person or group A and person or group B
c) decide the importance of physiological trait P at activity X, and
d) connect the dots.

Then there is actually something to argue.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 07:00 PM


Example:

A)Bob runs faster than Jill.
B)Bob has longer legs than Jill.
C)Longer legs provide an advantage at running.
D)Bob's longer legs are a component in his running advantage compared to Jill.

But maybe long-leg Bob is 56 and overweight, and Jill is young and thin. Then he will not out-run Jill. Still. . .

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 07:07 PM


People who comment on the different achievements of different racial groups in sports

PS - Won't this kind of generalized dismissal apply to using differences in explaining athletic achievement between the sexes as well, Dienekes? Should we be oppositional regarding that too? Or do you think there is something worth being acknowledged?

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 07:12 PM


Somebody hiding behind the name "Juvenal" has been writing lies about me. He accuses me of

"taking a picture from Cavalli-Sforza and altering the colors to suggest something different from the original."

That's a lie.

"What I will state flat-out here is that I've read too much by Steve Sailer that is either slanted to support a racialist viewpoint (e.g, denying that hybrid-vigor might be a reality in our species, lest he be forced to approve of "race-mixing")

Try reading: http://www.isteve.com/Caublinasians.htm

As for his main claim that I believe in racial purity, see my major article on the subject:

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

Steve Sailer

or out and out misleading () to trust whatever he has to say."

Posted by: Steve Sailer at July 15, 2003 07:55 PM


Juvenal said:

Jason, Where do South Asians fit into your scheme?

What "scheme" could you be talking about? Are we still talking difference in heat tolerance? b/c I haven't seen any data and I have no idea. Though the dark skin thing would apply to dark-skinned south-asians.

After all, they have also had many thousands of years to adapt to torrid climates, and the Indian subcontinent has quite a range of elevations, so we ought to be able to find world-class Indian sprinters and long-distance runners, right?

Why do Asians have epicanthic folds? Is it because of the glare off of snow? Then why don't North-Europeans have them too? Or how about desert people who presumably have to deal with glare too. Why are North-Europeans so hairy? The cold? Then Asians should be hairy too. Why didn't every animal on the African savannah stand-up on two legs? Same climate and all. Yadda yadda. Once again, how things got that way may have an easy answer or a hard one, or maybe one that's simply lost to the ages. What's more important to me is how things are. If there is data that suggests a difference, I'm not going to dismiss it b/c I can't explain, with equally hard data, why it should be so.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 08:53 PM


>> PS - Won't this kind of generalized dismissal apply to using differences in explaining athletic achievement between the sexes as well, Dienekes? Should we be oppositional regarding that too? Or do you think there is something worth being acknowledged?

Gender differences are orders of magnitude more important than racial differences. Did you know that human males are more similar genetically to male chimpanzees than they are to human females?

Posted by: Dienekes at July 15, 2003 09:17 PM


Gender differences are orders of magnitude more important than racial differences.

Big topic, for another day. For now we'll just say this could depend, as we leave the somewhat subjective phrase "more important" hang in the air.

My point was that you shouldn't just make broad, ambiguous objections to broad, ambiguous, hypothetical claims; because it smacks of just not liking the questions that are being asked, rather than caring about what the information that is available might say. Do you find this immoral, unreasonable, or an illegitimate thing to show interest in? If not, then why complain just b/c the topic is brought up? Because culture and environment just aren't getting enough air-time??

Did you know that human males are more similar genetically to male chimpanzees than they are to human females?

I think we all had a hunch. ;)

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 15, 2003 09:57 PM


>> Do you find this immoral, unreasonable, or an illegitimate thing to show interest in? If not, then why complain just b/c the topic is brought up? Because culture and environment just aren't getting enough air-time??

I said nothing about it being immoral. I'm as critical of both the overemphasis on environment and the overemphasis on the genetic factor. In this particular instance, I think that the environmental factor is very important in this case.

In an ideal setting, where all sports/events were equally promoted and the public was likely to be interested in all of them equally, it would make sense to interpret the data as signifying some genetic factor. Maybe there is, but I haven't seen convincing data for it.

Posted by: Dienekes at July 15, 2003 10:17 PM


"Elite football players, dependent on speed and jumping ability,"

only corners, safeties, and receivers have to jump much. jumping is not one the key abilities for most players.

"smaller and more efficient lungs, higher oxidative capacity,"

that's not their advantage. they're not great at running miles. i also don't see how this improves their anaerobic ability. since by definition it's done without oxygen.

"more fast-twitch muscle fibers"

which explains their main advantage, speed. although their advantage in strength is smaller.

"a muscled but lean body type."

that's not important. but their thick bones are. they handle collisions well.

"sprinters of West African ancestry, including African-Americans, hold 494 of the top 500 100-meter times."

this is a bit of a trick with statistics. the idea is to make you think the fastest 500 men are black. but right now, there are white and east asian sprinters in the top 30. macrozonaris is in the top 10. so black men are definitely the fastest, but they aren't 494-out-of-500 fastest.

to reverse the trick for blacks and whites, put "bench press" in place of "100-meter times." the world record is held by mendelson who benched 875 last week. for kicks, he could bench 700 once a week and fill 100 slots in "top 500" book. and you definitely can't say it's because blacks are not interested in benching, because it's one of the main things players train for in the NFL and NBA. now we don't need to be reminded that blacks fill most of the NFL and NBA. entine won't let us forget! but he'll never tell you that a white player has the NFL combine bench record, and a white player has the NBA combine bench record.

the 100 meter statistic is one of entine's favorites, but it seems somewhat limited here. it's used to demonstrate football ability. but montgomery, the fastest ever at 9.78, is only about 160 pounds. he probably could not even play corner. it's probably his power to weight ratio that makes him so fast. maximizing power to weight ratio by having a low weight will not work in the NFL.

entine also uses this statistic as part of his evidence that blacks are better athletes than anybody else. yet he never mentions that nool has the decathlon record, or that it was previously held by dvorak and o'brien.

"Does anyone really think an Eskimo would perform as well in Wrigley Field in July as someone of African ancestry"

i doubt an eskimo MLB player would have trouble with an illinois summer. but consider this. wrigley field is in north america. north america produced american indians. american indians from tribes within the borders of the continental united states have no trouble playing in a chicago summer. the heat won't have a significant effect on them. in fact, since they are from here, there is reason to believe they might be better than blacks in a chicago summer.

do ichiro, matsui, and hasegawa play better than the other players in chicago, the windy city, when the wind is blasting cold, april air? of course not. but that question has not been asked here.

"Africans have longer limbs"

bones are one of the important differences in football. but entine had nothing to say about it in the linked article.

i calculated the mean heights and weights for offensive linemen who made the 53 man roster in the NFL last year.

49 white centers 6 3 298
11 black centers 6 2 309

87 white guards 6 4 305
46 black guards 6 3 317

69 white tackles 6 5 306
86 black tackles 6 5 320

the white linemen were an inch taller, while the black linemen were about 12 pounds heavier. the white tackles were also taller than the black tackles, but not by a full inch, so i rounded.

"those with more skin surface area to overall body mass--those with relatively longer limbs--are more heat efficient."

white americans are slightly taller than black americans. i also found this in the NFL example. so the difference in surface area is somewhat mitigated between these two. mestizos are the shortest of the three.

skin color and sweat glands are also factors. blacks are the darkest. so they absorb heat fastest. and they have the most sweat glands. so they exude water in great quantities.

but i heard blacks sweat less. maybe they have more glands but those glands exude less water. so either they dehydrate fast, or they overheat fast. which do they handle better? hot wet air, or hot dry air? i don't know. but they can't handle both better than everybody else.

Posted by: jody at July 15, 2003 11:45 PM


for GC.

in regards to baseball and james,

"That's a rather nontrivial effect."

it's also nontrivial how james does not explain why black americans don't dominate pitching.

pitchers in the all-star game:

black americans: 2
mestizo americans: 4
white americans: 15
not americans: 3!

"I believe that South Asians are probably the world's worst athletes per-capita, and that the reasons are likely to be biological."

probably? definitely. there is zero doubt.

this also contradicts rushton's rule. east asians are both smarter and better athletes than south asians. but then, a lot of evidence contradicts rushton.

Posted by: jody at July 15, 2003 11:47 PM


Macrozonaris is of course white, Greek plus French Canadian.

Posted by: Dienekes at July 16, 2003 07:08 AM


I heard Indians did very well at the commonwealth games in Wrestling - not exactly the World Championships or the Olympics - but a high level of competition nonetheless.

I read an online story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/commonwealthgames2002/hi/other_sports/wrestling/newsid_2168000/2168316.stm that stated that "India is traditionally one of the world's strongest wrestling nations".

This came as a bit of a surprise to me. I did a bit of freestyle and greco but never thought India was a strong wrestling nation.

Posted by: the_alpha_male at July 16, 2003 08:27 AM


"I think the public needs to stop overreacting to innocuous comments about race and individual and group differences in general."

Hear hear.

[spelling corrected]

Posted by: Katy at July 16, 2003 08:46 AM


But there are sports (e.g. cricket) in which South Asians are competitive with Europeans.
And in which they thrash E/SE Asians ... Malaysian Cricket Association's 50-overs league rosters are more than half Indian (that's 6x their population!), about a third Malay, and not even a tenth Chinese.

Posted by: Eric Lien at July 16, 2003 07:22 PM


In case anyone is still reading this, let me add one more thing. Upthread, Mr. Sailer accused me of being a "liar." I didn't have time to rebut his statement, as I've had work to do, but I'd like to see him explain how the following isn't an attempt to downplay "hybrid vigor":

And thus it's time to confront the question that's been whispered about ever since this Mozart-like prodigy first appeared on television as a three year old playing golf with Bob Hope: Are multiracial people like Tiger genetically better than the rest of us? Until recent decades, that query was unthinkable: "miscegenation" was assumed to be the royal road to racial ruin. But, now we have enough scientific evidence to answer with a resounding "Maybe."
.....
On the other hand, while inbreeding depression clearly hurts, the evidence for "hybrid vigor" among multiracial individuals is less clear, since the returns from outbreeding diminish fairly rapidly the farther out you marry from your own nuclear family. Still, a careful study of biracial white-Japanese children in Hawaii did find that their IQ's were two points higher than those of their monoracial peers of the same socio-economic status.
(emphasis added).

In fact, the evidence is as clear-cut as it gets, and it isn't "maybe", but an emphatic "YES"! Pick nearly any monogenic disease you please, and you'd be better off marrying someone as genetically distant from you as possible. While the effect does wear off after enough "race-mixing" has gone on to even out intra-group variation, it definitely still holds for our time. How is it anything other than "downplaying" to pretend that something is ambiguous when it so clearly isn't?

Posted by: Juvenal at July 17, 2003 01:32 PM


As for my other claim, which is also supposedly a "lie", here is a picture from Steve Sailer's website, which he claims is from the front of "The History and Geography of Human Genes":
Click Here:

And here is the actual cover of the very abridged edition to which he refers in his article titled "The Reality of Race":
Click Here:

What's the subtle difference? Notice that on the actual cover, Africa shades into Europe, which shades on all the way to East Asia; there is no clear-cut difference between Africa and Europe, unlike the image suggested at Sailer's site!

So who's "lying" then, Mr. Sailer? Is it still me?

Posted by: Juvenal at July 17, 2003 01:46 PM


Juvenile claims I altered the racial map on the cover of Cavalli-Sforza's "History and Geography of Human Genes."

Wrong.

The picture he is claiming I altered is the cover of the original hardcover edition. It gives more detail because it only shows the Old World. You can see it here on the Barnes & Noble site:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/textbooks/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?userid=6UAHXUF39B&isbn=0691087504

Before you make a fool of yourself libeling somebody, Juvenile, try sending him an email first asking about your accusation.

As for his/her's unhinged accusation that I wasn't sufficiently dogmatic about the benefits of continental scale hybrid vigor, Christ Almighty, my article was largely about how Tiger Woods, the world's most glamorous athlete, might be the beneficiary of hybrid vigor.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at July 17, 2003 02:49 PM


Juvenal, I find it strange that you use a quote from a pro-race-mixing article to support your theory that Sailer opposes interracial unions.(An article, by the way, which you provided no link to. Wouldn't you agree that this opens you up to the same sort of inflated charges you've been dishing out?). Here is the conclusion to the article you used to demonstrate Sailer's opposition to "race-mixing":

"In summary, inter-racial marriage, long the object of fear and loathing, may turn out to be one route to enriching the human race."

Hmm ... Seems like a pretty odd way for Sailer to promote his racist anti-race-mixing agenda, wouldn't you agree?

Secondly, you charge him with altering a map in order to obscure the fuzziness of racial boundaries. Seems like a pretty contradictory tactic for someone who rejected discrete methods of race classification, in favor of a bottom-up model of his own design. It would seem that a definition such as his would emphasize the blurriness of race.

Not very reasonable charges, Juvenal. And a pretty nasty way to act.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 17, 2003 05:28 PM


>> Got a reference? Somehow I bet this will rely on a *very* tendentious interpretation of "genetically similar" - e.g. on an unwarranted extrapolation from a few loci or an overweighting of the y-chromosome's importance.

I don't remember where I read it. It had to do with the Y chromosome, as you intuited. It's not too difficult to understand why this is true. Here is an example: male Caucasoids differ from male Mongoloids in facial/eylid shape, body proportions, hair form, average stature, and a few unseen factors. On the other hand, they differ from female Caucasoids by not having breasts, being taller, having male genitalia, greater musculature, etc. etc.

In other words, genetically speaking, male Caucasoids are more similar to male Mongoloids than they are to female Caucasoids. It turns out at the sequence level (due to the Y chromosome being so much different than the X chromosome) that male humans are also closer to male chimps than to female humans.

Posted by: Dienekes at July 17, 2003 05:34 PM


>> Sigh...do I need to do this with you too, Dienekes? Ok, here's a cut & paste of examples from an earlier post where racial differences *are* important, but gender differences are not:

But, these are minor compared to gender differences. Sure, there are "differences in drug response" between different races, but that's a trifle compared to the fact that women have breasts while men don't, or that men have penes and women don't, or that men are muscular and women aren't. And, if we talk "differences in drug response", try giving the Pill to a man and you'll see a REAL bigtime difference in drug response.

Posted by: Dienekes at July 17, 2003 05:44 PM


because though it's eminently plausible that (say) hapas will be healthier, there haven't been many studies done of them.

One researcher has found that biracial college students have more symmetrical faces. Since symmetry corelates so well with health...

Posted by: Rob at July 17, 2003 08:46 PM


Re: heterosis,

Considering that the most successful countries in the world are those populated by relatively unmixed Europeans and relatively unmixed Northeast Asians, with more mixed areas like Central Asia and Central/South America being substantially more backward (at least from an economic standpoint), I wouldn't say that heterosis necessarily such a wonderful thing...

Posted by: Oleg at July 18, 2003 12:14 AM



Oleg

Considering that the most successful countries in the world are those populated by relatively unmixed Europeans and relatively unmixed Northeast Asians, with more mixed areas like Central Asia and Central/South America being substantially more backward (at least from an economic standpoint), I wouldn't say that heterosis necessarily such a wonderful thing...

Thats a pretty ignorant statement... success in what time period? in the last hundred years, then maybe yes... but six thousand years ago, the egyptian civilization was the greatest... they were plenty of different colors... (and not necessarily white as some people claim.. there are statues of brown painted pharoahs next to white painted wives)... two thousand years ago, the mediterranean people were producing some fantastic art, philosophy etc... they were pretty mixed up.... in the last 2 thousand years, the civilizations of south - east asia and south asia toted up some fantastic successes... the temples of angkor vat in cambodia (i think) and the temples, palaces, classical music tradition, art and literature of india stand testimony to a fair amount of progress that was made ... in the last thousand years, a great mayan civilization went up (and then down)... they were not quite pure (atleast in terms of being melanin-free.. which is how white supremacists usually consider "purity").. the incas had some fabulous technical achievements... all that gold they mined and converted into beautiful jewellery... only to be looted by europeans and wiped out by european borne disease... they weren't exactly a pure race either...

white supremacists have a very short term and revisionist view of history... but i guess that's human nature and history repeats itself... the way i see it... western civilization today is going down via excesses the way of ancient rome (watch some girls gone wild videos if you don't believe me)... in a couple of hundred years.. when the browns have largely replaced whites in europe and america... the browns will probably revise past history too... and claim the glories of the european past to themselves...

Posted by: marinara at July 18, 2003 02:29 AM


There have not been any mixed-race civilization, but this may be just a result of the fact that there have never been many mixed race people, and these usually were located in the border areas between the major races - precisely the least hospitable areas of the planet. Hybrid people (e.g., South Indians) have developed civilization. However, multi-racial societies (in which people co-exist but do not hybridize) have been rare in history and have not been known to develop civilizations.

Posted by: Dienekes at July 18, 2003 03:46 AM


"Before you make a fool of yourself libeling somebody, Juvenile, try sending him an email first asking about your accusation."

Are you being your usual obnoxious self*, or are you simply unable to spell? It's "Juvenal" (you know, as in the Roman guy?), not "Juvenile."

On to more substantive issues - fine, fine, if you say you didn't change the image, I won't insist. However, you had a choice as to which cover to pick, did you not, and the second cover, which covers the entire world, is in fact more technically accurate and more informative than the choice you actually ended up making, so what rationale can there have been for your doing so? And why put up a picture of edition A when you're recommending edition B, if you don't want to confuse your readers? It can't have been ignorance of the cover of the abridged edition, since you actually recommended it yourself. Given the sort of company you seem to keep, with Peter Brimelow, Samuel Francis and the like, certain hypotheses as to your motivations ...

"As for his/her's unhinged[sic] accusation that I wasn't sufficiently dogmatic about the benefits of continental scale hybrid vigor, Christ Almighty, my article was largely about how Tiger Woods, the world's most glamorous athlete, might be the beneficiary of hybrid vigor."

Don't kid yourself. I read your article in full, so I know what you did say, and I stand by my claim. You were downplaying its' benefits, when you are usually more eager to stress the differences between groups. What sort of endorsement is "maybe", which is what you actually said? But hey, since you write for VDare, and are undoubtedly aware of the attitudes of your readership, you aren't about to talk up the benefits of interracial sex with vigor (or, in your own phraseology, "dogmatism"), are you?

"Secondly, you charge him with altering a map in order to obscure the fuzziness of racial boundaries. Seems like a pretty contradictory tactic for someone who rejected discrete methods of race classification, in favor of a bottom-up model of his own design. It would seem that a definition such as his would emphasize the blurriness of race."

Jason,
It may seem that way to you, but certainly not to me. To begin with, Sailer's definition of race as "extended family" isn't even coherent. Does he mean this in terms of genetic distance, family tree, or what? If genetic distance, how much distance is enough, and why, and in any case, genetic distance from who, exactly? If in terms of family trees, just how far back in the past is satisfactory?

My point is that "race" is such a blurry concept that any scientific method Mr. Sailer might choose, other than the "obvious" one of looking at people's external features, is bound to pull many members of "foreign" races into the group, while leaving a lot of "members" of the "race" on the outside. For all Mr. Sailer knows, an examination of his genome might reveal him to be closer to most Mbuti pygmies than he is to most of the "white" race, but would he be willing to be racially reclassified?

Finally, as to "race mixing", one can ask why it is that Steve Sailer chooses to associate himself so much with anti-immigration organizations if he thinks "race mixing" really is such a wonderful thing. Isn't it the argument of many of those he is happy to call comrades that "race mixing" and non-white immigration are undermining the basis of western civilization?

*I've seen the hatchet jobs you've done on Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan (whose homosexuality you can't seem to help yourself from dragging into your rants about him), so I find it extremely odd that you should be so touchy about any criticism that comes your way; though on second thought, it all ties in together, if one sees your thin skin as the motivating power behind your peevish writing.

Posted by: Juvenal at July 19, 2003 10:07 AM