Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why genes don't determine race?   posted by Razib @ 6/13/2007 10:59:00 AM

TNR, the journal of the center-left, just published an article titled Why genes don't determine race. The article doesn't merit much of a response aside from "Why Platonism is wrong on race." The article makes it implicitly clear that the new racial genetics is often one of conditional probabilities, not fixed determinism, but the strawman of "genetic determinism" shines brightly in the rhetoric. In any case, there are good points made in the piece, the obesity epidemic that is rampant in the black American population isn't going to be solved by declarations that it is "in their genes." But, an understanding of the genetic background adds non-trivial utility to formulating a proper public policy response, because there are likely some issues of norm of reaction lurking in the background. As documented in Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity, varied populations often exhibit different nutritional responses.

Addendum: In the annals of race, Slow Wave Activity During Sleep Is Lower In African-Americans Than Caucasians.

Related: Race the current consensus. The Platonic Ideal and the Empirical Reality. Race is obsolete...? Reality of race is one place. Race.

Update: This response very good.