Sunday, June 23, 2002

Provisionalism rather than dogmatism Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

Provisionalism rather than dogmatism I do want to clarify some points. I accept the general thrust of J. P. Rushton's work-that "blacks," "whites" and east Asians fall into a general spectrum on a variety of traits. General intelligence, or g, is likely one of them. I think it is important to recognize that I.Q. has consequences-that it could very well be that certain groups genetically well endowed in this area will be found in professions requiring symbolic logic and higher-level abstraction. On the other hand, according to modern I.Q. tests, if you take 70 as the cut-off for normal-"retarded"-one of out six American blacks, and half of African blacks fall into that category. First, I'll discard the point about African blacks, because that research hasn't be reproduced to the same extent as the surveys of American blacks has been to convince me beyond any doubt of its accuracy. So are one out of six blacks "retarded," strictly speaking? Jensen in the The g Factor has indicated that lower I.Q. blacks socialize and interact at a relatively high level compared to whites of a similar level. Why is this? It is often said that I.Q. correlates with all sorts of other factors-ie; those of lower I.Q. tend towards criminality. But I think it is important also to look at someone in the context of the mean of their population group. While 85 is the mean I.Q. of American blacks, a Korean American child with an I.Q. of 85 might be cause for concern-being more than 1 standard deviation off the norm of east Asians. Of course, this sort of analysis is taboo because of the current dogma that the black-white I.Q. difference are elastic and wholly caused by environment. But, is the I.Q. for a group static? Richard Hernstein was one of the more prominent intellectuals to address the issue of dysgenesis, the decrease of the mean I.Q. of the population because of a degradation of the genetic quality of the population [a decrease in the frequency of the alleles that effect general intelligence?] (though the Flynn effect seems to be acting as more than a countervailing pressure as of now). I don't believe I.Q. was static in the past-and it need be static in the future. godless (and I agree with him) promotes the idea that genetic engineering can help us out of the morass of the social issues involved in acknowledging race differences, especially in the context of I.Q.. I believe in the future that obesity and overall facial symmetry (attractiveness) will also be addressed through genetic engineering. But what about the past? Were Jews 3,000 years ago 1 standard deviation above the European norm in I.Q.? Well-seeing as how Sephardic and Oriental Jews are not so gifted (the high I.Q. tends to be found among Ashkenazi Jews)-we would assume not. In addition, though the Jews produced a very influential religious work-the great philosophical and scientific achievements of antiquity were by other groups. Something happened. One can postulate a variety of modes whereby Jews selected for higher I.Q.. Kevin MacDonald's work has plenty of ideas on this topic (please note: I am highly skeptical of his group selectionist paradigm). Similarly, the modern day I.Q.s of Iraq, India and Egypt are rather low. And yet these were the seedbeds of civilization while bright northern Europeans were just figuring out the nuances of the neolithic revolution. One could speculate that the social system promoted some sort of dysgenesis-though you can't go back and test the I.Q.s of Sumerians in 3000 BCE. But I suspect that I.Q. measured against the variable of time within a population-particularly in the past when bottlenecks due to famines were common-is more variable than we think. I certainly don't have any answers-but I do have plenty of questions. Rushton's work-combined with the constancy of the black-white I.Q. gap over 80 years-convinces me that genetic differences do exist on a substantive level between the three outlier races-northern Europeans, east Asians, and sub-Saharan Africans. Sketching out the details though is a whole different issue. Just because sub-Saharan Africans today have low I.Q.s, doesn't mean that I think they did in the past (the average I.Q. of Ethiopians according to Lynn and Vanhanen's work is 67-and they were the major literate state-building culture of sub-Saharan Africa)-or have to in the future. So in answer to David's point-I don't think it is valid to say that African's will never produce as many Nobel laureates as Asians or Europeans. Perhaps this is what separates my position from that of the racialists-race is not a foundational dogma, just an intellectually valid taxonomic category. I look forward to a future where there will be enough race mixture that it won't be-though I assume (as Eric Lien has astutely observed) this will occur mostly on the elite level. P.S.: In the area of rank speculations-while Egypt, Iraq and India have low IQs-China's is high. Why? Well-China had a system that rewarded scholarly merit over a 2,000 year period. Though the examinations didn't occur in all periods-and with merit being the only factor sometimes-it was a sharp contrast to the political systems that dominated in the other three cultural hearths where sycophancy rather than intellectual caliber probably counted for more.

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
The Evolutionists
The Creationists
Of Moths and Men
The Language Instinct
How We Decide
Predictably Irrational
The Black Swan
Fooled By Randomness
Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
Darwin's Cathedral
A Theory of Religion
The Meme Machine
Synaptic Self
The Mating Mind
A Separate Creation
The Number Sense
The 10,000 Year Explosion
The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
The Origins of Virtue
Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
The g Factor
The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
Defenders of the Truth
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
The Classical World
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
History of Rome
How Rome Fell
The Making of a Christian Aristoracy
The Rise of Western Christendom
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
A History of the Byzantine State and Society
Europe After Rome
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity
The Barbarian Conversion
A History of Christianity
God's War
Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Sacred Chain
Divided by the Faith
The Reformation
Pursuit of Glory
Albion's Seed
From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
China in World History
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Great Arab Conquests
After Tamerlane
A History of Iran
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language
A World History
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Human Web
Plagues and Peoples
A Concise Economic History of the World
Power and Plenty
A Splendid Exchange
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
The Ascent of Money
The Great Divergence
Clash of Extremes
War and Peace and War
Historical Dynamics
The Age of Lincoln
The Great Upheaval
What Hath God Wrought
Freedom Just Around the Corner
Throes of Democracy
Grand New Party
A Beautiful Math
When Genius Failed
Catholicism and Freedom
American Judaism

Powered by Blogger
Creative Commons License

Terms of use


Razib's total feed: