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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deconstructing Scientific Racism in the 21st Century


Hey ya'll.

So, you might've read my [earlier post] talking about the personal, Ranty McRantster-pants issues I have with Human Bio-Diversity (HBD) and "race-realism". Well, [the fight goes on] and some people have asked me -- or challenged me -- to discuss this issue from a more "scientific" perspective, as opposed to my more emotional responses.

Naturally, I called BS on those who pretend they're objective to my subjective, because that's an ad hominem dismissal being shoveled through a strawman argument, ignoring the fact that nobody is completely objective, and the so-called "race-realists" are just as influenced by their emotions as I am -- only they refuse to admit it.

However, the idea of going into the specific, scientific refutation of these pseudo-scientific racists began to appeal to me as I worked through Human Variation midterms. And now, having finished my last paper for the week, I am ready to go into the exact, bio-anthropological problems with HBD, "race-realism" and refute them at the scientific level.

Be warned, all ye who enter here: this is going to be a science lesson, so pay attention!


First, let's begin with the definition of Race.

There isn't one. Genetically speaking, race cannot be traced. There is no "gene" (or group of genes) that codes for Blackness, or Whiteness, or any other ethnicity, at least, none that we know of.

The International Human Genome Project confirmed this when their work showed that humans are 99.99% the same. Even people so unrelated as to be from completely opposite continents! But even more importantly, the reason there is no biological or genetic definition for race in humans is because race in humans is not used in a biological or genetic sense.

Race is used as a sociocultural construct, to define and categorize people from different geographic areas based on morphological features (skin-color, nose shape, hair texture) and social stereotypes.

When we think of "Black people" the stereotypes go: dark skin, kinky hair, but we also think of good dancers, musicians, aggressive, not smart, very poor, awesome at sports, and lots of other descriptions which have nothing to do with a person's genes. Even features like dark skin and kinky hair are not unique to Black people; these characteristics could exist in various ethnic and racial groups. For instance, Sephardic Jews have dark skin and kinky hair, and so do Aboriginals. Good dancers could also mean Hispanic people, or Greeks, or Whirling Dervishes. These categories are not delineated enough for scientific experimentation -- indeed, you cannot separate ANY of them from their cultural context -- that is the environment that we find them in -- to see which ones unique to certain populations. And equally important is that they can apply to any number of groups.

Yet we can, with a high degree of certainty, identity people of different races. How is this so? This reveals another important component of race: the link to geographic location. We tie race to human groups that exist in certain areas of the planet. Black people come from Africa. White people come from Europe. Hispanic people from the Americas, etc and so on.

This is why we can identify people of different races, because we can link their features to ancestral populations in certain geographic areas.

But as the world changes, so do races. Today's races are not the same as races a thousand years ago. Evolution is always occurring, according to Darwin, and as such, human variation is as much a factor in how we differ from each other today as we do from people who lived hundreds of years ago.

Hold on, wait a second! I said above that we're all 99.99% the same... How can there be variation then? Well, that's the rub of it: we're obviously the same species, because we can reproduce with one another, and we're obviously not sub-species, because because all groups of humans interbreed naturally without needing to live in a crowded city. But we do exhibit variation: genetic variation and physical variation. We don't all look the same, and the small percentage of our genes that don't match also differ in some interesting ways.

So while we haven't evolved to the point of being too different, we do still change over time. This is based on Stephen Jay Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium, which means that species tend to change only a little over time, and then in brief moments experience rapid evolutionary changes.

Variation is one of the keys to our species' survival. It helped us survive disease, disaster, and even other animals. Natural selection constantly puts pressures on us that shape our physiology, and the mechanism in us that allows this is our genetics.

Race-realists and HBDers like to think that this means humans have evolved into biologically grounded, genetically distinct races, and that this affects traits like aggressiveness, and especially IQ.

Sadly, for them, this is not the case.

(Angry Narwhal does not approve of your shenanigans!)

Sure, we've evolved over time, and thus we are always changing. But race is not a "fixed" category. A Black person today has very little in common with a Black person a thousand years ago other than that they both belong to the same species. Why is this? Because of the same theory that HBDers and race-realists use to justify their claims: evolution.

You can't say evolution happens, and then attempt to make the traits you tie to evolution suddenly fixed. Sure, we have five fingers, and this certainly has held true over time, but the shape, the dexterity, the muscle density, bone density, and a whole cornucopia of other factors are going to be different. Hands today resemble hands a millennium ago in that they are still hands, and so race today resembles race a millennium ago in that there were still races, but that's about it.

Remember! Race as we define it is not based on your genes, but on phenotypic and sociocultural factors. (Phenotype is your personal physiological expression, basically everything from your blood type to your skin color, even your belly-button. The sociocultural factors are the stereotypes, but also legitimate cultural differences created by racism, as well as traditions/customs in indigenous societies.) Yet when I, and other anthropologists talk about "race" we remember this fact: that this category is based on morphological/physiological/phenotypic characteristics, and geographic ancestry. (Which is still problematic, since all humans originated from Africa in the first place.)

Ancestry is basically where you can trace certain markers in your DNA to. There are some genes which have a higher frequency in certain groups than in others, and are used to link you to various groups in human history. One of the most common methods of doing that is with Mitochondrial DNA.

Now, the problem with this is that by tracing ancestry, we can only point to where your ancestors came from -- not what they looked like. We don't really know. They could have looked just like different races do now, but that is unlikely, as we know for a fact that human physiology has been changing rapidly, even though genetically we've been rather slow to exhibit a wide spectrum of variation in our DNA. A good example of this is how humans are taller now than in previous generations ([Scientific American] has a great article) and this has a lot to do with access to better healthcare, nutrition, and other environmental factors. (This is something we'll come back to.)

Basically, tracing ancestry only gives you a location for a distant ancestor, and doesn't inextricably link race to a gene, or genes. Nor does it help us at all in determining how races looked back then.

And so we're back to the problem of: how do we define race?

Entomologists, people who study bugs, define race very easily in bees and beetles. They show distinct markings, typically only breed together, and the classification doesn't involve any kind of discrimination. Should we define race then the same way they do?

Actually, race in insects is a little distorted now. Since the importation of various bees, beetles, and other insects into various parts of the world, true races of these species have become less and less distinct. It's gotten to the point where these categories are arbitrary. But this does lead us to an interesting topic.

Taxonomy! Taxonomy is basically a scientific system of classification, a theoretical construct to illustrate the connections between various taxa (taxonomic units, the individual things being classified) in the taxonomy. In other words, it's basically something we make up to understand the relationships between everything.

Race is a taxonomic classification, meaning it is a theoretical construct too. The word "race" represents a category in a taxonomy, and so it's essentially a made-up word that stands for what we believe a race is.


Let's start with Carl Linnaeus. A Swede. He's somewhat famous for the first widely used taxonomy, called a Linnaean taxonomy. He was also the first to attempt to divide humans into different species. But his contemporaries pointed out that since these different groups are capable of interbreeding with another -- a requirement for animals to be considered the same species -- that his classification of humans into "Homo sapiens europeaus, H. sapiens asiaticus, H. sapiens americanus, and H. sapiens afer, representing Europe, Asia, America, and Africa, respectively" were not based on science, but theoretical definitions.

Then comes Blumenbach, who organized humans into different races based on craniometry (measurements of the skull), with White people being "the least degenerated of God's creations". And then comes Agassiz, polygenism, eugenics, and a whole host of scientific racism developed on misinterpretations of Darwin's theories on evolution, as well as natural selection. The evidence for this comes from the fact that these theories were used to discriminate and oppress our fellow human beings.

But they do prove one thing: the taxonomy of race is based on geographic ancestry and a few morphological traits. This is the currently accepted definition of race in most scientific fields. Basically, where you're ancestors are from and what you look like.

Now, there are caveats, which we talked about above. Race doesn't match-up well over time, and even forensic anthropologists can't determine what race a person was with any accuracy past a certain point in history, and the people they can identify the race of need to have only a minimum level of decomposition. And even then their accuracy is only 80%, and significantly less for people of mixed-race. Why?

Because race isn't a static category. It's always changing, just as human physiology is always changing, whether through environmental factors, or through evolution, or through selective breeding, and many other factors. The bones of a Black man compared to the bones of a White man are morphological traits that can change, and not just from generation to generation, but even over an individual's lifetime. The phenotypic traits associated with race are extremely malleable, so that even forensic anthropologists can't always tell the difference. (They have about an 80% accuracy rate.)

I reiterate these points because they are very important to our discussion. Basically, this is to point out that while there is some validity to racial classification in science, because of observable differences, that it isn't a clear-cut distinction. There is A LOT of wiggle room between races, and choosing where to draw the line between them is largely a matter of personal preference.

Here's a picture to show you what I mean.

And there is an important point to stress. When defining race, most people use a stereotype, a model, a "classic" example.

Here's what I mean.


When people talk about "race" -- even scientists -- they're talking about stereotypical examples. People who are (for lack of a better phrase) "obviously White" or "obviously Black".

And this is where we really get started...

So now that we've got our working definition of race, let's start with disproving the scientific racist claims.

Philippe Rushton is a popular, and oft quoted scientist in the realm of scientific racism. He says that IQ is heritable at 0.8, which is basically 80%. This means that the bulk of a person's intelligence is determined by the genes they inherit from their parents and ancestors.

This is not only theoretically limited, it is also fundamentally flawed science.

[Heritability is a proportion] that describes phenotypic variation between a population that is due to genetic differences. This also includes environmental factors. However, Rushton makes his first mistake in that IQ is a trait with low repeatability. That is, IQ can be measured over and over again, and different results will occur. Yet, you measure something like height, or age, and the measurements will be fairly static. They don't change that much after immediate measurements.

IQ does. You can test someone over and over again, in a relatively short time-span, and you'll receive different results. This requires you to "gloss" these results into an average, which is then correlated to the individual's IQ.

The problem is that a "gloss" doesn't reflect true IQ, only how well someone can take a test over and over again. Correlations don't represent causation; they're scientific guesstimates.

This low repeatability of IQ means it has a lower heritability, when processed through the equations. So Rushton is wrong about his 0.8.

Next, IQ is a culturally constructed label. What we deem "smart" is based on our culture. Why? Because testing has historically reflected cultural knowledge, from reading certain books, to knowing certain facts, and even the names for shapes. Different cultures value different types/forms of knowledge. The Yanamamo don't value technological expertise as much as we do, but they do value the ability to find food in the Amazonian jungles. The Nuer value the ability to understand how to properly raise cattle, not read Huckleberry Finn.

There are different kinds of intelligence, from the Triarchic theory to Howard Gardner's work on multiple intelligences. There's emotional intelligence, kinetic intelligence, and others. Shoot, intelligence has more flavors than Baskin-Robbins!

Another fundamental flaw in IQ testing is that these tests only prove how well someone knows how to take a test in the end. This is obvious when you attempt to test people who've created the test they're taking. If it truly measured intelligence, they'd score at their actual IQ, but they don't. They get near-perfect to perfect scores.

Other basic refutations of IQ-based testing, and concepts like the G-factor can be found [here], [here], and [here].

Another popular HBD and race-realist myth is that genes can determine your behavior! This is also known as sociobiology, and its phoenix-like reincarnation: evolutionary psychology.



Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology assert that human behaviors are evolved adaptations, and as such can be identified through our genes.

Advocates from this position tend to be more respectable, and tend to have a legitimate grounding in biology, genetics, or other related fields. Some of the famous personas are Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker. They're mainstream, legitimate scientists who are at the cutting edge of ground-breaking research.

However, sociobiology, and to a lesser extent evolutionary psychology, rely on essentialist data, often making the same mistakes as early scientific racists by downplaying environmental & cultural effects, and engaging in ethnocentric research. They judge all groups in relation to their own. In this regard, ethnocentrism is a fundamental problem of these academic disciplines.

One major flaw in these fields is that they tend to be prescriptive instead of descriptive. That is, they don't merely describe the way the world IS, but the way it OUGHT to be. And these prescriptions tend to revolve around dismantling welfare, affirmative action, as well as other policies to address the historical inequality of People of Color.

Another problem with these fields, and one which Gould noted, was that sociobiologists/evolutionary psychologists commit the [Reification Fallacy]. That is, they treat abstract behaviors as real traits. Some examples include IQ, aggression, laziness, technological proficiency, etc. These characteristics are culturally defined, and not concrete -- that is you can't measure them with any reliability or repeatability as heritable traits -- and are therefore not genetically-based.

Other issues:

1) Reductionism, were extremely complex things are "reduced" to a single gene, or genes, and fails to include other factors, like culture, like environment, like racism, like sexism, etc.

2) "Just-so-stories", where hypotheses rely on the researcher's internal logic as opposed to any evidence. (Noam Chomsky was a major critic of the field for this one.) These are then cited uncontested as proof-positive of a genetic basis for something which is actually inconclusive.

3) The lack of free will -- by describing behaviors as "naturally inclined" these people reduce human agency (making the same mistakes as cultural ecologists) that completely ignores the very real fact that humans do exhibit behaviors that are contradictory to any logical rationale or reasoning that would increase survival or reproductive fitness. [See here] for a more complete accounting of the controversy, albeit the layperson's version.

The insult to injury is that not only do these fields exacerbate racism by themselves, but they are also hijacked by HBDers, like Steve Sailer, like Philippe Rushton, like David Duke, like Chris Brand, like Steve Hsu, like the Pioneer Fund, like American Renaissance -- and then used to promote an openly racist agenda!

For these, and other reasons, sociobiology/evolutionary psychology are major holdouts of scientific racism, as well as racialists, ethnocentrists, and just plain ivory-tower academics, far removed from the real world.


My final point on this subject is that race does exist, and changes over time, as does our definition of it.

However race is also used incorrectly, by scientists, by the layperson, and most definitely by scientific racists like HBD and race-realists who attempt to ascribe negative cultural qualities to People of Color through a distorted interpretation of modern genetics. They mistake correlation for causation, and utilize methodologically flawed measurements to support these correlations.

Human variation is not a Dues Ex Machina. You cannot cry racism and then point to the DNA saying, "He did it!" That is not science. That is Essentialism.

The reality is that genetic and cultural factors work "in tandem" to produce human variation. No race is predisposed to being smarter than another -- whatever smarter means -- and no behavior, from aggressiveness to laziness can be attributed only to genes.

Racism, both structural and personal, from micro-aggressions to entire socio-political movements are a powerful instrument in the disparity between the various races of human beings on this planet.

And I'm not the only one saying these things. My evidence comes from a long roster of social scientists, bio-anthropologists, academic disciplines, sub-disciplines, specialists, forensic anthropologists, geneticists, linguists, paleoanthropologists, psychologists, as well as academics of all colors, creeds, genders, and classes.

Allow me to list some of them for you here:

Stephen Jay Gould
Ashley Montagu
Theodosius Dobzhansky
James H Mielke
Luigi Cavalli-Sforza
Paula S. Rothenberg
Leonard Lieberman
Jarred Diamond
Mark C Griffin
Noam Chomsky
Lyle Konigsberg
John Relethford
Franz Boas
Richard Lewontin
Cornel West
Howard Gardner
James Baldwin
Frantz Fanon
Stephen Molnar
Jefferson Fish
Martin Luther King Jr.
Claude Levi-Strauss
Ernest Beaglehole
James Quesada
Luiz de Aguiar Costa Pinto
Edward Franklin Frazier
Morris Ginsberg
Humayun Kabir
Khalil Gibran
Edward Said
Joseph Needham
Curt Stern
Tim Wise
Ruth Benedict
Margaret Mead
James Loewen
Robert Brooker
Anthony J.F. Griffiths
Susan R. Wessler
Sean B. Carroll
John Doebley
Daniel Hartl
William H Tucker
Marry Mehler
Charles Darwin
John Maynard Smith
UNESCO
The Human Genome Project
American Anthropological Association
The SPLC
The ADL
Institute for the Study of Academic Racism
Center for Genetics and Society
Brown University Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
Searchlight

"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."



Cheers

70 footnotes:

RR said...

Zek,

I’m glad to see you manfully addressing this nettlesome issue. From my perspective, IQ and race are two of the most politically fraught global issues we face today. I’m heartened to know that there are people such as you who are willing to address these issues forthrightly.

I’m not an HBDer, but they do make some rather compelling arguments, which I have grown sympathetic to. Some HBDers are of the hysterical sort and argue that race is determinative, i.e. causative. Most of those in the HBD community though don’t speak of race terms of absolutes. Many of them recognize that race is a fluid, fuzzy culturally influenced concept that, nonetheless, has scientific utility. You wrote:

First, let's begin with the definition of Race. There isn't one.

This isn’t quite true. What I think you mean by this is that there is no generally agreed upon definition of race. If this is what you mean, then I agree with you. Race is hard to define, yet, so are concepts like “tall”, “short”, “fat”, “slow”. There is no universally agreed upon definition of mass either, yet mass has scientific utility. I am very fond of Steve Sailer’s definition of race:

A race can be thought of as a large extended family that inbreeds to some extent.

This is a very compact summary. It notes that traits are heritable and thus passed down through lineages. People in specific locales mated almost exclusively with each other in their ancestral environments, thus passing down traits (and specific genetic signatures) through their very large extended families. Note that the human race can also be thought of as one very large extended family. All humans are related, but some groups of humans are more related to each other (due to the geological proximity to each other in their ancestral locales) than they are to other groups of humans. In other words, race is relative.

RR said...

I think we both agree that all humans are related and that we are more similar than we are dissimilar. As you state, in terms of genetics, we are 99.9% the same, yet the dissimilarities are significant. We also share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, yet we are radically different from chimps. The upshot is that small genetic differences result in rather sizable morphological and behavioral differences between groups. That is why there is an active movement to convince non-whites (especially mixed race folk) to sign up to be bone marrow donors. The chance of a successful bone marrow transplant is much higher if the donor and recipient are of the same “race” because race is inherently tied to lineage, which relates to genetics.
From the Dana Farber website:

Because tissue type is inherited, a patient's best chance of finding a match is with a brother or sister. Unfortunately, 70 percent of patients do not have a suitably matched donor in their family. Because tissue traits are inherited, a patient's next best chance of finding a match is with someone of the same race or ethnicity.

If race does not exist as a scientific construct, why would the people at Dana Faber feel the need to actively recruit in terms of race?

Yet we can, with a high degree of certainty, identity people of different races. How is this so? This reveals another important component of race: the link to geographic location. We tie race to human groups that exist in certain areas of the planet.

This is absolutely true. I don’t think you will find many HBDers who will argue with your statements. So, what are we arguing about again?

we're obviously the same species, because we can reproduce with one another, and we're obviously not sub-species, because no sub-species of humans never breeds with another sub-species of humans.

Your argument here is a bit tautological and circular, but I think I understand what you are driving at. You are saying that sub-species of humans don’t exist because all humans groups can breed with all other human groups. But even this assertion (assuming I have captured what you mean) is highly debatable. As I’m sure you are aware, as with race, the definition of speciation is the subject of some debate. There are animal groups that are considered to be sub-species, but CAN interbreed. They don’t often interbreed, but they CAN interbreed under the right circumstances.

RR said...

Race-realists and HBDers like to think that this means humans have evolved into biologically grounded, genetically distinct races, and that this affects traits like aggressiveness, and especially IQ.

This isn’t quite right. HBDers, like Steve Sailer, believe that race is a continuum and race probabilistically influences certain traits. For example, they believe that blacks, on average, are less intelligent than whites. They do not assert that all whites are more intelligent than all blacks. They allow that there are some blacks who are more intelligent than most whites. It is the aggregates that are most important to HBDers.

Race as we define it is not based on your genes, but on phenotypic and sociocultural factors.

This is not how the people at Dana Farber define race. To them, race is directly related to gene frequency, which is why they prefer to match bone marrow donors and recipients by race/ethnic group. They are looking for close genetic matches. Again from the Dana Farber website:

How are patients matched with donors?
Proteins called antigens are found on the surface of the white blood cells and other body tissue. Particular antigens, named HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C and HLA-DRB1 are essential to the success of marrow and cord blood transplants (also called BMT). These antigens are used to "match" a patient with a donor. When looking for a match it's important to remember that people of the same race and ethnic groups are more likely to match each other.



The reality is that genetic and cultural factors work "in tandem" to produce human variation.

Yes. No HBDer would argue otherwise.

No race is predisposed to being smarter than another

HBDers would argue otherwise, and I would agree with them. Again, probabilistically speaking, there are relative differences between the races that are genetically influenced. We can argue about the degree of influence genetics has on intelligence, but I think even you would admit that genetics significantly influences intelligence. An HBDer would argue that race influences genetics, thus race influences IQ.

Jasmin said...

A note about heritability (I don't think it's clear in your post): heritability is the amount of phenotypic variation of a trait in a population that is due to genetic variation in individuals. So basically you attribute a fraction of phenotypic differences (in this case, differing IQ scores) to genetic variation (i.e., Person A has different genes than person B), but that doesn't say anything about which gene (if any) causes the difference between person A and person B.

I had a professor who had a funny (albeit) hypothetical example of heritability--it had something to do with 6 toes or an extra thumb or something. Maybe I'll remember it later.

(Side note: You let RR comment? Moderation is slacking.)

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

I'm not sympathetic to HBD or race-realism and it only took Steve Sailer's comments regarding Black people during Katrina to convince me that his movement is far less "realistic" and more "paternalistic" with race morphing into racism like Cringer changing into Battle Cat.

While I admire your interest in my post, and your comments do address some of the things I talked about, your problem is that each subject I bring up in this post are logically following one another, and attempting to cherry-pick is a little disingenuous as you cannot look at the inability to consistently define race outside of the inability to connect largely cultural constructs such as IQ and complex behaviors to genetics separately. These are all inter-connected concepts which I have had to take you through by baby-steps with a single example that demonstrates the flawed arguments HBD and race-realism engages in.

Making essentialist statements about entire populations, with all their fluidity, complexity, spectrum of variation, and most importantly, culturally defined characteristics of intelligence and behavior is also disingenuous, and as Sailer is not a scientist, I don't expect him to remember these tenets, yet willfully ignoring them in the face of overwhelmingly contradictory evidence is not "realism" but delusion, akin to when a small child puts their fingers in their ears and shouts, "NA NA NA NA NA".

Keep these thoughts in mind. And further, ask yourself this question: why do I need Black people to be, on the whole, less intelligent than Whites?

Or as James Baldwin said, "Why do you need me to be a n*****?"

I think that's something important you should consider.

Zek J Evets said...

Jasmin,

He made a real comment that was on-topic, and honestly, I wanted to see people attempt to dismantle my arguments.

Obviously he failed, but so it goes.

Good points about heritability! Phenotypic variation is only correlated to IQ through testing, not through genetics since we can't find the "genes" that make people "smart". And phenotype is morphological, so even the correlation is tenuous as the population continues undergoing changes -- both cultural and genetic.

Jasmin said...

Phenotypic variation is only correlated to IQ through testing, not through genetics since we can't find the "genes" that make people "smart".

Yes, and since we are comparing variation to variation (not variation to outcome), even if the heritability of intelligence was 100%, that would just mean that all of the variation between people's IQs would be due to genetic factors (and not environmental ones). Without knowing which genetic factors are responsible (hey, it could be the same one for left-handedness :-P), heritability pretty much tells you nothing about nothing as far as mapping traits onto genes.

RR said...

Zek,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. I am having trouble understanding the reasoning behind your objections to my argument. I don’t think I cherry-picked with respect to your post. I tried to address the post in its entirety. There were parts of the post that I agreed with and other parts I disagreed with. Why should the structure of my counter-argument be relevant here? You say the parts of your argument logically follow each other, but discrete parts of your argument are highly debatable at best, which is why I subjected those parts of your argument to analysis. It seems that the crux of your argument is based on the notion that race does not exist scientifically. I think the question of scientific utility regarding race can be addressed separately from the question of what race means from a sociological/cultural perspective. I think it is important that we allow ourselves to question (or affirm) the scientific basis of race. It seems to me that race as a scientific construct does have utility. Many diseases are more effectively studied and treated by taking into account race, since race bears directly on one’s lineage and thus on one’s genetic makeup (which has been influenced by the ancestral environment of one’s racial group).

So let’s start with the scientific basis of race, if any. Could you please address the question I posed to you previously regarding bone marrow donation? Why do the doctors at Dana Farber endeavor to match donors and recipients of bone marrow by race/ethnicity if race doesn’t have scientific utility?

RR said...

Zek,

Regarding Sailer’s views on Katrina, I think it is possible that his views can be both realistic and paternalistic. Clearly, the situation could have been handled better. I think it is also clear that many of the black residents who chose to remain in New Orleans during Katrina could have behaved much better than they did. His argument that the government (local, state and federal) would have been able to better serve the people of New Orleans if it had been more realistic about the behavior of poor blacks during a crisis doesn’t sound unreasonable. That was a situation where political correctness cost lives, especially black lives. Being black, I found Sailer’s commentary on Katrina maddening, initially. My anger was renewed after he contrasted black behavior in New Orleans with the behavior of the Japanese after the Sendai earthquake. But after thinking about it, it is clear that the two radically different responses of the two groups to disaster was influenced by race. One doesn’t have to be a racial absolutist to believe this. Races differ on a host of levels, just as individuals differ. The sooner we come to grips with this reality, the better off we will be……probably:\

RR said...

To She Who Will Not Be Named,

We have had our differences. I have written some things I probably shouldn’t have. For that, I apologize. At this point, I would like to move forward. Bury the hatchet. Let bygones be bygones. What do you say?

You wrote:

So basically you attribute a fraction of phenotypic differences (in this case, differing IQ scores) to genetic variation (i.e., Person A has different genes than person B), but that doesn't say anything about which gene (if any) causes the difference between person A and person B.

I agree with you, but this point is irrelevant. We don’t have to know the specific genetic nature of intelligence to discern differences in intelligence between individuals. Why is this sort of specificity required when discussing average IQ differences between groups?

RR said...

Zek wrote:

Phenotypic variation is only correlated to IQ through testing, not through genetics since we can't find the "genes" that make people "smart".

This is a very interesting statement. I think I agree with it, sort of. Phenotype is the result of gene expression and genes are heritable through lineages (families thus races). We have not yet identified the genes involved in intelligence, but we have identified the genes involved in determining brain size:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/309/5741/1717.abstract

Brain size is positively correlated with intelligence, and average brain size does vary with race.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

First, I'm gonna need you to try and make one comment, or at least not so damn many because it clogs up the thread. Thanks! =)

Secondly, I am well-aware of race-based medicine, particularly with finding donor-matches. My brothers were bone-marrows donors for my mother. (I was too young to donate.) And while bone-marrow, as with other transplants and tissues require compatibility, it is documented that organs from people of disparate races can utilize each others organs and tissues after transplant. Kidneys, hearts, lungs, etc. While the success rate is lower in some cases, this isn't conclusive proof that race is a valid biological category, unless you account for all the White people that are incompatible donors to a White patient. (Or whatever race you would like to use as an example.)

And while I have never said race has no utility, I have said that it is used incorrectly. So I think you misinterpreted my post in that regard.

Also, your point about brain correlating to intelligence is false. Brain size does not indicate intelligence. Brain size is relative to body-size, and only by looking at structures in the brain (like Noam Chomsky did) can we determine merely how capable an individual brain may be at human language.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-brain-size-matter

Scientific American talks about this a little bit, though they still have some of it wrong.

Finally, regarding Sailer on Katrina, I think you give him too much leeway. Comparing Katrina to the Japanese tsunami is ignorant of the fact that our government delayed responding and sending help, while the Japanese government was on it. And the more difficult problem is that our government at the time was/is dominated by White people in power. So it wasn't Black people somehow messing up. And condemning Blacks for their behavior during a crisis seems like victim-blaming to me, which is something I do not agree with. It is not for anyone to judge what others do in a crisis to save themselves when we (as a country) stood by and did nothing for days. That is the fundamental difference between Katrina and the Japanese response to the tsunami. At least for me.

Zek J Evets said...

@Anon & others:

Anonymous comments are no longer tolerated on my blog. Please register a name and demonstrate some intellectual courage by standing by your ideas.

Also, you must be on-topic.

This makes me realize I need to make a commenting policy post...

RR said...

Zek,

I apologize. I will try to be more concise.

What I hear you saying is that there is, in fact, a scientific basis for race. Is this correct?

As for brain size as it relates to intelligence, Asians have larger average brain volume and smaller average body size. They also have higher levels of average intelligence. Absolute brain volume does seem to be positively correlated with intelligence:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/nervous-system/brain-size2.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070518172103.htm

Sure, molecular complexity within the brain is also a factor, but so is absolute brain size.

On Katrina,

Yes, the state and federal governments were slow to react, but remember, the citizens of New Orleans had at least 2 days warning before the hurricane struck. The residents were urged to leave, but many chose not to. The Japanese had a 15 minute heads up. Not only that, the magnitude of the devastation was much worse in the case of Sendai as compared to New Orleans, yet the Japanese still performed much better. Also blacks dominated the government at the local level. Remember the pictures of all those buses in that parking lot that Ray Nagin could have used to evacuate more people out of New Orleans:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/9/11/04204.shtml

http://www.katrinadestruction.com/images/d/13172-4/swamped+school+buses

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

There is a scientific basis for race, yes. In entomology, in many social sciences, and even some hard science, particularly forensic anthropology. However, I would further add that race is not genetically or biologically determined. It's a made-up category like any other.

I think you misread my objection to brain size as an indicator for intelligence. It isn't precisely because we cannot measure intelligence with any accuracy (as I noted in my post), and there are many counter-arguments to brain-size being a strict measure of intelligence in the second article you pasted.

When it comes to brain composition, I admit I tend to side with neuro-linguists much more than other disciplines since the capacity for human language is a trait that is the closest approximation for "general intelligence" that isn't ethnocentric that I know of, hence my focus on structure.

That said, Asians (and I'm guessing you mean specifically east-Asians) are much more variable in body-size and brain-size than most populations due to sheer numbers, especially Han Chinese. Also, the proportions you mentioned aren't reflective of intelligence since you need to test intelligence, and testing is flawed. Not to mention that if you include southeast Asians the numbers go to sh!t right quick.

About Katrina... low-income and poor residents do not have the option of abandoning their homes because they have literally nothing to survive on. I refuse to blame residents who live in poverty or near-poverty because they lack the money to take effective agency, like buses, trains, cars, etc. Also, perhaps they felt that the levees would protect them like they should have. (Can't blame them for the city and state not fixing them.)

That said, I'm fine with blaming Ray Nagin, but that's one Black man! Hardly indicative of an entire race of people. And he did ask for help -- only it came very late.

The Japanese, conversely, respond all at once with everything from the national to the municipal level. There was no concerted response during Katrina.

The Japanese government stood behind their people, the US government did not. And no matter the behavior and limited abilities of the locals, that is an important distinction in these two tragedies.

RR said...

Zek,

You wrote:

race is not genetically or biologically determined. It's a made-up category like any other

If, by this you mean that race is a construct used to help us understand our world, then I agree with you. If you mean that race is unrelated to genetics, then I have to disagree. You seem to be implying that racial categorization is arbitrary.

Sure, IQ tests leave a lot to be desired, yet they are the most powerful predictor of academic and job success available. Would it be reasonable to administer an IQ test to a Kalahari Bushman? Probably not, unless the Bushman in question was considering becoming formally educated or working in a modern environment.

Ray Nagin was one black man, but there were others blacks in local government. Heck, half the police force in New Orleans was black, and many of them not only abdicated their responsibilities but actually took part in the looting. I really don’t like dwelling on Katrina, because it is too depressing. I will agree with you that the government was partly to blame.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

The gradation of human variation is proof enough that racial categorization IS arbitrary. Where the line for "Blackness" is drawn is as socially-determined as it is by any combination of physiological and ancestral traits. This is especially obvious when we start talking about mixed-race individuals, or People of Color that do not fit neatly into Asian, Caucasian, African, or American.

I agree that IQ tests are a powerful predictor of intelligence in western society, yet they are still employed in a racist manner, especially english-language sections. The SAT comes to mind...

And as for Katrina, we can agree to disagree and leave that sad note in the past.

RR said...

Zek,

Is the gradation of human variation itself arbitrary? That is, is evolution arbitrary? We have attached an arbitrary name, race, to characterize what we have observed of human variation. Sure, hybrids are more complex to categorize. So what? How does the existence of hybrids make racial classification arbitrary? I agree that context is important. Someone classified as "white" in one environment might be classified as something else in another environment, but even that isn't arbitrary. Let's use height as an example. One person could be considered "tall" in one environment, but be considered short in another environment. Does this mean the concept of "tall" is arbitrary? "tall" is relative, just like "race".

I would agree with you that intelligence is also context specific, but I would disagree that IQ tests in themselves are racist. We know that intelligence tests were used widely in Nazi Germany, until it was discovered that Jews scored, on average, higher than gentile Germans. The Nazis discouraged the use of those "racist" tests after that. And if the tests are racist, why do Asians score higher, on average, than whites? And why do the tests correlate with each other? That is, a group that does well on a given IQ test (Raven Matrices, for instance) has a tendency to do well on other IQ tests. And the racial hierarchy of results are consistent. In fact, there has yet to be an IQ test designed (and many have tried) which has not yielded the common racial hierarchy of results (East Asians on top, whites in the middle, blacks on the bottom).

Blacks preform well at the game of basketball. Asians, not so much. Is the NBA racist? Is the existence of any differential result among racial groups in any endeavor a priori evidence of bias?

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Your example of "tall" versus "short" is a perfect example of how arbitrary these categories are. Now, if you said a person is 6 foot 1, that's not arbitrary because it's a measurement. But saying a person is Black isn't a measurement. (Although if you said they had a skin-reflectance that was such & such, that'd be a measurement.)

It IS arbitrary because someone who's tall in one place is short in another. A person who's Black in America but White somewhere else is a classic example of arbitrary categorization. Sure, the act of categorizing can be done scientifically, but racial categorization is not. There is precise delineation of skin-reflectance, nose-shape, lip-size, eye-color, musculature, or anything else that denotes someone from Sub-Saharan Africa, to someone from North Africa, or even between populations across continents. For a category to be scientific, the standard has to be applicable in every case.

Your example about Nazi IQ tests being a counter-example to IQ tests being racist is flawed because German-Jews were, for all intensive purposes, integrated into the greater German population. They were completely conversant in the cultural bias that IQ tests utilize. However, take those same Jewish immigrants who came to America -- they FLUNKED IQ tests here, on nearly the same scale as Blacks and other immigrant groups.

A good reason East Asians score higher on tests is because East Asian school systems are based almost entirely on testing. Japan, Korea, and China all use testing as their primary tool for educational achievement. Which is not so different from here actually... But the point is that if you look at the studies involving testing, you'll see many scientists "gloss" averages from the lowest-performing students, utilizing small sample sizes in Africa (which is a HUGE continent), and even fewer samples from various regions. Essentially, they take a quick dip and call it a day. That's not scientific, especially when you're administering your tests to individuals who don't live in a Western culture or society. Most of the information is not relevant, nor taught well (if taught at all) to those people.

Also, Black people as being better at basketball is silly example. The "Black people are good at sports" meme has been actively debunked and denounced for its inherent racism a bunch of times.

Anyhoo, I suggest you look through the links in my post for info regarding the flawed nature of IQ testing. And also read Howard Gardner for more on the G-factor.

RR said...

Zek,

Perhaps your definition of arbitrary is different than mine. Let’s take a look at some definitions for arbitrary:

1. founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc; capricious

2. having only relative application or relevance; not absolute


If you are using arbitrary in its second meaning, then I have to concede the point. “tall” is relative and not absolute. The same is true of race. But I get the feeling you are using arbitrary in its first meaning, i.e. whimsical, capricious. Clearly race has been used to bolster prejudices and has been used in capricious ways, but the way in which most scientists use race is anything but capricious. I agree with you that whimsy in science is not science, but scientists do find racial classifications useful, thus race, in its first meaning, is not arbitrary. It is as if you are stating that the color “yellow” is arbitrary. The color yellow exists in a variety of wavelengths in the spectrum of visible light (visible light runs along a continuum, similar to race). There is no precise wavelength associated with yellow light. It exists within a range of frequencies, but is nonetheless quite distinct from blue light, which itself runs between a range of frequencies. Neither color is arbitrary scientifically speaking. Neither is race.

You wrote:

For a category to be scientific, the standard has to be applicable in every case.

I would disagree with this statement. Just consider Special Relativity. Time wrt Special Relativity is quite different than time in Newtonian physics. Again, context is important, but regardless of context, time is NOT arbitrary as you seem to be using the word.

Your example about Nazi IQ tests being a counter-example to IQ tests being racist is flawed because German-Jews were, for all intensive purposes, integrated into the greater German population.

Yes, German Jews were well integrated into German society, but you are not addressing the issue I am raising. The issue is not the integration of Jews, but the outsized intelligence of Jews in Germany as compared to gentile Germans. If the tests themselves were racist, why was the average Jewish score higher than the gentile German score? Did Jews develop and administer the tests? Was there some conspiracy among Jews to keep gentile German IQ down?

However, take those same Jewish immigrants who came to America -- they FLUNKED IQ tests here, on nearly the same scale as Blacks and other immigrant groups.

Not according to Charles Murray (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/jewish-genius/):

Jews have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested. (The widely repeated story that Jewish immigrants to this country in the early 20th century tested low on IQ is a canard.)

East Asian nations are highly test focused. They are also quite modern. It is not as if we find highly modern people with low IQ scores or relatively backward people with high IQ scores. IQ seems to correlate with modernity. Modernity seems to be a product of intelligence.

A significant portion of the African IQ data was collected in South Africa. They were administered to black and colored university students in South Africa. I think you would agree that SA is a Western based society.

Also, Black people as being better at basketball is silly example. The "Black people are good at sports" meme has been actively debunked and denounced for its inherent racism a bunch of times.

What is so silly about examining black athletic prowess? Jon Entine would argue otherwise (http://run-down.com/guests/je_black_athletes_p1.php). So would anyone watching the Final Four tonight (but not this guy). So would virtually anyone watching the Olympic 100 meter final. Could you be specific? Remember the point I was making. Are group differentials in results of a particular activity a priori evidence of bias? Please answer that question.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

The definition of arbitrary I am using in this discussion is both actually. The delineation of racial classification is both subjectively defined by the scientist/person/individual, as well as it being a relative application that has no absolute definition or boundary. There is no fine-line in the sand to separate a Black man from a mixed-race man other than what we think their dominant phenotypic expression is similar to.

Also, color (as in light) is not a corollary, unless you're speaking of race solely as being determined by skin-reflectance. Since race is not solely based on skin-color/skin-reflectance, I see little practical application to this discussion. Also, colors/light have/has a wavelength that can be measured, race has no single measurement, and the multivariate traits cannot even be adequately measured even if they can be identified.

I think you're bringing a different scientific discipline into play. But Special Relativity is always applicable in the situation it pertains to. It is always valid when it is applicable. Racial categorization and definitions are not always valid when they are applicable. The inability to utilize race as repeatable trait or tie it concretely to genetic heritability is proof enough of that.

The reason why Jews were scoring good on IQ tests is culturally-based, and there is a long history of study on the matter of Jewish intelligence that's been done BY Jews which demonstrate this. To explain succinctly, German-Jews were part of the center of a Jewish cultural enlightenment, and as such benefited greatly from it. This coupled with a cultural focus on religious study and literacy have given us a unique ability to excel, provided we can speak the language and are not actively discriminated against. But none of that is genetic. Why? Because German-Jews are White.

And as for Charles Murray's incorrect assertion, I cite Andrew G Clark, Brian Ferguson, and this very well researched study from a mere blogger who puts in basic terms: http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-inferiorIQ.htm

IQ seems to correlate with modernity.

This is one of the major reasons IQ tests are really bad. Modernity is a Western notion. Not all nations are Western, or even most nations. Thank you for making this connection.

Also, a significant portion of the African data being SA is actually very bad. Why? Because SA is (arguably) as racist, if not more racist a state than America. Their history of racial inequality is pretty checkered. But testing in one racist nation where Black people were historically disenfranchised does not a general sample make. The tests done in other sub-Saharan countries were even smaller in sample sizes than the SA ones, and this also leads to errors. Especially when the testers keep picking the lowest scores to represent the average on tests that contain information that most of the students have never even learned before because they're too busy trying to make a
living.

Examining Black athletic prowess is just such a stereotype. Not all Black people are good at basketball. And if you look at college teams, they're much different in their composition than professional teams. But take Hockey, which has almost no Black players. It's not a question of athleticism obviously, but a question of cultural priorities. Young Black boys are frequently indoctrinated with cultural pressure to be a rapper, or a ball-player, and that can be seen in TV ads, magazines, and a whole host of other media. But for my part, I trust Jeff Greenfield's essay on "The Black and White truth about Basketball" as well as sections of David Wolf's book Foul. Both sources make excellent cases for Black athleticism in basketball, and not in other sports.

But the reason I say it's silly is because the conversation is about race, genetics, and IQ being deconstructed from a scientifically racist perspective. Adding another stereotype to the mix with "Black people are good at sports" seems disingenuous to my post.

RR said...

I was making an analogy between the continuous nature of light and the continuous nature of race. To ask “How yellow is yellow?” is analogous to asking “How Caucasian is Caucasian?”. I did not state nor imply that race was a corollary to light. Race is significantly more than skin deep. Light reflectance would be a poor mechanism for judging race, but not a wholly inaccurate one. The fact that race can’t be characterized by a single measure is irrelevant to our discussion. The pertinent issue is that the races do differ on several levels (including the genetic level) and that the differences are important.

Race is relative. It is the relative difference between races and ethnic groups that make them distinctive. Genetic research has turned up significant genetic differences between the races, which is why bone marrow registries utilize racial data when seeking donors for bone marrow recipients.You wrote:

But Special Relativity is always applicable in the situation it pertains to. It is always valid when it is applicable.

Not true. That is why it is called the Theory of Special Relativity.

Racial categorization and definitions are not always valid when they are applicable.

But racial categorization and definitions are sometimes valid, right? Racial categorization is inexact. What else is new? This does not mean that race is without scientific utility.

The inability to utilize race as repeatable trait or tie it concretely to genetic heritability is proof enough of that.

I sense cognitive dissonance on your part regarding race. On the one hand, you admit that race is a valid scientific construct that has beneficial utility. On the other hand, you are loathe to admit genetic differences between the races, despite the reality that obvious racial characteristics (i.e. hair texture) and other not so obvious racial characteristics (i.e. sprinting ability) are heritable. I can understand your discomfort and I must again commend you for your courage in broaching this vexing topic. But ignoring reality will not make it go away. Race (i.e. a large extended family that inbreeds to some extent) influences genetics. There is no getting around this fact.

RR said...

I hear you saying “Sure, the Jews are smart. But they are smart because they study really hard. Any group can become as smart as the Jews if they would just study as hard as the Jews”. I have heard this argument many times. This argument never takes into account the embedded “chicken or the egg” question:

Are Jews smart because they study hard, or do they study hard because they are smart to begin with?

People, both individuals and groups, have a tendency to focus on things they are naturally good at. Jews have a tendency to focus on academics because academics is a strength for Jews. Jews used to play a lot of basketball, but as basketball gained a bigger national audience, they found themselves out-classed by gentile whites and blacks. Jews no longer play basketball in significant numbers despite significant Jewish interest in basketball.

Because German-Jews are White.

There are those who would seriously debate you on this point. But even assuming what you say is true, there is quite a lot of genetic variation within races. Ashkenazi Jews differ genetically from Italians, who differ genetically from the Irish, who are genetically distinct from the French, etc. This is why bone marrow registries try to match donors and recipients in terms of race and ethnicity. Ethnicity is just race writ small. And family is just ethnicity writ large. Race is just an extremely large extended family that inbreeds to some extent.

I think Murray’s statement stands. You, and many others, have taken one statement by Carl Bingham and used it to attempt to invalidate the idea of racial differences in IQ. But Bingham later recanted his statements regarding immigrant Jewish intelligence (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2449964/posts?page=34):

Polish Jews were among the many immigrants from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe who were relatively recent arrivals in the United States. Many of these immigrants grew up in homes where English was not spoken, as Carl Brigham acknowledged in later years, when he recanted his earlier statements. In later years, Jews scored above average on mental tests.

So, the IQ tests were administered in English, a language many Jewish immigrants were unfamiliar with. They, predictably, didn’t do well on the tests. But their children did very well on the tests.

Modernity is a Western notion.

True, but most of the notions the world has deemed worthwhile have originated in the West. The scientific method is a product of the West. The immorality of slavery is a Western notion. You aren’t making much of a point here, except that life in the West is significantly better than life in most non-Western nations (note that most immigration is from East to West, not the reverse). Is this reality not a function of intelligence?

Examining Black athletic prowess is just such a stereotype

But how did this stereotype come into being in the first place? Remember, for the longest time, whites believed the opposite of blacks. They believed that blacks lacked the mental toughness required to excel sports. It was only when blacks were allowed to compete directly with whites that the stereotype came into being. This is the biggest reason why so many whites (and blacks) expected blacks to excel in academics also. It was thought that blacks only needed an opportunity to show their mettle and everything would take care of itself. Black athletes didn’t need a helping hand. Why do blacks need an intellectual helping hand if blacks are as intelligent as other groups?

I am (painfully) aware that not all blacks are good a basketball and that blacks do not excel at all sports. These points are completely tangential to the issue I raised. Recall what I originally wrote:

Blacks perform well at the game of basketball. Asians, not so much. Is the NBA racist? Is the existence of any differential result among racial groups in any endeavor a priori evidence of bias?

Could you please answer my question?

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Not true. That is why it is called the Theory of Special Relativity.

Oh my god... Do you not understand scientific nomenclature?? You sound like a creationist who says, "evolution's just a theory man!"

Also, you make a number of statements that are increasingly demonstrative that you either did not read my post, or did not understand the information contained therein. First you say race is relative, but then you attempt to use it in a scientific matter. Relative concepts cannot be experimented on without giving relative answers. So if you're looking for a concrete connection between race, genetics, and IQ, let me tell you: there isn't one. Furthermore, the discussion seems to be going farther afield from strictly scientific and into more esoteric concepts like "modernity" and random things like Black athleticism.

Let's try to stay focused on the subject at hand okay?

Race HAS scientific utility, but it is incorrectly used by many people, even scientists. HBDers and race-realists utilize race as strict category when the fact is that race does not have a strict definition, delineation, or consistent categorization. And that causes me to define race as a sociocultural construct. Why? Because race in biology and genetics doesn't really match up with the definitions people hold in their heads.

Finally, about Jews. I'm sure there are a lot of racists and anti-semites that would argue with me, but it doesn't really change anything. Jews are a group based on shared religion. An Ethiopian Jew is just as much as Jew as my grandma living in Florida. German-Jews ARE White. Just like Irish are White. Just like Zulu is Black. Just like Rawandans are Black. White people don't suddenly get to be all special by separating each other into little sub-tribes that are more important than the basic of being White while shoving everyone else into a monolith that erases important differences. I mean, that's just being fair.

And as for Murray, he is also a racist. And his book has been disproved by academics smarter than I, who I have conveniently listed for you at the end of my post. But speaking specifically about Jews, he's certainly a racist anti-Semite simply due to the fact that the only group of Jews he focuses on are the groups which support his conclusions that stereotype an extremely varied population.

Anyhoo, RR, I think I'm going to end off here. The comments are starting to get way off-track, and you're constantly bringing up new material which is either irrelevant to the discussion, or already disproved in the post/earlier comments. I suggest you spend less time frequenting blogs for information regarding this issue (even mine!) and spend more time reading the source material. Hell, if you want to read TBC, go ahead. Just make sure you read Mismeasure of Man too then. The information speaks plainly, and you can come to your own conclusions.

RR said...

Zek,

I don't think you quite grasped the import of my comment. I’m hardly a creationist. What I am is a person familiar with what constitutes theory. A theory is not absolute. Under certain circumstances, theories fail. They don’t hold 100% of the time. Special Relativity does not hold in all instances in which one would think Special Relativity is applicable. This was the point.
You wrote:

So if you're looking for a concrete connection between race, genetics, and IQ, let me tell you: there isn't one.

You have created a straw man here. I never stated that there was a concrete connection between race, genetics and IQ. Earlier in the thread I mentioned genes and brain size. I agreed with you that, at the moment, there is no concrete relationship between race, genes and IQ. But we do know that race influences genetics. The two concepts are related.

I apologize if my illustrations seem irrelevant. Perhaps we should review the progress of our discussion and determine what statements were relevant and which were irrelevant.

1)You wrote an essay which attempted to deconstruct scientific racism.

2)I commented on the essay, pointing out some contradictions in your argument.

3)You mentioned to the other commenter on this blog that my remarks were on topic.

4)We discussed Katrina and IQ tests. You stated that IQ tests were racist.

5)I mentioned that blacks, on average, play basketball better than Asians and asked if the NBA was racist. I asked this question because it seemed to me that you are under the impression that unequal group outcomes are evidence of bias. I asked you to address this question twice, which you never did.

6)We discussed East Asian IQ. You mentioned that Asian countries are very test focused. I agreed with you and stated that East Asian nations are also largely modern and that IQ was correlated with modernity. From my perspective, we were still on topic.

So, where did I veer off-topic? I really try to stay on topic. I gather bringing sports into the picture was considered off topic. But remember, the title of your essay: “Deconstructing Scientific Racism in the 21st Century”. Scientific racism is a fairly broad topic. Was your title overly ambitious? Are sports stereotypes somehow not part of the discussion of scientific racism?

First you say race is relative, but then you attempt to use it in a scientific matter.

Is the concept of relativity barred in science? Are they mutually exclusive?

HBDers and race-realists utilize race as strict category when the fact is that race does not have a strict definition, delineation, or consistent categorization.

You clearly are not very familiar with the concept of human bio-diversity. Most HBDers, including E.O. Wilson, do not adhere to the notion that race is an absolute measure or that it is clearly delineated. I would suggest that you find out significantly more about HBD before you make broad generalizations about it.

And as for Murray, he is also a racist.
he's certainly a racist anti-Semite.


Surely, you jest. He co-authored a book (“The Bell Curve”) with a rather prominent Jewish psychologist. Don’t tell me. Richard Herrnstein must have been a self-hating Jew. C’mon. Murray, if anything, is a philo-semite. Could you define racist?

I realize that you probably didn’t intend for you essay to be the last word on Scientific Racism (I hope) and you didn’t bank on having some obsessive scrutinize your arguments to any great degree. If I have fatigued you, I apologize. I know I spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking and reading about racial matters. I thought you wanted constructive criticism of your essay. I thought you were looking for debate. Taking your ball and going home isn’t my idea of a winning argument, but it is what it is.

I wish you the best of luck. Please keep up the good work. I’ll be keeping my eye on your blog for more thought provoking commentary.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

There is no argument to win here. There isn't even an argument. The facts are the facts, and my presentation of them, no matter how well-constructed or not well-constructed changes nothing. I didn't intend this post to be a final-word on the matter, nor to be esoteric. It was solely concerned with a core subject. When our comments start going afield, that's when I know the conversation isn't focused, and consequently I lose interest. More importantly, there is nothing to be gained in a nebulous discussion except for semantics and carpal-tunnel syndrome.

While I appreciate your interest and fascination, I also disapprove of HBD and race-realism, which I state quite plainly in my post and in my comments. Attempting to argue against what I patently disprove and disapprove seems... pointless? Something like that.

Anyhoo, thanks for your comments but in the future I would ask you to structure your responses so that I do not need to reiterate information already given in my post.

And in the meantime, keep on searching =)

unamusementpark said...

I have written a point-by-point rebuttal of your first moronic post on this subject. I will enjoy rebutting this equally moronic post tomorrow.

Zek J Evets said...

@Unamused/Amusing Racist:

I scanned your post, and am wondering...

Where is the rebuttal? All I saw was vitriolic and mouth-foaming =P

But seriously. You're like a character straight outta American Renaissance. And by character I mean caricature.

In the words of Gandalf the Grey, "Go back to the shadow. The dark fire will not avail you here."

You. Filthy. Bigot. =)

Franklin said...

@ RR

Wait, if the "Blacks and Sports Meme" was correct, then why aren't West African (the blackest of the black) soccer players dominating all non-West African teams? The only reason why American blacks are good at basketball is the same reason they are good at football, boxing, (and to a slightly lesser extent) baseball. All of those sports are a tradition that is cemented into black culture. As a matter of fact though, I seem to remember the US Team being spanked in one of the past olympic games. Do I even need to bring up the basketball great Michael Jordan and his mediocre baseball career? Not to mention that for a while, a few of the past Heavyweight Boxing Champs have been white.

If the "Blacks and Sports Meme" was true, the why aren't Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, and many other black MMA fighters consistently dominating? They're certainly good, but they aren't the "Ali's of Mixed Martial Arts."

Here's why: It's because like Hockey, Tennis, Golf, Bull Riding, Dragcar Racing, Swimming, Soccer (and other sports) these don't have a cemented place in American Black culture and neighborgoods. If it came down to their "Natural Blackness" giving them an edge then you'd have a lot of black "first timers" sending shockwaves throughout the sports world. But you don't.

(Also, Zek please disregard my 1st post, as it was blank...)

Zek J Evets said...

@Franklin:

Thanks for your elucidation of the "Black sports meme", as I'm pretty conversant in its lameness, but not in explaining it I guess, haha.

I would also mention that this is precisely why Jews tend to dominate in academic fields -- not because of superior genes, but because we are culturally programmed to do so from birth, mostly because Judaism is heavily focused on scholarship as the way to God. But unlike in the Randyverse, I'd say that utilizing this model for other groups would be disingenuous because it ignores the different kinds of oppression different groups faces. Notably Black and Hispanic people in America.

I would direct people who disagree to this study: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4469.pdf

Franklin said...

@ Zek

It was my pleasure to further elaborate upon that foolish meme with irrefutable examples. I have far more that I could have used, but I think people get the point. Not to mention that I think it's a little rude to create a wall of text on a blog. Unless it's in response to numerous points, if a single issue REALLY calls for it, or you're dealing with an incredibly dense person who needs his/her hand held through the simplest of concepts.

Oh, and incidentally (although it could be coincidentally) "waaaait a minute..."

RR is Randy Garver?

Zek J Evets said...

@Franklin:

I don't believe RR is Randy. Mostly because as I recall, RR is Black, and Randy is White, but online anyone could be anybody.

Walls of text aside, I enjoy debate, but not when it involves copious amounts of teaching/hand-leading. I like to think I have a life outside of my blog, haha ; )

Unamused said...

Sad, really. You "scanned" my post, and still couldn't see how I rebutted each and every claim you made, citing sources every time.

You don't know what "vitriolic" means. Also, you are a hypocrite (look it up, please, before you embarrass yourself any more).

American Renaissance is an excellent source for uncomfortable truths about race.

As for me being a "bigot"... in the words of Inigo Montoya:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Zek J Evets said...

@Unamused:

I don't think citing yourself counts as a "source", but I could be wrong... Wait, nevermind. Just checked my source ; )

Also, MY sources are cited at the bottom of this post. And there are quite a few of them. I guess you've got a lot to look up if you hope to catch up to the debate!

Also, the SPLC has classified American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor a White separatist, and the ADL has said the magazine, "promotes 'genteel' racism: pseudoscientific, questionably researched and argued articles that validate the genetic and moral inferiority of non-whites and the need for racial 'purity.' Generally avoiding overt bigotry and stereotyping, many of North America's leading 'intellectual' racists have written for the journal or have addressed the biannual American Renaissance conferences."

Yeah... totally sounds like an "excellent source" to me.

I am however DEEPLY offended at your misuse of Inigo Montoya! William Goldman is an awesome Jewish dude, and hearing his words come out of an anti-Semite's asshole is... bleh. Mandy Patinkin would probably be pissed too. (Another member of the tribe.)

Anyhoo, the only one who should be embarrassed is you -- but since that requires knowing why you're wrong in the first place, I'm sure you'll probably just fist-bump yourself. Like a douche.

In the meantime, please, keep writing more about me =) It's flattering, and I enjoy being a living example of Swift's quote, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

MC said...

Unamusement Park is half jewish & is no anti-semite. Please don't accuse people of anti-semitism on baseless grounds.

MC

Zek J Evets said...

@MC:

I suggest you tell your friend not to make essentialist statements about an entire group of people based on stereotypes if he doesn't want to be labeled anti-Semitic.

Basically, don't be anti-Semitic and I won't call you on it. Him being half-Jewish has nothing to do with it. I'd say the same thing to Herrnstein or Paul Eisen.

Maybe Unamused should read this if he really considers himself a Jew:

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/02/16/the-pathology-of-jewish-anti-semitism/

Franklin said...

@ MC

Your post defending Unamused reminded me of something. The same contradictory nonsense that have I seen time and time again.

"Because his views are like mine, I'll agree with Unamused and claim that he is incapable of being anti-semetic, since he's part Jew!"

...only to, (inevitably) make comments such as...

"White Liberals who are Anti-Racists are Anti-White!"

RR said...

Franklin,

I don’t think you have read my replies in their entirety. I never stated that blacks were good at all sports. I wrote that blacks were good at specific sports (basketball and sprinting, i.e. sports that require explosive power and speed). You wrote:

All of those sports are a tradition that is cemented into black culture.

But how did that happen? What socializes a give society? What would have inclined blacks to work hard at basketball, instead of, say, juggling? It seems to me that people (individuals and groups) have a tendency to focus on those things they perceive themselves as having natural advantages in.

If the "Blacks and Sports Meme" was true, the why aren't Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, and many other black MMA fighters consistently dominating?

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because the best black athletes prefer to play basketball and football.

Zek wrote:

I would also mention that this is precisely why Jews tend to dominate in academic fields -- not because of superior genes, but because we are culturally programmed to do so from birth

Again, what would incline Jews to be so academically focused to begin with? Also, non-Ashkenazi Jews are significantly less accomplished academically speaking that Ashkenazi Jews. If Jews are culturally programmed toward academic achievement, why do Ashkenazi Jews outpace Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews? Are Ashkenazi Jews more culturally focused? Do they have stronger familial ties? What would explain the differences in intellectual achievement compared to other Jewish groups?

And remember, Jews were basketball crazy at one time. They totally dominated the sport for quite a while. Was that culturally inspired also? What happened? My guess is that they discovered that other groups could outplay them at basketball and they lost interest in playing basketball on the group level. Note, Jews still are very interested in sports. They just don’t play much because the competition is too stiff.

Zek J Evets said...

@RR:

Again, I blame your lack of expertise in Jewish history. Sephardic Jews were nearly destroyed during the reconquista in Spain which culminated in the Inquisition which eliminated Jewish conversos along with the rest of the Jewish population. This significantly impacted the cultural developments of Sephardic Jews in comparison to Askhenazim who were able to partake in the Jewish Enlightenment due to its center of Germany. Sephardim faced just as much racial discrimination by Askhenazi Jews, as Whites often give to Hispanic-Whites, and the problem is even more noticeable among Mizrahi or Beta-Israel Jews. A prominent cause of this is Askhenazi Jews attempting to claim "ownership" of Jewish identity. (Like who's allowed to say they're Jewish.)

As for the cultural influences that cause Ashkenazim to be inclined towards academic fields, you have only to look at the religious necessities of Jewish life -- Torah study, Bar'Mitzvah, Talmudic study, Kabbalic study, Midrash, Exegesis, rabbinic study, Tanakh study. Jewish life focuses on academic introspection onto the nature of God and his commandments to the Jewish people, especially dealing with how to best apply these laws to everyday life among a population that considers Jews foreigners at best, and hostile invaders at worst. It has next to nothing to do with genetic identity, and almost everything to do with our culture. However, much of European Jewry was decimated during the Holocaust, and as such, American Jewry became the preeminent center for Jewish learning (fostered in part by Jewish refugees) up until the creation of the state of Israel, and arguably after it as well.

As for Jews and basketball, your article offers a succinct rationale for why that happened which seems to have nothing to do with genetic disposition, and everything to do with the circumstances at the time. In other words: White flight coupled with desegregation.

Franklin said...

@ RR

Oh boy...

RR: I wrote that blacks were good at specific sports (basketball and sprinting, i.e. sports that require explosive power and speed).

That still doesn't explain or even touch on the overall lack of black soccer dominance. Despite the high number of international blacks playing the sport.

F: All of those sports are a tradition that is cemented into black culture.

RR: But how did that happen? What socializes a give society? What would have inclined blacks to work hard at basketball, instead of, say, juggling? It seems to me that people (individuals and groups) have a tendency to focus on those things they perceive themselves as having natural advantages in.

Comparing basketball to juggling now? Seriously? Juggling doesn't pay nearly as much as basketball does. That was a pretty bad example. If natural advantages are the general reason for participation, then there wouldn't be such a wide range in participants between whites and blacks in basketball, football, and soccer. All three of these sports require explosive power, a ton of running (stamina), and require good precision/accuracy/coordination. But yet blacks make up the majority of basketball players, with their numbers almost equal to that of whites in football, and their numbers in the low range when it comes to soccer.

Guess which two sports are widely available to blacks in America, and which one isn't? Now of those two sports, guess which one doesn't require a lot of equipment for, that has the highest black population. If you said "basketball", you're correct.

F: If the "Blacks and Sports Meme" was true, the why aren't Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, and many other black MMA fighters consistently dominating?

RR: I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because the best black athletes prefer to play basketball and football.

That wasn't even an actual response to my comment! By your logic, black MMA fighters should be dominating. Because MMA relies soley on both explosive power and speed. The area that blacks supposedly dominate in, as you stated earlier. Yet there aren't any black MMA fighters who consistently dominate.

C'mon RR...this is just too easy.

RR said...

Zek,

Are you a Lamarckian? Clearly, a relatively large percentage of Jews are not enthusiastic about Judaic studies. Many are militantly secular, and have been raised in militantly secular households (David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens come to mind). The only thing they have in common with religious Jews are academically distinguished lineages. Sure, religious studies no doubt help focus the mind, but you seem to be implying that Ashkenazi Jews were more religiously focused than other groups. This is a highly dubious assumption. Rabbis did father more children than other Jews though. Perhaps higher Ashkenazi intelligence can be explained by eugenics, as these guys have postulated.

A large percentage of Sephardim never made it to Europe, and consequently did not suffer the disruption of being expelled from Europe, but nonetheless are significantly less bright than Ashkenazi Jews. Even assuming that all Sephardic Jews are of Iberian origin, why would expulsion from Europe make them less intelligent than Ashkenazi Jews? Were the Ashkenazim living it up in Europe? Why are Ashkenazi Jews academically outpacing other Jews in Israel, where Sephardim are much more religiously focused than Ashkenazim? You sound as if somehow Ashkenazi Jews transferred their intellectual intensity to their offspring via some mechanism. Hey! Wait a minute! That’s what I’m saying! You got me! Doggonit! We were arguing the same point all along. You are so clever.
You wrote:

In other words: White flight coupled with desegregation.

This remark makes no sense. White flight? Where? Remember, we are referring to a time when Jews dominated basketball? There was no such thing as white flight. There was Jewish flight from basketball though as more gentiles took up the game.

RR said...

Franklin,

You are still not grasping the point. Basketball and football didn’t always pay well. Neither did baseball. It was not money that drew blacks to sports. Why is it that we were draw to specific sports rather than other endeavors? I assert we were drawn to basketball and football because were possess natural advantages in these areas as compared to other groups, leading to black success in these sports.

You wrote:

But yet blacks make up the majority of basketball players, with their numbers almost equal to that of whites in football , and their numbers in the low range when it comes to soccer.

Actually, blacks constitute a majority of football players in the NFL. Soccer is a different game altogether. Raw speed and leaping ability are not as important in soccer, which is probably why soccer doesn’t appeal to black (or white) Americans.

Now of those two sports, guess which one doesn't require a lot of equipment for, that has the highest black population. If you said "basketball", you're correct.

Hmm. Soccer requires even less equipment than basketball, yet very few American blacks play soccer. Organized football requires a LOT of equipment, yet blacks still play it in overwhelming numbers.

That wasn't even an actual response to my comment!

Of course it was. You just didn’t like the response because you couldn’t refute it.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

White flight occurred during the period following desegregation. However, I'm speaking of the Jewish White flight into suburbs which was indicative of the possibility for Jews to proceed into higher level career opportunities, which led to a decrease in sports focus. Read the article you linked; your evidence agrees with my arguments.

Also, Jews -- even secular Jews -- still focus on traditional academics, and this can be seen by the fact that even the most highly secular Jews still receive Bar/Bat'Mitzvahs.

And the reason why Sephardim do not seem as distinguished in Academia is precisely because of their expulsion from Spain (which contained the highest concentration of Sephardic Jews) there was no chance for them to develop a cultural enlightenment period as happened in Germany. This is the large reason for Ashkenazim accomplishments in academia during the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Your focus is seemingly narrow in that you inherently look for genetic explanations to phenomena that the Jewish community has already addressed and explained to goyim. May I suggest reading a contemporary Jewish history? Chaim Potok's Wanderings is a particularly good one. But there are a myriad of others.

Without understanding the context of the results, it's impossible to determine if the correlation you're observing in Ashkenazi IQ is related at all to genetics, or even eugenics/genocide. And remember: IQ is considered a multivariate trait even by sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists. Thus, there is no single factor which predominantly affects how "smart" someone is in a Western cultural context. This is why I emphasis, time and again, looking at the entire context of any observable trait before jumping to conclusions, especially since many of them have already been explained without essentialist arguments.

Anyhoo, if it makes you feel any better MOST people get Jews and Jewish history wrong, precisely because we are such an exceptional case among historical peoples coupled with being approximately 0.2% of the world population, and 2% of the American population. Few people have direct experience with individual Jews, let alone the Jewish community.

Franklin said...

@ RR

Oh boy (again)...

RR: You are still not grasping the point. Basketball and football didn’t always pay well. Neither did baseball. It was not money that drew blacks to sports. Why is it that we were draw to specific sports rather than other endeavors? I assert we were drawn to basketball and football because were possess natural advantages in these areas as compared to other groups, leading to black success in these sports.

First of all, with all your "clever" dodging, you still didn't (can't) answer me as to why Africans, "the blackest of the black" don't demonstrate a natural dominance in soccer, on a global scale. Despite their high numbers. Until you can answer that, then all your little assertions about natural black athleticism are false. But I guess if you can't answer it, then just pretend that I never said it.

Second of all, money WAS a major incentive for blacks to play those three sports. As there weren't many ways for blacks to make money in that time, it was certainly better than the alternative. Zero Income. The more and more you talk, the less and less you sound black. As this is all the most well known of black history.

(I expect you to focus on my insult and ignore the rest of my post now.)

RR: Actually, blacks constitute a majority of football players in the NFL. Soccer is a different game altogether. Raw speed and leaping ability are not as important in soccer, which is probably why soccer doesn’t appeal to black (or white) Americans.

Hmm...alright I'll give you that. As I haven't checked the figures in several years. But raw speed and leaping is not as important in soccer as it is American football? You DO realize that you constantly sprint up and down the field in soccer to position yourself, right? Even more sprinting is done when you have the ball on a breakaway or have a few clear yds between you and the goal-line. Leaping? Have you never seen a goalie in action before? Apparently you've never watched a single soccer game in your entire life.

RR: Of course it was. You just didn’t like the response because you couldn’t refute it.

Actually, you just contradicted yourself. Which I was hoping you'd see. But naturally, you didn't. If those blacks aren't consistently dominating, then there goes your entire theory. Because you said that blacks excel in explosive force and speed, and MMA is a sport that relies solely on those two things. By your logic, there should be at least a handful of blacks that are dominating. But this is not the case.

And before you say "Well they haven't had enough time to train!" MMA is straight up fighting, and in order to be able to compete you need to excel in martial arts or fighting. ON TOP OF THAT, MMA is a fairly new sport in general. So there wouldn't be a huge gap between "untrained over the course of generations (for this sport) blacks" and "better trained over the course of generations (for this sport) whites." Nor IS there one.

MMA is the perfect example to deflate your entire theory, because both blacks and whites are generally on par with each other, in terms of skill and ability. Even though I say "generally", whites are at a slight and almost insignificant advantage because MMA has more training gyms in white areas and more whites do martial arts than blacks. As I said earlier...

"C'mon RR...this is just too easy."

RR said...

Zek,

I want to make sure I understand you correctly. You claim that Jewish movement to the suburbs undermined Jewish basketball prowess. I guess this is a plausible claim because everyone knows that there are no basketball courts in the suburbs. Nope! There are no parks with baseball fields and basketball courts. Heck, there aren’t even Jewish Community Centers with basketball courts in the suburbs. The sports birthday party that my younger son recently attended at a local JCC must have been some sort of figment of my imagination, because suburban Jews, clearly a majority of Jews in the country, have lost their zest for sport. How silly of me to have suggested otherwise. Guys like, Jerry West, who grew up in rural West Virginia and practiced on a makeshift wooden basket nailed to a barn…by himself, had to have had instruction on the finer points of the game from more knowledgeable city slickers because there is no basketball culture in the suburban and rural areas of the country. Country hicks like Larry Bird, from French Lick Indiana, couldn’t have possibly mastered the game by growing up outside of a major city. And that black guy…what’s his name…Michael Jordan, he couldn’t possibly have had his passion for the game sparked in that hick North Carolina town he grew up in. Heck No. And that other dude, Steve Nash, who grew up in South Africa and Canada, two hotbeds of crazy basketball talent, had to have suckled the basketball tit in those environments. Yeah, the Jewish movement to the suburbs also disturbed Jewish passion for the law. Yup! Being that only city slickers practice law, suburban Jews became disconnected from the practice of law resulting in the underachievement of Jews in the area of law. This is all so obvious now that you mention it.

The Sephardim, because they moved, missed the Enlightenment. Thus, they were not able to partake of the Lamarckian mechanism of cultural absorption. Yeah, movement really destroys Jewish proclivities. Everyone knows that. And the fact that millions of black people moved from a state of virtual slavery in the South to another condition in the North really screwed blacks up. We lost our love of baseball and took up that devil game of basketball, that Jews, because of their movement to the suburbs, just happen to be exiting. Movement sucks. It is disorienting. Just today I was moving around and my head started to hurt. At first, I thought it was due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten. But then I remembered how bad moving around was for the Jews and I sat down. My headache went away and had a really weird urge to play basketball.

You wrote:

Your focus is seemingly narrow in that you inherently look for genetic explanations to phenomena that the Jewish community has already addressed and explained to goyim.

I get you. White goyim, because they experienced The Enlightenment, but not Judaic studies, are less intelligent than Jews. That’s the ticket. Goys believe that genes, discovered by that Goy child of Enlightenment Mendel, have significant influence on physiology and on diseases like Tay-Sachs, which mainly afflict Jews or that other disease, Niemann-Pick, which afflicts Ashkenazi Jews exclusively. Goys believe that many diseases have a genetic basis. But of course, Jews know better. Jews know that it is the movement of Jews, not genetics, which resulted in Jewish specific diseases. Jews move, consequently inhibiting their study of Torah, and they get Tay-Sachs or Niemann-Pick and degrade their basketball skills. I appreciate you showing me how wrong I was.

This is why I emphasis, time and again, looking at the entire context of any observable trait before jumping to conclusions

But this is exactly what you are NOT doing. You are dismissing the possible influence of genetics outright. You are incapable of being objective with respect to race, which I can understand, but you act as though your opinions are buttressed exclusively by science. You play the same game you accuse HBDers of playing.

RR said...

Franklin wrote:

First of all, with all your "clever" dodging, you still didn't (can't) answer me as to why Africans, "the blackest of the black" don't demonstrate a natural dominance in soccer, on a global scale.

Again, I did answer your question. You just didn’t like my answer. I never said blacks excelled at all sports. In fact, blacks suck at most sports, like most people. There are specific sports that blacks excel in. Blacks, and in this context, I am referring to West African descended blacks, excel in sports requiring explosive anaerobic bursts. Soccer is not as anaerobic as basketball or football. Thus you have Germans, Italians, Spaniards, and Argentines, who are relatively slow compared to blacks, emerging as World Cup Soccer powerhouses.

Second of all, money WAS a major incentive for blacks to play those three sports.

This is absurd. There was no money in the beginning. Whites (and blacks) played baseball because they liked it. People started watching them play and liked what they saw and eventually agreed to pay for the privilege. Similarly, initially, there was no money in Blues music. Blacks played the Blues because we liked it. Eventually it caught on and it became profitable, but it was not initially profitable. Gospel music is another case in point. Blacks did not sing Gospel music because it was profitable initially. We sang and continue to sing Gospel music because we like it. Heck, even today, most blacks singing Gospel in their local choirs do so as labors of love. You have not the faintest idea what you are talking about here.

Hmm...alright I'll give you that. As I haven't checked the figures in several years.

Check figures?!!! You don’t have to check figures. All you have to do is watch a few NFL games. I gather you are not an American.

Apparently you've never watched a single soccer game in your entire life.

I have watched soccer. I cheered for the Ghanaians in the last World Cup and was very disappointed when they lost to Germany (they was robbed). The reality is that soccer IS a very different game that basketball or football requiring a different type of athleticism.

If those blacks aren't consistently dominating, then there goes your entire theory.

I don’t think so. If the best black athletes would rather play basketball or football, it stands to reason that the remaining blacks would probably achieve less in their respective sports. Again, you just didn't like my answer.

Unamused said...

As promised, I have rebutted the entirety of this moronic post at my blog.

You. Stupid. Fuck.

Zek J Evets said...

Unamusing racist,

Rebutted? O rly? Srsly? Fo sho??

Let me just take a look...

Hmm, now wait just a second here. That doesn't look like a rebuttal. It looks like you had a bad case of diarrhea, all over your blog.

By the way, why do you keep plugging your blog? Is it because nobody except a few sad bastards read it?

A rebuttal insinuates you have an argument. Having a conniption isn't an argument. It's called epilepsy. I suggest you start wearing a helmet. (Like Natalie Portman in that one movie!)

Also, you again dismiss the staggering evidence which contradicts you. But that's okay. I suppose the likes of Rose, Kamin, Nisbett, Gould, Lewontin, and other preeminent experts are too advanced for someone who actually believes it's realistic to be a racist.

But hey! At least you tried. "The little bigot that could." ; )

Take care, and don't let ignominy hit you on the ass too hard!

Highly Amused said...

You: "Genetically speaking, race cannot be traced."

You: "This is why we can identify people of different races, because we can link their features to ancestral populations in certain geographic areas."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Zek J Evets said...

Highly Amused,

Umm, whatever you're laughing at is probably a little to crazy for me to guess, since genetically you CAN'T trace race. Race in biology, and anthropology is defined through phenotype, not genotype. However ancestry is traced through genotype, but ancestry does not indicate race, anymore than Boers are considered Black even though they are African.

You really need to get an education boyo, before your prejudice makes you laugh so hard you die like the weasels in Roger Rabbit.

Franklin said...

Ugh, I lost my post. Darn you Wordpress...

@ RR

Just to be clear, when I disagree with your comments because they're wrong, don't accuse me of "not liking your answer" and dismissing. Especially when you're blatantly doing JUST that.

RR: Again, I did answer your question. You just didn’t like my answer. I never said blacks excelled at all sports. In fact, blacks suck at most sports, like most people. There are specific sports that blacks excel in. Blacks, and in this context, I am referring to West African descended blacks, excel in sports requiring explosive anaerobic bursts. Soccer is not as anaerobic as basketball or football. Thus you have Germans, Italians, Spaniards, and Argentines, who are relatively slow compared to blacks, emerging as World Cup Soccer powerhouses.

You're very lucky that I can't find the study done by the scientists at Baylor University. The same study that ranked certain sports by their physical demands (which doesn't just mean strength). The study proved that while soccer was in the top 4, basketball was #9 and football was #16. The examples I gave you, also reinforce everything I've said. Where your "Nuh-uh! Calibur" posts, that are filled with your own made up rules, DON'T.

RR: I don’t think so. If the best black athletes would rather play basketball or football, it stands to reason that the remaining blacks would probably achieve less in their respective sports. Again, you just didn't like my answer.

Now you're just going in circles! First you said "that blacks have a natural advantage in sports that require explosive power and speed." Then I brought up MMA which relies soley on those two things. Then I said that blacks and whites are on the same level, and that no white or black fighter is consistently dominating due to a "Blackness/Whiteness Gene", because both groups joined the MMA circuit at the same time. (Despite Blacks supposedly excelling at "High Explosive Sports".) Now you're saying that the "Black Sports Gene" isn't helping out those blacks in MMA? You're all over the place now...

What about power lifting? That's one heck of an anaerobic sport! Is it filled with blacks, dominating due to their "Explosive Power Black Gene"? NOPE!

@ Zek

Why do you allow people who clearly can't even keep their own arguments straight, to infect your nice blog?

Svend said...

Unamused seriously weakened your argument his his post. You respond with childish references to vomit and pejoratives.

I don't trust you and neither will anybody else who is seeking to understand human groups and not reinforce already held ideas.

Zek J Evets said...

Franklin,

Because this post is directed at them, and I enjoy making fun of people who spend inordinate amounts of time being racists ; )

Svend,

Unamused seriously weakened his keyboard perhaps, but not my argument. He spends far too much time misrepresenting my position, ignoring specifics, citing discredited studies with methodological flaws, ignoring established science, attempting to use non-experts as an authority, engaging in essentialism, and generally attacking my position rather than actually critiquing it. He's a blogger who clearly can't tell the difference between broad-sense and narrow-sense heritability, nor understands basic traits and how they work.

Yet I refuse to spend my time educating him on the niceties of human variation and basic genetics. If he wants to "prove" something that isn't accepted by either mainstream science or the public at large, then he's going to have to do the convincing. Not me. And that begins with knowing the subject. Clearly he doesn't, so why bother refuting him? Besides all my sources (check the bottom of the post) are far more effective than I will ever be.

Anyways Svend, I'm guessing you're just another troll for the cause, but hopefully someday you'll learn something.

RR,

You do realize that Tay-Sachs occurs more often in non-Jewish populations than in Jewish populations, right? Also, flight to the suburbs was indicative of a change in Jews' status in the country, whereby they were less likely to engage in sports as a means of income or profession and more likely to go to school like everyone else in their neighborhood. Again, read the article YOU linked. I'm not going to continue explaining it.

And yes, Jews do know their communities far better than Gentiles. It's the same for most communities around the world. Outsiders offer a great perspective, but will never be able to intuitively, holistically, and experientially understand the inner-workings of a community to which they are not a member.

I'm not engaging in HBD arguments, I'm merely presenting the facts as they stand. I do make my own arguments based on my understanding of modern genetics, but they are quite basic arguments that anybody could learn in a textbook on the subject.

You are dismissing the possible influence of genetics outright.

I have never done this, but I challenge you to prove it. As I have stated ad infinitum on the subject, cultural and genetic factors work in tandem to produce human variation, and every major textbook on the subject agrees with me. (Shoot, that's where I learned it.) The problem is that a small minority, the HBD/race realist groups believe that genetics overwhelmingly controls behavior, IQ, and other traits which are culturally defined, or have a low repeatability. Ethnocentrism however is the least of their problems; the major issue is their inability to concoct any scientific definition for these traits, terms, and ideas. Furthermore, very few have any expertise in anything at all, and the ones that do are apparently not an expert in human variation, OR, more importantly, in human genetics.

Anyhoo, as I've said, I present the facts as they stand. If ya'll want to try and climb over them to plant your own flag then you'll have to do the hard work. Not me.

RR said...

Franklin,

I agree with you. We seem to be talking in circles. You keep asking the same questions repeatedly and I answer your questions repeatedly, which you ignore repeatedly. I never asserted that blacks were good at all sports. I never asserted that all blacks were good at sports requiring speed and power. The degree of athletic ability varies widely among blacks. It is my position that most of the best black athletes opt to play basketball and football rather than participate in MMA (and even boxing nowadays). This is my answer.

RR said...

Zek,

Tay-Sachs is clearly most prevalent among people of Jewish descent. Where exactly did you retrieve that factoid? Here are some links supporting my position:

http://nervous-system.emedtv.com/tay-sachs-disease/tay-sachs-and-who-it-affects.html

http://www.suite101.com/content/what-is-taysachs-disease-a2216

http://www.palms.com.au/Education/Genetics/taysachs.shtml

http://www.cureresearch.com/t/tay_sachs/basics.htm

Here is a choice snip from the book “Tay-Sachs Disease” by Julie Walker

Occasionally, genetic disorders are more prevalent within specific cultural and ethnic groups. This
is definitely the case for Tay-Sachs disease. Approximately 85 percent of children born today with infantile Tay-Sachs disease are of Jewish descent.


Please present references backing up your assertion, if you can?

This is the major problem with your essay. You assume that all of your assertions are facts just because you made them. You assume IQ tests to be racist a priori because they imply group differences. You have obviously not studied the history of IQ testing to any great degree and regurgitate the rhetoric of non-psychometricians. You also have not studied HBD to any great degree because, on a very basic level, HBD offends you. This is an intellectual limitation on your part.

And yes, Jews do know their communities far better than Gentiles.

“It’s a Jewish thing. You just can’t understand.” Where have I heard THAT before? So, it is impossible for a gentile to collect and analyze data about Jews and come to an objective conclusion (as with Tay-Sachs)?

The problem is that a small minority, the HBD/race realist groups believe that genetics overwhelmingly controls behavior, IQ, and other traits which are culturally defined, or have a low repeatability.

This is your own rather under-informed opinion of HBD. You just haven’t studied HBD to any great degree, and it shows. No HBDer claims that race, and by extension genetics, is determinative. The difference between people like you and the HBD camp is that you reflexively believe that genes play an insignificant role in observable traits. As a consequence of this genetic gnostiphobia, you believe group differences in outcomes are wholly due to environment (racism). HBDers assert that genes, along with environment, play a major role in influencing observable traits and that racial differences in outcomes are not solely due to racial bias.

the major issue is their inability to concoct any scientific definition for these traits, terms, and ideas.

This statement is emblematic of your lack of research on HBD. You seem to be in a muddle. What exactly are you talking about? Are you referring to the lack of a working definition of race? Or the nebulous concept of intelligence? As I explained to you earlier, scientists don’t have to have clear working definitions of the phenomena they study. They mainly note difference and try to explain and quantify difference. Scientists still don’t have a working definition of mass, yet it is an incredibly useful notion. Could you please explain exactly what you mean by the above statement?

I present the facts as they stand.

You mean like the “fact” you presented regarding Tay-Sachs? You have not presented facts. You have presented a propaganda piece. I would love it if you presented facts. Could you present facts (with links supporting your argument)?

Also, flight to the suburbs was indicative of a change in Jews' status in the country, whereby they were less likely to engage in sports as a means of income or profession

Jews, as a group, were NEVER inclined to engage in sports on a professional level outside of basketball (unless one believes chess is a sport, a notion I am partial to). This is not to say that great Jewish athletes didn’t or don’t exist. What I am saying is that your assertion sounds like a “just so” story.

Franklin said...

@ RR

I keep asking the same questions because you keep dodging, while trying to act as if I'm ignoring your position.

Your entire thing about "The best black athletes" when it comes to sports other than basketball and football is somewhat contradicted by your earlier statement of "blacks having an edge in anaerobic sports." There would BE no special class of "best black athletes" doing well in other anaerobic sports than others, using your earlier logic, since they supposedly have a natural edge in sports of that specific category.

But then again, you desperately pulled that whole "best" thing out of your rear, to try and keep your argument afloat. So really, for improv, it wasn't too bad. Just not that well thought out.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Tay-Sachs is clearly most prevalent among people of Jewish descent.

Actually, you mean Ashkenazi Jews. Not all Jews are Eastern-European. Also, Tay-Sachs is far more common among French-Canadians, both near St. Lawrence river and cajun Louisiana.

Check the facts man! =)

Because that's all I report regardless of your interpretation or opinion. Anyhoo, as I've mentioned before, arguing with you is like teaching a kindergartener about Life. Did you by chance steal your debating style from Obsidian? Hmmm... ??

What I am saying is that your assertion sounds like a “just so” story.

Check your article. How many times do I need to say so? Your own evidence contradicts you. So don't blame me for your disbelief.

Zek J Evets said...

***AUTHOR NOTE***

Anonymous comments are not allowed on my blog. Trolls are not allowed on my blog. Flamers are not allowed on my blog. Check the rules and regulations via the search box before you post a comment. Remember the Golden Rule of Bambi: if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

P.S. Anonymous commenters: don't be such cowards =P

RR said...

Franklin,

I feel that our discussion is progressing. You have finally acknowledged my answer and tried to rebut it. I salute you!

There is a limited amount of high caliber athletic talent within any racial or ethnic group. Additionally, athletic ability is not uniformly distributed among members of a racial or ethnic group. If the best athletes within a given racial demographic are drawn to particular sports, it leaves fewer superior athletes available for the remaining sports. Now, we could argue as to whether the best black athletes are drawn to basketball and football. That is a legitimate argument, but I sense that is not what you are disputing here. You seem to be under the impression that I believe all blacks are athletic and should dominate all anaerobic sports. I have not stated this and I do not believe it.

RR said...

Zek,

When I wrote that Tay-Sachs was most prevalent among people of Jewish descent I meant people of Jewish descent. Last time I checked, Ashkenazim were Jews. Even if no other groups of Jews suffer from Tay-Sachs, the disease is still most prevalent among Jews, with Ashkenazim being prominent. You wrote:

Tay-Sachs is far more common among French-Canadians, both near St. Lawrence river and cajun Louisiana.

This is an outright falsehood. While some French-Canadians may have elevated carrier frequencies, the disease is not more common among French-Canadians than it is among Jews. Please back up this opinion of yours with facts (i.e. multiple references).

Check your article. How many times do I need to say so?

Just because someone writes and article doesn’t mean all (or any) of the information in the article is “fact”, as you should well know being that this essay of yours is very light on facts and quite heavy on opinion and sentiment. Jews have never been prominent in sports, except in basketball for a time (due to a lack of interest among gentiles), even when Jews were relatively poor and working class.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Ashkenazim are Jews, but not all Jews. If you count all Jews than Tay-Sachs is more prevalent among French-Canadians than among Jews. If you count Ashkenazim as a single group of Jews, then Tay-Sachs would be considered more prevalent. It's interesting how the presentation of information can affect your interpretation.

Anyhoo, here's my source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B7CT7-4B5C9NS-21&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2001&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=gateway&_origin=gateway&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5eb877c3e2910f32e70b75ccf164c63b&searchtype=a

It's a long URL, but that's the article/study regarding Tay-Sachs among Jews, and here's the one regarding French-Canadians.

http://www.stronghealth.com/services/womenshealth/maternity/taysachs.cfm

Anyhoo, also, Just because someone writes and article doesn’t mean all (or any) of the information in the article is “fact”

Then why link that article to support your argument? There aren't any "take-backs" when it comes to evidence or facts.

You might believe me to be making opinions or just-so-stories, but in reality you're conforming your interpretations of my evidence to suit your biases. And that's fine -- if you admit it. But you don't, and so it's not, but whatever. Like I tell ya, I'm not here to convince you; I'm here to keep on blogging ; )

RR said...

Zek,

Even taking what you say at face value(i.e. Tay-Sachs is concentrated among Ashkenazi Jews, not in the general population of Jews), French Canadians do not suffer from Tay-Sachs at greater rates than Ashkenazim. The rates are equivalent, about 1 in 27:

http://www.mdperinatal.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=10

So, your statements:

You do realize that Tay-Sachs occurs more often in non-Jewish populations than in Jewish populations, right?

Also, Tay-Sachs is far more common among French-Canadians, both near St. Lawrence river and cajun Louisiana.

are clearly false. Tay-Sachs is more common among the Jewish population (including Ashkenazim) than among the non-Jewish population, of which French Canadians and Cajuns constitute a distinct minority. Ashkenazi Jews and French Canadians have equal probability of being afflicted with the disease, but no matter how you slice it, Jews are more likely to get the disease that gentiles. Which points to genetic differences between Jews and White gentiles. It even points to differences between Ashkenazi Jews and other groups of Jews.


My citing a reference does not mean everything within the reference is true or that I agree with everything in a cited reference. I pointed that article out to show that Jews did dominate a sport at one time. The author, I gather, is a Jewish sports enthusiast who prefers to think that Jews chose to emphasize other pursuits rather than basketball (or any sport for that matter, including those upper class sports of golf and tennis). I'll allow him his predilections, but his opinion clearly does not square with reality.

Zek J Evets said...

So, your statements: .. are clearly false

Y'know what RR? I agree. You're right, and after reviewing the evidence I concede the point. Tay-Sachs is more prevalent among Jews than among gentiles as a whole.

But then I read this...

Which points to genetic differences between Jews and White gentiles. It even points to differences between Ashkenazi Jews and other groups of Jews.

What points of difference? Culturally Jews differ greatly from gentile populations among the countries they inhabit. (German Jews differ greatly by culture from gentile Germans. Arabic Jews differ greatly from Arabic gentiles.) But genetically speaking, Jews do not differ any more significantly from the populations of their host countries than they do from other Jews or other groups of people. Jews have rarely been genetically isolated, despite their cultural isolation. Even among Orthodox Jews this occurs. This is heightened by the phenotypic and morphological similarities that Jews in various countries exhibit which mirror those found in the native populations. Arabic Jews look Arabic. German Jews look European. Etc.

Anyhoo, genetic discussions are going to be probably be finished in this forum since my newer post deals with them and I'm kind of tired of scrolling through so many comments about Jews that are extremely essentialist. They're making me uncomfortable.

RR said...

Zek,

I'm glad you are a good sport. Few bloggers admit to being wrong. That is an admirable quality. I think I like you:)

As far as Jews and genetics go, I will cease and desist if the topic makes you uncomfortable, although I would like to point out that the prevalence of Tay-Sachs is genetic and is partly due to the high degree of historical inbreeding
among Ashkenazi Jews
:


Genetic diseases with a high prevalence in Jews are mostly recessive. In general, over 1,000 recessive diseases have been discovered. Most are rare but the prevalence of some of these diseases is increased 100-fold or more in Jewish as in other isolated ethnic groups with predominant inbreeding. This increased prevalence is usually but not invariably confined to individual Jewish ethnic groups ("edot Israel") and not found in Jews in general. Most are severe and often lead to early death. In some diseases genetic analysis has identified the first appearance of an abnormal "founder" gene originating in a small number of
individuals within a Jewish group. This creates a genetic bottleneck whereby the prevalence of a recessive genetic disease is maintained at a high level by
subsequent inbreeding.


I don't think the author of the above article is being essentialist. He is just recognizing the reality that Ashkenazi Jews, as a relatively genetically homogenous group, differ genetically from other Europeans. There are genetic
differences among many of Europe's ethnicities. The Irish differ genetically from Italians, who differ genetically from Germans. It is precisely this reason that bone marrow registries take into account race and ethnicity when matching bone marrow donors to recipients. I'm not sure why noting difference in itself is essentialist (or racist, whatever that means).

Franklin said...

Sorry, that I've been away for a while. My old HD fried, and I had to go to great lengths and many flashdrives to recover my comp as best I could. But on to the topic; now I know where I've seen RR before...

He used this same "blacks and sports" nonsense on Abagond's Confirmation Bias thread (before he was banned), and was going back and forth with Thaddeus. Who, despite being a slight ego-maniac that had a tendency of derailing when conversations weren't being discussed how he liked, was quite brilliant at times. He pretty much trounced RR on this same topic.

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/confirmation-bias/#comment-61748

(That's the last comment of his, but you can read before that to get the complete picture...)

RR said...

Franklin,

You think Thad is brilliant? You are easily impressed. His entire argument consisted of lies and non-sequiturs. He clearly doesn’t know anything about sports. He didn’t even know that Ethiopians were distinguished runners. How can the statement “Men are taller than women” be subject to confirmation bias? Men are, on average, taller than women. If you want to take up the confirmation bias cudgel here, assuming Zek is amenable, we can have at it.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Oh Thad is certainly brilliant. Very hot-headed and extremely divisive, but personality problems aside you can't deny that he knows what he's talking about with regard to these issues. I mean, people (like you) try, but it certainly isn't convincing to the majority.

Anyhoo, I don't think a monomachy between you two on the subject would be useful or interesting. It'd just end up being one big block of text after another, like two people on different sides of the road yelling at each other. Hardly constructive.

RR said...

Zek,

With all due respect, I have not observed any evidence of Thad’s brilliance. He is energetic, I’ll give him that. But there are two rather large chinks in his intellectual armor:

1)He consistently engages in logical fallacies: Straw men, begging questions, non sequiturs, etc. He is a proverbial font poorly reasoned arguments. He raises the ad hominem to an art form.

2)He doesn’t admit when he is wrong, and in my experience, he is usually wrong. He argues passionately, but often non-factually and illogically.

I can tolerate his personal foibles (we all have them). It is the actual substance of his arguments that is disappointing. Prime examples of this are here and here

You wrote:

Anyhoo, I don't think a monomachy between you two on the subject would be useful or interesting.

You’re probably right about that. Hey, why not invite Thad to continue the confirmation bias debate? I tried to get around to debating the issue on his blog, but he threatened to ban me before I could broach it.

Sid said...

Unamusementpark has gone through your whole post countering it logically and fairly. You respond with empty rhetoric and insults instead of adressing his points. Pretty poor way of admitting he's right don't you think? If you're so sure he's wrong why don't you respond to his actual points as opposed to name calling?

Zek J Evets said...

Sid,

Haha, I'm sorry but calling someone a "racist" is not really "name-calling". It's not like I called him a smelly booger, or a fucktard. I merely pointed out his obvious bias. (And why did I do that? Because biases tend to obscure a person's judgement.)

He went about countering my points, not with logic or evidence, but with angry sarcasm and false science. There's a reason most people in the world do not believe in HBD, especially scientists, especially scientists in the fields of genetics as they pertain to race, IQ, and other aspects of humanity.

But you gotta a right to believe what you wanna believe. Even if what you believe is wrong =P