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  #101  
Old 12-09-2019, 03:41 PM
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Ah, the genotype/phenotype/socio-geographical shuffle. Always a favorite in these thread. "They look alike, therefore they must be genetically similar" is an understandable misconception, but a misconception nonetheless. As is often pointed out, not only is there more genetic diversity in Africa than elsewhere but many African genetic sub-groups have more in common genetically with European sub-groups than with other African sub-groups.
My understanding is that in Africa there are 5 different ancestral clusters, Madagascar 1.7%, Afro-Asiatic 17%, Niger Congo 76%, Khoasian, .01%, and Niho Saharian 5%. So while there is considerable ethnic diversity in Africa, most Africans are from one sub group and almost all Africans in America before 30 years ago were from the same sub group.
  #102  
Old 12-09-2019, 03:50 PM
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We do not know this. In order to know this, or have anything beyond a wild suspicion/hypothesis, we'd have to know the following:

A) all (or most) the genes responsible for high and low intelligence in humans.

B) the relative distribution of these genes in different populations of humans (including Jews).

We don't have anything close to this.
We don't have it all but we do have some of it. See this recent study that showed group differences in polygenic scores predicted differences in cognitive ability between Jews and Catholics and Lutherans.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:53 PM
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Harpending? In 2019? Hah. Pretty much demolished years ago. Reich also kicked that to the kerb. (this is in reference to Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence)

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  #104  
Old 12-09-2019, 04:12 PM
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If it were found that a historically disadvantaged and stigmatized group (let's say, African Americans) possesses alleles conferring high intelligence, what would the policy implications of that be?

Because I think such a finding could be used to support more programs devoted to addressing inequality. More AA, more anti-poverty programs, and even a serious discussion of reparations could be justified.

But something tells me most conservatives would poo-poo this idea.

Why do I say that? Because we know poverty and environmental stress have a profound impact on cognitive ability. And we know that right now we could make people smarter just by strengthening the safety net and doing a better job with environment regulation. But conservatives don't want to do this because OMG LAZY LEECHES TAKIN MUH MONEY.



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  #105  
Old 12-09-2019, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
We don't have it all but we do have some of it. See this recent study that showed group differences in polygenic scores predicted differences in cognitive ability between Jews and Catholics and Lutherans.
"Polygenic score" is not the genes for high or low intelligence. Not even close.
  #106  
Old 12-09-2019, 07:06 PM
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One of the authors of the polygenic score study between Jews, Lutherans and Catholics has an FAQ on his website in which he defends his methods, and what conclusions he thinks should be drawn, and IMO it's worth a read.

He defends only using 53 samples by citing analyses that a lot of neurosciences studies only use around 50 (this is one of the meta analyses), but the problem is that these analyses say that the low sample sizes is a problem and hurts the reliability of studies. So it may be true that this study is as good as other studies that aren't reliable enough.

Also from the FAQ, it appears that all the data he used to analyze was on people who lived in Wisconsin. I'm not a neuroscientist or psychologist but this seems like it massively undermines the purpose of the study. If he's looking for polygenes, which are coincidental groups of other genes that are associated with new effects - if you only look in one region, for all you know you're catching a group that has combos of these genes just in that region. He explains that he verified that Wisconsin Jews don't earn atypical amounts of money but doesn't explain any other problems with this.

He also states generally that his study should not be taken as proof positive that Ashkenazi Jews (or just Jews) have genetic intelligence advantages attached to their ethnicity, it should just be taken as one small step to promote more rigorous research:

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The purpose of our paper was not to provide irrefutable evidence of genetic basis of Ashkenazim intelligence, but to take a first stab at it, and hope that more research will follow so that we can get to the bottom of it. Our critics seem to be operating under a strange view of science where one would only ever publish something that 100% establishes some conclusion, and which no one can find a way to object to, but that’s not how science works. Scientific progress is a series a steps towards resolving a question. Sometimes there’s a big step, sometimes a small one. In this case, a study was needed to break the ice/advance the Overton window, so that others may follow. Our research group is working on multiple new projects related to Ashkenazim intelligence, some of which were inspired by the feedback we have received.

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  #107  
Old 12-10-2019, 01:27 AM
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Are people chose at random to be thought of as jewish, or black, or Asian, or Indian, or white?
People can't see genes.
  #108  
Old 12-10-2019, 02:31 AM
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People can't see genes.
Not yet. In the bright world of the future, instant DNA analysis of a skin flake will reveal one's genetic background. Alas, varied DNA analysis systems will still return divergent results (complicated by gene-hacking) so we'll get to chose those that support our biases.

I predict race-baiting will fairly soon go the way of angels-on-a-pin counts. (How many angels can sit on a pinhead? Measure angel's arse a and pinhead area p. N=p/a.) Med-tech advances will let us manipulate our genomes. People will reprogram themselves to mimic their pets, media stars, athletes, angels, non-stigmatized groups, and odd freaks. Select your new face, race, gender, and species. Add brain implants, too.

The "looming crisis in human genetics" will be our evolution into a hive-mind. Trust me.
  #109  
Old 12-10-2019, 02:40 AM
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It could be useful to craft policy, if one group is over represented in areas that require high intelligence it would be useful to know if they are there because of a genetic disposition toward intelligence or because nefarious groups are hoarding the opportunities in that area.
Potentially yes, but even here it's more nuanced.

Even in this hypothetical where we know group A is more intelligent than group B (and I would argue we are not there, even in the case of the ashkenazi jews), policies like affirmative action might still make sense, as long as we are not expecting the numbers to be equal. e.g. it might be the case that green people being under-represented in science is both due to culture, discrimination, wealth of parents etc and that they have slightly lower scientific aptitude on average, and an AA policy might aim at improving opportunities for greens while never claiming they should be proportionally represented compared to purples.

(Although AA is of course debateable whether or not this hypothetical were true. I tend to believe giving some students extra assistance and encouragement is a better way to go about it than lowering entrance requirements.)

But anyway, I agree with your point.
  #110  
Old 12-10-2019, 09:55 AM
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People can't see genes.
Perhaps there is something that people can see that gives them a clue as to what the genes are.
  #111  
Old 12-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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If it were found that a historically disadvantaged and stigmatized group (let's say, African Americans) possesses alleles conferring high intelligence, what would the policy implications of that be?

Because I think such a finding could be used to support more programs devoted to addressing inequality. More AA, more anti-poverty programs, and even a serious discussion of reparations could be justified.

But something tells me most conservatives would poo-poo this idea.

Why do I say that? Because we know poverty and environmental stress have a profound impact on cognitive ability. And we know that right now we could make people smarter just by strengthening the safety net and doing a better job with environment regulation. But conservatives don't want to do this because OMG LAZY LEECHES TAKIN MUH MONEY.



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The policy implications would probably be to have more affirmative action in college admissions and high intelligence job recruitment. Addressing inequality and poverty would seem to be an inefficient way to target the intelligent portion and I don't think we know how to do that. I don't see how reparations would help.

You seem to think we have a good idea how to reduce poverty and environmental stress in a cost effective way that we are not already using. Reducing air pollution would seem to be an effective way to increase intelligence generally but emissions are already going down so fast that it may not be cost effective to spend a huge amount on it due to the law of diminishing returns.
  #112  
Old 12-10-2019, 10:28 AM
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The policy implications would probably be to have more affirmative action in college admissions and high intelligence job recruitment. Addressing inequality and poverty would seem to be an inefficient way to target the intelligent portion and I don't think we know how to do that. I don't see how reparations would help.



You seem to think we have a good idea how to reduce poverty and environmental stress in a cost effective way that we are not already using. Reducing air pollution would seem to be an effective way to increase intelligence generally but emissions are already going down so fast that it may not be cost effective to spend a huge amount on it due to the law of diminishing returns.
Guaranteed housing, food, and healthcare would make great strides in both reducing poverty and making it more dignified. What are you talking, we don't know how to address poverty? We most certainly know how to do it because there are existing models we could follow. There just hasn't been enough political will in this country to do it because a huge chunk of the population still clings to Fair World mythology, where smart poor people can always rise above their situations as long as they yank on their bootstraps hard enough.

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  #113  
Old 12-10-2019, 12:29 PM
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Useful in some contexts, not useful in others. For example, if you are a scientist wanting to test a sickle cell cure, where should you go to find patients? Vermont, or Alabama? On the other hand it would be stupid to go up to a random black person on the street and ask if they have sickle cell because it is still rare in black people.
If I had to actually move to the region where the test is being conducted, and I only wanted to test a single population in a single region, then I would want go to where there is a large enough population of people with sickle cell trait to be worthwhile. But then I wouldn’t go just off the skin color of the population, I’d want to go after actual data on the prevalence of sickle cell trait.

I might actually want the most diverse population possible, from a socioeconomic standpoint, so I might actually NOT want to go to Alabama if there was a more diverse population of people with sickle cell trait in Vermont.

But I get it. The second someone jumps to "I guess I’d go where we know there’s a correlation between something that is obvious vs something that is not" that justifies categorizing people by race does... something to bolster your position?

Okay, I guess the question mark means I don’t actually get it. As I see it, in all circumstances, we would want the most granular information available to make decisions on. The nature of each individual would be best, then broader categories relating to gender, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, and—what I guess you’re getting towards—this thing called "race" if we had to. But that the government currently records race as if its useful (and please don’t mistake what I’m saying for saying "I’m colorblind"—I get that race is seen as a thing and that it informs people's decisions and I shouldn’t pretend that things are other than what they are) does not mean that the government should continue to do so.

Is the prevalence of sickle cell trait in various areas known or at least reasonably well estimated by the government? If no, then maybe it should be. Because that seems like it would be of use if the government is interested in sponsoring national programs to combat common health and social issues. I would say the same about crime statistics, communicable disease, literacy, and a whole host of other issues.

We should not hobble ourselves to race—perhaps the least granular of all our categories apart from gender—just because no one wants to bother to figure out what’s actually going on with the population.

So I say again, if I have to arrange a localized study on sickle cell, I want to do it in an area where people are most likely (relative to others) to have it, but while also allowing for me to control for other factors to the extent possible. What I would like to do that is with, say, CDC statistics on where sickle cell trait is most common, and then match it with a bunch of other data from other government departments to get the most representative population possible.

If I can’t do that, but I can figure out who self describes as black or of African ancestry (however much recent African ancestry they may have and from whatever part of Africa their ancestors may have been from) then there is a problem with the system. Because of all the data the government could have gathered, somehow it omitted the useful data and went with pseudo-sociological nonsense passed on by our racialist ancestors who were obsessed with notions of race and purity when they probably should have been worrying about something else. Like how to treat those who developed sickle cell anemia.

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  #114  
Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM
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Perhaps there is something that people can see that gives them a clue as to what the genes are.
Repeat after me: "Phenotype is not genotype".

Hares and rabbits look remarkably similar, yet not only are they not the same species, they're not even the same genus.
  #115  
Old Yesterday, 03:21 PM
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Repeat after me: "Phenotype is not genotype".

Hares and rabbits look remarkably similar, yet not only are they not the same species, they're not even the same genus.
And yet you can tell the difference between most hares and rabbits by looking because hares are larger, have longer ears, and have black marks on their fur.
  #116  
Old Yesterday, 03:36 PM
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And yet you can tell the difference between most hares and rabbits by looking because hares are larger, have longer ears, and have black marks on their fur.
A person can visually distinguish Nigerians, Kenyans, South Africans, and the descent of American slaves from each other. Doesn't stop you and everyone else from lumping all these disparate people into one racial category, does it?

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  #117  
Old Today, 11:35 AM
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A person can visually distinguish Nigerians, Kenyans, South Africans, and the descent of American slaves from each other. Doesn't stop you and everyone else from lumping all these disparate people into one racial category, does it?

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Do you believe there are genetic differences between Nigerians, Kenyans, South Africans, and descendants of American slaves, and that this is the reason people are able to visually distinguish between them?
  #118  
Old Today, 12:05 PM
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Perhaps there is something that people can see that gives them a clue as to what the genes are.
Their own biases and the made-up race boxes that go with them ? Sure.
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Old Today, 12:31 PM
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Also, what there aren't - and this is directly relevant to the subject - are sufficient genetic similarities to assume that they can be grouped together.
  #120  
Old Today, 03:33 PM
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"If they were really superior intellectually, they wouldn't be living in grass huts and living primarily off of roots and berries. And where are their symphonies and operas? Where are their Shakespeare's and Newton's? Besides, the average IQ of this population is only 70. Ergo, fast processing speed ain't shit."

In other words, people tend to be stupid when it comes to defining intelligence.



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  #121  
Old Today, 03:34 PM
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No, the most common racial categories have to do with continent population, Black - Africa, White -Europe, Asian- Asia, Amerindian-Americas, Australia - Aboriginals. Ashkenazis would be a sub category like ethnic group.
OK, so what is the difference between race and ethnic group?

Because the definitions seem to have a lot of overlap.
  #122  
Old Today, 03:40 PM
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No, the most common racial categories have to do with continent population, Black - Africa, White -Europe, Asian- Asia, Amerindian-Americas, Australia - Aboriginals. Ashkenazis would be a sub category like ethnic group.
As has already been said, there are groups within "Black" that are more closely related in terms of genetic ancestry to groups in the "White" and/or "Asian" categories than to various other far-flung "Black" groups. If Black Somalis, for example, are on average more closely related to non-Black Yemenis than to Black Namibians, by what basis does it make sense to group Somalis and Namibians together, but Somalis separate from Yemenis?
  #123  
Old Today, 03:44 PM
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I'm going to repeat the thing I said in those old threads:

What would it even matter?

Let's say, hypothetically, we had entirely fair IQ tests, could eliminate the different effects of environment etc etc and therefore could conclude with all certainty that group A has a lower IQ, on average, than group B.

From a scientific point of view, it's not a very important or useful observation. It's about as useful as knowing that Spanish men have on average bigger noses than Italians, with considerable overlap and no particular inferences we could make about individuals or outliers (we could not assume, for example, that the man with the very biggest nose would be Spanish).

This supposedly super important observation is only of interest to bigots, who will pay lip service to "on average" but really wish to believe that their tribe is superior to some other tribe.
It would go a long way in explaining disparities in academic outcomes and the argument for trying to achieve equality of results would be greatly diminished.
  #124  
Old Today, 04:13 PM
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The policy implications would probably be to have more affirmative action in college admissions and high intelligence job recruitment. Addressing inequality and poverty would seem to be an inefficient way to target the intelligent portion and I don't think we know how to do that. I don't see how reparations would help.
I feel exactly the opposite. If we as a society are missing out on all that potential, we ought to change the conditions that made all that potential wither on the vine. Improve public education, have better safety net programs, focus on improving the "environment" in which these kids are raised.

Affirmative action on the other hand does very little to help actualize their potential it tries to equalize results without actually equalizing the results. What good does it do to have businesses hire underqualified black employees. Much better to create an environment where they can achieve their potential.
  #125  
Old Today, 06:43 PM
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Also, what there aren't - and this is directly relevant to the subject - are sufficient genetic similarities to assume that they can be grouped together.
Of course, that too - thanks for pointing the so-obvious-even-I-missed-it
  #126  
Old Today, 07:31 PM
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I feel exactly the opposite. If we as a society are missing out on all that potential, we ought to change the conditions that made all that potential wither on the vine. Improve public education, have better safety net programs, focus on improving the "environment" in which these kids are raised.



Affirmative action on the other hand does very little to help actualize their potential it tries to equalize results without actually equalizing the results. What good does it do to have businesses hire underqualified black employees. Much better to create an environment where they can achieve their potential.
It's hard for me to imagine a scenario where you wouldn't call someone who isn't singing, running, or chasing a ball an underqualified black employee.
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