I’ve seen the massive race threads in the past, but have never really bothered to dissect all the “does so - does not” arguments regarding the seemingly overwhelming athletic domination performance by certain African ethnic groups and related claims for other ethnic groups…
If a co-worker says “How can you questions innate ethnic group differences, look at how X ethnic group dominates Y sport or X occupation” - The brief answer should be… what?
It’s a pretty powerful anecdote if you note that champion sprinters or distance runners are very heavily clustered within a specific ethnic cohort. “Show me a scientific, peer reviewed study supporting this” isn’t going to win informal confrontations on this topic in bars, or around the water cooler, or convince people of the logical errors they are making. I’m looking for a response that will make them reconsider the assertion they are making.
If they don’t understand how science works, you won’t convince them. You can try telling them how basketball was once dominated by Jews (IIRC), and see if that makes them reconsider, but people are stubborn about the pseudo-science they have invested in. I’ve not seen one person on this MB change his/her mind after pages and pages of threads with expert opinion weighing in. So, I can’t see the water cooler conversation having any hope at all.
“Predispositions” become self fulfilling over time. If all of society, including coaching from a young age, steers races in certain directions, races will end up in these directions. Cultures embrace different attributes. Over time these attributes become strengthened.
Try to deconstruct it. Get at the cultural elements in play here. E.g., why do African-Americans object to being told they have a “natural talent” for sports/music/dancing/whatever? Because, historically in America, saying that has always been a backhanded way of saying that that’s all those adorable childlike primitives are good for; therefore they should leave it to the stodgy, cerebral white man to handle serious things like business, government and the professions. Try to make your interlocuter confront his subconscious thinking in this regard. (Caveat: This will not work with a Jew; you can’t out-argue them.)
The politically correct scientific establishment refuses to publish studies that have findings at odds with the ‘equality lie’ of today’s permissive society.
Furthermore institutions are reluctant to fund any studies that may have awkward findings which may leave them open to attack from reefer-maddened blacks or extreme homosexuals.
This is a weak point. Many sports were dominated by whites back in the sepia age because they did literally not allow blacks to compete with them. Once that happened it was over. Guys like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain made the late '50s-early '60s NBA into a joke because they were able to compete against mostly white stiffs and put up numbers that will never, ever be approached precisely because of that reason.
If I were going to use basketball, I’d maybe say something about how dominant American whites have been seriously missing from the NBA scene since the '80s, but there are plenty of superstar European whites. Perhaps elite athletic American whites do not want to even try basketball because they think they have no chance, whereas European whites don’t have that mental block.
This argument has never persuaded me. There is no cultural pressure in the UK to steer blacks towards sprinting, yet most British sprinters are black, and even positions needing speed in other sports like rugby have an over representation of blacks playing in that position. Saying that running is a minority sport here is seriously underestimating how marginalised that sport is. Where is this supposed pressure/steering young blacks into sprinting coming from?
We’re arguing opinion here, because it’s impossible to prove, but… I think there is some truth in that, but not much. Scientists recognize that race is not a useful biological concept for humans, but they recognize differences in both genotype and phenotype for different ethnicities.
In theory nothing, if you analogize human “races” to, e.g., breeds of dogs; any dog breeder will tell you different breeds have different characteristics/abilities/predispositions. But, dog breeds resulted from centuries of artificial selection by humans, to the point that if someone from a country where dogs were unknown happened to walk into a dog show, he would take some time figuring out these are all animals of the same species. Humans are not a result of any such process, and in fact there is less genetic variation among the global population of humans than among the Africa-confined population of chimpanzees. More importantly, there is no hard scientific evidence of any innate psychological differences between different racial or ethnic groups of humans – not in general intelligence, not in personality type, not in “passion” or “courage” or anything else. Nor in, say, musical talent or mathematical talent.
That said, however, there is undeniable visible evidence of physical differences – e.g., Mesoamerican Indians, even with good nutrition, tend to be shorter than Caucasians (and shorter than North American Indians) – so it is not entirely implausible some groups would be more suited to predominate in certain sports, where physical characteristics matter.
A scientific study would (hopefully) note that walking and running are a common means of transportation there.
Top Gear noted that Finnish people pwn motor racing. Not because the Finns are genetically different from the Swedes, but because they start racing cars young and have dangerous roads. Americans might be the physical shape ideal for long distance running, but if only 0.01% of us ever try to become a professional runner, the great odds are that the person with the perfect body for it is among the 99.99% who never went for it. The best basketball player in the US is probably a data entry guy for DELL. But if you’re in a country where running is a major sport that everyone goes up for, if people get a lot of practice and experience running in their day-to-day life, you’ll get an impressive outcome fairly well regardless of genetics.