There are two possibilities: nature and nurture.

You continue to make a charge that it’s some sort of personal opinion of mine–and nothing more–to ascribe that pattern to nature. I have given cite after cite showing an inability to eliminate the disparity despite very specific efforts to normalize for nurture–indeed, in the field of US education, despite very specific efforts to give an additional helping hand well beyond what is extended to non-underrepresented minorities. These efforts may be deemed unsatisfactory to you. Perhaps, for instance, you are convinced there is some secret and unaccounted-for nurturing block that prevents blacks given identical educational opportunity from coming even close to Eurasians on the MCATS, or that prevents them from coming even close on post-medical school licensing exams (again, despite equal opportunity). Perhaps you suspect similar nurturing blocks in black families of high income, or black families with educated parents. Perhaps you suspect some undiscovered bad nurturing is blocking black success in STEM PhDs but not black success in basketball.


But to pretend that I’ve simply formed a unilateral and premature opinion not based on “science” when all the available data out there supports ONLY my view that the differences are immutable is at best disingenuous and at worst deliberate hyperbole.

If we were dealing with animal husbandry and not humans, with attendant social consequences and altruistic overlays, this debate would be long over.

Your utter faith in the validity (and future absolution) of your racist pseudo-science fantasy, comes as no surprise to me.

“genetic egalitarians?” Ha. Do you think you are using genetics? You are not talking about genetics!

You are not a “genetic realist!” You are “race realist!” You are not promoting “genetism,” you are promoting “racism.” You are not a “geneticist!” You are something else! So just drop the doublespeak.Go back and re-read any of my thousands of post to you. Genetics don’t play any part in what you are promoting. It’s 18th century race theory.

I can’t wait for them to come. I can only wonder how wild your wild-ass racial interpretations of any of these papers will get.

Blah, blah, blah. Assert. Assert. “the future will absolve me” crap. I aint interested…

Your “races” are already products of “Interracial marrying.” Your assumptions (of some sort of ancient mythical race purity) doesn’t exist. Regardless, you still draw your stupid race lines on the world map and grit your teeth in favour for 18th century race models.

No, the headline summarized what that idiot was trying to say quite nicely.

Orcenio, I think I understand that you feel races do not exist. Is it the case, then, that you do not feel there are any differences in gene prevalence between sub-saharan African and Eurasion populations? Would the term “different allopatric groups” be preferable to “race” for you?

Well, it’s December and I’ve heard absolutely nothing about “The looming crisis in human genetics” as of yet… Could it be that it’s not gonna show up?

:smack: What am I saying? Of course it’s gonna happen.

For all of those you, who (like myself) are deathly worried and fearful that it’ll pop up in the next two weeks; here is Geoffrey Miller’s departmental website, his email is right there too. I suggest everyone email him for answers to the alarming racial/ethnic questions he raised in his Nov 2009 article. Just remember to politely ask “just when will this feared’ information ‘about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races’ going to come out?”

I’ve sent mine already.

orcenio, I removed the link to Geoffrey Miller’s information.

The quote is from the BBQ Pit rules, but we don’t want this kind of thing anywhere on the SDMB.

I vote we bump this thread every year at christmas just to make sure it’s still looming.

My mistake.

I think the genetic differences came out and nobody cared, so it never became the hyped “crisis.” Genetic drivers for human phenotypic and behavioural outcomes will, of course, continue to come out as we unravel the genome. We’re still our genes, even if there’s no social crisis around acknowledgment of that.

We found out, for example, that most Eurasions probably have an injection of Neandertal genes–as much as 3%–laying waste to the implication on the part of egalitarians that we all pull our genes from the same basic genetic pool.

My observation is that nobody really cares any more. We’re all more or less agreed that “race” is loose classification system. And (in my opinion) we’re all sort of willing to tiptoe around any research which shows that outcome differences between two populations are genetic. It’s easier, and much less socially insensitive, to simply attack the concept of “race” and pretend that attacking the idea that “race” is a (purely) genetically-definable category suffices to attack the idea that different populations with different outcomes are different because they have different gene pools from which they draw.

Crisis averted.

One last thing: this thread ended last time with a couple questions from me for you. Since you re-opened the thread, care to comment on my post from 6/19 at 10:03 PM?

Wishful thinking on your part, my man, wishful thinking. The implications of the Neandertal genes are still being worked out, and will be, for decades. Those implications may not be positive for people who hold Neandertal ancestry. Further research will doubtless yield more complexity, contradictions, and anomalies. We ain’t out of the woods by a long shot. We’ve scarcely entered the woods.

For example, Mexican Americans are almost entirely Eurasian in ancestry. So how could the presence or absence of a few Neandertal genes influence their test score gap, their higher crime rates, their astronomically high school dropout rate. The obvious answer is that nobody cares because Hispanics have never been the object of irrational obsession in the US the way black Americans have.

What I find interesting is that research is beginning to uncover what I call the X factor in the race and IQ debate.

Based on a cursory look at the data, it seems like race ought to be the causal factor in the test score gap. Yet, anytime it’s closely examined by qualified scientists, a racial cause is proven false. To the point where, as Frank Sweet notes, few other social science theories have been so thoroughly examined, and few other social science theories have so often been proven false.

So if it’s not genetic, and it’s not, what is the cause? I suspect that it’s the influence of social hierarchy on the health and overall physical and mental function of all social primates. Life at the bottom of the social hierarchy sucks, in ways that are clearly measurable and have an influence on every system in the body.

Until there are no humans left mentally capable of operating a computer.

I knew that the as-of-yet-unrepeated Neanderthal data would give scientific racists something to be excited about. I have a question for you in your interpretation of the findings: up to 3% of variants in genes or is it up to 3% of variation in genetic markers? There is a world of difference between the two, and the former might amount to something while the latter just implies that compatible creatures will attempt to hump.

But I’m not making an argument that Neandertal genes improved Eurasians–I’m only making the argument that we do not all draw from the same gene pool established 200,000 years ago. Each population has its own pool, with an extensive amount of crossover, to be sure. Lumpers and splitters have different notions of how to divided those populations. Still, it’s the case that gene prevalences for all sorts of genes vary by population–including the very crude division known as “race.” As a frequently-cited example, the US population self-described as “white” has a different prevalence for the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis than the US population self-described as “black.”

Life at the bottom of the social heirarchy does indeed suck, no matter your color. It was the thesis of Herrnstein and Murray (and many others) that genetically-based competence (regardless of “race”) put underperformers there in the first place. I find that position difficult to dismiss. If we look at “white” populations, what we find is that by nearly any quantitative measurement, the wealthy whites measure higher as a population for intelligence than the poor whites. This is not a color barrier problem; it’s a consequence that success follows intelligence. And here’s another supporting example: if we look at SAT scores for wealthy blacks, we find that they are worse than SAT scores of poor whites. The same is true of parental education level: black children of highly-educated parents underscore white children of poorly educated parents. So it does not seem to hold that social hierarchy is an explanation for scholastic (and therefore, job) underperformance any more than it’s an explanation for why blacks outperform whites in certain athletic endeavors.

Moreover, even within the broad category of “black” there are huge population variations in performance clearly not dependent on social hierarchy, and easily definable by population. The Kalenjin are going to be over-represented in marathon running, and the West Africans are going to be over-represented in sprinting.

This notion that we are all genetically equal at a popluation level is a lovely notion to which most of us emotionally gravitate. I maintain it has no support in fact.

I’m not sure what a “scientific racist” is, but one need not look to Neandertal genes to find examples of gene prevalence differences between any two reasonably-chosen populations, including the ordinary divisions of “races.” One can argue that in the US the black and white populations are “purely cultural” but then it’s hard to dismiss the fact that the prevalence of HbS gene is higher in blacks. Cultural? I think not. It’s higher in blacks because in the US more blacks than whites came from malaria-endemic regions. Just an ordinary example of gene prevalence varying by population. What is odd to me is this peculiar insistence that all populations must have some sort of equal-opportunity access to the exact same library of genes with the singular exception of pigmentation genes.

Nope. There are specific differences in environment that correlate exclusively with being of visible African ancestry in the US. Serious differences. Differences that could and still can get you killed.

Your argument fails because you refuse to address all of the facts. As it is, it’s essentially useless.

A scientific racist is somebody who uses the trappings of the scientific method to justify their race-based beliefs. It refers to the use of scientific methodology to support cultural beliefs about racial differences in the late 19th and early 20th century. I think you and Chen019 fit the mold perfectly as modern scientific racists.

You did not answer my question either and I think it is the fundamental weakness in possibly everything you and Chen019 say, you are taking data that basically demonstrates that people hump the people near them and extracting it to a huge number of differences between subsets of larger populations. You also take single gene traits and confuse them with quantitative traits.

I believe the Neandertal paper in question suggested that a few percent of Eurasian genes were derived from Neandertals. As I mentioned, until those genes are elucidated, I’m not sure what, if any, significance that has.

I certainly believe there are differences in gene prevalences among various populations, and that those differences result in average phenotypic differences. Whether or not “race” is a very good population definition is a matter of whether one is a lumper or a splitter.

What I have tried to do in most of my arguments around “race” on this board is use the division of Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and suggest that within that particular mechanism of division, gene prevalences vary. This avoids the straw-man counter argument that one must have a genetic marker to define a population, a concept with which I disagree. SIRE groups are not the only, and not even the most useful, way to divvy up populations. Based on SIRE groups, we can say confidently that the next Olympian sprinter will be “black” but we can say with equal confidence he ain’t gonna be Kalenjin.

While I respect the nurturing arguments for outcome differences, I have yet to be persuaded of it, since ameliorating or eliminating all known nurturing variables does not seem to eliminate differences among various populations, and since even within a given SIRE group, there appears to be a consistent and demonstrable difference in outcomes based on inherent abilities. This diminishes for me the argument that differences are nurture and not nature. If a very smart sub-group makes it out of the black ghetto or the appalachian coal mines, is there not a reasonable inference that the group left behind was less inherently capable? Perhaps it’s all entirely blind luck, but that’s not my observation.

This is a textbook ad hominem argument. If someone performs a study and the results show that (eg) blacks are less intelligent than east asians, you automatically dismiss the study because the performer must be a “scientific racist” (as shown by the result the reached).

If the scientific method produces results which support the cultural beliefs about racial differences in the late 19th and early 20th century, should the results be discarded and the cultural stereotypes dismissed?

One of the dilemmas about the “scientific results” is that they universally conclude there are outcome differences between various populations, and to date no amount of manipulation of nurturing variables has been able to account for those differences, leaving nature as the only non-discarded explanation. On average, criticism of various studies are directed at the studies themselves. Were the differences nurture, then it would be much more effective to simply normalize for nurturing variables and publish a study showing that outcome differences have been eliminated. Unfortunately, to date no such studies have been successful in showing that populations do not vary in outcome if nurturing variables are accounted for.

In fact, quite the opposite (as, for example, with wealthy and educated blacks versus poor and uneducated whites on the SAT exams).

That a belief is “cultural” or a “stereotype” does not render it an inaccurate assessment of a group average.

One thing I read in the paper and which the authors pointed out is that half the genes that showed positive selection since humans split from chimps were skin-related and the rest looked to be related to metabolism. The point being that most selection acts on our immediate interaction with the physical environment. These are unlikely to have anything to do with intelligence, especially if you take the view that intelligence is most under the influence of sexual selection.

Also, the authors speculated on what was the most likely reason for such a large % of Neanderthal marker alleles in Eurasian descended humans: a wave of humping when the populations met.

Few would have much of a problem with this if you stuck to lactose intolerance, sickle cell anemia, or the alcohol flush response, but when you take such well-documented population differences that are (a) due to single genes (although there may be multiple alleles leading to the same phenotype; (b) correlated with well-documented environmental variable where there is a distinct selective advantage to having the trait, and then extrapolate to complicated and subtly variable traits such as intelligence or even sprint speed I think “scientific racism”.

Take another complex trait like Schizophrenia. It is easy to distinguish Schizophrenics from nonmentally ill individuals if given enough time to observe. Yet despite GWAS and what may be 100s of other linkage and gene association studies, there are many candidates but no uniformly agreed upon allele at any locus most commonly found in Schizophrenics versus nonschizophrenics. If we can’t find a few genes that contribute a substantial amount of variation to a broad difference like a mental illness versus nonmental illness, then how do we find something for a subtle trait like one or two individuals who are 1s faster than the last record holder. Or for that matter a few individuals who are a few points lower or higher on an inherently inprecise tool like an IQ test?

You almost sound like you are talking about individual differences here and I would not argue with it.