Pharyngula

I don’t respond well to threats

I just got a long, whiny, self-serving email from a Mr John Buford, in which he claims that I was in error for banning him, because he once took a 4-credit course in anthropology, and his comments about race are therefore credible.

You may recall Mr Buford by his pseudonym, “hahajohnnyb”. He’s a racist moron.

I won’t bother with posting the whole of his letter, which is mostly a lot of chest-thumping about how smart he is, but I will share with you his closing threat.

It is your blog, and you certainly have the right to ban whomever you choose, and I shall respect your ban, but I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members, so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists. I shall not stop only at your site, but will also have my people inflitrate the entire Dawkins Network with realism about race. Maybe, we will be able to open the minds of a few of your co-religionists or maybe we will make the Dawkins movement look like a bunch of Nazis, either way. You lose.

Woo-hoo! More traffic! Maybe I’ll be able to cover my daughter’s tuition payments this term, after all!

More likely, a few thugs and rednecks will straggle over and leave a few illiterate comments, but be prepared. I’ll also be ready. One of the nice things about our recent software update is one-click comment deletion.

Comments

  1. #1 clinteas
    January 15, 2009

    Racial realists….

    *shudder*

  2. #2 Timothy
    January 15, 2009

    Does he not taste the delicious irony in trying to get Stormfront to make anyone look like Nazis?

  3. #3 PGPWNIT
    January 15, 2009

    PZ, you’ve set us up! It’s all a game to you isn’t it?!?!

    ;)

  4. #4 arcinoh
    January 15, 2009

    Although I realize these “racial realists” are some scary, scary people, this threat makes me think he’s going to send the flying monkeys.

  5. #5 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    Racial realism is a good thing. Number of races: 1. Name of race: Human.

  6. #6 PGPWNIT
    January 15, 2009

    “Although I realize these “racial realists” are some scary, scary people, this threat makes me think he’s going to send the flying monkeys.”

    That’s racist.

  7. #7 Zeno
    January 15, 2009

    I think they must use the term “racial realist” because “white supremacist” is too difficult for them to spell. (It’s tough to be the master race when you’re stupid.)

  8. #8 FishNChimps
    January 15, 2009

    That sound you can hear is the noise of toys being thrown out of a pram.

  9. #9 galen
    January 15, 2009

    for such a smart guy he sure did splice about 4 sentences with commas

  10. #10 Alyson
    January 15, 2009

    “Racial realists” = “half-wits who use The Bell Curve as their Bible”

    So, is he saying that the Dawkins movement will look like a bunch of Nazis because their web traffic is full of freaks like JohnnyB? Because if that’s what he really means, it’s really quite candid of him!

  11. #11 Blue Fielder
    January 15, 2009

    Boo-hoo, Stormfailure. Ooh, you’re gonna get your ITG douchebag friends to come after us! Oh, we’re all so scared!

    There’s a reason why a Certain Imageboard Which Shall Not Be Named refers to them as “Stormf*gs”. Stormwimps are a buncha pasty, fat-assed white boy whiners who think they’re the toughest around. And yet they can’t beat a similar-but-not-as-horrid group of pasty, fat-assed, nameless white boys.

  12. #12 NewEnglandBob
    January 15, 2009

    Once again, a tiresome, ignorant racist spews his venom so we can laugh at him and use him as an example of how homo sapiens still has its failures of mental disease.

  13. #13 Rob
    January 15, 2009

    Racial realism is a good thing. Number of races: 1. Name of race: Human.

    I’m not entirely sure that’s true. Given some of the e-mail PZ receives and some of the comments here, I’m fairly confident “neanderthal” is another one.

  14. #14 Chris
    January 15, 2009

    I’m fairly confident “neanderthal” is another one.

    That’s racist.

  15. #15 Cafeeine
    January 15, 2009

    so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists

    Finally. We need fresh blood, the creationist trolls have been limp and feeble lately.

  16. #16 bo
    January 15, 2009

    @blue fielder

    i feel confident that said Imageboard has a few more “members” that could take down nearly any site they like without much thought, especially one with only ‘tens of thousands of hits a day’. you know. for the lulz. ;)

  17. #17 Chris
    January 15, 2009

    We need fresh blood

    I’m not so sure, white supremacists count as “fresh blood.” More like good examples of devolution…

  18. #18 The Cake is a Lie
    January 15, 2009

    Certain Imageboard Which Shall Not Be Named

    That wouldn’t happen to be 4chan would it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI

  19. #19 Christie
    January 15, 2009

    I’m fairly confident “neanderthal” is another one.

    Hey now! What do you have against Neanderthals? As if driving them to extinction wasn’t bad enough, you lump them together with those things! What did Neanderthals ever do to you?

  20. #20 Blue Fielder
    January 15, 2009

    @18: WHY DID YOU SAY IT?!

    I called them that because it’s like mentioning that one guy from Freakazoid – Candle-something-or-other. You say the name and bad things happen.

    @15: i feel confident that said Imageboard has a few more “members” that could take down nearly any site they like without much thought, especially one with only ‘tens of thousands of hits a day’.

    I’m pretty sure they’ve done it before. In fact, that’s why the News board there closed – the Stormfailures were getting out of hand and it was going to boil over sooner or later. Problem is, they closed /n/, and the losers just leaked onto other boards.

  21. #21 ImprobableJoe
    January 15, 2009

    I think you guys are going to be a little disappointed. There’s a pretty significant overlap of Christian anti-science kooks and white supremacists. Racism seems to go hand-in-hand with right-wing religious viewpoints.

  22. #22 Skippy
    January 15, 2009

    I think Stephen Wells hit it right on the head. If we were actually -realistic- about race we wouldn’t have all these white supremacists morons running around.

  23. #23 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    Wow, just… wow.

    The fact that the guy is a nutter that harbors delusions of grandeur is bad enough. The fact that he’s racist scum is something else entirely.

    I’m not sure how he’d think that white supremacists and neo-Nazis could have missed evolution and the culture war that’s sprung up around it. They’re probably at the forefront (in reality hiding in the shadows) in the culture war. This guy thinks that he’ll rally the troops and they’ll all march on to victory against evolution or, as he puts it, the “Dawkins movement.”

    He thinks they’ll actually give a shit that you kicked him off the blog for being a racist asshole.

    “Hey guys, why aren’t you following me? Oh, today’s the day you planned to buy more bed sheets and cut eye holes in them? Don’t you care that the evil PZ Meyers kicked me off of his blog? Don’t you love me anymore? Well screw you all then, I’m going to go find someone else to hate everyone else with!”

    Someone really needed to get the guy a puppy when he was little. Preferably a mixed breed…

  24. #24 Cafeeine
    January 15, 2009

    Chris@17.

    No argument from me with the latter comment. However I can’t seem to get as much enjoyment from the religious kooks on here as I used to. Maybe these ‘racial realists’ have better prospects in amusing me. If they care to come, let them come, is my opinion.

  25. #25 Eric
    January 15, 2009

    Did he just say that Stormfront, fucking Stormfront, was going to make us look like Nazis? Holy shit, just holy shit.

  26. #26 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    Gee whiz, I took 2 anthropology classes by in my undergraduate days (social sciences distribution requirement). I guess that makes me twice as smart of JB. I know a racist arguement when I see one, and he gave one using refuted sources.

    I can’t knock neanderthals. They were very successful in their niche. Then those pesky homo sapiens came along with their high tech bows and arrows and it was all over.

  27. #27 Tualha
    January 15, 2009

    And if that doesn’t work, he’s going to tell his mommy that you’re a meanie!

  28. #28 Ward S. Denker
    January 15, 2009

    Gah! Sorry for misspelling your name. :(

  29. #29 jimmiraybob
    January 15, 2009

    I will be reviewing my Blazing Saddles “racial realist” response procedures.

    In the meantime to borrow and slightly modify the sentiments of the esteemed Mr. Howard Johnson (of the Rock Ridge Johnsons), “As chairman of the welcoming committee, it’s a pleasure to present a laurel and hearty handshake to our new….morons.”

    Disclaimer: BS aficionados may recognize the “morons” reference as Jim’s observation of the common townfolk mentality. I don’t mean to refer to the simple, misguided yet redeemable bigots of the world so to be clear I am referring to the pig-ignorant, stupidfuck, hateful, irredeemable, bile-spewing, nitwits of the Stormfront NeoNazi variety.

  30. #30 george.w
    January 15, 2009

    I must admit to being a bit curious about how Stormfronters would go about making Dawkins and friends look like Nazis. By lying about them, perhaps? Because otherwise, we’re just talking massive projection there.

  31. #31 mk
    January 15, 2009

    @Nerd of Redhead…

    I’m not 100% sure, but that photo looks more like a homo sapiens than neandertal. High forehead, minimal brow and unless it’s just a weird angle thing that looks an awful lot like a chin!

    Is it just me?

  32. #33 bo
    January 15, 2009

    @18, rules 1 and 2

    blue fielder, yeah im just saying, stormfront would be stupid to try and raid anyone, when they are so raidable themselves.

  33. #34 Cannabinaceae
    January 15, 2009

    Cool. A hundred thousand people wanking in our general direction. Neonazi web-bukkake. I’d say “ew” but it’s going to be like voiding urine on the Apollo missions: Glittering frozen waste products drifting through space, beautifully illuminated by the sun. The urine is neonazi-spew, glittering and frozen suggests the cold and vacuous “content,” and the illumination is, of course, the reasoned, factual, and yet amusingly uncivil repartee that will arise.

    Targets!

  34. #35 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members, so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists Nazi scumbags. – Obergruppenfuehrer Pusbucket

    Amended in the interests of accuracy. We’ll be waiting, Herr Obergruppenfuehrer.

  35. #36 Benjamin Geiger
    January 15, 2009

    jimmiraybob @ #29:

    No modification needed:

    “Oh, baby, you are soooo talented! And they are soooo dumb!”

  36. #37 Kobra
    January 15, 2009

    … and my axe.

  37. #38 Christophe Thill
    January 15, 2009

    I don’t like this guy saying that he and his Stormfront buddies will “open the mind” of anyone. I suspect they actually mean “break the skull”.

  38. #39 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    MK, I think the photo on the first page is a homo sapien, but I am by no means an expert. The article describes both neanderthal and sapiens bones and their analysis. The bone analysis indicated the neanderthal probably didn’t use projectile weapons, whereas sapien definitely had them. Small amount of samples, but sounds plausable.

  39. #40 Dunc
    January 15, 2009

    I must admit to being a bit curious about how Stormfronters would go about making Dawkins and friends look like Nazis.

    I believe the implication was that they’re going to do it by being associated with them. So this guy clearly accepts that Stormfront are a bunch of Nazis – he just thinks that’s a good thing.

    I wonder if he has a subscription to Internet Tough Guy magazine?

  40. #41 Rynaldo
    January 15, 2009

    When I first saw hahajohnnyb’s comments I hoped that he was simply yanking everyone’s chain. It was saddening to realize that he really holds such bizarre racist beliefs. It’s even more disturbing to see that he’s part of an online community of like-minded individuals. I expect his colleagues will be in for a warm reception if they visit this site.

  41. #42 jimmiraybob
    January 15, 2009

    And speaking of anthropology classes, I remember from my 101 experience (a 4 hour course too) that some anthropologist has predicted that after some number of generations the human race will all be a nice golden brown. MMMmmmmmmm, golden brown. Even Mr. HaHa’s great-great-great (etc.) grandkids….golden brown….mmmmmmmmm.

    Just gives me goosebumps to imagine the scale of inevitable fail of the HaHa’s of the world.

    The downside will be the loss of diversity.

  42. #43 mayhempix
    January 15, 2009

    It looks like one his Stormdupes may have dropped in on the #6, Khan thread.

    Robert Byers:
    ” A Mexican claiming to be a Latino/Hispanic but wanting the american mans home and inheritance.
    A silly character.
    His smile was a deception. He was after all another bad guy Mexican bandito trying to rob the american settler.
    Odd his most famous role is a name called Khan. A lot of Khans in mexico?”

  43. #44 BlackEyedGurl
    January 15, 2009

    As an Anthropology degree holder I am offended that some douche bag would use Anthro as an excuse to spout racist bullshit. (BTW: douche bag and/or tool are not currently recognized as categories of humans, but I am starting to think more and more that they should!).

    Racial Realist? WTF is that? Is that a new PC term for Racist?

    While the races have definitive differences (skeletal morphology mostly, due to adaption, with is EVOLUTION), no one race is superior as each have evolved to adapt to their home environment. Each difference is a way for that group of individuals to be more successful in surviving in their environment/climate. None of these specializations are superior, each serve a purpose. Perhaps the Racial Realists should learn about the supposed racial differences by reading an Anthro text that was published in the last 20 years. For a long time Anthro was cited as the reason for racist B-S, because of outdated research conducted by colonial imperialists, and the simple twisting of words. I dare any of them to find me true evidence of their motivations and beliefs.

    I am waiting.

  44. #45 Dweezil
    January 15, 2009

    Wow…the good thing about people like this douche is that through his chest thumping and posturing, he makes himself -and those like him- appear even more idiotic, thus promoting the sites and/or bloggers he is trying to bring down. I say, let him write all he wants, he’s only helping our cause!

  45. #46 Kryth
    January 15, 2009

    Wow. Someone needs a hug for happy monkey.

  46. #47 WCG
    January 15, 2009

    “…but will also have my people inflitrate the entire Dawkins Network with realism about race.”

    This is the part I like. How do I get my OWN people? It would be fun to have them ‘inflitrate’ the Internets. :)

  47. #48 mk
    January 15, 2009

    @nerd of redhead…

    Yep. Got all that. Understand. I was just making an observation. Not being an expert myself I just thought I’d see if you saw it too. When you enlarge the image is refers to the photo as a Neandertal. Again, it may be… but it doesn’t look like it.

    And of course this is all way off topic. I guess we should now let the “racial realists” have the stage and allow the savaging to continue. Heh!

    Cheers.

  48. #49 TSC
    January 15, 2009

    Is this the stormtracker weather gang? Hey y’all!

  49. #50 moneduloides
    January 15, 2009

    Ah, Stormfront…

  50. #51 Nemo
    January 15, 2009

    jimmiraybob, fear not. That’s not how it works. (Perhaps a biologist might be a better consultant on this point than an anthropologist. I’m not one, so I won’t comment further, but I believe we have one around here somewhere…)

  51. #52 Feynmaniac
    January 15, 2009

    Is it just me or have we been getting a lot of racists lately? 3 of the last 5 people to make it into dungeon have been racists.

    The only explanation I could think of is that they’re angry Obama won and feel they need to do something. And by ‘do something’ I mean post ignorant rants on a blog. If anyone has a better explanation please feel free to share.

  52. #53 BaldySlaphead
    January 15, 2009

    Personally, I thought StormFront was one of Billy Joel’s better late-period albums.

  53. #54 Konquererz
    January 15, 2009

    Better yet, why don’t all of us who have blogs post his threats and go on christian forums and post his threat under his name so that his name becomes synonymous with “idiot racist” and then make his personal name a hyperlink to his idiot racist forum.

  54. #55 Levi in NY
    January 15, 2009

    Obviously “racial realist” was some sort of typo; he meant to write “real racist”.

    I once took Psychology 101, so I think I am qualified to call this guy mentally inferior to the non-racist portion of humanity.

  55. #56 Ian Gould
    January 15, 2009

    “Woo-hoo! More traffic!”

    Between this and the Birther infestation over on Ed Brayton’s blog it’s a shame Scienceblogs doesn’t have ppm ads.

  56. #57 RamblinDude
    January 15, 2009

    Oh Cripes, a bunch of racist rednecks marchin? on over to Pharyngula to whump them smartass intalekshooals upside there skulls with the truth about them there colored folk and Jews.

    In other news, Guns and Jesus is American, and Chevy beats Ford. What ammo you usin??

    ?co-religionists??

  57. #58 AJ Milne
    January 15, 2009

    Re #43, I think that Byers character has been in and outta here previously, actually. The odour seems sorta familiar.

    Re our Internet Tough Guy Magazine subscriber, I’m not too worried about him. Or at least, not unless he’s actually threatened to go upstairs and tell his Mom on us, anyway…

    That stuff’s serious. The rest, I can let slide.

  58. #59 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009
  59. #60 Richard Wolford
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, not a good idea to cite a book you haven’t read. Etine’s book is a joke with no data to back up his assertions. Now, can you cite some actual studies that show blacks have some sort of competitive edge, one which also rules out cultural issues and socioeconomic status as well?

  60. #61 Mike in Ontario, NY
    January 15, 2009

    Okay, I have to add something to the discussion, and for the first time as a new regular reader, I can do so from a position of something approaching expertise!
    As a graduate student in a counseling MS program, I took a really great course dealing with mental measurements. In other words, statistical and critical analysis of all sorts of “tests” of all kinds, including IQ tests. IQ is interesting in that the only working definition of IQ is “the measure of how well one performs on an IQ test”.
    IQ scores by minority test-takers ARE lower than the majority, in a statistically significant and repeatedly demonstrable way. HOWEVER, when we talk about “minority” in this context, we do not mean Black or Hispanic: we mean that the test-takers are a minority within their embedded culture. This so-called “minority effect” on “intelligence” testing is observed across the globe in virtually every culture with an oppressed minority group, and the effect is more pronounced according to how “out” of the mainstream that group is. In other words, depressed IQ scores are more pronounced the more oppressed the minority is by the majority. In America, it happens to be blacks and hispanics and native Americans. In Japan, it is the Ainu. In parts of Europe, it is usually people of middle eastern descent. The color of one’s skin is not a determinant, but institutionalized racism, segregation, inequlality, and maltreatment are.
    I wrote my final paper in that class (20 pages) exploring this issue and talked about some of the theories as to why minorities perform poorly on “IQ” tests. Some think it is a form of rebellion (they don’t care about doing well on the tests), some believe that there is a cultural bias built into the tests (some workers have striven to design less-biased tests, with mixed results: google Cattell culture-fair test for an example). One researcher demonstrated the effect of test bias by creating the B.I.T.C.H. test. See how you do on it!
    http://www.susanohanian.org/show_commentary.php?id=170
    So the racist douchebag we’re dealing with here is doing what fundamentalist douchebags always do: take conclusions drawn from good research and selectively report only the parts that sound like they support their own bias.

  61. #62 aiabx
    January 15, 2009

    Where are Jake and Elwood when you need someone to run down Nazis in the Bluesmobile?

  62. #63 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    Matt@32, no-one is denying that differences in average anatomical and physiological categories between human populations exist – of course they do: you are unlikely to get many Baka (average male height under 5 feet) winning the high-jump. What anyone with more intelligence than you and Obergruppenfuehrer Pusbucket denies is that these are differences of worth, and that the conventional racial categories of a particular culture (e.g. the US’s “Caucasian”, “Afro-American”, “Hispanic”, etc.) correspond to biological realities.

  63. #64 druidbros
    January 15, 2009

    I wonder if hahajohnnyb saw the New Scientist article which pointed out Africans have a better sense of taste.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16335-genes-give-africans-a-better-sense-of-taste-.html

  64. #65 Thoracantha
    January 15, 2009

    Buford comment translated.

    “Oh yeah, you called me a moron? I and my 100 of my most retarded friends are going to stand next to you, so that when people see you, they’ll be all like, “look at that guy surrounded by a 101 morons.” And then who would looks like a moron, or at least a person surrounded by morons? You, that’s who.”

  65. #66 Watchmanl
    January 15, 2009

    In other, even less important news: Is it true that evidence-hound Gil Grissom of “CSI” is out, while phony psychic intuitionist Patrick Jane of “The Mentalist” is in? I was hoping the Obama inauguration would signal the end to the “I feel it in my gut” decision-making process that typified the Bush era.

  66. #67 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    @65, very deft use of dodgy grammar:-)

  67. #68 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    Wtf is a birther?

    Well we know that the Stormfront crowd won’t be subtle. You know what would be really funny? If we just ignored their racist bs. They spout and we pretend they don’t exist. I think their brains would implode. They’re so used to people freaking out on them that the opposite might be really funny.

    Or we could come up with a nonsensical term for them.

    Like “Hey, look it’s a slinky!”

    or “ASFFW” (another storm front fuck wit)

    or call them Gerbils

    skinned coconuts

    Ok. I’m just babbling now.

  68. #69 The Petey
    January 15, 2009

    @#68

    I say we return to my old BBS days jargon and refer to them all as turnips.

  69. #70 S.Scott
    January 15, 2009

    @61 – ” In other words, depressed IQ scores are more pronounced the more oppressed the minority is by the majority.”

    Hmmmmm … Does that mean that atheists are stoopidur than christians?

    I don’t think it’s that “cut and dried”.

  70. #71 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    If anyone is at all interested in what particular brand of racism this joker is spewing, they can go to Vdare. (I am not going to link to it.) They really hate Franz Boas and Margaret Mead. They also regret that the National Review lacks the racism that it had back in the fifties and sixties. Like the banned joker, they have delusions of intelligence.

  71. #72 Vidar
    January 15, 2009

    @20
    At least he didn’t mention /b/.

    Let them post their insignificant little opinions, and have the sane poster shred these to bits.

  72. #73 Crystal D.
    January 15, 2009

    Don’t call ‘racial realists’ racists. They don’t use that term! :)

    It’s like this lady who said that the reason she opposes gay marriage is this: She knows her church will still be able to decide whom to marry, and that they can decide not to marry gay people, but that will then make them look like bigots…

    Yeah, that was hard for me to answer: Well, you ARE bigots. The end!

  73. #74 The Countess
    January 15, 2009

    There should be a Blogger Awards category for “Worst Psycho-Loon Commenters”. PZ, you could easily win that one. ;)

  74. #75 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    Love that!

    Turnip it is.

    Just post the idiots comment number and Turnip next to it.

    they’ll just be post after post of just Turnip. It would look really funny.

  75. #76 Ric
    January 15, 2009

    His threat was seriously that he’s going to bring traffic which he admits everyone looks at as moronic so that people will think we are morons by association?

    Umm, what?

  76. #77 Nemo
    January 15, 2009

    @68:

    A “birther” is someone who refuses to believe that Obama is a natural-born citizen of the U.S. The coinage is by analogy with “truther” (short for “9/11 truther”, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist).

  77. #78 jimmiraybob
    January 15, 2009

    jimmiraybob, fear not. That’s not how it works. – Nemo #50

    Thanks. Although I find it somewhat satisfying to goad the likes of HaHajo with the idea of perfect color blending in the future. I seem to remember that it was pointed out in the class that it wasn’t likely to happen (can’t remember the specifics.) I do remember commenting on how boring it would be.

  78. #79 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Richard,

    While I think Entine’s title is too broad, (sports?) there’s plenty of data in the thing. Look at Olympic Sprinting, look at the finalists since the thing has been run.

    Would you, or anyone here, take me in the following bet:

    I will bet 1000$ that the winner of the 100 meter Olympic sprint for the next 10 Summer Olympics will be of West African descent.

    Furthermore I will bet 1000$ there will be no, none, not one participant of North Asian descent (we can define this for the sake of the bet) in any 100 meter finals race in the next ten summer olympics.

    Im in my mid-thirties so the long line of you high minded anti-racial realists jumping at the chance to take my money ought to be roughly my age or younger so we have a good chance to see this thing thru. Each race is a new bet i.e. there is a payout after every Summer Olympics but the bet continues for 10 finals.

    Now, none of this proves ‘superiority’ in anything other than sprinting. And I dont mean to be aloof to the history of ferocious and violent racism in the world. But, nor do I wish to blind myself to reality out of guilt over the past. Ive never even heard of Stormfront but a quick google tells me they’re not the type of people I want to be associated with.

    Furthermore nor do I wish to degrade the achievements of Usain Bolt, the pre and all his opponents. No doubt he trained harder and worked harder than anyone, black, white, asian etc. But this doesnt falsify any genetic hypotheses.

  79. #80 eric
    January 15, 2009

    SteveC said: “Wtf is a birther?”

    Someone who believes that Obama was not actually born in Hawaii, and/or that there is a conspiracy to conceal the fact that he is not a U.S. naturally born citizen as required by the Constitution.

  80. #81 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    I read that eventually, and in not too many generations, natural blondes and redheads would be virtually nonexistent.

  81. #82 frog
    January 15, 2009

    S. Scott: Hmmmmm … Does that mean that atheists are stoopidur than christians?
    I don’t think it’s that “cut and dried”.

    I didn’t realize that atheists were primarily composed of “oppressed people”. Most I’ve met had been fairly successful, with good educational backgrounds, and in the US were white (and predominantly male).

    You learn something every day, I guess…

  82. #83 ErikJ
    January 15, 2009

    @ 68
    ‘birther’ is one of those interesting tin foil hatters that is absolutely convinced that Obama isn’t a natural born citizen even after the state of Hawaii verified his birth certifigate.

    As for the subject at hand, I thought we were already responsible for every death under every communist regime. Wouldn’t this mean that being a Nazi would be a step down?

    Go us!

  83. #84 eric
    January 15, 2009

    Steve_C said:Wtf is a birther?

    Someone who believes Obama is not a naturally born citizen of the U.S. Typically they claim he refuses to produce a legitimate birth certificate. Occasionally you also see claims for some sort of conspiracy.

  84. #85 madder
    January 15, 2009

    @mk and Nerd of Redhead (#s 26, 31, 39):

    Yes, that first image is of a member of Homo sapiens; in fact, it’s almost a caricature of our skull morphology as distinguished from Neanderthals.

  85. #86 Flex
    January 15, 2009

    And this is from the same turnip who commented in the other thread,

    hahajohnnyb wrote:

    Sure I could go to Stormfront, but there I am just preaching to the choir. No debate there. Besides most of those people do not agree with me about Eugenics anyhow.

    So what’s the likelihood of even the loons of Stormfront feel they are ‘his people’?

  86. #87 JackC
    January 15, 2009

    In keeping with the BS references:

    “Hey! Where da White Wimmin at?”

    Bring it.

    JC

  87. #88 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    knockgoats said

    “What anyone with more intelligence than you and Obergruppenfuehrer Pusbucket denies is that these are differences of worth, and that the conventional racial categories of a particular culture (e.g. the US’s “Caucasian”, “Afro-American”, “Hispanic”, etc.) correspond to biological realities.”

    Note the ad homenim attack.

    I agree that discussing genetics at the level of race is coarse, as in too wide a sieve, we can get more granular, refined and say more. I do not agree it is worthless, see my proposed bet above.

    What we are seeing, to the chagrin of liberal-minded scientists everywhere, is that advances in the field of genetics, by said good-hearted scientists, are proving some of those old stereotypes correct. It does not follow, however, that we need to return to the bad old race based politics. I voted for Obama, promise.

    Hey Richard, are you familiar with the test for ACTN3?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2206088/

  88. #89 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    Flex, that joker is registered at Stormfront. Seems that he is out to recruit. Thought that some of us would fall for his appeal to “real science”.

  89. #90 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    redheads would be virtually nonexistent.

    NNNNOOOOOOOO!

  90. #91 Flex
    January 15, 2009

    Janine, Bitter Friend,

    My point was that even though he is registered at Stormfront, from his own admission it sounds like his opinions are not highly valued there.

    I apologize if I was unclear.

  91. #92 Richard Wolford
    January 15, 2009

    Way to miss the point Matt; I’ve read Etine’s piece of shit book and there is NO data in there. Reporting on the nationalities of Olympic winners is one thing, but trying to extrapolate CAUSATION from CORRELATION is WRONG. See, I even used caps there. So, again, fail. The winners were not winners because they were black, but rather because they were the fastest; nothing more can be taken from his, uh, “data”.

    Oh, and yes, I DID read about ACTN3; it doesn’t support your bullshit, however. From the article you linked to:

    Race is a less, not more, reliable gauge of physical characteristics than genes are. In fact, that’s one of the chief consolations of nontherapeutic genetic testing: No matter how inaccurate genes are as a predictor of this or that ability, they’re more accurate than predictions based on race. And the sooner we get past judging by race, the better.

    Idiot.

  92. #93 Penguin_Factory
    January 15, 2009

    Jesus Christ, Stormfront of all places. That place is both hilarious and depressing (you should have seen the chaos when Obama got elected).

  93. #94 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Hey Richard, may I assume your taking my bet?

  94. #95 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    Matt doesn’t know what an ad homenim attack is either.

  95. #96 Falyne
    January 15, 2009

    Well, see, the thing is, you’re postulating unknown inherent nature-based genetic differences to produce effects that also have more plausible nurture-based social causes.

    Race as a social construct certainly exists, for example. Members of a disadvantaged racially-based social group are allowed fewer paths to success, and so more would likely commit themselves more fully and from an earlier age to those paths. For African-Americans, one of those paths is athletics. Ergo, more and better black athletes.

    Occam’s Razor is not your friend right know.

  96. #97 S.Scott
    January 15, 2009

    @Frog – #83

    From The God Delusion:

    “A 1999 Gallup poll found that just 49% of Americans would be comfortable voting for a well-qualified presidential candidate who happens to hold no belief in God. Atheists were at the bottom of the pile — women (95%), Jews (92%), blacks (92%) and homosexuals (79%) all polled much better.”

    Plus the fact that I would be scared for my safety if I let people know that I am an atheist. (Bible belt)

    I can say it’s a fact that atheists are oppressed.

  97. #98 CrypticLife
    January 15, 2009

    PZ, that’s boring.

    It’s not that you don’t respond well to threats, you just don’t respond at all (except the cracker thing, and those were threats in response to your threat to “desecrate” the cracker).

    Maybe for each threat, you should “desecrate” an object symbolically dear to the threatener?

  98. #99 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Hey Richard, from the Saletan article

    “So, yes, all other things being equal, you can expect this gene to cause Africans and African-Americans to be disproportionately represented at the highest levels of speed and power sports. And you can expect the opposite for Asians.”

    Culture does play a part here too, and the article does go on to suggest that not all of the disparity we see in say, the NBA, can be attributed to genetics. Which is why I proposed my sure winner of a bet over ten olympics. One day a non-West African will certainly win the 100 meter sprint. Its just highly unlikely.

  99. #100 Mike in Ontario, NY
    January 15, 2009

    My favorite quote from my favorite instructor during a human anatomy and physiology class circa 1987:
    “Remember folks, race is a social construct, not a biological or scientific reality.”

  100. #101 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    @43: there will be essentially zero loss of genetic diversity once the entire population of Europe and the USA has gone latte-coloured. There’ll be more heterozygosity, I guess.

  101. #102 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    Note the ad homenim attack. – MAtt

    Note yet another person who doesn’t know what “ad hominen” means. Look you idiot, it’s no news that different populations have different physical characteristics – like, they’re different colours, you know? Nor is it any news that some of these differences are relevant to performance in athletic events. So fucking what? If you didn’t want to be associated with Obergruppenfuehrer Pusbucket, you should have made that clear in your comment, shouldn’t you? But oh no, showing how intellectually “daring” you are took priority, didn’t it?

  102. #103 jb
    January 15, 2009

    And I’m sure we’ll see the the full force of that threat when he and his cohorts are finished coloring.

  103. #104 Muzz
    January 15, 2009

    For fairness we should probably try the same Olympic bet on the 100m freestyle swimming.
    The proportions also get kinda interesting when you start looking at, say, the 400m women’s track too.

  104. #105 The Petey
    January 15, 2009

    @#99 Posted by: CrypticLife

    Maybe for each threat, you should “desecrate” an object symbolically dear to the threatener?

    GREAT IDEA!!!!

    Everyone send PZ some white bedsheets and pillow cases.

  105. #106 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    Posted by: CrypticLife | January 15, 2009

    PZ, that’s boring.

    It’s not that you don’t respond well to threats, you just don’t respond at all (except the cracker thing, and those were threats in response to your threat to “desecrate” the cracker).

    Maybe for each threat, you should “desecrate” an object symbolically dear to the threatener?

    Driving a nail through a copy of Mein Kampf?

  106. #107 Becky w/ a Y
    January 15, 2009

    Mike,
    What a great quote. Do you remember the instructor’s name? I would like to post it giving credit where credit is due. Or I could just put “Mike in Orntario’s instructor.”

  107. #108 Matt Heath
    January 15, 2009

    Since they aren’t here can we assume they aren’t coming?

  108. #109 CrypticLife
    January 15, 2009

    Matt,

    So, we should look at the top 0.001% to make judgements about vast groups of people?

    Not to mention, there are a slew of problems with using your bet to judge anything about genetic effect. Different societies have different cultures, and raise children differently. West Africans don’t win any of the skiing competitions, but this has little to do with their foot coordination.

    You think of this as facile, but only because you’re unconciously rejecting a lot of potential influences.

  109. #110 Alyson
    January 15, 2009

    @Steve C #82:

    Well, shit. I’d best pass on my genes while I can, in that case. *goes searching for egg-donation sites*

  110. #111 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Knockgoats @103

    >>>no news that different populations have different physical characteristics – like, they’re different colours, you know? Nor is it any news that some of these differences are relevant to performance in athletic events. So fucking what?

    emphasis mine

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the dominance of the Tabula Rasa theory of human nature and its long standing hold on both physical and human sciences. It is now beginning to weaken slightly, and your comments above are evidence of that. You’d have been banned from your Uni for saying just that a few decades back. So, cheers to you Knockgoats, and the incremental progress towards truth you represent.

  111. #112 Peter Ashby
    January 15, 2009

    @Matt

    I would probably further bet (but not money, don’t have any) that the winner of the 5,000m and 10.000m races will be of East African descent. Though the Morrocans may disagree. A while ago there was much hope for good distance runners coming out of the Antiplano of Bolivia and around but their body shape on the whole does not seem conducive.

    Been interesting watching Polynesian women making their presence felt in the throwing events too. So much of it is cultural at base, people are just not inclined to particular sports, some go mad for them (table tennis in China for eg). i suspect there is a wealth of athletic talent untapped out there in a whole range of sports. Some of course is simply economic or environmental factors mitigating against. Mind you it can be done as well as the Jamaican bobsled team showed, not much snow in Jamaica.

    For eg I always fancied x-country skiing, but not living anywhere with the right climate made it a bit difficult and I had to become a distance runner instead.

  112. #113 Stephen Wells
    January 15, 2009

    LOL at “Tabula Rasa theory”. Pelagianism lives :)

    Matt, you need to learn much more about population genetics before you try to teach it.

  113. #114 The Petey
    January 15, 2009

    @alyson #111

    OOOH

    I’ll take some.
    I want to be a dad

  114. #115 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the dominance of the Tabula Rasa theory of human nature and its long standing hold on both physical and human sciences. – Matt

    I’m familiar with the fact that Steven Pinker made a lot of money out of a book peddling this ludicrous claim. I took a degree in psychology in the early 1970s and have been involved to some degree in the human sciences ever since, so I know it’s crap. I’ve no doubt you can dredge up a few quotations from the 1970s claiming there is no genetic basis to individual psychological differences, but this view never dominated the human sciences.

    With respect to physical differences, how could anyone ever have claimed there’s no genetic basis to these – which is what you are (on the surface) talking about? I mean, we know the children of black parents grow up black, and those of white parents white, wherever and however they are raised. We know your chromosomes affect what your genitals look like.

    BTW, WTF could the supposed “tabula rasa” dogma possibly have to do with the physical sciences?

  115. #116 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    >>>BTW, WTF could the supposed “tabula rasa” dogma possibly have to do with the physical sciences?

    Dunno, Knockgoats, why dont you pose that question to Mike in Ontario, and his Anatomy professor. From #101

    >>>My favorite quote from my favorite instructor during a human anatomy and physiology class circa 1987:
    “Remember folks, race is a social construct, not a biological or scientific reality.”

    Race means nothing more than I am more closely related to my ancestors than a persons ancestors of another race. Since genes, and their corresponding phenotypes, are hereditary, it follows that race is a biological and scientific reality.

  116. #117 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    So it seems that none of you anti-race realists would take my bet. That is, of course, because you are closet race realists. Smart thinking in today’s economy, even if you cant say it out loud.

    I now retract the bet and leave you with a quote to ponder from the father of Sociobiology, E.O. Wilson.

    “Marxism is sociobiology without biology. The strongest opposition to the scientific study of human nature has come from a small number of Marxist biologists and anthropologists who are committed to the view that human behavior arises from a very few unstructured drives. They believe that nothing exists in the untrained human mind that cannot be readily channeled to the purposes of the revolutionary socialist state. When faced with the evidence of greater structure, their response has been to declare human nature off limits to further scientific investigation. A few otherwise very able scholars have gone so far as to suggest that merely to talk about the subject is dangerous.”

  117. #118 E.V.
    January 15, 2009

    Wow, did Hahajohnnyb add a creative twist to Godwin’s Law or what?

    If only Karma was real, then maybe someone someday might whisper this into his ear: “You hear me talking hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you – not a damn sight. I’m gonna get medieval on your ass!”

  118. #119 stogoe
    January 15, 2009

    @Watchmanl @67:

    In other, even less important news: Is it true that evidence-hound Gil Grissom of “CSI” is out, while phony psychic intuitionist Patrick Jane of “The Mentalist” is in?

    Yes, apparently Gil Grissom is leaving. But he’s left Morpheus in charge. The ‘hook’ of The Mentalist is that Patrick Jane is a nontheist and former ‘psychic’ who’s uses his skills in cold reading and observation to fight crime. It’s like Psych, which I also love, but it’s shifted more towards drama on the drama/comedy continuum than Psych.

    Don’t worry, it’s totally not Ghost Whisperer.

  119. #120 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    #188 Turnip

  120. #121 Falyne
    January 15, 2009

    Dude, no one’s arguing against the fact that different groups have more prominent representatives in different areas. We’re arguing that this discrepancy is more likely to have social causes, that making inferences about a population from the small and skewed sample of top atheletes in that population is kinda silly, and that the genetic component of race is demonstrably minimal.

    Your bet was meaningless and irrelevant to what people are actually arguing.

  121. #122 Bob L
    January 15, 2009

    Is Matt the best Stormfront can drag up? Yet another dreary stuffed shirt who tosses out buzz words and quote mines. Oh Boy, like we haven’t seen this game a thousand times before with the Creationists.

    Throw this smelly bloated fish called Matt back. I demand better kook for my chew toy.

    Come one you Stromfront white trash, let’s see what you got. Why don’t you come out from that pillow fort you are hiding in because you are scared of mean old President Obama and show us “tools of the Jewish intellectual elite” (or what ever nonsense phrase you have) what you got?

  122. #123 Blondin
    January 15, 2009

    “I’m fairly confident “neanderthal” is another one.”

    “That’s racist.”

    Don’t you mean specist?

  123. #124 Paul
    January 15, 2009

    @Matt

    Perhaps I misunderstood your bet proposal regarding North Asians and sprinting but seems to me, you lose already. Unless you are going to claim the 110 meter hurdles is not a sprint, Liu Xiang says it’s time for you to pay up.

  124. #125 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    That is, of course, because you are closet race realists. Matt

    I see you’re happy to use the same term for yourself as Buford uses. Rather telling.

  125. #126 Falyne
    January 15, 2009

    Also, turnip.

  126. #127 Tulse
    January 15, 2009

    Race means nothing more than I am more closely related to my ancestors than a persons ancestors of another race.

    How can you define a term by using the term itself? That’s idiotic. If you can’t produce a scientifically useful definition of race, then don’t bother posting here.

  127. #128 arvind
    January 15, 2009

    Matt @32, 80, 89, 95, 100, 112, 117 and 118:

    You are arguing against a strawman liberal position.

    Liberals don’t deny that humans can be classified into sub-groups, nor that such grouping based on genetics is useful. For example, greater alcoholism among native americans or incidence of sickle cell anemia among blacks are two good examples where the usefulness is in better allocation of public health resources and funding. Of course, when you introduce private medical insurance, the usefulness becomes somewhat questionable, but let us not digress into that debate.

    What liberals object to is something completely different. Anyone with even basic knowledge of biological evolution knows that from a genetic point of view, there is no difference between natural selection and artificial breeding. Nor is it a topic of debate how rapidly some traits become dominant if they are specifically selected for in artificial breeding. Now, considering the two previous statements, and looking at the abhorrent history of slavery and how more muscular blacks were selected for to fetch better prices as slaves, what exactly does it mean to say that the difference is at a genetic level when it comes to strength? Nothing. Nada. Zip. No liberal would object to you saying that. So your “bet” is not breaking any new ground with us actual liberals. Seriously.

    What liberals object to is the extrapolation into the scary, batshit insane territory of “usefulness” that you merely came into contact with in your “bet”. And for a glance at that batshit insane land that your are almost entering, you just need to see your own statement:

    What we are seeing, to the chagrin of liberal-minded scientists everywhere, is that advances in the field of genetics, by said good-hearted scientists, are proving some of those old stereotypes correct.

    This takes us to the crux of the matter. The old stereotype was not that blacks are stronger. The old stereotype was that blacks are stronger, and what they possess extra in strength, they lack in intelligence. The old stereotype was that what they lack in intelligence makes them lazy and unable to figure out what is best for them. The old stereotype was that they need someone to rule over them and put them in their place because they are incapable of making themselves useful.

    Proving the genetic basis of strength does nothing to prove the genetic basis of intelligence. The latter is just “folk wisdom” that strength and intelligence and inversely proportional. What liberals with the scientific credentials in genetics to know what they are talking about say all the time is that it is impossible to measure the genetic basis of intelligence against the distorting noise of cultural conditioning. Think of the uncertainty principle if you are into physics. The noise is of the same order of magnitude as any signal you may hope to look for. It is just that you cannot set up better experiments (at least without flouting every fucking ethic of human experimentation resulting in actions far worse than breeding other humans for slavery).

    So much for proving old stereotypes correct. Yet some groups of people consistently either refuse or fail to see the difference. They keep acting like the liberal position is that it is racist to posit any racial difference even if it is cellular or muscular level at which it is far simpler to isolate, quantify and measure differences, as opposed to the level of something complex like intelligence.

    This is simply a straw liberal position to rail against. You are not going to get anywhere with it, and would only be hindering your own education. You may claim that some decades old liberal position is the current one, or otherwise do whatever you need to do to claim that you are boldly going where you are not allowed to go, but again all you are doing is hindering your own education.

  128. #129 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    I am not quite quite grasping how the athletic achievements of top athletes from different racial groups explain the believe that nordic are the superior people. Wow, their are minor variants to be found in humans. Damn! I am convinced.

    Come back Matt. You have a convert.

  129. #130 Aaron
    January 15, 2009

    @117 I believe what Matt meant was

    Turnip means nothing more than rainbows am more closely related to other rainbows than a Dodge Caravan of another Starbucks. Since mastadons, and their corresponding blueberries, are Coloradans, it follows that parchment is a eleventh and porcine BMX.

  130. #131 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    arvind if the answer to your question here

    >>>Nor is it a topic of debate how rapidly some traits become dominant if they are specifically selected for in artificial breeding. Now, considering the two previous statements, and looking at the abhorrent history of slavery and how more muscular blacks were selected for to fetch better prices as slaves, what exactly does it mean to say that the difference is at a genetic level when it comes to strength?

    was nothing, as you suppose, then why did Jimmy the Greek get fired for saying exactly what you just said?

    Not that it matters, because it is incorrect. According to the study discussed here, African blacks test higher for speed and strength than African-American blacks. Read these links, Aarvind, they will further your education.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2206088/

    http://www.slate.com/id/2205699/

  131. #132 Blue Fielder
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, for the good of humanity, please don’t breed.

  132. #133 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    I am not quite quite grasping how the athletic achievements of top athletes from different racial groups explain the believe that nordic are the superior people. Wow, their are minor variants to be found in humans. Damn! I am convinced.

    Janine, Matt’s point entirely is that liberals are Wrong.

    I think they must use the term “racial realist” because “white supremacist” is too difficult for them to spell. (It’s tough to be the master race when you’re stupid.)

    Back when I was blogging, I wrote a short piece about the musical twin duo ‘Prussian Blue’, mostly noting the Master Race’s lack of command of written English as evinced on their website. One of my coworkers read the post and clicked through to their site only to note that they’d added my to their blogroll of ‘Friends of Prussian Blue’. Luckily for them, they were finally able to track down a non-mud breed who could actually read, and realised what I’d written wasn’t so friendly.

    Besides, as a hirsute and swarthy half-Bohunk, half dirty Slav, I doubt the Master Racers would want me. Meh. Their loss.

    Back to Matt’s point, have you any data on why white supremacists are generally both ugly and stupid?

  133. #134 Ray Ladbury
    January 15, 2009

    Isn’t it rather ironic that Matt closes (we hope anyway) with a quote from E. O. Wilson. Matt, Wilson is talking about the human species there, not races. Or do you attribute different drives to different races. Ooga-booga!
    You know, I lived in Africa for two years in the Peace Corps. Culturally, Africa is very different. In terms of what motivates people–pretty much the same as here–survival,greed, stupidity, ambition, love, insecurity…

    Damn, they sure looked better in those bright colors (green, yellow, orange…) than did we white folk. That’s race, Matt. It’s pretty much skin deep, but that’s a lot deeper than your thinking on the matter.

  134. #135 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    >>>believe that nordic are the superior people

    evidence in my posts for any such nonsense?

    Janine: strawman FAIL

  135. #136 The Petey
    January 15, 2009

    @Janine, Bitter Friend #130

    I am not quite quite grasping how the athletic achievements of top athletes from different racial groups explain the believe that Nordic are the superior people.

    take it from a 300 pound chemical engineer power lifter,

    its because big, strong or athletically capable = dumb

    I LOVE it when people who don’t know me take me for a meat head.

  136. #137 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    >>>The old stereotype was that blacks are stronger, and what they possess extra in strength, they lack in intelligence.

    Aarvind, any such evidence in my posts supporting the intelligence portion of your statement?

    thanks for that fine exposition of the strawman argument: FAIL

  137. #138 Scared
    January 15, 2009

    African blacks test higher for speed and strength than African-American blacks. Read these links, Aarvind, they will further your education.

    So are these faster stronger, super blacks like, going to take over? Wouldn’t it make sense to breed with these wonder beings, and dilute their strength with our watery, insipid, pasty white seed before it’s like … too late?

    Whats the punch line here?

  138. #139 Giford
    January 15, 2009

    “racial realists” is obviously a little like cdesign proponentsists – but what the heck is an “al reali” supposed to be?

    Gif

  139. #140 Blue Fielder
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, someone stating the crux of your argument is not using a strawman. That you are ignorant of your own bullshit proves you are far too idiotic to be helped, and so you should be shunted off to the wacko basket where you belong.

  140. #141 Patricia, OM
    January 15, 2009

    So where are all the ten’s of thousands?

    I’m still upset over no nude male servants, and now this.

  141. #142 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, the first rule of holes is to stop digging once you are in over your head. Time for you to stop digging. Take few hour break.

  142. #143 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Ray Ladbury, the question that E.O. Wilson’s work spawns, and is a long way from answering I hasten to add, is: How much of culture is a phenotype?

    His point is that people who merely ask the question scientifically are to be shunned, or, in his case, have water dumped on their heads.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/98mar/980377.htm

  143. #144 FlameDuck
    January 15, 2009

    It’s even more disturbing to see that he’s part of an online community of like-minded individuals.

    Yeah. I don’t get it either. How do these morons figure out how to switch on computers? I blame Steve Jobs.

    Racial Realist? WTF is that? Is that a new PC term for Racist?

    I think it’s a term for people who can’t even compete with a Mexican for a job whose main requirement is staying awake and sober. Possibly due to genetic superiority.

    Does that mean that atheists are stoopidur than christians?

    No. An IQ test doesn’t measure stupidity, although it was apearently once used by the US Army to reject applicants who were mantally retarded, to the point were they where unable to follow orders. I don’t know what the threshold was.

  144. #145 AJ Milne
    January 15, 2009

    …but what the heck is an “al reali” supposed to be?

    Heh. Mebbe it’s related to O RLY?

    (I mean, after all, that’s pretty much my reation, anyway.)

  145. #146 aratina
    January 15, 2009

    An anthropologist? Hmmmmm……

  146. #147 scared
    January 15, 2009

    Whats the bottom line already!!

    Do we breed with these super blacks, shoot them into space in a giant rocketship or reach for that old classic standby, genocide? What can we do Matt, what can we do?

    It terrifies me to think that they’re getting stronger and faster with every passing generation, while we pasty white boys, just get increasingly sedentary.

    It’s like being a Morlock doomed to be eaten by the Eloi. No fucking fair!

  147. #148 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    So are these faster stronger, super blacks like, going to take over? Wouldn’t it make sense to breed with these wonder beings, and dilute their strength with our watery, insipid, pasty white seed before it’s like … too late?

    Don’t look at me: in matters of romance, I’d be regarded by the ‘racial realists’ as a race-traitor. (I think it’s a bit of an over-generalisation: while I do have a fixation with Lark Voorhies that borders on the unhealthy, I’m not quite in Stephen Lynch territory yet, even if I think he’s a sensible kid with his head on straight.)

    In other words, I’m doing my part.

  148. #149 John Phillips, FCD
    January 15, 2009

    Flameduck said

    I don’t know what the threshold was.

    Turnip and Buford are apparently good examples of what being under the threshold looks like. Now if we could only extrapolate from them in a meaningful way for test purposes we would be on to a winner :)

  149. #150 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    Posted by: Matt | January 15, 2009 12:18 PM [kill]?[hide comment]

    >>>believe that nordic are the superior people

    evidence in my posts for any such nonsense?

    Janine: strawman FAIL

    This coming from a person who had this to say about this site;

    So it seems that none of you anti-race realists would take my bet. That is, of course, because you are closet race realists. Smart thinking in today’s economy, even if you cant say it out loud.

    Sounds like a racist who is trying to argue that everybody else is not honest enough to admit they are racists.

    I cannot say that I am bothered by you calling me out.

  150. #151 Tulse
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, once again, please provide a scientifically useful definition of race.

  151. #152 mayhempix
    January 15, 2009

    “Back to Matt’s point, have you any data on why white supremacists are generally both ugly and stupid?”

    I almost choked on my sandwich laughing.

  152. #153 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    FAIL Check time:

    arvind responds to this bit of foolishness:

    What we are seeing, to the chagrin of liberal-minded scientists everywhere, is that advances in the field of genetics, by said good-hearted scientists, are proving some of those old stereotypes correct.

    by pointing out that Matt had totally failed to show support for the truth of those “old stereotypes”:

    The old stereotype was that blacks are stronger, and what they possess extra in strength, they lack in intelligence.

    To which Matt replies:

    Aarvind [sic], any such evidence in my posts supporting the intelligence portion of your statement?

    thanks for that fine exposition of the strawman argument: FAIL

    Indeed, Matt has not shown any evidence for a trade off between strength/athleticism and intelligence. Thus arvind’s argument appears to be absolutely correct. Matt: FAIL.

  153. #154 Jody
    January 15, 2009

    I’m pretty sure I know Petey, and you should listen to him. :)

  154. #155 scared
    January 15, 2009

    Indeed, Matt has not shown any evidence for a trade off between strength/athleticism and intelligence. Thus arvind’s argument appears to be absolutely correct. Matt: FAIL.

    So lets me get this straight. This new breed of super black is faster, stronger and at least as intelligent as we are?

    Jeeeeeeezzzzzus this is bad.

    Matt, whadda we do Matt? I knew nothing about this looming threat until you swung by and enlightened my load. You stormfront guys have an plan right? Something involving guns and a bomb shelter in Nebraska? Whats the plan Matt?

  155. #156 arvind
    January 15, 2009

    Jimmy the Greek get fired for saying exactly what you just said?

    First, that was 20 years back. In science years, that is like the dark ages compared to what we know today about genetics. Second, even back then Jimmy wasn’t a scientist who was denied an avenue of research. He was a television personality who had the venue to reinforce the stereotype I mentioned earlier about lack of intelligence by touting the former half about strength. What TV stations do based on what they want to be perceived as in public can’t be used to judge if certain research is groundbreaking or not. Its groundbreaking nature needs to be evaluated based on other current research in that area. Third, even if you ignore the scientific arena and want to break a taboo more common among the public in the last few decades, there is the matter of priorities. Compared to the mountains of systemic oppression of blacks still going on today based on ignorant stereotypes, all I can spare is a teeny tiny violin for the oppressive nature of public opinion against expounding racial differences. Seriously, the thought that it even counts as a pressing issue of oppression is mindboggling.

    According to the study discussed here, African blacks test higher for speed and strength than African-American blacks.

    Slavery is not just an American phenomenon. African males have been enslaved since Egyptian times or before. The white man has just been the most recent oppressor. The fact that African blacks tests higher than African-American could easily be because of other factors beyond the slavery common to both, and can’t really be shown to be based on something distinctly about the African race prior to their subjugation. Considering the rapid effects of breeding, I doubt if any biologist would have much luck discerning which traits of strength were from natural selection, and which from artificial selection by slave masters.

    any such evidence in my posts supporting the intelligence portion of your statement?

    thanks for that fine exposition of the strawman argument

    I didn’t say you made the statement about intelligence. I clarified that it was part of the stereotype. So your statement about old stereotypes being proven true by current genetic research is false. There is no strawman. There is no straw even.

    So where are all the ten’s of thousands?

    I’m still upset over no nude male servants, and now this.

    Patricia, you insatiable slut :-)

  156. #157 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Tulse, while you were right to point out my erroneous use of the word race in its definition, I must point out your use of the vague qualifier “useful” after the word scientific. Race is a scientific reality, its usefulness as a concept or unit of study is another matter entirely.

    As I wrote earlier, I agree with Saletan that discussing genetics at the level of race is problematic, nor do I subscribe to the trash and lies said or insinuated about me regarding superiority of one race over another. Having said all that, you may wonder, why did I proffer the vulgar bet? Because on a website full of liberal minded people I knew it wouldnt be taken and that fact illustrates a level of race-based reality we all share, no matter how much we protest otherwise. Now this common sense lead to some horrible political realities in our past, much of which is still with us. Many are rightly fighting to overcome it. But it does not follow that the opposite of the old ways are therefore true. That backlash thinking has dominated the sciences, particularly social, but the physical to an extent also. So, West Africans tend to be faster than the rest of us. Big deal, one day it will be passe to say as much. In the meantime, I just like to stir the pot a little.

  157. #158 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Just read a couple of recent posts. I appears I made a serious mistake even responding to Aarvind. I repeat, nowhere in my posts do I discuss, refer to, or imply anything regarding intelligence/athleticism correlation. Dont wrap me up in that bullshit.

  158. #159 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Just read a couple of recent posts. I appears I made a serious mistake even responding to Aarvind. I repeat, nowhere in my posts do I discuss, refer to, or imply anything regarding intelligence/athleticism correlation. Dont wrap me up in that bullshit.

    Really? Let’s see…

    What we are seeing, to the chagrin of liberal-minded scientists everywhere, is that advances in the field of genetics, by said good-hearted scientists, are proving some of those old stereotypes correct.

    Hmm…

  159. #160 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Race is a scientific reality

    Wrong, stupid. Populations are a scientific reality. Races aren’t. If you’re gonna stick around here, you’d better do better than toss around a few cursory studies which you clearly demonstrate you haven’t the background to understand.

    Like another poster above, I have a degree in anthropology, with a specialisation in physical anthro and forensics. I can tell you more about what race is and isn’t than you can tell me about your own fucking childhood.

    So go home a read a fucking textbook before you spout off asshat, because you’re really starting to make me angry.

  160. #161 annoyed
    January 15, 2009

    West Africans tend to be faster than the rest of us. Big deal, one day it will be passe to say as much.

    What milquetoast foppery is this!?

    You just want us to admit the obvious? That etiophians are tall, fast and black? You’re not exactly out on a limb here Matt, are you? Next, you’ll be making the radical claim that women have vaginas.

    I for one, am very, very disappointed. This is not what I had in mind when Buford said …. I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members, so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists … , not AT all what I had in mind.

    I for one want my money back.

  161. #162 nanahuatzin
    January 15, 2009

    well… just cheking some facts…

    Pharyngula has more internet trafic than stormfront (acording to the alexa site)…

    And… i think is of much better quality ;)

  162. #163 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    Next, you’ll be making the radical claim that women have vaginas.

    For the record this is, in fact, a radical claim. Most women only have one vagina. I’ve obviously not checked them all … but that seems to be the consensus.

  163. #164 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Yo, Jack, I said some stereotypes, as in, some races tend to be faster than others. This stereotype now has basis in genetic fact. I did not bring up intelligence.

    Brownian, so race is common language shorthand for a genetic sub-population. As I said in a previous post, its a coarse grouping, too much so to base hardcore science on. That does not invalidate the hypotheses that people of one race, as the word is commonly understood, are more likely to share genetic characteristics than people of different races.

    Now, even that statement is too general to be of much use. It is not, though, untrue. I note the arrogance of the scientifically minded towards the non-scientifically minded for their supposed unsophisticated thinking, and so I chuckle at the big-brains when some of the old ways of thinking are shown to have some scientific base behind them.

  164. #165 Nerd of Redhead
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, you still here? Stop digging. You are in over your head. Take a long break.

  165. #166 Cliff Hendroval
    January 15, 2009

    Jews are naturally better at basketball:

    “The reason, I suspect, that basketball appeals to the Hebrew with his Oriental background,” wrote Paul Gallico, sports editor of the New York Daily News and one of the premier sports writers of the 1930s, “is that the game places a premium on an alert, scheming mind, flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smart aleckness.” Writers opined that Jews had an advantage in basketball because short men have better balance and more foot speed. They were also thought to have sharper eyes, which of course cut against the stereotype that Jewish men were myopic and had to wear glasses, but who said stereotypes had to be consistent?

  166. #167 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Yo, Jack, I said some stereotypes, as in, some races tend to be faster than others. This stereotype now has basis in genetic fact. I did not bring up intelligence.

    The point is that, to the extent that different populations do indeed have readily identifiable differences, this was never a stereotype at all. But things like slavery, colonialism, segregration, lynchings and apartheid were never justified based on banal observations about how champion sprinters these days tend to be West African.

    And note that even the vastly weaker claims about W. African athletes, or studies of particular genese in particular subpopulations, still does not prove anything about the characteristics of the “Black Race” as a whole (or even its existence).

    Again, Matt: FAIL.

  167. #168 Cat of Many Faces
    January 15, 2009

    turnip

  168. #169 Cat of Many Faces
    January 15, 2009

    Err.. let me be more specific: Matt = turnip

    Sorry don’t want to throw produce names around randomly.

  169. #170 Feynmaniac
    January 15, 2009

    Most women only have one vagina. I’ve obviously not checked them all … but that seems to be the consensus.

    Actually there are a few exceptions .

  170. #171 Santoki
    January 15, 2009

    Bored with picking on theoheads, PZ is now warring with the Racial Realists…

  171. #172 Blondin
    January 15, 2009

    “It’s like being a Morlock doomed to be eaten by the Eloi.”

    It was the Morlocks who ate the Eloi (or did I miss your point?).

  172. #173 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    Santoki, you are wrong. The other day a member of Stormfront posted a few times and was exposed and banned. The joker sent a letter to PZ, check the top of the thread. Please get your facts straight before you toss out accusations.

  173. #174 Josh A
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, I’ll take your bet. In the next ten Olympics I bet we see a Chinese man win the 100M dash and 110M hurtle. I bet we’ll see the hurdle gold in less than two olympics.

    I also bet we’ll see a South American woman win the 100M dash.

    Also race is a social construct, Jimmy the Greek was fired for his Jim Crow vocab, and Jeremy Wariner and his gold medal in the 400M (it’s a SPRINT) would like to know how you define “West African”.

  174. #175 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    I wonder if he has a subscription to Internet Tough Guy magazine?

    Ow! My jaw joints! And I can’t breahihihihihihihihiheathe…

    I remember from my 101 experience (a 4 hour course too) that some anthropologist has predicted that after some number of generations the human race will all be a nice golden brown.

    <wiping tears> <taking lots of deep breaths>

    As I’ve said before, the ignorance behind this statement is staggering. Heredity isn’t analogous, it’s digital.

    The downside will be the loss of diversity.

    Diversity will continue to increase. Look to the Cape Verde islands: you can find people there who’re black and have curly blond hair. Once again: heredity is digital. Skin color, eye color, hair color, hair shape, nose shape, and so on are all inherited separately; all combinations are possible.

    I read that eventually, and in not too many generations, natural blondes and redheads would be virtually nonexistent.

    Then why didn’t that already happen thousands of years ago?

    Blondes and readheads are surrounded by brown-haired people, and yet there I sit, with hair like copper wire* and, while I’m at it, green eyes. And my brother has dark brown hair.

    * When it’s freshly washed. My hair, that is.

    Race means nothing more than I am more closely related to my ancestors than a persons ancestors of another race.

    ?and that’s not the case in humans. For starters, practically all human genetic diversity outside of Africa is a small subset of the diversity found inside Africa. Add to that the fact that the traditionally identified races have always intergraded very gradually, and you’ll see that there are no human races = reproductively isolated groups.

    Really, Matt. Learn some population genetics before you come back here. You act as if the whole field didn’t even exist — which makes it likely that you didn’t know it exists.

  175. #176 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    Say what you like about Bill O Donoghue … at least he delivers! Thousand of rabid, outraged catholics baying for PZ’s blood … it was glorious, and sort of ironic. What with the whole transubstantiation thing. That is a hard word to spell.

    But these stormfront people are hopeless. One fucking guy! Who then proceeds to tell us how black people are like … you know … really black, and Kenyans can run awful fast and stuff. So there or … something.

    Keerist on a Krutch. I’m apoplectic! Whole evening set aside, children bundled off to friends, wife to a night out with the girls and here I sit with my dick in my hand waiting, with mounting frustration, for the right wingers to arrive. It’s a bloody disgrace is what it is. False advertising to boot.

    Where have all the fascists gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the fascists gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the fascists gone?
    Gone underground every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

  176. #177 Blondin
    January 15, 2009

    #171 – And now for something completely different…

    A man with three buttocks.

    Erm, is that chair comfortable?

  177. #178 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    @Blondin“It’s like being a Morlock doomed to be eaten by the Eloi.”

    It was the Morlocks who ate the Eloi (or did I miss your point?).

    You did in fact, totally miss my point, which is making me cry, because I thought it a jolly amusing juxtaposition. Oh well, back to ze drawing board.

  178. #179 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Josh, while we may be able to work something out, thats not exactly how I offered the bet.

    I’d bet that there wont even be an Asian finalist, defined as participating in the Gold medal race, in the 100m sprint. The bet would last for ten olympic races, with a 1000$ payout after each and every one.

    Is that the bet you want to take?

  179. #180 Feynmaniac
    January 15, 2009

    I read that eventually, and in not too many generations, natural blondes and redheads would be virtually nonexistent.

    Snopes showed that was false. Also, Wikipedia shows this to be a hoax.

  180. #181 Blondin
    January 15, 2009

    “You did in fact, totally miss my point, which is making me cry”

    It’s not you, Brian. It’s me. I get it now. (Don’t cry)

  181. #182 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Josh, didnt we see a hurdle gold from an Asian in 04?

    You notice I didnt offer that bet in my original post.

  182. #183 Steve_C
    January 15, 2009

    He didn’t invite them, and shouldn’t everyone be battling ignorance and racism?

  183. #184 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    It’s not you, Brian. It’s me. I get it now. (Don’t cry)

    Oh fine. Thats what they all say, It’s not you, Brian. It’s us. just before they d-d-d-d-dump meeee.

    Thanks for being gentle though. *Sniff*

  184. #185 rijkswaanvijand
    January 15, 2009

    Ah come on, those stormtroopers can’t even read…

  185. #186 rijkswaanvijand
    January 15, 2009

    I don’t feel virtually nonexistent..
    But then again, would one notice??

  186. #187 Michael X
    January 15, 2009

    I’m taking bets on how long Matt ignores the actual content of Brownian’s posts and David Marjanovi?’s posts. Who’s got bets for 5 posts? We’re already at 2.

  187. #188 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Josh, didnt we see a hurdle gold from an Asian in 04?
    You notice I didnt offer that bet in my original post.

    Ah. It’s all so clear now. Ironclad proof of that famous old racist stereotype about how “West Africans are the best runners. But only sprinting. Because everyone knows Ethiopians are better long distance runners. And not hurdles. Sometimes an East Asian will win one of those events.”

    Gosh. I bet the liberal sciencey eggheads are TOTALLY dismayed to find out about how all these old racial stereotypes are turning out to be true…

  188. #189 Mike in Ontario, NY
    January 15, 2009

    Becky at 108:
    You will think I’m pulling your leg, but his name is Dr. Richard Doolittle. The year after I took A&P with him, I took Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy with him, largely a dissection course. Once, he announced that a friend of his at the Buffalo Zoo had a dead llama that we could dissect for extra credit, and then ignored me when I made the joke wondering if the llama was two-headed. For a man with a decent sense of humor, it ended abruptly at the point of Rex Harrison cracks.

  189. #190 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Who’s got bets for 5 posts? We’re already at 2.

    At up to 2 posts per minute, that’s unfair? let’s give him some time to catch up with the reading?

  190. #191 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Okay Michael, hows this for ignoring the content:

    Would you, or Marjanovic, take the following bet:

    Preconditions—

    Subset A: all the people in the world who would self-describe as Asian.

    Subset B: all the people in the world who would self-describe as White.

    randomly select 2000 people from each group. Decode their genome.

    I’d bet a handful of pre-1964 American mint silver dollar coins that people from group A share more genetic similarities with others from group A than they do with people from group B. This phenomenon, as you know, but probably attended many hours of post-graduate study to forget, is what people are referring to when they speak of race.

  191. #192 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    the joke wondering if the llama was two-headed.

    ??

    Help this Old European out, please. I don’t get the allusion.

  192. #193 Orac
    January 15, 2009

    I’ve been “deluged” by Stormfront before about posts debunking Holocaust denial or making fun of white power rangers. What your “friend” neglects to point out is that he will simply be posting links to your blog in the Stormfront forums, where there are so many comment threads that far fewer mighty white power rangers will see the link. The traffic from it is, if my experience is any guide, likely to be minimal. At most you’ll get a handful of idiot racists, whom your commenters will shred before you even notice that they’ve been here and gone.

  193. #194 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Naw, Jack @189, I’m just not much of a gambling man, so I only take the great odds.

  194. #195 Kimberly
    January 15, 2009

    @David Marjanovi?, OM #176

    Since I am definitely not an expert in anything being discussed, would you be able to explain what you mean by analogous vs. digital? I can understand most of the post but that part is lost to me. :)

  195. #196 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Brownian, so race is common language shorthand for a genetic sub-population. As I said in a previous post, its a coarse grouping, too much so to base hardcore science on.

    Matt, you’re sort of right about the above, as the common concept of race isn’t exactly equivalent to the populations in question here, and is actually quite useless from a scientific perspective. One of the peculiarities of forensic anthropology is that one has to be simultaneous aware of what might be considered true sub-populations of humans vs. what the common perception is. For instance, let’s say a body is discovered, and through various means one determines the skeleton to belong to someone who died about ten years ago. Even if that skeleton displays a majority of caucasoid characteristics, the presence of a few traits that are more common to those with more recent african heritage might suggest to you that the person that went missing way back when would have been considered ‘black’, based on the concept common to Americans, but by no means universal, that ‘one drop makes you black’. ‘Race’ doesn’t in fact tell us very much about the populations in question as it does the social perception about the populations in question.

    That does not invalidate the hypotheses that people of one race, as the word is commonly understood, are more likely to share genetic characteristics than people of different races.

    More likely to share some genetic characteristics than members of different groups. However, the genetic variability within such groups is always larger than the differences between groups. So, native North Americans are more likely to have shovel-shaped incisors than caucasoids, but so what? Again, the concept of ‘race’ misleads since it suggests that there are somehow meaningful distictions between populations, when truthfully any such characteristic or assemblage of characteristics will display a much more gradual shift in frequencies among populations than ‘race’ would lead us to believe. In short, we’re much more like an extremely horny ring species than, say, an assemblage of Kennel Club dog breeds.

  196. #197 Jack Rawlinson
    January 15, 2009

    Oh boy! This is going to be like the old days when the net was new and Wild West!

    Back then I found that the most amusing way to deal with racist thugs was to make fervent and explicit homosexual advances to them, repeatedly, and to absolutely everything they post. Many yuks were had.

  197. #198 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Subset B: all the people in the world who would self-describe as White.

    MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP

    Error.

    The same person can be “black” in the USA, “coloured” in South Africa, and “white” in Brazil. Self-description or other cultural conventions are the worst possible measure when what you actually want to get at is genetics.

    Try again. After you’ve read up on population genetics, that is. Hey, Wikipedia is your friend!

    But I can take your bet anyway, unfair as though it is, because then I’ve already won. Find my institutional address in Google Scholar and fork over.

    You overlooked that skin color is only six genes, eye color is only three, and so on. These genes aren’t necessarily inherited together with each other, or with any other gene.

    (BTW? “postgraduate study”? I’m a PhD student in paleobiology, working on the origins of lissamphibians and turtles; I’ve had a single anthropology class, in the first or second year of university, and don’t remember much of it.)

  198. #199 eddie
    January 15, 2009

    Matt;

    …scientists, are proving some of those old stereotypes correct.

    then Matt;

    …nowhere in my posts do I discuss, refer to, or imply anything regarding intelligence/athleticism correlation.

    epic fail, Matt. If you can’t even read what you write…

    Also;

    According to the study discussed here, African blacks test higher for speed and strength than African-American blacks.

    I suspect that this is because the slavers were only able to catch the slower, dumber among their intended targets.

  199. #200 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    So, Orac, you are saying it will be much like what it was the other day. It only took the joker a few posts before he tipped his hand.

  200. #201 DGKnipfer
    January 15, 2009

    @#164,

    Fuck!!! I damned near choked to death laughing when I saw that. Don’t do that to me, Brian!

  201. #202 Janine, Bitter Friend
    January 15, 2009

    Posted by: David Marjanovi?, OM | January 15, 2009

    (BTW? “postgraduate study”? I’m a PhD student in paleobiology, working on the origins of lissamphibians and turtles; I’ve had a single anthropology class, in the first or second year of university, and don’t remember much of it.)

    Going by the standards of the joker, you are an anthropologist.

  202. #203 Michael X
    January 15, 2009

    Well, while I don’t consider making another bet actually responding to comments about population vs “race”, it would be harsh to add insult to injury now that you owe David a handful of expensive coins. So I’ll just let this one pass.

  203. #204 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Brownian, I appreciate your precision with the language and will attempt to be more precise in my own conversations. Along the same lines of your example above, hard to miss the irony when it was revealed in James Watson’s genome that 16% of his genes were likely of African descent, as opposed to European or Asian.

    Furthermore i appreciate your civil response on a controversial topic, a distinguishing trait in this self-selected sub-population of Pharyngules.

  204. #205 Mike in Ontario, NY
    January 15, 2009

    David @ 193: The movie “Dr. Doolittle”, starring Rex Harrison as the man who could speak with animals, featured a two-headed llama named pushme-pullme. The two heads were on either end of the body, which really troubled me as a kid frequently plagued with constipation.

  205. #206 CJO
    January 15, 2009

    @196:
    I think David means “analog” not “analogous”? If so, then the digital nature of heredity is simply a consequence of genes being discrete units. Analog heredity would mean traits would more often blend, so that blue eyes and brown eyes in the parents would be hazel in the offspring or something, rather than the actual, digital, situation, where an individual who is heterozygous blue/brown will have brown eyes since brown is dominant for that trait. To get the baby blues, you have to be homozygous: blue eyes at that locus.

    Of course, it gets way more complicated once you get into anything more complicated happening at several loci, but the take-home message is basically that mixing populations tends to increase diversity; it does not lead to a homogeneous blend of all the variations.

    (The discrete nature of genetic information, btw, was a prediction of Darwin’s theory, as Natural Selection would find little purchase in variation if it usually led to blending; new variants would quickly be “swamped” as the traits bled into the population.)

  206. #207 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    would you be able to explain what you mean by analogous vs. digital?

    That it’s a 0-or-1 issue for each of the 18,500 or so genes (except that the number of alleles can be greater than two), and that alleles don’t mix, they don’t blend. When a stereotypically white and a stereotypically black parent have children, these children will all have Obama’s skin color, and, AFAIK, they’ll all have curly hair like Obama; when two such people have (enough?) children, 25 % of them will be white, 25 % will be black, and 50 % will have the same skin color as their parents. At the same time, 25 % will have straight hair and 75 % will have curly hair (I think) — but the 25 % with the straight hair will not necessarily be the same as the 25 % with white skin! In fact, the correlation won’t be better than random.

    (Well. It probably won’t be exactly the same as random. The correlation could be a bit higher or lower, depending on things like whether the relevant genes are on the same chromosome. And the whole example is almost certainly oversimplified anyway.)

    So, native North Americans are more likely to have shovel-shaped incisors than caucasoids, but so what?

    I wonder if my incisors count as shovel-shaped. Five minutes in the sun, and I’m burnt.

  207. #208 catgirl
    January 15, 2009

    This reminds me of an argument I witnessed in an ethics class. I no longer remember what the topic was, but one guy basically said he was right because he had read a 1400 page book explaining that he’s right, but it was too long for him to summarize. I was tempted to tell him that I read a 1401 page book that explained why he’s wrong. After class I realized it would have been much simpler if both of the guys arguing could have just pulled down their pants and proved what they were really trying to prove along.

    My point is, the anthropology class and the 1400 page book are just substitutes for something else that men generally can’t show in public.

  208. #209 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Since I am definitely not an expert in anything being discussed, would you be able to explain what you mean by analogous vs. digital? I can understand most of the post but that part is lost to me. :)

    I’m gonna try to beat the inestimably brilliant and knowledgeable David M to the punch. Analagous processes are ones in which there is some gradient in which any value on that gradient can be expressed. Digital processes are categorical: no values between adjacent categories is possible. For instance, the set of real numbers is analagous, whereas the set of integers is digital.

    Since genes, even multi-locus ones, are discrete units (one from Mom, one from Dad), they operate digitally. For instance, you may have one copy of the sickle-cell anemia allele and your partner none: your children will have either one or no copies of that allele. They won’t have a half copy. This is why many recessive alleles persist in populations where the dominant alleles are the majority.

    Okay, that wasn’t a very satisfying explanation. I should’ve let David take it.

  209. #210 Kimberly
    January 15, 2009

    @CJO and David Marjanovi?, OM

    Okay. That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

  210. #211 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Maranovic, for the fourth or fifth time, ive maintained that the concept of race is fraught with difficulty, probably so much so as to useless in scientific study. Again, that does not mean that the imperfect concept is not real.

    Regarding my proposed bet I should’ve outlined the racial categories. I was thinking along the lines of a standard U.S. census race question, in which you have to choose only one. White, black, native american, pacific islander/Asian, Non-white hispanic (and yes, this last category is really ridiculous).

    Even within these admittedly imperfect categories, Id win the bet. So I stand by my very first post: Race is real.

  211. #212 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    I think David means “analog” not “analogous”?

    Yes, thanks. English has too many words. :-)

    the digital nature of heredity is simply a consequence of genes being discrete units.

    Exactly.

    Thanks, Mike in Ontario.

  212. #213 eddie
    January 15, 2009

    There goes the goalposts again, WHOOSH!

  213. #214 CJO
    January 15, 2009

    ive maintained that the concept of race is fraught with difficulty, probably so much so as to useless in scientific study. Again, that does not mean that the imperfect concept is not real.

    It is actually possible to qualify an assertion out of reality. I think you’ve pulled it off.

    Race is a real social concept, yes. But what David, Brownian, et al are saying is that the disconnect between the utility of the social concept as a rough-and-ready heuristic sufficient for constraining Paleolithic group behavior and the dubious value of such parameters in the modern sciences concerned with these questions is sufficient to claim that as far as population genetics and physical anthropology are concerned, no, actually, “race” is not real.

  214. #215 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Maranovic, for the fourth or fifth time, ive maintained that the concept of race is fraught with difficulty, probably so much so as to useless in scientific study. Again, that does not mean that the imperfect concept is not real.

    The idea that there’s a heterogeneous and (very) loosely culturally/geographically correlated distribution of genetic traits is almost tautological. If that’s your definition of ‘race’, it’s a pretty damn low bar.

    It’s miles and miles away from the claim that “advances in the field of genetics…are proving some of those old stereotypes correct.”

  215. #216 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Brownian,

    I’ve posted this link before, but I don’t know if you were around. Given your areas of specialization, I thought it might be of interest (maybe not anything new to you):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inYehUJYmsg

  216. #217 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Okay, that wasn’t a very satisfying explanation. I should’ve let David take it.

    No, actually, yours is better.

    Maranovic,

    If you can’t read my name, copy & paste it like everyone else does. :-)

    for the fourth or fifth time, ive maintained that the concept of race is fraught with difficulty, probably so much so as to useless in scientific study. Again, that does not mean that the imperfect concept is not real.

    You only say that because I haven’t shored up any evidence yet. Wait an hour or two, and I will, if nobody else does it first.

    Just so much now: I don’t deny that some alleles are more common in some areas than in others, of course. What I negate is the common assumption that most or all of these frequency distributions are geographically identical. Plus, there’s more variation within each “race”, however defined, than between them, and (again) much less total variation outside of Africa than within it.

    I was thinking along the lines of a standard U.S. census race question

    As I said, for the reasons Brownian and I mentioned, that’s just about the most meaningless possibility of all.

  217. #218 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Jack, read the links I posted @ #132 for proof on one of these old stereotypes.

  218. #219 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, the incivility of the responses here are usually an indication that someone is making assumptions based on a lack of knowledge (and I can be one of the most incivil bastards around here). However, something in a few of your posts tweaked me into thinking you’re genuinely curious (or at least partially so) rather than merely trying to bluster your way to prove an agenda. We get a shitload of the latter around here.

    The reason that I’m willing to go out on a limb here is that race is one of the most controversial and difficult to understand concepts because it’s so imbued with social meaning, history, and philosophical implications, all of which are often mistaken for scientific realities. Further, race is so deeply ingrained as a social concept that we’re unaware that it’s merely a social construct. Everyone I think looks ‘black’ is described as such, so of course it seems to me that ‘black’ is a meaningful distinction. (That is until you become aware that ‘black’ and ‘white’ don’t describe the same colours in Brazil, South Africa, etc. as another poster helpfully pointed out.) To use another example of the arbitrariness of definitions, consider the differences between what consitutes a ‘fish’ among biologists, laypersons, and the Vatican (I’ll give you a hint: laurices, or baby rabbits, count as fish to only one of those.) Such as it is, I well understand why it’s so easy to want to defend the concept.

    In my own personal history, I struggled with my own observations of the behaviour of a certain ethnic group to whom I was exposed to in the poor neighbourhood in which I grew up and my belief that all humans as basically the same outside of a few flavourful but rather meaningless distinctions. It took years for me to reconcile the two, until I realised that these observed behaviours were common to all humans given similar socionomic disadvantages, and that they were not characteristic of this ethic group in particular but rather of being poorly-educated, poor, and deprived of job opportunities through systemic discrimination. (For an example of this, consider Rembetika, a type of Greek folk music that arose from the forced immigration of Greeks from Anatolia. These Greeks, ‘Turkish’ by birth but otherwise not by ethnicity or culture, found it difficult to assimilate and make a living since most had brought only what they could carry when they left Turkey. Thus, even whites will sing the blues when circumstances dictate.)

    Anyways, this continues to be a topic of interest to me, and I’ve yet to encounter a group whose talents and tendencies weren’t better explained by social and historical factors than by any biological differences, aside from those dirty, stinking Latvians.

  219. #220 jimmiraybob
    January 15, 2009

    I remember from my 101 experience (a 4 hour course too) that some anthropologist has predicted that after some number of generations the human race will all be a nice golden brown. – me

    …wiping tears…taking lots of deep breaths…
    As I’ve said before, the ignorance behind this statement is staggering. Heredity isn’t analogous, it’s digital.
    – David Marjanovi?, OM #176

    I should point out that this is something that was discussed in a 100-level course when I was an undergraduate. I don’t recall that it was discussed as a accepted hypothesis. I could probably did out the old text and notes and look for citation. I didn’t mean to imply validity or endorsement. I’ve used this before when addressing racist bigots that start out, “I’ve had a 4 hour anthropology course and the reason blacks are inferior is _______.” Seems to get their goat.

    The downside will be the loss of diversity. – me

    Diversity will continue to increase – David Marjanovi?, OM #176

    Your points are well taken. This points to the dangers of making short, snarky comments.

  220. #221 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Jack, read the links I posted @ #132 for proof on one of these old stereotypes.

    Uhh… Those links, even if taken at face value, don’t seem to provide any evidence at all for any of the old stereotypes. Note that the second one even points out some of the flaws with the supposed racial interpretation of the results. (And of course, we all know we probably shouldn’t take Slate’s journalistic summary of a research paper at face value.)

  221. #222 Ian
    January 15, 2009

    @Marjanovi?: isn’t the fact that genetic diversity decreases the farther away from Africa (due to how human migration works) a fairly significant thing? It doesn’t really tell you much about attributes or phenotypes of course. But level of genetic diversity is a fairly important thing in itself.

    There was that fascinating article in National Geographic a few months ago about human migration. I think the study of genetic variation of populations is a legit field, probably no one is questioning that. I guess the problem is when these “stormfront” folks take it the next step into pseudoscience.

  222. #223 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    While Im not sure I go all they way with you on your last post, Brownian, I wholeheartedly agree that race is a social category imposed upon biological similarities, and that greatly imperfect fit between the two usually causes more trouble than its worth.

    People are tribal. What can you do? Urge them to expand the tribe? Quit the old, small, insulated tribe and join the new, bigger, more inclusive one?

    In the meantime, lets let the evidence take us where it takes us no matter who it upsets.

  223. #224 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    From Ann Morning’s “On Distinction,” at the link I gave above @ #59:

    Race, Human Biological Variation, and Distinctiveness

    Dr. Leroi?s article also stumbles on the problem of ?distinction.? This is perhaps most apparent in the loose array of what he presents as ?races?: If ?Negritos,? Europeans, Basques, Ibos and Castilians are all races, then exactly what tools or taxonomic principles are guiding the identification of races? In other words, how are we measuring what counts as a ?racial? distinction?

    This question really entails a series of inquiries. First, which indicators do we choose to measure racial difference? How much difference do we believe signals ?racial? distinctiveness? And finally, do we decide in advance which groups of people make up races, and then look selectively for evidence that corroborates our classification scheme? Or do we first choose traits that we think are appropriate measures of race, and then see which clusters of human beings share them or not? In short, measuring racial difference?like virtually every other type of scientific inquiry?involves a series of judgment calls: conscious decisions that govern how we collect and analyze complex data. Racial differences do not just ?jump out? unambiguously from biological data.

    The strategy of identifying races by taking multiple indicators into account?for example, not just skin color but also hair texture and eye shape?offers a good example of the decisions and ambiguities involved in the process of distinguishing. First, Dr. Leroi suggests that a single trait like skin color is insufficient for delineating races because it would not distinguish Senegalese individuals from Solomon Islanders. The unspoken presumption is that a good measure of race would categorize the former separately from the latter. But another researcher might not agree. In the first part of the 20th century, anthropologists would have classified both groups as members of the ?Ethiopian? or ?Negroid? race, with the Senegalese representing its ?African? component and the Solomon Islanders its ?Negrito? or ?Oceanic Pygmy? wing. And yet another researcher might expect a racial framework to be able to distinguish west African Senegalese from the Sudanese to their east.

    Second, the multiple-trait approach to outlining races?a kind of triangulation process?does not eliminate the question of which traits should be selected to make this determination. A handpicked collection of characteristics like skin and hair color, eye and nose shape, might well delineate the groups that we commonly understand to be races: Africans, Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, and perhaps Australians. But we could also choose other traits to analyze together, and come up with a different picture of which races exist in the world. If we overlaid a map of the sickle-cell trait (found in malarial areas like western and central Africa, the Mediterranean basin, and South Asia) on top of that for lactose intolerance (likely distinguishing northwest Europe from the rest of the world), would we still obtain a clear picture of black, white, yellow and red races? And which would be better indicators of difference: surface traits like skin color or those related to blood and digestion?

    The choice of characteristic(s) used to measure race has an effect not just on which groups emerge as races, but how many. As Dr. Leroi acknowledges, the multiple-trait procedure for triangulating racial groupings could yield countless races: ?Study enough genes in enough people and one could sort the world?s population into 10, 100, perhaps 1,000 groups, each located somewhere on the map.? Incorporating more information makes it possible to refine our racial categories to smaller and smaller detailed groupings. Yet even with the complex biological data now available, it is rare to hear calls to do away with our 18th-century Linnaean taxonomy of four or five races. As a result, the scientific debate that effectively emerges about race is whether or not to accept the longstanding Western framework of black, white, yellow, and red races as a good approximation of human diversity.

    Finally, there is a more basic decision involved in trying to compile proof of the existence of biological races. For some researchers, it is sufficient to determine in advance how many and which groups are races, and then seek the data to support this presumed breakdown. The genetic genealogy industry operates in this way, pre-identifying three or so races, sampling the DNA of a few hundred people they believe to be representative of those races, and then sifting through the genetic data to find similarities between members of the same race while discarding the evidence of genetic traits that are shared across these races. The result is a genetic profile for each ?race.? In a similar vein, disease prevalence statistics have been interpreted as proof of the existence of continental races. The widely-shared assumption is that if one can detect genetic differences between any two groups?African Americans and European Americans, Koreans and Japanese, south Indians and north Indians, Basque and Icelanders?then we have discovered ?racial? differences. But such discoveries do not tell us anything about where the boundaries lie of the larger races that these subgroups supposedly represent. Does a genetic difference between African Americans and European Americans represent just dissimilarity between those two groupings, or does it tell us something about the huge groups we call the ?black? and ?white? races, which include Ivorians, Afro-Caribbeans, Ethiopians and Angolans on the one hand, and Swedes, Spaniards, Greeks and Poles on the other?

    The varied decisions that go into scientists? measurement of racial difference lend support to the idea that we don?t ?find? races so much as we ?construct? them. There are no given, objective racial boundaries, but rather, we determine which information should be used to classify races?and how?and as a result, the type and number of races will vary. As has been the case since Linnaeus and Blumenbach elaborated some of the first taxonomies of racial groups in the 18th century, there is no agreement among experts on the true number or boundaries of the world?s races…

  224. #225 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    While Im not sure I go all they way with you on your last post, Brownian, I wholeheartedly agree that race is a social category imposed upon biological similarities, and that greatly imperfect fit between the two usually causes more trouble than its worth.
    People are tribal. What can you do? Urge them to expand the tribe? Quit the old, small, insulated tribe and join the new, bigger, more inclusive one?
    In the meantime, lets let the evidence take us where it takes us no matter who it upsets.

    There go the goalposts.

    (P.S.: Tribes? What? Why?)

  225. #226 Brian Coughlan
    January 15, 2009

    People are tribal. What can you do? Urge them to expand the tribe? Quit the old, small, insulated tribe and join the new, bigger, more inclusive one?

    Erm … this broadening of tribal identity is actually happening. Just a heads up. What do you think the US, or the EU or the Catholic Church is? Culture and tribal affiliations are in constant and increasingly volatile flux. The trend is toward ever increasing circles of inclusion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0lRffYTStw&feature=channel_page

  226. #227 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    A pre-emptive apology for the long cut and paste, but Jack is lying again.

    Jack @ #222 says the links I posted offer no evidence. This cut and past is from

    http://www.slate.com/id/2206088/pagenum/2

    Now look at the frequency of the R and X variants in different populations. According to data published seven years ago in Human Molecular Genetics, the relative frequency of the X allele is 0.52 in Asians, 0.42 in whites, 0.27 in African-Americans, and 0.16 in Africans. If you break out the data further, the frequency of the XX genotype is 0.25 in Asians, 0.20 in European whites, 0.13 in African-Americans, and 0.01 in African Bantu. Conversely, the frequency of RR (the genotype for speed and power) is 0.25 in Asians, 0.36 in European whites, 0.60 in African-Americans, and 0.81 in African Bantu. Among Asians, you can expect to find one RR for every XX. Among whites, you can expect nearly two RRs for every XX. Among African-Americans, you can expect more than four RRs for every XX.So, yes, all other things being equal, you can expect this gene to cause Africans and African-Americans to be disproportionately represented at the highest levels of speed and power sports. And you can expect the opposite for Asians.

    This is not the final word on genes, race, and sports I know. Science continues to turn onward and I will continue to read with interest. If anyone has sci studies to the contrary I’d love to see them. But this is evidence, Id like to retract my previous word “proof”, that success in sports has a genetic basis. And it was and old stereotype, no matter how emphatically Jack says otherwise.

  227. #228 Guy Incognito
    January 15, 2009

    Wait a minute: race is a concept so imperfect that it is perhaps meaningless to scientific research, yet that same research is great at confirming old racial stereotypes?

  228. #229 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    I agree Brian, at risk of a total threadjack. Tribes expand, break apart, expand again. That post was more just a sigh about the human nature Brownian offered in his previous post.

    Jack, does use of the word tribal get your panties in a twist? Grow up dear boy, or at least move fifty miles away from an Ivy league school and befriend with a blue-collar male, its not impossible to get your common sense back.

    I expect that I need to further clarify for you that I belong to a tribe too.

  229. #230 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    …success in sports has a genetic basis.

    I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. (Though I’d use the word ‘component’, not ‘basis’, I think.)

    Now tell me what this has to do with race being ‘real’ again?

  230. #231 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Jack, does use of the word tribal get your panties in a twist? Grow up dear boy, or at least move fifty miles away from an Ivy league school and befriend with a blue-collar male, its not impossible to get your common sense back.

    I have no problem with the concept of tribalism. But as far as I can tell it’s a total non sequitur in a conversation about the supposed biological basis of race.

  231. #232 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    In the study the Saletan article summarizes, they use the terms “African” “African-American”; “white”, “Asian”

    If race isnt real, then What, boy-Jack, are they referring to?

  232. #233 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Race is a less, not more, reliable gauge of physical characteristics than genes are.

    Matt, the above is a quote from the articles you posted. Why are you continuing to argue that a social construct is a physical reality?

  233. #234 Tulse
    January 15, 2009

    Matt, please just give us a scientifically useful definition of race, or shut up.

  234. #235 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    In the study the Saletan article summarizes, they use the terms “African” “African-American”; “white”, “Asian”
    If race isnt real, then What, boy-Jack, are they referring to?
    ]

    This is what’s referred to as the social construct of race. I can use my more-or-less arbitrary cultural filters to distinguish an African-American from an ‘Asian’ any old time. That doesn’t make race ‘real’ in a biological sense.

    So what you’ve link to is the astonishing news that a particular gene does not have identical frequencies among members of a few of these arbitrary cultural categories.

    Wow. I’m scandalized.

  235. #236 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    It is a physical reality, and that post does not contradict it. That post says race is less reliable than genes, not that race ‘doesnt exist’. If race was not a physical reality, he would’ve said race cannot be used as a gauge at all because, well, it isnt real.

    Again, the study itself used those racial categories. Go argue with them.

    None of my posts contradict Saletan’s statment.

  236. #238 Wowbagger
    January 15, 2009

    If race isnt real, then What, boy-Jack, are they referring to?

    Oh, race is real all right – but there’s only one. We call it ‘human’. Try ‘ethnic group’ instead. You’ll sound far less stupid and ignorant.

    Then again, maybe you won’t.

  237. #239 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    It is a physical reality,

    Have you read anything that’s been said to you on this thread, dillweed?

  238. #240 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    Jack, social construct /= not physically real.

  239. #241 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Jack, social construct /= not physically real.

    Your point is…?

  240. #242 LightningRose
    January 15, 2009

    On a related note, the New Jersey kids named for Nazis have been removed from their home.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/01/14/national/a064131S66.DTL

  241. #243 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Again, the study itself used those racial categories. Go argue with them.

    Imagine me gritting my teeth and typing this as if I were speaking to a small and truculent child, which I pretty well am.

    Races, as socially-constructed categories, are real. As physical subpopulations for whom in-group differences are less than between-group differences (the scien-fucking-tific definition of a ‘real’ or meaningful group) they are not. Just because you think you’re more similar to a Swede than a Sukuma based on history and skin colour doesn’t make it so.

    Of course there are differences in gene frequencies between the populations you (and most genetically-illiterate North Americans) describe as races. There are differences between gene frequencies among populations with a majority Type A blood and those with Type B. You could argue that there are four races of humans, Type As, Type Bs, Type Os, and Type As, and you’d be able to draw even better conclusions about gene frequencies than you can using your American definition of race.

    As demonstrated, the amount of knowledge of this subject that both David Marjanovi? and I have is substantial, and even more so when compared to you. You claimed, “in the meantime, lets let the evidence take us where it takes us no matter who it upsets.” Well, we’ve done that, and the conclusions drawn are that ‘race’ is not a meaningful term biologically. The only standing here and screaming that the data don’t fit his pre-existing conclusions is you.

    Now, I’ve spent a lot of time studying this stuff at great personal expense, and I’ve tossed a helluva lot of it your way for free. After this, I suggest you take an actual course in this stuff (or, as in my case, a whole fucking degree), before you continue to argue this point.

  242. #244 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    Subset A: all the people in the world who would self-describe as Asian.

    There’s a world of ignorance in that definition alone. “Asian” doesn’t even mean the same in the US and UK.

  243. #245 Leigh Williams
    January 15, 2009

    They’re referring to the social construct, of course. That’s what everyone means when they say “race”; it’s just that some of us know it.

    That’s why some of us answer “human” when we’re asked what race we are. We are explicitly rejecting the tribe/social construct, and stating that our “tribe” is all of humanity.

  244. #246 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    It is a physical reality, and that post does not contradict it. That post says race is less reliable than genes, not that race ‘doesnt exist’. If race was not a physical reality, he would’ve said race cannot be used as a gauge at all because, well, it isnt real.

    No. We could pick any grouping based roughly on interbreeding affinity and then notice that (some) genes have widely varying distributions within those groups. That’s utterly banal.

    However, for the concept of ‘race’ to be real, then you have to pick a particular set of ‘races’, and stick with them.

    But there’s no reason that “African-American”, “Asian”, “African”, and “White” or whatever are better divisions to make than other divisions. In the example at hand, there’s almost certainly an arbitrary roughly historical-geographical grouping that would give me far BETTER predictive power. Say, “West African”, “Indian Ocean”, and “Northern Eurasian”.

    But then of course THAT grouping is going to do poorly at predicting the frequencies of some other gene/phenotype.

    Race is not real.

  245. #247 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    have widely varying distributions within those groups. That’s utterly banal.

    I should say rather, between those groups.

  246. #248 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Again, the study itself used those racial categories.

    Is Bantu a race? Are you suggesting it should be considered a race separate from other African races based on relative genetic frequencies of a gene that may play a role in sprinting success at elite levels?

  247. #249 CJO
    January 15, 2009

    Wowbagger:
    Try ‘ethnic group’ instead.

    And that highlights the whole “physical reality” claim, too. Are groups, any groups, “real”? Take the group “my family,” for instance. In my case, I belong to a nuclear family of three. But of course there’s also the nuclear family I came from, of five: me, my parents, and my two sibs. So, if I’m including that when I say “my family,” do I need to include the in-laws, too? They’re my son’s grandparents; surely they’re a member of “my family.” Or, are they only a member of his? What about my wife’s sisters, my son’s aunts? His cousins, or only my own? To how many degrees? Do I need to have met them, or at minimum know their names?

    Yes, “my family” is a real enough category, as is race, in a given social context. But I don’t know what it would mean to assign “physical reality” to such a mass of overlapping sets. There is just no single answer to the question of where to draw those lines. Better to increase the resolution and opt for less sweeping claims with the payoff of greater precision.

  248. #250 E.V.
    January 15, 2009

    Don’t make Brownian angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry (especially when he’s right and you’re wrong).

  249. #251 KnockGoats
    January 15, 2009

    BTW, Matt’s quote from E.O.Wilson@118 just shows that the most brilliant scientist can be a fucking idiot when he starts spouting off in areas where his prejudices are greater than his knowledge – witness James Watson as a more recent example.

  250. #252 BGT
    January 15, 2009

    Passes around popcorn to the room in anticipation of Brownian losing after Matt’s next hilarity inducing post…

  251. #253 BGT
    January 15, 2009

    Should have said “losing it”

    It has been a long day, my apologies for my lack of proofreading.

  252. #254 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    I can’t believe you guys are betting on my blood pressure.

    But to be fair, it’s 3°C here in Edmonton, on the heels of weeks of ~-20°C temperatures. A similar pattern can be seen across the province. I’d suggest most denizens of this normally cranky province are in unusually good spirits today, including me.

  253. #255 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    I rolled over to

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/

    to find a link to another study Id read about using race as a category. Id planned on bringing it back here for enlightentment. I browsed a bit and, well, turns out a whole bunch of scientists are using this ‘social construct’ as a basis for multiple studies being conducted Right This Very Minute.

    I figured you guys would be the ones to set them straight.

    Have at it fellas. Enjoyed knocking it around with ya.

  254. #256 arvind
    January 15, 2009

    I’ve yet to encounter a group whose talents and tendencies weren’t better explained by social and historical factors than by any biological differences, aside from those dirty, stinking Latvians.

    There are only two things I hate; those who are intolerant of other people’s cultures… and the Dutch.

    Jack, social construct /= not physically real.

    Self goal FTW!!!!! Matt, that is exactly what we are all trying to convince you of. Hint: race is one of the two, but not the one you think.

  255. #257 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    S’funny. I work as a medical geographer, examining cancer rates in my province. In fact, I exclusively use the boundaries of my province to delineate who falls under my area of study and who doesn’t. An incredible number of researchers do the same.

    I never figured that because so many of us are studying them exclusively that ‘Albertans’ constitute a race, as they surely must in Matt’s mind.

  256. #258 windy
    January 15, 2009

    So, West Africans tend to be faster than the rest of us.

    Is “West African” a race?

    Subset A: all the people in the world who would self-describe as Asian.
    Subset B: all the people in the world who would self-describe as White.
    randomly select 2000 people from each group. Decode their genome.
    I’d bet a handful of pre-1964 American mint silver dollar coins that people from group A share more genetic similarities with others from group A than they do with people from group B.

    Your bet is not very well defined. On *average*, possibly, but not for every member of the group. And maybe not even on average, if the “Asian” group includes Dravidian, Malaysian, Ainu, Mongolian and so on?

    Having said that I have to disagree with some who say that race is a completely useless concept:

    jack lecou:

    No. We could pick any grouping based roughly on interbreeding affinity and then notice that (some) genes have widely varying distributions within those groups. That’s utterly banal.
    However, for the concept of ‘race’ to be real, then you have to pick a particular set of ‘races’, and stick with them.

    Untrue. In most other species, there are no ironclad criteria for what should be called a population, variety or a subspecies, and people disagree and redefine them all the time. Yet these concepts are useful for research. One definition of race is that it’s the same as a subspecies (used for example by Ernst Mayr). IMO, extant human variation is not on the subspecies level, but possibly humans could be defined as having ecotypes.

  257. #259 wildlifer
    January 15, 2009

    Anyways, this continues to be a topic of interest to me, and I’ve yet to encounter a group whose talents and tendencies weren’t better explained by social and historical factors than by any biological differences, aside from those dirty, stinking Latvians.

    Hey now. My boss is Latvian and she’s great … except when she’s talking in Latvian to her parents on the telephone. Which of course means she’s talking about me … on second thought. :-)

  258. #260 'Tis Himself
    January 15, 2009

    Where’s the Stormfront horde? hahajohnnyb promised us a massive influx of racial realists poised to open up our minds to Nazism.

    Matt doesn’t count. He’s a libertarian I killfiled some days ago.

    So, where’s the white women at?

  259. #261 red rabbit
    January 15, 2009

    Returning to the lack of redheads in several generations: Not if my family have anything to do with it.

    Also, not a geneticist, but:

    Red hair is recessive and probably near enough single allele. Notwithstanding the associated fiery tempers, it doesn’t seem to be a reproductive disadvantage (as long as someone out there keeps finding pale with freckles attractive).

    Being recessive, a certain minority of non-gingers out there will carry the “red gene,” and these people will occasionally meet up. Which would say to me that although redheads might not be everywhere, unless absurd amounts of mobility are imposed on populations, they will continue to crop up wherever they currently are, and as long as people don’t start kicking them to death in the fourth grade (a la kick a ginger day), they’ll probably reproduce and put more of those recessive alleles back in the population to crop up just to make people wonder who exactly is sleeping with whom.

    …Like blue eyes in Africa.

  260. #262 mandrake
    January 15, 2009

    Drat! I *know* I heard something on the radio where they were talking about a science class – students were predicting which other students they would be mostly closely related to, & then they looked at the genetics… One of the “black” students found that genetically she was more similar to an “asian” student than another “black” student, “white” guy was more similar to “black” than to other “whites”, etc.
    My google-fu skills are weak, sensei.

  261. #263 12th Monkey
    January 15, 2009

    to find a link to another study Id read about using race as a category. Id planned on bringing it back here for enlightentment. I browsed a bit and, well, turns out a whole bunch of scientists are using this ‘social construct’ as a basis for multiple studies being conducted Right This Very Minute.

    Really Matt-the-racist-dickhead? What link? I saw lot of stuff there but nothing that seems to fit your description. Oh and fuck you by the way.

  262. #264 windy
    January 15, 2009

    Going back to the attempt at a definition

    Race means nothing more than I am more closely related to my ancestors than a persons ancestors of another race.

    So? You are also more closely related to your ancestors than the ancestors of another person of the SAME race.

  263. #265 red rabbit
    January 15, 2009

    Also-

    @ Matt #132: African vs African American black people strength/ endurance.

    Dude, you ever been to Africa? When was the last time you saw an American chop down a tree, mill the wood by hand, and walk 16 km down a mountainside to make enough money for dinner for the family?

    The standard of fitness had by the average African villager would make most American elite athletes, black or white, weep with envy.

  264. #266 Neuroskeptic
    January 15, 2009

    We await the onslaught of the racial realists. Given what happened at Stalingrad I doubt they’ll achieve much.

  265. #267 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    Race means nothing more than I am more closely related to my ancestors than a persons ancestors of another race.

    Except it doesn’t. As I noted so painfully many times, the amount of genetic variation between members of the same ‘race’ is the same or greater than the differences between races, which is pretty well what you’d expect if you were to randomly assign every human a number between one and ten and then set about to determine whether the ‘tens’ were different than the ‘ones’. Of course, with race you’ll find a few (such as melanin and some cranio-facial structural differences that are useful in forensics), but you might as well sort people into ‘races’ by blood type. Of course, using blood type makes it much harder to justify why your family and its glorious triumphant ancestry is superior to your neighbour’s, but.

    Whatever. Matt must be from one of those dumb races. But I’ll betcha he runs really fast.

  266. #268 Brownian
    January 15, 2009

    The standard of fitness had by the average African villager would make most American elite athletes, black or white, weep with envy.

    I spent a half-year in East Africa basically fucking around and drinking while my girlfriend at the time completed her Master’s in Epidemiology fieldwork. The passion for and knowledge of local and international politics of the average Ugandan living in Kampala made me want to come home and slap my fellow Canadians for being so fucking stupid, especially considering the differential access to educational resources. Then again, they had a particular affinity for vapid American hip-hop, so maybe all things are equal.

    (Note: not all American hip-hop is vapid, just the vapid stuff.)

  267. #269 jack lecou
    January 15, 2009

    Untrue. In most other species, there are no ironclad criteria for what should be called a population, variety or a subspecies, and people disagree and redefine them all the time. Yet these concepts are useful for research. One definition of race is that it’s the same as a subspecies (used for example by Ernst Mayr). IMO, extant human variation is not on the subspecies level, but possibly humans could be defined as having ecotypes.

    Well, I could be wrong.

    I didn’t mean to imply that it’s impossible to define any biologically-based subgroupings at all, or that particular subgroupings, arbitrary or otherwise, couldn’t be useful for some particular purpose or another.

    I just don’t think that’s compatible with the concept of ‘race’ as a sort of universal set of a handful of highly differentiated, obvious, and broadly descriptive/predictive/useful categories.

  268. #270 Twin-Skies
    January 15, 2009

    I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members, so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists.

    *rubs hands together*

    Excellent. It’s about time we learned to handle the other brand of stupid that’s prevalent on the net these days.

    You know, for somebody who claims to be so intelligent (4 points in anthro? Gasp!), hahajohnnyb seems to be the equivalent of a bully who just got pwned by his victim, and is now calling on his other thug-friends to help him take his revenge.

    So immature.

  269. #271 nick nick bobick
    January 15, 2009

    Here is hahajohnny carrying out is threat at StormFront this morning at 9 am:

    “I recently had an exchange with Dawkins-ites over at http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

    These people are leftist bozos, but I highly encourage all you Stormfronters to go in there and set them straight about human evolution. They are only prepared to hear from Christian Fundamentalists, and are not ready for us at all.

    By invading the Dawkins-ite Movement, it might be possible for us to awaken a few whites, or at the very least use the left’s tactics against themselves by making the Dawkins-ites look like a bunch of Neo-Nazis. Then their culture destroying movement gets to share our bad rap.”

    Since there have been no takers, I assume that these twitter birds would rather sing to the choir than get into a rational discussion with posters who might hand them their asses.

    ===

    BTW, Mike in NY way back and your link to the B.I.T.C.H. test: What do we deduce from a white boy from Seattle who took this test and only missed the one on “I know you, shame”?

  270. #272 uncle frogy
    January 15, 2009

    Posted by: Aaron | January 15, 2009 12:07 PM

    @117 I believe what Matt meant was

    Turnip means nothing more than rainbows am more closely related to other rainbows than a Dodge Caravan of another Starbucks. Since mastadons, and their corresponding blueberries, are Coloradans, it follows that parchment is a eleventh and porcine BMX.

    ]I could not have said it any clearer myself
    you took the words right out of my mouth!

  271. #273 mk
    January 15, 2009

    @ madder

    This is way down the list, I suspect you’ll never see it, but… thanks!

  272. #274 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Sorry I didn’t make good on my promise — I had less time than expected. If nobody has done it for me yet (haven’t had time to read the rest of the thread), expect evidence for the uselessness of the race concept in genetics in about 21 hours, or else on the weekend.

  273. #275 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    Maranovic, for the fourth or fifth time, ive maintained that the concept of race is fraught with difficulty, probably so much so as to useless in scientific study. Again, that does not mean that the imperfect concept is not real.

    Regarding my proposed bet I should’ve outlined the racial categories. I was thinking along the lines of a standard U.S. census race question, in which you have to choose only one. White, black, native american, pacific islander/Asian, Non-white hispanic (and yes, this last category is really ridiculous).

    Even within these admittedly imperfect categories, Id win the bet. So I stand by my very first post: Race is real.

    oh man, this would be an absolutely hilarious bet… kinda like trying to find the genetic differences between the “white” Jessica Albas and “black” Halle Berrys of America *snort*

  274. #276 Leigh Williams
    January 15, 2009

    Brownian, I just finished reading Pierre Berton’s Winter; I have a new appreciation for the hardiness of Canadians — and I understand (now) how delightfully balmy 3°C must seem to you.

    I also have a new appreciation for Austin’s weather. I’m going to try to remember that when spring comes, for four days prior to the beginning of the season of Hell, sometime in late April.

  275. #277 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    oh and also… if proficiency at a particular sport are genetically defined, does that mean Germans are closer related to Brazilians than Austrians or Danes?

    :-p

  276. #278 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    grr…. the english language and its lack of cases!

    that was supposed to be “Germans are more closely related to Brazilians than to Austrians or Danes?”

  277. #279 Michael
    January 15, 2009

    There once was a pissant named Matt,
    Whose comments were increasingly pat,
    So at the end of the day,
    PZ sent him away,
    With a hearty guffaw and “That’s that”

    I realize it’s not exactly Cuttlefish-worthy, but look what I have to work with.

  278. #280 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    These people are leftist bozos

    Hmm… “Janine, Leftist Bozo”?

  279. #281 bastion of sass
    January 15, 2009

    At #220 Brownian wrote:

    consider the differences between what consitutes a ‘fish’ among biologists, laypersons, and the Vatican (I’ll give you a hint: laurices, or baby rabbits, count as fish to only one of those.)

    I’m so intrigued. Please tell me more. I tried googling for more info, but couldn’t find anything that seemed pertinent.

  280. #282 Wowbagger
    January 15, 2009
  281. #283 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    bastion, my guess is that it means that according to the Vatican, Catholics can eat laurices on fridays, when they’re only supposed to eat fish and no other meat.

  282. #284 Matt
    January 15, 2009

    PZ didnt send me away Michael, you all just bored me. It was kinda telling that Brownian started insulting me once I left…

    You all bored me because your entire response can be summed up thusly: Race has fuzzy borders! Nothing with fuzzy borders can be categorized! therefore, race is useless.

    This is only believed to be true with certain biologists when discussing humans. Well, damn good thing it that folderal stopped with humans too, or else there’d be no Phylogenetics.

  283. #285 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    matt you dolt, it’s not that race is fuzzy around the edges… it’s that it’s been basically blurred out of visibility at the genetic level, i.e. it would be near impossible to identify people’s correct self-selected (or culturally selected) race-category by looking at their genome, and that other genetic groupings are much more useful, to the point where grouping by “race” isn’t any more significant than grouping by leftie vs rightie

  284. #286 Wowbagger
    January 15, 2009

    Actually, there’s a section on the wikipedia page on laurices that explains it all.

  285. #287 bp5
    January 15, 2009

    Race denial = creationism.

  286. #288 Jadehawk
    January 15, 2009

    Posted by: bp5 | January 15, 2009 9:30 PM

    Race denial = creationism.

    I think we finally have a live one

  287. #289 Rey Fox
    January 15, 2009

    “Jack, does use of the word tribal get your panties in a twist? Grow up dear boy, or at least move fifty miles away from an Ivy league school and befriend with a blue-collar male, its not impossible to get your common sense back.”

    Did you type that while swinging a broken beer bottle around and shouting “Yer not better’n me!”

    I probably wouldn’t mind those who argue about innate differences between races in various categories if they weren’t invariably right-wing pricks with chips on their shoulders.

  288. #290 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 15, 2009

    Did you type that while swinging a broken beer bottle around and shouting “Yer not better’n me!”

    Barley Wine > nose > monitor

  289. #291 Wowbagger
    January 15, 2009

    Race denial = creationism

    Is this a game? Cool! Ok, my turn:

    Phrenology = leprechaunism

    Next!

  290. #292 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 15, 2009

    bastion of sass @282

    One of those also considers a beaver a fish.

  291. #293 Brett
    January 15, 2009

    Ah, Stormfront. If I recall correctly, these assholes tried to invade another board I was posting on. They got flamed to death, then banned – but not before offering some entertainment.

  292. #294 SC, OM
    January 15, 2009

    Turnip farming = dilettantism

  293. #295 Bronze Dog
    January 15, 2009

    Fun. I should probably keep an eye on this thread.

    Seems I’m on the same page as a lot of people here on the topic of race: Not a terribly useful concept.

  294. #296 Rey Fox
    January 15, 2009

    A collection of superficial physical markers = whatever collection of fuzzily-defined and even-more-fuzzily-quantified mental or physical markers with which we want to grind a political axe

  295. #297 llewelly
    January 15, 2009

    I just got a long, whiny, self-serving email from a Mr John Buford, in which he claims that I was in error for banning him, because he once took a 4-credit course in anthropology, and his comments about race are therefore credible.

    Well, I’ve taken a FIVE credit course in anthropology, and I say he’s full of it.

  296. #298 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 15, 2009

    SC, did you just have a suggestion?

  297. #299 Muzz
    January 15, 2009

    While the subject is a touchy one that people prefer to avoid a lot, plenty of people do acknowledge differences based on background (As mentioned, doctors are pretty well versed in the propensity for certain diseases in African Americans, the problems with metabolising alcohol that the Japanese largely have etc.). But they feel no need to get excited over it.
    The people who do get up and start yelling “There is race you fools!”, however, generally only care about finding new justifications for old, stupid, prejudices. I don’t know if Matt is one of these but to my mind it’s like holding on to the terms of Homeopathy for grim death just because you like them, reconfiguring them to fit current thought even though the whole paradigm of knowledge that allowed it to exist has long since been swept away.
    I’d be curious to know why Matt thinks it’s so importent to acknowledge race. What is such categorisation supposed to achieve and how? And, moreover, how do we separate it from old stupidity?

  298. #300 windy
    January 15, 2009

    Matt wrote:

    You all bored me because your entire response can be summed up thusly: Race has fuzzy borders! Nothing with fuzzy borders can be categorized! therefore, race is useless.

    No, idiot. Apparently you didn’t read my comment #259 (among many others) – where did I say anything like that?

    Let’s look at your bet again

    Regarding my proposed bet I should’ve outlined the racial categories. I was thinking along the lines of a standard U.S. census race question, in which you have to choose only one. White, black, native american, pacific islander/Asian, Non-white hispanic (and yes, this last category is really ridiculous).
    Even within these admittedly imperfect categories, Id win the bet. So I stand by my very first post: Race is real.

    Even if your prediction is right, why do you think it proves the reality of the traditional racial categories, and not the following:

    -two races, persons of West African (or Bantu) descent and everyone else
    -two races, people west of the Urals and people east of the Urals (split in the Pacific)

    These are purposely ridiculous but you could win your bet just as well with one of these! So apparently you are using some other information to decide which racial categories to adopt and the bet is useless for deciding between them.

  299. #301 SeedMag
    January 16, 2009

    I’ve read this pathetic exchange over and can conclude that the self-proclaimed “enlightened” Dawkinites are intellectually limited individuals, I have seen the light. Thank you Mr. Dawkins.

  300. #302 awer
    January 16, 2009

    Hello,

    First, having read through this thread, I like to note that I’m not a stormfronter, nor a supremacist of any sort. I am from a Nordic country and not writing this in my first language, so I apologise for any linguistic errors. I got here via the science blog poll.

    Our ancestors left Africa approx. 100,000 years ago. The evolution of the modern “thinking” human had kickstarted approx. 400,000 years earlier with the gradual and evolutionary very fast growth of the human cortex. So the separation of these two human populations is approx. 1/5 of the lenght of the evolution of the modern human. The separation of the distinctive caucasoid and eastern asian populations occurred approx. 40,000 years ago.
    The alternative theory is that we are descendants of Homo Erectus and the separations of different lines of evolution could be as long as 1,000,000 years, but this theory is not enjoying much support these days.

    These – African, Caucasoid and East Asian are the three large categories within which much inner variation has occurred as noted and as such they are not very useful in themselves.

    But let this not muddy the issue. From excessive studies in western countries of identical and non-identical twins separated and not separated at birth (in my home country too) we do know, and the evidence is exhaustive, that general intelligence is very much hereditary. In the context of the western civilization and nutrition etc. it is upto 80% statistically. There are “intelligence genes”. And their impact is central. This is obvious.

    The important cultural and social aspect is how do these hereditary traits vary between different populations. Gene variation between populations is completely logical assumption. This is not affected by the fact that there is no general “African race” or that the origin of the Ashkenazi Jews is unclear. Let not the complexity of the issue to muddy it.

    I do believe that during this century, possibly somewhere during the coming decades many of the genes that correlate with hereditary intelligence are found and classified. Then the notorious experiment will be to study how the spread of these genes vary between categorized populations.

    Eventually we may come up with an estimation, supported not just by standardized and culturally and nutritionally neutral studies of the “g” (or IQ) but also by studies of spread of genes to support the hypothesis, which in itself would not be racism let this not be misunderstood, that the average Sub-Saharan African IQ is considerably lower than that of the European or Asian population.

    If this will be so – and there already are studies with identical twins, standardized IQ-testing to indicate this – then it is a fact of nature. There will probably be considerably variation within the Africans (say between 60 – 95) but it won’t change the overall picture.

    The genetical picture of the in-born tendencies and potentials of the human being won’t be restricted to IQ if such logical approach to the study of the human being is accepted inside the curriculum.

    Aggression is another trait, even more controversial if possible. The human temperament is very much hereditary, can be observed in very young children, and mainstream psychologists generally accept this these days. Parents of several siblings have always known it. Long gone are the days of behaviourism.

    There is ample data to prove that lower g and aggressive temperament correlate with criminal tendency. Majority of the “white” prison inmates are far below the average IQ of their population group. And have higher testosterone levels.

    Because of the peripheral, incorrect nature of these study subjects, there is nowhere near as much study as there ought to be, but there are logical evolutionary hypothesis for the causation between the hereditary elements and different aspects of social order.

    The human cortex, in which the human intelligence “resides” is not fully wired with our older “mammalian brain”. Statistically intelligence is an important factor in understanding, developing and controlling our own behaviour, desires and emotions. And the elements in our surroundings.

    This struggle has been difficult to humans throughout our history. And with the raise of rationalism has come the raise of civilization. This not a mere coincidence. It can be observed so many varying contexts. It is often the difference between good intentions and good outcomes. It is a key ingredient of that highly valued self-criticism.

    To explain this more in detail a lot more would be needed, but as it is, this is already at the maximum lenghts suitable for a blog comment.

    Personally I hit upon these ideas when studying developmental studies. My special interest has been in the Sub-Saharan Africa. I fear that our correctness is blinding us from central hereditary factors that contribute to social disorder on the continent. I do not wish this to be so, I take no joy in it probably being so. But the refusal to consider this evolutionarily entirely logical hypothesis, could prove, and has proven costly to developmental planning which has been built, I believe, on erroneous assumptions.

    I very much love your new president, and disliked the old one, too me every human is of the same value as a human being, I want Africa to one day stand on it’s both feet, proud and self-resilient, but I as a person striving to be a rational thinker (failing more or less like everyone) I cannot allow ideology, and ideas of wished-it-was-so to paint what I consider, on basis of lot of study, to be an objective outlook.

  301. #303 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 16, 2009

    I doubt very much that you are our mighty Seed overlord. Also, what is a Dawkinite? Please explain.

  302. #304 Jeff
    January 16, 2009

    Racial Realists should read Guns, Germs, and Steel.

  303. #305 Twin-Skies
    January 16, 2009

    Strange – for guys who keep parading around genetic data to forward their cause, I assumed that stormfronters would be referencing Dawkins more.

    Then hilarity ensues as we snipe their logical inconsistencies and attempts at twisting the data.

  304. #306 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    Our ancestors left Africa approx. 100,000 years ago. The evolution of the modern “thinking” human had kickstarted approx. 400,000 years earlier with the gradual and evolutionary very fast growth of the human cortex.

    1) actually the studies generally state “less than 100,000 years ago”, that’s a subtle difference but a difference nonetheless
    2)evolution is not gradual; if punctuated equilibrium was responsible for the original emergence of homo sapiens between 400,000 and 250,000, it would be perfectly reasonable that no further significant changes (genetic drift and minor adaptations excluded) occurred after the exodus. the lack of evolution of H. Erectus outside of Africa suggests that evolutionary pressures were stronger in Africa than out. the overall small genetic diversity of H. sapiens also suggests only minor evolutionary changes since the emergence of the species

    From excessive studies in western countries of identical and non-identical twins separated and not separated at birth (in my home country too) we do know, and the evidence is exhaustive, that general intelligence is very much hereditary.

    unless one half out of those twin-pairs was raised on a different continent, as part of a different “race”, the studies have nothing to say about differences in IQ being caused (or not) by different cultures; those studies only count within the western culture.

  305. #307 Badger3k
    January 16, 2009

    Damn, I used to be a Christian, and I never knew I could eat beaver on Friday…;) (actually, to quote Stephen Colbert, thanks to PETA, we can now eat “Land Fish”).

    Anyway, interesting discussion, except from the few followers of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. I do wonder if Matt is one of those persons who considers that numbers (or rather, the concept “numbers”) has a concrete existence outside of people’s minds. It just seems like that might be so.

    As for the newest racists – I mean, racist realists – racial retardists – ah, the heck with it – morons, yawn. Please, didn’t you get the message, we’re supposed to be “Darwinists”. If you want to call us “Dawkinites” (actually, I like the sound of that – it implies the kryptotnite to Aryan Ubermensch), can we call you “Hitlerites”?

  306. #308 windy
    January 16, 2009

    jack @270

    Well, I could be wrong.

    Careful, you’ll make the Stormfronters heads explode…

    I just don’t think that’s compatible with the concept of ‘race’ as a sort of universal set of a handful of highly differentiated, obvious, and broadly descriptive/predictive/useful categories.

    I agree.

    In case anyone is interested here’s a link to an article in Molecular Ecology on defining ‘population’ and how there is not even a single answer to “what is a population?” or “how many populations are in this area?”. So, theoretically there could be a useful concept of race without there being some sort of essential universal races. But of course your criticism applies to Matt’s goalpost-moving, anyone should stick with the same groups within a single argument.

  307. #309 tim gueguen
    January 16, 2009

    Hey, PZ. Can you find out where this Matt was posting from? Not the specific ISP, just the general location.

  308. #310 Happy Trollop
    January 16, 2009

    Aww, man… Here I’ve been F5-ing the page all afternoon, waiting for the hordes of Stormfronters to arrive and terrorise us with their book-learnin’ an’ their hypothesisin’ and all we get is one little racist dweeb.

    That’s not entertainment! Pharyngula, I want my money back.

  309. #311 John C. Randolph
    January 16, 2009

    If stormfronters put the same effort into improving themselves that they put into arguing their ostensible superiority, they wouldn’t be living in the squalor that has them casting about for scapegoats to explain their misery.

    -jcr

  310. #312 John C. Randolph
    January 16, 2009

    It’s even more disturbing to see that he’s part of an online community of like-minded individuals.

    There’s an upside and a downside to almost everything, and that certainly holds true for the internet. Besides the stories that hit the news from time to time about pedophiles trading pornography online, I was a bit shocked to learn a couple years back that there are online communities that actually advocate anorexia, even to the point of fatality.

    -jcr

  311. #313 12th Monkey
    January 16, 2009

    You all bored me because your entire response can be summed up thusly: Race has fuzzy borders! Nothing with fuzzy borders can be categorized! therefore, race is useless.

    At last! Matty obviously publishes his results in the Journal of Fuzzy Results, a spinoff of the old Journal of Irreproducible results. That’s why I haven’t seen it! The JFR employs a whole new branch of mathematics too. This adds to the difficulty that ordinary people and even run of the mill scientists like me have understanding it. For instance, in, say, the Journal of Virology you might report a certain result as something like “100 nanometers plus or minus 20 nm”. In the JFR you would report the same result as “about 100 nanometers”. While the naive and the hidebound might find this inexact, racial scientists like Dr. Matt have discovered that in fact the effort to quantify error was actually a Negro-Jewish-Marxist-Liberal-Humanist plot to destroy the white race and contaminate pure white virgins with negro semen. Thanks to all such racial scientists for their diligent peer review! Godspeed you Dr. Matt, fight on brave soldier and may you be free from salacious negro gametes all your life long!

  312. #314 melior
    January 16, 2009

    awer @ #303:

    Eventually we may come up with an estimation… that the average Sub-Saharan African IQ is considerably lower than that of the European or Asian population.

    See what you’ve done here? After acknowledging there is no genetic meaning to the concept of ‘race’, you’ve bent over backwards to recategorize “those brown skinned people I suspect aren’t as intelligent as we light skinned folks” as a population defined by the geographical location in which many of them live.

    So think hard here, exactly how do you plan to exclude any confounding effects of environment once you’ve done that? Please, get back to us with an answer when you have thought of one.

  313. #315 Chris Tucker
    January 16, 2009

    @#70

    It’s long, but I think it says it all:

    Punk Ass Nazi Bitches with Tiny Useless Penises.

  314. #316 Cactus Wren
    January 16, 2009

    Brownian@134:

    Back to Matt’s point, have you any data on why white supremacists are generally both ugly and stupid?

    It may have something to do with coming from a family tree which does not fork.

  315. #317 MsMisery
    January 16, 2009

    Been lost in deepest darkest South Africa, I had never heard of Stormfront before browsing this thread. So deciding to educate myself, I jumped over to their website… worst decision I’ve made in a LONG time. I feel sick. Need to take a shower. At the risk of sounding like them, how are people like that allowed to exist? [Now I slink away into a corner and depress myself over the state of the human race] :(

  316. #318 Stephen Wells
    January 16, 2009

    It’s tragic to think how useless and inferior you’d have to be, if “my ethnic group does slightly better than your ethnic group on IQ tests designed by my ethnic group” is the best thing you have to boast about.

  317. #319 occasional lurker
    January 16, 2009

    ‘People are tribal. What can you do? Urge them to expand the tribe?’ … ‘I belong to a tribe too.’ (Matt)
    Devoid of definition, ‘tribe’ is no more useful a concept than ‘race’.
    I’ve just read a semi-serious piece of historical scholarship that argues there are no ‘tribes’ in any meaningful sense except for the communities that actually have a tribal polity. If you belong to a (mostly) hereditary political community whose membership gives you rights and duties relating to defense, retaliation and bloodmoney, then you’re tribal. A bunch of distantly if at all related people with a few shared cultural features but lacking a polity based on (real or imagined) kinship does not even begin to qualify as a tribe. Use ‘people’ instead. (To confuse things further, there is e.g. a people called the Kurds, some but not all of whom belong to various tribes, and there are tribes consisting of ethnically unrelated groups.)
    So Matt, what is your tribe called, how many there are of you and what other tribes are you currently feuding with? Or do you have a good definition of ‘tribe’ that’d justify applying it to your people, whoever they are?

  318. #320 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Lurker I belong to a tribe with an long and storied history. We are a proud people, with a zest for life and love. We regale each other with stories of heartbreak and loss and the occasional triumph, sung over the most beautiful melodies you’d ever hear, played by our noblest bards, on instruments endemic to my people. Proud though we are, we are a self conscious people, striving to maintain our ancient cultural identity in this topsy-turvy modern world. And so we’ve documented our achievements, likes, preferences, and objects of lust here. http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/

  319. #321 Nerd of Redhead
    January 16, 2009

    I just love it when the idiots expose themselves. Hi Matt the idiot.

  320. #322 bastion of sass
    January 16, 2009

    WRT laurices = fish

    Doh! I should have realized that it had something to do with Friday abstinence from meat-eating. Thing is, the nuns who taught me for 9 years seemed to have omitted that particular little gem.

    According to the wiki article on laurices (thanks Wowbagger): The term laurices refers to the foetus of the rabbit, not “baby rabbit” as per Brownian. Maybe that’s why it didn’t catch on as a Friday Catholic dinner staple, although, really, plenty of cultures–including that of my family–Eastern European–eat things that make others go “eeuuwww.”

  321. #323 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    B of sass, and just what do you mean by the word ‘culture’? Are you one of them cultural realists? Dont you know that culture is a ‘social construct’ and therefore isnt physically real? As such, it isnt worthy of discussion, unless you are a Culturalist! I just knew you were by the way you thundered ‘Eastern European’. PZ, my eyes burn from the stupid. Ban this man, after you tell us his IP address. Guards! GUARDS! BLARGLE BLARGLE SNORT

  322. #324 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    we do know, and the evidence is exhaustive, that general intelligence is very much hereditary. In the context of the western civilization and nutrition etc. it is upto 80% statistically.

    So why have IQ scores been rising by approximately 3 points per decade, and why has the gap between black and non-Hispanic whites in the US been closing? Doesn’t that suggest that whatever genetic component is relatively unimportant?

  323. #325 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    You all bored me because your entire response can be summed up thusly: Race has fuzzy borders! Nothing with fuzzy borders can be categorized! therefore, race is useless.

    Matt, I have asked you numerous times to provide a scientifically useful definition of race, and you have so far completely failed to do so. I must presume you simply don’t have one.

  324. #326 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    people of the same race have an non-trivial large majority of common ancestry. By looking at my face, people can tell where the vast majority of my ancestors came from in the world.

    This is a fuzzy classification of course. But if that were a dis-qualifier for science, we’d have no biology.

  325. #327 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    people of the same race have an non-trivial large majority of common ancestry.

    So my family is a “race”? My hometown is a “race”? That “definition” is useless without some clearer criteria.

    Honest, science isn’t that hard, but you have to define your terms.

  326. #328 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Back at ya, define the word family. Your family almost certainly belongs all the same race.

    Hometown?

    An observation can be tested by science if offers a falsifiable hypothesis. Ive done that. Read it again.

    Again, I note your use of the word ‘useful’. Fortunately neither you nor I is a gatekeeper to the world of science and we dont know where research will lead.

  327. #329 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    Matt, your definition of race seems to amount to “I know it when I see it” (“By looking at my face, people can tell where the vast majority of my ancestors came from in the world.”). I’m asking for a genetic or evolutionary account, one that provides criteria that can be objectively defined. After numerous requests, you still haven’t provided any.

  328. #330 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Actually you asked for something ‘scientifically useful’. I answered the science part and mocked your arrogance for use of the word useful. Then you moved the goalposts.

    How about race is a grouping of people highly likely to have collections of the same gene variants. Not any one gene variant, like skin color, but multiple collections of variants.

    And yes, average non-scientists can identify these groupings of people with remarkable accuracy using their sense of sight.

  329. #331 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    How about race is a grouping of people highly likely to have collections of the same gene variants. Not any one gene variant, like skin color, but multiple collections of variants.

    Much better. Now, how much do such collections of gene variants correspond with the colloquial categories of “race”? As numerous posters have pointed out, not very much — there is much more variation among groups in Africa than there is in “white” groups, for example. In other words, these “collections of gene variants” don’t map onto your notion of “race”.

  330. #332 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    I never offered my ‘notion’ of race. My first post says “race is real”.

    You now agree.

    Thanks.

  331. #333 awer
    January 16, 2009

    “Doesn’t that suggest that whatever genetic component is relatively unimportant?”

    No. You should familiarize yourself with the twin and adoption studies. The data is exhaustive. The Flynn effect, which I do not challenge, does not alter the conclusions. And it is not just about intelligence. Many personality traits are largely hereditary. As adults two identical twins reared apart are more similar to each other in interests, preferences, intelligence, temperament, sexuality than two non-identical (same sex) twins reared together. The findings in this field of study in the last decade or so have been amazing. It is not something that can be denied out of ideological motivation, or rather which should not be denied, because the evidence is so strong and for the understanding of this world hard facts are preferable to nice beliefs.

    What comes to racism, for me that is about how we view and value other human beings. If something is a statement of a conclusion supported with a body of concrete evidence, it cannot in itself be racist in this sense. If the hypothesis about the different sub-Saharan populations is proven correct, that for most (if not all to a varying degree) of these populations and for sub-Saharan population on average, the average hereditary g is lower than that of the rest of the world, and hereditary temperament of the males more aggressive, based partly on higher testosterone levels, then at the bottom of it is a biological reality which a belief cannot alter. It either is or it is not. To what degree, it is difficult to say.

    If it is, and I firmly think this to be the case on basis of study and evidence, it won’t alter my view of the sub-Saharan populations as equally deserving of human dignity, prosperity and equal human rights on their home continent, and as immigrant citizens of our western societies. This is obvious. IQ does NOT define human value. And I do not think g/IQ/other hereditary traits and their possible spread among different populations is a topic that should be hot news in the media.

    Rather something discussed relatively quietly in the relevant academic circles in so far as it is of theoretical and practical importance.

    I have studied development, and here it, unfortunately, is important knowledge. Poor societies need their doctors, engineers, architects, artists, writers, philosophers, qualified teachers etc. to become prosperous societies. You can’t become a prosperous society without the people who form the high-skilled and qualified fabric of the society and lead the way, the people who fill the vacancies of intellectually demanding labour. This is a key question, and out of political incorrectness it is completely outlooked from a hereditary perspective. In the long run this could add to the suffering if we keep banging our heads against a wall of what could be reality but which we refuse to acknowledge.

    Today India, who 50 years ago were poorer than Africa, educate hundreds of thousands of engineers and doctors and computer scientists every year. The relative figures for Sub Saharan Africa are miniscule in comparison. There is less than one medical doctor for every 2000 people. And these figures look much worse without the ethnicly mixed South Africa. In Malawi you have one doctor for every 50,000 people. And even then a number of these doctors are working for western aid agencies.
    I have discussed this topic a lot, and I really would like to understand answers for the good of Africa.

    For the comparison to India, people come short with environmental and cultural answers. They usually hold their hands up and don’t know. They will still firmly believe the causation is cultural and environmental and direct their research and planning accordingly.
    I did lean this way too for years, this is the way we are bought up to think in the west. But having familiarised myself with the data, I cannot entirely believe this no more. I cannot choose the way the world is, it just is, and if I try to be objective, I cannot make conclusions based on ideology, only on the data. The data is not conclusive and should be produced and studied more in depth, but there is a clear direction it is pointing. I don’t know any other way at the end of the day but to accept what looks objective, and alter my views, but NOT my morals, accordingly.

  332. #334 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    My first post says “race is real”. You now agree.

    I agree that people use the term — I disagree that it maps onto any meaningful genetic groupings.

  333. #335 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Awer, you are a perfect example of why the “race isnt real” hysterics need to be firmly opposed. People need to be able to discuss these things calmly, without agendas. There are many people, perhaps some on this site, who believe the questions you study themselves are racist and cannot be discussed. That is the notion I have been railing against with my own, albeit imperfect and occasionally vulgar, methods.

  334. #336 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    The Flynn effect, which I do not challenge, does not alter the conclusions.

    Of course it does. Note that I did not say that the Flynn effect means there is no genetic component to intelligence, just that such component is relatively unimportant given the obviously much larger effect of environment that the Flynn effect demonstrates. I don’t see that you’ve disputed this.

  335. #337 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Well now Tulse, now we’re arguing something testable. Ive offered some evidence that collections of gene variants can map to meaningful genetic groupings. See the links in post #132. They show a meaningful gene variant, unequally spread amongst peoples, mapping to colloquial definitions of the term ‘race’.

    Big f’in deal, right? Well, all ive ever said is ‘race is real’.

  336. #338 Dana
    January 16, 2009

    Someone actually did this to my old message board (The Godless Zone) in the late 90’s. There were links to our site from racists sites for years. It brought in the occasional troll, but banning only takes a few keystrokes. ;)

  337. #339 jack lecou
    January 16, 2009

    awer-

    The key word is relatively. No one doubts that there are various genetic components to intelligence. And with very careful twin studies and so forth, you may be able to tweeze them out.

    As a practical matter, however, this effect is swamped by the effects of nurturing, nutrition, acculturation, education, etc. In other words, the impacts of any “intelligence genes” are NOT central. They’re secondary.

    Also, however conclusive the twin studies may be (and I tend to doubt they’re quite as conclusive as you’re implying), I completely fail to see how you think it’s possible to meaningfully compare IQ scores cross-culturally.

  338. #340 KnockGoats
    January 16, 2009

    “By looking at my face, people can tell where the vast majority of my ancestors came from in the world.” – Matt

    Came from when?

  339. #341 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    Ive offered some evidence that collections of gene variants can map to meaningful genetic groupings. See the links in post #132.

    Those links are to two articles in an online magazine, not scientific journals, and over both of those article the author points to a total of one study looking at one gene and how its alleles group in populations. That doesn’t come anywhere near your claim regarding collections of gene variants.

    They show a meaningful gene variant, unequally spread amongst peoples, mapping to colloquial definitions of the term ‘race’.

    One variant, and even in the article the groupings do not match to colloquial definitions of race — the African Bantu group differs from the African American group. In the same article, with regards to performance, Saletan notes that “West Africans dominate sprinting. East Africans do better at distance running. So already, the evidence points beyond race toward a more precise category: population.”

    And again, no one is disputing that single gene variations can track with populations — certainly blonde hair is associated with certain populations, and dark skin is associated with certain populations. The question is, as you yourself suggest, whether there are meaningful collections of gene frequency differences that reliably map on to what we colloquially think of as “race”. And as I pointed out before (and as the research Saletan mentions supports), there is often greater genetic variation within a specific “race” than there is between other “races”. Race is a meaningless concept genetically (and Saletan, your cited source, agrees).

  340. #342 jack lecou
    January 16, 2009

    Ive offered some evidence that collections of gene variants can map to meaningful genetic groupings. See the links in post #132. They show a meaningful gene variant, unequally spread amongst peoples, mapping to colloquial definitions of the term ‘race’.

    This is SO much weaker than ‘race is real’.

    Yes, you can subdivide the species in various ways. You can divide based on skin color, or continent of origin, or blood type, or favorite color, or type and degree of lactase-persistence.

    And when you do that, you’d expect most of the time to get different frequencies between the subdivisions of muscle gene Q, or heart disease gene R, etc., such that membership in a group might be a somewhat useful predictor of Q or R or whatever.

    But unless that subdivision is custom designed for the application, the usefulness as a predictor is relatively weak. Take your muscle gene study. Sure, Africans and African-Americans are somewhat more likely to have the gene, but it’s far from a perfect correlation. If you want to predict the presence of the gene based on ‘racial’ identity, you would be better off say, looking at a map of the geographical distribution of the gene, and then inventing some new ‘racial’ categories to closely match that.

    And you could do something similar for every purpose and/or collection of ‘gene variants’. There’s no generally useful set of “gene variant clusters”. There’re tens of thousands, some useful for one thing, some for another. Which is fine if you change up your categories depending on what you’re studying. Sometimes you’re race “type-AB”, sometimes you’re race “gene variant cluster alpha, subgroup 12″, maybe sometimes you’re even “black”.

    But that wouldn’t be ‘race’. Race is always. You’re not “black” just when it’s actually an applicable and useful category. You’re just “black”.

  341. #343 awer
    January 16, 2009

    “how you think it’s possible to meaningfully compare IQ scores cross-culturally”

    By researching the test scores of adopted children of different ethnic backgrounds for one. And this has been done to an extent. Adopted kids of ethnic chinese background perform very well. It is not the same for everyone, unfortunately.

    And we can develop g tests that approach culturally neutral and require little prior experience. Of course the tests should also be “nutritionally neutral”. It is difficult but not impossible. If we wanted to find clearer answers, we could manage it. But it is the answers we do not want.

    And this is not just about the vocal but peripheral relics from the 1930’s. They are irrelevant and won’t be making a comeback. But there are significant implications for other things. For important things that are questions of developmental policies and solutions that produce results, that are questions of finding answers to poverty and other important global questions.

  342. #344 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    My non-scientific Asian buddies can further subdivide their race into sub-populations based on their sense of sight. They used to tease me for not being able to do the same. Then they pointed a few things out to me and I got a little better at it.

    My non scientific Hispanic buddies do the same, though I found the exercise a little harder.

    Unfortunately I dont have that many African friends (And by African, I mean black or brown skinned people born in raised in the sub-saharan African continent.) But I would bet (here I go again) dollars to donuts if I did, they could tell by sight some of the differences between various African peoples.

    So race is fuzzy, it has categories and sub-categories, it doesnt mean the same thing to everyone, and of course fraught with nasty political overtones. Etc, etc, etc. These conditions makes it difficult to do science on, both physical and social. And yet people do.

    BTW, to anyone who still cares, those Slate articles point to the actual study where the actual data can be actually reviewed.

  343. #345 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    Matt, do you want to actually address the objections that have been raised, or just repeat your points?

  344. #346 jack lecou
    January 16, 2009

    By researching the test scores of adopted children of different ethnic backgrounds for one. And this has been done to an extent. Adopted kids of ethnic chinese background perform very well. It is not the same for everyone, unfortunately.

    This hardly seems sufficient. It’s plagued by 1) small sample sizes, and 2) a multitude of cultural, nutritional and social confounding factors.

    And we can develop g tests that approach culturally neutral and require little prior experience. Of course the tests should also be “nutritionally neutral”. It is difficult but not impossible.

    Designing a ‘culturally neutral’ test is obviously a lot more difficult than you make it sound. Also, if the signal is so strong, “central” even, you’d think it would be a lot easier to pick it out of the noise of nutrition, culture, etc.

    If we wanted to find clearer answers, we could manage it. But it is the answers we do not want.

    I think you should consider the fact that people ARE studying this sort of thing, but, to the extent that you’re apparently not satisfied with what they’re studying, also consider the possibility that the ‘answers’ you think you want may just not be very useful.

  345. #347 BlackEyedGurl
    January 16, 2009

    @101

    If your anatomy professor were right then there would be no way to accurately determine race from skeletal remains. Which, oh wait for it… THERE IS. There are skeletal characteristics which can help to acertain the race (aka population of ancestry) a given set of remains is derived from. So your anatomy professor was either not aware of this, or was stating that biologically the races are no different because all of our bodies function the same.

    On the skull alone there are at least 16 different markers that can be used to determine population of ancestry (which is the current term used instead of race, because the word race is inflamatory as is evidenced through the conversations here).

  346. #348 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    Matt the Black Knight of Racism:

    They show a meaningful gene variant, unequally spread amongst peoples, mapping to colloquial definitions of the term ‘race’.

    Since you obviously didn’t read the piece I linked to @ #238*, I’ll post the link again:

    http://www.genetic-future.com/2008/08/gene-for-jamaican-sprinting-success-no.html

    [You may also be interested in the comments, especially the last one, as regards your little bet.]

    *Or you did and are too much of a blockhead to understand it – there’s much evidence for this in your responses to the comments on this thread.

  347. #349 Nerd of Redhead
    January 16, 2009

    Matt reminds me of Facilis the Fallacious: Here’s my postulate. I win! Facilis the Falacious lost big time.
    Nothing else of consequence is ever said. That is because he has nothing else except his prejudices. Matt, time to either cite your evidence and make a claim that can be falsified, or just get off the subject.

  348. #350 Becky with a Y
    January 16, 2009

    Mike at 190:

    Thanks a bunch. I can’t believe it. Everyone should love Rex Harrison cracks. I knew a Dr. Higgins and asked if he would go dress hunting with me, I don’t think he saw the movie and didn’t get the joke.

  349. #351 tif
    January 16, 2009

    I am always amazed at the number of “leaps of faith” that a “race realist” must take to construct their universe. To accept this philosophy you must believe that:

    1. Humans are constructed into a number (three/four/etc) of genetically distinct groups.

    2. “Black Africans” constitute one of these groupings.

    3. Due to the mere fact that IQ scores (in environments which are relatively uniform) can be heritable, proves that IQ tests are always/mostly an accurate measurement of a genetically determined ?general intelligence? under/across, all/most environments.

    4. The “Black African genetically distinct group? is cursed by “low intelligence genes” (along with all/most the other ?bad genes?)

    5. The future will prove this all right.

    For example… awer @ #303:

    Our ancestors left Africa approx. 100,000 years ago. The evolution of the modern “thinking” human had kickstarted approx. 400,000 years earlier with the gradual and evolutionary very fast growth of the human cortex. So the separation of these two human populations is approx. 1/5 of the lenght of the evolution of the modern human. The separation of the distinctive caucasoid and eastern asian populations occurred approx. 40,000 years ago.

    This is an example of the “leaps of faith” I listed as #1 and #2. “Race realists” already assume that there are two (or more) groups of genetically distinct people. It would be more accurate to think of human genetic variation as a continuous railroad track. Where the track length represents human geographic distance (length is proportional to genetic separation); the continuous nature of the track represents the continuous nature of human populations (and gene flow); the addition of new rail track represents the growth of humans throughout the globe (unaffecting previous laid track/humans).

    In addition to all of this make the railroad track 2D instead of a linear line. Also add that, the length of time that humans have populated any given area increases the general amount of genetic variation in that area. Newly colonized growth areas are inhabited from a small group from the geographical outlining genetic pool. And add other social factors that (to a lesser extent) affect assortative mating (language/ethnicity/culture/class). Add 600 years of massive modern/historical population movements (Europeans/Africans to the Americas, genetic backflow, invasions, etc). Or any other random factor you can think of that messes up the silly ?4/3/5 distinct human groups? assertion.

    These – African, Caucasoid and East Asian are the three large categories within which much inner variation has occurred as noted and as such they are not very useful in themselves.

    ?another example of “leaps of faith” #1 and #2?

    But let this not muddy the issue. From excessive studies in western countries of identical and non-identical twins separated and not separated at birth (in my home country too) we do know, and the evidence is exhaustive, that general intelligence is very much hereditary. In the context of the western civilization and nutrition etc. it is upto 80% statistically. There are “intelligence genes”. And their impact is central. This is obvious.

    This is an example of #3. It is a sacred tenant among the “realist” crowd. Most of the argument lays in a classic example of trying to prove causation through correlation (any first year science student can tell you why that is unreliable).

    The important cultural and social aspect is how do these hereditary traits vary between different populations. Gene variation between populations is completely logical assumption. This is not affected by the fact that there is no general “African race” or that the origin of the Ashkenazi Jews is unclear. Let not the complexity of the issue to muddy it.

    Here is yet another example of “leaps of faith” #1 and #2. Instead of using the idea of an “African race” he substitutes it with the idea of a cohesive genetically distinct ?African population??

    I do believe that during this century, possibly somewhere during the coming decades many of the genes that correlate with hereditary intelligence are found and classified. Then the notorious experiment will be to study how the spread of these genes vary between categorized populations.

    ?an example of “leap of faith” #5?

    Eventually we may come up with an estimation, supported not just by standardized and culturally and nutritionally neutral studies of the “g” (or IQ) but also by studies of spread of genes to support the hypothesis, which in itself would not be racism let this not be misunderstood, that the average Sub-Saharan African IQ is considerably lower than that of the European or Asian population.

    ?Odd, but another example of “leap of faith” #5…

    If this will be so – and there already are studies with identical twins, standardized IQ-testing to indicate this – then it is a fact of nature. There will probably be considerably variation within the Africans (say between 60 – 95) but it won’t change the overall picture. ?

    ?He?s gone off into racially masturbatory science fiction at this point (ala GATTACA). Sit back and enjoy the ride?

    The genetical picture of the in-born tendencies and potentials of the human being won’t be restricted to IQ if such logical approach to the study of the human being is accepted inside the curriculum. ?

    Please, do tell, what else can we contribute to ?the blacks?.

    Aggression is another trait, even more controversial if possible. The human temperament is very much hereditary, can be observed in very young children, and mainstream psychologists generally accept this these days. Parents of several siblings have always known it. Long gone are the days of behaviourism.
    There is ample data to prove that lower g and aggressive temperament correlate with criminal tendency. Majority of the “white” prison inmates are far below the average IQ of their population group. And have higher testosterone levels.
    ?

    Yes?

    Because of the peripheral, incorrect nature of these study subjects, there is nowhere near as much study as there ought to be, but there are logical evolutionary hypothesis for the causation between the hereditary elements and different aspects of social order. ?

    Don?t stop now, tell us what are these ?logical evolutionary hypothesis? and what can we learn from them?…

    Personally I hit upon these ideas when studying developmental studies. My special interest has been in the Sub-Saharan Africa. I fear that our correctness is blinding us from central hereditary factors that contribute to social disorder on the continent. I do not wish this to be so, I take no joy in it probably being so. But the refusal to consider this evolutionarily entirely logical hypothesis, could prove, and has proven costly to developmental planning which has been built, I believe, on erroneous assumptions. ?

    ?evolutionarily entirely logical hypothesis? is a nice phrase for science fiction; based upon numerously overlaid: racially despairing assumptions, incorrect human genetic models, and misleading studies. All of which, I might add, directly point towards the goal of depicting ?the blacks? in the worst possible terms or even as sub-human. This is the definition scientific racism. It is the main reason why few people take Scientific racists seriously. You make all these claims and assumptions based upon weak correlations and numerous leaps of faith and wonder why no one follows your contrived line of thinking. This was very sadly the norm throughout most of western history past but it has largely died out.

    I very much love your new president, and disliked the old one, too me every human is of the same value as a human being, I want Africa to one day stand on it’s both feet, proud and self-resilient, but I as a person striving to be a rational thinker (failing more or less like everyone) I cannot allow ideology, and ideas of wished-it-was-so to paint what I consider, on basis of lot of study, to be an objective outlook. ?

    You are allowed to believe whatever you want. However, if you want to be taken seriously bring proof. Leave all your bluster about ?the future proof? home.

  350. #352 Brownian
    January 16, 2009

    PZ didnt send me away Michael, you all just bored me. It was kinda telling that Brownian started insulting me once I left…

    Cry me a river. ‘Once you left’? This isn’t a conversation with people in the room, it’s a blog. You never know if someone’s reading or not, so the default assumption is that they are.

    You all bored me because your entire response can be summed up thusly: Race has fuzzy borders! Nothing with fuzzy borders can be categorized! therefore, race is useless.

    Only if you’re illiterate, you fucking dipshit. The entire argument can be summed up thusly: the categories we call race have no real biological correlation; they are social constructs, and though they may be useful from that perspective, such social constructs shouldn’t be mistaken for categories in reality. If you’d read the link on blood type I provided earlier, you’d have gotten this point (even though I reiterated enough times a fucking jarhead like you should have been able to get it.)

    Why don’t you let us know what race you are; I’m sure there’d be reams of scientists happy to determine why you’re so congenitally fucking dense and whether such stupidity is common to your breed.

  351. #353 Bhima
    January 16, 2009

    Google provides some interesting insight persona of “hahajohnnyb”. In the order I found them:

    Advocates complete genocide of the Jews in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

    Claims the owners / operators of Fox News (News Corp) and thus does not watch Fox News.

    Asserts Anthropogenic Accelerated Climate Change is a hoax, and that the earth is now entering a cooling trend.

    Apparently enjoys bondage, and other S&M sexual activity… or perhaps enjoys discussing bondage.

    Asserts that the keeping of slaves is a cultural right, and that the ?United States had no right to declare war on the South, and we have been an occupied country ever since?

    Supports Ron Paul (*a lot*)

    Asserts that both Barack Obama and John McCain are socialists.

    Warns of single global currency and world government

    Muses on the desirability of forced sterilization of the citizens of India

    Argues against the legality of abortion

    Asserts that ?Humans are not the cause of the hole in the ozone layer?

  352. #354 tif
    January 16, 2009

    BTW some good articles that cover a lot of what is discussed…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genetic_variation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(classification_of_human_beings)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_genetics

    I suggest you also read the “talk pages” of these article to see how each factoid is included into each article and the debates behind the scenes. -I hope this passes the spam filter-

  353. #355 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 16, 2009

    I bet he puts ketchup on his hotdog too.

    What an asshole.

  354. #356 Brownian
    January 16, 2009

    My non-scientific Asian buddies can further subdivide their race into sub-populations based on their sense of sight. They used to tease me for not being able to do the same. Then they pointed a few things out to me and I got a little better at it.

    My non scientific Hispanic buddies do the same, though I found the exercise a little harder.

    Unfortunately I dont have that many African friends (And by African, I mean black or brown skinned people born in raised in the sub-saharan African continent.) But I would bet (here I go again) dollars to donuts if I did, they could tell by sight some of the differences between various African peoples.

    What kind of bullshit is this? What does this have to do with ‘race’? My Asian friends (see, I’m not a racist!) can distinguish between Koreans and Japanese by sight, therefore, ‘Asian’ is a real category and ‘Black’ is a real category. Fuck, what a dumb twat.

    Further to Bhima’s comment, I guarantee you that hahajohnnyb has wet dreams about the gold standard.

  355. #357 bastion of sass
    January 16, 2009

    At #324, Matt wrote:

    Dont you know that culture is a ‘social construct’ and therefore isnt physically real?

    I did indeed know that.

    As such, it isnt worthy of discussion, unless you are a Culturalist!

    Is this some kind of turnip joke that we non-turnips won’t get? Or do you, in your turniptousness, think you’re actually making some kind of trenchant point?

    Ban this man, after you tell us his IP address.

    …just one wrongturniped turn after another.

    Guards! GUARDS!

    Well, if you want to include a discussion of Guards! Guards! in this thread, you might appreciate this:
    All dwarfs are by nature dutiful, serious, literate, obedient and thoughtful people whose only minor failing is a tendency, after one drink, to rush at enemies screaming “Arrrrrrgh!” and axing their legs off at the knee.

  356. #358 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    Again Brownian, telling that you’d bring up race/intelligence as If I’d raised the point. You just know what I believe in my malign little heart, dont you? Awer has a good discussion going on regarding race and intelligence, take your shrieking on that topic to him.

    Please define the phrase ‘social construct’.

  357. #359 CJO
    January 16, 2009

    Please define the phrase ‘social construct’.

    Okay.

    Social: adj. of or relating to habitual intraspecific interactions, usually among individuals in a single population and sharing a habitat or a local environment

    Construct: n. 1. The end product of a mechanical or manufacturing process 2. an abstract characterization of an imagined object, process, relationship or grouping; concept

    Social construct: n. A concept (usually relating to the organization of a human society) agreed upon as valid by many or most members of a given social group, either explicitly or tacitly

    Why? What was the point of this exercise, other than giving me an excuse to play lexicographer?

  358. #360 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    B of sass, and just what do you mean by the word ‘culture’? Are you one of them cultural realists? Dont you know that culture is a ‘social construct’ and therefore isnt physically real? As such, it isnt worthy of discussion, unless you are a Culturalist!

    Oh, goodness. I had missed this. Actually, culture is a great comparison, which Matt has thus far been too dense to appreciate. Culture refers to the values, beliefs, norms, and material objects that make up a group’s way of life. Now, there’s something circular about this: we define “a culture” as a group that shares, broadly, a “way of life,” and define “cultures” as ways of life shared within particular groups. How do we decide what constitutes a culture, or separates one culture from another? Do we focus primarily on beliefs? Political values or systems? Family structures? Marriage practices? Architectural styles? How do we decide which is more significant? Within larger categories, which specific aspects do we consider important, how do we measure them, and where do we draw the lines? Do all Christians share a culture? Do all Protestants? Why or why not? If you have two people, both from New York, one Catholic and one Jewish, one a socialist and the other a Republican, which, if any, of these characteristics should we use to determine the culture(s) to which they belong? Or are they just New Yorkers, or just Americans, or just Westerners? Are cultures national, tribal, regional,…? Is a category like “Western culture” useful for social analysis, or simply for political rhetoric? As the elements of cultures change and people interact with other groups over time, how do we address this?

    People share beliefs, practices, norms, and material objects/styles. These vary spatially and temporally in complex ways. They act and produce in certain ways that we can see. Yet the way we go about labeling these practices and making divisions among them is based on choices and social conventions. Most of the time people aren’t aware of this; social scientists must make their choices and the reasons for them explicit.

    Cultures are not ‘real’. As with race, the reification of culture has been a useful tool for those seeking to oppress others, both those they define as outside and those they see as within their culture as they define it.

  359. #361 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    from Brownian

    >>>The entire argument can be summed up thusly: the categories we call race have no real biological correlation; they are social constructs

    Yhe point is the definition of just about everything human beings discuss can fit into the definition. We can quickly get mired into ontological quicksand in this discussion, my point is that saying the phrase social construct is not a magic wand to render something not physically real.

    Racial categories as commonly constructed by non-scientists are a way of classifying the visually confirmed observation of human differences. They correspond to common ancestry, this is verifiable, hence scientific. They arent the best ways of knowing. Within the broad category of science we improved upon them and socially constructed the systematic methods of classifying people (and other things) with fields like biology (and all of concepts agreed upon as valid by biologists), and anthropology (and all of the concepts agreed upon as valid by anthropologists) and so forth and so on. We continue to argue about what is valid in anthropology and biology, this does not mean they do not correspond to things in reality.

    These are all socially constructed methods at understanding reality. Some are better than others.

    As for Brownians point that common racial categories have real biological correlation, I provided evidence counter to that point. Clusters of gene variants are found in peoples descendant from common ancestry, commonly referred to as race. Yes, race is not the best way to discuss genetics, this does not mean racial categories dont correspond to reality. You don’t mean to suggest they correspond to randomness, do you?

  360. #362 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    In my final paragraph, I meant to put the word ‘dont’ in front of ‘real biological correlation’.

  361. #363 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    from SC

    >>>Cultures are not ‘real’.

    Someone throw a rope to SC OM. His (her?) head just went under the surface of the ontological quicksand.

  362. #364 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    Someone throw a rope to SC OM. His (her?) head just went under the surface of the ontological quicksand.

    You’re such a fucking pinhead, Matt. You lack either a desire or an ability to learn, or (most likely) both. In either case, you’re embarrassing yourself and wasting everyone’s time.

  363. #365 CJO
    January 16, 2009

    peoples descendant from common ancestry, commonly referred to as race.

    You keep equivocating. When it suits your purposes, you’ll use this common reference. But what you’re actually talking about is “the visually confirmed observation of human differences,” as you put it in your #362. What is at issue, but what the quoted bit above simply assumes, is whether the categories arrived at by visual confirmation reliably match up with the categories derived from common ancestry.

    In other words, you keep assuming your conclusion, and wondering why we don’t find your reasoning persuasive.

  364. #366 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    Racial categories as commonly constructed by non-scientists are a way of classifying the visually confirmed observation of human differences.

    Why don’t you fucking address all of the points that have been made to you about categorizing human variation?

  365. #367 Matt
    January 16, 2009

    SC, i thought 99% of your culture post corresponded well to reality as I observe it. Wasnt until you threw in the punctilious lefty-agitprop genuflection in your last graf that we parted ways.

    Unless of course you’re referring to Islam and its adherents when you say “the reification of culture has been a useful tool for those seeking to oppress others”.

    Tell me SC, how can something be reified if it isnt real?

    Double dawg dare ya to tell a fundie Islamist to his face culture isnt ‘real’ (to get full credit you have to condescend with the commonly accepted scare quotes finger motion too).

  366. #368 Tulse
    January 16, 2009

    Racial categories as commonly constructed by non-scientists are a way of classifying the visually confirmed observation of human differences.

    That is perhaps the only true thing you’ve said about the concept of race.

    They correspond to common ancestry, this is verifiable, hence scientific.

    Nonsense. Again, as I have pointed out over and over again, some individual “races” are actually comprised of groups that vary more in terms of genetics and ancestry than pairs of “races” do. Just because two people have for example dark skin and are from Africa does not mean that they have a more similar ancestry than a “white” and a “black”. Race as a concept simply does not translate well into genetics or ancestry. Similarities in grossly observable phenotypic characteristics are not reliable indicators of similarities in underlying population genotype.

    Honestly, do you have any evidence for your position other than one paper on one allele that was reported on in a general-interest online magazine?

  367. #369 CJO
    January 16, 2009

    Tell me SC, how can something be reified if it isnt real?

    Christ on a cupcake, what a clown.

    Double dawg dare ya to tell a fundie Islamist to his face culture isnt ‘real’

    And, while you’re making an ass of yourself, why not toss in some fatwa envy? We haven’t seen much of that lately.

  368. #370 Brownian
    January 16, 2009

    Racial categories as commonly constructed by non-scientists are a way of classifying the visually confirmed observation of human differences. They correspond to common ancestry, this is verifiable, hence scientific.

    Except that they don’t, stupid.

  369. #371 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 16, 2009

    Oh, so Jessica Alba does count as “white” in the USA, and not even just because of her surname. I was wondering.

    Matt, stuffwhitepeoplelike.com is a parody site.

    oh and also… if proficiency at a particular sport are genetically defined, does that mean Germans are closer related to Brazilians than Austrians or Danes?

    Wwwwwwhoa! I think you insulted the National Religion. I think I should kill you where you stand…

    (No, seriously, last EM championship there was an Internet petition in Austria saying that Austria shouldn’t even participate because it’d be just embarrassing. Maybe I signed it. It gave other explanations than genetic ones, though.)

    My special interest has been in the Sub-Saharan Africa. I fear that our correctness is blinding us from central hereditary factors that contribute to social disorder on the continent. I do not wish this to be so, I take no joy in it probably being so. But the refusal to consider this evolutionarily entirely logical hypothesis, could prove, and has proven costly to developmental planning which has been built, I believe, on erroneous assumptions.

    You must not overlook the Principle of Parsimony. As far as we can tell today, no biological explanation is necessary for the situation of an exploited continent that consists of countries that are even more artificial than those elsewhere.

    How about race is a grouping of people highly likely to have collections of the same gene variants. Not any one gene variant, like skin color, but multiple collections of variants.

    Yep, as I keep saying, by that definition races don’t exist. Did you fail to click on the link to the page about blood types that Brownian gave you? Here is the homepage of that site, in case you missed it or were afraid to click. You’ll find a map of skin color and several of the alleles for blood types; try to find a correlation.

    For the comparison to India, people come short with environmental and cultural answers. They usually hold their hands up and don’t know. They will still firmly believe the causation is cultural and environmental and direct their research and planning accordingly.

    Two words for you:
    – Democracy;
    – Botswana.

    Unfortunately I dont have that many African friends (And by African, I mean black or brown skinned people born in raised in the sub-saharan African continent.) But I would bet (here I go again) dollars to donuts if I did, they could tell by sight some of the differences between various African peoples.

    I won’t bet against you here, because I know from experience that this is possible. For example, I know people from Rwanda who have European faces except for hair shape, hair color, and the dark brown skin color; even their nose shape is within the European spectrum of variation.

    Which brings me back to my point. Yes, lots and lots and lots of genetic traits have a geographical distribution that is neither random nor uniform — but no two of them have the same geographical distribution. For even fuzzy races to exist, it would be necessary for a majority or at least plurality of traits to have at least roughly congruent distributions — but that’s not what we find!

    Races don’t have fuzzy borders. All of mankind is a blur.

    More later, I have to go.

  370. #372 Stephanie W.
    January 16, 2009

    Matt @ 329:

    Your family almost certainly belongs all the same race.

    Hometown?

    An observation can be tested by science if offers a falsifiable hypothesis. Ive done that. Read it again.

    Your “almost certainly” is not falsifiable. Here’s a falsifiable hypothesis: Counterexamples will be offered and you will redefine your argument (“Almost certainly” only means more than half of the time! They’re not your family!) and claim that said counterexamples are meaningless.

    But to your comment: I have three first cousins of a different “race” than myself. To my knowledge, only one of us has ever been suspected by strangers of being “mixed.”

    And look how cute these kids are: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-377839/Black-white-twins.html

    Now prove me wrong! Be a better man than I hypothesized!

    And @ 333:

    I never offered my ‘notion’ of race. My first post says “race is real”.

    You now agree.

    Thanks.

    Are you ten years old? You’re proclaiming triumph because you’ve redefined (yes, you’ve redefined, the thread is still there, we can read) your initial claims to the point of meaningless tautology. If I were to claim that unicorns exist, and then said that by “unicorns,” I meant any animal with a single horn, even if that state had been acquired via mechanical injury, and ended with lol pwnd, you’d imagine me an idiot, and not just for the l33t speak. What the hell, really. I’m waiting for your next post to be “loserssaywhat.”

  371. #373 Stephanie W.
    January 16, 2009

    OK, I know I put those end quotes in the right place. Just to be clear on the attribution: first quote should end with “read it again,” second should end with “thanks.”

  372. #374 Brownian
    January 16, 2009

    See, your problem Matt (one of many), is that you see someone who you determine through whatever metric you use to be ‘black’ and conclude a recent African heritage. What we’ve been patiently trying to explain to you is that your conclusion is not correct. Are there gene clusters among people with black skin? You bet! Those clusters are the genes that code for increase melanin production. Quick quiz: what traits do you think blonds might have in common? Gold star for Matty if he answered blond hair! We all know this.

    Now, here’s the part you might want to follow along with your finger just to make sure you fucking get it this time, dimbulb: such clusters do not necessarily indicate a recent shared heritage, mostly because humans are a highly mobile and highly horny species. We’re also an adaptable species that has survived (at least partially) several fairly cataclysmic environmental shifts leading to all those fun aspects of population genetics such as founder and bottleneck effects, as well as drift.

    Thus, the existence of the highly visible set of natural blonds does not necessarily indicate recent common ancestry, which is what you seem to think races correlate to. Did you get that? Should I fucking repeat it again? Why the fuck not, as it seems I wasted all yesterday repeating things to you. The existence of a shared set of traits does not necessarily indicate recent common ancestry. See my earlier comments about blood groups (and the linked article) for another example of this.

    It is for this reason (and I’ll repeat it again for the thinking impaired: clusters of shared traits among humans do not necessarily indicate recent common ancestry), that scientists have undertaken a number of migration studies using genetic markers to examine human ethnic history in a scientific way (I mean, hey, if you could just go down to the local sports bar with a bunch of mug shots, ask Douggie McGee whether he thinks each belongs to a black, a white, or an Asian, and that would correlate well with each person’s actual heritage, why would they bother faffing about with genetics, huh?)

    Since you seem to discount everything we write because we tend to be leftist and you’re infected with that bizarro anti-evidence disease so common to righties, I’ll link to this comment from the Human Genome Project:

    DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.

    If you’re so fucking right that you can identify people based on the ‘scientific’ categories of race, then take it up with them, asshole.

    By the way, the Human Genome Project was a massive undertaking to identify the 20,000-30,000 genes that make up the theoretic human genome–er, a genome is the full set of genes–um, genes are what encode the–hey look! A Negrito is breaking into your car, obviously trying to drive it back to Timbuktu! Stop him Matt!

  373. #375 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    Matt: Please define ‘race’. How many do you think exist in reality, and why? Which aspects of human variation are you using to classify people into different racial groups, and why? Specifically, why have you chosen them over others? For what purposes is your classification system useful, again specifically?

    SC, i thought 99% of your culture post corresponded well to reality as I observe it.

    And yet you still fail to grasp the fundamental points being made to you, over and over on this thread.

    Wasnt until you threw in the punctilious lefty-agitprop genuflection in your last graf that we parted ways.

    Unless of course you’re referring to Islam and its adherents when you say “the reification of culture has been a useful tool for those seeking to oppress others”.

    Let me see if I have this straight: it’s “lefty agitprop genuflection” except in the cases when you recognize it? You’re not exactly dazzling anyone with your reasoning abilities here, Matt.

    Since you mention Islam (though later switch to Islamic fundamentalists), please define ‘Islamic culture’.

    Double dawg dare ya to tell a fundie Islamist to his face culture isnt ‘real’ (to get full credit you have to condescend with the commonly accepted scare quotes finger motion too).

    Are you trying to make my argument for me? Thanks, but I don’t really need your help. In any case, there are many people and organizations in Islamic countries contesting Islamic fundamentalists’ definitions of Islamic or local cultures as well as their claim to speak on behalf of said ‘cultures’. That many fundamentalists have responded and are responding with violence proves what to you, exactly? Do you not recognize that it suggests that cultural concepts, like racial ones, are not simply neutral classification tools, but serve political purposes?

    Tell me SC, how can something be reified if it isnt real?

    Yes, as previously fucking implied. Why don’t you google it? Incidentally, there’s an article by Troy Duster about the dangers of this in terms of race and medicine at the “Is Race ‘Real’?” link I provided above.

  374. #376 jack lecou
    January 16, 2009

    Racial categories as commonly constructed by non-scientists are a way of classifying the visually confirmed observation of human differences.

    Yes. This is exactly what we mean by social construction. The fact that they’re nominally constructed out of out of a few ‘real’ (even heritable) characteristics doesn’t change that.

    They correspond to common ancestry, this is verifiable, hence scientific.

    As others already pointed out, no. No they don’t. Race is clearly not much about ancestry.

    For example, in the US we call you ‘black’ if you have even a small amount of African ancestry. We completely ignore the fact that there’s more variation among Africans, or between African groups, than between Africans and Europeans. We completely ignore all of the non-Africans in your ancestry–Europeans, Australians, Asians, Native Americans, whatever–no matter how much more numerous than your African ancestors.

    Then to top it all off, we end up tossing in any number of dark-skinned Indians, Pacific Islanders, Indigenous Australians, etc.

    So we’ve got this odd collection of people who supposedly have a lot of common ancestry, yet many of them, probably the very vast majority, are more closely related to members of the “white” race than to most of their fellow “black” people, and there are a bunch of people who aren’t really related much at all to EITHER.

    And this is because race isn’t based on ancestry. It’s a social construct, a set of categories we’ve inherited that were originally embedded in other institutions, like colonialism and slavery. It’s just a convenient way to identify members of in-groups and out-groups.

  375. #377 mike in Ontario, NY
    January 16, 2009

    Nick Nick @ 272:
    you:
    BTW, Mike in NY way back and your link to the B.I.T.C.H. test: What do we deduce from a white boy from Seattle who took this test and only missed the one on “I know you, shame”?

    I would deduce that YOU DA MAN! Somewhere in my memory is the Cab Calloway jive dictionary, full of hepcat jazz slang. My favorite, “fews and two” refers to a small sum of money. Cab was born here in Rochester.

  376. #378 SC, OM
    January 16, 2009

    More from Ann Morning:

    Race Distinctions in Social Context

    Dr. Leroi suggests that race is ?merely a shorthand that enables us to speak sensibly, though with no great precision, about genetic rather than cultural or political differences.? This is astonishing for someone who, according to armandleroi.com, grew up partly in South Africa and did graduate work in the United States. Since its emergence in the imperial age of the 16th and 17th centuries, race has been first and foremost a way of talking about political, social, and economic differences, rights, and membership. Race differences distinguished the citizen from the alien, the slave from the free, the property owner from the owned. Today, race is hardly the stuff of dispassionate technical jargon. Race is a daily newspaper topic not because of DNA configurations but because of social configurations. Enduring beliefs in the characteristics of different races make race a way for us to talk about crime and innocence, worth and worthlessness, the monied and the disadvantaged.

    Even to scientists, race has clearly meant more than just biology. In his early human taxonomy, Linnaeus described Homo sapiens Afer (African Homo sapiens) as ?crafty, indolent, negligent; anoints himself with grease; governed by caprice,? and Homo sapiens Europeaeus as ?gentle, acute, inventive; ?governed by laws?; race was a guide not just to physical difference but to the valuation of temperament, ability, and behavior. Moreover, social and biological scientists have long been active participants in the development of race-related public policies. Their evidence of black inferiority helped justify slavery in the face of abolitionist protest; their conclusion that the unfit American Indian race was doomed to perish in the presence of the superior white race made the results of a concerted public campaign of extermination seem like a ?natural? Darwinian outcome; and their early-20th-century discoveries of important differences between the crania of native and immigrant groups fueled the eventual shutdown of immigration from eastern and southern Europe. From these examples, it seems clear that the cultural context of the time had a hand not just in the research results that scientists obtained, but even in the questions they asked in the first place. In the same way, we have to ask how the contemporary debate on the nature of race relates to the cultural outlook and the policy dilemmas of our times.

  377. #379 Reader5000
    January 16, 2009

    Matt,

    While you’re answering SC’s questions from #376, would you please name all of the distinct races (within the human species)? Thanks in advance.

  378. #380 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    @David Marjanovi?:

    Oh, so Jessica Alba does count as “white” in the USA, and not even just because of her surname. I was wondering.

    well, by the “one drop” logic she’d be black, but she self-identifies as white AFAIK; and since that was the criterion used by matt, I figured it was worth a giggle to point it out.

    @matt:

    Tell me SC, how can something be reified if it isnt real?

    you don’t know what “reified” means in this context, do you… but since your ability to google or even to follow links seems limited, and I’m feeling generous:
    Reification (fallacy): fallacy of treating an abstraction as if it were a real thing

  379. #381 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    “Doesn’t that suggest that whatever genetic component is relatively unimportant?”

    No. You should familiarize yourself with the twin and adoption studies. The data is exhaustive. The Flynn effect, which I do not challenge, does not alter the conclusions. And it is not just about intelligence. Many personality traits are largely hereditary. As adults two identical twins reared apart are more similar to each other in interests, preferences, intelligence, temperament, sexuality than two non-identical (same sex) twins reared together. The findings in this field of study in the last decade or so have been amazing. It is not something that can be denied out of ideological motivation, or rather which should not be denied, because the evidence is so strong and for the understanding of this world hard facts are preferable to nice beliefs.

    once again: unless those twins have been separated and raised one as a full, undistinguished member of a (for example)Sub-Saharan family, and one as a full member of a (for example)Skandinavian family, and the non-twin studies were on adoptive children, one of Skandinavian and one of Sub-Saharan origin, raised together by Skandinavian or Sub-Saharan family, the twin studies are only meaningful within the Western Culture, not as cross-cultural comparisons. any such results you’d like to squeeze out of them are based more on your bias than on scientific evidence

    What comes to racism, for me that is about how we view and value other human beings. If something is a statement of a conclusion supported with a body of concrete evidence, it cannot in itself be racist in this sense.

    everything can be supported by some random assemblage of evidence. the question is whether it’s falsifiable by such evidence, and up-to-date no racial hypothesis has withstood falsification

    If the hypothesis about the different sub-Saharan populations is proven correct, that for most (if not all to a varying degree) of these populations and for sub-Saharan population on average, the average hereditary g is lower than that of the rest of the world, and hereditary temperament of the males more aggressive, based partly on higher testosterone levels, then at the bottom of it is a biological reality which a belief cannot alter. It either is or it is not. To what degree, it is difficult to say.

    once again: no racial hypothesis has ever survived falsification; historically, no hypothesis linking geographical location and true, genetically inherited intelligence has ever survived falsification. genetic variation is greater from individual to individual than from group to group, and overall genetic diversity among humans is very very small.

    If it is, and I firmly think this to be the case on basis of study and evidence, it won’t alter my view of the sub-Saharan populations as equally deserving of human dignity, prosperity and equal human rights on their home continent, and as immigrant citizens of our western societies. This is obvious. IQ does NOT define human value. And I do not think g/IQ/other hereditary traits and their possible spread among different populations is a topic that should be hot news in the media.

    oh, so you’re a tolerant racist; how patronizing of you. I should point out to you though that going into research firmly thinking believing in a particular outcome generally tends to skew the results. that’s why scientist love the double-blind test (yeah, I’m aware it’s a wee bit difficult to make double-blind tests on race; that’s half my point though, right there)

    Rather something discussed relatively quietly in the relevant academic circles in so far as it is of theoretical and practical importance.

    do tell, what practical importance? it’s not like we’re talking about sickle-cell anemia here.

    I have studied development, and here it, unfortunately, is important knowledge. Poor societies need their doctors, engineers, architects, artists, writers, philosophers, qualified teachers etc. to become prosperous societies.You can’t become a prosperous society without the people who form the high-skilled and qualified fabric of the society and lead the way, the people who fill the vacancies of intellectually demanding labour. This is a key question, and out of political incorrectness it is completely outlooked from a hereditary perspective. In the long run this could add to the suffering if we keep banging our heads against a wall of what could be reality but which we refuse to acknowledge.

    because there are only white doctors? artists? teachers? race as a marker for ability to become any of the above has already been proven to be incorrect, given equal cultural starting points.

    Today India, who 50 years ago were poorer than Africa, educate hundreds of thousands of engineers and doctors and computer scientists every year. The relative figures for Sub Saharan Africa are miniscule in comparison. There is less than one medical doctor for every 2000 people. And these figures look much worse without the ethnicly mixed South Africa. In Malawi you have one doctor for every 50,000 people. And even then a number of these doctors are working for western aid agencies.
    I have discussed this topic a lot, and I really would like to understand answers for the good of Africa.

    Differences between Africa (you realize that’s a continent, not a country, right?) and India are immense, starting with the fact that Colonialism took much different forms in both places, that India’s infrastructure survived the independence wars better, and that India ended up embracing its colonial culture (it’s still part of the Commonwealth)thus westernizing itself and becoming less foreign, and thus more acceptable to western investors, while Africa is still a strange land. The fact that India is a democracy, and that it’s basically the Call Center of the World, is another major part. None of it has shit-all to do with intelligence, temperament, or race.

    For the comparison to India, people come short with environmental and cultural answers. They usually hold their hands up and don’t know.

    we do know, in fairly good detail, although the picture is far from complete; and I’d like you to show how the above-mentioned is irrelevant, or does not account for the differences sufficiently

    They will still firmly believe the causation is cultural and environmental and direct their research and planning accordingly.
    I did lean this way too for years, this is the way we are bought up to think in the west. But having familiarised myself with the data, I cannot entirely believe this no more.

    personal disillusion and improper grammar are not scientifically valid viewpoints

    I cannot choose the way the world is, it just is, and if I try to be objective, I cannot make conclusions based on ideology, only on the data. The data is not conclusive and should be produced and studied more in depth, but there is a clear direction it is pointing. I don’t know any other way at the end of the day but to accept what looks objective, and alter my views, but NOT my morals, accordingly.

    and yet, you seem to chose to absolve yourself from really trying to understand the problem and just dumping it all on racial inferiority. that’s neither scientific, nor intellectually honest, nor culturally honest (since, if you’d care to notice, the more a people adjust themselves to us, the more respect and recognition they get from us. This is intellectual colonialism of the “our way or the highway” kind

  380. #382 Marcus Ranum
    January 16, 2009

    I will bet 1000$ that the winner of the 100 meter Olympic sprint for the next 10 Summer Olympics will be of West African descent.

    Within what time frame?? Aren’t we all of African descent?

    People who even think that ‘race’ exists are morons.

  381. #383 Brownian
    January 16, 2009

    Holy fuck, I didn’t read read awer’s comment, but all I have to say is that s/he’s completely out to fucking lunch as to what’s currently happening in development. Past development strategies made little to no use of local skills and knowledge, to limited success.

    Since then, it’s been learned that without local buy-in and local expertise, development programs tend to fizzle. As Africa and India both have growing bodies of educated and profession men and (gasp!) women, development agencies and programs increasingly utilise local talent and expertise, especially at the management and planning levels.

    Uganda’s relative success in reducing the rates of HIV/AIDS was achieved not by benevolent but befuddled whites throwing up their hands at ‘the Africa Problem’ but by a coordinated campaign including a willing and committed government, a massive public health educational campaign, and partnerships between local and international agencies. Nowhere in this process was a general lack of intelligence or ability among one race or another evident.

    Having first hand experience with the people of that country in a public health capacity, I can assert with reasonable confidence that awer’s education is woefully incomplete.

    Notably, we get this kind of sympathetic concern a lot from these poor, burdened, well-meaning whites and it’s always the same pattern. Since it always spirals into stupidity, I like to call it Watson’s Dumbed-down Helix:

    A) Deeply concerned about the plight of the non-whites, they set about educating themselves on Africa and international development (ostensibly by watching old Tarzan reruns, given the stereotypes they inevitably present as fact.)

    B) They note how unsuccessful aid programs are, since African and India remain mired in poverty. (Untrue, of course, since there have been many successful endeavours and many unsuccessful endeavours. It makes one wonder though why they don’t apply the same reasoning to the current American bailout. I mean, capitalism is predicated on the idea that the best, the brightest, and the most efficient should flourish, but the evidence suggests that these poor beleaguered auto CEOs just ain’t got the skillz.)

    C) They were raised to believe, erroneously of course, that there are no differences in intelligence, but alas, careful personal study of some mysterious data show this not to be true (The data are always IQ tests, or involve some other capacity test that they themselves would obviously fail, given their usually poor linguistic and reasoning skills. Given this love of IQ, I wonder if they’d immediately accept the superiority of my argument if I reported mine.)

    D) Public health workers, ideologically committed to the fallacy of general human equality, scratch their heads, mystified that the ign’ant savages just don’t seem to get it. (I’ve attended many a public health lecture. I’ve never seen one titled, “What the fuck’s with Africa, man? Seriously? Any ideas? Our Whole Field Consists of Idiots, and We Haven’t a Clue What to Do” Now, the field of public health has indeed suffered from a lack of outcome measurement in the past, but as granting agencies become increasingly stingy with dollars, the pressure to produce results has forced those in the field to become increasingly evidence-based. The result? Get more locals in at the planning stages of those projects. A rather bizarre strategy for success if those locals only consist of witchdoctors, peasants, and violent near-animals who just can’t control their base natures.)

    E) We need a new paradigm, one that doesn’t discriminate against the darkies per se, but recognises their inherent inferiority, and create programs accordingly. What form these would take, they never seem to say. (Rather than hospitals, we help them build spear-sharpening centres?)

    Now who’s throwing up their hands?

  382. #384 Sean
    January 16, 2009

    There is only one human race, just like there is only one dog breed.

    Oh wait.

  383. #385 Phila
    January 16, 2009

    Tell me SC, how can something be reified if it isnt real?

    Since you don’t know what the word means, you probably shouldn’t be challenging the usage of people who do.

    Your scientific understanding of race is nonexistent, but you demand that we accept it as a concrete reality. Reification in action!

  384. #386 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    Brownian, than you for that post! the delicious sarcasm aside, I’m glad to learn that development is getting off its high horse and that the local solutions are succeeding :-)

  385. #387 Steve_C
    January 16, 2009

    #358 Turnip

  386. #388 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    There is only one human race, just like there is only one dog breed.

    so what you’re saying is that there’s doghuman breeders who artifically make sure only the right characteristics get inherited, and weeds out all the non-conforming forms? do you have evidence of this divine breeding program?

    because in case you haven’t noticed, “dog breeds” are artificial creations that disappear the moment you remove the human interference. nature doesn’t do “pure-breds”

  387. #389 bastion of sass
    January 16, 2009

    At #388 Steve_C wrote:

    #358 Turnip

    Huh? Are you turniping me?

    If so, please explain.

  388. #390 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    i think that was a typo and he was turnipping #385, not #358 :-p

  389. #391 Nerd of Redhead
    January 16, 2009

    nature doesn’t do “pure-breds”

    From what I’ve read/seen, nature prefers “Mutts” in dogs. Also known as “hydrid vigor”.

  390. #392 windy
    January 16, 2009

    David M:

    Which brings me back to my point. Yes, lots and lots and lots of genetic traits have a geographical distribution that is neither random nor uniform — but no two of them have the same geographical distribution. For even fuzzy races to exist, it would be necessary for a majority or at least plurality of traits to have at least roughly congruent distributions — but that’s not what we find!

    Just out of curiosity, do you have an opinion on using the word ‘race’ in nonhuman species in cases where such trait distributions exist?

    (In how many cases have we really looked at the majority of traits in other species before dividing them up in groups, though?)

  391. #393 Jadehawk
    January 16, 2009

    yeah… that’s where i was going to go with that argument should the sean-turnip return. now you’ve spoiled the surprise!

    oh well, looks like that was a drive-by turnip anyway :-p

  392. #394 Wowbagger
    January 16, 2009

    #385, turnip, wrote:

    There is only one human race, just like there is only one dog breed.

    Really? Then it should be easy for you to list all of the races and provide the specifics of what differentiates them. You can do that with dog breeds, so if what you say is true you should have no trouble at all.

    Here’s a hint: dog breeders have use slightly stricter designations that than ‘white’ and ‘non-white’.

    We’ll be waiting.

  393. #395 awer
    January 16, 2009

    Picking on my grammar and linguistic errors is quite poor form, as obviously I’m not writing in my native tongue.

    “Two words for you:
    – Democracy;
    – Botswana.”

    As for Democracy I would suggest you read Martin Meredith’s State of Africa A History of Fifty years of Independence

    As for Botswana. It was the rare exception, an African success story, based on national unity and natural riches and relatively corruption free political leadership. Now it is one of the five most HIV-infected countries on Earth. Age expectation has dropped from above 60 years of age, to below 40. Studies by international agencies have concluded that women lack control over sexual decision making and both sexes have multiple sexual partners.
    This is another topic that is hardly ever discussed openly. If the chance to transmit HIV infection in a vaginal intercourse is estimated to be ~1/1000 how do you go from there to 25-30% of the population being HIV-infected in mere couple of decades despite vast multi-million dollar anti-AIDS programs? This is an unique African story causes of which we do not discuss that much.

    As for Botswana and education (the comparison to India) I believe you have not familiarised yourself with this topic to bring up Botswana and have only looked at the GDPs. 90% of the doctors in Botswana are foreigners, many of them from Cuba. There are not many Batswana doctors.

    Quote from a UN report on Botswana: “The shortage of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and counselors is compounded by the fact that over 90 per cent of doctors in Botswana are foreigners who do not speak Setswana. Counselors too are recruited from abroad and need to spend time becoming familiar with the local culture.”

    As for the different colonial backgrounds with Africa and India, that is not true either. Ghana, Ivory Coast and others had in comparison to India very strong structures in place. Ghana was the richest per capita tropical country in the world 50 years ago. Multiple times richer than India, China and even richer than some war torn European countries. But while in Africa the structures that were in place have deteriorated, and this has happened everywhere in sub Saharan Africa (read Meredith it’s a horror story) in India these have been built on. When you analyse the state of media, political discussion, educational achievements, literature achievements and so on between India and Africa over the past 50 years, the picture starts getting clearer. The difference is so enormous. Western donated infrastructure in Africa has decayed because of lack of knowhow. In India in comparison the story is vastly different. The attempts to pinpoint it on cultural and environmental factors have been weak.

    What comes to twin studies, adoption studies, IQ-testing, reflection speed testing (which correlates strongly with g), hereditary temperament etc. the data is exhaustive and it is all pointing in the same direction. It is not a leap of faith to look in the direction the data is pointing, it is a leap of faith to look in the opposite direction.
    Ashkenazi jews have won about 30% of the Nobel prizes in Physics and Chemistry. Just a coincidence that in IQ-tests they score on average ~115. Must eat a lot of vitamins.

    I agree with Brownian that in Africa it is of utmost importance to motivate the grass root levels. This is another issue. It does not solve the demand for highly skilled and intellectually able workers. Doctors, engineers, architects, writers and so on. See Botswana, the African success story, and medical doctors in Botswana.

    “because there are only white doctors? artists? teachers? race as a marker for ability to become any of the above has already been proven to be incorrect”

    Not it has not been proven incorrect. It is a global statistical reality. This is not changed by the power of the term “race” being vague. There are many distinct population clusters in Africa that differ from each other, as has been noted here. This does not change the fact that within every such population cluster there are numerous average hereditary traits that can be estimated. Intelligence and temperament are two of them.
    Two of which are of crucial social signifigance.

    It is the way it is, one day we will have a clearer picture, but it is not something we can change with our beliefs, and that is something people should understand. And at the bottom of it, it is a scientific question, not a moral in itself.

    The Cuban doctors in Botswana are one example of how the realisation and acceptance of how-things-could-be would help us to better guide our developmental theories, and help alleviate suffering and poverty in the world. That is what is important. Your ideological flowers won’t help the poor. Only concrete achievements will. And that is something that should be a question of rational approach.

    “I should point out to you though that going into research firmly thinking believing in a particular outcome generally tends to skew the results.”

    Yes, and that seems to apply to you, as your comments on the twin and adoption studies prove that you have not read them yet feel qualified to make your mind in the lines you already view things!

    As for me, I would have vehemently opposed what I am now saying here just a few years ago. It is when I familiarised myself with the body of research, data and evidence that I slowly started to change my views and eventually arrived to view things in the lines I currently do. I’m more than open to new evidence to alter my stances.
    My morals have not changed in the process. I’m still interested in development, foreign aid, global justice etc.

    I do not view people of different ethnic clusters as of less value as human being. Never. I dislike the stormfronters as much as you do. It’s about biological reality, something that just is what it is, and about finding concrete solutions to one of Africa’s most crucial and central problems, the lack of intellectually skilled labour. The key ingredient in successful nation building. Something in which Africa have universally failed for their 50 years of Independence.

  394. #396 David Bandel
    January 17, 2009

    I would like to post the Email which PZ censored (to hide his own ignorance) in its entirety, for the sake of objectivity in this discussion.

    “Dear Dr. Myers,

    Thank you for creating a unique reason for banning me, “vile” seems to be a reason that would usually be associated with morality or violating a religious taboo, rather than a morally neutral reason. Of course, I do take issue with being called a “hate monger” as I never posted anything that could be construed a statement of blind hatred, nor did I ever, or have I ever, encouraged violent action be taken against individuals or groups based on their race or ethnic origins, so being defined as a “hate monger” is inaccurate. I am a member of Stormfront, that is true, but if being a member of Stormfront is a bannable offense then shouldn’t being a member of any racial or ethnocentric organization also be a bannable offense? I notice that you maintain a list of other people who have been banned and not one has been banned to date for being a member of the NAACP, La Raza, the ADL, AIPAC or Jewish National Congress or any other of the hundreds of ethnic and racial sites and organizations which were created to promote the ethnic and racial group interests of their people. Are you biased against Stormfront because it is exclusive to the interests of white people? If so, does that not make you an anti-white racist?

    Everything that I posted on your site is backed up by scientific evidence, and on many occasions I went so far as to cite the source for my information to the best of my ability. My apologies that my memory is not exactly perfect, but I have read and studied the works of many a scholar on the subjects of Evolution, biology, psychology, sociology and both physical and social anthropology and while I recall the subject matter, I do not always recall who did what work. Still, I have an extensive and comprehensive understanding of evolutionary theory and included in my college course work “Human Evolution and Anthropology” a 4 hour course which included a hands on lab where we studied the bones of modern humans, earlier hominids and even had an introduction to forensics where we learned to identify the race and sex of the “victim” by examining the bones. A man’s education is not complete until he is dead, but as a member of the lay public I believe that I have a better understanding of human evolution than most, including your posters.

    You’re a member of the Dawkins Network, and in the spirit of Richard Dawkins I took the opportunity to bash Judaism, as he has encouraged the practice of making all religions an open target. I will also bash the religions of Marxism and Freudian-ism, and the various political ideologies which were founded in these schools of thought including but not limited to political correctness which was founded by the Frankfort School, a Marxist think tank, which sought to translate the works of Marx into cultural terms. What? Are secular religions beyond rebuke?

    Basically, by banning me, you have shown conclusively that the Dawkinsites are not about Science, but hypocritical secular religionists who are merely fighting to replace one religion with another. You banned me because you knew what I was saying was the truth and is logical in the context of evolutionary theory, otherwise you would have simply pointed out the flaws in my data or my logic, but you could not do this because you know full well that there were no flaws in my data or my logic, and that by trying to refute me you would have to lie or use false logic in regards to the evolutionary theory. I would have either exposed your lies or the flaws in your logic and made you look like a liar or a fool. You and your lackeys could not compete in a factual debate based on logic, reason and knowledge of biology and the Theory of Evolution, so you took the coward’s way out and excommunicated me from the fold. Ha! Charlatan, you have handed me a victory by default and exposed the weakness of your idiotic little movement.

    It is your blog, and you certainly have the right to ban whomever you choose, and I shall respect your ban, but I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members, so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists. I shall not stop only at your site, but will also have my people inflitrate the entire Dawkins Network with realism about race. Maybe, we will be able to open the minds of a few of your co-religionists or maybe we will make the Dawkins movement look like a bunch of Nazis, either way. You lose.

    Sincerely,

    hahajohnnyb”

    I have no doubt he will remove this post to cover his own ass and ban me from posting here. Hopefully some people will see what he’s doing and realize that this guy is not worth anymore time.

  395. #397 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Picking on my grammar and linguistic errors is quite poor form, as obviously I’m not writing in my native tongue.

    neither am i. fair game.

  396. #398 clinteas
    January 17, 2009

    johnnyb,

    maybe we should show this letter to the creationists next time they want to convince us of intelligent design.
    You are evidence against it,if there ever was any.

    Talk about over-inflated sense of competence in the truly incompetent.

  397. #399 Wowbagger
    January 17, 2009

    Talk about over-inflated sense of competence in the truly incompetent.

    Yeah, I especially like this:

    I have an extensive and comprehensive understanding of evolutionary theory and included in my college course work “Human Evolution and Anthropology” a 4 hour course

    which leads into:

    …but as a member of the lay public I believe that I have a better understanding of human evolution than most, including your posters.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that that’s more than a little unlikely. If he’d said some of your posters he might have had a chance – I, for one, am no biologist; that being said I feel what he’s written so far implies I’m picking up quite a lot by coming here as often as I do – but to say most may just qualify as the stupidest thing anyone’s ever written on this site.

    Admittedly, he is in the USA, where the teaching of evolution faces constant religidiot adversity, but which site does he think he’s on? WorldNutDaily? Or Vox Day’s site? Answers in Genesis? The numbnuts doesn’t seem to have worked out the first word after the forward slash in the URL is ‘Scienceblogs. Yes, there are non-scientists who come here (like myself), but I’m in the minority.

    Sheesh. I guess he should try and build a time machine and – now that he’s got all that knowledge about evolution – convince his parents that being both first and second cousins with each other and still choosing to breed (perhaps they don’t remember Uncle/Grandpa ‘Six-toes’ Charlie) is actually a bad idea.

  398. #400 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    David Bandel, I will predict that PZ will not delete your post. In fact, speaking just for myself, I am happy that you posted the entire letter. It shows what a complete your friend is.

    I really liked this;

    I notice that you maintain a list of other people who have been banned and not one has been banned to date for being a member of the NAACP, La Raza, the ADL, AIPAC or Jewish National Congress or any other of the hundreds of ethnic and racial sites and organizations which were created to promote the ethnic and racial group interests of their people.

    Perhaps Stormfront could be included with those groups, except for two things. 1)Stormfront supports an ideology that slaughtered millions of people. 2)thosed are groups that strives for civil and equal rights. Can that be said about Nazis and Neo-Nazis. Quite dishonest to place yourself in league with any of those groups.

    Your friend likes to show off how educated but there were people who easily shredded through the “facts” that he used. Don’t believe me? Go to that thread and read Jadehawk’s comments. But even for me, who doesn’t have a background in science, it was off putting how that joker claimed that Gould was a student of the Franz Boas School of Anthropology. He could not even get Gould’s field right. And then there was the adding babbling of Gould being Jewish and that was part of Gould’s dishonesty.

    Basically, by banning me, you have shown conclusively that the Dawkinsites are not about Science, but hypocritical secular religionists who are merely fighting to replace one religion with another.

    Sounds like many creations that has past though here, claiming that secularism is a religion.

    You banned me because you knew what I was saying was the truth and is logical in the context of evolutionary theory, otherwise you would have simply pointed out the flaws in my data or my logic, but you could not do this because you know full well that there were no flaws in my data or my logic, and that by trying to refute me you would have to lie or use false logic in regards to the evolutionary theory.

    It’s a conspiracy! Um, sorry, The Bell Curve is to anthropology what David Irving is to WWII history. It has been discarded and discredited.

    I would have either exposed your lies or the flaws in your logic and made you look like a liar or a fool.
    No, the jackass was being shown to be a fool.

    You and your lackeys could not compete in a factual debate based on logic, reason and knowledge of biology and the Theory of Evolution, so you took the coward’s way out and excommunicated me from the fold.
    Again with the religious imagery. If your logic and science were so good, you would have backing in scientific papers. And do not say the name of a discredited work.

    Ha! Charlatan, you have handed me a victory by default and exposed the weakness of your idiotic little movement.
    You think highly of yourself, yet the reasons seems to evade me. You have won nothing. This is a blog and how this blog does will not be based on the research in the theory of evolution. You have not disproved anything. But please, that the news of your victory to your friends. You can all laugh at how you showed those lying Jewish bastards. And you can stay in the underbelly. That is as far as your “victory” goes.

    One last thing, David Bandel, there is not one regular that is going to leave because of the “truths” contained in the letter. It shows that there would be nothing constructive in have that joker commenting here. While “vile” was not part of PZ’s list, I have no problem with that reason after the fact.

    Now, if you please, David Bandel, take one of your photos of Adolf Hitler, roll it up, and stick it up you ass.

  399. #401 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    I really should have stuck to one form of tagging or the other.

  400. #402 Feynmaniac
    January 17, 2009

    David Bandel,

    As a person of mixed racial background I just have to say:

    FUCK YOU!

    You’re a racist pig whether you admit it to yourself or not.

    Regards.

  401. #403 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Feynmaniac, he has already admitted it to himself. He just wants to make it all seem like it could be acceptable and reasonable.

  402. #404 negentropyeater
    January 17, 2009

    David Bandel,

    Hopefully some people will see what he’s doing and realize that this guy is not worth anymore time.

    You mean that guy “hahajohnnyb”, this racist moron who claims to have an “extensive and comprehensive understanding of evolutionary theory” after a 4 hour course ? What a cretin !

  403. #405 Matt
    January 17, 2009

    Hey Awer, im just a schmuck who assumed he knew what the word reified meant, so I deserve a bit of scorn. But you are a thoughtful individual who ought not be described as a ‘tolerant racist’ or ‘out to fucking lunch’, as others on this site have done. On a blog supposedly inspired by rational thought, quite fucking shameful.

  404. #406 Matt
    January 17, 2009

    Awer made reference to this in his last post. Here is a fascinating article discussing three things that supposedly dont exist, race, culture and IQ.

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/jewish-genius-10855?page=all

  405. #407 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    ok. matt and awer have me convinced: not producing a sufficient amount of lawyers, PhD’s, world-renowned artists and architects, being more prone to catching an STD, and living in poverty despite the resource-richness of their countries and educational opportunities surrounding them is a clear sign of inherent low intelligence and racial inferiority

    we should ban the Common American Hillbilly from any decision-making processes, since they’re clearly incapable of doing it for themselves without causing damage to themselves. Creationism is my proof.

  406. #408 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Matt, still trying to show something without fully defining it. Oh, the intellectual (not!) at work. Either define what you mean, or just go away. Don’t be afraid to use big words. We know what they mean.

  407. #409 SC, OM
    January 17, 2009

    Stormfront? More like a light, annoying drizzle, really.

    On a blog supposedly inspired by rational thought, quite fucking shameful.

    Matt,

    What’s fucking shameful is your inability to recognize your own stupidity and ignorance, and the dumb pride with which you display them. (awer’s another ignorant racist twit.) You haven’t responded directly to any substantive point, or answered any of the questions put to you. Fuck off.

  408. #410 Matt
    January 17, 2009

    You know Jadehawk, Ive read your repsonses, along with Maranovic(sp?), and Brownian to Awer’s post with great interest. I have no problem saying all of you have a much deeper knowledge than myself on these topics and I learned something from the exercise. Much of your back and forth was substantive.

    And yet you reveal yourselves with the personal attacks. Go read some of the back and forth Between James Flynn and Charles Murray for a lesson in collegiality, would ya? these are men on opposite poles of the political spectrum, whose ideas for the world have huge consequences, and yet they treat each other with the utmost respect. What sucks is if the three of you had your way, and I believe that your mindset has dominated the social sciences for decades, Awer could not exist. The pursuit of truth suffers, perhaps Africa suffers due to that childish obfuscating. Ever consider that possibility?

    there you go again. You’ve done it with me the entire blog, lumping me in with political racists. Who the fuck said anything about banning anyone from decision making?

  409. #411 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Matt, a friendly reminder on the first rule of holes. When you are in over your head, quit digging. You have been in over your head for days, digging youself even deeper. Time to stop digging. That means stop posting on this subject. If you are as smart as you think you are, take my advice. However, I think you are dumb enough to dig yourself even deeper. Which will you pick?

  410. #412 Matt
    January 17, 2009

    Yo, numbnuts, Im not that smart. In my defense Ive made three mistakes in my posts and owned every one of them. I have no problem acknowledging people smarter and more educated than me on this blog,and there are many — thats why Im here, even if they are axe-grinding, arrogant assholes.

  411. #413 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Matt, deeper, deeper, deeper.

  412. #414 SC, OM
    January 17, 2009

    I have no problem saying all of you have a much deeper knowledge than myself on these topics and I learned something from the exercise.

    …I have no problem acknowledging people smarter and more educated than me on this blog,and there are many — thats why Im here,

    What, substantively, specifically, have you learned from from people here about race? What, again substantively and specifically, do you think you contributed?

  413. #415 'Tis Himself
    January 17, 2009

    Okay, we got David Bandel to give us a drive-by posting, but where are the rest of the hordes of Stormfronters that hahajb promised us?

  414. #416 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    Ashkenazi jews have won about 30% of the Nobel prizes in Physics and Chemistry. Just a coincidence that in IQ-tests they score on average ~115. Must eat a lot of vitamins.

    I’m not really inclined to take you very seriously, awer, but you could at least try a little harder.

    I mean, Ashkenazi Jews? Really?

    Way to pick a group for which culture couldn’t possibly be a confounding factor. Awesome.

  415. #417 Walton
    January 17, 2009

    …but where are the rest of the hordes of Stormfronters that hahajb promised us?

    Speaking for myself, I’m rather glad they didn’t show up. As a rule, I try to avoid interacting with unrepentant neo-Nazi scum more than is absolutely necessary (hence why I’ve avoided getting involved in this thread).

  416. #418 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    The pursuit of truth suffers, perhaps Africa suffers due to that childish obfuscating. Ever consider that possibility?

    there you go again. You’ve done it with me the entire blog, lumping me in with political racists. Who the fuck said anything about banning anyone from decision making?

    matt, I’m glad you acknowledge your own mistakes, but here’s the thing: what awer implied was basically that Africa can’t take care of itself, and that it needs influx of non-sub-Saharan high culture because they can’t create their own. he listed a whole range of jobs which usually make up the cultural superstructure of a society. with that, he implied that sub-saharan Africa needs an imported superstructure, rather than create its own. That’s an effective ban on self-development, basically a new colonialism (actually no. that’s good, old-fashioned colonialism; same excuses as the British Empire had for “helping those savages”). we did that for centuries, and we’ve made a clusterfuck of it. now it’s the time to help people rebuild their countries their way. and it’s gonna be hard, because they have deep-seated resentments while we have a deep seated superiority complex, and because of the centuries of mismanagement, but doing it the old-fashioned way is not really going to improve anything. you can’t impose democracy and stability from above. look at how well that went in Iraq

    and that you can write that Africa may suffer because we have finally left the path awers advocates is both ignorant and arrogant, and advocates a return to disenfranchisement. that’s why, in that instance, I feel fully justified to lump you with him

  417. #419 tim gueguen
    January 17, 2009

    Based on his posts to this thread I suspect Matt is the notorious Matt Giwer. Its amazing how long he’s been annoying people online.

  418. #420 awer
    January 17, 2009

    “that you can write that Africa may suffer because we have finally left the path awers advocates is both ignorant and arrogant, and advocates a return to disenfranchisement”

    We started leaving the path over 50 years ago and Africans have suffered horribly during this period. I seriously suggest you read Martin Meredith’s book to make yourself aware what’s been going on that continent over the past half a century. Meredith’s is a monumental work.

    And in Botswana it is better that 90% of their doctors are foreigners than if they did not have those foreign doctors from Cuba, India.

    It is well possible, I say probable, that for the whole of this century a large proportion of Africa’s doctors, engineers, architects etc. have to come from the outside for African countries to develop into prosperous societies. A seriously ill patient needs a qualified doctor, no matter what the doctor’s ethnicity. That is what is most important. We let people die if we refuse to acknowledge this. Your ideology isn’t important. I couldn’t care less about your empty accusations. Concrete help, concrete solutions, concrete development is what is important. And that is not a ban on self-development. Ask the botswanians recieving medical help that whether it is banning them from self-development.

  419. #421 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    We started leaving the path over 50 years ago and Africans have suffered horribly during this period.

    yes, that’s generally what happens when you remove the entire superstructure of a country in one fell swoop

    you misunderstand what I’m saying completely. I support nationbuilding, but all nationbuilding must by definition be made so that the nation can, in the end, stand up on its own (because any other method will result in the collapses seen when colonial powers or dictatorships are removed). we provide temporary scaffolding, not permanent structures.

    and btw, if you want to know another reason for the failures of African nations, look into the hypocritical policies of the World Bank (among others) that force Absolute Free Trade practices upon them as preconditions for financial aid, while other nations (India among them!) can and do ferociously protect their basic economic infrastructure with subsidies, emergency-funds, tariffs, etc.

  420. #422 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    What Matt and awer, self-appointed Truthers, fail to understand (of course because they haven’t done the requisite work studying the subjects in which they think they’re opening our minds about), is that the hypotheses that they’re setting out have been tested. Physical anthropology well-acknowledges its bigoted roots. A substantial amount of the data regarding physiological human variation were collected by anthropometrists whose goal were to be able to proclaim that ‘whites’ were superior to ‘blacks’ via cranial measurements and such. They tried so hard, and they failed. So it’s not the case that we’re afraid to ask the tough questions. It’s that they’ve been asked, again and again, and again and again, and they’ve been discounted again and again and again and again. When there isn’t a squirrel in the tree you’re barking up, it’s time to find a new tree.

    So when Matt and awer post their ‘opinions’, it’s not the case that we’re all reeling in shock and horror that someone would dare go against the prevailing liberal we’re-all-the-same kumbaya dogma. It’s that you’re the intellectual equivalent of creationists, people who erroneously feel competent to discuss matters that they really haven’t done any work to understand, and are only interested in furthering the ideas that science has soundly rejected.

    So feel free to satisfy yourself with the hypothesis that we’re intellectual Nazis who refuse to entertain dissenting opinions, if that’s what you wish. The reality is that when confronted with individuals who refuse, even with the most genial prodding, to understand how and why the prevailing scientific consensus came about, and the vast amounts of data that support it and fail to support the alternatives, we get testy and impatient. And when it becomes apparent that such refusals are in the service of ulterior dogmatisms (Liberals are Wrong; Evolution is a Hoax, AGW is a Hoax, Flying Saucers Kidnapped Merle Haggard, etc.) you can expect more than a few F-bombs to be dropped.

    And I’m fine with that. If all you’re bringing to the table is some vague hubris that you’re stickin’ it to the Man sprinkled with whining about us ‘meanies’ and a noticeable lack of knowledge and evidence, then what possible incentive do I have in providing a free brief history in anthropology, development, epidemiology, or evolution to you? I’d much rather you left and paid the tuition to argue with your professors like the rest of us did.

  421. #423 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Boy, we have a poster inveighing on international development and IQ differences complaining about unfair treatment regarding his lack of competency in English.

    That’s the richest fucking thing I’ve read in fucking weeks.

  422. #424 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    I read through the first 100+ comments on this thread. What struck me immediately was the sheer volume of bigotry and prejudice, epithets, closemindedness, insults, and stereotypes of the liberal commentators.

  423. #425 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    I read through the first 100+ comments on this thread. What struck me immediately was the sheer volume of bigotry[citation needed] and prejudice[citation needed], epithets, closemindedness[sic][citation needed], insults, and stereotypes[citation needed] of the liberal commentators.

    I’ll give you the epithets and insults, but they’re inconsequential to the argument at hand

  424. #426 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Aww, we are so proud of ourselves AO. If a dipshit you thinks that, we must be doing something right.

  425. #427 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Concrete help, concrete solutions, concrete development is what is important.

    So, give us a plan. Give us an idea. Tell us what development that acknowledges differences in average IQ would look like.

    Use Matt as a test case; he’s acknowledged that he’s “not that smart.” How do we help him dig himself out of his hole? He’s demanding that his thoughts be treated with the same respect as those of the people he acknowledges are “smarter and more educated than [him]”. Tell him that that’s “childish obfuscating” and that people are just going to suffer if we allow that.

    If these vaunted IQ differences are so damn important, then where does this hippie liberal idea that I have to suffer gibbering idiots come from?

  426. #428 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Sure.

    Prejudice – Where to start? How about the accusation that ‘race realists’ are scum, hillbillies, white trash, rednecks, Kluxers, Neo-Nazis, etc.

    Bigotry – A bigot is someone who is “intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own.” The incivility of the commentators above speaks for itself.

    Stereotypes – You’re Nazis, trailer trash, rednecks and so on.

  427. #429 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    AO, just showing us your ignorance again. Thank your for demonstrating that which we should avoid.

  428. #430 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    close-mindˇed (klsmndd, klz-) or closed-mindˇed (klzd-)
    adj.

    Petulant accusation to be used when an interlocutor refuses to accept your uninformed and poorly-constructed claims as true a priori.

    If you’d actually bothered to read for substance AO, you’d see that nearly every argument put forth by Matt and awer have been addressed with substance.

    But please, don’t let a lack of skill in reading comprehension prevent you from tossing off non sequitur in service of your dogma, AO.

  429. #431 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Just an observation: the liberals here cling to their substitute god (equality) even more tenaciously than even the most deluded followers of Ken Ham and Kent Hovind.

  430. #432 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Ignorant of what?

  431. #433 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Just an observation: the liberals here cling to their substitute god (equality) even more tenaciously than even the most deluded followers of Ken Ham and Kent Hovind.

    Fuck but it’s annoying when morons mistake assertion for observation.

    Say something of substance or fuck off, coward.

  432. #434 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Prejudice – Where to start? How about the accusation that ‘race realists’ are scum, hillbillies, white trash, rednecks, Kluxers, Neo-Nazis, etc.

    all of the above are either accurate assesments (race realists ARE a form of neo-nazis, especially the stormfront crowd), or jokes of the “your own medicine” variety. those belong into the insult category and are irrelevant to the discussion of facts

    Bigotry – A bigot is someone who is “intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own.” The incivility of the commentators above speaks for itself.

    incomplete. bigotry is the stubborn, intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions, lifestyles or identities, thus leading to the rejection of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own. since we’re skeptics, we are not devoted blindly to any idea. we follow where the evidence leads. you fail.
    a second definition is hatred of members of a racial or ethnic group. again, you fail. prove that we hate a particular ethnicity or STFU

    Stereotypes – You’re Nazis, trailer trash, rednecks and so on.

    see response to prejudice.

    so, any substance you’d like to contribute, or are you just having a case of the Internet Vapors?

  433. #435 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Why must the deluded racists insist on using religious language to talk about “liberals”?

  434. #436 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    AO, perfect example of what you don’t want your kids to grow up an be like.

  435. #437 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Poor fella. AO’s just inflicted with Liberalism. I haven’t got enough to form a differential diagnosis, but he’s surely demonstrating smugness, a trait Conservatives assure us indicates a Liberal.

  436. #438 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Posted by: Amused Observer | January 17, 2009

    Sure.

    Prejudice – Where to start? How about the accusation that ‘race realists’ are scum, hillbillies, white trash, rednecks, Kluxers, Neo-Nazis, etc.

    Bigotry – A bigot is someone who is “intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own.” The incivility of the commentators above speaks for itself.

    Stereotypes – You’re Nazis, trailer trash, rednecks and so on.

    Wow! A joker who is a member of a neo-nazi group and a defender of the said joker are called on their racism and we are accused of bigotry?

    You know, your intolerance of Jews and all other lesser people should be tolerated. Quite closed minded of us to call you out on your close mindedness. We really should adopt a more “Live and let live” policy towards the defenders of the white race.

  437. #439 Badger3k
    January 17, 2009

    AO “Ignorant of what?” @432.

    Exactly.

    (for the ignorant, that’s another way of saying “everything”, or “you are even ignorant of the fact that you are ignorant”).

    Whether this is willful or not remains to be seen, but I think we all have our suspicions. I think that some of us don’t respond with civility to these racist morons is due to the damage that these ignorant pig-molesters have done and still do to our species and societies. Others have seen up close the harm these bigots have done. If your biggest argument is that posters are uncivil, then you really have no argument.

  438. #440 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Leftist Bozo,

    Your belief in “equality” is as arbitrary and baseless as the most deranged evangelical who believes dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark.

  439. #441 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Oh Goody, more stupidity from AO. Classic!

  440. #442 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Badger3k,

    Do you acknowledge that the United States was founded by men whom you would call “racists”?

  441. #443 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    A few years ago, someone I know was severely beaten for being black and a Jew. They broke his arm and his jaw, injuries requiring $30,000 worth of medical work and a year of physio to ameliorate. Naturally, there was just one of him and five of them in a pick-up truck.

    I guess that’s what they’re advocating when bigots rail against ‘equality’.

  442. #444 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Now here comes the fallacious rationalizations from AO. It gets even more classic.

  443. #445 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Do you acknowledge that the United States was founded by men whom you would call “racists”?

    Oboy. And down the rabbit hole we go.

    Also, note the the Founding Fathers didn’t believe in evolution, the theory of relativity, or airplanes either. Discuss.

    AO’s moron credentials being firmly established, I leave her to you.

  444. #446 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian,

    What is the basis of this moral belief in equality? Why should someone believe in equality as opposed to inequality?

  445. #447 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Do you acknowledge that the United States was founded by men whom you would call “racists”?

    um… d’uh? of course they were, what ignorant idiot would dispute that? those are the people who decided that a black slave counted as 3/5 of a person.

    the question is never is never what someone was… but what someone was in the context of the culture they were raised in. no person can overcome 100% of their social conditioning, and as such, being a step ahead of the consensus is enough at any given time to make someone enlightened. that doesn’t mean that if you plopped those men into the modern world they’d be disfunctionally racist and sexist. we’re many steps ahead of them now

  446. #448 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Posted by: Amused Observer | January 17, 2009

    Badger3k,

    Do you acknowledge that the United States was founded by men whom you would call “racists”?

    And thus, you really should not try to improve the situation.

    Leftist Bozo,

    Your belief in “equality” is as arbitrary and baseless as the most deranged evangelical who believes dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark.

    It is just so dogmatic of me to think that because a person is human, that person is allowed a baseline of respect. Once more, a complete asswipe who just has to toss about religious imagery.

    Keep it up, dumb fuck. You are doing you and yours proud.

  447. #449 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Hey. Look! Racist dumb fuck is now morphing, using the names of regulars. Good bye, dumb fuck. That is enough to get you shit canned.

  448. #450 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    strike the first instance of “is never”, and also the last sentence was supposed to be “that doesn’t mean […] they wouldn’t be disfunctionally racist and sexist”

    proofreading is your friend… proofreading is your friend… :-p

  449. #451 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Leftist Bozo,

    I’m not following your reasoning. I don’t see how equal treatment is derived from the condition of being a Homo sapien. It sounds more like a custom to me. Animal sacrifice would be another example.

  450. #452 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Leftist Bozo,

    Your belief in “equality” is as arbitrary and baseless as the most deranged evangelical who believes dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark.

    scientific evidence for inequality, or STFU

  451. #453 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Sorry, my error there.

  452. #454 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    We’re discussing moral beliefs here, not physiological differences.

  453. #455 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    I don’t see how equal treatment is derived from the condition of being a Homo sapien. It sounds more like a custom to me. Animal sacrifice would be another example.

    equality is the default. prove scientifically that there’s differences worth discriminating, and then we’ll have a debate.

    also, prove that there’s a reason to assume inequality as the default.

  454. #456 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    AO has no ability to reason, therefore we can’t have a discussion. It just gets more classic.

  455. #457 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    The Founding Fathers were well acquainted with the theory that racial differences are environmental. Unlike Darwinism, it has an ancient pedigree. The abolitionists frequently made use of it in their propaganda during the 1790s.

  456. #458 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    We’re discussing moral beliefs here, not physiological differences.

    morality is an emergent quality of our species which primary purpose is the cooperation within society

    prove that cooperation is improved by inequality over equality

  457. #459 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Somebody hear something? Sounded like a brainfart. I’ll alert the air quality people so we can air out the place.

  458. #460 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Unlike Darwinism,

    no such thing. you’re sounding like a creobot

  459. #461 Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Natural science has nothing to tell us about ethics. Skin color is a commonly cited morphological racial difference. Why shouldn’t we judge people based on the color their skin? It was once customary to do so.

  460. #462 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    What is the basis of this moral belief in equality? Why should someone believe in equality as opposed to inequality?

    Actually, that’s the basis for all of science. It’s called the null hypothesis, and it’s the default assumption unless differences significant to the phenomena being studied can be demonstrated to exist. Knowledge doesn’t advance if the opposite is assumed regularly, since all rational behaviour is predicated on being able to make inferences about future events based on past observations, all of which require a assumption that things in reality exhibit similarities. In simpler terms, if we assumed no things were like any other things, we wouldn’t be able to act at all.

    As for general human equality, I’m not married to that concept at all. I’m very well aware of just how many trolls on this thread are significantly less intelligent than I. Whether that means I have the right to deprive them of life or liberty, well, let’s just say that some days I’m sorely tempted.

  461. #463 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    I’m neither a theist or a creationist. I haven’t seen any evidence that God exists. Similarly, I don’t see any evidence that leads me to believe that we should treat all races equally. This strikes me as a liberal superstition. It evolved out of the earlier Christian belief that humans are equal in the sight of God. The Quakers were amongst its first practicioners.

  462. #464 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Natural science has nothing to tell us about ethics.

    Not entirely true. If an ethical stance is predicated on its ability to bring about some outcome, then science (and natural) science can certainly inform us as to whether that stance is likely to bring about such an outcome or not. However, natural science indeed does not imply any ethical stances whatsoever.

    Why shouldn’t we judge people based on the color their skin?

    Would that require us to treat ethnic Africans with albinism as white?

  463. #465 Travis
    January 17, 2009

    Amused Observer,
    The fact that it was once used does not say anything about whether is makes sense to do this. And if you want to say that natural science has nothing say about ethics and that we can judge people via arbitrary aspects, why not pick something else? Skin colour is easy to see but it hardly seems to be the only thing.

    But in the end, skin colour has been shown to be meaningless, the discussion above has indicated how this is so, that breaking people into “races” based on this is flawed and groups people in rather meaningless ways.

  464. #466 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    LO, prove what you mean by different races? I, for one, have been fuzzy on the subject ever since the concept of race was disproven.

  465. #467 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Human history is a chronicle of violent tribalism. I don’t see in-group altruism as evidence of any universal moral principle of non-discrimination.

  466. #468 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    This strikes me as a liberal superstition. It evolved out of the earlier Christian belief that humans are equal in the sight of God.

    Assuming of course, that there’s substantive evidence of significant differences.

    And, since I doubt you’re willing to pay me for my time, I’m going to ask you to read all of my upthread posts on why ‘race’ is has no biological meaning rather than waste my time having to tutor you as well. If you continue to use the term, then there’s not much of a discussion to be had with me since I’m not all that interested in mythology and theology.

  467. #469 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Natural science has nothing to tell us about ethics. Skin color is a commonly cited morphological racial difference. Why shouldn’t we judge people based on the color their skin? It was once customary to do so.

    don’t mix your biological and sociological terms, it makes you look like an idiot. race is a social construct based on skin kolor; morphology is a biological study of appearance, and as such, melanin production is not a morphological feature by which human populations can be easily identified

    also, moral relativism doesn’t fly here. just because something is “traditional” or “customary”, does not mean it’s good. that’s the is-ought fallacy. you’re sounding like a creobot again.

    morality and ethics can be discussed on many levels, but this being a skeptic and science blog, we’ll stick to evidence and usefullness. so, what’s your evidence that inequality serves a society as a whole better than equality?

  468. #470 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Human history is a chronicle of violent tribalism. I don’t see in-group altruism as evidence of any universal moral principle of non-discrimination.

    larger, inclusive groups have greater success than smaller, conflicting groups. evidence: Europe pre- and post World Wars.

    again, what is your evidence that inequality serves societies better

  469. #471 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Human history is a chronicle of violent tribalism

    …between and within groups as well as cooperation between and within groups.

  470. #472 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Laughing, haha, wait…do you think that it could be?

    Cannot be. Those folks are so well known for their integrity.

  471. #473 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Travis,

    We could easily pick something else. For example, we could judge people on the basis of the color of their skin plus other characteristics such as facial and skelatal morphology and hair texture.

  472. #474 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    , I don’t see any evidence that leads me to believe that we should treat all races equally.

    and i see no evidence that we shouldn’t. the null hypothesis is on my side, the burden of proof is on yours.

  473. #475 africangenesis
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk@470,

    “Europe pre- and post World Wars” is a rather ambiguous example. Are you implying that the pre-war colonial empire european nations were larger and more inclusive? Perhaps…

  474. #476 Rey Fox
    January 17, 2009

    Why equality? Well, there’s the golden rule for one thing. Treat other races with respect because you wouldn’t want them to decide that your race is inferior. Then there’s convenience. I mean, with race being as fuzzy a category as it is, it’s just easier to treat everyone equally than to have to consult a color chart every time you need to make a decision to be an asshole to somebody.

    That’s my take on it, so unless if you have some pressing need to be an asshole to people who look different from you, or are an angry individual who can’t better him/herself and need to cast around for a scapegoat that looks different from you, then you can consider it.

  475. #477 Very Amused Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian,

    If your values don’t come from natural science, where do they come from?

  476. #478 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    For example, we could judge people on the basis of the color of their skin plus other characteristics such as facial and skelatal morphology and hair texture.

    or blood type, or ability to curl tongue, or ability to wiggle ears…

    what’s your point exactly?

  477. #479 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    “Europe pre- and post World Wars” is a rather ambiguous example. Are you implying that the pre-war colonial empire european nations were larger and more inclusive? Perhaps… exactly backwards. pre-war continental europe was an infighting backwater. post-war europe is one of the big players on the economic, political, and social world-scene. cooperation and inclusiveness over conflict and tribalism

  478. #480 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    Then there’s convenience. I mean, with race being as fuzzy a category as it is, it’s just easier to treat everyone equally than to have to consult a color chart every time you need to make a decision to be an asshole to somebody.

    and just imagine the troubles on the internet! how am i supposed to know if i’m superior to someone if i can’t see the damn fucker?!

  479. #481 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    You’re attacking a straw man. I said nowhere that something is “good,” in the objective sense, because it is traditional or customary. I simply noted that your reverence for “equality” struck me as a custom which I compared to animal sacrifice in some cultures.

  480. #482 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    oops. AG, i hope you can parse what was me quoting you and what was my response. i made a blockquote fail

  481. #483 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    LO still thinking he has a point? The dumbfuckedness never ends. HAHAHAHAHAHA

  482. #484 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    We could easily pick something else. For example, we could judge people on the basis of the color of their skin plus other characteristics such as facial and skelatal morphology and hair texture.

    Cute. Nice ‘random’ assemblage of traits there. How about blood groups? Let’s hear you argue why we should differentiate between people based on blood groups.

    I just want you to know, Observer, that I’ve got your number. Not that it wasn’t apparent from your very first posts, but you’re not all as clever as you think you are, and your motivations are style are about as translucent as your melanin levels.

    The first rule in slow-playing, be it in chess or poker, is make sure you’ve got the nuts. You don’t, likely in every meaning of the word.

  483. #485 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    “what’s your point exactly?”

    I like to study the past and imagine other possibilities. I’m not impelled to demonize cultures other than my own.

  484. #486 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    You’re attacking a straw man. I said nowhere that something is “good,” in the objective sense, because it is traditional or customary. I simply noted that your reverence for “equality” struck me as a custom which I compared to animal sacrifice in some cultures.

    there are good reasons not to do animal sacrifice (from waste of food, to nonexistence of dieties to which to sacrifice, to animal cruelty), what are your reasons against equality other than tradition?

  485. #487 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian,

    Re: blood groups. IMO we could definitely do that one to. We can imagine a society that discriminated along those lines. That would be a fun scenario.

  486. #488 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    It’s actually pretty easy to see how treating people according to their abilities, rather than membership in arbitrary and superficially designated group categories, is a more effective way to organize society.

    But even if you want to fancy yourself all thoughtfully morally relativistic and pretend that ‘equality’ and ‘racism’ are equally valid social norms, I think it’s on you to give people a reason to go back to the one they abandoned.

  487. #489 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Re: blood groups. IMO we could definitely do that one to. We can imagine a society that discriminated along those lines. That would be a fun scenario.

    Hard to implement, though, unless we instituted some sort of badge system for identification.

  488. #490 Travis
    January 17, 2009

    I was thinking more along the lines of differentiating people by the number of pimples on their ass. That seems like a reasonable way of going about it.

  489. #491 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian, a badge system? That has worked so well in the past. Though I am a fan of opposing those who wear glasses and have no calluses on their hands. (As I hide my glasses away.)

  490. #492 Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    My point is this weird belief in “equality” is a tradition; to be exact, a republican one. I’m assuming you were raised in this tradition.

  491. #493 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    ah, so you are a moral relativist. do you think it’s ok to stone women for adultery? is FGM ok?

    there is no demonisation involved in realizing that some cultural practices do harm to its members beyond the (claimed) benefit to the society that might, maybe, excuse such a practice. inequality is such a practice, since it is useless and harmful both to individuals and to the cultures that practice it

  492. #494 The Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    I don’t believe that values or ultimate ends are derived from reason or natural science.

  493. #495 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    you keep on making the claim that equality is “weird” and “just a tradition”

    I’m done talking to you unless you provide evidence for equality being an extraordinary but useless tradition.

  494. #496 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian, a badge system? That has worked so well in the past.

    Well, the point is that if you’re going to differentiate people based on arbitrary subtleties that express no significant or meaningful distinction, how else are you going to ensure that you don’t accidentally mistake a B for an A?

  495. #497 The Laughing Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Against the backdrop of human history, the level of “social equality” we see in the United States does not have many historical precedents. The identification of morality with non-discrimination is very fashionable, but also novel. That’s why it strikes me as “weird.”

  496. #498 africangenesis
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Sorry, this doesn’t hold water ” pre-war continental europe was an infighting backwater. post-war europe is one of the big players on the economic, political, and social world-scene. cooperation and inclusiveness over conflict and tribalism”

    Pre-WWI Europe had colonial empires that controlled half the world with diverse populations that have since fractured along ethnic lines, and they have the pre-emminent militaries in the world. You argue that they are more “successful” now? That is like arguing that someone on welfare today is more successful than the Roman emperors of the past because he has access to emergency rooms and 24 hour cable. Perhaps we need to define “successful” first.

  497. #499 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    you’re not paying attention. the pre-war empires were the top-down crap that inevitably leads to chaos or conquest by the stronger, and in their death-throes at the end of the 19th century primarily due to infighting between and revolutionary sentiment within. the EU is stable, peacefully growing, and in no danger of being overthrown from within or from outside. not to mention that parts of the current EU were nonexistent, or powerless, or subjugated in the old imperial age.

    point is: the old system of top-down control, competition and monopoly for anything and everything, and escalating warfare was never stable or successful for the average citizen of Europe (who was usually either of the conquered nations, a soldier, a powerless peasant, or simply one of “those” people, whoever that may be at any given time), while the EU is a stable, relatively equitable and fair way of organizing, and the power it has is of more use to the average EU citizen.

    you may also compare the American States to pre-war europe. they, too, have been more successfull because of cooperation than the internecine fighting in Europe produced. it’s one of the reasons an underpopulated and young nation rose so quickly to power over the old guard

  498. #500 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    My point is this weird belief in “equality” is a tradition; to be exact, a republican one. I’m assuming you were raised in this tradition.

    Than you don’t have much of a point. Your entire argument seems to be built out of a dimwitted conflation of “equality” (your word, I’ll note) with some kind of Harrison Bergeron fantasy dystopia from your Liberal Strawmen handbook.

    In fact, the only “tradition” in play here is the far, far, older one, possibly an intrinsically human one, of valuing people based their actual individual abilities.

    That’s why racism was a necessary justification for slavery and colonialism. The argument was that you could judge a person’s abilities and worth based on ‘race’ and outward appearance.

    Once it became clear (or was acknowledged) that the “inferior races” were not, in fact, actually inferior, and judging people by skin color wasn’t actually such a good way to spot talent, those institutions started to crumble.

  499. #501 Guy Incognito
    January 17, 2009

    In fact, the only “tradition” in play here is the far, far, older one, possibly an intrinsically human one, of valuing people based their actual individual abilities.

    [Insert rant about affirmative action/librul hypocrisy here]

  500. #502 Reader5000
    January 17, 2009

    Observer,

    Please name all of the distinct, biological races (within the human species). Thanks in advance.

  501. #503 Bored Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Reader5000,

    Please name all the distinct cultures that exist within the human species. Oh, thanks in advance.

  502. #504 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    When challenged the idiot gets snarky. This is classic behavior, seen in a vast majority of the cases.

  503. #505 Jadehawk
    January 17, 2009

    especially hilarious since the issue of “culture” has been quite sufficiently explained by SC upthread…

  504. #506 Kinda Bored Observer
    January 17, 2009

    jack lecou,

    1.) Your values exist within the framework of an ideology (liberalism) that has a long history.

    2.) The Anglo-American race hierarchy wasn’t replicated in Latin America which was also enslaved and colonized.

    3.) Hollywood aside, I haven’t seen this shattering of racial stereotypes. Sub-Saharan Africa is a basket case. Haiti is a failed state. Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

  505. #507 Sarcastic Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Where precisely does one “culture” become another?

  506. #508 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Ooh, the troll is morphing, indicating his displeasure at our rational response which he can’t refute. Now a series of stupid questions, trying to control the discussion. Will the regulars be sucked in, or will they prove his ideas wrong at a higher level? Stay tuned in to “Blog Anthropolgy”.

  507. #509 E.V.
    January 17, 2009

    Oh Noes! Sockpuppitz!

  508. #510 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    All of those examples by hahajohnyb yet nothing about what effects colonialism has on an opposed people.

    Oh, wait, silly me, how else can we hope to get anything out of an intellectually inferior race.

  509. #511 John Morales
    January 17, 2009

    [Racist]:

    [Jack] Once it became clear (or was acknowledged) that the “inferior races” were not, in fact, actually inferior, and judging people by skin color wasn’t actually such a good way to spot talent, those institutions started to crumble.

    3.) Hollywood aside, I haven’t seen this shattering of racial stereotypes. Sub-Saharan Africa is a basket case. Haiti is a failed state. Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

    Doesn’t an African American POTUS count? ;)

  510. #512 KristinMH
    January 17, 2009

    Please, can’t we all just go and watch some original Star Trek now? The one with the aliens whose faces were half white and half black?

    There’s nothing like sententious early sixties race relations lessons to put everything in perspective. Don’t make me take away your nerd badges, now. ;)

    (Oh, and I’m betting Matt=awer=Various Observers. Just a thought. There’s a definite sock-puppetty feel to their posts. That’s why Jesus invented KillFile!)

  511. #513 Sarcastic Observer
    January 17, 2009

    Colonialism is responsible for the poverty and backwardness of Ethiopia? That’s news to me.

  512. #514 Steve_C
    January 17, 2009

    501-503,506-507

    Turnips

  513. #515 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Oooh, a total change in subject. (yawn) Classic behavior. Next up, anger. Stay tuned to this channel for further developements.

  514. #516 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

    Have you got your IQ scores handy? I’d love to see where you fit in.

    So the Unobservant Observer is still trolling, looking for a fight she hasn’t the aptitude to comprehend, let alone win.

    Compare us to fundamentalists again. That’s my favourite bit of yours.

  515. #517 Various Observers
    January 17, 2009

    #511

    Robert Mugabe is another accomplished African leader. If I recall correctly, he has more degrees than Barack Obama.

  516. #518 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 17, 2009

    Brownian, I think this racist troll is hahajohnyb. It is that smarmy way of trying to make it’s odious ideas seem reasonable. Yet it slips out enough racist invective to cover it’s slime with shit.

  517. #519 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    1.) Your values exist within the framework of an ideology (liberalism) that has a long history.

    Neither relevant, nor in dispute.

    2.) The Anglo-American race hierarchy wasn’t replicated in Latin America which was also enslaved and colonized.

    This assertion would surprise many Latin Americans. Different in some of the particulars, to be sure, but there was (and is) racism nevertheless.

    3.) Hollywood aside, I haven’t seen this shattering of racial stereotypes. Sub-Saharan Africa is a basket case. Haiti is a failed state. Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

    You’ll note I expressly did not use the word “shattering”. If I had, it wouldn’t be contested by this paragraph anyway, the majority of which seems to consist of a series of racist non-sequiturs.

  518. #520 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Another change of subject. Not unexpected. After all, they can never commit themselves so they can’t be refuted. Even though their lack of committing themselves automatically refutes them. Stay tuned for further updates on “blog anthropology”.

  519. #521 Various Observers
    January 17, 2009

    My personal favorite is Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa. Meredith has a good profile of him in his book.

  520. #522 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    A meaningless reference. Stay tuned for further developments.

  521. #523 'Tis Himself
    January 17, 2009

    Sub-Saharan Africa is a basket case. Haiti is a failed state. Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

    Let’s consider the difference between the way the British ruled India compared to Southern Africa.

    In India, while the British held all the senior civil service and military jobs, native Indians were middle level bureaucrats and officers. An Indian Army battalion would have five to ten British officers, particularly the commander and second in command. All other positions, including company commanders and all of the NCOs, were Indians. When the British left India, there were trained and experienced military officers and civil servants who could run the army and the country. The Indian upper and middle class were almost entirely Indian so commerce wasn’t affected either.

    In places like South Africa and Rhodesia, whites were in all of the supervisory and managerial positions in the civil service. Blacks were not allowed in the military. In South Africa it was illegal for a black to own property. The same was true in the French, Belgian and Portuguese colonies. So when the colonial powers moved out, there was a massive power vacuum.

    India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were viable countries when the British left. Congo was a disaster even before the Belgians left.

  522. #524 Steve_C
    January 17, 2009

    you guys failed to stick with the plan!

    Turnips just get ignored. There’s no point in doing anything else.

  523. #525 Stanton
    January 17, 2009

    you guys failed to stick with the plan!

    Turnips just get ignored. There’s no point in doing anything else.

    There is no use in convincing these guys to be more parsnipmonious. Let me rutabaga, Steve, yam not beeting around the bush when I tell you it’s easier to herd carrots. To think otherwise is too radish.

  524. #526 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    (Not that anyone was ever fooled in the first place, but it’s interesting to see how the whimsical racism-as-nihilism Observer of “haha, wouldn’t it be a fun game to pre-judge people based on blood type” has now fallen back to a more traditional “teh negroes are stoopid” tactic. Smooth.)

  525. #527 Wowbagger
    January 17, 2009

    Robert Mugabe is another accomplished African leader.

    Yeah, because there’s never been an insane, dictatorial, genocidal leader of a country with skin colour anything other than black, is there?

    Moron.

  526. #528 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    In places like South Africa and Rhodesia, whites were in all of the supervisory and managerial positions in the civil service. Blacks were not allowed in the military. In South Africa it was illegal for a black to own property. The same was true in the French, Belgian and Portuguese colonies. So when the colonial powers moved out, there was a massive power vacuum.

    It’s worth noting also that many of these countries didn’t actually gain independence until very late: the ’60s or ’70s, if not later. And then many of them got the privilege of becoming Cold War proxy battlefields for another decade or two.

    But that was probably because of low IQs or something.

  527. #529 jack lecou
    January 17, 2009

    “Robert Mugabe is another accomplished African leader.”

    Yeah, because there’s never been an insane, dictatorial, genocidal leader of a country with skin colour anything other than black, is there?

    Moron.

    Yeah. Also, since Mugabe’s schtick seems to consist almost entirely of stirring up racial resentments and anti-colonial fearmongering, his grip on power couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the colonial legacy, could it?

  528. #530 windy
    January 17, 2009

    As for Botswana and education (the comparison to India) I believe you have not familiarised yourself with this topic to bring up Botswana and have only looked at the GDPs. 90% of the doctors in Botswana are foreigners, many of them from Cuba. There are not many Batswana doctors.

    If sub-Saharan Africans are too stupid to produce the amount of doctors needed there, why are there so many African doctors working abroad?

    And why are there so many Cuban doctors practically everywhere, not just Botswana? Are Cubans more intelligent than all other Latin Americans, for example? Or could there be other reasons?

  529. #531 Colugo
    January 17, 2009

    I’m curious about Awer and Matt.

    Do they consider themselves progressive, moderate, paleoconservative, or none of the above?

    Which of these sites do they visit regularly, if any: Steve Sailer, Majority Rights, American Renaissance, VDARE?

    What do they think of the work of the following professors: Henry Harpending, Greg Cochran, Kevin MacDonald, JP Rushton, Bruce Lahn, Richard Lynn?

    I think we are seeing a resurgence of scientific racism. Remember the eugenicist Katharine? (Has she been around lately?)

  530. #532 Reader5000
    January 17, 2009

    Observer,

    So you have listed “Negroes”, “whites” and “Asians”. Got any more? How about Australioids?

    I would assume you do have more categories since you seem to be suggesting in #503 that there are as many biological races as cultures. Is that really what you are saying?

    If so, can you really speak of a group called “whites” when Nordics and Alpines are biologically distinct races? Meanwhile are Mediterraneans white? In your daily contact with other people, what clues do you use to distinguish between members of these groups?

  531. #533 Colugo
    January 17, 2009

    The same questions for Amused Observer.

    Let me guess, you think of yourself as a “radical traditionalist” or “third positionist” and love Ezra Pound and Julius Evola.

  532. #534 Colugo
    January 17, 2009

    More demographic profiling of Amused Observer, Awer, Matt etc (just guesses, but I want to see if I’m correct):

    – Listen to Blood Axis, Death In June, Sol Invictus, and classical, especially Romantic period

    – have ‘evil Spock’ beards

    – tattoos that are easily hidden for their jobs

    – thirtysomething

    – college degree, dropped out of grad school

  533. #535 Brownian
    January 17, 2009

    As I noted before, Observer’s morphing and whimsy haven’t fooled anyone.

    What I find most interesting about such beasts is that they give themselves away as in the lower percentiles of human intelligence with their arguments by their general failure to comprehend the implications of their own thought processes. If it were in fact determined that some distinction in average intelligence could be made based on some schema of categorisation, and assuming they fit into one of ‘teh smarter’ categories, what would that mean for them? Nothing. If ‘whites’ are indeed smarter on average than non-whites, it wouldn’t change the IQs of individual whites. Matt would still be dumb (as both he and I agree), and if anything, Observer’s general inability to put together a cogent argument (witness his ADHD-esque subject jumping) makes him a bigger loser for his failure to live up to his skin.

    If they’re arguing for some sort of generalisation about superiority vs. inferiority based on intelligence, then both their arguments and their existence don’t bode well for whites’ place on the curve.

    Belonging to a generally smarter group doesn’t make you smarter, boys. Being smarter makes you smarter. A newbie mistake, but one to be expected from dumber-than-average individuals, of any group.

  534. #536 Thanos
    January 17, 2009

    PZ, you must cease with your diatribes or we shall have to take your name down.

    — the Solutrean Troofers (P.S.Has anyone seen the blond haired blue eyed mummy I misplaced?)

    Seriously, these people are somewhat indefatigable and entirely disingenous, so watch for them to disrupt in a variety of ways and to show up in a myriad of disguises.

  535. #537 awer
    January 17, 2009

    “So, give us a plan. Give us an idea. Tell us what development that acknowledges differences in average IQ would look like.”

    An example was given above, an example no one commented on. Is it helping Botswana that over 90% of their medical doctors are foreigners? They are in dire need of help, with one of the worst HIV epidemies in the world. Are the Cuban and Indian doctors helping? Would you rather they were not there, so that the batswana could “self-develop” better without this sort of neo-colonialism?

    In Kenya the small minority of Indians are founding most of the countries businesses and are a crucial part in the country’s effort to move on to the path to further economic growth.

    Mauritius, the island off the coast of Africa, have a majority Indian population. Their GDP per capita is $13.5k.

    In Uganda the Asian immigrants formed the economic and educational backbone of the nation, until Idi Amin expulsed them in the 1970’s.

    In South Africa, there are around 1.1 million Indians, mostly descended from the immigrant workers, who the British brought into the country in mid 19th century, to work in sugar plantations and mines. They, also, fell victims of the Apartheid. Today, economically and educationally, they are climbing the social ladder and today their income per person is already nearly double that of the black African population. 2 percent of the South African population, Indians form 8% of the country’s University graduates.

    These are not isolated examples. But more a general rule. Immigrants from India have done well anywhere they have gone. (Certainly lately there have been educated immigrants from Indian upper classes, and these new waves of immigrants are not therefore comparable as they are of a higher social status to start with. I’m speaking more about the earlier, historical waves of immigration.)

    And there is a reason I’m using India as an example. The culture in India has it’s problems, especially regards to the position of women in society. And they have dark skin colour.
    Many social scientists in Europe like to blame the social and economic failure of ethnic African minorities on “oppressive” social structures that discriminate against them. Generations after they were given equal rights. I’m not saying this doesn’t play some role, as it quite evidently does, but the Indians are quite immune to its effects. And this does raise questions.

    The hereditary hypothesis is a logical one. It’s not a nice one, but there is no obligation for the world to be nice and to curtail to our wishes.

    Presumably all the attempts to support this hypothesis have been refuted. That, of course, is not true. There is not enough research, nor data. And your say-so doesn’t carry the strenght to change this. The concrete data and research there is, outside of your word games on the fuzzy meaning of the word race, the adoption studies, the twin studies, the IQ-test scores (e.g. of the children of upper class blacks who score below the “trailer park whites), the reaction speed test results (that correlate with IQ/g) and the larger empirical pictures from countries like Botswana, Uganda and Mauritius… these are all pointing in the same direction.

    Of the studies, you claim to have been refuted, let’s name just one, the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Transracial_Adoption_Study, it’s from your country and it’s from 1976-1986 so there should have been ample time to refute it’s results. And it’s from one of the most liberal states in your Union, if I understand correctly. If it was from Mississippi or Alabama I would be inclined to agree with a social and environmental explanation, but here it does not fully work. And it would not apply to children of Indian immigrants who would do fine.

    Let me add that I do believe that the Flynn effect is important. The average 82 IQ tested for India is nonsense, and is likely to be closer to the European average of 100. Equally the tested Sub-Saharan average of 70 is far too low, and in (macro and micro) nutritionally, culturally and educationally more “adept” societies should be considerably higher. The support for “neo-colonialism” (I don’t call it that myself) is also very much about this transition period.

    So if someone asked what I think of Rushton or Lynn or Jensen and their ilk, yes I have read them, no I don’t agree with the far reaching conclusions, but true I don’t think it’s completely without merit either.

    Brownian suspected my own IQ has to be low, because my English is so poor. English is not my native tongue, this is my excuse. I’d prefer, if, instead of the childlish insults, you could debate the issues.
    And do not point to upper thread and claim to have answered questions you quite evidently have not. You have rather word played around the fuzzy meanings of the major race categories, and hided behind the fact that they are partly social constructs. That doesn’t say anything specific about population clusters and hereditary traits. Just because the Bushmen of Kalahari are genetically vastly different from the Masai of Kenya, doesn’t mean both groups wouldn’t have average hereditary traits that could be estimated. The word play rather dodges the issue. And I would ask whether you are familiar with the concept of confirmation bias http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias and consciously try to avoid it?

    This may come as a surprise to you, but you are not the only educated person in the world. And there are, shock horror, educated people who disagree with you, based on rationally weighted reasons.

    “I’m curious about Awer and Matt.

    Do they consider themselves progressive, moderate, paleoconservative, or none of the above?”

    The labels are bit different on this side of the pond (in Europe) but here goes: Green, anti nationalism, global solidarity, atheist/agnostic, social liberal, rationalist.

  536. #538 Reader5000
    January 17, 2009

    I think the Meredith fans may be the same person.
    See posts #395, #420 and #521. Just a hunch.

    Is sock-puppetry allowed here? And can the puppets be made of white sheets?

  537. #539 Nerd of Redhead
    January 17, 2009

    Is sock-puppetry allowed here? And can the puppets be made of white sheet.

    Sockpuppetry isn’t allowed but hard to control. PZ has access to the URL used. White sheets, of course.

  538. #540 windy
    January 17, 2009

    An example was given above, an example no one commented on. Is it helping Botswana that over 90% of their medical doctors are foreigners?

    Ahem, #530

  539. #541 awer
    January 17, 2009

    “I think the Meredith fans may be the same person.”

    Poor thinking. The blog’s author, if needed, can confirm the IP addresses are probably thousands of miles apart. I don’t troll.

    “More demographic profiling of Amused Observer, Awer, Matt etc (just guesses, but I want to see if I’m correct):

    – Listen to Blood Axis, Death In June, Sol Invictus, and classical, especially Romantic period”

    You are correct… I do listen to some classical music. Mostly Mozart, Brahms and Prokofiev though.
    But generally to 1960’s and 70’s rock music. Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Joan Baez.

    Favourite era in popular culture Paris 1920’s.

    Some of the people I appreciate: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Muktharan Bibi, Nelson Mandela, Wole Soyinka… and I have great hopes for Barack Obama.

    Quite clearly I must be an evil person, but despite my own short comings I would still like you to consider these words by the great author and intellectual Leo Tolstoy:

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life”.

    and…

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

    You cannot wish nor decide reality.

    To my ever growing shame and worthlessness I used to think the lines you do about this issue of race, populations and the hereditary hypothesis. It takes a really dumb man to abandon knowledge and adopt such vulgar ignorance in its place. They should come and take this trailer away from me, I don’t deserve it.

  540. #542 Reader5000
    January 17, 2009

    awer,

    The link you provided for that Minnesota study says that the authors of the study report that a biological interpretation is ambiguous at best. It does not sound like that is what you had in mind.

    I have some questions about these adoption studies.

    How much of a factor was the small African-American population of Minnesota back then? (1.3% in the 1980 census)
    What are the results from the parallel investigations done in states with larger African-American populations? (such as Mississippi or South Carolina)
    Have the more recent studies in Minnesota shown any changes since the first ten-year study? Attitudes have changed a lot in the last generation.
    How much of the factor was the upper-middle-class status of the adoptive parents? What are be the results with adoptive parents who are of the same class as the majority of African-Americans in whichever state?
    How does this Minnesota study compare to the studies of white (and American?) children adopted by non-white parents in countries with small white populations? Or in countries where whites have the same low social status as blacks do in the United States?

    Finally, do not fall into the trap of thinking that northern U.S. states are not racist. They have long practiced different forms of racism than the South did. Even Minnesota (appears to have) had sundown towns: http://www.uvm.edu/~jloewen/sundowntownsshow.php?state=MN

  541. #543 E.V.
    January 17, 2009

    Quite clearly I must be an evil person,

    Humor FAIL or Drama Queen. Hyperbolic self -deprecation as a way to ingratiate yourself won’t fly here.
    BTW, we don’t decide reality, most of us seek empirical evidence and try to be very careful in the way we interpret that data. Sometimes we withhold an opinion because their isn’t enough information either way and sometimes we have to revise previously held opinions when we are presented with good solid evidence that counters them.
    Just because you feel you are progressive & can quote Tolstoy doesn’t mean you can use a “get out of jail free” card to display an overt bias, which can be readily described as racist.
    Thanks for the bio but I seriously doubt you convinced anyone to abandon their former opinion of you.
    1920’s Paris, huh? (more telling than you know…)

  542. #544 Tulse
    January 17, 2009

    Negroes are still typically less intelligent than whites and Asians.

    And far more uppity!

  543. #545 awer
    January 17, 2009

    windy, did you read the BBC article you linked?

    Botswana keep clear majority of the doctors they educate. Yet over 90% of their doctors are foreigners. AND they would still need several more doctors. And it can be argued that in Botswana the healthcare inftrastructure situation is better than in any other Sub-Saharan African country outside of South-Africa. This is the scale of the problem.

    And you ask: “could there be other reasons?”

    Of course. The world, obviously, is very complex. If we leave the Cuban doctors aside for a moment, and concentrate on the case of Botswanan (batswana) doctors, yes braindrain is a problem, but it’s impact isn’t central for Botswana as the number of native medical doctors is very low to start with. So if 10% or 20% of them leave the country, this is not the crucial issue. It goes much deeper.

  544. #546 windy
    January 18, 2009

    windy, did you read the BBC article you linked?

    I did – did you read my comment? If you look carefully, I didn’t argue that brain drain is the cause of Botswana’s problems in particular. However, if you are going to point to doctor shortages as a limit of native intelligence, is “Home Office figures show that 17,620 African doctors and nurses joined the NHS last year” evidence that Africans are more intelligent than native Brits?

    Botswana keep clear majority of the doctors they educate. Yet over 90% of their doctors are foreigners. AND they would still need several more doctors. And it can be argued that in Botswana the healthcare inftrastructure situation is better than in any other Sub-Saharan African country outside of South-Africa. This is the scale of the problem.

    So are you arguing that the main thing keeping more native Botswanans from becoming doctors is lack of ability?

  545. #547 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    More questions for awer (and Matt, Observer, and other “race realists”): Where did you acquire your views on race? Have any particular books or intellectual figures been especially influential? Does your social group share your beliefs? Do you belong to a discussion or study group, either in person or online, that talks about these ideas?

    What’s interesting about awer and Katharine is how much they resemble scienceblog bloggers and readers – left of center, support Obama, rationalist – besides their deviation on race/eugenics/hereditarianism.

    If they were neofascists, there would be little to ponder. The question is how these racialist ideas are being disseminated within educated, liberal minded, rationalist subcultures.

  546. #548 windy
    January 18, 2009

    …continuing from above, especially since Botswana apparently only got its first medical school going a couple of years ago?

    Perhaps you would argue that this just shows how poor organisers they are, but if you looked at my second link in the previous comment, Cuba’s doctor population grew by more than 10 times in the last 50 years as a result of political decisions. Is this really the time to write off Botswana as incapable of producing more doctors?

  547. #549 awer
    January 18, 2009

    “So are you arguing that the main thing keeping more native Botswanans from becoming doctors is lack of ability?”

    …in the needed numbers, yes. It’s far from the only reason. And their ability will raise with better nutrition and better basic education (the Flynn effect), but the numbers do not add up without the hereditary hypothesis. Flynn has admitted as much himself when he speaks of still unknown (entirely hypothetical) environmental reasons. A more working hypothesis does exist, and it is not without supporting evidence. It’s not just one Minnesotan study that possibly points in this direction, as alone it would be weak evidence, but you have another study with similar results, and another… and it piles up. And academic achievement has a strong statistical correlation with IQ, and g. And intelligence (the potential) is largely hereditary, which has been exhaustively proven with twin studies. There is no way out from the chain of reasoning.

    A senior professor from my country, a former member of the parliament (in the Green party), travelled in most African countries spending time with the locals, socialising with people from all social classes, staying with strangers, hitchiking etc. At the age 70, a truly remarkable journey he completed over several years, and not without danger. He wrote a book on his experiences and on his studies of Africa, he begins it with these words (unfortunately the book has not been translated into English, so the translation is mine)

    “A Gigantic collective lie marks our attitudes towards Africa. For this lie it is characteristic, that everyone lies, and everyone knows, that everyone is lying. And everyone also knows that everyone knows that everyone is lying.”

    I would rather follow the conclusions that can help us change our policies in a way that as a result the poor people will have better access to quality health care. This is NOT a top-down solution. I am much in favour of bottom-up developmental politics and the emansipation of African societies. In developmental politics we can find synenergies by helping to hire poor Indians (and other qualified people) to work in Africa. They don’t demand as much pay as a western doctor or engineer would, yet they can earn more than they would in their home country if we help to fund such a system wisely. And they are also better recieved by the local communities. They blend more easily with their dark skin colour. This is not in contradiction with bottom-up approach. Ask the batswana who are recieving health care. It doesn’t take anything away from anyone. Instead it helps, concretely.

    We could be in 2059 wondering why there are so few native medical doctors and engineers in Africa. That would be the real tragedy.
    We need good policies now. We need to re-think our developmental policies.

    The ideologue can howl to the moon of correctness to the rhythm of “racist, racist…” but in the end of the day, if he, drunk from his self-importance, supports policies that do not work, he keeps contributing to the misery of the very people he claims to defend.

  548. #550 windy
    January 18, 2009

    Colugo wrote:

    I think we are seeing a resurgence of scientific racism. Remember the eugenicist Katharine? (Has she been around lately?)

    Frankly I don’t think this is helpful either. Why are you always dropping these ominous hints in response to some random fool on the internet? If I’m interested in human genetic variation should I get some tattoos so that I’ll fit in your stereotype? (The goatee is going to be difficult ;)

  549. #551 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    “Why are you always dropping these ominous hints in response to some random fool on the internet?”

    Wasn’t trying to be ominous in the slightest. I’m just a little surprised that she didn’t drop in this thread.

  550. #552 windy
    January 18, 2009

    We could be in 2059 wondering why there are so few native medical doctors and engineers in Africa.

    Or we could be in pre-1959 Cuba, wondering why there aren’t enough Cuban doctors to provide adequate healthcare to the whole country.

    PS Here’s a group of some of those famous Cuban doctors*, these from a relief mission to Guyana. Many of them appear to have significant amounts of African ancestry! How does Cuba manage to educate these incompetents?

    (*if you think I’m cherry-picking, look at some other images or consider the proportion of African and mixed ancestry in Cuba as a whole.)

  551. #553 awer
    January 18, 2009

    windy: ” “Botswana apparently only got its first medical school going a couple of years ago?”

    The Botswanan medical school is potentially great development, and something to keep an eye on. But there have existed, and there do exist opportunities for Africans to get higher education abroad. Many Botswanans do speak English, and the country gained it’s independence in 1966.

    “Perhaps you would argue that this just shows how poor organisers they are,”

    If you read Meredith, or anyone brutally honest on the history of African independence the lack of organisation, planning and forward thinking is a central problem on all levels of government and society. From top to the grass roots. Aid workers could tell you innumeral anecdotal stories.

    “but if you looked at my second link in the previous comment, Cuba’s doctor population grew by more than 10 times in the last 50 years as a result of political decisions. Is this really the time to write off Botswana as incapable of producing more doctors?”

    No. And the question is not either or. The right (and crucial) question is can Botswana (and other Sub-Saharan countries) produce more doctors, engineers and other highly qualified workers in the needed numbers?

    They didn’t start yesterday, like Castro’s Cuba, they started 50 years ago. They have had time, they have riches to potentially achieve progress.
    And the best of them had a headstart on Cuba, or India or China in terms of infrastructure and economy. And they have recieved 2 trillion dollars in foreign aid, while there has been an embargo on Cuba. Africa 50 years ago was of course poor, but not as poor as is often made out to be. You might want to go through the relevant graphs with gapminder (www.gapminder.org)

    The best of them were relatively rich tropical countries at the time, with vast natural resources, with potential to lift their populations from poverty. There was great hope and expectation. And all failed.
    All failed to a large or even larger extent compared to the expectations at the time. Every single country with not one exception.

    Many have afterwards noted that the transition from colonialism to independence should have happened gradually, with the political structures, infrastructure and educated workers in place to run a nation successfully.

    We should have been there opening Botswanan medical school in 1966, and not 2006. The leadership and expertise for the Botswanan medical school came from the outside. And that’s something we should have been doing long ago neo-colonialism or not, racist or not. Labels are secondary, results matter.

  552. #554 Observer Returns
    January 18, 2009

    #547

    1.) I grew up in an area that is 50% white/50% negro.
    2.) My views on race are based on personal experience.
    3.) Re: social group. Yes.
    4.) I have a blog.
    5.) I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries. In the general election, I held my nose and voted for Chuck Baldwin solely because of his position on immigration.

  553. #555 Various Observers
    January 18, 2009

    #533

    I’m not a “radical traditionalist” or a “third positionist.” Also, I never bothered to read Evola or Pound. I have a low opinion of ideologues.

  554. #556 Steve_C
    January 18, 2009

    TURRRR NIP

  555. #557 Various Observers
    January 18, 2009

    Isn’t it odd how liberals deny the existence of race, but insist on celebrating racial diversity?

  556. #558 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    Observer returns, again with vacuous statements to attempt to show the other side is wrong. Classic avoidance technic, so his inane position isn’t attacked. Little does he know what’s waiting around the corner…

  557. #559 jack lecou
    January 18, 2009

    They didn’t start yesterday, like Castro’s Cuba, they started 50 years ago. They have had time, they have riches to potentially achieve progress.

    Doesn’t it bother you that everything you say is wrong? Do you think not having even a basic grasp of history helps your credibility?

    If you’re really interested in understanding the plight of Sub-Saharan Africa, go read some history, some institutional economics, some more history. For innoculation against teh stoopid you’ve come down with, maybe some population genetics or something.

    Then read it again.

    Repeat that until you actually begin to understand something.

    (Hint- if you do all that, and you still feel tempted to throw out ignorant remarks about how Botswanans can’t become doctors, or think some hypothetical half standard deviation difference in average IQ is a useful or sufficient way to understand S-S Africa’s political and economic problems, you need to go back to the books.)

  558. #560 Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Nerd,

    I’m somewhat amused by how seriously you people take yourselves. You cling to your moral convictions re: race with all the ferocity of holy rollers. I guess I can’t understand how any historically literate person could do so.

  559. #561 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    Now he is attacking the commentator. He claims he is amused by us, but when we are amused by him he gets upset. Classic case of dingbatus going on. Stay tuned for more invective from our subject.

  560. #562 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 18, 2009

    Again with the religious imagery from the asshole. And the baseless assertion that history proves that people with dark skin are inferior.

  561. #563 'Tis Himself
    January 18, 2009

    They didn’t start yesterday, like Castro’s Cuba, they started 50 years ago. They have had time, they have riches to potentially achieve progress.

    As we’ve seen in Zimbabwe, many sub-Saharan countries become kleptocracies. This is a government that maintains the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class at the expense of the population. Mobutu Sese Seko, president of the former Zaire, is estimated to have stolen $5 billion.

    And they have recieved 2 trillion dollars in foreign aid

    Much of this foreign aid was military aid. Angola has 18 MiG-23 and 25 MiG-21 fighters. (How many are operational is anyone’s guess. Jane’s Information Group believes fewer than 10 Angolan MiGs are still airworthy.)

    Between kleptocrats and military aid, not a whole lot of money trickled down for building medical schools or even hospitals.

  562. #564 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    #531

    1.) Yes, I follow American Renaissance, VDARE, Majority Rights, Steve Sailer, etc.

    2.) I’m not an ideologue. I believe all religions and secular ideologies (including liberalism and humanism) are ultimately baseless.

    3.) I’m familiar with Rushton, Lynn, Harpending, Cochran, Lahn, etc., but not really interested in their work.

  563. #565 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    I don’t take myself very seriously; I’m kind of a goofball.

    But I do take this issue seriously. And yes, it is a moral conviction, arrived at after reading a great deal of history AND a lot of scientific research . . . neither of which supports your position, you know.

    And what I see is that whenever a society has tried to use the kind of reasoning about “race” you cling to, great evil has resulted. Human beings have been hurt. That’s true for slavery in the U.S.; European colonialism (everywhere it’s been attempted); genocide in Germany; war atrocities in China under Japan; oppression of Hispanics in the U.S.; internment of the Japanese in WWII; the treatment of the First Nations in the Americas . . . need I go on?

    Racism is nothing more than tribalism on the grand scale, using skin color as the primary “flag” of the tribes. And every time we make predictions based on these alleged differences between the “races”, there comes along some individual — and actual, individual human person — who knocks it down.

    When the variations among individuals in a given group is greater than the variations among the groups you’ve rather arbitrarily defined (is President Obama black, or white, or both?), do any of these stereotypes hold water? And by the way, this reasoning holds true for gender as well as race.

    I’m a red-letter Christian, so to me, our primary societal goal is JUSTICE. That’s what Jesus cared about, so naturally that’s what I care about too. And I don’t see any way that the ideas you espouse will lead to just outcomes.

    And by the way, it’s CULTURAL diversity we liberals celebrate.

  564. #566 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Leftist Bozo,

    I haven’t said anywhere that colored people, uhm, or as you would say, “people of color” (this phrase was popularized in the 1980s), are racially inferior.

  565. #567 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    For those who are not familiar with the website, Majority Rights is an extremely racist white supremacist website that spews racist pseudoscience and antisemitic conspiracy theories. Scientific racism advocate Jon Jay Ray quit the group because of its virulent antisemitism. American Renaissance is a eugenicist white supremacist organization and website. But founder Jared Taylor is not an antisemite, a minority position within the white supremacist subculture. (If Observer is offended by the term “white supremacist,” I forget what the politically correct euphemism is.)

    Jared Taylor, JP Rushton (flagbearer of contemporary scientific racism), and Nick Griffin (BNP) have palled around at American Renaissance conferences. AR is an intersection between scientific racism, white supremacism, and neofascism. Rushton heads the Pioneer Fund, which has all kinds of current and historical eugenicist, neofascist and Nazi connections.

    The nativist website VDARE is a halfway house between hardline white supremacism and more milquetoast paleoconservatism (e.g. American Conservative). It has featured the rabid antisemitism of Kevin MacDonald. Derbyshire and Sailer, who are associated with VDARE, are the soft edge of scientific racism. Michelle Malkin is also affiliated with VDARE.

    So Observer is a racist but not a neofascist; rather, he’s a paleocon. (Gushing over Pound and Evola are giveaways for “intellectual” neofascism.) And awer is a progressive. Interesting.

  566. #568 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    For some historical perspective on race in America, read Frank Rich’s essay “White Like Me” in today’s NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/opinion/18rich.html?pagewanted=1&em

    Anybody still want to argue that racism leads to just outcomes? Observer, are you listening?

  567. #569 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Leigh Williams,

    The term “racism” didn’t enter the English language until 1936. “Racism” wasn’t widely regarded as a social pathology in the West until a few generations ago. This insistence on the morality of non-discrimination is an even more recent innovation.

    The major advantage of historical literacy is a heightened awareness of the fashionable trends and prejudices of one’s own times. I see little of this amongst liberals and progressives who regard artifacts of a passing phase of their own culture as a universally valid moral principle rather than mere opinion.

  568. #570 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 18, 2009

    Asshole farted;

    I haven’t said anywhere that colored people, uhm, or as you would say, “people of color” (this phrase was popularized in the 1980s), are racially inferior.

    Oh, forgive me. Negros are intellectually inferior.

  569. #571 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    The observer is still showing signs of intellectual challenge. The inability to define something and live with those definitions. Because he might be proved wrong. The oily response only show desperation instead of good argument. Stay tuned.

  570. #572 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    I’m not a paleoconservative.

  571. #573 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    Now the observer is getting defensive. Will he have the good sense to go away because he is making a fool of himself? That is the question.

  572. #574 Laser Potato
    January 18, 2009

    “The term “racism” didn’t enter the English language until 1936.”
    This smacks of John Best’s “autism didn’t exist before 1943 because the word ‘autism’ didn’t exist before then.”
    I am DEAD FECKING SERIOUS:
    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2007/10/autism-best-joh.html

  573. #575 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Re: Frank Rich

    1.) I’m struck by the way Rich unconsciously portrays Obama’s election as a wonderful example of racial pride and achievement. Whites alone are now forbidden by contemporary racial etiquette to think in such terms.

    2.) The same liberals who insist “race doesn’t exist” seem to have little difficulty making racial classifications – how odd.

    3.) Obama is merely the latest in a long line of negro leaders – Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jomo Kenyatta, Hastings Banda, etc.

  574. #576 Laser Potato
    January 18, 2009

    Oh, this is fun!
    Psoriasis didn’t get called that until Dr. Ferdinand Ritter Von Hebra used the term to describe the disease in 1841. Did psoriasis not exist before then?

  575. #577 Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Laser Potato,

    The pejorative caricature of 19C race theory as “racism” first emerged during the 1930s in anti-fascist circles. “Black,” of course, was popularized by Malcolm X in the 1960s as a substitute for “negro.” The capitalized “Negro” came into circulation as part of an NAACP campaign in the early twentieth century. “African-American” and “people of color” were popularized in the 1980s.

  576. #578 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    The Observer is still showing no signs of any balls that might win him the debate. He keeps trying to play defense. He needs to define what he means by race and back it up with data to win. But he appears to be deficient enough morally and intellectually to actually do that. Stay tuned for further developments.

  577. #579 Reader5000
    January 18, 2009

    Egalitarianism is a passing fad? Ha. Enlightenment values have been around much longer than a few decades.

    Meanwhile, “Observer” has identified three biological races and has not named any more. Maybe he thinks that is the limit. Even if he’s “observing” superficial traits, that’s quite an oversimplification.

    I wonder how well he does with this quiz:
    http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm

  578. #580 Laser Potato
    January 18, 2009

    1.) That’s a pretty bad strawman, even for you.

    2.) READ THE THREAD AGAIN. Race does NOT exist on the biological level, but on the SOCIAL level. THE SOCIAL LEVEL! THE GODDAMNED SOCIAL LEVEL!!!!

    3.) Cherry-picking, eh? I could name at least 50 much worse “white” leaders without straining myself were I so inclined, but that would make me no better than you.

  579. #581 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    Observer,

    Do you believe …

    – that within “whites,” populations (Nordic, Mediterranean etc.) can be graded on genetic propensity for certain temperaments and cognitive ability, which has resulted in differential collective accomplishments?

    – that within various populations, socioeconomic elites are genetically smarter, more industrious, etc than lower classes, down to the underclass; in other words, class stratification is genetic.

    – that Jews are a race specializing in parastizing host populations?

    Don’t be shy or PC.

  580. #582 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    1.) I’m struck by the way Rich unconsciously portrays Obama’s election as a wonderful example of racial pride and achievement. Whites alone are now forbidden by contemporary racial etiquette to think in such terms.

    2.) The same liberals who insist “race doesn’t exist” seem to have little difficulty making racial classifications – how odd.

    3.) Obama is merely the latest in a long line of negro leaders – Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jomo Kenyatta, Hastings Banda, etc.

  581. #583 Jadehawk
    January 18, 2009

    *sigh*

    I’m still waiting for him to give a rational explanation for his qualification of what equality is

    and racism didn’t exist prior to 1930? hilarious. I guess he’s never read Othello

  582. #584 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    1.) I’m struck by the way Rich unconsciously portrays Obama’s election as a wonderful example of racial pride and achievement. Whites alone are now forbidden by contemporary racial etiquette to think in such terms.

    Nonsense. You’re projecting; Rich says nothing of the kind.

    2.) The same liberals who insist “race doesn’t exist” seem to have little difficulty making racial classifications – how odd.

    RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. That’s how we use it. It is NOT a scientific construct. I’ve said this twice now, and others have also pointed it out to you. Do try to keep up; your continual harping on the point, which is not the “gotcha” you seem to think, is becoming tedious.

    3.) Obama is merely the latest in a long line of negro leaders – Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jomo Kenyatta, Hastings Banda, etc.

    Bush is merely the latest in a long line of caucasian leaders — Hitler, Andrew Jackson, Stalin, Mussolini, Jefferson Davis, Slobodan Milosevic, numerous Popes, Thomas West De la Warr, Abdul Hamid II, various British governors in India (google “famine”) . . .

    See how stupid you look?

  583. #585 SC, OM
    January 18, 2009

    1.) I’m struck by the way Rich unconsciously portrays Obama’s election as a wonderful example of racial pride and achievement. Whites alone are now forbidden by contemporary racial etiquette to think in such terms.

    2.) The same liberals who insist “race doesn’t exist” seem to have little difficulty making racial classifications – how odd.

    No, Leigh, you misunderstand. No one’s “insisting” anything. Biological races don’t exist. However, sociological races – defined as socially-constructed (and thus temporally and spatially variable) categories of people who share biologically-transmitted traits that members of different societies consider important – do. See my quotation from Ann Morning above about the social uses and effects of racial categories.

    3.) Obama is merely the latest in a long line of negro [now there’s a word you don’t often encounter these days] leaders – Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jomo Kenyatta, Hastings Banda, etc.

    …Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Bertrand Aristide (kidnapped), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,…

    He’s the first black US president. That is indeed novel and an achievement.

  584. #586 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    SC, those points were Observer’s, not mine. I was starting my rebuttal and accidentally hit Post instead of Preview to check my blockquotes.

    My rebuttal is at #584.

    I did try to post a “sorry” right afterwards, but the software wouldn’t let me (timing was too short).

  585. #587 SC, OM
    January 18, 2009

    By the way, here’s Randall Robinson on Aristide’s kidnapping in the context of Haitian history:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/7/23/randall_robinson_on_an_unbroken_agony

    He gave a great talk about it at Harvard Law School last year.

  586. #588 SC, OM
    January 18, 2009

    Sorry, Leigh. I was wondering why you were arguing with yourself.

    :)

  587. #589 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Leigh Williams,

    1.)Bullshit. Rich does portray Obama’s election as a racial accomplishment. Liberals tell us over and over again with great pride that he is the “first African-American president.” They have no principled objection to racial pride, race consciousness, racial distinctions, or race advocacy. Their real objection is solely to white people who engage in this type of thinking.

    2.) Liberals always emphasize two trivial points:

    – The various races shade into each other.
    – The boundries between races are socially defined.

    Note: This has been known since the days of Blumenbach and Linnaeus.

    … and announce with glee that “race doesn’t exist.” Ironically, these very same people then relapse into making racial distinctions: he’s “black,” he’s “white,” she’s “Asian,” in everyday life. That’s one reason why I can’t take them seriously.

    3.) Andrew Jackson was a great president.

  588. #590 The Observer
    January 18, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Nice straw man.

  589. #591 Nerd of Redhead
    January 18, 2009

    The Observer in back trying for snark. And failing. Obvious mental deficiencies.

  590. #592 SC, OM
    January 18, 2009

    (But I can’t forgive you, Leigh, for pushing me to respond to the odious “Observer.” I would never have done so had I not thought I was responding to you – though that was stupid on my part, as I should have known you wouldn’t write something like that.)

    Evidence that O is too stupid to bother with:

    2.) Liberals always emphasize two trivial points:

    – The various races shade into each other.
    – The boundries between races are socially defined.

    Anyone who could read this thread and suggest that that’s what’s being argued is truly thick. Anyone who (and I suspect this might well be the case) jumps in and starts commenting on a thread like this without reading it doesn’t deserve a response.

    3.) Andrew Jackson was a great president.

    I suspect most Cherokees would disagree.

    Don’t bother answering, O. You’re ignorant and repulsive, and I don’t have the time to point out all of your errors.

    Just go the fuck away.

  591. #593 Stanton
    January 18, 2009

    3.) Andrew Jackson was a great president.

    So, Observer, what’s your opinion of President Jackson’s role in instigating the “Trail of Tears”?

  592. #594 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    Coincidentally, Mr. Science and I just watched a documentary on Andrew Jackson last night on the History Channel.

    Andrew Jackson was a great president in some ways, but his role in massacres, betrayal of Indian peoples (including his own allies), and the Trail of Tears cannot be ignored in evaluating his presidency. These were crimes against humanity.

    Not just the Cherokee, but the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek, and Seminole tribes view him as a criminal. Many Indians avoid twenty-dollar bills for that reason.

  593. #595 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    1.)Bullshit. Rich does portray Obama’s election as a racial accomplishment. Liberals tell us over and over again with great pride that he is the “first African-American president.” They have no principled objection to racial pride, race consciousness, racial distinctions, or race advocacy. Their real objection is solely to white people who engage in this type of thinking.

    You bet your ass we object to it. When the dominant social group, which has been in power since the formation of the country, starts whining about being “oppressed”, we think that’s unconscionable. And, as I pointed out very clearly to you, we do use the word race to describe a SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. We believe it’s an EVIL SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. We love to see members of oppressed groups overcoming stereotypes and entering the mainstream of our society. You, on the other hand, seek to perpetuate those stereotypes and injustices. WE BELIEVE THAT IS EVIL. And if that evil shoe fits you, we intend to make you wear it.

    2.) Liberals always emphasize two trivial points:

    – The various races shade into each other.
    – The boundries between races are socially defined.

    Note: This has been known since the days of Blumenbach and Linnaeus.

    … and announce with glee that “race doesn’t exist.” Ironically, these very same people then relapse into making racial distinctions: he’s “black,” he’s “white,” she’s “Asian,” in everyday life. That’s one reason why I can’t take them seriously.

    Those two points aren’t trivial, as this entire thread proves. I’ve explained this to you now, twice, and I’m done explaining it. You’re not only evil, you’re a moron.

    We DO take you seriously, however — and we will do all in our power to ensure that you are never again able to institutionalize your bigotry into our society and our laws.

    3.) Andrew Jackson was a great president.

    Already refuted. You’re a moron.

  594. #596 Badger3k
    January 18, 2009

    Go away for a bit and come back to find more idiocy. I haven’t paid complete attention to all of the posts, but I wondered if anyone had brought up the fact that people have done better on intelligence tests if they are better fed – good nutrition has been a problem in Africa and other third-world countries (and parts of America as well). Add in all the infrastructure problems already mentioned, it’s no wonder that Africa is lagging behind the developed nations (ever wonder why they are called that?).

    I did have a challenge – let’s try to count all the racists and see how many of them are doctors. It would surely be as good a tool for analysis as the “doctors in Botswana” bit.

    Finally, although it had been answered – would I say that the founding fathers were racists? Sure. They were, to one degree or another. It was pretty much indoctrinated into Europeans by that point. I’m not sure what that is supposed to prove. A lot of people throughout history have been ignorant, or bigoted, or uneducated, or superstitious…name your poison. So what?

    As for why we think humans are equal (in terms of how we should treat them and what respect as human beings, and legal rights – etc) – we are all the same race: Homo sapiens sapiens. As for judging people by skin color – I propose length of nose hair. Easier than blood type, for sure.

  595. #597 awer
    January 18, 2009

    jack lecou, what do you think you are achieving with your insults?

    I never said hereditary intelligence (or temperament) were the only factors. That indeed would be seriously foolish. I have studied African history as part of developmental studies. It is from reading and studying over the course of several years, that I have arrived in these views. With absolutely no ideological motivation. Very much to the contrary, because I too, would wish it to be like you believe it is.

    We can take one trait here, that we can prove to be largely hereditary and which has strong statistical social correlations. Testosterone.

    In relatively homogenous populations in the west (culturally, economically etc.), studies have found that higher testosterone correlates with higher sex drive, higher sexual activity, stronger sexual desire and higher promiscuity (also aggression but that is another debate). It is only logical to assume there is some societal causation. You can try to explain it away as merely coincidental if you want to.

    It is a hereditary trait. And we can estimate the average of this trait among varying population clusters. Among both men, and women.

    The estimated chance of HIV-infection in vaginal intercourse is often quoted as 1/1000. Now this may vary between different populations and different mutations of the virus, but there is eerie silence over the debate how so many African countries went from couple of cases of AIDS to 20-30% of the population being HIV-infected in just couple of decades.

    Based on the African AIDS crisis World Health Organization feared the same would happen in poor Asian societies where the people have no access to health care or contraceptives, or if they do using contraceptives often carries a social stigma, and where the position of women in the society is far from free and equal. The same cultural and socio-economic factors that were thought to be behind the African AIDS crisis. But no such AIDS crisis has developed in any Asian country to this day, with such high numbers, while it has happened in majority of the Sub Saharan communities.

    This does ask questions. If you have answers you might want to tell us. I do have a few hypothesis, based in science and rational thought. Not nice views. But I must have missed when the world promised to be nice and biologically universal. I leave that to religions and other belief systems.
    I’m a secular human being, and to best of my ability, I try to follow the evidence.
    They may amuse you and comfort you, but your insults do not count as arguments.

  596. #598 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    Oh, deity-of-your-choice on a friggin’ pogo stick. Awer, did you honestly bring up that “black folks are higher-sexed” canard? Evidently you don’t care how ridiculous you look!

    And for your information, AIDS is a huge problem in Vietnam, an epidemic in India . . . here is some information so you can remedy your ignorance:

    http://www.time.com/time/asia/photoessays/aids_in_asia/
    http://www.avert.org/aids-asia.htm
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2008/12/20081214141191450.html

    Yes, the highest numbers are in Africa. Really, is that so surprising? The Catholic Church and other Christian missionaries bear a large part of the blame, as do foreign aid organizations that don’t emphasize supplying condoms (Americans, I’m looking at you). A general lack of medical care and education efforts also are to blame.

    You say you base your views on “science and rational thought”. How odd, then, that all the rest of us haven’t reach those conclusions. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you’re looking for reasons to excuse or rationalize some racism that lives in your heart?

  597. #599 windy
    January 18, 2009

    The estimated chance of HIV-infection in vaginal intercourse is often quoted as 1/1000. Now this may vary between different populations and different mutations of the virus, but there is eerie silence over the debate how so many African countries went from couple of cases of AIDS to 20-30% of the population being HIV-infected in just couple of decades.

    “eerie silence”? WTF? Are you claiming there has been some sort of conspiracy to deny that Africans fuck?

    If you look at Pubmed there are hundreds of articles about the transmission of HIV. Some of them argue that it’s actually non-sexual transmission which has been neglected in Africa. And as long as we are talking about genetic causes why not mention the Duffy antigen which apparently makes many people of African descent more susceptible?

  598. #600 awer
    January 18, 2009

    If logic and empirical evidence (such as hereditary testosterone and the strong correlations) look ridiculous to you, I do NOT care. I care about the evidence.

    You cite the socio-economic factors such as lack of contraceptives and lack of access to health-care as contributing to the African crisis, and if you read my post, of course I agreed with this. BUT in many poor Asian societies these same socio-economic factors are prevalent. Therefore WHO initially feared a crisis of similar proportions could happen in Asia, but to this day it has not realised, and today experts think it never will on such scale.

    As for your evidence you gave a link to photographs of Asian AIDS victims and mentioned Vietnam. Vietnam have a population of 85 million people. There are estimated to be 200,000 HIV-positive people in Vietnam. Approx one in 400 people, 0.25%. This is an epidemic, but by a factor of one thousand a lesser ecidemic than in many Sub-Saharan African countries.

    You see, you didn’t offer any evidence to make me re-consider my views. This is the bottom line. You may try the social pressure trick with your empty accusations of racism, but I am beyond that.
    If you have concrete evidence and arguments, please, post them. But don’t be a juvenile. It’s pointless and achieves nothing. Only makes you look childlish in my eyes and makes me wonder how strongly deep down you yourself believe in your arguments if you prefer to substitute personal remarks for them.

  599. #601 Tulse
    January 18, 2009

    The next time anyone complains that the regulars of this blog dismiss alternate points of view with nothing more than insults, I think I’ll point to this thread, and how patiently and substantively folks have dealt with the explicit racists.

  600. #602 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    Awer, I have done work in southern Africa and know something about testosterone, HIV epidemiology, and African cultures. You don’t know what you are talking about; your rhetoric is a mishmash of Rushton and the usual suspects. And your conclusions are fanciful, to put it kindly.

    I shudder to think that you are at all representative of the Scandinavian (Swedish?) developmental community. I certainly hope note.

  601. #603 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    Awer, explain to me this: why do sub-Saharan African populations generally have LOWER testosterone than white Westerners?

  602. #604 awer
    January 18, 2009

    windy, you have been a quality poster, and I don’t think the word f.. strenghtens your latest contribution.

    The non-sexual transmission argument would equally (or more strongly) apply to Asians, so it won’t explain the difference. Far majority of the infections in Africa are from hetero-sexual intercourse.

    Duffy antigen can be a factor, and there are others, but they either, based on current understanding, don’t go very far in explaining the scale of the epidemic.

    The UN study on Botswana found that both men and women had multiple partners. What I mean with eerie silence is that, if I openly proposed in academic circles that let’s study this more in detail, that we have to do it, it’s the central question, I would be socially stigmatized.

    How common is sexual intercourse between adult men and 10-15 year old girls in Botswana and other Sub-Saharan African countries? This is just one question among many. How common is anal heterosexual intercourse in societies that value purity and virginity of the woman? You want to stick your hands into the mud of this world, and really try to understand it? I do. Ideology is no substitute for rationalism. We have to get to the bottom of the things to understand the challenges Sub-Saharan African societies face. And to plan our developmental policies accordingly and try to help to guide the communities accordingly. We can’t make Africa change. They have to do it bottom-up, but we can be of crucially assistance. And to be of assistance we need to understand the reality of the situation. And “that is not a nice view” is then not an argument.

    It is entirely possible that we can be in 2059 where we are now, only that excessive population growth and environmental degradation have made matters worse. That is a serious reality.

  603. #605 Reader5000
    January 18, 2009

    Awer in #597:
    “from couple of cases of AIDS to 20-30% of the population being HIV-infected in just couple of decades”

    But this is less surprising when you learn that HIV developed in Africa, and that it’s been around for about a century.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7646255.stm

    Meanwhile, you seem to be conflating reported early cases of AIDS (“a couple”? Really?) with the actual rate of HIV infection of the time. Do not assume that every case was diagnosed back in the early 1980’s.

    And as for your claim about horny Africans, colonial urbanization is looking like a more realistic explanation.

    Meanwhile, China faces growing rates of HIV infection, unfortunately.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aVhQ53Eqid.g&refer=asia

    And how does all this relate to your claims of biological determinism?

  604. #606 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    “Ideology is no substitute for rationalism. We have to get to the bottom of the things to understand the challenges Sub-Saharan African societies face. And to plan our developmental policies accordingly and try to help to guide the communities accordingly.”

    Nice words, awer. I agree with them. But the Galtonian prattle of dabblers like yourself, and of professional malefactors like Rushton, won’t help anyone.

    Answer my question about testosterone levels. Are the empirical facts consistent with the scenario you’ve tried to persuade us of?

  605. #607 awer
    January 18, 2009

    “Awer, explain to me this: why do sub-Saharan African populations generally have LOWER testosterone than white Westerners?”

    They don’t. The malnourished part of the population could have. Those suffering from infectious diseases could have. Many of the studies were done on elderly populations or other restricted samples like the Bushmen of Kalahari.

    Common view is that the testosterone levels in healthy adults are approx. 15% higher than those of “white” westerners.

    I never said testosterone was the only factor, it is one among many. And there is complex causation between biological and cultural factors. Sometimes cultural factors can supress biological factors, like in islamist societies that have comparatively lower infection rates, because pre-marital sex and promiscuity carry such enormous social weight.

    Polygyny is the major contributing factor to the African HIV epidemic.

    It would be against rationalism not to consider possible biological, hereditary traits that can contribute to the phenomenon. Especially when the correlation is strong, and logical.

    Please, Colugo, tell us about your research, but you are not the only person who has travelled in the world, or done research in Africa.

    It is the content of your arguments I will consider not your say-so.

  606. #608 Leigh Williams
    January 18, 2009

    Awer, when you post empty rhetoric about testosterone levels, without offering any evidence, you should expect to be called out for racism. Your hypothesis seems to be that the black people of Africa, being so oversexed and all, have fucked themselves into an AIDS epidemic. When you make outrageous claims like that, you need to back them up with evidence. So far you haven’t offered anything other than assertions. I haven’t seen any “concrete arguments” from you, much less any reference to scientific publications that support your views.

    I offered an alternative hypothesis. I posted just exactly the same amount of evidence you posted. So why, tell me, am I more “childish” than you?

    As I have repeatedly said, I believe racism is a great evil, and that racists are both blind and wicked. Not to mention wrong. I know of NO scientific evidence that contradicts my view, and I ASSERT that historical evidence overwhelming supports my views.

    So we’re at an impasse. Frankly, I doubt very much that you and I can reach any sort of rapprochement. I hope you find yourself completely out of sync with your compatriots in whatever Scandinavian country unfortunate enough to claim you as a citizen.

  607. #609 Colugo
    January 18, 2009

    “Many of the studies were done on elderly populations or other restricted samples like the Bushmen of Kalahari.”

    You mean populations living traditional lifestyles? What inappropriate choices of study populations: those with subsistence strategies, culture, and marriage patterns similar to their ancestors thousands of years ago. Much better to study those with novel diets and other factors that can affect steroid hormone production and metabolism.

    (And do you have any knowledge of the age profile of testosterone levels in these populations? I do. But it doesn’t appear that you do. )

    Actually, I’m interested in your research. What is your home country? Which projects have you worked on? Can you name any colleagues I may have heard of? I’m skeptical that you are who you say you are.

  608. #610 awer
    January 18, 2009

    “Meanwhile, you seem to be conflating reported early cases of AIDS (“a couple”? Really?) with the actual rate of HIV infection of the time. Do not assume that every case was diagnosed back in the early 1980’s.”

    That was proverbial. We have gone from thousands of HIV-positive to thirty million hiv-positive in Sub-Saharan Africa. The general view is that up until mid-late 1970’s AIDS was rare in Africa and the world. It is estimated that in 1980 there were 100k-300k cases of HIV world wide and that is when the virus had started to spread. By mid 1990’s HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa had become catastrophic.

    The western agencies are also to blame. We should have acted firmly in the 1980’s. Your president at the time was one of the main culprits.

  609. #611 Jadehawk
    January 19, 2009

    Jadehawk,

    Nice straw man.

    how quaint. another dimwit making an ass of himself by calling out fallacies incorrectly

    I’m still waiting on an reasoned explanation for your categorization of equality

  610. #612 Jadehawk
    January 19, 2009

    Polygyny is the major contributing factor to the African HIV epidemic.

    possible, but how exactly does that relate to the rest of your argument? Is polygyny hereditary now? how does that explain the FLDS or Chinese concubines/second wifes?

  611. #613 awer
    January 19, 2009

    More personal remarks, I wish you misery and failure, I doubt you are who you say you are, you are a racist. That’s staggeringly dull. I would have liked to hear concrete arguments.

    Our brains are wired for self-justification, group-thought and social/group identification. As long as you keep arguing to justify and defend your identity, your views, your peer group and views masquerading as values, generally, everything you identify with, you cannot escape the circural thought that confirmation bias causes.

    When you substitute defending views for defending your views, and realise and analyse your own social-identification under different views and paradigms, and take a step back, to view things from a distance and realise how rationalism is in constant battle against emotional patterns that try to overtake our reasoning, only then you can attempt to be a logical social scientists, and even then you will fail, but still it’s far more rational than thinking in a loop. Neuropsychology will shed more light on this, and it will be one of the stories of this century.

    For the moment you can go on justifying the moral and nice views, without paying attention to the question, that why a random world would have brought upon such a biological evolution-stops-at-the-neck balance.

    Couple of quotes, from the most famous philosopher of the 20th century:

    “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

    The myth of hereditarily equal average intelligence and hereditarily equal average sexual drive and hereditarily equal average aggression among different population groups.

    “Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”

    You are afraid of looking into the pit of hell of hereditary sciences and studies and logical reasoning, and afraid of even admitting to yourselves what you see, nevermind having the courage to tell it to your peers who would immediately castigate you, not with arguments, but with stigmatisation, isolation and other personal attacks.

    This, my friends, is not science. Nor rational. That is the mammalian brain in action.

    More or less failing like everyone, the thinking man has to attempt to raise above it. So that reason really can be free, and merciless to established paradigms that are founded on very shaky science. It is not a leap of faith to look in the direction evidence and reason are pointing, and it’s not immoral, it’s the social code in your brain telling you “Don’t look!”.

    And that is what this discussion comes down to. I wish you all luck on the journey to realising this.

  612. #614 windy
    January 19, 2009

    The UN study on Botswana found that both men and women had multiple partners. What I mean with eerie silence is that, if I openly proposed in academic circles that let’s study this more in detail, that we have to do it, it’s the central question, I would be socially stigmatized.

    Then how do you explain all those published academic studies on HIV transmission in Africa? Including studies on sexual behavior?

    Polygyny is the major contributing factor to the African HIV epidemic.

    Why is the epidemic then worst in East/South Africa, and not in West Africa where the most polygynous societies are?

    (This also contradicts some things you said earlier. You seem to be confusing polygyny and promiscuity.)

    Here’s an article from the Lancet, ‘Confessions of a condom lover’, which discusses these questions that you claim academics don’t dare to discuss. The author thinks that the risk factor is that both men and women commonly have more than one steady relationship at a time – not a shockingly high number of sexual partners, or a high incidence of polygyny.

    You seem to think that the most important question here is, are there adaptive differences that manifest in sexual behavior between human populations? But why on earth? It’s a different question from what is the best way to change sexual behavior in a given population.

  613. #615 Matt
    January 19, 2009

    >>>The question is how these racialist ideas are being disseminated within educated, liberal minded, rationalist subcultures.

    I dont really deserve to be grouped with awer, Im not fit to shine the guy’s pocket protector. My opinions on the matter arent well developed so ive stayed completely out of the development/IQ debate. Looking on my bookshelf, since you asked, Dawkins “selfish gene”, E.O. Wilson “Sociobiology”, “Consilience”, Dennett “Freedom Evolves”. Charles Murray “Human Accomplishment” (A-HA!), S.J.G. “Pandas Thumb”.

    Regarding all the scientific racists you posted about, Ive read Derbyshire. He’s a hoot I think, full of confirmation bias and far too ungenerous to the potential for human progress. If you keep that in mind (and have one of your own), though, I think he’s well worth reading for the generalist. Refreshing to find someone who truly does not care what names people call him. Hell, he calls himself a mild racist.

    Colugo, you posted that question completely without irony. Mildly disturbing, though unsurprising. I can imagine you thinking “Drat, we’ve taken over academia, what else do we have to do?” Did you mention you were from Canada? Someone here did, anyway, if so, I think you might find some allies in the Canadian gov’s human rights commission. Pointing out less than pleasant traits about one of the worlds religions (the peaceful one) will get you hauled before the thoughtcrime hunters. Perhaps you could convince them to expand their scope a bit. It’d be for the greater good.

    People ought to be able to pursue science as it takes us and we shouldnt let our wishes about how the world ought to be stand in the way. When pursuing unpleasant questions so heavy with history care must be taken. My weariness with The Prevailing Liberal Mindset (as opposed to the Classical) gets the best of me so Im not the best example of that, but another poster on here seems well meaning, well educated, and certainly well mannered. In the end I thought his arguments were largely well debated with only a minor sprinkling of namecalling. All to the good.

  614. #616 mister slim
    January 19, 2009

    If race were a social construct, then our new president would be black.

  615. #617 Leigh Williams
    January 19, 2009

    Awer, I beg of you, read this article:
    http://www.statesman.com/life/content/life/stories/other/01/18/0118sifuentes.html

    I want you to confront the outcome of your reasoning. Tell me, is this the kind of world you want?

    Then tell me, which of us is it, who, “offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, [accepts] it even on the slightest evidence”.

    What you’re espousing here isn’t science. It’s bigotry dressed up in fancy words. You’re looking for a pretext, a fig leaf you can use to cover up and excuse your desire to marginalize the “other”.

    There is only one race, the human race. I am an American, and I “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.

    You may sneer at my “values”, but by God, I have them, and I will defend them against the forces of evil to my last breath.

    The notions you espouse are evil and lead to evil outcomes. All the sophistry and fancy words in the world won’t change the hard truth about you: You are a bigot.

  616. #618 windy
    January 19, 2009

    You are afraid of looking into the pit of hell of hereditary sciences and studies and logical reasoning, and afraid of even admitting to yourselves what you see, nevermind having the courage to tell it to your peers who would immediately castigate you, not with arguments, but with stigmatisation, isolation and other personal attacks.

    I don’t know if this was directed at me. But it is quite funny. I have done some work in sexual behavior of nonhuman species and even there I don’t have the luxury of assuming that measured differences in some behavioral variable neatly reflect genetic differences! It would be a lot easier if I could.

  617. #619 Colugo
    January 19, 2009

    Matt: “…the thoughtcrime hunters. Perhaps you could convince them to expand their scope a bit.”

    Get off the cross. There isn’t room for both Jesus and you up there.

  618. #620 Jadehawk
    January 19, 2009

    The UN study on Botswana found that both men and women had multiple partners. I completely missed that one! how is that a proof of anything? Europeans have multiple partners generally, too. And a particular subset of people I know is well into their 20’s and even 40’s (number of partners, not age). wtf does that have to do with anything? promiscuity is another one of those things where cultural influences can and do drown out any possible hereditary influences
    :-/

  619. #621 Jadehawk
    January 19, 2009

    oops, blockquote fail.the first sentence was the only one that was supposed to go into quotes

  620. #622 Matt
    January 19, 2009

    Well, the tribunal was merciful enough to find him not guilty of Islamophobia. Perhaps im jumping at shadows.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08101011.html

  621. #623 Colugo
    January 19, 2009

    Actually, I think the Steyn investigation was stupid and not worthy of a liberal democracy like Canada. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about your interpreting an interesting sociological question (the spread of racialist ideas in liberal rationalist circles) as an Orwellian witchhunt.

  622. #624 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    awer-

    Let me see if I can get your latest thesis straight.

    Point A) Africa has an AIDS problem because of a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels. That is: S-S Africans have uniquely high testosterone levels. This trait is hereditary. The high testosterone levels have caused or contributed to the scale of the AIDS problem. And social factors alone are insufficient to explain the situation.

    Point B) Researchers are refusing to investigate this, because it would upset their liberal sensibilities.

    So lets go through the posts where you’ve presented ‘evidence’ for these assertions:

    In relatively homogenous populations in the west (culturally, economically etc.), studies have found that higher testosterone correlates with higher sex drive, higher sexual activity, stronger sexual desire and higher promiscuity (also aggression but that is another debate). It is only logical to assume there is some societal causation. You can try to explain it away as merely coincidental if you want to.

    This is fine up until “It is only logical to assume some societal causation”. That sentences doesn’t seem to refer to anything. Societal causation for what?

    I mean, evidently we’re supposed to have been offended somehow by the first sentences, that high testosterone = higher sex drive, maybe even higher aggression. But there’s nothing in particular wrong with that – I’m not an expert, but it seems reasonable enough.

    And then presumably there a lot of societal factors that might affect testosterone levels. Who knows: Video games, diet, underwear styles. Probably dozens of genes that affect it too. That’s all pretty unoffensive.

    It is a hereditary trait.

    So here’s where you really start going off the rails, as usual.

    No doubt testosterone levels are a genetically influenced trait, in the sense that there might be genes that, all else equal, cause individuals with those genes to have somewhat higher or lower levels. But it’s also influenced even more by other factors, like diet, pre-natal environment, etc., etc.

    It’s NOT a hereditary trait like green eyes or whether you have innie or outie sex parts (to the extent that eye color and sex are even hereditary traits…)

    And we can estimate the average of this trait among varying population clusters. Among both men, and women.

    Since we have established that testosterone levels are not such an obvious hereditary trait, this part just doesn’t make any sense. Sure, we could measure testosterone levels. But we wouldn’t be measuring the presence of a “hereditary trait”. We’d just be measuring testosterone levels.

    To investigate the existence and effect of the underlying hereditary trait, you’d then have to painstakingly control for the multitude of other factors that will effect your raw testosterone measurements, trace back through family trees, etc.

    Then, even if you find one gene, and start to look at its prevalence in African populations, you still can’t draw any conclusions about its effect on AIDS, because there are probably dozens or hundreds of other genes that also effect testosterone levels one way or another.

    You change topics up ahead, so lets do the score so far:

    Point A: -10 points. The attempt was made, but utter failure to establish high testosterone levels as a hereditary trait, let alone one possessed by S-S Africans, or having any influence on the AIDS crisis. Points subtracted for an obviously infantile understanding of heredity and genetics, which casts doubt on any further conclusions.

    Point B: 0 points. No evidence presented.

    The estimated chance of HIV-infection in vaginal intercourse is often quoted as 1/1000. Now this may vary between different populations and different mutations of the virus, but there is eerie silence over the debate how so many African countries went from couple of cases of AIDS to 20-30% of the population being HIV-infected in just couple of decades.

    People having sex. It’s possible to have a lot of sex over a couple of decades. Probably a lot of iffy blood transfusions and such in there too. I think that pretty much covers it. And I doubt there’s been any “eerie silence”. People with brains larger than a peanut probably understand all of this without being told, so there’s not much need to talk about it.

    To the extent that the problem grew larger and faster in S-S Africa than in say, Seattle, there were obviously some behavioral differences in terms of how often and with how many other people everyone had sex (and just how). But that’s all pretty easily explained in the realms of the cultural and social and historical, not the genetic.

    0 points

    Based on the African AIDS crisis World Health Organization feared the same would happen in poor Asian societies where the people have no access to health care or contraceptives, or if they do using contraceptives often carries a social stigma, and where the position of women in the society is far from free and equal. The same cultural and socio-economic factors that were thought to be behind the African AIDS crisis. But no such AIDS crisis has developed in any Asian country to this day, with such high numbers, while it has happened in majority of the Sub Saharan communities.

    As has pointed out, many Asian countries do have staggering AIDS crises. Mostly not as bad as Africa, it’s true, but then, none are quite as poor either. The difference is easily explained by cultural, historical and economic factors.

    0 points

    This does ask questions. If you have answers you might want to tell us. I do have a few hypothesis, based in science and rational thought. Not nice views. But I must have missed when the world promised to be nice and biologically universal. I leave that to religions and other belief systems.
    I’m a secular human being, and to best of my ability, I try to follow the evidence.
    They may amuse you and comfort you, but your insults do not count as arguments.

    Irrelevant, mindless posturing. 0 points

    ————–

    Score so far:

    Point A: -10 points.

    Point B: 0 points.

  623. #625 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    Next post:

    If logic and empirical evidence (such as hereditary testosterone and the strong correlations) look ridiculous to you, I do NOT care. I care about the evidence.

    There are no ‘hereditary testosterone or strong correlations’. It’s becoming increasingly clear that you do not ‘care about the evidence’. You certainly haven’t presented any so far, but lets move on and see what this post has in store… (0 points)

    You cite the socio-economic factors such as lack of contraceptives and lack of access to health-care as contributing to the African crisis, and if you read my post, of course I agreed with this. BUT in many poor Asian societies these same socio-economic factors are prevalent. Therefore WHO initially feared a crisis of similar proportions could happen in Asia, but to this day it has not realised, and today experts think it never will on such scale.

    This is handwaving an awful lot away. Some Southeast Asian countries have done a LOT of public health work, condom distribution and so forth. There are also cultural factors in terms of willingness to actually use the condom, etc.

    You can’t just assert that Asian countries also have some problems with lack of condoms and access to health care, you actually have to quantify the factors in the different countries, and about a thousand others, and their relative contributions to the problem, and then show how there’s still a remainder at the bottom that we have to explain with a genetic factor. (0 points)

    As for your evidence you gave a link to photographs of Asian AIDS victims and mentioned Vietnam. Vietnam have a population of 85 million people. There are estimated to be 200,000 HIV-positive people in Vietnam. Approx one in 400 people, 0.25%. This is an epidemic, but by a factor of one thousand a lesser ecidemic than in many Sub-Saharan African countries.

    Actually, it’s about 280,000. But nevermind. See above.

    Also, infection rates in Thailand, and probably Vietnam and elsewhere in SE Asia, have declined dramatically over the last decade or two thanks to concerted public health efforts. Whether due to similar factors, or some other factor, infection rates are starting to fall off in places like Kenya and Zimbabwe. They’re on the rise in Eastern Europe. (I’m sure it’s genetic. 0 points

    You see, you didn’t offer any evidence to make me re-consider my views. This is the bottom line. You may try the social pressure trick with your empty accusations of racism, but I am beyond that.

    You’re beyond a lot of things. I suspect you’re already far beyond evidence too, but we’ll see. (Mindless posturing. 0 points)

    If you have concrete evidence and arguments, please, post them. But don’t be a juvenile. It’s pointless and achieves nothing. Only makes you look childlish in my eyes and makes me wonder how strongly deep down you yourself believe in your arguments if you prefer to substitute personal remarks for them.

    (More mindless posturing. 0 points)

    ———————————–

    Score so far:

    Point A: -10 points
    Point B: 0 points

  624. #626 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    windy, you have been a quality poster, and I don’t think the word f.. strenghtens your latest contribution.

    The word “fuck”? You don’t like the word fuck? I actually think that it DID strengthen windy’s post somewhat, not that he or she cares, or cares whether you think they’re a “quality poster”. (Mindless posturing. 0 points)

    The non-sexual transmission argument would equally (or more strongly) apply to Asians, so it won’t explain the difference. Far majority of the infections in Africa are from hetero-sexual intercourse.

    Why in the universe would it apply “equally”. That seems very unlikely. And why would it apply “more strongly”. Evidence please. I’m sure you’ve quantified all these factors.

    And of course, even if the majority of infections are from heterosexual intercourse (fucking!), that doesn’t go anywhere toward your thesis – you have to actually show that 1) the problem is because of fucking 2) the fucking that caused the problem wouldn’t have occurred without high testosterone levels 3) there are uniquely fucking high testosterone levels at all, 4) the high testosterone levels are due to a unique fucking genetic factor or factors possessed by S-S Africans. (0 points)

    Duffy antigen can be a factor, and there are others, but they either, based on current understanding, don’t go very far in explaining the scale of the epidemic.

    They don’t have to go very far. But you do have to account for ALL the factors, you can’t just dismiss some because you think they’re small. There are lots of little factors, and they add up (or, really, multiply). (0 points)

    The UN study on Botswana found that both men and women had multiple partners. What I mean with eerie silence is that, if I openly proposed in academic circles that let’s study this more in detail, that we have to do it, it’s the central question, I would be socially stigmatized.

    Socially stigmatized for studying the culture of multiple partners in Botswana? I highly doubt that.

    Socially stigmatized for leaping to wild conclusions about some kind of genetic, racial origin for that culture? Yeah. And I wouldn’t blame your colleagues for thinking you’re a fool.

    (0 points)

    How common is sexual intercourse between adult men and 10-15 year old girls in Botswana and other Sub-Saharan African countries? This is just one question among many. How common is anal heterosexual intercourse in societies that value purity and virginity of the woman? You want to stick your hands into the mud of this world, and really try to understand it? I do.

    Those might be useful questions to ask. But they don’t necessarily have anything at all to do with race or genetics, and do nothing for your thesis. (0 points)

    Ideology is no substitute for rationalism. We have to get to the bottom of the things to understand the challenges Sub-Saharan African societies face. And to plan our developmental policies accordingly and try to help to guide the communities accordingly. We can’t make Africa change. They have to do it bottom-up, but we can be of crucially assistance. And to be of assistance we need to understand the reality of the situation. And “that is not a nice view” is then not an argument.

    MORE mindless posturing. (0 points)

    It is entirely possible that we can be in 2059 where we are now, only that excessive population growth and environmental degradation have made matters worse. That is a serious reality.

    Indeed. There are serious problems in the world, that need serious solutions. One of the reasons it’s seriously important to discredit ignorant, unserious racist fucks like yourself. (0 points)

  625. #627 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    “Awer, explain to me this: why do sub-Saharan African populations generally have LOWER testosterone than white Westerners?”

    They don’t. The malnourished part of the population could have. Those suffering from infectious diseases could have. Many of the studies were done on elderly populations or other restricted samples like the Bushmen of Kalahari.

    Common view is that the testosterone levels in healthy adults are approx. 15% higher than those of “white” westerners.

    “Common view”? What is that? Show us the evidence. (0 points)

    I never said testosterone was the only factor, it is one among many. And there is complex causation between biological and cultural factors. Sometimes cultural factors can supress biological factors, like in islamist societies that have comparatively lower infection rates, because pre-marital sex and promiscuity carry such enormous social weight.

    You’ve said it’s a factor, and provided no evidence so far to back it up. So far all we’ve got is your gut feeling that the other factors couldn’t POSSIBLY be enough. (0 points)

    Polygyny is the major contributing factor to the African HIV epidemic.

    A factor probably. You’ve presented no evidence that it is THE factor. And polygyny is cultural. What’s it got to do with your thesis? (0 points)

    It would be against rationalism not to consider possible biological, hereditary traits that can contribute to the phenomenon. Especially when the correlation is strong, and logical.

    If the correlation were either strong or logical you might have a point. So far, you’ve not shown that it’s either. (0 points)

    Please, Colugo, tell us about your research, but you are not the only person who has travelled in the world, or done research in Africa.

    ‘Research in Africa’ certainly doesn’t qualify you to make judgments about biology, which you show evidence of being relatively clueless about. (Mindless posturing, 0 points)

    It is the content of your arguments I will consider not your say-so.

    Right back at you, awer. You’re not doing so well so far. In fact, your arguments consist almost entirely of your say-so. (Mindless posturing, 0 points)

    —————————-

    Score:

    Point A: still -10

    Point B: still 0

  626. #628 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    “Meanwhile, you seem to be conflating reported early cases of AIDS (“a couple”? Really?) with the actual rate of HIV infection of the time. Do not assume that every case was diagnosed back in the early 1980’s.”

    That was proverbial. We have gone from thousands of HIV-positive to thirty million hiv-positive in Sub-Saharan Africa. The general view is that up until mid-late 1970’s AIDS was rare in Africa and the world. It is estimated that in 1980 there were 100k-300k cases of HIV world wide and that is when the virus had started to spread. By mid 1990’s HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa had become catastrophic.

    The western agencies are also to blame. We should have acted firmly in the 1980’s. Your president at the time was one of the main culprits.

    Nothing to do with the thesis. (0 points)

  627. #629 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    More personal remarks, I wish you misery and failure, I doubt you are who you say you are, you are a racist. That’s staggeringly dull. I would have liked to hear concrete arguments.

    You’ve been offered a lot more than you’ve presented. Your dogmatic adherence to your own ignorant position is earning you some much deserved insults. (Mindless posturing, 0 points)

    Our brains are wired for self-justification, group-thought and social/group identification. As long as you keep arguing to justify and defend your identity, your views, your peer group and views masquerading as values, generally, everything you identify with, you cannot escape the circural thought that confirmation bias causes.

    When you substitute defending views for defending your views, and realise and analyse your own social-identification under different views and paradigms, and take a step back, to view things from a distance and realise how rationalism is in constant battle against emotional patterns that try to overtake our reasoning, only then you can attempt to be a logical social scientists, and even then you will fail, but still it’s far more rational than thinking in a loop. Neuropsychology will shed more light on this, and it will be one of the stories of this century.

    Rambling, unsupported accusations of group-think. (0 points)

    For the moment you can go on justifying the moral and nice views, without paying attention to the question, that why a random world would have brought upon such a biological evolution-stops-at-the-neck balance.

    “Evolution-stop-at-the-neck”. If anyone needed any MORE evidence that you’re utterly clueless about biology, that’d do nicely. (I’m tempted to deduct some more for that, but 0 points)

    Couple of quotes, from the most famous philosopher of the 20th century: [cut]

    The myth of hereditarily equal average intelligence and hereditarily equal average sexual drive and hereditarily equal average aggression among different population groups.

    There is no such myth, or belief. The only myths in operation here are YOUR myths that intelligence and sex drive are sufficiently strongly genetically linked that such links can have any influence above the noise of culture and environment, and that Sub-Saharan Africa represents a sufficiently distinct “population group” at all. (0 points)

    You are afraid of looking into the pit of hell of hereditary sciences and studies and logical reasoning, and afraid of even admitting to yourselves what you see, nevermind having the courage to tell it to your peers who would immediately castigate you, not with arguments, but with stigmatisation, isolation and other personal attacks.

    We’ll look anywhere the evidence takes us. But forgive us if we don’t see your hallucinations. (0 points)

    This, my friends, is not science. Nor rational. That is the mammalian brain in action.

    More or less failing like everyone, the thinking man has to attempt to raise above it. So that reason really can be free, and merciless to established paradigms that are founded on very shaky science. It is not a leap of faith to look in the direction evidence and reason are pointing, and it’s not immoral, it’s the social code in your brain telling you “Don’t look!”.

    And that is what this discussion comes down to. I wish you all luck on the journey to realising this.

    More rambling, evidence-free, accusations of group-think. (0 points)

    ——

    Total score:

    Point A: -10 points.

    Point B: 0 points.

    awer: FAIL.

  628. #630 Leigh Williams
    January 19, 2009

    And JACK LECOU rides in on his (whichever color he prefers) dashing steed and routs the forces of evil with his tremendous LANCE OF LOGIC, thus WINNING THE THREAD.

    Huzzah for Jack! Good show!

  629. #631 Leigh Williams
    January 19, 2009

    Jack also wins the heart of the Fair Maiden. Well, to be frank, I’m not a maiden, but virginity is highly overrated anyway, n’est-ce pa? On the other hand, I am VERY fair, so perhaps that’s good enough.

    I do so swoon over a man with a BIG brain.

    No disrespect to Mr. Science, peacefully sleeping a few feet away, and also possessed of an exceedingly large brain.

    But Jack, you’ve won my intellectual heart, so to speak, within the bounds of this thread. I’ll look out for more posts from you anon.

  630. #632 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    (Thank you, Leigh. And I’ll take blue. But I haven’t decided which species. Or phylum.)

  631. #633 awer
    January 19, 2009

    It is possible that I used the term misogyny wrong. What I ment was simultaneous relationships with multiple partners, by both sexes, as studied by the UN.

    As for countries outside of Africa that have high HIV rates. Haiti tops the list, with more HIV-infections than in Vietnam (nevermind as percentage of the population), but that of course, is just another coincidence. How curious that the coincidences point in the same direction. Must be another coincidence.

    jack lecou’s posts are mostly swearing, emotion, personal remarks, so not worthy of a reply even if there are couple of sound arguments somewhere in between the lines. I didn’t see them from all the anger he is expressing.

    As for the topics that are a no go area, windy, in the study of the spread of HIV in Africa. It isn’t restricted to hereditary traits. Cultural relativism is a highly dominant paradigm on this side of the pond, and also in USA I have understood. Just to take one example, and to quote a highly established figure, so to show that I am not making this up:
    “Discussion of African beliefs in witchcraft is taboo in aid agencies, as nobody wants to reinforce ill-informed stereotypes. Unfortunately, political correctness gets in the way of making policy, as conventional public health approaches may not work if people do believe that witchcraft causes illness and turn to traditional healers.” -(World Bank economist) William Easterly, The White Man’s Burden, named one of the most important books of 2006 by The Economist and Financial Times

    You won’t find a substantial research on African witchcraft from the past 40 years. On it’s prevalence and it’s social and cultural impact. You get clips like from Niger Delta where thousands of children aged 2-12 have been abandoned by their parents, hundreds have been murdered, and tens of thousands more tortured to drive away evil spirits because of the re-appearing and growing belief in witches. Especially child witches.

    You won’t either find studies how prevalent adult male young teen girl relationships are in the HIV infected area, or how common heterosexual anal sex is in societies that mystify woman’s purity and virginity. You won’t find reliable rape statistics. Or how widespread is the use of child prostitutes, we know they are there on the streets, many of them AIDS orphans. But we don’t know the scale of the problem.
    As for “multiple partners”.. the numbers are missing. How many sexual relationships has a Botswanan man/woman had by the age of 30? We don’t know.
    Go on if you are in the industry, try to seek funding and support to research these questions and more. Let’s see where your career heads then.

    Finally, Colugo, I don’t know how long you have been in the field, but you don’t find a more harneded group of “realists” than those who have spent years in field work in Africa and opened their eyes to the reality. Most keep quiet of their views in public. Many get burnout. Many change fields of profession. Everyone started as an idealist.

    The stigmatisation and professional isolation of those who think incorrectly – and thus the general silence in voicing such views, which many more people hold than you would think, will contribute to our failure to understand Africa, and the nature of the problems that keep the continent undeveloped and backwards. And the failure to understand will contribute to the failure to aid the continent concretely, something in which we have failed for decades.

    So how about, if for a change, I accuse you, and the establishment that shares your mindset, of contributing to the problem?

  632. #634 Leigh Williams
    January 19, 2009

    But Awer, don’t you see that you’re describing a completely different problem from the one we started out discussing?

    You’re describing SOCIETAL problems. Nowhere in this last post do you even begin to touch on the kinds of issues that are of genetic heredity. You’re describing the kinds of foolishness that arise from poverty, ignorance, hysteria, and an entrenched cultural bias towards superstition; in fact, just exactly the same kinds of problems that led to lynching blacks in the United States. Just exactly the same kinds of gender and power imbalances that led to widespread miscegenation in the U.S. Just the same kind of oppression of women that means we don’t have reliable rape statistics for the U.S. prior to, say, fifty years ago.

    These are cultural issues, not race or genetic issues.

    We’re in different territory and having an entirely different discussion now. I see that you might have problems with those who say, “Well, that’s a cultural issue, and we don’t want to be cultural imperialists, so we’ve just got to leave it alone.”

    NONE of us, as far as I can tell, has a problem with rejecting that limitation on scholarly research.

    Why drag race into it? If you’re stating your real problem now, what you’re faced with is cultures rooted in poverty, ignorance, and superstition. Hell, I can locate plenty of those for you right here is the U.S., peopled entirely with white folks who are just as irrational and superstitious as anybody in Africa, and old white men just as busy fucking young white girls. And yes, we struggle with cultural relativity in dealing with them, too, because they throw up their bogus religion as a shield from prying eyes.

  633. #635 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    It is possible that I used the term misogyny wrong. What I ment was simultaneous relationships with multiple partners, by both sexes, as studied by the UN.

    This is actually the first time you’ve used the word “misogyny”, which means hatred of women. The word for multiple wives is “polygyny”, and for multiple husbands, “polyandry”. “Polygamy” simply means a simultaneous plurality of wives and husbands, so that might be the word you’re looking for. (All irrelevant to the thesis though, so 0 points)

    As for countries outside of Africa that have high HIV rates. Haiti tops the list, with more HIV-infections than in Vietnam (nevermind as percentage of the population), but that of course, is just another coincidence. How curious that the coincidences point in the same direction. Must be another coincidence.

    I assume this is all supposed to be “wink wink, nudge nudge, lots of BLACK people in Haiti, eh governor?”

    Well, there’s no coincidence. For one thing, many of the long term cultural factors (attitudes about sex and marriage, etc) probably carried over from old world to new. And there’s no mystery with the social/historical factors. S-S Africa is a poor, problem-ridden place. Haiti is a poor problem-ridden place. This could be because ‘black’ people have a genetic predisposition to being poor and problem-ridden. OR it could have something to do with the fact that the people of the Black Race (the social construct) have been systematically fucked by colonial powers like the Spanish, British, French, Italian, Dutch, American, Soviet, Chinese, and god-knows-who-else for nigh four or five hundred years.

    I really fail to see how you’ve managed to isolate all the hellish and far-ranging effects of the latter to reach your conclusion that the former is the only possibility (nevermind it’s unlikeliness biologically). (0 points)

    jack lecou’s posts are mostly swearing, emotion, personal remarks, so not worthy of a reply even if there are couple of sound arguments somewhere in between the lines. I didn’t see them from all the anger he is expressing.

    They’re actually entirely anger free, though some swearing I’ll cop to. And the arguments are all sound.

    Not that I’m surprised to see an ad hominem fallacy from you. Might even be your soundest argument yet… (0 points)

    As for the topics that are a no go area, windy, in the study of the spread of HIV in Africa. It isn’t restricted to hereditary traits. Cultural relativism is a highly dominant paradigm on this side of the pond, and also in USA I have understood. Just to take one example, and to quote a highly established figure, so to show that I am not making this up:
    “Discussion of African beliefs in witchcraft is taboo in aid agencies, as nobody wants to reinforce ill-informed stereotypes. Unfortunately, political correctness gets in the way of making policy, as conventional public health approaches may not work if people do believe that witchcraft causes illness and turn to traditional healers.” -(World Bank economist) William Easterly, The White Man’s Burden, named one of the most important books of 2006 by The Economist and Financial Times

    With all due respect for Easterly (and he ain’t exactly infallible), that’s a pretty sweeping generalization. In many situations it’s probably not important. In others, the bureacracies of some aid agencies might be being a little too polite. Not evidence of cultural relatism, and not evidence at all for your thesis that black people are sexed up and stupid. (0 points)

    You won’t find a substantial research on African witchcraft from the past 40 years. On it’s prevalence and it’s social and cultural impact. You get clips like from Niger Delta where thousands of children aged 2-12 have been abandoned by their parents, hundreds have been murdered, and tens of thousands more tortured to drive away evil spirits because of the re-appearing and growing belief in witches. Especially child witches.

    Again, if true, and to the extent that witchcraft is a problem, the lack of research is a problem. (I really doubt there’s as little as you say.) But it’s not evidence of anything but a likely shortage of research funds. (0 points)

    You won’t either find studies how prevalent adult male young teen girl relationships are in the HIV infected area, or how common heterosexual anal sex is in societies that mystify woman’s purity and virginity. You won’t find reliable rape statistics. Or how widespread is the use of child prostitutes, we know they are there on the streets, many of them AIDS orphans. But we don’t know the scale of the problem.
    As for “multiple partners”.. the numbers are missing. How many sexual relationships has a Botswanan man/woman had by the age of 30? We don’t know.
    Go on if you are in the industry, try to seek funding and support to research these questions and more. Let’s see where your career heads then.

    Now this is just lies. These kind of sexual behavior studies are common even in places that AREN’T facing a sexually transmitted disease pandemic. Now, I could definitely imagine that they are very hard to carry out in war, poverty and disease torn parts of Africa, and particularly difficult in the face of various taboos and cultural sensitivities. So the data might be in short supply, but that’s par for the course. Not evidence of more liberal group-think. (0 points)

    Finally, Colugo, I don’t know how long you have been in the field, but you don’t find a more harneded group of “realists” than those who have spent years in field work in Africa and opened their eyes to the reality. Most keep quiet of their views in public. Many get burnout. Many change fields of profession. Everyone started as an idealist.

    Total fail. Field workers getting burnt out isn’t any kind of evidence for a genetic link to testosterone or IQ. (0 points)

    The stigmatisation and professional isolation of those who think incorrectly – and thus the general silence in voicing such views, which many more people hold than you would think, will contribute to our failure to understand Africa, and the nature of the problems that keep the continent undeveloped and backwards. And the failure to understand will contribute to the failure to aid the continent concretely, something in which we have failed for decades.

    The stigmatization of ignorant assholes who are too lazy to face the real problems, and instead want to use race as a scapegoat, is entirely justified. (0 points)

    So how about, if for a change, I accuse you, and the establishment that shares your mindset, of contributing to the problem?

    Accuse away. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re an ignorant fool. (0 points)

  634. #636 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    On a general note, although I sometimes doubt awer’s credentials, there’s an element of frustration and impatience that certainly rings true of a burnt out field worker.

    Part of this is lost perspective:

    It’s only been fifty years since some countries in S-S Africa gained independence. Much less for some – Zimbabwe, for example, didn’t hold its first election until 1979 or 1980, after the ZANU and ZAPU fought a long civil war with the white Rhodesian government. And, again taking Zimbabwe as an example, the political legacy of colonialism is obviously still alive and kicking.

    It’s been less than 20 years since the Soviets, Americans and Chinese stopped meddling in (and screwing up) African politics. If they have stopped. And some misguided economic imperialism is ongoing.

    And now there’s an AIDS pandemic, and the persistent legacy of decades of corruption, looting, war and economic stagnation to deal with.

    The point is, these are all really big problems, and 50 years – really more like 10 or 20, if that – is really a very short time scale, historically speaking. It’s disappointing that Zimbabwe or Botswana don’t look like Sweden, or even Taiwan or Argentina yet. But really not that surprising.

    It certainly shouldn’t be enough to make us start grasping at weird pseudo-scientific racism straws.

  635. #637 Feynmaniac
    January 19, 2009

    awer,

    The estimated chance of HIV-infection in vaginal intercourse is often quoted as 1/1000. Now this may vary between different populations and different mutations of the virus, but there is eerie silence over the debate how so many African countries went from couple of cases of AIDS to 20-30% of the population being HIV-infected in just couple of decades.

    Now, from my research the chances of getting AIDS through unprotected vaginal intercourse with HIV positive person is 1 in 500. So, let p be the chance of NOT getting AIDS through such an action. So p= 1- 1/500 = 0.995.

    Now, let’s say you have sex with such a person 500 times. Then,

    Probability of NOT getting AIDS = (0.995) 500 =
    0.0816 = 8.16%

    => Probability of getting AIDS = 91.84%

    So, having sex with a person with AIDS once then chances of getting it are low. However, if you repeatedly do so the odds become much higher.

    Alright now if n=138 then the chances become about 1/2. 138 is very close to the average number of times an adult has sex a year (a little over 2.5 times a week). Now, at first AIDS spread quickly due to the fact people didn’t know it existed. Let’s estimate that AIDS at first had a doubling period to be about 1 year. Now after two decades of spreading then,

    # of people with AIDS = 2 20 = about 1 million

    So, since AIDS started ~ 1960 then this would be the estimate for the numbers in about ~1980. Now the above was a VAST oversimplification of the spread. It neglects the fact that the diseases also spreads through anal intercourse, sharing of needles, protected vaginal intercourse, etc. It’s purpose it more to show how a disease can spread quickly, even if there is a low probability of transmission.

  636. #638 Feynmaniac
    January 19, 2009

    After I did these calculations I found this: http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/lecture/Sub-SaharanAfrica6.gif .

    I can’t tell exactly when the 1 million mark was reached, but it seems to have occurred between 1983 and 1984. Also, the doubling period seems closer to about 3 years. So, my estimates where off a little. But the exponential growth is quite evident in the beginning of the graph.

    What’s also evident is how in the mid 90’s it begins to decelerate. This would be when knowledge of the epidemic grew and measures were taken to slow it down began taken into effect.

    So, why did sub-Saharan Africa have the worst experience with AIDS? Well, that’s where it originated and was able to spread in it’s first few years unbeknownst to anyone. Once knowledge of its existence became known then other regions had lower numbers and better tools equipped to fight it.
    _ _ _

    Moral of story: People suck at probability. For whatever reason our minds have a very poor intuition when dealing with it. That is why Las Vegas isn’t just a desert town and why creationist babble on about the low probability of evolution occurring. Surprise, surprise, racists seem to especially suck at it as well.

  637. #639 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    Just to elaborate on my previous post, the problems Sub-Saharan Africa faces and has faced–debt, disease, famine, war, poverty, foreign interference, corrupt generals and politicians taking advantage of angst and hatred, etc., etc.–are, in isolation, not at all unique to Africa or Africans.

    The thing is, they usually come just one or two at a time. I think Sub-Saharan Africa is unenviably unique in the modern world as being at the confluence of a sort of perfect hell storm of ALL OF THEM. And of course, the more they stack up, the more self-reinforcing they tend to be.

    So it’s a huge task to fight them all and roll them back. And racism won’t help.

  638. #640 Leigh Williams
    January 19, 2009

    Hell’s jingle bells, let’s stick a fork in ‘em (they’re done) and call it a night.

    Or at least I will. I must say, this was a higher class of trolls than we had any right to expect, and while they were delicious, I think we’ve sucked all the juice out of them. Also I’m very tired.

    Good night all. Or good day, as the case may be.

  639. #641 awer
    January 19, 2009

    In a foreign language and with a mild dyslexia I do mix terms. But let not that distract from the issue. Taboo is the right word for not doing these studies we should have.

    As for mentioning cultural factors, you get accused of not providing evidence for the hereditary factors. When you provide evidence for hereditary factors you get accused of overlooking cultural factors.

    It just had to be Haiti, a country outside of Sub-Saharan Africa that that develops the worst HIV epidemic. Not any other of the hundred poor communities in Asia, South America or Polynesia. Haiti. It’s not a wink wink, everyone understands the connotation.

    And the other countries outside of Sub-Saharan Africa with high infection rates? Guyana, Surinam, Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize.

    Your 10-20 years of African independence is complete falsehood. An absolute sign of ignorance. The most important book written on Africa is Meredith’s. I suggest you read it. You have the puzzle pieces, you have some suspicions that won’t voice themselves, Meredith shows you the picture. It’s a monumental work.

    Let’s sum this up. The hereditary hypothesis is supported by: twin studies, adoption studies, IQ-tests (e.g. of upper middle-class blacks in USA who score below lowest class chinese and caucasians), and reaction speed tests, the low academic achievement of blacks in European societies with not one exception, the general lack of organisation, planning and forward thinking inside Africa societies that every field worker that keeps his eyes open has witnessed. The thousands year long history of Sub-Saharan Africa that didn’t develop higher civilization (unlike people on every other continent) and suffered from general stagnation. Not one of the thousands of sub cultures and communities.
    The Indians of Mauritius as an African exception. The Indians in Kenya as an African exception. The Indians in South Africa as an African exception. The Indians and Chinese in Uganda as an African exception before Idi Amin drove them away.
    The complete failure of the 50 years of African Indepence to produce stable, highly organised nations with skilled workers. Not one nation failing compared to the expectations, not two, or ten but everyone.
    The success of the historical waves of Indian immigrants in western societies despite their dark skin colour, the presumed environmental explanation for discrimination.

    The proven hereditary nature of intellectual potential (50-80% in twin studies done in western countries). The strong correlation between g, IQ, reaction speed and academic achievement and organisational ability.

    The studied correlation between testosterone levels, sex drive, promiscuity and aggression. The studied differences in testosterone levels between healthy adult populations.

    HIV as pandemic among distinguishable population clusters whether in Africa or outside of Africa.

    The strong statistical correlation in homogenous “white” populations between high testosterone, low IQ, anti-social behaviour and criminal tendency, also when adjusted for socio-economic factors.
    In common language, the rich white person with low iq and high testosterone is statistically more likely to be violent than the high iq, lower testosterone white of similar socio-economic standing.

    The human being is a biological animal, shaped by evolutionary forces. Driven by brain chemistry. There are vast differences between different population clusters in several hereditary traits, and these will affect the social animal and its behaviour and potential.

    Yet, we should never forget, that NEVER allow these to shape our morals, never allow them to make us view others as of lesser value as human being. For me personally the realisation has been even more reason to support stronger aid for Africa.
    This is all about understanding the problems and requirements for a bottom-up societal change in Africa. Whether it is doctors from Cuba or engineers from India or anti-AIDS campaigns that challenge the taboos. Or paying families to keep their daughters in school. It is a complex mixture of several different factors cultural, socio-economic, nutrional and hereditary. And we need to stop approaching it ideologically and allow free academic discussion of the topics to improve our policies.

    Thank you everyone for the discussion. That is it for me.

    Cheers

  640. #642 John Morales
    January 19, 2009

    Jack, I’ll second Leigh. You’ve done the heavy lifting here, and done it well.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments.

  641. #643 John Morales
    January 19, 2009

    Awer:

    It just had to be Haiti, a country outside of Sub-Saharan Africa that that develops the worst HIV epidemic. Not any other of the hundred poor communities in Asia, South America or Polynesia. Haiti. It’s not a wink wink, everyone understands the connotation.

    Not according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS: Haiti – 2.2%; Bahamas – 3%.

    Is the UN’s data wrong?

  642. #644 Muzz
    January 19, 2009

    Too late but, it is interesting how the rubric of academic freedom is brought up. At least allow for the possibility of race, they say, if only for a truly open exploration of ideas. From memory that’s basically how we got here, as far as race theory goes; by ignoring prevalent dogma and openly exploring ideas and looking at the data.
    But I suppose awer would dispute that.

  643. #645 Nerd of Redhead
    January 19, 2009

    Muzz, then make a good definition of what is meant by race that can stand up to scrutiny. So far, there is not a definition that can do that. Once scrutinized they become meaningless. You don’t you take a crack at it instead of complaining about it. Maybe you will understand the futility.

  644. #646 SC, OM
    January 19, 2009

    It’s been less than 20 years since the Soviets, Americans and Chinese stopped meddling in (and screwing up) African politics. If they have stopped.

    Far from it. And for Haiti, well, see the link above. (I agree with the others, by the way, jack – nice posts.)

    You won’t find a substantial research on African witchcraft from the past 40 years. On it’s prevalence and it’s social and cultural impact.

    Aside from being, as jack lecou has pointed out repeatedly, totally irrelevant to your racist “argument,” this is utter and complete bullshit, as even the most cursory book or article search will tell you. And probably no one on earth knows more about AIDS in Haiti than Paul Farmer, whose landmark Aids and Accusation dealt explicitly with superstitious beliefs in Haiti (it also dealt with the superstitious racist beliefs that guided US policy toward Haiti in the context of the emerging epidemic, so idiots probably wouldn’t like it). (As an aside – I can’t recommend this and Farmer’s subsequent books more highly.)

    I know social scientists who have spent years or decades studying the spread of AIDS in Africa (and elsewhere). But of course they’ve done so from within a global, historical contextual understanding (anathema to racists). If there’s an area of study I think may be shied away from, it’s not the role of local cultural features but the role of the Catholic and Protestant (and other) churches in the spread of AIDS, which goes along with the continuing focus on “faith-based” initiatives and organizations. But this is just an impression, and of no great importance here.

    By the way, in case anyone’s interested, here are some people in Boston who do great work on AIDS around the world:

    http://www.pih.org/home.html

    http://www.brighamandwomens.org/socialmedicine/

    http://ghsm.hms.harvard.edu/

  645. #647 clinteas
    January 19, 2009

    Feyny @ 638,

    So, why did sub-Saharan Africa have the worst experience with AIDS?

    Catholic church anyone??
    Dont worry about race issues here,its the”condoms are evil” shit from the CC that have sustained and furthered the epidemic !
    The South African health minister is a wooist,Bishop Tutu is not much less of a wooist,and the rest of sub-saharan Africa is even worse!
    Race,never mind,its praise the lord and dont use condoms !

  646. #648 Muzz
    January 19, 2009

    Nerd, you kinda really missed what I was saying there.
    Academic freedom/openness/ whatever is what caused the collapse of race theory (or rather an attendance to facts is what brought its undoing). Now awer is suggesting it’s closed minded and dogmatic not to keep it around as an option, despite it seemingly being irrelevant. But I doubt that’s how he(?) would see it.

  647. #649 Nerd of Redhead
    January 19, 2009

    Muzz, sorry, my precoffee mistake. Awer just isn’t getting anything that doesn’t fit his preconceived notions, which he can’t justify. I’ve been trailing and mocking the Observer and ignoring Awer. Have at him. I’ll watch your back.

  648. #650 SC, OM
    January 19, 2009
  649. #651 Muzz
    January 19, 2009

    Heh, no sweat Nerd. Cheers. It’s probably better I keep quiet and watch the pros for the most part though ;)

  650. #652 Colugo
    January 19, 2009

    Awer, you say that there are other fieldworkers who share your views about genes, race, and behavior, especially those who have spent a lot of time in Africa. Are these views not uncommon in the developmental community (even if in the minority and self-censored)? I’m trained as an anthropologist in African Studies and I have never had an anthropologist or other African studies person tell me such things, no matter how much time they had spent in Africa. (Of course, some of these colleagues are themselves of African ancestry, so perhaps they are biased. That’s sarcasm.)

    You’re not entirely off-base about cultural relativism. But that has nothing to do with your genes-testosterone-promiscuity-HIV model and your larger Rushtonian model (Rushton is the major influence, right? Or is it Lynn, or Nyborg…)

    By the way, Europeans are fully capable of having highly prevalent and massively destructive beliefs and practices concerning witchcraft. It’s called cultural evolution. Cultures change. Human beings are capable of a wide range of behaviors under different ecological and cultural contexts.

    Merely being politically incorrect does not make you a brave truth seeker if you’re wrong. What I think may have happened: you came to Africa as an idealist, saw self-destructive social behaviors (promiscuity, child exploitation, superstition etc.) that flew in the face of political correctness, began to doubt a lot of other liberal dogma, and in your naivete latched onto a simplistic theory that appeared to explain these unpleasant facts. Am I close?

  651. #653 Reader5000
    January 19, 2009

    Jack, nicely argued. Patience is indeed a virtue.

    ——-
    … and as I shout at the retreating “Scandinavian”…

    Awer said:

    Regarding Haiti… “It’s not a wink wink, everyone understands the connotation.”

    Why don’t you spell it out for us then.

    “When you provide evidence for hereditary factors you get accused of overlooking cultural factors.”
    “The hereditary hypothesis is supported by…”

    When have you provided evidence? One link to a Wikipedia article about the Minnesota transracial adoption study. I’m not even an expert and I found half a dozen problems with the conclusion you’re leaping to, already noted, yet still ignored.

    Provide some scientific sources, not just journalistic ones. You are making an extraordinary claim on a science blog, so you have to start citing the peer-reviewed literature before digging yourself deeper.

    Where are *you* getting this information? What researchers and journals make this genetic claim? Which scientists are cited by the historian/journalist you keep naming? Is Meredith even making a biological claim?

    And don’t try claiming that there’s a conspiracy against the truth, because then you’ll have to prove that as well.

    Where are your citations? You don’t even name that professor who hitch-hiked across Africa. How do I know you aren’t either making him up or citing a man full of mere anecdotes?

    Finally, in #641 you identify a slew of problems which you allege are based in biology, and then recommend fixing them with changes in culture and society. But if the problems are genetic, and the social approaches of the past have failed because of the genetic problems, what makes you think that such approaches would work now? Why aren’t you advocating genetic engineering instead?

    “Cultural relativism is a highly dominant paradigm on this side of the pond, and also in USA I have understood.”

    Actually, your evidence-free claims would have succeeded more in a society where all claims are considered equal regardless of the facts. But as you have seen, we don’t think that way. We — and I want to especially recognize Jack, here — are not letting you get away with your attempts to mask opinion as fact.

    How is this for relativism?: Awer, your ideas are inferior. Your adopted ideology of race pseudoscience is inferior to our scientific worldview (which also happens to nicely dovetail with the multiculture). That is why we keep defeating you. You might argue that it’s because you have inferior genetics, but I would doubt that.

  652. #654 The Observer
    January 19, 2009

    #593

    I think Indian Removal was a great policy. It allowed my ancestors to settle on land which had previously been occupied by the Creek Indians. I still own some of that land today. As a child, one of my favorite hobbies was collecting Indian artifacts like arrowheads, scrapers, and pottery.

  653. #655 PZ Myers
    January 19, 2009

    Man, it’s getting a little tiresome having to clean up after you Stormfront bigots. Go away, Observer. You’re about to be banned, if you keep this up.

  654. #656 The Observer
    January 19, 2009

    #595

    1.) You have no serious objection to racial consciousness, racial distinctions, race advocacy, racial pride – negroes engage in all of the above, in public with great fanfare, and you applaud them for it. The same is true of Jews, Hispanics, Asians, homosexuals and other minorities. As I said above, it is only when the white majority engages in these things that you complain. Simply put, you are anti-white.

    2.) Liberals insist that race is nothing but a “social construct,” but immediately relapse into making racial distinctions in everyday life that corresponds to those of traditional physical anthropology.

    3.) Your cherished belief that racism is evil amounts to nothing more than an opinion.

    4.) Your points are trivial. The ability of liberals to make racial distinctions undermines their claim that racial categories are too ambiguous and thus purely social conventions.

  655. #657 The Observer
    January 19, 2009

    PC,

    I’m not from Stormfront. I come here to read Gene Expression.

  656. #658 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 19, 2009

    David M:

    Which brings me back to my point. Yes, lots and lots and lots of genetic traits have a geographical distribution that is neither random nor uniform — but no two of them have the same geographical distribution. For even fuzzy races to exist, it would be necessary for a majority or at least plurality of traits to have at least roughly congruent distributions — but that’s not what we find!

    Just out of curiosity, do you have an opinion on using the word ‘race’ in nonhuman species in cases where such trait distributions exist?

    I wouldn’t have much against it, though in such cases the differences are usually so great that people say “subspecies”.

    Of course, in German there aren’t separate words for “race” and “breed”.

    (In how many cases have we really looked at the majority of traits in other species before dividing them up in groups, though?)

    Very, very few. Even species usually get described based on “can I tell them apart”; the codes of nomenclature don’t define “species”.

    When you analyse the state of media, political discussion, educational achievements, literature achievements and so on between India and Africa over the past 50 years, the picture starts getting clearer. The difference is so enormous.

    Literature? Can you possibly be serious?

    Oh, by “literature” you mean it’s actually written down, right? In that case, duh. The higher castes have been literate in India for 2500 years. In subsaharan Africa? not so much.

    What comes to twin studies, adoption studies, IQ-testing, reflection speed testing (which correlates strongly with g)

    Does g even exist? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the impression that the guy who invented the IQ just assumed intelligence had to be composed of the factors that seemed logical to him and never tested this assumption. (The closer you get to humans, the worse the science gets, says the proverb.)

    Ashkenazi jews have won about 30% of the Nobel prizes in Physics and Chemistry. Just a coincidence that in IQ-tests they score on average ~115. Must eat a lot of vitamins.

    Oh, of course it’s not a coincidence. But is it genetic, or is the emphasis on learning cultural?

    It’s about [?] finding concrete solutions to one of Africa’s most crucial and central problems, the lack of intellectually skilled labour. The key ingredient in successful nation building. Something in which Africa have universally failed for their 50 years of Independence.

    Because nobody invested in education. What good can come out of a place with hundreds of millions of illiterates?

    Hey Awer, im just a schmuck who assumed he knew what the word reified meant, so I deserve a bit of scorn. But you are a thoughtful individual who ought not be described as a ‘tolerant racist’ or ‘out to fucking lunch’, as others on this site have done. On a blog supposedly inspired by rational thought, quite fucking shameful.

    awer shure is thoughtful, but he’s data-poor, and not thoughtful enough to recognize unspoken assumptions when he sees them or to notice alternative explanations that are more parsimonious than those offered by his sources.

    Respect has to be earned?

    You know Jadehawk, Ive read your repsonses, along with Maranovic(sp?)

    As I told you before, Matt: if you can’t read* my surname, copy & paste it like everyone else does. :-)

    * I’ll blame that on various education systems and the accumulated insanity of the English orthography, rather than on stupidity on your part. awer will blame it on inherited stupidity on your part, though.

    Do you acknowledge that the United States was founded by men whom you would call “racists”?

    Wow! Ladies and Gentlemen, the stupidest argument an American can make.

    Human history is a chronicle of violent tribalism. I don’t see in-group altruism as evidence of any universal moral principle of non-discrimination.

    What does that even mean, “evidence of a moral principle”??? Methinks you’re confusing “is” and “ought”.

    If your values don’t come from natural science, where do they come from?

    Brownian didn’t respond, so let me try. My values come from my own self-interest, via two ways:
    — Innate empathy. “If I do good, I feel good. If I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” (Abraham Lincoln)
    — Rational thinking about my long-term self-interest. For example, I’d like to be treated as if my life were a worth in itself. How do I most easily get people to do that? By convincing them that everyone’s life, theirs included, is a worth in itself. And so on.

    I get the impression you’ve never thought about this kind of issue. In reality it’s so easy?

    Vietnam have a population of 85 million people. There are estimated to be 200,000 HIV-positive people in Vietnam. Approx one in 400 people, 0.25%. This is an epidemic, but by a factor of one thousand a lesser ecidemic than in many Sub-Saharan African countries.

    One thousand? That would mean that there are countries where 250 % of the population, or four in one people, are infected?

    How common is sexual intercourse between adult men and 10-15 year old girls in Botswana and other Sub-Saharan African countries?

    In some places, people believe that sex with a virgin magically cures AIDS? imagine the consequences.

    Common view is that the testosterone levels in healthy adults are approx. 15% higher than those of “white” westerners.

    Then why aren’t more of them bald?

    Polygyny is the major contributing factor to the African HIV epidemic.

    It would be against rationalism not to consider possible biological, hereditary traits that can contribute to the phenomenon. Especially when the correlation is strong, and logical.

    Is there any connection between these two paragraphs?

  657. #659 Nerd of Redhead
    January 19, 2009

    The Observer is back trying to score some points. The vapidity of his arguments negates that. Summation to date: I have nothing, I know nothing, and I wish to show that nothing to you’ll.

  658. #660 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 19, 2009

    I think Indian Removal was a great policy. It allowed my ancestors to settle on land which had previously been occupied by the Creek Indians. I still own some of that land today.

    Hey, look, a self-confessed asshole!

  659. #661 PZ Myers
    January 19, 2009

    I’m not from Stormfront. I come here to read Gene Expression.

    This is not gnxp. I encourage you to go read that site, then, and take your racist, ignorant ass out of here.

  660. #662 The Observer
    January 19, 2009

    #658

    1.) Re: Founders. In other words, I made an unimpeachable point.

    2.)I see no evidence of universal objective moral principles comparable to natural laws.

    3.) Abraham Lincoln was a racist who spent years plotting to deport negroes to Africa and Latin American.

    4.) White Americans enjoyed full political, civil, and social rights for centuries without extending them to negroes. The existence of rights, which are mere social conventions, does not imply their universality.

  661. #663 Nerd of Redhead
    January 19, 2009

    The pointless Observer is still trying. Still nothing. Yawn, he is such a bore.

  662. #664 Matt Heath
    January 19, 2009

    “The existence of rights, which are mere social conventions, does not imply their universality.”
    Yes, but seeking not to extend them does make one an arsehole (and give or take allowances for the background attitudes of their times this extends to your founders and respected ex-presidents as well)

  663. #665 PZ Myers
    January 19, 2009

    I think MLK day is the perfect opportunity to clean house. Goodbye, Observer.

    I recommend any other racist vermin might want to lie low today, because my tolerance for you is at a very low point.

  664. #666 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 19, 2009

    And now to our two nazis.

    I would like to post the Email which PZ censored (to hide his own ignorance) in its entirety, for the sake of objectivity in this discussion.
    [?]
    I have no doubt he will remove this post to cover his own ass and ban me from posting here. Hopefully some people will see what he’s doing and realize that this guy is not worth anymore time.

    I don’t think you’re going to be banned. What for? All you’ve done is show us your ignorance (as I’ll explain below) and throw a few pathetic insults around; none of this is forbidden.

    “Dear Dr. Myers,
    Thank you for creating a unique reason for banning me, “vile” seems to be a reason that would usually be associated with morality or violating a religious taboo, rather than a morally neutral reason.

    No reason for banning is morally neutral. Annoying people — trolling, slagging, insipidity, egnorance (correct spelling; google for it), spamming — is evil?

    Vileness as a bannable offense isn’t new, in case you really care about legalistic details. Check out what philos was banned for.

    Of course, I do take issue with being called a “hate monger” as I never posted anything that could be construed a statement of blind hatred,

    Never mind ignorant hatred, eh?

    nor did I ever, or have I ever, encouraged violent action be taken against individuals or groups based on their race or ethnic origins, so being defined as a “hate monger” is inaccurate. I am a member of Stormfront, that is true,

    You’ve just contradicted yourself.

    but if being a member of Stormfront is a bannable offense then shouldn’t being a member of any racial or ethnocentric organization also be a bannable offense?

    The problem with being a member of Stormfront is not that Stormfront represents the alleged interests of a self-defined group; as you have correctly noticed, several harmless organizations do that, too. The problem is that being a member of Stormfront means to be a neonazi — it means to cheer at industrial-scale mass murder. In other words, you’re an incredible asshole and proud of it.

    Everything that I posted on your site is backed up by scientific evidence, and on many occasions I went so far as to cite the source for my information to the best of my ability.

    LOL. Your so-called sources got shredded because they weren’t scientific.

    Still, I have an extensive and comprehensive understanding of evolutionary theory and included in my college course work “Human Evolution and Anthropology” a 4 hour course which included a hands on lab where we studied the bones of modern humans, earlier hominids and even had an introduction to forensics where we learned to identify the race and sex of the “victim” by examining the bones. A man’s education is not complete until he is dead, but as a member of the lay public I believe that I have a better understanding of human evolution than most, including your posters.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Priceless! Comes into a ScienceBlog and believes he’s talking to people who comment on YouTube. ROTFLMAO!

    Just one thing: a friend of mine had such a course that taught the differences between male and female skeletons (race not being an issue in Austria due to lack of diversity there). Well, the textbook illustrations show the skeletons of Superman and Wonder Woman. Practically nobody really looks like that. Most people are somewhere in the middle, often so literally that even experienced experts have trouble telling a skeleton’s sex.

    You’re a member of the Dawkins Network, and in the spirit of Richard Dawkins I took the opportunity to bash Judaism, as he has encouraged the practice of making all religions an open target.

    Says one who is too stupid to know that religions aren’t genetically determined. Right on, Mr Buford.

    I will also bash the religions of Marxism and Freudian-ism, and the various political ideologies which were founded in these schools of thought including but not limited to political correctness which was founded by the Frankfort School, a Marxist think tank, which sought to translate the works of Marx into cultural terms. What? Are secular religions beyond rebuke?

    Not at all. Have a look at one of our libertarian-bashing threads. Besides, political correctness — the idea that only members of a group can make true statements about that group — is a right-wing concept.

    Basically, by banning me, you have shown conclusively that the Dawkinsites are not about Science, but hypocritical secular religionists who are merely fighting to replace one religion with another. You banned me because you knew what I was saying was the truth and is logical in the context of evolutionary theory, otherwise you would have simply pointed out the flaws in my data or my logic, but you could not do this because you know full well that there were no flaws in my data or my logic, and that by trying to refute me you would have to lie or use false logic in regards to the evolutionary theory. I would have either exposed your lies or the flaws in your logic and made you look like a liar or a fool. You and your lackeys could not compete in a factual debate based on logic, reason and knowledge of biology and the Theory of Evolution, so you took the coward’s way out and excommunicated me from the fold. Ha! Charlatan, you have handed me a victory by default and exposed the weakness of your idiotic little movement.

    Creationist logic from A to Z: the Divine Truth is so obvious that everyone really believes in it, only some people pretend not to followed by I actually know anything about the topics I’m talking about or rather everyone is just as ignorant as I. So predictable. So boring. So stupid?

    Why do people laugh at creationists racists?

    Only creationists racists don’t understand why!

    It is your blog, and you certainly have the right to ban whomever you choose, and I shall respect your ban,

    Oyyyy. How utterly generous megalomaniac of you.

    but I intend to post a link to your site on Stormfront, which gets 10s of thousands of hits a day and has 100s of thousands of members,

    ?give or take a few zeroes?

    so you will get to hear from an ever increasing number of racial realists. I shall not stop only at your site, but will also have my people inflitrate [sic] the entire Dawkins Network with realism about race. Maybe, we will be able to open the minds of a few of your co-religionists or maybe we will make the Dawkins movement look like a bunch of Nazis, either way. You lose.

    And what did we get? Three little racistlets, one of them even left-wing. So cute. Even the Observer barely qualifies as an Internet Tough Guy!

    Sincerely,
    hahajohnnyb”

    “Sincerely”? How odd. Usually, the threats PZ gets end with “Kind regards”. Is that a difference between racists and creationists?

    —————

    The Internet: where even the nazis are laughable losers.

  665. #667 Feynmaniac
    January 19, 2009

    Looks like the dungeon’s white supremacist prison gang is gonna get a boost in membership.

  666. #668 Blake Stacey
    January 19, 2009

    Is there an equivalent to the TalkOrigins Index of Creationist Claims for pseudoscientific racist fuckwittery?

  667. #669 Nerd of Redhead
    January 19, 2009

    PZ, if you delete Obeserver’s comments, please delete my mocks of him. They won’t make any sense out of context.
    NoR

  668. #670 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 19, 2009

    The asshole farted;

    The existence of rights, which are mere social conventions, does not imply their universality

    Which is why there are people who insist that rights are not given, they are taken. And if those people have to knock the asshole off of his low perch, so much the better.

    By the way, I am not anti white. I am anti white supremest.

  669. #671 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 19, 2009

    Lest anyone think that, because Observer is banned, he isn’t wrong, too:

    1.) Re: Founders. In other words, I made an unimpeachable point.

    You made no point whatsoever, moron. The Founders aren’t gods. They weren’t infallible. We don’t have to imitate them; in fact, occasionally we even shouldn’t.

    2.)I see no evidence of universal objective moral principles comparable to natural laws.

    Of course not. You’ve utterly missed the point, and my explanation near the bottom of the long comment that is currently number 658.

    3.) Abraham Lincoln was a racist who spent years plotting to deport negroes to Africa and Latin American.

    Yes. Too bad for him. Goes to show he wasn’t divine either.

    4.) White Americans enjoyed full political, civil, and social rights for centuries without extending them to negroes. The existence of rights, which are mere social conventions, does not imply their universality.

    Trying to derive an ought from an is is the pinnacle of stupidity.

  670. #672 Blake Stacey
    January 19, 2009

    The Founders aren’t gods. They weren’t infallible. We don’t have to imitate them; in fact, occasionally we even shouldn’t.

    Take, for example, Benjamin Franklin. Electrocuting turkeys in order to impress French women? Absolutely scandalous!!

  671. #673 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 19, 2009

    Ha! One of the mighty whitey rangers made a comment about MLK’s adulteries in the MLK thread. Can that jackass come here and tell how Franklin was an horny old goat?

  672. #674 SC, OM
    January 19, 2009

    Re: Founders. In other words, I made an unimpeachable point.

    About as unimpeachable as Rod Blagojevich.

  673. #675 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    In a foreign language and with a mild dyslexia I do mix terms. But let not that distract from the issue. Taboo is the right word for not doing these studies we should have.

    You haven’t even remotely started to establish that there are studies we should be doing that aren’t being done, let alone that there’s taboo involved. (0 points)

    As for mentioning cultural factors, you get accused of not providing evidence for the hereditary factors. When you provide evidence for hereditary factors you get accused of overlooking cultural factors.

    That’s because you have to do both at the same time. You have to show not only that some kind of relevant genetic variation exists but ALSO how the obviously hugely powerful cultural factors alone are not more than sufficient to overwhelm the effect of any small genetic variation.

    Kinda like how you don’t get to blame your bad bowling game on an uneven gravitational field caused by wobbles of the moon – it’s not that the wobbles don’t exist, it’s just that they’re tiny, and basically inconsequential relative to the other factors, which are orders of magnitude stronger. (0 points)

    It just had to be Haiti, a country outside of Sub-Saharan Africa that that develops the worst HIV epidemic. Not any other of the hundred poor communities in Asia, South America or Polynesia. Haiti. It’s not a wink wink, everyone understands the connotation.

    Again, this is evidence of nothing. Not everyone understands the “connotation”. Certainly not biologists and AIDS experts.

    First of all, Haiti’s AIDS rate is high, but still an order of magnitude below the worst rates in Southern Africa. Second, it’s pretty easy to see how Haiti would share a lot of CULTURAL similarities with some African countries, which might predispose both to similar modes and high rates of transmission. It’s also easy to see that Haiti, like parts of Africa, shares the unhappy distinction of being one of very poorest countries in the world, and has also had a good deal of violent political upheaval recently. Both are probably substantial risk factors (and both are colonial/cold war legacies, in different ways, lest you seek to blame this on testosterone or something again).

    Finally, this still isn’t enough to rule out a substantial helping of mere coincidence. There aren’t actually THAT many countries in the world. (0 points)

    And the other countries outside of Sub-Saharan Africa with high infection rates? Guyana, Surinam, Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize.

    How about Ukraine and Thailand, which both beat out Jamaica. And Russia is gaining. How’s that fit into your ‘theory’? (0 points)

    Your 10-20 years of African independence is complete falsehood. An absolute sign of ignorance. The most important book written on Africa is Meredith’s. I suggest you read it. You have the puzzle pieces, you have some suspicions that won’t voice themselves, Meredith shows you the picture. It’s a monumental work.

    Excuse me? I certainly didn’t say 10-20 years of African independence. Decolonization certainly BEGAN about 50 years ago, and many African countries were nominally decolonized 40-50 years ago, yes. (Although I’d point out that there are some very late exceptions even to this: Namibia – 1990, and Eritrea – 1993.)

    But the point is that you can’t pretend that the slate was somehow wiped clean, with these newly decolonized countries somehow able to start fresh and explore all the possibilities of nationhood. They weren’t. They weren’t even free of (negative) interference at that point, or today. The colonial legacy is massive. And the Cold War legacy is just as massive.

    Now, I assume by “Meredith” you mean this Meredith? If so, I haven’t read him, but I’m also not getting where he’s making– or even implicitly providing support for–the ridiculous biological hypothesis you have. His work sounds like a straightforward, if exhaustive and somewhat pessimistic, history of modern Africa. (0 points)

    Let’s sum this up. The hereditary hypothesis is supported by: twin studies, adoption studies, IQ-tests (e.g. of upper middle-class blacks in USA who score below lowest class chinese and caucasians), and reaction speed tests, the low academic achievement of blacks in European societies with not one exception, the general lack of organisation, planning and forward thinking inside Africa societies that every field worker that keeps his eyes open has witnessed.

    Not supported by anything YOU’VE put forward, that’s for sure. Show us the evidence.

    And of course, all of these things you mention have tremendous cultural confounding factors (the last one is PURELY cultural, not to mention purely anecdotal). Yet you still haven’t explained how you are accounting for all of these cultural confounding factors to get to your genetic hypothesis, except to say that it’s “obvious” and that you see “correlations”. (BTW, the latter actually has a scientific meaning, you know, and you’ve utterly failed to even come CLOSE to making a “correlation” here.) (0 points)

    The thousands year long history of Sub-Saharan Africa that didn’t develop higher civilization (unlike people on every other continent) and suffered from general stagnation. Not one of the thousands of sub cultures and communities.

    To the extent that you mean things like cities and agriculture, this is obviously a myth. (Though illustrative of your generally poor grasp of history…) Anyway, the possession of “higher civilization” is not especially evidence of anything, least of all a hidden genetic factor. (0 points)

    The Indians of Mauritius as an African exception. The Indians in Kenya as an African exception. The Indians in South Africa as an African exception. The Indians and Chinese in Uganda as an African exception before Idi Amin drove them away.

    And is it your contention that these are the only “African exceptions”? I mean, you’ve made some kind of exhaustive study of this, and determined that these are the only exceptions, and the only possible explanation is their “Indianness”? Not the multitude of other possible factors here? Cultural especially? Right. I didn’t think so. (0 points)

    The complete failure of the 50 years of African Indepence to produce stable, highly organised nations with skilled workers. Not one nation failing compared to the expectations, not two, or ten but everyone.

    This is hardly surprising. None of these countries are islands like Cuba, after all. Sub-Saharan African countries have, to a large degree, been in the same boat. They started with a very similar set of post-colonial circumstances and problems. Drew cues from one another about how to deal with those problems. And when further problems like war, famine, and disease occurred, they have tended to spill easily over borders from country to country. Weakest ‘correlation’ ever. (0 points)

    The success of the historical waves of Indian immigrants in western societies despite their dark skin colour, the presumed environmental explanation for discrimination.

    Again, CULTURE. Do I really need to spell it out for you every time? And that’s not just ‘discrimination’, in case you hadn’t noticed. (0 points)

    The proven hereditary nature of intellectual potential (50-80% in twin studies done in western countries). The strong correlation between g, IQ, reaction speed and academic achievement and organisational ability.

    Not only have you totally failed to present (and are likely misinterpreting) this ‘evidence’, I think you’ve mentioned it twice in this post. (0 points)

    The studied correlation between testosterone levels, sex drive, promiscuity and aggression. The studied differences in testosterone levels between healthy adult populations.

    The first is relatively uncontentious, but alone has no bearing on your case. And is the second supposed to refer to African testosterone levels? You haven’t actually shown us any evidence of that. Of course, as I’ve said before, it wouldn’t be sufficient without also controlling for environmental factors, or even actually having a plausible candidate gene identified. (Incidentally, in terms of talking about the spread of AIDS in poverty stricken Southern Africa, you should probably also demonstrate the relevence of healthy adults as the relevant population…) (0 points)

    HIV as pandemic among distinguishable population clusters whether in Africa or outside of Africa.

    This is more or less nonsense. I mean, we’d EXPECT epidemics to spread within “population clusters” wouldn’t we? Because of geographical proximities and cultural similarities, etc.

    But your thesis is about genetics, and you haven’t even ATTEMPTED to demonstrate that there ARE any genetically distinct ‘clusters’ here, let alone that they possess any unique genetic risk factors. (0 points)

    The strong statistical correlation in homogenous “white” populations between high testosterone, low IQ, anti-social behaviour and criminal tendency, also when adjusted for socio-economic factors.
    In common language, the rich white person with low iq and high testosterone is statistically more likely to be violent than the high iq, lower testosterone white of similar socio-economic standing.

    I doubt these are as clear cut as you make them sound, but fine. Relatively uncontroversial. You needed to make SOME attempt to actually tie this with Africa. Total fail. (0 points)

    The human being is a biological animal, shaped by evolutionary forces. Driven by brain chemistry. There are vast differences between different population clusters in several hereditary traits, and these will affect the social animal and its behaviour and potential.

    Which hereditary traits? Which ‘clusters’? How have you identified them? Oh. You haven’t. Fail. (0 points)

    Yet, we should never forget, that NEVER allow these to shape our morals, never allow them to make us view others as of lesser value as human being. For me personally the realisation has been even more reason to support stronger aid for Africa.
    This is all about understanding the problems and requirements for a bottom-up societal change in Africa. Whether it is doctors from Cuba or engineers from India or anti-AIDS campaigns that challenge the taboos. Or paying families to keep their daughters in school. It is a complex mixture of several different factors cultural, socio-economic, nutrional and hereditary. And we need to stop approaching it ideologically and allow free academic discussion of the topics to improve our policies.

    From the mouth of a pseudo-scientific racist, all this preaching is more than faintly ridiculous. (0 points)

    Thank you everyone for the discussion. That is it for me.

    Cheers

    Auf wiedersehen.

    Well then. Grand score: -10 points. That’s minus ten points. And I think I was being generous.

  674. #676 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    Oops. Blockquote fail. Sigh.

  675. #677 Badger3k
    January 19, 2009

    I missed this, but it is expected “The thousands year long history of Sub-Saharan Africa that didn’t develop higher civilization (unlike people on every other continent) and suffered from general stagnation. Not one of the thousands of sub cultures and communities.”

    Five minutes on google can easily dispel that myth, but if you have access to journals, there has been quite a bit that has come out in the last few decades, as more people focus on that area, and more countries are safe for archaeologists & anthropologists (and more native archaeologists are trained as the education infrastructure is improved above subsistence). None of that has to do with genetics, btw. If you add in all the natural factors (tropical conditions are not conducive for preservation of many materials, weathering, etc). Hell, just look at the evidence for massive cities in the Amazon region, or the cities and civilizations of North American Indians, to help dispel that “if it ain’t white northern European it ain’t civilization” belief.

  676. #678 Tulse
    January 19, 2009

    If one wants to understand further why some continents produced larger and more technologically advanced civilizations, I heartily recommend a read of Guns, Germs, and Steel. To grossly simplify Jared Diamond’s argument, It turns out it’s kinda difficult to get civilization without things like wheat and domesticable animals, something that relatively few places on Earth actually had. Part of today’s difference in the geographic distribution of civilizations is due to differences in the available resources of a given region.

  677. #679 Colugo
    January 19, 2009

    Consider two of awer’s failures:

    – The testosterone levels of culturally traditional Africans. (Let me guess, awer, you don’t know a whole heck of a lot about developmental plasticity and the endocrine system, steroid metabolism, nor AR receptors, do you?)

    – His false claim about indigenous African civilization. (What kind of African specialist makes such a gross error?)

    Those two alone are pretty devastating to his entire racialist thesis.

    Yet he sanctimoniously lectures us on following the evidence wherever it leads.

    The evidence strongly suggests that awer is a dilettante with a head full of pop scientific racism. He was shocked by some of the social problems he witnessed in Africa and feeling betrayed by liberal pieties and lacking in intellectual sophistication (hence easily suckered by half-baked arguments), he lurched towards racialist genetic determinism.

  678. #680 Colugo
    January 19, 2009

    Pakistani men have lower testosterone than either European or African-Caribbean men, who have about the same level of testosterone.

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118881252/abstract

    Recall what awer wrote about AIDS and HIV, including Haiti.

    Yes, under 40-year-old African-American men have higher mean testosterone than under 40 European-American men. Do these groups have the same diets or social and physical environments?

  679. #681 Matt
    January 19, 2009

    Ive read G.G. and S with much interest and I think it likely is part of the answser. The odd thing, though, is the logical jump that Tulse and Colugo, as evidenced in post #680, are unwilling to make.

    Yes, the lay of the land and the distribution of natural resources are quite different around the world. Peninsulas in Europe, vast plateaus in China. The geology of Africa is somewhat unique too, rivers flow from the center out, instead of many continents where they traverse. Different animals, and choices to catch vs domesticate them. Yes, different populations of people have had quite different diets, and social and physical environments for pretty long time, perhaps as long as 50,000 years, with some things changing in recent centuries. So, we agree on that I think. So wouldnt these environmental differences, via natural selection, begin to have an effect on the organisms that live in them? Arent those observed parameters preconditions for speciation? Certainly humans havent separated for that length of time, but might this long period of relative isolation, in different environments, have some non-trivial effect on the genome? I realize there is debate between punctuated equilibrium vs gradualism and since we clearly did not speciate, perhaps we didnt change much at all over those millienia. But it aint wrong to ask.

  680. #682 jack lecou
    January 19, 2009

    The problem is not the asking, it’s the refusing to listen to the answers.

    The answers which have been provided to you upthread. Or, if you prefer, are probably available in more rigorous and less snarky form in any population genetics text.

    (Not accepting–or not understanding–the answers science provides is a key mark of creationists and pseudo-scientists of all kinds, incidentally.)

  681. #683 windy
    January 20, 2009

    awer:

    As for “multiple partners”.. the numbers are missing. How many sexual relationships has a Botswanan man/woman had by the age of 30? We don’t know. Go on if you are in the industry, try to seek funding and support to research these questions and more. Let’s see where your career heads then.

    Apparently it may head to the CDC:

    The Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS) … revealed that of 15 year old respondents, only 3% of boys and 2.3% of girls reported ever having had sex, and that median age at first intercourse was 19 for both sexes.
    The BAIS report also indicates that the number of sexual partners per person in Botswana in 2001 was low, with 89% of sexually active women and 75% of sexually active men reporting only one partner in the past year. […]
    Declines in risky sexual behaviour in a population may be reflected relatively quickly in decreased prevalence of curable bacterial STDs such as syphilis; a decline in prevalence of incurable viral infections, such as HIV, may only be seen after a longer time period.

    Colugo:

    The evidence strongly suggests that awer is a dilettante with a head full of pop scientific racism. He was shocked by some of the social problems he witnessed in Africa

    I don’t think he actually said that he’s been in Africa, or did I miss something? Just that he has done developmental studies and knows disillusioned field workers.

  682. #684 Matt
    January 23, 2009

    Everybody here is long gone for sure. Perhaps some folks will see this post. Im wondering, Jack, is continuing to be interested in scientific papers like this a ‘key mark’ of which deficiency of mine?

    http://genomebiology.com/2009/10/1/R7

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