January 23, 2014

Race Does Not Exist: Same old, same old

From the 2014 Edge.org question on What Scientific Concept Should Be Retired?
Nina Jablonski 
Biological Anthropologist and Paleobiologist; Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University 
[Anti-] Race 
Race has always been a vague and slippery concept. 
... By the 1960s, however, two factors contributed to the demise of the concept of biological races. One of these was the increased rate of study of the physical and genetic diversity human groups all over the world by large numbers of scientists. The second factor was the increasing influence of the civil rights movement in the United States and elsewhere. Before long, influential scientists denounced studies of race and races because races themselves could not be scientifically defined. Where scientists looked for sharp boundaries between groups, none could be found. 

Whereas a concept like "class" is utterly clear cut.
Despite major shifts in scientific thinking, the sibling concepts of human races and a color-based hierarchy of races remained firmly established in mainstream culture through the mid-twentieth century. The resulting racial stereotypes were potent and persistent, especially in the United States and South Africa, where subjugation and exploitation of dark-skinned labor had been the cornerstone of economic growth. 

Which is why Mississippi was the cornerstone of economic growth in America from 1866-1963 and why Detroit, Gary, and East St. Louis are the chief engines of the economy today,
After its "scientific" demise, race remained as a name and concept, but gradually came to stand for something quite different. Today many people identify with the concept of being a member of one or another racial group, regardless of what science may say about the nature of race. The shared experiences of race create powerful social bonds.

Like brotherhood. Or sisterhood. Or fatherhood. Or motherhood. Or nephewhood/niecehood. Or cousinhood. Or so forth and so on.
For many people, including many scholars, races cease to be biological categories and have become social groupings. The concept of race became a more confusing mélange as social categories of class and ethnicity.

I think there are some words missing from that sentence.
So race isn't "just" a social construction, it is the real product of shared experience, and people choose to identify themselves by race.

It's funny how well-policed the boundaries are. If cornerback Richard Sherman announced tomorrow that he was henceforth to be called Rachel Sherman and immediately after the Super Bowl wanted to play power forward in the WNBA and engage in lesbian relationships with women, the Great and the Good would crucify anybody who refused to use feminine pronouns in discussing "her" past, such as "She flattened Cam Newton," or "She fathered three children."

Yet, if a college cornerback announced he was "a black man trapped in a white man's body" and therefore should be at least considered for playing cornerback in the NFL, he'd be laughed at.
Clinicians continue to map observed patterns of health and disease onto old racial concepts such as "White", "Black" or "African American", "Asian," etc. Even after it has been shown that many diseases (adult-onset diabetes, alcoholism, high blood pressure, to name a few) show apparent racial patterns because people share similar environmental conditions, grouping by race are maintained. The use of racial self-categorization in epidemiological studies is defended and even encouraged. In most cases, race in medical studies is confounded with health disparities due to class, ethnic differences in social practices, and attitudes, all of which become meaningless when sufficient variables are taken into account.

Because that's what Occam's Razor is all about: throw out the race variable in studies and replace it with a whole bunch of variables like:

Is grape your favorite soda flavor?
Does your first name have an apostrophe in it?
Do you smoke Kools?
Do you find Tyler Perry funny?
You don't have agree with everything Marion Berry did, but you do have to admit the bitch did set him up?

Ask enough and you won't need the race variable.
Race's latest makeover arises from genomics and mostly within biomedical contexts. The sanctified position of medical science in the popular consciousness gives the race concept renewed esteem. Racial realists marshal genomic evidence to support the hard biological reality of racial difference, while racial skeptics see no racial patterns. What is clear is that people are seeing what they want to see.
They are constructing studies to provide the outcomes they expect.

As opposed to the Race Does Not Exist crowd who don't construct studies, don't do experiments, don't do much of anything except reiterate things that seemed cool to say in 1994, but now seem dopey.
In 2012, Catherine Bliss argued cogently that race today is best considered a belief system that "produces consistencies in perception and practice at a particular social and historical moment". 

It causes white sprinters to run slower.
Race has a hold on history, but it no longer has a place in science. The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy, but is necessary. 

Like ... ?

66 comments:

future scientist said...

When I grow up I want to fight consistencies of perception with more inclusive narratives

Anonymous said...

Which is why Mississippi was the cornerstone of economic growth in America from 1866-1963 and why Detroit, Gary, and East St. Louis are the chief engines of the economy today,

Great retort, Steve.

Anonymous said...

The best rebuttal ever devised of this god-awful 'clever-clever' word-play tripe masquerading as learned discussion is George Orwell, who as it happens is one of my great intellectual heroes of all time.
'Newspeak' from the 'Ministry of Truth', is the correct description.

kaganovitch said...

I was once told by a black academic psychology prof. , in response to my telling him some explanation he was giving violated ockham's razor, "William of Ockham was a white man"

2Degrees said...

I know that the DT is a British not a US rag. In Britain it's usually called the Torygraph, but some of its writers have picked up on the Dark Enlightenment to tell us how unscientific and immoral we are.

The latest fact free emotion-filled rant is from a testosterone-deficient little runt called Tim Stanley. He quotes another runt called Jamie Bartlett. Both runts owe their living to being included in various "thinktanks" because they have the right connections.

He claims that IQ testing is "immoral and unscientific".

Anonymous said...

"a black man trapped in a white man's body". Is this a Richie Incognito reference?

Monroe Ficus said...

kaganovitch said...

I was once told by a black academic psychology prof. , in response to my telling him some explanation he was giving violated ockham's razor, "William of Ockham was a white man"

sounds like he was applying "Sharpton's Razor"-the most simple explanation is racist!

Anonymous said...

Who to take down next: the horoscope lady.

Fish in a barrel.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

I don't know about people like Jablonski -- who really ought to know better -- but your typical naive progressive is enthusiastic about the idea that "there is no such thing as race" for one reason, and one reason only: they believe it gives them a get out of jail free card by ruling out, a priori, the possibility that there are any important biological differences between blacks and whites. In particular, and all important, that it rules out the possibility that blacks might be less intelligent than whites.

This wrong idea is the one key to everything! If these people could somehow be made to understand that, whatever is meant by "there is no such thing as race," it no more rules out the possibility of differences in intelligence than differences in skin color or hair form, I believe that they would immediately lose interest, and we could all move on to the next thing.

Handle said...

#69 on my list.

15-JUL-2009: Dr. Kathy Albain two minutes hated for accusations of ethnicity-based medical profiling.

carol said...

Gee, zoologists still use the race concept, don't they? I seem to recall different races of bluebirds, meadowlarks etc. in my little Golden Book of Birds. Is that outdated?

Do they believe in species or is that hatecrime now too?

Matt Buckalew said...

I was once told by a black academic psychology prof. , in response to my telling him some explanation he was giving violated ockham's razor, "William of Ockham was a white man"



Am I not a (Franciscan) brother?

Sean said...

Political skills are dangerous when they interfere with science—and they will!

Nina Jablonski is the leading advocate of the simple UV- latitude theory of skin colour.

Anonymous said...

You mention class, but I think a better example would be Romanesque, Gothic, Italianate, etc. Someone could write a great parody article called "Romanesque Architecture Does Not Exist" using the arguments of social constructivists and just replace "race" with Romanesque".

peterike said...

Nina Jablonski is an anthropologist. An anthropologist is basically just an English major living in a hut, making up narratives.

Anon888 said...

Jablonski is currently collaborating on the development of new approaches to science education in the United States. These approaches have the dual aims of improving the understanding of evolution and human diversity, and stimulating interest among students in pursuing STEM courses and careers. With the support of NESCent (the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) and active collaboration of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., she is leading a group of 30 scholars in the development of "genetics and genealogy" curricula for K-12 and undergraduate university students.

Oh dear.

* * *

The future calls...

Nina Jablonski Does Not Exist

Identity has always been a vague and slippery concept.

By the 2030s, however, two factors contributed to the demise of the concept of individual identity. One of these was the increased rate of study of the neurological diversity of human brains all over the world by large numbers of scientists. The second factor was the increasing influence of the head-mate rights movement in the United States and elsewhere. Before long, influential scientists denounced studies of individuality because conscious integrity itself could not be scientifically defined. Where scientists looked for sharp boundaries of identity, none could be found.

After its "scientific" demise, identity remained as a name and concept, but gradually came to stand for something quite different. Today many people identify with the concept of having a single integral consciousness and personal identity, regardless of what science may say about the nature of the mind. The shared experiences of identity create powerful social bonds.

So identity isn't "just" a social construction, it is the real product of shared experience, and people choose to identify themselves by a single name.

Identity has a hold on history, but it no longer has a place in science. The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render identity useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies of conscious diversity and multiplicity won't be easy, but is necessary.

Cail Corishev said...

The other day I was watching the great 1975 Cosby/Poitier movie Let's Do It Again, and listening to the commentary, which was done by the (black) screenwriter and a black movie critic. It was really interesting, because they were describing this whole network of black entertainers getting into movies, with the older ones like Poitier helping the younger ones. They talked about how Poitier was trying to set an example with these movies about working-class, married black men. I got the sense that there was a real, distinctive black culture then. Maybe it wasn't perfect, but it was theirs, and it included things like family and church.

What's "black culture" now?

Mr. Anon said...

"Before long, influential scientists denounced studies of race and races because races themselves could not be scientifically defined. Where scientists looked for sharp boundaries between groups, none could be found."

"influential" is not the same thing as "good".

But let us consider what Professor Jablonski asserts in general about science. Atmospheric layers - the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, etc. - they do not exist, because they do not have sharp boundaries. Indeed, the Earth's atmosphere can not exist as a scientific category, as it does not have a sharp boundary.

Anyway, as an anthropologist, why should Professor Jablonski really care what those icky scientists think?

AAA: Science is Icky

Chicago said...

She's a political commissar policing the field of anthropology. When political types stick their noses into science you know the science will be bad. In another time and place people like this would have been NKVD employees eagerly sniffing out people to send to the gulag.

Bill said...

Before long, influential scientists denounced studies of race and races because races themselves could not be scientifically defined. Where scientists looked for sharp boundaries between groups, none could be found.

At what wavelength, exactly, is the sharp boundary between red and orange? Therefore, colors don't exist. QED.

Rohan Swee said...

Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy...

Oh, I dunno, Ms. Jablonski. "White privilege". "Disparate impact". The "vibrancy" scale. "Stereotype threat". "People of color" (good) vs. the other kind of people (bad). "Microaggression". "Institutional racism". See, that wasn't hard, was it?

OK, I guess you'll have to pretzel yourself some more to find a neologism to replace that last one - "Institutional socially-constructed phantasm"? "Institutional Nothing-burger"? I have faith in you. Any class of people who succeeded in making apparently sane adults use the entirely risible phrase "people of color" without wincing or choking or hanging themselves must be on a roll.

It's easy because you didn't have to invent anything. You just dusted off and re-purposed "original sin". The rest is embroidery.

Anonymous said...

Retire political correctness and Occam's butter knife.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not sure why people revere Orwell. His writings regarding antisemitism and Spanish Civil War, e.g., are full of propaganda and m6isinformation. I think Orwell alive today would be just as PC as the worst of them on matters of race, probably even more fanatic. There would have been no brave open mindedness to biological truth or facts. He would have been a great disciple of Gould in the same fashion as the late Chris Hitchens. I'm almost certain, in fact, that Chris Hitchen personifies better than anyone exactly the sort of thinker Orwell would have been in our day.

Anonymous said...

Change Kool to Newport;)

ben tillman said...

One of these was the increased rate of study of the physical and genetic diversity [of] human groups all over the world by large numbers of scientists.

It sounds like she's acknowledging the existence of what we call racial differences, but she's quibbling over how to label them.

Anonymous said...

Actually, race has been retired long ago, indeed again and again and again. My sociology book in the early 80s said race is a myth.

And yet, race keeps coming back over and over politically and biologically. Politically, it's too lucrative for some groups to give up, especially blacks(even light skinned mulattos) and white Hispanics.

Biologically, people keep noticing patterns in sports, crime, academics, music, and etc. that suggest racial differences. Blacks sued American Idol on the basis that blacks sing better.
There is a lot of noise about 'not enough black quarterbacks' but not about 'not enough non-black running backs' because the assumption is that blacks are athletically superior and should be dominating all positions.

So, what needs to be retired is the notion that race can be retired. It's hopeless.

It's like Victorians tried to repress sexuality but it kept re-emerging again and again and again.

The idea of race can be made more scientific but facts cannot be retired.

Similarly, we can pretend Jews are powerless but Jewish power keeps influencing our lives, and people keep noticing even if they feel they shouldn't.

PC science tells us not to engage and even think about certain things. And it keeps trying to retire what cannot be retired. That is tiresome.

candid_observer said...

"Sharpton's Razor"

I like that.

CanSpeccy said...

That stupid white people obsess about black people being less intelligent that (even stupid) white people, does not mean that there are no differences between black people and white people.

The reason that it is easy for liberal idiots to dismiss the concept of race is that race truly has no sharp boundaries. Nevertheless, every freely interbreeding population has a genetic profile that is distinct from that of any other freely interbreeding population — the result of differences among populations in selective pressures, chance mutations and genetic drift. Populations long separated by barriers of geography, politics, class or caste showing the greatest divergence in genetic composition.

Those who deny the validity of race as a biological concept are either haters of diversity — people intent on creating a mongrel humanity devoid of its present glorious variation and adaptation; or they are liberal globalist bastards speaking for the plutocracy who seek to destroy the nations of the world the better to reduce the mass of humanity to slavery.

candid_observer said...

Occam's Razor vs. Sharpton's Razor

Couldn't have a more succinct update of CP Snow's Two Cultures.

Anonymous said...

Up here in Canada, the most favoured soda flavour among blacks is orange, by a long shot. It doesn't seem to matter where they came from (straight from Africa, born to Caribbean immigrants, the US), orange is number one. And we have grape up here too.

Ex Machina said...

Clouds are a social construct, aren't they?
bit.ly/1caY9zM

Anonymous said...

" Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy, but is necessary. "

This sounds, literally, like NewSpeak.

I'm amused by the implicit assertion that diseases that have a genetic basis, such as sickle cell anemia, are actually only the result of shared social circles. It sounds like not only NewSpeak, but a return to Lamarckism.

Reg Cæsar said...

If you're looking for a "social construct", a concept that really doesn't exist in reality in this ever-changing world in which we live in, boy, have I ever got one for you:

"Gender"

Anonymous said...

carol said...
Gee, zoologists still use the race concept, don't they? I seem to recall different races of bluebirds, meadowlarks etc. in my little Golden Book of Birds. Is that outdated?

_________________________________

Consider the Crazies who don't believe in ANY helpfulness to classifications, such those who don't want to distinguish between the animal and plant kingdoms, cuz, you know, plants have feelings too.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say it: Jablonski is either stupid or a prostitute, someone selling the words that escape her mouth for acceptance in her silly little world. Worse yet, she's actually both, stupid and a prostitute.

Mark Caplan said...

In Prof. Jablonski's Edge talk, Jablonski embraces exactly what Dawkins denounces in his own Edge talk, namely "Essentialism: [...] the tyranny of the discontinuous mind."

Jablonski: "Where scientists looked for sharp [racial] boundaries between groups, none could be found."

Dawkins: "It’s essentialist folly to insist on the necessity of shoehorning your fossil into one genus or the other."

Anonymous said...

A friend has pointed out that the same folks who claim that race is a useless concept also are the ones who are usually most in favor of race-based preferences and set-asides and the concept of equality of outcome as opposed to equality of process. I'd be perfectly happy to scrap the concept of race in scientific and social scientific research if it was also scrapped as something to be used in setting policies with implications in the world most of us inhabit.

Billy Chav said...

"The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy, but is necessary."

Translation from Newspeak:

"We don't control how people use the word 'race,' so we need a new word that means the same thing, but with the added connotation that anyone who employs the word agrees with that diversity is the greatest good."

So, they come up with some ungainly neologism like Ancestral Grouping, or A-Grouping, and everyone who uses it is automatically extended good faith anti-racist credit, same as people who use African-American signal their anti-racism. It's all about the creation of shibboleths to identify you as one of the elect. "Suspect was in CEPH A-Grouping with short dark hair and white t-shirt, last seen headed north on Flatbush in a black sedan."

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

All scientific concepts are 'slippery' as every truth 'slips' into other concepts in science.

After all, one could argue that 'energy' and 'matter' should be retired since they are 'slippery' concepts. Didn't Einstein show that energy is matter and matter is energy?
And we should dispense with the 'slippery' field of chemistry since molecules can be formed into different molecules. Oxygen is 'slippery' since its electrons can be changed to form something else.
So, the entire chemistry chart is 'racist'. In fact, hydrogen particles can be changed into other elements.

One could also say that biology is really a form of chemistry and chemistry is really a form of physics at their deepest roots. All so 'slippery', therefore dangerous and wrong.

And are there clear distinctions between psychology and physiology since the mind is manifest through the physical matter of the brain?
Couldn't one argue that all 'mental illnesses' are really physical illnesses since a sick mind is the result of faulty wiring and chemistry in the brain?
That means we must do away with psychology since it 'slips' into physiology. Maybe behaviorists were right to discount free will and psychology. We are all just conditioning machines.

Or what about history, economics, sociology, culture, politics, and etc? Aren't they all interrelated and intertwined? 'Slippery'?
Or 'art' and 'entertainment'?
Or 'higher education' and just 'education'?
Maybe we should do away with academic degrees since who's to say what really distinguishes one person as an 'expert' or a 'scholar' from another person who is not. After all, there are self-taught people who know more and think better than people with advanced degrees. Academic degrees are 'elitist' and 'racist', so, we must retire the notion of elites.

All human knowledge and even the nature of the world itself is slippery. Otherwise, there would be no interconnections among biology, chemistry, and physics. There would be on interconnection between 'mind' and 'body'. There would be no interconnection between reason and emotions.

Time itself is slippery. What is the past, present, and future? Present is the constant process whereby future is turned into past. Maybe we should retire 'time' too since its concept of future, present, and past are so slippery. Once time is retired, maybe it will go away and we won't age anymore.

If we don't want slipperiness, we should only embrace knowledge that cannot 'slip' into other things. But who thinks economics doesn't 'slip' into social reality and politics? Who doesn't believe psychology doesn't 'slip' into sociology? Who doesn't believe that chemistry doesn't 'slip' into medicine? Or that computer science doesn't 'slip' into applied technology in military?

Anonymous said...

What scientific concept should be retired? I vote sociology.

Gordo

Marc B said...

Anonymous 1/24/14, 4:39 AM

+1 That was a near perfect summation.

Anonymous said...

"The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept."

But people like her are the ones who muddied up and misinterpreted the meaning of race. They caused the mess but now they complain about the mess. It'd be like someone messing up the kitchen and then saying he can't use it anymore because it's too messy. Or someone clogging up the sink and saying he can't use it because it's clogged.

While scientists of race have been wrong in the past, they were working to make its meanings clearer and more specific. But people like Jablonski and their allies in the media used 'race' so promiscuously that it came to mean anything. They are the ones who pushed the unscientific meaning(s) of race, and now they are complaining that the term has become unscientific.

All scientific ideas are initially flawed, vague, contradictory, and unclear. Over time, scientists try to make it clearer by removing falsities and adding truths by further observation and research.

That was a possibility with the meaning of race, but social scientists got involved and muddied up the discourse. Yet, they take no blame but just attack others.

Prof. Woland said...

"I was once told by a black academic psychology prof. , in response to my telling him some explanation he was giving violated ockham's razor, "William of Ockham was a white man"

So were Einstein, Newton, and Darwin.

Anonymous said...

The 800 lb gorilla in the room should be retired.

Anonymous said...

Truth ought to be retired.

Along with integrity, courage, and honesty.

And reality too. If we retire reality, we won't have problems anymore.

Sounds like scientific nirvana that preaches that reality is all just an illusion. Just say Ohmmmmmm and meditate and the 800 lb gorilla, along with reality, will just vanish. And the nirvanic truth shall finally be upon us, a vision of a place where rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies.

Anonymous said...

'Noble lie' and PC should be retired.

Jablonski should retire.

Anonymous said...

Actually, what I'm looking forward to is an obviously white guy launching an affirmative action lawsuit on the basis of a DNA test proving him 1% black (the old "one drop rule" will be key).

The Scopes Monkey Trial will be nothing in comparison....

C. Van Carter said...

An exhibit produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the American Anthropological Association "proving" race doesn't exist has been touring around the country.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, what I'm looking forward to is an obviously white guy launching an affirmative action lawsuit on the basis of a DNA test proving him 1% black (the old "one drop rule" will be key)."

Does AA make sense anymore?

Black West Africans captured and sold black people to whites to be slaves.
Eventually, white people freed the blacks and offered historical redress via AA.

But Black Africans now arrive and benefit from AA.

'Affirmative Action' went from benefiting descendants of slaves to descendants of slave-traders.

Reg Cæsar said...

CanSpeccy said: Those who deny the validity of race as a biological concept are either haters of diversity — people intent on creating a mongrel humanity… or they are liberal globalist bastards… who seek to destroy the nations of the world…

In other words, they are either antiracists, or they're racists. A plague on both their houses!

An exhibit produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota… "proving" race doesn't exist… --C van Carter

Ironically, this museum is the home of The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices.

Up here in Canada, the most favoured soda flavour among blacks…

I thought you guys drank "pop". Or are blacks different in that way, too?

C. Van Carter said...

Beyond Soda, pop, or Coke.

Hizzle said...

The anti-racists love to say that the difference between a black man and a white man is genetically less than 1%, which is true if you assume that nothing new can or will be discovered about our genes. It is also true, of course, that there is less than a 1% difference between males and females at that level of DNA, yet no one would pretend that sex was some vague social construct, would they? Never mind, they already have.

Alright, I will cry uncle to get an "A" in all my electives. Race and Sex don't exist, unless these concepts can be utilized against straight white males, who may or may not be a social construct.

My head hurts.

I think Jared Taylor pointed out (or cited Phillipe Rushton)to the effect that the difference between a terrier and a poodle is smaller than the difference between the races of men, which would be blindingly obvious to even the most terminal race deniers if they were to stand Woody Allen and Shaquille O'Neal side-by-side. Does any blank slate type really think that if Woody had played basketball since childhood and Shaq wrote plays from the same age, that Woody could have been a great basketball player and Shaq a great writer?

I'm sure there is someone, somewhere, who is that stupid, and they're probably tenured, too.

Sean said...

Dawkins: "If, like Aristotle, you treat all flesh-and-blood rabbits as imperfect approximations to an ideal Platonic rabbit, it won't occur to you that rabbits might have evolved from a non-rabbit ancestor, and might evolve into a non-rabbit descendant." It is true Aristotle held that true entities were eternal and natural.

Scientists take philosophers' word that essentialism is a fallacy, and mainstream philosophers like Justin EH Smith take scientists' word that racial categories lack all credibility, as Smith says in one of his NYT pieces reported on by Steve Here

Smith has a problem with claims for peoples having inner essential properties. In a recent piece, Against Gopnikism, Smith says "What interests me most here is what Sciolino's article reveals about the conventions for American writing on France. The first rule of this genre is that one must assume at the outset that France --like America, in its own way-- is an absolutely exceptional place, with a timeless and unchanging and thoroughly authentic spirit.This authenticity is reflected par excellence in the French relation to food, which, as the subtitle of Adam Gopnik's now canonical book reminds us, stands synecdochically for family, and therefore implicitly also for nation [...] Not long ago in Italy, there was a town that passed an ordinance, filled with slow-food-style rhetoric, outlawing, no, not McDonalds, but... döner kebap, falafel, and like threats to cultural integrity. The celebrants of terroir and locavorism are of course not themselves fascists, but this does not mean there cannot be an easy elision between some of the legitimate concerns of these good solid 'liberals', on the one hand, and people with concerns about völkisch authenticity on the other. When such things happen in Germany, the world is ready to recognize them for what they really are (the German for terroir is Boden,".

It seems to me Smith is saying that we can speak of no true authentic essence of Europeans and white people generally, and trying to expresses malevolence toward non-whites. But isn't he dealing in the essence of white people when he says those things.

Smith opposes an idea that he attributes to the West: "whiteness amounts to the default setting, so to speak, of the human species"

Jabolonski also opposes a putative whiteness default and she, like Smith in philosophy, goes to the opposite extreme (in her own way; she thinks humans started off as dark as black Africans (admittedly some HBD bloggers think that too)

David said...

>Actually, what I'm looking forward to is an obviously white guy launching an affirmative action lawsuit on the basis of a DNA test proving him 1% black (the old "one drop rule" will be key).<

Don't give Craig Cobb any ideas.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the "race does not exist" crowd criticize blacks who are constantly claiming very non-black people based on biological "one drop" or hypodescent?

http://madamenoire.com/302769/celebrities-most-people-dont-know-are-black/

Anonymous said...

What needs to be retired is the false meaning of 'racism'.

Ism means belief, so 'racism' should mean belief in races and/or racial differences. Ism doesn't mean 'irrational hatred' or 'supremacism'.

The false meaning of 'racism' and the way it's bandied about to intimidate people are what has done so much harm to sciences in both sociology and biology.

Reg Cæsar said...

Does any blank slate type really think that if Woody had played basketball since childhood and Shaq wrote plays from the same age, that Woody could have been a great basketball player and Shaq a great writer? --Hizzle


What if we replace Woody with Larry Bird and Shaq with Thomas Sowell in Hizzle's question? If we answer "uh, yeah…", does that make us stupid, tenured blank-slate types?

We're supposed to be realists, not absolutists. Switching willy-nilly from race groups to individuals, and highly exceptional ones at that, turns you into the latter.

Reg Cæsar said...

What needs to be retired is the false meaning of 'racism'.

You mean there's a non-false meaning of 'racism'?

Where has it been hiding? Among the 'Mexican élite'? Next to the kosher cheeseburgers?

Honest dealers will gladly replace an inexact, unclear term with a more precise one. Try this with 'racism' and 'racist', and you'll quickly expose the dishonest.




Anonymous said...

"Where has it been hiding? Among the 'Mexican élite'? Next to the kosher cheeseburgers?"

No comprendo, senor.

Anonymous said...

"The anti-racists love to say that the difference between a black man and a white man is genetically less than 1%, which is true if you assume that nothing new can or will be discovered about our genes."

A pinch of salt can make all the difference.

A single note can make or break a song.

Aaron Gross said...

Like brotherhood. Or sisterhood. Or fatherhood. Or motherhood. Or nephewhood/niecehood. Or cousinhood.

Yes and no. For instance, it's pretty rare for brothers to fight on opposite sides in multiple-family conflicts. It's relatively common for racially similar states to fight on other sides in multiracial conflicts.

Families have myths of common ancestry. So do ethnies, by one definition. Races - in the classic sense of the word, not the Sailer definition - generally do not, or if they do (the Bible), they're usually not very salient. That's one of the most crucial reasons that races are not extended families.

There are other big differences between race and family, too. But all are ignored when your methodology is Ockham's Procrustean bed.

Dave Pinsen said...

"The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy, but is necessary."

Like ... ?

Mulatto? Mestizo? Octaroon?

Of course, those words are part of "old vocabularies of human diversity" and are today considered offensive and archaic. But they acknowledge and address the fuzzy boundaries between races.

So the old, specific terms that acknowledge real world racial admixture are taboo, while the current ones ("black", "white", etc.) are deemed useless because they are too general. It's almost as if Jablonski doesn't want there to be any words that can be used to discuss race, and, in that way, make race disappear. Almost, but not quite: what she wants is a vocabulary that can be used to discuss racial discrimination and grievances but not discuss race in any other contexts (biological, mental, social, medical. etc.).

chu chulain said...

"Families have myths of common ancestry. So do ethnies, by one definition. Races - in the classic sense of the word, not the Sailer definition - generally do not, or if they do (the Bible), they're usually not very salient. That's one of the most crucial reasons that races are not extended families.

There are other big differences between race and family, too. But all are ignored when your methodology is Ockham's Procrustean bed."

The "extended family" meme refers to closer genetic distance. It all began too long ago to feel all that familial, although myths can be powerful. That's one of the gripes against Christianity--it united Europeans in a common culture, and eliminated the daily "saliency" of their various mythologies. Islam, and probably the other major religions, did the same thing in the geographic regions where they became common.
Relatedness is relative. Africans in Africa don't feel like "brothers." The tribes are often fiercely opposed and not just because of "colonialism."

Anonymous said...

"The use of racial self-categorization in epidemiological studies is defended and even encouraged. In most cases, race in medical studies is confounded with health disparities due to class, ethnic differences in social practices, and attitudes, all of which become meaningless when sufficient variables are taken into account."

Their ideology is murder.

Anonymous said...

Families have myths of common ancestry. So do ethnies, by one definition. Races - in the classic sense of the word, not the Sailer definition - generally do not, or if they do (the Bible), they're usually not very salient. That's one of the most crucial reasons that races are not extended families.

Yup, races don't have any common ancestry that can be identified, PC tells us so. Don't tell that to the forensics guys, okay?

Rev. Right said...

If race doesn't exist, how do bigots know who they should discriminate against?