May 5, 2014

"A Couple of Wild-Eyed Wackos: Me and the NYT"

With genetics reporter Nicholas Wade's book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History being published tomorrow, I dug up from my hard drive my 2003 article on Wade's work for the New York Times. Unfortunately, the version published on VDARE.com 11 years ago somehow got truncated over the years, so for completists, here's the original, which documents that Wade's belief in the reality of race has been hiding in plain sight in the Science section of the NYT for most of this century:

A Couple of Wild-Eyed Wackos: Me and the NYT  
By Steve Sailer, April 6, 2003, VDARE  
While most journalists write about race, I'm widely considered beyond the pale because I frequently write about it from a scientific perspective. My approach is seen as prima facie evidence of my extremism. Last year, both Jonah Goldberg and David Frum announced that they were shocked, shocked that I often "concentrate on genetic questions," as Jonah put it. Neither has taken up my offer to publicly debate the topic, but that's their point: some entire subjects are just so far beyond the boundaries of polite discussion that all a dignified pundit need do is occasionally point and squeal in horror at any violators of public decorum. 
After all, who else besides me reports on the genetics of race? Well, the New York Times is who. For several years now, the newspaper of record's distinguished correspondent Nicholas Wade has been making the case for the biological reality of race. Wade is a veteran science journalist who started out at the most prestigious British science journal, Nature, then moved to the top American scholarly periodical, Science, before going to the Times. He is the author of Life Script: How the Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine and Enhance Your Health and the editor of a long series of New York Times Books on Genetics, The Brain, Archaeology, Language and Linguistics, Fossils and Evolution, and the like.  
He is clearly the most important genetics reporter in the United States. Below are excerpts from a dozen of his NYT articles about politically incorrect subjects. I hope calling attention to this major aspect of Mr. Wade's work doesn't get him fired, but his position seems secure since he definitely has the science on his side. 
Much of his work is clearly driven by a concern for improving humanity's health. Wade fears that the "Race Does Not Exist" crowd will needlessly condemn sick people to death by keeping doctors from learning what treatments are appropriate for their genes. (Last year, the New York Times Magazine printed a fascinating article by Sally Satel called "I Am a Racially Profiling Doctor" that made a similar point.) 
Here is one of Wade's earlier efforts on this theme:
Race Is Seen as Real Guide to Track Roots of Disease  
"Challenging the widely held view that race is a "biologically meaningless" concept, a leading population geneticist says that race is helpful for understanding ethnic differences in disease and response to drugs. The geneticist, Dr. Neil Risch of Stanford University, says that genetic differences have arisen among people living on different continents and that race, referring to geographically based ancestry, is a valid way of categorizing these differences."
Wade expanded on Dr. Risch's views last month: 
 2 Scholarly Articles Diverge on Role of Race in Medicine   
"A view widespread among many social scientists, endorsed in official statements by the American Sociological Association and the American Anthropological Association, is that race is not a valid biological concept. But biologists, particularly the population geneticists who study genetic variation, have found that there is a structure in the human population. The structure is a family tree showing separate branches for Africans, Caucasians (Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent), East Asians, Pacific Islanders and American Indians.  
"Biologists, too, have often been reluctant to use the term "race." But this taboo was broken last year by Dr. Neil Risch, a leading population geneticist at Stanford University. Vexed by an editorial in The New England Journal that declared that race was "biologically meaningless," Dr. Risch argued in the electronic journal Genome Biology that self-identified race was useful in understanding ethnic differences in disease and in the response to drugs.  
"Race corresponded broadly to continental ancestry and hence to the branches on the human family tree described by geneticists, he said. Expanding this argument today, Dr. Risch and nine co-authors say that ignoring race will "retard progress in biomedical research." Racial differences have arisen, they say, because after the ancestral human population in Africa spread throughout the world 40,000 years ago, geographical barriers prevented interbreeding. On each continent, under the influence of natural selection and the random change between generations known as genetic drift, people would have diverged away from the common ancestral population, creating the major races. Within each race, religious, cultural and geographical barriers fostered other endogamous, or inbreeding, populations that led to the ethnic groups."
Wade wrote two articles last Christmas reporting on a recent population genetics study:
The Palette of Humankind  
"Humankind falls into five continental groups - broadly equivalent to the common conception of races - when a computer is asked to sort DNA data from people from around the world into clusters.
Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations  
"Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas. The study, based on scans of the whole human genome, is the most thorough to look for patterns corresponding to major geographical regions. These regions broadly correspond with popular notions of race, the researchers said in interviews."
Personally, I'm not that enthusiastic about these kind of top-down attempts to lump humanity into a small number of continental-scale races. Clearly, there are lots of hybrid and intermediate groups. Plus, it's fairly arbitrary when to lump and when to split. For example, should New World Indians be considered a separate race or merely a subset of East Asians? 
I prefer a more scaleable, bottom-up approach to thinking about race that starts with the simple but enormously useful definition: "A racial group is a partly inbred extended family." (See my VDARE article "It's All Relative: Putting Race in Its Proper Perspective.") 
Still, this kind of simplified model is valuable for medical care in the U.S., even if it has its weaknesses on the global scale. Are East Asians and American Indians different enough genetically that they should be treated as separate major races? I don't know. I suspect that if you are a doctor in, say, Morocco, the differences between East Asians and Amerindians aren't worth learning about. You'll treat either one so rarely that it's just not worth your time to study.  
On the other hand, here in the U.S., there are millions of East Asians and millions of American Indians, so our doctors should learn how they differ. Doctors, for example, often advise their patients to have a glass of red wine every day for the good of their hearts. They must, however, learn not to tell an American Indian to do that. His risk of becoming alcoholic is too great.  
Here are some other important articles by Wade: 
Genome Mappers Navigate the Tricky Terrain of Race  
"Scientists planning the next phase of the human genome project are being forced to confront a treacherous issue: the genetic differences between human races."
For Sale: A DNA Test to Measure Racial Mix 
"A company in Sarasota, Fla., is offering a DNA test that it says will measure customers' racial ancestry and their ancestral proportions if they are of mixed race."
Study Breaks New Ground on Variations in Genome  
"A large-scale study of the variability in the human genome has shown that each human gene may come in 12 different versions on average. The authors also say their findings cast doubt on the way that a large government and industry program is mining the genome for the genetic basis of common human diseases."
Here is Wade's review of the bestseller The Blank Slate by my friend Steven Pinker. (By the way, congratulations to Steve and Harvard U. President Larry Summers for his move from MIT to Harvard last week. Pinker, a linguist who is evolving into his generation's leading generalist, told the Boston Globe, ''For verbs, MIT is the best place; but for human nature and its implications, Harvard is the most important place.'')

In Nature vs. Nurture, a Voice for Nature 
"Who should define human nature? When the biologist Edward O. Wilson set out to do so in his 1975 book "Sociobiology," he was assailed by left-wing colleagues who portrayed his description of genetically shaped human behaviors as a threat to the political principles of equal rights and a just society.  
"Since then, a storm has threatened anyone who prominently asserts that politically sensitive aspects of human nature might be molded by the genes. So biologists, despite their increasing knowledge from the decoding of the human genome and other advances, are still distinctly reluctant to challenge the notion that human behavior is largely shaped by environment and culture. The role of genes in shaping differences between individuals or sexes or races has become a matter of touchiness, even taboo.  
"A determined effort to break this silence and make it safer for biologists to discuss what they know about the genetics of human nature has now been begun by Dr. Steven Pinker, a psychologist of language at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

One of the politically touchiest subjects in all genetics is DNA similarities and differences among Jews. Wade has not shied away from this delicate but captivating topic: 
In DNA, New Clues to Jewish Roots 
"A new thread is being woven into the complex tapestry of Jewish history, a thread fashioned from a double twist of DNA."

Y Chromosome Bears Witness to Story of the Jewish Diaspora 
"With a new technique based on the male or Y chromosome, biologists have traced the diaspora of Jewish populations from the dispersals that began in 586 B.C. to the modern communities of Europe and the Middle East. The analysis provides genetic witness that these communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries."

Another subject that less courageous reporters have avoided is the confluence of head and brain size and shape, intelligence, and race: 
Study Finds Genetic Link Between Intelligence and Size of Some Regions of the Brain 
"Lunging into the roiled waters of human intelligence and its heritability, brain scientists say they have found that the size of certain regions of the brain is under tight genetic control and that the larger these regions are the higher is intelligence."

A New Look at Old Data May Discredit a Theory on Race 
"Two physical anthropologists have reanalyzed data gathered by Franz Boas, a founder of American anthropology, and report that he erred in saying environment influenced human head shape. Boas's data, the two scientists say, show almost no such effect. The reanalysis bears on whether craniometrics, the measurement of skull shape, can validly identify ethnic origin… 
""I have used Boas's study to fight what I guess could be considered racist approaches to anthropology," said Dr. David Thomas, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. "I have to say I am shocked at the findings."  
"Forensic anthropologists believe that by taking some 90 measurements of a skull they can correctly assign its owner's continent of origin - broadly speaking, its race, though many anthropologists prefer not to use that term - with 80 percent accuracy.  
"Opponents of the technique, who cite Boas's data, say the technique is useless, in part because environmental influences, like nutrition or the chewiness of food, would overwhelm genetic effects.  Boas measured the heads of 13,000 European-born immigrants and their American-born children in 1909 and 1910 and reported striking effects on cranial form, depending on the length of exposure to the American environment.  
"But in re-examining his published data, Dr. Corey S. Sparks of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Richard L. Jantz of the University of Tennessee find that the effects of the new environment were "insignificant" and that the differences between parents and children and between European- and American-born children were "negligible in comparison to the differentiation between ethnic groups," they are reporting today in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

In summary, let us praise Nicholas Wade and the New York Times for their contribution to public understanding of this hugely important area.
   

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

So that thing we all know is Asians are the most intelligent race followed by whites and then blacks? And that blacks are the most athletic race followed by whites and then Asians? I always thought being intelligent would improve your chances to propagate but this doesn't seem to be the case for Asian males in America/Canada (or other parts of the world) who seem to be considered the least desirable by women of all races, especially their own.. I wonder why that is?

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that so many of these links are to the New York Times, a paper whose readership regards genetics as being within a hairs breath of Nazism.

Anonymous said...

Extravagantly off topic, but this deserves, I think, Steve's attention as a new front in World War T. Andrej Pejic:

"What he and others like the transsexual runway model Lea T (who was in a recent Riccardo Tisci campaign for Givenchy) are doing is sidestepping the gender issue altogether by not only passing as women but even managing to be a more ideal version of the impossibly hipless and curveless women the fashion industry fetishizes. Designers can use them and feel progressive without having to actually challenge the aesthetic norm." (http://www.anneofcarversville.com/sensuality/2011/8/15/pretty-boy-andrej-pejic-talks-sex-love-leaving-his-gender-to.html)

Interestingly enough, the very Gay Tim Gunn is not too keen on the idea:

"The fact that fashion designers would put basically adolescent-shaped boys or men in women's clothes is head-scratching for me because, anatomically, women and men have different shapes," [...] "So, to be looking at women's fashion on a tall, skinny guy with no hips, there's no way you can project yourself into those clothes."

[...] "I'm conflicted. On one hand, I don't want to say that because you were a man and now you're a woman, you can't be in a women's fashion show. But I feel it's a dicey issue. The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender — if you go, say, male to female — you're not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man."

(http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/02/25/tim-gunn-conflicted-about-trans-models)

Anonymous said...

"With a new technique based on the male or Y chromosome, biologists have traced the diaspora of Jewish populations from the dispersals that began in 586 B.C. to the modern communities of Europe and the Middle East. The analysis provides genetic witness that these communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries."


That's just a tautology. Really, people with names like Cantor and Cohen are found to have genetic similarities even when they live thousands of miles apart on different continents? I can now reveal, exclusively to the readers of this blog, that the same would be true for the male descendents of any other ethnic group - in the incredibly unlikely event that any other ethnic group bothers to look.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting policy question. A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables, or they can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Who should they hire? Who should they hire if the minimum wage is $15 an hour?

This is somewhat similar to one way blacks were prevented from getting low level jobs during Jim Crow days.

The experiment may be done in Seattle due to their new South Asian officially socialist Council woman, Kshama Sawant. You go girl!!!

Anonymous said...

A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables, or they can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Who should they hire?


That's a trick question - the illegal worker is ... what's the word again? ... illegal. So they should hire the American.

their girl Galileo said...

Really loved that concluding sentence -- a true classic of passive-aggreSteveism.

Anonymous said...

The book is getting some attention. It was #20 on Amazon.com yesterday and now its #38.

Cail Corishev said...

Let's adjust that question: "A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables and risk a $1M fine, or it can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Whom should it hire?"

Anonymous said...

So, what's the secret of Wade's success? Just being an all-around nice guy? A talent for not making obvious things entirely obvious?

David said...

Reproductive fitness might not mean procreating to the limit of one's capacity. It might mean adjusting procreation to the carrying capacity (or available resources) of the environment. The Japanese in Japan, for example, are currently below replacement level, but 25 million population seems like a good number to shoot for on that island.

Reproductive fitness ought to be defined as including a regulator which operates like a thermostat operates.

So it's not necessarily "unfit" to have a below-replacement-level rate of birth for a given time.

The trouble, as any student of Malthus can recite, comes when a population experiences a temporary windfall of resources (e.g., trillions of dollars in government cheese) and screws like rabbits. When those resources are inevitably reduced, there is a hard adjustment, either in birth or death rates or in quality of life, or both.

But now consider a population that keeps a more or less steady set point, neither wildly overbreeding nor getting nearly wiped out in famines on a frequent basis. Whose booms are not high and whose busts are not low. Wouldn't such a population be more fit (resiliant), more successful over time?

And wouldn't its fatal flaw consist, not in failing to breed like there's no tomorrow, but instead in providing free lunches to the less fit, those less finely attuned to the environment - who then grow so large as to wipe out the flexible, resiliant population?

But this fatal flaw is volitional and can be fixed.

Idle Spectator said...

"Let's adjust that question: "A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables and risk a $1M fine, or it can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Whom should it hire?""

Answer--whomever the business shall damn well please. Freedom of association. Now, I am assuming that American is you, right? Are you willing to partake in this endeavor? You do fit the criteria.


"I don't hold with equality in all things, just equality before the law, nothing more."--Thaddeus Stevens

Anonymous said...

In nursing school, they taught us that many medicines work very differently on different ethnicities. Different ethnicities have different reactions to different medicines. Also, red-headed people have a different reaction to anesthesia and need higher doses. It was something, or there was something about them having different pain thresholds than other people.

All the black and white couples that I know fight over the thermostat in their homes, cars, or where ever they are at. Blacks like the temperature hotter and the whites like it cooler. In the Navy on my ships, we had to keep the equipment cool and the rooms were cool. The black guys were freezing to death and were very uncomfortable, but the white guys found it comfortable.

There are a lot of differences between the races.

Anonymous said...

This year is the 10th anniversary of the bell curve controversy, and I think we're in for another.

Maybe Gawker media is going to dig up dirt on Wade to get him fired from the NYT?

I'm just glad Wade's book is selling so well (#1 on amazon lists) because he might be out of a job soon.

Anonymous said...

Redheads (and some of their dark haired children) can carry the MC1R gene, which affects sensitivity to anesthesia and opoids. My grandmother gave it to two of her children, and two of her grandchildren have it. I'm one of them, and my hair is nearly black.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/the-pain-of-being-a-redhead/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

A lot of doctors know about this. I've said to dentists before, "my mother is a redhead" and they know to tweak my anesthesia accordingly. The gene also affects how narcotics work (badly, but with few of the side effects other experience).

ben tillman said...

Let's adjust that question: "A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables and risk a $1M fine, or it can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Whom should it hire?"

Thank you. And the answer is the American (1) because it's the morally right thing to do and (2) the American with the higher IQ will probably do a much better job of cutting the vegetables.

Anonymous said...

Wade's book is now #48 on Amazon, well behind Elizabth Warren's and Robin Roberts'.

Gordon Bombay said...

I'm looking forward to reading Wade's book.

When people bring up race and evolution, I think about how author Robb Wolf included a bit in one of his paleo diet books about anthropologists studying ancient Native American skeletons found that that those who adopted agriculture had lower bone density and shorter stature than older generations who had adhered to a more nutrient-dense hunter gatherer diet.

What struck me when I read that the diminished musculature and stature of today's Europeans and East Asians compared to sub-Saharan Africans can probably be explained in part as an adaptation to agriculture. Euros and NE Asians have a much greater number of generations between now and the hunter-gatherer past. Just speculating, but I've never seen this discussed on an HBD blog.

Steve has written about how people of Mediterranean descent are better adapted to alcohol than Northern Europeans for this precise reason: a longer time period of exposure to agricultural products has allowed a greater opportunity for selection pressures to take effect.


2. I've not seen Steve blog this: The Racial Dot Map

http://www.coopercenter.org/demographics/Racial-Dot-Map

PC media rarely discuss one of the major implications of race: nearly everyone chooses to live near others of their own racial background.

Anonymous said...

And that blacks are the most athletic race followed by whites and then Asians?

Exactly. Blacks excel at and just dominate in crew and table tennis.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ML50I0mVHY

Bleaker than No Country for Old Men

Anonymous said...

Even within a race, big differences.

Japan has 100 million.

Mongolia has 2 million.

But I think Mongols have been winning just about everything for over a decade.

Three yokozunas and all are Mongo

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2014/03/26/sumo/kakuryu-promoted-to-yokozuna/

Anonymous said...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/29/national/the-truth-is-we-have-gotten-too-used-to-lying/#.U2h8H4FdVA0

rying too machi

Anonymous said...

But I think Mongols have been winning just about everything for over a decade.

Japan does, too, have black people. They excel in sports and entertainment and form a substantial plurality among organized crime members. They are called "Koreans."

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder: is Mr. Wade prepared for the angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches? Does he realize his head will be on a stake by year's end? Surely he is not so naive as to think we can all just have a civil discussion on this topic.

Steven Pinker posted a fairly critical tweet about the book today, saying it was wrong on many counts (though he did credit it for exploding the race as mere social construct myth). Maybe Pinker is playing preemptive defense; regardless, if even Pinker won't give the book a strong endorsement, what will the NYT editorial board have to say?

Is Wade delusional, or is he willing to be a martyr? I'm curious as to what you think Steve, given that you've followed his work for some time.

Anonymous said...

"have to wonder: is Mr. Wade prepared for the angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches? Does he realize his head will be on a stake by year's end? Surely he is not so naive as to think we can all just have a civil discussion on this topic. "

Some people are secure; both financially, and in the sense of your manhattan psychoanalyst. They can handle a little turbulence.

Gilbert P

BurplesonAFB said...

"What struck me when I read that the diminished musculature and stature of today's Europeans and East Asians compared to sub-Saharan Africans can probably be explained in part as an adaptation to agriculture"

Wait, what? Sub Saharans are taller than the dutch now? Stronger than Icelandic guys?

The world does not conform to your cuckhold sensibilities.

Gordon Bombay said...

"Wait, what? Sub Saharans are taller than the dutch now? Stronger than Icelandic guys?

The world does not conform to your cuckhold sensibilities."

Not sure what your point is, but since I'm a longtime reader of Sailer's blog you could not be further off.

Dutch and Icelanders actually confirm the point I was speculating about. Northern European groups whose ancestors adopted agriculture a few centuries after Mediterraneans are later are on average a little taller by comparison.

By the way, blacks are 12% of US population but are 75% of the NBA and 70% of the NFL. That might be another example of a disparity owing to different selection pressures imposed on different populations over the last few thousand years.

That's the main theme of Nicholas Wade's book, and this entire blog.





David said...

Your freedom of association ends where externalities on other people's private property begin. See Hoppe on immigration.

Anonymous said...

"""""Really, people with names like Cantor and Cohen are found to have genetic similarities even when they live thousands of miles apart on different continents? I can now reveal, exclusively to the readers of this blog, that the same would be true for the male descendents of any other ethnic group - in the incredibly unlikely event that any other ethnic group bothers to look.""""""""


What if the two examples have the same name, as in Sherman? Are they going to be genetically the same, especially if one's ancestors originated in Sub-Saharan Africa while the other one's ancestors originated in the Middle East and later migrated to Europe via the Diaspora? So just cause they're both named Sherman, does not mean that they are in fact the same. Stephen Jay Gould did appear to get this wrong after all then.


Good old Sesame Street helps to put this in perspective:

"One of these things is not like the other. which one is different, do you know? Can you tell which thing is not like the others? I'll tell you if it is so."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueZ6tvqhk8U


Thing is, if Wade is indeed attempting to tell us if it is so, how will the popular culture react at large?

Anonymous said...

"Let's adjust that question: "A business can hire an 85 IQ illegal alien for $10 an hour to cut vegetables and risk a $1M fine, or it can pay a 95 IQ American $15 an hour. You only need an IQ of 80 to do the job. Whom should it hire?""

Answer--whomever the business shall damn well please. Freedom of association. Now, I am assuming that American is you, right? Are you willing to partake in this endeavor? You do fit the criteria.


"I don't hold with equality in all things, just equality before the law, nothing more."--Thaddeus Stevens


What part of illegal don't you understand?

An illegal alien is not equal under the law, dumb ass. The law itself has been broken.

Anonymous said...

"It's amusing that so many of these links are to the New York Times, a paper whose readership regards genetics as being within a hairs breath of Nazism."

New York Times readers do not understand evolution, selection, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes Sub Saharans are Stronger than Icelandic guys?
They produce more testosterone and Have more fat-twitch muscles than Europeans. You can't hate scientific FACTS why they don't go your way.

Anonymous said...

They produce more testosterone and Have more fat-twitch muscles than Europeans. You can't hate scientific FACTS why they don't go your way.


It's not a scientific fact that Sub Saharan Africans produce more testosterone than Europeans. It's a conjecture, and one which a lot of evidence says is false.

Anonymous said...

What if the two examples have the same name, as in Sherman? Are they going to be genetically the same, especially if one's ancestors originated in Sub-Saharan Africa while the other one's ancestors originated in the Middle East and later migrated to Europe via the Diaspora?



Huh?


The genetics studies finding amazing and startling genetic commonalities among widely dispersed Jews are disingenuous at best. They look at the genetics of "Jews" ... where Jews are narrowly defined as being that subset of Jews whose grandparents originated in what is currently Poland or Ukraine. They then discover .. surprise! .. that the people in question have genetic commonalities amongst themselves, and are genetically distinct from the average non-Jewish denizen of NYC.

Given the "inputs" to these studies it would be very startling if they did NOT find that the Jews in question had the genetics mentioned above. Take a group of Irishmen surnamed "O'Neil" and "O'Sullivan" and "O'Donohue" gathered from all the corners of the world and examine their genes and guess what? They're going to be genetically much closer to one another than they are to a random sample of the non-Irish population of NYC.

The same holds true for Swedes and Germans and everyone else. Because all that's really being said here is that the members of any given ethnic group (which is to say, any group of genetically related people) are more closely genetically related to each other than they are to people outside their group. In other words, it's a tautology. It's like being surprised that your children are genetically closer to you than is some random stranger.

Anonymous said...

""""""Huh?"""""""""

No, not huh. There was a larger point, but first I'll let your finish here.


"""""The genetics studies finding amazing and startling genetic commonalities among widely dispersed Jews are disingenuous at best. They look at the genetics of "Jews" ... where Jews are narrowly defined as being that subset of Jews whose grandparents originated in what is currently Poland or Ukraine. They then discover .. surprise! .. that the people in question have genetic commonalities amongst themselves, and are genetically distinct from the average non-Jewish denizen of NYC."""""""


Yes, yes, yes. This helps make my original point that, outward cosmetic changes (e.g. name) it doesn't really matter one bit. You can change a Markowitz into a Sherman, or a Tokowitz into a Sterling, but they're still Marko and Toko, and their genes show it.

Speaking of which, I have a hunch that Steve much rather wanted to delve in depth into some of these topics that he has more than a passing interest in, however, with the Donald Sterling bruhaha (though it really wasn't a laughing matter from where he's standing), he had to put some of these topics on hold for a bit.

Who knew that Sterling would control 1-2 full news cycles a NYT feature and tons of google searches? But, news happen when we least expect it.

Steve, you have a right to be proud of your work, particularly in the debate you did with Levitt in Slate regarding the abortion cuts crime rate theory. Obviously, looking back you were way ahead of the curve.

Of course, how come no one bothered to ask Levitt "So, are you saying that the solution to reducing crime even further is to 'nip it in the bud' so to speak and just keep spiking the abortion rate each year? Is that what you're actually condoning?'

Of course, he'd deny that his findings were advocating any such thing. Still, it would've been interesting to see the logic of his assumption taken to the conclusion. After all, if he thought that his findings were working to reduce the crime rate, then reducing it even further would be just great.

Also, a good solid review of Nicholas Wade's book. Perhaps I should purchase it after all.

BurplesonAFB said...

They produce more testosterone and Have more fat-twitch muscles than Europeans. You can't hate scientific FACTS why they don't go your way.

...

By the way, blacks are 12% of US population but are 75% of the NBA and 70% of the NFL. That might be another example of a disparity owing to different selection pressures imposed on different populations over the last few thousand years.


African stature and musculature taken as a whole is less than that of Europeans.

Yes the Africans have more fast twitch fibers, and are quicker in sprints, and generally better at Football and Basketball. You're refuting what I'm not disputing. If the generality ain't true, you must eschew

Anonymous said...

my original point that, outward cosmetic changes (e.g. name) it doesn't really matter one bit. You can change a Markowitz into a Sherman, or a Tokowitz into a Sterling, but they're still Marko and Toko, and their genes show it.


That's true, but trite. Was there somebody out there unaware that changing names did not change genes until you pointed it out?

Steve went overboard on the Sterling case because it sits at the intersection of sport and race, two issues of interest to him. (I'd say his interest in sport may even exceed his interest in race)

Anonymous said...

""""""That's true, but trite.""""""

And that's astute but pithy. So what.



""""""Was there somebody out there unaware that changing names did not change genes until you pointed it out?"""""""


Uh, yes, the original Ellis Islanders. They originally thought they could discard many things about the old world for the new. The name change symbolizes that. In the Old Testament, doing a name change carries a lot of weight because it symbolizes that you're forsaking the old for a new (and hopefully better) way of life.

Now that Wade and others like him are demonstrating a scientific basis for racial genetics, and that its not part of some nefarious plot of world domination a la an old Bpicture set in pre- WW2, yes, it does carry quite a bit of weight.

Short answer: Here, no, everyone's probably aware. Out in the MSM and pop culture at large, there's still lots of work to be done in educating them on this issue. If Wade's new book can help in that process then all the more reason to commend it.




"""""Steve went overboard on the Sterling case because it sits at the intersection of sport and race, two issues of interest to him."""""""""

Steve also had to cover it because everyone all over the place was covering it. He had to since it was a major news story that also related to his two favorite issues.

But if you notice, he doesn't want to constantly cover pop culture issues ad infinitum and ad throwupem. It tends to be a waste of time.



""""""(I'd say his interest in sport may even exceed his interest in race)""""""""""


This is debatable either way. Not quite sure sometimes. Perhaps certain sports, of course. But soccer? Forget about it. And US women's team, doubly forget about it, though it does serve as a microcosm of women's sports in particular.

Currently, the US Women's soccer team is the jewel in the crown of the Myth of Title IX. As far as women team sports go, they are the rising star and the ones to watch.

Gordon Bombay said...

I'm just getting into Wade's book. Flipping back to the notes and index I see references to iSteve heroes like Steven Pinker, E.O. Wilson, and Thomas Sowell. Too bad Sailer didn't get mentioned in there himself, that would have been quite an achievement.

I like Nicholas Wade in that he deals with race in an honest way but still manages to avoid the grating insensitivity that is all too common in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Yes Sub Saharans are Stronger than Icelandic guys?
They produce more testosterone and Have more fat-twitch muscles than Europeans. You can't hate scientific FACTS why they don't go your way.


Who wins Olympic weightlifting competitions, sub-Saharan Africans?

Who wins reaction speed sports like table tennis, sub-Saharan Africans?

Africans are successful in sports that take advantage of their particular attributes while they fare badly in other sports that require other attributes. Africans are not "more athletic" than Europeans and Asians.

Anonymous said...

"Hiding in plain sight..." Elsewhere on the blog (re Secret
Meeting of Psychologists ) I have noted that an event appears to have gone down The Memory Hole that was an event directly relevant to the concerns of this particular commentary (Me and Nicholas Wade ). I refer to the
audio tape / stenographic ?/of the lead off commentary made by B. F. Skinner in the presence of Hans Eysenck back in early September 1980 at the Montreal Convention of APA. Eysenck refers to it in his autobiography and the NYT obit for Skinner makes momentary mention of the event. Eysenck noted that Skinner seemed to have a surprising "no context" view as a scientist toward much of the London School emphasis upon nature as well as nurture. The Skinner lead in commentary appears in effect to have been
depublished. ???

Anonymous said...

"Wait, what? Sub Saharans are taller than the dutch now? Stronger than Icelandic guys?


The Netherlands has seen the door size increase from 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches) to 2 meters 10 because there are so many 2 meters tall Dutch guys.