May 6, 2008

He loved Big Brother.

William Saletan's ongoing Maoist-style self-criticism for the crimethink of pointing out that James Watson knows more about the genetics of IQ than Watson's critics continues in Slate:

Not Black and White: Rethinking race and genes.
By William Saletan

Five months ago, I wrote a series on race, genes, and intelligence. Everything about it hurt: the research, the writing, the reactions, the regrets. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about it. I've been struggling to reconcile two feelings that won't go away: that what I wrote was socially harmful and that I can't honestly renounce the evidence I presented. That evidence, which involved the proposed role of heredity in trait differences by race, is by no means complete or conclusive. But it's not dismissible, either. My colleague Stephen Metcalf summarized the debate better than I did: "It's a conflict between science and science."

When you find yourself in a dilemma this difficult, sometimes the best thing to do is let it sit in your head until you find a way to make sense of it within your value system. I think I'm beginning to find the answer that works for me: I was asking the wrong question.

In last fall's series, I asked myself why I was writing about such an ugly topic. "Because the truth isn't as bad as our ignorant, half-formed fears and suspicions about it," I concluded. "And because you can't solve a problem till you understand it." I wrote my commitment on a piece of paper and leaned it against my computer monitor: The truth doesn't care what you want.

Sometimes, with time and perspective, it's the small, overlooked things that turn out to be big. In retrospect, I was consumed by the wrong word. The flaw in my approach wasn't truth. It was the. Even if hereditary inequality among racial averages is a truth, it's less true, more unjust, and more pernicious than framing the same difference in nonracial terms. "The truth," as I accepted and framed it, was itself half-formed. It was, in that sense, a half-truth. And it flunked the practical test I had assigned it: To the extent that a social problem is genetic, you can't ultimately solve it by understanding it in racial terms.

A study published two weeks ago in Nature Medicine illustrates the point. Gina Kolata of the New York Times explains what happened:

Doctors who treat patients with heart failure have long been puzzled by a peculiar observation. Many black patients seem to do just as well if they take a mainstay of therapy, a class of drugs called beta blockers, as if they do not. [Now researchers] have discovered why: these nonresponsive patients have a slightly altered version of a gene that muscles use to control responses to nerve signals. … As many as 40 percent of blacks and 2 percent of whites have the gene variant, the researchers report. The findings, heart failure specialists say, mean that people with the altered gene might be spared taking what may be, for them, a useless therapy.

In other words, racial observation turned out to be a temporary step toward a deeper genetic explanation. Most blacks don't have the altered gene, and some whites do. Given these findings, prescribing or not prescribing beta blockers based on race rather than genes would be malpractice.

In a similar way, policy prescriptions based on race are social malpractice. Not because you can't find patterns on tests, but because any biological theory that starts with observed racial patterns has to end with genetic differences that cross racial lines. Race is the stone age of genetics. If you're a researcher looking for effects of heredity on medical or educational outcomes, race is the closest thing you presently have to genetic information about most people. And as a proxy measure, it sucks.

Okay, but the reason people get so irrationally upset when talk turns to race is because, much of the time, it's not a proxy measure: "Watch what you say, mister -- you're talking about family here." People care about what you say about their races for the same reasons they care about what you say about their families. And that's not a metaphor.

To say that somebody is, say, white is not just a crude way of saying that they are unlikely to have the gene variant that makes beta blockers ineffective. It's actually much more of a way of saying that on, average, they are more likely to be genealogically related to another white person than to a non-white person. In other words, a white person has more family ties to white people than to nonwhite people. And who you are related to matters, in all sorts of ways, genetic, sociological, political, and personal, ways both subtle and bleedingly obvious.

It's irritating that after a full decade of my yammering away over and over again about a single insight that can clear up a remarkable amount of confusion in public discourse -- that a racial group is an extended family that's partly inbred -- confusion reigns unabated.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's irritating that after a full decade of my yammering away over and over again about a single insight that can clear up a remarkable amount of confusion in public discourse - that a racial group is an extended family that's partly inbred -- confusion reigns unabated.

You crime-think and expect to be influential?! Certain important people WANT confusion to reign unabated and their intellectual Mafia ensures that dissenters get punished.

Stopped Clock said...

I feel sorry for Dr Kolata. She's just doing her job and now Mr Saletan is quoting her out of context. I think I'll write her a song to make her feel better:

If youre like Gina Kolata
Gettin caught in the game
Of PC pseudoscience
If you have half a brain!

Just throw away unpleasant truths!
You know the truth is unsafe
For the general public. So
Write PC and escape!

Anonymous said...

"these nonresponsive patients have a slightly altered version of a gene that muscles use to control responses to nerve signals. … As many as 40 percent of blacks and 2 percent of whites have the gene variant, the researchers report."

Control of responses to nerve signals, also known as inhibition. Linked to forethought. Hmm.

But I am sure this has nothing to do with control of nerve signals linked to violent or anti-social behavior.

Anonymous said...

"In a similar way, policy prescriptions based on race are social malpractice."

Saletan is ignorant of Bayes Theorem.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe having a certain race should then be considered a poor proxy for "performing poorly because of unfair treatment and lack of opportunities rather than inherent lack of abilities" too? Let's use cheek swabs to test for unrealized potential in college admissions etc rather than just looking at skin color. If it turns out that the diamonds in the rough are all rednecks from Appalachian log cabins, nobody will be upset, because it is the fair, just way of doing things. Farrakhan, Sharpton and friends will then come out and say that they are sorry about having denied so many people a fair chance because of racial biases. Saletan, this really does sound like a great idea.

Anonymous said...

"confusion reigns unabated."

Its not because they do not understand, its because they do not want to understand.

Unknown said...

"confusion reigns unabated."

Nope - denial.

Confusion is honest and spontaneous. Denial is contrived and takes loads of energy (and money and diversity programs) to maintain.

And - confusion may result from denial, but denial doesn't result from confusion.

Anonymous said...

Saletan's self-abasement illustrates Theodore Dalrymple's remark that "Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

Saletan writes "I've been struggling to reconcile two feelings that won't go away: that what I wrote was socially harmful and that I can't honestly renounce the evidence I presented."

He has penned a politically correct misstatement of his real conflict. That is between his pride, the pride he takes in his reputation for intellectual achievement ("can't honestly renounce the evidence I presented"), and his fear of ostracism. His writings are "socially harmful" to him, William Saletan, because they expose him to the obloquy of others less intellectual but more aggressive than he. They don't pose any danger to other individuals; they are not "harmful" in the traditional sense.

The Brownshirts of Political Correctness (really, the hard left in new clothes) have forced Saletan to this, and to rub it in, they force him to publish a transparently dishonest self-criticism, subordinating his prideful honesty to the lies his tormentors proclaim.

Anonymous said...

He still includes a link to "American Renaissance" He's clearly not rehabilitated.

Burke said...

In other words, racial observation turned out to be a temporary step toward a deeper genetic explanation . . . [P]olicy prescriptions based on race are social malpractice. Not because you can't find patterns on tests, but because any biological theory that starts with observed racial patterns has to end with genetic differences that cross racial lines. Race is the stone age of genetics.

Isn't this like saying that Keplerian ellipsoids are the Stone Age of astrodynamics? Or that Newton's Laws are the Stone Age of quantum mechanics? Sure, these models were "incomplete", but they were way ahead of Ptolemaic and Aristotelian models. Likewise, your own observations about human biodiversity are way ahead of the standard social science model of zero-group differences.

But Saletan will we sorely disappointed if he thinks his critics will be appeased by a genetic science that discriminates between individuals; they won't be, not if the group disparities remain.

Anonymous said...

No matter what Talmudic contortions Saletan goes through, he'll continue to send his kids to schools that are 2% black.

And so will I...

Thursday said...

Well, Arthur Jensen, for one, has always insisted that in the classroom the task of educating blacks and whites is at bottom a problem of educating individuals. I'm not sure how well it would apply to other situations, but Saletan isn't quite all that original.

Anonymous said...

Saletan writes: "I've been struggling to reconcile two feelings that won't go away: that what I wrote was socially harmful and that I can't honestly renounce the evidence I presented."

And what about the social harm caused by him, and just about everyone else, ignoring the evidence of racial differences? What about the malice it generates towards whites? What about the social harm caused by ignoring raw empirical facts - like the racial disparities in crime rates. I would say that pretending such things aren't true causes a great deal of harm too. But that doesn't harm black people, and they seem to be the only ones who count.

BTW - I believe that Steve's definition of race as a partially inbred extended family is probably the most useful and accurate definition available.

Thursday said...

This, at least, is still a small victory:
"I've been struggling to reconcile two feelings that won't go away: that what I wrote was socially harmful and that I can't honestly renounce the evidence I presented."

Anonymous said...

Wow, this Saletan-guy just proved the existence of human evolution, the first man without a spine! What a disgrace for the male sex, yugh. My, my..

Thank God for all those Steves.

Anonymous said...

This man Saletan is not making peace with his intellect, he is making peace with his religion. He has cast about looking for a rational that allows him to have his cake and eat it too and fallen back on "race doesn't exist". A graceless, face-saving, unconvincing, climb down and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Suppose that William Saletan has a beloved daughter who falls ill: she's at death's door. The doctor announces that because of the child's race, he can be 98% confident of saving her life with this injection, and there is no time to investigate the child's genetics to allow him to refine his estimate. Would Saletan opt for the injection? Of course he would, so of course his spiel is essentially dishonest. He doesn't really believe it, in the sense that he wouldn't act on it on any occasion that really mattered to him. Pah!

Anonymous said...

the reason people shouldn't adopt your "races as extended families" schtick is because we already have a word for extended families in science-- populations. and "population", contrary to your writings, is not a PC way of renaming your version of "race." It's been around for over a hundred years with the pioneering work of Hardy and Weinberg.[1]

what you suggest is a wholesale renaming of the meaning of "race" as it's been used throughout history. its been used throughout history not to refer to a relativistic extended family concept, but to refer to essential biological categories, like subspecies.

if you really want to benefit the debate on human differences, why not suggest that we use the scientific word that we have had available for over a century-- "population." You're only contributing to the ruckus by encouraging the use of history and emotional-laden "race."

[1](see Hardy, G. H. (1908). "Mendelian proportions in a mixed population". Science 28: 49 – 50)

gcochran said...

"a racial group is an extended family that's partly inbred"

It's not, really.

Anonymous said...

In other words, William Saletan is finally coming to grips with the fact that nearly all statistical distributions cannot be characterized by just the mean.

Am I suppose to be impressed?

Truth said...

"If it turns out that the diamonds in the rough are all rednecks from Appalachian log cabins, nobody will be upset, because it is the fair, just way of doing things."

In the "IQ is destiny" argument there is no room for the phrase "diamond in the rough". It goes like this:

1) IQ determines ones station in life.

2) IQ is inherited from one's parents.

3) Upbringing, schooling, etc. do not matter.

Therefore, there are no Appalachian trailer parks. The people all have IQ's around 100 and live a better life than the Persians/Armenians (89 IQ) in Beverly Hills. The crank addicts, living in trailer parks with 6 dirty inbred children really do not exist. They completely concocted by the media. And Einstein would have invented the theory of relativity without education or tutelage at the Swiss patent office, if he were born and raised in the Gobi dessert.

Anonymous said...

Rewind 50 years, and Saletan would be writing self criticisms in the other direction. "Yes, I did say that humans are humans, and blacks are just as human as whites, with the same rights and potentials. But I see now that, while strictly true, none of my friends will talk to me until I recant, er, I mean, it's socially harmful to talk about in these terms."

The crime here isn't in deciding he doesn't think the race/IQ relationship indicates anything genetic or physical in nature. Plenty of thoughtful people who've looked at the issue in depth think there's ultimately not going to be an intractible genetic explanation for it. (Two immediate examples are Thomas Sowell and James Flynn.) The evil here is in shading or discarding the truth as he sees it to avoid giving too much offense, getting too much pushback from colleagues and readers and friends and potential employers. Most of us have done this from time to time--I certainly have, and on far more topics than just race (which is sweating dynamite, as controversial topics go). But it damages us all when we step away from what we believe is the truth to avoid social pressure.

Anonymous said...

truth: Man, you really like correlation coefficients of 1 in your models!

Unknown said...

""a racial group is an extended family that's partly inbred"

It's not, really."

G. Cochran,

What is your definition?

Steve,

I wouldn't be too hard on Saletan. He's got a living to make. It's hard to make a living when you espouse something that would (a) lose you every friend you have and (b) every penny you earn.

Anonymous said...

these nonresponsive patients have a slightly altered version of a gene that muscles use to control responses to nerve signals. … As many as 40 percent of blacks and 2 percent of whites have the gene variant, the researchers report."

Control of responses to nerve signals, also known as inhibition. Linked to forethought. Hmm.

But I am sure this has nothing to do with control of nerve signals linked to violent or anti-social behavior.

Actually, I kind of doubt it. It would just lead to poorer muscle control, which is not what we find. Poorer inhibition would be at synapses between neurons.

I'd also like to point out that arteries are dilated by smooth muscle, which is not under conscious control anyway.

And, yeah, I bet Saletan probably got told by somebody up high to recant or else. At least he tried.

Anonymous said...

Truth - Im not sure Ive spotted anyone in this thread, and rarely in others here, espouse the idea that IQ is the only factor determining one's station in life. That would be an extreme position.

Glaivester said...

G. Cochran - Please explain what you mean by that.

some_reader:

what you suggest is a wholesale renaming of the meaning of "race" as it's been used throughout history. its been used throughout history not to refer to a relativistic extended family concept, but to refer to essential biological categories, like subspecies.

And what exatly do you think a subspecies is other than an inbred extended family?

Anonymous said...

"When you find yourself in a dilemma this difficult, sometimes the best thing to do is let it sit in your head until you find a way to make sense of it within your value system. I think I'm beginning to find the answer that works for me: I was asking the wrong question."

There's like a chorus of ineffectual voices in my head as I re-read the passage. It's some kind of amazing queen symphony drawn from vast mental archives of over-the-hill homosexuals rationalizing some melodramatic nonentity of a social drama. It's...it's...really hilarious!

Shame is the future of intellectual combat. Saletan is just groping for alleviating his shame at expressing a non-allowed opinion. If you want to watch his brain explode, shame him for being an intellectual coward. Watch him cry out and writhe! He expects his colleagues will accept his dismal mending of the attack on collective wisdom and correct opinions with this pitiful little salve. You can fool some of the people all of the time.

I'm telling the truth, if you like, because I'm a bad person. Is this society so PRed and mediocritized, not one writer has the GUTS to make a spectacle out of their scandalizing people, and flamboyantly expressing incorrect opinions? I mean, you can GET READERS this way. Seriously. Swagger? Attitude? Spectacle? Drama? Conflicting forces and ideas? Is the intellectual culture of this country THAT Sovietized, we can't get some fireworks? It's just this groveling little shill, working through the "bad communal feelings" his devious thinking brain has caused.

Any idiot acquainted with the facts would have to acknowledge the Sailer/Murray thing has a good likelihood of being totally true. I'd say 75%, with the Flynn Effect giving one some pause. Instead of saying that, he's speaking to some chimp Hamlet ghosts demanding human communal oneness.

You can say people should regard people as individuals, but it doesn't really work. You're looking at a mess, for hiring practices and such. Well, Saletan, probably because my mother did not love me sufficiently by the logic of our times, I should like to say, "ha ha." There are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. The corrosive truth is a fun perversion.

What a hilarious farce! Keep it up, Saletan! You're really, truly "good"! For me to laugh at!

Mencius Moldbug said...

"The question I set out to explore last fall is how to be an egalitarian in an age of genetic differences."

Dear Mr. Saletan,

If you were talking to a Nazi and the Nazi said, "the question I set out to explore last fall is how to be a National Socialist in a world which is not ruled by the international Jewish conspiracy," you'd... I don't know. You'd probably at least try to find yourself a smarter Nazi.

If you don't want your next fall to be as unpleasant and unproductive as this one, perhaps you could look into the problem of how not to be an egalitarian - while simultaneously also not being a Nazi. I know, I know, it sounds impossible. But is it?

Truth said...

"Truth - Im not sure Ive spotted anyone in this thread, and rarely in others here, espouse the idea that IQ is the only factor determining one's station in life. That would be an extreme position."

Then we're talking about a quesion of percentage, all people are malleable, with 'correct' upbringing and education, right?

Anonymous said...

From 2002:

http://genomebiology.com/2002/3/7/comment/2007

A debate has arisen regarding the validity of racial/ethnic categories for biomedical and genetic research. Some claim 'no biological basis for race' while others advocate a 'race-neutral' approach, using genetic clustering rather than self-identified ethnicity for human genetic categorization. We provide an epidemiologic perspective on the issue of human categorization in biomedical and genetic research that strongly supports the continued use of self-identified race and ethnicity.

A major discussion has arisen recently regarding optimal strategies for categorizing humans, especially in the United States, for the purpose of biomedical research, both etiologic and pharmaceutical. Clearly it is important to know whether particular individuals within the population are more susceptible to particular diseases or most likely to benefit from certain therapeutic interventions. The focus of the dialogue has been the relative merit of the concept of 'race' or 'ethnicity', especially from the genetic perspective. For example, a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine [1] claimed that "race is biologically meaningless" and warned that "instruction in medical genetics should emphasize the fallacy of race as a scientific concept and the dangers inherent in practicing race-based medicine." In support of this perspective, a recent article in Nature Genetics [2] purported to find that "commonly used ethnic labels are both insufficient and inaccurate representations of inferred genetic clusters." Furthermore, a supporting editorial in the same issue [3] concluded that "population clusters identified by genotype analysis seem to be more informative than those identified by skin color or self-declaration of 'race'." These conclusions seem consistent with the claim that "there is no biological basis for 'race'" [3] and that "the myth of major genetic differences across 'races' is nonetheless worth dismissing with genetic evidence" [4]. Of course, the use of the term "major" leaves the door open for possible differences but a priori limits any potential significance of such differences.

In our view, much of this discussion does not derive from an objective scientific perspective. This is understandable, given both historic and current inequities based on perceived racial or ethnic identities, both in the US and around the world, and the resulting sensitivities in such debates. Nonetheless, we demonstrate here that from both an objective and scientific (genetic and epidemiologic) perspective there is great validity in racial/ethnic self-categorizations, both from the research and public policy points of view.

Anonymous said...

Then from 2003:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/348/12/1170

A debate has recently arisen over the use of racial classification in medicine and biomedical research. In particular, with the completion of a rough draft of the human genome, some have suggested that racial classification may not be useful for biomedical studies, since it reflects "a fairly small number of genes that describe appearance"1 and "there is no basis in the genetic code for race."2 In part on the basis of these conclusions, some have argued for the exclusion of racial and ethnic classification from biomedical research.3 In the United States, race and ethnic background have been used as cause for discrimination, prejudice, marginalization, and even subjugation. Excessive focus on racial or ethnic differences runs the risk of undervaluing the great diversity that exists among persons within groups. However, this risk needs to be weighed against the fact that in epidemiologic and clinical research, racial and ethnic categories are useful for generating and exploring hypotheses about environmental and genetic risk factors, as well as interactions between risk factors, for important medical outcomes. Erecting barriers to the collection of information such as race and ethnic background may provide protection against the aforementioned risks; however, it will simultaneously retard progress in biomedical research and limit the effectiveness of clinical decision making.

Anonymous said...

Also from those same authors:

Finally, we believe that identifying genetic differences between races and ethnic groups, be they for random genetic markers, genes that lead to disease susceptibility or variation in drug response, is scientifically appropriate. What is not scientific is a value system attached to any such findings. Great abuse has occurred in the past with notions of 'genetic superiority' of one particular group over another. The notion of superiority is not scientific, only political, and can only be used for political purposes.

As we enter this new millennium with an advancing arsenal of molecular genetic tools and strategies, the view of genes as immutable is too simplistic. Every race and even ethnic group within the races has its own collection of clinical priorities based on differing prevalence of diseases. It is a reflection of the diversity of our species - genetic, cultural and sociological. Taking advantage of this diversity in the scientific study of disease to gain understanding helps all of those afflicted. We need to value our diversity rather than fear it. Ignoring our differences, even if with the best of intentions, will ultimately lead to the disservice of those who are in the minority.

Anonymous said...

"And what exatly do you think a subspecies is other than an inbred extended family?"

Subspecies are indeed inbred extended families, and I never claimed otherwise. You refuse to make your claim/implication outright-- you just ask a question-- so I assume you don't actually have an argument against what I said as of yet.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

Three problems with you attempted Reductio ad absurdum argument. The first is your assumption that certain individuals or groups have the average IQ of their race. The average IQ of American whites may be 100, but the average IQ of trailer park Appalachians may be a lot lower. Similarly, the average IQ of Persians may be 89, but the average IQ of the self-selecting group of Persians who immigrated to the U.S. may be significantly higher.

The second problem is that having a reasonably high IQ may be necessary for certain achievements (e.g., Einstein's in theoretical physics) but it isn't sufficient. I don't know that Sailer or anyone else has claimed it is. Clearly, if Einstein had had been born a yak herder in the Gobi desert, and stayed there, he wouldn't have discovered the physics behind the photoelectric effect.

The third problem with your argument relates to the limits of the power of education. See Sailer's latest V-Dare article, where he concedes that education can improve individuals' achievement, but the magnitude of this improvement is limited by a student's intelligence.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but it fits with the headline: The Lives of Others was on Showtime tonight, so I finally saw it. Excellent film.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

It's probably futile trying to argue with the kind of guy who writes notes to himself about "the Truth" and leans them against his computer, but anyway: His brand new insight, that race will be of less and less biological importance as genetic knowledge increases, has been pointed out for years by race realists like Michael Levin.

He's also right that a focus on biological race is unwarranted, as long as government, educators, etc. ask questions like, "Why are students with the XYZ gene under-performing in school?" But as long as the social questions are framed in terms of race, the biosocial answers must be too.

mnuez said...

Hey, I realize I'm late to the game here and not likely to have my comment read by many readers on account of that but I just want to pipe in that while I entirely agree with the fact that Saletan shouldn't be apologizing and that his thousands of red herring do a great deal of harm in their burying of the truth... I DO want to note however that Saletan did not lie.

Which really isn't all too important to point out. What IS kinna important however is for all of US to realize that the gobbleygook that actually did the burying is actually QUITE worthy of OUR taking into serious consideration too.

Saletan's point regarding the importance of being able to utilize prescriptions BEYOND the sloppy lines of race is a point that we "race-realists" ought to incorporate into our weltanschauung.

Utilizing race as a means of judgement is helpful when we lack any other factors to take into consideration, but when we DO have other criteria at hand we'd be laughably ridiculous to be caught up on race. There are millions of African Americans who are intellectually able far above the capabilities of most White Americans and there are millions of White Americans whose intellectual abilities are far BELOW that of most African Americans.

when a random black or white American is spoken of we can guesstimate at their IQ (and other personality factors) based on the issue of race but when we speak of GOVERNMENTAL (and other authorities) POLICIES there really IS little reason to focus on the issue of race when we can be far more precise and exacting by looking at OTHER determining factors that will yield far fewer false positives than the racial component.

For the record, I offer this suggestion without any racial interests in mind whatsoever (in fact, looking at issues such as parental poverty and the like rather than race, would likely radically change Affirmative Action to the detriment of those who currently exclusively benefit from its treasures) but simply for the sake of being more accurate in our judgement of reality. When we can institute policies based upon IQ, poverty or other more accurate factors rather than upon the often inaccurate barometer of race we'd be silly not to.

mnuez


P.S. As for Steve's "family" thingee, what? Aren't you yourself unclear as to your own recent racial past, not knowing who your own birthparents are? You may feel closer to whites than you do to blacks but that certainly wouldn't be how you'd see things in Medieval Europe, nor would it be how you might see things were some other species (homegrown or alien) to be of possible competition to Homosapiens as a whole. How can you then take seriously this arbitrary, awesomely relative, issue of supposedly caring about your 500th cousin? Sure there's something to it, but honestly, not very much.

Anonymous said...

"mnuez said...

Sure there's something to it, but honestly, not very much."

That sentence accurately describes everything that mnuez has ever written.

Anonymous said...

"a racial group is an extended family that's partly inbred"

Steve, that's half of the definition. Populations do not differ simply to the degree that they are less related. They also differ because of natural selection.

For example, two populations may diverge a lot from each other morphologically, physiologically, and behaviorally and still be closely related. They have diverged because they have adapted to different environments and have been exposed to different selection pressures.

Anonymous said...

Policy prescriptions based on race are social malpractice.

Does this mean Saletan is going to campaign against affirmative action?

This notion that genetic analysis could somehow trump racial and ethnic consciousness in terms of political influence is absurd beyond belief.

Truth said...

gy"The average IQ of American whites may be 100, but the average IQ of trailer park Appalachians may be a lot lower."

So you are saying, that purely by coincidence, 200 years ago all of the smart white people left Europe to populate Massachusetts and all of the dumb white people moved to West Virginia? And this has held true in there progeny?

"Similarly, the average IQ of Persians may be 89, but the average IQ of the self-selecting group of Persians who immigrated to the U.S. may be significantly higher."

Similarly, IQ being destiny and all, the smart people in Iran and Armenia just happened to be the ones who left and all of the dummies just happened to be the ones who stayed?

Consequentially, here's another one for you:

http://200milesup.newsvine.com/_news/2007/11/28/1128181-african-immigrants-are-the-most-educated-group-in-the-us

That's right, African Immigrants (IQ=70) are the most educated immigrant group in America. More degrees, and also, interestingly enough, more graduate degrees. Of course this is because of all of the hundreds of thousands of Africans who applied for lottery immigration, it was the 1% of the smartest who just happened to win!

"Clearly, if Einstein had had been born a yak herder in the Gobi desert, and stayed there, he wouldn't have discovered the physics behind the photoelectric effect."

So then what is the ratio of nature-nurture in Einstein's accomplishment, 50/50?, 40/60?

That brings up an interesting question, say you took Tyquavious Jackson off the basketball court in Harlem and put him through the exact upbringing and education from day one given Einstein. Where would he be 20 years later? I don't argue that he would have been the father of relativity, but could he have been a competent Swiss patent clerk?

"The third problem with your argument relates to the limits of the power of education."

Is it the limit of the power of education, or is it the limit of the power of nature?

The illuminati have a great sense of humor. They are trying a very interesting experiment, just for shits and giggles in England right now. They are disenfranchising young white boys in the same matter as is done with young black boys here. In other words, in Manchester and Scotland and other former industrial places without jobs they are attempting through media riddicule, drugs, hedonism and the like, to turn young whites into niggers. Guess what. The experiment is only 20 years or so in but they are getting the same results. Drug addiction, pimping, failure in school and crime...crime...crime. In some of these areas the young whites, who's parents have lived there since leprechaun days are scoring well below their Paki counterparts, and even below African Immigrants on standardized tests I guess not all of the smart Africans immigrated to the US, and not all genetically dumb whites moved to Appalachia.

What does that tell you about IQ being destiny?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be too hard on Saletan. He's got a living to make.

Yeah. When a prostitute gets AIDS and hesitates a moment before continuing to have unprotected anal sex, I pity her more than the typical prostitute who doesn't hesitate at all in the same situation.

I guess I could find a better analogy (!) for the situation, but the professions are so 1:1...

Anonymous said...

That sentence accurately describes everything that mnuez has ever written.

But his heating bill is approaching zero.

Truth, you've become a caricature of yourself lately. Biological determinism as something other than a liberal straw man? Illuminati/Bilderbergers?

Anonymous said...

Peter Frost,

I've been trying to explain that to Steve Sailor for a long time.

The important information is not Steve's tautological definition, but that you get distinct genetic sub clusters due to (1) isolation and (2) divergent selection pressures.

You could imagine a world which consists of a partially inbred extended family, but without those two factors. It would be very different from our world -- there would just be one cluster.

Truth said...

"Truth, you've become a caricature of yourself lately."

Everything resembles a caricature to the man with poor vision, my son.

Anonymous said...

"In some of these areas the young whites, who's parents have lived there since leprechaun days are scoring well below their Paki counterparts, and even below African Immigrants on standardized tests"

This is news to me. Do you have a reference? And please use the term 'Pakistani' ('Paki' is a vicious insult).

Anonymous said...

The term "Paki" is most certaintly not a vicious insult--not in the US at least, where the younger Pakistanis eagerly call themselves that for short and everyone else does the same.

Truth said...

"This is news to me. Do you have a reference?"

Of course
grasshopper
all one must do
is inquire.
but is it
but one reference
that you desire?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/
6150042.stm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
news/article641312.ece

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk
/fiona_millar/2007/06/
its_inequality_stupid.html

Poor Postdoc said...

Truth [sic]:
You really don't see opportunity gradients driving migrations at all, do you?

The US immigration system is strongly biased against those lacking family or "friends" in the country. With either (formerly illegal sons for Mexicans and abusive IT bodyshops for Indians) you are looking at least at a EB2-NIW to get into the country legally - pretty much a graduate degree a couple of grand and a few Federal Agency recommendation letters stating that you rock a lot more than the average Joe Blow US PhD. This is a pretty nice threshhold for ensuring that - for poor unconnected Africans only - the Best and Brightest make it here. The illegals, with a more representative IQ distribution, wash ashore on the Canary Islands. There is some IQ bias in knowing how to swim too, but a graduate degree is probably a better proxy.

You also don't think that maybe the jobs available and opportunities available make Boston more attractive for IQ=130 people than IQ=70 people, compared to Smalltown-with-no-skilled-jobs (hey - low cost of living!), WV?

Truth said...

"This is a pretty nice threshhold for ensuring that - for poor unconnected Africans only - the Best and Brightest make it here."

So the African Immigants here are "the best and the brighest" and the Swedes who immigrate here are boat people?

Additionaly, in these countries with average IQ of 67 I can assume that the "best and the brightest" are roughly a standard deviation higher than average, so all of these Nigeria born Harvard grads have IQ's of 80?

"You also don't think that maybe the jobs available and opportunities available make Boston more attractive for IQ=130 people than IQ=70 people,"

I think you miss the entire point of my...well...rather brilliant thesis, my friend.

If IQ were destiny and race were IQ there would be no great deviance between the 'opportunities in Boston and Morgantown, WV. As a matter of fact, WV has a lower black population than does Mass. which should make the lifestyle in WV better, right?

Anonymous said...

Truth,

The reference you gave speaks of "exam performance of boys in receipt of free school meals from different ethnic backgrounds."

This is a biased sample, in more ways than one. If we look at English students who receive free meals, they typically come from dysfunctional, single-parent families. This is much less so for Asian free-meal recipients, who generally come from intact, functioning families. This point is mentioned in the BBC article.

So we again come back to the same question. Is poor school performance a reflection of underperformance in one's social background? Or are both a reflection of a common genetic cause?

Poor Postdoc said...

Oh, I see, it is this "distribution" concept that you are unfamiliar with? Well, it works like this: When somebody says that group A has an average IQ of 100, it does not imply that every sinle one of them has the same IQ 100, but there are actually members with IQ 90 and 110 too. All in the same group! Isn't that weird? Then there can be a group B with IQ 90 on average, but there are members with IQ 100 and 80 in that group as well. Look at that - there is a member in group B that has higher IQ than a member of the supposedly smarter group A!

Now if you have several locations where the benefits for a person with a certain IQ are different, it is not surprising that in a location where a high IQ is rewarded, the average B resident may be as smart as the average A resident and possibly both well over IQ 100.

As for the boat refugees from Sweden, I have a feeling that you are again missing the point about the opportunities are different for different groups of people. Pretty much everybody in Sweden can afford a plane ticket to the US, most can chat up some future spouse on the Internet and many have language and work skills making them attractive on the US market. Hence the pool of potential Swedish migrants may have an IQ average of 105, but most see little benefit in moving. Contrast this to the pool available in Africa - who there who isn't part of the elite is going to come up with the money, connections and skills required to move to the US? Taking university education as a proxy for "possess skils and resources to make US immigration feasible" we are looking at some 2% of a cohort in Nigeria. I'll be generous and consider that to be a good number despite that I suspect that many universities are sub-standard because on the other hand Nigeria may not be an ideal meritocracy. Taking the average IQ in Africa as 80* and looking at the top 2% of the distribution, only candidates with IQ 110+ have a shot and the average is probably 115. Hence African immigrants are on average smarter than Swedish immigrants.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, WV has a lower black population than does Mass. which should make the lifestyle in WV better, right?

The quality of life in Massachusetts is not enhanced by its black population. They do well in spite of the blacks, not because of them.
WV, isolated and poor, has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

mnuez said...

marty, you go to comeback school or something? Seriously, I'm all up for insults, I dish em and I'm open to taking em but gimme one with some intelligence please!

Sviggy, yours made me smile. The fact that you seem to have an interest in murdering the world's remaining Jews is weird to me (and I'm open to your correcting me regarding that perception) but your intellect aint half bad and I did like that line. I mean, I'd like it more if you addressed the point I sleepily (hence the typos and whatnot) wrote of, but I'll take what I can get.

And for anyone who's celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) today as I am, Chag Sameach!

mnuez

Glaivester said...

some_reader:

Subspecies are indeed inbred extended families, and I never claimed otherwise. You refuse to make your claim/implication outright-- you just ask a question-- so I assume you don't actually have an argument against what I said as of yet.

My point was that if race is equivalent to a taxus such as subspecies, and subspecies is an extended family, then doesn't that make race an extended family?

I think I get it now. You are not denying that a race is an inbred extended family. You are saying that it is only a certain level of inbred extended family. (Just as subspecies, species, and genus can be seen as referring to different levels of inbred extended families).

The reason why we should use the term "race" rather than "population" (when talking about these things from a social science perspetive) is because "race" is a term that people are familiar with, and the divide between, say, Africans and Europeans is ultimately of the same quality as the divide between English and Irish; just at a higher level. Any attempt to define at what level "race" begins is likely to make understadning social phenomena between differenet populations harder rather than easier.

Truth said...

"This is a biased sample, in more ways than one. If we look at English students who receive free meals, they typically come from dysfunctional, single-parent families."

And there are no black Americans (or Brits) raised in those conditions!

Hey, you got me, I know when I'm beaten!

Anonymous said...

"I think I get it now. You are not denying that a race is an inbred extended family. You are saying that it is only a certain level of inbred extended family."

Correct.

"The reason why we should use the term "race" rather than "population" (when talking about these things from a social science perspetive) is because "race" is a term that people are familiar with."

People are familiar with the definition of 'race' that operates at a certain "level." Steve and those who agree with him on this issue are only adding to the confusion by trying to remake the definition of an already confused word. Rather than confusing people more, people should be introduced to the actual scientific word that has existed for a hundred years. The fact that "population" isn't the popular term to use is a reflection of our society's obsession with certain reified racial categories moreso than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Truth said:
"Hey, you got me, I know when I'm beaten!"

Uh, did you bother to read to the end of my post? I was the one who condeded that your explanation was equally valid:


"So we again come back to the same question. Is poor school performance a reflection of underperformance in one's social background? Or are both a reflection of a common genetic cause?"

Guess you were intimidated by the big words. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Sviggy [...] The fact that you seem to have an interest in murdering the world's remaining Jews is weird to me

Your fantasies are weird to me, too, but it's weirder that they're weird to you since they're your weird fantasies.

Seriously, where do you get this stuff?

Consider your perception corrected.

I'd like it more if you addressed the point I sleepily wrote of,

I read it kinda sleepily, too. In fact, the sleepiness takes over every time I try to read it and extract the point to which you allude.

Care to condense?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you're interested in what it is I'm after vis-a-vis Jews, that's very simple. I'm after what I'm after generally: the right to self-determination.

Not much of a Bogey Man is it?

mnuez said...

Yeah, I guess that leap from Holocaust Denier to Holocaust Enthusiast is bigger than I thought. You MajorityRights folk really ought to put out a primer.

mnuez said...

No, but an excellent Straw Man.