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Thread: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

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    Default Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51544523

    A downing street adviser has resigned after writings of his from 2014 included remarks on race and intelligence as well as compulsory contraception for benefits claimants. Sabisky claims to have been ‘selectively quoted’, blaming the media.

    The comments:

    https://dominiccummings.com/2014/08/...-genetics-amp/

    This naturally leads onto the point that one very good way to retain human control over technology – and to think up better ways to ameliorate its negative consequences – is global embryo selection. You’ve talked it through quite well; it can and will work. One way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies creating a permanent underclass would be to legally enforce universal uptake of long-term contraception at the onset of puberty. Vaccination laws give it a precedent, I would argue.

    FULL QUOTE:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It sounds like quite the experience and I’m extremely jealous

    There is probably a reason a lot of good dystopian sci-fi involves the possibility of human technology outstripping human control (the Matrix, Planet of the Apes – but NOT Brave New World since there technology is incredibly carefully harnessed). It is not hard, as you discuss, to envisage scenarios where general purpose AIs completely lose the plot (the Skynet) – in transhumanist circles I believe these problems have been discussed for a while.

    This naturally leads onto the point that one very good way to retain human control over technology – and to think up better ways to ameliorate its negative consequences – is global embryo selection. You’ve talked it through quite well; it can and will work. One way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies creating a permanent underclass would be to legally enforce universal uptake of long-term contraception at the onset of puberty. Vaccination laws give it a precedent, I would argue. Given the fairly frequent side-effects of current hormone-based methods we’ll need to come up with some better options (ideally for both sexes), but that shouldn’t be too hard. Smarter humans (and the possibilities are truly staggering within a fairly short time-frame) should be able to figure out how best to manage their technology and structure society in such a way that the inevitable disruptive effects are minimized, or even avoided altogether. CRISPR offers more exciting possibilities, although my gut says that while it will be useful in targeting the odd rare variant with a disproportionately large effect on phenotype, those are going to be rare to non-existent for most of the phenotypes we are interested in (but by no means all).

    One point that people also miss is that the techniques involved don’t just work for IQ. Once we map the genetic architectures of other complex polygenic traits like altruism, empathy, extraversion, ethnocentrism and so on, those will also be available for selection in the marketplace (as well as obvious morphological stuff like height). We already know that all these traits are highly heritable (about .4 -.6), but the only reason they appear to be slightly less heritable than IQ may be because we simply don’t have such reliable measures of these things as we do IQ (where our measures are excellent), and measurement error due to unreliability inevitably deflates heritability estimates (and conversely inflates the “non-shared environment” component). In fact, selection for these ‘moral’ traits would also appear to be highly desirable, given the opportunities for ever more sophisticated slaughter being created by today’s tech (drones).

    Market forces, I guess, will all but compel the above scenario upon us. The God squad & the far more tedious bioethicists will howl and screech and probably succeed in banning many of the techniques for a short while, but the spectacle of the wealthy making conveniently timed trips to Beijing and Singapore will soon persuade Western governments that their national health services can and should be put to better use.

    I could of course be wrong, and some people reading this will definitely think I’m crazy, but far crazier still is the thought that no one in government (according to Dominic) is really thinking through the possibilities, risks, and opportunities of tomorrow – instead they’re just like hamsters spinning, trying desperately to keep up with the wheel of today’s media.
    http://profitofeducation.org/?p=5469

    If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.

    That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to “Intellectual disability”. It simply a consequence of the normal distribution of cognitive ability, because there are significant differences in the group means.

    No idea about the “emotional disturbance” bit, though.


    https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/...enlightenment/

    As for race and IQ, I can only excuse the journalists here on the grounds of laziness, since the facts are perfectly clear to anyone who has researched the issue for more than 5 minutes (which I do appreciate is an awfully long time). There are excellent reasons to think the very real racial differences in intelligence are significantly – even mostly – genetic in origin, though the degree is of course a very serious subject of scholarly debate. That debate busily bustles on, and I’m sure we’ll have more precise answers in another 5 years or so, though whether the politicians will pay any attention is debatable. It would be nice if they did from the standpoint of immigration control (in the UK, that is).

    FULL QUOTE:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Honestly, the Dark Enlightenment is a silly and hyperbolic term for what should be fairly uncontroversial at this point; that individual and group differences in behaviour have their roots to some important degree in biology. By now this is, or should be, standard social science, and I think actually is becoming significantly less contested. I remember reading that A.J Figueredo had a bunch of his students in Arizona re-read E.O Wilson’s “Sociobiology”, and these 2007-era students were completely shocked that the book had ever been regarded as controversial. Figueredo and his group have also published a ton of excellent papers, in PAID and elsewhere, on the measurement and validation of Rushton’s “differential K” concept.

    Somehow the term has unfortunately got tangled up with the whole Return of the King/neoreactionary business – which is what it is, I respect these people’s views, and I do think it’s important to remember that democracy has hardly had much time to prove its efficacy and sustainability. However, that group are currently never going to be regarded as anything other than quite fringe (right now at least). Their thinking may be derivative of human sociobiology, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter: their existence should not obscure the fact that the biological model of human social behaviour and its evolution is perfectly scientifically sound.

    As for race and IQ, I can only excuse the journalists here on the grounds of laziness, since the facts are perfectly clear to anyone who has researched the issue for more than 5 minutes (which I do appreciate is an awfully long time). There are excellent reasons to think the very real racial differences in intelligence are significantly – even mostly – genetic in origin, though the degree is of course a very serious subject of scholarly debate. That debate busily bustles on, and I’m sure we’ll have more precise answers in another 5 years or so, though whether the politicians will pay any attention is debatable. It would be nice if they did from the standpoint of immigration control (in the UK, that is).
    https://schoolsweek.co.uk/andrew-sab...al-forecaster/

    “Eugenics are about selecting ‘for’ good things,” he says. “Intelligence is largely inherited and it correlates with better outcomes: physical health, income, lower mental illness. There is no downside to having IQ except short-sightedness.”

    He poses a question. If I were having IVF I might have nine embryos available. If I could choose to be impregnated with the smartest embryo, would I? (I say no).

    “OK, but if you could choose the one that’s most likely to be healthiest, or have less propensity towards schizophrenia or depression, would you do it?”...

    ...
    We next turn to his latest talk-circuit topic of mind-enhancing drugs. In particular he is interested in modafinil, a drug that stops narcoleptics from sleeping, but which also cuts the need for sleep in healthy people by two-thirds and appears to improve brain functioning.

    The down side? In children there is evidence of a slightly elevated risk of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which skin rots. Hence the US drugs agency has not approved its use for juveniles.

    But, Sabisky points out, evidence is building that more hours spent in quality classrooms increases pupil outcomes and life chances, particularly for poorer children.

    “From a societal perspective the benefits of giving everyone modafinil once a week are probably worth a dead kid once a year,” he says, matter-of-factly.

    I am aghast. But he reminds me there is a difference between the ideological and factual. He is personally uneasy about the ethics of many of the things he talks about and as a Christian – he married in church last year – he has moral views on the topics that may not be what people expect.

    “But you have to separate yourself from what you feel and from what are the facts of the matter,” he says.

    Before we finish, I ask if there’s one thing he’d like to say to the people who often take him for being nothing more than a trumped-up 24-year-old who had well-off parents.

    “Come see me talk! People always say I am much more reasonable in person.

    “I also want people to know that demography is not destiny. Social background is not even as important as people think it is. But it has a real effect and we should not have a single-minded focus on an achievement gap that the evidence says is impossible to erase.

    “What we should do is make every child into the best person they can be. That’s it.”


    And from a 2019 Twitter post

    I am always straight up in saying that women's sport is more comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men's.


    This thread is not about the merits or lack thereof in evolutionary biology and sociology. That belongs in the academy.

    This thread is about whether or not people who believe these things to be true and factual should have the right to work as a civil servant or government advisor.

    I would be inclined to believe so, but Sabisky has put the government in a politically difficult position by not fully declaring his past remarks and has presented himself as an easy target for criticism.

    Is Sabisky a racist? Is this shutting down discussion and debate? Are his ideas (regardless of validity) appropriate for a government advisor? For political reasons, I don’t think so.

    Following on from here, should Dominic Cummings be sacked?
    Last edited by Aexodus; February 18, 2020 at 10:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    I reckon we should get science of this right first. I am not an expert, but assuming human "races" as a stagnant categories itself is imo problematic and is naturally prone to racist political views.

    On the other hand, genetics do play a major role in intelligence, and intelligence in return can play a major role in development of society as well as daily life.

    So obviously without going into the alt-rightist nazism excuse nor the "SJW" shunning of debate on the grounds of dogmatized progressivism, I think this is an area that should be explored. And by that I mean the non-environmental aspect of the intelligence quantification.

    AFAIK, we all humans come from the same background. And what we are, our differences etc are all a product of where we are on the time-space of our evolution.
    What I mean is that, the intelligence and gene connection shouldn't be viewed as something related to stagnant categories of "races", which is often the basis of violent politics but rather to "population groups". Humanity and its parts are not a stagnant thing, rather all of us are a part of a collective evolution of our species. We are all potentials of a new future with the genes we carry and the external world we are subjected to as well as the choices we make.

    What do I mean? 2 "white" population groups that evolved in different geographies can have completely different IQ outcomes due to how their genetic pool evolved. Is this not correct? Or an overall "low IQ" genetic pool CAN evolve over generations to have a better average or maybe even worse. Then, the question isn't whether whites or blacks are more like this or that.

    A Turkish population pool from say Istanbul and say from the province of Yozgat can have vastly differing genetic traits including their gene pool if we stop the external additions to the gene pool. And even without that, the social order can encourage the accumulation of a better set of trait over time through better match-making.And yet, if we take this stagnant-politicized view, we have 2 ethnic Turkish pop groups that are completely different from each other. Maybe one group is the poster-child of ubermensch and the other is a bunch of retards. Similarly, Americans from the same town in 1850 and 1950 will naturally have quite different "intelligence" and other trait averages. So it is all a matter of time and pop-nurturing.

    Obviously, this sort of thinking is prone to some sick totalitarin-dystopian tones to it but we should indeed aspire to make sure our societies evolve the best way possible.
    This is a dangerous experimental thought, but ignoring the views of these extremists do not make them less racist.
    A better way to approach IMO is to produce better arguments to fix those views or guide them towards healthier paths.
    "Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle."
    Marx to A.Ruge

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by dogukan
    I reckon we should get science of this right first. I am not an expert, but assuming human "races" as a stagnant categories itself is imo problematic and is naturally prone to racist political views.
    I think you may be right here. While let’s not go off on a huge tangent, I suppose it’s important to establish whether or not Sabisky has a scientific leg to stand on, or if it’s more likely to be nothing more than a racist diatribe based on dubious sources.
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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    I think you may be right here. While let’s not go off on a huge tangent, I suppose it’s important to establish whether or not Sabisky has a scientific leg to stand on, or if it’s more likely to be nothing more than a racist diatribe based on dubious sources.
    As it appears to me, those average IQ differences between countries are not racial, they're economical, ethnic and cultural. Of course poorer countries with lower average education will do worse than rich countries where people have the time and money to do gender studies, etc. Intelligence depends not only on genetics, but also on nourishment and kognitive stimulation during childhood.

    I don't believe there is any significant difference based on genetics besides a few IQ points (around 5 or so). It also has to be taken into account that the mere suggestion that ones race is associated with low IQ does influence the average outcome due to the psychological effect it has on people, which is why i find those test results from deepest Africa to be a fringe results which are not really depicting genetic potential, but laziness regarding test construction and maybe even potential racism.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Is Sabisky a racist?
    I guess that involves inferring intent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    While let’s not go off on a huge tangent, I suppose it’s important to establish whether or not Sabisky has a scientific leg to stand on, or if it’s more likely to be nothing more than a racist diatribe based on dubious sources.
    The existence of a gap of about one standard deviation between blacks and whites within the United States over the past few generations isn't a matter of empirical dispute:

    Ethnic group differences in cognitive ability in employment and educational settings: A meta-analysis

    Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability

    Although I couldn't see the context, comparing women's sports to the Paralympics seems pretty obnoxious.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    To give more context on the topic:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Jensen
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Philippe_Rushton
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lynn
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...ce_controversy

    Boston Review made an article on the topic:
    http://bostonreview.net/science-natu...e-genes-and-iq

    The topic came back several times on Nature:

    Should scientists study race and IQ? YES: The scientific truth must be pursued
    https://www.nature.com/articles/4577...aft=collection

    Intelligence research should not be held back by its past
    https://www.nature.com/news/intellig...s-past-1.22021

    IQ and the Wealth of Nations
    https://www.nature.com/articles/6800418

    Newspapers had different reaction on the topic:

    Why People Keep Misunderstanding the 'Connection' Between Race and IQ
    https://www.theatlantic.com/national...and-iq/275876/

    The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...f-race-science

    Statistics Show IQ Disparities Between Races. Here's What That Really Means
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2.../#36e379364490

    Stop Talking About Race and IQ
    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...e-who-did.html

    Yes, let's talk about race and IQ
    https://www.politico.com/story/2013/...enetics-095765

    James Watson Had a Chance to Salvage His Reputation on Race. He Made Things Worse.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/01/s...tics-race.html

    Should Research on Race and IQ Be Banned?*
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...-iq-be-banned/
    Open Access Defenders Step Up to Save ‘Pirate Bay of Science’
    https://nerdist.com/article/open-acc...brary-genesis/

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    I don't think "black" or "white" are "races", but sadly the discussion is clouded by a lot of angry emotion. Certainly "race" is socially constructed categories (usually based on some genetic features) which come with a raft of social attitudes which probably load the results. Looking back at my own family history and that of friends there are individuals identifying as nominal black or white who have the same number of ancestors from aboriginal or bantu-speaking African ancestors, and others who deny certain ancestry I am pretty sure they have. My own "ethnicity" can be defined as Australian of the Irish race but I don't speak Irish. Given the concept of race means little more than **** all I'm really English from a colonised family which had some irish speakers for some generations back there somewhere. There's no actual exclusive Irish gene AFAIK so race/language/culture slip around like a handful of eels, hardly the basis for solid categorisations.

    My limited knowledge of IQ tests is they are narrow AF and chiefly test for you aptitude for quizzes. I have done well on risible cheapy internet versions which makes me doubt their value. A very quick Google suggests that there's some rough-and -ready value for sorting military recruits but none of the many versions gives a solid correlation with social success up and down the scale. There are questions about bias toward some social or cultural groups, and the dialect in which the test is administered will surely favour a candidate that speaks that dialect.

    ...but not as much as if they are in another language altogether...
    There was a German communist called Kitsch who was refused entry to Australia in the 1930's under the infamous dictation test (to prove sound mind): usually this was used to keep out "non whites" but old mate spoke English well enough. However the test could be administered in any European language (to allow classy Italian musicians and celebrated French authors to enter the country): in this case Kitsch was asked to write down a statement in Gaelic. All perfectly fair of course.


    The fella was silly to discuss his point so crudely, it seems likely from the context he was discussing future technologies in terms of sci fi, and being deliberately rude rather than addressing the Nuremburg rally. That said Racism is about discriminating against people on the basis of race, and if he's talking about sterilising more "black race" people than "white race" people on the basis of a pretty narrow psychologist's test which could arguably be skewed to favour some socially constructed groups over others that would be racism.
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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    The racist Prime Minister in charge of the most right wing government in British history hires racist man to be an advisor, shock horror!

    In other news water found to be wet.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeft View Post
    Theracist Prime Minister in charge of the most right wing government in British history hires racist man to be an advisor, shock horror!

    In other news water found to be wet.
    Citation needed for the bolded parts.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Certainly "race" is socially constructed categories (usually based on some genetic features) which come with a raft of social attitudes which probably load the results.
    Race is based on phenotype, not directly on the genes. This is an important point I think.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenotype
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genoty...pe_distinction

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sabisky
    If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.

    That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to “Intellectual disability”. It simply a consequence of the normal distribution of cognitive ability, because there are significant differences in the group means.
    Precisely about this quote, there are several issues.

    First of all, the mean American IQ for the 1900s was estimated around 70. Were they in average mentally disabled? No.

    Quote Originally Posted by in Smarter than ever?
    Over the past 100 years, Americans' mean IQ has been on a slow but steady climb. Between 1900 and 2012, it rose nearly 30 points, which means that the average person of 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 percent of the population had in 1900.
    [...]
    If you mean, on the other hand, something like: Were people just as adapted to their circumstances in 1900 as they are today? Well, of course they were. They were able to do factory work, to hunt. They could cope with the world as it existed then. They had an average IQ of 70, but they weren't all mentally retarded. So in that respect there's been no gain in intelligence.
    https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/03/smarter
    Secondly, the time when the mean American IQ crossed 85 was around the 1940s. Were they inferior in some way? No.

    Quote Originally Posted by in It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World
    The Flynn Effect should upend some of the smugness among those who have historically done well in global I.Q. standings. For example, while there is still a race gap, black Americans are catching up — and now do significantly better than white Americans of the "greatest generation" did in the 1940s…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/o...art-world.html
    Thirdly, the gap can be explained by other factors than simply genetics:

    Quote Originally Posted by in The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’
    This finding has been reinforced by the changes in average IQ scores observed in some populations. The most rapid has been among Kenyan children – a rise of 26.3 points in the 14 years between 1984 and 1998, according to one study. The reason has nothing to do with genes. Instead, researchers found that, in the course of half a generation, nutrition, health and parental literacy had improved.

    So, what about the Ashkenazis? Since the 2005 University of Utah paper was published, DNA research by other scientists has shown that Ashkenazi Jews are far less genetically isolated than the paper argued. On the claims that Ashkenazi diseases were caused by rapid natural selection, further research has shown that they were caused by a random mutation. And there is no evidence that those carrying the gene variants for these diseases are any more or less intelligent than the rest of the community.

    But it was on IQ that the paper’s case really floundered. Tests conducted in the first two decades of the 20th century routinely showed Ashkenazi Jewish Americans scoring below average. For example, the IQ tests conducted on American soldiers during the first world war found Nordics scoring well above Jews. Carl Brigham, the Princeton professor who analysed the exam data, wrote: “Our figures … would rather tend to disprove the popular belief that the Jew is highly intelligent”. And yet, by the second world war, Jewish IQ scores were above average.

    A similar pattern could be seen from studies of two generations of Mizrahi Jewish children in Israel: the older generation had a mean IQ of 92.8, the younger of 101.3. And it wasn’t just a Jewish thing. Chinese Americans recorded average IQ scores of 97 in 1948, and 108.6 in 1990. And the gap between African Americans and white Americans narrowed by 5.5 points between 1972 and 2002.

    No one could reasonably claim that there had been genetic changes in the Jewish, Chinese American or African American populations in a generation or two. After reading the University of Utah paper, Harry Ostrer, who headed New York University’s human genetics programme, took the opposite view to Steven Pinker: “It’s bad science – not because it’s provocative, but because it’s bad genetics and bad epidemiology.”
    Quote Originally Posted by in Race, Genes, and IQ
    In fact IQ is a great example of a trait that is highly heritable but not genetically determined. Recall that what makes toe number genetically determined is that having five toes is coded in and caused by the genes so as to develop in any normal environment. By contrast, IQ is enormously affected by normal environmental variation, and in ways that are not well understood. As Herrnstein and Murray concede, children from very low socio-economic status backgrounds who are adopted into high socio-economic status backgrounds have IQs dramatically higher than their parents. The point is underscored by what Herrnstein and Murray call the “Flynn Effect”: IQ has been rising about 3 points every 10 years worldwide. Since World War II, IQ in many countries has gone up 15 points, about the same as the gap separating Blacks and Whites in this country. And in some countries, the rise has been even more dramatic. For example, average IQ in Holland rose 21 points between 1952 and 1982.
    Open Access Defenders Step Up to Save ‘Pirate Bay of Science’
    https://nerdist.com/article/open-acc...brary-genesis/

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    It's not surprising that political interest in this topic would rise on the right parallel to increasing usage of arguments from the left which seem to assume that all disparate outcomes between identity groups can only be due to discrimination. Traditionally, conservatives have countered this with arguments about culture, but recent genetic research has somewhat reignited discussions about the degree to which genetics plays a role. Meanwhile, scientists with real knowledge on the topic, when asked politically charged questions, tend to obfuscate and reframe in ways that appear to run counter to the implications of their own research, either due to sincere adherence to the moralistic fallacy or out of fear of the inquisition. In my opinion, this leaves open a gap that is filled by various internet "realtalkers" with questionable qualifications and/or motives whose interpretations become the basis of widespread political discussions happening just under the surface.

    Quoting David Reich's piece in the New York Times:

    I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.”

    Groundbreaking advances in DNA sequencing technology have been made over the last two decades. These advances enable us to measure with exquisite accuracy what fraction of an individual’s genetic ancestry traces back to, say, West Africa 500 years ago — before the mixing in the Americas of the West African and European gene pools that were almost completely isolated for the last 70,000 years. With the help of these tools, we are learning that while race may be a social construct, differences in genetic ancestry that happen to correlate to many of today’s racial constructs are real.

    Recent genetic studies have demonstrated differences across populations not just in the genetic determinants of simple traits such as skin color, but also in more complex traits like bodily dimensions and susceptibility to diseases. For example, we now know that genetic factors help explain why northern Europeans are taller on average than southern Europeans, why multiple sclerosis is more common in European-Americans than in African-Americans, and why the reverse is true for end-stage kidney disease.

    I am worried that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science. I am also worried that whatever discoveries are made — and we truly have no idea yet what they will be — will be cited as “scientific proof” that racist prejudices and agendas have been correct all along, and that those well-meaning people will not understand the science well enough to push back against these claims.

    This is why it is important, even urgent, that we develop a candid and scientifically up-to-date way of discussing any such differences, instead of sticking our heads in the sand and being caught unprepared when they are found.

    To get a sense of what modern genetic research into average biological differences across populations looks like, consider an example from my own work. Beginning around 2003, I began exploring whether the population mixture that has occurred in the last few hundred years in the Americas could be leveraged to find risk factors for prostate cancer, a disease that occurs 1.7 times more often in self-identified African-Americans than in self-identified European-Americans. This disparity had not been possible to explain based on dietary and environmental differences, suggesting that genetic factors might play a role.

    Self-identified African-Americans turn out to derive, on average, about 80 percent of their genetic ancestry from enslaved Africans brought to America between the 16th and 19th centuries. My colleagues and I searched, in 1,597 African-American men with prostate cancer, for locations in the genome where the fraction of genes contributed by West African ancestors was larger than it was elsewhere in the genome. In 2006, we found exactly what we were looking for: a location in the genome with about 2.8 percent more African ancestry than the average.

    When we looked in more detail, we found that this region contained at least seven independent risk factors for prostate cancer, all more common in West Africans. Our findings could fully account for the higher rate of prostate cancer in African-Americans than in European-Americans. We could conclude this because African-Americans who happen to have entirely European ancestry in this small section of their genomes had about the same risk for prostate cancer as random Europeans.

    Did this research rely on terms like “African-American” and “European-American” that are socially constructed, and did it label segments of the genome as being probably “West African” or “European” in origin? Yes. Did this research identify real risk factors for disease that differ in frequency across those populations, leading to discoveries with the potential to improve health and save lives? Yes.

    While most people will agree that finding a genetic explanation for an elevated rate of disease is important, they often draw the line there. Finding genetic influences on a propensity for disease is one thing, they argue, but looking for such influences on behavior and cognition is another.

    But whether we like it or not, that line has already been crossed. A recent study led by the economist Daniel Benjamin compiled information on the number of years of education from more than 400,000 people, almost all of whom were of European ancestry. After controlling for differences in socioeconomic background, he and his colleagues identified 74 genetic variations that are over-represented in genes known to be important in neurological development, each of which is incontrovertibly more common in Europeans with more years of education than in Europeans with fewer years of education.

    It is not yet clear how these genetic variations operate. A follow-up study of Icelanders led by the geneticist Augustine Kong showed that these genetic variations also nudge people who carry them to delay having children. So these variations may be explaining longer times at school by affecting a behavior that has nothing to do with intelligence.

    This study has been joined by others finding genetic predictors of behavior. One of these, led by the geneticist Danielle Posthuma, studied more than 70,000 people and found genetic variations in more than 20 genes that were predictive of performance on intelligence tests.

    Is performance on an intelligence test or the number of years of school a person attends shaped by the way a person is brought up? Of course. But does it measure something having to do with some aspect of behavior or cognition? Almost certainly. And since all traits influenced by genetics are expected to differ across populations (because the frequencies of genetic variations are rarely exactly the same across populations), the genetic influences on behavior and cognition will differ across populations, too.

    You will sometimes hear that any biological differences among populations are likely to be small, because humans have diverged too recently from common ancestors for substantial differences to have arisen under the pressure of natural selection. This is not true. The ancestors of East Asians, Europeans, West Africans and Australians were, until recently, almost completely isolated from one another for 40,000 years or longer, which is more than sufficient time for the forces of evolution to work. Indeed, the study led by Dr. Kong showed that in Iceland, there has been measurable genetic selection against the genetic variations that predict more years of education in that population just within the last century...

    So how should we prepare for the likelihood that in the coming years, genetic studies will show that many traits are influenced by genetic variations, and that these traits will differ on average across human populations? It will be impossible — indeed, anti-scientific, foolish and absurd — to deny those differences.

    For me, a natural response to the challenge is to learn from the example of the biological differences that exist between males and females. The differences between the sexes are far more profound than those that exist among human populations, reflecting more than 100 million years of evolution and adaptation. Males and females differ by huge tracts of genetic material — a Y chromosome that males have and that females don’t, and a second X chromosome that females have and males don’t.

    Most everyone accepts that the biological differences between males and females are profound. In addition to anatomical differences, men and women exhibit average differences in size and physical strength. (There are also average differences in temperament and behavior, though there are important unresolved questions about the extent to which these differences are influenced by social expectations and upbringing.)

    How do we accommodate the biological differences between men and women? I think the answer is obvious: We should both recognize that genetic differences between males and females exist and we should accord each sex the same freedoms and opportunities regardless of those differences.

    It is clear from the inequities that persist between women and men in our society that fulfilling these aspirations in practice is a challenge. Yet conceptually it is straightforward. And if this is the case with men and women, then it is surely the case with whatever differences we may find among human populations, the great majority of which will be far less profound.

    An abiding challenge for our civilization is to treat each human being as an individual and to empower all people, regardless of what hand they are dealt from the deck of life. Compared with the enormous differences that exist among individuals, differences among populations are on average many times smaller, so it should be only a modest challenge to accommodate a reality in which the average genetic contributions to human traits differ.

    It is important to face whatever science will reveal without prejudging the outcome and with the confidence that we can be mature enough to handle any findings. Arguing that no substantial differences among human populations are possible will only invite the racist misuse of genetics that we wish to avoid.
    How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Well, is there even a possibility to try and measure intelligence objectively? I mean other than "this guy looks stupid", or "this person does not opine as i wish, so therefore stupid".

    Can it be dared to be thought, that there may be some kind of objective consensus? If there is, what shall it be? If there is no consensus about intelligence, well... i guess in that case everything goes, quite literally.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Genava View Post
    The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...f-race-science
    Well, this article appears to be deliberately dishonest.

    For example, nearly every sentence in the following quote is false:

    So, what about the Ashkenazis? Since the 2005 University of Utah paper was published, DNA research by other scientists has shown that Ashkenazi Jews are far less genetically isolated than the paper argued. On the claims that Ashkenazi diseases were caused by rapid natural selection, further research has shown that they were caused by a random mutation. And there is no evidence that those carrying the gene variants for these diseases are any more or less intelligent than the rest of the community.

    But it was on IQ that the paper’s case really floundered. Tests conducted in the first two decades of the 20th century routinely showed Ashkenazi Jewish Americans scoring below average. For example, the IQ tests conducted on American soldiers during the first world war found Nordics scoring well above Jews. Carl Brigham, the Princeton professor who analysed the exam data, wrote: “Our figures … would rather tend to disprove the popular belief that the Jew is highly intelligent”. And yet, by the second world war, Jewish IQ scores were above average.
    Now, I'll quote said paper:

    Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group for which there are reliable data. They score 0.75 to 1.0 standard deviations above the general European average, corresponding to an IQ 112-115. This has been seen in many studies (Backman, 1972; Levinson, 1959; Romanoff, 1976), although a recent review concludes that the advantage is slightly less, only half a standard deviation (Lynn 2004). This fact has social significance because IQ (as measured by IQ tests) is the best predictor we have of success in academic subjects and most jobs. Ashkenazi Jews are just as successful as their tested IQ would predict, and they are hugely over represented in occupations and fields with the highest cognitive demands. During the 20th century, they made up about 3% of the US population but won 27% of the US Nobel science prizes and 25% of the ACM Turing awards. They account for more than half of world chess champions.

    While the mean IQ difference between Ashkenazim and other northern Europeans may not seem large, such a small difference maps to a large difference in the proportion of the population with very high IQs (Crow, 2002). For example if the mean Ashkenazi IQ is 110 and the standard deviation is 15, then the number of northern Europeans with IQs greater than 140 should be 4 per thousand while 23 per thousand Ashkenazim should exceed the same threshold, a six fold difference.

    This high IQ and corresponding high academic ability have been long known. In 1900 in London Jews took a disproportionate number of academic prizes and scholarships in spite of their poverty (Russell and Lewis, 1900). In the 1920s a survey of IQ scores in three London schools (Hughes, 1928) with mixed Jewish and non-Jewish student bodies showed that Jewish students had higher IQs than their schoolmates in each of three schools, one prosperous, one poor, and one very poor. The differences between Jews and non-Jews were all slightly less than one standard deviation. The students at the poorest Jewish school in London had IQ scores equal to the overall city mean of non-Jewish children.

    The Hughes study is important because it contradicts a widely cited misrepresentation by Kamin (Kamin, 1974) of a paper by Henry Goddard (Goddard, 1917). Goddard gave IQ tests to people suspected of being retarded, and he found that the tests identified retarded Jews as well as retarded people of other groups. Kamin reported, instead, that Jews had low IQs, and this erroneous report was picked up by many authors including Stephen Jay Gould, who used it as evidence of the unreliability of the tests (Seligman, 1992).

    Ashkenazi Jews have an unusual ability profile as well as higher than average IQ. They have high verbal and mathematical scores, while their visuospatial abilities are typically somewhat lower, by about one half a standard deviation, than the European average (Levinson, 1977; Levinson and Block, 1977). Han Eysenck (Eysenck, 1995) noted “The correlation between verbal and performance tests is about 0.77 in the general population, but only 0.31 among Jewish children. Differences of 10-20 points have been found in samples of Jewish children; there is no other group that shows anything like this size difference.” The Ashkenazi pattern of success is what one would expect from this ability distribution-great success in mathematics and literature, more typical results in representational painting, sculpture, and architecture.

    It is noteworthy that non-Ashkenazi Jews do not have high average IQ test scores (Ortar, 1967), nor are they over represented in cognitively demanding fields. This is important in developing any causal explanation of Ashkenazi cognitive abilities: any such theory must explain high Ashkenazi IQ, the unusual structure of their cognitive abilities, and the lack of these traits among Sephardic and Oriental Jews (Burg and Belmont, 1990; Patai, 1977).
    Counter to this series of references, the Guardian article cites Goddard's IQ tests of Ashkenazi Jews who were suspected to be retarded and Brigham's assessment of Russian immigrants who he assumed were half Jewish.

    Quoting Brigham (1923: 189-190) in context:

    It is fair to assume that our army sample of immigrants from Russia is at least one half Jewish, and that the sample we have selected as Alpine is from one fifth to one fourth Jewish.

    Our figures, then, would rather tend to disprove the popular belief that the Jew is highly intelligent. Immigrants examined in the army, who report their birthplace as Russia, had an average intelligence below those from all other countries except Poland and Italy. It is perhaps significant to note, however, that the sample from Russia has a higher standard deviation (2.83) than that of any other immigrant group sampled, and that the Alpine group has a higher standard deviation than the Nordic or Mediterranean groups (2.60). If we assume that the Jewish immigrants have a low average intelligence, but a higher variability than other nativity groups, this would reconcile our figures with popular belief, and, at the same time, with the fact that investigators searching for talent in New York City and California schools find a frequent occurrence of talent among Jewish children. The able Jew is popularly recognized not only because of his ability, but because he is able and a Jew.
    The argument that random mutation falsifies the presence of selection is also stunningly ignorant on the Guardian author's part. I assume he was trying to say something about drift, which would nevertheless be extremely unlikely considering Ashkenazi specific mutations are mostly lethal to homozygotes and are nearly all concentrated in a small number of metabolic pathways, such as those associated with dendrite growth.

    Quote Originally Posted by swabian View Post
    Well, is there even a possibility to try and measure intelligence objectively? I mean other than "this guy looks stupid", or "this person does not opine as i wish, so therefore stupid".

    Can it be dared to be thought, that there may be some kind of objective consensus? If there is, what shall it be? If there is no consensus about intelligence, well... i guess in that case everything goes, quite literally.
    IQ tests can't claim to test everything one may consider intelligent or the converse. What matters I'd say, is how predictive they are.

    What are the odds?

    Of course people are individuals, not group averages. Living in Israel, I've met a fair share of Ashkenazi idiots.
    Last edited by sumskilz; February 19, 2020 at 02:58 PM. Reason: fixed typos and formatting errors
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    A downing street adviser has resigned after writings of his from 2014 included remarks on race and intelligence as well as compulsory contraception for benefits claimants. Sabisky claims to have been ‘selectively quoted’, blaming the media.
    Is Sabisky a racist?
    Obviously. The alt- right white supremacist also cited a Robert Putnam's essay, Bowling Alone, to further his claims about "White Death" in America. Poor white guy, he feels so alone!



    "Selectively quote", he says... his comments about race "science" / IQ, enforced contraception and support for eugenics are absolutely disgusting:
    "In way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies...would be to legally enforce universal uptake of long-term contraception and the onset of puberty. Vaccination laws give it a precedent, I would argue."
    No, idiot, it's not the same thing, from multiple perspectives.

    "Black Americans...have an intellectual disability".
    It's not even worth a comment.

    "I am always straight up in saying that women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics"
    Sabisky is a chauvinist pig.

    The white supremacist once said that ethnic diversity contributes to the death of white Americans: "The White Death sits on a throne of ethnic diversity" .

    Andrew Sabisky's job at No 10 shows how mainstream the alt. rigth has become
    The Guardian.
    The Dark Enlightenment is a name given to a far-right movement that promotes an ideology called neo-reaction or NRx. On Neoreaction – The Sociological Review
    There is evidence to suggest that Sabisky is even more broadly sympathetic to the NRx movement. In a 2017 blog for the International Business Times, he lamented Twitter’s clampdown on the infamous meme Pepe the Frog, which has long been used as a mascot for alt-right and far-right groups to spread racist, Islamophobic and antisemitic content online. In the article, he praised Land, the philosopher and amphetamine enthusiast considered the founding father of the NRx movement.
    Last edited by Ludicus; February 19, 2020 at 12:04 PM.
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    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
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    swabian's Avatar Suspended
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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post

    IQ tests can't claim to test everything one may consider intelligent or the converse. What matters I'd say, is how predictive they are.
    Aside from conjecture, anecdotes and everyone's BS about who is smart and who is dumb, IQ is the only measurable and verifiable value that can compare intelligence between individuals as well as populations.

    If anyone doesn't like the term "intelligence quotient", go ahead and find another word for what will ultimately turn out to be the same measure, method of measure and interpretation - it will be the same ing construct, no matter how you call it.

    Of course people are individuals, not group averages. Living in Israel, I've met a fair share of Ashkenazi idiots.
    Jesus Christ... you don't have to excuse yourself in front of me that you are a smart Jew.
    Last edited by swabian; February 19, 2020 at 01:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    "Black Americans...have an intellectual disability".
    It's not even worth a comment.
    Where is this quoted from?
    Patronised by Pontifex Maximus

    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    The trick is to never be honest. That's what this social phenomenon is engineering: publicly conform, or else.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    It's not surprising that political interest in this topic would rise on the right parallel to increasing usage of arguments from the left which seem to assume that all disparate outcomes between identity groups can only be due to discrimination. Traditionally, conservatives have countered this with arguments about culture, but recent genetic research has somewhat reignited discussions about the degree to which genetics plays a role. Meanwhile, scientists with real knowledge on the topic, when asked politically charged questions, tend to obfuscate and reframe in ways that appear to run counter to the implications of their own research, either due to sincere adherence to the moralistic fallacy or out of fear of the inquisition. In my opinion, this leaves open a gap that is filled by various internet "realtalkers" with questionable qualifications and/or motives whose interpretations become the basis of widespread political discussions happening just under the surface.

    Quoting David Reich's piece in the New York Times:

    How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’
    This is the crux, that seems to be a well judged piece.

    The function and interplay of genes and culture deserve a very close look indeed and the politicians can stay the hell out of it. "Race" still gets bundled up with lot of bogus 18th/19th century nonsense about blut und boden and "white negroes" etc. so its easy to see why the left goes bonkers about "race science".

    Be good if we could just say its genetic research and lineages rather than races, but the political discussion gets forced back into these ruts by halfwits.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Where is this quoted from?
    Here...Andrew Sabisky: Boris Johnson's ex-adviser in his own word
    And more..
    In Schools Week 2016 he argued that drugs for narcolepsy could be used to improve brain function, even though there are health risks:From a societal perspective the benefits of giving everyone modafinil once a week are probably worth a dead kid once a year.
    Without comments.

    “Racist and offensive”: Kwasi Kwarteng responds to ex ...

    Boris Johnson has been criticised for his failure to fire Sabisky and condemn his comments.
    Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, Kwarteng said: “The message has been clear – his remarks were totally unacceptable. They were racist and they were offensive and he has left whatever post he had.
    I don’t know who he is. I read in the papers he’s 27 years old, I don’t know how he’s had time to write all this stuff to be honest.”
    It's exactly what I was thinking about.
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    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    The comments are not in that Guardian article.
    Patronised by Pontifex Maximus

    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    The trick is to never be honest. That's what this social phenomenon is engineering: publicly conform, or else.

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    Default Re: Andrew Sabisky Race and Eugenics Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    seems to be a well judged piece.
    Or not.

    What Happens When Geneticists Talk Sloppily About Race
    Excerpts,
    "Reich describes race’s complex relationship to ancestry in a way that geneticists—myself included—widely agree upon. Where the op-ed gets into trouble speaks to a broader danger in genetics, one that makes the field particularly susceptible to being exploited for political and pseudoscientific ends: poor communication.
    ...then there’s that passage I mentioned above in which he uses the word “races” in quotes:

    I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.”


    The quotes around “races” are ironic. They’re there to subvert the apparent precision of the word, acknowledging—or at least trying to acknowledge—that many non-scientists nevertheless have some intuition that their perception of race can, loosely speaking, line up with guesses about ancestry.

    The root of Reich’s concern seems to be that if geneticists simply dismiss that intuition, we’ll lose credibility, as larger-scale genetic studies reveal increasingly subtle correlations between ancestry and human-trait variation. (Notably, in his new book, Who We Are and How We Got Here, from which much of the op-ed is drawn, the analogous sentence doesn’t use the word “races” at all: Reich instead uses “populations.”)

    Readers can easily miss all this, especially if Reich’s words are excerpted or twisted to another author’s own ends.

    The science writer Nicholas Wade, whose writing on race has been widely panned by geneticists, brushed away the flimsy shield of ironic punctuation in a response to Reich in the Times: “At last! A Harvard geneticist, David Reich, admits that there are genetic differences between human races, even though he puts the word race in quotation marks.” In New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan talked quite un-ironically of “differences between the races.”

    Reich’s op-ed includes not just vague words, but vague rhetorical logic. It seems to be creating a false balance between, on the one hand, some specifically named people who have expressed what Reich refers to as “insidious” views on race (such as Wade and James Watson, a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA ) and, on the other hand, “well-meaning people” who, according to Reich, are perpetuating some kind of “orthodoxy” that resists research on genetic variation.

    This argument, fleshed out with examples in Reich’s book, is that truculent and overly PC anthropologists, unobstructed by timid geneticists, are suppressing discussion of genetic variation.

    As Reich characterizes the position in his op-ed: “Average genetic differences among people grouped according to today’s racial terms are so trivial when it comes to any meaningful biological traits that those differences can be ignored.”


    I simply don’t know any geneticists who believe this, and few who’d let it pass unchallenged. Many will point out, reasonably enough, that racial categories are an unreliable proxy for ancestry, with horrible social baggage. They’ll also point out that average differences between ancestral populations are typically very small compared to the variation within those populations, for most traits that scientists have tried to measure quantitatively. But scientists have continued to explore human variation, outside the grips of any orthodoxy.

    In the days after the op-ed appeared, there were several rebuttals from fields outside genetics. In some cases, the corrective reactions of geneticists to these (admittedly sometimes flawed) rebuttals seemed swifter, noisier, and more vigorous than the corrective reactions of geneticists to Reich’s op-ed itself. Reich, too, published a follow-up in the Times, in which he clarified some of the language, but reiterated the argument against timid geneticists.

    It’s common for natural scientists to eschew questions of linguistic semantics, preferring to steer debate to technical issues. This relates to how we define ourselves professionally: Science as a discipline seeks objective truth via empirically testable hypotheses, not subjective questions of public perception. “Now we’re just talking semantics” is a line that often signals imminent consensus, in friendly arguments among members of my profession.

    But when speaking publicly about race, language matters. Regularly in American history, slavery, discrimination, and other forms of racism have been justified using distortions of science and pseudoscientific ideas. The U.S. program of eugenics was second only to Nazi Germany’s, which it directly inspired and informed.

    In the op-ed, Reich emphasizes the importance of “laying out a rational framework for discussing differences among populations.” Otherwise, he writes, we “leave a vacuum that gets filled by pseudoscience.” That’s true, but if geneticists use the pseudoscientific terms ourselves, even carelessly, then we help this process along".

    ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    The comments are not in that Guardian article.
    If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.


    That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to ‘Intellectual disability’.
    Last edited by Ludicus; February 19, 2020 at 08:08 PM.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
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    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

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