Nicholas Wade and the Reality of Race

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Cold Front, May 21, 2014.

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  1. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    In case you're one of the few who haven't heard, a former New York Times science reporter, Nicholas Wade, has just published a book about the reality of race called A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History.

    I discovered by chance that an ongoing discussion about the book had popped up in the "So What is Wrong with the Nordic Model of Economics?" That debate was more lively than informed, but it showed there was a lot of interest in the topic. I'm starting this thread to reignite the discussion in a more productive manner for those interested.

    Wade's various arguments are based on one simple fact: human evolution never stopped. Or as he puts it, "human evolution has been recent, copious and regional." He then goes through a summary of the scientific evidence showing this to be true.
     
  2. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    The new science has shown that one of the ways anthropologists once classified by race - by continental origin - can be recapitulated using genetic clusters. These continental sets are fuzzy, of course, but still distinct (as opposed to discrete).

    But the classifications can be multiplied. There are genetic differences between Ashkenazi Jews and other European populations. (Ashkenazi Jews are an admixed population made up of Middle Eastern and Italian/Roman ancestry - about half of each - that have recently separated from other Europeans through endogamic practices.) Tibetans are different from other East Asians. Congo pygmies are different from their Bantu neighbors. And so on.

    Do these genetic differences have practical concerns. The short answer is yes. But the longer answer is that scientists aren't precisely sure for many of them. We know why Tibetans have adapted for living in high altitudes, for example, but why is the EDAR gene almost fixed in East Asians? Wade has some speculations on many topics - some might be bullshit, but others probably have some truth to them.

    The good news about this field is that it's moving fast. If you take a year off from following it, you'll almost certainly be out of date. If you take five years off, you'll have to refamiliarize yourself with the entire field. It's that fast moving, and it's revolutionizing many areas of scholarship, inclusion history, linguistics, anthropology, and archaeology.
     
  3. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    One of the more interesting new experiments has shown that there is a genetic difference between northern and southern Europeans in height, with the former having more elevated selective pressure on those genes. The average Italian is 171 cm, for example, while the average Swede is 175 cm.

    There is no height gene. Like many human traits, including intelligence, it's polygenic. That is, multiple genes work in combination to provide the genetic potential for the trait. For this reason, you get a lot of variation for the trait even within families.

    But what could possibly account for more height selection in northern Europe than in southern Europe?
     
  4. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Haven't read the book. It wouldn't make any sense that if evolution is real that it would just up and stop.
     
  5. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    In before 'race is a social construct and there are no significant differences between people from different genetic clusters'.
     
  6. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Yeah, I agree. That idea never made sense. Ever.

    Nevertheless, we once had Harvard scientists promoting the notion that evolution had stopped from the neck up about 60,000 to 100,000 years ago.
     
  7. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    A really first-rate book on the subject for sports that I cannot recommend too highly is David Epstein's The Sports Gene.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    How quickly does the author assert our continued evolving will affect ... well .... anything?

    Human genes are slow to evolve, as opposed to dogs as I think I understand lol
     
  9. IDL

    IDL Gold Belt

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    Dogs are bred specifically for traits by an unnatural selection process. Humans breed much more randomly.
     
  10. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    He assumes it already has, and gives numerous examples.

    Ashkenazi Jews, for example, have the highest IQs of any population group in the world, and this fact has consequences for their outsized success in business, science, and the arts. It may also explain why they have so many genetic disorders.
     
  11. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    but dogs dna strings structure allows for rapid evolution.
     
  12. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Presumably the same could be true of human history. A hierarchal regime, for example, could've weeded out people who were a threat to it - in effect, domesticating the local population if the regime - or a series of similar regimes - stayed in power long enough and maintained a consistent policy.

    Hunter-gatherers tend to be non-hierarchal. They don't like "Boss" men. So presumably it might take some slight adjustment in the population's genetic tendencies to become settled and start taking orders from above.
     
  13. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    firstly- using jews are examples in the WR cold go badly!

    so this specific jew interbreeds and excludes other humans from their club for how long to have developed this genetic trait of the highest IQ?
     
  14. IDL

    IDL Gold Belt

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    Interesting, never heard that before. I guess that would just compound the effect.
     
  15. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    there is a super cool national geographic special on the dna of dogs. That's where I got it from.
     
  16. IDL

    IDL Gold Belt

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    I haven't heard of examples of that, but it could be possible in theory if 'spiritedness' is genetic. Seems like something an authoritarian would love to do.
     
  17. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Well, I'll defend myself by saying it's in Wade's book. So I'll blame him.

    In all seriousness, he does use many more examples, including China and the West.

    According to one thesis, what probably happened was that Middle Eastern Jews who settled in Rome during the classical era were too few in number to practice endogamy, so the Jewish men took Roman (i.e., European) wives. After a few generations of this kind of exogenous breeding, the group built up enough numbers to begin practicing endogamy again - with Jews only marrying other Jews.

    They maintained this practice for the next thousand years. Many Jews left the tradition and became Christian, but few outsiders were allowed in, so the group become a genetically distinct admixed population consisting of about 50 percent Middle Eastern ancestry with 50 percent European ancestry.

    By the early Middle Ages, this group of Jews began to fill niches related to tax farming, moneylending, and trade - all fields in which having a higher IQ helps with success. Over many generations, the more successful Jews - i.e., the smarter Jews - had more children, and these bright lads and lassies married each other, thereby raising the group's mean IQ at least 8 to 10 points above their European neighbors by the modern era.
     
  18. Tropodan

    Tropodan Silver Belt Platinum Member

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    Canada eh!
    It's racist to think that there would be any differences between groups that have been isolated in different environments for thousands of years. Check your privilage you Nazis.
     
  19. Cold Front

    Cold Front Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Behavioral geneticists believe every trait is heritable.

    http://people.virginia.edu/~ent3c/papers2/three_laws.pdf

     
  20. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    Interesting. Good to read such evolutionary advances were not made in a couple hundred of years.

    I wonder how mixing dna clusters will affect this thesis in a few thousand years .... I am guessing we will have mutants in NA while Japan and China are collapsing from weird new inbreeding diseases .....
     
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