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Nicholas Wade and the Reality of Race

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

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  1. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    A silly argument by Gould and demonstrably incorrect even if he wasn't wholly wrong in hist criticism of IQ arguments.
     
  2. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    Is that the standard for science nowadays? "Well, he wasn't entirely wrong."

    Lamarck wasn't entirely wrong, either. Nor was Lysenko. Nor was Agassiz. They weren't entirely wrong.

    Sure, they were stupid, dishonest and partisan, but they weren't entirely wrong.

    I'm not aware of any sociologist who makes those arguments. Name one. In fact, the sociologists are usually the ones calling race a social construct by citing Gould and Lewontin.

    I prefer Occam's Razor. Look at the totality of evidence on racial differences. Look at evolutionary theory. What does it suggest?
     
  3. Zankou Bringing peace and love Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    The question is why anybody would be citing Gould/Lewontin in the first place though, given that they were so prone to over-the-top politicized gibberish. Part of the problem is that people willing to step in the *public* ring (as opposed to narrow scientific publications) and address these issues from an alleged scientific perspective tend to be rabidly politicized from one side or the other -- call them the Soviets and the Nazis. If you don't really care that much about it, if you think the truth is somewhere in the middle, you aren't going to go on a public crusade. So what the public gets has largely been crusading from Soviets and Nazis, when I think most objective observers familiar with the underlying science would suggest it's something of a mess in the middle, punctuated by a few clarities at the extremes.

    Gould and Lewontin were essentially Soviet ideologues on the nexus of genetics, human intelligence, and race, and not exactly shy about their political commitments motivating their public work. No, that obviously doesn't mean EVERYTHING they said is wrong, any more than everything their Nazi counterparts say was wrong. But they are so spectacularly and ludicrously wrong in many respects that you might as well call them Lysenkoism 2.0.

    That problem is appreciably mitigated when you look at their successors within the Harvard/NYRB pipeline. Coyne/Orr are not ridiculous, even though they are partisan. They have moved towards the middle. But by the same token neither are they remotely as well known, and their more measured pronouncements don't have the salvific absolutism that Gould and Lewontin were eager to foist on the public, and which became social scientific dogma. They literally legitimated a scientific fraud ('race is biologically meaningless') on a broad area of academia. Why? Because it was politically expedient, almost mandatory. If you look at current publications by the AAA or APA, that fraud continues to carry the day.

    Here's a good example, going back in time. Watch as Gould publicly humiliates himself in the NYRB trying to argue his absurd non-adaptive spandrel claims against Pinker et al, finishing with a delightful appeal to evolution via species selection (.... why not just hand it over to EO Wilson at that point?). It's just cringe-worthy and bumbling from start to finish.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1997/oct/09/evolutionary-psychology-an-exchange/
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  4. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    Gould's awful gift to science is that he was a helluva writer, a brilliant prose stylist. With his pieces featured prominently in the NYRoB for a generation, hundreds of thousands of well-educated Americans were exposed to his tripe.
     
  5. Zankou Bringing peace and love Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    He's unequalled when it comes to combining phenomenally gifted public science writing with bad or misleading science. Usually it's one or the other. But he's the undisputed king in both areas.

    But who can blame the public or the NYRB? Honestly I'd much rather read Gould setting forth mendacious gibberish than an excruciating accurate and careful rendition of the reality. Contrast this fantastically readable work by Gould (I've read it 3x) which is littered with errors, overstatements, and non sequiturs:

    [​IMG]

    With this jaw-dropping display of precision science on the exact same subject, with 50 times the scientific value, but set in brutal prose:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OldGoat Red Belt

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    Stuff like the Selfish Gene is not that bad to read. But what is the average reading ability of the post high school American public? 7th grade?
     
  7. Possum Jenkins Great Replacement Belt

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    How is it obvious? If these things are hard-wired, they're inescapable, aren't they? Their IQs would be low no matter what.

    While I don't have info and specific IQ, African immigrants are some of the most educated and well-off groups in the US. Their IQ is, presumably, on par with that of whites and well higher than that of their genetic brothers, black Americans.

    "Oh, but they don't count because they're a selective, elite group that manages to migrate out!"

    Exactly. And in unbelievably poor countries like Nigeria, only the elite have access to pre-natal care, good nutrition, education, stimulation and all the other things that are considered standard in developed countries.

    So when black Africans live in an environment that is conducive to achievement and intelligence (let's say, living in the US), this hardwired difference in intelligence somehow disappears. Surprise, surprise.




    Brilliant.

    We're talking about intelligence and you stick in a argument about height and physical ability.
     
  8. tkotom Fedor belt

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    Part of me can't help but think that Cold Front wishes he was Ashkenazic.
     
  9. Zankou Bringing peace and love Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Btw, if anybody wants to skip Wade and read the published scientific article that I think summarizes the most significant part of his book (analysis of the human genome in different human populations and the extent to which its various reflects recent active selection), here's that actual article. It's chock full of awesome.

    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/19/5/711.full

    Sample selection:

    "The 722 regions that have been identified in multiple genome-wide scans contain 2465 genes, a number of which have been previously implicated as targets of positive selection. Examples include LCT (Bersaglieri et al. 2004), TRPV6 (Akey et al. 2004, 2006), CYP3A (Thompson et al. 2004), CYP1A2 (Wooding et al. 2002), IL13 (Zhou et al. 2004), and IL4 (Rockman et al. 2003) among others. Perhaps more interestingly, many new well-supported genes emerge that would not necessarily be strong a priori candidate genes of selection to study. For instance, in a rare example of multiple analyses converging on a single gene, PCDH15 was identified in six out of the nine genome-wide scans. Mutations in PCDH15, which plays a critical role in retinal and cochlear function, can result in Usher syndrome type IF and Autosomal Recessive Deafness 23 (Ahmed et al. 2003). Interestingly, three myosin genes (MYO1B, MYO3A, and MYO6) that are integral in cochlear function (Dumont et al. 2002; Walsh et al. 2002; Sanggaard et al. 2008) are also among the set of loci supported by multiple analyses.

    In addition to analyses of individual loci, several interesting observations emerge from examining the general functional classes of these 2465 genes. Table 2 shows PANTHER Biological Process terms (Thomas et al. 2003) that are overrepresented among the set of genes identified in multiple genome-wide analyses. One of the more striking observations in Table 2 is the dominant role that positive selection on metabolic processes seems to have played in recent human evolutionary history. For example, a significant overrepresentation is observed for terms such as protein modification, protein metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and phosphate metabolism. Although this observation is in accord with known dramatic shifts in diet during recent human history (Larsen 1995), the pervasive signature of positive selection across so many metabolic processes has not generally been appreciated. The other interesting point gleaned from a cursory examination of Table 2 is that far from acting on a few classes of genes, positive selection appears to have affected a wide variety of biological processes."

    This will only get more fascinating as the ways in which recent selection have worked become more clearly understood. It is not surprising that there has been intense selection on metabolic genes, and I assume the same must be true for genes relating to disease. Again, it would be almost incomprehensible if these had not displayed intensive selection over the past 10,000 years or so, given the radical changes in human environment across the globe. It's also not surprising that selection has applied at a broad level, because genes don't typically work in a simple on-off way that only affects one narrow defined trait. They often affect complexes of traits because everything is interconnected.
     
  10. csroster Silver Belt

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    At this point, he's making me wish I was too.
     
  11. OldGoat Red Belt

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    This is what I have been saying on this subject since the subject has been discussed and is the source of my greatest irritation with those who debate the subject. They ask for isolation of variables that cannot be isolate. It's like noone on this forum has taken a basic course in differential equations that touches on non-linear math and chaos theory. Which also has implications for economics as well that many choose to ignore.

    I am beginning to think that a BS or MS or PhD in any thing that has "science" or "engineering" in it's name should be required to include math that a physics major would take plus some advanced statistics. It would weed out a lot of unqualified people.
     
  12. tkotom Fedor belt

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    Haha.

    Unfortunate for both of you..
     
  13. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    Yes, those sub-Saharan populations will still have low IQs - just not as low if they get the proper micronutrients and other basic environmental inputs.

    Even the people who you think of as IQ determinists (but who really aren't) readily admit this.

    Yes, but Africa is a big place with a huge population, and so even when you factor in a lower mean IQ, you still get millions of black people in Africa who are clearly smarter than the average white man.

    Let's say that only one in a thousand Africans has an IQ above 115 (compared to 14 out of 100 white Americans). That's probably low, but let's assume it for this illustration.

    In a population of nearly a billion sub-Saharan Africans, that still leaves us with nearly a million sub-Saharan Africans who have reasonably high IQs and the potential to appear bright in most any modern cultural context.

    The immigration selection process often skims the best of these off the top. But they are not representative of who they left behind.

    See, you're getting it.

    Nobody disputes that IQ in sub-Saharan Africa can increase. But it's starting from such a low point, that even a large increase will fail to bring it up the levels in the worst places of southern Europe. let alone your silly assumption that it could be brought up to the levels of Ashkenazi Jews.

    It doesn't disappear. We can see things like regression to the mean in immigration populations which suggest the genetics is still working to push it down despite living in a much better environment.

    Well, your argument is easy to make fun of.
     
  14. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    I'm happy being me. The angst, the Jewish mothers, the fascination with left-wing politics - who needs it?
     
  15. tkotom Fedor belt

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    lmao.

    the mothers..
     
  16. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    Point being that the criticisms on this topic which they made were often correct despite their political motivations.
    Social scientists then. The authors of the Bell Curve for example.
    That demonstrable PE effect sizes are often greater than group differences and that other aspects of PE are conflated with A in many of the relevant studies.
     
  17. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    The maths useful to particular disciplines can vary widely. For me linear algebra would have been quite useful but some of what you mentioned far less so.
     
  18. Grooboggle Blue Belt

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    Free will isn't a scientific concept. Its a philosophical one. And I am by no means incorrect. Pragmatically everyone acts as if they believe in free will. Even your scientists. So if something doesn't exist and yet every single person acts as if it does and this action influences their behavior to some extent in a pragmatic sense its irrelevant if it truly exists or not.

    You wish to tell me you actually hold that people aren't morally culpable for their actions?
     
  19. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    Name some.

    Gould is so silly about the topic of IQ that at one point in the The Mismeasure of Man he actually congratulates himself for no longer using statistical arguments because, he says, those statistical methods had often been used in the past to support racist conclusions.

    I'm not even fucking joking about that.


    Herrnstein was a quantitative psychologist; Murray was a political scientist.

    I told you to look at the totality of evidence, and you wrote this back to me. How is this a response?
     
  20. Cold Front Banned Banned

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