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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. CableandThanos Yellow Card Banned

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    JVS is kind of our loveable mascot around here, did you really have to shit on him like that?

    Although I will admit, jack does say some informed stuff sometimes, but then he starts trying to play word games, or acting like he doesn't understand criticism and then he throws out the race card.
     
  2. kpt018 Gold Belt

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    No, not at all. I like reading things that challenge my views (that's why I jumped in this thread). I do however place higher value on reviews/opinions of those who have demonstrated to have good ones. If I am reading about a scientific study or hypothesis, it should be based on good science.

    That's why I used the words "sounds like it has serious flaws". I have not read it, so of course I don't know for sure. But based on some paragraphs taken from it, I am pretty sure it's garbage.

    I work (a lot), am married, love training and playing/watching sports, so my time is limited. I obviously can't read everything right? So I will read reviews of the book, just like anything else I would purchase or invest time in.

    Uh, no. Do you really think my entire life revolves around Sherdog? Lol, c'mon man. This is basically a fun time killer when I'm slow at work.
     
  3. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    Fuentes is an anthropologist, a field replete with ignoramuses who practically pioneered the idea that race is a social construct. He spends a lot of time making stupid distinctions that even other critics of Wade wouldn't agree with.

    For example, Fuentes:

    Who cares? Wade is well aware that these distinctions are somewhat arbitrary. But then so is every other biological classification, including species.
     
  4. kpt018 Gold Belt

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    What is your point, the critique is bad?

    Wade says this about the book:

    "Readers should be fully aware that in chapters 6 through 10 they are leaving the world of hard science and entering into a much more speculative arena at the interface of history, economics and human evolution."

    Fucking great, it's a waste of time.
     
  5. Cold Front Banned Banned

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    There's no such thing as a superior race. Genetic advantages and disadvantages for every group depend heavily on context, and the only ones who are ever truly out of the game are those who go extinct.

    Evolution doesn't care whether you make money or don't make money, have a high IQ or don't have a high IQ, look pretty or don't look pretty, excel in the arena or don't excel in the arena. It only cares whether you successfully breed.

    If you want to see the evidence, I can offer no better resource than Steve Pease's The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement. It covers every conceivable field, including areas where Jews haven't done that well, such as country-western music.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  6. Zankou Bringing peace and love Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Here's a good and basic review. Short, but communicates what you would want to know as a summary.

    http://spartanideas.msu.edu/2014/05/08/nicholas-wade-interview-a-troublesome-inheritance/

    As the writer points out, the first half of the book contains good information that will be surprising only if you haven't followed human genome research over the last 10 years. Yet among social scientists, you will still hear nonsense about "social construct" and such -- this remains the default view of the AAA, APA, economists, etc. Those arguments were rendered laughable years ago as the genome became sequenced and subjected to mathematical analysis, but people still routinely embarrass themselves by trotting these pious mantras out. That pseudoscience is really the main target that Wade is aiming his book at.

    From a 2010 article in Science, here's how the actual clustering of human genetic variation breaks down in a mathematical model:

    [​IMG]

    But human genetic variation and its clustering is just part of the story; some kinds of variation matter much more than others. In fact a single gene can kill the organism outright if it varies one way or another. Other gene variation does nothing whatsoever. So one wants to know how the variation is structured, but also WHY it is structured that way, and what the effects of the variant genes are.

    Most important (and one of the bitterest controversies) was whether the genetic variation was actively selected for in different ways between groups, rather than just random drift. In other words, whether it was actively evolving in response to environment. Yet again, prevailing social scientific consensus (please note that this had no relation to actual scientific consensus) was that human evolution stopped in that sense from 100,000-60,000 years again. But again, that was a testable hypothesis. These arguments have relatively recently been slaughtered on the altar of mathematics and modern genome sequencing, which allowed us to analyze the degree to which given variation was the result of selective pressure. As it turns out, about 8% of the total variation between groups seems to have been recently "selected" for, or more straightforwardly, evolved differently.

    What we still DON'T know, however, is what that selective pressure actually was for the vast majority of the genes. In other words, while we can generally tell with math that specific genes were selected against others in a given population, we can't necessarily tell why, or what that gene's effects are, or how it was selected (why it became more common). For example, much of that selection may reflect things like the need for different disease/parasite resistance in different environments. It would actually be very surprising if jamming people together into urban cities crammed with livestock did not have a radical selective effect for reasons of disease resistance alone. Disease resistant genetics may not strike people as very important, but in terms of reproductive survival when you drastically change the environment, it's ungodly important. Disease resistant genes can become dominant with incredible speed in societies stricken by plagues.

    It's also important not to get too hung up on gene numbers, since even a handful of genes can have significant effects on many different phenotypical traits.

    But that's the first half of the book. Again, if you have been following research in this area over the last decade, none of it will be new, nor is it really controversial. If you have been blindly suckling at the teat of social science, on the other hand, it might surprise you.

    In any event, the second half of Wade's book consists of speculation -- by his own admission -- on that subject of what genes were selected and how they relate to regional human history and culture. This is the part where he loses the interest of most, including me. This is why even those who enjoy watching Wade mock the reigning social scientific pieties have slagged on his speculations and described his book as very uneven.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  7. Adrian Rierson White Belt

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  8. IDL Steel Belt

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    Good post Zankou. The speculative part I would assume is an attempt to hypothesize gaps in knowledge and would only be interesting on those terms.

    Unfortunately, it is a difficult topic for people to discuss.
     
  9. OldGoat Red Belt

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    The superior race? The answer to that is ants.

    Biology has no goal. What survives in the present is what survives in the present. How do you ascertain what trait or group of traits is superior?
     
  10. OldGoat Red Belt

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    Funny you should mention species being arbitrary. Since categorization helps with modeling people forget that categories like all properties of models are simplified representations of reality. Only reality truly accurately represent reality yet dealing with non-simplified versions makes it impossible to work with.

    Those who model things know they are limited. A species is a fuzzy set in terms of it's members not just in the now but also in the when. But species is still a useful enough concept to use for science.

    Why do I mention this? Because it is about the standard of proof that the left demands on this one subject. But they don't understand that the variables are as convoluted as turbulent fluid flow which is a chaotic system that can not, in theory, be solved completely. It's mathematically impossible to link the gene x or set of genes (x,y,z...) with a particular outcome. The best one can do is so say that there is a correlation. Why this is controversial isn't because the science or math is all that hard. You can get an idea of the basic of chaos theory in undergrad math classes and this is similar. It's controversial because it is hugely politically troubling. JvS and similar leftists are so afraid of the genocidal, racist hiding under their bed just waiting for justification to gas the world that they pretend they don't understand basic science.

    You will never convince someone like JVS because his ideology is his religion and people like you are heretics. JVS doesn't even believe that wage has an impact on prices...
     
  11. Khabib Khanate Hashashiyan Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Doesn't modern medicine facilitate the spread, or at least slow down the eradication of, negative mutations? Its possible to have a genetic disorder that can be treated well enough for you to live a relatively normal life and thus reproduce.
    Sometimes I think to myself that all one needs to do in a WR thread is read Zankou's post(s) in the thread.
    While this is true, there are traits we as humans value over others such as intelligence and athletic performance.

    If you could be reborn in a body with an IQ ceiling of 150 and athletic prowess in the 85th percentile with the drawback being you were short, pale, and mildly color blind would you take that over having an IQ ceiling of 110 and being in the 50th percentile of athletic prowess with average height and no color blindness? I'm sure most would pick the former.

    If it can be shown that certain groups tend to possess certain traits we generally value over others like intelligence many would consider that group the superior group even if they're lacking in other traits like disease resistance or height or color blindness.
     
  12. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Then it's a matter of desirability rather than superiority?
     
  13. Khabib Khanate Hashashiyan Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yes but the group with the desired traits can be perceived as superior even if on a strictly biological basis they're not and that perceived superiority can have consequences.
     
  14. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Yeah, like being beautiful is superior to being ugly. That's why we've got people cutting themselves up with plastic surgery and injecting goop subcutaneously. Scary shit that stuff. All because they want to be treated better/get the job they want or because they know no other way to boost self-esteem.
     
  15. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    From what I've seen by actual relevant reviewers (e.g. Gelman and Coyne) this book comes up pretty short on a variety of fronts. While it is easy and correct to say that you can cluster human populations genetically and doing so corresponds to recent geographic, that translates very differently to fitness effects and perhaps not at all to any of the sociological issues the author tries to tackle.

    There's another issue in that being able to cluster individuals genetically doesn't necessarily correspond to race. This gets to the "race is a social construct" issue which geographic genetic differences don't necessarily address. The question is whether genetic groupings correspond to racial groupings. In some cases they do and in others they don't. It's been awhile but I recall a paper from the early to mid-2000s in which assigning Brazilians to race basically didn't match genetic groupings well at all. That's probably less the case in the US where race might well fit well.

    All that said, it is absolutely absurd and demonstrably false to suggest that human populations don't show local adaptation. Gould and Lewontin were dipshits on that front.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  16. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    Depends. Arguably modern medicine has instead revealed a hell of a lot of deleterious alleles. Cancer, for example, is primarily a disease that shows up after reproduction and prevalence increases with age. When everyone is dying by 40, you don't see a lot of cancer.
     
  17. Khabib Khanate Hashashiyan Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I meant more along the lines of this kind of research being used to justify racism. Also beauty is a lot more subjective, fluid, and difficult to measure than something like intelligence.

    Just to clarify, I'm not saying this sort of research shouldn't be done, it most certainly should be looked into, but I think these potential social consequences are something that should be kept in mind when conducting this sort of research.

    But if cancer typically shows up after reproduction then its not really interfering with it much is it? You've already had children and passed on your genes.
     
  18. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    Sorry, misread your post. I guess I just like talking about antagonistic pleiotropy.

    To answer your original question, not really because they're not really negative then.
     
  19. UpaLoompa Grand Quasiprophet of the Sakaran Apocolyps

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    The issue really comes down more to interpretation.
     
  20. LucasWithLidOff Banned Banned

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    People have been into social Darwinism ever since Darwin. And people have been making terrible conclusions from data for even longer than that.
     
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