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Rod D

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I’m not quite sure how to talk about this Rod Dreher post because it’s so bizarre. It reads as a whiny appeal for liberals to quit being so mean to creationists and fundies. But if you scratch the surface, you’ll find it’s really a threat. And the threat is basically: “be careful shoving your beloved SCIENCE down our throats, libs, because SCIENCE also says Black people are stupid.” To make his case, he links approvingly to racist shitstain Steve Sailer.

One of the things that keeps drawing me to Steve Sailer’s writing is that his beliefs on human biodiversity sometimes lead him to point out inconvenient truths about ideologies informing our common life.

If I’ve given you the impression that Dreher is bullying, racist shithead, I apologize. He’s not. He’s heavy-hearted about what he’s telling us. He’s SAD that black people are stupid and inferior. But don’t you see that he’s left no choice but to be a racist scumbag when we insist on forcing our reality down his throat?

“Darwin wouldn’t be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music”–Steve Sailer

I’ve got a few issues with this stream of derp-vomit. One: Unless I’m mistaken, there is no consensus in the scientific community that there are significant differences among the races. Two: Even if there were, there’s a long way to go from acknowledging differences to enacting eugenicist-influenced policies in response to said differences. Three: People are different, period. People have different intelligence levels, different upbringings, different advantages and disadvantages. There are disabled and mentally-challenged people living full and happy lives.

So, yes, I’m going to call it: Rod Dreher’s post is at threat, and a disgusting one at that.

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  • I’d like to see Dreher sit-down and explain his opinion/theory about this subject with either Neil deGrasse Tyson and/or Richard Sherman.

    I suspect that it would be a very short conversation.

    • currants

      Heh. Add TNC to that list. Might be a longer convo, same outcome.

      Better yet, let’s make it a three-fer. All of ’em.

      • Origami Isopod

        Fuck me, I would pay to see TNC take Dreher apart rhetorically. With or without NdGT and Sherman.

        • I hate to say it but TNC is too nice. And Dreher has proven, over time, that he is completely resistant to actual information and a sincere and loving interest in books, ideas, and history, which is TNC’s forte. Dreher is that very unusual thing–an educated man who is self stupefying. His devotion to not knowing things is much, much, greater than his desire to learn something new. Even TNC’s adorable sweet reason, backed up with pictures, illustrations, and semaphore wouldn’t penetrate a skull made thick and heavy by Dreher’s devotion to his mental practice: brain cilice and flagellation.

          • delurking

            Yes, this. Dreher *has* educated commentators who bring the knowledge and data to him (over and over and over again). And he lets these comments through, so you know he’s reading them.

            But this information never penetrates his determination to remain willfully ignorant on certain topics.

            • Warren Terra

              In the immortal words of Upton Sinclair, it’s difficult to get someone to understand something when their paycheck depends on their not understanding it.

              • sharculese

                it’s difficult to get someone to understand something when their paycheck entire sense of self-worth depends on their not understanding it.

                • sharculese

                  FTFY

                • Yep.

                  If anything Roddy should be used as Exhibit A when some jackass claims that X can’t be racist because there’s no crosses were burned nor N words uttered.

          • Halloween Jack

            I don’t know if it’s a matter of “too nice” so much as “doesn’t want to give Dreher an excuse to play the martyr” and/or “doesn’t want to give Dreher delusions of grandeur from having a far superior writer pay attention to him at all.” It’s the same basic reason why Paul Krugman seldom calls out David Brooks by name, even though Brooks regularly publishes staggeringly stupid stuff.

            • rea

              It’s the same basic reason why Paul Krugman seldom calls out David Brooks by name

              A big part of why Krugman seldom calls out Brooks by name is that the editors of the paper get annoyed when their columnists slag each other in public.

              • djw

                There’s actually an official policy against it, I thought.

                • Andrew Smithers

                  Folks, this entire discussion is about fear. The very real, very deep fear on the left that the reality of human nature won’t fit their preconceived notions and ideology. Science was “good” as long as it could be used as a club to beat believers. Now that science is making the left look like religious fanatics on the subject on human nature, it is “bad”.

                  Guess what science doesn’t care about your pieties and faith. It only cares about evidence and facts.

                  That makes it very scary and accounts for the hysterical reaction to Dreher’s entirely rational remarks.

                • Smirk. Yeah, that must be it.

                • Anonymous

                  “Guess what science doesn’t care about your pieties and faith. It only cares about evidence and facts.”

                  This is true. You should take that to heart, since the fact is that Sailer & Dreher do not present science – they present pseudoscience Sailer made up.

          • Origami Isopod

            I don’t know if I’d apply the term “nice,” a rather bland descriptor in any case, to TNC. He’s pretty iron-fisted in his comments, not always but usually for the better in terms of conversational flow.

            But I take your point about Dreher. He’s a fanatic. Fanatics don’t absorb information that contradicts their worldview. The only point of a debate between him and Coates would be for the edification of onlookers.

          • djw

            an educated man who is self stupefying.

            God, yes. There are a lot of things about him that get under my skin but you’ve put a finger on one I hadn’t quite been able to name and articulate before.

        • Mitchell Young

          Given the Ta .. okay, I give up, TNC, won’t approve even very respectful comments that disagree with him, I’m pretty willing to say that Dreher would destroy him … intellectually that is.

          • This is a bizarre inference from pretty clearly false claim.

            It’s hard to understand your comment ad anything other than “The white guy is smarter than the black guy, am I right?”

            (The answer is “No”, btw.)

            • Mitchell Young

              No, it’s a claim that someone who really allows no dissent in the comments on his blog is not very good at arguing with those who disagree with him.

              TNC doesn’t allow dissent, Rod Dreher’s blogs comments are often 3 to 1 against his position.

              • Sure it is!

                But wrapping your racist assertion in a facially neutral form works a lot better to distance you from the racism if it isn’t transparently silly.

                There’s lots of ways to have a comment section run 3 to 1 against you, and many, if not most of them, have nothing to do with being either correct or intellectually formidable (cf trolling).

                But of course you know this.

                • Mitchell Young

                  “But wrapping your racist assertion in a facially neutral form works a lot better to distance you from the racism if it isn’t transparently silly.”

                  Well, as far as I can understand your rather garbled logic, you are saying that implicitly criticizing Mr. Coates for not allowing much in the way of even ‘respectful’ dissent in his comboxes is racist, because Mr. Coates is black (and my counterexample, Dreher, is white).

                  Well, I’m here to tell you the Brad De Long does the same thing as Mr. Coates, and considering that De Long is a Berkeley (home of the ‘Free Speech Movement’) professor, that is 100 times worse than Mr. Coates unwillingness to broach dissent.

                  Or, in short, I’ll criticize the honky too!

                • Iterating the silliness doesn’t make it less silly. Similarly, desperate backpedal long doesn’t reduce the racism.

                  Well, as far as I can understand your rather garbled logic,

                  To claim that I was unclear does not support your misreading.

                  you are saying that implicitly criticizing Mr. Coates for not allowing much in the way of even ‘respectful’ dissent in his comboxes is racist, because Mr. Coates is black

                  Ah, a classic, if still transparently stupid, move! Of course, the problem isn’t your (factually incorrect, as pointed out below) belief that TNC doesn’t allow dissent, but the inference to his intellectual inferiority.

                  Well, I’m here to tell you the Brad De Long does the same thing as Mr. Coates, and considering that De Long is a Berkeley (home of the ‘Free Speech Movement’) professor, that is 100 times worse than Mr. Coates unwillingness to broach dissent.

                  And yet you didn’t challenge DeLong’s intellectual bona fides! Wow, you really suck at this.

                  Or, in short, I’ll criticize the honky too!

                  Did you think is would add cred? If so you were very wrong.

                  Did you really think these were clever and effective moves? Sad.

              • delurking

                The claim that Ta-Nehisi Coates does not allow dissent is also incorrect, as anyone who comments over there knows.

                Just like Rod, he allows respectful, on-topic dissent.

                What he does not allow is racist comments, or disrespectful comments, or hate-filled comments.

                He will also ban you for badgering or continually commenting after your point or question has been answered, or for comment off-topic — derailing, in other words.

                Since these are favorite topics of the Right-Wing troll, you can see why they would feel hurt.

                • Steve

                  If you disagree with me its Bush’s fault that you are racist.

                • Peter Schaeffer

                  TNC more or less instantly deletes anything he doesn’t like. The more detailed the comment, the more scientific data produced, the faster it goes. Of course, the commenter is promptly banned.

                  For example, there is a great wealth of data on lead levels in blood, by age, race, and over time. Since the inferences aren’t politically correct, you will be promptly banned for posting it, even if the current topic is blood lead levels.

                  TNC hates science because science is based on dangerous things called “facts” rather pretentious moral superiority. His entire worldview is based on using exploitation of “victim” status to maintain the more upper hand. When science gets in the way, it’s a very big problem.

                  TNC can’t hold his own intellectually and uses the delete key as a crutch. See J. Bradford Delete for his inspiration.

                • God, these racists–like ol’ Peter here–are whiney.

            • junker

              I liked the “pretend not to be able to spell the name” part. Boy that guys sure has a funny name, huh!

              • Mitchell Young

                Spell it for me, I’ll copy it to my desktop as a handy reference.

                Or maybe I’ll just use ‘Mr. Coates’

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Br’er Coates would do, if you could remember where the apostrophe goes.

            • Peter Schaeffer

              TNC more or less instantly deletes anything he doesn’t like. The more detailed the comment, the more scientific data produced, the faster it goes. Of course, the commenter is promptly banned.

              For example, there is a great wealth of data on lead levels in blood, by age, race, and over time. Since the inferences aren’t politically correct, you will be promptly banned for posting it, even if the current topic is blood lead levels.

              TNC can’t hold his own intellectually and uses the delete key as a crutch. See J. Bradford Delete for his inspiration.

      • MEH 0910

        Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog is one that Rod Dreher regularly reads.

        • MEH 0910

          Correction: I just read Rod responding to a comment at his blog that he doesn’t read TNC as much as he used to.

      • Peter Schaeffer

        TNC is a classic example of an intellectual who can only function if he (or she) has a megaphone and can silence anyone (everyone else). He more or less instantly deletes anything he doesn’t like. The more detailed the comment, the more scientific data produced, the faster it goes. Of course, the commenter is promptly banned.

        For example, there is a great wealth of data on lead levels in blood, by age, race, and over time. Since the inferences aren’t politically correct, you will be promptly banned for posting it, even if the current topic is blood lead levels.

        TNC can’t hold his own intellectually and uses the delete key as a crutch. See J. Bradford Delete for his inspiration.

        • I see that Mitchell Young’s spiel above really is a script kiddy script. Interestingly, this version is a bit more coherent, if still long on pure, risible assertion. Did Mitch just mess it up, or are you trying to repair the holes in his version?

          • Peter Schaeffer

            BJ,

            Try studying the “facts” related to some public topic before commenting. They really can help. Remember that “bad facts” may well be true ones. Study the persecution of Galileo Galilei by the inquisition. Ask yourself what factually factitious theories (from Steven Pinker, the “Blank Slate”, the “Noble Savage”, and the “Ghost in the Machine”) you are protecting with petulant outrage because the data points contrawise. Remember Galileo Galilei final words.

            “Eppur si muove”

            • Malaclypse

              The melodrama is strong with this one.

          • PJ,

            While it’s really fun that you have a Galileo complex schtick, it has nothing to do with the fact that you are echoing in tight detail a extremely problematic line that MJ gave above that happens to denigrate an obviously serious and thoughtful public intellectual who happens to be black as a non-intellectual. Oh, and you repeat it.

            So, you may be MJ’s sock puppet or it may be that you picked up this script from the same place he did. In neither case are you advancing any line of argument (at all) nor are you being persecuted nor are you being intellectually brave or serious nor are you presenting any facts.

    • Ken deFarmer

      As a USN sailor in the racially tense 70’s, I did witness a few of those kinds of conversations. They were very short. Very entertaining, too!

      • Lurker

        As a USN sailor in the racially tense 70′s, I did witness a few of those kinds of conversations. They were very short. Very entertaining, too!

        So black sailors silenced their white, intellectual inferiors through reasoned argument, appeals to fact, statistics etc?

        Or you mean they attacked them physically? I trust you’re not implying that blacks are more to prone to violence?

    • Helmut Monotreme

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson would be overkill. Mike Tyson could out argue Rod Dreher, even without getting physical.

    • Mike Steinberg

      How about the Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology?

      Gottfredson, L. S. (2005). Implications of cognitive differences for schooling within diverse societies. Pages 517-554 in C. L. Frisby & C. R. Reynolds (Eds.), Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology. New York: Wiley.

      http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2005cognitivediversity.pdf

      As Steve Hsu, of the BGI Cognitive Genomics Project notes:

      “Two groups that form distinct clusters are likely to exhibit different frequency distributions over various genes, leading to group differences.

      This leads us to two very different possibilities in human genetic variation:

      Hypothesis 1: (the PC mantra) The only group differences that exist between the clusters (races) are innocuous and superficial, for example related to skin color, hair color, body type, etc.

      Hypothesis 2: (the dangerous one) Group differences exist which might affect important (let us say, deep rather than superficial) and measurable characteristics, such as cognitive abilities, personality, athletic prowess, etc.

      Note H1 is under constant revision, as new genetically driven group differences (e.g., particularly in disease resistance) are being discovered. According to the mantra of H1 these must all (by definition) be superficial differences.

      A standard argument against H2 is that the 50k years during which groups have been separated is not long enough for differential natural selection to cause any group differences in deep characteristics. I find this argument quite naive, given what we know about animal breeding and how evolution has affected the (ever expanding list of) “superficial” characteristics. Many genes are now suspected of having been subject to strong selection over timescales of order 5k years or less. For further discussion of H2 by Steve Pinker, see here.

      The predominant view among social scientists is that H1 is obviously correct and H2 obviously false. However, this is mainly wishful thinking. Official statements by the American Sociological Association and the American Anthropological Association even endorse the view that race is not a valid biological concept, which is clearly incorrect.

      As scientists, we don’t know whether H1 or H2 is correct, but given the revolution in biotechnology, we will eventually. Let me reiterate, before someone labels me a racist: we don’t know with high confidence whether H1 or H2 is correct.

      Finally, it is important to note that group differences are statistical in nature and do not imply anything definitive about a particular individual. Rather than rely on the scientifically unsupported claim that we are all equal, it would be better to emphasize that we all have inalienable human rights regardless of our abilities or genetic makeup.”

      http://infoproc.blogspot.co.nz/2007/01/metric-on-space-of-genomes-and.html

      • Except, there have been no ‘markers’ for any genes that have any association with intelligence, and intelligence is very much affected not only by the genetic disposition of an individual but their environment as well.

        Trashy arguments make it into so-called ‘respectable journals’ once in a while, this is one of those times.

        • Mitchell Young

          “Trashy arguments make it into so-called ‘respectable journals’ once in a while, this is one of those times.”

          In other words, I just wont believe the evidence against my position.

          At least the bible thumpers don’t go on and on about how ‘rational’ they are.

          • Snippet

            At least the bible thumpers don’t go on and on about how ‘rational’ they are.

            This is precisely why liberals annoy me more than conservatives, despite the fact that they not after all any more stupid.

            • These sound like GREAT reasons to prefer fundies to libs. No, really. Totally grounded in logic and devoid of emotionalism.

          • Malaclypse

            Exactly. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” is a far less annoying argument.

            • Snippet

              Just as stupid. Less annoying.

          • Mike Steinberg

            At least the bible thumpers don’t go on and on about how ‘rational’ they are.

            @ Mitchell Young,

            The irony is that while that group are seen as anti-evolution, as David Friedman points out, those who are hostile to the implications of evolution tend to be otherwise well educated liberal types (I actually see myself as relatively liberal, but I think Friedman is right). Friedman comments:

            “And the religious right has been the chief force against teaching evolution.”

            (Quoted from Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Lousiana University philosophy professor and prominent critic of creationist science.)

            It’s a widespread view, but true in only a narrow sense. People who say they are against teaching the theory of evolution are very likely to be Christian fundamentalists. But people who are against taking seriously the implications of evolution, strongly enough to want to attack those who disagree, including those who teach those implications, are quite likely to be on the left.

            Consider the most striking case, the question of whether there are differences between men and women with regard to the distribution of intellectual abilities or behavioral patterns. That no such differences exist, or if that if they exist they are insignificant, is a matter of faith for many on the left. The faith is so strongly held that when the president of Harvard, himself a prominent academic, merely raised the possibility that one reason why there were fewer women than men in certain fields might be such differences, he was ferociously attacked and eventually driven to resign.

            Yet the claim that such differences must be insignificant is one that nobody who took the implications of evolution seriously could maintain. We are, after all, the product of selection for reproductive success. Males and females play quite different roles in reproduction. It would be a striking coincidence if the distribution of abilities and behavioral patterns that was optimal for one sex turned out to also be optimal for the other, rather like two entirely different math problems just happening to have the same answer.

            The denial of male/female differences is the most striking example of left wing hostility to the implications of Darwinian evolution, but not the only one. The reasons to expect differences among racial groups as conventionally defined are weaker, since males of all races play the same role in reproduction, as do females of all races. But we know that members of such groups differ in the distribution of observable physical characteristics–that, after all, is the main way we recognize them. That is pretty strong evidence that their ancestors adapted to at least somewhat different environments.

            There is no a priori reason to suppose that the optimal physical characteristics were different in those different environments but the optimal mental characteristics were the same. And yet, when differing outcomes by racial groups are observed, it is assumed without discussion that they must be entirely due to differential treatment by race. That might turn out to be true, but there is no good reason to expect it. Here again, anyone who argues the opposite is likely to find himself the target of ferocious attacks, mainly from people on the left.

            http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.co.nz/2008/08/who-is-against-evolution.html

        • guthrie

          And also it seems odd, all these people making arguments that maybe *that group over there* are less intelligent, years and decades before the scientists have shown one way or another which genetic grouping has on average lower intelligence or not.

          Maybe the racists would like to shut up about intelligence until we know which groups are more and less intelligent?

          • Lurker

            Maybe the racists would like to shut up about intelligence until we know which groups are more and less intelligent?

            There’s always boring old empirical reality to fall back on. For example here you are writing in a European language on an internet invented by whites using technology originated by whites. Don’t tell me, that doesnt prove anything because – rap?

            • One could say the same thing about an Internet user in Shanghai, whose language was written before even that of the Latins or the Greeks.

              So your point is, again?

              • Mitchell Young

                But to translate that language into something a computer can understand, the Shanghai user has to rely on the information theory developed by Claude Shannon, heartland whitebread American that you’ve probably never heard of.

                • The Chinese were using the abacus, a mechanical computing device, when the ancestors of most Caucasians back then didn’t even know Arabic numerals or how to count above 20 without using their fingers and toes.

                  Don’t forget gunpowder, the compass, movable type,etc., all which weren’t invented by ‘whitebread’ people.

            • Jordan

              Wait, is this an actual comment from “Lurker”? I really hope not …

              • Lurker

                It’s not me, if you think about a certain Finn who has been commenting here on various issues.

                • Lurker (guest)

                  I’ve always been Lurker, I’ve never commented at this liberal circle-jerk, backwater before this thread. I’m not a Finn.

                • Barry Freed

                  Then why not just fuck right the fuck off then, (guest)?

            • guthrie

              THat’s like going back to CHina in the 15th century or so and saying “Look, the biggest ships in the world, and capable of crossing oceans, the Chinese are the smartest and best people in the world!!!”

              Only then politics got in the way and the ships were scrapped, leaving the field open for Europeans.
              Basically you are ignoring the long history of blacks in the USA and elsewhere being discriminated against and less well educated, which massively reduces their chances of making cutting edge contributions.
              So, I’m happy enough to label you a racist.

            • herr doktor bimler

              you are writing in a European language on an internet invented by whites using technology originated by whites

              More specifically, we are writing in English, using computer architectures designed by English-speaking people, on an internet invented by English-speaking people. Obviously this proves that English speakers are smarter than those Romance-language and Slavic and Baltic and Celtic nations, not to mention those weird Finno-Ugric witches up in Pohjola.

              Or is that silly? But claiming that the credit for these developments should be shared across some nebulously-defined “whites” who weren’t involved, but NO FURTHER, seems even sillier.

          • Mike Steinberg

            @ guthrie,

            Phenotypic differences aren’t exactly a secret. You could consult the Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology.

            The question is to what extent group differences reflect environmental and genetic variation. Researchers, when surveyed, tend to think both factors contribute to the gaps seen in the US at least.

        • Steve

          That 3rdrail destroys all behavior and IQ related genetic research since the “Warrior” (actually belligerent a-hole) gene was discovered to be most common in stereotypical phenotype

        • Mike Steinberg

          ***Except, there have been no ‘markers’ for any genes that have any association with intelligence, and intelligence is very much affected not only by the genetic disposition of an individual but their environment as well.***

          1. A substantial portion of variation between individuals in terms of intelligence is due to genetic variation. It’s similar to height in that respect.

          2. There are in fact studies identifying some markers, although that will increase as the cost of genome sequencing falls (again – similar to studies regarding height).

          http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/factor-analysis-of-population-allele-frequencies-as-a-simple-novel-method-of-detecting-signals-of-recent-polygenic-selection-copy.pdf

          • Jordan

            There are some really, really good lessons we can learn from Gould’s book. First, just because a trait is highly “heritable” doesn’t really mean much when comparing averages between distinct populations.

            Second, even if some magical trait is “PURELY GENETIC” this doesn’t mean that there can’t be really easy correctives.

            And third, which is just me, you are a racist asshole.

          • herr doktor bimler

            A substantial portion of variation between individuals in terms of intelligence is due to genetic variation

            Trivially true in that some genetic combinations result in reduced intelligence…most notably, three copies of Chromosome 21. Sadly, linking particular genes with increased intelligence is not so easy.

            2. There are in fact studies identifying some markers

            Quite a few, in fact. Trouble is that they never identify the same markers. Plomin has been pursuing this line of inquiry for decades, periodically pulling a new Intelligence Gene out of his hat, with the press release then fading quietly into the background for lack of replication.

            That trick never works, Bullwinkle.

            • tt

              Trouble is that they never identify the same markers

              I don’t know anything about Plomin’s work in particular, but this is actually a very common problem in human genetics. The standard way to achieve confidence in a marker is multiple genome-wide association studies plus independent confirmation studies of the individual marker, and we haven’t had the technology to do this until the last decade.

              • herr doktor bimler

                So previously people have been conducting this research as an expression of faith rather than as a serious scientific endeavour?
                If, in retrospect, the inability to replicate any of these loudly-heralded findings is unsurprising, was it really worth spending so much money on the project?

                • tt

                  It is a known fact that most reported scientific findings are wrong. It has nothing to do with faith; it’s just that science is really hard and scientists were too confident of their results. In retrospect, yes, there was a lot of wasted money spent on genetic studies, many of which did not even have the power to detect the kind of effect sizes we see for most disease markers identified by GWAS. But we did learn something from those failures and we’re a little better now.

                • sibusisodan

                  It is a known fact that most reported scientific findings are wrong.

                  I think you’ve put your finger on the reason my thesis is unsubmitted…that’s what I’m afraid of!

                • Your supervisor is negligent then!

                  While you should strive for truth, in many ways it’s low on the list of scientific virtues (classic Phil of Science move to point out that truth is cheap and boring; we want interesting truths).

                  If your work advances our understanding, they you should submit!

          • Height can be quantified as a measure of length, how do you quantify intelligence the same way?

            If you were placed in the Australian Outback next to an Aboriginal Australian who was raised there and knows how to survive such an inhospitable environment, who would survive the longest? Who would display the most intelligence?

        • Andrew Smithers

          TDGOT,

          Wow. You really, really need to learn things called “facts” before you post. Let me offer you a few basics. First, specific markers are not required for a determination of the heritability of intelligence. A long list of other techniques are used. They collectively known as “science” (a bad word, I know). Second, specific genes related to intelligence have been found.

          See “Specific Genes Linked to Big Brains and Intelligence” (http://www.livescience.com/19692-genes-brain-size-intelligence.html) and “First intelligence gene discovered” (http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/intelligence-gene-found/) and “Have we found the genetic basis for intelligence?” (http://io9.com/5921370/have-we-found-the-genetic-basis-for-intelligence)

          Of course, the genes found so far do not account for the known heritability of intelligence nor is intelligence entirely heritable (50-75% apparently).

    • Mitchell Young

      Just to be clear, are you implying that these three (I guess black) individuals would resort to violence?

    • LogCabinConservative

      Yes, Dreher’s piece drips with troglodytic hostility toward…East Indians like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

      • Jordan

        Yeah, Puerto Rico is totally in the East Indies.

    • fucking lol you mentioned neil degrasse tyson…how about our most foremost public intellectual?

  • currants

    TNC on Sherman, but I imagine everyone here has already read it.

    • Hogan

      I thought it would be about the burning of Atlanta, but oh well.

      • elk

        That’s a brilliant solution to Atlanta’s current weather and transportation situation. Are they really considering trying this?

        • elk

          The first time did not take.

          • sharculese

            Back when I was in college, the route from Atlanta to Athens had these tacky billboards along it with pithy, passive-aggressive messages from “God”. (I assume they’re still there) One of them said “Don’t make me come down there,” and I always thought it would be great to go up there one night and change the signature from “God” to “Sherman.”

            • sharculese

              In reality though at this point it would be less “the burning of Atlanta” and more “the burning of the metro area north of the 285”

              • Mitchell Young

                I’m not familiar with the geography of Atlanta, but I’ll bet the ‘metro area north of 285’ is predominantly white (which is why you want to burn it). I’ll also bet the area pays more taxes than South Atlanta, and uses less services, in effect subsidizing darker areas of the metro region.

                Amirite?

                • Oh man, I didn’t know scummy racist trolls could be this *hilarious!* Carry on.

            • Origami Isopod

              I shall not see anything more amusing than the above comment on the internets today.

          • They forgot to salt the ground behind them.

            • N__B

              So many people forget this one simple trick…

            • sharculese

              I see what you did there…

            • Lee Rudolph

              They were short of salt because too much was being shipped north for pizza topping!!!

  • To put it more precisely, nobody has determined which genes code for increased intelligence, let alone linking them to any discrete human populations or traits like skin color.

    • rea

      Apparently, some people think that the skin rather than the brain is the organ of thought.

      • efgoldman

        Apparently, some people think that the skin rather than the brain is the organ of thought.

        Well, it’s become clear in recent years that whatever Republicans think with, it isn’t’ their brains.

      • Warren Terra

        I will concede that being less Orange would probably benefit Boehner in many ways, including possibly cognition.

      • LogCabinConservative

        Yes, that’s why racists exclude albino Africans from their statistical observations about average differences in intelligence across races.

        • Except that melanin content of ones’ skin has no correlation with a given individuals’ intelligence. We all have the same number of melaninsomes in the skin, the difference in color merely reflects the different levels of activity in two given individuals.

    • tt

      Nobody has determined precisely which genes code for height either, but we know it differs between ethnic groups due to genetic causes. Nearly every trait which has been studied (not only humans but all organisms) differs in phenotype between populations in part from genetic causes. I don’t think Dreher is wrong to be scared.

      • Origami Isopod

        but we know it differs between ethnic groups due to genetic causes.

        With socioeconomic factors controlled for?

        • tt

          Yes. All human genetic studies control for non-genetic factors. There’s no way to do so perfectly in humans, but you can do so for model organisms.

          • Translation: Kinda.

            • Origami Isopod

              +1

              Also it’d be nice to see tt substantively addressing the various problems that are raised in the thread just below this one.

              • tt

                OK:

                1. It’s true that most genetic variation is within-population rather than between populations, but this is not a useful fact for determining the extent to which phenotypic variations between populations have a genetic basis.
                2. It’s true that all populations in the US are admixed, but European admixture in African Americans and Asian Americans isn’t very high. <20% on average for African Americans.
                3. All complex traits have multiple genetic and environmental causes. It's obvious that both height and intelligence have large non-genetic components. The link with nutrition is very strong. The link with early development is very strong. The genetic link is also very strong.
                4. Intelligence, unlike height, is hard to measure, which is one reason we shouldn't make determinative statements about its genetic causes. That's why I said there's reasons to be afraid rather than that we know anything for certain.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Afraid of what? Spit it out.

                • tt

                  That there are substantial gaps in intelligence between human populations due to genetic differences between those populations.

                • Yep. Even though people have been trying and failing for centuries to prove a correlation between intelligence and whatever definition of race is in use at a particular time/place, we should continue to worry that someone will finally CRACK THE CODE.

                  Any day now…

                • John Protevi

                  Intelligence, unlike height, doesn’t exist as a discrete “trait”, and so is hardimpossible to measure, which is one reason we shouldn’tonly grossly ignorant racist assholes make determinative statements about its genetic causes.

                  FTFY.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Your #3 above does not support your argument, nor does your concession that intelligence is not like height.

                • tt

                  How does #3 not support my argument? #3 is my argument. Every interesting biological trait is caused by a complicated mix of many environmental and genetic factors, each of which vary between human populations and each of which partially explain the variation between human populations.

                • tt

                  As for the “discreteness” of intelligence, it’s a fair point, but worth pointing out that many behavioral traits studied face similar problems, which hasn’t stopped progress on the genetics of these traits. For example, I used to study the genetics of smoking addiction. There is no way to measure directly how addicted a person is–you rely on proxy measures, often in come combinatorial way.

                • Mike Steinberg

                  ***Intelligence, unlike height, is hard to measure, which is one reason we shouldn’t make determinative statements about its genetic causes.***

                  Are you familiar with the work being done at BGI? I’d recommend some of Professor Steve Hsu’s posts.

                  http://infoproc.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/google-genetics-and-intelligence.html

                • tt

                  I have heard of the work being done at BGI, though I don’t know enough to have an opinion about it. Looking through their site, they seem to agree that intelligence is harder to measure than height. It’s a real problem, just not as big a one as many people here seem to think.

                • Jordan

                  @tt

                  Bullshit. Provide your definition or analysis of intelligence. That has to be the first step before measuring it, and yet no one can ever do it adequately.

                • tt

                  @Jordan: I’ve discussed that issue fairly extensively on this thread and don’t want to repeat myself; read my other posts.

                  Ultimately, this doesn’t matter very much. If I do a study using one measure of intelligence and find genes associated to this measure, but you disagree with my measure, you can do your own genetic study based on your measure. There are two possibilities. The two measures could be highly correlated in the population in which case we will find mostly the same genes, because we’re really getting at the same thing. Or they are poorly correlated in which case we now understand the genetics of two aspects of “intelligence.” In either case, we have discovered something new and interesting about the world. In contrast, debating the metaphysical question of which measure is “really” intelligence will not reveal anything new about the world.

            • LogCabinConservative

              Translation: scientific uncertainty proves the opposite hypothesis

        • Steve

          Actually the only group of blacks that have a higher SAT average than non-Hispanic whites from families making under $20,000, are blacks from families making over $200,000 a year.

          Search (JBHE GRE) to see the journal of blacks in higher education admit that without affirmative action there would be no black medical doctors.

          • Jordan

            Cool story, Sailer.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Except for DOCTOR BEN CARSON!!!

    • Mitchell Young

      Around 1910, Alfred Wegener looked at a bunch of disparate evidence from around the world, the ‘jigsaw’ shapes of the continents, the distribution of fossils across continents, and concluded that the continents had once been own, and had somehow moved apart. He was laughed at, in large part because he didn’t have a mechanism as to how seemingly solid things could change position in a seemingly solid sphere.

      He was, of course, correct.

      We have a lot of data on intelligence. We have a lot of data on crime. We have a lot of data on sexual behavior.

      We have all this data across radically different societies and polities.

      They show meaningful difference between the population groups, separated by geographic origin, that we call ‘races’.

      Deal.

      • Then in that case, we should be like the Japanese population, which has a much lower incidence of crime than American or even some other so-called “European” societies. Also, Russia seems to have a lot of crime, none of which can be attributed to African-Russians, Latino-Russians, etc.

        • Steve

          You forgot to mention the Muslims in Russia, like the ones at the Boston marathon.

          • Jordan

            We get it, Steve Sailer, you are a racist. Does it bother you that top the google autocomplete for your name is “racist”?

      • guthrie

        Oh no, he had a mechanism, but it was really silly, involving the moon and the continents grinding over the top of the basement layers. Also, lots of geologists agreed with him that it was likely that the continents had been together once upon a time, but they weren’t sure how. So they worked on various other bits of research, including that of the internal heat of the earth, and by the 1930’s and 40’s were formulating ideas about molten rock moving inside the earth and doing things.
        Then several things all came together such as proof of oceanic floor spreading and everyone went “Well that’s that solved.”

        So, you’re wrong on that count too.

        • Mitchell Young

          You are just plain wrong. Continental drift was not accepted by anything like a consensus of geologists until after WWII and the development of the study of paleomagnetism.

          As it is, the whole theory of plate techtonics didn’t come together until the mid 1960s, more than 50 years after ‘continental drift’ was proposed.

    • Steve

      To put it more precisely whenever any research goes near that zone, they same things that happened after the discovery of the “warrior” (belligerent a hole) gene (2R allele of MAOA) matched stereotypes people stop researching.

  • Todd

    Yes, and while there are genuine controversies in science about some of these sorts of issues, defining race is more of a political and/or cultural thing. Many scientists would dispute (or at least be dubious about) the entire concept of formal races. Many would point out that there is more average genetic diversity WITHIN what a culture calls a “race” than BETWEEN the median individual in different “races”.

    • Gregor Sansa

      “median” doesn’t even make sense except in one dimension; the word in this case is “modal”, that is, with the most common version of each allele.

      That goes especially for “black”. There is more genetic diversity among “pure” africans than among the entire set of “pure” non-africans put together. And on top of that is the fact that most African-Americans have plenty of non-African ancestry. So any genetic generalization about “black people” is almost certainly rubbish.

      • Origami Isopod

        And on top of that is the fact that most African-Americans have plenty of non-African ancestry.

        And presumably so do many black Africans in Africa, due to colonialism but also due to centuries of normal human migrations to and from Africa.

        • “Black people have more patrician blood in their veins that the sheet-draped yahoos who are always trying to chase them off school buses.”

          – O’Rourke, back when he was still amusing.

        • Yes, in Ghana you can see it in the preservation of Danish and Dutch names here. In the early days of contact European men would leave their families in behind and come to the Gold Coast to make a lot of money to leave behind to them. But, it was for most a known kamikaze mission since most of them died of malaria or yellow fever and never returned to Europe. So at first they would take an indigenous wife and start a second family and then the mixed race daughters would be married off to other arriving Europeans. There used to be an entire distinct Euro-African community as a result.

      • joel hanes

        any genetic generalization about “black people” is almost certainly rubbish.

        The crux of the biscuit.
        This can’t be said enough times.

        • Steve

          Yea when Eric Holder fought against Florida’s Felon No Vote Law he admitted that 1 out of 3 voting age black males are felons. So making a generalization that most blacks are felons is only true if you are talking about a group of 2 or more.

          • joel hanes

            “genetic” is the word you purposely ignored.

            DIAF.

      • Steve

        That’s because everyone except blacks have some Neanderthal DNA. Looking at civilizations, inventions and Nobel Prizes it seems that its good stuff.

      • Lee Rudolph

        “median” doesn’t even make sense except in one dimension

        Not to detract from your larger point, or to give aid and comfort to the Aryan Horde, but that statement isn’t quite right. If
        (1) each of the several dimensions involved is an “additive scale” (i.e., it has a “unit” such that it makes sense—within the terms of the phenomena being multiply scaled—to say of four of the items being measured in that dimension “A differs from B in that dimension by the same number of units as C differs from D”:), and (2) all the dimensions are commensurable with the same unit,
        then it does make (formal) sense to talk of “the median”. Of course it is very rare for (1) and (2) to be satisfied: essentially, (1) is satisfied if and only if it is a Euclidean coordinate in Euclidean n-space, and (2) if and only if, further, the collection of n “dimensions” in question are orthogonal coordinates there. (A lot of practitioners ignore the second point. One case that I’m very familiar with is Russell’s “circumplex model of emotion space”, with orthogonal coordinates given by “activation” and “pleasure”: much effort has gone into making models with specific angles between points on the circumplex associated to different pairs of core affects, without—as far as I can tell—any consideration of the fact that to claim such angle measures are meaningful is tantamount to assuming that it’s meaningful to equate the unit of activation with the unit of pleasure.) In fact, the “median” in this case is the good old center of gravity, and has a big problem when it comes to interpretation: if the population being multiply measured has as its collection of multiple measures a non-convex set in the Euclidean space of multiple measurements, then the “median multiple measure” need not be the multiple measure of any member of the population (or even “close” to one: consider the center of gravity of a metal washer…).

        • sibusisodan

          I cannot overstate my love for this comment. You had me at Euclidean n-space.

    • Plus, don’t things like nutrition/environment affect IQ? So, how do we even get any sort of accurate grasp on matters this complex? I’m not arguing for forbidden knowledge like Dreher is, but I do think you get into a great deal of trouble when you make blanket statements about the races.

      • Malnourished children can definitely develop cognitive disabilities that continue later in life. A large part of the lower scores for earlier tests in parts of Africa is believed to have stemmed from this specific problem. But, this effect is not limited to Africans.

      • Todd

        Everything is a factor, and it’s all contingent. Then you have to ask yourself what something like an IQ test even produces. “The Mismeasure of Man” by SJ Gould is a nice takedown of all of this nonsense.

        • Inner Partisan

          That’s another point that “scientific” racists constantly ignore, treating IQ like the be-all and end-all of human intelligence (and human worth, for that matter.)
          I mean, it’s clear that IQ tests measure something – but in the worst case, it might just be how good someone is at taking IQ tests.

          Oh, and a personal anecdote: I’ve taken two “real” IQ tests in my life – one at 11, and one at 27. I scored 7 points higher on the latter, even though, according to the model, my score should have gone down. Oh, and best of all? I was hungover as fuck when I took that test.

          • Anna in PDX

            I knew I picked the wrong week to give up drinking.

            • You said that three days ago. I just looked and saw that this post is now over 600 comments and I don’t know if there’s enough liquor in this country to keep me going.

          • Richard Hershberger

            There have been more than a few takedowns of IQ tests, and the concept of IQ in general. My favorite is The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. It is a few decades old by now, but should hold up well.

            • Steve

              They have invented G weighted IQ tests that remove cultural bias and you don’t even need to speak the same language. Since spatial orientation and math make up a large part of it blacks do worse than on bias tests.

              • Jordan

                No, they haven’t. But it will make you feel better about your racist self, so there is that.

                • Mitchell Young

                  racially racist racisty racist, oh, and you’re racist, ra ra racist

          • Robert M.

            …in the worst case, it might just be how good someone is at taking IQ tests.

            From a psychometric standpoint, it’s increasingly likely that this is the case. We don’t understand intelligence very well, and we can’t define it very well, and that puts a pretty severe limit on how well we can measure it. The best we can really do is go for a functional definition, but that means that any intelligence test is highly dependent on the sample of people used to develop it.

            • Snippet

              The best we can really do is go for a functional definition, but that means that any intelligence test is highly dependent on the sample of people used to develop it.

              Which explains why Asians do so well on IQ tests.

          • DrS

            Even with that evidence, I don’t think we should let 11 year olds get drunk.

          • Lurker

            in the worst case, it might just be how good someone is at taking IQ tests.

            Which might turn out to be a reasonable proxy for general intelligence.

            a personal anecdote: I’ve taken two “real” IQ tests in my life – one at 11, and one at 27. I scored 7 points higher on the latter, even though, according to the model, my score should have gone down

            Really? What model would that be? IQ can fall, rise or stay the same from childhood to adulthood.

            If IQ is all down to education and experience then wouldnt you have expected it to rise?

        • Sly

          Everything is a factor, and it’s all contingent. Then you have to ask yourself what something like an IQ test even produces. “The Mismeasure of Man” by SJ Gould is a nice takedown of all of this nonsense.

          And, of course, Walter Lippman, who got the ball rolling in 1922, when the U.S. Army instituted IQ tests to sort recruits.

          “Because the results are expressed in numbers, it is easy to make the mistake of thinking that the intelligence test is a measure like a foot rule or a pair of scales. It is, of course, a quite different sort of measure. For length and weight are qualities which men have learned how to isolate no matter whether they are found in an army of soldiers, a heap of bricks, or a collection of chlorine molecules. Provided the footrule and the scales agree with the arbitrarily accepted standard foot and standard pound in the Bureau of Standards at Washington they can be used with confidence. But “intelligence” is not an abstraction like length and weight; it is an exceedingly complicated notion which nobody has as yet succeeded in defining.”

          1922.

          When I took my first formal course on Evolutionary Biology, the biggest takeaway for me was how old the arguments against Evolution by Natural Selection actually were, but still manage to pop up in creationist and ID “literature.” Old as in the kinds of arguments that Darwin himself addressed directly in the late 19th century.

        • Lurker

          “The Mismeasure of Man” by SJ Gould is a nice takedown of all of this nonsense.

          Except it isn’t. For a start it’s hardly the last word, being published in 1981. For another it’s been criticised from several standpoints, see here:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mismeasure_of_Man

          If you want a takedown I would suggest trying another book.

          • Mitchell Young

            Gould’s key experiment, by which he ‘refutes’ a long dead pioneer in anthropology, has itself been refuted — twice.

            “In a study published in 1988, John S. Michael reported that Samuel G. Morton’s original 19th-century data were more accurate than Gould had described; that “contrary to Gould’s interpretation . . . Morton’s research was conducted with integrity”. Nonetheless, Michael’s analysis suggested that there were discrepancies in Morton’s craniometric calculations.[12] In another study, published in 2011, Jason E. Lewis and colleagues re-measured the cranial volumes of the skulls in Morton’s collection, and re-examined the respective statistical analyses by Morton and by Gould, concluding that, contrary to Gould’s analysis, Morton did not falsify craniometric research results to support his racial and social prejudices, and that the “Caucasians” possessed the greatest average cranial volume in the sample. To the extent that Morton’s craniometric measurements were erroneous, the error was away from his personal biases. Ultimately, Lewis and colleagues disagreed with most of Gould’s criticisms of Morton, finding that Gould’s work was “poorly supported”, and that, in their opinion, the confirmation of the results of Morton’s original work “weakens the argument of Gould, and others, that biased results are endemic in science.” Despite this criticism, the authors acknowledged that they admired Gould’s staunch opposition to racism.[13]”

            • Jordan

              This is such stupid, old bullshit. That isn’t the key “experiment,” the best part of the book is still the actual arguments, and you are still a dumb racist.

              • Lurker (guest)

                SJG’s essential argument was that all races are of equal intelligence.

                A moments thought about evolution (never mind a quick glance at the real world) would show that to be a extremely improbable concept.

                Over to you…

        • Mitchell Young

          Except that Gould’s ‘crucial experiement’ showing the supposed mismeasure has been shown — not once, but twice — to be incorrect. See downthread.

          • Jordan

            This is literally a tell that you come from either Stormfront or Steve Sailer’s site.

            • Mitchell Young

              Actually I come from California.

              • Lurker (guest)

                I’m from Britain! And yes, I do read Steve Sailer’s stuff. Its always entertaining, informative and thought provoking. The comment threads there are full of interesting people with further thoughtful insights.

                This site otoh…

                • Barry Freed

                  Then please leave, no one is keeping you here.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Clearly what’s keeping him here is nostalgie de boue: he just can’t get enough of us mud-people.

                • Anonymous

                  Lurker, better watch out, some of the things I’ve said, and perhaps you’ve said, could get you a visit from the CPS.

      • Prok

        Nutrition is a huge factor, unless we believe Europeans and Americans have just gotten way smarter over the last 100 years.

        • Hogan

          I’ve gotten a lot smarter over the last 57 years, so it’s possible.

          • Warren Terra

            Even if true, unless Lamarck and Lysenko were right this is unlikely to greatly assist the racists’ theories.

        • Lurker

          Nutrition is a huge factor, unless we believe Europeans and Americans have just gotten way smarter over the last 100 years.

          It seems like you think you’re highlighting an inconsistency. You aren’t. General nutrition has improved for most Europeans & Americans over the last 100 years, at least in terms of calories, quantity of food and so on. So better nutrition may have contributed to better IQ scores.

        • Mitchell Young

          No question. No psychometrician on the ‘nature’ side would deny that.

          The absolutists are all on the ‘nurture’ side of the argument. They are denialists, denying the role of genetics.

          • delurking

            Nice strawman you’ve got there, Mitchell.

            I don’t believe anyone denies genetics as a role in intelligence. We’re not turtles, obviously, so we’re going to have human intelligence.

            What most non-racists argue is that there is any real difference in intelligence levels between different humans from different places in the world, considering we all share, essentially, the same human genetic stock.

            Now feel free to tell me that ooo we have different eye color and different abilities to digest milk and THEREFORE some of us OBVIOUSLY must have different abilities to reason about calculus differently. Show me how ignorant you are.

            • Mitchell Young

              Well, it seems to me pretty obvious that 3000 years of overwhelmingly separate development is going to result in some difference across a variety of physical traits, including cognitive ability (which stems, after all, from the physical thing we call ’the brain’).

              But let’s take the initial ’there is no difference’ as our starting point. When you see white kids raised in households earning under $10,000 outscoring (on average, of course) black kids raised in housholds earning over $100,000 on well validated aptitude tests, you got to at least entertain the possibility that their may be something other than ‘environment’ involved.

            • Mitchell Young

              3000 years -> 3000 generations

              • Jordan

                lulz. U Dum

              • You don’t have any hypothesis to explain why human intelligence would develop more in one group in a geographical location than in another. You would have to postulate an environment where the selective pressures would be so mild that a lower average intelligence would flourish, and, frankly, there’s no way that could’ve been the case in the past.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  You would have to postulate an environment where the selective pressures would be so mild that a lower average intelligence would flourish, and, frankly, there’s no way that could’ve been the case in the past.

                  Well, to be fair (though it pains me), if one accepts the expansive view that there are multiple, not highly correlated, “intelligences”, then it would seem (somewhat) easier to imagine that different selective pressures in various different environments might result in different populations having different weights for their bundles of intelligences; and then, if one’s interlocutor insisted on measuring only one intelligence in the bundle, perhaps that one would appear to have been selected against.

      • Inner Partisan

        Plus, don’t things like nutrition/environment affect IQ?

        Very much so. The “scientific” racists (like hell I’m gonna call them “race realists”) try to explain that away with (methodologically problematic) twin studies, while completely ignoring cultural and socio-economic factors. Also, they routinely fail to recognize that pre-natal conditions (i.e., the mothers’ nutrition, stress levels, etc.) also have a very large influence.
        The best (somewhat anecdotal, granted) argument I’ve heard on the nature/nurture subject is that in the early 20th century US, Italian and Jewish immigrants scored lower than average on IQ tests, while today their descendants are either indistinguishable from the white mainstream (Italians) or routinely score above average (Jews).
        And seeing how Jewish Americans, as a group, tend to have higher-than-average income, the correlation between socio-economic status an IQ seems rather, dare I say, causal.

        • Mitchell Young

          “here are a number of reasons that are being advanced to explain the continuing and growing black-white SAT scoring gap. Sharp differences in family incomes are a major factor. Always there has been a direct correlation between family income and SAT scores. For both blacks and whites, as income goes up, so do test scores. In 2005, 28 percent of all black SAT test takers were from families with annual incomes below $20,000. Only 5 percent of white test takers were from families with incomes below $20,000. At the other extreme, 7 percent of all black test takers were from families with incomes of more than $100,000. The comparable figure for white test takers is 27 percent.

          But there is a major flaw in the thesis that income differences explain the racial gap. Consider these three observable facts from The College Board’s 2005 data on the SAT:

          • Whites from families with incomes of less than $10,000 had a mean SAT score of 993. This is 129 points higher than the national mean for all blacks.

          • Whites from families with incomes below $10,000 had a mean SAT test score that was 61 points higher than blacks whose families had incomes of between $80,000 and $100,000.

          • Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white students from families whose income was less than $10,000.”

          Is that from Stormfront? Whichever group is claimed to be ‘the KKK’ today?

          No, it is from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Autumn, 2005.

          • Kyle l Asher

            Outstanding job Mitchell . Keep up the good fight but be careful, you could be labeled a racist or worst yet one of the enlightened.

            • Nope, just another racist trying to find scientific justification for their prejudice.

              • Carl

                Only racists accept studies which show differences between races. Non-racists already know which studies are correct and which ones are unacceptable. Don’t you know how science works?!

                • Jordan

                  No one believes that by switching your nym that makes you a different person, you racist asshole.

                • Mitchell Young

                  Moronic and paranoid is no way to go thru life, Jordan.

      • heckblazer

        Or lead exposure. There’s a convincing theory that the big crime spike from the 60s to the 90s was caused by childhood lead exposure. And guess who was most likely to live in congested urban areas and in old housing with lead paint thanks to poverty and segregation?

    • DrDick

      Both geneticists and anthropologists have officially stated that humans do not have biological races (supspecies). Despite being one of the most diverse in appearance, we are among the lest diverse animal species genetically and most of that variation (about 98%) is between any two individuals in the same population. All credible experts are clear that there are no significant genetic differences between populations in intelligence or other cognitive abilities. Even Darwin, in The Descent of Man stated that.

      • joel hanes

        Succinctly put, and right on the science.

        • DrDick

          As an anthropologist with an interest in race and ethnicity, I teach this stuff every semester, including a class devoted entirely to the topic.

      • Lurker

        Both geneticists and anthropologists have officially stated that humans do not have biological races

        What anthropologists think in this context is quite irrelevant.

        And scientists don’t get to state things ‘officially’. They are supposed to be weighing up evidence, testing theories and so on. If observation and experiment contradict what they have said ‘officially’ whats supposed to happen then?

        we are among the lest diverse animal species genetically

        Care to expand on that?

        and most of that variation (about 98%) is between any two individuals in the same population.

        So I can test myself and close members of my family and we will turn out to have greater variation between us than between any of us and some random African guy? How is that even remotely plausible?

        • Jordan

          How DO the scandanavians come out on that Aryan score?

          • aimai

            I knew there was something wrong with that Lurker guy after the “save the fetus/kill the mother” thread.

            • Lurker

              I knew there was something wrong with that Lurker guy

              If by ‘wrong’ you mean ‘saying something you arent able to refute’ then yes.

              after the “save the fetus/kill the mother” thread

              I’m afraid Ive never visited this backwater before this here current thread.

              • junker

                I’m afraid Ive never visited this backwater before this here current thread.

                Sick burn bro! Lurker is too cool for this guys!

            • Lurker (from a different thread)

              The guy with this Lurker nym is not me. I may have other faults, but I’m not a racist, like the Lurker who has commented a lot in this thread.

              For the record, I have no reason to believe that
              a) the concept of race is useful for anything but politico-cultural discussions of existing social structures.
              b) there is any evidence for correlation of skin colour and “intelligence”.
              c) the concept of “intelligence” is useful for any discussion of politics or education.

              • Lurker (guest)

                Racist – someone who notices that racial groups vary.

            • Barry Freed

              I don’t remember that thread but this isn’t our Lurker who always seemed just fine to me.

          • Lurker (from a different thread)

            Depends on your Scandinavians. The Swedes and Norwegians are usually considered the ur-example of pure Germanic blood. We Finns were, when this topic was a respectable object of discussion, considered non-Aryan, half-mongols or, at the best, members of “East Baltic race”.

            So, I don’t like racism, because I would be at the receiving end of the stick.

            • Mitchell Young

              Is that why you fought on the Nazi side in WWII?

              • Yes, this commentator personally fought on the side of the Nazis more than 70 years ago.

                How stupid are you trying to be? Cause you’re doing a really good job at it.

                • Lurker (guest)

                  How stupid are you trying to be?

                  Sorry pal, thats a big fat fail for you there. Your buddy Lurker (from a different thread) wheeled out some half-baked nonsense about being on the receiving end of racism from the WW2 era (as if we were actually living 70 years ago). He introduced this straw man and MY ran with it.

                  Of course the idea that other whites would be discriminating against Finns is laugh out loud funny. But if it makes you guys happy.

                • Hogan
                • Barry Freed
              • Lurker (from a different thread)

                Actually, no. Finland was first attacked by Soviet Union in 1939, fought the Winter War and lost. As a result, she was forced to cede about 15 % of her land area, which meant that 400,000 Finns lost their homes.

                In 1941, after a year off extremely strained relations with Soviet Union, the German Barbarossa offensive required Finland to choose a side. Remaining neutral was not a practical possibility. The choice between Soviet Union and Germany was by no means an ideal. Finland chose Germany, because it lookes like a better bet for retaining independence, and, perhaps, getting the lost areas back with interest. This was somewhat successful. We stabbed Germans in the back exactly when it was necessary, then fought a third war against them on the allied side. Finland retained her parliamentary democracy throughout the war.

                If you want more information, Wikipedia articles on Continuation War and Lapland War should be helpful.

                BTW, although we were on the German side, the Nazis did not really recognize Finns as Aryans. Germans were not allowed to marry Finns, in order to safeguard the purity of German blood.

                • Anonymous

                  Those weren’t Finns losing their homes, they were Northwest Estonians who naturally belonged in the Soviet Union…

                  I am of course pulling your leg. I had a Finish boss once, who was intensely proud of Finnland’s HDI scores, its education system, etc. He was once of the whitest individuals, colorwise, I’ve ever come across (except for the few albino’s I’ve seen).

                  The point about the WWII jibe was that the Nazis had no trouble allying with you, or for that matter, with your Ugric cousings on the Danube.

        • Lee Rudolph

          and most of that variation (about 98%) is between any two individuals in the same population.

          So I can test myself and close members of my family and we will turn out to have greater variation between us than between any of us and some random African guy? How is that even remotely plausible?

          “That”, of course, is not “even remotely plausible”. What is plausible, and what (I think) Dr. Dick is asserting to be true, is that if you define (say) a sufficiently large Population A contained in (perhaps equal to) a population defined by some folk-construction of “the white race” (noting that not all such constructions agree!), and a similarly large population B bearing the same relation to “black Africans”, and then perform the following experiments:
          (1) select at random (using the closest you can to a uniform distribution) a large number of pairs of individuals both from Population A and compare them genetically,
          (2) select at random (ditto) a large number of pairs of individuals both from Population B and compare them genetically, and
          (3) select at random (ditto) a large number of pairs of individuals, one from Population A and the other from Population B, and compare them genetically,
          you will find that the resulting extrapolated measures of variation within all of A, within B, and between A and B are all very small and approximately equal (say 2%). (Dr. Dick—is that (approximately) right?)

          Your “that” fails the large-and-random hypothesis for Population A (unless your family is REALLY large and your definition of “close members” is REALLY generous).

          • Mitchell Young

            Life is too short, but do a web search for ‘Lewontin’s Fallacy”.

            Looked at in one dimension (i.e on polymorphism), yes, it is difficult to distinguish visible races at the genetic level. Looked at along the hundreds of thousands of polymorphisms that humans have, and taking into account covariance of polymorphisms with one another, and population groups are quite distinguishable, clearly forming clusters.

        • herr doktor bimler

          And scientists don’t get to state things ‘officially’. They are supposed to be weighing up evidence, testing theories and so on.

          IIRC, the American Anthropological Society did declare that Margaret Mead was right about Samoan culture (and that her Samoan critics were wrong) by holding a vote on it. Oh how we laughed.

      • Carl

        Why do men of west-african descent always win the 100m sprint at international competitions? Why do certain diseases badly afflict some groups and not others?

        You may very well be correct that there are no differences in cognitive abilities (or at least that any observable differences are due to environment) between groups of humans, but why overstate the case?

        You do the anti-racism cause a disservice with overstatement like this. You just know the racists are going to catch you out by listing the ways in which scientists acknowledge group differences. I gave just two examples, I’m sure the racists will furnish you with more. They’re probably correct too, which makes you look foolish.

        “Diversity” is not about pretending we are all clones.

        • Jordan

          Because none of any of that has anything to do with race. Whatsoever.

          • Lurker (guest)

            Because none of any of that has anything to do with race. Whatsoever.

            Pathetic. You dont understand a word he said do you. Or rather you dont want to.

    • Chuchundra

      I think you’d be hard pressed to find any legitimate scientist who thinks that race, as it is commonly discussed, is anything more than a cultural/sociological phenomena.

      • tt

        “Race” is not a scientific concept, but the social concept of race in the US does correlate very strongly with genetic background (i.e., ancestry), so much so that self-reported ethnicity can be used as a proxy for genetic background in medical studies.

        • It is sometimes used in that way, and whether or not it works is still a matter for debate.

          • DrDick

            Yep. Highly problematic in many regards. The best case scenario, high blood pressure and salt metabolism among African Americans, is present only in this group and not in the African populations they descend from. It seems that the slave experience created the selective pressures that produced it. For sickle cell , it does not work well at all, as the highest incidence is in part of Greece and is found throughout the circum-Mediterranean region and into South Asia.

            • aimai

              Um…but mixed race people, who are (obviously) mixed, are going to show traits from more than one ethnic community-like Ashkenazic Jews married to Russians or Kenyans married to Kansans. And yet their reported racial “identity” classes them with one genetic community while scanting the other. Is there some way in which someone with both AA and “White” parents somehow is more, genetically, AA because of the one drop rule than they are “white?”

          • Carl

            Yet whites who wish to organise along these (possibly faulty) lines come in for demonization, and other groups (e.g Mexicans) do not. Either the practise is mistaken, or it is not. Either there is legitimate grounds for identification and therefore policy based on genetic association, or it is just bunk.

            I must be the only person who couldn’t care less about “white” groups forming anymore than I care about “black” groups forming. It helps to not come from America, I suppose!

            • Hogan

              Even your unremarkable first statement will be construed as RACIST

              Which organizations are you talking about?

              • Hogan

                My bad:

                Yet whites who wish to organise along these (possibly faulty) lines come in for demonization

                Which organizations are you talking about?

                • Mitchell Young

                  La Raza, por ejemplo.

                  And yes, La Raza means ‘the Race’, as in biological race, as in un pero de raza Pastor Alemán. (A dog of the German Shepard breed)

                • aimai

                  No it doesn’t.

                • From the Urban dictionary on La Raza:

                  a term often mistakenly translated into english as meaning “the race”, the true meaning of la raza is much closer to “the people”. this term cannot be properly defined in english by a simple one word answer due to language differences. i will explain the definition, but first:

                  other definitions on this site claim that la raza is a racist organization. they are refferring to a group that calls itself “national council of la raza”, which they believe is a racist organization; and the people who typed those definitions mistakenly called the group la raza for short, either not knowing that la raza was actually a seperate term, or not knowing the true meaning of the term “la raza”.

                  the term originated in the book “La Raza Cosmica” written by José Vasconcelos, a Mexican intellectual (1881-1959). He described la raza cosmica as the product of racial mixing over time that was already in progress (black, white, asian, native american, all becoming racially and culturally mixed due to the events of time, for example the conquest of mexico resulted in mixing of the blood and culture of the natives and the spaniards). He believed that eventually all of the races would be completely mixed into a new race that had the best attributes of all the cultures and would “show us the way” so to speak.

                  the term caught on as simply “la raza” and has come to refer to the people of mexican ancestry(mexican as in from mexico, not specifically the native mexica tribe)wherever they may live at the present time. La raza to us means “our people” of common ancestry the same way a proud U.S. citizen might say “americans” with the intended meaning as his/her people of this country, all sharing a common background. that is the true meaning of “la raza”.

                  One may note that in the USA there’s a political party called “The United People’s Party”. That is a proper translation of it’s name “The Raza Unida Party”, a group created to help support minorities and the poor.
                  “vive la raza” “long live the people”

                • Anonymous

                  Urban Dictionary as a source, man, how the mighty have fallen.

                  But actually, that is correct. But the thing is, it proves my point — Vasconcellos was all about biology, but he believed in Mestizo biology. Or, actually, not so much, because if you do some more digging, you’ll find out that yeah, he liked mestizaje, but was all for attracting more European immigrants to lighten up the mix.

                  I myself prefer the Jessica Alba ratio.

                • And all the translations of “La Raza” I’ve seen come out as “The People”, not “The Race” or “The Breed”, even when talking about dogs, pendejo.

            • Jordan

              WHY ISNT THERE AN OFFICIAL WHITE SUPREMACY GROUP I CAN BELONG TOO!

              • Anonymous

                Because, in the words of John Derbyshire, white people are pussies.

        • Robert M.

          There’s a huge testing effect with self-reported race, though. If you ask each member of a random sample to identify as one and only one of “African-American”, “White” or “Caucasian”, and “Latino” or “Hispanic”, you get one set of answers. If you present a different set of categories, you’ll get a different set of answers, and if you give people a blank to write in their own identifier, you get a very different set.

          • DrDick

            It is also the case that all of those are tremendously heterogeneous populations.

        • Mitchell Young

          ‘Folk’ conceptions of race correspond quite well with geographic, ancestral, and genetic population groupings.

          Hua Tang et al.

          Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies

          American Journal of Human Genetics 76 (2), 2005

          “We have analyzed genetic data for 326 microsatellite markers that were typed uniformly in a large multiethnic population-based sample of individuals as part of a study of the genetics of hypertension (Family Blood Pressure Program). Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. ***Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories.*** Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population. Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.”

      • Lurker

        I think you’d be hard pressed to find any legitimate scientist who thinks that race, as it is commonly discussed, is anything more than a cultural/sociological phenomena.

        What they think and what they say, with the thought police patrolling the corridors outside the lab, may not be quite the same.

        • That there are genetically distinct populations of humans is true. To go ahead and correlate that with the unscientific concept of race is a massive display of stupidity at best or an attempt to validate prejudices concerning skin color and intelligence at the worst.

          • Carl

            You sound reasonable. YET there are many anti-racists who would dispute your first statement: “That there are genetically distinct populations of humans is true.”

            THAT’S the problem. Even your unremarkable first statement will be construed as RACIST, even though it isn’t and you aren’t!

            Anti-racism took a wrong turn somewhere. Caught up in self-righteousness and shrill denunciation, it forgot the mundane facts.

            • Hogan

              Even your unremarkable first statement will be construed as RACIST

              Yep. Any minute now.

              Any minute now.

            • sharculese

              Nobody who ever thought it was clever to render ‘racist’ in all caps was ever not a moron.

              • It’s still slightly better than “RAAAAAACIST.”

        • junker

          Great argument! “Everyone secretly agrees with me, but THE MAN is keeping them from saying so!”

          Probably true of climate change as well…

  • Anonymous

    He’s not going on about gays shoving things down his throat for once (remember, he owns a gun because of them).

    • sharculese

      Let’s be fair: He owns a gun because he sees it is a signifier of a middle American culture he fetishizes and disdains in equal measure. That it might protect him from a horde of rampaging gays is a bonus.

      • Woodrowfan

        Gawd, “a horde of rampaging gays” might just be the best band name EVAH!

        • njorl

          “A rampage” could be the word for a group of gays, like a pride of lions or a gaggle of geese – a rampage of gays.

          • Pseudonym

            But I thought the preferred term was “agenda”.

          • rea

            No, it is clearly a Pride of Gays.

            • Mitchell Young

              Already taken by lions. A pride of lions has a structure far more like that of the Sister Wives folks than Dan Savage and his b*tch.

  • delurking

    Rod Dreher is obsessed with how black people are culturally and genetically SO INFERIOR.

    And then he explains how this means it’s REALLY OKAY for white boys like him to want to discriminate against black people because black people are so SCARY. Because black people are REALLY SCARY, y’all!!!

    He posts on this topic like twice a week. Always with really true evidence (frequently from people like Sailer) to back him up.

    • you seem pretty angry what’s with the all caps junior

      • Mitchell Young

        That screen name is a hoot — unless of course it actually happened.

        • What’s funny is that the white supremacists totally give away the game when they start wallowing in homophobia (as they inevitably do). You’re supposed to pretend to be SCIENTIFIC, guys!

  • ed

    I think you’re the one who’s prejudiced. You clearly imply that the image of Jesus [of Nazareth, the Christ] flying around on a Quetzalcoatlus turning water into fish, bread into wine, gays into people qualified to get into heaven, isn’t way cool. Because it is. Bigot.

  • Yah, just embarrassing. I comment at his blog sometimes; he can be smart in one post, then gays or this crap comes up, and his IQ drops like the Stupidity Vortex just swept through and snowed in the brain cells.

    It is beyond obvious that human culture modifies the workings of natural selection, and that Darwinism doesn’t dictate our values. But someone who thinks Steve Sailer is a serious source is unlikely to grasp that.

    • mds

      It is beyond obvious that human culture modifies the workings of natural selection, and that Darwinism doesn’t dictate our values.

      But you see, it’s not beyond obvious to theocratic wingnuts, who treat “Darwinism” as the religion of willfully anti-God liberals. They think we believe stuff about evolutionary biology in exactly the same mindlessly stupid bugfuck way they believe in their deranged flavor of Christianity. Which is exactly the point of Dreher’s supposed gotcha: Be careful about what you wish for, liberals; if Darwinism really is the absolute, inerrant Word of Godlessness, the mud people are intrinsically inferior. (See also: Darwin led inevitably to Hitler and Stalin.)

      Never mind that actual “Darwinism” says no such thing. Never mind that we don’t treat evolutionary biology that way, as you note. Never mind that it’s the modern American right which treats dumbed-down versions of Herbert Spencer’s semi-Lamarckian “social Darwinism” as supplanting the Gospels of Jesus. Never mind that Dreher and Sailer’s definition of race is itself largely a social construct. We liberals are forced to accept nonsensical pastiches on pure materialism because our Scofield-annotated copies of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection command us to.

      Seriously, it’s projections of turtles all the way down with these people.

      • Hogan

        Capitalizing “Science” every time you mention it really gives that game away.

      • projections of turtles

        Good emo band name.

      • Gus

        Yeah, Dreher is a master of creating liberal strawmen to beat down. He claims to have met liberals, but I see no evidence of that in his writings.

        • Origami Isopod

          I’m sure he’s met them, less sure that he’s acknowledged and engaged with them as people rather than projection screens.

    • Vance Maverick

      he can be smart in one post, then gays or this crap comes up, and his IQ drops

      Huh, almost as if IQ weren’t fixed in the DNA.

  • Maximum Mary

    Or: Black people have no Neanderthal DNA, the obvious source of white people’s intelligence.

    • Inner Partisan

      Oh man, the Neanderthal guys. They’re their own, special kind of crazy.

      (On a related note: Grimmoire is really coming out real soon for real this time! Honestly!)

    • Lurker

      Black people have no Neanderthal DNA, the obvious source of white people’s intelligence.

      There seems to be some evidence of Neanderthal DNA in the European and Asian populations. Its not present in Africans apparently. I dont think anyone has gone as far as to claim that as the cause of different IQ scores. What it shows is a discernible genetic difference (another one) between Europeans, Asians & Africans.

  • Biological and genetic pseudoscience had a brief heyday as the justification for racial discrimination from the middle of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century. But, “culture” can easily serve the exact same purpose and has largely superseded ideas of genetics. Although there are still some advocates of certain racialized groups being inherently less intelligent than others due to genetic factors. This isn’t a matter of science really. Rather it is a statistical correlation between certain types of tests and certain population groups. But, even if you take their constructed framework at face value and it has lots of problems it says nothing about the intelligence of any one individual and their background. All it says is that we administered this test to a bunch of people and a greater percentage of people of the following racially defined groups did better than other racially defined groups. The reasons for the differences are purely speculative. Where and when you do the test plus what you ask is going to make a big difference. In South Africa the Nats rejected intelligence tests because a lot of poor Afrikaners did not do well on them. So if the data from the tests doesn’t meet the desired results it can just be ignored. Again, this is not science in any sense.

    • Not only that, but the tendency of Asians to score higher on some IQ tests than Caucasoid types is never carried to its’ logical extrapolation by “scientific” types like Steve Sailer.

      • Hannibal Lecture

        Oh, sure it is. That means that white dudes are free to bang hot Asian chicks. QED.

        • Mitchell Young

          Projection, buddy.

          • Pseudonym

            Tell that to your buddy Derbyshire.

      • UserGoogol

        I think “scientific racists” tend to be pretty pro-Asian as such things go. They often think white people are superior anyway, but they’ll make non-IQ arguments to argue that white people just have more hustle or something.

      • Philippe Rushton had no problem arguing that East Asians were more intelligent than Europeans. He also claimed they were more “sexually restrained” than Europeans, which made me wonder if he ever visited Japan.

        • anon

          Have you seen their birthrates over the last 40 years?

          • You do realise there’s a difference between birthrates and level of sexual activity, right? Birthrates in general have declined in the industrialised world as restrictions on birth control have been lifted and the range of contraceptive products available has grown. But people are still having lots of sex. As for Japan one estimate is that the sex trade in various forms is worth 1 trillion yen, roughly 10 billon dollars US.

        • Mitchell Young

          Dude, your collection of anime bukkake vids isn’t indicative of the general sexual activity of the Japanese population.

          • Hogan

            You know why they now have women-only cars on the Tokyo Metro, right?

            • Mitchell Young

              Because you live there?

            • Mitchell Young

              “Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?
              What happens to a country when its young people stop having sex? Japan is finding out… Abigail Haworth investigates”

              From the Grauniad — uh, Guardian, UK.

              “Ai Aoyama is a sex and relationship counsellor who works out of her narrow three-storey home on a Tokyo back street. Her first name means “love” in Japanese, and is a keepsake from her earlier days as a professional dominatrix. Back then, about 15 years ago, she was Queen Ai, or Queen Love, and she did “all the usual things” like tying people up and dripping hot wax on their nipples. Her work today, she says, is far more challenging. Aoyama, 52, is trying to cure what Japan’s media calls sekkusu shinai shokogun, or “celibacy syndrome”.

              Japan’s under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren’t even dating, and increasing numbers can’t be bothered with sex.”

              • This is, of course, a recent development and does nothing to prove
                that Asians are inherently less sexual. Please try again.

            • Lee Rudolph

              So that the built-in upskirt vidcams can be fully utilized during working hours?

    • Prok

      It reminds me of a lot of the old studies on blood pressure that “proved” African-Americans were more prone to hypertension than whites… except that some of the lowest average blood pressure readings in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa.

      • I think a lot of that has to do with stress and diet. My blood pressure has improved so much here in Sub-Saharan Africa they have taken me off of all medication. But, if you have to suffer the stress of daily racism and are eating a typical American rather than say a typical Ghanaian diet then I can easily see how African-Americans would have higher than normal bp on average. Obviously that is environmental not genetic, but I can easily see how it could disproportionately effect African-Americans.

        • DrDick

          It is actually a result of genes regulating salt metabolism and is only found in African Americans, probably as a result of selection created by the slave experience.

        • translation: niggers are fat

      • Except African-Americans aren’t Sub-Saharan Africans and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people subjected to the stress of living in a racist society are prone to hypertension.

        More recent studies don’t fuck around and ask “Is racism raising bp in African-Americans.” (Duh.)

        • DrDick

          It is also the case that African Americans are extremely heterogeneous at the genetic level. Firstly, Sub-Saharan Africa has more genetic diversity than the rest of the world combined. Secondly, African Americans have really diverse ancestry including (but not limited to) many different African populations, Europeans, and Native Americans.

          • Yup. I’d think that walking around any city with a sizable black population (or watching enough tv) would clue people in to the fact that there’s a lot of diversity within the group that in America is labeled African-American.

            But I’ve come across evidence that what whites see when they look at African-Americans is a bit … skewed? And at a certain point, if a person is lighter than whatever they’ve coded as Black things get … weird?

            • DrDick

              A point I make in my classes when talking about the arbitrariness of race. When I lived in Chicago, I knew African Americans who were blonde, blue-eyed, and not much darker skinned than me (I had black hair before it turned gray). I also had a friend from a historically mixed race family (several generations of mixed marriages) who was cafe au lait color, with dark brown hair, whose sister was blonde and blue eyed.

              • You’ve described my grandmother’s father. One of her sisters was a red head. My mom grew up with people insisting she was “Oriental.”

                Basically we exist to sow confusion.

                • Mitchell Young

                  High yella.

              • LogCabinConservative

                Please reassure me that you are not responsible for teaching students in Chicago. The existence of mixed-race individuals is no more a refutation of the concept of race than the existence of mixed colors is a refutation of the concept of color.

                • Nope, he teaches in Montana, but, again, the assignment of ethnicity based on skin/hair/eye color is a whopping mistake, and one I think you’re too intelligent to assert.

          • LogCabinConservative

            This is a fallacy. Sub-Saharan Africa has more genetic diversity on jukn microsatellites that have not been demonstrated to code for any meaningful phenotypic differences.

            • aimai

              What? Is this even English?

              • sibusisodan

                Technically it is. Bit of a smokescreen in terms of logic, though.

                • tt

                  LogCabin’s comment is false. Sub-Saharan Africa has more diversity in single nucleotide polymorphisms too. It also has the most phenotypic diversity.

  • SP

    Yeah Steve! Because Darwin understood the key relationship of survival and inherited traits and rap music was key to survival but only because it correlated with skin color so that predators could tell races other apart both visually and aurally because the sound and skin color survival fittest argle bargle… what was the question again?

  • Timb

    Rod doesn’t like some comments, although maybe that’s cause mine had a link?

    • I’ve had that happen there with a linky-post, Timb. (And at Crooked Timber too.) I half expected my comment (I saw the post the day it was published) to be blocked because I called Sailer a racist, but it appeared eventually.

    • delurking

      Rod blocks comments that he thinks are rude, or argumentative, or off-topic.

      He doesn’t (usually) block people who disagree with him.

      He will block your comment if you *keep* disagreeing with him, or with one of his favorites. That is, you’re allowed to post your objection, politely, once or maybe twice. But then you have to shut up, or you get blocked.

      People he likes (agrees with) can be as rude and as relentless as they like.

      That’s the Dreher comment policy, AFAIK.

      • Mitchell Young

        Well given that I rarely get a comment past Komment Kontrol at TNC’s abode, and those that have slipped past have been scrubbed, sounds more than general.

        Fact is, if you read Dreher’s blog you’ll see that a significant majority of his frequent commentators disagree with him about most things (search for ‘Tumarion’ or ‘Engineer Scotty’).

        But if you just are going to post ‘racist racist racist, bigot xenophobe racist scumbag’ — yeah, your comment isn’t gonna make it. And it shouldn’t, as it adds nothing to the discussion.

        • aimai

          So, this is why you are rightly removed from TNC’s comment thread? Y Mitchell Young no like private property rights in comment threads? Or, come to that, democracy in comment threads since that’s what they practice at TNC when the other commenters censor you because your posts are irrelvant, inflammatory or just plain nasty.

          • Mitchell Young

            ‘nasty’.

            Sorry to offend, the general tone of the comments here must have had an effect — that and a gin or two.

            And yes, Mr. Coates has an absolute right to bar whatever comment or person he wants.

            But I think the proprietor of this space, whoever he or she is, is much more honest intellectually.

            • delurking

              As I posted above, Ta Nehisi Coates, like Rod, will ban you if you violate his comment policy.

              I am willing to believe, Mitchell, having read through this comment thread, that you can’t get your comments through. You seem to lean troll, and he doesn’t put up with that.

              Rod will put up with nasty, spiteful, hateful commentators — so long as those commentators are racist, and right-wing, and pro-life, and pro-Jesus. He only bans you if you are Pro-Choice, and anti-racist, and so on.

              • celticdragonchick

                Exactly. I have seen some truly vile hate comments at Dreher’s, but they are specifically right wing (Lord Karth is a frequent abuser). He bans left wing complainers.

              • Mitchell Young

                I guess that depends on your perspective. Apparently ‘troll’ is someone who disagrees with you, respectfully and with data, on racial issues.

                Dreher has tons of pro-choice, pro-SSM, atheist, anti-religion commentators. Possibly the majority. And he himself is ‘anti-racist’ and his frequent commentators (Siarlys Jenkins, ‘Engineer Scotty’, Tumarion, etc) even more stridently so.

              • Coates is extremely thin-skinned and by the way it is hilarious that liberals continue to regard him as an “intellexchual” when the guy can’t use the word “accolade” properly in a sentence and pretty clearly comes across as a guy with a 95 IQ tops…you know, condescension is sometimes the most obvious form of racism there is

                • aimai

                  Oh, honey, no. Its true that on the internet no one can know you are a dog–but its also true that on the internet we are all free to read and judge for ourselves. Coates’ writing can be juvenile, or he can make little errors that an editor would catch, but it can also be sublime, morally complex, and historically informed. Get back to me when your writing, under your real name, garners you the readership that Coates’ garners him. His readers aren’t giving him the liberal equivalent of a pity fuck, no matter how you white supremacist scum whine about it. If you were half as educated, and half as interesting, you wouldn’t have to troll other people’s sites to get the attention your mother refused to give you.

  • howard

    I’d I didn’t know sailer, I’d assume he meant the line about rap as a compliment, since it’s the World’s Most Popular musical style.

    • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

      And the same country produced both The Tallest Man on Earth and Swedish House Mafia, which just destroys any theories about particular ethnic groups making smart or dumb music.

    • slightly_peeved

      Since when is improvised poetry considered less intelligent than ‘TONIGHT! WOOMMAAAAANNN!’.

    • Pat

      It’s… bizarre. To begin, African Americans didn’t just invent rap, they also invented blues, jazz, rock & roll—hell, even techno & house came out of 80s Detroit and Chicago. It’s not entirely a stretch to say that without American blacks, white people would still be listening exclusively to classical music.

      • Arnaud de Borchgrave

        Oh, my, wouldn’t that be just horrible!

        • delurking

          Well, yes. A world without blues, and gangstagrass, and rock, and rockabilly, would be as dull as a world without classical music.

          Are you someone who only eats steak and asparagus? One kind of cuisine only?

          How dull your life must be.

      • fidelio

        British music hall songs, and their local equivalents.

        Catches and glees.

        German drinking songs.

        Broadside ballads.

      • Lurker

        African Americans didn’t just invent rap, they also invented blues, jazz, rock & roll

        Funny isnt it, when we talk about white inventiveness others have to be shoe-horned into the narrative.

        But when it’s black inventiveness – suddenly, they did it all by themselves!

        Blues, jazz, rock & roll, dance, techno. All contain elements of prior white musical forms and where did those instruments come from? Pretty much all developed by white folks.

        Where would all these forms be without white technology. Instruments already mentioned. Then there is all the recording and studio technology, electric amplification, CDs, MP3s, vinyl, tapes, cassettes, (wax cylinders too!) Computers, electricity, the harmonic scale. For black inventiveness to make any headway a big pile of white stuff had to be in place. I guess for you people all that stuff is just ‘there’ – like Mt Everest or the weather – ready for blacks to shine.

        • This is really unbelievably stupid and embarrassing.

        • Hogan
          • Mitchell Young

            Black people invented the saxophone!

          • Mitchell Young

            Actually, the funny thing is that a white guy did invent the modern banjo, though the idea is definitely of African origin.
            ====

            Early, African-influenced banjos were built around a gourd body and a wooden stick neck. These instruments had varying numbers of strings, though often including some form of drone. The five-string banjo was popularized by Joel Walker Sweeney, an American minstrel performer from Appomattox Court House, Virginia.[9]

            Helmholtz notation Note: This article uses Helmholtz pitch notation to define banjo tunings.

            In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage.[9] His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. This new banjo was at first tuned d’Gdf♯a, though by the 1890s this had been transposed up to g’cgbd’. Banjos were introduced in Britain by Sweeney’s group, the American Virginia Minstrels, in the 1840s, and became very popular in music halls

      • Mitchell Young

        “even techno & house came out of 80s Detroit”

        Uh, I believe a little group of guys from Dusseldorf had something to do with the birth of techno, and rap, for that matter.

      • LogCabinConservative

        I didn’t know blacks invented bluegrass, Irish jigs, etc. Thanks for enlightening me!

  • heckblazer

    As species go humans are pretty homogeneous genetically. One possible explanation is a population bottleneck caused by a catastrophic volcanic eruption around 60,000 years ago that left the human population at somewhere between 3,000-10,000 individuals.

    IIRC if one wished to group humans based on genetic clusters, Ethiopeans and Somalis would be in the same group as Europeans. Austronesians and Sub-Saharan Africans OTOH would be in separate groups despite both having dark skin and tightly curled hair.

    • I’d never even heard of Toba, much less the species consequences. Thanks!

    • Lurker

      if one wished to group humans based on genetic clusters, Ethiopeans and Somalis would be in the same group as Europeans

      As long as one cherry picked the clusters. The more clusters you pick, the more differences become apparent.

      Austronesians and Sub-Saharan Africans OTOH would be in separate groups despite both having dark skin and tightly curled hair.

      Correct. Wow, a sensible, informed observation. On this thread!

    • Mitchell Young

      “Austronesians and Sub-Saharan Africans OTOH would be in separate groups despite both having dark skin and tightly curled hair.”

      Exactly … human differentiation isn’t just ‘skin color’. That’s why forensic anthropologists can say a skeleton came from a caucasian or (northeast) Asian or sub-saharan African. Or people’s whose ancestry was primarily from same.

    • LogCabinConservative

      This response is a collection of fallacies and misinformation.

      Human races could be even less genetically distinct than they actually are and the concept of race would still be functionally relevant so long as the tiny fraction of genetic differences coded for functionally relevant phenotypic differences.

      Clustering is a researcher-driven analytical tool that can be modified depending on how the researcher wishes to distinguish between populations. There are, however, neutral tools, like Principal Component Analysis, which can even distinguish, at the genetic level, between linguistic groups in India.

      • That populations exist that have measurable genetic differences isn’t in dispute, that these genetic differences extend to intelligence when there is no agreement as to what ‘differences’ make for a higher or lower intelligence in H. sapiens, is of course what makes the data you cite irrelevant.

  • carlosthedwarf

    Like most conservatives, Rod is animated by his fervent belief in his own superiority. The idea that black people may be equal–that is a threat to his superiority. The idea that Christianity isn’t true–that is a threat to his superiority. Both threats must be defeated.

    • delurking

      Yes, this.

      I still remember him posting (with total bewildered sincerity) that *surely* the truth about whether Jesus Christ was REALLY the Son of God was vitally important to everyone in this culture.

      The notion that some of us just couldn’t give two fucks about his religious obsession — yeah, no.

    • Mitchell Young

      Even if that were true, it would be vastly more healthy than the white liberal’s believe that he is inferior to everyone on the planet (yet somehow responsible for their ‘suffering’)

      • aimai

        But it is you who keep introducing the concept of inferior and superior–what if we are all just human and neither superior nor inferior genetically, just variously caught up in a struggle for survival in which class position and national history play a more important part than almost anything? You are the one who worries so much about your personal race’s position in world history and demand that everyone acknowledge your personal superiority thanks to the works in music or art or science performed by people other than yourself, people who wouldn’t know you in the street if they passed you. As TNC would point out to you, before he threw you off his comment thread for being a boring old race master-baiter, pedigree collapse means every living person is pretty much a descendant, by this time, of all previous people—we are all the heirs to Bach etc… culturally as well as genetically.

        • Mitchell Young

          “Mitchell Young says:
          February 1, 2014 at 5:05 am

          No, it says nothing of ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’.”

          • delurking

            Oh, please. Your entire position is based on the belief that the white race (and probably white men, amirite?) are superior.

            What are you even arguing about otherwise?

            Don’t try this shit on us, troll.

            • Svigor

              Actually, you have that backwards. The timeline goes something like this:

              1) Leftists dragged whites into court, claiming they “broke” blacks, are responsible for their failures, and must make restitution.

              2) Race-realists pointed out that blacks were already “broken,” and that whites are not responsible.

              It’s a bit late for you guys to cry foul. If you wanted to let sleeping dogs lie, you shouldn’t have indicted whites as a race. You guys made race-realism a moral imperative. The alternative is sitting by and letting leftists line white children up to take the fall for “black failure.”

              It’s difficult to express how immoral it is to blame whites for black failure, then cry foul when whites defend themselves against the charges.

              • delurking

                Race-realist. BWAHAHA.

                I’ll address your supposed moral superiority when I stop laughing over your realism.

                BWAHAHAHA!

                • I’ll address your supposed moral superiority when I stop laughing over your realism.

                  Translation – I’ll never get round to it.

              • Mitchell Young

                “It’s difficult to express how immoral it is to blame whites for black failure, then cry foul when whites defend themselves against the charges.”

                Well put.

                • aimai

                  Troll gives other troll pat on the back while performing reacharound.

                • Mitchell Young

                  That’s kinda homophobic…send yourself to diversity training.

        • But it is you who keep introducing the concept of inferior and superior

          Lol! Look down this whole thread,who is it who keeps bleating and whining about superiority/inferiority? Its not our guys. You know, it’s almost like your projecting. Want to admit something?

  • Is Sailer trying to say rap isn’t awesome? Aside from being a racist idiot, he clearly has bad taste in music.

    • sharculese

      Sailer probably has few actual opinions on rap, but he is a lazy, hacky writer and knows what his audience wants to here.

      • Damn kids and their hippity hoppity music

        • DrS

          Always gotta love arguments about those “damn kids” relating to a musical genre that’s been broadly popular for more than 30 years.

        • DrDick

          Can’t say that I am fond of the genre (I am old and white), but I remember folks saying the same kind of BS about rock and roll in the 50s and 60s (Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones were each going to single-handedly destroy civilization as we know it).

          • ADHDJ

            “The Beatles are not merely awful, I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are godawful. They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music.” —William F. Buckley

          • stickler

            They were saying it about the waltz back in the early 19th century! There’s a reason folk and courtly dancing mandated you “switch your partner” frequently. Otherwise you might get dirty ideas.

            • Lee Rudolph

              Whereas no one could ever hear the phrase “switch your partner” and have a dirty idea. Or even two entirely separable dirty ideas.

          • Mitchell Young

            Sailer offers exactly no opinion on the aesthetic value of rap in that sentence, or anywhere (AFAIK), and I’ve read a lot of Sailer. You are projecting your feelings onto him.

            I don’t know the quote in question, and it has been brutally ripped from its context by a person clearly suffering from some severe psychological trauma. But I’ll bet that Sailer was talking about raps tendency towards displays of bravado, masculinity, showing off, not accepting being ‘dissed’. In an environment where food is plentiful, year round, that might be a way of attracting mates (sort of a verbal peacock display).

            In an area that say, suffered an ice age glaciation, it might be the case that such individual bravado actually hindered survival — that cooperation, coordination, etc and the behaviors that encouraged such would be selected for.

            • MEH 0910

              Mitchell, the quote is right in the Sailer piece that Rod posted. Sailer quotes Charles Darwin and then comments on it:

              So what did Darwin say specifically about human biodiversity? In “The Descent of Man,” he wrote, “… the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other — as in the texture of hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even the convolutions of the brain. But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatization and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotions, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Everyone who has had the opportunity of comparison must have been struck by the contrast between the taciturn, even morose aborigines of South America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes.”

              Darwin wouldn’t be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music.

              • Hogan

                But I’ll bet that Sailer was talking about raps tendency towards displays of bravado, masculinity, showing off, not accepting being ‘dissed’.

                the light-hearted, talkative negroes.

                Whoopsie.

              • Mitchell Young

                Oops!

                Still, that’s not exactly an aesthetic judgement about rap as in ‘turn that crap down’!

      • Lurker

        Sailer probably has few actual opinions on rap, but he is a lazy, hacky writer and knows what his audience wants to here.

        Quite unlike the insular liberal group-think on display on this thread!

        • Sorry, you’ll have to find another blog to reassure you that your attempt to mix science and racism has some sort of real-world data to back it up.

          • junker

            Remember, if people agree with you, that means you’re participating in “group think.” The only true intellectuals are the lonely voices in the darkness.

  • ac

    I used to think Rod was a reasonably decent person with seriously misguided views of religion, but the more I’ve read his blog, with the gay/atheist/minority/trans-bashing, I’ve come to the conclusion he’s pretty much a petty, vindictive, self-centered asshole, who tries to justify it with religion. Although even worse are some of his commenters; I seriously don’t understand how people like Erin Manning function in modern society without spontaneously combusting.

    • sharculese

      Don’t forget his seething contempt for women who think they should be allowed to be priests!

      • Origami Isopod

        Don’t forget his seething contempt for women who think they should be allowed to be priests!

        Fixorated.

        • sharculese

          Oh, for sure, but have you ever seen one his posts on women and the priesthood? It’s a special level of rage.

          • Origami Isopod

            I haven’t but that’s not surprising, coming from him.

            • aimai

              Does it match his horror for brides with tattoos? Because that one was pretty jaw dropping.

        • delurking

          Today he has bspencer on his front page.

          You’re “spittle-flecked,” b, for daring to challenge his authoritah!

      • Mitchell Young

        Dudette — no one is stopping you womyn form being priestresses. Just found your own church. But don’t think that you, and you alone, get to dictate terms to, or benefit from the social capital of, a Church that has had only male priests from the beginning.

        • aimai

          The social capital of the society of serial rapists? I think you, and they, are more worried about their actual capital which, true enough, thanks to (among other things) tithing and forced labor, is enormous.

        • Hogan

          Hey, for all I care they can practice their cannibalistic death cult rituals until the end of time. That’s not incompatible with thinking that the upper leadership consists largely of assholes.

  • Bitter Scribe

    The best sentence from that Dreher piece:

    I like reading Sailer because he forces me to see things I would often prefer not to see.

    AHHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Sure you wouldn’t.

    I’m getting a mental picture of this guy at a minstrel show or a Klan rally, peeking through his fingers.

    • Isn’t that rich?

      • N__B

        Are they a pair?
        One only plays in the mud,
        The other’s er-Sail.

    • It’s the whole “inconvenient truth” thing, which term I guess they appropriated ironically from Al Gore, but the idea is a conservative favorite: liberals have both feet firmly planted in the air, whereas conservatives are manly men who face the facts, etc.

      Hence the striking realism re: Iraq, global warming, etc.

  • Waspuppet

    Four: Rod Dreher isn’t even smart enough to know how much better writers Lupe Fiasco, Run-DMC and Iswhat?! (Just off the top of my head) are than he is.

    • I could write a whole separate entry about the comment about rap. But I’ll do it here and keep it short: People who dismiss rap as crap don’t know anything about rap. A lot of rap is crap. Just like a lot of country, pop, folk, funk, polka is crap. But rap can be wonderfully complex, subtle, layered and artful. And even at lot of the stuff that isn’t like that is still pretty great.

      • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

        To be fair, I can see how someone who just listened to radio rap would get a pretty bad impression of it, especially if they did their listening in the mid-2000s (Jeezy, J-Kwon, Chingy, T-Paine, Soulja Boy…things got pretty rough for awhile there). No genre really puts its best foot forward as far as what goes on the radio, so it’s easy to confirm your prejudices (e.g., I currently think of Euro-EDM as the world’s dumbest music, but I haven’t really dug into it, so maybe it’s secretly good sometimes).

        • Anna in PDX

          My new personal curmudgeon theory about Euro EDM (which my oldest son, who’s 22, absolutely loves) is that it is meant to be danced to while under some kind of influence (maybe party drugs?) much like music like the Grateful Dead’s long riffing pieces were much better listened to when under another influence. I am very get-off-my-lawn about EDM. It’s not the electronic part that really annoys me, it’s the boring repetitive quality. Argh. (I probably just have not heard the good stuff, though. And at least I am not arguing that my taste in music is genetically superior – boy that is one of the weirdest arguments I’ve ever seen.)

          • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

            Stay the Night is the worst offender for that. DUDE, ANSWER HER QUESTION. SHE MIGHT NEED TO PICK UP STUFF TO MAKE A BREAKFAST STRATA.

            • junker

              Rahhhhh! I told my wife and sister that I hate that song and they rick roll me with it now as much as possible.

      • Karen

        I just don’t like rap. I’m sure that the genre will produce excellent artists, but like free-form jazz, electronica, and Arnold Schonberg compositions, I just dislike it. Other opinions are entirely valid on this subject.

        Please note the distinct lack of blanket condemnation of the genre, the artists, and the ethnicities of the people who create it in my statement. It’s my taste and I’m happy with it. It is however, only my taste.

        • herr doktor bimler

          Arnold Schonberg compositions
          As any fule kno, Schoenberg invented Sprechstimme rap.

        • Mitchell Young

          Once again, Sailer isn’t condemning the genre. If fact, it is kind of funny that you all seem to think that saying rap was invented by black folks is some sort of condemnation. it isn’t, and 10 to 1 is wasn’t in the Sailer piece from which this quote was ripped.

          • herr doktor bimler

            10 to 1 is wasn’t in the Sailer piece

            Seldom has a comment been so thoroughly researched.

            • Anonymous

              By it wasn’t — I mean, it (rap) wasn’t condemned. I’ve read a lot of Sailer, and I can’t recall a single judgement on the aesthetic value of music. Even his movie reviews are long on social commentary and short on aesthetics.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald

        Take BACK what you said about polka.

        • N__B

          When is this year’s Polkapalooza?

      • Mitchell Young

        Minaj’s ‘Stupid Ho’ comes to mind.

  • I’m failing to see the threat here.

    I admit that it kind of sucks that people like Master Bigot Rod Derper waste air that could be used to blow up party balloons. But bigots being bigots is nothing new.

    Having said that, as a liberal it would really upset me if the GOP launched a “Shut up about evolution because black people are stupid!” campaign.

    Really.

    • I think it’s absolutely a threat. He’s basically saying “If you bring up x, we’ll bring up y.” He doesn’t come right out say it, but that’s what he means.

      • He’s saying that if we make a factual statement, they’ll lie.

        Statements designed to oppress disguised as science are neither new nor original. If this shit bag wants to leap into the fray with a bunch of lies about race, I urge him to proceed. He’ll need to shout pretty loud to be heard above the chorus of his fellow bigots who are shouting about gender or sexual orientation. And race.

      • delurking

        Oh, I think it’s worse than that.

        He’s saying if you idiot liberals really teach us Conservatives to believe Evolution, here’s what we’ll do with it: Eugenics.

        And the straight line that Conservatives always draw from Eugenics leads straight to the death camps.

        • Wait, I thought the new narrative was that we were going to send them to the death camps.

          Or will they pre-emptively send us to the death camps out of self-defense?

          And where does the Homosexual Agenda fit in here?

          Being a bigoted dirtwad must be so confusing, but they do seem to have very fertile imaginations.

          I think they just flit from scenario to scenario in their minds, rather than focus on accomplishing any particular goal. One minute they’re brave prisoners (who look a great deal like Vlad Putin) being subjected to the unthinkable by muscular black men; the next they’re unbuttoning their spiffy guard uniforms so they can “reeducate” nubile feminists.

          And then it is time to play Minute Men and Mexicans!

          • delurking

            He right out stated that y’all inferior races and Liberals and gays are lucky he is religiously COMPELLED to believe in equality — because otherwise…

            He left the “otherwise” unstated, but it wasn’t hard to understand from context.

            • Mitchell Young

              No, he’s not. He’s explicitly disavowed that option for himself. He has this crazy idea that somehow, someway, group that have been overwhelmingly separated for 3000-4000 generations (and an Ice Age) are going to be equal in cognitive ability.

              Now that’s just whacko.

              • Yes, because one group was in an environment that didn’t have any need for the cognitive skills that were developed in rest of the humans scattered across the globe post-Ice Age.

                • Hogan

                  In the jungle the food just falls off the trees, and there are neither droughts nor large carnivorous predators.

        • J R in WV

          Well, conservatives are clearly inferior, shown by their inability to reason from evidence. They are also obviously immoral, because their whole platform is based upon taking from the needy to give to the rich, in contradiction to the whole of their religious body of work.

          So eugenics would call for them to volunteer for sterilization, to clean humanity’s genetic heritage of irrational hatred of others!

          Liberals should have no problems with that.

          • aimai

            OK, you’ve convinced me. With the Supreme Court I say “Three generations of billionaires is enough…sterilize the brutes.”

          • guthrie

            Not everyone here is a liberal though…

    • Svigor

      Looked up “bigot” lately?

  • slimslowslider

    His posts on demons and such are pretty hilariously awesome.

    • delurking

      IKR?

      Today he’s posting on why liberals are wrong to be against circumcision; and he claims that we’re only against circumcision, BTW, because we luvs the sex so much.

      The arguments over there have to be read to believed.

      • slimslowslider

        I want to see the IQ tests for the folks on the “only comment if you have experience with supernatural evil!” thread.

        • Mitchell Young

          So, are IQ tests valid, or not?

          Really, it must be soooo frigin hard for a modern liberal or ‘progressive’ to keep so many contradictory ideas in his or her (if I may use bimodal gender labels) head at once.

          I salute you.

          • slimslowslider

            it was a joke m_young

            • delurking

              Oh my SHIT.

              I just realized Mitchell is m_young from over at Rod’s!

              Talk about spittle-flecked!

              Sorry I’ve even been bothering to reply.

              • Hogan

                I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trying to help bspencer get her third TBogg. Yay us!

                • Always happy to score one. Wish there were better ways.

                • Slather your son’s nether regions with ketchup. Post the picture as a commentary on ketchup the foreskin holocaust both.

              • celticdragonchick

                Good catch on that… ;) Now we just need to find “Deepsouthpopulist”, and “Lord Karth” for the unholy trinity of Dreher derptitude.

              • Mitchell Young

                I wouldn’t look to a career in cryptography, if I were you.

  • Arnaud de Borchgrave

    I cannot raise the intestinal fortitude to check, so does anyone else want to go to Andrew Sullivan’s site, and see if he has posted a large chunk of the original post under the heading “Rod Dreher raises some interesting questions”?

  • I don’t see how evolution could be right and Sailer be wrong.

    Of course you fucking don’t, you dunce. But that says more about you and Sailer than it does about evolution.

    From a scientific point of view, the dumb thing about this whole “race realism” bullshit is that it’s so obviously a “just-so” story that racists are telling themselves. There’s absolutely nothing in the theory of natural selection that requires race-centric differences in intelligence. That becomes obvious once you stop to question the “evolution -> magic -> racial difference in intelligence” chain of reasoning and actually look for a mechanism that would produce those differences. How would they arise? Evolutionary theory gives you several options: intelligence could be preferentially selected in humans in general because it provides some sort of fitness advantage. But even granting that, what you’d have to show is that those selection pressures are different across different groups because of, say, the geographical environment. But why would that be the case? There’s no obvious reason why cold Europe should produce some different evolutionary pressure on intelligence than warm Africa, in contrast with the obvious evolutionary pressure that those environments produce on skin color. And if there’s no differential pressure, then why would there be large-scale differential results from an evolutionary perspective? The other mechanism is of course for the genetic determinants of intelligence to be piggybacking on some other traits that are subject to evolutionary pressures; skin color is again the most obvious candidate. But there’s little reason to believe that any one gene is responsible for intelligence and no known connection at the genetic level between intelligence and skin color.

    Basically this entire “argument” (to the extent that I’m willing to credit it as an actual argument and not just slightly-above-garden-variety racism) rests on a confusion of terms and an elision of any actual mechanisms that could produce the outcomes that people like Sailer claim they do. They’re relying on a sort of sleight-of-hand trick to take you from “natural selection” to “aren’t black people dumb?” without bothering to explain that chain of reasoning. And of course when you examine it, the reasons obviously don’t hold up. What Sailer and Dreher are engaged in is not just extremely thinly veiled racism; it’s scientific malpractice that they should be called out on at every turn.

    • tt

      The right way to do genetics isn’t to reason from evolutionary first principles. It’s to actually do genetics.

      • Origami Isopod

        So are you going to address any of the substantive arguments made in this thread? Or are you just going to continue to slink around this entire post, making vague comments of disagreement but not actually having the spine to come out and say that Sailer and Dreher are right?

      • sibusisodan

        Well, yes. And the right way to figure out what the genetics you’ve just done means, and what its significance is, is to plug it into a theory or mechanism. Gotta have both, surely?

        • tt

          Sure, but the way to figure out mechanism is biochemistry, not evolutionary theory. We figure out how things are, then we can speculate about how they came to be. Going the other way doesn’t have a very good track record.

      • Actually, that’s not even true. I mean, of course you can “do genetics” without evolution, but to shamelessly steal from Dobzhansky, nothing will make sense except in light of evolution. Natural selection is a kind of top-down phenomenological theory that (provided it’s true, of course) can provide constraints on the kinds of low level processes and mechanisms that drive genetic variation. There’s no way to “do genetics” without evolutionary theory if you’re actually interested in what is obviously claims about the outcome of evolutionary processes.

        • tt

          Natural selection is a kind of top-down phenomenological theory that (provided it’s true, of course) can provide constraints on the kinds of low level processes and mechanisms that drive genetic variation.

          The problem is that our imagination isn’t very good at determining what these constraints actually are. For example, your post talks only about selection, but the majority of differences between people are not due to selection but neutral processes.

          (It is, of course, ridiculous to say that “I don’t see how evolution could be right and Sailer be wrong.”)

          • sibusisodan

            Right, but the constraints don’t come from imagination – they come from theory. Which is nothing more than a codified story of previous experiments.

            It could be the case that the theory is wrong, but it’s not incorrect to say that without a plausible mechanism, which we do not have, it’s rather unlikely given what we know.

            And talking about selection is entirely appropriate when talking about supposed genetic differences between supposedly definably separate populations.

            • tt

              They do come from imagination, because there are many different ways the theory can be applied. We (probably) know all the major mechanisms of evolution, but there are still many phenomena which are difficult to explain using the theory because 1) our models aren’t sophisticated enough 2) we’re missing essential mechanisms that we just haven’t thought of yet.

              It’s still an open question how much phenotypic differences between populations are driven by selection vs. neutral processes.

            • No no no, the way it works is this.

              Since you can’t prove that genetics don’t impact intelligence, and since it is a given that race is a genetically distinct trait (it just is, don’t argue), then we have to assume that genetics (race) does impact intelligence.

              Because science.

              You see?

              • Yeah, having looked at this person’s comment history, it seems pretty obvious that they’re basically dedicated to the magical thinking leap of “phenotyipcal variance exists -> (a miracle happens) -> genetic variations in intelligence ALL OVAR THA PLACE.” More elisions and smoke-and-mirrors reasoning from the “racial realism” crowd.

                • tt

                  No, that’s not the “leap.” I study genetic variation in the context of disease. It has become apparent in the last few decades that human populations differ both in disease genes and in susceptibility to various diseases even when you control for environmental factors. It’s also apparent from studies of e.g. plants or fruit flies that if you take individuals from two different populations of the same species and raise them under identical conditions then they exhibit phenotypic variance in many traits like size and color. The “leap” is to say that intelligence probably looks like these other complex traits; i.e., that it varies between populations due to genetics.

                • tt

                  To be clear, varies in part due to genetics, many other factors also play a role.

          • True, but that doesn’t help Dreher or Sailer any, because there’s absolutely no reason to assume that it would just so happen that a stochastic process would land you in exactly such a situation as to demonstrate that white people are smarter than black people. Getting from neutral selection to a difference in intelligence that maps onto folk racial boundaries is an even bigger just-so story than getting there from natural selection.

            • tt

              We shouldn’t use “just so” stories either way. Do the experiments, confirm them, dig deeper, then you can start speculating about evolution.

              • If the experiments don’t confirm your hypothesis, keep digging. Perform more experiments. Refine your hypothesis. Perform more experiments.

                Sooner or later that lead is bound to turn into gold. Green gold.

              • slightly_peeved

                If we don’t have a solid testable theory as to what intelligence is, attempts to scientifically determine how it varies are pretty useless. You won’t produce anything that can defend itself against the critique that you’ve defined intelligence incorrectly. there’s a lot more cognitive science and neuroscience to be done before you could.

                • tt

                  I don’t think this is actually a big problem. As I said above, I used to study the genetics of smoking addiction. We don’t really know what addiction is and we have no way of measuring it directly. What you do in these situations is come up with some operational “good enough” definition based on some combination of proxy variables (all of which are highly correlated with one another).

                  And if all you’re really measuring is the factors influencing ability to solve some cognitive test, that doesn’t perfectly represent platonic “intelligence”, well, that’s an interesting finding in itself. It’s not useless–it still tells us something about how cognitive abilities vary between populations.

                • slightly_peeved

                  No it doesn’t, because there aren’t any cognitive tests that can’t be learned to some extent. you’re testing people’s training rather than an innate ability.

                  With addiction, you can do a ‘good enough’ combination of measures, because there’s prey good agreement on what addiction is. The concept of intelligence itself is in dispute, so it’s not amenable to this kind of analysis.

                • tt

                  Cognitive abilities can be trained, but addiction is also subject to social factors which can confound genetic analyses. Again, this isn’t a unique problem in regards to intelligence; it applies to a wide range of traits which are nevertheless studied genetically. You control for these things as much as you can.

            • Paterfamilias Neanderthalensis

              I always said nothing good would come of promiscuous race-mixing.

          • DrDick

            T0eh vast majority, around 98%, are simply random differences between members of the same population (which does not help your argument at all). There is also significant evidence for the operation of selection, particularly in regard to disease resistance.

            • tt

              Not sure what your point is? Genetic differences between populations can arise from any of the four evolutionary mechanisms–selection, drift, mutation, migration. Even if you know the source of the variation (which we don’t in regard to most of the genetic contribution to most traits) it’s often very difficult to determine which mechanism brought about the difference. It is a mistake to assume that any phenotypic variation between populations must have some selective story behind it.

              • DrDick

                I never said that all variation is due to selection, but was merely responding to your assertion to a lack of it. My larger point is that, contrary to you statements about the utility of talking about racial populations, most variation is within populations (and within much smaller, more homogeneous populations that the large “racial groups”). There may be very limited utility to these categories for medical purposes, but I think you will miss an awful lot by using them. Among other things, this assumes that people have any meaningful knowledge of their ancestry. My son has G6-PD deficiency, yet his mother is a full-blood Native American (who have zero incidence of that trait).

                • tt

                  but was merely responding to your assertion to a lack of it.

                  I never made any such assertion.

                  I think the utility of these groupings exists now, but will for only a very short span of history, because in a decade sequencing will be so cheap that we’ll know everyone’s genetic background perfectly. So not worth arguing about.

      • joel hanes

        The right way to do genetics [is] to actually do genetics.

        It’s been done.

        There _are_ no human races; no population has remained sufficiently genetically isolated.

        This leads to a different question: why so many people are bound and determined to find a scientific basis for their own pre-existing ideas about “race”?

        • Yes. This is the question I’ve always had.

          • Anna in PDX

            Change race to gender, and this is the question I was left with after reading “The Gender Delusion” that went into some detail debunking one by one all the many stupid stereotpyes about how women’s brains just work differently than men’s, dammit. Why are people so invested in finding these differences? Because they *want* there to be differences.

            • herr doktor bimler

              Have you read “Brain Storm”? Jordan-Young delves deeper into the minutiae of the studies, but she ends up the same way — shaking her head in dismayed amazement that such crap research has been accepted as authoritative (by virtue of telling people what they already wanted to believe).

              • Anna in PDX

                No, will check it out. Thanks!

      • Mitchell Young

        And people of African descent, including the vast majority of African Americans, are quite readily distinguishable, at the genetic level, from European Americans.

        http://genomebiology.com/2009/10/12/R141

        Take a look at figure one. ‘Europeans’ (ie. white Americans in this sample) cluster together. The overwhelming number of black Americans cluster together, and much closure to a sample of Yoruba (West African) individuals than to ‘Europeans/white Americans.

        There are a few black Americans in the sample that are closure to white Americans than to Africans. But that is hardly surprising, even for a ‘racist’. But the bulk of African Americans are ‘AFrican’ Americans.

        • celticdragonchick

          Christ on a fucking crutch! Most of the differences are in non coding DNA! That means the differences are utterly irrelevant because the DNA involved simply has no function!

    • So-in-so

      You are way over thinking this. I’m sure they start with something like “we white Europeans had cities and ships and stuff while Africans where still running around in the bush chasing things with spears, therefore we are smarter. QED”

      The rest is a thick application of makeup on that pig.

      • I mean, yes, you’re right, that is what they think. I guess all I’m trying to say is that even under the obviously unjustified and overly generous interpretation that Sailer et. al. have any actual interest in science, the whole damn thing still doesn’t hold up. I think it’s useful to point that out because otherwise it turns into exactly the game that Dreher is playing now, to wit: “Heh, libruls, where’s your precious devotion to science now that it tells us that black people are inferior?” But of course science doesn’t tell us anything of the sort.

        • Mitchell Young

          No, it says nothing of ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’.

          But what it does say, what Darwinian theory says, is that groups of individuals separated over thousands of generations, and whose ancestors were subject to severe selection pressures (like an ice age), would vary enough genetically to be distinguishable, which we are. It would also say that, just as skin tone and hair texture have obviously varied, so too would the brain. After all it is, like the skin, just another organ.

          • Lee Rudolph

            It would also say that, just as skin tone and hair texture have obviously varied, so too wouldmight, or might not, the brain. After all it is, like the skin, just another organ.

            Which other organs have (obviously or not, but significantly) varied? The spleen? The kidney? The liver? The parathyroid? The apparatus of the inner ear? The retina of the eye (that might be a good test case—different environments might well make different color distinctions salient—perhaps circumpolar human groups have evolved to see N__B’s avatar better than equitorial groups!)? Be specific, and by all means cite the relevant literature! Thanks!!!

            • Mitchell Young

              Okay, let’s look at the kidneys, as it is well known that African Americans suffer from kidney related ailments at far higher rates than white folks.

              End‐stage renal failure in African Americans: insights in kidney disease susceptibility
              Nephrol. Dial. Transplant. (2002) 17 (2): 198-200 doi:10.1093/ndt/17.2.198d

              “The aetiologies of the markedly increased incidence rate of end‐stage renal failure (ESRF) among African‐, Native‐, Hispanic‐, and Asian Americans, relative to European Americans, continue to be debated. Much has been learned about the impact that African American (black) race has on the biologic and sociocultural aspects of systemic diseases predisposing to ESRF. This information may prove useful in determining the causes of the unique susceptibility to kidney disease that is observed in the American black population. In aggregate, blacks have lower socioeconomic status (SES) with poorer access to medical care than do whites. However, well‐designed analyses reveal that lower SES and greater severity of hypertension and hyperglycaemia fail to fully account for their excess rate of ESRF “

              The article goes on to eliminate one specific polymorphism as a cause of these differences, but suggests others.

              Blacks are significantly less likely to suffer macular degeneration than whites.

              Dorey, C. Kathleen, et al. “Cell loss in the aging retina. Relationship to lipofuscin accumulation and macular degeneration.” Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 30.8 (1989): 1691-1699.

              We examined the impact of aging on the numbers of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, and the number of photoreceptors per RPE cell profile, in selected regions of 30 human eyes. The mean ratio of photoreceptors to RPE cell was higher in the macula than in the paramacula (P less than 0.01) or the equatorial area (P less than 0.001). We found evidence for an age-related loss of RPE in both whites (P less than 0.02) and blacks (P less than 0.0006), although the rate of loss in whites was significantly slower than in blacks. Photoreceptor loss in blacks was inversely correlated with age (P less than 0.04). In whites, however, photoreceptor loss was very significantly and directly correlated with lipofuscin concentration in the opposing RPE (P less than 0.0001) and unrelated to age. The disparity in the rates of photoreceptor and RPE cell loss produced, in older eyes, a higher ratio of photoreceptors per RPE cell profile. In the macula, the ratio for whites over 50 years of age was significantly higher (P less than 0.05) than that in blacks over 50. Our data suggest that the increased phagocytic and metabolic load on the RPE, which ultimately the macula causes a preferential age-related accumulation of lipofuscin in the RPE, which ultimately leads to photoreceptor death. This may prove a useful model of age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease.

              • Timb

                And, the proof that those are genetic differences, rather than clusters like Tay-Sachs disease, is?

      • When the white Europeans showed up on the Gold Coast there had been cities here for quite some time.

        • I’m sure some jackass like Dreher would claim scary Africans city-jacked them from Europe.

        • So-in-so

          Of course. And bigger cities and ships in China. Have we not established they ignore facts that they don’t like?

          • Galtonian

            “they ignore facts that they don’t like?”

            …and then perhaps you are ignoring the fact that race realists often acknowledge the fact that East Asians (including the Han Chinese) tend to have higher IQs than Whites.

            • aimai

              So: now that y’all have acknolwedged that the Han Chinese are smarter than you are is it now time for you to roll over and let them do whatever they Hannishly want to do? Why is “black people are mentally inferior” supposed to instruct us, politically, today but “Han Chinese are mentally superior” supposed to be just a sample of how honest and sciency you are and not some kind of political destiny? Because even if it were true, which it is not, that there were some serious differences between AA and white Americans that wouldn’t tell us anythign at all about what should be done about it politically, socially, or economically. Qua human beings and, in our case, American Citizens, we are all entitled to equal treatment and one might argue equal outcomes. Since you aren’t agitating for the bottom quartile of stupid white people to lose voting rights, or inheritance rights, or rights to own property, or get married or whatever why do you even feel the need to blather on and on about the intelligence of other races?

              • Mitchell Young

                “why do you even feel the need to blather on and on about the intelligence of other races?”

                Well, first off, we are talking about average intelligences.

                Now, if there aren’t any differences in distribution of intelligence among races, then it becomes politically necessary to search for other reasons, and “correct” the gap. And that is why we get huge efforts like ‘No Child Left Behind’, and the programs of discrimination against whites that are collectively known as “Affirmative Action”.

                If, however, it is tacitly accepted that groups definable more or less well via visible traits or ethnic history or both are also going to differ, on average, on other traits (athleticism, cognitive ability), then we can accept inequalities in outcomes.

                Few here would argue that American whites should be 60% of the NBA or NFL. Or that having 33% percent of the seats on the Supreme Court being occupied by Jewish folks is ‘unjust’. Those things are probably outcomes influenced by both genetics and culture.

                Why should things like, a 29% white city having a 60% white fire department recruiting class, upset you when the FD has taken extreme measures to attract candidates from all groups and devised an entrance exam with predictive validity?

                It does, but it shouldn’t. And recognition of racial differences can help in that acceptance (and thus lead to less discrimination against white blue collar guys who want to save your life)

            • Snippet

              You would think that people who can’t stop reminding you of how smart and logical they are would see the flaw of accusing white people who openly acknowledge the intellectual superiority of Asians of being white-supremecists.

              I predict that the response to this post (if I am fortunate enough to enjoy the honor) will contain the word, “fuck,” because uttering that word is, apparently, how our intellectual superiors prove once and for all how utterly wrong we are.

              • There are lots of folks who are happy to be any place in the totem pole so long as there’s SOMEONE beneath them. People like you fer instance!

                • Snippet

                  You would think that people who can’t stop reminding you of how smart and logical they are would see the flaw of resorting to mindless ad hominem in lieu of substantive argument.

                • guthrie

                  BUt she did just point out that your logic is flawed, and your statement about the word ‘fuck’ was wrong too.

                • Timb

                  Could you tell the racist to “fuck off” next time?

    • Karen

      I’ve always wanted to ask one of these twerps to show me an environment where stupidity was an advantage, other than their own country clubs.

      • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

        State legislatures

        • Karen

          +1

      • slightly_peeved

        The Republican Primaries. But then I repeated you.

      • Mitchell Young

        Foolhardiness can be an advantage. A Genghis Khan may have been stupid to try to take over all of Central Asia–a more intelligent man may have looked at the risks and declined. Yet, having gambled, and won, Genghis now has his choice of comely maidens, lots of ‘em.

        • delurking

          So…it’s your contention that Ghenghis Khan conquered most of Central Asia because he was too stupid to know better?

          Seriously?

          That’s kind of dumb even for an m_young comment.

          • Snippet

            It was not a “contention,” it was plausible and interesting speculation regarding the potential payoff for taking risks (i.e., being “foolhardy”), particularly for men, who can, if they win the bet, end up sending gigantic quantities of their DNA downstream, as Khan did.

      • Svigor

        I can show you environments where stupidity is more deadly, and environments where it is less so.

      • Snippet

        Then why haven’t you?

      • Snippet

        “Twerps”? “country clubs”? Ad-hominem-a-palooza!

        There really is a lot of that around here. A rather amazing amount of the stuff, I must say.

        Be that as it may, why have you wanted to ask such a ridiculous question? Why not ask, “What sorts of environments might stimulate intelligence more than others?”

    • laura

      Yeah, that statement was what took the cake for me too. I’m no expert on evolution and natural selection, but there are obviously, many many ways, that have been explained in many, many popular books (e.g. Guns Germs and Steel just to name one that everybody has read) that “evolution can be right and Sailer can be wrong”.

    • kos

      The theory is that colder environments require more planning, you need to store food, create clothing and housing for cold winters, etc. That phenotype gets selected, and that creates races, which ultimately create species. That’s how evolution works, and Darwin himself applied it to humans too. To say, humans are too young for this is an empirical claim, but it would seem improbable that ‘on average’ humans that necessitate greater planning are not selected for greater intelligence.

      • aimai

        Deserts are as inhospitable as the arctic, and, of course, Eskimos are not white.

      • guthrie

        To assume that Darwin was always correct is a major error, given how many times evolutionary theory has been revised since he died, not to mention the errors he made.

    • Lurker

      There’s absolutely nothing in the theory of natural selection that requires race-centric differences in intelligence

      What?! Why should there be? It’s not required but it’s entirely plausible that intelligence would vary between different groups as a result of selection.

    • LogCabinConservative

      Wait, is your argument that because scientists can’t agree on historical selective forces on human behavior, that therefore genetic differences between races do not exist? lol, impressive argument.

  • Patricia Kayden

    How exactly do you measure someone’s intelligence? Who decides how to measure intelligence? Isn’t this whole discussion of intelligence based on White supremacy or Eurocentrism?

    I really don’t understand the focus on “IQ tests” as indicative of intelligence. There are people who lack formal education who are as smart or intelligent (and sometimes even more so) than college-educated people.

    How does Sailor, who has always believed that Blacks are dumb, explain President Obama (who is no academic slouch) or other Black academics?

    • sharculese

      Um, because he still hasn’t released his transcripts, duh?!? What is he hiding that he doesn’t want a bunch of racists with an agenda rooting around in his young adult years?

    • I don’t know, Patricia. I’m similarly squeamish about studies that propose to measure happiness. (As in “conservatives are happy and liberals aren’t.”) How does one measure something so ephemeral? (BTW, if it were measurable, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives were, on balance, happier. Because I think being delusional and being happy often go hand in hand.

      • Origami Isopod

        Because I think being delusional and being happy often go hand in hand.

        Having more societal power and being happy also go hand in hand, as do having more societal power and being politically inclined not to share it.

        • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

          Not to mention that people who think a lot of things should change are naturally going to be less happy with the current world than people who think things are going just fine, regardless of their personal situation.

          • Karen

            Exactly. It’s impossible to be a progressive and be satisfied with the status quo.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald

        Lunatics are the happiest people you’ll ever meet.

    • How exactly do you measure someone’s intelligence?

      “By reading his blog post citing Steve Sailer” is turning out to have real heuristic value.

      • Robert M.

        I literally lol’ed.

    • I measure intelligence, in part, by whether or not one has the ability to foresee that posting stupid racist shit on a website is a bad idea.

      • Well, over 300 comments and lots of clicks for ad revenue …

    • Galtonian

      I am sure that Sailer (who has written a book about Obama) knows perfectly well that Barack Obama was the son of a highly intelligent PhD educated White mother and a Harvard educated Black father who was one of the smartest Kenyans of his generation. No surprise that Barack Obama is smarter than most Blacks and most Whites.

    • LogCabinConservative

      IQ tests are indeed limited. But they are the single most powerful predictor of human success in the modern world — more powerful than any of the environmental causes that you will, no doubt, come up with in response to this post.

      • Hogan

        But they are the single most powerful predictor of human success in the modern world

        Yeah, no. You’re just linking one undefined term (intelligence) to another (human success) by waving your hand. If it makes you feel good about yourself, great (as a LogCabinConservative, you must find that really hard), but it ain’t science.

      • delurking

        Actually, no. Like SAT tests, IQ tests have been shown to be very bad predictors of actual future success.

        All they actually test is success at taking tests very like those tests — future standardized tests, basically.

        • delurking

          To take one example, white middle-class males do much better than white middle-class females on SAT tests.

          Yet when we look at who does better when these two cohorts are in the university, it is white middle-class females, by some generous margin — they have a higher GPA, they graduate at a higher rate, they tend graduate more often in four years rather than five, and so on.

          The white boys bust the hell out of the test, but that doesn’t necessarily predict they’ll do well in the environment.

          Same for IQ tests. They’re testing how well you’ll do on the test, not how well you’ll do in the environment.

          • Svigor

            Last I heard, IQ score correlated more closely with SES than any other single metric.

            • Hogan

              So people from higher SES do better on the SATs? You astonish me.

              • Mitchell Young

                Except that white kids from very low SES groups do better than black kids from high SES groups…on average, as always.

                • Mitchell Young

                  Do better on the SAT, that is.

                • But, as any sociologist knows, there is a racial aspect to class as well in American, and not all classes are treated the same because of this fact.

              • Svigor

                Right; that’s why twins reared apart are so close in outcomes both in terms of IQ scores and SES outcomes, regardless of environmental background.

    • junker

      The thing is, before you even get to measuring intelligence, you need some kind of agreement of what intelligence is, and there is far from a unanimous consensus on that.

      In my developmental psych class, as an exercise I ask my students to define intelligence. In a class with 50 students you’ll get 50 answers, because it;s a nebulous concept.

      Gardner, for example, would claim that Lebron James is a genius for what he does on the court, as much as Bach or Picasso or Shakespeare.

      You can’t do this kind of thing until you actually have an agreement on what intelligence is. That’s yet another reason why these sorts of arguments about race and intelligence don’t make sense.

      • Lurker (guest)

        Gardner? You mean Howard Gardner?

        Yes, he’s interesting. He’s usually wheeled out to derail clear thinking about intelligence but as far as I’m aware his model is never actually used in any kind of psychometric testing. So not a lot of use is it?

        He seems to get referenced in feel-good articles in parenting magazines and such like to give a nice PC message.

        You’re asking for a consensus on what intelligence is and HG muddies the waters rather than helping.

        Are we in any doubt as to what physical strength is? Or speed? Why should problem solving not be rated in the same way?

    • MEH 0910

      How does Sailor, who has always believed that Blacks are dumb, explain President Obama (who is no academic slouch) or other Black academics?

      Patricia, you accept that women are shorter on average than men, correct? And that isn’t disproven by the existence of, say, tall women basketball players. Can’t you see similarly that the existence of brilliant black academics doesn’t disprove that blacks have a lower average intelligence than whites?

      • Lurker (guest)

        Good call. But, sadly, pointing out anything about averages vs individual examples is way beyond a lot of people it seems.

  • carolannie1949

    I submit rather cautiously that Darwin WAS a racist, and felt that blacks were less evolved than whites. This has nothing to do with science and everything to do with his bigotry. That Sailer would seize on outdated bigotry as a support for his thinking is pretty weak.

    • Karen

      True. As was every other upper-class European at the time. He was as good as good be expected of someone from his particular place and time. Plenty of his class and time were much worse.

      • Origami Isopod

        Yeah. On the one hand there have always been progressive outliers in all societies, but we’re a herd social animal, and unfortunately that means most of us are going to conform to prevailing standards of ethics (or at least keep up the appearance that we do), regardless of era.

    • Lurker (guest)

      Darwin WAS a racist, and felt that blacks were less evolved than whites

      I’ve no idea if he said they were less evolved. Clearly they are differently evolved.

  • wengler

    I like how these posts attract, like moths to the flame, people that who will comment on this story and will never comment again.

    Show me a test that says a certain ethnicity/race group is superior, and it will easily be revealed who created that test.

    • sharculese

      ? There’s like only a couple of names in this thread I don’t recognize, and none of them are disagree with VS.

    • Origami Isopod
    • Patricia Kayden

      Amen to your second paragraph. I bet I could create an “IQ” test that only Jamaicans who grew up in a specific part of that country could score highly on. So what? How does showing that you scored highly on an “IQ” test demonstrate that you are superior to other human beings?

    • onetwothree

      European whites invented IQ tests, which show that NE Asians and Jews are more intelligent than whites.

    • Lurker

      Show me a test that says a certain ethnicity/race group is superior, and it will easily be revealed who created that test.

      Ah yes, the culture biased gambit.

      How is that American blacks manage to score lower, on average, than American whites then? How did the creators manage to cleverly tweak that? And how is it American blacks, over generations, never got wise to it?

      If these tests really are biased then surely an ability to ‘read’ the cultural cues in such a test is a reasonable marker for ability to succeed in that society. What does it say about a group of people who, despite living in that society, they can’t pick up on that?

      There are various culture neutral tests that broadly mirror the results of the other supposedly biased ones. Look them up.

      Why havent blacks written their own biased tests? After all if anyone can get into that game, why not them….

      And most IQ tests, created by whites, show East Asians as having higher average IQ. Oh dear, sorry about your theory.

      • Hogan

        If these tests really are biased then surely an ability to ‘read’ the cultural cues in such a test is a reasonable marker for ability to succeed in that society. What does it say about a group of people who, despite living in that society, they can’t pick up on that?

        Real proponents of IQ testing claim that it measures innate ability, not learned experience, so not really.

        But leaving that aside, sure, the US is one big homogeneous culture, from Waukesha to Brooklyn to Birmingham to Los Angeles, from Brown University to Fort Dix to Graterford Prison to the US Senate, and we all share the same standards of success and the same set of cultural cues and appropriate responses, and those are the only cultural cues embedded in IQ tests, so yeah, perfect.

        • Lurker (guest)

          Real proponents of IQ testing claim that it measures innate ability, not learned experience, so not really.

          Of course, its not me claiming its about learned experience, its the blank slate, nurture beats nature racial flat earthers claiming that.

          But leaving that aside, sure, the US is one big homogeneous culture etc etc

          So you’re saying that IQ differences should be found between otherwise similar groups of people depending on their location in the US – because of the vast cultural gulfs?

    • LogCabinConservative

      Show me a test that says a certain ethnicity/race group is superior, and it will easily be revealed who created that test.

      There is a test that shows that Africans, on average, have far more genes for Malaria resistance than Whites. I guess some bigoted African – perhaps Dr. Yacub! – invented that test.

    • Svigor

      Show me a test that says a certain ethnicity/race group is superior, and it will easily be revealed who created that test.

      Assuming by “is superior” you mean “scores higher on average”:

      Show me a mental test created by blacks, on which they consistently outscore whites, yellows, etc.

      P.S., was that your way of saying Jews created all the IQ tests?

  • John Protevi

    Rule of thumb: stop reading whenever you see the disgusting racist dogwhistle “human biodiversity.”

    • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

      ‘Human Biodiversity’ is right off neo-reactionary sites. Not to make a hobby horse out of it, but it seems like it’s time to start taking the neo-reactionary/alt-right movement as a threat.* Their numbers are increasing, and their ideas seem to be percolating up through the soil.

      * The abbreviation ‘HBD’ is also generally a giveaway that a writer is at least sympathetic to NR ideas, as are: ‘The Cathedral’ referring to liberal media/professors/etc., ‘colonized’ to mean non-racist, and the phrase ‘Dark Enlightenment’ used unironically anywhere. The last, especially, is indicative of a card-carrying member.

      • What about traditional old school reactionaries like myself? Can I be a threat too? ;-)

        • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

          No, because you use ‘colonized’ to refer to states instead of people.

      • Lurker

        and the phrase ‘Dark Enlightenment’ used unironically anywhere

        Lol! Ive never seen anyone use the term unironically, unless they were some left/liberal worrying about it. The rest of us think its a comical term.

      • Lurker (guest)

        Their numbers are increasing, and their ideas seem to be percolating up through the soil.

        Absolutely mate! There are more of us all the time. Blame the internet, but not to worry you guys still have a death grip on the media megaphone.

        seems like it’s time to start taking the neo-reactionary/alt-right movement as a threat.

        Thanks for the implied compliment!

        However what you need to do is show up at sites like Steve Sailer’s and make your case. Instead of hiding out here at LGM of the HuffPo or wherever.

    • LogCabinConservative

      Rule of thumb: plug your ears, close your eyes, and hum whenever you hear the disgusting anti-Christian dogwhistle “rationality”.

      • delurking

        Oddly enough, that is roughly how it works among the Evangelical Xtians I know. Say Enlightenment to them, say evolution to them, say feminist to them, say Equal Rights to them, say “Well, that just doesn’t fit the scientific evidence” to them, their mouths go flat, their eyes squinch up, they might as well have their fingers in their ears.

      • John Protevi

        Nah, because plenty of folks use “rationality” who aren’t pigfucking racists like you. But only pigfucking racists like you use “human biodiversity.”

  • SteveHinSLC

    I have to say, that while I believe racial discrimination and inequality are still serious problems in our country, I think that this particular issue, whether people of one race are on average more intelligent than another, is where liberals come closest to being “anti-science.”

    Whenever the claim comes up that people from one race are on average more intelligent than another, it does not appear to me that people on the left are willing to look at the issue without preconceived notions. That is, I do not see many liberals respond with “I wonder if that theory is right – what is the evidence? Is it persuasive?” Instead, the responses tend to start from the position that “the theory can’t be right.”

    I think this is apparent in statements like some commenters have made, that scientists doubt whether there is such thing as “race.” Of course there is. There are obvious visible differences between someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from West Africa and someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from Scandinavia. I have no idea whether these differences extend to intelligence, in favor of either the Scandinavians or the Africans. But clearly at least some differences exist. When was the last time the Olympic 100-meter sprint final featured runners with Scandinavian ancestry?

    I personally have no idea or opinion as to whether people of one race are more intelligent on average than people of another. But I have no reason to believe that it is impossible, and I do think that if we on the left want to say that we are “pro-science,” we do need to allow that the possibility may exist.

    • sharculese

      You should probably actually go back and read the thread because people discuss at length the long history of this being presented, the evidence turning out to be insufficient, only to have the same people show up a few years later and whine ‘why won’t you just look at our evidence.’

      Also discussed at length: how theories of racial intelligence just don’t connect in any way to what we know about evolution.

      And then there’s this:

      I think this is apparent in statements like some commenters have made, that scientists doubt whether there is such thing as “race.” Of course there is. There are obvious visible differences between someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from West Africa and someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from Scandinavia. I have no idea whether these differences extend to intelligence, in favor of either the Scandinavians or the Africans.

      In which you basically admit that not only did you not read the actual arguments about why scientists reject the idea of race, you intend to dismiss them without mounting an actual argument (surely there must be is not an argument) and then stumble on to admit that you don’t even know why it would be relevant, as if to trumpet that your initial volley into this debate is made with a total absence of good faith.

      In conclusion: your concerns are noted. Fuck along, now.

      • sharculese

        But I have no reason to believe that it is impossible

        As an addendum: this is just straight up not how science works. If you want to accuse other people of being ‘anti-science’ you need to do some remedial as fuck reading on what science is.

        • SteveHinSLC

          I thought “science” involved coming up with a hypothesis to explain an observed phenomenon, conducting experiments to see if the hypothesis was true, and evaluating the results of the experiments to see if they support the hypothesis as a possible explanation for the phenomenon.

          Silly me, I guess.

          • John Protevi

            Yes, silly you for not having moved on from the 9th grade presentation of “The Scientific Method” you were half asleep for anyway.

          • sharculese

            A hypothesis includes some degree of plausibility. “I dunno but definitely maybe” is so far from qualifying as to not exist in the same universe.

            • SteveHinSLC

              Why isn’t it at least plausible that people whose ancestors lived in one area have different inherent abilities than people whose ancestors lived in another?

              As I mentioned in another comment, look at the differences between the level of technological sophistication in Europe and West Africa during the colonial period, or the differences between economic conditions today.

              I think it is at least *plausible* that those differences are the result of inherent abilities. But again, if someone is aware of evidence that makes that explanation implausible, I’d like to see it.

              To me, the whole idea of differences in “inherent abilities” between people of different racial or ethnic or geographical groups is very unsettling. I would prefer that such differences be impossible.

              • sharculese

                You. Fucking. Moron.

                It’s your job as the person making the claim to figure out why it is plausible.

                And your ad hoc guesswork doesn’t qualify.

                • SteveHinSLC

                  You. Fucking. Moron.

                  You have definitely disproved my theory that when this issue arises, liberals are prone to lose their ability to think rationally and present cogent arguments.

                  I’m not the person making the claim. I’m not making a claim. It’s the people who are saying that differences in inherent ability are impossible who are making the claim. Where is their evidence?

                  Anyway, isn’t plausibility in the eye of the beholder? Think about the current scientific explanations for how the universe began, or how life began on Earth, or how the human species arose. I don’t disbelieve any of those theories. But if we are just talking about facial plausibility, are those theories really more plausible on their face than the argument that the people who have basically taken over the world did so because they were smartest?

                  (Which, again, I am not saying is true.)

                • sibusisodan

                  Although not as silly as my inability to use tags, obviously.

                • sharculese

                  You have definitely disproved my theory that when this issue arises, liberals are prone to lose their ability to think rationally and present cogent arguments.

                  Actually, I came to the conclusion that your a moron through a rational inquiry based on the fact that you seem to have no idea what you’re talking about and are actively opposed to expanding your knowledge. I’m sorry you insist on not learning from the experience.

                  Anyway, isn’t plausibility in the eye of the beholder?

                  No. That is literally the opposite of how science works.

                • Bob

                  Don’t say bad words, please.

                • Lurker

                  You. Fucking. Moron

                  Projection.

                  It’s your job as the person making the claim to figure out why it is plausible.

                  Its entirely plausible that over thousands of years of isolation different human groups might evolve differently. Different attributes – including intelligence, problem solving, abstract thinking and so on.

                  If you buy into evolution it’s up to you to explain why that wouldnt happen. Different groups not having different attributes is by far the more unlikely outcome. Since you’re the one making this extreme claim its up to you to do the explaining.

                  That evolution would account for group differences is the simple, parsimonious explanation. You know, Occam’s razor.

              • delurking

                “I think it is at least *plausible* that those differences are the result of inherent abilities. But again, if someone is aware of evidence that makes that explanation implausible, I’d like to see it.”

                This is satire, right?

                No one in 2014 is *actually* this ignorant?

                • SteveHinSLC

                  Assume I really am that ignorant about this issue in 2014.

                  Please direct me to the sources I can look at so I can be less ignorant. I promise I will read them.

                  To me, the liberal approach on this has such an “Emperor’s New Suit” quality to it: I ask for evidence or explanations for why people of one geographical group can’t be more intelligent than another, and instead of answers, people say that I’m a moron or ignorant, or that I should fuck off.

                  If my belief that people descended from different geographical areas may have different inherent abilities is so obviously wrong, prove it. Show me.

                • sibusisodan

                  I ask for evidence or explanations for why people of one geographical group can’t be more intelligent than another, and instead of answers, people say that I’m a moron or ignorant, or that I should fuck off.

                  This is just sophistry.

                  You may as well ask for evidence as why there can’t be unicorns. You can’t disprove a negative.

                  They are both unfalsifiable statements, thus unscientific, thus not the right place to start from.

                  So, given that people have said this to you several times in this thread, and you’re unwilling to modify your understanding based on new information – as you’d all like us to do – you’re being a bit silly.

                • sharculese

                  To me, the liberal approach on this has such an “Emperor’s New Suit” quality to it: I ask for evidence or explanations for why people of one geographical group can’t be more intelligent than another, and instead of answers, people say that I’m a moron or ignorant, or that I should fuck off.

                  This thread is littered with fucking explanations as to why the things you think are idiotic. They were here before you showed up to whine about how nobody would address you content free speculation and fever-dream thought experiments.

                • Malaclypse

                  I ask for evidence or explanations for why people of one geographical group can’t be more intelligent than another, and instead of answers, people say that I’m a moron or ignorant, or that I should fuck off.

                  Because the very first thing people in those groups do when they meet up is fuck one another.

      • LogCabinConservative

        This thread has presented no evidence that the concept of race is any more “insufficient” than the concept of species.

        • aimai

          Species can’t interbreed. People with different appearance/phenotype/ethnic type can.

          • tt

            Lots of species can interbreed, actually. Lions and tigers, for example. In practice, the Biological species concept is not determinative in defining species limits, and it’s still an area of active debates exactly how species should be defined. Many other biological concepts–gene, organism–face similar problems in that there are edge cases which are hard to classify.

        • delurking

          It is really not the job of people in this thread to educate you about things you should have learned in freshman biology.

          Why *didn’t* you learn this in freshman biology?

          I learned this when I was 12. And then again in freshman biology.

          If you didn’t learn it then, you are sitting in front of a machine that has access to all the knowledge of mankind. Start googling.

    • sibusisodan

      Instead, the responses tend to start from the position that “the theory can’t be right.”

      You think it’s hard with this topic, try talking to chemists about transmuting lead into gold. That’s exactly their response – this theory can’t be right, given what we think we know about the world.

      It’s like they’ve already made up their mind based on a ton of other observable evidence, or something. Very sad.

      • SteveHinSLC

        I’ve thought about this response, but is there really “observable evidence” that people with ancestry from different parts of the earth all have the same intelligence?

        If so, what is that evidence?

        With gold and lead, we now know their atomic structures and can see why they are different. We don’t have nearly the same amount of certainty when it comes to intelligence (or any other trait) among members of different races/ethnicities/geographic areas.

        When someone puts out a “whites are smarter” article (which I am *not* advocating), one of the common responses is that intelligence cannot be objectively measured. Ok, but if intelligence cannot be objectively measured, how can there be observable evidence that all ethnic groups on the planet have equal intelligence?

        • sharculese

          This is still not how science works. Never again accuse anyone else of being anti-science because it’s becoming increasingly care that you do not give a fuck about science except as a rhetorical wedge.

          • SteveHinSLC

            Can you explain to me how you believe science works, and what is inconsistent between my view and what you believe is required by science?

            That’s a legit request, not a rhetorical wedge.

            I would love for there to be proof that there are no significant inherent differences in abilities between people from one area and people from another. Are you aware of any?

            • sharculese

              No, I am not going to handhold you through a basic lesson on scientific rigor when you’re perfectly capable of picking up a book.

              Do your own homework, return when it complete.

              • delurking

                I’m beginning to think SteveHin actually hasn’t finished high school.

                Or…was he maybe home schooled? Did he go to one of those religious schools that skipped the actual education parts of educating?

                I’m finding it difficult to explain the very real gaps in his knowledge base otherwise.

          • Bob

            Don’t say bad words!

            PS: Do you really claim that all human population have the same average intelligence?

            • delurking

              Yes.

              Do I claim that there are not some people who are less intelligence than others, and some who are smarter?

              Obviously I know some people are kind of stupid and some who are really smart. I am a teacher. I encounter a few dopes every semester. And more than a few really sharp cookies.

              Do I think these outliers are sorted by population — that (say) Asia has more brilliant people and Haiti more idiots?

              No.

              Why? Because evolution. Because genetics.

              Because we did not diverge as a species long enough ago for that to be possible. because we all evolved in essentially the same sort of environment. (Hint: Earth. Which is everywhere hostile to life. EVERYWHERE.)

              This is all knowledge readily available to anyone who wants to know about it. I have given you the really simplified version. But if you think life is Haiti is somehow easier than life in Asia, so that people in Haiti will be — I don’t know, LESS EVOLVED — than people in Japan, then Good Lord, I’ll put you in the doofus corner of my classroom.

              Among the willfully ignorant.

              Also, for the record? No such thing as less evolved. Just saying. We’ve all been on planet Earth for the same amount of time. We’re all evolved exactly the same amount.

              • Svigor

                That really was too precious.

              • trey

                “because we did not diverge as a species long enough ago for that to be possible. because we all evolved in essentially the same sort of environment. (Hint: Earth. Which is everywhere hostile to life. EVERYWHERE.)”

                You’re essentially arguing against Darwinian evolution, in general, there. Other scientists before Darwin believed that living things gradually changed to form differing species. Darwin’s main insight was, I think, that the varying localized environments of the earth was the mechanism for these changes, i.e. natural selection. Some genetic traits “worked” better in some environments than others and the individuals who possessed these traits were more successful in reproducing themselves, which eventually led to different species. ……………….Also, why is the human brain regarded as somehow sacred and immune to natural selection pressures? Most accept that more easily observable differences between the races were caused by evolution by natural selection, but, for some reason, exempt the physical organ called the brain.

                • delurking

                  No. I’m not.

                  You’re showing me you don’t understand evolution.

                  Go take a biology class with an actual professor in an actual university, or read a book that actually teaches the subject (not one written by someone who is writing propaganda against evolution).

                  I’ll give you another hint: for natural selection to effect a species, the trait selected for or against has to be one that has an effect on survival. (Though of course sometimes survival is just random.)

                  What environment can you think of that exists on planet Earth where being less intelligent would lead to individuals being selected to survive over their more intelligent cousins?

                  Outside (as someone noted above) the GOP, of course?

                  And that really hasn’t existed long enough for evolution’s forces to show any effect at all.

                • trey

                  You are leaving out one side of the equation. You might be right that people who have more of the trait we call intelligence may get by better in all the historical environments of the earth than their less intelligent neighbor. But some environments may not be as harsh on the less intelligent and the smart may reproduce at a slightly higher rate that the average and dull, but all survive to reproduce. However, other enviros may be so harsh on the dull, that they don’t survive to reproduce. That’s how natural selection could cause some environments to select for intelligence more than another.

                  For example, we could do a very controlled experiment where a group of random 10 year old boys were allowed only to get the sustenance for life from working at a factory and another group who could only be nuclear physicists and see what resulted. My guess would be that the smarter boys would probably enjoy a slightly better life than their duller co-workers at the factory but it wouldn’t be anything major. All would probably get married and have kids. ……But the smart kids would enjoy major advantages in the nuclear physicist group. They would make a lot of money, probably attract the healthiest, most desired mates, and reproduce. The dull kids may not even survive to reproduce if forced to get their sustenance from nuclear physicist work.

                • Mitchell Young

                  No, you don’t understand biology/ecology.

                  Energy spent building one capacity is energy not spent building another. So organisms tend to shuck off those capacities that don’t provide a significant advantage in survival. That’s why cave animals are often blind, even in their ancestors weren’t. Obviously all else equal, it would be better to retain sight, even in 99% of the time the animal lives in darkness. But sight goes because that 1% of the time isn’t enough to compensate for the energy used in creating an maintaining sight organs.

                  It is quite easy to imagine environments, where food is relatively plentiful, the environment steady, that don’t require massive brain power and thus where it isn’t worth maintaining that power.

                • Hogan

                  It is quite easy to imagine environments, where food is relatively plentiful, the environment steady, that don’t require massive brain power and thus where it isn’t worth maintaining that power.

                  Yes, I’ve read The Time Machine too. Here on earth, is there such an environment?

        • Cocoa_Leaves_&_Pearls

          Here’s the very basic question: How many races are there in the world?

          You said there are “obvious visible differences between someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from West Africa and someone with twenty generations worth of ancestors from Scandinavia”

          So you suggest that races are readily apparent and can be easily differentiated. If that’s the case, surely you can compile a list of all the different races in the world.

          If you don’t have the time to do a full workup, can you at least define one race for me? How about the “East Asian” or “Oriental”, or whatever you want to call it race. The PRC recognizes 55 ethnic minority (non-Han) groups in China. Which count as “East Asian” and which don’t”?

          For that matter, where are the borders of “East Asian”? Do Samoyedic and Turkic Siberians count? Which of the 135 ethnic minority groups the Burmese government recognizes count as “East Asian”? Does “East Asian” include Polynesians? The Maori? Some/all/none of the Papua New Guineans?

          If you can explain clearly who counts as “East Asian” and who doesn’t, and why, then maybe I’ll accept the hypothesis that race is scientifically useful category.

          • SteveHinSLC

            I don’t want to get into loaded questions about race.

            And maybe that isn’t the right term – I certainly am not saying that everyone with the same skin color is the same, or that they are all one group.

            But at the same time, I am pretty sure that if I woke up and found myself in a strange city, and I were told that the city was either Oslo, Norway, or Kumasi, Ghana, I could pretty quickly tell which was which.

            There are obviously some differences between some groupings of people from different places. If race is too loaded as a term, maybe it would be better to just say ethnicity, or even “geographical locus of ancestry.”

            • Origami Isopod

              I don’t want to get into loaded questions about race.

              It’s a bit late for that.

              • SteveHinSLC

                Why? What have I said that was loaded?

                All I’ve suggested is that things are possible.

                This is kind of my point. Speaking of differences among groups, I like to think that liberals are more intelligent, more reasonable, and more willing to reason than conservatives.

                But when a discussion comes close to challenging orthodoxy, I guess people really are all the same.

                • Patricia Kayden

                  Yes, SteveHinSLC,

                  It’s so damn sad that liberals are not willing to accept your brand of racism, huh? Well cry me a river. Go over to the conservatives/rightwingers/Republicans with that racist mumbo jumbo. The Left, thank goodness, is not buying into that old-fashioned racism. That’s why we have a Black President.

                • laura

                  The problem is that lots of things are “possible” — and most hypotheses are very hard to reject outright. Usually phenomena are consistent with many different hypotheses but that doesn’t mean that all hypotheses deserve equal consideration or are equally plausible. Most geneticists don’t think that genetic differences between races are a good candidate explanation of historical outcomes across groups. This isn’t a matter of political correctness (or at least I have never had that impression from what admittedly little technical reading I’ve done on the subject); it’s the current state of the science.

            • sharculese

              Sooooommeeeeoooonneee’ss a liiiiiarrrrr!!!!!

            • Cocoa_Leaves_&_Pearls

              I’m sorry, but if you’re arguing that some races are smarter/ might be smarter than others, it’s pretty necessary to be able to define what a “race” is.

              You know, if you’re arguing that there are persistent biological differences associated with/attached to the genes that determine race, it’s kind of incumbent on you to define the very basic terms of that argument.

              So again, how many races are there in the world?

              • SteveHinSLC

                42.

                • dexitroboper

                  Coward.

              • Bob

                As many as you want. It depends were you fix the boundaries. But the basic races are: Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Amerind (sometimes seen as extension of Mongloid) plus micro races such as the Pygmoid, Bushmanoid, Polynesian, Melanesian/Australoid.

                • junker

                  But then, if the answer is “how ever many you want,” then how is race a useful construct?

                  I could argue that humans share so much genetic information that there is only one race. Or, I could argue that each individual person is so genetically unique as to constitute an individual race.

                  This is why race is a hollow construct; if it’s really a matter of “just pick however many you want,” then it becomes a meaningless exercise in trying to draw lines so as to disenfranchise the people you don’t like.

                • You forgot Christopherloid, Haroldloid, and Lloyd Bridgesloid.

                • junker

                  Also, Harold Zoid

                • What about Hemherrloid?

              • Svigor

                How many colors are there in the visible spectrum? Or more appropriately, where does yellow end, and orange begin? If you can’t tell me, does it mean “orange” or “yellow” are meaningless terms? That we can’t talk about the inherent properties of either?

                • sibusisodan

                  Well, ok, what are the inherent properties of orange?

                • junker

                  Yet, we have agreed arbitrarily that color x is orange and color y is yellow. The fact is, there is no distinction that “naturally” separates yellow from orange.

                  This is the same thing with race, and the same difficulty with discussing race. You can talk about these “inherent properties” all you want, but when these categories are largely arbitrary, it’s meaningless.

                • Mitchell Young

                  “Well, ok, what are the inherent properties of orange?”

                  Maybe none, and yet if you want to pick out a tangerine from a Meyer lemon, the distinction comes in handy.

                • sibusisodan

                  Maybe none, and yet if you want to pick out a tangerine from a Meyer lemon, the distinction comes in handy.

                  So when svigor said that we can’t talk about the inherent properties, they were correct?

                  Nobody is denying that distinct things are distinct. What I’m questioning is whether the distinctions are reflective of inherent properties.

                  Given that we’d both have to admit that colour has no inherent property, its perhaps not the most useful example.

                • Svigor

                  Well, ok, what are the inherent properties of orange?

                  Who cares? It’s just an analogy. The point was, a lack of discrete boundaries is a flimsy rationalization for categorically ruling out a category, used by people looking for an excuse. It’s without merit; practically all psychological and sociological categories (and most from fields that intersect them, e.g., economics) lack discrete boundaries (to a greater extent than race does). (The test itself fails its own test, since the boundaries of whether it is used or not are not discrete.)

                  If you really want to know: it’s a warm color (warmer than yellow), it complements blue, forms triads with purple and green, is between red and yellow and you get it by mixing them, etc. Go pick up a book on color theory for more.

                  Yet, we have agreed arbitrarily that color x is orange and color y is yellow. The fact is, there is no distinction that “naturally” separates yellow from orange.

                  That’s my point. I daresay many, if not most, categories and classifications humans use fail this arbitrary “no discrete boundaries makes it meaningless” test. People who insist on using it only vis-a-vis race should explain why they apply it nowhere else.

                  This is the same thing with race, and the same difficulty with discussing race. You can talk about these “inherent properties” all you want, but when these categories are largely arbitrary, it’s meaningless.

                  Hey, I have to give you credit, at least you’re being consistent. Consistently ridiculous, but, consistent. For the duration of this conversation, anyway – something tells me you’ll stop this nonsense as soon as you stop talking about race.

                  More “meaningless and arbitrary” classifications:

                  Cars, airplanes, motorcycles, trucks, compact cars, subcompact cars, luxury cars, cities, suburbs, mountains, valleys, plains, deserts, plateaus, coasts, atmospheres, galaxies, solar systems, clothing, books, television, etc. Let’s not even bother with terms like art, culture, emotion, etc.

                  Hey, I know, let’s save ourselves some time and name all the things that don’t fail this absurd “test.”

                  You’re basically sacrificing, well, everything on the altar of political correctness.

                • sibusisodan

                  Who cares? It’s just an analogy.

                  And if your analogy doesn’t work, its useless.

                  Orange, the colour, has no innate properties. All the ones you list arise from our perception of orange, rather than orange qua orange.

                  Same with intelligence. If you want to claim that the property of intelligence differs as a result of some innate characteristic of human populations, rather than our perception of it, you need to define terms.

                  The fact that other people arguing for roughly your position seem to have little agreement on this indicates that there’s work to be done.

                  Appealing to the fact that terms are used imprecisely in other fields doesn’t get us anywhere. Those fields have some limited agreement over the referents of those terms, and plenty of disagreement over their precise scope.

          • LogCabinConservative

            Here’s the very basic question: How many subspecies of domestic and wild cats are there in the world? Redwing blackbirds?

            If you don’t have the time to do a full workup, can you at least define one subspecies for me? How about the “domestic cat” or “African wild cat”, or whatever you want to call it subspecies. Scientists recognize 5 subspecies of redwing blackbird, although the genetic distance between each subspecies is lower than the genetic distance between Northern Europeans and Africans.

            For that matter, where are the borders of “Plains Bison” and “Wood Bison”? Do domestic buffalo count? Which of the 6 subspecies of Zebra count as “Zebra”? Does “Wolf” include Coyotes? South Asian Singing Dogs?

            If you can explain clearly what counts as Wolf and what doesn’t, and why, then maybe I’ll accept the hypothesis that subspecies (or species for that matter) is scientifically useful category.

        • sibusisodan

          With gold and lead, we now know their atomic structures and can see why they are different.

          Wait, don’t you want to hear about my ability to transmute lead into gold? I thought you were annoyed with people not being open to new science and not investigating further.

          Instead you’re just using your so-called “prior knowledge” to rationalise the likelihood of it not being correct. Just like the liberals. Sad.

          • SteveHinSLC

            I am open to the possibility of lead being turned into gold.

            Show me the results of your experiments, and I’d be happy to consider it.

            I’d love for it to be true. Just imagine what that would mean for the goldbugs.

        • Why would’t they have approximately the same intelligence, given that all people in the world are descended more or less from the same small population that originated in Africa circa ~100,000 years ago? The default assumption is that intelligence within that initial population is normally distributed and there’s no particular reason to believe that the population that left is any “smarter” than the population that remained. So if you’re serious about this as a hypothesis, you have to actually show the mechanism that would drive intelligence differences across populations, all the while keeping in mind that variations from the average will tend to get washed out in the long run by regression to the mean. In other words, you need a mechanism that drives intelligence differences at a macro level. In the poetic words of sharculese, “I dunno but definitely maybe” is not a mechanism.

          • SteveHinSLC

            I don’t know exactly, but starting with the premise that traits within the starting population were normally distributed, obviously some things happened since then to cause people in different locations to develop different skin color, facial appearance, muscle structure, and running ability.

            I would suggest that whatever mechanism caused those differences to develop, even over only 100,000 years, could also cause people to develop different levels of intelligence.

            I don’t think I suggested that the population that *left* Africa may be smarter than the one that remained. It could also be the other way around. As a white person, I am descended from people who left warm, sunny Africa to go live in cold Europe. That doesn’t sound like a very smart choice to me.

            My only point is that as a liberal, I believe it is important to be seeking truth and questioning your own beliefs in the face of contrary evidence instead of starting with a belief and refusing to even consider contrary positions because they are inconsistent with your world view or you don’t like the consequences if that contrary position happens to be true.

            So this leads me to think that important questions should be considered on their merits rather than dismissed because they are unseemly.

            But the response to “keep an open mind because you don’t know” is to tell me to fuck off. I think that is proving my point.

            • I don’t know exactly, but starting with the premise that traits within the starting population were normally distributed, obviously some things happened since then to cause people in different locations to develop different skin color, facial appearance, muscle structure, and running ability.

              Yes, and much of the time we know or have some plausible idea of the mechanisms that drove these developments. Why skin color would change with changing levels of sunlight is a comparatively easy question to answer.

              I would suggest that whatever mechanism caused those differences to develop, even over only 100,000 years, could also cause people to develop different levels of intelligence.

              No, because things simply don’t work that way. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that the mechanism that drove the development of white skin or lactose tolerance also drove diverging degrees of intelligence. Go read my first post upthread and then explain how that mechanism is supposed to work. Where is the differential selection pressure coming from? What other traits is whatever is responsible for intelligence piggybacking on?

              You don’t have a theory. You don’t even have the basic structure necessary for the beginnings of a theory. All you have is a bunch of weird stories that look at an evolutionary history though the lens of 19th-through-21st century race relations. It’s just backprojection of prejudices into the past, which, not coincidentally, is exactly the same thing the “race realists” accuse liberals of doing.

              • SteveHinSLC

                First, I’m not pushing a theory that there are in fact differences of intelligence among ethnic/geographical groupings. But just because I couldn’t explain how differences could develop doesn’t mean it’s impossible for those differences to exist.

                And maybe its theoretically possible that people in colder climates had to develop higher intelligence to survive.

                I’m not saying it’s true. I have no reason personally to think it is true. But you asked how *could* differences develop, and that is one way such differences could develop.

                I’m just saying that minds should be open to possibilities that are clearly not ruled out by any evidence.

                Are you aware of evidence that people of different geographic groupings all have the same intelligence? I’m not. That’s why I think this is different from the alchemy example.

                I’m trying to imagine the perspective of someone watching the last 1000 years of human history from the “outside” – if that is somehow possible. That someone would see that as of the colonial period, Europeans had more advanced technologies than natives of Africa. That person would also see that even now, people in most areas populated by “causasians” are better off than most people in areas predominantly populated by natives of Africa.

                I think that observer would have to consider the possibility that these differences were because of differences in some inherent abilities.

                And I also think the observer would have to consider that these differences had absolutely nothing to do with inherent abilities.

                Can you tell me why that observer should not even *consider* the possibility that these different technological or economic outcomes are the result of different inherent abilities among the groups?

                • sibusisodan

                  Can you tell me why that observer should not even *consider* the possibility that these different technological or economic outcomes are the result of different inherent abilities among the groups?

                  But none of us are in the outside observer role. We all have an understanding of our context. And that context includes several hundred years of fairly one sided power relationships between some of those groups.

                  Knowing that, why would I want to reach beyond the obvious explanation to a genetic one?

                  Your error is to posit some kind of detached observer. We are none of us that. So we naturally weight possible explanations by prior likelihood. Which only get overturned by strong, overwhelming evidence to the contrary (this is Kuhn’s theory of How Science Works).

                • slightly_peeved

                  The lack of understanding for intelligence is a reason to make less predictions as to why it varies. not more. If there’s no evidence it does vary with race (especially when it’s an immeasurable quantity) then Occam’s razor says there’s no reason to explain why it would vary with race. Hypotheses should fit the observed facts, not invented potential facts.

                • SteveHinSLC

                  If there’s no evidence it does vary with race (especially when it’s an immeasurable quantity) then Occam’s razor says there’s no reason to explain why it would vary with race. Hypotheses should fit the observed facts, not invented potential facts.

                  slightly_peeved, I see your point, but Occam’s razor makes me real nervous on this subject matter. I mean, don’t the “observed facts” have to include the fact that white people economically, technologically, and/or militarily dominate the world? I am afraid that Occam’s razor could lead us in the direction of concluding that white people rule the world because white people are superior.

                  Which, yet again, I am not claiming, but it would certainly be a simple explanation for that observed fact.

                  Maybe that’s a different question from intelligence per se, but I don’t think we want to rely too heavily on Occam’s razor for issues like this.

                • Hogan

                  white people economically, technologically, and/or militarily dominate the world

                  Surely the quality of our domination ought to enter into this somewhere. How good a job have we been doing? Or maybe it’s just that white people are the only ones who think the world needs dominating. Are we right about that?

                • SteveHinSLC

                  I suppose it depends on what you mean by a “good job” dominating, but if you look at life expectancy or starvation rates of the people doing the dominating, white people seem to be doing a “good” job of dominating the world.

                  We are obviously doing less of a good job if you are looking at it from the perspective of the people being dominated.

                  Maybe that’s a simpler, less loaded question for the Occam’s razor approach. One observed fact is that white people have longer life expectancy than people whose ancestors are from Ghana. How would Occam’s razor explain that? Is any explanation simpler than straight-up superiority?

                  I guess another simple explanation would be that white people are just inherently greedier and more brutal than others, so they took more resources for themselves. But that’s a difference based on race/ethnicity/geography, too.

                • slightly_peeved

                  You’re confusing a simple theory with a complex theory described glibly. Saying one population is genetically superior and thus lives longer is more complex than saying that one population has a better diet or better healthcare, because the first requires a while heap of new genetic mechanisms to be explained. The second just piggybacks on well established knowledge of the effect of diet and healthcare on life expectancy. Simple, in terms of Occam, means simpler from a scientific point of view, which essentially means simpler to test or explain in terms of existing science. Not just in terms of using less words. Otherwise ‘god did it’ would still win.

                • SteveHinSLC

                  Good point.

                  But still, can you suggest an Occam’s razor explanation is for (sorry if the shorthand is loaded) white/European domination of the world?

                  If you posit diet and healthcare as the explanation, what explains the better diet and healthcare?

                  Is that answer simpler, scientifically, than a theory based on white/Euro superiority, perhaps caused by the need to adapt to the European environment?

                  (Again, this isn’t meant to be rhetorical. I’m genuinely asking because I’d like to know what the answers are.)

                • aimai

                  History isn’t really evolutionary in the sense that you are using. Take a rich man who inherited his wealth from his father who inherited it from his father. You might want to make the argument (you apparently, would want to make the argument) that his financial assets “mean” that he is more successful than the janitor who cleans his buildings, who is the son of sons of sons of janitors. That’s true. He is wealthier than that janitor. But is he smarter? Even if you could know for sure that the first billionaire was smarter than the first janitor the conditions under which all the subsequent ones live have more to do with their status and success in life than their intelligence, don’t they? By the time you get to some billionaires their money and social status are guaranteed by the hard work and intelligence of their servant class, its not the servant class whose stupid lives are made easier by the intelligence of the billionaire.

                  Nations are like that–you have nations that managed to exploit their own or other’s resources and leap frogged into control (through violence and exploitation) of other nations–sometimes there’s a race difference and sometimes there isn’t. Poland was held and exploited by Russia, on and off, for hundreds of years. AS between the Chinese and Japanese which are the “most intelligent?” How does this explain the wars the two regions have fought?

            • Hogan

              So this leads me to think that important questions should be considered on their merits rather than dismissed because they are unseemly.

              “Black people are less intelligent than white people” is not a new idea. People have been trying and failing to prove it, by fair means and foul, for centuries. I’m not going to pretend this discussion just started this week, or that the motives of people in the past who pursued that line of argument weren’t appalling. If you’ve got a case to make, make it. In the meantime I’ll accept the current state of knowledge. And if that makes me a bad liberal, fine. I’m a straight white man; one thing I can always handle is more blame.

              • SteveHinSLC

                In the meantime, I’ll accept the current state of knowledge.

                What is that current state of *knowledge*?

                As I’ve said before, I would love there to be evidence ruling out the possibility that people from groups hailing from different geographical areas may on average have different inherent abilities.

                • Hogan

                  What is that current state of *knowledge*?

                  Depends on what you mean by knowledge. Has the negation of racially differential intelligence (for whatever we might mean by “race” and whatever we might mean by “intelligence”) been definitively disproven? No, no more than any negative proposition has been. But proving the positive has been repeatedly tried and has repeatedly failed, so the question becomes why we should continue to spend scarce research time and effort trying to get a crop from a historically sterile field. What is so important about this question that we have to keep an open mind on it? Why is it so important to keep investigating until we arrive at a particular answer?

                • SteveHinSLC

                  I’m not advocating that we spend scarce research time or money investigating that issue.

                  My point is that if the issue comes up, we should rationally review whatever evidence is presented to see if it is valid, rather than starting from the view that the evidence cannot be valid because we know a priori that differential intelligence is impossible.

                • Hogan

                  Where is the new evidence going to come from, if not research?

                • aimai

                  But every time we point out to you that the “evidence” has been “rationally reviewed” by “scientists” you challenge each category and assert that it hasn’t,or that the results weren’t personally hand delivered to you by the Nobel Scientist of your choice when you happened to be home and in the mood to open the letter.

                  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and you offer none, but keep demanding that other people not only do your work for you (which has been done) but that they continue to entertain your wondering, childlike, curiosity on the subject. People have been enslaved and killed over this shit and you want to keep bleating about “keeping an open mind?” We have kept an open mind for fucking ever despite your whining and its still not enough for you. Do your own god damned work and stop demanding that other people make your lame, racist, arguments for you. Drink the poison you want but stop asking us to join you and like it. We tried to warn you that you were gulping down a toxic brew but you just kept saying “I can’t know that for sure, I’m just wondering how it tastes and you should too.”

                • Mitchell Young

                  “No, no more than any negative proposition has been. But proving the positive has been repeatedly tried and has repeatedly failed, so the question becomes why we should continue to spend scarce research time and effort trying to get a crop from a historically sterile field.”

                  This is pretty muddled, but you seem to be saying that the null hypothesis — that their is no difference between identifiable groups — has not been rejected. But that is wrong — it has been rejected, repeatedly. On just about everything, from SAT scores to STD rates to crime victimization data — there are statistically significant differences between groups.

                • Hogan

                  the null hypothesis — that their is no difference between identifiable groups

                  No, that is not the null hypothesis I’m talking about. But I can see where this is easier for you if you respond to what you wish I said rather than to what I said.

                  If they’re identifiable groups, then OF COURSE there are differences; that’s how you identify them. I’m saying that there is no such biological thing as “racial groups”; that differential levels of intelligence among “identifiable groups” is a useless concept because there are too many different ways of identifying identifiable groups; that differential levels of intelligence among identifiable groups is even more useless because we have no agreed definition of “intelligence”; and that IQ tests and SATs are a poor proxy for cognitive ability, certainly compared to eye exams for macular degeneration.

                  And I’m sure you would love to see that negative proven. It would be a first for all of us. I’m sorry for the sadness you’re burdened with because of your belief in your own racial superiority.

              • This. Every wingnut insists his/her voice is the first to cry in the liberal wilderness. Get over yourselves. Like “Intelligent Design” = creationism, SteveHinSLC is saying nothing new.

            • Mitchell Young

              “Where is the differential selection pressure coming from? “

              The ice age. The experience of living in an environment where more planning was more required to survive through long winters than in the relatively steady environment of the tropics and sub tropics.

              • If that is true, then the Neanderthals should’ve have had a higher intelligence than their H. Sapiens neighbors because they were more adapted physically to withstand the rigors of the Ice Age.

                You’re really arm-waving here, fella, don’t all these intellectual gymnastics in the service of racism get tiring after a while?

                • Mitchell Young

                  Actually, we are in an Ice Age (I spoke informally), but in an interglacial period.

                  As it happens, the last maximum extent of glaciation occured around 20,000 years ago, not long, in geological or evolutionary time, after the Neanderthals went ‘extinct’.

                  But of course, they didn’t actually go extinct, they live in all non-Africans. And they had larger craniums than we did.

              • herr doktor bimler

                The ice age.
                I never understood this part. Yes, during the Ice Ages there was a population of anatomically-modern human beings around the edges of the ice caps, following a marginal hunter-gatherer lifestyle, occasionally occupying caves and leaving plenty of material for archaeologists. Meanwhile there were also anatomically-modern humans living in the Middle East, in Anatolia, in Northern Africa, and so on.

                Then we jump to Europe in known history, when it was settled by people using agricultural techniques and neolithic toolkits developed in Mesopotamia and the Middle East up to Anatolia; assisted by animals domesticated in the same Fertile Crescent; speaking languages which seem to have come out of Anatolia. Yet people like the cool story that “We are smart because our ancestors were those people hunting cave-bears!”

                Ah well, human beings are suckers for romantic narratives.

              • DocAmazing

                Never heard of Egypt, huh? We get a lot of that.

          • LogCabinConservative

            Brilliant hypothesis. Now all we have to do is prove that genetic drift and selection are impossible after the initial out-of-Africa migration!

            • Keep fucking that horse, dude, someone might pay attention after all.

              • Snippet

                In my experience with online debates, the side that is winning is the one that uses f-bombs the most. Confidence in the validity of your opinion just seems to bring the darn things out.

    • Yaaaawn.

    • Patricia Kayden

      And again, what is your measurement of intelligence? How can you measure if someone is intelligent? Europeans don’t get to decide who is or who is not intelligent, by the way.

      • N__B

        So, we’re not going to rely on Niall Ferguson to answer this question? I’m quite disappointed.

      • Bob

        Tests have been devised for that purpose, while they have margins of error, they do measure reasoning ability and problem solving skills.

        • delurking

          What they measure, Bob, is the ability of the test-taker to take the test.

          There have been multiple studies on this point, all ignored by folks like you.

          • Snippet

            Might not the ability of the test-taker to take the test have something to do with his intelligence, or is the ability to score highly on a test that requires the taker to solve complex mental puzzles something that has nothing to do with intelligence?

            If someone passes a test that requires him to run a mile in five minutes, then do 50 pushups in one minute, would it make any sense to say that he has proven nothing about his (or her!) physical fitness, only his (or her!) ability to “take the test.”

            ?

            • Mitchell Young

              Or say, run 40 yards in under 4.5 seconds, and have a vertical leap of 48 inches. What does that have to do with being a good football player, esp. since the dash and leap aren’t in pads, aren’t in anything close to game conditions. And yet, such tests are used to weed out players entirely or assign players to positions.

      • LogCabinConservative

        Wow, this is a brilliant insight. I think you’re sitting on a Nobel Prize-winning thesis, here. You could overturn the bedrock of modern psychometric testing!

      • Snippet

        What is your measurement of intelligence, and who gets to decide who is or who is not intelligent, by the way?

  • Pingback: [BLOG] Some Thursday links | A Bit More Detail()

  • herr doktor bimler

    Steve Sailer’s … beliefs on human biodiversity sometimes lead him to point out inconvenient truths about ideologies informing our common life.

    Dreher has not have the courage to actually endorse Sailer’s racism. He’s hiding here behind a wall of plausible deniality: “I’m not saying that Sailer is right, but he pisses off liberals so I’ll link to him anyhow.”

    The “inconvenient truths” here are supposed to be “liberals would try to suppress any evidence which supported Sailer, because in their hearts — deny it as they like — they share my view that some knowledge is too dangerous to admit”.

  • Barry Freed

    Sailer is one of the most disgusting odious people on the internet not actually posting on Stormfront (and who knows, maybe he is). What’s worse than Dreher fawning all over his pseudo-scientific clap-trap is that I recall Yglesias engaging with him on a fairly frequent basis. Or did I hallucinate that memory?

    • Patricia Kayden

      Also Andrew Sullivan believes in the IQ tests prove that Whites are more intelligent than Blacks foolishness.

      • herr doktor bimler

        Sullivan was heavily involved in promoting “The Bell Curve” when it came out, and he has shown no interest in backpedalling on that stupidity. Yet he is still often described as a Reasonable Conservative, capable of owning up to errors and seeing reason.

        • Barry Freed

          Yeah, Sullivan’s promoting of that shit is well known. I just don’t know why Yglesias ever even bothered to give that shitstain Sailer the time of day.

        • I’m pretty sure that Sullivan is capable of owning up to errors and seeing reason. This has never been an area where he has chosen to use that gift.

          • aimai

            Sullivan, like other conservatives, only empathizes with the experience of people exactly like himself. So you can be sure, one day, if he has a lover who is AA, that he will discover how wrong the Bell Curve was. Kind of like Richard Cohen discovering the evils of slavery by watching a movie. Or all those Republican statesmen who discover the necessity of funding social outreach/suicide prevention/orphan disease drug research only after their own immiediate family members need the help.

            • Mitchell Young

              Probably because in this area he wasn’t in error.

              • DocAmazing

                Except for all of it. Google “replicability”.

        • and he has shown no interest in backpedalling on that stupidity

          Oh, so the Bell curve has been comprehensively refuted?

          • herr doktor bimler

            Given the book’s heavy dependence on the work of J. Philippe Rushton, I am not sure if further refutation is necessary.

      • Bob

        Nobody in the field of intelligence testing disputes the basics of that claim, every test since 1915 confirms it. So does the SAT’s, the ASVAB, used by every college and the military. The debate is what causes the “gap”

        • Lurker (from a different thread)

          Most “intelligence” tests are not culturally independent. ASVAB, for example, is not an intelligence test but a vocational apatitude test, that tests the understanding of several subjects to determine military jobs you are suitable for.

          The g-factor is mostly a mythical construct. There is no test that really measures it and while it may have some correlation to success in education, the relationship is deeply nonlinear. Above a certain, relatively low level, mathematico-logical intelligence has very little relevance for anything.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Above a certain, relatively low level, mathematico-logical intelligence has very little relevance for anything.

            Harrumph.

            • Lurker (from a different thread)

              Being a scientist, myself, I think I have seen plenty of examples how being really smart
              * doesn’t make you rich
              * doesn’t make you loved
              * doesn’t make you a good scientist, even.

              All these are easier if you have a certain amount of intelligence, but being at the top is by no means necessary. In addition to smarts you need to have a certain amount of skill in the human interaction. It doesn’t mean that you need to be kind and likeable. Ruthless psychopathy may work even better, but in any case, it’s mostly about human interaction.

          • herr doktor bimler

            The g-factor is mostly a mythical construct.

            Hey, a g-factor is real enough in a mathematical sense, being “what comes out of factor analysis when you throw in lots of test results and retain a single unrotated factor.” Much as any random chunk of stone has a centre of mass. This being precisely what Spearman and Pearson and the others designed factor analysis to do, as an expression of their belief in a particular model of intelligence.

            Then people reify that abstract g-factor, and treat it as a real entity separate from the selection of tests used in the analysis, and suddenly they are in map / territory confusion.

      • Also Andrew Sullivan believes in the IQ tests prove that Whites are more intelligent than Blacks foolishness

        Yes, because there is all that other evidence that proves intellectual equality?

    • John Cain

      Yglesias with Sailer? I believe it was just for Matt Y to say something like “just because I got mugged does not mean blacks are sub-human” or something to that regard.

    • Karen

      I read Sailer occasionally, because I think it’s important to keep an eye on these horrible guys. Just so everyone knows what an ass Sailer is: in a post about a scholarly article discussing how Southern slaveowners impregnated their slaves, Sailer commented “because no woman has ever been attracted to a higher status man.” The fact the he has any acolytes — and there are many — is disgusting.

      • Barry Freed

        Wow, slaves as gold-diggers. I don’t even.

        • Karen

          I tried to draft a comment on that post of his noting that slaves were property, and therefore the woman had the same ability to refuse her owner’s lust as his boots did of rejecting his smelly feet. I finally decided that blind screaming rage couldn’t produce a coherent response, besides which what I really wanted was to scream obscenities at him for hours.

          • Bob

            You actually feel bad that slaves were impregnated by the Master?

            • Hogan

              “Raped.” The word you’re looking for is “raped.”

              • Svigor

                “because no woman has ever been attracted to a higher status man.”

                • Hogan

                  Consent. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

      • LogCabinConservative

        The fact that you think it is impossible for a black woman to be attracted to a white man is more indicative of racism than Sailer’s comment.

        • Nope, just that a black woman held as a slave in 19th Century America might not be attracted to her white master, but be forced to have sex with him anyway.

        • aimai

          Oh, it needed only this: “You are the real racist.”

        • Lurker (from a different thread)

          I do not think it possible for a slave of any race to give a morally acceptable, informed consent to his or her master in any case. The power inequality is too high. Even when such consent would seem to be given, like Thomas Jefferson’s mistress who returned from France to America, from freedom to slavery, you can make a case that it is Stockholm syndrome.

          Heck, we do not think that a college student, an educated adult, can give consent to a professor. Instead, we fire the professor for misconduct. That is correct way of thinking things. (When I was a student, our coed fraternity had a rule that freshmen were off limits for the autumn semester. Their capacity of giving consent was deemed decreased due to them being in new environment.)

          • Mitchell Young

            “I do not think it possible for a slave of any race to give a morally acceptable, informed consent to his or her master in any case. The power inequality is too high.

            I agree, but the image in popular culture here in the US from, say, the mini-series ‘Roots’ is one of forcible, or at least coerced rape. No doubt some of that occured — let me repeat, no doubt that occured. But that doesn’t mean there also was some, maybe a lot, of slave women of something like their own volition, willingly engaging in sex with white males.

            As it stands today, white on black sexual assult in the US is so uncommon, some years zero cases show up in the National Crime Victimization Survey. (‘N’ equals around 40,000)

    • Bob

      Sailer is one of the most interesting journalist you will find on issues of demographics, race, sabermetrics and intelligence.

  • Reader

    ..

    A very moderate and reasoned response to Rod Dreher:

    http://occamsrazormag.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/how-hbd-will-make-you-a-better-person/

    • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

      ‘Dark Enlightenment’ and ‘The Cathedral’!

      • Bob

        You must be part of the Cathedral. Join the Dark Enlightenment. It will be OK, you will see.

    • Anthony

      I like how they shit on us in the comments section.

      “Ha, those silly liberals let politics dictate what they believe.
      Also we need to kill all the Blacks and Jews before they kill us first”

    • Karen

      I like the bit about how happy black people will be when we “lower our expectations.” Because everyone just loves being told they’re stupid. That always goes well.

      • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

        It’s soft bigotry, you see…

      • Bob

        Nobody claims blacks are stupid. If Blacks have lower average intelligence than whites, so what? Are you sad about that?

        • If it’s a so what thing then why is it SO IMPORTANT to you to prove it’s true? Hmmmmmmm?

      • LogCabinConservative

        Better to torture children with expectations they can’t meet, right, Mom?

        • If you’re a racist like your mom, I’m sure she’s pleased as punch.

        • Hogan

          True. We should torture them only with permanently and arbitrarily limited life chances.

  • K

    Um, whites do rule the world. Not saying they should, but its pretty much fact. Yes, America has its first black president, but the majority of senators and representatives are white. And when you look worldwide, most national leaders of powerful countries are white, except China. And yes, there are a lot of black leaders of African countries, but Europe used to own Africa, they of course gave it back, but, if they decided to get together, they could knock over Africa and take it back, what with half of it fighting the other half at any given point in history.

    • Hogan

      Hey, whatever makes you feel good about your petty little life, go with it. Doesn’t make it science.

    • herr doktor bimler

      except China

      With notably rare exceptions…

  • Le racis.

  • A Message From Reality

    Why don’t all you anti-racists take your kumbaya party to Ol’ Detroit, and let your patronising paternalist attitudes loose on the natives?
    Tell them you like rap and shee-it.
    Go see some REAL RACISM up close…
    I won’t wait to welcome you back.

    • Malaclypse

      patronising paternalist attitudes

      Look at all those big words you are too stupid to use correctly.

  • max

    People are different, but races are equal? Equal in some ways for sure, but not others. Even most races with below-average socio-economic status have ‘solidarity’ and see themselves as different, often ‘better’! To say these assertions are outside the bounds is simply pure prejudice and hypocritical.

  • B

    I’m clearly a horrible, horrible person, because I see it something like this: that different populations have different average traits is obvious. That people inherit traits from their parents is obvious. That intelligence exists is obvious and that some people are smarter than others is obvious (more than a few people have been accused of being morons already in this thread). That intelligence is one of the traits we inherit from our parents, and that our extended family could be smarter or dumber than somebody else’s extended family is obvious.

    • delurking

      You had me at the first clause, B.

  • Stretching

    Dreher is right. The science supports Sailer and citing Gould’s Mimeasurement makes you look ridiculous. Never taken seriously by his peers during his prime, Gould has been exposed as a fraud. Blacks on average have lower IQs than whites who on average have lower IQs than certain Asians. This is beyond dispute, beyond argument. The debate is why this is and if the comments here are the best race-deniers have to offer, Dreher should be even more afraid.

    Dreher’s point is simple–those of you who think you have science on your side to bash those you don’t like are gravely mistaken. The beauty is that the rest of the world doesn’t give a crap about your sensibilities. They are unrestrained and could not care less about Sherman’s middling scores on the SAT and degree from Stanford. There may come a time when you brave souls wish that you had Dreher and those like him and their religious convictions to protect you.

    • delurking

      So…how’d you do at Stanford, Stretch?

      • Stretch

        But that’s the tragedy in all this and reveals how blind and unthinking most of the comments are here. Sherman gets into Stanford with the equivalent of a 22-23 on an ACT. I would bet heavily that no white kid got in with that score in that class. I would bet heavily that no white kid with that kind of score has gotten into Stanford in many, many year. Your comment (thinking somehow you’ve proven something) and the disconnect with reality are what poor Dreher is afraid of. Don’t you see that the entire edifice for everything you believe politically is a terrible fraud? Once whites are a minority, and if the same policies and thinking are prevalent, what’s to keep them from saying, “Nope. No more. Go fuck yourselves.” That won’t be a good time for anyone.

        • sibusisodan

          Once whites are a minority, and if the same policies and thinking are prevalent, what’s to keep them from saying, “Nope. No more. Go fuck yourselves.” That won’t be a good time for anyone.

          I’ve been trying to figure out lies behind the…energy…of some of the comments here, and I think this helps clarify it for me.

          I don’t see any reason to fear this kind of outcome. White folk aren’t destined to be at the top of the pile for ever. Just through sheer weight of numbers it’s not going to carry on for ever.

          And that’s OK. The world will keep turning, keep progressing.

          The only reason to be afraid would be if white folk were themselves scared of losing power for some reason, and were determined to lash out in revenge if they ever lost it.

          Which would actually, in a sane world, disqualify them from being in a position of power. Because that’s the response of fear, not of leadership.

          • Snippet

            The only reason to be afraid would be if white folk were themselves scared of losing power for some reason, and were determined to lash out in revenge if they ever lost it.

            In my experience, people who see only one reason for … basically anything … are not even beginning to make an effort to understand it.

            • sibusisodan

              I’m not sure there’s anything to understand. There’s nothing earth shattering about we whites becoming either a minority in one culture, or not being the top cultural grouping on the pile.

              I don’t see the reason for resisting it so strongly unless one believes either that my position, my power are so right they cannot be challenged, or that those elements are the only thing keeping the world from chaos.

              What are your reasons, if not those?

              • Snippet

                I’m not sure there’s anything to understand. I know.

                • sibusisodan

                  So you’re not going to answer the question? Or are you tacitly admitting that the statement is correct?

                • Snippet

                  If you want to assume that my lack of interest in going beyond pointing out the fact that your inane “question” reflects an incredibly simplistic and willfully ignorant way of viewing a complex issue proves you are right, be my guest. Enjoy the little ego-tingle.

                • sibusisodan

                  And what if I don’t want to assume that? Could you help me make my assumptions about your position and its complexity a little less inaccurate?

                  If there’s something here to understand, I’d quite like to understand it.

              • trey

                One could be fearful for the stability of society if there is a group or are some groups with some inherent elevated ability to turn raw materials into useful human implements (my practical definition of intelligence) who felt they were through political maneuvers kept down lower in a society than they thought they should be. Instead of using their inherent talent to cooperate and improve the general well-being of society, they may decide to turn against that society and use that talent to tear down society. …………In other words, you want the people with the greatest capacity to build or destroy feeling its in their best interest to help build. (Groups with possible less inherent ability to build or destroy might likewise feel they are being unfairly kept down if they mostly occupy the lower rungs, but they don’t have as much capacity to destroy.)

                • Barry Freed

                  Christ, but you people are weird.

                • Hogan

                  “A strong back is a terrible thing to waste.”

          • Stretch

            This has nothing to do with being “at the top of the pile,” but I agree that it has a lot to do with fear. I disagree with you that whites’ fear of becoming a minority and what that means for their physical and economic well-being are groundless.

            Let’s make a deal: liberals push for a color-blind society and the theoretical foundation for affirmative action, quotas, set-asides, disparate impact, suppression of crime data, racial profiling, etc. will be off limits. A society without any of these hideous policies would be fine with almost all whites.

            • sibusisodan

              I disagree with you that whites’ fear of becoming a minority and what that means for their physical and economic well-being are groundless.

              This would be a helpful thing to explore: what, for you, are the likely consequences for white physical and economic well being (any measure you like, per capita income, deaths per 100,000, ballpark figures are fine), and how do you know those will be the consequences?

            • aimai

              As I understand the logic of this white supremacist argument

              1) The current political and economic state of affairs that priviliges white people over non white people is the natural result of natural selection because all political positions and top economic positions should go to white people who are naturally smarter and harder working than black people.

              2) Liberal whites and black people are fighting against this natural order by attempting to increase the share of goods and services going to the lower orders (education, grants, welfare, medical care) but this is doomed to failure because the lower orders are not capable of benefitting wisely from these gifts/affirmative actions.

              3) So liberal whites and black people will destroy society because white people will stop being so clever and hardworking and go galt (one version) or be race mongreled (become genetically inferior), or just become outnumbered (idiocracy).

              4) So what? Even if you thought that white people (and I am one) were all of that so what? Outside of oligarchies and Aristocracies this isn’t relevant to the political struggle at all–Democracies and even Republics (to a certain extent) need to produce the greatest good for the greatest number of voters because they can’t operate any other way. Any democratic system that tries to punish or keep down a huge swathe of its own citizens is doomed to failure.

              • sibusisodan

                Ironically, if what’s being said about IQ tells us something fundamental and lasting about the distribution of human capabilities, then we should look forward to welcoming our asian-or-jewish-origin overlords, and any attempt to buttress white hegemony is (a) doomed to failure, (b) profoundly unscientific and (c) aiming at sub-par outcomes for society.

                But all of this runs hard into your ‘so what’? question. There are no necessary political outcomes from an uneven distribution of human capabilities across populations with different origins, even if it could be shown that this obtained.

                • Mitchell Young

                  Given that the societies with the highest HDI indices are overwhelmingly white (or were until very recently), there is no reason to believe that Asian or Jewish leadership is required for ‘optimal’ outcomes.

                  Asians are really smart though — just look at Japan or Korea’s immigration policies.

                • In that case, we should hire only Asians as firemen over their dumber Caucasoid counterparts.

                  Safety first over racial considerations, amirite?

              • Mitchell Young

                I think the main argument, right this minute, is over so-called disparate impact. Namely, will we continue to discriminate against whites simply because whites do better on tests, and in real life, than blacks do in a range of areas? Or are we going to pass over a white guy with a score of 99 on whatever qualification exam so we can hire the black guy with a score of 85.

                • Thanks for thinking about the discriminated whites getting their jobs taken by minorities all the time.

                  Is your next subject going to be about something equally non-existent, like leprechauns or gremlins?

                • sibusisodan

                  Isn’t this a ‘lowest difficulty setting’ kind of question?

                • Hogan

                  But your allies keep telling me that if you look at the top jobs (like Apple or the Senate) it’s white people as far as the eye can see, which proves our natural superiority. Which is it?

                • Mitchell Young

                  I don’t care about whites at the top of the heap. I care about the middle and the bottom.

                  Oh, and I care for my personal safety and that of my family. I want firemen to be able to read manuals and understand written directions in minimum amounts of time.

        • delurking

          So…community college, then?

          • Stretch

            You seem the ideal candidate to explain something, just a little knowledge to make yourself feel good when you look in the mirror each morning, but of such a shallow and cliche-ridden sort that any thoughtful person has to take pity on you. Your Haiti-Japan comparison above was so sad. This is how you think! I mean, you really think like that!

            But help me: it doesn’t bother you (or anyone else here) that Sherman got into Stanford with middling scores while thousands of white kids with better scores did not? Why not? I’m just curious, why do you get pleasure in policies and acts that harm your race? Why do you hate yourself? No other race has anything even close to this level of ethno-masochism. Whites do. It’s very interesting.

            • sibusisodan

              I’m just curious, why do you get pleasure in policies and acts that harm your race?

              Given that you are characterising it like this, I’m not sure we’ll be able to speak across the experiential gap between us, but two initial points.

              1. I am more bound to ‘my country’, or ‘my culture’ than my race. I actually find the racial mix that I’ve had the privilege to experience both growing up and travelling quite vivifying. And I think that racial mix does positive things for my country and my subculture. I enjoy it and am enriched by it.

              2. There are plenty of situations where it is sensible to accept a shorter term diminution of power or status to preserve longer term peace, stability or endurance, or justice. If you were in Paris in 1780, urging the rich to ‘harm’ their subgroup by changing society to ease the burden on the poor would be eminently sensible, in view of the alternative.

              • Stretch

                I think most here fail to recognize the extent to which my way of thinking is pretty much universal among all people except whites in Western democracies today and was universal among all people throughout history. People here think somehow my way of thinking has to be justified or defended when the opposite is true. The people who need to justify or defend themselves are those of you who’ve been conditioned to recoil at all things white and salivate in miserable masochism at all things non-white.

                Because again if we accept science my way of thinking is “natural” and yours is not. I see none of you as different from cult-followers.

                • sibusisodan

                  That’s nonreponsive to my comment.

                  I mean, ok, you don’t have to justify or explain your point of view. But that means I have little reason for not thinking it very, very silly and crabbed, irrespective of how widespread it is.

                  I mean, you can surely discuss this without being hyperbolic, can’t you? Saying ‘actually, I really appreciate what I gain from people of different cultures and origins’ is neither recoiling nor masochistic.

                  Anymore than saying that I love France is somehow hating my British citizenship.

                • Hogan

                  Sergeant Colon had had a broad education. He’d been to the School of My Dad Always Said, the College of It Stands to Reason, and was now a post-graduate student at the University of What Some Bloke In the Pub Told Me.

              • Stretch

                I would love (absolutely love) to know where you live, where your children are going to school and the percentage of blacks in each. Please tell me more how you’re enjoying and are being enriched by non-whites.

                • Im being enriched right now.

            • Sherman kept thousands of kids out of Stanford? How does that work, exactly?

              “Ethno-masochism” is priceless.

              • Mitchell Young

                I don’t have so much of a problem with Sherman, as universities have always bent the rules for a few athletes.

                The policy of discrimination against whites known as ‘affirmative action’ keeps white folks from getting into colleges they would get into if they were black, getting into law schools they would get into if they were black , getting blue collar jobs they would get if they were black, getting government contracts they would get if they were black, etc…

                • Yeeeah, there really is no such thing as discrimination against whites. Just like misandry, it’s just not a thing.

            • aimai

              Can I speak to the “Sherman kept thousands out.” Actually, no. Thats not the way college admissions work. They are not now and never have been based purely on a single metric, nor have all the metrics added up to meritocracy. (If it matters to you I am third generation Harvard, plus also have a ph.d. from Yale). I have friends in the admissions biz, here, locally. Colleges like Harvard and Yale and Princeton have a roughly six percent acceptance rate for applicants who have no previous affiliation (people like Sherman) but a 30 percent chance for children of alums. So right there lots of white people beat out non white/immigrant people simply because they are related to people who used to be the kind of people Stanford accepted previously from a smaller, whiter, pool.

              Second of all upper class people always have the leg up over lower class people because they can pad out their resumes with unpaid internships and foreign language classes and trips and etc…. which someone from a lower class background can’t match. So right there all the upper class white people and, say the Obama or Clinton or Bush kids have a leg up because money and leisure and power have all given them better resumes and high grades because of private tutors. So all those upper class white people have a better shot than your imaginary thousands of lower class white people *and* lower class minorities.

              This all came up,btw, in the Bakke case where a white guy sued to get into Medical School at Stanford. He didn’t sue the set asides for Alumni, which would have pitted him against other white men. He sued the set asides for minorities. Just like you he narrowed his focus and ignored the elephant in the room: white upper class privilige. Making him just another tool fighting over the scraps that the upper class tosses to the lower classes, both white and black.

              • sibusisodan

                Second of all upper class people always have the leg up over lower class people

                Yeah. I’m a Brit, so analysing things in terms of class comes pretty naturally – so naturally that I wasn’t even aware I was doing it at first – and it seems to be much more pertinent to this kind of analysis than race.

                I’d confidently speculate that the hullabaloo about protecting the white race will turn out to be coterminous with protecting a certain class with in that race.

              • If it matters to you I am third generation Harvard, plus also have a ph.d. from Yale

                So…you’re a race traitor?

    • Barry Freed

      Never taken seriously by his peers during his prime

      I love the way these racist trolls toss of this shit like it’s fact. Gould co-authored one of the most influential papers in biology with Richard Lewontin, the one that introduced the concept of “spandrels” into evolutionary biology.

      He was Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University, a member of of a number of important scientific and scholarly societies including the National Academy of Science to which one has to be nominated and the president of a few of these societies, etc.

      Fuck it, let Wikipedia do some of the work:

      In 1982 Harvard awarded him the title of Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology. The following year, 1983, he was awarded fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he later served as president (1999–2001). The AAAS news release cited his “numerous contributions to both scientific progress and the public understanding of science”. He also served as president of the Paleontological Society (1985–1986) and of the Society for the Study of Evolution (1990–1991).

      In 1989 Gould was elected into the body of the National Academy of Sciences. Through 1996–2002 Gould was Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University. In 2001, the American Humanist Association named him the Humanist of the Year for his lifetime of work. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Darwin-Wallace Medal, along with 12 other recipients. (Until 2008 this medal had been awarded every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London.[21]

      If this is not being taken seriously by his peers I don’t know what is but racist troll is racist.

  • Mike Steinberg

    ***One: Unless I’m mistaken, there is no consensus in the scientific community that there are significant differences among the races.***

    In the 1980’s Stan Rothman and Mark Snyderman ran a survey on what intelligence researchers thought. The latest survey was last year.

    The results in terms of the causes of differences in US group IQ scores:

    “Asked: Is there sufficient evidence to arrive at a reasonable estimate of the
    heritability of intelligence in populations of developed countries?” 73% said Yes.

    Asked: What are the sources of U.S. black-white differences in IQ?

    0% of differences due to genes: (17% of our experts)
    0-40% of differences due to genes: 42% of our experts
    50% of differences due to genes: 18% of our experts
    60-100% of differences due to genes: 39% of our experts
    100% of differences due to genes: (5% of our experts)
    M=47% of differences due to genes (SD=31%)

    As far as I can see, there are two extreme positions, the 17% who think that the difference is none of it due to genes, and the 5% who think it is all due to genes. The rest are in the middle, and the “consensus” is that 47% of the difference is due to genes. (See above why one should not get too excited about consensus results). All this is obviously very different from the public narrative, which is that 0% of the difference is due to genes. Such a view is rejected by the majority of experts, but there is still a sizeable minority of experts who hold that view. In sum, there are a variety of opinions.”

    http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/isir-what-do-intelligence-researchers.html

    • John Protevi

      In the 1580′s Sir Scarlet de Pimpernel and Mick Fisherman ran a survey on what Her Majesty’s phlogiston researchers thought. Only 5% of them thought phlogiston was angel breath: makes you think, don’t it?

      • LogCabinConservative

        Wow, devastating analogical response. I admire you for standing apart from the scientific consensus on the subject and adhering to the real truth, in which you have undying faith! There is only one other group I can think of that eschews scientific consensus so readily.

        • John Protevi

          Dude, it’s way of pointing out that you’re indulging a huge begged question*: if you survey “intelligence researchers,” of course they’re going to say something about “intelligence.” That doesn’t make “intelligence” any more real than phlogiston. Now if you surveyed all social scientists and philosophers who have looked at the issue, or hell even just all psychologists, about whether the concept of “intelligence” even makes sense then you’d see something else entirely, now wouldn’t you?

          *I am, by the way, using the term “begged question” correctly.

          • unsuccessful anagrammatist

            And there’s an inchoate Negro in every ignoratio elenchi.

          • Mitchell Young

            Intelligence is an abstract concept, to be sure. Lots of things are. Even ‘temperature’ is (after all, it an ‘average’, i.e. an abstraction). But the abstract concept of intelligence predicts a lot of things well, things not obviously connected with it, such as health (and sickness) and accident rates.
            “Do smarter people live longer and better? Are certain personality types more prone to premature death than other types? As our population continues to age in dramatic numbers, these questions become increasingly relevant. A new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, authored by Ian J. Deary (University of Edinburgh), Alexander Weiss (University of Edinburgh), and G. David Batty (Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow), provides an overview of research on possible associations between intelligence and personality traits and various health outcomes.

            “Intelligence and Personality as Predictors of Illness and Death: How Researchers in Differential Psychology and Chronic Disease Epidemiology Are Collaborating to Understand and Address Health Inequalities
            Share on favorites Share on twitter Share on email Share on facebook More Sharing Services”

            Dreary, Weiss, Batty

            Lower scores on intelligence tests have been connected to a greater overall risk of mortality. In terms of specific conditions, there is little evidence that links intelligence to cancer, but low intelligence has been shown to be related to increased risk of hospital admission and death due to cardiovascular disease. Lower intelligence is also associated with a greater incidence of accidents and risk of death by homicide.”

            • Hogan

              “Correlation IS TOO causation.”

              • Mitchell Young

                I’m sure you make that ‘argument’ on all about all the studies showing increased ‘global’ ‘temparature’ correlating with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.

                At that’s where we came in, isn’t it. The Left wants to believe the ‘science’ it wants to believe. (The same can be said of the Right, but the Left are such self-important prigs about their so-called ‘scientific’ or ‘rational’ outlook)

                • Lee Rudolph

                  The same can be said of the Right, but the Left are such self-important prigs about their so-called ‘scientific’ or ‘rational’ outlook

                  One has certainly never seen any Libertarians, much less any Objectivists, who were self-important prigs about their so-called ‘scientific’ or ‘rational’ outlook, or indeed anything else!

                • Right. Just as there are no self-important, priggish Christians. They SIMPLY. DON’T. EXIST.

                • Hogan

                  Yes, the “greenhouse effect” is just as unproven as the efficacy of IQ tests in predicting how many offspring you will have.

                • Malaclypse

                  Your “use” of “scare quotes” is an “impressive” “substitute” for any “actual” “substantive” “argument.”

            • Lee Rudolph

              Dreary, Weiss, Batty

              Two outa three ain’t bad.

              • Borscht Belt Appreciation Society of America (BBASA)

                You, sir, are awarded the Badda-Bing Award for today!

              • Mitchell Young

                Weiss=White in German

                • You’re not good at jokes, are you?

                • Mitchell Young

                  Now I’m hurt : (

            • John Protevi

              It’s not that it’s “abstract,” it’s that it doesn’t connect to a natural kind. It doesn’t carve nature at the joints, if you will. Of course you can connect results on IQ tests to all sorts of things. It’s the slide from “score on IQ test” to “intelligence” that’s the problem, and the paper you cite is a crystal clear example of that.

              • Mitchell Young

                I don’t know what ‘carve nature at the joints’ means.

                Let me continue with the temperature analogy.

                How do we measure ‘temperature’. Usually, at least back in the day, by looking at how high a column of mercury or colored alcohol is in a low pressure cylinder. That is, we are getting a visual reading of something we cannot observe directly. And what is worse, there are a whole bunch of things that go into getting even that indirect measurement — the goodness of the relative vacuum in the cylinder, the purity of the Hg used. Then there is observer error, goodness of eyesight, refraction of the light off the glass tube which holds the cylinder of mercurty.

                Then there is the whole concept of temperature. In common parlance it means ‘how hot it is’, do I need a jacket or should I wear a tank top. But that depends, in part, not only on scientific ‘temperature’ i.e. the average kinetic energy of the various molecules in the air , but on a lot of other things. Most of that variation — whether 65 degrees F feels comfortable or cold, depends on the how many water molecules are in the air.

                Finally, as noted above, temperature as measured, even in perfectly, says nothing about specific molecules. It is an average. Some will have kinetic energies that, if shared by the mass of molecules in the sample, would be very hot, others, mutatis mutandis, very cold.

                But none of these ‘confounding factors’ means that the concept of “temperature” or the imperfect means we have of measuring it, is useless.

                Now, as it happens psychometricians have come up with, and improved, a series of instruments for measuring something which has real world correlations over a variety of areas, from health and sickness to accident proneness to job performance. We have huge amounts of data on this — from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to 50 + years of Armed Forces Qualifying Tests. The correlations of outcomes — generally more positive outcomes correlating with higher ‘cognitive ability’ — says to me that, unlike Oakland, there is a ‘there there’.

                • John Protevi

                  lemme ask you something: has this temperature schtick worked for you in the past? or are you trying it out here for the first time?

                • trey

                  Let’s see: Mitchell supplies a rigorously argued, coherent explanation of a complex topic and John responds with a snarky one-liner. Wonder who wins?

                • sibusisodan

                  Mitchell supplies a rigorously argued, coherent explanation of a complex topic

                  But it wasn’t. It doesn’t work as an analogy. There are some aspects while are analogous – the temperature of an individual molecule vs the intelligence of an individual person; the difference between our perception of temperature and intrinsic temperature and the difference between how intelligent a person might seem and how intelligent they are.

                  But those parallels aren’t enough.

                  Its trivially true that, for any characteristic, whether temp or intelligence, there are population differences, and difficulties in precise measurement.

                  But we have a precise, common understanding of what temperature is. We have a zero-point to measure from, and an understanding of why that point exists. In essence, we know what causes temperature. And we can measure it well.

                  This is not the case for intelligence. We do not have a causal mechanism for intelligence with sufficient explanatory power, nor do we have a precision of measurement.

                  A better analogy would be the idea of free energy: we can’t measure that directly or innately. We can only calculate changes in it.

                • John Protevi

                  Wait, you think comparing temperature and “intelligence” is worth more than snark? You’re pretty generous with my time there, Trey.

                • John Protevi

                  Thanks, sibusisodan, you get right to the heart of the problem of all this blather, which all relies on a slide between “score on IQ test” and “intelligence.”

                  And all that’s before we even get to “race” and “gene.”

                • Malaclypse

                  But none of these ‘confounding factors’ means that the concept of “temperature” or the imperfect means we have of measuring it, is useless.

                  I have read many stupid things this week.

                  This wins.

                • sharculese

                  What the fuck is this deluded nonsense?

                • Ed K

                  Plato, Phaedrus, 265e: “This, in turn, is to be able to cut up each kind according to its species along its natural joints, and to try to to splinter any part, as a bad butcher might do.”

                  Collection and Division. It’s been around for awhile.

                • Ed K

                  “…try *not* to splinter…” (where’s my edit function?)

              • Mitchell Young

                sibusisodan is correct about a lot. My analogy was precisely that, an analogy. As even he or she concedes, the analogy succeeds on some points. I deliberately chose a physical quantity to make it a difficult analogy to make. I would object to some of the objections in that I am 99% sure that the concept of ‘temperature’ was around, and being measured, long before the current scientific definition of the term was developed — or even could be developed because the idea of molecules and kinetic energy had not been developed sufficiently. Take, for example, the wikipedia entry on Boyles Law

                “This relationship between pressure and volume was first noted by two new[clarification needed] scientists, Richard Towneley and Henry Power. Robert Boyle confirmed their discovery through experiments and published the results. According to Robert Gunther and other authorities, it was Boyle’s assistant, Robert Hooke, who built the experimental apparatus. Boyle’s law is based on experiments with air, which he considered to be a fluid of particles at rest in between small invisible springs. At that time, air was still seen as one of the four elements, but Boyle disagreed. Boyle’s interest was probably to understand air as an essential element of life;[5] for example, he published works on the growth of plants without air.[6] The French physicist Edme Mariotte (1620–1684) discovered the same law independently of Boyle in 1676,[7] but Boyle had already published it in 1662. Thus this law may, improperly, be referred to as Mariotte’s or the Boyle–Mariotte law. Later, in 1687 in the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Newton showed mathematically that if an elastic fluid consisting of particles at rest, between which are repulsive forces inversely proportional to their distance, the density would be directly proportional to the pressure,[8] but this mathematical treatise is not the physical explanation for the observed relationship. Instead of a static theory a kinetic theory is needed, which was provided two centuries later by Maxwell and Boltzmann.

                This shows that concepts can be used (here, temperature, pressure), and useful as a practical matter (the development of the steam engine, for example), even when the exact underlying mechanism isn’t understood.

                Now, and easier analogy to make would have been to any number of social indicators — the consumer price index, the overall crime rate, or even more abstractly the Human Development Index, indices of corruption or democracy, and so on. Also, the numerous non-intelligence measures that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists use to rank people on a certain trait or, at the extreme end, diagnose a psychological problem requiring treatment. You are certainly free to reject the very concept of social science indices or diagnostic tools in psychology, but you’d be throwing out a lot of useful instruments.

                • sibusisodan

                  As even he or she concedes, the analogy succeeds on some points.

                  Right, but the points on which it succeeds are those on which virtually anything would have succeeded. Elephant tusk length as an analogy for car top speed, for example.

                  There’s nothing useful about an analogy which works at that level.

                  And where your analogy failed was precisely at that level which it needed to work to function: the degree of fit between ‘temperature/intelligence as it really is vs how we perceive it’.

                  Temperature is not intelligence-like enough to clarify the picture. I’m not even sure comparing the historical understanding of temp to our present picture off intelligence works much better.

                  You are certainly free to reject the very concept of social science indices or diagnostic tools in psychology, but you’d be throwing out a lot of useful instruments.

                  Straw man won’t help your position. None of us are doing that.

                • aimai

                  But where his analogy succeeded, guys, is that both use numbers. QED.

                • Mitchell Young

                  “Straw man won’t help your position. None of us are doing that.”

                  Tell me, then, by which criteria are you going to judge a social index or a or multi-part mental test, as acceptable? Here is the CDC’s information about the diagnosis of ADHD.

                  “Deciding if a child has ADHD is a several-step process. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms.
                  The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5)1, is used by mental health professionals to help diagnose ADHD. It was released in May 2013 and replaces the previous version, the text revision of the fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR). This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Using the same standard across communities will help determine how many children have ADHD, and how public health is impacted by this condition.
                  There were some changes in the DSM-5 for the diagnosis of ADHD: symptoms can now occur by age 12 rather than by age 6; several symptoms now need to be present in more than one setting rather than just some impairment in more than one setting; new descriptions were added to show what symptoms might look like at older ages; and for adults and adolescents age 17 or older, only 5 symptoms are needed instead of the 6 needed for younger children.”

                  Clearly there is no ‘ADHD’ gene. Clearly it is diagnosed by a set of tests, in addition to behavioral observation (in the clinic or out). Now, there might be some evidence of differences in gross anatomical brain structure corresponding with ‘higher’ scores on the ADHD scale, but of course that assumes that higher scores on ADHD scale tell us about something real. As far as I can make out, the only ‘reality’ to ADHD is in behavior outcomes — people with higher ADHD scores have a harder time focusing, completing tasks, etc. But is it really a ‘thing’, does it exist? That’s pretty iffy.

                  So, are the diagnostic tests of the alleged thing called ADHD good? Should they be revised or completely thrown out (obviously the psychologists thought they needed to be revised, but just as obviously they remain committed to the concept of multipart testing to diagnose an mental condition which as of yet has no surefire physical indicator.

                  Well, likewise with intelligence. People with lower scores have a harder time on a lot of things, a lot of things that you wouldn’t think would really relate to ‘IQ’. There is no obvious reason why being able to pick out the next number in a series of numbers, or to be able to recognize the next pattern on a page in a series of patterns, or being able quickly memorize a string of numbers frontward or backward, should correlate with each other. But they do. More importantly, this correlations, when scaled and put on an index and reduced to a single number, also correlate to real world outcomes on things you might expect (ability to learn calculus) and things you wouldn’t (accident proneness, incidence of disease), rate of criminal behavior. That IQ number is also correlated with at least one physical, measurable (by your standards) thing, brain volume. And indeed, research is pushing on to the histological and molecular level to find correlations there, too. [pdf]

            • Snippet

              Why is the most intelligent, articulate, open-minded and knowledgeable commenter taking the incorrect side of the argument. Someone should be hanged!

              • “Open-minded” translates as “agrees with Snippet.”

                • Snippet

                  Usually

    • Hogan

      And were the experts asked about the existence or otherwise of genetically distinct racial groups?

    • From the link:

      Invitations were emailed to 1237 persons and at the end only 228 (18 %) participants completed the process (70 fully and 158 partially). As far as the authors could make it out, “lefties” and “righties” turned down the offer in equal numbers, complaining that the questions were not good enough, the selection of experts would not be good or that they did not want to participate in a process which suggested that the truth could be found by majority decisions.

      • Also, I wonder why surveying such folks to answer a question which either there are publication (% of black/white difference depends on group genetic differences) in which case you should look at the literature or there are not in which case wtf are they basing their answers on

        Prima facie, rather shoddy.

        • Rather shoddy for the purposes mobilized by the above comment. I’ve not seen the paper itself.

      • Mitchell Young

        ” the truth could be found by majority decisions.”

        Hey, isn’t that the way we know that ‘climate change’ is real?

        (Not denying ‘climate change’ or AGW — don’t know enough about it one way or another — just point out the Left’s inconsistencies)

        • No.

          Thanks for playing.

          Compare a survey of people for their views on an issue (without any cross check on whether they actually work on that issue) with a study of papers to ascertain the actual working consensus.

          Now, Oreskes wasn’t aiming to assess the evidence. That is done in other places (eg the IPCC reports). Oreskes’ study refutes the idea that the IPCC are biased with respect to the evidence.

          I know you think you’re oh so clever with your set of tropes ready to fire in hopes that your interlocutors won’t be familiar enough with the underlying are or the set of trope to detect your chicanery. Clearly, that’s not working out for you.

          • Mitchell Young

            And I was talking about the general public discourse about AGW (or climate change) which usually goes — “well, 99.5% of climate scientists believe in global warming”.

            I doubt very many pundits promoting the AGW view can identify Oreskes paper.

            • And I was talking about the general public discourse about AGW (or climate change)

              It’s either a non sequitur in the first instance or a equivocation here.

              In the first instance, the line you were responding to was a conjecture as to why scientists contacted had such a low response rate to the survey. Thus, it would make no sense for you to respond about how pundits or the general public perceive the nature or assessment of scientific consensus. Personally, I’m betting on the equivocation. You tried to pull your AGW denailist forced dilemma and it failed.

              which usually goes — “well, 99.5% of climate scientists believe in global warming”.

              If you have a problem with this, then why would you defend the prior survey?

              My point remains that the survey of people who have published in intelligence surveys has a lot of problems as either an assessment of the evidence or even of they scientific consensus.

              Again, throwing in more bullshit doesn’t make the prior bullshit look better.

        • Mitchell Young

          The majority of those working in the field of intelligence research also believe that the concept is valid, it measures something real and useful, and that there are group differences in average intelligence.[pdf] The majority is less overwhelming, but still a majority.

          Do I ‘win’ now?

          • Using an article from 1997, when after 17 years of genetic research, they haven’t linked any specific genes to intelligence, let alone demonstrated they account for the differences between different populations of humans?

            Yep, you win, the booby prize.

            • It’s even worse than that:

              As Hauser (2010) reports in his discussion of the editorial, there is no general agreement about what is meant by intelligence. The editorial gave the following general definition of intelligence:[4]

              Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. It is not merely book-learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings “catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.

              Gottfredson (1997b) describes intelligence in her own article in the same volume less broadly as “the ability to deal with complexity.” However, the article by Carroll (1997b)[citation needed], one of the signatories of the statement, reviewed the numerous attempts in the academic literature to define what was meant by intelligence and found that there was no agreement. He cites experts as describing intelligence as “the total intellectual repertoire of behavioral responses,” “some general property or quality … of the brain,” “reaction-time and physiological measures,” “many different information-processing abilities” and “the rate with which learning occurs or the time required for learning.” Plomin & Petrill (1997c) in the same volume describe intelligence as what is measured by intelligence tests: “What we mean by intelligence is general cognitive functioning (g) as assessed in the psychometric tradition of a general factor derived from a battery of diverse cognitive ability tests.”

              So, not so good. And, again, methodologically it is rather a shambles in exactly the way that the Oreskes method is not: Surveying (some) scientists (in this case, by having them put their name behind it) isn’t a good way to determine the actual state of the field. It’s even more problematic if you use fairly crappy instruments.

              That the total call list was 113 (as opposed to over 1000 in the other study) seems problematic. Of course, the statement was assembled in haste.

              • Mitchell Young

                ““What we mean by intelligence is general cognitive functioning (g) as assessed in the psychometric tradition of a general factor derived from a battery of diverse cognitive ability tests.” Plomin and Petrill

                Well, that’s like saying, and I’ll go back to it, is like saying this morning’s temperature is a measure of how hot or cold it is, as measured by the height of the enclosed glass tube of Hg outside my kitchen window.

                But the real kicker is that the Plomin referenced above must be the same guy — there aren’t a lot of intelligence researchers — that writes this in Nature.

                General cognitive ability (g), often referred to as ‘general intelligence’, predicts social outcomes such as educational and occupational levels far better than any other behavioural trait. g is one of the most heritable behavioural traits, and genes that contribute to the heritability of g will certainly be identified. What are the scientific and social implications of finding genes associated with g?

                So, not an intelligence denialist at all.

                • Well, at least you are consistent with the garble and the silent topic shifting.

                  The bit I quoted showed that there wasn’t a common understanding of the concept of intelligence contrary to the claim in the manifesto.

                  That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a field (some concepts are hard or pluralistic), but it’s not a great thing for taking that manifesto as capturing a consensus in that field. The crappiness of that survey’s methodology (which, granted, was in support of an editorial, and hastily put together, but it was presented with the trappings of a real study), which is also methodology you championed before, is evident from it’s failure to conform with the reality of the main author’s own work.

                • Mitchell Young

                  I haven’t read the Oreskes paper (a link would be lovely), but I’ll accept your word that her (I believe it is) methodology in surveying climatologists was better, that the intent and result of the project was to show where there are unresolved issues in field of climatology, vis-a-vis global warming. So yes, you Oreskes beats my Gottfredson.

                  This is a general blog (it seems) and in general ‘debate’ over AGW*, pundits, opinionators, and bloggers. the usual quote is just ’99%’ of climatologists believe X about AGW. I doubt seriously that many, from a guy with two regular readers to the top MSNBC host, has read Oreskes’s academic work. The 99% thing is just a meme that gets thrown around. I think it is you who have shifted the debate to a way higher, deeper, and more serious level. And that’s good. But that’s not what my original, somewhat flip comment was intended to provoke.

                  As to intelligence, and the ability to measure it, I think that the ‘g’ phenomenon discovered (or devised if you will) by Spearman has real value in predicting not only academic outcomes, but outcomes that should seemingly be orthogonal to academic ability. Such areas include accident proneness, overall health, and criminality. Further, researchers are already finding correlations between ‘g’ in its more modern incarnations and physical, tangible, measurable traits in the brain — including overall volume and cortex thickness. The ‘Left’ tends to ignore all this when it can, denounce the bearers of such news when it must. That was Rod D’s original point.

                  Going further is very likely that in the not to distant future a series of genes which covary with each other to a greater or lesser extent, will be found which influence these gross anatomical differences, and through them scores on abstract index (or indices) created to measure ‘g’. I hope that intelligent people on the Left won’t stamp their feet and plug their ears, or worse, shoot the messenger (or his or her career).

                  *Notice BTW I prefer the more specific AGW to the very amorphous, perhaps more amorphous than IQ, ‘climate change’. AGW is directional, caused by humans, a presumably subject to mitigation if not elimination by public policies. The catch-all ‘Climate change’ is not obviously any of those things.

                • I haven’t read the Oreskes paper

                  Of course not.

                  (a link would be lovely),

                  Your curiosity and research skills are up to par, I see. Let me help you:

                  http://lmgtfy.com/?q=oreskes+consensus&l=1

                  but I’ll accept your word that her (I believe it is) methodology in surveying climatologists was better,

                  She didn’t survey climatologists, she did a systematic review of papers. This has a shot of capturing the actual working consensus (as opposed to a professed consensus), avoids all sorts of bias, etc. At least, it wouldn’t fall prey to the problem of having a statement that there was a unified consensus definition right next to a ton of contested ones.

                  that the intent and result of the project was to show where there are unresolved issues in field of climatology,

                  Wait, what? Contrary to Gottfredson, Oreskes was looking to check if the reports of consensus reflected an actual working consensus. That is what she found.

                  Of course there are unresolved issues in climatology, all sorts. Research is ongoing. The IPCC reflects that! But, for example, there is no dissent about the greenhouse effect. And the warming trend is undeniable at this point and the anthropogenic hypothesis extremely well confirmed.

                  vis-a-vis global warming. So yes, you Oreskes beats my Gottfredson.

                  If you have to have a certain conclusion to accept research…well, that’s a problem now, isn’t it?

                  This is a general blog (it seems) and in general ‘debate’ over AGW*, pundits, opinionators, and bloggers. the usual quote is just ’99%’ of climatologists believe X about AGW.

                  Again, that’s completely irrelevant (and you’ve not even shown that). For your forced dilemma to work, I have to actually believe that a crappy survey methodology is compelling evidence for my claim such that if I want to be consistent I’d have to accept your crappy survey methodology for your claim. But I don’t have to accept a crappy survey methodology at all and it turns out that there is excellent evidence both for AGW and for the scientific consensus (in the meaningful sense) for it.

                  No amount of gyrating, bullshiting, and random dumps of blather will change that.

                  I doubt seriously that many, from a guy with two regular readers to the top MSNBC host, has read Oreskes’s academic work.

                  It was all over the blogs when it came out. That’s how I know about it.

                  The 99% thing is just a meme that gets thrown around. I think it is you who have shifted the debate to a way higher, deeper, and more serious level. And that’s good. But that’s not what my original, somewhat flip comment was intended to provoke.

                  Dude, the comment trail is here. You appealed to a crappy paper. I (and others) critiqued the methodology. You tried a false dilemma. The false dilemma relied on a symmetry that isn’t there. And then you tried to get round it all by claiming that you were targeting a stupid argument that no one here has offered. But that doesn’t help you even a little bit.

            • Mitchell Young

              IQ, as measured by a standard, modern test, correlates with cortical thickness in the brain.

              Karama et al

              Positive association between cognitive ability and cortical thickness in a representative US sample of healthy 6 to 18 year-olds

              Neuroimaging studies, using various modalities, have evidenced a link between the general intelligence factor (g) and regional brain function and structure in several multimodal association areas. While in the last few years, developments in computational neuroanatomy have made possible the in vivo quantification of cortical thickness, the relationship between cortical thickness and psychometric intelligence has been little studied. Recently, cortical thickness estimations have been improved by the use of an iterative hemisphere-specific template registration algorithm which provides a better between-subject alignment of brain surfaces. Using this improvement, we aimed to further characterize brain regions where cortical thickness was associated with cognitive ability differences and to test the hypothesis that these regions are mostly located in multimodal association areas. We report associations between a general cognitive ability factor (as an estimate of g) derived from the four subtests of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence and cortical thickness adjusted for age, gender, and scanner in a large sample of healthy children and adolescents (ages 6-18, N=216) representative of the US population. Significant positive associations were evidenced between the cognitive ability factor and cortical thickness in most multimodal association areas. Results are consistent with a distributed model of intelligence.

              • A lot of brain development depends on pre-natal nutrition and nutrition during the childhood to late adolescence phase of life. These findings don’t change that fact.

          • herr doktor bimler

            52 signatories for the Gottfredson / Brooks declaration, out of 131 individuals whom the authors chose to approach for signatures, constitutes a “majority”?
            I cannot argue with mathematics like that.

            • It’s Caucasian mathematics.

              • N__B

                A lot of White-out was used.

            • To be fair, 52 is a majority of those who were successfully contacted (100 out of the 131).

              Even if it wasn’t a majority, 52 out of 131, assuming that 131 was an substantial fraction (i.e., on the order of 30-50%) of active researchers (which i strongly doubt), would be a significant sub-consensus. Easily enough for those views to be “mainstream” in the field (although we lack an operational definition of “mainstream”).

              The problem is that, even putting aside whether the pool was reasonable, some of the statements were contradicted by actual practice (e.g., the definition of intelligence).

              It just isn’t good metaresearch. Which isn’t surprising, as it wasn’t conducted by someone (afaik) experience with metaresearch and on a deadline for a public statement. I’ll give some credit that she tried to make it more than just “let’s gets some people to sign a letter,” but that’s not enough to make it a useful document.

    • tt

      One of the unfortunate aspects of this issue is that, since the government doesn’t fund gene-intelligence work very well and since most non-racists with an interest in human genetics tend to avoid the issue, the field is dominated by racists, or at least people with funding from racist organizations.

      • Is it really so bad? I mean, surely people work on genetic factors for intelligence in all sorts of contexts (eg development, various diseases, etc). Is there any reason to think that studying it at a racial differences level is going to be particularly productive?

        • tt

          The entire gene-intelligence topic is corrupted, not just as it relates to race. Which isn’t to say that there’s no one doing good work in the field, just that it’s enriched in people doing it for the wrong reasons.

          • As I noted in another comment, there is no reasonable hypothesis to explain how lower intelligence would arise in a group of humans in the first place, let alone how it would ‘survive’ when it would be a competitive disadvantage towards other humans not so afflicted.

            • Inbreeding in royal families. But it tends to be eliminated by executing them after a while.

            • tt

              There are lots of reasonable hypotheses that could explain it. This relates to a broader question in evolutionary biology, which is why do we see so much diversity? In general, you might think that evolution would tend to push individuals, populations, and species in the same direction. All else equal, it’s always better to be faster, stronger, smarter, more efficient. But diversity is the rule, not the exception. In general, there are two classes of explanations. The first is that there are different selective pressures in different contexts, and that causes divergence. And that might be the case here. Maybe there’s a trade-off between intelligence and something else and the relative value of these traits differs between environments. But, since neutral processes are always neglected in these conversations, I want to emphasize that these alone are sufficient.

              You might think that a trait like intelligence will not evolve by neutral processes–it seems obvious that it has fitness relevance. But everything has a cost. Consider a graph of costs and benefits of a trait against the value of that trait. If a population is at one trait value, and benefits grow faster than cost in one direction or the other from that value, then selection will quickly push the trait in that direction provided it has the raw material to do so (variation). So we expect most traits to be near the point where the difference between benefit and cost is maximized. But we have no idea how big this range may be. There may be a large “nearly neutral” region in trait-space if costs and benefits tend to change by close to the same magnitude as you change the trait near the fitness maximum. Thus, neutral evolutionary processes–drift, random mutation–can lead to differences in trait values between populations even holding environment constant.

              Evolutionary reasoning is complicated and difficult to do well. It’s hard enough when you have the data and are trying to figure out how it came to be. But speculating about how the data should look on the basis of evolutionary first principles before you’ve collected it–it just doesn’t work well at all. We just don’t know enough about how fitness landscapes actually look.

              • There are lots of reasonable hypotheses that could explain it.

                Then make a case for a specific scenario of one of them. With lots of them, that should be an easy task even for a layman such as yourself.

                Here’s one of them demolished for you, so that you won’t waste the time of either of us:

                A review by Nicholas Mackintosh, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, expresses astonishment that Lynn infers that Kalahari bushmen, with an average measured IQ of 54, should be regarded as mentally retarded; and that an 8 year old European child with the equivalent mental age would have no problems surviving in the same desert environment. Mackintosh questions Lynn’s hypothesis that migration to more harsh northern climates and ice ages selected for higher IQ by pointing to harshness of environments such as the Australian Outback. Lynn argues that racial differences in brain size indicates different evolutionary pressure on intelligence. Mackintosh argues that the cranial capacity of early Homo sapiens, 100,000 or more years ago, was rather greater than that of modern Europeans. He criticizes Lynn for reporting data incorrectly, in some cases from studies by Mackintosh himself. He writes: “The errors may not be particularly important, and I do not know how typical they are. But they do not increase my confidence in Lynn’s scholarship.” He also writes:[6]

                You’re not very smart for a white person, are you?

                • tt

                  Did you read my comment at all beyond the first sentence?

                • tt

                  And I’m not a layman, I’m a grad student and I’ve published on this stuff.

                • Yes, and the fact that your responses have yet to include one reasonable hypothesis in answer to the question I posed is very revealing in and of itself.

                • tt

                  Then what’s wrong with the hypothesis in my comment–that neutral evolution could cause intelligence differences?

                • Well, lets see, for millions of years, evolution selected for intelligence in the human line, but then, all of a sudden, when H. sapiens develops into populations separated by geography and time, there would be some sort of “neutral evolution which could cause intelligence differences” between populations that up until that point in time, have been evolving into a more and more intelligent line of primates.

                  Sorry, it doesn’t past the smell test. That you’re a grad student who has published something is, of course, to demonstrate how one can go through the education system and not understand how science operates.

                • tt

                  What is your expertise in this subject exactly such that you can judge mine?

                  Well, lets see, for millions of years, evolution selected for intelligence in the human line, but then, all of a sudden, when H. sapiens develops into populations separated by geography and time, there would be some sort of “neutral evolution which could cause intelligence differences” between populations that up until that point in time, have been evolving into a more and more intelligent line of primates.

                  This quote reveals that you didn’t understand my comment. Which is fine, it’s fairly technical, but that’s because evolution is a genuinely complex subject and a freshman course in the topic is not enough to be able to discuss it from an informed position. If you tell me what you didn’t understand I can try to explain better.

                • What specific environment/set of circumstances would lead to lower intelligence being a neutral quality in some populations of a species where the trend of their direct ancestors was for increasing intelligence for millions of years?

                  To make an abstract statement that could apply to any trait like the color of a flower to the scent glands of a mammal is fine, but to come up with a specific scenario where that abstract hypothesis must be specific is apparently beyond your powers of reasoning.

                • tt

                  The idea is that evolution will optimize intelligence against its drawbacks, in all human populations. Nearby to the optimal point will be near-optimal, so evolution within this “nearby” region looks neutral. The question then is how large is “nearby.” That depends on the specifics of the fitness curve for intelligence, which is basically a complete unknown. So even if all populations follow the same fitness curve, they may be at different points at the curve which are all near maximum fitness (it’s more complicated than this–the fitness curve may also be multimodal).

                  It’s a general explanation–it doesn’t depend at all on the environment and is not specific to intelligence. But so what? Intelligence isn’t the only trait that varies between populations–most traits do, and it’s possible/likely that many of them vary for the same reason. A general explanation is more convincing to me than a hundred “just so” stories about selection for each varying trait and each population.

                • Nope, you’re doing it at a very high level, but you’re still arm waving without reference to any specific environment/set of conditions where intelligence is neutral.

                  I hope you don’t go on to teach in American, there are enough idiots in academia already.

                • herr doktor bimler

                  It’s a general explanation–it doesn’t depend at all on the environment and is not specific to intelligence. But so what? Intelligence isn’t the only trait that varies between populations

                  So you are taking the possible inter-population variations as axiomatic, and telling just-so stories to explain differences which — in the absence of a settled definition of intelligence — have yet to be detected?

                • tt

                  Nope, you’re doing it at a very high level, but you’re still arm waving without reference to any specific environment/set of conditions where intelligence is neutral.

                  But my last post lays out very specifically the conditions where evolution of intelligence would be neutral: within the region close to the optimum on the fitness curve. Is what you want an answer to “what are the conditions that would make a fitness curve look a certain way”? Maybe there are threshold effects. You need X intelligence to be able to make a certain tool, which has adaptive value, but X+1 provides little additional value because it’s not enough to make the next best tool. So switching between X and X+1 is neutral. To be clear, this is pure speculation; I’m not using it as a positive argument but just an illustrative example.

                • tt

                  So you are taking the possible inter-population variations as axiomatic, and telling just-so stories to explain differences which — in the absence of a settled definition of intelligence — have yet to be detected?

                  I’ve dealt with the definition issue extensively elsewhere on this thread. The premise of The Dark God’s argument is that intelligence differences would never evolve because intelligence is selectively advantageous, and I’m explaining why this is incorrect. Nothing in my argument depends on any particular definition of intelligence. If there are multiple components of intelligence it applies individually to each one.

                  As for “just so” stories, I’m against them–my position is that we should just do the genetics without evolutionary speculation–but The Dark God asked for one, and this comes up enough that I thought it was worth addressing.

              • herr doktor bimler

                Maybe there’s a trade-off between intelligence and something else and the relative value of these traits differs between environments.
                Which brings us back to J. Philippe Rushton, doyen of race/intelligence research, and his insistence that dark-skinned people are stupid because they have evolved to have big dicks. Apparently this is incompatible with having large brains.

                Is that what you had in mind?

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Wait—wouldn’t that imply that (cis-)women have the biggest, bestest brains of all???

                • Hogan

                  There’s only so much blood and tissue to go around, you know.

                • herr doktor bimler

                  wouldn’t that imply that (cis-)women have the biggest, bestest brains of all?

                  Indeed it does! Yet Rushton did not discuss that corollary. It is as if he had not considered the existence of intelligence in women.

                • tt

                  Nope. See my comment that began this thread about how racists dominate and distort this issue.

                • tt

                  It should be emphasized, of course, that the idea that there are trade-offs in evolution is not an invention of Rushton.

              • You’ve also noticed that he has yet to give a concrete example of his hypothesis for intelligence being a neutral trait in a given environment. His hypothesis isn’t even wrong enough to be correct.

          • That I agree with.

    • herr doktor bimler

      I intrigued to see 107 respondents from a pool of 1237 tightly-selected experts presented as a “consensus”.

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  • Kyle l Asher

    You know how I measure intelligence levels? I look to silicone valley . The workforce there will tell you all you need to know.

    • Lee Rudolph

      Huh. I’d have thought that was the place to measure breast size.

    • Ghost of Leibiniz

      Oh thank you God for letting my spirit live long enough to see “silicone valley”! Blessed be Your grace in allowing us to laugh out loud. As to Your servant Mr Poe and his Law, well, that just makes it all the more delicious: that there would be someone clever enough to come up with this on purpose, or someone with such a clouded mind at to write this sincerely, just shows Your commitment to a world full of possibilities.

      • Kyle l Asher

        My bad.. Forgot to place quotation marks around silicone valley for all you narrow minded few to not get the gist. Have you noticed the lack of diversity at places like Apple and other tech companies in that area? Unless janitors and maintenance people count.

        • Hogan

          And you’re still too dumb to know silicon from silicone. You can lead a horse’s ass to water . . .

        • The stupidity of this comment leaves me breathless.

    • silicone valley workforce

      “my eyes are up *here*”

      • N__B

        You got eye implants?

        • Lee Rudolph

          Neuticles. (Posts while standing on head.)

        • herr doktor bimler

          Quickly scours Interducts for applicable image.

          • Barry Freed

            Your reputation is secured, sir.

  • Snippet

    If a Martian race-agnostic were to step out of his spaceship, walk over to the nearest computer, go to this comment section, and read with an open mind, he would be struck by the following:

    Those who deny race are incredibly prickly, really like the F-word, and respond to calm, informed, articulate, intelligent criticism with sarcasm, derision, personal (often sexually explicit) attacks, willful ignorance (“I’d like to ask one of these guys how stupidity can be adaptive.”), and misdirection even when said criticism is presented simply as an acknowledgement that the issue is complex and not amenable to simplistic pronouncements.

    The most thoughtful commenters – BY FAR – are those who challenge the position of the original post.

    He would conclude (provisionally, of course!) that the race question is not nearly as settled as some would have us think it is.

    How do I know this? I happen to be said Martian. Awesome planet you got here, by the way. So …. wet.

    Zeeplxxxszzzt to you all!

    • sibusisodan

      Zeeplxxxszzzt to you all!

      Sigh. Yet another shot fired in the war on Yggggggplxtyl.

    • Lack of crude language does not equal expertise on a given subject. Perhaps the martians will recognize that people who know their shit dont suffer fools gladly. I, for one, dont mind a little passionate, manly, invective when discussing economics, politics, and genetics with the heirs to Hitler’s final solution, our modern american, neo nazis and servile suck ups to corporate power. In that one thing I must echo Dick Cheney “i expressed myself forcefully and felt better for it.”

      • Lurker (from a different thread)

        +1

        In addition, I’d like to note that in the US, calling oneself “civilized” is one of the hallmarks of conservatism. Especially the aristocracy of the old South loved to describe themselves as civilized. It is easy to be civilized and polite, when you have overseers to beat slaves into submission.

        • Mitchell Young

          You mean like the folks who beat poor old James ‘Double Helix’ Watson after his musing on African intelligence?

          One thing that really makes me puke is the Left, which holds a near monopoly on cultural power, pretending like they are the downtrodden.

      • Snippet

        I, for one, dont mind a little passionate, manly, invective when discussing economics, politics, and genetics with the heirs to Hitler’s final solution, our modern american, neo nazis and servile suck ups to corporate power.

        Neither do I, but I haven’t seen “manly” (ooooooh, sexism…) support for a solidly grounded skepticism of the existence of race as much as I have seen womanly (oooooh, more sexism…) hysterics such as the above quote (“heirs to Hitler’s final solution” … get the smelling salts!) in response to sensible ideas such as the notion that thousands of years of geographic isolation in vastly different climates could result in any number of statistically non-trivial differences in average group characteristics, including, but not limited to, cognitive dexterity.

        Yours in ixxxphhhrbbttsxhg,

      • Snippet

        Lack of crude language does not equal expertise on a given subject.

        That’s technically true, but as we martians like to say, “The f-bombs start dropping when intellectual confidence starts failing.”

        Well, something like that. It’s hard to translate, “xoppptttophr fhp ciii lbr snnr # dddnn.” into English but that’s close enough.

      • Mitchell Young

        “I, for one, dont mind a little passionate, manly, invective when discussing economics, politics, and genetics with the heirs to Hitler’s final solution, our modern american, neo nazis and servile suck ups to corporate power”

        Maybe if the heirs of Lamarck, Stalin, Beria, Pol Pot, Mao, and Castro had a little more evidence to support their positions.

  • Mitchell Young

    Revealed: how exam results owe more to genes than teaching

    “My very first conference was by this old guy Leon Kamin, the author of a book called The Science and Politics of IQ,’ says Plomin. ‘Kamin came back to academia just so as to stop this pernicious stuff about genetics entering psychology. There were 2,000, maybe 3,000 people. It was dark and he was bald with kinda craggy features. I mean he looked scary. Then he started saying: “We’ve got to stop this talk of genetics now!” And I realised it didn’t matter to Kamin what was true. He believed in what he called “science for the people”, which was what he thought it would be useful for the people to know. I mean, that killed me because it was Kamin and these elite Harvard professors deciding what’s for the people! The idea was that science should serve politics.”

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  • R7 Rocket

    Yeah, how dare that white supremacist, Jayman, accept the premise that racial differences exist. Just like that eeevil bigot Sailer.

    Oh wait, Jayman’s black… And a Jamaican too…

    • Warren Terra

      Will. You. Fncking. Racists. Just. Let. This. Thread. Die?

      I mean, go fnck off to Stormfront or wherever you usually hang out.

      • N__B

        Just like a liberal to suggest euthanasia.

        • Warren Terra

          I’m sure R7 Rocket has a lot to say about youth in Asia.

  • R7 Rocket

    These abominable and blasphemous bigots must be sent to re-education camps stat! After all, every right thinking and socially acceptable person knows that everybody’s the same…

  • R7 Rocket

    I’m sure R7 Rocket has a lot to say about youth in Asia.

    I most certainly do! I used to be one of them, but I got older :( .

    Anyways, damn that bigot Sailer for saying that my people are smarter than his people. We all know that denying that all of humanity is one giant clone army is an act of racist heresy.

    To the re-education camps!

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