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Thread: Race and Intelligence

  1. #1 Race and Intelligence 
    ox
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    Millions of words have been written on IQ, but I have just watched a TV program called 'Race and Intelligence, Science's Last Taboo' (watch on the net on 'Channel 4 Catch Up'). The argument is that blacks have a lower IQ than whites who have a lower IQ than 'East Asians'. After the initial bigotry (by James Watson and others) presenter Rageh Omar, himself a Somalian, suggested that a lower IQ was more a lack of mental stimulation than skin colour, which I would agree.
    IQ for whites - average 100.
    IQ for 'east asians' - average > 100.
    IQ for blacks - average < 100.
    I assume that east asia is SE China, Hong Kong and Singapore. In other words Chinese ethnicity.
    I'm no expert on this, but I have noted that on visits to HK that there appears to a certain environment where IQ flourishes, and that's in an area of high population density where there is wealth, law and order and access to high quality education.


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    You need to look more at the flaws with the IQ test methodology instead of the melanin contents in peoples skin. That is the place to spend your time when researching this issue. The IQ test is a biased measure, and hence not very useful.


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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You need to look more at the flaws with the IQ test methodology instead of the melanin contents in peoples skin. That is the place to spend your time when researching this issue. The IQ test is a biased measure, and hence not very useful.
    I think the whole 'intelligence' debate is flawed as it's too ambiguous to set a standard definition. In my view, memory and contingency constitute intelligence; every sentient species attains this ability. The only difference between 'dumb' and 'smart' people are their environments; one was given the opportunity to scholar academics when the other wasn't (i.e. the other couldn't possibly know something the other did given the absent of awareness over the academic). If given both opportunities, they're equally likely to be as intelligent on a topic with equal knowledge; in addition, with external knowledge, they're likely to display as being equally intelligent but will derive alternative developments (albeit some very similar).

    Thus, in my view, the intelligence equation can be viewed as followed: intelligence = memory retention + chance

    Even with poor memory, one could still engage in productivity discrete to peers.
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    a christian once told me fossils are wrong because they are based on rock records, and rocks are wrong because they are based on fossil records, therefore the whole world must be wrong and god made us 6000 years ago


    sadly I belive a similar sentence is apropriate here


    intelligence is defined by intelligent people, so how can we recognise diferent intelligence?

    Put simply, a 'white' man is generally well versed in the areas needed to tick the 'intelligence' quota, he will have an at least basic grasp of maths and english, and will understand and recognise most questions likely to be posed in an IQ test
    In reverse, a native tribeman of africa will have maybe enough knowlege of maths to know when a spear has been stolen, and will understand nothing of trigonomety or quantum physics or other things in an 'IQ' test

    does this make a native tribesman less intelligent than a 'white' man?
    Evidently it makes the 'white' man smarter than the tribesman, but not necesarily more intelligent

    Intelligence is respective, I am in the top 5% of the country (I go to higher education) therefore I am 'intelligent' the Zulu Tribesleader is the strongest and wisest of his tribe, therefore he is 'intelligent', neither of us would succeed in the others world, and in each others shoes we would probably be defined as retarded, but in our societies we are Intelligent





    I think the whole idea of it being sciences 'last taboo' is rediculous, and likewise is the outrage over it, to have such a moronic reaction to a scientific study simply because of 'colour' is as equally racist as calling someone a nigger, That said, the title and explaination of it is idiotic, it's not seeing if colour has something to do with intelect, it's seeing is genetic heretige has something to do with intelect, anybody who actually thinks cell pigments can affect the brain doesn't even deserve to be listened to.
    It is highly likely that different heritiges (that's different colours for the morons) coincides with different brain sizes/structures and intellects, if one group has had a more complex life, they will be genetically more intelligent, someone who hunts mammoth in winter, wolf in spring, picks berries in summer and all the while has to avoid other tribes will be genetically more intelligent than someone whose life consits of growing cows and eating them. it's just plain logical, the only reason people havn't said so already is it's 'offensive' to some
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
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  6. #5 Re: Race and Intelligence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    I'm no expert on this, but I have noted that on visits to HK that there appears to a certain environment where IQ flourishes, and that's in an area of high population density where there is wealth, law and order and access to high quality education.
    Or more directly: Japanese parents openly discuss IQ the same way Nigerian parents discuss nutrition. It is pretty common to see a scrawny junk-fed Japanese kid doing IQ-optimizing exercises, watching IQ-enhancing programs, playing with IQ-building toys. And then there are families of sumo wrestlers.

    North Americans treat IQ as a sensitive subject. It is valued privately while devalued publicly.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  7. #6 Re: Race and Intelligence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    North Americans treat IQ as a sensitive subject. It is valued privately while devalued publicly.
    Nice sound bite.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You need to look more at the flaws with the IQ test methodology instead of the melanin contents in peoples skin. That is the place to spend your time when researching this issue. The IQ test is a biased measure, and hence not very useful.
    I agree.

    While I think IQ tests can provide a very rough estimate of intelligence in many cases, it is far from being accurate. It is quite possible to have a high IQ and be stupid (I'm a good example of that :wink: ), and I'm sure it's also possible to have a low IQ and be very smart.

    High IQ does not necessarily mean high intelligence, it just means you are good at answering the specific questions on that particular test.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_space87
    The only difference between 'dumb' and 'smart' people are their environments; one was given the opportunity to scholar academics when the other wasn't
    While I agree with you to some extent, that's certainly not always true. I know people who I would call "smart" who have relatively little formal education, and I know a lot of idiots with PhDs.
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    It's the third rail of science. Too bad people can't discuss it objectively.

    Suppose we were talking about dogs instead of people. I don't think anybody would have a problem saying dog breeds differ in intelligence, would they?

    How do you measure a dog's intelligence? Just see what they can do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Suppose we were talking about dogs instead of people.
    The more I learn about evolution and what really counts for "fitness", the more respect I have for rabbits, snapping turtles, and great-grandparents.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It's the third rail of science. Too bad people can't discuss it objectively.
    Nothing wrong with discussing it, but we also shouldn't jump to conclusions based on flawed IQ tests. If you want to compare intelligence you first have to define intelligence, and then figure out a way to measure it, and those are both difficult if not impossible tasks.

    You can say one race has a higher IQ than another race, but what does that actually mean? Does that make them more intelligent? Not by my (albeit vague) idea of what "intelligence" is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Quote Originally Posted by blue_space87
    The only difference between 'dumb' and 'smart' people are their environments; one was given the opportunity to scholar academics when the other wasn't
    While I agree with you to some extent, that's certainly not always true. I know people who I would call "smart" who have relatively little formal education, and I know a lot of idiots with PhDs.
    It's likely that they're more independent than others, and probably suffer in social situations due to a lack of external synchronicity. Alternatively, their brains could be faster for synchronizing with both internal and external mechanisms than average humans; however, we can also integrate chance where they have developed their own method for learning (and therefore, independence) through a synthesis of memory and creativity. Also note, when I refer to chance, I also refer to contingency, or 'free choice (ultimately free will since you will your choice over yes or no)'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It's the third rail of science. Too bad people can't discuss it objectively.
    Nothing wrong with discussing it, but we also shouldn't jump to conclusions based on flawed IQ tests. If you want to compare intelligence you first have to define intelligence, and then figure out a way to measure it, and those are both difficult if not impossible tasks.

    You can say one race has a higher IQ than another race, but what does that actually mean? Does that make them more intelligent? Not by my (albeit vague) idea of what "intelligence" is.
    All right. Let's discuss it in general terms. Can we agree there are certain mental abilities, which are partly inherited and partly learned? And that people differ in these abilities?

    Is there any reason why all races should, on average, be equal in these abilities?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It's the third rail of science.
    Leaving the main subject aside for a moment, could you (or some other kind soul) please explain the meaning of this expression?

    I know what a third rail is, literally, in an electric railway track. But a figurative use leaves me clueless.

    Thanks in advance,
    Leszek.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It's the third rail of science.
    Leaving the main subject aside for a moment, could you (or some other kind soul) please explain the meaning of this expression?

    I know what a third rail is, literally, in an electric railway track. But a figurative use leaves me clueless.

    Thanks in advance,
    Leszek.
    Don't touch it. It's dangerous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Don't touch it. It's dangerous.
    Hint taken. Thanks!
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms


    I think the whole idea of it being sciences 'last taboo' is rediculous, and likewise is the outrage over it, to have such a moronic reaction to a scientific study simply because of 'colour' is as equally racist as calling someone a nigger, That said, the title and explaination of it is idiotic, it's not seeing if colour has something to do with intelect, it's seeing is genetic heretige has something to do with intelect, anybody who actually thinks cell pigments can affect the brain doesn't even deserve to be listened to.
    It is highly likely that different heritiges (that's different colours for the morons) coincides with different brain sizes/structures and intellects, if one group has had a more complex life, they will be genetically more intelligent, someone who hunts mammoth in winter, wolf in spring, picks berries in summer and all the while has to avoid other tribes will be genetically more intelligent than someone whose life consits of growing cows and eating them. it's just plain logical, the only reason people havn't said so already is it's 'offensive' to some
    The studies of this kind aren't just because someones color(or shouldn't be), that's just a easy way of lumping population heritages into a category and it really isn't racist. Ignorant yeah, but not racist. Your last paragraph is spot on and i think because it is 'offensive' to some is why some people call it sciences "last taboo". But i really think the whole argument is really pointless. Pretty much every legit study(which is very few) done on this has shown equal or near equal average intelligence.
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    I would define intelligence as the ability to generalize and to make nuanced distinctions both within and between conceptual categories. I'm not sure if there are tests for this or not.
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    Hi all.
    I think some part of intelligent is given from parents to their child, but the rest of it is collected or induced by the person during whole life time till the end of life.
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    the following New Scientist article might be of some interest :

    Clever fools: Why a high IQ doesn't mean you're smart

    agrees with my prejudice that IQ mostly tells that you're good at doing IQ tests
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid
    Pretty much every legit study(which is very few) done on this has shown equal or near equal average intelligence.
    Would you care to elaborate on that statement. I found this on Wikipedia.

    American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs established a task force in 1995 to write a consensus statement on the state of intelligence research which could be used by all sides as a basis for discussion. The full text of the report is available through several websites. ... The task force agrees that large differences do exist between the average IQ scores of blacks and whites, and that these differences cannot be attributed to biases in test construction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...al_Association
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  23. #22 Re: Race and Intelligence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    I'm no expert on this, but I have noted that on visits to HK that there appears to a certain environment where IQ flourishes, and that's in an area of high population density where there is wealth, law and order and access to high quality education.
    This might suffice as an explanation for why people in some countries have higher IQs than people in other countries, but it doesn't seem to explain differences among people of different ethnicity who live in the same country.

    Edit: Of course, I guess you could argue that even within the same country different ethnic groups have somewhat different cultures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    How do you measure a dog's intelligence? Just see what they can do.
    Actually the field of animal intelligence provides good examples of how hard it is to sum up "intelligence" in a single metric like IQ. Suppose our task is to determine whether dogs are smarter than cats. As you say, we would probably go about doing this by "seeing what they can do." But what they can do varies wildly from one test to another.

    For example, if you give a caged dog or cat a string that's attached to a piece of food, most dogs will quickly figure out that they can get the food by pulling it toward them with the string. Very few cats will figure this out. On the other hand, if you put each animal on a leash that has been looped around a pole and then present the animal with a bowl of food that's just out of their reach, virtually any cat will quickly realize that they can reach the food if they walk around the pole to un-loop the leash. Very few dogs will ever figure this out, and will usually just pull at the leash indefinitely as they try to reach the food. So which is smarter? You can simply choose to put more weight on one test than the other, but your choice will be pretty arbitrary, won't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    How do you measure a dog's intelligence? Just see what they can do.
    Actually the field of animal intelligence provides good examples of how hard it is to sum up "intelligence" in a single metric like IQ. Suppose our task is to determine whether dogs are smarter than cats. As you say, we would probably go about doing this by "seeing what they can do." But what they can do varies wildly from one test to another.

    For example, if you give a caged dog or cat a string that's attached to a piece of food, most dogs will quickly figure out that they can get the food by pulling it toward them with the string. Very few cats will figure this out. On the other hand, if you put each animal on a leash that has been looped around a pole and then present the animal with a bowl of food that's just out of their reach, virtually any cat will quickly realize that they can reach the food if they walk around the pole to un-loop the leash. Very few dogs will ever figure this out, and will usually just pull at the leash indefinitely as they try to reach the food. So which is smarter? You can simply choose to put more weight on one test than the other, but your choice will be pretty arbitrary, won't it?
    What I had in mind was that a dog trainer will tell you that border collies are generally smarter than beagles. They may not have a rigorous scientific test, but it is still a useful concept for breeding and training dogs that can herd sheep. The trainer or breeder who tries to make a sheep dog out of a beagle, will probably not meet with success very often.
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    this might be more a reflection of how well the type of dog is willing to bend to the wishes of its owner
    sometimes i get the impression that we are more willing to grant the epithet "intelligent" to animals that exhibit more of characteristics we tend to associate with intelligence, i.e. the more they resemble our mindset
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What I had in mind was that a dog trainer will tell you that border collies are generally smarter than beagles. They may not have a rigorous scientific test, but it is still a useful concept for breeding and training dogs that can herd sheep. The trainer or breeder who tries to make a sheep dog out of a beagle, will probably not meet with success very often.
    I certainly agree that genes can affect abilities, I was just trying to point out how hard it is to sum up "intelligence" as a single number. You can certainly do it, but you'll probably have to more-or-less arbitrarily assign values to different types of cognitive tasks, and your results can vary wildly depending on how those values are assigned. Beagles might make bad sheep dogs, but does that mean they're less intelligent? Or just that they're bad at herding sheep?

    I think it's much more appropriate to talk about ability at specific types of tasks (memory, computational ability, spacial reasoning, pattern recognition, etc.) than "intelligence" in general.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    this might be more a reflection of how well the type of dog is willing to bend to the wishes of its owner
    Bending to the wishes of a dog's owner is a desirable trait for beagles as well as collies, so I think they would be equal, at least they would tend to be bred for that. I used to have beagles, and I hated when they didn't come when called. Especially if they were taking off chasing a deer. That could ruin a whole day's hunt.
    sometimes i get the impression that we are more willing to grant the epithet "intelligent" to animals that exhibit more of characteristics we tend to associate with intelligence, i.e. the more they resemble our mindset
    If people generally call those characteristics "intelligence" then that's what the word means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Beagles might make bad sheep dogs, but does that mean they're less intelligent? Or just that they're bad at herding sheep?
    I had a smart beagle once. He wasn't worth a damn. He figured out the rabbits were going to circle back to the hunters, so he would go and cut them off. Not good. Amusing, but not good. That's why they aren't bred for intelligence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I had a smart beagle once. He wasn't worth a damn. He figured out the rabbits were going to circle back to the hunters, so he would go and cut them off. Not good. Amusing, but not good. That's why they aren't bred for intelligence.
    We could use those terms more carefully. "Intelligence" is measurable with abstract tests, e.g. IQ tests. It's quantifiable. "Smart" is proven in real-world performance, often by re-framing the conditions. It's qualifiable.

    You've probably seen the movie Babe. While the champion sheepdogs were hyper intelligent to their timed task of herding sheep, the pig-sheepherder smartly asked the sheep to please march single file and so forth.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    While I agree with the questions in this thread about "what is intelligence" since it's such a loose and difficult to define concept, I'm somewhat surprised that nobody has asked "what is race?" There's where you find even more disagreement and confusion, and moreso where you find arbitrary and meaningless distinctions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    While I agree with the questions in this thread about "what is intelligence" since it's such a loose and difficult to define concept, I'm somewhat surprised that nobody has asked "what is race?" There's where you find even more disagreement and confusion, and moreso where you find arbitrary and meaningless distinctions.
    Let's define race as whatever it is that government agencies track in censuses, and whatever is recorded in various studies of income, employment, college admissions, etc. Things that are used to determine public policy. Because if it wasn't being used to determine public policy, there would be no reason for anybody to concern themselves with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Let's define race as whatever it is that government agencies track in censuses, and whatever is recorded in various studies of income, employment, college admissions, etc. Things that are used to determine public policy. Because if it wasn't being used to determine public policy, there would be no reason for anybody to concern themselves with it.
    I dated a girl some years back who had a white dad and a black mom. She was half and half. She hated those records and questions, and they practically never applied to her. She always had to falsely choose one or the other.

    Black? No, not quite.
    White? No, not quite.
    Hispanic? No.
    Indian? No.
    Asian? No.

    She always had to choose one, despite the fact that it was wrong. As I said, it's meaningless and arbitrary, and when you look at our genetics you can plainly see that we are often MUCH more closely related to people with different skin color than we are to people of the exact same shade.

    It's a garbage concept, and should be discarded for the meritless crap it is.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_%2...uman_beings%29
    Some argue that the taxonomic concept of race, although valid in regards to other species, does not (currently) apply to humans.[5] Many scientists have pointed out that traditional definitions of race are imprecise, arbitrary, have many exceptions, have many gradations, and that the numbers of races delineated vary according to the culture making the racial distinctions. Thus, those rejecting the notion of race typically do so on the grounds that such definitions and the categorizations which follow from them are contradicted by the results of genetic research.[6]
    5. http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36...ll/ng1455.html
    6. http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm
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    race is an example of incipient speciation through character displacement, a process that has been in progress for less than 200,000 years (when it comes to humans) and is now quickly being reversed in the melting pot that is the global village

    give it another 100 years and race as applied to humans will be virtually meaningless
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid
    Pretty much every legit study(which is very few) done on this has shown equal or near equal average intelligence.
    Would you care to elaborate on that statement. I found this on Wikipedia.

    American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs established a task force in 1995 to write a consensus statement on the state of intelligence research which could be used by all sides as a basis for discussion. The full text of the report is available through several websites. ... The task force agrees that large differences do exist between the average IQ scores of blacks and whites, and that these differences cannot be attributed to biases in test construction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...al_Association
    I never said anything that remotely doubts that. There is a IQ gap in black and white 'intelligence' in America. But the IQ test has been shown to be extremely subjective and there's a major gap in cultural views on educational in America. Like i said, every LEGITIMATE study done shows otherwise. When i say legitimate i mean every study that has the same cultural, economic, and education status with varying race. Look it up buddy ; ). I think you'll find i'm right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid
    Pretty much every legit study(which is very few) done on this has shown equal or near equal average intelligence.
    Would you care to elaborate on that statement. I found this on Wikipedia.

    American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs established a task force in 1995 to write a consensus statement on the state of intelligence research which could be used by all sides as a basis for discussion. The full text of the report is available through several websites. ... The task force agrees that large differences do exist between the average IQ scores of blacks and whites, and that these differences cannot be attributed to biases in test construction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...al_Association
    I never said anything that remotely doubts that. There is a IQ gap in black and white 'intelligence' in America. But the IQ test has been shown to be extremely subjective and there's a major gap in cultural views on educational in America. Like i said, every LEGITIMATE study done shows otherwise. When i say legitimate i mean every study that has the same cultural, economic, and education status with varying race. Look it up buddy ; ). I think you'll find i'm right.
    Well it does say "these differences cannot be attributed to biases in test construction."

    I did make an attempt to look it up. Please provide a link to the studies you are referring to. We could all go off and look things up on our own, but the idea of a science forum is to have a discussion about what we find.

    When you say the same cultural, economic and education status, are you saying rich blacks test the same as rich whites, and well educated blacks the same as well educated whites? I wouldn't doubt that, but it's a different question than the one that was posed, I think.
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    I'm no expert, but my understanding of largely mixed race Brazil is that the whites are the most prosperous community, while at the bottom are the blacks and the mixed race inhabitants of the favelas. I don't know if there is a comparison here with black townships in South Africa and even the old ghettos in the US. Further, I do not know if there is a relation between race and promiscuity, which to me suggests that a desire for money over a desire for children, is an influence on IQ. Going back to my original post, I was surprised a few years ago to witness in Hong Kong (a small, wealthy state with a large population density), what appeared to be literally a race for education among the young, and even not so young. Surely the point is, that if you are stimulated enough, you will raise your level of intelligence. Hong Kong is maybe not a good example, but female fertility there is just about the lowest in the world, less than one child per woman. Over the border in China the fertility rate is low because of the government encouraging only one child per family. The Chinese appear to be the most likely race to travel across the world for a good education.
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    First off, please, this is not meant to convey any kind of derogatory statement. I thought it would be funny and somewhat relevant to the discussion.



    Culture, as I see it, is indicative of how a community has adapted their social dynamics to the challenges they face. Minorities have emerged from an environment where academic achievement is not valued as much or have been difficult to go after. Survival in a cutthroat environment means people have to constantly live in a heightened emotional state and that, usually, makes it pretty difficult to give the intellectual component its fair share of brain time.

    The differences are not genetic, but cultural. Obviously.
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    And people tend to identify with - and then embody - subcultures. Now, every American knows how blacks and whites are supposed to talk, live, and think differently. It's explicitly defined e.g. on television often positively: pride.

    Skin colour happens to be a ready marker especially in America. Where no natural marker was forthcoming, people made up distinctions. So in pre-Columbian Americas we'd have genetically homogeneous villages segregated by totem into Raven People and Bear People, each with their stereotype attitudes, ways of solving problems etc. You could ochre your skin red, or chalk it white. Now in Japan we have a subculture of "blacks". They're Japanese of course, but thanks to tanning beds, afro perms, and American street fashion, they identify as black and black is what they're called. More than style, it identifies with a foreign mindset which those "blacks" cultivate.
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    Yes, this I don't understand:
    Why are some white people ashamed of their skin. They queue up outside tanning studios to wait for a slot on a sunbed, in order to turn their skin brown. Many of these are young women who are prepared to run the risk of skin cancer, and are aware of the dangers. Of course the high incidence of skin cancer can also be attributed to over exposure to the sun. So what is it about skin colour that you want to change it?
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    It's not about shame, ox. It's about appeal to potential mates. Potential mates often find well tanned skin to be attractive... it is often seen as a sign of health and physical fitness (as you get tan by working outside... at least in our evolutionary past)... and we all do things (whether consciously or unconsciously) to make our selves more appealing to potential mates... hence tanning is one way to do this.

    We do it to pick up mates, not out of shame. Shame only tends to come into it if you are failing at picking up mates, and you attribute your failure to your skin tone. Studies have confirmed that tan shades of skin are preferred by the general population, but there are always outliers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Potential mates often find well tanned skin to be attractive... it is often seen as a sign of health and physical fitness (as you get tan by working outside... at least in our evolutionary past)... and we all do things (whether consciously or unconsciously) to make our selves more appealing to potential mates... hence tanning is one way to do this.
    I don't agree. Tanning is potentially harmful to the skin and should not be looked upon as healthy. My brown skinned Asian girlfriend remarked that white skin is sexy, so beware of narrow statements. In my opinion, I think that Scandinavians, with their bleached looking white skin are some of the best looking people in the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms
    It is highly likely that different heritiges (that's different colours for the morons) coincides with different brain sizes/structures and intellects, if one group has had a more complex life, they will be genetically more intelligent, someone who hunts mammoth in winter, wolf in spring, picks berries in summer and all the while has to avoid other tribes will be genetically more intelligent than someone whose life consits of growing cows and eating them. it's just plain logical, the only reason people havn't said so already is it's 'offensive' to some
    You could easily restructure that and say that a heritage with the intelligence to realize how to cultivate plants and animals and make their lives much easier to live is "logically" smarter than one that never advanced beyond animal skins and throwing spears.

    Even if you want to talk about differing heritages, white Europeans are much more related to each other than any given African are likely to be. A black person from West Africa is no more related to a black person from East Africa than you are. All they have in common is the skin pigment. Besides the difficulties of measuring intelligence, the concept of a "black" heritage isn't much more meaningful than grouping all human beings born in the Eastern Hemisphere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    Yes, this I don't understand:
    Why are some white people ashamed of their skin. They queue up outside tanning studios to wait for a slot on a sunbed, in order to turn their skin brown. Many of these are young women who are prepared to run the risk of skin cancer, and are aware of the dangers. Of course the high incidence of skin cancer can also be attributed to over exposure to the sun. So what is it about skin colour that you want to change it?
    It's the same as women bleaching their hair blond. The object isn't blond hair; the object is to be blond. Blonds have more fun right? Likewise as they age and gray they'll dye their hair to be young again. Many women change hairstyle several times a day to project different images. They pose these identities in response to cultural stereotypes... and so perpetuate the stereotypes.

    I'd guess that IQ among 20-30 yr. olds who bleach their hair and work on their tans, averages much lower than those who dye their hair black and disdain the beach. These are groupings born of the same population mind you - they've just identified with opposite subcultures. So the habits of thought cultivated are either lazy or rigorous. Can you guess which group will reproduce better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Studies have confirmed that tan shades of skin are preferred by the general population, but there are always outliers.
    In western culture today. In some cultures a pale skin for a woman is evidence she does not need to labour outside in the hot sun. A similar logic was likely responsible for the preference for pale skin in medieval times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Even if you want to talk about differing heritages, white Europeans are much more related to each other than any given African are likely to be. A black person from West Africa is no more related to a black person from East Africa than you are. All they have in common is the skin pigment. Besides the difficulties of measuring intelligence, the concept of a "black" heritage isn't much more meaningful than grouping all human beings born in the Eastern Hemisphere.
    OTOH, if you took a sample of black persons in America, it is likely that a lot of them would be descended from slaves who came from the region that used to be called the Guinea Coast of Africa, and I think they would be fairly closely related.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    I don't agree. Tanning is potentially harmful to the skin and should not be looked upon as healthy.
    Right... because through the hundreds of thousands of years we've been evolving we always knew that excess exposure to the sun led to cancer. [/exasperation]

    You can disagree all you want. The general population finds tan skin sexier. As I said previously, there are always outliers, but it is the mean to which I am present referring.

    Tanning has nothing to do with shame, and everything to do with attempting to attract mates. That was the relevant theme nested in my post above.


    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    My brown skinned Asian girlfriend remarked that white skin is sexy, so beware of narrow statements.
    You quite obviously missed the qualifiers I was cautious to add to my post.










    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Studies have confirmed that tan shades of skin are preferred by the general population, but there are always outliers.
    In western culture today. In some cultures a pale skin for a woman is evidence she does not need to labour outside in the hot sun. A similar logic was likely responsible for the preference for pale skin in medieval times.
    In much the same way, a few short centuries ago plumpness in females was prized, as it indicated that she had access to resources and came from a well-to-do family.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Culture, as I see it, is indicative of how a community has adapted their social dynamics to the challenges they face. Minorities have emerged from an environment where academic achievement is not valued as much or have been difficult to go after. Survival in a cutthroat environment means people have to constantly live in a heightened emotional state and that, usually, makes it pretty difficult to give the intellectual component its fair share of brain time.

    The differences are not genetic, but cultural. Obviously.
    How obvious is it? Yes, there are plenty of cultural factors that could explain the differences, but genetics are also a pretty strong explanation - twin studies have indicated at least some genetic component for IQ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Culture, as I see it, is indicative of how a community has adapted their social dynamics to the challenges they face. Minorities have emerged from an environment where academic achievement is not valued as much or have been difficult to go after. Survival in a cutthroat environment means people have to constantly live in a heightened emotional state and that, usually, makes it pretty difficult to give the intellectual component its fair share of brain time.

    The differences are not genetic, but cultural. Obviously.
    How obvious is it? Yes, there are plenty of cultural factors that could explain the differences, but genetics are also a pretty strong explanation - twin studies have indicated at least some genetic component for IQ.
    Sure, between individuals, but not between different peoples.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Why would genetics be an explanation for the difference between person A and person B, but not for the difference between group A and group B?

    (Well, actually, one case would be where you expect A and B to have the same average genetic makeup, like North and South Korea or East and West Germany. But there are many more cases where the two groups have different ancestry, so there's no reason to expect them to have the same gene distributions.)
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    Well, because you get intelligent people in all populations. Distributions on intelligence, world wide, is MUCH more strongly correlated to the similarities in social dynamics than race.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Well, because you get intelligent people in all populations. Distributions on intelligence, world wide, is MUCH more strongly correlated to the similarities in social dynamics than race.
    Reference, please?
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    If you're wrong KALSTER then for everybody's safety we should fire all airline staff worldwide and let the intelligent people of Cathay Pacific take over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    If you're wrong KALSTER then for everybody's safety we should fire all airline staff worldwide and let the intelligent people of Cathay Pacific take over.
    I'd say that CP cabin crew probably ARE more intelligent than say AA or BA crew.
    That's beside the point though. Who won the last Maths Olympics? I seem to remember it was the China, by a distance. Which nation was the most advanced in medieval times. China. Which nation was the first to explore the world by sea? China. I think the Middle Kingdom will emerge as the ruling superpower.
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    Reference, please?
    I will reply to your request. I am a bit low on time, but I have been doing a bit of research. Sufficed to say that my "obviously" was a bit overzealous, but that genetic/hereditary factors do not seem to be required to account for the differences, though they are not discounted.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    [quote="Harold14370"][quote="Midgetmaid"][quote="Harold14370"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid


    When you say the same cultural, economic and education status, are you saying rich blacks test the same as rich whites, and well educated blacks the same as well educated whites? I wouldn't doubt that, but it's a different question than the one that was posed, I think.
    Yeah that's exactly what i'm saying. Which implies no or very little difference in genetic intelligence levels of the race as a whole. If you'd like i can put together some studies on the few legitimate (imo) studies done when i get time this weekend. But it sounds like where in agreement here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    If you're wrong KALSTER then for everybody's safety we should fire all airline staff worldwide and let the intelligent people of Cathay Pacific take over.
    I'd say that CP cabin crew probably ARE more intelligent than say AA or BA crew.
    That's beside the point though. Who won the last Maths Olympics? I seem to remember it was the China, by a distance. Which nation was the most advanced in medieval times. China. Which nation was the first to explore the world by sea? China. I think the Middle Kingdom will emerge as the ruling superpower.
    Which nation was most advanced well before the med-evil times? Which nation made the first mechanical calculator? Was the first to harness the power of steam? Which nation discovered the earth was round? The orbit of the planets? Nuclear power? DNA? You can go on for long long time. And it's all not china. Your looking at a little snip-it of time and making big judgment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgetmaid
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370


    When you say the same cultural, economic and education status, are you saying rich blacks test the same as rich whites, and well educated blacks the same as well educated whites? I wouldn't doubt that, but it's a different question than the one that was posed, I think.
    Yeah that's exactly what i'm saying. Which implies no or very little difference in genetic intelligence levels of the race as a whole.
    No, I don't think it implies that at all. It could mean that people of equal intelligence tend to reach similar economic status and a similar level of education. It says nothing about the distribution of the "bell curve" in any given population.

    If you'd like i can put together some studies on the few legitimate (imo) studies done when i get time this weekend. But it sounds like where in agreement here.
    No, we aren't.
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    Ok, first off let me introduce a few concepts and views:

    The Flynn effect

    "The secular, international increase in test scores, commonly called the Flynn effect, is seen by Flynn and others as reason to expect the eventual convergence of average black and white IQ scores. Flynn argues that the average IQ scores in several countries have increased about 3 points per decade during the 20th century, which he and others attribute predominantly to environmental causes.[50] This means, given the same test, the mean performance of African Americans today could be higher than the mean for white Americans in 1920, though the gains causing this appear to have occurred predominantly in the lower half of the IQ distribution.[5]"

    The Dickens-Flynn model (976k Pdf)

    Summary of the model by Wikipedia:

    "Dickens and Flynn[26] postulate that the arguments regarding the disappearance of the shared family environment should apply equally well to groups separated in time. This is contradicted by the Flynn effect. Changes here have happened too quickly to be explained by genetic heritable adaptation. This paradox can be explained by observing that the measure "heritability" includes both a direct effect of the genotype on IQ and also indirect effects where the genotype changes the environment, in turn affecting IQ. That is, those with a higher IQ tend to seek out stimulating environments that further increase IQ. The direct effect can initially have been very small but feedback loops can create large differences in IQ. In their model an environmental stimulus can have a very large effect on IQ, even in adults, but this effect also decays over time unless the stimulus continues (the model could be adapted to include possible factors, like nutrition in early childhood, that may cause permanent effects). The Flynn effect can be explained by a generally more stimulating environment for all people. The authors suggest that programs aiming to increase IQ would be most likely to produce long-term IQ gains if they taught children how to replicate outside the program the kinds of cognitively demanding experiences that produce IQ gains while they are in the program and motivate them to persist in that replication long after they have left the program."

    A Book: Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth

    "The book Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996) claims that it is not lower average intelligence that leads to the lower status of racial and ethnic minorities, it is instead their lower status that leads to their lower average intelligence test scores. To substantiate this claim, the book presents a table comparing social status or caste position with test scores and measures of school success in several countries around the world.[103] The authors note, however, that the comparisons made in the table do not represent the results of all relevant findings, nor do they reflect the fact that the tests and procedures varied greatly from study to study. The comparison of Jews and Arabs, for example, is based on a news report that, in 1992, 26% of Jewish high school students passed their matriculation exam, as opposed to 15% of Arab students.[103]"

    They provide this table:



    Summary of the book can be found HERE.

    A 2004 study showing the very strong effects level and quality of education can have on IQ test results.
    Abstract of : “Cross-cultural Effects on IQ Test Performance: A Review and Preliminary Normative Indications on WAIS-III Test Performance”

    “This article presents a review of cross-cultural influences on Wechsler IQ tests, together with a preliminary investigation into WAIS-III test performance (English administration) for a southern African sample (age range 19-30) stratified for white English first language and black African first language, level and quality of education. ('African language' is the term used to denote the indigenous languages of black populations in southern Africa). A two-way ANOVA revealed highly significant effects for both level and quality of education within the black African first language group. Scores for the white English and black African first language groups with advantaged education were comparable with the US standardization, whereas scores for black African first language participants with disadvantaged education were significantly lower than this. Thus indications from this research are that normative studies should take account of the influential variable of quality of education, in addition to level of education. Alternatively faulty conclusions may be drawn about the effects of ethnicity, with the potential for neuropsychological misdiagnosis.”



    My point is that it does not make sense for one race to be inherently genetically intellectually inferior to another. That is, I contend (with all else being equal), that in a totally racially blind world, tests of black children (say) raised by white parents (say) would give an equal IQ distribution between children of any colour. The "else" that is equal is the Dickens-Flynn model mostly.

    IQ is definitely heritable, but no verified “smart gene” has ever been found, much less tested for in any capacity ( Sternberg RJ, Grigorenko EL, Kidd KK. : Intelligence, race, and genetics. ). It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, but that genetic analysis is very limited and the results are at the least very tentative and at the worst not needed as part of the explanation ( Richard E. Nisbett : Heredity, Evironment, and Race differences in IQ. A Commentary on Rushton and Jensen (2005) ).

    Why would genetics be an explanation for the difference between person A and person B, but not for the difference between group A and group B?
    Because in the first case testing involves individuals with similar social dynamics to try and eliminate as many extra influences as possible, while in the second case all the factors are at play and the averages are over entire populations, which severely compromises the achievable scientific accuracy.

    Nothing is settled though and the field has researchers with methods of varying levels of scientific rigorousness on all sides. My personal opinion based on what I have read and my own observations and musings simply doesn’t point to any inherent intelligence divide between the races and IMO the available data can account for the variations without the need to do so.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    My point is that it does not make sense for one race to be inherently genetically intellectually inferior to another.
    I don't know why you would say that. I'd actually find it an amazing coincidence if the races just happened to be equal in intelligence, on average while having large differences between individuals. They apparently do not average out for various physical characteristics.
    IMO the available data can account for the variations without the need to do so.
    It appears you are biased in that you would put a burden of proof ("need to do so") on the theory of genetic difference, that you would not apply to the theory of environmental differences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    My point is that it does not make sense for one race to be inherently genetically intellectually inferior to another.
    I don't know why you would say that. I'd actually find it an amazing coincidence if the races just happened to be equal in intelligence, on average while having large differences between individuals.
    As I laid out several pages ago in this thread, the concept of race in humans is rather meaningless, arbitrary, and bereft of scientific or explanatory value.


    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology...b2/ramon2.html
    Vast new data in human biology have completely revamped the traditional notions of race. Race is a biological term that describes the DNA structure of an individual as a fixed attribute that cannot be changed. This idea is used in biology to discuss how different peoples adapt to environments and hence, making the term "race" have no scientific basis. Today most scientists reject the concept of race as a valid way of defining human beings. Researchers no longer believe that races are distinct biological categories created by differences in genes that people inherit from their ancestors. Genes vary, but not in the popular notion of black, white, yellow, red and brown races. Many biologist and anthropologists have concluded that race is a social, cultural and political concept based largely on superficial appearances. (4)

    In the past, races were identified by the imposition of discrete boundaries upon continuous and often discordant biological variation. The concept of race is therefore a historical construct and not one that provides either valid classification or an explanatory process. Popular everyday awareness of race is transmitted from generation to generation through cultural learning. Attributing race to an individual or a population amounts to applying a social and cultural label that lacks scientific consensus and supporting data.

    As an aside, it would also be nice if someone would show enough academic integrity to clarify their definition of "intelligence" as they casually toss around all of their misguided generalizations about melanin content in the skin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    As I laid out several pages ago in this thread, the concept of race in humans is rather meaningless, arbitrary, and bereft of scientific or explanatory value.
    And as I laid out, race is something that is officially recorded on government surveys. That is my defiinition of it. Is there a scientific reason that people who report their race as black on government surveys have, on average, equal mental abilities to those who report their race as white? I think that's a question we can discuss from a scientific viewpoint.

    From time to time, we see reported in the news that somebody has done a survey that says there is a persistent gap between white and black income, or college admissions, etc. The conclusion is that the cause is persistent racism. Is that a valid conclusion? I think it's a question worth discussing, no matter if it is a difficult subject. Otherwise the remedy applied could be wrong.
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    I don't know why you would say that. I'd actually find it an amazing coincidence if the races just happened to be equal in intelligence, on average while having large differences between individuals. They apparently do not average out for various physical characteristics.
    One reason is the Flynn effect. I quote again:

    "This means, given the same test, the mean performance of African Americans today could be higher than the mean for white Americans in 1920, though the gains causing this appear to have occurred predominantly in the lower half of the IQ distribution."

    That, to me, points towards a negligible and coincidental difference if the effects of the Dickens-Flynn model are also taken into account. These advancements happened in one or two generations; too short a time for genetics to make a huge difference.

    Another point is the ineffectiveness of IQ testing:

    "The very low IQ scores reported for sub-Saharan African populations are especially controversial. For example, Wicherts argues that the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is poorly measured and is more likely 78.[43] According to anthropologist Mark Cohen, the frequently reported African mean IQ of 70 is "preposterous". Using Western standards, this would mean that African countries evidencing such a low IQ would be largely dysfunctional. Given that individuals in these countries lead "vibrant artistic, symbolic and spiritual lives", this is, according to Cohen, clearly not the case. Thus, he concludes, the IQ test results from Africa do not reflect actual intelligence levels.[44]"

    It appears you are biased in that you would put a burden of proof ("need to do so") on the theory of genetic difference, that you would not apply to the theory of environmental differences.
    I am not biased. Like I said, the study of this topic is ongoing. At the moment the evidence points towards a negligible inherent genetic component, while the Dickens-Flynn model, if correct, points towards social dynamics affecting genetic factors, not the other way around. The nature of evidence has to also be taken into account. The field is not as evidentiary straightforward as physics for example. Intelligence testing is demonstrably vague and not encompassing, while the definition and range of intelligence itself is not even settled yet. Genetics could in principle come up with fairly unambiguous data, but it hasn't done so yet.

    Nothing is proven. Social dynamics simply has the preponderance of evidence on its side. I am also not adopting this stance simply in an effort to be politically correct. It is just what makes the most sense to me at the moment.

    Plus: What inow said. :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    "This means, given the same test, the mean performance of African Americans today could be higher than the mean for white Americans in 1920, though the gains causing this appear to have occurred predominantly in the lower half of the IQ distribution."

    That, to me, points towards a negligible and coincidental difference if the effects of the Dickens-Flynn model are also taken into account. These advancements happened in one or two generations; too short a time for genetics to make a huge difference.
    Which still does not mean there is no genetic difference, only that there are other factors besides.
    Another point is the ineffectiveness of IQ testing:

    "The very low IQ scores reported for sub-Saharan African populations are especially controversial. For example, Wicherts argues that the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is poorly measured and is more likely 78.[43] According to anthropologist Mark Cohen, the frequently reported African mean IQ of 70 is "preposterous". Using Western standards, this would mean that African countries evidencing such a low IQ would be largely dysfunctional. Given that individuals in these countries lead "vibrant artistic, symbolic and spiritual lives", this is, according to Cohen, clearly not the case. Thus, he concludes, the IQ test results from Africa do not reflect actual intelligence levels.[44]"
    All right, that means it is hard to measure, not that it does not exist.
    It appears you are biased in that you would put a burden of proof ("need to do so") on the theory of genetic difference, that you would not apply to the theory of environmental differences.
    I am not biased. Like I said, the study of this topic is ongoing. At the moment the evidence points towards a negligible inherent genetic component,
    I haven't seen where it does.
    while the Dickens-Flynn model, if correct, points towards social dynamics affecting genetic factors, not the other way around.
    Social dynamics cannot affect genetics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Social dynamics cannot affect genetics.
    So Darwin was wasting his time when he spoke about sexual selection?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Social dynamics cannot affect genetics.
    So Darwin was wasting his time when he spoke about sexual selection?
    Good point, but that's nothing to do with the Dickens-Flynn model.
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    Agreed. (Actually, since I don't know the Dicken's Flynn model I'm just accepting your word. You wouldn't lie to me would you Harold? :wink: )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Agreed. (Actually, since I don't know the Dicken's Flynn model I'm just accepting your word. You wouldn't lie to me would you Harold? :wink: )
    I don't know anything about it either, except what Kalster described in an earlier post:
    the measure "heritability" includes both a direct effect of the genotype on IQ and also indirect effects where the genotype changes the environment, in turn affecting IQ. That is, those with a higher IQ tend to seek out stimulating environments that further increase IQ.
    This does not say there is no effect of the genotype on IQ, nor does it say the environment affects the genotype.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    race is something that is officially recorded on government surveys. That is my defiinition of it. Is there a scientific reason that people who report their race as black on government surveys have, on average, equal mental abilities to those who report their race as white?
    Well, when you pose the question that way, the answer is really rather straight forward. The reason people have, on average, equal mental abilities is because there are (on average) no real neurobiological or cognitive differences which can be delineated merely based on the melanin content in their skin.

    You should know that VERY often when walking down the street you (as a white man) are more closely related to people with dark skin than to others with pale skin which more closely resembles your own.

    Finally, just because the government asks you what your "race" is, and lists some arbitrary group of categories from which to choose, that does not ipso facto mandate that those categories have any scientific value, or that characteristics such as intelligence and probability of success on a flawed (IQ) test can be reasonably predicted from those arbitrary divisions.
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    [quote="inow"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The reason people have, on average, equal mental abilities is because there are (on average) no real neurobiological or cognitive differences which can be delineated merely based on the melanin content in their skin.
    A horse's coloration has nothing to do with its running ability, yet I can reliably predict that the winner of the Kentucky Derby will not be a pinto, and will probably be brown. How am I able to do that?
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    Probably because the color of the skin has no impact on their ability to run, and you are relying on other information and completely unrelated traits to inform your prediction on how they will perform in a race. I'm not sure I follow the relevance of your point, Harold.

    This isn't some third rail issue I'm trying to avoid, mate. It's a basic issue of accuracy and understanding. Most people's understanding is inaccurate when it comes to the concept of race in humans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Probably because the color of the skin has no impact on their ability to run, and you are relying on other information and completely unrelated traits to inform your prediction on how they will perform in a race. I'm not sure I follow the relevance of your point, Harold.
    No. I am relying on the horse's color, not any other information. I can look at a pinto and tell that he cannot win the Kentucky Derby. I cannot say the same thing about a brown horse. How am I able to do this? The color does not cause the running ability, but color and running ability are correlated by the genetic heritage of the horse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    The reason people have, on average, equal mental abilities is because there are (on average) no real neurobiological or cognitive differences which can be delineated merely based on the melanin content in their skin.
    Is the fact that people have equal mental abilities on average really a fact? Some data (here too, but it's unsourced) suggests it may not be the case - or at least, it seems pretty reasonable to doubt that groups of people have equal mental abilities.

    Yes, in theory melanin skin content does not result in less intelligence. But that doesn't mean the two can't be correlated to a third factor (discrimination or ancestry or both). Dark skin is also correlated with kinky hair (especially in Europe and the US; less in India), yet I'd be surprised if it was the same gene responsible for both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    a brown horse
    How about a brown dog? Are brown dogs good runners? The point inow made was that you have many traits besides colour, and the majority of them have no connection to it. Intelligence genes, if they exist, are as likely to correlate with melanin as earlobe shape. So maybe you can find your "breeds" but you'll have to look for traits besides colour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    Is the fact that people have equal mental abilities on average really a fact? Some data (here too, but it's unsourced) suggests it may not be the case - or at least, it seems pretty reasonable to doubt that groups of people have equal mental abilities.
    Indeed, but please note that I was quoting Harold's comment and responding directly to that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Is there a scientific reason that people who report their race as black on government surveys have, on average, equal mental abilities to those who report their race as white?

    Cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    a brown horse
    How about a brown dog? Are brown dogs good runners?
    No. Grey ones are, or at least they are more likely to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    a brown horse
    How about a brown dog? Are brown dogs good runners?
    No. Grey ones are, or at least they are more likely to be.
    My greyhound is not gray, and he's faster than most gray and brown dogs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Grey ones are (fast) or at least they are more likely to be.
    Hold on. Are you suggesting that because champion racers are often grey, a random grey dog is likely to be fast as well? If so I'd better urge my wife to mind her weight, because the sumo blood runs through her veins.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Grey ones are (fast) or at least they are more likely to be.
    Hold on. Are you suggesting that because champion racers are often grey, a random grey dog is likely to be fast as well? If so I'd better urge my wife to mind her weight, because the sumo blood runs through her veins.
    No, not at alll. Actually grey was a bad example. Greyhounds come in all different colors. But back to the brown horses. I'll make you a bet on next year's Kentucky Derby, without even knowing what horses are running. I'll take brown. You can have all the other colors combined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The point inow made was that you have many traits besides colour, and the majority of them have no connection to it. Intelligence genes, if they exist, are as likely to correlate with melanin as earlobe shape.
    I have zero knowledge of earlobe shape, but I would be quite surprised if they were distributed the same way among human populations are already known to have many genetic differences.

    More generally, once you have populations that have evolved independently enough to have many obvious genetic differences, it seems reasonable to assume that they may have other less-obvious genetic differences (like blood groups, or proportion of left-handed people). That doesn't mean that any difference is genetic in origin, mind you.

    (Hmm, some quick googling didn't tell me whether left-handedness was rarer or more common in different parts of the world)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    I have zero knowledge of earlobe shape, but I would be quite surprised if they were distributed the same way among human populations are already known to have many genetic differences.

    More generally, once you have populations that have evolved independently enough to have many obvious genetic differences, it seems reasonable to assume that they may have other less-obvious genetic differences (like blood groups, or proportion of left-handed people). That doesn't mean that any difference is genetic in origin, mind you.
    Very little is distributed evenly across the globe, you're right. Moreover, almost nothing is neatly distributed with skin colour, except skin colour. Why white supremacists won't commit themselves to any physical trait besides "white": Within their "pure white race" appears every trait imaginable plus pale skin. Of all the irrelevant traits to favour! Anyway, yes blood group etc. have their regions. No one trait neatly copies another trait's boundaries though. Some are splotched around the map, and some are diffused, and there are just so many human traits, that our arbitrary groupings always prove overlapped and riddled with exceptions.

    One begins to find neater sets of traits in smaller, isolated populations. If you zoom down to stone age lakeshore you'll find homogeneous groups of maybe a few families, not quite inbred to destruction. Finally you can zoom to parent and child, then to siblings. That's the limit (not counting identical twins), yet even between siblings of the same parents we find diversity.
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    Sickle cell trait is another example. It occurs mostly in West Africa because it confers some immunity to malaria which is prevalent in the area. It has nothing to do with skin color, and can be found in other populations; however the population of West Africa is predominantly black. Many blacks in America have West African heritage.

    If we find that Americans with black skin are more likely than whites to have sickle cell trait, do we go start looking for environmental reasons?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    But back to the brown horses. I'll make you a bet on next year's Kentucky Derby, without even knowing what horses are running. I'll take brown. You can have all the other colors combined.
    Okay, Harold. I'll bite.

    How do you know that a brown horse will win the next Derby, and why is this relevant to a discussion about skin color and intelligence? Are you suggesting that you can also tell how smart someone is based on the shade of their skin? If not, then please clarify.




    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Sickle cell trait is another example. It occurs mostly in West Africa because it confers some immunity to malaria which is prevalent in the area. It has nothing to do with skin color, and can be found in other populations; however the population of West Africa is predominantly black. Many blacks in America have West African heritage.

    If we find that Americans with black skin are more likely than whites to have sickle cell trait, do we go start looking for environmental reasons?
    Ermmm... Harold... The sickle cell trait IS due to environmental reasons, regardless if it's found in people with dark or light skin or where those individuals reside (while its genetically passed, it's the environment which selects for it, ergo the environment is precisely where we should start looking). This is getting rather silly with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    But back to the brown horses. I'll make you a bet on next year's Kentucky Derby, without even knowing what horses are running. I'll take brown. You can have all the other colors combined.
    Okay, Harold. I'll bite.

    How do you know that a brown horse will win the next Derby, and why is this relevant to a discussion about skin color and intelligence? Are you suggesting that you can also tell how smart someone is based on the shade of their skin? If not, then please clarify.
    I can predict that a brown horse is more likely to win the derby because thoroughbred horses are bred for racing and happen to be predominantly brown. I am simply pointing out that a trait can be correlated with another trait, without being the cause of said trait. Are you disagreeing with that? We need to be able to agree on simple concepts if we are to make any progress in this discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Sickle cell trait is another example. It occurs mostly in West Africa because it confers some immunity to malaria which is prevalent in the area. It has nothing to do with skin color, and can be found in other populations; however the population of West Africa is predominantly black. Many blacks in America have West African heritage.

    If we find that Americans with black skin are more likely than whites to have sickle cell trait, do we go start looking for environmental reasons?
    Ermmm... Harold... The sickle cell trait IS due to environmental reasons, regardless if it's found in people with dark or light skin or where those individuals reside (while its genetically passed, it's the environment which selects for it, ergo the environment is precisely where we should start looking). This is getting rather silly with you.
    But you wouldn't look for an environmental cause in America, would you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    If we find that Americans with black skin are more likely than whites to have sickle cell trait, do we go start looking for environmental reasons?
    Ermmm... Harold... The sickle cell trait IS due to environmental reasons, regardless if it's found in people with dark or light skin or where those individuals reside (while its genetically passed, it's the environment which selects for it, ergo the environment is precisely where we should start looking).
    That's a quite unusual concept of "environmental"; usually in this context environmental is used as opposed to "genetic". By the definition you seem to be using, everything is environmental.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I am simply pointing out that a trait can be correlated with another trait, without being the cause of said trait. Are you disagreeing with that?
    No, not at all. As I tried to point out earlier in this thread, though, the "race" distinction is sociocultural, not so much biological.

    All of this talk about horses, and dogs, and sickle cell anemia/malarial resistance is getting us far off-topic.

    Let's define "intelligence" and how we plan to measure it. That would help.
    Then, let's collectively realize that "race" is not applied to humans in the way many posters to this thread are trying suggest (it's not like breeds in dogs).

    After that, we seem to agree that, on average, cognitive abilities are largely the same across humanity, and that melanin content of the skin is an arbitrary and rather meaningless divide to try making when discussing mental aptitudes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    By the definition you seem to be using, everything is environmental.
    An argument could rather easily be made that this is true, but again... That's profoundly off-topic at this point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I am simply pointing out that a trait can be correlated with another trait, without being the cause of said trait. Are you disagreeing with that?
    No, not at all. As I tried to point out earlier in this thread, though, the "race" distinction is sociocultural, not so much biological.

    All of this talk about horses, and dogs, and sickle cell anemia/malarial resistance is getting us far off-topic.

    Let's define "intelligence" and how we plan to measure it. That would help.
    Then, let's collectively realize that "race" is not applied to humans in the way many posters to this thread are trying suggest (it's not like breeds in dogs).
    In what way do you feel that it is different, other than the fact that dogs are bred intentionally and humans evolve by natural selection?
    After that, we seem to agree that, on average, cognitive abilities are largely the same across humanity,
    No, I don't think that's been established.
    and that melanin content of the skin is an arbitrary and rather meaningless divide to try making when discussing mental aptitudes.
    Except that it could possibly be correlated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In what way do you feel that it is different, other than the fact that dogs are bred intentionally and humans evolve by natural selection?
    Breed is usually understood to be a specialized type, for a certain purpose (like shepherds, hounds, etc.). Same with horses (draft, quarter, thoroughbred) and cows (dairy versus beef cattle). Humans are not specialized in that way.


    The different adaptations of humans are a result of environmental pressures being exerted over long periods of time, but these adaptations have not led to "specializations" or such stark differences as we see in something like dogs. Nearly any human, with some instruction and a small amount of experience can do all of the same things that other humans who genetically present different adaptations can do. Human abilities and traits are very generalized, hence I would argue that the concept of "breed" does not apply. Further, I feel that you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate some sort of difference in specializations between groups of different skin colors that was not a direct result of their environment (i.e. unrelated to their skin color).

    Even if you disagree, and you find the terms "breed" and "race" to be equivalent, the concept of race is essentially without utility. A meaningless sociocultural distinction.

    I feel like I'm repeating myself, though. I'm getting kind of bored with this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Even if you disagree, and you find the terms "breed" and "race" to be equivalent, the concept of race is essentially without utility. A meaningless sociocultural distinction.
    Isn't it at least useful to doctors who are diagnosing genetic diseases like Sickle-cell anemia? Surely the knowledge that such-and-such disease is more common in such-and-such population is useful, no?
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    Maybe I'm getting too tied around the wheel in semantics, but population is one thing... Race and Breed quite another (in that neither apply very well to humans, but you CAN identify populations in humans using other means).
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    Self-described "race" may not be the "best" characterization, but it's the one used in the most data. Possibly, other ways of dividing things up would be "better" (though I'm not sure which criterion should define whether a division is better or not), but we don't have nearly as much data for them.
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    I suggest that race in America is a special case. Because until the Latinos arrived it was basically two segregated melting pots. The result is "whites" and "blacks" mixed of every background imaginable so long as it was "pure white" or "pure black" respectively. Of course this didn't purify anybody! Quite the opposite.

    Contrast Vancouver 10 miles north of the border. The blacks here, are quite likely to tell you just where they were born in Africa, or the Caribbean, or which part of London. It just makes no sense to lump them in a group... except perhaps the American blacks who each carry the ubiquitous gene of their nation, which we needn't specify. :P

    In my experience the children who excel academically are of recent immigrants, or they themselves immigrated. Children of second and acclimatized first generations fill out the middle. The older groups (in my city they're a minority) to be blunt: comprise the bulk of trash. I think it's a false sense of security on the part of rooted people, or, fear of the unknown on the part of immigrants.

    In high-school we used to deride the FOB geeks. They'd all get scholarships. "We" being mostly Chinese, just not FOB Chinese.

    Does that apply to America? If so, which groups or "races" include most recent immigration? How much does this skew the race comparisons?
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    The ultimate taboo question, I think, must be has any extant race got left behind on the tree of life? Genetics would suggest no, I'm told. But there is the implication that after homo sapiens left Africa, they somehow wiped out the Neanderthals, maybe by a virus or by outcompeting them for food. Homo Erectus might have suffered a similar fate. Did the emigrants, by outmanoeuvring the rest, climb to the top of the tree?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Contrast Vancouver 10 miles north of the border. The blacks here, are quite likely to tell you just where they were born in Africa, or the Caribbean, or which part of London. It just makes no sense to lump them in a group...
    And that's precisely the point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    The ultimate taboo question, I think, must be has any extant race got left behind on the tree of life? Genetics would suggest no, I'm told. But there is the implication that after homo sapiens left Africa, they somehow wiped out the Neanderthals, maybe by a virus or by outcompeting them for food. Homo Erectus might have suffered a similar fate. Did the emigrants, by outmanoeuvring the rest, climb to the top of the tree?


    I thought the Thing in the closet is who screwed who. Sapiens and Neanderthal, Sapiens and Hobbit (Floresiensis), others? Indiscreet fingers have been pointed. The correct thing to say is that we're all purely, simply one species and always have been. Those others weren't assimilated, they just um, disappeared.

    To that polite end we'd like to think of Homo Sapiens "appearing" ready-made in Africa and parting by arrows drawn upon a map. But this distracts from any mix-n-matching going on, blending back and forth to yield the present homogeneity. It says that our diversity owes to genetic separation, and we've spent our time on Earth working away from homogeneity: ergo racism is normal and natural.

    Is the concept of homo sapiens species racist? Suppose Hobbits still live in the jungle (plausible). And they want to wear our hats, imitate our speech, ogle our cleavage? If interbreeding is technically possible...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Let's define "intelligence" and how we plan to measure it. That would help.
    What's the use of a new definition if you don't have any data to go with it? What's wrong with IQ? It may not be a perfect but I suspect that's because such a perfect measure doesn't exist (because "intelligence" itself is a somewhat fuzzy concept).

    By the way, here's a recent blog post by Steve Hsu that discusses how useful IQ is as a measure.

    Do you have a better measure to offer? IQ seems "good enough" to me, both because it roughly maps to the concept of "intelligence" (as much as is possible for such a fuzzy concept), and because there is a good deal of existing data about it.
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  97. #96  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The correct thing to say is that we're all purely, simply one species and always have been.
    If you are a creationist, you might say that. It's not a very scientific statement, though.
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  98. #97  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    What's the use of a new definition if you don't have any data to go with it?
    I'm not asking for a "new" definition, DrNesbit... I'm asking for ANY definition. As you stipulated yourself... intelligence is a "fuzzy" concept. It would sure be nice to know what people are referring to as they continue to make these broad sweeping generalizations.

    http://psychology.about.com/od/cogni...telligence.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    What's wrong with IQ? It may not be a perfect but I suspect that's because such a perfect measure doesn't exist (because "intelligence" itself is a somewhat fuzzy concept).
    I never asked for a "perfect" measure. I asked for a definition of what people are describing as "intelligence," and attempted to call attention to the faults and limitations of the intelligence quotient (IQ).


    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    Do you have a better measure to offer?
    You might try the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, the Cognitive Assessment System, or even the Kaufman Assessment Battery (just to name a few). Either way, as I've tried to make clear above, how you test it depends almost entirely on how you define it.



    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    IQ seems "good enough" to me
    Well, that makes one of us.


    Here's something I found which speaks more directly to the threads OP:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-ag..._b_160704.html
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    Forum Freshman DrNesbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The correct thing to say is that we're all purely, simply one species and always have been.
    If you are a creationist, you might say that. It's not a very scientific statement, though.
    Why? We fit the usual definition of "species" pretty well, don't we?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The correct thing to say is that we're all purely, simply one species and always have been.
    If you are a creationist, you might say that. It's not a very scientific statement, though.
    Why? We fit the usual definition of "species" pretty well, don't we?
    "Always have been"? I thought we evolved.
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The correct thing to say is that we're all purely, simply one species and always have been.
    As in politically correct.

    Sure we fit the definition of species. Basically any male and female Sapiens can have fertile offspring.

    I was pointing out that this is not a straight and narrow path. The ethics are easier if we think our ancestry followed one clean line through all those hominids, gaining not losing diversity over time. So we say Neanderthal oh no that's a totally different species we never mated with those. Or like Ox suggested if something branched off it died out. I suspect rather we've been diversifying and re-converging. Not as different species incapable of breeding, of course, but as heterogeneous assortment of hominids.

    Picture the line as a messy-stranded rope, with some bits flopped out and tucked back in again in due course.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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