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Thread: Race and Technology

  1. #1 Race and Technology 
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    Probably going to get banned for this but...
    Why is it that western countries have such more advanced technologies than those in Africa. In other words, if countries in places like the Middle East or Africa have had civilizations there longer than anywhere else on the planet, why is it that England, America, Russia, and other westernized countries advanced through technology and science so much faster. I can't see any logical reason why these people were so much quicker at getting, to bluntly state, smart. In the 1600's, when the Europeans were sailing around the world doing whatever they wanted, why was it that African cultures were still using spears and stuck on the land? It doesn't make any sense. Not to offend, but, are these races just unintelligent? This brings the thread stating the average IQ or Asian and European races as being 100+ into question. Please help me here.


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    See this thread.
    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Why-d...ard-20638t.php


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    That didn't answer my question. :? I won't to know why DIDN'T those other civilizations move forward. Why was everyone else so much faster? If they had been as fast maybe Nigeria wouldn't be filled with internet id thieves right now.
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    Look up "Maslow's hierarchy of needs." In sum, if you spend all of your time struggling to find food and shelter and not die from bugs or bacteria, you don't have a lot of time left to practice advanced calculus or for the academic consideration of existential philosophies and the vagaries of life.

    Give them food and safety and their technology and intelligence will advance accordingly. It has nothing to do with "race" (which is itself a rather questionable concept when you attempt to apply it to humans with different skin colors or religious backgrounds).
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    There were times in history when Africa, Asia, and the Middle East were more advanced than Europe. The thing is that Europeans managed to successfully impose global hegemony during their peek. Once you control how nations interact, you can manipulate the international system to maintain your position on top. It is then a self-reinforcing cycle, the hegemony continuously exploits the weaker states to make themselves more powerful, so the gap gets ever larger.
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  7. #6  
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    Some cultures promoted individual excellence... at some cost. So the people more aggressively improved themselves in terms of education, productivity, income. I think you'll notice Africans have other values, like family, community, and of course children. Either way has pros and cons. If you want to see a bitching neurotic slap a child, England's where you want to go.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Europeans only became advanced in technology after they encouraged science and technology in their culture. Prior to that technology remained nearly the same for thousands of years.

    It could have been that people had TVs in ancient China, India, or Greece, or wherever if in ancient times they had encouraged science and technology, and used the scientific method.

    It doesn't have to do with race or ethnicity
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  9. #8 Re: Race and Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsantiago501
    Probably going to get banned for this but...
    Why is it that western countries have such more advanced technologies than those in Africa. In other words, if countries in places like the Middle East or Africa have had civilizations there longer than anywhere else on the planet, why is it that England, America, Russia, and other westernized countries advanced through technology and science so much faster. I can't see any logical reason why these people were so much quicker at getting, to bluntly state, smart. In the 1600's, when the Europeans were sailing around the world doing whatever they wanted, why was it that African cultures were still using spears and stuck on the land? It doesn't make any sense. Not to offend, but, are these races just unintelligent? This brings the thread stating the average IQ or Asian and European races as being 100+ into question. Please help me here.
    Pick up a history book son, you can't have another race tell the history of another. Go to the source and ask those nations the reason. If you can't kill with your bare hands or aren't skilled with a sword, you find another way to take land(guns).

    Climate is another factor, why would someone want to build a road with cars and airports that pollute the world, you call that moving forward? Some technology is useful while others are meaningless. Are you aware of the human requirements for living? People don't die because they don't have a Mercedes benz and a 4 room house, that's just want and excess.

    If food sources and peace from war and dictatorship was worldwide, this would be a better place to live.
    Can human minds gain another sense?
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  10. #9 Re: Race and Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunlight7
    Pick up a history book son, you can't have another race tell the history of another. Go to the source and ask those nations the reason. If you can't kill with your bare hands or aren't skilled with a sword, you find another way to take land(guns).
    How would this explain a lack of technological development?
    Climate is another factor, why would someone want to build a road with cars and airports that pollute the world, you call that moving forward?
    Are you suggesting that the persons living in underdeveloped countries prefer it that way?
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  11. #10 Re: Race and Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by sunlight7
    Pick up a history book son, you can't have another race tell the history of another. Go to the source and ask those nations the reason. If you can't kill with your bare hands or aren't skilled with a sword, you find another way to take land(guns).
    How would this explain a lack of technological development?
    Climate is another factor, why would someone want to build a road with cars and airports that pollute the world, you call that moving forward?
    Are you suggesting that the persons living in underdeveloped countries prefer it that way?
    I'm done, this forum is pathetic! What do you define underdeveloped? If 75% of a country is starving, some action in history had to effect it. Computers weren't around when cures for diseases were discovered. Since I'm actually thinking I'll leave this post with this: the past explains a future circumstance.
    Can human minds gain another sense?
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Look up "Maslow's hierarchy of needs." In sum, if you spend all of your time struggling to find food and shelter and not die from bugs or bacteria, you don't have a lot of time left to practice advanced calculus or for the academic consideration of existential philosophies and the vagaries of life.

    Give them food and safety and their technology and intelligence will advance accordingly. It has nothing to do with "race" (which is itself a rather questionable concept when you attempt to apply it to humans with different skin colors or religious backgrounds).
    This post is uninformed and slightly ignorant, though the point made is not completely dismissible.

    The Khoisan live a relatively primitive lifestyle, not advanced at all by modern standards, but many of their population live well into their 70's, and they were great with sustenance; a few farmers could provide for many. Needless to say, they had a lot of free time to roam think, build, etc. This is not what has been observed, as they are still primitive and actually in conflict over land.

    I could create a large list as to why these people didn't advance technologically, but the key thing to understand is that they don't exactly have an educational tradition and culture itself can work against development/change; in such cases, the agents of change resistance are too strong.

    The list is much longer and I can elaborate more if anyone needs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronman
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Look up "Maslow's hierarchy of needs." In sum, if you spend all of your time struggling to find food and shelter and not die from bugs or bacteria, you don't have a lot of time left to practice advanced calculus or for the academic consideration of existential philosophies and the vagaries of life.

    Give them food and safety and their technology and intelligence will advance accordingly. It has nothing to do with "race" (which is itself a rather questionable concept when you attempt to apply it to humans with different skin colors or religious backgrounds).
    This post is uninformed and slightly ignorant, though the point made is not completely dismissible.

    The Khoisan live a relatively primitive lifestyle, not advanced at all by modern standards, but many of their population live well into their 70's, and they were great with sustenance; a few farmers could provide for many.
    Well... speaking of ignorance, it seems apparent you didn't understand my post, nor the hierarchy I referenced. Since the people you reference had ready access to food, they were able to focus on higher thoughts.

    The concept is not one which relates to advance or progress of a culture, but instead to difficulty of the individual in obtaining the basic resources of survival. As per your own post, the base resources of survival were readily available to the Khoisan people.

    Again... it's not about society as a whole, but the individual. While you may arbitrarily label their society as primitive since it does not meet your personal subjective standard, the individuals had the ability to focus on higher thoughts since they were not forced to spend all of their time in a desperate attempt to find food, evade predators, or secure shelter. The point is that what you seem to consider primitive doesn't meet the criteria outlined by the OP, since that was very specific to the general inhabitant of Africa versus the general inhabitant of the United States.


    If the lower levels of the period are not satisfied, the human cannot realistically climb to the higher ones.


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  14. #13 Re: Race and Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsantiago501
    Probably going to get banned for this but...
    Why is it that western countries have such more advanced technologies than those in Africa. In other words, if countries in places like the Middle East or Africa have had civilizations there longer than anywhere else on the planet, why is it that England, America, Russia, and other westernized countries advanced through technology and science so much faster. I can't see any logical reason why these people were so much quicker at getting, to bluntly state, smart. In the 1600's, when the Europeans were sailing around the world doing whatever they wanted, why was it that African cultures were still using spears and stuck on the land? It doesn't make any sense. Not to offend, but, are these races just unintelligent? This brings the thread stating the average IQ or Asian and European races as being 100+ into question. Please help me here.
    You don't seem to understand much about culture, history, society, anthropology, etc. It be beneficial for you to educate yourself

    I don't feel like thoroughly refute your post so I'll make a few quick points.

    A critical factor in the apparent sophistication of Europe is simple, cultural diffusion. A lot of groups in Europe and near benefited from this massive cultural diffusion. True to say, if Rome had as much influence over Africa in its day, you wouldn't have asked the question. I find it ridiculous to even think Europeans are an elite group.

    That argument would make sense if most groups in Europe were productive, individually; that's not the case. Mediterranean civilizations did much of the work, and the other, non productive groups in Europe were lucky to benefit from their advancements. Its called cultural diffusion dude, the idea of European cultural superiority is laughable, when most of them are hybrids whose original culture was considered barbaric and uncivilized by the Romans who conquered them.

    There are many reasons for Africa's troubles, they have nothing to do with race. You should read or watch Guns, Germs, and Steel.
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  15. #14 Re: Race and Technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronman
    There are many reasons for Africa's troubles, they have nothing to do with race.
    Agreed. This point is QFT.
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    Probably going to get banned for this but...
    Why is it that western countries have such more advanced technologies than those in Africa.
    Why would anyone expect to get banned for asking such an interesting and obviously important question?

    Unless, of course, they were planning on answering it by retailing some kind of dumbass racial bigotry and ignorant presumptions of human character derived from the US cultural practice of racial classification by skin color.

    The question has many answers both established and potential, or maybe one very complicated and incomplete answer as summarized to date by Jared Diamond in his book "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

    But such real answers wouldn't get anyone banned in a forum like this.
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  17. #16  
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    inow's response to this deliciously patronising post from chronman

    This post is uninformed and slightly ignorant, though the point made is not completely dismissible.
    was itself uncharacteristically restrained by inow's standards. It bore the hallmarks of an expert laying a skillfull trap for an over confident neophyte.

    Ringside seats are available for all. This could be good.
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    I was going to make a post, but deleted it. There was no trap or anything of the sort, sit down kid.

    Its interesting to see inow has at least one fellator though.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronman
    I was going to make a post, but deleted it.
    On behalf of the members I offer you sincere thanks for such a selfless act.

    Its interesting to see inow has at least one fellator though.
    I think you'll find the sucker here is you.
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  20. #19  
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    Two things :

    (off-topic) :Sometimes during an exchange of arguments, the wisest argument is to keep silence and not say anything at all. It gives you time to think better, what has been said, what can be said or what you can say afterwards. During that process of thinking, maybe other individuals can participate in that exchange of ideas, that can also help you and give you a diferent perspective of what is being argued. We all make mistakes sometimes and we also say things wrong, it is part of our own imperfection. Most of the time, when you hear what you don`t want to hear or you dislike it, anger in you arises, and with anger you don`t think objectively and you loose the cappacity to think with reason and most likely, if you reply, you`ll end up saying wrong things, which after a while you will regret of saying them.
    As said before in another completely diferent context, "let anyone accept this who can" :wink:

    Back to the OP : Imho, there is also the matter of the personal needs by diferent cultures. What is considered as development in one culture, maybe can be considered, as a lack of it, in another. Probably African cultures don`t consider technology development important for their personal needs. To them, as said by another member in this thread, what is valuable, is family, religion and other forms of self nourishment, not comprehended by western european standards. Maybe they think that we (I`m also from this part of the world, western societies), are the ones who are underdeveloped, giving importance to matters that don`t have importance according to their standards.
    It`s funny though, once you think about it.
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    Scientific and technological development has always been based on circumstances.

    In Africa, there is an abundance of natural resources which can easily sustain human lives. Vast expanses of forests and jungles providing food, meat from animals. Hence, small groups/tribes/clans of people could survive on their surroundings. There was absolutely no need for any invention for their survival. The small groups were satisfied. Hence there was no need for them to invent or even think of any other ways of procuring food or shelter.

    On the other hand, in Europe, in order to obtain food, people had to form large groups to hunt animals or farm since the resources were not easily available. Hence to simplify their lives they HAD to think of ways which would makes their fight for survival easier. This lead to inventions and discoveries which ultimately led to progress and urbanization.

    Moreover, with smaller groups there was no need for any kind of barter system or trade. They could get anything they wanted from the abundant surroundings. But the larger groups in Europe were compelled to start trading since all the necessary resources weren't available to everybody in abundance. This led to organization, commerce, kingdoms....further development of science. Chain reaction.

    In the modern world, the African civilizations were still satisfied and the education and awareness that the rest of the world is equipped with, was never introduced to them. So now, neither do they have the background nor the genes which can help them to comprehend modern-day technology. They are 1000's of years behind when it comes to understanding scientific theories/inventions/ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    Scientific and technological development has always been based on circumstances.

    In Africa, there is an abundance of natural resources which can easily sustain human lives. Vast expanses of forests and jungles providing food, meat from animals. Hence, small groups/tribes/clans of people could survive on their surroundings. There was absolutely no need for any invention for their survival. The small groups were satisfied. Hence there was no need for them to invent or even think of any other ways of procuring food or shelter.

    On the other hand, in Europe, in order to obtain food, people had to form large groups to hunt animals or farm since the resources were not easily available. Hence to simplify their lives they HAD to think of ways which would makes their fight for survival easier. This lead to inventions and discoveries which ultimately led to progress and urbanization.

    Moreover, with smaller groups there was no need for any kind of barter system or trade. They could get anything they wanted from the abundant surroundings. But the larger groups in Europe were compelled to start trading since all the necessary resources weren't available to everybody in abundance. This led to organization, commerce, kingdoms....further development of science. Chain reaction.

    In the modern world, the African civilizations were still satisfied and the education and awareness that the rest of the world is equipped with, was never introduced to them. So now, neither do they have the background nor the genes which can help them to comprehend modern-day technology. They are 1000's of years behind when it comes to understanding scientific theories/inventions/ideas.
    Dumbest thing I've read in a while.
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  23. #22  
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    genes don't have much to do with the ability to comprehend. Our genes haven't changed much in the last 2000 years.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    In Africa, there is an abundance of natural resources which can easily sustain human lives.
    I find this statement rather troubling given the reality for the people living there. You don't seem to do their distress and continuous struggle justice by saying such things in this way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    So now, neither do they have the background nor the genes which can help them to comprehend modern-day technology.
    Are you saying they're genetically inferior to you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    Scientific and technological development has always been based on circumstances.
    Agreed. Completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    In Africa, there is an abundance of natural resources which can easily sustain human lives......
    On the other hand, in Europe, in order to obtain food, people had to form large groups to hunt animals or farm since the resources were not easily available. .
    It seems you may not know much about Africa or Europe. The forests of Europe contained abundant wildlife. Sub-saharan Africa was not significantly different from the rest of the world in the formation of groups, tribes and larger political structures, including Kingdoms and empires.
    Extensive trade networks existed within Africa. Timbuctu in Mali had one of the first universities on the planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    So now, neither do they have the background nor the genes which can help them to comprehend modern-day technology. They are 1000's of years behind when it comes to understanding scientific theories/inventions/ideas.
    Why do you think they don't have the genes? Where is your evidence for that?
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    I by no means ever meant to imply that their genes are inferior. I have no such right whatsoever.

    Let me give you an example: If you have a family history of Downís syndrome, epilepsy, Alzheimerís disease or diabetes your chances of acquiring that disease increase. Or if your parents are great at art and painting and you are too, isnít that because of your genes? Similarly, here, we are talking about generations of technical know-how and comprehending capacity. If your family is educated and has been exposed to scientific advancements you are brought up in that environment and you have a background. Generations of our society have been exposed to the scientific progress. This has been taking place since centuries. Hence we too are aware; our brains have that capacity to understand these theories and developments because our forefathers had such a capacity too. What in Newtonís era was difficult for people to understand such as calculus and theories about light and optics are taught to children today.

    So if a person was never introduced to the concept of say winter clothing how can you expect him to invent woollen garments? How can you therefore, expect his descendants to invent woollen garments?

    Regarding availability of natural resources in both the continents in similar proportions; Africa has an even terrain, mostly planar. It is closer to the equator. There isnít any snow during winter.
    In Europe, the climate was mostly cold, even harsher during winter. Most of Europe is covered with mountain ranges. In such conditions, man had to find warmer clothes, warmer homes, easier way to catch prey etc. This forced man to think of other ways for survival.
    But in Africa, in the absence of such conditions, humans could get their basic necessities from the local forests in all seasons. Mind you, equatorial forests are much more abundant and richer than forests found in temperate or frigid zones.

    This is just a theory, something that was much more obvious. Why else will people who live on the same planet evolve so differently in all the various regions? Is it not because of their surroundings, the climate, and availability of resources??If discoveries are based on circumstances, what other greater circumstances can there be, other than the ones listed above?
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    I by no means ever meant to imply that their genes are inferior. I have no such right whatsoever.

    Let me give you an example: If you have a family history of Downís syndrome, epilepsy, Alzheimerís disease or diabetes your chances of acquiring that disease increase. Or if your parents are great at art and painting and you are too, isnít that because of your genes? Similarly, here, we are talking about generations of technical know-how and comprehending capacity. If your family is educated and has been exposed to scientific advancements you are brought up in that environment and you have a background. Generations of our society have been exposed to the scientific progress. This has been taking place since centuries. Hence we too are aware; our brains have that capacity to understand these theories and developments because our forefathers had such a capacity too. What in Newtonís era was difficult for people to understand such as calculus and theories about light and optics are taught to children today.

    So if a person was never introduced to the concept of say winter clothing how can you expect him to invent woollen garments? How can you therefore, expect his descendants to invent woollen garments?

    Regarding availability of natural resources in both the continents in similar proportions; Africa has an even terrain, mostly planar. It is closer to the equator. There isnít any snow during winter.
    In Europe, the climate was mostly cold, even harsher during winter. Most of Europe is covered with mountain ranges. In such conditions, man had to find warmer clothes, warmer homes, easier way to catch prey etc. This forced man to think of other ways for survival.
    But in Africa, in the absence of such conditions, humans could get their basic necessities from the local forests in all seasons. Mind you, equatorial forests are much more abundant and richer than forests found in temperate or frigid zones.

    This is just a theory, something that was much more obvious. Why else will people who live on the same planet evolve so differently in all the various regions? Is it not because of their surroundings, the climate, and availability of resources??If discoveries are based on circumstances, what other greater circumstances can there be, other than the ones listed above?
    Despite their environmental disadvantages, people of poorer cultures still have the capacity to learn to the same extent you and I do. Its all about environment and nothing to do with genes.

    For instance, nobody in my family *ever* used computers, nor were they good at math, yet I was able to teach myself to program, I'm now a computer programmer. The same can be said for my artwork (I drew my avatar). Artistic inclination does not come from anyone in my family, I didn't grow up around artists and until this year I didn't have any real influence. Now I can draw reasonably well. If someone looked at the genetics surrounding me, they wouldn't see an artist or a programmer, but yet here I am.

    The influences are entirely environmental and motivation based. Any one of those people in the poorer environment could absolutely do what I do given the same set of circumstances.
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    Agreed. But then again, you are in an environment where you HAVE poeple who use computers or you are literate enough to teach yourself. But with them...literacy is low. There are no people who have used computers before so how can they learn about new technologies when they have no knowledge that such things exist?

    Their brains cannot assimilate centuries worth of scientific development and understanding. And they have no environment in which other members can teach them or help them understand.They have been secluded for a long time so they are unaware.

    And it is obvious that they too wonder why things happen the way they do, around them and formulate theories just like Newton did..and these theories constitute their myths and cultural legends. They might have a certain theory as to why it thunders or why there are earthquakes. But say for example, have they gone so far that they are capable of understanding quantum mechanics, optics or the photoelectric effect? Mostly not because they do not have anybody to make them aware that such progress has happened nor do they have any background knowledge about it.

    I agree that when a child is born his brain is blank and memories, experiences and learning enriches the brain and one day that child becomes say a computer programmer with a lot of knowledge.

    Hence educating their children will bring about progress no doubt.
    But we were talking about why it did not happen till date and on its own accord. Why they didnt develop as a race. Simply because they did not have the enivronment for it and because they did indeed have the abundant environment(natural)!!!
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    Exactly! "Environment", nothing at all to do with "inferior genes".
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    Their brains cannot assimilate centuries worth of scientific development and understanding.
    They absolutely can! Do you have any idea how bigoted this comment is?
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    Their brains cannot assimilate centuries worth of scientific development and understanding. And they have no environment in which other members can teach them or help them understand.They have been secluded for a long time so they are unaware.
    This is a cultural knowledge problem that can be fixed in one generation. There is no genetic barrier to this.

    Our base thought processes are formed within the first 6 to 8 years of life and after that it becomes very difficult indeed to get someone to think in a way other than he/she has been trained by their society. That is why they find it difficult to assimilate western culture and knowledge, not because of a genetic disadvantage.
    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 Biomass
    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    Their brains cannot assimilate centuries worth of scientific development and understanding.
    They absolutely can! Do you have any idea how bigoted this comment is?
    Whether it's bigoted or not shouldn't have any bearing as to whether it's true or not. (In this case, I'd say it probably isn't).

    (By the way, you probably deactivated BBCode in your posts, which makes your "quotes" not very readable.)
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  34. #33  
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    I can't give you citations, but Africa suffered a HUGE depression when the slave trade ended. African leaders orchestrated it. These were very smart people who devised a system to destabilize certain areas to press population density and provide easy pickings.

    The same tactics evolved in the form of Crack, Hip hop, urban transportation systems, neighborhood seeding, etc. in the US.
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  35. #34  
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    [quote="DrNesbit"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Biomass
    Quote Originally Posted by quasistatic
    Their brains cannot assimilate centuries worth of scientific development and understanding.
    They absolutely can! Do you have any idea how bigoted this comment is?
    Whether it's bigoted or not shouldn't have any bearing as to whether it's true or not. (In this case, I'd say it probably isn't).
    I know. That was meant as two separate sentiments.

    (By the way, you probably deactivated BBCode in your posts, which makes your "quotes" not very readable.)
    Thanks!
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  36. #35  
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    The nature-nurture debate concerning this topic is totaly getting blown out of proportions.

    You don't have to get a BSc to see the clues. Adopted children from third world counties do just as well in relation to technology as any other. So looking for answers we'll have to look beyond our own genes... Most of them already summed up in previous posts.
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