Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Glenn Beck an IDiot?

 
Watch this video right to the end and hear Glenn Beck say, "Charles Darwin, the father of modern day racism." That's the standard creationist line—one that's especially prominent on the IDiot blogs. Beck's statement is factually incorrect. It's actually the Christian God of the old testament who's the father of modern day racism.




81 comments:

  1. Listening to him speak makes my ears want to bleed as my brain tries to escape.

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  2. Beck's beliefs are a mish-mash, cobbled mess. But I doubt he knows very much about ID proper. I rather surmise that he has heard some creationist presentation on the matter -- perhaps within the context of his Mormon indoctrination -- and is now using it to bludgeon "Godless evolutionists." Having said that, I'm interested, Larry, in your theory that it's actually the Christian God of the old testament who's the father of modern day racism. We'll have to define terms such as "modern day racism" as opposed to old-fashioned racism, of course, but do you mean to say that it's the chosen people concept introduced by the Jews that is the precursor to modern day notions of superiority of one "race" over another?

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  3. It's actually the Christian God of the old testament who's the father of modern day racism.

    I'd say that view is both limited and incorrect.

    Modern day racism exists in parts of the world without any Biblical tradition. ISTM that the "father" of racism or other similar exclusivist tendencies, modern or past, religious or pagan, is certain tendencies in human nature.

    Doesn't mean that religion isn't (just) one more exclusivist group, or that we can't try to rid our societies and ourselves of such tendencies.

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  4. What an outragrous farce. Every time I watch Glenn Beck performing his theatrics I am overwhelmed with an unsatiable desire to kick him right in the nuts.

    The way he dresses, his glasses, his manners, the sets, all these glaring and preposterous attemps at lending some sort of air of academic credidibility to these pathetic "lectures" (as if this were possible for Glenn Beck, himself uneducated) — the whole farce is revolting.

    To so knowingly, willingly and willfully continue to mislead and misinform Americans under the guise of some sort of republican public service, it's despicable. I hate this man. I hate him with a passion. And I'm not even American.

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  5. Beck is despicable and conniving (OK, I know I'm preaching to the choir).

    There's an excellent video of interviews at the rally on MLK Day at http://cafewitteveen.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/glenn-becks-restoring-honor-rally-interviews-with-participants/

    Glad I wasn't there!

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  6. > Jud: ISTM that the "father" of racism or other similar exclusivist tendencies, modern or past, religious or pagan, is certain tendencies in human nature.

    Yes, I would say that racism starts in the hearts of people because they are sinners, not in Darwinism, nor in the Old Testament. That does not mean that people have not used both to justify their view that others are inferior or even sub-human.

    And "the chosen people" was not, by the way, a racial matter. Anyone could become Jewish, and then therefore be chosen (re Esther 8:17).

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  7. The next day on his radio program he brought in the Holocaust...

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  8. We're supposed to believe that Esther was factual history huh? And we're supposed to believe people are "chosen".

    And "the chosen people" was not, by the way, a racial matter. Anyone could become Jewish, and then therefore be chosen (re Esther 8:17).

    We don't know what it means. We don't know if it means people became Jews or if people pretended to be Jews. Good luck with it.

    Welcome to the 21st century. We're supposed to get flying cars. What do we get? We get flying baloney. And it's flying backwards. Great.

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  9. “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory” (S. J. Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, 1977). So, it sounds like Beck may have read Gould. Silly Beck, doesn’t he know Gould was talking about the Not True Scotsmen (social-Darwinists).

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  10. I always find fascinating the charge of racism leveled at Charles Darwin. Darwin was a vehement opponent of slavery in the US and, together with his very influential in-laws, the Wedgewoods, was in the forefront of opposing British intervention in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.

    Of course, the question of Darwins' racial views is totally irrelevant to the question of the validity of the theory of evolution, just as the anti-Semitic views of Stark and Lenard is irrelevant to the validity of their scientific accomplishments, which earned them Nobel Prizes in physics.

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  11. Speaking of the Civil War ....

    Darwin's book was published in November 1859 and Fort Sumter was attacked on April 12, 1861. Those southerners must have read Darwin's book shortly after it was published because they sure learned quickly about modern racism.

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  12. Uh, Larry, hello? I realize it's your blog and you can ignore my question but why not engage?

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  13. I think it is pretty clear that Glenn Beck is not an idiot.

    Whether one agrees with him or not, he has risen rapidly to prominence, wealth and influence. Not many idiots can do that. How many of the rather inarticulate commentators here can boast of doing the same?

    Think of it: He has managed to oust at least two presidential appointees and it was admitted fear of Glenn Back that caused the administration's panicked response in the Shirley Sherrod fiasco.

    He has managed to make the administration look incompetent with very little effort.

    Here is an insightful comment about Glenn on the Chicago Boyz blog:

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/15295.html

    As for his attempts to link racism to Darwin there is little I can say. Racism has been the norm for humanity for millennia.

    On the other hand, it seems more likely than not that discoveries in genetics and evolution are going to feed racism. There is no doubt we are still subject to evolutionary processes, and there is no doubt that the varieties of humanity exist because of evolutionary processes. New discoveries of recent evolution touching on the human brain make clear that evolutionary change is not limited to skin color or dentition. And, by the way, as anyone who reads this blog already knows, those evolutionary changes relating to the human brain have not occurred equally in all ethnic groups.

    Glenn Beck is misled in his understanding of Darwin and evolution, but he is no more off the mark than soi disant liberals who declare that all races are alike under the skin. That could be true only if there were a divine intervention of the type they pretend to deride in Glenn Beck.

    Less I have confused someone, I do accept evolution as a fact; I do not believe in divine intervention [either the type liberals need or the type Glenn embraces] and I do think evolution has acted unevenly on the different varieties of humanity. I guess that makes me a racist. Oh well, that's the way the evidence is pointing, so I will go with it. As a final word, James Watson [remember him?] shares my view. He ought to know, don't you think?

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  14. DiverCity asks,

    Uh, Larry, hello? I realize it's your blog and you can ignore my question but why not engage?

    Racism is rampant in the old testament and the old testament was written by God. God did not act kindly toward the enemies of his chosen people.

    While I may be guilty of hyperbole, my claim is much more valid than Beck's.

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  16. First and foremost, I am no fan of Beck, he is a passionate idiot who leads a flock of systematically undereducated Americans.

    I believe Beck is making the fairly common link between Margret Sanger (Planned Parenthood) eugenics and evolution. Clearly, his logic is flawed, but none the less, the connection does require some self evaluation. We (biologists/anthropologists/scientists) are self conscious about this sad connection, but it is not we who made it. http://bit.ly/Qx1mh

    There are many forms of racism, but a fairly incontestable and academically safe definition of racism is "systematic" oppression of a group of people because of their ethnicity or race. http://bit.ly/NQlS

    I don't think, that believing there are differences between sub-populations of homo sapiens, is in and of it's self racist. These differences can be celebrated or chastised. To celebrate is to embrace the data in an ethical manner.

    Believing that one race is measurably better than another in enough quantifiable areas to justify the supposition that the "other" race "should" be controlled or governed under a different set of laws clearly is racism.

    This kind of all or nothing logic lacks the granularity necessary to express how we feel about things. This is also the kind of logic that leads to eugenics or racism, which is not acceptable to any of us.

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  17. Rachelle says,

    Whether one agrees with him or not, he has risen rapidly to prominence, wealth and influence. Not many idiots can do that.

    For some strange reason this makes me think of the following saying ...

    In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.

    It also makes me think of Rush Limaugh, Jerry Falwell, and Sarah Palin.

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  18. It appears Beck is both an IDiot and an idiot.

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  19. Larry Moran said:

    "It [Beck's success] also makes me think of Rush Limaugh, Jerry Falwell, and Sarah Palin."

    I think it does me, too.

    I suppose it should. One might also think of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and, for that matter, Barack Obama.

    However, there are significant differences between Palin and the Sharpton thru Obama bunch.

    Sharpton, Jackson, and especially Obama, have been stroked and coddled by the national media. On the other hand, Palin has been attacked relentlessly by them.

    Whether one likes Palin or not, one should admire her strength in facing the storm of derision that she constantly receives.

    Somehow, and I don't understand how, she has risen despite it. Now, lately, she reaches around the legacy media using Facebook, etc., to reach people, and she does it with considerable success.

    In the hostile media she has gone from being stupid to being secretly smart while pretending to be stupid in order to make money to being, in the latest NYT incarnation, the type of woman the left needs. She has been underestimated almost to the same degree that Obama has been overestimated.

    In any event, as much as we would like politicians to think like scientists [when scientists aren't being politicians] they won't, and they know they can't. It wouldn't play well in Peoria.

    I agree with Scottevil's definition of racism as systematic oppression of a people because of their race. And if we want a civil and humanitarian society that type of racism should be condemned.

    However, that clearly moral and easily comprehended standard of racism is rejected by society--and particularly by the liberals in our society.

    Instead, we are compelled by the instruments of law and opinion to believe that any recognition whatsoever of possible cognitive differences between different varieties of our species is racism.

    The evidence that those cognitive differences do exist is mounting daily. Usually it is discovered by people who are interested only in scientific truth--wherever it may lie--rather than those with a wicked desire to oppress others.

    So now, I guess, you either face being branded a racist, or you change your opinion for politics rather than science, or you do as the men of old did and pretend conformity while secretly pursing the evidence.

    One of the reasons I check in on Larry Moran's blog from time to time is because he seems like someone who chooses truth over conformity.

    That doesn't mean however, I can't disagree with his analysis of Glenn Beck. Glenn isn't doing science. Whatever he is doing, it seems to work well for him, and that is a fact in itself.

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  20. Larry Moran said:

    "It [Beck's success] also makes me think of Rush Limaugh, Jerry Falwell, and Sarah Palin."

    I think it does me, too.

    I suppose it should. One might also think of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and, for that matter, Barack Obama.

    However, there are significant differences between Palin and the Sharpton thru Obama bunch.

    Sharpton, Jackson, and especially Obama, have been stroked and coddled by the national media. On the other hand, Palin has been attacked relentlessly by them.

    Whether one likes Palin or not, one should admire her strength in facing the storm of derision that she constantly receives.

    Somehow, and I don't understand how, she has risen despite it. Now, lately, she reaches around the legacy media using Facebook, etc., to reach people, and she does it with considerable success.

    In the hostile media she has gone from being stupid to being secretly smart while pretending to be stupid in order to make money to being, in the latest NYT incarnation, the type of woman the left needs. She has been underestimated almost to the same degree that Obama has been overestimated.

    In any event, as much as we would like politicians to think like scientists [when scientists aren't being politicians] they won't, and they know they can't. It wouldn't play well in Peoria.

    I agree with Scottevil's definition of racism as systematic oppression of a people because of their race. And if we want a civil and humanitarian society that type of racism should be condemned.

    However, that clearly moral and easily comprehended standard of racism is rejected by society--and particularly by the liberals in our society.

    Instead, we are compelled by the instruments of law and opinion to believe that any recognition whatsoever of possible cognitive differences between different varieties of our species is racism.

    The evidence that those cognitive differences do exist is mounting daily. Usually it is discovered by people who are interested only in scientific truth--wherever it may lie--rather than those with a wicked desire to oppress others.

    So now, I guess, you either face being branded a racist, or you change your opinion for politics rather than science, or you do as the men of old did and pretend conformity while secretly pursing the evidence.

    One of the reasons I check in on Larry Moran's blog from time to time is because he seems like someone who chooses truth over conformity.

    That doesn't mean however, I can't disagree with his analysis of Glenn Beck. Glenn isn't doing science. Whatever he is doing, it seems to work well for him, and that is a fact in itself.

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  21. When I was younger I was in bands, you would be surprised by how many of them rose to prominence, granted on a smaller scale, but nonetheless were indeed IDiots and idiots ;-)

    Agreed, though, he has found a strong chord to strike with the American people. My "passionate" description was purposeful. I might call it emotional intelligence, but not rational intelligence. I think people relate with this, even in the comments here, some people relate. There is an attraction to the under represented opinion, often called the underdog.

    I think the cognitive differences within a sub-population are, so far as the evidence we have today, always greater than the difference of averages between sub-populations. This precludes the ability of one race to ever ethically govern another "for their own good"

    That said, we are discovering daily that new examples of cognitive differences which appear to be influenced by culture during brain development. Here are some good examples: http://bit.ly/cQ72oS

    Finally, I do think the media is unfair, they only want to sell stuff, namely adds, that is why I pay very little attention to it.

    Scott M

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  22. Liar, fraud, asshole, and now IDiot. At least he's hit bottom; I was worried he would keep going and going.

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  23. Rachelle said: "Whether one likes Palin or not, one should admire her strength in facing the storm of derision that she constantly receives."

    Strength? She quit her job as an elected official. That is not the sign of strength. In the 2008 campaign it was clearly shown that she is utterly intellectually lazy and prefers to remain uninformed and ignorant. Sorry Rachelle there really isn't anything to admire whatsoever. Her only attribute is a certain charismatic appeal and populist charm. But she lacks substance and the ability to properly understand difficult issues.

    America deserves much, much better. And it is sad for America that they are so taken in by cute epithets rather then the true strength of a person's mind.

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  24. Scottevil said:

    "I think the cognitive differences within a sub-population are, so far as the evidence we have today, always greater than the difference of averages between sub-populations. This precludes the ability of one race to ever ethically govern another "for their own good""

    I would agree with your first sentence, but I am unsure about the second.

    In 'The Bell Curve' Murray and Hernstein said that the differences between races are seen in a bell curve so that there will always be many blacks who are smarter than most whites. As to individuals, they could say nothing whatsoever.

    The problem, I think, lies with the fact that the average IQ for blacks is only 85 in America. On the right extremity of the bell curve there will obviously be many who are smarter than the whites clustered near the white average of about 100. But, on the other hand, there will be very many below 85 and not likely to have much success in a modern society.

    In Africa, the problem is even more severe. In some countries the average IQ has been measured in the mid sixties. It seems possible at that level [and maybe higher levels] that the truly smart people in those countries [and there are many] are so weighed down by the intellectual incompetence of the rest that nothing much can be accomplished.

    Some of the slack in Africa had been picked up by immigrants from India, but many [some of whom I have met] have been driven out by black nationalist politics. The bleak consequences speak for themselves.

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  25. Janfeld said re Palin:

    "Strength? She quit her job as an elected official. That is not the sign of strength."

    Certainly many would agree with you when she quit, and I was leaning in that direction. But I don't think Sarah Palin is charting her course as others think she should.

    It looked for awhile that she was alienating her base when she endorsed John McCain in the primary. And they were truly angered. On the other hand, she accepted that criticism as the price for showing that her gratitude was a prize worth earning as McCain had earned it, and that she will not accept a gift and then stab someone in the back. Obama's loyalties to 'friends' have been proven to be very disposable when they seem inconvenient at the moment. Politics aside, I would not worry that Palin would stab me in the back. Obama, on the other hand, wellll, he has a history now and people around him watch their backs.

    As for Alaska, when nobody else could see it, Palin recognized that if she quit as governor she had an opportunity to earn enough money to protect her family [and I think that came first] and step into a role of national influence that would be greater than anything that the governorship could offer her. She was right and the rest of us were wrong. She is a political powerhouse now.

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  26. Maybe someone should send Beck and all those IDiots passages from "The Voyage of the Beagle". I'm thinking about the last(?) chapter of the book where Darwin describes the brutality of slavery in Brazil ...

    As for the links between evolutionary thought and racism, that cuts both ways. On the one hand one could argue (as some IDiots and Beck) that natural selection could act to increase the numbers of more "intelligent people" (that is if they have more kids than "unintelligent" individuals, which is highly doubtful). If the rate of intelligent people can vary than perhaps they are more prevalent in some "races" more than others. On the other hand evolution clearly implies that all humans all closely related and that the "races" are not separately created, each having its own properties.

    What modern genetic studies have shown is that humans are a relatively homogeneous in terms of genetic diversity (when compared to other species such as chimps).

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  27. First of all, there is no accurate way to judge intelligence. Using specific tests to determine ability within logical tests, such as game theory, there is no where near a 15% difference between blacks and whites or any other race for that matter.

    IQ tests both knowledge (from an educated western, white perspective) and cognitive ability. It is only good for base lining and trending over time, not comparison's between sub populations. Even in using as a base line, IQ tests have problems. http://bit.ly/91cT20

    IQ test have shown 5-25 differences over generation in any given country, that is as high as a whole standard deviation, which makes them essentially worthless in determining comparing cognative abilities.

    Finally, Africa has nutrition problems and the French treated the populations much worse than the British in India, so I am not quite sure what connection you are trying to make with Indian immigrants in Africa. Indians are very westernized (in education and industry) and their economy and nutrition is an order of magnitude better than Somalia or Rawanda.

    Essentially, I am checking out on this argument. Glenn Beck doesn't know or understand any of this stuff.

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  28. Rachelle: "As for Alaska, when nobody else could see it, Palin recognized that if she quit as governor she had an opportunity to earn enough money to protect her family [and I think that came first] and step into a role of national influence that would be greater than anything that the governorship could offer her. She was right and the rest of us were wrong. She is a political powerhouse now."

    I'm not sure of "political powerhouse" is the right term - certainly she enjoys a lot of media attention and is demand as a "speaker". But the polls do indicate that most people do think she is under qualified (although amazingly 1 in 4 think she is, based on what?)

    But I'm kind of old-fashioned, I think to be an elected official (of any office) there are three things that matter: experience, intelligence, and qualifications. As far as I can tell Palin has none of these in any sufficient quantity. Shame on America if she is elected President. We already elected one woefully under-qualified President and look what that did to the country.

    It speaks volumes to the political system in America that looks and charm matter more than intelligence. People vote with their emotions, not their brains.

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  29. Alex said:

    "On the other hand evolution clearly implies that all humans all closely related and that the "races" are not separately created, each having its own properties."

    Thank you, Alex, for proving my point that liberals scarcely differ from Glenn Beck when discussing evolution and varieties of humanity. Put people in the picture and all of a sudden you go all supernatural on us.

    First, nobody denies that all humans are closely related. So, for that matter, are humans and chimps. What you apparently do not know is that the genetic variation between all varieties of humanity is greater than the genetic variation between all varieties of dogs. Nobody has a problem recognizing that different breeds of dogs vary in abilities and intelligence. There is more than enough room in the genetic distance between different racial groups to allow for the expression of different intellectual abilities. As for the issue of whether the different races were 'created' as one or 'separately', I never imagined that they were created at all; they evolved from a common ancestor and acquired different characteristics because different populations were subjected to different selective pressures.

    Anyhow, you made my point. The liberals attacking Glenn Beck for his errors on evolution are hypocrites. You do the same thing the moment the science gets into politically dangerous territory.

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  30. I expected someone to do this. Scottevil has called into question the legitimacy of IQ tests.

    Certainly there is room for argument on the issue, but usually the same people who say the tests have no value with respect to race rush to embrace the high scores of their own children. Hypocrisy again.

    I didn't have room to point out that IQ tests are just one signpost pointing to intellectual differences between races.

    Try it the other way. Is their any mechanism of gauging intelligence on which blacks do not always end up on the bottom of the scale when measured against any other race in any other society? James Watson was right; they don't fare well.

    Even if there were no standardized tests, we could look to the accomplishments of their society. Almost all ethnic groups have developed a system of writing, mathematics and civilization (in the sense of a society in a city). The exceptions are all of black Africa, Australian aborigines, and Adaman Islanders and perhaps a few others.

    The thing is, if we imagine any species spreading from a point across the entire globe we would expect to see variations in characteristics and abilities as different groups adapt to different challenges. We are no different than Darwin's finches. The liberal's demand that we believe that intellectual ability alone remain constant across all populations can be supported only by recourse to the same superstition that Glenn Beck embraces. Unless you are prepared to let go of your own superstition, your criticism of him looks hypocritical.

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  31. “First of all, there is no accurate way to judge intelligence.”

    I wish someone would have told my professors this over the years. I went the route – B.S., M.A., Ph.D. And I swear that on each and every day of it there was always some gang of professors trying their best to do just that.

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  32. While I agree white liberals are often hypocritical, I just don't understand your point.

    So you have convinced your self that somehow the 4-6 pigment genes that are related to skin color are also linked to cognitive ability. I am skeptical, but what do you propose to do about it.

    Please, I am interested, since you are clearly have 4-6 genes that are (in your mind) linked to cognitive superiority, what do you propose to do about this supposed difference.

    Demonstrate to me your cognitive and ethical superiority with a proposed improvement to our society that can be made which will put all of this wonderful new data to use. Please!

    Also, when you have finished that project. Let me know why so many people complain about wasted research dollars, especially when they have no end goal of making our society a better and you will have the answer to why liberals attempt to ignore the cognitive differences between said populations (we retired the word race because it really doesn't make any sense, in evolution we normally investigate populations)

    Finally, engineers look to make things better with the research that is done by scientists. Social engineering is un-ethical, so please explain to me your point again?

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  33. Scott evil said:

    "So you have convinced your self that somehow the 4-6 pigment genes that are related to skin color are also linked to cognitive ability. I am skeptical, but what do you propose to do about it."

    I don't think that the pigment genes are linked to cognitive ability. The pairing is coincidental and then only in some populations. There are very dark Indians after all.

    You say "social engineering is un-ethical". Does that include affirmative action?

    It didn't take very long for you to inject political and 'moral'
    claims into what I have been treating as a scientific issue.

    I think knowing the truth is a value in itself, even if it is unpalatable. What you do with the truth rests with your own character. I must say, however, that your character isn't very strong if you begin by turning your head away when the truth conflicts with your prejudices.

    In fact, pinning the truth down on this issue--whatever it may be--is important. If we can demonstrate that there are no cognitive differences between races, then we have a lot to do finding out why the performance of some racial groups is so bad in every society in the world.

    If, as the evidence now seems to indicate, there are cognitive differences between races and the cultures they produce, then we need to reassess how we are going to help in places like Africa. So far aid based on a Marshall Plan pattern that assumes one is helping an intelligent and industrious people has been a horrific failure resulting in the deaths of millions. Perhaps, instead, we need more carefully guided foreign aid that fits better with the culture and the people. Simply handing over shiploads of money to African 'Big Man' tribal leaders has helped nobody. They use the money to enrich themselves and buy weapons to murder neighboring tribes and anyone who opposes them. That type of 'help' is a curse.

    Knowing that there are cognitive differences between different populations doesn't mean one uses that knowledge for evil. It can also guide good.

    You, of course, prefer to cherish your superstitious fantasy that we are all alike. Actually, you are just another Glenn Beck on this issue. He says the same.

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  34. The ethical dimension:

    Scottevil and others assume that learning that different races are not cognitively equal only serves oppression.

    Consider, however, individuals within a race. Everyone accepts that some people are going to be smart, many average and some not very smart. Do we take the position that those who are not so smart should, therefore, be oppressed? No, not in Western societies. We reach out to offer them more help.

    And, at the extreme end of disability, I have to ask, who is more likely to be caring and protective of life, a Sarah Palin or a Barack Obama? Sarah has, and loves, a Downs Syndrome child. Obama had no objection when a still breathing infant from a failed abortion was tossed into the trash.

    I don't share either person's values on this issue, but I have no doubt who is the more dangerous and more dismissive of human life.

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  35. First Rachelle, you took the bait. You linked several things together in a very unscientific way.

    First you are effectively declaring all Africans of which there are probably more than 20 genetic populations of and Aboriginals into one population, which I thought you would do. Clearly you do not understand the difference between a race and a population as such you have implied that they are linked genetically in a way that does not allow them to function cognitively as well as "whites", what ever that means.

    Second, if you were trying to treat this subject so scientifically, then why did you use the world liberal first? Why do you use the word race, that is not a word used in biology or anthropology in 2010? We don't speak of races of dogs or bears, or apes? What races are there in papio papio or pan paniscus?

    Thirdly, you believe, that is not something that I do. I have confidence in data. The data does not support that the Marshall Plan style giving is used because of a lack of understanding in cognitive ability, please read the history on why it was put in place.

    Clearly, Africa's situation is much different than Europe after WWII. Africa has never had infrastructure, while Europe was rebuilding.

    One can only infer that years of dumping money into nations does not always work, but did work in WWII.
    Why it doesn't work is debatable and hard to infer.

    On a lighter note, I love your "industrious" comment. It is good to know you have been reading 1870s KKK literature. What number does one use to measure a sub-populations "industriousness" potential? I have never seen a paper published on this in Nature? Please refer me as I find this very interesting.

    You are a fool.

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  36. Wow, so much here to comment on and so little time...

    1) While little is more strongly correlated to likelihood of the accumulation of wealth in one's life than their intelligence, the bizarre declaration that Glenn Beck is "not that big of an idiot" based on said wealth is ridiculous.

    2) While I personally have't encountered a "measure of intelligence" that doesn't seem to systematically place "blacks" on the bottom of whatever society, I would like to point out that this does not indicate that these "blacks" somehow are unable to compete as Rachelle claims. In fact, history just doesn't support the idea that Black civilizations cannot create or innovate like other ones.

    Actually, the continent of Africa has been ahead of Europe at various times and really only fell behind considerably after white people got gun powder from Asia.

    Consider: Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel:

    ...historians often assume that knowledge of metallurgy reached sub-Saharan Africa from the north. On the other hand, copper smelting had been going on in the West African Sahara and Sahel since at least 2000 B.C... the iron-smelting techniques of smiths in sub-Saharan Africa were so different from those of the Mediterranean as to suggest independent development: African smiths discovered how to produce high temperatures in their village furnaces and manufacture steel over 2,000 years before the Bessemer furnaces of 19th century Europe and America.

    And do you seriously intend to suggest there are no written languages developed by "black" Africans? It would behoove you to read a book.

    3) Rachelle, did you ever stop to think that some "liberal" was going to criticize the validity of IQ testing because there are a lot of problems with it, and not because we all secretly wish we were black or whatever reason you have fabricated in your head?

    4) As scottevil points out, what is the end game with this? The whole conversation sounds reminiscent of the great conservative "why can't I say niger" to me. What do you all plan to do with this? In my experience, no one who has ever thought someone else was dumber than them used this magic knowledge for good.

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  38. Wow, so much here to comment on and so little time...

    1) While little is more strongly correlated to likelihood of the accumulation of wealth in one's life than their intelligence, the bizarre declaration that Glenn Beck is "not that big of an idiot" based on said wealth is ridiculous.

    2) While I personally have't encountered a "measure of intelligence" that doesn't seem to systematically place "blacks" on the bottom of whatever society, I would like to point out that this does not indicate that these "blacks" somehow are unable to compete as Rachelle claims. In fact, history just doesn't support the idea that Black civilizations cannot create or innovate like other ones.

    Actually, the continent of Africa has been ahead of Europe at various times and really only fell behind considerably after white people got gun powder from Asia.

    Consider: Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel:

    ...historians often assume that knowledge of metallurgy reached sub-Saharan Africa from the north. On the other hand, copper smelting had been going on in the West African Sahara and Sahel since at least 2000 B.C... the iron-smelting techniques of smiths in sub-Saharan Africa were so different from those of the Mediterranean as to suggest independent development: African smiths discovered how to produce high temperatures in their village furnaces and manufacture steel over 2,000 years before the Bessemer furnaces of 19th century Europe and America.

    3) Rachelle, did you ever stop to think that some "liberal" was going to criticize the validity of IQ testing because there are a lot of problems with it, and not because we all secretly wish we were black or whatever reason you have fabricated in your head?

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  39. Rachelle said to Alex ...
    " What you apparently do not know is that the genetic variation between all varieties of humanity is greater than the genetic variation between all varieties of dogs."

    This is apparently a racist myth. You can check out a discussion of this at http://majorityrights.com/index.php/weblog/comments/debunking_a_racialist_myth_about_the_genetic_variation_between_dog_breeds/. According to this discussion (with cited sources), the opposite is true.

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  40. Rick said that my comment about the greater genetic variation in humans than in dogs "is apparently a racist myth."

    Why a 'racist myth'?

    Why not simply either right or wrong?

    Perhaps it isn't true, but I've read it and heard about it in a number of places. Actually, most recently I heard it in the National Geographic program "And Man Created Dog". Nobody there was worried about your 'racism' concerns; they just wanted to know more about dogs and how they came to be.

    Frankly, any time someone begins any argument with an accusation of racism I tune them out. It's like hearing, "The Bible says..."

    I don't care. Either it is true or it is not true that varieties of dogs have less genetic variation than varieties of humanity. Genetics will determine the issue, not religion or yammering about racism.

    Giving it a moment thought, however, it is not implausible that dogs have less variations. Most varieties of dog that we know now were developed recently, within less than about 200 years. Not much time for genetic drift there. On the other hand, about 200,000 years have passed since most of our ancestors came out of Africa. If were talking about finches instead of people we would expect less variation in the most recent batch.

    I think the dog vs human variation is true as stated, but I will change my mind if I see evidence to the contrary. Will you?

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  41. Rachelle:

    Being concerned with intelligence, I know you would like to increase your knowledge. Here are a couple of places to start:

    1. There is no such thing as "IQ:"

    http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/523.html

    2. "Intelligence tests" historically have shown the folks in charge are smarter, and disdained minority groups are less smart. When the disdained minority groups become more socially and economically successful, they show up on the tests as smarter. Funny coincidence, no? (Jews in 20th-century America are a good example. One of the reasons Jewish attempts to flee Nazi Germany and settle in America were restricted was due to immigration laws enacted at a time when Jews were thought to be cognitively disadvantaged based on intelligence tests.) See for example http://www.amazon.com/Mismeasure-Man-Stephen-Jay-Gould/dp/0393314251/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283515530&sr=8-1

    3. There is no excuse in these days of the Web for remaining ignorant about the achievements of numerous ancient African cultures. For example, there is this from Wikipedia about the Nok, an ancient Nigerian society: "Iron use, in smelting and forging for tools, appears in Nok culture in Africa by 500 BC."

    The article also says the availability of Nok art (quite astounding from the photo that accompanies the article) is compromised by climate and the lack of field work. A few moments' thought should suggest to you that in these days when sizable Mayan temples are still being discovered in the jungles of Mexico and Central America, there is a great deal of material from ancient cultures that may yet be found in Africa, or that has been irretrievably lost to erosion and vegetation.

    Perhaps it is a predisposition to a particular attitude that leads some people to seize first on cognitive shortcomings as a likely explanation when far more parsimonious alternatives exist.

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  42. Rashelle:

    1) Your statement about dogs does fall into 'simply right or wrong'; its simply wrong. Unfortunately, declaring it a racist myth also seems intellectually honest. In fact, a google search on the accuracy of your statement about dogs will show most discussions taking place with the connotation of race strongly there.

    I hope that is not your intent, but my guess is this small misinterpretation of science would never have made it to you or other ostensibly honest people without the adamant participation of a few racists.

    2) 2004 Paper published in Science, Parker et al. :: Found that 27% of the genetic variation of dogs was found between breeds. Humans, however, show only a 10% genetic variation between races.

    Clearly, the variation that does exist is much more pronounced between breeds of dogs than races of people. I imagine that this is what you had in mind with your statement? That paper should come up on a search for your perusal. I encourage any sources you have that are specific on this matter and show a different conclusion.

    3) It actually doesn't make sense that dogs would be less diverse than people...the appearance of all these breeds of dogs wasn't per se natural. Humans bred them. No one bred us. So while I agree that nature would have likely had a greater impact on the races of human than the breeds of dogs, nature simply cannot compete with animal husbandry.

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  43. Michael said:

    "27% of the genetic variation of dogs was found between breeds."

    That could be true even if the total genetic variation between dogs were less than the variation between humans. It simply says that whatever variation there is, however slight it might be, 27% of it is attributable to breeds.

    JUD said there is no such thing as IQ and added that the Nok of Nigeria smelted metal.

    If nothing else, IQ exists as what one gets on an IQ test. As to individuals, IQ scores don't tell the whole story, but as to populations they correlate rather well with performance in intellectual pursuits.

    Your reference to the Nok of Nigeria is interesting, but I never said that sub-Saharan people didn't work with metals. I said they seem not to have developed writing, mathematics and civilization. Almost everyone else has.

    Assuming that you understand that evolution is true, would you not expect variation, including some cognitive variation, in populations that have been separated for 200,000 years and subjected to varied selective pressures? Some cognitive differences between races should be expected. Given the circumstances of human development if we found just one characteristic that resisted variation it would seem very, very strange.

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  44. There is no purpose in attempting to have a discussion with Ms. Rachelle. She cited the discredited book, "The Bell Curve," as an authority, an automatic dis-qualifier. Stephen Jay Gould demonstrated that the applications of statistics used in that book demonstrated total incompetence by the authors in that area.

    By the way, since Ms. Rachelle is such a great believer in IQ as a measure of intelligence, for her information, President Obama has an IQ of 142 which I daresay is at least 40 points better then Ms. Palin.

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Egalitarianism is surely the religion of the left. Rachelle can calmly and dispassionately cite facts, evidence, studies and well-reasoned arguments and yet egalitarians stick their fingers in their ears and chant "la, la, la." To me, the human propensity toward irrational belief -- whether exemplified by Bible-thumping creationists or race-denying egalitarians -- is surely the best evidence for evolution that exists, at least from a normative standpoint.

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  47. Rachelle:

    Im sorry but Im not sure that I see the relevance in saying that dogs have less actually numbers of changed genes between breeds than do humans. This information, true or not, is completely and utterly useless.

    It fails to take into account the importance of the genes, gene expression characteristics, etc. More significantly, there is no correlation to the size of the genome and the complexity of the organism, and consequently there is no correlation to the size of a genotype and the corresponding complexity/significance of the phenotype.

    In short, you may have contrived a definition that allows you to be "right", but you have made something of a mute point in that you cannot successfully apply it in the way in which you intended in your earlier posts.

    Of course, what is more disconcerting than that is your failure to support your claim, which I don't think you can honestly say requires no substantiation at this point. Where's some support for this variability difference and what is the significance of it?

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  48. Diver city,

    I'm not sure that I have seen this rational and supported argument you are going on about, but I would very much like to.

    Further, I'm not sure what you mean by "egalitarian". I certainly am of the mind that we all have an equal legal status. On the other hand, clearly some of us are more capable than others.

    I have to stop short at declaring a particular race better at something than some other race. It doesn't hold up academically. The word race has no clear definition, there is no clear test, etc.... all the things you may have heard.

    There is more too...what do you DO with that information? Do you just wanna sit on a forum and spout off that blacks are dumber than whites? Maybe we can get some east asians to call both dumber? Less Smart? Whatever?

    You can't advocate a particular public policy with information like this...the differences between any two people are a lot greater than the differences between any two ethnic groups. So you can't say no black engineers, they aren't smart enough. I'm pretty sure you couldn't require an IQ test to vote....that would never pass any sensible legislation bodies scrutiny.

    So what? If you really wanna say niger, get your white sheet and torch and go ahead with it. I don't care. But if you wanna sit here and declare a group of people less capable than another group for no particular reason, sane or otherwise, then forgive me and the rest of us for wondering if you aren't, in fact, a racist.

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  49. Thank you DiverCity. You have succinctly made my point. Some of the remarks here, from the left, are in complete harmony with Glenn Beck. Glenn saw Darwin as a source of racism; these people [incredible, isn't it?] find racism in studies of the dog genome.

    SLC refers to the 'completely discredited' 'The Bell Curve'. Evidently you haven't read the book SLC. The data, and much of the statistical information used in the book, came from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth and was accumulated by multiple institutions over a period of years. I suspect some of those institutions were as uncomfortable with the results as you seem to be. 'The Bell Curve' mostly reported them to a wider public. After I read 'The Bell Curve' I waited for reasoned argument against it; I wanted to hear another point of view. Instead, all we got were screams of 'Racism!' which really isn't much of an argument unless you think like Glenn Beck.

    How do you know what Obama's IQ is? He hasn't released that information, nor his university papers, nor his grades.

    I would suggest though that a President who refers to a Navy Corpsman as a 'Navy Corpseman', and who refers to going to '57 states' and who thinks his term of office is '8 to 10 years' and who confuses Pearl Harbor Day with the day Hiroshima was bombed, has an IQ well south of 140. If he is smart, he has given precious little evidence of it.

    By the way, IQ counts again when we think Obama has a high one?

    Tch, tch, tch.

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  50. Diver city,

    I'm not sure that I have seen this rational and supported argument you are going on about, but I would very much like to.

    Further, I'm not sure what you mean by "egalitarian". I certainly am of the mind that we all have an equal legal status. On the other hand, clearly some of us are more capable than others.

    I have to stop short at declaring a particular race better at something than some other race. It doesn't hold up academically. The word race has no clear definition, there is no clear test, etc.... all the things you may have heard.

    There is more too...what do you DO with that information? Do you just wanna sit on a forum and spout off that blacks are dumber than whites? Maybe we can get some east asians to call both dumber? Less Smart? Whatever?

    You can't advocate a particular public policy with information like this...the differences between any two people are a lot greater than the differences between any two ethnic groups. So you can't say no black engineers, they aren't smart enough. I'm pretty sure you couldn't require an IQ test to vote....that would never pass any sensible legislation bodies scrutiny.

    So what? If you really wanna say niger, get your white sheet and torch and go ahead with it. I don't care. But if you wanna sit here and declare a group of people less capable than another group for no particular reason, sane or otherwise, then forgive me and the rest of us for wondering if you aren't, in fact, a racist.

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  51. Rashelle:

    What point of your did he succinctly make? I'm not sure that I fully understand your point, to be honest.

    I do know that what I have seen you say so far wasn't strictly speaking factual. I mean, the Nok civilizations was a civilization, so Africans clearly have civilizations. There are written indigenous languages in Africa, though like parts of Europe and other places in the world long under rule by a foreign power, early African literature is written in European languages(the controllers, first examples probably in Portuguese).

    In fact, most of recorded history there wasn't much of a difference between Africa and the rest of the world. Its only been the last few hundred years where that has changed. So is it genetic inferiority on the African continent that somehow held them back only recently, or is this, like most things, more complicated?

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  52. Diver city,

    I'm not sure that I have seen this rational and supported argument you are going on about, but I would very much like to.

    Further, I'm not sure what you mean by "egalitarian". I certainly am of the mind that we all have an equal legal status. On the other hand, clearly some of us are more capable than others.

    I have to stop short at declaring a particular race better at something than some other race. It doesn't hold up academically. The word race has no clear definition, there is no clear test, etc.... all the things you may have heard.

    There is more too...what do you DO with that information? Do you just wanna sit on a forum and spout off that blacks are dumber than whites? Maybe we can get some east asians to call both dumber? Less Smart? Whatever?

    You can't advocate a particular public policy with information like this...the differences between any two people are a lot greater than the differences between any two ethnic groups. So you can't say no black engineers, they aren't smart enough. I'm pretty sure you couldn't require an IQ test to vote....that would never pass any sensible legislation bodies scrutiny.

    So what? If you really wanna say n*ger, get your white sheet and torch and go ahead with it. I don't care. But if you wanna sit here and declare a group of people less capable than another group for no particular reason, sane or otherwise, then forgive me and the rest of us for wondering if you aren't, in fact, a racist.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Michael said:

    "forgive me and the rest of us for wondering if you aren't, in fact, a racist."

    I think I said earlier that if believing that the current evidence supports the conclusion that cognitive abilities between races differ, then I am a racist.

    If, instead, being a racist means treating individuals differently because of their race, then I am not a racist.

    One example of how the information can be used is in foreign aid to Africa. In the past, our aid has been premised on the unsupported belief that it would work like the Marshall Plan did after WWII.

    It hasn't worked like that. Mostly it has been a disaster. The aid has been squandered, stolen by 'Big Men' and used to buy weapons. Africa is worse after decades of our aid.

    Knowing that the average cognitive ability of the African population is not equal to that of Europe might suggest that we provide more carefully targeted aid to Africa and not fall into the trap of just handing shiploads of money over to corruptocrats who know nothing.

    As to 'civilization' in any locale, I was pretty clear in using the term to refer to complex societies that must exist in actual cities. A city is the element of civilization, not artfully carved woodwork. So far as I know, sub-Saharan Africans never built a city like those of Europe, Asia, and the Amerindian cities of America. IQ tests aside, that may signify something.

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  54. Americans need to wake up the fact that Beck is simply another opinion pushing charlatan who is a product of mormon cult theology. He does not possess a single ounce of journalistic integrity, he has no qualifications and he is definitely not a true conservative. But then, what can anyone expect from someone who can't find anything filthier than their own personal reflection. Since people like Beck cannot survive on the basis of any personal merits, they survive by puting others down with lies and half truths in order to feel good about themselves. The truth about Beck is that he a dry mormon alcoholic who never got the counseling required for alcholics. He flippantly throws around Christian terms like "God", "Jesus", "Holy Spirit" as well as voices of other so called "Spirit Powers" on his radio talk show. Beck is a mormon in active standing with the mormon church and is not a Christian. Mormonism teaches many gods, that the god of the earth was once a man who attained godhood status, there is no trinity, the cross of Christ means nothing and that Jesus Christ and Satan were brothers. Because Beck does not possess a single ounce of journalistic integrity, he is the perfect abortion poster child for Fox Network. The people who love what Beck says are no different than the impressionable sheep who loved every speech made by Adolph Hitler in his early years when he brought Germany into an era of economic prosperity. These same sheep (like the ones who listen to and believe the lies of Beck) also blindly followed Hitler into one of the darkest chapters of world history. Beck and the Fox Network both cater to the same lowest common denominator of demagogery. The man would not know the first thing about God as he is a mormon. Someone should ask him which of the many mormon gods he kept talking about during his argument with himself on Saturday. Unfortunately, these teabaggers out there do not realize that Beck is talking about a different god than that of Christianity, Judaism or Islam and that he has been a product of mormonism cultism from the day he started doing a radio talk show as an opinion pusher.

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  55. Rachelle and DiverCity, now let's nail down your argument. It appears your are saying that Michael, SLC, and I are doing is equating in a manner similar to Glenn Beck? I will correct this for you.

    First of all neither of you ever addressed my argument. Race, as has been stated before, is not a scientific term. Do you understand this?

    How do you define race? Please give me a brief description of your definition or it is pointless to continue this discussion.

    Rachelle, you used the words "race" and "populations" interchangeably in the same post . Next you used the words "blacks" and "whites" in several posts. I surmise that these are "types" of these races that you have described. Please elaborate in coherent and academic matter or further consumption of your intellectual output is useless.

    Here is my definition, we can compare notes afterwards. Race as described in the academic community is a cultural word. It has different meanings in different cultures and contains no cross cultural "quantitative" value. That is, to say, it is not measurable.

    In Biology and Anthropology we discuss populations of creatures which are related through a quantifiable difference between genes, mDNA, and genomes. Furthermore, we refer to sub-populations of creatures that are are more closely related as "being in the same clade" while using what is called an outlier to assist in differentiation. With this new nomenclature, there really is no excuse for using the the word race when "trying to have a scientific discussion"

    I am familiar with the interchangeable use of the words which your use interchangeably, but it is unacceptable in academics and science. Now we can start discussing this subject with a standard nomenclature.

    I would like to start by addressing your grouping of "...all of black Africa, Australian aborigines, and Adaman Islanders and perhaps a few others."

    This is a wonderful and diverse "clade" which could be celebrated for it's wonderful phenotypic and cultural diversity (my wife is from Kenya) but when we attempt to link them into a genetic clade, it just isn't possible from a genomic perspective. To do this, we would have to use Pan Troglodyte or Pan Paniscus as an outlier. This just wouldn't get the kind of granularity which Rochelle and I are looking for in this conversation.

    The reason, which I am sure you already know, is because, based on phenotypic traits, the genetic diversity within the group that you just described is suspected to be as great as between any two sub-populations of Homo Sapiens. In fact, the scientific community doesn't even have genetic sequences for most of these sub-populations, so it is really impossible to analyze in this way, inductive reasoning, just simply fails until we have more data.

    But, I will not stop there. The crafty geneticist would say, "but wait scottevil, there is another way to analyze this." To which I would respond, "but of course, we could narrow our analysis to some gene or genes which this wonderful clade has in common."

    But where do we start? Well, we could successfully infer from their similar skin color that they have a similar level of melanin in their skin. From that, we could infer that they have 4-6 pigment genes in common.

    Ah but wait, there are other population which have similar genes such as dark Hindi Indians, Sikhs, Egyptians, Morrocans, etc which do fair as well on your cognitives tests. From proof by contradiction we will conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that these sub-populations have enough genetic similarities warrent related cognitive abilities through heredity. Poof no more "blacks" and "whites".

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  56. Rachelle and DiverCity, now let's nail down your argument. It appears your are saying that Michael, SLC, and I are doing is equating in a manner similar to Glenn Beck? I will correct this for you.

    First of all neither of you ever addressed my argument. Race, as has been stated before, is not a scientific term. Do you understand this?

    How do you define race? Please give me a brief description of your definition or it is pointless to continue this discussion.

    Rachelle, you used the words "race" and "populations" interchangeably in the same post . Next you used the words "blacks" and "whites" in several posts. I surmise that these are "types" of these races that you have described. Please elaborate in coherent and academic matter or further consumption of your intellectual output is useless.

    Here is my definition, we can compare notes afterwards. Race as described in the academic community is a cultural word. It has different meanings in different cultures and contains no cross cultural "quantitative" value. That is, to say, it is not measurable.

    In Biology and Anthropology we discuss populations of creatures which are related through a quantifiable difference between genes, mDNA, and genomes. Furthermore, we refer to sub-populations of creatures that are are more closely related as "being in the same clade" while using what is called an outlier to assist in differentiation. With this new nomenclature, there really is no excuse for using the the word race when "trying to have a scientific discussion"

    I am familiar with the interchangeable use of the words which your use interchangeably, but it is unacceptable in academics and science. Now we can start discussing this subject with a standard nomenclature.

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  57. I would like to start by addressing your grouping of "...all of black Africa, Australian aborigines, and Adaman Islanders and perhaps a few others."

    This is a wonderful and diverse "clade" which could be celebrated for it's wonderful phenotypic and cultural diversity (my wife is from Kenya) but when we attempt to link them into a genetic clade, it just isn't possible from a genomic perspective. To do this, we would have to use Pan Troglodyte or Pan Paniscus as an outlier. This just wouldn't get the kind of granularity which Rochelle and I are looking for in this conversation.

    The reason, which I am sure you already know, is because, based on phenotypic traits, the genetic diversity within the group that you just described is suspected to be as great as between any two sub-populations of Homo Sapiens. In fact, the scientific community doesn't even have genetic sequences for most of these sub-populations, so it is really impossible to analyze in this way, inductive reasoning, just simply fails until we have more data.

    But, I will not stop there. The crafty geneticist would say, "but wait scottevil, there is another way to analyze this." To which I would respond, "but of course, we could narrow our analysis to some gene or genes which this wonderful clade has in common."

    But where do we start? Well, we could successfully infer from their similar skin color that they have a similar level of melanin in their skin. From that, we could infer that they have 4-6 pigment genes in common.

    Ah but wait, there are other population which have similar genes such as dark Hindi Indians, Sikhs, Egyptians, Morrocans, etc which do fair as well on your cognitives tests. From proof by contradiction we will conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that these sub-populations have enough genetic similarities warrent related cognitive abilities through heredity. Poof no more "blacks" and "whites".

    Do you follow my logic, it is grand. Stated in layman's terms, which I am sure will be much more comfortable with, these sub-populations are not related enough to have cognitive similarities that would warrant their grouping.

    Forget IQ. Forget liberal or conservative. Forget, for a minute who the president is, your experiment doesn't get funding, go home and try again! There is nothing to test. You are a racist because you group unrelated sub-populations into groups and then advocate acting in legislative fashion to act on some fabricated cognitive relation.

    It has been shown time and time again that money can be spent to create much more economically effective results if culture, not cognition, is taken into account, but in your cases I would suggest using cognition! Stated in layman's terms, I have given you enough affirmative action DiverCity and Rochelle. Good night.

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  58. I would like to start by addressing your grouping of "...all of black Africa, Australian aborigines, and Adaman Islanders and perhaps a few others."

    This is a wonderful and diverse "clade" which could be celebrated for it's wonderful phenotypic and cultural diversity (my wife is from Kenya) but when we attempt to link them into a genetic clade, it just isn't possible from a genomic perspective. To do this, we would have to use Pan Troglodyte or Pan Paniscus as an outlier. This just wouldn't get the kind of granularity which Rochelle and I are looking for in this conversation.

    The reason, which I am sure you already know, is because, based on phenotypic traits, the genetic diversity within the group that you just described is suspected to be as great as between any two sub-populations of Homo Sapiens. In fact, the scientific community doesn't even have genetic sequences for most of these sub-populations, so it is really impossible to analyze in this way, inductive reasoning, just simply fails until we have more data.

    But, I will not stop there. The crafty geneticist would say, "but wait scottevil, there is another way to analyze this." To which I would respond, "but of course, we could narrow our analysis to some gene or genes which this wonderful clade has in common."

    But where do we start? Well, we could successfully infer from their similar skin color that they have a similar level of melanin in their skin. From that, we could infer that they have 4-6 pigment genes in common.

    Ah but wait, there are other population which have similar genes such as dark Hindi Indians, Sikhs, Egyptians, Morrocans, etc which do fair as well on your cognitives tests. From proof by contradiction we will conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that these sub-populations have enough genetic similarities warrent related cognitive abilities through heredity. Poof no more "blacks" and "whites".

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  59. Do you follow my logic, it is grand. Stated in layman's terms, which I am sure will be much more comfortable with, these sub-populations are not related enough to have cognitive similarities that would warrant their grouping.

    Forget IQ. Forget liberal or conservative. Forget, for a minute who the president is, your experiment doesn't get funding, go home and try again! There is nothing to test. You are a racist because you group unrelated sub-populations into groups and then advocate acting in legislative fashion to act on some fabricated cognitive relation.

    It has been shown time and time again that money can be spent to create much more economically effective results if culture, not cognition, is taken into account, but in your cases I would suggest using cognition! Stated in layman's terms, I have given you enough affirmative action DiverCity and Rochelle. Good night.

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  60. Re Rachelle

    1. The late Stephen Jay Gould wrote a book entitled, "The Mis-Measure of Man," which had a chapter totally discrediting the Bell Curve book. One of the co-authors, the late Richard Herrnstein, was a long time purveyor of the alleged inferiority of African descended populations in the US. Many of his papers were published in the journal Mankind Quarterly, a purveyor of all manner of racist crap, includi9ng a paper by the notorious Carleton Coon.

    2. President Obamas' IQ can be found on several web sites. Use of Google recommended which is where I found the information.

    3. President Obama is an honor graduate of Columbia Un., who obtained his law degree from Harvard, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Sarah Palin went to 5 different colleges, finally getting a BA in sports journalism, whatever the hell that is, from Idaho State Un.

    4. Ah gee, President Obama made a few slips of the tongue during numerous speeches and interviews during the 2008 campaign. The late physicist, John Bardeen, winner of two Nobel Prizes in that subject, was one of the worst public speakers I ever heard. I personally heard him make several such slips of the tongue during a presentation to the annual meeting of the
    American Physical Society.

    Re DiverCity

    1. It depends on the degree to which intelligence, however measured, is a product of inheritance. One of the outstanding examples I like to give is the most important scientist who ever lived, Issac Newton. There is no evidence in his ancestry of any unusual intelligence. One would be hard put to attribute his scientific accomplishments to any inherited genes.

    2. Actually, I would opine that modern day racism owes more to Martin Luther then to anything in the Hebrew Bible. Some of Luthers' writing about Jews are worse then anything to be found in Mein Kampf.

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  61. Scottevil, I do not assume that black Africans and aborigines and Adaman Islanders share precisely the same genome. I know very well that they do not. What they share is the fact that none of these has independently invented writing, mathematics and civilization.

    Moreover, I do not assume that black or dark skin 'causes' lower cognition. I think it is merely a coincidence in the case of Africans, etc. After all, as you pointed out yourself, some Indians have very dark skin yet they have invented writing and mathematics.

    Thinking of it for a moment, however, I suspect that if a given population gets to the point where it invents writing and mathematics, having and using those tools in themselves must create some selective pressure for evolution. In other words, if a population evolves to the point of using writing and math, then there is likely to be a selective pressure for greater cognitive skills.

    Once one accepts that evolution is still playing upon humanity, then it makes sense to look for developments that favor particular abilities. Rather than slowing human evolution, civilization and its arts have probably accelerated it.

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  62. If you don't think they are the same, then why do you use the word "blacks?" You still didn't answer that.

    Also, I highly doubt "math" and "writing" creates selective pressures, I don't think you thought that one through. When is the last time you got laid because of your formal math skills? :-)

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  63. SLC said:

    "The late Stephen Jay Gould wrote a book entitled, "The Mis-Measure of Man," which had a chapter totally discrediting the Bell Curve book."

    That would have been quite a feat, SLC, inasmuch as 'The Bell Curve' was published AFTER 'The Mis-Measure of Man'.

    In fact, 'The Bell Curve' discusses 'The Mis-Measure of Man' on page 296.

    I have no doubt that your information about Obama's IQ is equally insubstantial. You are reading people's hopes and guesses. Obama has not released that, or any other information.

    Funny though, your comment reminds me of all the pompous blather about how much smarter John Kerry was than George Bush. When their military standardized tests were released, it turned out that Bush had done better than Kerry.

    You should follow the excellent example of our host on this blog and learn to be a bit skeptical of everything.

    Just because you get on your knees at night and pray for something to be true doesn't meant that it will be true.

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  64. Scottevil asked:

    "If you don't think they are the same, then why do you use the word "blacks?" You still didn't answer that."

    I think I generally used the expression 'black Africans' and sometimes 'sub-Saharan Africans' to distinguish their locale from the historical Africa known to the Romans, northern Africa, which has a distinctly different racial composition.

    As to the selective pressure created by the use of writing and mathematics, I should have thought it would be obvious. In early cities, those who had the ability to read, to write, and to calculate were likely to end up doing things less arduous than backbreaking work in the fields, etc., and they would likely have better shelter, better food, and larger families surviving to adulthood. It's really not too difficult to see how that might be a selective pressure for change. In "The 10,000 Year Explosion" the authors essentially say that happened to Ashkenazi Jews in Europe. Nobody questions their intelligence.

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  65. Rachelle:

    So wait, you are saying that us understanding that Africa is full of people who are not as cognitively blessed as Europe would have prevented us, the brilliant white folk, from handing over goods to corruptocrats?

    I think you may have stumbled on our own cognitive shortcomings. I'm not sure how us giving resources to criminals is at all reflective of low average African IQ scores. And even if it were, I think there is quite a bit of other information available that we could use to reach the same conclusion. Again, what is the point of pounding on these issues?

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  66. That is my point, you used the words, population, populations, black, blacks, white, whites, race, and races interchangeably.

    What populations were ascribed to "black" by Murray and Hernstein and what was the methodological reasoning behind it? In academics today it is common to publish your reasoning for others to agree or disagree with.

    In addition to "...Africans and aborigines and Adaman Islanders..." you also grouped African Americans with them, which are mixed with 5-10 generation European genes. I do not understand your reasoning. Please explain?

    Also, what is a "distinctly different racial composition"? What does "distinctly" mean in this context? Quantify this please, I would like to understand these numbers? I believe all we have is phenotypical information, please advise me if I am wrong.

    Finally, the 10000 Year Explosion makes the example with the Ashkenazi Jews because of a very specific set of variables. using it to justify other populations is almost pure speculation.

    That theory could only work on a very small population such as the Ashkenazi Jews, it could never work to justify the higher cognitive abilities of all northern Europeans, and especially not justify the Incas or the Mayans. your analogy would work better in an English class than a science class.

    I hope you were kidding when you said obvious? Also, out of curiousity, what is your educational background (Quantity of education, Name of College, etc).

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  67. Re Carleton Coon

    In my last comment, I mentioned Carleton Coon as someone who has published articles in Mankind Quarterly. I actually meant Carleton Putnam. Prof. Coon wouldn't be caught dead publishing anything in Mankind Quarterly.

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  68. Re Rachelle

    1. Stephen Jay Gould wrote a revision of his book, "The Mis-Measure of Man," after the Bell Curve was written. In the revision, he devotes an entire chapter to the Bell Curve book. Try to keep up.

    2. Former President Bush II scored 1227 on the Scholastic Aptitude morning tests. Although that's a pretty good score, it was far below the minimum acceptable score for admittance to Yale (it's some 100 points lower then Al Gores' score). Bush got in through affirmative action of legacy admissions because of his familys' history at the school. If his name had been Joe Schlabotnik, he wouldn't have even been considered for admission.

    3. Obviously, Ms. Rachelle has no interest in the facts about President Obama. She just repeats right wing fascist talking points from clowns like Michael Savage and Joseph Farah. It would not surprise me if she is also a birther and sockpuppet for Orly Taitz. The fact is that the president is probably one of the most intelligent individuals to have occupied that office. By the way, just for the information of Ms. Rachelle, both of the presidents biological parents earned PhDs at respectable universities.

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  69. Scottevil asked:

    "Also, what is a "distinctly different racial composition"? What does "distinctly" mean in this context? Quantify this please, I would like to understand these numbers? I believe all we have is phenotypical information, please advise me if I am wrong."

    I didn't think this would require explanation.

    In "History and Geography of Human Genes" Cavalli-Sforza, et al, published some of the results of their human populations studies.

    One remarkable statement was that [based on genetic distance, etc.] all of humanity could be divided into two distinct groups: sub-Saharan Africans on the one hand and Everyone Else on the other.

    They went on to say that the genetic distance between Africans and Australian Aborigines was about twice as great as the distance between Aborigines and mainland Asians, and that that distance was twice as great as the genetic distance between Asians and Europeans.

    Moreover, they pointed out that the greatest genetic diversity in the human population is found in Africa, providing further evidence that humanity had been in Africa longer than anywhere else.

    All of that is consistent with populations remaining behind in Africa while others leave that continent and spread out across the globe.

    Many of the continuing populations studies associated with the National Geographic Genome Project tend to support the discoveries of Cavalli-Sforza and his team.

    Before publishing "The History and Geography of Human Genes" Cavalli-Sforza announced essentially the same findings in an article in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences where I first read of his work.

    None of this genetic research points to the cognitive ability of one race with respect to another. It merely measures genetic distance between populations.

    Even the research reported just a year or two ago cited two recent dramatic events of human brain evolution [but not in African populations] does not necessarily reflect a change in intelligence even though the changes were on the gene associated with micro-cephally. Maybe the changes relate to the type of 'taming' that wolves underwent as they were domesticated, making it easier for us to live together. I don't know. But the evolutionary events, whatever they portend, apparently did occur in non-African populations.

    In any event, Cavalli-Sforza's description from his genetic population studies should clear up the word 'distinctly' as I used it for you.

    Aren't you even the least bit intellectually curious about this and what we can learn about our species? Or is it that you are just too emotionally involved to engage with the subject objectively?

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  70. SLC said:

    "Obviously, Ms. Rachelle has no interest in the facts about President Obama. She just repeats right wing fascist talking points from clowns like Michael Savage and Joseph Farah."

    In my comment questioning Obama's intelligence I did not quote Michael Savage or Joseph Farah.

    I quoted Barack Hussein Obama.

    It is he how referred to Navy 'Corpseman'.

    It is Obama who said he had been to 57 states.

    It is Obama who said he would serve as President for the next '8 to 10 years'. [Legally he is limited to 8 years].

    It is Obama who confused Pearl Harbor day with the bombing of Hiroshima.

    Barack Obama doesn't need anyone's help in looking stupid. He is managing that very well on his own.

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  71. Scottevil asked:

    "Also, what is a "distinctly different racial composition"? What does "distinctly" mean in this context? Quantify this please, I would like to understand these numbers?"

    In "The History and Geography of Human Genes" Cavalli-Sforza and his team doing research on population genetics said that all off humanity can be divided into two distinct groups: Sub-Saharan Africans on the one hand and Every One else on the other.

    They added that the genetic distance between Africans and Australian Aborigines was about twice the genetic distance between Aborigines and mainland Asians, and that that distance was about twice the distance between Asians and Europeans.

    Their report dealt with genetic distance only and not relative intelligence.

    That's what I had in mind when I said Aborigines were 'distinctly' different from Africans. They are part of Cavalli-Sforza's Everyone Else category.

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  72. Michael, I really don't need yours or anyone else's forgiveness, but thanks for the offer. Your self-righteousness and apparent ignorance are nonetheless quite stunning. What public policy, you ask, might be impacted by the fact that partially inbred extended family groups have different cognitive abilities (again, speaking as groups)? How about a stake in the heart of the current meme that affirmative action is necessary because blacks' academic and economic underperformance are attributable to what you've claimed to have detected in me, to wit, "raaaaaaaacism!"? If rather, chronic underperformance in those areas is attributable to cognitive ability, well then I can think of a whole bevy of policies that will have to be rethought.

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  73. Distinctions--

    Here is another way sub-Saharan Africans can be distinguished from most of the rest of humanity:

    http://www.michaelshermer.com/2010/08/our-neandertal-brethren/

    Apparently Europeans and Asians picked up a gene sweep from Neandertals that the Africans missed.

    Presumably those Neandertal genes conferred some selective [evolutionary] advantage [or at least no disadvantage] or they would not have been retained.

    Put simply, out-of-Africa Humanity began to evolve away from the isolated population pool they left behind in Africa, and the genetic evidence of the distinction is growing yearly.

    This is about the point that liberals begin to think like Glenn Beck and scream that it can't be and it's racist!!! Apparently shouting 'racism' is like Beck invoking God. It is supposed to shut down all thought and discussion.

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  74. DiverCity makes a very good point when he says that learning that there are cognitive differences between different ethnic groups should spike some affirmative action programs.

    Those programs are, in fact, racist in that they favor one individual over another solely because of his race.

    They are also based on a false premise--that every ethnic group has identical cognitive ability and differences in performance MUST be due to oppression and racial discrimination which MUST be cured by legally approved oppression and racial discrimination in the form of affirmative action.

    It's time we dealt fairly with all individuals--whatever the person's race--rather than as tokens in race games.

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  75. > Rachelle: You should follow the excellent example of our host on this blog and learn to be a bit skeptical of everything.

    "In dealing with the ... asserter of doubt, it is not the right method to tell him to stop doubting. It is rather the right method to tell him to go on doubting, to doubt a little more, to doubt every day newer and wilder things in the universe, until at last, by some strange enlightenment, he may begin to doubt himself." (Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job)

    :-)

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  76. Diver City,

    To be honest with you, I have never been a big supporter of affirmative action. Its not that I am against helping people out or anything of the kind, just that the standard for deciding who does and does not get that extra consideration shouldn't be race.

    Of course, if blacks are simply intellectually inferior to whites, that changes things a bit. That means that they truly can't achieve so some sort of race based aid should be given to them.

    So honestly, you gave me the only good argument for affirmative action I have ever heard.

    The problem is that, again, even if this difference in statistical intelligence probabilities exists, you cannot look at a black man and say he is your cognitive inferior based solely on his color.

    So if I can't look at a black man and say he isn't smart enough to be my equal, how do I make a law damning(or helping) all black people based on cognitive functions that just aren't ubiquitous?

    Consequently, the same idea works for affirmative action. In a sense, it assumes without any evidence that the employer in question will not treat minority applicants fairly. You identify this inequity as racist(and it is, in a sense), but you can't connect the dots here? Whats the difference?

    Oh, and the phrase "forgive me" means I am asking for your forgiveness(to be polite), not the other way around. So do try to calm down.

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  77. Rashelle,

    Again, I don't think that differing cognitive abilities makes a compelling case for eliminating affirmative action. Quite the contrary. If its not the fault of the minorities in question, then we should be helping them right?

    Further, there is a lot more to why affirmative action started than racism, which I think undeniably was, and probably continues to be, a problem. There is also the issue of familial wealth and existing social status. There is a ten to one gap between black families and white families. Black families are no where near as likely to have relations and friends that can assist in getting employment like other groups,etc. This means some IQ 100 black man STILL does, racism or not, have less of a shot in the world than a white person of the SAME cognitive ability. That's not fair.

    You could argue that we can't fix the world, and I would agree, but that's not the topic of this debate. My question to you and the others here that seem to be on your side on this was simple: What actions do we take as a responsible society with this knowledge? You've given me an answer, but I believe its a poor one.

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  78. Rachelle writes:

    DiverCity makes a very good point when he says that learning that there are cognitive differences between different ethnic groups should spike some affirmative action programs.

    You apparently did not read (or did not read thoroughly, or did not thoroughly understand) the first link I referred you to in my last post.

    Here are some of the things you would have learned from it:

    1 - There is no scientific evidence of "cognitive differences between different ethnic groups."

    But if that's so, why the statistical differences on "intelligence tests"?

    That leads me to the second item, which is the central point of that reference I gave you.

    2 - The statistical methodology used to derive measures of cognitive ability from "intelligence tests" is not valid for the purpose. The method will show a "general factor" derived from a suite of "tests" in every single case. So for example, if my suite of tests is simply 5 runs of 20 coin flips, the statistical method used on intelligence tests will show a "general factor" as an explanation for my coin-flipping outcomes in the individual runs, when in fact the results are random and we know no "general factor" exists.

    Thus any suite of tests that supposedly measure cognitive ability, when analyzed by the method that has always been used for IQ, *will* show an overall IQ measure responsible for success or lack of same on the individual tests in the suite. Just as with the coin flips, this means nothing in terms of whether such overall "cognitive ability" actually exists.

    Let me repeat the basic point another way: You can call the number derived from an IQ test "IQ," "intelligence," "g," or "Charlie," but the number itself means absolutely nothing regarding the cognitive abilities of any human being.

    So what is being measured, then? This brings us to our third point.

    3 - When what individuals have already learned is controlled for, the supposed "ethnic differences" in IQ vanish. Put another way, the *entire* variation among ethnic groups on such tests is in fact simply a snapshot of the states of their current educations, not differences in any inherent cognitive abilities.

    So IQ tests aren't measuring "cognitive ability." Is there even such a thing as cognitive ability? Or are there, perhaps, cognitive abilities? (Hint: Do Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Mary Lou Retton, and the Russian Olympic wrestler Alexander Karelin all show lower or higher levels of a single physical ability? Or do they manifest different physical abilities? Do you think human mental abilities are at least as various as human physical abilities?)

    Do we have tests that reliably measure cognitive abilities, as opposed to what's already been learned, and have we managed to scientifically categorize what various cognitive abilities might be? Nope.

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  79. I'm late to the party but I see that this hasn't been covered yet.

    Yes, GB is an idiot and a IDiot. he has become leader of the American idiocracy - those that are extremely ignorant but too stupid to be aware or humiliated and who want to take their country back.

    George Whitefield, as GB loves to note was an American religious revivalist in the 18th century. However, he was extremely involved in commerce tothe extent that he lobbied the Georgia legislature to legalize slavery and once they did he promptly bought a slew of slaves to work his Bethesda Orphanage.

    Have I mentioned yet that GB is an idiot of epic and historic proportion?

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  80. VLC to clarify, Wedgewood's were not Darwin's in-laws. His mother was a wedgewood

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