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Sam Harris wrong on race

 
SkepticX
 
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05 January 2019 07:12
 
Ola - 28 May 2017 02:05 PM

That characterisation doesn’t ring true to me.

Ola - 28 May 2017 02:05 PM

Don’t kid yourself. There’s no taboo about criticism of Harris.


Sure, that’s easy for you to say, you don’t need it to be true for self-affirmation!

 
 
SkepticX
 
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05 January 2019 07:37
 
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 06:06 PM
nonverbal - 25 December 2018 06:03 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

You haven’t addressed my question. But that’s okay. It’s Christmas.0 today.

I sincerely thought I answered your question directly. You asked for steps, and to be fair I suggested only one step. Would you like me to provide more than one step? I expect that the one step I suggested is enough.


Intelligence is touchy. It’s one of the last and strongest holdouts of free and clear discrimination, so attaching lower intelligence to someone or to a group is perceived as actually justifying a negative judgment toward that person or group. There’s both this discrimination happening, and the fear or concern about it happening, so either or both may be in play in any given instance.

In any case the vast majority of human brain owners still feel not a twitch of reservation or guilt if discriminating against the less intelligent, unless of course there’s an “excuse”—a legit disability. I don’t see that as generally a character issue—seems it’s just not on the collective human radar yet (or maybe I should say the collective Western human radar). I guess it wouldn’t be unfair to say it’s a character issue, but it a human brain owner issue—as far as I can tell only those using human brains need be concerned about such inclinations.

 
 
Quadrewple
 
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05 January 2019 12:20
 
SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Race fundamentalists hear things that are never said. When confronted with simple, straight-forward explanations of why popular biological race categories make no sense, all they hear is ‘Everyone looks the same. Everyone is equal in everything. We must pretend that race isn’t real in order to push utopian, progressive politics.’ Pointing out fatal problems with belief in biological races is not a denial of our real biological diversity, nor is it the stealth attack of some weird leftist agenda. Human biological diversity is real, traditional biological races are not.

So the fact that some “race believers” strawman their opposition demonstrates what exactly?  There’s the exact same phenomenon on the other side where “race deniers” strawman “race believers” in that any aggregate differences must mean a label of superiority/inferiority. 

Of course what you’re saying is true but it holds no particular weight against either side/idea set.  Strawmen gonna strawman…..it’s a part of life.

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

I suspect that Harris is smart enough and sufficiently open minded to be disabused of his belief in races quite easily. He only needs to consider things like the fact that these “undeniable” and “obvious” race labels keep changing across time and across cultures. They only seem, natural, fixed, and irrefutable because of early cultural indoctrination, constant social reinforcement, and historical myopia.

I think you’re misunderstanding the purpose of race labeling in the first place….it is all about ingroup/outgroup dynamics.  The fact that these subjective labels changed to include more people is a good thing, because what was the alternative?  Give up the labels?  Never going to happen…..as long as there are cultural/behavioral differences which are correlated with skin color/physical appearance, it will make sense to attempt to categorize people based on appearance (and some will do so with more information than others).  At a certain point people will decide what they want to do:  if that’s mix and blur the in-group/out-group distinctions then so be it.  To whatever degree this blurring doesn’t occur, the labels will always have a function as it pertains to self-protection, minimization of conflict, and maximization of resources.

What reason do you have to believe that humans are capable of approaching human biodiversity without some nuance being lost in said subjective categorization?  No matter how ideal a proposition, practice trumps theory every single time.

At that point the debate becomes about whether or not we should be intentionally diversifying various geopolitical constructs…..all the things you’re saying here indicate to me we’re already having trouble with our current level of diversity.

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Here’s a simple mental exercise that Harris and other fundamentalist race believers may find useful: How many oceans are there? Those who paid attention in geography class will answer “five” (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern). But this is wrong, or at least misleading. “Five” is culture’s answer. Nature’s answer is “one”. Look at a globe or world map. There is a single, continuous body of salt water that flows around our world. Viewing a globe from the bottom shows it best. We are taught as children to believe in multiple oceans and spend the rest of our lives never questioning such an “obvious truth” when there is actually only one with variation. Anything sound familiar here?

It’s not a question of “believing” in oceans….we consider “ocean” a useful category because of the vastly different objective properties of each body of water (when studied in aggregate).  The only thing we can debate is whether or not those particular demarcations make sense.

Can you provide us a reason why we shouldn’t make these demarcations (why they have no value)?  Or better yet, can you provide a reason why we do currently?

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Does Harris know that not so long ago light-skinned Poles, Italians, Greeks, and Irish immigrants did not qualify as members of the white race in America?

Again, the fact that people apply subjective labels to things they have not studied scientifically, and then change those labels without any added science is not noteworthy.  It is entirely to be expected.

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Does Harris know that there is no consistent biological race model in the world today? A person’s membership to a “biological” race can vary widely depending on where he or she is born, having little or nothing to do with the individual’s biology.

What do you mean by “race model”?

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

One’s race can change by simply flying to another country that has different race rules. How can that happen to a natural, biological classification system?

No, the way others might categorize someone in terms of race changes…..this is a critical error you’re making here.  You’re acting as if there’s no difference between subjective labels based on appearance and labels based on concrete facts (like aggregate differences in DNA, bone structure, etc).

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Is Harris aware that America’s “one-drop” race rule in America is not universal? Traditionally, for Haitians, any observable hint of recent white ancestry makes one white, the exact opposite of America’s traditional any-hint-of-black-ancestry-makes-one-black model. Is Haiti doing it wrong, or is the US doing it wrong? If biological races are so clear and obvious—“straightforward biology”—as Harris said, then why are they always so flexible and inconsistent?

The way we categorize people racially outside of science is largely subjective preference….if someone for some reason prefers to label a 1/32 African person as black then so be it.  Mathematically, it makes no sense of course.  Again, you seem to think that because some people have subjective preferences on racial categorization, that means we can ignore all the science out there about aggregate differences between what we call different races.

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

But can’t we all just see race? At one point in the podcast episode Harris suggested that anyone can easily see race in the mere physical appearance of people which proves the validity of the concept. One can generally predict where a person’s ancestors came from, he claimed, “by just simply looking at his face”. Not true. Give me the world’s population to work with, dress them in neutral clothing, and I could stump Harris all day long. Geographical location and social isolation can fool anyone into seeing humanity as a handful of caricatures.

There’s no amount of neutral clothing that could convince a sane person I am of African descent…..the blonde hair, blue eyes is a dead giveaway.  Also, why build ignorance into your example?  You yourself admit in the last sentence that more exposure to diversity improves recognition of distinction…..why would that be the case if we’re not actually looking at anything real?

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

If I stood 6-foot, 8-inch basketball player Lebron James next to a four-foot, 10-inch professional horse jockey I’m confident that I could argue some people into believing that there are two distinct races of humans, the tall race and the short race. ‘How can you deny the races when you are looking right at them? It’s obvious.’ Those who fail to pause and think might be inclined to believe it. Imagine how easy it would be to convince young children of this two-race claim. But the presentation seems to work only because I omitted billions of people in between the NBA star and the jockey. That old cliché mental lineup for biological races seems to work for the same reason. It renders vast portions of the human population unseen and unaccounted for.

So you’re saying racial categorization (without DNA testing) as a heuristic can be flawed when one has limited information…..but what’s your actual point?  What do we do with that information?

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Harris cited sickle cell disease as a race-specific disease that helps prove the existence of biological races. Wrong again. Sickle cell disease is an evolutionary adaptation to Plasmodium, the malaria parasite. This particular protozoa doesn’t believe in biological races either. It only seems to many Americans that sickle cell is a “black people’s disease” because of their limited perspective. Sickle cell is a problem that can impact people with ancestry connected to regions with high rates of malaria in the past. That’s it. Imagined races have nothing to do with it. For example, the trait is relatively common in central India and the Middle East. A small town in Greece, Orchomenos, has one of the highest rates of sickle cell anemia in the world, much higher than what we see in the African-American population.

All this demonstrates is that using observational race categorization/regional ancestry (without DNA tests) as a heuristic for predicting diseases is limited…..of course it is.  Only an idiot would believe otherwise.  You yourself admit there’s a genetic link between all these groups with sickle cell.  Who specifically said that populations of two different races can’t share similar susceptibilities?  Who are you actually arguing against here?  The stupidest of the stupidest?

SoylentGreen - 27 May 2017 11:17 AM

Obama is more closely related, genetically/ancestrally, to a typical white American than he is to most black Americans. But Murray and Harris didn’t flinch at Obama inhabiting a biological race that is different from that of his own mother. Such is the cognitive fog that race belief brings. Race is supposed to be about kinship, blood, genetics, biology—“straightforward biology”—and yet one’s own birth mother can be in a different race?

Again, the fact that stupid or uninformed people have emotional reasons for subjectively labeling people by race has absolutely no bearing on the legitimacy/practicality of race categorization.  What about the people who don’t engage in this nonsense?

And why would this line of argumentation only apply to race?  Psychopath and narcissist are two terms that get bandied about with reckless abandon.  Should we retire those terms because some people misuse them also? 

At a certain point you have to reckon with the far-reaching implications of the logic you’re using here.

[ Edited: 05 January 2019 12:23 by Quadrewple]
 
 
lynmc
 
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06 January 2019 16:30
 
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

 
Abel Dean
 
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07 January 2019 18:42
 
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

Edit: never mind, I misunderstood.

 
Abel Dean
 
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07 January 2019 18:50
 
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

 
lynmc
 
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08 January 2019 14:41
 
Abel Dean - 07 January 2019 06:50 PM
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

Tests don’t have heritabilities, if you’re trying to sound scientific you’re not succeeding, rather, spouting gibberish.  As gone over in another thread, heritability is an estimate of “degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.”  As a consequence, the estimate depends on environmental variation.  Nor does it make sense to apply it to between-population variation.  Nor have all alleles for intelligence been determined, so I don’t know how you could blandly claim they vary among races.

Do you have evidence for genetic cause being most probable?

 
Abel Dean
 
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08 January 2019 17:47
 
lynmc - 08 January 2019 02:41 PM
Abel Dean - 07 January 2019 06:50 PM
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

Tests don’t have heritabilities, if you’re trying to sound scientific you’re not succeeding, rather, spouting gibberish.  As gone over in another thread, heritability is an estimate of “degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.”  As a consequence, the estimate depends on environmental variation.  Nor does it make sense to apply it to between-population variation.  Nor have all alleles for intelligence been determined, so I don’t know how you could blandly claim they vary among races.

Do you have evidence for genetic cause being most probable?

Tests do indeed have heritabilities. Absolutely any kind of phenotype can have an informative heritability value, and test scores are a kind of phenotype. Maybe I should have said “test scores” instead of “tests”? That may have been the misunderstanding, but I don’t know. My language was in line with the acadamic uses of such words, and I think my intention was clear given the context. You are correct that any estimate of heritability depends on environmental variation; if the environment were the same for absolutely every individual, then the heritability of absolutely any phenotype would be 1.0 (100%), and thus greater environmental variation means lower heritability of anything.  And you are correct that heritability does not apply to between-population variation, at least not directly, and I was not speaking about between-group heritability: only within-group heritability. (It is safe to assume that “heritability” means within-group heritability, unless qualified otherwise.) I was speaking of a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores. This is known as “Spearman’s hypothesis” or the “Jensen effect.” It is not some outdated fringe claim, but it has been studied and argued about openly within the mainstream academic field of human intelligence for decades until now. If you would like to learn more, or if you would at least like to gain assurance that I am not just passing along gibberish nor making up everything as I go along, then I suggest reviewing the article by Jan te Nijenhuis and Michael van den Hoek of 2016 titled, “Spearman’s Hypothesis Tested on Black Adults: A Meta-Analysis.” You can find the full text freely on the web.

 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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09 January 2019 09:59
 
Abel Dean - 08 January 2019 05:47 PM
lynmc - 08 January 2019 02:41 PM
Abel Dean - 07 January 2019 06:50 PM
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

Tests don’t have heritabilities, if you’re trying to sound scientific you’re not succeeding, rather, spouting gibberish.  As gone over in another thread, heritability is an estimate of “degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.”  As a consequence, the estimate depends on environmental variation.  Nor does it make sense to apply it to between-population variation.  Nor have all alleles for intelligence been determined, so I don’t know how you could blandly claim they vary among races.

Do you have evidence for genetic cause being most probable?

Tests do indeed have heritabilities. Absolutely any kind of phenotype can have an informative heritability value, and test scores are a kind of phenotype. Maybe I should have said “test scores” instead of “tests”? That may have been the misunderstanding, but I don’t know. My language was in line with the acadamic uses of such words, and I think my intention was clear given the context. You are correct that any estimate of heritability depends on environmental variation; if the environment were the same for absolutely every individual, then the heritability of absolutely any phenotype would be 1.0 (100%), and thus greater environmental variation means lower heritability of anything.  And you are correct that heritability does not apply to between-population variation, at least not directly, and I was not speaking about between-group heritability: only within-group heritability. (It is safe to assume that “heritability” means within-group heritability, unless qualified otherwise.) I was speaking of a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores. This is known as “Spearman’s hypothesis” or the “Jensen effect.” It is not some outdated fringe claim, but it has been studied and argued about openly within the mainstream academic field of human intelligence for decades until now. If you would like to learn more, or if you would at least like to gain assurance that I am not just passing along gibberish nor making up everything as I go along, then I suggest reviewing the article by Jan te Nijenhuis and Michael van den Hoek of 2016 titled, “Spearman’s Hypothesis Tested on Black Adults: A Meta-Analysis.” You can find the full text freely on the web.

Traits may be heritable (or not), test scores are not.  It shows muddied thinking to confuse the two - lending weight to the hypothesis that racists are less intelligent than average.  The article you reference, at least according to the abstract, says nothing about the heritability of intelligence.  According to Wikipedia, Spearman’s hypothesis doesn’t say anything about the black-white gap having a genetic base - that argument is made by others. 

With respect to “a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores”, do you mean the black subpopulation heritability estimate, the white subpopulation heritability estimate, or the population as a whole?  Since the gap is only one measure on any given test, could you explain how do you arrive at a correlation?

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 January 2019 14:43
 
lynmc - 09 January 2019 09:59 AM
Abel Dean - 08 January 2019 05:47 PM
lynmc - 08 January 2019 02:41 PM
Abel Dean - 07 January 2019 06:50 PM
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

Tests don’t have heritabilities, if you’re trying to sound scientific you’re not succeeding, rather, spouting gibberish.  As gone over in another thread, heritability is an estimate of “degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.”  As a consequence, the estimate depends on environmental variation.  Nor does it make sense to apply it to between-population variation.  Nor have all alleles for intelligence been determined, so I don’t know how you could blandly claim they vary among races.

Do you have evidence for genetic cause being most probable?

Tests do indeed have heritabilities. Absolutely any kind of phenotype can have an informative heritability value, and test scores are a kind of phenotype. Maybe I should have said “test scores” instead of “tests”? That may have been the misunderstanding, but I don’t know. My language was in line with the acadamic uses of such words, and I think my intention was clear given the context. You are correct that any estimate of heritability depends on environmental variation; if the environment were the same for absolutely every individual, then the heritability of absolutely any phenotype would be 1.0 (100%), and thus greater environmental variation means lower heritability of anything.  And you are correct that heritability does not apply to between-population variation, at least not directly, and I was not speaking about between-group heritability: only within-group heritability. (It is safe to assume that “heritability” means within-group heritability, unless qualified otherwise.) I was speaking of a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores. This is known as “Spearman’s hypothesis” or the “Jensen effect.” It is not some outdated fringe claim, but it has been studied and argued about openly within the mainstream academic field of human intelligence for decades until now. If you would like to learn more, or if you would at least like to gain assurance that I am not just passing along gibberish nor making up everything as I go along, then I suggest reviewing the article by Jan te Nijenhuis and Michael van den Hoek of 2016 titled, “Spearman’s Hypothesis Tested on Black Adults: A Meta-Analysis.” You can find the full text freely on the web.

Traits may be heritable (or not), test scores are not.  It shows muddied thinking to confuse the two - lending weight to the hypothesis that racists are less intelligent than average.  The article you reference, at least according to the abstract, says nothing about the heritability of intelligence.  According to Wikipedia, Spearman’s hypothesis doesn’t say anything about the black-white gap having a genetic base - that argument is made by others. 

With respect to “a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores”, do you mean the black subpopulation heritability estimate, the white subpopulation heritability estimate, or the population as a whole?  Since the gap is only one measure on any given test, could you explain how do you arrive at a correlation?

Test scores are a trait, and they are much like any other sort of psychological trait. Every sort of psychological trait has a heritability value, between 0 and 1, much like any trait of any kind.

Spearman’s hypothesis is directly about the positive correlation between g-loading and the black-white gap of tests. My argument depends on the premise that a very strong relationship exists between heritability and g-loading. I am more uncertain of that premise than I was before, because, while the correlations reported among the meta-analyses tend to be strong, I can’t track down the sources. One meta-analysis is reported to have a correlation of 1.01, which is absurdly high but for rounding error, and I have the citation, but I can’t find the paper, not even an abstract. This is the citation:

van Bloois, R. M., Geutjes, L. -L., te Nijenhuis, J., & de Pater, I. E. (2009, December 19). g loadings and their true score correlations with heritability coefficients, giftedness, and mental retardation: Three psychometric meta-analyses. Paper presented at the Symposium on Group Differences, 10th Annual Meeting of the International Society forIntelligence Research, Madrid, Spain.

”...do you mean the black subpopulation heritability estimate, the white subpopulation heritability estimate, or the population as a whole?”

The latter. Heritability estimates involve families from many races within the general population.

“Since the gap is only one measure on any given test, could you explain how do you arrive at a correlation?”

You would have a list of many coordinate pairs, each coordinate pair describing an exam, (X,Y), where X equals the g-loading (with a close relationship to heritability) of each exam and Y is the gap between the average black score and the average white score in units of standard deviations for each exam. Use the standard formula for a correlation coefficient to get Pearson’s r.

 
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10 January 2019 18:28
 
Abel Dean - 10 January 2019 02:43 PM
lynmc - 09 January 2019 09:59 AM
Abel Dean - 08 January 2019 05:47 PM
lynmc - 08 January 2019 02:41 PM
Abel Dean - 07 January 2019 06:50 PM
lynmc - 06 January 2019 04:30 PM
Abel Dean - 25 December 2018 05:57 PM

Do you believe that such matters can be important only for racists? If so, then I will be happy to explain why the objective truths about the human species, whatever those truths may be, should be important for thinkers of every moral/ideological/political orientation. If not, then I will simply answer your question as follows: the effects of political ideology need to be pointed out and shamed within the halls of science, perhaps starting with that Ruth Benedict misquote, much like young-Earth creationism is shamed within the academic halls of biology and geology.

However, that there’s a genetic cause for observed differences in intelligence between “races” is not an objective truth.  So explain away.

The hypothesis of a largely-genetic cause of racial intelligence differences is not an established certainty, but it remains the most probable cause, given everything else we know, i.e. the 74% within-group heritability of intelligence variations, the fact that heritibilities among tests strongly correlate with the black-white gaps among those tests, the facts that brain size is highly heritable, correlates with intelligence, and has the racial hierarchy expected, and alleles for intelligence vary among races as expected. Still not a certainty, but a strong probability, and that matters if we want to make accurate sense of racial inequality in the world. It matters especially if you are a liberal, not in spite of it. I have confidence that liberals can use this knowledge for the betterment of all human races. I don’t have such confidence in white nationalists.

Tests don’t have heritabilities, if you’re trying to sound scientific you’re not succeeding, rather, spouting gibberish.  As gone over in another thread, heritability is an estimate of “degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.”  As a consequence, the estimate depends on environmental variation.  Nor does it make sense to apply it to between-population variation.  Nor have all alleles for intelligence been determined, so I don’t know how you could blandly claim they vary among races.

Do you have evidence for genetic cause being most probable?

Tests do indeed have heritabilities. Absolutely any kind of phenotype can have an informative heritability value, and test scores are a kind of phenotype. Maybe I should have said “test scores” instead of “tests”? That may have been the misunderstanding, but I don’t know. My language was in line with the acadamic uses of such words, and I think my intention was clear given the context. You are correct that any estimate of heritability depends on environmental variation; if the environment were the same for absolutely every individual, then the heritability of absolutely any phenotype would be 1.0 (100%), and thus greater environmental variation means lower heritability of anything.  And you are correct that heritability does not apply to between-population variation, at least not directly, and I was not speaking about between-group heritability: only within-group heritability. (It is safe to assume that “heritability” means within-group heritability, unless qualified otherwise.) I was speaking of a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores. This is known as “Spearman’s hypothesis” or the “Jensen effect.” It is not some outdated fringe claim, but it has been studied and argued about openly within the mainstream academic field of human intelligence for decades until now. If you would like to learn more, or if you would at least like to gain assurance that I am not just passing along gibberish nor making up everything as I go along, then I suggest reviewing the article by Jan te Nijenhuis and Michael van den Hoek of 2016 titled, “Spearman’s Hypothesis Tested on Black Adults: A Meta-Analysis.” You can find the full text freely on the web.

Traits may be heritable (or not), test scores are not.  It shows muddied thinking to confuse the two - lending weight to the hypothesis that racists are less intelligent than average.  The article you reference, at least according to the abstract, says nothing about the heritability of intelligence.  According to Wikipedia, Spearman’s hypothesis doesn’t say anything about the black-white gap having a genetic base - that argument is made by others. 

With respect to “a CORRELATION between (1) within-group heritability of test scores and (2) the black-white gap of those test scores”, do you mean the black subpopulation heritability estimate, the white subpopulation heritability estimate, or the population as a whole?  Since the gap is only one measure on any given test, could you explain how do you arrive at a correlation?

Test scores are a trait, and they are much like any other sort of psychological trait. Every sort of psychological trait has a heritability value, between 0 and 1, much like any trait of any kind.

Spearman’s hypothesis is directly about the positive correlation between g-loading and the black-white gap of tests. My argument depends on the premise that a very strong relationship exists between heritability and g-loading. I am more uncertain of that premise than I was before, because, while the correlations reported among the meta-analyses tend to be strong, I can’t track down the sources. One meta-analysis is reported to have a correlation of 1.01, which is absurdly high but for rounding error, and I have the citation, but I can’t find the paper, not even an abstract. This is the citation:

van Bloois, R. M., Geutjes, L. -L., te Nijenhuis, J., & de Pater, I. E. (2009, December 19). g loadings and their true score correlations with heritability coefficients, giftedness, and mental retardation: Three psychometric meta-analyses. Paper presented at the Symposium on Group Differences, 10th Annual Meeting of the International Society forIntelligence Research, Madrid, Spain.

”...do you mean the black subpopulation heritability estimate, the white subpopulation heritability estimate, or the population as a whole?”

The latter. Heritability estimates involve families from many races within the general population.

“Since the gap is only one measure on any given test, could you explain how do you arrive at a correlation?”

You would have a list of many coordinate pairs, each coordinate pair describing an exam, (X,Y), where X equals the g-loading (with a close relationship to heritability) of each exam and Y is the gap between the average black score and the average white score in units of standard deviations for each exam. Use the standard formula for a correlation coefficient to get Pearson’s r.

Great, but you’re just blandly stating the g-loading has a close relationship to heritability.  Your example correlates g-loading to gap, not gap to heritability.  How many different measures for heritability do you have, to graph against the gap?  Where do you get them?

And, since you never answered my question, how do you arrive at genetic causes for the gap being most probable?

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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10 January 2019 20:30
 

lynmc, if I may.  You probably already know this, but…

This should be proof enough that Mr.Dean is just parroting results he likes from research he doesn’t really understand.  He notes that one correlation for g-loading and heritability he has seen—1.01—seems “absurdly high, but for rounding error.”  But it’s not absurdly high, but for a rounding error; it’s just plain impossible.  No statistical test for a correlation can yield a result of 1.01 that needs to be rounded to anything, for a correlation is by definition between -1 and 1. If he actually knew what he was talking about, he would have caught this and not said it seems “absurdly high.”  He’d have either not mentioned it at all (I can guarantee he did not read it in a published study), or he would have noted it’s not possible.

I get that he’s coming across as judicious and critically careful in his assertions, but they are, as you’ve intuited, bullshit.  A trait can have a heritability of .1 or .9, and either estimate has exactly the same relationship to the probability that a phenotypic difference between groups is based on genetic markers because both scores have the same impact on that probability, whatever it might be—zero.  Period.  This has been explained to Jensen and his ilk by evolutionary biologists, geneticists, and statisticians since Jenson first proposed his “effect” (he said the probability is a “monotonically increasing function”).  But it’s not a function of any kind.  It’s just a non sequitur based on a layman’s misinterpretation of a technical term in population genetics.  That psychologists repeatedly make this mistake when they leave their wheelhouse and speculate about genes says a lot about bad science, but nothing about genetics.  For their part, no geneticist makes this mistake.  None.  It is an error (to be charitable) specific to psychologists, and among them specific to those who call themselves “race realists”—Jenson and Rushton’s own self-characterization in a joint paper they wrote in 2005 mouthing this same fantasy “effect.”  No amount of correction from those who use this term for a living has made a difference, despite trying every time this issue hits the mainstream (as it did 1969 and the early 70’s, with Jensen, then again in 1994, with Herrnstein and Murray in The Bell Curve).  And no further correction is likely to make a difference now.

In any case, keep fighting the good fight, brother. This guy doesn’t have a clue.

[ Edited: 10 January 2019 21:14 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 January 2019 20:47
 

TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher, I have never before seen a perfect correlation for anything empirical, and it is enough to warrant skepticism, but you seem to be overreacting to it. The claim to me seems unlikely but not impossible. Would you mind briefly explaining your extreme confidence that rounding error can not possibly explain a correlation slightly greater than 1.00, similar to how the sum of many rounded portions may add up to an impossible 101%? Maybe you do have a good reason, and I am happy to learn of it. I don’t want to persist in my ignorance any longer.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 January 2019 21:36
 

“I get that he’s coming across as judicious and critically careful in his assertions, but they are, as you’ve intuited, bullshit.  A trait can have a heritability of .1 or .9, and either estimate has exactly the same relationship to the probability that a phenotypic difference between groups is based on genetic markers because both scores have the same impact on that probability, whatever it might be—zero.  Period.”

I have paid much attention to the academic arguments against Arthur Jensen’s positions. A common argument against Jensen’s claim that within-group heritability reflects between-group heritability is the farmer argument. Maybe you have seen it already. Two fields are planted sourcing from the same randomly-mixed bag of seeds. You water one field and you leave the other field mostly dry. The stalks in the watered field grows tall, whereas the corn in the dry field grows short. The trait of stalk height may have a very high heritability value, and yet you can have two drastically heights between the two groups.

That seems to be the extent of the argument. It is a purely rhetorical argument from analogy, no math involved. But, Arthur Jensen responded with a mathematical argument, which he laid out fully in one of his books, and I can relay it this weekend when I return home if you like. His claim was that, while within-group heritability does not equal between-group heritability, there is a proved positive relationship. Increasing either the within-group heritability or the phenotypic group gap increases the probability of a greater between-group heritability. I expect that his argument would also make intuitive common sense. A central reason we take it for granted that racial bodily height differences are probably largely genetic is because we all know that height has such a strong within-group heritability. I have seen only one of Jensen’s critics confront the argument, and he admitted that the argument was in Jensen’s favor (James Flynn’s 1980 book, “Race, IQ and Jensen”).

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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11 January 2019 05:46
 

Mr. Dean,

You are not only ignorant of the range of arguments against Jensen; you are ignorant of the very concepts at stake.  Arthur Jensen can’t have a mathematical argument for between-group heritability because there is no such thing as between-group heritability.  Heritability estimates are always specific to the population for which they are measured, within a specific environment.  They do not specify in any way an invariant property of a trait against which expression of the trait between populations can be compared, and any such comparison using them is only based on assumptions about the similar genetic make-up of the two populations, and assumptions of similar environments.  Jensen’s mathematical argument otherwise amounts to a psychologist spouting technical bullshit to cover up (to be charitable) this basic mistake.

As for your ignorance of the “academic arguments,” here are two papers from one of the two most prestigious scientific journals in the world, wherein the uses, limits and misuses of heritability are laid out.  They have, I assure you, all the mathematics you could ever desire…

Layzer, D (1974). The heritability analyses of IQ scores: science or numerology? Science, 183, pp. 1259-1266.

Feldman, M.W & Lewontin, R.C. (1975). The heritability hang-up. Science, 190, pp. 1163-1168. 

Feldman is a biologist and Lewontin is a geneticist.  There are dozens of others like them who’ve done the same thing in less prestigious outlets.  Over and over again, to no avail. 

As for the correlation issue, no published study has ever suggested a correlation of 1.01, not from the utterly stupid error of rounding to get it, or otherwise.  No meta-analysis will in principle produce even a correlation of 1, for to do so, all the component studies would have to have a correlation of unity—hence there would be no meta-analysis.  And your suggestion that in one maybe the authors made a rounding error in summing up the rounded correlations to get an “impossible” 1.01 shows that you have no real idea how meta-analysis is done (they use weighted averages, not summations, to estimate an effect size). 

The up-side for me in correcting retarded misconceptions to dislodge someone from their immoral views is near zero.  We are there now.  Consider this my last word.  You get to continue on with your admittedly literate and rhetorically well-positioned scientific mumbo-jumbo without corrections from me.

(I doubt you are sincere in correcting you ignorance, but just in case this debunks your “error” using the very “body height” example you invoke.  Jensen, I recall, used the same example, intuitively and in the wrong way as well).

Good luck on the forum.  You have mastered the accoutrements of polite company, but to me that makes you no less what you really are.

The Anus

[ Edited: 11 January 2019 06:12 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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