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Sam Harris wrong on race

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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16 January 2019 09:31
 
LadyJane - 16 January 2019 09:26 AM
GAD - 16 January 2019 08:55 AM

What power? We are having a conversation, why does that bother you? We follow where the conversations are and go, thread purity is an admin hangup.

You can continue oscillating between the two insults you seem stuck on or accept the fact that I’m capable of making observations as a regular poster.

And I was just making observations as a regular poster…

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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16 January 2019 10:44
 

It’s a weak copout to claim administrative overreach and not an accusation I often hear of the other admins when they express an opinion.  Like puzzling accusations of emotionally driven responses despite consistently maintaining a markedly even keel.  Imagine facing that while watching others blow a gasket.  The only thing funnier than exploiting the humour in contradiction is thinking we should pass on the opportunity. 

I’m a frayed knot.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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16 January 2019 12:15
 

This forum’s history shows a distinct reluctance to forcefully eliminate wayward threads. If that history-policy occasionally happens to be less than practicable, I see such a condition as pointing toward a positive direction rather than hindering things. No-sudden-movements seems to me a good approach, and almost every apparently wayward thread around here gets resolved politely or at least nonviolently. Once in a while, though, a fervor of sorts—complete with writing skills—descends upon us.

If you’ve ever watched Live P-D (or Halo-Girl), you know that severe disagreements eventually end up in favor of those in power. Those in power tend to reflect opinions of the general population involved. Same here as well, of course. Confronting perceived miscreants, it seems obvious to me, amounts to a balancing act yet to be perfected even by Philip Petit. It can be done, though, especially if no one obsessively picks at the scab.

 
 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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16 January 2019 19:11
 
Abel Dean - 14 January 2019 08:39 PM
lynmc - 14 January 2019 08:03 PM
Abel Dean - 10 January 2019 09:36 PM

“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”).


Heritability is a proportion of variance.  Except its use in the calculation (in which average is subtracted from every measure so in a sense “drops out”), average (or mean) has no effect on the variance.  And variance has no bearing on average.  That’s just the mathematics.  So I am rather curious how any proportion of variance says anything meaningful about the mean, or the means of any measures of two subpopulations?

In this context, it is not about trying to find the means. The phenotypic means are the average IQs of blacks (85) and whites (100). It is not so well known among the public, because even those foundational facts are racist, but it is established and well-known among academics who study the issue. The disagreement is about what explains the difference between the two groups (15 points). Does it follow more from genetic differences between the two groups? Or does it follow more from environmental differences between the two groups? Arthur Jensen claimed it is probably largely a matter of genetic differences, whereas Feldman and Lewontin seemed to favor the environmentalist hypothesis. The portion of the group gap that follows from genetic differences is the value of between-group heritability. Arthur Jensen claimed that increasing either the within-group heritability or the phenotypic group gap increases the probability of a greater between-group heritability. For black and white IQ, the within-group heritability is 0.74 on a scale of 0 to 1, and the phenotypic group gap is a standard deviation. Both values are large, so a between-group heritability significantly greater than 0 should be a default hypothesis, though 0 is still possible. It would be plainly wrong to claim that within-group heritability has nothing to do with between-group heritability. I wonder if Feldman and Lewontin would claim that a within-group heritability of 0.9999 has no effect on the probability of a higher between-group heritability.

Actually, it’s plainly wrong to claim that within-group heritability has anything to do with between-group heritability.  I’m still waiting for your (or Jenson’s) mathematics explaining how you came up with this - I really don’t see how a proportion of variance can explain a delta in averages.  It doesn’t matter if your within-group heritability is .9999 when environmental conditions affect the measure, because you can change the environmental conditions and your heritability will be different.

Here’s an analogy - take some pea seeds and divide them into 2 groups depending on whether they have genes for wrinkled seeds or smooth.  Match them so the parent plants (both wrinkled and smooth, taken separately) have the same average size when grown under the same conditions.  Plant these seeds.  Give the smooth-seed pea plants sufficient water and nutrients, but deprive the wrinkled-seed pea plants.  Note the growth of each.  Lets just say, the wrinkled-seed plants come out stunted and small, the smooth-seed plants come out bushy and large.  Within-group heritability for size can be large, but between-group heritability for the size difference would still be 0.

 

 

 
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