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The background knowledge for genetic racial intelligence differences

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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11 February 2019 08:24
 

Using genetics to treat genetic diseases is NOT eugenics.  It is intended for the benefit of ALL people who suffer from an illness.  Eugenics is promotion of one type or race over others viewed as inferior.  Not the same thing.  The scientific techniques used could be similar; the goals and outcomes are not.  And it is not just the techniques attempted in the past that were a moral sell-out; it is the goal itself.

Science opens our eyes to the world we live in, can provide solutions to problems, and often improves our lives.  But science and scientists are not gods that should be unquestioned or operate outside principles of morality and humanitarianism as determined by society.  As what science can do breaks new boundaries of what is possible, and because there will be those who want to do a thing just because it can be done regardless of whether or not it should be done, they should have to answer to others.  Including the philosophers, ethicists, historians, anthropologists.  If not, some of those science fiction horror stories might actually come true.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 08:48
 

In the early 20th century,  eugenics had a simple definition: the promotion of the preponderance of good genes. Eugenecists believed that undesirable genes existed within all races. This was a liberal idea in contrast to the crude white supremacism common among white southerners. In both the north and south, stupid whites were among those forcibly sterilized. The problem with eugenics was not the fundamental value (who can object to better genes among our children?) but the problem was the means of getting there.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 08:49
 

When we wonder through a construction zone at midnight, filled with cliffs, sharp rebar, and open pits, then it is dangerous. If it is illuminated by the sun at noon, then it becomes much safer to wonder through it. At this point, all medical experiments on humans are wondering through the construction zone at midnight. We have no reason to assume this will last forever, as though any genetic editing is off the table for the whole human future. Even before we can do safe experiments, some will do unsafe experiments. You think Kim Jung Un will have cold feet?

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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11 February 2019 09:15
 
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 08:49 AM

When we wonder through a construction zone at midnight, filled with cliffs, sharp rebar, and open pits, then it is dangerous. If it is illuminated by the sun at noon, then it becomes much safer to wonder through it. At this point, all medical experiments on humans are wondering through the construction zone at midnight. We have no reason to assume this will last forever, as though any genetic editing is off the table for the whole human future. Even before we can do safe experiments, some will do unsafe experiments. You think Kim Jung Un will have cold feet?

I think the specter of deformed or otherwise damaged children will deter anyone.  Your metaphor is colorful, but it is not so simple as shining a light.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 09:18
 
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 09:15 AM
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 08:49 AM

When we wonder through a construction zone at midnight, filled with cliffs, sharp rebar, and open pits, then it is dangerous. If it is illuminated by the sun at noon, then it becomes much safer to wonder through it. At this point, all medical experiments on humans are wondering through the construction zone at midnight. We have no reason to assume this will last forever, as though any genetic editing is off the table for the whole human future. Even before we can do safe experiments, some will do unsafe experiments. You think Kim Jung Un will have cold feet?

I think the specter of deformed or otherwise damaged children will deter anyone.  Your metaphor is colorful, but it is not so simple as shining a light.

It is not as simple as that, but it is a matter of knowledge. Do you really think that the lack of knowledge will remain a barrier through the age of AI?

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 09:33
 

And, granted, this is just my personal opinion, but the moral shame of creating deformed children will almost certainly not deter the Kim family from establishing a military academy of loyal super-engineers and super-soldiers.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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11 February 2019 12:07
 
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 09:18 AM
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 09:15 AM
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 08:49 AM

When we wonder through a construction zone at midnight, filled with cliffs, sharp rebar, and open pits, then it is dangerous. If it is illuminated by the sun at noon, then it becomes much safer to wonder through it. At this point, all medical experiments on humans are wondering through the construction zone at midnight. We have no reason to assume this will last forever, as though any genetic editing is off the table for the whole human future. Even before we can do safe experiments, some will do unsafe experiments. You think Kim Jung Un will have cold feet?

I think the specter of deformed or otherwise damaged children will deter anyone.  Your metaphor is colorful, but it is not so simple as shining a light.

It is not as simple as that, but it is a matter of knowledge. Do you really think that the lack of knowledge will remain a barrier through the age of AI?

Yes, I think that some technologies are impossible.  We won’t have cities with flying cars because vehicles traveling in 3 dimensions would be crashing into each other.  Think how much care and tech goes into landing just a limited number planes on fixed runways…alas, cities a la The Jetsons are impossible. 

And no one, not even someone like Kim is willing to forfeit many thousands of children to try to improve IQ.  I’d say the super soldiers of the future may have implants that augment their senses and strength.  Smart tools and bionic add-ons are much more plausible than genetically engineered intelligence.  (I take seriously what Burt has written.)  After all, it is already known that proper education can do wonders to improve academic performance.  Why would any government risk the blowback from brutal experimentation when they could much more easily engineer education?

Perhaps, Mr. Dean, because you are not trained in the life sciences, you have a sort of over-optimistic, nearly magical view of biological possibilities.  Not everything we can imagine is possible.  Though flashy headlines catch attention, they are not guaranteed to be prophecies.  Look back at World’s Fair exhibits of the past.

https://www.upworthy.com/11-ridiculous-future-predictions-from-the-1900-worlds-fair-and-3-that-came-true

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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11 February 2019 12:22
 
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 12:07 PM
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 09:18 AM
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 09:15 AM
Abel Dean - 11 February 2019 08:49 AM

When we wonder through a construction zone at midnight, filled with cliffs, sharp rebar, and open pits, then it is dangerous. If it is illuminated by the sun at noon, then it becomes much safer to wonder through it. At this point, all medical experiments on humans are wondering through the construction zone at midnight. We have no reason to assume this will last forever, as though any genetic editing is off the table for the whole human future. Even before we can do safe experiments, some will do unsafe experiments. You think Kim Jung Un will have cold feet?

I think the specter of deformed or otherwise damaged children will deter anyone.  Your metaphor is colorful, but it is not so simple as shining a light.

It is not as simple as that, but it is a matter of knowledge. Do you really think that the lack of knowledge will remain a barrier through the age of AI?

Yes, I think that some technologies are impossible.  We won’t have cities with flying cars because vehicles traveling in 3 dimensions would be crashing into each other.  Think how much care and tech goes into landing just a limited number planes on fixed runways…alas, cities a la The Jetsons are impossible. 

And no one, not even someone like Kim is willing to forfeit many thousands of children to try to improve IQ.  I’d say the super soldiers of the future may have implants that augment their senses and strength.  Smart tools and bionic add-ons are much more plausible than genetically engineered intelligence.  (I take seriously what Burt has written.)  After all, it is already known that proper education can do wonders to improve academic performance.  Why would any government risk the blowback from brutal experimentation when they could much more easily engineer education?

Perhaps, Mr. Dean, because you are not trained in the life sciences, you have a sort of over-optimistic, nearly magical view of biological possibilities.  Not everything we can imagine is possible.  Though flashy headlines catch attention, they are not guaranteed to be prophecies.  Look back at World’s Fair exhibits of the past.

https://www.upworthy.com/11-ridiculous-future-predictions-from-the-1900-worlds-fair-and-3-that-came-true

Some speculated technologies are impossible. The possibility of the creation of smarter human beings is more than just a possibility. We already know beyond reasonable doubt that smarter human beings can be created, because nature has already created smarter human beings. If the barriers to human design you have in mind are either barriers in morals or barriers in knowledge, then those are obviously porous barriers.

 
burt
 
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burt
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11 February 2019 12:42
 
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 12:07 PM

I’d say the super soldiers of the future may have implants that augment their senses and strength.  Smart tools and bionic add-ons are much more plausible than genetically engineered intelligence.  (I take seriously what Burt has written.)  After all, it is already known that proper education can do wonders to improve academic performance.

Exactly. And often it’s not even a matter of bionic implants or such. The technology already exists in the form of various meditative and other related practices that, whatever “mystical” promises they may offer, have real, tangible effects on cognitive capacity.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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11 February 2019 16:08
 

Abel Dean:
Some speculated technologies are impossible. The possibility of the creation of smarter human beings is more than just a possibility. We already know beyond reasonable doubt that smarter human beings can be created, because nature has already created smarter human beings. If the barriers to human design you have in mind are either barriers in morals or barriers in knowledge, then those are obviously porous barriers.

True, however, the differences between us and archaic humans are largely cultural, not physical.  Our modern inheritance of reading and writing and math and technologies occupy brain power they used for hunting and way-finding and intimate knowledge of their environment.  That is, being modern “smart” is more about how a brain is used than having a better brain.

Children grow up acting smarter if they have a secure home life and good education.  Rather than pursuing brain engineering, It seems much less risky to me, and beneficial all around, to assure citizens have good healthcare and schooling, nurturing our nation’s children so that they can do their best.

Rather than trying to convince disadvantaged minorities that they are inherently inferior and should submit to genetic experiments, perhaps we should convince the wealthiest people that the best thing they could do with their money and talents is to help others. 

Monday nights I volunteer with a small tutoring group that helps struggling students.  The 5th grade girl I currently partner with is African American.  She is the daughter of a low income, divorced mom (dad had troubles with the law).  Besides giving her academic help, the group leader has linked the girl up with a local arts organization.  She takes piano lessons and had a minor part in the winter musical.  The goal is to support the young lady with broader relationships, as well as helping her develop her abilities.  There is a lot each of us can do to build bridges and foster community, to dispel fear and stave off despair.  Everyone can do a little.

 
burt
 
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burt
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11 February 2019 20:47
 

My crystal ball has given me a view of the relatively distant future, the world of 2500 of the vulgar era. And indeed, proactive genetic engineering has become a reality. They discovered all the genetic factors contributing not only to super-intelligence but to super-good-health, vibrant physical vitality, and emotional strength. And have engineered the general population to possess all of these traits, while engineering out traits of arrogance, egotistical self-assurance, self-serving greed, and xenophobia. Interestingly, because of the general way that traits have multiple genetic factors, with overlaps between many of both the desirable and undesirable traits the entire population of 2500 is black.

Or, for an even more distant future, consider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec7SJy26tLA And part 2, if it doesn’t come up automatically after part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HkQFqo3YlI Noted that part 2 doesn’t come automatically, goes to something else so need to shift to the part 2.

[ Edited: 12 February 2019 07:59 by burt]
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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12 February 2019 11:06
 
hannahtoo - 11 February 2019 04:08 PM

Abel Dean:
Some speculated technologies are impossible. The possibility of the creation of smarter human beings is more than just a possibility. We already know beyond reasonable doubt that smarter human beings can be created, because nature has already created smarter human beings. If the barriers to human design you have in mind are either barriers in morals or barriers in knowledge, then those are obviously porous barriers.

True, however, the differences between us and archaic humans are largely cultural, not physical.  Our modern inheritance of reading and writing and math and technologies occupy brain power they used for hunting and way-finding and intimate knowledge of their environment.  That is, being modern “smart” is more about how a brain is used than having a better brain.

Children grow up acting smarter if they have a secure home life and good education.  Rather than pursuing brain engineering, It seems much less risky to me, and beneficial all around, to assure citizens have good healthcare and schooling, nurturing our nation’s children so that they can do their best.

Rather than trying to convince disadvantaged minorities that they are inherently inferior and should submit to genetic experiments, perhaps we should convince the wealthiest people that the best thing they could do with their money and talents is to help others. 

Monday nights I volunteer with a small tutoring group that helps struggling students.  The 5th grade girl I currently partner with is African American.  She is the daughter of a low income, divorced mom (dad had troubles with the law).  Besides giving her academic help, the group leader has linked the girl up with a local arts organization.  She takes piano lessons and had a minor part in the winter musical.  The goal is to support the young lady with broader relationships, as well as helping her develop her abilities.  There is a lot each of us can do to build bridges and foster community, to dispel fear and stave off despair.  Everyone can do a little.

I think this is where knowledge of within-group intelligence heritability has the most relevance. If we want to makes some whites smarter than the mean of whites, or if we want to make some blacks smarter than the mean of blacks, thereby raising each mean, then we already know for sure what it is mostly about: genetics. The within-group heritability of intelligence, taking all the heritability tests for IQ over a hundred years together, is 0.74. That’s high, but further perspective is brought by the fact that heritability increases as children grow from infants to adults. Among adults, intelligence has a within-group heritability of 0.8. That means 80% of the intelligence variations among adults are caused by genetic variations. This value is dependent on the current environments. Maybe we can isolate and tap into whatever is causing that remaining 20%. If we find it, then we can capitalize on it, and maybe we can increase any child’s IQ from 80 to 150, and, if it became common, then it would both drastically lower the heritability value of intelligence and solve almost every problem in the world all at once: we would have a world full of geniuses who would be far more capable of solving problems. But, it is unlikely. The likely reality is that environmental changes can affect variations of adult intelligence only within a narrow range. By my math, if the within-group heritability of adult IQ is 0.8, then the 95% error of measurement for phenotypic IQ supposing we were to estimate it by measuring only the genetic component of IQ is plus or minus 13 IQ points. So, supposing a genotypic IQ of 80, such a child would be 95% likely to grow up to have an IQ anywhere between 67 and 93. If he or she has all the luck and social advantages possible, then his or her IQ will be 93 as an adult, or maybe even a little higher. If his or her life has instead even more disadvantages than expected of a family with an average IQ of 80, then his or her adult IQ may drop down to 67, or maybe even a little lower. Hope for the a purely environmental focus is suggested by comparing past generations to current generations: we are much smarter now than we were before. But, even these differences may be a matter of heritable genotypic differences, not changes in traditional genetics, but changes in the heritable genetic expressions (epigenetics: still genetics). One way or the other, if we want to increase intelligence, then the numbers as they stand strongly suggest where our focus should be. Ideology, wishful thinking and Burt suggest one focus, and the numbers suggest another focus.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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12 February 2019 12:13
 

AD:
Maybe we can isolate and tap into whatever is causing that remaining 20%. If we find it, then we can capitalize on it, and maybe we can increase any child’s IQ from 80 to 150, and, if it became common, then it would both drastically lower the heritability value of intelligence and solve almost every problem in the world all at once: we would have a world full of geniuses who would be far more capable of solving problems.

Smart does not equate with wise or caring.  You equate above average IQ with solving problems, and lower than average IQ with creating them.  But smart people also create problems, through a lack of honesty and a oversupply of selfishness.  I guess we could argue back and forth for another hundred posts whether this is true…

Human personalities are unique.  This is good for human survival.  Within a tribe there will be leaders, philosophers, strong workers, caretakers, defenders, musicians, artists, healers, keepers of tradition, explorers…many talents as well as many needs.  Members of a successful tribe cooperate and care about the common good.

I think it is far too easy to look down on disadvantaged classes by saying, “They have troubles because they’re not very smart.”  Meanwhile believing that one’s own intelligence must be greater, and that one’s higher station in life is deserved.  Claiming that one person or one group is less intelligent can be used to imply they’re somewhat less human.  Therefore the unintelligent can be controlled or exploited with fewer qualms.

 

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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12 February 2019 12:54
 
hannahtoo - 12 February 2019 12:13 PM

AD:
Maybe we can isolate and tap into whatever is causing that remaining 20%. If we find it, then we can capitalize on it, and maybe we can increase any child’s IQ from 80 to 150, and, if it became common, then it would both drastically lower the heritability value of intelligence and solve almost every problem in the world all at once: we would have a world full of geniuses who would be far more capable of solving problems.

Smart does not equate with wise or caring.  You equate above average IQ with solving problems, and lower than average IQ with creating them.  But smart people also create problems, through a lack of honesty and a oversupply of selfishness.  I guess we could argue back and forth for another hundred posts whether this is true…

Human personalities are unique.  This is good for human survival.  Within a tribe there will be leaders, philosophers, strong workers, caretakers, defenders, musicians, artists, healers, keepers of tradition, explorers…many talents as well as many needs.  Members of a successful tribe cooperate and care about the common good.

I think it is far too easy to look down on disadvantaged classes by saying, “They have troubles because they’re not very smart.”  Meanwhile believing that one’s own intelligence must be greater, and that one’s higher station in life is deserved.  Claiming that one person or one group is less intelligent can be used to imply they’re somewhat less human.  Therefore the unintelligent can be controlled or exploited with fewer qualms.

 

You seem to be shifting your position from intelligence can be best enhanced through environmental means to intelligence is not so important. I suggest we don’t lose sight of the relevance of intelligence, even if the between-group variations are purely environmental. I agree that intelligence is not everything that is important. Maybe it is not even MOST of what is important. Other important things include mental health, cooperation, useful skills, knowledge, open-mindedness, diversity of thought, and pro-social attitudes. But, intelligence is most certainly important. And, you would almost certainly rather live in a community (large or small) with greater average intelligence, not lesser average intelligence. Maybe intelligence merely correlates with the qualities of lives and the qualities of societies, and maybe it is only a small component of what causes them. I agree. I certainly don’t suggest that intelligence is the only change we should make, but other changes should happen in conjunction with enhanced intelligence. Greater intelligence has a direct causal effect on any individual’s greater quality of life, because greater intelligence is most certainly what it takes to solve problems.

In the following link, I have a scatter plot. I constructed it using the R programming language. It illustrates the relevance of greater intelligence. It is a plot of average IQ versus GDP per capita among nations. The non-linear correlation value (rho) is 0.6, meaning about a 60% relationship between the two variables. I am not presuming that this is about genetic differences. And, maybe greater GDP per capita causes greater intelligence, not the other way around; if so, then we had better make darn sure of it, because all of us would rather live in the nations to the right, not the nations to the left. The scatter plot is interesting for many reasons. Look at the outliers: they tell us what can lower a nation’s economic success below what is expected by IQ (communist government) or above what is expected by its IQ (abundance of natural resources).

https://i.postimg.cc/65QB77mJ/IQv-GDPper-Capita2.png

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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12 February 2019 15:07
 

I’d say my view is “we can do more to bring out the best in people,” and “intelligence is not the single most important factor in creating a good society.”  From what you say, we may not be so far in disagreement on these issues.

But then you countenance genetic experimentation on the unborn children of people of low IQ.  This is immoral.  And on other threads, you have said that judging individuals according to racial appearance is prudent.  This also is wrong.  This is where we differ.

Your graph is not helpful.  Of course, you can graph any two variables against one another.  For example, average temperature and GDP.  Years under imperialist rule and GDP.  Rate of malaria and GDP.  Some of these titles, in fact, would suit the graph perfectly.

 
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