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Genetics and physical abilities

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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31 July 2021 18:14
 

I used Mr. Google and found this article: What Makes Kenya’s Marathon Runners The World’s Best?

It’s impossible to measure exactly what makes for marathon gold, says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard and the author of The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease. But Kenyan runners may possess certain qualities that drive their ability to win.

Why are Kenyans winning so many marathons?

It’s a fascinating question — why Kenyans are so fast, so dominant at the moment. Ethiopians are also doing extremely well. But really, if you really look at finishing times, runners from Africa are only a little bit faster than the rest of the world, just a few minutes faster over the course of slightly more than two hours.

I don’t know a definitive answer, no one does. So everybody just guesses. It’s impossible to quantify all of the factors that make one runner better than another. It’s probably a combination of training, determination, culture and biology.

Is there a running gene, an athletic gene that researchers can pinpoint?

The efforts to find genes or other factors have mostly failed. There’s no smoking-gun gene. That doesn’t mean these genes don’t exist, but no one has found them.

Apparently it’s more than just genetics, and involves a whole slew of factors converging together to make great athletes. And, since Kenya is a very poor country, wealth does not come into play.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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31 July 2021 18:36
 

This is probably not the full explanation

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1098891/kenya-president-troubled-by-doping

But it might be part.  Just like the US’s dominance in the Tour de France back in the day.

Might be worth reading if you’re particularly interested in Kenyans

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22634972/

[ Edited: 31 July 2021 19:14 by mapadofu]
 
Skipshot
 
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31 July 2021 21:29
 

The meta analysis of experiments testing the nature vs. nurture question has, for now, found the influence of each is 50/50.  So I’m with weird, if all else is equal, then picking a genetic winner is like winning the lottery.

White people win more tennis championships because more white people play tennis.  Same for everything else.  Human genetic variation for the best whatever is not statistically significant enough to overcome chance.

 
weird buffalo
 
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31 July 2021 22:38
 
DEGENERATEON - 31 July 2021 05:18 PM

Ok what if the billionaires are just trying to grow the tallest human?  Same nutrition- no enhancing drugs.  Are there countries that are more/less desirable to choose from?
Is the contention that any group of people from anywhere in the world would have the same probability of being tall as anyone else given the same environment?

The Netherlands, with the tallest average height of any country in the world is well known for their dominance at basketball.  They qualified for the FIBA world cup once, 1986, and have never qualified for the Olympics.

[ Edited: 31 July 2021 22:42 by weird buffalo]
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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31 July 2021 23:09
 

So you have China, with 1.4 billion people and where basketball is the most popular sport.  Like 300 million people playing it.  Yet we have a couple notable Chinese in the NBA, and about 80% are black.  But there’s no difference in genetic ability?  Every corner in the NFL is black, but that must be motivation and nutrition? 
I just find it hard to believe that environment is the key factor here.  Pre-natal nutrition? 
How can you say there’s no difference between any group, or that it’s insignificant? 

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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31 July 2021 23:13
 
Skipshot - 31 July 2021 09:29 PM

The meta analysis of experiments testing the nature vs. nurture question has, for now, found the influence of each is 50/50.  So I’m with weird, if all else is equal, then picking a genetic winner is like winning the lottery.

White people win more tennis championships because more white people play tennis.  Same for everything else.  Human genetic variation for the best whatever is not statistically significant enough to overcome chance.

Wait a minute, it’s 50/50?  Then if we control the nurture part then the other 50% is genetic. And if half is attributable to genetics, then that is extremely significant.

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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31 July 2021 23:23
 

Go to Wikipedia to the 100 meter.  Then look at the all time top 25.  Every single one is black.  Can’t any white people get proper nutrition or a good trainer?

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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01 August 2021 06:37
 

It is not the case that every one of the top 25 100m men’s results listed at Wikipedia is a black man.

The distribution of nations across that list runs counter to the idea expressed in the op question:
“ Is there a fundamental flaw in thinking that different areas of the world will produce people with different athletic abilities?”

What I see as the fundamental flaw is that there is no good evidence that genetic differences in different parts of the world have significant effect on overall athletic performance.  It also assumes that people don’t move amongst the different parts of the world.

What we’ve gotten are your impressions obtained by looking at the news and fantastical hypothetical “bets”.  The one time you try to cite specific facts, you get the details wrong and it undermines your original thesis.

[ Edited: 01 August 2021 07:07 by mapadofu]
 
weird buffalo
 
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01 August 2021 06:55
 
DEGENERATEON - 31 July 2021 11:09 PM

So you have China, with 1.4 billion people and where basketball is the most popular sport.  Like 300 million people playing it.  Yet we have a couple notable Chinese in the NBA, and about 80% are black.  But there’s no difference in genetic ability?  Every corner in the NFL is black, but that must be motivation and nutrition? 
I just find it hard to believe that environment is the key factor here.  Pre-natal nutrition? 
How can you say there’s no difference between any group, or that it’s insignificant?

Your ability to comprehend the truth is irrelevant to what the truth actually is.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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01 August 2021 07:11
 

Lithuanians got those “basketball genes”. Genes that the Estonians and Latvians just somehow lack.

 
weird buffalo
 
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01 August 2021 07:21
 
DEGENERATEON - 31 July 2021 11:13 PM
Skipshot - 31 July 2021 09:29 PM

The meta analysis of experiments testing the nature vs. nurture question has, for now, found the influence of each is 50/50.  So I’m with weird, if all else is equal, then picking a genetic winner is like winning the lottery.

White people win more tennis championships because more white people play tennis.  Same for everything else.  Human genetic variation for the best whatever is not statistically significant enough to overcome chance.

Wait a minute, it’s 50/50?  Then if we control the nurture part then the other 50% is genetic. And if half is attributable to genetics, then that is extremely significant.

But you’re not understanding this genetic distribution.

Imagine we take a bunch of corn.  We put it in the best soil, give it the exact right amount of water, etc… all the best.  There will be variation within the height of that corn, but it will all trend towards the top of what is possible.

We take clones of those same plants, and put them in poor soil, give them barely enough water, etc… all the worst.  There will be variation within the height of that corn, but it will all trend towards the bottom of what is possible.

South Korean women are on average 8 inches taller than they were a 100 years ago.  Their genetics didn’t dramatically change.

Two tall people are more likely to have a child who is tall, but access to nutrition is truly the final arbiter.  Given equal access to nutrition, that child will be taller than other children, but a child of shorter parents who has significantly better nutrition has a pretty good chance of being taller.

Also, within genetics there is regression to the mean.  Manute Bol was 7’7, and two of his tallest children are 7’2 and 6’9.  Still freakishly tall, but shorter than their father.  The taller you are, the more likely it will be that your children will be shorter than you, because of the odds that genetic variation will skew towards the average.  The inverse is also true, the shorter you are, the more likely your children will be taller than you.

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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01 August 2021 07:22
 
mapadofu - 01 August 2021 06:37 AM

It is not the case that every one of the top 25 100m men’s results listed at Wikipedia is a black man.

The distribution of nations across that list runs counter to the idea expressed in the op question:
“ Is there a fundamental flaw in thinking that different areas of the world will produce people with different athletic abilities?”

What I see as the fundamental flaw is that there is no good evidence that genetic differences in different parts of the world have significant effect on overall athletic performance.  It also assumes that people don’t move amongst the different parts of the world.

What we’ve gotten are your impressions obtained by looking at the news and fantastical hypothetical “bets”.  The one time you try to cite specific facts, you get the details wrong and it undermines your original thesis.

Who did I miss that isn’t black?  What is his name?  You say the distribution runs counter to my thoughts, why is Jamaica highly over represented and China or India missing from the list? 
I’m not looking at the “news” - I’m looking at the world around me and noticing things.  Calling the thought experiment “fantastical hypothetical” does nothing to address the issue.  Is your answer to the Trolley Problem “that would never happen, what a fantastic bit of nonsense!”

 
weird buffalo
 
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01 August 2021 07:29
 
DEGENERATEON - 01 August 2021 07:22 AM
mapadofu - 01 August 2021 06:37 AM

It is not the case that every one of the top 25 100m men’s results listed at Wikipedia is a black man.

The distribution of nations across that list runs counter to the idea expressed in the op question:
“ Is there a fundamental flaw in thinking that different areas of the world will produce people with different athletic abilities?”

What I see as the fundamental flaw is that there is no good evidence that genetic differences in different parts of the world have significant effect on overall athletic performance.  It also assumes that people don’t move amongst the different parts of the world.

What we’ve gotten are your impressions obtained by looking at the news and fantastical hypothetical “bets”.  The one time you try to cite specific facts, you get the details wrong and it undermines your original thesis.

Who did I miss that isn’t black?  What is his name?  You say the distribution runs counter to my thoughts, why is Jamaica highly over represented and China or India missing from the list? 
I’m not looking at the “news” - I’m looking at the world around me and noticing things.  Calling the thought experiment “fantastical hypothetical” does nothing to address the issue.  Is your answer to the Trolley Problem “that would never happen, what a fantastic bit of nonsense!”

Chinese sprinter tied for the 12th fastest 100m time.
The trolley problem is one of human choice.  We know humans can make choices, and we can evaluate those choices.  Your experiment is one that requires hard data to determine the outcome.  It isn’t down to human choice, but down to genetics and physics.  Our human intuition is of no value in knowing the truth about genetics and physics.  If human intuition were good in regards to genetics, we would have figured it out centuries ago, not in the very recent past.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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01 August 2021 08:03
 

If you had actually read the list you would have seen that Su Bigtian *from China* is on that list.  Jeez, sloppy thinking just pervades your posts.


Maybe Jamaica’s dominance is cultural? 
https://www.businessinsider.com/jamaica-olympic-track-explanation-2016-8

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/08/18/490346468/a-surprising-theory-about-jamaicas-amazing-running-success

Maybe it’s genes

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/21/jamaicans-sprinting-athletics-commonwealth-games

Maybe it’s a mix of both, or even more confoundingly, it’s in the way that a distribution of genes in a population relate to the physical and cultural environment.


It’s hard to say.  but I’d need more than just a list of who’s won what to start putting significant credence towards the hypothesis that variations in population level genetics (at the country level) is a determinative factor.


Do you ever try to answer your own questions before asking them?

Here’s a hypothetical for you: suppose China or India decided they wanted to win the 100m at the Olympics.  They scoured their huge populations for promising talent, invested huge amounts in training them, made success at sprinting a point of National and individual prestige — do you think they could gain dominance in that sport?

Here’s another point to think about.  As I understand it,  Michael Phelps’s long ass arms contribute to his extraordinary swimming capability.  Somewhere out there there must be a country with slightly elevated occurrence of long ass arm genes.  How come that country doesn’t dominate swimming?  Is it because, despite these slight variations in gene frequency, in any country there are still plenty of people with long ass arms?

BTW an Italian just won the 100m https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/news/marcell-jacobs-crowned-men-s-olympic-100m-champion

It looks like Jamaica wasn’t in the final heat — talk about rapid genetic drift.

[ Edited: 01 August 2021 08:07 by mapadofu]
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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01 August 2021 09:06
 
mapadofu - 01 August 2021 08:03 AM

If you had actually read the list you would have seen that Su Bigtian *from China* is on that list.  Jeez, sloppy thinking just pervades your posts.


Maybe Jamaica’s dominance is cultural? 
https://www.businessinsider.com/jamaica-olympic-track-explanation-2016-8

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/08/18/490346468/a-surprising-theory-about-jamaicas-amazing-running-success

Maybe it’s genes

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/21/jamaicans-sprinting-athletics-commonwealth-games

Maybe it’s a mix of both, or even more confoundingly, it’s in the way that a distribution of genes in a population relate to the physical and cultural environment.


It’s hard to say.  but I’d need more than just a list of who’s won what to start putting significant credence towards the hypothesis that variations in population level genetics (at the country level) is a determinative factor.


Do you ever try to answer your own questions before asking them?

Here’s a hypothetical for you: suppose China or India decided they wanted to win the 100m at the Olympics.  They scoured their huge populations for promising talent, invested huge amounts in training them, made success at sprinting a point of National and individual prestige — do you think they could gain dominance in that sport?

Here’s another point to think about.  As I understand it,  Michael Phelps’s long ass arms contribute to his extraordinary swimming capability.  Somewhere out there there must be a country with slightly elevated occurrence of long ass arm genes.  How come that country doesn’t dominate swimming?  Is it because, despite these slight variations in gene frequency, in any country there are still plenty of people with long ass arms?

BTW an Italian just won the 100m https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/news/marcell-jacobs-crowned-men-s-olympic-100m-champion

It looks like Jamaica wasn’t in the final heat — talk about rapid genetic drift.

Very sloppy thinking indeed!  I missed Su!  So 96% are black, my reasoning has been completely upended!
Marcell Jacobs won?
“ Son of an Italian mother and an African American father, he was born in El Paso, Texas, where he spent his first 18 months.”
Not exactly Jean Luc-Picard now is he?  That’ll bring the percentage up from 96.

Edit - I’m aware that picard hails from france.  Hopefully you get the point.  Mario Bertolli or whatever

[ Edited: 01 August 2021 09:09 by DEGENERATEON]
 
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