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Why Race-Realism is Pseudoscience

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I came to this board while searching the internet for forums where posters support Scientific Racism. I use the term Scientific Racism because that is the labeling commonly used in academia to describe the research of scholars who claim to have evidence that there are innate racial differences in mental ability. Such scholars and advocates of the position are commonly called racialists.

The term race-realism is far too presumptuous. That term implies that racialist claims are in fact the truth and I believe that is a claim that should be settled by drawing conclusions from facts rather than assuming a claim is fact.

Racism is an accurate description of this research going by the traditional definition of the word e.g. hatred or intolerance based on race or discrimination based on racialism (racism is a term originally used to describe the racial theories of Nazi Germany). Racialists claim that racialist research is conducted in order to seek the truth but what is the goal? In my experience every racialist who has advocated belief in such views has stated that their conclusions validate policy recommendations such as racial separation which is undeniably a racist policy.

During my personal research into this issue I have discovered a common position that nearly all critics of Scientific Racism share. Their position is that this research is NOT science. It is pseudoscience or fake science. Now who is to say what is real science? We can identify real scientific research by determining that the methodology of the researcher follows the scientific method. Science is knowledge of facts gained by systematic observation of experimentation. The Scientific Method is a valid direction to take when conducting a scientific investigation. Pseudoscience is any research that is claimed to be science but does not follow the scientific method.


Here is the difference....


Science

1. Gather facts.
2. Come up with a hypothesis to make sense of them.
3. Test the hypothesis.



Pseudoscience

1. Come up with the desired conclusion.
2. Gather facts that support the conclusion.
3. Find excuses for the facts that do not fit.


Race-Realism is heavily based on the research of Psychologists who conduct tests designed to measure a person's mental ability. This field of research is known as Psychometrics and the standard form of mental testing applied by scholars in this field are called IQ tests (IQ = Intelligence Quotient). There are a handful of Psychometricians who study the IQ averages on groups such as races, genders and social classes and have come to the conclusion that differences in IQ score between these groups has a hereditary component.

Advocates of this position are commonly called hereditarians. Racial hereditarians believe that the cause of racial differences in IQ score are partially due to genetic differences between races. Additionally many racial hereditarians claim that differences in IQ score between races correlate with academic success and standard of living, life style choices and behavior.
Because the races allegedly differ in a number of Socioeconomic conditions differences in intelligence and personality that impacts behavior are alleged by racial hereditarians to be the cause of these Socioeconomic conditions.

So if members of a race generally performs less well in school or are more poor or commit more crime on average than other races then the reason for this is because that race is less intelligent or have lower morals because of genetic differences. These conclusions have serious implications for society at large. Racial hereditarians often caution that they are only talking about averages not absolutes. Their generalizations do not apply to all individuals of a race just the tendencies of a collective and that environment is a partial cause for the statistics they cite. Nonetheless they are claiming that certain races are innately dumber, more violent and even less sexually restrained than other races.

These conclusions have implications not only for the research of Psychologists but many other fields including genetics, biology, anthropology and sociology. It is from many of these other fields in addition to Psychologists that racial hereditarians received a lot of their academic criticism. I have read the research of many scholars both proponents of racialism and critics a like. The research I find most interesting is the work of J Philippe Rushton and Joseph L Graves.

Rushton is a Psychologist who has attempted to prove the hereditarian position on racial differences in IQ to be valid based on evolutionary science.
Graves is an evolutionary biologist who has done a lot of research on racial theories as well as critiqued the hereditarian position on Race and IQ as well as Rushton's evolutionary arguments on race specifically. On the subject of evolution and genetics Graves is qualified to speak with authority on the subject while Rushton is a researcher in a different field making claims about evolution that he believes support his conclusions on Race and IQ.

Within his critique of Rushton's own research Graves has identified a syllogism common to all hereditarian researchers:

1. General intelligence can be quantified by a single metric known as g.
2. Standardized tests can be utilized to measure g.
3. g is mostly genetically determined.
4. Races differ consistently in their performance on intelligence tests.
5. This difference must in part be due to the genetic differences between races.
6. Races of human being can be unambiguously defined by biological means.

Source: The Misuse of Life History Theory: J. P. Rushton and the Pseudoscience of Racial Hierarchy In Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth, edited by J. Fish. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 57-94.


Here are the problems Graves finds with the research of hereditarians in general:

1. They make claims that are not supported by the data given
2. They make errors in calculation that invariably support their hypothesis
3. There's no mention of data that contradicts their hypothesis
4. There's no mention of theories and data that conflict with core assumptions
5. They make bold policy recommendations that are consistent with those advocated by racists.

Source: The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium p. 8

In other words hereditarian research violates the Scientific Method in numerous ways most notably through confirmation bias, omission and error.


In his work Graves lists numerous examples of the unscientific methodology employed by racialists.

Here is a summary of some of the problems:

Joseph Graves said:
A CRITICAL TEST OF THE GENETIC BASIS OF g: AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH

Despite the psychometricians' inflated claims about the genetic basis of intelligence, almost none of them have any real or practical knowledge of experimental quantitative genetics. Parroting evolutionary and ecological concepts, many of them apply these paradigms uncritically as they search for simplistic explanations for extremely complicated aspects of human society (Graves & Place, 1995). The proper utilization of core evolutionary and quantitative techniques would shatter the psychometricians' program. For example, efforts to test g experimentally would be rife with difficulties-of course, that could explain why the psychometricians avoid such a critical test. Additionally, there are several other alternative hypotheses concerning generalized intellectual ability the psychometricians have yet to test.


Source: The Pseudoscience of Psychometry and The Bell Curve The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 64, No. 3, Myths and Realities: African Americans and the Measurement of Human Abilities (Summer, 1995), pp. 277-294

Rushton himself is one of the scholars most known for using evolutionary and ecological concepts to explain how he believes genetic differences between races that impact intelligence and behavior came about. Rushton presented all of this evolutionary research in his book Race, Evolution and Behavior. The book received criticism from several scholars including Graves. Graves himself debated Rushton at a panel discussion where they and other scholars presented their positions on the race and IQ controversy.


You can watch the video of that presentation here:


It is noteworthy that Rushton never responded to Graves critique in print. His research is the most often cited by other psychometricians and other proponents of racial hereditarianism yet he cannot defend his research against an expert in the field. This supports Graves position that hereditarians in addition to all the errors within their work are not willing or able to put their theories to a meaningful test.

Racialist research is pseudoscience and has been debunked.
 

Rhodesia

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If you out right denied scientific inquiry such as this from it's infancy which is currently in because you reject some it's methods and some valid criticisms have been levied against it than in Darwin's time when he proposed evolution it would have been done away with. Rushton has responded in written form you just didn't take the time to investigate it.

1. General intelligence can be quantified by a single metric known as g.
This line of criticism results in a straw man because most researchers state that they are aware that g isn't all encompassing. It's almost impossible to reduce everything to one metric because there are way too many variables when dealing with human beings to account for but if they didn't find the most sound way of reducing variables not only here, but in most soft sciences. Then they wouldn't be able to operate.
2. Standardized tests can be utilized to measure g.
This seems to be a relativist argument where they reject standardized testing for a claimed underlying reason that can't be proved.
3. g is mostly genetically determined.
A valid point. But there's a lot of evidence and debate for intelligence being heritable
4. Races differ consistently in their performance on intelligence tests.
They're using different sample selections so this should be obvious
5. This difference must in part be due to the genetic differences between races.
Race/ethnicity is a large part of genetic variation so it's seen as possibly leading to the difference.
6. Races of human being can be unambiguously defined by biological means.
Races as they're defined in modern terms tend to belong to the same or related genetic groups.

The question of race and intelligence is a valid one. I don't understand why people are so afraid of it. Especially when they unquestioningly accept a lot sociology which has the same pseudo-science qualities you described as hereditarianism research having.
 

Mikemikev

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It's nonsense that only hereditarians support the concept of g or IQ. In fact there is a near consensus in psychology that it is a valid metric, with good predictive validity and biological correlates.

pas_23_1_143_fig3a.jpg

Flynn said:
Gould’s book evades all of Jensen’s best arguments for a genetic component in the black-white IQ gap, by positing that they are dependent on the concept of g as a general intelligence factor. Therefore, Gould believes that if he can discredit g, no more need be said. This is manifestly false. Jensen’s arguments would bite no matter whether blacks suffered from a score deficit on one or 10 or 100 factors. I attribute no intent or motive to Gould, it is just that you cannot rebut arguments if you do not acknowledge and address them. (Flynn 1999a, 373)
Nisbett said:
Some laypeople I know — and some scientists as well — believe that it is a priori impossible for a genetic difference in intelligence to exist between the races. But such a conviction is entirely unfounded. There are a hundred ways that a genetic difference in intelligence could have arisen — either in favor of whites or in favor of blacks. The question is an empirical one, not answerable by a priori convictions about the essential equality of groups.
"It's pseudoscience" is a pretty lame rebuttal.
 
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Rushton has responded in written form you just didn't take the time to investigate it.
No. Rushton never responded to Joseph Graves officially in print. He mentioned his name in an article promoting his book where he paraphrased his argument but if you bothered to look as I did you would know that he never wrote any articles rebutting Graves argument. In fact I had a debate with a poster on another message board who after failing to refute Graves himself decided to email Rushton for comment. Rushton responded and I forwarded the email to Graves who replied to that email.

First of all here is a short summary Joseph Graves sent me of his main arguments:

Joseph L. Graves said:
1. Rushton's arguments rely on r- and K- life history theory. These designations are general descriptions of investment in reproduction and somatic tissue on opposite ends of a spectrum (r- = more reproduction/less soma and K- = less reproduction/more soma.) The problem with this notion is that it has been shown to be incorrect in a series of experiments with a wide variety of organisms. No one took this theory seriously after about 1990.

2. Even if r- and K- theory were correct, I showed that Rushton applied it backwards. By the theory, Africans should be K- selected (K selection occurs in stable environments, such as the tropics) while r-selection was to be favored in fluctuating environments, such as the temperate zones. So by Rushton's reasoning, Africans should be more genetically capable of intelligence, and Europeans/Asians less.

3. Throughout his work, Rushton selectively uses examples to support his ideas. I have caught him manipulating data in unclear ways, for the purposes of making his points.

4. Rushton requires the existence of biological races, which humans do not have. The existence of geographically based genetic variation is not the same as proving races exist, or that in life history features all Africans are different from all Europeans.

Here are the emails:

J. Philippe Rushton said:
Several years ago Joseph Graves did write a book chapter critique of my life-history explanation of race differences. I no longer recall it in detail except that he had ducked the main part, that is, the data.

As you know, most race research focuses on Black-White differences in the US in IQ, education, crime, and marital stability. My research went a lot further to cover some 60 variables such as speed of maturation, brain size (three separate indicators), rate of producing twins at birth, longevity, testosterone, sexual behavior, etc. Moreover, I looked at African descended people in the Caribbean, Canada, the UK, and sub-Saharan Africa. and found the same Black-White differences where ever they were studied. Most crucial, I looked at East Asians on all the same 60 characteristics and found they had higher IQ scores, larger brains, less sexual activity, less crime, fewer twins per 1,000 births etc.

In other words, a highly consistent three-way pattern of racial differences exists in brain size, intelligence, sexuality, personality, speed of maturation, life span, crime, and family stability in which East Asian descended people fall at one end of the spectrum, African descended people fall at the other, and European descended people fall intermediate, typically close to East Asians. East Asians are slower to mature, less fertile, less sexually active, with larger brains and higher IQ scores. They also engage in greater social organization and less crime than Africans who are at the opposite ends in each of these areas. My 1995 book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior summarized these theories and the evidence supporting them.

So, the fundamental question is, how do we explain the consistent three-way pattern? No environmental theory alone can do so. Only evolutionary theory in which genetics are crucial can account for the pattern If Dr. Graves can come up with a better theory or show the data is different than I described, he should do so. But he has not done so.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Phil Rushton

Joseph L Graves said:
Rushton's memory of my critique is quite limited. First, it began with an evaluation of the efficacy of r- and K- theory in general. Professional life-history evolutionists (of which I am, and he is not) no longer regard r- and K- theory as a useful research paradigm. This dismantling occurred due to a series of experiments that tested the predictions of r- and K-theory and showed that they did not hold up in a wide variety of species. Second, I demonstrated that Rushton misapplied r- and K- theory; indeed by MacArthur and Wilson (the originators of r- and K-theory) Africans would be K-selected and Europeans and East Asians (r-selected); just the opposite of what Rushton claimed. Third, I demonstrated that much of the data he cited to make his case was flawed either in collection or source; particularly data like "social organization" and "crime". Thus at three levels his r- and K-theory approach to human life history variation fails. So I challenge the notion his 3-way spectrum is real; secondly even if it were real, he has not presented an evolutionary theory that could explain it; and third that environmental differences could easily explain much of what he reports.
Rushton had no direct response to Graves arguments. He simply restated the thesis of his book and tried to put the burden of proof on Graves to come up with a better theory to explain his data. But as you can see Graves notes that he dismissed the credibility of his data and the theory supporting it thus refuting Rushton's argument.




The question of race and intelligence is a valid one. I don't understand why people are so afraid of it. Especially when they unquestioningly accept a lot sociology which has the same pseudo-science qualities you described as hereditarianism research having.
Aside from such research being blatant racist propaganda many people obviously view it as socially harmful because of its implications of intellectual superiority and inferiority among races which has major social implications.

Mikemikev said:
's nonsense that only hereditarians support the concept of g or IQ. In fact there is a near consensus in psychology that it is a valid metric, with good predictive validity and biological correlates.
I never said that only racial hereditarians support the concept of g or IQ. Indeed many Psychometricians who reject their theory do as well.

Here is what Flynn had to say to me via email:

James Flynnn said:
g is a valid construct although it is not everything - see my What is inteliigence? (2009). And it does not show blacks are inferior - see my Where have all the liberals gone? (2008). And Gould's book failed to meet Jensen's best arguments but I did! - Jim Flynn
Nisbett said this to me about Rushton via email:

Richard Nisbett said:
I frankly don't take Rushton seriously. Jensen would be a different matter, but I have been told he is in his cups and Rushton just signs his name to everything he writes.

Incidentally both scholars co-authored a recent article on intelligence that responds to many of Rushton's recent articles:


Intelligence: new findings and theoretical developments.


Richard E. Nisbett, Joshua Aronson, Clancy Blair, William Dickens, James Flynn, Diane F. Halpern, and Eric Turkheimer


Abstract:


Intelligence: new findings and theoretical develo... [Am Psychol. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI




Full Text

Psychology Today - Intelligence: New Findings And Theoretical Developments A conversation with Diane F. Halpern
 
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Mikemikev

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Joseph L. Graves said:
1. Rushton's arguments rely on r- and K- life history theory. These designations are general descriptions of investment in reproduction and somatic tissue on opposite ends of a spectrum (r- = more reproduction/less soma and K- = less reproduction/more soma.) The problem with this notion is that it has been shown to be incorrect in a series of experiments with a wide variety of organisms. No one took this theory seriously after about 1990.
Incorrect. Rushton's arguments rely on the life history data. The evolutionary theory is secondary. Graves fails to understand the scientific method.

Joseph L. Graves said:
2. Even if r- and K- theory were correct, I showed that Rushton applied it backwards. By the theory, Africans should be K- selected (K selection occurs in stable environments, such as the tropics) while r-selection was to be favored in fluctuating environments, such as the temperate zones. So by Rushton's reasoning, Africans should be more genetically capable of intelligence, and Europeans/Asians less.
Debatable. Is Africa really a stable environment?

Joseph L. Graves said:
3. Throughout his work, Rushton selectively uses examples to support his ideas. I have caught him manipulating data in unclear ways, for the purposes of making his points.
Unsubstantiated.

Joseph L. Graves said:
4. Rushton requires the existence of biological races, which humans do not have. The existence of geographically based genetic variation is not the same as proving races exist, or that in life history features all Africans are different from all Europeans.
Incorrect. Rushton only requires there to be geographically associated variation. Any race based sampling method will then expose this difference, which it infact does. If the variation within races for any phenotypic trait (not the overall genetic variation) is too high, we will expect to see standard deviations higher than the average difference. We don't. The fact that race does in fact represent a natural taxonomy is irrelevant. Graves again makes potential criticisms which looking at the data dispels.

EJay said:
Aside from such research being blatant racist propaganda many people obviously view it as socially harmful because of its implications of intellectual superiority and inferiority among races which has major social implications.
Calling this work "racist" is an extremely cheap shot which basically assumes one side of the question. And, assuming the heriditarian view to correct, what are the social implications of allowing swarms of highly ethnocentric low IQ negroes to fill up Western cities? Who gets harmed in that case?
 
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Incorrect. Rushton's arguments rely on the life history data. The evolutionary theory is secondary. Graves fails to understand the scientific method.
False. In order for Rushton to establish that his Life History Theory is valid it must be based on sound scientific reasoning. Graves proved that it isn't and in fact r/K selection theory was falsified by several critical experiments. Therefore no data that Rushton collected could possibly show that his hypothesis is valid.



Debatable. Is Africa really a stable environment?
Certainly the tropics provide a more stable climate than temperate zones.



Unsubstantiated.
Graves' statement is substantiated by his critiques of Rushton's research in the articles he published about his work.

What a tangled web he weaves: Race, reproductive strategies and Rushton's life history theory Anthropological Theory Vol 2(2): 131–154


Graves, J.L. (2002) ‘The Misuse of Life History Theory: J.P. Rushton and the Pseudoscience of Racial Hierarchy’, in J. Fish (ed.) Race and Intelligence: Separating Myth from Science. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Incorrect. Rushton only requires there to be geographically associated variation. Any race based sampling method will then expose this difference, which it infact does. If the variation within races for any phenotypic trait (not the overall genetic variation) is too high, we will expect to see standard deviations higher than the average difference. We don't. The fact that race does in fact represent a natural taxonomy is irrelevant. Graves again makes potential criticisms which looking at the data dispels.
False

In order to prove that there are differences in Life History Variation between human races one would have to....

1. Prove that Human Genetic Variation partitions into Biological Races

2. Prove that those biological races vary in Life History features


Rushton has done neither.

What he has done is collected data of varying quality and reliability which he associates with Life History Variation but which have been proven to be unreliable for testing his hypothesis as Graves explained in the video I embedded in the OP as well as the links provided in this post.


Rushton fails to provide valid evidence for criteria #1:

Leonard Lieberman said:
1. Rushton uses “race” despite decades of findings that invalidate it.


Rushton’s definition of “race” emphasizes that races are natural hereditary biological units and assumes that it is possible to aggregate populations
and calculate a mean score to represent this conglomerate: “A variety, a subspecies . . . characterized by a more or less distinctive combination of physical traits transmitted in descent. A genetically distinct inbreeding division within a species . . . distinguished on the basis of skeletal morphology, hair and facial features, and molecular genetic information” (1997a:305, emphasis added). There is an inherent contradiction in his definition between “more or less distinctive” and “genetically distinct.” Elsewhere it is apparent that he prefers to emphasize “distinct,” but the presence of greater variation is explained to his satisfaction by aggregation. It is a 19th-century biological explanation that Rushton seeks to revive, citing Francis Galton as a founder (pp. 9–13) and characterizing Franz Boas and Margaret Mead as “powerful ideologues” who “fought against the idea of biological universals” (p. 13).

Ashley Montagu (1941) challenged the 19th-century view of “race” partly on the basis of the Mendelian principle that traits are not transmitted as complexes of characters, and confirming data were developed in the decades that followed. Frank B. Livingstone (1958, 1962), using Julian Huxley’s (1938) cline concept, presented data on the gradual change in frequency of sickle-cell genes over a wide geographic area of Africa, the Mediterranean, and South Asia. Clines provided a concrete alternative to thinking in terms of races. Identifiable traits were not confined to one “race” and were not uniform in frequency within a geographic area. C. Loring Brace (1964) made a persuasive case for studying human clinal variation one trait at a time.2
The new views were intensely debated in anthropology beginning in the 1960s, and by 1985 anthropology’s core concept of “race” had been rejected by 41%of physical anthropologists and 55% of cultural anthropologists (Lieberman 1968; Lieberman, Stevenson, and Reynolds 1989:69). A similar survey in 1999 found that the concept of race was rejected by 69% of physical anthropologists and 80% of cultural anthropologists (Lieberman and Kirk n.d.). During the period 1975–79, twice as many university textbooks of introductory physical anthropology rejected the concept as accepted it (Littlefield, Lieberman, and Reynolds 1982:642), and during the period 1990–99 no text explicitly supported the concept (4 of 20 presented the topic as a debate, and 2 rejected typologies of race). Rushton does not discuss the weaknesses of the race concept.

Source: How "Caucasoids" got such big crania and why the shrank From Morton to Rushton Current Anthropology Volume 42, Number 1, February 2001

Rushton fails to provide valid evidence for criteria #2:


Joseph L. Graves said:
Rushton’s technique of misrepresentation of legitimate research is similar to the tactics utilized by creationists when they assault evolution. Typically the creationist will present a large number of distortions of scientific fact, such that if the evolutionary biologist were to address them all, the audience would simply get lost in the details. Thus, it is necessary to first dismantle the core assumptions of Rushton’s work, i.e. r- and K-selection theory. Having accomplished that, it becomes easier to understand how he has misrepresented biological data to fit his bankrupt hypothesis. In addition, much of his social science data has been collected by dubious means. Thus, Rushton argues genetic causality for racial differences utilizing a discredited theory and questionable data.


Concluding Remarks

J.P. Rushton’s view of human evolution suffers from the use of antiquated and simplistic theoretical models concerning life history evolution. In addition, his methods of data analysis, results, and data sources call into question the legitimacy of his research. In the unabridged version of his book, he claims ‘to have reviewed the international literature on race differences, gathered novel data and found a distinct pattern’ (Rushton, 1995: xiii). This is fallacious on many accounts. Although the scope of the literature is international, to an extent, the data are not novel and the pattern he ‘found’ is hardly distinct from common racist stereotypes. He has only spun a tangled web of disingenuous construction speculations, in which:

1. He failed to grasp the history and formulation of density dependent selection theory.

2. He failed to review the critical experiments that falsified the central predictions of r- and K-selection theory.

3. He incorrectly applied r- and K-theory to explain human life history evolution.

4. He has presented data that are woefully inadequate to test any specific hypothesis concerning the evolution of human life histories.

Source: What a tangled web he weaves: Race, reproductive strategies and Rushton's life history theory Anthropological Theory Vol 2(2): 131–154
 

Mikemikev

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No, it's really very simple. If there is geographically associated variation, any way you sample that variation will produce a consistent difference. We can sample Europeans and Africans, and identify differences. Spurious arguments to the effect that "race does not exist" ("race does not exist because there is more variation within than between", "race does not exist because races are not homogenous on any trait", "race does not exist because 1 + 1 =2") will never change the self evident fact that geographic variation exists, and it is possible to sample it. And additionally, if race is not a natural taxonomy, we should expect the deviation to be very high in some race categories, since they cross cut two natural divisions. We don't.
 
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No, it's really very simple. If there is geographically associated variation, any way you sample that variation will produce a consistent difference. We can sample Europeans and Africans, and identify differences. Spurious arguments to the effect that "race does not exist" ("race does not exist because there is more variation within than between", "race does not exist because races are not homogenous on any trait", "race does not exist because 1 + 1 =2") will never change the self evident fact that geographic variation exists, and it is possible to sample it. And additionally, if race is not a natural taxonomy, we should expect the deviation to be very high in some race categories, since they cross cut two natural divisions. We don't.
All that you are saying here is that some genetic variation between populations means that there is some identifiable genetic difference between them.

No one disputes that.

That's not the same thing as establishing that human genetic variation partitions into biological races (phylogenetic sub-species).

The variation within a population in any given trait is irrelevant to whether variation in that trait across populations is the product of racial biology.

Another scholar who I forwarded Rushton's email to made the point that many of the variables Rushton thinks are due to evolutionary differences between races have an environmental cause.


Scott MacEachern said:
As for that email, the bulk is just filler, a restatement of the abstract for Rushton's book. His thesis here is simply that this conjunction of data (his 'highly consistent three-way pattern of racial differences') is significant and can only be explained genetically.

The problems with this claim are so great that it's sometimes hard to know
where to begin, but in general, here are some of the main problems:

(1) Aggregation of data is only useful if some degree of control and comparability are exerted over the data being aggregated - otherwise, you
end up with the GIGO Rule (Garbage In, Garbage Out). Many of Rushton's data sources are exceptionally poor, to the point of being caricatures of scientific research: thus, one of his primary sources on 'sexual behaviour' is a book of 19th-century travel porn, of no serious scientific value, and many of the studies that he cites on IQ and brain size are based on datasets that even people who agree with him accept as unreliable. In the most direct sense, many of his data are the garbage in the GIGO Rule.

You may or may not have read David Barash's review of Rushton's
methodology: "...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of
variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the
outcome is merely a larger than average pile of $hit." Barash, David 1995.
Review of Race, Evolution, and Behavior. _Animal Behaviour_ 49:1131-1133

(2) Aggregating data on (say) brain size or twinning rates into his three 'racial' groupings conceals the very significant variations in aggregated characteristics _within_ those racial groups. Essentially, he reduces very, very, very diverse characteristics down to single numbers, then generalizes those single numbers to every population within his putative races. However, averages among diverse populations tell you almost nothing about the distributions of those diverse characteristics, nor about the evolutionary pressures that might have brought them into being.

(3) Many of the characteristics that he thinks are evolutionarily determined have actually changed dramatically over historical time-periods
in different parts of the world (and are extremely variable _within_ his 'racial' populations - see #2 above): besides obvious things like longevity, fertility and infant mortality rates, these include characteristics like twinning rates, speed of sexual maturation/first menarche and so on. He treats them as immutable evolutionary differences, whereas in fact they seem entirely sensitive to historical contingency over short time-scales.

Best

Scott
 

Mikemikev

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So you agree that geographic variation exists. You agree that it's possible to sample it. Why does it matter whether you uses a racial model to sample it or some other division? In fact the racial model is the most natural sampling method (or taxonomy), since it minimizes variation within each group. If you were to use a different taxonomy or sampling method, such as including Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans versus Europeans, the within group standard deviation would increase for the "African" group, since North Africans tend to be more similar to Europeans than SS Africans. This would indicate it is not a natural taxonomy.

Now you say there is geographic variation. You agree we can sample it. But you say a race taxonomy is an invalid way to do this. (I have not agreed with any arguments you present which supposedly demonstrate this).

My question to you is: how should we sample and describe human geographic variation? We know "race is wrong" (according to you). How should we do it?
 
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So you agree that geographic variation exists. You agree that it's possible to sample it. Why does it matter whether you uses a racial model to sample it or some other division? In fact the racial model is the most natural sampling method (or taxonomy), since it minimizes variation within each group. If you were to use a different taxonomy or sampling method, such as including Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans versus Europeans, the within group standard deviation would increase for the "African" group, since North Africans tend to be more similar to Europeans than SS Africans. This would indicate it is not a natural taxonomy.

Now you say there is geographic variation. You agree we can sample it. But you say a race taxonomy is an invalid way to do this. (I have not agreed with any arguments you present which supposedly demonstrate this).

My question to you is: how should we sample and describe human geographic variation? We know "race is wrong" (according to you). How should we do it?
I think Lieberman had the correct suggestion....

"Clines provided a concrete alternative to thinking in terms of races. Identifiable traits were not confined to one “race” and were not uniform in frequency within a geographic area. C. Loring Brace (1964) made a persuasive case for studying human clinal variation one trait at a time."


Keita et al. (2004) made some additional useful points...


 

Mikemikev

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I think Lieberman had the correct suggestion....

"Clines provided a concrete alternative to thinking in terms of races. Identifiable traits were not confined to one “race” and were not uniform in frequency within a geographic area. C. Loring Brace (1964) made a persuasive case for studying human clinal variation one trait at a time."
Yes we know traits are not "uniform" in one geographic area. That's why we include the standard deviation. If they were "uniform" there would be no deviation in each group. Do these people really not understand that? And you didn't answer the question. To study supposed "clines" you need to operationalise or break up the continuum into sample blocks. You say we can't use race, what should we use? Remember we are investigating multiple correlated traits, and how they correlate to geography.

Keita was relying on old studies and was debunked here, here and here.

Further info on the "clines" idea.
 
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Yes we know traits are not "uniform" in one geographic area. That's why we include the standard deviation. If they were "uniform" there would be no deviation in each group. Do these people really not understand that? And you didn't answer the question. To study supposed "clines" you need to operationalise or break up the continuum into sample blocks. You say we can't use race, what should we use? Remember we are investigating multiple correlated traits, and how they correlate to geography.

Keita was relying on old studies and was debunked here, here and here.

Further info on the "clines" idea.
My answer was to the question of how we model human variation. Clinal and racial models are different.

As MacEachern explained the data that Rushton compiled is absolutely useless so we don't need a model of human genetic variation that takes it into account.
 

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So you agree that geographic variation exists. You agree that it's possible to sample it. Why does it matter whether you uses a racial model to sample it or some other division? In fact the racial model is the most natural sampling method (or taxonomy), since it minimizes variation within each group. If you were to use a different taxonomy or sampling method, such as including Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans versus Europeans, the within group standard deviation would increase for the "African" group, since North Africans tend to be more similar to Europeans than SS Africans. This would indicate it is not a natural taxonomy.

Now you say there is geographic variation. You agree we can sample it. But you say a race taxonomy is an invalid way to do this. (I have not agreed with any arguments you present which supposedly demonstrate this).

My question to you is: how should we sample and describe human geographic variation? We know "race is wrong" (according to you). How should we do it?
If you want to categorize a person's genetic backround, you can sequence their genome. The requirements for "race" are easily identifiable physical characteristics so you can categorize people at glance. Lets take Obama as an example: let us assume for the sake of argument that his mother was genetically linked to Europe and his father Sub-Saharan Africa. Obama is definitely considered black, despite genetically having equal percentage of contribution from both Africa and Europe. Any genetic claims about black=African are therefore automatically inaccurate given the Obamas of the world.
 

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My answer was to the question of how we model human variation. Clinal and racial models are different.

As MacEachern explained the data that Rushton compiled is absolutely useless so we don't need a model of human genetic variation that takes it into account.
Is Lynn's model clinal enough for you?

East Asians (IQ 105), Europeans (100), Inuit (91), South East Asians (87), Native Americans (87), Pacific Islanders (85), South Asians and North Africans (84), Indians (82), non-bushmen Sub-Saharan Africans (67), Australian Aborigines (62), Bushmen and Pygmies (54)
And Rushton generally took data from Europeans, SS Africans and East Asians, which tend to correlate on multiple traits. This is his point.
 
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Mikemikev

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If you want to categorize a person's genetic backround, you can sequence their genome. The requirements for "race" are easily identifiable physical characteristics so you can categorize people at glance. Lets take Obama as an example: let us assume for the sake of argument that his mother was genetically linked to Europe and his father Sub-Saharan Africa. Obama is definitely considered black, despite genetically having equal percentage of contribution from both Africa and Europe. Any genetic claims about black=African are therefore automatically inaccurate given the Obamas of the world.
But this is just semantics and other peoples idiocy. Just because "black" means any degree of Sub-Saharan ancestry in the USA, doesn't mean Sub-Saharan ancestry is an invalid concept. Whatever you call "black" is independent of that.
 

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Jesus Christ, really dude? Another thread based on the last 800+ post thread?

Go away..


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Is Lynn's model clinal enough for you?
Ethnic groups are not clines.

And Rushton generally took data from Europeans, SS Africans and East Asians, which tend to correlate on multiple traits. This is his point.
The problem with Rushton's research is that his data is not reliable and his theory is not valid.
 

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Personally, I think they're all wrong, to one extent or another.
I don't consider the IQ test a method to accurately measure IQ and/or Intelligence. Too many variables to account for, some will be missed.


Thus, I don't consider the data all these theories appear based on solid and unquestionable, but rather more flexible and...questionable.
And since I question the base data, I question the conclusions and theories that have sprung from said source.




......
That said, I won't claim to fully understand the idea/theory behind IQ tests in the first place, so it's possible that I misunderstand the situation.
 

Mikemikev

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Ethnic groups are not clines.
So how do you measure clines? Where is your data that human variation is in "clines"?

color-spectrum.jpg

Whether geographic human variation is like one or the other, you are going to get the same result when you sample them. Your point is spurious.
 
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Well, well, well, if it isn't Mikemikev from the Phora...I must admit that watching you flip out in my King Tut DNA thread over there was amusing. Nothing is funnier than a racist who's been owned. :mrgreen:

So how do you measure clines? Where is your data that human variation is in "clines"?

View attachment 67128383

Whether geographic human variation is like one or the other, you are going to get the same result when you sample them. Your point is spurious.
Truthfully, the whole issue of whether race really exists in modern humans is tangential to whether human populations differ in intelligence. Even in a clinal scenario without race, you could have some populations having less average intelligence than others, just as some populations have darker skin than others. Conversely, races can exist without one race being smarter or morally superior to one another.

That said, I'm going to challenge your vision of human genetic variation with actual genetic data:


Interest in genetic diversity within and
between human populations as a way to answer questions
about race has intensified in light of recent advances in
genome technology. The purpose of this article is to apply
a method of generalized hierarchical modeling to two
DNA data sets. The first data set consists of a small sample
of individuals (n 5 32 total, from eight populations)
who have been fully resequenced for 63 loci that encode a
total of 38,534 base pairs. The second data set consists of
a large sample of individuals (n 5 928 total, from 46 populations)
who have been genotyped at 580 loci that encode
short tandem repeats. The results are clear and somewhat
surprising. We see that populations differ in the amount
of diversity that they harbor. The pattern of DNA diversity
is one of nested subsets, such that the diversity in
non-Sub-Saharan African populations is essentially a subset
of the diversity found in Sub-Saharan African populations.
The actual pattern of DNA diversity creates some
unsettling problems for using race as meaningful genetic
categories. For example, the pattern of DNA diversity
implies that some populations belong to more than one
race (e.g., Europeans), whereas other populations do not
belong to any race at all (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africans)
. As
Frank Livingstone noted long ago, the Linnean classification
system cannot accommodate this pattern because
within the system a population cannot belong to more
than one named group within a taxonomic level...

...A classification that takes into account evolutionary
relationships and the nested pattern of diversity
would require that Sub-Saharan Africans are not a race
because the most exclusive group that includes all Sub-
Saharan African populations also includes every non-
Sub-Saharan African population (Figs. 2B and 4B).
Human DNA Sequences: More Variation and Less Race
Jeffrey C. Long, Jie Li, and Meghan E. Healy
 

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Well, well, well, if it isn't Mikemikev from the Phora...I must admit that watching you flip out in my King Tut DNA thread over there was amusing. Nothing is funnier than a racist who's been owned. :mrgreen:

Truthfully, the whole issue of whether race really exists in modern humans is tangential to whether human populations differ in intelligence. Even in a clinal scenario without race, you could have some populations having less average intelligence than others, just as some populations have darker skin than others. Conversely, races can exist without one race being smarter or morally superior to one another.

That said, I'm going to challenge your vision of human genetic variation with actual genetic data:

Human DNA Sequences: More Variation and Less Race
Jeffrey C. Long, Jie Li, and Meghan E. Healy
There seem to be two current points against the race concept:

1) Most genetic diversity is in Africa.

2) The variation that does exist is continuous and race categories are fitted to it arbitrarily.

I find the first point a bit dubious. I don't think higher levels of genetic diversity in one group would invalidate species or subspecies, so I don't see why it would invalidate race. And for all we know most of that variation is junk.

Both points were treated in The Role of Geography in Human Adaptation. They found alleles that most differentiated the French, Han and Yourba, which are presumably alleles under recent heavy selection. On measuring these alleles in other populations, they found they tended to be distributed within racial groups.

There is also evidence that most of the genome has very little or no function. This is why reasoning as Long 2009 does from genome bean counting to taxonomy is flawed. It is combinations of important genes that make taxa, not abstract numbers calculated from the whole genome of populations. "The race concept is invalid because there is higher genetic diversity in Africa" seems to be a variation on "The race concept is invalid because there is more genetic variation within than between groups" or "The race concept is invalid because {insert random fact about the genome}". The fact is that there are unique geographically associated combinations of genes and the race concept is about those. Any other variation is irrelevant to that taxonomy.
I think an important caveat is that Hunley, Healy and Long looked at neutral variation. They used only 783 neutral loci, and did not conduct a principle component analysis. As far as I am concerned that is just noise. HUGO in "Mapping Genetic Diversity in Asia" used PCA on 600,000 polymorphisms. Coop et al mapped 50 alleles believed to be under selection. I find it absurd to claim that "a nested pattern would be incompatible with independently evolving races". In fact that is exactly what you would expect to see when one population goes through a bottleneck and then starts to evolve separately. And as we know non-African populations are not a perfect subset of Africans. Maybe it would seem like that if you looked at a relatively small amount of neutral variation. How can non-Africans be a subset of Africans if non-Africans show Neanderthal admixture? How can non-Africans be a subset of Africans if only Europeans carry CCR5-Δ32? Obviously, they are not. And even if they were a race concept would still be valid if there was a distinctive pattern of variation. As Dawkins said:

"However small the racial partition of the total variation may be, if such racial characteristics as there are are highly correlated with other racial characteristics, they are by definition informative, and therefore of taxonomic significance."

An interesting line from Hunley "In several analyses, we refer to the combined Middle Eastern, European and SC Asian regions as Western Eurasia." What should we call that then? A "major continental size population group"? Race seems easier.
Source. space
 
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Mikemikev

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Another key point that is really fundamental is: how can Long and co. even identify "European populations" and "Sub-Saharan African populations" if there is no meaningful distinction? Surely you can see that 10 bags filled with red, green and blue balls are distinct from 10 bags filled with red and green balls, even though one is a perfect subset of the other? Basic thinking really goes on hold when rushing to conclude "race does not exist". And when we have established "race does not exist", people fall over themselves to hold it up as evidence "we are all equal". Really silly.
 
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Another key point that is really fundamental is: how can Long and co. even identify "European populations" and "Sub-Saharan African populations" if there is no meaningful distinction? Surely you can see that 10 bags filled with red, green and blue balls are distinct from 10 bags filled with red and green balls, even though one is a perfect subset of the other? Basic thinking really goes on hold when rushing to conclude "race does not exist". And when we have established "race does not exist", people fall over themselves to hold it up as evidence "we are all equal". Really silly.
"European" and "Sub-Saharan African" refer to geographic regions. A population is a collection of people.

Any collection of people can be referred to as a population.

C Loring Brace said:
There is nothing wrong with using geographic labels to designate people. Major continental terms are just fine, and sub-regional refinements such as Western European, Eastern African, Southeast Asian, and so forth carry no unintentional baggage. In contrast, terms such as "Negroid," "Caucasoid," and "Mongoloid" create more problems than they solve. Those very terms reflect a mix of narrow regional, specific ethnic, and descriptive physical components with an assumption that such separate dimensions have some kind of common tie. Biologically, such terms are worse than useless. Their continued use, then, is in social situations where people think they have some meaning.

Source: PBS: Does Race Exist? An Antagonist's Perspective
 

Mikemikev

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"European" and "Sub-Saharan African" refer to geographic regions. A population is a collection of people.

Any collection of people can be referred to as a population.

Brace said:
There is nothing wrong with using geographic labels to designate people. Major continental terms are just fine, and sub-regional refinements such as Western European, Eastern African, Southeast Asian, and so forth carry no unintentional baggage. In contrast, terms such as "Negroid," "Caucasoid," and "Mongoloid" create more problems than they solve. Those very terms reflect a mix of narrow regional, specific ethnic, and descriptive physical components with an assumption that such separate dimensions have some kind of common tie. Biologically, such terms are worse than useless. Their continued use, then, is in social situations where people think they have some meaning.
Braces' evidence: Blood Groups, unselected and geographically discordant, and skin color

Coop said:
It is interesting that although west Eurasians and east Asians have both evolved towards lighter skin pigmentation, they have done so via largely independent sets of genes [18]. This suggests that favored mutations have not spread freely between the two regions.
Source

HUGO said:
most of the Indian populations showed evidence of shared ancestry with European populations, which is consistent with the recent observations (18)and our understanding of the expansion of Indo European–speaking populations (Fig. 1 and figs.S1 to S26).

[...]

To unambiguously infer population histories represents a considerable challenge (26). Although this study does not disprove a two-wave model of migration, the evidence from our autosomal data and the accompanying simulation studies (figs. S29 and S30) point toward a history that unites the Negrito and non-Negrito populations of Southeast and East Asia via a single primary wave of entry of humans into the continent.
Source

And yes "any collection of people can be referred to as a population". But for example grouping "Africans" together would be a stupid way to operationalise human geographic variation, since North Africans show shared ancestry with Europeans (they are Caucasians), and it makes more sense to group them together, for bio-medicine or whatever.

Brace said:
Every time we plot the distribution of a trait possessing a survival value that is greater under some circumstances than under others, it will have a different pattern of geographical variation, and no two such patterns will coincide.
Coop said:
Under strong selection, the geographic distributions of selected alleles detected in pairwise comparisons might differ greatly from one locus to another. For example, a selected allele that strongly differentiates the French from both the Yoruba and Han could be strongly clinal across Europe, or at high frequency in Europe and absent elsewhere, or follow any other distribution according to the geographic nature of the selective pressure.

However, we see that the global geographic distributions of these putatively selected alleles are largely determined simply by their frequencies in Yoruba, French and Han (Figure 3). The global distributions fall into three major geographic patterns that we interpret as non-African sweeps, west Eurasian sweeps and East Asian sweeps, respectively.
 
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Again, I don't really care whether or not you want to consider genetic clusters within humans to be races, but I do have to take issue with the following:

And yes "any collection of people can be referred to as a population". But for example grouping "Africans" together would be a stupid way to operationalise human geographic variation, since North Africans show shared ancestry with Europeans (they are Caucasians), and it makes more sense to group them together, for bio-medicine or whatever.
It depends on which North Africans you're talking about. Most of the more "Caucasian" North Africans tend to cling to the Mediterranean coast, but as you move inland into the Sahara you bump into people like these:









And in case you want to write off all the above as descended from Islamic-era slaves, we have historical documentation of Black people in North Africa going back thousands of years:



It's true that "African" by itself is not the most accurate term, as not everyone in Africa is Black, but then again, not everyone in North Africa is "Caucasian" either.
 
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