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Monday, February 11, 2013

Mailvox: live by the science

Die by the science.  Yesterday, dh took mild exception to the following statement: "Consider the poor leftist who believes avidly that a) racism is evil and b) evolution is true.  What is he to do when confronted by someone who points out, on the basis of genetic science, that humans are not even all equally homo sapiens sapiens?  If he is to cling to his beliefs, he must either accept a continual state of cognitive dissonance or bury his head in the intellectual sand."

Dh asserted:  "Much like you don't care about McRapey, those of us on the left aren't bothered by this. It is not great intellectual leap to acknowledge racial advantages and disadvantages. We all recognize them everyday. This can be done without ill will or animosity. Where we separate is in the "what to do about it" department."

This is no doubt true of dh and other rational leftists, but it is easy to demonstrate that it does not describe the greater part of the Left, especially in light of Justin Smith's editorial on philosophy and race in the New York Times:
The question for us today is why we have chosen to stick with categories inherited from the 18th century, the century of the so-called Enlightenment, which witnessed the development of the slave trade into the very foundation of the global economy, and at the same time saw racial classifications congeal into pseudo-biological kinds, piggy-backing on the divisions folk science had always made across the natural world of plants and animals. Why, that is, have we chosen to go with Hume and Kant, rather than with the pre-racial conception of humanity espoused by Kraus, or the anti-racial picture that Herder offered in opposition to his contemporaries?

Many who are fully prepared to acknowledge that there are no significant natural differences between races nonetheless argue that there are certain respects in which it is worth retaining the concept of race: for instance in talking about issues like social inequality or access to health care. There is, they argue, a certain pragmatic utility in retaining it, even if they acknowledge that racial categories result from social and historical legacies, rather than being dictated by nature. In this respect “race” has turned out to be a very different sort of social construction than, say, “witch” or “lunatic.”

While generally there is a presumption that to catch out some entity or category as socially constructed is at the same time to condemn it, many thinkers are prepared to simultaneously acknowledge both the non-naturalness of race as well as a certain pragmatic utility in retaining it.

Since the mid-20th century no mainstream scientist has considered race a biologically significant category; no scientist believes any longer that “negroid,” “caucasoid” and so on represent real natural kinds or categories. For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races. This is not to say that there are no real differences, some of which are externally observable, between different human populations. It is only to say, as Lawrence Hirschfeld wrote in his 1996 book, “Race in the Making: Cognition, Culture, and the Child’s Construction of Human Kinds,” that “races as socially defined do not (even loosely) capture interesting clusters of these differences.”

Yet the category of race continues to be deployed in a vast number of contexts, and certainly not just by racists, but by ardent anti-racists as well, and by everyone in between. The history of race, then, is not like the history of, say, witches: a group that is shown not to exist and that accordingly proceeds to go away. Why is this?
This reveals several significant problems for dh's position, (thereby wrecking the simile, I should note), beginning with the idea that the Left will not be bothered by the scientific support for the hypothesis that all humans are not only not equal, they are not even equally human.  Dh simply hasn't recognized either the basis for the Left's denial of race nor the probable consequences of a solid concept of science-based sub-species replacing the crude and superficial concept of color-based race.  He doesn't recognize how significant the change from judging a man by the color of his skin to judging a protohuman or posthuman by the content of his genetic code is likely to be.

From Wikipedia: "Steven Pinker has stated that it is "a conventional wisdom among left-leaning academics that genes imply genocide"."

The primary problem is that the anti-racial argument is almost entirely based on science that is outdated.  While the genetic categories don't necessarily fall in line with the traditional racial ones; the major dividing line presently appears to be African (pure homo sapiens sapiens) vs non-African (partly homo sapiens sapiens, partly homo neanderthalensis, partly other subspecies).  It can no longer be pretended that the observed behavioral differences and capabilities must solely "result from social and historical legacies".  Such differences may result from them, but then again, they may not.  The fact that Nature is unlikely to reign entirely supreme does not mean that Nurture has not conclusively lost its pretense to sole kingship.

And while the racial prejudices of Hume and Kant may not be supported by the current state of science, the pre-racial and anti-racial conceptions they opposed are now known to contravene the current state of genetic science as well, and to the extent those conceptions have been utilized as the foundations for equalitarian ideology, that ideology is confirmed to be false as well.  This doesn't justify either historical or hypothetical future racism, of course, but the replacement of racial pseudo-biology with genuine genetic science does destroy all science-based anti-racism of the sort to which Smith is appealing in his article.

Dh is correct to say that advantages and disadvantages of the various human subspecies need not require ill will or animosity to be acknowledged, but he is wrong to assume that the Left can manage it, given their emotional attachment to anti-racism as well as their ongoing state of denial concerning the science.  Since the equality to which they have been appealing for literal centuries is now confirmed to have no basis in science, this is going to leave them with no resort but to appeal to the very metaphysical grounds they have long affected to despise.  Being materialists, for the most part, to what can they possibly appeal, the possession of a soul?  Being fellow creatures made in the Imago Dei?

What is more likely, especially given the demographic, economic and technological realities, is a return to a left-wing eugenics much more virulent than its predecessor.  This may seem inconceivable to all bien-pensant leftists who make a religion out of equality, but the reality is that it is no less absurd or unlikely than the Left's transformation from early 20th century racist eugenics to early 21st century equalitarianism and multiculturalism.

In answer to Smith's question, the concept of race has survived because it has a basis in fact, being an observable shorthand for the more complicated, and less immediately obvious genetic categories that almost surely consist of more, and more definitely material, divisions than the traditional ones based on skin color.  What will we do about it?  What should we do about it?  The discussion is inevitable, but is not presently permissible within the bounds of public discourse due to the aforementioned head-burying response of the equalitarian Left.

The ironic fact is that the concept of "progress" is intrinsically absurd for the materialist; there can be no foreordained or inevitable arrangement of atoms across the universe when there is nothing to arrange them.  This is why the anti-racist genie of the left will readily return to the bottle just as rapidly, and just as thoughtlessly, as it emerged in the first place.  It doesn't necessarily have to be so, but the reluctance of the Left to come to grips with philosophical implications of the relevant science doesn't tend to lend one much confidence in this regard.

Labels:

73 Comments:

Blogger Jamie-R February 11, 2013 6:08 AM  

Pope Benedict XVI resigning on Feb 28.

Blogger Bogey February 11, 2013 6:15 AM  

If we are not created equal do you believe we have an equal chance for salvation?

I believe most evolutionists adhere to the theory that we all come from some place in Africa. They'll simply say that we're all of the same race and therefore are equally human and color is just a result of genetic mutations that were beneficial to acclimate us to the environment we migrated to.

Anonymous Toby Temple February 11, 2013 6:24 AM  

I just have to ask. What is the Left's definition of equality among humans?

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 6:35 AM  

If we are not created equal do you believe we have an equal chance for salvation?

No. The Calvinists have that much right, in my opinion, in that there are vessels created for destruction as well as individuals who are hated by God, which are not necessarily identical. We become spiritually equal IN SOME SENSES through Jesus Christ, although not entirely. This is to the best of my understanding, of course.

They'll simply say that we're all of the same race and therefore are equally human and color is just a result of genetic mutations that were beneficial to acclimate us to the environment we migrated to.

Many will. And they will be incorrect.

What is the Left's definition of equality among humans?

According to Orwell, some humans are more equal than others.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 6:42 AM  

The left already has the eugenics - Abortion. In pro-life circles, one of the disproportions goes by the term "black genocide". Or go find "Maafa 21". Not to mention amneosyntesis - do a genetic screen in the womb. Kill the non-preferred races and "defectives". Not worthy of life.

At the other end is euthanasia. You don't have to pay for a hip replacement when you can convince or coerce a senior to die instead.

Anonymous VryeDenker February 11, 2013 6:46 AM  

The Left's stance on equality is the following:

1. everyone is equal
2. except for the members of the inner party, who are more equal and get to lord it over the other equals
3. or white conservative males. Because (don't) fuck those guys, amirite?

Anonymous Jesus H. Christ, aka your Savior. February 11, 2013 6:46 AM  

"The Pope is resigning.

One less douchebag in a clown suit to embarrass the living fuck out of me.

Now if we can only do something about that goddamn Tim Tebow!!"---Jesus H. Christ

Anonymous RedJack February 11, 2013 6:51 AM  

What is more likely, especially given the demographic, economic and technological realities, is a return to a left-wing eugenics much more virulent than its predecessor. This may seem inconceivable to all bien-pensant leftists who make a religion out of equality, but the reality is that it is no less absurd or unlikely than the Left's transformation from early 20th century racist eugenics to early 21st century equalitarianism and multiculturalism.

The left has been more bloodthirsty than the right for some time. Perhaps because the right (in the West at least) has been constrained by its self indentification with the Church.

And acknowledging races doesn't have much to do with salvation. We are all called to be different parts of the body of Christ. But if you are a religious Leftist, it does cause a HUGE problem. Namely, for whom did Jesus die for? What species (if that is even a proper term).

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 7:14 AM  

I think I would give more consideration to the "God hates or has created for destruction" view if it was held by someone who was assuming a priori that they themselves were in that category. That they were destined for gehenna, not glory. Yet the corrected mass translation has "This is the cup of my blood ... for the salvation of many"

Perseverance or other virtues are usually more important than talent or genetics. Character. Our grandparents - of all races - rarely divorced.

We all prefer to win some kind of lottery, be lucky and benefit from genetics, heritage, or special grace. That is easier than the demand we take responsibility for our actions, that we are diligent, virtuous and repent of our sins.

Yet if there is a lottery of grace, in this world the prizes are gethsemane, scourging, a crown of thorns instead of gold, and our own personal cross. iCrucified. What did Paul boast of in Corinthians? Do any of us want to accept, much less desire such suffering? Even if that, and not prosperity and contentment, is the sign of predestination?

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 7:19 AM  

@VyreD: Close, but #2 is presented as "We are needed to correct the inequalities by punishing the evildoers causing it, and we will eventually disappear, but deserve our priviliges and immunities for being so nice as to take on this great work" - as Marx said of the government under communism. The communist government only disappears when communism collapses.

Anonymous The Great Martini February 11, 2013 7:29 AM  

Eugenics wasn't just an invention of early 20th century Left, it was broadly accepted by nearly everyone in the pre-war years. Charles Lindbergh, for instance, was both an ardent anti-communist and arch pro-eugenicist (not to mention, a Nazi). The reason it seems to be associated with the left is that today it seems to stand in such stark contrast to leftwing ideals.

Anonymous Stilicho February 11, 2013 7:32 AM  

No. The Calvinists have that much right, in my opinion, in that there are vessels created for destruction as well as individuals who are hated by God, which are not necessarily identical. We become spiritually equal IN SOME SENSES through Jesus Christ, although not entirely. This is to the best of my understanding, of course.

I'm not sure what you mean by "vessels created for destruction" so I'll leave that be. As for those whom God hates, I understand that part. Spiritually equal in some senses? I would like to see an expansion of that thought. Salvation is made available to all although all do not accept it. "whosoever believeth in me...etc."

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 7:36 AM  

Eugenics wasn't just an invention of early 20th century Left, it was broadly accepted by nearly everyone in the pre-war years. Charles Lindbergh, for instance, was both an ardent anti-communist and arch pro-eugenicist (not to mention, a Nazi). The reason it seems to be associated with the left is that today it seems to stand in such stark contrast to leftwing ideals.

That's totally false. The biggest names on the Left were ardent eugenicists, including Keynes and Shaw. Whereas the intellectuals of the Right were staunchly opposed, as evidenced by GK Chesterton's book Eugenics and Other Evils. And the Catholic Church has always opposed eugenics.

Blogger Bogey February 11, 2013 8:03 AM  

..and that's what disturbs me about pop science. These were "right" thinking people back in the day with an abomniable philosophy. It looks like were prone to repeat that terrible history. Look how people follow Dawkins, Harris, Dennet, Diamond, and the late Hitchens. I would not be surprised in the slightest if a 80 to 100 years previous they would have all been Eugenecists.

Who's our modern GK Chesterton and C.S. Lewis?

Anonymous The Great Martini February 11, 2013 8:12 AM  


And the Catholic Church has always opposed eugenics.


To its credit. I'm not saying you can't adduce plenty of examples of liberal progressive intellectuals who were staunch supporters, since the claim I'm making is that the general tenor of the times is what allowed eugenics to take hold. The fact that one significant swath of people, namely Catholics and Catholic intellectuals, dissented from the general consensus doesn't mean that eugenics wasn't widely supported also by conservatives. One of the most notorious landmarks in American eugenics, and notorious as one of the worst SCOTUS decisions ever, was Buck vs. Bell, which institutionalized eugenics and made America the eugenics capital of the world in 1927 was decided in favor by a primarily conservative court. In fact the Taft court had exactly two liberals on it, and Holmes wasn't particularly progressive. The decision was dissented by only one member, a Catholic conservative. The point being, there was no strident legal standard that any dissent could actually resort to, since the spirit of the time lent none available. Eugenics was simply thought good sense by nearly everyone (excepting Catholics).

Anonymous Anonymous February 11, 2013 8:46 AM  

I'm not sure what you mean by "vessels created for destruction" so I'll leave that be.-- Stilicho

The phrase is synonymous with the term "reprobate."

Pharaoh is a notable example. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses. Exodus 9:12 NIV

Romans 1:28 describes the same process. "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,.."

Reprobation is a temporal punishment that precedes the final, ie., Great White Throne judgment. The man who pracices sin with unabandoned glee demonstrates he has been abandoned by God. He is judged by God to be unworthy of the gift of self-restraint.

God's destruction of the wicked is preceded by His withdrawal of mercy toward the offender, which has been true from at least the time of Noah. "My Spirit will not always strive with man.

Stated poetically: "The words sound to us like clods on the coffin as God leaves men to work their own wicked will."

http://www.bible-library.org/nt/atr/wpnt/romans/chapter1.htm

MALTHUS

Anonymous Krul February 11, 2013 8:46 AM  

If we are not created equal do you believe we have an equal chance for salvation?

No. The Calvinists have that much right, in my opinion, in that there are vessels created for destruction as well as individuals who are hated by God, which are not necessarily identical. We become spiritually equal IN SOME SENSES through Jesus Christ, although not entirely. This is to the best of my understanding, of course.


I'd like to see a separate post on this, if possible. I'm very curious what the scriptural basis is (other than Romans 8:29) for the position that salvation is simply not available to some.

But it's a little off topic on a thread about scientific research and political attitudes about race.

Blogger Tom February 11, 2013 8:53 AM  

"No. The Calvinists have that much right, in my opinion, in that there are vessels created for destruction as well as individuals who are hated by God, which are not necessarily identical."

Can God change his mind about these vessels? Or, are you saying that you think there is some form of predestination at work? Does that mean that God is omnidergent (sp?) to some people but not to others? Or just in charge with respect to their salvation?

Anonymous Cryan Ryan February 11, 2013 8:54 AM  

tz says "The left already has the eugenics - Abortion."

It would seem abortion is actually causing dysgenics. While it is true that women on the left side of the bell curve have more abortions, it is also true that they have more children.

On the right side of the bell curve, women have fewer abortions, but also fewer children. (because they are smarter and can use birth control more effectively, I suppose)

So the net effect of all the birth control and all the abortion is...

a) more dumb blacks
b) more dumb whites
c) fewer smart blacks
d) fewer smart whites

Hardly what you'd call eugenics.

Anonymous Krul February 11, 2013 8:57 AM  

Back on topic,

For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races. This is not to say that there are no real differences, some of which are externally observable, between different human populations. It is only to say, as Lawrence Hirschfeld wrote in his 1996 book, “Race in the Making: Cognition, Culture, and the Child’s Construction of Human Kinds,” that “races as socially defined do not (even loosely) capture interesting clusters of these differences.”

a solid concept of science-based sub-species replacing the crude and superficial concept of color-based race.

I think Smith has a point. If the "real" genetic differences are mostly unrelated to the "superficial" genetic differences, then we may as well forget about "race" and start using a new terminology without all the baggage that more accurately expresses what we're talking about.

And I'm still skeptical of this phrasing:

...all humans are not only not equal, they are not even equally human.

The concept "human" predated the discovery of genetics. A "proto-human" and "post-human" are both hairless bipeds with broad nails, after all.

Anonymous Krul February 11, 2013 9:07 AM  

...all humans are not only not equal, they are not even equally human.

By the way, why don't you classify Neanderthal, Homo Erectus, etc as human? I mean if we can interbreed, that pretty much shows that we're the same species.

Anonymous Conservative Language Institute of America February 11, 2013 9:10 AM  

As a traditionalist conservative, I hesitate to address the Libertarian ilk on this site. Intellectually, I am unable to compete with you, so please know in advance that I cannot and will not attempt to answer any of your critiques. (Sorry VD and Spacebunny, I simply am unable intellectually to respond, so delete me if you deem it necessary.)

All that I can say is the following... You still posit that a seemingly consistent theoretical ideology will trump that which you otherwise find absurd and/or hateful and/or offensive, i.e, leftism in all its myriad forms.

The trouble is, the Left has had more than a century to come up with its own consistent ideology all its own. Mmmmm, ideology I versus ideology II, who will win????

Here's the nub: reality-based feedback will ultimately trump all of you. A traditionalist conservative begins and ends with that which supports and defends the hierarchical pillars of traditionalist society, including Christianity and objective morality, and monoculture, and locality of jurisprudence against which abstruse theory shall never abjure.

Do you still want to invite the enemy into this forum in the guise of Tad or dh, so that they may partake of a rousing good-natured debate supervised by Robert's Rules of Order? Tad is just an effing idiot, but dh has many times successfully committed incrementalist lawfare against you.

I would respectfully assume that you already know the following...

There are so many rules and regulations from the USSA Almighty State Federal Government that you have automatically ALREADY VIOLATED at least one of them. It is only through statistical randomization that the IRS or the DHS or the local Stasi (State-directed) brownshirts police haven't yet broken down your door. But if you EVER come to their attention via political action, believe me they will. In your gut, you know this already. Each and every one of you is already a criminal, served piping hot to you by Tad and 'lawfare' dh and vile halfrican Obama and all the rest of their totalitarian hordes. Why???... because leftism philosophically inherently has no limits, other than (as defined by Lawrence Auster) the Unprincipled Exception of any particular individual leftist at any particular time.

Here it is, folks... Either stand now, or submit forever. Resist NOW, or be a slave forever. That includes you, and your kids, your friends, your family, and generations yet unborn.

What can I say, except it is way past time to wake up, it is way past time to admit there is an enemy, and that enemy is the leftist-fascist State (corporatism at the top, socialism at the bottom) and all its useful idiots including Tad and dh. This government is a tyranny, in all respects, in all its forms. You Ilk seem to grudgingly admit this for individual issues, but do you actually believe it as a whole?

I am left with only the following...
Fellow patriots, fellow citizens, please read the following and be ashamed...
1776, The Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence: “...we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor...”.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 9:10 AM  

@Vox Day

It can no longer be pretended that the observed behavioral differences and capabilities must solely "result from social and historical legacies". Such differences may result from them, but then again, they may not.

Which "observed behavior differences" among the races are you referring to? And which of them have you personally identified as being a result of nature and which a result of nurture?

If you can't point to the specific observed behavioral differences, then it strikes me that your observations and calculations are with out value and overstateed, much like your really funny analysis of the parade marines.

Anonymous Joe Doakes February 11, 2013 9:14 AM  

The eugenics program is in full vigor in Kansis City, Detroit, Pittsburg, Chicago, North Minneapolis, North Omaha, New Orleans, Gary, Milwaukee, Las Vegas . . . self-administered.

Anonymous Stilicho February 11, 2013 9:15 AM  

The biggest names on the Left were ardent eugenicists

...but do you recall, the most famous eugenicist of all...Sanger the red-handed reindeer, had a very evil goal...

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 9:18 AM  

By the way, why don't you classify Neanderthal, Homo Erectus, etc as human? I mean if we can interbreed, that pretty much shows that we're the same species.

We are the same species. We are different sub-species. As for interbreeding, lions and tigers can interbreed but that doesn't make them the same.

And I'm still skeptical of this phrasing:

Rhetorical exaggeration. It would be more correct to say, as I have said before, we're not all equally homo sapiens. Or if you want to be even more accurate not all equally homo sapiens sapiens. But most people use "homo sapiens" interchangeably with "human".

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 9:19 AM  

Which "observed behavior differences" among the races are you referring to?

There are many, take your pick.

West Africans in sprinting, East Africans in distance running. Asian and Ashkenazi in IQ. The various genetic diseases different racial groups are prone to (sickle cell anemia, for example).

Look at the Nobel Prize distribution, or Michael Hart's list if the 100 most influential people in history.

Anonymous Anonymous February 11, 2013 9:33 AM  

@ Krul

Offered with apologize for going off topic:

James, the step-brother of Jesus also describes the reprobate.

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. 2 Pet 2:12

Brute beasts are sentient beings but they are not self-aware. Man's cognition differs from the beast in that he is aware of being made in God's own image. Man may discover God's redemption but a select few are cut off by God and have no hope of salvation. Judas is such an example--the Son of Perdition.

MALTHUS





Anonymous Anonymous February 11, 2013 9:47 AM  

Can God change his mind about these vessels?--Tom

Can Satan repent (change his mind)?

God is not a man that he should repent. Repentance is for those who sin. Satan cannot repent and reprobates will not.

MALTHUS

Oops! I mistakenly attributed Peter's epistle to James.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 9:55 AM  

@Josh

West Africans in sprinting, East Africans in distance running. Asian and Ashkenazi in IQ. The various genetic diseases different racial groups are prone to (sickle cell anemia, for example).

These are physical differences, not behavior.

Put an east african infant with really accomplished long distance running relatives in a high income household of german immigrants on the upper west side of New York city and you'll likely produce a high income, well schooled person who takes after the parents of german heritage, and who can run long distances.

Put a child of the Upper West side German family with a family living in a hovel in the center of Addis Ababa and you'll likely produce a poor, unskilled person who will die relatively young and who can't run long distances.

Blogger hadley February 11, 2013 10:07 AM  

Tad:"Which "observed behavior differences" among the races are you referring to? And which of them have you personally identified as being a result of nature and which a result of nurture? "

Genes for impulsiveness, genes for high T, genes for intelligence, genes for sickle cell anemia, etc. that are more widely distributed in one race than another, thus leading to collective, group differences. There is a whole wealth of research out there in the biological sciences. Razib is a good place to start, although I warn you, he is extremely science/reality-based and doesn't suffer cheap moralizing and guilt-inducing sarcasm with any grace or patience.

Anonymous Conservative Language Institute of America February 11, 2013 10:19 AM  

Symbols symbols symbols... He who controls the language, controls the debate. He who controls the debate, controls the society. He who controls the society, controls the world.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".
Mmmmm, I wonder if that has any significance????

Anonymous alexamenos February 11, 2013 10:20 AM  

These are physical differences, not behavior.

Be careful, Tad....you don't want to start allowing any kind of differences. If you allow that West Africans are better sprinters than European Jews (on average), you might find yourself in a pickle when it comes to the question of W African v Jew IQ.

And certainly you can't allow that Ashkenazi Jews have much higher IQs than W. Africans (on average), because to allow this is to open Pandora's box of horrible racist ideas.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 10:21 AM  

@Hadley

Genes for impulsiveness, genes for high T, genes for intelligence, genes for sickle cell anemia, etc. that are more widely distributed in one race than another, thus leading to collective, group differences.

Please, which are the observable behavior differences among the various races?

Blogger hadley February 11, 2013 10:23 AM  

Smith: "...The question for us today is why we have chosen to stick with categories inherited from the 18th century, the century of the so-called Enlightenment, which witnessed the development of the slave trade into the very foundation of the global economy. ..."

This is the kind of neo-Puritanical sermonizing that just makes the Left look silly. Slavery has been a part of the global economy for all of human history. Islam was founded on slave-raiding, slave-taking and slave-dealing with a proud history of slaving from the ninth to the nineteenth century. And to suggest that racial classifications were created during the Enlightenment is particularly silly. It is Leftist Sunday School pap for the masses. Not only do they deny science they deny a world history that was common knowledge two generations ago before they started "reeducating" ("uneducating"?) the masses. Sad.

Anonymous Porky? February 11, 2013 10:29 AM  

And the Catholic Church has always opposed eugenics.

Umm, not helping your argument...

Anonymous alexamenos February 11, 2013 10:42 AM  

@Tad

Friendly advice, absolutely free of charge.

You're not going far enough with your position. It's not enough for you to say that there is no genetic component to "observable behavior differences". Recall the opening salvo:

It can no longer be pretended that the observed behavioral differences and capabilities must solely "result from social and historical legacies".

The "and capabilities" needs to be the focus of your attack. Going after "observable behavioral differences" is an ineffective diversion. It's like you're on one side of the room swatting at a little harmless mouse while there's a giant pack of rats forming on the other side.

You cannot allow that there is a racial, genetic component to W. African v Asian capabilities in sprinting. Do you not understand the implications of allowing this?

Anonymous The other skeptic February 11, 2013 10:47 AM  

Please, which are the observable behavior differences among the various races?

Glad to oblige. Black men are more murderous than white men or Asian men as you would be aware if you weren't in denial.

Blogger Rev. Right February 11, 2013 10:49 AM  

"...many thinkers are prepared to simultaneously acknowledge both the non-naturalness of race as well as a certain pragmatic utility in retaining it."

That's called liberalism, holding two contradictory but convenient concepts as true, such as "race isn't real but racism is".

As regards the reality of race, if you took any person on the planet and asked him to categorize any other person on the planet into one of the three major racial groups, he would be right about 98% of the time. That would seem to suggest some degree of reality to the concept.

Liberals do not trust the truth, as they do not trust themselves. Our common humanity and commitment to fundamental human rights for individuals is not dependent on the denial of group differences, but on our morality.

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 10:49 AM  

Please, which are the observable behavior differences among the various races?

Crimes rates, education, income, political preferences, food, entertainment, etc

Anonymous paleopaleo February 11, 2013 10:53 AM  

"For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races."

Dang you hear this all of the time from "anti racists". Height is an easy response. European men average height range 5'-5" to 6'-2". Asian men average 5' to 5'-9". 9 inch range within a racial group. Much less variance "between" Europeans and Asians. But the AVERAGE difference exists nonetheless.

Vox, I think calling them on their materialist views results in smoke from the ears.

"that there are no significant natural differences between races"

This is so fantastically unlikely in-light of materialistic evolution!

Anonymous Dr. T February 11, 2013 11:07 AM  

"For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races." This often touted line is known as Lewontin’s fallacy. How this works is nicely explained in Woodley's paper "Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications", Medical Hypotheses 74 (2010) 195–201. This paper is a decent primer on the subject, and it can be found on the web for free. Be aware that it is hardly a widely recognized reference paper; it has been cited only once by other peer-reviewed publications.

Anonymous DonReynolds February 11, 2013 11:16 AM  

The Liberals are not of one mind on this subject, so it is even more confused than imagined. Some insist that races do not exist, except for the human race. The FACT that there are apparent DNA markers that are grouped by race and the FACT that races can be idenified by obvious phenotypes, will not dissuade them from their article of faith. Another group of Liberals say that yeah, there are races, but we refuse to admit that it makes any difference at all, since we are egalitarian. Since everyone is EQUAL and the SAME, race does not matter at all. But ALL Liberals violate their own belief system by simply being pro-black or pro-brown on a sociological level, without admitting that they are just as racist in being anti-white. Nooo sir, preferential treatment is not discrimination against whites. This is where we get the white guilt number, white self-hate, and submission to black abuse as part of our collective and historic white shame. Of course, none of this is possible without a healthy dose of Black Historionics Month and Jewish Radical agitation. Right, to buy into white guilt, you have to revise ALL of history as everyone understands it. (A few drops of Marxism improves the flavor of the mix, that way you can believe in the "inevitable" and "ultimate" outcome of white destruction, and the restoration of harmony between black or brown man and mother nature.) Pass me the crying towel. Mine is all wet.

It could not be that race is defined in part by the people associated with that race. It could not be that racists are anything other than mindless bigots....like maybe they have real world experiences to guild their decisions. And most certainly, white racism (the only kind) is only motivated by hate only and not genuine affection for one's own kind. (With black and brown, their racism is OK because it is racial identity and race pride. Whites are only moved by hate, cause they are haters.) I am starting to giggle.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 11:19 AM  

@Other


Glad to oblige. Black men are more murderous than white men or Asian men as you would be aware if you weren't in denial.


OK...Is this nature or nurture?

Anonymous Tad is dumb February 11, 2013 11:20 AM  

Tad said, "Put an east african infant with really accomplished long distance running relatives in a high income household of german immigrants on the upper west side of New York city and you'll likely produce a high income, well schooled person who takes after the parents of german heritage, and who can run long distances.

Put a child of the Upper West side German family with a family living in a hovel in the center of Addis Ababa and you'll likely produce a poor, unskilled person who will die relatively young and who can't run long distances."

This is dumb.

The German child raised in West Africa will "probably" be one of the most intelligent kids in the village, relative to the others. The West African kid raised in Europe will "likely" be one of the fastest kids on the playground. Nobel prize winners or Olympians, no. But the genetic differences will "likely" be apparent.

Anonymous The other skeptic February 11, 2013 11:28 AM  

"For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races."

However, this result was based on looking only at a small number of attributes and is known as Lewontin's Fallacy

It has been criticized many times and more recent scholarship has demonstrated that it is incorrect. Indeed, we can typically tell the race of an individual from their skeleton and there have been numerous studies in genetic that deal with clustering.

Nevin Sesardic is quoted as saying, of Lewontin's Fallacy:


Lewontin’s univariate approach to the conceptualization of race is particularly clear when he asks: ‘‘How much difference in the frequencies of A, B, AB, and O blood groups does one require before deciding that it is large enough to declare two local populations are in separate ‘races’?’’ (Lewontin 1987, 200) This is the wrong question completely. Races are not distinguished from one another by some specially big difference of allelic frequencies in one trait, but rather by a combination of a number of small or moderate differences in many traits. That is, e pluribus, not ex uno.


Those who choose to remain ignorant of modern research and methods in this area are truly pathetic and anti-scientific. They are like pagans who believe that sacrificing virgins will appease the gods and bring a good harvest next year.

Blogger James Dixon February 11, 2013 11:29 AM  

> OK...Is this nature or nurture?

Is it the case in multiple countries and continents? If so, then it's probably nature. If not, then it's probably nurture.

Anonymous Koanic February 11, 2013 11:48 AM  

These two maps are all that need to be said about race and genetic distance. The colors in the second are approximately how a Klanner with crayons would've drawn them. Race is confirmed by genetic science.

http://www.humanbiologicaldiversity.com/Photos/global-genetic-distances-map.jpg
Cavalli world map

Anonymous alexamenos February 11, 2013 11:50 AM  

@Tad-the-ineffective-defender-of-right-thinking:

In re African v Asian crime rates, you ask:

OK...Is this nature or nurture?

You're not going far enough, Tad.

Consider sprinting, Asians v. W. Africans.

Which group would you guess is under-represented (relative to proportions of world population) on the lists of world's fastest sprint times? Which would you expect to find over-represented?

If we do find more of one group than the other, should we attribute the findings to mostly nature, or mostly nurture?

Anonymous RDB February 11, 2013 11:53 AM  

I think one of the problems with this discussion comes from trying to divide the different human groups into discrete pigeonholes when that is observably silly. A more useful way of thinking is to consider humans as different breeds within one species. We can all interbreed (boy howdy) so we are one species.

The goal of most leftists seems to be to make the entire human race what we would call the Heinz 57 breed if applied to dogs. That is, a complete mutt. Of course, there must be some purebreds left to manage things for the benefit of the new hybrids who can't be trusted to do it themselves.

Anonymous Koanic February 11, 2013 11:55 AM  

Oh, and if you don't understand the importance of genetic distance, this paper explains it: http://whitelocust.wordpress.com/america-in-crisis-the-triumph-of-political-correctness/estimating-ethnic-genetic-interests-is-it-adaptive-to-resist-replacement-migration/

Anonymous Anonymous February 11, 2013 12:01 PM  

VD et al.,

Do you believe it is at least possible that the Neanderthal and Denisovan populations are synonymous with the Nephilim?

~Cumquat

Anonymous The Anti-Gnostic February 11, 2013 12:06 PM  

OK...Is this nature or nurture?

However you come down on that issue, you will have to admit that the biggest factor in high rates of black social pathology is black parents. Now, since we all know good, attentive and functional black parents, wouldn't the better question be, what can be imparted by nature and what can be imparted by nurture?

Multiplication and division can be drilled into most kids' heads; calculus, not so much. If your child has Down's syndrome, even basic math will be out of reach.

Nobody seems to have a problem admitting the role of genetics in human athletic ability and racial phenotypes. But even the supposed clear-eyed rationalists cling to this sentimental myth that evolution stopped in its tracks 40,000 years ago and only occurred from the eyebrow ridge down.

If you want to see how biodiversity and selection pressures play out in real life, study dogs. (Chimpanzees are dangerous and humans take too long).

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 12:11 PM  

Do you believe it is at least possible that the Neanderthal and Denisovan populations are synonymous with the Nephilim?

Possible? Sure. Reasonable? No idea.

Anonymous paleopaleo February 11, 2013 12:27 PM  

"If your child has Down's syndrome, even basic math will be out of reach."

Not true. I work with Down syndrome kids and I'm sure some of them are pushing a 95 I.Q. I think they'd of had a 140 IQ if it were not for the physical defects of the brain as a result of the trisomy-21.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2013 12:28 PM  

@Tad (breaking my own rule for once)
OK...Is this nature or nurture?

Since the variance in murder rates among different ethnic subgroups within the US track with the murder rates among those same groups in the geographic regions they populate throughout the rest of the world, it would seem "nature" wins.

I'm sure "nurture" plays it's part too, but, um, you see, there are observable differences in how various subgroups nurture their children too. So "nurture" is half "nature" anyway.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2013 12:29 PM  

What is the Left's definition of equality among humans?

The same as the Left's definition of every other thing: "Give us all the money and power and we'll fix it."

Blogger WATYF February 11, 2013 12:52 PM  

Vox...

The Calvinists have that much right, in my opinion, in that there are vessels created for destruction as well as individuals who are hated by God, which are not necessarily identical. We become spiritually equal IN SOME SENSES through Jesus Christ, although not entirely. This is to the best of my understanding, of course.

Do you believe that these distinctions have anything to do with biology (genetics, race, etc). If so, why?

WATYF

Blogger James Dixon February 11, 2013 12:53 PM  

> Since the variance in murder rates among different ethnic subgroups within the US track with the murder rates among those same groups in the geographic regions they populate throughout the rest of the world, it would seem "nature" wins.

Ah, you did Tad's homework for him, Jack. :(
Well, it was probably too much to ask for him to do it himself.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2013 1:35 PM  

Since we're on the subject, a while back I did some rough calculations on what I figured average IQ across various groups was. The data is a little difficult to tease out, so this is approximate, subject to dispute, and rounded to the nearest 5 points.

105 Han Chinese (including Korean and Japanese)
100 Northern Europeans (Germanic, Nordic, Anglo, Rus)
95 Southern Europeans (Spanish, Italian, Greek), Celts
90 Amerindians, Turks, Semites, Polynesians
85 Malaysians
80 Indians
70 East Africans
60 West Africans

Blogger The Deuce February 11, 2013 6:01 PM  

FWIW, there's been some pushback on the Neanderthal cross-breeding thing in the form of paleontologists who hold that it seems to go against the paleontological evidence and is a statistical artifact: http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/13/13265954-did-humans-and-neanderthals-do-it-some-experts-doubt-it

Of course, the observations that different ethnic groups have variation in their average abilities remains one way or another.

Anonymous TangoMan February 11, 2013 6:30 PM  

"For several decades it has been well established that there is as much genetic variation between two members of any supposed race, as between two members of supposedly distinct races."

This Lewontinist formulation has an afterlife like a vampire. What does it take to kill it?

Lewontin argued that the evidence if support of the genetics of race is flawed because any differences used to separate people into racial groups are swamped by the differences between people within the same racial group.

This view is simply wrong because it completely overlooks the correlational structure of the genome and this is where we find the genetics of race.

Think of it this way - The key point here is that to distinguish racial groups you must look at more than locus at a time unlike Lewontin's approach. If you look at just one locus, you can get bizarre constructs like Jared Diamond's "lactose intolerant races", which group people with different genome content together on the basis of their similarity at one locus.

As an analogy, suppose you had a bunch of text documents from two categories: mathematical papers and New York Times articles. Suppose that you grouped them on the basis of whether the fifth word was a verb or a noun, like Diamond does with one trait, lactose intolerance. That grouping would be incoherent because it was not a global grouping based on document content. It is a fragile grouping that would probably not distinguish well between the math papers and the Times articles.

But if you allowed the use of a global grouping - a grouping on the basis of textual content - you could do a much better job of automatic classification of document type. We need to look at the whole genome, particularly the correlation structure of the genome. Returning to our text example, this would mean comparing sentences rather than individual words. If you saw a word like "have", you would not know whether it was from the math paper or the Times article. But if you saw a sentence like "Square matrices without full rank have at least one zero eigenvalue", you'd know it came from a math paper rather than a Times article.

Anonymous TangoMan February 11, 2013 6:32 PM  

On a related note, I wish that liberals would try to be consistent in their worldview. If they believe that the fact that differences within a group being larger than difference between groups invalidate criticism, concern, identification, etc then stick with that standard. I noted the following seven years ago and liberals are still up to their same old tricks:

It is important to recognize that most wage inequality occurs within and not between groups. The unweighted average Gini coefficient across all race, gender, and education groups was 0.256 in 1995, over 80 percent of the total Gini. Put another way, if all groups had identical mean wage rates (for example, black male dropouts had the same average wages as white male college graduates) but wages differed within groups as they do today, nearly all the inequality in wage rates would remain.

In fact the author of the NYT piece featured in the OP does exactly this when he writes "for instance in talking about issues like social inequality or access to health care." Hey, I thought that when differences within a group are larger than the differences between groups, that there was no utility in focusing on between group differences. There is likely more social inequality within the racial grouping than there is between racial groups, so why are liberals focusing on the smaller "problem" rather than working to impose socialistic wealth redistribution only on individuals within a specific race in order to solve the problem of inequality within that group?

Lastly, this entire line of argument is logically incoherent. Lewontin, and those who trot out his argument, MUST rely on race in order to create an argument which they say invalidates race as a biological concept. Consider this analogy:

Let's isolate sex and height as two variables. Sex will replace race in this example and height will replace any of the individual markers that Lewontin uses in order to compare differences between ingroup and outgroup.

The average height of women is less than that of men. We know that the variation of height within genders is far greater than the variation in height between genders.

If you reached the same conclusion as Lewontin did, you'd then conclude that sexes don't exist, or are only a social construction, because the variation in height in greater within a group than between the groups.

Secondly, if racial groups don't exist then on what basis did Lewontin use to establish how to sort between and within groups and how did he establish groups if his findings show that they don't exist?

Lewontin's findings are a hot holy mess but they're still trotted out because of their rhetorical value in debate - liberals want the findings to be true and they love to use argument by authority to advance their position.

Anonymous Van February 11, 2013 7:00 PM  

Aside from the fact that Lewontin's conclusion is logically flawed, it's also been disproven - an article available at Discovery Channel (about as PC a source you'll find) goes into detail.

Also, subSaharan Africans are not pure Homo sapiens sapiens; they have admixture from an unidentified hominid (higher percentage than Neandertal found in Euros and Asians, discovered a couple years earlier to much less media attention).

Anonymous jrl February 11, 2013 7:31 PM  

Yet if there is a lottery of grace, in this world the prizes are gethsemane, scourging, a crown of thorns instead of gold, and our own personal cross. iCrucified. What did Paul boast of in Corinthians? Do any of us want to accept, much less desire such suffering? Even if that, and not prosperity and contentment, is the sign of predestination?


Well asked.

Anonymous Desiderius February 11, 2013 8:11 PM  

Wow - dead on.

The entire anti-racism edifice was constructed to combat white supremacism, which is now itself a dead letter. The genetic record shows that the skin is white because their ancestors were kicked to the curb by the ancestors of those still in Africa. It's a solution to a problem that no longer exists, and misunderstands the nature of the problem that once existed.

The anti-racist is akin to Wile E. Coyote running out of cliff and not yet recognizing it.

"Being materialists, for the most part, to what can they possibly appeal, the possession of a soul? Being fellow creatures made in the Imago Dei?"

On what grounds do you claim materialism as an essential rather than an accidental characteristic of post-modern liberalism?

Anonymous Desiderius February 11, 2013 8:25 PM  

"This is where we get the white guilt number, white self-hate, and submission to black abuse as part of our collective and historic white shame."

It's not guilt, it's shame.

It's not self, it's other (whites).

It's not submission to, it's participation in/with.

Those pushing it are predators. You're the prey.

Blogger RM Odom February 12, 2013 3:17 AM  

I'm going to admit that I am very ignorant on the subject of cross-hominid relations (that pesky Neanderthal gene haha) I have to assert that color, which was part of Bogey's question, is very much a question of evolution and vitamin d production, no matter how much of a pure homo sapiens sapiens you happen to be. It's a transition from the equator outward (with the central Americans not being purely black since they migrated fairly recently and have mated with white Europeans) is very steady and at no point could you on a walking journey tell anyone that the skin color has a sharp drop off.

Blogger RM Odom February 12, 2013 3:26 AM  

Ligers are very rare since most turn out retarded. Our rate for birth defect seems to be more environmental than genetic incompatibility.

The point that I think needs to be addressed is whether or not the existence of other hominids in what we classify as 'humanity' are in line with our cultural races and whether or not those are the same? Otherwise you get a whole fuck ton of neo nazis (who defile the whole manosphere) And I agree with the premise that the Christian west is falling, mainly made out of European descendants, I just don't like shit that leads to nazis and eugenics (which I also agree major leftist figures espoused but so did Henry ford) I prefer individual rights and freedom not to get fucked with because of cultural racial ideas.

Blogger RM Odom February 12, 2013 3:31 AM  

Sickle cell is a genetic trait. It's roots are in malaria regions since those with sickle cell were better able to have offspring since their blood cells couldn't host malaria. This is large parts of Africa, south went Asia, and the meditarrean. So not just Africans.

Also to further point out its genetics both the philippines and the amazon of similar hemoglobin disorders since thier are malaria infested Mosquitos there as well but genetic drift was not able to reach them no evolution took its course.

This is a genetic disorder that occurs from ancestry not a predisposition to a type of virus just because your African.

Don't argue something if your ignorant about what the facts actually say.

Blogger RM Odom February 12, 2013 3:40 AM  

The IQ test is just a measure of your intelligence compared to the average. It's not even standardized that well. Go take 10 different iq tests and tell me what you get.

And geographic groups doesn't actually prove race. You would have to take a shit ton (more then a few hundred) babies from across the globe, raise them as orphans in a uniform environment and parenting and then do these tests. As a person you are your genetics multiplied by your environment, and that's a whole fuck ton of factors.

Blogger RM Odom February 12, 2013 3:54 AM  

The big problem I have is with both sides.

The right: biological racism and other neo-nazi shit. Thankfully this is not a lot of the right, but good god this is fucked. Confligrating geographic ancestry and cultural tradition with actually biologically different races? Then when the logic of that runs out you say that Neanderthals did it with traveling homo sapiens and now all race is a biological fact. I like you vox but this is some weak shit and you know it. Neo nazi shit always spawns out of this. We have a cultural tradition, since our brains are hard wired to hate strangers, that enables races. I agree that the cultural rates exist and that there is a lot of anti-white sentiment and that lots of Christian western civilization is being destroyed by other cultures brought in by immigration. Forcing immigrants out is not an effective solution and the hypocrisy of nationalists is astounding. Make your culture stronger you fucks, compete for christ's sake. Unfortuantley weak willed and stupid fucks use these arguments they don't understand to promote eugenics and eugenics is always going to end badly, no matter how you fucking spin it.

The left - fucking pussies the think that by disproving biological race they can disprove social race. Then they demonize us of white skin because we had white skin. I'm third generation German American, my ancestors didn't own african slaves and weren't nazis, yet I have white/ sorta german guilt. Fuck that noise. It's the same problem with socialism and feminism. They confuse that shit too. Forcing equalization just makes different groups the victims. Get your commie shit out of my face.

The other path. Get some fucking individual rights, make governments nowhere near as powerful or non-existent (an-caps and agorists), and make some badass culture like Christ would have been proud of.

Anonymous Toby Temple February 12, 2013 5:48 AM  

According to Orwell, some humans are more equal than others.

So there is such a thing as humans who are less equal, least equal, or most equal when we ask the Left?

I'll keep that in mind.

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