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[RD] Discussion on IQ (split from effect of white people on America)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Bootstoots, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Chose

    Chose Chieftain

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    I've always felt, based on my internal experience, that the things I believe I have little to no control over. I'm just persuaded by the evidence or argument, or I'm too emotional/blind that I just don't see why I'm wrong. I can imagine motivated reasoning blinding me, but I truly can't really imagine what it would be like to actually consciously think something is mostly false, and then make an effort to try to get myself to believe it. It just seems like it wouldn't work. Maybe you are using the word "think" differently than I am?

    Can you maybe tell me about a time you did that? You say it wouldn't help but it might.
     
  2. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Think of the subject you're asking that question about, and then think of human history. No. Truth is not its own reward.

    You didn't ask that question. Sure, truth matters. You're not spreading truth. You're spreading white nationalism. It may be your truth, but it's not one the rest of the civilized world recognizes as a truth. You're extremely committed to the idea that people of colour are inferior. Your only justification for this dogged pursuit is "the truth". Secondarily, you suggest we can use gene modifying to "fix" them. Old ideas. We've seen enough of that in humanity.
     
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    I may be wrong but I don't believe that aelf would argue the process of convincing yourself of stuff happens consciously.
     
  4. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    No-one wants to go back to slavery, or whatever historical injustice you have in mind.
    Personally, I believe that there is an objective truth out there, even if our perceptions of it may be colored. In any case, it seems like our exchange isn't going anywhere, so perhaps we can simply agree to disagree.
     
  5. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Same here, but I do strongly suspect that's not how most people think. Most beliefs seem to be adopted based in large part on how they will affect the mental state of the believer. In a sense, I can even consider it psychologically rational to believe something that is not rational. Studies conducted on the mental health of religious people usually find them to be considerably healthier than atheists, to give one example. Our brains aren't really "designed" for exclusively rational thought - myths, stories, art, music, spiritual experiences, etc. have been more dominant in human cognition for most our existence than they are now.

    Here we have an awful and destabilizing belief that, from what I have seen, has a significant chance of being true. I really hope it's not, and I do think there is some chance that it will turn out not to be. But I've been combing the literature and haven't found anything that would allow me to dismiss it on rational grounds.

    A person with better mental hygiene would just have continued to dismiss this out of hand as a discredited early-mid 20th century white supremacist belief with a 21st century veneer*, without actually looking at the data. To a great extent it really is that belief, of course - certainly people who go around loudly promoting it aren't acting benevolently. Yet, when I wallowed in the psych mud, I found it to be entirely plausible despite my hopes to the contrary.

    I don't think there are many major implications in terms of our actions, really. Trying to avoid interpersonal racism and to minimize structural racism are still important. There are a few things I'd say to keep in mind, though.

    1. Racial gaps we see will hopefully narrow but may never close entirely, for reasons that are not only due to structural racism or even the dysfunctional cultures of any race (including whites). This does not mean that efforts to close these gaps are pointless - if anything, it means we need to keep innovating to

    2. Data on genetic differences are rapidly coming out. While it will take a while for data on specific genes to become convincing, we might reach a tipping point within ~10 years where the scientific consensus will shift to favor intelligence differences among racial groups.

    3. Assuming the data keep appearing the way they do so far, the notion that different racial groups differ from each other in intelligence will become more popular in the coming years. Many people who come to this view then go full-bore into it and become full-fledged scientific racists. We really should be thinking about how to counter that.

    *Part of the veneer would be putting East Asians above whites, so that it isn't white supremacism per se.

    edit: split my post in two
     
    Chose likes this.
  6. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    David Reich, the author of a fascinating book on the deep genetic history of humans, wrote this article in the NYT about how our understanding of race is evolving due to recent genetic discoveries. It is very much worth reading for anyone who's interested in how to move forward in a world where substantial genetic differences among racial groups are rapidly being identified.

    Some excerpts:

    There's a lot of challenging stuff to think about, but I think we actually do need to think about it. There's a serious risk that this will get out ahead of us and end up causing ugly results, especially if people start thinking of IQ as the end-all be-all of a person's worth - even if it's correlated with just about every measure of success. In fact that would be a problem even if we didn't have racial differences to deal with. But we do, and they might be partly genetic.
     
  7. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Frankly, Boots, I feel like you're wildly off-base.

    Let's say there is unequivocal proof released that black people are less intelligent than white people. What happens next?

    What will be done towards an ethical and compassionate response that is different than what is already being done/advocated for?

    Why is this information valuable?

    You plainly recognize that this will be used as fuel for white nationalism. So you must believe that the benefits outweigh the costs. What benefits do you see coming from this "real science"?
     
  8. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    Well, people can accept this data and still argue against white nationalism? Unequivocal proof is coming soon enough anyway, might as well get ahead of it?
     
  9. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    I think such findings will matter little in context to the obvious incentives to 'tweak' your children via genetic engineering. It will be unaffordable not to once the right mechanisms are found. The new Amish will be whoever forgoes tweaking because they won't be able to compete for any jobs that remain.
     
    yung.carl.jung likes this.
  10. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    I don't want it to come out and would suppress it if I thought it were possible. But I think it's going to come out anyway.
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    @Bootstoots, I have never seen a satisfactory rebuttal to the point that the group differences are basically going to be an artifact of how you construct the groups.

    I also wish I understood more about epigenetics because my current understanding of that is that the existence of the phenomenon means there are environmental factors determining how genes are expressed, which genes are triggered, and so on. To me this blows the idea that genetic = predetermined and unchangeable completely out of the water. The whole idea that genes=nature and social=nurture is wrong. And so the terms under which this discussion is generally carried on are also wrong.
    When I see bits like this:
    It just flabbergasts me that anyone who claims to have any understanding of modern genetics actually can believe that genes could be a fixed blueprint that determine life outcomes before a person is even born.


    Here's another problem: "black people," "white people," and "intelligent" are all not defined specifically enough that you can make scientifically rigorous claims about them.
     
    yung.carl.jung and Bugfatty300 like this.
  12. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    if I was a not-so-smart member of the 'smartest race', I'd have an inferiority complex
     
  13. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Why? Because white supremacists release cherry-picked data based on flawed methodologies saying it's true?
     
  14. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    So far, epigenetics research has only identified certain effects that can have intergenerational effects. These have mostly do with brain's reward system (things such as fear, anxiety, depression and addiction). It's not at all clear that epigenetics has anything to do with intelligence, or if it does, the effect is most likely small (twin studies give fairly high numbers for heritability, and in these, epigenetic changes would be included in the environmental category). Epigenetics also cannot express or suppress gene variants that aren't in the genome. In any case, it's a fascinating phenomena, and one that requires more study (especially studies spanning multiple generations). Also, the IQ gaps haven't really been changing, but if they ever find a way to close the IQ gaps, then I'll gladly admit I was wrong.

    Second, as far as your groupings go, not really. We can group people based on genetic similarity. These self-identified races match best-fit genetic clusters with 99,86% accuracy.
     
  15. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    Epigenetics is really important.

    You would say that the DNA you got is the base, but this is correct only in sofar as what pieces of your DNA are going to be used by your body.
    Starting as that one cell, you are going to have a lot of cell divisions and cell differentations. Each time this happens each cell makes a choice which piece of DNA is to be expressed, is going to be used for certain features.
    This choice seems to be influenced by all kinds of external factors. From surrounding cells to the metabolites in the blood of your mother.

    The only way to test this through properly would be to separate identical twins when they are a couple of cells grown and implant one of them later or in another female. Or better a quadruplet and two by two in two females and compare all differences.
    It could also explain astrological findings, or better: correlations between for example professions chosen and the month of the year where you started your life, approx 9 month before birth. A mother's metabolism and hormones during winter differing from summer, because of the amount of the sun, the rain, the amount and kind of food, etc.

    Whereby noted that evolution uses this foetus period as best as possible: as much as possible foetuses with defects are reabsorbed/aborted, in order to avoid the wasteful investment and in order to free up the body for a child in better times or with better genes.
     
  16. Chose

    Chose Chieftain

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    I agree with this, and I also think there is a big misunderstanding in general that this distinction even matters in some deep sense in the first place. There is an idea that our genes are somehow our "essence", who we truly are, and the environmental stuff just gets piled on top. As if there is actually such thing as our genes in a vacuum, separated from our environment. The reality is that they are inseparable and are equally a part of who we are. I didn't have any control over either, and the extent I am the way I am because of my environment, what my parents went through, or just my basic genes, doesn't matter at all now. The argument is usually that we work can work to improve the environmental for future generations, but obviously we want to do that regardless, and we could actually do the same with genes. I mean, with a proper time scale, you can see that genes are just a product of the environment anyway.

    I agree with the sentiment, but isn't that quote claiming that these "PTSD family genes", if expressed, are in fact being passed down to your children, and are in fact having an impact on their lives? The way I often see the discussion going is that one side is claiming that it's genes and environment, while the other is trying to minimize genes as having essentially no role. But to the extent people do try to take a hard genetic deterministic approach I agree that is completely wrong.
     
  17. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    I read Neanderthals had on average a larger cranial capacity than us, is it possible people living in mountainous ice age conditions are required to adapt or evolve a part of the brain to deal with that environment? If I went from hunter-gatherer to fishing I'd expect a new set of 'smarts' would appear in my lineage. Bipedalism supposedly developed with apes having to cross open grasslands quickly or get eaten by lions etc. If a people spent the last 100,000 years in the same place their brains dont have to adapt to anything new, but if they spend that time moving north into the mountains meeting up with people (Neanderthal and Denisovans) who had been there even longer I'd be surprised if intelligence didn't change. Our bodies definitely changed...
     
  18. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    The important part of the claim for my purposes is that American slavery has a genetic signature on people who were affected by it. The relevant point is that someone's genes can be changed, during their own lifetime, by their environment. Those changes can then be passed down to their descendants. This fact suggests that those who take genes-->outcomes as the only possible causal scheme are just plain wrong. And, by the way, I think anyone claiming genes don't matter at all is also wrong.
     
  19. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Chieftain

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    Do you know what other phenotypic traits are influenced by a combination of genes and environment?-all of them. You have to ask what is the underlying obsession with IQ. Why are there not threads and books etc. on the genetic vs environmental components of extroversion or risk taking, both of which have been studied in the same manner as IQ and probably have some correlation with “success”. On the right I think it ranges from outright white supremacy to a desire to find a scientific justification for the illusion of capitalist meritocracy. On the left it is desire for an egalitarianism ideal (also an illusion) and more importantly a knowledge of the long history of now discredited “scientific” justifications of the supposed inferiority of “blacks”. It is a losing proposition to deny accurate replicated scientific results-as the saying goes science is true whether you believe it or not. It is also important to prevent the misrepresentation of current scientific understanding, esp. when for immoral purposes. If you simply accept 2 points of current science you can accurately say we do not know the basis for the real measured population differences in IQ between racial groups.

    1. We currently do not know the relative genetic contribution to measured IQ differences across racial populations because there is a systemic difference in environment (racism/stereotyping) based on this outward visible marker that cannot be controlled for.


    2. “Black” is not a meaningful classification for studies in human population genetics. African populations have the greatest genetic diversity yet all fall into the “black” category.
     
  20. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish 49ers 2019

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    Question for some of you:

    I can accept "blacks in Africa get lower IQ scores because of environmental disadvantages such as malnutrition"

    My problem is I want you to compare that to blacks in South Africa, where this isn't as much of an issue, and then compare it blacks living in western countries (not just America). It's not just in poor African countries or Haiti and places like that where they score lower. I actually don't think blacks are dumber than whites, but this is something you all have not answered.
     
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