"Race realism"? It's toxic racist crap. Let's discuss why.


And then eat them, I presume?


The argument is that racism and sexism in the wider societies the industries belong to cause the imbalance. There’s imbalance because the racism and sexism, but it says nothing of the industry itself.

Imbalances in leadership/ advancement opportunities (and more toxic stuff, like unaddressed/sweep under the rug sexism and racism) do speak of the industries where that happens. But they are isolated issues.

You can have an institution (education in some places, for example) with equal representation but still ingrained sexism in the balance of high management positions.

In short, basic imbalance points to issues in the wider society, internal further imbalance points to issues within an industry.

And finally, regarding “benign cultural preferences” and the article you quote. Two male researchers show some good data showing an apparent contradiction and then:

That’s all and well, but it’s not trying to measure the effect of peer rejection. One suspects most women are going to be less likely to join fields where there are almost no women, independently on whether they think they’ll enjoy it. Probably the same applies to men and “historically female” professions. But there’s nothing benign in that. It’s ingrained sexism perpetuating itself.

Even if the preference has nothing to do with peer rejection, it could be just a factor of education and point towards sexism in how we educate our kids (no kidding) specially since in certain societies that preference is reversed (which points away from a biological explanation).


Why bow out? It’s been explained multiple times, in a rational way, how individual variation is significantly larger than any group variation. It’s also been explained by @Hechicera how near impossible it is to separate genetic effects within as group from the stronger environmental effects.

That sounds like a rational discussion to me, but instead of discussing that, you post multiple times in the thread how it’s impossible to have one and you’re just going to bow out. This isn’t a loaded question at all, but honestly what are you looking for, here? Again, not loaded! But you’ve had very knowledgeable people respond to you in this thread and you’re not engaging them, so I’m wondering what it is specifically you’re wanting in the discussion and not getting. I’m not implying any motive, I just don’t understand.


Rob Zombie!


If you’d like, I can imply a motive for you!


Basically, the question being asked is can we have a rational discussion which ignores the existing evidence? Isn’t the answer almost by definition ‘no’, for any reasonable definition of rational discussion?

Sure, we can discuss hypotheses for which there is no evidence or where the evidence actually contradicts the hypothesis, but what is particularly rational about that? And why on earth choose this particular hypothesis?


Hi guys. Professional geneticist chiming in again.

Are there genes (or rather particular mutations within genes) that have an effect on cognition? Yup. Tons, hundreds. It’s *polygenic". We’ve seen and been able to model lots of effects from genetics -> highest academic achievement reached, IQ, etc.

Why would we look at this? It’s one of the lenses through which we study the diseases we REALLY care about, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. There are lots of genes that have effects on both cognitive abilities and mental disorders. We need to understand which genes (and thus proteins and transcriptional pathways) are being affected so we can actually try to HELP PEOPLE by generating better drug targets, etc.




That’s…not true. You do need tremendous sample sizes to do the analysis to get through the environmental variation, but we’ve been doing this sort of work for quite some time - I’ve been watching this process evolve for the last 20 years. I’ve been spending my week analyzing a whole genome association study that associates specific mutations in the genome to schizophrenia. Figuring out exactly which genes are being affected by those mutations, the direction of the effect, etc is EXACTLY part of my day job.

It’s not a “solved problem” or trivial, but it’s certainly something we’re having some level of success with. I should note that it is true that single mutations rarely have very strong effects, and it’s really the combination of hundreds of these mutations that leads to the phenotype in question.


Lactose tolerance is about the biggest.


As pertains to this topic, what have your colleagues found? Have they isolated the Asian math gene yet?


I don’t even know what logical fallacy that is, but stop.

It IS possible to link genetics to phenotypes. No scientists I know are looking for “the asian math gene”, because there isn’t one. Even if people eventually figure out the genetic contribution to one’s ability to do math, it’ll be an incredibly complicated set of interlocking effects, and it will not be restricted to one population. One population may have a higher frequency for the version for some gene that has a 0.2% effect, but that’s as close as you’ll get.


It was more a quip, not an argument. Because the topic at hand is a belief that science/genetics show that some races just have more aptitude and smarts than others, hence my Asian math gene comment which you rightfully ridiculed. For “race realists” it’s okay if minority_group_01 are underrepresented in an area, because while there might be the occasional good one, overall they’re just not as good at it as whites.

You’ve corrected Hechera and others on the details of your work, but what does your experience and work have to say about “racial realism”?


To be clear on my stance: Race realists are idiots. I’m having a hard time even comprehending how they even get within the universe where their arguments make ANY fucking sense - even the most exquisite cherry picking of facts they could perform only speaks to how ignorant they are of the actual science.

Count me as another person who’d never even heard of the term before this thread, so it’s been a bit of an education for me to learn that people are still trying to force thought that way. It actually reminds me of a video someone posted in the space thread where someone was swinging a fence door with cameras around to “prove” the earth is actually flat. It’s just wrong on so many levels it makes my head spin.


Besides, it’s not about any math genes, it’s really about movie reviewing genes. Cause you know that’s something that is real…


Thank you! I didn’t want to put words in your mouth, but you had corrected people on details they were wrong on but not the whole premise of the thread. I appreciate you spelling that out.

EDIT: And apologies in advance if you had and I missed it earlier. It’s been a fast moving thread. :)


We have yet to get funding on measuring movie rating ability. I’ll talk to my people at google and netflix about their next AI challenge.


Seems like if you wanted to try to have the discussion, you’d A) realize it was likely to be a sensitive area and B) you’d set aside the (not very hostile) critical comments and focus on the people who are actually discussing it. But you’re focusing on the (fairly mild) hostility and not the discussion. We may need to explore genetic factors behind eagerness to engage in controversial subjects as it relates to thickness of skin.


I don’t demand that the discussion can only be held by people with some scientific qualification; instead, I ask on what basis you want to have a discussion which appears to fly in the face of a broad scientific consensus. There must be some basis, right? Either it’s at least a good familiarity with the science, or it isn’t.

If you proposed we hold a rational discussion on the possibility that the earth is flat, or that climate change isn’t happening, or that the pyramids could not have been built by humans, or that evolution isn’t the best explanation for the diversity of life, I would ask the same question: What’s your basis for dismissing the science?


I miss the days when racists straight up called a spade a spade, and didn’t try to hide their racism behind pseudoscience to make it more palatable to internet-smart mouthbreathers.