I think it’s unnecessary to continue the discussion. I don’t think there’s any value continuing in this thread or anywhere else. I don’t recall a time when people started piling on calling someone a racist, or insinuating it, for even raising a question to ask about how the science establishes links between height, but not for intelligence.
I’m not white, but I think without knowing this, some of you would jump on any excuse to make an equally hateful accusation of racism, and even associating me with trying to help Stormfront. That’s where we are as a forum culture now.
Thanks for kevinc, espressojim, lantz and others who genuinely tried to engage. I think your positions make a whole lot of sense. In particular, that any genetic factors tied to cognition would be complicated at best, and may not even have any significant impact, and that even if there was any impact, any specific individual within the group should be treated as such given the deviation within each group.
Might I suggest /r/T_D as a better sounding board for this.
You’re not the target, Dest, racism is. Fighting back hard against racism seems like a logical and necessary act in Trump’s America. Your fragile defensiveness in this context makes no sense to me. If you’re gonna light a fire then do the necessary work to contain it. Your first sentence (now deleted) after the thread got unlocked acknowledged the delicate nature of the subject so that’s when you should have put on your big boy pants.
Kind of the same thing guru did, come to think of it. Started a discussion he wasn’t prepared to engage in.
It’s simple. In a community that I must dearly love or something (since I’ve been participating in it for over 15 years), and is more or less dedicated to old-boy tech worship… well, when someone steps up all of a sudden, clears their throat, and decides to expound on a left-field triggering subject… then I am likely to view that person’s motivations with a Mr. Horse level of suspicion and cynicism. Especially when it escalates to hill-dying levels of effort.
I appreciate your input and the people who are doing their best to make intellectual points rather than emotional ones. I understand it’s a sensitive topic, but it’s frustrating to see people so quick to imply someone is a racist when they are making what I believe to be an honest attempt to communicate things that don’t square with them. It’s a complex, emotional issue with a ton of social baggage, but I think we all get a better understanding when we are allowed to talk it out. I don’t think the vitriol is useful or necessary.
I guess I can add race realism/eugenics to the list of forbidden knowledge… Right along with human/cheetah hybrids, the date of Jesus’ second coming, and Twitter in China.
Much of the stuff you had mentioned was what i had previously described as mutations that resulted in some kind of fundamental problem with function, like autism. In this case (predicting things like general intelligence), I’m skeptical.
It seems like genetic alterations, aside from major macroscopic changes like schizophrenia or autism, are going to result in minor variations in his your brain effectively builds neutral pathways, and will be drowned out by the actual experiences feeding that learning process.
If you are able to look at certain genetic patterns and predict things like IQ, is it possible that you are simply observing a correlation rather than a causal factor?
For instance, as a super simplistic example, is it possible that you would observe certain generic traits (like skin pigmentation) that happens to occur in certain segments of society where you would have certain types of environmental effects (like lower income levels, etc.)?
I’m not sure exactly what kind of techniques would be imposed to avoid that kind of thing, but it seems quite likely that you could achieve results which ended up making such predictions which effectively rely on societal factors.
I think one thing that’s gotten lost here is that we can more or less agree on how to measure physical attributes like height, and the means of measurement aren’t at all controversial. Even there, of course, nutrition etc play a huge role. But it’s not my sense at all that there is broad agreement on how to measure intelligence.
You are talking about genes specifically. And you are in the case where I agreed in my post it is helpful (searching for causes of specific disorders to find improved treatment options).
The poster I was referring to was talking about “intellectual characteristics”, a term I pointed out was ridiculously broad, and goes more into cognition testing. I have some experience with those, pm me if you want on that. BUT! The question:
Is population A in some way smarter than all other populations?
is a massively different scientific question than,
We see disorder X more often in population A, is there a genetic variance in population A that exists in greater frequency than other populations which may be a contributor?
Also, what are the motives in asking the first question!
Poster was asking question one. Also, with a history in pharmaceuticals, I’ve seen how things go from lab to practice. Pitfalls in practice are huge. And in research, the need for the huge sample sizes are real. And one of the ways to allow for lack of control groups. But when talking cognition tests it gets worse. Sequencing genes is fairly dry. Determining if there was bias, and sorting environmental factors to be sure the results are causal not a correlation is another exercise. Also, maybe you will have better luck, I find describing polygenic is hard, esp. when you have to add in cases where yet other genes inhibit expression or protect or mitigate effects. You say “it is complicated” they walk away with “yes there is one gene to rule them ALL”.
Back to responding to the thread in general:
So, lets give a concrete example in cognition testing. I am more than passingly familiar with childhood test batteries. So lets say, our example does not include subjective questions, but simply times the ability to complete certain tasks, that we know exercise unique thinking skills in each. Such tests exist.
You get a data set. You notice that when sorted by a certain population, this one does worse. Congratulations you have a correlation. Do you know why? What does that mean? Nothing? (Huge data sets protect against some of this but not all, most data sets are not huge).
Was this population represented in greater numbers via self-sort? Say, parents with a cultural anxiety on overcompeting are ensuring early testing to get ahead of any problem? So they test for this problem in greater numbers than others?
Were the instructions in the child’s native language?
Does the child have difficulty with directions, and lack of understanding of the task was the reason for a poor score, not the lack of ability?
Was the tester unbiased? How can we measure that?
Does the child have other issues which may change the performance?
Did all the children in the population receive food that would have equally helped them complete the test? Was there a societal factor behind the nutrition not a score issue?
Was this subset more tired? why?
You didn’t ask question about mood, as that may be subjective, but wait, how can you then sort out the children that may have been depressed? (need access to other data)
What about ones that are not yet or improperly diagnosed with some other issue that affects performance? (other data missing or in error)
Are you sure you adjusted for every thing?
Did you have enough data for everything?
Do you further have enough data to guess where the data is missing?
Do you have even more data to guess where other data is incorrect?
And at the end you have a correlation, not a cause.
Sometimes even the diet of the grandparents may matter for some things. Or exposure of parents to certain compounds (teratogens or mutagens). Lay people really, really don’t understand what is meant by a dataset huge enough. One study showing population A is worse/better at some task on one test on one area likely means little. Now, for a specific child trying to track down “why am I bad at task X” and what can be then done to help them, the test is gold.
To really control for all variables you need the people in a controlled setting, perhaps for three generations or so. Controlled means you control every factor. This is unethical. Instead we do use statistics, I have written some of the programs to do that crunching. Long ago. Again, people read one study and run off thinking “we proved X causes Y” when it doesn’t. This is sometimes true with genes, even in the cut and dry. Sometimes gene X causes disorder Y. Except when it doesn’t because you have gene Z which protects from the effects of X. So maybe the problem with “population A” is both they have more gene X but also they lack gene Z? Or maybe Z is an environmental factor. Back to out cognition test, maybe most children do poorly on a timed test when hungry. All you found out was which children got breakfast and were protected from the effects of hunger on performance. We’re (science) just now trying to quantify that effect so we can statistically eliminate it if present.
As a woman in STEM, and there is a national competitive math test, at least when I was a kid. I was the top female score in the country, and in the top 50, not sure where. Let’s talk women in STEM.
Are some men bad at STEM? yes
Are some women? yes
Do you want the better people to go to the field regardless of gender? I hope so.
Why would a woman who was potentially capable not go into STEM. Ok, from personal observation and from my female friends.
- You get told you are bad at it, from kindergarten.
- You are told you can’t like “that stuff” and be female, or a “real female”.
- No one mentors you since they don’t expect the talent in a girl. *
- You are told to give credit to males for your work. Literally.
- Your ideas will not be accepted unless presented by a male. Some projects I really did deem important enough to get funded that I asked a male coworker to go first name and be presenter. Really.
- More of your co-workers will be sexist assholes than in many other fields. **
- The work often demands intense dedication and hours esp initially, and sorry you are culturally still expected to do 100% of the housework, and early intern positions don’t pay. **
* I was so lucky, and had a pair of world-class mentors as a child, like age 5. They passed on before I was an adult, but a couple of others of equal caliber stepped in.
** These two are the biggest reasons I heard from my female coworkers for leaving. My husband always shared housework with me, almost unheard of in my generation.
So do fewer women chose STEM because they are bad at it? Insufficient data. Do some women who are good at it refuse to chose it for reasons not related to their competence? Yes. Which factors contribute in what percentage? Insufficient data. One correlation does not tell you much about the cause. You see a study and think, intelligence! I read it and think housework! assholes! ;) We each have our biases.
And I started typing this and then got distracted, so it is a reply that likely fits many posts back. My apologies.
Edit: I see @espressojim is trying to explain polygenic, luck!
This is such a sadness.
Dang, that was supposed to be the point I was going to make! :P
I have a personal vendetta against the very concept of “IQ”.
Quick, someone use this as a basis for an RPG!
Fuck. I was literally just skimming posts to see if anyone beat me to the punch. I should have haunted P&R earlier today. FUUUUUU
@tomchick I vote we lock this thread because I love how many people have rallied to the side of humanity and what else is there to say?
Yea, this probably didn’t need to be unlocked.
I believe forums should be open to all opinions, with the caveat that everything can be questioned and that right will triumph. But I understand that that idea is losing to the modern concept that it is better to lock off unacceptable ideas rather than to debate them openly. Were I Nesrie I am sure that would be my preference. And so I think past a certain point it is better that this thread not exist.
So guys, I have been watching all of these youtube videos on this thing called “Phrenology” and it is really enlightening. Let me post a 3 paragraph recap of it?
Such a good album.
Personally, I would not mind further discussion on shutting gates as a means of proving the earth’s true shape and also on human-cheetah hybrids.