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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  February 2007

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE February 2007

Subject:

Re: Genetics & Race

From:

Eric Entemann <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 08:09:29 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (258 lines)

Would you not agree that "intelligence" is a social construct as well?

It's inappropriate to label any discussion on this list as "fascist 
propaganda".  That is entirely silly and unproductive, and it undermines the 
impact of the word.  It reminds me of the good old '70s, when too frequently 
the slightest disagreements were met with that epithet, including on some 
occasions hurled by SftP members at "liberals" on the podium at AAAS 
meetings.  I, for one, cringed.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List              
<[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Genetics & Race
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 06:06:32 -0500

There is no such thing as "race" biologically/genetically; Race is a social 
construct. There is no "White" race, and there is no "Black" race. All 
discussions of intelligence based on race are fascist propaganda -- not only 
Jensen, Shockley, Eysenck and Herrnstein, but the more "liberal" proponents 
as well, such as Wasserman and Pine at Columbia.

See my chapter on the latters' experimental drugging of Black children to 
control their serotonin levels in "Redesigning Life: The Worldwide Challenge 
to Genetic Engineering" edited by Brian Tokar -- a new twist to the old IQ 
debate. A version was printed as an article in "The Shadow" at 
http://shadow.autono.net/sin001/violen.htm which was listed in the Project 
Censored Awards for 2001, and earlier in Z Magazine.

Mitchel

-----Original Message-----
 >From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
 >Sent: Feb 20, 2007 4:04 AM
 >To: [log in to unmask]
 >Subject: Re: Anti-Science Left
 >
 >Other than saying that I was a member of Science for the People during 
most
 >of its existence as an organization and that a quick look at the
 >"Civilization's Discontents" segment of the News section of my Web site 
will
 >make my personal politics clear, I will leave it to others to comment on
 >whether my association with Science disqualifies me from commenting on
 >science from a left perspective.
 >
 >www.michaelbalter.com
 >
 >
 >On 2/20/07, Jonathan Campbell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 >>
 >>  This is so ironic.
 >>
 >> SESPA and Science For The People arose as a challenge to the corporate 
use
 >> of science that was representative, at the time, of the AAAS and its
 >> magazine, Science. Here we have an author from - of all magazines - 
Science,
 >> who disparages anyone who criticizes anything that is generally accepted 
by
 >> the very mainstream science that SftP challenged.
 >>
 >> Does anyone else see the irony of this situation? Mr. Balter is Mr.
 >> Science Establishment. You can't get any closer to the polar opposite of
 >> what SftP was. It would be interesting to find out Mr. Balter's opinion 
on,
 >> say, genetic engineering of food using antibiotic resistance marker
 >> technology, RR soybeans, BT and RR corn, etc. His early article in the
 >> International Herald seems rather uncritical:
 >> http://www.iht.com/articles/1991/12/19/inst.php
 >>
 >> Jonathan
 >>
 >> ----- Original Message -----
 >> *From:* Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
 >> *To:* [log in to unmask]
 >> *Sent:* Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:02 AM
 >> *Subject:* Re: Anti-Science Left
 >>
 >> Robert, thanks for this, very helpful. By the way, over the past year or
 >> so those who believe in a race/IQ connection have gotten very excited 
about
 >> the findings of University of Chicago geneticist Bruce Lahn's 
publication in
 >> my own journal, Science, of genes possibly linked to human cognition, 
under
 >> recent natural selection, and which have an allele distribution 
suggesting
 >> Africans are disadvantaged (microcephalin and ASPM.) Many here may have
 >> followed this. In December I wrote a profile of Lahn for Science which
 >> raised the social and political issues with a sidebar looking at recent
 >> scientific challenges to these interpretations. The articles can be 
found
 >> here: *Science* 22 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5807, pp. 1871 - 1873. 
But
 >> if anyone does not have access to Science online and wants to email me
 >> offlist, I will be happy to send the pdfs.
 >>
 >> best, Michael
 >>
 >> On 2/20/07, Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 >> >
 >> >  José Morales has opened an important theme.
 >> > But in doing so he wrote:
 >> >
 >> > ...
 >> >
 >> > my thesis advisor ...  asked me what if researchers had completed a
 >> > study and found that white people were of superior intelligence to 
people of
 >> > color, would I believe the conclusions?  What if the study was rock 
solid,
 >> > completely water tight.  Then I went through a series of questions and
 >> > caveats and he replied yes this study took that into account.  
Ultimately,
 >> > the idea was that all possible criticisms from all corners (people of 
color,
 >> > civil libertarians etc.) were taken into account and controlled for.  
Would
 >> > I believe it?  I said, well if all these possible concerns and 
questions
 >> > were taken into account and controlled for, I'd have to believe that 
all
 >> > white people are of superior intelligence to all people of color.  He 
said,
 >> > OK you will be a good scientist.
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >         José's msg doesn't look generally careless or unexamined, so 
I
 >> > take this as he states it.
 >> >
 >> >         The idea that 'white people were of superior intelligence to
 >> > people of color' rocketed to prominence while I was a grad student at
 >> > Berkeley, where education prof Arthur Jensen stated it (in the form of 
a
 >> > difference in IQ medians &/or means &/or modes   -  any or all will 
serve
 >> > for present purposes, I suppose  -  between some whites and some
 >> > Afro-Americans).  The nature of this contention, and of the 
conclusions from
 >> > all the IQ measures which were purged from the Stanford-Binet IQ test 
suite
 >> > if they showed any difference between men and women, is* 
overlapping*distributions with different means.
 >> >         Has anyone said '*all* white people are of superior 
intelligence
 >> > to* all* people of color'  -  at least during the past century or so?
 >> > Is the assertion deserving of serious discussion these days?  Everyone 
who
 >> > has experienced a sample >100 of each knows the most stupid whites are 
far
 >> > less intelligent than a clever non-white.  The notion of any race 
whose
 >> > intelligence distribution fails to overlap those of all other races is
 >> > contrary to obvious fact.
 >> >         Similarly, the slogan 'the Slavs are sub-human' is obviously
 >> > false.  But it was a major defining slogan of the Nazi party, which 
you had
 >> > to assent to if you wanted the social security that was available in 
Germany
 >> > for a decade by open adherence to that party.  I postulate that it's 
in the
 >> > nature of totalitarian systems to require assent to slogans which are 
not
 >> > subtly but flagrantly false &/or immoral.
 >> >         What José says he would assent to if research concluded it
 >> > rock-solidly is known to every experienced adult, whether educated or 
not,
 >> > to be false.  I am loath to believe that he or anyone else on this 
list
 >> > could ever assent to it, whether or not some scientists had asserted 
it with
 >> > whatever authority & 'evidence'.
 >> >         I focus on this slide from 'race W is, on average, of superior
 >> > intelligence to race C' to  '*all*  people of race W are of superior
 >> > intelligence to* all* people of race C' because this same fallacy 
often
 >> > occurs in polemics about sexism.  In my experience, even when the 
postulated
 >> > distributions are drawn with very large extents of overlap (on a paper
 >> > napkin at lunch in a U staff club), fanatical wimminsLibbers are 
capable of
 >> > promptly threatening violence, complaining as if what had been 
asserted was
 >> > '*all* men are of superior intelligence to* all* women'.  Such a raver
 >> > is immediately escorted out of the building, but when outside fails to 
give
 >> > any excuse for decking her.  I have seen that mode of argumentation
 >> > countless times, which is why it interests me now when it comes from 
José
 >> > (wrt race not sex).
 >> >
 >> >         BTW supposing the Jensen/Shockley-type conclusion had been
 >> > proven, wouldn't it follow that the disadvantaged group should get 
special
 >> > help in education, medicine, nutrition,   ...  ?  That was my response 
4
 >> > decades ago when those who fancied themselves as radicals vilified 
Jensen
 >> > (of whose work I knew nothing else); and is still my answer.  Racial
 >> > differences entailed in sickle-cell anaemia should be admitted (when
 >> > proven), and acted upon.  It is not racist to say so.  Why is 
intelligence
 >> > utterly different?
 >> >         I must add that I'm very sceptical of IQ and far from 
convinced
 >> > that the Jensen conclusion describes anything important.  But since 
José has
 >> > postulated the condition of its being thoroughly meaningful & proven, 
I want
 >> > to respond on his reaction to that imagined state of affairs.
 >> >
 >> >         If what José said was, instead, an oversight in his writing,
 >> > then I would like to hear discussion of psychological patterns of this 
type,
 >> > which can cause a certain amount of misunderstanding & trouble.
 >> >
 >> > R
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >> >
 >>
 >>
 >>
 >> --
 >> www.michaelbalter.com
 >>
 >> ******************************************
 >> Michael Balter
 >> Contributing Correspondent, Science
 >> [log in to unmask]
 >> ******************************************
 >>
 >>
 >
 >
 >--
 >www.michaelbalter.com
 >
 >******************************************
 >Michael Balter
 >Contributing Correspondent, Science
 >[log in to unmask]
 >******************************************

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