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Folks,

So as many of you may or may not know, there is a great deal of 
effort being spent uncovering the basis of human genetic variation. 
This amounts to copy number differences and SNPs in the human genome. 
This entails varying numbers of copies of segments of the genome and 
"spelling differences" (An example in english -- theater and theatre 
) in genes and non-genic sections of the genome.  These differences 
are spread out throughout the genome in a more of less even density 
along the genome such that all the genes in the genome have MANY 
versions in the entire human population.  These versions are grouped 
geographically such that milage is the relevant variable in observing 
the frequency of a particular version.  The consequence of these 
versions can be great or inconsequential.  Some changes produce no 
effect, others change the functioning of proteins in significant ways 
(ie. specific activity of enzymes, the binding strength of receptors 
etc.). These versions that produce changes in function are known to 
affect macroscopic traits of an organism.  This includes disease 
susceptibility, metabolizing fat, response to toxics etc.

That said, there are numerous versions of neuro-specific genes 
including those that are brain-specific.  As with all genes, some of 
these versions will be inconsequential and others not.  It may be 
that some of these versions impact macroscopic cognitive functions. 
This is not my area so I don't know details...but I'm quite sure this 
exists and I could find it if I looked.  These cognitive impacts 
could either be positive or negative, large or small.

Since all versions are distributed unequally along geographic lines, 
their frequency in populations differ.  Hence we may soon find out, 
if we don't already know, that neuro-specific gene versions are also 
distributed unequally.   Thus, there may be genetically based, 
population-specific cognitive differences.  What those cognitive 
differences will be or are, I can't say.  It may turn out to be 
something like perception of differences in high frequency sound or 
audio channel amygdala response time etc.  It maybe something else?

What will we do if we find out that this situation exists?  What is a 
"left" view of this?

While I don't think this amounts to "race differences in 
intelligence", it can at least be interpreted by some social forces 
in this way.

Jose


>If there is no such thing as "race" (defined 
>genetically/biologically), then there is no such thing as racial 
>differences in intelligence.
>
>Mitchel Cohen
>
>At 04:06 AM 2/21/2007, you wrote:
>>I would like to add one thing, and I don't do this to be 
>>deliberately provocative but to make a point. If the hypothesis 
>>that there are no "racial" differences in intelligence seems to us 
>>to have been proved, and if we further do not believe that science 
>>gives any credence to the notion that there are such differences 
>>between any population groups no matter how defined, then we have 
>>to be willing to allow researchers to test the contrary hypothesis, 
>>as Rushton and others have done. Ie, if we are relying on science 
>>to support the political conclusions we want to see, we have to 
>>accept what scientific research says. We also have to accept that 
>>it is POSSIBLE that such differences exist, and that we could be 
>>wrong. Any other attitude is not scientific and ultimately does our 
>>cause little good.
>>
>>One of the reasons that I suggested that people here read my 
>>profile of Bruce Lahn in Science is that the story of the ASPM and 
>>microcephalin genes is an example of letting chips fall where they 
>>may in science: Lahn's hypothesis that there might be a link 
>>between the allele distributions of these genes worldwide and IQ, 
>>which was tested by himself, other collaborators, and Rushton with 
>>Lahn's genotyping help, has not panned out. And of course there is 
>>the whole question of what IQ meaures, if anything. But no matter 
>>what the motivations for doing this research--and in Lahn's case, I 
>>do not believe it was racism--the fact that the research was done 
>>has given us an important result, especially given how much 
>>attention the race and IQ crowd paid to Lahn's original findings 
>>(NRO, vdare, nearly every right wing blog.)
>>
>>Now what if the correlation had panned out? Progressive scientists 
>>would have some explaining to do. Of course, we can all think of 
>>ways they could explain this result away, but they would indeed 
>>have to take up the task. In my profile of Lahn, I quote him as 
>>saying that progressive scientists are politically motivated on the 
>>race-intelligence issue, and that it is a bad idea to build an 
>>anti-racist movement on a scientific conclusion that could turn out 
>>to be wrong--ie, Lahn asks, would racism be justified if we found 
>>out later that there were differences in intelligence between 
>>"racial" groups or population groups (the latter obviously a more 
>>suitable term in our view)? To me, these are legitimate questions 
>>to ask, no matter where we as progressives might come down on them.
>>
>>best, Michael
>>
>>On 2/21/07, Phil Gasper 
>><<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>But one of the points of Gould's analysis is to show that the whole 
>>history of attempts to link race and intelligence are 
>>scientifically worthless, driven by social prejudice, not by logic 
>>or evidence. He tells the history in part so that we won't treat 
>>such claims as serious scientific hypotheses in the future (even if 
>>we may sometimes have to give measured explanations of why that is 
>>so to those who are ignorant of the history). The claim that there 
>>is a biological link between race and intelligence has about as 
>>much credibility as the claim that there is a biological link 
>>between religion and sense of humor. --PG
>>
>>At 6:00 PM +0000 2/20/07, Michael Balter wrote:
>>>Mitchel, go back and read what I said. I never said you were 
>>>"dissing" Gould. My point is that he was effective because he used 
>>>science to debunk the race-IQ connection, rather than simply 
>>>calling those who advocated such views fascists. He saw the need 
>>>to do that because unlike some fringe ideas we have unfortunately 
>>>been discussing here, a lot of people think that there are racial 
>>>differences in intelligence, even a lot of scientists.
>>>
>>>To a great extent this is a question of political style, which I 
>>>see as a very important issue. Some leftists think that it is 
>>>sufficient to self-righteously brand this and that idea racist and 
>>>fascist, without much thought to how we go about changing peoples' 
>>>minds. That might get certain activists kudos for how dedicated to 
>>>the struggle they are, but it doesn't change the world one iota.
>>>
>>>MB
>>>On 2/20/07, Mitchel Cohen 
>>><<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> 
>>>wrote:
>>>The set of ideas promulgating the notion that intelligence is 
>>>based on race, and that Black people are genetically inferior to 
>>>whites when it comes to intelligence (or anything else, actually), 
>>>is indeed fascist propaganda.
>>>
>>>Why you think that my saying that disses Stephen Jay Gould, who 
>>>tore that whole notion of race-based intelligence to shreds, is 
>>>beyond me.
>>>
>>>If you actually read my article -- I even linked to it for your 
>>>convenience -- before opining about it -- you'd see that I quoted 
>>>from the very work of Gould's that you ridiculously say that I'm 
>>>dissing.
>>>
>>>On another note, the same folks who think that it's okay for THEM 
>>>to malign people on this list -- including calling those they 
>>>disagree with infantile, crackpot, conspiracy nuts, etc., take 
>>>umbrage that I used (and did so correctly) the term "fascist" to 
>>>describe the race-based (genetic) intelligence "studies" of 
>>>Herrnstein, Eysenck, Shockley, Jensen and their ideological 
>>>descendants passing themselves off as scientists. Their articles 
>>>and speeches gave purported "scientific" cover for fascist 
>>>movements.
>>>
>>>Are we really disagreeing here? Are you saying that the ideas 
>>>promoting race-based Intelligence are actually legitimate 
>>>scientific works?
>>>
>>>Mitchel
>>>
>>>
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>>From: Michael Balter < 
>>>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]>
>>>>Sent: Feb 20, 2007 8:45 AM
>>>>To: 
>>>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>>>>Subject: Re: Genetics & Race
>>>>
>>>>It is particularly silly and unproductive because this is one area where
>>>>scientific arguments,  so successfully put forward in works like our late
>>>  >colleague Steve Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, have been particularly
>>>>effective. The Bruce Lahn story I referred to earlier, pdfs again available
>>>>to whoever asks offlist, is another good example of the chips falling where
>>>>they may scientifically. Those who live by the gene sometimes die by the
>>>>gene.
>>>>
>>>>M
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>--
>>><http://www.michaelbalter.com>www.michaelbalter.com
>>>
>>>******************************************
>>>Michael Balter
>>>Contributing Correspondent, Science
>>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>>>******************************************
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>
>>www.michaelbalter.com
>>
>>******************************************
>>Michael Balter
>>Contributing Correspondent, Science
>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>>******************************************
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>www.michaelbalter.com
>>
>>******************************************
>>Michael Balter
>>Contributing Correspondent, Science
>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>>******************************************


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Jose Morales Ph.D.