Dan Freedman’s Babies, Part Deux

I have long wished for someone to put Dan Freedman’s little movie about racial behavioral differences in newborns on the web, and lo!  someone has done so.

Take a look.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Dan Freedman’s Babies, Part Deux

  1. Pingback: How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? | JayMan's Blog

  2. Anon says:

    So there are genetic differences between races that could translate into behavioral or ability differences, like intelligence, in the adult population. What could possibly come out of highlighting this other than justification for discrimination?

    Lets say you have an absolute and irrefutable proof that Race A is dumb as nails. What could be gained by making it common, household knowledge? Do you hope that Race A gets selected out as a result of this knowledge becoming mainstream?

    • B.B. says:

      I will defer to anarchist political philosopher Murray Rothbard’s defense of “racialist science” in his review of The Bell Curve:

      Two reasons we have already mentioned; to celebrate the victory of freedom of inquiry and of truth for its own sake; and a bullet through the heart of the egalitarian-socialist project. But there is a third reason as well: as a powerful defense of the results of the free market. If and when we as populists and libertarians abolish the welfare state in all of its aspects, and property rights and the free market shall be triumphant once more, many individuals and groups will predictably not like the end result. In that case, those ethnic and other groups who might be concentrated in lower-income or less prestigious occupations, guided by their socialistic mentors, will predictably raise the cry that free-market capitalism is evil and “discriminatory” and that therefore collectivism is needed to redress the balance. In that case, the intelligence argument will become useful to defend the market economy and the free society from ignorant or self-serving attacks. In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors.

    • Anthony says:

      Maybe we could quit blaming teachers for there being a gap in the test scores between Race A and Race B, then we could get rid of all that NCLB nonsense.

      Maybe we could quit blaming discrimination for disparate impacts, and let people get on with their lives, doing work that suits their actual abilities and talents.

      Or maybe we could react like liberals, and assume that because Race A is dumber than Race B *on average*, that members of Race A aren’t entitled to the same moral rights as members of Race B.

      • JayMan says:

        Maybe. But see my reply above.

      • erica says:

        Maybe we could go back to having different educational tracks, determined by INDIVIDUAL demonstrations of potential rather than insisting that a square peg just Has To fit in the round hole, rather than insisting that when it still doesn’t, after untold resources have been devoted to trying to make it so, there simply must exist sinister forces preventing it from doing so.

        No one is suggesting any damn thing about “moral rights.”

        You sound as if you’d have been quite at home with the medieval Church–never let ’em know truths-they can’ handle the truth.

    • JayMan says:

      There is something to that. I’m not convinced that optimistic scenarios of what society will do with knowledge of HBD, with people responding rationally, treating people as individuals, ensuring everyone has the same rights, etc., are what would come to pass…

      • erica says:

        News for ya–most already know. It has simply become customary to pretend one doesn’t know.

      • Andrew says:

        Yes, people tend to be groupish in different ways and so somebody is always in another persons out-group. Today we have huge misunderstandings among the elite that have been brainwashed by dysfunctional education and so we have destructive social policy as mentioned by Anthony above.

        A better situation would be if at least the elites understood this scenario as 2 overlapping bell curves and that some people in Race A are pretty smart and some people in Race B are pretty dumb. The elite are the ones that hire, make laws, and other mischief. Education is the barrier here.

    • graefoi says:

      Since these differences will always exist people will always offer some explanation for them. The prevailing explanation – that they are caused by insidious historical malevolence on the part of one group – is the sort of thing that seems to end with e.g. Hutus hacking up Tutsis. Be nice to avoid that, no?

    • Calm down, this has nothing to do with intelligence. But what if it did? Many of us are interested in the way the world is and not very interested in what someone or the other fears “will come out of it.”

      But I might in some cases. I have absolute and irrefutable knowledge that beagles, for example, are dumb as nails. I sure don’t hope beagles get selected out, since they are the world’s funniest dogs, but one nice outcome of my knowledge is that I can tell my family to relax and quit trying to teach him to ‘come’ and ‘sit’ because it just isn’t going to happen.

      • Melykin says:

        Pugs aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer either. But it’s not their job to be smart, just cute and affectionate, cuddly, etc.

      • Anon says:

        Hopefully you are not trying to build a society where beagles have equal rights and ability to participate in a democratic process.

    • misreavus says:

      In that case, the intelligence argument will become useful to defend the market economy and the free society from ignorant or self-serving attacks. In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors.

      Absolute crap.

    • Discard says:

      Anon: Better to select out Race A for being dumb as nails than pretend they’re smart as Race B and force the working classes to endure affirmative action.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “What could possibly come out of highlighting this other than justification for discrimination?”

      Say for the sake of argument propensity for lethal violence was one of those differences and say the rate in some groups was 4x the average of other ethnic groups but the highest difference in incarceration or arrest that was acceptable in a blank slate environment was 2x. How many murder victims is it worth to keep that covered up?

      Especially when you know that if you incarcerated 4x for a few generations it would become only 3x because the killer type wouldn’t be having as many kids?

  3. D Epstein says:

    Why would it be so terrible if some abilities, including the ability to get good grades in school, were not evenly distributed across the species? In fact, it’s what one would expect.

    Moreover, it can help to design educational programs that fit the makeup of different people.

  4. Toad says:

    Why We’re Motivated to Exercise. Or Not.

    “The scientists put running wheels in the animals’ cages and, for six days, tracked how much they ran. Afterward, the males and females that had logged the most miles were bred to each other, while those who’d run the least were likewise paired. Then the pups from each group were bred in a similar way, through 10 generations.

    At that point, the running rats tended to spontaneously exercise 10 times as much as the physically lazier animals.”

    • jb says:

      What really startled me when I read that article is that they could breed such different behavior — a factor of 10! — in just 10 generations! It makes me worry about how long it might take for dysgenic breeding habits have a significant impact on humans.

  5. Pincher Martin says:

    “What could possibly come out of highlighting this other than justification for discrimination?”

    Perhaps a great deal.

    Since a lot of policies in the fields of education, criminal justice, and even on occasion international affairs are predicated on an assumption of group equality, we might be able to improve outcomes with a proper understanding of group differences.

    Look at affirmative action, for example. Some studies have been done which show that African Americans who are college material are harmed when they are placed at an institution in which their peers are a great deal smarter than they are. They’re more likely to drop out and not graduate. But those same students placed at a college in which their peers are not significantly smarter do better on both counts. So a kid who wouldn’t do well at UCLA or Berkeley might be just fine at Chico State.

    Isn’t that useful knowledge?

    “Lets say you have an absolute and irrefutable proof that Race A is dumb as nails. What could be gained by making it common, household knowledge? Do you hope that Race A gets selected out as a result of this knowledge becoming mainstream?”

    What makes you think the goal of this website is to make group differences “common household knowledge” or “mainstream”? Does Cochran give you the impression he cares what the average person in America thinks?

    I can’t speak for the two authors here, but frankly I would be happy just for most elites to understand and appreciate the many potential differences among groups.

    Look at evolution as an example. I’m not too fussed over the fact that most Americans don’t believe in evolution of man, because I know that almost all scientists and most elites give it credence. So the people who matter – those who shape policy and make budgets – believe in it.

    Similarly, I don’t see any harm in the average American believing in, or at least espousing, the essential equality between groups. It’s a harmless fairy tale and might even be a useful social lubricant. But it would sure be nice to get more elites to appreciate the implications of group differences.

    • Discard says:

      The elites Do know about group differences. They just don’t want the masses to know. They’d really don’t want be forced to justify the damage they’ve done in the name of equality.

      • Pincher Martin says:

        I disagree. I think political elites like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, bureaucratic elites like Ben Bernanke and Arne Duncan, cognitive elites (i.e. public intellectuals) like (recently-deceased) Chris Hitchens and Paul Krugman, business elites like Robert Iger and Howard Schultz, media elites like Tom Friedman and Bob Woodward – and on and on down the line – almost unanimously believe that group differences are entirely due to culture. With the exception of a handful of cognitive elites, I don’t think any elite even dares express a slightly contrary opinion.

        When the George W. Bush administration invades Iraq and its supporters peddle the line that the occupation and nation-building will follow the model of Japan and Germany, they really believed it. To them, the Iraqis were not essentially different than Japanese or Germans, once the proper institutions and guidance were in place.

        When that same Bush administration passes No Child Left Behind, with its specific aim of closing the achievement gap, they really believed it would.

        You give the elites too much credit. They have power, not knowledge.

      • Discard says:

        Pincher: It seems to me that when people act as if group differences are real, they likely know that they’re real. Where are the elites, or even the upper middle class, that put their kids in school with Blacks or Mexicans? The difference between the price of a 2500 square foot house in San Marino and the same size house in East L.A. is the measure of the owners’ willingness to avoid Mexicans. And that’s a lot.

      • Kiwiguy says:

        ***Pincher: It seems to me that when people act as if group differences are real, they likely know that they’re real. ***

        They know they’re real, but they believe that they are due to environmental factors that can be remedied with appropriate social policy. So you get policies that are unrealistic and worse you get guilt/blame imposed on others who are better off due to their “privilege”.

        Note, I’m not suggesting there is no role for social policy but it has to be grounded on realistic assumptions.

      • Discard says:

        Kiwiguy: My guess is that the middle sort of leftist believes that environmental factors are the cause of the various racial gaps, but the higher caste know better. Knowing the score matters a great deal if you want to be on top, not so much if you’re just a comfortable conformist like your local teachers’ union rep.
        My guess is based on what I see as attempts in the upscale left press to alert their readers to IQ differences. Nicholas Wade in the N.Y.Times, William Salesan at Salon.com (Slate?), science writers in the L.A. Times deflating Steven J. Gould, all these folks are trying to get the word out. They couldn’t say what they do without the consent of their overseers. The overseers know.

    • steve says:

      History is the record of races at each others throats. So, you have a situation today where an egalitarian lie is maintained and keeps a lid on that reality to a certain extent, at the cost of the PC irritant, OR the truth can be widely believed by the elites and the general population and we can return to pre-civil rights social policy and cultural atmosphere. That is, that proportion of competent and intelligent blacks etc that are on the far right of the bell curve will be again denied their proper due and opportunity (no more Obama’s). If you believe the “elites”, cognitive or otherwise, are immune to the depredations of racial hatred you are living in cloud cuckoo land (academia?).

      • Discard says:

        steve: PC is not an irritant if you’re a working class White. It’s a system of deliberate discrimination. Affirmative action robs ordinary Whites of their honestly earned opportunities. And opportunities are not that good for workingmen anyway, these days. As a former welder, I’d take Jim Crow over PC. And truthfully, personal interests aside, there was a lot less injustice under segregation than under PC.
        Furthermore, forcing a man to lie in order to keep his jobs is destructive of his character. Bad news all around. Better to tell the truth and take a chance of racial injustice for Blacks, than tell lies and guarantee racial injustice for working class Whites.

        • JayMan says:

          Well, taking Jim Crow over PC is all of a matter of what side of the equation you’re on. For someone like me (Black man marrying a White woman), I’m in a slightly different spot in the equation…

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        “History is the record of races at each others throats”

        That’s still the case. The media doesn’t report it.

      • JayMan says:

        Good point. When racial differences were openly acknowledged, society was also openly rather racist. It may not be possible to have one without the other.

        That said, I still think we should research the topic and continue to explore what we find.

      • steve says:

        Discard: affirmative action is a policy of deliberative discrimination, but i’d like to see the stats as to how much working class whites as_an_overall_group are actually held back by it (as opposed to individual outlier cases (yours?) – acceptable collateral damage, which any policy has).

        Your point about the the destructive effect on character of living amidst a suffocating cultural lie; agree. The America of John Wayne, if it existed, was a finer place even with the racial injustice.

      • Discard says:

        Steve: First, due to offshoring of manufacturing, the number of good jobs in the skilled trades has shrunk radically. That makes the competition for the remaining jobs very tight. Affirmative action would not have done so much damage in the 1950’s and ’60’s.
        I would estimate the number of Whites robbed by AA by counting the number of people of privileged ancestry employed in institutions that practice AA. AA employers will reach very deep down into the barrel if they have to in order to come up with a dark face. In fields that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, anything goes. Given that any Black who’s smart enough to be a good electrician or machinist can go to college and get an office job instead, the number of really capable Blacks in the trades is small. How many people, of any race, will turn down a well-paying office job because they don’t think they’re qualified?
        Of those few Blacks who are good at their trade, many will be offered AA promotions. I knew a Black locomotive engineer, well regarded by the others, who was made a Road Foreman of Engineers after only three years on the job. Typically, Road Foremen had 20 or more years in. No way this guy knew what he ought to have known, but the promotion is lucrative and he took it.
        What this means is that almost every Black or Hispanic employee at a company or government that has AA has been hired or promoted at the expense of a White. No doubt there are some people here who have the wherewithal to sort this out more scientifically. I can only reason from what I’ve seen in 30 years in manufacturing and transportation.

  6. misreavus says:

    In that case, the intelligence argument will become useful to defend the market economy and the free society from ignorant or self-serving attacks. In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors.

    What a bunch of malarkey.

    • Esso says:

      There’s always an alternative to anarchism and the philosophy that the first commenter is expressing. Namely doing something, trying things that might work. PGD, and synthetics eventually. Not helping people won’t stop furries from abusing the technology, or whatever the doomsday scenario is.

      I saw a news article about some paper on workplace dynamics; it said workers like their jobs a lot more when they know they are making a difference. On the other hand, putting people to “climb a tree ass first” was bad for morale.

  7. D Epstein says:

    I’d like a citation to Freedman’s results. A anthropologist friend is raising plausible questions about the film. I’d like to see the underlying publication.

    • I don’t know about the citation to the film. Greg and I tried to chase down a copy about 5 years ago, found we could get it from the Penn State Library on interlibrary load, never followed up on it.

      Dan wrote a quite good book way back when (1979) and he likely discusses their film in the book. See http://www.amazon.com/Human-Sociobiology-A-Holistic-Approach/dp/0029106605/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366236336&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=dan+freedman+human+sociobiology

    • gcochran9 says:

      Freedman DG. Behavioural differences between Chinese-American and European-American newborns. Nature 224:1227 (1969)

      Jerome Kagan has found similar results.

      I’d love to hear what those objections are. I have a theory about their general nature.

    • misdreavus says:

      Here’s the citation I could find for Kagan’s work:

      Kagan, Jerome, & Snidman, Nancy C. (2004). The long
      shadow of temperament
      . Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

    • misdreavus says:

      More specifically, here is the publication cited:

      Kagan, J., E. Herbener, and J. Little. 1987. Reactivity in infants: A cross national comparison. Developmental Psychology 30:342-345

    • misdreavus says:

      I found a link to the study here:

      pzacad DOT pitzer DOT edu SLASH ~dmoore SLASH 1994_Kagan%20et%20al_Reactivity%20in%20infants_DP DOT pdf

      • misdreavus says:

        From that same paper:

        . Even though all scientists agree that the genetic differences within an ethnic-geographic group is greater than the variation between groups, nonetheless, it is reasonable to at least entertain the hypothesis of genetically influenced behavioral differences in infants belonging to populations that have been reproductively isolated for a long time. Europeans and Asians have been reproductively isolated for about 30,000 years, or about 1,500 generations; it requires only 15 to 20 generations of selective breeding to produce obviously different behavioral profiles in many animal species (Mills & Faure, 1991; Plotkin, 1988).


        • gcochran9 says:

          If memory serves, it may take less time than that, with strong selection. I’ve heard that they bred Dobermans to be more aggressive for WWII, and then bred them back again over the next few years.

      • D Epstein says:

        I would think that the invention of firearms, with the resultant decline of close hand-to-hand fighting with sharp objects, in favor of fighting at a distance with weapons that are calibrated and aimed, would lead to significant changes in a small number of generations. The “best swordsman in Europe” and the “best marksman in Europe” are not the same guy.

        The same with horses. I wonder if the Comanches, who took to the horse, had time to evolve any differences with their kin the Shoshoni, many of whom stayed on foot.

      • D Epstein says:

        Point taken. But there should be other cases of groups that adopted radically differing ways of life with different selective pressures a few hundred years ago.

  8. B.B. says:

    Rushton tried to fit Freedman’s research on infant development into his Mongoloid-Caucasian-Negroid r/K continuum. Though from what I recall, he wasn’t very clear about his racial categories. He seemed to have labeled Native Americans as Mongoloids, which the infant data is consistent in showing the Navajo as similar to the Chinese. Though the Native Americans tend to score on what Rushton would consider an r-selected direction on a lot of other traits. This is one of the reasons I am note entirely confident about r/K selection theory operating as the grand unifying theory of human biodiversity.

    • harpend says:

      Lots of us think that there is something to it but that is doesn’t quite hit the mark. In ecology it is a nice descriptive heuristic but it is not a theory in any sense that I can see. And I think Phil stretched a bit. For example he said that penis size differences fit the theory. Why? r-strategists are supposed to put effort into reproductive tissues at the expense of the quality of the organism. What does penis size have to do with anything in the theory? And Africans hardly make lower quality organisms. Perhaps if Africans had larger testes there would be a fit, but last I read Danes have the biggest human testes. (The lady of the house says that that is why they are called ‘great danes’.)

      • Jason Malloy says:

        No. Actually Danes have the smallest testes in Europe, and there is a network of reproductive dysfunction variables that correlate with that (e.g. lower semen quality, less masculine hormone profiles, more reproductive cancers and deformities). On the opposite end of the European spectrum, Finns have the largest balls and the best sperm.

        When you compare blacks and whites, you see a similar network of reproductive correlates, with blacks looking more like Finns and whites looking more like Danes. The there are East Asians: smallest testes and worst semen quality. Monogamous behavior relaxes the selection pressure for fecundity, while promiscuous mating necessitates better odds of pregnancy per copulation.

      • Jason Malloy says:

        I’m going to retract the smallest testes in Europe claim. I thought I had a reference for that, but I was probably just extrapolating from the Main study and from Danish semen quality, which is often referenced as the worst in Europe.

        Alan F. Dixson’s excellent Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems (2009) has a chart comparing testes for various population groups, and Danes do appear to be on the larger side of Europe.

      • n/a says:

        “When you compare blacks and whites, you see a similar network of reproductive correlates, with blacks looking more like Finns and whites looking more like Danes.”

        Certainly as concerns semen quality and testicular volume this is false.

        As for Denmark, it’s clear that whatever is going on there has a major environmental component. Looking for deep evolutionary explanations when the phenomenon under discussion is less than a century old and is seen in the children of immigrants doesn’t make much sense.

        E.g.: “Our finding of a higher incidence rate in second generation immigrants than in their immigrant fathers confirms the early life programming of environmental factors in the etiology of testicular cancer” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171682).

        In any event, the trend of declining semen quality appears to now be visible in Finland as well (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22138051) and to have plateaued in Denmark (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22761286).

    • misdreavus says:

      Rushton’s data is correct in general, albeit shoddy in specific details. And his silly triarchic theory only makes sense when you compare white Europeans to east Asians and Bantus. To include Navajo Indians in a broad ranging “Mongoloid” race bespeaks of a powerful ignorance of evolutionary principles – first of all, even if it were true, it destroys any predictive value your racial categories had in the first place. Jeez, populations can diverge considerably in the time it took Amerindians to reach the Strait of Magellan.

    • misdreavus says:

      And that whole r/K theory is crap. As any gay male knows, there do indeed exist ethnic differences in penis size, but that probably has nothing to do with lower parental investment in children.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Selection for non-critical sexual characteristics should occur when there’s no other more functional selection criteria like skill at hunting i.e. in an environment where females can feed their offspring themselves. If the females can provision themselves and the men aren’t needed to stick around afterwards then penis size might be a selection criteria. I’d imagine it’s *a* factor in male escorts.

        If i understand it right the r part of r/K selection should apply in the same kind of environments so i’d expect there to be a correlation but not a causation.

  9. JH says:

    Unz accused you of banning him from commenting on the site. Is it true or is he just having technical difficulties?

      • Bubba says:

        You’re more and more like J. Marks every day!

      • budusan says:

        What a shame. Unz is wrong most of the time but he posted nothing on this site to warrant such censorship.

        • gcochran9 says:

          I am not limited to considering nonsense posted on this site, although he’s done a fair amount of that. Nonsense written elsewhere counts as well. You want more nonsense comments? Go somewhere else.

      • Bubba says:

        The similarity lies in calling everyone who disagrees with you stupid and banning people willy-nilly, and you know it.

        Here’s a quote from a wise young woman you’d do well to ponder…
        “be friendly and not an intellectual snob… People mostly didn’t mind if someone was smarter as long as they didn’t act stuck-up about it.”

        Whether or not your arrogance is more justified than his is irrelevant. Take a deep breath and tone it down.

        • gcochran9 says:

          I don’t call everyone that disagrees with me stupid. For example, I haven’t said that Ron Unz is stupid. I think he’s more of a loon, and dishonest in argumentation.

          I said that E. O. Wilson isn’t very smart because A. he put out that awful ‘who needs math’ piece, which is the opposite of the truth, and B. because he isn’t very smart. I say that after reading his stuff over decades – it’s my considered opinion. And because I’m damn sick of public intellectuals who don’t know jack.

          Ginny was following good advice for getting along in high school. This isn’t high school. The country already has plenty of people who don’t call a spade a spade: it can use at least one more person who does.

      • misdreavus says:

        If I ever started a blog, I am certain I would have to ban at least 80% of my commenters. But that’s just me.

      • Bubba says:

        Point taken. Just 1/8th green?

  10. D Epstein says:

    This is the FaceBook thread–I had posted a link to the film. Hilarie Kelly was one of my students back in the day when I taught cultural anthropology. She worked in East Africa and taught at CSU Long Beach. Oh, and thanks for the citations. I’ll pass them on.

    Hilarie Kelly These tests show only that babies’ responses vary by geography, NOT “race.” And the variational clusters are unhelpfully different in the different tests, e.g. Australian Aboriginal babies have even more pronounced stepping, neck rigidity and nose-press resistance than Caucasian babies (in contrast to the other groups), but we do not learn how they respond to the bassinet dropping; the African babies are only tested for neck rigidity; and we do not see how Japanese babies respond to stepping or bassinet dropping. What does any of this mean? We have no idea. The “stepping” (forced” pseudo-“walking”) bears no relationship to when or how children actually start to walk, from what I have read. Some of these behaviors may indeed be related to natural selection pressures in different populations, but so what? This study is from the 1970s and is now quite dated to the point of irrelevancy. It would probably not pass muster today, based on the film. (Is there a written article with more on the methodology, data, analysis?) There appears to be no information on prevalent circumstances surrounding birth at these respective hospitals and therefore how representative these babies may be (or not) of their “ethnic” or national communities at that time. The stated assumption that Navajo babies born on the outer edges of reservation land may perform more like whites because of “outbreeding” instead of possible poverty or maternal diet issues strikes me as especially problematic and possibly indicative of the racial biases of the white scientists. Finally, I have to wonder if the parents of these babies gave informed consent for these tests.
    1:48pm (4 hours ago) · Like · 1Reply

    David G. Epstein The style of the film is quite dated. I think the guy did publish quite a bit, but I haven’t read the original article(s?).

    I agree there are plenty of possible explanations besides, or in addition to, genetics. And I don’t know how any of these tests relates to attributes or behavior in later life.

    Still, even if anecdotal, these raise interesting issues. And I hope you’re not dead set against any possibility that some behavior has a genetic component. Some people have ideological inclinations for or against genetic explanations, which is humanly understandable but scientifically unfortunate.
    2:07pm (4 hours ago) · Edited · LikeReply

    Hilarie Kelly As I said, natural selection may have some influence on these patterns (assuming they can be replicated using a sufficiently large sample.) However, genetic and epigenetic components are almost never reducible to single gene causality; and, because human populations are fluid and gene flows a constant feature of our species’ complex migration history (and prehistory) our crude and culture-bound categories of race (based on phenotype and other superficial categorizations) do not necessarily correspond well with actual human biology at the genetic level. The narration in this film reflected fairly crude levels of scientific inquiry.
    4:12pm (2 hours ago) · Edited · Like · 2Reply


    David G. Epstein Agreed that popular conceptions of race may confuse the issue. There are nevertheless clearly divergent human populations with both visible and genetic differences, i.e. geographic races. The film narration is clearly dated, but the data (assuming they correspond to the film) are pretty interesting. Unless factors like nutrition during pregnancy or perinatal practices are in play, the pictures do illustrate possible genetic differences.

    Of course, one has to read the paper to know. I asked Prof. Cochran for the reference.
    6:39pm (2 minutes ago) · Edited · LikeReply

  11. LSD says:

    From the concerned scientist: What does any of this mean? We have no idea.

    And you’d better not pursue this research further in order to find out!!

    However, genetic and epigenetic components are almost never reducible to single gene causality; and, because human populations are fluid and gene flows a constant feature of our species’ complex migration history (and prehistory) our crude and culture-bound categories of race (based on phenotype and other superficial categorizations) do not necessarily correspond well with actual human biology at the genetic level.

    You can almost hear the cognitive dissonance grinding away at her psychological stability. She does realize that phenotypes (which include behavior) are regularly used to classify organisms? You need to ask her why it’s not okay to classify human sub-populations this same way. Difficulty: no moral appeals.

  12. Maciano says:

    Well, I backed up the video, so in case it disappears again, i’ll upload a torrent.

    *did my part*

  13. Pingback: Before we go too far, something to think about… | JayMan's Blog

  14. I think that one should consider some of the points made in Plato’s “The Lesser Hippias” in regards to the debate about smartness degrees of public intellectuals, but perhaps even more in regard to morals. Many public intellectuals are pretending to know nothing when they do, and of course that is because they sometimes benefit from pretending to be more stupid then they are (common people generally don’t know what argumentum ad verecundiam means and are too dull to investigate the lies from academics). However, this does not imply that E.O. Wilson can handle complex math.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s