Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

“It is a matter of ethical principle that individual and cultural accomplishment is not tied to the genes in the same way as the appearance of our hair.”

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69 Responses to Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

  1. Ian says:

    They call it the moralistic fallacy. I call it idiocy.

    • reiner Tor says:

      I agree that anybody saying or writing things like that is either a scoundrel or an idiot. But I don’t think this guy believes in that crap. Therefore, he is no idiot.

      • dearieme says:

        For short, could we call it the FOG attitude? Either to mean that its proponents see life through a fog of folly and incomprehension, or as the acronym for “Fuck off, Galileo”.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Why do you say “Fuck off, Galileo?” Wasn’t he the father of modern science? Kuhn seemed to think so.

  2. Nietzsch to His Own says:

    “It is a matter of ethical principle that individual and cultural accomplishment is not tied to the genes in the same way as the appearance of our hair.” — Turkheimer

    “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary.” — Orwell

    Then again, Turkheimer presumably means that it is a matter of ethical principle to tell lies while not genuinely believing them.

  3. reakcionar says:

    Next time I see an article on genes and intelligence, the first thing I’ll do is ctrl+F “Jim Crow”. If the search finds it in the text, it’s not worth reading.

  4. kai says:

    Getting offended by fact is really a bad trait, and this guy is clearly severely affected. This problem used to get me tired, or smiling at the naive point of view when it afflicted very young. Now it tend to get me angry, because what may pass as the good sentiments is used to justify unfair practices in the name of egalitarianism….

  5. Spaghetti says:

    Mr. Harpending? Are you reading this?

    Off-topic: What do we know about the tocharians? What connection do they have to the sintashta-chariot complex….and just how early were the blond guys outperforming everybody else. Will you be doing a post on this topic sometime in the future? It’s certainly the closest real archaeology has ever gotten to Indiana Jones type stories.

    • “just how early were the blond guys outperforming everybody else”

      Methinks they’ll turn out to be red-haired.

    • Ian Marteens says:

      According to Jean Manco’s book, Tocharians are an early split from the PIE main branch. The Sintashta culture, on the contrary, seems to be the common root for Indoiranian groups. I’m not really sure if they actually were blondes. Common wisdom in Linguistics carefully dissociates language from race, but it may be just another PC artifact…

      • Spaghetti says:

        “Common wisdom in Linguistics carefully dissociates language from race”

        Hnnggh? Seems counterintuitive to perform such a “dissociation” when it is necessary to find an association to trace a language back to a particular geographic area or archaeological culture. Language become dissociated from race as they spread over wide geographic areas, obviously, but going back in time it started from some particular group, which is important to find the proto-language. Doesn’t every approach do this? So in this sense, that principle is stupid.

    • Ian Marteens says:

      … but in any case, they were surely white people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaohe_Tomb_complex).

    • Ian Marteens says:

      Of course is stupid, in the sense that original speakers must have had a race. But think that fifteen years ago you had no cheap tools for analyzing ancient DNA. And of course the problem of identifying original speakers of a language has some obvious constraints: it would be silly to think about PIE people as black guys. However, I’ve read somewhere that Semitic languages sprang from the African Horn (there’s also an “out of Levant” hypothesis). In this case, only ancient DNA analysis and lots of good luck could help.

      • It’s not that the speakers of PIE didn’t have a race, but that their race is immaterial to the study of language history and language relationship. If you find correlations between language history and genetic history, that shouldn’t be too surprising, since we acquire language from those in our community of birth. So both genes and languages will, for the most part, be passed down along the same genealogical lines. This can break down in certain situations, though, as when your parents move to a new country and you grow up in a different speech community from your parents. The American son of Italian immigrants is genetically Italian, but linguistically Anglo-Saxon. There will be no evidence of Italian ancestry in his English, however.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ganja, it turns out, was first popular amongst the Tocharians, who taught Proto Indo-Europeans how to smoke it. The Tocharian word for shaman means “one who walks on clouds”… Interesting, right? But, who were these smart peeps?… LOL.

  6. Cattle Guard says:

    He’s sort of right, though. Thanks to hair dye, weaves etc. the appearance of our hair isn’t really all that tied to our genes anymore.

  7. feministx says:

    The egalitarians are really afraid they are wrong. This is why they shut down inquiry in the first place. They don’t believe in their ability to substantiate their positions.

    Flynn isn’t like that because he believes he can substantiate his position.

    • reiner Tor says:

      I don’t think they’re all afraid they are wrong. I think many of them actually know they are wrong. Which – at least in my eyes – makes them evil.

    • Toddy Cat says:

      And of course, Flynn is only a partial egalitarian. But you’re right, he is also unusually principled and ethical.

  8. Jim says:

    In traditional Comanche culture death was a taboo subject. After an individual died his family abandoned their dwelling and built another in a different location. The dead were never referred to ant their names not used. The names of their children were changed becausae it was believed that this would help them forget their deceased parent.
    Nevertheless Comanches still died.

    • melendwyr says:

      Pointing out that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes doesn’t help. These people are not unaware of the truth, they are working very hard to ignore it and get everyone else to ignore it, because what no one acknowledges is socially untrue and nearly as good as actually so. It’s “false consciousness”, as various groups have projected onto those that oppose them.

      Would you bother explaining to a con man that what he’s suggesting is a con? That’s essentially what you’re doing here. The only other people you could be addressing is us, and we already know.

      • reiner Tor says:

        The best deceivers are self-deceived. In other words, he knows or he should know what he is doing. I don’t care shit for how earnest (or not) Turkheimer is, he openly agrees to the destruction of careers of scientists who – unlike him – are really earnestly doing their jobs as scientists in their quests to uncover the truth, wherever this may lead them.

        Lenin and Mao Zedong were probably also earnest (of the self-deceived type), and it makes them no less responsible.

  9. LP says:

    Ethical principles determine the workings of the genes now, I guess.

  10. Gulag with invisible walls.

  11. spandrell says:

    This proves that over all this years Steve Sailer was right about modern progressive ideals being mostly about Jewish paranoia over new pogroms against their IQ superiority.

    • Thomas says:

      Except “IQ superiority” isn’t necessary for group violence. No lynch mob in the South was ever motivated by a sense that their target had “IQ superiority”. And pogroms against Jews predate when Cochran says Jews evolved their “IQ superiority”.

      • spandrell says:

        It might not be necessary, it is perhaps sufficient.

      • Thomas says:

        What’s sufficient is different identity i.e. genetic identity. That’s why progressives work so hard to push the idea that such identities don’t exist.

      • reiner Tor says:

        I think Thomas is right, they are railing against human group differences as such. The Jewish paranoia part still stands, as far as I can see.

      • albatross says:

        Not just genetic identity–any identity difference is enough. I doubt I could tell a Serb from a Croat by looking at them, but that doesn’t mean Serbs and Croats get along.

      • spandrell says:

        Well nobody’s lynching the Parsis last time I checked. Not all minorities are target of pogroms.

      • DrBill says:

        Well nobody’s lynching the Parsis last time I checked. Not all minorities are target of pogroms.

        Nobody’s lynching Parsis right this second, no (or Jews). But riddle me this: how come there are so few Parsis? Alternative method: ask some Parsis if anybody ever lynched Parsis.

    • P says:

      There’s been talk about high Jewish IQ since the 1920s.

    • reiner Tor says:

      Methinks they are still quite prominent.

  12. Jim says:

    “individual … accomplishment is not tied to the genes”. So the accomplishments of 7 ft. 6 in. Yao Ming are not “tied to his genes”? I guess he just ate his Wheaties.

  13. TWS says:

    He’s just squealing while trying to toss meat to the crocodile. It will get around to him in time.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What are you talking about? Differences in intelligence simply vanish once one controls for IQ

  15. His essay is a disappointment, and propounds a convoluted argument. “The important questions about the role of genetics in the explanation of racial differences in ability are not empirical, but theoretical and philosophical”. This suggests that neither a positive nor a negative result would have any impact. If no genetic investigation can explain intellectual differences between racial groups then that destroys the genetic hypothesis. It will be wrong, end of story.
    On the bright side, this essay was written in 2007. Two main possibilities arise, if we are to be optimistic and look forward to a change of opinion (in public) by 2013: 1) Genetic: some genes are very late to express themselves; and 2) Cultural: He has made an unprompted, but nonetheless tearful recantation which we have somehow missed. Has he made any more recent pronouncements?

  16. Jim says:

    Thomas – Most lynch mobs were motivated by specific crimes which had been committed. They were directed at specific individuals and were not indiscriminate group violence. Undoubtably some completely innocent people were lynched but most of those lynched, both black and white, were in fact criminals.

    • Magus Janus says:

      a significant number were asians (chinese) or whites (italian immigrants and the like) or Mexicans. And the total number of lynchings was relatively small, less than 5k total over an 80 year time span. so to recap, let’s round up and call it 5k per 80 years (front-loaded during the chaotic post-Civil War era), of mostly guilty people.

      compared to now, where instead of lynchings we have mass imprisonment of young black males (usually guilty), and of course high black on black crime to such an extent that you likely get more innocents killed in one year in Detroit than the entire lynching era.

  17. Jim says:

    Many of those lynched were taken from jails after they had already been arrested. Most of these people would have been legally hung in any case. This is not the same sort of thing as pograms against Jews involving indiscriminate slaughter.

  18. Patrick Boyle says:

    If we are going to credit feelings then I guess I can express my feelings about race and IQ also.

    I just began a web based video series called Disturbing Ideas. About half of my videos so far have been about race and biological racial differences. It was very hard for me to gather up the nerve to reveal my views publically this way. There is a whole dimension of feelings behind these kind of issues. Any normal person hesitates before they subject themselves to public abuse. I’m a rather thick skinned individual but I don’t relish being characterized as evil just because I notice the obvious. Or rather that I refuse to ignore the obvious.

    The IQ and race evidence isn’t particularly difficult to grasp. What math there is, is elementary. All of the many studies tend to be unambiguous. They present a simple clear cut picture. The main reason that this question is at all contentious is because of feelings – not facts. People work hard to avoid being called a racist. It can take some courage to risk that.

    The whole condemnation of people who believe in racial inequality has a medieval quality about it. The offender is shut up and condemned out of hand. I have no taste for martyrdom but I tired of being intimidated. It seems obvious that those who dare to question the doctrine of racial equality are the real heroes. The ignorant howling mob of self righteous liberals think themselves holy. They are like gleeful observers at the Auto-da-fe.

    Normally I try to be well reasoned but today we are discussing feelings.

  19. RS says:

    > No lynch mob in the South was ever motivated by a sense that their target had “IQ superiority”.

    Just FYI, occasional rough justice is a Southron trait, and they lynched, very approximately, the same number of White suspects/criminals as Black pro rata.

    Yanks don’t go in for that sort of thing much. Highly irregular!, a good Londoner would say. One more reason to believe the Bede is probably right about the racial history of England, weak evidence though it be… that is I’m suggesting Southern US Whites are largely Brythonic Celts.

    One thing sometimes seen in Island Celts, IMO, is an extremely straight contour between the eyeball and the lower eyelid. In femmes anyway I don’t really look at dudes.

  20. albatross says:

    His argument makes me think of a Thomas Friedman column–as long as you don’t engage your brain and just go along with what he says, it sounds kind of like it makes sense. Only if you engage in some of that yucky thinking stuff that causes so many problems do you notice that he’s talking nonsense. I have no idea whether he is fooling himself or just fooling the rubes, though.

    This is pretty much the standard pattern for political arguments made to your own side. Just say some relatively smart-sounding stuff that requires some thought to decode, and trust in your listeners’ mental laziness and agreement with your conclusions to keep them from digging too deeply into what you’re saying.

  21. Julian says:

    Do Greg or Henry have any comments on this study?

    “The researchers compared the variation in characteristics of the skulls and found that while their jaw, brow and skull shapes were distinct, their traits were all within the range of what could be expected among members of the same species.

    “The five Dmanisi individuals are conspicuously different from each other, but not more different than any five modern human individuals, or five chimpanzee individuals, from a given population,” said Zollikofer.

    “We conclude that diversity within a species is the rule rather than the exception.”
    Under that hypothesis, the different lineages some experts have described in Africa – such as Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis – were all just ancient people of the species Homo erectus who looked different from each other.

    It also suggests that early members of the modern man’s genus Homo, first found in Africa, soon expanded into Asia despite their small brain size.

    “We are thrilled about the conclusion they came to. It backs up what we found as well,” said Milford Wolpoff, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Michigan.Wolpoff and Adam Van Arsdale of Wellesley College published a study in the journal Evolution last year that also measured statistical variation in characteristics of early skull fossils in Georgia and East Africa, suggesting a single species and an active process of inter-breeding.

    “Everyone knows today you could find your mate from a different continent and it is normal for people to marry outside their local group, outside their religion, outside their culture,” Wolpoff told AFP.

    “What this really helps show is that this has been the human pattern for most of our history, at least outside of Africa,” he added.

    “We don’t have races. We don’t have different subspecies. But it is normal for humans to vary, and they have varied in the past.”


    • Anonymous says:

      I think they said it in a “deleted scene” (I don’t remember which one) at the book’s site, about people urgent to give “species” status to any somewhat differing scull. I mean, really, if we are genetically that close to chimps, and if part of our genetic distance from chimps must be due to chimps evolving too, we were better off when thinking about erectus-late erectus-early sapiens, rather than filling the pleistocene with Homos that couldn’t have been all that genetically distant.

    • Toddy Cat says:

      “We don’t have races. We don’t have different subspecies”

      Absolutely nothing in these findings justifies this statement, never mind whether the paper’s findings are true or not. This is like saying “all ice cream is a dairy product , therefore all ice cream is the same flavor, even though it doesn’t all taste the same”.

  22. Pingback: The Institute | Handle's Haus

  23. Asher says:

    followed by fifty years of very incomplete equality and freedom

    Did that freedom and equality just *happen*, or was it provided by an intentional set of actors? For bonus points, what were the racial groups from whence that freedom and equality were provided?

  24. Ian Marteens says:

    That’s the funniest part of the whole tirade. Is Turkheimer really expecting some magical Lamarckian bootstrap, slowly happening over several generations? Or did he secretly buy the gene-culture co-evolution idea? In that case, he could had been thinking in applying some gentle selective pressure on the sampled population (castrating all rappers would be a good beginning) and then waiting for the results.

  25. Gerard Mason says:

    I don’t know why no-one’s mentioned it since I’m sure you all already know it; either you learned it so far back in the past that you’ve forgotten about it, or it’s so obvious that it’s jejune of me to mention it, but I have no shame so: this is simply one of our present culture’s ‘noble lies’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie). Note the gloss in the article, “often, but not invariably, of a religious nature” — that’s exactly what is going on here, there is a set of quasi religious beliefs which are *not* to be subjected to any kind of disquisition, hence the violence of the reaction that follows any attempt to point out their falseness. One who questions such a sacred belief thereby becomes a ‘homo sacer’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sacer).

    All the more sad, of course, since most of those who hold these beliefs would surely describe themselves as some variety of secularist or atheist or realist.

    If you want to have a bit of fun with such people, get them to talk about dog intelligence — they will usually readily agree that some breeds are more intelligent than others. Then point out that all differences between dog breeds are due to changes on about 26 genes (iirc).

  26. Has anyone seen the quite popular show House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey as a Machiavellian politician? Anyway, in the second and third episodes Spacey’s character collects a group of Super Brains that in just a few days have to come with a Super Plan regarding education. Two out of these six supposed Super Brains are blacks and two are whites; the other two being an Indian and some sort of misc girl as far as I remember.

    I calculated – on the basis of the total American population size, population size for blacks and whites, and 115 as the minimum threshold for solving complex problems of this kind [1] – that the
    probability this happening in reality is something like 1/35.

    Gotta love do goodism in American mainstream popular culture. But my home country, Sweden, is actually far worse in this respect. We are doomed.

    [1] “IQ 115 marks the ability threshold for being competitive as a candidate for graduate or professional school in the U.S. and thus for high levels of socioeconomic success. Partly because of their higher educational promise, individuals above this IQ level have the best prospects for gaining the most coveted occupational positions in a society. This is the IQ range in which individuals can be self-instructing and are, in fact, expected to instruct, advise, and supervise others in their community and work environments. This is therefore the IQ range from which cultural leaders tend to emerge and be recruited. The percentages exceeding this threshold are, respectively, 40% (Asians), 28% (whites), 10% (Hispanics), and 4% (blacks).”

    Click to access 2004socialconsequences.pdf

    • albatross says:

      On the other hand, it’s a totally plausible racial makeup for a politician to make up, because he will want a desired ethnic mix. Black geniuses are more rare than Asian geniuses, but it’s a big country, and you *can* find enough very smart blacks to put together a panel with a desired mix.

      • gcochran9 says:

        It’s harder than you think. For example, back in 1991, a student noticed that blacks admitted to Georgetown Law School had lower scores (and got in trouble for mentioning it). Steve Chapman pointed out that it was not necessary to look at any Georgetown student’s scores to determine this: Georgetown admitted about 70 blacks a year, but there were only 15 blacks in the entire country that had grades and LSAT scores matching or exceeding the Georgetown average. And of course, none of those went to Georgetown.

  27. albatross: Well yes, but he just wanted six Super Brains in order to solve a concrete problem behind closed doors, not a racially and ethnically mixed group of splendid academics to showcase in public. Hence I interpret this as implicit PC propaganda of the usual kind that we all know of. It’s pretty much equivalent to the rate and share of black and non-Hispanic white serial killers that show up in Dexter.

    Ps. Sorry for the double post. You might want to remove the first comment.

  28. Rosenmops says:

    “While we are at it we could open a whole scientific institute for the scientific study of racial stereotypes, and finally pull together the evidence on sneaky Japanese, drunken Irish, unintelligent Poles, overemotional women and lazy Italians.

    Hopefully I am beginning to offend you. “

    I’m offended by the suggestion that I should be offended. Irish, as well as Scots, Scandinavians and Russians, seem to have a greater tendency towards alcoholism than, say, Italians or Jews. I say this as a person of Scotch descent with alcoholics in my family. I think we should be studying ethnic and racial differences in rates of alcoholism. Such studies might yield clues that lead to effective treatments.

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