Re: Are Americans genetically superior?

Paul Z. Myers (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 08:35:13 -0500

In article <56b7ie$>, Jonathan Adams <jonathan> wrote:

> wrote:
>> Show me another country that can gear up in short order, furnish
>>food and arms
>>for our allies and ourselves, and fight two different wars at the same
>>time .
>>(Pacific and Europe) And as soon as the war was over supply the
>>equivilance of
>>another war to rebuild not only our Allies but the ex-enemy too. Then to
>>to survive over two generations of trade deficites. And to maintain a
>>standard of
>>living as high as any in the world.
>I bet the Romans would have said similar things about themselves just before
>the crunch.
>> Selecting a few Nobel Laureats or a few Olymphic Medalists says
>>whatever about the population as a whole. Just as picking a couple Blue
>>country fair winners would say nothing about the total milk production of
>>a dairy
>>herd. I was writing about the total population of this country. And I was
>>talking about the other imigrants; blacks , orientals, hispanics, and
>>native americans
>>(did I miss anybody?) who have contributed their part to the Great
>>Experiment ?
>I did also mention longevity and infant mortality being essentially the same on
>both sides of the Atlantic (except that America does less well than some
>European countries). Also (and if one takes these things seriously which I'm
>not sure I do, though it may indicate something about SOME rather dreary
>crossword-puzzle-type aspects of mental functioning), the average IQ score of
>Americans is identical (i.e. 100) to the populations they left behind in
>Europe. And I don't notice fewer Americans requiring glasses or contact lenses
>to correct vision defects. If there were indeed greater 'genetic fitness' in
>the American population, wouldn't we expect such things to have improved? seems to me the original poster is confusing the ability of
the individuals with the capability of a nation. The US, by accident
of history, has a more coherent, "united" population than Europe, for
instance, and has been better able to marshal the population to a common
goal. That could very easily change: European nations are trying to forge
more unity, while here in the US we see increasing signs of divisiveness
and regionalism. Neither are smooth, inexorable trends, but if there were
a United Europe vs. a splintered US, I'm sure they would kick our butts...
an unfounded, hypothetical genetic advantage wouldn't help.

Paul Z. Myers
Dept. of Biology
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122 (215) 204-8848