Re: Race, intelligence, and anti-racist prejudice (Was: Genetic Evolution)

Lane Singer (
19 Feb 1995 08:28:57 GMT

In <> (L Olson) writes:

[Singer to Tom Lathrop]
>>If you have no idea, then why do you make the assertion that
>>one race is more intelligent than another for genetic reasons?
>TBC p.298-301
>"one race is more intelligent than another" is broad, and can be very
>misleading, but... yah.

But yah? The statement you are responding to was directed at
statements made by the person to whom I was responding:

>>I happen to believe that black Africans and their descendants, as a
>>group, are less intelligent than whites or Asians. I may be right or
>>wrong in this, but it is certainly possible, just as it is possible
>>that they have, as a group, darker skin and curlier hair.

Hmmm. Seems that he's saying "one race is more intelligent than
another." What do you think?

>>Do you really believe that TBC has delivered conclusive evidence of
>>an inter-ethnic IQ gap that is fundamentally expainable by genes
>>that vary according to race?
>Not "fundamentally" - it is a major factor.

What does this mean? Sounds like waffling. Do they imply that there
is a gap or not? Do they then imply that environment cannot explain
the dimension of the gap? Do they also imply that a genetic
disparity between races would explain what (they believe) cannot
be attributed to the environment?

>So is early nutrition in
>individuals. It seems as if you'd like to paint it as purely genetic or purely
>environmental and then pick holes on that basis.

What "seems" to you, and what "is", are unrelated in this instance.

>It doesn't make a lot of
>sense to me that a study of Asian children, brought up in _very_ different
>environments, cultural and otherwise, would lead to the identical variation in

"identical variation in non-verbal." Is this part of a complete
sentence, or were words left out?

>It seems unlikely, to put it mildly.

>>As for the likelyhood of adaptive selection on any of these genes,
>>I don't accept your rather offhand assertion that "that these genes
>>(like any others) can be selected for." I'd like to at least hear
>>what factors might assert such pressures, and in what way these
>>factors exist for one population more than for another.
>Do you really believe that the brain is exempt from natural selection?

What does this mean, "the brain is exempt from natural selection?"
We were having a discussion on the effects of environment on genes.
Are there genes that code for "brain?" The brain is composed of a
variety of different cells. My request: "I'd like to at least hear
what factors might assert such pressures, and in what way these
factors exist for one population more than for another," seems
fair. Do you have a response to it?

>Consider also, when wondering how marginal cognitive gains could evolve so
>quickly, that one of the most valuable adaptions a species could evolve is the
>ability to adapt quickly.

Indeed. That fits very well with the human species, and our
amazing ability to adapt to a wide variety of challenging