Re: Those Eyes! (Was: Intelligence by Race)

glover martin (
15 Jan 1995 23:47:15 GMT

Tom Lathrop ( wrote:
: In article <>,
: Mark.O.Wilson <> wrote:
: >In article <3evbq5$>,
: >says...
: >>The differences that you refer to are basically adaptations that
: >>enabled those who possesed them to have a higher fitness in their
: >>surroundings (ie:increased melanin, epicanthic folds,

: >I'm not disputing any of your other points, but what evolutionary
: >advantage does the epicanthic fold provide?

: This is actually a very good question. When the anti-racists deny that
: there is "such a thing as race", what they are at bottom saying is that
: there has been no real genetic separation between what we usually think
: of as the different races. That although we appear different on the
: surface, this is only superficial, and underneath the genes have been
: zipping back and fourth like mad between the different populations.

: This raises a very serious question. If there has been no significant
: genetic isolation between Europeans and east Asians, why are the genes
: for the epicanthic fold, almost universal in east Asia, so rare in
: Europe? Why haven't those genes been zipping back and fourth too,
: along with all the rest?

: If we were talking about the difference in skin color between Europeans
: and Africans, we could argue that the gene flow had in fact been taking
: place, but that the dark skin genes had been selected out in Europe and
: the light skin genes in Africa because they were maladaptive. But no
: one has ever been able to come up with a convincing adaptive argument
: for the epicanthic fold, or many of the other racial differences such
: as hair type or facial bone structure.

: Someone here has suggested sexual selection as an explanation, claiming
: that people people have a tendency to mate with others who look like
: themselves. This seems pretty weak to me. It's a long way from Spain
: to China, and the people all along the way *do* tend to look much like
: their immediate neighbors. It's hard to see how sexual selection could
: have prevented the slow spread of particular traits from one end of the
: continent to the other.

: The explanation one is practically forced to accept is that there has
: not been all that much mixing between the racial groups since these
: identifying traits became established, tens of thousands of years ago.
: Indeed, genetically the races are quite distinguishable. Given two
: sets of 100 blood samples, one drawn from white Europeans and the other
: from black Africans, a competent geneticist will have no difficulty
: determining which set came from which population. And of course we can

How would this be done? Please cite references describing RFLPs or any
other markers which all "white Europeans" have in common and all "black
Africans" have in common.

: all distinguish an ethnic Swede from an ethnic Nigerian by eye alone,
: with a truly astonishing 100 percent accuracy.

: So where did all this "no such thing as race" nonsense come from? Well
: there's a trick to it. The thing is, if you take traits that were well
: established and diverse in the human population *prior* to racial
: separation (for example, blood types), and map the distribution of
: those traits today, then naturally you will get a complicated and
: confused picture that bears little resemblance to our usual notion of
: racial geography. This is what the anti-racists (who knew well what
: conclusion they wanted to arrive at) have done.

: But they still haven't explained those eyes! 8-)
: --
: ===================================================================
: Tom Lathrop | Politics: A strife of interests masquerading
: | as a contest of principles. -- Ambrose Bierce
: ===================================================================