Michael Andrew Turton (
27 Jan 1995 18:28:30 GMT

In article <3g6mjc$>,
keith green (simctr) <> wrote:
>Daniel Davidson ( wrote:
>: our species?
>: There are, depending on who you read of the 19th and early 20th century
>: writings on race, anywhere between 3 and over 200 "races" on the planet.
>: Race is a fundamentally fanciful concept, founded on arbitrary
>: distinctions. "Race" is a cultural artifact, not an objective category.
>I've read that Eskimos have 16 words for snow, depending on the grade.
>Therefore NO ONE can talk about snow.
>The chinese have a word for cooked rice (fan) and a word for uncooked rice
>(mi) but I'm not aware of a single word for either uncooked or cooked rice.
>I suppose that means that any attempt to do so is necessarily a fanciful
>idea, despite the fact that the english 'rice' does the job.
>Turtom is very fond of producing false conclusions and is certainly guilty
>of using the same sorts of sleezy 'tactics' of which he accuses the
>authors of TBC. I refuse to even discuss the matter, since he's incapable
>or unwilling to even be polite with people who disagree with him. One
>perfect example of his poor behavior is his tendency to insinuate (almost
>direct accusation) anyone who disagrees with his statements of being a TBC
>defender, or of being a racist.

Actually, this is a big problem for me and one I wrestle with.
Are people who believe that races are biological rather than cultural
artifacts (discovered rather than invented), and that differences between
them are biological rather than cultural simply sophisticated racists or
merely misguided and naive?

>The definition of race may not be entirely agreed upon, but that does
>not mean that it is utterly arbitrary. Hell, I can show you two
>books on thermodynamics that give different (irreconcilable) definitions
>of the term 'closed system'. [Okay, I can see it now, all the little
>religious boobs will rush to the textbook that they had and say,"well
>so and so says this" and therefore it's the only acceptable definition.
>You are assuming that because people are self-selecting themselves
>(to be one race or the other) on the basis of race, that it must be
>entirely arbitrary. This is not necessarily the case, and probably
>will not be the case in general.
Never, ever have I said the process by which people self-select,
and select, for race, is arbitrary. In fact it is not, and that is one
demonstration of the "racism" of racial concepts. Is a woman with one
"black" and one "white" parent black of white? Through most of history
we have answered "black." Why? For arbitrary reasons? Or for reasons
which show the way we devalue some races while elevating others.

>If I'm wrong, that might mean that I'm mistaken. It might mean that
>I'm unclear about some things. But it certainly doesn't mean that
>"if you don't understand why these are needed[scientific definitions of
>race (acceptable to him)], it is clear you don't understand the scientific
>research process."
>He gives me the impression that he is on a religious crusade and not
>on a quest to increase understanding - his or anyone else's. (However,
>he has given a few useful tidbits of info - unsupported, but at least
>things to look into. From reading the rest of his rants, I chalk this
>up to accident.)

I've given quite a bit of supported information over the last three
months of discussing this. I seem to be the only person on tthe list who
has actually read (and posted) stuff from Mankind Quarterly. Have you?
To many people who defend M&H haven't gone to the sources and preface their
comments with "I haven't read Rushton/Lynn etc.......but"

>This fellow seems to assume that the root of any disagreement with him
>on the subject can only stem from one cause - the dissenter's racism.
>My own view is that anyone who can proceed with the discussion as if
>it were a religious crusade probably is masking his own racism - his
>own fear that deep down, guys like M&H are right. Of course, this is
>just my feeling, and may not be true, but it certainly seems like such
>a situtation.

A gut fear, yes, but not that M&H are right -- about what? About
blacks being biologically inferior to whites? I note that you don't have
the cojones to name what it is I am supposed to fear in M&H, BTW.
My fear, of course, is for my son, and for the kids I taught in
Africa and Asia and for everyone who has to put up with the consequences
of giving a scientific veneer to racist cant.

>Secondly, this fellow is great at accusing M&H of "[writing]
>in a particularly smarmy manner calculated to make you supply these
>concepts uconciously (sic)." But at the same time, he bandies about
>an almost meaningless term, racist, which certainly has a number of
>different connotations as well as a few denotations. But his message
>is very clearly meant to associate anyone who believes in distinct
>races (who might be a racist in some vague sense), with all of these
>other types of racists (like Hitler, KKK members, etc). In short,
>he doesn't seem (in my view) to have a problem with the methods he
>accuses M&H of employing. He seems (to me) to think that these
>'tactics' are completely acceptable.

Do you believe "distinct races" are biologically distinct and
vary among personality traits and intelligence for biological reasons?

>I have not idea what to think of TBC. I'm reserving judgement until
>I get a chance to read the book and check out its sources. It's
>obvious to me that I can't get any legitimate, sensical criticism of
>the book, despite the fact that I find it disagreeable. Hopefully,
>by the time I get around to reading it, there will be legitimate,
>mature criticism to help me think about it.

>Who knows. He may be 100% right. But if he is, I think it must
>be an accident, and not because he's a clear thinker.
>My employers don't tell me what to say, keith green, NaN
>and I don't tell them where to stick it.

Very well Keith, take it all the way. Let's have your defintion
of "race" and how it maps biologically onto human populations. What
races are there in the U.S.? In the world? CAn races mix, or are the
children of two races another race? What is your definition of intelligence?
Does it vary across races for biological reasons, or for cultural?
Three months here and no one has yet bothered to supply any definitions of
any of the above.........instead, what I get is a lot of whiny "it's
legitmate to talk about race" meaninglessness combined with hints (such as
yours above) that supporters of inheritance across racial lines are brave
dissenters blah blah blah rather than at best, a little muddle-headed.

Mike Turton