Re: Flynn Effect ...yes, testosterone
13 Nov 1996 18:56:19 GMT

Aadam Young <> wrote:

>Very eloquent racism. It appears that those with racist opinions
>(e.g. The Bell Curve) will stop at nothing to pursue their agenda. I am
>certain if you try hard enough you will be able to prove that crime, and
>the neccesity for public support of prisons are a neccesity because of
>the downtrodden.Why don't you explain the Greek (Jimmy) speculation that
>blacks are better athletes, or would just citing him be enough evidence
>for you.

.Bryant replied
.You know, it's funny. The observation that slaves underwent astoundingly

.brutal artificial selection for vigor doesn't seem absurd or inherently
.racist to me. Not very many folks participating in this thread, I'd
.wager, could survive the conditions imposed on kidnapped Africans on
.the slave ships of old.

.A few months before the uproar over Jimmy the Greek's comment, a (black)
.Portland Trailblazer spoke at my high school (1987, I think), and he said
.same damned thing. It's simply not an absurd or inherently racist

.If blacks are not over-represented in the upper proportion of
.the continuum of phenotypic quality, why are so many of our Olympic and
.professional sports achievers of African descent? It may not be
.because of the slave trade, but there is an evident over-representation
.of blacks in sports.

.Is that racist? Perhaps, in that it suggests a partially genetic basis
.for race differences. It's sure not putting blacks down to say they're
.built better, though.

Huzzah! At last someone with real sense. But you don't go far enough.
Let me cite a few other instances of this "selection" you talk about.

1. The Irish -- over a century of absolute dependence on the potato has
selected the Irish to survive on starches, with little in the way of
vitamans, proteins, or trace elements. None of you could survive on a
diet of mostly alchohol and potatoes (unless you are Irish). Of course,
there are sacrifices in adaptation -- in adapting to a lack of protein,
intelligence suffered, as clearly indicated by the socio-economic status
of the Irish both in their own country and as immigrants. Check the
records from the early part of this century! The adaptation has been a
little watered down here in the U.S. by interbreeding, now, but you will
still find those plucky potato eaters filling the blue collar ranks in
many places. But they make wonderful singers -- I'm certainly not putting
them down.

2. Jews -- though some would argue that a people who are found in such
diverse places as the Middle East, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe can't
comprise a discreet genetic group, we know better, don't we? Millenia of
persecution have selected Jews to be devilishly clever, especially in
money matters (the Human Genome Project has lately located the allele upon
which this trait is located). This explains their unprecedented success
in the business world, most particularly banking. What's more, they have
evolved the ability to actually enjoy pogroms. I certainly don't put them
down when I say those guys really know how to handle money and abuse.

3. Actually, I must take issue with your particular interpretation of the
selecive forces operating upon American Blacks. What you forget is that
the original pool was slanted to those who were too slow to escape being
caught. While shipboard conditions clearly re-selected for fleetness of
foot (as picking cotton and later sharecropping) this mostly only
corrected the earlier selection for slow-pokes. Unless it was the lazy
ones -- yes, the LAZY ones! -- who got caught. Not those who couldn't run
fast enough, but who just wouldn't. That explains a lot of things,
doesn't it? But you also can't survive slavery without a good sense of
humor and the old banjo, and it was this unnatural selection that
undoubtably lead to the phenomenal successes of American Blacks in tap
dance, comedy, and singing -- they are WAY over-represented in the
entertainment industry. Understand, in saying that they are good at this
things, I am paying them a compliment, and of course when you pay someone
a compliment you can't be racist at the same time.

But heck, why do I go on like this? You already know all of this and
probably have a lot more scientific studies to back them up.

Don't even get me started on Native Americans! Those woodsy devils.

--Greg Keyes