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Very rare admission in NY Times that race is real and has consequences

By Patrick follow Patrick   2018 Mar 24, 1:26pm 2,389 views   5 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/opinion/sunday/genetics-race.html?rref=patrick.net

But over the years this consensus has morphed, seemingly without questioning, into an orthodoxy. The orthodoxy maintains that the average genetic differences among people grouped according to today’s racial terms are so trivial when it comes to any meaningful biological traits that those differences can be ignored.

The orthodoxy goes further, holding that we should be anxious about any research into genetic differences among populations. ...

I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.” ...

I am worried that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science. ...

While most people will agree that finding a genetic explanation for an elevated rate of disease is important, they often draw the line there. Finding genetic influences on a propensity for disease is one thing, they argue, but looking for such influences on behavior and cognition is another.

But whether we like it or not, that line has already been crossed. ...

This study has been joined by others finding genetic predictors of behavior. One of these, led by the geneticist Danielle Posthuma, studied more than 70,000 people and found genetic variations in more than 20 genes that were predictive of performance on intelligence tests.

Is performance on an intelligence test or the number of years of school a person attends shaped by the way a person is brought up? Of course. But does it measure something having to do with some aspect of behavior or cognition? Almost certainly. And since all traits influenced by genetics are expected to differ across populations (because the frequencies of genetic variations are rarely exactly the same across populations), the genetic influences on behavior and cognition will differ across populations, too.

You will sometimes hear that any biological differences among populations are likely to be small, because humans have diverged too recently from common ancestors for substantial differences to have arisen under the pressure of natural selection. This is not true.


Wow, how can the NY Times publish such heresy? Sure, the author bows over and over to the intolerant PC orthodoxy that demands obedience, licking its boot if you will. But he also advocates for acknowledging the scientific fact of race. This is probably career-limiting. Brave guy.

Is this a crack in the wall of censorship at last? What next, acknowledging that there are only two genders? That men and women are genetically inclined to think differently from each other? That diversity has harmful effects on civic engagement? The truth will out.
1   HowdyThere   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 25, 7:42pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

Bah. Even if there is some evidence of genes on life outcomes, culture will outweigh it. Genetics are a rounding error while culture is decisive. This is opinion based on observation; no proof.
2   Shaman   ignore (2)   2018 Mar 25, 8:46pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I would agree that culture is most important to determine average success. Most people aren’t great minds or great athletes. Everyone else is more the same than different.
3   just_passing_through   ignore (8)   2018 Mar 25, 9:30pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

@Pat humans almost died out ~70K years ago. There were perhaps only a few thousand of us left. As a consequence of that as a species we're not very diverse (we're in-bred) vs. other animals. I think that's why the whole, 'race is a social construct', thing has been in print lately rather than a SJW conspiracy like the gender fluidity thing.

You can slice and dice us in many ways and yes, you'll find very small and minor genetic differences but not much. Culture I think has a much much bigger impact. All the races have a stupid : smart people spectrum.

Several years ago we only had several fully sequenced (read) genomes. Mostly Caucasians. The tech has exploded and is going exponential and soon we'll have a few million. Not long after that we'll cross the 1-billion mark. [Aside: when I took your advice to not buy a house I was working on a team which developed the new cheap DNA sequencing tech and I decided to sit on my shares which paid off handsomely by 2014] Along the way we're going to learn more and more about these differences in higher and higher resolution and yes, we're going to have to deal with the public's perception of all this. There are definitely things that impart a benefit for X,Y and Z across different groups of people but it isn't something to make a big deal about usually unless it's health related. At least not yet... So far they haven't found much other than averages in a species which is in-bred. Cultures can deal with that.

In a few generations we'll all be genetically engineering the hell out of our kids anyway. China's blown past us and have already edited an embryo, you know, just as a test to show it can be done before they killed it. That's what we should be talking about. Engineering IQ is coming fast buddy.
4   Patrick   ignore (1)   2018 Mar 25, 10:04pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

just_passing_through says
That's what we should be talking about. Engineering IQ is coming fast buddy.


That would be very interesting. Might solve a lot of problems. Or cause some.

Looks like the US has also edited an embryo now: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608350/first-human-embryos-edited-in-us/
5   just_passing_through   ignore (8)   2018 Mar 26, 10:12pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Patrick says
Looks like the US has also edited an embryo now


Wow, I had no idea, nice find... Yeah, I wonder if engineering high IQ results in psychotic side affects.

There's essentially two separate ethical threads. Somatic engineering, say the doc fixes your retina's defective enzyme but the changes are only to that small area. The other edits the germ line and is forever passed down from generation to generation.

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