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View Diary: Heritage study co-author wrote paper on 'substantially lower' IQ of Hispanic, other immigrants (194 comments)

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  •  It's partly biological. (1+ / 0-)
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    Calvino Partigiani


    Gaining a deep insight into human evolution, researchers have identified a mutation in a critical human gene as the source of several distinctive traits that make East Asians different from other races.

    The traits — thicker hair shafts, more sweat glands, characteristically identified teeth and smaller breasts — are the result of a gene mutation that occurred about 35,000 years ago, the researchers have concluded.

    The discovery explains a crucial juncture in the evolution of East Asians. But the method can also be applied to some 400 other sites on the human genome. The DNA changes at these sites, researchers believe, mark the turning points in recent human evolution as the populations on each continent diverged from one another.

    Now of course that's not about the brain. But if hair, sweat glands, breasts, and teeth can be affected by racially-disparate evolution, then most likely the brain can be, too.

    Whether the brain has or has not been affected by racially-disparate evolution remains to be seen.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed May 08, 2013 at 07:43:38 PM PDT

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    •  I read the NYT article. But the link to (0+ / 0-)

      the scientific article on which the NYT article is based only gave an abstract, not the full article.  In the abstract, at least, the word "race" is absent.  So the NYT article doesn't provide any evidence that race is a biologically meaningful concept.  

      I'd be interested if the study in question uses the concept of race, but the NYT link doesn't provide it.

      "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

      by Calvino Partigiani on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another example. (0+ / 0-)

        A common blood test to check kidney function is for serum creatinine. Serum creatinine is affected by muscle mass. The normal range for serum creatinine is different for African-Americans than for caucasians, because the average African-American body has a higher % of muscle mass than the average caucasian's. (The normal range is also different for men than for women, for the same reason.) This is easily confirmed via Google; here's just one link--scroll down to Table 1:

        Also worth looking at--dealing with creatine kinase, which is related to creatinine:

        Practical application: the % of professional athletes who are African-American exceeds the % of African-Americans in the general population. Perhaps this is due to cultural factors; Jim Crow and its many lingering cultural effects made and still make it more difficult for African-Americans to succeed in many non-sports professions. But it could also be partly due to the average African-American having a higher muscle mass than people of other races.

        Does this mean a coach considering drafting a running back should always pick the black one? Or should favor the black one, all other things being equal? No. The coach isn't considering average candidates; he's considering two individuals, each of whom varies from average characteristics in many important ways. The same principle applies to anyone hiring for any position--college professor, manager, CEO, President, whatever. And even if, someday, it's proven that races have different average IQs, the same principle will still be true: when we encounter an individual, we're not encountering an average. Each person should be judged on his or her own characteristics, not the (real or imagined) characteristics of the average member of his or her race.

        The pernicious idea that we should judge people based on real or imagined group characteristics, instead of individual characteristics, is the social construct of race.

        The fact that this social construct is unjustified--and it is indeed unjustified--does not mean that there is no biological aspect of race.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Thu May 09, 2013 at 09:14:01 AM PDT

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