« Day 19: Whistling in the dark | Main | Tell me why (I don't like Mondays) »

November 19, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Doug M.


Doug M.

Will Baird

Have you been reading too much Razib, AGAIN, Carlos?


Doug, it's great for *me*. I like the fact that a high school dropout Mud Person can beat their silly asses up and down their chosen court without even trying.

Never fear, I will treat my subjects with the respect they deserve.

Will, I don't read Razib. I think you can guess why. That's okay, by his standards I'm his superior.

Will Baird

I didn't think that you did, Carlos. For a while I did, but I got tired of the X or Y or Z being SUPERIOR tick. I have to admit though it was a recent feduppance though. I used to skip those posts (Google Reader is my friend), but they became dominant and I couldn't handle it no more.

I had to take my inferior pastiness and ball and went home. ;)


He's sort of the Quonster of human genetics, isn't he. "79% of Peninsulars have the Gly-124 allelic variant of UhlA, rendering them unfit for the True Society."

Andrew R.

Carlos, your one-liner on the issue of controversies that are controversies only on the internet and not even up for debate amongst folks who know what they're talking about tempted me for a brief moment to see what Wikipedia has to say on race and IQ. I resisted, but the urge is still there, threatening to de-rail an entire afternoon's work of research as I instead read talk pages full of uninformed ranting.

Must... Resist...

Will Baird

He's sort of the Quonster of human genetics, isn't he.

He's definitely getting "interesting" wrt to iq and genetics. Unfortunately, that "interesting" does lead down the dark path of Quonsterhood.

Bernard Guerrero

What ever happened to him, anyway?


Andrew, a worthwhile place to start is here: http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/520.html

The Dobzhansky summary of Heber's research that Shalizi quotes was replicated in person by Michael Oher, who I briefly posted about a few days ago. In addition to being a physical prodigy, the man's IQ shot up thirty points after joining his new family. And this was in his teens.

Bernard Guerrero

Quick question. In going through the Sloth's post, I come across the statement following statement: "Recall that it's h^2, not H^2, which predicts response to selection."

Doesn't this assume that there isn't any assortative mating in the population? It would hold true if the genes were randomly distributed per generation because the interactions in D would disappear, but does that hold true?

Anyway, back to reading.

Spike Gomes

Okay, if I may speak a minority opinion, this is kind of unfairly bashing Razib. The whole gleeful psychometrics thing is more the domain of a couple of his co-bloggers. He rarely, if ever, comments on IQ controversies anymore and if anything most of his posts are value-judgement free.

I'd reserve Quonsterhood for guys like Half Sigma and Steve Sailer.

I've actually come to believe the whole hbd spiel somewhat. Not all of it for sure, but it just can't be handwaved away. It took me a couple months to get out of the funk that realizing it wasn't complete BS put me into.


Bernard, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Let me see if I can break it down:

a) Random mating is not going to eliminate the variance from gene dominance and masking. If I remember correctly, it's already defined at a Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.

b) h^2, and not H^2, predicts response to selection because the unit of selection is the individual gene, and not the group, assuming Mendelian assortment.

c) Similarly, the effects of assortative mating -- treating it as selection based on genetic similarity or dissimilarity between two individuals -- are going to go through h^2, and not H^2.

Does this make sense?

Noel Maurer

Gentlemen, this has become way to inside baseball for me. At first I thought this was about the astoundingly stupid recent article in Slate. But apparently it isn't.

Astoundingly stupid article in Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2178122/entry/2178124

Astoundingly stupid quote from astoundingly stupid article: "If the tests aren't racist, some critics argue, then society is. That's true, in the sense that racism persists. But that alone can't account for the patterns in IQ scores. Why do blacks in the white-dominated United States score 15 points higher than blacks in black-dominated African countries, including countries that have been free of colonial rule for half a century? And why do Asian-Americans outscore white Americans?"

Even more astoundingly stupid quote, given as proof that adoption studies conclusively demonstrate a racially-based genetic link to intelligence: "Twelve of the half-black kids were mistakenly thought by their adoptive parents to be all-black. That made no difference. They scored as well as the other half-black kids."

No points for spotting the obvious problem here.

My conclusion: Saletan is an idiot who needs to be taken into a schoolyard and beaten up.

No, seriously, this is stuff from an Asberger's sufferer. Can he really be that stupid? Can I resist emailing him and telling him that he's that stupid?

Probably, yes. I've been in a bad mood lately. It's time to write another chapter and then go boxing.

With that out of my system (link here, Saletan, you f--k! Link here!), let's get back to my query.

Since y'all ain't responding to the astoundingly-stupid borderline-autistic ain't-never-seen-a-family-with-different-skin-colors-in-it Saletan, what the hell are y'all responding to?


Saletan is the second or third wave. That dimwit Sullivan at the Atlantic instigated the recent round. I'm just commenting in general.

This crap drives me nuts, not least because these people should worship me as a GOD if they believed what they were saying, if it weren't so transparently a ploy for them to dislike black people more.

No cup will save them.

Spike Gomes


www.gnxp.com and the assorted linkages off of it. I'm a sporadic commenter there. I might also note that Randy McDonald (hardly a biodeterminist by any definition) is listed a co-blogger.


Yes, and I've already told Randy what sort of people he's associated with.

Spike, you've been gulled, by people it's not even worth my time refuting. Sorry. I hope it doesn't put you into another two month funk.

Spike Gomes

Carlos, well you see, that's part of the problem there, i.e. the argument not being worth refuting. So often the question is dismissed out of hand, that I wasn't able to be convinced that there wasn't anything to what they were saying considering the paucity of analysis saying that the findings in general were flawed on all accounts.

By this, I mean that folks dug up writings from the 1970s-80s by kooks like Rushton to refute, not mentioning that the state of the question has moved or they reverted to building strawmen out of the the hbd argument (not too difficult to do, considering the odiousness of it to polite society and many of its adherents).

The Shalizi post is a good one, but it only addresses one aspect of what I'm concerned about, which goes across a fairly broad spectrum. Granted, I'm not convinced on all accounts, I think *a lot* of kookery eminates from the hbd camp, but I simply can't shake the feeling that they're on to something significant, which is a rather depressing prospect, by my book. Sometimes assholes can be right about something.

Time shall tell however.

Noel Maurer

WTF are you talking about? While I appreciate it, a link to long list of not-particularly-comprehensible posts that mostly link to other things is really not helping.

James Bodi

Bah, if I didn't kneel to my brother when he out-tested me, what chance have you got?

I thought this was about Saletan's mess today, too. But I'm not surprised to see there's more of 'em out there. Nor that the handwavery is the same as Rushton's. Nor that no-one can show gene expression one.


It's always been crystal to me: I'm superior, and everyone different from me is less perfect. Jeez. What could be a simpler theory than that?

Of course race is a determiner. I have a race, thus people different from me are worse, based on race.

Facial hair is also a determiner. I have it. Some don't -- again, to their detriment.

The list goes on. I don't see why there needs to be so much debate about it all. Purely wasted time.

Also, Carlos, should the time come when we bow down before our dark overlords like yourself, does it count that the tropical sun has made me tanner than my pastier relatives in the northern latitudes? You have to agree to ignore the farmer's tan, of course, and just look at my arms.

Randy McDonald

"Yes, and I've already told Randy what sort of people he's associated with."

For whatever it's worth, I haven't posted there for at least two years, and when I was posting there I was making posts which were fairly hostile towards silly and dangerous ideas like the race/IQ connection.

To your health --

Randy McDonald

One final note.

"www.gnxp.com and the assorted linkages off of it. I'm a sporadic commenter there. I might also note that Randy McDonald (hardly a biodeterminist by any definition) is listed a co-blogger."

Where am I listed as such? I've just gone to the front page and I'm not even listed on the blogroll.

Anyhow, E-mail is probably best for a follow-up on this.

Doug M.

Oh, for goodness' sake, Andrew Sullivan.

Yes, he's predictable. Yes, he's not too bright. Yes, despite his constant attempts to portray himself as a principled seeker after truth, he'll never change his mind about race and genetics, or Hillary, or half a dozen other idees tres tres fixees. At this point, when I see "race" or "genes" in a Sullivan post, my eye now bounces automatically.

He's still worth skimming for (1) a window into a particular sort of conservative mind, and (2) the occasional interesting link.

Doug M.


Doug, the guy is also a perfect vector for promoting nitwit ideas through a credulous population -- which, to use a Bujoldism, has demonstrably happened. Again.

The tension between his wingnut id and his somewhat more principled superego is interesting to watch. (At least for me, but I have notoriously tacky tastes.) I don't know why this makes him more *believable*. Something to do with the conversion narrative, I suppose: he STRUGGLES with his IDEAS! People, it's because he's not the brightest bulb on the tree. I see people STRUGGLING with MATH all the time, but I don't ask them to do my taxes.


Randy, is there something to go to email about? If you want my take -- God knows why -- you made your decision, you regretted it, and you did the right thing. It was a minor Internet misalliance.

Andrew R.

Carlos, I wasn't looking for links on the actual science--my morbid fascination is with the debaters who tackle things that are so not an issue to people who know what they're talking about. It's the reason that I am fascinated by creationists and people who believe that trying to edit the Bible reflects a pernicious lack of trust in God to give Erasmus the power to make the world's only infallible edition of the New Testament. It's fascinating for its Bizarro-world quality.

Bernard Guerrero

"It's always been crystal to me: I'm superior, and everyone different from me is less perfect. Jeez. What could be a simpler theory than that?"

That's the way I've always seen it. I agree with your outlook, apart from your minor error in not acknowledging _me_ as the "I'm" in the above sentence. But that can always be corrected. Carry on....

Will Baird

re Creationists:

"It's fascinating for its Bizarro-world quality."

ah, those wacky guys. Actually, truthfully, I find them abhorrent and boring. The attention they get from science bloggers is often irritating: I want science out places like scienceblogs.com! Mostly its a ranting morass. *sighs*

Oh, my favorite reply to Literalists? Why are you all clamoring to get *MATH* texts changed? After all, according to the Bible pi is 3.

Randy McDonald

"Randy, is there something to go to email about? If you want my take -- God knows why -- you made your decision, you regretted it, and you did the right thing. It was a minor Internet misalliance."

My apologies for my lack of clarity. I was thinking of Spike Gomes--I'll chat with him later.

Martin Wisse

Good to know I'm not the only one who holds gnxp.com in contempt.

The comments to this entry are closed.