Are Genes Determinative?

Author’s Note: There is some bad language in this clip. To see how it ties into the overall topic of the piece, watch it to the end.

A fascinating conversation about genes and biological evolution was had recently on Late Night at Ratburger. I do not profess to have any real knowledge of this subject. I have exposed myself to it only on the fringes, meaning that I understand it as a means of explaining how it is that humans can have an innate fear of snakes or lions. I think the topic plays a relatively basic role in Charles Murray’s Bell Curve in that there seems to be some evidence that I.Q. can be linked to inheritable traits within the different races and ethnicities. (This hypothesis is what got Murray in trouble with his book.) Many who are much more conversant on this topic than I will tell you that there is more than just “something to this” idea, and on many levels I have to say that they make a strong case. I guess, if I had to identify one flaw in the topic, it would be that relegating the human experience to nothing more than an uncontrollable product of gene conditioning over the course of however many centuries appears to strip away one of the key elements of mankind: free will.

I suspect that many of the proponents of the bio-evolution theory will vehemently disagree with explanations of this or that, and say that I am wrong simply because, as I stated, I am rather ignorant of the topic. And that may be, but one cannot help but reach that conclusion when listening to how this topic is explained. For instance, one simple explanation for how a society can go from barbaric to civilized is that the genes of the barbaric adherents are killed off because of social mores adopted by the civilizing portion of the population. The theory seems to say that the barbarians’ genetically imposed tendency toward violence is killed off leaving only the lesser violent/peaceful genes in the population to reproduce. It is plausible enough, but would said theory cut the other way: that prior to this critical mass of civilized people being able to control that society such that it can weed out the violently disposed members, that, in fact, the violently disposed members would have already weeded out those more genetically inclined to become civilized?

As stated before, I am not a scientist. I have no compulsion to read about science in my free time or follow this or that scientific breakthrough. That is not to say that I do not read anything scientific, it is just not the topic of the books you will find on my nightstand next to my side of the bed. That said, I do understand one thing about science and this is that in most circumstances–I say most, not all–things do not happen without some sort of catalyst. A society cannot go from violent barbarism to peaceful and civilized without some outside force, whether that be a process over generations or overnight. Evolution does not work that way. My understanding is that there is some process between Point A and Point B. If you are inclined to believe that man evolved from the Great Apes, you must understand that this process did not go from The Ape to man as we see it today overnight.

However, that process did not just begin either–I do not think anyway. It would seem to me that evolution is closely tied to adaptation, which means that there must be something in the immediate environment causing the existing thing to need to change something in order to thrive in that new environment. So where it becomes more efficient for a creature to move up-right on two feet as opposed to having to use its arms along with its legs for propulsion, that change had to have been caused by something outside the genetic make-up of the creature, otherwise why change? If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it? Which brings me to why I have some issue with the notion of biological evolution (or whatever it is called). If the changes that occur are dependent on outside catalysts, then the decision must be made by the changing organism to adapt to that catalyst and thus free will.

In a physical sense, it would appear to be quite simple really. There is not much free will involved when you are talking about adapting to situations in order to procure food because the impulse here is the need to eat. So if it becomes easier for a creature to reach a fruit off of a tree branch by standing up-right and there is no easier way to either gather food or reach the fruit, the act of standing up-right no longer becomes about choice so much so as it just imprints genetically and the evolved creature no longer has to think about standing up-right. But when bio-evolution is used to explain things like emotions, I.Q., or societal norms, the theory, in my opinion, treads on shaky ground.

The example given on the LaRaMU call was that of the Germanic tribes. Barbaric? No doubt. Eventually civilized? Without going down the path of defining “civilized,” let’s just stipulate that, yes, the peoples of today who are descendants of the Germanic tribes are civilized. Was that the product of genetics? I do not know for sure, but I will pose this: the change from barbarism to civilized did not just happen. Something has to have been the cause of the change or else why change? I suppose one can come up with all sorts of examples of things “just changing,” but I think the fallacy there would be to use physical changes “just changing” as a substitute for emotional and intellectual changes “just changing.” Can physical objects simply change without some outside force? I suppose they can, and I am willing to accept such a notion when presented with examples–and I am sure the proponents will bring them. But I do not think that non-physical traits of mankind can be explained in the same way because I just do not believe that mankind works that way. The idea seems too fanciful and as much a product of faith as any religious explanation for what I am talking about.

Going back to the barbarism-to-civilized example, if genetic imprints exist making members of that society more inclined to violence, and one cannot change genetics–as it seems to have been stated on the phone call–then how did that society become civilized? Are genetics determinative? For some things, certainly physical attributes, sure, but for that more difficult level of humanity, the psyche? I just do not know and I lean toward no. People can be persuaded. People can be self-educated. Revelation comes to everyone and that revelation can have a profound impact on the future course of the person affected. Or is that just a product of the genetic make-up of the person being susceptible to revelatory events completely changing their lives? In my estimation, the desire to distill the human condition to some unchangeable, scientific explanation that locks mankind into an unbreakable cage denies mankind its humanity. What makes us human is our ability to use our physical as well as our psychological abilities in ways that no other creature can. And to explain away our ability to think, feel, love, hate, mourn, celebrate, etc., to being nothing more than a pre-programmed response based on genetics turns us into robots incapable of changing how we see and interact in the world around us.

Theologically, I fully accept the idea of predestination. As I understand it, predestination is simply God’s plan for each and everyone of us. But to me that makes sense because God–at least the Christian God–is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He is the Alpha and the Omega. We are told that He knows the beginning and the end, and that is the important part to predestination in my view. For how can He be all those things and NOT know how things will end for each and everyone of us? It seems that science, in some respects, is claiming to have the same ability, that one can look at my family tree and make determinations about my political views, religious views, job choice, personal wants, who I seek out as friends, etc. I think ancestry is important for one to know because on some level it is important to know from where one comes. But it is not determinative. One of my relatives, a Scotsman, put down an insurrection against the British Crown in Ireland. It was that campaign that brought the McReynolds family to Ireland because he fell in love with the Irish landscape. But anyone who knows me would tell you that my ancestor’s adherence to an oppressive authority such as the British Crown against the Irish seems to have been genetically washed out of me. I have no love for the British Crown, tyrannical authorities, or putting down just revolts. Maybe that is putting a very simplistic spin on things, but each and everyone of us is an individual and, although our physical characteristics certainly are determined by genes, genetics cannot explain those non-physical traits that make us human.

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114 thoughts on “Are Genes Determinative?”

  1. Robert A. McReynolds:

    Henry Castaigne:
    @Robert A Reynolds

    According to an article in psychology today the ASVAB is quite similar to an I.Q. test.

    All military recruits must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to qualify for enlistment. The ASVAB is essentially an IQ test (correlation = 0.8). The ASVAB predicts SAT scores (correlation = .82). And it correlates with ACT scores (0.77).

    Furthermore, the military recruits tend to do a better on an ASVAB test. I can’t find that darn study of black soldiers. I’m not sure if it was during WWII or the Cold War.

    Well if this is the case IQ tests must be easy. As I said I did very well and I would not consider myself a genius.

    Therapists rarely have a low I.Q.

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  2. Robert A. McReynolds:

    drlorentz:

    John Walker:
    There was an explosion in the overall crime rate starting in the 1960s, but the racial disparity in crime rate existed before that.

    Nothin’ like data to dispel anecdotes and mythology.

    So are you going to just discount the link I provided of Williams discussing this? I guess only one set of data points is worthy examination.

    OK, I finally got a chance to read the linked article. Data points? What data points? It’s anecdotal. What’s the evidence that high black criminality is recent? Here ya go:

    Today’s level of lawlessness and insecurity in many black communities is a relatively new phenomenon. In the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, people didn’t bar their windows. Doors were often left unlocked. People didn’t go to bed with the sounds of gunshots.

    That’s it folks. I didn’t see bars on windows therefore the crime rate was lower back then. Contrast this with hard data from the FBI crime stats posted by John. All crime was lower back then, btw. The subject under discussion was the comparison of relative crime rates among the various sub-populations. Overall crimminality rises and falls for other reasons. A sureveillance state has a low crime rate (except among officials) because crime is more difficult for everyone. A state with lax enforcement will find a higher crime rate among all groups.

    I stand by, and repeat, my previous comment: Nothin’ like data to dispel anecdotes and mythology.

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  3. Henry Castaigne:
    I am familiar with Sowell and his dismissal of I.Q. differences between races. It’s one of the very few things that I disagree with him about.

    Sowell is a blank-slater. It is most disappointing coming from a guy as smart as that. He is emotionally invested in the equality mythos. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity: DIE.

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  4. Henry Castaigne:

    Mate De can you describe to me my own viewpoint. I am worried that you aren’t hearing what I am saying. If you could describe what you think I believe than I might be better be able to understand where the miscommunication is happening. I am pretty sure that we can do better than the BBC.

    Sorry it took so long for me to comment. I don’t understand the point of genetic determinism or even the IQ thing. A high IQ doesn’t necessarily translate into a good society. The Chinese are supposed to have a high average IQ and they have a brutal oppressive society.

    My question for you would be what is the end game? What does Henry think would be the ideal society? How is knowing that certain groups have certain average IQ’s help to build that ideal society?

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  5. drlorentz:

    Henry Castaigne:
    I am familiar with Sowell and his dismissal of I.Q. differences between races. It’s one of the very few things that I disagree with him about.

    Sowell is a blank-slater. It is most disappointing coming from a guy as smart as that. He is emotionally invested in the equality mythos. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity: DIE.

    I don’t think Sowell is a blank-slater. Can you support that with evidence?

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  6. There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy. The differences that affect lives within any cultural society are found within the individuals.

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  7. Bob Thompson:

    drlorentz:

    Henry Castaigne:
    I am familiar with Sowell and his dismissal of I.Q. differences between races. It’s one of the very few things that I disagree with him about.

    Sowell is a blank-slater. It is most disappointing coming from a guy as smart as that. He is emotionally invested in the equality mythos. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity: DIE.

    I don’t think Sowell is a blank-slater. Can you support that with evidence?

    The article cited above is one example.

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  8. Bob Thompson:
    There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy. The differences that affect lives within any cultural society are found within the individuals.

    Affirmative action is public policy. Disparate impact is public policy. In general, the expectation of equal outcomes informs public policy in countless ways. Have you read The Bell Curve? It’s a whole book about social and public policy. In the nearly thirty years since it was published, it’s only gotten worse.

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  9. Mate De:

    Henry Castaigne:

    Mate De can you describe to me my own viewpoint. I am worried that you aren’t hearing what I am saying. If you could describe what you think I believe than I might be better be able to understand where the miscommunication is happening. I am pretty sure that we can do better than the BBC.

    Sorry it took so long for me to comment. I don’t understand the point of genetic determinism or even the IQ thing. A high IQ doesn’t necessarily translate into a good society. The Chinese are supposed to have a high average IQ and they have a brutal oppressive society.

    My question for you would be what is the end game? What does Henry think would be the ideal society? How is knowing that certain groups have certain average IQ’s help to build that ideal society?

    I interrupt the regularly scheduled argument to note that, snark aside, this response is entirely unresponsive to Henry’s request. There was no attempt to describe what he thinks in service of clarifying the points of disagreement. Instead, it’s a bunch of Cathy-Newman-esque style assertions and questions underpinned by assumptions without basis in Henry’s comments.

    I now return you to the regular talking-past-each-other.

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  10. drlorentz:

    Bob Thompson:
    There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy. The differences that affect lives within any cultural society are found within the individuals.

    Affirmative action is public policy. Disparate impact is public policy. In general, the expectation of equal outcomes informs public policy in countless ways. Have you read The Bell Curve? It’s a whole book about social and public policy. In the nearly thirty years since it was published, it’s only gotten worse.

    I didn’t say it hadn’t, I said there was no reason it should. Conclusions about disparate impact are based on grouping individual performance by race, ethnicity, or other factors usually not even relevant to the situation in which the disparate impact is being applied as the decision factor. That’s not reasonable social or political policy in a system that values individual freedom and performance.

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  11. drlorentz:

    Mate De:

    Henry Castaigne:

    Mate De can you describe to me my own viewpoint. I am worried that you aren’t hearing what I am saying. If you could describe what you think I believe than I might be better be able to understand where the miscommunication is happening. I am pretty sure that we can do better than the BBC.

    Sorry it took so long for me to comment. I don’t understand the point of genetic determinism or even the IQ thing. A high IQ doesn’t necessarily translate into a good society. The Chinese are supposed to have a high average IQ and they have a brutal oppressive society.

    My question for you would be what is the end game? What does Henry think would be the ideal society? How is knowing that certain groups have certain average IQ’s help to build that ideal society?

    I interrupt the regularly scheduled argument to note that, snark aside, this response is entirely unresponsive to Henry’s request. There was no attempt to describe what he thinks in service of clarifying the points of disagreement. Instead, it’s a bunch of Cathy-Newman-esque style assertions and questions underpinned by assumptions without basis in Henry’s comments.

    I now return you to the regular talking-past-each-other.

    That is because I don’t know what his argument entirely is. Shouldn’t he give me his argument first, rather than give me a homework assignment  to put together what I think his argument is. I got stuff to do, and I ‘m really not that smart.

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  12. drlorentz:

    Bob Thompson:

    drlorentz:

    Henry Castaigne:
    I am familiar with Sowell and his dismissal of I.Q. differences between races. It’s one of the very few things that I disagree with him about.

    Sowell is a blank-slater. It is most disappointing coming from a guy as smart as that. He is emotionally invested in the equality mythos. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity: DIE.

    I don’t think Sowell is a blank-slater. Can you support that with evidence?

    The article cited above is one example.

    What article?  I’ve read ‘The Bell Curve’, ‘The Blank Slate’, ‘A Conflict of Visions’, and ‘The Vision of the Anointed’.

    Somehow I missed seeing that Sowell was a blank-slater. A view that there is no difference in average IQ among racial or ethnic groups would not make him a blank-slater.

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  13. Bob Thompson:

    drlorentz:

    Bob Thompson:
    There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy. The differences that affect lives within any cultural society are found within the individuals.

    Affirmative action is public policy. Disparate impact is public policy. In general, the expectation of equal outcomes informs public policy in countless ways. Have you read The Bell Curve? It’s a whole book about social and public policy. In the nearly thirty years since it was published, it’s only gotten worse.

    I didn’t say it hadn’t, I said there was no reason it should. Conclusions about disparate impact are based on grouping individual performance by race, ethnicity, or other factors usually not even relevant to the situation in which the disparate impact is being applied as the decision factor. That’s not reasonable social or political policy in a system that values individual freedom and performance.

    Since we agree that IQ differences have, indeed, influenced public policy via their denial, we should also agree that it is important to acknowledge their reality. Disparate impact and AA are based on the presumption that such differences do not exist. Those who wonder* why IQ, and group differences in general, should even be discussed fail to see that the entire justification of much public policy is based on the blank-slate model.

    And I can’t emphasize this enough: it’s not just about IQ. A host of behavioral traits are partly (not 100%, not determinative) heritable, which means one should expect disparate outcomes. If one “values individual freedom and performance,” it is essential to acknowledge that inherent differences exist.

    *Not saying you’re one of them.

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  14. Bob Thompson:

    drlorentz:

    Bob Thompson:

    drlorentz:

    Henry Castaigne:
    I am familiar with Sowell and his dismissal of I.Q. differences between races. It’s one of the very few things that I disagree with him about.

    Sowell is a blank-slater. It is most disappointing coming from a guy as smart as that. He is emotionally invested in the equality mythos. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity: DIE.

    I don’t think Sowell is a blank-slater. Can you support that with evidence?

    The article cited above is one example.

    What article?  I’ve read ‘The Bell Curve’, ‘The Blank Slate’, ‘A Conflict of Visions’, and ‘The Vision of the Anointed’.

    Somehow I missed seeing that Sowell was a blank-slater. A view that there is no difference in average IQ among racial or ethnic groups would not make him a blank-slater.

    The one and only article by Tom Sowell linked in this thread. The article that resulted in my commenting that Sowell is a blank-slater, though there’s plenty of other evidence in his writings and interviews.

    Denying empirically-established group differences (not just IQ) is the very definition of blank-slate thinking.

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  15. drlorentz:
    Since we agree that IQ differences have, indeed, influenced public policy via their denial, we should also agree that it is important to acknowledge their reality. Disparate impact and AA are based on the presumption that such differences do not exist. Those who wonder* why IQ, and group differences in general, should even be discussed fail to see that the entire justification of much public policy is based on the blank-slate model. And I can’t emphasize this enough: it’s not just about IQ. A host of behavioral traits are partly (not 100%, not determinative) heritable, which means one should expect disparate outcomes. If one “values individual freedom and performance,” it is essential to acknowledge that inherent differences exist.

    I think we are in agreement. I don’t think group IQ differences should be a part of public policy considerations. I do believe the group IQ differences exist. I do believe that group social environment can cause or exacerbate disparate  impact and that there could be a reasonable public policy of affirmative action to open opportunities that may not exist otherwise for those individuals within those groups who are equal in capability to the existing performers. No reason to believe this would somehow change the factors needed to succeed. This is not the way in which Affirmative Action has been implemented within our employment and educational environments. Those programs have fostered the inclusion of lower performing individuals just to get numerical parity.

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  16. Bob Thompson:
    There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy.

    Here’s an example of one pretty large potential influence of group IQ on political policy.  There is little or no evidence that sustained consensual self-government is possible in countries where the mean IQ is less than 90.  (Here is a table of IQ by countries which you can sort in various ways by clicking the column headings.  Lynn and Vanhanen’s table lists more countries, but includes estimates for countries where hard data are unavailable and is thus more controversial.)

    The only outlier I see in this table is India, and that first assumes you consider India to have sustained consensual self-government (the history has been rocky) and also discount the detail that India is largely ruled by an urban upper class who are much more intelligent than the rural poor who outnumber them by a wide margin.

    Now, if you consider this plausible (which I do), it should inform foreign policy in a major way.  For example, trying to implant Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq (IQ 87) or Afghanistan (IQ 80), was foredoomed to failure, while realism would recommend a different course.

    Note that IQ of 90 or above appears to be a necessary condition for consensual democracy, but is not sufficient.  There are many countries, notably Russia, China, and North Korea, with IQ well above this figure which are tyrannies of different varieties.

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  17. Bob Thompson:
    I do believe that group social environment can cause or exacerbate disparate  impact and that there could be a reasonable public policy of affirmative action to open opportunities that may not exist otherwise for those individuals within those groups who are equal in capability to the existing performers. No reason to believe this would somehow change the factors needed to succeed.

    The Great Society is over 50 years old. A half-century of well-intentioned interventions have only made things worse. Tom Sowell agrees with me on this point. Somehow there’s some yet-to-be-discovered policies that will do some good? And we are going to trust the government and the courts to devise and implement them? If you want to practice the right kind of affirmative action in your own business and your own life, that’s great; have at it. I’m a strong believer in free association.

    This is not the way in which Affirmative Action has been implemented within our employment and educational environments. Those programs have fostered the inclusion of lower performing individuals just to get numerical parity.

    This reminds me of “true communism didn’t fail, it’s never been tried.” If you have any respect for empirical data, you must take it into account when pronouncing on future policy. Suggesting a variant of a policy that’s been tried in many incarnations has a high proof burden associated with it.

    It’s possible that there is some form of communism doesn’t lead to mass murder but we’ve yet to see such a case in spite of numerous attempts. Anyone who wants to convince me of the merits of a new version of communism has his work cut out. The same applies to other social/political arrangements.

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  18. John Walker:

    Bob Thompson:
    There may be average IQ differences between ethnic groups but I have not seen any evidence that indicates that has any inherent significance that should influence social or political policy.

    Here’s an example of one pretty large potential influence of group IQ on political policy.  There is little or no evidence that sustained consensual self-government is possible in countries where the mean IQ is less than 90.  (Here is a table of IQ by countries which you can sort in various ways by clicking the column headings.  Lynn and Vanhanen’s table lists more countries, but includes estimates for countries where hard data are unavailable and is thus more controversial.)

    The only outlier I see in this table is India, and that first assumes you consider India to have sustained consensual self-government (the history has been rocky) and also discount the detail that India is largely ruled by an urban upper class who are much more intelligent than the rural poor who outnumber them by a wide margin.

    Now, if you consider this plausible (which I do), it should inform foreign policy in a major way.  For example, trying to implant Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq (IQ 87) or Afghanistan (IQ 80), was foredoomed to failure, while realism would recommend a different course.

    Note that IQ of 90 or above appears to be a necessary condition for consensual democracy, but is not sufficient.  There are many countries, notably Russia, China, and North Korea, with IQ well above this figure which are tyrannies of different varieties.

    Feelings don’t care about your facts.™

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  19. John Walker:
    The only outlier I see in this table is India

    My understanding is that India has a variegated population. It’s possible that the distribution function is bi- or multi-modal, which would still allow for a smart fraction that makes self-governance possible. Not to say that one outlier is not allowed.

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  20. John Walker:
    For example, trying to implant Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq (IQ 87) or Afghanistan (IQ 80), was foredoomed to failure, while realism would recommend a different course.

    My comments on this thread should be taken as referencing only US social and political policies. I don’t support our foreign policy including implanting Jeffersonian democracy in other countries. We’re barely hanging on.

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  21. Bob Thompson:

    John Walker:
    For example, trying to implant Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq (IQ 87) or Afghanistan (IQ 80), was foredoomed to failure, while realism would recommend a different course.

    My comments on this thread should be taken as referencing only US social and political policies. I don’t support our foreign policy including implanting Jeffersonian democracy in other countries. We’re barely hanging on.

    The US population is not uniformly distributed vis a vis the traits under discussion. Geographical locations have a differing demographic mixes: Baltimore is not like Boise. The quality of governance differs within the US.  Derb was defenestrated for noticing such things (cf. item #10).

    The reasoning that applies to foreign policy also applies domestically.

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  22. Bob Thompson:

    John Walker:
    For example, trying to implant Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq (IQ 87) or Afghanistan (IQ 80), was foredoomed to failure, while realism would recommend a different course.

    My comments on this thread should be taken as referencing only US social and political policies. I don’t support our foreign policy including implanting Jeffersonian democracy in other countries. We’re barely hanging on.

    No one is accusing you of being a Neo Con.

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  23. drlorentz:
    The US population is not uniformly distributed vis a vis the traits under discussion. Geographical locations have a differing demographic mixes: Baltimore is not like Boise. The quality of governance differs within the US.  Derb was defenestrated for noticing such things (cf. item #10). The reasoning that applies to foreign policy also applies domestically.

    I like John Derbyshire and find no problem with his talk as a family matter. All my comments here in which I maintain group genetics should not play a role apply to public policy and the treatment of individuals by the government in the United States. I do accept that there are statistical differences among ethnic groups but I have no clue how one could apply statistical group genetic findings regarding specific traits to individuals in the application of law in the U.S.  And I acknowledge that we already make errors in governance through misapplying or a lack of understanding of available information. There is a real difference between what government can do and what can be done within the family.

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  24. Bob Thompson:
    I do accept that there are statistical differences among ethnic groups but I have no clue how one could apply statistical group genetic findings regarding specific traits to individuals in the application of law in the U.S.

    As has already been explained at length, the blank slate has policy implications. The statistical group genetic findings can be applied to undermine those misguided, counterproductive policies. That is the application of those hate facts: to inform policy instead of using the blank slate, the default setting for all decisions from disparate impact to AA.

    In short, policy should be informed by reality. Genetic differences are real. Therefore, they should be used to guide policy. As long as lies are being used to guide policy, it will be bad policy. Asserting that these hate facts have no place in public policy, or not being able to see that they have the place as outlined above, simply enables the continuation of failed and harmful policy.

    Bob Thompson:
    There is a real difference between what government can do and what can be done within the family.

    Like it or not, the government is involved, at least via the courts. Consider this: if the premise is that unequal outcomes are not inherent, then the courts are right to attempt to remediate the inequality by measures such as AA. On the other hand, if unequal outcomes (in the aggregate) are expected, the courts can butt out and leave everyone alone to enjoy freedom of association.

    The narratives of systemic racism and sexism are built upon the foundation of denial of differences. Once the blank slate foundation is gone, the systemic X-isms fall down. Do you still think there is no useful application of “statistical group genetic findings”?

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  25. drlorentz:

    Bob Thompson:
    I do accept that there are statistical differences among ethnic groups but I have no clue how one could apply statistical group genetic findings regarding specific traits to individuals in the application of law in the U.S.

    As has already been explained at length, the blank slate has policy implications. The statistical group genetic findings can be applied to undermine those misguided, counterproductive policies. That is the application of those hate facts: to inform policy instead of using the blank slate, the default setting for all decisions from disparate impact to AA.

    In short, policy should be informed by reality. Genetic differences are real. Therefore, they should be used to guide policy. As long as lies are being used to guide policy, it will be bad policy. Asserting that these hate facts have no place in public policy, or not being able to see that they have the place as outlined above, simply enables the continuation of failed and harmful policy.

    Bob Thompson:
    There is a real difference between what government can do and what can be done within the family.

    Like it or not, the government is involved, at least via the courts. Consider this: if the premise is that unequal outcomes are not inherent, then the courts are right to attempt to remediate the inequality by measures such as AA. On the other hand, if unequal outcomes (in the aggregate) are expected, the courts can butt out and leave everyone alone to enjoy freedom of association.

    The narratives of systemic racism and sexism are built upon the foundation of denial of differences. Once the blank slate foundation is gone, the systemic X-isms fall down. Do you still think there is no useful application of “statistical group genetic findings”?

    I think you and I are seeing the same thing but each with a different perspective on how to address it. I view the U. S. Constitution, properly interpreted, as not permitting law to be applied differently to individuals from different identified groupings regardless of any findings labeled disparate impact. No need to use those ‘statistical group genetic findings’ for government policy if we got that right. Nothing prevents private sector organizations, using the statistical knowledge, from seeking solutions to the effects of disparate impact. So we have it wrong. Somehow, you think the exposure and delivery of the statistics will remedy that. Good luck with that convincing those ‘rabbits’. They want everything leveled and they been doing pretty good with getting the government to ignore the Constitution. I’ll just continue to work getting the Constitution working right. Then I’ll meet my maker.

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