White supremacy/Talk

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Could you all please read http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/wsj_main.html ? Thanks. --Taw

We need to add more info on this - but also to keep in mind that verifying (or not verifying) one particular claim does not suddenly mean that everything White Supremacists say is true. (In fact, they are obviously not correct. The best lies are the ones made with 10% truth, and 90% innuendo and misdirection.) RK

This is science and there's no such thing as "obviously not correct". --Taw

There is virtually no evidence to support the vast majority of their claims.

One of their most important claim (that whites are more inteligent than blacks) is quite well documented. What are their other, undocumented claims ? --Taw
Their other claims are that blacks are inferior on every level to whites; their literature makes this very, very clear, and it just isn't supportable scientifically. Its also racist. The way that they talk about black people is pretty much the way that we would talk about homo neandrathalis. RK

TAW: You're kidding, right? -HWR
What makes you think that I'm kidding ? Average IQ of black inhabitants of US is lower than average IQ of white inhabitants of US. Comparisions of blacks and whites of the same economic status and of the same level of education confirm this result. --Taw
But there is no genetic basis for this difference, which is what is implied in the article. Conclusions about this usually centre on lack of motivation etc... by black people. -- sodium

In response to Taw - Why is there such an IQ gap? Is it because black people are genetically inferior in all respects? No. Is it because black people are genetically inferior in regards to the kind of intellgence measured on IQ tests (and it does measure something, obviously)? Possibly. But there are many other interpretations; while it isn't politically correct to talk about this, a massive amount of this IQ gap may be due to self-induced physiological damage. Women who drink, smoke and do drugs while pregnant have children with measurable brain damage (e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome; crack babies). An enormous amount of inner city youth really do have low IQ, and it really is physiological. But the cause is the actions of the parent. The parents, as far as I am concerned, are the real racists here. People in the KKK only say bad things about black people; it is teenage black women who take drugs and get pregnant who end up causing neural damage to black children. Who's the real anti-black racist here? The person who sits in his RV in Nevada writing slime on the Internet, or the mother in New York City pushing toxic chemicals into the brain of her unborn baby? I suspect that if the social problems were solved, then the IQ gap would go away. RK
TAW: What are your definitions of "black" and "white"? And how do you think IQ test scores relate to intelligence? And what do you think is the significance of comparative averages? And even if your claim is true, what makes you think the cause is race, rather than racism? -HWR

This may be an interesting debate. I read the arguments in the 'White supremacy' article, and starting reading some other on the web. Then an idea struck me. Also, please understand that I really don't have any strong opinions on this, as this really isn't my field. My train of thougs was this; Some claim that african-americans are less intelligent than others.
Well, if such a claim is true, what can the reason be?

Then something struck me. Of course, I can't back this up, and I've never read about it. So its just a wild theory I came up with while cooking dinner. :) Some people claim that intelligence is partly inherited. Now, when we remember how black people came to the US, they came as slaves.

Now, think.. "Thinkers are troublemakers". The slaveholders of course would not want troublemakers, and thus.. well, made sure they didn't last long. (I can't back his up, its wild speculations from me :-). If this happens for a few generations AND intelligence is inherited, one should not be surprised if the average drops. Again, this is not based on anything, just wild speculations I came up with while cooking, as a train of thought after reading the thread. :) --arcade

This is not at all my at all field either but it seems very unlikely. First there is *no* respected evidence to suggest that blacks are of lower intelligence. The IQ test was stripped of all credibility as an accurate measure many years ago.

I disagree. It does have some predictative power. RK
Not really. Only when testing people of very similar backgrounds (eg differences in identical twins). It doesn't measure the 'knowledge independant' intelligence that it claims to, although it may measure something it isn't necessarily intelligence. -- sodium

In your scenario there is no reason that 'thinkers' should be regarded as making more trouble than anybody else. Conversely, people with violent tendancies would be more likely to be picked on. Also this selection even over hundreds of years is unlikely to have any difference on the overall population. Finally the difference between races genomes are practically non-existant, and no respectable scientist would suggest that these would make any difference to intelligence. -- sodium

True, but I would argue not really relevant. The total number of genetic differences between races is small, but all you need is a change in one or two genes to convert a normal person into a delta-minus troll. Its not the number of genetic differences that count...its the specific genes that a group tends to carry. My entire, extended family happens to carry genes that protect against cancer. No one in my extended family ever had cancer. Even the smokers. God willing, none of us ever will get cancer. (Of course, I could slip on a banana peel tomorrow and die, but I think you get my point.) The genetic protection that my family enjoys is probably only due to two or three highly desirable gene variations. But its enough! Similarly, some ethnic groups may carry genes for, on average, higher or lower intelligence. But there are so many other factors that are involved in this, I cannot understand how people are so sure that they know that the IQ differences are genetic. RK
But intelligence doesn't just result from one or two genes, it is likely to come from thousands, most working indirectly. The difference between different races would have to be *massive* to have any effect.
In the case of disease-causing mutations, specific crippled genes cause vital proteins to be defective. There is no 'intelligence protein' so there is no single gene you could knock in a whole race to lower the intelligence. -- sodium
Not true. Phenylketonuria causes much worse IQ problems and that's a SINGLE gene. There's no reason why bunch of genes couldn't be responsible for racial IQ gap. --Taw
It is not an 'intelligence protein', it just causes *detriment* in intelligence in an otherwise normal person, as do many genetic disorders (eg Downs). There are plenty of genes which are known to result in such problems, but they are not shared by entire races. -- sodium
There can never be an 'intelligence protein', because intelligence is the result of so many genes. If you drasticly cut out one protein inevitably among other effects there will be lower intelligence. But within races there is a great deal of genetic difference, and there wouldn't exist one defective single gene shared by all. -- sodium
From the discussion, it seems to me that noone here really believes that intelligence is inherited. If it _is_ inherited, then its fully possible that one 'race' is generally less intelligent than another.-- arcade
This is not the case. There is lots of evidence to suggest that evidence (and personality etc...) *is* inherited. My case is simply that the genetic difference between a race and another race is not significant in terms of intelligence, because so many factors influence it. -- sodium

Shouldn't this discussion be moved out of this Talk entry, and with revision, into the main entry on race? RK

The 3 final paragraphs are on "The Bell Curve" and as such belong on another page, with a reference from here. Ed Poor

I simply knew somebody won't care to read http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/wsj_main.html !

I have read this page, long before you even mentioned it. I found it enlightening and worthwhile reading. It provided a good balance to "The Mismeasurement of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould. Others may have read it as well. RK

I'm not going to enter into this debate, but I did want to point out that we can and should make a sharp distinction between the _is_ and the _ought_ here. Whatever the situation with intelligence _is_, it is not clear to me that any particular policy prescriptions _ought_ to follow from it. Certainly, determining that one group of people has a lower IQ on average is not sufficient justification for them to enjoy any different legal status, or to put it more philosophically, not sufficient justification for the violation of their natural rights as humans. If I'm right, and if most people agree about this (?) then the level of controversy on the IQ issue can be reduced. Nothing much follows from it, either way. -Jimbo Wales

These findings, if true, only discuss averages among populations. They say absolutely nothing about the intelligence and/or worth of any given individual. Further, the association found between IQ and race in "The Bell Curve" is pretty weak. (The authors seem to be correct, but they only fully explain how weak the link is in the appendix, and not in the main text.) As the authors of "the Bell Curve" explicitly state, racism is stupid. No one hires (or becomes friends with) a population of millions of whites, or millions of blacks, or millions of Jews. People hire, or become friends with, individuals, and we must make our judgement of them based on their own personal qualities - not on the average qualities of people they are distantly related to! RK

I moved the Bell curve debate info to the Racism article, as it is largely irrelevant to the claims of white supremacists. -HWR