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Racism or Correlations of Race with IQ / Physical Attributes

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The Wrath
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It maybe both, or none of those reasons. Reasons for over or under representation in a population can be complex and must be proven to be the cause for another observable trend.

All true, but knowing the biological factors enables us to narrow down what these reasons may be. If there were far more female mathematicians than male, this would tell us something very significant because it is not to be expected from biology alone.

Even if you do find such a correlation on a population level - this tells you absolutely nothing about the actual ability of an individual woman or man.

True, and therefore you should never judge and individual based solely on group statistics.

Connecting two population trends is not proof of causation.

Again, true, but in this case there is plenty of evidence for the one willing to see them, most of which I did not mention.

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All true, but knowing the biological factors enables us to narrow down what these reasons may be.

Just to illustrate, Watson, Crick and Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine. No where was mentioned Rosalind Elsie Franklin a woman without whom the discovery of the DNA double helix would have been impossible. When you read their scientific publication there is no one piece of data attached - data that made their conclusion possible came from X-ray diffraction images of DNA developed by Franklin. They simply attended her lectures at which she presented the data then published their conclusions without giving her any credit.

If there were far more female mathematicians than male, this would tell us something very significant because it is not to be expected from biology alone.

I herd that there are more women than men attending universities today - an opposite of what it used to be 50 years ago. Did something change about the nature of men? Surely it did not.

True, and therefore you should never judge and individual based solely on group statistics.

Remove the "solely" and I will agree.

I live in Canada and I have a Polish heritage. If you would ascribe to me, based on statistics, values of those two groups - you would completely miss the mark.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Just to illustrate, Watson, Crick and Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine. No where was mentioned Rosalind Elsie Franklin a woman without whom the discovery of the DNA double helix would have been impossible. When you read their scientific publication there is no one piece of data attached - data that made their conclusion possible came from X-ray diffraction images of DNA developed by Franklin. They simply attended her lectures at which she presented the data then published their conclusions without giving her any credit.

This is an anectdote of which I don't see the relevance to actual biological differences in individuals.

I herd that there are more women than men attending universities today - an opposite of what it used to be 50 years ago. Did something change about the nature of men? Surely it did not.

Not all statistics boil down to biology. I've never claimed this and never will.

Remove the "solely" and I will agree.

Suppose you were in charge of airport security and want to avoid terrorist attack. Would you test all individuals equally thoroughly or would you perhaps give fare more attention to you men of arab looks? It's perfectly rational to use group statistics as a starting point for individual inquiry. Where would you be more cautious of assault, in a home for the elderly or on a gangster street?

I live in Canada and I have a Polish heritage. If you would ascribe to me, based on statistics, values of those two groups - you would completely miss the mark.

Well, based on this information alone I would consider it extremely unlikely that you are a potential suicide bomber.

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Combining all these three lines of reasoning you get a partial explanation to the observation that blacks on average are overrepresented in crime, low income, illiteracy and other social statistics.
However, you have not explained the observation with reference to any inheritable trait. To complete the explanation, you need to reduce it to the essential: the role of the genes ASIP, MATP, TYR, OCA2, SLC24A5 and MC1R in the production of pheomelanin and eumelanin. This statistically causes people who inherited certain genetic patterns to socially cluster with others having that same genetic pattern. This hive behavior then presents you with quandries such as whether to act like a gang-banger or like an Oreo. That then determines your IQ score, since if you don't give a crap, you won't do well on the exam so you'll have a lower IQ (you can try this yourself with an online test -- take a test once when you're not paying attention, you're drunk, and depressed, then try again under optimal conditions). Not giving a crap isn't directly inherited and it isn't obligatory, but certain heritable factors will statistically cause you to not give a crap, which I think is really the first step. The solution is to understand that even when you're statistically caused to act one way, you can still act the other way as an individual.
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This is an anectdote of which I don't see the relevance to actual biological differences in individuals.

My point was that you can't judge person's mental ability based on what statistical group this person belongs to. And furthermore, that fact that Noble prize winners were mostly men tells you absolutely nothing about mental abilities of women due to the trend having strong environmental reasons.

Suppose you were in charge of airport security and want to avoid terrorist attack. Would you test all individuals equally thoroughly or would you perhaps give fare more attention to you men of arab looks? It's perfectly rational to use group statistics as a starting point for individual inquiry. Where would you be more cautious of assault, in a home for the elderly or on a gangster street?

Obviously there are situations, like your airport example, in which you better consider trends.

At the heart of my disagreement is being against judging individual man's abilities and worth based on statistics.

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Obviously there are situations, like your airport example, in which you better consider trends.

In other words, you agree with me.

At the heart of my disagreement is being against judging individual man's abilities and worth based on statistics.

And I agree with you. But as you have just seen, there is often some discriminatory work to do *before* you evaluate an individual, cf the airport where you first pick candidates based partly on group, and then make an individual assessment.

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And I agree with you. But as you have just seen, there is often some discriminatory work to do *before* you evaluate an individual, cf the airport where you first pick candidates based partly on group, and then make an individual assessment.

I think in most situations when you evaluate an individual this ought not to be the case.

I think this is a sad example - a clear illustration of just how my live has changed where I think of sanctioning personal injustice in the name of group security - it is a war scenario.

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I'm not sure why it would be unjust. But even if it was, should one care if taking this information into account will lead to better decisions, on average?

You need an explanation of why judging a man NOT by his own character and actions is unjust?

Racism is a form of collectivism - it negates reason and choice - it is a quest for the unearned - it is bypassing the responsibility of rational and moral judgment.

Conclusions which are not based on actual facts about individuals you encounter will not leave you better off in a long run.

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Conclusions which are not based on actual facts about individuals you encounter will not leave you better off in a long run.

Your other claims rest on this statement, so I will address it first.

If you take into account statistics, will you not by definition be right a higher percentage of the time than if you ignore them? If so, it is hard to see how this would not make you better off.

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Suppose you were in charge of airport security and want to avoid terrorist attack. Would you test all individuals equally thoroughly or would you perhaps give fare more attention to you men of arab looks? It's perfectly rational to use group statistics as a starting point for individual inquiry. Where would you be more cautious of assault, in a home for the elderly or on a gangster street?

I think this is the kind of thinking that will lead to the next successful terrorist attack. Let's pay particular attention to the brown skinned guy in the line while the white guy carrying out the attack slips by. Any terrorist organization worth their salt will be planning on that idea and probably try to recruit "white" jihadists to carry out their next attack. Don't be surprised if individual intelligence beats out race again. There have been other domestic terrorists in the United States within the last 15 years that were not of arabic descent.

We will be playing the numbers while the "intelligent" terrorist will be playing us.

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RationalBiker, are you arguing against racial profiling?

I'm saying that I think that it may be of dubious value. I'm not convinced one way or the other.

In law enforcement it is prevalently used in drug enforcement, and in particular along certain highways. Aside from race, officers look for traffic violations, condition of the vehicle, behavior of the driver, etc. etc. These types of indicators can be common among all of you street dealers/couriers (low level dealers) regardless of race. When they target one particular person because of he's black, I have to wonder how many white drug dealers are riding right by unnoticed who otherwise fit most or all of the rest of the criteria. They may be more effective in catching black drug dealers (because they are stopping more black people), but are they in fact catching more drug dealers overall?

If it's 2am and I'm in a minority neighborhood "high crime" area known for recreational pharmaceutical sales, and I see a "black" person standing on the street corner watching traffic intently as it goes by with brief stops and occasional exchanges with these vehicles, that's a clue that he might be a narcotic sales associate. In the same neighborhood at the same time, if I see a "white" person doing the exact same thing, I'm probably going to guess the same activity is going on. However, will I notice the white guy in the first place because he does not "stand out" and because I'm more used to targeting "blacks" (not me in reality, but me hypothetically speaking)?

Now, this is aside from the fact that I think narcotics enforcement in total is wrong and a waste of time with respect to catching "real" criminals. However, "racial profiling" gained it's prominence (and later notoriety) through drug enforcement. But regardless of whether or not the mission is immoral, I have reservations that racial profiling is the most effective way of accomplishing that mission.

Likewise, if it's 2am and I see a "black" man dressed in shabby urban wear walking down the sidewalk of a predominantly "white" middle class neighborhood looking into car windows frequently, I'm going to suspect that he may intend to break into a car to steal it or some of it's contents. But the same would hold true if I observed a "white" male under the same circumstances. But will I notice the "white" guy?

Getting back to terrorism briefly, if terrorists know we are looking harder at brown-skinned people of Middle Eastern descent going through airports, don't you think they may consider alternative agents to carry out their plans?

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Getting back to terrorism briefly, if terrorists know we are looking harder at brown-skinned people of Middle Eastern descent going through airports, don't you think they may consider alternative agents to carry out their plans?

Perhaps, but the majoritiy are men from the Middle East. If there were a large contingent of, say, European terrorists then maybe they should be screened as well.

I wanted to know especially your thoughts on profiling because you're a police officer.

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Perhaps, but the majoritiy are men from the Middle East.

So if a white male in the line fits all of the other criteria for being a terrorist, should he be detained and looked at further?

Or, are you saying that all Middle Eastern males that go through the line should be detained and scrutinized regardless of whether they fit any of the other profile characteristics?

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So if a white male in the line fits all of the other criteria for being a terrorist, should he be detained and looked at further?

Or, are you saying that all Middle Eastern males that go through the line should be detained and scrutinized regardless of whether they fit any of the other profile characteristics?

This seems to be a highly contextual issue. It depends upon what other criteria one has. If a white male is dressed in Middle Eastern garb and is speaking Arabic, that would warrent profiling him. Could you be more specific about what "all of the other criteria for being a terrorist" are?

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If you take into account statistics, will you not by definition be right a higher percentage of the time than if you ignore them?
That really depends on what you mean by "take into account". If you mean doing so rationally, then of course it cannot hurt. However, take the example of "taking into account" that went something like this: "lot of blacks are in prison" so faced with a black and white guy there's a higher chance of the white guy being trustworthy. That is "taking into account", but incorrectly; it's a misapplication of knowledge.

As for the whole race-IQ issue, I cannot imagine any situation of moderate seriousness where one would use the information in judging an individual. Any situation of moderate seriousness presents ways of judging IQ that make the "race test" completely irrelevant, even if there was a correlation between race and IQ, regardless of whether the causation is through nature or nurture or both. So, since an easy predictor of IQ is available, to "take into account" a person's race when one has knowledge from the more reliable predictor would be irrational.

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(~Sophia~ @ Apr 4 2007, 10:20 AM) post_snapback.gifConclusions which are not based on actual facts about individuals you encounter will not leave you better off in a long run.

If you take into account statistics, will you not by definition be right a higher percentage of the time than if you ignore them? If so, it is hard to see how this would not make you better off.

Clear example of where rationalizations may lead. Notice that when evaluating individuals, if you take into consideration actual facts about them, instead of some statistical data about the group they belong to - you will be 100% right.

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That really depends on what you mean by "take into account". If you mean doing so rationally, then of course it cannot hurt. However, take the example of "taking into account" that went something like this: "lot of blacks are in prison" so faced with a black and white guy there's a higher chance of the white guy being trustworthy. That is "taking into account", but incorrectly; it's a misapplication of knowledge.
I don't see how whether it was a misapplication of knowledge or not can be the determined from the information you provided. If you are faced with Thomas Sowell and Bob from the local trailer park, then yes it would be irrational. But if you are faced with two guys who just seem like average guys from their respective races to you, then there is nothing wrong with making an educated guess.

As for the whole race-IQ issue, I cannot imagine any situation of moderate seriousness where one would use the information in judging an individual. Any situation of moderate seriousness presents ways of judging IQ that make the "race test" completely irrelevant, even if there was a correlation between race and IQ, regardless of whether the causation is through nature or nurture or both. So, since an easy predictor of IQ is available, to "take into account" a person's race when one has knowledge from the more reliable predictor would be irrational.

That there is an established correlation between race and IQ is not in dispute. There are plenty of tests that show this trend, and no evidence to the contrary. That aside, I agree that if you have the luxury of time and can get to know the person, then it will be of little use. If you are in a rush, though, some information that may not be true, but will be true more often than it is not - is better than little to no information at all.

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Clear example of where rationalizations may lead. Notice that when evaluating individuals, if you take into consideration actual facts about them, instead of some statistical data about the group they belong to - you will be 100% right.

That is misleading. You will be 100% right based on the context of your knowledge at the time. The problem is the context of your knowledge at the time of the decision may not be very extensive about the person in question. That is where using information that will be right more often than it is not is in your best interests.

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That there is an established correlation between race and IQ is not in dispute.
This is a flat out lie. You know very well that it is in dispute. I have disputed it, and you have not even offered a proof that it is true. If you want to say that you feel that there is such a correlation, you may express your personal feelings. You simply cannot deny reality by denying the dispute.
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That really depends on what you mean by "take into account". If you mean doing so rationally, then of course it cannot hurt. However, take the example of "taking into account" that went something like this: "lot of blacks are in prison" so faced with a black and white guy there's a higher chance of the white guy being trustworthy. That is "taking into account", but incorrectly; it's a misapplication of knowledge.

Agreed. Even though blacks are dramatically overrepresented among criminals it is still a statistical fact that the overwhelming majority of ALL races are law abiding citizens. The appropriate use of statistics in this case for an ordinary citizen is therefore to assume that a randomly chosen person from any race is most likely not a criminal.

However, for law enforcement the crime statistics becomes far more important. Who should you focus on in violent crime investigations, old ladies or young males? Obviously the latter since they are dramatically much more likely to be the correct target group. Who should you focus more on in airport security, muslims or non-muslims? Obviously the former. Who should you focus more on in criminal investigations, blacks or asians? Obviously blacks. That's just resource optimization. And precisely because of this the targeted group should not interpret the investigation as racism.

Now, race is not the only group on which it is possible to do statistics. I've mentioned religion, age and gender, but there is another category which would dramatically reduce the number of intrusive investigations and that is education. There is an *extremely* high correlation between functional illiteracy and crime. Thus, in a rational world being able to prove that you have a high school diploma should almost instantly exclude you from further investigation in cases of violent crime, unless there is direct evidence that justifies an investigation. The nice thing about education profiling in law enforcement is that it gives another good incentive to get an education: stay clear of police investigations.

As for the whole race-IQ issue, I cannot imagine any situation of moderate seriousness where one would use the information in judging an individual.

That depends on what you mean by "judging" an individual. Part of the process of judging people is to evaluate where to allocate your resources. In the case of airport security you do actually want to use racial information as a starting point for an individual judgment. Thus, by the time you are finished judging a person you have made an individual assessment. If he has no bomb or weapons, it does not matter that he is Arab. His ethnicity then ceases to be an issue. BUT the reason you chose Arabs and not Finns for the security check is due to racial/ethnic information.

So, since an easy predictor of IQ is available, to "take into account" a person's race when one has knowledge from the more reliable predictor would be irrational.

Agreed. Take a racial profiling situation in law enforcement: blacks are overrepresented in low IQ and therefore partially overrepresented in illiteracy and therefore partially overrepresented in crime. Among these categories (black, IQ, illiteracy), black is the worst predictor of crime, IQ is the second worst predictor, and illiteracy is the best. Thus, the instance you know that a black person is literate you know that he is very unlikely to be a criminal. Similarly, the moment you know that a white person is illiterate you know that he is a prime candidate for a criminal.

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That depends on what you mean by "judging" an individual.
I should have said "judging a person's IQ". This thread has gone all over the place, but I just wanted to point out that, in the case of IQ, even if black Americans have a lower mean IQ than white Americans, one will not encounter any moderately serious situation where one can use such knowledge. By moderately serious, I mean where one is making a decision like class-allocation, or job-granting, and one needs to figure if a person has an acceptable IQ. In such a situation, one has ways to predict IQ (e.g. a short IQ test) that would make any further use of color (over and above the result of the test) irrational.
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That is misleading. You will be 100% right based on the context of your knowledge at the time. The problem is the context of your knowledge at the time of the decision may not be very extensive about the person in question. That is where using information that will be right more often than it is not is in your best interests.

Whatever "not very extensive" knowledge you may have - at least it is factually based. Correlation between IQ and race tells you absolutely nothing about the IQ of the person in front of you and of their mental abilities. You will be pretty much taking a chance based on very small odds of success as IQ varies greatly within each population - not only between populations. The more crusial your decision - the least better off you will be making it NOT based on actual facts in front of you.

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I should have said "judging a person's IQ". This thread has gone all over the place, but I just wanted to point out that, in the case of IQ, even if black Americans have a lower mean IQ than white Americans, one will not encounter any moderately serious situation where one can use such knowledge.

That's true. This kind of information is only relevant on a statistical level, i.e. as an explanatory force behind group differences. People may want to know why China is succeeding so much better at reproducing the success of western capitalism than Africa. Here statistics provide a compelling partial answer.

By moderately serious, I mean where one is making a decision like class-allocation, or job-granting, and one needs to figure if a person has an acceptable IQ. In such a situation, one has ways to predict IQ (e.g. a short IQ test) that would make any further use of color (over and above the result of the test) irrational.

Indeed, but notice that this too is usage of racial information. That is, you are using knowledge of IQ distributions to determine that you need a better IQ test than race. This didn't *have* to be the case. If the distribution of IQ was very narrow within each race, but significant *between* races it would be perfectly legitimate to use race as a proxy for an IQ test, and this would NOT be racist. However, studies of racial differences has shown very clearly that race is not an accurate IQ indicator.

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This is a flat out lie. You know very well that it is in dispute. I have disputed it, and you have not even offered a proof that it is true. If you want to say that you feel that there is such a correlation, you may express your personal feelings. You simply cannot deny reality by denying the dispute.

I don't understand how you can say this. The *correlations* themselves are not disputed by anyone. Some people, mostly ideologically motivated people, question whether IQ measures anything real, or whether the measured racial differences in IQ are cultural or biological, but the correlations are very real. I might add that if this had been any other scientific field, there would not be any question at all about whether IQ is a real phenomenon and whether there are racial differences. The natural null hypothesis, knowing nothing else, is to presume that racial differences are to be expected. Why? Individuals differ in IQ, and groups are just aggregations of individuals. If individuals differ, so can groups.

As to whether IQ is a real phenomenon there are some bleedingly obvious facts that under normal circumstances would shed away any doubt. The most obvious one is that the human brain on average uses 20% of the body's energy at rest. That's one huge giveaway, a giant elephant in the room. Organ energy usage is directly proportional evolutionary importance. By this standard the human brain is immensely important and must produce a very real and tangible evolutionary advantage over a smaller brain. Now, the fact that there are significant differences in brain size between the races means that some races have to allocate more energy for their brains on average. The only way that makes sense evolutionary is if that bigger brain results in a tangible evolutionary advantage. And what is the primary function of a big brain? Intelligence.

You don't actually need a single intelligence test in order to make a very strong evolutionary argument for racial differences in intelligence. But we do have all sorts of tests, hundreds of studies all showing that the evolutionary argument is indeed correct.

Also, I have previously referenced literature for anyone who cares to read up on this. "Race, Evolution and Behavior" by Philippe Rushton is a good starting point, as well as "Race differences in Intelligence" by Richard Lynn. There you will find all the evidence you need.

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