www.hirhome.com

Table of Contents

with chapter summaries

 sports, race, and IQ...


'Blacks' do not have a genetic advantage in sports.

'Blacks' do not have a genetic intellectual disadvantage.

Human races do not exist.

The IQ literature is a series of frauds.


BOOK SUMMARY

Some academics and others peddle pseudo-science in order to allege that blacks are good at sports and bad at thinking. Resurrecting Racism answers them with proper science. The first half of the book shows that blacks do not have superior sports ability and that biologists, using the latest genetic data, have concluded that human races do not exist, contrary to what racists would like to believe. The second half of the book (beginning in chapter 6) traces the history of IQ testing, documenting that the IQ literature was built by committing outright fraud. IQ 'research' has been used to allege that blacks have inferior 'intelligence,' but those who developed the IQ literature turned the purpose of the original tests upside down, twisted their statistics, made up their math, and invented nonexistent researchers, publishing fake studies under phony names. These 'researchers' were also the major propagandists of the eugenics movement, which movement is responsible for creating the German Nazis. This is also documented in the second half of Resurrecting Racism, as is the fact that today's IQ 'researchers' continue this fraudulent and dangerous tradition.


Resurrecting Racism: The modern attack on black people using phony science.  2004 Francisco Gil-White

Table of Contents: http://www.hirhome.com/rr/rrcontents.htm

Chapter 4

Claiming human races exist, an 'expert witness' ignores genetics and embraces incoherence.
________________________________________________________
http://www.hirhome.com/rr/rrchap4.htm

As we have seen, Jon Entine bases Taboo largely on the views of UC Berkeley anthropologist Vincent Sarich. Indeed, in his acknowledgements section, Entine writes that Sarich vetted his book:

“Vincent Sarich. . .[was] generous enough to review the manuscript in detail, offering up dozens of critical suggestions.”

Since Vincent Sarich is Jon Entine’s authority when it comes to biology, let us examine Sarich’s arguments more closely.

In an article defending Jon Entine's Taboo, Vincent Sarich argues that when approaching the question of whether or not there are human races, we should apply the same standards that we use with other species.

“…[R]acial morphological distances within our species are, on the average, about equal to the distances among species within other genera of mammals, as, for example, between pygmy and common chimpanzees.”[1]

This is a remarkable argument. It just so happens that bonobos (also called ‘pygmy chimpanzees’) and common chimpanzees are two distinct species, not two races of the same species. Therefore, Sarich is saying that the differences between alleged human races are supposedly as big as those that obtain between two entirely different species of ape.

He is going out on a limb. But suppose for the sake of argument that his claim were accurate. Even so, the rejoinder would be: So what? Because Sarich, you see, is talking about “morphological distances” (i.e. differences in surface appearance) and therefore has deliberately avoided the question of genes. Isn’t it a bit strange that a biological anthropologist (that’s what Vincent Sarich is supposed to be) should be insisting that surface appearance is a better guide to biological reality than the genes themselves?

As shown in chapter 3, differences in surface appearance can be totally misleading rather than informative about the relative overall genetic distance between human populations. But this point applies to all species, not just to humans. For example, biologists say that two populations are ‘cryptic species’ when a naturalist cannot tell them apart with an eyeball test, which means it is possible to have different species without “morphological distances.” (There is more than one case of cryptic species in birds.) Another example, which is closer to home and to Sarich’s argument, is the following: “Morphological data suggest that chimpanzees are more closely related to gorillas ...[but] most genetic distance measures indicate that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans…”[2] So it is silly and archaic to insist on using morphological differences when a better source of datagenes—is already available. When a scientist chooses an inferior source of data that reaches a conclusion opposite to what is indicated by the best source of data, we may suspect ideological motives.

If Sarich were serious about using chimpanzees as a relevant comparison, how might he do this? Instead of looking at morphological distances between two chimpanzee species, he would examine the genetic differences between the races of the common chimpanzee. With that in hand, he could compare the extent of differences between chimpanzee races with the genetic differences between supposed human races. In fact, these data already exist and the comparison has been made. As it turns out, nowhere in the spectrum of human genetic variation do we find any kind of cut that will give us differences of a magnitude even remotely comparable to those found between chimpanzee races. To show this, in How Humans Evolved Robert Boyd and Joan Silk present, side by side, two graphs: one illustrates the genetic differences between chimpanzee races, and the other the genetic differences between the supposed human races. The chimpanzee differences are relatively dramatic; the human graph by contrast is almost perfectly flat.[3]

But not only are the genetic differences among humans very modest, there is something else to consider. For those claiming that the supposed human races imagined by ordinary Americans are true, biological subspecies, the results are quite embarrassing because the few genetic differences that do exist go precisely in the wrong direction.

To see how this works, let us return for a moment to chimpanzees. Suppose that we can find three geographically separate regions of the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and we give them names: schweinfurthi, troglodytes, and verus. The next thing we need to find out is whether, on average, local populations within one of these regional categories (for example, residential groups from within schweinfurthi) show smaller genetic differences among themselves than when compared to residential groups from within troglodytes or verus. If that’s what happens, then we have evidence to support the idea that these chimpanzee regions contain different races or subspecies—if the differences are large enough. Biologists have found precisely that, and so they commonly refer to schweinfurthi, troglodytes and verus as the ‘races’ or ‘subspecies’ of the common chimpanzee.

By contrast, when this sort of analysis is carried out with Sarich and Entine’s proposed human races, we find that the average differences between local populations of the same purported race (say, ‘white’) are in fact larger than when populations of different purported races are compared (say, ‘black’ and ‘white’).[4] This is deeply counterintuitive because our eyes demand that we believe in the ‘races’ we think we see—not unlike how they demand that we believe in a stationary Earth around which the Sun travels. But our eyes are tricking us. Remember: only the tiniest fraction of all the genes in a person have effects that you can see.

So the chimpanzee comparison does not help Sarich’s argument in the least. Having failed with chimps, Sarich turns to dogs.

“…we cannot yet look at a dog’s DNA and determine whether it is a Pit Bull or a Pekinese, but any child of five can, and so should any potential burglar.”[5]

This is a carefully chosen example. A Pekinese and a Pit Bull are easily distinguishable by an eyeball test (“any child of five can [do it]”), and moreover they behave quite differently (enough to matter to a burglar). Sarich offers this by way of attempting to convince you that there are human races. So what is the implied argument? It is this: given that we can tell dog races apart with an eyeball test, and given that canine breeds have been designed (‘bred’) precisely so that they will have different innate behaviors, therefore, if you see any differences in appearance between certain humans you can also assume that they correspond to biological races with dramatic inborn differences in behavior.

But does it follow that, because we can trust our eyes to identify races in one species we can trust them in every other? Of course not. As we have seen, morphological differences are often quite misleading about overall genetic differences. So Sarich is once again asking us to accept the Flat Earth Fallacy. “Just…look,” he says, “You can see the human racial differences. And why not? Any child can do it with dogs.”

The best way to expose nonsense like this is to take it seriously. How good is the perception of children? Yes, a child can see the difference between a Pekinese and a Pitbull. But a child can also see that New Guinea Islanders and Australians are just as ‘black’ as Africans—they have dark skin, wiry hair, flatter noses, etc. The same child will therefore not bat an eye if told that these people live in Africa. And yet, the analysis of overall genetic similarity reveals New Guinea Islanders and Australians to be much closer genetically to South-East Asians, who look nothing like Africans.

So much, then, for what children can ‘see.’

The reason a child can easily tell a Pekinese from a Pit-Bull is that we humans, by means of controlled breeding, have kept the edges of canine breeds crisp. As soon as dogs are allowed to breed freely, much of their variation in appearance and inborn behavior disappears dramatically and quickly. Unlike dogs, humans are not bred apart in kennels, and they have always mated across all contiguous ethnic populations. Consequently, they show no sharp transitions such as those evident in canine breeds. The point is that human variation is nothing like canine variation, so it is absurd to claim to make a scientific argument about humans by analogy with dogs.

How to explain Sarich’s argument strategy? It should be self-evident that asking ourselves what any child ‘knows’ is absurd if one has the scientific goal of determining whether human beings are in fact divided into biological races. It is not absurd, however, if one has the political goal of convincing lay people that it is silly to doubt the existence of human races because any child of five can supposedly ‘see’ that there are races in both humans and dogs. Moreover, there is no justification for Sarich to even try to make an argument about morphology when we have access to genetic data. Sarich is telling people they should rely on the untrained perceptions of a five-year-old child when as a biological anthropologist he should be explaining the genetics.

This is malpractice. 

It is this person, Vincent Sarich, whom Jon Entine quotes as his expert on genetics and whom Entine thanks in the acknowledgments section of Taboo as follows:

“Vincent Sarich. . .[was] generous enough to review the manuscript in detail, offering up dozens of critical suggestions.”

What are we to conclude? If people who obviously should know better go out of their way to choose pseudoscientific nonsense when solid data are available, and if this relates to a politically charged issue that has marred American society from the beginning, then don’t we have good reason to suspect that a political agenda may be at work?

Continue to Chapter 5:
http://www.hirhome.com/rr/rrchap5.htm
________________________________________________________

Footnotes
________________________________________________________

[1] "The Final Taboo: Race Differences in Ability"; by Vincent Sarich; Special SKEPTIC Issue on Race & Sports; Summer 2000; vol 8 no.1
http://www.jonentine.com/skeptic/sarich.htm

[2] Boyd, R., and J. Silk. 2003. How Humans Evolved, 3 edition. New York: WW Norton and Co. (p.116)

[3] How Humans Evolved (p.390)

[4] How Humans Evolved (p.390)

[5] "The Final Taboo..." by Vincent Sarich


www.hirhome.com