Thursday, January 25, 2018

On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism written by Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard and Brian Boutwell, published by Quillette

The "races of Europe" created 
by Gilbert Grovsenor for 
National Geographic December 1918 -
 judging by font sizes in the map key, it looks like eight major 
races are listed: Pre-Aryan, Greco-Latins, Celts, Teutons, 
Slavs, Balto-Slavs, Armenians and Ural-Altaians

So the Winegard bros and Brian Boutwell want to have a discussion On the 
Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism  published by Quillette in June 23, 2016.

On March 27 2017 the Winegard bros published an article in defense of The Bell Curve.

In it they asserted that:
  • ."..the strongest evidence (for the hereditarian hypothesis) is simply that there are, as yet, no good alternative explanations"
  • "socioeconomic status cannot explain all of the intelligence gap (between Blacks and Whites)"
  • "it is pretty clear that (cultural bias) does not play a large role (in differences in Black/White intelligence results)"
  • "no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap"
  • the environmental variables they dismiss are:
  • parenting styles
  • stereotype threat
  • a legacy of slavery/discrimination
  • unidentified others
They also reference their own work three times in support of the hereditarian hypothesis, as well as referencing six times work written by some combination of J. Phillipe Rushton, Arthur Jensen and other hardline hereditarian hypothesis supporters.

I think it's safe to conclude that the Winegards believe the hereditarian hypothesis proves that  "blacks" having lower intelligence test scores than "whites" is due to genetics.

The Winegard bros and Boutwell begin their Abhorrence of Racism article like this:
Most people believe that race exists. They believe that Denzel Washington is an African American, that George Clooney is a Caucasian, and that George Takei is an Asian.* 
The authors identify three "races": African American, Caucasian and Asian.

Later on...
*It is important to note that the social constructionist arguments about race are nuanced and are worth considering. We also recognize that much of the concern over race stems not from classifying individual ancestries, rather it stems more from worry over the attempts (both past and present) to “rank” racial groups based on some purportedly “objective” criteria of worth.
Their claim that social constructionist arguments are nuanced and worth considering seems to conflict with Steven Pinker's statement:
...there is a widespread myth that there is no such thing as race whatsoever, that it is purely a social construction and to call the people who don't do  this Nazis. But on the other hand there is a quotation, I don't know who's responsible for it: "reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it."
As far as Steven Pinker is concerned, social constructionist arguments deny reality itself.

The authors suggest the issue isn't over race classification, but the "rank" of racial groups. Less than a year later they will publish an article which ranks "blacks" as less intelligent than "whites" and claim it's due to innate intellectual inferiority.

A little later they state:
With appropriate qualifications, however, we will argue that most people are correct: race exists. And although genetic analyses have shown that human variation is complicated, standard racial categories are not arbitrary social constructions. Rather, they correspond to real genetic differences among human populations  
OK, so although they claim race is not an "arbitrary social construction" it turns out that there is no clear way to distinguish one "race" from another.
...although the argument that human variation is continuous rather than discrete is correct, it does not vitiate a sophisticated understanding of race. It only refutes a platonic conception that few contemporary scholars take seriously.
Then it turns out that not only are there no discrete "races" but suddenly the term race has become interchangeable with "ethnicity" and "ancestry." This was a sleazy tactic that Jerry Coyne also used.
The geneticist Hua Tang and her colleagues, for instance, found that self-reported ethnicity corresponded almost perfectly with genetic clusters from 326 microsatellite markers  (a microsatellite marker is a piece of repetitive DNA in which a series of DNA base pairs are repeated). Other studies have demonstrated even more power to identify people’s ancestry accurately. These studies illustrate that, whatever the meaning of the claim that there is much more variation within than among races, researchers can, if they use the appropriate procedures, distinguish human ancestral groups from each other with remarkable accuracy. The significance of these genetic differences among groups is entirely an empirical question.
Does that mean there are 326 races? Or 326 ethnicities? Or 326 ancestries? Do words have any meaning to evo-psycho bros?

It's clear from the evo-psycho bro perspective why lack of clarity is useful. This way "race" means whatever they say it does, and it can change whenever they want. 

OK I'm taking a break. Evo-psycho bro incoherence makes me tired. And if you thought the bullshit was thick in the air so far, I should warn you we are are headed for a Category 5 storm: Hurricane Shitweasel.