Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Headhunters for the Headhunters!

When a plumber tells you that he thinks all human groups are equal in intellect and temperament, you smile benignly and pat his head because he doesn't know any better.  Not only did his plumbing education not include much anthropology, but his actual plumbing work has kept him too busy to recognize evidence against such equality in the people around him. The same goes for other professions, from astronomers to zither players. It's not that they're not smart themselves (because everybody is equal! Yuk yuk), it's that they just somehow missed some obvious truths.  Maybe in part it's because they carefully don't pay any attention to the people around them, but choose to interpret mankind based on sitcoms and crime dramas on TV.

But even so, when I hear such wildly unscientific trendy pseudo-platitudes, it's depressing.  But when I hear them from somebody who's supposed to be educated in such matters, it's more than depressing, it's enraging. Anybody with any kind of education in biology or anthropology knows very well that there is no such equality among human subspecies or the subspecies of any mammal.

And the charlatan Jared Diamond also knows it very well, but lies about it.  Now, a lot of anthropologists who want to keep their jobs just avoid the subject of human equality, rather than lie about it.  But Diamond goes that extra mile, and tells the complete opposite of what he knows to be the truth.  For what?  For money, reputation, who knows?  A liar is a liar.  And this, now, from an honest scientist, Greg Cochran:

The Masters of the Future

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that all human groups have equal mental capabilities – except for the inhabitants of New Guinea, who are clearly smarter than the human norm.

If this is the case, there’s money to be made. Good performance in a lot of high-paying jobs requires intelligence above some fairly high threshold. Such people are scarce [outside of New Guinea], and that means that their labor is expensive. The fraction of individuals above a high threshold increases dramatically with a higher mean, and since people in PNG don’t have high incomes, there is a fantastic arbitrage opportunity here. You could locate some of the many geniuses that must exist in PNG, rapidly and inexpensively teach them high-tech skills (which they would learn easily, since they’re geniuses, natch), apply for H1B visas, and them resell them to the highest Silicon valley bidder. This wouldn’t last, of course – these guys would not stay peons forever. They’d be generating their own start-ups in a few years, founding hedge funds, dominating the Vegas poker tournaments, etc. Some, less materialistic, would become grandmasters, win Fields medals, or write seminal books about the attractions of cannibalism. Still, you could make a lot of money in the short run, and if you were careful to build good relationships with your employees, they might let you in on the ground floor of an IPO later.

Poul Anderson, always a visionary, foresaw this. A character in one his books put it thusly:

”I am a racist – a dedicated, fanatical racist – who maintains, and can scientifically prove, that his own race is inferior. The only true humans on earth, my friends, the main line of evolution, the masters of the future, are the lordly Melanesians. “

Of course that character was feigning insanity, but still.


  1. Eager White LiberalAugust 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I looked up this Greg Cochran and I immediately noticed that there was no Dr. in front of his name, I also noticed he was not actually an anthropologist. Without any training whatsoever he can not be called upon as any sort of authority. Races are not subspecies, and no one has made such a claim in a century. Human populations are never isolated long enough to create a subspecies, people move they comingle. These claims were made as some scientific justification for their racism, so they manipulated findings to "prove" the white race was superior, but that in no way constituted science. Likewise what this imbecile is practicing cannot be called anthropology.

    The Jews of Europe were smart because, unlike their Christian counterparts, they were taught to read. They were often the only ones who could practice medicine, because the church forbid it, and they were the only ones who could handle money, again because the church forbid Christians to do it. The history of European Jewry is one of persecution. One Jew would often rise to a high rank in the rulers court and they would be a shield to their fellow Jews. After they died Christians would kill their children because they wanted to steal what they had.

  2. Eager White Liberal, you didn't look very hard. "Gregory M. Cochran (born 1953) is a physicist and adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, known for hypotheses in evolutionary medicine and genetic anthropology. He argues that cultural innovation resulted in new and constantly shifting selection pressures for genetic change, thereby accelerating human evolution. He is co-author of the book The 10,000 Year Explosion."

    1. Yes. If memory serves, he has a PhD in physics from U. of Illinois, also. And of course, Cochran is an actual practicing anthropologist. I recommend his book. The human races are indeed subspecies. That's pretty much the definition of "race." EWL, you're parroting a smattering of oversimplifications and outright falsehoods that you've been learning from your Marxist teachers or preachers or whatever. Christians forbidden from handling money? Not in this alternate universe. You keep knocking the White race for shortcomings it shares with all of humanity, while ignoring its specific contributions.

    2. Eager Young LiberalAugust 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      So what you are saying is that he is not trained in what he does. I have a minor in Anthropology so that makes me more qualified than he is. No it is not the definition of race and that is what you get from reading books written by someone who is not an anthropologist. In fact anthropologist have no business talking about species that would fall under the archaeology, anthropology is the study of culture. A subspecies can only develop under isolation, which does not describe humanity, they constantly move. Subspecies were discovered on islands by Darwin because they were isolated and evolved differently. Experimental archaeologists have shown that different groups could and most likely did go to the most isolated regions including the Pacific Islands.

      The Christians were not supposed to handle money, because it was deemed the root of all evil. So they let the people who they already believed to be damned do that. I knock the white race because it attempted to justify racism using "science" which has been disproved by people who are actually trained in what they do. You want to talk about contributions talk about universal contributions. You talk about Christendom but the greatest mind of the Christian Church was Augustine who was North African.

    3. As an adjunct professor doesn't that mean he actually teaches the subject whereas you were only taught?

    4. Eager Young LiberalAugust 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Yes that means he teaches but he has shown he is incapable of that because of his lack of training and complete lack of understanding

    5. EYL, you're proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A race is exactly a subspecies, a group that has diverged, but not enough to preclude interfertility. Cultural anthropology can be the study of human culture, but you also have physical anthropology and other specialties that most clearly involve the study of biology. And you have archaeology backasswards. it IS primarily the study of human cultural artifacts and only secondarily deals with human biology, which is more properly included within paleontology.

      Now, here's what's happened with you. You encountered a cult-like interpretation of human history and drank it all in uncritically. You've learned a bunch of knee-jerk defenses of your positions, but you have no depth of understanding of what your positions mean or what contrary opinions mean. You'll never make any progress until you learn to read about various ways of thinking about things and then bring your own critical faculties to bear in evaluating them. And you do keep saying weird-assed things like that about St. Augustine. What on earth do you mean? North Africa was PART of Christendom. AND CHRISTIANS WERE ALLOWED TO HANDLE MONEY! They HAD money. They SPENT money. They BOUGHT things. What exactly are you talking about? Lending money at interest? If that's what you mean, SAY that.

    6. Eager Young LiberalAugust 30, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      No you are proof that no knowledge is dangerous. Race is not a subspecies. Genetic diversity within a species does not mean that it is a subspecies; they are still under the same species and subspecies. Humans are the same way; we are all under the designation Homo Sapiens sapiens. As I said genetic diversity within humanity points to humans being a polytypic species. Which means, a species that consists of a number of separate breeding populations, each varying in some genetic trait. Race is defined primarily by skin color, which is an indicator of sun exposure to a region. That is why people from Africa, Australia, and Italy are darker than people from Scandinavia. If you are going to start creating subspecies than the basic Crayola set you seem to be using is not enough. You would have to seem each slight variation in skin pigmentation a different subspecies. Just using white, is not enough because there are variations in skin pigmentations depending on what region of Europe each is from. They have not become subspecies because the groups have never been isolated. This is even truer now since so many "white" people are a mix of different European groups. People move, people always move, especially during the time of hunter gatherers, which existed until around 10,000 years ago for most of humanity.

      No, you have found a cult in your superior and inferior talk. I know what your position means. It means the "science" which sought to prove that you are superior to others. You use Christendom, and Europe and white people as interchangeable nouns that all mean the same thing, but they don’t. That is why it matters, Augustine was not white, but one of the smartest men of Christendom. Or another example Saint Thomas Aquinas relied on Averroes, a Muslim scholar, to understand Aristotle, who was not Christian or white. In Under Crescent and Cross: Jews in the Middle Ages, Cohen writes "1. Greed was believed to be the basis of trade 2. people believed that merchants employed immoral means in the pursuit of gains 3. Merchants had control over many of the necessities of life." (page 78) Yes Christians had money but they left it to the Jews to handle. It was not until towns reemerged late in the middle Ages that a more relaxed attitude was taken. But up until then what the church saw as the immoral profession was left to the people they saw as immoral. I know what I am saying, clearly you do not.

  3. And what do you mean by "subspecies"? Races are just groups of people more closely related to one another than to outside that group. Very extended families, one might say.

    Teaching a group to read would not lead to their descendants winning lots of Nobel prizes hundreds of years later, unless intelligence was significantly genetic, which it is. Ashkenazi Jews actually win lots of Nobel prizes because they were restricted to certain professions which required high intelligence, and were naturally selected for it.

    1. Eager Young LiberalAugust 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      If they win many Nobel Prizes it is a credit to the individuals but has nothing to do with them as a group. They were forced into work that moved, including money lending, and clerical work because they were often forced to leave their homes. As a group they placed a higher standard on education from an early age, often reading multiple languages, that has not bred them to be smarter. Human forces on another would not be natural selection it would be artificial, but that is not what is going on here so it matters naught. Evolution takes thousands if not millions of years so the fact that for the last thousand they have taken up jobs that require more mind than body is not enough to say they have evolved that way.

  4. Eager Young Liberal, I hate to be rude but you're sounding like a loon.

    "The Christians were not supposed to handle money, because it was deemed the root of all evil." No, the *love* of money is the root of all *kinds of* evil. Of course Christians were allowed to handle money, just not to lend it at interest.

    You're assuming on the basis of no evidence that Cochran wasn't trained in anthropology, just like you assumed he was not a Dr. It's a bit bizarre for you to claim that a minor in anthropology makes you more qualified than an anthropology professor. I'm no fan of credentialism anyway -- it is possible for two people with Nobel prizes to disagree with each other -- but you're sounding like a loon.

    Races are subspecies: as Ex-Army says, they have diverged a bit but can still inter-breed. You seem to understand this because you can see that different races have different skin colours. This is because they have evolved to adapt to their environments. They also differ in a bunch of other ways, including intelligence. Evolution can happen quicker than you think, even complex evolution. The evolution of something as complex as eyes can happen in only a few tens of generations -- far too quick to show up on the fossil record.

    Races are populations that have had, not zero gene-flow between them, but restricted gene-flow between them. This is usually caused by geographical isolation, though not always. Sometimes races can be like ring species -- not obvious geographical borders, but gradual change. (Ring species, e.g. some species of birds, are where a population A can breed with population B which can breed with population C, but population A cannot breed with population C.

    It's a bit odd to say that the high number of Nobel prizes won by Jews has *nothing* to do with them as a group. It's not just Nobel prizes -- Ashkenazi Jews are more intelligent on average. You seem to agree that Ashkenazi Jews are more intelligent nowadays and more likely to win Nobel prizes, because they were restricted to certain careers a few hundred years ago. Why do you think this continues to influence their outcomes today, if not genetics? Why haven't other groups caught up, if all it takes is to read to your kids? Whether you call the selection natural or artificial, it has clearly made them genetically more intelligent.

    1. Eager Young LiberalAugust 31, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      He was not trained as an anthropologist, so he has no ground to stand on. My point was that I am not qualified to be an anthropologist, but I know enough to know that he is wrong. Credentials are important, and recognizing that doesn't make me a loon. Denying their importance just makes you look silly.

      Races are not subspecies, and neither you nor ex-army are qualified to say they are. As for your claim that they differ in intelligence, you offer no proof so your entire statement stinks of discrimination. Samuel Morton tried to prove that with tainted cranial studies, but all races have comparable cranial capacities. While small genetic differences exist, you do not offer enough proof to classify them as subspecies instead of genetic diversity. As I stated above, there is huge diversity within "races". People from the Mediterranean are darker than people of norther Europe, but you wouldn't consider Itallians a different race. Which is why your argument breaks down.

      All races can reproduce across racial lines because they are all part of the same species and subspecies. So bringing up ring species is pointless. There is no genetic isolation, the fact that humanity has traveled around the globe is proof of that. The only isolated gene pools are ones that are created, like the Amish.

      Youre a moron, really an absolute moron. They as a people have placed a higher level of importance on education. It is not that they read to their kids but that from an early age their children began reading. They were forced into positions where education was a benefit and they were not able to be farmers, where education was not as important. We know that children undergo a period where they are able to learn more and beginning education at this point, rather than later can give children a head start. This has nothing to do with genetics, it has to do with brain development.

  5. Eager Young LiberalAugust 31, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Just to prove how ridiculous your claims of subspecies are, all dog breeds are a subspecies of gray wolves. They are all Canis lupus familiaris, and there is far more diversity in dog breeds than in races. So the claim that races are subspecies cannot be made from a scientific standpoint. You would also have to show a genetic "purebreed" of a race to propose it as a subspecies, with clear genetic differences from all other humans. Since we are a young species, that naturally moves, we have not achieved the genetic isolation needed for subspecies to emerge, it would also take a long time. Since humans continue to comingle race as a distinction will soon be eliminated and you will not be able to make any claim towards racial subspecies.

  6. Ex-Army, you did not put up my other response. Which is fine I'll assume you just missed it, since I am redoing it, there is no need to put it up, since it will more or less be a repeat.

    I explained the Christian money thing above, so I don't feel like repeating myself.

    I know that he was not trained as an anthropologist, and the word for someone practicing a profession they are not trained in is, unqualified. I am not sayin I am qualified to be an anthropologist, my point is that it does not take a whole lot of knowledge to discredit him and his "findings". Credentials are important, and you bring up Noble Prize winners, nut he is no Noble Prize winner, he is a quack.

    The fact that you bring up intelligence as a difference without proof that any exists, is proof of your discrimination.Samuel Morton tried to prove that other races had less cranial capacity and were therefore less intelligent and inferior to the white race. But his science was forced, he manipulated the results to get what he wanted. Skin pigmentation is not enough of a genetic difference to be called a subspecies. As I explained above, genetic diversity does not equate to being a completely differenct subspecies. The fact that the not all "whites" look the same destroys you entire theory. You lump all whites together when there is a clear difference between Mediterranean peoples and norther Europeans. Unless you are willing to create an Itallian subspecies then you have no basis to standon.

    No isolationism is what creates subspecies, even restricted gene flow connects two populations.There have only been several ring species found and none of them are humans, all humans can breed with any other human, so that argument is pointless. The only humans that are isolated enough to even create an eventual subspecies are ones that are artificially isolated; the Amish, the African Pygmies, and the San. These are very small groups with no gene flow that have been isolated. Genetically you and a black man are the same, there is no difference, but there is a slight difference between ans African and a Pygmy. So unless you want to create subsubspecies out of each isolated population then you have no argument.

    As for the Jews, you missed the point entirely. Every Jew learned to read at a young age, whereas their Christian counterparts did not. It has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with brain development, we know children learn at an accelerated rate, so by teaching them early they were able to be smarter. It has nothing to do with genetics but everything to do with the priority placed on education. It would still influence them today because they continue that tradition, they learn to read multiple languages, whereas many other groups place no importance on reading period.

  7. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/culture/features/1478/index1.html