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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Native American/East Asian "race"

Part 1: Cleanup on Aisle 88
Part 2: Race Science: wronger than ever

Race science considers IQ tests to be expressions of innate, genetic-based intelligence.

They believe that there is a Native American race which, as a group, has a genetic-based intelligence rating of 87. They also believe there is an Asian race - which they sometimes subdivide into South, East etc. But they believe East Asians are, as a race, of high genetic-based intelligence, with a group IQ score of 105 or 106.

So it's rather inconvenient for race science that 23andMe groups Native Americans and East Asians together into something 23andMe calls a "global population."

Race science proponents will sometimes claim that when they say "race" they are merely referring to the geographic location from whence distinct populations derived. So Asian, European, African, Australian, Native American.

Leading race science critic John Jackson explains:
So why did natural philosophers begin classifying people into races? Because of European colonialism. The idea that people could be classified into fixed races came from the colonies and filtered back into the European continent. Scholars like Suman Seth and Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra show how the race idea was inextricably linked to European colonialism and the need to justify the domination of the conquered and African slavery. The very idea of “race” was tainted from the very beginning. It was and is no humble biological concept but one that arose because of the necessity of justifying inequitable social arrangements. Quillette would have us shrug all of this off claiming “Enlightenment philosophers also took to classifying human differences for the mundane reason that such differences actually exist.” This is not only begging the question but is empirically false. There is an ugly history here and by hiding it Quillette is being irresponsible. 
False premise 2. Racial divisions are principled scientific categories. “The claim that [racial] divisions are arbitrary” is false.
How does Quillette know this? Because:

 Noah Rosenberg and colleagues found that human genetic variation largely corresponds to broad geographic regions and, more compellingly, that it closely matches Johann Blumenbach’s 1781 classification of human morphological variation into five races: Caucasians, Americans (Amerindians), Ethiopians (Africans), Mongolians (East Asians), and Malaysians (Oceanians).
The Quillette passage he is citing is a race science primer disguised as a book review by Bo Winegard and Noah Carl

According to the Wayback Machine, 23andMe had a sample report, available to the public that displayed its classification of Native American and East Asian at least as early as January 2017. The Winegard/Carl article was published in 2019 and doesn't mention it, at all, because it's likely they didn't look.

This is from Ben and Bo Winegard and Brian Boutwell, in a paper from 2017 called Human Biological and Psychological Diversity:
One can begin with broad, continentally-based categories: Caucasian, East Asian, Africans, Native Americans and Australian Aborigines (Wade 2014) They are broad, general categories, but they have some predictive value.
(They cite Nicholas Wade's "A Troublesome Inheritance.)

But clearly they do not have "predictive value." They are dead wrong - East Asian and Native Americans are not genetically separate, in spite of being continentally separate.

These are the global populations listed by 23andMe, only one of which - European - aligns squarely with the traditional race science geographic scheme.
  • European 
  • Central & South Asian 
  • East Asian and Native American 
  • Melanesian 
  • Sub-Saharan African 
  • Western Asia and North African 
  • Unassigned
23&Me explains this in a section of its website called 23andMe Reference Populations & Regions
The 45 Ancestry Composition regional populations are organized in a hierarchy, which reflects the genetic structure of global populations. For example, British & Irish is a part of Northwestern European, which is part of European.
These are all the populations listed by 23andMe for East Asian and Native American

Chinese & Southeast Asian
  • Chinese
  • Chinese Dai 
  • Filipino and Austronesian 
  • Indonesian Thai Khmer and Myanma 
  • Vietnamese
Japanese and Korean
Native American
North Asian 

  • Manchurian & Mongolian 
  • Siberian
Here is what it says about Native Americans
Over the past few decades, researchers compared the DNA of indigenous Americans to populations from around the world, confirming a genetic link between the native peoples of Northeast Asia and the Americas.

Over 30,000 years ago, the ancestors of the first Americans began to form a distinct genetic population in Central Asia, and by ~25,000 years ago these ancient humans reached Beringia — a land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska — where they remained in isolation for millennia until the massive ice sheets covering North America began to recede near the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. Upon reaching Alaska, these ancient voyagers became the first humans (not to mention, the first member of the hominid family) to set foot in the western hemisphere.
Near the top of this post I said: So it's rather inconvenient for race science that 23andMe groups two completely separate "races" per race science tradition, Native American and East Asian, together into something 23andMe calls a "global population."

Rather it would be inconvenient if race science cared about data. As we have seen, race science is dependent on 19th century - or even 18th century concepts and race classification schemes.

I mentioned how important Rushton and Lynn are to race science and that is demonstrated in the 2017 Winegard/Boutwell paper, when the paper describes the human biodiversity "Research Program" in the first paragraph:
Here, we will lay out six basic principles of this new Darwinian paradigm (see also, Boyd and Richerson 1985; Cochran and Harpending 2009; Laland et al. 2010; Lynn 2006; Rushton 1995; Wade 2014).
Note also "Cochran and Harpending" because of course Winegards/Boutwell present the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence hypothesis so well refuted by anthropologist Brian Ferguson as if it was settled science.

They aren't interested over-much in new information, for to practice race science all the information you need exists, virtually unchanged for hundreds of years.

Because in spite of claiming to care about genetics, humanbiodiversity, race science, etc. is a political project, not a scientific one. And it is lazy.

Yet just yesterday on Twitter, we see Ben Winegard claiming there are "many" of thousands of hereditarians doing excellent research. Pinkerite is blocked by Winegard, or course, and last time I checked nobody has asked him for evidence of this "excellent research" but it's pretty clear that Winegard is impressed by the likes of Richard Lynn, Jean-Phillippe Rushton, Nicholas Wade, Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.

People who do lazy, pseudoscientific politics and claim it's science deserve to be (verbally) attacked.



Monday, December 9, 2019

Race science: wronger than ever

So based on a complaint by a race science proponent on Twitter, as discussed in the previous post, I reworked the Latino ancestry numbers and now it's even worse for race science than before.

Here's where it stands now:

ANCESTRY
IQ CLAIM
%
WEIGHT
WEIGHTED AVG
European (White)
100
65.1
0.651
65.1
African (Black)
68.5
6.2
0.062
4.247
Native American
87
18
0.18
15.66
East Asian
105
3.56
0.0356
3.738
Ashkenazi
114
3.56
0.0356
4.0584
Middle Eastern
84
3.56
0.0356
2.9904


99.98
TOTAL
95.79

Now remember, race science believes that IQ scores are a measure purely of innate intellectual ability. Although they occasionally give lip service to the environment, when among race science friends as when the Winegard brothers published their "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" article for Quillette they go strong pinkerism straight-up hereditarian:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that. 
So one race science proponent claimed Latino IQ is 89, another claimed Hispanic IQ was 90 but when you look at the Latino/Hispanic ancestry breakdown, using race science IQ score claims, the average IQ should be 95.7 if IQ is a pure genetic expression determined by "race" and untainted by environment.

And please note, the 95.79 score is after I reduced the African score from 85, which was for African American, to 68.5 for sub-Saharan African. (I split the difference between Lynn's 67 and Rushton/Jensens 70.)

Now here's where it gets really interesting.

Although race science considers East Asians and Native Americans completely different races, with a big gap in average IQ (105 v 87) genetic testing does not, as shown by the 23andMe population groupings.

They consider "East Asian & Native American" to be just as much a discreet population as European.

I would include a link to this item but I think it is
only available through 23andMe accounts.


Race science thinks that the Native American IQ score of 87 represents their innate intelligence. But since Native American and East Asian groups are similar enough that they are counted as a single global population - just as all Europeans are a single global population - it stands to reason that environment must be the factor in bringing down Native American IQ scores, which should be the same as East Asian, if IQ is purely an expression of "race."

So why shouldn't we assume that Native Americans get the same IQ score as East Asians?

Giving Native American ancestry a score of 105 raises the overall score to 99. One point below Europeans and nine points above "Hispanic" (and ten points above "Latino" per race science variations.)

ANCESTRY
IQ CLAIM
%
WEIGHT
WEIGHTED AVG
European (White)
100
65.1
0.651
65.1
African (Black)
68.5
6.2
0.062
4.247
Native American
105
18
0.18
18.9
East Asian
105
3.56
0.0356
3.738
Ashkenazi
114
3.56
0.0356
4.0584
Middle Eastern
84
3.56
0.0356
2.9904


99.98
TOTAL
99.03

So race science has failed even more when you compare their IQ claims about Hispanic/Latino as a demographic group against the actual ancestries that make up Hispanic/Latino-classified people.

And this is because race science is dependent on 19th century - or even 18th century concepts and race classification schemes and ignores 21st century discoveries. Which is why race science proponent Razib Khan was  triggered by that Carl Zimmer article.

But why exactly does 23andMe group Native American and East Asian as a single population? We'll talk about that next.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Cleanup on Aisle 88

Amy Harmon published a piece in the NYTimes the other day, Can Biology Class Reduce Racism and then posted a link on Twitter.

Which of course meant that Trump supporters and racists (but I repeat myself) came crawling out of the woodwork and all over her thread. Several of the Twitter accounts jumping on Harmon were the same ones I fought over the Donna Minkowitz article in The Nation. So I jumped in again to do battle.

Or as I like to call it, "Cleanup on aisle 88."


And that "88" is not just hyperbole.

A large proportion of the Twitter accounts that showed up to attack Harmon are standard right-wing race science proponents and many of those love Trump, but there were a couple of blatant anti-Semites in the mix like this charming specimen, an anti-porn crusader called "Totally DSA For Life" who likes and retweets another extremist anti-Semite called "Polygonal Groyper." They seem to think there's a connection between pornography and Jews.

I guess they all got tired of Gab and decided to come back to Twitter.

However, amongst the verbal mayhem, one of the anti-Harmon mob did make a point about a recent post here that I feel the need to take seriously.

He pointed out that in my post "Race Science: Not Even Wrong" the average ancestry mix for "Hispanic" did not add up to 100%. I had noticed that - I got the ancestries from the Carl Zimmer article in the NYTimes and then poked around trying to find anything online that provided data on the remaining 10% of average Hispanic ancestry but was unsuccessful and then just let it drop.

Clearly the laziness of race science is contagious.

So I decided to do what I could to address the issue, and after all, what race science lacks in precision it makes up for in imagination. So let's have more fun with race science.

The Carl Zimmer article references a 2014 study published by Cell.com entitled The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States. One of the authors is David Reich, whom race science proponents persistently and erroneously believe is one of them.

The paper only displays European, African and Native American ancestries for Latino populations, and nowhere in the text did it mention other ancestries.

However, 23andMe published an article on Latino Ancestry and had this to say:
The one thing that genetic testing won’t tell you is whether or not you are Latino or Hispanic. That’s because people from Latin America typically are a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. 
You might also find Middle Eastern, East Asian and Ashkenazi ancestry folded into your results. And as much as it is in the DNA, that rich mixture of ancestry is also embedded in the art, music, and food that make up Latino culture.
I couldn't find anything about the percentages that "Middle Eastern" "East Asian" and "Ashkenazi" contributed to the mix, but this is race science and doesn't have to be precise.

Now as always with race science, there are inconsistencies in both "race" groupings and IQ claims. I mentioned three in the post "Race science: Not even wrong" and here they are again:

Richard Lynn (via Rushton)
  1. East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) 105 
  2. Europeans 100
  3. Inuit or Eskimos 91
  4. South East Asians 87
  5. Native American Indians 87
  6. Pacific Islanders 85
  7. South Asians 84
  8. North Africans 84
  9. Sub-Saharan Africans 67
  10. Australian Aborigines 62
  11. Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert 54
  12. Pygmies of the Congo rain forests  54
The Bell Curve
  1. African American 85
  2. Latino 89
  3. White 103
  4. East Asian 106
  5. Jewish 115
Ruston and Jensen
  1. Jewish 113
  2. East Asian 106
  3. White 100
  4. Hispanic 90
  5. South Asian 87
  6. African American 85
  7. sub-Saharan African 70

Now although Lynn makes distinctions between East Asians and other kinds of Asians, the Bell Curve and Rushton and Jensen can't be bothered and there's no way of telling how to prioritize these competing categorizations because as the Winegard brothers and Brian Boutwell tell us, you can mix and match classifications in any way that works for you.

So I'm going to take the East Asian rating of 106 and put the Jewish rating at 114.

Middle Eastern is a problem since none of the race science ratings use that term, so I'm going to have to go with Richard Lynn's term "North African" with a rating of 84.

OK now we are ready to lay out all Latino ancestries in the next post.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Apologists for Quillette & Race Science

The Nation has published Donna Minkowitz's piece on Quillette Why Racists (and Liberals) Keep Writing for Quillette.

I knew it was coming because Minkowitz contacted me weeks ago to ask me about information I had posted on this site.

Overall the article covers most of the bases, although I was disappointed Minkowitz didn't mention Kevin Drum's defense, in Mother Jones, of Quillette race science as displayed in a review of Angela Saini's "Superior" in Quillette.

One of Quillette's editors Jon Kay of course denies Quillette's promotion of race science, and once again uses the Drum article to try to paint Quillette as a centrist enterprise.



I hope you're proud of yourself, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones.

Of course Pinkerite responded to Drum's piece: Yes, Kevin Drum, Quillette is defending phrenology.

The responses to Minkowitz's article demonstrated a high percentage of Quillette and race science fans are also supporters of Trump.

And then there are the allegedly liberal apologists for Quillette like Zaid Jilani.


By "non-white contributors" Jilani is referring to Coleman Hughes, kept around by Quillette to attack black people, most notably to argue against slave reparations, a move absolutely adored by rightwing media

In September of this year Hughes wrote an article in Quillette in which he attempted, I believe, to avoid the embarrassing fact of Quillette's support for race science by creating an otherwise pointless dichotomy of past-lens vs gap-lens:
The question of black progress, therefore, is less a matter of weighing the reality of progress against the reality of regress than it is a matter of looking at the same reality through two different lenses. Through one lens, progress means reducing the size of black-white racial gaps; let’s call this the gap-lens. But through another lens, progress means improving black outcomes relative to where they were in the past; let’s call this the past-lens. 
The rationale for choosing the gap-lens is this: if not for our racist history, the racial gaps we observe today would not exist. That history includes not only two and a half centuries of chattel slavery, but also the many and varied Jim Crow era policies, from school segregation to redlining, that prevented blacks from taking advantage of the American dream. To measure the width of a racial gap, this view holds, is to measure the depth of America’s failure to redress that history. What’s more, if we fail to close statistical gaps between blacks and whites, then we would be surrendering ourselves to live in a permanently racially-stratified society, a society in which—even if everyone were doing better than their parents—whites would hold more economic power than blacks in perpetuity.
The reason it is important for Hughes to claim we should stop talking about "gap-lens" - which is the difference between African American well-being and white well-being - is because per race science, the gap exists due to African American genetic inferiority.

By focusing on "past-lens" one only compares the well-being of African Americans of the past to that of African Americans at present and avoids the embarrassing fact that race science considers Claire Lehmann to be likely more intelligent by nature than Coleman Hughes.

If Hughes can get his readers to agree we shouldn't think about "gap-lens" he can avoid having to think about Quillette's race science position at all.

And Quillette's race science position is so firm it has its very own race science proponent on staff, as can be seen in Quillette's "Team" listing: Bo Winegard.



Winegard, along with his brother Ben wrote an article for Quillette that is much-beloved by members of the IDW, Sam Harris and Steven Pinker, "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" in which it is falsely claimed that critics of The Bell Curve have misrepresented The Bell Curve's hereditarian position on race and IQ.

More importantly, the article demonstrates the strict hereditarian view of race and IQ which rules out all other reasons for Black-White intelligence testing results gap except genetics. I guess we could call that gap-lens:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
As Minkowitz responds:
Actually, there is a wealth of data showing that better education and higher incomes lead to higher IQ scores across racial groups.
Only a fool or a race science stooge can deny that Quillette is very clearly devoted to promoting race science.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Race Science: not even wrong

Pinkerite attempted race science recently in a two part series, but the more recent post on Charles Murray has inspired me to do it again.

In the Murray post I quoted a five-year-old article by Carl Zimmer in the NYTimes entitled "Black? White? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier" which includes this statement about Latino ancestry based on genetic testing by 23andMe:
Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African... 
And this inspired me to have another go at race science.

Now we know how important Jean-Philippe Rushton is to the world of race science. Rushton was cited eleven times in The Bell Curve.

Rushton published an article for white supremacist VDARE in 2007 called Indians Aren't That Intelligent (On Average),

He's referring to South Asian Indians. Sorry leading race science proponent from Bangladesh, Razib Khan.

In that same VDARE article Rushton uses Richard Lynn's race calculations:
East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) obtain the highest mean IQ at 105. Europeans follow with an IQ of 100. Some ways below these are the Inuit or Eskimos (IQ 91), South East Asians (IQ 87), Native American Indians (IQ 87), Pacific Islanders (IQ 85), and South Asians and North Africans (IQ 84). Well below these are the sub-Saharan Africans (IQ 67), the Australian Aborigines (IQ 62), the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, and the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests (IQ 54).
Notice that there is no "Hispanic" category mentioned. But elsewhere in the article Rushton cites (returning the favor) The Bell Curve:
There are large inequalities in average IQ scores between groups. Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve reported that the average IQ for "African" Americans is lower than those for "Latino", "White", "East Asian", and "Jewish" Americans (IQs = 85, 89, 103, 106, and 115, respectively, pp. 273-278).
So The Bell Curve race categorization scheme includes "Latino" but does not include "Native American."

Then in a 2010 paper Rushton and Arthur Jensen (Jensen was cited by The Bell Curve 24 times) use this race classification scheme:
 Jewish (mean IQ = 113), East Asian (106), White (100), Hispanic (90), South Asian (87), African American (85), and sub-Saharan African (70). 
As we know thanks to Quillette's staff race science proponent Bo Winegard, his brother Ben and their co-author Brian Boutwell, race science says you can sort "groups" any which way that is convenient for you. Clearly Jensen and Rushton abide by this.

So let's do the math of Hispanic ancestry combined with race science IQ claims.

ANCESTRY
IQ CLAIM
%
WEIGHT
WEIGHTED AVG
European (White)
100
65.1
0.651
65.1
African (Black)
85
6.2
0.062
5.27
Native American
87
18
0.18
15.66



TOTAL
86.03

So the IQ should be 86 based on ancestry (and race science claims of genetic IQ) rather than the claim of 90 based on the demographic category "Hispanic."

Once again race science has failed.

But considering how incoherent its classification schemes are, I think it's more accurate to say race science is not even wrong.

UPDATE: I've reworked the numbers with the remaining average Latino ancestry to get closer to 100% and turns out race science is even more wrong (and not-even-wrong) than I thought. Starting at Cleanup on Aisle 88.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Charles Murray and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


The paper can be found here.


Kirkegaard gets a mention at the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Emil Kirkegaard, who edits (Wikipedia) frequently under the username Deleet, is a research fellow at Richard Lynn’s Ulster Institute for Social research and the co-founder of the online pseudojournal OpenPsych.
Although according to RationalWiki:
He is permanently blocked from editing Wikipedia,[21] having misused the wiki to spread his racist nonsense. He has since whined about Wikipedia deleting his pseudoscientific writings on race.[22] 
Kirkegaard gets his own profile on RationalWiki which notes:
As well as running Openpsych, Kirkegaard is the current domain owner of Mankind Quarterly, a white supremacist journal.[23][24]
Kirkegaard is also an author in Mankind Quarterly, listed as the author or co-author of fourteen articles, although some with the most interesting titles like Race Differences, a Very Brief View returned a 404 error. Although those articles that were available only provide an abstract without logging in to see the entire PDF. And I'm not about to pay $68 for a membership to Mankind Quarterly.

I confess I didn't read the Kirkegaard paper promoted by Murray past the abstract because the abstract makes clear that it is a standard specimen of race "science" -
Our sample (k = 16) comprised 84,897 Whites, 37,160 Blacks, and 17,678 Hispanics residing in the United States. We found that White, Black, and Hispanic heritabilities were consistently moderate to high, and that these heritabilities did not differ across groups. At least in the United States, Race/Ethnicity × Heritability interactions likely do not exist.
As I have mentioned many times, the term "Hispanic" has little to do with ancestry. Kirkegaard & co. appear to try to handle that by using the term "race/ethnicity" which is typical of the imprecision of race science. The term Hispanic refers to language. Anthropologist Maxine Margolis (I will have her interview online here ASAP) who specializes in Brazilian culture, mentioned to me that Brazilians don't consider themselves Hispanic because they speak Portuguese. But of course based on US demographic categories they would be counted as Hispanic or Latino, terms that are used interchangeably in practice.

If the Kirkegaard paper tells us anything it tells us about people grouped by United States demographic categories. In other words, politics, not science.

Notice that in his tweet Murray states: "...until we have large genomic databases from the principle populations."

But genetic testing services like 23andMe and other commercial enterprises already are building up genomic databases, and the response of race science to the information discovered by all that genomic testing is to ignore it because it is not what race science wants to hear, as discussed in the NYTimes by Carl Zimmer:
On average, the scientists found, people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.  
Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African... 
In spite of Murray's expression of interest in "large genomic databases" I think it's unlikely that race science will ever bother with testing subjects for genetic ancestry because it would be exponentially more work than the typical race science "study" and as we know:

race science is lazy

Fun fact, Kirkegaard linked to Pinkerite back in November:
People keep asking me about the state of the art re. evidence for physiognomy, so here’s a brief review. 
Phrenology used to be considered legit, and then eventually people realized it was all bogus. Since then, it is usually brought up an example of how science goes wrong in terms of stereotyping, and references to it are used to attack people who don’t agree with Aristotle that the brain is mainly used to cool blood — which is to say, to attack people who study brain size, shape etc. and relate this to differences in human psychology, chiefly intelligence. Some examples of such attacks can be seen here, here and here.
The link is to Yes, Kevin Drum, Quillette is defending phrenology and the main focus of the article is described in the title.

Kirkegaard suggests that critics of hereditarianism believe that "the brain is mainly used to cool blood" and this is funny because it is race science which harkens back to previous centuries for its foundation, including phrenology.

Kirkegaard has of course blocked Pinkerite on Twitter because race science proponents' cowardice is second only to their laziness.

Another fun fact: according to the RationalWiki entry on Kirkegaard:
Kirkegaard was born in Denmark in 1989,[26] but in 2018 moved to the US. A pseudointellectual he has described himself as a "polymath", "scientist", "geneticist", "philosopher" and "psychologist",[27][28] when he isn't any of these things and his only qualification is a BA Linguistics from Aarhus University. In 2019, Kirkegaard moved back to Denmark.[29]
At the present time, Kirkegaard describes himself on his blog as "Scientist etc."

Monday, December 2, 2019

How to do race science part 2


So we have established that although race science proponents may retreat in some circumstances to the position that IQ scores are the result of genetics and environment, a move I call weak pinkerism, in fact what they really believe is revealed under strong pinkerism circumstances, as when they appear before a Koch-funded organization or write for Quillette.

In an article in Quillette, recommended by both Sam Harris and Steven Pinker called "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" Ben and Bo Winegard write:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
They clearly rule out all environmental explanations.

And this suits the mindset of the kind of people who favor race science explanations for human behavior because if you admit that both genetics and environment play a role in IQ scores, you have to explain how much each plays a role and then you have to make a serious effort and do actual work.

Which is why, in spite of their professed interest in genetics and human ancestry, when it comes to actually determining study subjects' genetics and ancestry, race science simply uses existing government demographic categories and calls that "race" - even in the case of Latinos (aka "Hispanic') who can be many different combinations of ancestries as explained by 23andMe:
The one thing that genetic testing won’t tell you is whether or not you are Latino or Hispanic. That’s because people from Latin America typically are a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. You might also find Middle Eastern, East Asian and Ashkenazi ancestry folded into your results. And as much as it is in the DNA, that rich mixture of ancestry is also embedded in the art, music, and food that make up Latino culture.
How do I know they don't do any genetic testing? Because the kingpin of biosocial criminology, Kevin Beaver, told me so in an email. But I would have guessed it anyway because genetically testing subjects for those occasions when you want to make claims about race and IQ would take a lot of work.

As we know, race science is incredibly lazy.

We also know that race science considers differences in IQ test scores to be genetics-based, although sibling birth order tests say otherwise.

And we know they think genetics and IQ are sorted by race even though they have no system of identifying human races - not even a system that they agree on, amongst themselves.

Although the Winegard brothers and Brian Boutwell want you to know that is perfectly fine.

OK let's do some race science.


Jean-Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen are two of the most influential race science proponents.



I went to the trouble of comparing state demographics and state average intelligence rankings and came up with this spreadsheet. While there was no consistent connection between black percentage of population and state average IQ, what really struck me was that Hawaii had such a high Asian population - 35% - and yet ranked 47 out of 50 states. Remember Rushton and Jensen (along with every race science proponent I have ever seen) believe Asian IQ is higher - genetically - than any other "race." 

The hereditarian wasn't ready to give up yet though:



But remember we are doing race science here, and according to leading race science lights Ben and Bo Winegard and Brian Boutwell, one can go ahead and group races in any way that is "useful"
One might start with five continentally based categories (i.e., Caucasians, East Asians, Africans, Native Americans, and Australian Aborigines) and then add more categories as one’s analysis becomes more granular (e.g. Ashkenazi Jewish, Mizrahi Jewish, and so on). These categories aren’t real in some metaphysical sense, but they are useful, and they do have predictive value.  In this, they are like many other constructs in the social sciences such as self-esteem, intelligence, and agreeableness. They represent traits that cluster together; they predict outcomes; and they can be quantified.



So here is how I figured it, per the tenets of race science (in the first tweet below it should be "above" not "about.")







So in conclusion, even with the loose, sloppy standards of race science itself, we have failed to predict IQ scores across a state by knowing the state's demographic mix.

I say in the last tweet that "hereditarians discover environment" but although they may hand-wave any problems with their race/IQ system by saying environment counts for something, in practice they will always go back to the strong pinkerism of genetics-only, so clearly described by the Winegards and Boutwell. 

Because it would take a lot of work to explain where genetics ends and environment begins and that's not something hereditarians have any interest in doing because....

race science is lazy.

Like Gudetama. But not as cute.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

How to do race science part 1

Pinkerite is not a scientist. But that's OK because you don't have to be a scientist to do race science because it's not actually science, in spite of it being promoted as science by the Intellectual Dark Web via Quillette.

As I keep trying to tell the various philosophers, academics, biologists etc. that I follow/follow me on Twitter, if there's one thing you can say about race science is that it's incredibly lazy. It takes race ideas dreamed up primarily in the 19th century and uses them as a basis on which to tack poorly thought-out claims about 21st century life.

The highfalutin' scientific literates on Twitter are constantly trying to talk actual science with race science proponents and that inevitably leads to the real scientists talking past the race science proponents, while giving race science proponents the flattering but mistaken impression they are doing actual science. 

For example, as PZ Myers explained so well, hereditarianism (an umbrella term I am using to cover both evolutionary psychology and race science) doesn't use all of evolutionary theory, but rather only one of its four mechanisms, "adaptation."

So biological scientists and race science proponents don't mean the same thing by the term "evolution" since race science only includes 25% of evolutionary theory.

Which means that "evolutionary psychology" is mis-named. It should actually be called something like "strict-adaptationist psychology."

Stephen Jay Gould critiqued the evolutionary psychology over-use of adaptation in his argument with Steven Pinker in 1997 in an exchange of letters in the New York Review of Books.

Hereditarians believe virtually every facet of human culture is a genetic adaptation. This is so extreme that someone claiming on Twitter to be physicist Allessandro Strumia (who became notorious thanks to his misogyny) insists that like physics, the reason that men dominate wine production is because women have evolved to be less interested in wine production.


I suspect it really is Strumia but I have no way to prove that for certain. If it really is him, his belief that women's career choices are genetic, uninfluenced by patriarchy is even more absurd since he comes from Italy which has some of the most patriarchal attitudes towards working women in Europe.

So last week I got into an argument on Twitter with a race science proponent. The argument started when someone pointed out that IQ scores in the United State vary by state. I immediately thought of what race science proponents would claim, since studying them for several years has taught me all too well how they think.

I knew they would claim that the reason for the difference was the percentage of African Americans in the population - the entire raison d'être of race science is to claim black people are innately inferior to all other kinds of people. One of their major hypotheses for this is Northern Superiority. Which is easy enough to poke holes in by me, a non-scientist and antagonize Steve Sailer, leading race science proponent and also not a scientist, in the process.

Now you may think my characterization of race science thought processes sounds unfairly simplistic. But no, it is not unfair as this race science proponent demonstrated in the middle of the discussion.



Now this aeglmu is an anonymous Twitter rando and while she clearly has faith in the hereditarian view of human IQ she also switches to weak pinkerism with the "at least partly explain" bit.

For as Ben and Bo Winegard, the Quillette race science twins demonstrated in their strong pinkerism  "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" the main line of hereditarian thought holds that the Black-White IQ score gap  is exclusively genetic. I can't see how this passage from the piece can be interpreted any other way:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. 
The Winegards completely rule out all environmental variables. And the Winegard article was approved and linked-to by major IDW hereditarians Steven Pinker and Sam Harris.

So based on the loose and lazy intellectual guidelines of race science, Pinkerite attempted race science on Twitter. I will share that in the next post, How to do race science part 2.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Claire Lehmann hits the big time

Claire Lehmann portrayed by the great Steven Brodner
I believe her pants are on fire.

The founding editor of Quillette, the right wing’s highly influential answer to Slate. Lehmann publishes members of the “intellectual Dark Web”—academics, journalists, and tech entrepreneurs who defend debunked race, gender, and climate science.
She even gets her own caricature by distinguished illustrator Steven Brodner.

The piece by Sam Thielman includes Lehmann in a rogues gallery with Kochs, Bin Salman, Murdoch and Trump.

And just think, not long ago Lehmann was spending her time contributing to Rebel Media and attacking people like me for criticizing the race science promoted by Quillette authors like wee little graduate student Bo Winegard. This tweet is from February 2018. Lehmann blocked my personal account on Twitter right after this. 


Please note Bo Winegard was in his mid-30s at the time Claire Lehmann defended him against "bullying" by a nobody with a blog and a Twitter account.

Razib Khan and Bo Winegard (@EPoe187) have both been mentioned many times on this blog.

I didn't actually boast about "getting Khan fired from the NYTimes" - I mentioned I played a role in the NYTimes offer to Khan being rescinded after Jamelle Bouie (among others) wrote about Khan's race science career. Bouie linked to a post on my personal blog written about Khan. I had been keeping tabs on Khan ever since he interviewed Steve Pinker on Khan's Gene Expression web site in 2006.

And the comparison of Khan to Winegard doesn't work - Khan got "fired" from the NYTimes when word got out about Khan's race science - my criticizing Winegard's race science on Twitter was hardly going to get him fired from Quillette - in fact, it's his advocacy of race science that most likely endeared him to Lehmann, and lead to his becoming an occasional contributor to Quillette and now apparently a member of the staff.