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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.