Featured Post

PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about "lighting up like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

The Brian Ferguson Interview

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 CaƱizares-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.