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Genetics and race
Posted: 01 February 2011 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 421 ]
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Darwin was racist only in the same way that Mark Twain was. They were both thoughtful and progressive men who only had the deep racism of their times as a contrast. Each of us can only be as progressive as the times we live in aren’t. Forget the one-eyed king, for most of us the dude slightly ahead of us, fumbling just as blindly as us, is king. The one in front occasionally hits light switches.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 422 ]
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George - 03 November 2010 06:00 PM

Occam,

Even if it were true that malnutrition plays such a big role in determining intelligence (it doesn’t), it still doesn’t change the fact that people in Uganda behave the way they do largely due to their low intelligence.

I am not very happy about having to point to these very painful facts, but as long as people like Harris, and now even Dawkins, keep making stuff up to help them to promote their opinions, I feel the need to respond accordingly.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131153532.htm


Children’s Genetic Potentials Are Subdued by Poverty: Effects Show by Age 2

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2011) — Children from poorer families do worse in school, are less likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to go to college. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that these differences appear surprisingly early: by the age of 2. It’s not a genetic difference. Instead, something about the poorer children’s environment is keeping them from realizing their genetic potentials.

Past research has found that a gap between poor children and children from wealthier families opens up early in life, even before children enter formal education. “Poor kids aren’t even doing as well in terms of school readiness—sounding out letters and doing other things that you would expect to be relevant to early learning,” says Elliot M. Tucker-Drob of the University of Texas at Austin, lead author of the paper. He and his colleagues, Mijke Rhemtulla and K. Paige Harden of the University of Texas at Austin and Eric Turkheimer and David Fask of the University of Virginia, wanted to look even earlier—to see if they could find these differences in infants.

The researchers used data on about 750 pairs of fraternal and identical twins, from all over the country. The children’s mental abilities were tested at 10 months of age and again when they were 2 years old, with tasks like pulling a string to ring a bell, placing three cubes in a cup, matching pictures, and sorting pegs by color. The children’s socioeconomic status was determined based on parents’ educational attainment, occupations, and family income.

At 10 months of age, children from poor families performed just as well as children from wealthier families. It was over the next 14 months that a gap emerged. By 2 years of age, children from wealthier families were scoring consistently higher than the children from poorer families.

The researchers went on to examine the extent to which genes were involved in the test scores. Among the 2-year-olds from wealthier families, identical twins, who share all of their genes, had much more similar tests scores than fraternal twins, who share only half of their genes, thus indicating that genes were influencing their tests scores. However, among 2-year-olds from poorer families, identical twins scored no more similar to one another than fraternal twins, suggesting that genes were not influencing their test scores. The researchers concluded that something about the poor children’s home life was suppressing their potentials for cognitive development.

This study didn’t look specifically into why wealthy children improve more. It could be that poorer parents may not have the time or resources to spend playing with their children in stimulating ways. A common goal of education policy is to decrease the achievement gap between poorer and wealthier children, says Tucker-Drob. “And I think the first step to achieving this goal is understanding the basis of these disparities.” He’s working now on understanding exactly what it is that parents are doing differently—analyzing videos of poorer and wealthier parents interacting with their children, for example, to see if he can find differences.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 423 ]
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Bees Mom - 02 February 2011 03:33 AM

Among the 2-year-olds from wealthier families, identical twins, who share all of their genes, had much more similar tests scores than fraternal twins, who share only half of their genes, thus indicating that genes were influencing their tests scores. However, among 2-year-olds from poorer families, identical twins scored no more similar to one another than fraternal twins, suggesting that genes were not influencing their test scores. The researchers concluded that something about the poor children’s home life was suppressing their potentials for cognitive development.

The poor also make similar amount of money and have less diverse interests. Those living bellow the poverty line will have an annual income of somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000, with a difference of $10,000. The income difference between middle-class families will be $100,000 and millions of dollars between the rich.

Imagine they test the two-year old kids using A, B, C, D and F. If the majority of the poor kids scored a D and an F, the difference would be a mere one mark. The rich kids could have scored anything from an A to a C, with a larger spectrum.

It is very easy to guide these type of tests toward desirable results.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 424 ]
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I just thought of another example: take two ducks who are as closely related as two humans. Both ducks will know how to swim and catch insects, and although one duck might be a slightly better swimmer and catch 10 more insects per day than his brother, the difference between two human brothers who are as genetically close to each other as the two ducks will be much greater. Why? Because we are more intelligent than the ducks. When you are smart you have more choices.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 425 ]
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George - 02 February 2011 08:03 AM
Bees Mom - 02 February 2011 03:33 AM

Among the 2-year-olds from wealthier families, identical twins, who share all of their genes, had much more similar tests scores than fraternal twins, who share only half of their genes, thus indicating that genes were influencing their tests scores. However, among 2-year-olds from poorer families, identical twins scored no more similar to one another than fraternal twins, suggesting that genes were not influencing their test scores. The researchers concluded that something about the poor children’s home life was suppressing their potentials for cognitive development.

The poor also make similar amount of money and have less diverse interests. Those living bellow the poverty line will have an annual income of somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000, with a difference of $10,000. The income difference between middle-class families will be $100,000 and millions of dollars between the rich.

Imagine they test the two-year old kids using A, B, C, D and F. If the majority of the poor kids scored a D and an F, the difference would be a mere one mark. The rich kids could have scored anything from an A to a C, with a larger spectrum.

It is very easy to guide these type of tests toward desirable results.

Sorry, George, but I find your answer intellectually dishonest. I didn’t expect this article to change you whole view on this topic, but the correct response would’ve been to note that this study, and others, demonstrate the possibility that environmental and maternal/child nutritional factors do play a part in development and reserve judgement until a proper scrutiny of a body of evidence can be made. Because there IS a growing body of evidence. I firmly believe that one study proves nothing but the need for more study, but in this case regarding child development, there are more studies.

But to instead sit where you are, with no study of your own, or a careful scrutiny, backed up by actual facts, not stuff you’re just pulling out of your hat, and say, “Obviously the whole study is wrong because of stuff I have no proof of my own for, plus the researchers were obviously biased and unprofessional. Oh, and ducks,” is not skeptical, it is merely pigheaded.

I, of course, have no idea what your background is, but I do know that peer review means review, by peers, who conduct studies of their own or counter a study with actual data, and not simply because they dislike the implications of a study.

To me, your response shows that you aren’t actually interested a)discussing any of this or b) examining your beliefs on this at all. And knowing that about yourself, you should agree not to discuss this here any more, because it’s less of, “Hey, I have a valid yet controversial opinion that might offend, but let’s discuss it, ” and more of, “Hey, I had a poo. Let me show you it.”

C

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Posted: 02 February 2011 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 426 ]
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You’re right, Bees Mom, the environment has a lot to do with child development.  Genetics have little to do with how we interact with a given environment and being poor has nothing to do with genetics.  I’m with you though, I do not know where George gets that crap from, because it isn’t even factual, much less on par with actually scientific research.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 427 ]
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Bees Mom - 02 February 2011 12:01 PM

I didn’t expect this article to change you whole view on this topic, but the correct response would’ve been to note that this study, and others, demonstrate the possibility that environmental and maternal/child nutritional factors do play a part in development and reserve judgement until a proper scrutiny of a body of evidence can be made.

Well, this particular study merely shows that the two groups differ. If the cause is environmental or genetic is not clear. I am not obviously certain that environment doesn’t play a significant role in raising the children (or in this case, shaping their intelligence), but, once again, this study or any other as far as I know, has yet to find evidence to support such a claim.

Also, if it upsets you to talk about it, don’t.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 428 ]
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would you consider me racist if I put this link ,which i think it’s somehow related to intelligence

Morality and Abstract Thinking: How Africans may differ from Westerners

http://crime-of-apartheid.blogspot.com/2010/07/morality-and-abstract-thinking-how_26.html

I don’t want to be racist , but the article is interesting to read

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Posted: 02 February 2011 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 429 ]
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Bees Mom and Mriana,

I realize that this is a touchy subject, and while I tend to agree that George is a bit intransigent and subject to some cognitive dissonance here, I don’t think the hostile tone or scatalogical language is appropriate or helpful here.


George,

I have to agree that you appear remarkably resistant to acknowledging the significance of data contrary to your position. Twin studies are the foundation for most of the claims you support about the relative heritability of influence of gens vs environment on IQ, behavior, etc. Yet when such a study suggests that udner certain circumstances environmental influences can override genetic predispotions, you dismiss it. As I’ve argued all along, genetic influences are significant, and much greater than most people realize or accept, but it is perfectly consistent with evolutioanry theory, and well-supported by data, that at the extremes environmental factors can overwhelm genetic influences, which is what this study seems to indicate in this case. I’m not clear as to why you are so reluctant to accept that idea.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 430 ]
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Is it fair to say that we are not born with a certain fixed IQ, but that we are able to increase IQ through exposure to education and a fertile intellectual environment at an early age?

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Posted: 02 February 2011 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 431 ]
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Brennen,

The last I remember you agreed with Pinker that the influence of the parents on the personality (intelligence in this case) of their kids wasn’t there. Has this study changed your mind? Do you know of any other? As I already said above, I am not convinced that this specific research proves the environment (or rather the parents as they seem to suggest toward the end) makes a significant difference. Even if it were true (which it is in some cases), the impact on the kids is only temporary and disappears in the long run.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 432 ]
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mckenzievmd - 02 February 2011 04:24 PM

Bees Mom and Mriana,

I realize that this is a touchy subject, and while I tend to agree that George is a bit intransigent and subject to some cognitive dissonance here, I don’t think the hostile tone or scatalogical language is appropriate or helpful here.


Noted. I did not intend to appear hostile, I am sometimes a tad blunt.

 

George - 02 February 2011 06:05 PM

Brennen,

As I already said above, I am not convinced that this specific research proves the environment (or rather the parents as they seem to suggest toward the end) makes a significant difference.

The parents ARE the environment, and poverty interferes with their ability to spend as much time as they should with their young child(ren). It also limits their learning opportunities.

Even if it were true (which it is in some cases), the impact on the kids is only temporary and disappears in the long run.

And what is your proof of that? Lack of proper attention in early childhood can have long term effects. So called “feral children” never recover from their neglect and isolation. Some never even learn to talk if they don’t learn early enough.

C

[ Edited: 02 February 2011 07:11 PM by Bees Mom ]
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Posted: 02 February 2011 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 433 ]
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Mriana - 02 February 2011 12:29 PM

I do not know where George gets that crap from, because it isn’t even factual, much less on par with actually scientific research.

That would be the scientific research of the socialization researchers. But then, there is the also the scientific research of the behavioural geneticists, of which you are, as a psychologist, probably quite aware, right?

[ Edited: 02 February 2011 07:17 PM by George ]
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Posted: 02 February 2011 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 434 ]
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Bees Mom - 02 February 2011 07:07 PM

Some never even learn to talk if they don’t learn early enough.

You can also poke out their eyes and make them blind, no matter what their genes had planned for them. Look, you can always make things much worse, but to assume that the parents of the rich kids do something that the other parents don’t do, which has a direct and everlasting impact on the kids’ personalities, is simply wishful thinking, supported by zero evidence.

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Posted: 02 February 2011 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 435 ]
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George - 02 February 2011 07:15 PM
Bees Mom - 02 February 2011 07:07 PM

Some never even learn to talk if they don’t learn early enough.

You can also poke out their eyes and make them blind, no matter what their genes had planned for them. Look, you can always make things much worse, but to assume that the parents of the rich kids do something that the other parents don’t do, which has a direct and everlasting impact on the kids’ personalities, is simply wishful thinking, supported by zero evidence.

It is supported by the study I just posted, and other ones. There is evidence, you are just dismissing it because it doesn’t support your theory.

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