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Genetics and race
Posted: 21 June 2011 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 541 ]
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DarronS - 21 June 2011 07:48 AM

Yeah, nothing like that would ever happen in a civilized country.

Of course it will happen, but not nearly as often. As I already said before: John Stockton was a great NBA player.

DarronS - 21 June 2011 07:48 AM

George, your assertion that religion is not to blame for these ignorant acts is almost as specious as your assertion that parents do not influence their children’s behavior.

Sorry, the parents thing is not an assertion. It’s a fact. The cause of the witch-hunt can be debated, I suppose. But you are not interested in that, are you?

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Posted: 21 June 2011 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 542 ]
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Mriana - 21 June 2011 08:26 AM
DarronS - 21 June 2011 07:48 AM
George - 20 June 2011 10:35 PM
mid atlantic - 20 June 2011 10:19 PM

The whole thread is about supposed differences between Africans and George.

Not really. The reason for this discussion was to challenge the idea that religion is to blame for the unfortunate practice of witch-hunt in Africa.

<snark>Yeah, nothing like that would ever happen in a civilized country.</snark> Dog sentenced to death by stoning

George, your assertion that religion is not to blame for these ignorant acts is almost as specious as your assertion that parents do not influence their children’s behavior.

I agree.  In the case of the witch-hunt against the dog, that was purely superstitious religious views.  The majority of lunacy comes from religion, not from genetics or anything like that.  If it’s genetics, then the dog is smarter then the Rabbis.

I believe there is history here with which I am unfamiliar.  shut eye

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Posted: 21 June 2011 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 543 ]
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traveler - 21 June 2011 08:51 AM
Mriana - 21 June 2011 08:26 AM
DarronS - 21 June 2011 07:48 AM
George - 20 June 2011 10:35 PM
mid atlantic - 20 June 2011 10:19 PM

The whole thread is about supposed differences between Africans and George.

Not really. The reason for this discussion was to challenge the idea that religion is to blame for the unfortunate practice of witch-hunt in Africa.

<snark>Yeah, nothing like that would ever happen in a civilized country.</snark> Dog sentenced to death by stoning

George, your assertion that religion is not to blame for these ignorant acts is almost as specious as your assertion that parents do not influence their children’s behavior.

I agree.  In the case of the witch-hunt against the dog, that was purely superstitious religious views.  The majority of lunacy comes from religion, not from genetics or anything like that.  If it’s genetics, then the dog is smarter then the Rabbis.

I believe there is history here with which I am unfamiliar.  shut eye

Yeah, the Rabbis think dogs are unclean, much like Muslims and they are still living in the Dark Ages where superstition reign.

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Posted: 21 June 2011 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 544 ]
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Isn’t racism an aberrant outgrowth of a very practical need to classify both events and material objects?  No two objects are exactly alike, this is easily discernible in the natural world, but in order to function effectively we have to create classes of objects and actions.  It would be too laborious in a hunter gatherer society to minutely examine and test every root, nut or berry, and disastrous to not have have dangerous animals fall quickly into a category.  It’s probably also a good thing to be able to quickly ascertain if someone is a member of your tribe or not.

If it’s true that we are evolutionarily predisposed to quickly categorize, or develop prejudices then I feel that it is remarkable, and commendable that most of us struggle so hard intellectually not to fall prey to the impulse.  We’ve become very sensitive to the indications of prejudice.  This is a good thing, but it makes it very difficult to discuss genetic or social traits that are shared by groups of people.  My guess is that we’re all inclined to be prejudiced, and struggle against it. 

I try to err on the side of generosity, admit my own potential to develop prejudices and not nitpick other peoples language when they are trying to discuss a phenomenon in a constructive way.  I can say “Poor people are stupid”, or “Poor people do not answer as many questions correctly on standardized tests as the average person.”  These statements are very equivalent, and could both be labelled “prejudiced”, but the second statement is much more constructive, and I wouldn’t interrupt a discussion of how to improve the educational system to take issue with such a statement, it might well lead to some valid ideas.

One of the main reasons for my disdain for organized religion, (a prejudice in itself), is it is so easily used as a breeding ground for nonconstructive prejudices.

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Posted: 21 June 2011 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 545 ]
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Nice post, Jeciron.

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Posted: 21 June 2011 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 546 ]
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W4U
I find all this speculation of intelligence potential of various groups to be utterly useless and hubris. It is a proven fact that exposure to knowledge raises the intelligence and ability for abstract thought in all humans and very possibly in other advanced animal species.

The problem (and solution) lies in priorities placed on areas of knowledge and which parts of the brain are stimulated. This has nothing to do with inherent abilities to understand and develop thinking skills.

Anyone see the movie Nell?  Should we base our conclusions of intelligence on those type of examples? The brain grows synapses in direct relationship to exposure of amount and type of knowledge.

Is a computer which is programmed as a wordprocessor and cannot do arithmetic calculations less functional (have less “brainpower”) than a computer which has been programmed for calculus but not wordprocessing?
Is a whale or dolphin less intelligent than a human? You try living your entire life in the ocean.
Is god an intelligence? Billions of people believe in a “supreme intelligence”.
Is an “idiot savant” more intelligent than a “well rounded” person?

IMO, this whole attempt to quantify the average intelligence of human sub-species is destructive as it breeds contempt and prejudice. I see the entire discussion of who is the more intelligent as an ego driven exercise in futility.

[ Edited: 15 June 2011 05:17 PM by Write4U ]

George - 16 June 2011 05:34 PM
Okay, let’s have a thought experiment. Not to prove that I am right and you’re wrong but to show that you actually don’t believe what you’re saying.

Imagine you were to form a basketball team hoping to win you lots of money in the future under these conditions: your future team will consist of players who will all be born tomorrow and you’ll never get a chance to see their parents or to find out anything about their families’ past or present. You will simply let a computer randomly choose (no idea how many players on a basketball team) a number of future players and then wait until they are an appropriate age to begin practicing, hoping to lead them to a gold medal. Now, the only choice you have to make is to pick between between black and white future players, and then let the computer pick at random from all the black and white kids born tomorrow. Whom will you pick?

W4U
In fairness I would let the computer do the random selection. If I had information as to a genetic predisposition to size I would select the tallest prospects, be they white or black. Skills are acquired, not genetically predetermined.
Of course, any selection of prospects would not guarantee their participation. You cited Obama, he was a more than a fair basketball player, yet he choose to pursue a career in Law. Go figure.
[ Edited: 16 June 2011 05:53 PM by Write4U ]

George - 16 June 2011 06:29 PM
Music can’t be objectively measured. OTOH, maybe it can. But I guess it depends on the genre. If I expected the musicians to play a symphony I guess I would choose the white guys. Learning how to play classical music probably requires an individual with high conscientiousness. If the genre was rap, I would go for the black guys.

W4U
You’ve got to be kidding me.  You equate black musicians with Rap? That is not even music. It is rhythmical poetry.
Musical conscientiousness? Have you heard of Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, John Lewis? Granted, most grew up in a non-classical environment, but to assert that they were not conscientious in the application of their art/craft reveals a lack of knowledge on your part. The art of improvisation in Jazz is akin to spontaneous composing melodies on a theme or a set of chord progressions and requires advanced theoretical knowledge of musical structure and technical skills well beyond the requirements of classical music, which already written and just needs execution under the direction of a conductor.

Place a symphony player in a jazz band which requires spontaneous improvisation and most (there are a few exceptions) will be completely lost. Most competent Jazz players (black or white) will do just fine in a symphony orchestra. In fact Wynton Marsalis is a featured classical soloist as well as an incredibly inventive jazz musician.

I could go on, but in short. the answer is that there is no discernible difference in skills between serious black and white musicians.

Enter MID ATLANTIC

mid atlantic
Saying that rap is not music will make you appear very racist to younger black americans.Isnt all singing rythmical poetry?

mid atlantic- 20 June 2011 08:18 PM
Comparing different races to animals,that proves your all deeply racist pricks-especially George

W4U
Cite me a passage where I singled out a race. In fact I did not even draw a distinction between animals and humans (all humans). I would say that is the very opposite of your ill considered comment.

mid atlanticThe comment was ment to be darkly(no pun intended)funny.The whole thread is about supposed differences between Africans and George.

George
Not really. The reason for this discussion was to challenge the idea that religion is to blame for the unfortunate practice of witch-hunt in Africa.

mid atlanticThat lasted for a few posts excaim It descended into genes and race pretty quick,not that there’s a problem with that;it had to go there.

W4U
It is the title of the topic.

In defense of George, IMO he is trying to discuss an emotionally very sensitive subject in a dispassionate analytical way and not from a prejudicial viewpoint.

I don’t know George’s race, nor do I care.
But as a blond, blue eyed dutchman, I would never have fully been able to understand the emotionally devastating effect of racial prejudice (perhaps caused by fear) toward people with a different skin color, except for the fact that I am married to a native american woman with distinctly mayan features. During our 45 year marriage, I have seen first hand the subconscious prejudicial treatment she has received, in spite of the fact that she is an intelligent, competent nurse with an extensive education in the medical field.
My heart has broken many times, watching her being served last in restaurants, or being pushed aside while waiting in a line, or being addressed and treated in a generally disrespectful manner, or even being ignored altogether, by the same people who fall all over themselves to serve me.

mid atlanticYou say you are not racist,I believe you.I don’t care much if you are or not;sometimes when a person is accused of something as emotionaly hysterical as racism,they can become overly defensive,and it makes them seem more guilty.Since you are Dutch and not my generation,possibly you have a different way of relating.

W4U
In what way do you think my way of relating is different than yours? I am genuinly interested.

Personally I never give the subject any thought other than in a discussion or watching a particularly offense incident on TV, Personally I have never been exposed to prejudism, other than when I attended grade school in a town with 99.0% catholics and 1% atheist (my family) having to run for my life in 6th grade after I mentioned that people are made from atoms. Thus I was exposed to a form of prejudice based on religious grounds, not so much different from prejudice based on racial ground.

Indulge me, please.

mid atlanticGenerally I feel that when people tell the truth they give sharp,confident answers.A person defending themselves against an accusation of racism by giving examples of “oh I can’t be racist because this happend to me or my wife is this oppressed minority"to me that seems like a cover up for hypocrisy.
MAYBE IT’S NOT THOUGH! My previous comment about everyone being racist was a failed attempt at humor.

I’m not gonna let you off the hook that easy. You called me a “racist prick”. I don’t see that as a failed attempt at “dark"humor.(sic)
Then you even went on to give “reasons” for your conclusion, removing it as an attempt at humor.

I find it offensive and ad hominem. Moreover it shows a shallowness of analysis of what was actually being said in this post, and conclusions without any foundation.

IMO the purpose of this Forum is to foster critical thinking. You may want to re-examine your approach to that.

[ Edited: 21 June 2011 01:53 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 21 June 2011 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 547 ]
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Jeciron - 21 June 2011 09:23 AM

Isn’t racism an aberrant outgrowth of a very practical need to classify both events and material objects?  No two objects are exactly alike, this is easily discernible in the natural world, but in order to function effectively we have to create classes of objects and actions.  It would be too laborious in a hunter gatherer society to minutely examine and test every root, nut or berry, and disastrous to not have have dangerous animals fall quickly into a category.  It’s probably also a good thing to be able to quickly ascertain if someone is a member of your tribe or not.

If it’s true that we are evolutionarily predisposed to quickly categorize, or develop prejudices then I feel that it is remarkable, and commendable that most of us struggle so hard intellectually not to fall prey to the impulse.  We’ve become very sensitive to the indications of prejudice.  This is a good thing, but it makes it very difficult to discuss genetic or social traits that are shared by groups of people.  My guess is that we’re all inclined to be prejudiced, and struggle against it. 

I try to err on the side of generosity, admit my own potential to develop prejudices and not nitpick other peoples language when they are trying to discuss a phenomenon in a constructive way.  I can say “Poor people are stupid”, or “Poor people do not answer as many questions correctly on standardized tests as the average person.”  These statements are very equivalent, and could both be labelled “prejudiced”, but the second statement is much more constructive, and I wouldn’t interrupt a discussion of how to improve the educational system to take issue with such a statement, it might well lead to some valid ideas.

One of the main reasons for my disdain for organized religion, (a prejudice in itself), is it is so easily used as a breeding ground for nonconstructive prejudices.

I like it cheese

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Posted: 21 June 2011 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 548 ]
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Write4U - 21 June 2011 01:49 PM

W4U
I find all this speculation of intelligence potential of various groups to be utterly useless and hubris. It is a proven fact that exposure to knowledge raises the intelligence and ability for abstract thought in all humans and very possibly in other advanced animal species.

The problem (and solution) lies in priorities placed on areas of knowledge and which parts of the brain are stimulated. This has nothing to do with inherent abilities to understand and develop thinking skills.

Anyone see the movie Nell?  Should we base our conclusions of intelligence on those type of examples? The brain grows synapses in direct relationship to exposure of amount and type of knowledge.

Is a computer which is programmed as a wordprocessor and cannot do arithmetic calculations less functional (have less “brainpower”) than a computer which has been programmed for calculus but not wordprocessing?
Is a whale or dolphin less intelligent than a human? You try living your entire life in the ocean.
Is god an intelligence? Billions of people believe in a “supreme intelligence”.
Is an “idiot savant” more intelligent than a “well rounded” person?

IMO, this whole attempt to quantify the average intelligence of human sub-species is destructive as it breeds contempt and prejudice. I see the entire discussion of who is the more intelligent as an ego driven exercise in futility.

[ Edited: 15 June 2011 05:17 PM by Write4U ]

George - 16 June 2011 05:34 PM
Okay, let’s have a thought experiment. Not to prove that I am right and you’re wrong but to show that you actually don’t believe what you’re saying.

Imagine you were to form a basketball team hoping to win you lots of money in the future under these conditions: your future team will consist of players who will all be born tomorrow and you’ll never get a chance to see their parents or to find out anything about their families’ past or present. You will simply let a computer randomly choose (no idea how many players on a basketball team) a number of future players and then wait until they are an appropriate age to begin practicing, hoping to lead them to a gold medal. Now, the only choice you have to make is to pick between between black and white future players, and then let the computer pick at random from all the black and white kids born tomorrow. Whom will you pick?

W4U
In fairness I would let the computer do the random selection. If I had information as to a genetic predisposition to size I would select the tallest prospects, be they white or black. Skills are acquired, not genetically predetermined.
Of course, any selection of prospects would not guarantee their participation. You cited Obama, he was a more than a fair basketball player, yet he choose to pursue a career in Law. Go figure.
[ Edited: 16 June 2011 05:53 PM by Write4U ]

George - 16 June 2011 06:29 PM
Music can’t be objectively measured. OTOH, maybe it can. But I guess it depends on the genre. If I expected the musicians to play a symphony I guess I would choose the white guys. Learning how to play classical music probably requires an individual with high conscientiousness. If the genre was rap, I would go for the black guys.

W4U
You’ve got to be kidding me.  You equate black musicians with Rap? That is not even music. It is rhythmical poetry.
Musical conscientiousness? Have you heard of Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, John Lewis? Granted, most grew up in a non-classical environment, but to assert that they were not conscientious in the application of their art/craft reveals a lack of knowledge on your part. The art of improvisation in Jazz is akin to spontaneous composing melodies on a theme or a set of chord progressions and requires advanced theoretical knowledge of musical structure and technical skills well beyond the requirements of classical music, which already written and just needs execution under the direction of a conductor.

Place a symphony player in a jazz band which requires spontaneous improvisation and most (there are a few exceptions) will be completely lost. Most competent Jazz players (black or white) will do just fine in a symphony orchestra. In fact Wynton Marsalis is a featured classical soloist as well as an incredibly inventive jazz musician.

I could go on, but in short. the answer is that there is no discernible difference in skills between serious black and white musicians.

Enter MID ATLANTIC

mid atlantic
Saying that rap is not music will make you appear very racist to younger black americans.Isnt all singing rythmical poetry?

mid atlantic- 20 June 2011 08:18 PM
Comparing different races to animals,that proves your all deeply racist pricks-especially George

W4U
Cite me a passage where I singled out a race. In fact I did not even draw a distinction between animals and humans (all humans). I would say that is the very opposite of your ill considered comment.

mid atlanticThe comment was ment to be darkly(no pun intended)funny.The whole thread is about supposed differences between Africans and George.

George
Not really. The reason for this discussion was to challenge the idea that religion is to blame for the unfortunate practice of witch-hunt in Africa.

mid atlanticThat lasted for a few posts excaim It descended into genes and race pretty quick,not that there’s a problem with that;it had to go there.

W4U
It is the title of the topic.

In defense of George, IMO he is trying to discuss an emotionally very sensitive subject in a dispassionate analytical way and not from a prejudicial viewpoint.

I don’t know George’s race, nor do I care.
But as a blond, blue eyed dutchman, I would never have fully been able to understand the emotionally devastating effect of racial prejudice (perhaps caused by fear) toward people with a different skin color, except for the fact that I am married to a native american woman with distinctly mayan features. During our 45 year marriage, I have seen first hand the subconscious prejudicial treatment she has received, in spite of the fact that she is an intelligent, competent nurse with an extensive education in the medical field.
My heart has broken many times, watching her being served last in restaurants, or being pushed aside while waiting in a line, or being addressed and treated in a generally disrespectful manner, or even being ignored altogether, by the same people who fall all over themselves to serve me.

mid atlanticYou say you are not racist,I believe you.I don’t care much if you are or not;sometimes when a person is accused of something as emotionaly hysterical as racism,they can become overly defensive,and it makes them seem more guilty.Since you are Dutch and not my generation,possibly you have a different way of relating.

W4U
In what way do you think my way of relating is different than yours? I am genuinly interested.

Personally I never give the subject any thought other than in a discussion or watching a particularly offense incident on TV, Personally I have never been exposed to prejudism, other than when I attended grade school in a town with 99.0% catholics and 1% atheist (my family) having to run for my life in 6th grade after I mentioned that people are made from atoms. Thus I was exposed to a form of prejudice based on religious grounds, not so much different from prejudice based on racial ground.

Indulge me, please.

mid atlanticGenerally I feel that when people tell the truth they give sharp,confident answers.A person defending themselves against an accusation of racism by giving examples of “oh I can’t be racist because this happend to me or my wife is this oppressed minority"to me that seems like a cover up for hypocrisy.
MAYBE IT’S NOT THOUGH! My previous comment about everyone being racist was a failed attempt at humor.

I’m not gonna let you off the hook that easy. You called me a “racist prick”. I don’t see that as a failed attempt at “dark"humor.(sic)
Then you even went on to give “reasons” for your conclusion, removing it as an attempt at humor.

I find it offensive and ad hominem. Moreover it shows a shallowness of analysis of what was actually being said in this post, and conclusions without any foundation.

IMO the purpose of this Forum is to foster critical thinking. You may want to re-examine your approach to that.

IMO, only someone with something to hide would find it as offensive as you do.

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Posted: 21 June 2011 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 549 ]
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IMO, only someone with nothing to say resorts to ad hominem remarks.

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W4U

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