Do you think race determines intelligence?

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Do you think race determines intelligence?

Yes
0
No votes
No
24
86%
Yes to a degree
4
14%
 
Total votes : 28

Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Anonymous Boy » 26th March, 2017, 7:19 am

Togetik wrote:
Anonymous Boy wrote:
No, 'race' does not determine intelligence, though there are biological and social factors in and between different ethnicities that may affect the average intelligence of individuals of those ethnicities.

Stated this way, I wonder if we could all agree on it.

Not really, biological factors still don't really play into it at all as far as modern credible science is concerned. Bar that you are right

Let me preface this by saying that I'm sure you're already aware of the facts I'm about to mention, and that this is merely an attempt to put them in a context in which you can see that my attempt at a consensus statement makes sense.

Let's split the bit you're talking about into two statements:
  1. There are biological factors in and between different ethnicities.
  2. Those factors may affect the average intelligence of individuals of those ethnicities.

There are different reasons why people with certain traits came to dominate certain areas of the globe. Dark skin is an obvious trait that was naturally selected for in very sunny areas with high temperatures because it conferred a reproductive advantage, by protecting against folate depletion and DNA damage due to ultraviolet radiation after body hair was lost to improve evaporation of sweat for enhanced cooling. (Though that's just a very visible trait. I'm sure you will agree that it would be very surprising if easily identified traits like skin colour were the only ones that conferred advantages, through biological mechanisms, to people living in different parts of the world.) That's the first statement.

I'm sure you will also agree that the extent and impact of such differences in traits between peoples is unknown. Not enough high-quality research has been done to investigate these things as far as I know, which makes sense since it's an understandably controversial area and it's not like the information would be very useful in medicine. Anyone investigating this matter would be likely to either be biased by a political agenda or suffer from lack of the necessary funding for proper research. Hence "may". It seems impossible to say with certainty at this point whether these biological factors do or don't have an impact on the average intelligence of individuals of different ethnicities. It seems unlikely that there would be no impact on traits that aren't readily visible; it would be surprising if peoples originating from areas where they were regularly preyed on by fast animals couldn't run any faster on average than peoples originating from areas without any fast predators. It does not seem strange to hypothesise that these differences would extend to cognition. There are plenty of ways in which this could happen even as a mere side effect of other changes; to take the predation example, in a population that regularly has to outrun predators over a long timescale lest it die out, individuals with more efficient energy utilisation are likely to have a reproductive advantage, which could very plausibly improve their cognition as well.

I would be very surprised if there were no cognitive differences between the average individuals of different ethnicities at all; it seems like that would require an implausibly huge coincidence. And there's nothing wrong with that. It would be very strange if people were homogenous in all of these traits all over the world.

Now, note that the statement doesn't say that this happens. It says that it may happen. I think it is very likely, but I didn't say that it was true. We do not need to know that it happens for the statement to be true. It just needs to be plausible, which I'd say it definitely is: there are mechanisms by which it can happen, like the one I touched on above.

I also didn't say any difference was likely to be significant. Even if you had the funds and unbiased researchers, it may take an implausibly huge sample size to show that a difference exists.

And, as I'm sure you're aware, there is plenty of evidence that environmental factors surrounding the individual have a very big influence in this regard.

Even if there were significant differences in average intelligence between different ethnicities resulting purely from genetics, it's not like that would be a reason to treat any individuals any differently. Even if people of "Asian descent" were biologically predisposed to being more intelligent on average than people of "European descent", you'll get above-average individuals and below-average individuals in any group, and you'd still want to test their aptitude if you wanted to hire them for a job or whatever. Discriminating against anyone based on (likely tiny and possibly unmeasurable) population averages like this would still be dumb and immoral.

Just like with differences between the sexes, the view that everyone is basically the same absent environmental influences is unnecessarily idealistic. There are natural differences between people of different ethnicities, sexes, sexual orientations, handedness etc. in the average, and that's okay. It's part of the normal and essential variation of life. The important thing is that we make sure everyone is given the same opportunities to flourish.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby FirePhantom » 26th March, 2017, 7:50 am

Calcifer wrote:I'd argue that biology has nothing to do with it. We all diverged from a common ancestor not too long ago, not enough time has passed for evolution to affect us in a radical way when it comes to intelligence - You can far more easily trace the differences in intelligence between communities to their diet, then you can to their race.

Enough time has passed for very visibly distinguishable traits to appear in groups of people, especially ones geographically separated. Just look at the anatomical differences between even relatively closely-related groups such as Low Germans and Nordics. Considering that behavioural modernity arose on an even shorter timescale than anatomical modernity, it would be pretty safe to say that genes controlling nervous-system development seem to undergo much more selection pressure than physiological ones and evolve more rapidly.

One must also not forget the unnatural selection that occurs with humans, which, as very clearly illustrated with canines, can lead to very rapid changes in anatomy and behaviour.

Take, as a controversial example, the unnatural selections inherent to the Atlantic slave trade and American slavery, in which vast numbers of captives died on the slave boats (thus, unnaturally selected for people who could survive such barbaric conditions), where slavers had some control over breeding, or where rebellious, perhaps particularly intelligent, individuals were executed and removed from the gene pool in the course of several generations of slavery.

Another example would be immigrants. There is an unnatural selection at play in who is able to migrate in many situations, which could explain how Asian-Americans are perceived as more intelligent or how Indian-Americans are the wealthiest ethnic group (by median income) in America.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby FirePhantom » 26th March, 2017, 10:15 am

Also, just to add, I think there's a major problem with the terms "race" and "determines" as used here. For one, race as many view it is pretty much a relatively recent and amorphous social construct, which is why I've been referring to groups of humans or ethnicities. Determines also expresses a directional causal relationship, when it'd be much more of a chicken-and-egg situation if it were even the case that "race" and intelligence were significantly correlated after controlling for all the confounding factors mentioned in this thread.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Pity » 26th March, 2017, 10:40 am

Huh?
Last edited by Pity on 8th June, 2017, 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby GaycrazyBoi » 26th March, 2017, 11:56 am

Cobalt wrote:Raise your hand if you're tired of these threads

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Regina is like "I want this to continue. It's fun to see". I'm Regina. Not because I'm not irked by them, but because I find them amusing.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 26th March, 2017, 6:57 pm

GaycrazyBoi wrote:
Cobalt wrote:Raise your hand if you're tired of these threads

Image


Regina is like "I want this to continue. It's fun to see". I'm Regina. Not because I'm not irked by them, but because I find them amusing.

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what was that?
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Dessy » 26th March, 2017, 7:13 pm

No shade but why y'all always bringing race into this?
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby PHMED » 26th March, 2017, 7:26 pm

No.

socioeconomic status determines intelligence.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby GaycrazyBoi » 26th March, 2017, 8:18 pm

PHMED wrote:No.

socioeconomic status determines intelligence.


For someone so smart...

We have a plethora of evidence that says that race, or ethnicity, determines, to some degree, intellect. Do not deny it

TheBrunswickian wrote:
GaycrazyBoi wrote:
Cobalt wrote:Raise your hand if you're tired of these threads

Image


Regina is like "I want this to continue. It's fun to see". I'm Regina. Not because I'm not irked by them, but because I find them amusing.

Image

what was that?


I find these threads entertaining.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby KrisCross » 26th March, 2017, 9:10 pm

Dessy wrote:No shade but why y'all always bringing race into this?

Cause they're white, it's our thanggg. :eli:
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 26th March, 2017, 9:59 pm

GaycrazyBoi wrote:
TheBrunswickian wrote:
GaycrazyBoi wrote:
Cobalt wrote:Raise your hand if you're tired of these threads

Image


Regina is like "I want this to continue. It's fun to see". I'm Regina. Not because I'm not irked by them, but because I find them amusing.

Image

what was that?


I find these threads entertaining.

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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby PHMED » 27th March, 2017, 1:35 am

GaycrazyBoi wrote:For someone so smart...

We have a plethora of evidence that says that race, or ethnicity, determines, to some degree, intellect. Do not deny it

All of which are not at all conclusive;' to some degree' is the key to your sentence. There's only one race, the human race (homo sapien). We all usually share the same amount of DNA on our chromosomes, which means we are equally susceptible to being intelligent or not so intelligent. Its really based on how your environment affects you (i.e. - socioeconomics).

*Children who grow up in affluent homes learn 30 million more words than those who grow up in low SES backgrounds
*Children who grow up in low SES spend less time bonding with their care givers which is essential to brain development
*Children who grow up in low SES are also more likely to face food insecurity which affects critical periods for child brain development.

The list goes on, and it is clear that race is not the issue--income and socioeconomics is.
Last edited by PHMED on 27th March, 2017, 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Togetik » 27th March, 2017, 1:39 am

GaycrazyBoi wrote:For someone so smart...

We have a plethora of evidence that says that race, or ethnicity, determines, to some degree, intellect. Do not deny it



Would you like to supply this evidence that black people have magic dumbness genes or are you going to pull a pity and make unsubstantiated claims and leave it at that
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Pity » 27th March, 2017, 8:13 am

Arguing is irrelevant.
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Calcifer » 27th March, 2017, 8:58 am

I suppose a simple question is this:

Evolution is a matter of making people better suited to their environment over time.

What possible evolutionary advantage would there be for, for example, black people being less intelligent?
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Example » 27th March, 2017, 9:04 am

My fave is that no one ever discusses the possibility that whites might be the lesser race
it's like whities think they're exempt but claims are a two way street
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Pity » 27th March, 2017, 9:12 am

I'm going to try to change the subject now...
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Togetik » 28th March, 2017, 9:51 pm

Anonymous Boy wrote:Let me preface this by saying that I'm sure you're already aware of the facts I'm about to mention, and that this is merely an attempt to put them in a context in which you can see that my attempt at a consensus statement makes sense.

Let's split the bit you're talking about into two statements:
  1. There are biological factors in and between different ethnicities.
  2. Those factors may affect the average intelligence of individuals of those ethnicities.


I cut the rest for space, not because i'm ignoring it, but regardless there's no evidence that there's a genetic component to intelligence, this is mostly because intelligence as a whole is an incredibly subjective concept with no clear criteria or scale to define what is "intelligent" and what is "not intelligent". We can define it by the deeply flawed concept of IQ, but that barely scratches the surface on what intelligence is used to imply.

Further than that, it's hard to conceptualise how intelligence would even work evolutionarily speaking, intelligence isn't really a trait in the same way other physical aspects are and there's no clear cut way to assume any kind of envrionment human populations exist in favour intelligence any more than any other
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Pity » 28th March, 2017, 10:01 pm

Can we just move on?
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Re: Do you think race determines intelligence?

Unread postby Sullivan » 28th March, 2017, 10:45 pm

Yes, and speaking of skull shapes, maybe it's high time we start to revisit the intellectual merits of phrenology.
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