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Science And Racism (scientific racism)

RoderickSpode
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12/28/2013 3:23:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:29:40 PM, Ramshutu wrote:


Evolution, science and naturalism only deals with differences. In fact there is a lot of evidence that races have differences that make them better and worse at certain things. Europeans can digest milk aim adulthood, Kenyans are better at long distance running and Tibetans can deal better with low oxygen conditions: all down to genetic differences.

The value judgement, that one of those races is worth more is not a naturalistic issue as value is not objective.

Even if it was, even if we could unanimously and objectively show that one race was significantly smarter and stronger than another (which we can't) what would it mean?

It would simply mean that one race is objectively significantly smarter and stronger than another. Whether you like the empirical facts or not, it would not change the empirical facts.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is going to happen any time soon (this side of the morlocks), but if it did, no amount of moral objection or "not wanting to believe" would change those empirical facts. As they are empirical facts.

Using "what if science showed something you don't like is true" as an argument against accepting various aspects of science (this appears to be what you are arguing, apologies if it isn't) misses the point. If you don't like it and it's true, you can reject what you like, the thing you don't like is still true.
That wasn't exactly what I was getting at. My point was that politics play a part even in the science community. Evolutionists, like any other sub-group are concerned with political correctness, racial political correctness no exception. The excerpt and link I provided referenced an accomplished evolutionist by the name of James Watson who came under pressure due to making certain remarks deemed racist by the science community. But in addition to the racial aspects of his statements, he was also accused of projecting bad science. So the obvious question would be, what if it was good science?

I understand the point you're making in terms of science not being partial to race. In my personal opinion, there's a good reason for racial sensitivity that originates from being created by divine providence. In the unlikely event that majority scientific rule one day determines that particular races are superior over others, I don't think there would be any way to just smooth things over to where everyone just sort of accepts their racial role in life. For one, it will be exploited by the deemed superior race. And in addition I think there are far too many who view the situation my way in believing that we were all divinely created equal.

It also appears to me that the examples you used of racial advantages seem to suggest more of environmental conditions creating these advantages as opposed to unconditional superiority advantages.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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12/29/2013 11:00:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 3:23:30 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/28/2013 1:29:40 PM, Ramshutu wrote:


Evolution, science and naturalism only deals with differences. In fact there is a lot of evidence that races have differences that make them better and worse at certain things. Europeans can digest milk aim adulthood, Kenyans are better at long distance running and Tibetans can deal better with low oxygen conditions: all down to genetic differences.

The value judgement, that one of those races is worth more is not a naturalistic issue as value is not objective.

Even if it was, even if we could unanimously and objectively show that one race was significantly smarter and stronger than another (which we can't) what would it mean?

It would simply mean that one race is objectively significantly smarter and stronger than another. Whether you like the empirical facts or not, it would not change the empirical facts.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is going to happen any time soon (this side of the morlocks), but if it did, no amount of moral objection or "not wanting to believe" would change those empirical facts. As they are empirical facts.

Using "what if science showed something you don't like is true" as an argument against accepting various aspects of science (this appears to be what you are arguing, apologies if it isn't) misses the point. If you don't like it and it's true, you can reject what you like, the thing you don't like is still true.
That wasn't exactly what I was getting at. My point was that politics play a part even in the science community. Evolutionists, like any other sub-group are concerned with political correctness, racial political correctness no exception. The excerpt and link I provided referenced an accomplished evolutionist by the name of James Watson who came under pressure due to making certain remarks deemed racist by the science community. But in addition to the racial aspects of his statements, he was also accused of projecting bad science. So the obvious question would be, what if it was good science?

I understand the point you're making in terms of science not being partial to race. In my personal opinion, there's a good reason for racial sensitivity that originates from being created by divine providence. In the unlikely event that majority scientific rule one day determines that particular races are superior over others, I don't think there would be any way to just smooth things over to where everyone just sort of accepts their racial role in life. For one, it will be exploited by the deemed superior race. And in addition I think there are far too many who view the situation my way in believing that we were all divinely created equal.

It also appears to me that the examples you used of racial advantages seem to suggest more of environmental conditions creating these advantages as opposed to unconditional superiority advantages.

I'm not entirely sure what your point is.

Your argument gives the appearance of an appeal to emotion.

Fundamentally, I would rather know an uncomfortable truth than persist in a comfortable falsehood.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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12/29/2013 11:56:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2013 11:00:32 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:23:30 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/28/2013 1:29:40 PM, Ramshutu wrote:


Evolution, science and naturalism only deals with differences. In fact there is a lot of evidence that races have differences that make them better and worse at certain things. Europeans can digest milk aim adulthood, Kenyans are better at long distance running and Tibetans can deal better with low oxygen conditions: all down to genetic differences.

The value judgement, that one of those races is worth more is not a naturalistic issue as value is not objective.

Even if it was, even if we could unanimously and objectively show that one race was significantly smarter and stronger than another (which we can't) what would it mean?

It would simply mean that one race is objectively significantly smarter and stronger than another. Whether you like the empirical facts or not, it would not change the empirical facts.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is going to happen any time soon (this side of the morlocks), but if it did, no amount of moral objection or "not wanting to believe" would change those empirical facts. As they are empirical facts.

Using "what if science showed something you don't like is true" as an argument against accepting various aspects of science (this appears to be what you are arguing, apologies if it isn't) misses the point. If you don't like it and it's true, you can reject what you like, the thing you don't like is still true.
That wasn't exactly what I was getting at. My point was that politics play a part even in the science community. Evolutionists, like any other sub-group are concerned with political correctness, racial political correctness no exception. The excerpt and link I provided referenced an accomplished evolutionist by the name of James Watson who came under pressure due to making certain remarks deemed racist by the science community. But in addition to the racial aspects of his statements, he was also accused of projecting bad science. So the obvious question would be, what if it was good science?

I understand the point you're making in terms of science not being partial to race. In my personal opinion, there's a good reason for racial sensitivity that originates from being created by divine providence. In the unlikely event that majority scientific rule one day determines that particular races are superior over others, I don't think there would be any way to just smooth things over to where everyone just sort of accepts their racial role in life. For one, it will be exploited by the deemed superior race. And in addition I think there are far too many who view the situation my way in believing that we were all divinely created equal.

It also appears to me that the examples you used of racial advantages seem to suggest more of environmental conditions creating these advantages as opposed to unconditional superiority advantages.

I'm not entirely sure what your point is.

Your argument gives the appearance of an appeal to emotion.

Fundamentally, I would rather know an uncomfortable truth than persist in a comfortable falsehood.
To give you a bit of a backdrop, this all started with myself responding to a claim by another poster that seemed to suggest that creationists (or Christians/evangelicals/fundamentalists) played a fairly large role in racism. And that evolution refutes racism (or scientific racism). I decided to emphasize the theory of evolution's historic part in early American racism. And I also questioned (which never got answered) whether or not this refutation was strictly scientific, or does morality play at least a partial role.

I then quoted from an article about an accomplished evolutionist named James Watson, who came under fire by the scientific community due to what was deemed as racist comments, and has since retired apparently due to the pressure. I provided this excerpt with a link:

The American professor's words have been roundly condemned as "racist," with fellow scientists dismissing his claims as "genetic nonsense."

"He should recognize that statements of this sort have racist functions and are to be deeply, deeply regretted," said Professor Steven Rose of the British Open University.

http://www.cnn.com...

And because I sensed that the OP of that thread wasn't too happy about going off topic, I decided to start this new thread because of your response that I didn't want to ignore.

To answer your question, no, I'm not appealing to emotion. And I understand your position completely. What I'm getting at is, here we have scientists (and I'm sure they are evolutionists) who are condemning Watson for 2 things:

1.Bad science, and

2.racism.

As far as emotion on my part? (Do I think Watson is a racist?). I don't know. I would tend to think he probably has some racist tendencies, but I'm also open to the possibility that he made the claims out of complete scientific sincerity.

The scientific community is who I'm actually really questioning (although I'm not downplaying the offense), because their actions are contradictory.

But basically, what is evident is that there is politics involved. The science community has to put on a moral face (and at the same time sound scientific).

So if there is dishonestly among the ranks in this one area, why should I believe there isn't in other areas?

But as I said, I do understand your position completely. However, now I have to ask, do you think Dr. Watson was treated fairly (given your position on the matter)?
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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12/30/2013 12:10:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM, Enji wrote:
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.
I can understand what you're saying, except that he was also cited for conveying bad/faulty science, not just racial insensitivity.

Do you take exception only with that particular comment? And that he may have been justified if he used better tact to explain his position?
Enji
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12/30/2013 8:07:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/30/2013 12:10:58 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM, Enji wrote:
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.

I can understand what you're saying, except that he was also cited for conveying bad/faulty science, not just racial insensitivity.

Do you take exception only with that particular comment? And that he may have been justified if he used better tact to explain his position?

Watson doesn't refer to any specific research in the original interview; his claims are racist and they don't appear to be scientifically based, but insofar as he's presenting his position as scientific I suppose you could accurately claim that he was presenting bad science.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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12/31/2013 7:16:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/30/2013 8:07:45 PM, Enji wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:10:58 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM, Enji wrote:
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.

I can understand what you're saying, except that he was also cited for conveying bad/faulty science, not just racial insensitivity.

Do you take exception only with that particular comment? And that he may have been justified if he used better tact to explain his position?

Watson doesn't refer to any specific research in the original interview; his claims are racist and they don't appear to be scientifically based, but insofar as he's presenting his position as scientific I suppose you could accurately claim that he was presenting bad science.
The article also mentions another incident:

Matthew Taylor, education correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 23 March 2006

A university lecturer who insists that black people and women are genetically inferior has been suspended, it emerged last night. Leeds University announced that it was launching formal disciplinary proceedings against Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies, who told the Leeds Student newspaper that he supported the theory developed by Richard J Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their 1994 book The Bell Curve that white people are more intelligent than black people. He also said that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men.

The university had described Dr Ellis's views as abhorrent. Last night Roger Gair, university secretary, said: "Given the seriousness of the issues, the vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur, has decided to suspend Dr Ellis from his duties while the disciplinary process is under way. Prof Arthur saw Dr Ellis this afternoon to tell him of that decision. I must emphasise that suspension is not in itself a disciplinary penalty."

http://www.theguardian.com...

I really don't think science is really much of an issue here. I don't think the science community is really interested in any research. I think it's a clear case that morality overshadows science when it comes to issues of race.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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12/31/2013 9:10:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/31/2013 7:16:48 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 8:07:45 PM, Enji wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:10:58 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM, Enji wrote:
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.

I can understand what you're saying, except that he was also cited for conveying bad/faulty science, not just racial insensitivity.

Do you take exception only with that particular comment? And that he may have been justified if he used better tact to explain his position?

Watson doesn't refer to any specific research in the original interview; his claims are racist and they don't appear to be scientifically based, but insofar as he's presenting his position as scientific I suppose you could accurately claim that he was presenting bad science.
The article also mentions another incident:



Matthew Taylor, education correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 23 March 2006

A university lecturer who insists that black people and women are genetically inferior has been suspended, it emerged last night. Leeds University announced that it was launching formal disciplinary proceedings against Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies, who told the Leeds Student newspaper that he supported the theory developed by Richard J Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their 1994 book The Bell Curve that white people are more intelligent than black people. He also said that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men.

The university had described Dr Ellis's views as abhorrent. Last night Roger Gair, university secretary, said: "Given the seriousness of the issues, the vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur, has decided to suspend Dr Ellis from his duties while the disciplinary process is under way. Prof Arthur saw Dr Ellis this afternoon to tell him of that decision. I must emphasise that suspension is not in itself a disciplinary penalty."

http://www.theguardian.com...

I really don't think science is really much of an issue here. I don't think the science community is really interested in any research. I think it's a clear case that morality overshadows science when it comes to issues of race.

Anyone who wishes to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people due to genetics in the realm of science has the burden of proof to support that claim - not because it's a sensitive issue, but because that's how science is done. However, since it is a sensitive issue, anyone making such claims should be doubly sure that the data supports such an intelligence gap.

As far as the actual research suggests, there is a racial achievement gap on standardised tests and intelligence tests and the gap is statistically significant - however anyone with knowledge of statistics should know that correlation does not imply causation. The issue isn't whether such a gap exists (the gap is universally acknowledged) - the question is why it exists and both Watson and Ellis argue that the cause is genetic. At first glance this seems plausible; we know that there is an IQ gap and we know that intelligence is heritable and so genetic differences between blacks and whites could explain the gap. But does the data support a genetic explanation? If the cause of the IQ gap is genetic, then we should be able to identify certain genes or groups of genes which correlate fairly significantly with intelligence and which are much more prominent amongst whites than blacks and if you are going to claim that science supports such a genetic cause then you should have the genetic basis to support that claim. The issue is that we don't have this genetic support - we don't know which genes or groups of genes are associated with intelligence and genes appear to be much too homogeneously distributed across races and differences in allele frequencies are better explained by geography than race. And without the genetic support it would be racially charged, bad science to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people on account of genetics as Watson and Ellis did.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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1/2/2014 11:38:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/31/2013 9:10:19 AM, Enji wrote:
At 12/31/2013 7:16:48 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 8:07:45 PM, Enji wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:10:58 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/30/2013 12:33:40 AM, Enji wrote:
According to the CNN article, "[Watson] went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'". Regardless of whether white people are smarter than black people, the connotation of "have to deal with" is needlessly derogatory and racist. Consequently the criticism he received was entirely justified - he did go beyond what was acceptable in a scientific debate.

I can understand what you're saying, except that he was also cited for conveying bad/faulty science, not just racial insensitivity.

Do you take exception only with that particular comment? And that he may have been justified if he used better tact to explain his position?

Watson doesn't refer to any specific research in the original interview; his claims are racist and they don't appear to be scientifically based, but insofar as he's presenting his position as scientific I suppose you could accurately claim that he was presenting bad science.
The article also mentions another incident:



Matthew Taylor, education correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 23 March 2006

A university lecturer who insists that black people and women are genetically inferior has been suspended, it emerged last night. Leeds University announced that it was launching formal disciplinary proceedings against Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies, who told the Leeds Student newspaper that he supported the theory developed by Richard J Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their 1994 book The Bell Curve that white people are more intelligent than black people. He also said that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men.

The university had described Dr Ellis's views as abhorrent. Last night Roger Gair, university secretary, said: "Given the seriousness of the issues, the vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur, has decided to suspend Dr Ellis from his duties while the disciplinary process is under way. Prof Arthur saw Dr Ellis this afternoon to tell him of that decision. I must emphasise that suspension is not in itself a disciplinary penalty."

http://www.theguardian.com...

I really don't think science is really much of an issue here. I don't think the science community is really interested in any research. I think it's a clear case that morality overshadows science when it comes to issues of race.

Anyone who wishes to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people due to genetics in the realm of science has the burden of proof to support that claim - not because it's a sensitive issue, but because that's how science is done. However, since it is a sensitive issue, anyone making such claims should be doubly sure that the data supports such an intelligence gap.

As far as the actual research suggests, there is a racial achievement gap on standardised tests and intelligence tests and the gap is statistically significant - however anyone with knowledge of statistics should know that correlation does not imply causation. The issue isn't whether such a gap exists (the gap is universally acknowledged) - the question is why it exists and both Watson and Ellis argue that the cause is genetic. At first glance this seems plausible; we know that there is an IQ gap and we know that intelligence is heritable and so genetic differences between blacks and whites could explain the gap. But does the data support a genetic explanation? If the cause of the IQ gap is genetic, then we should be able to identify certain genes or groups of genes which correlate fairly significantly with intelligence and which are much more prominent amongst whites than blacks and if you are going to claim that science supports such a genetic cause then you should have the genetic basis to support that claim. The issue is that we don't have this genetic support - we don't know which genes or groups of genes are associated with intelligence and genes appear to be much too homogeneously distributed across races and differences in allele frequencies are better explained by geography than race. And without the genetic support it would be racially charged, bad science to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people on account of genetics as Watson and Ellis did.
So tact is not really an issue. It wasn't just the insensitive reference to employers having a problem with Black employees.

Is this an area (racial issues) where scientists need to remain quiet unless they have absolute proof of what they claim? In other words, no theories that can be disputed?

And since there are other races that are affected by certain scientific claims, should scientists also avoid those claims (that are disputable) as well? Or is racial sensitivity more relative?
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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1/2/2014 7:30:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/2/2014 11:38:43 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 12/31/2013 9:10:19 AM, Enji wrote:

Anyone who wishes to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people due to genetics in the realm of science has the burden of proof to support that claim - not because it's a sensitive issue, but because that's how science is done. However, since it is a sensitive issue, anyone making such claims should be doubly sure that the data supports such an intelligence gap.

As far as the actual research suggests, there is a racial achievement gap on standardised tests and intelligence tests and the gap is statistically significant - however anyone with knowledge of statistics should know that correlation does not imply causation. The issue isn't whether such a gap exists (the gap is universally acknowledged) - the question is why it exists and both Watson and Ellis argue that the cause is genetic. At first glance this seems plausible; we know that there is an IQ gap and we know that intelligence is heritable and so genetic differences between blacks and whites could explain the gap. But does the data support a genetic explanation? If the cause of the IQ gap is genetic, then we should be able to identify certain genes or groups of genes which correlate fairly significantly with intelligence and which are much more prominent amongst whites than blacks and if you are going to claim that science supports such a genetic cause then you should have the genetic basis to support that claim. The issue is that we don't have this genetic support - we don't know which genes or groups of genes are associated with intelligence and genes appear to be much too homogeneously distributed across races and differences in allele frequencies are better explained by geography than race. And without the genetic support it would be racially charged, bad science to claim that black people are less intelligent than white people on account of genetics as Watson and Ellis did.
So tact is not really an issue. It wasn't just the insensitive reference to employers having a problem with Black employees.

It was that too.

Is this an area (racial issues) where scientists need to remain quiet unless they have absolute proof of what they claim? In other words, no theories that can be disputed?

Any theory that does't have evidential support can be disputed, and hypotheses are free to be discussed. Claiming a hypothesis to be true or supported scientifically despite the lack of evidential support is absurd.

And since there are other races that are affected by certain scientific claims, should scientists also avoid those claims (that are disputable) as well? Or is racial sensitivity more relative?

Scientists can feel free to make claims when they are supported by evidence, although whether the classical understanding of races is biologically supported is questioned amongst some in the scientific community because genes are fairly homogeneously distributed and humans diverged too recently for significant change.