Not doing much for the culture’s brand here

This is the moment Romania’s ‘king of gypsy music’ attacked his pregnant girlfriend on live TV after discovering that she had slept with his step son.

Living down to the prejudices rather…..

20 thoughts on “Not doing much for the culture’s brand here”

  1. As a rule of thumb the only finding in the social sciences that is reproducible and robust is the link between IQ and race.

    As a second order, weaker, rule of thumb, the only other finding that comes close is virtually every racial stereotype you have ever heard of.

    Gypsies are, in the common American argot, trailer park trash? You don’t say, you don’t say.

  2. “As a rule of thumb the only finding in the social sciences that is reproducible and robust is the link between IQ and race.”

    Yes and talking about that will end your career most likely. Go science!

  3. “As a rule of thumb the only finding in the social sciences that is reproducible and robust is the link between IQ and race.”

    That’s complete and utter bollocks. It’s been debunked over and over and over again. There isn’t even a useful scientific definition of race!

  4. Matthew L – “That’s complete and utter bollocks. It’s been debunked over and over and over again. There isn’t even a useful scientific definition of race!”

    It has not been debunked once. The only responses it gets is to attack the test and attack the testers. To call the tests racist and/or the testers racists. That is it. No one has ever been able to refute the basic fact. What it means is a separate issue but the bottom line is that different races, on average, have very different IQ outcomes.

    And again you are falling into Lewotin’s Fallacy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy

    There is a perfectly good scientific definition of race. The races are, or were, genetically distinct. To the point scientists can take a drop of blood and tell you what the suspect looks like. They can examine a skeleton and tell you what race the victim probably was.

    Keep denying the science all you like. Creationism is not just for the Right.

  5. “There is a perfectly good scientific definition of race. ”

    Maybe you could share it with us then?

    “To the point scientists can take a drop of blood and tell you what the suspect looks like.”

    That doesn’t tell us what race they are though. It just tells us what their physical appearance is likely to be.

    “They can examine a skeleton and tell you what race the victim probably was.”

    No, they can tell us what phenotype the person probably conformed to, and they can tell us what label the people who live in that culture apply to that phenotype. That’s a socially constructed definition of race, not a scientific one.

  6. Here’s a paper on the subject:

    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp202-us13/files/2012/05/Sauer-1992-Forensic-Anthropology-Race-Concept-1.pdf

    Abstract

    Most anthropologists have abandoned the concept of race as a research tool and as a valid representation of human biological diversity. Yet, race identification continues to be one of the central foci of forensic anthropological casework and research. It is maintained in this paper that the successful assignment of race to a skeletal specimen is not a vindication of the race concept, but rather a prediction that an individual, while alive was assigned to a particular socially constructed ‘racial’ category. A specimen may display features that point to African ancestry. In this country that person is likely to have been labeled Black regardless of whether or not such a race actually exists in nature.

  7. Matthew L – “Maybe you could share it with us then?”

    Genetic diversity. You could read anything on the subject.

    A 1994 study by Cavalli-Sforza and colleagues evaluated genetic distances among 42 native populations based on 120 blood polymorphisms. The populations were grouped into nine clusters: African (sub-Saharan), Caucasoid (European), Caucasoid (extra-European), northern Mongoloid (excluding Arctic populations), northeast Asian Arctic, southern Mongoloid (mainland and insular Southeast Asia), Pacific islander, New Guinean and Australian, and American (Amerindian).

    What do you know? The world’s leading expert on population genetics does a study on genes and find they correspond neatly with traditional racial classifications.

    “That doesn’t tell us what race they are though. It just tells us what their physical appearance is likely to be.”

    Well no, it will tell us what his race is. That is one of the easiest things to do. Police forces *routinely* pay for this sort of testing these days. I like this article:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-16-dna_x.htm

    Notice the police routinely solving crimes by identifying the race of their suspects – and the usual suspects from the world of Academia denying the world is round.

    “No, they can tell us what phenotype the person probably conformed to, and they can tell us what label the people who live in that culture apply to that phenotype. That’s a socially constructed definition of race, not a scientific one.”

    That would be true if they could find another culture somewhere on the planet that defined a Black skeleton as White or Asian or whatever. As there isn’t one, it doesn’t look socially constructed to me. Especially as people can check the family and tell.

    Matthew L – “Here’s a paper on the subject:”

    By an anthropologist. So their opinion is worthless. But it is also strangely circular:

    A specimen may display features that point to African ancestry. In this country that person is likely to have been labeled Black regardless of whether or not such a race actually exists in nature.

    He is agnostic on whether or not such a race exists? If it displays features that point to African ancestry it is actually likely to be of someone of African ancestry. That is not a social construction. You can look at the children and see.

  8. Matthew L:
    race identification continues to be one of the central foci of forensic anthropological casework

    foci?

    No, you can’t take seriously anybody who talks about foci. It just has to be piffle. I might have swallowed ‘forensic anthropological casework‘ but not that.

    Sorry.

  9. “Genetic diversity. ”

    Genetic diversity is not the same as race. If you try to group people by their genes, you find that you either end up with a large number of mostly overlapping groups, or you end up with about a billion races.

    “That would be true if they could find another culture somewhere on the planet that defined a Black skeleton as White or Asian or whatever.”

    And what makes “Black” a race? The genetic diversity between West Africans and East Africans is significantly more than between a “White” and an “Asian”. By the way, “Asian” is a good example of the social construction of races. To me, an Indian is not an Asian. To someone in the UK, they are.

    “If it displays features that point to African ancestry it is actually likely to be of someone of African ancestry. That is not a social construction. You can look at the children and see.”

    OK, so if a child has seven “White” great-grandparents and one “Black” great-grandparent, but have a “Black” looking skeleton (and coffee coloured skin, and kinky Afro-esque hair), what race are they? And yes, this does happen. Obama, for instance, has three “White” grandparents and one Kenyan, but I’m sure you wouldn’t call him “White”.

    Back to the original topic, here’s why “Lewontin’s fallacy” is bollocks:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism#.22Lewontin.27s_fallacy.22

  10. Oh, by the way SMFS, here’s a quote from that 1994 book by Cavalli-Sforza you cited:

    Here are quotes from the bock, “The History and Geography of Human Genes” by Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues (1994) that show Cavalli-Sforza’s position on human race.

    “Human races are still extremely unstable entities in the bands of modern taxonomists…” He thinks how many racial groups you have is subjective and depends on personal preference of researchers who like to lump many populations together or split into many groups. Also, he recognizes the great variation exists within any human populations. “As one goes down the scale of the taxonomic hierarchy toward the lower and lower partitions, the boundaries between clusters become even less clear…There is great genetic variation in all populations, even in small ones.”

    “From a scientific point of view, the concept of race has failed to obtain any consensus…the major stereotypes, all based on skin color, hair color and form, and facial traits, reflect superficial differences that are not confirmed by deeper analysis with more reliable genetic traits and whose origin dates from recent evolution mostly under the effect of climate and perhaps sexual selection.”

  11. Matthew L – “Genetic diversity is not the same as race. If you try to group people by their genes, you find that you either end up with a large number of mostly overlapping groups, or you end up with about a billion races.”

    I agree it isn’t. But if you group people by their genes, you find a small number of historic non-inter-breeding populations. That by and large correspond to race as we normally understand it. The groups have significant genetic differences.

    “And what makes “Black” a race? The genetic diversity between West Africans and East Africans is significantly more than between a “White” and an “Asian”.”

    Africans tend to be more genetically diverse than non-Africans but it remains true that Africa is a historic population that did not inter-breed with other populations much and so is genetically distinct. That does not mean every gene is unique. But if you test enough, you find markers that are not found in other populations.

    “By the way, “Asian” is a good example of the social construction of races. To me, an Indian is not an Asian. To someone in the UK, they are.”

    That is not a social construction of race. That is laziness and imprecision in language use. No one has ever said that Indians are the same race as Japanese people. It is just that the geographic term “Asian” in Britain tends to mean South Asians while in other places it tends to mean East Asians.

    “OK, so if a child has seven “White” great-grandparents and one “Black” great-grandparent, but have a “Black” looking skeleton (and coffee coloured skin, and kinky Afro-esque hair), what race are they?”

    No one is arguing that different races intermarry and produce fertile children. They have done so. That makes this problem a lot harder.

    “And yes, this does happen. Obama, for instance, has three “White” grandparents and one Kenyan, but I’m sure you wouldn’t call him “White”.”

    No he doesn’t. His paternal grandfather was a Luo man named Hussein Onyango Obama. His paternal grandmother was a Kenyan Luo, Habiba Akumu Obama. I am sure you could find people in the situation you mention. So what? That proves nothing about ancestral populations.

    Obama, by the way, is slightly more White (50%) than most African-Americans (about 40%).

    “Back to the original topic, here’s why “Lewontin’s fallacy” is bollocks:”

    No it isn’t. It just moves the goal posts. So they accept that if you test enough loci you can determine geographical origins – that is DNA shows Black people come from Africa. That is, race exists as it is normally understood. They simply insist, as you do, that variation is what matters. It does not matter if variation among Africans is high or all human beings share a lot of DNA. It only matters that in some particular ways, we differ. That difference is roughly 100% accurate for determining race. And of course a child with Down’s syndrome shares virtually all of their DNA with their siblings. But in a very small but important way they differ.

    Matthew L – “Oh, by the way SMFS, here’s a quote from that 1994 book by Cavalli-Sforza you cited:”

    He thinks how many racial groups you have is subjective and depends on personal preference of researchers who like to lump many populations together or split into many groups.

    But that is basically the entire history of species and efforts to classify them. Some are splitters and some are clumpers. It does not mean that a species is a useless concept.

    “Also, he recognizes the great variation exists within any human populations.”

    So he changes the subject to talk about something else.

    “From a scientific point of view, the concept of race has failed to obtain any consensus

    When he first went to California, he gave a seminar and continued to use the same language he had in Italy – he described races. He was told in no uncertain terms that in America he could not do that. So he is more circumspect now. Notice he is not giving his own opinion. He is stating a truism. The concept of almost any scientific theory you care to name has not obtained a consensus.

    …the major stereotypes, all based on skin color, hair color and form, and facial traits, reflect superficial differences that are not confirmed by deeper analysis with more reliable genetic traits and whose origin dates from recent evolution mostly under the effect of climate and perhaps sexual selection.”

    Which is even easier when you prohibit all such research. We are not even close to linking genes to things like IQ – the things that matter. But we have a tentative connection between genes “for violence” and higher frequencies among African-origin populations. We know that some medicines work better with African-origin populations. For that matter, it turns out HPV is racist as different strains appear in different racial groups at different frequencies.

  12. “But if you group people by their genes, you find a small number of historic non-inter-breeding populations.”

    That have no meaningful differences in a scientific sense. Seriously – what are the objective criteria for deciding what race someone is? If you’re talking about genetic diversity then there’s about a dozen races in sub-Saharan Africa and one for everyone else in the world (except possibly Australian Aboriginals).

    “But that is basically the entire history of species and efforts to classify them. Some are splitters and some are clumpers. It does not mean that a species is a useless concept.”

    As long as you accept the limitations, sure. The limitations of any scientific concept of race… well, let’s see if you can give us one first before pointing out the limitations. Remember – objective criteria that I can use on a random person to decide what race they’re from. It’s not enough to say “look at the genes”, I want to know what genes.

    “We are not even close to linking genes to things like IQ – the things that matter.”

    Not least because those things have such an incredibly tiny genetic component that it’s pretty much impossible to measure. Hereditable intelligence is only detectable over hundreds of thousands of years, not over the four or five generations it takes to completely switch to a different social race category.

    “But we have a tentative connection between genes “for violence” and higher frequencies among African-origin populations.”

    Nope. That’s complete nonsense. Once you control for social and environmental factors, you don’t find any difference at all.

  13. “DNA shows Black people come from Africa.”

    We ALL come from Africa. Can you divide people into “recent African origin” and “ancient African origin”? Sure. Does that mean race exists? Only if there’s only two races – African and not-African.

  14. Matthew L

    Grow up?

    Yes, as soon as I can take your po-faced and doctrinaire arguments seriously.

    Until then I shall just keep sticking my tongue out at you, and those whom you cite, whose use of language is designed to mask the shallowness of their thinking.

  15. Well if you’re going to stick out your tongue, you might want to do it in a less risible way. Foci just means more than one focus. Any primary school student learning about ellipsoids knows that.

    But anyway, if you guys want to keep thinking that there’s an actual link between race and intelligence then whatever lifts your luggage I guess. The facts disagree.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “That have no meaningful differences in a scientific sense.”

    I have no argued that they do. I have said they might. I might be pushed to say they probably do. But those genetic differences have an objective scientific existence. Even if they are meaningless, police can test someone’s blood and determine their race with a high degree of reliability. Even if they are not significant in a general social sense, we have historically isolated populations that are genetically different and we can test for that.

    “If you’re talking about genetic diversity then there’s about a dozen races in sub-Saharan Africa and one for everyone else in the world (except possibly Australian Aboriginals).”

    Oh really? What makes you think that? Again it is a question of what you are testing for. I am sure that people in SS-Africa are more diverse than other peoples. So what? Do they tend to share some parts of their DNA that reliably indicate an African origin? Yes they do. I am sure that given we can determine within 200 miles or so where someone’s ancestors come from in Europe that as we do more testing in Africa we will be able to do something similar there.

    “Remember – objective criteria that I can use on a random person to decide what race they’re from. It’s not enough to say “look at the genes”, I want to know what genes.”

    That has been done any number of times and there are any number of people who point this out. Why are you disputing it?

    “Not least because those things have such an incredibly tiny genetic component that it’s pretty much impossible to measure. Hereditable intelligence is only detectable over hundreds of thousands of years, not over the four or five generations it takes to completely switch to a different social race category.”

    Yet, strangely enough, surnames appear to have a very strong degree of hereditability. At least where wealth is concerned. If only there was some explanation of why some surnames should be linked to wealth and high social status over hundreds of years?

    There are very few places in the world where anyone has been able to switch social race categories. Latin America perhaps. DNA testing shows America’s White population is about 1% African in origin.

    “Nope. That’s complete nonsense. Once you control for social and environmental factors, you don’t find any difference at all.”

    Well that is not true. Monoamine oxidase A does seem to require a trigger – some children with the genes associated with it *and* a history of child abuse tend to be much more aggressive. But then you would expect their parents to have the gene too. Mice with it are more aggressive and I think we can be sure there are no social or environmental factors there.

    Matthew L – “We ALL come from Africa. Can you divide people into “recent African origin” and “ancient African origin”? Sure. Does that mean race exists? Only if there’s only two races – African and not-African.”

    Quibbling is not going to save your argument.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “But anyway, if you guys want to keep thinking that there’s an actual link between race and intelligence then whatever lifts your luggage I guess. The facts disagree.”

    That the link between race and intelligence exists and is the only robust, reproducible finding in the social sciences is a fact and it is not going to go away because you do not like it. Well the first part is a fact, the second part is more of a tease of social scientists.

    The only issue is what causes it. It may be genetic. It may not. It may be a historical legacy of slavery. It may not. We do not know for sure. But it is there regardless of what you think about it.

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