Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    13 Jun '19 02:16
    A very interesting topic.

    "In 2015 I published a paper documenting prominent scientists saying that we should lie about group diffs in intelligence for moral reasons. It didn't have much of an impact, but I think most ppl would be surprised that the public positions of intellectuals are often Noble Lies."

    (on Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/nathancofnas/status/1138877791263383552?s=19he link to the paper is here:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10699-015-9421-3

    The abstract:

    Some prominent scientists and philosophers have stated openly that moral and political considerations should influence whether we accept or promulgate scientific theories. This widespread view has significantly influenced the development, and public perception, of intelligence research. Theories related to group differences in intelligence are often rejected a priori on explicitly moral grounds. Thus the idea, frequently expressed by commentators on science, that science is “self-correcting”—that hypotheses are simply abandoned when they are undermined by empirical evidence—may not be correct in all contexts. In this paper, documentation spanning from the early 1970s to the present is collected, which reveals the influence of scientists’ moral and political commitments on the study of intelligence. It is suggested that misrepresenting findings in science to achieve desirable social goals will ultimately harm both science and society.
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
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    13 Jun '19 10:09
    @Philokalia
    The fear is eugenics and other political abuses of such findings. As it happens the most recent finding I'm aware of is that nutrition during pregnancy and the early years of life is the single most important determinant of intelligence - absent a specific genetic problem. Although you do have a point in that they were pretty keen to publish this finding. To be honest I don't have a strong intuition for this as my background is in physics and the subject does not raise these types of moral problems.
  3. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    14 Jun '19 01:51
    @deepthought said
    @Philokalia
    The fear is eugenics and other political abuses of such findings. As it happens the most recent finding I'm aware of is that nutrition during pregnancy and the early years of life is the single most important determinant of intelligence - absent a specific genetic problem. Although you do have a point in that they were pretty keen to publish this finding. ...[text shortened]... or this as my background is in physics and the subject does not raise these types of moral problems.
    Of course, the debate persists, but the fact of the matter is that one side is harrassed and destroyed whenever they participate, and it is probably near impossible to get funding for this sort of research.

    There are still startling studies and inconvenient truths, though, that can't be easily dismissed.
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    14 Jun '19 07:10
    @philokalia said
    A very interesting topic.

    "In 2015 I published a paper documenting prominent scientists saying that we should lie about group diffs in intelligence for moral reasons. It didn't have much of an impact, but I think most ppl would be surprised that the public positions of intellectuals are often Noble Lies."

    (on Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/nathancofnas/status/113887 ...[text shortened]... in science to achieve desirable social goals will ultimately harm both science and society. [/quote]
    There is little evidence of a difference in intelligence between race groups. IQ tests are often education based rather than reason based. For example, learning algebra will increase your IQ test score. Only if everyone in the world knows algebra can an IQ test be accurate.

    IQ tests are flawed, that is real science. Saying IQ tests are inaccurate in determining intelligence is not lying.
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
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    14 Jun '19 11:02
    @metal-brain said
    There is little evidence of a difference in intelligence between race groups. IQ tests are often education based rather than reason based. For example, learning algebra will increase your IQ test score. Only if everyone in the world knows algebra can an IQ test be accurate.

    IQ tests are flawed, that is real science. Saying IQ tests are inaccurate in determining intelligence is not lying.
    Out of curiosity, did you ever do one and what did you score?
  6. Joined
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    14 Jun '19 14:33
    @philokalia said
    Of course, the debate persists, but the fact of the matter is that one side is harrassed and destroyed whenever they participate, and it is probably near impossible to get funding for this sort of research.

    There are still startling studies and inconvenient truths, though, that can't be easily dismissed.
    There is funding for understanding the genetic underpinnings of brain function, including intelligence. It is just not race-based. Writing a grant that correlates skin color with brain function would be nonsense, knowing what we know about DNA. A brain function as simple as scent has more than 400 different types of cell surface receptors, with varying levels of expression driven by underlying genetics. Now you want to correlate that to skin color? Why?

    What are the studies that can't be easily dismissed?
  7. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    14 Jun '19 23:59
    @wildgrass said
    There is funding for understanding the genetic underpinnings of brain function, including intelligence. It is just not race-based. Writing a grant that correlates skin color with brain function would be nonsense, knowing what we know about DNA. A brain function as simple as scent has more than 400 different types of cell surface receptors, with varying levels of expression ...[text shortened]... u want to correlate that to skin color? Why?

    What are the studies that can't be easily dismissed?
    It doesn't actually work like that.

    Your cognitive ability, health, physical appearance, etc. Is affected by genetics.

    Both your skin color and cognitive ability will come from your genes, right.

    So, while the genes that determine cognitive ability and skin color are entirely different, there will be correlations to some degree.

    For instance, E. Africans are famous for their distance running skills. They are very disproportionately over represented in it. They also have black skin as a trait. West Africans also have black skin, but are not famous for an aptitude in distance running.

    Skin color isn't what correlates with distance running skill. Rather, common ancestry is the basis for people having the genes to be skilled distance runners as a group.
  8. Standard memberKellyJay
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    15 Jun '19 00:041 edit
    @philokalia said
    A very interesting topic.

    "In 2015 I published a paper documenting prominent scientists saying that we should lie about group diffs in intelligence for moral reasons. It didn't have much of an impact, but I think most ppl would be surprised that the public positions of intellectuals are often Noble Lies."

    (on Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/nathancofnas/status/113887 ...[text shortened]... in science to achieve desirable social goals will ultimately harm both science and society. [/quote]
    So the real question isn't that science self-corrects, but can people be trusted to do the right thing for science's sake?
  9. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    15 Jun '19 00:15
    @kellyjay said
    So the real question isn't that science self-corrects, but can people be trusted to do the right thing for science's sake?
    Right.

    Our wishful thinking doesn't change reality but it can change the way we present and define it and thus obscure the reality.
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    15 Jun '19 01:46
    @philokalia said
    It doesn't actually work like that.

    Your cognitive ability, health, physical appearance, etc. Is affected by genetics.

    Both your skin color and cognitive ability will come from your genes, right.

    So, while the genes that determine cognitive ability and skin color are entirely different, there will be correlations to some degree.

    For instance, E. Africans are ...[text shortened]... common ancestry is the basis for people having the genes to be skilled distance runners as a group.
    I'm concerned about your third and fourth sentences. The rest of it seems reasonable, I actually quite like the running example, from memory this is connected with how long the heel bone is.

    The problem with your sentence:
    Both your skin color and cognitive ability will come from your genes, right.
    is that skin colour is clearly pretty much genetically determined. Cognitive ability is strongly determined by childhood disease, nutrition, and stimulus (toys, schooling etc.). In the same way that someone who lifts weights is going to be stronger than someone who does not pretty independently of genetics. So it is really unclear what the genetic component of variation in intelligence is.

    The difficulty with the forth sentence:
    So, while the genes that determine cognitive ability and skin color are entirely different, there will be correlations to some degree.
    is that it is not at all obvious that there will be a correlation between the genes for skin colour and the genes for intelligence. The only way that could happen that I can think of is that the drivers for skin colour pigmentation is protection from UV damage and vitamin D production. Large brains generate heat and this can be a problem in hot countries, so one can imagine a correlation between skin colour and brain size. However it is not obvious that brain size is simply related to intelligence. A sperm whale's brain is six times larger than a human's and we tend not to think of them as intelligent. Further, some genes are strongly conserved and because intelligence is the single most important survival trait in humans I imagine that the genes for intelligence are likely to be strongly conserved. This would tend to mean that any variation between individuals in potential intelligence would tend to be the same within ethnic groups as across them, so I think a correlation between genes for skin colour and genes for intelligence is unlikely.
  11. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    15 Jun '19 02:16
    @deepthought said
    I'm concerned about your third and fourth sentences. The rest of it seems reasonable, I actually quite like the running example, from memory this is connected with how long the heel bone is.

    The problem with your sentence:
    Both your skin color and cognitive ability will come from your genes, right.
    is that skin colour is clearly pretty much genetically de ...[text shortened]... them, so I think a correlation between genes for skin colour and genes for intelligence is unlikely.
    I see your point. Let me clarify my position:

    (1) Naturally, anyone with terrible diet or a very bad upbringing will lose not just the ability to grow as tall as they would be, but also the ability to develop cognitively as much as they potentially could have.

    Environment is a part of what we become, but so are our genes.

    This is why if two long-distance running champions have 10 children together, perhaps 8 of them will be good long distance runners, and of them, perhaps even 3 of them will be top tier runners...

    But if my fiancee and I have ten children, the chances that any of them are good long distance runners are small. I am tall, she is short; we both have thick, endomorph bodies, big shoulders, etc. We're just not long distance running material.

    (2) If there is a group of people who are famous for their high levels of intelligence, like Koreans, and a group of people that have routinely tested at the bottom, I am inclined to believe that the Koreans in this group will have a higher average IQ, higher levels of educational attainment, etc., and this will correlate with their Asian appearance.

    The other group will not be on the same level as them, and that will correlate with their appearance. Perhaps their apperance is mixed race and has both brown and black people, or perhaps they are white people. It would not matter.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    15 Jun '19 10:06
    @philokalia said
    I see your point. Let me clarify my position:

    (1) Naturally, anyone with terrible diet or a very bad upbringing will lose not just the ability to grow as tall as they would be, but also the ability to develop cognitively as much as they potentially could have.

    Environment is a part of what we become, but so are our genes.

    This is why if two long-distance runnin ...[text shortened]... xed race and has both brown and black people, or perhaps they are white people. It would not matter.
    Cultural values can account for many, where one group always feels put upon and another feels the need to strive for goals. If our minds are feed something all of our lives we can become a product of our culture not our abilities being acted upon.
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    15 Jun '19 13:021 edit
    @philokalia said
    It doesn't actually work like that.

    Your cognitive ability, health, physical appearance, etc. Is affected by genetics.

    Both your skin color and cognitive ability will come from your genes, right.

    So, while the genes that determine cognitive ability and skin color are entirely different, there will be correlations to some degree.

    For instance, E. Africans are ...[text shortened]... common ancestry is the basis for people having the genes to be skilled distance runners as a group.
    Predispositions for skin color and cognitive ability come from different genes.

    Elite athletes aren't great examples of your point. A major reason why Kenyans are so often win marathons is a feature of their culture and environment. They are trained from a very early age to run all the time. The same is true for Cuban baseball players growing up on the diamond.

    I think you're referring to genetic linkage? There are some genes linked to other genes on chromosomes that segregate together. For athletic performance I think there are at least 200 loci linked to specific mechanisms, but none of these can directly predict athletic performance. For a trait as complex as intelligence, skin color does not correlate.
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    15 Jun '19 13:07
    @philokalia said
    This is why if two long-distance running champions have 10 children together, perhaps 8 of them will be good long distance runners, and of them, perhaps even 3 of them will be top tier runners...
    I think your numbers are way off on this. Within a group of 5 million Kenyans, 30 of them can run 2:10 marathons.

    There are certainly some genetic components, but a lot of people with very similar genetic background can't do it. And it clearly isn't racial.
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    15 Jun '19 15:53
    @Philokalia
    Science does not self correct. There have been theories that violate scientific findings, and the theory has not been corrected. Evolution is a good example of this. DNA has been studied extensively. It cannot be created. It cannot suddenly contain new parts. This fact alone requires a genius creator. There are many other examples of how evolution theory violates science.
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