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The Twists of History and DNA

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the dna-certainly-is-curved dept.

337

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times has a piece today talking about the possible connection between genetic evolution and history." From the article: "Trying to explain cultural traits is, of course, a sensitive issue. The descriptions of national character common in the works of 19th-century historians were based on little more than prejudice. Together with unfounded notions of racial superiority they lent support to disastrous policies. But like phrenology, a wrong idea that held a basic truth (the brain's functions are indeed localized), the concept of national character could turn out to be not entirely baseless, at least when applied to societies shaped by specific evolutionary pressures."

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Localised brain functions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904585)

My brain functions are localised in my balls

Re:Localised brain functions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904600)

You'd be surprised at how true that is. Hormones being what they are, spherically shaped regions in your brain... nevermind, I'm making this all up.

I love bash.org (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904593)

The real issue is which candidate will kill more niggers.
  Gore's idea of poisoned chicken wings is pretty good
  But I like Bush's idea of a giant oven disguised as a swap meet.
  Niggers love swap meets.

Re:I love bash.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904676)

Even on slashdot, ignorant fools run rampant. Damn shame...

Especially on Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904754)

Moron.

Bullshit PC description (0, Flamebait)

Andrew Tanenbaum (896883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904608)

I hate how, when an article comes up about a sensitive issue, 3/4 of the summary text is dedicated to doubletalk.

"[..]unfounded notions of racial superiority[..]" --- yet the linked article states that they may in fact not be so unfounded. If a group can be as a whole different, there's no reason that a group can't be as a whole superior.

Shove this PC bullshit up your ass, you anonymous coward.

-- A.T.

Re:Bullshit PC description (5, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904619)

The summary was talking about *19th century* "unfounded notions of racial superiority." The *article* is talking about our 21st century notions of racial superiority, which are, of course, superior. :-p

I expect in a while people will start complaining about our unfounded notions of temporal superiority, and we will have to stop believing we are superior to past civilisations.

Re:Bullshit PC description (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904621)

Wow Andy, I can see that the microkernel in your head is really working out well for you. Could it be that you're so livid about the dismissal of the concept of racial "superiority" because you're have some kind of unfounded notion about where exactly your favorite group lies in your hypothesized heirarchy?

Re:Bullshit PC description (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904645)

Define "superior".

oooh... yes, define "superior" (4, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904702)

Survival of the fittest does NOT mean survival of the smartest, least violent, most honest, etc.

Fitness is purely a function of how well you pass on your DNA. This is mostly, but not purely, about making children. Protecting close blood relatives, including siblings and grandchildren, counts toward your fitness because your close blood relatives share lots of DNA with you.

Our current environment doesn't typically feature starvation, so it's no problem to have more babies than most people consider sane. Welfare can help. You just need to make the babies. Major medical defects like diabetes are no problem. So, fitness today...

  • horny
  • horrified by abortion
  • careless or clueless regarding birth control
  • good at flirting
  • physically attractive
  • likes to get drunk
  • cheats on spouse
  • helps siblings get laid
  • OK with incest
  • wants kids even after age 50 (gets fertility treatment)

Lovely world, huh? Evolution doesn't stop, and it sure doesn't obey our desires.

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (2, Funny)

Isotopian (942850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904745)

So basically, we're talking about Catholic School-girls who convert to Mormonism?

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (1)

zr (19885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904821)

well, its both, procreating and getting your children to procreate. and that means feeding them, educating them, establishing them with the right values, etc. procreating alone wont get you far enough in terms of survival of the fittest.

you're going to have to add few more bulletpoints there ;)

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904866)

Educated people usually delay having children in favor of their careers and have fewer children overall than uneducated people. So natural selection favors the uneducated.

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (3, Insightful)

just_forget_it (947275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904830)

incest? come on. Children resulting from incestuous relationships are more likely to have birth defects, which aren't condusive to survival at all. From a purely animal standpoint, people with defects are less attractive and are less likely to mate if they aren't sterile already.

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904915)

You forget modern medical technology.

A preference for incest would be a disadvantage of course. Strong aversion to it might also be a disadvantage today. If you get 1 extra kid, who probably will survive, you come out ahead. Compare:

a. N kids with non-relatives
b. N kids with non-relatives, plus a semi-defective one that can survive with medical help

Re:oooh... yes, define "superior" (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904935)

Problem: Incest brings out recessive genetic defects. So a child of incest carries defective genes that, thanks to people knowing about defects, makes them less desirable as a mate. Nobody wants to marry or screw the guy with a recessive genetic defect.

Re:Bullshit PC description (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904705)

Define "superior".

Better adapted to the environment, and thus more likely to reproduce.

Re:Bullshit PC description (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904661)

Bullshit PC description (Score:1)
by Andrew Tanenbaum (896883)

I hate how, when an article comes up about a sensitive issue, 3/4 of the summary text is dedicated to doubletalk.
"[..]unfounded notions of racial superiority[..]" --- yet the linked article states that they may in fact not be so unfounded. If a group can be as a whole different, there's no reason that a group can't be as a whole superior.

How fitting the above has been written by a member of the "chosen race" that has been hated throughout Europe to unprecedented levels...

Re:Bullshit PC description (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904778)

Parent was pointing out a contradiction in the article, in which the statement "unfounded notions of racial superiority" is clearly refuted by the article's subsequent arguments which any thinking individual would interpret as a partial founding of the previously unfounded notions.

The fact that you could not tell the difference between what the parent was stating the article supported and what the parent actually believes himself (which was neither stated or implied by any of the parent's statements) is telling. Especially given your apparant predilection toward antisemitism.

Re:Bullshit PC description (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904729)

If a group can be as a whole different, there's no reason that a group can't be as a whole superior.

There's one very good reason - "superior" is a meaningless term without context.

Shove this PC bullshit up your ass, you anonymous coward.

And Andrew Tanenbaum is your real name, is it?

Not Politically Correct (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904822)

Read that fragment again: "...unfounded notions of racial superiority..."

That's not political correctness. The author is taking a clear stance on the supposed superiority of races. You seem to have ignored the distinction between a well-adapted race and a morally superior race; 'superiority' in this context implies a moral judgment that obviously can't be summarized in genetic terms.

Germans (4, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904611)

As someone with a pretty large ladle of German heritage, I have to say that I have the gene that desires meticulous organization. This possibly can also be seen by German's love of clocks. Of course, the extreme expression of that are the almost ridiculous levels of Nazi record keeping. I've often wondered if this is a cultural trait, or if it's something genetic in the brain. Given that I have pretty close to zero German cultural influence, I tend to by sympathetic toward a genetic possibility.

More generally, I think people are going to have to face someday that brain genetics are not somehow special. Just like certain races are shorter, taller, darker, lighter, faster, stronger, etc, certain races (and sexes...) are going to have bell curves that are different shapes. Of course, this doesn't preclude any individual from falling anywhere on the bell curve.

Re:Germans (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904628)

Of course, the extreme expression of that are the almost ridiculous levels of Nazi record keeping.

> Does that mean that Richard Nixon was German? His tapes of everything, IMHO, exceeded even the Nazis.

Re:Germans (1)

enrgeeman (867240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904914)

maybe, but mostly paranoid.

Re:Germans (4, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904678)

More generally, I think people are going to have to face someday that brain genetics are not somehow special. Just like certain races are shorter, taller, darker, lighter, faster, stronger, etc, certain races (and sexes...) are going to have bell curves that are different shapes. Of course, this doesn't preclude any individual from falling anywhere on the bell curve.

Yet you would be drawn and quartered if you said that from any position of authority on a college campus, as Larry Summers discovered. Indeed, suggesting that there may be genetic differences to explain any collective group's below the average showing in any endeavor would preclude you from ever obtaining any sort of achievment in the academic world. However, if you can state that genetics might explain how one particular named group (better known as dead white guys) have unfairly gained advantage in history due to a gene of violence, or whatever, then you can write your own ticket.

Re:Germans (2, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904692)

...the extreme expression of that are the almost ridiculous levels of Nazi record keeping. I've often wondered if this is a cultural trait, or if it's something genetic in the brain. Given that I have pretty close to zero German cultural influence, I tend to by sympathetic toward a genetic possibility.

Being that I am a German and have had alot of German cultural influence as a consequence of being a German (you know: 'knackwurst, bier und sauerkraut') I can tell you that this has nothing to do with genetics!! It is a cultural thing, an ancient German custom. Whenever we Germans feel that we might be about to do somenting galactically stupid we like to document the full extent of our idiocy for future reference. Think of it as a simple scheme, aimed at preventing us from making the same mistake twice, don't read to much into it...

Re:Germans (2, Interesting)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904842)

Even a cursory perusal of any psychology (or any science) textbook would show you that your personal opinion of your psychological/genetic makeup is about as valid as your opinion on any other matter, ie. not at all. Science is science. Claiming that you understand it doesn't make it so.

To date, there heve been exactly zero scientific studies that point to a genetic component of personality, including the famous twins studies of the late 1990s. Yet there have been literally thousands of studies that point to a cultural component, including those that show that early childhood trauma can result in physical damage to the brain.

If someone were intending to show a genetic component to personality, he or she would first have to show a physiological component to personality. That has yet to happen. So your analogy of shortness and strongness, which are physiological traits, can not be applied to personalities, which are not physiological. The brain may be genetic, but we are many, many years from proving or even suggesting that personality traits are.

Just a Clue-In (2, Informative)

those.numbers (960432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904618)

For those of us who didn't already know much about the concept of national character, Google defines it as "studies based on the assumption that collectively members of a society have a distinctive set of psychological qualities." Interesting article.

Bullshit! All men are the same! (3, Interesting)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904620)

But like phrenology, a wrong idea that held a basic truth (the brain's functions are indeed localized), the concept of national character could turn out to be not entirely baseless, at least when applied to societies shaped by specific evolutionary pressures.
What bullshit! All men are the same!!! National characters are shaped by History, and very often, History is dictated by Geography.

An example: the british live on a poor island, which was soon depleted of it's natural ressources. In order to avoid starving, they simply went overseas to get the essential ressources they lacked at home. Hence they developped a commercial empire, and the ability to do trading on a global scale was elevated to a "desirable national characteristic", which explains that the anglo-saxons are the most imperialistic people on Earth.

Nearby France is a rich country, overflowing with bountiful ressources. It followed Britain by constituting an empire, yes, but this was just for copycat purposes; it never vitally needed an empire just to survive, and the best illustration of this is, after World War II, when both Britain and France lost their empires, Britain sunk into decadence and decrepitude, whilst France had the highest economic growth during the 30 years following the War.

And this is also why in France, excelling in the Arts and Science is viewed as a "desirable national characteristic", whilst commerce is viewed as a vile, unwholesome, fithy activity.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (4, Insightful)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904659)

Nearby France is a rich country, overflowing with bountiful ressources. It followed Britain by constituting an empire, yes, but this was just for copycat purposes; it never vitally needed an empire just to survive, and the best illustration of this is, after World War II, when both Britain and France lost their empires, Britain sunk into decadence and decrepitude, whilst France had the highest economic growth during the 30 years following the War.

DOn't forget that France and all the other countries in Western Europe that were occupied (including West Germany) benefited from Marshal Plan money that bought them new steelworks, railways, etc to replace the old ones that were destroyed. Britain on the other hand got squat from the Marshal Plan, and struggles to this day with pre-war infrastructure that in nearby countries was destroyed and subsequently replaced.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904688)

Actually the UK did receive help from the US after the war. Not as much as the rest of Western Europe but it also didn't the level of destruction that the rest of Europe did. It was an extension of the Lend Lease program and not the Marshal Plan but it did get some help.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (1, Insightful)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904689)

The OP is just on crack, man (although you're right on about the Marshall Plan). He's arguing two mutually contradictory theses:

1) France has been an economic powerhouse in the second half of the 20th Century; AND

2) In France, commerce and business pursuits are reviled and seen as dirty.

How do those two add up, again? They don't--they contradict. And the OP is an idiot.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904687)

What bullshit! All men are the same!!!

Politically, I agree with you. All men (and women) should be treated fairly and with dignity.

Biologically, I disagree. While everyone is (if not mostly) capable of performing the same functions, some people are better adapted at specific tasks than others. While it doesn't prevent you from being a musician or a football player, clearly you will have to work harder than others and vise versa.

Evolution (Mother Nature) is a bitch. It doesn't care friend from foe. But it is what it is, and you shouldn't deny this fact.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (-1, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904814)

Any task requiring something physical I agree with you, anything that is solely mental, I disagree. I believe that every human is equal mentally, and I'll need real scientific proof that shows that this isn't the case because of genetics, rather then because of social and geographical factors.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904928)

I believe that every human is equal mentally

Sorry, but this isn't true. Genetics does play a major role in mental abilities. Take depression for example. It's a true medical condition that involves a serotonin imbalance. Depression DOES affect ones mental abilities. Thankfully however, the right medication can put your mental status and abilities in the "normal" range if treated. This is just only one example, and there are many more. Point is, everyone has slight differences in brain chemistry that is just enough to affect neural activity.

So yes, some people are better off than others when it comes to processing and storing information. It's a fact of life.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (1)

qeveren (318805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904936)

I don't suppose you've ever heard of trisomy-21, huh?

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904956)

Any task requiring something physical I agree with you, anything that is solely mental, I disagree.

Why ? The brain is just another organ and, hence, just another aspect of physical makeup. There's no reason to think the same physical attributes that make some people stronger, faster, fitter, etc are any different when applied to the brain and its mental capabilities.

This is before even getting to medical conditions that affect brain development.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904771)

Bear in mind though that people create history - history doesn't create people.

Re:Bullshit! All men are the same! (1)

Ikester8 (768098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904906)

And this is also why in France, excelling in the Arts and Science is viewed as a "desirable national characteristic", whilst commerce is viewed as a vile, unwholesome, fithy activity.
Then who, pray tell, is selling us all that wine and cheese?

Read Guns, Germs, & Steel (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904633)

This amazing book sums up what happens to humans when placed in different geographies. Just like animals, certain traits are more advantageous and lead to increased specialization.

Re:Read Guns, Germs, & Steel (1)

garyboodhoo (945261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904832)

That book rocks! However, my reading of it left me with the impression that the author was saying that human genetic traits had very little to do with history, society, distribution of power, etc... In fact he was stating it was geographic availability of certain plants and animals that led to historical traditions such as record-keeping, literacy, metallurgy, etc... And most importantly, turned farmers into biological weapons in relation to hunter-gatherers.

Case in point, the Spanish domination of the Incan Empire in the new world. The Spaniards were better equipped (steel weapons, horses) yet significantly outmanned. Total victory was achieved because:

  1. a tradition of literacy outside the priesthood allowed them access to centuries worth of historical records of conquest
  2. the germs they carried to the new world decimated native populations lacking resistance - a resistance they possessed simply because of the greater variety of domestic animals they had been in close contact with for centuries.

It accomplishes little to rely on rules of thumb such as "German precision" when 2000 years ago, it's unlikely that the Roman, Middle Eastern, Indian, Chinese or Greek civilizations would have considered German "barbarians" especially precise!

Asians? (3, Funny)

kennygraham (894697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904643)

One can only wonder what evolutionary pressures caused well endowed Asian males do die out.

Re:Asians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904666)

Amen. Finally someone speaking good sense here.

Re:Asians? (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904726)

I can take a few guesses.

More testosterone means more violence. It means greater muscle mass and general body size.

If food is scarce and the winning strategy is cooperation, villages full of big violent guys would starve out more often than villages with small peaceful guys.

Well, there you go. Survival of the fittest.

Re:Asians? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904791)

assuming the villages with big violent guys don't just raid and pillage the small peaceful villages.

Is this particular tidbit a fact though? It sure sounds like urban legend to me.

uh, yes, it has been studied (2, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904878)

Some weirdo actually weighed testicles removed from cadavers. The asians were smallest. The others didn't differ all that much. The same is true of penis measurements, but note that africans look better equipped because the "flacid" state isn't as flacid as that of other populations.

Re:Asians? (5, Interesting)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904811)

I'm guessing you were posting tongue in cheek, but just in case:

Um, Mongol hordes conquering three quarters of Eurasia? China was basically one long war for centuries, Japan liked to play "Guess who's Shogun this week" and Korea kept coping it from both sides. Not exactly a history that suggests a lack of testosterone in any measure.

Re:Asians? (0, Flamebait)

Isotopian (942850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904827)

No, it wasn't cuz they had too much testosterone, it's because they were always fighting because they heard everyone else was bigger than them! This is known as the 'bigger dick' theory of history. All wars were started cuz one country's leader though some other country's leader had a bigger dick.

Re:Asians? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904909)

Does this include Margaret Thatcher?

Re:Asians? (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904888)

That doesn't say much about day-to-day village life. Starvation was probably a bigger concern than war.

Also, depending on the war conditions, small fighters may be better off. War is often won or lost based on supply lines. You can't fight too well if you run out of food.

Re:Asians? (4, Insightful)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904744)

"One can only wonder what evolutionary pressures caused well endowed Asian males do die out."

One can also only wonder at the evolutionary pressures producing large numbers of white boys obsessed with comparing their penis sizes to males of every other culture.

Re:Asians? (4, Funny)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904763)

One can only wonder what evolutionary pressures caused well endowed Asian males do die out.

its the food silly...
ordered according endownment:
1. Africans (eat elephants)
2. Americans (eat hotdogs)
3. Asians (eat rice)

note: rabbits eat carrots which are about their own body-length. And now you know why they breed so fast.

Re:Asians? (4, Insightful)

de Selby (167520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904923)

Well, not to accuse any culture of having an unusual history... there is a connection between reproductive strategy and penis size in the animal kingdom.

Promiscuous creatures tend to have large penises. Big schlongs (especially with the shape of the penis head) can remove some competitor's man-juices while insuring ideal placement of his own; and greater numbers of sperm increase his chances of reproduction, rather than some of the other guys working the same womb.

In contrast, creatures that force females into harems have smaller dicks. Males beating each other to gain alpha-male status is where all the pressure is at for these guys. The size of the penis and testicles atrophy to almost the minimum necessary in order to reproduce under nearly ideal (read: sole access to the female) conditions.

While gorillas developed huge upper bodies to do the beating, human beings may have developed culture to do the same thing (kings and the wealthy get lots of women, etc.). /Not to say there is a real size difference or that this is how it happened.

As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fray.. (5, Interesting)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904653)

There has been some recent trending toward the thinking that recent human history (the past few millenia, that is) involves our genetic history. Most of it is cited in the article, though--it's a pretty scant number studies willing to even look in that direction. As the article notes, Western societies tend to be pretty sensitive to suggestions that genes predispose behavior or personality traits, because it has so recently been the justification for war, mass murder, and horrific social policies (eugenics).

BUT... the problem, from a scientific perspective, is that the more we learn about genetics the more evidence exists that there ARE behavioral and personality traits linked to our genes. Nobody's talking about master races or anything like that, but there's still a morally offensive (to some, at least) supposition there: Not all men are created equal.

This is a big moral problem for liberal Western democracies. Most European and North American states, and a good portion of nations in the rest of the world, are founded on the basis that every person is entitled to the same basic rights as the rest. The philosophical rhetoric that underlies these claims needs the postulate that all human beings are somewhat equal--nobody is so much better equipped, morally or intellectually or otherwise, that he can take away the political rights of self determination from other men.

Although I'm behind scientific inquiry 100%, and I don't think that these researchers should ever compromise their work for political purposes (well-intentioned or not!), I am a little worried about how this kind of work will affect the new few centuries of government and political thought.

Prostitute Schedule for Mar. 12 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904685)

Folks, check out the updated prostitute schedule [fuckedcompany.com] for March 12 at the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California. The MBOT is the most convenient way for you to buy a blow job, a hand job, and full service (i.e. vaginal sexual intercourse).

I kid you not.

Please establish a hypertext link to this message. Spread the word!

Equal? (5, Insightful)

mike_n2em (639096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904719)

> Not all men are created equal.

> This is a big moral problem for liberal Western democracies. Most
> European and North American states, and a good portion of nations in
> the rest of the world, are founded on the basis that every person is
> entitled to the same basic rights as the rest. The philosophical
> rhetoric that underlies these claims needs the postulate that all
> human beings are somewhat equal--nobody is so much better
> equipped, morally or intellectually or otherwise, that he can
> take away the political rights of self determination from other men.

Well, actually it's not such a problem. To be "created" equal requires a creator. The idea is that, since none of us is the creator, we have no rights over the lives of one another, except insomuch as we mutually agree. Jefferson was not talking about intellectual, muscular, or moral equality--certainly he knew that some of us are smarter, more powerful, or more virtuous than others.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (5, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904804)

Not all men are created equal.

I agree with your point, but just for the record, that phrase by the Founding Fathers did not mean "equal in ability" or even "equal in value". It meant that no one is born divine, in the sense of more than human. This was a direct attack on the idea that kings are ordained by God.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (1)

Tiro (19535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904817)

Yet somehow "all men are created equal" didn't stop France from imperial/colonial expansion in Africa, nor did it prevent France from trying to conquer Mexico, or the US the Phillipines.

The actual ideology was created for the purpose of grabbing power for the commercial classes from the Old Regime, not for creating an egalitarian society.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (3, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904848)

Yet somehow "all men are created equal" didn't stop France from imperial/colonial expansion in Africa, nor did it prevent France from trying to conquer Mexico, or the US the Phillipines.

Bypassing that cognitive dissonance is dead simple...you just define the natives/undesirables as "sub-human" and continue on your merry way. Every successful* culture in history did and still does this.

*I think most metrics of cultural dominance can be used here

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904826)

...every person is entitled to the same basic rights as the rest. The philosophical rhetoric that underlies these claims needs the postulate that all human beings are somewhat equal--nobody is so much better equipped, morally or intellectually or otherwise, that he can take away the political rights of self determination from other men.

This is a fallacy, of course. It should be pretty obvious that not all humans are equal (whether 'created' or 'born' or whatever). Some people are smarter, some people are stronger... some are taller than average, some are shorter than average, and so on. This is obvious. That some of these traits are also correlated to our genetic stock is also obvious.

The fundamental ethical argument should not be "all humans deserve equal rights because they are fundamentally identical..." but rather "all humans deserve equal rights because they are all human and all deserve rights." Being strong doesn't give you extra rights... being taller doesn't give you fewer rights. The ethical axiom is simply that "humans deserve equal opportunities/rights/etc." Somehow linking this to "all people are identical" is a fallacy.

Until people get rid of this fallacy, we are doomed to deny the facts of genetic studies. That some cultures may be genetically predisposed in some way (on average taller than average, or on average stronger than average, whatever...) should be obvious... and it shouldn't challenge our notions of humans being entitled to equal rights.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (1)

Shewmaker (28126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904917)

If you take "humans deserve equal opportunities/rights/etc." as an axiom, then it doesn't really make sense to make the argument "all humans deserve equal rights because they are all human and all deserve rights." You don't need to recast it as an argument because you've already assumed it.

One problem with that axiom, however, is that humans throughout history tend to disagree on the definition of the word "human". If a person doesn't want to think of another person as an equal, then they will generally call them something else (e.g. an animal, savage, monkey, etc.)

If we accept a genetic definition of what it means to be human, then at what point does a genetic relative no longer deserve equal rights and why?

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above.... (0, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904850)

It is a problem. The second we find the causes of certain things in genes, there will be high pressure to eliminate them. Sure Hitler went out of control when he started killing off all the Jews and homosexuals and non-Aryan people, but there are other more humane ways. Such as sterilization. If it's found gene X when configured in manner A increases the likelihood of someone becoming a serial killer to 90%, there aren't many arguments you can come up with to say "we should keep that gene in that configuration in our gene pool."

That's the scary thing. If gene's do affect our behaviour to a large degree, it is difficult to argue for people with those genes being allowed to continue to breed.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (3, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904881)

A few basics:

1. genes govern everything we are and are not, and everybody has a different set of genes (with the exception of twins). Thus, no one is actually created equal, in the sense you are suggesting.

2. although genes on the individual level can vary significantly from another (think John Holmes, think Albert Einstein), there is virtually no difference at all on the group level. This means that if you compare a distinct ethnic group (or "race" as they still call it in the US) with another, you will find a much larger variation within each group than between the groups. This is what scientists mean when they say we are all Homo sapiens sapiens (except for three tiny African tribes, who DO qualify as another sub-species (or "race" as they still call it in the US). What this basically means is that we are all the same on the group level; this is not just politically correct, but also scientifically correct. A few discrepancies such as resistance to malaria, skin color, hair color and other minute genome changes donät change this.

3. we tend to categorize people by their looks. Japanese and Chinese are all small, and this must be because of their genes, right? Did you know that the average height for a European was 150 cm in the 1500s? That it is now 180 cm is of course because of altered diet, and we now utlizie our genetic potential to the maxium. The same goes for modern Japanese and Chinese to a certain extent (do you know who Yao Ming is?), but many Asians have low protein diets and thus don't maximize their genetic potential.

4. TFA mentions that some warriors tend to have three times as many babies as non-warriors, and that this would have a social effect, making the tribe more aggressive on the whole. That is such rubbish that I can't even start to think about its national socialist roots; it doesn't work that way, since others still have babies at a significant rate. If you compare artificial selection measures like milking cows, you would see that one weeds out all the "bad" examples; that doesn't happen in real life, and that is why you don't see natural selection happen before your eyes.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904884)

If all men are not created equal, that does not imply that they aren't entitled to the same basic rights.

Re:As usual, humanity fancies itself above the fra (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904899)

Not all men are created equal. I agree 100%. The fact is the Aryan is superior to the other races (except perhaps the Oriental, who may be equal). Liberals can't deal with how the kike is different than us, or how the niggers are stupid. Science has proved this. The Nazis stated the truth, but liberals like FDR and the communists couldn't deal with it. 14/88

The Blank Slate (4, Interesting)

Bytal (594494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904665)

A great book on this subject is Stephen Pinker's The Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature [amazon.com] . He spends a good while explaining the biological evidence for certain traits such as increased intelligence being just as much genetically determined as someone's eye color. He also takes the time to explain why so many people instinctively demonize this stance and why facing the truth about our genetic heritage will actually allow people to live in greater harmony with each other. The explanations are surprisingly clear and he mostly stays away from rhetorical and psychological bubble that so many philosophers often resort to.

Re:The Blank Slate (2, Interesting)

Ikester8 (768098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904893)

One thing that evolutionists that study humans agree on is that while the human race, as well as the various local adaptations, evolved via Darwinian natural selection, human culture is inherently Lamarkian. Everything that makes up a human culture is passed from generation to generation and from mind to mind. There is nothing random about human action, as opposed to genetic variability. Looking at the evolution of culture through a Darwinian lens is bound to lead you down the wrong path.

I don't buy it (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904667)

Some geneticists believe the variations they are seeing in the human genome are so recent that they may help explain historical processes. "Since it looks like there has been significant evolutionary change over historical time, we're going to have to rewrite every history book ever written," said Gregory Cochran, a population geneticist at the University of Utah. "The distribution of genes influencing relevant psychological traits must have been different in Rome than it is today," he added. "The past is not just another country but an entirely different kind of people."

Surely if you were able to take a baby from ancient times and transplant him to the present, he'd grow up to really be no different than the rest of us.

The most recent example of a society's possible genetic response to its circumstances is one advanced by Dr. Cochran and Henry Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. In an article last year they argued that the unusual pattern of genetic diseases found among Ashkenazi Jews (those of Central and Eastern Europe) was a response to the demands for increased intelligence imposed when Jews were largely confined to the intellectually demanding professions of money lending and tax farming. Though this period lasted only from 900 A.D. to about 1700, it was long enough, the two scientists argue, for natural selection to favor any variant gene that enhanced cognitive ability.

This part I really don't buy. More like they weren't having children outside of their group, and so are more prone to genetic diseases.

buy it (4, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904768)

If you were able to take a baby from ancient times and transplant him to the present, he'd grow up to about the same as the rest of us, because "the rest of us" have enough variation that you'd not notice any difference.

Take 10000 ancient babies and 10000 modern babies though, place them in equal situations, and you'll see a pattern of differences between the groups.

It's easy to prove this for physical attributes like height. The Mayan and Inca people of Central America were very short. If you brought one to the modern world, part of that difference would go away (better food) and part would remain. Maybe the guy is 5'4" instead of the average 5'10", but you couldn't say for sure if it was something particular to an ancient person. If you got 10000 of these people though, and the average was 5'4", then you'd know there was a difference.

Re:buy it (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904861)

Take 10000 ancient babies and 10000 modern babies though, place them in equal situations, and you'll see a pattern of differences between the groups.

Sorry, still don't buy it. Considering the experiment is (unfortunately) impossible, we'll have to go about another way to prove or disprove the role of genetics in our behaviour.

Not an entirely different kind of people (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904799)

>Surely if you were able to take a baby from ancient times and transplant him to the present, he'd grow up to really be no different than the rest of us.

If you read things like Seneca's letter of consolation to his mother from his exile, you find that ancient people had the same feelings and quirks that we do. You can even spot comparable personality subtypes. What was Archimedes if not a superlative nerd? Ancient politics malfunctioned in all the same ways that contemporary politics does, and the US Founding Fathers successfully applied lessons from governance structures in ancient Greece. Stories in the Bible about procrastination (Jonah) and temptation (many) resonate with us all today. Cochran really overreached there.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

buckyboy314 (928081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904802)

Inbreeding in a group does not encourage the spread of recessive genetic diseases. Unless having the disease is a reproductive advantage (which is highly dubious), such a recessive trait would be more widely spread in mixed breeding. The reason inbreeding causes genetic diseases more often is that people who are closely related are likely to share recessive genes causing genetic diseases, so that the offspring is likely to have the same recessive gene on both matching chromosomes. If both mates reproduce with other partners, there will still be the same average number of that gene in the gene pool.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904818)

Surely if you were able to take a baby from ancient times and transplant him to the present, he'd grow up to really be no different than the rest of us.

Is this a tenet of faith, or can you cite research supporting this claim? Science doesn't advance by upholding what you think is "patently obvious".

Perhaps this is testable...find the DNA of long-dead humans and clone them. One heaping of luck/tenacity finding the DNA and one heaping of Jurassic Park semi-sci-fi...shake, stir, and repeat a statistically significant number of times.

I'm not sure how to handle the meddling of those people running around claiming some invisible, disembodied patriarch told some old guy in Rome to tell everyone else this experiment is bad.

McEvolution (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904670)

Quoth the article:
Many of the reshaped genes are involved in taste, smell or digestion, suggesting that East Asians experienced some wrenching change in diet. Since the genetic changes occurred around the time that rice farming took hold, they may mark people's adaptation to a historical event, the beginning of the Neolithic revolution as societies switched from wild to cultivated foods.
By extension, we can expect evolutionary changes in North America within the next couple of centuries to accommodate our fondness for the Double Bacon Cheeseburger.

Re:McEvolution (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904697)

Well, it's interesting that native South Americans living in the rural Andes mountains are thinner than their westernized North American counterparts. This is mostly attributed to genetics where they have genes that allow them to store more energy in a low food environment. Place them in a high-food environment, and they become overweight.

yes indeed (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904779)

We will develop a reduced desire for calories, salt, and protien.

We will handle trans fats better, or we will become able to taste them and find them yucky.

Uh oh.. (3, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904684)

Here we go again. This reminds me of the not-incorrect observation by a certain Harvard dean that women, in general, tend to be better in areas not related to math and science. Regardless of the merit of such a claim, the current political climate is such that any observation other than the obvious is regarded as demeaning. Even obvious differences are often taboo. It would be fine to observe, for example, that asians tend to excell at math and science, but mentioning that they're generally shorter than their european counterparts would be considered insulting by some, regardless of the fact that being smaller has many advantages for survival.

I suppose though, in light of our inability to view differences objectively, that it's probably for the best. Invariably, when someone points out differences, one group will use those differences to assert some sort of supreriority over the other. While it would be nice if we could discuss differences with scientific detachment and actually learn something, it seems that the most common trait among humanity -- our desire to be the best; to feel superior -- prevents such objectivity.

Re:Uh oh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904758)

"This reminds me of the not-incorrect observation by a certain Harvard dean that women, in general, tend to be better in areas not related to math and science."

Is it that they are not better, or not as interested in the field?

Re:Uh oh.. (2, Insightful)

Catskul (323619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904907)

Sometimes that is the same thing. People who love what they do often do it best.

Mythological nonsense (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904686)


Never trust work that moves from the digestion of milk (dependent on a single enzyme in adulthood) to broad cultural generalizations. Why would anyone think that East Asians have been selected for intelligence, unless they buy into a particular cultural stereotype that has been common only in the past few decades, as the East has sent its best and brightest to the West for education? A generation ago East Asians were considered much less mentally capable than Europeans. Both stereotypes are fact-free.

Here's a real howler from the article:

"It is easy to imagine that in societies where trust pays off, generation after generation, the more trusting individuals would have more progeny and the oxytocin-promoting genes would become more common in the population."

Easy to imagine, yes, at least if you are completely ignorant of how societies have actually behaved in history. It's easy to imagine the Earth is flat, if you are sufficiently ignorant.

Trust pays off most in societies that trade under the rule of law, like Rome. And we all know that generation after generation Roman families grew and grew, especially amongst the most properous classes, who benefited the most from trust...

Except they didn't.

Certain types of benefit to individuals result in decreased procreation, as we see in modern developed societies. Rome struggled with declining population amongst the middle and upper classes throughout most of its history, to the extent that laws and other social pressure requiring marriage and progeny were common features even during the late Republic.

Local genetic adaptation to a rice-based diet I can believe. Adaptation to cow's milk is plausbile. But until you show me quantitative, unbiased performance measures of "cultural types" I'll say you're telling the kind of just-so story that faux-evolutionists have been foisting off on the public for generations, starting with Spencer and coming down to the present day in the form of statistically illiterate dunderheads like Charles Murray.

Re:Mythological nonsense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904810)

I'll say you're telling the kind of just-so story that faux-evolutionists have been foisting off on the public for generations, starting with Spencer and coming down to the present day in the form of statistically illiterate dunderheads like Charles Murray.

Ah yes, a blatantly unfounded ad hominem disguised as scientific argument. Someone doesn't like a statistic? Instead of showing how it is somehow wrong (and in the case of Murray , his statistics are rather impeccable and irrefutable), just attack someone's character and cry for social approval by appealing to popular ideals about the so-called sameness of the human race.

You are free to agree or disagree with any of the notions he says. And I am certianly free to say that I don't agree with Murray's obsession with modernism in relations to people with high IQ, but you should at least hold your self up to higher standards of rational thought that go beyond saying that some guy you don't agree with is a "dunderhead".

As I said in another post, the denial of human evolution that consists of the equality-obsessed people is no different than the denial of Darwinism that is of the Intelligent Design crowd. Lots of people shouting all sorts of ignorant non-scientific and often just ad hominem type statements.

The least you could do is counter with something that resembles a logical argument that actually can be debated in scientific manner. Otherwise, lowering ourselves down to the level of calling each other names and appealing to some sort of popular "sensibilities" just throws the whole idea of scientific inquisition out of the window.

Egalitarianism is the enemy of human rights (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904694)

What the poster fails to mention is that the pendulum has swung to an opposite extreme that isn't good either. We're not all biochemically equal, and that should be at the foundation for our belief that all people are deserving of equal rights. Each life has its own individual existance, even twins.

The tendency I have notice is that those who preach the idea that we're all equal, instead of all equally worth human dignity, is that they tend to favor control of others. In the name of "equality," people have been turned into cogs to fit into some sociologist's "scientific" organization of a corporation or society.

That's why libertarianism is so hard for liberals to swallow. We don't believe that all people are equal. In fact we do believe that some are born with clear advantages over others, and the opposite is equally true. Instead, what should be emphasized is that no one is born with the inherent right to control others, and all arguments for controlling others ought to be based in the highest standards of morality and reason.

Besides, I have been around enough foreigners to know that the majority around the world doesn't really believe this bullshit Western idea that we are all born equal, save for an equal right to be free from all arbitrary controls. Instead of focusing on equality, perhaps we should be focusing on the more pressing need to make the government work more efficiently and in a fairer way, that does not (as it has always happened in the past) end up making it simply a powerful means for the strong to control the weak.

Re:Egalitarianism is the enemy of human rights (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904853)

I think you've spent too much time reading the Declaration of Independence. That's the only document I know of in the West that says we're all created equal. Now, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Western drafted document established after World War 2, basically says what you say about equality - "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." The equality you speak of is just propaganda that we learn in schools to remind us how great "our" country is.

Re:Egalitarianism is the enemy of human rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904943)

Blasphemy!

From the Seneca Falls convention: we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal (emphasis my own)

libertarianism is the same fallacy as communism (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904938)

in mirror image. libertarianism has as much a tenuous hold on reality as communism, and doomed to just as much miserable failure

communism holds that altruism, working for the benefit of the group, as something that trumps human selfishness. bullshit. likewise, libertariams holds selfishness, working only for your benefit, as something that trumps human altruism

the truth? human nature is a duality of altruism and selfishness, none superceding the other, and one ignored in favor of the other at the peril of creating a philosophy out of touch with real human nature, and therefore bound to fail as a valuable guiding philosophy in leading your life and building a society

the wisest guiding philosphies for capturing the essence of human nature and harnessing it to maximize human wealth and happiness is to be both altruistic and seflish. capitalism, with social safety nets, as in the usa, or socialism, with a capitalist engine, as in europe.

so beware dear impressionable souls: libertarianism is bunk of the same order and magnitude, in mirror image reverse, as communism. libertarianism is nothing but selfishness with a philosophical bumper sticker stuck on its ass that somehow purports to elevate it to respectability. libertarianism will succeed as soon as human nature is purged of empathy, sympathy, love for one's family, love for one's community, love for humanity itself

in other words, never

the only people who take this shit seriously are earnest but naive college students with too much philosophy classes under their belt and no real life experience, 40-something selfish assholes behind on their alimony payments, and nutjobs who horde guns in the woods and consider themselves to be part of the minutement militia, 2 centuries hence

i wish libertarians and the residual communist idiots would get together on some south pacific island, and leave the rest of us more in touch with the altruistic AND selfish parts of our human nature in peace

libertarianism = loud, useless nonsense, utterly out of touch with human nature

interesting find but.. (3, Insightful)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904742)

..with examples like
men who had killed in battle had three times as many children as those who had not.
and
East Asians tend to be more interdependent than the individualists of the West, which he attributed to the social constraints and central control handed down as part of the rice-farming techniques Asians have practiced for thousands of years

I have to say it is pretty badly written. Asians are indeed more community/ society-oriented than westerners who are more individualistic (look at our emphasis on personal freedom and privacy), but that may not all be based on genetics. The level of priority for an asian is Country-> Community -> Family -> ME whereas westerners are traditionally more of ME->Family -> Community -> Country. The asian argument is that without a strong country there cannot be a safe family. However the western priority list above is not something inherent in all westerners, it is just more obvious these days and mostly only in America which the researcher assumes applies to the rest of the western civilisation. A Glance through history would reflect that the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Vikings and even the more modern Britains and Americans have accepted that the country's welfare is in fact more important than their own personal ones, or else nobody (almost) would want to voluntarily enter the Armed forces.
A community-based individual is the by-product or perhaps even the pre-requisite of ancient civilisations. The asians were amongst the first to realise this and never found any reason to change their believe. Thats why they are what they are.

To attribute everything asian to rice is rather immature. This article tells us what we already know - adaptation and evolution happens. But nothing else is new or even believable.

The race issue is no different than ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904756)

Folks, its a hard pill for most to swallow today because of the egalitarian indoctrination most people have received in public education and in the media, but the whole issue of thinking that humans are somehow all equal is the most ridiculous statement ever made.

I hate bigotry towards people, but I hate denial of science even more. This is like the whole ID issue - we are faced with mountains of evidence to show that the human race has, over time, branched out, settled in different parts of the world, and because of new challenges faced in new environments, different micro-evolutionary pressures have created the races (and subgroups) that we see today. Some of us are much more athletic, some of us are stronger, and some of us are more intelligent. It is even possible that there might be different "intelligence traits" that have been selected as a result of environmental pressure to adapt amongst various groups.

Why is it so hard to accept this? Why is it so hard to see the obvious outside differences - darker skin for peoples who originated in sunny areas, whiter skin for people who came from colder and less sunlit areas, different facial features, and every thing else - to make the connection to say that evolution has affected the very way we think and our cognitive abilities?

This is why I have supported the rights of ethnic groups to maintain their identity and promote their self-reliance. People get along better with people who are very similar to themselves (that is how we evolved!). This does not mean we should allow or promote blatant discrimination, but we should be right-minded enough to accept science with open arms and embrace our diversity by PROMOTING it, not trying to eliminate it by denying our own nature and history.

I don't want employers or schools to start guessing at the best candiates solely based on racial statistics. We should still look at an individual's merit and not go down the road of generalizing people into groups. However, at the same time, I want to scream every time I hear the denial of human evolution that comes out of the mouths of the social scientists. This is no worse than the whole Intelligent Design issue that people try to shoehorn into society as legitimate.

The smell of Controversy in the Morning (2, Funny)

PipeIsArt (800028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904760)

I love these "controversal" articles.
'
I have to agree that we are not created equal. I also have to agree that we all have equal right to human dignity. However, the question is whether being inequal means one being better as a whole than another. What standard are we using to define what makes a human better than another? Survival? Intelligence? Physical Strength? TFA seems to be saying that there is inequality between races, but each race is best suited for their own region. So we do have a sort of equality since we have yet to define an international standard for a "best human being"
'
Host: And now for the winner of the 2006 "Best Human" Award goes to the Japanese for sweet DDR footwork, cheap cars, and 1337 anime. Runners-up include the Germans for good beer and the Volkswagon, and the Irish for, uh even better beer and red-haired lasses...

fundamental concepts fuzzy at best. (2, Interesting)

barutanseijin (907617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904764)

I wonder if there's a gene, extremely common in NYT editors, that inclines the organism towards theories of genetic determinism.

This article is built on a foundation of sand. To begin with what's a "nation"? In what sense are distinct populations like the Basques part of the modern nation state that rules over them? Are my Alsatian ancestors "French" or "German"? Or, how do you explain the genetics of places like Poland, which went extinct and then came back?

The category of the nation is relatively recent, and itself a product of history. You can't simply take it as a given.

Wait, we're all different? (1)

dapho (939695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904787)

What I got from this article is that someone who basically lived at any time period before my birth is genetically and biologically different than me. I'm pretty sure that ANYONE with one of these "brains" or whatever you call them, would have been able to rationalize that. It's not like the knowledge and insight people before us have gained would have been lost, right? Or has it? Oh, shi--

The "twists of DNA"?? (1)

westcoaster004 (893514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904797)

Science has shown us over the years that the minority of our population that has left handed DNA [ncifcrf.gov] are just as good as the rest of us. Despite this the scientific establishment has continued to discriminate against them.
We have to stop discriminating based on the twists of our DNA.

:P

Jewish exceptionalism == Nazi exceptionalism (1, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904816)

21st century Jewish (ashiknazi) exceptionalism is just as much psudoscience as Nazi eugenics programs and racial BS of the 20th and 19th century.

Re:Jewish exceptionalism == Nazi exceptionalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904829)

Why? Care to back that up? I know it feels wrong to you, but do you have a legitimate scientific counter-argument?

Re:Jewish exceptionalism == Nazi exceptionalism (1)

mikapc (664262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904871)

Compare the ratio of jews to non-jews in major universities to the ratio of jews in the general population over non-jews in the general population. Do the same thing with nobel prize winners and get back to me.

The Nazis were right! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904847)

The kike and nigger are genetically inferior to the Aryan. Stop trying to deny it, liberals. This has been scientifically proven. I thought Slashdot was full of liberals, I'm glad to see so many agree with me. You should take the next step - read Mein Kampf, realize how the kike is different then us and why it is necessary to exterminate them. 14/88

Re:The Nazis were right! (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904870)

Your ideals are as extinct and warped as the Nazis.

If you fell face first on a straight pin, you'd poke both eyes out.

should the pale skinned wear sunscreen? (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904892)

of course

in australia, a bunch of colonists from the murky british isles dropped on a brightly sunlit desert has meant soaring skin cancer cases. am i saying pale people shouldn't wear sunscreen because that would be racist? of course not. that would result in thousands of needless deaths in australia alone ever year

less melanin means you should protect yourself from the sun in other ways. duh. and... what is this supposed to mean to me? what great lessons is supposed to be drawn from this? geographic variations in biochemistry exist

so what? what does it mean? it doesn't have ANY SIGNIFICANCE WHATSOEVER. because race simply doesn't matter

there are many medical conditions which can be shown to be confined historically by geography. sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, lactose intolerance, HIV immunity, rhabdomyelosis vulnerability when on statin drugs, tay-sachs disease, chilblains, vulnerability to gout, etc., ad nauseum. just like nose size (arid or humid conditions), finger length (hot or cold), and skin color (melanin protection from sun), etc., ad nauseum

did you know that on the average, worldwide, men are about 10% darker than females because for females protection from the sun is less important than the critical need for folic acid during early pregnancy, and that can come from the sun? what does this all mean?

nothing!

not a fucking thing! JUST LIKE THIS FUCKING RACIST BULLSHIT

it's little scientific tidbits that don't add up to a whole. all of these little different surface features and biochemical quirks all overlap with each other. you can't draw any lines in the sand that signifies anything meaningful, because all these little quirks you add up have different geographical ranges. it's simply genetic white noise, and it's a quiet signal

meanwhile there is a strong solid tone that is a lot louder: the similarities. so how come the static of surface differences matter so much to some, when if you mapped them they would barely pierce the thick volume of similarities? to focus on these surface statistical perturbations is like someone looking at ripples on the surface of the lake, and completely missing the volume of water in the lake underneath

this is the logical fallacy of racism: ripples on the surface have lessons for us about the volume of water underneath. race is a concept that is silly shallow antiquated nonsense, for if you really truly understood what you were talking about when you bring up medical quirks and statistical anomalies, if you truly had some wisdom behind your words, then the vast volume of medical knowledge and statistics would speak to you of the similarities more than differences, by orders of magnitude

so what the fuck is this article supposed to mean? tell us how ripples on the surface of a lake means something. tell us racists, tell us the deep significance. tell me about sickle cell anemia... what is the lesson for us? what great significance are we supposed to attach to this?

this article is nothing more than a window into the filthy soul of racism, and the fallacies in the reasoning of racists that they overlook to make the evidence fit their presupposed ideas about how much we differ

when the real lesson of all medicine and biochemistry is how similar we are. focusing on the ripples on the surface, versus the volume of water underneath: the fallacy of the "logic" of racism

Re:should the pale skinned wear sunscreen? (1)

mikapc (664262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904930)

The point is that there are races and it's not just nurture but also nature that has an impact on how well one will do in certain endeavors. Ashkenazi Jews are smart because of the environmental conditions they had to undergo in Europe. Just compare the ratio of jews/non-jews in a university to that of jews/non-jews in general population to get what I mean. Or also compare jews/non-jews ratio of nobel prize winners to jews/non-jews in general population.

right (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14904944)

because tendency to attend university and value that culturally is written io our genes

right before the gene for spinning the dradle and right after the gene for wearing yarmukles

pfffffffft

Breeders know this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14904913)

Why is it scientifically hard to apply the same ideas to humans? You can see various traits and charcteristics based on breed with any number of animals, anyone who raises dogs, horses, cattle-whatever, can see this is just true facts. Seems more or less a gimme it would apply to human sub species "breeds", even if it is politically incorrect. Legally there should be no difference, biologically and genetically, of course there are various differences. Some are overt, obvious physical characteristics that are easy to see. So, we should be surprised if there are psychological make up differences, or ways to socialize or interact in other ways? I would be surprised if they COULDN'T find traits. People who would deny science and say any differences are purely local and immediate environmental and cultural are failing to acknowledge that "genes" do in fact exist, and we are still just scratching the surface on the subtle nuances of slight variations. It could well be that various genes drive culture and basic behavior.
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