...Pay very close attention. Reread it multiple times if you have to. You may not realize it now, but this post is going to become very inconvenient for you. You've got a lot of psychological defenses erected that prevent you from even trying to pay attention to what I really think. That's the source of my frustration, and why I so often bury my face in my palm. It's also a great source of amusement for me to dissect the contradictions you end up trapping yourself in.
Of course, none of that has broken you out of your distorted modes of thought: Black-and-white thinking, reference to television stereotypes instead of the real people you're arguing with, a disdain for complex answers, and probably many, many others. That's why I'm going to provide some summaries of my actual views on the various topics (and relentless subject changes to your pointless obsessions) in one handy space. Any additions or edits will be accompanied by a time stamp.
Genetics and Intelligence:
I currently have little or no reason to believe there are any great differences between any large groups of humans on the genetic "hardware" level. Intelligence, knowledge, skill, and whatever other mental abilities others may care to bring up are primarily built on nurture, not nature.
In other words, if you're born and raised in a place that has easy access to good schools, libraries, experts, and laws that protect the free exchange of ideas, you've got a much, much better chance at being an intelligent, educated, and capable person. If, on the other hand, you're born into a place without schools, are forced to spend the bulk of your time and resources just staying alive, have limited access to modern knowledge and theories, are surrounded by superstitious, unscientific people, and live under an oppressive government that outlaws free speech, then you are very unlikely to prosper.
I see nothing controversial about this simple prediction. You can ramble on about personal responsibility, but that doesn't change the fact that human beings are profoundly affected by their environment. Individuals who can bootstrap themselves up from nothing by sheer will are true rarities, more suited for Mary Sue fiction than a discussion about the real world. You can raise complaints about the exact proportionate responsibility between internal and external influences, but a few percentage points won't wash away the full depth of human interdependency. If you can't get reliable access to good sources of knowledge, it's doubtful that you're going to be a big contributor to the progress of human civilization.
No, I do not for an instant believe that someone raised in an impoverished nation without an education, without good health care, etcetera, like in many third world countries, is equal in ability to me. I know it's not "PC" to say so, and I am not one of those excessively sensitive TV stereotypes who thinks blunt truths should never be spoken. The good news, however, is that the inequality can be treated by education and a developed infrastructure. There is a difference in ability, but not for any of the reasons you think, Gabriel.
The only place we should be judged as equals is in the eyes of the law: We should both have equal rights. In an ideal world, we would have equal access to opportunity, In this hypothetical scenario, we should rise or fall by our own merits, which would not be overshadowed by accidents of birth.
Measuring us by genes alone, we're probably going to be quite close. The difference in our abilities comes primarily from upbringing, available resources, and so on. It wasn't my DNA that placed my birth in the US. It wasn't my DNA that paid for my college tuition. It wasn't my DNA that ensured the various doctors who looked over me were able to earn their credentials and save me from dying of measles or other childhood illness. It wasn't my DNA that put the books in the local library or good science shows on my television. My DNA had little, if anything, to do with my prosperity.
It's the difference in infrastructure that bears the lion's share of the responsibility for the disparity between people of developed and undeveloped nations.
Genetics and Race:
When it comes to the human genome, eugenicists like Adolph Hitler were idiots. There's no "pure" thing to be "diluted". Genes do not work that way. Genes are not a solvent that can be concentrated or diluted. Genes are more like cards: You copy and then shuffle decks together to produce a child. You can't get half a Jack of Spades. And people often have more than one child. If there's an advantageous gene in one of the parents, there's a fair chance it'll get passed on and copied. Maybe even multiple times. Now imagine this done with thousands or millions of decks that get copied every generation.
Sex is so popular with us multi-cellular organisms because it allows advantageous traits to propagate faster. An asexual organism with an advantage can only spread its helpful genes at the rate it personally can have children. Many organisms sharing DNA take advantage of variety in that way. If genes were continuous, instead of discrete, it could have been a death knell for evolution: Advantageous mutations would be diluted immediately in the next generation.
One of the most important things for the long term survival of a species is genetic diversity. Diversity gives a species a greater chance to have an answer to unforeseen problems. Right now, the place with the greatest genetic diversity is Africa: Those of us who descended from migrants are touched by founder effects: When a migrating tribe left Africa, they reduced the pool of possible candidates to reproduce with. It's a lesser form of inbreeding. Thankfully, as technology advanced, methods of travel became more commonplace, allowing people to potentially pick from the entire world. Given generations of crossbreeding, I think I have plenty of reason to believe that those ancient founder effects are only going to get weaker and weaker.
Infrastructure and Health:
Gabriel's often brought up long life expectancies in Scandinavia. Despite some of my reader's links that show a fair mix up at the top, even if Scandinavian nations had a solid hold on the best lifespans, there's no reason to attribute it to genetics. This may come as a shock to you, Gabe, but there are other reasons for people to live long lives. You know, like doctors. Europe has a lot of nations with better access to health care. Doctors don't just sit around twiddling their thumbs all day. They prevent and treat diseases. There's also law enforcement and national stability: Countries with capable police and stabilizing political influences tend not to end up with people being killed in their prime. There's also technology: Developed nations have all sorts of networks to keep food, water, and electricity available. Developed infrastructure begets progress. The lack of an infrastructure breeds stagnation.
None of these things are dependent on individual genetic variations, only on social and economic order. There is no clear difference in the "races" to cause social and economic change. I'd need an in-depth comparison between genetic samples to reverse that opinion. You, however, seem to prefer the laziness of casual observation over the hard work of science. This isn't about your knowledge versus mine, it's your knowledge versus the collective work of hundreds if not thousands of scientists. I just favor the scientists and the self-correcting nature of science over a self-declared authority who seems to pride himself on doing less than the bare minimum science demands. Is that so unreasonable?
What a Nation Needs:
A civilization is not something that just happens when people bump into each other. A stable, sedentary lifestyle requires an equally stable food supply. For agriculture, you need arable soil, predictable weather, steady rain, and some plants that are nourishing enough to be worth raising and breeding. Africa wasn't quite as graced with those things as other continents. And that's just for food. Founding a nation requires many, many things we so easily take for granted.
Gabriel, your conversations seem to utterly dismiss this. You place your concept of "race" as the one founding cause of everything. It reminds me of a Creationist argument about human population growth that treats it as only a function of time, as if food, disease, and war had no impact on the number of people in the world. The world is a messy, complicated place, full of events that have multiple causes. In science, things should be a simple as possible, but no simpler. Occam's razor is not a chainsaw.
When you changed the subject to this, it was one of the biggest Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments I had with you. It came out of nowhere, and there was absolutely no question that it was more desperate stalling on your part. My view is quite simple: Not all stay-at-home spouses are lazy. Cooking, cleaning, child care, accounting, home maintenance, volunteer work, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera all take time and effort. Whether or not you and the IRS call it a "job" or "work" is irrelevant. Whatever a homemaker's motives for scrubbing the floor, a choice of label will not change the amount of chemical energy or time expended. Calling it a "responsibility" will not make the work done less productive. That's my point. These things take time and effort, and fiat will not change that.
My Alleged Jealousy:
As implied by my links to Doggerel #2, this is utterly irrelevant. The Secret is pseudoscience. My emotional state, whatever it may be, does not magically alter reality. Science is about removing the effect a person has on the data. If I were jealous, it would not change the outcome of a genetic analysis. It would not alter the capabilities of the F-22 Raptor. It would not reverse the burden of proof in logic.
The fact that you keep trying to change the subject to your delusions about my mental state tells everyone that you've entered this debate unarmed: You can't cite genetic studies to back up your pseudoscience about "diluted" racial characteristics, so you resort to ad hominem. You can't even commit to answering my question about whether or not race is even genetic. You're all rhetoric, no logic or evidence.
I went over one of your other favorite Whiskey Tango Foxtrot subject changes in another post... In which you were unable to focus on anything, judging by your comments. It seems when the subject isn't Wikipedia, you're free to parrot your favorite television stereotypes by changing the subject to Wikipedia, but when I explicitly tell everyone my very pragmatic views about the site, you're too scared to respond in a meaningful way.
What makes your argument so pathetic is that my view is a null hypothesis: Wikipedia deserves no special treatment. You, on the other hand, imply that all the rules of scholarly research and even the objectivity of the universe are overturned when Wikipedia is involved.
Wikipedia is a big encyclopedia on the Internet. That's it. It is not a magical reality alteration device. Wikipedia is ordinary.
World of Warcraft:
I don't play it. Just not that interested. Even if I did, I doubt I could hold any stereotypical obsession that's friendly towards TV and newspaper "journalists" who like to show the crazy extremes in their efforts to call any new media evil. If anything, I'm growing more and more into the casual gamer category. Gaming is a hobby. Some people watch football. Some people like to soup up their cars. Some people paint. Some people read classic novels. Some play musical instruments. There is no fundamental difference between videogames and other hobbies.
Now that I've covered some of my perfectly ordinary, sane opinions on Gabriel's favorite topics and distractions, I'm curious just what to expect if he comes back. It's going to be rather inconvenient for him if I can clearly and distinctly point to my real opinions, rather than the ones he can only parrot, citing daytime television as his source.