Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gabriel, If You're Reading This...

...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.



Equality:

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.


Stay-at-Home Moms:

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.



Wikipedia:

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.

44 comments:

DM said...

THE DANCE OF DEATH ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NHUbdqNb1A




THE END OF ATHEISM:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.atheism/browse_thread/thread/a6147f423c8631f7#

Bronze Dog said...

Yawn.

MWchase said...

I think the best part of the argument that pure exponential growth proved Creationism was the hilarious timescale involved in the births of Cain and Abel. To start with, Adam and Eve wait, and wait, and wait, and eventually (ca 200 years), according to the model, there is another human. Then, after waiting two-thirds (!) of the first length of time they waited, there is a fourth.

Dark Jaguar said...

DM, try to actually say something. Also, try to actually respond when we say things. Linking and nothing but just gets you ignored. If you have a point, make it.

Gabe, any response you care to make?

BD, I'll only add one thing to keep Gabe from making another argument misrepresenting our views. I don't think that genes are COMPLETELY irrelevent on issues of intelligence or even behavior. We DO need to have at least a basic backdrop so that culture can actually do it's work on us, which is why dogs likely won't become president any time soon. Further, there are very clear examples of variation in intelligence (as defined in various metrics, intelligence is not some blanket number like in an RPG) throughout the human species. HOWEVER, there is no link between those variations and purely visual genetic variables like skin color. They appear to all be seperate.

Anonymous said...

Sorting a response in my home and will paste it when ready.

themann1086 said...

I play WoW; I'm sure this invalidates every opinion I ever post here. Forever.

Tom Foss said...

HOWEVER, there is no link between those variations and purely visual genetic variables like skin color. They appear to all be seperate.

That's a big part of the rub, I think, and where any discussion of "race" and "intelligence" falls apart. I've been doing quite a bit of research on genetics recently for various reasons (#1: it's incredibly cool), and even a cursory knowledge about how genes work and what we know about the human genome pokes innumerable holes in racists' claims.

First, there's the problem that skin color alone is a polygenic trait. Moreover, we don't have a complete understanding of it yet. From everything I've read, we have even less understanding about the genes that govern hair and eye color. So right away, trying to make a genetic argument for even the existence of race on a genetic level--let alone a connection between genes for skin color and genes for intelligence (if they even exist)--fails out of the gate due to lack of evidence. Hence, any argument you do make can only be correlational at best, which doesn't help any racist's point.

But even ignoring that hurdle, the racist has no grounds to argue that intelligence genes and skin color genes are linked. Linkage occurs either when one gene influences multiple factors or when two genes are located close to one another on a chromosome. The former is conceivably the case with hair, eye, and skin color, which are somewhat correlated with one another and which all stem from expression of melanin-related pigments. If racists want to make an argument that one or more of the pigment-expression genes also impacts intellect, then they're going to also have to explain why albinos aren't smarter than everyone.

The latter case--linkage due to chromosomal proximity--cannot be made without having some idea which chromosomes carry the genes for pigment and/or intelligence. The only way to even suggest it would be a correlational study, which brings us right back to the problem of correlation and causation.

Now, I won't go so far as to say that either case is impossible--Dawkins' example of how fox friendliness is apparently linked to coloration, ear shape, and such in "The Greatest Show on Earth" is a good reminder that linkage need not make any rational sense--but they are improbable, and without some kind of solid (i.e., non-anecdotal) evidence, there is no reason to posit that either is the case.

Chakat Firepaw said...

Gabe, do try to remember that your response needs to cover just who you mean when you say white.

Anonymous said...

You begin with what is known as an ad hominem (Appealing to personal
considerations) and direct insult, that is hardly the best way to
begin a post Bronze Dog. I try to open your mind, I know you are a
young man, seen very little and you have yet to reach the springboard
of life, I hope I can help by making you open your eyes and
not become narrow minded and limited. That is my Hope, if you may.



To 'Genetics and Intelligence' post.

It is interesting that does schools you speak of are White Schools,
and the technology used in these superior societies are White technology.
But I do not disagree with you, if you hold that a negro and white is
equal genetically, fine, then there is clearly something else making
White man superior, it only pushes the question further on.


On 'Equality'.

So we agree here, excellent. Even if you lack the actual knowledge of
experiencing these other societies as I do, you still hold the view of
being superior, that is rather interesting albeit, irrelevant.

But this, as said earlier, pushes the question further, so Why are
Whites superior?



On 'Genetics and Race'.

As I already agreed with your previous statement, there is nothing to say,
other then I am curious what theories you have to why the White man is
superior and how we got this trait of higher intellect compared to our
less developed none-White brothers.


On 'Infrastructure and Health'

The fact that White mans society are the ones thriving and live the longest,
having the best medical care available and are the most advanced are a
rather unconvinient fact that I could easily point to, but as previously stated,
you agreed we are Superior (and that you are not equal) and the White
societies in the world are the best, But why?

The exceptions you have are when a none-White society has gotten
help from us to build what they could not, a stable advanced society,
Japan and Korea is perfect examples of this whom now thrive thanks
to White man.

But once again, how did we, the White man, come to this point?
Why are we so advanced compared to our backwards brothers
if no genetics is relevant? Do you have a theory?



On 'What a Nation Needs'.

Same as before, How did we come to this stage of advanced
society? Genetics is in no way invovled, did White man just
suddenly become more intelligent then our brothers, did we
seclude ourself from others and create advanced societies, and
here we are? Do you have a theory to why we, White man is
Superior?


On 'Stay-at-Home Moms'.

Fine.



On 'My Alleged Jealousy'.

I simple pointed out the fact of your clear jealousy and that
it affects your judgement and responses. That is all.


On 'Wikipedia'.

A 180 turn it seems.
You where the ones referencing Wikipedia, I do not hold it
as true (as you did), I pointed out that if, as you do, you use
it as a reference, you need to hold it true, and I made examples
of this which destroyed you, now you sit and say that I hold
Wikipedia to be "true", which was your position as you referenced
it. Fail, try and try again it seems, Bronze Dog.


On 'World of Warcraft:'.

Fine, I am 70 years old, I prefer reading scientific journals and
observe the factual events of the world then living in the computer
world, but I do try to keep in touch with the modern world to
not rot away as many of my contemporaries do, one of them
is the fascinating 'game worlds' such as World of Warcraft and
other such things, which you seem to live, whatever it be the
blogsphere or a game, it is all the same, the same kind of people
living in a isolated world with sheep blindly nodding, questioning
the paradigm is not allowed.

MWchase said...

You begin with what is known as an ad hominem (Appealing to personal considerations) and direct insult

BWAHAHAHAHA... No further *hee* comments on that. *snicker*

the technology used in these superior societies are White technology.

Okay, so what do you mean when you say "White technology"? Is gunpowder "White"? What about our numeral system? What about technology based off of them? Other people, feel free to contribute questions in this vein.
On another note, do us all a favor and try typing out the plural of "that". I'm not saying you can't get it right, just that it's hard to believe you can, and the whole thing is frankly kind of aggravating.

But this, as said earlier, pushes the question further, so Why are Whites superior?

It's not that white people (which you still haven't given a definition for) are inherently superior, it's that most of the people in a position to make the most of their potential are white. To raise a question Bronze Dog brought up earlier, suppose, for some convoluted reason that would never come up in reality, a family in the US and a village in Africa swapped a single child? Which child is more likely to create some amazing new piece of technology?

As I already agreed with your previous statement, there is nothing to say

You're sure you have nothing to say about your claims that racial qualities can be "[diluted]"? I mean, since Bronze directly addressed that idea in that section, and all.

Why are we so advanced compared to our backwards brothers if no genetics is relevant? Do you have a theory?

Explain why the null hypothesis should be genetics.
Quite aside from that, we have laid out some theories that rely on known geographic differences with confirmed historical impact, as opposed to invoking vague, undefined "genetic differences". (And see later in this comment.)

Genetics is in no way invovled, did White man just suddenly become more intelligent then our brothers

Reread that section. That section was all about explaining the basics of how Europe ended up in a better shape, um, eventually.

(Skipping response to the next section)

I simple pointed out the fact of your clear jealousy

I must have missed this. What is Bronze Dog supposed to be jealous of?

A 180 turn it seems. You where the ones referencing Wikipedia, I do not hold it as true (as you did), I pointed out that if, as you do, you use it as a reference, you need to hold it true

Explain how citing one fact from what looked like a high-quality article with proper citation entails accepting, for example, the phrase "HE IS SO GAY" randomly dropped inside an article on a Greek philosopher.
Furthermore, you never adequately addressed the point that the original citation made, that Europeans and Africans are the two most closely related groups on the planet, at that level of detail. No matter how much you cast imprecations at Wikipedia and accuse Bronze of unquestioningly accepting everything it says (somehow. I mean, I don't think reading all 3 million+ articles is humanly possible, especially given the quantity of verbiage devoted to NGE.), that fact doesn't change truth value.

I'm not sure what to say about the last section, other than that I'm now going to refer to Blogger as Bloggeroth.
Also, I thought Warcraft was about meticulously following flowcharts, not immersing yourself in a virtual world.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabriel, you're amazingly clueless about everything we've been saying since day one. Try actually reading what I said instead of going back to knee-jerk responses.

But some basic points:

1. An ad hominem fallacy is only a fallacy if something about the person is used as a premise for an argument.

2. You have a complete and utter inability to acknowledge the failure of your racial hypothesis: You're the one who can't explain "white" prosperity. You can't explain why this mystical, magical, non-genetic "whiteness" would affect a person's abilities.

3. We've explained the difference in progress over and over and over again as a collection of geographic and socioeconomic forces, but you just ignore them every time. Climate, soil, distribution of plant life, and so on and so forth are what cause or prevent human civilization from getting started. Governments that allow free speech, have a stabilizing influence, etcetera, allow progress. Governments that censor people, are subject to repeated civil wars, etcetera, cause stagnation. By ignoring these simple facts, you constantly seem to imply that environment has absolutely no effect on people. Is that true or not?

4. You sound like someone who believes all of the "stupid Spock" episodes of Star Trek when you speak of jealousy. You're using the whole thing as a rhetorical excuse. If my emotions were affecting my logic, you'd be able to point directly at my logical fallacies without so much as mentioning my emotional state. Instead of doing that simple act, you adopt the rhetoric of those crystal-waving hippies who think mood swings magically transform facts.

4. There is absolutely no change to my opinions on Wikipedia. Why do you think I called you a liar every time you pretended I believed that? It's my primary suspicion that you manufactured that self-igniting straw man out of your twisted black-and-white thinking. I have no "bible" to treat as an absolute source. Didn't your English classes warn you about that sort of behavior when it comes to research papers?

5. If you want to discredit an article on Wikipedia, you don't cite completely unrelated Wikipedia articles. There is no such thing as an infallible reference source, and you're deluded if you think exposing an unrelated flaw will send the whole thing crashing down. You should have looked up the article's sources and use that as a means to criticize them, instead of making up a fairy tale about Straw Dog blindly trusting a source. I am not Straw Dog.

6. I only cited the Wikipedia article because it was the first link Google found on my search. Pretty much every biologist and geneticist I've heard talk about race used identical arguments as the Wikipedia article's summary. Instead of thinking like a rational human being and contemplating that possibility, you just bowed before the altar of the magic picture box and prayed for a stereotype to shoehorn me into, based on only a single instance of a behavior. Television sitcoms aren't real, Gabriel. I am.

Bronze Dog said...

Oh, and Gabriel, more on jealousy: Why would I be jealous of someone who lacks the basic skills I would expect of a high school dropout?

You can't read for comprehension.

You don't understand basic research principles.

You couldn't understand or look up an economic term (per capita income), so you made up an imaginary flaw and implicitly pretended that all the world's economists are too stupid to have noticed.

You have no grasp on principles behind the scientific method.

You are unable to see people, only stereotypes.

You are unable to look at things in context.

---

And I notice Gabriel completely ignored what I said about WoW and gaming, pretending that I'm still on an obsessed level, despite all evidence to the contrary. Gaming is just a hobby for the most of us. Instead of reading and comprehending that point, Gabriel goes right to pretending the extremes presented on television are the norm.

Anyway, onto his subject change on that point:

I read science blogs, myself, even if I don't often get to the direct research. One problem I have with you, Gabe, is that your inability to understand very simple concepts we try to communicate tells us that you don't benefit from reading scientific research.

When we point out very basic ideas behind the scientific method, you adopt the rhetoric of parapsychologists: Suddenly, you're magically gifted with special exemptions from the rules.

Related to that: Gabriel, you're chronically asking us to abide by imaginary, arbitrary special exceptions you make up. Science, research methods, ectera, are supposed to be valid across the board, not just when it's convenient. You give us no reason to make many of these special exceptions.

Anonymous said...

We've explained the difference in progress over and over and over again as a collection of geographic and socioeconomic forces, but you just ignore them every time. Climate, soil, distribution of plant life, and so on and so forth are what cause or prevent human civilization from getting started

So you are saying all White people went to these places and by pure chance, Every single Place a White man went it became/was Enviromentally Superior? And no blakc man went to a place with any advantages and that explains why they are incompetend and less creative?

Chakat Firepaw said...

Gabe: We're still waiting for you to stop hiding from the basic question of "who do you mean when you say white?"

Are you hiding from it because you want to be able to change the meaning whenever it is convenient?

Are you hiding from it because you know that it's going to torpedo your own arguments?

Or are you hiding from it because you are simply unable to answer the question?


It's a really simple question, it's also one that you should have no worries about it being argued against, given that the question is purely about what you think. It's not like all of the things you keep repeating falsehoods about.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabriel: So you are saying all White people went to these places and by pure chance, Every single Place a White man went it became/was Enviromentally Superior? And no blakc man went to a place with any advantages and that explains why they are incompetend and less creative?

Of course not: The people who went to those places that afforded head starts became light-skinned. Light skin is a side effect, not a cause. The environments that had those agriculture-friendly factors also coincidentally tended to give dark-skinned people rickets, so dark skin was selected against by the environment.

We've been over this.

As for your hypothesis, you still can't explain how "whiteness" caused anything. You want us to believe that this nebulous, magical, non-genetic "whiteness" is more plausible than a minor case of evolution.

I think Chakat states it quite well: You're afraid to define anything you're talking about. That's why I'm forced to resort to ridicule.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them..."

-Thomas Jefferson (Son of Odin and Jörd), Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (30 July 1816)

Bronze Dog said...

A simple analogy to point out the problem with your race hypothesis and how you're failing to defend it here:

It's the difference between an intelligent layman's view of evolution versus Creationism.

When I argue against Creationists, I don't know specifically how species X developed mutation Y and evolved to have feature Z.

But I do have a good general idea on how mutations happen, how novel features can evolve, and so on.

Creationists, being unable to explain anything with their magic theory, resort to throwing stones at any perceived imperfection, reasoning that if a layman doesn't know X, evolution is impossible, and Creationism is true.

Except that Creationism doesn't explain or predict anything at all. It just shouts "magic" as the answer to any question.

That's the problem with your conception of "race": You shout it as if it were an explanation, but you can't even tell us how to measure it, predict it, or how it can be the cause of anything.

All your nitpickery over the various complex causes of civilization we talk about is designed to cover up the fact that your explanation has precisely zero value at explaining the same things.

Dark Jaguar said...

Um, so Gabe you think white and black people existed in Africa and then all the whites, all at the same time, "grouped up" because of... their common skin color... and just left up north?

No current understanding of the history of human migration says anything of the sort, it's a fantasy that doesn't even make much sense.

What we're saying is whiteness emerged later, and the whiteness was purely to absorb more sunlight further north. It had nothing to do with making some sort of "marker" of intelligence, and had no relation to it.

As to why THOSE specific people left, it's just a matter of migration. There really isn't any particular reason why any group couldn't have been the ones to do it, but not every member of any location is going to migrate at once. That's just stupid. That's not how any sort of slow migration of species across a region works.

I get the impression you probably think they were actually seeking out Europe at the time. Doubtful. From what I understand, they just were slowly growing out and just slowly expanded to fill more space, some growing more nomadic.

But, nomadic isn't inherantly better, in fact in many ways for any meaningful civilization to get it's start, you have to set up roots and stick around for a long time in one area.

DwellerinDarkness said...

Quite right. Nomadic societies have advantages that allow for a stable population, one that readily adapts to radical changes in the environment, but it doesn't do well at allowing a people to thrive.

A lot of the largest people-groups in Africa are nomadic - the Fulani, the Tuareg and the Maasai, to name just a few - and while their numbers have decreased, they're nomadic because, at least until very recently, the environment required it, not because they are too backward or inept to understand anything else.

Bronze Dog said...

One fallacy I suspect Gabe performs quite often: The historian's fallacy.

People didn't emigrate from Africa expecting that putting seeds in the ground would lead to anything bigger than steady meals.

You can't plan what you're going to discover, either.

Random said...

Hi gabe,

First time poster, long tiume mocker of your idiocy.

White people have the highest levels of obesity, divorce, and unemployment.

Black people have the lowest of all these.

So we're superior to you now, right?

Not to mention the OTHER way we're better than you. Thank's for mentioning BD's "Jelousy". It reminded me of you.

You ever think of why you hate us Blacks? The REAL reason? Think about it. Feeling a little inadequate? It's OK just hate some more Blacks and it'll make the pain go a way for a while.

Random
Prince of Montreal

PS: BTW I'm very hurt by your use of the word "Nigger" we prefer the term "Nubian Jungle Gods"

Anonymous said...

Black people have the lowest of all these.

Yes, it is quite hard to be obese when you do not have food. Whites have negatives because of all our positives, we have unlimted food, unlimited technology etc. We are so advanced that pay a negative price for it.

"You blacks" do not have the intellect we whites have, thats why you live in ghettos, thats why africa is a dump etc. I already explained this. You use poverty (starvation) as an excuse to "not being obese", irony meter blowing up little man.

Dark Jaguar said...

Ahem, again I have to point out that your description is inaccurate. Not all blacks live in ghettos, and intelligence has not been linked to race at all. You can't just announce that as your explanation for certain economical difficulties without evidence. Show your work.

Dark Jaguar said...

Also, you are making a lot of blind assumptions about this new person here. What evidence do you have that this person lives in a ghetto? Why assume that they are starving? "Unknown" never said as much.

Then again, you are also assuming they aren't intelligent, and calling them "little" just this person said they were black. So, seriously, can you finally see how your bias leads you to make judgement calls without evidence?

Bronze Dog said...

I'm not seeing an explanation for how your magical, non-genetic "race" thing causes stuff, Gabe.

DwellerinDarkness said...

Also, poverty can be the proximate cause of obesity, at least in the West. Poor quality food, like that available in a lot of economically depressed areas, is often high in calories, but low in nutrition.

Which you'd know, Gabe if you, y'know, read stuff.

Chakat Firepaw said...

Let us start with a little lesson for Gabe:

Sociologists know how to preform studies so that individual correlations can be distinguished. One common way of distinguishing economic effects from other potential causes is to divide each set up by economic status, then make comparisons between the groups at each economic level.

I can't be certain, but I'd be willing to bet that the studies Random is alluding to have just those controls.


Now, what you've all been waiting for, (except for Gabe, who is still hiding from it), THE QUESTION:

Gabe, who do you mean when you say white?

Will Gabe finally answer it, or will he continue to chase the record currently held by Sylvia Browne for ducking things?

Berlzebub said...

@ Gabe:
If being white gives people an advantage, then why is one of the poorest counties in Virginia over 98% white? Also, I know you seem to despise Wikipedia, but I can vouch for the information because that's the county I lived in for 23 years.

The jobs available are predominately blue collar (coal mining, tobacco farming, etc.) and the educational system isn't what it could be if it had better funding. If my father hadn't been a book lover, I might very well still be down there and working for a mining company. However, instead I went into engineering, got a degree (from a college outside of Lee County) and moved to a more culturally diverse and afluent locality.

So if race is so important, why is an area with a mixture of races doing better economically than one that is >98% "white"?

Anonymous said...

United States is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, you are using "bad" parts of the U.S as evidence for me being wrong?

You do realize that "bad" in the U.S is an Utopian dream in africa or south america, don't you?

United States of America was created by White man using White intelligence and White moral, We became the greatest because of this. Africa is a dump, Visit it and you realize.

That negros in United States create Ghettos is evidence of what they are, backwards and pathetic, evidence ones again you ignore. There is a reason they create own societies they call "ghettos", that is how they want to live, it is natural for them just as it is natural for us to create space ships and computers.

You need to realize this, if I removed all the technology we made, white man, you would not be to happy as eveyrthing you use today would no longer be around and you would have a club and a piece of rock to bang, just as Africans do in Africa if yhey do not have access to WHITE MANS TECHNOLOGY.

Welcome to the White world. Respect it.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabriel: United States is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, you are using "bad" parts of the U.S as evidence for me being wrong?

Obviously, you didn't read what was written. Berlezebub provided an exception you can't explain. Throwing a jingoist hissy fit isn't going to change that.

United States of America was created by White man using White intelligence and White moral, We became the greatest because of this. Africa is a dump, Visit it and you realize.

More evidence that Gabriel believes "white" is a mystical, magical thing completely unrelated to the physical universe.

The problem, Gabriel, is that you are the one who can't explain why the US is prosperous and why Africa isn't. You can't explain it because you can't even be bothered to define your theory or terminology.

We can, and we have provided general explanations. Countless times. Instead, you ignore them and wave around "race" and "white" as if they were mystic words and waggle your fingers trying to look spooky.

When is it going to penetrate your thick skull? When are you going to demonstrate even the slightest effort to understand what it is we disagree about, instead of whining about stereotypes manufactured by your postmodernist hippie commune?

Gabe, why are you so utterly terrified of even defining what you're talking about? Your utter silence on that question speaks volumes: You're not interested in formulating an explanation, you're interested in spending eternity as a troll who waffles on the issue, changing your views whenever it suits you.

Bronze Dog said...

I think we can safely say Gabriel is a substance dualist: "White" is vague, nebulous "something" outside the physical universe, and thus allegedly beyond science. Which is why he goes crazy whenever we try to apply the scientific method.

Of course, this entails the usual contradictions.

Chakat Firepaw said...

Gabe, stop hiding from the question:

Who do you mean when you say white?

Your continued refusal to answer, (and often even acknowledge), the question makes you look like you are either a coward, an idiot or dishonest.

It's not a hard question, why can't you answer it?

I've even offered to break the question down for you, into easy to manage pieces like: "Are Italians white?" Even then, you refuse to give an answer.

Are you too stupid to come up with an answer? Are you worried that an answer will cause you problems? (Not that your refusal isn't.) Do you not want to be nailed down to an actual answer that you will not be able to change when it is convenient for you?

Stop hiding and answer the question. Without an answer, your entire position is meaningless.

Berlzebub said...

@ Gabe:
"United States is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, you are using "bad" parts of the U.S as evidence for me being wrong?"
"Pot, this is kettle. You're black."

And you've been using "bad" parts of every other "non-white" (whatever the hell that means) country as evidence that you're right. You ignore the importance of education, economics, and infrastructure... even when it's been pointed out to you every single time you comment.

"You do realize that "bad" in the U.S is an Utopian dream in africa or south america, don't you?"
Oh, so you've been to Lee County and know what the living situation is there for the poor? Sorry, but by your own standards that's an epic fail.

United States of America was created by White man using White intelligence and White moral, We became the greatest because of this. Africa is a dump, Visit it and you realize.
And Lee County is a dump ran by a predominantly white (again, whatever the hell that means) population.

That negros in United States create Ghettos is evidence of what they are, backwards and pathetic, evidence ones again you ignore. There is a reason they create own societies they call "ghettos", that is how they want to live, it is natural for them just as it is natural for us to create space ships and computers.
That the hillbillies of Lee County live in houses that are falling apart and have no inclination to move in order to seek a better income is apparently evidence that they are backward and pathetic, evidence that you ignore. And I haven't seen anyone who lives in Lee County create a space ship. I do know of some that make computers, but I haven't seen any design and build their own circuit boards.

You need to realize this, if I removed all the technology we made, white man, you would not be to happy as eveyrthing you use today would no longer be around and you would have a club and a piece of rock to bang, just as Africans do in Africa if yhey do not have access to WHITE MANS TECHNOLOGY.
Wow... and advances in mathematics were first developed in (I'm assuming) "non-white" India and Egypt. Without it the "white" technology wouldn't be possible.

Also, while the "white" men were still living nomadic lives and having clan wars the Egyptians were constructing cities and the Great Pyramids. Of course, at the time they had the benefit of a good economy, education, and infrastructure, but according to you we can ignore all of that.

"Welcome to the White world. Respect it."
Welcome? Tell me, Gabe. What nationality (or combination thereof) am I? You keep saying that different races have different levels of intelligence and inclination, so prove it.

Also, I give respect where it is earned. If you look at the history of mathematics, you'll notice that the critical developments were done by nationalities that we well developed at the time. The earliest being the Egyptians and Summerians.

Welcome to the real world. Respect it.

djfav said...

Gabe, you should pay more attention to your own fallacies. And don't get me started on your writing. I figure that after 70 years you would have learned how to construct a grammatically correct sentence. No wonder you seem so out of touch.

Dunc said...

Wasting my time, I know, but I thought I'd throw in something from Craig Murray, the former British Deputy High Commissioner for West Africa:

"A major reason that Ghana is the most stable and successful of Sub-Saharan African countries, is that traditional landholding patterns were not broken up by colonial usurpation. (White men – and their cattle – died like flies in the climate here. Wheat wilted).

Cocoa farming has for well over a century provided the backbone of a thriving agrarian society in Ghana. That widespread economic base has in turn enabled the continuation of traditional chieftaincy institutions and other indigenous forms of government.

Colonial population displacement is the root cause of many of Africa’s conflicts. In Kenya and Zimbabwe, conflicts we dismiss as tribal or as the result of African bad governance, in fact come down to the long term consequences of tribes displaced from their land by the British, and being forced to settle in other tribes’ territory.

If you don’t understand that, you don’t know Africa.
The idea that the land was desolate before whites came, or that African forms of agriculture are unproductive, is nonsense which I tackle in The Catholic Orangemen of Togo."

[Bold mine, italics his.]

Incidentally, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo (and Other Conflicts I Have Known) is a very worthwhile read for anyone interested in the real complexities of both post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa and international diplomacy in general, rather than simple-minded jingoism.

djfav said...

Thankfully, I did not chastise Gabe for his spelling.

:p

themann1086 said...

And of course Gabe is completely ignorant of both the work done by black slaves on whose broken, whipped backs whites built this country, and the discrimination, both legal and social, that led to the "ghettoization" of America's black communities. I don't know which is more vile and revolting: the racism or the ignorance.

djfav said...

But, but...they CHOOSE to live in teh ghetto!

Berlzebub said...

@ themann1086:
"I don't know which is more vile and revolting: the racism or the ignorance."
I've gotta go with the willful stupidity in order to hold onto his racism. Ignorance means you don't know any better, but stupidity is when your ignorance is repeatedly pointed out to you but you refuse to acknowledge it.

Dark Jaguar said...

Gabe, I am going to state our case as plainly as I am able to. If you refuse to even respond to these points, I really don't know how I can move on from here.

Your argument as near as I can tell is "First world nations are predominatly white because white people are superior."

Here is our problem "First world nations are predominatly white" is a description of the current state of affairs, but the SECOND part "because white people are superior" is your explanation, and the first part is NOT evidence of the second part. The first part can have SEVERAL possible explanations, not just "because white people are superior".

You MUST understand this point for us to continue. That first world nations have a white majority is not evidence that your explanation "white people are superior" is true. At best, you've come up with a hypothetical explanation for that observation.

The next step is where you faulter, you need to provide evidence independant of that first bit to establish your claim. That is, you have to rule out the other competing explanations for this state of affairs. To do that, explain what we should be EXPECTED to find if YOUR hypothesis was true, but OTHER explanations (such as history, resource distribution, and so on) DO NOT predict. This is making your idea falsifiable, and it is criticle to any explanation. If your idea is something you can retroactively call true no matter WHAT we find out about the world (which is why we talk on and on about genetic studies and mental tests and so on), your hypothesis is completely devoid of predictivie power or any meaning at all. Your explanation is just universally true in all possible realities. Gravity isn't even that "true".

Another huge problem is your hypothesis NEEDS to explain the existance of exceptions to your rule. Why are there successful people of other races at all? You simply act like this isn't a problem, but it is a MAJOR problem because the entirety of your claim is that the reason there are white people as the majority of first world countries is that they are "superior". Get it? You have to explain WHY some black people become succesful scientists and inventors who help shape the world.

Your bias in your personal observations is clear when you take any example of success that a black person does and claim it's just an example of them living off the work of white people, however you never once apply that to yourself. It's for this reason that we demand examples of CONTROLS so we know it's not just your bias feeding back to you when you observe the small population you did.

Dark Jaguar said...

Part 2:

The problem is, you are assuming your own conclusion when you try to defend your argument that way. You can't defend your hypothesis simply by restating it when challenged, but that is exactly what you are doing. You are literally stating "that's not any problem because white people are superior" and simply leaving it at that.

Do you understand where our stumbling block to accepting your idea is then? There is a reason we keep bringing up genetic evidence and so on. Sure you go on about how you aren't talking about genes, but that's a necessary part of your explanation. You have to explain why we find the world working as it is. If white people are universally "superior", part of your explanation needs to cover why we don't find any genetic evidence to back it up. This is part and parcel of also giving us some evidence we CAN expect to find if it's true, and which we would NOT find if it was not true.

In order to do this, it'll take a lot more than what you've been giving us. As you might imagine, this requires you to be very specific about exactly what you are claiming. We have a general idea of what you mean when you say "white" but that's not good enough. We need specifics, as we've asked, what EXACTLY do you mean when you say "white"? What EXACTLY do you mean by "superior" for that matter? What metrics are you measuring this superiority in? What mechanism imparts this superiority if not genes? Why don't we find genetic evidence of this superiority? Why do we find so many clear exceptions to your rule in the form of intelligent and succesful people of other races? What sort of evidence SHOULD we find if your idea was true that we should NOT find if it was not? Explain WHY we should NOT find it if it wasn't. What sort of controls have you used when watching people in other countries that remove your bias from the picture? Why is it that large systematic studies have failed to find what you, alone, have found? Why does your small observation of such a small selection of people "count" for more than those controlled studies?

Explain all that, and you are getting somewhere. Ignore this post, show no sign that you have even attempted to understand what I've said, and I think I'm done here. You've served as a fine example to others of poor thinking using a nearly universally rejected idea, and for that much, I thank you.

Bronze Dog said...

Thanks for putting it so well, DJ.

Gabriel, DJ just summarized what we've been trying to drill into your head since August. Instead of facing any of those questions head on, however, you've been doing nothing but changing the subject whenever the pressure gets on.

Dark Jaguar said...

I'll only add that other explanations of the majority of first world countries being "white" easily explain why many people of other races are succesful, in that they simply make the assumption that there is no superiority in one "race" over another. Your explanation however DOES assume specific racial differences, so it needs to account for that.

Anonymous said...

Bronze dog, why do you bother with answering the questions of someone who is so obviously senile?
You should have just told gabe to go back to the circus that he clownishly stumbled out of months ago, and not wasted your time arguing with someone who is intellectually impaired.

Ron.

Bronze Dog said...

Ron: Because it's fun.