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Comment Re:Memorization = intelligence? (Score 1) 227

Of course, you can't keep looking up with note on a sheet is which key on a piano and still play your favorite Mozart piece. We can be reasonable when we decide what should be memorized. That being said, my original complaint about the raised false equivalency applies.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

Where he got into trouble was when he made the comparison with traits that are known to be different across entire populations/races. There is no evidence that (like blonde hair) certain populations have a higher genetic predisposition for intelligence. This fact, as opposed to adherence to PC, is one of the reasons that we should never claim that there is a difference in intelligence across different racial groups.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

Circumstances may also be insufficient to winnow better or worse minds from the average. We're not saying much at all.

> Likely the spectrum of intelligence isn't so different, but the bumps in the curve are in different places.

That statement depends on an objective definition of intelligence. I have yet to conceive or observe such a thing.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

> That saying means that the burden of proof is on the unlikely

I disagree. Science thrives when subjective notions are removed from the equation. This is a means to no end because who will decide what is "unlikely"? It is best to backup any claim or to say we simply do not know.

> The claim with no evidence is that every race has an identical brain, when there is no reason to believe that they would be identical.

I am not aware of anyone making such a claim. I would raise issues with this claim just as I raise issues with the opposite claim.


Yes, that is true. This is why Europeans carry genetic resistance against bubonic plague. However, are you aware of any population that has not undergone positive selection for intelligence? Do you know how strong this "intelligence" selection pressure has been across worldwide populations and if it has differed to a significant degree? Of course you don't. There are no data and there are no studies showing this to be the case. We can't make any statements about differences in the genetic basis of intelligence across human populations and remain true to the ideals of science.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 4, Insightful) 541

>> A population is, by definition, just an extended family

The "extended" part is the differentiating factor. You can consider that bacteria outside your ear a distant cousin. This doesn't add to the discussion.

> The likelihood that one genetically distinct population would have the same intelligence as another is basically zero

You're getting into choppy waters because "intelligence" isn't properly defined. You may find that one population's deficiency is offset by its strength in another category. Then you'd be tasked with "weighing" the importance of both in order to come up with a very subjective winner in the intelligence race. Real science doesn't work this way. This is one of the many reasons it's inappropriate to say some human population is less or more "intelligent" than another.

>> You would need a huge amount of proof and a theoretical model of why it would be the same for there to be a scientific reason to believe that it might be

The burden of proof is on the person making a claim. I'm not saying all populations have exactly identical intelligence. I'm saying that there is no reason to say there is no reason to say there is a significant difference in intelligence across worldwide populations. The lack of evidence to support such claims (and not adherence to political correctness) is the reason researchers repel such statements.

> As left alone there would be huge amount of drift and change in even just 1,000 years

No. Allele frequencies change slowly over time. Haplotype structure changes more rapidly, but even after 10,000 years you'll see general agreement of haplotype block structure within the same population.

> traveled to the himalayas and started farming goats and mountain climbing, or another group that broke off, developed writing, and for the last 5,000 years has been living in huge dense colonies and working in factories. There is almost nothing at all similar between these three environments

I don't understand what your point is here. Different populations lived in different environments, that is true. Positive selection has had time to select for desirable traits in each environment, but what makes you think intelligence wasn't selected for in all of these environments? What you are saying may some day be proven to be true, but so far there is no reason to believe that there is any difference in intelligence across different worldwide populations. There is no data. There is no proof. Your deeply flawed thought experiment does not a proof make.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

Sure, if you look at individuals or individual families, you can increase variation and find more anomalous cases. I was addressing whether an entire human population has a statistically significant difference in such genes to justify labeling an entire human population either less or more intelligent.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 4, Insightful) 541

Allow me to poke some holes in your argument against the original researchers. There are some traits that can be explained by 1 gene, a combination of 2 genes, 3 genes,.., 500 genes, etc. The more genes that are requires, the more "complex" a trait. Intelligence is a very complex trait. Now consider the fact that there isn't a lot of genetic variation across different human populations. The more complex a trait, the more genetic variation is required to create significant different across populations. It's not political correctness that keeps me from adopting your opinion. I simply can not assume that intelligence (which is not even properly defined in most cases) differs to any significant degree across human populations until I see research that shows this is the case. So many genes influence intelligence that it would be unlikely for any one human population to have been founded on all the bad ones. Not enough time has occurred since different human populations began populating the earth for a large difference in all of these genes to emerge. As a scientist, I can't take the definition of "intelligence" for granted either. I also can't just lump all "complex traits" in one bin and say, "if that one is different across human populations, then these others are different too". This is a much bigger and more complex issue than you realize.

Comment Re:old tech (Score 1) 165

I totally get it. This explanation makes sense. My first computer was a 100 Mhz Mac with Mac OS 7.5. I was so excited about the computer that I read an entire book explaining every detail of the OS. America Online was pretty much the only ISP. I used to love finding people of various professions, instant messaging them, and asking questions I could never normally get answered. About 9/10 times I'd get ignored, but those people in a good mood would explain fascinating stuff. I know how you C64 peeps feel. If I could recreate that original AOL atmosphere where I had a different epiphany each week, I would do so wholeheartedly.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"

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