Rationality Quotes November 2012

I adopted an African girl. What "race" is she? What determines this?

What determines it? Ancestry. Race is basically a way of asking "who were your ancestors?" and accepting a blurry answer because, well, each person has a lot of ancestors! That version of race is obviously a biological reality, because people have different ancestries, even going back long distances, and the ancestry distribution can be geographically plotted. If you go back thirty generations for me, I would need to have about a billion distinct ancestors for there ... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘/CTRL+F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

[anonymous]7y1

It's probable there's many people out there who share none of my ancestry for a full thirty generations back,

Yep. The most recent common ancestor of living humans lived at least a couple millennia (i.e. about seventy generations) ago. (EDIT: I'm not fully convinced that that implies that for any time t later than that, there's at least one with you no ancestry at time t. I'm too tired to trust my cognitive abilities right now.)

and there's one who (probably) shares it completely.

Do you have any reason in particular to suspect that you and your sibli... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘/CTRL+F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

0[anonymous]7yAlso, probably the effects of nurture contribute to keeping their average IQ that low; it seems unlikely to me that the fact that the average IQ of African Americans is 22 points higher is entirely due to the European genetic admixture in the latter. (EDIT: And I hadn't even noticed you mentioned Ethiopians have lots of Caucasoid ancestry too!)
0Abd7yThat is not what "race" means when people use the word. Race is a division of humanity into categories. Who determines the categories? Do those categories naturally occur? On what does the "race" category depend? Can "race" be identified visually? Can it be genetically determined? Yes, if you divide people up into "races," or into geographical population groups, and study their genetics, you can find statistical significance, but the two divisions will produce differing evaluations for individuals. The classic way to identify someone's "race" involves identifying one's own group visually (and sometimes behaviorally, perhaps through dialect or language), and then lumping together those who don't seem to match "my race" into other groups. That is why someone who is "mixed race" will be lumped into the "other group," until the mixture becomes small enough to not be visible. How people perceive themselves is irrelevant to this process. "Race" is a racist concept, naturally. The word "racist" is hot, and gets mixed up with racial chauvinism, but that's distracting. I use "racism" to refer to the belief in race as an objective reality. I wrote that population genetics was a reality. Race is not. It's arbitrary, and race is not scientifically defined. The conclusion is a non sequitur. Race has been totally discredited academically, and that's not just political correctness. Odds are entirely that she is African, i.e., she was born in Africa. I know that her grandparents were born in Africa, in her tribal region. Beyond that, I don't know. Probably it goes back further, but there are always strays. If her ancestry plot maintains "African" location, say entirely, back, say, 20 generations, does that mean that she is racially "African"? I hope you'd know that this could give results that might seem preposterous to those who depend on visual identification of "race." The basic question is being ignored. How is "race" identified? As used, my "race" does not depend on whe

Rationality Quotes November 2012

by [anonymous] 1 min read6th Nov 2012903 comments

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