[ExI] Genes aren't what we thought they were.......

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 11:20:46 UTC 2019

On Mon, 7 Jan 2019 at 07:00, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> BillK wrote:
> > His agenda seems to be anti IQ tests and anti genetic determinism.
> > Genetic determinism is still a popular idea among the general public
> > and arguably still needs opposing. I doubt that Richardson is trying to
> > teach geneticists their business.  :)
> Maybe not but it seems to me that he is cherry-picking data and even
> entire empirical methodologies (like IQ tests or genetic testing) to
> extend the egalitarian idealogy that "all people are morally equivalent"
> to somehow mean that people are supposed to be equal in other domains as
> well. I don't think that is necessarily right or enlightened. Especially
> when it intentionally obscures the truth.
> On average West Africans are taller than South East Asians and on average
> South East Asians are better at math than West Africans. There are
> likewise numerous other measurable differences between them. Some of these
> differences might be due to genetics and some culture, but to discredit
> the experiments and data that suggest these differences exist in the cause
> of "racial equality" is misguided.
> As long as one concedes that any two individuals or tribes of people are
> of equal moral worth, it is not at all "problematic" or racist to
> acknowledge differences between them especially if those differences are
> systematically and reproducibly measurable.

It seems to me that you are arguing against something that Richardson
hasn't said.
I don't think that you need to tell a psychologist that humans are all
different, with differing abilities, some due to genetics, some to
culture, some to environment and some to pure chance.

> > He seems to be trying to educate the public against ideas like
> > eugenics and 'the poor deserve to be poor'.
> Trying to discredit genetics is a piss-poor way of opposing eugenics.
> Eugenics was faulty because it was a top down attempt at managing the gene
> pool based on a political agenda. As such, it is brittle, corruption-prone
> and failure-prone.
> On the other hand, something like my concept of agoragenics (market-place
> genetics) which Richardson calls "consumer genetics" might work a lot
> better because it is bottom up and should be able to self-organize once
> the technology matures.
> Wealth is not a measure of moral worth but an abstraction of the amount of
> resources an individual controls for any and all reasons. There is cause
> and effect in play within a game that gives rise to winners and losers.
> There is no shame in losing, the laws of nature guarantee someone must.
> Blessed are the losers for they are martyrs of evolution.
> There is neither moral (nor divine) judgement going on. Therefore to speak
> of "the poor deserving to be poor" is non-sensical. It is the nature of
> the great game of life that there are winners and losers. One can do
> everything right and still lose.
> I don't often quote the bible, but this is a gem: "The race is not to the
> swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or
> wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance
> happen to them all."

I don't see that Richardson would disagree with any of your comments.

What he is objecting to is genetic determination.  Because someone
doesn't have some genes that may be linked to intelligence they are
told that they will not be successful in life and not given
opportunities available to others. Similarly for culturally biased IQ
tests. At present these are poor indicators of life 'success' -
whatever that might mean.
Richardson is claiming that these tests are being used as a
pseudo-scientific justification to deny opportunities to people for
other more ignoble reasons. Of course that doesn't mean that he is
claiming that everyone can be a rocket scientist. Society is a complex
structure which needs people of many different abilities.


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