Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The DNA Era

The New York Times is the United State's largest metropolitan newspaper, as well the recipient of the most Pullitzers. That it's also a bastion of liberalism may be a fact unknown to non-Americans. Former public editor of the Times, Daniel Okrent, famously laid out the paper’s position in his article “Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?” with his first four words, “Of course it is.” Though he went on to ascribe the bias only to trivial social issues like gay rights, there can be little doubt it likewise influences their coverage of all the news that’s fit to print - or at least that fits their agenda. Thus, it’s rather stunning that they even ran the following piece: "In DNA Era, New Worries About Prejudice."

The article begins; "When scientists first decoded the human genome in 2000, they were quick to portray it as proof of humankind’s remarkable similarity. The DNA of any two people, they emphasized, is at least 99 percent identical." What the article fails to mention is that James Watson was the original head of the Human Genome Project. You know, the famous geneticist, co-discover of DNA, who recently went on record saying black people are less intelligent than white people? Another fact breezily omitted was that human and chimp DNA is 98.77 percent identical. In light of our genetically close, simian "kin," what seems a niggling 1% gap looms rather large in its implications for phenotypical disparity.

Of course, that didn't stop Bill Clinton latching onto the HGP's statement and trumpeting it to the nation, if not the world, as evidence of some sort of genetic Hands Across America, if not the world. Clinton, since retired to mansions in the most lily white areas of New York and Washington respectively, has gone on to bemoan the fact of America's increasing polarisation, saying, “Underneath this apparent accommodation to our diversity, we are in fact hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference.” In other words, while people (like Clinton) pay it ah... lip service, their natural tribalism nonetheless resists the New Communism: establishment of a raceless rather than classless society.

But enough of hypocritical politicians and their ideological delusions! The Times article continues that, “new research is exploring the remaining [<1%] fraction to explain differences between people of different continental origins.

Scientists, for instance, have recently identified small changes in DNA that account for the pale skin of Europeans, the tendency of Asians to sweat less and West Africans’ resistance to certain diseases.

At the same time, genetic information is slipping out of the laboratory and into everyday life, carrying with it the inescapable message that people of different races have different DNA. Ancestry tests tell customers what percentage of their genes are from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. The heart-disease drug BiDil is marketed exclusively to African-Americans, who seem genetically predisposed to respond to it. Jews are offered prenatal tests for genetic disorders rarely found in other ethnic groups. Such developments are providing some of the first tangible benefits of the genetic revolution."

Indeed they are, though DNA forensics, the rather redundant-sounding genetic genealogy and DNA Paternity Testing deserve a mention too for the Brave New World they potentially foreshadow. Now, why it's so astounding that the Times mentions the above facts: by doing so they crack the lid on the Pandora's Box that is genetically-determined intelligence. If the genetic coding for our skin, sweat-glands and immune systems has already been decrypted, how long until the genes related to our intelligence are discovered? Well, as the article goes on to say, some already have been. Such discoveries will inevitably knock the whole notion of intelligence being chiefly determined by environment into a cocked hat, if not the gutter from whence it first sprang.

Of course, we've had good solid science for intelligence being largely genetic for ages: in the form of twin studies, in which (genetically) identical twins reared apart, in entirely different environments, display intelligence ~83% identical. Comparisons of identical twins raised in the same household give us a factor of ~98%, and another method for determining the heritability of intelligence is to compare this figure of 98% to the correlation between non-identical twins raised in the same household. This gives us a correlation of 56%. The difference then, between identical and non-identical twins, who share only half their DNA, is 44%. Doubling this to account for the genetic difference tells us IQ is ~84% genetic, almost exactly the same figure as provided by twin studies. A third method was to examine the IQ correlation between unrelated children adopted into the same families. This gives us a figure of ~22%, or in other words tells us that IQ is roughly 20% nurture, which ties in fairly closely with findings of it being around 80% nature. Despite their convincing agreement, the above methods are imperfect science. Thus, gene studies which increasingly demonstrate, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt, the exact contribution of genes to IQ will be the final nail in the coffin of egalitarianism - the doctrine that we are all identical twins!

The Times is well aware of this threat to their agenda, going on to say: “some social critics fear [such studies] may also be giving long-discredited racial prejudices a new potency. The notion [read: truth] that race is more than skin deep, they fear, could undermine principles of equal treatment and opportunity that have relied on the presumption that we are all fundamentally equal.”

That's right, liberals now face the sublimely ludicrous question of whether reality itself can be racially prejudiced. It's a good thing most of them are atheists or their faith would take a serious knock as they confront the evidence of God's own racism. As it is, liberals generally "believe" in evolution, the very same scientific theory they've been using for years to dismiss the predominantly-Christian right wing as dogmatic reactionaries. Well, as the old saying goes, payback's a bitch.

Back to The Times and its nervous social critics: “We are living through an era of the ascendance of biology, and we have to be very careful,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. “We will all be walking a fine line between using biology and allowing it to be abused.”

The irony here is that Mr. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, would likely prefer geneticists stop conducting research into Africans and African Americans. For instance, the facts that average Africans, with their rather meagre 70 points, have IQs 15 points lower than average African Americans, who coincidentally have at least 17-18% white DNA as a result of miscegenation, are presumably not things Mr. Gates would rush to publicise. His recent discovery that he himself, the most prominent scholar of blackness in America, is half white may be another such thing.

Indeed, he fears such information, particularly of the genetic kind now emerging, may be "abused." By this, we can presume he means, "lead to the abolition of affirmative action, forced racial quotas and all the other social programs dedicated to promoting the interests of an incapable minority above those of a competent majority." And who knows what terrifyingly meritocratic, though ultimately far more economically beneficial, programme might replace the current, broken system?

I'll wager the dismantling of pro-black social engineering is nothing "the other" Mr. Gates wants to think about. Of course, that's only to be expected from the director of an institute named for the man who invented white guilt; the only reason such engineering is possible in the first place. W.E.B. Du Bois, likewise a gentleman of evenly mixed race, pioneered the notion in "The Philadelphia Negro" that it was only white discrimination holding back his chosen people's natural genius. Nonetheless, he did admit that blacks committed 22% of 19th Century America's crime despite being only 4% of the population (the figure today stands at >50% of violent crime for 13% of the population) and that “sexual looseness” brought “adultery and prostitution in its train.” Today, it also brings in its train AIDS, of which American blacks account for half the infected.

Du Bois urged black reformation, saying that “the first and greatest step... [is] the correction of the immorality, crime and laziness among the Negroes themselves,” adding that “unless we conquer our vices they will conquer us.” He nonetheless later maintained that racial barriers to good jobs were what kept blacks poor and caused all their other problems. He insisted that if such prejudices were abolished, as indeed they were in the 60's, blacks would no longer have an excuse for their predicament. Yet black poverty, crime, illegitimacy and "all their other problems," (to which we might add the modern blights of drug abuse and gang violence) have only increased since the Civil Rights era. This is despite racial bias not only being outlawed in regards blacks, but applied at the expense of whites. Clearly, Du Bois could have benefitted from either the common sense or the modern science which reveals to us the real root cause of black failure: blacks themselves.

Du Bois would likely reject such an unpalatable notion by citing his famous "talented tenth." Those were the cream of the black crop, whom he believed would forever refute the idea of black inferiority and lead the charge against discrimination. Today this subset, which could more accurately be referred to as the talented sixteenth (the percentage of the African American population with IQs higher than the average white IQ), are those most likely to be held in high esteem in professional sectors, while being discriminated against as Oreos or Uncle Toms in others.

But let us depart from W.E.B. Du Bois and his Institute, at which we have tarried overlong. At least we have again underlined the liberal tendencies of the Times, which sought the opinion of an unashamedly pro-black organisation notorious for harbouring Marxist historian, lecturer and former activist, Noel Ignatiev. Co-founder and editor of the publication Race Traitor, Ignatiev stated that "abolishing the white race is desirable," though for some reason he has yet to be charged with genocidal hate-speech. Taken in such light, it can be hoped the liberal mind will more happily accept the “dangerous” facts the Times reluctantly presents.

To wit: "Certain superficial traits like skin pigmentation have long been presumed to be genetic. But the ability to pinpoint their DNA source makes the link between genes and race more palpable. And on mainstream blogs, in college classrooms and among the growing community of ancestry test-takers, it is prompting the question of whether more profound differences may also be attributed to DNA. Non-scientists are already beginning to stitch together highly speculative conclusions about the historically charged subject of race and intelligence from the new biological data. Last month, a blogger in Manhattan described a recently published study that linked several snippets of DNA to high I.Q. An online genetic database used by medical researchers, he told readers, showed that two of the snippets were found more often in Europeans and Asians than in Africans.

No matter that the link between I.Q. and those particular bits of DNA was unconfirmed, or that other high I.Q. snippets are more common in Africans, or that hundreds or thousands of others may also affect intelligence, or that their combined influence might be dwarfed by environmental factors. Just the existence of such genetic differences between races, proclaimed the author of the
Half Sigma blog, a 40-year-old software developer, means “the egalitarian theory,” that all races are equal, “is proven false.”

One might, at this point, justifiably ask what hard, scientific evidence exists to prove the egalitarian theory true. As an ideology based largely on the discredited junk economic science that is Marxism, the facts are clearly not on its side. And to those delightful individuals who defend it with the tiresome refrain that, "race is just a social construct," one is tempted to reply, not without heat, "race is a biological reality, genes matter, people differ and it’s egali-bloody-tarianism which is the social construct!" And no longer even a useful one at that. As anthropologist Peter Frost recently remarked:

"I used to consider myself an anti-racist. I even once sat on the board of directors of an anti-racist organization. Today, I have trouble recognizing myself in what this belief-system has become.

Why did I identify with anti-racism? I saw it as a means to defend non-European peoples who had become politically and demographically marginalized, often to the brink of extinction. This was, and still is, the case with Canada’s First Nations, but it’s also the case with many other peoples, including some that are oppressed by governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As an anthropologist in particular, I saw anti-racism as a moral duty.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. But I do believe that ideologies can be exploited to serve new ends. In this case, anti-racism has gradually become an instrument of political disenfranchisement and demographic replacement – in a word, the very thing it used to combat.

This gradual change has turned what was once an ideology of the Left into an ideology of the Right. Anti-racism now serves the interests of a corporate globalist elite for whom the free flow of labor dovetails with their belief in the free flow of capital and trade. For these people, it doesn’t matter that their ideology will destroy long-existing cultures and populations. They don’t even feel guilty about what they’re doing. Anti-racism gives them a clean conscience

While we might object to Frost’s ascribing anti-white racism exclusively to the right wing when in reality it infects mainstream politics in general, we must give him credit for seeing the greater light. This metastasized, now-malignant concept of equality (in which some animals are more equal than others) must be rejected before it consumes the body of Western civilization by replacing its natural cells with hostile ones. Even egalitarianism's former, relatively innocuous strain had little substance as a moral value, particularly when contrasted against the code of honour and intrinsic sense of tribal loyalty necessary to human survival since prehistory. But I digress, and rather dramatically at that.

Back to the bad, new Times: "Though few of the bits of human genetic code that vary between individuals have yet to be tied to physical or behavioural traits, scientists have found that roughly 10 percent of them are more common in certain continental groups and can be used to distinguish people of different races. They say that studying the differences, which arose during the tens of thousands of years that human populations evolved on separate continents after their ancestors dispersed from humanity’s birthplace in East Africa, is crucial to mapping the genetic basis for disease.

But many geneticists, wary of fuelling discrimination and worried that speaking openly about race could endanger support for their research, are loath to discuss the social implications of their findings. Still, some acknowledge that as their data and methods are extended to nonmedical traits, the field is at what one leading researcher recently called “a very delicate time, and a dangerous time

Those geneticists are right to be wary. Any number of brilliant, learned men have lost their jobs for speaking out in a society where truth has been twisted into heresy. Just ask the heroic J. Philippe Rushton how his groundbreaking research was received in Canada. You'll soon find a lamentable, if not criminal situation exists in Western society. Scientists are afraid to seek, disseminate or even discuss the truth, and our art and culture are increasingly stifled in the name of sanctimonious “sensitivity” for other races and religions. Any decent human who values free, enlightened civilization cannot help but feel their blood boil at this. Of course, there are those even in the scientific world whose blood seemingly runs thinner than water:

There are clear differences between people of different continental ancestries,” said Marcus W. Feldman, a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University. “It’s not there yet for things like I.Q., but I can see it coming. And it has the potential to spark a new era of racism if we do not start explaining it better.”

Dr. Feldman said any finding on intelligence was likely to be exceedingly hard to pin down. But given that some may emerge, he said he wanted to create “ready response teams” of geneticists to put such socially fraught discoveries in perspective

One wonders what form such teams might take. Visions of scientists rappelling from black helicopters might amuse for the moment, but as it will take increasingly totalitarian and suppressive governments to enforce the New Communism, just as it did the old, any humour fades rather quickly.

Feldman goes on in the Times: “The authority that DNA has earned through its use in freeing falsely convicted inmates, preventing disease and reconstructing family ties leads people to wrongly elevate genetics over other explanations for differences between groups.”

As has been established, we are right to elevate genetics over other explanations as nature counts far more than nurture in most cases. Genes might not be everything, but they're a bloody, big chunk of it. If we hope to cure our social ills, as well as our AIDS, cancer and other diseases, we must embrace genetic science. Who knows, by finding the courage to do so, we may even achieve immortality.

“I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life researching how much genetic variability there is between populations,” said Dr. David Altshuler, director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass. “But living in America, it is so clear that the economic and social and educational differences have so much more influence than genes. People just somehow fixate on genetics, even if the influence is very small.”

There is a peculiar logic to statements like this. It stems from the completely unscientific assumption that humans are all biologically equal. From there, any lack of economic, social or educational success can only be a result of racism. After all, if everyone is possessed of equal capacity in terms of intelligence and desirable traits of personality and behaviour, what else could the explanation be? Leaving aside the sticky fact that Asian and Jewish people would hardly do as well as they clearly do if society were so dreadfully prejudiced, this egalitarian hogwash only serves to inspire anger in society’s "underachievers" and guilt in its "overachievers." In reality, both are just achieving to the best of their abilities.

New York Times: “But on the Half Sigma blog and elsewhere, the conversation is already flashing forward to what might happen if genetically encoded racial differences in socially desirable — or undesirable — traits are identified.”

And in the New York Times, reporting has plumbed new depths by covering hand-picked blog responses:

If I were to believe the ‘facts’ in this post, what should I do?” one reader responded on Half Sigma. “Should I advocate discrimination against blacks because they are less smart? Should I not hire them to my company because odds are I could find a smarter white person? Stop trying to prove that one group of people are genetically inferior to your group. Just stop.”

There you have it, the liberal bleat of fear. “Stop. Just stop.” Stop uncovering the truth with science. Stop educating people! Let’s all just go back to our cosy lie, the one that’s doing such a great job of uplifting the Third World, relieving racial tensions and bringing lasting equity around the world.

Renata McGriff, 52, a health care consultant who had been encouraging black clients to volunteer genetic information to scientists, said she and other African-Americans have lately been discussing “opting out of genetic research until it’s clear we’re not going to use science to validate prejudices.”

And might I suggest that if “prejudices” are validated as truth, they can no longer be considered prejudices but reality? The paradox of multiculturalism is here laid rather bare: we are meant to celebrate (non-white) diversity while pretending we’re all equal. Once diversity is revealed to extend to more than just colourful ethnic garb and a charming accent however, diversity somehow becomes prejudice. The term for this is cognitive dissonance, something which goes a long way towards explaining why people are so incredibly touchy and defensive when it comes to any honest examination of racial difference.

NYT: “I don’t want the children in my family to be born thinking they are less than someone else based on their DNA,” added Ms. McGriff, of Manhattan. "

And indeed, no one should use this information to denounce one race as of less value than another. Of course, that we all value our own race the highest is instinctual and taken as a given by all non-whites. As long as we're all playing by this same rule however, everyone knows where they stand and a great deal of bull-crackers can go untrodden and unspoken. Simply put, we must acknowledge that the races are different, and accommodate for that fact by allowing for people who are similar to band together, as is their inclination. To put it even more simply: ethnonationalism.

NYT: “Such discussions are among thousands that followed the geneticist James D. Watson’s assertion last month that Africans are innately less intelligent than other races. Dr. Watson, a Nobel Prize winner, subsequently apologized [and quite what level of pressure causes a man in his twilight years to recant we can only imagine] and quit his post at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island.

But the incident has added to uneasiness about whether society is prepared to handle the consequences of science that may eventually reveal appreciable differences between races in the genes that influence socially important traits.

New genetic information, some liberal critics say, could become the latest rallying point for a conservative political camp that objects to social policies like affirmative action, as happened with “The Bell Curve,” the controversial 1994 book that examined the relationship between race and I.Q

Quite so. And here we are, ready to take the fight to your liberal camp. Gird up whatever such loins as you still possess for battle, ye liberal, metrosexual men. Or will you leave the fighting, as you do your thinking, to the womenfolk?

NYT: "Yet even some self-described liberals argue that accepting that there may be genetic differences between races is important in preparing to address them politically.
“Let’s say the genetic data says we’ll have to spend two times as much for every black child to close the achievement gap,” said Jason Malloy, 28, an artist in Madison, Wis., who wrote a defense of Dr. Watson for the widely read science blog
Gene Expression. Society, he said, would need to consider how individuals “can be given educational and occupational opportunities that work best for their unique talents and limitations.”

Sadly, even spending twice as much on education for blacks as whites, will not allow them to achieve equally. We have to face the hard fact that not everyone is naturally equipped to be a “rocket surgeon” or a “brain scientist.”

NYT: "Others hope that the genetic data may overturn preconceived notions of racial superiority by, for example, showing that Africans are innately more intelligent than other groups. But either way, the increased outpouring of conversation on the normally taboo subject of race and genetics has prompted some to suggest that innate differences should be accepted but, at some level, ignored. "

And if you’ll forgive the sarcasm, such a finding would certainly corroborate with the overwhelmingly advanced state of African society, both historically and internationally. It would also go a long way towards explaining their many and varied contributions to science.

NYT: “Regardless of any such genetic variation, it is our moral duty to treat all as equal before God and before the law,” Perry Clark, 44, wrote on a New York Times blog.”

And here I wholeheartedly agree, though being an unrepentant atheist I would leave out the “God” part.

NYT: “It is not necessary, argued Dr. Clark, a retired neonatologist in Leawood, Kan., who is white, to maintain the pretense that inborn racial differences do not exist.”

“When was the last time a nonblack sprinter won the Olympic 100 meters?” he asked.“To say that such differences aren’t real,” Dr. Clark later said in an interview, “is to stick your head in the sand and go blah blah blah blah blah until the band marches by.

Bravo, Dr. Clark, bravo! A curious pattern emerges if discussing these matters with intelligent people like doctors, who are trained to look at people logically: most of them think as Dr. Clark. Strange they only openly discuss such things after retirement though, isn’t it?

NYT: “Race, many sociologists and anthropologists have argued for decades, is a social invention historically used to justify prejudice and persecution. But when Samuel M. Richards gave his students at Pennsylvania State University genetic ancestry tests to establish the imprecision of socially constructed racial categories, he found the exercise reinforced them instead.

One white-skinned student, told she was 9 percent West African, went to a Kwanzaa celebration, for instance, but would not dream of going to an Asian cultural event because her DNA did not match, Dr. Richards said. Preconceived notions of race seemed all the more authentic when quantified by DNA.

“Before, it was, ‘I’m white because I have white skin and grew up in white culture,’ ” Dr. Richards said. “Now it’s, ‘I really know I’m white, so white is this big neon sign hanging over my head.’ It’s like, oh, no, come on. That wasn’t the point

The point is: “race matters and we should all be free to be who we are,” and perhaps, as an ancillary point, “fuck any form of Communism which claims otherwise right in its 100 million people-killing ass.” Those who feel I’ve been making the point that irrational hatred of blacks (or whoever) is justified by science, misunderstand completely.

While I will admit to being cautious of black strangers given their disproportionately high statistical probability to commit crime, as indeed will Jesse Jackson, and while I will also admit to preferring my own kind to any other groups, as indeed will civil rights activists (albeit subconsciously), I feel no particular need to apologise for these things. They're perfectly acceptable attitudes for other races to hold so they must be normal, healthy and, quite simply, human. Further, I can be realistic about other races and proud of my own without having to resent, hate or war on anyone else. And so long as they’re not receiving undue privilege, discriminating against me or taking my ancestral land, I won’t need to do any of those things. Will I?


doodler said...

Ave Dante,
Bonum scriptas.

Garg the Unzola said...

If everyone is equal and everyone is allowed to follow their own trip, then surely it should not be frowned upon for birds of a feather to flock together?

Or for water to seek its own level?

Of course you don't need skinheads with batons to ensure that this happens, but you also don't need skinheads with batons forcing integration and transformation.

To the liberals, this is more of a historical observation than a prophecy:

Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant.

We also share more than half of our DNA with chickens. Should we allow affirmative action and chicken empowerment?

I think that's missing the point. Chickens need an environment where chickens are happy. Chickens have their strengths and their weaknesses, but you can't expect a chicken to pull a plough. That doesn't play on the strengths of chickens, but on their weaknesses.

The same is true for the different human races. Our system is failing all the races badly if we are putting chickens in front of ploughs and getting oxen to hatch eggs.