Re: Racism
Sun, 3 Aug 1997 19:49:38 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/3/97 1:26:48 PM, (den Otter) wrote:

>Now if you say: "young blacks make up a disproportionally
>large segment of the prison population in area X (say, NY)", you'll
>quickly be called "racist" (although this is a *fact*).

Not necessarily. This fact is stated often in the press here, and stating
*that fact* will make only very few call you racist. It's the conclusions
drawn from it that may draw accusations of "racist". Yes, it could
hypothetically be due to genetic differences, but it could also be due to
cultural differences, or to racist behavior on the part of the criminal
justice system.

You said that blacks were genetically inferior, on the basis of
known-to-be-flaky IQ scores, without even citing this. You didn't address
the equally significant facts that middle-class blacks have far lower rates
of violent crime and incarceration than ghetto blacks. You didn't explain
why immigrants from West Africa are indistinguishable from legal immigrants
in general in terms of crime rates or income. Nor did you address the
serious research showing that the US justice system does discriminate against
blacks in sentencing, particularly with respect to drug possession and petty
drug dealing.

>What I meant was that primitive man, only just separated from the other
>apes, used to be an active killer, whose intellect allowed him
>to hunt species (both predators and prey) to the brink of extinction,
>and sometimes beyond. This was one fearsome creature, that killed
>bears and wolves with only primitive tools. Those genes are still
>in there...

If you're going to cite science to support your claims, you should do more
careful research. The first plausible hominid hunter is Homo Erectus,
millions of years after the first hominid; prior hominids were
(almost-?)vegetarians or scavengers. Also, there's no evidence that any
hominid prior to us hunted predators. Some of the hypotheses for hominid
hunting paint it as not too fearsome either - they hold that erectus might
have just "run down" small game like antelopes by virtue of superior
endurance and then clubbed them to death in their exhaustion.

>A theory (can't remember right now who developed it) which I
>find very plausible is that certain groups of people moved for
>reasons unknown out of Africa,

The current, popular, and logical hypothesis for that is - because they
could; there's a nice climactic window about 90,000 years ago. Since we're a
young species this was probably our first chance.

>which at that time had a much
>more pleasant climate than today, and slowly colonized the
>Euro-Asian regions. They were faced by the extreme conditions
>of an ice age (or several?) and had to drastically adapt in order
>to survive. Only the smartest and the healthiest made it, and this
>(or several) "natural selection(s)" gave the later relatives (fair skinned
>etc. as an adaptation to the "polar" environment) an edge, it was
>a unique evolutional boost whose fruits we still pluck today.

OK, I'll bite. We have lots of information on genetic differences between
human population (they are small, BTW). What are these genetic changes
you're hypothesizing, and how do they affect our sociability and
intelligence? Also, what evidence do you have that Africans, evolving to
deal with equally hostile environments like jungles and desert, and also the
most complex, intelligence-demanding environment of all (other humans) didn't
evolve improvements of their own?