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It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

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  • Sullivan, Tim
    Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
      Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0

      Tim
    • Andrew Petto
      Tim: I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one. It seemed to me that the
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
        Tim:

        I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one.

        It seemed to me that the surnames were just a way of measuring the relative proportions of members in ethnic groups in society at large versus those in high-status positions (for example, medicine).

        My take on this was that the Horatio Alger story is an idealization of what we like to tell ourselves about the "American dream" but that there are other cultural forces at play here that also have a powerful affect on the upward mobility of individuals ... and that it may not be so much the attributes of the individual (motivation, preparation, hard work, talent, etc) as the cultural infrastructure that channels the socioeconomic mobility of the members of these populations.

        I did not see it as Murray and Jensen's stuff---intrinsic characteristics of individuals---so much as how slowly the cultural milieu changes

        Where do you see the genetics argument?

        Anj
        On 2014-02-27 17:52, Sullivan, Tim wrote:
         

        Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0

        Tim


        --

        Andrew J Petto, PhD
        Senior Lecturer
        Department of Biological Sciences
        University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
        PO Box 413
        Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
        CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
        Telephone: 414-229-6784
        FAX: 414-229-3926
        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

        Could you be a teacher?

        *************
        Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
        *************

      • kent morris
        ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism? ... ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism? On Feb 27, 2014, at 6:48 PM, Andrew Petto
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
          ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?

          On Feb 27, 2014, at 6:48 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:

           

          Tim:

          I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one.

          It seemed to me that the surnames were just a way of measuring the relative proportions of members in ethnic groups in society at large versus those in high-status positions (for example, medicine).

          My take on this was that the Horatio Alger story is an idealization of what we like to tell ourselves about the "American dream" but that there are other cultural forces at play here that also have a powerful affect on the upward mobility of individuals ... and that it may not be so much the attributes of the individual (motivation, preparation, hard work, talent, etc) as the cultural infrastructure that channels the socioeconomic mobility of the members of these populations.

          I did not see it as Murray and Jensen's stuff---intrinsic characteristics of individuals---so much as how slowly the cultural milieu changes

          Where do you see the genetics argument?

          Anj

          On 2014-02-27 17:52, Sullivan, Tim wrote:
           

          Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0

          Tim


          --

          Andrew J Petto, PhD
          Senior Lecturer
          Department of Biological Sciences
          University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
          PO Box 413
          Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
          CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
          Telephone: 414-229-6784
          FAX: 414-229-3926
          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

          Could you be a teacher?

          *************
          Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
          *************



        • Andrew Petto
          Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard. If
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
            Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard.

            If you want to see the piece, here it is:
            http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?partner=rss&emc=rss

            Anj

            On 2014-02-27 21:10, kent morris wrote:
             

            ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?


            --

            Andrew J Petto, PhD
            Senior Lecturer
            Department of Biological Sciences
            University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
            PO Box 413
            Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
            CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
            Telephone: 414-229-6784
            FAX: 414-229-3926
            https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

            Could you be a teacher?

            *************
            Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
            https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
            *************

          • Andrew Petto
            Here in Wisconsin, we do have a concealed weapon law and a castle doctrine law (a little more liberal than the stand your ground laws), but ideally weapons
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
              Here in Wisconsin, we do have a concealed weapon law and a "castle doctrine" law (a little more liberal than the "stand your ground" laws), but ideally weapons are not allowed on campus.

              I found this reflection a little chilling, despite the attempts at irony:
              http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/28/opinion/when-may-i-shoot-a-student.html?ref=opinion

              Anj

              --

              Andrew J Petto, PhD
              Senior Lecturer
              Department of Biological Sciences
              University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
              PO Box 413
              Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
              CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
              Telephone: 414-229-6784
              FAX: 414-229-3926
              https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

              Could you be a teacher?

              *************
              Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
              https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
              *************

            • kent morris
              but the author did say that poor people are better off in Scandinavia than in the U.S....
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
                but the author did say that poor people are better off in Scandinavia than in the U.S....

                On Feb 27, 2014, at 7:27 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:

                 

                Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard.

                If you want to see the piece, here it is:
                http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?partner=rss&emc=rss

                Anj

                On 2014-02-27 21:10, kent morris wrote:
                 

                ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?


                --

                Andrew J Petto, PhD
                Senior Lecturer
                Department of Biological Sciences
                University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                PO Box 413
                Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                Telephone: 414-229-6784
                FAX: 414-229-3926
                https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                Could you be a teacher?

                *************
                Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                *************



              • Andrew Petto
                Yes, better off, but not more upwardly mobile. Anj ... -- Andrew J Petto, PhD Senior Lecturer Department of Biological Sciences University of Wisconsin --
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 27, 2014
                  Yes, better off, but not more upwardly mobile.

                  Anj

                  On 2014-02-27 21:31, kent morris wrote:
                   

                  but the author did say that poor people are better off in Scandinavia than in the U.S....


                  On Feb 27, 2014, at 7:27 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:

                   

                  Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard.

                  If you want to see the piece, here it is:
                  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?partner=rss&emc=rss

                  Anj

                  On 2014-02-27 21:10, kent morris wrote:
                   

                  ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?


                  --

                  Andrew J Petto, PhD
                  Senior Lecturer
                  Department of Biological Sciences
                  University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                  PO Box 413
                  Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                  CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                  Telephone: 414-229-6784
                  FAX: 414-229-3926
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                  Could yoube a teacher?

                  *************
                  Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                  *************




                  --

                  Andrew J Petto, PhD
                  Senior Lecturer
                  Department of Biological Sciences
                  University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                  PO Box 413
                  Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                  CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                  Telephone: 414-229-6784
                  FAX: 414-229-3926
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                  Could you be a teacher?

                  *************
                  Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                  *************

              • Anthropmor
                But this is playing fast and loose- social mobility is greater in Britain today than the US- see Who Rules America www.whorulesamerica.org or any number of
                Message 8 of 13 , Feb 28, 2014
                  But this is playing fast and loose- social mobility is greater in Britain today than the US- see "Who Rules America"  www.whorulesamerica.org  or any number of other sourcres -
                  Mike Pavlik


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Andrew Petto <ajpetto@...>
                  To: SACC-L <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:49 pm
                  Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

                   
                  Yes, better off, but not more upwardly mobile.

                  Anj

                  On 2014-02-27 21:31, kent morris wrote:
                   
                  but the author did say that poor people are better off in Scandinavia than in the U.S....

                  On Feb 27, 2014, at 7:27 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:

                   
                  Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard.

                  If you want to see the piece, here it is:
                  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?partner=rss&emc=rss

                  Anj

                  On 2014-02-27 21:10, kent morris wrote:
                   
                  ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?

                  --
                  Andrew J Petto, PhD
                  Senior Lecturer
                  Department of Biological Sciences
                  University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                  PO Box 413
                  Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                  CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                  Telephone: 414-229-6784
                  FAX: 414-229-3926
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
                  Could you be a teacher?

                  *************
                  Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                  *************



                  --
                  Andrew J Petto, PhD
                  Senior Lecturer
                  Department of Biological Sciences
                  University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                  PO Box 413
                  Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                  CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                  Telephone: 414-229-6784
                  FAX: 414-229-3926
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
                  Could you be a teacher?

                  *************
                  Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                  https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                  *************
                • Anthropmor
                  and besides, it isn t genes so much as social heritability- we are back to Lamarckism here. Mike Pavlik ... From: Andrew Petto To: SACC-L
                  Message 9 of 13 , Feb 28, 2014
                    and besides, it isn't genes so much as social heritability- we are back to Lamarckism here.
                    Mike Pavlik


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Andrew Petto <ajpetto@...>
                    To: SACC-L <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:49 pm
                    Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

                     
                    Yes, better off, but not more upwardly mobile.

                    Anj

                    On 2014-02-27 21:31, kent morris wrote:
                     
                    but the author did say that poor people are better off in Scandinavia than in the U.S....

                    On Feb 27, 2014, at 7:27 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:

                     
                    Well, actually, what I found interesting in the article was that things were not significantly better in Norway than in the USA or the UK in this regard.

                    If you want to see the piece, here it is:
                    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?partner=rss&emc=rss

                    Anj

                    On 2014-02-27 21:10, kent morris wrote:
                     
                    ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?

                    --
                    Andrew J Petto, PhD
                    Senior Lecturer
                    Department of Biological Sciences
                    University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                    PO Box 413
                    Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                    CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                    Telephone: 414-229-6784
                    FAX: 414-229-3926
                    https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
                    Could you be a teacher?

                    *************
                    Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                    https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                    *************



                    --
                    Andrew J Petto, PhD
                    Senior Lecturer
                    Department of Biological Sciences
                    University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                    PO Box 413
                    Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                    CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                    Telephone: 414-229-6784
                    FAX: 414-229-3926
                    https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
                    Could you be a teacher?

                    *************
                    Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                    https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                    *************
                  • Sullivan, Tim
                    Hey Anj. My apologies: I have taken a break from my computer for the last couple of days. We have a wonderful break in our weather -- up to 80 degrees on
                    Message 10 of 13 , Mar 2, 2014
                      Hey Anj.
                      My apologies: I have taken a break from my computer for the last couple of days. We have a wonderful break in our weather -- up to 80 degrees on Friday and Saturday here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and my wife and I, and our dog, took advantage of it. Today is back to the low 20 s and teens for Monday.
                      I general, I think you are right -- I can see the obvious connections with the accumulation of family wealth, that helps to generate income, but it was the following that caught my attention:
                      " Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny."
                      To be fair, after a lengthy discussion of correlation between surnames and such variables as 'university attended,' 'membership in the index of physicians' , the author did comment that " to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been slow."
                      So what are we to make of this research? That if my name is Sullivan and other Sullivans attended the University of California, that I am very likely to do so as well? I am prompted to ask, 'Gee whiz, Mr. Science! But why?' Is it because it was in my genes, or because it took the bucks and/or connections to get in? And/or because family and networks are likely to promote and encourage (a subtle social pressure, to be sure) my attendance? (Actually, I was the first generation of my family to achieve a BA, but my father was always a staunch supporter of Trojan athletics, and he was, indeed, very supportive of my attending Southern Cal).
                      But I diverge. My point is that I was not quite able to determine the actual conclusion of the article. But I did note a hint of some kind of biological determinism, even if it was not necessarily racist in tone, as the work of the Bell Curve authors.
                      At any rate, I was glad to provoke a bit of discussion. Again, my apologies for not being present to participate.
                      Tim
                      ________________________________________
                      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of kent morris [km82@...]
                      Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:10 PM
                      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

                      ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?

                      On Feb 27, 2014, at 6:48 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:



                      Tim:

                      I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one.

                      It seemed to me that the surnames were just a way of measuring the relative proportions of members in ethnic groups in society at large versus those in high-status positions (for example, medicine).

                      My take on this was that the Horatio Alger story is an idealization of what we like to tell ourselves about the "American dream" but that there are other cultural forces at play here that also have a powerful affect on the upward mobility of individuals ... and that it may not be so much the attributes of the individual (motivation, preparation, hard work, talent, etc) as the cultural infrastructure that channels the socioeconomic mobility of the members of these populations.

                      I did not see it as Murray and Jensen's stuff---intrinsic characteristics of individuals---so much as how slowly the cultural milieu changes

                      Where do you see the genetics argument?

                      Anj

                      On 2014-02-27 17:52, Sullivan, Tim wrote:


                      Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%c2%aeion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear<http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%C2%AEion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear> ch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0

                      Tim

                      --

                      Andrew J Petto, PhD
                      Senior Lecturer
                      Department of Biological Sciences
                      University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                      PO Box 413
                      Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                      CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                      Telephone: 414-229-6784
                      FAX: 414-229-3926
                      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                      Could you be a teacher?<https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3>

                      *************
                      Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                      *************
                    • Andrew Petto
                      Tim: No worries; we were also enjoying the warming trend as the thermometer hit almost 35 degrees! I meant to write earlier today. The Times REVIEW was full of
                      Message 11 of 13 , Mar 2, 2014
                        Tim:

                        No worries; we were also enjoying the warming trend as the thermometer hit almost 35 degrees!

                        I meant to write earlier today. The Times REVIEW was full of people making the same objection as you.

                        Again, I did not get THAT message (it is in the DNA), but there was a sort of inherited status model.

                        A lot of people complained about the choice of data ... which ethnic groups and which surnames and so on. I can sympathize from having the experience of trying to extract meaningful data out of a mass of historical records that cared not a whit for my project. I suspect that the authors used what was available to them over a long period of time; not necessarily because these were the bet names to pick.

                        In addition, one letter made an excellent point that patrilineal descent is not necessarily the whole story (certainly not genetically, of course, but maybe not even sociopolitically). With positive assortative mating, however, the specific surname is, I suspect, only a proxy for the general social class. But that is an issue; and if professional women use their patrilineal surnames professionally, whose status accrues to their children?

                        One of our graduate students proposed (a way too complicated) project on the nature of risk-taking behaviors in immigrant populations; the idea was that those who tended to pick up and move would have different temperamental characteristics than those who stayed in the Old Country; and those might promote a relatively rapid change in social status ... at least at the outset. But, part 2 of the hypothesis was that, after a few generations, the immigrants became locals and the selection for this sort of temperament is weakened or erased.

                        In any case, get a look at the letters if you have a chance.

                        Anj

                        On 2014-03-02 19:43, Sullivan, Tim wrote:
                        Hey Anj. 
                          My apologies: I have taken a break from my computer for the last couple of days. We have a wonderful break in our weather -- up to 80 degrees on Friday and Saturday here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and my wife and I, and our dog, took advantage of it. Today is back to the low 20 s and teens for Monday.  
                           I general, I think you are right -- I can see the obvious connections with the accumulation of family wealth, that helps to generate income, but it was the following that caught my attention: 
                          " Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny."   
                          To be fair, after a lengthy discussion of correlation between surnames and such variables as 'university attended,'  'membership in the index of physicians' , the author did comment that " to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been slow."  
                           So what are we to make of this research? That if my name is Sullivan and other Sullivans attended the University of California, that I am very likely to do so as well?  I am prompted to ask, 'Gee whiz, Mr. Science! But why?' Is it because it was in my genes, or because it took the bucks and/or connections to get in?  And/or because family and networks are likely to promote and encourage (a subtle social pressure, to be sure) my attendance? (Actually, I was the first generation of my family to achieve a BA, but my father was always a staunch supporter of Trojan athletics, and he was, indeed, very supportive of my attending Southern Cal). 
                          But I diverge. My point is that I was not quite able to determine the actual conclusion of the article. But I did note a hint of some kind of biological determinism, even if it was not necessarily racist in tone,  as the work of the Bell Curve authors. 
                          At any rate, I was glad to provoke a bit of discussion. Again, my apologies for not being present to participate. 
                           Tim 
                        ________________________________________
                        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of kent morris [km82@...]
                        Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:10 PM
                        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).
                        
                        ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?
                        
                        On Feb 27, 2014, at 6:48 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:
                        
                        
                        
                        Tim:
                        
                        I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one.
                        
                        It seemed to me that the surnames were just a way of measuring the relative proportions of members in ethnic groups in society at large versus those in high-status positions (for example, medicine).
                        
                        My take on this was that the Horatio Alger story is an idealization of what we like to tell ourselves about the "American dream" but that there are other cultural forces at play here that also have a powerful affect on the upward mobility of individuals ... and that it may not be so much the attributes of the individual (motivation, preparation, hard work, talent, etc) as the cultural infrastructure that channels the socioeconomic mobility of the members of these populations.
                        
                        I did not see it as Murray and Jensen's stuff---intrinsic characteristics of individuals---so much as how slowly the cultural milieu changes
                        
                        Where do you see the genetics argument?
                        
                        Anj
                        
                        On 2014-02-27 17:52, Sullivan, Tim wrote:
                        
                        
                        Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear<http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%C2%AEion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear> ch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0
                        
                        Tim
                        
                        --
                        
                        Andrew J Petto, PhD
                        Senior Lecturer
                        Department of Biological Sciences
                        University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                        PO Box 413
                        Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                        CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                        Telephone: 414-229-6784
                        FAX: 414-229-3926
                        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
                        
                        Could you be a teacher?<https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3>
                        
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                        Andrew J Petto, PhD
                        Senior Lecturer
                        Department of Biological Sciences
                        University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                        PO Box 413
                        Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                        CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                        Telephone: 414-229-6784
                        FAX: 414-229-3926
                        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                        Could you be a teacher?

                        *************
                        Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
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                      • Sullivan, Tim
                        Thanks for the reply, Anj. I will take a look. By the way, that grad student proposal sounds fascinating, if complex and daunting. Tim
                        Message 12 of 13 , Mar 3, 2014
                          Thanks for the reply, Anj. I will take a look. By the way, that grad student proposal sounds fascinating, if complex and daunting.
                          Tim
                          ________________________________________
                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Andrew Petto [ajpetto@...]
                          Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:20 PM
                          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

                          Tim:

                          No worries; we were also enjoying the warming trend as the thermometer hit almost 35 degrees!

                          I meant to write earlier today. The Times REVIEW was full of people making the same objection as you.

                          Again, I did not get THAT message (it is in the DNA), but there was a sort of inherited status model.

                          A lot of people complained about the choice of data ... which ethnic groups and which surnames and so on. I can sympathize from having the experience of trying to extract meaningful data out of a mass of historical records that cared not a whit for my project. I suspect that the authors used what was available to them over a long period of time; not necessarily because these were the bet names to pick.

                          In addition, one letter made an excellent point that patrilineal descent is not necessarily the whole story (certainly not genetically, of course, but maybe not even sociopolitically). With positive assortative mating, however, the specific surname is, I suspect, only a proxy for the general social class. But that is an issue; and if professional women use their patrilineal surnames professionally, whose status accrues to their children?

                          One of our graduate students proposed (a way too complicated) project on the nature of risk-taking behaviors in immigrant populations; the idea was that those who tended to pick up and move would have different temperamental characteristics than those who stayed in the Old Country; and those might promote a relatively rapid change in social status ... at least at the outset. But, part 2 of the hypothesis was that, after a few generations, the immigrants became locals and the selection for this sort of temperament is weakened or erased.

                          In any case, get a look at the letters if you have a chance.

                          Anj


                          On 2014-03-02 19:43, Sullivan, Tim wrote:

                          Hey Anj.
                          My apologies: I have taken a break from my computer for the last couple of days. We have a wonderful break in our weather -- up to 80 degrees on Friday and Saturday here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and my wife and I, and our dog, took advantage of it. Today is back to the low 20 s and teens for Monday.
                          I general, I think you are right -- I can see the obvious connections with the accumulation of family wealth, that helps to generate income, but it was the following that caught my attention:
                          " Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny."
                          To be fair, after a lengthy discussion of correlation between surnames and such variables as 'university attended,' 'membership in the index of physicians' , the author did comment that " to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been slow."
                          So what are we to make of this research? That if my name is Sullivan and other Sullivans attended the University of California, that I am very likely to do so as well? I am prompted to ask, 'Gee whiz, Mr. Science! But why?' Is it because it was in my genes, or because it took the bucks and/or connections to get in? And/or because family and networks are likely to promote and encourage (a subtle social pressure, to be sure) my attendance? (Actually, I was the first generation of my family to achieve a BA, but my father was always a staunch supporter of Trojan athletics, and he was, indeed, very supportive of my attending Southern Cal).
                          But I diverge. My point is that I was not quite able to determine the actual conclusion of the article. But I did note a hint of some kind of biological determinism, even if it was not necessarily racist in tone, as the work of the Bell Curve authors.
                          At any rate, I was glad to provoke a bit of discussion. Again, my apologies for not being present to participate.
                          Tim
                          ________________________________________
                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com> [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>] on behalf of kent morris [km82@...<mailto:km82@...>]
                          Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:10 PM
                          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] It is in your genes.... (not your CKs).

                          ah--so we can still deplore our version of capitalism?

                          On Feb 27, 2014, at 6:48 PM, Andrew Petto wrote:



                          Tim:

                          I did not read it this way at all. When I read it, it seemed very much like a socioeconomic argument and not a genetic one.

                          It seemed to me that the surnames were just a way of measuring the relative proportions of members in ethnic groups in society at large versus those in high-status positions (for example, medicine).

                          My take on this was that the Horatio Alger story is an idealization of what we like to tell ourselves about the "American dream" but that there are other cultural forces at play here that also have a powerful affect on the upward mobility of individuals ... and that it may not be so much the attributes of the individual (motivation, preparation, hard work, talent, etc) as the cultural infrastructure that channels the socioeconomic mobility of the members of these populations.

                          I did not see it as Murray and Jensen's stuff---intrinsic characteristics of individuals---so much as how slowly the cultural milieu changes

                          Where do you see the genetics argument?

                          Anj

                          On 2014-02-27 17:52, Sullivan, Tim wrote:


                          Here we go again. An economics prof has now co-authored a study to demonstrate biological determinism in terms of upward mobility, or lack thereof. Herbert Spencer would be proud, not to mention Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve; remember them?). The most recent version appeared in an opinion column in the NY Times this last Sunday. Note the use of Surnames as a way to measure genetic ancestry. The article seems fraught with logical fallacies and assumptions, not the least of which is both validity and reliability in defining independent variables (well, variable, as there seems to be only one), but then I suppose I would have to read the book in order to grasp the full argument. Use the link below to see the article, if you are interested: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%c2%aeion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear<http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%c2%aeion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.
                          nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear><http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%C2%AEion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear><http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search%C2%AEion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesear> ch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry571%23%2F%2522%2BGregory%2BClark%2F&_r=0

                          Tim

                          --

                          Andrew J Petto, PhD
                          Senior Lecturer
                          Department of Biological Sciences
                          University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                          PO Box 413
                          Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                          CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                          Telephone: 414-229-6784
                          FAX: 414-229-3926
                          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                          Could you be a teacher?<https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3><https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3>

                          *************
                          Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
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                          --

                          Andrew J Petto, PhD
                          Senior Lecturer
                          Department of Biological Sciences
                          University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                          PO Box 413
                          Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                          CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                          Telephone: 414-229-6784
                          FAX: 414-229-3926
                          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                          Could you be a teacher?<https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/Be_a_teacher.mp3>

                          *************
                          Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                          https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
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                        • Andrew Petto
                          In the end, we did not approve the proposal; too many intervening variables and confounding influences to be able to support a meaningful analysis ... but a
                          Message 13 of 13 , Mar 3, 2014
                            In the end, we did not approve the proposal; too many intervening variables and confounding influences to be able to support a meaningful analysis ... but a really interesting idea.

                            Maybe some day!

                            nj

                            On 2014-03-03 09:09, Sullivan, Tim wrote:
                            Thanks for the reply, Anj. I will take a look. By the way, that grad student proposal sounds fascinating, if complex and daunting. 
                            

                            --

                            Andrew J Petto, PhD
                            Senior Lecturer
                            Department of Biological Sciences
                            University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
                            PO Box 413
                            Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
                            CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
                            Telephone: 414-229-6784
                            FAX: 414-229-3926
                            https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

                            Could you be a teacher?

                            *************
                            Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
                            https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
                            *************

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