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Request for predictions/speculations

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  • Charles Murray
    As the HapMap project gets underway, this would seem to be a good time to put bets on the table regarding how the results will affect the ongoing debate about
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 2002
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      As the HapMap project gets underway, this would seem to be a good time to
      put bets on the table regarding how the results will affect the ongoing
      debate about whether race is a valid and/or useful construct. If we take a
      simple-minded traditional categorization of race as one extreme (caucasoid,
      negroid, mongoloid being the big three) and
      race-is-nothing-but-a-social-construct as the simple-minded other extreme,to
      which end of the continuum will the haplotype results move the debate?

      Since I've asked, I'd better get my own bet down: the HapMap results will
      move the current consensus toward the traditional end. Race will regain
      credibility as a useful, albeit imprecise, way to categorize human beings.

      I suggest Ian keep track of the results and permit those who end up being
      right to use their posts as evidence for "I told you so" footnotes in future
      work. He will of course also permanently erase, and we should all mutually
      agree never to mention, the posts of those of us who are wrong.

      Charles Murray
    • Bert Gold
      Charles Murray and John Goodrum again confuse the issue of the existence of race with the how it is used. Of course there is race among humans; there is also
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 2, 2002
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        Charles Murray and John Goodrum again confuse the
        issue of the existence of race with the how it is used.

        Of course there is race among humans; there is also culture
        and ethnicity. Medical geneticists and genetic counselors
        all use each of these in diagnosis and testing of human
        inherited disease at every moment of the clinical encounter.

        But, this does not provide license to use these human traits
        for social engineering or to debase and degrade others on
        the basis of their difference.

        If Murray and Goodrum would only celebrate the difference,
        expostulating on the plethora of ways our racial and cultural
        diversity contribute to the vitality of our human-ness
        (Buscaglia used to say, Personhood) and
        gene pool, then I would have no quarrel with them.

        But, this is not what I hear them saying.

        Members of this list have contested me in the past on this point,
        suggesting that I do not listen to the aformentioned posters
        carefully enough.

        I am prepared to admit that I have been wrong in the past in
        my characterization of Murray and Goodrum, but I would like to
        hear, in their own terms, why diversity might be a salutary
        attribute of the human race.

        Bert Gold
        Frederick, Maryland
      • John Goodrum
        ... I m sorry if you or anyone else has interpreted my comments on race as being motivated by a desire to debase or degrade anyone. Mostly I m just reacting
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 2, 2002
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          Bert Gold writes:

          > Charles Murray and John Goodrum again confuse the
          > issue of the existence of race with the how it is used.
          >
          > Of course there is race among humans...
          > But, this does not provide license to use these human traits
          > for social engineering or to debase and degrade others on
          > the basis of their difference.

          I'm sorry if you or anyone else has interpreted my comments on race as
          being motivated by a desire to debase or degrade anyone. Mostly I'm
          just reacting to the steady stream of pronouncements from those on the
          other side of the issue (and might not some of those pronouncements be
          attempts at social engineering themselves?). The hypothesis that there
          are no human races is actually an interesting notion from an
          evolutionary point of view, and I've found it a stimulating topic to
          investigate. I'm also happy to say that I've found the work of
          Charles Murray to be interesting (as have many others on this list),
          and have been bothered by the great number of commentators who have
          been eager to vilify him and others whose research occasionally deals
          with racial differences.

          > I am prepared to admit that I have been wrong in the past in
          > my characterization of Murray and Goodrum, but I would like to
          > hear, in their own terms, why diversity might be a salutary
          > attribute of the human race.

          I admit I haven't spent a lot of time thinking of diversity in terms
          good or bad, but for what it's worth, I listened to quite a few Bill
          Cosby records as a kid, and where would any of us be today without...
          Jimi Hendrix?? Two of many, many examples in which someone of another
          race has enriched my life.

          JG
        • Charles Murray
          Couldn t agree more. Even coauthored a book saying so. Charles Murray
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 3, 2002
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            Couldn't agree more. Even coauthored a book saying so.

            Charles Murray

            > From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
            > Reply-To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: 3 Nov 2002 10:04:36 -0000
            > To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [evol-psych] Digest Number 1109
            >
            >
            > Of course there is race among humans; there is also culture
            > and ethnicity. Medical geneticists and genetic counselors
            > all use each of these in diagnosis and testing of human
            > inherited disease at every moment of the clinical encounter.
            >
            > But, this does not provide license to use these human traits
            > for social engineering or to debase and degrade others on
            > the basis of their difference.
          • Mark Flinn
            ... Should we base our evaluation of evidence on whether the scientists that present the results spun them as salutary or unflattering? I would hope for
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002
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              Bert Gold asks:
              > I would like to
              >hear, in their own terms, why diversity might be a salutary
              >attribute of the human race.

              Should we base our evaluation of evidence on whether the scientists
              that present the results spun them as "salutary" or unflattering? I
              would hope for neither: science as a "no-spin" zone [gag - what a
              shame that O'Reilly has destroyed whatever use this term might have
              had...]. Science with a political agenda is not science. An
              unreasonable wish, particularly with a topic as difficult and tense
              as population genetics. Even the investigation of some potential
              individual and population differences is thought by some to be
              inherently derogatory, and hence taboo.

              That said, I could not agree more with Bert's suggestions for a more
              culturally informed analysis, and a concern with attempts to wield
              data to "debase and degrade" others. The historical traditions in
              this area make the problem most difficult.
              --
              Mark Flinn
              Department of Anthropology
              University of Missouri
              Columbia, MO 65211
              (573) 882-9404
            • Robert N. Sollod
              Just as one can use the concept of nation without being a nationalist and sex without being a sexist, so too the concept of race can be used without making one
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 5, 2002
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                Just as one can use the concept of nation without being a nationalist
                and sex without being a sexist, so too the concept of race can be used
                without making one a racist.
                Although, of course, racists do believe in the concept of race as do
                nationalists in the concept of nation and sexists in the idea of
                different genders.

                Robert N. Sollod
                Professor of Psychology
                Cleveland State University
                Cleveland, OH 44115


                -- In evolutionary-psychology@y..., Charles Murray <chasmurray@e...>
                wrote:
                > Couldn't agree more. Even coauthored a book saying so.
                >
                > Charles Murray
                >
                > > From: evolutionary-psychology@y...
                > > Reply-To: evolutionary-psychology@y...
                > > Date: 3 Nov 2002 10:04:36 -0000
                > > To: evolutionary-psychology@y...
                > > Subject: [evol-psych] Digest Number 1109
                > >
                > >
                > > Of course there is race among humans; there is also culture
                > > and ethnicity. Medical geneticists and genetic counselors
                > > all use each of these in diagnosis and testing of human
                > > inherited disease at every moment of the clinical encounter.
                > >
                > > But, this does not provide license to use these human traits
                > > for social engineering or to debase and degrade others on
                > > the basis of their difference.
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