Friday, January 8, 2010

Epistemology & Endocrinology


     How does one really know anything? As I have been researching genetic racial differences, I have frequently reencountered the dilemmas of scientific knowledge, such as the meanings of certainty and consensus. The skeptic Marcello Truzzi has been credited with originating the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." He actually defined extraordinary claims as being "revolutionary in their implications for established scientific generalizations already accumulated and verified." In that sense, skeptical claims also bear a burden of proof.
     Currently, the so-called Climategate scandal is receiving substantial attention from race realist bloggers. Skepticism can serve science well, but this particular movement has a clear political and financial constituency, and the climate science debate in the decades ahead could reach such an obvious conclusion that a veil of shame might extend to movements associated with global warming skepticism. Race realism science should stand on its own without its reception depending on unrelated causes. After all, race realism owes most of its taboo nature to World War II and Hitler rather than empirical disfavor.
     Therefore, I would like to briefly offer my own assessment of climate science before I detail the science of racial endocrinology, which could ultimately serve as the focal point of scientific understanding of racial differences. Though I must confess to the limitations of my knowledge of global warming research, I am cynical about global warming skeptics latching onto phenomena like El Niño or sun activity to repeatedly prophesy that the end is not nigh, as if they are Jehovah's Witnesses in reverse. In fact, I distinctly recall (though I cannot find a transcript) that Rush Limbaugh on his old television show interpreted the albedo effect of cooling caused by Mount Pinatubo's eruption as "Mother Nature" reversing global warming. How ironic that a conservative would employ the Gaia hypothesis to suggest that a living Earth would take it upon herself to negate human environmental impact. Even as skeptics attribute warming to a myriad of causes other than human activity, they refuse to accept that a temperature trend could have noise. Instead, they consider the record temperatures of 1998 as marking the year of complete reversal of global warming, which is not apparent from this graph:


     Even if all of that data is scientific fraud, no one seems to be disputing the rise of greenhouse gases or the greenhouse effect, itself. Therefore, even if anthropogenic global warming has not happened thus far, the greenhouse effect would presumably eventually overtake other influences on the climate.


     The fickleness of American public opinion on the matter seems to be contingent on gradients, much like support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. How do things seem to be going? How soon and how bad will things get? What can be accomplished and at what cost? I, myself, felt relief when Archer et al placed radical positive feedback on global temperature escalations from a potential oceanic methane "belch" on the time scale of "millennia or longer." Then, Jain and Juanes detailed a mechanism by which methane could rise from the ocean much faster than previously thought. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
     The Climategate scandal demonstrates politically correct liberals, who happen to be climate scientists, behaving like politically correct liberals. I consider it a greater scandal that the right wing has allowed the left wing to steal the cause of ecology. Even the Nazis had a green wing.

Polyglutamine Expansion Size Matters

     One link between race realism and environmentalism has been the alternative moniker "human biodiversity." As imperfect or imprecise as race realism may seem, I consider it superior to this pretentious ingratiation. It reminds me of atheists who demand that they be called "brights." Besides, every Seinfeld fan knows that one may not choose one's own nickname. As far as liberals are concerned, anyone who thinks independently about diversity is just a fascist white supremacist, anyway. Even worse, "human biodiversity" sounds prescriptive. I think it is fine if race realism informs one's views of interracial mixing—or global warming, for that matter. However, race realism science neither cares whom one marries nor what one drives. It just is.
     Author Steve Sailer explored the topic of interracial marriage in his 1997 National Review essay "Is Love Colorblind?" In particular, he offered his thoughts about the startling gender disparities of interracial marriage, pointing out that "on average, black men tend to appear slightly more and Asian men slightly less masculine than white men, while Asian women are typically seen as slightly more and black women as slightly less feminine than white women." Readers welcomed his insights by calling him "racist," "white supremacist," and a "typical white male" for peddling "age-old racial stereotypes," "prejudice," and "ignorance." If the media had reported the latest science on racial differences, Mr. Sailer would not have needed to postulate so modestly, and his oppugners could have skipped a self-induced hypertensive episode.
     Masculinity, of course, owes much to male hormones collectively called androgens. The level of expression of those androgens depends not only on the concentration of those hormones in the blood but also on the nature of the androgen receptor. At one end of the androgen receptor gene, which is alternatively labeled AR or NR3C4, there are varying amounts of the trinucleotide repeats CAG and GGC. The 1994 in vitro study by Chamberlain et al found that fewer CAG repeats caused increased transactivation of the receptor (meaning that the receptor became more activated to increase gene expression). Choong et al uncovered an association between fewer CAG repeats and higher amounts of receptors. In 1995, Irvine et al identified a 2.1-fold increased prostate cancer risk from having both fewer than 22 CAG repeats and not having the protective 16-repeat GGC allele. They surmised that the increased transactivation increased prostate cell proliferation, which "is known to promote tumorigenesis." They also produced the two tables below, showing African Americans to be the possessors of the alleles with the highest transactivation.



     Thus, African Americans average 18.5 CAG repeats, whites average 21, and Asians average 21.9. These results parallel both the prevalence of prostate cancer by population and Rushton's Rule, in which whites tend to be between the extremes of blacks and Asians. Sartor et al and Sasaki et al replicated these results. Edwards et al found such racial differences and also determined that the high rate of homozygosity in African Americans likely resulted from selection pressure.
     Genetic racial differences in the androgen receptor can give rise to disease susceptibility and trait disparities in the absence of racial differences in hormone levels. Research seems divided on the effects of CAG and GGC repeats on the actual baseline testosterone levels. Likewise, not all studies have found significantly higher baseline testosterone levels in African Americans, but Roney et al elicited transient salivary testosterone spikes that those other studies overlooked by developing an ingenious laboratory technique: expose men to young, attractive, and flirtatious women. Although the men scored the average of these women’s beauty a 5.83 on a scale from one to seven, the study failed to publish photographs. Nevertheless, men with fewer CAG repeats produced stronger testosterone responses to these ladies.
     This study also found that higher baseline cortisol suppressed testosterone increases with a beta coefficient equal to that of having more CAG repeats. Cortisol suppresses testosterone production, per Sapolsky and Dong et al.

Just How Nice is Sugar & Spice?

     Cortisol research has actually become a Holy Grail for politically correct liberals and people who make "alternative" or "integrative" medicine their hobby. The "central dogma," as one study put it, of cortisol research has been that stress is bad, and cortisol is a bad stress hormone. However, some research suggests that low cortisol or flattening of the daily circadian cycle of cortisol levels may be worse than high cortisol levels. DeSantis et al and Ukkola et al have found that African Americans have lower cortisol than whites. Liberals want to link this stress hormone to racism, which they presume is detrimental to the African-American psyche and physical well-being. Some research suggests that glucocorticoid hormones like cortisol affect memory processing and, therefore, cognition. Liberals also hope that cortisol stress response to discrimination will explain the higher rate of preterm births among African Americans. Two studies gave equivocal but arguably supportive results for this hypothesis. However, Lu and Chen failed to link preterm birth to stressful events other than "traumatic" events like becoming homeless or physical fights. Cohen et al also failed to link a higher level of evening cortisol to reported discrimination. DeSantis et al made much of the new evidence linking poor health outcomes to lower cortisol and the African Americans' considerably lower morning cortisol levels shown on the graph below. However, they also acknowledged the twin study by Bartels et al, showing a 60% heritability to morning cortisol levels. Hence, they turned their focus to a modestly higher evening cortisol level in African Americans, since this is apparently not heritable.


     This flip-flopping on the cortisol "central dogma" reminds me of the black-white suicide paradox. As an undergraduate, I came across some speculation as to why the universal oppressors, white males, have much higher suicide rates than the universal victims, black men. As author David Lester wrote, "The low rates of suicide in Africans in general, and African Americans in particular, may represent an African worldview which accepts suicide only in the very last resort in the face of extreme stress, an attitude consistent with the Afrocentric optimal psychology proposed by Myers and others." White men commit suicide more because they are prisoners to their own privileged status, which they must escape through suicide or bungee jumping. By the time I matriculated into medical school, the African-American male suicide rate was accelerating. The professors cited those startling statistics as further evidence of the oppression of the black man, while neglecting to mention that white men still had a higher suicide rate.


     Beginning with the 2004 Wust et al study on the effects of glucocorticoid receptor alleles on cortisol levels, progress in understanding cortisol heritability at the molecular level is slowly coming to fruition. Now, a new study by Way and Taylor has found that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR causes increased cortisol responses to a perceived social threat provided by the Trier Social Stress Test. As I previously mentioned, about 70-80% of East Asians, 40-50% of Europeans, and just 10-30% of Africans and African Americans possess this short allele. Also, a new study by Armbruster et al found that the 7R allele of DRD4 causes lower cortisol responses and that this allele interacted with the long allele of 5-HTTLPR to lower cortisol response to social stress. Beaver et al determined that African-Americans have significantly more 7R alleles than whites. The possibility that low cortisol levels in African Americans could be partly genetic has important implications for research on the genetics of violence. As I previously pointed out, the violence gene MAOA has a glucocorticoid and androgen response element, through which cortisol can up-regulate and testosterone can down-regulate MAOA enzyme levels. Sjoberg et al proved that higher testosterone levels increased aggressive tendencies in males with the 3R allele that is the most common MAOA allele in black people but did not increase aggression in males with the 4R allele that is the most common MAOA allele in whites.
     To summarize, African Americans have fewer CAG repeats in the androgen receptor gene, which somehow increases testosterone spikes. Higher testosterone decreases MAOA enzyme levels in those with the 3-repeat allele. Plus, androgen receptor alleles with fewer CAG repeats beget more androgen receptor activity. These receptors translocate to the cell nucleus and down-regulate the MAOA gene. African Americans likely have a significant genetic component to their lower baseline cortisol levels and lower cortisol spikes in response to threats. This further allows higher testosterone levels and decreases MAOA levels directly. Lower MAOA enzyme levels increase aggressive behavior, as my previous blog posts explain. These racial hormonal differences help to answer the black-Asian MAOA paradox: somehow Asians are much less inclined towards delinquent violence despite possessing about the same proportion of the 3R allele of MAOA. Greater prevalence of the 2R allele in black people cannot entirely explain the difference.
     The puzzle pieces are fitting together. One might predict based on this synthesis that fewer CAG repeats would correlate with aggression. Indeed, in 2008 Rajender et al determined that male control subjects average 21.19 repeats, rapists average 18.44 repeats, murderers average 17.59 repeats, and men who murder after they finish raping average 17.31 repeats. The shortest repeat lengths are associated with a higher degree of violence, earlier criminal records, verbal aggression, assertive personalities, extraversion, neuroticism, and self-transcendence (mystical tendencies), according to Cheng et al, Jonsson et al, and Westberg et al. Fewer GGC repeats are associated with aggression, impulsivity, promiscuity, and early menarche, according to Comings et al. A new study by Manuck et al localized the neural effects of shorter CAG repeat polymorphisms to the ventral amygdala, and previous research by Buckholtz et al found that the 3-repeat allele of MAOA is associated with increased amygdala activation.

Estrogen Poisoning

     Endocrinology studies a fascinating and complex web of hormonal interactions. Testosterone and cortisol decrease sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG, in turn, binds testosterone, which stimulates the hypothalamus to produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which acts on the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. These hormones cause testicular aromatase to convert testosterone to estradiol. Studies show that young black men have higher SHBG than young white men. Specifically, I am referring to Abdelrahaman et al, Winters et al, Ross et al, Wright et al, and Gapstur et al (revealed only in a personal communication to Abdelrahaman et al). Black men have higher estradiol levels than white men, according to Morrison et al, Wright et al, and Rohrmann et al. The higher estradiol levels in black men have implications for bone mass, cardiovascular health, and, yes, violent behavior. Since estradiol decreases MAOA enzyme levels, one would expect higher estradiol levels to increase aggressive tendencies.
     By studying the plasma content of 214 twin pairs, Meikle et al calculated a 38% heritability for estradiol and a 62% heritability for SHBG. When Ahn et al published "the first comprehensive characterization of genetic variation in the sex steroid pathway" this past summer, I became somewhat disappointed that it could not definitively explain racial hormone disparities. Their supplement offered a list of 874 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 37 genes with p-values and beta coefficients for their effects on SHBG, testosterone, estradiol, and androstanediol-glucuronide (which converts testosterone to the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone). To get a rough idea of how this data might relate to racial differences in hormones, I created graphs with p-values as the independent variable (making the graph most trustworthy towards the left side) and with the accumulative sums of beta coefficients multiplied by the allele prevalences for each population the dependent variable. In other words, the amount the graph rises with increasing uncertainty depends on both how common the more active alleles are in that group and how much effect that allele has on the hormone (or SHBG) concentration in blood. I calculated prevalences for whites, blacks, Chinese people, and Japanese people by combining all relevant populations in the HapMap database. Since the study population consisted entirely of white men, I expected a bias towards higher levels in whites, for whom these SNPs were selected and the beta coefficients were determined. In fact, each graph produced exactly that result with the exception of estradiol, shown below. The line for black people jumps above that of whites due to the adenine (A) allele of rs2687105 in the gene CYP3A4. The significance of this is questionable, as I have found no studies of breast or prostate cancer that found any correlation for this SNP. CYP3A4 produces an enzyme that mostly metabolizes testosterone but can also metabolize estrogen. Other variants of this gene may play a role in racial disparities in prostate and breast cancer.



Sweet and Noble It is to Die for One’s Meme

     Surely, everyone can comprehend that they will not wake up tomorrow and read the morning paper headline, "Cancer Cured!" The fight against cancer is incremental with multiple simultaneous strategies. One strategy would be to individually customize pharmacology based on decoded DNA. Every day you take the pill that is perfect just for you. Unfortunately, this approach is in its infancy. A superior approach to just waiting for this science to mature would be ethnopharmacology, in which drug approval is categorized for specific populations based on probability of benefit for individuals. Since different populations tend to have different medically-relevant allele frequencies, doctors could prescribe drugs based on the probability that the patient is like others in his or her ethnic group.
     The US Food and Drug Administration has already done this for BiDil, which was just a combination of existing approved generic drugs. It might not surprise that a drug created for improved compliance would help African Americans more given the new study by Roth et al, showing that African Americans had worse medical literacy (29% had adequate short test of functional health literacy in adults [S-TOFHLA] scores versus 58% of whites) and more medication-related problems, despite taking fewer medications. After poor sales, NitroMed stopped marketing BiDil and sold it to JHB Pharmaceuticals.


     In July, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a nearly 20,000-subject study, which sought to determine whether race affects cancer mortality independent of socioeconomic status. The "provocative aspect" of the study's conclusion was that the only cancers that have higher mortality for black people are the "sex-specific cancers (breast, ovarian, and prostate)." Apparently not knowing where they were supposed to stop, the authors continued that "one explanation for our findings might be that there are hormonal factors . . . that differ by race." Kathy Albain led the study. An accompanying editorial by Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society decried "racial medical profiling," reminding the reader that race "is not a scientific categorization and is a construct rejected by anthropologists." Then, Catherine Elton wrote a tract in Time magazine that would have seemed like a slander that Dr. Albain is racist had it not included the disclaimer "no one is accusing authors like Albain of racism." Elton is a recipient of an exclusively female fellowship "to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues."
     Progress in racial endocrinology may require braving (and possibly proving) a muck of the most offensive and sexualized stereotypes in order to better treat some of the most common and deadly cancers, (not to mention the disease of violence). I am hopeful in that I expect that we shall accomplish this before the methane belch ends our pitiful existence.

25 comments:

nooffensebut said...

I shall add comments under my name to this post just as they appeared on the recently blocked blog “Cordelia for Lear."

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...
Agreed that race realism is not dependent on reasons for climate changes, and there are some pitfalls in the 'mission creep' regarding this. It does seem to be a camp war there since liberals have sought to appease global financial interests with a climate-change tax scheme to provide them both a trough to drink at. So there is overlap that should not be ignored but neither should be homogenized.

The problem with the CO2 blame is that CO2 is barely, negligibly, higher in specific heat rating, diffusivity and only slightly higher in conductivity ratings. As only 1% of the atmosphere, and even if it were to raise to 5%, it would not be able to make any significant difference in the kinetic energy of the atmosphere. Its really a simple issue that is being ignored by both sides (the proponents have obvious reasons, the detractors Im not sure of). Atmospheric dynamics are exceedingly complicated, but general heat capacity is incredibly simple and really is all that is needed to squash that entire debate. Water vapor is far more significant and that should be considered far more heavily, but of course that cant be taxed and regulated, or used to 'redistribute' industrial preeminence, as easily as CO2.


You are absolutely correct that there is great misfortune in letting the left style itself as more concerned with the natural world, since nothing could be further from the truth, and it is the false dichotomy of ecological affections that has hurt the 'conservative' side too often; as in them being labeled, and even more tragically with many adopting the label of 'doesn't care about the environment' based on what lip service and unworkable schemes the leftist intelligista has concocted in the interest of conscripting tens of thousands of foot soldiers from universities and enviro-action groups to push a globalist agenda that ultimately has nothing at all to do with being ecologically responsible.

As to the bulk of your essay, it is excellent indeed, as well as challenging! With regard to the cancer mortality study I am always blown away by how the most obvious explanation, the (genetic) one that would be the first sought in any other context, is attacked by the left's anti-science machine as 'r-----'. It maybe not the genetic argument per se that they attack but do they really think (or really think that any rational person might buy the inconsistency) that heredity only applies to people with the same last name and not to thousands of years old reproductive groups with obvious pheno-typical characteristics? I would like to know if the lab scientists that work on these things have a completely different view of race when in the lab, and then have some sort of protocol and translation manifesto to speak to the media with, in the interest of political acceptance? I have wondered the same about neuro-scientists, who are faced with obvious racial trends in brain research but then have to ignore race when discussing them; even deny such a thing as race exists, when they know good and well it does. I have a hard time accepting that any of them really believe the 'what we want the general public to think' garbage that the self proclaimed *mainstream academia (public relations branch)* proselytizes. I do see that they bow heavily to pressure from the journalism and political science departments, both of whom loathe anything that can be measured and analyzed in any definite manner.
January 1, 2010 8:28 PM

nooffensebut said...

AndelimaSephirioth said...

@Gradiant

"I would like to know if the lab scientists that work on these things have a completely different view of race when in the lab, and then have some sort of protocol and translation manifesto to speak to the media with, in the interest of political acceptance? I have wondered the same about neuro-scientists, who are faced with obvious racial trends in brain research but then have to ignore race when discussing them; even deny such a thing as race exists, when they know good and well it does."

Pick up the book;
The IQ controversy.
It's about what Scientists really think when the media isn't there to expose them which will cause them to lose their financiers.
It's about how the media lets on the impression of a consensus and how that isn't the case at all.
January 1, 2010 10:09 PM

nooffensebut said...

mpresley said...

While this sort of research is important (i.e., research on racial and group differences), one must be clear to guard against biological reductionism in thinking. An electrochemical response is not the same thing as a thought, for instance. The two are certainly related (or associated), but are not the identical.
January 2, 2010 7:40 AM

nooffensebut said...

AndelimaSephirioth said...

" Kathy Albain led the study. An accompanying editorial by Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society decried "racial medical profiling," reminding the reader that race "is not a scientific categorization and is a construct rejected by anthropologists."

Homo Sapiens Sapiens, have just like everyother specie, sub-species (breeds, races). In IQ controversy it reads; A survey of American anthropologists found that 69 percent of them accepted the concept of biological race (Leiberman and Reynolds, 1996).

The reason as to why Humans dont have races or sub-species according to the AAA, is because it could lead to a possible holocaust. Im not joking, go and read it for yourselfs.

They also make the historical, inaccurate, claim that; Basically they claim that peoples all around the world never thought of race and never made social divisions based on race, that is, until about 500 years ago when Whites "invented" race-based divisions and racism in order to oppress non-Whites (in the lands which Europeans colonized). Next, the AAA claims this concept then spread to all peoples of the world (ie. this is the, "race is a social construct" theory).

So the AAA wants us to believe that, given 6000 years of global recorded history, no evidence from before the year 1490 exists suggesting that:

- wars were fought based on racial differences
- class distinctions/castes existed based on racial differences

Here's a direct quote from the AAA as to why race shouldn't be considered when talking about human groups:

During World War II, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler enjoined the expanded ideology of "race" and "racial" differences and took them to a logical end: the extermination of 11 million people of "inferior races" (e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, and so forth) and other unspeakable brutalities of the Holocaust.

Since human groups (breeds, races) have more outgroup variation and less ingroup variation than both dogs and cats; the human races are biologically more legitimate than the concept of different cat and dog breeds. But no one ever questions the existence of dog breeds or cat breeds.
January 2, 2010 8:03 AM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

So the AAA is concerned of 'what could be done' with such research but nowhere do they seemed to be concerned as to whether or not such research can explain and predict observation. So does the entire scientific method have some clause that says 'all this is true unless a race (other than White) is offended); and race does not exist' ? This kind of internal contradiction and denial of material evidence would count as dellusion, or even schizophrenia, in any other circumstance of psychological evaluation.
January 2, 2010 9:55 AM

nooffensebut said...

AndelimaSephirioth said...

I dont like it at all, political correctness gone to far.

Says alot about who's running the show though.

It sure as hell aint rightwingers or "Apolitical" "objective" people.

They're pretty sold on the liberal idea and it interferes with science and an honest presentation of reality to the public through massmedia. Massmedia which also happens to be liberal. I believe it was you, Gradient, who wrote something along the lines of how they (liberal scientists and liberals working within the media) to shut up about racial issues and racial differences until they've found a way to change our genes, until race, in a materialist sense, becomes irrelevant in regards to behaviour.

I think it's a very accurate statement.
January 2, 2010 10:59 AM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

Yes I said that and I have a strong suspicion that is very much the case. I would even expect that there are people with power strings on such programs as human genetic modification, who are trying to buy time until this is the case, ie that they can fianlly admit 'race exists' at the same time people are allowed to chose the 'racial traits' that they would like in their children. It will be an impossible charade for them to avoid race until then, however, but this is the same unreality machine that looks right at our faces all the time and says 'oh that stuff going on behind me, its not really going on', as if we are so want to believe its not that we willinglty accept the lie, even knowing it is a blatant lie. It's like being caught in the act of cheating in a marriage, as in caught naked in the bedroom, and then saying 'oh honey , its not what it looks like!' lol! So they will deny away even though we all know better, and in my observation less and less attention is being paid to the unreality industry by more and more people.

Regarding the future of genetic modiofication, it would in many ways vindicate the Indigenous European as the standard of excellence in both brains and beauty. Its not the route I would chose towards such vindication but I've got an iron in that fire anyway, juts in case. In many cases, and Im just speculating, people will likely chose a phenotype close to their own, if such a laboratory choice is availible. If they chose to 'borrow' someone else's traits, I have a strong conviction that we will be the most popular lender. I am certain that when wealthy people, who are the one's that would have access to this expensive technology, are able to chose gene sequences for things like brains they are going to want to copy those of the Northern people, not the tropical ones, unless they have some strange desire for less intelligent and more uncontrollable shildren. It is also the case that no matter how much the media tries to modify the standard of beauty that we Indigenous Europeans set, they can't ever do a very good job of it. So in a genetically modified human world, should one ever come to exist, we Indigenous Europeans will also be the standard for beauty, as we are now, and as the instinctive attraction all races have for our phenotype is unshakeable even with the best of efforts of Hollywood and every other pop culture outlet. So even though Im not so enthused about the entire 'GMH' thing I do have a hedge planted on Northern soil in the event such modification capacities come to pass.
January 2, 2010 6:14 PM

nooffensebut said...

With regard to carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, you raise some facts for which I believe global warming models already account. Water vapor is an important greenhouse gas that actually provides positive feedback for carbon dioxide warming. Here is a brief treatment of that issue. Here is another discussion from the same Web site showing experimental evidence of carbon dioxide's role in greenhouse warming. It has a link to a more detailed treatment of the issue from a peer-reviewed journal.

The main reason that I broached this subject was that it seems like the race realist movement is becoming a clearinghouse for "alternative" science. Gregory Cochran wants us to think that an infection influences homosexual tendencies. Half Sigma wants to discredit global warming and the usefulness of body mass index. It is really just a matter of time before the mainstream media causes one of these ideas to overshadow the core of race realism. Then, someone will either bring up race realism to discredit the novel idea or its proponent, or the failure of this novel idea will be turned against race realism for its association with the idea. After all, race realism is widely considered vulnerable to the slander of being "pseudoscience." On top of that possibility, I have to say that I do not agree with any race realist writer on everything, and I think the movement should include diversity of thought.

With regard to scientists who come across data affirming racial differences, I think they compartmentalize a great deal, and it seems like very few people today completely internalize radical political correctness. For instance, you might be surprised that Richard Dawkins in this video (at 38:00) made the point that humans could be bred as other animals have been bred to develop certain behavioral traits. Nevertheless, Dawkins repeatedly professes left-of-center politics. In fact, liberalism has an element of truth and resonance. As Lord Tennyson said, nature is "red in tooth and claw." Every emotionally mature person has had moments of vulnerability in which the ugliness of competition becomes its most salient feature. I have heard that Europeans have a more developed sense of the tragic than Americans, and I recall how Theodore Kaczynski tried, and I would say failed to discount liberalism by saying, "the leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser." A movement is not likely to gain traction if it betrays an image of an uncouth, uncaring person lacking in self-awareness.

With regard to genetic engineering, I certainly would support an innovation that could humanely decrease violent tendencies. That may be possible, but at this point in time, I think it is becoming less apparent that something as complicated as intelligence could be significantly changed by tweaking individual genes because, so far, it seems like no single gene accounts for more than 0.4% of IQ. I am starting to wonder if we shall ever understand the genetics of intelligence completely.

January 3, 2010 1:39 PM

nooffensebut said...

Elsinore said…

I think that the mantra that needs to become second nature to race realists is "racism doesn't kill, socialism kills."

Hitler shared his views of jews with other radical socialists such as Proudhon and Bakunin.

January 3, 2010 2:24 PM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

@ Nooffensebut

Neither one of those articles did anything but make an unsubstantiated claim regarding CO2. Sure there is a slight , very slight absorbtion and emission differnece. That is summed over in the specifc heat ratings. They are not identical, however they are not far apart either. CH4 is a bit more significant, H2O by far the most. I cannot accept the 'postive feedback' argument as anywhere near as strong as it would have to be and neither did anyone attempt to establish it as such. The CO2-gw crowd, and even the scientists, are repeating themselves when they should be trying to prove from first principles and assuming the entier burden of proof. I am aware of the existence of positive feedback as a result of H2O, but to make CO2 more significant, as in significant enough for us to pay close attention to, they are going to have to account for it in terms of both its ratio to other gasses, and its specific heat and conductivity ratings. Its a heat equation problem, not anything more. What is going on is more a result of regional temp shifts that then influence H2O regional evaporation rates, and CO2 is being thrown , almost as if its some given and point-aside, and that for political purposes only.

I do agree with the problem with race realism adopting pseudo science, and that is my problem with the anti evolution stuff, which I consider incredibly void of biology, and also the attempts to show that modern humans do not come out of africa first, as it is very clear we share markers with the San (though not much with the 'blacks' who diverged from the San before -80000 years, when the San type left Africa). Also we are closely related genetically to most North Asians and even American Indians via the K haplo-group. Im not bothered, for what it's worth to admit any of that and I don't see why I should be or should try to avoid it. When Afro-centrists say 'the first people came out of Afica' and 'you all come from Aficans' I say, my ancestors were the smart one's that left and walked for 60,000 years to get away from that hot dry desert, and as to the second point, I say not so much, Im more closely related to the San, and your ancestors murdered them and took their land and I want them to return it!

January 4, 2010 12:58 PM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said...

Even if all of that data is scientific fraud, no one seems to be disputing the rise of greenhouse gases or the greenhouse effect, itself. Therefore, even if anthropogenic global warming has not happened thus far, the greenhouse effect would presumably eventually overtake other influences on the climate.

The chart you showed there is a fraud. See the climate gate mail that states that the only thing they know for certain is that they have no idea what the temperature was over the last 100 years. The second part of the argument depends on CO2 having an effect that causes a positive feedback loop. If there was a medieval warm period, this theory is dead. Either way it depends on the arguments of the modelers who are just as forthcoming with the data as the paleoclimatologists. At this point it is smart to assume that modeling is just as rife with fraud as paleoclimatology; hence, no case for AGW.

The Climategate scandal demonstrates politically correct liberals, who happen to be climate scientists, behaving like politically correct liberals. I consider it a greater scandal that the right wing has allowed the left wing to steal the cause of ecology. Even the Nazis had a green wing.

There is no effective right wing. When one side has a list of things they want to do and the program of the other side is "don't do all of that at once", there is no real opposition, just a fake opposition that serves to channel the out group's (the right) rebellion into a harmless outlet and keeps the in group (the left) coherent and together.

The main reason that I broached this subject was that it seems like the race realist movement is becoming a clearinghouse for "alternative" science. Gregory Cochran wants us to think that an infection influences homosexual tendencies. Half Sigma wants to discredit global warming and the usefulness of body mass index. It is really just a matter of time before the mainstream media causes one of these ideas to overshadow the core of race realism.

The real problem is that our form of government is unworkable and growing more and more insane.

People say that immigration is our number one problem because everything else can be fixed whereas immigration changes the who the citizens so is both irreversible and does more damage later. This is missing a fundamental point. The number one problem is that our government has incentives to harm its subjects and will manufacture excuses to do so. One of the main ways it does so is through HBD denial. Another is through AGW. Yet another is through bad medical research and bad dietary advice.

These issues are all linked because they all go back to the same point; our government is badly badly broken and getting worse. Once you realize that this is true for one issue, you are much less resistant to believing this is true of the next issue.

January 4, 2010 3:56 PM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said:
“See the climate gate mail that states that the only thing they know for certain is that they have no idea what the temperature was over the last 100 years.”

The most prominent phrase from Climategate has become “hide the decline.” This is actually the most innocuous revelation, which comes from a ten-year-old email about tree-ring data. It is so ironic that anti-environmentalists would rest so much of their skepticism on the failure of trees to grow more. Who are the real tree-huggers? In fact, there are multiple ways that man’s effect on the environment could cause trees to fail to grow. When data in the 1990s seemed to suggest that the universe was younger than the stars within it, why did no one call it “Cosmology-gate”?

Steve Johnson said:
“At this point it is smart to assume that modeling is just as rife with fraud as paleoclimatology; hence, no case for AGW.”

This is the epistemological dilemma to which I was referring. If one does not trust science, then who cares about evidence? You would prefer to trust big oil and hackers. By the way, is anyone naïve enough to think that the timing of the release of these emails was coincidental? The hacker was sophisticated enough to have apparently used a computer in Turkey and a server in Russia. If the music industry would be willing to engage in payola scandals to determine what songs play on the radio, how hard is it to imagine that some of these “skeptics” are just industry marionettes?

The radical liberals at the Wall Street Journal want to change the composition of both the atmosphere and the US citizenry for money. Now, imagine if carbon dioxide emissions had no relationship to economic activity. Under those circumstances, if someone polled you about whether you wanted to change the composition of the atmosphere, would you feel positively disposed toward that proposition? Would you consider it a conservative point of view?

Steve Johnson said:
“The number one problem is that our government has incentives to harm its subjects and will manufacture excuses to do so. One of the main ways it does so is through HBD denial. Another is through AGW.”

Why does the government do that? Is it a Jewish cabal? Are they Satan worshipers? At least I understand what we are up against with race denial: the unity of mankind is an emotionally compelling notion. Global warming skepticism is infused with expressions of conspiratorial schizotypal personality disorder. Global warming hysteria is a eugenics plot? Really?

January 5, 2010 3:01 AM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said:
“Yet another is through bad medical research and bad dietary advice.”

So the government wants to kill us by getting us to lose weight? Here is the latest study on the consequences of being overweight. Of course, body mass index is overly simplistic and, in some cases, an inappropriate measure of health, but for epidemiology and for the vast majority who are not body builders, it is extremely useful. It may be that in certain situations, such as when dying of cancer, carrying extra weight would be helpful. (Although obese people tend to develop some cancers younger, so the comparisons can be misleading.)

I agree with most of the sociological, political, environmental, and economic arguments for restricting immigration, but I also tend to admire most immigrants for being more disciplined than Americanized Americans. Immigrants have lower rates of obesity upon arrival, and the length of time they live here is associated with their obesity rate. If one spends time with US military personnel, one will also encounter a cultural divide between these relatively fit people and their civilian counterparts. It should be no surprise that a 32-year Harvard study found that obesity spreads like a virus because letting oneself go has cultural and moral import.

January 5, 2010 3:04 AM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said...

The most prominent phrase from Climategate has become “hide the decline.” This is actually the most innocuous revelation, which comes from a ten-year-old email about tree-ring data.

That may be the most prominent but was not the one I was talking about. This is the one to which I was referring:

Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what
the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).


Quote is from this mail:

http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=356&filename=1062592331.txt

and it gets worse not better if you read that whole mail.

It is so ironic that anti-environmentalists would rest so much of their skepticism on the failure of trees to grow more. Who are the real tree-huggers? In fact, there are multiple ways that man’s effect on the environment could cause trees to fail to grow.

Uh, what? The reason for the skepticism is that there is a divergence between the tree ring data, which is used for the time period before which there are temperature records, and the temperature record data. If they didn't agree when there was overlap, why should anyone assume they agreed when there was no overlap. If you could depend on the tree ring data then AGW is dead as a theory because it shows that the current temperature is not unprecedented; therefore the postulated positive feedback loop which has to occur is impossible (i.e., the temperature is well within the past range which didn't cause a positive feedback loop). Remember that this is necessary because everyone agrees, even the frauds who practice "climate science", that CO2 is insufficent to warm the atmosphere to any significant degree. The AGW hypothesis rests on the assertion that an increase in CO2 causes a slight increase in temperature which then causes changes in other climate variables which lead to significantly increased warming.

Plus the fact that these people hide data and respond to FOIA requests by destroying data. All of this leads to the assumption that the other evidence that they are hiding is fraudulent as well.

None of this has anything to with who's a tree hugger.

This is the epistemological dilemma to which I was referring. If one does not trust science, then who cares about evidence? You would prefer to trust big oil and hackers.

I trust science. I don't trust any person who calls themselves a scientist. They don't gain my trust if they take over a whole discipline and rig peer review to only publish papers that agree with the party line. Let's flip the question around. Do you trust science that came out of the Soviet Union? All of it?

By the way, is anyone naïve enough to think that the timing of the release of these emails was coincidental? The hacker was sophisticated enough to have apparently used a computer in Turkey and a server in Russia. If the music industry would be willing to engage in payola scandals to determine what songs play on the radio, how hard is it to imagine that some of these “skeptics” are just industry marionettes?

Has anyone disputed the authenticity of the mails? That really settles this question. If your worst enemy photographs you murdering a bound and gagged 8 year old child and you don't dispute the authenticity of the photograph aren't you still a murderer?

continued

January 5, 2010 11:39 AM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said...

In addition, you're postulating a conspiracy for which there is no evidence to cover up for the fact that there is a conspiracy that has been operating in the open and just had its emails published. Can anyone doubt that paleoclimatology is a conspiracy? They hide results. They threaten to cutoff NY Times reporters if they publish information from skeptics (mail is from Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois):

Shame on you for this gutter reportage. This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.

The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists. Of course, your blog is your blog. But, I sense that you are about to experience the 'Big Cutoff' from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.


This wasn't from the East Anglia mails, it was sent to an email distribution list that included a climate skeptic. http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2009/12/climate-scientist-to-revkin-we-can-lo-longer-trust-you-to-carry-water-for-us.php
Sending the mail to a distribution list sends a message that this doesn't just apply to the one reporter. This sound like honest science?

Why does the government do that? Is it a Jewish cabal? Are they Satan worshipers?

First you have to acknowledge that government does, in fact, work tirelessly to damage its subjects. After that you can consider why. The short version is that the more problems there and the worse those problems are the more people who work for the government, directly and indirectly, get to have power and influence in managing those problems.

So the government wants to kill us by getting us to lose weight?

No, government actually recommends things that make you more overweight. Low fat diets pretty clearly cause weight increases and are the sole dietary advice that comes out of official channels. For the short version google "what if it's all been a big fat lie" for Gary Taubes' NY Times article. If you want the very long version read Good Calories Bad Calories.

I'm leaving aside the arguments about increasing obesity when immigrants live in the US for long periods of time as irrelevant.

January 5, 2010 11:40 AM

nooffensebut said...

Steve Johnson said:
“The reason for the skepticism is that there is a divergence between the tree ring data, which is used for the time period before which there are temperature records, and the temperature record data.”

Exactly. Some northern hemisphere trees had tree rings that diverged from expected growth in a warming climate. You assume that phenomena like global dimming and water stress could not explain this. Apparently you did not even know that the tree-ring data diverged because the trees failed to grow more. Would you trust tree rings better than actual temperature readings to describe the temperatures that a region experiences?

Steve Johnson said:
“That may be the most prominent but was not the one I was talking about.”

Oh, but both emails are about reconciling instrument data with proxy data like tree-rings. The more I look at the Climategate emails, the more I realize how dumb the supposed controversy is. The published piece by Briffa and Osborn that comes after this email publicly admitted that “if the true natural variability of NH temperature is indeed greater than is currently accepted, the extent to which recent warming can be viewed as ‘unusual’ would need to be reassessed.” If all climate data is fraud, why do climate scientists invent dilemmas such as regression-based models underestimating proxy variation? You are trying to attack scientists for acknowledging uncertainty by reaching back to 2003 emails. As Michael Mann just pointed out, 2003 reconstructions “only go back 1000 years.” However, “in more recent work, such as the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007, the paleoclimate reconstructions stretch nearly 2000 years back in time.”

Steve Johnson said:
“Has anyone disputed the authenticity of the mails?”

The question is, did the emails reveal anything new, or did they just recapitulate old issues with impolitic phraseology? The issue that most concerned me was the potential manipulation of the peer-review process because I have seen first-hand how political correctness can create a bubble of ignorance. However, I see that the response to the Soon and Baliunas paper was hardly a secret, as the chief editor resigned in protest. Perhaps I was unduly harsh.

Steve Johnson said:
“Can anyone doubt that paleoclimatology is a conspiracy?”

I would consider the Overlap Group’s sharing of applicant data and elimination of merit scholarships a conspiracy. I would consider the 9/11 terrorist attacks a radical Muslim conspiracy. This was no conspiracy. These scientists wanted to pick their debates and their venues. I, too, am not interested in debating evolution every time I say something having to do with evolution. You consider it a conspiracy because you want the scientists to continuously defend the state of the research. The same thing happens to race realist science. Otis Brawley accused Dr. Albain of “racial medical profiling.” If Albain or these climate scientists were studying fruit flies, ignorant people would leave them alone.

Steve Johnson said:
“Low fat diets pretty clearly cause weight increases and are the sole dietary advice that comes out of official channels. For the short version google ‘what if it's all been a big fat lie’ for Gary Taubes' NY Times article. If you want the very long version read Good Calories Bad Calories.”

I personally debated a doctor who works in nutrition on this very subject, which is not the same as the “fat acceptance” movement that radical feminists and Half Sigma promote. I actually think that the new consensus is that the best diet is the Mediterranean diet, which contains some healthy fats.

January 5, 2010 5:58 PM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

@ noofensebut

I dont know if you are ignoring my point or are considering it to the point that its made you reconsider the CO2 factor entirely. I would like that it has. The lack of rigor in establishing CO2 as a major contriubuting factor, one that if controlled via restricting human emissions, would have any effect on planet temperature averages, is a lack of rigor that crosses well into pseudo science, even into faith based agenda.

I have no use for temperature charts and tree rings, those are red herrings. If ithe planet is warming or cooling is not the issus, we know it does both. IO also care little about climate gate, though it does show the faith based attitude on a lot of this supposed scientific investigation, and the intimidation and ostricizing that occurs when one is not 'of the gw faith'. All that is still tangential to the real point, which is that H2O, CO2, N2, O2 all need to be accountd for in partial differential fashion , then each isolated and controlled for in lab tank experiments; then they have to be acounted for in planetary models. Nobody seems good enough to do any of this, and needless to explain, I dont have the resources or anything near the math and programming skills required. I will bet that what will be found is that H2O is the big culprit, and its also the biggest factor in tree ring differences. It is likely that areas of the planet that are being 'desert-ified' are increasing daytime temps and that combined with drier air is perturbing atmospheric currents. Oceanic evaporation will be effected and so will nightime temps in turn be modified in selected regions. None of the coordination of climate monitoring is good enough to follow all this yet and even still the planet

....has been cooling for the last 8 years, completely in defiance of every prediction gw ewver made 10 years ago.


No Im not going to give into pseudo science and buy into this gw idea, which can no longer be called (never should have been called) a 'theory' because its been wrong in tits predictions, and no 'theory' is allowed to be wrong and still be called a 'theory'! Its a failed hypothesis that has caught the imaginations of people like Maurice Strong at the UN, who have had agendas to make use of whatever 'gloabal crisis' long before this gw thing ever was spoken of.

Still none of the conspiratorial pursuits really matters in determining the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere's general heat capacity. That is a very simple issue and does not need all the effort currently being allocated to the charade. H2O is the big and overshadowing player here, in both its lack and excess. CO2 is a tag along 'higher order correction' if you will. I will not accept it being thrown in so casually and without the slightest real substantiation, as good science or even science at all.

January 6, 2010 7:04 AM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

fast typing, lots of typos, Im not even going to fix them, lol I think its clear what I was trying to type.

January 6, 2010 7:05 AM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said:
“All that is still tangential to the real point, which is that H2O, CO2, N2, O2 all need to be accountd for in partial differential fashion , then each isolated and controlled for in lab tank experiments; then they have to be acounted for in planetary models.”

It is difficult to know just how to respond to what seems like a rejection of the inductive logic of the scientific process. This is not Newtonian physics, and the reductive demands you are making would negate the value of IQ research and the entire field of genetics, if not all life sciences.

Gradient said:
“I will bet that what will be found is that H2O is the big culprit, and its also the biggest factor in tree ring differences.”

If you would be open to looking at climate-model data, your hypothesis of the water vapor effect on climate is directly addressed by this link. You can even download the model yourself. Water vapor accounts for about twice as much of the greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide, but it is a feedback, not a forcing because it only remains in the atmosphere about 10 days. The author also responds to the criticism (#44) that models are no substitute for lab experiments. Plus, he cites this study (his link is broken) that uses the Mount Pinatubo eruption as a sort of experimental evidence for the model’s representation of water vapor.

Gradient said:
“cooling for the last 8 years”

I have not heard the 8-year cooling claim before. Perhaps this is an outdated reference to the 1998 outlier, but 2005 was not significantly different in global mean temperature from 1998. I would say that there has been a 3-year cooling trend that seems to correspond to a recently ended 2-year period of the lowest level of sunspot activity since 1913. This creates quite a dilemma for those who deny global warming because 1913 was SO MUCH COLDER! By way of Dr. Wiki, I came across an interesting study that determined the “warming from solar forcing is 16% and 36% of the greenhouse warming with the LBB and HS reconstructions, respectively.”

Gradient said:
“fast typing, lots of typos, Im not even going to fix them, lol I think its clear what I was trying to type.”

Oh, that’s alright. I just wish I knew what you meant by “tits predictions.”

January 6, 2010 7:10 PM

nooffensebut said...

Gradient said...

Prior to looking at the links, I will respond to the following:

"It is difficult to know just how to respond to what seems like a rejection of the inductive logic of the scientific process. This is not Newtonian physics, and the reductive demands you are making would negate the value of IQ research and the entire field of genetics, if not all life sciences."

Yes it is gas mechanics! There is no need for non linear dynamics in determining how much heat capacity CO2 adds. None at all. There is plenty of room for non linear analysis in atmospheric current predictions, but that is not needed to sum over the plantary atmosphere's heat capacity.

Yes, unfortunately for those that would like to obfuscate the simplicity of gas behavior with improper analogies to neuro-metrics and bio-physics, and other far more complex issues and fields, atmospheric heat capacity is basic gas physics (very basic) and basic heat capacities, this is a simple issue. H20 stays around for only 10 days? Yes but its a far more heavy and constantly adding factor in the equation.

I'm glad you appreciate the accidental entente'!

January 7, 2010 4:54 PM

M said...

In relation to the prospect of genetic modification for intelligence, I'd recommend James J Lee's review of Richard Nisbett's book.

and Individual Differences Volume 48, Issue 2, January 2010,

Sara said...

hi

Scharlach said...

Dr. Nooffensebut,

I'm collecting some of the best in HBD blogging for an online journal, which will be edited and converted into .pdf and .mobi files. I'd like very much to include this post. You can contact me at the following address with your answer or questions:

scharlach1@hushmail.com

Thanks.

Mr. Rational said...

It's hard to go back through this copied comment stream to see exactly who said what, but I have to note the (deliberate?) attempt to confuse gas heat capacity with IR opacity.  The R-value of an insulated wall has nothing to do with the heat capacity of said wall, so this can only be a deliberate attempt to mislead.  The people who do this cannot lack the knowledge of what they're doing, and should be held fully and criminally responsible for the consequences.