Zachslebachlsegooglebop differentiation

fringeelements’ last video on race for the foreseeable future.

One bizarre argument which fringeelements confronts is the Loring Brace argument that populations couldn’t have differentiated, genetically, with respect to general intelligence. This argument, which Jensen debunked numerously years ago, is apparently being recycled — most likely in response to the clear evidence of Zachslebachlsegooglebop differentiation. It recently crawled out of the dustbin and presented itself to me in a discussion over at RichardDawkins.net. The version which I encountered ran:

If human intelligence is an adaptation to living within a cultural system and learning symbolic forms of communication (language), then what kind of selection pressures could have resulted in some cultural systems requiring more intelligence than others? The experiences of ethnographers during the past hundred odd years has ultimately led anthropologists to conclude that there is is no basis for the notion that the languages and cultures of people living within technologically “simple” economies, such as hunting and gathering, require less brain power than the languages and cultures of “modern” civilization.”

I pointed out, in response, that by this same argument there couldn’t be variance within a population — after all, living within a “modern” or pre-modern civilization should require no less brain power than living within that same civilization — and yet there is a tremendous amount. To get my point across, of course, I had to write the argument premise by premise and show the exact deductive error.

Dealing with these absurd, cleverly silly arguments is incredibly frustrating. And, I imagine, this is why Ryan has decided to take a holiday.

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6 Responses to Zachslebachlsegooglebop differentiation

  1. Kiwiguy says:

    Wow, that is an outstanding discussion thread on Richard Dawkins.net. I hadn’t visited that site for a couple of years, I occasionally look at the rationalskeptism site. That had a very long discussion about whether race was real which became rather tedious.

  2. Kiwiguy says:

    Who was the anthropology net author you were referring to from the straight dope thread?

  3. KG says:

    Another recent discussion of race with an anthropology blogger chiming in with references to “race reconciled”.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/02/non-overlapping-magisteria-for-the-social-and-biological/#comments

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