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Old 03-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Race and intelligence

Kind of a taboo topic, but do you think that race has any sort of reflection on how intelligent a person is? I'm not talking about this on an individual basis, but the race as a whole.

I'm curious to this, because after all, different races obviously evolved differently and at different speeds, after we were separated by continents. This would explain different cultures. Lots of the people of asian descent look more neotenized, and less neanderthal which would suggest that, from a physical standpoint at least, they've evolved more than others. True or not?

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
Kind of a taboo topic, but do you think that race has any sort of reflection on how intelligent a person is? I'm not talking about this on an individual basis, but the race as a whole.

I'm curious to this, because after all, different races obviously evolved differently and at different speeds, after we were separated by continents. This would explain different cultures. Lots of the people of asian descent look more neotenized, and less neanderthal which would suggest that, from a physical standpoint at least, they've evolved more than others. True or not?

Your thoughts?
It's an interesting question and one that doesn't go without debate, but as there are no universally defined meanings of race or intelligence—it's also impossible to make any kind of definitive conclusions.

Sociological influences aside, the real evidence for this would be found in race genetics. While there is evidence that races vary in susceptibility to physically disabling conditions and diseases, there is currently no evidence to suggest that race significantly affects brain development to the point of decreased capability of intelligence.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's an interesting question and one that doesn't go without debate, but as there are no universally defined meanings of race or intelligence—it's also impossible to make any kind of definitive conclusions.
Definitely true on both counts. Even if it is true, it'd be impossible to prove because with whatever method you'd use to test, you'd have to account for test bias, environment that one grew up in (and the education they received), culture they were surrounded by, etc. Maybe in the future we'll have a computer that scans the brain and spits out a number that denotes intelligence, but for now it's pretty much impossible to determine.

I definitely think that it has potential to be true though that certain races are more intelligent at certain things than others, it's all how you measure that intelligence. The migration out of Africa, and the resulting differences in our makeup (while not vast) does show that we evolved differently.

Paloma's response to me only proved that some people are unwilling to discuss this kind of science without getting emotional (understandably). Which is why I'm deliberately going to avoid saying any one race is dumb (plus I don't think it's true; like you said intelligence can be measure in so many ways).
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sociological influences aside, the real evidence for this would be found in race genetics. While there is evidence that races vary in susceptibility to physically disabling conditions and diseases, there is currently no evidence to suggest that race significantly affects brain development to the point of decreased capability of intelligence.
Yep the closest thing we have is IQ tests, a very poor indicator I think we can both agree.

This is more a hypothetical draw your own conclusions thread, based on information that we DO have.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
Kind of a taboo topic, but do you think that race has any sort of reflection on how intelligent a person is? I'm not talking about this on an individual basis, but the race as a whole.

I'm curious to this, because after all, different races obviously evolved differently and at different speeds, after we were separated by continents. This would explain different cultures. Lots of the people of asian descent look more neotenized, and less neanderthal which would suggest that, from a physical standpoint at least, they've evolved more than others. True or not?

Your thoughts?
A couple points to consider:
  • What is a race? Until you can define that, there isn't much to discuss here.
  • Neanderthals were not a phase of our evolution, they were an evolutionary cousin which coexisted with us. So your reference to them is kind of a non sequitur.
  • There is no such thing as "more evolved".
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A couple points to consider:
  • What is a race? Until you can define that, there isn't much to discuss here.
  • Geographical ancestry I suppose? Physical traits that link a race like how a coroner determine' race on a skeleton by distinguishing physical features
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  • Neanderthals were not a phase of our evolution, they were an evolutionary cousin which coexisted with us. So your reference to them is kind of a non sequitur.
  • I'm not an expert on evolution by any means, but weren't neanderthals (who fall under the grouping of archaic homo sapiens) our ancestors?

    Archaic Homo sapiens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If not, who are our most recent ascendants?
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  • There is no such thing as "more evolved".
Evolved further than our ancestors is what I mean, the less the human looks and acts like it's homo erectus ancestors.


Good questions by the way. Got me thinking, which is the goal of this thread.
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Last edited by Tuna; 03-21-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Also: Neanderthals are our ancestors, study finds - White Coat Notes - Boston.com
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
  • Neanderthals were not a phase of our evolution, they were an evolutionary cousin which coexisted with us. So your reference to them is kind of a non sequitur.
Well not entirely. While they may have evolved separately there is evidence of interbreeding.

Neanderthals, Humans Interbred—First Solid DNA Evidence
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