Wednesday, March 13, 2024

AAAS Science goes Woke on Genetics

AAAS Science magazine reports:
For as long as the concept of race has existed, racial prejudice has been justified on hereditary grounds (1, 2). Justifications of prejudice often misappropriate the work of Mendel, who first expounded a scientific model of inheritance by breeding peas (3). Today, our understanding of inheritance has moved far beyond Mendel, and insights from genomics refute the prejudiced idea that racial inequality is determined by genes (1). Even so, many believe that inequality is genetic because they are biased by an inaccurate conception of race called “genetic essentialism” (1, 2, 4). We present data from a randomized trial to argue that if teachers move genetics instruction beyond Mendel and toward more complex genomics concepts—what we call “humane genomics education”—they can protect students from believing in unscientific notions of genetic essentialism and support their scientifically accurate understanding of race as a social construction. ...

If teachers move beyond Mendel to instruct students about the complexities of contemporary genomics concepts for the purpose of refuting genetic essentialism, they can help students understand that racial disparities are not unreal, unimportant, or the product of genes. Rather, they are socially constructed.

It goes on to explain that many students learn that Blacks are susceptible to sickle cell anemia. It argues that this leads to a false belief in racial essentialism, as some non-blacks have the disease, and some Blacks do not carry the faulty gene.

It is a stupid point because sickle-cell anemia is a predominantly Black disease, and is explained by African ancestry.

We contend that genetics education needs to move beyond Mendel and toward the complexity of human genomics if it is to prevent the development of genetic essentialism (1). To understand why, consider the following three genomics concepts (D to F): (D) Roughly 0.1% of the human genome varies between individuals, and when population geneticists partition this variable DNA, they find that most variation occurs within geographic populations (~95%) and much of the genetic variation that occurs across such populations (~5%) consists of common alleles that vary in frequency (10). If “races” are defined as geographic populations, then the essentialist assumption that there is little to no genetic variation among individuals of the same race — and thus that most genetic variation is between races — is wrong.
No, this is a straw man. No one denies genetic variation within a race. There are smart Whites and dumb Whites. There is huge genetic variation within Africa. And there are many genetic differences between Whites and Black Africans.
(E) Also, social disparities between races involve differences in complex traits. Because complex traits are multifactorial and influenced by interactions between genes and environments (12), it is not scientifically accurate to claim that racial inequality is determined by genetic variation alone (1). (F) Indeed, humans inherit their genomes along with their environments, and scientists have not yet developed convincing or ethical methods to disentangle gene-environment covariance (1).
There are 100s of convincing and ethical papers disentangling genes and environments. Many find traits that are maybe 50% genetic, with the remaining covariance being environment or something else.

They want you to believe that differences between the races is attributable to racism. But that is false. A great many differences have been proved to be genetic, or maybe 50% genetic.

Another Science article:

Sample textbook passages that illustrate essentialist codes

“You might be surprised to learn that the ability to roll your tongue is an inherited trait. Being able to roll the tongue is likely to be dominant over not being able to roll it. Characteristics such as tongue rolling are called discrete, because they tend to fall into distinct, or discrete, categories. Either you can roll your tongue or you cannot. Either you are male or female. Either you have dimples or you do not.”

Apparently this analogy is misleading, as tongue-rolling is not completely binary, as sex is. And while your sex is either male or female, you may choose a gender identity that is not binary.

This is our leading science journal. It has gone woke. There is very little scientific content in these articles, and much of it is wrong.

There really are genetic differences between the sexes and the races. Science research should be illuminating those differences, both qualitatively and quantitively. Instead, they teach the lie that the differences are socially constructed.

It is appalling to see a science journal trying to say there is no truth in a general statement, because of contrived exceptions. Science would never get anywhere with that attitude. Consider an accepted statement like "CO2 emissions cause global warming." It is not refuted by finding some place on Earth that got colder.

Or "the Earth is round" is mostly true, even though there are mountains. Even statements that seem absolutely true, like "energy is conserved" have exceptions, if not carefully interpreted.

When someone says human races do not exist because some people are of mixed race, he is just displaying a kindergarten ignorance of how science can make qualitative statements.


CFT said...

If you want to use an example of something that isn't refuted.... don't use something as an example than has been refuted. "CO2 emissions cause global warming..." Isn't something you can claim with certainty as the science isn't settled at all unless you are a leftist or grant seeking, and is as loaded politically and financially as the whole business with Woke Inc.

When you see something claimed as scientific or unquestionable by a political faction, you should question, and then look twice and dig deeper. Scientific fraud is running rampant, and the governments that fund such science have their own agendas, the truth not being one of them.

"Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it."
Samuel Johnson

MikeAdamson said...

I understand your point but I still think it's poor form to call out our host like that.