LaughingMan0X vs Sam Owl - Sam's Last Arguments and LaughingMan's Bullshit

[NOTE: This page was created in early December. Since then Sam's health has improved, but I've shut down his YouTube channel (where half of this took place) and I've updated some of the arguments to address contentions from commenters, or revise things I overlooked. The contents of this page are subject to change without notice, so be warned that if you find something on this page now, it may not be here if you look again in a month.

Also, this post does not get into the topic of whether or not race is a valid classification for humans. If you want more information on that discussion, click here.]

The following is going to be a thorough response to a video made by LaughingMan0X, who we will now refer to for the sake of brevity as “John,” on YouTube in response to my good friend and colleague, Sam Owl, on the topic of race realism, specifically over the issue of racial genetic variation and its role or lack thereof in intelligence. Sam Owl has recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and has had multiple anxiety attacks within the past several days. This being said, I have no doubt in my mind that Sam would create a response to John if he were in any position to do so; however, in order to ensure that his health does not deteriorate, and he does not incur upon himself any more stress than need be, Sam has abandoned his channel and declined to make a response. Luckily though, I have been able to acquire the script Sam was working on before making the decision to not make any more videos on YouTube. Using this and the knowledge I have acquired from researching the topic, I have taken it upon myself to finish what Sam started. It is important to note that the majority of the arguments made in this refutation are not mine, but Sam’s. I have simply compiled them and organized them in a way that challenges John and his pompous, dishonest assertions.

First, let us get personal convictions out of the way. As I have observed, John is one of the most disingenuous, hypocritical and pretentious individuals I have encountered in quite some time. He furiously attempts to drag his opposition’s credibility through the mud, all the while being especially pedantic in what he decides to address. In Sam’s “Signing Off” video, he stated that he respected John for the extensive responses he made on the topic, showing that he was very dedicated to the subject. Such ardent dedication, in other words dogmatism, is not worth any of my respect, and thus I have no issues personally attacking John for his shameful behavior and explicitly stated intent to be an asshole. For this reason, I will not make any direct comments to John in this response, and will avoid directly quoting him. The purposes of this response are for the inquisitive public and for the closure of Sam’s viewers and friends, not for the closed-minded individuals who I am opposing.

The first 20 minutes of John’s video response is nothing more than as I said above – an attempt to drag Sam's credibility through the mud in such a way that is hypocritical to many of his own complaints, such as Sam making assumptions of his opposition’s intent. This was never an honest or civil debate, between either of them. John’s first video response was riddled with hasty assumptions of Sam’s knowledge, confidence, and intent, which further proves that such civil discourse was never intended even from the beginning. That doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I intend to make this response as shameless and direct as possible; for anyone who feels that an amateurish debate over YouTube with a person who enables the sickening behavior which surrounds his channel among his associates requires cordiality is delusional and naïve. To avoid battering the gates of drama in this debate any further, I will ignore the accusations made against Sam and will get straight to the substantive points in the debate.

The format will be under subject headlines. I will identify what aspect of the debate I will be discussing via subject name in brackets, and will respond to each in as much time as is necessary. I will avoid any trivial/insignificant points in the debate in order to save time and to maintain interest, although for those of you following by scanning John’s video, I will attempt to keep the subjects in that chronological order. I will cite sources in a partially annotated bibliography (that is, the annotations will be excluded if I explain the studies in this refutation), except for information which can be easily found in a Google search, or is common knowledge. If requested, I can provide sources for any claims that were not already cited. In the bibliography I will also include studies which aren't mentioned in this refutation, but are relevant to the debate over IQ. Those are the ones which will be annotated. So, let’s get started.

[Monoamine Oxidase-A]

John argued against Sam’s point regarding MAO-A stating that his reference was a gene atlas, a secondary/tertiary source (which one it is, I'm unsure, I've heard both), and that gene expression is irrelevant.

A gene atlas is not the same as a world atlas in that a gene atlas is used as primary reference by scientists for the sake of ease and comfort. Gene atlases cite transcript data as reference for their summary data. Private analysis and conglomeration of these transcripts would be tedious and far too time consuming, thus gene atlases are the best way to get an accurate measure of the transcript data with much less work involved. Bearing this in mind, as one commenter has noted, I think it's interesting that John criticized Sam's use of a secondary/tertiary source, but John refers to Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns for many of his claims. We'll get to this later, but for now, it's a hypocritical nitpick that's worth mentioning.

Continuing on, Sam’s reference of gene atlases, both for non-coding RNA and protein encoding RNA in his videos is anything but irrelevant. A friend of mine who is a veterinarian and biologist explained to me exactly why this is, and so I will reword her response here. Simply put, gene expression charts show the default frequency at which a gene synthesizes proteins in different parts of the body. Gene expression levels are used by scientists as a means of accurately predicting how a particular gene affects the observable traits, or phenotypes, of whatever organism you are monitoring – the case in point being humans, although there is genomic expression data for rats and mice as well for MAO-A. Gene expression can offer predictions for what phenotypes are expressed as a result of protein synthesis from a particular gene, and to what extent. If this particular enzyme shows high gene expression in the liver, but low expression in the brain, then it is justifiable to say that the greatest appearance of a particular phenotype should be in the area of higher gene expression – in this case, the liver. To suggest that gene expression is irrelevant based on the possibility of a "match in the forest" is nothing more than an ad hoc explanation and offers no legitimate reason as to why Sam’s rebuttal of MAO-A’s potential effect on criminal behavior is inaccurate. Similarly, even if we were to concede that the change in alleles in the promoter region of MAO-A could result in differences in gene expression, it's a moot point; as Sam pointed out, statistical analysis of different races reveals that with the available data, we can't reliably assert any differences between groups. As such, it's important to note that even if MAO-A were irrefutably linked to criminal behavior, it doesn't speak to the complex interaction that may be required with the environment or other non-genetic factors, or the potential existence of another "violence gene," or that the existence of this gene is a result of different evolutionary changes between races.

Lastly, when something is referred to as a “single-gene theory,” that does not imply that the person who suggested the theory also proposed that the gene is an exclusive explanation for whatever result they are testing for. When the liberal gene was proposed, nobody said that it was the only explanation for why someone is liberal. It’s called a single-gene theory because it is testing for a single gene. If you were to represent it in terms of a null and alternative hypothesis, your null would be for MAO-A alone. If you’re testing for one gene, it’s a single-gene theory, at least in the manner Sam and I use it. These tests, as said, are almost always tried and refuted.

[Correlation Coefficient between Race and Crime]

In John’s video, he displayed a correlation coefficient, calculated by analyzing the rate of crime committed by race as a percentage of their population in order to provide evidence for the claim that the more black or Hispanic people there are, the more crime there is. Unfortunately for him, all he did was, once again, show that blacks and Hispanics commit more crime on average than whites. Nobody has denied this thus far. What John is incurring upon himself is the need to provide a rigorous experimental test which tests the claim that introducing blacks or Hispanics to a population increases that area’s crime rate. In his original video, John said that his data remained unchanged when accounting for poverty, education or socioeconomic status, but provided no evidence for this. In fact, this suggestion goes against years of research in criminology, and thus I would be surprised if John's argument weren't either framed improperly, or simply baseless.

For the international crime correlation, John states that he referred to INTERPOL data. What he actually did was refer to a study which examined INTERPOL data, entitled: “Cross-National Variation in Violent Crime Rates: Race, r-K Theory and Income." Let’s examine how this study was conducted.

Rushton and Whitney assigned three categories or groups for the countries they examined. Countries fell within these categories if they qualified as being 90% one race, where race is defined by the three categories used. The three categories were East Asian, European and African/Black Caribbean. The sample sizes for each of these categories were 7, 45 and 22 respectively. The undersampling of East Asian and African/Black Caribbean countries is to be noted. We can also see that there was deliberate oversampling of the European countries. In this study, many non-European countries were still classified as being European, including but not limited to Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Chile. The low crime rates of some of these countries could further skew the data until it is pretty much meaningless for its original intentions. Also, it is important to note that the only control Rushton and Whitney used to account for socioeconomic status and poverty was the GDP of the countries observed.

This is a spectacularly inaccurate way to account for such factors, since a country’s GDP does not necessarily reflect other factors such as poverty. For example, according to the International Monetary Fund, Colombia’s GDP in 2012 was $369,018 in millions of USD, while the country’s poverty rate was 37.2% as of 2 years prior according to the World Bank and the CIA. I would suggest when reflecting on this study, also, to consider that regardless of whether or not INTERPOL uses standard definitions for the crimes they refer to, the cultural barriers between countries can alter one’s understanding of what it means to be seriously assaulted, for example, or whether or not there are any justifications for what happened to them. Despite the standard definitions as well, a cultural understanding of a crime based on how it's defined within their society can confound the results.

To me it seems that this study is pretty misleading, but this is only the beginning of data misrepresentation that exists within John’s video. We will see deliberate misrepresentation of studies and information even on John’s part as we continue on. Before we do that, however, there is something that needs to be addressed.

[Cold Winters Theory]

I believe concerning the validity of the Cold Winters Theory, another person on YouTube made a response to FringeElements regarding the environmental model used, and I feel it’s only appropriate to allude to this because FringeElements was another realist who liked to make obnoxiously long video responses that took up everyone’s time only to prove that he cherry picked data and really didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Bearing this in mind, let us examine the facts which are conveniently overlooked in Lynn’s theory.

The Cold Winters Theory relies on the hypothesis that because the cold climates of Europe during modern human evolution required planning to store food and create sustainable living conditions, these pressures may have selected the Europeans for greater intelligence. Now, even there, to assume that the genes selected for in Europeans to counter such an obstacle was for greater intelligence is already a hasty assumption, because it’s just a guess – although, John countered this by stating that Lynn makes testable predictions for his hypothesis. Some of these are legitimately testable, but I would have to agree with Sam on two parts: one is that most of the tests are circular, in that the hypothesis was created as an explanation of those phenomena, and two is that it says nothing about the selections that could occur in other environments. John originally claimed this to be a red herring, but this is an argument that has been brought against advocates of Lynn’s theory for quite some time, only it is usually worded as a failure to understand life evolution history.

One such example is that in Africa, hunters would have to develop a sense of planning, as they would have to monitor animal migration patterns. In these cases as well, hunters would have to compete with apex predators for the food which was available. Africa, also, does not have consistent rainfall, and most of the continent is water-stressed. Who is to say that these pressures would not require Africans to be selected for greater intelligence as well?

One more example of why Lynn’s theory falls short. According to Lynn’s theory, populations at higher altitudes would be selected for greater intelligence -- and yet, the Native Americans score substantially lower than the mean of 100, in some cases by a full standard deviation of 15 points. I would attribute this decrease in IQ to the years of oppression, death and subjugation that Native Americans have experienced, but who knows? It is certainly an interesting contradiction, considering Native Americans are most closely related genetically to East Asians, which are apparently the most intelligent (if you are judging intelligence based on IQ).

There are explanations and counter explanations for these thoughts, but the point is that to draw any conclusions about what selective pressures affected our ancestors thousands of years before us would be far too hasty, because at that point we’re just taking guesses. Lynn’s theory is something to be proposed once we have actually definitely determined that there is an inherent difference in intelligence between the races, that this difference is due to selection, and that IQ measures this trait. We've hardly even scratched at the mapping of human cognition, and somehow people believe that this overly assumptive hypothesis holds water -- when we don't even understand how intelligence has evolved, what mechanisms were involved, or exactly what entails evolution, or if our understanding of it is even the best way to interpret it. It is a hasty jump in the scientific method (ironic considering the pedantry of the opposition) and relies on many prior assumptions, and thus it is ridiculous to hold it with too much merit.

[IQ and the Wealth of Nations]

The only reason I am addressing this study is due to the implications it made about nations and their IQs. The results of this study were only validated by a collection of data on the average IQs of several countries throughout the world, but the results are extremely misleading and often just made up. Bear in mind that many of the arguments I am about to bring up can easily be found by doing a simple search on Google of the name of the study, or by scanning the Wikipedia page.

First of all, the idea of taking a test which was normed for British children ages 7 to 15 and using it to find a standard for people of an entirely different continent is absolutely ridiculous from the moment of its conception. To display this, in his last video, Sam alluded to a study which found that the correlation between FSIQ and literacy was anywhere between .79 and .99. The same study also found that the four subscales of the Verbal Comprehension Index showed the highest amount of racial variance, and the three core subscales of the VCI showed the largest Flynn Effect sizes.

Beyond that, Lynn and Vanhanen were very disingenuous in his tabulation of the data on national IQs. If they could not find the IQ score of a country, instead of omitting the country from the results, they used the average of neighboring countries to make an estimate. To understand how this is a faulty methodology, one only needs to look at their score for Finland, which was 97, compared to neighboring country Sweden, which was 101. Another example is the UK, which got an average score of 100, compared to Ireland, which had a score of 93. Concerning this, it is humorous to consider that Richard Lynn is British. Continuing, this methodology is what gave the IQ estimates for 56% of the nations in the book -- for 104 of the 185 nations in the book, no IQ studies had been conducted. Furthermore, even for some of the nations that allegedly did have tests, there were several methodological flaws, or Lynn and Vanhanen simply misrepresented their findings.

What we find, for example, is that the samples for the national IQs in many cases were not representative in the slightest. For Barbados, the sample size was 108. For Colombia, 50; for Ecuador, 104; for Egypt, 129; and for Equatorial Guinea, 48. Equatorial Guinea was a particularly suspect case -- the study Lynn and Vanhanen cited (Fernandez-Ballesteros et al. 1997) did study Africans in Equatorial Guinea, but their IQ data was not for those subjects. The 48 subjects for Equatorial Guinea were of 48 children, ages 10-14, from a hospital in Spain for the handicapped; and of the sample, half of them had brain organic disorders.

For other examples of flawed sampling here are two:

- The sample from Suriname was of Surinamese immigrants in the Netherlands.
- The sample for Ethiopia was of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, and were anything but random (highly selected).

In the test, there were also scores that didn't support the theory, but Lynn feebly tried to argue against them. One example of this is Qatar, which had an exceptionally high GDP per capita of $17,000, but a national IQ of 78.

I hold this study to have absolutely no merit. As I mentioned, many of the criticisms I brought up are things you can easily find from a simple search on Google. This raises some questions. John has been on YouTube for a decent amount of time, and has surely seen plenty of the arguments against race realism. He has surely come across opposition to this study, so why did he include it? One can only guess, but as we continue on, I will give you reason to think one way over another.

Ron Unz made quite an extensive response to Lynn and Vanhanen here, and although I can't say I agree with Unz on every aspect of his argument, he does raise some pretty convincing arguments in analyzing the raw data. I'd give it a look. Similarly, Wicherts et al. (2010) examined studies on African IQ, and that can be found here.

[European Admixture from One White and One Black Parent]

The way John took Sam’s point out of context was incredibly disingenuous. I think it was pretty clear that the point being made was that by having one white and one black parent, you still have no way of knowing what amount of genes you’ll receive from either parent as it pertains to racial admixture. To understand what is meant by this, one only needs to understand that it is very unlikely for one to have a 100% European parent and 100% African parent with the degree of intermixing humans have participated in. This understanding of Sam’s argument is substantiated when he continues on to mention that a more accurate way of measuring such admixture would be via DNA-based ancestry. John acknowledged this, but went on a rant about how egalitarians are too scared to do such a test, so I’ll just keep going.

The truth is, studies have been conducted on blood group genes to determine the level of admixture in black children for the purposes of measuring the correlation between that admixture and their IQ scores. One such study is “Blood-group genes and Negro-White ability differences,” conducted in 1973 and published in Behavioral Genetics. In this study, Loehlin, Vandenberg and Osborne took a sample of 40 and 44 black adolescents from two separate twin studies to test the hypothesis proposed by Shockley and Jensen that a higher frequency of blood group genes more characteristic of European than African populations in blacks would be associated with higher cognitive ability. There was no statistically significant correlate, and in fact, one of the tests they conducted showed a negative correlation between European ancestry and IQ scores.

We can see the same general results in another study entitled “Absence of a relationship between degree of white ancestry and intellectual skills within a black population,” conducted by Scarr et al. and published in Human Genetics. Scarr et al. used a sample of 405 pairs of black adolescent twins ages 10 to 16. The researchers managed to get full blood data for 280 of the individuals, and analyzed their European admixture based on what blood group genes were most strongly characteristic of European rather than African populations. The results were that the correlation between blood group markers by ancestry and general intellectual skills was -0.02 – not reliably different from zero. This gives strong evidence to suggest that the hypothesis suggesting that higher European admixture results in higher cognitive ability is not accurate. There was one more study conducted in 1936, but since it is outdated, I won’t make specific reference to it here. I’ll include it, however, in the bibliography.

Now, what is incredibly interesting about both of these studies is that both were referenced in the APA report “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns,” which was the same report John used to support his own claims. When it came to admixture studies, John quickly deviates from referring to the APA’s statements on the matter and cites other studies. This tells me that either John is unfamiliar with the full contents of the report, or he intentionally cherry picked the data they referenced. The three studies John cites (I don’t believe I’ve left any out) are the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study, a study by Owen in South Africa and a study by David Rowe. This is where the sheer intensity of John’s blatant dishonesty becomes clear. I will not address the Rowe study for the reason that I have already addressed the high variance in verbal IQ scores with my earlier citation in their large skewness towards literacy. This is applicable due to the fact that the Rowe study only examined verbal IQ scores. So, let’s start with the Minnesota Study.

[Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study]

Now, there are many arguments I could bring up for the findings of this study, but we will only here address arguments Sam and John made to each other. If you want a list of legitimate objections, Richard Nisbett, a renowned psychologist in the field of intelligence research, wrote an article for the New York Times about the whole race and intelligence debate, and mentions the Minnesota Study. I will include it in the bibliography.

What is important to note here is that Sam’s argument to this study, as mentioned later in his video, was that the interracial children were adopted at an earlier time than the black children, and that the quality of placement of the interracial children in terms of SES was superior to that of the black children, thus explaining the mean IQ inequality at least in part. John’s opposition to these arguments were the following:

1)      Arthur Jensen, in his book “The g-Factor” found that the date at which the children were adopted had no effect on their IQs past the age of 7.

This just goes to show how evasive John needs to be to prove his point. Let us defer to “The Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study: A Follow-Up of IQ Test Performance at Adolescence.” This was a follow-up study and analysis of the findings by the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study from 1975 by the same researchers. In this study, Weinberg, Scarr and Waldman conducted another analysis of 93 of the original 101 families from the original study conducted over a decade before, recording their educational attainment, IQ and other factors. In the follow-up study, it elucidated that the interracial children had been adopted into greater quality placement than that of the black children, and that the black children were adopted at a later time. From Table 2 of this study, we see that children placed into adoptive families at a later date had a lower score at Time 2 by about 7.5 IQ points than the children placed into adoptive families at an earlier date. This was one of the primary factors that Scarr and Weinberg stressed upon in their results, and the fact that John, once again, deferred to another source to uphold his claims shows that he is either deliberately cherry picking data, or he has not read the study. His second point was this:

2)      Arthur Jensen and the American Psychological Association have found that parental SES does not significantly affect IQ.

For a refutation of this, I would like to refer to the APA’s report “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” under the section “Social status and income.” It reads the following, emphasis my own:

How well do IQ scores (which can be obtained before individuals enter the labor force) predict such outcome measures as the social status or income of adults? This question is complex, in part because another variable also predicts such outcomes: namely, the socioeconomic status (SES) of one’s parents. Unsurprisingly, children of privileged families are more likely to attain high social status than those whose parents are poor and less educated. These two predictors (IQ and parental SES) are by no means independent of one another, the correlation between them is around .33 (White, 1982).”

To even further show John’s dishonesty, we shall refer to the follow-up study of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study once again. It was found that black/interracial adoptees placed into white upper-middle class families had a mean IQ score of about 106.3 points at Time 1 and 96.8 points at Time 2 – a substantial increase from the typical mean of black adolescents. These data sets are also found in Table 2.

Furthermore, the fact that the interracial adoptees received greater quality placement as well as earlier placement dates provides strong explanation for the study’s finding that interracial children scored higher than black children. If this hypothesis were true, we would see comparable scores between the black children and later adoptees and between the interracial children and earlier adoptees. Using data from the same table, the former comparison has IQ means within 1.5 points of each other, while the latter comparison has IQ means within 2.5 points of each other. In conclusion, Weinberg, Scarr and Waldman state that the longest lasting effect on IQ in their tests on that of the black children were a result of the environmental factors mentioned.

So John has now just made a statement which is at odds with both the findings of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study and the APA report, both of which he cited as being supportive of his arguments, in the same damn breathe.  If it isn’t obvious that he is a disingenuous and manipulative douchebag at this point, let us go to the next source – the Owen study.

[Owen Study of White, Black, Indian and Coloured Children in South Africa]

It is important to note two things here. One is that there are many different people who qualify as being “coloured” in southern Africa. The second is that coloured people in southern Africa are considered the most genetically diverse group on the planet. These, however, are actually irrelevant once we see what the actual contention is with the study John cited.

The full title of the study by Owen is “The suitability of Raven’s standard progressive matrices for various groups in South Africa.” Please note that the SPM is not the same thing as an IQ test. Raven’s SPM test is used to measure general intelligence or “g”. What Owen used in this study was the “nonverbal” Progressive Matrices test. The test’s author, John Raven, has repeatedly insisted that the results of this test cannot be converted into IQ, the reason especially being that the scores of Raven’s SPM do not equally fall around a mean (there is no bell curve). These contentions are discussed in a criticism by Leon Kamin, which I will cite in the bibliography.

Beyond this, the title itself struck me as being odd when I saw it. Luckily my university allows free access to hundreds of thousands of scholarly articles, this being included. In this study of South African secondary school students, the results of the test fell within the typical means found for each group, as to be expected. However, it upheld the findings that the variance between the groups is extraordinarily high, and does not fall within the same standard of analyses. The conclusion was, as I will quote from the abstract, “Despite the similar properties of Progressive Matrices for the various groups, the test is unsuitable for use as a common test with common norms for Black and White secondary school students due to the large mean differences.”

The conclusion of the study was that the test is unsuitable for common usage between the groups due to the variance. Like the Minnesota study, John has cited a common dataset from the study and ignored the conclusions that the results imply in what is one of the finest evidences of cherry picking since HeyRuka.

Now, we have one thing left to address. Rushton and Jensen’s paper “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability.” This is also my personal favorite, thus it will be the most extensively addressed.

[Thirty Years of Bullshit (TYB)]

After reading this paper in its entirety, I noticed a trend in that Rushton cited many of the same sources John did in his videos, thus much of the information in Rushton’s paper is sourced from studies which I have already addressed in this refutation. I’m somewhat disappointed by this, because it means there is less content for me to address, as much of it has already been addressed by myself and by others. This, however, says to me that the majority of John’s information probably comes from this single work. This is very dangerous because it's somewhat Randian. If I were to show why Rushton and/or Jensen are not credible researchers, or were to display where the results of their findings would be heavily biased, much of the foundation for this argument would be destroyed. However, we will get into bias later. For now, I want to do what Sam neglected to do at first and address the arguments John made in his original video on the topic.

John referred to TYB to cite three studies, attempting to show that malnourishment and other environmental factors play little-to-no role in IQ. The studies occur on pages 259 and 260 of the actual journal, pages 25 and 26 of the paper. The first study was by Clark and Hanisee in 1982 entitled “Intellectual and adaptive performance of Asian children in adoptive American settings.” The final sample size of the study was 25 in total – 12 from Vietnam, 8 from Korea, 3 from Cambodia and 2 from Thailand. The subjects were collected via records for people with cross-national relatives, and all were adopted into American families prior to the age of 3, and had to have been in the adoptive families for at least 23 months. The oldest child in the sample was 71 months, or nearly 6 years old.

The emphasis John placed on this study was that the majority of the children were extremely malnourished prior to their adoption in the United States, half of them requiring hospitalization prior to their adoption; but when they were tested, they scored an IQ mean of about 120. So, what is wrong with the conclusion drawn from this study?

Firstly, the study was conducted by calculating the subjects’ PPVT and VSMS scores, which were then translated into IQ scores, although these tests and the Stanford-Binet test draw high correlates most of the time. However, the issue with this is that in order to calculate the predicted IQs for the subjects, the researchers used the outdated formula of Mental Age divided by Chronological Age times 100. The researchers concluded in the results page that the chaos surrounding the children’s early lives may have resulted in an underestimation of their chronological age, and thus would skew the scores to be higher.

We should also consider that the sample size was 25, and as John frequently likes to mention, the young age of these children would reflect the fact that their genes would not be fully expressed at the time of testing. The standard deviation of the scores for these subjects was 16 and 20 respective to the tests mentioned, while the standardization group’s standard deviations were 15 and 10 respectively. So the variance in the scores was even higher for this small sample group, that of the VSMS actually being twice the standard. The individual scores for the PPVT ranged from 89 to 143, while the scores for the VSMS ranged from 86 to 186, thus the averaging of these results can be highly misleading.

Lastly, the researchers conceded that the high results may have been due to home environment. They state that the adoptive families were highly educated, and they were also higher than average in income and occupational status. Only one child was adopted into a family which had an income of less than $15,000 per year as calculated in 1978, which equates to approximately $52,000 in 2012 dollars, which is still a nice income. Rushton excluded these factors in the study and proceeded to use the study as evidence for a genetic explanation, even though the researchers suggested that the reason for these high results would most likely be to the contrary.

The second study was one conducted by Winick, Meyer and Harris in 1975 entitled “Malnutrition and Environmental Enrichment by Early Adoption.” In this study, 141 Korean children were divided into three groups – malnourished, moderately nourished and adequately nourished – to discover the effects of malnutrition on these children. I should note before I continue that the sample included only female children. The results in IQ scores were for group 1, 102; for group 2, 106; and for group 3, 112. It was found that only the difference between group 1 and group 3 was statistically significant, and the researchers did not control for the environment of the adoption homes that these children spent a significant amount of their developmental life in, nor did they control for the environment of the homes they were adopted into. In actuality, the only thing this study provides evidence for is of a statistically significant difference in IQs between malnourished and adequately nourished young adopted female Korean children.

The third study is one conducted by Frydman and Lynn in 1989 entitled “The intelligence of Korean children adopted in Belgium.” The sample size of this study was a mere 19 children, so like the first study which had a low sample size, I have no reason to suspect that the mean was not affected by environmental factors or had a high standard deviation. I say this only because I do not have direct access to the study, but based on what information I do have, I would say there is nothing significant to be taken from the results.

So, I would say that the truth behind these studies accurately reflects Rushton and Jensen’s misinterpretation of data for the sake of confirming their own biases. Although I have to wonder why John doesn’t treat these studies with the same pedantic skepticism that he treats his opposition. Based on the examples made earlier in this refutation, we can probably guess why this would be the case. In any case, where else can we find fault on Rushton and Jensen’s part?

Rushton and Jensen often make allusions to the correlation between brain size and IQ. Simply put, the theory is that larger brain size is correlated with higher intelligence. However, this is contradicted when we consider that women have smaller brain sizes than men, but typically score the same as men on IQ tests, in some cases higher. These and other points have been brought up in a paper by Leonard Lieberman entitled “How ‘Caucasoids’ Got Such Big Crania and Why They Shrank.”

As stated earlier, in this paper, Rushton and Jensen often misrepresent studies, many of which we have already addressed. Now comes the next issue: what of Sam’s argument for research bias, due to the influence of the Pioneer Fund? John’s argument against this was that it was committing a genetic fallacy. This, to me, just settles the argument. John has absolutely no formal knowledge or experience in proper scientific research or proper research methodology.

To stress the definition of the genetic fallacy, it means to draw conclusions about someone or something – in this case, Rushton’s research – based on where it came from, when that origin has no bearing on what subject you’re talking about. However, what we’re actually talking about is a legitimate objection in the field of research, and it’s called just that: research bias. The funding research receives often has great bearing on the results of the research. A very common example of this would be the research on the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes. The results of these studies finding that cigarettes do cause cancer were often withheld, or some of the results were even excluded, because the research being conducted on them was being funded by tobacco companies.

The aim of the Pioneer Fund is to promote studies which explore race differences and heredity. The racist disposition of the Pioneer Fund has been discussed by many people, and I will cite one such discussion in the bibliography. What is even further important to note is that the Pioneer Fund was directed up until 2012 by Rushton, and continues to be directed by Richard Lynn. This in itself may explain why they omitted information which was directly contradictory to their own hypotheses and views in many of their works. Whether it be because of ownership bias, or by research bias from the Pioneer Fund itself, the research it funds can greatly be affected by the goals of the organization or its directors. This is not a genetic fallacy. This is a generally agreed upon concept by most researchers and people who are familiar with how to differ between scholarly, unbiased studies and those which are heavily influenced by bias. To suggest otherwise is just idiotic, and is like denying that the sky is blue.

[Conclusions]

So, despite that he would accuse Sam of the same, what we have concluded here is that John shows as much relentless bias, dishonesty and cherry picking as his research heroes Lynn, Rushton, Jensen, and so on do. This fact is greatly evinced by the data he chooses to omit or ignore from his own sources. I saw the task of refuting him as being tedious and pathetically easy, but important for several reasons.

I simply cannot allow people to so foolishly and easily believe that the arguments proposed in a debate have been crushed by a video response which was riddled with ad hominems, overt lies and pure bullshit. Even if you want to deny that John gave any such special treatment to Sam directly, I would argue in opposition that he certainly showed no reluctance for the inflammatory comments being left on his video. All that has been displayed by the opposition is condescension, harassment and delusions of grandeur. The fact that Sam’s “Signing Off” video and his final comments on YouTube were anything but inflammatory, and instead showed high respect for his opposition, should reflect the real attitude Sam had toward this entire debate. I have no such attitude. John’s bias and dishonesty is very clear, and for this reason, I have no interest in perpetuating this debate. “I am officially done with John A.”

He ended his last video with the phrase “Game Over.” Given what we now know, I think the game was over the moment he drew his first breathe in this debate.

Thank you all for reading, and have a nice day.

Sources:


Campbell, F. A. and Ramey, C. T. (1994). Effects of Early Intervention on Intellectual and Academic Achievement: A Follow-Up Study of Children from Low-Income Families. Child Development, 65, 684-698.

          In this study, Campbell and Ramey conduct a follow-up analysis of children who participated in the Abecedarian Project from their previous sample – approximately 4-7 years after their intervention, now at the age of 12. Data for 90 of the original 111 in the sample for IQ was available, and 88 were available for academic progress. They concluded that intervention with the Abecedarian Project resulted in approximately 87% of the black children falling within an IQ score range above 85, compared to 56% of those who did not. None of them fell below the line of “mildly retarded”, while 7% of the controls did. This and the next study by Campbell et al. provide sufficient evidence to show that intervention in academic achievement can result in substantial increases in IQ scores.

Campbell et al. (2002). Early Childhood Education: Young Adult Outcomes From the Abecedarian Project. Applied Developmental Science, 6(1), 42-57.

          In this study, Campbell et al. examined the IQ scores of a sample of 111 infants, 104 of which came for a follow-up test, for the effect of the Abecedarian Project on IQ scores. The Abecedarian Project is a program providing extended educational attention to young students. The results showed that for black students at age 21, intervention from the Project resulted in an IQ score increase which narrowed the black-white test score gap by about one third. This shows that higher educational standards can have a substantial effect on IQ, although there are most likely other factors which play into it.

Hunt, E. and Whittmann, W. (2008). National intelligence and national prosperity. Intelligence, 36(1), 1- 9.

Kamin, Leon. (1995). Scientific American, 272(2), 99-103.

Lieberman, L. (2001). How “Caucasoids” Got Such Big Crania and Why They Shrank. Current Anthropology, 42(1), 69-95.

          In this article, Leonard Lieberman goes over a refutation of Rushton’s correlation between cranial capacity and intelligence. I’ll let his words speak for themselves.

Loehlin, J. C., Vandenberg, S. G. and Osborne, R. T. (1973). Blood-group genes and Negro-White ability differences. Behavioral Genetics, 3, 263-277.

Marks, D. F. (2010). IQ Variations across Time, Race and Nationality: An Artifact of Differences in Literacy Skills. Psychological Reports, 106, 643-664. 

Nisbett, R. E. (2007). All Brains Are The Same Color. New York Times.

Ogbu, J. U. (1992). Understanding Cultural Diversity and Learning. Educational Researcher, 21(8), 5-14; 24.

          In this article, John Ogbu makes reference to multiple studies regarding the Burakumin IQ gap in Japan. The first of which are studies by Hirasawa in 1989 and Shimahara in 1991. These two studies examine the Burakumin IQ and education gap in Japan, compared to the natives. He then cites two studies by DeVos and Ito in 1973 and 1967 respectively. These two studies examine the Ippan and Burakumin educational/IQ achievements after they migrate to America, and finds that the gap closes. This offers a comparison to the black-white gap, because the IQ gap between the Buraku and the Japanese is approximately 1 standard deviation as well, but closes when leaving the oppressive society.

Owen, K. (1992). The suitability of Raven’s standard progressive matrices for various groups in South Africa. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(2), 149-159.

Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., & Vliek, M. (2009). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 99; 459-462.

          In this book on psychology, the authors explore the results of childhood intervention programs much like the Abecedarian Program and their effect on behavior. They found that early intervention can improve IQ by as much as 15 to 20 points – more than one standard deviation – can decrease likelihood of being arrested or collecting welfare, to have their own home, etc. compared to the controls. This provides strong evidence that the longest lasting effects on IQ are a result of environment, and those effects are quite large.

Scarr et al. (1977). Absence of a relationship between degree of white ancestry and intellectual skills within a black population. Human Genetics, 39(1), 69-86.

Turkheimer et al. (2003). Socioeconomic Status Modifies Heritability of IQ in Young Children. Psychological Science, 14(6), 623-628.

          Turkheimer et al. examined a sample of 319 pairs of 7 year-old twins, of which 114 were monozygotic and 205 were dizygotic, from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. 43% of the twins were white, 54% were black, and 3% were “other.” With a 95% level of confidence, Turkheimer determined the heritability for IQ of children from low-income families to be between 10% and 20%, while the heritability of IQ for children from higher-income families was approximately the opposite. This reflects that although general heritability estimates for IQ are usually set at around 50% or higher, it can vary greatly with environmental factors.

Weinberg, R. A., Scarr, S. and Waldman, I. D. (1992). The Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study: A Follow-Up of IQ Test Performance at Adolescence. Intelligence, 16(1), 117-135.

White, K. R. (1982). The relation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Psychological Bulletin, 91(3), 461-481.

Witty, P. A. and Jenkins, M. D. (1936). Intra-Race Testing and Negro Intelligence. Journal of Psychology, 1, 179-192.

          This study is rather outdated, but serves the point. In this study, Witty and Jenkins observed the IQ (according to Stanford-Binet intelligence scores) correlate with European ancestry in high-scoring black students. Of 8,000 randomly selected black students in Chicago public schools, 103 had an IQ of over 120, and were thus chosen for the sample. They compared their results with other studies of black IQ scores and determined that the European ancestry of the “superior” black subjects was actually lower than that of the typical African American. They conclude, thus, that the theory of higher European admixture contributing to higher IQ scores is not sufficiently supported.

137 comments:

  1. n00ffensebut made a video claiming that you plagiarized your statement that "single gene explanations for complex behavioral traits are almost always tried and refuted" from some guy named John Horgan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wPNnAn2MEo

    He then proceeded to show a clipping from an article which doesn't even say that.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/04/26/code-rage-the-warrior-gene-makes-me-mad-whether-i-have-it-or-not/

    I think perhaps he got confused about the part where Sam lists off the different genes that have been debunked, like the liberal gene. All I could find regarding your statement was a comment by "J. Potts," which reads: "Genetic explanations for this sort of behavior are often facile."

    What's funny is that n00ffensebut's video on the topic seems to... not even address some of the arguments made. He just gave his typical childish reactionary tripe and made arguments which people have already countered in response to some of his comments on other videos.

    Do you have anything to say on the matter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment SSDD (love the name by the way!). I just finished watching n00ffensebut's video and while I don't have the time or desire to entirely address the video, I have a few things to say about the matter.

      For one, in his video, he was perhaps more pedantic and irrelevant than John was. Perhaps this is a common theme amongst their in-group, but outside there, it looks like nothing but people desperately grasping at straws attempting to find contention with something they disagree with.

      You're right about two things. One is that he didn't really address a lot of what was said - he instead picked at little nuances of the arguments. Sam's argument for gene expression went without much notice by n00ffensebut; or rather, it went without any direct refutation. "Mainstream scientists" do, in fact, refer to gene expression for useful predictions of a gene's phenotype expression in a given part of the body. n00ffensebut claims to have an MD, but even if that were true, understanding gene expression is something that many people have difficulty with. He could get his MD without even knowing the basics.

      In actuality, gene expression was used as part of the argument for some time concerning the "viciousness gene" in pit bulls - something I will be discussing in my next blog post. What's funny was that this supposed viciousness gene was used in the same ways that MAOA is used.

      Blacks:
      Point out high rate of crime.
      Point to gene that supposedly results in high rate of criminal behavior.
      Determine that blacks are genetically predisposed to commit crime at a higher rate than other people.
      Suggest policy changes or alter public opinion because of this.

      Pit bulls:
      Show statistics of pit bull attacks.
      Propose viciousness gene.
      Determine that pit bulls are genetically predisposed to be vicious dogs.
      Breed-specific legislation.

      See where this upholds Sam's point in his video on MAO-A? We have to be careful about what we look into concerning genes and behavior. They can result in policy changes and negative decisions that ultimately put groups in the SOL seats without any true justification (can there be true justification for making policies concerning a superficially assigned group?).

      The second thing you're right about is that he falsely claimed plagiarism. I never made the comment about the liberal gene, gay gene, god gene, and so on; I only made the comment about single-gene theories. Even for that, I never claimed they were my own words, although they were. Whether or not Sam plagiarized the list of genes, can be debated, but if we can plagiarize lists now... well, I would refer to my post on why there exists no more original thoughts. It upholds that.

      He did seem rather childish in his video. A lot of his responses were cocky, and he even resorted to referring to the alleged sink piss incident with EvoGenVideos... yet he complains about people spreading things around about him because they don't like him.

      Honestly, people like n00ffensebut and LaughingMan0X aren't worth my time. The only reason I got involved is because Sam Owl is a personal friend of mine (we've been close for nearly 6 years, and we've known each other for about 10) and with his recent medical ailment, I felt it was important to finish what he started.

      You can ask around on YouTube, at my university or within my inner circle. There have been many times where I had to take a step back and say "okay, so I was wrong."

      I'm familiar with people like LM and N00B (see what I did there?). Their positions are immutable. Anyone with a beating heart can recognize when a debate just isn't worth it, because neither person involved is getting anything out of it besides further polarizing themselves.

      Delete
    2. You're writing about BSL too? I'm preparing a report on the topic to publish.

      Delete
    3. Oh cool. If it gets published let me know. My post will just be on policy recommendations, mostly not science. :P

      Delete
    4. Oh, to clarify, yeah I did "plagiarize" John Horgan - although all I did was refer to his list of genes since I could only think of the gay, God, and liberal genes.

      So, shoot me.

      Delete
    5. Yeah nobody really cares that you plagiarized a list. n00b claimed you plagiarized a significant amount of Horgan's article, but if anything I can only see the same studies referenced - although they are the most commonly cited studies. Your arguments were original, so why would anyone except the pedantic opposition give two shits?

      Delete
  2. I find his self purported intellect hilarious, when he has been proven to be a pathological liar.
    Remember how he failed to state that the reason MAOA could not serve as an inhibitor because.....it's NOT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I was responsible for making scientists change their data!" - What an interestingly, unprovable tidbit that does nothing for the discussion itself, aside from building up ethos.

      Delete
  3. So one of the things n00b mentioned (I'm taking Lex's acronym) was that the New Zealand Medical Journal copied the data incorrectly from the Lu et al. study on the frequency of the variant of the MAOA gene in the Chinese population. I looked back at the study and he was correct: the data was swapped, where the sample size was 77 and the actual frequency was 54.5% (or 55 when rounded up, explaining the 55 sample size). However, I was curious. Does this difference actually mean anything?

    So my last hypothesis test of the two proportions included the following data:

    Population #1; Africans
    p̂ = .59
    n = 52

    Population #2; Chinese
    p̂ = 77
    n = 55

    Where alpha (α) = 0.01, or a 99% confidence level. The results were that the Z-value did not fall within the rejection region, so there wasn't sufficient evidence to suggest that the true proportions between the two tested populations was any different. In other words, for all we know, the 3 repeat allele variant of MAO-A occurs at the same rate between blacks and Chinese.

    But as we've discovered, the data was reversed. So I did another hypothesis test with the corrected data.

    Population #1; Africans
    p̂ = .59
    n = 52

    Population #2; Chinese
    p̂ = 55
    n = 77

    Alpha is still the same. The two-tailed cutoff was 2.576. The Z-value resulted to be -0.450. Once again, it did not fall within the rejection region. I actually did this same test with a 90% confidence level, or α = 0.1, thus narrowing the rejection region to be more lenient. The two-tailed cutoff would still be 1.645, so no matter what, unless you want to operate off of a 34% confidence level or lower (absolutely ridiculous), there isn't a difference.

    n00b's pointing out of this trivial fact did absolutely nothing to affect the validity of my video. In fact, it just reflects how much misinformation there is out there on statistics regarding MAO-A. So what was the point?

    As Lex said, it was probably just to pick at anything he could in order to make it seem like he had a point.

    Now, excuse me before I have a heart attack or some shit. (It's not that bad guys, really.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to do this, but I know you have the HT calculator, so thank you.

      Delete
  4. I think it was funny that John tried to call Sam out for using an atlas (secondary source) as a reference, but constantly refers to "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns," which is simply a public statement on the topic of intelligence (mainly IQ) referring to other studies for its evidence. The statements aren't infallible, and the report itself is a secondary source.

    To my knowledge, he's received word of this post. I wonder if he'll respond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. I'm curious as to how he could respond, but hey, who knows. Doesn't mean I'll reply though. As I said, not really worth my time.

      Delete
  5. Yeah, Patty boy posted the page in the comments of John's video. I like how the discussion became about n00b, not John, but nonetheless, the link was posted there too, and n00b had this to say:

    "Yesterday, we had 18 “thumbs up” and no “thumbs down.” Just in the last few hours we received 10 “thumbs down.” The enemy has heard us, but they have nothing to say…."

    I don't believe any of us have actually given the video a rating? Well, except N*****.

    Over night there were a lot of spam comments, and a small amount of harassment. I took the liberty of deleting them for you, Lex. If this persists, I have a recommendation.

    Either way, I didn't bother with much of n00b's video. I think everyone else hit exactly why.

    As for this refutation of LaughingMan0X... very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I watched the embedded version. It was probably EvoGenVideos's followers.

      When the conversation deviated from being about John to being about n00b, I saw it as a sign that John is no longer worth talking about. Not that I think n00b is worth the time either, but I think his video was just spectacularly easier to address (and hadn't yet been addressed), because anything said was trivial and, as Sam illustrated, even hurt his position.

      Email any suggestions you have. Thank you for clearing the keeper.

      Delete
    2. "Not so fast! Brunner's Syndrome has been identified in TWO more people! AND in mice!"

      > Ignores the fact that the identification of the syndrome didn't follow DSM criteria (something that Sam mentioned).

      > Ignores the high variability of impulsive and aggressive behavior in mice according to strain survey and phenotype testing data (something catnipBiologist mentioned).

      Delete
    3. Brutal, I think the comments should be left here. It makes an example of them.

      Delete
    4. I saw the comments - a few from BUGS and one or two that were just harassing me personally. I don't allow those kinds of comments on my blog.

      Delete
    5. That truly shows wonders about the opposition, being unable to issue a full refutation without personal slander.

      Delete
    6. I only think one of them was from John's following. None were from n00b's. The rest were just from BUGS.

      Nothing new to see here.

      Delete
  6. http://www.imagebam.com/image/b40838294862272

    Have a nice laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "B-but, I'm an MD guys!.....Everyone agrees with me.....I never lie....support... me..."

      Delete
    2. If he were really an MD, he would know that there isn't a "scientific consensus" on MAO-A, and that a single geneticist retweeting his post doesn't mean much.

      He's still a liar.

      Delete
    3. Oooooh... (sucks air through teeth) I wonder if he knows...

      Delete
    4. Wow, this was seriously the best you guys could do? Personal attacks instead of any legitimate arguing? Seems egalitarians are too afraid to debate now that the tables are turned.

      Delete
    5. (Ignores all of the arguments put up) Says the guy who just made a somewhat personal attack in his other comment. Let me show you the significance of that picture:

      n00b basks in the glory that a "famous geneticist and neuroscientist" retweeted his video.

      Twitter exchange shows why, and what his attitude was towards the video.

      n00b says the video had value.

      I look at this picture and the little anxiety I have dissipates.

      Delete
  7. N00b has issued a response to replies stated here...yet he still fails to issue his refutation here:
    "
    Obviously. Sam doesn’t seem to understand the idea he was stealing from John Horgan. The idea is that Chinese people are much more likely to have MAOA-3R than others, but Chinese people are never violent. Therefore, the warrior gene doesn’t make anyone violent. Of course, the scientific consensus is that MAOA-3R causes violence through its interaction with childhood maltreatment. As I pointed out, there is no reason why IQ could not be substituted for childhood maltreatment in this line of research, since it had a stronger association in Fergusson et al. IQ and hormonal differences could explain why Asians and Jews have lower rates of violence than African-Americans, despite having high MAOA-3R allele frequencies. MAOA-2R, on the other hand, really is overwhelmingly a black gene. It is also relevant that all of the critics of the research are making this obtuse mistake because they have no real familiarity with the research. "

    "These people obviously do not know what gene expression is. The “warrior gene” refers to the three-repeat allele of an upstream variable number of tandem repeats (uVNTR) promoter polymorphism for monoamine oxidase A. A promoter is a gene-expression element. I also spoke of epigenetic methylation. I don’t want to excessively focus on Sam’s gene-expression fallacy because I don’t believe in kicking someone when that person is down. I think it should be embarrassing enough for him that he is claiming not only that all MAOA studies are false positives, but also that all drug trials for every MAO inhibitor that led to FDA approval were also false positives. Queue laugh track."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was pretty obvious Sam's point was that if there is no statistically significant difference between the two populations, then we can't confidently make statements about the higher frequency in one race over another.

      His comment about allelic repeats is consistent with his prior reasoning. If I were to take a guess, he's stating that because a change in sequence can cause the higher or lower expression of the gene in a given area, if black people are more likely to have a higher frequency of the 2 repeat variant than some other variant, then the gene expression would be different.

      This rebuttal is kind of strange, if it's what he means. Technically, yes, his proposition is true, but it's kind of identical to the cascade amplification argument in that it's still a "what if." In actuality, all of the allelic variants of MAO-A have been found to have some kind of connection with behavior, so if he's arguing that the gene expression didn't account for other allele variants, then it's a moot point.

      I don't think Sam (although he can correct me on this if I'm wrong) was saying all tests for MAO-A are false positives, either. I think his argument was that they're overlooking the influence of other factors.

      His brief mentioning of epigenetic methylation wasn't enough for me to confidently make any guesses about what his arguments were, but really, it sounds like his arguments aren't addressing the gene expression of MAOA itself, but merely just trying to trivialize the expression levels Sam displayed. If his argument in regards to epigenetic methylation was that 'because a gene's expression can be affected by something other than the sequencing of the DNA itself, gene expression levels have no significance in this case,' then I'm just wholeheartedly convinced he's an undergrad.

      Delete
    2. I just love how he trivializes gene expression, almost entirely due to the fact that it directly conflicts with his standpoint.
      This IS the man who claimed to be a forensic anthropologist, however.
      And his cronies eat it up.
      It would be highly entertaining for you to openly debate him, and point out his incessant lying.

      Delete
    3. Dude, I have a house, husband, education, just below six figure salary and published research.

      I have a life. Give me a reason why any of that should yield so I can debate an undergrad?

      Delete
    4. So his reply to me was:

      1) A complete misinterpretation of the argument that Brunner didn't follow the diagnostic criteria (he didn't classify it properly).
      2) A strawman of what my intentions were in bringing up Brunner's Syndrome's rarity and falsity.
      3) An omission of the rest of what I said.

      Guys, at least he's consistent. Give him credit for that.

      Also, props for using the dehumanizing/polarizing/propagandist/warrior/hype phrase "the enemy." This is how we know we're dealing with a professional here.

      A professional BF4 player.

      Delete
    5. catnipBiologist,

      Yeah I never said all tests for MAOA were false positives. I said very clearly that being activated by an environmental stimulus sounds plausible, and that its activation with the presence of another gene is plausible as well. I showed doubt that it had a lone effect.

      Delete
    6. Hey weren't you supposed to be having "anxiety attacks?" Whatever happened to that Dishonest Owl?
      Unless you were just full of shit and trying to come up with an excuse to not respond to LaughingMan.

      Delete
    7. Oh goodie, someone read James Jones's post and decided to ask me personally. Here is a list of potential answers:

      - I said I was having anxiety attacks, not that I'm smart enough to avoid them all of the time.
      - It's a lot less stressful typing comments than making videos.
      - The fact that I'm not getting anxiety from reading n00b's arguments should reflect how weak they are.
      - Your LaughingMan theory would work, except the blog post above that you probably ignored consists mostly of the arguments I had prepared for him.

      Happy hunting.

      Delete
    8. I wonder why people seem to think they'll get anywhere by accusing you of not actually having any medical ailment.

      Delete
  8. In case you guys didn't know, n00ffensebut responded to catnipBiologist on his blog (someone named James Jones copied her comment and pasted it there).

    http://theunsilencedscience.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-stupid-stupidity-surrounding.html?showComment=1387112913199#c9199261281327792522

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Elliott. I'll be sure to let cB know.

      Also, if you're the Elliott I suspect, then I visited your gallery a year or so ago. Love your work.

      Delete
    2. You're welcome, I'm looking forward to her reply.

      Hahaha yes, you really liked my etchings. Thank you for your support. Be sure to stop by again soon (although I'm not sure how far you are from the gallery).

      Delete
    3. So n00b's reply simply:

      Dismisses us (or perhaps only I) as being incoherent [I believe my comment, although others may feel free to verify this, was easily understandable, except one might need to Google some of the terminology; however this should not be an issue for somebody who is familiar in the field as n00b purports to be],

      Imposes his strawman of Val once again [I believe none of us have denied the existence of Brunner's Syndrome, merely brought its classification and rare diagnosis into question -- a big difference that someone as qualified and educated as n00b ought to know. Even so, I haven't mentioned a thing about Brunner's Syndrome as of yet],

      Points out that Sam cited Moffitt as being the head author [This is perhaps the only empirical statement n00b made, and even as such, has no bearing on the validity of the arguments being made as it is a very trivial point about something which was not even mentioned in the most recent and relevant arguments. Even in itself, there is no particular value, as anyone can find the study Sam referred to by typing in "Moffitt et al 2002 MAOA" in a reference search],

      Refers to the abstract of a very recent study by Beaver, Barnes and Boutwell [I will probably have full access to this study by the end of the month, although for now I cannot do anything but wait for peer critiques].

      This being considered, let the record show that he has not sufficiently addressed the majority of our arguments, and absolutely none of mine. His most recent statements hold little-to-no relevancy or factual value, giving us no reason to treat them with any degree of seriousness.

      Delete
    4. You were fairly clear in your OP. He's stuck on the idea that one of us denied the existence of Brunner's, which nobody did. My argument was that pointing to Brunner's Syndrome isn't a typical or sufficient piece of evidence.

      Val is in need of clarification of her point, though.

      Delete
    5. -_- I'm not gonna stick around and keep feeding the undergrad troll, but okay, I'll clarify. It was actually really simple:

      His rebuttal for the contentions with using Brunner's Syndrome as supportive evidence was the following:

      1) A few more people have been diagnosed with it, enough to count on one hand.
      2) Knockout mice.

      Argument #1 is just stupid. Argument #2 ignored the rebuttal catnipBiologist gave to that one idiot "Steampunk Realist" who was kissing n00b's ass. The rest of the rebuttals you or others gave were ignored.

      My point was that his argument was stupid. I wasn't denying the existence of Brunner's Syndrome :rolleyes:

      As I said, it was a strawman.

      Delete
    6. @catnipBiologist I had no issues reading and understanding your post. The problem here is that now he's just saying "you don't make sense, you're trying to save face, you're skeered." I don't see how this is sufficient for anything...

      Delete
  9. I loved absolutely everything you said... except where you called him out on "closed objectivism." I don't really think it's a good idea to take schools and merge them with science. Philosophy and science don't exactly go hand in hand.

    Maybe you could just edit it to call it "Randian?"

    ReplyDelete
  10. lol all of this retarded proxy messaging is stupid, and none of you are addressing any of his points whether its in the comments or in his video. Why not go to his blog and comment? I think we all know it's because you know you're wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't the same be said for him?
      Obvious irony is obvious.

      Delete
    2. Yep, not a single one of us addressed any arguments, and the extent of how wrong we are changes depending on what blog we post on.

      You guys are smart.

      Delete
    3. Braden Eagle said what I was going to say. To Anonymous, however, I would suggest you actually read what was said in this discussion. You clearly came here with prejudices based solely on the retorts n00b provided without giving any attention to what we've said.

      Delete
    4. Key term here is UNCENSORED comments. His comments are UNCENSORED. Yours are.

      Delete
    5. If the comments were censored, you wouldn't be posting right now, and neither would Bro. Yours was a self-detonating statement.

      I restrict comments if they are completely inflammatory, or come from the word of a confirmed troll like James Jones (whose harassment knows no end). If it's spam, I block. If it's nothing but insults, I block.

      Delete
  11. In n00b's most recent posts, it seems all he has done is go on an extensive rant attempting to show that he is in the winning position without providing sufficient arguments, that he has humiliated us on display (or "painted us into a corner"), and that these comment exchanges are not worth it. He also denies that he has created a strawman despite the clarifications being made. It seems that the only empirically verifiable claim he made is that he's the only one who cited sources. True, but his failure to directly bring relevant arguments to the table (and instead tries to imply that he's made them before, that it's not worth his time and that it's just so obvious we're all ignorant) kind of overlaps such a point.

    According to n00b's logic, by clarifying what the purposes were of our arguments, by pointing out where he has made a strawman as opposed to addressing real arguments, by pointing out that the majority of his arguments have been incredibly trivial and held no value in the argument, and by pointing out that he has failed to sufficiently address the arguments that we have made, we are giving concession to our own loss and ignorance. If such rules applied to any debate, debating would serve no purpose. Ever.

    And he continues to say "the enemy." How mature.

    We collectively, I would say mostly I and Sam, have provided plenty of arguments which are actually relevant to the points being made. n00b's arguments are mostly either irrelevant, atypical, or are simply directed at reasoning which none of us have subscribed to. This is, once again, consistent with the methods of his video.

    If what n00b has done suffices as having won an argument in his mind, then my prior assumptions were correct. He's either an undergrad or has the mentality of one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I should add my closing remarks;

      At this point, it should be fairly obvious to the fence sitters what has transpired. I will hold to my previous statement in response to Braden Eagle. I've had plenty of these types of disagreements with others in my field in the past. A typical exchange would probably consist of us throwing back and forth jargon, and once one person really drove home a point, the other (usually I) would say "Huh, that's interesting, I'll have to look into that. Thank you."

      What n00b has displayed here is primarily interest in his own reputation and image, trying to maintain an image of untainted validity, and based on his other posts about "political correctness," probably an allure of autonomy as well. The failure to have an exchange such as what I explained above is probably due to the fact that n00b's comments generally have no productive claims in them, therefore there is nothing to address.

      Since the beginning of this discussion, this is the general impression I got. It hasn't changed, so as I said, my comment to Braden will hold true. This is obviously not worth my time, or anyone's for that matter.

      Delete
    2. Heh, I'll be fair, I know absolutely nothing about all this stuff you guys are talking about, but it at least seemed to me like n00ffensebut wasn't actually answering any of the real questions either and was just kind of grooming his ego.

      Delete
    3. @Elliott no, YOU guys weren't answering questions. YOU were all avoiding him because you KNOW he's qualified, and he's right, but you can't accept that because you're anti-White.

      Delete
    4. And that's why n00b had to give an explanation for why he was being selective and vague in his arguments, right? Because WE were the ones not answering questions?

      Your argument is a dead horse. Stop forcing us to beat it.

      Delete
    5. "he's qualified"

      This is the person who didn't know enzymes don't function as inhibitors.
      I assume you're in the same boat as him....

      Delete
  12. http://www.imagebam.com/image/c53a29295330483

    Cheers.
    Links to the original comments:
    http://www.best-wedding-flowers.com/uncategorized/shellie-zimmermans-says-her-marriage-is-strained/
    http://www.artographed.com/andrew-breitbart-champion-of-right-wing-hollywood-cross-burning-victims-not-so-much/
    http://www.guitarpitch.com/Guitar-Lessons/video/TtU6IMf7Epk&feature=youtube_gdata/Majority-Report-1-22-13-Inauguration-Reactions-Roe-v-Wade-at-40.html
    http://worldnews.roxyww.com/rachel-maddow-boston-tsarnaev-pro-gun-white-power-false-flag-conspiracy-theory-rant.html/comment-page-1/
    http://www.centri-estetici-milano.it/v/9CX7jdFnuJw/the_central_park_five_with_filmmaker_ken_burns.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll keep your post here because it does display, of course, bias (which would especially be bad if n00b actually is a physician), but I'm warning that you're teetering far too close to pure harassment. This will be the last comment of this nature which I'll tolerate. Any more and you won't be able to participate in the discussion.

      Delete
    2. Say no more, it won't happen again. I'm sorry for my inappropriate behavior.

      Delete
    3. It's alright. Now that primary discussion seems to have ended (the argument has reached an impasse, it seems) I'll be putting comments into requiring moderation.

      Delete
    4. "I'll be putting comments into requiring moderation"

      I don't think your little guest bud liked that. He complained to daddy that you censor comments. Even though, ya know, it's clear you DON'T, considering the guest was allowed to post here in the first place. n00b also seems to think you guys 'capitulated' a lot....... but I can't tell what the fuck he's talking about. Then again, he STILL thinks one of you denied the existence of Brunners.

      n00b's mind says that if somebody is honest and admits that something is plausible, it doesn't matter how significant that point was to the overall argument, that somebody is capitulating so far that it's impossible to tell whether or not that somebody disagrees with him. I guess the only way for you not to have 'capitulated' was to hold the beliefs he THOUGHT you held....... what a joke.

      Just for the record, one should look at the studies conducted for MAOA and wonder how they can conclude anything about "violent behavior" from them at ALL, like hot sauce tests, or testing violence in criminals...... who are already criminals!

      Delete
    5. Thank you for commenting, Anonymous. I'm going to keep comments in moderation because overnight, once again, I received a swarm of spammers. Note that these spam comments do not consist of anything worth addressing. They are pretty much all variations of:

      "Look at all the anti-whitism going on here. Say no to White GeNOcide!"

      or

      "Disgusting race traitor. Go fuck yourself."

      If this is what the other Anonymous considers to be legitimate opposition worth publishing on my blog, then he is either very self-serving, very stupid or very naive. You're right about one thing, though. None of us actually "capitulated" on anything important. To me, when somebody starts throwing out claims about their opposition's behavior as opposed to their arguments (which is generally what n00b has been doing this whole time), and those accusations are startlingly untrue, it's just evidence of damage control.

      Delete
    6. For the record, inhibitors are commonly used to treat various things like HT-1, hypertension, and so on. It's not at all insane to think that an MAO-A or MAO-B inhibitor could help treat something simple such as hyperactivity.

      The reason impulsive violence is complex is because of the leads. There are many leads for such behavior, and not all of them are due to biological violent behavior. Some are a survival measure, which is why poverty is correlated with crime. It's a complex behavior because it's something that isn't easily quantifiable, and it can't be judged the same way depending on the cause. That's where the skepticism comes from, or at least, my skepticism.

      n00b is now essentially claiming victory, so it must be true.

      Delete
    7. "n00b is now essentially claiming victory, so it must be true."

      ^ This is the important take away here. It doesn't really matter what we say or what he doesn't say or how badly embarrasses himself. His following reacts:

      "So says n00b, so say we all."

      Delete
    8. I find it hilarious the level of retraction and projection n00b now has, stemming to even the retraction of his statement that he encourages debate, however following his lenghthy tirade, later ennunciated that it is "I waste of time"

      If admitting the plausibility of an idea, or recognizing a single misplaced tidbit of information (Which, does not undermine Sam's argument or elucidate academic dishonesty in any which way) equates to a concession, this, and blatant lies which have NOT been admitted (A la LM's famous APA academic dishonesty, and N00b's failure to clarify that MAOA is not an inhibitor), the opposition should have "lost" a while ago.

      I additionally enjoy his projection that "We" share the same characteristics of pseudoscience promoters.
      This is coming from the same group of people who have expressed support for classification of race via cladistics..

      I wonder when the realist crowd will finally own up and admit that N00b is a charlatan.
      How soon we forget his days of "forensic anthropology"

      Delete
  13. Seriously, why doesn't one of you reply on "n00bs" blog? He doesn't censor comments and is more than prepared to debate you guys. Seems silly to talk to him via the proxy of this blog!

    According to him you're not posting any of his comments here? All of that is just making your side of the argument (that i think i agree with) look very weak and disingenuous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You realize that can go both ways, right?

      n00b posted our comments on his blog at the same frequency we linked to his on my blog. If n00b really wants a debate, he could come over here too, but I haven't received a single comment from him - only accusations that I censor comments. Technically I do, but only if they're absolutely stupid like the ones I quoted a few comments above this one. My blog's comments had been unmoderated for over a week now. If somebody had something important to say, they could've. It didn't happen.

      You say he's so prepared to debate us, yet he is extremely selective in what arguments he addresses, extremely vague, and projects his own behavior onto others. The majority of his comments are just ego boosting, you know, the kind of "Oh this is stupid and pointless, I'm clearly more knowledgeable about this than all of you are, but I've got better things to do, and this is all so pointless. But you guys have totally embarrassed yourself and you keep backing down on all your claims, ha ha ha."

      This isn't the first time we've had a disagreement with n00b. He had a discussion with Braden Eagle before, where Braden asked him a very simple question in terms of biology, and n00b just bailed with no further comments. Now, we've offered arguments, and instead of addressing them, he just insists that either:

      A) They're incoherent; or,
      B) He's already addressed them.

      If that makes US look weak and disingenuous, then you're obviously not reading the things he's saying.

      Delete
    2. Just as a reference point:

      "Sometimes the critiques are actually good questions reworded as accusatory. Those were the points to which I responded."

      n00b has set the rules of the game as being "I determine what arguments are good and bad. If they're bad, I don't answer them. If they're good, I answer them."

      He has appointed himself as being able to arbitrarily decide what arguments are good and bad, and is thus intentionally selective in what he decides to address. If those are the rules of such a "debate," then there would be no purpose in either of us directly confronting each other. That's an impasse waiting to happen - an impasse which has already happened.

      Oh, and his idea of our vast "capitulation" is the following:

      Sam admitting that he plagiarized a list of names of genes (really important in the argument, right?)
      The data for the Chinese sample size/p-hat was swapped (Sam has already shown this to not be important in the argument.)
      catnipBiologist pointing out that n00b keeps making "what if" objections.
      Clarification that Sam never said all MAOA tests are false positives (which he didn't. Ever.)
      Clarification that we never denied the existence of Brunner's Syndrome (this was a strawman n00b crafted - an argument none of us never made or implied. This was also clarified, but n00b refused to accept it.)

      He's a stubborn brat incapable of honestly holding a debate because once he's right, he's right, and there ain't no changing that. Understand, now?

      Delete
    3. "According to him you're not posting any of his comments here?"
      "but I haven't received a single comment from him "

      N00b's level of dishonesty knows no bounds.
      I REALLY enthuse you to ditch his cause, before you go down with the titanic.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous,

      Let me illustrate n00b's methodology in this debate.

      I admitted to the fact that the one study I was intending to REFUTE had mixed up the sample size (77) with the sample proportion (54.5%). I admitted to it, and responded by conducting another hypothesis test with the corrected data, and what did I find? The change didn't make a difference. The only thing that was nullified was that Chinese have the highest MAOA-3R frequencies. No, now their frequency is just moderately high.

      When I did this, n00b took it as evidence that I backed out of my argument, and further used it to support his thought that perhaps I don't have a point, or don't disagree with him anymore. So, here's my options.

      I can either admit to the fact that the data was swapped, and he takes it as me "capitulating," even when I offer a counter argument and maintain my warrant.

      Or, I can deny that the data was swapped, and he can call me a liar.

      Here's another example. I said I took John Horgan's list of genes. Yes, I did. Now, I stated in kind that that fact does not negate my argument. His thoughts are that if you plagiarize something, or you don't see that data was swapped somewhere, then nobody has reason to listen to you anymore. That's called a composition fallacy. But here's the setup there:

      If I admit that I plagiarized, n00b says I'm capitulating again.

      If I deny that I plagiarized, n00b can say I'm a liar.

      He's setting this whole thing up as a zero-sum game in which nobody but himself can win (evidence of narcissism). Really? That makes us look weak, or disingenuous? We're all getting sick of HIS dishonesty and selection bias.

      Delete
  14. Sam/Braden/Alexis,

    Fair enough, but the fact is none of you have posted on his blog and he's saying he won't censor any of your comments.

    Here's the link...

    http://theunsilencedscience.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-stupid-stupidity-surrounding.html

    Take the debate over to his place where he won't censor and arguably has a bigger audience.

    Seriously all this proxy stuff from you guys just looks bad...........and as i said i am siding with your side of the debate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps I could illustrate this logically.

      This began with a commenter stating that n00b made a video where he accused me of plagiarism. I responded to that commenter. n00b then responded to my comment on HIS blog. Why, then, are we the ones obligated to move to his blog? Because his is uncensored, right? Well, mine is too, as long as we're all civil. It goes both ways.

      But on that note, by commenting on his blog in response, his action concedes to the concept that the preferable choice would be for him to reply on his blog, via comments. But then he recants this implicit premise and says:

      " I believe that this commenting back and forth doesn’t have very much value added, but I'm not a stupid comment nazi, like Razib Khan."

      So he recants his implicit behavior when it is beneficial for him to do so? It lacks internal consistency.

      But you seem to have missed the point we illustrated. n00b has set up the rules of debate where he owns the right to arbitrarily choose which arguments he replies too, and where any and all honesty or concession to even the most trivial of points is capitulation, and it renders our positions worthless.

      Given the things mentioned above, there is absolutely NO reason to respond to him in any way which you or anyone else would consider logical or honest - but we're trying our best.

      And yet, you still insist it makes US look bad. That's kind of a biased conclusion considering the behavior which you find contention with for us is the exact same behavior n00b has displayed from the beginning.

      Look, I'm not going to get into a "BUT WHY DOESN'T HE DO IT FIIIIIRST?!" argument. The point of this was to illustrate that if the opposition can arbitrarily avoid certain arguments he deems to be "bad" or unsuitable, if he can arbitrarily decide when commenting does not have value, and if he can display the sheer hypocrisy which is his contention with us commenting on our blog (which one Anon deemed is a "claptrap"), then what is the point of debating? There is none.

      PLEASE consider these facts before commenting again.

      Delete
  15. n00ffensebut claims to be a physician and does research blogging, but has a donate button at the corner of his blog.

    What for? Nobody has any way of knowing that he's actually a physician, and what does he need donations for? Running a blog without your own website is free. Maybe he's just greedy? Maybe he thinks it verifies him?

    Also, his Trojan Horse comment kinda reminds me of the BUGSters. They don't care if people are laughing their asses off at them. They just want the publicity, because any publicity is good publicity. He doesn't care that his video was completely rejected by the "famous geneticist and neuroscientist" he was jumping with joy about before - he just cares he got someone to get him more traffic.

    He's nothing more than a full-of-himself bastard.

    - John

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks like n00b decided to finally offer some arguments. Hooray. Since he has dismissed any intention to come here, I will respond in kind, although I’m curious if I’ll feel like responding again, since I already said it wasn’t worth it. He says he’s interested in matters of substance, but it took this long to get a somewhat significant reply.

    Let’s clarify that clorgiline is only FDA approved for research. The drug isn’t listed on the FDA approved drug list. MAO inhibitors are no longer commonly prescribed and are mostly used as third- or fourth-line treatment, in accordance with their guidelines. In 1999, the Michigan Psychiatric Association conducted a survey finding that only 2% of their responding practicing psychiatrists had used MAO inhibitors frequently, down from 25% in 1990. This is because they were found to have adverse effects such as hypertensive episodes due to overaccumulation of tyrosine, and were sometimes ineffective. Example: selegiline requires high inhibition rates and is ineffective in treating depression.

    He says that 5-HIAA is associated with aggression, but doesn’t make specifications. High presence of MAOA has been found to have no significant effect on 5-HIAA, although studies testing this have produced controversial results (not consistent). It’s also found that high MAOA levels do not result in higher homovanilic acid (HVA) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid, inconsistent with the hypotheses being challenged, although its variation does effect dopamine levels in the CNS.

    n00b says IQs and hormones can counter the effect MAOA-3R has in Asians, but once again he’s still stuck on a trivial point which Sam has not pursued… in any case, as it pertains to the Chinese sample, the Chinese average IQ is 100. At least that’s what “IQ and the Wealth of Nations” says. His point is vague and lacks positive claims.

    He says the study by Caspi et al in 2002 found a protective effect from MAOA-4R, but it doesn't mention MAOA-4R. We’re still talking about the same study, right? “Role of Genotype in the Cycle of Violence in Maltreated Children?” Again, clarification is needed. It’s hard to reply when everything is vague.

    Yes, nobody claimed that all MAOA studies are false positives. We said it’s plausible that they affect simplistic behavioral traits, although not by themselves. To infer some kind of deterministic position that the low presence of MAOA alone, without GxE or another confounding factor, on something complex like “impulsive criminal behavior,” or any variant, is problematic from its conception, from the point of how you are inferring impulsive criminal behavior to how you are testing that MAOA alone affects it. It’s even more dangerous when someone gets a hold of these studies and makes negative racial implications, especially someone who has said that “black men with the warrior gene have a duty to retreat to Liberia,” or “I congratulate Sam (Seder) on finding five black and Hispanic men who aren’t violent.” Is this slander? Maybe, but it does imply that there is bias.

    :Sources:

    Balon R, Mufti R & Arfken CL (1999). A survey of prescribing practices for monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Psychiatric Servivces, 50, 945–947.

    Clary C, Mandos LA & Schweizer E. (1990). Results of a brief survey on the prescribing practices for monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 51, 226–231.

    Ducci et al. (2006). A functional polymorphism in the MAOA gene promoter (MAOA-LPR) predicts central dopamine function and body mass index. Molecular Psychiatry, 11(9), 858-866.

    Gordon et al. (1999). Oral versus transdermal selegiline: antidepressant-like activity in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 63, 501–506.

    Horwitz D, Lovenberg W, Engelman K, Sjoerdsma A. (1964). Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tyramine, and cheese. Journal of the American Medical Association, 188, 1108–1110.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the reply, catnipBiologist, even though you said you were done. I think that, however, just elucidates something. n00b waited until after you bailed to post anything of substance. As Lex pointed out, he is arbitrarily mapping out how this exchange is taking place, all the while trying to bloat his ego. There's no point in feeding that behavior.

      Delete
    2. I'm having the same feelings.

      One thing I forgot to mention, though:

      "The only point Sam made that I think was original was that he claimed that liver MAOA production basically negates FDA approval of clorgyline."

      Something, once again, that was never said.

      Delete
  17. It seems that n00b doesn’t exactly know how inhibitors work, and thinks that since inhibitors can result in adverse neurological side effects, it proves that MAOA has a high activity in the brain. An enzyme inhibitor can be very specific, in that it does not affect enzymes or proteins other than what is targeted. An inhibitor can be introduced to a specific part of the body, thus if someone wants to administer an MAOA inhibitor to counter a neurological disorder, they can administer it exclusively (or at least mostly – most scientists in this field enjoy no less than 90% specificity) to the brain. This does not mean that MAOA can cause such disorders by itself. It means that a scientist can select specifically for MAOA in the brain to counter neurological disorders which already exist. Nobody attacked the FDA.

    Yes, Brunner’s Syndrome exists. Now, please remain consistent in following our contentions with using that as an example. It is a very rare case, and we are all skeptical if it relies exclusively on MAOA. A symptom of Brunner’s Syndrome is low IQ. MAOA has been found to only affect IQ with the presence of COMT. We’re actually considering the very potent possibility of other factors playing a role in this. n00b is not.

    I’m really willing to place a bet that Sam used “Type 1 Error” figuratively, in that people are, once again, testing and claiming that MAOA by itself can affect complex behavioral traits, but may be ignoring other factors. “Other factors” – this is, and has consistently been, the focal point of our argument. n00b is overlooking this and is taking our arguments piecemeal to better suit his abilities. So as such, it seems n00b is only focused on confirming his positive hypotheses as opposed to testing a null hypothesis – something characteristic of pseudoscientists.

    My first reference, Ducci et al., found no significant effect of MAOA activity on 5-HIAA levels. Williams et al found high activity of MAOA was correlated with high 5-HIAA levels in men, but not women; another study by Jonsson et al. found high activity of MAOA was correlated with high 5-HIAA levels in women, but not men. I cited my study for this and stated that the results of such studies produced conflicting results. For HVA again, Zahlsman et al. found high MAOA activity correlates with high HVA levels in men, but Jonsson et al. found high HVA levels in women; lower levels in men. The reason I refer to HVA is because of its correlation with dopamine levels. Continuing, n00b seems only to refer to one study by Robinson et al. and has neglected to look at the other studies, although limited in number.

    I explained where I got the Chinese average from. Other estimates put it at 105, but this isn’t much higher. I actually believe finding a mean national IQ is stupid. Examiners account for dozens of factors: history is taken into full detail, including the number of people in the examinee’s household, smoking habits, neurological/physical/language/social/emotional difficulties, their strengths in school, and so on. They also monitor/score significance for multiple factors, including the person’s hearing/sight during the test, distractions, if their thoughts caused them emotional distress, etc. The factors that play into an IQ score are so numerous that averaging millions of people doesn’t work. It was intended for individual assessment. I’m referring to WAIS-IV but the same factors are usually accounted for in other tests such as WMS-IV. The variation in the Chinese average seems to verify that it’s not reliable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam never claimed n00b didn’t respond to the new argument. Sam admitted the data was swapped, so he conducted a new hypothesis test to see if the change actually made a difference regarding his original point. He wanted to show that the frequencies given by group were not significant enough to show any true difference in proportions; he did this same test for the other groups and came to the same conclusions, except for one pairing I believe. Whether n00b understands the warrant for this claim, I don’t know, but it certainly explains why n00b thinks Sam brought up little-to-no original arguments.

      This next part was a goose chase. I thought perhaps n00b and I were looking at two different studies, so I commented with the name of the study. The fact that n00b did not attempt to correct me should reflect that we’re looking at the same study. So, I read it again. Once again, there was absolutely no mentioning of MAOA-4R, 3.5R, or any specific repeat allele on the promoter region of MAOA for that matter. I don’t know where n00b got this idea from, but I thought maybe I was looking at a review of the study as opposed to the study itself. So, I read it on 3 different websites – JSTOR, ScienceMag and Pedocs. Still the same. Although I will not be commenting again, for my own interest, I requested a copy of the study from my old university.

      As I said, I will not be commenting again. This has been a monumental waste of my time due to the opposition’s vagueness and narcissism. I have more important things to do than go on goose chases to verify (or in this case, disprove/conflict with) the claims that people like n00b make. As long as he stays on the internet pretending to be a physician, asking for donations, I don’t see any reason to give him attention. As commenter John said, he’s only interested in gaining attention, not validity. Hence his oh-so-clever “Trojan Horse.”

      Good luck to everyone in the future. I’ll be around to chat every now and again.

      Delete
  18. n00ffensebut has resorted to accusing Sam and catnipBiologist of being the same person while hardly giving thought to anything that was said. If there are any others following the debate, I hope they make note of that too. Thank you all for taking the time to discuss this topic. I don't hear much back and forth on it anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ad hominems for the win. So much for getting us to "save face."

      Delete
    2. Well now you have to prove that you're a different person from catnipBiologist! Which...... isn't a testable hypothesis...... My brain is hanging on his/her mentioning of "pseudoscientists."

      Delete
    3. I think n00b and Sam are the same person.

      Delete
    4. catnipBiologist is Sam? Looks like I'm short of a sister-in-law now.

      Unless, Sam married my brother.... which is alright, I guess... but...

      Delete
    5. So n00b believes that since an inhibitor can 'inhibit', it MUST have the effect of an enzyme!!!11
      And the second catnipBiologist calls him out on him, our little charlatan results to name calling, blind accusations, and overall wingnuttery.
      Now I see why he refrained from initially spouting sustenance.

      So much for enlightened discussion.
      The good that came out of this is that n00b has been exposed for what he really is...causing the Titanic to sink.
      "Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight".

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RcVzevWX4U

      Delete
  19. n00ffensebut's most recent comment was absolutely pathetic. He quoted two random posts by catnipBiologist, claimed it shows that Sam is the same person, and then says no more on the subject. The rest of his comment I couldn't even follow. I used to think he was legit, but wow...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the Titanic has sunk? Thank you for taking Expose Pseudoscience 101. Enjoy your holidays!

      Delete
    2. Might as well have. I was thinking this debate was going somewhere, but it turned out to be a huge waste of time, and against my prior expectations, it wasn't you guys' fault.

      Delete
  20. To be honest i am really disappointed in both parties here. N00b is posting some BS, but he is also posting serious rebuttals of what has been said over here. I have said it before and i will say it again, post over on his blog and challenge him directly, otherwise it all seems a little mealy mouthed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serious rebuttals? I would direct you to the most recent of what has transpired - look at both catnipBiologist's comment (begins with "It seems that n00b doesn't exactly know..."), then look at n00b's response.

      The value of the statements being made does not change by the location of its posting. n00b has refused to post here, and the posters here have generally done the same. The fact that you are coming only here to challenge us, despite the most recent display of behavior, says enough for me.

      I've shown you why it's completely irrational to adhere to your suggestions. This is the fourth time you've posted something of this nature. I won't allow in any more, as your "point" has already been made.

      Delete
  21. "To suggest that gene expression is irrelevant based on the possibility of a cascade amplification is nothing more than a “what if” statement and offers no legitimate reason as to why Sam’s refutation of MAO-A’s potential effect on criminal behavior is inaccurate"

    Stopped reading here. The preceding commentary was illogical, and this broke the camel's back.

    You do understand cascading amplification (i.e. pleitropy) is the norm and not the exception in genetics, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleiotropy is different from a cascade amplification. Something the regulars here have referred to frequently is a study which showed that MAOA only had an effect on IQ when the COMT gene was present and activated. This is the result of MAOA's pleiotropic effect on COMT.

      This wasn't the argument that was being suggested. John posed the argument that it doesn't matter if MAOA shows higher gene expression in the brain, because it could randomly develop a higher concentration in the brain, where he used the analogy of a match in a forest. That was suggesting that a gene could randomly encounter a cascade amplification. Key word here is "could."

      How I came to the conclusion that he was making that argument was because of the underlying assumptions. He was attempting to trivialize gene expression levels' significance in making genetic predictions altogether, essentially. Doing that just seems to be moving the goalposts.

      Delete
    2. Cascading amplification would be a manifestation and a form of pleiotropy.

      "This wasn't the argument that was being suggested. John posed the argument that it doesn't matter if MAOA shows higher gene expression in the brain, because it could randomly develop a higher concentration in the brain, where he used the analogy of a match in a forest"

      He didn't say anything about how it could "randomly develop a higher concentration", he was just pointing in a round about way is that all that matters is that MAOA is expressed in the brain. The phenotypes that are of topic are IQ and aggression. As long MAOA expresses in the brain, then it has a potential to impact the phenotypes at topic.

      Sam's point was, in my view, awesomely stupid on its face. So what if MAOA more often expressed in parts of the body other than the brain? It's STILL expressed in the brain. It STILL has a potential to impact behavioral/psychological phenotypes, and there is a MOUNTAIN of evidence that suggests MAOA itself affects a variety of psychological phenotypes at least latently and distally, if not directly. The fact that MAOA is more expressed in body parts other than the brain does nothing to diminish this fundamental fact about MAOA. There is no "what-if" or "could" here. MAOA is relevant to the phenotypes of topic.


      "He was attempting to trivialize gene expression levels' significance in making genetic predictions altogether, essentially."

      It is irrelevant to the phenotypes and gene at hand. I'm sorry that you don't understand this. It would only (arguably) be relevant if the gene expression level was null in the brain.

      Delete
    3. The argument was that because there is a very low expression in the brain, it is unlikely for MAOA to have any effect on behavioral traits by itself.

      Of course it has the potential, but not by itself. Allow me to quote catnipBiologist:

      "... people are, once again, testing and claiming that MAOA by itself can affect complex behavioral traits, but may be ignoring other factors. 'Other factors' – this is, and has consistently been, the focal point of our argument."

      The moment one begins arguing that a gene coding for an enzyme which has extremely low expression in the brain could potentially affect behavior by itself, you start arguing "what if." If you don't believe you are, then you are, as I said, attempting to make gene expression a trivial reference in all cases.

      The way this argument is being treated is as though there is some kind of polar denial of MAOA's potential in absolutely any situation to influence any behavioral trait. Nobody among us has ever made that assertion. Before you make claims as to whether or not I understand the topic, read into the argument and find what it actually is.

      And also, feel free to read the rest of the rebuttal before commenting again, because as I understood it, you stopped because of a contention with a position Sam nor I have ever held.

      Delete
  22. I looked back at the debate and thought "wow, this is hard to follow."

    So I did you all a favor.

    http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Desp4yNC

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'll be forthcoming for my desired comment.

    I once followed LaughingMan0X's videos because he provided much content on philosophy. This is not to say that I necessarily agree with his schools of thought (which, as it seems to me, he often misidentifies) but I do enjoy listening to other people give their perspectives. I believe this is what philosophy is truly about: listening to other perspectives, gaining wisdom from all corners of the map, and drawing your own conclusions based on a combination of what you understand, what you prefer and objectively what seems to be the best way to observe things. This purpose of philosophy, which literally means "love wisdom," extends beyond a typical classroom setting, or beyond what you might call the "closed room" (that is, where philosophy is only applied in a room full of philosophers, psychology is only applied in a room full of psychologists, etc.). What LaughingMan0X said in his videos on YouTube as they related to philosophy seemed only to be mirrors of what anyone would normally be taught in their college philosophy courses. Although to be fair, Sam Owl's video on ableism seemed to be similar in that I heard much of what he said from a course on American Diversity.

    To continue, I am also what you would call a "race realist." I acknowledge that there are different races of humans, and I entertain the possibility that these racists are inherently different in terms of factors such as intelligence or endurance. There is a pretty limited amount of variation between the races, but I will not dismiss these possibilities simply because they have not been fully addressed yet. However, there comes a fine line. I acknowledge these races, yet if I were to acknowledge that they were inherently different in terms of (the most relevant example) intelligence, I don't see how it would, personally, change my views of members of that race.

    You may be able to find a mean IQ for black Americans and, based on that, say "on average, black people are less intelligent than white people," but that is such an illusory conclusion that anybody, especially someone who takes philosophy, should be able to see through it. I cannot judge an individual based on a mean because that individual could, very likely, not reflect the mean. Even so, I do not judge people based on intelligence because they may have their foot on my head in several other categories. We aren't even entirely sure, in the field of psychology, that IQ reflects intelligence as we would like it to be. It does, however, serve its purpose in longitudinal studies of individual development.

    So how does this apply to LaughingMan0X? In his first video response to Sam Owl, he accused Sam of confusing a positive proposition with a normative proposition (bear in mind, I was utterly annoyed with this section of the video because he spent a pretty long time explaining something that could've been easily summarized in a one sentence, such as: "Some race realists don't make positive propositions based on their beliefs, and some race realists aren't necessarily racist." I agree with Sam Owl in that sense, that I believe he only did this to extend the length of his video and give himself an aura of intelligence, i.e. heavy ethos). My situation, as I have explained, would be an example of a positive claim: I believe races are real, and I acknowledge the possibility of their differences housing the potential for a difference in intelligence.

    I suppose LaughingMan0X was trying to claim that he, as an example, does not make normative propositions based on his beliefs, but he definitely fits the bill. He has a video entitled "This Week in Black Violence, Hate, and Crime (Unfit for National News; No Outrage)," which gives a bunch of black-on-white crimes.

    ReplyDelete
  24. (cont) In the description, for black-on-white crime statistics, he cites "Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in America," published by the New Century Foundation (NCF). The NCF also publishes American Renaissance, and was founded by Jared Taylor. Ironically, it receives a lot of funding from the Pioneer Fund. On his channel, LaughingMan0X lists American Renaissance under his Featured Channels. Of course, "John A." doesn't provide such an affiliation on his LinkedIn page. It seems obvious to me that LaughingMan0X is more biased than he is leading on.

    It is to be noted that he took a course in Argument and Persuasion. If I’m receiving accurate information, one of the curriculum criteria for the course at Cabrillo College is to cover publication bias, propaganda and other related topics as it pertains to proper research. This is significant because he trivialized the significance of publication bias when Sam Owl referred to the Pioneer Fund, claiming it to be a "genetic fallacy." The genetic fallacy applies only when the factor being considered has no bearing on the truth of the statements being made. “If the Pioneer Fund funds research which says 2 and 2 make four, is that biased?" -- a red herring for two reasons. First, it’s an “if” statement. Second, the issue is when research is controversial and is not an indisputable statement of truth (this is, after all, the purpose of research. There can't be research bias if the statement being questioned isn't a matter of research).

    He also entertained criticism of C0nc0rdance's videos on race. Consider that C0nc0rdance is a molecular biologist and has probably had more experience in the field of human biology than LaughingMan0X could hope for in his current line of education (if I recall, he hasn't had a single course in anthropology). For this reason, I've unsubscribed to him. While I disagree with your position on race, I have to overall commend everyone who helped with this debate (Alexis Delanoir, Sam Owl, catnipBiologist and, if I understand correctly, Jack Brutal). Nobody is perfect, but you defended your positions well.

    I especially enjoyed your argument with n00ffensebut (do you mind if I call him n00b from now on as well?). I used to be an avid follower of The Unsilenced Science, and I enjoyed n00ffensebut's videos in the past where he argued with HannibalBarca, Sofia Rune, and EvoGenVideos. He seemed, to me, to be a very original figure in the debates, because it's not very often that you get a physician in these debates actually displaying knowledge in the field. I figured I would refer to his statements, since he seemed to be an expert. After this debate, I can look back on those moments, regret them, and learn from them, because it's apparent that all of you have him pegged correctly. I enjoyed it so thoroughly because it reminded me that in such a controversial debate, I need to maintain an open mind, a realistic and objective perspective, and that often times, people will lie. I read through some of n00ffensebut's comments and saw some major moments of narcissism. In many posts, you can find a directory statement to the extent of: "anybody who has gone to med school ___."

    I also followed the Twitter feed on MAO-A after the debate, some of which was directed to The Unsilenced Science and n00ffensebut, and realized that a lot of qualified scientists in the field see the common implications of the gene, the enzyme and its variants as being farces. Needless to say, at this point in time, I believe you have “painted him in a corner.”

    So again, while I disagree with your positions to some extent, I thank you for taking the time to handle this situation. I found that specifically, Alexis, your citations and arguments are somewhat difficult to address. As I will be examining and considering them in the next few weeks, I've sent you an email as a base for which we can continue the discussion at a later date, if you wish.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting points to say the least. I would address them specifically but there's quite a lot. I replied to your email, and if you have any questions for me at any time, or simple comments, feel free to send them via email or, if you feel they need publicity, post them here on my blog.

      Cheers, and thank you for your time.

      Delete
  25. I saw that n00ffensebut prides himself over having supposedly coined the "education bubble."

    Alexis, go to your university's library and look for "The Education Bubble: And a saturated job market," which is an article written for the Washington Post in late March of 1997.

    Also find "The online education bubble," which is an article written for The American Prospect in October of 2000.

    And "Has the export education bubble burst?" by Michelle Quirke for the Dominion Post in late August of 2004.

    I lived in DC from 1988 to 1993. Consultants and the occasional interest debater would bring up the theory of "education bubbling up" (and would, in jest, refer to it as an "education bubble") when reflecting on Bush's '89 education summit. I had heard the phrase a little less than a decade before when speaking with a friend of mine in light of suggestions for educational reform. The phrase has been used in many contexts in the past 60 years I'm willing to bet.

    More importantly than simply proving him wrong, who gives a shit if he coined the term? A supposed physician starts up a blog and a YouTube channel and starts picking fights with people, and then flaunts about going to med school/coining the phrase "education bubble." Am I supposed to be impressed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I checked the library database and found all 3.

      I've also seen that particular priding. It doesn't surprise me that he didn't coin it. Any phrase that is "the _ bubble" typically doesn't have any traceable origin, and rightfully so, since it's just a specified variant of the "bubble up" effect. Even so, while I had my doubts in the first place, I never honestly bothered to check because, as you said, so what?

      Delete
  26. I like how LaughingMan0X still hasn't provided sources for either of his videos.

    Also, fun fact (since nationalists love looking at Japan), Russians commit the highest crime rate, and Brazilians the highest violent crime rate in Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  27. we're all the same-- suuuure we are. Camp of the Saints may be in YOUR future-- it ain't in mine, sister

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the following two things are especially funny about the race realist crowd:

      1: If someone doesn't believe in race, you automatically assume they're egalitarian.

      2: You somehow manage to connect immigration to [what should be] a scientific debate.

      Furthermore, I think immigrants have fully assimilated into French society -- just look at them virulently protesting niqab bans and immigration policy; a practice which is indefinitely a part of French political identity.

      My silo is too overbooked for more straw men to take rent, so either find a real argument or show yourself to the door.

      Delete
  28. Concerned ObserverMarch 12, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    I found this comment from LaughingMan0X on a video of his. It reads:

    "It does not follow from the fact that Y makes X methodological error that the reason why Y made X error is because Y is: "unconcerned [with] scientific knowledge" and "has an agenda." There are a number of other possible explanations that are far less nefarious (#1, single honest mistake, #2, a series of unintended systematic mistakes, #3 funding limitations, etc)"

    Yet, in his video, LaughingMan states this (at around 1:41:00):

    "[...] in his second video, Sam [unintelligible] provided show the Burakumin-Japanese IQ gap, the Korean-Japanese IQ gap, the foundation of these gaps on oppression and the removal of the Korean/Burakumin-Japanese IQ gap when such populations left Japan. [...] The article Sam cites is titled 'Japan's Invisible Race: Caste in Culture and Personality' published in 1968 in Journal of Modern Asian Studies. This article is extremely obscure and very few people have access to it. However I can access it. The paper Sam linked is a 4 page article that consists of another researcher's review of a Japanese book on the Burakumin people of Japan. The article Sam cites says absolutely nothing about IQ, the Burakumin-Japanese IQ difference, or the Korean-Japanese IQ difference. It only delves briefly into the history of Japanese oppression of the Burakumin. Thus the fact Sam Owl is a lying asshole all but too apparent. Either he didn't read the article and then claimed it supported his argument, which would make him dishonest, or, he read the article and then blatantly lied about its contents, which would also make him dishonest. So, no matter what way the cookie crumbles, the fact of the matter is, Sam is a charlatan, and that is undeniable."

    There are a few things to note here. First of all, LaughingMan0X's line of reasoning here seems to contradict the attitude he held in his past comment. Indeed, there is no reason to believe that simply because Sam (X) didn't link to the proper source (methodological error Y) doesn't mean he was intentionally being dishonest.

    We could conclude multiple other explanations for Sam's apparent failure to provide an accurate source which are far less nefarious, including a single honest mistake, or potentially a mistake in linking. Sam, as a matter of fact, said this to be the case: that the actual source he was citing was the book, not the review of the book, and that he got the wrong source from JSTOR. Now, admittedly, Sam never fixed this mistake in his sources, but LaughingMan0X also has failed to provide sources on his videos, so when there's a lack of reconciliation on either side, I find it hard to make judgments.

    At the same time, he claims that very few people have access to the review Sam cited. It seems to me, however, that since I'm using my community college's library and can still gain access to it (and even if I couldn't, I could request it through Inter Library Services), that more people would have access to this review than LaughingMan0X might think. In fact, since it's a simple book review in a low impact journal, I find it kind of odd to think that anybody wouldn't have easy access to this review.

    I think LaughingMan0X underestimates his own dishonesty and inconsistency, in that when the argument is against his side, he is willing to give the person the benefit of the doubt (just because X made Y methodological error doesn't mean it was for nefarious reasons), but when it's on the opposite side, he feels free to make assumptions about his opposition's dishonesty (SAM IS A LYING ASSHOLE!!!!)

    I'm sorry if this took too long. Thank you for reading, if anybody does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I just noticed this today. Thank you for taking the time to post this, I made sure to read it in its entirety.

      I've already ruled out any potential capacity for honest discourse with LaughingMan0X, and it's been several months since this rebuttal was made, so it seems he has no interest in even dishonest discourse anyway. On the surface, LM0X seems to be informed, but he has his door shut when it comes to a genuine discussion or exchange of ideas, and he, despite claiming otherwise, exists more as a service to his subscribers than to genuinely representing the topics he covers.

      My guess is that after starting college, he gained some rather juvenile enthusiasm to start making videos about the things he learned (which is why a lot of his unprompted philosophy videos seem to be reading out of a textbook), and now he's under Dunning-Kruger.

      Now, without a doubt, I believe both Sam and LM0X show dishonesty to whatever extent you may choose, but I believe LM0X's dishonesty comes from far more nefarious and immature grounds, while Sam's comes from being genuinely mistaken (thus, in most cases, I can chalk it up as not actually being dishonest). Sam made a genuine effort to provide sources for his information, while LM0X didn't even try. Now, my assessment may be biased from the fact that Sam is my closest friend, but I think that most objective observers will agree with me. Most mistakes he made can be attributed to his lack of interest in replying to LM0X in the first place.

      It's very clear that LM0X is a hypocrite, but unlike Sam, LM0X is genuinely scared to admit to it, because the most significant aspect of his persona is the even-toned logical analyst/philosopher. If he were to show that he makes a contradiction in reasoning, then perhaps he's not an aspiring philosopher after all.

      Delete
  29. "I should also mention, in passing, that the general consensus is that Neanderthals did not interbreed much with modern humans"

    Not true, given that 1-4% of modern non-African human DNA is shared with Neanderthals. Are you sure you're familiar with this topic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note how I say "did not interbeed much with modern humans," emphasis on "much." I do not deny that non-African humans share a small amount of nuclear DNA with Neanderthals, but I deny that this is largely due to intermixing, especially because, as far as I know, the 1-4% is nuclear DNA, not mtDNA. There are other plausible explanations: shared common ancestor (as young as 500,000 years prior), gene flow, or a small degree of intermixing in the shadow of large-scale replacement. I recommend this link:

      http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics/ancient-dna-and-neanderthals/interbreeding

      The evidence, I'll admit, is slowly starting to favor an intermixing hypothesis between Neanderthals and modern humans or Cro-Magnon, but I'm not entirely convinced that the degree of intermixing is as large-scale as one might lead us to think.

      So, yes, I'm familiar with this topic, enough to say "I don't know for sure."

      Delete
    2. A study was just published 2 days ago validating the theory that the Neanderthals interbred with modern non-African humans, and additionally invalidating your hypotheses that a common ancestor explains the similarity.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408111228.htm

      Delete
    3. Well then, I guess my professors were right, and so were you. I think this'll inspire a research post in the future. Thank you for taking the time to correct me.

      Delete
    4. So given this fact, are you prepared to accept the biological reality of race?

      Delete
    5. If you mean the Neanderthals, then perhaps they could be a race of humans.

      I know what you're implying. How does this validate the concept of race?

      Delete
    6. Neanderthals are a separate species from Homo Sapiens. Neanderthal DNA cannot be found in African populations, showing that there is a gene pool which Africans did not have access to, but Eurasian populations did. Same for the Denisovans for Australians/New Zealanders. This means that not only are Eurasian populations unambiguously distinct from African populations, but that they could've inherited the adaptive genes of the Neanderthals which result in their high intelligence. Are you going to try denying this and insist that race doesn't exist?

      Delete
    7. Actually, if Neanderthals interbred with modern humans, it would imply that Neanderthals are of the same species as modern humans, and same with the Denisovans. In fact, because there is a very clear distinction between these archaic humans and modern humans, the difference would more accurately reflect subspecies or race than would different populations of modern humans today. That poses some problems for the crowd you're coming from, because it brings into question the suitability of traditional racial classification. Your own argument is against you, not for you.

      In any case, your next argument echoes the painful words of reporters such as Nicholas Wade, who said much the same thing in 2010:

      "[...] Neanderthals interbred only with non-Africans, the people who left Africa, which would mean that non-Africans drew from a second gene pool not available to Africans."

      Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/science/07neanderthal.html?_r=0

      Nicholas Wade's reporting of that study is intended to support a multiregional hypothesis, but such misinterpretations are destructive to the progress made in anthropology (a field which Wade despises) and are toxic to the public's knowledge.

      Even with the presence of Neanderthal admixture in non-Africans, sub-Saharan Africa still holds the largest amount of genetic diversity, and the diversity of other populations can be seen as a subset of the diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the variation which exists in humans today, only a very small amount of it is exclusive to non-Africans, and some of those genes are selectively neutral.

      People also seem to forget that the OOA model not only includes migration out of Africa, but a history of back-migrations and complex population structures. Admixture, in the context of OOA, is a rule, not a specific or isolated event as you're implying. This history of migrations back to Africa would carry the genetic diversity with them, and the already known gene flow patterns we've observed would allow for the flow of Neanderthal derived genes into Africa.

      This is, indeed, evidence that we could very well classify archaic humans such as Denisovans and Neanderthals, or even the unknown potential sister population of archaic humans in Africa, as different races or subspecies. To respond to your question, by no means does this suggest that Eurasians are unambiguously distinct from Africans. This misinterpretation of the results only comes from the fact that before this evidence arose, the dominant model was the large-scale replacement hypothesis, and thus the new hypothesis of intermixing would seem to take over the replacement hypothesis's tone of acting on specific people, not in the complex structure of modern human populations.

      In any case, it is beyond hasty to say that this Neanderthal admixture could contribute to intelligence. We've hardly even decoded the genetic mapping of skin color given what we know now, but the shadowy cabinet of neo-determinists wants us to believe that we're even close to having an understanding of the mapping of the brain and cognitive ability/adaptability in the human genome? That technology is a long way off, as is the technology which would help us detect less obvious remnants of archaic human DNA in modern populations. It's a serious lapse in scientific reasoning (similarly, see my comments on the Cold Winters Theory on this page).

      So, to answer your question, race may exist, but only if we learn to accept the Neanderthals/Denisovans as fellow humans (homo sapiens).

      P.S. I'm pretty sure the common claim is that Denisovan DNA may be present only in Australia and New Guinea*, not New Zealand.

      Delete
  30. "His brief mentioning of epigenetic methylation wasn't enough for me to confidently make any guesses about what his arguments were, but really, it sounds like his arguments aren't addressing the gene expression of MAOA itself, but merely just trying to trivialize the expression levels Sam displayed. If his argument in regards to epigenetic methylation was that 'because a gene's expression can be affected by something other than the sequencing of the DNA itself, gene expression levels have no significance in this case,' then I'm just wholeheartedly convinced he's an undergrad." - catnipBiologist

    This was a non-answer, and therefore your rebuttal was vague and uninformative. Why does that convince you he's an undergrad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm no expert on this stuff, so I've notified catnipBiologist of your post. No guarantee she will respond.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for telling me about this post. To the Anon, yours is a fair question, but only in the context of your not knowing the true nature of the debate that took place a few months ago.

      When I pointed out that gene expression data for MAOA is blind to polymorphisms (since the data gathered does not discriminate against VNTRs), n00b's second objection was "I also spoke of epigenetic methylation." There was nothing more to it, since he speaks in riddles. This told me that his position was to trivialize the predictive power of gene expression by talking about epigenetics.

      Now, to the uninformed public, epigenetics is definitely up there in one of the most confused concepts in biology. Nature Review Genetics defines it as "the study of mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence." This refers to how cells retain their phenotype. By this narrow definition, there has been insurmountable research. People like n00b, however, extrapolate the definition and talk about how an organism can retain its phenotype. That's not what the definition suggests, and it cannot be used to explain why an organism behaves the way it does with structural modifications to chromatin.

      Okay, yes, n00b wanted to confuse the issue and claim that it leaves room for environmental effects as well, and so our positions aren't any different, but the reference to environment in the context of genetics can refer to the environment at the cellular level, not the organism's environment. His main point is that agency is given to the genome in behavioral expression, and thus I claimed I was convinced he was an undergrad.

      Do I care if he's actually an undergrad? Not really. Even if he were practicing in the field for 40 years, I'd still be convinced he's an idiot. Hope that helps.

      Delete
    3. In English, please.

      Delete
    4. And that's why you didn't understand why I said n00b was an undergrad. I'm not here to teach you bio. Read a fucking book before poking your nose in debates.

      Delete
  31. n00ffensebut has offered a rebuttal to some comments made by Sam Owl/catnipBiologist:

    "I just noticed that the one who calls himself Sam Owl and catnipBiologist is still attacking me and promoting the idea that he “debunked” MAOA on his YouTube channels. Mostly it’s just bullshit drama, but I wanted to respond to a couple things.

    Jon Cragaladarador said:
    “What about the study that was done on mice that found that MAOA deficiency led to them being more aggressive?”

    Sam Owl said:
    “If you mean the Scott, Bortolato, Chen and Shih study, the sample size was 6.”

    This guy doesn’t appear to have access to other studies on knock-out mice, even though his alter ego claims to be a biologist with a six-figure income. :)

    Here are some other studies that address aggression in knock-out mice:
    Chen et al, 2007
    Vishnivetskaya et al, 2007
    Cases et al, 1995

    Also see Mejia et al, 2002 for the effect of MAOA inhibitors on mice. There are other studies that address other behavioral differences, too.

    catnipBiologist said:
    “Not to mention the video was talking about humans. The gene expression of MAOA in mice is likely to be different than in humans.”

    This “biologist” doesn’t understand that knock-out mice and humans with Brunner syndrome have exactly the same gene expression of MAOA, zero."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironic that this should show up when I was getting ready to publish my post on racialized medicine. I'll notify cB that she has another comment waiting for her. Until then, I'll take a crack at this.

      n00b says: "I just noticed that the one who calls himself Sam Owl and catnipBiologist is still attacking me and promoting the idea that he “debunked” MAOA on his YouTube channels."

      Aside from the fact that Sam largely does not even touch his channel anymore, n00b is citing comments that were made 4 months ago. I hardly consider that a continued assault on n00b's good name.

      "This guy doesn’t appear to have access to other studies on knock-out mice"

      When we consider that Jon confirmed that he was talking about the Scott et al. study when Sam asked, this would be irrelevant even if it were true.

      Furthermore, let's be clear on what n00b thinks bullshit drama is:
      - 4 month old comments that are supposedly attacking him in real-time.
      - Comments which seem to be genuinely inquisitive, and only became petty and bickering when "Steampunk Realist" posted.

      And now, let's highlight what n00b doesn't think bullshit drama is:
      - Accusing two people of being the same person, without validation.
      - Responding to 4 month old comments, claiming that they're attacking him in real-time.
      - Responding to anything at all despite claiming that he doesn't care.

      If we were trolls as he likes to think we are, then this is n00b:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itq-MsGg-oU

      But don't listen to me Anon. You're supposed to be convinced that we're drama-inducing trolls, and that we don't know what we're talking about.

      Delete
    2. cB has opted not to reply, noting that quote:

      "N00b's just fanning the flames of a dead argument. He misrepresented my argument and left important details out, all while ironically bitching about us being trolls or drama llamas. If he weren't so obsessed with this topic and his blog, I'd invoke Poe's Law. So since he's in perpetuate damage control and since I already said I was done wasting time on him, I won't dignify his bitching and moaning with a direct response."

      Since I agree that it's not worth the time, and so does pretty much everyone else, this concludes any further "discussion" relating to n00b until something worthwhile comes about.

      Delete
    3. I see.. sorry to disturb you guys, then. Can I still comment on the blog though?

      Delete
    4. Don't apologize, and of course! I'm not going to blacklist you from my blog just because you forwarded a reply -- in fact it'd be kind of difficult to do that since you're an Anon.

      Delete
  32. So the Dishonest Owl decided to delete his YouTube channel. Kind of weird for the winner of the debate to delete his content. Still so sure of yourselves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he deleted his content because he felt that he lost the debate, why did he wait 6 months to do it? Even better: why is it unusual for someone with a dead channel to remove their content after leaving it up for 6 months? I'm asking because I know the answer. I've been the one operating the Sam Owl channel for the past 6 months -- approving and replying to comments, managing subscriptions, etc. I deleted it. I was tired of the pointless comments that kept coming in, and felt that 6 months was long enough for the channel to stay up. Sam had nothing to do with it.

      This is what I think to be the most interesting dynamic of the whole debate. The opposition loves to take every opportunity they can to say "Sam did this, dishonesty!" without any proof or evidence beyond their own personal thoughts. You've all even taken to calling him "Dishonest Owl." Here are a few thoughts to leave you on:

      1: To assert that which is not evidently true is dishonest.
      2: It does not follow that because X does Y, that it was done for nefarious reasons.
      3: The biggest sign of pseudoscience is when Bulverism (or simply pseudo-psychoanalysis) is brought into play.

      With that, I bid you a fond farewell, ye of many assumptive mistakes.

      Delete
    2. We don't need to take every opportunity we have to show that Sam is dishonest. Even if what you're saying is true and you're not just covering up for him, he's still a liar and a charlatan. Laughingman proved that very effectively.

      Delete
    3. It's funny. There have only been two posters, both Anons, who have tried to argue against anything in the original post. One Anon was arguing in favour of MAOA, but failed (at least the way I see it). Another Anon corrected me on Neanderthal admixture, but their premise for why they needed to correct it was irrelevant to the debate. If anything, it weakened his stance.

      Other than that, the IQ studies, the arguments against Cold Winters, the crime correlates, and so on have not been addressed by my detractors. Nobody has tried to explain to me why John might have ignored the admixture studies in the APA's report. Nobody has tried to explain how he could defend his use of IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Nobody has tried to explain how his use of Rushton and Jensen's cherry picking isn't also dishonest. Nobody has tried to explain, just as well, how John's misrepresentation of the results of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study isn't dishonest. The arguments made against John in this post have remained, by a sweeping majority, untouched.

      Yet, here we are, with you expecting people to take you seriously when you assert that John somehow proved that Sam was dishonest -- dishonest enough that it warrants continued harassment, and even a new moniker; or dishonest enough that he, rather that John, should be seen as the charlatan in this debate.

      I already get it, though. You probably didn't even read my post; or if you did, you don't care. You want things to be a certain way, and that's where your mind takes you.

      Delete
    4. Projecting much? The egalitarian worldview is completely inconsistent with reality, and egalitarians themselves are dishonest for trying to push their irrationality on the rest of the world. Egalitarians are afraid of the truth, and that's why they try to take the moral high ground, like you are.

      Also, just because nobody has argued against you yet means that you're right? Get over yourself. Some people just don't feel like addressing these points because they've already been discussed a thousand times, and addressing them here wouldn't do anything useful. Just because you made the arguments doesn't mean they're valid, and Sam is still dishonest. Laughingman proved that. End of story.

      Delete
    5. What do egalitarians have to do with this? You're as delusional as John. Rants about egalitarians are completely pointless to this discussion, since neither Sam nor I (especially I) are egalitarians. Hey, but look again, you're displaying your hypocrisy.

      Since nobody has argued against me, there is no reason yet to believe that the arguments I made are flawed or incorrect. Indeed, is it not hypocritical that John criticized Sam for using a "secondary source" (a gene atlas), but in the same video, and many others, uses a secondary source (the APA report)? Is it not dishonest for him to say "the APA largely agrees with me," but then ignore all of their findings that conflict with his position? Is it not dishonest to cite the findings of a study as being supportive of your position, but when that study says their findings are an artifact of later adoption times, quality placement, etc., to ignore them and cite something else? Please, show me why I'm wrong with any of this. You'd be doing me a solid.

      "Some people just don't feel like addressing these points because they've already been discussed a thousand times, and addressing them here wouldn't do anything useful."

      You sound a lot like John himself, who said something very similar only a month or two before making his first response video. If you're just going to sit here and say "these points have already been addressed," or even just "these points are wrong," then I have no reason to believe you, and neither does anyone else.

      Point being, if Sam is so dishonest, then why can nobody tell me, well, exactly how he was dishonest? Rather, nobody can tell me how he was so much more dishonest than a typical human being, or even just more dishonest than John, to warrant being labeled "Dishonest Owl?" As it appears to me, John is exponentially more dishonest than Sam. Why not call him DishonestMan0X?

      Because, as I said, you don't care what the arguments are. You even displayed that in your final comments:

      "... Sam is still dishonest. Laughingman proved that. End of story."

      In other words:

      "I don't care what you say. Sam is dishonest, despite the arguments you made. Laughingman proved that, even though your arguments suggest he's the dishonest one. End of story. I'm not listening to you."

      If you can't explain to me how John was not dishonest, if you can't explain to me how Sam was more dishonest than John, if you can't explain to me why my arguments are wrong, but you continue to assert those things, then you're being dishonest. "End of story."

      Delete
    6. I noticed that several people of the white nationalists on YouTube have been all over the fact that Sam's channel shut down. I wonder if any of them will come here, read your explanation and report it back in an honest manner. I also wonder (at least in their opinion) how long a channel should stay labelled "dead" before actually "dying."

      Delete
    7. I'm not really sure what they expect, but I had a recent discussion with a handful of those several people, and when you start paying attention to how they articulate themselves and attempt to defend their positions... well, you really stop caring what they gossip about.

      Delete
  33. From watching LaughingMan's video, it's pretty clear that Sam Owl is a fool who merely loudly asserts his unfounded opinions and brandies about personal attacks and fallacious reasoning. LaughingMan was very mature in articulating a clear, logical response.

    This article makes a good point about needing to vet scientific research. It also makes a good point about biases and manipulation made on _both_ sides of the argument, whether consciously or not. Unfortunately, even the vetting of scientific research is not free from bias. Only logic is free from bias. There's a fine line between genetic fallacy and research bias. To disregard all research funded by a source that you don't like is extremely disingenuous unless you can prove without bias that that source is intentionally corrupt. Otherwise, even bringing it up as an argument is a genetic fallacy.

    The matter of variance of IQ scores across is not concretely settled by research. And this is why I ultimately side with LaughingMan in this debate. It is best to be skeptical, to remain open minded about the subject, and not to jump to premature conclusions . Unfortunately, people on the other side of the debate seem a little too eager to jump to conclusions. This is likely because it fits with a preconceived agenda they have.

    Sam Owl made dogmatic statements that were absolutely unproven and didn't even attempt to prove them. LaughingMan thoroughly, logically refuted Sam Owl and provided _theories_ and _evidence_ to the contrary, but never made any false, dogmatic statements himself. Therefore, he can at least plausibly be unbiased, even if he relied on limited sources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,

      I would do careful review of LaughingMan's arguments again. As illustrated several times in this article, not only did he make false statements, but also dogmatic ones. He took pieces of sources to support his argument and ignored the parts that refuted him. He used widely discredited research and made leaps in logic that were not warranted by his evidence. Very specifically, you said he was "skeptical" and "open minded" - LaughingMan was not. The very nature of "race realism" is a positive stance on an issue, not an agnostic one. He made the argument that the races are inherently different in terms of (among other things) intelligence, and used faulty evidence to support this claim. Given this fact, I don't see how you can shrug off his guilt in perpetuating this rather disgusting display of academic dishonesty (a display that was found on both sides of the issue, but to different extents).

      Delete
  34. Laughing Boy was pals with HeyRuka which explains a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man of Sin,

      HeyRuka was something else entirely. I wouldn't group LaughingMan in with her. At the very least he is well informed in the relevant disciplines.

      Delete
    2. This page is kind of old, so it seems odd to me that 2 people have very recently commented here. Is there an external link?

      Delete
    3. I don't know about the other guy but I came across this by googling "heyruka cherrying picking".

      Delete
    4. Wait you needed to Google HeyRuka's cherry picking? :V

      Delete

WARNING: Please read the Comment Guidelines page before posting!

Sometimes comments won't go through properly, so if you write a lot and are concerned about losing your work, please save your comment in a separate text document before posting. Keep it saved until you're sure your comment has been received/published.