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Forums > Social Discussion > The genetics of slavery...

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BurningByron


member
Location: Australia

Total posts: 340
Posted:I have taken my post from this thread and started a new topic as I felt it needed a home of its own...

Written by:
"The reason there are so many black players in the NFL and NBA is because when we went to get the slaves from Africa, we picked the biggest and strongest ones, and most black americans are descended from slaves."



That is quite a bold statement to make indeed!
I wonder if any studies have been done to see if there is any truth in his words.

From a purely scientific perspective (with my reasonable knowledge in genetics and evolution) selection for strength, endurance, resilience to extreme conditions and overall toughness would have occured.
This would be the case for 3 possible reasons:
1. The scum that kidnapped the Africans new they would get a better price for fitter looking individuals.
2. The horrendous conditions that the Africans had to endure during the trip across to America would have killed any individuals that were not very strong, fit and healthy.
3. I'm sure the Americans would have simply killed any Africans they could not sell rather then buy them food.

To then link the selection pressures placed on these Africans to their impressive sporting achievements of today involves too many assumptions for me to bother going through. It all comes down to assumptions........... and it is these assumptions where holes could be shot in his theory and where it could be tested.

I am interested to hear which part of this man's statement you guys find offensive??

I get the impression this guy is the type of person that doesnt think before he speaks, if he posed this theory in a more diplomatic manner maybe people would pick up on the interesting scientific idea he put forward instead of them going with the group mentality and crucifying him as arrogant, racist and stupid....

(Incidently I do not even consider "race" an issue here, in fact I dont even consider "race" an issue in MY life at all. I dont see myself as one race or another, I am a human being, I dont see why any other physical characteristic of myself should matter to me. If it matters to anyone else, that's their problem, all I can be is me!) Children dont see race....

I find genetics and evolution very interesting, I would love to hear everyone elses ideas on this!!!!

Oh and lastly before I go back to studying for my biochem exam...
Has anyone heard of the concious gene theory based on the synchronisation of menstrual cycles of female groups in the animal kingdom???

.


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Twirly


Twirly

Shoryuken!
Location: Hexham, Newcastle, England

Total posts: 233
Posted:Yeah, that doesn't sound like such a wild theory to me. I haven't got a clue how many black americans are decended from slaves, but if it is a large proportion then I'd say the guy is probably right that these guys have strong genes, even if he did phrase it insensitively.

Of course there will be other factors; perhaps its just that more black people play basketball overall. White people look silly in basketball vests, so maybe thats why they don't keep playing long enough to go pro?


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:well, I'll say this in favor of that statement, but do not think I am actually anouncing my opinion here.

Black people from North America are MUCH bigger than ones from Africa.

Ok, I am 6 feet tall (183 cm) and weight 185 lbs (~83 kg). I'm athletically built, but not bulky. In Texas most black guys are my size or bigger. I've seen a fair amount of Africa, and there it is uncommon (though not exactly rare) to find a black person near as big as me. In many areas I actually got a bit self concious about being so big as it was clearly pretty uncomfortable for a village guy who is not used to seeing white people and suddenly has to deal with this huge American who is not only white but like twice his size.

Funny thing is, they all assummed I was increadly strong (they would say this to me a lot), but size does not neccisarily indicate strength - these guys are wirey and tough as nails. their muscles aren't big, but they can schlep more stuff over a longer distance than I can. They just didn't know that.

So another side to this argument is that the size difference between african americans and africans is due mainly to nutrition. perhaps.

but then again, african americans really don't look like africans much at all. Many people who see themselves as black in the USA would be seen as moreor less white in Africa. But it is more than just skin color - facial features are different, general body builds, and many other things (not the least of which is behaviour - most africans would be totally baffed at what Americans, black or white, call african culture).

Now I'm not sure if I go in for this line of arguing that slavery has bred a race of athletes, but I will agree that African Americans are no longer purely African from a genetic point of view. I suspect that has more to do with European genetics in their bloodline than than anything else though.

I'm more inclined to think that an economically supressed section of the population will find and exploit whatever routes it has towards getting ahead in life. Maybe there is some truth to the genetic argument stated at the beginning of this post, but I would think that the enviroment present in the USA in the last 70 years or so has fostered the development of athletics into being an important economic and social benifit for blacks, leading to a culture that strongly cultivates any natural athletic ability a child might happen to have.

perhaps the slavery thing is complimentary to these arguments as well, but I tend to think that saying slavery=athletes is being too simplistic. there are many variables, and maybe the slavery thing does play into the result. but as a scientist I know that things which may appear to make sense offhand, such as this, are often just not true when the whole system is considered.

Then again, sometimes it isn't coincidence and it really is the cause.

I don't know in this case, but I do know there are other variables to consider.


-v-

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

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Location: Galveston, TX

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Posted:"concious gene theory"?

If by that you mean the tendency for females to have their cycles at the same time in the wild, then yes. But I don't know what is conscious about it. I don't think anyone or anything can will themselves to be on the rag at any given moment...


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Faberg
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 1459
Posted:this has always intrigued me too.

irish-americans are generally much bigger, taller, broader than the rest of us here in the land of the little people.


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Gelfling
BRONZE Member since Jul 2004

Gelfling

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Posted:Have to take into consideration environmental factors - particularly quality of life - a person with the gene for obesity will not become obese in a famine stricken country, nor will a person with the gene for tallness be tall if factors like poor diet, exposure to tobacco etc play a part.

>What do you think about the state of the Earth?
>I'm optimistic.
>So why do you look so sad?
>I'm not sure that my optimism is justified.

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish

Total posts: 525
Posted:Written by: Faberg

this has always intrigued me too.

irish-americans are generally much bigger, taller, broader than the rest of us here in the land of the little people.




hahaha yup....im 6-2 and like...165-170 pounds...i dunno i think thatd be like 4 or 5 stone but i cant remember anything about that system

and im one of those wirey types you were talkin about....its one reason im good at climbing....


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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

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Posted:14 pounds in a stone darpoet wink

I like your theory vanize, very eloquent too! smile

So was that quote really offensive to anyone? I'm not black but I think it was perfectly tolerable.

I mean come on, he ain't done gone out there to say nothing bad! He's just saying his theory without being very good with what words he used wink


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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)


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Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

Total posts: 456
Posted:I don't know if I buy this theory. There certainly are lots of factors to consider. I'm reminded of the fact that people used to think gays were naturally inclined to be hairdressers and interior decorators. No one claimed they were bred for it! My point being, those (and a few others) were the only professions where someone could be openly gay without being crushed - thus the only path open to those who couldn't "pass."

By the same token (npi), African-Americans could be basketball players back when for one to get to be an investment banker was virtually impossible. Athletics was a common path, not because of being "bred" for it, but because all other paths were closed. They're still not tremendously open.

It IS true that virtually all African-Americans have European blood (one word: slavemasters). The gene that allows adults to keep the ability to digest lactose is a European mutation; Africans, Asians, indigenous Americans (North and South) and (?not sure here) Australian Aborigenes generally have serious problems digesting dairy products in large quantities. Most African-Americans don't seem to have that problem.

One characteristic that can be directly traced to the slave trade: salt-sensitive hypertension. In the general population, one in seven people with high blood pressure is salt-sensitive (that is, their BP goes up when they eat more salt). This number is MUCH higher among African Americans. It is NOT high among African Africans.

Why? Salt-sensitivity is associated biologically with water retention. People who retained more water...well, I bet you can work the rest out for yourself. It ain't pretty, but what about the slave trade is?


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Madam Flame
BRONZE Member since Jul 2004

Madam Flame

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Location: Salem, Oregon

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Posted:Written by: spritie

"concious gene theory"?

If by that you mean the tendency for females to have their cycles at the same time in the wild, then yes. But I don't know what is conscious about it. I don't think anyone or anything can will themselves to be on the rag at any given moment...



It's true that animals will mesurate at similar times, and so will women who are around each other on a fairly regular basis. I saw a tv show called NOVA which does documentaries & they did a study on this. They have come up with a theory that females, be they human or otherwise, will menstrate at approximatly the same time. Oftern times the "leader" of the females will menstrate first which gives her the option to breed & concieve with the strongest male in the group before any other female. It's a matter of the strong breeding the strong. They've also found that menstral cycles for some animals, and even some humans can be tracked by the cycle of the moon, ie. a typical cycle is 29 days and the moons cycle is also 29 days.

I'm sure this is much more info than anone ever wanted to know about that evil thing that comes once a month. BEWARE THE WOMAN WHO CAN BLEED FOR SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT AND DOESN'T DIE!!! eek


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

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Location: in the works... somewhere...

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Posted:Written by:
"The reason there are so many black players in the NFL and NBA is because when we went to get the slaves from Africa, we picked the biggest and strongest ones, and most black americans are descended from slaves."



Although I can only speak from my personal knowledge on it, it's interesting.

It is thought that my great-grandfather, who was from an island in the West Indies, called Grenada, was a slave. His son - my grandfather - was a boxer. My mother was one of her school's best athletes, as were my brothers and sisters and myself (even if I do say so myself redface )

However, I think the following is truthful:

Written by:
I'm more inclined to think that an economically supressed section of the population will find and exploit whatever routes it has towards getting ahead in life.



This rings true to me, but from a social point of view as well as an economic one. When my grandparents married, the climate was still such that it was unacceptable for a white woman to marry a black man frown


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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:Written by: spritie

"concious gene theory"?

If by that you mean the tendency for females to have their cycles at the same time in the wild, then yes. But I don't know what is conscious about it. I don't think anyone or anything can will themselves to be on the rag at any given moment...


i read it was the pheromones released with the hormones during the cycle.
i have never heard of the 'concious' gene theory. is this a reference to genetic/collective memory? ?

on the topic of eugenics, this field is nowhere near an exact science, nor can hundreds of years of partially documented human development be attributed to only a few key events.
we are too complex for such pigeon holes.

though i abhor slavery, the human stuggle against it has created some wonderful culture, such as capoeira. (in capo, there are many beautiful portugese songs that reflect on 'if there was no slavery, there would be no capoeira')
i like brazilians biggrin


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Total posts: 2830
Posted:In regard to the quote. I agree that the theory could have been put in a diplomatic manner, but unfortunately, I think if you delve deep enough you would find that many slave owners kept stud book on their slaves as well.



Faberge, one reason that irish-americans are generally much bigger, taller, broader than the rest in the land of the little people, is better nutrition eg. migration to the States after the potato famine.



frown frown frown


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Moohaahaa
BRONZE Member since Mar 2002

Moohaahaa

enthusiast
Location: In Ger Land

Total posts: 382
Posted:One reason that African Americans are larger than African Africans could be related to diseases.

When myself and Sunbeam where in Uganda we met many people with Malaria. One of them was a child of only 18 months, who was suffereing his 4th or 5th dose of Malaria. When compared to Sunbeams niece of the same age, we could see hiis growth had definately been stunted.

It is likely that over 90% of the people we met there had had Malaria, if not 100%.

Many people do also die from Malaria and other diseases in Africa, especially children, but many live through diseases that would probably kill a westerner.

If these regular attacks on the body are taken away, by taking the African out of the environment in which these diseases are present, then maybe this could cause the taller/stronger/more athletic African Americans mentioned earlier.

This coupled with the nutrition point raised earlier could go some way to explaining the situation.


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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

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Total posts: 13215
Posted:This was actually brought up for consideration in one of my classes in relation to the Olympics; watch the men's 100m. who dominates? it is unusual for a white person to be in the final, let alone win the event. the power and strength comes from the same areas in the world. and look at those guys! they're HUGE! but they aren't nesessarily African-American; therefore the 'slave' theory doesn't really fit. If you go with the Olympics view, it seems to be a gene associated with race, rather than associated with the selection of slaves.

because on the other hand look at the endurace events. i cant think of the specific events, but the ones that the Ethiopians win nearly every year (Haille Gerbelessie and Ber(something)....i'm sorry my spelling is completely out!). the build is completely different, but again, its is people who are more likely to be genetically closer who win it and who dominate the sport. the same can be said for the womens' events as well.


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likwid
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

member
Location: dallas, texas

Total posts: 53
Posted:Written by: darkpoet

hahaha yup....im 6-2 and like...165-170 pounds...i dunno i think thatd be like 4 or 5 stone but i cant remember anything about that system



and for the record, you'd be around 12 stone wink
[1 stone = 14lbs]


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:well, the stunted growth is probably due mainly to poor nutrition. When I was touring around west africa, I noticed nearly all kids who were 7 or 8 years old were smaller than my one year old nephew. Of course thay have all had malaria multiple times too...

-v-

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BurningByron


member
Location: Australia

Total posts: 340
Posted:Yes there was a documentary studying the "locking in of mentrual cycles among groups of females" but it provides evidence to support the idea that there are other evolutionary pressures other than "survival of the fittest".

My understanding of genetics and evolution is very strong and it took me a little bit for my friend to explain it to me so it wont bother trying to explain it up here. I was wondering wether anyone else had heard of this theory?

I will also pose a question to get minds thinking...

If evolution is all about survival of the fittest which leads to better chance at procreation... why would moving into ovulation at the same time as all the other females give you a better chance of passing on your genes? Does this not create more competition for you?


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Match


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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

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Posted:To follow up on the stuff about cycles and procreation - I can heartily recommend a book called: "Why Sex is Fun" by Jared Diamond which is a serious look at the whole background to the evolution of sex as the means of reproduction for animals, and has particular reference to the oddities of the human reproductive system, and all the 'tricks' that are played by men on women and vice versa in a biological way to keep the upper hand in the genetic struggle that is life smile

Why Sex is Fun? - Amazon

(and no, sorry, it doesn't contain any tips or pictures! ubblol)


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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)


Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

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Posted:i don't know how accurate this is, but one of my history teachers once mentioned that many slavers had relationships with african tribes, by which they only took those individuals seen as undesireable by the tribe... this would have only been possible until the demand for slaves was too high for people to support the slavers who went by that route, but would throw a bit of a wrench in the genetics theory, unless you want to say that african americans are genetically predisposed to crime as well.

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A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:well, according to some histories, slaves were mainly bought from black slave traders who in turn obtained their slaves from various warlords and cheifs of victorious tribal wars and also by abduction by various parties.



of course, it is actually pretty hard to say in a general sense where the ultimate source of slaves came from, but for the most part it has very little to do with white guys going into a village with guns and taking their pick of the men and women. generally it is much more complicated than that.



Slaves have existed in Africa for untold thousands of years up until the last century. Point in fact, slavery existed in most places until not that much less recently. the only reason black people are seen as slave descendants is because they they had the unfortunate circumstance to come from the last continent to find slave trading amongst the general populace unpalatable.



so really most of us are descended from slaves, only a little further in the past (a thousand years is not that much time genetically speaking, and one could argue serfs of much more recent times than that were slaves as well - though certainly not subject to being bought and sold per se) and from perhaps a slightly less sophisticated slave trade. For the slave trade making natural athletes argument to really stand up, one must show that either the selective picking and breeding of individuals was something new to the slave trade between the time slavery in other regions was more or less given up or that the physical benifit from such selective picking and breeding of slaves is relatively short lived - long enough to survive more than 100 years, but short enough to dissapear from other races that were not quite so recently subjected to it.



so there is a joke related to this thread. Hope no one gets offended. Also, it is now outdated with the advent of the Venus and her sister:



Q: why don't african americans play tennis?

A: because they don't feel the need to dominate yet another sport.


-v-

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Apologies, but in response to:

Q: why don't african americans play tennis?
A: because they don't feel the need to dominate yet another sport.

I would have to say that perhaps Arthur Ashe, Chandler Rubin (sp) and, as stated above, the Williams sisters might disagree.

smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:and off topic but...Serena William's outfit the other day at the US Open!!!

someone shoot her PLEASE!!!!!!!


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:yeah, well you get the general jist of the joke. there also used to be a version where the word "golf" was used instead of "tennis"...
wink


-v-

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Posted:But he's exactly right. If you go to Africa you see amazing genetic diversity. Why? Because Africa is the seat of humanity. There are multiple lines of very good evidence that point to an "out of Africa" hypothesis where H. sapiens sapiens first evolved in Africa and moved out of there. Because the oldest lineages reside in Africa, we would expect (and in fact see) the greatest genetic diversity represented in the African continent with the least genetic diversity represented among groups that more recently settled areas, such as Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. Look at Australia, for example. There is not a heck of a lot of genetic diversity among the caucasian population because they were selected from a small group of Europeans.

The slave traders working 300-400 years ago were selecting a group of individuals from West Africa. When they went there, they knew that they were selecting slaves for physical work. Thus, they chose the biggest, strongest, and healthiest of the bunch. What they did was ghastly, but I will neither apologize for them nor will I condemn them. They're all dead and what's done is done. The morality is irrelevant to the topic.

A few selections happened along the way. The trip over was indescribably horrible. The captives were chained, on their backs, in the most unsanitary and crowded conditions imaginable in the dark, fed almost nothing, left to sit in their own wastes, and not allowed any exercise. Many died. It was said that you could smell a slave ship coming before you could see it.

What we see in African Americans is a "founder effect." That is a set of traits that, for whatever reason, came with a small set of individuals who founded a larger population. The traits may have come for a selective reason or they may have just come along because they were there. The tightly curly hair you see in African Americans confers no selective advantage; it just hitched along with the other stuff because it was there and there was no selective disadvantage to it.

The phenotypes (reflecting genotypes) that would be most likely to found a population in this country based on the slave trade would be:

1) Those with very strong immune systems to survive the voyage. In fact, African Americans have a lower average baseline white blood cell count than caucasian Americans, probably because their white blood cells are somewhat more effective. This is not the case for all people of sub-Saharan African descent, just African Americans.

2) Those with metabolically "thrifty" energy systems to survive the native lifestyle, the voyage, and the physical labor that awaited them. That means individuals who have a low basal metabolic rate and who can store and keep calories and nutrients well in time of famine. When faced with a time of plenty (modern times), individuals with "thrifty" metabolism tend to get obese. The Pima Indians are one terrific example, but African Americans are one of the most obese populations in the U.S. Individuals of African descent in other parts of the world that don't represent a slave population don't seem to have this problem so much.

3) Physical strength and stamina. To be able to even walk after such an ordeal requires a lot of strength and stamina. Furthermore, the slave traders weren't going to capture sickly, scrawny specimens. They wanted big, musclular, strong people who were going to be able to do the backbreaking work. I don't have numbers on average heights, but you don't have to be a statastician to be able to walk around any American city and notice that African Americans tend to be bigger and taller than any other ethnic group.

So why so many in sports? Well, size is one aspect. You find a lot more African American men who weigh over 250 pounds than almost any other ethnic group. The other one you see is Samoans. But they're rarer just because there aren't as many. But if you meet Samoans, you see that there was a founder effect in Samoa. The people who settled that island were BIG. They haven't been there long enough for a selective pressure to change the population like that. They arrived that way.

Another aspect is cultural. It's a chicken/egg question, of course, but if you go through any American inner city you will see basketball court after basketball court. And the kids using the courts will be predominantly African American. Not Latino, not Asian, not white, but African American.

Because if you think about it, most of the professional hockey players aren't African American at all. They're big, strong, and athletic, but they're white. It's a cultural bias. African Americans tend to be drawn to football and basketball with a bit of baseball thrown in for good measure (but again, baseball has a lot of white men in it). But their culture really does emphasize sports.

When thinking about evolutionary biology (a field that has interested me for quite a long time even though I did molecular biology) it's important to realize a few important points.

1) Not every trait or gene necessarily has a selective advantage associated with it. Sometimes accidents happen due to founder effects or random selection (an astroid falling, for example, will totally blow natural selection to smithereens because not even the fittest individual will survive a bonk on the head by a speeding piece of rock a half kilometer across). In fact, some genes may even be deleterious and still confer a selective advantage. The sickle-cell gene is one example of a deleterious gene that confers a selective advantage by protecting against malaria in its heterozygous state while causing sickle-cell disease in its homozygous state. The Huntington's gene may confer a reproductive advantage by increasing promiscuity in the early (preclinical) stages of Huntington's disease before the more severe symptoms begin to take effect. And then, some genes may confer no significant advantage or disadvantage at all, such as eye color or blood type (which may have some subtle advantages, but nothing that would really alter the course of human evolution over the timescales during which modern humans have existed). And then some genes are even just parasite genes, like the reverse transcriptase gene that seems to have stitched itself all over our genome and is more plentiful than all true transcribed human genes put together...and yet performs no physiologic function.

2) One must be wary of "chopstick" genes. These are genes that are associated with traits that are actually totally unrelated. The classic example is that if you could take a totally representative sample of all humans, you'd find that those with blue eyes tend to be significantly worse than the general population at using chopsticks. It doesn't mean that blue eyes confer a disadvantage at using chopsticks. It means that people with blue eyes tend to come from cultures that don't use chopsticks. While that's a trivial example, a more significant one is that it appears that people with Blood Type O are more likely to be resistant to Malaria. It turns out that it has nothing to do with the blood type, actually, but with the fact that Type O blood is concentrated, by sheer coincidence, in sub-Saharan Africa, where both the sickle-cell and thallassemia genes (which confer resistance to malaria) are endemic.

Long post, but hey, it's right up my alley.


-Mike )'(
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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:I think the original quote could be found offensive, because it detracts from the massive scale of determination required to become a top athlete, and concentrates on the genetics of the situation.

I think the social pressures are far greater on black people living in the US to achieve on the field because this opens a lot of doors in life, which may be for some, otherwise closed. Irrespective of the genetics, this would also be a viable explanation of the observation.

We had/have the same thing here with our aussie rules football players. people used to say that Aboriginal people were 'predisposed' to playing the game because of their animal instincts...its not so different - that theory was also based on the theory of evolution.

I think there is a very fine line between appropriately using genetic / evolutionary evidence to explain a phenomena, and using it to justify what is fundamentally a racist point of view.

Not suggesting that this is the case with this particular quote, but I'm just putting my two bobs worth in (:))

Josh


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native
SILVER Member since Jun 2004

native

sleeping with angels
Location: anaheim CA usa

Total posts: 508
Posted:ok brain child the reson there are so many strong aferican american is because while they were here they were bred inorder to get the best traits. so there owners could get more work from them. they were also bred with other types of slaves such as my people (american indian) just so they could get more work out of the slaves

SLEEP WITH ANGELS muckieha

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Nice article Lighting. I had never hear of the "founder effect", and I wonder at the implications for us aussies, as Australia was founded by the British as a convict colony . That should explain a few things to people wink

Ill just add some high school biology from dictionary dot com. Phenotype is the observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences.. Genotype is our genetic makeup, as distinguished from the physical appearance, of an organism or a group of organisms.

As a rough rule of thumb, about 20% of what we are as human beings is determined genetically, and the other 80% is determined by our environment. I think this fits in with what Josh is saying. Unfortunately, what native says is also correct, and stud books were not uncommon, so this would also have had an influence as well. But it's really the combination of all those factors.

I suppose the other thing I often think about when I see star performers, with diverse genetic backgrounds, is hybrid vigour.


smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'd say that every bit of evidence I've seen is that about 90% of what we are as a human being is determined by genetics and about 10% (tops) is environmental.

People don't like hearing that at all. It completely blows to smithereens the concepts of "free will" and "self-determination."

But anyone who has ever met a pair of identical twins can attest to the fact that they wind up being frighteningly similar. Just ask the pair of identical twins who I went to college with (both went to Stanford), to medical school with (Both went to U. of Michigan), and now both went into Internal Medicine and are doing their residency at Emory. It's absolutely stunning how strong genes are in determining almost everything about us.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I went to college and then grad. school with a very similar sounding set of identical twins as well. They majored in the same things in college, then got their PhD from the same place in the same thing. They are both now doing some form of BioStatistics, although working for two different state funded schools. So I'll believe it easily.

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000makemarilyn


newbie


Total posts: 1
Posted:Written by: BurningByron

I have taken my post from this thread and started a new topic as I felt it needed a home of its own...

Written by:
"The reason there are so many black players in the NFL and NBA is because when we went to get the slaves from Africa, we picked the biggest and strongest ones, and most black americans are descended from slaves."



I just have to falisfy this argument with the question: How about when the NBA was dominated by Jews?

Also, what do you all think about the NFL and the NBA being thought of as another form of slavery for the black race? I hear many arguments about this topic from both blacks and whites, and I find it very interesting to hear different perspectives.

.


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