However, common among people who have a superficial and/or selective understanding of heritable group differences is belief in conveniently inaccurate claims. One of these erroneous ideas that White nationalists in particular have latched on to is the belief in “ethnic genetic interests” – that is, that kin selection has led individuals to favor people of their own race/ethnic group over others. This of course is bunk. Natural selection doesn’t work that way, since individuals within an ethnic group aren’t closely related enough for this to work. This has been explained repeatedly, lately by Misdreavus:It is impossible for such a thing as a “race altruist gene” to evolve, because sacrificing yourself on behalf of strangers does nothing to increase the frequency of the gene under any set of circumstances. It doesn’t matter if the frequency of a such a gene “magically” originated with a frequency of 4 in 10 Chinese people. The Chinese who don’t have the gene, on average, would have a higher fitness, resulting in the frequency decreasing monotonically over time.He continues to argue there, which is worth a read for anyone seriously interested in the matter.
After anyone seriously interested in the matter gets done studying the confused rantings of JayMan's gay sidekick, I would recommend they at least take a few minutes to skim the work of the man who coined the term "ethnic genetic interests". Doing so would have saved JayMan and misdreavus at least some measure of embarrassment.
A copy of Frank Salter's On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, And Humanity In An Age Of Mass Migration is freely available online.
If you want to talk about ethnic genetic interests, read it.
The actual definition of ethnic genetic interests
Frank Salter defines "ethnic genetic interests" as:
The number of copies of a random individual's distinctive genes in his or her ethny, not counting the copies in kin. The size of ethnic genetic interest is relative to the kinship of genetic competitors. When competitors are closely related ethnies, the interest can be relatively small. When competitors are distantly related, especially from different geographical races, ethnic genetic interest can be many orders of magnitude greater than familial genetic interests.
To deny that ethnic genetic interests exist is to deny that human population structure exists (or to hilariously misunderstand basic population genetics). Ethnic genetic interests exist regardless of whether or not one believes group selection has played any role in human evolution and regardless of whether or not people naturally favor others from their own group.
The issue of the degree to which group selection or kin selection favored the evolution of ethnocentric altruism in humans has no bearing on the reality of ethnic genetic interests. It's a separate issue, on which JayMan/misdreavus are also wrong (one can debate the issue, but not on the confused grounds JayMan and misdreavus have attempted to debate it).
Misdreavus's confusion about coefficients of relatedness
One area of confusion for misdreavus in the linked thread:
The coefficient of relatedness between a Swede and a non-related Swede is zero. The coefficient of relatedness between a Swede and a black African is also zero. You simply do not seem to understand this.I replied at the time:
This is exactly the misapprehension I just got done correcting for JayMan: http://racehist.blogspot.com/2015/02/kinship-coefficients-and-ethnic-genetic.html
The coefficient of relationship is simply twice the coefficient of inbreeding between the hypothetical children of two individuals. Inbreeding is defined relative to some population. It’s often convenient to disregard non-recent inbreeding in calculating coefficients of relationship, but this only makes sense with respect to a particular [approximately random-breeding] population, and, holding the base population constant, a Swede absolutely does not have the same coefficient of relationship to a sub-Saharan as to another Swede. Nor is there any difference in kind between the type of relatedness indicated through Fst and the type shared by close family members.
Even after having it explained to them again, Misdreavus (and apparently JayMan) still failed to understand this very basic concept.
Misdreavus's confusion about the viability of genes for altruism
This is another extremely basic issue: frequencies of genes harmful to an individual's fitness with respect to his group can increase globally if his group expands relative to other groups. If misdreavus had read and understood pretty much anything written about altruism and kin selection or group selection within the past half century, he would have grasped this.
If groups with high frequencies of ethnocentric people expand at the expense of groups with low ethnocentrism, genes for ethnocentric altruism can increase in frequency.
Even misdreavus's (anti-group-selectionist) idol understands this (or did at one point):
Imagine that in much of history, people lived in small groups that often fought with their neighbors. In that sort of situation, selection for group altruism is at least possible, since the group is full of close relatives, while the opponents are less closely related. Both sides are probably members of the same broad ethnic group or race, but that doesn’t matter : only the kinship coefficients matter.Related:
- Kinship coefficients and Ethnic Genetic Interests (JayMan embarrassing himself again)
- Remedial population genetics for Greg Cochran
- Hamilton on inclusive fitness and social behavior in humans
- More from Hamilton on kin recognition and intergroup hostility
- R. A. Fisher on group selection in humans
- Robert Axelrod on the evolution of ethnocentrism
- Gender and Politics Among Anthropologists in the Units of Selection Debate