David Agus: inbred retard?

Discussing a recent study (Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations) that found an effect for runs of homozygosity on height and IQ within populations, Greg Cochran notes:
Some retards (British papers) have been spinning this as saying that there are big benefits to mixed-race marriage. Untrue: to avoid lots of ROH (runs of homozygosity), just marry someone who isn’t from the same isolated population as you. We’re talking outside the valley or across the river : intercontinental travel is not necessary. Now there might be a degree of hybrid vigor in some distant crosses (currently unclear) – but likely not enough to compensate for someone coming from a group that has low trait values. Marry a Pygmy and your kids are going to be short. Marry someone from a population whose average IQ is below 90 (much of the world) and your kids will on average be less smart.
CBS medical contributor David Agus (who, wikipedia informs us, "graduated cum laude in molecular biology from Princeton University and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1991") promotes this misinterpretation of the study in a segment on CBS This Morning:

Do kids from mixed genetic backgrounds have an advantage?

Additionally, although one would hope someone who majored in molecular biology at Princeton and co-founded a personal genomics company would know that any benefits from outcrossing will fully accrue in the first generation, Agus gleefully urges the viewer to imagine how much "taller and smarter" children will be if "people of different backgrounds" continue interbreeding generation after generation.

It's a pretty interesting study that tells us a lot because this is really the first couple generations where people of different backgrounds are having children and if this happens in one, one generation children are 1.2 cm shorter, think of if this continues to happen, so, taller and smarter.

Curiously, Agus, the grandson of a rabbi, married a pre-Connie Chung daughter of Maury Povich. That is, Agus chose to mate with a member of the same rather inbred narrow ethnic group as himself. But I'm sure now that he's aware of this study (confused though he may be about it) and excited about the eugenic prospects of racial mixing, he's urged his own children to marry Africans, with that same gleeful look in his eyes.

It’s Sunday night, and Agus is at Jerusalem’s Mamilla Hotel. He just arrived for the Global Forum, a gathering of 70 of the world’s thinkers hosted by Israel’s National Library, to discuss how the People of the Book can use their ancient lore for contemporary needs.

It was Shimon Peres, the honorary chairman of the event, who convinced Agus to attend. Agus and Peres are friends – though he’s not the nonagenarian’s doctor – and the two meet every six months or so. This time, Agus will be discussing Maimonides at the National Library, from the perspective of what he, Agus, believes.

But first he had to go back and read some of the good doctor’s words. It’s been a long time since Agus studied Maimonides at Philadelphia’s Akiba Hebrew Academy. What he found resonated. [. . .]

Now Agus combines teaching, research and patient work, along with spending a lot of time at places like the World Economic Forum, the Aspen Ideas Festival and TEDMED – TED for the health field. He’s also at the CBS studio at 4 a.m., several mornings per week.

“You get a passion to change things, and I decided I don’t care if I’m uncomfortable on camera,” said Agus, who calls himself an introvert by nature. “I need to be a role model and it’s awkward, but you have to do it, over and over again. I get to talk to four million people every morning on CBS. I can just talk, I can call a spade a spade. I look at my patients losing their lives on a daily basis, so I’ve got nothing to lose.”

[Steve Jobs’ ex-doctor is in, and he’s quoting Maimonides. http://www.timesofisrael.com/steve-jobs-ex-doctor-is-in-and-hes-quoting-maimonides/]

11 comments:

RCB said...

Strictly speaking, outbreeding to different racial groups will reduce homozygosity more so than just marrying a non-relative of the same race. That's because some loci do show strong racial patterning: some mutation may only be at appreciable frequency in one group, or there may even be a substitution. Reproducing across races will ensure that your kid gets the two different alleles.

But we don't really care about this because most of the divergence will probably be either the result of divergent selection (hence, best to be homozygous for the local allele) or random drift of neutrals. Obviously selection will keep bad recessives relatively rare.

Still, insofar as your ethnic group has an unusually high recessive hereditary disorder (Ashkenazis?), it might help to consider exogamy. To be sure, it's a minor effect.

RCB said...

"Additionally, although one would hope someone who majored in molecular biology at Princeton and co-founded a personal genomics company would know that any benefits from outcrossing will fully accrue in the first generation, Agus gleefully urges the viewer to imagine how much "taller and smarter" children will be if "people of different backgrounds" continue interbreeding generation after generation."

Yeah, this is a real shame. It seems to me that there is a divide between the molecular geneticists and the population geneticists. I know the latter reasonably well, but not the former. This guy appears to be the opposite.

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve Jobs’ ex-doctor"

Didn't G.B. Shaw say something about how a doctor's fame is related to the magnitude of the celebrities who have died under his care?

Bruce said...

As I read I tried to fight my inclination to assume that he was a Jew.
He says children will be “taller and smarter.” So he’s saying that intelligence is genetic. Funny how intelligence isn’t genetic except when they’re promoting miscegenation.

n/a said...

RCB,

Yes, it's not impossible some minor additional effect could show up in interracial crossings. It's also not impossible interracial crosses could show outbreeding depression.

The point is the actual study under discussion doesn't address the issue, and we already know (and have known for decades) that, empirically, black/white crosses average IQs intermediate between blacks and whites.

But results like that do not warm the hearts of people like David Agus or demand broadcast by them to a general audience. As noted by Bruce, in most other mass media contexts, genetic influences on intelligence (along with racial differences in IQ and even the utility of IQ tests) are denied.

Anonymous said...

Something that Harpending and Cochran failed to point out in the "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" is that since the genes for intelligence that emerged among the Ashkenazim were favorable heterozygous and virtually fatal homozygous, that would help explain why Jews define the virtue of "diversity" as mixing populations to the point of global homogenization, rather than allowing diversity of pure human ecologies, which is what you need for scientific control experiments and consent of the governed.

Colin Welling said...

simple question: what do you guys think is the drive behind racial harmony efforts? It seems to largely be pushed by media and others in power rather than being the result of the common man deciding that racial favoritism is too problematic. It also seems like anti racism is more of a recent phenomena.

Ive had lots of ideas for why there are all these efforts, some of them being more noble than others... Is it because minorities are trying to help themselves and since there is a greater number of minorities living amongst majorities that their voice is becoming stronger? Is it because people hate seeing the violence that comes from racism. Is it because the elite corporate types and political types want more power and its easier for them to get more power if racial causes/favoritism is suppressed? Is it because a companies have more people to sell to if they don't have to worry about race. Just what do you guys think is big picture or the reason for suppressing racism (even when its a natural non hateful thing to do)?

n/a said...

Colin,

All of the above.

(1) Majority-minority dynamics.

(2) Short-term profit maximization by business interests.

(3) Innate human drives on what Haidt labels the moral foundations of fairness and care/harm, plus virtue signalling in excess of whatever actual moral impulses are felt. (While these are natural tendencies, there's nothing inevitable about their expression taking the insane forms they do today. And in a healthy society, they would also be balanced by other of Haidt's moral foundations, which modern leftists are deficient in: Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation)

n/a said...

"Is it because minorities are trying to help themselves and since there is a greater number of minorities living amongst majorities that their voice is becoming stronger?"

Even where minorities are small in numbers, group identity will tend to be more salient for minorities, which can lead to higher levels of ethnic mobilization in minorities than majorities (and disproportionate levels of influence):


Minorities have an advantage in ethnic competition in being more mobilized than majorities. Mobilization is the willingness to make sacrifices for a cause, for example by donating money, time and work. Even a small group with limited resources can exercise disproportionate influence when its members are highly mobilized and its opponents, though superior in numbers and resources, are indifferent. A plausible explanation is that a group's influence is the multiple of its resources and its mobilization. 13 A precondition for group mobilization is group identity, and the minority experience alone makes ethnic identity more salient than for the majority. This follows from asymmetries in the experiences of minorities and majorities, in which the majority forms a much larger part of the minority environment than vice versa. 14 For example, consider a minority constituting one percent of the population that is distributed throughout society. Then a minority individual would encounter a member of the majority in 99 out of every 100 interactions, while a majority individual would encounter only one minority individual in every 100 interactions. Social identity theory 15 predicts that even in the absence of discriminatory behaviour, this asymmetry will have a powerful reinforcing effect on minority identity, so long as the group identities are detectable, for example through different dress, language, accent, or physical appearance. Heightened awareness of group identities alone leads to some mobilization, for example in the positive evaluation of the ingroup and negative evaluation of outgroups. In fact ethnic discrimination is a pervasive element of all multi-ethnic societies. Even when that discrimination takes slight forms, such as hesitancy in expressing interpersonal warmth, the result can be markedly unpleasant for the minority. That is one reason that minorities often congregate in occupational and residential areas. But for majorities the problem can barely exist; a one percent minority that looks slightly different might be noticed but unless its behaviour is overtly objectionable it is unlikely to be perceived as a threat to daily comfort.

n/a said...

[Continued:]

Since minorities are usually more mobilized than majorities, and keep this edge while they retain minority status, minority elites exercise disproportionate influence on state policy compared to their majority counterparts. Psychological experiments concur with Blalock's structural model by indicating that committed minorities exercise disproportionate influence over majority opinion, and often more so than in the reverse direction. 16 Minority influence is exercised unobtrusively, even in a milieu of overt discrimination against the minority. Latent minority influence is subconsciously incorporated into the majority's worldview. Therefore, without rapid assimilation even a low rate of immigration can produce disproportionate minority influence on ethnic policy. This is another reason for majorities who have succeeded in building an ethnic state to use the power of the state apparatus to: (1) keep minorities small by restricting immigration; (2) make assimilation a precondition for political, economic, or cultural engagement in society; (3) boost majority mobilization, for example through the education system and mass media; and (4) deny state support for minority efforts to mobilize their followers. The basic principle is to ensure the majority an ethnic group strategy in the form of the state, while denying this to minorities. This has been the approach of liberal nationalism in its emancipation of oppressed minorities, a well known example being the French revolutionary regime's attitude towards the Jews. Two months after revolutionaries stormed the Bastille in 1789, the Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre summed up the Enlightenment position thus: 'The Jews should be denied everything as a nation but granted everything as individuals.' 17

[Frank Kemp Salter. On Genetic Interests Family, Ethnicity, And Humanity In An Age Of Mass Migration.]

Colin Welling said...

16 Minority influence is exercised unobtrusively, even in a milieu of overt discrimination against the minority. Latent minority influence is subconsciously incorporated into the majority's worldview. Therefore, without rapid assimilation even a low rate of immigration can produce disproportionate minority influence on ethnic policy.

Wow, thats kind of a scary thought. Basically, the majority becomes very complacent and the minority can insert some weird biased views. It would explain the whole "blame whitey" and the notion that in group bias among whites is evil (even though countries like Korea and Japan don't even let foreigners stay in their country).

But does this describe the situation with blacks? I don't know how many black elites have pushed the idea of afrocentrism but the ideas have certainly not taken hold in america. Most americans think egyptians where not black and blacks had been backwards as hell.

I think there is a lot of pity and maybe even some infantalizing towards blacks from non blacks.

Even when that discrimination takes slight forms, such as hesitancy in expressing interpersonal warmth, the result can be markedly unpleasant for the minority.

makes sense

But for majorities the problem can barely exist; a one percent minority that looks slightly different might be noticed but unless its behaviour is overtly objectionable it is unlikely to be perceived as a threat to daily comfort.

I think this explains a lot, including the behavior of white people. As far as I can tell the biggest anti racist whites are the whites that don't actually live near non asian minorities. Its quite stupid when a hyper anti racist has a white/asian spouse and lives in a white/asian area. What would they know...