Author Topic: FP's log  (Read 74458 times)

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FP

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #285 on: June 01, 2016, 09:08:48 pm »
+2
"EDIT: tryout went decent. got skied pretty terribly by a skinny 5' 10" black guy. I tried to go up off my left leg with my left arm..."

I'm not at all trying to call you out as racist, but I have to ask - is this some ultimate frisbee thing where race is always mentioned?  I've just played traditional sports - football, basketball, track but it sounds really foreign to hear this but it's something I feel like I have now heard multiple times from people who play sports like lacrosse or ultimate frisbee - this rhetoric of "oh they had this one fast black kid."   Maybe it's just coincidence, but considering all my friends who got into lacrosse and frisbee are white and I'm mixed it was enough to make me feel pretty weird about those sports.  Just wondering.

I'd just suspect that a sport that is majority x-race, athletes would mention the race of someone who is y-race.. seems common from what i've seen. Usually it's not racist, it's just some kind of distinguishing feature that somehow is used to label someone.. However, i've witness it used in racist ways.

I do agree with what adarq said, I've only played fris with maybe a couple handfuls of black guys. I have heard people make jokes about "blacks superior athleticism" but i dunno if people do that in other sports too.

Although... I do think the comment I made was racist. Maybe I am subconsciously racist. I want to be straight up about who I am but I honestly just don't know. I've never seen myself as racist and I don't want to blame environmental factors but I did spend my childhood in Ukraine, which is pretty much all-white and terribly racist. My mom and dad are both a little bit racist and my uncle thinks there's going to be a war between black and white people.

It was most likely just a random lapse of judgement.

EDIT: Is it racist to believe that black guys have a genetic advantage in athletics? Out of the couple of handfuls of black athletes I have played with in frisbee, almost all were well above average athletes. You could just say it's self-fulfilling prophecy and black and white people are pretty much the same. I'm probably just ignorant. It makes me cringe just typing this up. But then again I can't change my perspective without acknowledging it. I hope you can accept me as I am.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 09:24:11 pm by Final Phenom »

undoubtable

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #286 on: June 01, 2016, 11:39:53 pm »
+2
This convo reminds me of the time my college dorm mates decided to make an intramural bball team. They asked the one black kid on the floor to play. He happened to be to be super jacked and athletic looking as well. Then one kid (white) but sort of unfit looking turns to me and says it's funny how they don't ask me if I play because I'm fat but I played for my HS team, etc. I went to the one game and the black kid had not the slightest idea how to play lol, he was horrible.

Anyway, point being you don't want to stereotype and place expectations on people because it hurts individuals plus society as a whole. I imagine plenty of black kids who aren't super athletic drop sports they would otherwise enjoy because of that expectation that they have to be great and super athletic. Also, think of how many black kids might question themselves going into a field like science, engineering, etc, bc that's not who they're "supposed to be." It sucks to put those expectations and insecurities on young kids. Plus society misses out on talent across many disciplines. This goes for all races, ethnicities etc.

Anyway on an even broader scale, this issue leads me to political correctness and how it's a very big positive for society in my opinion. If you've noticed on this board, LBSS especially, will quickly correct anyone who makes racist, sexist, or other hateful remarks. I think that's such a great thing, to make people question their thoughts and beliefs. I think it's so easy to be hateful and judgmental especially with topics that we are unfamiliar with. Even a year ago, I remember being so spiteful toward the Jenner transgender case and toward the issue of transgender people in general thinking things like this a stunt, total publicity and questioning transgender being a real thing. Man after reading about the reality of it and seeing crazy statistics like attempted suicide rates among the transgender community and the extent of their suffering I felt so crappy and ignorant.

But the reality is that we all have hateful thoughts and moments and we direct it toward specific traits like race. But as long we make the effort to question those feelings and even go the extra and teach others to do the same, I think we're improving ourselves and society for future generations. That's why I'm really against Trump and his blatant egoism and spilling out hatred unapologetically. I feel like he's giving people the worst possible route. It's just so much easier to say yes I hate so and so and I don't care anymore, it's their fault such and such is happening. It kind of gives a sense of relief that someone has these same feelings as us and they're expressing them loudly and with pride. Ughhh decades of progress down the drain potentially.
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LBSS

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #287 on: June 03, 2016, 05:37:11 pm »
+1
^^^ +100

FP's not wrong about the racial breakdown in ultimate -- it really is almost all white -- and the common usage of a non-white person's race as an identifier. doesn't hold for just black people, either: there's an elite player in DC who's southeast asian, just an incredible athlete (for ultimate) with great skills, and i've heard plenty of people say stuff like, "man have you seen that asian dude on truck stop? dude can play." race is an easy identifier when almost everyone is white. doesn't make it a good habit.

fwiw, i try consciously to use some other identifying feature than race when i'm talking about someone, even when race would be the obvious/easy thing to use.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

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FP

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #288 on: June 03, 2016, 10:43:45 pm »
0
I agree about being PC to an extent. There are some gray areas like mental disorders where people begin to make excuses and make themselves victims. I know I have done this.  Also when you live in a super liberal area like me where pretty much EVERY person my age is always PC it can really make it hard to voice a dissenting opinion cause you know everyone's gonna jump on your back for it.

For example it took me 45 mins to type up my previous message because I knew it wasn't PC and I couldn't think of a way to say what I really think without being offensive.

So I found this article by Malcolm Gladwell that kind of cleared things up for me in regard to why it seems like black guys are more genetically gifted athletes.

Here's kind of my reasoning for why I had this perspective:
Quote
According to the medical evidence, African-Americans seem to have, on the average, greater bone mass than do white Americans-a difference that suggests greater muscle mass. Black men have slightly higher circulating levels of testosterone and human-growth hormone than their white counterparts, and blacks over all tend to have proportionally slimmer hips, wider shoulders, and longer legs. In one study, the Swedish physiologist Bengt Saltin compared a group of Kenyan distance runners with a group of Swedish distance runners and found interesting differences in muscle composition: Saltin reported that the Africans appeared to have more blood-carrying capillaries and more mitochondria (the body’s cellular power plant) in the fibres of their quadriceps. Another study found that, while black South African distance runners ran at the same speed as white South African runners, they were able to use more oxygen- eighty-nine per cent versus eighty-one per cent-over extended periods: somehow, they were able to exert themselves more. Such evidence suggested that there were physical differences in black athletes which have a bearing on activities like running and jumping, which should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who follows competitive sports.

To use track as an example-since track is probably the purest measure of athletic ability-Africans recorded fifteen out of the twenty fastest times last year in the men’s ten-thousand- metre event. In the five thousand metres, eighteen out of the twenty fastest times were recorded by Africans. In the fifteen hundred metres, thirteen out of the twenty fastest times were African, and in the sprints, in the men’s hundred metres, you have to go all the way down to the twenty-third place in the world rankings-to Geir Moen, of Norway-before you find a white face. There is a point at which it becomes foolish to deny the fact of black athletic prowess, and even more foolish to banish speculation on the topic.

He provides some explanations for why black athletes are proportionately overrepresented in athletics:
He talks about learned helplessness, which undoubtable already mentioned
But he also talks about this, which I previously did not know:
Quote
The likelihood is that these results reflect Africa’s status as the homeland of Homo sapiens: since every human population outside Africa is essentially a subset of the original African population, it makes sense that everyone in such a population would be a genetic subset of Africans, too. So you can expect groups of Africans to be more variable in respect to almost anything that has a genetic component. If, for example, your genes control how you react to aspirin, you’d expect to see more Africans than whites for whom one aspirin stops a bad headache, more for whom no amount of aspirin works, more who are allergic to aspirin, and more who need to take, say, four aspirin at a time to get any benefit-but far fewer Africans for whom the standard two-aspirin dose would work well. And to the extent that running is influenced by genetic factors you would expect to see more really fast blacks-and more really slow blacks-than whites but far fewer Africans of merely average speed.

So, back to my original comment. It was racist. I was mad that I got beat and I thought I could use race as an excuse. I was wrong.

adarqui

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #289 on: June 04, 2016, 01:13:49 am »
0
I agree about being PC to an extent. There are some gray areas like mental disorders where people begin to make excuses and make themselves victims. I know I have done this.  Also when you live in a super liberal area like me where pretty much EVERY person my age is always PC it can really make it hard to voice a dissenting opinion cause you know everyone's gonna jump on your back for it.

For example it took me 45 mins to type up my previous message because I knew it wasn't PC and I couldn't think of a way to say what I really think without being offensive.

So I found this article by Malcolm Gladwell that kind of cleared things up for me in regard to why it seems like black guys are more genetically gifted athletes.

Here's kind of my reasoning for why I had this perspective:
Quote
According to the medical evidence, African-Americans seem to have, on the average, greater bone mass than do white Americans-a difference that suggests greater muscle mass. Black men have slightly higher circulating levels of testosterone and human-growth hormone than their white counterparts, and blacks over all tend to have proportionally slimmer hips, wider shoulders, and longer legs. In one study, the Swedish physiologist Bengt Saltin compared a group of Kenyan distance runners with a group of Swedish distance runners and found interesting differences in muscle composition: Saltin reported that the Africans appeared to have more blood-carrying capillaries and more mitochondria (the body’s cellular power plant) in the fibres of their quadriceps. Another study found that, while black South African distance runners ran at the same speed as white South African runners, they were able to use more oxygen- eighty-nine per cent versus eighty-one per cent-over extended periods: somehow, they were able to exert themselves more. Such evidence suggested that there were physical differences in black athletes which have a bearing on activities like running and jumping, which should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who follows competitive sports.

To use track as an example-since track is probably the purest measure of athletic ability-Africans recorded fifteen out of the twenty fastest times last year in the men’s ten-thousand- metre event. In the five thousand metres, eighteen out of the twenty fastest times were recorded by Africans. In the fifteen hundred metres, thirteen out of the twenty fastest times were African, and in the sprints, in the men’s hundred metres, you have to go all the way down to the twenty-third place in the world rankings-to Geir Moen, of Norway-before you find a white face. There is a point at which it becomes foolish to deny the fact of black athletic prowess, and even more foolish to banish speculation on the topic.

He provides some explanations for why black athletes are proportionately overrepresented in athletics:
He talks about learned helplessness, which undoubtable already mentioned
But he also talks about this, which I previously did not know:
Quote
The likelihood is that these results reflect Africa’s status as the homeland of Homo sapiens: since every human population outside Africa is essentially a subset of the original African population, it makes sense that everyone in such a population would be a genetic subset of Africans, too. So you can expect groups of Africans to be more variable in respect to almost anything that has a genetic component. If, for example, your genes control how you react to aspirin, you’d expect to see more Africans than whites for whom one aspirin stops a bad headache, more for whom no amount of aspirin works, more who are allergic to aspirin, and more who need to take, say, four aspirin at a time to get any benefit-but far fewer Africans for whom the standard two-aspirin dose would work well. And to the extent that running is influenced by genetic factors you would expect to see more really fast blacks-and more really slow blacks-than whites but far fewer Africans of merely average speed.

So, back to my original comment. It was racist. I was mad that I got beat and I thought I could use race as an excuse. I was wrong.

btw, i don't think anyone here is offended with your original post and how you used the racial identifier.. i mean everything is cool (just in case you think people might be mad about it).

regarding those stats about african/black athletes and genetics, I think one needs to constantly be reminded about culture. Up until recently (the last ~10 years?), a black quarterback in the NFL was fairly rare. And much of the talk about why there aren't more black quarterbacks, is because of intelligence, game intelligence, etc. When in reality, it's simply based on opportunity. A black person can be just as effective as a white person, or vice versa, at any position in the NFL. It's now being proven. The same goes for any sport, olympic event, etc. I'm not ruling out physiologic genetic factors, they may in fact exist, and several studies do point them out. I am saying though, that culture and location play a more important factor.

In Kenya, Ethiopia etc, many kids run to & from school, with books. Running is their #1 sport. They also end up training at altitude, pretty much their entire life. Everyone runs distance.

In the 2012 Olympics, Mo Farah (black, British, of Somalian descent), won the 10k.. But interestingly enough, his training partner Galen Rupp (white, born in USA) came in second.

In Jamaica, everyone is sprinting. It's their #1 sport. They have had numerous heroes, and now that Usain Bolt exist, expect them to become even more obsessed.

Many of USA's potential sprinters may have also grown up playing football, basketball etc.. There's lots of other sports/activities which conflict with track & field. In Jamaica, you might have futbol/cricket which occasionally interferes, but track is their #1 sport. So are Jamaican "black people" genetically superior to "American black people"?

For the most part, Brazil dominates futbol. But France has "won", Italy, Russia etc. Why has the USA historically sucked so bad? Culture.

One can argue that skill-games rely less on genetics, but track & field events are proof that genetics play a deciding role in success. I disagree. I think dominance in any particular event is usually attributed to the culture/popularity of that event in a particular country.

If black people do have, on average more bone mass & thus more muscle, why don't we see them also dominating olympic weightlifting events? Culture.

If black people do have, on average more bone mass & thus more muscle, which helps them excel at sprints/power events, then why are they also dominating distance events such as 10k, half marathon, marathon etc? Culture.

Black athletes, depending on where they are from, might see more or less of a chance for opportunity/success if they pursue a career in sports. In many of these nations that dominate certain track and fields events, that event itself is such an enormous part of their culture. Everyone grows up participating in it. It also provides a sense of national pride.

In countries that have more of a mixed population & less of a singular identity on one event/sport, you see so much variation/diversity.

So I personally think culture & how early you start specializing in your sport, are the most important factors.

Sorry if I misunderstood your post. The second quote is much different than the first. I just think we should call out authors who quote studies which boast genetic advantages for a particular race, in sport. Alot of people are looking for excuses as to why they can't compete at the highest level.

pC!

Mutumbo000

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #290 on: June 04, 2016, 02:44:08 am »
0
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/why-kenyans-make-such-great-runners-a-story-of-genes-and-cultures/256015/

Interesting discussion!

I live in Australia so I don't see many black people (our black people are aboriginals). However, I can usually tell whether an African is from West Africa or East Africa simply from looking at their physique. West Africans are usually shorter and buff. East Africans are usually lean but skinny and Sudanese tend to always be 6'4+ tall so I guess I am guilty of stereotyping but 90% of the time my stereotype tends to hold true so there must be an element of truth when it comes to genetics and athleticism. 

Apart from genetics I'd agree that it also comes down to culture and environment. Take sprinting for example. Most of the elite US sprinters tend to be from the South (warmer states). My hypothesis would simply be that the weather in a place like Florida is a lot more favourable to train in for sprinters than the weather in a place like Chicago. When you've got the environment that helps build the culture and it all goes from there.

A link about genetic mutations in Aboriginals.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-29/genetic-modification-helps-aboriginal-people-survive-hot-climat/5225742

"But that is enough over hundreds of years for it to become incorporated as a genetic change that has passed through generations," Professor Carrell said.

Recently there have even been studies linking fat parents to having fat kids.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/710209_2
The hard part is identifying whether fat people have fat kids due to poor diets and environmental factors or if there is genetic component, and exactly how much that genetic component contributes. You could really talk about it all day. At the elite level the smallest of differences counts.

My personal belief is that there are differences between different ethnicities, but in the end it all comes down to the individual. On an individual level we all have different genetics and different ceilings so it's about working hard to fulfill your potential to the fullest. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. I could go on and give examples, but I just feel like I'm rambling so I'll leave it at that.

"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

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LBSS

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #291 on: June 04, 2016, 08:03:32 am »
+1
part of the point -- and i got into a shit fight with kelly baggett about it on here years ago -- is that "black" is a social category that has little to do with genetic characteristics apart from dark skin (and there are exceptions even to that! i have white friends, not to mention south asians, who are darker than many "black" people). ethiopians and nigerians are more genetically different from each other than swedes and koreans. but put an australian aborginal, an ethiopian, and a nigerian together in des moines and they're all "black." so it's a useless category when you're talking about genetics and sport.

also, fuck malcolm gladwell. look how smoothly he moves from "african-american" to "kenyan" in that piece. most african-americans are descended from west africans and the whites who raped them, not kenyans. are genetics a factor in allowing people of west-african descent to dominate short sprints, and kenyans and ethiopians to dominate 10k+? most likely. but those factors have little or nothing to do with them being "black."
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

sunday: run 14+ km
monday: lift
tuesday: run 10-12 km
wednesday: run 10-12 km
thursday: run 10-12 km
friday: rest
saturday: run tempo/VO2 max/speed x 6-8 km

Mutumbo000

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #292 on: June 04, 2016, 08:35:20 am »
0
part of the point -- and i got into a shit fight with kelly baggett about it on here years ago -- is that "black" is a social category that has little to do with genetic characteristics apart from dark skin (and there are exceptions even to that! i have white friends, not to mention south asians, who are darker than many "black" people). ethiopians and nigerians are more genetically different from each other than swedes and koreans. but put an australian aborginal, an ethiopian, and a nigerian together in des moines and they're all "black." so it's a useless category when you're talking about genetics and sport.

also, fuck malcolm gladwell. look how smoothly he moves from "african-american" to "kenyan" in that piece. most african-americans are descended from west africans and the whites who raped them, not kenyans. are genetics a factor in allowing people of west-african descent to dominate short sprints, and kenyans and ethiopians to dominate 10k+? most likely. but those factors have little or nothing to do with them being "black."

Good point.

Edit- I think it's just general ignorance.
Funnily enough I just read an article on facebook about a guy I used to know from athletics.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/sport/sprinter-deng-bulabek-a-hit-for-seaford-soccer-club/news-story/9bbb513ba7b7715f5949af9b8e74693b

He's Sudanese but they compare him to Bolt...and his 100m PB is 11.86 :uhhhfacepalm:
All the races they mention he won are 'professional' races, which are handicapped events e.g. the fastest guys in a 300m start at 2m while the slower guys start at 40m to try and make it photo finishes- its a real farce imo. The irony is that he trains with my friend and old training partner Wallace who just ran a 21.29 200m earlier this year, but of course he's white so that wouldn't be a good story.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 09:19:01 am by Mutumbo000 »
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FP

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #293 on: June 04, 2016, 06:00:34 pm »
+1
Trying to figure out what's caused by environment and what's caused by genetics is tough, a lot of the time next to impossible. But it's great that we managed to have a discussion about what's generally considered a socially taboo topic.

I'm gonna get back to logging my shit tho lol.

5/31-6/1
Got food poisoning. A lot of throwing up and other fun things related to upset stomach.

6/2
League game: we won. Got an "almost layout-D" and a pointblock. Mark looked good.
+60 mins throwing

6/3
Pickup 4v4 - 90 mins. Nothing interesting here.

6/4
Tryout tourney for mid level mixed team called 8-bit. We lost 13-3 against AHype which sucked.

Defense: Got 2 pointblocks, didn't get broken for yards. Got skied badly by a teammate from my college I underestimated, this time going up SVJ (he went up SLRVJ). Got 2 "almost layout-D's".
Offense: Handled (threw) most of the time, didn't turn anything.  Not a lot of chemistry between me and my teammates. 2 drops.

Dunno what the hell is going on. I'm becoming a much more consistent and overall a better player but I feel like I'm losing my edge. I used to never get skied. I didn't throw a single long throw the whole game. Unforced drops are the most frustrating of all. On one of them I got distracted by the defenders attempt to get a layout D (he wasn't very close), on the other the thrower threw a high pass while I was running at him and I had an SLRVJ with both hands into the disc and just dropped it.

Back injury from 5/31 still has not gone away. I feel some pain when arching the lower lumbar/sacral spines. I have another tryout tomorrow.

Mutumbo000

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #294 on: June 04, 2016, 08:14:22 pm »
0
That sucks that you got food poisoning! Any idea of where you got it from?
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

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FP

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #295 on: June 05, 2016, 12:22:14 am »
0
That sucks that you got food poisoning! Any idea of where you got it from?

Some old meatballs. It sucked cause that was the day I was finally getting my diet in order and didn't eat any trashy food.. And ended up staying up pretty much the entire night puking and dry heaving.

adarqui

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #296 on: June 05, 2016, 01:39:12 am »
0
That sucks that you got food poisoning! Any idea of where you got it from?

Some old meatballs. It sucked cause that was the day I was finally getting my diet in order and didn't eat any trashy food.. And ended up staying up pretty much the entire night puking and dry heaving.

damn that sucks!

T0ddday

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #297 on: June 05, 2016, 05:11:15 am »
0
The irony is that he trains with my friend and old training partner Wallace who just ran a 21.29 200m earlier this year, but of course he's white so that wouldn't be a good story.

Maybe the rules are different in Australia but in the rest of the world a fast white athlete is certainly a good story.  In fact it's an outsized good story BECAUSE the athlete is white.  I mean 21.29 is a decent time but it isn't world class and thus shouldn't be a good story regardless - but at the high levels a white athlete gets far more press than a black athlete at the same speed (not that a necessarily have a problem with this on it's face - rare events are naturally better stories), for evidence just go to google and look at the amount of articles written about Christophe Lemetrie vs a black european sprinter with equal or better times - far more articles about the Frenchman - for no reason other than because he is white!

T0ddday

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #298 on: June 05, 2016, 06:13:50 am »
+3
Really interesting discussion that developed out of the question I asked.  Really impressed by the education level and the civility of the members of the board to educate and learn rather than attack and win arguments...  Really is promising how different the community is here from the rest of the internet!  I have a few things to add - but first to just address the initial argument that it makes sense to refer to race when one is a minority in the sport...  This excuse is totally fine IF THERE IS A REASON to differentiate the person.   For example if I was playing basketball with friends against a group of all strangers of whom all are black except one - it is totally reasonable (maybe not intelligent or politically correct but reasonable) to use race to differentiate.  I'm guilty of it myself - I can see myself saying "I'll guard the white guy" or after the game saying "the white dude was killing it".  Same if everyone was white except for one player - this player might get referred to "the black guy".   This might be lazy of me to use race in this context BUT it is reasonable because I don't know these players, my friends dont know these players, and we are trying to tell them apart, thus if only one is white or black we might use this identifier to tell them apart...

Should we practice this?  Maybe not.  Probably not.  But the point is the reason I was curious about the mention of race in your post was that it seemed so pointless...  You got beat to a frisbee by a player.  Adding the race of the player to your story doesn't help me understand your experience at the tryout in any way shape or form or help me differentiate between players at all...  The only reason why your inclusion of race would help me is IF I thought his race mattered.... 

Anyway with that out of the way I think that I have three points to add, (1) a sociocultural point, a (2) human point and finally a (3) scientific point (I am a geneticist in real life after all...).

EDIT: Is it racist to believe that black guys have a genetic advantage in athletics? Out of the couple of handfuls of black athletes I have played with in frisbee, almost all were well above average athletes. You could just say it's self-fulfilling prophecy and black and white people are pretty much the same. I'm probably just ignorant. It makes me cringe just typing this up. But then again I can't change my perspective without acknowledging it. I hope you can accept me as I am.

(1) First off...   YES.  It is totally racist to believe that black guys have a genetic advantage in athletics.  It's 100% racist and it's not a belief you should hold on to.  Racism is defined as the belief that one race is superior in some aspect to another.   If you take the dubious evidence that your personal experience is that the black athletes you played frisbee with were above average athletes as reason to believe that there is a genetic advantage in athletics to being black you are being racist - I can accept you as who you are but I also hope you can change!    Remember racism does not mean you believe everyone as a race is superior - slave owners didn't necessarily believe that slaves were less intelligent than mentally challenged white people - they just believed on average they were far less intelligent - you don't have to believe in racial differences that manifest 100% of the time to be racist.

I know the defense of this belief people try to cling to - whats wrong with believing something GOOD about black people (that they are great athletes).  Well, first off... A lot - but I will get to that in my second point...   But, beyond that the problem with claiming you only believe that good stereotypes are genetic is that it is logically inconsistent.  I don't see any black people in the spelling B - I see asians, indian and jewish people.  Black people graduate at a much lower rate from college.  Given this data why not believe that Asian, Indian and Jewish people are genetically smart and blacks are genetically stupid?  Do you believe that?  Or do you reject that belief and claim educational attainment is entirely cultural but ascribe sports performance to genetics - this is a silly inconsistent belief that people claim to have because they don't want to sound offensive.  Intelligence and athletics are both influenced by genetics and environmental - you can't choose to believe that positive things are largely genetic but then ascribe the environment as being 100% responsible for differences that would be offensive to categorize as genetic.   That's not how genetics works. 

(2) I want to give you a human example of why this belief is so troubling.  I have shared this story before I believe but it is a formative part of my past and I think it bears repeating.  I am/was a mixed athlete in track and field.  I ran short sprints.  I was never world class but I did run a couple good races and the interest in my performance along racial lines was striking.  After decent performances I was often approached by white and black athletes asking "what are you?".   I always hating answering the question because any mention of my fathers African ancestry immediately made white people crestfallen.  I would hear things like "oh that's why" or "oh that makes sense" and sense there disappointment that I wasn't what the wanted to see (a fast white person) and I could tell that the clearly thought that my speed was now not impressive and just a product of blackness.   This sucks.  I have sequenced my genome.  I have over 80% european ancestry!  I have thrown up on the track.  I have put in work.  To have someone dangle praise in front of you and take it away because they think it is a product of your skin color is extremely sad...  This is bad for white athletes and black athletes as well as mixed athletes.  I know a guy who has recently broke in as a special teamer on the carolina panthers.  His highlight of the season was chasing down pacman jones from behind on a punt return and making up a lot of ground to get the tackle.  He is extremely fast.  He is white.  But when he began to get noticed there was immediately an article on espn praising him.   Guess what it said:

http://espn.go.com/blog/carolina-panthers/post/_/id/14097/colin-jones-continues-to-impress

From the article "He’s not the fastest or the most athletic, but he works hard and he makes plays. He also isn’t flamboyant or outspoken."

BULLSHIT.  He is the fastest and most athletic player on the team.  He isn't the best or the smartest which is why he is on special teams but the racist writer can't see past their biases.   The writer has to ascribe a white athletes success to hard work and "not flamboyance" while they take away credit from the black athlete and brand them naturally gifted and lazy.  This subconscious racism isn't just about something as harmless as sports.  This subconscious racism bleeds into academia, society, employment - it's a unspoken belief that white people work hard and deserve credit for it while black people are naturally good dancers and athletes but don't work hard.  This is terrible belief and it's one everyone should examine themselves for.   

Interestingly enough ESPN was called on their racism and wrote another article about him a few months later that included this gem:

http://espn.go.com/blog/carolina-panthers/post/_/id/15439/return-of-special-teams-ace-colin-jones-big-for-panthers

"He also can play safety, so the Panthers don’t have to keep an extra player on the roster at that position. He's one of the fastest players on the team as well."

The writers behind this should be ashamed of themselves for being so racist and lazy.  Terrible journalism but nobody complains because they disguise racism as praise which sounds nice.   


(3) Finally... About science.  Hopefully I have convinced that believing that one race is better at sports (or smarter or quicker or anything you value) is a terrible belief to have because it hurts people and denies them praise for hard work and generally has negative effects on society.  But, in your last post you posed a question that is fair to me as a scientist... Sure beliefs about race and speed are racist and damaging but.... are they true?  In a complete unemotional scientific curiosity aspect...  are they true?  You write:

Quote
"Trying to figure out what's caused by environment and what's caused by genetics is tough, a lot of the time next to impossible. "

Well I am a geneticist so it's what I do for a living and it's not next to impossible.  Lets consider your statement for scientific truth.  Is it possible blacks have an advantage in athletics?   NO.   Do some people have a genetic advantage in athletics?  Yes.  This is true.  So why not blacks?   Well, to answer your question you have to understand genetics.

LBSS eluded to this in his answer but I don't know if you understand human genetic history and if you want to have a handle on it I think it's a helpful tool to conquer racism.   Humans come from Africa.   We evolved there at most 1 million years ago.  And for almost a million years we lived there exclusively.  Genetics allows us to measure time through mutations.   Mutations are rare events that arise spontaneously by chance and when they affect a benign portion of the genome do not affect fitness.  So if one family is genetically similar and splits apart and lives on two islands we can see how far they have been apart...  After 1000 years apart they may have a couple hundred new mutations that segregate the groups.  After 5000 years they may have a couple thousand mutations.  Counting these mutations allows us to calculate backwards how long ago we have a common ancestor...

Humans left Africa about 50k years ago.  Thus all non-africans have a common ancestor at most 50k years in the past.  In fact if you cluster mutations into groups to put humans into clusters (scientific genetic definitions of race or relatedness) you come up with about 13 haplotypes or "races".   All 13 of these groups live in Africa.  One lives in East Africa and the rest of the world...  Humans spent so much time in Africa that someone in south africa and someone in west africa may have their most recent common ancestor half a million years ago while all non-african humans share one at most 50k years ago... This is why LBSS made the statement "ethiopians and nigerians are more genetically different from each other than swedes and koreans" which is totally true.

Given this it is preposterous that a complex trait like speed would be shared among all people from Africa.   Like LBSS said - DO NOT LISTEN TO MALCOLM GLADWELL.  Seriously, this guy is a writer.   Not a scientist.  Not a statistician.  He is a talented writer and he cherrypicks science to justify his racist beliefs.  He is still angry that he didn't make it as a middle distance runner and is trying to blame his failure on genetics.  WEAK.

To summarize my point before my gladwell tirade... Africa has more diversity than the rest of the world (in fact the only coding alleles in common across the continent involve skin color - not even hair texture - so if you want to make a true statement about african people you can say "they have a genetic disposition to not be pale skinned" - that is it). 

But... What about non-africans.   I realize the irony in my point - that I am making an argument that the people of africa are "special" relative to other people and as such it's impossible that they have any genetic advantage or disadvantage in common.  Well - they are special.   But I don't think it's racist because they are special because we are ALL african.  Its our homeland.  It's where we started and it is special.  But so could these non-africans be slower?  Could chinese people be better at gymnastics?   The truth is an unsatisfying probably not.  Most of mainland china has very little admixture.  So while offensive and troubling a belief about a shared genetic trait common to Chinese is scientifically more plausible than for African/Blacks.  However, it's still really unlikely that it would be any complex trait like speed or intelligence.   You do see simple traits like height that are shared among the chinese people - of course you don't see these among africans on a whole - but you do for small groups like the very tall Masai and very short Pygmies...

Basically the more complex the trait the more unlikely you will see it shared among a big group of people (such as one of our sociocultural racial groups).  Very complex traits are shared among families.   Less complex groups are shared by closely related tribes or groups.  Simple traits are shared over larger geographically semi-spread out groups.  Nothing is shared over Africa.   

I hope that helps.  If the science is written poorly I will summarize by saying that Africa as the homeland for humans is not a place with enough genetic commonality for anything like speed to be shared.  In general our sociocultural racial structure (white, black, asian, etc) has far too large groups for their to be racial genetic differences that involve anything more than what you see...  It is possible that some racial or ethnic group outside of africa has enough genetic commonality to share a complex trait at a slightly higher rate that other groups.  But it wouldn't be meaningful - eg maybe chinese have a 1% advantage in learning to memorize multiplication on average when controlling for environment - thus this racist thought might have an acorn of truth BUT it does not have a bit of utility and DOES cause a lot of hard... 

FP

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Re: FP's log
« Reply #299 on: June 05, 2016, 12:17:20 pm »
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Just want to clarify about the Gladwell article: The original quote I have is him explaining why the common person might think someone of african descent might have a genetic advantage in athletics. This is the part of the article where he acknowledges the opposing viewpoint. The rest of the article consists of him arguing against this perspective. If you read the second quote you'll see that his main argument is essentially the same as yours, T0ddday: people born in west africa have much more genetic variability because everyone was originally from Africa. More genetic variability = more athletes further away from the average.

Hilariously enough, he also gives an example almost EXACTLY like the one you made: about how the media perpetuates racism and white athletes are praised for their work ethic while black athletes accomplishments are chalked off as "talent" even though that's bullshit and everyone works very hard to be a top level athlete.