I want to stress this about the whole gene-environment interaction stuff in context of the race and IQ debate.
Here is an article on the interactionist position. We have seen the similarities between identical twins raised apart. If the argument is that black genes just aren’t built for “white environments” then I am curious as to what the solution is? Sending people to Africa seems inhumane.
What Else is There?
It has been found that there is considerable publication bias in psychiatry GxE studies that causes a high rate of replication failure (Duncan, 2010).
Another paper found
“Regarding future cGXE studies, perhaps the most important point to keep in mind is that, as argued earlier, the first decade of cGXE research has produced few, if any, reliable results. That conclusion, which has been increasingly recognized in the psychiatric genetics community, explains the growing divide between the genetic studies most frequently referenced by psychological scientists and those most frequently referenced by psychiatric geneticists” — Duncan et al., 2014
And below is a graph from a review below, (Duncan & Keller, 2011) that shows the highly probability that these G x E effects are simply not what we were promised.
The degree to which GWAS replicate is very high. In fact, the degree to which they replicate is unprecedented for predicting disease outcomes (Marigorta et al., 2018), even if they are not useful for predicting the individual phenotypes yet. It is unlikely that SNPs would replicate so well if they were part of genes that were constantly interacting with different environmental experiences of all the different people.
Other Reasons G x E is Wrong
Logically speaking, it would not be possible to use SNPs to create a metagene that strongly correlates with global IQ’s. The SNPs from GWAS papers could not possibly tell us much about countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia if the genes and the environment interacted in a way to make the IQ scores appear to be stratified racially. This has been done already (Piffer, 2015).
“If researchers do posit gene-environment interactions, those interactions should be specific and testable (p. 175).” — Russell T. Warne’s notes from James Flynn’s 1980 book, “Race, IQ and Jensen”
None of these genes for intelligence have been found. Interaction should not be presumed to exist. They should not be difficult to locate if they do.
The interactionists do not offer specific genes, they just provide the blanket argument that we must trust them and the the G x E is the end all. There is a sinister epistemic approach that is taken by those that posit genetic Bell Curves that are the same:
- “Race is a social construct, differences cannot exist.” Obviously, not true. Look at the NBA, look at heights by demographic, look at the NBA.
- “How do we even define intelligence?” This is an indignant question. We are referring to the general property measured by the latent factor of IQ tests — if you do not want to call it intelligence, fine.
- Maybe IQ is not the best, how about multiple intelligences or a triangle model (again, do not dignify Sternberg’s model with the more sophisticated sounding “triarchic” name, this makes it sound more credible than it actually is).
- “Maybe IQ is the best, but I am not about this idea of g” No. Read my paper on why non-g models are wrong.
- “Intelligence is less heritable at low SES” *and this would presumably have racial implications* I already addressed in my review of race and IQ content, this is dubious, and certainly it is wrong to think that it has racial implications.
- “You are racist if you disagree with me, it violates the ethical intuition!” Piss off, mate.
- “Heritability is not a valid statistical construct, G x E exists! Trust me!”
Do you see why people get irritated? This is not a two sided discussion. This is a bunch of neurotic children that do not want anyone to have the potential to inquire as to what realities further investigation may hold.
Nobody provides evidence against the hereditarian hypothesis, the focal point of the research is to manipulate the framework by which race differences are viewed in. Those that claim race differences are not a considerable area of research are lying — I would say that sex differences are a more unexplored area. There is all kinds of research on race differences.