Black Like Jim

December 10, 2007

Oh come on now. This is just too good. Almost like the prohibitionist, gay-bashing, pro-family politician caught in the drug-n-gay-prostitute scandal.


Update 1:

Noah Gray of Action Potential continues his ThingForJim (thanks for the link!).

Steve Sailer of iSteve analyzes the evidence for black grandparents and finds it wanting. Of course we know all about how easy it is to detect percent-blackness from just lookin’ thanks to Razib. A comment to iSteve has a more useful point.

Nothing from the Borg yet, waiting with bated breath for the usual bomb throwers to jump in.

11 Responses to “Black Like Jim”

  1. Noah Gray Says:

    Thanks for the tip…that’s beautiful…


  2. neurolover Says:

    But is it for real? Can you actually use the genetic data to make a statement like this one? I’m thinking of that high profile article that suggested that some American (?) had Mongolian genes that turned out to be an error? I hope the CSH people actually know how to do the genetic analysis properly (unlike the private testing lab in the other case). But, this is the kind of data that I can’t get excited about without more substantive info.


  3. drugmonkey Says:

    it’s deCODE making the analysis which puts it in the category of smartacre. furthermore this was by press release if I have it right so who knows if the details will leak. OTOH, just like cold fusion and stem cells we’ll get some others working on this one post haste I would bet.


  4. Noah Gray Says:

    The company focuses on significant genomic regions where differences between races can easily be assessed: SNPs and microsatellites. These two features exhibit distinct differences across races and thus, when analyzing specific areas of an individual’s genome, the company can compare these sequences to publicly available data representing typical “African” or “European” genomes. That is how one can classify the origin of certain parts of the genome. This technology is pretty well-accepted and deCODE has been using it to publish studies in Nature Genetics regarding SNPs associated with various cancers and which races are more prone to carry these genetic features. If others repeat the analysis, the actual percentages may vary, but the bottom line should remain roughly the same.


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    “but the bottom line should remain roughly the same.”

    Details might change the degree of relation that is purported to be black, though, no? Altering “analyses” like the above linked iSteve has conducted. Of course, there are alternative hypotheses. [cough]interloper[/cough].


  6. Noah Gray Says:

    I actually don’t care what the relationship is; that is pure conjecture by deCODE. What I meant is that the bottom line is that Watson has the satellites and markers that, according to population genetics, are found most prevalently in those of African descent. Nothing more, nothing less. His 16% could come from any mixture of possibilities somewhere back in the family tree from either side.

    That post to which you guys are referring from Steve is pretty silly, so I would hope that you are not seriously considering it as a valid argument. His arguments sound like those of people who refuse to accept the mitochondrial DNA evidence suggesting that all humans have ancestors in Africa. SNP and microsatellite analysis is along the same lines (although it doesn’t trace maternity directly, like mito DNA analysis) and provides the statistical likelihood that a particular genetic variation is from one race or another. It really doesn’t matter whether there are no pictures of black people in Dr. Watson’s books. Genetic variations provide a lot more objective evidence than personal accounts of history. If Steve believes that it is impossible to be 1/6 or 1/7 black and still have predominantly white features, he needs to walk around New York more (or any Latin American country where rampant mixing occurs) to see what kind of phenotypic manifestations that mixed genotypes can produce.


  7. bikemonkey Says:

    “That post … from Steve is pretty silly, so I would hope that you are not seriously considering it as a valid argument”

    Nah. That thing screams bonehead to anyone. It was an excuse to link to Razib’s interesting posts on the casual and technical aspects of genetic contributions to skin color determination, that’s all.

    but c’mon, doesn’t Watson look a little like Jason Kidd to you 🙂


  8. Noah Gray Says:

    Actually, more like the Crypt-keeper to me…(if you’ve seen the old show, you know what I’m talking about…)


  9. bikemonkey Says:

    Dude, what IS it with you and Watson anyway? Did he steal your best girl with his awsome cranium and libido or something?


  10. Noah Gray Says:

    Dr. Watson is the best at fund-raising and administrating scientific policy. He has made vast achievements possible due to his lobbying for particular projects and has shaped the genetic revolution that has overtaken many aspects of science over the past 50 years.

    But I like to keep it all in perspective.

    I spent three years at CSHL doing a post-doc and am privy to quite a few stories that I have not found the need to publicly repeat (but I do my best to convey the general idea, and make sure that he is known for how he chooses to carry himself and his burden of celebrity, rather than as this transcendent Nobel-winning super-scientist).


  11. physioprof Says:

    I spent three weeks taking a summer course at CSHL about 15 years ago. There were a few occasions in which Watson joined the students/faculty of our course at social events. On each occasion he spent the entire time leering at the female students.


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