Obsidian

Obsidian is criticizing me and I can’t figure out what he’s talking about. Could someone explain to me what he is criticizing me for so that I can respond?

In the interests of defending myself, I’ll be charitable and try to create a coherent argument against myself based on what Obsidian has written.

Here’s my guess as to what his argument is:

1) He thinks that HBDers believe that every characteristic of any given human being is 100% heritable.

2) I wrote a post about passing advice on to my progeny.

3) point 2) implies that I would be changing my progeny’s behavior, which contradicts point 1)

Therefore, I don’t really believe in HBD. QED

Is this his argument?

Assuming that it is, it easy to see why it’s retarded. Point 1) is an absurd caricature of the HBD position. HBDers (and biologists generally) believe that human actions and abilities are largely heritable. When "largely" is quantified, it’s usually put in the 60%-80% range. In other words, a given person’s abilities are 60%-80% determined by genetics. Personally, I think the 80% side of that range is probably correct, but there’s still a lot of room for a person to be affected at the margin by non-genetic factors.

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10 Responses to Obsidian

  1. Steve Johnson says:

    Obsidian has no argument. In reality, black people have less intelligence than basically any other group of humans. In addition, they are more violent and criminal.

    Obsidian doesn’t like it when this is pointed out. He prefers the world where he is protected from hearing negative things about his group (that would be the rest of the polite society). Unfortunately, he knows that the things that people say about his group are true. This bothers him hugely. As a result he lashes out the best way he can think of: by implying that white men are sexually unattractive.

    Simple debating tactic for a simple mind.

  2. Obsidian is to intellectual discourse what black population growth is to civic life.

  3. tenkev says:

    I believe the percent of an ability that is attributable to intelligence changes depending on where on the ability scale one lies. For example, someone with great genetics for playing the piano will not be any good at playing the piano if he has never played. So at the beginning of the spectrum the person’s ability to play is 100% based on training/practice. Once you get to elite level the person’s genetics accounts for nearly 100% of the difference between similarly trained people.

    • Jehu says:

      You’d be surprised, and, if you’re like me with little better than a typical aptitude for music, a bit dismayed, how fast someone with a natural talent at or above 2 sigmas (i.e., the top 2% or so) picks up music. It’s pretty sick—they can identify notes with very little effort that they hear and just play by ear. I had to do a read music from a sheet and do a fast mapping to the keyboard, like a computer doing an inefficient emulation of a specialized piece of hardware. It is as if some have music in their basic instruction set and the rest of us have to, at best, emulate it.

  4. Yalc says:

    “Obsidian is criticizing me and I can’t figure out what he’s talking about.”

    You just summed up Obsidian’s whole blog in a nutshell.

  5. RS says:

    > usually put in the 60%-80% range

    I think it’s 0.50 for nearly every trait you can think of.

    Height is higher and IQ may be higher.

  6. Chuck says:

    You refuted in a quarter of the space what it took Obsidian over a thousand words to say. And what’s funny is you not only fit in your rebuttal, but you summed up his original assertions.

    New term for Obsidian discussion: Obfusidian.

  7. Doug1 says:

    Foseti–

    1) He thinks that HBDers believe that every characteristic of any given human being is 100% heritable.

    2) I wrote a post about passing advice on to my progeny.

    3) point 2) implies that I would be changing my progeny’s behavior, which contradicts point 1)

    Therefore, I don’t really believe in HBD. QED

    Is this his argument?

    Yes, that’s exactly what the “logic” of his argument was.

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