i listened to this beeb program (via dennis – thnx, dennis!) — Thilo Sarrazin live in Berlin (2 days remaining in which to listen to it) — and i thought sarrazin sounded much more well informed on biology|genetics than any news articles about him had suggested. (most news stories i saw talked about how he said there was a “jewish gene.” i’m sure now, after listening to him speak on this program, that he doesn’t think that. he clearly understands alleles and frequencies of alleles in different populations, etc., etc.)
what was really irritating — besides the self-parody-like political correctness of the bbc host and the retardness of most of the callers — was the fact that the host was completely unable, or completely unwilling, to understand what sarrazin was saying about alleles. unfortunately, sarrazin never actually used the word allele during the discussion. that might’ve helped. even if the host|listeners had no idea what an allele was, it might’ve (might’ve) helped sarrazin to explain to them that different populations have different frequencies of different variations of genes.
the host “framed the discussion” by saying that he didn’t believe that some groups, like ashkenazi jews, had certain “genes for intelligence” while other groups, like turkish kurds, did not. the host was trying to claim — and i think he, unfortunately, succeeded in making it seem — that sarrazin believed that kurds were lacking certain “genes for intelligence” altogether.
that’s obviously not what sarrazin meant. he tried to illustrate his point by saying that we all, for example, have genes for height, but some of us are short while others are tall. in other words, some of us have the “alleles for short” while others have the “alleles for tall” (all else being equal, of course).
it didn’t sink in. probably because the beeb host didn’t want it to.
the beeb host, in his pc-ignorance, also dismissed differences in iq between different groups just by saying in an offhand manner that “those ideas went out of fashion 60 years ago” (or words to that effect).
oh, to be pc-ignorant.
the other funny part was when sarrazin said he was a little frustrated when, during discussions of his book, he experienced many people arguing on the basis of their emotions rather than the facts, he being interested in the facts. then, a turkish-german woman called in to respond|discuss the point with him, and she was sooooo emotional! and sarrazin remained calm and just reiterated the facts. it was an amusing illustration of the bio-cultural differences between germans and turks, and pretty much made his point perfectly. (~_^)
previously: say it ain’t so, thilo!
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