Quotes Tagged "genetics"
Некоторые критики ошибочно считают, что «Эгоистичный ген» проповедует эгоизм как нравственный принцип, которого мы должны придерживаться в жизни! Другие (возможно, потому, что они прочитали только заглавие книги или не пошли дальше первых двух страниц) полагают, что по моему мнению эгоизм и другие скверные черты характера составляют неотъемлемую часть человеческой природы, нравится нам это или нет. В эту ошибку легко впасть, если вы считаете, как, по-видимому, полагают непостижимым образом многие другие люди, что генетическая «детерминированность» дана нам навсегда, что она абсолютна и необратима. На самом же деле гены «детерминируют» поведение лишь в статистическом смысле (см. также с. 44–47). Хорошей аналогией этому служит широко распространенное мнение, что красный закат обещает ясную погоду на следующий день. Возможно, что по статистике красный закат действительно предвещает великолепную погоду назавтра, но никто не станет заключать об этом пари на крупную сумму. Мы прекрасно знаем, что на погоду действует множество факторов и притом очень сложными путями. Любое предсказание погоды подвержено ошибкам. Это всего лишь предсказание, опирающееся на статистику. Мы не считаем, что красные закаты бесспорно определяют хорошую погоду назавтра и точно так же мы не должны считать гены окончательными детерминантами чего бы то ни было. Нет никаких причин, чтобы влияние генов нельзя было повернуть в противоположную сторону с помощью других воздействий.
Three-and-a-half-month-old infants already seem to exhibit the other-race effect. In a study at the University of Kentucky, white babies were very good at distinguishing faces with 100 percent Caucasian features from faces that had been graphically morphed to include features that were 70 percent white and 30 percent Asian. They couldn’t do the reverse: They could not tell 100 percent Asian faces from those that were morphed to include 30 percent white features. In other words, they could detect small differences between white and not-quite-white faces, but not the same kinds of differences between Asian and not-quite-Asian faces. Lawrence A. Hirschfeld of the University of Michigan did some of the pioneering work on how early in life children begin to understand race. He showed children of ages three, four, and seven, a picture of “Johnny:” a chubby black boy in a police uniform, complete with whistle and toy gun. He then showed them pictures of adults who shared two of Johnny’s three main traits of race, body build, and uniform. Prof. Hirschfeld prepared all combinations—policemen who were fat but were white, thin black policemen, etc.—and asked the children which was Johnny’s daddy or which was Johnny all grown up. Even the three-year-olds were significantly more likely to choose the black man rather than the fat man or the policeman. They knew that weight and occupation can change but race is permanent. In 1996, after 15 years of studying children and race, Prof. Hirschfeld concluded: “Our minds seem to be organized in a way that makes thinking racially—thinking that the human world can be segmented into discrete racial populations—an almost automatic part of our mental repertoire.” When white preschoolers are shown racially ambiguous faces that look angry, they tend to say they are faces of blacks, but categorize happy faces as white. “These filters through which people see the world are present very early,” explained Andrew Baron of Harvard. Phyllis Katz, then a professor at the University of Colorado, studied young children for their first six years. At age three, she showed them photographs of other children and asked them whom they would like to have as friends. Eighty-six percent of white children chose photographs of white children. At age five and six, she gave children pictures of people and told them to sort them into two piles by any criteria they liked. Sixty-eight percent sorted by race and only 16 by sex. Of her entire six-year study Prof. Katz said, “I think it is fair to say that at no point in the study did the children exhibit the Rousseau type of color-blindness that many adults expect.
Asians are still a small minority—14.5 million (including about one million identified as part Asian) or 4.7 percent of the population—but their impact is vastly disproportionate to their numbers. Forty-four percent of Asian-American adults have a college degree or higher, as opposed to 24 percent of the general population. Asian men have median earnings 10 percent higher than non Asian men, and that of Asian women is 15 percent higher than non-Asian women. Forty-five percent of Asians are employed in professional or management jobs as opposed to 34 percent for the country as a whole, and the figure is no less than 60 percent for Asian Indians. The Information Technology Association of America estimates that in the high-tech workforce Asians are represented at three times their proportion of the population. Asians are more likely than the American average to own homes rather than be renters. These successes are especially remarkable because no fewer than 69 percent of Asians are foreign-born, and immigrant groups have traditionally taken several generations to reach their full economic potential. Asians are vastly overrepresented at the best American universities. Although less than 5 percent of the population they account for the following percentages of the students at these universities: Harvard: 17 percent, Yale: 13 percent, Princeton: 12 percent, Columbia: 14 percent, Stanford: 25 percent. In California, the state with the largest number of Asians, they made up 14 percent of the 2005 high school graduating class but 42 percent of the freshmen on the campuses of the University of California system. At Berkeley, the most selective of all the campuses, the 2005 freshman class was an astonishing 48 percent Asian. Asians are also the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to commit crimes. In every category, whether violent crime, white-collar crime, alcohol, or sex offenses, they are arrested at about one-quarter to one-third the rate of whites, who are the next most law-abiding group. It would be a mistake, however, to paint all Asians with the same brush, as different nationalities can have distinctive profiles. For example, 40 percent of the manicurists in the United States are of Vietnamese origin and half the motel rooms in the country are owned by Asian Indians. Chinese (24 percent of all Asians) and Indians (16 percent), are extremely successful, as are Japanese and Koreans. Filipinos (18 percent) are somewhat less so, while the Hmong face considerable difficulties. Hmong earn 30 percent less than the national average, and 60 percent drop out of high school. In the Seattle public schools, 80 percent of Japanese-American students passed Washington state’s standardized math test for 10th-graders—the highest pass rate for any ethnic group. The group with the lowest pass rate—14 percent—was another “Asian/Pacific Islanders” category: Samoans. On the whole, Asians have a well-deserved reputation for high achievement.
In all racial groups, students from wealthy households tend to score better than those who are poor, but income does not explain group differences. A study by McKinsey and Company found that white fourth graders living in poverty scored higher—by the equivalent of about half-a-year’s instruction—than black fourth graders who were not poor. These differences increase in high school. On the 2009 math and verbal SAT tests, whites from families with incomes of less than $20,000 not only had an average combined score that was 117 points (out of 1600) higher than the average for all blacks, they even outscored by 12 points blacks who came from families with incomes of $160,000 to $200,000. Educators and legislators have not ignored the problem. The race gap in achievement is such a preoccupation that in 2007, 4,000 educators and experts attended an “Achievement Gap Summit” in Sacramento. They took part in no fewer than 125 panels on ways to help blacks and Hispanics do as well as whites and Asians. Overwhelming majorities in Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 to improve student performance and bridge achievement gaps. The government budgeted $24.4 billion for the program for fiscal year 2007, and its requirements for “Adequate Yearly Progress” have forced change on many schools. This is only the latest effort in more than 25 years of federal involvement. The result? In 2009, Chester E. Finn, Jr., a former education official in the Reagan administration, put it this way: “This is a nearly unrelenting tale of woe and disappointment. If there’s any good news here, I can’t find it.
Many theories have been advanced to explain racial gaps in performance, of which these are the most common: black and Hispanic schools do not get enough money, their classes are too big, students are segregated from whites, minorities do not have enough teachers of their own race. Each of these explanations has been thoroughly investigated. Urban schools, where non-whites are concentrated, often get more money than suburban white schools, so blacks and Hispanics are not short-changed in budget or class size. Teacher race has no detectable effect on learning (Asians, for example, outperform whites regardless of who teaches them), nor do whites in the classroom raise or lower the scores of students of other races. Money is not the problem. From the early 1970s to the 2006-2007 school year per-pupil spending more than doubled in real terms. The Cato Institute calculates that when capital costs are included, the Los Angeles School District spends more than $25,000 per student per year, and the District of Columbia spends more than $28,000. Neither district gets good results. Demographic change can become a vicious cycle: As more minorities and immigrants enter a school system average achievement falls. More money and effort is devoted to these groups, squeezing gifted programs, music and art, and advanced placement courses. The better-performing students leave, and standards fall further.