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A question of genetics?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

A question of genetics?

Old 12-04-04, 01:02 AM
  #76  
extomesm
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oh snap!!! you got told!! told wut? im not exactly sure...
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Old 12-04-04, 01:05 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Alan,

As I wrote in my first post, I contemplated putting this in the politics forum, but I want to keep this as honest and as scientific as possible. Of all the posts thus far written, you are the only one who has brought into the discussion an accusation of racism, which is solely an emotional response which we are trying to avoid. I really enjoy your viewpoint in this discussion, but try refrain from losing your cool by accusing others here of something they are not. It definitely enters the realm of major rule breaking, and I don't want the mods to kill our thread.
Your posts on this subject, when read as a whole, can be boiled down in blunt, direct English to exactly the same argument made by slave owners in 1850: "Where a given person ends up in life is determined by their race".

Your "reasoning" begins with flattery: "Aren't African-Americans just terrific at sports?", but your argument is ultimately that "genetics" explains everything about human achievement. Which would explain why African-Americans have failed to attain many of the higher paying jobs in law, medicine, finance, engineering, and corporate management. Just their "inferior" genetics for those fields. After all, "we end up where our race and our genetics put us". "Genetics" become a useful tool to justify the massive problems still impacting the African-American community after four centuries of racist oppression.

Your thread created the opportunity for people to post some of the junk "science" originating from neo-nazi websites, and a number of posters have taken that opportunity. The word "racist" is not a form of "name-calling". It is a sociological and psychiatric term with a very precise meaning. Racism is a mental illness causing its victims to view a co-worker or a neighbor as merely a clone of some "race" or ethnic group, rather than as a unique individual.

A racist feels compelled to "rank" so-called "races" in terms of worn-out stereotypes, including being "superior" or "inferior" for different kinds of work, including playing basketball, riding a bike, digging a ditch, cleaning a toilet, performing brain surgery, practicing corporate law, or running a "Fortune Five Hundred" corporation.

A racist assumes that each person he has "classified" as belonging in a certain group has the "talents" that stereotypes have created for that group. Therefore, a racist might be stunned to learn that his Black neighbor does not dance, never played basketball, and does not like sweet potato pie. Instead, the neighbor prefers playing chess and eating pasta.

Anyone who believes that every human being can be neatly and accurately assigned to a "racial" classification and that any given "race" is "superior" or "inferior" to any other "race" with regard to a category of human endeavor has a mental health issue and should get professional help before their illness harms their co-workers, their neighbors, or their community.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 12-07-04 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 12-04-04, 01:12 AM
  #78  
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guess wut mom? today on bike forums i learned that im a racist!!

bombushen, geneman, and docray thanks for your input its been very informative even if a bit over my head, i got the main gist i think.
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Old 12-04-04, 07:23 AM
  #79  
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Alanbike:

Just relax. Nobody has said anything racist. You're just freaking out!

And you're still making the same mistake I talked about in my first post. Nobody is saying that every member of every race has the same athletic (or any other) ability. Nobody is saying that the next best cyclist is sure to be European, American, or African.

We're all talking about averages and probabilities here. As a whole, men are taller than women. This doesn't mean that every man is taller than every woman. Nobody is going to make that stupid of a mistake. Nobody knows who the next great cyclist will be. He could be of any race imaginable. Usually the top athletes are freaks of nature in any culture.

What we're saying is that if a certain race is prone to a certain body type and that body type is well-suited for a particular sport, then on average that race is going to be better at that sport than the other races who don't have that body type. You can't deny that certain different races, on average, have different body types than certain other races.
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Old 12-04-04, 08:02 AM
  #80  
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alan I dont think your constant reversion to talking about Nazi's and Hitler is positively effecting your argument. Theres a thread here somewhere, hold on....
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Old 12-04-04, 08:23 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by clancy98
alan I dont think your constant reversion to talking about Nazi's and Hitler is positively effecting your argument. Theres a thread here somewhere, hold on....
Yea I ignored him after that last post of his. I saw a trend that looked similar to this guy. You might have heard of him before.

And, back to genetics...

I had a good example but I'm not even gonna bother because then alan would just call me a white-hooded, nazi, wifebeater, commy or something.

If you really want to hear it, pm me.
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Old 12-04-04, 08:31 AM
  #82  
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Read this

http://run-down.com/guests/je_black_athletes_p1.php

Some Excerpts

"While everyone readily accepts that evolution has turned out blacks with a genetic proclivity to contract sickle cell and Jews of European heritage who are 100 times more likely than other populations to be afflicted with the degenerative mental disease Tay-Sachs, it is widely perceived as racist to suggest that blacks of West African ancestry have evolved into the world's best sprinters, Asians among the best divers, East Africans the premier distance runners, and whites the top weightlifters."


"Noakes's colleague, Bengt Saltin, head of the Muscle Research Institute in Denmark, has come to the conclusion that certain population groups, including Northern Europeans, who are notable endurance runners and cross-country skiers, may have superior fatigue resistance encoded in their genes. He has found that Scandinavian distance runners, Kenyans, and South African blacks all have consistently lower blood-lactate levels and perform more efficiently than athletes from other regions, the likely result of their having evolved in mountainous regions. Population genetics - ancestry - is the key determinant"


"Considering the hotter-than-hot nature of the debate, it is not surprising that the most balanced views originate with those outside the United States. "There is an environment in the US which prevents individuals from even talking about this topic," said Bouchard. "I do not feel this pressure at all here in Canada. We talk openly about this issue and treat it as a scientific matter. I believe that we need to look at the causes of differences in performance between races as legitimately as we do when we study or discuss differences in diseases between the various races. I have always worked with the hypothesis that ignorance fosters prejudice. [Critical inquiry] is the greatest safeguard against prejudice."


And please note, none of this has anything to do with differences in mental capacity or intelligencewhatsoever, its just simple physiological differences between population averages.

Last edited by Smoothie104; 12-04-04 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 12-04-04, 08:41 AM
  #83  
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>you can't pick your parents
>you can't begin to include the intangibles (culture,race,environment) before having the physical attributes added up first.

People give the example of the NBA often. The NBA is full of overrated, ill-shooting, awkward tall men that can't shoot a free throw....black and white alike. Yes, they are tall, and it helps with specific match-up's, but doesn't guarantee success.
Al McGuire, the coach of the champion Marquette Warriors (college) once said, that when the game is on the line, and my guy has 2 free throws with little time left and the crowd is going nuts, i want the dumb kid that doesn't over think/analyze the situation. I want the kid who is too dumb to think about everything that i am thinking about.
PEOPLE respond to pressure differently. At that point, the genetics might have gotten them to that point, but the mental and other intangibles (we aren't machines you know, these athletes have regular pressures of family, money, etc that we do) take over. Some athletes can block out most this....

WHEN YOU have an athlete succeed in a critical moment of any event, you have to throw in desire, other failures and accomplishments, etc. or just plain luck...people feel good on certain days and others feel lowsy.

Maybe Kenyans diets are good for running. a diet that starts at birth, not in their 20's after growth is already done.

90% OF LIFE IS JUST SHOWING UP>> for superior athletes they have that 90% down flat. It's what you do with the other 10% that makes the difference here. I don't care what color or background you come from.

Oh, and we haven't even gotten into the fact that Kenyans are pure, in that they don't interbreed like most europeans do. The airplane made it easier to intermingle and genetically alter the landscape. The Nazi 'purist' notion is over in western civilization. Can you imagine the Wisconsin german immigrants only breeding with people in their state all these centuries later? Most of western society are mutt's compared to the Kenyans and Chinese, etc. **There are exceptions, but for the sake of this thread, we will have to assume some things**

I am currently studying the explosion of birth defects that occur when people of differing backgrounds (Metiteranean descent meets european descent for example) vs. defects in cultures that do not mix (with equal dietary and level of prenatal care)

Last edited by RiPHRaPH; 12-04-04 at 08:41 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-04-04, 08:55 AM
  #84  
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Ya think where you live has anything to do with it? Not likly to see many in Canada surfing,football in Kenya.China,they dont have the size for most contact sports. USA and build anything to suit the weather and do ANY sport. Money is likly one of the biggest reasons. Pretty cheap to just go out and run forever as the Kenyans do. Lots of reasons,hard to pin point which ones for sure.
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Old 12-04-04, 09:28 AM
  #85  
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shokhead tapped the money issue, which is what I sort of mentioned in the very first thread. As Kenya and other Eastern African nations slowly develope and emerge from the third world, they may become more likely to engage more heavily in other sports, like cycling.
As a result, their specific endurance and cardio-vascular capabilities could easily place them in the top of the cycling categories ina relatively short amount of time, say within the next few decades, making them formidable opponents, which would really make the game more intersting. No longer just Armstrong, Ulrich, Voekler, Hamilton, etc, etc ,etc....
I think it would be kind of neat to see a Kenyan cycling team. Now, that would definitely help expand the popularity of the sport worldwide, even further. Just think of how many more companies will emerge with products. Oh, the choices of components... I can see it now.

Now, please excuse me, I need to go pump myself full of Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Ritalin, and whatever else I can con out of my doctor, to cure my mental disease.

Last edited by Patriot; 12-04-04 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 12-04-04, 10:00 AM
  #86  
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Facts:



http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459790

http://run-down.com/guests/je_black_athletes_p1.php (part one)
http://run-down.com/guests/je_black_athletes_p2.php (part two)

One of the articles is heavily referenced
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Old 12-04-04, 10:37 AM
  #87  
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Actually, I will admit, my pathetic male hormones drove me to stare at the "powerful images" ad on the left of the page of your first link. sorry....

What was that article about?
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Old 12-04-04, 02:07 PM
  #88  
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Powerful images indeed!
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Old 12-04-04, 02:16 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
If a person thinks that one group of people is born superior or inferior to another group of people, that belief alone indicates someone who lacks a mental function, let alone the vaunted white people's "faster mental reaction". The notion that any group of people has a "natural capability to have a faster mental reaction" than another is neo-nazi nonsense, yet a lie often spread by various right-wing hate groups.

The Nazi Party spent enormous amounts of money on "science" to prove that Germans were a "superior race". The American army, including African-Americans, Hispanic-American, and Asian-Americans fought against the Nazi empire, and its racist nonsense, and Nazi theories of "racial superiority" are now in the dustbin of history.

A racist is a person who views each individual human NOT as an individual, but only as a member of some arbitrarily created group, with the imaginary, stereotypical characteristics of that group. To assume that someone who looks like Hakeem Olajawon MUST be talented at basketball is racist nonsense. Likewise, looking like Arnold Palmer has done very little for millions of other tall, pale, blond golfers.

Being seven feet tall is an advantage in basketball, whether you are from Poland, China, Serbia, or Nigeria. Weighing just 160 pounds, yet being able to put 500 watts of power into a bicycle for an extended period of time is an advantage whether the rider is from Columbia, Belgium, Russia, or Texas. These "advantages" belong to the individual who possesses them, not to a group, or to a nation.

To assume ANYTHING about what any one human being can achieve, based on where they were born, or who their parents are is utter stupidity. But, it is a very dangerous form of stupidity, because seeing humans as "group members" instead of as "individuals" is the cause of most of the violence and strife that has plagued humans throughout history.
While I agree 100% with this post as it relates to race, I do have one bone to pick. I believe certain body types and physical attributes help certain athletes, be those people black, white or green.
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Old 12-04-04, 02:26 PM
  #90  
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http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459790
531, that's a great article (once you find the power within yourself to ignore the "powerful image" on the left). This is the first time I've ever seen any real data on the issue since it's so taboo to talk about this. I'm going to read the next two when I have more time.

To anyone who hasn't read it....go read it!
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Old 12-04-04, 03:02 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by bombusben
The genetic uniqueness that is used to categorize populations is from non-coding, hypervariable segments of mtDNA. These segments have no phenotypic expression, are not subjected to selection or meiotic recombination, and have vastly different mutation rates from nuclear DNA. They are genetic fossils.
Thanks bombusben for your insightful comments. You're on the ball!!

Mitochondrial DNA was chosen for two reasons ... first, as you mention, the rate of mutation is much higher than in nuclear DNA and second because of the predictable mode of inheritance. The initial focus of organizations such as The Human Genome Diversity Project were to answer basic questions about our genetic origins. Their questions could be satisfied by simply tracing lineage through mtDNA. This is not to say that the same could not be accomplished through the use of somatic sequence, it's just that mtDNA is easier.

Originally Posted by bombusben
I agree with you that to some unknown extent there is very complicated correlation between variation in the nuclear genome and physical capability. However there is nothing to suggest that hypervariable mtDNA segment mutation is consistent with the nuclear loci responsible for an individual's phenotypic expression of athletic ability. Therefore assuming that these traits follow a geographical distribution or evolutionary history is a complete shot in the dark.
I would agree with this 100%. Specifically, I would bet that there's zero correlation between inheritance patterns of mtDNA and that of genomic DNA. Were it not for parallel studies of Y chromosome migration patterns within populations, I would say that you're right. But if Y (also with a simple mode of inheritance relative to somatic DNA) can be traced and demonstrated to contain common segments among a population, then the same will almost certainly hold true for somatic DNA.


Originally Posted by bombusben
Take for instance the sickle cell allele. The fact that it is present in various ethnically distinct lineages “blacks, South Americans, Southern Europeans and Middle Easterners” suggests that nuclear DNA traits don’t always correlate well with the evolutionary history suggested by mtDNA analysis.
While I haven't seen the data, what makes you think that those populations aren't connected gentically? Specifically, might they share alleles in other loci independent of those that determine skin color, height, etc.

Originally Posted by bombusben
On top of that, I'm not sure what sort of inferences a reasonable person can be made about a population's "abilities and/or limitations" based upon the frequency of a single loci mutation like sickle cell or super hemoglobin (if it is also a single loci mutation). If the hemoglobin mutation is heritable, it is likely to spread to numerous populations much the same way sickle cell has. Will the Ethiopians be good at XC skiing too?
Again, I agree. What we're grasping for is some tractable means of tracing populations. Population geneticts have logically focused upon regions of the genome that are pehaps under less selective pressure than others ... highly conserved gene sequences and non-coding DNA. Sickle cell is a great example of a heritable trait that one would hope will be selected against a thousand years from now (although given that sickle cell anemia sometimes doesn't manifest until after child bearing age, this may never happen). Mutations that create competitive athletic advantages will likely never come under the same type of pressue and may be tracable in the future. As for Ethiopians being good at XC, I suspect that they could be under the right environmental conditions ... i.e. snow 8 out of 12 months of the year. Elite Ethiopian athletes certainly have the aerobic capacity.

You're keeping me on my toes ...

-mark

Last edited by geneman; 12-06-04 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 12-04-04, 03:30 PM
  #92  
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Alanbike, you're just looking for an excuse to be offended, aren't you? I have no idea how you're making the correlation between this discussion and neo-naziism, and hate groups like the KKK. You need to chill out. These studies that are being performed are in an effort to better understand how humans have evolved, as a species. Get off your little soapbox and stop screaming racism at every little shadow.
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Old 12-04-04, 03:56 PM
  #93  
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I think everyone shares a lot of common coding from conception and the overwhelming similarities offer the situation where any differences between individuals should they push their bodies to 60-70% of their capacities are accounted for by the environment in which they were brought up. Try pushing 70-75% and that last couple percent are where genetics would take in and any slight tiny advantage that someone has would shine through. To use that last 25%, try cocaine. I've seen some cocaine addicts take on 4-5 cops and throw em off like they were rag dolls then run away with multiple gunshot wounds.

It's kind of like this, take ten sedans with similar specs, drive it through a road track at 60 mph, you'll get really similar times. 70 mph, probably the same. 80, the same. At 80mph, the differences might start showing up.

The difference between a 2.00 pound frame and a 1.98 pound frame, I can guarantee you, are not in the major components. It's in the minor details, a half layer more or less of carbon here or there, bolts that are shaved down a couple thousands, excess cable trimmed, etc.

Same with people, genetics are subtle and won't show up until you weed out everything else and that's what it comes down to.

No one here (I hope) is a racist, the OP wanted a civilized discussion with open minded people who are able to take on a subject without forcing their ideas on anyone and crying racism.
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Old 12-04-04, 05:09 PM
  #94  
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Back to the Kenyans. I think genetics is one factor, by no means the deciding one,(if there is a deciding factor,) in a continuum that makes Kenya produce superior runners. However, even if it is less important than altitude, work ethic or diet, it is still a factor, but no reason to cry Nazi.
Also, when talking genetics, people like to draw analogies from dogs. Dogs are a wonderful example of evolution, but not natural selection. There's been a lot of UNnatural selection at work on Fido, or he wouldn't look so screwy! So humans and dogs are not %100 analoguous.
If it's so racist to point out genetic biodiversity, is Nature racist? Why do you think we look different in the first place?
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Old 12-04-04, 06:47 PM
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1) People are using the words "race" and "genetics" as is they were synonymous. Not so.
2) Genetic inheritance is entirely individual. You receive your genetic legacy from your biological parents, not some fictitious "race".
3) What do you mean by "race"? Is it skin color? Yes, skin color is inherited, bur so is eye color, hair color, and many other factors. Why do we not consider left-handed people a race, or those with male-pattern baldness?
4) It is a well-established fact that individual variations within a race outweigh by far differenences from one race to another (which are quite minimal).
5) Armstrong's or Indurain's phenomenal cardiovascular potential is a genetic gift, but not any sort of "racial" one.
6) What any one person actually achieves with his genetic potential is influenced by culture, family, etc.
7) Irish immigrants to the U.S. were prominent in the sport of boxing throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In, the last half of the twentieth century African-Americans became dominant. Did Irish racial potential decline, and African-American genetics suddenly emerge?
8) The prominence of any particular sport among any social group is mainly depndent on cultural, social, and economic factors. Within any large-enough social group, there will be a subset of persons with the physical inheritance to excell in ANY sport, if the social support for it is there. This explains why NASCAR hasn't triumphed in Tanzania.
9) The concept of "race" is not a biological one, but a cultural one.
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Old 12-04-04, 07:55 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Poppaspoke
1) People are using the words "race" and "genetics" as is they were synonymous. Not so.
2) Genetic inheritance is entirely individual. You receive your genetic legacy from your biological parents, not some fictitious "race".
3) What do you mean by "race"? Is it skin color? Yes, skin color is inherited, bur so is eye color, hair color, and many other factors. Why do we not consider left-handed people a race, or those with male-pattern baldness?
4) It is a well-established fact that individual variations within a race outweigh by far differenences from one race to another (which are quite minimal).
5) Armstrong's or Indurain's phenomenal cardiovascular potential is a genetic gift, but not any sort of "racial" one.
6) What any one person actually achieves with his genetic potential is influenced by culture, family, etc.
7) Irish immigrants to the U.S. were prominent in the sport of boxing throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In, the last half of the twentieth century African-Americans became dominant. Did Irish racial potential decline, and African-American genetics suddenly emerge?
8) The prominence of any particular sport among any social group is mainly depndent on cultural, social, and economic factors. Within any large-enough social group, there will be a subset of persons with the physical inheritance to excell in ANY sport, if the social support for it is there. This explains why NASCAR hasn't triumphed in Tanzania.
9) The concept of "race" is not a biological one, but a cultural one.
What terminology would you prefer to differenriate between asian, caucasian, african,etc. if not race? Is there a more scientific term ? I'm not being a smartass, I'm really curious.
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Old 12-04-04, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
DocRay,

Since you appear to know just a smidgeon about genetics, is it a correct assessment for me to theorize that long term (hundreds or thousands of years) exposure in a given environment will actually cause the human body to create an inherant gene that will allow them to perform better in that environment?
And ,wouldn't it be logical to assume that the genes which provide that to one, would be passed on to their posterity, even if they were to temporarily leave the previous environment that caused the genetic change to begin with?

Just curious as to your thought on that theory.
I can give you a good example from mountaineering... Tibetans (or Sherpa people in Nepal), who lived for generations at high altitude, are lot better at utilizing oxygen at those altitudes than any other group of people in the world... Interestingly, South American Indians living at similar altitude don't exhibit the same traits...

Also, and this is from my personal experience (and there has been medical research done to describe it): When it gets cold outside, all of us (except Tibetans) will have cold hands and feet, reason being that as our bodies are trying to keep the core body temperature stable, veins in our limbs become smaller to minimize blood circulation there... You cannot influence it by will, but this will never happen to a Tibetan person... When the temp outside is around freezing, their hands or feet will be lot warm whereas yours will be cold...
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Old 12-05-04, 11:23 AM
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So now that the science has shown that certain body types with genetically enhanced muscle fiber and cultural pressures to kicka*s will be the likely winners at "traditional" sports. We (middle America) need to develop a sport for pudgy, mid sized, slow twitched, McFry enjoying, sedentary slobs with a 6 pack hangover with a propensity towards exhaust uptake rather than VOmax. OMG it's Nascar
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Old 12-05-04, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by boyze
So now that the science has shown that certain body types with genetically enhanced muscle fiber and cultural pressures to kicka*s will be the likely winners at "traditional" sports. We (middle America) need to develop a sport for pudgy, mid sized, slow twitched, McFry enjoying, sedentary slobs with a 6 pack hangover with a propensity towards exhaust uptake rather than VOmax. OMG it's Nascar
No, my misguided friend, the "sport" in question is GOLF.
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Old 12-05-04, 12:00 PM
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Asians, Europeans, Sherpas, etc. are simply nationalities or cultures. They do not qualify as races in any scientific meaning of the word. In fact, the word "race" has become so corrupted that its use should be limited to athletic events involving horses, cars, or bikes.
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