The Genetic Advantages of Race-Mixing

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Undercover Black Man has a nice post outlining the genetic advantages to race-mixing, something I've always thought should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about genetics. You don't even need to know about genetics. Just look at the hereditary problems in close-knit and inbred populations. The post details quite a few of those. It's a nice, inconvenient fact for those who think race-mixing is unnatural. Even aside from the difficulty such views face in identifying exactly which populations are the races that can't be mixed, it does seem as if nature prefers combinations of genes that are less closely-related than combinations that are too closely-related.

I do think, however, that it's worth acknowledging that some effects of combining the DNA of very distantly related people could be more harmful. If a trait requires gene coordination from both parents, and the coordination requires more closely-related DNA, then such a crossbreeding could lead to a loss of those kinds of traits, even if it's more likely to preserve traits one of the populations has lost (because those traits are usually simpler).

So it's not purely a matter of race-mixing being healthier and monoracial reproduction being less healthy. There are benefits and disadvantages either way. But the most common opposition to race-mixing in the U.S. context is the racist idea that white genes shouldn't be polluted with black genes, and blacks and whites in the U.S. at this point are much more closely related than most other interracial pairings, largely due to race-mixing in the past (ironically caused mostly by white slaveowners raping or seducing their slaves). Given that, I would expect these negative effects to be significantly reduced in black-white pairings than would have been true in the time of slavery.

So I do think the conclusion is correct. If anything, interracial relationships are at least in one respect more natural than same-race pairings.

11 Comments

You can tell that African Americans are closely related to whites, because the look distinctly different than Africans. I may be wrong in this, but it seems pretty obvious that a good portion of African Americans are somewhat part white. I would also add, not in some cases, there wasn't rape, but rather legitimate marriages have happened, though I bet that is the minority of cases. I will put a disclaimer saying I am rather ignorant of these issues, so if I give offensive, please educate me better, and forgive my accidental affront.

Yes, legitimate marriages happened. Yes, they were not the majority of mixings. My point in mentioning the slave-owner parentage was primarily to bring out the irony.

Genetic testing has been done, so we know this not just from the look or from genealogical records (some of which are pretty sparse). I think a consensus agrees that a majority of black Americans do have some European ancestry, and some have more European ancestry than they do (recent) African ancestry.

And don't forget the Amerindian admixture. Lots of Indian blood in black Americans. (Pamunkey in the case of my own family.)

Oh, and thanks for the linkage, Jeremy.

First of all interracial relationships in my opinions are unrealistic. Beacause you have two different people with different cultural upbringing.God made every race to different so we can have own unqiuest, when you bring different people from different cultural together there can be problem, rasing mixed children, who the mixed children will indenfifed with blacks or whites, and what regleion they will follow, and who will guide them to be healthy well adjusted human beings.I have mixed people in my family and they are not well adjusted human being they are confused about who they are.I have a niece who mother is mexican and her father is black which is by brother. They did not teach her and values of life and she is confuse because she thinks she's all mexican and the mexicans just look at her call her n*gg*r. She's confused. I am African American woman who's knows her african american history,so know one can tell me that race mixing can be a problem.

Sincerely,

KatyC.Arnold

[note: This comment has been edited by the siteowner to modify the offensive word near the end.]

Well, get out a little, and meet some people. I know plenty of real people whose relationships are real, and I don't know anything unrealistic about their relationships, oh, and they're not of the same race as each other. My wife and I are a pretty good example, in fact. So you may have strange ideas about what must necessarily follow from being in an interracial relationship, but it's simply not a realistic view to think interracial relationships are unrealistic.

As for God, I don't know of any making of races going on in the Bible. I do know of one humanity being created, and divisions coming only as a result of sin.

As for religion, I'm not sure why you're bringing that in. Why should people of different races necessarily be of different religions? As for who guides them to be healthy, adjusted human beings, that would in fact be their parents, as it would for any other kids, and it's pretty dumb to think it's immoral to produce mixed race kids just because those kids might have trouble fitting into the culturally-invented categories that we call races, as real as such social constructions are. As you admit, the problem in the cases you mention is not that they are mixed but that they did not teach her properly.

I don't think that UnderCover Black Man's conclusion is completely true in that it is beneficial. He says that nature prefers racial mixing because endogamy leads to deleterious recessive genes. However, have you noticed that those who are of endogamous stock have the highest intelligence while those who aren't pale in comparison? Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ followed by East Asians like Koreans and Chinese and not to mention those endogamous Japanese who live isolated on an island. On the other hand people of mixed black/white descent have higher IQs on average than full black descent and lower IQs on average than people of full white stock. Thus it seems to me that perhaps miscegenation only benefits people on a physical aspect but not a mental one. Plus, we live in a technologically sophisticated society where intelligence will be more stressed than physical strength today and the future. Plus, the hype today is diversity. Well, what diversity will there be in the future if the aim is to make everyone look the same. Who would want to live in a monochromatic monotonous planet? After all, isn't the spice in life variety? But let's be real here. That, due to the laws of genetics, will never occur. Even those who make universal threats and say 'fear of a black planet' are basically making themselves look like fools. We know that the laws of genetics do not work anywhere near to the laws of color. There will always be the homozygous recessive and homozygous dominant. thus there will always be white people in the future and there will always be East Asian and Sub Saharan people who look physically speaking like they have no racial admixture. the only thing is that it will be rarer but still will occur. We will never become one race and even if that is the aim, why?, since the world would be a bleak boring place to live in. But the problem with the whole miscegenation is that since there will always be white, East Asians and sub Saharan Blacks, there will presumably always be racism but the bigger problem that stems from miscegenation is that there will also be colorism and hence a color continuum. There will be many shades or nuances of people and that will lead to colorism. Light skin blacks or mixed blacks discriminate against dark skinned or non mixed blacks. Barack Obama and the fact that the first 'black' presidential candidate who is actually of mixed descent will only further colorism. I can only see that multiracials or biracials will feel superior to those who are darker skinned or not mixed at all. Plus, although endogamy it is claimed leads to deleterious genes, and as i've pointed out a heightened rise in intellect, the great news is that the future of reproduction and conception will entail advances made in genetic medicine and genetic science. hence, people who are white or Japanese and thus endogamous, will still be white or East Asian in the future, maintain their physical characteristics and yet thank goodness to the advances in medicine and science can have healthy physical genes. We just need to vote Democrat against the Republicans to mainstream these beneficial and progressive advancements made in science So as you can see, undercover black man's claim or thesis is not completely beneficial. some people who posted on his site said that mother nature doesn't view in favor of whites and East ASians, etc. But the funny thing is that Mother Nature has to otherwise there wouldn't be any such thing as dominant and recessive genes as the laws of genetics dictate. Plus, whites and East Asians wouldn't look the way they do if it weren't for the selective advantages that arose from their phenotype genes. plus, if again as undercover black man asserts that mother nature is against recessive genes, then why do people of mixed descent sometimes produce white children in future generations. It's not unheard of for two multiracial black people to have a white son or white daughter (Mariah Carey or the Hodge twins in England where one daughter is black and her sister is a blue eyed blonde white with white skin and straight hair) So if mother nature was in favor mixing then there wouldn't be any white progeny emerging in the future. My friend in college has a Jamaican father and Italian mother. His father is of mixed descent (he's not half black and half white but more black than white, but nonetheless has some white admixture) and yet my friend looks physically speaking completely or 'pure' white. He has white skin, straight hair and even blue eyes. Sure it's rare, but it happens which only furthers my point that we will never become a one race planet. So to sum up, miscegenation will never create a one race planet but only maintain racism and even worse than racism, create colorism. And even if people dream of a one race planet, who would want a bleak, boring humdrum world? It's no different than Hitler wanting a world completely composed of blue eyed blondes. Like the future 'mocha' planet these Nordics would create a monotonous planet where diversity doesn't exist and thus life becomes boring. Also, genetic advances in science and medicine will be the future and thus we with it can eliminate the deleterious aspects of ethnic/racial gene pools and yet maintain a beautiful diverse planet composed of white, blacks, East Asians, Arabs, sub continent Indians, Indigenos, etc. After all, the rainbow represents diversity. On it, I see many colors and not just one.

Jews in the U.S. had IQs well below average around the time of WWI. A generation later they were above average. It had nothing to do with genetic stock but how significantly they were able and willing to develop their intellectual abilities.

According to Thomas Sowell, East Asians actually have lower IQs than their SAT scores would suggest. They're overachievers culturally. IQ tests abilities at a more general level, and SATs test acquired skills at a later level of development.

I'm white, and I'm not endogamous. I know white and Japanese people who aren't endogamous.

IQ among American blacks does historically come close to tracking with percentage of African ancestry, but that doesn't mean it's caused by that. Sowell's explanation makes much more sense (and fits better with the observable fact that Africans with 100% African ancestry tend to be much smarter than their American classmates at schools that accepted both with the same standards (or more likely accepted the Africans with lower standards). Sowell's explanation is that the lighter-skinned blacks tended to be the children of slaveowners who became house slaves out of favoritism, and those slaves were not only educated more but in fact were the educators of the white slaveowner children. They were much better placed to succeed once they were free, and they were therefore the ones to develop the innate mental abilities that most people have but don't always develop fully, since developing them takes engaging in certain kinds of mental activity very early in life. I remain convinced that disparities in IQ scores across ethnic or racial lines have to do with factors like that.

Regardless of all that, intelligence (real intelligence, not the specific mental skill sets tested by IQ tests) is not one thing. It's a whole bunch of things, and IQ does test some very specific skills that contribute toward success in certain intellectual disciplines (including my own), but it isn't intelligence. There are kinds of intelligence that people with high IQs usually don't have as much of (especially relational intelligence), and those skills may well be more prominent in populations with lower IQ scores. Even if you fallaciously assumed that IQ is purely a matter of genetics, it wouldn't follow that intelligence is, and even if it is, it wouldn't follow that people with high IQ are intellectually better off than groups that may well have different intellectual strengths. So there are several gaps in your argument that need to be filled in, and more than one of them probably can't be because the evidence goes the other way.

You say that, because there will always be darker and lighter people, and because there will always be bias against people of different colors, miscegenation is somehow a problem. I don't follow. How can those things mean miscegenation is a problem? There's bias now, and miscegenation isn't a problem. There are people of different colors now, and miscegenation isn't a problem. In fact, it's immoral to think miscegenation is a problem. So how does it suddenly become a problem when there are fewer people at the extremes and still bias?

I don't see how voting Democrat will mainstream scientific advances in gene therapy. Republicans are more likely to promote business, and it's private enterprise that will accomplish such things. Democrats keep insisting on promoting the dead end of the morally problematic embryonic stem cells, while Republicans alone seem willing to pursue the proven methods of using adult, umbilical, and placental stem cells, which have no moral problems whatsoever. Democrats do want to spend more money than we have on science, but that's not the way to progress. Look at the space program and the private enterprise projects that have outstripped the government. Look at the developments in reproductive biology that (whatever you think of the ethical issues involved) have come out of the demand for such treatments rather than the endless borrowing of the government.

You argue that we wouldn't have white people and Asians looking the way we do if there weren't advantages to looking that way. Apparently you don't have a good grasp of evolutionary theory. Natural selection is only one force at work in leading to how things develop. Random chance plays a big role in genetic drift. Some changes have no adaptive value but just occur, and there's nothing that stops them. Sometimes maladaptive traits continue on because they're not bad enough to prevent reproduction. Sometimes simply non-adaptive traits render changes, since there's no advantage to either trait, and by chance you happen to get more people with the new trait than with the old one. Adaptiveness isn't the only explanation for why we've got certain traits.

You say that recessive traits can't be favored because sometimes they manifest themselves. That's crazy. Recessive traits are not favored, and the dominant traits tend to be dominant. That's just a fact. It doesn't mean the recessive traits never surface, and so you do find children of mixed parents with lighter skin, for example. That doesn't mean the darker coloring isn't dominant, since there are dominant genes involved with darker coloring. It doesn't mean the lighter-skinned kids can't result. It simply means that darker skin is more common with mixed parentage. It's no counterexample to point out that not all kids of mixed parentage are dark.

If skin color is the only way life can be interesting, then you need to get out more. I can't understand how life would be not worth living if eventually every human being had the same coloring. Variety is a good thing, but there are lots of kinds of variety, and surely skin color is not one of the more important ones. The key to racial progress is moving to a point where we don't put any more value on it than it carries within itself, not removing it. But that doesn't mean if it did happen to be removed that there would be no variety. The most important kinds of variety among people will appear within each race.

Very good discussion, I have to agree with undercover on this one. In genetics, ultimately variety always wins out. Although with the large segregated populations it's hard to imagine that right now.

Mix Kids are the next and new generation! They are also healthier than pure bread~!

In fact this is not true.
For those of you who do not understand genetics I urge you to read about the truth of this matter.

When, for example, a white and a white both with recessive disorders 1 have a child that child has the possibility of being affected by the disorder itself because of recessive gene pairing.

However, in another example, a black with recessive disorder 2 and a white with recessive disorder 1 mate there is no pairing and so people say that it's healthier because the child isn't likely to be affected by either disorder.

However that child can possibly now carry both recessive disorder 1 and recessive disorder 2. It doesn't "cure" the problem it only spreads it.

You could, for example, take white person with recessive disorder 1 and white person with recessive disorder 2 and they could do the exact same thing that a white black combination could do.

Here is another problem. If black has a recessive disorder common to only blacks and white has a disorder common only to whites and they have a child and that child now carries both recessive disorders this is actually less healthy as this new "race" now has a higher risk of disease than either of it's parents.

1. I'm not sure why you think this means what I said is not true. You pretty much agreed with what I said and then said that there's another phenomenon in addition.Since I was already talking about two phenomena, one in each direction, and was only saying that there is one element that goes in the opposite direction of the first one I'd already known about, all you've done is point out a third possibility (one that can just as easily happen with two white people with recessive genes that each has that the other doesn't have).

2. New race? Wow. That's quite an assumption. A lot of people have different intuitions about whether to call someone with a black parent and a white parent mixed race, only black, black and white, etc. A new race entirely is not usually high on the list, and it wouldn't likely last very long unless all mixed-race people only produced offspring with other mixed-race people.

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