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Thread: Human Genetic Diversity: Lewontin's Fallacy

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    Senior Member Renwein's Avatar
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    Human Genetic Diversity: Lewontin's Fallacy

    "In popular articles that play down the genetical differences among human populations, it is often stated that about 85% of the total genetical variation is due to individual differences within populations and only 15% to differences between populations or ethnic groups. It has therefore been proposed that the division of Homo sapiens into these groups is not justified by the genetic data. This conclusion, due to R.C. Lewontin in 1972, is unwarranted because the argument ignores the fact that most of the information that distinguishes populations is hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors. The underlying logic, which was discussed in the early years of the last century, is here discussed using a simple genetical example."

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    Senior Member Horagalles's Avatar
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    Re: Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Startide
    "In popular articles that play down the genetical differences among human populations, it is often stated that about 85% of the total genetical variation is due to individual differences within populations and only 15% to differences between populations or ethnic groups. It has therefore been proposed that the division of Homo sapiens into these groups is not justified by the genetic data. This conclusion, due to R.C. Lewontin in 1972, is unwarranted because the argument ignores the fact that most of the information that distinguishes populations is hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors. The underlying logic, which was discussed in the early years of the last century, is here discussed using a simple genetical example."
    Of this 85% "individual differences":
    - How much of this are simply genetical deffects?!
    - How much of them are more or less exclusive or dominant within on population group.

    To Illustrate: Assume that those 15% are of the nature A1 and A2, which are more or less excluse to one race group. Then there is the so called "individual" differences: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 etc. They very within groups. But i.e. B1, B2, B3 etc. may actually be found exclusively in one racial group. Lewontin didn't tell, He didn't tell us anything about the weight meaningfullness of the parameters examined either. Not to forget that it is not clear how the population categories were actually defined.

    On Lewontines fallacy:
    http://www.goodrumj.com/Edwards.pdf


    A PhD Thesis on genomic indicators and phenotype:
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=61301
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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