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Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARE ALL MEN CREATED EQUAL?

The Bible nowhere says "All Men are Created Equal."  Yes, there is allusion to equality, but only in terms of relationships:  human beings should be treated with same level of dignity, regardless of class, sex, race or subgroup.

Thomas Jefferson's contribution of those exact words to our Declaration of Independence made clear that this had nothing to do with personal traits:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;[7]

Thus, rights, but not physical/mental/sociological attributes.  To begin, Jefferson owned 200 slaves.  I might add, as noted to the right above, that he did not believe in God.

However, twenty years ago a group of geneticists announced:

...every person on Earth right now can trace his or her lineage back to a single common female ancestor who lived around 200,000 years ago. Because one entire branch of human lineage is of African origin and the other contains African lineage as well, the study's authors concluded Africa is the place where this woman lived. The scientists named this common female ancestor Mitochondrial Eve.

In other words, we all today came from the same person!  So our original beginning argues for personal equality.  Whether she lived in Morocco 300,000 years ago or Ethiopia 200,000 years ago is irrelevant to this discussion.    The reality, in any case, is that we indeed are all different, for civilizations develop and fall, mutations randomly happen,  Humanity keeps evolving and, even, siblings in the same family show significant variations.

Homo erectus, Neanderthals and other early forms of us began crossing continents 2 million years ago.  The logic is complex, but it has to do, possibly (there are detractors), with Sumatra's Mount Toba around 70,000 years ago exploding in a mega-eruption, inducing an ice age that lasted 10,000 years, bringing humanity to the verge of extinction, with perhaps only 10,000 -  15,000 humans left---but only in Africa.

These secondary survivors, the founders of what we are today, ventured out of the continent around 60,000 years ago, leaving genetic footprints.  In 10,000 years, Australia was reached, but the tip of South American only, maybe, 15,000 years ago.  Add on something called mtDNA mutation, which can result in blue eyes and whiter skins, as occurred 6,000 - 10,000 year ago, and we are thus what we are today.

So after all this history, today, Black Americans certainly dominate the NBA, which is almost a taboo subject in the media.  Polynesians, too, seem to excel at certain phases of American football and Kenyans, with only 0.06% of the world population, continue to win in most international marathons.   The Daily Mail from the UK headlined:


The slavery selection and survival process refined the genetics.  Usain Bolt from Jamaica came from slave ancestors.

Mentally, White Americans on average score one standard deviation higher than Blacks on IQ tests (15 to 18 points).  Indigenous peoples score even lower, especially Australian Aborigines and Bushmen and Pygmies from Africa.  The IQs of developed countries are the highest

What about Asians?  Well, here is one country ranking by IQ, and some of this is surprising:

   1    Hong Kong           108
   1    Singapore             108
   3    South Korea         106
   4    Japan                   105
   4    China                    105
   6    Taiwan                  104
   7    Italy                      102
 16   Germany                 99
 23   USA                        98
 32   Israel                       95
 40   Greece                    92
 60   Mexico                    88
 83   Philippines              86
113 India                         82
120 Qatar                       78
161 Equatorial Guinea   59
  
Psychologists contend that these differences largely occurred because of education and sociological factors.  Cognitive and physical abilities are, further, developed through compelling need and practice, practice, practice.  


However, IQs only test one element of a person's ability.  What is important is determined by the custom of the tribe and the environment.  Qatar is way down there in smartness, but they have an abundance of fossil fuels.  People from the USA are ten points behind the top Asian countries in IQ, further, remember that Caucasians score 15-18 points higher, on average, than African Americans.  

Changing subjects, who really is smarter, male or female?  There is no significant difference, for what is IQ, anyway, and capability can depend on age and subject.  However, here is one study where men in the USA scored almost two points higher on average:



There also seems to be some acceptance that males clearly have higher IQs at the top end:

              IQ                  Female          Male          M/F Ratio
  • over 150              8,398          31,278           3.73
  • over 170                   10               104         10,40                   
While this bit of information is from Breitbart News, the home of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the above bell curve also reveals this difference.

However, Forbes last year carried an article:  Why Women Are Smarter Than Men:



Perhaps this gets to the essence of what smart means.  Women score higher in emotional intelligence (EQ), and a higher EQ is more important than IQ at the top levels of business.  So you ask, why aren't more women running companies?  Sociological, religious, and all the other factors actually determine what occurs.  But the bottom line is that Homo sapiens are not born equal, female or male.

In any case, it appears in this gender comparison that women might today have caught with men on IQ in the U.S.  Further, females seem to be more sensual, cleaner (yes, fewer bacterial on desks), with better memory, immune system, pain and stress tolerance, multi-tasking ability...ah, read that article, for I think some of the 17 superiority parameters seem excessive.

Let me take this equality analysis to a higher level, from individuals to countries.  As much as there has been progress since the Civil War, the U.S. still ranks poorly in regards to "all men are created equal."  In fact here is one ranking:  discrimination, powerlessness, ethnic violence, communal violence, sectarian violence and religious violence, with zero being the best and ten as terrible--
  • #  1  Iceland (1.0)
  • #  1  Sweden (1.0)
  • #  3  Finland (1.3)
  • #  4  Ireland (1.6)
  • #  5  Portugal (2.3)
  • #  6  Uruguay (2.7)
  • #  7  Oman (2.7)
  • #  9  Singapore (2.8)
  • #11  Canada (3.4)
  • #14  Mauritius (3.5)
  • #14  Switzerland (3.5)
  • #18  Swaziland (3.6)
  • #20  Norway (3.7)
  • #26  Lithuania (4)
  • #26  Mongolia (4)
  • #31  Japan (4.1)
  • #37  Hungary (4.4)
  • #37  Germany (4.4)
  • #41  USA (4.5)
  • #42  Italy (4.6)
Life expectancy?
  • #  1  Japan (83.1)
  • #  7  Singapore (82.1)
  • #26  Slovenia (80.1)
  • #32  Cuba (79.1)
  • #33  USA (78.7)
You would think we could improve on the above if we had a more enlightened spending priority, an America first attitude?  You mean like Donald Trump?  NO!   NO!  NO!  What gripes me most about his budget is that he has reduced spending for people and the environment and expanded them for fossil fuels and defense.  Amazingly enough, with no real enemy anymore, we spend more on war than the next eight countries, combined:


So what is success?  Most powerful country?  Most happy people?  There is a World Happiness Report, and the top nations are all from cold regions:
  • #1  Norway
  • #2  Denmark
  • #3  Iceland
  • #4  Switzerland
  • #5  Finland
The USA comes in at #14, while the bottom ten are all in Africa or the Middle East.  Maybe worse for Americans, a quote from that report:

Happiness has fallen in America

The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came 19th. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption, and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.

Even more depressing is that our decline had nothing to do with Donald Trump. On the basis of his budget priorities and everything else he is doing, our country can only get unhappier.  On the other hand, those poems of Allen Ginsberg above and that comment by Nikita Krushchev to the right occurred around half a century ago.  

Since then we have become a lot more dominant and the place where everyone wants to come.  So we are doing something right.  We do have a good sense of freedom and liberty.  We are economically successful.  No doubt that with the right leadership promoting partnerships, not alienation...the betterment of our total society, not only the rich...I can go on and on on this point, but there are huge opportunities to get better.  Impeachment won't help, for Michael Pence then becomes President.  Maybe there is a clue here for Democrats.

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