Unfortunately, Alan, your "analysis" is flawed and reflects as usual a
determined myopic and unscientific view of basic physiology and body types
For the record, I did not mention in this article genetic superiority.
That's an ignorant concept, one that I have always argued against.
I did not raise such an issue in this or any other article I've ever written
and never once used that phrase in Taboo (I used the phrase "innate
superiority" once in a chapter heading introducing the 'strawman' claim by
environmental dogmatists such as yourself tha). The only people who use such
phrases are those like yourself who claim that some who embrace a nuanced,
bio-cultural perspective, are genetic determinists. In fact, in Taboo, I
have an entire chapter that discusses the environmentalists 'strawman'
argument against 'innate superiority' YOU are the only one raising that
And I did not write that social and environmental conditions are not
important. There are not many Texans doing well in the ski jump either.
Again, another strawman argument.
The relative interwoven relationship between genetic factors and cultural
ones will always be impossible to tease out. However, your assertion that
the fact that athletes of West African ancestry do not dominate ski jumping
somehow minimizes the findings that the distrubution curve of quick athletes
of West African acnestry is longer and thicker than most other populations
is just silly.
For the record, I never argued the relative importance of genetics vs.
cultural/environmental factors. They are obviously intertwined. For you to
The only points that I am making, which in your fervor you refuse to
consider, is that body type and physiology are key characteristics in
certain athletic events and that those characteritistics are not equally
distributed by population.
That is science 101 (or actually junior high level science). I guess
evolutionary biologists, anthropologists, geneticists, and sports
scientists, such as Bengt Saltin do not have your sophisticated, nuanced
view of such issues.
It's clear you know little about bobsledding. The pusher/runner position is
dominated by athletes who are the fastest and quickest. It is without
question that people of West African ancestry are more likely, per capita,
to have those characteristics than other population groups. So it is
therefore not surprising that the runner position in bobsledding is fertile
terriitory for athletes of West African ancestry.
Now Kenya is trying to become involved in international bobsledding. They
are no more likley succeed in that endeavor than they will succeed in
becoming an international soccer power, come to domiminate sprinting, or
turn out the next great long jumpers. It won't happen, any mor than Eskimos
will come to dominate as NBA centers or a Watusi will become the next world
heavyweight lifting champion.
You are obviously disinclined to acknowledge even this very basic science of
body type distribution patterns. That's your choice. Some people believe
that the earth is flat.
On 2/23/02 10:28 AM, "alan tobin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> "Flowers Is No Fluke: Black Success In Bobsledding Part Of A Growing Winter
> Sport Tradition"
> "The first ever gold medal victory by a black in the Winter Olympics..."
> How about ski jumping? Being very thin and having a strong push off the ramp
> are very important. Explosive muscles fibers are needed.
> XC skiing? Oops...we've already been down that road.
> Speed skating? Come on, black athletes should dominate just as they do on
> the iceless track.
> Also, East Asian athletes seem to dominate the short track speed skating.
> Why is this? Is it about genetics? Or about an organized system that picks,
> chooses, and trains these athletes. Where there is a will there is a way.
> I'm sorry Jon, but if genetic superiority was so superior then black
> athletes, no matter how few there are in the sports, should dominate the
> above events. Genetics is important, but not as much as you think it is.
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
6178 Grey Rock Rd.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 991-9803 [FAX] 991-9804