"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."
Never once have I argued against this. I do believe that body type and
physiology are key characteristics in athletic events and I also believe
that they are not equally distributed by population. Never once have I
argued against that. What I do argue against are certain key "statements"
made by you such as "An American/European will never win a distance medal"
or the recent "Flowers no fluke" in which you seemingly claim black athletes
are on the rise and are about to dominate such activities as pushing a sled
down a hill. The fact is Flowers is a fluke. I don't argue with your main
points and your main argument that certain populations are blessed with
certain characteristics that make them, as populations not individuals,
better at certain sports...I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS. What I find
troublesome are your "come buy my book, listen to me" remarks such as the
above two. To say "An American/European will never win a distance medal" is
simply ignorant on your part because ANYTHING is possible. Just because the
needed genetic characteristics are harder to find in the American/European
world does not mean it would be impossible to find such a person win a
distance gold. One could also say a white mane will never again win a 200m
gold, but that's already been done recently hasn't it?
In the end, we're both right, and we're both wrong, depending on which of
your statements we are arguing...the "come buy my books, I'm a controvertial
man" remarks, or your very well thought out main ideas, which I fully agree
>From: Jon Entine <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>Reply-To: Jon Entine <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>To: alan tobin <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, t-and-f-digest
><[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Track and Field List
>Subject: Re: t-and-f: Re: T&F athletes in winter Olympics?
>Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 11:05:03 -0800
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>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
>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
>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
>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
>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:
> > Oxymoron?
> > "Flowers Is No Fluke: Black Success In Bobsledding Part Of A Growing
> > 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
> > 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
> > the iceless track.
> > Also, East Asian athletes seem to dominate the short track speed
> > Why is this? Is it about genetics? Or about an organized system that
> > chooses, and trains these athletes. Where there is a will there is a
> > 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.
> > Alan
> > http://www.geocities.com/runningart2004
> > _________________________________________________________________
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