The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science used to be a prestigious journal. And still is. Getting a paper in PNAS is a mark of approval from the scientific community at large. It is seen as a mark of approval for one’s work.
Therefore, if that journal publishes an asinine preposterous sloppy piece of foolish fluff, it must mean that the scientific community sees asinine preposterous sloppy foolish fluff as good.
Our peer-reviewed PNAS paper is “Systemic racism alters wildlife genetic diversity” by Chloe Schmidt and Colin J. Garroway. I don’t know, but I’m guessing with those names the Canada-based authors are white.
The title announces its falsity. We know that we must be in for a piece of science fantasy fiction, because we know there is no such thing as “systemic racism” against blacks. Indeed, all observation shows at all official levels, public and private, the opposite is true.
From the Abstract, my paragraphifications, my emphasis:
…it is not known whether varying habitat structures and natural resource availability associated with racial segregation affect the demographics and evolution of urban wildlife populations.
To address this question, we repurposed and reanalyzed publicly archived nuclear genetic data from 7,698 individuals spanning 39 terrestrial vertebrate species sampled in 268 urban locations throughout the United States.
We found generally consistent patterns of reduced genetic diversity and decreased connectivity in neighborhoods with fewer White residents, likely because of environmental differences across these neighborhoods.
The strength of relationships between the racial composition of neighborhoods, genetic diversity, and differentiation tended to be weak relative to other factors affecting genetic diversity, possibly in part due to the recency of environmental pressures on urban wildlife populations.
However, the consistency of the direction of effects across disparate taxa suggest that systemic racism alters the demography of urban wildlife populations in ways that generally limit population sizes and negatively affect their chances of persistence.
Our results thus support the idea that limited capacity to support large, well-connected wildlife populations reduces access to nature and builds on existing environmental inequities shouldered by predominantly non-White neighborhoods.
Those italics tell us the data did not support their contention that whites were evil, but, darn it, whites are evil “racists” anyway because everybody knows whites are evil “racists”.
I suppose an alternate explanation is that blacks scare squirrels.
Our authors whine about the long-past strategy of “red-lining”, and insist that lingering effects from it is what accounts for their meager signal. Even though it’s far from clear that practice existed at each of the points they sampled. And they say nothing about the voluntary separation of whites and blacks, accelerated in the late 1960s (and afterwards) because of rioting and crime.
Take Detroit, which used to be called the Paris of the Midwest. After the late-1960s riots, non-elite whites ran out to the suburbs and black leadership took hold in the city, cheered on by white elites. Detroit is no longer called the Paris of the Midwest.
Funny, though, because all indications are that the diversity of animals in Detroit has only increased, given that large portions of the city were outright abandoned, entire blocks being left to sink back into the soil. There are now even reports of coyotes roaming abandoned lots!
Incidentally, don’t we expect cities to be free of most kinds of critters? Isn’t that usually seen as desirable? Do we expect deer to strut down Fifth Avenue?
I can’t tell from their paper whether Detroit made the cut in their database. They have a picture listing the 268 sites they used (Fig. 1), but it’s difficult to make out (and no details are in their Supplement). Huge cluster of cities around, I guess, Chicago.
At least in some cities, like Detroit, there are more blacks than whites. And so it would be natural to find more animals around where whites lives, because fewer whites live in those cities.
To then say that “systemic racism” causes lack of genetic diversity would be, well, dumb.
Anyway, they only looked at “8 amphibian, 14 bird, 15 mammal, and 3 reptile species” and used, it seems, models of models to estimate genetic diversity. Not just counts you understand: not something like there are more animals outside cities. No. Genetic diversity of those animals sampled in the areas. But, of course, if there were fewer animals inside cities, we’d expect greater genetic diversity outside cities. So again, this study is absurd.
We could spend some time criticizing details of the model, which are unnecessarily complicated, critiques which would boor you. Let’s instead note that, according to their model, and using the usual “95% criterion”, there was only one species with “significantly” greater genetic diversity in white neighborhoods: desmognathus fuscus. Salamanders. Gussie Fink-Nottle would be thrilled.
All the rest, according to their “betas”, could not differentiate, using the normal 95% windows, any difference (in their Supplement). Which is why, perhaps, they lowered that 95% to 90%, such was their desire to discover “racism”.
It comes down to this: perhaps genetic diversity of salamanders of a certain sort are found more often by whites, the remaining species not caring.
Yet they claim “It is clear that systemic racism is altering the demography of urban wildlife populations on a national scale in ways that can shape the evolutionary processes acting on them and the probability of long-term persistence in cities.”
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We know that we must be in for a piece of science fantasy fiction, because we know there is no such thing as “systemic racism” against blacks. Indeed, all observation shows at all official levels, public and private, the opposite is true.
Because in America Negroes are Holy they are exempt from the 14 th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Worse, they are not only exempt from our nations laws, they now have negro supremacism because of them.
Was it a Mormon an atheist or a Christian who initiated and helped expand this evil insanity ?
Nah it was a member of the Tribe. Is that why The ACLU will not lift a finger to correct this racist bull shit that is leading more and more men to say “To Hell with it…bring on the civil war.”
Omigosh – a PG Wodehouse reference
How very appropriate given everything Wodehouse and his works have been accused of.
One of the few writers who make me laugh out loud regardless of those that try to disparage him
From time to time I watch videos of the burnt-out rubble that used to be Detroit neighborhoods. Wild vegetation is taking over. I expect it won’t be that long til moose and wolves return to the city. What a glorious day that will be for anti-racists!
But only whites, asians, and hispanics care about animals to begin with.
But Briggs, prestigious science journals can’t reject asinine papers accusing whites of racism… If they did, they’d retaliate by calling the prestigious science journals racist! After all, just look at how many whites are their editors! It won’t take long for the quacks to connect the white dots with their black lines! Therefore, the journals have decided to keep them busy looking for their quackery everywhere else they can find it. Think Briggs, think!
On a happier note the insect life is positively teaming.
Due to the presence of a large river in the downtown of my city, I have seen many species there that I never see in my suburban backyard: bottlenose dolphin, tarpon, manatee, and whatever those fish are that hang out around the outflow from the wastewater plant. I suspect they probably didn’t spend enough time looking for species. Oh, and Heil Spode!
I actually read this study, or tried to read it. The paragraphs are dense. Really dense. Purposefully dense.
I tried, and failed, to discern what typically urban or suburban wildlife they were actually tracking, maybe someone can help… Rats? Pigeons? Raccoons? Coyotes? Feral Cats? Songbirds?
I came away thinking this study is not meant to be understood; it is meant to be added to that Steaming Pile, civil planning division, so that when they start re-writing zoning laws to force low-rent government housing complexes into the suburbs, they will not just be “fighting racism”; they’ll be “helping urban wildlife.”
Meanwhile, places like Martha’s Vineyard, REALLY expensive neighborhoods most of us can’t afford to live, anyway, and other bastions of “racist real estate” where the lawmakers actually reside, will remain unaffected by these new zoning laws.
A bit off topic, but of interest to Briggs and other readers.
Will The Turkish Earthquake Unleash Science From The Shackles Of The Statisticians?
My only bones to pick would be too much flattery of Einstein and Kepler, whereas we know Einstein’s contributions are bunk upholding bunk and Kepler owes his success to Tycho Brahe whose work he copied and whom circumstantially he could be suspected of murdering.
But the main gist is that THE SCIENCE ™ is standing in the way of scientific progress, because scientists are religious dogmatists too, and when their religion is false they will never arrive at the truth, or rather the truth they don’t want to admit is both too beautiful and terrifying that it has the power to humiliate their profession and alter their lives substantially. And it is these implications the Earth and the cosmos have that makes continuing to practice atheism more and more impossible.
Perhaps the non-whites eat the critters.
The dominant wildlife I notice in my city consists of birds, rats, and cockroaches. Given the cavalier attitude toward garbage disposal and weed abatement that prevails in the non-white section of town, the conditions there are much more suitable as wildlife habitat. Science.