Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Americans are culturally inferior

  1. Jul 23, 2003 #1
    A few posts ago, someone wrote here:

    "Americans are genetically superior to all others

    No other country has the same level of variety in its gene pool than America. Variety in the gene pool is important for increasing the odds of survival against genetic defect. Therefore, I assert that as a whole, Americans are genetically superior to all others."

    This is a very interesting statement, which clearly comes from a genetically inferior being (;-). First of all, human beings are social beings, not merely biological. When you put them together in groups, a socius and a culture emerge which are seperate and powerful entities that are more than just the sum of its parts.

    As we all know, both this socius and culture play a far more important role than genes when we're thinking on the scale of entire human populations.

    Well, if we take that into account, the American Empire may soon face the same fate as all previous empires, because in reality it is not a genetically diverse population, but a genetically segregationist society (here, culture and ideology already limit genetic mixing). (The Roman Empire had a far more diverse population than contemporary America--both in biological and in social terms). The per capita number of mixed marriages and kids in the US is not that much higher than in other hybrid populations (like those of Brazil, South Africa, and Europe). So I don't take the statement all too serious.

    But I want to elaborate on another point. It's obvious that in the end culture decides over the strength of a population. America's rise to power was mainly due to a 19th century ideology of Progress, Utilitarianism and Racism. Later on came Imperialism. These values brought wealth and prosperity to a totally racist society, with whites and blacks absolutely segregated. When Asian immigrants were imported to do dirty work we saw the same. America's multicultural society is a very recent phenomenon. And I'm not really sure if it is an interesting kind of multiculturalism, because it is so superficial. In fact, I consider the USA to be one of the most culturally homogeneous and least diverse societies on the planet. And this leads all kinds of weaknesses.
    Elements of that homogeneous culture and that unitary ideology--which you have to take an oath on to call yourself "American"--directly lead to premature death (Americans rank rather low qua overall health compared to Europeans; their Stress Society produces all kinds of strange phenomena, like massive drug abuse, incredible obesity stats, etc...). Now, premature death on a social scale is not really a great sign of genetic power. So we see that the cultural sphere directly influences the biological sphere of individuals, when we're thinking on the scale of entire populations.

    But the social and cultural sphere of course also create effects within their own spheres (and in the end, these come back to the biological sphere): problems arising from the American ideology may in the long run lead to the total destruction of that genetically diverse population.
    Because, when an Empire maintains its 19th century ideology (of imperialism, superiority etc...) in the 21st century, cultural anachronisms grow, which can be lethal (that's a "lesson" we have learned from history). Take gobal inequalities: the USA is by far the biggest and most arrogant consumer of all kinds of resources on this planet, per capita. Since American kids in general are just ordinary kids (socially and culturally a bit less intelligent than other people on the planet, that has been well documented), "then why are they so well off?", many people ask. Well, this global feeling of injustice in turn may lead to anti-americanism on a planetary scale which may lead to conflict, which may lead to an even bigger Stress Society, leading to even more premature death ratios etc...
    The question is: can America, being a wealthy society (but with enormous internal and external inequalities) technologically keep up with the growth of anti-Americanism?
    I don't think so. If America choses to keep its paranoia (cultural weakness) as its basic societal metaphor, history may prove it to be an unviable project.

    Therefor, I challenge the original poster to discuss the value of culture over genes.

    [Excuse me for my bad English, my native language is that of the future, so for now, my apologies ;-) ].
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I am not defending that other topic, but I certainly object to your topic.

    I'll agree that the US is the biggest consumer, but how does one measure arrogance? That is your personal belief.

    By the way, how does the US rate on the scale of efficient use of resources? Also, how much of the US's consumed resources are redistributed to other countries? How does the US's environmental laws/technologies/restorations compare to the rest of the world (not just Europe)?

    Please provide such documentation. As far as I know, no one has been able to find any signficant differences in intelligence between the races, different countries, etc. Sure, one can measure differences in education, but not basic intelligence. Even with education, America ranks high among the countries of the world.

    So the problem is that Americans are doing well*? Is that wrong? Would it be ok for any other country to do as well? Is it wrong that other countries benefit from what you see as America's ill-begotten advances?

    * I know...it's more than that. I suppose you think it's wrong because Americans are less intelligent, less healthy, more greedy, etc. I challange you to support any of those claims with anything other than personal feelings.

    Do you think other countries are free of this?

    I don't see how paranoia is America's basic societal metaphor. Please explain.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2003
  4. Jul 23, 2003 #3
    Your ideas are arrogant and ill-founded. You have obviously never been to America. You don't know what you are talking about. You make statements which are simply false.

    "whites and blacks absolutely segregated"

    America is far more culturally diverse than you realize, and we have far less racism and far less social hierarchy than any of the countries I have personally travelled to (which includes most of the Western European countries). I have seen this with my own eyes.

    My statement which you have quoted has been taken out of context. As everyone else here realized, it was meant as an attention getter. The statement "genetically superior" obviously got your attention. However, if you weren't such a fvcking moron, you, unlike everyone else, would have realized that my main point was that America benefits from diversity more so than any other country. Diversity is good.

    Now for your moronic challenge....

    Here is the value of society with diverse culture.

    Go to a university in any country other than America. Go to the physics department and ask the students there what their parents do for a living. I can guarentee that you will find that close to 100% of those students come from families with educated parents. Now ask those students how many of them had jobs when they went to high school and college. You will find that close to 0% of them ever worked a day in their life before they started doing physics research. You will also find that there seems to be an attitude of being "too smart to work" amongst most non-American college students world-wide.

    Now go to America and ask the same questions. You will find that the cultural background of students in science and technology fields is far more diverse in America than anywhere else. You will also find that unlike college students in other countries, we can handle going to school and working to support ourselves. Our strong work ethic is what made us the empire that you fear.

    Out of curiosity, tell us which country you are from, whether or not you are a student, how many jobs you have had in your life (list their titles), and where your money comes from. If you are a college student from Europe, India or China, I am willing to bet that you never worked a day in your pathetic life.

    Then answer this question. How can any country whose educated and working classes are separated by arrogance and ignorance ever hope to function harmoniously?


    P.S. What is my background you ask?

    My father is a laborer. I improved my own financial situation by going to college. I worked in a warehouse sorting bolts while attending high school. My freshman year of college, I worked in a grocery store. Other paid jobs I had while being an undergraduate include: electronics shop salesperson, laboratory technician, student researcher, and IC design intern. I was able to work and successfully go to school. I am now in graduate school, and I never recieved any financial help from anyone. This type of education is REAL. This is an American education.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2003
  5. Jul 23, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What is this doing in this forum? Is there any kind of actual science coming in this thread? Perhaps you have mistaken the Forum heading for, "Other Than Science"?
  6. Jul 23, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes. This should be moved to the political or philosophy forum.
  7. Jul 24, 2003 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    YUP! People sure get some funny ideas about this country.
  8. Jul 24, 2003 #7
    HI there again!

    Don't take this all too hard. ;-)

    I'm just reading the statistics.

    I thought sociology and schizoanalysis were sciences. But I may be wrong.

    And of course I've visited the US. It was a fine trip. But touristic trips don't really teach you anything about a country as a whole. You have to study it another way.

    That's all I'm doing.

    I was basically saying that culture is in the end much more important when looking at the evolution of human life in its concrete manifestations in history, than biology. I tried to illustrate that with the example of America. That's all.

    Thanks for your comments.
  9. Jul 24, 2003 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    About racial segregation in the States: I live in Detroit and I am probably the only white person walking over to work. I don't know the stats, but it will be close to the following: 80% of the people living in poor conditions in downdown Detroit will be blacks and 80% of people living in the suburbs are whites (the remaining are of mainly of asian origin). Talk about racial segregation not existing in the States? I am sure the same is true for other big cities.

    I also do believe that Americans are not very educated what goes on outside of their countries' borders. Which was painfully obvious during the Iraq war, where Americans around me did not have a formed opinion other than they were atacked during 9/11 and should do something back. And this is at a university mind you. The aliens were discussing political issues in US history, and the americans were looking at us not being able to join the discussion (which they actually admitted).

    I have been in Michigan for almost 3 years and I have no clue what goes on besides the killings in Detroit.. political news is no news here. Unless the Major is accused of throwing some illegal party ofcourse :)

    Anyway, I don't want to be too negative since the States has a lot to offer to ambitious people. Americans work very hard and are well known for studying for good grades, trying to get into good universities, having huge debts and thus having to work side jobs. In Europe people are very lasy (sp?) and the highest grade they want to get is the grade that makes them pass the course (usually 5.5 out of ten). Most of the big companies are founded in the States, people get a good salary, are able to afford big cars and houses. Every country has its good and bad sides, it is easy to pick on the negative side while being ignorant of the positive things so let's keep the discussion balanced.

    *moves to political forum*
  10. Jul 24, 2003 #9
    Jeez, thanks for dumping this one on me!
  11. Jul 24, 2003 #10
  12. Jul 24, 2003 #11
    Let's abstract the discussion a bit

    The importance of culture over genes when talking about societies as a whole.
    I want to talk about that.

    [About the stats you gave, as you can see, Europeans, from the EU that is, on average live 2 years longer than Americans. It's highly significant, considering that per capita GDP in the US is a bit higher than that in Europe. When we take it that on average every 10 years, a western society's population grows 1 year older, we must conclude that Europe is 20 years ahead of the US....lol]
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2003
  13. Jul 24, 2003 #12


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sorry! I was thinking about moving it to the general discussion, but since you are also mentoring that one.. better keep it political right?
  14. Jul 24, 2003 #13
    Unfortunately, yeah...:(
  15. Jul 24, 2003 #14
    First , Europe has its share of "racial" segregation and prejudice. Just ask any Turk living in Germany.
    Second, America has always been a multi-cultural society. When the first Europeans settled in America, many married Native women, thus making a multi-cultural society. The people in America today are products of multi-culturalism, so the idea that people are "racially segregated" is false.
    America and Americans have a vast culture. Its just easy to point out the obvious consumer aspect of american society. But what is below that aspect? Is it that Americans love to shop and buy and sell? No! Its that powerful people, ie corporate execs, get more power (which is equated with more money in the U.S.) through selling junk, and buying people out, and exploiting others.
  16. Jul 24, 2003 #15


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If the US wasn't racially segregated, why would the court decide in favour of a point system that positively discriminates minorities? ie the University of Michigan example.

    You say that the US is multi-cultural, doesn't that imply per se that the country is segregated??

    In the Netherlands too we have cultural segregation, mainly by turks and people from morocco.. if you go to Amsterdam or Rotterdam you will see that certain areas are populated >80% by people from those countries. But the case is different here since there is a lack of integration on their sides and probably also a reluctance of dutch society to take them up.. I forgot: what were we discussing again?
  17. Jul 24, 2003 #16
    I dont think you understand my point. And you mean affirmative action: Well, affirmative action has been decided in FAVOR of minorities, not only racial, but gender minorities, meaning women. Yes, racism and sexism abound, leading to these groups having a difficult time gaining upward social mobility. But that has nothing to do with racial segregation nor a lack of American culture.
    "Race" is a fluid idea. The Irish in the 19th Century were considered black in many parts of the U.S.
    The U.S. was built upon people from different cultures coming together. These people lived together, worked together. These people didn't lose their individual cultures, but they didn't stay segregated. If so, wouldn't african slaves have retained west african culture? Most times, their was not quite a blending, but a modifying of cultural beliefs and behaviors that synthesized new cultural forms. Example: Southern Black culture: Based on African and European. Cajun: based on French, Indian, African.
    Your thinking is segregated if you want to lump African-Americans together, and "White"-Americans together. Economic segregation is what you are talking about, with the blacks living one place, and the whites in the suburbs. I do agree that racism abounds, but I will not give in to the idea that America forces blacks to one place, and forces whites to another, to any degree worse than Europe does with it's races.
  18. Jul 24, 2003 #17
    Okay, well this will be difficult so I will go through the thread over several posts. But first I'd like to say this: Shonagon, how would you like it if I made a topic saying flat out that your country is culturaly inferior? No, you wouldn't you'd be angry at me. And you would go crazy trying to prove us wrong. I hope you don't think that you can come into the Political Forum with a stron anti-american sentiment. Well here I go.

    Yes that IS wrong, I do not know who posted that but, if that was a reason for posting this thread, it was a bad one. That is only what one person believes and I think all the other Americans here know and believe we aren't genetically superior to "all others" as you said. That means little. If you marry your cousin yeah there'll be a defect so the answer is: DONT marry your cousin. That does not call for the need of a large variety of people... unlesss your really picky :wink:

    Really? we're an empire?! I've been waiting for this since star wars came out! :wink:

    Sorry had to do that. Well here is the definition of Empire:

    1. a. A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority. b. The territory included in such a unit. 2. An extensive enterprise under a unified authority: a publishing empire. 3. Imperial or imperialistic sovereignty, domination, or control: "There is a growing sense that the course of empire is shifting toward the . . . Asians" (James Traub).
    Middle English, from Old French, from Latin imperium, from imper*re, to command ; see emperor.
    Of, relating to, or characteristic of a neoclassic style, as in clothing or the decorative arts, prevalent in France during the first part of the 19th century.

    The United States does not rule over or dictate other countries. We did have Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is part of the United States, not a state but there has been debate about it for quite some time. Cuba is its own nation as are the Philippines. Yes we own some territories, but we dont dictate them, as some countries do or did do (WWII hitler, you know everything but just to refresh your memory) Japan was an empire, they took over Asian territories in WWII. Germany was an empire, it took over territories and countries in WWII. The United States does not. If you are talking business yes. You mention the Holy Roman Empire. Yes they were advanced for their time but look at the people that ruled. Julius Caesar... stabbed to death by senators. Alexander the Great was Great he took over a lot of land in Europe and Asia but then he kicked the bucket at an early age. They were the two of the greatest leaders of the empire and both died, although one was assasinated and one died in a more peaceful way, they could have led to the downfall. Could you imagine if Alexander the Great had actually lived another 20 or so years? I doubt they could have been stopped. And if you did research and knwo your history, then you would know that the Romans were extremely smart and they would have found a way to handle a large empire.

    Racial Segregation doesn't exist in the US. Monigue I know you are not native to the US but do you know about the Civil Rights Movement? Did you study it? If you did, you would know segregation. Segregation is when you weren't allowed to go to the same schools as whites, when you weren't allowed in the front of the bus unless you were white, when you had to go to different drinking fountains if you weren't white. That is segregation. You say segregation is that 80% of people living in poor conditions are African American, well that could be because they dont have as good an education because let's face it, some of those people are in their 60's during the civil rights movement so theyd didnt get good schooling. Others are their children, who in turn didnt get good schooling because their parents couldnt afford it or they were born during the civil rights movement. It could be never ending, that is why people must work hard to get a good education for their children. If they dont, their children could live in poverty and their grandchildren... I think the government should help these people, with better schooling programs, money loans, etc. Another reason is, without the money, you cant go to college, so many African Americans that are in poverty cant go because they cant afford it. Without goign to college, you cant get a good job and therefore, your kids will have to be the same way. So don't go saying there is segregation in the US, because I'm sure it could be argued the same way in many countries that have racial differences.

    Yes, it was on the news where I live that some college students protesting the war had thought it started before it was even sure we were going to war. Some thought that the war the were protesting was in Afghanistan...which was over. It is sad but you have to remember that they are in college and although they definetly should know more about whats going on, they are still young and they also probably dont watch the news, with homework and those college parties going on. Plus, you have to consider what they are majoring in AND you have to consider that you and the other "aliens" as you put it, are from outside the US therefore you WOULD know more on matters outside the US.
  19. Jul 24, 2003 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, maybe I used the wrong word. I meant that there is a social economic difference between the white and black community in general. Not all are equal in their position although I am sure everyone wishes they were.

    That is why I say that we aliens (which is an official word btw for non-immigrants) knew more about the political history of the events leading up to that war and related american political issues than the americans did.

    And I agree that stating that a culture is inferior or superior to others is a bold thing to say and can only lead to hate feelings towards eachother. My opinion is that you can point out differences in order to raise awareness, but generalizing an observation can be risky..
  20. Jul 24, 2003 #19
    Yeah sorry I should have said this but, I know alien is an official word I just prefer not to use it because it seems kinda... I dont know inappropriate, after all, we are all human :wink:

    *holds up a glass* Cheers.
  21. Jul 24, 2003 #20
    Alright, Pete's turn.

    I live in Hagerstown, MD, USA. It is not an big urban area and includes many different farms, businesses, low income, high income, and even many different races.

    With this said, let me evaluate what we have seen here

    Well, I also have no statistics. Though, I have about 8 different friends from all different walks of life. 3 are a college B.S. graduates, and the 5 others are only H.S. grads. I have had many discussions with every single one of these people about the war in Iraq, and they both felt that it was a good idea because of issues with Saddam and the way the humanitarian issues were being handled in Iraq. Also, we discussed many different ways our "war-like" history (as some would characterize it) can be attributed to this recent involvement. Thus, with my "small" statistical group shows that you are more than likely wrong. I do agree with this, people in the U.S. are not generally uneducated.

    I find this to be wrong. Average European Male age (as calculated by my TI-85): 73.8. Average U.S. Male age: 72.9.

    We see here only a .9 year difference in male age.

    Females in Europe: 80.3 Females in U.S.A.: 83.3

    Interesting results, we have a 3 year difference in favor of U.S. females. Quite a reverse of your comment. While males are only .9 years different, I would like to see the standard deviation because i'm sure these two numbers could be statisically proven to be the same.

    Where did we get this from? This makes no sense to me. I usually don't ask for support for much. Though, I do find this doubtful, especially with my calculations.

    The Supreme court did not say it was okay to use "points" they did say it is okay to consider it when admitting.

    Just because someone says we are multi-cultural doesn't mean we are segregated. Why would it mean this? Being Multi-Cultural doesn't mean we are colorblind. Having different cultures should be celebrated. Not having them (i.e. saying we are not multi-cultural) we have become colorblind and not mindful to where we all came from.

    In Hagerstown, we have a bunch of people. There is a one main Section 8 housing facility on the west end of town. This place is filled with many blacks, but also a good number of whites. I do not want to speculate the percentages because I do not like speculation without any facts.

    I open up my paper everyday and have not seen any suits, hate crimes, or any racially driven malichiousness(lol, is this a word?). We all live peacful here.

    I am an educated person. I am currently a student at Hood College in Frederick Maryland. I am a Senior with a major in Physics and Chemistry. I will be going to graduate school next year. I come from a middle income family who makes ends meet with a little bit extra. I put myself through college with my loans. I work two jobs right now, a Home Medical Equipment Technician, and a Laboratory Research Chemist at Hood.

    Thank you,

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook