Are there scientific studies for physical superiority?

  • #1
Is there scientific studies that confirm that a race or ethnic group is physically superior to any other? I think we can examine sports records can make some judgement on what type of groups of people are superior in each type of sports. But I don't know how you would go about judging who is physically superior overall in mainly terms of fighting and brute strength. Thanks in advance
 

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  • #2
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I don't think there are studies like these. One time NOVA did a show one running the marathon. They followed the training of several folks and the struggles they had to do it. One notable member was a cousin to George Bush, he didn't seem to train much, was often late to practice and yet he did quite well in the run. He was a natural athlete.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/marathon-challenge.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/marathon/team-jonathan.html

There was this article by Scientific American on highly intelligent people:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bad-news-for-the-highly-intelligent/

and how high intelligence was related to physical disorders.

Beyond this there are suspect studies that I won't go into here because we don't discuss racial superiority nonsense on PF.
 
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  • #3
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Such questions always remind me on the following which I once have read:
The maximal distance in the DNA code of Bonobos is significantly higher than the distance in the code of us.

My conclusion:
There cannot be such a thing as "race" within our species, if we cannot even recognize "races" among Bonobos.
The fact that a man of 300 pounds is probably better in shot put than in a marathon is certainly not related to a few gens which determines skin color or so.
The example of Caster Semenya shows us, that hormones are significantly more important than heritage.
It is totally impossible to cancel out all limiting factors given by real life before even considering such a thing determined by a very few genes among the many.
 
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  • #4
Nugatory
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I think we can examine sports records can make some judgement on what type of groups of people are superior in each type of sports
That is much harder than it sounds. The problem is hidden assumptions:
- That the subset of a group who take up a given sport is a statistically fair sample of the group as a whole.
- That for all groups, the probability of an individual with a given level of ability at a particular sport going into that sport is the same.
- That the availability of early training and coaching is the same across all groups and all sports.
Stated explicitly, these assumptions range from dubious to ridiculous, but they're what people use to go from valid conclusions about individuals (this person is better at a sport than that one, an obese person is unlikely to be a champion runner) to bogus conclusions about groups.
 
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  • #5
RPinPA
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As @Nugatory says, availability of training and coaching is a very important environmental factor. Do you think that the fact that winter sports are dominated by athletes in places with a lot of snow is genetic?

I know that one recurring question has been why Kenyans dominate long-distance running. And not just Kenyans, but one particular small tribe in Kenya, the Kalenjin. There have been studies but I don't know if they've found anything conclusive. Here's one that identifies a couple of possible physical and cultural explanations. But frankly I think those small physical things usually turn out to be hogwash, and degenerate pretty quickly into the 19th-century measuring of skulls to prove some crackpot theory or other.

I think other studies have found much more significant cultural causes, how the tradition of winning at long distances has bred interest and dedication and community support for training in long distance running.
 
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  • #6
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Wow, that article about the Kenyan Kalenjin tribe is amazing. The pain training is especially something else akin to Spartan training of kids a couple of millennia earlier.
 
  • #7
Evo
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I think we got good answers, so to avoid the inevitable derailment, I'll close the thread while we have just good answers. :smile:
 
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