Skip to comments.Book Review: 'A Troublesome Inheritance' by Nicholas Wade
Posted on 05/03/2014 1:51:51 PM PDT by globelamp
".. The orthodoxy's equivalent of the Nicene Creed has two scientific tenets. The first, promulgated by geneticist Richard Lewontin in "The Apportionment of Human Diversity" (1972), is that the races are so close to genetically identical that "racial classification is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance."
The second, popularized by the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is that human evolution in everything but cosmetic differences stopped before humans left Africa, meaning that "human equality is a contingent fact of history," as he put it in an essay of that title in 1984."
"Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, what is known by geneticists has increasingly diverged from this orthodoxy, even as social scientists and the mainstream press have steadfastly ignored the new research. Nicholas Wade, for more than 20 years a highly regarded science writer at the New York Times, has written a book that pulls back the curtain."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
If the subjects' ancestors came from all over the inhabited world, the clusters that first emerge will identify the five major races: Asians, Caucasians, sub-Saharan Africans, Native Americans and the original inhabitants of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
What the heck are "Asians?
Turks, Arabs, Indians, Malaysians, Chinese?
Seems to me that's WAY too much diversity to consider a single race.
Haven´t read the book yet, but I would guess that “asians” are a joint term for north-east and south-east asians (I:e. turks and arabs are caucasians, not “asians”).
There is certainly a lot of diversity within every such “racial category”, but we are facing a problem of informational economy here with no fixed categories.
Turn out the lights, the party's over.
Over the long run, this tends to degrade the integrity of mankind's ancient search for truth, sometimes called "the Conversation."
The search for objective truth is the human race's best hope for a peaceful future. The degradation of that search process leads to division and - ultimately - violence.
Science is a system for discovering truth based on physical evidence. The language of Science - of which Mathematics is so large a part - is a medium of communication, but it is something more than that. It is a formal system, part of a larger system that enables people from different cultures, who speak different languages and live in different places... that enables all these people to make their contribution to the search of objective truth.
The Truth Shall Set You Free is much more than an aphorism.
Don’t know about the book, but the review misses two very important points.
Human evolutionary pressure since becoming intelligent has primarily operated between groups, not individuals. Losing groups were wiped out.
Or, more accurately, the males were. The females were generally kept alive as secondary wives for the victors.
So evolutionary pressures acted primarily on groups of males. IOW, the primary evolutionary pressure through most of human history was to be on the winning side of wars.
The genetic evidence shows this very clearly. The male line of inheritance is much less diverse than the female line, because of all the male lines that were wiped out when the females were allowed to live and breed.
As it didn't work out too well for the Nazis to reject modern physics as "Jewish science."
I realize you are probably right. Asians in this context are what we used to call Orientals, before the term became for some reason derogatory. Which is very odd, since all it means is “Easterners,” which is an indisputably accurate term.
My beef is that “Asian” not only is an imprecise term, it doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere even in the Anglosphere.
In US “Asian” means the north and south east Asians you described. In UK and I believe Oz “Asian” means South Asians from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Didn’t work out to great for the Jews, either.
OTOH, the Jews were able to develop despite being generally persecuted for the past 2,000 years.
Unless 2,000 years is too short a time to make much evolutionary difference.
You are talking about group selection, which has also been out of favor in the scientific community for a long time (in my view since it has been seen to have unpalatable implications).
My guess without having read the book is that Wade will probably touch on the topic.
But I think it underscores your point that ignoring scientific fact doesn't work out well eventually for those who do so, whether the German Nazis, or today's liberals.
I haven’t read the article yet,but globelamp is right. I was always told that there were only 3 races, caucasian, negro and oriental (Native Americans and Aborigines would be oriental in that system I think).
Not too too long ago on another thread here someone said there are something like 7 races,but I forget what they all were.
But it makes sense to me with the 5 groups described.
It is silly that so many groups who are,in fact, caucasians (that is to say WHITE) natter on about being “brown” or “asian” or “the other”. So much emphasis is put on skin color and then you watch a show like “Bones” or anything like that and the scientists tell you race just from looking at a skeleton. So clearly the difference in skin is probably the least of it.
Now on to read the article!
Yes, we should not overestimate group selection. But it is probably one factor that explains why we are the way that we are.
He says more elegantly what many of us figured out years ago on our own: cultures that develop in harsh climates have to be tougher and smarter than those who live where food grows all year round.
Yes, asking “how many races are there” is a bit like asking “how many categories of furniture are there?”. Well, it depends on how much resolution you want.
What the liberals did was essentially to jump from “You can´t say exactly how many kinds of furniture there is” to “Furniture does not exist”. Pretty dumb, but surprisingly effective at shutting down discussion for decades.
On a recent BBC documentary, I forget which one, they used genetics to somehow trace all human races and nationalities down their various branches to determine who was the most direct living descendent of the first human. It turned out to be a nomad living in tent somewhere in Kazakhstan. When the BBC film crew showed up to interview him and celebrate their discovery, they brought a doctor with them. When the man saw the doctor he was visibly disturbed because, as he said later, he thought that if the doctor brought such a crowed with him, it must be to tell him that he had some very serous disease.
Read some of the comments at the review.
Most common reaction seemed to be fear that real differences would be found, so let’s not do the research in the first place.
As if resolutely ignoring the facts will change them.
BTW, the author of this review, Charles Murray, wrote The Bell Curve 20 years ago and was crucified by liberals for doing so. The whole point of that book was to discuss differences in intelligence (defined as IQ in the book) and how modern life has less and less place for those with lower IQs. With the purpose of suggesting changes that might stop or slow their gradual explusion from any valued role in society. Their prescience has been eminently demonstrated since, as the changes they predicted are happening faster and faster. (Though nobody wants to talk about them except by means of euphemisms such as “income inequality.”)
But the book was trashed because it didn’t shy away from the implications of lower IQ among certain ethnic groups, so it was denounced universally as “racist.”