Note: This essay was originally published on Saturday and was “sticky” for a few days. Scroll down for more recent posts, including a subtitled Swedish documentary about left-wing violence, the European election results, a video report on a culturally enriched Aikido class in Nova Scotia, and last night’s news feed.
Takuan Seiyo’s latest essay examines the controversy surrounding Nicholas Wade’s new book about the scientific evidence for a genetic basis for racial characteristics, including intelligence and behavior.
To Live and Die Under a Mentirocracy
by Takuan Seiyo
Wading into a faked controversy
On May 6, 2014, Penguin Press released Nicholas Wade’s book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. The deeply researched book by the New York Times’ veteran (now retired) science writer has summarized new findings in genetic science that lead unequivocally to the conclusion that race is a biological reality, and race matters. Venturing onto more concrete and dangerous territory Wade has limned in this light topics such as the genetic reasons for the “Jewish genius,” or for sub-Saharan Blacks’ lesser adaptability to modern life than that of Whites’ and Asians’.
All that sounds obvious to those who have a pair of eyes and IQ above moron level. After all, the American NBA or the Olympic finals in Track and Field are a showcase pretty much for one race, and it’s not because of Affirmative Action. Criminal flash mobs are predominantly the domain of a single race too, and opera-singing flash mobs are the domain of another. Jews excel at receiving Nobel Prizes not because they have the inside track in Stockholm. High quality industry and standard of living developed in Japan (Real GDP per capita $23,197) rather than Iraq (Real GDP per capita $3,197) despite Iraq’s being by far the naturally richer and more ancient country, because the Japanese are biologically and culturally different from Arabs.
It’s how Reality is built, for humans just as for rodents or ferns. Reality — God to believers — hates equality. But modern science, no less than its medieval predecessor, rejects Reality in favor of a fanatical dogma. If you are an Assistant Professor at any Western university, a mere mention of the word “race” will terminate your academic career prospects, except if you are a member of La Raza or of some organization flaunting the word “Black.”
It’s easy to understand why scientists and academia in general feel that race as a biological fact is a dangerous concept: race consciousness has led in the past to race rankings and enslavement, murder or other forms of expropriation of the weaker races and ethnies by the stronger ones.
African Blacks were enslaved by Arabs from the East and Whites from the West — though only the latter outrage counts for Progressives. American Indians and Australian aborigines were conquered and subjugated by Whites, and the Christian Middle East, North Africa and almost all of South Asia were conquered and subjugated by Muslims of Arab, Turkic or Mongol origin (though, again, Progressives are keen only on whitey’s depredations). Europe practiced grand, worldwide colonialism for half a millennium — as had in earlier times the Chinese, Vietnamese, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Phoenicians (again, with no see/no hear by Progressives). Ultimately this cast of mind ended in Nazism based in Aryan “superiority” and racial anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust for the Jews and Gypsies, and enslavement and gross mass murder of Eastern Europe’s Slavs.
Of course, racism-based genocide is the uniting thread of South and Central America’s pre-Colombian history and much of Africa’s as well, remarkably in recent times in the conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu of Rwanda. But that doesn’t count for academia’s race denialists — all of the important ones of whom are Whites (race research thrives in China and Korea) infected by the Progressive whitey-bashing virus.
Race therefore is not merely a forbidden subject — except in spurious claims that non-white minority groups are oppressed, as races, by “racist” white majorities. The idea, nay, the Reality, that race is embedded in one’s genes is so forbidden that an alternative reality — “race is a social construct” — was spun out of nothing by scientists who should have known better.
Charles Murray, in his review of A Troublesome Inheritance in the Wall Street Journal explained the genesis of this enveloping lie:
The reigning intellectual orthodoxy is that race is a “social construct,” a cultural artifact without biological merit. 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.
Murray goes on to shred Richard Lewontin’s and Gould’s arguments, and it’s worth reading, for their race-denying assertions were no mere scientific mistakes but outrageously meretricious fictions concocted to bolster personal beliefs and, as I posit, neuroses. Yet he worries that the “scientific community” will reject, fanatically, the science brought forth by Nicholas Wade, to avoid a “cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness.” Murray describes this dubious community’s current modus operandi relative to race, IQ etc. as “predict[ing] planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations.”
Apart from Murray’s takedown, it’s relevant that Richard Lewontin invented the preposterous meme, still pervasive, that there is more variation within groups than between groups (see the rational brain of theoretical physicist Steve Hsu on that). Gould, a celebrated biologist, maintained without a shred of validity that there has been no biological change in humans in 50,000 years, which is a backdoor way of saying that the brain coils and cast of mind of the homo sapiens that left Africa 50,000 years ago or earlier are the same as of those who remained in Africa. The anthropologist Henry Harpending and evolutionary biologist Gregory Cochran made a convincing opposite case in their book The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009). Yet Gould is still the widely cited “expert” on the subject.
Another celebrated scientist and best-selling author, Jared Diamond, opined in his Guns, Germs and Steel that only people capable of thinking the Earth is flat believe in the existence of human races. It’s all about differences in the geography, see? Moreover, modern social science probably owes its race-denying bias, multiculturalism, and other forms of self-induced blindness to the “father of American Anthropology,” Franz Boas (1858 -1942).
Boasian anthropology is based on the premise that cultures (hence religions too) cannot and may not be ranked as higher or lower: they are all equally valid. Hence our cultural relativism and inability to assert in once-white countries the worthiness and preference for the native variant of white culture over those of Third World colonists imported by the tens of millions by the ruling elites and forcibly imposed on the serf population.
Wikipedia’s exceptionally comprehensive entry on Boas (12,500+ words, over 100 footnoted references) informs that he was an activist unconcerned with detachment, objectivity, abstraction, and quantifiability in his work. Quite the modern Progressive, he was motivated by passion: