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henry-harpending
Henry Harpending (1944-2016) died this past Sunday. He had a stroke a year ago, and then a second one three weeks ago, but apparently he died of a lung infection. This is one of the risks of getting older: you dodge one bullet only to get hit by another. The cemeteries are full of people... Read More
Marion-Maréchal Le Pen. This year, she received 45% of the popular vote in one of France\
I wrote the above last January, fearing that Europe would see an acceleration of the massive demographic change already under away—the Great Replacement, to use a term coined by Renaud Camus: Oh, the Great Replacement needs no definition. It isn't a concept. It's a phenomenon, as obvious as the nose on your face. To observe... Read More
Your blood group cannot reliably identify your ethnicity, your race ... or even your species. Credit:  Wikipedia Commons, Etan Tal
What sort of ideas will guide our elites twenty years from now? You can find out by observing university students, especially those in the humanities and social sciences. One popular idea is that race doesn't exist, except as a social construct. Its proponents include Eula Biss, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine: The... Read More
Ted Bundy, 1978, State Archives of Florida. Outwardly charming but zero concern for others. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Is sociopathy an illness? We often think so ... to the point that the word "sick" has taken on a strange secondary meaning. If we call a ruthless, self-seeking person "sick," we mean he should be shunned at all costs. We don't mean he should take an aspirin and get some rest. Sociopathy doesn't look... Read More
The Pauper, 1894-1895, Theodor Kittelsen. This and other works by Kittelsen have appeared on Norwegian black metal albums. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Black metal is a musical subgenre that grew out of death metal and, more broadly, heavy metal. In general, it pushes certain aspects of this genre to even farther extremes: fast tempos, shrieking vocals, and violent stage acts. Black metal bands can be found almost anywhere—Europe, North America, East Asia, even Indonesia and Israel. In... Read More
Swan princess, John Bauer (1882-1918). Human head hair is of relatively recent origin, reaching incredible lengths in some groups but not in others. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
I've published an article on the evolution of long head hair in humans. The following is the abstract: In many humans, head hair can grow to a much greater length than hair elsewhere on the body. This is a "derived" form that evolved outside Africa and probably in northern Eurasia. The ancestral form, which is... Read More
Religiosity is moderately heritable—25 to 45% according to twin studies (Bouchard, 2004; Lewis and Bates, 2013). These figures are of course underestimates, since any noise in the data gets classified as ‘non-genetic’ variability. So the estimates would be higher if we could measure religiosity better. But what does it mean to be religious? Does it... Read More
Rêverie, Adrien de Witte (1850-1935). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
African Americans sleep on average almost an hour less than do Euro Americans. The two groups have mean sleep times of 6.05 hours and 6.85 hours. This finding has recently been discussed by Brian Resnick in National Journal and by our Steve Sailer. Researchers reject a genetic explanation: "There is a consensus that innate biological... Read More
Chief Makwira and his wives, Malawi, 1903. Older men had first priority. Younger men could gain access to women only through war or adultery.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In my last column, I reviewed the findings of Butovskaya et al. (2015) on testosterone and polygyny in two East African peoples: - Testosterone levels were higher in the polygynous Datoga than in the monogamous Hadza. This difference is innate. - Datoga men were more aggressive than Hadza men on all measures used (physical aggression,... Read More
Hadza men are smaller, less robust, and less aggressive than the more polygynous Datoga. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Humans differ in paternal investment—the degree to which fathers help mothers care for their offspring. They differ in this way between individuals, between populations, and between stages of cultural evolution. During the earliest stage, when all humans were hunter-gatherers, men invested more in their offspring with increasing distance from the equator. Longer, colder winters made... Read More
Antifas, Switzerland. Today, antifas are becoming an extrajudicial police, just as human rights commissions are becoming a parallel justice system. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Until three years ago, Canada’s human rights commissions had the power to prosecute and convict individuals for "hate speech." This power was taken away after two high-profile cases: one against the magazine Maclean's for printing an excerpt from Mark Steyn's bookAmerica Alone; and the other against the journalist Ezra Levant for publishing Denmark’s satirical cartoons... Read More
In 1915, Paul Robeson became the third African American ever enrolled at Rutgers College, being one of four students selected for its Cap and Skull honor society. His father was of Igbo descent .  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Chanda Chisala has written another piece on IQ and African immigrants to the UK: The correct term is not "regression to the mean." It's "non-inheritance of acquired characteristics." In other words, each person has a single genotype and a range of possible phenotypes. A culture can push its members to either limit of this range,... Read More
Solitude - Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In a mixed group, women become quieter, less assertive, and more compliant. This deference is shown only to men and not to other women in the group. A related phenomenon is the sex gap in self-esteem: women tend to feel less self-esteem in all social settings. The gap begins at puberty and is greatest in... Read More
Goths traversant une rivière, Évariste-Vital Luminais (1822-1896). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Goths came en masse and unopposed as immigrants to Rome
When discussing the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe, we often ignore one thing: most of them are neither Syrians nor refugees. The majority are Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, or even Bangladeshis. They live crummy lives but are in no immediate danger, their motive being simply the prospect of a better life in the West.... Read More
The Second Class Carriage. Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Credit: Wikimedia Commons
I'll be on vacation until October and will probably have little time for my weekly column. I hope to profit from this hiatus to rethink my priorities for the next twelve months. That rethink will include this column. Is it reaching its target audience? Are changes needed? A recurring suggestion is that I should write... Read More
The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). Credit: Wikimedia Commons. 
The more you empathize with the world, the more you feel its joy and pain, but too much can lead to overload.
One of my interests is affective empathy, the involuntary desire not only to understand another person's emotional state but also to make it one's own—in short, to feel the pain and joy of other people. This mental trait has a heritability of 68% and is normally distributed along a bell curve within any one population... Read More
Male figurine, pottery, c. 7,000–5,000 years ago, Greece, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
This is one of several findings with a common theme: the farther back in time we go, the less familiar people look. And we don't have to go very far. This fact came up in a column I wrote about the Americas. If we turn back the clock, Amerindians look more and more European, yet... Read More
Egyptian painting of a Libyan, a Kushi, a Syrian, and an Egyptian.  In the Middle East, the Egyptians were seen as the Dark Other. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mention the term ‘skin color’ and people usually think of race or ethnicity. Yet this way of thinking became dominant only when Europeans began moving out and colonizing the rest of the world, beginning in the 16th century. Previously, physical features were less useful as ethnic markers. We knew about and quarrelled with those groups... Read More
Semang from the Malayan Peninsula.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Before the Europeans came, the Americas were settled by three waves of people from northeast Asia: the oldest wave beginning some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, which gave rise to most Amerindians, and two later waves, which gave rise respectively to the Athapaskan and Inuit peoples of northern Canada and Alaska. That's the conventional view.... Read More
The Perfume Maker, Rudolf Ernst (1854-1932).  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It has long been known that we vary not only in our sensitivity to different smells but also in our preferences for them—the degree to which they seem pleasant or unpleasant. This variability often contains a large genetic component (Gross-Isseroff et al., 1992; Karstensen and Tommerup, 2012; Keller et al., 2007; Keller et al., 2012;... Read More
Un homme et une femme, 1891, Stephan Sinding (1846-1922). Almost as fun as sex.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
All humans love to kiss, so kissing must go back to early hominids and even chimps and bonobos. This is how ethologists and evolutionary psychologists think when they write about the subject. Just one thing. Even in historic times not all humans loved to kiss. Far from arising millions of years in the past, kissing... Read More
Mary Magdalene, Frederick Sandys (1829-1904). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Is the physical appearance of Europeans solely or even mainly an adaptation to climate?
Most humans have black hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. Europeans are different: their hair is also brown, flaxen, golden, or red, their eyes also blue, gray, hazel, or green, and their skin pale, almost like an albino's. This is particularly the case in northern and eastern Europeans. How did this color scheme come about?... Read More
Bronze vessel in the form of a snail shell, 9th century, Igbo-Ukwu. The Igbo developed metallurgy much earlier than the rest of West Africa. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
There has been much talk here about Chanda Chisala's article "The IQ gap is no longer a black and white issue." Much of the article focuses on the Igbo (known also as Ibo), a people who live in the Niger Delta and "are well known to be high academic achievers within Nigeria." In the United... Read More
The Babylonian Marriage Market, by Edwin Long (1829-1891)  Credit: Wikimedia Commons.  There are too many young men on the mate market, particularly in the White American community.
It sucks being young, male, and single. Don't think so? Go to the Interactive Singles Map of the United States and see how it looks for the 20 to 39 age group. Almost everywhere single men outnumber single women. And the real picture is worse. For one thing, the imbalance is greater among singles without... Read More
\"Flower boy\" (on the right) - In 70-80% of cases, gender confusion will clear up on its own, Credit: Recoplado/Wikimedia Commons
Does It Really Help?
I remember feeling some attraction to girls in Grade 2, but it really wasn't until Grade 8 that everything fell into place. I'm talking about puberty. Before high school, I was a boy and not a young man. I didn't consider myself abnormal. Yes, many boys in Grade 8 had deeper voices, as well as... Read More
We don\
We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree. In reality, it varies a lot from one person to the next, like most mental traits. We are half-aware of this when we distinguish between "normal people" and "psychopaths," the latter having an abnormally low capacity for empathy. The distinction is arbitrary,... Read More
On Star Trek, African Americans were underrepresented among guest actors, who were just as likely to be part-Asian actresses like France Nuyen. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Only six years separate the production of Logan's Run (1976) from that of Blade Runner (1982), yet those intervening years form a watershed in how science fiction imagined the future. The first movie depicts the year 2274. The setting is futuristic, and the people so beautiful that one significant detail may go unnoticed. Eventually, the... Read More
Cyborg She, a love story about a female android and a shy young man. Credit: Gaga Communications, for use in critical commentary
Can humans and robots get along together? Actually, they already do in a wide range of applications from surgery to assembly lines. The question is more vexing when the robots are androids—human-like creatures that can recognize faces, understand questions, and behave as social, emotional, and affective beings. It is this aspect that troubles us the... Read More
Memorial service for Walter Rathenau (Wikicommons - German Federal Archives). His assassination introduced a new word into French and, shortly after, into English. Credit Wikimedia Commons
A reader has written me about my last post: The best authority on this subject is probably Pierre-André Taguieff, who seems to have read everything about racism, racialism, or colorism. He fo
Rally in Sydney.  Antiracists see themselves as open-minded individuals at war with hardline ideologues.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The interwar years gave antiracism a new lease on life, thus reversing a long decline that had begun in the late 19th century. This reversal was driven largely by two events: the acrimonious debate over U.S. immigration in the mid-1920s and Hitler's rise to power in the early 1930s. Many people, especially academics, were convinced... Read More
John B. Watson conditioning a child to fear Santa Claus. With a properly controlled environment, he felt that children can be conditioned to think and behave in any way desired. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
After peaking in the mid-19th century, antiracism fell into decline in the U.S., remaining dominant only in the Northeast. By the 1930s, however, it was clearly reviving, largely through the efforts of the anthropologist Franz Boas and his students. But a timid revival had already begun during the previous two decades. In the political arena,... Read More
The Battle for Sevastopol, now showing in Russian theatres
The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Instead, we’re moving in the other direction.” Finally, I thought, a liberal critic of Putin. The young man continued. “Here it’s not too... Read More
As a professor at Columbia, Franz Boas encountered the elite liberal culture of the American Northeast, one example being Mary White Ovington, a founder of the NAACP, Credit Wikimedia Commons
Antiracism has roots that go back to early Christianity and the assimilationist Roman and Hellenistic empires. In its modern form, however, it is a much more recent development, particularly in its special focus on relations between whites and blacks and its emphasis on discrimination as the cause of any mental or behavioral differences. Modern antiracism... Read More
Claude Lévi-Straus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss died six years ago, leaving behind a treasure trove of correspondence and unpublished writings. We can now trace where his ideas came from and how they evolved. I admired Lévi-Strauss during my time as an anthropology student because he asked questions that Marxist anthropologists would never ask. That's why I preferred... Read More
Hanging Outside Newgate Prison. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In England, executions peaked between 1500 and 1750 at 1 to 2% of all men of each generation. Were there genetic consequences? Were propensities for violence being removed from the gene pool? Did the English population become kinder and gentler? Such is the argument I made in a recent paper with Henry Harpending. In this... Read More
Dick Turpin was convicted of robbery but had also been guilty of a string of murders.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In each generation from 1500 to 1750, between 1 and 2% of all English men were executed either by court order or extra-judicially (at the scene of the crime or while in prison). This was the height of a moral crusade by Church and State to punish the wicked so that the good may live... Read More
Homicide rates seem to correlate with the recentness of state formation and the imposition of the state\
Henry Harpending and I have written a paper on the historical decline of personal violence in European societies. It has just been published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. I wrote the following press release: While war has always been with us, personal violence has been declining in Western societies over the last millennium. Is this... Read More
The fascist critique of liberalism influenced America\
This week, I will turn to the third charge in the indictment against the First World War: the rise of fascism. What was fascism? The word itself is problematic. For many, especially those of a Marxist bent, it was an attempt to divert working people from the real cause of their problems. For other, it... Read More
Puck, 1916. The \"postwar\" flapper era had already begun when America entered the war (Wikicommons)
The First World War casts a dark shadow over the 20th century. It shattered the relative peace that had reigned since the Napoleonic Wars, killing some 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians. It is also blamed for causing the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the postwar decline of traditional morality—the flapper era, and the rise... Read More
Massacre of the Serbian royal family, 1903 (Wikicommons). The country became viewed as a rogue state in the hands of Greater Serbia extremists.
Can a small country start a big war? We have the example of the First World War, which was caused by Serbia—or rather by advocates of a Greater Serbia who saw the Austro-Hungarian Empire standing in their way. The empire had to be destroyed, and its destruction could come about only through a major global... Read More
Going global is modern ... and sexy. Multicultural Festival, Gyeonggi-do, 2011 (Wasabcon)
Until recently, East Asia shunned globalism. Economically advanced and yet ethnically homogeneous, the region seemed to show that modernity can co-exist with the traditional structures of family, kinship, ethny, and nation. We can be more than just individuals in a global marketplace. Yet East Asia is now catching up to the West. South Korea has... Read More
African district, Guangzhou (Wikicommons: Anna Frodesiak)
Long a land of emigration, China has become one of immigration. Surprising? Not really. Life is now better there than in most of the Third World. Meanwhile, with fewer people leaving the Chinese countryside for the cities, employers have to offer higher wages and better working conditions ... or get their labor elsewhere. Finally, with... Read More
Parsi wedding, 1905 (Wikicommons)
The Parsis are dying out. This people of western India, originally from Iran and famous for their role in trade, science, and industry, may disappear by mid-century, having already fallen from 114,890 in 1941 to 69,001 in 2011. Deaths outnumber births by a ratio of almost three to one. What has caused this calamity? War?... Read More
Compendium on agriculture, Japan, 1782. Rice farming, which requires community planning of water use and irrigation, may have favored a less individualistic mindset in East Asia (Wikicommons)
Kinship is the organizing principle of small human societies, such as bands of hunter-gatherers or small farming villages. This is seen in their notions of right and wrong—the same behavior may be wrong toward kin but right toward non-kin, or at least not punishable. Morality is enforced by social pressure from fellow kinfolk, which in... Read More
 La ciociara (1960) - Sophia Loren in the role of a woman hiding from Moroccan soldiers (Wikicommons)
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack—or rather mass execution—the typical reaction seems to be that the killers were "madmen" and "extremists." The brother of the slain policeman, himself Muslim, protested: "My brother was Muslim. He was shot down by false Muslims. (...) Islam is really a religion of peace, of love. We had... Read More
A burning car during the 2005 riots.  Credit: Strologoff at Wikimedia Commons
The gruesome attack on Charlie Hebdo has earned condemnation around the world. It has been called "cowardly" and "evil" by Barack Obama, "a barbaric act" by Stephen Harper, and an "infamy" by François Hollande. Yes, violence is serious. It's a crime when done by an individual and war when done by a country. It's a... Read More
Migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa.  The NATO-led invasion of Libya has opened a huge breach in Europe\
A synthesis has been forming in the field of human biodiversity. It may be summarized as follows: 1. Human evolution did not end in the Pleistocene or even slow down. In fact, it speeded up with the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago, when the pace of genetic change rose over a hundred-fold. Humans were... Read More
Yale was founded by English Congregationalist ministers. Today, only 22% of its student body has a Christian European background of any sort. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Last year, around this time, friends and acquaintances offered me all sorts of religiously neutral salutations: Seasons Greetings! Happy Holidays! Joyeuses fêtes! Meilleurs vœux! Only two people wished me Merry Christmas. One was Muslim, the other was Jewish. They meant well. After all, isn't that the culturally correct greeting? In theory, yes. In practice, most... Read More
Subjects identified the left-hand image as a woman and the right-hand one as a man. Yet the two images differ only in skin tone. Study by Richard Russell, Sinha Laboratory for Vision Research, MIT.   Skin color differs by sex: women are fairer and men browner and ruddier. Women also exhibit a greater contrast in... Read More
Navaho woman with a child on cradleboard. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. See video on cross-cultural differences in newborn behavior, Daniel Freedman, 1974 (posted by hbd chick)
In my last post I discussed recent research on mental differences between Europeans and Chinese people. The latter are less prone to boredom. They think less abstractly and more relationally. They're less individualistic, and less likely to punish friends for dishonesty. Mental differences also seem to exist within China, depending on whether one comes from... Read More
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