Here’s Will Saletan’s third and last article at Slate. He advocates genetic engineering to equalize the races. I’ve always been skeptical about whether we have the wisdom to handle such power, and have been pleased that it appears to be farther off than I had assumed back in the 1990s. As I wrote in VDARE.com in 2005:
Through genetic selection and modification, we will soon be able to transform human nature, for better . . . or worse.
Some find this exciting. I find it mostly alarming.
The good news: we still have time to figure out what the physical, psychological, and social impacts of these gene-altering technologies might be – by studying naturally-occurring human genetic diversity.
Noah Millman responds to Saletan in detail at American Scene in The Sound of a Dam Breaking, with comments from John Derbyshire and Will Wilkinson.
At Cato Unbound, social scientist Eric Turkheimer writes:
“When the theoretical questions are properly understood, proponents of race science, while entitled to their freedom of inquiry and expression, deserve the vigorous disapprobation they often receive.”
Which raises the question, if Eric Turkheimer were ever to discover anything that would support race science realism, he would do what with it, burn it? Couch it in such high-flown philosophical language that you wouldn’t be able to figure out what he meant? Publish it while vigorously disapprobating himself?
Hasn’t he just wrecked his credibility as an objective scientist? Shouldn’t he be ashamed of that, rather than proud of it?
Turkheimer goes on:
“Why Race Science is Objectionable
“If I may address my fellow Jews for a moment, consider this. How would you feel about a line of research into the question of whether Jews have a genetic tendency to be more concerned with money than other groups?”
My observation over the last couple of decades has been, going back to Gould’s Mismeasure of Man and Kamin, Lewontin, and Rose’s Not In our Genes, that while most of the talk is about the white-black IQ gap, among those who take the lead in demonizing realists, most of their angst, anger, and underlying agendas are actually driven by concerns that the masses will learn about the Jewish-gentile IQ gap, which would cause them to pick up their torches and pitchforks and stage pogroms across America.
It’s the kind of triple bankshot reasoning that intellectuals take seriously — If James Watson is not allowed to mention race and IQ, then the process of discovering that Jews tend to be smarter than gentiles can’t get underway! — not realizing that 90% of the people who have never heard of James Watson roughly understand the reality already (e.g., listen to what arrested mafioso and rap stars say about which kind of lawyer they want).
Of course, quite a few of those demonized, such as Richard J. Herrnstein of The Bell Curve, are Jewish, too.
I’m reminded on one of the dozen general lessons Jacques Barzun has learned from a lifetime of study:
“An age … is unified by one or to pressing needs, not by the proposed remedies, which are many and thus divide.”
As Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine pointed out in The Jewish Century in 2004, much of Western intellectual life since, say, The Communist Manifesto in 1848 has been driven by the pressing needs felt by a successful but vulnerable high IQ minority, and by the often-clashing remedies their many thinkers have proposed: e.g., Marxism, Freudianism, Randism, Boasism, Frankfurtism, Neoconism, Friedmanism, etc.
And progress was made — Milton Friedman’s theories were good for the Jews and the human race as a whole, at least compared to Karl Marx’s. The early neocons did a lot of good work in the domestic social science arena and in foreign policy.