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 Entire ArchiveGenetic Pacification Items

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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 Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) current "Featured Extremist" (their words) is none other than the mild-mannered Henry Harpending of West Hunter. They go into a fair amount of detail about Harpending and his work, but take a look at what they say. Are they actually trying to discredit him (emphasis mine)? Henry Harpending is... 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
A highwayman - by Glen Campbell (source). Before the rise of the State, and its pacification of social relations, the top man was the one who dominated the local group through a mixture of violence, bombast, and charisma. Before the State came into being, men were organized into small, loosely defined groups where authority was... Read More
Togolese representation of a white man (source) In a previous post, I wrote that the recently published book De quelle couleur sont les Blancs ? was originally supposed to provide a new perspective on French race relations. How do the Français de souche perceive, imagine, and experience their increasingly multiracial society? What does it mean... Read More
An outdoor play where a Paekchong is about to kill a bull. In pre-modern Korea, the Paekchong were outcastes whose occupations tended to involve the taking of life, like butchery, leather making, and capital punishment. (source: Jon Dunbar, link) Like Japan with its Burakumin, Korea used to have its own outcastes: the Paekchong (or Baekjeong).... Read More
John Locke: “every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer […] such men are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey (source of picture) The last millennium... Read More
Hanged, drawn, and quartered. (source) Although the Middle Ages were, in the imagination of our contemporaries, “the time of the gallows,” the reality was appreciably different (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 38-39) Like many well-meaning people, I once considered the death penalty a relic of a more barbaric age. Outside the old jailhouse, here in Quebec City,... Read More
Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Frederik de Klerk, 1992. Antiracist iconography is focused on past struggles, like the fight against apartheid. Yet the world is now a very different place (source). After five centuries of growth, the European world is contracting, and this contraction is visible not only overseas—in Johannesburg, Sydney, and New York—but also... Read More
Home sweet home in the Scottish borderlands. This was one of the last regions of Britain to be pacified and brought under State control. People lived in fortified homes where the second floor could be reached only by an external ladder that could be pulled up. The stone walls were up to 3 feet thick.... Read More
Bandit with traditional tattoos (source). In premodern China, who enjoyed the most reproductive success? The thrifty hardworking farmer? Or the local bandit/warlord? In my last post, I asked how well the Clark-Unz model of selection applied to Japan and Korea (Unz, 2013). Let me now ask a more obvious question. How well did it apply... Read More
Just horsing around? Or is there also a political message? It’s year’s end, and to date I’ve written nothing on the three themes I promised to blog about back in January. One reason was the need to comment on certain unforeseen events, like Phil Rushton’s death and the confirmation that Europeans became white-skinned long after... Read More
Homicide rates in England, 1200-2000 (Eisner, 2001) States seek to pacify their territories by monopolizing the use of violence. With each passing generation, violent individuals are ostracized, imprisoned, or executed, their predispositions being thereby selected out of the gene pool. Has this “genetic pacification” made longtime State societies kinder and gentler places to live in?... Read More
Western Europe began to overtake the rest of the world long before it established colonial empires in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (source) In Why Nations Fail, economist Daren Acemoglu sees global inequality as a legacy of colonialism. Wherever European settlers were numerous enough, they formed inclusive, democratic societies that aimed for sustainable growth. Wherever... Read More
A new article of mine has just appeared in the journal Futures. All comments are welcome. Abstract Most evolutionary psychologists share a belief in one key concept: the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), i.e., the ancestral environment that shaped the heritable mental and behavioral traits of present-day humans. It is usually placed in the African... Read More
Children making pillow lace for a home workshop. Germany, 1847. During the early stages of Europe’s market economy, successful entrepreneurs would expand their workforce by having more children. There are several obstacles to our understanding of geographic variation in human mental performance. First, the subject is taboo. When people do discuss it, they often resort... Read More
The online journal Evolutionary Psychology has published my article “The Roman State and genetic pacification.” The following is the abstract: Please feel free to offer your comments. Reference Frost, P. (2010). The Roman State and genetic pacification, Evolutionary Psychology, 8(3), 376-389, http://www.epjournal.n
In debating the causes of the Montreal Massacre, we must confront the psychological similarities between Marc Lépine and his father. Both seem to have had low thresholds for ideation and expression of violence. Was this quick temper passed down from father to son? Or are the similarities only fortuitous? If these psychological characteristics had passed... Read More
There is a thread of thought going back to antiquity and revived by Nietzsche that blames Christianity for the fall of the Roman Empire. Christ and his followers are thus held responsible for replacing pagan virtues with ‘slave values’ of submission and pacifism. In reality, and long before the triumph of Christianity, it was pagan... Read More
You’ve probably heard of the Milgram experiment. Assistants are told to give a ‘subject’ progressively stronger electric shocks whenever he or she fails on a learning task. Most of the assistants—the real subjects of the experiment—obediently do as they are told, even when the pseudo-subject is visibly in pain and pleads for cessation of the... Read More
Natural selection has altered at least 7% of our genome over the last 40 thousand years. And it has been doing so at an accelerating rate, particularly after agriculture replaced hunting and gathering less than ten thousand years ago. At that time, the rate of genetic change may have risen over a hundred-fold (Hawks et... Read More
Steven Pinker has an article up on the secular decline in violence (hat tip to Mangan’s): Pinker concludes: “our ancestors were far more violent than we are today. Indeed, violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on... Read More
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