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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Richard Lewontin ItemsEntire Archive
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
Some of the following people are well worth remembering for their great achievements, and the way they did them; others are not. But all were well known in their time and exercised undue influence. I have already described the parallel cases of Ernst Mayr and Huey Newton, while Bill Drury was the most important influence... Read More
Robert Chambers (1802-1871). His anonymously published book, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), helped pave the way for public acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution. (source) I haven't yet read Nicholas Wade's book A Troublesome Inheritance. I will venture to say, however, that it will be remembered less for its actual content than... Read More
This is the first of a series of ebooks. You can access an Epub version here or a PDF here. Below is the foreword. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Foreword The Burakumin of Japan, the Paekchong of Korea, and the Cagots of France … What do they have in common? All three were despised castes—closed groups of people who... Read More
Publicly funded misinformation. Source: PBS website In human genetics, a ‘population’ is a group of individuals who share ancestry and hence genes. This sharing is not absolute. There is always some gene flow from outside, and sometimes “outside” means another species. We humans, for example, have received genes not only from Neanderthals and Denisovans but... Read More
Stephen Jay Gould in a 1997 Simpsons episode (Pagepulp). Gould enjoys an almost iconic status in American culture. Who was the greatest evolutionary scientist of recent times? Most people would answer “Stephen J. Gould,” at least on this side of the Atlantic. With the possible exception of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza, he was the one best known... Read More
In the deer family, genetic variability is greater within some species than between some genera. Does Fst tell us what we think it tells us? At almost any genetic marker (blood types, serum proteins, enzymes, mtDNA, etc.), a typical gene varies much more within than between human populations. And this is true not only for... Read More
A composite map of human genetic variation appeared on the cover of Cavalli-Sforza’s tome The History and Geography of Human Genes (1994). With the sudden end to his work on gene-culture co-evolution, Cavalli-Sforza returned to population genetics. Actually, he had never left it. He had always been looking for new population data and adding it... Read More
Walter Bodmer and Richard Lewontin at a conference, December 1965. American Philosophical Society collection The early 1970s saw two papers move the goalposts on race, first in academia and then throughout society. One was by Walter Bodmer and L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. The other was by a third geneticist, Richard Lewontin. Bodmer and Cavalli-Sforza (1970) conceded that... Read More
In writing the above words, the evolutionary psychologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides were denouncing an unwritten agreement that had let researchers study everything about our species in biological terms … except the human mind. Concretely, this modus vivendi denied ‘safe conduct’ to those who wanted to investigate genetic influences on the way the mind... Read More
One of my readers asks whether the renowned evolutionist Richard Dawkins has ever written on the subject of human races. Do they exist? And, if so, did this process of biological diversification stop a long time ago? Or did it actually accelerate when cultural evolution began to accelerate some ten thousand years ago? Yes, he... Read More
In a previous post, I noted certain discrepancies between Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s current stand on the race concept and his earlier one. This reversal seems to have occurred between his 1976 book Genetics, Evolution, and Man and his 1994 opus The History and Geography of Human Genes (whose cover map is curiously at odds with his... Read More
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.