EDIT, 5/1/14: Looks like my comment did finally appear, buried among over 500 others.
Comment moderation is an understandable practice, but at times it is rather annoying, especially when it’s used for less than above-board purposes. I left a comment to Jared Taylor’s review of Nicholas Wade’s forthcoming book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History. My comment has yet to emerge from moderation, and other, newer comments have, suggesting that it may never do so. This is much too an important issue to wait, but fortunately I have a blog, so here is my comment:
Interesting, it’s good to finally see a review of this book.
I’m glad Wade is trying popularize this topic, giving it its much-needed due. In so doing, however, he has, as I expected, gotten quite a few things wrong. Unfortunately, those things that are wrong will be remembered more than the corrections to them.
DNA studies show that Tibetans split off from Han Chinese only 3,000
years ago, so it must be only since then that Sherpas evolved their
ability to function so well at high altitudes.
Though this latest evidence is probably too new for Wade to have included it in his book, that’s not exactly true. The Sherpa adaptation goes back much longer than that. The Tibetans are a fusion of a Han-like population and a Sherpa-like population, who picked up their high-altitude adaptation from the latter group. See Greg Cochran on it:
One of Mr. Wade’s lesser breaches of good manners is to note that Europe made crucial breakthroughs in civilization that many groups have yet to adopt: “Europeans, probably for reasons of both evolution and history, have been able to create open and innovative societies, starkly different from the default human arrangements of tribalism or autocracy.”
Academics have long chased their tails trying to explain why some countries are rich and others poor. Mr. Wade points out that their fatal blunder is to assume that all populations are interchangeable. He uses findings by the economic historian Gregory Clark to suggest that in Britain, where records go back far enough to make such studies possible, there was steady evolution towards the qualities crucial to the Industrial Revolution.
Mr. Wade’s discussion of the MAO-A gene is even more contortionist. He concedes that American blacks are no less than 50 times more likely than whites to carry the variant most closely tied to violence, but says we must draw no conclusions: Whites might have different, as yet undiscovered, alleles that would make them just as violent.
Many Blacks apparently do indeed possess versions of MAO-A that have been linked to higher aggression:
That’s not possible. If human differences have “far reaching implications” there is no way to “dispel the fear” of what goes by the name of “racism.” What, to begin with, are these far reaching implications?
The liberal façade is all of a piece. It cannot be punctured only in a few safe and convenient spots. That is why its guardians plug every chink with such bloodthirsty zeal. To accept what dissidents call human biodiversity would open the door to everything the regime most piously hates: immigration control, inequality, self-segregation, nationalism, mono-culturalism. Whether he knows it or not, and no matter how hard he denies it, Mr. Wade has taken a match to the entire liberal/modern world view. The next thing you know, someone might say the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be repealed or that women have no business on submarines.
Perhaps those things are indeed an inevitable conclusion of society openly embracing HBD, as I have discussed before. These might represent not unwarranted reasons to be concerned about public acceptance of this knowledge. I am of the mind that these things not be inevitable conclusions, but some of that will indeed come up. The extent that it does will be itself dictated by the mindsets of the people who discuss it, which itself explained by HBD (see above about White Americans). This is a serious issue that, if true, might represent some real justification for liberal reticence about HBD.