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*Troublesome Inheritance* Linkfest

HBD Chick

i thought i’d compile a festival of links to reviews/commentaries/blogposts/tweets/etc. related to nicholas wade‘s new book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. i’ll keep adding to this list as the week goes forward. (keep in mind, though, that’s there’s more to human biodiversity than just racial differences…):

- read an excerpt at penguin books: New Nonfiction: A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History by Nicholas Wade.

The Liberal Creationists from steve sailer – “To Wade, race isn’t just skin deep. In fact, he finds the visual differences between races less significant than the behavioral. Evolution’s strategy for adapting to radically different environments is to ‘keep the human body much the same but change the social behavior….’ Wade observes: ‘African populations have not gone through the same Malthusian wringer that shaped the behavior of the European and East Asian populations. Between 1200 and 1800, the English, adapting to the harsh pressures of an intense agrarian economy, became less violent, more literate and more willing to save for the future. In Africa, population pressure has long been much lower than in Europe and Asia….’ European cultures tried to keep population below the famine level by inculcating the sexual restraint and romantic choosiness conducive to relatively late marriages, while East Asian cultures cultivated grinding work ethics. In most of tropical Africa, however, the infectious disease burden was so lethal that dense populations could not be achieved due to epidemics. So the population could not form cities, nor even fully farm the countryside. The big danger in Africa was not Malthusian overpopulation, but underpopulation, which may account for how sexualized their cultures are. Not surprisingly, each continent’s culture seems to have bred people befitting its environment, and their traits live on in their descendants in modern America.”

John Derbyshire On Nicholas Wade’s A TROUBLESOME INHERITANCE – A Small, But Significant, Step For Race Realism – “In his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History, scheduled for publication May 6th, Wade raises high the banner of race realism and charges head-on into the massed ranks of the SSSM. He states his major premise up front, on page two: ‘New analyses of the human genome have established that human evolution has been recent, copious, and regional.’ Those last four words are repeated at intervals throughout the narrative. They are, as it were, the keynote of the book; Wade returns to them many times to anchor his observations — and some speculations — on the history and development of human societies.”

Darwin’s Unexploded Bomb from ed west – “This book’s ideas are indeed fraught but beyond carefully explaining the dangers of misusing science, the consequences are not for scientists to ponder, but rather lawmakers and others of influence; they can choose either to consider the evidence and make things work as best as they can, using what knowledge we have, or they can continue to ignore the ticking of Darwin’s unexploded bomb, punishing anyone who raises the subject. This hostility faced by those with troublesome ideas is, of course, itself explained by evolution. As Wade mentions earlier on, we are social creatures, and we have evolved behaviours to live as such: ‘One is a tendency to criticise, and if necessary punish, those who do not follow the agreed norms.’ That is partly why, as a species, we find it easier to talk about how the world should be, rather than how it is.”

Book Review: ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ by Nicholas Wade from charles murray – “To date, studies of Caucasians, Asians and sub-Saharan Africans have found that of the hundreds of genetic regions under selection, about 75% to 80% are under selection in only one race. We also know that the genes in these regions affect more than cosmetic variations in appearance. Some of them involve brain function, which in turn could be implicated in a cascade of effects. ‘What these genes do within the brain is largely unknown,’ Mr. Wade writes. ‘But the findings establish the obvious truth that brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection. They are as much under evolutionary pressure as any other category of gene….’ As the story is untangled, it will also become obvious how inappropriate it is to talk in terms of the ‘inferiority’ or ‘superiority’ of groups. Consider, for example, the Big Five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. What are the ideal points on these continua? They will differ depending on whether you’re looking for the paragon of, say, a parent or an entrepreneur. And the Big Five only begin to tap the dozens of ways in which human traits express themselves. Individual human beings are complicated bundles of talents, proclivities, strengths and flaws that interact to produce unexpected and even internally contradictory results. The statistical tendencies (and they will be only tendencies) that differentiate groups of humans will be just as impossible to add up as the qualities of an individual. *Vive les différences*.”

Nicholas Wade Takes on the Regime from jared taylor – “The physical differences we see in human groups reflect separate evolutionary paths that led to unmistakably biological differences. Hunter-gatherers left Africa about 50,000 years ago, and once they wandered into all of earth’s habitable spaces, they stayed put and bred with their neighbors. DNA testing shows there was essentially no crossing until the modern era. For tens of thousands of years, independently breeding populations developed distinct genetic patterns. Mr. Wade explains that the physical traits of populations are dramatically and consistently different even though there are very few alleles, or gene variants, that occur exclusively in only one group. This is because most traits are influenced by many genes. Norwegians, for example, need have only a *preponderance* of Norwegian-style alleles in their genes in order to give birth exclusively to Norwegians — and never to Malays or Pakistanis. As Mr. Wade puts it,‘The fact that genes work in combination explains how there can be so much variation in the human population and yet so few fixed differences between populations….’ Mr. Wade’s boldest assertion: that different races behave differently because they are genetically different and genetic differences give rise to differences in social institutions. He is at pains to argue that the genetic differences are small — so small that they are almost undetectable at the individual level — but that once a group has been nudged even slightly in a particular genetic direction it may be receptive to institutions that completely change the nature of society. Mr. Wade cites one study that estimates fully 14 percent of the human genome has been under evolutionary pressure since the races separated, and that substantial differences are therefore inevitable…. Mr. Wade makes the crucial point that what is known as ‘national character’ is undoubtedly genetic, and that is why group behavior is consistent. Jews prosper everywhere they go. So do overseas Chinese. If the Malays and Indonesians envy the success of their Chinese minorities, why don’t they just copy their good habits? Mr. Wade argues that they can’t; they don’t have the genetic predisposition to act Chinese.”

new – A Troublesome Inheritance – from jared taylor.

- american anthropological association webinar with nicholas wade and anthropologist agustin fuentes discussing the new book/topic. (i haven’t listened to this yet.)

Race Is Real. What Does that Mean for Society? from robert verbruggen @real clear science – “[A]s Wade notes, these small differences add up quickly, and scientists can use these ‘ancestry informative’ DNA markers to easily sort humans into population clusters — clusters that correspond almost perfectly to the casual classifications people have used since well before the genetic age. One can debate how broadly or narrowly to define the clusters — just how many races are there? — but it’s undeniable that human populations exhibit distinctive genetic patterns. Racial groupings are human decisions, and so is the social importance we attach to those groupings. But race, more broadly construed, is a feature of humanity itself. The big question is what these genes do — when natural selection acted, what exactly was being selected for? Researchers have figured some of it out; genetic differences account for racial differences in skin tone, resistance to malaria, etc. But for many genes that have apparently been subject to recent natural selection, all we have are vague indications of their function. Wade writes that these genes affect ‘fertilization and reproduction,’ ‘skeletal development,’ and ‘brain function’ — and no, ‘brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection.’ That’s what we know to a reasonable degree of certainty. Anything further requires speculation, and Wade boldly goes there.”

Charles Murray on Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” from steve sailer.

“A Couple of Wild-Eyed Wackos: Me and the NYT” from steve sailer.

The Trouble with Inheritance: A Review of Nicholas Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance from bryce laliberte – “In the latter half he elaborates on the essential thesis that ‘Follow an institution all the way down, and beneath thick layers of culture, it is built on instinctual human behaviors.’ This at once acknowledges the role of society in developing the individual, but just like how a structure depends on its material, the society you will have depends in great part on the social material. The distribution of traits in a population cannot be discounted when inquiring as to the cause of social outcomes. Some people are rich, some people are poor, and many of them just are innately that way. The naïve view of any average person who lived from the 19th century or before that some people were just different has turned out to be true. This is important because it is *despite* an intensive and powerful investment by Western society in nearly all of the endeavors in the 20th century which were predicated on the notion that all peoples everywhere were essentially the same.”

Get ready for Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” – “Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, drops on Amazon today. Wade, a science writer for the New York Times, has been critical of cultural anthropology in the past — and the feeling has pretty much been mutual. Inheritance is set to create a ground swell of indignation in the anthropological community because it is one of the most biologically reductionist writings to come out in years. The AAA has, to its credit, been on top of the issue and has hosted a showdown between Wade and Augustín Fuentes. Expect more coverage from us, including a couple of guest blogs, in the next couple of months…. As this moves forward I hope people punch above the belt. It shouldn’t be hard, since Wade is such an easy target. – oohhh-kay. =/

new – Race, Genetics, And Nicholas Wade from rod dreher.

see also:

- jayman’s recent post JayMan’s Race, Inheritance, and IQ F.A.Q. (F.R.B.)

- an older post from razib: Why race as a biological construct matters

- steve sailer’s The Race FAQ

Roundup of Book Reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance @occam’s razor.

This article originally appeared at HBDChick.