May 3, 2014

Charles Murray on Nicholas Wade's "A Troublesome Inheritance"

From the Wall Street Journal:
Book Review: 'A Troublesome Inheritance' by Nicholas Wade
A scientific revolution is under way—upending one of our reigning orthodoxies.

By CHARLES MURRAY 
May 2, 2014 5:35 p.m. ET 
... The orthodoxy's equivalent of the Nicene Creed has two scientific tenets. The first, promulgated by geneticist Richard Lewontin in "The Apportionment of Human Diversity" (1972), is that the races are so close to genetically identical that "racial classification is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance." The second, popularized by the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is that human evolution in everything but cosmetic differences stopped before humans left Africa, meaning that "human equality is a contingent fact of history," as he put it in an essay of that title in 1984. 
Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, what is known by geneticists has increasingly diverged from this orthodoxy, even as social scientists and the mainstream press have steadfastly ignored the new research. Nicholas Wade, for more than 20 years a highly regarded science writer at the New York Times,  has written a book that pulls back the curtain. 
It is hard to convey how rich this book is. It could be the textbook for a semester's college course on human evolution, systematically surveying as it does the basics of genetics, evolutionary psychology, Homo sapiens's diaspora and the recent discoveries about the evolutionary adaptations that have occurred since then. The book is a delight to read—conversational and lucid. And it will trigger an intellectual explosion the likes of which we haven't seen for a few decades. 
The title gives fair warning: "A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History." At the heart of the book, stated quietly but with command of the technical literature, is a bombshell. It is now known with a high level of scientific confidence that both tenets of the orthodoxy are wrong. 
Mr. Lewontin turns out to have been mistaken on several counts, but the most obvious is this: If he had been right, then genetic variations among humans would not naturally sort people into races and ethnicities. But, as Mr. Wade reports, that's exactly what happens. A computer given a random sampling of bits of DNA that are known to vary among humans—from among the millions of them—will cluster them into groups that correspond to the self-identified race or ethnicity of the subjects. This is not because the software assigns the computer that objective but because those are the clusters that provide the best statistical fit. If the subjects' ancestors came from all over the inhabited world, the clusters that first emerge will identify the five major races: Asians, Caucasians, sub-Saharan Africans, Native Americans and the original inhabitants of Australia and Papua New Guinea. If the subjects all come from European ancestry, the clusters will instead correspond to Italians, Germans, French and the rest of Europe's many ethnicities. Mr. Lewontin was not only wrong but spectacularly wrong. It appears that the most natural of all ways to classify humans genetically is by the racial and ethnic groups that humans have identified from time out of mind.

Let me point add another response to Lewontin, from my 2000 VDARE article Seven Dumb Ideas about Race:
You often hear that between-group racial differences only account for 15% of genetic variation. This number comes from a 1972 study by Richard Lewontin of 17 blood types, comparing variation between continental-scale races and between national-scale racial groups (e.g., Swedes vs. Italians). Now, blood types are, I suppose, important, but they hardly represent all we want to know about human genetic diversity. Certain other traits are known to be more racially determined -- the figure for skin color, not surprisingly, is 60%. What the overall number is for all the important genes remains unknown. 
Still, let's assume that Lewontin's 15% solution is widely applicable. That's like going to a casino that has American Indian and African American croupiers, and 85% of the time the roulette spins are random, but 15% of the time the ball always comes up red for Indian croupiers and black for the black croupiers -- pretty useful information, huh?

Murray continues:
Stephen Jay Gould's assurance that significant evolution had stopped before humans left Africa has also proved to be wrong—not surprisingly, since it was so counterintuitive to begin with. Humans who left Africa moved into environments that introduced radically new selection pressures, such as lethally cold temperatures. Surely, one would think, important evolutionary adaptations followed. Modern genetic methods for tracking adaptations have established that they did.

From my 1997 review of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond in National Review:
But, are indigenous peoples merely not inferior? In truth, on their own turf many ethnic groups appear to be somewhat genetically superior to outsiders. Diamond makes environmental differences seem so compelling that it's hard to believe that humans would not become somewhat adapted to their homelands through natural selection. And in fact, Diamond himself briefly cites several examples of genetic differences impacting history. Despite military superiority, Europeans repeatedly failed to settle equatorial West Africa, in part because they lacked the malaria resistance conferred on many natives by the sickle cell gene. Similarly, biological disadvantages stopped whites from overrunning the Andes. 

Murray continues:
... The question, then, is whether the sets of genes under selection have varied across races, to which the answer is a clear yes. 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." 
Let me emphasize, as Mr. Wade does, how little we yet know about the substance of racial and ethnic differences. ... 
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.

Okay, but what are ideal points on the IQ continua for getting into Harvard?
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.

Sure, the blacks will win the Olympic men's 100m dash and the BET Hip Hop Awards, while the Mexicans will live longer than you'd expect, and the Jews will have to content themselves knowing that even though they aren't that fast or comparatively long-lived relative to their incomes, they still have their 140 spots on the Forbes 400.
... After laying out the technical aspects of race and genetics, Mr. Wade devotes the second half of his book to a larger set of topics: "The thesis presented here assumes . . . that there is a genetic component to human social behavior; that this component, so critical to human survival, is subject to evolutionary change and has indeed evolved over time; that the evolution in social behavior has necessarily proceeded independently in the five major races and others; and that slight evolutionary differences in social behavior underlie the differences in social institutions prevalent among the major human populations." 
To develop his case, Mr. Wade draws from a wide range of technical literature in political science, sociology, economics and anthropology. He contrasts the polities and social institutions of China, India, the Islamic world and Europe. He reviews circumstantial evidence that the genetic characteristics of the English lower class evolved between the 13th century and the 19th. He takes up the outsize Jewish contributions to the arts and sciences, most easily explained by the Jews' conspicuously high average IQ, and recounts the competing evolutionary explanations for that elevated cognitive ability. Then, with courage that verges on the foolhardy, he adds a chapter that incorporates genetics into an explanation of the West's rise during the past 600 years. 
Mr. Wade explicitly warns the reader that these latter chapters, unlike his presentation of the genetics of race, must speculate from evidence that falls far short of scientific proof. His trust in his audience is touching .... 
I fear Mr. Wade's trust is misplaced. Before they have even opened "A Troublesome Inheritance," some reviewers will be determined not just to refute it but to discredit it utterly—to make people embarrassed to be seen purchasing it or reading it. These chapters will be their primary target because Mr. Wade chose to expose his readers to a broad range of speculative analyses, some of which are brilliant and some of which are weak. If I had been out to trash the book, I would have focused on the weak ones, associated their flaws with the book as a whole and dismissed "A Troublesome Inheritance" as sloppy and inaccurate. The orthodoxy's clerisy will take that route, ransacking these chapters for material to accuse Mr. Wade of racism, pseudoscience, reliance on tainted sources, incompetence and evil intent. You can bet on it. 
All of which will make the academic reception of "A Troublesome Inheritance" a matter of historic interest. Discoveries have overturned scientific orthodoxies before—the Ptolemaic solar system, Aristotelian physics and the steady-state universe, among many others—and the new received wisdom has usually triumphed quickly among scientists for the simplest of reasons: They hate to look stupid to their peers. When the data become undeniable, continuing to deny them makes the deniers look stupid. The high priests of the orthodoxy such as Richard Lewontin are unlikely to recant, but I imagine that the publication of "A Troublesome Inheritance" will be welcomed by geneticists with their careers ahead of them—it gives them cover to write more openly about the emerging new knowledge. It will be unequivocally welcome to medical researchers, who often find it difficult to get grants if they openly say they will explore the genetic sources of racial health differences. 
The reaction of social scientists is less predictable. The genetic findings that Mr. Wade reports should, in a reasonable world, affect the way social scientists approach the most important topics about human societies. Social scientists can still treat culture and institutions as important independent causal forces, but they also need to start considering the ways in which variations among population groups are causal forces shaping those cultures and institutions. 
How long will it take them? In 1998, the biologist E.O. Wilson wrote a book, "Consilience," predicting that the 21st century would see the integration of the social and biological sciences. He is surely right about the long run, but the signs for early progress are not good. "The Bell Curve," which the late Richard J. Herrnstein and I published 20 years ago, should have made it easy for social scientists to acknowledge the role of cognitive ability in shaping class structure. It hasn't. David Geary's "Male/Female," published 16 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the different psychological and cognitive profiles of males and females. It hasn't. Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate," published 12 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the role of human nature in explaining behavior. It hasn't. Social scientists who associate themselves with any of those viewpoints must still expect professional isolation and stigma. 
"A Troublesome Inheritance" poses a different order of threat to the orthodoxy. The evidence in "The Bell Curve," "Male/Female" and "A Blank Slate" was confined to the phenotype—the observed characteristics of human beings—and was therefore vulnerable to attack or at least obfuscation. The discoveries Mr. Wade reports, that genetic variation clusters along racial and ethnic lines and that extensive evolution has continued ever since the exodus from Africa, are based on the genotype, and no one has any scientific reason to doubt their validity. 
And yet, as of 2014, true believers in the orthodoxy still dominate the social science departments of the nation's universities. I expect that their resistance to "A Troublesome Inheritance" will be fanatical, because accepting its account will be seen, correctly, as a cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness. There is no scientific reason for the orthodoxy to win. But it might nonetheless.
So one way or another, "A Troublesome Inheritance" will be historic. Its proper reception would mean enduring fame as the book that marked a turning point in social scientists' willingness to explore the way the world really works. But there is a depressing alternative: that social scientists will continue to predict planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations, as it were, and that their refusal to come to grips with "A Troublesome Inheritance" will be seen a century from now as proof of this era's intellectual corruption. 
—Mr. Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
 

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a subject where everyone is still fumbling around in the dark and there are few concrete assertions which can be made. The "It's all genes" viewpoint may well turn out to be as fallacious as the belief that genes play no role in human differences.

There may well be a "snowball effect" at work. People from group A realize that they have a small but perceptible edge over people from other groups in a certain field. This causes them to concentrate their efforts more on success in that field, leading to increased success. The increased success causes people from outside Group A to acknowledge that 'Those Group A-ers are the tops in that field" so they don't even try to compete in it, leading to further success, and so on, and so on. Eventually even a mediocre member of Group A will come to see himself, and be seen by outsiders, as highly proficient in the field in question - even if he's not.

Anonymous said...

Or, alternatively, people will mostly ignore the book, and things will continue on as before. I haven't seen anything at all about this book outside the "hbd-sphere".

Melendwyr said...

"The "It's all genes" viewpoint may well turn out to be as fallacious"

But who's making that argument? No sensible person in the modern world has ever claimed that genes are the only things you need to know about - and absolutely no sensible person with a rudimentary understanding of genetics has ever made that claim.

Anonymous said...

The "It's all genes" viewpoint may well turn out to be as fallaciousas the belief that genes play no role in human differences.

When you lead off with such a tired strawman, I'm not bothering with the rest of your post.

SFG said...

Question for the peanut gallery: when is the optimal time to buy the book?

If you wait until the controversy explodes, you have plausible deniability for being 'raciss' because you wanted to see the controversy for yourself.

However, the book may be withdrawn, in which case you won't get it at all.

What do people think?

Anonymous said...

Why is Wade's book important?

Here in Indiana our new Governor elected in 2012 is Mike Pence of the Helen Krieble/Bush/Rove 2006 amnesty bill infamy

http://www.vdare.com/posts/help-helen-kriebles-horse-farm-workers-want-to-be-paid-too-much

http://www.vdare.com/articles/hey-mike-pence-amnesty-is-the-absence-of-punishment-not-the-presence-of-reward

Our new "Christian Conservative" "Loyal Bushie" Gov is likely Rove's dark horse backup candidate for 2016 after Jeb, Rubio and Herman Munster aka Paul Ryan flame out.

So what are Mike Pence's key legislative initiatives? Ramming Universal Pre-K (via vouchers so its bold Republican idea - Ha Ha!) and Common Core(by any other name) down the throats of Hoosiers. Hoosiers might as well have elected Bill de Blasio.

Without being able to talk about the reality of HBD it is very hard to convey to the public the futility of "Closing The Gaps" goal oriented legislation.



peterike said...

So far, seems the WSJ is the only major media property touching Wade's book. A Google search brings up pretty much exclusively Alt-right, HBD or Conservative sites. It will be interesting to see if the NY Times affords its own reporter a review; and just how scandalized will they be?

More likely, the MSM will go into full "nothing to see here" mode and simply act like it doesn't exist.

Murray's review is excellent and I'm impressed that the Journal let him go as far as he did, even he does soft-shoe a bit.

Whiskey said...

What will be ground-breaking is real-world applications such as DNA modification to make you smarter.

Jews, NE Asians, NW Whites will not likely need that as much. The payoff from being say, 120 IQ to 130 with perhaps much increased risk of perhaps auto-immune disease (there is a correlation with auto immune diseases and higher IQ) is not much.

BUT there is a HUGE payoff for say, going from an 85 IQ to perhaps, 100 IQ. There, the risk even of higher chance of auto immune diseases is offset by being baseline competitive for employment as higher levels of automation eliminates lots of jobs and an aging/declining White population simply revolts on punitive taxes.

The idea that the US can be Brazil with a massive welfare state is a fantasy -- you'll see Ukraine style revolts all over the place. People simply can't pay the wealth transfers to keep the peace.

In that situation, needing to work to make money and survive, paying say some illicit Chinese DNA modifier to boost your DNA to 100 is likely a good payoff.

Now, who would those paying such DNA outlaws be, you might ask?

It would probably not be NW Whites or NE Asians or Ashkenazi Jews.

Anonymous said...

But who's making that argument? No sensible person in the modern world has ever claimed that genes are the only things you need to know about


I'll grant you the "sensible person" exception, but a lot of commenters on HBD blogs do believe that genes are not merely an important factor but that they're everything.

Simon in London said...

"social scientists will continue to predict planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations, as it were, and that their refusal to come to grips with "A Troublesome Inheritance" will be seen a century from now as proof of this era's intellectual corruption."

That seems a pretty rosy view - that things will be better in 2114 than 2014. It fits with the trajectory of truth ca 1500-1945, but since the end of WW2 things have been going the other way. Isn't there at least the possibility that we're only in the first century of a new intellectual Dark Age? I hope not, but it seems as if it could go either way. I don't think truth inevitably conquers all, that has not been the case for 70 years now.

Hubbub said...

"...proof of this era's intellectual corruption."

I dare say, it's in the very air we breathe.

Anonymous said...

Much as I admire Murray, someone has to break him of the silly habit of using "Caucasian" as a synonym for West Eurasians. There are actual Caucasians in the world; they are the people who either live in or speak languages originating in the Caucasus. Using it in any other sense is just silly. If Murray can't go cold turkey, use "Caucasoid." That way we can be sure that he's not talking about Chechens or Georgians.

David said...

It's all genes in the same way it's all molecules.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the perplexing (to me, anyway) issue of black elites. They are the only blacks that I know. And black working to middle class in service jobs.

http://faculty.quinnipiac.edu/charm/CHARM%20proceedings/CHARM%20article%20archive%20pdf%20format/Volume%2013%202007/55-68_branchik_davis.pdf

How do genetics and culture interact to produce this group? All this stuff seems too close to the third rail for me to be entirely comfortable with it. Perhaps I am too idealistic, butI would prefer to deal with what we see as racial issues as genetic issues rather than skin color.

Jason said...

You're right, Mr. Sailer, in suggesting that Murray fudges with his "vive les differences" remark- that's just a misleading euphemism for the dismal reality that we have, and will increasingly have, a stratified country and world because of differences in cognitive abilities. Really, there's the rub-how do you thoughtfully say that because of cognitive differences African-Americans are going to be in less rumerative professions that Ashkenazi Jews? Or that African nations are generally going to be corrupt because their populations have less-than-average IQs? Murray needs to step up to the plate and admit to this problem, and like you offer ways of dealing with this sad truth.

Anonymous said...

Without being able to talk about the reality of HBD it is very hard to convey to the public the futility of "Closing The Gaps" goal oriented legislation.

Is it? I'd have thought pointing out the results of 65+ years of effort and x billion dollars in funding would convey the futility of trying to close the gap rather nicely. The fact that the gap has not budged strongly suggests it isn't caused by environment.

More likely, the MSM will go into full "nothing to see here" mode and simply act like it doesn't exist.

Yes. I will take this as an A+ review from the NYT & company, as with Kevin MacDonald's work. A few specialists in black magic will deal with the problem out of sight of the mob, of course, but there will be no answer in kind.

I find it amusing how "everybody knows" MacDonald's work is bad Bad BAD, yet, all the Jews' horses and all the Jews' men have yet to tear it apart in the end. They just nibble at the corners a bit. That's a lot of minds going to waste.

I'll grant you the "sensible person" exception, but a lot of commenters on HBD blogs do believe that genes are not merely an important factor but that they're everything.

Is that data from your telepathy machine?

Isn't there at least the possibility that we're only in the first century of a new intellectual Dark Age?

How apt is the Dark Ages analogy? The Dark Ages weren't enforced from on high by a rigid intellectual orthodoxy, were they?

I think the orthodoxy has more to worry about, in the long run, than the knowledge-seekers. The orthodoxy don't seem to have a lot of precedent to comfort them.

The knowledge-seekers have the benefits of greater predictive power to motivate them, at least.

Svi

Anonymous said...

I suspect it is not as good as Rushton's book, which was simply true, but it is a step in the right direction for the mainstream.

Anonymous said...

Try this picture show:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/04/magazine/tale-of-two-schools.html?hp&_r=0

I'd enjoy the full Steve Sailer treatment for this article.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lewontin turns out to have been mistaken on several counts, but the most obvious is this:

Isn't lying the more correct word to use there?

Frank Donovan said...

Scientists with proper credentials are catching up to what our great-grandmothers knew 1,000 years ago.

Everyone has always known racial and ethnic differences were real. Boas and others pushed the idea that "race is a social construct" and that line was dutiful pushed by submissive PC professors.

Good for these guys like Wade. They are hopefully pushing us back to the wisdom of a simple village lady in 800 AD.

Anonymous said...

but a lot of commenters on HBD blogs do believe that genes are not merely an important factor but that they're everything.

That's because they are. If your genes are not sufficiently robust in the face of environmental insult, that's not my problem.

dip & squeeze said...

@SFG - ? Buy it in cash at your local Barnes & Noble or equivalent, and put it under your bed.

tear to squeeze said...

> Okay, but what are ideal points on the IQ continua for getting into Harvard?

Steve you blow his squid ink, but don't blame him for it, the book needs all the disguise it can get to be read by anyone. It probably isn't mealy-mouthed enough, actually. Pinker's work is probably as far as you can go.

Anonymous said...

Without being able to talk about the reality of HBD it is very hard to convey to the public the futility of "Closing The Gaps" goal oriented legislation.

Is it? I'd have thought pointing out the results of 65+ years of effort and x billion dollars in funding would convey the futility of trying to close the gap rather nicely. The fact that the gap has not budged strongly suggests it isn't caused by environment.


Indiana is considered the last redstate in the Midwest, yet you should hear folks who consider themselves conservative tie themselves into knots attempting to make a coherent argument against the Marxist, Human Nature Denialist, ideological underpinnings of Common Core and Universal Pre-K. Until HBD can be discussed openly and broadly, Conservatives are sunk. It is just frightening what a much of pussies Indiana Republicans are. Also it is really hard to convince middle age Christian Dispensationalists to see the merit of Darwinian explanations.

Last its not x billion dollars, its x trillion dollars over the last 50 years.

Anonymous said...

So if the races evolved separately based on the environmental and population pressures they faced, can't the reverse also happen? Can Anglo-Saxons in warmer climates (far from their cold northern habitat) eventually become dumber and less capable people?

Ichabod Crane said...

That's because they are. If your genes are not sufficiently robust in the face of environmental insult, that's not my problem.


Did you have a mother? You and many other commenters sound like you were raised by wolves. Some of us are warmhearted, and I guess others of us are nihilists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AEMiz6rcxc

Anonymous said...

That's what kindles are for.

Ichabod Crane said...

"Much as I admire Murray, someone has to break him of the silly habit of using "Caucasian" as a synonym for West Eurasians. There are actual Caucasians in the world; they are the people who either live in or speak languages originating in the Caucasus. Using it in any other sense is just silly. If Murray can't go cold turkey, use "Caucasoid." That way we can be sure that he's not talking about Chechens or Georgians."

The PC term is not 'Anglo.' Even for "the people who either live in or speak languages originating in the Caucasus."

Anonymous said...

'The Culture of Critique' sizzled my brain...growing up in an area without much of a Jewish presence I always assumed Jews were essentially just Europeans who had the same outlook as Gentiles... Once you've read that book you can't help noticing a lot of things... It's amazing to me that a book like that can be ignored...I know Steven Pinker says he hasn't read it, but I doubt that highly.

I think there's an understanding among a lot of the gatekeepers that if there's something damaging to their position and it can't be easily refuted or ridiculed the best strategy is to ignore it, knowing that the average Joe/Jane will never stumble on it anyway.

I suspect that's the strategy we'll see employed for Wade's book.

There are a lot of people who are ferociously attached to the current orthodoxy, and they aren't necessarily dumb.

MacDonald discusses the idea of self deception, which I found fascinating. I wonder though, if deep down on some level, a lot people *know* ...if we had 100% irrefutable evidence of cognitive differences between races for example, would respectable academics and journalists consciously, actively lie about it?

Aaron said...

That's because they are.

Twin studies indicate that both environment and biology both matter. This makes sense, this is the most intuitive answer. If you take a pure bio-determinist stance, you make blank slatism look less ridiculous by comparison. The correct positon is advocate for the truth, transparency, and open dialog.

nooffensebut said...

You left out this part:

"The findings will be tentative and often disputed—a case in point is the so-called warrior gene that encodes monoamine oxidase A and may encourage aggression."

Let's see: two meta-analyses reach the same positive conclusion, which apparently means the science is tentative and disputed. I guess that's appropriate for the Wall Street Journal, which I think still holds that the greenhouse effect is a hoax. After all, Newsweek predicted global cooling in the 70s, don't ya know.

dearieme said...

This Wade chap seems a bit out of the ordinary. How on earth did he ever get through High School and admitted to Harvard?

Ah, I see he didn't: clearly the wrong sort of immigrant.

Anonymous said...

Indiana is considered the last redstate in the Midwest, yet you should hear folks who consider themselves conservative tie themselves into knots attempting to make a coherent argument against the Marxist, Human Nature Denialist, ideological underpinnings of Common Core and Universal Pre-K. Until HBD can be discussed openly and broadly, Conservatives are sunk. It is just frightening what a much of pussies Indiana Republicans are. Also it is really hard to convince middle age Christian Dispensationalists to see the merit of Darwinian explanations.

Last its not x billion dollars, its x trillion dollars over the last 50 years.


I think "billions" is fine, what with trillions being composed of them. I guess "trillions" does drive the point home better though.

The futility of efforts to close the gap are self-evident. No need to go into Marxism, HBD denial, etc. "Yeah, but they've failed utterly"; "well, that's interesting theory, and it's been a complete failure for 65+ years"; "that would be great, if it hadn't been failing completely for 65+ years"; "yeah but even Einstein said the definition of insanity is..."; "how many times do I have to remind you that it isn't working, hasn't worked for 65+ years, and all evidence suggests that it never will work? That there is no reason at all to believe it will work?"

"The upshot is that we can bump our gums about nature vs. nurture until the cows come home; blacks aren't reparable, no matter what you attribute their failure to."

So if the races evolved separately based on the environmental and population pressures they faced, can't the reverse also happen? Can Anglo-Saxons in warmer climates (far from their cold northern habitat) eventually become dumber and less capable people?

Sure, though I'd say general intelligence is a pretty good trait to have, regardless of climate; it's probably a lot easier to keep that sort of thing around than it is to evolve it in the first place.

Svi

Anonymous said...

Is that data from your telepathy machine?


If "telepathy machine" is your pet nickname for the comment section of this blog, sure, my data is from the "telepathy machine".

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people who are ferociously attached to the current orthodoxy, and they aren't necessarily dumb.

This is especially true given that the left's strategy ever since the publishing of the Bell Curve is to make sure that there is an exponentially increasing number of iron rice bowls attached to defending the Cultural Marxist orthodoxy.

Jonathan Silber said...

What are the ideal points on these continua [of the Big Five personality traits]? They will differ depending on whether you're looking for the paragon of, say, a parent or an entrepreneur.

Or, say, a career criminal. Whoops.

Anonymous said...

dearieme:"This Wade chap seems a bit out of the ordinary. How on earth did he ever get through High School and admitted to Harvard?

Ah, I see he didn't: clearly the wrong sort of immigrant."

Almost makes up for Christopher Hitchens. Almost.

Jonathan Silber said...

Social scientists...need to start considering the ways in which variations among population groups are causal forces shaping those cultures and institutions.

And I may "need" to dunk over Lebron, but I don't have what it takes to do so.

Anonymous said...

Svi:"I find it amusing how "everybody knows" MacDonald's work is bad Bad BAD, yet, all the Jews' horses and all the Jews' men have yet to tear it apart in the end. They just nibble at the corners a bit. That's a lot of minds going to waste."

Most people just find it tedious; where MacDonald is not original, he merely reiterates commonplaces. Where he tries to break ground (e.g., his foolish enthusiasm for group selection), he comes across as a fool.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"'The Culture of Critique' sizzled my brain"

Afraid that I had the inverse reaction; it bored me silly. Just evidence hunting to prove a thesis.

Anonymous:"...growing up in an area without much of a Jewish presence"

Ah, that must explain the appeal of MacDonald. Lack of first-hand knowledge.

Anonymous:" I always assumed Jews were essentially just Europeans who had the same outlook as Gentiles"

What is the this shared outlook that all Gentiles seem to have? Last time I looked, the Gentile English and the Gentile Russians seemed pretty far apart in their outlooks on the world...


Anonymous:"... Once you've read that book you can't help noticing a lot of things"

Yes, chief among them how much MacDonald carefully distorts his evidence...

Anonymous:"... It's amazing to me that a book like that can be ignored"

Something that second rate is easy to ignore.


Anonymous:"...I know Steven Pinker says he hasn't read it, but I doubt that highly."

I rather hope that he hasn't. I know that I regret every second that I wasted on it.

Anonymous said...

Ichabod Crane:The PC term is not 'Anglo.' Even for "the people who either live in or speak languages originating in the Caucasus."

I'm afraid that I don't understand this.Are you saying that the PC term for West Eurasians is "not "Anglo?""

Anonymous said...

Twin studies indicate that both environment and biology both matter.(sic)

So, can you tell me in what way the environment input differs between, say, first-world countries and third-world countries.

Also, can you tell me the actual name for the so-called environmental portion of the variance?

Average Joe said...

The "It's all genes" viewpoint may well turn out to be as fallacious as the belief that genes play no role in human differences.

No one is saying that it is all in the genes. The Left believes that it is all due to environment while everyone else believes that it is due to a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors.

Average Joe said...

Or, alternatively, people will mostly ignore the book, and things will continue on as before

That is my fear as well. The Left will either demonize it or ignore it.

Average Joe said...

I'll grant you the "sensible person" exception, but a lot of commenters on HBD blogs do believe that genes are not merely an important factor but that they're everything.

Examples?

Average Joe said...

Much as I admire Murray, someone has to break him of the silly habit of using "Caucasian" as a synonym for West Eurasians

The problem is that most people don't know what a West Eurasian is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"'The Culture of Critique' sizzled my brain"

Afraid that I had the inverse reaction; it bored me silly. Just evidence hunting to prove a thesis.


These days one has to assume it's likely you're just playing the game of "nothing to see here, move right along, don't bother your pretty little head". It's an easy argument that doesn't require actually making an argument. What parts of the book did you find wrong?

BurplesonAFB said...

So if the races evolved separately based on the environmental and population pressures they faced, can't the reverse also happen? Can Anglo-Saxons in warmer climates (far from their cold northern habitat) eventually become dumber and less capable people?

My God, we've found him. The last English speaker on Earth who has never heard of California. Or Florida for that matter

7th king of Israel said...

Culture of Critique assembles a lot of tidbits in one handy part-of-an-ongoing-series, but ultimately never breaks out from circular reasoning. "In every society to undergo Historic Trouble there were Jews pushing the whole thing" "Oh yeah, what about [x]" "That's an argument some Jewish guy would make"

Anonymous said...

The key to how much the book matters in the PRESENT (for it WILL matter in the long haul-in face, it already DOES matter) is how many college profs make it a text next spring.

For those of you in the fields...require it.

Anonymous said...

?How do genetics and culture interact to produce this group? All this stuff seems too close to the third rail for me to be entirely comfortable with it. Perhaps I am too idealistic, butI would prefer to deal with what we see as racial issues as genetic issues rather than skin color."

You REALLY need to read the book.

Discard said...

If it were commonly and openly recognized that the races have different capabilities, a whole lot of people would be asking why we've had this multi-cult crammed in our faces for so long. If Blacks really have an average IQ of 85, why are Whites being punished for it? Are all these not very bright Mexicans really going to save our country from whatever it is they're saving us?
The only honest that leftists can give is "Screw you, White man". That's what they say online, but do they really want to run for office on that slogan?

Sean said...

Lets not play the innocent, HBD is every bit as political as it's opponents. HBD is about nature, but HBD is not nature (ie absolute and objective). Humans are necessarily perspectival, under a cloak of objectivity.

Anonymous said...

The lefties have no interest in science - all they care about is dogma, in this case egalitarian dogma rather than religious dogma.

All of us here know that Galileo's announcement - by express obsevration - that the planets rotate around the sun rather than around the earth conflicted with the official Catholic dogma of the day, as propounded from on high, and Galileo was kept under house arrest for his dveotion to the truth. Traditionally, this one incident is said to have been the spark that set off the entire sceintific revolution that has given us so may benefits - the essence being that science is a free enquiry, a search for the truth, taking us to whereever it leads us - no tenet or dogma is unchallengeable, no matter what 'moral justifications' are put forward to defend the dogma. In the final analysis, science stands and falls on the individual endeavors of individual humans - if the theories are correct, they stand, if they are erroneous, they fall, the testing is done by actual trial and observation, the accordance with real life.
As I said, the triumph of Galileo was to challenge the words of the Greek philosophers of antiquity, who had acquired - with the full backing of organised religion - the status of unchallengeable titans.
To the lefties 'egalitarianism' and PC have taken the place of god. Under pain of phsyical and verbal attack, ostracism and all sorts of petty, mean-minded nastiness, this god simply cannot be challenged, or even questioned.

Sean said...

"if the theories are correct, they stand, if they are erroneous, they fall"

Humans are selected for getting on in life, not for truth.

Anonymous said...

All of us here know that Galileo's announcement - by express obsevration - that the planets rotate around the sun rather than around the earth conflicted with the official Catholic dogma of the day, as propounded from on high, and Galileo was kept under house arrest for his dveotion to the truth.

Except this not happen it is the dogma of the equality merchants that they are inheritors of a great scientist in their tilting at windmills.

Silver said...

Lets not play the innocent, HBD is every bit as political as it's opponents. HBD is about nature, but HBD is not nature (ie absolute and objective). Humans are necessarily perspectival, under a cloak of objectivity.

Nevertheless, some conclusions are more objective than others. If you compare the way HBD draws its conclusions with the way equalitarianism draws its conclusions it's hard to argue that HBD isn't significantly more objective.

Regarding political and social implications, it's more useful to HBD than equalitarianism whether HBD is true or not. Believing HBD is true in the case that it is false would be far less harmful than believing HBD false in the case that it is true.

Anonymous said...

Nico wades where we dare to plunge.

Anonymous said...

"So if the races evolved separately based on the environmental and population pressures they faced, can't the reverse also happen? Can Anglo-Saxons in warmer climates (far from their cold northern habitat) eventually become dumber and less capable people?

My God, we've found him. The last English speaker on Earth who has never heard of California. Or Florida for that matter."

Actually, I would argue that this has happened in the South.

New England does seem to have the brains of the country (their WORDSUM scores are higher, and second place is the Northern Midwest); maybe, racial issues aside, there is something about cold weather?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"These days one has to assume it's likely you're just playing the game of "nothing to see here, move right along, don't bother your pretty little head". It's an easy argument that doesn't require actually making an argument. What parts of the book did you find wrong?"

Off the top of my head, there was the whole "Jews and their guru figures" thing. MacDonald is quite invested in the idea of Jewish charismatics and their followers: Boas and the Boasian school of anthropology, Freud and psycho-analysis, etc.Of course, the easy rejoinder to this is that one can find similar charismatic figures and their cult-like followers in the Gentile world: Plato and the Academy, Aristotle and the Lyceum, Lacan and the Lacanians, Rousseau and his 18th century devotees, John Dewey and his rabid following, etc.And that's just limiting myself to the Western world....

Anonymous said...

Average Joe:"The problem is that most people don't know what a West Eurasian is."

Which is one of the reasons why I suggested that he use Caucasoid.

Anonymous said...

"So if the races evolved separately based on the environmental and population pressures they faced, can't the reverse also happen? Can Anglo-Saxons in warmer climates (far from their cold northern habitat) eventually become dumber and less capable people?"

Well, the American deep South has been a rather dull region in intellectual terms. Of course, one could point to cultural factors as the culprit (historically weak educational systems, a culture that was not intellectually oriented, etc). But climate might play a role as well....

Anonymous said...

Svi:"I find it amusing how "everybody knows" MacDonald's work is bad Bad BAD, yet, all the Jews' horses and all the Jews' men have yet to tear it apart in the end. They just nibble at the corners a bit. That's a lot of minds going to waste."

Most people just find it tedious; where MacDonald is not original, he merely reiterates commonplaces. Where he tries to break ground (e.g., his foolish enthusiasm for group selection), he comes across as a fool.


Yes, of course. It's all far too dreary for the brilliant minds of Jewry to refute. Anti-semitism's much too petty a concern for them.

Just evidence hunting to prove a thesis.

Is writing muddy diction how you get your kicks then?

Something that second rate is easy to ignore.

But you haven't. You've made it clear how important it is to safeguard everyone's lives from the horrible boredom and tedium. Back to Gould, Diamond, Lewontin, Boas, Freud et al for some real excitement.

"In every society to undergo Historic Trouble there were Jews pushing the whole thing" "Oh yeah, what about [x]" "That's an argument some Jewish guy would make"

Nonsense, you are not describing MacDonald's work. You've even misstated the actual ANTI-SEMITIC!!! argument, which is that Jews have been kicked out of nearly every place they've settled in Europe, not the laughable notion that people look for Jews to blame even when there aren't any around.

Jews are really full of themselves with the "I got kicked out of every bar in town because I'm so special and all the bar owners in town are jealous haters" thing. Goes back to how tone-deaf they are to their own ethnocentrism. They really don't know how this sounds to God's Un-chosen peoples, I suppose.

Svi

Anonymous said...

P.S., I'm sure it's the awful boredum he's unleashed upon the world that causes all the faculty at his campus (and elsewhere) to condemn him, cast him out of polite society, etc; academia's a place for rockstars and there's no room for tedium.

Svi

Anonymous said...

I think that the most telling thing about Kevin MacDonald's CRITIQUE is that it reads exactly like an anti-Jewish version of the anti-White "scholarship" that flows out of the multi-culti wing of academia. At various points when I was reading it, I amused myself by playing a substitution game, replacing various Jewish figures with White Gentiles, etc. It worked pretty well. Indeed, it worked so well that I was tempted to play my own version of the Sokal Affair and try to get my anti-White version published somewhere, but I though better of it. I don't yet have tenure, and the anti-White Left would not like seeing how close they are in thinking to a man like MacDonald.

reiner Tor said...

Sean:

Humans are selected for getting on in life, not for truth.

True, but science was invented centuries ago to deal with that problem.

reiner Tor said...

7th king of Israel:

Culture of Critique assembles a lot of tidbits in one handy part-of-an-ongoing-series, but ultimately never breaks out from circular reasoning.

The Culture of Critique is a case study (actually, a series of case studies) to illustrate the point of the other two books.

But I see nothing circular there. E.g. he shows that Jews as a group (basically all Jewish organizations and a majority of Jewish inividuals) have supported massive and unrestricted immigration to the US, and he states that he has found no other identifiable pro-immigration lobby group nearly as persistent as Jews have been.

This is an illustration of several aspects of his thesis, e.g. that Jews are ethnocentric, that they are hostile (or at best indifferent) to white gentiles, that it's unpleasant for the latter to have Jews in their countries, etc.

What is circular here?

pat said...

Maybe it's because it's so well known but I find it a little strange that no one mentions that both Gould and Lewontin are Marxists. Gould was discreet about his Marxism but Lewontin never has been.

Tell me Steve is there anything new in Wade's book? It sounds like it's aimed at the general public who hasn't been following the discussion.

The last paper Rushton published was on the melanocortin hypothesis. That was new. It was in fact astounding. But the nature vs. nurture debate that seems to be the focus of Wade's work is a very tired dispute. It's not that it is not relevant but that it is so old. Everything relevant has already been said decades ago.

For several reasons it is - in fact - all genes. First of all the way almost everyone since Galton has constructed these studies the researchers look for genetic effects and everything else is considered environmental. So when you read that about 50% to 70% of all the variance in an IQ study is attributable to genetic effects it sounds like that means 50% to 30% is therefore nurture. But that's not how the math works. That 50% to 30% is unexplained variance. It does not mean that they have found some environmental variables that effect intelligence.

Most people are not interested in most of the environmental variables that effect intelligence. For example malnutrition or vitamin deficiency. Cretins are stupid but environmentalists don't draw comfort from that fact. When they imagine that the environment is important in IQ, it always mean something else that is unspecified.

I saw a serious peer reviewed article yesterday named "Mozart-Schmotzart". It was about the so called 'Mozart Effect". Supposedly if you pipe in Mozart's music into your nursery the little dickens will grow up smarter. Alas, it doesn't work. But this is the sort of thing that environmentalists are searching for - some hitherto unnoticed something in the houses of middle class whites that is nevertheless missing in the homes of ghetto blacks. Something that explains the test score differences.

Alas it seems to always be the genes, and that just isn't an acceptable result.

Pat Boyle

Anonymous said...

Will Steven Pinker write a review? It seems he has more reach than Murray. So far, Pinker has only given a tweet:

sapinker Disagree w much of Wade (goes beyond data, gets some wrong) but he explodes race-is-only-a-social-construction myth. t.co/RabdNBbffh

Anonymous said...

"In every society to undergo Historic Trouble there were Jews pushing the whole thing"

Does MacDonald actually make that argument or is that your argument?

He's a PhD who has published a fair amount relating to evolutionary biology. Wikipedia says he is "best known for his use of evolutionary theory to support his claim that Judaism is a "group evolutionary strategy.""

Is the possibility that Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy something that should be studied?






that Judism is a

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5/3/14, 9:04 PM wrote

What parts of the book did you find wrong?

You didn't read his comment closely. He mentioned Kmac's enthusiasm for group selection.

Anonymous said...

I think the key common trait that Europeans have - at least as an ideal - is moral universalism as opposed to Jewish moral particularism.

It's undeniable that Jews hold a large amount of influence. Most people don't fret about this too much because I think they assume Jews are on the same team, and are motivated by the same instincts as Christians, which is perhaps not always the case.

The simple fact is many Jews have a deep hostility towards European Christianity - at best they fear it.

They have worked very hard to weaken and smear the Christian foundations of western countries, and it's had a devastating effect.

I've read some criticism of MacDonald, that he exaggerates or doesn't point out the positives of Jewish culture - this might be true to a degree but I think overall his thesis is accurate.

I would love to read a detailed point by point rebuttal to his claims by one of his peers, but I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Melendwyr said...

"I'll grant you the "sensible person" exception, but a lot of commenters on HBD blogs do believe that genes are not merely an important factor but that they're everything."

Life is too short to pay attention to stupid people beyond the minimum needed to keep them in line.

There are a lot of issues where environmental factors aren't really important because of the Law of the Minimum. In those situations, genes are what we need to pay attention to, because manipulating the environment won't change much. That's not the same thing as saying that genes are everything - that's moron talk.

Anonymous said...

>>It's all genes in the same way it's all molecules.<<

Uh...no....

Anonymous said...

Pinker just tweeted that Wade gets some things wrong, but "explodes the myth" of race as social construct.

Pinker has many thousands of followers... (on twitter)

Anonymous said...

"Well, the American deep South has been a rather dull region in intellectual terms."

Not much happening in Maine, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Connecticut either.

All the ideas seem to be coming from NY and LA. Some cities produce lots of wealth, but what of cultural or intellectual value has come out of SF?

Anonymous said...

All the ideas seem to be coming from NY and LA.


What ideas have come out of NYC and LA? I think that on an "idea-per-capita" basis large cities are sterile intellectual wastelands.

Steve Sailer said...

The really great ideas -- like remaking the 2004 Spider-Man 2 sequel in 2014 -- come out of either LA or NYC.

C. Van Carter said...

Tar-naqweesi Groates already refutated this entire subject using afrolistics, see his tout le monde essay The Bix Art of Noodcraft.

Anonymous said...

but I think overall his thesis is accurate.

His thesis has major foundational problems because it is based on the concept of group selection. Without more solid scientific evidence for group selection, which is lacking, his thesis is weak. It's also a minus that he can't read any of the sources in their original language, but that is minor compared to the issues with group selection.

They have worked very hard to weaken and smear the Christian foundations of western countries, and it's had a devastating effect.

I won't deny that many Jews have been and are hostile to Christianity, but you overstate their influence. After all, Nietzsche wrote that "God is dead" in 1882, and he stole it from Hegel who used that phrase as early as 1802 (with, admittedly, a different intention).

Anonymous said...

I think that the most telling thing about Kevin MacDonald's CRITIQUE is that it reads exactly like an anti-Jewish version of the anti-White "scholarship" that flows out of the multi-culti wing of academia. At various points when I was reading it, I amused myself by playing a substitution game, replacing various Jewish figures with White Gentiles, etc.

It's been a while, but I seem to recall that this is actually one of MacDonald's main points: that Jewish intellectuals have a pronounced tendency to project their own neuroses and prejudices on Gentiles.

Anonymous said...

Sean said...
Humans are selected for getting on in life, not for truth.


As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. Henry Wheeler Shaw

reiner Tor said...

Anonymous: if you make more than one comment (actually, even if you make just one comment), could you please select a moniker, so that we can know which comments belong to the same person? I guess most or all of the anti-Kmac comments here were made by the same Anonymous, but it's just a guess.

Off the top of my head, there was the whole "Jews and their guru figures" thing. MacDonald is quite invested in the idea of Jewish charismatics and their followers: Boas and the Boasian school of anthropology, Freud and psycho-analysis, etc.Of course, the easy rejoinder to this is that one can find similar charismatic figures and their cult-like followers in the Gentile world: Plato and the Academy, Aristotle and the Lyceum, Lacan and the Lacanians, Rousseau and his 18th century devotees, John Dewey and his rabid following, etc.And that's just limiting myself to the Western world....

Kmac explicitly states over and over that Jews are not Martians, they are humans, i.e. they are quite similar to the rest of us. All the differences are differences of degree. I'm not sure how much some of your examples fit the bill, because my knowledge is limited here, but what's sure is that there have been many gentile movements in the Western world without guru-like charismatic leaders and their cult-like following. Also, you might want to cite a number of (explicitly or implicitly) Jewish movements without such gurus. (Kmac actually recognizes neoconservatism as one such.) The difference will be one of degree, not qualitatively different from movements of other peoples.

his foolish enthusiasm for group selection

Group selection does exist in that if a group is harmful to the fitness of its members (e.g. modern Western multiculturalism), then it will not survive for a long time. Also if it is beneficial to its members, then it might survive for millennia. Also if a group could induce its members to cooperate against outsiders, than this would positively affect its members' fitness vis-à-vis outsiders. This much is almost tautological.

And you don't need more than that to accept Kmac's thesis, because most of what he rights is actually not group selection but social selection, i.e. how selection works within the Jewish group (or groups). Social selection definitely does exist, otherwise we would all be sociopathic.

His thesis is simply that part of the beneficial effects Judaism has had on its members was that it induced its members to cooperate against outsiders. This caused their relative fitness vis-à-vis gentiles to increase. And I think Kmac does a good job of proving his thesis.

reiner Tor said...

I think it's worth reading Frank Salter's review of Kmac's work. Kmac might be wrong, but we won't know until his work gets a professional response. As Salter writes:

"On a personal note, it is overdue that John Tooby and Steven Pinker applied their professional skills seriously to critique MacDonald's work in the appropriate scientific forums."

David said...

They will seek out and pay an outlaw Chinese scientist for something abstract and white-goofy, when there are plenty of amulets and magic spells closer to hand and cheaper? Unlikely. Lace malt liquor with it instead.

Sean said...

reiner Tor, believing that our enemies are entranced by superstitions (or the hierarchy's power-games) while we ourselves perceive the world for what it is, is perfectly natural; and almost certainly wrong.

reiner Tor said...

I wrote:

most of what he rights

This is embarrassing.

most of what he writes

reiner Tor said...

Sean:

believing that our enemies are entranced by superstitions (or the hierarchy's power-games) while we ourselves perceive the world for what it is, is perfectly natural; and almost certainly wrong.

Oh no. It's certainly true that our views are more based on evidence than their views. In fact, I used to be an HBD-denier as fervent as any, until confronted by evidence to the contrary. Then I came over to the Dark Side.

More importantly, as someone has already pointed out, it's safer to believe in HBD if it's untrue, than not believe in it if it's true. So our views are definitely on the safe side, whereas their views are highly risky, so it'd be better to choose HBD, even if truth was indeed unknowable, as you seem to claim in a somewhat postmodernist manner.

Sean said...

It is not risk free, this hard science reductionism when talking about social problems. Because then you are representing Nature against Society. And if Society seems to be stronger perhaps it has a special mode of cognition that is not scientific but has actually evolved by natural selection to be powerful and convincing.

"WE hypothesize that we evolved two distinct networks to do the cognitive processing required to guide distinct types of interaction: manipulating inanimate objects and engaging with conscious agents. Two broad cognitive modes correspond to these two types of interaction: analytic thinking and empathetic engagement. The first cognitive mode, [...] an empirical mode of thinking. The second cognitive mode, which plays a key role in social bonding, moral cognition, introspection, and emotional insight, ... This second cognitive mode is the default mode for unguarded social interactions, in particular between a parent and child but also more generally for in-group members — in other words, for anyone whom we humanize."

reiner Tor said...

Sean:

And if Society seems to be stronger perhaps it has a special mode of cognition that is not scientific but has actually evolved by natural selection to be powerful and convincing.

Yeah, in an age when mass migration was nonexistent, there was no mass media to convince you (only your neighbor, who had the same group interests as you did, there was only some intragroup friction between you), etc. etc.

But let me repeat. Believing in HBD and not letting in immigrants is the safe bet, if you don't know which one is true and which one isn't. But it sounds quite postmodernist to me to claim that we couldn't possibly know if say Blacks were more or less intelligent than Whites, or if the difference was explained by genetics or by "stereotype threat".

Sean said...

"Believing in HBD and not letting in immigrants is the safe bet... if say Blacks were more or less intelligent than Whites".

Believing HBD may be true means you fail the shibboleth society uses. You are no longer one of society's in-group members, and have to be suppressed. (According to those well known postmodernists Carl Schmitt and Thomas Hobbs.)

reiner Tor said...

Believing HBD may be true means you fail the shibboleth society uses.

My point was that a society which uses this shibboleth is going to go under.

I also don't understand how we got from the original point (which was whether we are just as superstitious as our enemies or our enemies just as scientific as we are) to what mechanism causes society to suppress us.

Yes, I know society is using this shibboleth, and I also know that since I fail this shibboleth, society is going to censure me, shall I choose to make my beliefs public. I know they won't consider me an ingroup member. So what? This doesn't make my beliefs "every bit as political" as my opponents' beliefs are. There is an objective truth out there, and I know HBD is way closer to it than the ever evolving PC orthodoxy. I also know that a society ruled by a PC orthodoxy is unsustainable, so the question is, is PC going to collapse before it takes Western Civilization with it. I'm not quite optimistic.

Sean said...

That is not what Heidegger thought, he saw the USA as the place where efficiency (the production of productive people) is king. Revolutiona happen because the population decided the system is weak in relation to other powers The French revolution, german nationalism in response to conquest by Napoleon, and the Russian and the Nazi revolution all stemmed from that. The western system won't be changed unless the West loses a war.