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A roundup of reviews of book defending gene-based racism

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Save you homework: Further to “Have some creationists in your portfolio,” here’s a convenient roundup of book reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance , essentially defending Darwinian gene-based racism.

Look, we don’t care because we don’t believe Darwinism anyway. Just thought you’d wanna know.

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24 Replies to “A roundup of reviews of book defending gene-based racism

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    I finished the book. There are a few interesting studies on genetics and humans discussed in the book. There are obvious genetic differences between the races that lead to physical differences such as skin color, hair type, bone shape etc. There are a couple of studies that show how gene difference lead to different behavioral patterns such as aggression and cooperativeness.

    Here is the scenario that Wade proposes. These differences had to emerge after a population left Africa 50,000 years ago and dispersed around the globe. This population then split up again and again as it grew and migrated to different areas. Over time the areas that these populations migrated to affected the populations genome due to environmental pressures. On top of this, Wade hypothesizes that various institutions formed and these led to separate cultures and different pressures which led to a slightly different suite of alleles that affect behavior. Why, because certain behaviors would be more successful in the different cultures. Pure natural selection hpothesis

    Thus, humans are essentially the same but have superficial physical characteristics and small behavioral tendencies due to different environments. These differences are in the genome so if you displace a group from one area to live with another group these same tendencies will still hold. Also taking the institutions of one group and imposing it on another will probably fail because of genetic reasons as the tendencies in the receiving group is not consistent with the imposed institutions. Read democracy and nation building as examples of failed attempts to do this.

    He has no proof of any of the behavioral tendencies except for a couple of studies showing some behaviors being affected by genes. It is all speculation. My guess is that some of it is true but how much will probably not be determined any time soon.

  2. 2
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Why is the possibility that racism may have a genetic component be a problem? In primitive times, racism (i.e., fear of people who are different) was probably a good trait given that we lived in small, homogenized communities.

    But just because their may be a genetic link does not mean that it must be expressed. What is the first thing that we notice about a stranger the first time that we meet them? Gender and race? Is this not, in itself, a mild form of racism? But we are also intelligent and understand that this “fear” is unwarranted and we can easily overcome it.

    Just because natural selection could result in things that we find offensive and reprehensible is not an argument that it is not responsible for evolution. Natural selection is not judgmental.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    Just because natural selection could result in things that we find offensive and reprehensible is not an argument that it is not responsible for evolution. Natural selection is not judgmental.

    I do not think anyone is making the argument that there are not changes in the genome over time due to the environment. What is being argued is that these changes are small in terms of the evolution debate and really don’t matter to much in this context. It may have dramatic effects in other areas such as medicine.

    What Wade is arguing is that these small changes lead to predilections that affect culture and the political and economical organizations they will prefer or will resist. All of this is speculative and some of it may be true but it may not.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    The I.Q. tests, that have shown supposed large differences in the intelligence between races of humans, are almost all shown to be biased by overlooked environmental factors:

    Myth: The black/white IQ gap is largely genetically caused.

    Fact: Almost all studies show the black/white IQ gap is environmental.
    (i.e. children from an enriched learning environment always perform equally well on I.Q. tests, no matter what their race may be.)
    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-IQgapgenetic.htm

    Dr. Ben Carson is a prime example of overcoming strong peer pressure trying to tell him to neglect his education:

    Gifted Hands – The Benjamin Carson Story – movie
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfS3chUOi8

    As well, I wonder what Wade would think of this following study. The last graph on the following site shows that the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores for students showed a steady decline, for seventeen years from the top spot or near the top spot in the world, after the removal of prayer from the public classroom by the Supreme Court, not by public decree, in 1963.

    AMERICA: To Pray Or Not To Pray – David Barton – graphs corrected for population growth
    http://www.whatyouknowmightnotbeso.com/graphs.html

    Whereas the SAT scores for private Christian schools have consistently remained at the top, or near the top, spot in the world. You can see the dramatic difference, of the SAT scores for private Christian schools compared to public schools, at this following site;

    Aliso Viejo Christian School – SAT 10 Comparison Report
    http://www.alisoviejochristian.....at_10.html

    Of note, Finland now has the best education system in the world, and not so surprisingly Finland also has a very strong prayer ethic,,,

    Finland is much more:
    Excerpt: The main Lutheran and Orthodox churches are constitutional national churches of Finland with special roles in ceremonies and often in school morning prayers.,,,
    Over half of Finns say they pray at least once a month, the highest proportion in Nordics,,,
    http://www.democraticundergrou....._id=170358

    Of related note is the ‘infinite regress’ argument for the question of ‘where does the information come from?’. Dr. Werner Gitt, starting around the 2:00 minute mark of the following video, touches on the infinite regress argument for information:

    Dr.Werner Gitt Ph.D.”In The Beginning was Information” Part 3 of 3 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWZpG0ye8KI

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    Acartia_bogart:

    racism (i.e., fear of people who are different) was probably a good trait given that we lived in small, homogenized communities.

    I think you’re confusing racism with xenophobia.

    But just because their may be a genetic link does not mean that it must be expressed. What is the first thing that we notice about a stranger the first time that we meet them? Gender and race? Is this not, in itself, a mild form of racism?

    Not necessarily. Noticing someone’s race is not racist; acting disgusted is.

  6. 6
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Barb, show me a racist who isn’t a xenophobe and I will show you a person who isn’t a racist. Yes, you can be a xenophobe without being a racist, but being a xenophobe is definitely a prerequisite for racism.

  7. 7
    Barb says:

    Acartia_bogart @ 6: Yes, but racism isn’t exactly fear of people who are different; it’s the actions and words that result from that fear.

  8. 8
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Barb, no argument. But at the heart if every racist is a scared little boy (or girl).

    Prejudice is acting without reliable knowledge. Bigotry is continuing to act in a similar way ignoring that knowledge. The former is forgivable, the latter is not.

  9. 9
    Upright BiPed says:

    Prejudice is acting without reliable knowledge. Bigotry is continuing to act in a similar way ignoring that knowledge. The former is forgivable, the latter is not.

    The same applies to many things, including ID. It can be very readily observed in people who come here to denigrate, belittle, and antagonize ID proponents – most often with mis-characterizations of ID positions – and generally ignore what they might otherwise learn.

    For instance, I can easily provide you with virtually intractable evidence of design in biology, but you will not engage in that evidence in earnest. You cannot afford to.

    Such is the bigotry of materialism.

  10. 10
    Robert Byers says:

    If its okay to say one people is superior, beyond free will, then others THEN it overthrows decades or centuries of a struggle to NOT ALLOW THIS AS TRUE.
    there is no such thing as racism. Its just a term to discredit conclusions about races .
    If they are going to stress race then they must start with the winner. the english race or British or Aryan or Celt or white.
    no cheating with obscure others who immigrated to our nations.
    Thats not a controlled experiment. it silly and if we believe in common human intelligence then IT WOULD be that way.
    What people in nOrth america is perfectly able to do everything despite their primitive historical roots??
    its just about location, location, location for non native peoples.
    In fact its really about the true faith. Evangelical /puritan christianity affecting the common people in Northern europe.
    Thats why we speak and live under Englishdom.
    By the way Darwin never doubted anout english intellectual dominance if you read his books.
    however it was not about race with him.

  11. 11
    Upright BiPed says:

    Robert. I am almost sick that I must share a forum with you.

    You are a dipshit.

  12. 12
    Robert Byers says:

    Upright.
    Everything I say is true and reasonable and about human equality at birth and free will.
    your side says the opposite.
    You just don’t like the conclusions about winners. Thats all it is.
    nothing to do with why winners!
    Please don’t feel free to curse me on a forum about ideas about everything that touches on origins.
    Just make a winning case. Its a forum for that, for those, up to it.

  13. 13
    Upright BiPed says:

    Robert,

    People who think like you, calculating the superiority of themselves, are dangerous and stupid. They have wrought immeasuable suffering on the human family. To stand there with pride next to the latest toaster oven is sheer idiocy. There is no race that has overcome any of the frailties or weaknesses that plague any other race. None. The entire concept is stupid beyond belief.

  14. 14
    Barb says:

    By the way Darwin never doubted anout english intellectual dominance if you read his books. however it was not about race with him.

    Yes. Yes, it was about race with Darwin. As it was with most of the Victorian Age. There’s too much derp in your post for me to wade through right now.

  15. 15
    Robert Byers says:

    Barb
    Not with dArwin. He made it clear and in opposition to ALL the other evolutionists who quickly agreed with his ideas.
    He did insist women were intellectually biological inferior.
    This is wrong of coarse.
    He wanted all man to be from a single tribe off from a line of primates and didn’t want the later segregation to make a dent.

  16. 16
    Barb says:

    By our standards today, yes, he was a racist. By the standards of the time in which he lived, he was perfectly normal. But yes, he did believe the darker races were less evolved than the lighter races. Charles Darwin wrote: “At some future period, . . . the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races.”

    Ironically, feelings of racial superiority have no merit. Science has not proved that some races are genetically superior, while others are inferior. Geneticist and Oxford professor Bryan Sykes states: “There’s no genetic basis for any kind of rigid ethnic or racial classification. . . . I’m always asked is there Greek DNA or an Italian gene, but, of course, there isn’t. . . . We’re very closely related.”

  17. 17
    Timmy says:

    @ 4, bornagain77 demonstrates selective hyperskepticism.

    “Almost all papers claim racial differences in IQ have no genetic basis” vs. “almost all papers claim the cause of life to be Darwinian”.

    The question of whether racial IQ differences have a genetic basis is actually more controversial than the question of whether life was designed. The pool of researchers with public ID sympathies is vastly larger than the pool of researchers who are publicly “racist”, and “racist” researchers are purged with much greater efficiency than Darwinian dissidents.

    If one is going to be critical of papers promoting Darwinism, it is absurd to not also be critical of papers promoting genetic racial egalitarianism. In neither case does the emperor have any clothes.

    A good starting pointing to debunk the zero-genetic-basis absurdity is to note that nobody disputes the genetic basis of IQ except when it comes to racial differences.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Timmy you completely lost me on that line of thought.,,, I stand by the studies I listed and can go further in that line of thought if need be with more references

  19. 19
    Timmy says:

    bornagain,

    Why don’t you apply the same level of skepticism to both studies that denounce a genetic basis for the racial IQ gap and to studies that denounce the design of life?

    Why is your skepticism selective?

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Because there are no studies that denounce the design of life.

  21. 21
    Timmy says:

    Most studies declare that design to be merely illusory and not actual, which I am quite sure you know is what I meant.

    Meanwhile, the near-universal consensus is that IQ differences are roughly 50% inherited…as long as you are only talking about Europeans.

    Nobody ever thinks to deny this until it is suggested, obviously, that maybe the IQ differences amongst the races are also significantly inherited.

    The denial is only taken seriously because of political correctness, much like Darwinism is only taken seriously because of establishment atheism.

  22. 22
    Mung says:

    Timmy:

    Most studies declare that design to be merely illusory and not actual, which I am quite sure you know is what I meant.

    Uh huh. And how do they distinguish actual design from the illusion of design?

  23. 23
    Timmy says:

    They don’t, I guess.

    Much like how studies which declare racial IQ differences to be purely environmental don’t waste precious time explaining why all other IQ differences are largely genetic.

    When you are writing for political reasons and not scientific ones, it seems that anything goes.

  24. 24
    Mung says:

    Timmy:

    Most studies declare that design to be merely illusory and not actual, which I am quite sure you know is what I meant.

    Mung:

    And how do they distinguish actual design from the illusion of design?

    Timmy:

    They don’t, I guess.

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