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More on Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance book

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More or less: Darwinian view of genes means racism is justified, courtesy New York Times.

“It’s the people, stupid: a review of Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance”

Chapter 9 is about the rise of the West, and contains a natural experiment I did not realise had taken place. Historian of science Huff explained that in 1608 a Dutch spectacle maker invented the telescope and within a few decades this spread around the world, thus putting all cultures on an even footing, allowing them to look up to the stars and come to some conclusions. For once, there was a level playing field. In Muslim India the calendar was revised, but the Ptolemaic system was retained and no telescopes were built for a century. In the Muslim Ottoman empire telescopes fared no better. They reached Istanbul by 1626, were used in the navy, but no improved telescopes or observatories were built, nor were European astronomy texts translated, and no debates took place about what the telescope revealed. China probably got the telescope in 1618 and recognised it helped predict astronomical events more precisely, as avidly demonstrated by Jesuits who were using it to drum up converts. The Emperor noted their successes, but he and his court had no interest in European research, despite the Jesuits feeding them all the relevant material. In Europe an Italian, hearing a description of the new device, built one himself, turned it to the heavens and observed the moons of Jupiter, used the existence of those satellites to provide empirical evidence in favour of the theory that planets were satellites of the sun, and thus favoured the helio-centric solar system hypothesis. This got him into trouble with the local religion, but his ideas shot across Europe anyway, starting a scientific revolution. However, he lacked a proof, even though he had the wit to use a pendulum as a timing device (but not as an earth bound indicator of the earth’s rotation). Just as well that, when shown the instruments of torture by the Inquisition, Galileo Galilei thought it prudent to recant his views (in public at least). Europeans were innovative, outward looking, eager to develop and apply new knowledge and sufficiently open, eventually, to have a revolution in thought. Elsewhere there was a deficit of curiosity.

Interesting.

Here a reviewer tries to revive the ghost of eugenics. Heck no.

Fellow science journalist Stephen Hsu defends Wade here.

The London Spectator gave the idea an entertaining cover.

Here’s a Scientific American review:

The last part of the book is likely to be regarded as more controversial because it deals mainly with effects of genetics on cognitive, social and personality traits and is much more speculative. However Wade fully realizes this and also believes that “there is nothing wrong with speculation, of course, as long as its premises are made clear”, and this statement could be part of a scientist’s credo. The crux of the matter is to logically ask why genes would also not account for mental differences between races if they do account for physical differences. The problem there is that although the hypothesis is valid, the evidence is slim for now. Some of the topics that Wade deals with in this third part are thus admittedly hazy in terms of evidence. For instance there is ample contemplation about whether a set of behavioral and genetic factors might have made the West progress faster than the East and inculcated its citizens with traits conducive to material success. However Wade also makes it clear that “progressive” does not mean “superior”; what he is rather doing is sifting through the evidence and asking if some of it might account for these more complex differences in social systems. Similarly, while there are pronounced racial differences in IQ, one must recognize the limitations of IQ, but more importantly should recognize that IQ says nothing about whether one human is “better” or “worse” than another; in fact the question is meaningless.

Okay. How about this: All questions are valid, but if people are really concerned about one thing or another, it might be useful to ask what answers they would accept as valid.

For example, if you want to know why Canada has a low rate of violent crime, it might be more useful to ask about our culture than about our (multi)ethnic makeup. Why do most newcomers, regardless of their ethnic makeup, just adjust?* (Others tend to get fined, jailed, or deported.)

Note: We’re not sayin’ nothin’ more because we never believed any part of this stuff anyway. People who agree to hate us are slitting each other’s guts and calling everyone else a “creationist.”

So thinking humans are not just like squirrels or cats means you are a creationist.

Hey, at one time we owned the brand. Just shows ya.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Like that poor fellow who bust into a local house. My neighbour was going to call into a right wing US talk show host’s program to protest his demeaning characterization of Canadians (as “pussies”). Then she remembered that her friend had called her that morning to tell her that, coming back from a party, she and her husband had surprised a fellow in their bedroom—and spent half the night talking to him about the importance of correct life choices, gave him $50, wished him well, and never called the police.

So my friend put down the phone and abandoned her place in line. Later, that guy himself called the host, claiming that he was seriously oppressed in Canada, because he just could not be free of all the well-meaning people who were trying to help him get his life on track. He would rather be in the worst jail in the United States than listen to any more of them. (Hey, think this one out, guys: = Low Canadian crime rate.)

If this didn’t happen, it certainly could have.

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6 Replies to “More on Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance book

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    The lack of a serious emperor after the Romans, the unifying nature of Christendom without political control, the large number of competing political entities led to much trade and competition and to science. This set the table for large scale commerce and exploration. From this Holland and England arose as trading empires. Spain also had a big empire but they had the misfortune of finding gold instead of consumables like the Dutch and English.

    Then Deirdre McCloskey showed that attitudes changed everywhere in Western Europe. It was ok to make money. The rest is history. Also the West contained a large population of Jews who helped make it happen.

    So competition and freedom made it happen. None of this happened anywhere else in the world. Niall Ferugson lists all the factors that led to Western dominance and McCloskey shows how it was accepted.

  2. 2

    Denyse, you should get an award from the Canadian foreign service. You just explained two things to me at the same time. You explained why Mark Steyn had to fight the Canadian nanny state “hate crime” review boards so fiercely, and why the burglary rate is so much lower in Canada.

    It’s because the punishment is so much more severe. 😉

  3. 3
    News says:

    Rob Sheldon at 1: Mark won. And many of us are helping him win again.

    The American “hate crime” system is actually worse, because it is so costly.

    Even in Canada, most convicted persons *could not afford legal representation*.

    The system depended on people “feeling” bad about what somebody said AND the accused could usually not afford legal representation. Classic “progressive” legislation.

    So we smote it from the Earth. Hey, follow!

  4. 4
    OldArmy94 says:

    Ok, I apologize for this completely random derailment of the thread, but did you know that there were certain Nazis who believed that we reside on the INTERIOR of the earth’s sphere? Apparently, there is no mathematical way to differentiate between the exterior and interior surfaces of a sphere, and so the believers would aim telescopes at the sky looking for the British fleet. Weird, weird stuff, I know, but maybe someone can pull a useful analogy from it.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Well to comment on the Galileo affair. The telescope may have removed man from the center of the solar system, but general relativity, and particularly quantum mechanics, have returned man to the center of the universe:

    The Galileo Affair and Life/Consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: The Galileo affair has certainly turned out to be far different, and far more nuanced, than the simplistic ‘science vs. religion’ narrative that is told in popular culture today.

    Often times an atheist will try to deride a person’s Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, ‘Well, we also don’t believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?’, trying to mock the person’s Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science. Yet, those atheists who say such things fail to realize that, number one, atheism cannot rationally ground science in the first place (A. Plantinga: Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism)[a], and that, number two, the primary opponents to Galileo’s heliocentrism, who caused much of the problems for Galileo, were Galileo’s academic colleagues not the Catholic Church[b], and that, number three, the geocentric (Earth centered) model of the solar system was overturned by three devout Christians, Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo who were definitely not ‘closet atheists’. Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, the three primary scientists involved in overturning the geocentric model, were all devout Christians and it certainly was not an atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor even some other religious group, that was involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus’s, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system. Diana Severance (PhD, Rice University), a historian with broad experience teaching in universities and seminaries, stated this about Kepler

    “About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.”[1]

    In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared these very ‘unscientific’ thoughts:

    ‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” [2,2a&2b]
    – Johannes Kepler

    Copernicus’s following quote is almost as ‘unscientific’ as Kepler’s was:

    “To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.”[2c]

    In 1610, it was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilee (1564-1642), who was also a dedicated Christian to his dying day despite his infamous, and widely misunderstood, conflict with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church [3,4,4a,4b,4c,4d,4e], who empirically verified the Catholic Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’s (1473-1543) heliocentric theory. Thus it is a undeniable fact of history that it was men of the Christian faith, and no other faith (especially the atheistic faith), who overturned the geocentric model. In fact, it can also be forcefully argued that modern science had its foundation laid during the protestant reformation of the 16th century, and also when the Catholic church had its own private ‘mini-reformation’ from pagan Greek influences over its central teachings during this era. The main point being that it can be forcefully argued that modern scientific thought itself, of a rational, approachable, intelligible, universe, a universe that could, and can, dare be comprehended by the mind of man, was brought to a sustained maturity when a more pure Christian influence was brought to maturity in the Christian church(es) of western culture, and when the stifling pagan influences were purged from it.[5,6,7,8,9]
    The heliocentric theory was hotly debated in Galileo’s time, for it proposed a revolutionary idea for the 1600?s stating all the planets revolved around the sun. Many people of the era had simply, and wrongly, presumed everything in the universe revolved around the earth (geocentric theory), since from their limited perspective on earth everything did seem to be revolving around the earth. As well, the geocentric model seems, at first glance, to agree with the religious sensibilities of being made in God’s image, although the Bible never actually directly states the earth is the ‘center of the universe’.[9a]

    Job 26:7
    “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”

    Galileo had improved upon the recently invented telescope. With this improved telescope he observed many strange things about the solar system. This included the phases of Venus as she revolved around the sun and the fact Jupiter had her own satellites (moons) which revolved around her. Thus, Galileo wrote and spoke about what had become obvious to him; Copernicus was right, the planets do indeed revolve around the sun and geocentrism was effectively overturned.[9b] It is now commonly believed that man was cast down from his special place in the grand scheme of things, for the Earth beneath his feet no longer appeared to be the ‘center of the universe’, and indeed the Earth is now commonly believed by many people to be reduced to nothing but an insignificant speck of dust in the vast ocean of space (mediocrity principle). Yet actually the earth became exalted in the eyes of many people of that era, with its supposed removal from the center of the universe, since centrality in the universe had a very different meaning in those days.[10a] A meaning that equated being at the center of the universe with being at the ‘bottom’ of the universe, or being in the ‘cesspool’ of the universe, as this following quote makes clear.

    In addition, contrary to what is commonly believed, we now know that in the eyes of its contemporaries, the Copernican Revolution glorified the Earth, making it an object worthy of study, in contrast to the preceding view, which demeaned the Earth. Ironically, the Copernican Revolution is almost invariably portrayed today as having demoted the Earth from a position at the center of the universe, the main concern of God, to being merely one of the planets. Danielson(2001) made a compelling case that this portrayal is the opposite of what really happened, i.e., that before the Copernican Revolution, Earth was seen not as being at the center, but rather at the bottom, the cesspool where all filth and corruption fell and accumulated. [10]

    Yet contrary to what is commonly believed by many people today of the earth being nothing but an insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space, there is actually a strong case that can now be made from science for the earth being central in the universe once again.
    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, Einstein’s General Relativity has shown that 4-dimensional (4D) space-time, along with all energy and matter, was created in the ‘Big Bang’ and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

    There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. [11]

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live. And as such, it may now be possible for the Earth to be, once again, considered ‘central in the universe’.

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.” [11a]
    – George Ellis

    So in a holistic sense, when taking into consideration the ‘Privileged Planet principle’ of Gonzalez[12, 12a] which overturned the mediocrity principle, and which gives strong indication that the Earth is uniquely suited to host complex life in this universe, it may now be possible for the Earth to be, once again, considered ‘central in the universe’. This intriguing possibility, for the Earth to once again be considered central, is clearly illustrated by the fact the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), remaining from the creation of the universe, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time of General Relativity, forms a sphere around the earth. I find the best way to get this ‘centrality of the Earth in the universe” point across is to visualize it first hand. Thus I reference the first few minutes of this following video to clearly get this ‘centrality in the universe’ point across:

    Centrality of The Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879

    Moreover, this ‘circle’ of the CMBR that is found by modern science to encompass the Earth, from the remnant of the creation event that brought the entire universe instantaneously into being, was actually predicted in the Bible centuries earlier:

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

    But as tempting as it is to use the privileged planet principle, in conjunction with the centrality of the Earth in the 4-Dimensional (4D) space-time of General Relativity, to try establish the centrality of the Earth in the universe, this method of establishing centrality for the earth falls short of explaining ‘true centrality’ in the universe and still does not fully explain exactly why the CMBR forms an ‘almost’ perfect sphere around the Earth. The primary reason why the higher dimensional 4D space-time, governing the expansion of this 3-Dimensional universe, is insufficient within itself to maintain 3D symmetry becomes clear if one tries to imagine radically different points of observation in the universe. Since the universe is shown to have only (approximately) 10^79 atoms to work with, once a person tries to imagine keeping perfect 3D symmetry, from radically different points of observation within the CMBR sphere, a person quickly finds that it is geometrically impossible to maintain such 3D symmetry of centrality within the CMBR sphere with finite 3D material particles to work with for radically different 3D points of ‘imagined observation’ in the universe. As well, fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, seem to, at least from as far as I can follow the math, mathematically prove the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for the ‘completeness’ of 4D space-time within the sphere of the CMBR from differing points of observation in the universe. [13] But if the 4D space-time of General Relativity is insufficient to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ in the universe, what else is since we certainly observe centrality for ourselves within the sphere of the CMBR? Quantum Mechanics gives us the reason why. ‘True centrality’ in the universe is achieved by ‘universal quantum wave collapse of photons’, to each point of ‘conscious observation’ in the universe, and is the only answer that has adequate sufficiency to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ that we witness for ourselves within the CMBR of the universe.

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    As well, whereas higher math refuses to give General Relativity clearance as a complete description of reality, higher math has recently (June 2013) confirmed the confidence we can have in Quantum Mechanics as an accurate description of reality. [13a & 13b] Moreover, an experiment has been proposed that would, if successful, would establish the primacy of Quantum Mechanics over General Relativity in dramatic fashion. [13c] As well, because of advances in Quantum Mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even a central, position within material reality. [14]
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Moreover, from a slightly different angle, ‘Life’ is also found to be central to the universe in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides a very credible reconciliation to the most profound enigma in modern science. Namely the unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘Theory of Everything’:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    As to the fact that, as far as the solar system itself is concerned, the earth is not ‘central’, I find the fact that this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be a very fitting ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition. Please reflect on this for a moment, in regards to God’s ‘kingdom of light’, are we not to keep in mind that our lives are to be centered on the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God’s kingdom of light? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on the temporal pleasure this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than the lasting pleasure of what heaven has to offer?

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Here is a quote from evangelist Louie Giglio which I think captures this ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition

    You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. – Louie Giglio [16, 16a]

    Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparatively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for ‘the privileged planet’ principle (and perhaps some yet to discovered geometric considerations) which reflects God’s craftsmanship, whereas the centrality found for each individual ‘conscious soul/observer’ in the universe is found to be of primary significance,,, In other words:

    ,,,”Is anything worth more than your soul?”
    Matthew 16:26

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    supplemental notes

    Two very different eternities revealed by physics
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-490689
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-494454

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Verse and music:

    Romans 8:31
    What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Mystery Of Grace-4HIM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcNbzvFylmc

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    The rise of the west had nothing to do with the west.
    It just was that Protestantism took off there mostly.
    The operative word in the telescope discovery is DUTCH. Puritan Dutch were the first nation to raise the common intelligence of the people.
    The rise of us was from the protestant reformation raising the intelligence and morals of the common people/peasants.
    Previous civilizations that did well only raised the upper classes smarts.
    Its all about identity.

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