Intelligent Design

On the Eve of MLK Day: Does Race Matter?

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Some years ago I spent a couple of weeks in Malindi, Kenya.  Early the first morning of my stay, I walked down to the shore to watch the sun rise over the Indian Ocean.  As I stood on the beach taking in the breathtaking beauty, a steady stream of men, most barefoot, ran by.  They ran and ran and ran and kept on running until they disappeared over the horizon.  I asked a member of the hotel staff what was going on, and she told me nothing special was going on.  The men were running that day for the same reason they ran every day – for the sheer joy of running. 

It is no wonder to me that Kenyans are the best distance runners in the world.  Kenyan men have won 21 of the last 31 Boston Marathons, 15 of the last 21 Berlin Marathons, and seven of the 24 Olympic medals awarded since 1988. 

Is this statistical dominance explained to any degree whatsoever by innate physical advantages possessed by Kenyans?  If you answered “yes” or even “maybe” to that question, your views are irredeemably racist according to Angela Saini.  In her review of the book Skin Deep: Journeys in the Divisive Science of Race that appeared in the July 2019 issue of Nature, Saini wrote:  “Some have speculated that Kenyans might have, on average, longer, thinner legs than other people, or differences in heart and muscle function.”  Saini attempts to dispel any notion that such differences matter.  She says Skin Deep shows that “Such claims for athletic prowess are lazy biological essentialism, heavily doped with racism.” 

Saini apparently believes the fact that men from a country with less than 1% of the world’s population have won 67% of the world’s most prestigious marathons in recent decades is explained totally by environmental factors.  And she goes on to assert that even the suggestion that genetic factors might have played a slight role in this achievement is racist thinking that must resisted in order to “guard science against abuse and reinforce the essential unity of the human species.”

In an essay in the current issue of The Claremont Review of Books (Liberty, Equality and Reality; behind a paywall), William Voegeli responds to this tendentious drivel.  Voegeli explains that Saini is not interested in data or science at all.  Instead, she is engaging in progressive moralizing masquerading as science:

Unfortunately, the ‘essential unity of the human species,’ noble concept though it may be, is a cosmic or moral axiom rather than a scientific principle.  Guarding science against abuse begins with making empirical observations accurately and reporting them scrupulously, even when the data cast doubt on our most cherished beliefs and aspirations.  No intellectually honest writer would say, ‘Some have speculated that Kenyans might have, on average, longer, thinner legs than other people,’ . . . These are verifiable facts, not tendentious conjecture.

Why is Saini so determined to avoid the plain facts of the matter?  What is it about the mere possibility that Kenyan runners might have some innate genetic advantage that gets Saini’s knickers in a knot?  The answer, of course, has nothing to do with running and everything to do with thinking.  Voegeli explains that Saini’s “overriding purpose is to discredit and denounce all suggestions that heritable cognitive abilities and psychological dispositions are distributed across the human race in any way other than evenly or randomly.”  He continues:

. . . Saini is [reluctant] to acknowledge any inherited differences among population groups.  If there really are some genetically transmitted differences among ethnic or regional subsets of the human race, then there might be others.  Her response is to deny everything rather than concede anything.  But when this strategy culminates in ascribing awareness of Kenyans’ running prowess to ‘lazy biological essentialism,’ Saini inadvertently affirms one of [her] targets, blogger Steve Sailer, who says that the definition of racism has expanded to include the ‘high crime of Noticing Things.’

Saini’s progressive sensibilities are so distressed by the mere possibility that there might be innate genetic differences in cognitive ability among racial groups, that she is willing – nay, eager – to say screamingly stupid things in a vain attempt to prove there are not even any important physical differences, much less cognitive differences.  If you disagree with her, you are a racist pig.  And if the data do not support Saini’s progressive conclusions?  Well, so much the worse for the data. 

But what do the data show?  Do genetic factors account for differences in cognitive traits among races?  According to award-winning Harvard geneticist David Reich, it is a definite possibility.  In his book Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich writes that the “indefensibility” of the orthodoxy about a genetically undifferentiated human race is becoming “obvious at almost every turn.”  He goes on to condemn the denialism on display in Saini’s Nature review: 

If selection on height and infant head circumference can occur within a couple of thousand years, it seems a bad bet to argue that there cannot be similar average differences in cognitive or behavioral traits.  Even if we do not yet know what the differences are, we should prepare our science and our society to be able to deal with the reality of differences instead of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that differences cannot be discovered.  The approach of staying mum, of implying to the public and to colleagues that substantial differences in traits across populations are unlikely to exist, is a strategy that we scientists can no longer afford, and that in fact is positively harmful.  If as scientists we willfully abstain from laying out a rational framework for discussing human differences, we will leave a vacuum that will be filled by pseudoscience, an outcome that is far worse than anything we could achieve by talking openly.

I often say that when one’s metaphysical commitments demand one to say really stupid things, one should reexamine those commitments.  Saini should take a long hard look at what caused her to engage in rank denial of obvious facts.  I will not hold my breath.  Because examining fundamental commitments is very difficult and can cause excruciating psychological pain.  Most people would rather go on saying things they must know are untrue.  Such is the human condition.

Coming to grips with the possibility that there may well be a difference in average cognitive abilities among races is only the beginning (and the least important part) of the analysis.  The far more important question is if it turns out that a difference exits, does it matter?  The key word to focus on in answering this question is “average.”  Every human distinction – whether physical, moral, legal, or cognitive – is important only at the level of the individual.  It follows that average group differences are in every important sense unimportant.  This is, of course, anathema to adherents of progressive racial identity politics, who daily betray Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that one day his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. 

David Reich bears repeating:  “Even if we do not yet know what the differences are, we should prepare our science and our society to be able to deal with the reality of differences . . .”  How should we prepare our science and our society to deal with this reality?  Reich’s  answer to this question is compelling: 

Beyond the imperative to give everyone equal respect, it is also important to keep in mind that there is great diversity of human traits, including not just cognitive and behavioral traits, but also areas of athletic ability, skill with one’s hands, and capacity for social interaction and empathy.  For most traits, the degree of variation among individuals is so large that any one person in any population can excel at any trait regardless of his or her population origin, even if particular populations have different average values due to mixture of genetic and cultural influences.  For most traits, hard work and the right environment are sufficient to allow someone with a lower genetically predicted performance at some task to excel  compared to people with a higher genetically predicted performance.  Because of the multidimensionality of human traits, the great variation that exists among individuals, and the extent to which hard work and upbringing can compensate for genetic endowment, the only sensible approach is to celebrate every person and every population as an extraordinary realization of our human genius and to give each person every chance to succeed, regardless of the particular average combination of genetic propensities he or she happens to display.

My closest friend of African descent is much smarter than I am.  I am constantly amazed by both the depth and breadth of his erudition.  But I do not think of him as a “brilliant man of African descent.”  I think of him as a “brilliant man.”  I think this way because there is only one morally and intellectually defensible answer to the question in the title of the post “does race matter?”  That answer is this: In every important sense of the word “matter,” it does not.

25 Replies to “On the Eve of MLK Day: Does Race Matter?

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Evolutionists are racist by the very essence of their thought process. They believe human beings are nothing more than animals to be classified and separated into various groupings. Darwin certainly believed those of African descent were less evolved than those of European descent, which is clearly shown in Descent of Man.
    We all have unique abilities that can only have come from God. Einstein’s brilliance did not come from being Jewish, but have having a unique mind. None of our gifts can be seen in nature.

  2. 2
    Truthfreedom says:

    Evolutionists are racist by the very essence of their thought process. They believe human beings are nothing more than animals to be classified and separated into various groupings.

    True. And they say our cognitive apparatus can not be trusted, we are victims of biases and ‘illusions’, EXCEPT when related to the Theory of Evolution and materialism/atheism.

  3. 3
    john_a_designer says:

    According to David Reich:

    Beyond the imperative to give everyone equal respect, it is also important to keep in mind that there is great diversity of human traits, including not just cognitive and behavioral traits, but also areas of athletic ability, skill with one’s hands, and capacity for social interaction and empathy.

    But DIVERSITY trumps everything else! That is a MORAL ABSOLUTE. So, if some educational institution, business entity, government agency, entertainment or athletic entity isn’t diverse enough some kind of quota based on race, gender etc. should be imposed to correct the obvious injustice.

    For example, consider the NBA. The league is predominantly African-American. There are very few Hispanics, whites or Asians. It’s even worse for some races. I cannot think of a single Native American professional basketball player past or present. Obviously that’s a blatant lack of racial diversity. Therefore, the U.S. government needs step in to impose race based quotas on the NBA to correct their blatantly discriminatory practices.

    Of course, that’s not my reasoning, I’m just trying to apply what I understand the reasoning of the SJW left to be fairly, justly which means universally. Actually I am using what Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz terms the “shoe-on-the-other-foot” criteria. I mean the race based diversity standard is required everywhere else shouldn’t we also apply it to the NBA? If not, why not?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    While “Kenyan runners might have some innate genetic advantage”, the claim that “there might be innate genetic differences in cognitive ability among racial groups” is a far different claim in that human consciousness, abstract thinking, intellect, even ‘personhood’ itself, is not reducible to materialistic explanations in the first place.

    As Dr. Egnor explained, “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00661.html

    In fact, the one difference that radically separates man from animals, the one ‘species specific’ difference that separates ALL RACES of men from animals, is our ability to speak and create language and/or create information. (Indeed, the creation of ‘information’ lies at the heart of the debate between ID advocates and Darwinists).

    As even leading evolutionists admitted after four decades of research, they have, “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    Moreover, language is a “species specific” property that is “invariant among human groups”. As Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT, stated in this follow up 2017 article, “One fact appears to be well established. The faculty of language is a true species property, invariant among human groups, and unique to humans in its essential properties. It follows that there has been little or no evolution of the faculty since human groups separated from one another,,,
    There is little evidence of anything like human language, or symbolic behavior altogether, before the emergence of modern humans.,,,”

    The Galilean Challenge – Noam Chomsky – April 2017
    Excerpt: The capacity for language is species specific, something shared by humans and unique to them. It is the most striking feature of this curious organism, and a foundation for its remarkable achievement,,,
    There has been considerable progress in understanding the nature of the internal language, but its free creative use remains a mystery. This should come as no surprise. In a recent review of far simpler cases of voluntary action, neuroscientists Emilio Bizzi and Robert Ajemian remark, in the case of something so simple as raising one’s arm, that
    “the detail of this complicated process, which critically involves coordinate and variable transformations from spatial movement goals to muscle activations, needs to be elaborated further. Phrased more fancifully, we have some idea as to the intricate design of the puppet and the puppet strings, but we lack insight into the mind of the puppeteer.”8
    The normal creative use of language is an even more dramatic example.,,,
    One fact appears to be well established. The faculty of language is a true species property, invariant among human groups, and unique to humans in its essential properties. It follows that there has been little or no evolution of the faculty since human groups separated from one another,,,
    There is little evidence of anything like human language, or symbolic behavior altogether, before the emergence of modern humans.,,,
    Our intricate knowledge of what even the simplest words mean is acquired virtually without experience. At peak periods of language acquisition, children acquire about a word an hour, often on one presentation.26 The rich meaning of even the most elementary words must be substantially innate.
    The evolutionary origin of such concepts is a complete mystery.,,,
    — Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT.
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....-challenge

    And as Robert Berwick, Professor in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT and
    Noam Chomsky go on to state in this even more recent 2019 article, “The human language faculty is a species-specific property, with no known group differences and little variation.”

    The Siege of Paris – Robert Berwick & Noam Chomsky – March 2019
    Excerpt: Linguists told themselves many stories about the evolution of language, and so did evolutionary biologists; but stories, as Richard Lewontin rightly notes, are not hypotheses, a term that should be “reserved for assertions that can be tested.”4
    The human language faculty is a species-specific property, with no known group differences and little variation. There are no significant analogues or homologues to the human language faculty in other species.5,,,
    How far back does language go? There is no evidence of significant symbolic activity before the appearance of anatomically modern humans 200 thousand years ago (kya).22,,,
    There is no evidence that great apes, however sophisticated, have any of the crucial distinguishing features of language and ample evidence that they do not.48 Claims made in favor of their semantic powers, we might observe, are wrong. Recent research reveals that the semantic properties of even the simplest words are radically different from anything in animal symbolic systems.49,,,
    Why only us?,,, We were not, of course, the first to ask them. We echo in modern terms the Cartesian philosophers Antoine Arnauld and Claude Lancelot, seventeenth-century authors of the Port-Royal Grammar, for whom language with its infinite combinatorial capacity wrought from a finite inventory of sounds was uniquely human and the very foundation of thought. It is subtle enough to express all that we can conceive, down to the innermost and “diverse movements of our souls.”
    https://inference-review.com/article/the-siege-of-paris
    Robert Berwick is a Professor in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT.
    Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT.

    There are several more references that I can cite that back up this point, but the main point I am trying to make clear is that language itself, an ability which is invariant among people groups, and which is the one thing that we look to see if there are any differences in the intellectual capacities of people, language itself proves that we have, ALL races of men have, an immaterial mind that is made in the image of God.

    Shoot, Darwinian processes are at a complete loss to explain how the information necessary for even one gene/protein was created, much less are Darwinian processes capable of explaining how human beings, and human beings alone, are uniquely capable of creating vast amounts of information at the drop of a hat.

    “Hardly any linguist would now challenge the fact that language is creative and that there is at present no materialist theory whatsoever to explain this–though of course this fact is seldom mentioned.”
    Noel Rude – Linguist

    In so far as genetic determinates can be said to have a overriding effect on the PHYSICAL differences, (not mental differences), between races, the supposed intellectually advanced races, as Darwin saw them,,

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

    ,,, the supposed intellectually advanced races, as Darwin saw them, will be quite surprised to learn that they are actually genetically inferior, not genetically superior, to Africans.

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.”
    Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    New analysis provides fuller picture of human expansion from Africa – October 22, 2012
    Excerpt: A new, comprehensive review of humans’ anthropological and genetic records gives the most up-to-date story of the “Out of Africa” expansion that occurred about 45,000 to 60,000 years ago.
    This expansion, detailed by three Stanford geneticists, had a dramatic effect on human genetic diversity, which persists in present-day populations. As a small group of modern humans migrated out of Africa into Eurasia and the Americas, their genetic diversity was substantially reduced.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-10-a.....nsion.html

    Finding links and missing genes: Catalog of large-scale genetic changes around the world – October 1, 2015
    Excerpt: “When we analysed the genomes of 2500 people, we were surprised to see over 200 genes that are missing entirely in some people,” says Jan Korbel, who led the work at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.,,,
    African genomes harboured a much greater diversity overall.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....094723.htm

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

    Moreover, on top of all that, human brains are found to be shrinking, not growing larger,

    Are brains shrinking to make us smarter? – February 2011
    Excerpt: Human brains have shrunk over the past 30,000 years,
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....arter.html

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Cro Magnon skull shows that our brains have shrunk – Mar 15, 2010 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: Using new technology, researchers have produced a replica of the 28,000-year-old brain and found that it is about 15-20% larger than our brains.
    http://phys.org/news187877156.html

    Human face has shrunk over the past 10,000 years – November 2005
    Excerpt: Human faces are shrinking by 1%-2% every 1,000 years. What’s more, we are growing less teeth. Ten thousand years ago everyone grew wisdom teeth but now only half of us get them, and other teeth like the lateral incisors have become much smaller. This is evolution in action.”
    http://www.stonepages.com/news.....01604.html

    Scientists Discover Proof That Humanity Is Getting Dumber, Smaller And Weaker By Michael Snyder, on April 29th, 2014
    Excerpt: An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.
    Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
    And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
    The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
    The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years.
    http://thetruthwins.com/archiv.....and-weaker

    And for those people who just refuse to believe that intellect is not correlated to brain size in some kind of fundamental way, well, there is this nail in the coffin for their materialistic beliefs that intellect should correlate with brain size,

    Long-term memory: scaling of information to brain size – Donald R. Forsdyke* – 03 June 2014
    Summary
    The material bases of information—paper, computer discs—usually scale with information quantity. Large quantities of information usually require large material bases. Conventional wisdom has it that human long-term memory locates within brain tissue, and so might be expected to scale with brain size which, in turn, depends on cranial capacity. Large memories, as in savants, should always require large heads. Small heads should always scale with small memories. While it was previously concluded that neither of these predictions was invariably true, the evidence was weak. Brain size also depends on ventricle size, which can remain large in some survivors of childhood hydrocephaly, occupying 95% of cranial volume. Yet some of these have normal or advanced intelligence, indicating little impairment of long-term memory. This paradox challenges the scaling hypothesis. Perhaps we should be looking further afield?
    http://journal.frontiersin.org.....00397/full

    Discrepancy Between Cerebral Structure and Cognitive Functioning: A Review – 2017
    Excerpt: The aforementioned student of mathematics had a global IQ of 130 and a verbal IQ of 140 at the age of 25 (Lorber, 1983), but had “virtually no brain” (Lewin 1980, p. 1232).,,,
    This student belonged to the group of patients that Lorber classified as having “extreme
    hydrocephalus,” meaning that more than 90% of their cranium appeared to be filled with cerebrospinal fluid (Lorber, 1983).,,,
    Apart from the above-mentioned student of mathematics, he described a woman with an extreme degree of hydrocephalus showing “virtually no cerebral mantle” who had an IQ of 118, a girl aged 5 who had an IQ of 123 despite extreme hydrocephalus, a 7-year-old boy with gross hydrocephalus and an IQ of 128, another young adult with gross hydrocephalus and a verbal IQ of 144, and a nurse and an English teacher who both led normal lives despite gross hydrocephalus.,,,
    Another interesting case is that of a 44-year-old woman with very gross hydrocephalus described by Masdeu (2008) and Masdeu et al. (2009). She had a global IQ of 98, worked as an administrator for a government agency, and spoke seven languages.,,,
    ,,, , people who grew up with only one hemisphere developed all the neuronal foundations
    needed for ordinary cognitive and most motor skills. Even so, it seems additionally surprising that one hemisphere can accomplish this after the other has been removed or was isolated anatomically and functionally from the rest of the brain, as it is the case of surgical hemispherectomy.,,,
    It is astonishing that many patients can lead an ordinary life after this drastic procedure, having only minor motor disabilities that result from mild hemiplegia.,,,
    McFie (1961) was astonished that “not only does it (one hemishere) perform motor and sensory functions for both sides of the body, it performs the associative and intellectual functions normally allocated to two hemispheres” (p. 248).,,,
    ,,, most patients, even adults, do not seem to lose their long-term memory such as episodic
    (autobiographic) memories.,,,
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2017/12/Discrepancy-between-cerebral-structure-and-cognitive-functioning-JNMD.pdf

    In short, as Michael Egnor stated, “We are composites of matter and spirit. We have spiritual souls.”

    Science and the Soul – Michael Egnor
    Excerpt: We are composites of matter and spirit. We have spiritual souls.
    https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

    And as Adam Sedgwick told Darwin, “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly”

    From Adam Sedgwick to Charles Darwin – 24 November 1859
    Excerpt: My dear Darwin,
    ,,, There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    Thus in conclusion, I will state what I stated at the beginning of this post, “While Kenyan runners might have some innate genetic advantage”, the claim that “there might be innate genetic differences in cognitive ability among racial groups” is a far different claim in that human consciousness, abstract thinking, intellect, even ‘personhood’ itself, is not reducible to materialistic explanations in the first place.

    Indeed, I hold that ALL intellectual differences between races is simply a matter of cultural differences not genetic differences.

    For prime example,

    When Amy Chua published “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother ” in 2011, a book about how she raised two high-achieving daughters, people took notice. Chua is Chinese American and both daughters were on their way to Harvard, with an impressive roster of activities that included excelling at piano and violin.
    Chua described how she built a household run on strict discipline and unyielding, sky-high expectations, what she called traditional Chinese parenting techniques. An excerpt from the book ran in The Wall Street Journal under a blunt headline that made clear the implications, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. ”
    https://diverseeducation.com/article/103966/

    In short, don’t let your friends, family members, or even what people may say in the culture at large, hold you back from learning whatever you may be interested in learning, whether it be brain surgery, (Ben Carson), or whether it be Quantum Physics (Sylvester Gates), or etc.. etc.., you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and you can master far more things, with the help of God, than many people who may know you personally, would be willing to give you credit for.

    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    JAD, you misread Reich. He is not calling for quotas, etc. as you suggest. He is merely pointing out that each human being is a unique combination of various attributes. You are reading way too much into the word “diversity” in the context of the quotation.

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    BA77

    Thank you for your comments. They are informative as always.

    the one thing that we look to see if there are any differences in the intellectual capacities of people, language itself proves that we have, ALL races of men have, an immaterial mind that is made in the image of God.

    There is an ambiguity here that needs to be explored. If by “intellectual capacity,” one means simply the general capacity to reason abstractly and employee language, then of course you are correct. All humans share that capacity equally. If by “intellectual capacity” one means “cognitive ability as measured by some standard,” well, different groups score differently, on average, on certain IQ tests. That is data, not opinion.

    Are those tests the final word on measuring intelligence? Is the measured difference definitely due to genetic causes? As Voegeli notes, there are no easy answers to these questions:

    For one thing, to isolate inter-group differences based in biology from those caused by culture and circumstance is a formidable challenge. Furthermore, intelligence is harder to define, measure, and compare than, say, the ability to run 26.2 miles.

    Is it at least possible that the some part of the measured difference is due to differences in average innate cognitive ability? Reich counsels us not to rule that possibility out. I don’t know why we should disregard that counsel.

    But, as I discuss in the article, all of that, no matter how it ultimately turns out, is only the beginning of the analysis (and the least important part of it). Each human is an individual with infinite dignity, value and worth and should be honored as a unique expression of a being made in the image of God.

    In short, don’t let your friends, family members, or even what people may say in the culture at large, hold you back from learning whatever you may be interested in learning, whether it be brain surgery, (Ben Carson), or whether it be Quantum Physics (Sylvester Gates), or etc.. etc.., you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and you can master far more things, with the help of God, than many people who may know you personally, would be willing to give you credit for.

    We are in complete agreement here (and this is also what Reich is saying in the lengthy quote near the end of the post).

  8. 8
    john_a_designer says:

    Barry,

    JAD, you misread Reich. He is not calling for quotas, etc. as you suggest. He is merely pointing out that each human being is a unique combination of various attributes. You reading way to much into the word “diversity” in the context of the quotation.

    Actually I wasn’t misreading him. I don’t think he was arguing the way the “social justice warriors” argue. Rather I was satirically contrasting his view with the SJW group think which does argue implicitly in favor of quotas (at least when it fits their agenda.) You need to start with the first word of my first sentence. “But DIVERSITY trumps everything else!” “But” in this case means what it usually means: “in contrast to”. I agree with you I don’t think the diversity Reich was talking about is the way the secular progressive left bandies about the term. Hopefully that clarifies what I was trying to say.

    The secular progressive left tends to see discrimination, bigotry and intolerance anytime they believe that a certain identity group is under represented somewhere in society. Personally I think there may be other reasons for the so-called lack of diversity in a lot of cases and not all of them are necessarily bad. For example, I’m okay with the way the NBA is. The next question is: can we openly “have a conversation” (a phrase those on the left love to use) as to why the NBA is the way it is? Or is that something that is totally taboo?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: ” If by “intellectual capacity” one means “cognitive ability as measured by some standard,” well, different groups score differently, on average, on certain IQ tests. That is data, not opinion.”

    I agree, My argument is NOT that the differences in IQ measurements do not exist. MY argument is that the claim that there is, potentially, a genetic basis for that intellectual difference has no evidential basis. In fact, it conflicts with the fact that, genetically, Caucasians, are found to be genetically inferior to Africans. As well it conflicts with the fact, As Dr. Egnor pointed out, the intellect of humans is profoundly immaterial and therefore, by definition, can have no material basis. i.e. “Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,”

    Thus my argument is that the differences in IQ must be primarily of cultural influence not material and/or genetic influence. And this indeed plays out. Change the cultural dynamics and IQ immediately improves for African Americans:

    Interview with Dr. Ben Carson on Education
    Excerpt:
    BC: I would say that probably is a very archaic attitude: to believe that African-American students cannot achieve at a high level. There was a school that I visited in Dallas. The principal, Roscoe Smith, had been assigned there: it was the worst school in the Dallas area in terms of standardized testing. Terrible area, a lot of crime, teen pregnancy, etc. He went in there and he started cleaning up the graffiti and telling the students, “This is your school.” He got them involved, they had a little bit of pride in what was going on. He taught them slogans: “And obey your parents.” Always ended with “Obey your parents.”
    That perked up the ears of the parents, many of whom were not high-school graduates. But he wanted them to come to the school because he had programs designed to help them to learn, so that they could then in turn get more interested in what their children were doing. But the most important thing he did is, he went out to the Dallas community, and he found people who came out of that neighborhood who were successful. He said, “I want you to come to my school. Just give me an hour’s notice — I’ll have all the kids in the auditorium. Tell them what you did. Tell them how you did it.” And he had a lot of people coming in there. Long story short: within a space of three years, they went from the bottom in the state in standardized testing to third from the top.
    So, can they learn? Of course they can learn!
    https://thebestschools.org/magazine/ben-carson-interview-on-education/

    This dramatic change simply should not have been possible if the human intellect were truly genetically determined as Darwinian materialists believe.

  10. 10
    Barry Arrington says:

    BA77. You are arguing against a proposition that I have never advanced.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Again, I was arguing against the proposition that “there might be innate genetic differences in cognitive ability among racial groups

    From your article

    “Saini’s progressive sensibilities are so distressed by the mere possibility that there might be innate genetic differences in cognitive ability among racial groups, that she is willing – nay, eager – to say screamingly stupid things in a vain attempt to prove there are not even any important physical differences, much less cognitive differences. If you disagree with her, you are a racist pig. And if the data do not support Saini’s progressive conclusions? Well, so much the worse for the data.”,,,

    “Do genetic factors account for differences in cognitive traits among races? According to award-winning Harvard geneticist David Reich, it is a definite possibility.”

    “If selection on height and infant head circumference can occur within a couple of thousand years, it seems a bad bet to argue that there cannot be similar average differences in cognitive or behavioral traits. Even if we do not yet know what the differences are, we should prepare our science and our society to be able to deal with the reality of differences instead of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that differences cannot be discovered.”

    I’m not saying that you hold that proposition or that you made the claim.

    MY argument is that the claim featured in the article that there is, potentially, a genetic basis for intellectual differences has no evidential basis. In fact, it conflicts with the fact that, genetically, Caucasians are found to be genetically inferior to Africans. As well it conflicts with the fact, As Dr. Egnor pointed out, the intellect of humans is profoundly immaterial and therefore, by definition, can have no material basis. i.e. “Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,”

    Thus my argument is that the differences in IQ must be primarily of cultural influence not material and/or genetic influence.

    And the empirical evidence bears that position out.

    In fact, the whole idea that there may a gene “FOR” this or that physical trait, (much less a gene “FOR” any particular mental trait), has fallen on hard times lately:

    Gene previously linked to obesity is unrelated – June 29, 2015
    Excerpt: … in the real world of careful analysis, scientists are just not finding the “genes” that the headline writers need. British geneticist Steve Jones points out that most human traits are influenced by so many genes that there is no likely systematic cause and effect:
    “We know of more than 50 different genes associated with height … That has not percolated into the public mind, as the Google search for “scientists find the gene for” shows. The three letter word for — the gene FOR something — is the most dangerous word in genetics.”
    And the craze is not harmless, he warns. …
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....unrelated/

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/its-like-all-connected-man/530532/

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/omnigenic-model-suggests-that-all-genes-affect-every-complex-trait-20180620/

    The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology – Bard – 2011
    Excerpt: If more than about three genes (nature unspecified) underpin a phenotype, the mathematics of population genetics, while qualitatively analyzable, requires too many unknown parameters to make quantitatively testable predictions [6]. The inadequacy of this approach is demonstrated by illustrations of the molecular pathways that generates traits [7]: the network underpinning something as simple as growth may have forty or fifty participating proteins whose production involves perhaps twice as many DNA sequences, if one includes enhancers, splice variants etc. Theoretical genetics simply cannot handle this level of complexity, let alone analyse the effects of mutation..
    http://www.biosignaling.com/co.....X-9-30.pdf

    With a Startling Candor, Oxford Scientist Admits a Gaping Hole in Evolutionary Theory – November 2011
    Excerpt: As of now, we have no good theory of how to read [genetic] networks, how to model them mathematically or how one network meshes with another; worse, we have no obvious experimental lines of investigation for studying these areas. There is a great deal for systems biology to do in order to produce a full explanation of how genotypes generate phenotypes,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52821.html

    Not Junk After All—Conclusion – August 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Many scientists have pointed out that the relationship between the genome and the organism — the genotype-phenotype mapping — cannot be reduced to a genetic program encoded in DNA sequences. Atlan and Koppel wrote in 1990 that advances in artificial intelligence showed that cellular operations are not controlled by a linear sequence of instructions in DNA but by a “distributed multilayer network” [150]. According to Denton and his co-workers, protein folding appears to involve formal causes that transcend material mechanisms [151], and according to Sternberg this is even more evident at higher levels of the genotype-phenotype mapping [152]
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....onclusion/

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    If the distinction that Aldous Huxley makes in his book, the Perennial Philosophy, between the spiritual intelligence and the worldly intelligence were accepted by everyone, perhaps we might be a little less scared that the truth would be injurious to a particualr race or races. Although that would by no means be the end of the story.

    There are, imho, very persuasive NDE in which the person states that they made a choice as to the nature of the trials they would suffer, God knowing them before the earth was formed (Jeremiah 1:5), or they were conceived – just as it would have happened with Jesus and Mary, though of course, Jesus was self-existent, had always existed as God.

    When one considers the vilification of the sub-Saharan Africans, on the basis of their late technological development, and hideously wicked ‘chattel’ enslavement, one can understand to a certain extent why some people, without a Christian faith in the truth as something benefical to all of us, would baulk at truth as the ultimate guarantor of wisdom and sanity. However, it has become obvious that the belated development was not a judgment on their congential intelligence at all. Today, Zulu school-children regularly out-perform our school-children in the UK. Plus, of course, there exist today innumerable high-achievers in the liberal professions and in science in the UK and the US, to name but two countries.

    There is a saying : ‘See Africa, and die’, meaning it’s alredy close to paradise. I suspect that it was always a land of ‘low-hanging fruit’, leading to a ‘Come day, go day, roll on Sunday’ attitude. At some point, the strongest tribes drove out the weaker ones, who, moving north would have had to show ever greater ingenuity in order to survive in the increasingly cold and barren climes of – northern Europe, in particular. Of course, with the Inuit, the conditions would have been just too harsh to promote ingenuity.

    The superior athleticism is nothing to get worked up about in terms of racism, unlike aspersions concerning alleged inferior intelligence of peoples, but rather a commonly observable truth ; one moreover that one would have to be exceptionally churlish to begrudge them in our hostile societies..

    Another possible explanation is that, instead of the weaker tribes being expatriated by the stronger tribes (or like the pygmies, driven to live in desert areas), it would have been a matter of the younger sons and perhaps the more adventurous souls largely voluntarily leaving the continent for pastures new. That version does not contribute as well to an explanation of their largely superior athleticism, though.

    As regards the spiritual intelligence and worldy wisdom, I believe that the key to a better understanding of their relationship and merits might lie in the relationship of two sons of King David. Solomon and Absolom. Solomon, for all his womanising later in life, leading part of the country into idolatry, through his multiplicity of foreign wives, was a true son of David during his life, while Absolom sought to usurp his throne. I believe that this relationship of Solomon and David was symbolic of the relationship between the manual worker, or, in part, manual worker as the David figure ; and the true
    intellectual or true cerebral person, as the Solomon figure. Absolom evidently the false intellectual type.

    On the cross, Jesus was made sin for our sake, symbolised by the snake on the standard in the desert that saved the Hebrews from the infestation of snakes, while there is a curious parallel between Jesus’ fate on Calvary and Absolom’s demise in his battle against his father’s troops. Absolom was found by Joab caught between the branches of a tree, and suspended over the ass he had been riding on – not dissimilar from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. after a hilarious, very humorous exchange between Joab and his shield-bearer or squire, Joab threw three darts at Absolom, killing him, putting me in mind of the Holy Trinity and the rivulet of blood on Jesus’ forehed of Turin, in the shape of the figure ‘3’..

    Anyway the long and the short of all this, is that spiritual wisdom far, far excels the worldly intelligence in value, which latter would no longer be applicable in heaven, even though we shall have glorified bodies, since they will be spiritualised – far beyond our quantum world ! Indeed, I believe that our worldly intelligence – as | believe is intimated particularly beautfully in the Beatitudes, is essentially, however usefully adapted down here, a degradation of our wordly intelligence, and used to good effect when directed to the common good of our fellow creatures, notably the poorer people. There is no excuse for endless accumulaton of wealth which is inevitably at the expense of the poorer public. Taxation must be one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, now that the money doesn’t go to meglomaniacal despots, but is deployed for the common good, notably, as the Scandinavians have done. Without a spiritual re-awkening, however, improvement of the lot of the poorer folk, increasingly actually homeless, will always degrade and need to be restarted. Though it does look as if we might be approaching a resolution of salvation history.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, there are two distinctions we need to see: first, that there is some modest natural selection at work, including things like altitude and a heritage of hunting by running prey to exhaustion. But as BA77 highlights, that doesn’t count at the absolutely pivotal point, we are ensouled creatures and soul (including rational, responsible, morally governed, significantly free intellect, at core) cannot be accounted for on computational substrates. Not even wetware ones. Rocks have no dreams, we do. We are not simply from the dust of the earth but also the breathed in wind of God. Where we need to look, is cultures and the need to nurture a reformation to a culture of sound, responsible, excellent, well informed — not propagandised and conveniently polarised — mind. KF

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The global sprint stakes have been of course dominated by Jamaicans of mainly African descent. More exactly, people from the general area of Trelawny within Jamaica though of course that’s not a 100% correlation. That’s where the world’s fastest scoliosis sufferer came from, a certain Mr Bolt. There may be genetic components, but I would put a bigger bet on an event in the 1952 Olympics, where Jamaica won the 4 x 100 Gold Medal, electrifying the nation. A culture of track and field emerged, and a stream of great coaches. Likely, the yams played a role, too, if they were not a natural staple they might have been banned! To see the force of culture, attend Schools Champs and see where the next generation of world beating sprinters comes from. Then, BTW, there is the period in which Barbados utterly dominated in Cricket.

    PPS: Did I mention that, per capita, Jamaica has also been way above its size in beauty contests?

  15. 15
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    A culture of track and field emerged, and a stream of great coaches. Likely, the yams played a role, too, if they were not a natural staple they might have been banned!

    Exactly. Even with a genetic impact I don’t see why that’s a problem. Raw physical talent has to be cultivated, but it can still exist in greater or lesser degrees among populations. It’s like Canadians and hockey. There’s a culture for skating and winter sports, but also some genetic qualities of toughness on ice. There is also desire which plays a part. Even with the physical gifts of Usain Bolt, a great deal of desire is needed to endure training and competition.

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Great insights, Axel @ 12

    On the cross, Jesus was made sin for our sake, symbolised by the snake on the standard in the desert that saved the Hebrews from the infestation of snakes, while there is a curious parallel between Jesus’ fate on Calvary and Absolom’s demise in his battle against his father’s troops.

    Yes. God commanded that a graven image of a snake be created and placed on a pole. All who looked at the brass snake would be healed. That text is a refutation of iconoclasm that came from a misreading of the laws of God. Psalm 22:6 “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Jesus on the cross, like the image in the desert. We’re reminded of a crucifix that shows Jesus’ body – when we gaze on it, we can be healed, spiritually and otherwise.

    Absolom was found by Joab caught between the branches of a tree, and suspended over the ass he had been riding on – not dissimilar from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. after a hilarious, very humorous exchange between Joab and his shield-bearer or squire, Joab threw three darts at Absolom, killing him, putting me in mind of the Holy Trinity and the rivulet of blood on Jesus’ forehed of Turin, in the shape of the figure ‘3’..

    I had never seen any of that before. Yes, Absolom hanging in a tree. Amazing parallels – thank you!

  17. 17
    PaoloV says:

    Axel @12 and Silver Asiatic @16:

    Did you mean “Absalom” instead of “Absolom”?

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “Avshalom” is commonly used as a male first name in contemporary Israel. Other variants, used either as a first name or a surname, include “Absalom”, “Absolon”, “Avessalom”, “Avesalom”, “Absalon”, and “Absolom”.

  19. 19
    Axel says:

    Paolo@17 and @Silver Asiatic
    Yes, I did mean ‘Absalom’. Nice to discover my version is an outlier, too, Silver Asiatic ! Thank you both.

    A curious associated phenomenon, too, Silver, is that in the Gospels, the title, Son of David, is frequently, if not invariably invoked in relation to Jesus as the Messiah by the people, the poor Joe and Jane Six-Packs, called a ‘riff-raff’ in that hilarious scene where they harrass the man born blind, I believe.

    While the politico-religious establishment, the Scribes, Pharisees and lawyers, are never heard to mention David at all (if I remember correctly), Jesus, himself, did, at least once, namely, in the incident where his disciples were reproached by the former for picking ears of corn on the Sabbath.

    And, today, I believe, among the Jewish intelligentsia (is there any other subset of society!?), David is still regarded as not much better than a hooligan. I had to laugh at the statement in his Bible dictionary by McKenzie, the late ‘premier Catholic biblical scholar’, that David was little better than a bandit ! The man of whom God said in his eyes, his (David’s) throne was like the sun, like the moon it would endure forever, and that David was a man after his own heart ! Oh the folly of worldly wisdom.

    Thank you, Silver. I believe, it was an original ‘light’ of mine (initially, the Holy Spirit’s, of course ! I’m sure he hates plagiarism…). Also, the cross is often, specifically, referred to as ‘the tree’, isn’t it ?

  20. 20
    Axel says:

    I was also rather tickled at the thought that the cross is also, often, referred to as ‘the tree’. Interesting, too , that it was Absalom’s head caught between the branches. I tend to see Jesus’ crown of thorns as specifically symbolising the false popes, prelates, theologians and scripture scholars.

  21. 21
    Axel says:

    Oh and re my #19, God even chose ‘David’ as the focus of his patronymic, ‘Son of David’ !

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    In English, Davidson. Or should it be MacDavid. As in, Joshua Davidson or Joshua MacDavid. KF

  23. 23
    Ed George says:

    Axel

    Of course, with the Inuit, the conditions would have been just too harsh to promote ingenuity.

    Did you really say this? Using dogs and sleds for transport. Making tools out of whale bones. Making kayaks. Making igloos. Hunting whales and seals.

  24. 24
    Axel says:

    Yes, I thought that needed qualification, after I’d written it, as it was not my intention to downplay their worldly intelligence at all ; far from it. Indeed, some months ago, I read that special services troops are taught to use the local knowledge/ wisdom of local indigenous people, who have honed their skills and understanding of their environment to a fine art.

    No. What I was seeking to suggest was that cold, snow, ice, local food sources, such as fish would perhaps not be as rich in complexity as in less inhospitable climes. On the other hand, I did read that the Inuit did have about 50 words for different kinds of snow.

  25. 25
    Axel says:

    There are no ‘dummies’ in this world (either racial or individual), at least, below the level of what we are pleased to call, the intelligentsia’. There is always a trade-off between our grip on the wisdom of this world and on that of the spiritual realm. I found I couldn’t answer an 11+ question published in the Guardian, a while back, and didn’t dare look at the next one ! I try to reassure myself that my simple-mindedness in worldly terms is surely offset by some spiritual nous !

    I once saw a lad who had been severly brain-damaged during his birth, stand up and cry out, unintelligibly to others, no doubt, but not to God, at the very moment when the priest held up the consecrated host.

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