Race Is Real. What Does That Mean for Society?

Robert VerBruggen, Real Clear Science, May 6, 2014

“Recent, copious and regional.” These are three words, according to New York Times science correspondent Nicholas Wade, that describe human evolution. That is, our development as a species has continued to the present, has involved significant changes, and (at least until modern travel became available) proceeded separately in each part of the world.

Or, in other words: Your eyes aren’t fooling you, and those sociology and cultural-anthropology professors you had in college were full of it. Human races exist.

Wade has been gently broaching this subject for a long time, regularly reporting new genetic findings on the pages of the Times and even including a chapter on race in his terrific 2006 book Before the Dawn. But in his new work, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, he dives in head-first. He covers everything, from the hard facts that establish the biological reality of race to highly speculative theories about how, exactly, racial groups might differ from each other genetically.

It’s an important book. It should demolish the idea that race is nothing whatsoever but a “social construct” and jumpstart a conversation about human history. But unfortunately, A Troublesome Inheritance does not equip readers to deal with the broader ramifications of the claims it makes: Though such concerns are arguably outside the realm of science, these theories have the potential to inflame racial prejudices, and Wade’s attempts to address this fact leave much to be desired.

{snip}

Because human races emerged through such subtle changes, it can be underwhelming to look at a single gene–to borrow an example from Razib Khan of Gene Expression, a variant might be present 40 percent of the time in one racial group but 45 percent of the time in another. But as Wade notes, these small differences add up quickly, and scientists can use these “ancestry informative” DNA markers to easily sort humans into population clusters–clusters that correspond almost perfectly to the casual classifications people have used since well before the genetic age.

One can debate how broadly or narrowly to define the clusters–just how many races are there?–but it’s undeniable that human populations exhibit distinctive genetic patterns. Racial groupings are human decisions, and so is the social importance we attach to those groupings. But race, more broadly construed, is a feature of humanity itself.

The big question is what these genes do–when natural selection acted, what exactly was being selected for? Researchers have figured some of it out; genetic differences account for racial differences in skin tone, resistance to malaria, etc. But for many genes that have apparently been subject to recent natural selection, all we have are vague indications of their function. Wade writes that these genes affect “fertilization and reproduction,” “skeletal development,” and “brain function”–and no, “brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection.”

That’s what we know to a reasonable degree of certainty. Anything further requires speculation, and Wade boldly goes there.

***

If genetics cannot yet tell us what each gene does, perhaps we can get some clues by looking at history, and in several chapters in the second half of the book, Wade explores theories about the trajectories of different population groups. An overarching theme is that while institutions matter greatly–just look at the difference between North and South Korea–it is possible that some institutions are better able to take root if certain genetic adaptations have already taken place. If human populations in some parts of the world, but not others, evolved slightly higher levels of trust, a slightly greater tendency toward nonviolence, and so on–perhaps because population density forced them to live in close proximity to each other, abandon tribalism, and develop states–that might help to explain why some populations have become unusually peaceful, democratic, and economically productive.

{snip}

No doubt, these theories will be subjected to rigorous analyses by historians, population geneticists, and other high-caliber experts in the months ahead. Here’s a sample of what they’ll be discussing:

(1) Why did the Industrial Revolution occur first in England? Wade lays out evidence, collected by the economist Gregory Clark in A Farewell to Alms, that those in England’s upper classes had been having more children than those in the lower classes–possibly affecting traits including “interpersonal violence, literacy, the propensity to save and the propensity to work,” and in turn transforming the population into one capable of immense economic output. An enormous population growth spurt starting around 1770 finally set the revolution off, and it quickly spread to other nations that were similarly situated.

(2) Wade says China had the right evolution but not the right institutions to take advantage of industry once it emerged, which is why its economy didn’t take off until it adopted economic reforms. Wade notes the examination system that was in place in China starting in 124 B.C., which he says created a sort of meritocracy that allowed the best scorers to rise in society and have the most children.

(3) Did violent tendencies evolve differently in different places? Wade notes that, among the Yanomamo of South America, men who have killed in battle have 2 1/2 times as many children as those who don’t. And he cites evidence that one gene that seems to contribute to violence–“MAO-A”–doesn’t show up evenly across populations, with one evidently violence-promoting variant being present in 5 percent of African-Americans but only 0.1 percent of Caucasians. The “gracilization” of the skull–the thinning that occurred as humans became less likely to try to bash each others’ brains in–shows a pattern too, but a very different one: It’s “most pronounced in sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians, with Europeans retaining considerable robustness.” Still another genetic variant, one related specifically to violence when drunk, has been found in Finns.

{snip}

Could these narratives hold the key to understanding important elements of human history? Maybe. But are they suitable for a book aimed at the general public? That’s a dicier question. As Wade writes, scientific speculation is fine so long as it’s labeled as such, but this isn’t just any old topic. At the very least, one would hope an author presenting these theories at length would carefully explain how to stop this kind of information from causing great harm.

***

At numerous points Wade tries to offer such an explanation, but his attempts are underwhelming. In one early chapter, Wade offers a history of eugenics and scientific racism, and he says scientists have a responsibility to “test rigorously the scientific ideas that are placed before the public.” This is a rather striking claim considering the rest of the book–and elsewhere he downplays these concerns, saying that “opposition to racism is now well entrenched, at least in the Western world. It is hard to conceive of any circumstance that would reverse or weaken this judgment, particularly any scientific evidence.”

Wade should be more worried. There’s really no telling what the future of racial tensions will look like or how science will factor in, even if we limit our discussion to the Western audience most likely to read A Troublesome Inheritance. The Cliven Bundys and Donald Sterlings of the world aside, we have seen dramatic improvements in racial attitudes in the last 50 years–but there’s no guarantee that our progress will be maintained or advanced in future generations as Western nations become increasingly diverse; as the horrors of slavery, colonialism, fascism, Soviet communism, and forced sterilization recede from national memories; and as attempts to root out lingering racism reach heights that many find ridiculous (see, for example, recent complaints about tiny slights called “microaggressions”).

Certainly, it is illogical to draw conclusions about an individual from the racial group he belongs to, even if every last one of Wade’s theories is true. Remember, evolution worked on human populations mainly by subtly shifting gene frequencies–every race has individuals with all sorts of attributes, even if the averages turn out to be a little different. But not everyone has a solid grasp on these kinds of statistical concepts. For many, there is no difference between “genes that increase X are slightly more common in this racial group” and “members of this racial group are inherently high in X.” When X is, for example, intelligence or propensity to violence, this perception can lead to serious societal problems.

Perhaps the solution is to do a better job of teaching this distinction to the public, but thus far the media and academy have been no help whatsoever. As Wade points out, instead of explaining that race is real but racism is wrong, they are presenting the assertion that race is imaginary as a reason that racism is wrong, and branding as a racist anyone who suggests that evolution might happen to humans too. Since human evolution has indeed been “recent, copious and regional,” we are seeing that what we’ve been taught is “racist” is actually just true.

There are ramifications for public policy here, too. As Wade writes, some have already used the idea that racial differences in IQ scores might be partly genetic (those supporting this theory usually give an estimate around 50 percent genetic and 50 percent environmental) to argue against education programs that seek to narrow racial gaps. These folks are wrong–if a gap is 50 percent environmental, there’s still good we can do, even if we haven’t figured out how yet–but genetic differences could indeed force some of us to rethink gaps in general. Liberals have long assumed that all racial gaps result from discrimination, while conservatives have protested that there are important cultural factors at work too. Proof of a genetic contribution would demolish the Left’s core assumptions and complicate the issue of when policies like affirmative action and “disparate impact” (a federal rule that makes it difficult for employers to use tests on which different racial groups have different pass rates) are defensible.

And what about foreign policy? Wade’s theories can underpin arguments about, for example, how we should approach “nationbuilding” projects. These ideas could keep powerful countries from making huge mistakes in the developing world. Or they could make rich nations give up on helping poor ones out of a belief that it’s pointless.

{snip}

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  • Frank_DeScushin

    “It’s an important book. It should demolish the idea that race is nothing whatsoever but a social construct.”

    Good luck with that. The problem here is that the author is actually looking at the facts that Wade presents, is thinking logically about them, and is willing to set aside any of his preconceived notions. The amount of diehard racial egalitarians capable of or willing to take those steps can be counted on one hand.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Don’t be so negative, Frank!

      Real Clear Science is not on my list of favorite websites and is therefore pretty mainstream if tangential and nerdy. This might be a broadside from some pretty fed up real live honest to goodness scientists and this could brew up into a big firestorm or it could percolate for years and REALLY cause a firestorm one fine day, lol…

      Maybe both?

      • Oil Can Harry

        Hopefully the “nerds” who read the site will absorb this article’s money quote:

        “…we are seeing that what we’ve been taught is ‘racist” is actually just true.”

    • Jacobite2

      He’s not thinking logically. If race is real, then race must be considered in making public policy. Trayvon Holder is pushing a ‘disparate-impact’ test for race prejudices. This means that in any discrimination suit, no racial discrimination or prejudice must be shown at all. The bare fact that any program or practice effects blacks differently than whites ipso facto means it is discriminatory, because, as we all know, THERE ARE NO DIFFERENCES among the races. Any difference in results must be due to prejudice. The author of the article can’t handle this truth.

  • Being im a hard believer of Evolution, im foaming at the mouth for this book. Ive suspected of such evolutions differance of humans through out history from where they live to how they live. This is an nice objective observation of mapping DNA and different humans accross the world. I think that some may not find some of his observations very flattering, i know that people will dini his observations, but its all good, no one believed that the earth was not at the center of the universe either at one time.

    • FeuerSalamander

      They are finding genetic differences between the races. Their CONJECTURE about these differences is that they are due to evolution. The REASON for those differences is really immaterial, wether it is through evolution or creation, the differences are still real and meaningful.

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        I agree. Differences matter, regardless if they occurred in nature over millions of years or if a dude sitting on a cloud wearing a toga snapped his fingers in a nano second. Sometimes I joke by saying, I am certain there is no god above because Black people exist! Only nature by countless causes and effects over eons could lead to such a thing!

    • Anon

      Evolution is a scientific theory….a logical tool used to gather and codify specific, measurable observations using an agreed upon set of standards and techniques. Once organized into patterns, inductive reasoning is used to predict what one might find if you extend the resulting model into new territory. It’s used to suggest further areas of inquiry and invite expansion of a knowledge based built in a logical, precise and predictable manner.
      Yeah…..nothing about evolution fits the bill. Quite the contrary, what you would expect to find when adopting the assumptions of evolution, you almost never find. Not in the fossil record. Not when observing bacteria forced to replicate a billion times. Not when observing so called “point mutation” (which almost always results in death or at least serious disease and NEVER functional advantage….ever). Parts of the theory are patently absurd. For example, the idea of the primordial ooze violate the PRIME tenant of Biology (that like only ever comes from other life).
      Look at the words you use…hard BELIEVER. Foaming at the mouth. These are the words of a religious zealot….one of an unreasonable religion. Belief is not relevant in science. In fact, science often demands one suspend belief and adopt specific “au priori” assumptions in order to reasonable test anything under simplistic, controllable, limited conditions.
      You’ve basically been brainwashed by anti-Christians. Brain washed into wanting to be against Christianity….better, more proven, more rational. You basically want a better religion….preferably one that allows you to kill the infidel.
      Why not stop pretending…convert to Islam or better yet, outright Satanism.
      After you are done being butthurt over being confronted by this….might I suggest some good books on actual science….it’s method, history, actual practice (real science is useful for ummm, stuff).
      I can also recommend some good books if you are looking for a religion.

      • BillMillerTime

        “For example, the idea of the primordial ooze violate the PRIME tenant of Biology (that life only ever comes from other life).”

        1) The spontaneous generation that Pasteur and others disproved was the idea that life forms such as mice, maggots, and bacteria can appear fully formed. They disproved a form of creationism. There is no law of biogenesis saying that very primitive life cannot form from increasingly complex molecules.

        2) You have obviously confused the theory of evolution with the theory of abiogensis. (Darwin himself said he didn’t know how life started on earth.) In other words, you don’t understand the theory of evolution even enough to argue against it.

        “Quite the contrary, what you would expect to find when adopting the assumptions of evolution, you almost never find.”

        Oh so wrong. Millions of fossils have been discovered. Not once have we found, say, a rabbit fossil in the pre-Cambrian strata. Such a confirmed discovery would by itself upend evolutionary biology as we know it. But it hasn’t happened, and it never will happen.

        See Kenneth Miller – Evolution vs. Intelligent Design.
        youtube [dot] com [forward slash] watch?v=c5PJG_-XlwE

        • DudeWheresMyCountry?

          I will never understand the cognitive dissonance of natural selection deniers; they can be of any religion but here at AR we get the Christian version. Just because something was canonized in The Bible doesn’t make it true. How do Christians here reconcile their religious beliefs with their observations regarding race realism and the overwhelming empirical evidence for evolution? Sorry, you can’t really believe in a Middle Eastern religion and be objectively scientific about race and evolution. Think about it; god didn’t send Jesus to Gaul or Ireland or Sweden. Religions are really just the propaganda arms of antiquity.

          • FeuerSalamander

            so you are calling people who don’t believe in evolution stupid, and that is your argument. There is no proof at all of evolution, nothing in the fossil record even comes close . IF evolution did happen, then there would be an abundance of trans, or interspecies fossils found, and yet, there is not ONE! You can babble on all DAY about the bible but there are many of us who do not believe it is a literal truth any more than YOU do. WE are offended by YOUR blind FAITH in YOUR religion of evolution! The theory of evolution OFFENDS me as a rational person, religion has NOTHING to do with it.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            If you can’t understand evolution and the abundance of evidence out there supporting it, you might be challenged. That said, I am not going to say you are stupid. I will say you look for the outcome you want, and not what is most likely. That is not an earmark of intelligent thinking. You seek an answer that best suits your desires, I seek answers that best suit the evidence with no concern for my feelings. You claim to be about evidence, yet you support a theology that you have no evidence for. Do you really think you can win a debate based on ideas of magic, gods, immortality and fairy tales? Really??

          • Dude, you may be wasting your time. there are many hear who are a bit blind to the observations of sci. Even when you rub thing such as
            Evidence in there face. they prefer faith. you cant reason with some.
            some think by beliveing in
            Science they are turnning there backs on god. that is the fault of there church of man. not the word of God,. God gave us the ability to think and reason some just cant’ get pass that.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Hey who is “WE?” So I get the impression you are much like the lefties who are “offended” by what they choose not to believe. How can you believe in a mythology created by and for a foreign people that believes we are all of god’s children and be a race realist? It is just so riddled with flaws and contradictions I find the entire dynamic interesting. I’m not trying to criticize you. I have had religion forced upon me and I will always defend Christians from their enemies but I can’t imagine honestly believing something that clearly is a human created concept. Humans created divinity to give people peace when there was nothing to explain anything and also to manipulate and control the masses for political gain. Read about Emperor Constantine and how he utilized religion to serve his agenda. There was nothing devine about it other than the imaginations of the people who were frightened into believing it.

          • tetrapod

            Christian theology is the most nonsensical collection of ideas ever to gain foothold in the human mind. Its only purpose has been to preserve the power of the priestly caste by keeping simple folk befuddled.

            On the other hand, it could perhaps still be useful as cultural glue in uniting the white masses.

          • saxonsun

            How is it living in Plato’s cave?

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            “The theory of evolution offends me as a rational person, religion has nothing to do with it.” Neither does being rational. Being supposedly offended and emotional doesn’t accomplish anything. We don’t play that. If you must, stick with trying to prove the dude in the clouds with harps is real, even if it is futile. Usually when religious types get cornered they go with the faith card, which means they don’t have any rational basis. They just believe. You might as well tell us you have a pink unicorn in your backyard but until the unicorn tells you he has a ticket to heaven just for you there won’t be any incentive for you. Understand religion is self serving, you are afraid to not believe even though in your gut you know it is rubbish. It is okay to not believe in lies, you can do it too.

          • BillMillerTime

            Your claim that there is no “proof” of evolution is technically correct in the sense that outside mathematics and formal math, you can’t really “prove” anything. ALL the evidence, however, supports evolutionary biology; none of it supports creationism.

            Your claim that there are no fossils for transitional species is in error. There are in fact many transitional fossils. If you ever attended a conference of paleontology scholars, you would understand how absolutely silly your claims are. There are in fact so many fossils of transitional species that paleontologists argue about whether a certain species is a reptilian fish or a fish-like reptile.

            One example of a transitional species is Ambulocetus natans (Greek for “walking whale”).
            preview [dot] tinyurl [dot] com [forward slash] nna4j7c
            Ambulocetus natans a long, slender, otter-like mammal built for an amphibious lifestyle,
            with webbed, padded feet and a narrow, crocodile-like snout. It was the ancestor of whales.

            Even if there were NO fossils, we would know that evolution is true. See Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA by Daniel J. Fairbanks (Prometheus Books: 2007).

            And no, I don’t think that you’re necessarily stupid. One possibility is that you have equated acceptance of evolution with a disbelief in a deity. Professor Ken Miller – you know, the guy I linked to in my last post whose video on evolution you haven’t bothered to view, and never will – is a devout Roman Catholic. Apparently he has no problem reconciling his knowledge of science with his faith.

        • FeuerSalamander

          There has never been one interspecies fossil found. There is no fossil evidence at all for the theory of evolution. Your suggestion that since rabbit fossils do not exist before a certain point in time does not at all substantiate evolution. To suggest it does shows an inability to understand reason. What we do know is that there are periods in the fossil record when many species suddenly appeared, without any predecessors. There were no half fish half rabbits, there was no half other mammal and half rabbit. Suddenly rabbits appeared. Suddenly thousands of species appeared, and they appeared in a time farm which could not have possibly allowed evolution from what existed before. No sir. the sudden appearance of species is not an argument FOR evolution, it is an argument AGAINST evolution.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Wow, I love AR because of the intelligence of it’s contributors but at times the religion angle baffles me. The only people who don’t accept the reality of natural selection are people of religion, and I know why… it threatens the narcissistic and ridiculously self serving idea that you will live forever in a magic kingdom in the clouds. Intellectualism requires you question beliefs that are built on you becoming immortal. The less desirable outcome, that we simply die and become fertilizer and dust is infinitely more probable.

          • Dude im on you side on this, but to through insults like the religious riech, is stuping to there level, I find people who insult yell an curse like liberals have nothing, they get confused by facts and stats, confusion causes anger, then the insults fly due to they can not comperhend or understand your beliefs.
            its all good. I was raise as a southern baptis, ive seen 1st hand of the hypcrosity as well the abuses that the church of men bring. I do believe in God, i dont of the sensored rewriten King James bible that many seem to think it is all of the word of god. While it is a good book of morals, it is missing many pages. let them stay ignorant. most are happier that way.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            I wasn’t trying to be rude. I simply expect people to challenge questionable ideas, regardless of their nature. If I was a religious zealot I would expect to be challenged since objectively it is questionable. I am always surprised when people express beliefs that are objectively challengeable and are surprised and offended someone would have the nerve to challenge it. One can believe what they please, just be ready to take some reasonable questions about it without getting upset. Adults discuss different ideas and opinions. Children get bothered someone on Earth doesn’t agree with them.

          • There is no period that life just appeard. This take millons of yrs. as a cycle thing have been wiped out at least 3-5 times. and life has to start over, specialest die off and generest adapt, then there bodies adapt to there new eniorments, here is a little example for you that you might have notice, Grizzlies and polar bears. or how about Native americans from the plains to the dewllers of higher elevations, look ate there bodies, there built to suit there enviorments. That is a form of evolution. hope that helps.

      • dukem1

        I am a practicing Catholic, and so, a believer.
        I find the simple bits of Darwinism, evolution, etc.,that I am familiar with to be elegant theories…overused by their proponents to explain everything under the sun, but, as theory, elegant nonetheless.
        I also believe that God works in wondrous ways.
        What’s the problem?

        • DudeWheresMyCountry?

          So you have doubts about the scientific method but have no problem thinking a god created you and Earth with a snap of the finger only to purposefully make the world problematic and dangerous so he can test you to see if you should be relegated to painful eternal damnation? Sorry to say as I was raised Roman Catholic, but you can’t be a critical thinker and believe in religious dogma over science.

          • FeuerSalamander

            scientific method has nothing to do with evolution. Of course someone who does not understand the method might think evolution is an “elegant theory”

          • dukem1

            I use the word “elegant” to infer simplicity.
            Theory-wise, I think I’m correct in that usage.

          • FeuerSalamander

            Simplicity does not confer validity.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Of course it does. Any scientific data that can be recreated and retested by multiple sources is part of the scientific method. Do you deny that the overwhelming lion’s share of scientists agree on natural selection? How do you think they got to that place? Funny how threatened Christians and Muslims are by science, it reminds me of our friends of the far left… always trying to deny proveable truths that don’t fit into your self serving dogmas.

          • captainc

            I am a Muslim but not threatened by science, I believe in Theistic Evolution. Just google Islam+Evolution in Wikipedia to know what I mean.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Don’t go to Mecca and say that. You won’t make it out alive.

          • captainc

            Evolution theory does not offend Muslims, there are percentage of Muslims in every nation that do believe in it.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Does not offend some moderate Muslims but still, it isn’t discussed in the Koran and if you started spouting about it on a soap box in an Islamic country I’d give you about five minutes before it got horribly ugly for you. Independent thought is not tolerated. Any idea an eighth century warlord and pedofile didn’t come up with is strictly forbidden and punishable by death. Primitive animals Muslims are.

          • captainc

            Qur’an is not a science book. But there are rooms for evolution theory. I will not comment on on the rest as they are out of topic.

            en(dot)wikipedia(dot)org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_evolution
            www(dot)truevolution(dot)info/

          • dukem1

            Never said I put one over the other..I just don’t have a problem having both in my head at the same time.
            I don’t think I have all the answers. You think you do.
            That’s what makes a horse race.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            No, I am far less in the belief I know everything. I am too smart to think that. I am an agnostic. You have all the middle Eastern fairy tale baggage. Also, I don’t think religion and science are mutually exclusive. Einstein basis for quantum physics was the premise, if God was to build a working universe, how would he do it?

          • dukem1

            Not by rolling the dice, as he said.

          • Rick

            So you have just traded on religion over another one–Science over Christianity. Scientists are the new priest caste today. They are considered “authorities” not to be questioned. So what is the relevant difference?

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Science is verifiable. Religion is not. Science is a reality you can see in technology, medicine and research and development. Religion has no practicality. Science requires the scientific method. Religion requires faith. Science is real, whether you like it or not. Religion is debatable at best. Science we can’t live without. Religion we can barely live with. Science pushes our understanding and knowledge forward. Religion retards our knowledge and ability to learn about the universe. I know it makes you feel good to call science a religion but it only makes you sound as if you don’t understand the difference.

          • dukem1

            “Religion we can barely live with.”
            What you mean “we”, white man?

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            We, as in humanity as a whole. You don’t see conflicts almost everywhere on Earth due to religious differences? I didn’t mean we as in you and me colored man.

          • dukem1

            Just for the sake of the discussion, can you please cite the empirical, observable, data supporting whatever it is you think.
            And lay off the “fairy tale” business…there’s other sites for you to express your militant atheism.
            They also quite value diversity, I am sure.

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            A non-White sitting on a computer questioning the value if science, that is priceless. Speaking of being on the wrong site, you took a wrong turn. Why don’t you go play with sticks, just like your ancestors were so good at.

          • BillMillerTime

            Scientists are not to be questioned? You have obviously never attended a conference of scientists.

        • DudeWheresMyCountry?

          Just curious, if you believe science is just an unprovable theory how can you believe religion isn’t the same? You know, saying god works in wondrous ways means nothing, it is a meatless bone.

        • saxonsun

          You mean you’ve been brainwashed–scary to even think that there are people who accept a virgin birth as truth when all it is psychosis, yet they turn their backs on reality.

      • tetrapod

        “au priori”? Never heard of that before. You must mean ” a priori”.

      • RyanP

        My acceptance of race realism is one of the pillars of my atheism. You actually believe god created unequal races? Why would he do that? Look at all of the problems it is causing. Why wouldn’t god just create Europe and be done with it? I cannot wrap my head around the idea that someone could be believe in a Christian version of god and be a race realist. You are the flip side of the coin of the evolution promoting atheist who asserts that one organ(the brain) in one species(humans) is exempt from natural selection.

    • plaintruthforidiots

      “im” ?
      “dini”?
      WTF? You seriously can’t spell “I’m”, and “deny”?

      • Geo1metric

        Someone should introduce him to “spellcheck”. Unless he does it on purpose to make the site look like lots of third-graders post here.

      • DaveMed

        Not sure if he’s a troll or just not American or from the UK.

        I believe that many who post here live in Europe – after all, this is a site intended to advance the interests of both Europeans and European-Americans.

        I’m not going to judge a Swede, for example, for having poor English literacy.

        • I travel alot, im very American i speak and read, 3 languages, i also hate the smart phone i have, small tiny keys and can not see what im typing and the spell check is awfully screwy.
          if my you cant understand what im attempting to type for give me. but please lets keep the insults to a min, and have somthing that resembles a chat of sharing ideas and beliefs, i know there are many hear who i love calling the religious riech, Its all good, if they truly followed and believed in the teachings of Christ and the word of God, they wouldn’t be so angery and hatefull. There attacks against my beliefs of God and Sci, and the ability to seperate the two, is just showing how hypricritical they trully are.

          • DaveMed

            Not to be mean, but I’ve glanced over some of your other posts.

            I suggest reading more books.

            EDIT: vigilante does not have a third i.

          • I read my ass off, most is old text. from china and greek, love the old myth stories, that is what im into now. i jump around, not into novels for the most part, i read the things that bore the hell out of most. i don’t follow the crowed when i make my choices of belief. I have thick skinn. my feeling don’t get hurt really that ease. Unlike most anymore. I do enjoy a chat with people who don’t belive what i do.

          • captainc

            i am not sure you are educated in america or anywhere in western world, what are you and were are you from?

          • thats fine believe what ya want. Im not hear to show off any of my
            Academics, please stay on topic.

          • captainc

            are you Hispanic of naturalized citizen of USA? and you were born abroad?

          • Born Portland Or. German, Irish, black foot, desendant, moved and lived in 6 contries through out my life,.

          • Geo1metric

            But do you? 🙂

          • yes i know i did it to pervent
            duplicated
            names.

  • Dave4088

    Unfortunately, I doubt this book will change current race policy in the West since we have too many true believers occupying positions of power in government, academia and the media. The anti-white left is twisting itself into knots on the best ways and means to neutralize the impact of this book. At this juncture it’s not clear if they will launch a full frontal assault or simply give it the silent treatment. Since the facts in the book are unassailable I’ll guess they’ll choose the latter approach.

    I do know that if we don’t heed the scientific findings on race we will soon enter the darkest of dark ages that may well destroy European man and our numbers will be so few and the quality of our population so low that we will be at the mercy of non-whites and death would be preferable to that state of existence.

    • dukem1

      I’ve been reading about this book a lot lately, and reading a lot of folks’ thoughts about what Wade says.
      I’d say that to the typical Am-renner, he is simply stating the obvious.
      Not unlike 50 years ago when it was shown that smoking was bad for you because, finally, the Surgeon General said it was.
      Considering Wade has been with the NYT as long as he has, I’d say he has no problem hanging with that crowd.
      I predict that soon he will be all over the place saying that no one really understands his work.
      And so, down the memory hole.

      • Perhaps, but like many in his and sim, fields, sooner or later, his work may be better understood in the future. it may take decads, as well as social experiments, but what little i did look at, it is a tough read but i do find it intreging.

  • I was wondering where I read the name Robert VerBruggen before.

    Alas:

    vdare (dot) com/articles/john-derbyshire-on-race-whipped-conservatives-and-the-stigma-of-racism

    Wherein John Derbyshire quotes me.

    This VerBruggen is a racial leftist pretending to be some sort of “conservative.” Even if I didn’t know that already, one clue just from this article is that he casts noted racial liberal Cliven Bundy out to be some sort of bigot. Meaning that VerBruggen never actually watched the whole Cliven Bundy video, he just digested the crackpot left wing media conventional wisdom about what Bundy said.

    VerBruggen — One of many talentless hacks passed off as brilliant in today’s neoconservative commentariat world.

  • JohnEngelman

    But specific policies based on premises that conflict with scientific truths about human beings tend not to work. Often they do harm.

    – Charles Murray, from “The Inequality Taboo”

  • Certainly, it is illogical to draw conclusions about an individual from the racial group he belongs to
    _________________________
    Very clever the way this writer goes about undercutting Wade. It IS logical to draw PROBABILITIES about an individual based on race. Thus, if I meet a black male in baggy pants, it is logical to SUSPECT that he has a criminal record.
    The purpose of this review is to defend an undefendable status quo about race. I would need hours to totally deconstruct the review, but my one example is enough for me. I will continue to draw conclusions based on race because I understand the simple idea of going with the odds, not against them.

  • JSS

    “Could these narratives hold the key to understanding important elements of human history? Maybe. But are they suitable for a book aimed at the general public”?

    The libtard champions of free speech openly advocating for censorship of anything that contradicts their religion. The narrative racial equality was a lie from the start. It had a purpose and the purpose was to destroy White civilization and its founding stock. But lies take more lies to cover up. They have been piling up for so no long now that their stench can’t be covered up anymore. So now they just tell us we can’t handle the truth like we are children. Like we are the problem, not the situation their lies have created. Our enemies our vile beyond words.

    • Romulus

      Free copies of Anotole Klyosov’s papers were made available at the conference.
      I finished reading one this afternoon. It would be fairly common knowledge amongst us realists and informed.
      I will purchase Wade’s book as well. Perhaps he is drawing the same conclusions as Klyosov, only making the information more publicly comprehensive.

  • Dave4088

    While this review isn’t the usual hatchet job, neither is it a ringing endorsement for racial reality and contains the usual anti-racist dissembling like, “Since human evolution has indeed been “recent, copious and regional,” we are seeing that what we’ve been taught is “racist” is actually just true.” And I believe Wade himself has tried to downplay some of the genetic findings that should shatter the belief in racial equality for all time.

    It seems some people, possibly including Wade, want to have their cake and eat it too in claiming that even though race is a biological reality and racial differences are real and immutable, only minor, cosmetic changes to social policy are needed for different races to coexist in the same living space. This is a false premise and the typical politically correct pablum calculated to protect one’s livelihood and reputation.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn from a book such as this is that the differences among races are such that we cannot successfully coexist and should return to the bad, old days of racially and ethnically based nations. The alternative is bloodshed and violence on scale heretofore unknown.

  • Hunter Morrow

    Realizing that race is important=Taboo
    Race-mixing=Promoted on the Grammys

  • FozzieT

    The differences between the Human races are greater than between breeds of domesticated dogs. As I read it, the differences are more along the lines of the differences between domesticated dogs and wolves, coyotes, dingoes and jackals. Which means our immigration policy is like having a bunch of beagles import packs of wolves.

    • daasdasd23123123

      That isn’t true at all. There is nothing among humans (aside from extreme genetic abnormalities) approaching the differences between a teacup chihuahua and a great dane. Comparing humans to dog breeds is not very accurate.

      • FozzieT

        I understand what you are saying from the standpoint of physical differences. I was thinking more along the lines of the genetic impact on the overall culture created by different races.

        Some races have evolved to the point of creating societies that are more civilized, egalitarian, and based on rule-of-law. These races would be analogous to domesticated dogs.

        Other races have only evolved to the point of creating “strong-man rule” types of societies, or tribal societies. These races would be analogous to the wild versions of dogs, where the pack is the central unit.

        I know it is not an exact analogy, but my point was that while domesticated dogs are very different physically, they are still all more similar behaviorally than wild canids. And, rather than view the different races as akin to different domestic dog breeds, it might be more correct to compare them to domestic vs. wild canids.

        • daasdasd23123123

          To that extent, I’d agree, but people who make the “dog breeds” analogy often overlook nuances like that. It’s not entirely without merit, but it can easily be exploited by liberals are a bit more scientifically literate. Saying humans are just like dog breeds opens the door for someone to point out how, since canine diversity dwarfs that of humans (there has indeed been extensive genetic research into why dogs are so incredibly diverse, and there are verified reasons for it, like their high numbers of tandem repeats), there can be no comparison, and therefore genes can’t play much of a role in human variation

      • WR_the_realist

        Dogs are diverse in their phenotype but not in their genotype. There is surprisingly little difference in the genes among different breeds of dogs, which shows that tiny changes to genes do indeed result in big differences in behavior and physical appearance. Keep that in mind when people argue that because the genetic differences among different human groups are small, they can’t be of any consequence.

        I believe that there is more genetic diversity among humans than there is among dogs. That would make sense since the various dog breeds have all evolved since domestication, about half as long as the various human races have been evolving from their common ancestor.

  • daasdasd23123123

    “The “gracilization” of the skull–the thinning that occurred as humans
    became less likely to try to bash each others’ brains in–shows a pattern
    too, but a very different one: It’s “most pronounced in sub-Saharan
    Africans and East Asians, with Europeans retaining considerable
    robustness.””

    This is a really strange tidbit, and I can only assume this is referring to the fact that Europeans (and caucasoids in general) have larger browridges than africans and east asians. There’s nothing to suggest the larger browridges of whites have anything to do with a selection for “bashing eachother’s skulls” in, and in face of this, east asians and africans are more prognathous than whites- does that mean there was a greater selection for biting eachother in fights? Charles Darwin had a huge browridge, does that mean he was “primitive”?

    Australian aborigines, however, have among the largest browridges of all living humans, and among some groups atleast, have very dense skulls, which I’ve read was selected for because some groups practice a form of dueling involving clubbing eachother over the head, so there’s that.

    I guess this is one of those feeble concessions Jared Taylor mentioned in his review, especially since this comes after discussion of race and violence. Blacks may have high frequencies of an allele implicated in violence, but better throw out some inane claim about an ancestral feature in whites indicating a selection for violence that might balance things out.

  • curri

    The “gracilization” of the skull–the thinning that occurred as humans became less likely to try to bash each others’ brains in–shows a pattern too, but a very different one: It’s “most pronounced in sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians, with Europeans retaining considerable robustness.”

    I knew I should have taken up boxing when I was younger. 🙂

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    “…these theories have the potential to inflame racial prejudices, and Wade’s attempts to address this fact leave much to be desired.”

    I’m 1/3 through the book and can tell you that this criticism is not justified…Wade does lots of handholding for the kindergartners.

  • Alexandra1973

    “Reviewer: A Troublesome Inheritance has the facts right, but readers may draw taboo conclusions.”

  • I posted links to this review and Charles Murray’s on Facebook. Nobody has liked it or commented. Not surprised. They’re all scared and brainwashed, like I used to be.

  • MBlanc46

    “Could these narratives hold the key to understanding important elements
    of human history? Maybe. But are they suitable for a book aimed at the
    general public?”
    Only if you don’t want to keep the general public in benighted ignorance.

  • FeuerSalamander

    …”these theories have the potential to inflame racial prejudices…”, they will INFORM and VERIFY!!! Prejudice is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. IN the past prejudice was said to be based on misguided and faulty assumptions. NOW we are finding out that those assumptions ARE and always HAVE BEEN …..CORRECT!!!! Prejudice is now ENLIGHTENED, INFORMED, RATIONAL!!!! OF COURSE we should inflame prejudice!!!

  • Ron Cheaters

    In discussions about race with my peers, I’m sometimes asked. “What about the people who come here and work hard for a better life”
    I feel I am sympathetic when my response is that “those people would be more influential and are truly truly missed by others working hard and seeking the same in their lands of origin.”
    It gives them thought to mull around.

    • dukem1

      Exactly…Given the primitive land so many immigrants come from, why didn’t stay there and become Rockefellers or Carnegies or Fords.
      Wait…I know why…….

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Wow, I am realizing much of the AR crowd are Middle Eastern fairy tale believers. Can we have any credibility as objective thinkers concerning our race, nations and heritage if we are arguing about religion and how science threatens our trip to the eternal kingdom? It reminds me of what I tell my lefty liberal relatives that are Christian… the only thing about the right you believe is the one thing the right got wrong. Funny how White Americans and Europeans that buy into Middle Eastern religion don’t realize at the least that Jesus didn’t come to our people; he lived and died without ever making himself appear in our ancestral lands. Our people were not who he chose. Why would you choose him now? I choose my people, our cultures and accomplishments… not the mythology of others.

    • Geo1metric

      While I am agnostic, I think I understand why “the right”, at least many on the right, are Christian. Let’s remember that Christianity has been a “tradition” in the West for quite some time, and people on “the right” tend to uphold traditions.

      Also, I think that people in general are wired to believe in something greater than themselves. In many cases, this translates to the political “cult of personality”.

      Many, in fact most, people do not think scientifically. Most people are “emotional”; this is why I like the following quote: “Love and faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead. Let reason kneel in reverence outside.”

      Like you, I wonder why people are believers, but I call Christianity an Asian religion since it arose in Asia, western Asia for sure, but Asia nevertheless. I have fun sometimes asking Christians why they subscribe to an Asian religion; they get perplexed because the instant you say “Asian religion”, they think “Buddhism”.

      Nevertheless, we need ALL of us for the cause.

    • dukem1

      I do believe that there is a a quite popular view of things that Jesus did indeed come to be among the North American people.

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        You believe a lot of nonsense so I am not surprised. So The Mormons told you that, yes it must be true, it’s in a book right?

      • captainc

        Joseph Smith had a criminal records, one of them was Fraud.

  • Peter Connor

    Holy Christ! Have we returned to the Middle Ages, where most knowledge is forbidden?

    • Geo1metric

      Yes.

  • tetrapod

    I think die-hard leftists react to race realism the same way I react to evolution deniers. I have very little patience for those who’ve made no effort to understand the basic scientific principles that support it. Likewise, leftists must think I simply don’t make an effort to see the “racism” that’s so obvious to them. It matters little that I have scientific rigor on my side, where they have only subjective “feelings”.

    • Alexandra1973

      Well, it’s called the *theory* of evolution for a reason, and I certainly don’t believe in it.

      Take the Flood, for example. Why is it just about all cultures have an ancient account of a great flood? Furthermore, science backs it up: http://www(dot)earthage(dot)org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        It isn’t a theory, it is a fact. Living organisms adapt to their environments. Too bad you allow Middle Eastern fairy tales to cloud that truth. That is amusing, you attempt to use science to prove mythology. I bet you believe “god” wrote the Bible. People wrote it. Next you are going to tell us radiocarbon dating is not credible and that Earth is only a few thousand years old. God snapped it up sitting in his golden chair in the clouds right? Religion in this case is completely anti-intellectual. Believing in fairy tales won’t save you… nothing will make you immortal, but at least the truth will set you free.

      • tetrapod

        You have a very common misunderstanding of the word “theory”. It does not mean hypothesis, conjecture, or SWAG. A theory is a framework for systematically organizing observations using scientific principles. For example, General Relativity is also a theory, and your GPS wouldn’t work without it

        You suffer from another common misconception, i.e., that humans evolved from the same apes you’d see in a zoo. It’s more accurate to say that humans and chimps, for example, evolved from a common ancestor, and that chimps differ from that ancestor in the same way humans do.

        I can understand that these ideas are upsetting when they threaten a belief system that promises immortality. I wish there was something I could say to give you comfort.

        • Geo1metric

          Aliens created us by genetic engineering. 🙂

          • DudeWheresMyCountry?

            Mexicans created us? Wow, they really are smart and advanced! They sure had me fooled.

          • Geo1metric

            :).

          • Stan D Mute

            Actually that’s easier for me to believe than that some omniscient, omnipotent being, capable of creating an entire planet in six days including millions of different plants and animals along with fossils designed to confuse us about the real origin of the planet, is just sitting around demanding my saccharin adoration otherwise he will throw a petulant frenzy of destruction.

          • Geo1metric

            My smiley face doesn’t mean I think it is a joke. I think that it is more likely than not.

      • Stan D Mute

        Many ancient cultures have flood stories because floods were such unmitigated disasters when the whole civilization lived in a flood plain. They lived in a flood plain because they were agrarian and flood plains are fertile.

        One could ask why so many cultures have dragon stories too. For that I have no answer. Does your book explain the dragons?

        I left Christianity when I was a young teenager and discovered the church was unable to resolve the MANY logical inconsistencies in their book. I can take some things on faith – for example I have faith that rocket motors work – when I know that there are men who do have the answers and can explain them to me. This great book however, having read it cover to cover, has a VAST amount of superstitious nonsense the church says we mustn’t believe while insisting that other parts are undeniably true. And yet none can provide the slightest bit of incontrovertible evidence for any of it. They even admit that much was simply cribbed from earlier religions to make it easier to convert new followers.

        I don’t have THAT much faith.

        • dukem1

          You left Christianity back when you were a young teenager,,,back when you REALLY were smart!
          Don’t look back.

      • WR_the_realist

        We also have Electromagnetic Theory and the Theory of Gravity, and both are well enough established to be regarded as facts for all practical purposes. The Theory of Evolution is a fact in the same sense. Laymen use “theory” as equivalent to “speculative hypothesis”. That’s not how scientists use the word.

        • dukem1

          There is a scientific consensus on evolution…just like there is a consensus on global warming.
          Well, I guess that’s that!

          • WR_the_realist

            There’s a scientific consensus on electromagnetic theory too. I guess you had better just give up on using electricity, because you can’t trust those scientists.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    I have a question for everyone: can you be a race realist and not believe or understand natural selection? They are linked and I don’t see how you can accept one without the other without falling into some intellectual minefields. If you believe in the reality of race how can you deny evolution? If you believe in evolution how can you deny race differences? if you are a devout Christian don’t you have to accept that god created different people that aren’t really different and that the world is how he wants it and arguing for racial interests is against his wishes? For those who fall into these categories don’t you see how easily all your viewpoints are challenged? They don’t make sense and then it becomes a faith and emotion thing and at that point aren’t you more like the progs and libs that we all loath? It is an interesting crossroads of contradictions isn’t it?

    • John Ambrose

      In the “Old South” where race realism and Christian fundamentalism lived side-by-side for generations, most whites attributed the perceived inferiority of blacks to the curse of Ham in the Old Testament. (Noah supposedly had 3 sons from which all of mankind descends and it was assumed that blacks came from the cursed one, Ham) And then there’s devoutly religious people like Pat Buchanan who believe in micro-evolution (which allows for certain traits to have been accentuated via selection over time in human races, dog breeds, etc.) but not in macro-evolution (humans, dogs, etc. being evolved from other species and ultimately from microbial life)

      But to commenters like “FeuerSalamander” I have some very simple questions… Do you really believe that humans and Dinosaurs co-existed on earth at the same time? Are you aware that astronomers are now finding earth-like planets all over our galaxy and that most of its billions of stars probably have planets revolving around them, making extraterrestrial life somewhere out there extremely likely ?
      Are you aware that all non-Africans are part Neanderthal but we now know that male Neanderthal-human hybrids were less fertile because these two hominid groups were on the brink of becoming separate species? (Horses and Donkeys actually have evolved into seperate species, that’s why their Mules are infertile).

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        Buchanan is probably smart enough to know the truth but with the crazy left always at his heels he might not want to alienate his base support by stating the truth about natural selection. This is another reason why I can’t really trust what anyone in the public eye says, they all have to lie in some way to stay there.

      • Geo1metric

        A friend of mine is a Christian and a scientist. He says that evolution is God’s tool for creating man and the other species. He also thinks there is statistically a certainty that intelligent life exists exo-earth.

        I also agree that it is statistically certain that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. I have seen this belief become mainstream from “fringe” in my life-time.

  • Jacobite2

    Just to pick one example — why does it make sense to program large resource expenditure to try to raise sub-normal IQs to near-normal, when the same resources could enhance the IQs of already intelligent people? In fact, after the Sputnik scare, educational resources in the US were directed towards enhancing the abilities of the already-superior (the National Defense Education Act). That alone was how we were able to put men on the moon and return in one decade. And today who believes we could replicate anything like that? Now, it is a public-policy choice as to which way to go here, but don’t anybody f’ing tell me it’s a matter of justice or equality.

  • Stan D Mute

    “what we’ve been taught is “racist” is actually just true.”

    And that really says EVERYTHING doesn’t it?

  • IBWHITE

    I think the egalitarians know their “race is a social construct” nonsense is about to go belly up. It seems that now they simply want to financially or physically punish anyone who dares speak the truth. The left is evil but not stupid.