The Troublesome Ignorance of Nicholas Wade

Agustin Fuentes, Huffington Post, May 19, 2014

On May 5, one day before Nicholas Wade’s new book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History came out, I appeared with him in a webinar sponsored by the American Anthropological Association. It was a striking experience. I expected there to be a strong back-and-forth debate about the research on human genetics and how we interpret it, and about human evolution and what we know about it. This was not the case.

Wade argues that there are definable and genetically identifiable groups we can identify and label as biological races in humans today. He would not provide a definition for what he meant by “race” or a specific number of races that we have (he goes back and forth between three, five and seven). Wade relies on a teeny slice of the overall available data on human genetics to support his case. In short, he suggests that believing in biological races (especially African, Caucasian and East Asian) is just common sense. Wade then states that evolved differences in these races are the key explanation for social differences in histories, economies and societies between them–why “Chinese society differs profoundly from European society, and both are entirely unlike a tribal African society” (p. 123). Wade argues that it is genetic differences and separate evolutionary histories that help us understand why Chinese dynasties lasted so long, why it was so difficult for the U.S.A. to instill democratic social institutions in Iraq after the war and why so many Jews win Nobel prizes.

In making these assertions Wade ignores the majority of data and conclusions from anthropology, population genetics, human biology and evolutionary biology. In the webinar he was even adamant about refusing to even interact with any data or analyses that in any way demonstrated that his simplistic assertions were wrong. Wade just ducked every question that challenged him.

{snip}

Wade’s book misrepresents genetic and evolutionary data; his pronouncements about race and what it means are sweeping the Internet with glowing reviews from true believers. Charles Murray (co-author of The Bell Curve) wrote a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal championing Wade as the voice of reason against a sea of left-leaning, lying academics. Jared Taylor of the hyper-conservative and openly racist magazine American Renaissance congratulated Wade on his blow to the supposedly fascist left that is academia.

{snip}

Wade makes two assertions that underlie all the rest of his arguments:

  1. Humans are divided into genetically identified “continental races” (three, five or seven, depending on where you are in the book).
  2. Significant differences in genetically based social behaviors are observable between these “races” as a result of the last 50,000 (or 15,000) years of human evolution.

He’s wrong on both counts.

Let’s start with a few core facts about human genetic variation:

  1. Genes don’t do anything by themselves; epigenetics and complex metabolic and developmental systems are at play in how bodies work. The roundworm C. elegans has about 20,000 genes while humans have about 23,000 genes, yet it is pretty obvious that humans are more than 15-percent more complex than roundworms. So while genes matter, they are only a small part of the whole evolutionary picture. Focusing just on DNA won’t get you anywhere.
  2. If you are making a scientific argument about genetic variation, you need to focus on populations–and be clear about your definitions. Throughout the book, Wade uses the words “cluster,” “population,” “group,” “race,” “subrace” and “ethnicity” in a range of ways, with few concrete definitions, and occasionally interchangeably.
  3. The real question is what human genetic variation actually looks like. Are there five (or three, or seven) “continental” races? No, and here is why:

Humans all share essentially 100 percent of our genes and 99.9 percent of our variation. So the variation we are interested in involves 0.1 percent of the entire genome. And yes, understanding that variation is important.

The vast majority of DNA that varies is not in genes themselves and is not shaped by natural selection in the way that Wade suggests it is.

Most variation is due to gene flow and genetic drift. The further apart two populations are, the more differences they are likely to have.

Most of the variation in our entire species is found in populations just in Africa. All the variation found in all populations outside Africa makes up just a small subset of that variation.

So while different populations vary in some of that 0.1 percent of the genome, this variation does not represent biological “races.” For example, when you compare (as Wade does) people from Nigeria, Western Europe and Beijing and Tokyo, you do get some patterned differences, but these populations do not reflect the entire continental areas of Africa, Europe and Asia, respectively. If you compare geographically separated populations within the “continental” areas, you get the exact same kind of variation. Comparing 60 Nigerians, 60 Americans of European descent and 89 people from Beijing and Tokyo gives us the same kind of differences in patterns as does comparing people from Siberia, Tibet and Java, or from Finland, Wales and Yemen, or even from Somalia, Liberia and South Africa–and none of these comparisons tells us anything about “races.”

{snip}

So when Wade states in chapter 5 of his book, “It might be reasonable to elevate the Indian and Middle Eastern groups to the level of major races, making seven in all,” he notices a problem: “But then, many more subpopulations could be declared races.” But he has a solution: “[T]o keep things simple, the 5-race continent based scheme seems the most practical for most purposes.”

Sure, it is practical if your purpose is to maintain the myth that black, white and Asian are really separable biological groups. But if your goal is to accurately reflect what we know about human biological variation, then no, it is a really not practical at all; in fact, it is flat-out wrong. What we know about human genetic variation does not support dividing humans into three or five or seven “races.”

{snip}

So where does all of this leave us? Contrary to Wade’s assertions, the actual data on human genetic variation and human evolution demonstrate that we do not have multiple continental “races” in humans (currently there is one biological race in our species, Homo sapiens sapiens), that we do not evolve simply by genetic shifts in response to the environment and that we did not spend the last 15,000 to 50,000 years as tiny, isolated bands of paranoid hunter-gatherers. In short, the scientific data clearly demonstrate that Mr. Wade’s assertions are unequivocally wrong.

I agree with Wade that we need to talk about race without fear and with clarity. We do need more public discussions on race. But in doing so, we need to accurately represent what the social and biological sciences actually tell us about genetic variation, race and evolution.

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  • MekongDelta69

    Headline reads:
    The Troublesome Ignorance of Nicholas Wade

    Headline should read:
    The Troublesome Ignorance of The Huffington Post

    • Nonhumans

      Willful Ignorance & Indulgent Stoopidity.

    • DiversityIsDeath

      Those stubborn, obtuse little Huffies!

      • AndrewInterrupted

        Last time I checked The Huffington Post was sold at fire sale prices–and continues to disintegrate. Perhaps their former readers have become race realists? Arianna Huffington would still be serving tables if she hadn’t married money.

        • RonanTheLibtardian

          Almost as bad as my Aunt Rachel at MSLSD.

    • TruthBeTold

      In short, the scientific data clearly demonstrate that Mr. Wade’s assertions are unequivocally wrong.

      Well that settles that.

    • ElComadreja

      I couldn’t even get through this utter BS. We share 99% of our DNA with bonobos and chimps. It doesn’t make us chimps or chimps human.

  • This article essentially runs along the line of “The views of Nicholas Wade run counter to the academic establishment views. Therefore, he’s wrong.”

    Fuentes may point out some minor differences with Wade here and there, but his general thesis assumes from the outset that (1) the establishment view of race and genetics is the proven and the only ‘scientific’ one, and (2) that the science is conclusively settled (which it isn’t).

    Other than Wade, Fuentes fails to mention the work of other scholars in this field who have arrived at completely different conclusions than he has. This is an important point because while Wade has made a compelling case, so have others who have made equally or even better contributions to the subject of race and genetics.

    • JohnEngelman

      Not only is the science not conclusively settled, but an honest discussion on this matter has been suppressed. Consequently the consensus deserves to be questioned.

      • alwaysright21

        fag.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          No, he’s just a Europhobe.

      • alwaysright21

        double fag

  • David Ashton

    It really would be quite a tiresome exercise to analyse this mostly predictable stuff line-by-line, and personally I changed my mind about attempting to do so. Maybe Wade himself has more patience and could be invited to give his own response on this forum?

    • It’s not a bad idea. I’m sure many of those sweaty Bantus would love to knock up Chelsie and give her a little Mulatto baby! Then she could parade it around for everyone to see how non-racist she is.

      • David Ashton

        Is this a reference to the already pregnant Mrs Mezvinsky nee Clinton? Not sure how it answers my comment.

        • His response was non-responsive, but for some reason I barked out a laugh.

        • I just realized I was responding to another article here on Amren (The Clintons and the Haiti fiasco) and hadn’t realized that I placed it in the wrong post. Sorry, it’s been one of those days.

          Also, I had forgotten she was already pregnant. Oh well. There’s always room for one more!

      • r j p

        Doesn’t she already have a Hollywood Handbag?

        • It’s very possible, but I haven’t heard of it. I know Madonna and Angelina Jolie have a few, I think one for each day of the week.

        • ElComadreja

          Wait until they grow up and turn on these liberal morons.

    • Glen

      It is not good enough to pooh pooh Fuentes’ points. The article requires point-by-point refutation by highly knowledgeable non-professionals close to the subject and subject matter experts. In fact, I think Fuentes should be challenged to debate.

      • David Ashton

        I agree with you, but I personally do not have time, with other heavy immediate commitments, to attempt this – albeit as a (politically incorrect) Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

    • jane johnson

      Thank you, David. Brevity is the soul of…just about everything. Libs who don’t have money to throw around use words instead.

    • FozzieT

      I think it would be better were he not to do so. Currently, Wade enjoys a reputation among the “Establishment” of being a respected science editor. Were he to post on this site, it would give the enemy all the ammunition they need to discredit him as a “kooky, right-wing, nut-job racist” and chuck him overboard.

      As things stand, they are forced to report on the book because he is still a member of the Media Elite. This allows the findings reported in the book to percolate beyond our relatively little haven of the already-converted.

      • tetrapod

        “… Jared Taylor of the hyper-conservative and openly racist
        magazine American Renaissance congratulated Wade on his blow to the
        supposedly fascist left that is academia … ”

        If I remember correctly, didn’t some tribal punk use a similar tactic to smear The Bell Curve by getting David Duke to endorse it? If not that book, then another close in stature. That’s considered a refutation in the eyes of sinistral clunk heads.

      • David Ashton

        Your points are taken.

        I would like to see the response from Professor Vincent Sarich, among others.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Yes, full of selective fluff, omission, and fantasy. Statistics 101 is always at play when liberals attempt a counterpoint. You can make a pile of numbers say anything you want. Wade would have to write another book to counter this terminal case of ‘Passover Syndrome’. Fuentes needs a Jim Goad prescription.

      You see the same selective/cherry picking throughout the grievance industry. The feminists, for example, chose raw census data when constructing the war-on-women myth. The bumper sticker heard ad nauseam is the ‘Woman earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes’. But, that’s raw census data. When all the data is crunched–it turns out there’s a war-on-men! Thus, the cherry-picking and use of raw data to use for their propaganda.

      You can make DAY and you can make NIGHT with the same bowl of cherries.

      • RonanTheLibtardian

        What are some examples of the war on men?

        • Geo1metric

          Where have you been for the last 40 years or so?

          • AndrewInterrupted

            Adam Corolla is pretty good, too. He has a book entitled:
            In 50 years we’ll all be chicks.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          Oh, geez. Where do we start?

          Maybe we start with the observation (the Alinksy way) that a propagandist must control content. That’s why raw data worked for the feminists in this case. Control the narrative. The feminists have successfully distracted & redirected to the CEO jobs being heavily male; redirecting from all the female dominated areas like teaching, nursing, human resources (where they do considerable damage), accounting, real estate, etc. Always distract and redirect to the CEO metric–that .01% of the employee population.

          Teaching and Nursing jobs are 95% female/LGBTQ and those jobs have good benefits, pay well, etc. But, there is no AA cause for alarm for those disproportions. Men dominate IT jobs and it, of course, is the result of patriarchal conspiracy and is a veritable civil rights holocaust. The same proportions in teaching and nursing, just to name two, no cause for alarm, no adjustments needed.

          Other examples of controlling the narrative in the manufacturing of the war-on-women myth would be considerable omission. For example, 93 out of 100 people who die on the job are men. Also, based on the 2010 CDC report, of the 38,000 people who commit suicide a year, 30,000 are men. The omission list is long in that regard. After all, the feminists are perpetuating a fat lie.

          Sheryl Sandberg, queen of the man-haters.
          .

          • RonanTheLibtardian

            Even putting aside the feminists’ selective memory with respect to the employment disproportions you bring up, image if the roles were reversed on your other two factoids? Imagine if it were 93 out 100 people dying in the workplace and they were women?! Or imagine if 4 times as many women committed suicide in an average year?! Hell cometh with high water! Bras would be burning from coast to coast.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            That is a fact, Jack. LGBTQ Nation only cares about their people. The Feminist Nation only cares about their people. It’s like (Am-Ren’s) Jesse James said during the Race Card Project rebuttal:

            “Multiculturalism means no one can relax”.

            Where has he been?

          • RonanTheLibtardian

            Yep. It’s every man for himself. That’s why homogeneous cultures like Japan and China regularly kicked our butts since 1965. Their fleas weren’t carrying the diversity plague.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            Yes, all the various demographics are too busy worrying about their own people to worry about America. It’s a circular firing squad. And the Asians and tribal members are above it all–applauding.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      The anthropologist mixes legitimate criticisms with the best of his field, which is flawed as a result of ignoring genetic differences.

      The barely contained professional histrionic tone, tinged with high messianic democratic totalitarian moral indignation, always on the edge of a witchcraft allegation, belies the nature of the attack and attacker.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    What a boring and tendentious lot of nonsense. Simple contradiction of basic facts and reality, exactly what to expect from the dishonest leftists.

    Amazing that they are seriously still trying to deny that race exists, despite the fact that DNA tests can tell with exact precision what race people are, including precise percentages in mixed race people.

    Leftism and facts, never the twain will meet.

    • Nancy Thomas

      The goof has no intellectual integrity. That’s why he’s a leftist.

    • Nonhumans

      Putting reality and facts to the libtards is like when you have two small but very powerful magnets, and then attempt to force their like poles together. It’s nearly futile and pointless, but curiously satisfying.
      .
      Still, though, I never grow weary of the look on the libtards faces when they call me a raaayciss, it has zero effect, and I then proceed to pull back the curtain and let the reality shine in. Whether they absorb any of it or not, they are cast in a most foolish light, as fiction does not hold a candle to reality.

    • ElComadreja

      DNA is a nasty bit of reality so they ignore it except when they search for the nonexistent “gay” or “transgender” gene.

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    Top comment, by Colleen Noel Harper:

    “Once again, it does not surprise me that people who have no understanding of biological evolution severely misrepresent it. As Fuentes points out, IF there are evolutionary “races” of humans, then there would have to be six independent “races” of humans in Africa alone.
    There are no subspecies of humans (“races”), there are only humans.”

    This comment shows how liberals are completely delusional and out of touch with the reality of race. Most liberals don’t really understand evolution works at all; it’s just a matter of faith and a way to signal their liberal tribal affiliations and set themselves apart from Christian conservatives. Interestingly, both Christians and liberals deny evolution for egalitarian reasons. If you ever listen to Christian creationists, you would hear them talk about how evolution is racist.

    • tetrapod

      If Christians could put aside their antipathy toward evolution, they’d clearly see how it’s in their interests to join the rest of us against leftist pathology.

      • Alexandra1973

        I think evolution is a load of nonsense.

        But that does not mean that I believe the races are equal or “just the same except skin color.”

        • tetrapod

          Do you believe in the literal truth of the bible, for example, the story of Adam and Eve?

          • Romulus

            *SHAZAM* (flash of brilliant light)

            Two fully formed beautiful nordic homo sapiens appeared out of nowhere and coupled to produce all peoples!!!!!!!

            This is what turns thinking people away from the cross. Too much literal interpretation. Science does not disprove creation/the source ,nor does the source disprove Science/evolution.

          • Alexandra1973

            I don’t think Adam and Eve were Nordic. The split between the three major races came later on, in Noah’s three sons.

          • Romulus

            I was making light of the too often literal interpretations of the good book.
            Now,…. Don’t take it personally, but, for me, that is precisely why I choose to interpret the writings in my own unique fashion.
            A combination of paganism,animism, evolution and Christianity.

          • Better yet, how about interpreting the Bible according the basic rules of interpretation, the way we would any ancient document? For example, by taking into account the historical context and life-setting, the literary genre, its meaning within the surrounding context, the mindset of the author and what he was actually attempting to convey, language and the meaning of words, the use of hyperbole, poetical language, and other forms of expression.

            It’s called ‘hermeneutics,’ that is, interpreting the Bible according to accepted rules of interpretations. It’s because people haven’t followed these basic rules that the Bible’s message and meaning has been so grossly misinterpreted and distorted.

          • Romulus

            A more actual/historical presentation recreating the climate of the period goes along way towards it’s intended interpretation. Absolutely.

            This concept SHOULD NOT weaken any believer’s faith but help strengthen it.

          • David Ashton

            The main (though not the only) problem is that the three primary races (there are also Sanids and Australids) could not have all descended from Noah’s three (white?) sons in the time scale suggested by the Biblical chronologies.

            Genesis and genetics are incompatible.

            Both creationists and evolutionists must face the biological facts of the racial diversity on earth today, facts that “liberals” and “marxists” prefer to ignore or obscure or deny or falsify.

          • Romulus

            Bear in mind Alexandra, it is not my intent to disparage Christians faith. What I try to maintain, is a true unity of the denominations based on a more actual, sensual interpretation. Especially a version that will stand up for the European people, especially my Southern kin, here in America. The egalitarian mouthbreating blowhards that think catering to all but us can go get bent IMO.

            I hope that you been able to investigate the pros and cons of Obamacare and how it correlates to the larger picture of Americas economic sham. A simple google with the words “pros and cons”, will bring up links that provide an overview of both sides point of view. Review the govt websites as well and also take a look at Nick Tates book.

            As America slides deeper into debt, both sides will be trying to make the other pay for all the support necessary to take care of our elders and all the new invaders. Unfortunately, you can’t grow an economy without the trade agreements with nations that have the necessary inputs to fuel it or the supply ourselves.

          • Alexandra1973

            Yep.

            Might want to read the account of Noah’s son Ham in Genesis.

          • Sangraal

            How old do you think the world/humanity is? Where do dinosaurs fit in?

          • tetrapod

            Why do you choose the story of Noah to explain the origin of different peoples, and not evolution? Why do you think evolution is a load of nonsense?

            Please don’t take these questions as a sign of disrespect. Even though we have different points of view, I’m not trying to attack you or put you down. I honestly want to hear your reasons for believing as you do.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          If I had a dollar for every one of my posts that have been deleted because I was asking for a believable theory for the origin of blacks within a creation model . . .

          • Kenner

            God had a mean streak. It’s called the old Testament.

      • Christians, for the most part, don’t base their arguments against macro-evolution (not micro-evolution) on the equality of the races or even the claim that evolution might be racist in nature. Rather, they base them on such things as the fossil record (or lack thereof), the contradictions and fallacies inherent within the evolutionary framework, the compelling case for intelligent design, order and complexity within the universe, and other matters.

        Not every Christian who adheres to biblical creationism necessarily believes in multiculturalism and Leftist racial theories.

    • Pelagian

      1) “Colleen Noel Harper” How did I know from the name alone that she was a lib?

      2)

      Most liberals don’t really understand evolution works at all; it’s just a matter of faith and a way to signal their liberal tribal affiliations and set themselves apart from Christian conservatives.

      This is a trope I have seen a lot lately around the right-wing blogosphere … and I LOVE it. I am going to learn handy version of it. Let’s try it:

      “Well I would actually love to debate you, but I fear that you dont have the foggiest idea about how x works. You are simply driven to signal your tribal affiliation and set yourself apart from conservatives.”

      I do not know where else I read it, (maybe it was you Daniel??). But it is a good way of freaking out liberals. And it is true, to boot.

      • Daniel Schmuhl

        I don’t think i’ve said that before. It’s not a terribly original point, but is one that should be reiterated occasionally. You should look at the informal motives of a person or group, as opposed to the formal motives (what they tell you).

    • RonanTheLibtardian

      Fuentes looks like pajama boy with contact lenses.

  • tetrapod

    ” … I expected there to be a strong back-and-forth debate about the research on human genetics and how we interpret it, and about human evolution and what we know about it …”

    Perhaps there was no “back-and-forth debate”, Señor Fuentes, because the audience — unlike you — had no agenda going in and was therefore receptive to Wade’s reasoning.

    • Nonhumans

      That and the argument/case against there being different races is terribly weak, if even legitimately existent. Even children, with no racial education, only exposure, can identify traits and behaviors unique to each race.
      .
      With the genetic research now available, there is no room left for the libtards’ deluded interpretations. Genetic research and mapping is overwhelmingly definite. That’s why it is the standard and foundation of all biological research.

  • WhiteGuyInJapan

    The question of how many “races” or genetic populations there are in the world seems to follow a pattern common in many scientific fields: groupers versus splitters. Some linguists argue that Japanese and Korean are related languages while others argue that they are distinct languages. No one argues that Japanese and Korean languages do not exist.
    Or: How many neighborhoods are there in Brooklyn? Where does Williamsburg stop and Bushwick begin? Either way, Williamsburg exists.
    What is the exact date of the start of the 60s counterculture? Kent State? Still, it happened.

    • Berkeley Guy

      I’ve also heard this promulgated as “lumpers and splitters.” DIfferences exist, as we all know, but we are also waiting for science to provide more in-depth answers. Are the Japanese the same human beings then as say the people of Ghana? I doubt most would agree that the Japanese and the Ghana people are the same type of human. Perhaps, according to some lumper or splitter they are, but as you say “either way [the Japanese] exist.”

      • WhiteGuyInJapan

        Yes, lumpers is the preferred term. Thanks for jogging my memory.

    • El_Baga_Doucha_Libtard

      Where in Japan are you living? I’m considering going on vacation there in the next year or so.

      • WhiteGuyInJapan

        Central Japan,Chubu region. For sightseeing, I recommend Kyoto and Nara for traditional culture, Gifu and Nagano for scenery and Osaka for food.

        • El_Baga_Doucha_Libtard

          How long have you been in Japan? What do they think of whites over there? Do you find that they admire us (for reasons beyond our better looks) or do they think they’re better?

          • WhiteGuyInJapan

            1. 10 years
            2. They think whites are not Japanese.
            3. Yes and yes. The Japanese are often fascinated by and admire some of the accomplishments of the West, but also see us as very distinct and outside the circle of their society.

            Weak answer, but one could write a book on the topic. Several people have.

          • tetrapod

            Right now the Japanese are still living in the extended aftermath of their WWII defeat. They benefit from a robust trading relationship with the US, and have lived securely under our defense umbrella for the last 70 years. They’re our good friends.

            But knowing how people are, I can’t help but think that somewhere underneath it all — in their racial memory, so to speak — there’s a seething desire to avenge their humiliating defeat and subjugation by the gaijin.

          • El_Baga_Doucha_Libtard

            The Japanese are my favorite non-whites.

  • Freedoooom

    The tribes of Germania people were taller and larger than the Southern Europeans, and then the Scandinavians were taller and larger than the Saxons(descended from the tribes of Germania).

    • RealisticGuy

      Scandinavians are from the Germanic tribes themselves.

      • Romulus

        Indeed they are.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      The Japanese gained a foot (well, maybe 8 inches) when they switched to a western diet.

      One of my warrior uncles encounter 6 footers on Tinian and Saipan while fighting with the 4th Marines. Turns out those Japanese soldiers were members of the Imperial Guard and had been fed a western diet since youth.

  • SlizzardAjeosshi

    I suspect it would be a waste of time trying to explain how k means clustering work to somebody who has no clue about the concept of variance

  • Dave4088

    Well, if Agustin Fuentes wants to use doubletalk and Marxist claptrap to argue that race is subjective and in favor of universal human equality then he should have no objections to abolishing all race based rights and privileges for non-whites in America and throughout the West. Further, he should be in favor of revising the ultra lefty historical narrative which holds that the white race (that doesn’t exist) is the most evil and irredeemable in world history.

  • Pelagian

    the actual data on human genetic variation and human evolution … demonstrate that we did not spend the last 15,000 to 50,000 years as tiny, isolated bands of paranoid hunter-gatherers.

    (emphasis added)

    Lol. Rest assured, the hunter-gatherers joined the PTA, drove Volvos, listened to NPR on weekends, and “shopped” at Whole Foods. They were not cling to the their God, guns and xenophobia types.

    For example, when you compare (as Wade does) people from Nigeria, Western Europe and Beijing and Tokyo, you do get some patterned differences, but these populations do not reflect the entire continental areas of Africa, Europe and Asia, respectively. If you compare geographically separated populations within the “continental” areas, you get the exact same kind of variation.

    My guess is that the operative weasel-word here is “continental”.

  • HJ11

    Fuentes is way over his head and makes mistakes that a reasonably smart high school student wouldn’t make, but to keep my post short, let me just point out one of his mistakes.

    Fuentes wrote, in relevant part: ‘The roundworm C. elegans has about 20,000 genes while humans have about 23,000 genes, yet it is pretty obvious that humans are more than 15-percent more complex than roundworms. So while genes matter, they are only a small part of the whole evolutionary picture. Focusing just on DNA won’t get you anywhere.’

    Fuentes makes the mistake in thinking that it is the number of genes that is relevant.

    As you can see for yourself, Fuentes implicity infers that humans are the most complex and advanced organisms on the planet and, therefore, since humans only have around 23,000 genes and are are so complex and advanced as compared to a roundworm, which has around 23,000 genes, it must not be genes that make humans so complex and advanced. Of course, this is false reasoning. It is not the number of genes that is important and that has led to the differences, it is the way the genes are coded to work that is relevant–it is the DNA blueprint–the genetic code–that makes the difference.

    • jane johnson

      Aha!!! The Fuentes Fallacy. Read enough crap written by liberals and you can find a new one practically every day.

    • Romulus

      Thankfully , there are quite a few herein, that know a thing or two about genetics,anthropology, and evolution.
      See my other comment on this thread.
      You will enjoy the three papers as much as I did.

    • TruthBeTold

      Focusing just on DNA won’t get you anywhere.

      They love to tell us who we’re one percent different from chimpanzees. What they focus on is our similarities as primates.

      However, this tiny difference is what makes chimps and humans distinguishable.

      Small differences make big differences.

      • HJ11

        Yup. When you’re dealing with the microscopic world of genes (and just about anything else on that scale) seemingly minor differences can be a big deal.

        It is thought now that one letter changed in our DNA code may be the creator of White people. That’s one letter out of about 3.1 billion letters all neatly laid out in a code to make us us.

        Another way of looking at these small changes making a big difference is to know that if you’re shooting a rifle at a target many yards away, if you so much as take a tiny breath that you may not even notice, the bullet may miss the target by many yards.

  • John R

    And they say they can’t define any races? Really? So, I guess we can get rid of affirmative action, and all the other programs that benefit the “persons of color” who are not really any different from the Whites after all? I mean, how can you have programs that benefit “blacks” if you don’t even acknowledge that different races exist? Of course, libs only want to recognize races when it benefits their favorite pet groups.

  • Zimriel

    “[Wade] would not provide a definition for what he meant by “race” or a specific number of races that we have (he goes back and forth between three, five and seven). ”

    This is a lie, at least if this sentence is describing the book.

    I just leafed through it now, and, in page 18, Wade cites Linnaeus’s definition of race as a classification of groups within a species – as applied to humans. Later on Wade talks about ancestry. This means Wade is fine-tuning Linnaeus to treat race as a cladistic isolated population group (to reduce it to Sailer-speak: a slightly inbred extended family). If this doesn’t count as a definition, what would?

    It *is* true that Wade is more vague than he should be. First, all three American supergroups are separate subdivisions of Siberians, amongst the Mongoloids; second, the Australians are separate from most of the above; third, the pygmies and bushmen are (each) separate from *all* of the above. But they are all marginal to the point. Getting all pedantic about Wade’s slips in this regard is just “gotcha” journalism, which is to say not journalism at all. Wade *is* consistent at holding to the fundamental divisions between West, East (including America) and “the rest”.

  • Berkeley Guy

    Most of the variation in our entire species is found in populations just
    in Africa. All the variation found in all populations outside Africa
    makes up just a small subset of that variation.

    I have covered this “hanging argument” before. As we learned in Anthropology, Chimpanzees have even more genetic variation than humans. Those who would argue for the equality of Chimps would say: “Most of the variation in our entire species clade from Chimpanzees and Bonobos to Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals is found in populations just in the Chimpanzees and Bonobos. All the variation found in all populations outside the Chimpanzees and Bonobos makes up just a small subset of that variation.” We also learned that natural selection works to remove genetic variation from a population. There is a bell curve and natural selection works by shearing off the tails and seeking the peak of the curve. Or, if the environment/weather changes enough, then natural selection will seek to move the traits toward one of the tails or both. Either way, natural selection seeks to remove genetic variation, which is why we branched off the Chimpanzee and Bonobo clades long ago. I understand that I am leaving out sexual selection and other factors, but then inclusion would lend even more strength against the hanging argument above.

  • Berkeley Guy

    Most of the variation in our entire species is found in populations just
    in Africa. All the variation found in all populations outside Africa
    makes up just a small subset of that variation.

    Most of the white privilege in our entire species is found in populations just in America and Europe. All the variation in privilege found in all populations outside America and Europe makes up just a small subset of that variation.
    /sarc

  • I still want a copy of my own, sounds interesting read.

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    The bottom line is this – Nothing better explains group racial differences in intelligence and behavior better than the genetic argument. All other arguments, when put to the test have been failures.

    • Nancy Thomas

      I totally agree. Move all of the Japanese to Africa and watch them thrive. Move all of the Africans to Japan and watch them starve.

      • WhiteGuyInJapan

        South Africa and Australia demonstrate that theory. As does Chinese business success in SE Asia. Bushmen, Aborigines and the Malay lived in the same environment for centuries.

  • LHathaway

    I have news for this scientist. . even if whites asians and blacks are Not separate biological groups. . certainly exist as separate social groups. . .

  • FozzieT

    THEN: “He’s saying the Earth circles the Sun!”
    NOW: “He’s saying there is such a thing as Race!”

    THEN: “That means that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe!”
    NOW: “That means there are real differences between the races!”

    THEN: “HERETIC!!!!”
    NOW: “RACIST!!!!”

    THEN: “Burn the Witch!!!”
    NOW: “Burn the Witch!!!”

    • Berkeley Guy

      This is basically the way Searle put it when I took philosophy of society with him. He was told by colleagues during the 90’s PC witch hunt here at Berkeley that certain subjects and issues should not be discussed. The PC witch hunts of the 90’s (possibly before and after) have had dramatic effects on scientific research and especially the culture of omission concerning journalism. No topic should be off-limits.

  • Romulus

    For any that are interested, read these there papers along with Wade’s book.
    1) Reconsideration of the “Out of Africa” concept as Not Having Enough Proof
    Advances in Anthropology
    2014. Vol. 4, No. 1, 18-37
    2) Ancient History of the Arbins, Bearers of Haplogroup R1b, from Central Asia to Europe, 16,000 to 1500 Years before Present
    2012. Vol.2. No. 2. 87-105
    3) Haplogroup R1a as the Proto Indo-Europeans and The legendary Aryans as Witnessed by the DNA of Their Current Descendants
    2012. Vol.2 No. 1. 1-13
    Published online @ (http://www.(dot)SciRP(dot)org/journal/aa)

  • JohnEngelman

    Wade relies on a teeny slice of the overall available data on human genetics to support his case.

    – Agustin Fuentes, Huffington Post, May 19, 2014

    Virtually all of the data supports Nicholas Wade. The only reason there is not more data is because scientists are afraid to do research in this area.

    • Berkeley Guy

      Also, many are not willing to fund such research nor are they willing to provide scholarships or grants to individuals who would like to research these topics. Oh, right, I forgot that at the Beijing Genomics Institute they actually are researching these issues amongst other things like eugenics. But maybe Fuentes and others will not mind if America falls behind other countries more industrious and courageous in their pursuit of the truth, since perceptions of social justice are more important than scientific findings.

  • JohnEngelman

    Jared Taylor of the hyper-conservative and openly racist magazine American Renaissance congratulated Wade on his blow to the supposedly fascist left that is academia.

    – Agustin Fuentes, Huffington Post, May 19, 2014

    Three cheers for Jared Taylor.

    • Berkeley Guy

      I am neither a conservative nor a liberal because such terms are misleading to the way I cherry-pick which candidates I vote for given my level of knowledge and access to facts. Whenever someone brands another as a conservative or a liberal while seeking to damage that person’s hypothesis I know that the detractor has lost the thread of the argument and is appealing to the sentiments of readers, in this case the liberal readers of the Huffington Post. Now, labeling something or someone as “hyper-conservative” or “hyper-liberal” is just silly and is pushing for hyperbole.

      As far as “openly racist” goes, I doubt that Fuentes would apply this term to other magazines that pander to non-whites. I have to admit though, I am delighted that Taylor is such a figurehead that Fuentes and other writers refer to him and try to attack him. This only points more people toward the website, but I guess the ignoring-Taylor-and-his-ilk game is failing.

      I would like to see a debate between either Taylor and Fuentes or Fuentes and Wade.

      • JohnEngelman

        Racial egalitarians are afraid of an honest debate with race realists. They they hypocritically call for “a dialogue on race.”

  • JohnEngelman

    Humans all share essentially 100 percent of our genes and 99.9 percent of our variation.

    – Agustin Fuentes, Huffington Post, May 19, 2014

    Vive la difference.

    • FozzieT

      Well-put!

  • Brian

    Humans are divided into genetically identified “continental races”
    (three, five or seven, depending on where you are in the book).
    ===
    He says this like it’s a symptom of wishy-washiness. Given that the boundaries are fuzzy and the number of categories is arbitrary, sometimes it makes more sense, in context, to talk about three groups vs. seven. If Wade had insisted on a certain number throughout the reviewer would be attacking him for that instead, of different grounds…and he knows this himself perfectly well.

    • TruthBeTold

      Well, he just blow the thesis of the book apart!

  • Chasmania

    From the original article..

    “..but let me just say that Wade’s views on human evolution, how evolution works and how societies have changed over time are way off the mark, and there are numerous books, articles and even documentaries that have shown this over and over again for decades…”
    …And the left winger then quickly references NONE of these definitive pieces of evidence. Typical.

  • dewdly

    “Most of the variation in our entire species is found in populations just in Africa.”One distinct possibility is that Africans bred back into more primitive species – picking up genes that Caucasoids, Mongoloids, and Australoids don’t have. In other words, a lot of variation can be introduced quickly by mixing with another subspecies or a more primitive species. There is a tendency for scientists to equate variation with mutation over time, but how can we be sure that archaic genetic material was not introduced much later?

  • HJ11

    Fuentes has no doubt lost a lot of credibility with his peers with this one column of his. It really is a childish piece. Perhaps he was affirmatively passed from class to class until he was given his degrees based on his ethnicity and little else. I’m serious. His column is just absurd and lacks any sort of logical train.

  • alwaysright21

    bucks and sheboons aren’t human, and all humans, orientals, hispanic, caucasion, and Indian, despise them. FACT

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      I think there is a case to be made that they are members of “Homo Erectus.” That makes them human but very different from us. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

  • alwaysright21

    blacks have sex with monkeys, sniff butt, fling poo, and chimpout.

    • Ringo Lennon

      Aw, man!

  • Anon

    Lol @ the hip deep BS in the article. Then again, it’s Huffpo, which might as well be the journal of animal waste management.
    That wall of text boils down to Wade makes a common sense observation that races are different, then hypothesizes that such differences are genetic based on (again) clearly observable differences in behavior. The author then goes on to attack the link between the two (which is extremely dubious and easily cut to ribbons) and then goes on to make the ludicrous claim (one I warn about again and again) that since the theory is not sound, the easily observed differences somehow do not exist. Just to add insult to injury, he uses an argument that presupposes that evolution is fact (so does Wade, by the way which is the very reason his argument is pathetic) when it is in fact, the most failed scientific theory to ever be presented.
    Because of this canard, the entire argument is a waste of time and boils down to whose science fiction fairy story is more interesting while ignoring the obvious. THAT RACE AND RACIAL DIFFERENCES CAN CLEARLY BE DIRECTLY OBSERVED!

  • Emblematical

    He loves the word ‘variation’ doesn’t he?
    But what type of ‘variation’ exactly is he talking about?

  • coco bongo

    Lots of talk and that’s all. One commenter tried to offer actual proof that race does in fact exist. That’s it. I posted a link to a highly regarded scientist and his proof that race does exist. The moderator didn’t see fit to “approve” it. The one comment that the author of this article would have been slapped around with and it didn’t get posted. eh, just keep talking. That is sure to convince everyone.

  • John

    No mention of Neanderthal DNA

  • David Ashton

    “There are no significant genetic differences between dogs, especially their behavior which is the result solely of training. Size and coat color are among the trivial differences, since they are all Wolf. Breed is a social construct. Breedists are evil, especially the promoters of the Pedigree Myth theory who provide the cultural superstructure of the kennel-club class.”

  • Ernest

    It ironic how these naysayers never throw out their objection that race doesn’t exist to say the Black or Hispanic Caucus?

    • Carlos Geary

      Hispanic is not a race; there is not single Hispanic genetic profile.

  • Mrfinoni

    Yes there are races and there are sub-groups. Is this critic even a scientist. Obviously there are significant variations amongst people in Europe alone between North and South, East and West, yet they are all White in comparison to Blacks. No doubt there could be some fine tuning with increased research and funding, but overall the leftist dogma is dissolving and they are not sure how process the change.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    Since you made such an issue today about Israelites being a race, they are a religion today. <;-D

  • Le Fox

    “Genes don’t do anything by themselves…metabolic processes do” – Ergo, by genes. I noticed that this person shot themselves in the foot. They admit that race exists, say it doesn’t, that gene flow is the reason, yet that can’t be since genes don’t do anything.

    Plus, he says that he ‘misrepresents data’ yet doesn’t prove how he does; he just says he does. He even admits that Wade is right yet says he’s wrong…huh?

    Oh, liberals. You are so silly. Is this the best they have? To disprove an argument or faulty premise you must have evidence. Shooting yourself in the foot, as this person did here, will only make you the fool.