It’s Not Racism if we don’t Understand

There is an old racist meme I remember from the good olde days of not being a blogger.

In it they had 3 brains. One was human and labelled “Caucasian”. Another was labelled “Orangutan” and allegedly simian. And the one in the middle was a mix of both and labelled “Negroid”.

I had a laugh. I had dissected enough people to know that brains were the same inside. But there is a long history of science propping up racism. The most serious proponent was Dr. Mengele. I had a rather interesting life in Prague. One of the books I read was “I was Dr. Mengele’s Assistant”. It is by a Jewish doctor who was spared Auschwitz if he helped out with the experiments. In this he charts the lives he helped save and the lives he could not.

The latest is from Taki’s Steve Sailer where anti-racism is called by the moniker of “Liberal Creationism”.

Nicholas Wade, the New York Times’ chief genetics reporter, has published 1,052 articles in the newspaper of record since 1983. For most of this century, Wade has been methodically waging war in the Science section of the NYT against the liberal creationist myth that race isn’t real. He has now written a definitive book on the existence of biological differences among races, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, which will be published on May 6.

Sure race is “real”.

The difference between races is so minute, so miniscule when it comes to things in the real world that we may as well be exactly the same. So let’s look into the problem here.

In his new book, Wade writes:

Ever since the first modern humans dispersed from the ancestral homeland in northeast Africa … the populations on each continent have evolved largely independently of one another as each adapted to its regional environment. … Because of these divisions in the human population, anyone interested in recent human evolution is almost inevitably studying human races, whether they wish to or not.

To Wade, race isn’t just skin deep. In fact, he finds the visual differences between races less significant than the behavioral. Evolution’s strategy for adapting to radically different environments is to “keep the human body much the same but change the social behavior.”

Except behavioural differences are a product of social and economic development and culture rather than genetics. A genetic Masai isn’t going to feel the compulsion to kill lions in New York.

Our behaviour is intensely ingrained by our surroundings and the behaviour of society around us.

For example, in one study, the variant of the MAO-A gene most associated with aggression and delinquency was found in 5.2 percent of a sample of black males but only 0.1 percent of Caucasian males, which may explain a lot.

“The inability of a first-rate reporter like Wade, ensconced in the seeming bully pulpit of the New York Times, to make much of an impact makes for a fascinating case study of the zeitgeist’s power to cloud the minds of men.”
Fascinating! Which explains a lot “wink wink”. Say no more! After all if we say what we mean, we may get called racist.

After all? Isn’t this the precise problem? Let’s basically call a spade a spade.

What Steve is claiming is that the reason why African Americans are so “crimey” is not due to the myriad social and economic pressures making crime more profitable than “good honest work” but due to genetics. That the so called “Warrior Gene” enables black people to be good at sport and also robbing shit.

It’s just science after all.  I am sorry black people. You lot are master criminals.

My question is this. If we look at spree shootings in the USA they are predominantly white males. Why do we have no research into the fact that white men are ticking time bombs one genetic step away from climbing a clock tower?

That would just be stupid though. No one ever does a genetic argument holding up the flaws of Caucasians. And again this doesn’t explain the inner city violence and aggression in places like Scotland, Ireland and indeed England that so marred my youth and the global opinion of us as genteel tea drinkers.

It’s Darjeeling and Scones this Firm you Slags!

The fact that human evolution has been recent, copious, and regional is not widely recognized, even though it has now been reported by many articles in the literature of genetics. The reason is in part that the knowledge is so new and in part because it raises awkward challenges to deeply held conventional wisdom.

As a nonfiction writer, Wade is congenitally allergic to the kind of human interest padding that makes people believe whatever message Michael Lewis or Malcolm Gladwell decides to peddle. You know how popular science articles always include a description of the researcher’s looks, personality, and laboratory, as if that were relevant? Well, Wade refuses to pander. If somebody’s theory and evidence are good, then he doesn’t care who said it or what kind of car he drives.A Troublesome Inheritance is based in sizable part on the work of a rogue’s gallery of crimethinkers such as Gregory Cochran on Jewish IQ, Richard Lynn on global IQ, Ron Unz on Chinese Social Darwinism, Gregory Clark on the evolution of the bourgeois virtues among the English, and Steven Pinker on the decline in violence. Personally, I know some of these people, which is helpful in reading Wade since he won’t tell the reader anything, even though some of them are pretty interesting. For example, during his anthropology fieldwork, Henry Harpending found he loved life in Africa so much that he almost quit academia to become a great white hunter, guiding safaris. (Here’s Henry’s tale of stalking that most dangerous of beasts, the Cape buffalo.)But Wade has no time for scientists’ personal idiosyncrasies. He’s interested in not just explaining the solid science of race, but in also sketching out a more speculative theory of how history has been driven by racial differences in evolution:

To answer these questions, I must turn to everyone’s favourite camp craft expert. Ray Mears.

See while watching Ray Mears the one thing I realised the most is the ingenuity of the people whose camp craft her was learning. The problem is people like Steve stand up and hand a San bushman an IQ test and guffaw when they don’t score as highly as Ryan Longbottom, Prefect at Eton.

But the thing is? The San have an IQ test. And that IQ test is survival in the harsh Kalahari desert. There are no stupid people there. Stupid San die.

How much money do you bet that Mr. Longbottom would not survive the Kalahari? IQ is only really comparable among people of equal socio-economic status. Since that itself is a determiner.

The San are not stupid. Their environment kills morons. It is evolution at it’s finest. No, what the San are, are educated to their surroundings. They do not have to worry about Corporate Banking Law any more than Reginald Smythe, Corporate Banker has to worry about leopards.

We think our ancestors were stupid. Chances are they were as smart if not more smart than us since our hunter gatherer ancestors would quickly lose the members of the tribe who didn’t think things through. You literally died if you had a genetic impediment to solving problems.

Imagine if we held ourselves to the San? I cannot build a bow and arrow. I probably would stamp all over animal tracks. I couldn’t wrestle and kill a leopard. I can barely walk 2 Km let alone 20 Km. And while I once made fire from scratch, I always carried steel wool and a battery in addition to a lighter and striker for emergencies. I sadly lack the skills and knowledge to survive in the Kalahari.

I would be considered an idiot by the men Steve here thinks are “inferior thanks to genetics”.

On the basis of this theory, the West has spent some $2.3 trillion in aid over the last 50 years without managing to improve African living standards. Could something be not quite right with the theory?

Extrapolating from Clark’s 2007 book A Farewell to Alms, which argued for the evolutionary benefits to Eurasians of being selected for fitness to survive in densely populated or otherwise difficult regions, Wade observes:


Africa is a fucking continent.

Okay it’s quite simple. Let us take two nations that receive aid and are subject to the same “AHA” by racists/bigots.

Israel and Palestine both get aid. The difference is what the aid buys. Let us take $1 million of aid.

$1 million of aid in the form of technology and equipment and expert training.

$1 million of aid in the form of wheat, tents and water purification.

You tell me which of these promotes growth? One is aid to prevent a worse situation, the other is aid to promote growth.

A more to the home explanation? Food Stamps versus Food Subsidy.

Food stamps are an economic subsidy to prevent starvation among the poorest people in the USA.

Food subsidy is a grant of money in order to artificially keep the price of food low and create artificial surplus for a strategic bank.

One is for people to just survive, the other is for people to invest and improve and grow. It is why Palestine is not as developed (even if we ignore the political chains they suffer) as Israel. Israel’s aid has been to promote growth, while Palestinian aid is to simple promote living.

African populations have not gone through the same Malthusian wringer that shaped the behavior of the European and East Asian populations. Between 1200 and 1800, the English, adapting to the harsh pressures of an intense agrarian economy, became less violent, more literate and more willing to save for the future. In Africa, population pressure has long been much lower than in Europe and Asia …

Dear Steve.


Ever seen Game of Thrones? That real life war also took place in this period.

Actually we can see the rationale more because of the rise of “Freethought” in Europe. Europe’s trade in books and literature drove a Renaissance with reducing religious control and increasing reliance on technological marvels. The same was seen in many Arab countries until their spiralling downfall due to a single simple invention that revolutionised warfare.

Standardised, Interchangeable Parts. It meant you could easily supply armies for cheap and mass produce rifles and cannon and drop the price of such weapons. It meant that these weapons were not oddities but regularities. In addition? England and most of the Industrial powers were home to the revolution.

I mean this is like suggesting the USA’s domination of the world came because the French were lazy and shiftless while the Brits always knocked off for tea. The USA’s domination came about due to WW2 devastating Europe while the USA remained untouched because of the distance.

Population pressure across the globe has always been low. The English Civil War killed 200,000 people  or 5% of the UK. The population of the UK was JUST 4 Million. The population of London today is twice that. This argument is simply idiotic.

European cultures tried to keep population below the famine level by inculcating the sexual restraint and romantic choosiness conducive to relatively late marriages, while East Asian cultures cultivated grinding work ethics. In most of tropical Africa, however, the infectious disease burden was so lethal that dense populations could not be achieved due to epidemics. So the population could not form cities, nor even fully farm the countryside. The big danger in Africa was not Malthusian overpopulation, but underpopulation, which may account for how sexualized their cultures are.Not surprisingly, each continent’s culture seems to have bred people befitting its environment, and their traits live on in their descendants in modern America.Wade ends with an injunction that may seem familiar:

No. Romantic Choosiness was fetishised but not the norm. The norm was still arranged marriages. Where men and women would court under their parents approval. It’s why so few Queens married so few pool boys or whatever the Royal Equivalent of “Hot Tennis Instructor” is.

East Asian cultures had farmers just like Africa and Europe and grinding work ethics were the same there. You think a Vietnamese farmer has more farming chops than some equivalent dude in the UK? Back then physical labour was the norm and all farmers did back breaking labour. We just industrialised farming today so our farmers have less of it to do.

And most of East Asia is in the tropics. India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malay, Indo-China… Korea is hot as is parts of China. As for the infectious disease burden? Steve is rather ignorant of many diseases especially due to the fact they were found in Europe too. Cholera for instance was present. Most diseases were present too.

What he  paints is the rosy picture of “fantasy” life. You know? All the heroes are good looking, no one dies of Scarlet Fever and the biggest threat is getting shivved by goblins. Sadly the past is not filled with romantic bar maid encounters and sexy knights but with raging dickbags who took all your stuff and called themselves lords while you died poor and covered in mud.

And here is the thing? Africans are Sexualised? Is this a reference to the fact that their traditional cultures had little “European” Victorian Morals. AKA they didn’t really hide their sexy bits and didn’t feel nudity was bad. Well neither did Indian culture but apparently we are all industrious.

So the dialogue is this. White People Are Smart. Asians Are Hard Working. African Americans are Violent and Promiscuous. But saying so is okay because it is genetic.

Because this dialogue never harmed anyone? Because this dialogue doesn’t play out during hiring of people? Because this dialogue doesn’t affect people to their detriment at all.


  1. says

    I hope I’ll live to see the day “IQ” dies the death it’s been long due.
    Seriously, the fact that it’s adjusted constantly for the Flynn-Effect should tell you (generic) something (unless you believe that people are now wayyyyyy more intelligent than 50 years ago)
    Oh, and Pinker is really, really off in his analysis that the west has become so much less violent.

  2. Only worthless children make pithy generalizations says

    People who use evolutionary psychology to justify their weak, lazy racist mindsets are cowards who prefer to live in delusional fantasy worlds where nothing bad happens unless it’s supposed to be that way.

    Generations of economic/sociopolitical oppression are totally irrelavent, clearly blacks are just different I mean come on it’s so obvious to anyone with half a brain! Besides it’s not their skin color that matters, it’s the fact that their culture (the black kind) is simply wrong and evil and childist, unlike the culture of racism which is perfect.

  3. kev says

    haha posting a link to means you automatically lose whatever argument you were trying to make, “professional cynic”.

  4. says

    I’d like to know how all the examples pulled from Steve here are ascribed to genetics in the first place (including the ones correctly or incorrectly ascribed to social pressures with no genetic component mentioned). Almost everything mentioned is cultural.

  5. hoary puccoon says

    The IQ debate, and particularly the idea that there is such a thing as a culture-free test of IQ, is ludicrous.

    I score high on standard American English IQ tests.
    In French, I might squeak in somewhere around average.
    In Spanish, maybe if I’m lucky, low normal.
    In Mandarin Chinese– brain dead.

    So, which one is my “real” IQ?

    And how can you possibly tell that there aren’t more subtle cultural biases when testing across various subcultures within one complex society?

    I haven’t trusted Nicholas Wade since he published a horribly slanted book purporting to prove rampant fraud in scientific research, oh, it was more than twenty years ago. This is just more of the same yellow journalism. It’s an imposition to expect people to slog through it to find all the lies and distortions. But, of course, that’s what Wade is counting on.

  6. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Interesting piece here Avicenna, thanks. Not sure I agree with it entirely but you certainly make a good case.

  7. smrnda says


    On the decline of violence, thanks for pointing out the obvious that though violence within western societies may be down, it isn’t like we aren’t blowing up people elsewhere.

  8. corwyn says

    And how can you possibly tell that there aren’t more subtle cultural biases when testing across various subcultures within one complex society?

    Same way they tell that there aren’t gender biases. Namely, by throwing out any question which shows a correlation with gender. Also known as ‘you can’t without making the data useless for *determining* if there is a bias.’

    Unfortunately, I think there might be something interesting lurking in that difference in IQ scores, but the number of people not in the ‘obviously it is racial inferiority’ or ‘obviously it is a cultural bias in the test’ camps is vanishingly small, so we may never know.

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