Saturday, August 5, 2017

Human Biodiversity Weekend

From the Monroe County Library System, I finally got around to picking up a book I have been meaning to read for sometime, The 10,000 Year Explosion. Back-cover blurb from the Derb (John Derbyshire):
    Did human evolution come to a screeching halt fifty thousand years ago when Homo sapiens emerged from Africa, thus ensuring the psychic unity of mankind? Don't be silly, say the authors of this latest addition to the fast-emerging discipline of Biohistory. In clear prose backed by a wealth of hard data, Cochran and Harpending add a biological dimension to the history of our species, and hammer another nail into the coffin lid of "nothing but culture" anthropology.
It's a quick and lively read, from what I've read so far.

Unavailable in our county's shelves is IQ and the Wealth of Nations, whose authors "argues that differences in national income (in the form of per capita gross domestic product) are correlated with differences in the average national intelligence quotient (IQ)." I can guess why our library system does not stock that book. Although the authors conclude "that it is the ethical responsibility of rich, high-IQ nations to assist poor, low-IQ nations financially," the mere act of documenting that different human populations have different average intellectual capabilities is outside the Overton window.

The great James Watson came to the same conclusions and become a persona non grata by saying that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really." About the reaction to this statement, said the man of science:
    I turned against the left wing because they don't like genetics, because genetics implies that sometimes in life we fail because we have bad genes. They want all failure in life to be due to the evil system.

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