Come to think of it, our reading streak may also go back to the trinity of Narrative, Freedom, and the oldenpneumagain Genesis. Put them all together and what do we get? Among other things, we get genetically conditioned heterosexuality, monogamy, and intelligence, but how could these not be conditioned by our genes? As far as nature is concerned, there are pretty much only two issues, 1) get those genes into the next generation, and 2) don't be a fucking idiot, AKA don't win yourself a Darwin Award.
A good portion of Wade's book (similar to Goldberg's Liberal Fascism) is spent in full apology mode, assuring the reader that he is not a racist and that it is not racist to consider what he is about to toss out there. File under IT'S COME TO THIS. Yes, in the unlikely event that the book is ever permitted on a university campus, it should come with a warning label. The book is not appropriate for an adultolescent left wing audience hypersensitive to micro-aggressions, mini-traumas, or other delusions of persecution.
Wade commits two thoughtcrimes right out of the gate, first, noticing that some human groups are superior to others, and second, speculating that there may be a genetic explanation for this. (Not a total explanation, mind you; rather, just some contribution from the genes.)
If the leftist could articulate the principles Wade is violating rather than simply calling for his blood, they would be 1) that no culture is better than any other except for the culture that believes this crap; and 2) that humans are not genetically determined but infinitely malleable -- a Blank Slate.
This last principle is necessary to legitimize the overlord state that will mold us into the desired form via entitlements and special rights on the one one hand, and taxes and regulations on the other. With the combination of reward and punishment, the state can make a human being into pretty much anything.
To put it another way, in order for leftism to work, the state must be more powerful and influential than our genes -- or just say human nature. If human nature exists, then surely it is under genetic constraints, no? That's right: NO, YOU PRIVILEGED HETERONORMATIVE PIGDOG!
In The Bʘʘk, I believe I mentioned something to the effect that it is as if mankind set out of Africa 50,000 years ago, eventually spreading out into the various experiments-in-living we call Culture.
Beginning just a few hundred years ago, but especially now, with instantaneous global communication and all, it is as if these humans can finally reunite and compare notes. Indochina, what did you come up with? Africa? Europe? New Guinea?
No, really? Rocks and sticks? That's it?
What the hell happened to New Guinea? And whatever it is, don't imply that genes had anything to do with it! Rather, geography, or global warming, or something. Better yet, just say they're superior to us because Carbon, and leave it at that. Or say they're more evolved than us because Dreamtime or something.
Our little human adventure, "with at least five versions running parallel for much of the time, had a complex outcome. What is clear is that from the same human clay, a wide variety of societies can be molded."
Wade most certainly doesn't intend the reference, but God too works with a kind of clay to fashion human beings. It would make more sense if it were a genetic clay rather than just, you know, dirt. But I'll leave that to the theologians.
Whatever the case, the original human clay -- the clay to make a Homo sapiens sapiens -- appears no earlier than than 200,000 years ago, and we all had the identical genetic clay as recently as 50,000 years ago, when the human group split in half.
Look at it this way: three people walk into a bar, a Chinaman, an African, and a Caucasian. Trace their lineages, and they will be distinct for quite awhile, but the European and Asian reunite at 30,000 years ago, while the (p)resulting Euro-Asian meets up with the African at that 50,000 year mark.
Thus, we can hypothetically use aboriginal Australians as a genetic baseline, because they arrived there soon after leaving Africa, and then managed another 46,000 years with no outside contact or genetic influences until the 17th century; by then
"their way of life had changed little. Australian aborigines still lived in tribal societies without towns or cities. Their technology differed little from that of the Paleolithic hunters who reached Europe at the same time their ancestors arrived in Australia. During the 46,000 years of their isolation, they had invented neither the wheel nor the bow and arrow. They lived in a state of perpetual warfare between neighboring tribes."
It seems that these human beings were perfectly adapted to their environment, nor was there any genetic influence from elsewhom, so there was no evolutionary pressure to change. They "were never forced into the intense process of state formation and empire building that shaped other civilizations."
To back up a bit, it's not that Wade's opponents believe genes are irrelevant. Rather, they just insist that the human genome has been fixed for the last 50,000 years (or whatever the figure) and is no longer subject to evolutionary changes -- in other words, that evolution has made a special exemption for human beings, and stopped.
But it turns out, according to Wade, that human evolution has been "recent, copious, and regional," and that it is "beyond doubt that human evolution is a continuous process that has [not only] proceeded vigorously within the past 30,000 years," but has continued into the historical period.
Ashkenazi Jews might be the most dramatic example, since their average IQ is one standard deviation above average (around 115 as opposed to 100). How can one group be so far ahead of the pack?
Wade has a chapter devoted to the freakish disproportion of Jewish excellence. We've discussed this in the past, and it's pretty stunning; for example, Jews constitute less than two-tenths of a percent of the world's population, and yet, "as of 2007, had won an amazing 32% of Nobel Prizes awarded in the 21st century" -- this despite being the most hassled people in history.
First stupid question: could there possibly be a connection between Jewish intelligence and Jewish success? Second stupid question: is it possible that intelligence is partly genetic?
More slack the rest of the week. To be continued...