Roundup of Book Reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance

Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History was officially released today.  Here at Occam’s Razor we previously discussed “How will the Cathedral deal with Nicholas Wade’s new book?”  Let’s see.  We’ll catalog the reviews here, adding them as they’re published.

An excerpt from A Troublesome Inheritance was published at Time: “What Science Says About Race and Genetics

Nicholas Wade writes about and discusses (audio clip) A Troublesome Inheritance at The Spectator:  “The genome of history: DNA explains more than you think

Nicholas Wade responds to critics: “In Defense of A Troublesome Inheritance

Nicholas Wade responds to critics again:  “Five Critics Say You Shouldn’t Read This ‘Dangerous’ Book

Nicholas Wade:  “Race Has a Biological Basis. Racism Does Not

Nicholas Wade: “A Letter to the NY Times: A Troublesome Inheritance

Positive Reviews:

James D. Watson (co-discoverer of DNA): “A masterful overview of how changes in our respective lineages let us begin to understand how human beings have evolved from ancestral hunter-gatherer forebears into effective members of today’s advanced human societies.” (From cover of book)

Edward O. Wilson (Harvard):  “Nicholas Wade combines the virtues of truth without fear and the celebration of genetic diversity as a strength of humanity, thereby creating a forum appropriate to the twenty-first century.” (From cover of book)

New Scientist:  “Wade provides a masterful summary of recent research.” (From cover of book)

Lionel Tiger (Anthropology, Rutgers): “Nicholas Wade has delivered an impeccable, fearless, responsible, and absorbing account….Bound to be the gold standard in the field for a very long time.”  (From cover of book)

Richard Cohen (Washington Post):  “[Wade] is a robust and refreshing critic of scientific political correctness.” (From cover of book)

Charles Murray: “A scientific revolution is under way—upending one of our reigning orthodoxies

Steve Sailer: “The Liberal Creationists,” “A Couple of Wild-Eyed Wackos: Me and the NYT,” “The Race FAQ,” “From the Steveosphere on ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’,” and “The Strange Evolution of Eugenics

John Derbyshire:  “A Troublesome Inheritance — A Small, But Significant, Step For Race Realism” and “John Derbyshire Reviews The Reviews

Jared Taylor: “Nicholas Wade Takes on the Regime” and “A Troublesome Inheritance

Ed West:  “Darwin’s unexploded bomb” (Great review at the Spectator)

Robert VerBruggen: “Race Is Real. What Does that Mean for Society?” (Kudos to Real Clear Science for such a good review.)

Bryce Lalibert: “The Trouble with Inheritance: A Review of Nicholas Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance

Genetic Literacy Project:  “Genes and evolution trump culture in shaping human differences

Andrew Sullivan quotes from Wade’s new book on reality of race.

Ross Douthat: “I found the less-speculative first half of the book extremely persuasive….

Margaret Wente:  “What if race is more than a social construct?

Larry Arnhart: “Human Biodiversity Supports the Natural Right to Equal Liberty,” “Human Biodiversity (2): The Genetic Evolution of Capitalism and the Bourgeois Virtues?,” “Human Biodiversity (3): Nicholas Wade, Abraham Lincoln, and Racial Genetics,” “Human Biodiversity (4): The Importance of Culture in Gene-Culture Coevolution,” and “Human Biodiversity (5): Cultural Group Selection Through Migration and Assimilation,” “Human Biodiversity (6): Would the Recent Genetic Evolution of Human Beings Subvert Darwinian Natural Right?,” “Human Biodiversity (7): Rising IQ in Developing Nations

Joost Niemöller:  “De IQ discussie. Nature wint.” [“IQ debate . Nature wins.”]

RGambler: “Genetics, gender and race – how will social policy cope with recent scientific discoveries?

28 Sherman: “Nicholas Wade Shows Why the System Needs Feminist Biology”  And ThedenTV reprints it here.

John Derbyshire, Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer discuss A Troublesome Inheritance and its responses.

Ashutosh Jogalekar: “Genes and Race: The Distant Footfalls of Evidence” (Kudos to Scientific American for publishing such a thoughtful review. John Derbyshire responds.  Apparently, Ashutosh Jogalekar just got fired from Scientific American for preferring scientific inquiry to New Creationism; see here, here, here, etc.)

James Thompson: “‘It’s the people, stupid’: a review of Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance”  (Perhaps the most thorough review yet written. Steve Sailer comments. John Derbyshire responds.)

HBD Chick: “Human Biodiversity, Racism, Eugenics, and Genocide

Fred Reed: “A Troublesome Inheritance – #603

The Politically Incorrect Australian: “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History

Gregory Cochran: “Phenotypes vs genetic statistics” (Great comments.  More of a criticism of Wade’s critics than a defense of Wade.)

Gregory Cochran:  “Unknown Phenotypes” (More a criticism of race deniers than a defense of Wade)

Ron Unz: “Does Race Exist? Do Hills Exist?” (Good summary how Marxists like Stephen Jay Gould & Richard Lewontin have tried to silence the truth on racial reality. Sailer responds.)

Bo Winegard:  “Darwin ’s Duel with Descartes” (A good read from the journal Evolutionary Psychology.)

Cooper Sterling: “Reestablishing the Significance of Race: Nicholas Wade’s ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ rebuts the pseudoscience of race denial

Takuan Seiyo: “To Live and Die Under a Mentirocracy: Wading into a faked controversy

Steve Sailer: “Reconstructing Race,” “The biological construct of race in America” and “Race of the Amish” (In “Race of the Amish” Sailer surmises what’s really behind the criticisms of Wade.)

Chuck at OA: “The idiocy of race denialism

Gina O’Neill-Santiago: “No, Inquiring About A Possible Biological Basis for Race is not ‘Scientific Racism’

Steven Malanga: “A Biological Basis for Race?

Chemiotics:   “A Troublesome Inheritance – I,” and “A Troublesome Inheritance – II – Four Anthropological disasters of the past 100 years

Unsilenced Science: “The Warrior Gene, Back from the Grave” and “Christopher Irwin Smith is an Idiot

Henry Harpending: “At Least Erroneous in Faith

Unsilenced Science: “Correcting the Critics of Nicholas Wade & MAOA

Audacious Epigone:  “On A Troublesome Inheritance

Jonathan Anomaly: “Genes, Race, and the Ethics of Belief


Greg Cochran: “A Troublesome Inheritance” (John Derbyshire comments here.  Wade disagrees with Cochran on two alleged errors; Cochran writes, “These errors do not materially impact [Wade’s] arguments in the book.” Cochran follows up with a post on Lewontin’s Fallacy (used by critics of Wade).)

Tyler Cowen “appreciated the honesty and courage of the work” but felt Wade could have “pushed deeper in book-length form.”  (As is often the case at MR, the comments are more interesting than the post.  Here’s an interesting comment regarding Cowen’s review.)

Viscount Matt Ridley:  “Humans are not all the same under the skin” (full text)  (James Thompson and Richard Lynn respond here. Steve Sailer responds here. Ridley offers a follow up here. Greg Cochran responds.)

Steven Pinker on Twitter.

Tabitha M. Powledge: “Troublesome genetics and race

Emily Willoughby and Jonathan Kane: “Reviewing A Troublesome Inheritance

Steve Hsu offers initial impressions and a visual on the reality of race.  And:  “What’s New Since Montagu?

Pseudoerasmus: “Nicholas Wade and the Social Phenotype” (Not a review proper but thinks Wade should have focused more on IQ)

Black Avenger: “Review: Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance. Many of its critics seem to hate black people.”

Charles Bloch: “Nicholas Wade Wrong–1924 Immigration Cutoff Not Reponsible For The Holocaust

Ronald Bailey: “Different Races Exist. So What?

Noah Millman: “What Does Human Evolution Explain?”

appreciated the honesty and courage of the work
appreciated the honesty and courage of the work
appreciated the honesty and courage of the work

Negative Reviews:  (Could the vanguard of attacks end up being a strange coalition of Cultural Marxists and religious creationists?)

Anthony Daniels:  “Genetic Disorder” (Comment from James Thompson on this review: “Weak. Picks at a few points and ignores the broad sweep of evidence.”  John Derbyshire points out many flaws in Daniels’ review here.)

The Creationists are attacking Wade’s book (here and here) because, you know, “evolution is racist” and all.  LOL. (We discuss this phenomenon here.)

Andrew Gelman: “The Paradox of Racism” (Given that Gelman is a statistician, I was hoping for more than just the usual pointing and sputtering. Jayman responds to Gelman here. Sailer responds here and here.  HBD Chick responds here. Gelman writes more here.)

American Spectator editor (and rabid anti-evolution creationist) Tom Bethell criticizes Wade and defends Marxists Lewontin and Gould (yea, these frauds). What a joke.  For creationists like Bethell, it’s all about “racism”.  It’s noteworthy how religious creationists and liberal creationists seem to be motivated by the same things.  John Derbyshire responds here.

Noah Smith: “Academic racism has a K=N problem”  (It seems that Smith hasn’t even read the book. Sailer responds here. Jayman responds here.)

Pete Shanks tires to smear Wade by associating him with Stormfront and KKK.  Shameful.  More smearing from Pete Shanks here.

PZ Myers admits race is real but then goes off on some tangent about “hbd really is just the slick new marketing term for modern racism“.  Disappointing review, as it seems to imply that political correctness should trump scientific truth. Sailer responds here.

Jonathan Marks: “The Genes Made Us Do It:  The new pseudoscience of racial difference”  (This ideological hit piece is strong evidence that cultural anthropology is now more of a religion than an actual science.  Marks interestingly used to study genetics and hard science (and was briefly on Sailer’s email list), but then denounced science all in favor of Marxist critiques of culture.  Marks has even denounced genetics as a “political ideology“.  LOLs.   Old Sailer piece on Marks. Jayman responds. Outsideness parodying Marks: “Left-wing ideology is far more objective than genetic science. Hitler pretty much invented DNA out of pure hate.” Misdreavus responds here. J. Arthur Bloom comments here. Marks writes a second hit piece. Marks is obsessed with smearing Wade. Willoughby & Kane respond to Marks. Nicholas Wade responds. The Black Avenger responds. Jon Marks responds again. Chuck responds with “The idiocy of race denialism“)

Agustín Fuentes: “Things to Know When Talking About Race and Genetics”  (A slightly more sophisticated version of Lewontin’s Fallacy, which is unsurprising given that Marxists Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould are Fuentes’ heroes (by his own account) and he seems to share their Marxist outlook. Parody of Fuentes: “Yes, I’m always confusing Northeast Asians and Sub-Sahara Africans.  I can barely tell them apart!” Sorry, Agustín, but race is real.  Fuentes writes more. Gregory Cochran posts on Lewontin’s Fallacy. Ron Unz responds here. Gregory Cochran responds here. Nicholas Wade responds. The Black Avenger responds. Major error uncovered in Fuentes’ hit pieces; see Steve Bloomberg’s response. B Weinberg on dishonest tactics of Raff and Fuentes. Steve Sailer responds. Chuck responds with “The idiocy of race denialism“. Razib Khan responds about Structure and the biological reality of race.)

Annalee Newitz: “The 9 Most Influential Works of Scientific Racism, Ranked”  (A ridiculous smear job by someone with a degree in “American Studies” who previously authored a book on “white trash”.)

Jerry Coyne admits that race is real but doesn’t like the conclusions that Wade draws from this reality.  (Coyne seems not entirely familiar with the notion of fast evolution.  Has he read the 10,000 Year Explosion?  Does Coyne think human evolution for past 50k years has only occurred from neck down? Scharlach responds. Coyne replies (big debate in the comments). Peter Frost on recent evolution. Razib Khan responds to Orr & Coyne, noting Wade isn’t necessarily wrong about 14% of human genome being under recent selection. Gregory Cochran responds here. Pseudoerasmus responds.)

Arthur Allen:  “Charging Into the Minefield of Genes and Racial Difference” (Not a very substantive critique coming from Wade’s home publication. Comment: “At least the reviewer waited until the second sentence to bring up Hitler.” Steve Sailer responds here.)

Monica Heller: “Is Cultural Anthropology Really Disembodied?” (A hit piece, saying A Troublesome Inheritance “attempts to justify inequality.”  More proof that Cultural Anthropology today is more of a New Age religion than a serious academic discipline.)

H. Allen Orr: “Gene Stretch” (Like Coyne, Orr admits race is real (sort of) but doesn’t think conclusions can be drawn from this reality.  Like Coyne, does Orr think human evolution for the last 50k years has occurred only from the neck down? Orr has long railed against evolutionary psychology or any notion that biology might affect human behavior.  A sarcastic older piece on Orr by Razib Khan. Coyne replies (big debate in the comments). HBD Chick responds here. Peter Frost on recent evolution. Razib Khan responds to Orr & Coyne, noting Wade isn’t necessarily wrong about 14% of human genome being under recent selection. Sailer responds. Pseudoerasmus responds and responds again.)

Ian Steadman: “‘Jews are adapted to capitalism’, and other nonsenses of the new scientific racism”  (Deep review; sentence one dismisses book as “racist”.)

Patrick Appel:  here, here, here, here, here (An acolyte in the “race is a social construct” church of liberal creationism but I give him credit for quoting opposing views.)

Eric Michael Johnson:  “On the Origin of White Power”  (Hysterical hit piece with picture of KKK in article. Pseudoerasmus responds here. John Derbyshire responds. Genetics Literacy Project responds.)

Jennifer Raff:  “Nicholas Wade and race: building a scientific façade”  (Raff is a newcomer to the Cultural Marxist “race is a social construct” club.  Her piece is just another twist on Lewontin’s Fallacy.  Sorry, Jenn, race is real.   See Gregory Cochran’s: Phenotypes vs genetic statistics“.  Raff’s fallacy:  Just because accounts of number of races vary, it doesn’t follow race doesn’t exist.  Accounts of number of planets in our solar system and even shapes also vary, but planets and shapes are real.  Raff’s second fallacy:  Just because race is clinial in some areas of world (but not in all: mountain ranges, oceans, etc), it doesn’t mean individual races don’t exist (see Jayman).  See Razib Khan’s “Why race as a biological construct matters“.  Razib Khan responds. See Josh Rosenthal’s comment. Ron Unz responds here. Gregory Cochran responds here. Nicholas Wade responds. The Black Avenger responds. Raff responds, and ridiculed in comments. B Weinberg on dishonest tactics of Raff and Fuentes. Steve Sailer responds. Chuck responds with “The idiocy of race denialism“. Razib Khan responds about Structure and the biological reality of race.)

Seth Shulman: “Book review: ‘A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History,’ by Nicholas Wade”  (At least the reviewer waits until the third sentence to bring up genocide.  Between the lines: This reviewer suspects HBD is true but doesn’t think it should be discussed publicly.  Sailer responds. Audacious Epigone responds.

Alan Goodman: “A Troublesome Racial Smog”  (A silly piece on Marxist website CounterPunch by another radical “race is a social construct” anthropologist.  Little wonder that no one really cares what anthropologists have to say any longer. Sorry, pal, race is real. Sterling Cooper responds. The Black Avenger responds.)

Jeremy Yoder: “How A Troublesome Inheritance gets human genetics wrong” (This suffers from the same logical fallacies as Jennifer Raff’s hit piece: Just because accounts of number of races vary, it doesn’t follow race doesn’t exist.  Accounts of number of planets in our solar system and even shapes also vary, but planets and shapes are real.  Second fallacy:  Just because race is clinial in some areas of world (but not in all: mountain ranges, oceans, etc), it doesn’t mean individual races don’t exist (see Jayman).  See Razib Khan’s “Why race as a biological construct matters“. Gregory Cochran’s: Phenotypes vs genetic statistics” and “Unknown Phenotypes“. Commenter finds major error in Yoder piece. Steve Sailer responds. Chuck responds with “The idiocy of race denialism“.  Razib Khan responds about Structure and the biological reality of race.)

Michael Eisen: “On Nicholas Wade and the blurring of boundaries between science and fantasy”  (JayMan demolishes Eisen.)

David Altshuler & Henry Louis Gates Jr.: “Race in the Age of Genomics” (Although Gates hosts show on DNA, I don’t think he really understands DNA. Steve Sailer responds.)

David Dobbs: “The Fault in Our DNA” (Dobbs responds here and here.  Sailer responds here.)

The Cathedral witch hunt is is growing too large to document in full, so here are some more New Creationist attacks on Nicholas Wade:  Sam Wang here (Dienekes Pontikos responds); Chris Smith here (Unsilenced Science responds), here (Unsilenced Science responds), and here (Unsilenced Science responds); Jenn Raff  here; Joe Graves here; Greg Laden here; John Terrell here; Dan Lende here; Philip Cohen here; Kenan Malik here; Alondra Oubré here (Unsilenced Science responds); etc.

Over 100 scientists (witch hunters?) publish anti-Wade letter essentially denouncing speculative part of Wade’s book as speculative (Nicholas Wade responds; Henry Harpending responds; Geoffrey Miller responds; Ron Unz responds; Unsilenced Silence responds; Nicholas Wade responds again); etc.

On Nicholas Wade and the blurring of boundaries between science and fantasy

– See more at:

Other Material:

Occam’s Razor: “How will the Cathedral deal with Nicholas Wade’s new book?

A Troublesome Inheritance – A discussion on genes, race and human history with author Nicholas Wade and Agustin Fuentes

HBD Chick also offers some summaries here.

A free PDF of Cochran and Harpending’s 10,000 Year Explosion (another very important book on recent human evolution).

A list of articles on the reality of race.

Rex Golub: “Get ready for Nicholas Wade’s ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’

Rod Dreher:  “Race, Genetics & Nicholas Wade

JayMan: “Race, Inheritance, and IQ F.A.Q.

Get your Troublesome Inheritance t-shirts:  “Recent. Copious. Regional.

Free Northerner: “Black Enlightenment

Nicholas Wade to appear on the Leonard Lopate show.

Interview with Nicholas Wade at American Scientist.

Nicholas Wade appears on CBC radio.

Razib Khan comments.

The Daily Caller ran a story saying Nicholas Wade was fired over a Troublesome Inheritance.  This story is false. (If it were true, it wouldn’t be surprising, as the USA now seems committed to anti-Darwinian liberal creationism.) Anyway, just heard from reliable source that Wade took a retirement package a couple of years ago.  The deal was that he could continue to make occasional contributions on a fee basis.   Info on NY Times buyouts is here.  Charles Murray tweets corrective here and here.  Nicholas Wade confirms here that he was not fired.

Luke Ford interviews Nicholas Wade.

Creationists accuse Occam’s Razor of “essentially defending Darwinian gene-based racism.”

Breitbart summarizes reviews of Wade.

Rosemary Bennett discusses reviews of Wade.

J. Arthur Bloom:  “Nicholas Wade vs. the anthropologists

James Thompson:  “Preparing for Wade?  Read Rindermann

Rex Golub on “What happened at the Fuentes-Wade Webinar

Henry Wolff on Nicholas Wade answering questions at Washington DC book signing.

Helian discusses blank-slate dogmatism.

Robert Lindsay (liberal HBD blogger) argues that acknowledgement of HBD could still entail left-wing political prescriptions.

JayMan writes on “Squid Ink”

Foolish Reporter:  “Nicholas Wade critics: Look around the world

Vox Day writes about pair-bonding discussed in Wade’s book.

Bryce Laliberte interviews Nicholas Wade.

Malcom Pollack discusses some of the reviews.

Peter Frost comments on recent evolution.

ThedenTV has a brief interview with Nicholas Wade.

James Fulford comments on human biodiversity, Kennewick Man and fast evolution.

Gregory Cochran posts on Lewontin’s Fallacy.

Brian Bethune surveys Wade debate (but only quotes people opposed to Wade).

Some “satire” of Wade and Dawkins, which tries to paint both as “racist”.

Holly Dunsworth comments on debate about reality of race: “If scientists were to make the arbitrary decision that biological race is real, can you think of a positive outcome?” (Why acknowledge the biological existence of race?  Because it’s the truth and the truth matters.)

Kevin MacDonald:  “Political correctness in reviews of Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance””

Jared Taylor interviews Nicholas Wade.

New Creationists:  Those who profess to believe in Darwinism but deny biological reality of race and seem to think that human evolution for past 50k years has occurred only from the neck down.  In other words, they believe in miracles.

“Race does not exist” – the Nicene Creed of New Creationists (orthodox version)

“Race is a social construct” – the Nicene Creed of New Creationists (reformed version)

For more on New Creationism, see here.

If you know of anything that should be added, please list it in the comments below and we’ll add it.

N.B.  We’re not including every blog post mentioning this book but focusing more on major reviews (in publications or blogs) about this book.



112 thoughts on “Roundup of Book Reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance

  1. Are there really no negative reviews yet? Just searched on Google News and couldn’t find any. Is the Cathedral still at “let’s ignore it” stage?

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  3. I’ve ordered the book and will read it next month. I will write a review of it, probably, and if so I will send you the link which you may use or not, as you wish.

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  6. “Genes and evolution trump culture in shaping human differences“

    I dislike this sentiment… genes and culture don’t exactly live in isolation from each other.

    “Cathedral is such an inapt word; ”

    The source of the “Cathedral” metaphor is from The Cathedral and the Bazaar… I still don’t like the metaphor because Moldbug’s philosophy doesn’t seems to embody the Bazaar.

  7. I didn’t review Wade’s book, haven’t read it, and would appreciate it if you could take my blog off the list of “negative” blogs. I did read his prior book, which I liked for what it was good for (i.e. deep history based on genetics and linguistics), and not so much for its biological reductionism. But indeed, I did read it to the end, which I think says something positive about my response to it.

    I do think that biological reductionism is sometimes associated with racist ideologies, but not always, and I am impressed that every time I raise the issue the “race and iq correlation” crowd comes out. I agree with Gould that “intelligence” is a statistical reification, an argument which he makes very well, and has little to do with the flawed data he used to analyze Morton. If you don’t like Gould’s version of this argument, you might have a look at Jonathan Marks “What it Means to be 98% Chimpanzee,” or for that matter my article on the Mirror Neuron hypothesis which was published last month–Manuscript_Version.

    If you go back and read my post at, I think you will find that it is about recommending that anthropologists avoid even commenting on Wade, and urges anthropologists to develop their own field.

  8. In fairness to Bethell, he seems to be praising Gould and Lewontin for the departure from mainstream evolutionary biology. They had to depart from it to justify some of their wacky egalitarian views. Bethell was praising them for their departure not egalitarianism.

    Similarly, he was criticizing Wade and Murray for the belief in evolution, not their “racism” and he said that IQ differences exist and are “inherited.”

  9. Jayman responds to Gelman here.

    Is that a joke?

    Jayman is mathematically incompetent. And so is Steve Hsu, by the way. At least when it comes to statistics. I don’t think his branch of physics has much use for it.

    Trust me, I’m in the BGI study and I have a degree in maths. And I can prove it.

    • Are you commenting on the arguments of Wade, Gelman, Hsu or jayman ? Or is this just general disparagement ?

      That must be nice for you although generally speaking appeals to authority aren’t very convincing.

      • well i only make such appeals to what may be authority for my enemies.

        you can find my comments on infoproc.

        steve hsu made a mistake on his blof regarding the expected difference in test retest scores given a certain reliability. he has never shown as far as i can tell that he understands the concept of reaction norms. nor that he understands exactly what h^2 is and why it’s so limited.

        jayman is the same but even worse.

        you can read my 1 star review of the book on amazon, or read my copious comments on infoproc. it should be easy to identify me.

        one needn’t be an hereditarian or an “environmentalist” or split the two, because all three are wrong!

    • In addition to brushing up on your math, you need to brush up on your grammar. Charlatans like you are a disgrace to science.

    • “Trust me, I’m in the BGI study and I have a degree in maths. And I can prove it.”

      That’s right. Don’t let the peasants push you around, Jorgeous Jorge. Show them your magical saliva if they give you any guff.

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  12. call it libel. whatever.

    this book was written by Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Alfred Rosenberg a long time ago.
    it’s called “the myth of the blood”, or as Rosenberg called it “Der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts”. the idea is that culture is an epiphenomenon of the blood. it’s the very first in the national socialist creed.

    i remember Rosenberg trying to explain away Germany’s retarded/late development compared to that of Greece and Rome. it was bs then and now.

    he should have remembered the slogan “blut und boden”. it’s not just “blut”.

    today a country less than 250 years old wants to tell Persia what to do. most of white America’s ancestors were greasy illiterate human sacrifice practicers when Xerxes the Great was beaten at Themopylae.

    evolution is not that quick. not even close.

    at that time nw europeans had the potential, but it would be impossible to tell by looking at them.

    mongolians have the biggest heads of any people. apparently they haven’t been using them.

  13. Ridley’s review:

    Humans are not all the same under the skin

    Published at 12:01AM, May 12 2014
    There are genetic variations between races, but they don’t matter. It is co-operation that brings progress to our species

    Is it necessary to believe that racial differences are small and skin-deep in order not to be a racist? For the first half of the last century, science generally exaggerated stereotypes of racial difference in behaviour and assumed that they were innate and immutable. For the second half, science generally asserted that there were no differences — save the obvious, visible ones — and used this argument to combat prejudice.

    Yet that second premise is becoming increasingly untenable in the genomic era as more details emerge of human genetic diversity. We will have to justify equal treatment using something other than identity of nature. Fortunately, it’s easily done.

    Human evolution did not cease thousands of years ago; it has been “recent, copious and regional”, in the words of Nicholas Wade, a veteran New York Times science writer and the author of A Troublesome Inheritance, an eloquent but disturbing book on genes, race and human history, which was published last week.

    In the past 30,000 years — after humanity split into different races — all sorts of genetic change has happened through natural selection: lactose tolerance developed in response to dairy farming in Europe and parts of Africa; physiological adaptations for high altitude emerged in Tibetans; malaria resistance spread throughout Africa and the Mediterranean; a gene for sweat glands, ear wax and hair changed in China.

    One estimate is that about 14 per cent of the human genome — 722 regions containing 2,465 genes — has been affected by so-called “selective sweeps” (whereby a gene mutation brings an advantage and replaces other versions in the population) in one race or another. The frequencies of gene variants have shown rapid change in these places. In many places, the affected genes are active mostly in the brain. As Wade puts it: “These findings establish the obvious truth that brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection.”

    Perhaps people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have high average IQs because for centuries their ancestors worked almost exclusively in professions such as money-lending, where exceptional literacy and numeracy were rewarded with greater fecundity. Or perhaps Chinese people show greater conformity because for centuries those who could stomach Confucian rote-learning and obedience got to have more surviving children. These are no more far-fetched arguments than to suppose that ancestral Inuit with genetic adaptations for coping with the cold had more offspring.

    Nor is it implausible that over millennia of settled, agricultural and urban living, with the execution or ostracism of “skull-cracker” misfits, selection took place for tameness in the natives of Europe or India compared with say, New Guinea or the Amazon. Thanks to “soft sweeps” — where multiple existing gene variants change in frequency — evolution can work a lot faster than we used to think. Starting in the 1960s, a Russian fur farmer transformed silver foxes from fearsome, fierce, wild animals into affectionate, floppy-eared, piebald pets in only 35 generations simply by breeding from those that were least fearsome.

    So Wade is absolutely right that the old assumption that human behaviour did not evolve much after the divergence of human races at the end of the old Stone Age has to be wrong. The comforting message that biologists sent to social scientists in the 1960s — that they were sure there was no biological basis for race, which could instead be regarded as a social construct — is bunk.

    True, the boundaries of races are blurred, and the differences between individuals dwarf those between average members of different races, but differences there are, and not just in skin pigment. The more we look, the more genetic variation we will find between races, as well as between individuals, so we had better get ready to deal with such discoveries, if only for medical reasons. Some diseases afflict certain races more; some drugs work differently in different races.

    However, I part company with the next step in Wade’s argument. He tries to explain too much of human history by gene changes. The industrial revolution started in Europe and not China, he suggests, partly because Europe had been preconditioned by genetic evolution for the sort of economic openness that sparked accelerating innovation.

    This is based on the work of the historian Gregory Clark (like Wade, an expatriate Briton in America who has written a fascinating new book about social mobility called The Son Also Rises). The evidence from the history of surnames, Clark says, “confirms a permanent selection in pre-industrial England for the genes of the economically successful, and against the genes of the poor and criminal”. Clark finds that, more than in China, for centuries literate, entrepreneurial Europeans had been out-breeding poorer ones, their genes cascading down into the working class through downward mobility.

    So yes, there would have been genetic change in European society as certain types of personality had more offspring. But surely this was not anywhere near fast or large enough to spark the industrial revolution, let alone as important as factors such as the harnessing of fossil fuels or the invention of inclusive institutions and opening up to trade. Just look at how quickly attitudes to homosexuality, say, have changed within a lifetime, with no time for gene changes.

    It may be harder to build and run a modern consumer society from scratch using only people whose ancestors were hunter-gathering for most of the past 30,000 years (native Australians, say) than by using only people whose ancestors experienced farming, cities, diseases, alcohol and literacy. But it would be far from impossible with the right institutions.

    There is a big reason that racial differences in mental capacity will not matter a jot, however many we find. Human achievement is not, despite what professors like to think, the work of brilliant individuals. It is a collective phenomenon. Every technology, every idea, every institution is a combination of many people’s contributions. There is no single human being on the planet, as Leonard Read famously pointed out, who knows how to make a pencil, let alone the internet, the economy or the government.

    The average IQ of a group, a team or a race matters little, if at all. What counts is how well they communicate, collaborate and exchange ideas. Give me a hundred thickos who talk to each other, rather than a hundred clever-clogs who don’t. This collaboration is surely the true secret of human achievement and the true reason that race does not count, not because we are all identical inside our skulls.

    • Successful people have to pay homage to political correctness, if they do not want to be shunned by the powers that facilitate their success. Why should Ridley be any different?

      I don’t see Ridley moving to Haiti or Zimbabwe, regardless of how well Haitians or Zimbabweans communicate, collaborate, and exchange ideas. Stupid is stupid, deadweight is deadweight, poor impulse control leads to crime and violence — genetics matters.

      • Yes, I noted that the final paragraph was pretty disingenuous in the comments section. A shame that The Times is behind a paywall – their readership dropped massively when they introduced it in 2010.

      • I took Ridley’s final paragraphs to be similar to Tyler Cowen’s review. They both know the general gist of Wade’s book is true but both felt they had to say something negative for PC cover.

    • The bundle of traits that we associate with different racial (and ethnic) groups, including intelligence, works against collaboration and cooperation (see Putnam). America’s tribalism is a strong obstacle to achieving Mr. Ridley’s societal interaction.

  14. Why does every pop science writer commenting on ‘human nature’ have an online fan club keen to browbeat ‘leftist’ critics, not for their legitimate opinions, but for supposedly being too blind to see the overall ‘common sense’ of said writer’s work? It’s as if the authors’ arguments alone won’t hold water unless they have a barrage of angsty teenagers shouting everyone down.

    There is a genuine problem with popular science writing. Critics are berated for their political bias, while the only justification for crude reductionism consists of an appeal to ‘common sense’. Human behaviour results from a complex interplay between genes, physical environment, culture and society. The very same could be said for race. We’d get a lot further if we stopped trying to reduce everything to one factor or another and worked at getting a better sense of just how these different factors interact.

    • paranoia is a characteristic of conservatives. I don’t know why. if anything, “the left” is much less organized than “the right”.

      stalin’s purges have been explained as resulting from paranoia. not so. stalin was just an evil douche. he knew almost everyone was innocent.

    • Amy Chua (Tiger Mother) and her husband (in their latest book) overemphasize the impact and potential of culture/environment. Genetic predisposition among East Asians and Jews, as Wade notes in his interview, inform and encourage successful behavior. Simply put, nature and nurture reinforce each other. The children of these Yale law professors are predisposed to stay motivated to learn an instrument, and learn it well.

  15. My bias tends generally against the ‘establishment’, but I would better understand the (non-hysterical) arguments of any side/position if I was presented with an iron-clad definition of ‘race.’ It seems a slippery concept, sorry, ‘fact.’ And stop calling people of European ancestry, by and large (or most recently), as ‘Caucasians,’ everybody. That’s a term coined by a German phrenologist at least 150 years ago.

  16. I do criticize Wade for not anticipating that commenters at Stormfront and apologists for the KKK would latch on to his efforts, as indeed they have. This is a shameful smear?

  17. Pete Shanks,

    Should writers also anticipate what black or jewish advocates will “latch on” and seek to diminish these points accordingly? After all, it seems likely that the the AJC (motto: Global Jewish Advocacy) or NAACP might be attracted to revelations they find felicitous. And thus men of granite moral principles, such as yourself, would disavow these positions preemptively.

  18. Wade’s book is no 1 in several categories on Amazon, such as genetics and civilization and culture. What’s interesting though is that Diamond’s “Guns, Germs & Steel”, is number 4 for civilization and culture. I wonder if many of its readers are aware that it’s becoming more and more untenable?

  19. Pingback: A roundup of reviews of book defending gene-based racism | Uncommon Descent

  20. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2014/05/14 | Free Northerner

  21. Pingback: From the Steveosphere on “A Troublesome Inheritance” | Dj Matioka Blog

  22. i really don’t get it, without resorting to insults, why the hbders can’t get that:

    all skeptics of the “science” of hbd are not communists or “environmentalists”. hbd may be true. but in the case of behavior the studies required to demonstrate it haven’t been done. every single one is so flawed as to merely suggest. psychological traits require a lot of very subtle method that study of physical traits don’t.

    recently gcta has been promoted as an assumption free method. well not only does it have at least 8 assumptions/simplifications, but its results show an additive heritability less than that of the twin studies.

    there is value in homogeneity, but the us is a new world country. there’s no such thing as an american nationality. and affirmative action isn’t in place to redress past wrongs. it’s in place to keep the peace. if you want homogeneity and a more meritocratic society america is never going to be that. ever.

    • Jorgeous Jorge is a fabulous, boozy troll. If you’re not laughing at his posts, you have no sense of humor.

      No one knows how to do social science like Jorge, and if you don’t believe him he has the saliva and the advanced certificate from BGI to prove it. (This is at least the fifth online iteration of Jorge I’ve seen mention his participation in Hsu’s study. It’s *very, very important* to him that you know he participated in that study.)

      Jorgeous doesn’t believe in racial differences, but he most certainly believes in class differences. He can spot a peasant from across the room, even after five drinks.

      He’s also apparently believes in historical determinism He knows what America’s future holds, and believes the country deserves to get it good and hard.

  23. Pingback: Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance | Conservative Heritage Times

  24. Pingback: Nicholas Wade’s Story of Race and Inheritance | VDARE.COM

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  26. Pingback: Anonymous

  27. Pingback: Roundup of Book Reviews of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance

    • “Superb?” You’ve got to be kidding. Raff peddles all the usual ideologically motivated crap and gets torn limb from limb in the comments.

      Can’t figure out, for the life of me, why Razib Khan gives her the time of day.

      AWC – greetings from Prague, and congrats on performing another great public service.

  28. I have no idea who “Alfred W Clarke” might be, but his own political prejudices show very clearly indeed in what’s supposed to be just a list of reviews.

  29. Pingback: Linkage | Uncouth Reflections

  30. Pingback: How will the Cathedral deal with Nicholas Wade’s new book? | Occam's Razor

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