Ole Jørgen Anfindsen


Mangfoldets farer

Professor Byron M. Roth har skrevet en fantastisk bok; grundig, gjennomarbeidet, nøktern og vitenskapelig; full av interessant informasjon og skarpe observasjoner. Bør bli obligatorisk lesning for alle som mener noe om innvandring og mangfold.

Publisert: 12. mar 2011

Psykologiprofessor Byron M. Roth er forfatter av boken The Perils of Diversity – Immigration and Human Nature. Her finnes et vell av nyttig informasjon, som ikke minst har relevans for den innvandrings-, integrerings- og rasedebatten som har pågått her på VD det siste året eller så. Som et spesielt aktuelt eksempel kan det nevnes at boken til Roth støtter og utdyper flere av de sentrale poengene i Per Steinar Rundes ferske VD-innlegg Innvandring - ei oversikt. Nedenfor gjengir jeg en del sentrale momenter i Roth sin drøftelse av problemkomplekser som ligger under hele den nevnte debatten.



Race differences and intellectual dishonesty


The book’s introductory chapter documents how unscientific attitudes towards racial differences often force reseachers into intellectual dishonesty. After giving examples of this, Roth writes (pp 26 – 27):


The case of Nobel Prize geneticist, James Watson, arguably the pre­eminent living scientist, is particularly troubling. In a long interview published in the London Sunday Times, Watson commented on Western policies with respect to Africa that “are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.” Further, “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intel­lectual capacities of people geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to preserve equal powers of reason as some universal human heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.” For these perfectly defensible statements (they are supported by overwhelming scientific evidence) he was widely vilified and relieved of his duties at the research laboratory that was largely his own creation.41

This narrow-minded denigrating of differing scientific views has become so widespread that otherwise thoughtful scholars find themselves taking positions that are close to absurd. A case in point is Jared Diamond, who in his widely acclaimed book, Guns, Germs and Steel, argues that all societal differences can be explained in terms of resources and geography, are, in others words environmentally determined. While this is hardly a novel view, Diamond introduces material that is certainly valuable to the argument. In an earlier time such a scholar would have welcomed thoughtful challenges as an opportunity to clarify and strengthen his argument. In fact, there is a large body of scholarly work by accomplished scientists which challenges Diamond’s position and suggests that, while environmental factors are important, so, too, are genetic factors. For instance, the relationship between IQ and wealth is well established for intrasocietal differences, and a strong case has been made that IQ has an important impact on income differences between societies.42

Diamond does not discuss this literature or attempt to refute it. The word “intelligence” does not even appear in the index of his book, and he cites none of the prominent scientists who have argued that genes may play a prominent role in human social organization. In fact, he makes the rather preposterous claim, contradicted by overwhelming scientific evidence that “‘Stone Age’ peoples are on average probably more intelligent, not less intelligent, than industrialized peoples.” He gives as evidence the most cursory anecdotal stories based on his personal encounters with individuals. Those who disagree are labeled loathsome and racist.43 In other words, anyone who questions Diamond’s politically correct view is simply dismissed ad hominem.



Marxist roots

Writes Roth on the Marxist roots of multiculturalism (pp 41 – 43):


While most thoughtful observers were well aware of the malfunctioning of the Soviet Union, its collapse made glaringly clear the utopian nature of Marxism as applied to the economic sphere. People simply could not be made to work as hard for the good of all as they would for themselves and their own families. People who could not, because of communist rules, benefit themselves by harder work, simply did not work very hard. In time the Soviet Union fell further and further behind the West in productiv­ity and wealth. Furthermore, the predicted withering away of the state under communism did not, in fact, transpire. Rather, all Communist states required massive, and often brutal, repression of their people and nowhere tolerated democracy or freedom of expression.

No one should be deluded, however, into thinking that the failure of Communism as an economic and political system has discredited Marxist thinking among its former sympathizers. It has certainly not done so among a great many of the intellectuals in America or Europe‘s dominant political class. Multiculturalism, for instance, is clearly an outgrowth of Marxist thinking, with ethnic groups replacing economic classes as the primary actors in the conflict that defines modern societies. Whites of European stock are the oppressor class, and the various less fortunate racial and ethnic groups are the exploited classes. Another important product of Marxist thinking is its disparagement of nationalism and its promotion of global internationalism. It is, perhaps, the driving idea behind the formation of a political European Union, as opposed to a merely economic common market. And it certainly explains the faith of the left in world organizations such as the UN and the World Court. It also explains the left’s embrace of large-scale third-world immigration to the industrial democracies, which serves to dilute white European influence and to reduce distinctions among nation states.81

According to Daniel Mahoney, many of these ideas originated with the writings of influential French left-wing thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan who sought to “subvert—to deconstruct—tradi­tional wisdom and established social institutions. Egalitarian moralism coexisted with a fanatical repudiation of the idea of the Truth…”

Further, these ideas created a “new authoritarianism…more illiberal than anything found in the old order since it showed limitless contempt for habits, practices and judgments that had long served to support civilized human existence.”82 Mahoney quotes Dominique Schnapper, writing in the French journal Commentaire which was founded by her illustrious father, Raymond Aron. According to Schnapper such thinking has transformed “the democratic principle of human and civic equality…into a passion for equality that perceives every distinction…as discriminatory, every difference as inegalitarian, every inequality as inequitable.”83 This reflects Aristotle’s assertion that the corruption of democracy results when people falsely believe that people “who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.”84

The attachment of the many intellectuals to this view explains their support for programs of international multiculturalism that deny any difference between people and culture. It also explains their concern for the world’s oppressed minorities, a concern that trumps their concern for their own countrymen. To favor one’s own over others is viewed as a base chauvinism. Therefore, the inconsistency of sup­porting mass immigration while at the same time claiming a concern for the working poor disappears if one defines the working poor in international terms, rather than in chauvinistic, national ones. Put in other terms, a true Marxist should show a concern for all the strug­gling masses of mankind; to be more concerned for your own working classes is a retrograde nationalism, best eschewed. This change of focus explains, in large measure, the left’s abandonment of the workingman and joining with corporate interests on the issue of immigration. It is, of course, also the case that the parties of the left increase their power by importing third-world immigrants who overwhelmingly become constituents of those parties. The net result is that people who oppose massive immigration have no place to turn for support on either the right or the left of the political spectrum.




Totalitarian tendencies

Writes Roth on the totalitarian nature of the current regime (pp 52 – 54):


The consensus among elites is that the popular resistance to mass immigration is an ignorant xenophobia that should be ignored in setting public policy. As Francis Fukayama explains, “Postmodern elites, particularly in Europe, feel that they have evolved beyond identities defined by religion and nation and have arrived at a superior place.”111 Esteemed British philosopher Roger Scruton observes that such elites dominate European national parliaments and the bureaucracy of the European Union. It is this domination that “is partly responsible for the acceptance of subsidized immigration, and for the attacks on customs and institutions associated with traditional and native forms of life.” A typical member of this elite class, according to Scruton, himself hardly a stranger to this class, “repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation…” (Italics in original). He sees himself “as a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism.” It follows than that such a person defines “his political vision in terms of cosmopolitan values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.”112

Not surprisingly, the multicultural program these elites promote is, by its very nature, profoundly undemocratic, in that it imposes changes on society that citizens most assuredly do not want and which they resist when given the opportunity to do so. Hence the extraordinary repression of dissent in the immigration debate and the totalitarian imposition of political correctness wherever elites have power, such as in American universities and in most European political parties.

Nobel Prize winning novelist Doris Lessing, no enemy of the left, argued in a 1992 article that political correctness is “immediately evident as a legacy of Communism…a continuation of that old bully, the Party line.” She argues: “millions of people, the rug of Communism pulled out from under them, are searching frantically, and perhaps not even knowing it, for another dogma.” They are rabble-rousers using the “most dirty and often cruel tactics” and are “no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.”113

It is difficult to disagree with Lessing that the totalitarian methods and utopian ambitions of multiculturalism clearly have their roots in Communist ideology. The multicultural program is, to be sure, spectac­ularly utopian. It supposes that, given the proper conditions, national and ethnic identities can be suppressed and eventually wither away as people come to see themselves as citizens of the world. This is truly an extravagant vision, but one the elites of the West have demonstrably embraced. They seem not willing to ask what the consequences would be if their vision is flawed. Marxist visionaries were wrong in thinking that they could remake people to love and to work hard for other people’s children as for their own. Are today’s visionary multicultural­ists wrong in thinking they can eradicate ethnic solidarity and the group strife it so often engenders?

Communist totalitarians committed grave crimes against millions of people in their attempt to eliminate human self-interest in their plans for a just economic order. Left-wing intellectuals in the West defended the bar­barities of Communism for years because they viewed its ends as noble. Today, intellectuals of all political stripes excuse the excesses of their gov­ernments in promoting large-scale immigration. After all, the goal of world harmony and universal justice is as noble as the goal of economic equality. Will today’s governments pursue those noble goals with a ruthlessness similar to their communist predecessors? This is not an idle concern. Many today call the tactics of European multiculturalists a “soft” totalitarianism. However, the willingness of governments to put people in jail or deprive them of their livelihoods for disagreeing with government policies can hardly be characterized as soft. It should be recalled that in its last years, the Soviet Union rarely murdered opponents, but used tactics similar to the ones being used today in Europe.

A world without borders would be one without refuge from despotic rule. Despotic governance was the rule throughout most of recorded history, and it is still the rule for the majority of the world’s citizens. The Soviet Union built walls to keep its people from seeking refuge in the West. What if there had been no “West” in which to seek refuge? The last time Western Europe was united was under Nazi rule, and people who opposed that rule were simply murdered, as were millions of undesired minorities who were trapped in the boundaries of that multicultural empire. Whether people would be better off without independent nation states, living under the rule of a world government, or in large supernational blocs such as the EU is by no means clear. In fact, history and reason suggest that just the opposite would be the case. Most utopian dreams when implemented have, in fact, been real-life nightmares for the vast majority. One is hard-pressed to think of an exception.



The importance of IQ


Towards the end of the introductory chapter, Roth discusses the importance of IQ (pp 58 – 61):


The future that these developments portend is not one consistent with the vision of the founding fathers [of the USA] who built their republic on a model that included large numbers of independent yeoman farmers and skilled tradesmen. Rather the future of America is likely to come to resemble South American oligarchies, in which there are extremely suc­cessful elites, relatively small middle classes, and large masses of people whose main work is to provide services for the more successful members of society. These class distinctions in Latin America, moreover, are quite clearly related to ethnic and racial differences.

America is not alone in facing serious consequences brought on by unexamined immigration policies. Europe and all European-derived nations face similar problems to a greater or lesser degree. Most critics of European immigration policy focus on the difficulty of assimilating North Africans and Western Asians, many of whom are Muslim, due to religious differences and the potential social conflict produced by those religious differences. Left out of these discussions is the fact that, according to the best estimates, Middle Eastern and West Asian societies (that include India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan) have populations whose average IQs range between 85 and 90, with some having averages con­siderably below that range.124 As will be seen in Chapter 7, these figures are reflected in the academic performance of the native-born children of immigrants in European schools. A notable exception is students of Indian descent. As in the case of Hispanic immigrants to America, these differences between immigrants and host populations will probably decline somewhat through improved education and nutrition, but there is little reason to believe that these gaps will close to the point of being socially unimportant.

Europeans, therefore, face the problem of assimilating people of very different religious and social values who, in addition, are unlikely to achieve the economic success of native Europeans. This is by now glaringly evident in France where large numbers of the children of North Africans perform poorly in school, have bleak economic prospects, and have failed to integrate into French society. Similar difficulties are wide­spread throughout Europe. Invoking the nostrum of better education as the answer to these growing problems is as disingenuous for European elites as it is for American ones.

It is important to understand the significance of these IQ gaps, since they are often dismissed as trivial and unimportant, and their persistence over time is generally not emphasized. An IQ difference of ten or fifteen points, for instance, results in widely differing numbers of those at the top and the bottom of the distributions, due to the normal distribution or bell curve for IQ. Whereas 50% of the individuals drawn from a European population will have IQs above 100, the figure drops to 25% for those whose group mean is 90, and only about 16% for those whose group mean is 85. The figures for IQs associated with success in higher education, roughly a minimum IQ of about 110 (equivalent to literacy levels 1 and 2 according to Gottfredson’s estimates), are even more striking. Approximately 25% of the European host population will surpass that figure, but only about 10% of the population of the typical North African and West Asian country, and an even smaller percentage of those from the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.125

These figures are not only important for economic success, but suggest a host of other problems associated with immigration. It has by now been well established that IQ correlates very highly with rates of criminality and antisocial behavior and with other maladaptive behaviors such as illegitimacy. These correlations are, furthermore, found worldwide.126 Challenges to social harmony are exacerbated if some immigrant groups exhibit, and come to be associated with, a host of social pathologies, as is currently the case in America and Europe. High crime and illegitimacy rates are common among Third-World immigrants to industrial societies, and it is possible that these phenomena are linked to cultural and intellectual differences. It is also possible that ethnic groups are somewhat different in their tempera­mental makeup in impulse control and aggressiveness, and these may simply compound the problems posed by cultural and ability differ­ences. This is a very important and highly controversial question, which will be explored in Chapters 3 and 4.

All of which suggests that, without dramatic changes in patterns of immigration, considerable economic and social disparities among groups are likely to persist and to grow more apparent as immigration swells the ranks of those less academically talented. A related question is what these figures mean for democratic governance. Can democracy thrive when only a small percentage of the population has the capacity and skills associated with middle-class employment? Are the autocratic societies of North Africa the natural byproduct of societies where an insufficient fraction of the population has the intellectual wherewithal to deal with political and economic complexity?

If people from North Africa and Southwest Asia replace European people, will European civilization, including its democracy and wealth, be replaced by some new civilization with very different dynamics and values? Will America be the same if it becomes a confederation of different ethnic groups with different values and aptitudes? Given current immigration policies these are the most important questions the Western world must attempt to assess. Such a demographic realign­ment would be epochal in nature and would have ramifications in every corner of the globe. When coupled with the rise of China and India as world superpowers, it heralds a new chapter in world history that will shape the destiny of mankind for centuries to come. Thoughtful people would not hesitate to consider what these epochal changes portend for their progeny. Neither would they hesitate to openly consider the full consequences of the current immigration policies which, if left on their present course, will prove to be irreversible and quite possibly tragic.



Social behavior


The book’s second chapter is a treasure trove of information about the Fundamental Principles of the Evolution of Social Behavior. Below are some excerpts from this chapter.


Nation states

Writes Roth in a subsection on The Nation State and Inclusive Fitness (pp 107 – 109):


Most simple societies are bound together by inclusive fitness, since they are to a large degree merely extended families. Societies can grow larger on the basis of inclusive fitness only if they can convince their members that they are part of an extended kin group or clan, and draw their commonalities from a common gene pool. In premodern times, the distances between various groups made intermarriage and a wide­spread commingling of genes impossible. Large societies tended to be confederations of unrelated people from separate regions held together by mutual and often temporary convenience, or by coercion. One thinks of the shifting alliances of the Greek city-states as an example of one based on convenience and the Roman Empire as an example of one based on coercion. Very often those confederations bolstered a sense of common ancestry through myths of origin and sagas of heroic figures from the past. The founding of the Hebrew nation as related in the story of Abraham’s encounter with God implies a common genetic ancestry, as do the heroic legends of the Greeks and Vikings. Most of the world’s religions deal with questions of the physical origins of the world and the linking together of people through a common founding lineage.

However, the unity of a large society based on a presumed extended kinship is constantly threatened by the centripetal forces of more local loyalties, since the kinship claimed by large societies is often more mythic than real. Such confederations are, therefore, highly unstable and increasingly come to be held together by physical force without any pretense of common ancestry. That is, of course, what is meant by an empire and what distinguishes it from a tribe or a nation. A nation, especially a modern nation-state, is somewhat of a combination of a tribe and an empire in that it ties people together on the basis of both coercion and common ancestry. To the extent that a sense of common ancestry, of genetic relatedness, is real and not fictitious, the society can rely more on the power of inclusive fitness and less on naked force to bind its population together.

It is well to keep in mind that the history of the European nations was one of ever greater consolidation of separate ethnicities, often involving great violence. This was the case even though Western European populations share a common ancestry with the Neolithic peoples that inhabited those regions thousands of years ago. In effect, modern Europeans are drawn from the same distinctive gene pool as those prehistoric peoples. Genetic studies suggest that more recent migrants, mainly from the Middle East, have contributed relatively little (about 20%) to the European gene pool as it exists today.63

Nevertheless, it took centuries, and it was not until quite recently that the European states were able to fashion a unified population where marriage across ethnic lines became common. Before transpor­tation brought people from separate regions into regular contact with each other, this was not possible. In France, for instance, it was not until the twentieth century that the transfer of allegiance from region to nation was complete. Once the intermingling of regional populations became sufficient to foster near universal intermarriage, a nation could be transformed into one sharing a common gene pool and, in effect, one based in common ancestry. This is clearly what happened to the various nations of Europe and indeed of almost all nations of sufficient age. These nations are made up of closely related peoples, and comprise a fairly large, but nevertheless identifiable gene pool—an extended clan or tribe as it were. Where this genetic consolidation didn’t happen, as in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, ethnic allegiance trumped national allegiance with the expected outcome.



Why can’t we all just get along?

Writes Roth on page 111:


The answer to the famous question posed by Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” is quite simply that we are not programmed to get along, but rather to view people different from ourselves with varying degrees of suspicion and hostility. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam found, to his dismay, that multicultural communities in America are rife with distrust. Speaking to a reporter for the Financial Times he said his research indicated that, “[t]he effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined.” This is the case even after adjusting for the factors of class, income, and urban versus rural residence. Putnam found that “the more people of different races living in the same community, the greater the loss of trust.” 68 He reports that the greater ethnic diversity in society the less trust people had in each other, even people of their own race. “In more diverse setting, Americans distrust not merely people who do not look like them, but even people who do.” In addition, “inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less.” He adds that “in colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’—that is, to pull in like a turtle.”


Multiculturalism and democracy

Writes Roth on pp 111 – 112:


From the perspective of inclusive fitness, unfamiliar others are potential free-riders and, out of a concern that they will be exploited by others, people reduce considerably their altruistic attitudes and behavior in a general way in more diverse communities. This loss of trust is a symptom of a breakdown in social cohesion and is surely a forerunner of the sort of ethnic conflict that is always likely to break out if allowed to do so. This is undoubtedly the reason why multicultural nation-states are forever promoting tolerance and ever more punitive sanctions for the expression of ethnic hostility, even going so far to as to discourage the expression of opinion about the reality of ethnic and racial differences. Currently these measures are directed at the host population when they express reserva­tions about the wisdom of mass immigration, but this will surely change as it becomes ever more obvious that it is the presence of competing ethnic groups that is creating the tension and not the expressed reservations of the majority population. The real danger for modern democracies is that in their zeal to promote multicultural societies, they will be forced to resort to the means that have characterized all empires attempting to maintain their hegemony over disparate peoples.




Empires and democracy

Writes Roth on pp 112 – 114:


Empires cannot be democracies, for if they were, people would choose to separate themselves into ethnically distinct jurisdictions or states. This happened after the breakup of the Hapsburg Empire in the wake of WWI. A similar pattern resulted when the USSR dissolved and the separate nation­alities that had been submerged reestablished their independent identities. For similar reasons a democratic multiethnic nation cannot survive unless it can drastically reduce ethnic identity through widespread assimilation, and concomitant intermarriage. The traditional nation-state based in ethnicity does not face this problem and can therefore survive and remain demo­cratic, and has only a limited need for coercion. This, of course, is not to deny that a state can accommodate small, relatively powerless groups who fail to assimilate, but the key here is that they must be small and powerless. The Jews of Western Europe are a tragic case of a group that, while small, was perceived as powerful.

In summary, the modern nation-state is a relatively new phenome­non in that it can comprise a very large population in a cohesive society based in considerable measure in a common ancestry. That shared ancestry, buttressed by a shared cultural heritage, means that it is less reliant on coercion than other large societies lacking a shared ancestry and heritage. Because of the workings of inclusive fitness, people of the same ethnic background normally exhibit greater empathy for, and understanding of, each other than they do for people from other groups. It may not be accidental that the most successful welfare states are the Scandinavian nations that were highly homogenous until recently. In the current immigration debate and its assumptions about a multicul­tural society based on ideology, rather than ancestry and heritage, it is well to keep these things in mind. In the attempt to reduce conflict by replacing ethnic and national loyalties with ideological loyalties, it is wise to consider that such loyalties can generate conflicts every bit as deadly and tragic.

In the utopian vision of those who promote a universal altruism, ethnic and national loyalties would be replaced with a loyalty to all of mankind. But can one really love and be loyal to everyone? Would the world be a better place if parents had no more affection for their own children than those of total strangers? Would the world be a better place if people cared as much for strangers as for their friends and neighbors? What would a friend or a neighbor be in such a case? In such a world people might be excused if they chose to care for no one. The end result would be a society in which people exhibited an indifference to the welfare of their neighbors and a profound sense of alienation from the larger community. This was recognized more than 2000 years ago by Aristotle in his critique of Plato’s Republic and its communal nature. “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Everyone thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest…everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill.” He goes on to reject Plato’s notion of collective family life: “Each citizen will have a thousand sons who will not be his sons individually, but anybody will be equally the son of anybody and will therefore be neglected by all alike.” Further “which is better to say ‘mine’ about every one…of the other citizens, or to use the word ‘mine’ in the ordinary and more restricted sense…. How much better it is to be the real cousin of somebody, than to be a son after Plato’s fashion!”70

But the vision of universal altruism is plainly utopian and can never, thankfully, be realized. People need and want families and friends and allies and that will not change if national loyalties are undermined in the interests of multicultural tolerance. What may be undermined is the shared sense of national community within nations that took centuries of human misery to bring into being. Is it really wise to abandon the moderately harmonious communities, so created, on a fashionable whim, only to find that we must start the painful process all over again?



The consequences of changes in culture

Discussing the dramatic changes that are being forced upon Wester societies through the current immigration regime, Roth writes (pp 463 – 465):


Changes in culture can have very negative consequences for large numbers of the people who were born and adapted to the older displaced culture, as well as for their descendants. This opens up a number of issues that require examination. For one, there is the profoundly moral question of what obligations one generation owes to future generations? Would the new culture which arose be suitable and comfortable to the progeny of the Europeans who will live in it? A second question is whether the transformation of the West could be so great as to make it very inhospitable for the current generation so that they would attempt to flee? Finally, is it possible under current immigration policies for Western cultures to be transformed peaceably?

Considering the first question, it is useful to turn to the thoughts of Edmund Burke who argued that a society is a contract between members, a partnership as it were, but unlike a normal contract between parties for mutual benefit, it is of a very different sort.


It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partner­ship cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partner­ship not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.3


Failure to recognize that obligation to past and future generations is one of the characteristics of the nihilistic individual. Should such a mentality come to be widespread, the consequence could be catastrophic to a society, especially one threatened by a hostile and potential aggressor state. Even one not infected by such individualism would have to think twice about putting his life on the line to defend a society, especially if he suspected that few would honor or even remember his sacrifice.

Anyone who has had occasion to visit the American military cem­eteries that dot the European continent and is not profoundly moved by the sight of the thousands of grave markers of the young Americans who were sacrificed in war in the pursuit of causes (even causes which may have been, in retrospect, of dubious value), is hardly one who can be expected to much concern himself with the fate of future generations. As mentioned in an earlier chapter, nations often place terrible burdens on their members, which could not be endured were those burdens to be forgotten by mindless, self-absorbed future generations. Even when not required to make such extreme contributions, all citizens are expected and often gladly contribute to the well-being of their society through volunteer work and other charitable efforts, and act in myriad ways with a concern for their fellow citizens. It is worth quoting Burke at length on what would ensue if any generation, which is only a temporary possessor of its society, forgets its fiduciary responsibility and was to become:


unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters; that they should think it amongst their rights to cut off the entail, or commit waste on the inheritance, by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of their society; hazarding to leave to those who come after them, a ruin instead of a habitation…4


One can make a case that those who are plunging Western societies headlong into great changes under massive immigration, whose con­sequences are, at best, unknown, are profoundly amoral and astound­ingly arrogant in indulging “at their pleasure” in policies that gain their force from the sense of moral superiority that comes from the almost religious faith that all men are equal in all regards, and all can live com­fortably in any social arrangement.

This leads directly to the second question of whether, in fact, all men can live comfortably in any social arrangement. The argument through­out this book is that this assertion is almost certainly false, and it is worth repeating and amplifying the reasons why the multiculturalist position is flawed. Multiculturalism is often incorrectly confused with the doctrine of cultural relativism that was formulated by anthropolo­gists early in the 20th century. Cultural relativism, which continues to be a central principle in anthropological research, did not argue that all cultures are equal, but rather that every culture had to be under­stood in terms of its needs and ecological circumstances, including its knowledge and technology. The concept did not include the position taken throughout this book, however, that cultures also reflect the par­ticular idiosyncrasies of their inhabitants including, especially, their abilities and temperamental characteristics. For instance if a society has a great many people of an aggressive temperament, its methods of regulating antisocial behavior are likely to be very different from one in which very few people exhibit such tendencies. Likewise, a society composed of people with few high IQ members is likely to be structured very differently from one with a substantial number of intellectually gifted individuals.



Democracy and IQ

Discussing some of the prerequisites that must be met if a democracy is to function properly, Roth writes (pp 465 – 467):


To take a contemporary example from the field of education, it is worth considering the failures of so many of the nation’s urban schools. Those failures can, in part, be explained by the fact that, in general, school procedures are set at the state, rather than the local, level. The rules governing discipline and curricular content are therefore the same for children from the poorest, often black and Hispanic, neighborhoods in the inner cities as they are for those from the wealthiest suburban communities. This is bound to create disastrous consequences for the urban schools, given the differences in ability and perhaps in tem­perament between the two populations. The consequence is that poor black and Hispanic children are required to study things they often find unfathomable, and must attempt to do in disorderly and dangerous environments. It is hardly surprising that the dropout rates in urban schools are alarmingly high. Christopher Swanson analyzed the gradu­ation rates of the schools in the 50 largest U. S. cities and found an overall average graduation rate of only 52%. In the worst case, Detroit, only 25% graduate. In 10 of the worst performing cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta, fewer than 46% graduate. In Baltimore, Cleveland and Indianapolis the figure is fewer than 35%.5 Linda Gottfredson made the point that


the black-white differences among children from the same social class is no larger than the mean difference (about 12 IQ points) between siblings brought up in the same household…. Most families, however, neither expect nor demand that all siblings perform to the same level, and most believe it is inappropriate for parents to treat children who have different needs in an identical manner. It is likewise unwise for a nation to insist that all its subgroups perform to the same average level. (emphasis added)6


Gottfredson was, in this case, discussing the education of black American students that have an average IQ of 85. She did not deal with temperamental differences, but the same logic would apply, if such tem­peramental differences do in fact exist.

The point is that what works well in one population may fail in a different population. If a group of people making up a society is to survive, it must, at the least, provide the basic necessities of existence. It must also organize itself for defense against enemies and order the relations between individuals so that they do not destroy their society in intrasocietal violence. In other words, they must have a set of practices and values which enables them to survive and prosper. Necessarily, differences in populations and circumstances are likely to produce very different societal solutions, as is evidenced by the extraordinary cultural variation revealed by anthropological studies. As discussed earlier, large numbers of immigrants to the EU and the U. S. come from societies with average IQs of about 90, while the average IQ in the West is about 100. Practically, this means that while 50% of the population of Western societies has IQs above 100, that figure drops to approximately 25% for those from societies with a mean IQ of 90. The question immediately arises as to whether there is some threshold for IQ required for the smooth functioning of a democratic republic. The work of Tatu Vanhanen, discussed in Chapter 4, strongly suggests that this is the case. As mentioned in the first chapter, it may well be that the autocratic regimes, and lack of democratic forms, that are so common in the many countries from which immigrants come are the result of their population’s lacking the intellectual resources to create democratic republics.




In the book’s final chapter, Immigration and the Future of the West, Roth writes (pp 506 – 507):


If the United States and Europe continue with the policies that have been outlined in the sections above, it will mean that Western civiliza­tion will go into inexorable decline and may eventually cease to exist in any meaningful way. This returns us to the question posed at the very beginning of this book: why is this happening and why is it happening now? The answer given throughout this book is that the reasons lie in the influence of patently false ideas, ideas promoted by intellectuals for a variety of reasons, not least of which have been a desire to increase their influence on world affairs and thereby their own power. In effect it has been a Treason of the Intellectuals, the name of the 1927 book by the French writer, Julien Benda. The treason to which he was referring was the abandonment by the intellectual class of the disinterested search for truth in favor of using scholarship to promote political ends. When he wrote in 1927, those political ends involved promoting the passion­ate nationalism and ethnic identity that led to World War I and which, he predicted, would result in even greater violence in the future. The intellectual’s greatest crime was the abandonment of the ideals of the enlightenment that had promoted the idea that there were universal truths which could become known to men by disinterested research and the replacing of those universal ideals with a Nietzschean will to power and a nihilism that only recognized the utility of knowledge to advance political ends. According to Benda, intellectuals demonstrated a “desire to debase the values of knowledge before the values of action.”83

He was particularly critical of the intellectuals’ efforts to politicize almost all issues, and to enlist the masses in the antidemocratic mass movements of Fascism and Communism. “It may be said that to-day there is scarcely a mind in Europe which is not affected—or thinks itself affected—by a racial or class or national passion, and most often by all three.”84 Since Benda’s time the power of intellectuals has grown, as has their political agenda, and today, as much as in his time, they have adopted a much more open stance that the truth must take second place to what they view as virtuous political ends. This is, of course, what we know today as political correctness.






Byron M. Roth. The Perils of Diversity – Immigration and Human Nature. Washington Summit Publishers; 1st edition (October 22, 2010), 594 pages (including 993 footnotes and a 35-page bibliography). Available e.g. from Amazon.


Other reviews:


See also the book’s FaceBook page.


Ovenstående er hentet fra min bokanmeldelse på HonestThinking.



Kommentar #52

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Afrikas historie

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Øian tar seg ganske store friheter når han skal fremme sine synspunkter. Det skaper behov for en viss opprydningsvirksomhet fra min side. Samtidig er det ganske avslørende at en forsker gjentatte ganger tillater seg å bruke en argumentasjonsteknikk som enhver Ex Phil-kandidat bør være i stand til å gjennomskue. Se f.eks. nedenstående lille perle av et 'argument' fra Øian.

I kommentar #17 skrev jeg: ”At flere tusen års separat utvikling (med liten/minimal utveksling av gener) ikke skulle resultere i forskjeller mellom folkeslag, er imidlertid en statistisk og evolusjonsbiologisk umulighet. Null-hypotesen må derfor være at visse statistiske/gjennomsnittlige forskjeller faktisk er til stede (slik alle deltagere på denne tråden ser ut til å være enige om). Det blir derfor helt urimelig å ta for gitt at det kun er miljømessige faktorer som ligger til grunn for de systematiske, sosioøkonomiske forskjellene som kan observeres mellom f.eks. svarte og hvite i absolutt alle land i verden der disse to gruppene lever side om side.”

Dette fikk Øian til å bemerke:

Her fører Anfindsen et logisk ressonement som ikke i seg selv holder mål. Selv om det er evolusjonen skaper visse genetiske forskjeller (hvor mye og betydningsfullt er det dessuten stor uenighet om), er ikke det ensbetydende med at det i seg selv gir seg utslag i de sosiale sammenhengene han peker på. Tusen år med separat utvikling, ja vel. Men det er med samme utgangspunkt og selv om klima- og naturforhold har vært ulike, har man på de ulike kontinentene levde på ganske like måter, helt fram til de aller siste hundre årene.

Mitt resonnement sier noe om hva det er rimelig eller urimelig å anta her. Dermed har jeg ikke sagt at det hele er "ensbetydende med at det i seg selv gir seg utslag i de sosiale sammenhengene [Anfindsen] peker på", slik Øian fremstiller det. Mitt resonnement gir selvsagt rom for at også en rekke miljømessige/sosioøkonomiske faktorer kan trekkes inn. Mitt poeng er at det blir helt feil å ta som utgangspunkt at det kun er miljømessige/sosioøkonomiske faktorer som kan trekkes inn som forklaringsvariable. Med andre ord hevder jeg at det er god grunn til å mistenke at også genetiske faktorer er inne i bildet.

Her er et aldri så lite apropos til ovenstående (som ikke er ensbetydende med at jeg setter likhetstegn mellom de to situasjonene som drøftes).

I sin bok Rasenes oppfinnelse (merk tittelen) feier Øians åndsfrende Torgeir Skorgen raskt over Buffon, Kant, Hume, Galton, Darwin og de aller fleste andre intellektuelle som har tenkt på, grublet over og arbeidet med raseproblematikk i perioden fra 1400-tallet og frem til 1945, og kommer til at de alle sammen kan avfeies som rasister. Det er jo spenstig.

Skorgens grenseløse arroganse viser seg blant annet ved den behandlingen David Hume (1711 – 1776) blir til del (ibid, side 102):

[Hume var] tilbøyelig til å mene at ”negre er naturlig mindreverdige i forhold til hvite mennesker”. Beviset for denne påstanden var ifølge Hume den mangelen på sivilisatoriske framskritt han mente å observere blant afrikanerne. Selv i forhold til de barbariske gamle germanerne utmerker afrikanerne seg ved at de totalt mangler kunst, vitenskap, personlig tiltak, frie forfatninger eller tekniske nyvinninger: ”En slik entydig og konstant forskjell kunne ikke inntreffe i så mange land og epoker dersom ikke naturen fra begynnelsen av hadde skapt en forskjell mellom disse ulike menneskestammene.”

At det på 1700-tallet tydeligvis var akseptabelt å bruke et såpass ladet ord som ’mindreverdige’ for å beskrive mentale forskjeller, er så sin sak. Men ser ikke Skorgen at Hume her setter fingeren på et fenomen som er i behov av en eller annen forklaring (jf Diamond 1997)? Nei, det virker ikke som om den tanken har så mye som streifet ham. Her er imidlertid noen opplysninger om tilstanden i det østlige, sentrale og sørlige Afrika frem til 1800-tallet som Skorgen burde ha nevnt dersom han hadde vært interessert i en ærlig drøftelse av Humes poeng. Jeg siterer fra boken Understanding human history av Michael Hart (2007, side 313, min oversettelse; jf Rushton 1995, side 99 – 101):

Selv om det fantes enkelte mindre byer, fantes det ingen byer av noen særlig størrelse. Det fantes ingen kjøretøyer med hjul, og ingen brukte dreieskiver for å lage keramikk. Ja, det fantes i det hele tatt ingen mekaniske innretninger med bevegelige deler, slik som hengsler eller sakser. Man hadde ikke funnet opp noen teknikk for å føye sammen trestykker. Det fantes ingen mynter eller penger. Selv om man hadde storfe, ble disse ikke brukt som last- eller trekkdyr. Det fantes ingen skriftspråk i hele regionen. Som et resultat av dette fantes det ingen lovverk, ingen filosofiske arbeider og ingen litteratur. Heller ikke fantes det storslagen poesi, slik som for eksempel Iliaden. Det fantes ingen matematikk ut over elementær tallregning. Kun primitive konstruksjonsmetoder var kjent. Det fantes ingen kupler eller buer. Stein ble i liten grad benyttet [som bygningsmateriale], og det fantes ingen templer eller større monumenter. Det fantes ingen skoler, sykehus, bibliotek eller veier med fast overflate.

Øian hevder imidlertid følgende: "Men det er med samme utgangspunkt og selv om klima- og naturforhold har vært ulike, har man på de ulike kontinentene levde på ganske like måter, helt fram til de aller siste hundre årene." Det er en påstand han neppe har dekning for. Det finnes formodentlig enkelte andre områder som har vært like lite utviklede som det østlige, sentrale og sørlige Afrika frem til 1800-tallet, men noe slikt som dette har alldeles ikke vært hovedregelen.

Dette er et fenomen som er i behov av en eller annen troverdig forklaring. Og jeg har problemer med å se hvordan noen som helst tentativ forklaring kan være troverdig dersom man i utgangspunktet nekter å trekke inn de intelligensmessige forutsetningene til de folkeslagene som bodde i det aktuelle området.



Kommentar #53

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer


Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Ingen hadde nevnt Rushton med ett ord i denne tråden før Øian i kommentar #14 plutselig kastet inn følgende moment: "En av de Anfindsen ser ut til være henført av er J.Philippe Rushton". Dersom Øian hadde avstått fra å bruke det i denne sammenheng tendensiøse verbet 'henført', og i stedet skrevet f.eks. 'påvirket', så hadde utsagnet vært helt korret; jeg vedstår meg fullt ut at jeg er påvirket av Rushton. Jeg kan også godt tilføye at han imponerer meg.

Ikke dermed sagt at jeg går god for alt Rushton kan ha sagt eller skrevet opp gjennom årene. Og, som tidligere bemerket, tar jeg det for gitt at noen av de hypotesene Rushton har fremmet, etter hvert vil bli forkastet. Det er sånn det er å være forsker.

Samtidig er det viktig å ha klart for seg at jeg på ingen måte har gjort meg avhengig av Rushton og hans forskning. Faktisk er det slik at det aller meste som fremføres i Selvmordsparadigmet ville stå støtt selv om Øian i morgen skulle være i stand til å legge frem ugjendrivelig dokumentasjon på at Rushton har opptrådt intellektuelt uredelig (slik vi vet at f.eks. Stephen Jay Gould har gjort; mer om det en annen gang), eller at han virkelig er blitt "plukket sønder og sammen" (slik Øian gjentatte ganger har påstått) og ikke bare er blitt utsatt for heftig kritikk (som er det eneste Øian hittil har vært i stand til å dokumentere på akkurat det punktet).

Mine resonnementer beveger seg på et overordnet nivå (som seg hør og bør for en som ikke selv er biolog eller tilsvarende), mens Rushton derimot har det med å bevege seg på et adskillig mer detaljert nivå. En av de tingene han er kjent for, er hypotesen om at de ulike hovedrasene plasserer seg ulikt på den såkalte r-K-skalaen (se nedenfor) når det gjelder pleie/omsorg for avkom (og det ville selvsagt være merkelig om det ikke var noen forskjeller på dette området), og at dette opp gjennom århundrene har gitt seg ulike, genetiske utslag. Dette er jo fascinerende saker, og jeg anser dette som en plausibel hypotese som det kan være vel verdt å se nærmere på. Øians ulike kommentarer tidligere i denne tråden gjør det imidlertid klart at han ser det som en selvfølge at nevnte hypotese kan forkastes uten nærmere vurdering; den er ikke noe annet enn rasisme, må vite. Ja, ja, det er interessant å se hvordan noen bare vet hva som er sant eller ikke, uten å behøve å forske det aller minste.

En av dem som har skrevet en etter min mening meget tankevekkende og interessant drøftelse av akkurat dette, er vitenskapsfilosofen David N. Stamos. Jeg siterer fra hans bok Evolution and the big questions, Chapter 6: Evolution and Race (en bok jeg i sin tid ble oppmerksom på fordi den tidligere nevnte Torgeir Skorgen kom med en varm anbefaling av den i Aftenposten):


All of this cannot, however, be used to deny that the difference in average IQ scores between blacks and whites in America is partly genetic. It still might be. It might also be that blacks in America have a higher average genetic IQ than whites in America. But is that the end of it? Is there nothing else that weighs in on the question of race and IQ?


This is where Philippe Rushton’s work comes in. I said earlier that Rushton’s book and The Bell Curve feed off of each other. In Race, Evolution, and Behavior, Rushton often cites an earlier work by Herrnstein, agreeing with its data and conclusions. And in the Preface to the third edition of Rushton’s book (2000), which serves as an abstract and an update, he does the same for The Bell Curve. In The Bell Curve on the other hand, Herrnstein and Murray favorably cite earlier publications by Rushton in which he applies r- and K-selection theory to explain racial differences in IQ as well as other differences such as athletic ability, promiscuity, and crime rates. […] Humans clearly are a K-selection species, but according to Rushton the three basic human races did not involve the same degree of K-selection. […]


As Rushton (2000) is quick to point out, “these three-way differences are averages. The full range of behaviors, good and bad, is found in every race” (P11). This is the sort of thing one should expect for an evolutionary argument, since biology is, after all, statistical. What is interesting is the kind of replies Rushton’s evolutionary argument has evoked. The biologist Joseph Graves, for example, […] [makes the following claim]:


Professional biologists now consider r- and K-selection theory as virtually useless. Biologists began to expose the fallacies in this concept in the late 1970s. Since that time, multiple experiments have failed to corroborate the core premises of r- and K-selection theory. (175)


The problem with this claim, however, is that it will come as a total surprise to many professional biologists. For example, in an anthology devoted to concepts in ecology (Cherrett 1989), published over a decade after Graves’s supposed demise of r- and K-selection theory, the theory continued to be applied to many examples in nature. […] The upshot of all this is that while it is too strong a claim to say that r- and K-selection theory is dead, its application to human evolutionary history is at best controversial.


Even more serious is the main criticism of Rushton by Alland (2002), who devotes a chapter to Rushton in his book. According to Alland, Rushton and all the scientists who provide quoted support for his book in the inside cover of the third edition – his “coterie of admirers” (161), which includes famous race researchers such as Arthur Jensen, Hans Eysenck, and Charles Murray – received generous research grants from the Pioneer Fund. This organization, Alland is quick to point out, is “noted for its support of racist research,” it had in its earliest years “praised aspects of Nazi Germany’s racial policies” (8), [and some more along these lines].


Whether these allegations are true or not, it does not really matter, since, from a logical point of view, they commit at least three fallacies when used, as they are by Alland, to reject an argument, in this case Rushton’s evolutionary argument for racial differences. The first is the genetic fallacy, […] The next is guilt by association. […] Finally, there is circumstantial ad hominem. A person’s motive in making an argument, whether that motive is conscious or not, has no bearing whatsoever on the logical worth of the argument. An argument is an autonomous entity, and it needs to be analyzed accordingly, in terms of whether the premises are true, relevant, and sufficient. The motive of the person who provided the argument is totally irrelevant. All of these points are readily available in books on what is known as informal logic, and students will readily agree with them when they examine them in theory and see them applied to mundane examples, but it all has a habit of going out the window in the context of hot topics such as race (others are feminism and religion). […]




[…] What [a particular argument by Richard Lewontin] seriously ignores, however, are two basic facts about genes. First, all it takes is a single base change in a gene, a single change in a DNA letter, to make a significant change in the phenotypic expression of the gene. Hence a little genetic variation can go a long way. Second, not all genes are on a par. Most genes are structural genes, but some genes are master or regulatory genes, turning structural genes on and off during development. A small variation in a master or regulatory gene, then, can go an even longer way in making a difference between two phenotypes. […] As it turns out, what [Lewontin] says about genetic variation in human populations is actually perfectly consistent with claims about racial differences such as Rushton’s. The racial differences can reside in relatively few key differences in structural and in master or regulatory genes, some of them the result of genetic drift, but more importantly some of them favored by natural selection. The averages cited by Lewontin are just plain irrelevant, since they are only averages in genetic variation and nothing more; as such, they cannot help but to obscure the above point. […]


At this point my own motives have probably come under suspicion, but I really do not care. My only desire has been to argue that, from an evolutionary point of view, there is nothing inherently mistaken or wrongheaded, let alone evil, in supposing that there are racial (geographic, cladistic, or ecotypic) differences in IQ or in other character traits within wide-ranging species such as Homo sapiens. Any aversion to research in this area is basically socially and politically motivated, it is not biologically motivated. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it remains possible – indeed, quite possible – that from a modern evolutionary point of view there are innate statistical differences, even significant differences, in aptitude and behavior between different human races. […] Equal opportunity combined with a positive environment is the moral imperative. But we should not let the value of this imperative fool us into believing that biology makes us equal. Like it or not, biology just does not work that way. We need to be realistic, and to remember that we are always dealing with statistical phenomena. At any rate, for my own part, I prefer to rest content with the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said it is not the color of a man’s skin that matters but the content of his character. Truer words were never spoken, possibly even if repeated from an evolutionary point of view.


Den som ønsker å se ovenstående i en større sammenheng, vil finne ytterligere stoff fra Stamos' bok her.

Jeg ber leserne merke seg at Stamos drøftelse er mildt sagt aktuell når man skal forsøke å forstå hva det er som får en forsker til å oppføre seg slik Øian har gjort på VD den siste tiden. Følgende avsnitt er spesielt relevant:

Even more serious is the main criticism of Rushton by Alland (2002), who devotes a chapter to Rushton in his book. According to Alland, Rushton and all the scientists who provide quoted support for his book in the inside cover of the third edition – his “coterie of admirers” (161), which includes famous race researchers such as Arthur Jensen, Hans Eysenck, and Charles Murray – received generous research grants from the Pioneer Fund. This organization, Alland is quick to point out, is “noted for its support of racist research,” it had in its earliest years “praised aspects of Nazi Germany’s racial policies” (8), [and some more along these lines].


Whether these allegations are true or not, it does not really matter, since, from a logical point of view, they commit at least three fallacies when used, as they are by Alland, to reject an argument, in this case Rushton’s evolutionary argument for racial differences. The first is the genetic fallacy, […] The next is guilt by association. […] Finally, there is circumstantial ad hominem. A person’s motive in making an argument, whether that motive is conscious or not, has no bearing whatsoever on the logical worth of the argument. An argument is an autonomous entity, and it needs to be analyzed accordingly, in terms of whether the premises are true, relevant, and sufficient. The motive of the person who provided the argument is totally irrelevant. All of these points are readily available in books on what is known as informal logic, and students will readily agree with them when they examine them in theory and see them applied to mundane examples, but it all has a habit of going out the window in the context of hot topics such as race


For hva er det egentlig Øian har holdt på med i innlegg etter innlegg, om ikke nettopp de tingene Stamos her påpeker at - fra et logisk/vitenskapsfilosofisk synspunkt - er uholdbare?



Kommentar #56

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Rushtons hypoteser

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Øian skrev: «Det jo interessant at Anfindsen plutselig finner det opportunt å redusere hovedpunktene i Rushtons bok til en hypotese

Det er særlig to komponenter i Rushtons tenkning jeg betrakter som hypoteser:

Tanken om at ulik plassering på r/K-skalaen kan være en forklaring på de observerte (Øian vil formodentlig si 'påståtte', men det skal få ligge akkurat nå; se tidligere innlegg i denne tråden, f.eks. her og her) IQ-forskjellene mellom hvite og svarte. Tanken om at klimaforskjellene mellom nord og sør kan være en forklaring på de observerte IQ-forskjellene mellom hvite og svarte.

Øian skrev også: «Problemet i denne sammenhengen er imidlertid at innholdet i Rushtons bok på noen av de mest sentrale punktene av mange er avvist som vitenskaplig ugyldig fordi det hele tar utgangspunkt i spekulative antakelser. Med andre ord holder ikke boka en gang mål som en vitenskaplig hypotese, noen den åpenbart heller ikke var ment som fra Rushtons side. Rushton postulerer i stedet som en objektiv sannhet at svarte er genetiske, moralsk, sosialt og kulturelt en mindreverdig rase.»

Dette er påstander jeg har problemer med å se at Øian har dekning for. Så vidt jeg kan bedømme, har Rushton et solid grunnlag for å hevde at en betydelig del av IQ-forskjellene har en genetisk forklaring.

Kommentar #57

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

For og imot Rushton

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Øian ordlegger seg ganggang som om det skulle være en slags tankeforbrytelse å henvise til Rushton. Nå er det ingen grunn til å underslå at Rushton er kontroversiell, ja han er åpenbart en person en del forskere elsker å hate. Men den som tror at han er en sjarlatan som kan avfeies med noen enkle besvergelser om teleologi eller useriøse forskningsmetoder, bør tro om igjen. Her er noen uttalelser som kan være med å skape litt balanse i regnskapet:


I think Phil [Rushton] is an honest and capable researcher ... The basic reasoning by Rushton is solid evolutionary reasoning; that is it's logically sound. If he had seen some apparent geographic variation for a non-human species - a species of sparrow or sparrow hawk, for example - no one would have batted an eye.

---E.O. Wilson, A Mirror to Nature: Reflections on Science, Scientists, and Society; Rushton on Race


Rushton is a serious scholar who has assembled serious data.  Consider just one example: brain size. The empirical reality, verified by numerous modern studies, including several based on magnetic resonance imaging, is that a significant and substantial relationship does exist between brain size and measured intelligence after body size is taken into account and that the races do have different distributions of brain size.

---Charles Murray, Afterword to The Bell Curve


Describes hundreds of studies worldwide that show a consistent pattern of human racial differences in such characteristics as intelligence, brain size, genital size, strength of sex drive, reproductive potency, industriousness, sociability, and rule following.  On each of these variables, the groups are aligned in the order: Orientals, Caucasians, Blacks.

---Mark Snyderman, National Review


Rushton's Race, Evolution, and Behavior...is an attempt to understand [race] differences in terms of life-history evolution....Perhaps there ultimately will be some serious contribution from the traditional smoke-and-mirrors social science treatment of IQ, but for now Rushton's framework is essentially the only game in town.

---Henry Harpending, Evolutionary Anthropology


This brilliant book is the most impressive theory-based study...of the psychological and behavioral differences between the major racial groups that I have encountered in the world literature on this subject.

---Arthur R. Jensen, University of California, Berkeley


The only acceptable explanation of race differences in behavior allowed in public discourse is an entirely environmental one...Professor Rushton deserves our gratitude for having the courage to declare that this emperor has no clothes, and that a more satisfactory explanation must be sought.

---Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., University of Minnesota


The remarkable resistance to racial science in our times has led to comparisons with the inquisition of Rome, active during the Renaissance.... Astronomy and the physical sciences had their Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo  a few centuries ago; society and the welfare of humanity is the better for it today. In a directly analogous fashion, psychology and the social sciences today have their Darwin, Galton, and Rushton.

---Glayde Whitney, Contemporary Psychology


The data are startling to the uninitiated....Race, Evolution, and Behavior confronts us as few books have with the dilemmas wrought in a democratic society by individual and group differences in key human traits.

---Linda Gottfredson, Politics and the Life Sciences


In Race, Evolution, and Behavior Rushton offers a brilliant synthesis of a vast collection of biological, behavioral, and social data in terms of human evolutionary development. Rushton is fully alive to contemporary sensitivities in this field and he advances the myriad details of his thesis with great tact and care. Should his argument prove successful Rushton will have produced a major scientific advance in understanding the development of our human species.

---Barry R. Gross, York College, City University of New York


In my view this theory has the simplicity and explanatory power that indicate truth. It is all to the good that this book will interest many people solely for its documentation of the race differences themselves, quite apart from their explanation. In a society in which all race differences in attainment are explained by 'racism,' it is vitally important to be aware of alternative possibilities. Rushton writes as a scientist, describing the way things are without prescribing how they should be, but without data like Rushton's intelligent prescriptions are impossible.

---Michael Levin, City College, City University of New York


Professor Rushton is widely known and respected for the unusual combination of rigour and originality in his work....Few concerned with understanding the problems associated with race can afford to disregard this storehouse of well-integrated information which gives rise to a remarkable synthesis.

---Hans J. Eysenck, University of London


Should, if there is any justice, receive a Nobel Prize.

---Richard Lynn, Spectator


Samtlige navn på denne listen er internasjonalt kjente forskere, noen av dem i stjerneklassen. Ovenstående uttalelser bør gjøre det klart for enhver noenlunde rimelig innstilt person at Rushton er en kunnskapsrik og grundig forsker. Uansett hvor kontroversiell han er, uansett om noen av hans holdninger måtte være tvilsomme, og uansett om noen av hans hypoteser kanskje ikke holder vann, ja selv om det skulle bli dokumentert at han har tatt fullstendig feil på ett eller flere områder, så kan ingen ta fra Rushton at han er en dyktig fagmann.

Men ovenstående uttalelser teller ikke, vil noen innvende, for de aktuelle forskerne er jo enige med Rushton, sånn i det store og hele. Sant nok, og deres rosende omtale av Rushton og hans bok må selvsagt forstås i det perspektivet. Men hva med negative uttalelser om Rushton? De kommer jo fra folk som er uenige med ham; skal vi avfeie dem med det som begrunnelse? Selvfølgelig er det ikke nok å henvise til positiv eller negativ omtale fra andre forskere; det som teller, er fakta og argumenter. Skal man gjøre seg opp en mening om Rushton, må man ganske enkelt lese hva han skriver, og gjøre en bedømmelse av kvaliteten på dette.

Øians overfladiske og nedlatende behandling av Rushton minner forøvrig sterkt om de utgydelsene radarparet Bromark og Herbjørnsrud i sin tid fant det for gått å komme med i denne boken:

Stian Bromark & Dag Herbjørnsrud, 2002. Blanke løgner, skitne sannheter – en kritikk av det nye verdensbildet. J.W. Cappelens forlag, ny utgivelse 2005. (www.bokkilden.no/SamboWeb/side.do?dokId=10417627).

Biologikapitlet her er grundig drøftet på side 97 - 125 i Selvmordsparadigmet. En av mine konklusjoner etter ha analysert en del av de krumspringene B&H tillater seg når den antirasistiske hensikten gis mulighet til å hellige de uholdbare midlene, var som følger:

Fremstillingen de gir er så ensidig, så tendensiøs, så skjev, så kunnskapsløs, så full av halvsannheter, så preget av forakt og nedlatenhet mot dem som har et ’rasistisk’ menneskesyn, at jeg tror det aktuelle kapitlet i boken deres må være det største intellektuelle makkverket jeg noen sinne har lest.



Kommentar #58

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer


Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Få ting har overrasket meg mer i debatten med Øian enn hans påstand om at Rushton har en «teleologisk forståelse av evolusjon». Dette skulle jeg likt å se dokumentert. Hva bygger denne påstanden på, Øian?

Kommentar #59

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

The Pioneer Fund

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Øian gjør et stort poeng ut av at deler av Rushtons forskning er finansiert av The Pioneer Fund. Her passer det å sitere fra siste del av Steve Sailers fornøyelige artikkel Pioneer Fundophobia:


So what's the story behind Pioneer Fundophobia?

It's undeniable that Draper (1891-1972) was an ethnocentric Anglo-American. Not being of pioneer stock myself, I can't get terribly enthusiastic about the man's ethnic bias. On the other hand, I can't think of any general moral principle justifying his critics' presumption that, while black or Irish or Jewish ethnocentric foundations are hunky-dory, the early Pioneer Fund's WASP ethnocentrism was the blackest sin imaginable. Further, that was a long time ago. I don't think my friend Nancy Segal of twins fame is a Daughter of the American Revolution (or a Nazi, for that matter).

Draper was also enthusiastic about eugenics. So were other Americans of the time, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. My experience is that everybody is, personally, a eugenicist. They all look for the best genes for their offspring. Trust me on this one - I got turned down for a lot of dates.

I'm much less sanguine about the long run impact of eugenics than Draper was. My 1999 Thatcher Presentation on the future of the human race pointed out the unsettling fact that the new genetic technologies are finally making eugenics practical enough to be popular with couples. This will only accelerate. Through genetic selection and modification, private couples will be able to transform human nature, for better . . . or worse.

Will this be good for humanity or bad? Beats me, but it definitely demands careful study. We should not walk into the coming era of individualist eugenics with our eyes closed. Yet how can we reasonably forecast the effect of the changes in gene frequencies that the new genetic technologies will bring? The only way is to study, honestly, the naturally-occurring human genetic diversity we see all around us - and learn how it already affects society.

And that's the Pioneer Fund's real sin: supporting scientific research into human biodiversity. Around 1930, the curtain began coming down (to use John R. Baker's phrase in his magisterial study Race) on this entire area of science. This is usually attributed to revulsion against Hitler. However, that explanation doesn't stand up fully. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot murdered even more millions in the name of equality than Hitler murdered in the name of inequality, but somehow that has failed to blacken the names of people like the Marxist egalitarianoid Stephen Jay Gould.

The historical record shows that leftist ideologues like anthropologist Franz Boas, the sponsor of Margaret Mead's notorious 1928 Samoan hoax, were already gaining the upper hand in academe well before Hitler came to power. Perhaps the Depression was the key event, just as it made Marx-inspired thought dominant in much else of the intellectual world. (See feminist historian Carl N. Degler's award-winning In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought for documentation.)

It was precisely because no-one else would fund research into human biodiversity that the Pioneer Fund had the playing field to itself.  Thus Audrey M. Shuey was otherwise completely unable to find a commercial or academic publisher for her 1958 metastudy The Testing Of Negro Intelligence. But it is now recognized as having “swayed the balance,” as Hans J. Eysenck later put it, so that it was no longer possible to deny the role of genetics. Under these unfortunate circumstances, it is simply undeniable that no organization has done more than the Pioneer Fund to develop scientific knowledge about human biodiversity.

I'll just list some of the most important Pioneer-funded scientists, along with links to interesting articles. Two of the five most cited psychologists are IQ researcher Jensen (my review "The Half Full glass" of his last book is particularly useful for understanding the future of IQ research) and the British giant Eysenck, who published 1,000 scholarly articles. Garrett Hardin is the inventor of the phrase "Tragedy of the Commons," which first grounded environmentalism in a solid understanding of market economics. Linda Gottfredson is the leading expert on the important role IQ plays in the job market. J. Philippe Rushton is a fount of fascinating ideas. (For example, I just used his Genetic Similarity Theory to explain in my movie review of Spy Game why Robert Redford takes such an avuncular interest in Brad Pitt.)

Allow me to end by issuing a challenge to the enemies of the Pioneer Fund. Rather than devoting so much time and furious energy to trying to prevent scientific research, if you don't like what these scientists are discovering, go fund your own research.

Conduct your own twin and adoption studies. See what you find for yourself.

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the Fundophobes to conduct any science of their own.

They already know what they'd find.

Kommentar #60

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Re: Afrikas historie

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Michael H. Hart (born April 28, 1932 in New York City) is an astrophysicist who has also written three books on history and controversial articles on a variety of subjects. Hart describes himself as a Jeffersonian liberal, while his critics call him a conservative and a racial separatist (sakset fra Wikipedia).

Øian likte tydeligvis ikke at jeg henviste til Hart. Jeg synes imidlertid hans bok Understanding human history er full av interessant informasjon, og vel verdt å lese. Om han er faghistoriker eller hobbyhistoriker er underordnet; det som teller er om han legger frem informasjon som er relevant. Og jeg har altså problemer med å se hvordan følgende fakta ikke kan være relevante (ibid, side 313, min oversettelse):

Selv om det fantes enkelte mindre byer, fantes det ingen byer av noen særlig størrelse. Det fantes ingen kjøretøyer med hjul, og ingen brukte dreieskiver for å lage keramikk. Ja, det fantes i det hele tatt ingen mekaniske innretninger med bevegelige deler, slik som hengsler eller sakser. Man hadde ikke funnet opp noen teknikk for å føye sammen trestykker. Det fantes ingen mynter eller penger. Selv om man hadde storfe, ble disse ikke brukt som last- eller trekkdyr. Det fantes ingen skriftspråk i hele regionen. Som et resultat av dette fantes det ingen lovverk, ingen filosofiske arbeider og ingen litteratur. Heller ikke fantes det storslagen poesi, slik som for eksempel Iliaden. Det fantes ingen matematikk ut over elementær tallregning. Kun primitive konstruksjonsmetoder var kjent. Det fantes ingen kupler eller buer. Stein ble i liten grad benyttet [som bygningsmateriale], og det fantes ingen templer eller større monumenter. Det fantes ingen skoler, sykehus, bibliotek eller veier med fast overflate.

Enten bør Øian dokumentere at Hart tar feil på ett eller flere punkter, eller så bør han (i likhet med f.eks. Jared Diamond; jf hans berømte bok Guns, Germs, and Steel) innrømme at disse meget påfallende observasjonene roper etter en forklaring.

Og det er altså ikke bare Hart og jeg som mener at det er behov for en eller annen forklaring på hvorfor Afrika sør for Sahara (grovt sett) i uminnelige tider har vært såpass tilbakestående. Jeg minner nok en gang om at ingen ringere enn filosofen David Hume (1711 – 1776) har vært inne på det samme (sitert fra Skorgens bok, side 102):

[Hume var] tilbøyelig til å mene at ”negre er naturlig mindreverdige i forhold til hvite mennesker”. Beviset for denne påstanden var ifølge Hume den mangelen på sivilisatoriske framskritt han mente å observere blant afrikanerne. Selv i forhold til de barbariske gamle germanerne utmerker afrikanerne seg ved at de totalt mangler kunst, vitenskap, personlig tiltak, frie forfatninger eller tekniske nyvinninger: ”En slik entydig og konstant forskjell kunne ikke inntreffe i så mange land og epoker dersom ikke naturen fra begynnelsen av hadde skapt en forskjell mellom disse ulike menneskestammene.”

Jeg har problemer med å forstå hvor Øian vil når han nærmest protesterer mot at denne typen argumenter blir trukket inn i diskusjonen. Dette har ingen ting med reduksjonisme, eurosentrisme e.l. å gjøre; dette er ganske enkelt ubehagelig fakta som passer ekstremt dårlig inn i et egalitært verdensbilde.

Dersom Øian er uenig i dette siste, bør han grave frem fakta som motbeviser påstandene fra Hart og Hume; ikke besvære seg over at denne typen informasjon legges frem.


Kommentar #62

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Øians sorti

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Øians korte, men desto mer intense, karriere her på VD er virkelig verdt et studium. Den kunne f.eks. være utgangspunkt for en semesteroppgave i vitenskapsfilosofi ved et universitet eller en høyskole; den første studenten som griper sjansen, vil snart oppdage at her er det mange lekkerbiskener å ta tak i. At Øian er naturfaglig forsker, gjør ikke saken mindre interessant, for å si det forsiktig.

I løpet av helgen vil jeg legge frem en del stoff som har ligget på vent en stund. Så får vi se om jeg ved en senere anledning kanskje velger å foreta en eller annen form for oppsummering og/eller nærmere drøftelse av Øians argumenter, samt ikke minst hans argumentasjonsteknikk. Her og nå nøyer jeg meg med noen korte merknader.

Utgangspunktet for denne tråden er boken The Perils of Diversity av professor Byron M. Roth. Øian har imidlertid ønsket at debatten på denne tråden langt på vei skal handle om Rushton. Nå er jo Rushton adskillig mer kjent enn Roth, og sistnevntes bok omtaler ganske riktig Rushton og hans forskning noen ganger (side 23, 31, 147, 148, 149, 158), så jeg kan være enig med Øian i at det ikke er unaturlig at også Rushton trekkes inn i denne tråden.

Rushtons forfatterskap er omfattende, og den faglitteraturen som kritiserer ham er (av naturlige årsaker) enda mer omfattende. Jeg har fulltids jobb, samt familiære forpliktelser, og synes selv jeg har strukket meg langt for å komme med svar og kommentarer i det jeg, tross alt, opplever som en stimulerende og interessant debatt. Jeg skal likevel være den første til å innrømme at jeg ennå ikke har fått svart på alle Øians utfordringer, men hvordan kunne han (eller noen andre) egentlig forvente at jeg skulle kunne klare det på så kort tid? Jeg har valgt å komme med en del sitater og betraktninger som etter min mening nyanserer og belyser flere av de problemstillingene Øian har trukket frem. Og ved i hvert fall én anledning har jeg - ganske riktig - tillatt meg å gjenta momenter/observasjoner jeg anser som spesielt relevante.

Øian er imidlertid så provosert over min debatteknikk at han nå sier takk for seg. En slik oppførsel er sjelden noe godt tegn. Forøvrig er jeg spent på hvor lenge han klarer å holde seg i skinnet.

Kommentar #63

Sissel Johansen

58 innlegg  6433 kommentarer

noe kjent?

Publisert nesten 11 år siden
Ole Jørgen Anfindsen. Gå til den siterte teksten.

Øian er imidlertid så provosert over min debatteknikk at han nå sier takk for seg. En slik oppførsel er sjelden noe godt tegn. Forøvrig er jeg spent på hvor lenge han klarer å holde seg i skinnet.

Det er mange som synes å takke for seg på grunnlag av andres debatteknikk. Og noen ser ut til å savne mest akkurat de som takker for seg. De var på en måte mer verd enn nye som kommer til, gis det iblant uttrykk for og hadde visstnok masse vettugt å bidra med...Jeg undrer meg iblant på om man i "vettugt" legger betydningen: "enige med undertegnede"?

Vel, det er vel bare å slå seg til tåls med at i debatter er det faktisk meningen å ikke være bare enige. INGEN kan være enige om alt og likevel oppleve spennende debatt!

Kommentar #64

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

It’s Only “Good Science” if the Message is Politically Correct

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

There’s another  article on sex differences that appeared Sunday, published in the Guardian by Madeleine Bunting. The basic idea seems to be that there’s all this Bad Science – her term – that says that men and women are hardwired to be different, but now – yay! – there’s Good Science, which shows that men and women are both from Mars, rather than having separate metaphorical planetary origins.

I thoroughly recommend the article. It has a lot of my favorite mistakes in science reporting, including the following. [...]


Anyway, the last paragraph begins with the remark: “Good science will challenge the tendency to stereotype.” It’s hard to know what, precisely, this is supposed to mean, but the point is that the article closes with some Good Science, the work on stereotype threat. I haven’t followed the literature on this very closely, but my reading of this was that while it was true that stereotype threat increased gaps in performance between groups, removing it did not eliminate it, suggesting that these gaps have other antecedents. (I have in mind Paul Sackett’s comments on this literature, though I want to admit that I have not tracked this closely, and I think those comments focused mostly on race.) Good Science, you see, is all about the political message.



Ovenstående er hentet fra blogartikkelen It’s Only “Good Science” if the Message is Politically Correct hos fagtidsskriftet Evolutionary Psychology, skrevet av Robert Kurzban (Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania).

Denne artikkelen fikk hans LSE-kollega Satoshi Kanazawa, som på tilsvarende måte har en blogg hos fagtidsskriftet Psychology Today, til å skrive en oppfølgende artikkel med samme tittel:

The first thing I would say to Rob is not to waste his valuable time reading the Guardian. As I explain in earlier posts, by the American standards, all British newspapers are tabloids which routinely make things up and report them as facts, because they interpret “freedom of the press” to mean that they can write and publish anything they want entirely unconstrained by the truth.  And the Guardian is by far the worst offender in this regard.  You cannot believe anything you read in the Guardian, or any other British newspaper.  It’s best to ignore them all.

Nevertheless, I like Rob’s post on this because of its title:  “It’s only “good science” if the message is politically correct.”  This perfectly captures the reaction to both evolutionary psychology and intelligence research from scientists and civilians alike.  Any study that demonstrates that there are innate sex or race differences is a priori “bad science.”  Any study that demonstrates that there are no innate sex or race differences is a priori “good science.”  They feel they do not need to read and examine the actual study; they feel they can evaluate the quality of the study from its conclusions.  I was vaguely aware of this in my own experiences, but had never thought to express it as succinctly and elegantly as Rob did.

There is nothing a priori in science.  Science does not have foregone conclusions.  Scientists must be open to any conclusion supported by logic and evidence.  Once again, there is no place for politics (or anything else) in science, only logic and evidence.  The quality of science – the distinction between “good science” and “bad science” – does not depend on its conclusions but on the logic and evidence supporting them.  No scientific conclusions can be good or bad, sexist, racist, offensive, reactionary, or dangerous; they can only be true or false.  No other adjectives apply.

Les Kanazawas artikkel i sin helhet hos PT.


Kommentar #65

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Lahn & Ebenstein

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Science is finding evidence of genetic diversity among groups of people as well as among individuals. This discovery should be embraced, not feared, say Bruce T. Lahn and Lanny Ebenstein in their article Let’s celebrate human genetic diversity (Nature, Vol 461, 8 October 2009). The two authors continue:

A growing body of data is revealing the nature of human genetic diversity at increasingly finer resolution1,2. It is now recognized that despite the high degree of genetic similarities that bind humanity together as a species, considerable diversity exists at both individual and group levels (see box, page 728). The biological significance of these variations remains to be explored fully. But enough evidence has come to the fore to warrant the question: what if scientific data ultimately demonstrate that genetically based biological variation exists at non-trivial levels not only among individuals but also among groups? In our view, the scientific community and society at large are ill-prepared for such a possibility. We need a moral response to this question that is robust irrespective of what research uncovers about human diversity. Here, we argue for the moral position that genetic diversity, from within or among groups, should be embraced and celebrated as one of humanity’s chief assets.

The current moral position is a sort of ‘biological egalitarianism’. This dominant position emerged in recent decades largely to correct grave historical injustices, including genocide, that were committed with the support of pseudo scientific understandings of group diversity. The racial-hygiene theory promoted by German geneticists Fritz Lenz, Eugene Fischer and others during the Nazi era is one notorious example of such pseudoscience. Biological egalitarianism is the view that no or almost no meaningful genetically based biological differences exist among human groups, with the exception of a few superficial traits such as skin colour3. Proponents of this view seem to hope that, by promoting biological sameness, discrimination against groups or individuals will become groundless.

We believe that this position, although wellintentioned, is illogical and even dangerous, as it implies that if significant group diversity were established, discrimination might thereby be justified. We reject this position. Equality of opportunity and respect for human dignity should be humankind’s common aspirations, notwithstanding human differences no matter how big or small. We also think that biological egalitarianism may not remain viable in light of the growing body of empirical data (see box)


Lahn and Ebenstein give the following reasons for their beliefs (shown in a box on page 728, emphasis added):

Genetic diversity is the differences in DNA sequence among members of a species. It is present in all species owing to the interplay of mutation, genetic drift, selection and population structure. When a species is reproductively isolated into multiple groups by geography or other means, the groups differentiate over time in their average genetic make-up. Anatomically modern humans first appeared in eastern Africa about 200,000 years ago. Some members migrated out of Africa by 50,000 years ago to populate Asia, Australia, Europe and eventually the Americas9. During this period, geographic barriers separated humanity into several major groups, largely along continental lines, which greatly reduced gene flow among them. Geographic and cultural barriers also existed within major groups, although to lesser degrees. This history of human demography, along with selection, has resulted in complex patterns of genetic diversity. The basic unit of this diversity is polymorphisms — specific sites in the genome that exist in multiple variant forms (or alleles). Many polymorphisms involve just one or a few nucleotides, but some may involve large segments of genetic material2. The presence of polymorphisms leads to genetic diversity at the individual level such that no two people’s DNA is the same, except identical twins. The alleles of some polymorphisms are also found in significantly different frequencies among geographic groups1,5. An extreme example is the pigmentation gene SLC24A5. An allele of SLC24A5 that contributes to light pigmentation is present in almost all Europeans but is nearly absent in east Asians and Africans10. Given these geographically differentiated polymorphisms, it is possible to group humans on the basis of their genetic make-up. Such grouping largely confirms historical separation of global populations by geography5. Indeed, a person’s major geographic group identity can be assigned with near certaintly on the basis of his or her DNA alone (now an accepted practice in forensics). There is growing evidence that some of the geographically differentiated polymorphisms are functional, meaning that they can lead to different biological outcomes (just how many is the subject of ongoing research). These polymorphisms can affect traits such as pigmentation, dietary adaptation and pathogen resistance (where evidence is rather convincing)10–12, and metabolism, physical development and brain biology (where evidence is more preliminary)6,8,13,14. For most biological traits, genetically based differentiation among groups is probably negligible compared with the variation within the group. For other traits, such as pigmentation and lactose intolerance, differences among groups are so substantial that the trait displays an inter-group difference that is non-trivial compared with the variance within groups, and the extreme end of a trait may be significantly overrepresented in a group. Several studies have shown that many genes in the human genome may have undergone recent episodes of positive selection — that is, selection for advantageous biological traits6. This is contrary to the position advocated by some scholars that humans effectively stopped evolving 50,000–40,000 years ago15. In general, positive selection can increase the prevalence of functional polymorphisms and create geographic differentiation of allele frequencies.

Bruce T. Lahn is in the Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Illinois. Lanny Ebenstein is in the Department of Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara, California.

For referanseliste, kommentarer og ytterligere sitater, se HonestThinking.

Larry Moran (professor ved Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto) har en blogg som heter Sandwalk. Med henvisning til ovenstående artikkel av Lahn og Ebenstein skriver han blant annet:

The current politically correct view of human races is that they don't exist. Surprisingly, this view has been adopted by many scientists, including biologists, who should know better. [...] These guys seem to be a bit late in realizing that the scientific data doesn't support the politically correct "biological egalitarianism" viewpoint but, as they say, better late than never. [...] Bravo! I'm glad that more and more scientists are speaking out on this issue.


Kommentar #66

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Genetiske klustre

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Stikkordet genetiske klustre (engelsk: clusters) har vært fremme tidligere i denne tråden. Dersom man mater en datamaskin med genetisk informasjon fra ulike folkeslag, og så får den til å fargelegge et verdenskart med farger som 'tilsvarer' de ulike genetiske klustrene som datamaskinen har identifisert, da trer det frem et mønster som stemmer sånn noenlunde med den rasemessige inndelingen man holdt seg med lenge før det ble mulig å analysere det menneskelige arvematerialet (DNA).

Dette er da også hva man har gjort i denne boken:

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi & Alberto Piazza, 1996. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Abridged paperback edition (full edition 1994). Princeton University Press. (www.amazon.com/History-Geography-Human-Genes-paperback/dp/0691029059/ref=ed_oe_p).

Det berømte forsidebildet derfra er (med tillatelse fra Princeton University Press) gjengitt på side 75 i Selvmordsparadigmet (og den generelle tematikken er drøftet på side 64 - 86). Jeg er usikker på om jeg kan tillate meg å inkludere dette bildet i en VD-kommentar, så jeg tar ikke sjansen på det. Men et bilde sier mer enn tusen ord, så jeg vil sterkt oppfordre leserne til å ta en titt på det genetiske verdenskartet til Cavalli-Sforza et al; spandér et minutt eller to på å la det du ser der, synke inn.



Kommentar #67

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Jon Hustad i Dag og Tid

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Raseforskinga er attende. Det er umoralsk å hevda at det ikkje er genetiske skilnader mellom menneskegrupper, seier to amerikanske professorar i tidsskriftet Nature. Slik lød ingressen til en artikkel av Jon Hustad i Dag og Tid kort tid etter at ovennevnte artikkel av L&E hadde blitt publisert. Se egen VD-artikkel om saken (fra 2009).

Kommentar #68

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Faster evolution means more ethnic differences

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

A wall has long protected respectable evolutionary inquiry from accusations of aiding and abetting racism. That wall is the belief that genetic change happens at such a glacial pace that there simply was not time, in the 50,000 years since humans spread out from Africa, for selection pressures to have altered the genome in anything but the most trivial way (e.g., changes in skin color and nose shape were adaptive responses to cold climates). Evolutionary psychology has therefore focused on the Pleistocene era – the period from about 1.8 million years ago to the dawn of agriculture — during which our common humanity was forged for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

But the writing is on the wall. Russian scientists showed in the 1990s that a strong selection pressure (picking out and breeding only the tamest fox pups in each generation) created what was — in behavior as well as body — essentially a new species in just 30 generations. That would correspond to about 750 years for humans. Humans may never have experienced such a strong selection pressure for such a long period, but they surely experienced many weaker selection pressures that lasted far longer, and for which some heritable personality traits were more adaptive than others. It stands to reason that local populations (not continent-wide "races") adapted to local circumstances by a process known as "co-evolution" in which genes and cultural elements change over time and mutually influence each other. The best documented example of this process is the co-evolution of genetic mutations that maintain the ability to fully digest lactose in adulthood with the cultural innovation of keeping cattle and drinking their milk. This process has happened several times in the last 10,000 years, not to whole "races" but to tribes or larger groups that domesticated cattle.

Recent "sweeps" of the genome across human populations show that hundreds of genes have been changing during the last 5-10 millennia in response to local selection pressures. (See papers by Benjamin Voight, Scott Williamson, and Bruce Lahn). No new mental modules can be created from scratch in a few millennia, but slight tweaks to existing mechanisms can happen quickly, and small genetic changes can have big behavioral effects, as with those Russian foxes. We must therefore begin looking beyond the Pleistocene and turn our attention to the Holocene era as well – the last 10,000 years. This was the period after the spread of agriculture during which the pace of genetic change sped up in response to the enormous increase in the variety of ways that humans earned their living, formed larger coalitions, fought wars, and competed for resources and mates.

The protective "wall" is about to come crashing down, and all sorts of uncomfortable claims are going to pour in. Skin color has no moral significance, but traits that led to Darwinian success in one of the many new niches and occupations of Holocene life — traits such as collectivism, clannishness, aggressiveness, docility, or the ability to delay gratification — are often seen as virtues or vices. Virtues are acquired slowly, by practice within a cultural context, but the discovery that there might be ethnically-linked genetic variations in the ease with which people can acquire specific virtues is — and this is my prediction — going to be a "game changing" scientific event. (By "ethnic" I mean any group of people who believe they share common descent, actually do share common descent, and that descent involved at least 500 years of a sustained selection pressure, such as sheep herding, rice farming, exposure to malaria, or a caste-based social order, which favored some heritable behavioral predispositions and not others.)

I believe that the "Bell Curve" wars of the 1990s, over race differences in intelligence, will seem genteel and short-lived compared to the coming arguments over ethnic differences in moralized traits. I predict that this "war" will break out between 2012 and 2017.


Ovenstående er utdrag fra artikkelen Faster evolution means more ethnic differences skrevet av Jonathan Haidt for webmagasinet Edge (mine uthevelser).

Kommentar #69

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Høyreekstrem forskning?

Publisert nesten 11 år siden

Det er gjentatte ganger her på VD blitt hevdet at det kun er forskere med et konservativt, reaksjonært, høyreekstremt eller rasistisk grunnsyn som mener at rase er et biologisk meningsfylt begrep, eller at det bare er nevnte type forskere som mener at anerkjennelse av raseforskjeller er viktige når vi skal forsøke å forstå hvorfor verden er som den er. Dette er er nok en sannhet med store modifikasjoner.

Selvsagt finnes det raseforskere med et konservativt grunnsyn. Det er imidlertid ikke forbudt å være konservativ, og ens forskning blir ikke automatisk ugyldig selv om man skulle ha nevnte typen politiske holdninger. Jeg har ingen mulighet til å granske folks hjerter og nyrer, men her noen eksempler på forskere som så vidt jeg vet er forholdsvis apolitiske, alternativt hører hjemme på venstresiden eller i sentrum (lenkene henviser til tidligere VD-innlegg/kommentarer med relevante sitater fra dem):

Mark Pagel. Jonathan Haidt. Steven Pinker. Bruce Lahn & Lanny Ebenstein. Terje Bongard & Eivin Røskaft.
Kommentar #70

Ole Jørgen Anfindsen

173 innlegg  2072 kommentarer

Respekt for andres åndsverk

Publisert rundt 8 år siden

Den siste tiden har det her på VD vært litt ekstra fokus på regelverkets paragraf 9 som sier: «Jeg etterlever Åndsverkslovens krav til opphavsrettighetsregler og kopierer ikke andres tekst eller verk uten tillatelse.»

Blant annet var jeg selv tidligere i høst litt for rask på avtrekkeren, og tok med lange tekstutdrag fra en bokanmeldelse som lå fritt tilgjengelig på nettet. Jeg gjorde dette i forholdsvis trygg forvissning om at opphavsrettighetshaverne ville sette pris på min gjenbruk av den aktuelle teksten, men moderator var av den klare oppfatning at dette var i overkant frimodig fra min side. Jeg måtte si meg enig med ham, men feilen ble raskt rettet opp og tillatelse til republisering innhentet.

Jeg ser nå at jeg kanskje ikke var tydelig nok på dette området da jeg i mars 2011 skrev min omtale av Byron M. Roths bok The Perils of Diversity – Immigration and Human Nature. La meg derfor for ordens skyld nå, mer enn to år senere, presisere at jeg hadde gjort avtale både med både forfatter og forlag før jeg skrev herværende VD-artikkel.


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