Quote notes (#78)

Charles Murray has written a magnificent review of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. He sees the publication of this book as a major cultural event, but the impact he forecasts remains carefully hedged:

… as of 2014, true believers in the orthodoxy still dominate the social science departments of the nation’s universities. I expect that their resistance to “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be fanatical, because accepting its account will be seen, correctly, as a cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness. There is no scientific reason for the orthodoxy to win. But it might nonetheless.

So one way or another, “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be historic. Its proper reception would mean enduring fame as the book that marked a turning point in social scientists’ willingness to explore the way the world really works. But there is a depressing alternative: that social scientists will continue to predict planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations, as it were, and that their refusal to come to grips with “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be seen a century from now as proof of this era’s intellectual corruption.

May 3, 2014admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Media


23 Responses to this entry

  • Hurlock Says:

    From the commenter Brian Kullman:

    “The early reference in the review to the Nicene Creed was apt. The purpose of any creed is to put an end to debate and to unify its adherents into a single “worldview” from which all discourse proceeds.

    The inevitable by-product of creeds is the suppression of those who challenge the creed. In centuries past, this meant burning at the stake, cutting off of hands and tongues, and other coercive behaviors to suppress and intimidate schismatics.

    Universities are the new churches, and faculty the new priests, of the modern order. Expect to see a new inquisition swing into action.”

    Yep. (they are sharpening their pitchforks as we speak)
    Mr. Wade will be proclaimed a heretic and condemned by the Cathedral. After that, mass book burnings of his satanic writings will be commenced by progressives everywhere. The canon shall be defended and upheld with even greater zeal. ‘Order’ shall be restored once again…

    There have been other books like this one before and they (and their authors) all shared the same fate….


    Kgaard Reply:

    Yeah I agree. This book MUST sink like a stone. It’s in no one’s best interest that it gets any play at all.

    That said, I’m fascinated by data points such as the 14-point decline in Dartmouth applications. Conservatives are just doing an end-around to avoid the PC police wherever they can. How long that will be possible I don’t know. We may all need to move to Central and South America soon so we can be free.


    Handle Reply:

    Don’t count them out yet. The progressives have many clever and adaptive folks and will figure out a way to evolve their position to incorporate this reality without changing their politics very much.

    Actually, they already have. You may have noticed that not all genetic realists are non-progressives, and, in fact, the opposite it true. Pinker himself is a proud liberal – he’s just been waiting for the rest of progressivism to come to his view of things.

    That view has already been published many times in legal, political, philosophical, and social science journals. And it says that if these advantages or disadvantages are inborn, then they are even more unfair and unearned, and therefore it is even more just and proper and necessary for the government to intervene against what is merely good and bad luck, in order to ensure a vision of the equal dignity of mankind.

    They will say that, just as with financial inheritance, no one ‘deserves’ their wealth or poverty if they owe it all to their heritage. Talk about ‘privilege’! And while you can, at some point, discourage them from working, you can’t tax a smart person into not being smart. And given the reality of the rat race and the need to compete to keep up with the Joneses (and afford to stay in the the few good urban neighborhoods), so long as a tax applies to everyone, you probably won’t discourage their work that much either.

    All they will have to do is admit certain large (and politically useful) disparities are not solely caused by shadow-discrimination, and they will have to stop pretending that certain impossible goals can ever be met, if only we could find the ‘right’ test and the ‘right’ pedagogical method. But that won’t stop them from saying we still need to spend two or three times more on every dullard in order to squeeze every last bit of potential out of them because that’s the only way they’re going to have the tiniest shot at succeeding in life. Our geniuses would accomplish an order of magnitude more with the same amount of extra attention, but hey, let’s face it, they’re going to be fine anyway.

    So, yes, that post-social-construct Progressivism will be an improvement over the Progressivism we have now, but the practical effect may be negligible. Anyway, they were able to use the old model to solidify their power base so well that genetic-realism acceptance no longer poses any danger to their political prospects. It’s just a matter of time before the rest of them catch up, after a few final dust-ups from the bitter-enders who didn’t get the memo.


    Harold Reply:

    Don’t be silly. You don’t get to parade about claiming yourselves to be paragons of rationality and then have it widely understood that the whole time you have been condemning people as wicked, wicked, ignorant sinners for believing the truth, without losing your percieved legitimacy as authorities. They can adapt all they like, no one will be listening to them.


    Michael Reply:

    they don’t accept the premise they work in unison so it will be that some scientists etc made a mistake and besides “what does it matter now”

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Of course people will listen to them. They control the propaganda and education organs, and they always treat the past as an alien thing even if its their own past.

    How many progs were discredited by the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    RiverC Reply:

    The consequences of a Pinker policy would make our current economic malaise look like prosperity.


    Handle Reply:

    How so?


    E.Antony Gray (RiverC) Reply:

    Harrison Bergeron.

    Posted on May 3rd, 2014 at 3:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • MW Says:

    The Left is going to have a hard time with this one: it involves genes and genes involve math, and they’re all “not math people.”


    Harold Reply:

    Why are you singling out the left? 99% of the right believe in the PC religion. Also, the left has many mathematically adept adherents.


    Posted on May 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Be amazing if what this actually measures is “privilege, not “intelligence”.


    Posted on May 3rd, 2014 at 4:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aaron Says:


    It’s never stopped anyone before. How many people read Richwine’s thesis or Heritage paper?


    MW Reply:

    Good point, but I think there are some differences. Richwine, if I recall correctly, was very much still in “wonk” territory — where the mattoids in the press could still position themselves semi-effectively (even if they were incredibly uncharitable to Richwine, replacing stammering indignation for argument).

    I think Wade’s book is too real science for them to handle effectively. Like when Dobbs tried to go after Dawkins, the liberal journalist often outs himself as a rube as soon as he has to describe “evolution” or “genetics” with anything more than a rough, passing phrase. How many Cathedral-types could even define the basic terms of evolutionary biology without copy-pasting from Wikipedia? To make matters worse for them, Gould and Lewontin are dead, and I don’t believe they were replaced.

    I think this puts very strong pressure on ignoring the book, but if we’re lucky a real uproar might start-up.


    Aaron Reply:

    That’s true. They’ll have to ride in the wake of some Gould type. Even though he is dead, I’m sure someone eager to advance their career can step forward. My scientist can beat up your scientist, etc. Like their Pokemon.

    Or as you say it will just get ignored.


    MW Reply:

    Steven Pinker ‏@sapinker 1h
    Disagree w much of Wade (goes beyond data, gets some wrong) but he explodes race-is-only-a-social-construction myth. http://goo.gl/t8SzqA
    Collapse Reply Retweeted Favorite More
    3:55 PM – 3 May 2014 · Details

    It’s happening.



    Comments to Pinker’s tweet are hilarious: https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/462666861725749248

    There are comments from a Swedish skeptic (lulz), a comment from someone posting SPLC links, and grown men with cats and cartoons for avatars.

    Posted on May 3rd, 2014 at 4:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote notes (#78) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on May 3rd, 2014 at 5:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Extinction Says:


    Handle said: “That view has already been published many times in legal, political, philosophical, and social science journals. And it says that if these advantages or disadvantages are inborn, then they are even more unfair and unearned, and therefore it is even more just and proper and necessary for the government to intervene against what is merely good and bad luck, in order to ensure a vision of the equal dignity of mankind.”

    Sounds like this could have some deeply disturbing totalitarian policy implications—w/ accelerationist consequences/feedbacks. Do you happen to have the references of said papers?


    Posted on May 4th, 2014 at 2:01 am Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    The elite on the left will adopt this as a justification for formalizing the arrangement that currently exists in which they accrue wealth and power in return for making paternalistic gestures and knocking down middle-class strivers.

    It might be an improvement.


    Posted on May 4th, 2014 at 4:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    ever seen how many hair straitening parlors are in black neighborhoods or the cost? literally about three per block at about $80 a pop once saw an Oprah show on people with debt problems the black couple revealed 14k a year in hair care and Oprah hushed the audience with its a black thing.once these genes are worked out there wont be anymore gays or non whites just think about it


    Posted on May 4th, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dan Says:

    I am with Handle on this. Progressives do what they want not matter what.

    The left already proceeds as if race is real and the racial categories they use are exactly right. European, Asian, Black, Native American. Hispanic tends to mean the Native American of South and Central America with some southern European admixture, and it is a real genetic mapping that you would find as well.

    The left uses race for affirmative action in universities and all across the economy, successfully in countless discrimination lawsuits, ‘minority’ programs, and a whole range of identity politics. Massive and powerful leftist organizations like la Raza and the NAACP with long and successful histories operate to advance their respective racial groups openly.

    But Race is a social construct when the left wants it to be. I.e. whenever anyone on the right has anything to say about it.

    Being a leftist means never having to be consistent. The left just takes what it wants and then creates truth as needed. Gay-as-innate never had a hint of genetics behind it and very little science and indeed identical twin studies suggested that environmental impacts were greater. No matter. No matter that starlets change orientations every hour. No matter that the concept of sexuality as a continuum had been the standard leftist position since the Kinsey days or that bisexuals were and are common. Instantly like a school of fish in perfect harmony the new line was adopted as perfect truth.

    As far as transgenderism, there is not merely a gene for gender but a whole chromosome with tons of genes on it, and what most of those genes do is not even known. As far as I can tell, this scientific reality is not so much as a speed bump to the left on this topic.

    Who the hell is Nicholas Wade anyway? James Watson, discoverer of Deoxyfuckinribonucleic Acid, is arguably the greatest living biologist and he took it so hard he probably still can’t sit down six and a half years later. Never, ever mess with the Church!


    JPOutlook Reply:

    Yeah, you pretty much nailed it. That’s why the real uselfulness of people like Murray and Mr. Wade is for their success or not because it gauges the climate for “crimethink”. Of course, watching them too much will cause you to become invested.


    Posted on May 5th, 2014 at 1:55 am Reply | Quote

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