I’ve talked about this a bit before, but this point comes up repeatedly in Reich’s book, and it needs to be made clear.
Again and again he says that races aren’t ‘pure’ – and he’s right. They’re the product of various mixtures of earlier populations, some such mixtures going back as 50,000 years [and farther] (when some peoples picked up genes from Neanderthals and Denisovans) to more recent examples like the formation of northern Europeans – a mixture of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, Anatolian farmers, and fresh-off-the steppe Yamnaya pastoralists. That plus continuing natural selection, that gradually made northern Europeans paler and more lactose tolerant. And turned their brown eyes blue.
10,000 years ago, there was no population, even early risers, that looked like and was genetically very similar to the modern Dutch.
Operationally, how is that different from a situation in which Europeans had been living in the same place for eons? Answer: there isn’t any difference.
If that formation process had happened 100 years ago, there would be differences. Suppose you mixed Chinese and Slovaks, 50-50, back in 1900. You’d see some individuals today that look almost entirely Chinese, others that looked almost entirely Slovak. There would be a lot of within-group variation. But with more time, say a thousand years, the new group would become well-mixed – almost every individual would be close to 50-50. For almost every individual, close to half of the alleles affecting a highly polygenic trait like height would originate in the old Chinese population, close to half from the old Slovak population. Everyone would be drawing cards from the same deck.
Is 5,000 years long enough for thorough shuffling? Sure. So what’s the different between having been formed 5000 years ago and formation a million years ago? – there isn’t any.
Why does Reich think that ancient purity, or the lack of it, makes any practical difference? I don’t know. Maybe he thinks it’s emotionally important to other people. But if members of a group only 1200 years old are on average better at chess – they’re better at chess. Degree of antiquity doesn’t matter. if they’re well-mixed, they have a new flavor of their own.
Also, Reich says “Mixture is fundamental to who we are, and we need to embrace it, not deny that it occurred. ” Obviously denying admixture is silly – why would anyone deny reality? Other than every social scientist in the United States, that is. Every facet of reality should be acknowledged (it improves your odds) – but that in no way says that we should necessarily embrace it. I mean, death by malaria played a big role in shaping humanity – should we be Morris-dancing in honor of our Lord Anopheles?
Mixture can be a good thing [Kristin Kreuk], but it can also be a bad thing..
The arrival of the Yamnaya almost certainly resulted in lots of dead EEF men (the previously common Y lineages are almost gone today) and the kidnapping and rape of the younger, prettier EEF women. If one of those men on the losing side didn’t quite see the big picture (eventually resulting in you and me) and did his level best to stop ‘mixture’ in its bloody tracks, I for one can understand his point of view. How was he better from the invaders? ” Because we live here.”
Reich says this, and things like this, apparently because he’s trying to curry favor with current-year liberalism, whose most fervent tenet is that Europe just has to import as many dumb, hostile people as possible. Rather weird – you don’t normally think of endorsing a bloody Völkerwanderung as a way of proving you’re really PC at heart – but it’s year 2018!
Maybe he actually believes this too, but I don’t see a lot of Somalis working in his lab. “Belief” – it’s complicated.