Doubling Down

Angela Saini has an interesting review in Nature of Skin Deep, a ridiculous book about how racial differences have no role in sports achievement. Of course, that’s just nonsense, obviously so: some Kenyan and Ethiopian populations are way better at distance races,while people of west African descent always win the Olympic 100-meter. And so on.

Now you’d think that if if you were trying to defend blank slatism, you wouldn’t want to spend much of your time on your weakest possible point, any more than a PR-wise Stalinist would go on and on about how wise and good Katyn Forest was: how the Chekists killed  those Polish POWs in self-defense, after a heroic struggle,  etc.  Arguing for zero physical differences between populations is that weak: everyone can see them, for Christ’s sake.  And a lot of people are very interested in, and knowledgeable about, sports.

Yet, in Saini’s review, she does just that.  She’s pushing obvious falsehoods – not just ones that can only be noticed by the elite that know how to do long division.

For example: “Some have speculated that Kenyans might have, on average, longer, thinner legs than other people,”


I wonder how anyone ever got that idea?  In order to go full Saini, you have to ignore your lying eyes, apparently forever.

Now there’s a certain logic to this: if you admit that Kenyans have a different build than the Yoruba, one that works better in the marathon, or that Pygmies are short, or that Tibetans thrive at altitudes that would wreck you, you’re admitting that regional selection can make people noticeably different.  And if they differ in those traits, they can differ in any trait.  He who has said A must say Z (mathematical induction): so you fight at A.  You try to stop them on the beaches.

So facts themselves are the enemy: “Arguing with racists on points of fact is a game with no winners. ” Facts are all against you – they all must die !

So is this triumphalism, or peak crazy?  Time will tell.








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131 Responses to Doubling Down

  1. Maciano says:

    I don’t believe it’s top crazy. I thought PC had peaked 10yrs ago, but it’s now worse than ever. Top crazy would be open borders or legalisation of pedophilia and that seems to be coming. Even yesterday I turned on the radio and heard some teary-eyed lawyer bemoaning the tragic faith of ISIS fighters “they’re our citizens, and Assad will do horrible things to them!”

    I’m now thinking about buying some real estate in Poland or Hungary. I hope they can withstand.

    • Frau Katze says:

      I agree, I thought it couldn’t get worse. But it did. I’m too old to worry overly about myself. But I do wonder what kind of life my grandkids will see. But there’s little I can do about it.

      I make a small contribution to a blog that protests the turn of events. It’s small but I feel it’s something.

      I don’t think it will come to open orders and legal pedophilia but I was wrong before. If we can’t kick out that monumental idiot Justin Trudeau out at the next Canadian election… I don’t even want to think about it. (I contributed what I could afford to the opposing party).

      One thing encourages me: the revolt of populace in so many countries, most noticeably Trump in the US. But the opposition to him is extremely powerful and they never rest.

    • just a lurker says:

      LOL. In space of two sentences, you manage to panic over refugees and then seamlessly hope to become refugee himself. What can be more sterotypically American?

      • epoch says:

        Returning ISIS fighters aren’t refugees and the fact that Maciano mentions a discussing where these ISIS fighters are called “our citizens” makes it more than likely Maciano isn’t an American.

        You might consider lurking moar.

      • Maciano says:

        I’m not American, I’m Dutch.

        I’m not panicking, either. I’m simply seeing an ever-increase of suicidal liberalism. I think these countries in Eastern Europe are a good plan B. That’s all. I’m not betting my future on the Netherland’s anymore.

        And why would I? Be honest, as an American, do you?

        • just a lurker says:

          Why should “these countries” welcome you?

          • Jim says:

            They almost certainly wouldn’t, at least not in large numbers, and that fact increases the probability of their survival. The mass immigration of third world populations into the West is no doubt good for these immigrants but it is disastrous for the natives.

          • Maciano says:

            Because they will, I checked. And, unlike most immigrants, I have more than enough money to never be a burden on the taxpayer. Also, I have a good education and decent work experience.

            But answer the question, do you think the American future will be great when whites will be a minority? Even if you’re a minority yourself?

            Just think about it for a second. Do you really think that will be good for you? Really? If you do, fair enough.

            • just a lurker says:

              I am not American, and this discussion is not about America, it is about your hypocrisy and delusional entitlement.
              Can you speak any of “these countries” language at all (except “kielbasa” or “goulash”)?
              Do you know anything at all about “these countries” culture or history?
              If you did, you would know that there is nothing more retarded than idea they will welcome masses of Germanic Protestant immigrants with bouquets of flowers.

              • epoch says:

                Hungary has a sizeable protestant minority. Also, they were an ally of Germany during WW2.

                So, do you know anything at all about these countries culture or history?

              • Maciano says:

                Funny that you can’t or won’t give straight answers. I’ll take that as a win.

                It’s trivially easy for a Dutchman to move to Poland or Hungary. We’re in the EU. And Poles are now the 2nd biggest ethnic group in the Netherlands; we get along fine.

                There’s no use in fighting for a country that doesn’t want to win or want what I want. Most Dutch people week to want a liberal multicultural country. Why should I stay when I disagree? I’ll vote with my feet.

              • Hugh Mann says:

                Greg needs a “troll” button like Unz has.

              • Horhe says:


                I am curious. I know that Poland and Hungary are usually the darlings from among the Eastern European set, but would you consider Romania or Bulgaria too? Why not? Poland and Hungary have more pre-existing poz than these two countries.

              • mtkennedy21 says:

                In a minute Just a Lurker is going to provide us with a list of all African and South abnd Central American well run countries.

            • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

              Why should I stay when I disagree? I’ll vote with my feet.

              There are millions of like-minded people (even if you count only English-speaking ones), numerous enough to make a small country, IQs above averages; what’s missing?

              • Anonymous says:

                Land. Mostly land. Altough there will be political outrage and attempts to isolate and starve to death such a newborn nation – these, with time can be overcome. But a piece of free land, in a suitable climate, even for a city-state size nation is hard to find these days.

              • szopeno says:

                Will. Not just to move; the will to refuse people who would then come and proceed to destroy the country, because everything is so nice here, except why it’s different than in the country I escaped from?

              • As far as land is concerned, perhaps one of the Based European Nations ™ will lease some territory for a city state? In a 100 years, when the lease runs out, you can return and retake your homeland.

        • Lot says:

          Maciano, you should consider the USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia in your possible move. There will be many more opportunities for work with higher wages. You also speak our language fluently. I applaud Hungary’s government, but its economy is still a bit backward and you’ll not really fit in because of the language issue.

          The interior of the USA is plenty conservative, and the cost of living is actually a fair amount lower than in Central Europe. Western Michigan is the historic center of Dutch settlement in the USA and very nice, with lots of little elements of Dutch (and German) culture retained and a strong local economy. The center of that would be Holland, Michigan in Ottawa County, which Trump won 61 to 31.


          (sorry if double posted!)

      • megabar says:

        To understand why your comment is irrelevant, you need to understand the difference between “refugee capable of assimilation” and “refugee incapable of assimilation.”

      • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

        he said “buying some real estate”…. not a refugee

      • In the space of two sentences you manage to make a total ass of yourself, plus a spectacular grammatical error. Go back to lurking, it suits you better.

    • reziac says:

      Come to a real fight, Poland and Hungary lack defensible borders.

    • Peter Akuleyev says:

      Poland is nice. Don’t believe the Alt Right hype about Hungary. Orban is just about enriching himself, the “nationalism” is mostly bullshit and he has handed the economy over to the German auto industry for the most part. You also might be unpleasantly surprised by how Mediterranean dark a lot of Hungarians are, and then you have the large Gypsy problem. Otoh, people who can read Hungarian claim they have the best literature of the last hundred years. A deep and interesting culture, no doubt.

      Poland is great – real entrepreneurs, big enough to breathe as a country, not as corrupt as Hungary. Also sincere Catholics, not ex-Communists putting on an act like in Hungary or Russia. Estonia might be even better if you are looking for a pure Northern European population, but it is more Scandinavian/atheist.

      • Jim says:

        I’m curious as to whether the Estonians speaking a Uralic-Yukagir language is reflected in any distinctive features of their genetics. I believe Magyar speakers are not much different from neighboring Slavic speakers.

        I have never noticed Mediterranean people to be particularly “dark”. My roommate in college was a North Italian and he was as light as I am and my ancestry is German-British.
        I have known people from places like Greece, Lebanon, Malta none of whom appeared to be particularly “dark”. The town I lived in when I was in High School had a substantial population of Lebanese Christian descent whose physical appearance was little different from native American whites.

        • Jim says:

          I just clicked “Maltese people” on the internet and looked at a bunch of photographs of presumably ordinary Maltese people. They didn’t appear to be any “darker” than ordinary white people living in Central Texas where I reside.

          • Lot says:

            These comments about Mediterranean people not having dark skin are kind of strange. There’s a great deal of overlap, but the difference between north, central, and southern europe is pretty plain in group photos or just walking around.

            In the USA, the difference has blended away mostly. Texas has always attracted people from all over the USA so is very blended and ends up with median coloring around the average you’d get somewhere around the Alps. Places like West Virginia and Maine that never attracted much settlement from the South of Europe are the lightest and on par with Northern Europe, and areas with the most Italian and Jewish settlement like Long Island the whites are darkest.

            • Jim’s says:

              Yes my idea of the average skin hue of whites is based on where I have lived in the US. I have never been in Maine and maybe the people who live there are significantly whiter than Anglo Texans. However Central Texas did get a large number of immigrants from Germany and Moravia. Not far from where I live is what is said to be the last Wendish speaking community in the world.

            • Jim says:

              The idea of Italian and Jewish Americans being noticeably darker than other whites seems strange to me. I have never noticed anything of the sort.

              • Lot says:

                I am above average in how much I notice physical variation in people, so I can understand people not noticing the difference between “generic” whites in Texas and California v Maine, WV, and Minnesota. I love looking at “anthro” message boards that have hundreds of photos of people from various ethnic groups. Here’s one of them:


                (I do not endorse the content of the boards however, lots of silliness.

              • david says:

                I am certainly italian and am confused with latinos daily. Think about Dean Martin, the late John Cazale, John Turturro, or Mark Rufalo. Al Pacino played a cuban in scarface for gods sake. Not exactly pale skinned, light eyed scandinavians.

        • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

          For the first question, yes, kind of a difference
          but it’s insignificant. Btw, by many metrics Estonia is the (now) most developed ex-USSR country.

      • szopeno says:

        TFR 1.45. Plus a lot of people in government saying we really need to import more immigrants, because salaries are too high plus all-present mantra “we are not racist, we are happy to import catholics from Philippines!”

    • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

      Like 1583, Poland is for rescuing Europe, again :/
      But then, gratutious Austro-Hungaria didn’t hetistate to partition Poland…

  2. James Thompson says:

    Peak insolence

    • Dave Chamberlin says:

      Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Head up their ass idealists paint this lovely picture of equality and anyone who questions this is a spiteful meanie. Cochran calls this bullshit. We all agree with him. Different day, same subject, same response.
      Math explains why slightly shifted bell shape curves create huge differences in percentage of population that are outliers, meaning they are out on the fringe, two plus standard deviations from the center. There aren’t any clearer examples than the sprinters and long distance runners Cochran describes. But synthesis meaning clear complex picture of racial differences isn’t going to happen anytime soon unless we get emotions and beliefs from both silly sides out of the conversation and last time I checked stupid people, average folk, slightly above average people, and brainy quibblers have no intention of looking at this issue like it’s a math problem, which it is.

  3. anonymous says:

    You make it sound too easy…

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

  4. Greying Wanderer says:

    could just be they decided they wanted a young woman of x ethnicity and hired the first one without testing her out

    combined with

    their position doesn’t make sense but the people who know it’s a con can argue the toss anyway because they know it’s a con but people who were simply spoon fed it at college, never actually thought about it and don’t realize it’s nonsense argue it straight and then come unstuck.

  5. epoch says:

    She refers to Stephen Jay Goulds “The mismeasure of Men” as if that book hasn’t been debunked.

    • Smithie says:

      It’s just a generic appeal to authority to end the debate. The functional power of the book is that it is famous, and that its title has a self-contained message. In that sense, it continues to be useful as a reference.

      As an aside, I’ve wondered if appealing to authority is related to the formation of cults of personality.

    • Patrick Boyle says:

      Gould was notoriously weak in math. He admitted this himself in one of his books. I think of him as a gifted prose stylist. He wrote a mean popular science essay.

    • RW says:

      Right, the reference to Gould’s Mismeasure of Man is actually a little creepy. It is not peak insolence as James Thompson writes; it is insanity, but it is unlikely the peak has been reached. Saini believes her error in the same way most democratic presidential candidates believe their misleading statements about Michael Thomas being killed by a white police officer. Because the reality of racial differences can never be explained the way the left wishes, their rhetoric will increasingly blame white people for reality. Just look at what Boghossian was able to get away with. How to combat this? Humor is the best weapon. Highlight their logical absurdities, not with direct arguments, but with good natured satire, at every opportunity.

  6. Peter Connor says:

    As Dr. Dalrymple has discussed at length, the purpose of forcing the proles to agree to propositions that everyone knows are ludicrously false is to confuse, humiliate, and intimidate them….social control.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Dalrymple has said that, but so what?

      • Nope says:

        Why are you always so hostile?

        • gcochran9 says:

          The mere fact he said it is not convincing. I’m not convinced. That’s not particularly hostile. You want me to show you ‘hostile’ ?

        • Jacob says:

          I once referred to a 2015 paper as “recent” because it seemed (to me) as if he hadn’t read it yet. Dr. Cochran gave a snide response about how the paper wasn’t new enough to convince him of anything, presumably because some people mistakenly believe that newer is always better/ should always be convincing/ etc and Dr. Cochran likes to rudely correct such people.

          It’s kind of annoying, but every time somebody rubs me the wrong way I ask myself

          1) Is there literally any point in attempting, politely or otherwise, to correct this person?

          2) Can I accept them if they won’t change?

          Dr. Cochran squarely falls within the “no/yes” camp. He’s primarily rude to people who express ideas that are just stupid or crazy at face value. I would be willing to bet that the worst people who come here don’t stay long. It’s a strategy, and there are no perfect strategies.

          So don’t take it personally — unless you’re one of his favorite punching bags.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know if I ever really bought that argument, it assumes a level of Machiavellian intrigue on the left that I don’t think most of them possess. As Sailer has pointed out, Saini seems to know nothing at all about sports, this combined with her ideology no doubt makes it easier for her to believe this horseshit.

      • Pincher Martin says:

        It doesn’t take a Machiavelli to pull off this trick. You simply have to assert your worldview with the kind of supreme confidence that can only be sustained when you feel you have complete moral superiority over your political opponents. If the facts disagree with your worldview, then the facts are wrong – and new facts must be created to keep your worldview morally strong and forward-leaning.

        Look at it from Saini’s point of view: She believes she’s battling true-blue Nazis. Do you think she cares about being intellectually fastidious? She just wants to throw as much shit against her opponents as she can and get as much of it to stick as possible.

        This has nothing to do with IQ. Saini has an engineering degree from Oxford. Sh’s smart enough to know how to look up a scientific article. She just doesn’t care.

        The right is no better. How many Neocons, for example, had a come-to-Jesus moment after the invasion of Iraq? I can think of one: Francis Fukuyama. I’m sure there were a couple others. But most Neocons kept the faith – not because they’re stupid (any idiot could see they were wrong), but because they’re true believers in a moral cause they think is right.

        • Unladen Swallow says:

          I was responding to the comment by Dalrymple that was quoted above, he was asserting a manipulative undertone to PC thought arguing that its practitioners were knowingly spreading falsehoods. I don’t see that, because I don’t think they are that clever, your explanation might not been exactly what I had in mind, but it’s not inconsistent with what I believe I was getting at.

          I always read that quote has implying the the liars know they are lying, but use it to manipulate the rest of us. Self deception on Saini’s part I don’t think would qualify, as you said she sees her cause as righteous, not as manipulation. I’m sure she truly thinks Kenyans just train more, largely because she has no interest in sports and she is deluded by ideology.

          • Pincher Martin says:

            …as you said she sees her cause as righteous, not as manipulation.

            I think the most accurate way of putting it is that when you believe you are in a high-stakes battle where your cause is not only just, but your opponents are evil, then you will believe you are justified in trying to win by any means necessary. You will oversell your case. You will not be concerned with intellectual fastidiousness. You’re not going to give your opponents any ground on which to defend themselves, even if they have some ground which is intellectually defensible.

            So there is conscious manipulation of facts, ideas, and arguments, but it’s borne out of the kind of moral confidence a person has when he believes he is completely in the right and his cause is important.

        • albatross says:

          More likely because in politics, admitting you were wrong is usually a losing move. Especially if you were catastrophically, disastrously wrong and the consequences of your wrongness were hundreds of thousands dead and a decade of misery and chaos for millions.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        “it assumes a level of Machiavellian intrigue on the left that I don’t think most of them posses”

        i think there’s a hidden aspect to this – say you have a population which over time moves towards a culture where social cohesion is maintained through public acceptance of a common morality regulated by virtue-signaling – how do sociopaths survive in this environment?

        one way they might survive is by becoming the best at weaponized virtue-signalling i.e. hiding their own sins by aggressively projecting them onto their competitors.

        kinda like a game theory simulation where bad actors could hide as good actors while still being bad.

        if correct then the higher up in SJW politics you go the worse the people would be

        (which fits my experience).

        (that’s not to say the top tier of right-wing politics isn’t dominated by sociopaths as well – just different reasons)

      • Woof says:

        Stating a belief in 157 genders or any other such foolishness is just a way of signalling that you are a right thinking moron who is part of the club. Anyone disagreeing is obviously not “with it” and unwilling to obediently conform. Asking awkward questions and point out annoying facts gets you booted out or censored rather quickly.

  7. Fernandinande Le Mur says:

    I bet those skinny-legged Kenyans could become big-legged* contenders in those World’s Strongest Man contests with just 10,000 hours of training so they could gain about 200 pounds of bone and muscle.

    *”big-legged contender ain’t got no soul”.

  8. Joseph Ratliff says:

    Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum.

  9. The Z Blog says:

    The Age Of Anti-Knowledge

    That’s no longer the case. What the Left is engaged in now is a full-throated rejection of observable reality on moral grounds. Angela Saini commands that you accept that Kenyan performance in distance running is an optical illusion. Cordelia Fine, says, as a women, she knows sex is a social construct, created by men. This is not an inability to grasp the material. It is a conscious desire to forbid certain knowledge, to anathematize noticing the world and the explanations for what we see.

    It is popular to talk about this phenomenon in terms of Galileo. The left-wing science deniers are playing the antagonist role of the Church and the humans sciences are in the protagonist role. This is probably comforting to the empirically minded, as it suggests they will eventually triumph in the end. Not only is this a faulty reading of history, particularly the Church, it assumes that human progress is inevitable. That no matter what they do, the march of science will continue unabated.

    Instead, what we are seeing could be the signal of a coming dark age. Maybe this is what it was like in 1177 BC. The slow decline in general intelligence leads to a period of anti-knowledge, where knowing how stuff works, or even being curious about it, is seen as a threat to the established order. The brakes are applied and progress is reversed until the point where the people are no longer able to operate the mechanisms of society created by their ancestors.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think the collapse of Eastern Mediterranean civilizations of the 12th century BC had much to do with internal decay. Rather it seems to have been a sudden blow from the outside.

    • J says:

      I don’t see the coming dark age that Z sees. What I see is our intellectual elite – especially the teachers – rejecting reality on moral grounds. Nothing new in my experience. Wolves hunt innocent bambis and devour them uncooked; as for me, like my steak raw. I explain to my vegetarian daughter that Nature makes us to do it, she says we are not humans and we should overcome our own nature. She implies that Nature, should it exist, is morally wrong. Saimi et al. go to the extreme of stating that Nature does not exist, and like children, they believe that if they repeat it enough times, Nature will not exist. Because it should not exist. The Prophets also wanted a moral world where the lion will lie with the lamb, but they knew that as things are today, that is not realistic. It will happen when the Kingdom comes. They were not crazy, but Saimi is clinically insane (Definition: one who denies reality).

      • Martin D says:

        I explain to my vegetarian daughter that Nature makes us to do it, she says we are not humans and we should overcome our own nature.

        This is nothing new. For 2000 years, Christians taught people to overcome their sinful natures and be more humble, chaste, loving, forgiving and merciful.
        You can see how big success it was.

        • J says:

          For 2000 years, Christians taught people to overcome their own natures. Apparently the people likes that teaching, they love the idea that we are able to overcome our naures and become something better of what we are. Taking that to the extreme, we find Saimi teaching the fascinating message that Nature does not exist. Christianity is uplifting, Saimi et al. is insane and potentially disastrous. People like Saimi believe gravity should not and does not exist and they can fly, and they tend to jump off from tall buildings.

          • gcochran9 says:

            If your theory is correct, this might be self-limiting. ” Splat !”

            • epoch says:

              Well, as there is enough evidence that every human trait is hereditary including political opinions and the fertility of women on the right side of the political spectrum is likely much higher than those on the left side there might actually be selection against this behaviour.

              • Martin D says:

                It had been predicted since 19th century, both by frightened Protestants and triumphalist Catholics, that Catholic church is going to outbreed everyone else and make countries like France and Germany true Catholic again.

                For example, Will Durant in 1968:

                In the United States the lower birth rate of the Anglo-Saxons has lessened their economic and political power; and the higher birth rate of Roman Catholic families suggest that by the year 2000 the Roman Catholic Church will be the dominant force in national as well as in municipal or state governments. A similar process is helping restore Catholicism in France, Switzerland, and Germany; the lands of Voltaire, Calvin, and Luther may soon return to the papal fold.


          • Ilya says:

            No. People like her conveniently believe in ideas and theories that don’t require their own skin be jeopardized. As such, she won’t jump from top of a building, but will encourage everyone else to do so. (Eg: Open the national border, but don’t open their own house and wallets, sans for a paramour.) There’s this a huge supply of “crazies” like her. It might eventually catch up to them, but no one really knows when, or if they’ll suffer disproportionately (maybe not)

            I got enough of an insight into their psychology to speak with confidence. 99% are cowards. In big part, explained by preponderance of females and IYIs (desperate for approval by former) in the most vocal category. It’s a religion of academia and feminists and one giant shit-test.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I use a different definition of “intellectual elite” – you might like mine better.

  10. epoch says:


    You could just as well have used the picture of the Nature article itself to show “longer, thinner legs”. Unbelievable, it just in plain sight.

  11. gregor says:

    “or that Pygmies are short”

    Hey, man. Cool it with the outrageous speculations.

  12. Roger Sweeny says:

    Of course, the runners have long, thin legs. The question is whether the general population in Kenya has longer, thinner legs.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they do. But looking at a picture of runners to prove that is as silly as using a picture of the offensive line of the New England Patriots to prove that Americans have no necks.

    • gcochran9 says:

      “Two separate, European-led studies in a small region in western Kenya, which produces most of the race-winners, found that young men there could, with only a few months training, reliably outperform some of the West’s best professional runners. In other words, they appeared to have a physical advantage that is common to their community, making it probably genetic. The studies found significant differences in body mass index and bone structure between the Western pros and the Kenyan amateurs who had bested them. The studied Kenyans had less mass for their height, longer legs, shorter torsos, and more slender limbs. One of the researchers described the Kenyan physical differences as “bird-like,” noting that these traits would make them more efficient runners, especially over long distances.”

      This is all known and has been for a long time. You may not know it, but that is hardly my fault.

    • You don’t really know what the word “silly” means, do you?

      Remember, when one listens to someone who is trying to explain something, that your first impulse to debunk may simply be the impulse of the ignorant humorist.

      And ignorant humorists are not all that funny except to people at their level.

      Well, to each his own. I guess you think you are smart.

  13. N. G. Zax says:

    Point deer, make horse.

  14. Roger Sweeny says:

    from the Atlantic, April 17, 2012:

    Why Kenyans Make Such Great Runners: A Story of Genes and Cultures

    “It turns out that Kenyans’ success may be innate. Two separate, European-led studies in a small region in western Kenya, which produces most of the race-winners, found that young men there could, with only a few months training, reliably outperform some of the West’s best professional runners. In other words, they appeared to have a physical advantage that is common to their community, making it probably genetic. The studies found significant differences in body mass index and bone structure between the Western pros and the Kenyan amateurs who had bested them. The studied Kenyans had less mass for their height, longer legs, shorter torsos, and more slender limbs. One of the researchers described the Kenyan physical differences as “bird-like,” noting that these traits would make them more efficient runners, especially over long distances.

    Surprisingly, Western popular writing about Kenyans’ running success seems to focus less on these genetic distinctions and more on cultural differences.”


    • Unladen Swallow says:

      That was only seven years ago, could you imagine The Atlantic publishing that today? The author is no longer with the magazine of course.

  15. RCB says:

    Lots of obfuscation in that article, as always for this type of thing.

    For example, she mentions that “Some have speculated” that Kenyans have longer, thinner legs, and implies that it’s a questionable assumption. But she never outright says it’s false, which is a savvy thing to do.

    She also repeats the common claim that “there is no genetic basis for what people think of as race”. This would seem to imply, in turn that therefore it’s impossible for group X to be genetically predisposed to be better at skill Y. And surely that is the implication she wants the native reader to come away with.

    But, when you press even the professional geneticists who make the prior claim, they will generally admit that it doesn’t imply the latter. How could that be? Because the claim of “no genetic basis for race” nowadays usually doesn’t mean what people think it means. The meaning is slippery, but usually when someone says it they are strictly something like this: “when we subdivide humanity or some metapopulation into n groups, it doesn’t always match the racial groups some society has constructed”. Or it may mean something like “variation exists, but F_st not high enough to really call them distinct races” (arbitrary, but fine). Of course these claims, if true, do not strictly preclude ethnicity X from being better at skill Y: you may not think Ethiopians count as a “race”, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t genetically better at long distance running. Smart geneticists know that the implication is not there, else pygmies wouldn’t be shorter, etc. I don’t know that Angela Saini is smart enough to realize any of this.

    The sad fact is that no one tries to make this distinction. In an effort to make you disbelieve claim B, they make claim A, and hope that you make the incorrect connection on your own – without ever actually saying it.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Of course these claims, if true, do not strictly preclude ethnicity X from being better at skill Y: you may not think Ethiopians count as a “race”, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t genetically better at long distance running. Smart geneticists know that the implication is not there, else pygmies wouldn’t be shorter, etc. I don’t know that Angela Saini is smart enough to realize any of this.

      The sad fact is that no one tries to make this distinction. ”

      No one will make the distinction because “ethnicity X is better at skill Y” is precisely what makes he concept of race politically incorrect. If there were, say, a greater Fst distance between humans, to the point where geneticists were willing to identify human subspecies, but they all had the same average performance in things people actually care about, then there would be no controversy.

  16. RCB says:

    “native” -> “naive”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Article from The Atlantic, 2012, pushing hbd:
    I wonder if they’d dare to publish it today.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Unless you arbitrarily/counter-factually decide that quantitative traits like IQ have very low additive heritability, like that one guy did, and therefore can’t be selected for.

    I think that these people’s tendencies to goalpost-shift, memory-hole their previously destroyed arguments, and cook up new ideas about biology which have never been applied to nonhuman animals are all really damning. Underlying all this, we have their lack of a coherent set of ideas on which their other ideas would be based. We’ve got a pretty good one: Darwin’s postulates. So they’re always coming up with this weird new shit, they get eviscerated, they stay quiet for a few months, and then the cycle begins again.

    I think it’s more propaganda and less debate. Their intention is to spread the right opinions, deny the opposition access to their media resources, and hope that more people read their arguments than ours.

    So I’m going for triumphalism. They like to gaslight people and they know that nobody will hold them accountable.

  19. Eugene Swin says:

    In these comments, no one has yet criticized Nature, “
    First published in 1869, Nature is the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal. Nature publishes the finest peer-reviewed research …” Presumably, it was Nature that chose Saini to write the review that says, among other things:

    “The politics of our age demand that we counteract ‘scientific’ racism not only with rigour, depth and empathy, but also without fear. Evans takes no prisoners. He skewers the psychologist Steven Pinker, for instance, for entertaining the theories of anthropologists Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy and the late Henry Harpending, who claim that evolutionary pressures have led to psychological differences between populations.”

    Nature brags that “Nature has no external editorial board.” Some internal editor should lose his or her job for publishing this review.

    • Maciano says:

      Evans doesn’t sound like he’s An idiot, like Saini, but dishonest, like Taleb.

    • stephen Cooper says:

      If I remember correctly, “Nature” magazine lost all my respect about 20 years ago when the then-editor – not a very intelligent person, even by my lenient standards – offered CASH for contributors who could PROVE that the use of fetal stem cells, harvested from murdered babies, were a significant solution to the human hardship caused by our imperfect understanding of medicine.

      CONCLUSIONS first, SCIENCE later ….

      a nightmare of stupidity. and dishonesty.

  20. Greying Wanderer says:

    what if…

    assuming intelligence is x% hereditary and taking the average IQ of some random 3rd world country as more or less accurate then apply some one sentence heuristic (if that is right word) like:

    women only make babies with men as smart or smarter than them

    (or whatever would be the best example of what i mean)

    then how fast would that country’s IQ rise?

    it would be funny if it was possible to bypass western academic nonsense and get some country to put it to the test for real (like tadjikistan banning cousin marriage).

    • RCB says:

      My idea: offer to violent criminals the option of a reward of $5000 or so for undergoing some kind of irreversible vasectomy that the state pays for in full. The criminal gets a nice wad of cash and can still fuck around risk free. Nothing compulsory. It’s actually a very progressive idea: use taxes to fund large, top down efforts to improve society in the long run. But it’s politically impossible. Conservatives wouldn’t want their tax dollars paying for cash bonuses and operations for criminals, and liberals would immediately realize the racial effects and deny the hereditary premise.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        yes something like that – pick a region somewhere and run an experiment

        i was thinking something like have a voluntary simple IQ test for men and if he’s on the right side of the bell curve for that region then his dna gets put in a database and women get paid a bounty for each of the first two kids they have if the baby matches with dna on the database.

        experiments ftw

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        it would be difficult to do experiments like this in the PC west cos they know it would work but i bet there’s a lot of currently 3rd world countries who’d go along with experiments like this either for cash or cos you tell them (truthfully) that if they can raise their nation’s average IQ they’ll be able to crush their traditional enemies.

        • RCB says:

          Experiment not really the right word: no counterfactual country where everything is the same except that one change. Also, it’s an effect on a long timescale. The results of my idea in theory wouldn’t even be noticeable for a few generations. Twenty years later someone might say “this is expensive policy has done us no good in 20 years!” – and they’d probably be right, because the payoff happens later.

          • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

            Yes, you’re right about 20 years, and most politicians don’t think that far. However some dictatorships lasted for far more (e.g. Castro), 40 years might be enough. With better technologies plus embryo selection you can even see children winning student competitions in ~15 years.

          • Greying Wanderer says:

            all true no doubt but seems to me western academia is currently a maginot line so maybe go around it somehow?

            i think there will be people in the 3rd world who want to see their country do better who currently believe western academia’s BS but maybe could be persuaded to try something else.

            if nothing else it would be funny to see the SJW melt down.

    • Анисимов Дмитрий says:

      I think it will have negligible effect. More likely that smart women will have less babies.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        yeah i’m not thinking of targeting smart women – more about getting average women to make babies with the top 1/3 of men for a few generations.

        it might work best in an r-selected type population where the women would see having smarter kids as a kind of zero effort pension plan.

    • Henry Scrope says:

      “The balance of our population, our human stock is threatened.”

      If Keith Joseph hadn’t said that out loud in 1974 he might have been Britain’s first non-baptised Jewish Prime Minister.

  21. Dieter Kief says:

    Thanks. “Almost perfect”.

    “So facts themselves are the enemy: “Arguing with racists on points of fact is a game with no winners. ” Facts are all against you – they all must die!

    So is this triumphalism, or peak crazy? Time will tell.”

    Her argument is a tiny tweak beyond your counter-argument here. What she insinuates is the following: Let us all forget about propositions and facts in the context of race because this context propels all of humankind into the higher world of .b.e.i.n.g. .h.u.m.a.n., suffering, forgiveness, – – – love & devotion…

    She – obviously with great success in the media world, recontextualizes scientific questions as – – – by and large – – – religious ones. She, therefore, is resilient to scientific arguments – she shows the scientific world in “Nature”, how to develop this resilience: By making just the right (=almost undetectable = homeopathic) use of religion in a scientific field.

    I think that is the secret sauce which makes her – almost – undefeatable.

  22. Philip Neal says:

    Saini is not addressing herself to people who want to be right but to people who want to know what we Alphas think. To persuade them, it is important to appeal to the Principle of Counterintuitiveness. “Evans zooms in on two focal points of racial stereotypes: sport and intelligence.” The sort of people who read the sports pages and fear the racially Othered imagine that the camera cannot lie, but we Alphas know the counterintuitive truth. Legs have nothing to do with success at running. It is counterintuitive, so it can’t be what the Gammas and Deltas think, it must be what the Alphas think.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Yeah, that’s the perfect example for a – – – .p.e.a.c.o.c.k. of the .m.i.n.d.. – – – See Tversky/Kahnemann etc. Saini seems to have a great ability, to perform this peacocky intellectual behavior. The interesting and hardly understood consequence of which you grab by its impressive throat: Such peacockery of the mind – – – – .b.e.a.t.s. sound argumentation (can lead even to Nobel prizes – – – cf. Tversky / Kahnemann).

    • TarjeiV says:

      Like the tailors in HC Andersen’s “The emperor’s new clothes”: “This is such a delicate fabric, sir, that for the common eye it may even seem invisible”. And so everybody at the court praised it.

    • Jono says:

      “….racially Othered…”
      We call that a clue.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I’d only heard a little bit about this. Thanks for introducing me to a new flavor of crazy – new to me, anyhow.

      • The Z Blog says:

        I googled around a bit looking for rebuttals to the Meyer stuff. I found nothing but links to ID sites. I did not put a lot of effort into it, to be honest. IIRC, the ID’ers used to have a claim that the number of mutations required to go from some point in time to another, was vastly higher than what was possible in a given time. I’m fuzzy on the details, but that’s my recollection. I suspect Meyer is reviving that concept.

        Maybe a gofundme for you to read and review the claims?

      • Peripatetic Commenter says:

        They say stuff like:

        Based on new evidence and knowledge that functioning proteins are extremely rare, should Darwin’s theory of evolution be dismissed, dissected, developed or replaced with a theory of intelligent design?

        How rare are functioning proteins?

        How much lower function did those alleged rare proteins have during the Cambrian and pre-Cambrian?

    • The G_Man says:

      (((Intelligent Design))) Lol.

  23. Dieter Kief says:

    I had the same idea when I saw this. The collective argument of Berlinski, Gelernter, and Meyer goes like this: We see formal (=quantitave) hindrances, which we can explain in great (mathematical) detail (and they “do”). Thus we can in retrospect show, that the Cambrian explosion is not what Darwin and the rest of the Darwinian community think it was: Namely the origin of a great many of nowadays forms of life on earth. This Darwinian idea, in order to be true, would have to be strong enough to make our formal (=mathematical) doubts about it disappear. Since this is not the case, we have shown (proven, really, hehe) that Darwin and his ilk are flat-out wrong.
    (Crumpy old men on their way to BIG-SCIENCE-fame – “Hallelujah” (Laurie Anderson, Big Science!))

  24. charles w abbott says:

    This discussion reminded me of Harry G Frankfurt’s book On bullshit (2005) which is still worth reading. Wikipedia has a few details. It’s a thin book but demanding.

  25. Dieter Kief says:

    The most striking aspect of their argument is this structure: Since we can think of formal conditions under which evolution could not have happened, the biological reality of it must be false.

    Reminds me of Gilbert Shelton’s “Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” – just not that funny!

  26. albatross says:

    When your audience all wants to believe X, you don’t actually have to make a good argument for X. You can even make a shitty argument for X that leaves all the pieces in place to make a good argument for not-X. The great majority of readers will happily get the answer they know must be right and that they want to believe.

  27. Clay says:

    This reminds me of the Christian apologetics books back in the 80’s that sought to prove that the Bible was literally true against all of the scientific evidence that it wasn’t. The craziest idea I came across was using “tired light” to explain how the universe wasn’t as big as it appeared to be.

  28. J says:

    Greg’s skinny Kenyans are not the whole picture. See

  29. Eponymous says:

    But of course, everyone already believes that racial groups differ dramatically in a biological attribute — namely skin color (and also hair color/texture, and facial bone structure, but one trait is sufficient). So the whole thing is moot — there are large differences (distribution with zero overlap! excepting rare conditions like albinism) — which everyone acknowledges. So A is already accepted, and Z logically follows.

  30. Lindsey Morris says:

    Maybe she should watch this:

  31. Dividualist says:

    Just challenge her asking if there cannot possibly be a difference in the salt sensitivity of blood pressure between blacks and whites, and thus the studies that show their hypertension is better treated by calcium channel blockers than the angiotensin-oriented medicines prescribed for whites are all bogus, should everybody just get the white treatment and if they die, bad luck?

  32. Rhodok says:

    Regardless of the fact if she believes what she writes, I suspect that the ultimate (deeper) purpose for these books is to profit from the believers. Much like some religious leaders.
    There is a lot of this going on on the right as well.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      @ Rhodok “purpose for these books is to profit from believers”

      It’s not easy to have it otherwise since we are social animals. The way to have it otherwise is to cultivate disagreement – that’s how universities developed in the Middle Ages in Europe: As spaces of institutionalized contradictions (think of the battle between nominalists and realists (and don’t forget: The realists were the dogmatics, whereas the nominalists, humble as they might appear in hindsight, were the realists (in a deeper sense). – Patience is something that comes along when the cultivation of contradictions gets institutionalized (patience is usually underestimated). That’s how progress proceeds: slowly (= “progress is a snail” (Günther Grass)).

  33. Azure says:

    gcochran9, what happened to the Ashkenazi Jews, distinct from the Italian/Italki Jews, who originated and stayed in Italy instead of moving north to the Franco-Germanic lands? IQ estimate for them?

  34. Tintagel says:

    Paul Skallas’s friend Simon De Deo of the “Laboratory for Social Minds” debunks the genetic basis of intelligence because … people who speak the same language are also related to each other:

    check and mate, I suppose.

  35. teageegeepea says:

    Greg is presumably aware of this because Marco del Guidice is at the University of New Mexico and cites him in his paper and thanks him in the acknowledgements, but other readers will likely be interested in his recent work in the vein of “New Germ Theory”:

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