Racial realism

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The touchy subject of


Key concepts
Racism and racists

Racial realism or race realism (of late pushed on the euphemism treadmill to human biodiversity, sometimes abbreviated HBD[1]) is a pathetically transparent attempt by bigots to rebrand "scientific" racism. The term is commonly used by David Duke, Jared Taylor, and sundry other white supremacists, which should be a big clue.[2][3] The term is also bandied about quite often by the cranks at VDARE and the Pioneer Fund.

The claims always seem to include, somewhere along the way, one that works out to "black Americans are naturally stupid, so their social position follows unavoidably". This falls down in that the arbitrary group "people of recent African ancestry" has more genetic variation within that group than do the entire rest of humanity,[4] and claiming they are a genetic grouping defies science.


Racial realist jargon

Racial realism is meant to lend a veneer of respectability to racism. However, even the less foaming-at-the-mouth loons who use the term still prattle on about skull sizes and IQ distribution, and use long-discredited racial classifications such as Mongoloids", "Caucasoids", "Negroids", and other such chestnuts of "scientific" racism. It also allows racists to act indignant when being called on their racism — "I'm not a racist, I'm a racial realist!"

Racial realists like to call their opponents "race deniers" or "racial difference deniers". There are many problems with this, the chief of which is that race is not "real"; races are social constructions based on arbitrary agglomerations of visible physical genetic traits, such as skin colour. In fact, the most genetically diverse peoples on Earth — who race realists pretty much all regard as a single homogeneous group — are all dark-skinned Africans, as variation per distance is always greatest near the origin.

Adaptation doesn't work like that

Adaptation to environments, including social environments, through natural and sexual selection is the linchpin of evolution. Remembering this means knowing why scientific racism is ridiculous. To argue that races or ethnic groups differ innately in intelligence, however defined, is exactly equal to an assertion that intelligence has proven less adaptive for some people than for others. This at minimum requires an explanation, a specifically evolutionary explanation, beyond mere statistical assertion; without that it can be assumed to be cultural bias or noise. Since most human intelligence is in fact social intelligence — the main thing the human mind is built for is networking in human societies — this would require this social evolutionary arms race to have somehow stopped.

Genetic differences between people from different locations are pretty much entirely genetic drift. Amount of melanin does vary with distance from the equator, and there's recent actual evolution such as lactose tolerance in adults.[5]

What human genetic groupings actually look like. See how many distinct groups "Negro" would break down into?

The human gene pool does not divide neatly into geographical groupings

Human genetics doesn't work like race realists think it does.

Race realists spend a great deal of time and effort pointing out genetic differences between geographically separated populations in gene clustering research and insisting this is evidence for "races".

In gene clustering research a set of populations is typically determined via subjective descriptors in ethnicity, language and geographics and people can be reliably identified as members of these groups. However, this way of categorizing people depends fundamentally on the quantity and method used to create the aforementioned framework of ancestral populations. Depending on what you subjectively chose to be aforementioned populations people may or may not end up in the same group. This is completely different from the problem of "races", which presupposes that there is just one objectively and biologically demarcatable set of populations among all humans.

As Jonathan Marks points out

What is unclear is what this has to do with 'race' as that term has been used through much in the twentieth century - the mere fact that we can find groups to be different and can reliably allot people to them is trivial. Again, the point of the theory of race was to discover large clusters of people that are principally homogeneous within and heterogeneous between, contrasting groups.[6]

The idea of large clusters of people that are principally homogeneous within and heterogeneous in-between in terms of genetic similarity — the latter being necessary to speak of distinct "races" — has no scientific basis and in fact there is evidence against it. Witherspoon et al concluded in their 2007 paper "Genetic Similarities Within and Between Human Populations":

The fact that, given enough genetic data, individuals can be correctly assigned to their populations of origin is compatible with the observation that most human genetic variation is found within populations, not between them. It is also compatible with our finding that, even when the most distinct populations are considered and hundreds of loci are used, individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population.[7]

Once "intermediate" populations — people living between two greater geographical extremes — are included, you find genetic continuity, not discontinuities. Racial realists' proposed race-labeled genetic clusters all exclude "intermediate" populations; sampling and including such populations destroys any illusory genetic discontinuity.[8]

Icelanders and Ashkenazim constitute genetic clusters; "Asians", "Caucasians" and particularly "Negroes" do not.

Notable racial realists

  • J. Philippe Rushton: Advocate of "Life History Theory" that proposes that all socially desirable personality and intellectual traits are concentrated in the white and Asian races, whereas all the antisocial and undesirable traits are concentrated in black people. Repeatedly criticised in academia for sloppy scholarship including using questionable sources of information including the Penthouse Forum.[9]
  • Richard Lynn: Eugenics advocate who recently wrote a paper claiming that black people have longer penises than whites, who in turn are better endowed than Asians.[10] This was based on Rushton's "Goldilocks" theory of race: "Orientals have big brains but small genitalia, Africans have small brains but big genitalia, but Europeans Are Just Right."[11] One of the key sources of data used in this paper was the World Penis Size Site,[12] an anonymously compiled source that includes a lot of made-up data and bogus references.[13][14] Lynn has also stated that "incompetent cultures" need "phasing out."[15] Just to clear up any doubt about which cultures he thinks need "phasing out" he writes: "Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization?"[16]
  • Donald Templer: Authored a book on penises used as an additional reference by Richard Lynn even though Templer has no qualifications in urology. Advocates the voluntary sterilization of welfare recipients on eugenics grounds.[17]

See also

External links


  1. Term coined by Steve Sailer. HBD is often used as a blanket term for general theories of biological determinism. HBD also tosses in pseudoscientific rationalizations for sexism as a bonus. See, e.g., humanbiologicaldiversity.com. (Possibly NSFW)
  2. David Duke's mailbag: "Are you a racist?" (possibly NSFW)
  3. White Supremacist Stampede, The Daily Beast
  4. Tishkoff SA et al (2009). The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans
  5. Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, the genetics of lactase persistence see also: image
  6. Human Evolutionary Biology, p.270
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1893020/
  8. Bamshad et al. 2004. "Deconstructing the relationship between genetics and race". Nature Reviews Genetics, 5,. 598–609.
  9. Weizmann, F., Wiener, N. I., Wiesenthal, D. L., &Ziegler, M. (1991). Eggs, eggplants and eggheads: a rejoinder to Rushton. Canadian Psychology, 32 (1), 43-50 DOI: 10.1037/h0078958
  10. Lynn, R. (2012). Rushton’s r–K life history theory of race differences in penis length and circumference examined in 113 populations. Personality and Individual Differences, in press. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.02.016 [1]
  11. The Penile Economics of Ethnicity, Ethnic Muse. Perhaps "Goldicocks" would be even more apt.
  12. World Penis Average Size Studies Database
  13. WorldPenisSize: analysis of listed sources [2]
  14. How much does size really matter?, Psychology Today [3]
  15. Racism Resurgent: How Media Let The Bell Curve's Pseudo-Science Define the Agenda on Race, Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting, January/February 1995
  16. Richard Lynn (1991) "Race Differences in Intelligence: A Global Perspective," Mankind Quarterly, 31(3), p255 [4]
  17. 'AmRen Conference Held in Tennessee' American Renaissance[5]
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