Quote Dr. Reich On Genome Bloggers and Ancient Admixtures
This is hot garbage. Check out Steve Sailer’s review. I found the funniest part to be how shocked, shocked she is when she learns that David Reich, the superstar of genetics and ancestry research from prestigious Harvard, is in fact sharing most of the “race realists” positions:
They are words I never expected to hear from a respected mainstream geneticist.
I find this line really hilarious, due to (probably unintended) Straussian reading: it’s not that she’s shocked by the facts, but rather that mainstream geneticist is not parroting the party line on race not being real etc.
If you’re looking for a counterpoint, you can’t go wrong with David Reich’s book: it’s based on fresh data and very recent research. Reich does some lip service to liberal causes, but unlike many other leftist writers and scientists, doesn’t purposefully obfuscate the findings to support the leftists dogmas, and in fact chides his fellow scientists for doing so.
Thanks for the review and recommendation for David Reich’s book. Reading the wikipedia page for it, it seems that Reich focuses mainly on migration of human groups and the admixtures that make up populations. Maybe the book makes it so obvious there are genetically distinct/identifiable groups of humans that it never needs to be stated outright.
It would be pretty hard to talk about historical population movements and admixtures, if, like, you couldn't detect any differences between the groups.
Reich's book, just like Saini, also talks about Steve Sailer. Unlike her, though, he isn't really condescending: while he doesn't quite express sympathy, he does extend charity:
To understand why it is no longer an option for geneticists to lock arms with anthropologists and imply that any differences among human populations are so modest that they can be ignored, go no further than the “genome bloggers.” Since the genome revolution began, the Internet has been alive with discussion of the papers written about human variation, and some genome bloggers have even become skilled analysts of publicly available data. (...) The genome bloggers’ political beliefs are fueled partly by the view that when it comes to discussion about biological differences across populations, the academics are not honoring the spirit of scientific truth-seeking. The genome bloggers take pleasure in pointing out contradictions between the politically correct messages academics often give about the indistinguishability of traits across populations and their papers showing that this is not the way the science is heading.
Here are some more relevant quotes from his book:
But “ancestry” is not a euphemism, nor is it synonymous with “race.” Instead, the term is born of an urgent need to come up with a precise language to discuss genetic differences among people at a time when scientific developments have finally provided the tools to detect them. It is now undeniable that there are nontrivial average genetic differences across populations in multiple traits, and the race vocabulary is too ill-defined and too loaded with historical baggage to be helpful. If we continue to use it we will not be able to escape the current debate, which is mired in an argument between two indefensible positions. On the one side there are beliefs about the nature of the differences that are grounded in bigotry and have little basis in reality. On the other side there is the idea that any biological differences among populations are so modest that as a matter of social policy they can be ignored and papered over. It is time to move on from this paralyzing false dichotomy and to figure out what the genome is actually telling us.
In the last couple of decades, most population geneticists have sought to avoid contradicting the orthodoxy. When asked about the possibility of biological differences among human populations, we have tended to obfuscate, making mathematical statements in the spirit of Richard Lewontin about the average difference between individuals from within any one population being around six times greater than the average difference between populations. We point out that the mutations that underlie some traits that differ dramatically across populations—the classic example is skin color—are unusual, and that when we look across the genome it is clear that the typical differences in frequencies of mutations across populations are far less. But this carefully worded formulation is deliberately masking the possibility of substantial average differences in biological traits across populations.
The indefensibility of the orthodoxy is obvious at almost every turn. In 2016, I attended a lecture on race and genetics by the biologist Joseph L. Graves Jr. at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard. At one point, Graves compared the approximately five mutations known to have large effects on skin pigmentation and that are obviously different in frequency across populations to the more than ten thousand genes known to be active in human brains. He argued that in contrast to pigmentation genes, the patterns at genes particularly active in the brain would surely average out over so many locations, with some mutations nudging cognitive and behavioral traits in one direction and some pushing in the other direction. But this argument doesn’t work, because in fact, if natural selection has exerted different pressures on two populations since they separated, traits influenced by many mutations are just as capable of achieving large average differences across populations as traits influenced by few mutations. And indeed, it is already known that traits shaped by many mutations (as is probably the case for behavior and cognition) are at least as important targets of natural selection as traits like skin color that are driven by a small number of mutations.22 The best example we currently have of a trait governed by many mutations is height. Studies in hundreds of thousands of people have shown that height is determined by thousands of variable positions across the genome. A 2012 analysis led by Joel Hirschhorn showed that natural selection on these is responsible for the shorter average height in southern Europeans compared to northern Europeans. Height isn’t the only example. Jonathan Pritchard led a study showing that in the last approximately two thousand years there has been selection for genetic variations that affect many other traits in Britain, including an increase in average infant head size and an increase in average female hip size (possibly to accommodate the increased higher average infant head size during childbirth).
Be sure to read the whole thing.