Maier ’17: The white privilege of cows

Opinions Columnist
Monday, October 5, 2015

Editors’ Note: This column did not meet The Herald’s standards for writing and clarity, and, more importantly, contained several factual inaccuracies regarding biology and race that cannot be corrected without compromising the argument of the entire column. The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category. The Herald regrets the publication of the column. We apologize to our readers for the factual errors and offensive claims made in it and for the shortcomings of our editorial process. In an effort to be transparent about our mistake, we are leaving the column online. We initially made the decision to publish the column, as we generally edit opinions columns for style and clarity alone, giving our columnists great leeway in making their argument as part of our commitment to freedom of expression. We regret that decision and believe it’s clear that this column crossed the line from an opinion we merely disagree with to one that has no place in our paper. The Herald is committed to an accurate and thoughtful opinions section, and we are taking steps to prevent similar issues in the future. Though we continue to strive to promote a venue for the free exchange of ideas, we do not and will not tolerate racism. We invite readers to send responses to

It is admittedly difficult to discuss topics such as privilege, marginalization and oppression without reducing them to the equivalent of magicians’ tricks gone awry. All three concepts are taken as mere tokens, to be taken up and played, and to be abandoned when no longer prudent. The social justice movement treats power imbalance and inequality as mere social constructions that people with axes to grind unjustly employ against the hapless and helpless. In order to make an equitable world, privilege and power imbalance must be abandoned, and a raising of consciousness is needed to compel those who have privilege and power to set them aside for good.

Unfortunately, this view ignores the rich history of these concepts and overlooks what history tells us: that they are not arbitrary and cannot merely be picked up and put down at whim. Rather, wealth, poverty, privilege, marginalization and oppression are very much a part of us and are inextricably written into our biology and history, at least for some of us.

It seems that in the recent debates about race, for example, there are really two questions jockeying for the same airspace. Put simply, one question addresses the biology of human difference, and the other concerns the rise of economic and technological inequality.

It seems churlish to even discuss the biology of human difference. We are all different. We are all unique individuals. Our genetic codes, physical features and (to an extent) emotions and behaviors are entities of physics and biology. We evolved differently, with many (ultimately unsuccessful) cousin species. Over time, we spread out into different climates, interbred with each other and with our unique sets of neighbors and evolved light skin, dark skin, flat faces, prognathic jaws, blue eyes, brown eyes, great height, short stature and a host of other physical features.

Yet this really doesn’t matter much on its own. A human with light skin and blue eyes, scraping away at the frozen soil in Siberia, has little immediate advantage over a human with dark skin and dark eyes scraping away at the hot sand in Africa, or over a human scraping away mud in Southeast Asia. Recent scientific inquiries have shown specific traits of hunter-gatherer societies (such as egalitarianism of gender roles, food sharing, slow growth rate and relative nomadism) that have persisted in modern hunter-gatherer communities.

Agriculture sprang up all over the human-inhabited world in different times and places. But the agriculture of the ancient Near East provided some distinct advantages (besides being the first), such as having animals that could be both domesticated and farmed and grains such as wheat, which contain protein and can be stored for long periods of time.

Livestock was the clincher, though. Many advanced civilizations sprang up around agriculture, but all farmed animals (with the exception of the llama) have wild ancestry in Eurasia (as do the vast majority of domesticated animals). Goats and sheep provided meat as well as milk, hair and hides. Horses could be ridden and put to work. Cattle provided meat, hides, milk and draft power. With long-stored, protein-rich grains, as well as livestock, humans could inhabit the first cities and support the first specialists.

Regardless of whether or not fiscal economy actually arose with the advent of agriculture, the jaw-dropping complexity of the early civilizations of the Near East (with their writing, numerical system, codes of law, urban social stratification, royalty and careful records of transactions) must give a modern historian pause. Non-farming specialists began to work with local metals, manufacture weapons (forged ever better under the pressures of social conflict), produce technological elements of science, art and music and sow the seeds of philosophy, organized religion and government. It is amazing what ancient humans could accomplish once they were consistently able to feed themselves energy-rich food.

Where is all this going? It is the strong who trample the weak, the rich who trample the poor. Societies that can produce the most food of the highest quality in the widest variety of situations can logically field a military, support a monarchy or sail around the world. Colonialism simply allows those who come from a history of being well-fed enough to let experimentation happen, conquering those who have not had that luck.

Thus, whenever I see a white college student, reeking of privilege, I recall the coincidence (or causal relationship) between white physical features and animal agriculture. It is still a question whether or not evolution endowed Eurasians with skills utilized to capitalize on the good luck of livestock animals, or whether Eurasian features just happen to be a poor man’s clue to agricultural history.

Cattle, it was recently discovered, were nearly unable to be domesticated. All the cattle alive today descend from a foundation herd of about 80 animals. It does stand as fact that English colonists in Africa were able to tame zebras to be ridden or driven, and there is a long history of elephant use in Southeast Asia. Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated.

Natural inequality — inequality of history — isn’t something that can be taken up or abandoned at will. Rather, it gives us history and makes us human.

M. Dzhali Maier ’17 studies science and society.


  1. I totally understand where this person was trying to go with this, but the piece itself is really really badly written. The only actual point was in the second to last paragraph and the idea that no one understands that there was an inequality of history is bizarre. No one forgets that the Europeans conquered the world with guns, germs, and steel, they simply want to repair the damage done and truly move past the terrible structures created. I say this as a person who rolls their eyes at many of the charges of euro centrism in contemporary culture. Also domestication was absent from north america but not most other places that were colonized, so how is this that relevant.

    • Domestication is very much present in North America. if you have any pets, you would know that. As for most other places colonized, do you assume they were colonized by one specific country or group of people? Places with Near Eastern, European, or Asian contact have domesticated animals/ farmed livestock. Places without this contact do not or, if they do, those domesticates are not their own. When one colonizing force takes over another, the former assumes care over the technologies of the former. The British, in taking over colonization of some regions from the Spanish, saw the goats and horses the Spanish left behind.

  2. ThisIsPlagiarism says:

    1920s eugenecists and Jared Diamond want their arguments back. bye

  3. This article deviates between uninformed, incoherent, and problematic. Maier suggests that white people possess evolutionarily endowed skills (he cites the ability to domesticate cattle) that non-white people lack. Aside from being casually racist, this sentiment also ignores history and biology. From the opening paragraph, it was clear this article was going to be neither nuanced nor informed. I’m all about open discourse on campus, but it’s disappointing that the Herald published this (obviously extremely ignorant) piece.

    • “Ignorant” in the SJW world = “doesn’t agree with me.”

      • Mr. Skeletal says:

        “SJW” in the ignorant world = “doesn’t agree with me”
        Because dismissing a criticism of an article though false equivalence (not to mention basing this equivalence on one word in a 76 word comment) is, in fact, ignorant.

    • Domesticated cattle were part of the Eurasian back migration into Africa during the Neolithic period. Now calling these back migrants ‘White’ is problematic, but the fact remains that a different population apart from sub-Saharan Africans brought this livestock animal to that continent.

    • Professor Snodgrass says:

      Something being “problematic” or “racist” has nothing to do with whether it’s true or false.

    • BigGaySteve says:

      The ability to drink milk is what back people lack. Look at the ability to drink milk by national origin. Asians and whites had to build/plan/store to survive winter with no food growing, big surprise they have an advantage at math/building/planning, but the people who evolved in R style setting have all the finalists of the last 8 Olympic 100yard dashes

    • That’s ridiculous. The article is flawed in many respects, but its truth content of maybe 55% is infinitely higher than that of the administration’s response (0%).

  4. this article is literal filth

    • As is much of what is taught in the social sciences.

    • tenaciousABC123 says:

      Honestly, what’s so filthy about it. Jeez, all they’ve alluded to is what is said in the very last paragraph: “Natural inequality — inequality of history — isn’t something that can be taken up or abandoned at will. Rather, it gives us history and makes us human.” This is their intention, their motive, for writing this article. It’s quite beautiful and humbling, actually, to realize that we (what’s perceived today as races) may have all sprung from different privileges, which have either been granted through luck, attained through will, or enabled through genetic/intellectual perceptiveness, and then after all the tribal strife throughout our history, we are now all here, under the same umbwella. The only filth in the article I see is when they falsely proclaim vague scientific and historical statements as facts. It annoys me when I’m reminded that everyone hasn’t managed to wire their brains, either through experience or enlightment, to allow them to see things in a positive yet detached light… JEEZZ!

    • Unless you’re joking, you need to learn what “literal” means. God help us all if you’re a Brown student!

      • He’s typical of a Brown student. At Brown, students assign their own final grades (i.e. each student writes his own report card). So of course, while he’s a straight-A student at Brown, he could very well flunk out of any old community college offering the same classes.

  5. Disgusted Brown '17 says:

    You are a moron and I’m am ashamed to be receiving a degree from the same university as you. What a joke

    • Delighted Brown '17 says:

      Calling someone a “moron” because you disagree with what they say? Yet I’m sure you tell your friends and family about how much of an “open-minded” school Brown is. This is ridiculously hypocritical….

  6. butthurtnoob says:

    Why r ppl so butthurt about this? Feeding civilizations to not have to worry as much about food allowed them to work at other things until colonization happened. The privilege is that of being well fed. I don’t understand why this makes people mad. The author never once justifies colonization or racism. U all r butthurt bc it offers a logical explanation of European prosperity, but never makes any racist judgements. Who taught any of u to read and how the hell did u get into brown

    • Everytime Maier seems a Brown student who is white, the phrase “white cows” go through his mind. He makes fun of you to your face and you don’t see it.

      • Well, yes, because those of the “chosen race” seem to think it gives them both privilege and cause for arrogance, when it really means they should be humble, and take on responsibility.

        Siunce they refuse to bow to the will of the God who they worship, they continue to get pogrommed. Auschwitz was hardly the first place where they were fed into ovens. Recall the story of Ashach, Meshach, and Abednego — advisors to the king, who used their privileged position in government as a weapon against the majority population….which is what lead to them being thrown into the fiery furnace. The difference is, A,M &A were at least fathful to God, whereas the modern day members of the tribe are anything but.. Giving charity from someone else’s pocket is not a “mitzvah”, it’s theft.

  7. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are an absolute legend.

  8. Oh nice, the editor links to that infamous NYT article written before the Human Genome Project that popularized the whole race is a social construct idea. Why is it so bad to say that there are genetic differences between me and my Anglo roommate that can be chalked up as racial differences? The biological science is there now that the genome has been cracked, but sociologists refuse to acknowledge it.

    Some reading:

    • Do you ever think you do anything wrong?

      • Sanders+Cena says:

        Yeah, of course. But nice ad hominem that does nothing to contribute to discussion.

        • “wrong” here does not mean in the incompetent sense, but the immoral sense. I know that despite the many years you have been in this country, you have a lot of difficulty with the language.

    • Yes, the Wall Street Journal and Wikipedia are such good scientific peer-reviewed journals, it’s perfectly reasonable to reference them, yep!

      • MrComments says:

        What specifically is wrong with the wiki article, which is actually well sourced. It touches on all aspects of the issue, gives differing viewpoints,etc., allowing the reader to interpret and form their own opinion. How is that not “good”? Do you prefer only bias writing from one perspective, that of course being your own?

      • Tom Stewart says:

        The wiki article is full of good, solid sources, this article sites one as a basis that is out of date and has been for years. The author citing something like this either is ignorant of the point, of is trying to obfuscate,

      • Vote ron paul says:

        These are both fairly readable, and were both cited in the wiki article. I never suggested that wikipedia is a journal, and by that logic, the editor should have cited science journals as well.

        • The degree to Witherspoon et al have to massage, to hedge and to implore their reader is absolutely terrifying. It’s pretty clear that the Marxists infection is complete and that actually doing genetic research is impossible.

          Anthropology and now genetics are the Marxist Maginot Line; without a blank slate, their entire world-view withers & dies.

    • Please do not misrepresent the current consensus amongst biologists about the relationship between genetics and race. Here’s a recent letter by population geneticists (note: not sociologists) disavowing the ideas put forth by Nicholas Wade:

      • Sanders/Cena2016 says:

        They’re disagreeing with the stretch that Wade made to things like IQ in his book (that I have not read, I only saw his article on WSJ). Rosenberg et al. were actually the ones that showed that genetic clustering correlates with ancestry/geographic origin.

  9. The first 7 paragraphs are there to troll. Maier is following a very routine formula in politics: (1) be a troll and then (2) abruptly transition into his own agenda. His own agenda starts in paragraph 8. “the jaw-dropping complexity of the early civilizations of the Near East.” He says this b/c he belongs to a culture from the near east…

    The article implies that European societies strength arose from agriculture and agriculture alone. Hence, he states, ” white college student, reeking of privilege, I recall
    the coincidence (or causal relationship) between white physical features
    and animal agriculture” What he really means is “everytime i see someone who is white, i de-mystify him by thinking of animals.”

    His ‘religious belief’ is incorrect. European societies developed religion that surpassed what was seen in the near east or middle east. The center of the roman empire was in Rome, not the near east. It not only made a legal system, but executed it and a scale unseen in middle eastern countries. Monarchy may have existed in the near east, but the Greeks and Romans were the first execute the concepts of a democracy and a republic. These give the readers pause both in terms of time and scale.

    The technical and society accomplishments in Europe far exceeds that of any ‘near eastern’ civilization… music (beethoven, mozart, bach), art (van gogh), architecture (just visit venice), weaponry were mostly developed in the battlefields of european wars, literature (… where to start), and math and science had much of its origins and development not in the near east. To narrowly define Europe as an agricultural society is to completely oblivious to at least 2000 years of recorded history. No, Europeans didn’t sit around and farm all day and things just somehow magically worked for them.

    He also implies that near east society’s strength arose from non-agricultural pursuits… does he have any citations for these notions, or does he believe these like a religion? in the last paragraph, he talks rather abruptly about the domestication of animals. Perhaps Maier is upset because he feels other people are domesticating him. Maier is a rather unique in that he has opposable thumbs and can imitate the sounds of other humans. One has to wonder if he has a tail.

    • I was reading through the comments, marveling at the stupidity of some of the attacks, wondering if the comment authors were responding to the essay or to what they had heard about the essay. Your comment, however, with its desperate defense against an imaginary attack on Europeans, is the first to sink to racist attack (tail?). Shame on you.

  10. That’s what you get for allowing Christian Republicans to write articles. What did you expect? Sanity? From a Republican?

    Hopefully you really have learned your lesson and will deny Christian Republicans the opportunity to spew their abject hatred and sullying your name.

  11. Being white doesn’t not automatically make you privileged. I am white and if I was privileged I would be wealthy enough to attend brown and write junk like this.

    • omg you can’t be serious

      • UM yea saying all whites are privileged is like saying all mid easterners are terrorists. Pick your stereotype, pick your narrow minded view but its all the same.

        • BAH! you are wrong. Being white is automatically a privilege. Your mistake is in thinking the only privilege is being wealthy. White does not equal rich, but it is still privileged compared to being you and black. As a white person you see the reflection of that privilege everywhere in our society. 43 out of 44 presidents smiling back at you in textbooks are white, everyone on the money- white, most movie stars, tv characters and people in magazines- white. Employers are more likely to hire you if you are white. Princeton did a study where white guys with CRIMINAL RECORDS were offered jobs at a higher rate than similarly qualified black guys who had no criminal record. Taxis are more likely to stop for you,

          • Cena for prez says:

            That’s an incredibly USA-centric view of race in a globalized world.

          • You’re right, she is being USA-centric, but we live in the USA. It’s perfectly reasonable to talk about white privilege in the USA and ignore racial privilege in other countries. The idea that white privilege might not exist outside the USA is irrelevant to the discussion of whether white privilege exists in the USA.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Yea those 7yo white breaker boys slaving in coal mines had the privilege of their taxes paying for Puerto Ricans to collect social security disability for NO SPEAK ENGLISH.

          • No, it’s not. The whole point of the “white privilege” meme is to deligitimize the existence of white people by accusing them of securing their existence through illegitimate means. The meme exists for the purpose of facilitating genocide. If, however, “white privilege” is put in context, then we realize that an analog exists for all other races where they predominate.

            The solution to the “problem” of privilege (white or otherwise) is to allow people to sort themselves into groups of their own so that everyone can be privileged while no one is disadvantaged thereby.

          • This is the USA, so we worry about what’s germane here first.

          • Wrong. There is no way to argue that there is anything wrong with white privilege or any kind of privilege unless you take it out of context.

          • I don’t believe I’ve argued against it. They created this country and still pay most of the freight for everyone else, so they deserve some “privilege.”

          • the USA and Europe (and East Asia) *have* globalized the world.

          • JGTThrasher says:

            No, claiming to be a minority in the USA and Europe when Europeans are 8% of the population is a USA-centric view. No one expects other nationalities and races to give up a majority in their lands, only “whites.” No one expects others to make laws protecting and promoting mass immigration to their lands, only whites. I am sick of the anti-white propaganda.

          • Sounds like you need frequent laundering of your white hood.

          • JGTThrasher says:

            OHNO! Are you implying that, that, that I am RACIST? Oh, uh, I guess I’ll shut up now because you won the argument. Or I will just laugh at your base attack and keep speaking my mind. Your infantile attacks do not refute the truth and the dreaded “R” word means nothing to me. If wanting to stop the decline of my people and the culture we produced is racist then I am racist. I personally think it is just common sense, sense that seems to be guaranteed to every other group, except those evil, socially constructed whites. Idiot.

          • Yes, you are. Both. Demonstrated by desperately clinging to the tribal “significance” of the happenstance of skin color. It has the same existential urgency as terror at the thought that collies might be contaminated by shepherds.

          • Yes, because there is no biological difference in dog breeds either. Chijuajuas and Great Danes are the same. In your feeble mind all subspecies are the same because evolution somehow stopped. Your understanding of subspecies within a species is nil. You are so dense that you couldn’t even see the sarcasm in my response to your name calling. I don’t give a damn what social “scientist” believing retards think of me. Race is biological, like all life. Intelligence is largely inherited, as is your stupidity. Go back to college and only study the pre-approved program. You are anti-white if you think wanting to preserve white culture is evil. What tribe are you from?

          • BigGaySteve says:

            You act like skin color is random, like a white couple could have a black baby because the guy went into the wrong hole. If equality existed somewhere in the world there would be a school with Asian girls as stupid and violent as black boys. Even San Francisco with 8% black public schools has 71% of students arrested black, adult numbers are even more “disparate”

          • I was just reading on another site about the decline in participation at, and how those people were infesting other sites; then I saw your comments. Welcome; I hope you enjoy your new experiences.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            I am actually gay check out gay patriot. That probably scares you more than stormfront. In the UK puffs marched along side skinheads at the march protesting Lee Ribgy’s beheading in London in broad daylight. If you look just past the 1 min march in the march you will see a handsome man carrying the gay rainbow flag. If the streets of London are not safe for soldiers they are not safe for puffs either.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Your mistake, WEO, is in thinking that race is only about skin color. It is much more.

          • Why are you advocating anti-white Tribalism, WEO/

          • Sounds like you’re a genocider.

          • Sounds like you need to stop being a racist against whites, and stop being an enemy of civilization.

          • It’s not whites advocating this, it’s Jews. And Jews aren’t white… just ask them, even though 60 years ago, they were adamant that they are white.

            Why did it change?

            Well, consistency isn’t their goal.. they only ask one question, “Is it good for the Jews?”

            And right now, they thik that what’s good for the Jews is ramrodding open-borders policies (de jure or de facto) in all European and other “white” countriies (U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)… because you know, it will turn out SO MUCH BETTER than when they (using the Soviet Union as their gollum) to remove all the whites from sub-sahran Africa… yeah.. the Africans sure are living so much better now under 85-IQ black rule.

          • That’s how SJW’s are. They complain about receptionists not getting paid as much as PhD engineers, but completely ignore that throughout the arab world, women get executed for the supposed *crime* of being a rape victim.

          • How white people pass on their privilege to the next generation:
            They learn to read, write, and do basic math before having a litter of kidlets. Were blacks to do that, they’d have privilege too.

          • Being white isn’t a “privilege” in Detroit after dark….

            And regarding your arguments about the race of presidents, etc., did not whites make up the vast majority of those eligible to both run and vote for the office throughout the majority of our history, as well as constitute 90% of the population or greater for the same period? Demographics explains at least as adequately as “privilege” and with far more evidence as proof. Same goes for wealth and popular media appearances by race.

          • Most taxi drivers in NYC are not White and they know enough not to stop for blaxx..

          • JGTThrasher says:

            White privilege is a way of saying we adjust and fit in the societies our ancestors created. Do the Japanese have Japanese privilege in Japan? If a bunch of non-Japanese lived there and couldn’t keep up I am sure they would say so. Fortunately the Japanese don’t put up with that tripe.

          • JGTThrasher says:

            You mean those white history books written by white people about their history in their land? The monetary system they invented? Whites are 60-65% of population, but were 90% a couple of decades ago, so doesn’t it make sense they are prominent in movies and on TV? I was a cab driver, there is a reason we stop for whites but not always for my blacks. My co-workers who have been robbed and shot would try to explain it to you but you would say they were racist for getting mugged.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            If you mean Asian white privilege = higher IQ I agree. The 7yo white breaker boys slaving in coal mines had that privilege, but their taxes went to pay for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico to collect social security disability for NO SPEAK ENGLISH. Despite the fact everyone in PR speaks and ebonics form of spanish

          • Puerto Ricans… illiterate in TWO langauges…

          • The USA isn’t the whole world. Your perspective is really offensive! And stupid!

            Why don’t you check on yellow privilege in Japan and black privilege in Zimbabwe and then report back to us? And why don’t you say something about the other racial groups that have much MORE privilege than whites in the USA?

            And, by the way, in the USA the national government openly discriminates against whites. Some privilege!

          • dirk gently says:

            And here we see the departure from logic and reason on FULL DISPLAY….

            Stop the violence against sanity, colleen, because NOBODY with 2 brain cells to rub together is buying that load of BS that you just spewed in here like a goose flying by witha bad case of diarrhea.

        • All Caucasians in the USA have racial privilege.
          All rich people in the USA have financial privilege.
          All Christians in the USA have religious privilege.
          All heterosexuals in the USA have sexual orientation privilege.
          All able bodied people in the USA have physical privilege.
          All cis-gendered people in the USA have gender identity privilege.
          All men in the USA have male privilege.

          There are many other spectrums of privilege too. Being privileged on one spectrum in no way speaks to your privileges on the other spectra, so you are correct that a white person might not have any financial privilege, but they do have racial privilege. A rich, christian, heterosexual wheel chair bound black man has some forms of privilege but not others. Etc.

          • Prove this unsubstantiated pseudo-intellectual equine excrement.

          • It’s pretty easy to prove.

            Racial privilege: send identical resumes (aside from the name at the top) to a large number of people, the resume with the white name gets called in for an interview more than a black name. Another example, take identically written documents and distribute them to partners at law firms across the country. Tell one group someone white wrote it, tell the other group someone black wrote it. Ask the partners to assess the quality of the document. The group told it’s a white author gives it a better assessment. You can look up both these studies.

            Financial privilege: do you really need proof that rich people are privileged?

            Christians: which religious holidays are national holidays in the USA? Chrisitan, jewish, hindu, muslim, buddhist, etc? Which day of the week is generally accepted as the day when it’s most acceptable to keep your business closed or have reduced hours/the post office doesn’t run? Which religion does that correspond to?

            Heterosexuals: certainly removing the ban on gay marriage helped, but that’s like 6 weeks old. Think back to Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after getting drafted to the NFL. People constantly said he was “shoving it in our faces” yet no one says that when Drew Brees kisses his wife after winning the super bowl or the media shows us photos of Tom Brady at his sister’s straight wedding.

            Able bodied people: Do I really need to explain how not being disabled is an advantage?

            Cis-gender: think about all the controversies over bathrooms or sports teams or the fact that it’s legal to fire someone for being trans in most states but not illegal to fire someone for being a woman.

            Men: The gender pay gap is definitely not the full 22%, but it definitely exists due to pressures of women to take less intense careers so that they can earn less than their husbands and stay home and take care of the children. Look at the Bechdel test and the amount it shows that media is geared towards men interacting with men and rarely shows women as meaningful characters. Women couldn’t even vote in this country until 1920, black people – who couldn’t even use the same water fountain or go to the same schools as white people could vote before that.

          • And the Ministry of Equality is going to fix it all? Smart people will be required to wear noise generators in their ears. Great athletes will be required to wear heavy weights and the best looking will be requires to wear ugly masks.

          • As I wrote to someone below, acknowledging privilege exists is a separate concept from what should be done to combat it. You can acknowledge privilege in all contexts and then in certain contexts try to eradicate it and in other contexts accept it.

            For example: In the context of an athletic competition intended to find the best athlete it would not make sense to try and make things equal between the superior and inferior athletes. In the context of intramural athletics, which is about friendly competition though, it does make sense to have separate divisions for superior, average, and inferior athletes to make things more equal.

            Similarly, simply acknowledging that, in the workplace, we are more likely to assess a man’s opinion more favorably than a woman’s and taking an extra moment to ask ourselves “do I actually think this opinion is better or am I doubting my female colleague simply for being a woman” could dramatically reduce male privilege without any formal policy needed. Being willing to take that extra moment does require acknowledging that male privilege exists though, something many people – even on this thread – don’t want to do.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            White privilege is evolution that’s why Asians have it also. All of the finalists for the last 8 Olympic 100 yard dashes are black. Since evolution favored those would could run faster when hyenas are around in some areas, is it really a surprise that math/science awards go to those who evolved in areas with no food growing during the winter favoring building/planning?

          • You’re even more evil and hate-filled than the worst villain in an Orwell novel.

            Or do you just play a full-time retard on the internet.

          • JGTThrasher says:

            Yes, majorities are evil, cuz who would base policies on the majorities when we can base them on the few? Makes perfect sense. I am sure it was the majority who coined the term “white privilege” to attack itself, right? Just like the term “politically incorrect.” Propaganda is propaganda. Propaganda used to justify the ethnic displacement of a people group through immigration, laws and institutions, which invariably leads to destruction of their histories and monuments, is genocide. Quit buying into anti-white propaganda. Or give up your cars, wheels, computers, medicines and food because “cultural appropriation” and stuff.

          • Well whether or not a privilege exists and whether or not it should be controlled through legislation are two different things. For example you could acknowledge that being born to rich parents gives you advantages over being born to poor parents without necessarily supporting any policy to correct that.

            Mob rule is appealing as long as you are part of the mob. The reason we don’t legislate things on a purely mob basis is the understanding that certain things shouldn’t be up to mob rule (whether or not marriage should be restricted along sexual identity lines) or that we could easily end up outside the mob and that we shouldn’t punish the minority (requiring things be accessible to people in wheelchairs).

          • JGTThrasher says:

            “mob rule is appealing as long as you are part of the mob.” No, it isn’t. Majority rule is not mob rule when it is within the confines of the created culture to which the majority belongs. Mob rule is the devolution of a culture, the forcing of the culture keepers to accept lawlessness and their own destruction. It always disparages and attacks traditions including religion, language, ethnicity, and so on. I tends toward “what feels good” as opposed to what preserves the core.

          • Jewish anti-white propaganda.Keep ity up, and there will be events that eerily mimick what happened to the Jews in Germany and the rest of Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            So that 67yo white woman waitressing to make ends meet at the restaurant I was at 2 days ago has privilege but the Puerto Ricans living on social security disability for NO SPEAK ENGLISH or the black somoli moslem that beheaded a healthcare worker in Maine in august who eats $2,0000-$5,000 in AIDS meds a month does not? I would rather my taxes support that privileged waitress.

          • How about, we just stop with the idiotic identity politics, and you know, follow Martin Luther King’s idea of JUDGING PEOPLE BYT THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER, NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.

            Oh, that’s right.. because you’re a Democrat…and if there’s one thing Demorat’s have always been, is racist, Racist, RACIST to the very core.

    • TomIron361 says:

      Seems the writer hit a nerve. Whites have invented everything worthwhile in this world.

      • whites, asians, near easterners. Not just worthwhile, but also that which is not worthwhile.

        • BigGaySteve says:

          White Privilege= 7yo white breaker boys slaved in coal mines so their taxes could pay Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico to be on social security disability for NO SPEAK ENGLISH.

  12. Benjamin Franklin says:

    Content aside, this author is a terrible writer.

    • This piece wasn’t intended to be published until next week. The author requested that “Columbian Exchange Day” be published this week in its stead, however the Herald already had this one on the books, so they just ran both articles on consecutive days. Thus, this piece is unfinished and barely edited.

  13. Setting aside any racial angle for a moment, this writing is at best barely intelligible. I hope this is not an example of the general quality of writing at Brown. I truly hope this is an outlier in every way imaginable. My brain started bleeding as I tried to read this.

    • It should be known that this piece wasn’t intended to be published until next week. The author requested that “Columbian Exchange Day” be published this week in its stead, however the Herald already had this one on the books, so they just ran both articles on consecutive days. Thus, this piece is unfinished and barely edited.

      • What you are saying is that the author incompetantly wrote and submitted junk and the editors/staff incompetantly published it. That doesn’t help.

  14. Great Article!

  15. Michael Andereron says:

    I have read this article three times. It involves an area of scholarship with which I am quite familiar. To argue this is racist is not only the height of sophistry, but demonstrates a level of fundamental and almost willful ignorance of sociology and science.

    The closest thing I read in this column that says race is genetic is this: “It seems churlish to even discuss the biology of human difference. We are all different. We are all unique individuals. Our genetic codes, physical features and (to an extent) emotions and behaviors are entities of physics and biology. We evolved differently, with many (ultimately unsuccessful) cousin species. Over time, we spread out into different climates, interbred with each other and with our unique sets of neighbors and evolved light skin, dark skin, flat faces, prognathic jaws, blue eyes, brown eyes, great height, short stature and a host of other physical features.”

    Can someone explain exactly what is incorrect about that statement? Do Japanese parents not have children with the features shared by those of Japanese heritage? What about Danish parents? The author is making a statement of the obvious, involving, as he says, physics and biology that played a role in our genetic codes, physical features, emotions and behaviors.

    The author then goes on to make the quite interesting – and, in the field, quite well documented – connection between the evolution of agriculture and protein-based diets and economic growth in ancient times. Food and water begat power. That is his point.

    Hopefully, the faculty at Brown can take aside the editors of the Brown Daily Herald and give them a short class on what this author was saying. Until then, shame on all of you. You have demonstrated nothing but your ignorance by proclaiming there is something improper about this article. Perhaps next you will drag someone into the editorial room to chastise them for declaring the earth revolves around the sun? Vincenzo Maculani would be proud of you. And if you don’t know who that is – look it up. He has a position waiting for him on the Brown Daily Herald.

    • Dude, Maier is basically calling ppl of European descent COWS! he’s more than merely racist.

      • not exactly. what I took away from this article was that domestication of some of their native livestock gave people from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe certain advantages, and the aftereffects of said advantages can very much be felt today. “Cows” wasn’t describing white people, but rather that white people rule the world because they were the first to have cows (they were the first to get that sort of luck), not necessarily because they are white.

        • BigGaySteve says:

          Whites and Asians are able to drink milk and have the most lactose tolerance. Sending cows to Africa only gives them problems.

          • Point of clarification…. milk drinking depends a bit on ethnicity and age. Some peoples of European descent could drink milk, some developed lactose intolerance. Many people have lactose tolerance, but they do develop it later as an adult (40+). Same as for Asians… some groups can drink it and some can’t… and some develop lactose intolerance as an adult.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Yes those that evolved in areas with winters gained the evolutionary advantage of being able to drink milk, along with math and science(building/planning). Where food supplies depended on dairy more majikly gained the ability. China and Japan are far better at math than southern Asians.

          • East asians are near universally lactose intolerant. Lactose tolerance is relatively high in a number of black african countries, much higher than in east asia. You’re just a moron.

          • uh…. it depends on the specific ethnicity… not quite universal…

          • I was probably exaggerating, but east asians have very low rates of lactose tolerance. If you look at maps that give specific percentages, it’s usually atleast 90% intolerance for China and Japan.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            When people say east Asians are as smart as whites they mean north east Asians.

          • Those terms mean the same thing. That also has nothing to do with your stupid claims that east asians are lactose tolerant or that lactose tolerance is a sign of demands for high intelligence.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Lactose tolerance is the result of K style evolution. That’s why the pattern for everything from lack of crime to IQ looks like NEAsians>Whites>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>hipsanics>>>>>>>>>>>>>black

          • It has nothing to do with it. Look up a map of lactose tolerance worldwide if you find it so hard to believe. It’s not “everything” either. Taiwan has a murder rate on par with the US (and was even higher in the 90’s and 80’s) and China’s corruption rates are known to be off the charts.

          • Shlomo Goldstien says:

            If you are trying to have a real discussion, don’t say things like “as smart as whites”. That is a very vague statement,

          • BigGaySteve says:

            No one else even comes close looking at SAT/ACT/IQ scores. Admittedly like Israel most of their advances come from copying.

          • Asians are all lactose intolerant. When’s the last time you saw cheese in Chinese food, dummy?

          • not exactly true… it depends on the specific ethnicity

          • BigGaySteve says:

            So those stories of Ganges Khan and horse milk are all made up?

      • BigGaySteve says:

        He is pointing out that Asians and Europeans evolved in areas that they had to build/plan/store. R style evolution happens when there is no work needed to feed whatever children survive diseases. The queen of England drank raw milk every day of her life but those that didn’t evolve to drink milk cant handle it.

        • A confederate flag avatar for someone espousing biological racism.

          Yee Haw! I reckon we gots us a segregationist with slaver ancestors pa!

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Actually its the Clinton Gore 92 campaign button. So few leftists are smart enough to get cognitive dissonance from it.

  16. BioAnthroLover '11 says:

    OK, obviously most of the culpability here in on the part of the author. But I’m just hoping someone in the administration hears my desperate plea: IF YOU DON’T WANT YOUR STUDENTS MAKING STUPID RACIST CLAIMS ABOUT BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY EMPLOYING AT LEAST ONE BIOLOGY-FOCUSED BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGIST AT YOUR ENTIRE UNIVERSITY. Andrew Scherer is awesome, but he is an anthropological archaeologist. Hiring him did NOT summarily supply the university with knowledge spanning all the nuance of the field of biological anthropology. And just to be clear, I LITERALLY learned that the multiregional hypothesis (i.e. racist old hypothesis about human evolution) was true in a biological anthropology class at Brown in 2010. PLEASE bring your biological anthropology into the 21st century — clearly your students are lacking significant knowledge about human diversity and evolution!

  17. The author really needs to work on her writing. Her opinion is masked by circuitous, obfuscated prose, which makes it difficult to figure out the damn point of the article.

    Consider the conclusion: “Natural inequality… isn’t something that can be taken up or abandoned at will. it gives us history and makes us human” — what does this garbage even mean? Is the author trying to say that we are inherently, biologically unequal? If so, then there are much clearer ways of saying that…

    I really abhor censorship, and I hope people continue to be brave enough to express controversial — even repugnant — views, but BDH editors should have submitted this article to several more rounds of editing before publishing it.

    • Natural inequality can be construed as intelligence, among other attributes. Can you make yourself more or less intelligent through willing it so? If not, the author made a valid point. I didn’t find it nearly as abstruse and difficult to fathom as you did.

  18. JGTThrasher says:

    Uhm, can anyone here who is in disagreement with this please specify how the Near East and Indo-Europeans did not domesticate animals, cultivate the land and such when others did not? The Boer even did it in South Africa, which is what brought all of the neighboring groups to them. When they were removed from power and their farms taken, starvation followed, even when those farms are being given to others. I know it is not politically correct but it is historically accurate. The dog and horse, cattle, sheep, all come from these groups. You know, the main food source of Western nations that you guys live off of. The dog can be traced back to Indo-Europeans also, who domesticated wolves 18,000 years ago.
    Biology is not real? You do realize that if pygmies mate with pure Nordic people they have a 30-40% chance of producing infertile offspring, right? That is what happens with subspecies that are closely related, but just enough removed. It is the beginning of becoming seperate species. The pygmies are most like their ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago, having little interbreeding with outsiders. Denisovan’s and Neanderthals were not the same. Present populations have one or the other and sometimes both in the histories. Sub-Saharans do not. Different breeds of dogs are different but they are all dogs. Different races have different distributions of the “warrior gene”, fast and slow muscle twitch (man, Kenyans can run!) different reactions to medicines, even differences in food storage in the body. You “social” construct people are in denial of reality. You can protest hard science with social “science” but you cannot explain the evolutionary differences and influences or a host of very real physical differences with scientific facts that do not undermine your position.

    • You’re forgetting that cows were first domesticated in Africa, actually the descendant of that cattle strain is known as the Zebu cow, the Masai still use it as their main source of income. Africans did it thousands of years before anyone, so your claim is wrong

      • zebus are originally Indian.

      • Albert Wesker says:

        Don’t know about this, but if so it would have to be North African. Sub-saharan Africans, i.e. black, did not domesticate a single animal or plant species.

        • Up for debate surrounding domestication in North Africa, really, is the donkey. Dromedary Camels were domesticated in (present day) Arabia, dogs (even the ancient African breed, the Basenji) originally come from southeast asian or Chinese wolves (as evidenced by the phenotypic changes of the skull as wolf evolves into dog). North Africa *may* have had some type of native wild boar, or this may have bee introduced very early on by people in Mesopotamia/ the Near East. Yes, due to the Sahara desert, sub- Saharan africans do not have any native farmed animals (they have fully domesticated the guinea fowl, but only in the last thousand years or so). They also do not have protein rich crops that can be stored for long periods of time. With the plethora of native animals abound in Africa, it is surprising that sub Saharan Africans never harnessed a zebra to a plough or ridden one into battle (a feat proved possible by the English colonists. They made a hobby out of taming zebra to do a horse’s work). Maybe zebra were simply much wilder than the wild horses of the Asian steppes (which were first domesticated). The same question goes for cattle. Maybe African wild cattle were more vicious than Eurasian Aurochs. May there were no wild cattle in Africa. Maybe it has something to do with the Africans, they couldn’t corral breed, feed, or tame zebras or cape buffalo. I dunno. Its an interesting question, though.

        • No, sub- Saharan Africans did domesticate crops. They have Sorghum, Millet, Yams, and more than one type of “rice” (actually grass, more akin to “wild rice” of the Americas). What they didn’t have was native livestock, specifically draft power. Their crops were high in carbohydrates, and could not be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. Other people, such as the tribes of Papua New Guinea, also have the same problem; they have made use of the pig (introduced), and farm banana, taro, and sago palm, all of which are heavily dependent on the season (won’t grow in no rain, will drown in too much), require a lot of processing for not very much food, and (perhaps most importantly), contain little protein. The consumption of protein (especially animal protein), while a point of great contention, is often considered to be one of the causes of the explosion in brain size and function in early humans.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Wrong. Reference please. Perhaps I should have clarified: No animal or plant species was domesticated in sub-Saharan Africa prior to contact with people from other regions.

          • You’re totally right. Millet was first domesticated in Northern China

          • BigGaySteve says:

            No those are all the things whitey domesticated after he showed up. There is a reason Darwin said N____ walk upon diamonds not knowing their worth. You might want to look up DNA studies on mummies showing that they are more closely related to Europeans than the current population of Egypt. They basicly got Detrioted, detriot had the top public schools in the nation when it was 90+% white, those same buildings produce functional illiterates now.

          • dirk gently says:

            In the late 1960’s, when I was a child, Detroit was literally the richest city on the planet. The city was filled with mansions. Grand Boulevard is a stret which was literally lined with mile after mile of mansions. When we would go on vacation, even to the east coast, it was like going to a 2nd-world country, even around New York, as so much was run down or not well maintained compared to Detroit.

            Then , out of fear for their lives, almost all of the whites (except for those who have turned into wigger savages) left Detroit… You’ve got people who won’t even tell their landlord that the roof has a leak, or a pipe is leaking. Leaks in a building where the whether goes below freezing frequently is disaster. I used to think that the poverty in Detroit was from not having much. Now I see that the poverty is caused by utterly failing to even attempt preserve the value of major assets. It’s not laziness… it’s something else entirely.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            The houses habitat for humanity built for free in New Orleans got destroyed by hard partying in less than 10 years, and it doesn’t freeze there.

          • dirk gently says:

            Doesn’t surprise me. Northern blacks understand the concept of repairs and maintenance. VERY few of the blacks in Detroit are from families that lived in the north 50 years ago. Southern blacks are….frankly…savages. They live no differently than their distant relatives who are still in grass huts.

          • That quote is not from Darwin, it’s from the novel Birth of a Nation was based on. There is no evidence that ancient egypt fell due to race mixing, that’s just a fantasy of white nationalist retards (along with this one, who believes east asians are lactose tolerant and that Koko the Gorilla has a higher IQ than africans). Do you also think the ancient egyptians were nordic? Why did they depict themselves as darker than olive skinned north africans?

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Not Nordic but European, I guess you think Greeks are black. The Sumerians had statues with blond eyes. Leftists in CA are arguing that the Hispanic that raped an 8yo white girl to death and was seen on video tossing her body into a dumpster has a lower IQ than Koko, along with leftists arguing against cop killers getting death row.

          • They weren’t European, they made efforts to differentiate themselves from Europeans (but also black africans) and depicted themselves as even darker than north africans. Sumerians weren’t white either, and things like blue eyes or other colors in ancient art don’t necessarily mean they’re supposed to be a reflection of a natural feature (though europeans aren’t the only ones with blue eyes). Koko the Gorilla was given part of an IQ test for children or something along those lines. You are nuts if you actually think a gorilla could have an IQ in the 80’s or 90’s.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Even Warren Buffets son gave up trying to teach blacks farming methods ancient Rome used. He realized that they would only be able to plant if there was someone there smart enough to tell them what to do.
            A white with a 65IQ has major difficulty with daily living but a black with a the same IQ is an adult with the mind of an 11yo child.

          • How did Warren Buffet give up? Agriculture and animal husbandry were nearly universal in SS africa before colonialism. That’s where things like the widespread polygamy, the bantu expansion, the rates of lactose tolerance, the millions of people able to enslaved during the slave trade and more came from. You need to stop reading Rushton the autistic asiaphile’s “Race, Evolution, and Behavior: How Ice Age Climates are Responsible for All Racial Differences and Historical Variables”.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Please SS Africa was still at the point of picking berries but not knowing planting more bushes would give you more berries when whitey brought film cameras to record b/w movies.

          • No, you’re just a white nationalist turd who repeats “huhuh, them n*ggers was all just eatin berries and runnin around in the nude before the white man came” based on things like quotes from historical novels you think are from Darwin and autistic charlatans like Rushton. He atleast wasn’t stupid enough to claim lactose tolerance is a sign of “K” selection despite over 90% of east asians being lactose intolerant (and various african countries having much higher percentages.)

          • BigGaySteve says:

            There is no difference between Cargo Cultists and the vast majority of blacks.

      • TruthBeTold says:

        Anonymous is correct. The Zebu originally came from South Asia and was first domesticated in Southern Asia before it was introduced to Africa.

      • JGTThrasher says:

        Try again. Those came first from the middle east.

    • A few minor digressions from the larger issues at hand here, but maybe worth bringing up:

      1. According to mainstream archaeology and historical linguistics, even the earliest Indo-Europeans would have missed the domestication of the dog by more than ten thousand years.

      2. It is probably an oversimplification to claim that one population of humans was responsible for developing the dog from some static population of wolves that is genetically contiguous with the modern life form that is called “wolf.”

      3. There is evidence for the domestication of cattle in the Indian Subcontinent well ahead of Indo-European influences. The Indo-European descendants who came into South Asia were arguably much less “civilized” than the people who already inhabited the region.

      Of course, all these topics are rather fiercely contested, and most of the evidence—even what is used today in more widely accepted interpretations—has been used as leverage for someone’s political agenda at some point in time. Please be careful…

      Further reading:;

    • “You do realize that if pygmies mate with pure Nordic people they have a 30-40% chance of producing infertile offspring, right?”


    • “Biology is not real? You do realize that if pygmies mate with pure Nordic people they have a 30-40% chance of producing infertile offspring, right? ”

      You do realize that this is something you pulled out of your @ss and is something that has never been documented, right? Pygmies aren’t that genetically distinct (distance wise) from typical black africans. And here you go on a rant about others “denying reality”- not that much of the rest of your post is objectional, but you’re not exactly helping your case, you pathetic sperg.

  19. Fair Dinkum says:

    In the editor’s note preceding this article, we have a classic example of liberal creationism. Whether you’re talking about individuals or groups, people are not equal, nor will they ever be. Different human populations evolved both culturally and genetically to meet the demands of different environments, and those who insist that any genetic differences between them are at most trivial are in deep denial, even when they’re rich white kids at a prestigious Ivy League school.

    Egalitarianism is every bit as pseudo-scientific as eugenics.

  20. herby_spittin_spences says:

    It seems like the writer got a little lazy at the end of the article, realized they were late for their class, and concluded quickly before connecting the dots. However, ’tis a clear signal of ignorance to ignore the arguments the writer attempted to formulate simply because of their literary haste or by reactionary emotional impulses. It is absolutely apparent that variations in race predict a large amount of variations in humanity. Although many, not all, leading scholars would indeed say that there is “no biological basis of race,” they forget that all artificial taxonomy systems are arbitrary in some sense. They exist because there exist a large amount organisms possessing similar classes of traits, and it is easiest for humans to make sense of the world via classification. If we were to create a sub-species taxon, i.e. a classification more specific than “species,” for every species, including humans, this would likely defeat the purpose of having a classification system in the first place, as the gluttony of divisions would prove useless for practical purposes, let alone mind-boggling for a human too comprehend alone. From what I know, the genetic code of a human individual is about 99% similar to that of another human. We all fall into that “1%,” as it is that sole percentage which accounts for the great variety we observe in humanity. These variations are so “phenotypically” overt and obvious that we humans have not only noticed it, but developed a sub-species taxon to keep track of it all – race. Considering the ancient geographic isolation of the different races, it should be clear that certain traits can be correlated with race, even if there exist a myriad of traits shared between the races. That is all this author is saying – that various traits (even subtle psychological ones, which can indeed be imbedded in one’s genetic code) may be correlated with race. Specifically in the case of this author, the ability herd and domesticate was suggested to be correlated with the white race (and their colonialist tendencies by extension). Denying that there may exist variations in genes/behavior which are not and cannot be correlated with race, as some scholars have, is simply denying studying the issue to not provoke outrage (as this article has).

    Finally, I’m sick and tired of this use of the word “privilege.” Yes, it exists, we get it. Today, however, it’s used as a means of implicitly begging for handouts because 1. you’re too ashamed to outright say that you’re in need of help and can’t pick yourself up your feet/get yourself going, 2. you’re too lazy, or 3. you’re jumping on the latest fad generated by the social justice industry. You know who has privilege? Likely everyone who’s reading this article, because (I assume) most of you were born with eyes and a functioning brain, hence why you could read this comment. You want society to fix “structural racism?” Start with your own hypocrisy.

    For too long, society, the way it is currently structured, has made it too hard for disabled people to rise the ranks and become leaders in our social movements. Our society favors leaders who are able to see and think coherently without a psychological handicap. This is disgusting. I will not rest until mentally handicapped and blind people are able to rise the ranks of our local social justice chapters and lead our movements…

    …On second thought, in light of all this talk about privilege, you guys might’ve already beaten me to it. Stellar work, fellas!

    Everybody faces challenges. Get over it.

  21. TruthBeTold says:

    The first paragraph of the NewsWeek link:

    In 1950, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a statement asserting that all humans belong to the same species and that “race” is not a biological reality but a myth. This was a summary of the findings of an international panel of anthropologists, geneticists, sociologists, and psychologists.

    There was no science involved in this. It was simply a political statement. All the ‘science’ that followed was driven by Confirmation Bias; they were looking for evidence to prove they were right but they’re wrong.

    There are hummingbirds and there are ostriches.

    Race is a genetic imperative.

  22. Notwithstanding the undertones of race, your argument on societal development is frankly a load of simplifies claptrap. Using agriculture and domestication as a basis for a society’s success would be ridiculous if it wasn’t blatantly false. I urge you to read Guns, Germs and Steel, but also to consider that Western cultural dominance (not even taking into account the cultural hegemony of Islam in previous centuries) is a recent affair prompted in part by the highly competitive and divided nature of post-medieval Europe. You should take an anthropology or archaeology course to inform your opinion a bit more Mr. Kipling

    • Alright then, compare, side by side, the wealth, power, and success of historically agricultural and historically non- agricultural communities and get back to us.

  23. Albert Wesker says:

    Speaking as a biologist, it pains me to read the absurdities that ignoramuses write as if it were scientific truth. Let’s ignore whether this article said anything “offensive,” and instead focus on this: “The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category.” First of all, any scientist will tell you that “proof” is a “no-no” word in science. There is no proof, only increasing degrees of confidence in particular ideas. Second, both of the articles in the links do not provide even ONE reference for their
    statements of “fact.” That’s a big red flag for any scientist. Even more importantly, neither article provides a definition of the word they claim does not exist.
    The word “race” is simply a synonym for the taxonomic term subspecies. How does the dictionary define “subspecies?” Here is the definition from a recent edition
    of Webster’s collegiate dictionary:

    Subspecies n (1699): a category in biological classification that ranks immediately below a
    species and designates a population of a particular geographical region
    genetically distinguishable from other such populations of the same species and
    capable of interbreeding successfully with them where its range overlaps
    Human races: “check.”
    Very inexpensive personal genome services like 23&me can determine your race by a large
    number of ancestry informative markers (AIMS). The human population can be genetically distinguished into six broad racial categories that correspond very closely to the categories one would assign based on appearance. If you want to subdivide more finely, there are 20+ genetically distinguishable human populations (races). If you are mixed
    race, you can even see which chunks of your chromosomes came from which
    Race-deniers are very fond of stating that all people, regardless of “race” are 99.9%
    identical. Sounds impressive, but that figure is simply a reflection of how young the human species is. Any young species is bound to be very genetically similar. So what? It is well known that under intense selection, evolution occurs quite rapidly. It is called “punctuated equilibrium,” a term coined by the famous evolutionary biologist, and egalitarian,
    Stephen Jay Gould. We know evolution can occur rapidly by observing Man’s
    best friend. It is not widely reported but all breeds of dog are also 99.9% identical, but I doubt even the most delusional egalitarian would claim there is no significant difference between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane.
    The human species also evolved very quickly under intensive (self-imposed) selective pressure when a small population left Africa. In a very short period of time,humanity moved from the tropics of Africa to inhabit every biome on Earth. These vastly different climates imposed intense selective pressure that produced the different human races we see today. The human brain is the defining characteristic of our species. The notion that these variable selective pressures could not have affected our brain, and resulted in different average intelligences for different races, is beyond ridiculous.

    • JGTThrasher says:

      Sir, may I copy and paste this in other debates? I will give full credit, of course.

    • This, quite frankly, disgusts me to read. The arguments you give are the exact same given by ethenographists in the 20th century. I had really hoped that we had moved past this nonsense about “different average intelligences for different races” which is both blatantly racist and also biologically unviable, since the idea that as we dispersed geographically we rapidly evolved differences in intelligence is ridiculous.

      The general standards of communication and analytical thought that are selected for evolutionarily do not vary with trivial environmental differences like exposure to sunlight, which affects the superficial trait of skin color. The generally analytic, pattern-finding mode of thought is selected for regardless of the environment. The neurology supports this: you can’t see any difference between the brains of different races, just like you can’t see any differences between male and female brains despite the fact that they too have superficial physiological differences.

      The fact that this even needs to be stated makes me immensely sad. I suppose it speaks to the difficulties that science has (like any other institution or area of study) with standing outside of the (often poisonous) societal views of the time. Science is especially dangerous though, because we assume its objectivity despite the fact that hypothesis formation and interpretation of data (and sometimes the collection of data themselves) require the subjective input of the scientist. We saw this occur quite clearly with race when looking back at ethnography (and, not so far back, at your comment above), and it also occurs regularly with gender, supposed biological differences in mental functioning being used to justify actions like putting girls in lower math classes, etc. There is no categorical difference in our intelligence, only the differences in the “drip, drip, drip” of the socialization we each receive. To say that there is is both an incredibly harmful perpetuation/legitimization of systematic oppression, and also just plain incorrect.

      • Albert Wesker says:

        I notice the NY Times article you cite is from the year 2000, immediately after the human genome had been sequenced. A lot has been learned since then. I will point your more egregious errors.
        1) The evolution of humans into separate races does not require the multiregional hypothesis. As I pointed out, evolution can occur quite quickly under intense selection. Exhibit one: dogs. Exhibit two: humans.
        2) “you can’t see any difference between the brains of different races.” Wrong. Looking at just the three major races: East Asians have on average the largest brain size, followed closely by whites, and blacks have the smallest average brain size. Brain size is also correlated with intelligence (r=0.4).
        3) “Socialization is also more influential in most cases than whatever
        random, non-categorical variation exists in innate mental capacity;
        psychological and sociological research has supported this conclusion
        time and time again.” Wrong again, as the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study showed, black children raised by white parents develop IQs characteristic of their race, not their adoptive parents. This has also been shown for East Asian children (adopted by white parents), who have on average higher IQs than whites. If you are interested in learning more, which I suspect you are not, read
        Rushton, J. P., & Jensen, A.
        R. (2005). Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive
        ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11:235-294.
        Most experts in the field of psychometrics agree that the black white IQ gap is likely to be a combination of environment and genetics.
        You are correct that science does often have difficulty standing outside of the societal views of its time, as even some prominent scientists like Craig Venter buy into the popular myth that race is a social construct.
        I really wish that race differences in intelligence did not exist, as this would eliminate most global inequality, but unfortunately, Nature doesn’t give a damn about my preferences.

        • I like how you invoked Gould into the argument without even pointing out what a deceitful and ideologically driven man he was. He wasn’t merely an egalitarian, he was a hardened Marxist. Well done, nonetheless!

      • Albert Wesker says:

        Oh, btw, if you choose to respond, would you please answer the following mystery for me. Why is it that the (last I checked) the 17 poorest countries in the world (GDP per capita) are all sub-Saharan African and 31 of the 40 poorest countries in the world are sub-Saharan African. (Most of the other nine are Australoid countries.) Perhaps you could also explain why on a single island in the Western Hemisphere, Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic (primarily mixed race) and only 11% black has a GDP per capita that is eight times higher than its neighbor, Haiti, which is 95% black.

        • I read some interesting information on NatGeo that everyone carries Neanderthal genes except sub-Saharan Africans. Who knows if that’s the difference? The only Africans that carry these genes have Caucasian ancestry.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            I have wondered the same. For all we know the Neanderthal’s were very intelligent, though they apparently lacked the ability to form complex sounds, which is the basis of language. The combination of intelligence and language may be the key to what separates Africans from most other races.

          • No, the idea neanderthals contributed anything to eurasians i nthis way is insane. Neanderthals were human beings, and the brains of cro-magnons were identical in size to them, and brain size was larger throughout the world back then, including africa and australia.

            So until humans mixed with neanderthals, none of them were intelligent, but capable of language, and neanderthals vice versa. Does that really make sense to you? If you’re autistic, I guess.

            By the way, most africans have neanderthal ancestry through back migrations into africa.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Dude, you obviously have no clue. I will give my typical reply: references, please.

          • You have no clue.


            “Indeed, skeletal evidence from every inhabited continent suggests that our brains have become smaller in the past 10,000 to 20,000 years. How can we account for this seemingly scary statistic?”

            On Africa:


            “And their brains were not all that big. Boskop itself is a large skull, but it is a clear standout in the sample of ancient South African crania; other males range from 1350 to 1600 ml (these are documented by Henneberg and Steyn 1993). That is around the same as Upper Paleolithic Europeans and pre-Neolithic Chinese. LSA South Africans fit in with their contemporaries around the world.”

            Asselar Man, the oldest identifiably negroid skull and only several thousand years old:

            “The skull is high and the cranial capacity approximately 1520 c.c.”


            “It is large and robust, with a cranial capacity estimated at 1450 cubic centimetres, larger than most modern humans.”



            ” With an endocranial capacity of 1450 ml it is much higher than the average of 1300 mm for modern skulls.”

            And regarding back migrations, I can’t find more comprehensive references offhand, but it has even been found in the isolated, stone age khoisan people:

          • Albert Wesker says:

            I was referring to your implication that Eurasians carry no Neanderthal DNA, which is clearly false. Perhaps that is not what you meant. I am aware that some ancient populations did have bigger brains than modern humans, but not that any African populations carry Neanderthal DNA, via back migrations. If true, it must be very slight.

          • I didn’t make that claim, I was talking about africans carrying neanderthal DNA. Most do, and it isn’t really any less slight than what is often found in eurasians. Europeans and west asians have neanderthal ancestry in the single digits (it’s usually been given at 5% or less), and recent evidence has shown asians are a third neanderthal. And if you want to claim that can be linked to their higher intelligence (which is debatable that they’re much higher than whites, if at all), proto-mongoloid derived populations like the Ainu and native americans that variously have traits more in common with neanderthals are likely no less, or possibly even higher in neanderthal ancestry, especially given their features. Ancient populations worldwide had larger brains, and were of similar size. It was not just some populations.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Asians are one-third Neanderthal? Do you have a reference for that?

          • Maybe not a third, but close, upwards of about 20%. East asians have much more neanderthal ancestry than europeans, going by most recent estimates:


            It does not give figures for ainu and native americans, but ainu are a proto-mongoloid remnant population, and native americans share many physical characteristics with them (aside from the overwhelming lack of body and facial hair.)

            There is no reason whatsoever to think neanderthals contributed anything cognitively to modern humans.

        • Here are the factors that created those differences in GDP, simply speaking: First, stochastic forces, maybe differing resources. Second, moral tribalism, specifically imperialism and racism. It seems to me incredibly ironic that you’re using economic inequality to justify a categorical difference in intelligence among races, when it is so clearly due to the sociological systems of our global society. I mean all the African Americans in this country weren’t actually oppressed, of course, it was just their lower intelligence gradually expressing itself through the course of history…??? Not all sociological, psychological, and economic phenomena are best explained by biology, although I can understand a bias towards one’s own field, this is a fallacy of reduction that leads to a simultaneously incorrect and racist result

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Your response is comparable to what I have previously seen, i.e. vague. Africa is a very resource-rich continent. So it is just “stochastic” that virtually every country in sub-Saharan Africa is poor? Is there even one example of a predominantly black country that could be considered prosperous? Could you be more specific about imperialism? I have not investigated this, but I have heard it said that the least colonized countries of Africa are the poorest ones today. And racism. Do whites project this racism from an ocean away? What about all the financial aid and other assistance the West provides to Africa? Is that racism? Yes, blacks were oppressed for a long time in this country, but the majority live far better here than in Africa. Also, we have had a half a century of racial preferences in education and employment in the U.S. and it has done nothing to erase the IQ gap. And what was the excuse for Haiti, again?

          • I will try to be more specific in answering each one of your questions. No it is not “stochastic” that sub-Saharan Africa is, on average, less economically developed (there are still, of course, economically successful countries in this region, but honestly that besides the point as I see it). This inequality is the result of very non-random exploitation. What I meant was that whatever the initial factors were that created some difference in power that could be exploited were stochastic, to use the example the author of the article does, the arbitrary fact of who domesticated cattle first (although the author also seems to suggest, and you would probably agree, that this was not a stochastic force but rather was a result of a difference in intelligence that had somehow already evolved, which you already know I find ridiculous). As for Imperialism, I suggest that you take some time to investigate it, because it is necessary for and central to any real understanding of this data your using to justify a difference in intelligence among different races. To say that the most colonized countries in Africa are also the most prosperous is, (A) not close to being categorically true, and (B) even in the cases when it is, it is a drastic oversimplification/understatement of the damages that European Imperialism inflicted. While it is true that it may have appeared, from a European economic standard, that colonization boosted African economies, it always boosted the respective European economies more, that is, the initial power differential was used to promote and enforce very very unequal economic benefits to both sides, and ensure the continued exploitation of the colonized area. The economics of it are somewhat analogous to wage slavery in this regard. But economics are only a very shortsighted lens with which to view imperialism, since the worst negative effects came from the disintegration of the African social structure it caused, which I could spend a while elaborating but will instead suggest that you investigate this on your own so you can hear about it in more detail, and from people other than me,. And it’s no coincidence that ethnography developed in conjunction with oppressive imperialist structures… So in short, yes, whites can “project” racism from an ocean away, in many ways, especially in our current globalized society. As for the U.S., are you seriously arguing that a half a century of affirmative action is supposed to make a big dent in (A) all the harms done by the institution of slavery (lasting 250 years, or five times as long), which are frankly uncountable and (B) the incredible amount of unconscious (or in your case quite conscious) bias against people of color. Again, you seem to need to attribute any demographic difference to an innate basis which is so clearly unjustifiable. And as for Haiti, if you knew anything about the history of conflict (and American intervention) in that region you would not be making this argument, so I suggest that’s another topic you investigate.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Well, it looks like we have reached an impasse. You have left most of my important points unanswered. I guess at this point, you need to ask yourself if there is anything that could change your mind. There are things that could change my mind. For example, another adoption study of black children into white or Asian families in which the black children developed IQs similar to their adoptive parents, or the creation of a single majority black country in which the majority of blacks enjoyed what we in the United States (or Europe or East Asia) would consider a decent standard of living. Heck, I might even settle for a SINGLE black Nobel laureate in one of the sciences (No, not a peace prize).
            I am afraid that arguments based on doing my own research, e.g. on Haiti, don’t hold much wait. I don’t want to be rude, but I can’t resist summarizing your comment as did Fozzi, T:
            Exploitation…Imperialism…wage slavery…disintegration of African social structure…oppressive imperialist structures…American intervention in Haiti…blah, blah, blah.
            I know you will think me a simpleton, but in situations like this, I tend to favor Occam’s razor. If there is a simple explanation to explain all the data, it is probably the correct one. The Ptolemaic model of the universe (at least in the past) explained the positions of the stars and planets just as well as the Copernican model. The problem was that it was ridiculously complex.

          • Yes, I agree that we have reached an impass, but come on, there’s no need to be rude, I never once tried to delegitimize your arguments will a “blah, blah, blah” not to mention the kinds of massively relevant historical events your discounting so casually. And I would hardly call just a simple look at racial history ad hoc. As for the Minnesota IQ test, the authors themselves admitted they should have been agnostic about categorical differences because of three factors: 1. being adopted by socioeconomically more fortunate parents did benefit those children, just not as much as might be expected, 2. there is an adoption bias, since there are other factors that might be at play, and most importantly 3. that the children’s race was very visible, and so environmental effects were not even close to being controlled for

          • Albert Wesker says:

            Again, ask yourself, is there anything that can change your mind. If not, Your belief on this subject is not rational, but religion, particularly since you cling to it in spite of so much evidence to the contrary. That is the hallmark of religious belief.

      • And I hate these dorky ska revival bands but the damn thing just won’t die

      • BigGaySteve says:

        People like you would rather do door to door raw milk raids than admit that the queen of England drank raw milk every day of her life but a Nigerian prince couldn’t. Asians and whites evolved to build/plan/store in order to survive winters with no food growing, with stupid and lazy people dying off.
        R style evolution is outbreeding disease & running faster than others. If equality existed somewhere in the world there would be a school with Asian girls as violent and stupid as black boys & people could copy it. The closest to closing the non asian minority achievement gap was before 137 teachers got arrested in Atlanta.

      • Argument by disgust is a (perhaps new) fallacy.

        • Fair enough, although I hope that I provided some non-fallacious arguments after the first sentence… Thanks for focusing on the intellectual meat of the argument though…

          • Unfortunately, there wasn’t any intellectual meat. It was an effort to substitute quantity for quality.

      • Reader’s Digest version of your post:

        Your comment makes me mad.

        Your comment is RACIST.

        Your comment makes me sad.

        You can’t see differences between brains of different races and the differences you can see are superficial.

        Socialization, perpetuation/legitimization systemic oppression, blah blah blah.

      • ContraStercorum says:

        You clearly think that some of your assertions suggest an acquaintance with current knowledge in the areas under discussion. Actually they do the opposite. Some examples:
        (1) “…the idea that as we dispersed geographically we rapidly evolved
        differences in intelligence is ridiculous, and there is relatively
        strong scientific consensus against the theory of human evolution that
        makes this conclusion possible,…” BS! I suggest you read some of the literature on haplotyping of human populations and prehistoric human remains. Separated human populations have been evolving responses to different environments for tens of thousands of years and all recent evidence suggests that such evolution has been accelerating. Examples include lactose tolerance, changes in digestive processes and fat storage, the usual and actually not so superficial evolution of different skin hair and eye colors, and – as most are coming to accept – cognitive and behavioral differences. Much racial differentiation has occurred in only the past ten thousand years or so. Nigeria’s Igbo/Ibo – “the “Jews of Africa” – give an example of how a technological breakthrough some five thousand years ago put enormous culturally-driven selective pressure for intelligence in a culturally isolated sub-Saharan African population. Other examples abound, e.g. Ashkenaz Jews and Southeast Asians. Human evolution is not somehow different or special. Darwin recognized this when he wrote the companion volumes “The Descent of Man” and “Sexual Selection”. He was not so subtly suggesting that human evolution had recently been and was still being driven at an exceptional pace by sexual and what I like to call cultural evolution.

        (2) “…you can’t see any difference between the brains of different races, just like you can’t see any differences between male and female brains
        despite the fact that they too have superficial physiological
        differences….” BS! On average sub-Saharan Africans have significantly smaller brain volume than, e.g., Europeans. Females likewise have smaller brains on average than males and factors such as different body size do not totally explain this. There are also racial differences in nerve conductivity and in certain alleles associated with the production of fatty acids important in neuro-transmission. The differences in gross brain anatomy between males and females are such that a trained anatomist can distinguish a male brain from a female one as easily as he can distinguish male and female skeletons. Recent PET scan studies suggest that male and female brains actually operate differently on average.

        (2) “…Socialization is also more influential in most cases than whatever
        random, non-categorical variation exists in innate mental capacity;
        psychological and sociological research has supported this conclusion
        time and time again…” BS! This is the exact opposite of the facts. Intelligence as measured by scores on IQ tests is highly heritable. Replications of identical twin studies ad nauseam have demonstrated this to the point where polls of specialists consistently show most researchers are willing to accept that intelligence as measured by IQ is 60% to 80% determined by heredity. Racial differences in IQ persist across generations and independent of parental success. Negro children of middle class Negro parents actually score worse on IQ type tests than White children of poor White parents. The 1 sd difference between average White IQ scores and average Negro IQ scores in the United States has persisted over a century and has been maintained even when outside forces seem to be increasing scores on some IQ test batteries, e.g., the soi disant “Flynn Effect”. The identical 1 sdf difference is seen in IQ testing, SAT testing, ACT testing, AFQT tests, and longitudinal studies of American high school graduates. I’d also pint out that these various test scores correlate very highly with one another and with some conceptually obvious correlates of a naive understanding of what intelligence is, e.g., subjective evaluations of whether acquaintances are “smart” or “stupid”, academic success, social success, likely biological correlates of intelligence such as brain function measured by PET scans and other such. All this suggesting that IQ as a measure of intelligence (however defined) has exceptionally high construct validity.

      • Albert Wesker says:

        AVStone, I hope you don’t retreat from this debate. As a scientist, I truly do wish to know the truth. If you have any rebuttals to what I have said, please let me hear them. And feel free to consult with “experts.” If all human races are truly equally intelligent, I want to know; and more importantly, I want to know what I can do to get them to show it.

        • I respect that a lot, that scientific pursuit of knowledge, and I do not want to retreat from the debate. I regret saying that I was disgusted by your original comment, I just disagree with it (rather strongly) but it was well thought out. I just happen to think it’s very easy to confuse sociological effects with innate biology (see response to your GDP comment.) I mean, I don’t want to seem dogmatic, I know there are researchers, like Dr. J. Philippe Rushton, who share your view that race should be conceived of biologically and neurologically, maybe you even got this view directly from reading their work. But just know that even in the biological community they are in the vast minority, even excluding all the intelligent social scientists who also study issues of race and conclude that social structures are vastly more influential than biology in determining the outcomes of various societies of different races.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            It would incorrect to conclude that the majority, let alone vast majority,of biologists, or any other group for that matter, believe that race is not biological. Just look what happens to race-realists like James Watson when they get careless and let slip what they really believe. I think you can probably get a sense of the actual numbers just from reading the comments on this article. As I mentioned, a survey of experts in the field of psychometrics agree that the black-white IQ gap is a combination of environment and genes. I read a book by one such expert, Earl Hunt, called Human Intelligence. He tried his best to be diplomatic about the issue, but finally had to say that the notion that the black-white IQ gap was 100% environmental is untenable. I have read a fair bit on the subject, though it is not directly related to my own field of research. First off, there seems to be a consensus among phychometricians that IQ is about 80% heritable by the time a person reaches adulthood, i.e genetics exert a larger effect in adults than children. Thus, it is certainly plausible (to say the least) that a portion of the IQ gap is genetic. Rushton and Jensen provide substantial additional evidence that makes the case for a genetic explanation somewhere between strong and overwhelming. Combine this with the fact that there is no biological (or other reason) to expect that different human populations separated for tens of thousands of years in their evolution should have necessarily developed identical intelligences. If you can come up with one, please let me know.

      • The general standards of communication and analytical thought that are selected for evolutionarily do not vary with trivial environmental differences like exposure to sunlight, which affects the superficial trait of skin color.

        Intelligence consumes a lot of energy. Thinking uses a lot of energy. Intelligence is not an unalloyed good, so there may be selection pressures against intelligence, which means that intelligence between populations will likely vary depending on whether the environment has more of the factors where intelligence will be a benefit or more factors where intelligence will divert resources from developing other characteristics.

        And given the radically different environments humans lived in, there were likely to be different pressures on intelligence, and even perhaps on type of intelligence (e.g. more predators means more improvisational ability, long hard winters = more long-term planning skills).

        • I recognize that intelligence is not an unalloyed good, I just disagree (and so do a great deal of biologists) that, once we evolved the generally high level of human intelligence, with which we were able to form societies and culture, these environmental pressures were strong enough to play a very formative role.

      • Wow, jujst wow.
        I can’t even.
        Idiot much?

        You sound as ignorant and uneducated as the editorial board member(s) who wrote the ignorant preface attempting to torpedo an extremely well-thought out article.

      • And your old Marxist arguments are from the early 1800’s. And it’s only because you’re a marxist idiot that you object to what Wesker wrote.

      • John Fuerst says:

        “The neurology supports this: you can’t see any difference between the brains of different races…”

        Oh Really? And this is why “A new wrinkle: Geometry of brain’s outer surface correlates with genetic heritage” reports:

        “Four continental populations were used as ancestral references: European, West African, East Asian and Native American. The metrics for summarizing genetic ancestry in each ancestral component were standardized as proportions ranging from 0 to 100 percent.

        “We looked to see how well we could predict how much genetic ancestry they had from Africa, Europe and so forth,” said study co-author Terry Jernigan, PhD, professor of cognitive science, psychiatry and radiology, adding that cortex differences between various lineages were focused in certain areas. “There were various systematic differences, particularly in the folding and gyrification patterns of the cortex,” said Jernigan, also director of the university’s Center for Human Development. “Those patterns were quite strongly reflective of genetic ancestry.”

        Oh, but I forgot, human races are unreal. One can only see difference between the brains of different “continental populations”/”ancestral lineage[s]”.

    • I wonder what the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore would say if they read that article…

    • Lev Bronshtein says:

      Hey, we’re all the same, but diversity!!

    • Protective stupidity, indeed.

    • Speaking as a physicist/mathematician, I notice that you’ve gone out of your way to select a definition that exactly coincides with your [racist] agenda (your bigotry being clearly proven by your later comments in this thread).

      I also find it completely implausible that a biologist would quote Webster’s dictionary and not the canonical taxonomical text. Nice try though.

      For anyone who wants a real definition of what a subspecies is (and you’ll see that it does not include race, although it shouldn’t matter either way if it did):

      • Albert Wesker says:

        ” the canonical taxonomical text?” What the hell is that?! Please tell me. I would love to know. Regarding definitions, I have never found the dictionary to be incorrect regarding scientific terms (or anything else), probably because the authors of the dictionary consult, hmm, maybe scientists? The link you provide gives a definition of subspecies that is less specific than mine. The definition of race is not even included. As a physicist/mathematician (is that past the high school level?), perhaps you should stick with what you know.

    • John Fuerst says:

      Just to note…

      The author mentions “race” once in the article:

      “It seems that in the recent debates about race, for example, there are really two questions jockeying for the same airspace”.

      He then goes on to discuss human biological diversity, never claiming that commonly socially delineated human racial divisions correspond with biological ones. For his argument, it’s sufficient that groups commonly called races differ in traits owing to selection and drift (evolution). Whether or not those groups correspond with biological races, given some definition thereof, is a point irrelevant…

      “Subspecies n (1699)…If you want to subdivide more finely, there are 20+ genetically distinguishable human populations (races).”

      Where does the 1699 come from? It’s commonly said that Friedrich Ehrhart was the first natural historian to employ the term (in the 1780s) — prior to the late 1700s the term “variety” was used. And (Linnaeus’s) varieties were thought to be environmentally induced deviations of a species type.

      Whatever the case, “race” was never generally equated with “subspecies” in the sense of taxa assigned to the category immediately below species. The term always generally had/has a broader meaning, one which (often) included species and includes infra-subspecific lineages e.g., “local races”. The latter is what allows for nested classifications: for example Buffon had a European race nested within a White one, etc. This situation would be impossible if race was equaled with taxonomic subspecies, since one can not assign divisions and subdivisions of that — your finely divided populations — to the same taxonomic category, no?

      • Albert Wesker says:

        I don’t know where the 1699 date comes from. John Ray was the first to give us our essentially modern definition of species in his 1686 book, The History of Plants (sounds like a real page turner). I would not be surprised if the term subspecies appeared shortly thereafter.
        When I first heard the claim that human races don’t exist, I did a fair bit of research into the subject and I have seen from several sources that race and subspecies are synonymous. I am not sure it is all that important, as it comes down to semantics. I seriously doubt race-deniers would be any happier with the term subspecies.

      • Allen Taylor Garvin says:

        OED tells me the 1699 cite is from William Damper’s Voyage to New Holland: “There are four sorts of these long leg’d Fowls … as so many sub-species of the same kind”. Available on Google Books here:

    • Jesse_from_Sweden says:

      Science is funny when it comes to certain areas, especially when seen from a historical perspective.

      During the “dark ages”, certain science was banned by then ruling ideologies of the catholic church (for Europe, for other places, there were other ideologies).
      This meant that it was forbidden to research certain things and very forbidden to make claims based on science that contradicted what the ideology and dogma of the time was holding as divine truth.
      The most known example is probably Galileo and the Sun-rotating-around-the-Earth-or-the-other-way-around.
      We like to think that we are more enlightened these days and point fingers at the Galileo and the church and laugh about how ignorant they were.

      Ironically, nothing has changed really. Yes, the ruling ideology has changed and the dogma that goes with it, which in turns affects what is considered divine truth, but the way that it works, that some things are “holy” and may not be challenged, is still the same.
      The most obvious one today is that of human race.
      There was a lot of science into human race before world war II, but after the war, some made claims that it was this “racism” that was the cause of the horrors committed in Nazi-occupied areas (nevermind that the most racist state was probably the USA, and the Nurnberg-laws against jews had taken much from the Jim Crow-laws).
      So the United Nations made the statement that there were no such thing as human race, we are all equal and we are all the same.
      This statement was purely political and had no scientific basis in it whatsoever.
      But the United Nations was/is the ruling authority, and that political statement on how the world should look holds the same value, but politically and scientifically, as something said in some holy book written centuries ago by someone who had no knowledge of the relevant science in what they were making blanket statements about.

      So with the very same limits to what is considered legitimate science and what is considered heresy, we now have martyrs like James Watson to equal that of Galileo.
      Both were brilliant scientists who were at the very top of their field, and both were punished for making heretical statements against dogma spouted by those in power.

      And the race-question and the Sun-revolving-question are both similar in that they are a case of science vs ideology. Anyone that bothers to really get into the science of it will quickly see which is real and which is not. But science is not as influential in modern society as we think it is, religion, ideology, politics etc, are still exerting their influence over science, and the mightiest weapons it wields is the power to brand people as heretics, which the populace should scorn and mock and make their works into something that people should criticize without reading, and prevent such heretical thoughts from taking root.

      • John Stevens says:

        “During the “dark ages”, certain science was banned by then ruling ideologies of the catholic church (for Europe, for other places, there were other ideologies).”

        That turns out to be a myth propagated by atheists.

        The true story of Galileo is much more interesting, and includes Galileo being praised by the Pope. A contemporary of Galileo, a Protestant, working for the Church, was advancing much more radical theories than Galileo’s (turns out Galileo’s theory had some major flaws in it), and this Protestant wasn’t persecuted, wasn’t fired, wasn’t even questioned about his work.

        The Church has been a patron of science almost from the beginning.

        “This meant that it was forbidden to research certain things and very forbidden to make claims based on science that contradicted what the ideology and dogma of the time was holding as divine truth.”

        Nope. The truth is that the Church, where it held temporal power, would punish you for trying to draw theological conclusions from scientific theories where said theories were contrary to dogma.

        Do science, and just science, and the Church would probably give you money and praise your work. Insist on doing something sinful (like turning a method of investigation into a belief system), and the Church had a problem with you.

        Sadly, there are still people who want to misuse science by using it as a belief system.

        “The most known example is probably Galileo and the Sun-rotating-around-the-Earth-or-the-other-way-around.”

        That is one of those lies that people believe that just isn’t true. Galileo got into trouble with the Church because he tried to claim the authority to make theological claims based on his work.

        Before he got into trouble, he dedicated his work to the Pope, the Pope praised him for it and encouraged him.

        Sadly, Galileo was a nasty, mean and rude, syncophantic towards his superiors, arrogant and haughty to his peers, and just plain cruel to his inferiors. He did not brook disagreement from other scientists, and this contributed to his errors and the results of them. Think: the AGW controversy, except with the power of a Monarch, and you’ll get a rough picture.

    • MAGA Knight Leo says:

      Sure. And I found the article as written to be quite plausible; given the geographic and local zoological differences, even minor variations in human traits could be magnified to produce profoundly different results.
      That said, I’d say it would be tough to determine – to any reliable extent – how much of the difference in societal development was due to genetic factors. Agree?

    • John Stevens says:

      A reasoned argument about race. That’s like finding a diamond in a sewer.

      Two thumbs up!

  24. Lt. Greyman, NVA says:

    As a Pharmacist, I understand that blood products, various medications, rejection factors and anti-bodies and vaccines react differently to various races. By accepting the idea that “race is a social construct” I would be condemning a large percentage of patients to death or shorter life through “Medical misadventure”. Not through ignorance, but through palliative doublethink.

    This seems acceptable to the college Liberal mind. Is Egalitarianism so important to them that they will force doublethink on everyone to force these conclusions?

    Every day more and more examples of genetic differences between Africans and Whites are found. In point of fact, the differences have been quantified. The differences between a White and a African is more than the difference between a Orangutan and a Chimpanzee. In genetic terms, a species is a sub-species when the genetic difference is aprox 0.025% (though in some sub-species of birds it is even closer). The distance between Africans and Whites is ten times that distance or 0.25%.

    • “The differences between a White and a African is more than the difference between a Orangutan and a Chimpanzee.” –This is totally false according to a wealth of scientific evidence.

      • You mean left wing hacks who want to keep their jobs, kind of like the putz who wrote the apology for the article.

      • BigGaySteve says:

        Yea because Coco the sign language gorilla has a higher IQ using g weighted testing than the average for any sub Sahara nation. But people like you threw poo at Nobel prize winner for discovering DNA Dr James Watson when he repeated what he and Crick said decades earlier.

    • Albert Wesker says:

      I am afraid your numbers are way off.

      • Lt. Greyman, NVA says:

        Au Contraire!
        Please see: ( ) for Footnoted Data ). Please note that the orangutan/Chimp distance is given in the book. Further Distance related studies are here: (“Tiny genetic differences have huge consequences,”, Jan. 19, 2008).

        Quote: The statement will therefore be true of any population where the genetic distance, “FST,” between it and Bantus is greater than 0.25%; even if the “FST”
        of the population is less than 0.25%, the statement will still be true
        of a percentage of the population, which will increase with its “FST” to the Bantus. (Salter, 2003, pp. 38, 45, 46, 64). Relatedness, r, = (½)n, where “n” is the number of generations between two related people. (Salter, 2003,
        p. 38). For a parent and his child, n=1 so r = ½. Kinship, f = r/2
        (Salter, p. 45), so your kinship to your child is ¼. The local kinship
        coefficient, fo = FST + (1 – FST)[ –1/(2N – 1)], where “FST”
        is the genetic distance or variance and “N” is the number of people in
        the population. (Salter, p. 46). If the population, N, is large, then –
        1/(2N – 1) will be close to zero and fo ≈ FST.

        Here is the Money Quote: “”

        Now let’s see how taxonomists have classified Neanderthals. Until the 1960s, Neanderthals were classified as Homo neanderthalensis, a different species from us, Homo sapiens. But the genetic distance between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis (<0.08%) is less than the genetic distance between the two chimpanzee species (0.103). Today, Neanderthals are classified as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a sub-species of our species, while we are another sub-species, Homo sapiens sapiens.
        The genetic distance between (sub-Saharan) Africans and Eurasians
        (0.2%) is more than twice the genetic distance between living humans and
        Neanderthals (0.08%) so, at the very least, Africans should be classified as a sub-species, Homo sapiens africanus and Eurasians as another sub-species, Homo sapiens eurasianensis.

        Finally, the genetic distance between Homo sapiens and Homo erectus is estimated as 0.170 (mean given as 0.19), 25
        about the same as the genetic distance between the Bantu Africans and
        the Eskimos, but the genetic distance between living Africans and
        Eurasians is 0.23 (Table 7-1, p. 45). Thus, Homo sapiens is more closely related to Homo erectus than Eurasians are to sub-Saharan Africans. Either erectus should be reclassified as Homo sapiens erectus or sub-Saharan Africans should be reclassified as Homo africanus.

        Thanks for playing…Albert.

  25. What exactly is “white privilege”?

    According to the political correct leftwing viewpoint: “white privilege” reflects unfair cultural advantages conferred by five centuries of oppression of third world peoples by the European people as the cruel and greedy whites migrated around the world in their quest for colonial expansion, wealth, and trade. This view holds that there are no innate biological differences between whites and other ethnoracial groups in terms of their general mental abilities. This view predicts that as educational environments are made more equal, that blacks and Hispanics will become more high achieving and perform as well as whites, and that Asians will become less high achieving and perform as poorly as whites.

    According to the racist rightwing viewpoint: “white privilege” reflects innate biological advantage conferred by the fact that white people tend on average to be significantly more intelligent than black Africans and Native Americans and that this difference in average mental ability is the key factor enabling whites to be more powerful and successful. In a similar fashion, this racist viewpoint sees the higher socioeconomic status of other wealthy and powerful ethnoracial groups (e.g. East Asians, Jews, and high caste Asian Indians) as also mainly a result of higher innate IQ levels.

    • If this is multiple choice, I chose B.

    • Man with Axe says:

      Why is it racist (the worst possible insult) to argue that the races have different genetic endowments, whether of intelligence or any other characteristic? Either it’s true or it’s false, but why is it immoral to even consider the possibility that it’s true?

      • If you believe racial IQ differences are due to environmental differences (cultural differences, effect of discrimination, etc.) then you are not racist.

        If you believe racial IQ differences are in any significant way due to genetic differences, then you are a racist. Check out the dictionary definitions of racism. Also most people consider it to be racist.

        Problem is, it is quite probably true that racial differences in IQ are mostly due to genetic differences. So therefore believing in the truth is racist.

        Political correctness is sort of like a religion. You are supposed to pretend to devoutly believe that blacks are on average no less intelligent than whites and that Jews and Chinese-Americans are no more intelligent than gentile whites–even though all the social-scientific evidence (test scores, admission to elite schools, career success, income and wealth, brain size data etc) says otherwise.

        Calling someone a racist is sort of like calling someone a heretic, since racists are violating the central doctrine of the reigning religion of Western society–i.e. Political Correct Boasian equalitarianism.

        • Man with Axe says:

          I think I agree with you in substance. There are races who are different from each other in many respects. For example, blacks tend to be darker than whites. There are obvious differences in various physical abilities of the races, which only an ideologue would deny. For example, virtually every world-class sprinter (maybe 95%) since 1936 has been black, of western African descent, some from the US, Canada, England, or from the West Indies, but virtually all black.

          Similarly, as you suggest, racial groups have different endowments of virtually every human characteristic, including intelligence. To deny this is to be willfully ignorant.

          But is it “racist” to say so? I’m going to disagree with you on what that word means. To me it’s only racist to make more of racial differences than is warranted. For example, it would be racist to suggest that black votes should not count for as much as white votes because of some inherent racial differences, or that a particular black or white person should be judged by the characteristics of his group. But telling the truth cannot be, in and of itself, racist, just because that truth recognizes racial difference.

          • Its okay to say that a person who has Asian racial features is very likely to have a certain biological makeup that makes him unable to metabolize alcohol. Its only fair to assume that if he does, in fact, have this biological makeup, then he probably won’t be very fun to take on a pub crawl. However it is the worst sort of racism to refuse to consider him for companionship on a pub crawl, purely because you assume he *does* have that particular genetic makeup. Until you ask him, you won’t know how he does with alcohol. Speculate all you want. infer from statistics and scientific data. But you cannot act on any assumptions until you know for sure.

            Likewise, a pasty white, green eyed, narrow nosed person with flaming red hair and freckles is 20% more likely than a person with Asian racial features to be allergic to bees. It is okay to know this fact. It is okay to speculate on whether or not this person is, in fact, allergic to bees. It is not okay to refuse to consider him for a job at an apiary.

          • Man with Axe says:

            I agree with your general point. But suppose that the government has a law that forbids testing to see if the beekeeper applicants are allergic to bees. You have to hire either the Asian person or the Irish person. Everything else being equal, which one should you hire?

          • Honestly, it depends. Not bee allergy (or alcohol tolerance) test is really required. You don’t know, so ask. Ask the Scottish person if he is allergic to bees. Ask the Asian about his alcohol tolerance. This isn’t just common sense, it is in in the interest of safety as well. As for who I would hire, I’d look at the applications closely. Who has more experience? relevant education? a better personal statement? a better cover letter? That is what determines who I would hire.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            NYC has several firefighters that can’t fight fires.”

            He’s a firefighter in name only. Michael D. Johnson won’t fight fires. Instead, he stays on the sidelines as his Engine Company 257 colleagues rush into burning buildings, FDNY insiders told The Post.

            Nicknamed “Tragic Johnson” by the rank and file, he’s managed to evade the smoke and flames several times since joining the Canarsie, Brooklyn, firehouse last year, sources confirmed.

            “To have a guy that you know to be afraid is not going to be there for you when you need him to be — it’s frightening,” said one FDNY source.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Really 85 Asians are suing Harvard now because having a perfect SAT score is less likely to get them in than being black with only being smart enough to put their name & address correctly. They paid black Harvard students for copies of their educational records. But yea the worse thing that could happen to them is not to go drinking with you.

          • Its okay to know, its okay to guess, its not okay to assume

          • Small nit:The runners and sprinters aren’t descended from west africans, they are descended from east africans… primarilly Kenya.

          • Man with Axe says:

            You are thinking of the distance runners, marathons and such. The sprinters are exclusively of West African descent. The slaves that were brought to the western hemisphere did not come from East Africa.

        • Are you claiming that test scores, income, career success, etc. is a direct reflection of intelligence?
          To the left wing: There exists a systematic oppression of blacks that lead them to lower rates of success and elite school admissions, etc.
          To the right wing: Because blacks are less successful and have lower rates of admissions, etc. they must be less intelligent than whites.

          Neither is proven to be true, but one is racist and one isn’t.

          • “Are you claiming that test scores, income, career success, etc. is a direct reflection of intelligence?”

            Duh…yes, of course that is what I am claiming. IQ tests are tests specifically designed for measuring general intelligence, since blacks score significantly lower (about one standard deviation lower) than whites, then that implies that blacks are on average significantly less intelligent. Since Jews and Asians score significantly higher on IQ tests then that implies they are significantly more intelligent. How hard is that to understand??? And of course income and career success closely parallels test score and scholastic success. Also blacks tend to have smaller brains, specifically a smaller cerebral cortex–about one standard deviation smaller than whites (see recent article from Duke University by Isamah et al Variability Frontotemporal Brain Structure…2010 PLoS One). Brain size and cerebral cortex size correlates with IQ and is strongly heritable (i.e. controlled by genetics). Also lower IQ is associated with higher rates of schizophrenia and higher rates of violent crime. Blacks have about 3 fold higher rates of schizophrenia and about 5 to 8 fold higher rates of violent crime. It all makes sense once you stop believing in the false Boasian doctrine of racial equality.

          • It’s not that I didn’t understand what you were trying to say, but thank you for showing the world that you align with the racist belief that Blacks are scoring lower simply because they are “less intelligent”. Did you ever consider that lower scores and scholastic success isn’t necessarily based solely on intelligence but on many other factors, including their upbringing, culture, economic status, neighborhood schools, etc. I know some pretty stupid people who have very successful careers. There is no true correlation between one and the other. You should probably look up the history of phrenology if you truly think you are right, which by the way is a pseudoscience, not a true science.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Even Coco the sign language gorilla scored higher on IQ tests than the average for most sub Sahara nations. On the Journal of Blacks in Higher EDU main page it has a graphic that shows blacks from the richest families earning over $200,000 per year have an average SAT of 981 while the poorest whites from families earning under $20,000 a year average 978. That means that there is almost no difference from the smartest blacks and the worst white trash. Of course richer whites score higher and poorer blacks lower, but that’s because without affirmative action life is an IQ test. Gee should I take a 500%+ APR payday loan for a weekend vacation or stay home= IQ test.

          • you’re on a roll

          • First of all, the SATs is a test that requires preparation, and IQ tests do not. Don’t confuse the two. The same source you pointed to (JBHE) also shows other statistics and reasons explaining the scoring gap between blacks and whites, which includes lower black enrollment in honors and AP subjects, stereotype vulnerability, social biases, etc. There is no proof that blacks are biologically less intelligent than whites based on these tests because there are too many uncontrolled variables in these statistics to prove causation based on a biological basis vs. a sociological one.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Yea yea they explain it as not enough majik dirt. If only poodles could walk on german soil they would be good watchdogs.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            If you believe that a black boy born in a rice paddy would have the same 1 out of 50 chance of getting a perfect math SAT as an Asian boy(even better than whites) you are a fool. IQ only matters to the left when a non Asian minority is too stupid to be killed for killing a cop or raping an 8yo white girl to death while being caught on a San Fran CCTV tossing her body into a dumpster allowing Adrian Jerry Gonzalez to be profiled

          • Of coursh, goy, the truth hurts the liberal feels.

          • I just happen to know an Asian boy who got lower than a 500 on the math section and a black boy who got nearly a perfect score. That 1 out of 50 chance may be true as the average statistics show, but none of these statistics account for many factors that impact test performance besides social economic status, such as social biases, segregated communities, different cultural upbringing, test preparation, educational background, etc. But I don’t want to waste anymore time discussing this with a racist troll on Disqus anymore so I’m going to end it here.

          • BigGaySteve says:

            Name the black boy because he would be in the news if he existed. I am not saying rainbow unicorn herds don’t exist but they are extremely unlikely. Also when I say Asian I mean east Asian people like you include Pakistan as Asian.

        • It’s an atheistic religion (a religion without a deity).

  26. Man with Axe says:

    Brown students: your reaction to a piece you don’t like or agree with should be to argue with its particular assertions, not to seek that it not be published. If they guy is wrong, don’t say that it’s “casually racist.” Point out how it is incorrect. Talking about race, and pointing out that races are different, is not racist, for crying out loud. If it were, how could you keep up the constant drumbeat about white privilege without violating your own standards of discourse?

    • For one, they can’t argue with facts and evidence because neither are on their side.

      As for violating their own standards of discourse, NEVER underestimate the capacity of the ideological mind when it comes to cognitive dissonance.

    • Because SJWs alwasys lie.. That’s how.

  27. The problem is white dudes who think they’re better, smarter and created everything in the universe. I can see why people have a problem with the tripe written above. It’s one thing to recognize different cultures and peoples, and quite another to use cattle as a mask for white male supremacy. It gets old having to listen to these bleating men. Isn’t there some kind of review before tripe such as this is published?

    • BigGaySteve says:

      The real white supremacists are those willing to risk life and limb to get onto a white nations welfare. Asians and whites evolved in areas they had to build/store/plan so they are better at those things than people who only had to outbreed disease/outrun others from hyenas

  28. Maybe a goodly proportion of African American students are at Brown on
    their own merits, though given what we know of affirmative action that is
    unlikely. Given that Brown students aren’t very smart, we can posit an average
    IQ of 115 for students at Brown. 16% of whites have an IQ of 115 or higher,
    while only 2.2% of African Americans have an IQ this high. Average IQ of Asian
    students is 106~107 so Asian students have about 31% of their number at IQ 115
    or higher. If anyone is paying the price of “white” privilege it’s Asian
    students, who have to get higher marks than anyone else to get into good colleges.
    Blacks also pay a price for entering Colleges which are way above their ability
    to cope with, academically. Read Michelle Obama’s Master’s thesis if you want
    to feel embarrassment for her and all blacks who get affirmative
    action marks, school entries, and fake jobs for “diversity” reasons.

    This also spoils things for the 2% of blacks who really are smart, and
    who are assumed by all around them, that they got where they are purely on skin

    Given the remarkable stupidity of Howard University students, I will never go to a black doctor, while I value my life.

  29. Re that venal editor’s note. If you put nothing else on your resumes, kids, that note alone will qualify you for a job on any major newspaper in the country. Well done, you little twats.

  30. ContraStercorum says:

    The editors of the Brown Daily Herald really need to update their knowledge of recent human evolution and the evolution of differences among the different human races since the last glaciation of the current ice age. A good start might be Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance”. A recent book on human domestication of animals by Richard C. Francis, “Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World”. Would also be a useful read. I cannot recall the title or author but a recent book on the the evolution of Europeans through pre-history provides a reasonably sophisticated discussion of haplotyping techniques and how DNA sequencing, haplotyping, and supportive archaeological techniques are laeding to a much clearer picture of the evolution of modern Europeans. Another good source for learning about current knowledge regarding race and inheritance of various cognitive and emotional traits may be found in the on-line articles of Razib Khan, a doctoral student in the field, a prolific blogger, and an exceptional expositor on these topics.

    Even better, the editors might actually take some real science courses taught by professionals in these fields instead of thoughtlessly immersing themselves in the various “____ studies” echo chambers provided by the many benighted, scientifically challenged persons at Brown who teach such courses. They might then learn that almost every “science” meme in their apology is false and almost every idea in the article that so upsets them is supported by the latest research in the relevant fields.

    In an Ivy world full of Orwellian doubleplusgoodthought this appology still stands out as an exemplar of duckspeak.

  31. I’m fortunately over a decade removed from the place but do remember the BDH usually printed one article like this every year: seemingly boring, seemingly obvious & conventional, but still enough to rouse cries of bloody murder from the various local jackholes who live for such moments. Hence the famous slogan: Blacks Disrespected Heinously! Ahhhhhh good times

    If they’d make a public commitment to up this quota on Offensive Op-eds do remember them in your charitable donations (I don’t think they share any funds from that country club down the street). It’s all in a great cause and the coddled college students of America will NOT thank you

  32. Albert Wesker says:

    And don’t forget the additional struggle that whites go through as they have to swim upstream against racial preferences throughout their careers.

  33. Albert Wesker says:

    It is encouraging to see the tone of most of the comments here. Maybe their is hope for this country after all. For those of you have not yet discovered American Renaissance, I suggest you check it out.

  34. “The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category.”

    Too bad that forensic scientists can tell race just by looking at skeletal remains. No equipment needed.

    The social construct fabulists cannot deal with science because it disagrees with their fantasies.

  35. Lev Bronshtein says:

    If there are no races, we are all the same, and there is no diversity. But, diversity!

  36. Lev Bronshtein says:

    I like how the editors prep the reader: “dangerous ideas ahead! If you know what’s good for you, surely you’ll agree they are false!”

  37. “The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category.”

    Dear editor: you do yourself, your newspaper, and the Brown community a disservice by printing your weak and factually incorrect apology. Race is a biological fact, and the differences between races are well established and used and acknowledged every day in medicine and social sciences to great positive effect. None of this excuses racism, as your lame qualifying remarks seem to imply.

    • “the differences between races are well established”

      • the existence of differences in allele frequencies in people with different concurrent facial features is well established.

          • by that definition of race, then the difference between race *is* very well established.

          • every person ever has had a unique face.

          • some are more unique than others

          • so, what is the definition of ‘race’ you are proffering?

          • Race is the degree of certainty to which a person can predict certain “invisible traits” (such as intelligence, likelihood of aggression, ability to digest lactose, metabolize alcohol, or be a fast sprinter) by examining the sum total of physical traits. No two people are exactly the same. Skin color might very slightly between two individuals, hair might be of slightly different color and follicle shape, eyes might be different in size, height, or length by a fraction of millimeter between two individuals. Noses might be marginally wider or narrower, jawbones slightly more or less prominent, cheekbones higher or lower by millimeters or fractions of millimeters. You’re right. every person has a unique face. However, when you take all this into account, you can still make generalizations about the “Invisible traits” contained within a person. Two people might have very dark skin, of slightly different shades, kinky hair, of marginally different follicle shape, thick lips, of very slightly different width, and wide noses, of marginally different shape. These people are two individuals, each one unique, but despite that, you can still be very, very sure that both of them have a statistically higher than average risk of having sickle cell anemia. No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. However this does not mean that there are as many races or subspecies of tiger as there are individuals. Two bengal tigers look different from eachother, but they are both bengal tigers. You can guess with a high degree of certainty that they are native to Southeast Asia and they are under threat from poaching. Two Siberian tigers look different from eachother, but they are both Siberian tigers, and you can guess with a high degree of certainty that they are under observation by Russian conservationists. Hybrid animals, like the “grolar” bear (a grizzly/ polar bear hybrid), are akin to mixed race people, whereby they present a collection of physical features that throw asunder your ability to guess with certainty. A black/ white biracial person may or may not be likely to have sickle cell. You simply can’t guess, with any sort of certainty, by looking at them. A grizzle bear/ polar bear hybrid may or may not habitually hunt seals. You simply can’t guess, with any sort of certainty, by looking at them.

          • I should note that “race” and “racism” are two entirely different ideas. “Race” is physical- feature- based- probability, while “racism” is the application of probability in the real world (which is illogical, abhorent, and grossly unfair). “Race” is your ability to look at someone and determine, with varying degrees of certainty, how likely they are to have sickle cell. Racism is the act of flat- out denying them a job, or due process, or a fair shake, based on your assumption. Probability can never tell you for sure anything about any individual.

          • Albert Wesker says:

            “Racism is the act of flat- out denying them a job, or due process, or a fair shake, based on your assumption.”
            Does this definition hold true if we change your statement to : “Racism is the act of flat- out *granting* them a job, or due process, or a fair shake, based on *their race?*

          • I wouldn’t call that racism. I’d just call that stupid. Affirmative action falls under this category

          • Michael Hayes says:

            I would be interested to know why denying someone a job because of their race (racism against blacks for instance) is “racism” while denying someone a job because of their race (affirmative action against whites for instance) is not “racist”?

          • Oh, both are racist. What I thought Albert Wesker was asking was what do you call flat- out accepting someone for a job/ position/ task/ benefit because of their physical appearance. You’re right. That’s not affirmative action per se. Flat- out rejection and flat- out acceptance due to physical appearance alone are both ridiculous. However, flat- out rejection is racist, while flat- out acceptance (for example, accepting a “token” minority) is just stupid. That’s what I meant.

          • Michael Hayes says:

            Im not sure I can agree with you. If one practiced flat out acceptance of whites as a hiring manager, would not one stand accused of racism?

          • Albert Wesker says:

            You give far too many specific criteria to define race. I suspect poor nomu’s brain is now short-circuiting.

      • Yes, that’s right. There are many, many differences that are well established. I’m not saying more won’t be discovered, but many have been already.

        Here are a few headlines from just a five-minute internet search, from 2015 alone:

        Genes of Colon Cancer Recurrence Differs Among Blacks, Whites and Asians,
        Fingerprints Reveal Whether You’re Black or White,
        Study Finds Racial, Ethnic Differences in Fetal Growth,
        The Association Between Intelligence and Lifespan Is Mostly Genetic,
        Prostate Cancer Twice as Likely Among Black Men than White Men,
        Moderate Alcohol Benefits Vary by Race,
        Police Can Tell Suspect’s Colour, Height and Even Age–from a Tiny Speck of Blood,
        Study Identifies New Gene Mutations Linked to Colorectal Cancer in African-Americans.

        If race were not a biological fact, none of these headlines could possibly be true. And yet they are. Not to mention well-established facts like variations in IQ by race and frequency of specific alleles like MAOA.

        Acknowledging that different races exist, and that they have different sets of health and social issues, is NOT racist. Denying that race is a biological fact is the kind of fantasy only an Ivy League student could believe.

      • Yes, they are.

        I had written a long and detailed reply, but it seems this comment section is heavily censored.

        I fear for the future of our country if truths can not be spoken in the Ivy League.

    • And police work.

  38. sondjata olatunji says:

    That editor’s note says everything I need to know about “academics” at Brown. Newsweek is not a satisfactory primary source for ANYTHING in regards to human genetics or evolution.

    • Modern university is a joke. The academics from 100 years ago would shred today’s “academics”.

    • It’s no different elsewhere. The powers-that-be enforce a rigid orthodoxy on matters of race. Heretics beware!

    • dirk gently says:

      Brown lost all of their credibility as an institution back in the 1980’s, when the powers that be there decided that faculty should not determine the grades that go on their students’ report card, instead students should determine their own grades.

      The rampant ignorance now on display in the preface by the editorial board is the result of Brown’s utterly retarded policy of allowing their students to award themselves A’s, even if they don’t even rate a “participation trophy”

  39. Liberal Definitions
    Racist – A white person who does not accept and celebrate their extinction.
    Anti-Racist – Someone who rightfully hates privileged white scum.
    Diversity – A lack of white people.
    Evil – White men.
    Africa – A homeland for the african people.
    Asia – A homeland for the asian people
    Europe – A melting pot for all races.

  40. As a Brown alumnus. I have to say this is embarrassing. No more embarrassing then Stephen Gould’s association with Harvard, or Franz Boas’s association with Columbia, of course, but embarrassing nonetheless.

    Face the facts: (1) race is a reality (almost tautologically so) and (2) the races MUST differ since they have evolved in different environments and have faced different selective pressures. Indeed, no one even denies that differences exists (see, e;g., skin color), but the obscurantists ludicrously pretend that differences are literally “only skin deep”.

    That cannot be — and is not — true.

    Ashley Montagu’s argument for the intellectual sameness of the races (and intellect is the quality that the politicizers of science seem to be most concerned with) was that high intelligence is so valuable that it must have been adopted by all races to the same extent. However, like other things of value, high intelligence is expensive, metabolically and in other respects. Evolution is full of tradeoffs and cost-benefit analyses that can take organisms in different directions if their environments are different.

  41. If Hitler were around in 1492…

  42. Jeff Traube says:

    To use ones analytical skills to identify tendencies of individuals and notice patterns among groups is commendable – unless it is thought crime. Orwell’s 1984 is upon us, and Thomas Jefferson is out; There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

  43. Race has been proven to be a mere social construct with no basis in biological reality?
    Tell that to someone who needs a bone marrow transplant.

  44. The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that breed of dog is a biological category.

    As we all know, the difference between a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard is a social construct. There is no biological difference between them. After all, mongrels and cross-breeds exist, so dog breed categories are not completely separate and unchanging. That means they are not real and are just a social construct. Anyone who thinks there is anything biological distinguishing a St. Bernard from a Chihuahua is a racist!

  45. More of just modern man’s denial of human nature. For about 70 years there has been a strong taboo to talk about human differences. So now they come up with another tool to help them keep their head stuck in the sand. Everyone always got that race was loosely defined and people could have a wide range of ancestry in them, but now you can say the environment such as discrimination or culture can be the cause of a race’s standing but to say it might be party biologically based and you get swatted with “race is a social construct”.

    It’s a tool for science deniers playing semantics with what everyone already knows about race to further avoid uncomfortable dialogue about heredity.

  46. Law Student says:

    Like all leftists, the editors of this site believe in the free exchange of ideas, except for those ideas they don’t agree with…which they call “racist”.

  47. Look at the dominance of Asian IQ compared to European, for example. Does this not indicate differences among the races? Is race really only a “social construct”?

    • Not to deny your basic message, but there’s little clear evidence east asians are smarter than europeans (atleast the mainland chinese, but that’s most of them right there). They’re usually based on extrapolating tiny diaspora populations (mainly ones in the US, who are mostly chinese and heavily from Hong Kong and Taiwan), achievement tests that aren’t really IQ tests, or Richard Lynn’s work, who is less than reliable.

      • Hi SD, thanks for your reply. Your information is news to me. I have always read that, as a race, East Asian IQ was higher than European White IQ, and that the latter is higher than Black IQ. I am always open to learning something new.

        • You’re welcome. One must consider how rampant cheating is in China, and to a lesser extent Korea and Taiwan (though it’s also high in eastern europe, including Poland). I’ve also gotten the impression asian performance in pre-college settings seems to be inflated by cramming and rote memorization. They’re still over-represented (and staved off with affirmative action policies), but not to the extent they are before college, and even there some of their performance is likely inflated by such things. On the other hand, James Flynn long found their occupational success is much higher than what would be expected of their IQ’s, but I’m not sure if he squared with this other findings suggesting a decline in performance over time (and vice versa). The idea asians have IQ’s as high as 105-106 (though I’ve heard figures of 103 given) that’s been reported in the US in their home countries is very doubtful, however.

          Also, this:

          “A long time ago I checked through his China references and almost none of them even contained IQ data! It was totally baffling. I have 100s of Chinese studies, many of them in Chinese. I would love to start working on the China post, but it would be a crazy amount of work, and I would probably need a good Chinese collaborator.

          You are right, though. I have not carefully examined them, but many studies from rural China report IQ scores in the 90s, 80s and lower.”

          On the other hand, Malloy has turned up higher scores in southeast asia than Lynn has claimed.

  48. “It does stand as fact that English colonists in Africa were able to tame zebras to be ridden or driven, and there is a long history of elephant use in Southeast Asia. Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated.”

    Wrong. Zebras have not been domesticated or tamed to any appreciable degree, and most prefer zebra mixes. Dogs, llamas, alpacas and others were domesticated in the Americas. In SS africa, cattle, horses, dogs, guina fowl and others have also been used as domesticated animals well before colonialism. Lactose tolerance is relatively high in a number of black african countries, and you can easily find sculptures in ancient Nigeria (of the Nok people) depicting people on horseback. This article falls apart towards the end.

    • Zebras weren’t routinely tamed or used, but the fact that some of them were stands as a proof of concept. I wonder how successful the peoples of the Central Asian steppes initially were with wild horses (these wild horses became our domestic equines of today). Dogs all originate from domestication in Asia, and only llamas were farmed animals. Cattle, horses, and dogs were indeed domesticated and farmed in Africa long before colonization, but none of these animals were originally native to Africa. They were all introduced at some point. Cattle are from Anatolia, horses are from the Central Asian steppes, and dogs are from Asia.

      • In essence, why is there a white man in this photo rather than a black man? think about it…

      • Are there any sustained, breeding populations of tamed zebras though? Tamed/domesticated zebras are few and far between after all of this time, and people have been known to tame wild horses (and even wolves and cattle) with still greater success than they have with zebras. This is also with the backing of modern taming/domestication knowledge, which would leave an early people at an even greater disadvantage.

        It is true that none of those animals are native to Africa, but the fact remains they were widely used, and it isn’t surprising animals that weren’t found in Africa to begin with weren’t domesticated by natives.

          • I googled that ranch and found out it’s been plagued with reviews and accusations of animal abuse, fraud, mismanagement, criminal conduct on the part of the owner etc. It would be helpful to know the history of this population of zebras or if they’re as tame as the owner claims. The fact one ranch in Texas, even putting aside the baggage with the owner, doesn’t exactly give a favorable impression of how Zebras actually aren’t that hard to domesticate.

          • It isn’t a question of degree. No doubt zebras are incredibly aggressive and flighty creatures. However, history has proved that it *is possible* to tame zebras and put them to work. Why couldn’t the native African do this? You just proved how my argument (and the author’s original argument in the article) is *NOT* racist: Of course Africans did a great job adapting and utilizing animals once they got them. Africans, like all people, are great at adapting and utilizing new technology. However, they didn’t have these animals to begin with. They had to be introduced to them. Africans are good at adapting, while Eurasians are good at domesticating. In a nutshell, that’s my hunch.

          • I don’t know why they didn’t. One possible reason might be because, in addition to seemingly being much harder to domesticate than wild horses, zebras inhabit regions of SS africa that were very sparsely inhabited until recently, mainly east and south africa. The ancestors of most modern black africans originated from a small population about ten thousand years ago in the sahara, and gradually spread out from there. In most of the rest of africa, there were other small, spread out populations, some of whom are extinct, and were either absorbed or exterminated. The bantu people and such came with iron technology and agriculture, and have only been in those regions for the past few thousand years or less. They have been settled in these regions for a small period of time historically and have arguably not been established enough to make genuine attempts at trying to domesticate zebras or put them to use. The further west you go in Africa is where you tend to see the most developed, extensive history. After all, west africa is where you find widespread urbanization before colonialism, and where urbanization and iron smelting in SS africa began.

            Besides, this is where your argument kind of falls flat. You can admit they had no trouble using domesticated animals, used them widely and wherever they could, often built their cultures around them and even bred regional varieties (like the pygmy goat, which is recognized as an incredibly adaptive, versatile breed), but were incapable of domesticating animals on their own. If you knew anything about the history of SS africa, there is no real reason to assume they were incapable of domesticating animals on their own. At the same time, I’m not one to deny “human biodiversity” With regards to iron smelting, see this as one example:

            And for what it’s worth, there is one animal we know for sure to have been domesticated in SS africa, that being the guinea fowl.

          • Unskilled, unlucky, who knows. Regardless, you can tell a person’s ancient history from looking at their face. A person with “black” or “african” features has an astronomically high likelihood of having a non- agricultural past, regardless of the reason. “Black” people are also more likely to have experienced poverty (itself born from natural inequality of agriculturalists versus non- agriculturalists), and are more likely to commit a violent crime. Look at a person’s face, and you can use deductive reasoning. Its elementary, dear Watson.

          • Agriculture was nearly universal in SS africa, as I’ve been saying. Practicing agriculture does not mean your culture is going to be non-violent in the least.

          • yes, but the individual components of agriculture were all introduced into SS Africa; the animals, the food crops, the technology such as the plough. All introduced. I’d argue, in fact, that agriculture made cultures *more* violent, since the stakes were higher and now one had property to defend (instead of just mates, children, and a recent kill). Violence triggers arms races (both in evolution and in history) that spurs more and greater inventions.

        • what’s surprising is that animals that *were* found in Africa weren’t domesticated by natives.

          Compare: buffalo, elephant, zebra, gazelle, antelope, hyena, jackal, african wild dog

          aurochs, asian elephant, przewalski’s horse, wolf, mouflon, wild boar, reindeer, water buffalo, gaur, Gobi camel, bezoar ibex

          The top list consists of wild animals native to Africa, none of which have been tamed, trained, domesticated farmed, or domesticated by native Africans. The bottom list consists of wild animals native to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, all of which have been tamed, trained, domesticated, or farmed. You tell me. Is it the animals, or is it the people?

          • You can’t be serious. Virtually none of those animals you listed have been domesticated or tamed to any worthwhile degree. How many people keep tame hyenas and jackals? You also mentioned african wild dogs, but domesticated dogs kept by africans were hardly uncommon, and wild dogs haven’t been uncommon throughout the world.

            I don’t know the exact history of animal domestication, but it remains that a variety of animals, even if originating from outside, were widely used in SS africa (which you don’t have any response to). I don’t know exact answer to your question, but your list of animals that have supposedly been domesticated is nonsense, and your dichotomy is more complex than “You tell me- is it the animals, or n*ggers are stupid?”

          • do your research, then. Aurochs were the wild form of modern cattle, and they were notorious for their nasty temperaments. Asian elephants are used in southeast Asia for logging, transport, and religious rites. Przewalski’s horses are the only truly wild horses remaining today, and they provide a glimpse into the early domestication of the horse. Wolves became domestic dogs, mouflon became modern sheep, wild boar became modern barnyard pigs, reindeer are domesticated up North, and water buffalo are a farm staple of Asian agriculture. A Gaur becomes a mithan when domesticated, Gobi camels are used across Mongolia, and Ibex are modern- day goats.

            There is no Sub Saharan African domestication of the cape buffalo (analogous to an Aurochs, and capable of filling many of the same purposes). No African Elephant has been harnessed to a log (yet, the White Man can keep cape buffalo and elephants under his control in zoos, aided by wits, know- how, and strong ropes and chains). Zebras, in theory, can be as useful as a horse (proof of concept: modern day zebra farms, circuses, zoos, and Colonial English novelty use of the zebra. Human use of zebras IS POSSIBLE), gazelle and antelope are analogous to goats and sheep (again, physiologically capable of filling many of the same purposes), hyenas, jackels, and wild dogs are analogous to wolves and dogs of today.

          • ^Why isn’t this picture 20,000 years old?

          • I’m not going to deny that the wild ancestors of eurasian animals were usually very aggressive, but the fact remains that scarcely any of those animals you mentioned have been domesticated or bred to be tamer to any appreciable degree, or any at all. There are countless eurasian animals that could arguably serve as viable food sources or have some social value, yet have never been domesticated. Many domestic animals have been domesticated relatively recently in historic sometimes, and some very recently- red foxes, despite being in contact with humans for untold millenia, were only domesticated in the 1950’s.

            You are really stretching your credibility when you throw out examples of animals raised in captivity and in zoos. You can do that with just about any animal, and you can get many animals, if you raise them from birth around humans, to be friendly with them. A population raised in captivity, however, is not the same as one that has been domesticated, or bred for docility/able to work with humans, or that a pre-modern people wouldn’t have had tremendous difficulty in doing so. Zebras have not been tamed or domesticated to any appreciable degree. Maybe they are, but it’s telling how europeans with modern technology and animal science have had poor luck in making much progress. I don’t know for sure. But I think things are more complex than what you imply.

            Also, someone (likely a criminal) with a hyena that keep on a chain with a muzzle isn’t very good evidence of their domesticability. The only african animal I am aware of europeans having any genuine success in domesticating are ostrichs, but there is also this:

            At the same time, ostirchs have been found in the margins of north africa, but Egyptians, arabs, berbers etc. never seem to have had much success in domesticating them. Why, I don’t know.

  49. John Mahoney says:

    I am a free speech warrior, but this is just bad writing..

  50. John Mahoney says:

    “It is admittedly difficult to discuss topics such as
    privilege, marginalization and oppression without reducing them to the
    equivalent of magicians’ tricks gone awry” It’s not difficult at all.

  51. “Albert Wesker”, you originally came off as an intelligent and well reasoned supporter for the reasons behind the nuances of biological differences in subspecies of the human race. Sadly, your arguments led down a surprising and disheartening, but frankly typical path to a markedly undereducated conclusion. You may be a biologist as you claim, but by no means does that make you a highly skilled one. AVStone proceeded to present clear, well written counter arguments for almost every claim you made, and as a response, you almost immediately unraveled and went from being ostensibly intelligent and reasonable to being hostile, argumentative, at times hypocritical, and just generally underorganized. I honestly cannot believe your first response to AVStone’s counter agrument was basically “Oh yeah? Well then how come africa with all its black people is so poor?”

    When your initial biological argument was thoroughly debunked by AVStone, you started asking questions that I simply must refer to as either stupid or grossly underinformed, and made ridiculous statements to the tune of such that “half a century of racial preferences in education and employment” were somehow implemented perfectly, with no interference or error, or unforseen secondary effects and were somehow the answer needed to remedy hundreds upon hundreds of years of socio-economic inequality, and systematic oppression and historic societal inequalities. Foolishness. Having failed to argue successfully in your own limited arena of knowledge, you start using the weak tactics and transparent accusations that are noticeably typical of many of the debates carried on by ignorant bigots who try to decorate their outdated and disproven ideas under the guise of savvy and academia.

    You arrogantly dismiss any claim that you do not feel like looking into yourself with a snobbish cry for references, while failing to provide any references of your own.

    You attack well put together responses to your inane assertions by focusing all of your efforts on revealing small factual or even clerical errors like someone giving you a figure of 25% when say, technically the figure should be 24.7%. Congratulations on being methodical about your figures, but this doesn’t win you the argument or make their valid points go away.

    Lastly, and most embarrassingly, you try to assert that if AVStone wont buy your arguments, then his point of view is irrational, born simply of his opinion and that unlike your factual rational argument, he is just stating what he wants to believe. It is probable you cannot turn your expert scope on yourself, so Ill inform you that it is you who is simply stating what you want to believe, and you are misguidedly using bad, innacurate “science” that quickly branches away from any real connection to biology as a means to your end.

  52. This is an interesting article.

  53. Earl of Sandwich says:

    The value of a Brown degree just fell by about 10%.

  54. Worst book report of “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies”, ever.

  55. it’s interesting how the above argument more or less says ‘the reason white people succeeded isn’t because of skin color, but because of cows, which europe happened to have’. Is an argument that attempts to debunk racist theories really now considered racist? I guess uber-progressives and feminists think they don’t even need to deal with those racist theories, but looking at this article, those theories make up the top-voted comment, so it seems clear that they aren’t done quite yet.

    edit: having read it over, it does leave the option of whites being superior open. I really don’t agree with the general philosophy of ‘races are differently intelligent’ and most of the evidence seems to be against it, but is it really so bad that he said ‘maybe’ to it?

  56. Well this seems like a very well written and rational position. Why is it so controversial? Oh yeah…..Political Correctness…. what is incorrect made popular and protected by authoritarianism.

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