Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The old race theorists and modern DNA findings

Steve Sailer below mocks the politically correct discomfort a geneticist has with his own findings

Harvard geneticist David Reich has published a bombshell scientific book, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

A close reader of his book can enjoy his prodigious research without taking terribly seriously Reich’s prejudices.

Reich learned the fascinating modern science of high-tech grave robbing from Svante Pההbo. This Swedish biologist invented the techniques for extracting from ancient skeletons their DNA. (Interestingly, the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act makes it hard to get hold of ancient American Indian skeletons, but other races’ ancestors appear to be fair game.)

Reich applied to Pההbo’s breakthrough the traditional American knack for vast industrial scale. Assisted by English code-cracker Nick Patterson’s innovations in extracting meaning from bits and pieces of ancient genomes, Reich’s factory-like lab at the Broad Institute has been churning out a tsunami of papers on fascinating questions of prehistory.

For example, India played a large role in the development of European conceptions of race. In 1786 British judge William Jones delivered a lecture in Calcutta suggesting that Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin were all descended from the same lost language, a ghost tongue now called Proto-Indo-European.

Jones went on to hypothesize that an ancient invasion of Dravidian-speaking India by Proto-Indo-European-speaking Aryans from Iran could help explain the curious distribution of language, skin color, and caste within the Hindu world today.

Jones’ ideas had unfortunate influence. Reich writes:

To the Nazis and others, the distribution of the Indo-European language family, linking Europe to India…, spoke of an ancient conquest moving out of an ancestral homeland, displacing and subjugating the peoples of the conquered territories, an event they wished to emulate.

Hitler thus culturally appropriated the Hindu swastika.

Since 1945, the notion of Aryan invaders has been unsurprisingly unpopular.

In Europe, anthropologists have promoted the “pots not people” theory to argue that trade and changes in fashion must explain why Corded Ware pots suddenly showed up all over Europe about 4,900 years ago. (So did battle axes; indeed, early scientists called this the Battle Axe Culture. But that sounded too awesome. Hence, more recent academics renamed it after its pottery style to make these brutal barbarians sound dweebier and thus less interesting to boys.)

In India, the notion of Hindu culture as a giant conspiracy by Aryan invaders to enshrine their descendants at the top of the social order for the rest of eternity perhaps struck a little too close to home.

But Reich’s laboratory has found that the old Robert E. Howard version is actually pretty much what happened. Conan the Barbarian-like warriors with their horse-drawn wagons came charging off the Eurasian steppe and overran much of Europe and India. Reich laments:

The genetic data have provided what might seem like uncomfortable support for some of these ideas—suggesting that a single, genetically coherent group was responsible for spreading many Indo-European languages.

Much more acceptable to Indian intellectuals than the idea that ancient conquerors from the Russian or Kazakhstani steppe took over the upper reaches of Indian culture has been the theory of Nicholas B. Dirks, the Franz Boas Professor of History and Anthropology at Columbia, that the British malignantly transformed diverse local Indian customs into the suffocating system of caste that we know today.

Now, though, Reich’s genetic evidence shows that caste has controlled who married whom in India for thousands of years:

Rather than inventions of colonialism as Dirks suggested, long-term endogamy as embodied in India today in the institution of caste has been overwhelmingly important for millennia.

This is in harmony with economic historian Gregory Clark’s recent discovery in his book of surname analysis, The Son Also Rises (Clark loves Hemingway puns), that economic mobility across the generations is not only lower than expected in most of the world, but it is virtually nonexistent in India.

Just as you’d imagine, Reich found that the highly nationalist Chinese turn out to be genetically quite homogeneous, while the Indians are genetically diverse due to caste divvying them up into thousands of inbreeding groups:

The Han Chinese are truly a large population. They have been mixing freely for thousands of years. In contrast, there are few if any Indian groups that are demographically very large, and the degree of genetic differentiation among Indian jati groups living side by side in the same village is typically two to three times higher than the genetic differentiation between northern and southern Europeans. The truth is that India is composed of a large number of small populations.

Indians traditionally thought of India less as a nation than as a world. Modern Indian nationalism’s roots trace to Gandhi’s sojourn in South Africa, where his thinking was revolutionized by the simplistic racial politics of the African colony in which his countrymen were seen not as countless castes, but as, in contrast to Europeans, blacks, and Coloureds, simply Indians.

Reich worries that his genetic findings sound more like the racialist ideas of a century ago than what educated people are supposed to believe in the current year. So, he’s come up with a number of explanations for why the bad guys whom Tom Buchanan read were wrong after all:

But the data also reveal that these early discussions were misguided in supposing purity of ancestry….

You see, the Yamnaya steppe nomads who were the predecessors of the Aryans who invaded India were actually a hybrid of two even more ancient peoples: a northern steppe race and a southern race from Armenia or Iran.


The Aryan-invasion-theory glass isn’t half full, Reich wants you to understand, it’s half empty.

Reich points out that genetic research proves that race is not just an arbitrary social construct (although he’d much prefer you call it “ancestry” rather than “race”). For instance, the Caucasian race, which was first named by German scientists in the late 18th century, turns out to be a real thing, genetically speaking:

Today, the peoples of West Eurasia—the vast region spanning Europe, the Near East, and much of central Asia—are genetically highly similar. The physical similarity of West Eurasian populations was recognized in the eighteenth century by scholars who classified the people of West Eurasia as “Caucasoids” to differentiate them from East Asian “Mongoloids,” sub-Saharan African “Negroids,” and “Australoids” of Australia and New Guinea…. [P]opulations within West Eurasia are typically around seven times more similar to one another than West Eurasians are to East Asians. When frequencies of mutations are plotted on a map, West Eurasia appears homogeneous, from the Atlantic faחade of Europe to the steppes of central Asia. There is a sharp gradient of change in central Asia before another region of homogeneity is reached in East Asia….

But, Reich hastens to point out, today’s vast Caucasian race has only existed in its current form for the 4,500 years since steppe herdsmen invaded.

Before the Bronze Age there were several quite distinct races in Europe. After the last Ice Age, Europe was inhabited by an ancient race of hunter-gatherers with blue eyes and dark skin. They were then largely overwhelmed by lighter-skinned, brown-haired farmers from the Middle East.

These farmers in turn were inundated, especially in northern Europe, by the blond beast pastoralists from the steppes.

Nietzsche would have found much of Reich’s book validating. And Tom Buchanan would have seen in Reich’s discovery that Europe, while relatively homogeneous, is mostly steppe ancestry in the north and more Levantine in the south with a transition zone in the middle a restating of the Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean categories of his era.

But, Reich wants us to comprehend, no race is wholly unmixed if you look enough millennia back into the past:

...the ancient DNA revolution has shown that today’s classifications do not reflect fundamental “pure” units of biology. Instead, today’s divisions are recent phenomena, with their origin in repeating mixtures and migrations.

Reich ends a chapter by sermonizing:

Mixture is fundamental to who we are, and we need to embrace it, not deny that it occurred.

So you should just lie back and think of England, like the girls in Rotherham and Telford.

But thinking of what “mixture” did to the inhabitants of England who were forced to embrace it 4,500 years ago is horrifying.

Before about 2500 BC, ancient Albion was inhabited largely by farmers tracing back to the Fertile Crescent. Suddenly, steppe barbarians, bearing the Bell Beaker culture, arrived, and almost immediately most of the old Britons died off.

Since then, 90 percent of subsequent skeletons in England reflect the DNA of the steppe invaders.

What happened to most of England’s earlier inhabitants? One of the less violent scenarios is that the steppe migrants introduced bubonic plague.

In general, “migration” and “mixture” tend in Reich’s book to serve as euphemisms for genocide of the native males and rape of the native females. Reich lists numerous examples from around the world where genetic data show that newcomers enslaved or murdered the local men and turned their women into concubines.

Fortunately, for the past 4,500 years, “ancient Britons harbored a blend of ancestries very similar to that of present-day Britons.” The Roman conquest didn’t leave much of a genetic mark, and the later Anglo-Saxon, Danish, and Norman invaders were genetically similar enough to earlier Britons that geneticists have only recently begun to disentangle them.

After 1066, the island race enjoyed a long halcyon era without new invaders raping and pillaging. But all good things evidently have to come to an end. As Benjamin Schwarz has pointed out, “In fact, Britain today receives more immigrants in a single year than it did in the entire period from 1066 to 1950.”

Reich is upset that his genetic discoveries have more or less upheld the old German archaeologist Gustaf Koussina’s theory that Germans were descended from Aryans:

…he argued that because the Corded Ware culture included the territories of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and western Russia of his day, it gave Germans the moral birthright to claim those regions as their own.

Reich asserts that his theory has different political implications from Koussina’s because the Yamnaya steppe barbarians didn’t start in Germany, they started in what are now Slavic lands.


Mike Rowe: Fatherlessness Is Making America Sick

Leave it to Mike Rowe to get it right. As the country continues to struggle with the aftermath of February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and liberals point the finger of blame at gun owners, “toxic masculinity,” and any other progressive straw man that leaps to mind, Rowe has some uncomfortable truths to share about one of the biggest problems the United States faces.

And it’s not at all what liberals think it is. In a Facbook post this week, the former host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” and CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” introduced the subject of his latest web series “Returning the Favor.”

In it, he profiles a man named Carlos Flores of Yuma, Arizona, who takes a very hands-on approach to dealing with school bullies and helping victims of bullying.

But Rowe uses that as a springboard to discussing an even deeper issue in American society – one that will almost never appear in a Democrat campaign ad.

In a popular culture atmosphere currently saturated with the misguided feminism of the so-called #MeToo moment, the role of men in society – the vital importance of responsible fatherhood – is being all but forgotten.

In the post, Rowe wrote: “It occurred to me though, half way through filming, that bullying – like so many other social ills in today’s headlines – isn’t really a problem at all; it’s a symptom. In my view, a symptom of a society that seems to value fatherhood less and less.”

And there’s no doubt that’s true. Where the birth of a child outside marriage was once so frowned on that the Motown group The Supremes actually had a No. 1 song in 1968 about how tough life was for a “love child,” things are considerably different 50 years later.

Now, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 40 percent of American births are to women who are not married. While no doubt some of the men who provided the sperm stuck around in the children’s lives, the numbers who actually perform the duty of a father are a good deal lower.

And Rowe cited some statistics that show the disturbing result:

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average. (US Dept. Of Health/Census)

90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.

85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)

80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)

43% of US children live without their father (US Department of Census)

Then he got to the real point: “Is it really so surprising to learn that a majority of bullies also come from fatherless homes? As do a majority of school shooters? As do a majority of older male shooters?”

Basically, no one disputes the idea that violence is pretty much a male domain. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, more than 90 percent of the U.S. prison population is male, and there’s a reason for that.

But what liberals dispute is the obvious: That a boy growing up in a home without a responsible man to teach him how to be a man is at much greater risk of never learning the lessons.

It’s not an epidemic of racism that’s really hurting the country, or sexism, or some phantom “anti-Semitism” liberals keep claiming to find among supporters of President Donald Trump.

It’s the rampant lack of responsible fathers that’s really making America sick. Mike Rowe knows that. Conservatives know it.

And in their hearts, liberals know it too. But leave it to Mike Rowe to get it right.


Disney Bigots Strip ‘Wrinkle in Time’ of Christianity and It Bombs

The trailer for director Ana Duvernay’s A Wrinkle In Time looks awful — empty and bloated. According to Rotten Tomatoes, most mainstream reviewers of the Disney flick, those predisposed to give a black, female director like DuVernay every benefit of the doubt, found the movie to be a diet of empty calories. Thanks to alternative media, the reason for this might come from Disney’s decision to strip Wrinkle of its central theme — Christianity.

Writing at Insider, Kim Renfro says the “movie really suffers” from the decision to “ditch the book’s explicit Christian references.” She found the movie “incomplete” and says that the “biblical inspirations could have (and should have) been replaced with a more cohesive plot that carried the film to its final climax.”

Even the left-wing Vox explains that the book was “deeply informed by its author’s [Madeleine L’Engle] Episcopal Christianity” which “the new Disney movie has excised.”

The film’s screenwriter, Jennifer Lee, laughably explained this removal as “progress.”

“I think there are a lot of elements of what she wrote that we have progressed as a society and we can move onto the other elements,” Lee told an interviewer last month, adding that making the film Christian would be exclusionary in a film that wanted to celebrate “diversity” and “inclusion.”

At Pajamas Media, Tyler O’Neil found the erasure of Christianity detrimental to the movie’s storytelling. What had been a book that delivered real depth became an empty act of New Age political correctness that says practically nothing.

“As it turns out, the New Age spirituality does not adequately replace L’Engle’s vision, and stories really do have more power when they are inspired by God,” O’Neill writes. “Without the Bible grounding of the deep themes … the fantasy novel becomes a coming-of-age tale about embracing yourself, rather than trusting a power greater than yourself. When Disney excises God from the equation, the spiritual elements give way to a worship of self.”

Despite the star casting of Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, not to mention Disney’s second-to-none publicity machine, A Wrinkle In Time opened to a pretty dreadful $33 million. Moviegoers were not thrilled with the movie either, giving it a fairly week grade of “B,” according to CinemaScore.

Another bizarre element to the film’s marketing was the decision to champion the movie’s racially diverse casting, which makes no sense in a world where racial diversity has been happening in movies for decades. Besides, no one goes to the movies to look at skin color. We are looking to be transported, thrilled, and emotionally moved.

Generic “spirituality” in the form of New Age psychobabble adds up to nothing. Even secular moviegoers can enjoy Christian themes because those themes are universal, something that informs the human condition way beyond the practicing Christian.

By stripping Wrinkle of those themes, and by extension that emotional depth that comes with those themes, and focusing instead on something as shallow and silly as skin color, Disney not only produced a stinker of a movie but the rare box office flop.

Normal Americans do not care about skin color. We are over it and see no reason to celebrate something as middle-aged as “diverse casting.” Christianity, however, is timeless.

Moreover, to remove Christianity from the movie, most especially when it is so integral to the original story, is not an act of inclusiveness, but rather another bigoted and hostile act from an increasingly provincial and small-minded entertainment industry.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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