Edit: Noticed that most of the views are from twitter, so I’d like to request that if you’re gonna talk shit on Twitter, do it directly so I can retweet your shit talking.
I didn’t even realize that scientific racism was still a thing until I was linked to the blog of JayMan, just one such racist (otherwise known as a proponent of human biodiversity.) I’m not one for debating bygone conclusions and frankly I don’t give a shit about the ad popurazum Ockham’s exploding digest fallacy, so expect to see opinions instead of arguments. If you want arguments, there’s a brilliant review of Nicholas Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance by Kenan Malik. Blogger Benjamin Steele also writes on this regularly, and schooled a racist on his own Amazon review recently. You can also see Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser report on “Human Biodiversity” here. Here, blogger bigWOWO talks about it. Blogger abagond talks about it here and here. Ken Weiss discusses it here. Magnus Hansen talks about HBD in the first of a four-part series here. The infamous and highly unfortunate PZ Myers has discussed it. Erasmussimo posted this on Dailykos. Here’s another post from Benjamin Steele. Blog Eurasian Sensation has a post on it here. Here, a blogger describes HBD as a cult.
I’m not going to debate this with anyone, ever. It’s not worth debating. If you are a proponent of HBD, I will not respond to you. You’re not worth my time. Here are a few thoughts on scientific racism under the guise of Human Biodiversity:
- HBD bloggers fail entirely to delineate cultural/social factors from genetic in order to show that genetic factors are the most important. Their attempts to do so are petty and pathetic. Even more pathetic are their attempts to assert that ethnic populations are now more advantaged than white populations (this constitutes a sort of double whammy when paired with their other assertions.)
- Accordingly, HBD bloggers seem oblivious to all of the work done in the social sciences which provide more satisfactory explanations for the phenomena they bloat up and pin on genetics.
- HBD bloggers consistently ignore contrasting evidence.
- Accordingly, HBD bloggers fail to respond to criticisms on more than superficial levels.
- HBD bloggers consistently misconstrue history.
- Accordingly, some HBD proponents believe Jews are intelligent because they were selected for moneylending. These proponents think this because they are fucking morons.
- HBD bloggers consistently misconstrue science.
- Accordingly, HBD bloggers have a bad grasp on philosophy and philosophy of science. JayMan says we should just use Ockham’s Razor. What’s that, philosophy? There are a million and one anti-razors because Ockham’s Razor is a load of shit? Who’da thunk it? He also says “facts are facts.” Well, Kuhn and Popper think “facts” have a lot to do with current scientific theory. You could even say that our scientific judgment relies entirely on the current dominating theories. In JayMan’s case, scientific judgment relies entirely on thinly-veiled hatred of other blacks.
- Some HBD bloggers make the vague attempt to reject the label of racist, but their fellow proponents consistently put the lie to them: one commenter on JayMan’s blog (asdf, here) put forward an interesting “quandry,” that of his black girlfriend. She is “cathedral in idealogy,” “above average IQ,” but probably not “smart enough to overide her cathedral upbringing, especially since she is black.” He feels that if they have kids, his quandary is to figure out how to stop his “half & halfs” from “hanging out with blacks and acting black.” JayMan’s response is warm.
- Frankly, I have more respect for people who are willing to just come out and say they’re full-on racist or supremacist and would love to see scientific evidence backing their ridiculous and morally and intellectually bankrupt views. That’s right, I would rather have a beer with an admitted Klansman than an HBD blogger, because at least the Klansman is fucking honest.
Let’s be clear on one thing here. I’m not saying variation between populations isn’t a thing. Clearly it is, in a vast number of ways. On that basis, I’m not necessarily opposed to “Human Biodiversity,” insofar as the legitimate field of sociobiology. And I would even buy it that some HBD proponents are just fucking idiots and legitimately don’t understand that HBD is racism. But it is. Rest assured this marks the end as well as the beginning of my time with the odious subject of scientific racism (although I tend to have a hankering for 19th century anthropology and naturalism, so maybe not.)
Finally, because this was frankly funner than getting pissed off about modern-day scientific racism:
Blogger hbdchick claims that the breaking down of Mid-East civilization boils down to clan conflict, and connects it to “father’s brother’s daughter marriage.” That’s not unimportant, but so ridiculously far from the only factor I don’t know where to start. She also seems ignorant of some points that aren’t in line with her arguments: for instance, Abd al-Rahman III was the son of a Frank and grandson of a Basque princess [Joseph F. O’Callaghan, A History of Medieval Spain, p. 117]. Hardly the result of clannishness or “fbd marriage.” Further, although clan conflict can be said to have factored into the falling apart of the caliphate in Cordoba, such political situations are too complex to boil down to grr, I’m a clan, I don’t like other clans. O’Callaghan states that the dictator Almanzor (Ibn Abi Amir) hastened the destruction of the caliphate by excluding the caliph from his share in the government . From then on, ineffectual caliphs was a rule of thumb until the office of caliph was abolished. The taifa period following was no more about abisiyyah. Good old Sam Naghrela, for instance, came to political power over a population of mostly Arabs. The late antiquity decentralization of the Arabized world could be attributed to ambition as much as anything: historians Ochsenwald and Fisher note that many upstart dynasties had military forces composed of Turks and Berbers, rather than fellow Arabs [The Middle East: A History, p. 70]. Additionally, historian James Gelvin (in The Modern Middle East: A History) does a great job at demonstrating that modern Middle East history is determined primarily by foreign intervention, largely in the form of the mandate system which arbitrarily set the current dividing lines of national entities in the ME. I might also say that hbdchick seems to put an odd emphasis on Arabic civilization falling apart. This is strange, given that the most successful caliphates constituted empires rivaling any ancient, medieval, or modern-day empires. The Ottomans, not Arabic nor a caliphate per se but the last great Islamic empire, lasted for a ridiculously long time (ca. 1300-1900 AD) and eventually became an admitted European power.