A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History

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Chi019
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NY Times science reporter Nicolas Wade's new book "A Troublesome Inheritance" has come out. Although he's covered a lot of this in his columns, I understand he's retiring which might explain why he's going into controversial areas with a book.

It seems to follow in the footsteps of economist Greg Clark's "A Farewell to Alms" and "The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution". Books that might fall into a category described as "bio-history".

"Mr. Wade draws from a wide range of technical literature in political science, sociology, economics and anthropology. He contrasts the polities and social institutions of China, India, the Islamic world and Europe. He reviews circumstantial evidence that the genetic characteristics of the English lower class evolved between the 13th century and the 19th. He takes up the outsize Jewish contributions to the arts and sciences, most easily explained by the Jews' conspicuously high average IQ, and recounts the competing evolutionary explanations for that elevated cognitive ability. Then, with courage that verges on the foolhardy, he adds a chapter that incorporates genetics into an explanation of the West's rise during the past 600 years."
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WitnessMO
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It takes thousands of years for genes to mutate and evolve not 600 years. He is obviously chatting bull****. The "genetic characteristics of the English Lower class" indeed! I wouldn't waste a penny of my working class money on his book.
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Martyn*
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Is this about Nigel Farage?
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notogayism
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(Original post by Martyn*)
Is this about Nigel Farage?
Martyn please.
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yo radical one
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What characteristics do the English lower class have?
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Martyn*
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(Original post by notogayism)
Martyn please.
There's very little to go on though.
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Chi019
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(Original post by WitnessMO)
It takes thousands of years for genes to mutate and evolve not 600 years. He is obviously chatting bull****. The "genetic characteristics of the English Lower class" indeed! I wouldn't waste a penny of my working class money on his book.
You actually could get a reasonably significant change in the prevalence of certain traits over a 600 year period (a 1000 years you could get a 1 standard deviation change).

That said, I don't think Wade is saying that the genetic changes were restricted to the last 600 years, he's saying that genes are a factor in pre-adapting those populations for the development /progress that has been observed.

For instance, factors like adapting to winter climates, greater demand for paternal investment, the rise of State societies and rule of law, create evolutionary pressures; among them were selection for qualities that were beneficial in our larger communities, such as lower levels of aggression, deferred gratification (vital for farmers), a greater willingness to trust people outside of close kin group, and the qualities required for craftsmanship, finance and various other complex skills...

The same could be said for China and East Asia, which I understand Wade also touches on.
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