the NeoEugenics' Home Page
Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race, and History by Jonathan Marks, 1995
Following this review is one by Peter LaFreniere on Marks' latest book What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee, 2002.
I had no intentions of reviewing any additional books on eugenics, genetic engineering, or behavior genetics and race unless the book was new and different; that is, if it broke new ground. However, this book is so filled with distortions, similar to the arguments put forth by the Marxist egalitarians like Gould and Lewontin, that it is a vital source for rebutting point by point many of the accusations made in it. And it is a good format for showing how these radical egalitarians have replaced the Mendelian eugenicists of the past in promoting a pseudoscientific agenda for political purposes. Quotes from the book are indented rather than quoted, followed by my comments. (for scientists' refutation of Gould and more examples of pseudoscience see my home page)
As we look back over recorded history, the emergence of nations and civilizations, transitions from feudalism and monarchies to democracies, a common theme of both secular and religious thought has been that blood matters. It was inherently understood that the quality of foodstuffs, livestock and humans was dependent on good breeding. This was nothing new. What occurred with the eugenics movement as described in most books, towards the end of the nineteenth century and lasting up until the 1960s in the Scandinavian countries, is that this ancient concern for good breeding, combined with the simplistic discovery of Mendelian genetics, gave promoters of good breeding a useful tool for advancing what we now know was an overly ambitious plan to weed out "bad" genes. At the same time, universal education was only beginning to be implemented, and a lack of education was often mistaken for "bad" genes.
Eugenics then, like medicine before it, was practiced poorly. How many movies have we seen, where a medical doctor intervenes in place of the tribe's medicine man, only to have the patient die (or live depending on the plot). Does that make modern medicine a pseudoscience, as it also started with practices like "bleeding" before it started helping patients more than it hurt them? Well, that is basically the message of this book, as is Gould's The Mismeasure of Man.
So why did modern medicine progressively advance in spite of its early failures, while eugenics almost collapsed totally? The differences are not really all that profound. Medicine addresses existing pain, suffering and death. Eugenics is about reducing pain, suffering and death through improving the future genetic capital of all people. That is, medicine is immediate; eugenics takes place in the future. And as we all know, humans are generally more concerned with having good times today and ignoring the future whenever it gets in the way of today's pleasures. So eugenics, like any other conservation program trying to protect what we cherish most, is always a hard sell. So let us take a look at the new pseudoscience of the radical environmentalists, to get a look at how their indoctrination of the masses takes place to keep humans married to the short-term gains promoted by socialism. Marks states that:
MARKS: American anthropology under Boas therefore came to adopt the position known as cultural relativism, whereby one analyzes cultures as far as possible without judging them except in the context of their own history, ecology, and belief systems. This naturally undermined the possibility of discerning progress in cultural evolution --- for the discernment of progress is quite simply a value judgment about the relative merit of cultures.
What, then, of the progress so apparent to earlier students of cultural evolution? It was now seen to be illusory, merely the commonsensical ethnocentric judgments of an immature science. The maturation of anthropology under Boas lay in precisely the same place as the maturation of biology under Darwin: the study of change without the framework of progress.
Culture obviously changes, but it does so by complex mechanisms. The important issue to the early 20th-century anthropologists was: Does it get "better" in any meaningful sense? If so, then is our culture "better" than that of our ancestors? And if it is, then is our culture "better" than that of the natives of Australia or the New World? During this period, these questions were all being answered now in the negative. It was not that civilization is degrading, which is also a value judgment, but simply that cultural change occurs outside an objective system of values. And because culture is a complex integrated unit, any change in one component of culture would lead to changes (usually unforeseen) in another. Boas and his students pointed to the many problems in our own culture as evidence that for each cultural problem solved, another is raised for the next generation. Ultimately we change, but in no self-evident way do we get better --- except technologically, and as we of the nuclear age well know, that improvement has been as mixed a blessing as any example of culture change.
Thus Boas brought cultural theory to its logical culmination in the 20th century. Darwin had undermined the biology of anthropocentrism and made it no longer possible to assert that the human species is "better" than a species of mole, for they are simply divergent offshoots of a common ancestor. So, too, Boas destroyed the underpinnings of ethnocentrism by which Western society saw itself as superior to other life-ways --- it was different all right, but value judgments were ultimately based on arbitrary criteria. Western and non-Western societies were simply examples of the diverse ways of being human.
This did not mean that we are never allowed to evaluate aspects of other cultures; Boas himself was an outspoken critic of the social policies of Nazi Germany --- the ultimate demonstration of admirably "advanced" technology in the service of a degraded system of values. However, judging that one society places a greater value on human rights, and judging that society to be superior --- in any kind of objective sense --- are very different things.
There are numerous errors and assumptions, but the first is referring to Boas and his Marxist school of anthropology. This was the school that embraced Margaret Mead and her eventual dismissal as a blind disciple of Boas, willing to ignore the facts to prove "cultural relativism." Rather than refute Boas here, others have done it much better. Throughout this book, Marks refers to Boas as if he is highly regarded and without criticism. But the Boasian school of anthropology has been shown to be fraudulent. Cultures do very greatly, but many innate patterns and commonalities emerge in all cultures, depending on the ecological niche they are in. A world-wide database of cultures with their values and practices has been developed to look at what is in fact cultural fads versus distinctive patterns of behavior based on our common genetic heritage. Marks never mentions these new schools of thought, as if science stopped in 1970 with Boas having the final word. This is lying by omission and is a hallmark of the new pseudoscience of the radical environmentalists.
But in addition, the cultural relativists have a real dilemma if we hold them to their assumptions. Even if we use nothing but infant mortality rate, average life expectancy, incidence of disease, and levels of poverty as some indication of the status of cultures if we assume or embrace cultural relevancy, then why do the Marxists preach intervention into these cultures in order to change them? These inherent contradictions make cultural relativism a meaningless term. It could just as easily be used by the ultra-right nationalists (I included) to argue that these cultures should be independent sovereign states without assistance from any other country. That is, they should stand on their own through famine, disease, illiteracy and tribal warfare as they deem fit. But the battle cry of socialists is INTERVENTION and redistribution of global wealth. These actions belie their real convictions to cultural relativism.
To point out other areas of contradiction, the same Boasian socialists are trying to intervene in China against their one-child policy, stop child-labor in numerous countries, stop amniocentesis testing and abortion of female fetuses in India, prevent clitoridectomies in Africa, and are even attempting to isolate Austria because it wants to control its rampant immigration, at the same time they want to preserve numerous extant native tribes by preventing outsiders from coming in to develop the natives' land or resources. They can't have it both ways. If there are no cultural values better than any other, then they should likewise but-out of other people's cultures and stop preaching to them about how they should behave, and how the West should behave towards other cultures.
And finally, National Socialism was a cultural value system embraced by Germans, just like the culture of the black ghetto and its crime is embraced by Blacks --- so they also are equally valid. If it is ok for some tribes to be genocidal, cannibalistic, or to mutilate their women then there should be no objection to National Socialism or immigration policies of sovereign nations who want to preserve THEIR cultures. There is no value system better than another. This is the hypocrisy of the Boasian school of anthropology, that was initiated on bad data collected by his disciples and no longer has any standing based on empirical evidence.
MARKS: Cultural history is not an accumulation of good ideas thought up by geniuses. It is certainly not evident that times of rapid cultural change are determined by the proportion of geniuses born. Indeed, a good idea is but a small step in cultural change; the major question that requires explanation is why people change what they have been doing to adopt the innovation. The history of science shows us that good ideas often come up in the minds of several different people concurrently, which implicates the milieu, rather than the genotype of the thinker, as the major determinant of the idea. Further, there are many reasons why people adopt bad ideas or reject good ideas; it is certainly not the case that a good idea is automatically recognized as such and adopted. To explain the events of human history, one needs a theory of culture, and can largely take genetics for granted as a constant in the equation. There always seems to be a person around with an idea when you need one; whatever the limiting factor in cultural evolution may be, it does not seem to be whether people can come up with ideas. If, therefore, individual mental processes do not underlie the major features of cultural evolution, then it is reasonable to ignore biology --- i.e., to regard it as a constant --- in the analysis of cultural processes.
Again, Marks starts from the assumption that there are no differences between cultures (races) that we clearly know are wrong today. The American Psychological Association's 1995 task force report "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" (available at my web site) states categorically that Blacks have an average IQ of 85 in the United States versus an average IQ for Whites of about 103 (and an average IQ for Ashekanzi Jews of 117 not cited). And the success, income, intellectual contributions, etc. of these three groups reflect these differences in intelligence, as Jews on average have nine times the wealth of the average American, and Blacks on average do poorly. In sub-Saharan Africa, the average IQ from recent studies is reported to be 70, which explains why a written language or what we call a civilization has never existed. Indeed, it seems the average intelligence, along with other factors of course, does lead to technological advancement. Biology or the quality of the genetic capital cannot be ignored in various population groups. Without intelligence, we cannot progress as rapidly as we have up to now.
But again, the pseudoscience of Marks is again apparent. As differential psychologists study population groups, intelligence, and scientific innovation, the socialists do no studies but merely make proclamations! If they can explain technological advancement by studying cultural history they should do so in the arena of academic review of data. Instead, they only criticize those doing the research without providing any empirical data of their own that has lead to a viable alternative to the nature-through-nurture approach to explaining technological change.
MARKS: The contribution of the Boas school, which cannot be overestimated, was that it conceptually divorced biological history from cultural history. In refuting the notion of cultural progress, this explanation also undermined the Great Chain of Being, which had been used in two different ways. First, if biology did cause specific cultural forms, then higher cultures implied "better" races, the bedrock of what is now recognized as the pseudoscience of racial superiority. Second, even if biology did not cause specific cultural forms, the ranking of cultures would imply a basis for ethnocentrism, and afford a rationalization for the exploitation of peoples and suppression of their lifeways.
To be fair, it was problematic to rank races as better or worse in the past. But today no scientist uses such terms any more. If one group is more intelligent than another, this does not mean they are better any more than if one group runs faster than another, or can climb high mountains without oxygen masks. Population groups are different, and that is all that is being studied. To the degree that groups compete with each other for resources, it is not contingent on science but on exploitation for its own sake. No justification is required. The exploitation by Blacks with billions of dollars being expropriated from Whites, under the rubric of discrimination, is a clear example of exploitation by opportunity --- the relentless claim of victim hood without any proof of how it occurs. So welfare is just slavery in reverse, taking from those who produce and giving to those who do not. If cultural relativism was really true, then the homeless and destitute should be left to their own devices to survive, since their world is as valid as any other's. No egalitarian redistribution should be necessary.
MARKS: But tracing the eugenics movement is not simply an exercise in the history of social thought. It is paradigmatic for the scientific study of human biology. We see in the eugenics movement how any study of human biology encodes social values, a situation that the study of clam biology or fly biology does not have to face. We see how scientists expounded on subjects they knew little about, derived results we can now see as thoroughly unjustified, and validated their own social prejudices with the "objectivity" of science. While the eugenics movement was certainly an embarrassing episode in the history of biology one would be wrong to ignore it as an aberration or an exception. It isn't the exception: it encapsulates the "rule." Studying humans can't be done as dispassionately as studying clams, for there is far more at stake. Therefore the levels of criticism and scholarship must be higher, and the stories that emerge must be subjected to more intense scrutiny from the scholarly community.
The fact is, the situation has now completely reversed between on nature-nurture debates. There is in fact a rigorous debate that ensues with every new hypothesis, assertion, ethnographic research, statistical studies, etc. with regards to genetic studies and how they effect behavior. There is NO advancement in science without open debate, even though the Marxists are trying to shut it down. The Bell Curve debate is significant. Released in 1994 it came under ad hominem attack from social scientists and newspaper pundits. And yet to date, the left has not been able to formulate a rebuttal to the conclusions, and in fact other researchers are expanding on the study significantly. So again, who are the Pseudoscientists? The radical environmentalists have not done any research to show that intervention programs work to raise intelligence. They have not been able to substantiate the assertions made by the Boasian school of anthropology, in fact there is little left to this enterprise. The fact is, social scientists with a socialist agenda are the ones who have been studying humans with an extreme bias. They continually ignore in their studies the contributions of heredity when formulating policy or reporting study results. They have turned their backs on objective scientific review and honesty. Over and over again they have been asked with regards to no population differences in intelligence --- what makes you think so? With no response except anecdotal "just so" stories about how it could possibly occur.
The behavior geneticists on the other hand have been collecting volumes of data from around the world that substantiates population differences not only with regards to intelligence, but also in many personality traits. And evolutionary psychology has been providing a wealth of data on how the expression of human behavior is rather constant under the various ecological conditions people live under. That is, humans are flexible strategizers within the parameters of genetic constraints, desires, and goals. So now the tables are turned and I must ask --- how can the social scientists study humans without loading upfront their own socialist's agenda with every new social program to solve or improve the human condition? And if cultural relativism is true, what's wrong with the human condition as it is now? Is not the inner-city ghetto versus the suburban gated community just two cultures? Neither any better or worse than the other?
MARKS: The second bit of naiveté in the quotation [by Davenport], however, consists in the Faustian bargain of involving the government in social tinkering of the sort envisioned by the academic eugenicists. It lies in appreciating that once the state has decided that some people have intrinsic qualities that are best not passed into the next generation, it is simply more expedient --- easier and cheaper --- to kill them than to operate on them. And since the state is under constant pressure to trim its expenditures and spend those tax dollars (or Deutschmarks) wisely, the relative merits of birth control versus death control become a great deal fuzzier than Davenport recognized. The question that immediately comes to mind, once we agree that certain qualities should not be passed on, is: What are those qualities? Here we can see the flaw of eugenics at its most obvious, namely, the arbitrariness of the traits it wishes to promote or limit.
But of course the arbitrariness of traits is no longer much in doubt. Numerous studies show that intelligence is correlated with success, health, safer driving records, social responsibility, reducing the spread of aids, making sound decisions for the benefit of the family, emotional intelligence, crime, etc. The old eugenics of trying to get rid of "defective" crime genes is no longer valid, even though understanding genetics can lead to understanding crime beyond mere intelligence. For example, looking at the levels of serotonin or testosterone to see how they impact behavior, whether the levels are caused by genes or behavior.
With regards to positive eugenics, contrary to what Marks claims, many couples do marry and are aware of the intelligence of their mates because they want their children to be intelligent. This assortative mating is now much more robust because we have universal education, and bright people are brought into closer contact at the university and professional levels. In the past, there were many highly intelligent people who never graduated from high school. Though intelligent, they were highly likely not to marry someone else for intelligence because they never had the opportunity, instead they just married the bimbo next door. Upward mobility has changed all that --- people are more mature and are aware of their mate choices when they can be compared in the milieu of higher education or in the workplace. Assortative mating is in fact a eugenics practice by individuals, whether they understand its implications or not. There will be less random mixing of low and high intelligent people marrying and having children. The rewards and benefits of having an equally smart spouse are too important. And likewise, the less intelligent will have to make do marrying each other. This is a form of speciation, taking place by geographic isolation --- not separated by mountains but by the walls of institutions and neighborhoods.
MARKS: It is always easy in retrospect to see why a plan failed, or why archaic ideas were wrong. It is far more difficult to make judgments or predictions on the spot; yet when new ideas on human biology are raised, they generally require such evaluations. We can now see three major theoretical flaws in the eugenics movement of the 1920s.
First, there is the problem of reification. The declaration that social problems are attributable to feeblemindedness, and can thereby be bred out of the species, carries with it the assumption that feeblemindedness is a unitary entity. . . . The second problem is arbitrariness: While many would agree that it is a callous parent indeed who would knowingly and willingly pass on a serious genetic liability to a child, it is not at all clear exactly what a "serious" defect would be. Or more precisely, the decision on where to "draw the line" between a genetic trait acceptable for propagation and one unacceptable for propagation is a difficult one to make. . . . The third flaw is hereditarianism, which piggybacks on the science of genetics, but is far older. The fact that many people pass on standards of behavior to their children that may be different from those passed on to the children of the most affluent classes, is not apparently attributable to genetics. . . . In retrospect as well, we can now see three important practical flaws with the eugenics program. As a biological solution to social problems, eugenics was looking for answers in the wrong places. Social problems are caused by social circumstances and history, after all, not by genetics.
Marks is not entirely wrong in finding flaws with the early eugenics, but again he seems to be in a time warp. Research now does in fact equate intelligence with social problems. See my web site for recent articles, or a review of Levin's book Why Race Matters for an in depth look at the research that has been done to show the strong correlation. From having children while still teenagers, to the chronically unemployable, to increased traffic accidents, to accidents on the job --- the less intelligent are more of a burden on society and are more so the less intelligent they are. And research by the APA has confirmed that intelligence is from 60 to 80% genetic, and cannot be changed through social intervention. So Marks is engaging in pseudoscience, stating a social cause because of a political agenda, and not supporting it with a preponderance of empirical evidence as needed to overturn the genetic nature of intelligence.
His second so-called flaw with earlier eugenics is now moot --- [intelligent] future parents will be able to use amniocentesis to determine if the fetus is free of genetic diseases, and they can judge for themselves what action to take. However, if we are to be free of government coercion with regards to reproduction, then that also includes my freedom not to be taxed because of someone else's decision to bring a deformed or damaged child into the world with expectations of forcing ME to pay for its support. Parents who choose to propagate devalued lives must be also willing to bear the costs. Marks' third flaw is of course valid, but is no longer an issue. Eugenicists universally reject equating moral character with any breeding program. However, he again holds out the promise of solving social problems by intervening in the circumstances of history. Again, there is no evidence that most social problems are amenable to intervention by the state. Morality, like intelligence, is under the control of genetics as much as is the sex drive. However, while eugenicists are aware of the genetic underpinnings of morality, ethnocentrism, religiosity, conscientiousness, risk taking, psychopathic individuals, homosexuality, etc., it is not of much interest to eugenicists to change human nature to conform to some geno-typical ideal. All that is desired is an increase in the average intelligence so that we can deal with these other complex issues in an enlightened way. There is plenty of room for genetic diversity in personality types.
MARKS: Empirically as well; a breeding program would be doomed to failure if the advocates paid attention to the genetics of animal breeding. As a critic in Scientific American pointed out in 1932, "[t]he dairy cow, as a cow, is not a very successful animal." While bred for a particular feature, it nevertheless is not a hardy species, and in the wild would certainly fail to thrive. And yet the eugenicists made consistent analogies to domesticated animal stocks in their appeal for more controlled human breeding.
Well, the COW was never bred to be in the wild. But a corollary to this argument is that Africans brought to America as slaves and now living in a modern technological society also, like the cow, cannot survive in the wild if Marks means in a natural state. Most Blacks could not live in modern society without government support and huge transfers of resources, so like cows they are also a non-viable sub-species. Living in a world where the average IQ is around 100, the average African IQ is 70.Like the cow, they can live on the farm (Africa) but not in the current natural world (civilization outside of Africa). And that did not come about because of eugenics but because of a lack of it. They stagnated while other races increased their genetic capital in intelligence (to varying degrees and resulting in varying degrees of success).
MARKS: Whenever the world has stood in absolute need of a genius he has appeared. . . . The eugenists constantly make the false assumption that a healthy degree of progress demands a large supply of first rate men. Here they succumb to the modern craze for mass production. Because a hundred policemen, or garbage men, or bootleggers are manifestly better than one, they conclude absurdly that a hundred Beethovens would be better than one. But this is not true. The actual value of genius often lies in its singularity." Beethoven, of course, was not only the victim of physical infirmity, but, Mencken points out, "the grandson of a cook and the son of a drunkard."
This is a hard concept to decipher because of its absurdity. First, is Marks saying that the earth has a teleological purpose, and when it feels the need, it reaches out, plucks a genius out of the masses, and the necessary progress it made? What an absurd concept. If this is true, then why do we bother so much with higher education? Why not just educate a few first-rate men and let them do the thinking for the rest of the garbage men, truckers, and tradesmen that do not need intelligence to do their jobs! Does he really believe this or is this just another version of a few people being a "vision unto the world," while the rest of us are just expected to follow. This statement smacks of totalitarianism, where the party will dictate what the masses need to function at their lowly stations.
This statement is in direct contradiction to the efforts made by affirmative action to raise Blacks up in parity to Whites. That is, why bother with Blacks if they are able to flip hamburgers, while Whites will produce the goods and build the buildings, and the Jews will take care of academics, law and medicine (which they dominate). Think about what he says. It is ok if there is a natural pecking order, even a benefit to have a limited number of geniuses and the rest somewhere below. Now consider evolution. As we evolved from our primate past were there just a few geniuses that showed the others the way, or did the entire species change gradually because of natural selection? One wonders if Marks even understands his contradictory statements or if they are just written as propaganda. This work borders on postmodernist incoherency, where sentences when analyzed mean nothing when taken as a whole.
MARKS: The attraction of eugenics lay in its easy answers to complex problems, and in its idealism: ultimately the goal was to improve society. For this reason, it cut across political lines, being as attractive to liberals who wished to make the world different and better, as to conservatives whose own success was thereby scientifically validated.
Now the social scientists are engaged in the same quest for easy answers and idealism to cure the world's problems, and both liberals and conservatives are buying into their daily pronouncements of new programs to solve problems. The problem is, these solutions are "just so" solutions that ignore human nature and any empirical evidence for probability for success. From trying to make every student equally intelligent to multiculturalism, diversity, cultural relativism, minority quotas, integration, school busing, food stamp programs, Head Start; these programs have resulted in a series of failures with more racial tension and an even less prepared workforce than existed fifty years ago. Egalitarianism has failed, like the early eugenics, because it is based now on an irrational political agenda that is incapable of accepting neo-Darwinism and what we now know about human nature and people. They are not all equal in their innate abilities.
MARKS: We define a racist study as one in which the individual is judged on the basis of group membership, and the qualities attributed to the group are therefore considered to be represented in the individual. It involves subsuming the biology of the individual to that of the group to which it belongs (or is attributed). The logic of racism is shown in the following syllogism: "Scots are frugal. You are a Scot. Therefore, you are frugal."
If the above is racism, then racism is dead. There are some ignorant people who make such statements. But it is never assumed by anyone that belonging to any one group gives the individual any specific quality as described. In fact, the opposite is what has been demanded by the egalitarians. In order to make everyone equal, they have demanded that we ignore the individual. That is, it is against the law to ignore race and give a biased-free test to all applicants for a job and hire the best performers. What is ironic is that the only institution that takes only the best based on testing is the armed forces. For this reason, they do not enlist based on affirmative action quotas. So if judging individual behavior based on group outcomes is racist, then it is the liberals who are racist. They assume that if Blacks do poorly as a group, then it must be individual Whites who are discriminating against Blacks because by belonging to the White race, they as individuals must be racist! Those of us who are against affirmative action, quotas, set-asides, and other group preferences are asking only that every person be treated as an individual, not as a member of a group. This definition of racism then is just another example of a specious argument without merit of consideration.
MARKS: [G]eneralizations about a group are notoriously difficult to validate and sustain. On what basis do we know that the Scots are indeed frugal in the first place? Perhaps it is simply an undeserved reputation, flattery or slander, as many such group generalizations turn out to be. If indeed the Scots are frugal, do we know how any particular Scot comes by it? Whether it is constitutional and instinctive, or learned and taught, may have very different implications for the proposition that a given Scot is or is not frugal. Is an unborn Scot destined for frugality? How can we find out? For example, do emigrants from Scotland and their descendants remain frugal? Do immigrants to Scotland and their descendants become frugal? Would a Scot raised by Danes be frugal, or not?
This is again the lying by omission that Marks (and Gould) stoops to. He basically has answered his own question but will not admit that these methods are used. In behavior genetic research using twin studies, adoption studies, studies looking at immigrants and how they change from the population from where they came, how people change over time in longitudinal studies; these and many other tools are all used and then combined together to determine the degree of heritability of traits. But of course it helps to have a good definition of the trait being studied, and of course frugality is used in place of the trait that is really of interest, intelligence. Throughout this book, Marks tries to obfuscate the arguments even more by substituting frivolous subject matters like frugality in place of the more studied traits like intelligence or introversion.
MARKS: The burden of proof in science always falls upon the person making the claim. This is one of the major distinctions between science and pseudoscience: Pseudoscientists challenge others to spend time refuting their claims, while scientists gather evidence and assess the body of evidence that exists to validate their own claims. . . . Basic scientific racism surfaces in different forms, which all retain the common feature of judging an individual by presumed properties of the group. In one manifestation, the assertion that different races differ by virtue of certain ingrained or instinctive behaviors generally localizes the group attribute within the constitution of the individual. Likewise, judging different human groups on the basis of their levels of technological advancement (i.e., the confusion of social history and biology), also localizes group properties within the constitution of the individual. These assertions appear to be both inaccurate and racist.
First, ALL of the research with regards to differences in races has been done by the empiricists while Marks, Gould, et al. make accusations without providing scientific proof. That is, the bulk of the research being done today is by those who accept the interaction between nature and nurture, while the radical environmentalists have done nothing in the last thirty years but sling mud. That puts Marks squarely into his own definition of being a pseudoscientist. To give just one example, Jensenism states that there are differences in average intelligence between Whites, Blacks and Asians (see my web site for articles on Jensen). This has been stated as true by the American Psychological Associations as well as reported by the majority of psychometricians and experts in differential psychology. These findings have come about through research, while Marks and his kind do nothing but throw insults and accusations of racism at any and all who dare state the facts. Do they provide any proof? No. They just smear individuals with ad hominem attacks, similar to the hysteria that erupted after release of Murray and Herrnstein's The Bell Curve in 1994. It was ruthlessly attacked by the pseudoscientist, while other researchers have been expanding on the work over the last five years. And by the way, further validating the findings. And again, none of these scientists ever judges an individual based on that individual's membership in any particular group, nor do they judge population groups based on their level of technological advancement. What is done, is that when sub-Saharan Africans are observed to have an extremely average low IQ of 70, the fact that they have never had a civilization, discovered the wheel, or had a written language before the arrival of outsiders, leads one to assume that maybe, just maybe, they are in fact of very low intelligence. Likewise, China has not had the degree of technological advancement found in the West, and yet they test out at similar or somewhat higher in average intelligence. So we look for other scenarios to locate the difference. This is not racism, this is scientific investigation at its most parsimoniousness. After collecting hard facts, does the data fit with what we observe?
MARKS: Race, in fact, is not even genetically determined. As Madison Grant asserted in The Passing of the Great Race in 1916: "The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian; the cross between a white man and a negro is a negro; the cross between a white man and a Hindu is a Hindu; and the cross between any of the three European races and a Jew is a Jew." Grant was right. But his mistake was in believing that he was making a statement of biological significance. Biologically the statement is nonsense: how could an organism with half its genes derived from one stock be declared a member of another? Grant, rather, was actually making a fairly mundane social observation. The regularity that he expresses here is that where two groups co-exist with significant differentials in power and status, a great deal of weight is placed on relatively small amounts of heredity. . . .Were Native Americans a race, more than one race, or a subset of one or more Asian races? . . . . What had been identified as pure races were simply the most extreme human populations.
Here again Marks has it backwards. Where there is a great deal of biological difference between races, there is a difference in power and status. Whites are much more intelligent on average than Blacks, and they have greater power and status on average. Ashkenazi Jews are much more intelligent on average than Whites, and they have greater power and status on average. (Again see MacDonald for eugenic strategies of Jewish culture leading to a highly evolved intellect). But Marks does admit that there are genetic differences between population groups. So not to beat a dead horse, population groups based on gene frequencies are EXACTLY the same as races. See Arthur Jensen's definition of races for a scientific explanation of the splitters and lumpers at my home site -- The g Factor, Chapter 12.
MARKS: The "three races," then, merely designate three major migrations into the United States: from (West) Africa; (Western) Europe; and (East) Asia. The indigenous peoples of Eurasia, however, blend gradually into one another, and the indigenous peoples of Africa blend into those of the Near East, and are themselves physically very diverse. Indeed a contemporary social phenomenon popularly called "Afrocentrism" involves the appropriation of "Africa" as a homogeneous racial and cultural entity. "Was Cleopatra Black?" asked the cover of Newsweek in 1989. There are no natural boundaries separating the people of Europe from those of Asia, and the one that appears to separate Africa from Europe --- the Mediterranean --- is far more permeable than it appears, and has been successfully navigated for thousands of years. The most formidable natural boundary actually subdivides Africa: the Sahara desert. People from north of the Sahara look far more like southern Europeans than like equatorial Africans. Thus the category "Africans" is itself a cultural construct, artificially lumping together highly diverse peoples. On the eastern side of the African continent, the Nile has long connected equatorial Africa with Egypt; consequently the Near East has long been a biologically highly cosmopolitan area. Was Cleopatra black? It is hard to say, but contemporary images depict her as looking rather like contemporary of inhabitants of the Near East do (Figure 9.2). As a member of an intermarrying Macedonian dynasty, she probably more closely resembled a modern-day Egyptian than a modern-day resident of, say, Ghana or Denmark. Once again, however, we confront here the overlay of cultural values upon ostensibly racial or biological categories. The category "African," as in "African-Americans," really means Central-West Africans, the people whose ancestors were brought to the New World as slaves.
Wow, the great egalitarian takes a snipe at the Afrocentrists! Here, he has switched from his liberalism to lash out at Blacks who are often also (well) anti-Zionist. I'm not sure I know why he reverses his position here, but when he is correct I will point it out. Sub-Saharan Africa was very isolated. See my map of genetic differences available at my home page.
MARKS: An obvious demonstration lies with the Jews, who are united by definition culturally, rather than biologically --- and who were long considered to be a "racial" issue. If race is a strictly biological category, and Jews are a strictly cultural category, then there should be no sense at all in a phrase like "the Jewish race." And yet both Jews and non-Jews alike can identify people who "look Jewish." Is this a contradiction? Not really: it simply reflects the fact that a significant proportion of Jews (particularly in America) have ancestry from southeastern Europe, and consequently tend to look more like one another than like people from Norway or Pakistan.
Talk about trying to muddle the concept of race! There is a Jewish religion, but many who call themselves Jews are atheists. In fact Marxism has been largely a Jewish ideology. And of course Jews in different parts of the world may or may not be culturally or genetically alike, like the Jews in Yemen. They have little left of what is considered to be Jewish culture nor do they have the high intelligence of most Jews. So being Jewish can mean many things. What is normally discussed as Jewish in the West are the Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, and again they have many cultures, religious beliefs, manners of dress, political beliefs, etc. What does unite them is their genetic kinship, and there is a great effort not to mingle with other races. It is so troubling to Jews, yes even atheist Jews, to see Jews marrying non-Jews that they have recently called it "the silent holocaust." Also, Jews have not allowed outside penetration into their gene pool while encouraging lesser Jews to defect. This has been part of their eugenics' program that has resulted in the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews to be elevated to an astonishing 117, and is the reason that they can so easily dominate academics, the media, politics, medicine, law and other prestigious professions. To claim that any group can have an average IQ because of their culture then begs the question --- what in that culture causes the high IQ? With such an excellent model to follow, why haven't ANY of the radical environmentalist been able to replicate this phenomenal achievement, much less try to explain it with some empirical data. And all it would take would be adoption studies, showing that non-Jews, raised by Jews, also had high IQs on average. Nope, hasn't been done, because it is genetic, not cultural. This also explains why Jews fight so hard against the link between intelligence and genes. For some reason they don't want people to know how intelligent they are.
MARKS: Certainly we gravitate to people to whom we perceive ourselves to be similar; this may be one of the most fundamental human drives. And the kinds of bonds we form that way are symbolic: whether we gravitate to other Mormons, or other Baltimore Orioles fans, or other citizens of Irish ancestry, we form associations based on the perception of shared feelings. The problem involves formalizing these associations, such that people who do not share some specific quality of interest are thereby barred, or deprived of basic rights. And the appropriation of genetics as a basis for group membership, or more significantly, for group exclusion, is a pernicious misapplication of human genetics. It is what we mean by "racism."
This paragraph is incoherent and does not follow. There is a great deal of debate on how much ethnocentrism or "groupism" is based on cultural versus genetic similarities. But they are both present in the innate need of humans. Research has shown that given a group of people, they will form into factions very quickly, whether in sports, business, religious, class or race. But it does not follow that recognizing racial differences, anymore than recognizing cultural or economic differences leads to "racism." There is always competition for resources, and probably the most aligned group of any are the "greedy capitalists." But it is not based on genetic studies but in the feeling that capitalists have too much power. There is nothing in sociobiology that leads to "group exclusion" because we look at differences in races. There is no REASON to exclude anyone based on race, even if the averages between say intelligence or running speed differs. We still select the best no matter what group one is a member of. However, egalitarians have been on a mission of defining people on the basis of their group membership, not eugenicists. They are the ones who transfer money from Whites to Blacks, they are the ones who have quotas for Blacks, and they are the ones who have denied companies and schools from testing the INDIVIDUAL in favor of selecting people based on their racial group. This is in fact racism against Whites. We are repeatedly lumped together, being forced to pay reparations over and over again to Blacks because Blacks do not do as well economically as Whites. So how can Whites not defend themselves and point out that we should all be judged as individuals, not placed in a racial group where the Blacks now enslave the Whites to pay for their own failures. If there was any proof that these failures were due to Whites, then they may have a case. But no evidence, as Jensen call it "Factor X", has been forthcoming.
MARKS: There will always be smart and talented people to run the country. Intelligence and talent take many forms. We simply have to cultivate them from the lower classes, and give them the opportunity to express their talents. Many of the current generation's talented people, of course, are derived from lower classes of earlier generations --- the very ones that the eugenicists feared and loathed. It is hard enough to run a bureaucracy, much less a civilization, with exclusively the "best and the brightest" --- imagine what a needless burden is placed on society by failing to cultivate the abilities of large segments of the populace!
Again, this paragraph is a contradiction. Marks is making another attempt to first say smart people really are not that important, but we should go to extraordinary means to make everyone equally smart. Again, the best estimates are that intelligence is 60 to 80% inherited. And it is sheer pseudoscience to make an unsubstantiated claim that a country of intelligent people is somehow not beneficial. If we raised the average IQ of everyone in a nation by 20 points, there would still be tradesmen, garbage collectors, and street sweepers --- smart people who just prefer outside work. When I was young, even though I tested out to be in the gifted program at school --- I still hated school work and preferred going to work as a stock boy in a grocery store, running around with my friends on weekends getting into trouble, and later working in a factory. And I still prefer physical activities over mental, writing is still confining and laborious, and I only force myself to do it because of what I think needs to be said. Nowhere is there any proof that intelligence automatically leads one into a specific profession. Rather, being smart "allows" one to enter the prestigious professions. For Marks to make the above claim, it seems we could equally be a nation of voting chimpanzees, with a few smart humans around doing the thinking when necessary. This has been disproved again and again. How many times do we notice the dumb waiter, slow check-out clerk, careless mechanic, all the time realizing that intelligence is always a plus. It is so obvious when it is missing in a person trying to carry out even simple tasks, like packing groceries. And yes, I used to enjoy seeing how fast and precisely I could pack a bag of groceries. Intelligent people can make any task a challenge.
MARKS: It appears, then, that genetic diversity in a population is necessary for the optimal state of the gene pool. It ensures heterozygosity in individual organisms, which (by virtue of cryptic physiological processes) confers benefits over homozygotes.
Genetic diversity is beneficial in some regards. There needs to be variations in immune systems so some people will survive an epidemic. There needs to be differences in traits like aggressiveness versus passivity, because under different conditions one trait has a higher survival rate than another. That is why we have so many different personality types. However, the reason that we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees is because many of the fundamental genes have gone to fixation. That is, they work fine the way they are and variation is not required. And, the same thing is true with intelligence. For humans, the higher the intelligence the better the individual has for survival. There is a wealth of data that shows that intelligent people do better than less intelligent people, with the exception of collecting welfare checks (some thing I would equate to a disease in itself). So I would argue that there is no reason not to want people to be smarter. On the other side, there is no benefit to having people of low intelligence, unless we have a need some day to dupe these people to take on dangerous and unsavory chores. In fact, I get the feeling that while Marks is putting forth an egalitarian program, what he is really saying is "don't you little people worry about anything, there are a few of us very intelligent people to take care of the thinking for you." This is again the beginning of totalitarianism from the left, something we are seeing in the West with the globalization and the chipping away of free speech. Universal conformity is again being forced on member countries of the European Economic Union, where democratic elections are being overturned and only centrist and socialist political parties are being allowed to participate. These are the first steps towards a one-world government where the likes of the Mr. Marks will be making all the rules.
MARKS: The magnitude of difference between two gene pools can generally be attributed to four factors: (1) length of time of separation, (2) lack of subsequent genetic contact between them, (3) genetic response to local conditions or history, and (4) restricted size of the population.
Here, Mr. Marks has just described how one the few eugenic races came about. About 3000 years ago (length of time of separation), according to genetic testing of the male "y" chromosome, all of the Jewish priestly caste has descended from one male, Aaron. Along with universal education, eugenic selection based on arranged marriages between wealthy Jew's daughters and the best Jewish scholars; the brightest married the brightest. Non-Jews were not allowed into this very selective group, and genetic penetration was extremely limited. A gentile had to be very bright and persistent, and would be only fully accepted after several generations (but never into the highest caste of Jews). Therefore, no genetic penetration or (2) above. (3), genetic response to gentile hostility made being a Jew very difficult. Only the most ethnocentric, devoted, and successful Jews would maintain their allegiance to the racial purity. The lesser Jews defected to Christianity, another eugenic method of filtering out the very best. Last, restricted size of the population. The Jews have always been a small group living within larger groups. This is why I use the Jewish model for future eugenics programs. It provides a methodology, and it proves that it works. The Ashkenazi Jews are far more ethnocentric, intelligent, and devoted to their Jewishness than are gentile Whites who are passive and unconcerned with their racial cohorts.
MARKS: The predominant manner in which human groups vary from one another, indeed, is cultural. The great cultural variation within our species augments the biological differences between populations; indeed, it swamps the biological differences among populations. Like the recognition signals that identify members of particular species to one another, humans (lacking the biological differentiation of species, or even of subspecies) identify themselves as group members culturally. We identify ourselves as members of a particular culture in the way we dress, the way we decorate ourselves, the values we hold, and of course in the language we speak. Mating patterns in humans are very strongly constrained by attributes we perceive as similar in ourselves and our mates, and most of those criteria are cultural in their basis.
Marks is just plain wrong on this matter. There is an abundance of research to show that humans are aware of subtle genetic differences in others, and it is part of our innate kin selection mechanism. Research in Hawaii showed that Whites and East Asians intermarried readily, while Blacks and Whites do not, even though Blacks and Whites are more culturally alike. From genetic maps, Whites are closest to East Asians, and closer still in intelligence. And again, the Boasian school of cultural differences has been overturned completely. To see just how pseudoscientific this assertion is, and how unsubstantiated in the face of extensive ethnographic and ethological studies that show how genetic based our so-called cultural differences really are, read Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. Just released, I believe it is the best book I have read that reveals the sophistication of sociobiology and its overturning of the social science approach to understanding human nature. A truly wonderful book, especially for mothers who care about their children's welfare.
MARKS: Talented people are always appearing in all populations; the key is to identify and cultivate those talented individuals regardless of the population from which they derive. The supply of human resources --- of people with the potential for excellence --- is for all intents and purposes limitless; the failure of the 20th century has been an inability to tap into it, and (as in the case of the eugenicists) even to deny it exists.
Again, eugenicists do not deny the existence of talented people, we want to make more of them available in the future, with fewer people who will just end up in poverty or on welfare. As a eugenicist, I strongly approve of universal education, and in locating and cultivating gifted children. Unfortunately, we have been diverting our resources to the talent less underclass children, who have little chance of much improvement in intelligence as follow-up studies of programs like Head Start have revealed. Why not test every child, and devote more resources, not less, into their educational opportunities. This is again where Whites have become the slaves of Blacks. We now work so that they can stay home and have babies, while producing nothing in return. Or they get unwarranted transfer payments through set-asides, affirmative action, grants, quotas, and a myriad of other programs that use race as a criteria for special benefits.
MARKS: We can consequently differentiate between mainstream behavioral ecology and hereditarianism. There is certainly little doubt that genes influence behaviors to some extent, and that people vary polymorphically for those genes. "Nature and nurture" aren't the issues; the causes of within-group and between-group diversity are the issues. Unfortunately, in criticizing "the social sciences," sociobiology in the 1970s often failed to differentiate between the patterned behavioral variation of people representing groups from different times and/or places (i.e., anthropology), and why people in the same time and place do different things (e.g., psychology).
This is no longer the 70s Mr. Marks. The success of sociobiology has been phenomenal and without any doubt in its fundamental principles. Let me explain how it has been occurring. Some brilliant minds around 1970 dealt with some of the major problems with Darwinism such as altruism, kin selection, incest taboos, patriarchal versus matriarchal cultures, etc. These human variances just did not seem to fit into a simple evolutionary equation. Then new algorithms and explanations were developed and a renewed explosion in evolutionary theory emerged. Since then these mathematical models have been used to test numerous species, including humans, to see how well they fit. They do. What were once thought to be radically varying cultures, as it turns out, are really innate evolutionary behaviors with built-in strategies to deal with varying ecologies. That is nature and nurture interacting. We are born with a flexible template of genes and act differently under different environments. So Mr. Marks again is the pseudoscientist. And his kind, instead of providing research, have been content over the last thirty years to sling mud at sociobiology, including using the worn out label of racism because they have not been able to develop a social science paradigm that has succeeded in answering the question --- why are Blacks so dumb and Jews so smart --- on average. They have not been able to locate the mythical "factor X," even though the tools for doing so are readily available and are easily funded. (Try getting funding for studies in the genetic basis of intelligence.)
MARKS: Most of our species' behavior occurs in the complex cultural universe of status, power, self-identification, education, economics, ambition, imagination, and love. Most of our behavior, therefore, is studiable only as habitus; we can demonstrate little in the way of biological homology with other species. An aggressive encounter between two chimpanzees has little in common with an encounter between a Nazi brownshirt and a Jew in 1936 Germany or a gay-basher and his victim in 1983 America. The latter encounters are about group behavioral differences, and are charged with emotional symbolic power, and may be between two individuals who have never met before and want nothing from one another. The chimpanzee encounter is about the immediate circumstances, and is between those two individuals.
Wrong again. Status, power, self-identification, education in terms of learning from others, economics (ecological resources), ambition, imagination, and love are all part of a continuum from lower species up to humans. That is, our nearest relatives have all of the above. Some of them go by different names but the same desires and social structures are present in chimpanzees and other primates and animals. All of these behaviors, including altruism in bats, consensus making decisions by bees, infanticide by gorillas, rape by orangutans, and extreme monogamy and pair bonding with the male carrying 80% of the nurturing of the young, while the female clings lovingly to the male found in the Titi monkeys, clearly shows we have never made a break from our evolutionary past. Marks, as an egalitarian propagandist just refuses to concede the evidence that is available. It is his job to refute this data with his own research if he can.
MARKS: The lack of credibility in this anecdotal research means that twin studies are still of highly dubious value in determining simple answers to questions concerning the inheritance of mental processes --- and especially concerning the differences that may exist between groups. Recent adoption studies of non-twins find effects of heredity and effects of upbringing on within-group variation in IQ. But their relevance to the behavioral differences among groups --- which is presumably what we are interested in --- is minimal. Of somewhat greater interest is the study of between-group variation, showing a seven-point increase in IQs of Japanese relative to Americans over the course of a generation, apparently unrelated to genetics. . . . Is intelligence inherited? is fodder for ideologues; only when it is broken down do answers emerge. Intelligence, in its various forms and accessibility to measurement, is a phenotype, which like all phenotypes comes from both genes and environment; both contribute significantly to the variation in intelligence within groups. Between groups, however, environment accounts for the vast majority of the variation.
Again he has provided no proof, no studies, no mode of occurrence, nothing. He merely makes a statement. For a refutation of this unfounded dogma see Chapter 12 of Arthur Jensen's book The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability recently released and available on my web site.
MARKS: The weakness of the "xenophobia/genocide-as-human-nature" idea is that it takes the existence of between-group variation as given. It assumes natural, objective differences between the victim and perpetrator in reconciling their antagonism to our genome. Actually, however, those differences are constructed culturally, which is a fascinatingly human characteristic. The point is not that we have a drive to hate people different from ourselves; it's that we define ourselves culturally, and then make people different from us. Would the Nazis have been more humane if there had been no Jews? Certainly not; the Jews were there, but the role they played for the Nazis was a construction of Nazi culture. If the Jews didn't exist, they would have been invented (as to a large extent they were!), or somebody else would have filled the bill. Irish Catholics and Protestants hate each other, yet are virtually the same; likewise Bosnians and Serbs; and Tutsi and Hutu. Where antagonistic human groups are biologically distinct from one another, it may appear that the xenophobia is based on a natural difference. But the fact that the same thing happens between groups lacking significant biological differences shows that the interesting aspect of this behavior is strictly cultural.
There are two factual errors here. First, genocide is practiced by chimpanzees who are closely related genetically. That is, two neighboring troops of chimpanzees, with many of its members intermingled genetically, will still carry out genocidal raids on other chimpanzees (between males of course). And the book War Before Civilization details the horrible genocidal past of human tribes, almost always genetically close. His other error is again failing to understand that groups, however they are perceived, and where resources are seen to be unfairly distributed, conflict is highly probable (see last chapter of macDonald's 1998 book The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements at my web site). All of his examples above show conflict from resource competition. A concept that is well understood in terms of evolutionary tribalism. Groups compete for land, food, wealth, status, females, power --- you name it. As for the Jews, not only were they dominating German culture and its wealth because of their high intelligence (as Hitler well knew), they also refused to genetically assimilate after emancipation in the mid-eighteenth century, but they were also seen as the cause of Russian Bolshevism which was seen as a severe totalitarian threat to Germany. Hitler could never have mobilized the German people against the Jews had the fear of Jewish Bolshevism not been an ever present danger. How responsible the Jews were for the Communist totalitarian state is still being debated, but the genocide against the Jews came about because of a perceived fear of Communism. All these conflicts are well understood by sociobiologists and are well understood within the context of human aggression and warfare from our primate past.
MARKS: History tells us that the different natures of groups of people are fantastically malleable through time and across space, which implies that most differences among groups of people are not constitutionally, but socially, rooted. Human nature appears to be extremely diverse, as do the phenotypes of human beings.
In short, Marks is lying because he must be aware of the international database of world cultures, that shows innate consistencies of behavior. Human evolutionary strategy is flexible, but it is not malleable outside of genetic parameters laid down by mother nature. Our brain is a tool chest of modules built up over millions of yeas. We are still connected to our past. This tabula rasa or radical egalitarianism has been absolutely shredded over the last 30 years, but he acts as if it is still valid.
Here, Marks commits one of the most egregious examples of deception I have ever seen. Brain size is always adjusted for body size. That is, about 75% of any animal's brain is devoted to operating the body it is attached to. This body-size/brain-size portion has to be subtracted out before looking at the brain-size/intelligence-quotient part of the correlation. Recent studies using MRI by a Turkish team of researchers for example shows that first, women and men express intelligence in different parts of the brain, and two, that intelligence does correlate with brain size when adjusted for body size. This is a clear example where Marks is absolutely lying, because he knows that all research regarding brain size is adjusted for body size. But aside from that, along with Gould, he has held onto this myth that brain size does not correlate with intelligence because it was a bedrock of bashing earlier studies over 100 years ago that Gould used in The Mismeasure of Man and cannot openly admit that he was wrong. When Gould re-released his book a few years ago, he was taken to task by other scientists for not correcting this obvious deception, but he would neither apologize nor comment. These examples make Gould and Marks both unabashed propagandists. They care little about science when it is in conflict with their precious radical environmentalist agenda.
MARKS: And finally, the growth, structure, and function of the brain is poorly known, but well enough known to reject the assumption that a measurement of brain size yields a precise estimator of brain quality. The smallest non-pathological modern human skulls are actually close in cranial capacity to the largest gorilla skulls. But there is no reason to think that the small human brain produces anything but normal human thoughts, and no reason to think that the large gorilla brain produces anything but normal gorilla thoughts. For all we know, the sole advantage to a human of having a big skull over a small skull would come in a head-butting contest. And even then, the thick-vaulted Homo erectus would beat out all Homo sapiens competition. . . . Interestingly, though there was agreement that women have smaller average brains than men (assuming their brains don't grow in subsequent studies!), they apparently do not have lower average IQs. This obviously would undermine the strict determination of intelligence by brain size, which should already be common sense.
MARKS: Racial problems in America are mostly social problems: if the social differences among races were minimized, the perceived biological differences would be minimized as well. In the early part of this century, ethnic differences among European immigrant groups to America --- such as Irish, Italians, and Jews --- and between immigrants and Anglo-Saxon Americans --- were widely speculated to be biological in nature. As the economic and social differences among European-Americans diminished, ethnicity remained, but biological constitutional differences among them are no longer widely considered important, if real.
There is now no doubt that intelligence correlates with how well one does in a myriad of life's challenges. I have reviewed several recent studies from the journal INTELLIGENCE that corroborates what was concluded in The Bell Curve. But again, where is the proof that social intervention will improve intelligence? Why can't Marks provide any? Remember, he claimed earlier that a pseudoscientist is one who just criticizes what other researchers are doing while not providing any studies or proofs to the contrary. So again, by his own admission, all he does is sling mud at 100 year-old research while ignoring all the current research. Like I said before, that is like denying the benefit of modern medicine by criticizing medical practices used 100 years ago.
MARKS: Today new genetic advances occur weekly. Still, however, they enter into a set of cultural values that we and the scientists bring to the work to interpret it. History shows that the assumption that behavioral differences are at root innate is one of the most abused of scientific conclusions. It is a powerful source of validation for the status quo, for passing on responsibility for social problems, and for unfairly ostracizing people in large numbers. Consequently these must be among the most carefully scrutinized of scientific conclusions.
In a way he is correct here. Folk genetics as practiced by the press does almost approach a Mendelian simplicity. But that is the fault of the press in their desire for simplistic and sensationalist journalism. These are the same journalists that are quick to claim that being a homosexual is genetic, but being a genius is not. That is, journalism is solidly committed to perpetuating the myth of no differences in the intelligence between races. So if we are to scrutinize science, it needs to be done without bias, which is clearly not the case when it comes to racial differences. I agree we should tread cautiously, but that includes just as much caution in assuming that all races are of equal intelligence, resulting in reverse discrimination against Whites.
MARKS: The great advances in genetics in this century have not brought about great advances in our understanding of why crime exists, the nature of variation in moral standards, or the association of specific behaviors with specific populations at specific times. Rather, the arguments on behalf of the hereditarian position tend to rest on the same kinds of arguments and data they have always rested on: anecdotes, twins, skulls, and prejudices.
Wrong, wrong, and more wrong. See notes ,  &  as examples of the solid research that is being carried out. These examples are just two that I came across in the last two weeks! But the really insidiousness of Marks duplicity is that he is not just a bad scientist, but I believe he knows exactly what he is doing. While condemning evolutionary group strategies, he is participating in promoting his own kin by trying to dupe and brainwash American society. He no doubt is being applauded by his kin, for using every tactic available to counter what he thinks may be a threat to his status and power. So far it has worked, mostly be screaming racist every time some research emerges that he and his kind doesn't agree with. But technology and science cannot be stopped, unless we again enter a new age of totalitarianism. No doubt, Marks is in agreement with others who would like to shut down the Internet, because they cannot control the content. Too bad for the pseudoscientists.
 Ethology and Sociobiology 17: 97-97 (1996)
To test the hypothesis that wealth inheritance patterns and marriage patterns are correlated, Hartung (1982) adopted a cross-cultural approach. Hartung's database comprised those cultures in the Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock 1967) that were coded for both marriage system and wealth inheritance pattern. This comparison across 411 societies revealed a strong male bias in inheritance in 58% of monogamous cultures, 80% of limited polygynous cultures, and 97% of general polygynous cultures, in support of the hypothesis under test. This analysis was then repeated using two controls for non-independence between cultures. First, only societies from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample were used: a subset of 186 societies, each of which represents one of the world's major cultural areas (Murdock and White 1969). Second, the analysis was conducted only at the level of major language grouping, where the 411 cultures were placed in their respective language groups (identified in the Atlas) and the proportion of each group in each marriage and inheritance category calculated and summed, with each of the groups weighted equally. (Thus even if one language group had twice as many cultures in the dataset as another, each family contributed equally to the analysis.) In both cases, there was an increasing trend towards male-biased inheritance as the prevalence of polygynous marriage increased (Hartung 1982).
 INTELLIGENCE 27(1):
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Brain Size/IQ Relations in Turkish University Students
UNER TAN & MELIHA TAN; Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey
PINAR P0LAT, YASAR CEYLAN, SELAMI SUMA, & ADNAN OKUR
Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey
The relation of IQ (Cattell's Culture Fair Intelligence Test) to brain size was studied in 103 right- and left-handed men and women at Ataturk University in eastern Turkey. Cerebral areas were measured on a midsagittal section of the brain using MRI. An overall correlation of 0.40 was found between MRI-measured total area and IQ thereby further supporting the IQ-brain size hypothesis. Additional analyses suggested that these results may need qualification. In men, only anterior cerebral area correlated with IQ. In women, total and posterior cerebral areas were correlated with IQ. Other results varied by handedness.
Since at least the time of Paul Broca (1824-1880) and Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) attempts have been made to answer the question whether intelligence can be predicted from brain size. For example, Galton (1888) reported that the head size of Cambridge Class A students was about 3.3% larger than those of Class B students. Reviews of this literature by Jensen and Sinha (1993), Wickett, Vernon and Lee (1994), Rushton and Ankney (1996) found Galton's results to have been widely replicated.
 Sixty Minutes on April 23, 2000 featured a sub-Saharan tribe, the Lemba, that claimed to be Jewish. Though they had no written language, they had an oral history of the Jewish religion and practiced many of the Jewish rituals. To see if it was possible, researchers compared the tribe's males "y" chromosome with the "y" chromosome of the Jewish priestly class that supposedly descended from Aaron. They determined they were an exact match, and that both had descended from a common male ancestor about 3000 years ago. This type of genetic data, now available to trace the matrilineal line of descent from mitochondria DNA makes demographic mapping of descent for males and females possible. It also shows the absurdity of calling Judaism a religion or a culture when the genetic heritage of this race is so easily followed through indisputable genetic tracing of genealogies.
 Darwin on the
Evolution of Morality; Soshichi Uchii, Kyoto University
Paper presented for the session on the 19th century biology, International Fellows Conference (Center for Philosophy of Science, Univ. of Pittsburgh), May 20-24, Castiglioncello, Italy [Last modified March 10, 2000].
1. THE CONTINUITY OF MAN AND ANIMALS
Today, I wish to talk about Darwin's biological considerations on morality. There are other people who treated the same or the related problems in the 19th century, e.g. Spencer or Huxley; but it seems to me Darwin is by far the most important. When I began to study the Darwinian evolutionary theory some twenty years ago, I was very much impressed by Darwin's persistence with his thesis of the continuity of man and animals. In The Descent of Man, published in 1871 (2nd ed., 1874), this thesis is put forward as follows [Q1]: "It has, I think, now been shown that man and the higher animals, especially the Primates, have some few instincts in common. All have the same senses, intuitions, and sensations,----similar passions, affections, and emotions, even the more complex ones, such as jealousy, suspicion, emulation, gratitude, and magnanimity; they practice deceit and are revengeful; they are sometimes susceptible to ridicule, and even have a sense of humor; they feel wonder and curiosity; they possess the same faculties of imitation, attention, deliberation, choice, memory, imagination, the association of ideas, and reason, though in very different degrees. The individuals of the same species graduate in intellect from absolute imbecility to high excellence. They are also liable to insanity, though far less often than in the case of man." (Descent of Man, ch. 3)
However, traditionally, there have been various sorts of arguments for regarding man as qualitatively distinct from any other animals; among these arguments, it seems that the most persuasive was that only man has the moral sense or conscience. For instance, Rev. Leonard Jenyns, commenting on the Origin of Species in a letter to Darwin, argues as follows [Q2]: "One great difficulty to my mind in the way of your theory is the fact of the existence of Man. I was beginning to think you had entirely passed over this question, till almost in the last page I find you saying that 'light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.' By this I suppose is meant that he is to be considered a modified and no doubt greatly improved orang! . . . .Neither can I easily bring myself to the idea that man's reasoning faculties and above all his moral sense could ever have been obtained from irrational progenitors, by mere natural selection ----acting however gradually and for whatever length of time that may be required. This seems to me doing away altogether with the Divine Image that forms the insurmountable distinction between man and brutes."(Letter to Darwin, Jan.4, 1860. Wilson, 1970, 351.) Thus Darwin had to face with the problem of how we can handle the moral sense within evolutionary processes, in other words, how we can give a biological explanation for man's moral faculties. This subject is tackled in chapters 4 and 5 of his book.
2. SOCIAL INSTINCTS
Darwin's explanation of the origin of the moral sense is very interesting, but as is customary with his exposition, it is very complicated and hard to follow. But I think the main line of his argument may be reconstructed as follows: First, he puts forward the following conjecture or hypothesis [Q3]: (H) "any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man." (op. cit., ch. 4)
"Oh, come on, this is a sheer counterfactual statement, and how should we justify such a statement?"-----no doubt many people may feel this way. But let's see what he means. Darwin means that this statement can be justified or made probable by what we know about man and social animals in general, if we supply evolutionary considerations.
First, he reminds us of a fact that man is a social animal: human beings live in a family, in a group, and in a society; and this is a biological fact like that bees and ants live in a colony. And any social animal has social instincts which support their social life. By "social instincts" he means innate or genetic propensities "to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them"(ibid.). Since social instincts are part of the "essence" of a social animal, so to speak, these instincts persist and work continually in the whole life of any individual. But these instincts may work quite differently depending on what species that animal belongs to: in the case of bees and ants, social instincts may determine particular jobs and roles an individual is to perform; but in a higher animal, social instincts may work as a mere tendency to prefer social life and to aid fellow members.
Of course, it may be asked why these animals have such instincts. Darwin has a ready answer to this: such instincts are useful for these animals, and therefore they have acquired these by natural selection. But we have to notice here that the moral sense is not included in social instincts at this stage of the argument. Darwin's purpose is to depict the process by which the complex faculty of moral sense may be developed from the combinations of simpler faculties of social instincts and intelligence, hopefully by means of natural selection. Moreover, even if we admit his assumption that the social instincts are useful for the animals, there is still a crucial problem: useful exactly to whom?----to a group of animals or to individual animals? We will come back to this problem later (Section 5).
3. CONFLICTS OF SOCIAL INSTINCTS WITH OTHER INSTINCTS
Now, granted that man is a social animal, how has man acquired the moral sense? The second stage of Darwin's argument is concerned with an imaginary psychological process which may give rise to something like moral sense or moral feeling. Suppose some social animal has acquired high intelligence so that it can remember past actions and motives. This will intensify the ability of sympathy which is included in the social instincts. Sympathy is an ability to represent others' feelings, as well as one's own, within oneself; so that if this animal acquires better knowledge about others, by means of its improved intelligence, it is natural to suppose that the extent of sympathy will also be somehow widened.
But Darwin is not arguing that, since intelligence strengthens the operation of sympathy, the social instincts together with intelligence give rise to the moral sense. The matter is not that simple. We have to notice that the social instincts are not necessarily the strongest in each occasion when this animal makes decisions or actions, and they may give in to some other temporarily stronger motives, such as appetites or sexual drive. As we all know, we humans have anti-social or selfish motives as well as social motives; we often follow the former, and with higher intelligence we may even become cleverer for satisfying our selfish motives rather than social motives. Darwin is well aware of this.
Then what would give rise to the moral sense? The key is the enduring nature of the social instincts. The social instincts may give in to other stronger motives; but nevertheless, the social instincts are ever persistent. Then what would happen when these social instincts conflicted with other desires and were frustrated by satisfying the latter? As we know, when a certain instinct or desire failed to be satisfied, some sort of disagreeable feeling remains. And since the social instincts are enduring, each time this animal recall this conflict, this disagreeable feeling also recurs and it may be even intensified. Thus in memory, those feelings which are associated with social instincts would become dominant. Similar things would happen with agreeable feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment; if this animal followed the social instincts rather than other desires, its satisfaction would be recalled with enjoyment, because that is quite in conformity with its enduring social nature. And this is the beginning of the formation of moral feelings; and the ability to experience these feelings is an essential part of what we call the "moral sense".
[Note added in October 1998: This argument was already criticized in the 19th century as trying to replace an evolutionary explanation of the origin of morality by a mere "imaginary psychology" (Shurman 1887, ch.5); and this criticism seems to have some point. However, we can reconstruct Darwin's argument in two stages, (1) the evolution of a behavioral strategy, and (2) the evolution of psychological properties accompanying such a behavioral strategy. As regards (1), the contemporary reader is already familiar with the conditions under which an "altruistic" (or "conditionally altruistic") strategy can evolve and become dominant within a group. For instance, for reciprocal altruism, two conditions are necessary: (i) the same individuals must interact frequently, and (ii) they must have memory in order to respond to an opponent's previous response. We should notice that Darwin's conditions can cover these two; i.e., social instincts imply frequent interactions, and intelligence provides the memory needed for a wise strategy. I have shown, by a simple example, how a social and intelligent animal may acquire an altruistic strategy by natural selection (Uchii 1998). As regards (2), it is quite natural to suppose that such a behavioral strategy needs some psychological makeup which supports it; in an animal with social instinct and intelligence, feelings, preferences, or propensities will accompany a behavior or a response to an opponent's action. And it is not difficult to imagine what sort of feelings are necessary for a reciprocal altruism, and this can be confirmed, to a considerable extent, by observing primates' behavior (see de Waal 1996). Thus, we can make perfect sense of Darwin's original argument.]
4. SOCIAL NORMS, SYMPATHY, AND HABITS
Darwin's emphasis on the persistent nature of the social instincts is illuminating. But his story is not over. Darwin next points out that high intelligence would be accompanied by the ability to use some sort of language, which would enable our animal to express their wishes or desires as a member of their community. Thus it is very likely that they come to form their social norms, or "public opinions" as to how they should act for the common benefit of the community. These norms or opinions are of course in an important sense "artificial" or "conventional"; and therefore these cannot be regarded as genetically determined. Darwin admits all this. But he emphasizes that "however great weight we may attribute to public opinion, our regard for the approbation and disapprobation of our fellows depends on sympathy, which . . . forms an essential part of the social instinct, and is indeed its foundation stone" (op. cit., ch. 4). His point seems clear: although the contents of norms and public opinions are determined largely by artificial factors, their binding force essentially depends on a biological factor, i.e. sympathetic ability, and this is instinctive or genetically determined. The importance of sympathy has been emphasized by many philosophers such as Adam Smith or Hume. But Darwin criticizes these philosophical views as follows: we have to understand sympathy not merely as a psychological ability to reproduce former states of pain or pleasure, but also as a biological instinct, which is a product of evolution. Only the latter characterization can explain the fact that "sympathy is excited, in an immeasurably stronger degree, by a beloved, than by an indifferent person" (ibid.). This point is of course frequently mentioned by recent sociobiologists; but I wish to emphasize that Darwin was well aware of this, and he clearly saw its significance for ethics, although he was not clear about the biological mechanism which produces such tendencies.
By now, the major part of Darwin's view on the genesis of the moral sense or conscience has been outlined. Let me summarize his view with his own words [Q4]:
At the moment of action, man will no doubt be apt to follow the strongest impulse; and though this may occasionally prompt him to the noblest deeds, it will more commonly lead him to gratify his own desires at the expense of other men. But after their gratification when past and weaker impressions are judged by the ever-enduring social instinct, and by his deep regard for the good opinion of his fellows, retribution will surely come. He will then feel remorse, repentance, regret, or shame; . . . . . He will consequently resolve more or less firmly to act differently for the future; and this is conscience; for conscience looks backwards, and serves as a guide for the future. (op. cit., ch. 4)
In short, his explanation of the genesis of conscience has the following features: (1) it analyzes conscience into a bundle of psychological dispositions and feelings; (2) these dispositions and feelings are products of evolution and therefore are instinctive, i.e. they have a genetic basis; and (3) because of this, the workings of conscience have some conspicuous limitations that the conscience regulates, mainly actions toward closer people.
The rest of his arguments are an elaboration of the preceding view. Darwin was a good observer, and it seems that this ability is well displayed in his remarks on the interplay between sympathy, public norms, and individual habits in morals. He argues that the preceding view is quite in accord with what we know about undeveloped people. Among them, only strictly social virtues are esteemed, and self-regarding virtues such as temperance or prudence are rather neglected. Darwin seems to attribute the development of self-regarding virtues mainly to the improvement of intelligence and knowledge; but he is also aware of the importance of habits of individuals. As many moral philosophers have emphasized, virtues must be acquired as a habit; and a substantial part of habits may originate from individuals and spread within their groups, and sometimes beyond their groups, by imitation. This is one of the essential features of what we call "culture". And such habits often strengthen and complement the workings of social instincts. Here, biological process merges into cultural process. This is a very intriguing question, but we shall not get into this.
5. DARWIN ON GROUP SELECTION AND KIN SELECTION
Now, what has Darwin accomplished by his argument so far? For the sake of argument, let us suppose that his explanation of the genesis of conscience is on the right track. But where does the principle of natural selection play its role? This still is not quite clear. Since Darwin attributed the genesis of conscience mainly to two factors, (1) intelligence and (2) the social instinct, we will examine the two in this order.
First, it seems quite clear that intelligence is developed by means of natural selection; because intelligence is no doubt useful to its possessor, an individual animal. So we can agree with Darwin's assertion, at least with respect to this factor. But what about the social instinct? The social instinct included sympathy, in particular, and sympathy played a crucial role in generating the moral sense or conscience. By means of sympathy, individual animals care for others and restrict their own selfish desires; in other words, altruistic or moral tendencies originate from sympathy. Then naturally we have to ask: Is the social instinct including sympathy also developed by natural selection? Darwin's attitude to this question is ambivalent; sometimes he seems to think that the answer is obviously 'yes', but at other times he seems to be aware of a grave difficulty. But what exactly is this difficulty? Let me explain.
Let us recall how natural selection works. There are many individual variations which are hereditary among animals of the same species. And if some of these variations are more advantageous than others in the struggle for existence, individuals with these variations gradually increase within the species, and they eventually become dominant in number. Thus natural selection works in terms of the hereditary characteristics of individuals; and these characteristics must be useful primarily to their possessors, i.e. to individuals. But Darwin frequently speaks of moral faculties useful to a tribe or group of individuals, and he says that these faculties have been developed by the competition among such tribes or groups in their struggle for existence. For instance, he argues this way [Q5]: "When two tribes of primeval man, living in the same country, came into competition, if . . . the one tribe included a great number of courageous, sympathetic and faithful members, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other, this tribe would succeed better and conquer the other" (ch. 5). Granted; but is this natural selection working on individuals? Darwin doesn't seem to think it is; for he is well aware of the difficulty as follows [Q6]: "But it may be asked, how within the limits of the same tribe did a large number of members first become endowed with these social and moral qualities, and how was the standard of excellence raised? It is extremely doubtful whether the offspring of the more sympathetic and benevolent parents, or of those who were the most faithful to their comrades, would be reared in greater numbers than the children of selfish and treacherous parents belonging to the same tribe. . . . Therefore it hardly seems probable, that the number of men gifted with such virtues, or that the standard of their excellence, could be increased through natural selection, that is, by the survival of the fittest; for we are not here speaking of one tribe being victorious over another." (ibid.)
Thus Darwin's program for explaining the genesis and development of morality by means of natural selection seems to have failed at a crucial point. That is to say, he tried to appeal to what we now call 'group selection' (i.e. an advantageous group survives and individuals of that group indirectly change), but he admitted that this group selection is not likely to be supported by natural selection working on individuals.
However, it must be pointed out, to be fair to Darwin, that he was aware of at least one key for solving this difficulty. It is what we now call kin selection. Just before discussing the development of moral faculties, Darwin argues for the development of intelligence by natural selection, and he briefly touches on this key, as follows [Q7]: "If such men [i.e. intelligent men] left children to inherit their mental superiority, the chance of the birth of still more ingenious members would be somewhat better, . . . Even if they left no children, the tribe would still include their blood relations; and it has been ascertained by agriculturalists that by preserving and breeding from the family of an animal, which when slaughtered was found to be valuable, the desired character has been obtained." (ibid.)
This idea could have been more developed and applied to the explanation of moral faculties; but Darwin left that job to the biologists in the 20th century, such as W. D. Hamilton (kin selection) or Robert Trivers (reciprocal altruism). What Darwin actually did instead was to appeal to the principle of heredity of acquired characters.
6. The Significance of Darwin's Considerations on Morality
In this talk I have outlined what I take as the essence of Darwin's theory of morality. He was mainly concerned with the biological and psychological task of explaining the genesis of moral faculties of man. But it seems to me that he was also interested in moral philosophy based on the evolutionary theory. The major advocate of what is called 'evolutionary ethics' in the 19th century was of course Herbert Spencer; and Darwin was far more cautious than Spencer, trying to avoid any definite statements about what we ought to do. But now and then he criticizes former and contemporary moral philosophers, such as Adam Smith or John Stuart Mill, and sometimes even gets into issues of eugenics, in The Descent of Man. This indicates Darwin's strong interest in moral philosophy. Moreover, we have good evidence that this interest originates in his youth. For instance, I was surprised by finding the following remarks (written in October, 1838) in his Notebooks [Q8]: "Two classes of moralists: one says our rule of life is what will produce the greatest happiness.---The other says we have a moral sense.---But my view unites both & shows them to be almost identical. What has produced the greatest good or rather what was necessary for good at all is the instinctive moral senses: (& this alone explains why our moral sense points to revenge). In judging of the rule of happiness we must look far forward & to the general action---certainly because it is the result of what has generally been best for our good far back.---(much further than we can look forward: hence our rule may sometimes be hard to tell). Society could not go on except for the moral sense, any more than a hive of Bees without their instincts."
We may recall that the moral philosophers who emphasize the moral sense are called Intuitionists and those who emphasize the greatest happiness are called Utilitarians. Thus the young Darwin here is claiming that he can synthesize these two major schools of moral philosophy! I will add, for your curiosity, that Henry Sidgwick, a great utilitarian and one who claimed that Intuitionism and Utilitarianism can coincide, was born in the same year, 1838. And we have to notice also that Darwin's idea of the genesis of morality is already sketched in rough outline in the last sentence.
But these historical interests aside, are there any significant suggestions for ethics or normative moral philosophy that can be exploited from Darwin's theory of the moral sense? I think there are. Since I do not have much time left, let me briefly touch on this without arguments. First of all, (1) we have to know well about human morality in order to make any normative assertions. And in this respect, the Darwinian view of morality is certainly useful. We have to construct feasible ethics for humans as a social animal, not for an angel or an isolated beast. For this purpose, we certainly have to know our biological capacity, limitations as well as potentialities.
Secondly, (2) if the Darwinian view is on the right track, we should take the continuity of man and animals more seriously. Darwin argued more or less persuasively that we humans and other animals share many properties, including intelligence, feelings and preferences. Hence, if we find some of these valuable and think that they should be protected by our morals, the same consideration should support similar treatments of animals, with the difference of various degrees, of course. For instance, persons like Jane Goodall, knowing very well about primates, asserts that our treatment for them should be improved; and this assertion may well be justified.
Thirdly and finally, (3) the Darwinian view suggests a certain approach to ethics, say the Reductionist approach (I borrow this word from Parfit, who uses it in the context of the problem of personal identity; and Daniel Dennett also defends this approach, with respect to cognitive science, in his Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995). This is the view that all ethical concepts can be analyzed into more basic concepts which are not themselves ethical. In other words, it is the view that concepts such as 'conscience' or 'moral goodness' will be well understood only in terms of concrete workings of human faculties and feelings, without postulating any peculiar realm of moral value. This is exactly what Darwin has done in his theory of the moral sense; conscience or moral sense is so called because of its workings in a certain way, not because it is related to some irreducible moral value. Since this position is very likely to be misunderstood, I will hasten to add a few explanatory remarks.
By reductionism I do not mean that ethical or evaluative concepts can be reduced to factual or descriptive concepts; this is what Moore called 'naturalism' and I do not support it. In order to be a reductionist in my sense, one need not be a naturalist. All one has to admit as an ethical reductionist is that morality can be related to a bunch of natural or conventional elements and their workings. Morality needs intelligence, but this intelligence does not come from any peculiar realm, divine or angelic. Morality needs some instinctive factors, but one can find similar factors in other animals. And, again, moral feelings and preferences have an origin in a non-moral animal world, and you don't have to suppose any peculiar respect for the divine moral law. All the factors necessary for full understanding of morality can be found in this world and the workings of its constituent parts. This is what I mean by reductionism.
And I understand that Darwin is one of the most powerful advocates of this position, although very few people would regard him as a moral philosopher. So, by emphasizing his contribution to ethics as a reductionist, I should like to end my talk.
By Jennifer Viegas, Special to ABCNEWS.com, Aril 21, 2000
It may be the world's largest known family tree.
Researchers from Oxford University in Oxford, England, have identified seven
ancestral matriarchal groups from which all Europeans appear to be descended.
These maternal clans form the root of a family tree that has sprouted millions
of individuals. Every European, according to the study, can trace his or
her evolutionary history back to the seven ancestral mother groups, also
referred to as the Seven Daughters of Eve. The researchers, who both
discovered and formulated the genetic groupings, say these women would have
lived between 8,000 to 45,000 years ago.
Hamsters Inspired Theory
Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, first suspected Europeans could have common lineages when he was a young boy. His inspiration came from a news story he read that stated all hamsters in the world came from one pregnant female found in the Syrian desert in 1930. Time passed, but he remembered the hamsters. In recent years, he tested out the hamster idea by identifying and ordering the individual components of DNA taken from the droppings of several of these rodents. He discovered that one specific kind of genetic material, mitochondrial DNA, appeared to be identical among all of the hamsters. This kind of DNA can only be passed down from a mother to her children. Men have mtDNA in their sperm, but a chemical marks it for destruction during the fertilization process. Therefore, the hamster study findings prompted Sykes to add matriarchal clans to his developing theory about common lineages.
A Cheeky Business
Then, Sykes applied similar research methods to a study on humans. He and his colleagues took cell samples from the cheeks of 6,000 Europeans and analyzed their mitochondrial DNA. Unlike hamsters, which share one type of mtDNA, the human test subjects' DNA clearly fit into seven distinct groups: the seven daughters on the European family tree. The "daughters" notion is more figurative than literal, as it broadly refers to seven matriarchal genetic groups, rather than to seven individual women. Leonardo Salviati, a post doctoral researcher at Columbia University who specializes in mitochondrial DNA studies, says Sykes' theory "is plausible." "Mitochondrial DNA allows us to trace human evolution," says Salviati. "DNA mutates at a very slow rate, so if you can accumulate mutations and categorize them in specific groups, you can draw direct ancestral lineages." Mutations in this kind of DNA occur in humans about every 10,000 years. Sykes, therefore, is able to guess when each of the seven female genetic lines first appeared in Europe. The earliest suspected arrival date, 45,000 years ago, corresponds with the appearance of modern human remains in fossil records. But this date is thousands of years ahead of when anthropologists previously thought migrants arrived in Europe.
Links to African Eve
Further, all seven of the genetic groups appear to be descended from the "Lara" clan, one of three clans that still exist today in Africa. This supports the African Eve theory, proposed in the late '80s by biochemist Allan Wilson, Mark Stoneking and others, which states that all humans share a common African ancestor. Wilson and his colleagues used the same genetic material, mtDNA, for their study. Terry Melton, president of Mitotyping Technologies, a firm specializing in mtDNA forensic studies, says, "[Sykes] presents a great idea, but the system is not perfect. A consensus may be derived by formulating haplogroups [gene groups], but it would be impossible to do this with 100 percent accuracy." Melton explains that some parts of the mtDNA mutate faster than others, so additional variation could appear within the seven daughter groups. Americans of European heritage may fit into one of the seven categories. But different genetic groups based upon mtDNA variations likely exist for those without European ancestors. Native Americans, for example, appear to have descended from Asians who migrated to the Americas sometime between 30,000 and 3000 BC. Melton says they seem to have limited mtDNA variations, meaning that they probably descended from just a few Asian lineages. In future, Sykes hopes to map out genetic groups for other continents, to perhaps find out more about the mothers to us all.
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Professor Sykes and his team have created profiles for each of the seven matriarchal groups. They are:
This clan lived in the ice-capped Pyrenees. As the climate warmed, Helena's descendants trekked northward to what is now England, some 12,000 years ago. Members of this group are now present in all European countries.
Her people had a relatively happy life in Syria, where they farmed wheat and raised domestic animals. Jasmine's descendants traveled throughout Europe, spreading their agricultural innovations with them.
Members of this group lived in Venice 10,000 years ago. Today most of Katrine's clan lives in the Alps.
Sykes' maternal ancestry goes back to this group, which settled in Tuscany 17,000 years ago. Descendants ventured across northern Europe and eventually crossed the English Channel.
Users of stone tools, Ursula's clan members drifted across all of Europe.
Originally from Spain, Valda and her immediate descendants lived 17,000 years ago. Later relatives moved into northern Finland and Norway.
Not much is known about Xenia, but it is believed that her people lived in the Caucasus Mountains 25,000 years ago. Just before the Ice Age, this clan spread across Europe, and even reached the Americas.
Oxford Ancestors, a venture associated with Oxford University, will trace individual matrilinial DNA, for a fee of $180 per test.
This web page was prepared by Matthew Nuenke, April-2000.
What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, people, and their genes, By Jonathan Marks.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002, 325pp., (pbk US$17.95). ISBN: 0520226151 (hdbk)/0520240642 (pbk)
Reviewed by Peter LaFreniere Department of Psychology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Years ago a colleague who knew how fond I was of explaining our primate origins to students asked me, "Did you know we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees"? "I'm comfortable with that", I replied, "as long as I still only share 50% with my brother", introducing a conundrum for many students that few professors can adequately resolve. Thus it was with great interest that I sought out Jonathan Marks' new book, What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee.
The question Mr. Marks poses in his title provides a wonderful entree into the fascinating and intersecting worlds of human biology and culture. The lessons are at once simple and complex; one can both overstate (and understate) the similarities between ourselves and our nearest genetic relatives. Indeed those qualified to offer a balanced perspective must be equally expert in a variety of relevant disciplines and fair-minded in their synthesis of an ever widening and more technical knowledge base. Marks notes in his preface to the paperback edition that his goal was to "relativize the genetic place of humans and apes: not to deny it or challenge it, but simply to place that scientific work in an appropriate cultural and historical context" (p. xv). Sounds great.
But turn the page and the reader discovers that the sciences and the humanities are "coming apart at the seams" and that "This rift is probably irreparable" (p. 1). Sounds ominous.
A few pages later, we learn that "Humans are marked by a large number of physical, ecological, mental, and social distinctions from other life...what does genetics have to say about all this? Nothing. Sameness/otherness is a philosophical paradox that is resolved by argument, not by data." (p.22)
This last sentence is one of the few in the book that the student who had purchased and read the book before me had both highlighted and starred. Clearly, for this student this represents one of the most important messages of the book. To me the statement seemed intended to support his main goal which has little to do with Chimpanzees but more to do with proclaiming race a socially constructed myth. (Marks: "I use "race" the way I use "angels" or "psychic energy", p.137). Moreover, one learns that families are also social constructions; genetic ties "form a relatively small part of what composes a family" (p. 135). And one more chestnut: calling humans "Mammals" is also a social construction, a political gesture by Linnaeus to induce women into breastfeeding their infants (pp. 49-50). Chimpanzees and mammals aside, much of the book is spent debunking race as having no biological reality, genes as having no influence on brain or behavior, and scientists as having no ability to measure anything, particularly human abilities. On the topic of race Marks states, "Teaching that racial categories lack biological validity can be as much a challenge as teaching that the earth goes around the sun must have been in the seventeenth century." Odd, I thought Copernicus taught us to face facts even if they make us uncomfortable.
Such is the triumph of sophistry over data in what Marks calls "Molecular Anthropology". Of course, once the student buys the notion that important debates are resolved by argument, not data, it is a simple step to dismiss all inconvenient data from one's argument as irrelevant. Methods are even more irrelevant because they just produce irrelevant facts that are probably not true anyway, and most likely the product of a devious mind with a hidden and evil agenda, that is to say a "scientist". This attitude and the hostile tone that Marks adopts in the first chapter are maintained throughout the book as Marks jumps from one sensationalistic headline grabbing topic to another, occasionally showing himself in command of some relevant facts regarding genetics, but more often attacking and trivializing the same group of scientists (geneticists) who have provided him his borrowed expertise. Listen to the tone of his comments regarding those who dare measure human abilities: "Furthermore, this raises a darker question: What are we to make of scientists who assert the existence of real constitutional differences in ability? If we cannot gauge differences in ability in any reliable manner, if ability is not a scientific concept, it is a corruption of science to assert in its name that one group indeed has less ability than another... We now need to define the boundaries of science in order to distinguish the authoritative voice of scientists speaking as scientists from the voice of scientists speaking as citizens. This distinction is vital to keeping science from being tarnished by those few scientists who have chosen to invoke it as a validation of odious social and political doctrines." (pp. 93-94)
Just who are these odious scientists who think that human abilities can actually be measured in any reliable manner?
One (among many) is the soft-spoken, hard-nosed behavioral geneticist, Thomas Bouchard, a leading researcher at the University of Minnesota over the past 35 years. Marks establishes several "facts" about Bouchard: First, that his research is of questionable ethics because it was primarily funded by the conservative Pioneer Fund. Second, that his work compares the oddities of twins separated at birth and later reunited. The student who preceded me in reading Marks' caricature of the methods of behavior genetics writes in the margin: Jim Twins, genes vs. coincidence? (Note: The "Jim twins" are a pair of remarkably similar brothers and the most famous twins in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart). Marks omits that Bouchard has received over 30 grants that are peer reviewed by the most authoritative body of scientists in their field, funded by the National Science Foundation and many other major funding sources in the U.S., and that have led to hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles detailing extensive data sets quite different than some incredibly naive journalistic account of the "Jim Twins". Rather than inform students of the logic and limits of heritability estimates derived, not from anecdotes, but by comparing a large international database of groups of identical and fraternal twins reared apart and together, he chooses to lead the naive reader to this question: Is the fact that the "Jim twins" married identically named women, and have identically named sons and dogs genetic in origin or just a coincidence? Of course it's a coincidence, and it is as completely irrelevant to behavior genetics as a SNL ("Saturday Night Live": a U.S. television comedy show — Ed.) episode on the same topic.
Marks continues to display his penchant for one-sided diatribes: "A committed ideologue scientist, with funding from a radical organization (which would achieve greater notoriety for their funding of much of the racist work cited in The Bell Curve), builds a research program on patently idiotic stories of reunited twins, which should be of greater interest to mythologists than geneticists." (p. 150)
In contrast to Marks' socially constructed reality of Tom Bouchard, here is the University of Minnesota's social construction: "For many years Minnesota's Department of Psychology was almost alone in its emphasis on genetic factors in behavior. At a time when most American social scientists were strongly environmentalist, Professor Paterson was emphasizing heritable factors in general intelligence and special mental abilities while William Heron demonstrated that maze-learning abilities in rats could be selectively bred. As early as 1962, Paul Meehl advanced a genetic theory for the etiology of schizophrenia and, in 1966, Irving Gottesman initiated a program of training in behavioral genetics in the Department of Psychology. Noting 'that everything is more interesting if you do it with twins,' David Lykken, established the Minnesota Twin Registry in 1969, closely followed by his collaboration with Thomas Bouchard and Auke Tellegen on the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart ... The tendency to ask critical questions, to challenge unquestioned assumptions, and, perhaps most characteristically, to press for quantification and measurement is now, as always, the hallmark of the Minnesota psychologist" (from www.umn.edu).
For the uninitiated, let's make the record clear: Minnesota is not some prairie college; rather, their psychology department has been ranked at or near the top in graduate programs in the United States since the 1920's. Either Marks is completely ignorant of the scientific methods of behavioral genetics or he knowingly misrepresents scientists by innuendo and misleading accounts of their character, methods and data. As an activist with a habit of writing sarcastic letters denouncing the fools who disagree with him, he has now graduated to writing sarcastic books. Having read the book, I'm sure I would prefer a one-page letter.
Much of this is simply propaganda. Rather than instruct students about the basics of behavioral genetics, Marks chooses to mislead them. If I had one sentence to explain heritability to students I could do more than Marks does in his entire book. (Here's the sentence: Heritability of a trait is calculated by doubling the difference in the correlations between identical and fraternal twins reared together.) Let the more general lesson of the rising tide of propaganda on American campuses be clear: If one's beliefs are at increasing odds with the consensual facts of modern science, then obfuscation, propaganda, threat and censorship become the principal tools by which one must pursue one's agenda.
Need more evidence? Here is Marks' refutation of Frans de Waal's attempt to get people to consider both Nature and Nurture. Notice the pattern of Marks' criticism: not only are data irrelevant, but so apparently are logic and reason: "The millennial issue of the Scientific American includes an ostensibly balanced and objective article called 'The End of Nature vs. Nurture' by Frans de Waal, a primatologist. While sensibly eschewing 'simple-minded genetic determinism', he also reports that 'the evidence for a connection between genes and behavior is mounting. Studies of twins reared apart have reached the status of common knowledge ...' That is, of course, the problem. They are nothing but common knowledge" (p. 158).
What clever word play! But no American scientist will reconsider his or her model of gene-environment interaction, based on such statements by Mr. Marks.
Here is yet another example of the quality of Mr. Mark's rhetoric, this time commenting on the scientists involved in the Human Genome Diversity Project: "These scientists were trying to approach indigenous peoples whose lands had been stolen, lifeways eradicated, and people exterminated, at the hands of the very civilization the scientists represented. And now they wanted blood. (italics Marks') ... The geneticists apparently expected to look people in the eye and tell them that their DNA was more valuable than their customs, their land, their traditions, and their lives." (pp. 204-205)
I could go on with many similar rhetorical flourishes on each tabloid controversy that we have seen in the past decade, including the Kennewick Man, The Great Ape project promoting ape's rights, genetic basis of human homosexuality, science vs. religion, etc. Regardless of whether I agreed or disagreed with Mr. Marks' conclusions on this list of hot button topics, I found his uncivil tone shrill and ultimately tedious, and would have to rate this as the worst book on science I have ever read in a long history of science reading. Is it a sign of the times? The New Scientist proclaims "it is the book that awkward sods everywhere have been waiting for". Indeed.
It seems that the rift between the humanities and science that Mr. Marks refers to on page 1 of his book is likely to remain as irreparable as he claims, so long as sarcasm and innuendo replace data and dispassionate analysis of our most controversial empirical issues. But what, after all, is so problematic with chasing out these damned scientists, with their ceaseless talk of methods, statistics and data? As long as only one political-ideological view is permitted on campus, we can persuade each new wave of students with arguments that are uncontaminated by the nuisance of data to reason their way to the politically correct conclusions we espouse in the first place. And, in the best tradition of Orwellian double-speak, we could call this new modus operandi in the humanities and social sciences "critical thinking".
Peter LaFreniere is Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1982. He is the author of Emotional Development: A Biosocial Perspective and currently working on a new book entitled Adaptive Origins: An Evolutionary Psychology of Human Development.
review appended July, 2005.