A group of population geneticists saw fit to proscribe Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. Mr. Wade has issued his response to this letter, available as a pdf file.
Debate between opposing viewpoints is healthy and should be encouraged. Yet, the scientists who oppose Wade fail to offer a single fact or argument against his book. Their letter can be summarized as follows: “We are many, we hold the Big Chairs in academia, and we disagree with Wade.”
How can one respond to such an attack? One, of course, cannot. Arguments from number and arguments from authority are of no consequence. The fact that many esteemed professors want to criticize Wade’s book is unimportant. Their criticism would hold weight only if they used their unquestionable knowledge of evolutionary biology to show in exactly what manner Mr. Wade has erred or gone beyond the data. They chose not to do this, so Mr. Wade’s response that “This letter is driven by politics, not science” seems right.
Why did so many esteemed academics choose to sign such a vacuous letter? I would suggest that the 100+ signatories couldn’t agree on what exactly Wade did wrong. They only agreed with the politically correct conclusion (that seeks to downplay differences between human races in order to combat “racism”) but would not put their names to a statement of fact that they know to be wrong (that the human races are equal in all things despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary).
Human evolutionists are, like most academics, liberals and totally in line with mainstream Enlightenment values. They abhor the notion that one person could be inherently better than another due to their birth, or that one nation could be better than another due to its genes or history. They know, of course, that “equality” is impossible in biology and it is “inequality” that drives evolution, but find themselves unable to admit this troublesome fact.
They appreciate Darwinism (incorrectly thinking that it undermines Religion and the traditional world order which, like all good egalitarians, they detest), yet abhor the consequences of Darwinism (that the strong, moral, and smart should rule over the weak, immoral and stupid). Darwinism can be uses as a weapon by both Left and Right. At present, it is the Left that uses it most effectively to undermine the people’s religious identity, foolishly aided by literal-minded fools on the side of Religion. The Right fails to use it properly, even though Darwinism is more supportive of its cause, as it fears that unwholesome associations with the National Socialist and Eugenic movements. And, let’s face the truth: leftist intellectual nepotism and the cult of Democracy has all but destroyed the conservative and reactionary intellectual traditions of the West: few good men remain that can defend Tradition in the face of Modernity.
For the time being the liberal academics are fortunate, as their science has not revealed many of the unpleasant genetic underpinnings of racial worth. They aim to perpetuate this state of affairs indefinitely (you should be sure that funding agencies will not fund a study on the genetic causes of racial differences in Intelligence or Beauty or Morality any time soon). Sooner or later, the liberal democratic project of undermining Tradition and Reason will fail, and the truth will find its champions. Wade is no friend of anti-democrats and reactionaries, but at least he seems intellectually honest to call a spade a spade. People like him want to save progressive ideology from the inevitable onslaught of biological truth by re-framing it in a way that does not require acceptance of the myth of human equality. Rather than see in him a natural ally, the liberals of modern academia want to cling on to the fairy-tale of equality a little longer. For them, even someone like Wade is an enemy. For us, their puerile attempts at silencing even such mild opposition are simply entertaining.