A Troublesome Inheritance

Genes, Race and Human History

Author: Nicholas Wade

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143127160

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 2359

Drawing on the work of scientists who have made crucial—and startling—breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution, a longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times examines the genetic basis of race and its role in human history.
Posted in History

A Troublesome Inheritance

Genes, Race and Human History

Author: Nicholas Wade

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698163796

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 3200

Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right. And in fact, we know that populations have changed in the past few thousand years—to be lactose tolerant, for example, and to survive at high altitudes. Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution. For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well. Wade, the longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times, draws widely on the work of scientists who have made crucial breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution. The most provocative claims in this book involve the genetic basis of human social habits. What we might call middle-class social traits—thrift, docility, nonviolence—have been slowly but surely inculcated genetically within agrarian societies, Wade argues. These “values” obviously had a strong cultural component, but Wade points to evidence that agrarian societies evolved away from hunter-gatherer societies in some crucial respects. Also controversial are his findings regarding the genetic basis of traits we associate with intelligence, such as literacy and numeracy, in certain ethnic populations, including the Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews. Wade believes deeply in the fundamental equality of all human peoples. He also believes that science is best served by pursuing the truth without fear, and if his mission to arrive at a coherent summa of what the new genetic science does and does not tell us about race and human history leads straight into a minefield, then so be it. This will not be the last word on the subject, but it will begin a powerful and overdue conversation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Science

A Troublesome Inheritance

Genes, Race and Human History

Author: Nicholas Wade

Publisher: Penguin Press HC

ISBN: 9781594206238

Category: Science

Page: 278

View: 4218

Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, a careful new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story. Few ideas have been more harmful than one race or another being inherently superior to others. For this understandable reason, discussion of biological differences between races has been virtually banished from polite academic conversation. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, the consensus view cannot be right. Nicholas Wade, the esteemed science journalist who has long reported on new genetic advances for the New York Times, cities the mounting evidence that human evolution has continued to the present day. Because populations stayed in place for thousands of years, substantially isolated from one another, evolution has proceeded independently on each continent, giving rise to the various races of humankind. In A Troublesome Inheritance, Wade explores the possibility that recent human societies evolution has included changes in social behaviour and hence in the nature of human societies. He points to findings that middle-class social traits thrift, literacy, nonviolence have been slowly but surely inculcated genetically with agrarian populations, a process that culminated in the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of modern societies. The notable achievements of Jewish communities are explored as another possible example of human evolution within the historical period. Rejecting unequivocally the notion of racial superiority, A Trouble Inheritance argues that the evolution of the human races holds information critical to the understanding of human societies and history, and that the public interest is best served by pursing the scientific truth without fear.
Posted in Science

The Faith Instinct

How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures

Author: Nicholas Wade

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101155677

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 372

Noted science writer Nicholas Wade offers for the first time a convincing case based on a broad range of scientific evidence for the evolutionary basis of religion.
Posted in Social Science

Before The Dawn

Author: Nicholas Wade

Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co

ISBN: 071564209X

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 496

When did language emerge? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals? How did human nature change in the 35,000 years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? In the last three years a flood of new scientific findings driven by revelations discovered in the human genome has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our ancient ancestors. Nicholas Wade takes readers to the forefront of research in a sweeping and engrossing narrative, the first to reveal how genetic discoveries are helping to weave together the perspectives of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology, linguistics, and many other fields. Before the Dawn marks a major advance in our understanding of human nature and origins.
Posted in Science

The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret

Author: Seth Shulman

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 039333368X

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 4253

Documents the illicit beginnings of the lucrative telephone monopoly, revealing how Bell's journals acknowledged his illegal copying of Elisha Gray's invention in order to secure what would become the nation's most valuable patent. Reprint. 13,000 first printing.
Posted in Law

Taboo

Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We're Afraid To Talk About It

Author: Jon Entine

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 0786724501

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 352

View: 821

In virtually every sport in which they are given opportunity to compete, people of African descent dominate. East Africans own every distance running record. Professional sports in the Americas are dominated by men and women of West African descent. Why have blacks come to dominate sports? Are they somehow physically better? And why are we so uncomfortable when we discuss this? Drawing on the latest scientific research, journalist Jon Entine makes an irrefutable case for black athletic superiority. We learn how scientists have used numerous, bogus "scientific" methods to prove that blacks were either more or less superior physically, and how racist scientists have often equated physical prowess with intellectual deficiency. Entine recalls the long, hard road to integration, both on the field and in society. And he shows why it isn't just being black that matters—it makes a huge difference as to where in Africa your ancestors are from.Equal parts sports, science and examination of why this topic is so sensitive, Taboois a book that will spark national debate.
Posted in Sports & Recreation

Race?

Debunking a Scientific Myth

Author: Ian Tattersall,Rob DeSalle

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 9781603444774

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 1305

Race has provided the rationale and excuse for some of the worst atrocities in human history. Yet, according to many biologists, physical anthropologists, and geneticists, there is no valid scientific justification for the concept of race. To be more precise, although there is clearly some physical basis for the variations that underlie perceptions of race, clear boundaries among “races” remain highly elusive from a purely biological standpoint. Differences among human populations that people intuitively view as “racial” are not only superficial but are also of astonishingly recent origin. In this intriguing and highly accessible book, physical anthropologist Ian Tattersall and geneticist Rob DeSalle, both senior scholars from the American Museum of Natural History, explain what human races actually are—and are not—and place them within the wider perspective of natural diversity. They explain that the relative isolation of local populations of the newly evolved human species during the last Ice Age—when Homo sapiens was spreading across the world from an African point of origin—has now begun to reverse itself, as differentiated human populations come back into contact and interbreed. Indeed, the authors suggest that all of the variety seen outside of Africa seems to have both accumulated and started reintegrating within only the last 50,000 or 60,000 years—the blink of an eye, from an evolutionary perspective. The overarching message of Race? Debunking a Scientific Myth is that scientifically speaking, there is nothing special about racial variation within the human species. These distinctions result from the working of entirely mundane evolutionary processes, such as those encountered in other organisms.
Posted in Science

Race, Evolution, and Behavior

A Life History Perspective

Author: J. Philippe Rushton

Publisher: Transaction Pub

ISBN: 9781560003205

Category: Social Science

Page: 358

View: 9346

Testing for racial differences in behavior has been much neglected over the past sixty years. And when not subject to neglect, to strongly negative imputations among professionals and politicians alike. According to J. Philippe Rushton, substantial racial differences do exist and their pattern can only be explained adequately from an evolutionary perspective. In Race, Evolution, and Behavior he reviews international data and finds a distinct pattern. People of East Asian ancestry and people of African ancestry are at opposite ends of a continuum, with people of European ancestry intermediate, albeit with much variability within each broad grouping. This volume is sure to be controversial as Rushton attempts nothing less than a paradigmatic change in the way social scientists approach their work, especially those concentrated in the study of racial differences. Race, Evolution, and Behavior must be read by sociologists, anthropologists, and black studies specialists.
Posted in Social Science

Is Science Racist?

Author: Jonathan Marks

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745689256

Category: Social Science

Page: 140

View: 411

Every arena of science has its own flash-point issues ? chemistry and poison gas, physics and the atom bomb ? and genetics has had a troubled history with race. As Jonathan Marks reveals, this dangerous relationship rumbles on to this day, still leaving plenty of leeway for a belief in the basic natural inequality of races. The eugenic science of the early twentieth century and the commodified genomic science of today are unified by the mistaken belief that human races are naturalistic categories. Yet their boundaries are founded neither in biology nor in genetics and, not being a formal scientific concept, race is largely not accessible to the scientist. As Marks argues, race can only be grasped through the humanities: historically, experientially, politically. This wise, witty essay explores the persistence and legacy of scientific racism, which misappropriates the authority of science and undermines it by converting it into a social weapon.
Posted in Social Science

The Invisible History of the Human Race

How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

Author: Christine Kenneally

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1458798704

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 7199

A New York Times Notable Book of 2014 We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? What role does Neanderthal DNA play in our genetic makeup? How did the theory of eugenics embraced by Nazi Germany first develop? How is trust passed down in Africa, and silence inherited in Tasmania? How are private companies like Ancestry.com uncovering, preserving and potentially editing the past? In The Invisible History of the Human Race, Christine Kenneally reveals that, remarkably, it is not only our biological history that is coded in our DNA, but also our social history. She breaks down myths of determinism and draws on cutting - edge research to explore how both historical artefacts and our DNA tell us where we have come from and where we may be going.
Posted in Science

Science of Desire

The Gay Gene and the Biology of Behavior

Author: Dean Hamer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439143854

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 3034

A compelling behind-the-scenes look at cutting-edge scientific inquiry, as well as a brilliant examination of the ramifications of genetic research, The Science of Desire is a lasting resource in the increasingly significant debate over the role that genetics plays in our lives. In July 1993, a scientific event made front-page news: the discovery that genetics plays a significant role in determining homosexuality. In The Science of Desire, Dean Hamer—the scientist behind the groundbreaking study—tells the inside story of how the discovery was made and what it means, not only for our understanding of sexuality, but for human behavior in general. In this accessible and remarkably clear book, Dean Hamer expands on the account of his history-making research to explore the scientific, social, and ethical issues raised by his findings. Dr. Hamer addresses such tough questions as whether it would be possible or ethical to test in utero for the gay gene; whether genetic manipulation could or should be used to alter a person's sexuality; and how a gay gene could have survived evolution. A compelling behind-the-scenes look at cutting-edge scientific inquiry, as well as a brilliant examination of the ramifications of genetic research, The Science of Desire is a lasting resource in the increasingly significant debate over the role that genetics plays in our lives.
Posted in Science

The 10,000 Year Explosion

How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

Author: Gregory Cochran,Henry Harpending

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786727500

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 2226

Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Posted in Science

The Improbability Principle

Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day

Author: David J. Hand

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374175349

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 269

View: 2131

A well-known statistician presents his theory that extraordinary and rare events are actually commonplace and cites stories of two-time lottery winners and other bizarre coincidences to support his theory that unlikely events statistically must happen. 50,000 first printing.
Posted in Business & Economics

Race Differences in Intelligence

An Evolutionary Analysis

Author: Richard Lynn

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781593680190

Category:

Page: 446

View: 3958

Through more than 50 years of academic research, Richard Lynn has distinguished himself as one of the world's preeminent authorities on intelligence, personality, and human biodiversity. *Race Differences in Intelligence* is his essential work on this most controversial and consequential topic. Covering more than 500 published studies that span 10 population groups, Lynn demonstrates both the validity of innate intelligence as well as its heritability across racial groups. The Second Edition (2014) has been revised and updated to reflect the latest research.
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Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: New Press/ORIM

ISBN: 1595586911

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 5127

This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.
Posted in Science

Why Race Matters

Race Differences and What They Mean

Author: Michael Levin

Publisher: New Century Books

ISBN: 9780965638357

Category:

Page: 415

View: 7201

Philosopher Michael Levin has delivered one of the most authoritative and incisive treatises on the importance of race ever written. Why Race Matters is must reading for anyone interested in the debates on race, IQ, crime, welfare, affirmative action, and multiculturalism. Levin cross-examines the statistical data, psychological test scores, and behavioral genetic analyses, brilliantly illuminating the logical pitfalls and stumbling blocks in so much of what has been written on the subject. His powerful logic digs deep and his courageous inferences vault forward. Levin seems to be always bang on target. -- J. Philippe Rushton, University of Western OntarioProf. Michael Levin?s analytical tour de force differs uniquely from other books dealing with racial differences. Levin views the various complex arguments regarding the reality and nature of race and race differences, not from any of the typical specialized viewpoints of anthropology, education, evolution, genetics, psychology, or sociology, or from any social or political ideology, but from the sweeping vantage point of the philosophy of science. Levin?s impressive technical mastery of the subject is evinced in his book?s amazingly broad and detailed scope and analytical depth. But what I consider the most valuable and exciting feature of Levin?s treatment of every facet of the race issue is the consistent critical stance his incisive intellect brings to every aspect, based entirely on his keen understanding of the philosophy of science. It is definitely a ?must read? for all serious students of this subject.-- Arthur R. Jensen, U.C. BerkeleyWhy Race Matters does exactly what the title promises?it removes all illusions about the insignificance of race, and explains what racial differences mean for a multiracial society. It is a thorough, overwhelmingly convincing treatment of America?s most serious and least understood problem. -- Jared Taylor, editor, American Renaissance
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Constant Battles

The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage

Author: Steven A. LeBlanc,Katherine E. Register

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466850191

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4315

With armed conflict in the Persian Gulf now upon us, Harvard archaeologist Steven LeBlanc takes a long-term view of the nature and roots of war, presenting a controversial thesis: The notion of the "noble savage" living in peace with one another and in harmony with nature is a fantasy. In Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage, LeBlanc contends that warfare and violent conflict have existed throughout human history, and that humans have never lived in ecological balance with nature. The start of the second major U.S. military action in the Persian Gulf, combined with regular headlines about spiraling environmental destruction, would tempt anyone to conclude that humankind is fast approaching a catastrophic end. But as LeBlanc brilliantly argues, the archaeological record shows that the warfare and ecological destruction we find today fit into patterns of human behavior that have gone on for millions of years. Constant Battles surveys human history in terms of social organization-from hunter gatherers, to tribal agriculturalists, to more complex societies. LeBlanc takes the reader on his own digs around the world -- from New Guinea to the Southwestern U.S. to Turkey -- to show how he has come to discover warfare everywhere at every time. His own fieldwork combined with his archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research, presents a riveting account of how, throughout human history, people always have outgrown the carrying capacity of their environment, which has led to war. Ultimately, though, LeBlanc's point of view is reassuring and optimistic. As he explains the roots of warfare in human history, he also demonstrates that warfare today has far less impact than it did in the past. He also argues that, as awareness of these patterns and the advantages of modern technology increase, so does our ability to avoid war in the future.
Posted in Social Science

Troublesome Science

The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Author: Rob DeSalle,Ian Tattersall

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231546300

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 2162

It is well established that all humans today, wherever they live, belong to one single species. Yet even many people who claim to abhor racism take for granted that human “races” have a biological reality. In Troublesome Science, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall provide a lucid and forceful critique of how scientific tools have been misused to uphold misguided racial categorizations. DeSalle and Tattersall argue that taxonomy, the scientific classification of organisms, provides an antidote to the myth of race’s biological basis. They explain how taxonomists do their science—how to identify a species and to understand the relationships among different species and the variants within them. DeSalle and Tattersall also detail the use of genetic data to trace human origins and look at how scientists have attempted to recognize discrete populations within Homo sapiens. Troublesome Science demonstrates conclusively that modern genetic tools, when applied correctly to the study of human variety, fail to find genuine differences. While the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any systematic attempt to recognize discrete units within it. The stark lines that humans insist on drawing between their own groups and others are nothing but a mixture of imagination and ideology. Troublesome Science is an important call for researchers, journalists, and citizens to cast aside the belief that race has a biological meaning, for the sake of social justice and sound science alike.
Posted in Science