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Monday, June 06, 2005

Over at GNXP

I read GNXP a lot. It's usually insightful, occassionally infuriating (especially some of the commenters), but always compelling reading. Over the weekend, Jason Malloy published an absolutely superb analysis of a debate between Jared Taylor, a White Nationalist, and Tim Wise, a liberal white anti-racist activist, that, from a scientist's perspective, skewers both of their foggy-minded errors on the question of race. The comments are excellent reading as well, varying from the unhinged to the deeply considered. Definitely worth a look.

For what it's worth, I don't doubt that our traditional conceptions of 'race' have some correlation with genetics; the idea that 'race is only a social construct' has always struck me as somewhat silly. Precisely how deep the connections are is only just beginning to be understood, and there is still a long way to go before all our genetic secrets have been revealed. Having said that, even though I believe in race as something that has biological meaning (in the sense of the 'races' having certain in-group genetic mutations in common), I don't think it matters any where near as much in terms of day-to-day life as culture or upbringing. I have far more in common with Asian or African or whatever non-white Americans who are from a similar economic and educational background to myself than I would with, say, an unemployed former factory worker in eastern Germany, even though I'll look much more like the German. What 'race' actually means is still somewhat cloudy, but whatever happens it will not change the fact that who we are is in large part dependent on who we are around and how we grow up rather than who looks like us in somewhere remote to our everyday experience.

|| RPH || 4:35 PM || |