Friday, June 20, 2014

Different Races Exist. So What? -

Wade does admit that "rapid change must be due to culture, not genetics." Just so. And what does he think has been happening over the past two centuries? Once the set of institutions that more or less define open societies came into existence, they began out-competing societies that did not have those institutions. In his 1991 book The World Revolution of Westernization, the Yale historian Theodore von Laue describes how the spread of Western institutions by means of both arms and intellectual seduction has provoked resistance but is displacing other economic and political arrangements. And Western institutions—with fits and starts—have been spreading and adopted by other human groups.
For example, according to the Fraser Institute's economic freedom calculations, the "average level of economic freedom...has increased from 5.30 in 1980 to 5.76 in 1990 to 6.71 in 2000 and finally to 6.83 in 2010." Freedom House similarly reports that the percent of free countries has risen from 25 percent in the 1970s to 46 percent today, and that the percent of not-free countries has correspondingly fallen from around 40 percent to 24 percent. Clearly genetic changes do not account for these significant shifts.
Wade concludes that his book is an attempt to "dispel the fear of racism" and to "begin to explore the far-reaching implications of the discovery that human evolution has been recent, copious and regional." Undoubtedly future researchers will more finely detail how cultural and genetic evolution have mutually reinforced one another to shape human behaviors. And perhaps the implications of their findings will be "far-reaching." But Wade simply hasn’t the data to back up his speculations.
In any case, whatever those future genetic findings might be, they will not be nearly as far-reaching in their implications as the discovery of the institutions of liberty.

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