I finally finished A Troublesome Inheritance. I started reading it last year, then for no discernable reason it fell to the wayside with only a half-chapter left. I finally got around to finishing the last chapter this month, so I figured I’d talk of it a little here. Sadly, given how long ago it was that I started the book, I only remember general impressions of most of it, but I need a post, and don’t have much time to write on anything else, so I’ll give my general impressions.
The book is essentially a mainstream-friendly primer on HBD. Most of the information presented within will not be much of a surprise to anyone who has spent much time reading in the Steveosphere. The essential thesis is that human evolution has been recent, copious, and regional. Humans have evolved recently and the different races having evolved seperately and in different conditions have probably evolved somewhat differently.
Some in our little sphere object to some of the arguments presented within. I do not remember having any major issues with the book myself, but that I am not really an expert on these issues. As a moderately informed layman already inclined to agree with Wade, I found his arguments were good.
The book was decently well-written. The writing served it’s purpose, but it wasn’t particularly engaging. Although, he did have what has got to be the best burn I can remember reading in a while, if only for how subtle it is.
Lewontin’s argument has other problems, including the subtle error of statistical reasoning named Lewontin’s fallacy.
Anyhow, my impressions of Wade’s book were somewhat similar to one of the impressions I had of Men On Strike. The ideas presented within were nothing particularly new or informative. I’ve absorbed most of the important things Wade wrote during my travels around the Steveopshere. If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you’ve probably absorbed and accepted the general ideas Wade presents as well. Although, it is nice to have a systematized volume of the basic knowledge.
But, on the other hand, if you are unfamiliar with HBD or are new around these parts, I would highly recommend giving it a read. It will provide a good, coherent introduction to the ideas that are implicitly accepted around these part and it will provide a counter-point to the “genes don’t matter” crowd.
The true strength of the book though, is that it is an NYT writer writing it. Someone with Cathedral-approval actually wrote a book challenging the Cathedral’s position on race and genetics. This is something you can recommend to others (who aren’t completely off the SJW deep-end) without it being rejected as crazy racist propaganda.
Sadly, I don’t think it has had as much an impact as some around here were hoping when it was first released. When it was released I had thought it might have indicated a lessening of mainstream hostility to genetic explanations of human behaviour and greater openness to discussions of the same, but after the first round of buzz, I haven’t seen much in the way of references to it. It doesn’t seem to have had much of a noticeable effect on such discussion either, which is somewhat disappointing.
If you’ve been reading HBD blogs for a while, you probably won’t get too much out of this book. But if you don’t know much about HBD or want something on the issue to recommend to your liberal friends, I’d recommend picking A Troublesome Inheritance up.