Nature Beats Nurture

An interesting post from Vox Nature beats nurture

The “Blank Slate” theory is dead. It was never anything but political philosophy and science killed it. Every nominal justification for human equality is being gradually eliminated, one by one, as scientists revisit hypotheses that have long been passed off as pseudoscientific facts.

This is true. The left twists science so that it agrees with their ideology. The left believes in Darwinism – but in reverse, or survival of the un-fittest. Taking tax payer dollars from the most productive and frittering it away on the least. The left can’t stomach the idea that some people are intrinsically better than others, so they want the state to create equal outcomes, even if it makes everyone worse-off.

According to the left, if some groups fall behind, it’s those evil greedy rich people’s fault for holding them back, never genes.

This delusional belief in the perfectibility of man motivates people to support ineffective social programs that run headlong into the limitations imposed by biology. This is related to the success of Malcom Gladwell, who sells an appealing message that anyone, with enough practice and the alignment of other environmental factors, can covet the skills of geniuses. See, Bill Gates didn’t succeed because of a high-IQ, it was 10,000 hours of practice, and you have the potential to, too.

And then you have others in the pop-psychology community – the likes of Nassim Taleb and Daniel Kahneman, to name a few – who try a different approach, leveling, arguing that smart people are no more rational than less intelligent people. For example, if a smart person falls for the conjunction fallacy, according to these authors, he is no smarter than someone who doesn’t. This ‘leveling’ is intended to diminish the importance of IQ, in agreement with leftist egalitarianism.

I suspect that those equalitarians who claim to believe that a meritocracy is the best of all possible systems are going to rapidly change their tune once it becomes apparent that material merit is predominantly genetic in origin. Because in a post-Christian world of scientific rational materialism, there is no way that a meritocratic approach will not eventually lead to Eugenics 2.0.

But the equalitarians (who want equal outcomes) by definition are opposed to the meritocracy (outcomes based on competence, results, etc). They are not interchangeable, but are exact opposites.

…material merit is predominantly genetic in origin. Because in a post-Christian world of scientific rational materialism, there is no way that a meritocratic approach will not eventually lead to Eugenics 2.0.

I think he’s over the map here. If merit is good and biological, but this leads to eugenics 2.0, how does it become bad without contradicting his first premise?

The irony is that it is the equalitarians and anti-racists who will likely cling to the concept of race. Now that genetics gives us far more precise metrics, the new eugenicists won’t have to pay any attention to race at all in order to achieve their desired results. And they can claim, quite truthfully, that their policies are race- and color-blind. For example, if variants of the MAO-A, DAT1, and DRD2 genes are deemed to be unsuitable for an occupation, those possessing the unwanted genetic markers can be banned with absolutely no reference to race at all.

Eugenics isn’t exclusively about big categories like race; it’s about genes, in choosing which genes we want passed and which ones we don’t.

Eugenics does not have to be dystopian sci-fi trope Vox makes it out to be. To some extent, positive eugenics is already occurring today though assortative mating; second, negative eugenics offers a possible solution to the entitlement spending problem, as well as other problems like crime.

Employers should be able to request a genomic profile of prospective employees in order to choose candidates that are not only the most qualified based on biology, but will be less of a drain due to future health problems that can be identified through the profile. If someone’s profile shows a very high risk of early-onset dementia or heart disease, you may think twice before hiring him if there is an equally qualified candidate without such problems.

Vox seems conflicted in having to choose between believing HBD and then opposing eugenics and other HBD-based programs.

Related: The IQ Wars