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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Steven Pinker, Steve Sailer and the Cousin Marriage Conundrum part 1

"The Best American Science and Nature Writing" is a series edited by Tim Folger. Steven Pinker was the editor of the 2004 installment, which is most notable for Pinker's inclusion of an article,  "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" by racist Steve Sailer

Sailer's article was originally written for American Conservative, and is available at its original source so you can read along.

The American Conservative was founded by Pat Buchanan, Scott McConnell and Taki Theodoracopulos. 

 On average, Orientals are slower to mature, less randy, less fertile, and have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole, and whites fall somewhere in the middle, although closer to the Orientals than the blacks. In sport, blacks have a genetic edge. They have narrower hips which give them a more efficient stride, and a higher centre of gravity for better balance. They have wider shoulders, less body fat, and more muscle. With more testosterone than whites and Orientals, they possess more explosive energy. Ergo their superiority in sports such as boxing and sprinting.

According to J. Philippe Rushton, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario, the reason why whites and East Asians have wider hips than blacks, and as a result are poorer runners, is because they give birth to larger-brained babies. It all has to do with climate, accord- ing to the good prof. Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Africans and non-Africans then split about 100,000 years ago. The further north they went, the harder it became to find food, raise children and find shelter. Larger brains were needed for a longer life and more family stability.

Building a bigger brain, needless to say, took time. And energy. So these changes were balanced by lower levels of sex hormones, less sexual activity and slower rates of growth. Rushton believes that different climates called for different skills and lifestyles. Living in a tropical climate was easy on the brain cells. Living in arctic conditions made them work much harder.
Sailer not only writes for Theodoracopulos in American Conservative, he also writes for him in Taki's magazine.

In his introduction to "The Best American Science and Nature Writing" of 2004, Pinker explains his criteria for good science writing:
The best science writing delights by instructing. A good science essay, like any good essay, must be written with structure and style, but the best science essays accomplish something else. They give readers the blissful click, the satisfying aha!, of seeing a puzzling phenomenon explained...

...Good science writing has to be good writing... its first priority, clarity.
And his inclusion of the Sailer piece:
Many misconceptions about behavior are harmless, but in these dangerous times some could lead to catastrophe. Steve Sailer's "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" correctly predicts that it would be unwise to try to graft a political system onto a society without understanding how the psychology of kinship and ethnic identification plays out in the local environment.

So if we don't listen to Steve Sailer and his prediction, it could lead to "catastrophe." 

What is it about sociobiology that makes its proponents such drama queens? We've seen Razib Khan and Charles Murray say that if we don't accept the sociobiological view of Black Americans we "face disaster" and Kathryn Paige Harden, in her recent book, compared the refusal to accept the conclusions of "behavioral genetics" (basically sociobiology) with armed robbery.

Over the next few days I'm going to review the entire book and re-review Sailer's article, and look at how exactly Sailer's prediction in "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" turned out. 

PART 2 -->

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