Thoughts on race, intelligence, evolution, and God
Robert S. wrote on October 29 asking some fundamental questions on the subjects mentioned in the title of this entry. Below is his e-mail, with my answers alternating with his text.
I’m a newbee to VFR and have been perusing it for a few weeks. Thank you for a very insightful website.
Several VFR articles have started coming together in my mind and I would like your comments as to where conclusions from these articles might lead. The issue of race and intelligence combined with the problem of human evolution.
Firstly, on the issue of race and intelligence. I have read a variety of essays (including “Race and Intelligence: the Evidence” by Jared Taylor), and see that indeed there is empirical data to support the difference. Several posts at VFR have shown how this difference manifests itself in terms of social behaviour. The question is: how should we then deal with this fact? The liberal reaction is either to deny this fact or to minimize it in terms of social, environmental development. What impact has this difference in intelligence had on your thinking in terms of society, government and civilization? What should be the role of society and government with respect to groups less intellectually endowed? What should be the role of more advanced countries with respect to less advanced countries (and continents)?
Drop all programs aimed at producing equality. Restore the white Christian majority culture which sets moral and behavioral standards for the whole society, white and black, standards which, held in common, would provide the basis for a civilized co-existence between whites and blacks, though not complete social integration. Train people for vocations appropriate to their abilities. Let people find their own level and don’t be bent out of shape if they don’t do better than that. Stop further immigration of low IQ people. Encourage out-migration of recent low-IQ immigrants.
On the relation of the West to Africa, there are two basic options we’ve discussed at VFR. The first, which I tend to favor though I recognize the power of the opposing argument, is a kind of mandate system in which outside countries take over responsibility for running African countries, not on a liberal guilt basis, but on the acknowledged basis that the Africans need our help and guidance. In other words, a sort of return to the Albert Schweitzer idea of the Africans as our younger brothers. The second option, which has been favored by several VFR participants, is that the outside world have absolutely nothing to do with Africa, just leave it alone, because, given the profound differences in civilizational level, any involvement with Africa inevitably gets us caught up in its problems and blamed for them.
Liberal nations have determined that the economic disparity between more and less advanced nations should be overcome by liberal economic policies—due in part to feelings of guilt from colonialism. Similarly liberal societies have determined that social and economic disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged groups should be overcome by affirmative action policies—due in part to feelings of guilt about segregation. If intelligence is separate to some degree from the natural and historical environment, is there any action to be taken to overcome “disparities?”
No. People should be given the means and encouragement to perform to the best of their capacities. That is not the same thing as the leftist goal trying to “end disparities.”
Secondly, VFR has been dealing with Darwinian evolution. As a former atheist, I believed in Darwinian evolution—up until four years ago. Darwin had certain beliefs about the place of the black race in the evolutionary tree. Now that I no longer buy the Darwinian concept of lineage, I ask myself how did this disparity in intelligence between the races arise. To state that this difference can be possibly “genetic” doesn’t really explain why this divergence occurred. How do you personally account for this disparity—particularly since evolution may be out of the picture as an explanatory mechanism? How would a creationist or an Intelligent Design proponent explain this bifurcation of intelligence with respect to the human race?
The understanding that has been current among race realists for some years is that selective pressures of cold climates boosted IQ among whites and Asians living in northern latitudes. Richard Lynn, Philippe Rushton, and most recently Michael H. Hart have written about this.
Now the race realists are all Darwinians; I am not. Why then do I accept—or at least regard as reasonable and plausible—their evolutionary account of racial differences in intelligence? The reason is that this theory only relates to “micro evolution,” changes occurring within a species, which is a fact, not macro-evolution, the changes that (according to the Darwinians) lead to new species, which is not a fact. There is a great deal of evidence for the idea that sub-groups of the same species living in widely different climates will develop widely different physical characteristics. The most obvious is skin color. Most Negroids living in the tropics are very dark. Caucasoids living in Northern Europe are very light. This is not a coincidence. Similarly, most blacks living in the tropics have long limbs and short, slender torsos, while Northern Asians have short limbs and thick torsos. The first body type has a higher ratio of surface area to volume and so can get rid of heat more easily; the second body type has a lower ratio of skin area to body volume and so holds onto heat.
If we presume that blacks, whites, and Asians began at some point in time as the same group, then clearly climatic conditions resulted in these widely different phenotypes. It’s a highly plausible hypothesis that natural selection was the mechanism by which this differentiation occurred.
However, given the fact that I reject natural selection as the mechanism whereby new species come into being (macro-evolution), it would be inconsistent of me to state definitely that natural selection must be the means by which sub-species come into being (micro-evolution). There are other possibilities, though I add that they are entirely speculative. One is that there are “forms,” “archetypes,” residing as potentialities within the human genome, and different types of climates will trigger an archetype appropriate to that climate. Since I speculate that something like that is the way macro evolution occurs, I cannot dismiss the possibility in relation to micro-evolution.
Intelligent Design, a movement that I’ve been more and more attracted to, looks at things from a design filter. If design is the basis for biological form and organism, then were the varying levels of intelligence “designed”—different forms of mind served as templates in different scenarios?
That is very well stated. As indicated above, I also see things in these terms and think this is a possibility .
As well, how is God implicated in this since he is the ultimate designer and the source of intelligence? You have speculated that the IQ of the Jewish race has in some way benefited from its interaction with the divine. What then is the relationship of the black race to the divine in terms of the apportionment of intelligence? Can he give and withhold?
First, as I’ve told about before, I have a conviction, formed especially during my numerous visits to the “Ancestors” exhibit at the Museum of Natural History around 1982, that modern Homo sapiens is the end and purpose of biological evolution. The skull of modern Homo is unlike any hominid skull that precedes it, it is a temple of God. All modern humans, including blacks, have that amazing high forehead going straight up from the face and that delicate arched skull that looks like a temple of God. All modern humans are “made in the image and likeness of God,” and so are capable of following God and knowing God. My speculation is that God created the basic form or archetype of man (and perhaps created the basic archetypes of the respective human sub-species as well), and then, once the basic human archetype had manifested physically, it proceeded to show great variation depending on local conditions. And such variation resulted in significant differences in intelligence as in other features.
The nature of God is not contradicted by the fact of human variability and inequality. God does not create an equal world. God is above us. Between us and God there is a ladder, like the ladder in Jacob’s dream, with men and angels ascending and descending it, moving closer to God or farther from God. Blacks are more limited intellectually than other races, and those differences have social and political significance that we cannot ignore, but blacks still share in the basic human archetype as the being who is created in the image and likeness of God.
Looking forward to your thoughts, thanks. BTW please don’t feel the need to answer these queries quickly—my gut feel is that these are complex issues and may require quite a bit of time to upon which to reflect. Personally I don’t have any solid answers to these questions because I have just turned the corner away from liberalism and Darwinism and a lot of these concerns have only started occurring to my mind in the past few years.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 21, 2007 01:55 AM | Send
Regards and keep up the good work VFR is uniquely doing,