Articles and Commentary

Human Biodiversity and Eugenics

Posted by Sheldon Rubenfeld on August 24, 2016

The Forward just published an article by Ari Feldman entitled Human Biodiversity: the Pseudoscientific Racism of the Alt-Right: “Human biodiversity” appropriates scientific authority by posing as an empirical, rational discourse on the genetically proven physical and mental variation between humans. It uses the language of genetics to underscore, for example, the prevalence of Mongolians in sumo wrestling, the IQ scores of black people or the inbreeding patterns of Ashkenazi Jews. The refrain of HBD bloggers and forum commenters is that the (gene-driven, according to them) dissimilarities they outline are “non-negligible” or “non-trivial” and have, accordingly, social policy implications. Though it has a rational, policy-wonk zing to it, that’s just Internet forum-ese for “you’re genetically distinct from us and should be treated differently.”

Feldman goes on to say that “Recently, the conservative “journalist” Milo Yiannopoulos boosted awareness of the HBD proponents when he name-checked a couple of HBD gurus in his article “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right.” He brought the term human biodiversity — coined by Steve Sailer in the mid-90s — to a wider audience. Sailer, a blogger for several conservative websites with racial preoccupations, including Taki’s Magazine, the Unz Review and VDARE.com, has said of human biodiversity (in an interview with the H.L. Mencken Club, one of 40 hate groups in Pennsylvania) that it’s both a field of study and a political movement, because it has to “fight for its right to exist.”

The complete article can be found at: http://forward.com/opinion/national/346533/human-biodiversity-the-pseudoscientific-racism-of-the-alt-right/

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