Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Biological Egalitarianism   posted by dkane @ 10/14/2009 11:36:00 AM

Bruce Lahn and Lanny Ebenstein write (pdf) in Nature: "Let's celebrate human genetic diversity." (Hat tip: Steve Sailer.)

The current moral position is a sort of 'biological egalitarianism'. This dominant position emerged in recent decades largely to correct grave historical injustices, including genocide, that were committed with the support of pseudo scientific understandings of group diversity. The racial-hygiene theory promoted by German geneticists Fritz Lenz, Imbler Fischer and others during the Nazi era is one notorious example of such pseudoscience. Biological egalitarianism is the view that no or almost no meaningful genetically based biological differences exist among human groups, with the exception of a few superficial traits such as skin colour. Proponents of this view seem to hope that, by promoting biological sameness, discrimination against groups or individuals will become groundless.

We believe that this position, although well intentioned, is illogical and even dangerous, as it implies that if significant group diversity were established, discrimination might thereby be justified. We reject this position.

Agreed. I have made this same argument with regard to debates over higher education, although I prefer the terminology "genetic egalitarianism" since it better captures the fundamental assumption that genetics don't matter.