The blogger destructure recently implied on this blog that I am too liberal, which he attributed to my putative sheltered life as a Canadian. I don’t consider myself liberal at all, but I think I seem so liberal because my path to HBD (i.e. behavioral genetics) was very different from that of many HBD people. I would imagine that many people get interested in HBD because they have certain right-wing politics (maybe anti-affirmative action, anti-immigration) and hijack HBD to push their political agenda, much like the peaceful religion of Islam is hijacked by violent extremists pushing agendas. In both cases, a burden is placed on all the millions good HBD people (and millions of good Muslims) to defend their ideology from those who would want to twist it.
For me, HBD was never about politics, but started when a babysitter rented the movie Quest for Fire when I was five. This movie was set 80,000 years ago and depicted a tribe of cavemen who have their most valued resource (fire) destroyed by a violent tribe of primitive monkey-men who brutally slaughter most of the cavemen. Amazingly, a few of the most adventurous surviving cavemen walk from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa where they find a tribe of behaviorally and anatomically modern gracile humans, one of whom was a beautiful young African woman, who falls in love with one of the cavemen and teaches him to be fully human. Til this day this remains one of my all time favorite movies and makes me nostalgic for life 80,000 years ago.
But at age five, this wasn’t just a movie, it was an obsession. Every time I would go camping, I would look for a pile of ashes to roll around in, because the advanced African tribe I worshiped were covered from head to toe in ashes giving them a completely grey skin color.
As a child I remembered thinking how boring life was in the modern era because all living human populations were at the same level of evolution. Things seemed so much more exciting 80,000 years ago in the movie Quest for Fire when you had three different levels of evolution competing in a struggle for survival.
But then I began hearing about the theories of scientists J.P. Rushton who argued that there were indeed three different levels of evolution coexisting at once, except instead of Africans being the most advanced people, Rushton put “mongoloids” at the top of his nice neat pyramid, arguing that they were more advanced than other humans because they evolved most recently, having split-off caucasoids in a bigger brained, less sexual form. When I first heard this theory I was absolutely fascinated because it was as though the movie that had dominated my early childhood had been true all along, but because Rushton’s theory was condemned as racist, I felt great shame and guilt for liking his theory so much.
Luckily, as I grew older, I came to realize there was absolutely nothing racist about such theories because virtually the entire range of intelligence, personality, sexuality, and athleticism exist in every race, and there’s an evolutionary trade-off, such that races that are higher in some traits (brain size, IQ, mental stability) are lower on other valued traits (sexual anatomy, rhythm, sociability, artistic creativity). I don’t think one should have to deny science to prove they’re not a racist. It’s very easy to spout politically correct platitudes about all races being the same in the abstract; but the real test of character is whether you treat everyone as an individual, regardless of race.