E. O. Wilson—Nationalist?

brain

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From a nationalist or anti-PC perspective, Wilson’s most interesting admission is that “tribalism is a fundamental human trait”—indeed, this is the title of the book’s seventh chapter:

Experiments conducted over many years have revealed how swiftly and decisively people divide into groups, and then discriminate in favor of the one to which they belong. Even when the experimenters created the groups arbitrarily, and even when the interactions prescribed were trivial, prejudice quickly established itself. [Members] judged their “opponents” to be less likeable, less fair, less trustworthy, less competent. They are quicker to anger at evidence that an out-group is behaving unfairly or receiving undeserved rewards.

This behavior “has all the marks of an instinct” and “can reasonably be supposed to have arisen through evolution.” Its neurological basis lies in the amygdala, the component of the limbic system concerned with fear and anger:

When black and white Americans were flashed pictures of the other race, their amygdalas were activated so quickly and subtly that the conscious centers of the brain were unaware of the response. When, on the other hand, appropriate contexts were added—say, the approaching black was a doctor and the white his patient—two other sites of the brain integrated with the higher learning centers lit up, silencing input through the amygdala.

VDare.com readers should know this already, as it has been discussed here by Kevin MacDonald. (See also White Ethnocentrism.) In effect, PC is trying to eradicate our instinctive limbic reactions through mere exhortation. But such an eradication could be achieved, if at all, only by a million years or so of living in a conflict-free utopia and gradually adapting genetically to it.

Wilson’s remarks on genetic blending, on the other hand, seem greatly beholden to PC dogma. He observes, plausibly, that “emigration and ethnic intermarriage have taken over as the overwhelmingly dominant forces of [human] microevolution, by homogenizing the global distribution of genes.” Yet only a few sentences later he somehow deduces from this that “more kinds of genotypes are being produced everywhere.” […]

He goes on to assert that “this change, unique in evolutionary history, offers a prospect of an immense increase in different kinds of people worldwide, and thereby newly created physical beauty and artistic and intellectual genius.” I leave the question of beauty to the reader’s judgment—what is beyond dispute is that Wilson presents no evidence in support of his claim that genetic mixture can be expected to produce new “artistic and intellectual genius.”

Wilson is surely aware that most diversity among domesticated species arises through selective breeding, whereas hybridization reduces phenotypic diversity and may even cause a reversion to the characteristics of wild ancestors.

(V Dare, May 13, 2012).

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