A New People

We create a new people. Instead being refugees we we to be fighters. This very important. We were refugees. Harmless. We become now fighters. Freedom fighters. The next stage, you will see….

Yasser Arafat

We live in a world, radically artificial twice over, and we haven’t begun to see what it will hold.

tdaxp, 5 years ago

Razib Khan notes some new research on the possible identification of a gene that seems to encourage for brain size, and general intelligence. Interestingly, this gene ‘for’ larger brains and higher intelligence appears to be most present in African populations:

This is actually a good point to describe how races may will survive long after any racial difference in intelligence can be imputed through skin color.

Consider if the C version of the gene really is associated with lower and higher intelligence. If so, it should be a “simple” matter of engineering a retrovirus that would infect an embryo, fetus, or child in the womb in order to direct the DNA to code for one version, instead of the other.

Of course, this procedure will have risks, and doubtless be fatal in some cases.

Now consider that we’re able to make a retrovirus, fine-tuned to the individual, that could create a 15 point increase in general intelligence (say, the average difference between a 3rd year college drop out and an M.D; or between an average Gentile and an average Jew on a standardized verbal intelligence test), with the slight side-effect that a fourth of all unborn children treated with such a retrovirus will die before birth.

No developed society that values its children will engage in such a practice on a wide scale.

But a few poor and backwards societies might. Supposedly, Saddam Hussein (in his pre-war days) abolished illiteracy by announcing, a few years in advance, that illiteracy would be a capital crime. Most people got the message. Others got shot.

Highly centralized states are able to take large risks. The Chinese experience under Mao and Deng show how very similar leadership styles and personal backgrounds can lead to the greatest elimination of poverty in history (under Deng‘s economic reforms), or the greatest elimination of the poor in history (under Mao‘s autogenocidal policies).

Some country we don’t care about too much — perhaps Somaliland or Azawad — is in for a wild 21st century.

There would still be Somalis or Azawadis.

But they’d be a new people.

3 thoughts on “A New People”

  1. If I read Razib’s article correctly, it’s the C version that codes for higher intelligence. If so, an ironic blow for the nurture side of the IQ debate–blacks in this country should be out-competing us!

  2. Michael,

    It’s definitely interesting.

    I know that light skin color evolved twice (East Asians are pale because of different genes than Europeans), so perhaps intelligence did too?

    Fascinating stuff!

  3. Have you been following the discussion at westhunt.wordpress.com? Cochran and Harpending seem to be moving towards a model where mutational load (determined differences in average paternal age over the last thousand years or so) is a large factor in the health, behavior, and psychometric profile of a population.

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