Earlier this year, I read Richard Lynn’s Dysgenics. Unfortunately, I don’t remember all that much from it, in part because it was just retelling a lot of history that I was already aware of from a separate perspective.
The push-back against Darwin by secular thinkers has been far more wide-ranging and successful than the reaction against it by religious thinkers ever was. I remember seeing a performance with Brian Dennehy some years ago of Inherit the Wind, and I think that’s still the extent to which the urban left views evolution: it’s a brickbat to thwack the Williams Jennings Bryans of the world, rather than a theory that describes human evolution as well as it does for other species.
The same people who will snicker at Texans and Kansans for being hicks who don’t believe in evolution will accuse you of being an evil bigot for believing in human evolution.
One of the reasons that this might be is that, politically, it’s difficult to suggest that the consequences of the Green and Industrial revolutions may not have been entirely benign. By weakening selection pressures on the species, we have been deteriorating ourselves in terms of genetic quality.
Shutting off this inquiry has likely lead to an enormous number of health problems in the general population. Making evolutionary thinking unpopular is one of the reasons why sensible dietary advice and research has had to go underground, until recently becoming successful with such buzzwords like ‘paleo diet’ gaining currency, with a backing in evolutionary theory.
The idea of human evolution is also quite threatening to the pretensions of the egalitarian left, which holds that anyone can be remade into anything with the right education. If it in fact takes generations for major changes to happen in generations, absent strokes of fortune, then many egalitarian pretensions must also fade away, and traditional emphases on family, family quality, and child-rearing become more readily understandable.
In particular, with knowledge of evolution, which is not entirely out of step with traditional emphases on blood and family honor, feminism turns from an important moral initiative into something that’s easier to perceive as a dire social problem. To the extent that you encourage the smartest women from the best families to turn themselves into dissolute corporate strivers, you also encourage the race if not the species to destroy itself in terms of quality.
The push to get more women into more high-performance career tracks at the expense of having children stops looking like a noble, heroic advancement of the species, and more like the cannibalization of the world’s genetic cream to try to squeeze out a few percentage points of greater output temporarily before an enormous crash. The demographic collapses in Japan, Germany, the rest of Europe, and even the United States are coincident with high rates of female education and serious workforce participation outside the home.
You have these goofy initiatives about ‘teaching women to code,’ in the present, instead of teaching them to bear sons who will learn to code in 15 years, and will be better at it and be more capable of sticking with it than the women are. Such initiatives are aimed at producing greater profits for companies in a few years, but what happens in 30 years when those same women barely succeed at reproducing themselves effectively?
Sure, you can try to replace a single bright white person with 50 mestizos, but the type of output that you’re going to get from the replacements is not going to be the same, and the culture is not going to be the same either.
Further, encouraging later births also encourages greater birth defects, which further damages the ability of the best and brightest to reproduce itself effectively.
These sorts of programs to deal with dysgenic consequences of inane policies tend to dance around the root causes, because the root causes are the people who shape the policies, and the societies that have forsaken in the future in favor of the present.
[Update, 2:23 pm]
The archive.org version of the Richard Lynn book contains many broken tables and other issues in .epub. Because this book is out of print, it’s only available at a relatively high price as a hard copy. You can find it in print at the link below, or download it for free through the previous link.