The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
a good example of cultural darwinism, to be sure.
"but what of that? It was in accordance with our custom."
Which is precisely what modern-day New Zealanders should be saying to Maori about the present situation there. Maori have a huge grievance industry which has given them an enormous slice of the fisheries, forestry plantations and even the radio spectrum, in addition to them being by far the greatest recipients of welfare and free healthcare. And prison places.
I just wish to hell they could be treated as they deserve, primitive savages who've ridden on the backs of hardworking people for too long.
If you give up the right of revolution, of separation, you deserve the misery you reap.
Keep reading. If you're alert, you'll find one place where Diamond suggests that Pacific islanders might be naturally more intelligent than whites . . . followed a few pages later by an uncompromising condemnation of racism.
He doesn't suggest that Pacific islanders are "naturally" more intelligent than whites, he suggests that when children and adults alike are constantly forced to engage with the environment around them, it produces a higher basic IQ- better learning facility and problem-solving ability. And he might well be right; lord knows we've all bitched about the passive spoon-feeding that passes for education in America today. But that's not by far the same thing as suggesting the Pacific genotype is "smarter".
Read carefully before you insinuate that Diamond is so blatantly hypocritical.
"Read carefully before you insinuate that Diamond is so blatantly hypocritical."
I did. Unfortunately I borrowed the book from a friend, so I don't have a copy to hand - but I'm sure I'm right. Possibly you didn't notice the passage which led me to that conclusion.
And I have to point out that this is not the only place Diamond lets his prejudice guide his conclusions. For example, he claims that Africans were disadvantaged because zebras are not as tameable as horses, and hence cannot be ridden. What he forgets is that people have been breeding horses
for thousands of years - and for many centuries did not ride them either. Comparing the two isn't valid.
Keep your eyes open, and the whole book is full of this sort of thing.
we're all the same deep down
moriori, I simply don't believe that, unless by "deep down" you mean right down at the cellular level.
I've lived and worked in Africa, worked in Asia and presently live in a very remote community among desert Aborigines.
Deep down they're as different to Europeans as it's possible to imagine.
Alex, I'm reading the book right now. I've seen the passages on the New Guineans and on the Zebra.
How you interpreted those passages says, I think, more about you than about Diamond.
*shrug* I've got two copies of the book, and both are pretty well-thumbed. Diamond is one of my favorite biology writers, and a big reason why is that he rarely brings politics into his conclusions. (Unlike, say, Gould or Dawkins.)
I went back and look at the passage you discussed. He advanced two theories as to why New Guineans (the "primitive" people with whom he had the most experience) might on average be more basically intelligent than Western Europeans - the first, a genetic one (which I had admittedly forgotten) due to about a thousand years of being killed off by strongly selective (relative to intelligence) causes such as murder, warfare, and starvation, as opposed to the indiscriminate cause of epidemic disease that was the major cause of death for the average member of most European societies in the same timespan. It's not a very strong theory and he admits as much. The second was the one I remembered, probably because it's a much better argument- the developmental cause of active versus passive education and entertainment during childhood, which does make a HUGE difference to an adult's intelligence.
As for horses versus zebras, sure Europeans and Asians had horses without riding them for a long time, but once they DID start, mounted cavalry became the most dominating military force in the world from ancient times straight up to the twentieth century and the advent of mechanized warfare. Moreover, regular conflict between these civilizations and Africans didn't start until long after horses were a regular means of transportation- comparing the two is not only valid, but obvious from any honest perspective on military history.
Jesus. Western European humans. I do proofread, and then I shoot myself in the foot doing so.
That did sound virulently racist, but I knew better than to interpret it that way. Want me to fix it? ;-)
(Why is it that my typos are rarely so harmless as "teh"...)