Race, Genes, and the Ethics of Belief: A review of Nicholas Wade, A Troublesome Inheritance [Book Review]

Hastings Center Report 44 (5):51-52 (2014)
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A Troublesome Inheritance, by Nicholas Wade, should be read by anyone interested in race and recent human evolution. Wade deserves credit for challenging the popular dog­ma that biological differences between groups either don't exist or cannot ex­plain the relative success of different groups at different tasks. Wade's work should be read alongside another re­cent book, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution, by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Together, these books represent a ma­jor turning point in the public debate about the speed with which relatively isolated groups can evolve: both books suggest that small genetic differences between members of different groups can have large impacts on their abilities and propensities, which in turn affect the outcomes of the societies in which they live.

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Jonathan Anomaly
Duke University


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