Racial Disparities

15 04 2010

On April 5, a man named John Derbyshire spoke at a panel discussion organized by the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, April 5, 2010.

…If a species is divided into separate populations, and those populations are left in reproductive isolation from each other for many generations, they will diverge. If you return after several hundred generations have passed, you will observe that the various traits that characterize individuals of the species are now distributed at different frequencies in the various populations. After a few ten thousands of generations, the divergence of the populations will be so great they can no longer cross-breed; and that is the origin of species. This is Biology 101.

Our species separated into two parts 50, 60, or 70 thousand years ago, depending on which paleoanthropologist you ask. One part remained in Africa, the ancestral homeland. The other crossed into Southwest Asia, then split, and re-split, and re-split, until there were human populations living in near-total reproductive isolation from each other in all parts of the world. This went on for hundreds of generations, causing the divergences we see today. Different physical types, as well as differences in behavior, intelligence, and personality, are exactly what one would expect to observe when scrutinizing these divergent populations.

This sounds perfectly reasonable. Doesn’t it? The entire speech is reproduced at his blog. If you tend to agree with it, you’re a racial realist which to many, is a fancy term for racist.

The discussion was supposed to be about whether government should do more or less to eliminate racial disparities.