Wade In The Balance

Reviews and reactions to Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History have been many, and varied. The book is as polarizing as we all expected: for some it is racist ‘pseudoscience’, while for others it is a social and scientific watershed.

I linked last week to hbd*chick’s roundup of these reviews; Occam’s Razor has a good collection too, sorted on the spectrum of approval.

It took some time, but the New York Times, Mr. Wade’s longtime employer, has now published its own review, and as you’d expect, it is not a favorable one. Steve Sailer reviews the review, here; his final remark is particularly on target.

Steven Pinker commented on Twitter that, although in his opinion the book “gets some wrong” (much of the criticism of the book, from both sides, has been of its more speculative chapters), he thought that the book “explodes” the “race-is-only-a-social-construction myth”.

The prominent evolutionary biologist (and Richard Lewontin protégé) Jerry Coyne gave the book an unfavorable review at his blog; the neoreactionary blogger Scharlach replied with some pointed questions in a comment that Dr. Coyne refused to post.

There’s plenty more. Go and have a look.

We all expected the book to be controversial; some if us were worried, though, that it would simply be ignored. That, at least, hasn’t happened.

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