My ebooks

Burakumin, Paekchong, and Cagots (epub version, PDF version)

Human evolution is a logarithmic curve where most of the interesting changes have happened since the advent of farming and complex societies. Homo sapiens was not a culmination but rather a beginning … of gene-culture co-evolution. There are many ways to study this co-evolution, but one way is to look at the evolutionary trajectories that castes have followed with their host populations.

L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. A bird in a gilded cage (epub version, PDF version)

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is a complex figure. On the one hand, he has publicly backed those who assert that human races do not exist. On the other hand, by aggregating large volumes of genetic data, he has proven the existence of large continental races, as well as smaller regional and micro ones. By developing the theory of gene-culture co-evolution, he has also shown that humans did not stop evolving genetically when they began to evolve culturally.

This has led some to see a double game at work. While bowing to the mainstream taboos, Cavalli-Sforza has quietly amassed evidence that human races not only exist but also differ in ways that are more than skin deep.

If Cavalli-Sforza is playing a double game, he has been playing it far too long. Such a strategy is excusable for an academic who is young, untenured, poorly known, and far from retirement, but these excuses hardly apply to a professor emeritus like Cavalli-Sforza.

Negotiating the gap. Four academics and the dilemma of human biodiversity (epub version, PDF version)
This essay presents four academics—Richard Dawkins, Claude Lévi-Strauss, John Tooby, and Leda Cosmides—and how they negotiated the gap between personal conviction and mainstream discourse. All four came to the conclusion that human populations differ not only anatomically but also in various mental and behavioral predispositions. These differences are statistical and often apparent only between large groups of people. But even a weak statistical difference can affect how a society will develop and organize itself. Human biodiversity is therefore a reality, and one we ignore at our peril.

How, then, should one negotiate this gap? Of the above academics, Claude Lévi-Strauss made the fewest compromises, whereas the others chose various mixed messages, perhaps hoping that someone else would pick up the ball and run with it. Today, the question remains unanswered. How can one get the message across without being penalized?

There are no easy answers, and that may be part of the problem. Too many people are looking for answers that are easy—that cost little in terms of reputation, career prospects, or acceptance at the next cocktail party. Why not instead assume that everything worthwhile has a cost and then look for ways to minimize the cost?