If you have an interest in population genetics or evolutionary biology the coming debates about the nature of man will be very interesting. Wade’s new book is causing a lot of difficulty for the Left, forcing them into denying science. Gregory Clark’s book, The Son Also Rises, started the ball rolling. The rapidly expanding base of knowledge coming from genetics is blowing big holes in the orthodoxy. It promises to be a good summer of reading blog posts like this was from Steve Sailer.
A massive problem in contemporary intellectual discourse is that people don’t remember the past well and don’t have a critical attitude toward whatever is the latest conventional wisdom about the backwardness of the past. In the Obama Era, we see race and sex disparities all around us, and the only socially acceptable explanation for them is that the past was so incredibly racist/sexist until … well, nobody can quite remember when, but it must have been practically the day before yesterday.
So, it’s hard for contemporary intellectuals to put themselves back into the shoes of their predecessors.
This is an excellent observation that applies to the debate over homosexuality. The public debate always assumes that way back in like last week, homosexuals were in bondage, forced to work on lavender farms in the South. There’s never any evidence presented, other than the obligatory reference to Stonewall. Famous homosexuals have been erased from history, because they could not have existed, according to the prevailing narrative promoted by the usual suspects.
Sailer is correct that this leads to endless errors and mistakes, as he goes onto point out in that post. He assumes this obtuseness is the result of wanting to justify the present fads.Maybe. It could also be part of a greater war on the past, which is a manifestation of self-loathing.The modern Progressive hates his ancestors because they created the present, which the moral man detests and wishes to change. All that “leaning forward” stuff looked like pulling at the leash for a reason.
The left imagines themselves at war with the past, trying to break free from that which ties them to the present. It is why they deny biology, for example. The thought that we are the result of mating choices over many generations is horrifying. How can we break free when we are just a point in the time line? When the Left is viewed as a religion, the war on the past makes more sense. Belief is powerful stuff, so powerful it allows to people to deny observable reality.