There is an old line about how some things are so stupid that only educated people are willing to believe them. Sometimes it is phrased as the smartest are the ones who believe the dumbest things. It is one of those aphorisms that is often used to dismiss arguments or ideas that are unpleasant. Most clichés and sayings are conversation enders, not conversation starters. On the other hand, there is a kernel of truth here and you see it in this gem from a Dr. Rachel Pope.
As we know from the great Doctor Jill Biden, there are a lot of very stupid people walking around with the label “doctor” in their profile. Another good rule is that when confronted by someone insisting you call her doctor or she puts that title in her social media profile, you are most likely dealing with a stupid person. It is not always the case, as there are smart jerks in the world too, but people who wave around their titles like this tend to be narrowminded and remarkably insecure.
In this case, it appears to be warranted. The claim that there is no genetic basis for skin color is laughably ridiculous. There is a genetic basis for all observable human characteristics like skin color and eye color. That is why we have no cases of two Irish parents giving birth to a Chinese baby. Children look like the people who made them, because they inherit the genes of the people who made them. Things like skin color, eye color, facial features and so on are all genetic.
This is not complicated stuff. Five minutes on a search engine gets you hundreds of studies explaining what is basic high school biology. If Dr. Rachel Pope is so haunted by multicultural taboos that she cannot bear to think of race differences, she could find studies like this one that examine the genetic basis of African skin color. You see, all of the gene combinations for skin color were present in humans from the start, so she could claim that skin color is a genetic response to environment.
If that first tweet was not embarrassing enough, she follows on with a truly deranged claim that there are no indigenous people in Britain. By her definition, there are no indigenous people anywhere. Humans did not spring from the soil by magic and they did not stay in one range. The story of humans starts with populating every nook and cranny of the planet. When people with an IQ about room temperature say “indigenous people” they mean those who settle a place first.
Of course, where Dr. Rachel Pope and her coreligionists in the denialist cult reveal the depth of their stupidity is when they insist race is skin color. The only people who insist this are the people in the science deniers cult. People familiar enough with the human sciences to accept the great diversity of man know that race is a general shorthand for a large basket of measurable human traits. These baskets of traits largely conform to the big geological divides on our home planet.
That last bit may sound awkward, but it is a good way of understanding how it is we have so much diversity in the human animal. If one hundred thousand years ago a group of aliens scooped up a few thousand humans and transported them to another planet, those humans would have adapted to their new world. They would no doubt have evolved unique characteristics because their world required it. No one would pretend that they are not different from earthlings.
It turns out that humans are the product of mating decisions made by their ancestors going back a very long time. Evolution worked on humans just as it does on everything else on the planet. When people migrated to a new environment, they quickly began to adapt to that new environment. The reason Africans have a genetic defense to malaria, but Scandinavians do not, is malaria is not present in the north. Thousands of generations of adaptation are why we have so much human diversity.
What makes this strain of stupidity carried by Dr. Rachel jaw-dropping is the people afflicted with it never shut up about diversity. From the comfort of their whites-only enclaves, they harangue the rest of us about diversity. The term “white privilege” has become a passphrase for these people. Yet, if race is not real, then white is not a logical construct, as it assumes race is real. Similarly, diversity cannot exist if there is no genetic basis for the human differences, we call race and ethnicity.
This brings us back to the beginning. The denialist is always someone who is educated, but also strangely stupid about the obvious. They tend to have inflated credentials in fields that are not particularly taxing. Archeology is a little better than education or psychology, but it is not a STEM field. There is a sense that their credentialism is a defense mechanism rather than a trophy case. That is also why they fall for every nutty fad popular with the modern intelligentsia.
Biological denialism, the refusal to accept the observable and measurable differences in humans, may be the ultimate expression of the aphorism at the start of this post. It is an idea so stupid that only pseudo-intellectual poseurs believe it. It signals to the rest that the person believing it is willing to accept on faith whatever nonsense is running through that particular subculture at the moment. It is an act of submission, showing that the person will never question the tenets of the subculture.
That is an important aspect of the modern intelligentsia. Membership is not just about holding the right beliefs. Those are important, but they change quickly, so what is most important is the willingness to accept the most absurd beliefs. The man who starts wearing a dress, claiming he believes he is a woman must be met by his fellows with absolute acceptance. That is the point of the pronoun stuff. When you address the guy in the sundress as “them” you are a true believer.
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