Charles Murray has written an engrossing essay explaining some of the differences between people of various races and genders. It's far too long to excerpt meaningfully, but here's a bit in which he points out that race and ethnicity are not mere social constructs.

Turning to race, we must begin with the fraught question of whether it even exists, or whether it is instead a social construct. The Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin originated the idea of race as a social construct in 1972, arguing that the genetic differences across races were so trivial that no scientist working exclusively with genetic data would sort people into blacks, whites or Asians. In his words, "racial classification is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance."

Mr. Lewontin's position, which quickly became a tenet of political correctness, carried with it a potential means of being falsified. If he was correct, then a statistical analysis of genetic markers would not produce clusters corresponding to common racial labels.

In the past few years, that test has become feasible, and now we know that Mr. Lewontin was wrong. Several analyses have confirmed the genetic reality of group identities going under the label of race or ethnicity. In the most recent, published this year, all but five of the 3,636 subjects fell into the cluster of genetic markers corresponding to their self-identified ethnic group. When a statistical procedure, blind to physical characteristics and working exclusively with genetic information, classifies 99.9% of the individuals in a large sample in the same way they classify themselves, it is hard to argue that race is imaginary.

The essay is quite long, and I recommend reading the whole thing.



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