View Full Version : Prof. Richard Lynn's Book "Dysgenics - Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations"

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004, 03:39 PM
Annals of Human Genetics
Volume 64 Issue 4 Page 363 - July 2000

A review of Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations
Editorial Note

This book review arrived here at the beginning of this year with a very apologetic note from the author, Bill Hamilton, about the long delay in producing the review and its 'rambling essay format'. Sadly, Hamilton died just a few weeks later from complications following malarial infection. Several tributes have been published, such as Science (2000), 287, 2438, and we continue the tributes with a final unedited manuscript from the hand of this unique, colourful and idiosyncratic evolutionary theorist.

Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations. Human Evolution, Behaviour, and Intelligence Series. By R. Lynn (Series Editor: S. Itzkoff). Westport, Connecticut and London: Praeger. 1996. Pp. 237. 47.50 (hardback).

In a sense a dominance hierarchy has only one satisfied individual - she or he at the top. If the hierarchy is bottom-numerous rather than linear, as is the case with most human hierarchies, it is all the more true that the vast majority of people are dissatisfied, wishing they were higher up, a thought which provides a basic reason why democracies (and especially, within democracies, such institutions as their state school systems) have to be unstable. We see a wobbly pyramid, and particularly within that pyramid we see certain side stairs all human examples have by which demagogues skip up a level or two so as to shout down to the restless base that the whole structure is somehow 'wrong'. Under a different system, the demagogue shouts, 'You could be higher too'.

Saturday, October 16th, 2010, 11:31 AM
A post by Notus Wind (http://majorityrights.com/index.php/weblog/comments/evening_morsels/) brought this paper (http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/961.full.pdf+html) to my attention:

Although mutation provides the fuel for phenotypic evolution, it also imposes a substantial burden on fitness through the production of predominantly deleterious alleles, a matter of concern from a human-health perspective. [. . .] a consideration of the long-term consequences of current human behavior for deleterious-mutation accumulation leads to the conclusion that a substantial reduction in human fitness can be expected over the next few centuries in industrialized societies unless novel means of genetic intervention are developed.I know Hamilton expressed similar concerns (http://lclane2.net/hamilton.html), but to the extent accelerated accumulation of deleterious mutations under modern conditions is a real/serious problem this author's suggestion of "multigenerational cryogenic storage and utilization of gametes and/or embryos" seems preferable to some of Hamilton's goofier "solutions" (such as marrying HIV- Nairobi prostitutes to protect one's offspring from impending AIDS epidemic). I'm not too worried about imminent mutational meltdown (some modern "problems" like antibiotics may be in the process of solving themselves (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/aug/12/the-end-of-antibiotics-health-infections)), but from a strictly conservationist or even historical standpoint, large-scale, long-term storage of human genetic and/or gametic material makes sense. If we can see the need for plants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault) and animals (http://www.frozenark.org/), why not for ourselves?


Friday, July 6th, 2012, 07:02 PM

Prof. Lynn's Book Dysgenics -- Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations:


Review of Dysgenics -- Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations: