Blank-slatism is a cornerstone of leftist orthodoxy: all humans are the same and race is a social construct. Even though Diversity is Our Strength™ anyone can be anything, do anything. Imagine my shock at coming across an article in a leftist publication endorsing human biodiversity:
The scientific research hits on some of the most sensitive racial anxieties of Western-African relations, but it’s also an amazing story of human biodiversity.
It turns out that even The Atlantic could not fail to notice the wildly disproportionate representation of Kenyans among marathon winners. Sure, noticing is “…complicated by some particularly thorny racial politics” because “…there’s a nasty history, after all, to white scientists evaluating the physical attributes of Africans.” As it turns out, “…the statistics are hard to ignore” since “…up to about 70 or 80 percent of its winners since the late 1980s … have been from Kenya.” To the horror of blank-slaters, “it turns out that Kenyans’ success may be innate.” Humans in different parts of the world may have evolved different traits. Katy bar the door!
Skin Deep [is] a ridiculous book about how racial differences have no role in sports achievement. Of course, that’s just nonsense, obviously so: some Kenyan and Ethiopian populations are way better at distance races, while people of west African descent always win the Olympic 100-meter.
The Atlantic manages to stray into this dangerous territory while being only mildly apologetic. Denying human biodiversity might even be racist:
…we tend to embrace theories that downplay legitimate biological distinctions and emphasize the idea that Kenyans simply work harder. But this kind of thinking, though clearly well intentioned, is a kind of condescension in itself.
It took Nixon to go to China. Maybe leftist publications will have to be the ones to undermine the blank slate. One caution: the article dates from 2012. Still, it’s heartening to see the phrase “human biodiversity” without “pseudoscience” in the same sentence. It’s an amazing human biodiversity, no less. I’m amazed they published it.