Put off reading for a while because didn’t think I’d find it interesting. Incredibly wrong, this was fascinating. Particularly found value in the extremely straightforward dismantling of eugenics and associated philosophies.

Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other. … Say to them “The … citizen should … make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generations does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females”; say this to them and they sway slightly to and fro. … Say to them “Murder your mother,” and they sit up quite suddenly. —G. K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils

for the most part, the genetic diversity within any racial group dominates the diversity between racial groups—not marginally, but by an enormous amount. This degree of intraracial variability makes “race” a poor surrogate for nearly any feature: in a genetic sense, an African man from Nigeria is so “different” from another man from Namibia that it makes little sense to lump them into the same category.

Cover image for The Gene