Human biodiversity debate

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The human biodiversity debate is a mostly political term[1] for a set of scientific theories or beliefs that have been increasingly championed by researchers who are sometimes described as "dissident"; and on Alt-right and racialist blogs since the mid-2000s. Believers in human biodiversity claim that humanity is divided into several genetically distinct population groups with significantly different attributes - including, most controversially, intelligence. These divisions are said to fall along racial lines. Such claims, often called human biodiversity or human bio-diversity, human biological diversity, or HBD, have met with strong condemnation from academia and various left-wing media, who called it "pseudoscientific racism" or scientific racism.[2][3][4][5] The mainstream media has generally ignored the debate.


Specifically, it is claimed that White and East Asian populations are, on average, more intelligent than other groups.[6]

The highest IQ rates have been measured among East Asian[7] and Ashkenazi Jewish populations.[8]

Different Sub-Saharan African populations are said to be better sprinters (lowland West Africans)[9][10] or distance runners (highland East Africans).[11]

Published research

An early work often cited in blogs and online debates is The Bell Curve (1994) by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, which said blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites.

An earlier but strongly opposing book is The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould, which implies Africans are not inherently less intelligent than Europeans, but have been mismeasured as such by culturally biased tests. Likewise, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond suggests human history has been determined by geography instead of human biodiversity.

Jason Richwine's 2009 Harvard Ph.D. thesis "IQ and Immigration Policy"[12] states the IQ of non-white immigrants to the USA "is substantially lower than that of the white native population."

The mainstream term for this line of research is human genetic variation. This research field is more focused on genetic differences than in how they are expressed.


Human biodiversity is a frequent subject on blogs, such as HBD Chick and iSteve. Extensive sources can be found at

Some blog authors claim HBD helps explain the lower state of economic development in the Third World, and why minority populations are less well-off in Western countries. These populations are said to have better survival skills, but are less able to construct or maintain complex civilizations. For this reason, HBD bloggers want to reduce immigration,[13] claiming it is of little benefit to the existing population.[14]

The blog authors claim discussion of racial differences in intelligence is blocked by political correctness, and that opponents are unable to consider HBD due to their own political or social biases. Instead, the "Blank Slate" theory is preferred.[15]

Critical responses

Proponents of human biodiversity are often accused of racism.[16][17] In 2007, noted biologist James Watson was relieved of his academic chair after he made controversial remarks implying that African populations are less intelligent.[18]

HBD opponents, such as the skeptical movement, object that different rates of economic development are caused by the lingering aftereffects of European colonialism and systemic racism, that HBD-related research is pseudoscience[19] motivated by the researchers' racial interests and unconscious biases, and even that it should be outright banned altogether.[20]

See also

External links


  1. Wikipedia discussion on deleting their article with this title
  2., opinion, retrieved December 20, 2016,
  3., 2011 article, retrieved December 20, 2016,
  4. John David Ward (April 29, 2014). "Is 'human biodiversity' a respected scientific theory?". Quora. Retrieved December 20, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. book, Richard Lynn, 2008, The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide
  8. Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence; Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, Henry Harpending
  12. Jason Richwine, 2009, IQ and Immigration Policy,
  15. The Atlantic, May 2013,
  18. New York Times, 2007/10/05,