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Human Diversity: Gender, Race, Class, and Genes

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  27 reviews
All people are equal but, as Human Diversity explores, all groups of people are not the same -- a fascinating investigation of the genetics and neuroscience of human differences.
The thesis of Human Diversity is that advances in genetics and neuroscience are overthrowing an intellectual orthodoxy that has ruled the social sciences for decades. The core of the orthodoxy
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Hardcover, 528 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Twelve
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Lois
*** Edited to add a TW: This review is apparently EXTREMELY triggering to racist white supremacist men. Proceed at your own risk:

~A current book which deals with this subject matter and the rise of racist pseudo science is
How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality by Adam Rutherford. It explains the history of this unscientific viewpoint.~


Racism and transphobia passing as science.
No surprise since this is the same racist that brought us The Bell Curve.
This books doesn't
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Roger John Jones
It ain't what you know...

It's what you know that just ain't so.

"The debate about nature versus nurture is not just one of many issues in social science. It is fundamental for everything involving human behavior."

I assume you have read the book description above so I will not regurgitate. My best description is that this is a very dense, fact packed meta analysis of decades of meta analyses. It is not for the faint of heart. I expect to read it at least twice more before it sinks in. (Thank
...more
Steve Stanton
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This revolutionary book is structured around ten empirical Propositions which are rigorously defended by veteran political scientist and sociologist, Charles Murray. He argues that the social sciences are about to be transformed by individual genetic data known as polygenic scores that will replace traditional IQ measures. Decades ago, when I was a university student, the debate between Nurture vs. Nature was lively. But now the results are in: It's all nature! Human children are preordained by ...more
Ryan Lackey
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wrongthink
This is probably the book Charles Murray should have written, instead of The Bell Curve. It was basically a pretty reasonable introduction to modern genetics, combined with 10 basically uncontroversial assertions supported by evidence that there are sex and ancestral-population differences, and then reaffirmation that differences don't mean superiority, and that humans have value independent of their test scores, skin color, etc. If it had been written by anyone without the rather controversial ...more
Golden
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly well-rounded interpretation of the literature in a broad spectrum of subjects, all treated with respect and nuance. Colour me surprised!
ICanJustComeback
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ok so this is a response to a person called Lois who wrote a very wrong and dishonest review. This person is also deleting every single response to her review in order to just insult the person and misrepresent his statement.

So let's rewrite this response
- Not any proof of this cheating thing, btw you can't cheat on an iq test and there are many other test are showing the same gap (SAT, LSAT, ACT).

- False concensus fallacy, Intelligence can be measured the first dimensions (the g factor)
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Dora Milaje Crochet
This is not as racist as The Bell Curve.
Because of The Bell Curve I went into this book with the knowledge that this author is a racist white supremacist, he has softened his stance but it is clearly still the driver of his work and 'science'.

Mostly a white supremacists wet dream as evidenced in the reviews that give 5 stars.
Vagabond of Letters, DLitt
7.5/10

Not as good as 'The Bell Curve', but less theoretical and more irrefutable. No one with an iota of openness to the evidence could read this book and its references and consider race or gender to be social constructs; however, Murray at times backs off of his earlier hereditarianism and leaves the door open to environmentalism/constructivism - even when his evidence doesn't - likely in a bid to avoid the firestorm of controversy the publication of his earlier work occasioned. He goes to
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Juan
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
VERY clear. Touchy subject but VERY good. Reality and facts are painful at times but are necessary for progress for if you live your life making excuses for your short comings instead of admitting they are at least possible, you will eventually be delusional and distant from reality. Much like the leaders of a certain political party that refuses to celebrate anything other than change.. All things do not require change but one must recognize truth and Face facts. Denial is very unhealthy.
Fred Grün
Before writing my review, I would like to quickly address a question you might ask yourself about this book if you haven't read it: is it a racist, white supremacist pseudo-scientific book?
I think a few quotes from the book itself may help you form a more informed opinion on this matter than anyone's wild speculations, so here we go:

"For the United States, founded on ideals of liberty and equality, that record (colonisation, slavery and segregation) was a fatal flaw that in my view ensured the
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Eric
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Goodreads blurb does an excellent job in giving an overview, although the part that claims the orthodoxy of race as a social construct should probably be that it is mostly a lie rather than a half-truth. I've not looked for the barbs that have likely been hurled at his work yet, but that will keep. I think Murray has done this brilliantly. The closing blur paragraph, "It is not a story to be feared. "There are no monsters in the closet," Murray writes, "no dread doors we must fear opening." ...more
Michael Shore
Mar 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Far too technical for the lay reader. Large portions of this thick volume are devoted to P-values, significance levels, correlation co-efficients, etc. It reads like a very long methods section in a technical academic paper.

This is especially ironic since Murray alludes to his desire to make this material accessible to a wide audience in the introduction. He fails at this miserably.

A bad case of what Steven Pinker calls the curse of knowledge.
...more
Jonathan David Botchlett
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a tough review to write. I dont review every book I read, but after reading some of the reviews posted here the reviews posted here I thought some may find it helpful to see a review that wasnt pushing pushing a political agenda (either left or right). I dont agree with all the authors political beliefs, some of which one could call left wing (universal basic income) and some could be called right wing (affirmative action in any form is bad). But I do believe that most of the 1 and 5 ...more
Tony
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: social-science
This is a book on group differencesthat may or may not be largely spurious (for reasons the author mentions but then waves away)but Murray has made a categorical error. Life expectancy, mental health, and sure, job skills are possibly unevenly distributed across groups. But Murray simply ignored the group that matters, the species group. I think he could still make the title work, focusing on among species diversity within our genus, homo. Group differences we can all agree on without recourse ...more
Panashe M.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Charles Murray, the controversial author behind *The Bell Curve* dips his toes into more controversial territory with *Human Diversity*. The central thesis of this book is that there exist notable psychological differences between groups of human beings, and these differences are due in large part to genetic factors.

Examples of groups differentiated in these ways include males/females, races (or the more academic 'ancestral populations') and social classes. He argues that these
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Harald Groven
Well sourced and well researched critique of the prevailing dogma within social sciences, namely variation on the theme "..... is a social construct" and "X is entirely due to socialization".

Murray describes the left wing/social science orthodoxy as:
"Call it the sameness premise: In a properly run society, people of all human groupings will have similar life outcomes. Individuals might have differences in abilities, the orthodoxy (usually) acknowledges, but groups do not have inborn
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Mark O'mara
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An accomplished work of social science for the general reader. Very much informed and driven by the widely accepted conclusions within the disciplines researching the influence genetics and environments have on human diversity, outcomes and behaviour. The book is structured around ten propositions (truths) about human nature put forward by the author and then supported by a lot of data. The data part can get a little tedious at times but I think it was necessary to support the propositions.

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Rudyard Lynch
This book was quite boring and I skipped the last 30 pages. The author takes what is admittedly an incredibly interesting topic and presents it in an incredibly dry fashion. Most of the broad thesis that he presents are likely true to a certain extent and Im not an expert but he seems to be leaving out important complications. Too much pans out in favor of his conservative ideals to seem to be a realistic assessment. For example, of course genetics effects success but just based off an ...more
Jeff J.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Charles Murray convincingly argues that Gender, Race & Class are not social constructs, but are founded and regulated by measurable science. His earlier work, The Bell Curve, sparked outrage and this book will as well. The difference is in this case Murray addresses the critics upfront in his book. He especially disparages university professors who are more concerned with tenure at the expense of facts. This reads like the capstone book of a long and successful work, if this is the case ...more
Ben Madsen
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well done. Murrays extreme caution leads him to nearly overwork himself in making his points clear. His effort pays off for the reader, who is now armed to analyze every step in his logical approach towards the issues he analyzes.

This book ends up feeling like a capstone to all of his work, especially in the final chapter, where he brings together the policy suggestions and the research behind them to drive home his main points from Coming Apart.
...more
Steve Gross
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very difficult reading. Filled with math, statistics and biology. Makes many points that should become starting points of further discussion and exploration. Murray says again and again that sociology will now become an actual science. Not sure about that, but he's a very smart guy and usually right.
Mike Horne
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an educated, science interested reader who has no clue of the current scientific consensus, I would be interested in what the journals say. I read the NYT review. The author willfully misreads Murray. The New Republic wrote a review without reading it. I listened to this book and am now going back to reread it. Nothing that shocking. But I am a huge "nature" not nurture person.
Jukka Aakula
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fine book by a compassionate and empathic man who loves truth.
Balamurugan Balamurugan
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
yet to start
Ross Sheddon
Mar 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Dry AF
Ronan J. Erickson
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2020
T. Greg
rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2020
David
rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2020
Joshua Gray
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2020
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Charles Alan Murray is an American libertarian conservative political scientist, author, and columnist. His book Losing Ground: American Social Policy 19501980 (1984), which discussed the American welfare system, was widely read and discussed, and influenced subsequent government policy. He became well-known for his controversial book The Bell Curve (1994), written with Richard Herrnstein, in ...more

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April is the most hopeful of months, promising warm days and sunshine just around the corner. The weather is a little unpredictable, sure, but tha...
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“I could answer by telling you that such selective sweeps create a valley of genetic diversity around the site under selection, that they leave a deficit of extreme allele frequencies (low or high) at linked sites and an increase in linkage disequilibrium in flanking regions—but that doesn’t tell you much unless you’re a geneticist.” 0 likes
“Most recently, the task of assembling the genetic story for specific phenotypic traits has begun. It is still in its early stages, but progress is accelerating nonlinearly. Hence the nervousness that has prevented open discussion of what’s going on in the geneticists’ parallel universe: the fear that we will discover scary population differences in what I have called cognitive repertoires.” 0 likes
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