It is strange sometimes how something that seems to be impossible to know suddenly becomes obvious and relatively easily available for learning. The new technology that opened human genome for sequencing and analysis over last 50 years is one of such examples and this book quite well describes this knew knowledge.
There is a precious little technical information in this book; just enough to inform us that mail and female part of humanity could be traced separately via exclusively female mitochondrial DNA and exclusively mail Y-chromosome.
Steve Olson makes somewhat convincing case that we all genetically came from one source – mutated humanoids in Africa and much less convincing case that we are all the same; meaning that DNA variation between human races is insignificant. He spends lots of effort trying to be as much politically correct as possibly and convince a reader that whatever is the difference – color of skin or anything else is either insignificant or result of different cultural development.
Sometimes it sounds absolutely ridiculous when he is stating that even if easily measurable parameters such as average size or the same color of skin are clearly different, more complex features such is intellect are the same on average across all human races and populations.
What I do not understand is why does it matter? Why do we need to substitute old Nazi type racism that held that some groups are inferior and therefore should be violently suppressed by the state, with the new liberal/progressive racism that holds that all groups are the same and therefore some groups should be violently promoted by the state? Either form of racism does not make any sense whatsoever. If a group is inferior it will always loose in fair competition; if all groups are the same everybody eventually will get equal share of everything. In both cases no violent interference of state is necessary.
I also cannot understand the logic of averages as applied to individuals. Even if we have a group of people who are on average have low IQ, it does not mean that one individual in this group could not be the greatest genius who ever lived. So if we deprive these low IQ group individuals of equal opportunity, we deprive ourselves of potential huge benefit that the genius’ effort could bring to all of us. By the same pattern promoting somebody only because this person belongs to high IQ group would hurt us if it results in incompetent person in highly position.
In short I believe that we just need to take care to provide opportunity in as much blind way as possible. For example I would make all decisions about admission to high value educational institutions in such way that decision makers would have no clue what race, background, beauty, or anything else unrelated to ability to succeed in obtaining education this individual has. It is the only way to get the best outcome for everybody. I also see absolutely no problem if one group of people commonly defined as race X is highly overrepresented in sport and entertainment, while another commonly defined as race Y if highly overrepresented in writing and sciences. I do not get why would anybody care as soon as we get the best possible musicians, writes, and everybody else.
One nice thing however is clear that with current intermixing and communication of people from all background it just a few dozen years we would be hard pressed to find anybody who would be find it conceivable to claim purity of race and all weird staff will just fade away.