Are Values Independent Of Genetics?

Everywhere in the world in about 40 life outcomes, Orientals (North-East Asians such as the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans) earn more per hour than any other racial groups, have higher credit scores, higher academic achievement, higher IQ, and lower rates of out-of-wedlock births, STDs, and criminal convictions. In all of these outcomes, blacks end up on the opposite side of the scale from Orientals and whites are in between. There’s no country in the world where blacks do better in school than orientals.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post thinks the decline of whites in America is a good thing for America:

This is not merely about a fresh labor supply but about the fresh blood needed to cure what ails us. To benefit from such a transfusion, we not only need to welcome more immigrants but also to adopt pieces of their culture lacking in our own — just as we have done with other (mostly European) cultures for centuries.

This is the theme of my friend Eric Liu’s provocative new book, “A Chinaman’s Chance.” Liu writes about Chinese Americans (Asians, as it happens, eclipsed Hispanics last year as the fastest-growing minority in the United States) but the thesis is similar for other immigrant cultures. Liu argues that the United States needn’t fear China’s rise, because the Chinese have already given us the tools to beat them economically: their sons and daughters.

“America has an enduring competitive advantage over China: America makes Chinese Americans; China does not make American Chinese,” Liu says. “China does not want to or know how to take people from around the world, welcome them, and empower them to change the very fabric of their nation’s culture.”

The son of Chinese immigrants, Liu observes that American culture now has an excess of individualism, short-term thinking and prioritizing of rights over duties. He calls for “a corrective dose” of Chinese values: mutual responsibility, long-term thinking, humility, moral character and contribution to society.

“What Chinese culture at its best can bring to America is a better balance between being an individual and being in a community,” he writes, offering the example of Tony Hsieh, the Taiwanese-American chief executive of Zappos who is pouring some $350 million into reviving downtown Las Vegas: “He’s an American gambler with a Chinese long view; he is supremely confident yet mainly silent; he has so little of the American need to sell himself, so little extroversion, that he jokes even his friends aren’t sure he likes them.”

The Chinese values that Eric Liu loves go hand-in-hand with Chinese genetics. Blacks and whites and latinos are never going to take on these traits to the same degree that the Chinese have them. IQ racial differences have so proved intractable. Raising blacks in middle class white home does not raise their IQs (once the blacks become adults, it does raise them a bit temporarily in childhood).

J. Philippe Rushton wrote: “Studies of race differences in brain size use a number of methods, including MRI. All methods produce the same results. Orientals have the largest brains (on average), Blacks the smallest, and Whites in between. These differences in brain size are not due to body size. Adjusting for body size still results in the same pattern. The three-way pattern is also true for IQ. These race differences in brain size mean that Orientals average about 102 million more brain cells than Whites, and that Whites have about 480 million more than Blacks. These differences in brain size probably explain the racial differences in IQ and cultural achievement.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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