Tuesday, 6 December 2011

FOREVER YOUNG

This is an article of mine that was published in the Japanese English-speaking media back in 2005. In addition to evolutionary differences in DNA as a driver of HBD, it also posits faster biologial diversification through something called "neoteny." Much of the political agenda of Liberal globalists and the Left is based on the view that we can't be all that different from each other having "branched out" from Africa a mere 60,000 years ago, giving us very little time to evolve significant racial differences. This theory of neoteny, which is still admittedly in its speculative stage, could represent a useful addition to the armoury of those who believe that differences between human groups are more substantial and should be recognized and respected in our social and political organization.
General Douglas MacArthur famously said that Japan was a nation of 12-year-olds. Well, he wasn't talking about fighting abilities, as the Japanese gave the Allies the fright of their lives in World War II. Nor could such a remark have applied to their level of intelligence, as Japanese consistently outscore Westerners by an average of 5 to 6 points in international IQ comparisons. Nor was it their business acumen, as, starting from the bombed out ruins of 1945, these "12-year-olds" built their economy into the second biggest in the world in a few decades. So, what the heck was MacArthur talking about? Whether he knew it or not, he was probably talking about neoteny.

Neoteny is a biological term that describes the retention of juvenile characteristics in adults, something that is widely recognized in the animal world. For example, we know that tadpoles mature into frogs, losing their juvenile aquatic character along the way. However, the axolotl species of salamander remains fully aquatic throughout its life, merely becoming a large version of a tadpole. A better known example of neoteny is the giant panda, which retains its baby-like cuteness into adulthood. Indeed, humans have juvenile characteristics relative to other primates. Our sparse body hair and enlarged heads are in fact reminiscent of baby primates.

Now, many of the physical characteristics we associate with the Japanese are also characteristics we associate with children: smoother, less hairy skin; lack of physical stature; slenderness; less voluptuous curves in women; large head-to-body ratio; flatter faces; and higher pitched voices. Very few people would argue with the idea that the Japanese are cuter than most other races.

But neoteny doesn't stop at physical characteristics. The Japanese clearly behave in more childlike ways, the most obvious examples being the cult of cute, as exemplified by Hello Kitty (who herself shows remarkable symptoms of neoteny). They tend to be shy, read comics rather than books, and lack initiative - all this despite their higher average IQs.

No one can deny the neoteny apparent in the physical characteristics and behavior of the Japanese, but what is the mechanism that drives it? How can the Japanese be so different from Westerners - I mean, the scientific consensus is that humans only branched out from Africa about 60,000 years ago, while evolution clearly takes millions of years. How could such differences arise in such a short time?

The answer can be found by looking to another famous example of neoteny: the many types of dogs that have been bred from the common wolf in the last few thousand, or even few hundred, years.

Almost all dog breeds exhibit immature mannerisms and physical features when compared with wolves, to which they are so closely related that even a laboratory DNA analysis cannot tell them apart. Neoteny, by using the differences that exist between an adult and a child of a species as its template of change, is able to act as an alternative form of adaptation to evolution, and one that can be rapidly passed on and increased from generation to generation. By utilizing the characteristics of young wolves - like softer hair, floppier ears, looser skin, smaller legs, more playful dispositions, etc.—remarkably different breeds of dogs have developed over incredibly short periods.

I am convinced that something very similar has been at work with humans. In this case, though, it isn't dog breeders but differences in geography and population density that have played the key role. The Japanese, along with several other Asian races that share similar characteristics, have long been a rice-eating nation. This is relevant because intense cultivation of rice is capable of supporting a much denser population than wheat cultivation or pastoralism. In other words, the Japanese have for thousands of years lived with far higher population density than the peoples of Africa, Europe or the Middle East.

In the animal world, aggression rises in direct proportion to how crowded a species is. This applies especially to adult males. However, among mammals, it is common for juvenile males to live together in relative peace and harmony until they reach maturity. It seems probable that, as rice-eating peoples started to live at unprecedented population densities, they started to increasingly take advantage of the juvenile characteristics of appearance and behavior offered by neoteny as a means of defusing the rising tensions and aggression inherent in the new situation.

The fact that Japan became an overcrowded island meant that this process was not only intensified, but also that its neotenized population was sheltered from less neotenized populations from outside the rice-growing areas, developing into perhaps the most neotenized race on Earth.

Since developing this idea, I've been applying it left, right and center to explain everything I see around me in this unique society. And, I can tell you, it's all starting to make sense now - especially that comment by General MacArthur.

 

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