Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is Islamic Violence Genetic?

Western liberals regard as fact that there are no significant genetic differences between races. But - like many of their “facts” - that's untrue, and the truth may help us deal with immigrant violence.

The Bell Curve is a scholarly work that shows - among other surprising things - that black Americans perform significantly worse than other Americans on IQ tests. Liberals waged nuclear war on the book and its authors, with the result that race is a now taboo subject in sociology and genetics – outside of the lab that is.

That was shame, because it’s well established that although variance in behavior is 50% the product of our genes, the other 50% comes from environmental factors - so genetic defects can be controlled by environmental treatment.

Geneticists can't avoid working on race, but don’t draw attention to it - for example this piece in yesterday’s WSJ ($, my emphasis):
In the late 1980s, a number of men in several generations of a large Dutch family were found to carry a mutation in the MAOA gene that made it inactive. They all had a long rap sheet of rape, attempted murder and arson. MAOA became known as the "violence gene," headlines warned of "a violence in the blood," and there was talk of screening everyone to identify carriers.

The link between MAOA and aggression made biological sense. MAOA breaks down brain chemicals, including serotonin. It comes in two forms, short and long. The short form, which about one-third of people have, can't do the breaking down as efficiently as the long form, disrupting the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The result was thought to be higher levels of aggression, as measured by a surge in activity in the brain's fear region -- the amygdala -- at the sight of an angry face.
But variance in behavior is only 50% hereditable, so all is not lost for the sufferers:
In a study of 531 U.S. men, however, the violence gene didn't live up to its billing. When psychologist Stephen Manuck of the University of Pittsburgh analyzed men carrying the short form of the MAOA gene, he told the ICN meeting, only those who held antisocial attitudes, who received little parental affection as kids and whose fathers had low levels of education also had a history of aggression.
So now all our societies need to do is test kids for short form MAOA and help their parents bring them up right. Don’t hold your breath.

Race rears its ugly head because Japanese have double our short form MAOA levels:
Some two-thirds of Japanese carry the short form, but that population isn't known for violence. That suggests something in Japanese culture or child-rearing practices defuses the gene's supposed effects, Prof. Francis speculates.
I guess Prof Francis doesn’t get out much! This high level of the genetic defect probably explains why the WW2 Japanese set new standards for depravity, torturing and murdering millions.

Of course modern Japanese no longer murder or torture, and are model world citizens. Perhaps they’ve used their great ingenuity to devise displacement mechanisms – for example the violent adult comics the salarymen read.

Possibly a similar genetic disorder caused German behavior in WW2, but I can't find any data to confirm this. If so, their current neutrality is a social control mechanism. And maybe any residual anti-semitism is diffused through EU funding of Hamas.

So is Muslim violence genetic? Probably not - Pakistanis, Saudis, Sunni Iraqis, and Palestinians are presumably different races.

But it's worth checking out by running DNA tests on the plentiful remains of Muslim suicide bombers. If this shows above average incidence of short MAOA, we can encourage Muslim child-rearing practices that suppress it. We’d still have to deal with the current crop of potential killers, but at least we’d know the problem won’t be with us forever!