NOTE: This article was once part of one excessively long unpublished article that has since been divided into multiple small articles. Check the “Debunking Race Denialism” post tag for the other articles in this series.
- Lewontin’s Background
- What is Fst?
- Debunking Lewontin’s 1972 Study
4.1. What Lewontin did
4.2. Why Lewontin is wrong
— 4.2.1. Not a scientific argument
— 4.2.2. Fst is taxonomically irrelevant
— 4.2.3. Incorrect Fst value
— 4.2.4. Fst of humanity matches many other species
— 4.2.5. Useless methodology for comparing racial differences
- More variation within that between
You may be familiar with the claim that human races do not exist because “there is more genetic variation within races than between them.” Race denialists deploy it at every available opportunity. Probably because it sounds intelligent, so when some silly, uneducated plebeian invariably asks “What the fuck are you talking about?” the claimant is filled with a completely misplaced sense of superiority.
There are a few versions of this argument…
The layman’s version:
- “There is more variation within races than between them, therefore race isn’t real.”
The “science” version:
- “The Fst [total genetic diversity] of humanity is far too low to justify dividing humanity into distinct subpopulations.”
There’s also the lunatic spin-off argument, which is addressed this separate article:
- “Two people of different races can be more genetically similar to each other than they are to people of their own race, therefore race isn’t real.”
Although they’re wrapped in a defensive layer of convoluted scientific and political babble, these arguments are all pretty simple, and very stupid. So stupid, in fact, that it’s impossible to believe intelligent people could make such glaringly obvious “mistakes.”
The origin of the “more variation within than between” argument is a 1972 study titled ‘The Apportionment of Human Diversity,’ conducted by Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist.
- Important Note: “More variation within than between races” is 100% true. This will be explained in section 5.
2. Lewontin’s Background
Before getting into the science stuff (and so-called “science” stuff), it’s important to cover Lewontin’s personal background and political beliefs.
Lewontin is a pretty famous scientist. He’s won lots of awards, held influential positions in academia, and so on. He studied at Columbia University, which was home to the Frankfurt School and the father of race denialism himself, Franz Boas. Columbia was the original Western Marxist indoctrination center in America and was responsible for educating many influential globalists, including leading UN figures.
Lewontin is ethnically Jewish, descended from immigrants, and a self-described Marxist. In his 1985 book ‘The Dialectical Biologist’ (named after Marxist “dialectics”), he claimed that his scientific work was largely influenced by Marxist ideology (meaning that he lies about science to push Marxism). Some of his other works include ‘Biology as Ideology’ and ‘Race: A genetic melting pot.’
The closing paragraph of his 1972 study reads as follows: “Human racial classification is of no social value and is positively destructive of social and human relations […] no justification can be offered for its continuance.”
Lewontin’s ulterior motives have always been completely transparent: He aims to destroy ‘race’ as a concept to facilitate the rise of globalist, race-blind, Marxist politics. Evidently, his schemes worked out pretty well, considering that almost every political, economic, or social elite in the West regurgitates some variant of “more variation within than between.”
3. What is Fst?
To understand Lewontin’s 1972 study, you need a basic grasp of some entry-level genetics stuff. Don’t worry, it isn’t too complicated.
Lewontin’s study was the first in history to measure the Fst (aka “Fixation Index”) of humanity as a whole. In layman’s terms, Fst is a way to measure how much genetic material is shared by population groups. In science terms, “Fst” is the proportion of the total genetic variation of a subpopulation (s) relative to the total genetic variation of the total population (t). An Fst rating of zero means total sharing of genetic material (genetically identical subpopulations, e.g. clones). An Fst rating of one means that there is no sharing whatsoever.
Lower Fst = more shared genes and less genetic variation.
Higher Fst = less shared genes and more genetic variation.
A basic example using two subpopulations (the minimum number):
4. Debunking Lewontin’s 1972 Study
4.1. What Lewontin did
All humans are 99.5% genetically identical.
Lewontin found that of the 0.5% of genetic variation between humans, 85.4% occurs within races, while 14.6% occurs between races.
He then claimed that only 6.3% of that 0.5% could be assigned to racial differences. So, he assigned humanity an Fst value of 6.3% (or 0.063), though he claimed that was still too high.
Finally, he declared that an Fst value of 0.063 was far too low to justify dividing humanity into racial groups (aka distinct biological subpopulations).
4.2. Why Lewontin is wrong
4.2.1. Not a scientific argument
Firstly, and most importantly, Lewontin provided zero scientific reasoning or evidence to support his declaration that 0.063 Fst was “too low for races to be real,” other than claiming that racially classifying people is “mean and bigoted” (see the closing paragraph mentioned in section 2 of this article). His entire argument rests on an unsubstantiated political claim that was fundamentally unrelated to his scientific findings.
4.2.2. Fst is taxonomically irrelevant
Taxonomists (scientists who classify organisms) don’t take Fst into consideration at all. Taxonomy is almost entirely based on phenotype (specifically physical appearance), with some influence from genetic clustering. (If you don’t know what “genetic clustering” means, read this article).
Sewall Wright, the leading population geneticist who invented Fst did not provide a minimum Fst value for a population to be classed as a “biologically valid” subspecies, because Fst was never intended to be used in such a manner.
Wright did not deny race and regarded human “races” to be separate subspecies (as did every other influential biologist from the 1600s to 1980), as written in his 1978 book ‘Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, Volume 4: Variability Within and Among Natural Populations.’ It’s worth noting that this book completely ignores Lewontin’s study.
There is no question that all mankind constitutes a single species in view of the absence of any physiological bar to hybridization between the most diverse races or of any recognizable loss of vigor in the first or later generations. There is also no question, however, that populations that have long inhabited widely separated parts of the world should, in general, be considered to be of different subspecies by the usual criterion that most individuals of such populations can be allocated correctly by inspection.
“If Fst is taxonomically irrelevant, then why are people using it in that way,” you ask? Pretty simple: Academia has been colonized by Marxist criminals who lie about everything for political purposes. Modern students are “educated” by political propagandists.
All of this being said, even if Fst was taken into consideration by taxonomists, Lewontin’s argument is STILL WRONG (and stupid)…
4.2.3. Incorrect Fst value
More up-to-date research suggests that the Fst value of humanity is approximately double that of Lewontin’s claim. See, for example, Elhaik’s ‘Empirical Distributions of FST from Large-Scale Human Polymorphism Data’ (2012), which discovered that humanity has an Fst of approximately 12% (or 0.12). This isn’t actually too important with regards to disproving Lewontin but worth mentioning nonetheless.
4.2.4. Fst of humanity matches many other species
The table below compares multiple well-known species that have Fst values similar to that of humanity, both Lewontin’s incorrect 0.063 and the up-to-date 0.12.
These species are recognized by scientific consensus to be broken down into a similar number of subspecies as humanity, which is divided into 3 to 8 “races” (subspecies).
To claim that a “low” Fst rating invalidates humanity’s distinct subspecies would require us to declare countless other subspecies as “biologically invalid.” But you’ll never hear Marxoid academics arguing in favor of that. Their only qualms are with human taxonomy because it obstructs the race-blind globalism that is central to their ideology.
|Species||Fst||No. of Subspecies|
|Humans (Lewontin) [Source]||0.063||3 to 8|
|Humans (K=14) [Source]||0.155||3 to 8|
|Humans (K=44) [Source]||0.121||3 to 8|
|Humpback Whales [Source]||0.12||3|
|Plains Zebra [Source]||0.11||5|
|African Buffalo [Source]||0.059||5|
|Red Winged Black Bird [Source]||0.01||5|
4.2.5. Useless methodology for comparing racial differences
Lewontin’s methodology was criticized by multiple scientists almost immediately after his paper was published. His Fst analysis used 17 individual genetic markers. However, to paint an accurate genetic picture of human races (or any organism in existence), multiple genetic markers must be used in unison. The more markers you use, the more accurate a picture you paint. Additionally, the more markers you use, the less likely you are to genetically misidentify races. Once enough markers are used, the probability of genetically misidentifying an individual drops to below 1% — almost zero.
- This post about cumulative probability, which addresses the “Two people of European descent may be more genetically similar to an Asian person than they are to each other” bullshit.
- This 2003 paper by A. W. F. Edwards
- This 1977 paper by J. B. Mitton
5. More variation within that between
The fact that there is “more variation within races than between them” is 100% true. More things make Human races the same than make them different. However, the small variations that do make them different are pretty significant.
To deny the existence of human races over this fact would require an individual to also deny the existence of every subspecies on the planet. Any species that is divided into two or more identifiable subspecies invariably has “more variation within than between” these subspecies.
This logic even applies from species to species: Humans are 98.8% genetically identical to Chimpanzees, and we’re physically more similar to Chimps than we are different — but we are different. (Remember: Humans are 99.5% genetically identical, when it comes to genetics, tiny numbers make big differences).
If you’re confused, here are a couple of simple, layman-friendly analogies:
Male-Female Average Height
The range of height variation within the global male and female populations individually is far greater than the total average difference in height between these two populations.
Since the average man is far closer in height to the average woman, than the tallest man and woman are to the shortest man and woman, we can now declare the categories of “male” and “female” to be invalid and non-existent. There is no gender.
|Male height range||272 cm (8’11”)||67 cm (2’2”)||205 cm|
|Female height range||231 cm (7’7”)||63 cm (2’05”)||168 cm|
|Global average height||171 cm (5’6”)||159.5 cm (5’2”)||11.5 cm|
Cars vs Trucks
Consider the huge variety of cars in the world; super-cars, hatchbacks, SUVs, convertibles, etc. The micro-level differences that distinguish one individual car type from the next include a far greater amount of variation than the select few macro-level differences that distinguish cars in general from trucks in general — i.e., that one is small and holds people, and the other is big and holds cargo. Therefore, we can declare the categories of “cars” and “trucks” to be invalid and non-existent. There is only one vehicle, the motor vehicle.
You can use this argument on anything:
“There are more small differences among types of spoons than there are categorical differences that divide spoons from knives, therefore cutlery doesn’t exist.”
In brief, the argument is “micro-level variations disprove macro-level distinctions.” Pretty stupid, right? You wouldn’t think that “intellectual elites” would make such a dumb mistake, right? Really makes you think, doesn’t it?
Despite the fact that his completely bogus argument has been debunked ad infinitum at the highest level of academia, Lewontin has never revised his position on the existence of race. Apparently, race is still “evil, mean, and completely invalid.” Nor has Lewontin ever made any scientific argument for why anybody should adopt his completely arbitrary criteria for classifying subspecies via Fst.
Lewontin: “Low Fst means that race isn’t real.”
“On what grounds did you come to that conclusion?”
Lewontin: “I think that dividing people into racial groups is bigotry.”
“What does that have to do with biological facts?”
Lewontin: “You are racist. Viva la Marxism!”