Did Lactose Tolerance Trigger the Indo-European Expansion?


Following the rapid advances in our understanding of genetics in recent years a new branch of biological history or biohistory has emerged, where human history is seen through the prism of genetic changes and the theory of evolution. For my long essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? I included biohistory as one of the aspects explaining different levels of accomplishment, informed especially by the book Understanding Human History by the American astrophysicist Michael H. Hart, which is available online as a pdf file. Another recent title is The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending from the University of Utah in the United States.

Evolution proceeds by changing the frequency of genetic variants known as “alleles.” An allele is one of two or more versions of the same gene. The advent of agriculture vastly increased the total amount of food available, as humans didn’t merely have to rely on food readily available in nature but could grow their own in addition to this. The larger and more permanent settlements associated with agriculture gave birth to new infectious diseases, as a critical mass of humans lived in close contact with each other and with domesticated animals and their germs. Food production allowed for the accumulation of wealth, trade specialization and the rise of nonproductive elites, who ruled others simply because they could.

Agriculture allowed those who practiced it to greatly expand their numbers, but it is distinctly possible that the nutritional quality of the food of early farmers was initially worse than that which had traditionally been available to hunter-gatherers. Consequently, the health of each individual was not necessarily better in the Neolithic period than it had been in the Paleolithic era. The bodies of those who practiced agriculture had to adapt to a new diet consisting of foods that had either not been eaten before or had previously been of only minor importance.

According to The 10,000 Year Explosion, “For example, we see changes in genes affecting transport of vitamins into cells. Similarly, vitamin D shortages in the new diet may have driven the evolution of light skin in Europe and northern Asia. Vitamin D is produced by ultraviolet radiation from the sun acting on our skin – an odd, plantlike way of going about things. Less is therefore produced in areas far from the equator, where UV flux is low. Since there is plenty of vitamin D in fresh meat, hunter-gatherers in Europe may not have suffered from vitamin D shortages and thus may have been able to get by with fairly dark skin. In fact, this must have been the case, since several of the major mutations causing light skin color appear to have originated after the birth of agriculture. Vitamin D was not abundant in the new cereal-based diet, and any resulting shortages would have been serious, since they could lead to bone malformations (rickets), decreased resistance to infectious diseases, and even cancer. This may be why natural selection favored mutations causing light skin, which allowed for adequate vitamin D synthesis in regions with little ultraviolet radiation.”

Alcoholic drinks, which became important with the rise of agriculture, have plenty of bad side effects, yet essentially all agricultural peoples enjoyed some form of alcoholic brew. The consumption of fermented beverages containing modest amounts of alcohol could be beneficial to your health as drinking wine or beer provided some protection against waterborne pathogens. For this reason, alleles that reduced the risk of alcoholism prevailed among agricultural populations in Eurasia. Many of those who did not have extensive food production before the modern era, such as Australian Aborigines, Eskimos or Native Americans in North America, are particularly vulnerable to alcoholism and have special health problems more frequently than others when exposed to a Western diet.

Before the rise of agriculture no one past infancy, the first years of our lives when we drink human breast milk, could digest milk sugar, or lactose. Lactase is the name of the enzyme that allows us to digest the complex milk sugar. After cattle were domesticated, cow’s milk became a nutritious addition to the diet. Several different populations, all raising cattle or camels in Europe, East Africa and the Middle East, independently evolved the ability to digest milk for life. Genetic evidence indicates that such a mutation probably first occurred in central Europe, perhaps before 5000 BC. Pioneer farmers in northern Europe used crops from the Near East that were not necessarily ideally suited for a cooler, northern environment, and cow’s milk may have become an increasingly important staple for survival in these regions.

Lactose intolerance is found among just 5% of Scandinavians in the far north of Europe, but among more than 70% of the population in Sicily in the far south. While it is common to show some symptoms of lactose intolerance, many Africans and Asians are not able to digest lactose at all. “Which came first, the cattle or the mutation, you can’t tell,” Harpending says. “If the mutation had not occurred, there wouldn’t be so much dairying. But if people who could digest lactose didn’t have cattle, the mutation would have had no advantage.” He speculates whether this mutation may have contributed to the first Indo-European expansion.

When cattle were kept at least as much for their milk as for their meat this was beneficial, since dairying is more efficient than raising cattle for slaughter; it produces about five times as many calories per square kilometer. Those who could utilize milk as adults could raise more warriors on the same amount of land. Dairying could have been more productive than grain farming in northern regions during the late Neolithic and Copper Age/Early Bronze Age. As the Proto-Indo-Europeans became dairymen they relied more on cattle and less on grain farming, which gave them a major advantage in mobility over more settled populations of pre-state farmers. Perhaps the first Indo-Europeans were a successful society of pastoral nomads who raised livestock and moved about to find good pastures for their animals.

The archaeological Pit Grave or Yamna culture north of the Black Sea from around 3500 BC is according to the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas often identified with speakers of PIE. The name comes from the low mounds, or kurgans, in which they often buried their dead. They appear to have been primarily pastoral nomads who practiced some agriculture. Interestingly, the bodies found in Kurgan burials seem to have been taller than was common in those days, which indicates that these people were more physically fit than their neighbors.

Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending picture the IE expansion as beginning with a very rapid spread across the steppe as soon as the increased frequency of the lactase-persistence mutation became common enough to allow the switch to a dairying economy. Their increased mobility aided the development of a successful warrior society. The authors believe that “the Proto-Indo-Europeans were rather backward in the realms of technology and social complexity. Sumerians invented the wheel, writing, and arithmetic and had cities and extensive irrigation systems at a time when the Proto-Indo-Europeans had, at most, domesticated the horse. We suggest that the advantage driving those Indo-European expansions was biological – a high frequency of the European lactose-tolerance mutation.”

There is some basis for this hypothesis. Drinking milk from cows, horses or camels was a shared trait among many conquering peoples, from Arabs to Mongols. Nomads of the steppes remained a serious threat for thousands of years. Only strong states could provide some protection against them, and even they occasionally failed. The Chinese did not consume milk, but some of the nomads in Central Asia did. The settled lifestyle in China seemed incomprehensible to the Mongol conquerors in the thirteenth century, with so many people and so few animals compared to their homeland in Mongolia. To them, the peasants were like grazing animals rather than real humans who ate meat and drank milk. They referred to grass-eating (cereal-eating) people with the same terminology that they used for cows.

In Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War), Julius Caesar provides a personal account, written as a third-person narrative, of the Gallic Wars in France, Belgium and parts of Switzerland and the first Roman incursions into Britain, including the victory over the Gallic army led by chieftain Vercingetorix in 52 BC. Although written to boost Caesar’s personal standing in Rome and reflecting the traditional disdain for non-Roman “barbarians,” the text nevertheless contains useful bits of historical information. While writing about one Germanic tribe, Julius Caesar mentions that they did not live on grain as much as on meat, milk and cheese and suggests that this diet helped to make them tall, strong warriors:

They do not live much on corn, but subsist for the most part on milk and flesh, and are much [engaged] in hunting; which circumstance must, by the nature of their food, and by their daily exercise and the freedom of their life (for having from boyhood been accustomed to no employment, or discipline, they do nothing at all contrary to their inclination), both promote their strength and render them men of vast stature of body.”

Lactose tolerance may well present one piece of the puzzle, yet contrary to what Cochran and Harpending seem to believe it is far from certain that the wheel was invented in Sumerian Mesopotamia. A marked shift can be detected in the archaeological record between 3500 and 2500 BC in some regions of Central and Eastern Europe north of the Black Sea, with the so-called Pit Grave and Corded Ware cultures. Later the Bell-Beaker complex included much of Western Europe in this new continent-wide configuration of Bronze Age Europe which had begun in the mid-fourth millennium BC. There are many scholars who suspect that this shift was closely related to the first, great wave of the Indo-European expansion.

Current opinion suggests that it was around the middle of the fourth millennium BC that wheeled transport first appeared, stretching across a vast interconnected region from northern Germany and southern Poland via the Black Sea to Mesopotamia, beginning around 3500 BC.

As scholar Philip L. Kohl says in The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia, “It is shortly after the introduction of wheeled transport that evidence for its massive utilization on the western Eurasian steppes is documented in the excavation of scores of kurgans containing wheeled carts with tripartite wooden wheels. These were not the chariots of a military aristocracy but the heavy, ponderous carts and wagons of cowboys who were developing a form of mobile Bronze Age pastoral economy that fundamentally differed from the classic Eurasian nomadism that is later attested historically and ethnographically.”

This innovation spread very rapidly, which makes it harder to establish its origins, yet the earliest secure evidence of wheeled vehicles we currently possess comes from Europe. The people who spoke Proto-Indo-European had their own terminology for axles, shafts and yokes. The PIE word for “wheel” relates to words for “to turn, spin,” whereas “wheel” in Sumerian appears to be a loanword from Indo-European. It is not uncommon in the modern world to borrow words for borrowed technology, which is why many non-Western languages use words similar to “telephone.” The same principle presumably applied in ancient times.

If wheeled vehicles were invented by prehistoric Europeans, which is not a certainty but a real possibility, this would constitute one of the first instances when a revolutionary innovation of global importance spread from Europe. It was not to be the last. Bicycles, automobiles and other means of transport were created in modern Europe. If the first wheeled carts, too, were created on this continent in the fourth millennium BC then this would imply that almost all prototypes of the basic forms of wheeled transport during the past six thousand years have been invented by Europeans. The only possible exception is the wheelbarrow, which may have been invented by the Chinese, yet the history of this device is not beyond dispute.



Supply and Demand 5

I tried to distinguish between conservative policies with those of the Tories by capitalizing the "c" of the latter.  I used the Tories, as I could equally the Republicans, to argue that Peter has a profound misunderstanding of conservative positions on immigration in the context of the policies of mainstream conservative parties.

Supply and Demand # 4

@ KA

It seems obvious to me that pvdh was NOT commenting on British politics, but was contrasting a "conservative position" with a "liberal position" ("liberal" in the American sense of 'progressive') in what he referred to himself as a "universal" context (of the Law of Supply and Demand).

@ KO

Furthermore, there are many clues (in pvdh's last two contributions) suggesting that he was referring to supply of labor and demand for LABOR in the context of immigration.  If the terms "supply" and "demand" were meant to refer to a "totality of factors causing immigration" (a possible hypothesis, you suggest), then the proffered analysis becomes even more unintelligible.




To Peter Vanderheyden RE: Fjordman

Dear Peter Vanderheyden,


I disagree that “Fjordman” is a White supremacist, and that he subscribes to Aryanism or Nordicism.  He is responding to two developments, namely (1) “reverse racism” by academics and intellectuals; and (2) mass immigration to White or majority White countries by non–Whites, and more specifically from supremacist cultures such as those of Islamic countries.


Are you truly opposed to his views for moral reasons, or because of their potential to incite or inflame?


Injustice and violence are unfortunate, but givens.  In the 1930s, a relatively small act of violence could have prevented the immense death and destruction that did occur.  As the US dithers over Iran’s IRGC–controlled nuclear program and sociology majors from London to Stockholm brainstorm ways to stop Islamic supremacism with positive reinforcement, the window of opportunity is closing.


Contrary to popular opinion, neither God nor the law of averages have granted Europe a reprieve because of World War II. 


To quote from Cormack McCarthy: “you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you.  That’s vanity.”

Supply and Demand 2

Dear Marc Huybrechts,


I agree with your critque of Peter Vanderheyden’s approach to immigration.  Peter has forgotten, even if you have not, the economic argument against immigration due to its generally depressing impact on average wages, as well as the fact that the “immigrant work ethic” no longer seems to apply in the post–colonial era.


Your counter–arguments are first rate.  However, it is disappointing that Peter is wrong about the conservatives.  Although conservative immigration policies are certainly preferable to any alternative, it is unfortunate that ideological differences do not translate into practical ones.  For instance, if Cameron leads the Conservatives to a majority, any changes he could enact would be too little and too late.  The British public has little confidence in his ability to depart from New Labour policies in this regard, especially when Cameron admires Blair’s shift to the “center”, which is why the BNP is gaining electoral ground.

Supply and Demand 3

I hope pvdh will clarify his point. I did not understand Labor to be the subject matter of his supply and demand analysis, but rather "general social goods" which are in greater supply in the West, causing high demand in the Third World. Alternatively, I thought perhaps "supply and demand" was a metaphor for the totality of factors that create the immigration flow. Either way, it was an effort to see the immigration issue in broad and practical terms.

Supply and Demand

@ pvdh

I am afraid that your supply and demand analysis needs some serious rethinking in order to become more realistic.

1)  "The conservative plan is unworkable because one tries to eradicate totally the “supply” side of the immigration transaction. That will only build up an intolerable pressure on the demand side, creating, due to high prices, exactly what we want to avoid: crime and violence. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to limit the supply part to get an as favorable S&D balance as possible, but at the end it won’t solve the problem." (pvdh)

-- An immigration stop would not "eradicate" supply of labor.  At any given moment, in a given country, the supply of labor will depend on many factors. Let's list some of the main ones: the size of the existing population, cultural factors (like work effort), the demand for labor, etc... Immigration is a potential extra supply factor, but it does NOT eradicate existing labor supply.  It does however tend to reduce it, to the extent that it may lead to substitution or 'replacement' of legal supply of L (i.e. the one that respects all existing labor market interferences by government regulations) by illegal supply of L.  

-- An immigration stop would NOT build "intolerable pressure on the demand side". How could it? The demand for labor has nothing to do with immigration as such. The general demand for L will depend on aggregate demand in the economy for goods and services (it is a 'derived' demand), and the latter will depend largely on total population and existing average income level (which in turn depends largely on the productivity level of the existing labor force and/or population ).

-- An immigration stop would NOT create "crime and violence".  Again, immigration as such has nothing to do with crime and violence among the existing population in any country.  If anything, the empirical evidence supports the opposite contention, i.e. that high levels of immigration tend to go along with high(er) levels of crime and violence.  The underlying reasons should be obvious. 

2) "The liberal plan is even more unworkable. They try to boost the supply part to hope for less pressure on the demand side, and thus lower prices which would be honorable if by some means we could provide enough supply (read places for new-comers) to alleviate the pressure and without japordizing our safety, quid non."(pvdh)

-- The liberal plan is simply stupid from a 'cultural perspective' and nonsensical from an economic perspective.  Why would one want to reduce "pressure on the demand side for L"?  High demand for L , with a given labor supply and a given aggregate demand level in the goods markets, translates into high average wages.  A few 'smart' economists, employed by European (and other) trade unions, understand this perfectly. But the (academic) ideologues on the political left, who control the leftist politicians, overrule them.  In short, in order to import votes (and thus help perpetuate their own political power) they are willing to pursue lower general wage levels (and thus lower per capita income in the economy) through immigration policies.

3) No sensible country would let economic factors determine its immigration policy.  But, even if one were to consider economic factors among others, one should at least understand basic economics.  Established rich countries in general do NOT benefit from immigration.  Immigration can only be beneficial for a particular country from its MACRO-economic perspective (not necessarily from an individual company's perspective) when the immigrants have on average a higher labor productivity level than that of the established population.  That will depend overwhelmingly on past investments in 'human capital formation' in the receiving country VERSUS human capital formation in the countries of origin of the immigrants.  Anybody who thinks that a 'typical' immigrant from a low-income (underdeveloped) country would be the beneficiary of higher human capital formation than, say, a 'typical' Belgian worker, must be a reader of the contemporary pc-Belgian media but has no clue about economics.     



To KO RE: WWII - Part 3

Dear KO,


Hitler’s main strategic objective was to conquer East–Central Europe, per his lebensraum policy, itself a continuation of Drang nach Osten, and ideological opposition to communism and the Soviet Union.  Hitler sought a free hand in the east, and Great Britain’s obstinate commitment to Poland and declaration of war meant that Hitler needed to defeat her and France.  Unfortunately, France’s alliances in both World Wars necessitated German invasions.  Hitler’s non–aggression pact with Stalin was merely a temporary convenience allowing him to secure the Western Front.   Hitler’s bid for mastery in Europe would have brought him into conflict with France and Great Britain even if these let him run amok in the east, but the Eastern Front was a vast undertaking.   As regards Great Britain, Hitler had hoped that Chamberlain would sue for peace, but his and later Churchill’s determination to retake France resulted in Operation Sea Lion.   You will note that once the Royal Air Force and Navy remained undefeated, Hitler’s attention turned eastward.


Hitler needed to be defeated, and his bid for mastery in Europe was a greater threat than Stalin’s desire to expand the Soviet Union to the Vistula.  Stalin was of course a “moderate” or “centrist” among the Bolshevik old guard; Trotsky, however, saw the hammer and sickle flying above every capital from Moscow to the Channel. 


I agree that it the re–conquest of Western Europe by British or Anglo–American forces was absolutely necessary.  But I disagree that this was necessary in order to placate Stalin, and am also opposed to the decision to sacrifice East–Central Europe.


Yes, the Churchill was fortunate to be able to bleed the German armies white on the Eastern Front.  Churchill was influenced by a Victorian view of the world, which was prejudiced against most of continental Europe, especially the east.  Eugenics proponents in the United States intended to limit Slav admixture as much as any other.


Slavic admixture is very high in Eastern Germany, especially Prussia.  Pagan West Slavic tribes who refused integration into Catholic Poland were eventually absorbed into the Holy Roman Empire and Germanized from approx. AD 900–1900 e.g. the Polabians were based in Roztoqa (Rostock).  It is not uncommon to see West Slavic surnames among Waffen–SS officers, and Hindenburg was of Baltic ancestry.  Hitler was not Nordic, he was Alpine, as he was Austrian.  Balts, Finns and Poles tend to be fairer than Germans.  In this context, his racial ideas were ludicrous.  Ultimately, he settled on German not Nordic or “Aryan” supremacism.

@KA WWII (cont.)

It is ironic that the invasion of Poland drew France and Britain into the war, yet they (and we) sacrificed Poland in the end. They could have saved themselves the trouble and not declared war until later. Could the West have waited longer to attack Hitler, and let him exhaust himself (i.e., destroy the German forces) against Stalin? I don't know if the West could have maintained a will to fight over a long period of waiting and preparing. However, if it is probable that the West could have beaten Hitler without sacrificing Central-Eastern Europe, it made a serious mistake in attacking too early.

To KO RE: WWII - Part 2

Hitler needed to occupy Norway to secure access to the Baltic and Swedish iron ore deposits near the Norwegian border, because Great Britain was determined to fight.  In fact, the Germans invaded Norway first only because Chamberlain hesitated out of respect for Norwegian neutrality.  Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands were of lesser strategic importance than France and Norway.  British and Commonwealth/Empire forces could have opened up a Western Front in continental Europe, even if later than June 1944.  The contentious issue was reducing the expected casualties, especially of Soviet forces.


Given the developments of 1989, the countries of the Warsaw Pact aside from the Soviet Union appear much more liberal and democratic or "Western" than France, Italy, or Spain.  Churchill's British suspicion of Slavs and admiration of France blinded him to certain realities...


Interesting considerations, but I don't see that they make it more likely that the West could have survived by waiting for Stalin to destroy Hitler. Maybe I am losing the thread. You are saying Hitler needed Norway and France, which supports the idea that he would have attacked in the West regardless of whether France and Britain drew the line in the sand at the invasion of Poland. The proposed Western front staffed by Commonwealth troops suggests the U.S. could have got the benefit of victory over Hitler without fighting in Europe; it does not suggest that the West could have survived by not fighting Hitler. Perhaps we agree that a do-nothing strategy would not have worked for the West, and thus that fighting Hitler at the same time Stalin fought him was inevitable. Some effort at strategic coordination was thus inevitable. The higher numbers of Soviet casualties suggests that the West did well enough in the bargain, though sacrificing the East, as we have said.

Did Churchill suspect Slavs, or only Russians? (Side note: My impression is that the Germans themselves are heavily Slavic, with Wends, Sorbs, and Abotrites in the north and Bohemians and Moravians in the southeast. At least that was the situation in the 9th c. Aren't the Prussians largely Slavic in origin?)


In retrospect, Churchill and Roosevelt should have let Stalin struggle against Hitler alone.  Firstly, communism was as much a threat to liberty and democracy as national socialism, and Stalin was a more accomplished mass murderer than Hitler even before Wannsee.  Secondly, Stalin made his intentions clear by using his pact with Hitler to invade Poland and Finland, annex the Baltic states and demand territory from Romania.  Thirdly, even if Stalin retreated behind the Urals, the Western Soviet Union would have proved impossible for Hitler to occupy or harness its resources in the same way as Austria and Czechoslovakia, and the Eastern Front would remain a threat.  Lastly, Hitler was unable to conquer the West, as Great Britain proved unconquerable, which is why he turned his attention to his primary strategic objective, the Soviet Union.  Hitler and Stalin were not allies, despite their non–aggression pact.  The Soviet Union was not a member of the Axis Powers, and it was in Stalin’s interests for both Germany and Japan to be contained. 


The Red Army’s “liberation” of East–Central Europe was an unfortunate consequence of German defeats on the Eastern Front.  Of course, as with Versailles, the Cold War could have been resolved in 1945 rather than in 1989.  Truman was not prepared to endorse Operation Unthinkable…


Had the United States ignored the Europe and focused entirely on defeating Japan, Churchill would have still invaded occupied Europe, replacing American with Commonwealth forces.  However, the United States’ role in opening the Western Front in Italy and France was decisive in defeating Hitler more quickly and without the need for atomic weapons, which would have been available by the time Churchill was prepared. 


American involvement in both World Wars seems due in large part to the personal convictions of Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt.  Arguably, the British and Germans should have allied before World War I.  France and Italy were weak, and Russia was corrupt and stagnant.  It wasn’t until 1940 that the Kaiser resembled a moderate…


Thank you for your interesting reply. Such what-if's, second-guessing, and armchair-quarterbacking are a valuable exercise. I am not sure enough of the sequence of events to know whether it would support the scenario of letting Hitler and and Stalin fight it out in the East. Hitler did not occupy Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France solely because Britain and France objected to the invasion of Poland, did he? Would surrendering the entire European West except Britain have been a viable, Kutuzov-like strategy? Hitler and Stalin could have made peace at any time, leaving the West in shackles. Hitler was a dire threat to the West and needed to be destroyed, even if that meant making a deal with the other devil.

This Article is chilling? How so?

Mr. Vanderheyden:


You say that Fjordman is racist, and that Brussels Journal risks being tainted by association.  Whatever else racism is, it's clearly something immoral.  Could you tell me what Fjordman has said that is so immoral that it endangers the good reputation of Brussels Journal?  Or is the guilt and wickedness of Fjordman an article of faith for you?  To me you sound like a high priest in the Deformed Church of Political Correctness. Am I wrong?  

@Dunnyveg; @KO "To me you

@Dunnyveg; @KO

"To me you sound like a high priest in the Deformed Church of Political Correctness."

I dislike the word Church....

Seriously, you should read http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/
You’ll see that almost every article written by him or others has but two goals:

1) Warn for the danger of Islam, and explain why the only solution to the problem is eradication.

As it is directed against a religion this is not really racist of course, though the underlying message is certainly a call for hate and violence.

2) To prove that what ever is of great intellectual value on this planet comes solely from indo-European origins. Wetter it is about art, economy, science or whatever.

Coincidently, according to him, all great minds of this world are coming from the cultures that sprouted from the so called “Arian race”. The one thing that he doesn’t really mention explicitly is the obvious conclusion coming from his observations: “Arians are a superior race” That’s something he leaves to his readers who are so incredibly bright, they succeeded in understanding the message, as a lot of their comments show.

So no, this hasn’t anything to do with political correctness. The things he writes are simply not true. They aren’t written out of a perspective of an unbiased scientist trying to find out the deeper underlying truth of the human condition, like the articles claim to do. They are written with a clear and disgusting political goal: Proving the superiority of white Europeans above all others.

@pdvh re fjordman

To me it seems more accurate to say that fjordman is attempting to awaken Westerners to (1) the dangers threatening them from multiculturalism and Third World invasions, and (2) the worthwhile achievements of Western civilization that make it worth saving from the threats posed by multiculturalism and Third World invasions. To ask for him to be booted off of the Brussels Journal for racial supremacism seems to me wrong-headed.

If ending or reversing Third World immigration, especially Islamic immigration, is necessary to save the West from crippling difficulties with unassimilable alien communities, surely we should have that discussion now, when the problem can be solved with a minimum of distress, rather than later, when the distress involved will be much greater for all concerned. Then again, if no such problem exists, and no dire fate awaits Western countries that permit massive Third World immigration, then rational discussion should be able to establish that.

(Perhaps you saw Werner Herzog's Aguirre, Wrath of God? Towards the end, a delirous Spaniard, floating down the Amazon on a raft, is transfixed by an arrow from the shore. "That is no arrow," he says. Today's liberal sees flaming automobiles burning in Parisian streets and says, "That is no fire.")


Thank you for your kind answer. I’m an atheist. In our society we have the right to be atheist, and we live side by side with Christians who allow us to say what we think about the God-idea and to actively defend our atheist views. Believe me, we know how precious this is. How unique in history. Religions, by their nature need the people to “believe” what is been preached. That makes multiple repetitions from a very young age and the absence of all doubt very usefull. Critical voices seem the biggest threat to religions. Christianity is the first religion that has the courage to confront their faith with different views. And I’m very grateful for it. Believe me, I’m the first to be very worried to see radical Islam grow. I consider it a direct threat to my right of free thoughts.

Yet honesty is very important if we discuss very sensitive and potentially explosive subjects as immigration. The way Fjordman tackles it is by means of propaganda and simple slogans that can be summarized as follows:

1. The European race and culture is far superior, and the only source of true science and art.
2. There is a great conspiracy going on. The western population is being replaced with Muslims in Europe with the help of the EU.

That is the right recipe for violence and injustice.

@pvdh re threat of radical Islam

Thank you for your reply. I look forward to hearing how you believe Western societies could strengthen Christianity and eliminate the threat of Islam so that you other atheists could continue to enjoy the luxury of religious non-conformity.

I don't think your answer will be that a vigorous secular liberal state will protect atheists from Muslims. It has not exerted itself to protect women, homosexuals, or Jews, not to mention ordinary Europeans or their vehicles.


I’m sure the second observation will be a bit more difficult for you to accept, because it’s about religions in general. Here it goes:

I believe all religions have two faces. You’ve their natural face which is one of kindness, social justice and moral regulation of the society. We could easily give a lot of quotes out of the Koran and the Bible to proof this. Quite often it’s surprisingly tolerant towards other opinions. It’s the face religions show in times of prosperity and the absence of major external threats. That doesn’t mean I find it a good basis to build blindly our moral values on, but that’s another discussion.

But in cases of stress and economic and social problems, you’ve got the other face that seems to emerge. It’s like the build-in defense mechanism of the human corpse. Just as in the human corpse this mechanism can over-react and trigger a very destructive mechanism. That’s the state Islam is in right now. I believe Christianity, certainly the roman-catholic part of it, is too weakened in Europe to trigger this major defense mechanism against Islam. That might be different in the states. In Europe however, nationalism may take over this defense role of Christianity. What would result is a clash of civilizations, which needs to be avoided at all prices, if we want a safe place for our children to live in.

So here we are. The question is now reduced to the following: How to reduce immigration, activate integration and retrieve the kind face of Islam by using effectively the law of S&D.

I’m still working on that.

@pdvh Controlling Islam

Thank you for your fascinating response. Your reliance on the law of supply and demand is realistic and a recognition of natural law, i.e., to the limits reality places on our wishes. The wealth and opportunities available to ordinary people vary greatly from place to place (for many reasons, which are important to recognize) and that variation naturally causes an attraction of people from poor to rich areas. We can surmise that this has always been the case, and it is readily observable in the animal world as well, where kinship groups compete for territory. Traditionally people defend their territory by force of arms. If they are unable to do so they are occupied and either exterminated, enslaved, or blended into a new mix of peoples.

We do not exist in some godlike sphere in which we have to power to shape the future. Islam requires Muslims to exterminate or enslave us non-Muslims. It prohibits criticism of the Koran or Mohammed. It denies the incarnation of God in human form. It regards non-Muslims and women as impure. There is no concept of liberty, but only of submission. These facts help shape the different social orders in Muslim countries versus the West, which cause the differences in wealth and publicly supported welfare and thus cause the effects of supply and demand you acknowledge. They also make the assimilation of Muslims into the West impossible. These are not facts that Westerners can change. The only way to avoid violence and hatred is to keep Muslims and Westerners separated.

The Muslims allowed into the West recreate Muslim social orders, which breed poverty, oppression, and crime, both internally and externally. There is nothing to be gained for the West and everything to lose in letting them in.

I don't know what books you would find useful. I found Serge Trfkovich's The Sword and the Prophet very informative. An eastern European view is more reliable than the sentimental, not to say mendacious, propaganda of Western scholars like Karen Armstrong and Bernard Lewis.


It is my opinion that most people are to rapidly referring to moral grounds to defend their actions and points of view, rather then emphasize on the effectiveness of the actions. In your case you defend your point of view out of two very legitimate causes
 The underlying ethics and/or moral of fundamentalist Islam is repulsive
 It’s a law of nature to defend ones territory by force.

I agree on both. The question remains: Is the action effective?

Considering the basic underlying causes and laws I’ve mentioned above we can conclude on the rightfulness of two premises. one from the conservative side and one from the liberal side:
From conservatives:
 Current immigration and non-integration levels are a threat and should be dealt with.
From the liberals:
 To stop immigration, we should do something about poverty and injustice and overpopulation in the home-countries.
In my opinion these premises are correct, but the proposed solutions from both sides are completely wrong.
The conservative side emphasizes on repression, closed borders and repatriation.
The liberal side emphasizes on aid, western historic guild and tolerance.

The conservative plan is unworkable because one tries to eradicate totally the “supply” side of the immigration transaction. That will only build up an intolerable pressure on the demand side, creating, due to high prices, exactly what we want to avoid: crime and violence. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to limit the supply part to get an as favorable S&D balance as possible, but at the end it won’t solve the problem.

The liberal plan is even more unworkable. They try to boost the supply part to hope for less pressure on the demand side, and thus lower prices which would be honorable if by some means we could provide enough supply (read places for new-comers) to alleviate the pressure and without japordizing our safety, quid non. We should be honest, though. They try also to reduce the demand side by supporting NGO’s in their bid to ameliorate the lives of people in the third world. They should however concede that decades of hard work haven’t done much good.

Yet it’s precisely that what we should do, but then in a way that is consistent with an optimal … S&D balance.

What have NGO’s done so far? (Although the last years there have been some small exceptions.) They’ve destroyed local economies and encouraged corruption by giving free aid, and made the population grow exponentially by again providing free food and free health services.
What we should do is an old Bush recipe: “regime change” , however we should do this in an intelligent way. Not by calling the cavalry. That doesn’t seem to work.

@pdvh immigration control

Thanks again, I appreciate the amount of thought you have given this. Your estimate of the difficulty with the conservative solution is greatly exaggerated. Countries that try to keep out unwanted immigrants find it very easy to do so. That is because ordinary people are trying to improve their lives, not ruin them. Most will be discouraged by the unavailability of legal immigration. Most of the rest will be discouraged by a substantial risk of imprisonment for illegal immigration. If they are discouraged from entering a given country, they will go somewhere else or stay home, hopefully to improve their home countries.

Microcredit is the best program I have heard of for improving life in the Third World. The poor need rule of law to protect their property and investments.


"I look forward to hearing how you believe Western societies could strengthen Christianity and eliminate the threat of Islam so that you other atheists could continue to enjoy the luxury of religious non-conformity."

I’m very grateful you’re asking me this, as I’ve done some thinking lately about the problem. I would very much like to share my thoughts with you, and have your opinion.

I start from two observations:

1) The first one is that the law of “Supply and demand” very universal and is even extendable to other domains like immigration and integration.
It is very important to emphasis that I see it as a natural law without any moral dimension. I don’t think the communist economic model was morally wrong, on the contrary. It simply didn’t work. And that is because it goes right against the law of supply and demand. Its like trying to shape the ocean in the form of a mountain. It’s simply impossible. There are other examples of where society tries to counter the law of supply and demand. E.g. drugs. We try to cut of the supply, but we’re very poor on the demand side. The result of this rightful market distortion is high prices resulting in criminality and violence. The same thing happens with immigration. Due to the big difference in wealth and the obvious overpopulation in Muslim countries, the demand for immigration is enormous. Again I’ve no moral opinion on this, it’s a natural economic law that people try to move from regions without perspectives to regions with apparently a lot of possibilities. I’m not saying that we are responsible for their poverty whatsoever. It’s just a fact. So we could try to cut of the supply side by hard measures, but it’s like building a huge dam against the ocean. Integration is a somewhat more difficult point. I’m under the impression that integration is much better in the USA then in Europe. I’m pretty sure it has to do something with the same S&D law. In the USA they succeed in creating a demand for integration. In Europe they work a lot on the offer. But without demand it’s useless. I don’t know what it is that creates the demand in the states, but it could be the absence of social security for those immigrants.

The second observation will come a bit later…

This article is a chilling

This article is a chilling example of political misuse of selected, slightly distorted pieces of scientific discoveries to prove the superiority of one “race” above all others., When reading the name of the author, one knows right away what to expect of course, but it keeps on shocking me. In Belgium the VB wants to become a “fashionable” political party. It claims to have cleaned itself from all national-socialistic influences. We know however that race-superiority is the holy fire that keeps fjordman going. And we also know that race-superiority was at the core of Nazism’s ideology. The BJ isn’t responsible for the remarks of the people reacting on the different articles. But it is responsible for whom they select to write articles. Just as the BJ will never allow a communist contributor, it shouldn’t allow a purely racist contributor as Fjordman either. Alexandra Coolen, herself a contributor, is directly linked to this website. So, if the VB wants to maintain its image of non-racist party, it must either expel Sandra Coolen, or the BJ must adapt and expel Fjordman.

How ridiculous!

@pdvh: I have frequently enjoyed your thoughtful and sincere comments, but how can you call fjordman a pure racist? He is much more concerned with Western civilization than genetics, though when we talk about civilizations and nations we are talking about people who have genes. fjordman is a broad-minded, inquisitive writer who is very troubled about what is happening in the West. Aren't you? If you want to see racists look up the stormfront and majority rights websites. This is primarily a classical liberal website, the writers on which represent a broad range of approaches to the demographic and cultural issues which underlie the very possibility of ordered liberty, but which classical liberalism fails to address.

Jared Diamond 4

There is no question that Jared Diamond brings politics into science, specifically anti–racism.  As with Franz Boas, Diamond holds that ethnic or racial inequality is due to social rather than biological causes, and is a proponent of the tabula rasa view.  Of course, in order to refute the scientific racism of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, Diamond needed to dismiss the advancements of East Asian and especially European societies as inevitable outcomes of enviromental and geographic determinism.


Diamond does not focus on the Jews, even though they exhibit high intelligence and socio–economic status in relation to other ethnicities.  Surely the remarkable history of the Jews merits his attention.  Yet this might force Diamond to admit the existence of innate qualities. 


As Western academia, anthropology and biological history in particular, is a bastion of multiculturalism, political correctness and anti–racism or “reverse racism”, it is difficult to determine who exactly Diamond is refuting.  The German academics who promoted the notion of Nordic or “Aryan” racial supremacy and the inferiority of the Jews, Slavs and other groups are long dead, and their ideas discredited when the Red Army raised the flag over Berlin.

Jared Diamond 5

Yes, the star of liberalism has not yet set, and Franz Boas is still a saint in the contemporary academy along with Margaret Mead. My impression is that, as a popularizer, Diamond was refuting the common sense of one bygone era with the common sense of another bygone era, and not advancing science one millimeter. Diamond should study Generative Anthropology, though it might be fatal to his position on bestseller lists.

You have mentioned the Red Army's entry into Berlin more than once lately. Did the West make a mistake joining with Stalin to defeat Hitler? I think not. The West survived, barely, by sacrificing the East (redefined to include eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary). Since Hitler was ready and willing to conquer the West, the alliance with Stalin, though horrible, was also providential. If Hitler and Stalin had remained allies, the West would have been in sad shape.

For an American, the question is rather, should we have joined in? I reluctantly say yes. America is part of the West, and has an interest in joining other Western nations in mutual protection from conquest by barbarians, whether naive or sentimental.

World War I is another question. We stayed out of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. No one said "Lafayette, nous voici" in 1870. Why join the later contest for European supremacy? We have a much greater German component than a French component in our national make-up, after British. Why favor the French in 1916? If we had stayed out, maybe the stalemate would have yielded to negotiations less pregnant with disaster than Versailles. (Who says hindsight is 20-20? I think not.)

To Reconciler RE: Jared Diamond, White Aesthetics

I would treat Jared Diamond’s views with extreme caution.  Mr. Diamond set out in Guns, Germs & Steel, prove that Europe’s rise to hegemony was an aberration due to favorable environmental conditions and a geographic location that enabled Europeans to capitalize on the advancements of other peoples.  Mr. Diamond even claimed that Europeans were less evolved and intelligent than the indigenous rain forest tribes of Papua New Guinea.  Mr. Diamond must believe that his Jewish heritage gives him license to attack the White race, and certainly he is fighting the German supremacist scientists of the 19th century.  However, those scientists are long dead, and their falsifications were finally shattered when the Red Army conquered Berlin.  Also, one cannot forget that the Jews who created the State of Israel came from industrialized and urban societies in Europe, and have successively defeated the combined military forces of more pastoral and rural societies.  Indeed, the Levantines in Europe have fared much better than those that fell under Islamic dominion. 


The problem with the sexual selection hypothesis for blondism, light skin and colored eyes is that the genes (e.g. MC1R) needed to be prevalent enough at the outset, so as to be expressed despite admixture.

Anti-Western Diamond

Agreed that Diamond is pervasively anti-Western and anti-white. GG&S is also unnecessarily repetitive. However, I don't think his being Jewish is decisive, though it may be a factor in any aspect of his work. His anti-Western, anti-white prejudice is simply conformism with respect to the dominant ideology of the American academy and the liberal elites. It is a badge of social standing. It guarantees him sympathetic reviews in the New York Times. If he were pro-Western, his Jewishness would also appear to be a factor.


Interesting view on your part. I do try to always exercise caution. I have read Guns & Germs and Steel and cannot remember Diamond making such illogical statements as to the intelligence and development of Europeans compared to New-Guineans. He seems to me to be a levelheaded scientist who rejects any politically toned scientific views.

Diamond's general view on intelligence is in accord with scientific consensus, namely that the genetic fundament for human intelligence is equally present in all human populations. He says however that different geographical locations (with different environmental conditions) and coincidence have given rise to different cultures and cultural levels. I can see the logic in that.

Papua-New-Guinea's unique geography preserved the largest diversity of culture and languages on the planet. This is clearly the outcome of the Island's rugged terrain and rainforest which prohibited travelling and cultural exchange leading to thousands of different languages and ethnicities. It also prevented technology from spreading and therefore the elevating the people there over the Stone Age.

As to the rest of your comment, I cannot really follow you on the implications of Diamond's jewishness for his work.

Sexual selection is exactly the drive necessary to oppose natural disappearance of recessive allels.

Papua New Guinea

I think you're right about "the Island's rugged terrain and rainforest" holding Papua New Guinea back in the stone age. I'd guess it's all the mountain and forest that makes Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand so primitive too.

Rainforest and forest - climatic zones?


You are comparing apples with hazelnuts. Papua New Guinea has a long history of being poked by western explorers who most of the time starved to death a few kilometers inland BECAUSE of extremely rugged terrain (steep ridges in one direction which can not be traversed, merely circumvented) plus an absolutely unforgiving ecosphere, which is not only poor in nutrition (hence the low population density) but also adds to the non-permissive landscape. Many an exploration team dispatched from european shores came to a tragic end only due to not having a complicated system of supplylines necessary to not starve during the first two weeks.

What goes for western explorers goes for the natives as well, who subsisted in the valleys without so much as a single contact with neighbouring villages for most of their lives. Tell me again if this is "anti-racism".

Read "The third chimpanzee", where all of this is explained in much more detail, before you think you know what you are talking about. It is not quite as simple, as you think.

On the subject of human phenotypes

Skin, hair and eye color are just one feature among humans with great variety. Although the VitD-hypothesis to me seems possible, another hypotheses seems far more robust: Sexual selection. Jared Diamond elaborated on reasons for variety of human appearance in his book "The third chimpanzee". It is, after 20 years, still a fresh read regarding anthropology.

Diamond states that, "traits are especially the skin, eyes, hair, breasts, and genitals. In each part of the world those traits evolved in tandem with our imprinted aesthetic preferences to reach different, somewhat arbitrary results. Which particular human population ended up with any given eye or hair colour may have been partly an accident of what biologists term the 'founder effect'. That is to say, if a few individuals colonize an-empty land and their descendants then multiply to fill the land, the genes of those few founding individuals may still dominate the resulting population many generations later."


"I do not mean thereby to claim that climate has nothing whatsoever to do with skin colour. I acknowledge that tropical peoples tend on the average to have darker skins than temperate-zone peoples, though there are many exceptions, and that this is probably due to natural selection, though we are unsure of the exact mechanism. Instead, I am saying that sexual selection has been strong enough to render the correlation between skin colour and sun exposure quite imperfect."

That may explain, why northern Asians wound up having slit eyes (with higher amounts of fat tissue around the lids) but northern Europeans did not. Simple case of sexual selection among the founder populations.

To Fjordman RE: IE Expansion

I used to be very interested in human biological history or racial anthropology, until I grew frustrated, mainly due to political contamination, scientific disputes and a sheer lack of available data.  Privately, I feel that theories as to the evolution of blondism, fair skin and light/colored eyes are less than convincing.  If Vitamin D deficiency was responsible for the evolution of pale skin, then why did blondism and light/colored eyes not evolved in Northern Asia?  Regarding the hypothesis posited at St. Andrew's University, how could blondism evolve from a single female due purely to sexual selection?


European human biological diversity is fascinating in that one can make out an axis from the Eastern Baltic to the Western Mediterranean.  At one end radiates fair hair, skin and eyes, and at the other radiates the classic hour-glass figure.  Both of these aesthetic traits are unique to Europe, although not necessarily prevalent beyond the regions of origin.  I remain curious as to why this is so, as well as about what the Indo-Europeans looked like.


Great article.  The invention of the wheel certainly trumps the Tarim Basin mummies.