In The New Criterion (paywall alert) Dalrymple reviews A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History by Nicholas Wade. Shockingly, Wade makes a case for the prevalance of genetic differences in explaining human behavior, despite being science editor of the politically correct New York Times. While Dalrymple finds his case intelligent, thoughtful and above all brave, he nevertheless argues in favor of nurture as the greater influence:
…non-genetic factors can easily make genetic ones seem minor. In Britain, the rate of addiction to heroin in the population rose 25,000 percent between the mid-1950s and 2010. Genetics had nothing to do with this. The difference between North Korea and South—as great as that between Ukraine and Africa, say—has nothing to do with genetics.
Of course, there is not a person alive who argues that genes are responsible for all differences in human behaviour. However, there are plenty of people who argue that all our behaviour is due to the environment. Mr. Dalrymple is on fairly safe ground when pointing to examples of behaviour that can only be due to nurture but Nicholas Wade is kicking over a hornets nest in writing what he has written. And good for him.
Rise in Heroin addiction is due to nurture?
Same as young male death rate increase in 1944 was nurture? Perhaps