One thing that bears noting about Dalrymple’s writing is his consistent (and in my view, increasing) willingness to criticize, and perhaps even to laugh at, himself. In a new piece at Taki’s Magazine, for example, he writes about his bias in opposition to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine:
Anxious to preserve my worldview, I read the paper (much of whose science I did not really grasp) with a view to sniffing out error, as an Inquisitor sniffed out heresy. And, not surprisingly, I soon found what I was looking for.
The authors of the paper propose that obesity is strongly genetic in nature, and even after recognizing his own bias, Dalrymple rejects the authors’ conclusions:
The paper thus holds out the age-old false hope that we can become good, sensible, or (in this case) temperate by purely technical means that require nothing of us as moral beings endowed with agency except compliance with treatment and obedience to technicians. Appetite itself will come under the control of geneticists, who will relieve us of the necessity to exercise self-control.