West Hunter: Born that way

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, yellow fever would visit the US south from time to time where it was much feared, and blacks were much less affected.  It originated in Africa. A vaccine was developed in the 1930’s

In the Atlantic Monthly, which no longer has any reason for existence, since there’s really no point in placing a computer screen on the bottom of a birdcage, Jason Silverstein – a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Harvard – has a piece explaining that genes don’t cause racial health disparities – society does! Moreover, it’s immoral to even look for such genetic explanations.

I guess he should have gotten this published earlier, since we’ve already found some of those naughty genes – pretty important ones. So it’s too late…

Blacks actually are more resistant than the rest of mankind to certain diseases that are (or were) common in Africa, such as yellow fever, falciparum malaria and hookworm. The linked West Hunter piece explains how some of these genetic developments have caused them to be more susceptible to certain other conditions.

Meanwhile, the advantage in the three diseases I named is not relevant at this moment as they are under control.