We somewhat cautiously decided to chime in on the issues driving the widespread internet and media exchanges about the publication of what we and many others who think about these issues for a living know presents a rather simplistic and overtly and gratuitously racist treatment of human genetic variation. We wanted to point out, from our view at least, why the underlying issues are complex and don't yield to simple answers. In addition, we don't think it's at all irrelevant that history shows the societal traumas that can result from the arrogantly casual, careless, categorical, and value-laden treatment of one group of people by another. This has been called scientific racism in the past, and it's scientific racism now.
We tried to avoid personal attacks or polemics, and just lay out the issues as we see them. However, and not surprisingly given the nature of the current 'discussion', this opened the floodgates. Let's just say that the number of ways that people can find to tell strangers, under cover of anonymity and with such glee, that they are the scum of the earth is impressive. This whole subject merits measured discussion, based on evidence -- and many people have treated it as such, and we have appreciated what they've had to say, and the thoughtful, knowledgeable way they've said it.
But then there's the rest. The internet can be an ugly place. We have chosen not to contribute to that by posting comments that, let's just say, don't move the discussion forward. At present, it's impossible to have a wide-ranging discussion of human variation in any scientific way because the subject has been appropriated by ideologues with either a superficial understanding of the science, or a willingness to pick and choose the evidence that suits their purposes. There are plenty of places to find their rants. But not here.