Re: Armed to the Teeth, and Free by Stephen P. Halbrook

Eugene Leitl (
Mon, 7 Jun 1999 16:46:00 -0700 (PDT)

Cynthia writes:

> Of course not. First of all, the Swiss have effectively stopped defective people
> from breeding over a period of hundreds of years, so that the incidence of
> defective people is lower than ours (but not as low as it is for the Jews and
> Japanese).

Strange, I thought the incidence of mental retardation in isolated Alpine valleys was pretty high due widespread inbreeding (you see, rednecks are not an U.S. invention). On an unrelated vein, thyroidal dysfunctions are also widespread since most of the iodine has been leeched after the Ice Age.

> And the few defective people they do have, are either in their families care, or
> in some kind of institution (mental hospital or prison).
> But here we have the myth that there is no such thing as a defective person, just
> under funded schools. And instead of putting violent people into prison, we
> have social reformers who want to make the whole country a prison.

I think you very much overestimate the impact of genes and understimate that of memes.