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Nicholas Wade’s book ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ was always predicted to elicit hysteria. Some even knew the script of outrage word for word. In the pages of VDare and Amren, veteran columnists like John Derbyshire and Jared Taylor awaited the crackling torches and swooshing pitchforks with a bored indifference.

As it happened, the hysteria arrived like a cuckoo from a Swiss clock. From the moment the book was published, Wade has been thrown violently onto the back foot. Political insinuations have been shaded into the background of the author’s profile. Phrases like ‘scientific racism, ‘pseudo-science’ and ‘shady funding’ have been bandied about without as much as a footnote to support them. And most importantly (and shamefully) of all, the science contained in the book has been torn apart, misquoted and miscategorised without any of it being convincingly refuted.

Although predictable, this is unbefitting of established academia. From what I have read of the book, the author’s tone seems altogether gentlemanly, his reputation rather mainstream, and his arguments often very watered down.

The point of Wade’s work is best summarised by his oft-quoted statement that human evolution has been ‘recent, copious and regional’. By this he means simply that man did not stop evolving when he left Africa, that his subsequent evolution has been considerable, and that it has happened in groups isolated from one another genetically. “Recent, copious, and regional.”

Wade won’t be winning any Nobel prizes for this insight, and rightfully so, since this was already the understanding of the vast majority of evolutionists. He may however, given his background at the one of the world’s most respected newspapers, popularise the theory.

And what would that do?

What would happen if tomorrow, everyone in the world went out and bought a copy of Wade’s book, read it and agreed with it? What, in a word, would happen if the science of race was re-accepted by the popular mind?

In the estimation of political Left, there would be hell to pay. American transport would have to re-arrange itself so that populations could be divided on buses and trains. Schools would also need to be resegegrated, Africa recolonised, miscegenation re-outlawed etc…

But are they right? I’m not sure.

Liberal democracy is too well established in every Western country for explicitly racist legislation to make a reappearance. There is no way that Atlanta, Georgia or Birmingham, Alabama could conceivably return to the dictats of Jim Crow and very few balanced people would suggest this. Demographics are everywhere different from former times. The world is different. The charge in the bomb has gone dead. span>

And since – as we are routinely and correctly informed – the ideas of racism are not legitimate anyway, we can surely dispense with the abuse directed at communicators of politically neutral scientific fact. Those who cannot be reached by this elementary logic can wait for the Rwandan Einstein or the Icelandic Usain Bolt for the next thousand years if it pleases them. It doesn’t matter. The thing about truth is that it stays true whether people believe in it or not.