WASHINGTON – Science writer Nicholas Wade came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify at a Republican panel about the origins of the coronavirus, but instead faced questions about “A troubling legacy” His controversial book on race and genetics in 2014 Democrats announced It has been endorsed by the notorious racist and anti-Semite David Duke as well as other white supremacists.
“I have nothing in common with white supremacists,” Wade said at one point during the hearing.
Rep. Kwesi Mfume, D-MD, argued that Wade’s presence is prejudicial to any legitimate question about the origins of the coronavirus.
Mfume, a former head of the NAACP, said: “I am very saddened that this trial is now overriding the issue of race.”
Visibly shaken, Mfume went on to tell Wade that he was “really pissed off at the opportunity to take this stage and add nothing of substance.”
The tense exchange raised questions about whether Wade’s invitation to testify at the House Select Subcommittee’s first hearing on the coronavirus outbreak was an effective move by the Republican majority in trying to legitimize the idea that the coronavirus is the cause. Laboratory disaster in China.
It’s Wade. Supporter of that hypothesisBut his previous writings on genetics and race seem to hinder his attempts to focus the discussion on the epidemic.
The committee’s leader, Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz of California, used his opening remarks to disparage Wade. “His participation will undermine the integrity of this trial,” he said.
For a brief period, Capitol Hill was embroiled in nearly a decade of controversy, though the topics understandably continue to stir deep emotions today.
A native of England and a graduate of Cambridge, Wade has worked in popular science journals. and nature In the year During the late 1970s and early 80s, he settled in the United States. He He joined the New York Times in 1982 And it will stay in the newspaper for 30 years.
Wade has written a number of books throughout his career, but none has proven as explosive a connection between race and genetics as 2014’s. Many had come for a discount..
In attempting to re-establish the disputed relationship, Wade ventures into some of the inappropriate territory of what was once considered scientific knowledge. (Fans claim that the book is dragged into that trodden territory by detractors who haven’t actually read it, but some of those critics seem to know his arguments.)
The science of race It was a favorite occupation of the Nazis, who wanted to use evidence such as skulls to argue that Jews and other non-Europeans were inherently inferior. Eugenicists In the United States, he made similar arguments in an attempt to limit immigration or expand civil rights for black people.
Although racial divisions appear to be vast beyond cultural and social significance, the genetic differences between populations are in fact, little bit.
Wade challenged that prevailing view. With the aim of “explaining the genetic basis of race”, he tried to describe different racial groups, which originated from Africa, Europe and East Asia. He then tried to explain how these three groups developed different genomes and how these differences shaped their cultures.
Those explanations led to some highly suspect comments, such as that Jews were uniquely “adapted to capitalism,” a classic anti-Semitic trope. Africans, on the other hand, had a “tendency to violence” in Wade’s analysis.
The mainstream response to the book was overwhelming. in His reviewThe Times called “A Troubled Legacy” a “deeply flawed, deceptive and dangerous book” that gives license to racists, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Wade was charged. Human Trafficking in “Racist Theories That Seem Like Basic Biology,” American Conservative He found the book compelling..
in A letter written to the New York Times Book Review, 139 scientists (including many whom Wade cites) accused him of “distorting” research to make false arguments. “There is no support from the field of population genetics for Wade’s assumptions,” he said.
Following the arrival of the corona virus, he was one of the first science writers to make the news, challenging the plausibility of the view that the disease came from animals before it entered humans, probably in the wild animal market. Wuhan, China.
Wade put forward the so-called laboratory leak theory at length Medium post in May 2021. The text remains an important chapter for other skeptics of the official Chinese narrative. Still, many scientists believe the virus originated in animals before jumping to humans.
Wade defended the record — and the book — strongly on Wednesday. “This was a decidedly non-racist book. It has no scientific errors that I know of. It does not contain racist statements. It emphasizes the theme of unity,” he told the lawmakers sitting before him.
But his Democratic critics remain unconvinced, with some supporters of the laboratory hypothesis expressing frustration on social media over the important question of how the coronavirus came to be.