On the Buffalo shooter…
The document references widely discredited studies, published at the fringes of academia by researchers who have sought to revive long-debunked theories of race science. But it also cites a number of mainstream genetics studies, published in prestigious academic journals by researchers at some of the world’s elite institutions. These more reputable studies do not directly take up the question of racial difference, but they explore themes that have long interested race scientists: Some catalog human genetic variation by continent, while others probe how genes influence cognitive ability, propensity to violence, and other complex traits. In the pages of the manifesto, the findings of these studies are manipulated, misinterpreted, and distorted in an attempt to give racism the sheen of scientific authority, several of the studies’ authors told Undark.
The appropriation of legitimate genetics research for extremist ends unsettles scientists in part because it is not unique to the manifesto. “I feel like these ideas are out there in our culture and science has bolstered them,” said Howard University evolutionary biologist Stacy Farina, who later added, “I’m not surprised to see someone leverage them in that way in a manifesto.”
The manifesto, in that respect, does not just reflect one person’s distorted views. Rather it is emblematic of the broader spread of scientific racism, which experts say has come to wield an alarming amount of influence in the far-right political arena.