Thinking about the Psuedoscientific Genetics of "Replacement Theory"

I am thinking more deeply about the genetic arguments within “Replacement Theory” as I prepare to write and speak about it more. Would you help me fill out what is happening here?

“Replacement Theory” (aka The Great Replacement - Wikipedia) is the specific narrative out of which the Buffalo shooter assaulted a supermarket, killing several black people. Terrorizing non-white people so that they/we would leave the US is the stated rationale for his attack.

As you may recall, we have encountered RT at PS before: Why We Talk About Race and A Disturbing Comment on Interracial Marriage.

I would like to invite some deeper engagement from the forum on this specific reasoning. What is the best way to explain its history and its error? What information do you have that could be helpful for the conversation?


@Joe_Felsenstein, what are your thoughts?

Are there any?


I’m still trying to figure out what “Indo-European genes” are. It’s a language family. Do those come with genes?


The basic theory is that “they don’t think like us” and this is genetically built-in, so we shouldn’t allow them to immigrate and get to vote. Needless to say, this is way older than genetics. It goes back at least as far as the Know-Nothings, who were alarmed at all those Irish immigrants (and I’m sure they weren’t the first).

For example, someone with a name like Felsenstein, who must have some Semitic ancestry, must be incapable of understanding the genetic arguments for the Replacement Theory. And sure enough, I don’t understand them. Someone with a name like Swamidass would have their thought genetically determined to be Hindu, and would be unable to understand, say, Jehovah’s Witness thoughts.

And as for “Indo-European” alleles tending to be recessive, I am unaware of any evidence for that. (In the decade of the 1900s British geneticists debated whether the allele for brachydactyly, which made fingers short, would sweep through the population because it was dominant. They asked G.H. Hardy who showed that this would not happen, in his Hardy-Weinberg work. That was the question that caused him to address the issue.)

As for the delightful question of whether Josh’s marriage was advisable, because Josh would introduce a lot of non-Indo alleles … I think I’ll skip that because I can’t keep a straight face.


This background is new to me. Would you point me to some references or fill in some details yourself?

I had been assuming that ‘recessive Indo-European genes’ was referring to certain (more superficial) ‘European’ genetic features like blue or green eyes and blonde or red hair. If so, it is worth noting that red hair has a long association with Jewish ancestry as well, and that numerous Berbers have blue eyes and blonde hair (though this is less common than darker hair and eyes).

I think it might help to get clarity over which recessive reputedly Indo-European genes we are talking about.

You realize that Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, etc., are Indo-European languages, right?

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Yes, as is Sinhalese. Most of India speaks an Indo-European language, except for those in the South of the subcontinent (and a few pockets in the North) who speak the non-Indo-European Dravidian family of languages.

It is however never completely clear the extent to which language and genetic heritage line up, due to interbreeding, cultural assimilation, etc.

The thought that Josh’s wife gets the label “Indo-European” while he isn’t Indo gives me the giggles.


It’s right there in the opening paragraphs of Hardy’s 1908 paper. It’s the issue he opens the paper with. By contrast, I am not sure whether this discussion had any influence on Wilhelm Weinberg’s paper of 1908; I suspect not.

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For a moment I thought that guy had suddenly contacted you again.

I’m hesitant to say there are any actual arguments within “replacement theory”, and even calling it a theory seems to give it undeserved credibility. There is no one single accepted version of the idea either as far as I can tell, though as far as I can tell the majority of these kinds of racists seem to agree that it’s a jewish(but of course) revenge-plot, either as payback for the holocaust, or because the jews are evil opponents of Jesus(?), or because the jews are just naturally good schemers and plotters who try to control the world (and white people are somehow in their way). Not exactly sure.

It’s almost impossible to get any single coherent view out of these people, because they all seem to fester around in some cesspool of fear and conspiracies. Be it the globalist(aka jewish) homosexual agenda (aka “globohomo”), “cultural marxists”, feminists, NATO transsexuals (no… seriously), or what the f…

If you want to peer into the abyss, go to /pol/ on 4chan and just read a couple of threads every day for a month. Not recommended for your hopes and dreams for the future of humanity, do not be near sharp or blunt objects if you do. It’s like Mos-Eisley spaceport but in the warhammer 40.000 universe, on steroids.


You’re talking about old, fringe replacement theory. The modern, sparkly replacement theory advanced by mainstream Republicans blames the Democrats (=communists), and their goal is to get lots of Democratic voters by letting in brownish immigrants, so as to win all elections forever. It has the appeal that it’s only tacitly racist.

Actually, the current version we are dealing with was crafted with Camus in Europe.

The existential philosopher/novelist?

Yeah okay, but I think that’s mostly an american phenomenon. I think most european racists are more about the old idea.


Perhaps there is some recent history here you are missing:

he Great Replacement (French: Grand Remplacement ), also known as the replacement theory ,[1][2] is a white nationalist[3] far-right conspiracy theory[4][5][6] disseminated by French author Renaud Camus.

While similar themes have characterized various far-right theories since the late 19th century, the particular term was popularized by Camus in his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement . It specifically associated the presence of Muslims in France with potential danger and destruction of French culture and civilization. Camus and other conspiracy theorists attribute this process to intentional policies advanced by global and liberal elites (the “replacists”) from within the Government of France, the European Union, or the United Nations; they describe it as a “genocide by substitution”.[4]

The conspiracy theory found support widely in Europe, and has also grown popular among anti-migrant and white nationalist movements from other parts of the West; many of their adherents maintain that “immigrants [are] flocking to predominantly white countries for the precise purpose of rendering the white population a minority within their own land or even causing the extinction of the native population”.[9]

Nope. The “existential philosopher/novelist” was Albert Camus, the proponent of the Great Replacement is Renaud Camus.


Nope. @John_Harshman is almost certainly referring to Albert Camus. I’ve never heard of Renaud Camus until now.