what is human biodiversity (hbd)?

human biodiversity (hbd) is very simply the diversity found among and between human populations that has a biological basis.*

each of us is biologically unique. our genomes, our phenomes, our patterns of gene expression, our epigenomes, our microbiomes — none of these are ever exactly the same in any two individuals, even identical twins. yes, you are a special snowflake! you’re not even the same person today biologically that you were when you were six — or sixteen (unless you’re still sixteen, of course). for one thing, your patterns of gene expression as an adult are quite different from what you experienced as a toddler. each individual human is biologically diverse when compared to all other humans and even across his or her own lifetime. (got that last idea from steve sailer, btw.) and while we’re at it, you’re biologically diverse within yourself, too — cell by cell.

additionally, groups of genetically related individuals can exhibit average differences in various biological aspects (see more on this here). for example, immediate family members are more similar to each other genetically — and, usually, phenotypically — than they are to strangers. moving outwards from that circle, extended family members are also more similar to each other genetically than they are to strangers, although less so than are immediate family members. and the circle can be extended even further to: clan and tribe members, traditional villages and regions, ethnic groups, and races, until we reach the human race where we start comparing our collective biological traits to those of other species: primates, mammals, vertebrates, life on earth…. biodiversity in humans also exists between the sexes. remember that the biodiversity found in all these populations — which don’t necessarily have well-defined boundaries — includes features like epigenomes and microbiomes in addition to genomes.

hbd research is conducted in numerous academic disciplines and their subfields such as biology, genetics, medicine, neurology, psychology, and anthropology. hbd research also draws on social, historic, and prehistoric data related to human populations. (there is no separate academic discipline known as “human biodiversity.”)

*i’ve stolen that very elegant definition from claire lehmann.
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this is the first in a set of posts on What is Human Biodiversity? please, before you fire off a rant leave a comment here, check out the other posts, because your question or objection may have been dealt with in one of them. here they all are — you can read them in any order you choose! like to keep things interactive here on the hbd chick blog. (~_^) :

what human biodiversity (hbd) is not
examples of human biodiversity (hbd)
why human biodiversity (hbd) is true
hbd and racism
hbd and politics

(note: comments do not require an email. human biodiversity!)

15 Comments

  1. I grew up in the countryside. The notion that humans wouldn’t be “biodiverse” when everything else obviously was would have seemed lunatic to the young me. Now that I’m older, I know that to be an anti-HBDer isn’t necessarily a sign of lunacy. It may be a sign of dishonesty, or stupidity, or of being unobservant, but it’s mainly (I suspect) a sign of fear.

    If so, it’s a fear so profound that it leads to such silliness as arguing that humans are somehow immune to evolution. That’s even more barking mad than the deluded bible-bashers who decline to believe in any evolution at all.

    Reply

  2. They hate you because you tell the truth calmly, clearly and in an interesting and comprehensible manner, and contribute to understanding reality.

    Especially the bit where you contribute to understanding reality, they find that unforgiveable. ;-)

    Reply

  3. @carl – “This superb series is worth being published. Good work.”

    thanks! (^_^)

    yes, i am planning on using his material in a short e-book of some sort. more like an e-booklet, prolly. stay tuned!

    Reply

  4. @dearieme – “I grew up in the countryside. The notion that humans wouldn’t be ‘biodiverse’ when everything else obviously was would have seemed lunatic to the young me.”

    yes, i think that urbanization has led to a huge loss in “folk biology” knowledge — people just don’t experience that their individual horses and cows, pigs and goats — even chickens! — all have different personalities and that some are smarter than the others, etc. not to mention all the knowledge about breeding animals that has been lost by the general public!

    i didn’t grow up in the countryside, but i come from a long line of peasant farmers and spent most of my summers on my grandparents’ farm (yay!), and knowledge re. biological differences was definitely passed on to me via that route (plus my own observations, too). and today, only a couple of individuals in my extended family think that “all people are the same” (and they’re generally regarded as crazy by the rest of us (~_^) ).

    another problem, i think, is that people have fewer children nowadays, so they just don’t have the chance to see that individuals just are who/what they are pretty much from day one. once you have three+ kids, you can really see that. if you have only one or two, you might think you actually molded them in some significant ways.

    @dearieme – “If so, it’s a fear so profound that it leads to such silliness as arguing that humans are somehow immune to evolution. That’s even more barking mad than the deluded bible-bashers who decline to believe in any evolution at all.

    it really is, isn’t it?!

    Reply

  5. @jayman – “Excellent!”

    ¡gracias, señor! (^_^)

    @jayman – “This could be a great launching point, I think. Maybe concatenate these posts and make them your intro page?”

    yeah. i’ve actually put the contents of this post on my “hbd” page up at the top there ↑ along with links to the other posts.

    Reply

  6. @jonathan – “JayMan and HBD, thanks for all your work. Very thought-provoking.”

    thanks for saying so! (^_^) and you’re welcome! (^_^)

    Reply

  7. Excellent series of posts, and very timely. I hope that these posts get read by many people who don’t normally read your blog. If somebody googles, for example, “hbd” “human biodiversity” “hbd is racist” or whatever, it would be good if these posts and some of Jayman’s came up high in the search rankings.
    Until about 18 months ago I’d never heard the term ‘human biodiversity’ before, yet many things which fall under this category have been of interest to me for as long as I can remember.

    Reply

  8. yes, i am planning on using his material in a short e-book of some sort. more like an e-booklet, prolly. stay tuned!

    Excellent news.

    On the post: Another problem is that the anthropology establishment, or at least a large segment of it, is hardcore blank slatist/postmodernist. They even treat people who try to quantify the relative social complexity of different cultures as frontmen for racism and white superiority, to say nothing of guys like Cochran. This school has been incredibly influential in dominating the discourse. I think its beginning to fall apart somewhat in the unofficial public sphere, but remains dominant in schools, official politics, less “hard scientific” academic departments like history, etc.

    Reply

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