Epigenetics and Race

Ariadne Schulz
20 min readAug 9, 2019

Memories of our Ancestors

Pictured here: Not Epigenetics. Or a race. Love your games Ubisoft, don’t sue me. (Publicity art for Assassin’s Creed III Copyright Ubisoft)

If you spend much time on the CDC site … well firstly you’re a nerd, but secondly you’ll note that for most morbidity and mortality rates it separates the statistics for American whites and American blacks (it also includes data for other “races”). You’ll also note that statistically and comparatively things suck for American blacks. African-Americans have higher rates of hypertension, Type II diabetes, various cardiac issues, maternal mortality, and they tend to also have a younger average age of death.

One explanation for this is racial wage disparity. And yeah, that doesn’t help. But if it were just wage disparity or just access to healthcare then we wouldn’t see such a statistically significant disparity in morbidity and mortality rates between black and white Americans. What I’m saying is if the only factor here was economic then poor white people would also have similar rates of chronic health issues and mortality. But that’s not reflected in the data.

So yeah, once again, the issue is racism.

Now, before I get really into this I need to address the ubermensch in the room. (Not Nietzsche’s ubermensch although he’s basically responsible for the idea, but the Nazi interpretation of the ubermensch.) For those of you who’ve never heard of this before its rough translation is “beyond-human,” or “above-human,” and it’s usually translated as “superman.” That latter does actually conceptually work as long as you’re giving a more inclusive interpretation to both the words “super,” and “man.”

Anyways, fascism happens when idiots think reading a page of philosophical work entitles them to control over the lives of millions based on a supernatural birthright. So Nietzche’s whole thing about the ubermensch being a means towards a superior moral code unfettered to an arbitrary religious hierarchy or doctrine got twisted. Nazis ruin everything.

The Nazi interpretation of the ubermensch was that Aryans were already without any extra work or training the superman race and everyone else was in various ways unfit, lesser, or destined only for servitude to the “master race.” We’ll loop back to that last point later. Because of course we will. This lead in WWII to …. well basically most of Nazi cruelty and in conjunction with the concept of…

Ariadne Schulz

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.