Settling and dominating the entire planet, our species has devoted an immense amount of effort to moving around. In the process, entire civilizations have been displaced, conquered, infiltrated, and even swamped by imported alien populations. In economic terms, greater and greater specialization has replaced self-sufficiency and created ruling classes that are often recruited from a multiplicity of ethnic backgrounds.

Since the pool of global talent is neither diminished nor enhanced when a person moves from country A to country B, migration constitutes a zero-sum game. Nevertheless, some countries are winners while others are losers. The United States attracts large numbers of very talented individuals but also many who are unlikely to leave the lower economic rung. The mean IQ of immigrants in the 1980s has been estimated to be about 95, or only about one-third standard deviation below the mean. This is a small enough difference that it may well be explainable by the disadvantaging environment from which many arrivals come.

Early man migrated slowly, creating diversity by virtue of lengthy periods of relative genetic isolation. Now, however, the revolution in transportation is undermining this isolation. The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 53% of the 6,809 languages spoken around the world are at risk of extinction by 2100. The destruction of this “reservoir of human thought and knowledge”88 is accompanied by a loss of genetic diversity that would cause dismay among ecologists if it were to occur in any species other than man.

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