Profiting from Eugenics: The case of Shabazz Muhammad

Eugenics has always verged on common sense for evolutionists. Recently evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller commented on China’s policy of taking eugenics seriously by “creating the world’s highest-quality human capital in terms of the Chinese population’s genes, health, and education.” As a result, the Chinese now have invested in cutting edge genetic research and are moving to create smarter babies. By understanding the genetics of IQ and allowing couples to select which of their fertilized eggs to rear, they will be able to raise the IQ of their offspring. As Miller notes in an interview, “Even if [this process] only boosts the average kid by five IQ points, that’s a huge difference in terms of economic productivity, the competitiveness of the country, how many patents they get, how their businesses are run, and how innovative their economy is.”

Count on the West to continue to import millions of low-IQ immigrants and to go into a moral panic at the very thought that genetic differences could influence IQ and that IQ is important for competitiveness.

However, that doesn’t mean that enterprising people in the West cannot use a basic grasp of eugenics to strike it rich. The LA Times reports that Ron Holmes used a basic knowledge of eugenics to enrich himself and his family (“NCAA to NBA millions: UCLA star’s father mapped out a dream; Ron Holmes has spent two decades guiding his son Shabazz Muhammad toward a pro basketball career. The payoff is near, with the UCLA star projected as a top draft pick“). 

Shabazz Muhammad with his parents, Ron Holmes and Faye Muhammad.

Shabazz Muhammad with his parents, Ron Holmes and Faye Muhammad.


Marv Marinovich, father of Todd Marinovich, the NFL quarterback whose career was cut short by drug addiction. “Todd’s mother, Trudi, came from an accomplished athletic family. Marinovich won’t say that the potential for athlete-producing genes is the first quality he has sought in a prospective mother. But it is ‘one factor.’ He also paid close attention to Todd’s environment: “Marv …  knew which vitamin supplements he and his wife should take to conceive a perfectly healthy child. It was Marv who applied Eastern Bloc training techniques, insisting that Todd discipline his mind and body and forgo Big Macs, sugar and hanging out at the beach.” Again, an awareness of how genes and environments mesh to maximize potential.

I suppose it’s possible that Holmes’ dream could be short-circuited in the same way: Selecting for athletic talent doesn’t necessarily select for good executive control, and fathers can’t control the environments their children choose once they become adults.

But if Holmes’ project works out, I suspect that Shabazz will be very generous with his father when the money starts rolling in later this year. Given all the time and energy he put into this project, he certainly deserves it.


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