Reversion to the mean

It would appear that the Federal Reserve is beginning to wake up to the harsh reality that the power to create money through credit is not tantamount to either omnipotence or even intermediate term price supports.  It’s not what they’re saying that is interesting, as all they’re doing is stating the completely obvious.  But it is very interesting indeed that it is two economists at the Dallas Fed who are stating it in public in their Economic Letter entitled “The Fallacy of a Pain-Free Path to a Healthy Housing Market“.  They write: Without intervention, modest home price declines could be allowed to resume until inventories clear. An analysis found that home prices increased by about 5 percentage points as a result of the combined efforts to arrest price deterioration.  Absent incentive programs and as modifications reach a saturation point, these price increases will likely be reversed in the coming years. Prices, in fact, have begun to slide again in recent weeks. In short, pulling demand forward has not produced a sustainable stabilization in home prices, which cannot escape the pressure exerted by oversupply.”

Speaking of stating the obvious, the “analysis” sounds like a joke.  Home prices have been around 170,000, so 5 percent is $8,500.  Coincidentally enough, the 2009 federal tax credit was $8,000.  Imagine that.  Anyhow, consider yourself warned, as housing prices should be heading down next year and the decline probably won’t be as modest as the Fed would prefer.

People aren’t people

This new genetic analysis has a lot of interesting implications for everyone from equalitarians and evolutionists to theologians and racialspecies supremacists, given that it is increasingly obvious that not only are all human beings not equal under the skin, strictly speaking, they are not even all homo sapiens:

An international team of scientists has identified a previously shadowy human group known as the Denisovans as cousins to Neanderthals who lived in Asia from roughly 400,000 to 50,000 years ago and interbred with the ancestors of today’s inhabitants of New Guinea. All the Denisovans have left behind are a broken finger bone and a wisdom tooth in a Siberian cave. But the scientists have succeeded in extracting the entire genome of the Denisovans from these scant remains. An analysis of this ancient DNA, published on Wednesday in Nature, reveals that the genomes of people from New Guinea contain 4.8 percent Denisovan DNA.

This discovery underlines the utter foolishness of placing one’s faith in science in any of its three aspects as anything but a very interesting and powerful tool. Not only is scientage never anything more than a mere snapshot in time, but it very seldom expands in the predictable and progressive manner so often envisioned by those who subscribe to what Rothbard described as the “Whig theory of the history of science”.

Science has now reached a point where it can inform us that one group of people are less genetically evolved and less human than another group. What it cannot do is tell us how one group should treat another group, it can only help us determine how our predecessors decided to behave in the past. The uncomfortable reality for those who hope to rely upon science for their moral touchstone is that one can as easily construct a science-based case for eliminating the Denisovian genes as restoring them entirely.

Science assignment: Provide a science-based justification for either a) eliminating Denisovian genes from the human race or b) restoring the Denisovians as a genetically pure and distinct species.