How The Death Penalty Saved Civilization, by Lance Welton.
The first scholars to develop this king of all Left-triggering ideas were Canadian anthropologist Peter Frost and the late University of Utah anthropologist Henry Harpending. …
When Europe became Christian, the death penalty was abolished. Right up until the beginning of the Middle Ages, people were left to settle their own disputes by fighting each other or demanding, from the state, that the murderer pay a fine for killing their relative. But, as Frost and Harpending put it, the Church gradually came to accept that, the “wicked” should be executed “so that the good can live in peace.”
With biblical justification, more and more crimes became subject to the death penalty. By the High Middle Ages, every single felony (any crime serious enough to have traditionally warranted the confiscation of property) was met with the hangman’s noose.
Those sent to the gallows were almost always high-testosterone young men prone to violent crime. In fact, Frost and Harpending calculated that one percent of the male population were executed every generation throughout the Middle Ages. And another one percent were killed at the scene of the crime or died in fetid prisons awaiting trial or execution. So two percent of young men were eliminated every generation.
And because they tended to be young, this process meant that they had fewer children than if they hadn’t been executed. Thus, they would have passed on fewer of their genes.
It’s here that Frost and Harpending perceptively draw their conclusion. Capital punishment must have changed the nature of European personality — by, in effect, culling out the psychopaths.
Criminality is strongly predicted by three key traits associated with psychopathology:
- Low impulse
- controlLow altruism
- Low mental stability.
These traits are at least 50 percent genetic.
The murder rate collapsed between the 14th and 20th centuries and they statistically proved that part of the reason for this was the continual killing of the most impulsive and disagreeable young males every generation. The pool of violent men essentially dried up.
Those who were executed were overwhelmingly poor, with poverty associated with poor impulse control and low altruism. They had to be extremely poor because, in England at least, if you could read, then you could avoid execution by claiming “benefit of the clergy.”
With modern progressive immigration policies, the West now imports people from societies that haven’t had the same genetic experience –and have a much higher rate of criminality. The left of course deny it all.
But wait, it gets even more non-PC:
[Anthropologist Edward Dutton and Swedish psychologist Guy Madison] use the same statistical methods as Frost and Harpending to show that widespread execution was partly behind English people becoming more religious between the Medieval Era and the 16th century.
They argue that the English definitely became more religious, as evidenced by higher and higher percentages becoming monks and nuns, while heresy and witchcraft, deviations from accepted practice, grew increasingly unacceptable. And they estimate that religiousness is about 40 percent genetic, based on twin studies, and is predicted by exactly the same characteristics that predict not being a criminal: high altruism, high impulse control, and high mental stability. …
Precisely because Europeans were so intensely Christian, they didn’t adopt contraception, something which all previous civilizations had done when they got to about the stage the West reached in the early 18th century. Once contraception was adopted, it was taken up by cleverer and more educated people and used more efficiently by them, due to their higher IQ and better foresight. …
Meisenberg shows this is exactly what happened in Greece and Rome. But because of this religious rejection of contraception, it didn’t happen in the modern West until much later in our development. This meant that we could get to the Industrial Revolution before the positive correlation between IQ and number of surviving children, which you see in all primitive societies, went into reverse due to contraception.
So, in a roundabout way, widespread execution made us more religious. And, paradoxically, if that hadn’t happened, … IQ would have declined, and we would have returned to the Dark Ages, just like the Romans and Greeks and Muslims did before us.