Response to my RatWiki Entry

RationalWiki, better known as “RatWiki”, is one of the more ironically named websites on the internet. Essentially, it is an advocacy site that defends secular humanist dogmas and attacks opposing views. It is full of fallacies and lies. There is nothing rational about it.

Someone created an entry for me on RatWiki: Blithering Genius. This is my response. I won’t bother responding to everything, but I will respond to most of it.

It’s worth mentioning that this person came to my discord server to gather information under false pretenses, once as “Electric Gecko”, and a second time as “Shieldmaiden”.

I will refer to the author as Liam, because his username on RatWiki is LiamM32. Keep in mind that wikis allow for multiple authors, and the entry could change after I write this. The quotes were pulled at the time of writing.

Now let’s get to the response.

TK Van Allen, known online as Blithering Genius,[1][2] is a writer, blogger, and YouTuber[3] with some alt-right characteristics. He has articles describing how evolution works (according to him), his philosophy, some personal stories, and some very bad social commentary. He really dislikes humanism, which he believes to be the dominant ideology of the Western world. While he doesn’t explicitly advocate for white nationalism, he is very sympathetic to white nationalists.

Liam often uses dishonest rhetoric instead of rational arguments. “He really dislikes humanism” is a good example. This is not a presentation of my ideas about humanism, nor is it an argument against them. Instead, it is a claim about my motives or feelings. This is a common tactic in leftist rhetoric. For example, a person who opposes the mass migration of Muslims into Western societies is labeled “Islamophobic”, which is a claim about their feelings/motives. A person who points out the irrationality of gender ideology is labeled “transphobic” or “homophobic”. This is dishonest rhetoric. It is a substitute for rational argumentation.

Do I have “alt-right characteristics”? Sure, from a leftist perspective. There are intersections between my views and those of the former alt-right. Am I “sympathetic” toward white nationalists? Well, I treat them as I treat any other ideological community. I don’t dismiss them as evil. Instead, I engage with their ideas.

I have written several essays that are critical of the alt-right and white nationalism:

He has two blogs titled The Wayward Axolotl[4] and Expanding Rationality[5], with mostly the same articles. He also has a book published called Debunking The Selfish Gene, in which he supposedly debunks Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book. He has a cult following that includes other bloggers.

My two blogs don’t have mostly the same articles. The Wayward Axolotl has many more articles, because it is much older. I recently joined Substack, and I post some articles there. I have published four books on Amazon, including Debunking the Selfish Gene.

By the way, if anyone is wondering why I called it “The Wayward Axolotl”, I just tried random names until I found one that was available. Back in the day, you had to guess a unique name for a blog.

Do I have a “cult following”? No, of course not. I have fans and detractors, and many people who are somewhere in-between. Anyone who puts ideas on the internet will accumulate followers of both types. Cults generally form around moral narratives, which have an US | THEM and GOOD | EVIL dichotomy. I reject morality, so that wouldn’t really work for me. The basis of my little online community is rationality, not dogma. Critics are welcome in my discord server if they obey the rules and engage in rational discourse.

His view of evolution strongly favours individual organisms as the unit of selection, as he rejects kin selection and the gene-centered view of evolution.[note 1] His views on evolution appear to greatly influence his worldview. He believes that altruism can’t evolve, and therefore morality is an illusion; a collective delusion that hides people’s true motives.[6][7] His view that an organism’s purpose is reproduction is also quite important to his worldview and values. Rejection of absolute morality and the claim regarding an organism’s purpose aren’t particularly controversial, but he derives some bizarre conclusions from them.

My view of evolution is that the reproducing unit, which is typically the organism, is the unit of selection, and selection is based on reproduction. Reproductive altruism can’t evolve, because it selects against itself.

Are my beliefs about morality influenced by my beliefs about evolution? Well, they fit together, but my beliefs about morality came first. I rejected morality as a child. At the time, I had some understanding of evolution, but it wasn’t that sophisticated. My childhood rejection of morality was somewhat based on my understanding of ecology, but not on my understanding of evolution.

I do not reject “absolute morality”. That’s something Dawkins would say, not me. I reject morality. Dawkins claims to reject absolute morality, but believes that we can somehow arrive at correct moral beliefs by reason. He also makes moral arguments against absolute morality. This view is absurd.

The total rejection of morality is extremely controversial and rare. And I’ve never seen any explanation of the moral delusion that is similar to my own.

See What is Morality?.

He has made the extreme hereditarian argument that differences in income, crime, and single parenthood between black people and white people in the US is “almost entirely due to genetic differences”.[8] This is a bigger stretch than most hereditarians make, who focus largely on IQ. His reasons for rejecting environmental factors are weak, to say the least.[See below] Like with many of the things he says, he believes that the only reason people believe otherwise is because of the humanist belief that everyone is equal. Claiming that people who don’t share his worldview are subject to a collective delusion is a common occurrence with him.

Yes, I make an “extreme hereditarian argument” in It’s Probably Mostly Genetic. If you’re interested, you can read that.

And yes, people have mass delusions. Religions are mass delusions. Morality is a mass delusion. Crowd manias are mass delusions.

Atheists claim that religion is a collective delusion. Is that just a cope? No. It’s a very reasonable belief.

If you disagree with widely-held beliefs, then you must also believe that other people are deceived/deluded. That comes with the territory. The question is: who is right?

A popular article with his followers is titled “Why Most Academic Research is Fake”,[9], in which he argues that most research papers are “fake” because of ideological bias and perverse incentives. As a result, his cult following distrusts scientific research in favour of him and a network of racialist and pseudoscience blogs. Of course, this isn’t a problem for him, as he is only bothered by some kinds of ideological bias.

This is another claim about my motivations and the motivations of my “cult followers”. It’s dishonest rhetoric, of course. I argue for skepticism about academic research. I do not say “Trust these blogs and ignore scientific research”.

The claim that I am only bothered by some kinds of ideological bias is pure projection. I have argued against racialist ideology many times. By contrast, Liam is only bothered by right-wing ideological bias.

Being rational requires considering both sides of an issue, not just one side. I engage with opposing views and debate them. I don’t just dismiss them.

He is a Canadian from British Columbia, though much of his social commentary is on the US and other parts of the West.

I currently live in BC, Canada. I spent much of my childhood and youth in BC, but I was not born in BC. I spent much of my adult life in the US, and I was living in Seattle when I started putting my ideas on the internet.

He has an article titled “Why Most Academic Research is Fake”, which ultimately concludes with “the overall academic enterprise is a fraud”. The way he defines “fake” here is unusually broad, as it’s not limited to only intentionally false or fraudulent research. The replication crisis is a real issue in the scientific community, and the article partially reflects reasonable explanations for how it may happen. But he places particular emphasis on “ideological bias”, particularly with ideological views he doesn’t like. The examples he provides are unsurprisingly, all reasons why researchers would reach conclusions different from his own.[9]

See Why Most Academic Research is Fake.

There is no mystery about the meaning of “fake” in the article. It begins with a description of the various ways that academic research can be fake. Then it explains the reasons why most academic research is fake in one of those ways. The reasons are: ideological bias, perverse incentives, social circularity and naive empiricism. The replication crisis is not the focus of the article. It is just one consequence of naive empiricism.

Overall, the article isn’t meant to encourage improvement of the scientific process. It ends telling the audience to distrust academic research and experts.

It is a rational critique of the academy, which could be the basis for improving it. But yes, the main point is that academic research is not a reliable source of knowledge.

Overall, this article serves to create a cult around him, by making his audience distrust mainstream science in favour of himself, as he works outside the scientific community.

This is just more dishonest, irrational rhetoric. It makes a claim about the motive behind the article: that it is intended to shift trust toward me and away from mainstream science. Of course, that was not my motive, and it would never have occurred to me. The article is not about mainstream science, but about the academy in general. The goal was (a) to reject the unexamined faith that many people have in the academy, and (b) to explain the processes within the academy that make it unreliable. I don’t tell people to ignore scientific research, but to be critical of it.

Under the name T.K. Van Allen, he has published a book called Debunking The Selfish Gene.[2] This supposedly debunks The Selfish Gene, a book by Richard Dawkins published in 1976. So far, Van Allen’s book does not appear to have been reviewed by any professional biologists.

I’d be more than happy to discuss/debate it with a professional biologist. If you can find one willing to do that, let me know.

Blithering Genius has an unusual understanding of evolution, with some of his own self-developed hypotheses. He rejects kin selection, but unlike some other objections, it’s not because he believes group selection to adequately explain all supposed cases of kin selection. He claims that kin selection would only work if both siblings (or other relatives) have the same altruistic gene, but that this would be selected out as the siblings with such a gene would be selected out in favour of those without. In reality, kin selection is likely to happen when the increased chance of group survival from an altruistic trait is enough to outweigh this effect. His article briefly hints at this, but quickly disregards it.[10]

That’s incredibly garbled. The article explains why kin selection theory is wrong, and in particular, it explains why Hamilton’s rule is bogus. No, “group survival” is not the basis of selection. Genes are copied by reproduction, not by group survival.

A particularly bizarre argument that he makes against kin selection is that members of the same species are genetically mostly identical; so genetic variation of 0.5% within a species would result in parents only caring about their children only 0.5% more than other members of the species if the basis of selection were shared genes and not just reproduction.[11] While being mathematically shoddy, this doesn’t properly account for other members of the species being competitors for reproduction, who can be expected to reproduce regardless of the actions of one individual. One’s closest relatives; their children, are scarcer than more distant relatives.

Again, that is garbled. There’s nothing bizarre about the argument, unless you think logical reasoning is bizarre, which you might. If selection were based on shared genes, then it would select for altruism based on shared genes. Since we share most of our genes with every other member of the species, it would select for generic altruism. Instead, we see very limited types of altruism, such as parental investment in offspring, which is reproductively selfish.

I have no idea how Liam thinks this is “mathematically shoddy”. I would love to hear him try to explain that, preferably in a voice debate.

Yes, members of the same species are “competitors for reproduction”, because the basis of selection is reproduction, not genetic survival. That’s kind of the point.

In his article titled “It’s Probably Mostly Genetic”, Blithering Genius argues that statistical differences between black people and white people in the US are “almost entirely due to genetic differences”. The areas he lists are income, crime, welfare use, and single parenthood.[8] This is a bigger claim than the one made by most hereditarians that the IQ gap is 50-75% caused by genetic differences. For income, crime, and welfare use, the connection to one’s environment is much more straightforward than it is for IQ, as it doesn’t necessarily depend on long-term changes to the brain.

The causal connection between environment and social outcomes is no more straight-forward than the causal connection between genes and social outcomes. We know that genes affect brain development. We also know that social outcomes are affected by individual actions, and individual actions are generated by brains. So, there is no mystery about the causal pathway.

Evolved differences in mental traits are no less likely than evolved differences in skin color, hair type, bone structure, etc. Belief in the equality of mental traits between races is a religious assumption. It has no rational/scientific basis.

For income, a major factor would be wealth inheritance. Because white people have had a disproportionate share of wealth in the US for the country’s entire history, the disparity would be significant today even if racism ended 50 years ago, and without any genetic causality. The crime gap can easily be explained by blacks more often being in an economic situation that would encourage theft (being poor), and having worse life prospects. People are less likely to risk committing crimes if they have better life prospects.

This is a good example of one-sided reasoning, which simply ignores other explanations. The crime gap is bigger for murder than for theft, and it is not explained by economics. Most murders have little or no economic benefit. Also, there are many natural experiments that support the genetic explanation over the wealth inheritance explanation. For example, some minorities quickly rose in social status after immigrating to Western societies with little or no wealth: Ashkenazi Jews, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. Countries that were extremely poor, such as Japan after WWII or China in the 1980s, have had huge increases in prosperity. Their poverty did not hold them back.

Wealth is not the only thing that people inherit. They also inherit genes, and thus character traits and mental abilities.

Modern civilization has created an environment of abundance. The material conditions of human beings have never been better than in modern, developed societies. Almost everyone has access to adequate nutrition, medical care and education. Modern civilization brings out the genetic potential of individuals. As a consequence, the observable differences between people in the modern West are mostly due to genetic differences or random factors that are beyond our ability to control.

Unfortunately, it just isn’t true that almost everyone in the US (or “modern civilization” in general) has all these needs met, with black Americans having this problem more often than white Americans.

What needs are not met? The left just keeps moving the goalposts, changing the definition of poverty (or racism) to avoid falsifying their religious beliefs. Some people have more resources than others, but most people have adequate resources to fulfill their genetic potentials.

The article doesn’t provide very strong evidence for the genetic hypothesis, but according to him, he doesn’t have to. He claims that attributing racial disparities to genetics should be the “default hypothesis”, because race is based on genetically-determined traits. This is a case of the correlation-causation fallacy, and a lame excuse to reach his desired conclusion.

The article is not a presentation of evidence. It explains why genes are the dominant factor and the best explanation. Most of my essays focus on causal explanation, not on presenting evidence. An intelligent, good-faith reader can easily find the relevant evidence himself.

Yes, genetic differences are the rational default explanation for race differences in social outcomes, because races are genetic categories. The traits that we use to identify race (skin color, hair type, bone structure) are all determined by genes. The simplest explanation for any difference between races is that it is due to genetic differences. The same is true for males versus females. That doesn’t mean we assume that every difference is genetic, but that is the default explanation.

And no, that is not the “correlation-causation” fallacy. It is Occam’s razor, which is a necessary principle of induction, not a fallacy.

For Liam’s benefit, I will explain the correlation-causation fallacy. It would be a fallacy to leap from “A is correlated with B” to “A causes B” without considering other possible explanations. For example, it would be a fallacy to leap from “Poverty is correlated with crime” to “Poverty causes crime” without considering other possible explanations, such as “Poverty and crime are both affected by genes”.

In most cases, correlation does imply some causal relationship. You can find spurious correlations, if you go looking for them, but obvious correlations usually have a causal explanation. The point of the correlation-causation fallacy is that we can’t assume a direction of causation from a correlation.

Denial of history and white victimhood narrative

While he frequently claims that truth doesn’t matter to people who he disagrees with, Blithering Genius has at times denied historical events, and falsely described recent events in order to fit a narrative. This is very unlikely to be an honest mistake in all cases. These denials and tactical omissions generally involve non-white people being killed by white people with authoritarian tendencies, so it seems that he’s trying to deny the destructiveness of white supremacy.

Okay, let’s see who is telling the truth and who is lying. Let’s see who is tactically omitting certain details.

The following is regarding my article on Charlottesville.

The truth about the death that happened there is that it was a white supremacist who deliberately rammed his car into a crowd of people, killing one of them and injuring many others.[20] This fact was never mentioned in his article. The rest is an incoherent ramble about “leftists”. He claims that “the moral paradigm of our culture is leftist”, and is even “associated with the power structures of our society”.[note 3] Obviously, the purpose of this article was to make the white supremacists seem relatively harmless. Inconvenient to his narrative, white supremacy is the most common motivation for domestic terrorism in the United States.[21]

Is that really the truth, Liam? Is that the whole truth?

I watched the Unite the Right rally on livestreams, and then I later saw the dishonest coverage of it in the mainstream media. Here are the facts that I and many other people observed, and which are tactically omitted or downplayed by mainstream sources:

  • The Unite the Right rally was a lawful assembly. It had a permit. It was a peaceful protest (not a “mostly peaceful” protest, like the BLM riots).
  • A large crowd of counter-protesters arrived and instigated violence, by throwing projectiles such as full water bottles into the Unite the Right rally. I saw this on livestreams. The police did nothing to stop the violence.
  • The protest was declared an unlawful assembly after it was already in progress. The police then forced the Unite the Right participants to march out through a hostile crowd, where they were attacked. Some retaliated with violence. Again, I saw this on livestreams.
  • James Fields was threatened and attacked before he plowed his car into a mob of counter-protesters, killing one person. I don’t know his state of mind, but I do know that his car was attacked before he accelerated. You can see that at 3:46 in this video. After hitting the crowd, he stopped, but his vehicle was attacked again, and he left the scene. I think he had reason to fear for his life, both before and after the crash.

So, that is the truth, based on what I observed. Yes, the counter-protesters and the authorities were mostly responsible for the violence. The counter-protesters instigated the violence, and the authorities not only allowed it to happen, they created a dangerous situation. It was an example of anarcho-tyranny.

Note that Wikipedia tactically omits who instigated the violence. In the article on the rally, it says “The rally turned violent after protesters clashed with counter-protesters” [emphasis is mine]. The media and Wikipedia tend to omit information that does not fit their ideological narrative.

The counter-protesters were a (somewhat violent) mob, and they were trying to censor views that they did not like. If right-wingers did that to left-wingers, it would be labeled “fascism”.

Do I agree with the views of the people at the Unite the Right rally? By and large, no, although I would agree on some things. I also think that the rally was deliberately provocative and stupid. Regardless, I support freedom of speech for all views, because that is necessary for social rationality.

See Freedom of Speech.

I don’t know the statistics on terrorism and its motivations, but there seems to be ideological bias in what is labeled “terrorism”. For example, the Waukesha Christmas parade attack was not labeled “terrorism”. Neither was the 2023 Nashville school shooting, although it seems to have been inspired by social/political views.

Amren has a decent article comparing the Waukesha incident to the Charlottesville incident.

Blithering Genius has explicitly claimed that there is a problem of anti-white propaganda and racism in the US and the West in general, while racism against other groups is not a major problem. While obviously wrong on the face of it, this causes some internal conflict in his worldview. Most people in the US and other Western countries are white, and this includes most politicians and people in the media.[23] If his claim were true, it would require a very large number of white people turning against a group that they are members of. How could this possibly be explained by evolution? He might just say that they were duped by propaganda, or felt pressured to conform, but that would be a homunculus fallacy, as that would just lead to a question of how such a propaganda meme would have managed to take off in the first places in countries ruled and largely populated by white people.[note 4]

Yes, I believe that there is a problem with anti-white propaganda and policies in the West. I see it every day. Many other people see it too. Take off your ideological blinders and face reality. When “It’s okay to be white” is labeled a hate slogan, I think we have a problem.

And no, this creates no conflict within my worldview. Clearly, you don’t understand my worldview, Liam. Evolution creates selfish reproducing machines, not group altruists. There is no implication that organisms will act for the good of a group (race, species or otherwise) that they are members of. See Does Evolutionary Theory Imply Genetic Tribalism?.

Also, as I explain in the chapter Evolution and Psychology in Debunking the Selfish Gene, human behavior cannot be explained with evolutionary theory alone. For example, although humans are reproducing machines, there is below-replacement fertility in modern societies. You need a psychological theory to explain human behavior. Trying to extrapolate directly from evolutionary theory to human behavior is naive.

Liam used the term “homunculus fallacy”, but he clearly doesn’t know what it means.

I explain the pathological altruism of the modern West in Pathological Altruism. I explain some of the social forces driving mass immigration in The Thermodynamics of Globalization. I explain why the establishment is not aligned with the public interest in The Establishment. I explain why democracy doesn’t reflect the public interest in Democracy is a Tragedy of the Commons.

It is possible to understand what is going on in the modern West, but you need more than evolutionary theory to do it. You need theories of psychology, culture and society.

In another article complaining about a perceived anti-white bias in media, Blithering Genius denied the existence of the mass graves that had recently been discovered at former residential schools around Canada.[24]

Oh no! I’m a MASS GRAVE DENIER!! That’s like being a holocaust denier. I denied the sacred narrative that native children were killed and dumped in mass graves by evil white men.

Well yeah, I deny that mass graves have been found, because they haven’t. The total number of mass graves found is zero.

I’m sure that many children died at residential schools, just as many children died on reserves, especially in the days before modern medicine, when child mortality was high. I’m also sure that they were buried, in most cases.

This hoax began when someone used ground-penetrating radar to find anomalies “consistent with graves” on an Indian reserve in Kamloops. No bodies were found. Nothing was dug up. The anomalies were also consistent with tree roots, rocks and many other things. It’s possible that they are unmarked graves. There are many unmarked graves out there, especially near churches, because over time wooden crosses decay and stone markers become overgrown and sink into the ground, etc. So, I’m sure they’ll eventually find a few unmarked graves, if they look for them. But that is not evidence of any criminal action relating to residential schools, let alone mass-killing of indigenous children.

Despite there being no evidence of mass-killing, or killing at all, or even dead bodies, the media sensationalized the story. Many of these stories have since been edited to remove the misleading term “mass grave”. For example, see Canada: remains of 215 children found at Indigenous residential school site. The link has the term “mass graves” in it, but it has been removed from the article. (See the note at the bottom of the article.) The title is still extremely misleading, as no “remains” were found. Only radar anomalies were found.

The word “denial” means to reject something that is true. So, it presupposes the truth of what is rejected. It is typically used as a moral condemnation of someone who rejects or questions a sacred belief. Any belief that you’re not allowed to question is a religious belief.

So, I guess the existence of mass graves of indigenous children is now a religious belief. We must all affirm the sacred narrative that Jesus died for our sins native children died for our sins. By our weeping, we can show our holiness.

Here is an example of an actual mass grave of indigenous people: Crow Creek massacre.

By the way, I also deny the MMIW narrative. My evil knows no bounds.


  1. I still think it is beyond funny, that J.F. Gariepy didn't get your critique of his thesis... :)

    1. Even if he understood it (which he probably didn't), he wouldn't have admitted it.

    2. He definitely wouldn't admit it. He has staked his entire intellectual career on that ridiculous book lol. I also agree that he didn't understand it. He is firmly entrenched within the genocentric view.


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