A few years ago I suddenly realised that an odd feature of the USA and its precursor colonies was that they had never produced a copper-bottomed, top-flight genius - at the culture-making level, I mean. No Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Newton, Gauss, Darwin, Dante, Descartes, Beethoven or such.Now I wonder whether it was because for much of its history selection pressures were low because anyone could get a farm for a song and breed freely. (Well, anyone white.) Then, as that era slowly ended, there were manufacturing jobs for everyone who wanted one, with cheap food, housing and heating available for the workers: that too is presumably a society with low selection pressure.
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