“There is a strange and terrifying human obsession with “purity,” and it manifests itself in so many different forms:
- For the anti-vaccination brigade, it’s the delusion that an immune system free of “toxins” will recognize and destroy unknown pathogens based on raw strength alone.
- For racists, it’s the delusion that one ethnicity is superior to others and can only be bettered by isolation from their lessers and minimizing the latter’s political influence.
- For demagogues, it’s the delusion that compromise with a different belief system corrupts your principles and weakens your argument.
And nothing could be further from the truth. The healthiest children are the ones playing in the dirt, getting slobbered on by their dogs, and full of antibodies from vaccines. Populations with high rates of intermarriage between ethnic groups can effectively breed out generations of inherited problems. Diverse groups solve problems and predict the future better than those comprised of a sole demographic.
I don’t know why “purity” is such a seductive concept, but it’s a dangerous one.”