Edward Dutton author of the pseudoscientific book “The Finnuit”

Dr Edward Dutton is a British journalist and academic living in Oulu, Finland. He has currently come out with a book on Finnish culture called  The Finnuit, where he argues that Finnish culture can be better “understood” if regarded as an Arctic culture instead of what it is, a nordic culture.

Ok, granted. There are some people not only in Finland, but also in Norway and Sweden, that could be viewed from an Arctic, or more correctly, from a Siberian or even Circumpolar perspective, and it is the Saami people. But Finns that have traditionally been a pastoral and farming people for atleast 2000 years could possibly be viewed in a Baltic context if the Nordic is difficult for a foreigner to understand. 

Dutton have previously written rather odd articles about Finland like this one that is kind of an introduction to his new book, in which he makes a comparison between Finland and Greenland using bizarre, to me and virtually every other Finn, totally unknown “Finnish customs” and other weak parallels (that we may expect have re-emerged in his new book). Here are some comments about Duttons article:

“I think you should just be amused about this pseudoscientific writer.”

“The fact that Dutton calls himself an anthropologist is embarrasing.”

“Dr Dutton has inadvertently painted a fairly accurate portrait of the Englishman as a Self-righteous Underinformed Smartarse.”

“He uses old stereotypes and ridiculous arguments mainly backed up by a blokes comments here and a blokes comments there.”

“This man must be a satirist.”

“Edward Duttons comparison is bizarre and he needs a reality check.”

“I’m glad to see, that most people don’t take this guy’s writing seriously :)”

There is another even stranger article by Dutton on a Mongolian website full of difficult to grasp why insinuations and misinterpretation of scientifical sources. Let’s have a couple of readers opinions from here as well before we look at the funny stuff:

 “Let us leave the research on genetics for properly educated geneticists, instead of writing political rubbish about it.”

 

“The likes of Edward Dutton enjoy wallowing in pseudoscientific tripe, promoting once-blossoming attitudes of sleazy 19th century National Romantic hogwash.”

 

Let’s have a look at Duttons capabilities of understanding  his own references. Dutton:“The more recent discovery of genetics has added further evidence to the ‘Mongol’ claim. Geneticist Richard Kittles found in 1998 that Finns have ‘Dual Origins’ between Germanic and Mongoloid as measured by their ‘Y Chromosome Haplotype Variation.”

Here is the study by Kittles: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1377088/pdf/9545401.pdf . Kittles does not argue with even one word or imply in any way for what Dutton claims. The word mongoloid is not mentioned once in the study.  What the report concluded was that Y-DNA haplotype N1c, as we know it today, arrived from Asia to Europe some 12 000 years ago. If men carrying the Y-DNA are halfway between mongoloid and Germanic, then some 30 million European men are too.

Dutton wrote: “And in 2003, Slovenian geneticist Andrej Marusic observed that the Finnish propensity to alcoholism could be explained by the ADH22 gene ‘which is common in Eastern peoples but almost unheard of Europe.’ There is, he argued, a ‘J Curve’ where this gene is found which parallels areas where Finnish (and related languages) are spoken. For Marusic, ‘this seems to substantiate the theory that the primary ancestors of Finno-Uralics are the Mongols. The Mongols have not traditionally consumed strong alcohol whereas Europeans have for thousands of years, developing a genetic resistance to it.’”

Marusic have researched about the high level of suicides in eastern Europe and he have tried to find a genetic reason for this http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/109863724/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 . Marusic never argumented for the Mongolians being the primary ancestors of Finns as Dutton claims, but he suspected that the ancient Magyars and Slavs that have settled modern day Slovenia and Hungary may have carried a gene that causes negative alcohol intake which may lead to suicide.

There have been several studies that have documented the high frequency of the ADH 2-2 gene in the Russian population which have been seen as a legacy of the medieval Mongol invasion of Muscovy and Kievan Rus. Research have shown that Finns do not carry this gene any more frequent than other Europeans, as Dutton thinks. The Batu Khan never reached Finland… Did Dutton know that?

And so on… The two articles are just loaded with stuff on such low brow level that it is really worrying if it actually is a scholar that  have been at work. If the book continues in the same fashion as the articles , there must be some reason why it is so. A man living in Finland cannot be that wrong or can he? And why? 

I have read the preface of the book http://www.akkrt.hu/download.php?obj_id=85132  and that’s when I find something that is quite disturbing. Duttons acknowledgements…

One person is prof. Juha Janhunen, ironically a Finn turned Swedishspeaking and the current chairman of Finlandssvensk samling, an organization known to take more radical methods in preserving Swedish language and Swedish culture in Finland.

To be blunt, some the organizations members are kind of anti-Finnish in a way that is not very far from the radical views expressed by Swedish nationalists in Finland in the early 20th century, a time when scientific racism was used as an argument in negating Finnish speaking Finns as political opponents.

The organizations previous vice chairman Ida Asplund, managed to cause a debate by claiming that Finlandswedishness should be reserved for those who can genetically prove to be of Swedish descent and have also advocated foreign immigration into Swedishspeaking parts of the country to boost its non-Finnishspeaking population. 

Edward Dutton also acknowledges a Finlandswede from Helsinki I happen to know through the Internet. He’s a  notorious fellow active on several forums with anthropological orientation (and on virtually every other forum or newspaper opinion pages where Finnishness and Finlandswedishness have been the topic).

This guy have during the last two years at least, systematically and vigorously written very derogatively and deliberately spread misconceptions about Finns, Finland and Finnish culture. His only mission, as it seems, have been to depict Finns as primitive and recent immigrants from north Asia uncapable of innovative thougths and high culture. He has proved this with reaffirming sentences as this one: “Suomen ruotsalaiset ovat germeeneja, teutooneja ja eri rotua kuin puoli-mongooli suomalaiset” In English: “Finlandswedes are Germanics, Teutonic and a different race than half-Mongol Finns.”  He has also told me that he and Dutton have had conversations where they together have laughed at Finns and agreed that Finns are the greatest threat to Finland. I asked Dutton directly about this but strangely enought he has not responded… Maybe I was just another insecure Eskimo on bootlegged vodka to him?

If Dutton have been fed brilliant ideas and received help in “understanding” Finns by this guy, Finlandssvensk samling and evidently a lot of strange hearsay, well then it’s really sad.

 

I do not know if mr. Dutton is capable of sieving out what is a real fact and what is a deliberate negative presentation, happily underblown by people with malicious intent.

 

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3 Responses to “Edward Dutton author of the pseudoscientific book “The Finnuit””

  1. M.G. Says:

    I advise you to READ the book, it is different from what you write here about. Dutton does not try to prove that Finns are related to Mongolians or Eskimos, instead, he writes how and why such opinions have appeared. Also, his comparisions between Finland and Greenland are mainly about the change of societies in transition from traditional to modern.

  2. Henk Says:

    Thank´s for the comment- this author should be exposed for what he is. Atleast implisitly Dutton is riding on pseudoscientific stereotypes to boost his amateur anthropology. I advise M.G. to check his notes and read the sources- this guy either doesn´t get it or has an agenda. Luckily his academic career should be in ruins by now..

  3. passer-by Says:

    This guy’s writings are really wired. Many of his writings are published in some (far)right wing or religious platforms and most of those have something to do with race. His writings can easily give an impression that he is a classic racist, full of twisted ideas. Please read one of his writings from link below and comment.
    http://www.suomensisu.fi/kukkiakriittisille/dutton.html

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