Re: Racism disguised as Anthropology

R.Bull/B.Bauer (
Mon, 22 Jul 1996 11:40:31 -0500

In article <>, (T&B Schmal) wrote:

> You think you can just throw this bag of shit into our house and walk off
> with "Don't blame me, it isn't my shit?" On top of everything else you
> are a coward. Don't come back, Mr. Bauer.
> Tom Schmal

Mr. Schmal,

Excuse me, but I did not throw a bag of sh#t into *your* house and walk
off. Although I have never before posted to this group, I have been
reading here with interest for quite some time. This is *my* house too.
I don't believe in posting to *any* group and then just walking off. I
was hoping to stick around to participate in what I *thought* would be an
intelligent discussion. If I had walked off I wouldn't have been around
to read your well reasoned and intelligent response.

BTW your use of quotation marks around the statement "Don't blame me, it
isn't my sh#t?" leaves the casual reader with the impression that I wrote
that in my original post. Paraphrase me all you like, but don't make up
quotes and attribute them to me. When I wrote: "Remember I didn't write
this and I do *not* agree with it" at the end of the forwarded post, I
just wanted to make it clear that I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed
in the original post. If I was going to get flamed (which it would seem
you have done), I wanted to be sure that it wasn't because someone mistook
the original poster's views for my own.

The original post from "Alex" <> "Why African Blacks
are as they are" was clearly off topic in alt.genealogy (a group that I
both read and contribute to on a regular basis). It has been my past
experience that this kind of racially charged post only provokes heated
flame wars in the alt.genealogy group. Many readers in that group seem
unable to ignore these off topic posts, and when they do respond, the
discussion can hardly be described as intelligent.

My observations of this group have been different. Although some flaming
and other petty nonsense occurs here (as happens in all unmoderated
groups), for the most part I have observed thoughtful scientific
discussion, *even* when the topics are controversial. I was hoping that
the same standards would be appied to the post that I forwarded from
"Alex". I was under the misimpression that the readers of this group were
a little more mature than those in alt.genealogy and could ignore the
racist baiting in Alex's post and go straight to his pseudo-scientific
theories relating to cranial development in African Blacks. Alex *claims*
to be a Paleontologist. Simple racism can be ignored, but when people
attempt to use *science* to justify their racism, I think they should be
challenged. The sciences of Anthropolgy and Paleontology suffer if we
allow others to pervert them in order to promote their own racist
agendas. I think that the following excerpt from Alex's post is "on
topic" in this newsgroup in and needs to be challenged:

> One hypothesis I have been able to reach after analyzing human behavior
> and physiology was this: The skull structure of the typical African black
> human is the most primitive (primate like) in that the rear areas of the
> skull protrude further than the skulls of other races ie. whites, Asian,
> Arabic, Aleutian etc. which is characteristic to prehistoric man and
> modern apes. This leads me to believe that the early African human brain
> evolved at a lessened rate due to the lack of necessity of a more evolved
> brain.
> Basically, because the Africans did not need to be smarter than an
> exceptional ape in order to survive, their brains evolved at a much slower
> rate than their European and Asian counterparts. In Europe and Asia the
> ambition and pursuit of higher technologies was not only desired, but
> essential for the survival of the large populace in order to produce
> larger amounts of food and to protect themselves, therefore forcing man to
> utilize more brain power, and in essence, become a more advanced human
> than his African counterpart. Today the evidence of this hypothesis is
> apparent in African black behavior and attitude, as well as the state of
> military turmoil in the African continent.

Being a layperson in this field, I did not feel that I was best qualified
to refute the pseudo-scientific theory above. I had hoped that someone in
this group with a little more expertise could do a better job of citing
the Anthroplogy/Paleontology literature and would step forward to make it
clear that Alex's views are not supported in the mainstream scientific
world. I guess I was wrong. Was I wrong in assuming that this group is
more mature than the flame-throwers in alt.genealogy? If so, I guess I'll
just have to dig out my copy of Stephen Jay Gould's _The Mismeasure of
Man_ (the only source readily at my disposal) and take on Alex myself.

I would ask the readers of this group to reread Alex's original post, "Why
African Blacks are as they are" that I forwarded to this group from
alt.genealogy. I will continue to monitor the replies to this thread. If
the consensus of the group is that this subject is completely "off topic"
and should not be discussed in this forum, I will respect the group's
wishes and CANCEL both my original forward of Alex's post and this
follow-up. Please remember that I can only cancel those two. I can't
cancel other people's follow-ups. Also keep in mind that not all sites
honor cancel messages.

I hope that my original impressions of this group were correct -- that
people here are willing to engage in thoughtful scientific dicussion even
when the topic is controversial.

Thank you for your attention to this overly long post,

Brian Bauer

Pardon me for thinking that this was a group willing serious scientific