Re: Race - why & when

Herb Huston (
1 Mar 1995 22:11:01 -0500

In article <3j2v7a$>,
Prince Nada) ( <thedavid> wrote:
}What about this: what most people call "race," signified by
}skin color, hair color & texture, etc. etc. seem most likely
}to be adaptations to climactic conditions occuring over periods
}of many thousands of years. Those peoples who've lived in hotter,
}sunnier areas, such as Africa, for so long a time would need to
}evolve darker skins to deflect some of the sun's harmful rays,

What about the Tasmanians? They lived at a latitude comparable to
Vladivostok's, and we know they were stuck there for a long time.

}while those peoples who've spent many thousands of years evolving
}in cold, not-so-sunny ragions, like Scandinavia, would need to
}have lighter skin to absorb as much sun as possible.

Many thousands? Scandinavia was iced over until about 9000 years ago, and
the ancestors of modern Scandinavians arrived there only about 4000-5000
years ago.

}Something like this--which is what _I_ was taught in the '70s.
}Is this still considered good science to teach 9th graders?
}Does anyone have a "better" explanation of why we all aren't
}the same shade of green?

Charles Darwin presented a nifty one back in 1871 when he brought out _The
Descent of Man_; he called it sexual selection. (However, all of my
responses have been lifted from Jared Diamond's _The Third Chimpanzee_,
published in 1992 by HarperCollins of New York; the ISBN is 0-06-018307-1.)

-- Herb Huston