Phil Nicholls (
1 Feb 1995 15:05:02 GMT

In article <3gnsi6$>,
<> wrote:
> (Phil Nicholls) wrote:
>> Racial typologies are not based on the analysis of historical patterns of
>> gene flow as you suggest.
>Nevertheless, they are based on guesses as to the origins of
>individuals. Questions of origins and ancestry have always been
>central to the thinking of humans about themselves and each other.

The "guesses" are based on superfical phenotypic traits, not on
any information about ancestry. If you want a biologically meaningful
concept of race you need to find a pattern of descent for those
characteristics and deal with them within the context of population

>> Racial typology is STILL based on phenotypes and superficial
>> phenotypes at that.

>Early physical anthropologists in search of a rigorous treatment of
>race may have considered that approach to be more reliable
>than reckoning about ancestry. However, that was their mistake,
>and not the mistake of anyone who thought about race.

Please give me one example of someone who uses the concept of
race in a non-typological way.

>> You did it yourself above ("do i come from a
>> gene pool significantly different from a BLACK man?").
>It's not quite just to charge him with that. An albino black man
>is still black, despite having light skin, so the word "black"
>should not be considered a description of a superficial

What is "black" describing? How does calling someone black because
of hair texture or nose shape rather than melanin content differ
from using melanin content. All are superficial, all are examples
of typological thinking, something biology as a whole has tried
to leave behind.

Philip "Chris" Nicholls Department of Anthropology
Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies SUNY Albany
University of Ediacara
"Semper Alouatta"