keith green (
25 Jan 1995 23:24:28 GMT

Daniel Davidson ( wrote:
: our species?

: There are, depending on who you read of the 19th and early 20th century
: writings on race, anywhere between 3 and over 200 "races" on the planet.

: Race is a fundamentally fanciful concept, founded on arbitrary
: distinctions. "Race" is a cultural artifact, not an objective category.

I've read that Eskimos have 16 words for snow, depending on the grade.
Therefore NO ONE can talk about snow.

The chinese have a word for cooked rice (fan) and a word for uncooked rice
(mi) but I'm not aware of a single word for either uncooked or cooked rice.
I suppose that means that any attempt to do so is necessarily a fanciful
idea, despite the fact that the english 'rice' does the job.

Turtom is very fond of producing false conclusions and is certainly guilty
of using the same sorts of sleezy 'tactics' of which he accuses the
authors of TBC. I refuse to even discuss the matter, since he's incapable
or unwilling to even be polite with people who disagree with him. One
perfect example of his poor behavior is his tendency to insinuate (almost
direct accusation) anyone who disagrees with his statements of being a TBC
defender, or of being a racist.

The definition of race may not be entirely agreed upon, but that does
not mean that it is utterly arbitrary. Hell, I can show you two
books on thermodynamics that give different (irreconcilable) definitions
of the term 'closed system'. [Okay, I can see it now, all the little
religious boobs will rush to the textbook that they had and say,"well
so and so says this" and therefore it's the only acceptable definition.

You are assuming that because people are self-selecting themselves
(to be one race or the other) on the basis of race, that it must be
entirely arbitrary. This is not necessarily the case, and probably
will not be the case in general.

If I'm wrong, that might mean that I'm mistaken. It might mean that
I'm unclear about some things. But it certainly doesn't mean that
"if you don't understand why these are needed[scientific definitions of
race (acceptable to him)], it is clear you don't understand the scientific
research process."

He gives me the impression that he is on a religious crusade and not
on a quest to increase understanding - his or anyone else's. (However,
he has given a few useful tidbits of info - unsupported, but at least
things to look into. From reading the rest of his rants, I chalk this
up to accident.)

This fellow seems to assume that the root of any disagreement with him
on the subject can only stem from one cause - the dissenter's racism.
My own view is that anyone who can proceed with the discussion as if
it were a religious crusade probably is masking his own racism - his
own fear that deep down, guys like M&H are right. Of course, this is
just my feeling, and may not be true, but it certainly seems like such
a situtation.

Secondly, this fellow is great at accusing M&H of "[writing]
in a particularly smarmy manner calculated to make you supply these
concepts uconciously (sic)." But at the same time, he bandies about
an almost meaningless term, racist, which certainly has a number of
different connotations as well as a few denotations. But his message
is very clearly meant to associate anyone who believes in distinct
races (who might be a racist in some vague sense), with all of these
other types of racists (like Hitler, KKK members, etc). In short,
he doesn't seem (in my view) to have a problem with the methods he
accuses M&H of employing. He seems (to me) to think that these
'tactics' are completely acceptable.

I have not idea what to think of TBC. I'm reserving judgement until
I get a chance to read the book and check out its sources. It's
obvious to me that I can't get any legitimate, sensical criticism of
the book, despite the fact that I find it disagreeable. Hopefully,
by the time I get around to reading it, there will be legitimate,
mature criticism to help me think about it.

Who knows. He may be 100% right. But if he is, I think it must
be an accident, and not because he's a clear thinker.

My employers don't tell me what to say, keith green, NaN
and I don't tell them where to stick it.