Re: Origins of "Caucasian" Category

24 Jan 1995 12:09 CST

In article <>, writes...
>Yes--what you've heard is true. You can read about the origins of
>Blumenbach's category of "Caucasian" in Steven J. Gould's book, "Mismeasure of
>Man" which is excellent in tracing the history of the racist eugencist
>movement and shredding their social construction of race and bogus scientific
>"evidence" to support their racist claims. You can find a reference to
>Blumenbach's original book in the bibliography. It's worth reading in
>any case. Gould mentions that Caucasian was elevated to the top of the
>pyramid because the Caucasian skull was believed by that scientist to be the
>most "beautiful" of the collection--very scientific.

Thanks, but Gould doesn't mention the derivation of the word "caucasian"
other than that Blumenbach coined it. Specifically, he doesn't mention the
skull story that I heard. The UH library doesn't have the book he mentions

Gould also goes to the trouble of pointing out that Blumenbach's category
was *not* derived from anything so subjective as beauty or perceived
intelligence. Since Blumenbach was a craniologist, this leads me to believe
that the skull story is indeed true.

Thanks for your input ,however. Anyone else?

james benthall