Re: Races of Man (was Re: Tolkien and the ruin of Fantasy)

Ethan A Merritt (
8 Nov 1996 21:01:33 GMT

In article <55vkod$>,
Paul Ciszek <> wrote:
>Real, distinguishable physical racial differences do exist. Anthropologists
>have reconstructed the migration of asians into the new world by studying
>the shapes of teeth of both living and dead people on both sides of the
>Pacific. I recently attended a presentation by a forensicist who explained
>that, while "race" could not always be determined from remains, it often could
>be, and certain possibilities could be eliminated. He had slides showing
>how skulls could be re-built into faces, which were often undeniably of one
>race or another. ^^^^^^^^^^

Waddya mean "undeniably". I can deny it sight unseen.

This is known as arguing in circles. In other words it doesn't hold water.

You are responding to a statement that "race" is merely an attribute
assigned by reference to superficial appearance. You counter-claim
that "real, distinguishable physical racial differences do exist".
But your supporting evidence is basically just that some guy (the
"forensicist" whatever that is supposed to mean) is happy to assign
race based on the superficial appearance of reconstructed faces.

It's the same non-logic that gets used all too often in political and
social debate. You know how it goes:
"Only pinko-commies support universal health care."
"What about all those people xxx and yyy who also support it?"
"They are clearly pinko-commies too."
"Huh? How do you know that?"
"Easy. They support universal health care."

Ethan A Merritt