Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?
13 Nov 1996 02:34:14 GMT

Messiah wrote:
>Quite true, race is determined but mutliple atributes, but it's
>completely arbitary which attributes are considered. Anthroplogists
>claiisfy East Indians has white, but I've seen Dravidians as black as
>skillets! <snip>

I can't speak for all anthropologists, but most anthropologists I know,
myself included, would basically agree with the first line cited above,
not the second. Dumping east Indians and Australian Aborignies into a
"Caucasian" classification is pretty old and has less than universal
currency at the moment. Most of the points you make about variation
within the so-called races are valid (I didn't cite them all). My only
objection here is your contention that anthropology has some entrenched
notion of race, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
Several decades of using every trait and combination of traits imaginable
in an attempt to reify the concept of race (as opposed to simply mapping
the much more complex reality of human variation) has largely failed to do
so. If anything, most anthropologists are more critical of the race
concept than other social and physical scientists, even to the point (at
the extreme) of failing to address physical variation as having anything
to do with anything.

--Greg Keyes