Re: Races of Man (breeds of dogs)

Michael A. Fishman (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 18:21:57 -0700

Mari J Stoddard wrote:
> How comparable are the human races to domestic dog breeds? Are the differences
> between humans and other apes similar to the differences between dogs and
> other canines?

Well, you must realize that human `races' is a socialogical, rather
than scientific construction.
For example: ``African Americans'' are no more a separate race than
I'm a rabbi.
(Apropos african-americans as a phrase: I've met a south-afrikan
women who's a naturalized US citizen. I wonder, isn't she an

In fact, there is some evidence (reviewed in Dawkin's _River out of
that, baring superficialities like melanin---which may be due to
convergence, differences (indicating relatedness) between black african
groups are greater than between some of these groups and, say, swedes.

> I've read some SF in which humans are bred for specific traits -- seems
> unlikely given our small litters and long maturation period -- but it would
> certainly be possible over an eon or two.

Actually, it won't take nearly as long for some attributes.
See artificial selection experiments (that's due to the fact
that we are not dealing with categorical, but with quantitative

CREATIONIST A person arguing existence of God from a
viewpoint of natural theology - without knowing anything
about either Nature, or Theology.
G. W. MacLedet