Re: Race (primary definition)

Matt Silberstein (
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 22:19:49 GMT

In sci.anthropology (James Howard) wrote:

> (mb) wrote:
>>Why do we continue to use "race" to describe human biology? Does the
>>concept still carry objective value? Is there a WORKING definition of
>James Howard responds:
>We continue to use race, because there are differences in groups of people that
>obviously separate them. Since these differences overlap, it is important that
>a "working definition" exist. Just below is my definition; it is based on gene
>expression. This form of gene expression may be affected by the environment and
>interbreeding. It is somewhat plastic, therefore, I think it directly
>participated in hominid evolution.
Sorry, but what you posted is not close to a definition. You reference
a concept then make a tiny stab at explaining how it came to be. If
you want to explain race then present an objective definition that
allows other people to determine what race a person belongs to. After
you have done that you can begin to explain what causes the
differences between the races. For instance, if you think it is
testosterone, then you should get some data on the differences in
testosterone usage/production in people in these different "races".
And if testosterone is a major part of you definition of race you
should start to look for a mechanism that shows how testosterone is
the cause of the differences you see.

>>In article <56k8tv$>, (James Howard)
>>> Since the human genome is, essentially, shared by all, I suggest the
>>differences in race result from differences in gene expression. I suggest
>>testosterone is the molecule that causes major differences in gene
>>expression, that result in the differences described as "race." Humans
>>and chimpanzees exhibit major differences in testosterone; human "races"
>>exhibit major differences in testosterone. Changes in testosterone, along
>>with only slight differences in genes, will produce the appearance of
>>different species of hominids over time.
>>> James Howard

Matt Silberstein
Though it would take him a long time to understand the principle,
it was that to be paid for one's joy is to steal.

Mark Helprin