Re: What are race promoters promoting?
18 Nov 1996 12:49:23 GMT

, Phil
Nicholls <> wrote:
> The concept of race has been abandoned by biologists and even the term
> "subspecies" is being used more to identify populations that to
> catagorize biological variation. This has nothing to do with any
> dark political agenda but rather came about as a consequence of a
> refinements in population biology and genetics.
> Race is a throwback to the days when taxonomy relied on typology, an
> idea itself rooted in philosophy ( Plato's vision of the world of
> archtypes or "forms") than biological reality. Population genetics
> provides a more meaningful way to approach biological variation within
> any species, including our own.
> Why, then, do some people insist on keeping racial typology alive?
> Given the fact that race is useless as a biological concept and given
> the fact that race has no value as a scientific concept and given the
> fact that it has been abused and misused throughout history, why do
> some people continue to cling to it?

Mark responded:

.Finally, after all the toing and froing we have the answer. There is no
.thing as "race"; there are only "sub-species". Gosh, what a wonderful
.difference that makes. Although, I do not know that I am all that happy
to be a
."sub-specimen". There is something disquietingly Hitlerian about the
.Nevertheless, if it is politically correct to be a "sub-specimen", then a

."sub-specimen" I shall have to be..

Clearly you did not understand the post, Mark. His point was that both
'race' and subspecies are questionable as discrete entities. Modern
biologists are still interested in population genetics however (there is
variation in species, including our own) and so they continue to use
'subspecies', even though it is used less and less as a synonym for
'race'. Your implication that this is a 'PC' recasting of the race
concept is incorrect, and you should have been able to understand that
from the old post.

.In addition, I love this word "taxonomy". Until I started lurking on this
ng I
.thought that it was something that our beloved finance minister imposes
when he
.feels the pinch - like taxonomy salary, taxonomy house, taxonomy car

I'll assume this is a joke. If it isn't, I wonder why someone who never
heard one of the most coomon and central terms in biological
classification feels the need to comment on that classification.



--Greg Keyes