Re: What are race promoters promoting?

Toby Cockcroft (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 01:57:17 -0400

In article <>, (Susan S.
Chin) wrote:
>Limited interbreeding between populations lead to these
>phenotypic differences which we can easily recognize as a "racial type,"
>physical anthropologists recognize 3 major groups.

Physical anthropologists do not recognise 3 major groups or any other
amount of groups.

>Subsequent migrations have obviously blurred the lines of what criteria
should be used or can
>be used to differentiate the "races."

Migrations have been an ongoing process in humans and there has never been
a period in our history where we have been isolated for any significant
period of time. These "new" blurring of the border that you speak of have
alway been and alway be this way.
>But if looked at from the point of
>view of geographic origins, most humans today can trace their heritage
>back to one or more likely, several geographically distinct areas.

I think you should be a little more precise. Why stop at saying several
geographic areas when truly we all stem from one are, namely Africa since
all other populations, including the three major groups which you have
identified (actually you never did), all come from Africa anyhow.

>Recognizing that races exist as a phenotypic category,

Races don't exist. Certainly not biologically but socially they seem to.

>one that doesn't
>always place individual humans neatly into clear categories either
>phenotypically or genetically,

If you can't put people into neat categories then do these categories
actually exist. The answer is simple: NO. The categories aren't a
reflection of any population or individual, phenotypically or genetically,
they are a social product pure and simple.

>doesn't negate the fact that the
>differences we observe between people today are due to the geographic
>origins of their ancestors.

The differences some observe today are the product of an idea of race and
not to any other factor.

>Differences aside, we are more alike than we
>are different. We're all members of one race, that of the human variety.

Though the moral at the end of your story is a wonderful one yet you are
still caught in the race dillema. Having being brought up in an
evolutionary paradigm you and others with much more extreme ideas see
difference where there are none (I am not saying that evolution does not
exist, I am a firm beleiver in the theory of evolution). Differences are
observed and then accounted for by geography or biology but these
arguments don't stand up to the rigours of science. Geographically we
originated in one location, any other interpretation is simply creating
difference where none exist. Biologically we are Homo sapiens, there is
no difference between us.