Re: Homo Sapiens needs to be classified in sub species.

Allan Dunn (
4 Sep 1995 00:05:35 GMT

H. M. Hubey ( wrote:
: (Allan Dunn) writes:
: >Why? This sounds like turn of the century ethnology. Caucasian,
: >Mongoloid, Australoid, Negroid. It seems to me though, that human groups
: >differ far more in behavior due to cultural differences than in actual
: >"racial" differentiation.

: Since behavior of humans is culturally determined it's not
: much to know that the differences are due to cultural differences.
: It seems like saying the same thing twice. [I exaggarated it
: obviously. It depends on what one means by "behavior". Walking
: on two legs is also behavior and is not cultural but genetic; humans
: walk and two legs. Talking is also behavior and is genetic.]
Well, obviously. But human genetic characturistics effect culture very
little, except where the concept of race becomes relevant. And these
concepts are very loosely defined. People are differentiated in Rwanda
or Bosnia by cultural identity, but are as equally divided as some are by
race. In some cultures, race only serves to distinquish individuals- as
in he has a small ears, brown eyes etc. In others, it can determine your
native origin and family history- based on historical assumptions in that
culture (That person is black- his ancestors were slaves).
I think if racially defining people into sub-species were relevant
at all, you would need to be very careful in seperating the racist,
culturally formed assumptions of the fin-de-siecle ethnologists. As for
categorizing people into subspecies, you would have a difficult time
defining what is meant by the word "subspecies" and how it is useful.

: For example, it is far more revealing in what a
: >person is wearing and what language they are speaking than the color of
: >their skin, their stature, or their facial features.

: It depends on what you want to find to be "revealing". If another
: race (of green men) were suddenly discovered, I'd find that
: really "revealing".
Certainly. Then you would have a pigment that is either a medical
anomoly (as in blue-bloods of Appalachia), or an entirely new race- that
would be interesting. As humans go however, it is just a continuum of
melanin contained in the skin- an inherited trait we all share to some

: The line between
: >different racial groups can get quite blurry- skin color differentiation,
: >blood chemistry, morphology, are all relatively independent of one another
: >except in very isolated peoples.
: Are you sure? Blood type distributions are different for different
: groups of people.

As some groups have a large prevalence of a particular blood chemistry or
type, others have a smaller proportion of the same type. The
distribution changes for most of these factors. I've not denied this.
But find a clear cut example where a particular factor ONLY occurs in one
designated "subspecies" that is not an isolated genetic anomaly, and I
will buy what you are saying. Distributions differ in ANY population of
people, that is to be expected. I am sure that there are different
distributions for every state and city in the United States.

: > I wonder why it would be useful at all? If anyone has insight on
: >this I would like to know.

: It's useful for the same reason that the person's religious,
: cultural, and ethnic background [which you propose is important]
: is important. We know something about the individual as a result
: of the usage of this word. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you are talking about descibing the individual and even a society in
terms of general physical characturistics, such as a prevalence of a
particular genetic disease, elongated skulls, low birth weight, etc.
That is all data that is taken in anthropology and archeology already.
If you are talking about categorizing someone into a sub-species without
making it very clear why it is important, you haven't been very convincing.
Such categorization is still very vague. Tell us where you would begin?

A. D. Dunn **/\ l \* No hay siglo nuevo ni luz reciente.
of No Particular Organization*/--\l \*Solo un caballo azul y una madrugada.
*/ l___/** -F. Garca Lorca
*** All Opinions Expressed Are My Own, not necessarily that of
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will inform myself in the same manner and respect that I give them***
Otherwise...*** Get off your high-tech horse and bite me***
*** Peace Love and Triple Mochas*** AD...

: --

: Regards, Mark