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

Gerold Firl (
13 Sep 1995 12:59:22 -0700

In article <> (Shawn Roske) writes:

> Now, I'm not all that hip to current biological theories, but I
>always thought that when one is dealing with separate species that
>interbreeding is most difficult, and we all know that this is
>ceratainly not the case with "us"; so, speaking of some sort of separate
>evolution to account for the variations we find today in the modern
>human doesn't make any sense to me. I hold the opinion that the term
>of "race", especially when trying to understand the phenomina in an
>evolutionary perspective, is flawed.
> I supose subspecies is a genetic term used to imply the
>ability of two separate groups to exchange genes and pass them down to
>future generations via children, but the term "race" seems to carry
>more meaning when considering "culture". Am I close on this one?
>Could someone clarify the term "human subspecies" for me, please?
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Subspecies" is the finest level of differentiation between populations
which is made in the linnean system; subspecies, species, genus, family,
order, phylum, kingdom.

Subspecies can and do interbreed, while species do not. Subspecies develop
when a species covers a large area, occupying different climatic zones or
ecological niches, or are separated by some kind of barrier which inhibits
gene flow throughout the entire extent of the species. If the genetic
transfer time from one end of the geographical range of the species to the
other is long compared to the evolutionary time-constant in any part of
that range, then sub-speciation will result.

Humans occupy every ecological zone on earth, and have for a long time. The
african breakout occured about a million years ago. These scattered
populations have been continuously adapting to their environment, as well
as drifting due to isolation, which produces divergance. At the same time,
they have been mixing with neighboring groups, which slows the rate of
differentiation. But differentiation has occured, and that is why we have
different races; not enough differentiation to produce different species,
but enough to produce recognizible subspecies.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf