Re: Race, Head Size, And IQ

Thu, 20 Oct 1994 12:40:53 CST

Due to gene flow and the discordancy of interpopulation variation it
produces, zoologists around 1950--led partly by E.O. Wilson of all
people, already were growing quite skeptical of the clarity with which
subspecies could be identified. Thanks to R. Wilk for posting the
statistic that about half of contemporary biological anthropologists
have gotten the message. As R. Quinlan noted, this recommends clinal
analysis rather than racial pigeonholing (about which scientific
agreement proved impossible). I think scientists who use race as an
independent biological variable need to give an operational definition
of race as a biological trait measurable with some degree of validity
and reliability. Symbolic logician Stephen Pollard mentioned to me that
if we socially defined the "white race" the way we socially define the
"black race," the starting line-up of the Duke basketball team recently
would all "be" not black but white. That is, if, instead of a single
dark-skinned African ancestor making one "black," a single light-skinned
European ancestor made one "white." By the way: when anthro-l went
around on race last year, the question came up, Were the ancient
Egyptians really black? My honest question, I believe, received no
answer: Are today's Egyptians *really black*? --Bob Graber