Racial Odyssey

Document Sample
Racial Odyssey Powered By Docstoc
					Racial Odyssey

By: Boyce Rensberger
     After years of research, anthropologists have come to
          three major conclusions about the progression of
1)       The differences between races are more than skin deep; apart from
         skin color, facial features, and hair texture, defining characteristics
         include: bone shape, body chemistry, and even ear wax consistency
2)       The success and survival of the human race is a result of genetic
3)       There is no definite method of dividing races; certain groups of
         people can share characteristics with other races, such as the variation
         of skin color, height, and facial features
Carl von Linne – 1735 published theory of four
     races, but all are under the single human
  1) Homo sapiens Africanus nigrus – black African
  2) H. sapiens Americanus rubescens – red American
  3) H. sapiens Asiaticus fuscusense – brownish
  4) H. sapiens Europeaneus albescens – white
        Carleton Coon - five basic races
1) Caucasoids
2) Mongoloids
3) Australoids (full size & dwarf)
4) Congoids (full size & dwarf)
5) Capoids
1965 – published The Living Races of Man, concluded
   that before 1500 A.D. five pure races that evolved
                     Race Mixing
•    No such thing as “pure races”
•    “Hybrid Vigor” – crossbreeding & mixing can lead
     to superior combinations
•    Darwinian Evolution – two steps
    1) Mutation – a gene of one or two parents is altered,
       producing a child with different molecular configuration
       & appearance
    2) Selection – racial differences or evolutionary changes
       only occur if they survive through generations
•    If the mutation is detrimental, it does not survive
     through selection, if it is beneficial, it continues to
     develop a superior race
• Changes in skin color – melanin
   – Races can increase or decrease melanin levels in order to
     let in the proper amount of sunlight based on location
• Eye pigmentation
   – Dark skinned people have more pigmentation, lighter skinned have less
     pigmentation, which makes them more sensitive to colors & better
     night vision
• Nose shape
   – Regulates air temperature depending on climate
• Sexual selection
   – Attractive features increase chance of finding a mate and reproducing
            Humanistic Self Destruction and Racism
“Man is a creature endowed with the fabulous power of self-construction, the ability to
participate in his own creation; but the price of this capacity is investment with its
opposite: that of self destruction.” –Albert Jacquard, “Race”: Myths under the Microscope

•Humans have inherited the mental capacity to allow one to be aware of his existence and inevitable
•Jacquard’s “self construction” is the ability to better the entirety of one’s species to some extent by
improving oneself.
•This mental capacity allows and motivates the individual to better himself through awareness of one’s
flaws and the amount of time he has to better himself.
•With this capacity comes the inevitable understanding that one has the ability to pose a threat to
oneself or others in order to impair self construction. Jacquard naturally labels this “self destruction.”
•Self destruction can manifest in many forms. Jacquard refers to two forms- that of violence and death,
and that of “mean, shifty, surreptitious types of behavior,”
•Jacquard refers to thec “ollective suicide (nuclear holocaust),” of the species as the ultimate violent
form of self destruction, whilst Racism is considered by Jacquard to be the most common form of
behavioral self destruction referred to earlier.
                        Natural Selection

“…Investigation of mechanisms of Selection reveal that their effect is not to retain the
‘best’ and to eliminate what is less satisfactory, but rather to preserve the coexistance of a
great variety of characteristics.”
             Race and Nation as Labels
           “According to findings published by Richard lewontin in 1974, the average
genetic distance between two individuals increases by only 7 or 8 per cent when they
belong to two different nations, and by only 15 per cent when they belong to two
different races.
          Consequently, the type of grouping described above can only be arbitrary.” –
Albert Jacquard

                                -Just to keep things

•   Geneticists do not correspond race to any “stable or objective reality.”
•   This means that race does not technically differentiate one person from another enough to
    be considered a realistic label.
                     Physical Variation

Human variation branches from three key factors.
1. Adaptation- to adjust to a new and different conditions
2. Acclimatization- to become accustom to a new environment or
3. Influence of social or cultural environment- not
    necessarily genetic, however these are aquired traits that can aid in
    everyday life such as skills learned for harvesting and preparing food.
       Other Physical Variations
Some physical variations throughout the history
  of man have resulted through genetic
For instance: body build, facial construction and
  skin color often are the result of a changing
                      The Rules
• Allen’s Rule: The longer the limbs the hotter the
  environment and the shorter the limbs the cooler the
• Bergmann’s Rule: Body size is directly related to
• Gloger’s Rule: The warmer the climates the more
  melanin produced which creates darker skin. The cooler the
  climate the less melanin produced and the lighter the skin.
Biological anthropologists agree that race is not
  a good way to distinguish human biological
Racial classifications are social categories not
  biological fact.
                   IQ Tests
Some also argue that IQ tests are a good way to
  measure racial superiority. This as well is not
  true, due to differences regarding equal
  opportunity, etc. a factual and concrete result
  cannot be produced at this time.
The Tall and Short of It
      By: Barry Bogin
• The ability of many organisms including
  humans to alter themselves, including their
  behavior and even biology, in response to
  changes in the environment
  – The environment in which we develop significantly
    affects our growth and health as adults.
               Gabriel Lasker
• Biological anthropologist who first studied
  – Ex. -"When humans hundreds of thousands of
    years ago developed the ability to walk and carry
    things at the same time and grew another foot"-
    CBS news
Environments Affect on Development
• Children respond positively to a healthier
  – "provide a stimulating, rich environment, and the
    consequent neural activity will give us back a
    human being with a brain rich in learning and
    memory and unique in emotion and thought. And
    we know that it is simple to shape our children's
    behavior." - Time Magazine
     Difference in Environments
• "The disparity between rich and poor in the
  United States carries through adulthood: poor
  Americans are shorter than the better off by
  about one inch“
• "We can use the average height of any group
  of people as a barometer of the health of their
Could the environment affect the adaptation of
   a full grown adult? Could their bodies still
• “It's possible for people's bodies to gradually
  develop ways to protect themselves against
  aluminum poisoning“
• People adapt to their environment: Living at
  high altitudes, people develop barrel-shaped
  chests for big lungs. This is not hereditary,
  rather their bodies changed to adapt to their
What is one way that natural selection
 affected the adaptation of humans?
• The adaptation to the lactase gene:
  – People have no problem drinking milk because of
    the regulation of the lactase gene. These people
    are from societies with histories of raising goats.
    Natural selection gradually changed the regulation
    of their lactase gene. This kept it functioning
    throughout life.

Shared By: