Bio · Human-ities · Science · Theory

Are there human races?

One of the touchiest subjects in human evolutionary biology—or human biology in general—is the question of whether there are human races. Back in the bad old days, it was taken for granted that the answer was not only “yes,” but that there was a ranking of races (invariably done by white biologists), with Caucasians on top, Asians a bit lower, and blacks invariably on the bottom. The sad history of biologically based racism has been documented in many places, including Steve Gould’s book The Mismeasure of Man (yes, I know it’s flawed).

But from that sordid scientific past has come a backlash: the subject of human races, or even the idea that they exist, has become taboo. And this despite the palpable morphological differences between human groups—differences that must be based on genetic differences and would, if seen in other species, lead to their classification as either races or subspecies (the terms are pretty interchangeable in biology). Racial delimitation could, critics say, lead to a resurgence of racism, racial profiling, or even eugenics.

Excerpt of a text via Why Evolution is True. Continue HERE

Previously on Wanderlust: What is Race? Bodies with Histories: The New Search for the Biology of Race

One thought on “Are there human races?

  1. Nope. Dogs are just dogs. They’re not separated by “race.” There’s no need to politically and psychologically separate dogs. There is a need to do so to human beings. Dogs are classified by “breeds” which would be a more accurate description of the different features displayed by humans around the world as well. And as in the dog world, so-called mixed “breeds” tend to be stronger and live longer that so-called “pure breeds.”

    Whoda thunk that having more diversified genes would be an advantage? Answer: Anyone with half a brain.

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