But for Darwinism, would modern race theory exist?
(For Fred Reed, here.) Another reaction to Nicholas Wade’s parting shot at the New York Times, a book resurrecting Darwinian racism Pacific Standard:
The concept of human races appears to be solidly grounded in present-day biology and our evolutionary history. But if you asked that conference of geneticists to give you a genetic definition of race, they wouldn’t be able to do it. Human races are not natural genetic groups; they are socially constructed categories.
Political correctness warning: This has now become a politically incorrect belief. It wasn’t so yesterday or last month. The New York Times has announced it is so.
Now, the truth of this claim is not obvious. The idea that humans fall naturally into racial groups is almost universally accepted in all societies. Sure, many people have mixed ancestry that crosses racial boundaries, but there are undeniable physical differences between people native to different parts of the world. Many of those physical differences reflect genetic differences, and over the past two decades, researchers have used those genetic differences to pinpoint the geographical origins of people’s ancestry with ever-increasing precision. Just last month, one group reported that they could use DNA to place Sardinians within 30 miles of their native village. On a larger scale, geneticists will frequently talk about the “populations” of general geographical areas, making these broad populations sound very much like races. And there are clear examples of recently evolved adaptations in different human populations, such as the high-altitude physiology
Hmmm. Yeah but so? As this guy says,
Without natural genetic boundaries to guide us, human racial categories remain a product of our choices. Those choices are not totally arbitrary, biologically meaningless, or without utility. But because they are choices, we have some leeway in how we define and apply racial categories. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves; how we define race does not just reflect biology, it reflects culture, history, and politics as well.
Canada, one of the world’s oldest stable democracies, kicked it all to the moon and wasn’t the worse for that.
Maybe others should try it.
And that raises a point: But for Darwinism, would modern race theory exist?
I (O’Leary for News) grew up in a world where everyone was either white or Indian (Canada, mid-twentieth century). If you were a treaty Indian, you were protected by various laws put in place under Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
If you were white (okay, not a treaty Indian, we are all liberals here, okay), you were on your own, like the coyotes. We ” white” people thought we were better because we could survive without protection. The coyote probably thought the same, but he couldn’t tell anybody; so he just acted it out by killing and eating farm animals. (Which sure got him to the top of the To Do list at my ancestors’ farmhouses: Obliterate coyotes.)
The Indians thought they were better because they had been here from the dawn of ages and survived, whereas people like my family had just washed up desperate, recently, and had farm know-how (like: Obliterate coyotes). And we all survived. somehow.
There is no settling disputes like this. People have to just decide how to live together in peace, each entitled to their own opinion about The Way Things Are. And we surely all know the dreadful consequences of utopian forms of government.
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