Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Human Race or the Human Species?

Actually, the quibcag may be all you need to make the point, but I'll explicate anyway.

The "There is only one race, the human race" refrain is found practically everywhere, and the purpose of using it is to shut off debate by making anybody who is discussing racial differences look ignorant. As Orwell would tell you, making a thought impossible to express is a good way to keep the thought from propagating.

The quote depends on the confusion of the term "race." In times past, "race" had a more general meaning, that of a group of some sort with a common characteristic, and the phrase "human race" is a petrified example of that usage. In writings from centuries back, you can find examples like "the race of frogs," meaning all frogs, "the race of farmers," meaning all people who fart, whether they're related in any other way or not, and "the Dutch race," meaning all Dutchmen. But of late, the word has come to mean a subdivision of a species, sometimes also called a "subspecies," which are not separate species. Some biologists would say that a race, or subspecies, is a division of a species that may well be on its way to becoming a separate species, which it changes enough from the rest of the species that it can no longer interbreed with it. That's how the theory of evolution works, of course. Humans and chimps have a common ancestor, which was a single species, which for whtever reaasons developed into at least two subspecies, both of which continued to differentiate until they could no longer interbreed. One rough definition of "species" is a related group of organisms that can interebreed, though that's not quite as simple as it sounds, because organisms that don't reproduce sexually are divided into species also.

So the next time you come across that phrase, you cant counter that the term "race" is being used incorrectly, with a meaning that is now obsolete. Feel free to use the quibcag on the perpetrator.
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Quibcag: Illusterate by the multiracial cast of Black Lagoon (ブラック・ラグーン Burakku Ragūn)

2 comments:

  1. When you consider that the term species is not that well defined, you'll be even more puzzled. Examples:
    Coyote (Canis latrans) is considered a different species from the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) yet they can, and do, in the wild, crossbreed. The result are Coywolves (C. latrans × C. lupus/lycaon/rufus). That Whackopedia opines:
    Although it has evolved via hybridization, it has been proposed that the northeastern coywolf be given individual species status, as it is morphologically and genetically different from other North American Canis species and has now largely replaced the former territory and filled the historical predator-prey roles of the now nearly extirpated eastern wolf.[4][5]
    Guess what else Wolves and Coyotes can mate and crossbreed with?
    That's right, good 'ol Fido (Canis familiaris)!
    Confused yet? No remember there are hundreds of different dog breeds, including ones that don't exist anymore and they often have very different personalities that are genetically derived.
    Yet "There is only one race, the human race"? IOW, whether it's a Japanese, a White or a Dindu, they are all allegedly Homo Sapiens. They can crossbreed too, and the offspring are called things like Hafu, ハーフ ('half' Japanese) or Barak Obama.

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  2. Actually the genetic difference and distance between "races" of man is far greater than between other species. The blacks of Africa seem like anthropoids to me. Their bone structure is too heavy to allow them to swim, just like apes. IQ tests put them below chimps and bonobos. Their talking is actually worse on average than a parrot. And the Australian Aborigine looks like a mutant. No way that's a hominid. Some kind of biped but perhaps not fully erect. The DNA has been held back to protect the guilty like Franz Boas and Stephen J. Gould. Anthropology is nowhere near as scientific as Astrology which requires precise following of the orbits of planets and tracking stars from the ground.
    Race is not really a biological classification at all. It used to be shorthand for crossbred species, in that it wasn't a natural creature but crossbred by Weird Science. Kinda like that new improved Africanized Bee that was supposed to go further to make even more delicious honey. Hybrids have an abnormally high incidence of insanity, and those Africanized hybrids follow the pattern in their single minded homicidal tendencies. I expect these new breeds of New Men will work about as well as that.
    Those Homosexual Mutant Gangs in Mad Max had to come from somewhere. Bet you all thought it was a Nuclear Holocaust huh? Hah, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE. Its the natural effect of diversity and hybridization and the tolerance of gay boys in bondage with identity issues.

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