Jeff Smith 3 p.m., March 10
- Community Blog
- Earth, Fire, and Water
Race is a Bogus Concept
I posted this essay at http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/aug/15/art-review-racial-memory-john-valadez/?c=127111 this morning, but I am duplicating it here because the subject is not perfectly "suited" to that article.
"Racial" memory? Isn't it high-time we all debunked the whole phony concept of "race." It is a bogus concept dreamed up by one "white" guy of the "German" culture, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, in the 18th century. He was so in love with a single skull from the Caucasus Mountains, that he called it "Caucasian." He went on to popularize other arbitrary definitions of other "races." Arbitrary is bad "science;" in fact it isn't science at all.
There are, of course, VARIATIONS within any species, or "phenotypes." But even this still widely popular "science" is questionable. Honest scholars continue to argue about what defines a "species." Good. I (take full responsibility for) assert that there is a continuum of variation amongst all sexual organisms, and "science" hasn't looked sufficiently into clones to explain asexual "reproduction." (Was there death as we "know" it before sex?)
I have wandered off the theme of the article, but let me end with a point for discussion:
It is far, far more likely that humans were black in the beginning. Lighter skin was probably an adaptation to lower levels of sunlight, the need for vitamin D, rickets, and death in childbirth due to that deficiency disease. All organisms must adapt to their environment or die. Genetic variation makes organisms resilient rather than brittle, and the resilient ones survive at a higher frequency. That shifts the predominant genetic combinations according to environment.
Culture is another thing. Culture divides. Social interaction dissolves divides. Borders, like "race" are zones of friction, entirely artificial, man-made devices born out of a "race" for resources. Cultures form (sometimes called sub-cultures) because of exclusionary forces. That may not be all bad, but that wanders even farther from the origin of this attempt to put out the pseudo-intellectual concept of race.