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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.

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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.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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