Is race only a human construct

February 5, at 7: Yet we have https: Let me ask, would you allow people who identify as such? The problem has been people not being able to place themselves into a single checkbox on the form, but I think they changed it so you can pick multiple categories.

Is race only a human construct

Loring Brace of the University of Michigan and Dr.

~ Beyond bones & stones

George Gill of the University of Wyoming, who fall on either side of the debate about whether race exists in biologic terms, to state their points of view. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, we think you will find their arguments well-reasoned and thought-provoking.

Loring Brace and George Gill come down on different sides of the question Does race exist biologically? Read their viewpoints here. Loring Brace I am going to start this essay with what may seem to many as an outrageous assertion: There is no such thing as a biological entity that warrants the term "race.

I see it in my practice everyday! Note carefully, however, that my opening declaration did not claim that "there is no such thing as race. Given the tenor of our times at the dawn of the new millennium, some have suggested that my position is based mainly on the perception of the social inequities that have accompanied the classification of people into "races.

First, it is perfectly true that the long-term residents of the various parts of the world have patterns of features that we can easily identify as characteristic of the areas from which they come. It should be added that they have to have resided in those places for a couple of hundred thousand years before their regional patterns became established.

In fact, we can and do, but it does not make them coherent biological entities.

Is race only a human construct

To this day, few have actually made the observations and done the calculations that led those Renaissance scholars to challenge the universal perception that the sun sets in the evening to rise again at the dawn. It was just a matter of common sense to believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, just as it Is race only a human construct common sense to "know" that the Earth was flat.

Our beliefs concerning "race" are based on the same sort of common sense, and they are just as basically wrong. Despite the obvious physical differences apparent in these photos, if you traveled south on foot from Scandinavia to Egypt and on to Kenya, you would find a subtle range of gradations in looks such that racial differences are hard to see, Brace says.

What we know of the characteristics of the various regions of the world we have largely gained vicariously and in misleadingly spotty fashion. Pictures and the television camera tell us that the people of Oslo in Norway, Cairo in Egypt, and Nairobi in Kenya look very different.

And when we actually meet natives of those separate places, which can indeed happen, we can see representations of those differences at first hand. But if one were to walk up beside the Nile from Cairo, across the Tropic of Cancer to Khartoum in the Sudan and on to Nairobi, there would be no visible boundary between one people and another.

The same thing would be true if one were to walk north from Cairo, through the Caucasus, and on up into Russia, eventually swinging west across the northern end of the Baltic Sea to Scandinavia.

The people at any adjacent stops along the way look like one another more than they look like anyone else since, after all, they are related to one another. As a rule, the boy marries the girl next door throughout the whole world, but next door goes on without stop from one region to another.

We realize that in the extremes of our transit—Moscow to Nairobi, perhaps—there is a major but gradual change in skin color from what we euphemistically call white to black, and that this is related to the latitudinal difference in the intensity of the ultraviolet component of sunlight.

What we do not see, however, is the myriad other traits that are distributed in a fashion quite unrelated to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation. Where skin color is concerned, all the northern populations of the Old World are lighter than the long-term inhabitants near the equator.

Although Europeans and Chinese are obviously different, in skin color they are closer to each other than either is to equatorial Africans. But if we test the distribution of the widely known ABO blood-group system, then Europeans and Africans are closer to each other than either is to Chinese.

While in skin color Europeans and Chinese are closer to each other than either is to Africans, the distribution of blood groups indicates that Europeans and Africans are closer to each other than either is to Chinese. Its distribution includes southern Italy, the eastern Mediterranean, parts of the Middle East, and over into India.

In fact, it represents a kind of adaptation that aids survival in the face of a particular kind of malaria, and wherever that malaria is a prominent threat, sickle-cell anemia tends to occur in higher frequencies. It would appear that the gene that controls that trait was introduced to sub-Saharan Africa by traders from those parts of the Middle East where it had arisen in conjunction with the conditions created by the early development of agriculture.

Every time we plot the distribution of a trait possessing a survival value that is greater under some circumstances than under others, it will have a different pattern of geographical variation, and no two such patterns will coincide. Nose form, tooth size, relative arm and leg length, and a whole series of other traits are distributed each in accordance with its particular controlling selective force.

The gradient of the distribution of each is called a "cline" and those clines are completely independent of one another. This is what lies behind the aphorism, "There are no races, there are only clines.

What we are seeing, however, is a pattern of features derived from common ancestry in the area in question, and these are largely without different survival value.

Is race only a human construct

To the extent that the people in a given region look more like one another than they look like people from other regions, this can be regarded as "family resemblance writ large. Major continental terms are just fine, and sub-regional refinements such as Western European, Eastern African, Southeast Asian, and so forth carry no unintentional baggage.

In contrast, terms such as "Negroid," "Caucasoid," and "Mongoloid" create more problems than they solve. Those very terms reflect a mix of narrow regional, specific ethnic, and descriptive physical components with an assumption that such separate dimensions have some kind of common tie.

Biologically, such terms are worse than useless.If you tell me that you plan to study "race and intelligence" then it is only fair that I ask you, "What do you mean by race?" When the liberal says "race is . Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue which is that race is understood to be a useful tool to elucidate human genetic that there are a few areas where race as a construct might.

The notion of race may be real, but the science is not. We are all the same, with no exceptions. Anthropologists have shown for many years now that there is no biological reality to human race.

Race, just like breed, is a human construct: "If a Papua New Guinean hooks up with a Swedish person all you get is a human.

There’s no new thing you’re going to get. The Human Race and Condition. If race is only a social construct, why can't you change your race? Update Cancel. Answer Wiki. 5 Answers. If criminal law is only a social construct, then why don’t you just rob banks? Really it’s not any more complicated than that.

Social constructs aren’t created by one person. They’re created by a. Jun 18,  · According to science race is just an adaptation of humans living in different parts of the world, but ethnicity is very real.

Confused? Let Trace break it down for you!

Bill Nye: Race is a Human Construct | Big Think