reply to post by masqua
reply to post by weedwhacker
Thank you so much for your answers, you two. It's one of those things I always wanted to ask but never really knew where/who to ask. And absolutely-
I don't believe each race is a different species. I do believe there is one human species.
we, no matter what we look like, we can interbreed.
On the same token, we have different breeds of dogs, cats, horses, etc., that can procreate with other breeds of dogs, cats, and horses.
Even plants can be divided into 'races'
. So I suppose it always made me wonder how we could
differentiate animals by breed but classifying humans by race (physically, not on a scale of superiority) is becoming more taboo.
A manx is a hairless cat, but still a cat.
A bull mastiff is still a dog just as much as a chihuahua is.
A human is still a human whether their hair is straight and blond or black and curly or their skin blue/black or pearly white.
Yes, a manx is a cat... but it is also a manx by breed and a cat by species. A chihuahua is a dog but its breed is chihuahua. So basically instead of
'breeds,' we classify humans by 'races.' And instead of 'mutt,' I should refer to myself as a mixed. Or someone may refer to themselves as mixed
race. Or 'Caucasian' would be someone's 'breed.' However, to phrase it like that would make most of us cringe when describing a person but we'd
have no problem saying a dog is a certain 'breed' based on it's bone structure and fur coloring.
Is it right? Is it wrong? Scientifically I have no problem being classified by race. I do have issues with it when it becomes a matter of being used
as a declaration of superiority and sadly, human nature pretty much takes it to that every time.
but, really the defining aspect of our species is that we, no matter what we look like, we can interbreed. This alone defines all Humans as
belonging to one 'race'...better word is 'species'.
Agreed. We are all 100% human and there are no 'sub humans,' if you will. But breeds of animals can also procreate within their species. For
instance, a doberman can interbreed with a pug. They're both dogs, just different breeds. Likewise, two human races can procreate and they will give
birth a human child, although mixed race.
Not trying to argue, here. Just trying to understand. I know this is a touchy issue but it is something that has always bothered me when studying
evolution. It's as if we're immune to classifications. To claim a certain race is some evolutionary throwback, like Darwin did, would be extremely
racist and I admit to wincing a bit when reading some of his works. But to say 'these attributes, characteristics, and coloring is indicative of this
race/classification,' sounds scientific to me. Or is it not? Honest question here.
This definitely helped:
In reponse, I would ask you if you considered an albino human to be a different race?
Obviously not, since it is a characteristic of inherited genetic deviation... a physical difference.
Thanks, Masqua. That clarifies a lot. Basically, hair, skin, and eye color, bone structure, and other various characteristics that determine race are
some form of mutation. I really like your use of albinos as an example. So it's not really 'races,' it's a mutation. That still brings me back to
animal breeds that are also based on mutations. And according to evolution, we're essentially just another species of animal.
Darwin, remember, came from a place and time that invented racialization (see OP links).
Very true. But does that mean the scientific classifications of race are false because it can bring us to a very harmful philosophy? Or are they
simply false of themselves. And did they invent
the concept or did they simply discover
I guess my ultimate question is if according to evolution and biology the human species is just another animal, why are we not broken down into
classifications just like other animals, even those of the same species? We have breeds for animals caused by mutations so why is it wrong to classify
humans by races while still seeing we are all the same species?
Either way, you two definitely gave me some food for thought.
[edit on 6/6/2009 by AshleyD]