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Re: Owed Explanation I (Was Re: Ebonic Xmas)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Saturday, January 15, 2000, 1:31
hoensch@SOFTHOME.NET wrote:
> Races: the scientific term is "sub-species", for humans > there are three which are clearly distinguishable, colloquially; > asians, blacks, and whites.
Uh, no. There is ONE subspecies of Humanity, Homo sapiens sapiens, as distinguished from the extinct Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Races are not scientific, they are cultural constructions, altho there are differences between people in different continents, there is no rigid division. There is no point at which you can say "east of here, you have Asians, west of here you have Europeans", nor could you analyze DNA and say "this is Asian DNA" or "this is African DNA", unless, I suppose, you were to concentrate on the areas responsible for skin coloration and the like. And as John Cowan has already pointed out, the difference is quite small between the varieties of humans. Indeed, the difference WITHIN a group is greater than that between groups. That is, the difference between two unrelated whites is greater than the difference between blacks and whites, which consists almost purely of appearances, plus a few small genetic differences like sickle-cell anemia among blacks or cystic fibrosis among whites. -- "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor