Friday, January 15, 2010

Race...

By way of Sailer,

The prestigious philosophy of science journal Biology and Philosophy has published an attack on the Race Does Not Exist conventional wisdom:
-source
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It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology,
genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human
races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments
that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race.

...

In fact, Dobzhansky’s argument should be taken one step further: the essentialist
requirement is so unrealistically demanding that, if this criterion were applied, even
the species concept would fail to pass muster: ‘‘In practice, the characters that define
a species will not be present in all members of that species and absent from all
members of other species. Nature is too variable’’ (Ridley 2004, 349).

...

One of the leading physical anthropologists warned about the tendency of some
scientists to misrepresent the true view of their scientific community. He said that
the idea widely propagated by many scientists that race is only skin deep ‘‘is simply
not true, as any experienced forensic anthropologist will affirm’’ (Gill 2000). He
went further and stated that the bias of the race-denial faction ‘‘seems to stem
largely from socio-political motivation and not science at all’’ (ibid.). And finally:
‘‘At the beginning of the twenty-first century, even as a majority of biological
anthropologists favor the reality of the race perspective, not one introductory
textbook of physical anthropology even presents that perspective as a possibility. In
a case as flagrant as this, we are not dealing with science but rather with blatant,
politically motivated censorship’’ (ibid.).

-full pdf text here


Really though, this shouldn't be necessary.

In fact it would be much easier to argue that any given person is a "social construct" than it would be race.

After all, the individual identity of "Joe Sixpack" is entirely (pragmatically speaking) a social construct.
From his birth certificate and social security number to his wedding license and financial records, his identity is, essentially, socially constructed.

Does that mean he is not a biological reality as well?



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