Science and Race

In this unit we learn to how many lengths racism can take you and the amount of biases it leads to. I learned how even science or religion can be manipulated to find precisely what you are looking for. I believe the distinguishing features of racism are assumptions. The assumption that someone is better than another person because of physical differences. Also, the assumption that a racial group is all the same, simply because they are categorized in the same group. Racism is a generalization that does not consider individuals’ differences within a same culture or society. Racism assumes that these differences are unalterable.

The connection between the race concept and the European Enlightenment paved a new path for these people to confirm racist ideals through science. During this time period different scientists, such as Samuel Morton, conducted experiments or classifications where one group of people would be inferior to another. For example, how Morton correlated intelligence to the size of one’s skull. During the European Enlightenment the race concept goes beyond just seeing Europeans and classifying others that looked different into categories.

“Modern biological science and the concept of race grew up hand-in-hand.” This statement is a little hard to process. The way I see it, I would agree with it. Modern biological science and the concept of race grew up hand-in-hand but not in the sense of science proving racial differences but rather how biological science became a way for people to justify the concept of race. For example, how skull sizes (biology) can measure the intelligence of a group (race concept).

One thought on “Science and Race

  1. Modern biology and race certainly did come about at the same time, with the same sorts of ideas being applied from one to another, erroneously, yes, but the system was still the same. When Linnaeus created his taxonomical system, he started with plants, but it grew into the system that we use to categorize all forms of life to this very day. For distinguishing the relations between species, Linnaean taxonomy is fantastic, even for species of humans.

    The problem with applying it to modern humans is that there’s only one species, Homo sapiens and the racial categories that people have come up with across time and place aren’t genetically distinct enough to even count as subspecies.

    The other problem with using it in a racist way is that there’s no such thing as a “more” or “less” evolved species. Every thing on Earth has had the same amount of time to . If anything, a species that hasn’t changed at all for a long period of time, a species more “primitive” is more likely to be a species better adapted to a wider variety of situations.

    Even if there was a “black” or “white” subspecies of human, that wouldn’t imply that they’re better or worse in whatever way you want to use to make up a reason to oppress them. Biological differences should be accommodated and celebrated for the betterment of humanity as a whole.

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