Week 2 – Analytic Post

When I think of the word racialization, I think of people who tend to categorize or lump people together based off of what they look like. I would say that it is also like racial profiling. A current event that would be an example of this is categorizing all Muslims as terrorists. Just because a large group of people go one direction does not mean everyone believes it too. The media also tends to blow things out of proportion and it causes people to develop xenophobia.

Samuel Morton said that you could measure a person’s intelligence by measuring how big their skull is. He believed that there was a direct correlation between size and intelligence. He collected samples from all around the world. He discovered that Caucasians had the largest skull size meaning that Caucasians are the most superior group. Later research said that he skewed his data to make it so Caucasians came out as the more superior group. Stephen Jay Gould said that Morton was wrong and conducted his own research disproving Morton’s research. There was more research and studies done to show that Gould was actually wrong. Gould had collected many samples from all around the world as well but he intentionally left out certain measurements to get the results he wanted. In the end Gould’s work was discredited by another scientist. I do not think Gould’s work be discredited makes Morton’s work credible. When Morton conducted his research technology was not as good as it is now which means that there could still be errors in his work.

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  1. But the reason that Gould’s remeasurements were discredited was because a later group of scientists in 2011 remeasur the samples that Morton used in his data and found that Morton’s old timey 19th century measurements were actually correct, at least as far as “this skull can contain this volume, this skull is this many centimeters wide”, etc.

    Both Gould and Morton were looking at the wrong thing if they were looking to prove or disprove the idea that different races had different levels of intelligence. No correlation between skull volume and intelligence by any measure has been found. In the end, all that Morton’s data concludes is “Yep there’s a lot of variation, isn’t there?” You can’t make any further conclusions than that.

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