"Say it five times before breakfast tomorrow: … Human equality is a contingent fact of history."As a staunch Darwinist, however, Sarich understands that natural selection requires hereditary inequalities. Sarich and Miele write,
"Simply stated, the case for race hinges on recognition of the fact that genetic variation in traits that affect performance and ultimately survival is the fuel on which the evolutionary process runs."
Sarich became the rare physical anthropologist expert on both genes and bones. So, when he saw PBS proclaim, "Despite surface differences, we are among the most similar of all species," he dusted off the measurements of 2,500 human skulls from 29 different racial groups and compared them to 347 chimpanzee skulls from the two separate species of chimp (the common chimp and the bonobo). He discovered that the dissimilarity in head and face measurements between these species of chimp was less than half that found between the two most morphologically dissimilar human racial groups in the sample. (They were the narrow-headed Taita of Kenya and the wide-faced Buriat of Siberia).
"I am not aware of any other mammalian species where the constituent races are as strongly marked as they are in ours… except those few races heavily modified by recent human selection; in particular, dogs."
In response to PBS`s claim that, "Race is a modern idea. Ancient societies did not divide people according to physical differences…," Miele writes a definitive chapter showing,
"The art of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, and China, and the Islamic civilization from AD 700 to 1400 shows that these societies classified the various peoples they encountered into broad racial groups. They sorted them based upon the same set of characteristics—skin color, hair form, and head shape—allegedly constructed by Europeans when they invented `race` to justify colonialism and white supremacy."
My main criticism of Race: The Reality of Human Differences: it skimps on offering a conceptual framework for what exactly race is. Rejecting the straw man argument that the existence of race would require a race for everyone and everyone in his race, Sarich and Miele call races "fuzzy sets." They write,
"Human races are not, and never were, distinct, mutually exclusive, Platonic entities into which every living person, unearthed skull, or set of bones could be pigeonholed."This is a lot better than the obscurantism of the Race Deniers. But even better would be a robust, scaleable definition that coincides with original definition of race as a "lineage."I have suggested that a racial group is most usefully thought of as "a partly inbred extended family." (My full defense of this idea found here.) In contrast, an ethnic group would be "a population that shares traits, such as language, religion, and cuisine, that are frequently, but not necessarily, passed down within biological families." These definitions make clear why disentangling nature (race) and nurture (ethnicity) is so difficult.Will Race: The Reality of Human Differences change the minds of the prominent advocates of the Race Does Not Exist theory?No—because they won`t even read it. One striking difference between the two schools is that Race Realists pore over the writings of the social constructionists and other Race Deniers. But the Race Deniers themselves prefer to stay ignorant of all troubling facts.And amazingly, the Race Deniers have succeeded in imposing this taboo, not merely upon the usual suspects like PBS, but also, increasingly, upon Conservative Establishment pundits too.Breaking this taboo terrorism is what VDARE.COM is for! [Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]