The Myth of Human Races

Overview

The idea that human races exist is a socially constructed myth that has no grounding in science. Regardless of skin, hair, or eye color, stature or physiognomy, we are all of one species. Nonetheless, scientists, social scientists, and pseudo-scientists have, for three centuries, tried vainly to prove that distinctive and separate "races" of humanity exist. These protagonists of race theory have based their flawed research on one or more of five specious assumptions:
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The Myth of Human Races

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Overview

The idea that human races exist is a socially constructed myth that has no grounding in science. Regardless of skin, hair, or eye color, stature or physiognomy, we are all of one species. Nonetheless, scientists, social scientists, and pseudo-scientists have, for three centuries, tried vainly to prove that distinctive and separate "races" of humanity exist. These protagonists of race theory have based their flawed research on one or more of five specious assumptions:
     - humanity can be classified into groups using identifiable physical characteristics,
     - human characteristics are transmitted "through the blood,"  
     - distinct human physical characteristics are inherited together, 
     - physical features can be linked to human behavior,
     - human groups or "races" are by their very nature unequal and, therefore, they can be ranked in order of intellectual, moral, and cultural superiority.  
     The Myth of Human Races systematically dispels these fallacies and unravels the web of flawed research that has been woven to demonstrate the superiority of one group of people over another.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870134395
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/1997
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alain F. Corcos was coeditor of Gregor Mendel's Experiments on Plant Hybrids (Rutgers). He is Professor Emeritus of Botany at Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Word to the Reader
Introduction 1
1 Race is a Slippery Word 9
2 Race Classification: An Impossible Task 15
3 Skulls, Women, and Savages: The Art of Craniology 23
4 Full Blood, Half-Blood, and Tainted Blood 33
5 Racial Traits: More Fiction Than Fact 45
6 You Cannot Judge a Book by its Cover 49
7 Did We Evolve From Apes, And If So, from How Many? 65
8 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Fittest of Us All? 71
9 Adaptive or not Adaptive, That is the Question 79
10 Why Different Skin Colors? 83
11 Why Different Shapes of Noses? Why So Much or So Little Hair on the Body or the Head? 91
12 Why Different Color of Eye and Hair? 97
13 Race: Geneticists Led Astray 103
14 Race and IQ: A Pseudo-Problem 111
15 Race and Disease: Another Pseudo-Problem 125
16 How The U.S. Government Classifies Its Citizens: A Real Problem 133
17 Of Species and Races: A Modern View 141
18 Each One of Us Is Unique 149
19 Of Genes and Chromosomes: No One is Like You 155
20 Myths About Ancestry 163
21 Of DNA and Proteins, or No One is Like You 169
22 Except for A Very Few of Us, We Are All Colored 175
23 Can We Change Our Skin Color? 179
24 Nothing Under the Sun Is Just Black or White 187
25 Genes and Skin Color: The More the Merrier 193
Concluding Thoughts 201
Bibliography 207
Index 211
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