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Don Corrigal

Owner - Designer & Consultant, Gumption Inc

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Is the concept of “race" a notion that has no scientific basis and should be removed from the lexicon?

Does the human genome project suggest that there is only one genus of “Homo”, species “homo sapiens and subspecies “sapiens sapiens”?

The notion of race based on further genetic clustering and characteristics does not hold up to scientific scrutiny. Races were once considered human subspecies, but genetic research shows that inherited differences do not accurately match common racial divisions.

For example, since non-Africans are descended from a small population that emigrated from Africa about 100,000 years ago, non-Africans (even those representing difference races) are more closely related to each other than Africans are to each other.


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    Feb 21 2012: Why should we remove a word just because it's not supported by science? What does science have to do with it at all? Should we remove "nice" because it's not supported by science? Or blond? Or "green"? Color is a good example, by the way: The distinction between green and blue, or between any two colors, can't be determined exactly. It's a matter of opinion and arbitrary definition. So we can say there is no green. But yet it's a useful concept, a useful word. Race is in the same boat. There are in fact major groupings of humans that share certain visible characteristics, and these can be called a race if they breed true among themselves for those characteristics. No matter which word you get rid of, there will always be a word for these groupings. If it weren't useful we wouldn't have the word race.
    The word has meant many things over the years. In the 19th century, the British spoke of the German race, the Spanish or the French race. More recently it has of course been used for larger groupings. In either case, it's not a word to be afraid of. Just as with colors, we know that races blend and that they will change over the years.
    If we start to censor the lexicon because we're afraid of misuse of common words, there'll be no end to it. Almost every word describing any identifiable group of people would have to go. Pretty sad.

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