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Races

Races

A race is a biological inbred group, possessing a distinctive combination of physical traits that tend to breed true from generation. to generation. The term race, from the biological standpoint designates the group of populations, who possess almost pronounced traits of the group considered such a physical traits, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical. Even nations have, in such loose sense, been called race, but at the same time differing from other groups of human being in the same respect. But no hard and fast rule can be laid down to classify the human stock into definite groups.



According to A. L. Kroeber, the term Race has here been used in its biological sense, for a group united in blood or heredity. A race is a subdivision of a species and corresponds to a breed in domestic animals. Popularly, the word is used in a different sense, namely, that of population having traits in common, be they, hereditary or non-hereditary, biological or socio-cultural, organic or super organic. The following definition of race is commonly accepted. A race is made up of persons who have a fairly definite combination of distinguishing physical traits, which is handed on from parents to children. This definition emphasizes two basic ideas; that the race is more or less distinguishable because it has a special or a certain combination of physical traits, and that this combination is inherited.



The term race is employed in various senses, but usually to connote a group of people who have certain well-marked characters are to be taken into account is usually a matter of individual opinion. If all fair-skinned people are grouped under the term of the white Race, this will include long-headed and broad-headed groups.

The greatest German investigator, Friedrich Ratzel, refers constantly in his Ethnology and in his Anthropo Geography to the marked mental and cultural likeness between all the races of the world. He summarizes his standpoint in the following sentences: There is only one humanity, whose divergences of form are many, but not deep. "As a matter of fact, the gulf fixed between two groups of humanity by difference of culture is completely independent of their differences of talent" Race has nothing to do with the possession of culture. Felix Von Luschan is of the same opinion: "There are no savage peoples; there are only peoples whose culture is different from our own." The decisive characters among so-called races are essentially the result of climate, social, and other outside circumstances. There are no fundamentally inferior races. The differences, are not nearly so great as those, which exist between individual members of one of the same race.

There are today no pure races. Some raciologists and Anthropologists believe that the pygmies of the Ituri forest of Equatorial Africa are relatively pure as to race. If this is true, the pygmies are a notable exception. For countless generations mankind had been crossing and recrossing, so far as races are concerned. Any given race in Africa has some of the genes, or hereditary units, almost all the other races of Africa or any other continent, whatsoever.

Next: Racial Criteria 1










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