HS: Ihmisrotuja ei voi perustella biologialla

by , under All categories, Enrique

CommentHere is an interesting letter to the editor by Turku University professor of genetics, Petter Portin, who states that one myth that has been constructed by Europeans is the concept of  “race.” Genetic research has shown that so-called racial differences between people are very small.  The only differences that separate us are geographic. 

Even so, classifying people into different races has served many purposes throughout history. One of these has been to dominate groups and to justify their exploitation. 

One of the first to classify people into different races was Carl von Linné (1707-1778), who argued that there were four: white, red, yellow and black.

“The best matter would be to give up classifying people altogether,” Portin writes. “Using terms (to classify different groups) is a way to control them.”

The term ethnic group is used more in Europe than in the United States, where groups like blacks refer to themselves as a “race.” Mexican Americans, for example, call themselves “la raza,” or the race. Europeans that immigrated to the United States and who were “white” were seen belonging to ethnic as opposed to racial groups. 


Petter Portin

Mitä pidemmälle ihmiskunnan geneettisen muuntelun tutkimus on edennyt, sitä selvemmäksi on käynyt, että mitään selviä ihmisrotuja ei ole olemassa. Antropologian historian aikana ihmiskunnassa on erotettu kymmeniä eri rotuja. Ihmisbiologiassa ollaan kuitenkin nykyään luopumassa tai on jo luovuttu rodun käsitteestä.

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  1. Hannu

    Sure there arent, like there arent retards, its like few genes of billions so it doesnt exist! And sponge in bottom of ocean shares 70% of our genes so its like us!

  2. Method

    What disturbs me the most, is that Linné’s views still apply today. I mean come on, we live in the age of genetic research. And what about the USA categories. Black, asian, caucasian. Wtf? Caucasian? Isn’t that also based on some already falsified ancient race theory?

    What he’s saying I guess, is about science. You can’t stop people from making stereotypes. It’s not realistic, since we all need generalizations. It’s how our concious mind works and keeps the world in line and prevents it from falling apart. I mean people with no categories or with very accurate categories are either genious or insane. Most of us aren’t very bright, so if our views of our surroundings are overly complicated, it’ll create unnecessary complications to our relation to it.

    It’s said these modern instrument can differentiate easily if a person is from Italy or Finland, so in that light, it seems unlikely, the categorizing will stop. Like Hannu said, what is a huge difference in genetics? One cromosome dictates down syndrome. Genetically it might be minor, but in real life, it’s huge. It’s also a big point, you don’t need to be related to have same kind of genetic traits; the historical perspective is introduced. Fe. the Saami people and Basks seem to be related genetically. It’s not that they are actually related, but that they have had a same type of history, which promotes certain type of evolution in genes, which creates simularities. And Finns suffer from same kind of diseases (diabetes, jaw problems) that every other hunter gatherer society that has taken a leap towards farmer societies. It’s historically simular, but not related.

    Then there is the recently more discussed thing, epigenetics. We adapt to our surroundings from the first days of our existence – even in our mother’s womb. All our lives our bodies adapt, everything around us changes us. Everything we do. And some of these things we pass on to our children. There’s already been studies of darker skinned people living in north having a rise in autism and weakened bones because of the lack of light. It’s multiplied by not leaving home and wearing religious uniforms, that block light. All because of lack of vitamin D. It’s because of that, the recommendations of vitamin D-intake for dark skinned people are greater.

    My point is, we are where we were born, where we live, what we do and did, and who those were that came before us, where they were born, where they lived, what they did. It’s all written in us, and we shouldn’t be blind to that. We can pick the narrative as we like. We can even force our narrative on to others, but we can’t pick who we are in any meaningful way.