Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thoughts on Race

Although there is only one species of human, it is divided up into phenotypes that are genotypically almost identical. In other words, there are large groups of humans that are physically different in appearance from other humans, yet are still able to interbreed with all of the other groups. We call these groups races. The most notable characteristic of the races is the pigmentation of the skin. There are other differentiable characteristics, such as epicanthic folds, rhinology, musculature, speech, lip morphology, hirsuteness, genes, culture, etc.
My personal opinion of the word “race” is that it can be used to divide our species into three main groups. Those groups are: Asian, African, and European.
There is archaeological evidence from Thailand that Asians are the oldest primates (of which humans are descended). That doesn’t mean that Asians are the oldest humans, however. One thing is certain about Asians - they are the first Americans. They crossed Beringia, which was a landmass between the political land divisions now known as “Russia” and “Alaska”. Anyone that thinks Christopher Columbus discovered America is living in a dream world, perpetrated by the inane educational system in the United States. Columbus “discovered” outlying islands more than 10,000 years after the Asians had conquered North and South America.
There is archaeological evidence from Africa that humans originated in Africa, which indicates that Africans are the oldest humans. However, archaeological evidence is limited to what we can find, not what exists. What if older human remains are found on the moon? That’s improbable, but do you know what is under the regolith? I’m not forming an opinion with respect to where humans originated. Significant evidence has been found in both Africa and Asia, so I think it’s smarter to wait for more homo remains to be discovered.
Europeans are the result of northern migration. They tend to have lighter skin, typically called “white”, due to the need to absorb more sunlight. If our planet were not tilted with respect to the ecliptic, then we would not have seasons, and sunlight would be more intense in the northern regions. People migrating north would not have needed lighter skin, so that particular adaptation would not have occurred, or occurred with less noticeability.
What concerns me is why can I find patterns amongst the races? Why can I say one race excels at one thing, while another falters? Why does changing the phenotype change other things? I have always wondered why people of European origin comprise the bulk of science fiction writers. I can only name one African science fiction writer - Octavia Butler. I cannot name even one Asian science fiction writer. Why is it that “white” people write so much science fiction? Why are there not scores of African people or Cambodian people that are professional science fiction writers? Why have most of the scientific breakthroughs been made by people of European descent? Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Enrico Fermi, Edwin Hubble, Paul Dirac, etc. - all made profound discoveries and are all of European descent. I can certainly name some Asian people that have made breakthroughs, such as Hideki Yukawa, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, but I can name many more Europeans. The reason why certain groups of people make more scientific discoveries is probably more related to opportunity and higher standards of living. If the people of Africa had been suddenly teleported into universities in the 1700s and given free tuition, then I would suspect that Africans would have made more scientific breakthroughs than Europeans.
Another interesting pattern I can find is in movies. Unlike science fiction and science, this one is not objective, but completely subjective. I have found that Asian people, particularly, South Koreans, make the best movies. I have read that this is due to low funding. The movie producers can only choose the best scripts, since they don’t have unlimited funds, like Hollywood. American movie producers can make movies out of scripts written by 12 year old retarded people and make enough money to retire for 8,000 years. I have to admit that I am guilty of funding Hollywood, since I watch their movies, hoping, wishing - they will make something good. Occasionally they do make something good, but nothing made by them affects me on such an emotional level as South Korean movies. Again, I must stress that this is not objective. Some people may find Korean movies are not to their liking, and greatly prefer mindless Hollywood mayhem.
What am I? Politically, I am called an American. But the people from whom I descended originated in Europe. Genetically, I am a European. I am certainly related to real Americans (people from Asia), but I have more in common with people from Europe. I don’t look anything like an Indian.
I think that all races are equally intelligent - and equally insane. Just look at the Europeans in the political division of land known as Germany. It produced one of the greatest minds (Albert Einstein) and one of the sickest (Adolf Hitler). I don’t think it’s wrong to label people by their skin color, anymore than I think it’s wrong to label colors. Colors have names, right? Skin has color, and thus should be called by its name. It’s a simple means of identification, but can easily be abused by people with sinister desires.


I wrote the essay above on November 24th, 2011. I forgot I wrote it and discovered it on my hard drive on November 27th, 2014. It is an interesting read and I’ve since become more aware of the ethnic diversity of science fiction writers; Asia and Africa are simply overflowing with people that professionally write science fiction, which surprised me. I can’t picture a third world nation with people scrambling to secure food and water having time to produce fiction, but it does happen. And this makes some sense. Consider the state of the world when the mythological book, an early form of science fiction that eventually turned into The Bible, was written. The living conditions even in the best cities were possibly a marginal improvement over the squalor that squatters squirm in. The Bible, in its current state of translation, though, is barely legible. It’s more difficult to read than the clumsily connected hodgepodge of paragraphs known as “World War Z”. In defense of The Bible, it was not written in English and was written before grammar was codified, which was the unfortunate status quo even in Shakespeare’s day. I don’t know how The Bible could be written in English without losing the meaning intended by the authors in their native languages. In contrast, contemporary authors can write material as shoddily connected as that in The Bible, which is evident in “World War Z”.
A couple of terms in regular use that bother me are “African-American” and “Asian-American”. An African is someone that either lives in Africa or someone that is descended from people that evolved in Africa. An American is someone that lives in the political division of land called America. The term African-American is redundant and reeks of wrongness. The problem stems from the dual meaning of “African”, which can be political or genetic. If someone is black, then they are genetically African but can politically belong to any nation. The word “Asian” can also be political or genetic. A Chinese person is genetically Asian but can live in America; this is no reason to use the term “Asian-American”. If a Chinese person lives in America, then they are American. Likewise, it makes no sense to call a white person living in America a “European-American”. People with ersatz erudition that like to specify “such and such”-American, ought to know that this game can be taken much further. One could, for instance, call oneself a Pisces-American, since fish were the first chordates and humans also have backbones (I’m an amateur etiologist).
The ultimate bottom line in terms of race is that either all humans are African or all humans are Asian. Humans originated somewhere and then migrated from that point of origin and adapted to new environments by changing physiologically, which is primarily manifest in skin pigmentation, epicanthic folds and hirsuteness. Europeans are clearly not the first humans, since white skin is a result of migration and reduced sunlight, so anyone with white skin is ultimately Asian or African. My previous division of humans into African, Asian and European is thus incorrect, since Europeans can be shown to have evolved from the first two. It was also incorrect of me to state that the people I descended from originated in Europe, since Europeans did not originate in Europe; they traveled there from Asia or Africa and evolved. We only have truly hard evidence showing that Africans did indeed originate in Africa and sketchy evidence indicating that Asians originated in Asia. It is most likely that Asians are descended from Africans.
I can’t stop writing on the subject of race without referring to a recent event, in which a police officer shot and killed a human being. I am greatly, powerfully, unthinkably, unfathomably disturbed by the writing style and agenda of the media and reporters in general. Any news story concerning the shooting of Michael Brown refers to the officer as “white” and Brown as “black”. Why does it matter? A police officer shot a human; that is what happened. The media is partly responsible for fueling the riots and unrest by continuously stressing the pigmentation of the parties involved. There is nothing unusual about a white person shooting a black person in a community comprised of both white and black people simply because aggression and violence are traits of humans, irrespective of pigmentation. We choose to live in racially diverse groups and then bitch about the vagaries of statistics.