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Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth (Texas A&M University Anthropology Series) Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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About the Author
ROB DESALLE is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. He curated the American Museum of Natural History’s new Hall of Human Origins (2006) and has written more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications and several books. Tattersall and DeSalle recently coauthored Human Origins: What Bones and Genomes Tell Us about Ourselves (Texas A&M University Press, 2007).
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors, in my view, have amply demonstrated some of the many pitfalls of assigning imagined racial differences as the sole source of a great many human variations.
As I read the book, I found myself thinking of the concept "love." It is something that nearly all have experienced and recognize. The genetic basis, if any, of why some love deeply and some not at all remains largely unexplored. Yet, love is a useful and deeply held construct, however flawed, incomplete, and difficult to define and extricate from surrounding facts and influences.
This book provides ample cautionary reasons to avoid facile racial characterization. It does not, in my view, and at the current stage of genetic research, demonstrate that categorization is without hope or merit. For that reason, expect the government to continue using the concept while asserting, as the census bureau does, that it is a social construct. The real differences behind our current understandings of race have yet to be fully defined. Readers in this field should be aware that many excellent books exist on race, IQ, and their historical controversies.
All of this is explained very well in this book, which makes the point (over and over again!Read more ›
The reason I wrote "I guess" above is that most racists don't believe there's clear delineation among the races, but that humans can observe differences, at least morphological, among people. The racist theory is that those differences are not just skin deep. I feel that any book debunking race has to debunk that proposition, and this book doesn't do it. It gives just a few pages on the idea, and basically follows the well-established notion that virtue, intelligence, and all that jazz are socially contingent, and that the ability to act in accordance with them is a product of environment. But for anyone who already knows that, this book doesn't offer that much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book. The science is explained in a way nonscience people can understandPublished 7 months ago by Deborah Ammerman
The message I got from the book is that today’s races scientifically don’t exist because they can’t be clearly defined as separate entities due to blurring at geographical borders... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roy F. Johnson