Teaching resources about racial concepts: their biological validity and various cultural expressions
November 5, 2007 3:22 PM Subscribe
I need teaching resources about race: the biology of human "races"; why "race" is not biological but social; how racial categories have shifted over time and place; and related questions on teaching about race? This is as a supplement to reading The Mismeasure of Man
in a university "Critical Thinking" class. I need more science and verifiable cross-cultural examples to back up my "there are no biological races" claim.
posted by LobsterMitten to science & nature (38 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Give me your best clear, scientific teaching resources (websites, books, examples) about why the idea that humans belong to different biological races has been discredited.
Two objections I'm especially interested in answers to:
1. Sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs disease etc. Some groups do have biological characteristics in common (eg susceptibility to certain diseases). Why not then say that race has some usefulness in making biological predictions?
2. "Why are blacks such great athletes? I heard they have extra tendons in their legs, and more ATP." (!!!) I have a student who is very attached to racial categories. What do scientists make of the observation that, for example, many Kenyans seem extra well-suited to be long distance runners? Is there any good science on this?
Another request - evidence that race categories are arbitrary and shifting.
3. Pictures and info on different racial categorization systems that have been used in different places and times -- the more different from present-day USA, the better.
4. Sources of quotes etc on past racial categorizations (eg, the filthy Irish) that would discriminate against people who would now be considered "white".