2. Syllogistic Analyses
2.1. Major Premises
- Samuel Morton is the father of scientific racism.
- (We “know” that the father of scienctific racism has THE correct understanding of race).
- Morton thinks that races represent separate acts of creation.
- Morton thinks races are ranked in a divine hierarchy.
- Morton did not think that races were closely related.
- Morton thinks that races has distinct characters, which:
- Are immutable or “fixed” across generations (i.e., no transmutation, aka evolution).
- Are homogenous or “fixed” (in these senses of fixation) across individuals within races.
2.3. Minor Premises
- “He wasn’t choosy about his suppliers” … “A particularly large-headed Dutchman … helped inflate Morton’s estimate of Caucasian capacities.”
- “Morton’s ‘craniometry’ showed, he claimed, that whites, or ‘Caucasians’ were the most intelligent of the races … then East Asians, Southeast Asians, native Americans, and at the bottom, blacks”.
- “…what science actually has to tell us about race is just the opposite of what Morton contended.”
- “So many of the horrors of the past few centuries can be traced to the idea that one race is inferior to another…”
2.5. Contras to Points 1–6
“—In Europe, all botanists, all zoologists, from Linnaeus to de Candolle, from Buffon to Cuvier, and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, have employed them to designate very different things. If some have designated race by the expression hereditary variety, this difference in words does not in any way affect ideas... The distinction which exists all facts considered is always translated into language. Yet it is this distinction that the American school seems to forget entirely here. For her, there are no more races or varieties in nature; there are only species”.[Our ital.]
“The meaning attached to species, in natural history is very definite and intelligible. It includes only the following condition: namely, separate origin and distinction of race, evinced by a constant transmission of some characteristic peculiarity of organization.”
“… I do not use it to imply that all divisions are derived from a single pair; on the contrary, I believe that they have originated from several, perhaps even from many pairs, which were adapted, from the beginning, to the varied localities they were designated to occupy... [which]... does not imply a common origin.
“Man, regarded in his general character, is the same in every zone; he possesses the same general confirmation, and notwithstanding some striking diversities of organization, the whole human family is to be regarded as a single species. Yet, notwithstanding this approximation of mankind in essential and specific characteristics, I firmly believe that they were originally, or, in other words, before their dispersion into different latitudes, endowed with those varied traits of mind and body which alone could adapt them to their various allotments on the face of the earth. The more I have reflected on those diversities, the more I am confirmed in the conclusion, that they have not resulted from physical causes acting on constitutions originally the same, but that, on the contrary, there has been a primeval difference among men; not an accidental occurrence, but a part of that all-pervading design which has adapted man, in common with animals and plants, to the diverse conditions which form a necessary part of the economy of creation... Is it not more probably that the same Infinite power that conducted them, before their dispersal, to the varied physical circumstances with which they were henceforward to contend?… I apprehend that without such adaption, the patriarchal germs of our species would have been utterly destroyed in the effect to contend with those pestilential influences which appear to be inherent in certain localities on the surface of the earth.”
2.6. Discussion of the 6 Major Premises in the First Syllogistic Analysis
“Through decades of research and reporting, National Geographic seeks to answer and share fundamental questions about our collective past: how our ancestors migrated from our African homeland, adapted, and populated the Earth. With your help, we are writing this ever-evolving story. The Geno 2.0 test examines a unique collection of nearly 300,000 DNA identifiers, called “markers,” that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-relevant information … In addition, for all participants, we analyze a collection of more than 250,000 other ancestry-informative markers from across your entire genome to reveal the regional affiliations of your ancestry, offering insights into your ancestors who are not on a direct maternal or paternal line”.
“Different populations carry distinct mutation, or genetic markers. Identifying and following the markers back through generations reveals a relationship shared by all humans, best conceptualized in the form of a genetic tree. Today, thousands of diverse branches, corresponding to unique human groups, can be followed backward to their common African root more than 100 millennia ago…. Your results give you an unprecedented view of your lineage. You will discover the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed hundreds and even thousands of years ago. You will also learn the details of your unique ancestral makeup—the biological and geographical components that make up who you are. What are the ingredients, and how much of a mixture is your own DNA recipe?”
“These six [pictures of Afro-Caucasian individuals] had their DNA tested with National Geographic’s kit (see below). These results indicate essentially the same “racial” heritage, in the percentages [of biogeographic ancestry] shown above. But their experiences are unique. Brenda Yurkoski (lower left) knew before the test—which names ancestral populations, not individuals …”
“Sometimes it’s clear that natural selection has favored a mutation, but it’s not clear why. Such is the case with a variant of a gene call EDAR (pronounced ee-dar). Most people of East Asian and Native American ancestry possess at least one copy of the variant, many possess two. But it’s rare among people of African and European descent.”
“Studies of this genetic diversity have allowed scientists to reconstruct a kind of family tree of human populations… the Khoe-San, who now live in southern Africa, represent one of the oldest branches of the human family tree.”
“…while three is a good analogy for the relationships among species–because species rarely interbreed …. It is a dangerous analogy for human population …” because “… great mixtures of highly divergent population have occurred repeatedly. Instead of a tree, a better metaphor may be a trellis, branching and remixing far back into the past... This is greater than the separation times of the most distantly related human lineages today…”
“But “ancestry” is not a euphemism, nor is it synonymous with “race.” Instead, the term is born of an urgent need to come up with a precise language to discuss genetic differences among people at a time when scientific developments have finally provided the tools to detect them. It is now undeniable that there are nontrivial average genetic differences across populations in multiple traits, and the race vocabulary is too ill-defined and too loaded with historical baggage to be helpful. If we continue to use it, we will not be able to escape the current debate, which is mired in an argument between two indefensible positions. On the one side there are beliefs about the nature of the differences that are grounded in bigotry and have little basis in reality. On the other side there is the idea that any biological differences among populations are so modest that as a matter of social policy they can be ignored and papered over. It is time to move on from this paralyzing false dichotomy and to figure out what the genome is actually telling us... But such a statement is wrongheaded as if we were to randomly pick two people living in the world today, we would find that many of the population lineages contributing to them have been isolated from each other for long enough that there has been ample opportunity for substantial average biological differences to arise between them.”
2.7. Contras to Points 7–10
2.8. Discussion of the 4 Minor Premises in the First Syllogistic Analysis
2.9. Summary of the First Syllogistic Analysis
3. Second Syllogism: Race does not Relate to Geographic Location
3.1. Main Premise
- “There are no fixed traits associated with specific geographic locations …” because …
3.1.1. Minor Premise
- “… as often as isolation has created differences among populations, migration and mixing have blurred or erased them.”
- “… our pictures of past ‘racial structures’ are almost always wrong” and harmful.
3.3. Discussion and Conclusions of Syllogism 2 Analysis
4. Third Syllogism: Races do not Exist: We are Equals and Africans
4.1. Major Premises
- “…all humans are closely related.”
- “In a very real sense, all people alive today are Africans.”
- “Genetic diversity in Africa is much larger than outside this continent.”
- “Because they [migrants] were just a small subset of Africa’s population, the migrants took with them only a fraction of its genetic diversity.”
4.2. Minor Premises
- Admittedly, “… the longer two groups are separated, the more distinctive tweaks [mutations] they will acquire”, BUT …
- “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.” (NG here refers to a Craig Venter statement at a White House meeting, June 2000; see later).
- “Science tells us there is no genetic or scientific basis for race. Races do not exist because we are [all] equals.”
4.4. Proet Contra
4.5. Discussion of Syllogism 3
“I have never felt the slightest hesitation in investigating the facts of Nature—well knowing that “truth will never conflict with itself,” no matter how diversified so ever may be the points in which we view it. I am far, however, from desiring to make startling propositions to ignorant minds; but, as I address myself, in this, as in former instances, to educated persons, I cannot conceive that evil consequences will any more result than would follow scientific investigations in astronomy, geology and chronology — each one of which has, in its turn, contended against the inveterate repositions, not only of the ignorant, but of many otherwise learned and enlightened individuals … I have never swerved, viz.: that the diversities existing among the different human families have not been acquired; or, in other words, are not the result of climate, locality, food, and other physical agents, but have existed aborigine: and, in the early period of my investigation, I was content, as elsewhere expressed, to suppose that the distinctive characteristics of the several races might have been marked upon the immediate family of Adam. More light on this interesting question has compelled me to change my opinion. I was not aware, however, that this was so great a dereliction of propriety as Dr. Bachman considers it.”
5. Fourth Syllogism: Admixture and Displacement Have Erased All Race Differences
5.1. Major Premises
- (Race implies unadmixed groups between which there are fixed—“fix”, in the sense of fixation index—traits.
- (From Reich (2018)  race implies “primeval” groups...separated tens of thousands of years ago”.
- Genetics shows that mixture and displacement have happened again and again”... and … as a result “Differences have been blurred or erased”.
- Thus, “there are no fixed traits associated with specific geographic locations…”
- And “…our pictures of past ‘racial structures’ are almost always wrong” and harmful.
“Today, many people assume that humans can be grouped biologically into “primeval” groups, corresponding to our notion of “races,” whose origins are populations that separated tens of thousands of years ago. But this long-held view about “race” has just in the last few years been proven wrong—and the critique of concepts of race that the new data provide is very different from the classic one that has been developed by anthropologists over the last hundred years … Most of today’s populations are not exclusive descendants of the populations that lived in the same locations ten thousand years ago.”
“Europe was successfully invaded by the Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic races. The Celtic migration is of extreme antiquity, yet there can be no question that they displaced pre- existing tribes. Among the latter may be mentioned the Iberians of Spain, what are represented by a fragment of their race—the Basque or Euskaldunes of Biscany” … The Indostanic family.—No part of the world presents a greater diversity of human races than the country which bears the collective name of India. Exotic nations have repeatedly conquered that unfortunate region, and to a certain degree amalgamated with its primitive inhabitants... That the peninsular India was originally peopled, at least, in part by races of very dark and even black complexion, is beyond question. These people are stigmatized as Barbarians by their conquerors, the Ayras.”
“Such appear to have been the primitive distinctions among men: but hostile invasions, the migratory habits of some tribes, and the casual dispersions of others into remote localities, have a constant tendency to confound these peculiarities; and the proximity of two races has uniformly given rise to an intermediate variety, partaking of the characteristics of both, without being identical with either: these are called mixed races.”
5.3. Discussion of the Fourth Syllogistic Analysis
“The method used by Celera has determined the genetic code of five individuals. We have sequenced the genome of three females and two males, who have identified themselves as Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian or African American. We did this sampling not in an exclusionary way, but out of respect for the diversity that is America, and to help illustrate that the concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis. In the five Celera genomes, there is no way to tell one ethnicity from another. Society and medicine treat us all as members of populations, where as individuals we are all unique, and population statistics do not apply.”
6. Fifth Syllogism: Race is only Skin Color Deep
6.1. Major Premises
- “When people speak about race, usually they seem to be referring to skin color and, at the same time, to something more than skin color.”
- “This is the legacy of people such as Morton, who developed the “science” of race to suit his own prejudices and got the actual science totally wrong.”
- “Science today tells us that the visible differences between peoples are accidents of history. They reflect how our ancestors dealt with sun exposure, and not much else.”
- There is no homogenous African race.
6.4. General Discussion of the Syllogistic Analyses
7. The Race doesn’t Matter Argument
8. General Discussion
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