Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 12:53:30 +0000
From: Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EPIX.NET
Subject: Re: "race" (was PC Dictionaries?the N word? racism? race?)
At 02:13 PM 10/31/97 -0500, you wrote:
My understanding is that race (or subspecies) is defined in terms of
differential reproductive success.
You have been misinformed. Specific races of plants are often used in
hybridizing programs. The truth is that the term race is not very well
defined (nor is species, which puts meat and potatoes on taxonomists'
tables) and may be used slightly differently by different botanists or
Most commonly it is expressed geographically. A race or subspecies of some
plant may be slightly different from another race growing in another
isolated area, but not yet evolved far enough to constitute a different
species. Brought together they are quite compatable.
Inasmuch as there not different rates
of reproductive success in "interbreeding" between the various human
"races," there is no such thing, technically speaking, as a human
subspecies or "race."
Quite the contrary. One homogeneous species expanding out of Africa
(according to this week's theory) gradually became geographically isolated
and evolved into slightly different strains with identifiable genetic
That is the biology of it. As a social issue the word obviously takes on
other nuances. But attempts to solve a problem by simply denying it have
seldom been successful.
Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]epix.net