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

characteristics. Races.

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]