Wednesday, November 29, 2017

#333 / A Picture Of My Family

The image above comes from a book review that ran in the November 4-5, 2017, edition of The Wall Street Journal. The book in question, by Adam Rutherford, is called A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived. Rutherford is a British geneticist. Here is what the review says about his book: 

What [a] “Brief History” is about is challenging popular ideas about the import of genetics, especially the genetics of race. One beginning is the fact—first shown mathematically in 2003 by a Yale statistician, then demonstrated in the laboratory in 2013 by two California researchers—that everyone on Earth, no matter where they live, what languages they speak, or what skin color they have, is related by descent from a small pool of ancestors just a few thousand years ago.

My own belief, arrived at independently, but certainly supported by what I read in this review, is that "race," as a category of differentiation, does not actually apply within the human family. Seeking to use what we call "race" as a methodology of distinction is seeking to base our judgments on  a "something" that doesn't exist. Speaking about "race," as it is commonly thought of - and even as it is used in the paragraph indented above - is to appeal for understanding to a reality that is not, in fact, "real." Human beings are different from other species, but that's where the realm of genuine distinction ends.

Within the diversity of the human family, there is one race, and one race only: the HUMAN race. 

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