Re. brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Dan Holzman holzman at panix.com
Sun Oct 6 13:54:28 EST 2002


In article <EeQn9.6465$sB3.455714 at news20.bellglobal.com>,
Parse Tree <parsetree at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> The definition of "Black" is "anyone with a Black ancestor."  Someone
>> with seven German great grandparents and one African great grandparent
>> is most likely going to be of the phenotype I described above, but
>> their passport until very recently would have read "Black" and their
>> birth certificate would have said "Octaroon."    Alternately, someone
>> with two Black parents, each of whom have White ancestors, has a
>> non-zero chance of manifesting this phenotype.
>
>I'm pretty sure Canadian passports don't list race in that respect.  They
>certainly don't have a question about it on the census.  It's just
>ethnicity.

Since it was American law which defined who was "white" and "Black,"
I'm not surprised that Canadian law would have paid much heed to it.

>> Along similar lines, there is a maximum number of generations back one
>> can trace an American Indian ancestor to be considered one by the
>> government.  I think it's one's great grandparent, but I'm uncertain.
>> That means that the child of an American Indian would be classified as
>> not an American Indian by the BIA.
>>
>> Around the turn of the century, Syrians were of the "Arabic" race, and
>> therefore not permitted to immigrate to the US.  Some Syrians
>> challenged this in court and over the course of several years, Syrians
>> went back and forth between being "White" and "Arabic."
>>
>> In each case, what race one is a member of is defined by legislation
>> or court ruling.  There's no actual science behind any of this.
>
>Except they have no power to do this.  They have no ability to define what a
>race is any more than they have to define an operating system.

That's where you're wrong.  Legislation and court ruling are the only
things that have ever meaningfully defined races.  

>> These things are categorized all the time.  There's simply no
>> scientific basis for the categories.  Scientists tried for years to
>> categorize these things.  Everything they've thought of to use to
>> categorize these things has turned out not to work.
>
>They should try harder.  The fact that they haven't in no way indicates that
>it is not possible.  Our sense indicate that people are physically
>different, in fact.

We weren't addressing what's possible.  We were addressing what has
been done.  It is possible that gravitation will be refuted tomorrow,
and about as likely as "race" being validated.



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