Prefrontal Cortex and Evolution

Richard Norman rsnorman at mediaone.net
Fri Oct 27 15:29:04 EST 2000

"Xuxa Thorson" <Xoxana at webtv.net> wrote in message
news:6622-39F99CFD-14 at storefull-161.iap.bryant.webtv.net...

I refuse to include the text of this message in my reply because
I believe it to be offensive and racist.  I do not know how else to
interpret a message that claims that "The main difference
between a human brain and that of other animals is the prefrontal
cortex. Most mammals have little or no prefrontal cortex." and then
 two sentences later "It has been said that the prefrontal cortex is
what makes us "human" only to follow a few sentences later with
"The largest difference between Caucasian and Negroid brains
is that Caucasians have a much larger and better developed
prefrontal cortex."  The clear assumption intended from this is
that "Negroids" (whatever that may mean) are not really human or,
perhaps, a type of human but clearly "lower" than "Caucasians"
(whatever that may mean).

I, a rapidly aging white male, am one of the "Liberals [who] make
the false claim that there is no correlation between intelligence
or behavior and the size or condition of the brain. "

There is so much wrong with this posting it is hard to know where
to begin.   It certainly won't be enough simply to repeat that there
is no such thing as a biological "race" in the human population,
that what we call the african- asian- or european- groups of peoples
differ more within groups that between groups.  It may be clear that
humans differ from other mammals, but I dispute your argument about
"Negroid" brains as well as your claims about the relation between
brain condition and "intelligence".  There certainly is some relation
but the acquired, learned, cultural aspects of intelligence are so
predominant as to virtually blot out any biological aspect.

I also believe that it is not enough to simply ignore or overlook
racist propaganda.  It must be vigorously denied and opposed.

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