We offer the following points as revisions of the 1964 UNESCO statement on race:
1. All humans living today belong to a single species, Homo sapiens, and share a common descent. Although there are differences of opinion regarding how and where different human groups diverged or fused to form new ones from a common ancestral group, all living populations in each of the earth's geographic areas have evolved from that ancestral group over the same amount of time. Much of the biological variation among populations involves modest degrees of variation in the frequency of shared traits. Human populations have at times been isolated, but have never genetically diverged enough to produce any biological barriers to mating between members of different populations.
2. Biological differences between human beings reflect both hereditary factors and the influence of natural and social environments. In most cases, these differences are due to the interaction of both. The degree to which environment or heredity affects any particular trait varies greatly.
3. There is great genetic diversity within all human populations. Pure races, in the sense of genetically homogenous populations, do not exist in the human species today, nor is there any evidence that they have ever existed in the past.
4. There are obvious physical differences between populations living in different geographic areas of the world. Some of these differences are strongly inherited and others, such as body size and shape, are strongly influenced by nutrition, way of life, and other aspects of the environment. Genetic differences between populations commonly consist of differences in the frequencies of all inherited traits, including those that are environmentally malleable.
5. For centuries, scholars have sought to comprehend patterns in nature by classifying living things. The only living species in the human family, Homo sapiens, has become a highly diversified global array of populations. The geographic pattern of genetic variation within this array is complex, and presents no major discontinuity. Humanity cannot be classified into discrete geographic categories with absolute boundaries. Furthermore, the complexities of human history make it difficult to determine the position of certain groups in classifications. Multiplying subcategories cannot correct the inadequacies of these classifications.
Generally, the traits used to characterize a population are either independently inherited or show only varying degrees of association with one another within each population. Therefore, the combination of these traits in an individual very commonly deviates from the average combination in the population. This fact renders untenable the idea of discrete races made up chiefly of typical representatives.
6. In humankind as well as in other animals, the genetic composition of each population is subject over time to the modifying influence of diverse factors. These include natural selection, promoting adaptation of the population to the environment; mutations, involving modifications in genetic material; admixture, leading to genetic exchange between local populations, and randomly changing frequencies of genetic characteristics from one generation to another. The human features which have universal biological value for the survival of the species are not known to occur more frequently in one population than in any other. Therefore it is meaningless from the biological point of view to attribute a general inferiority or superiority to this or to that race.
7. The human species has a past rich in migration, in territorial expansions, and in contractions. As a consequence, we are adapted to many of the earth's environments in general, but to none in particular. For many millennia, human progress in any field has been based on culture and not on genetic improvement.
Mating between members of different human groups tends to diminish differences between groups, and has played a very important role in human history. Wherever different human populations have come in contact, such matings have taken place. Obstacles to such interaction have been social and cultural, not biological. The global process of urbanization, coupled with intercontinental migrations, has the potential to reduce the differences among all human populations.
8. Partly as a result of gene flow, the hereditary characteristics of human populations are in a state of perpetual flux. Distinctive local populations are continually coming into and passing out of existence. Such populations do not correspond to breeds of domestic animals, which have been produced by artificial selection over many generations for specific human purposes.
9. The biological consequences of mating depend only on the individual genetic makeup of the couple, and not on their racial classifications. Therefore, no biological justification exists for restricting intermarriage between persons of different racial classifications.
10. There is no necessary concordance between biological characteristics and culturally defined groups. On every continent, there are diverse populations that differ in language, economy, and culture. There is no national, religious, linguistic or cultural group or economic class that constitutes a race. However, human beings who speak the same language and share the same culture frequently select each other as mates, with the result that there is often some degree of correspondence between the distribution of physical traits on the one hand and that of linguistic and cultural traits on the other. But there is no causal linkage between these physical and behavioral traits, and therefore it is not justifiable to attribute cultural characteristics to genetic inheritance.
11. Physical, cultural and social environments influence the behavioral differences among individuals in society. Although heredity influences the behavioral variability of individuals within a given population, it does not affect the ability of any such population to function in a given social setting. The genetic capacity for intellectual development is one of the biological traits of our species essential for its survival. This genetic capacity is known to differ among individuals. The peoples of the world today appear to possess equal biological potential for assimilating any human culture. Racist political doctrines find no foundation in scientific knowledge concerning modern or past human populations.
Copyright © 2018 American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
Site programming and administration: Ed Hagen, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University
A new NASA study reveals that dozens of ancient advanced civilisations much like ours once existed on Earth, but they all came to an abrupt end.
The study suggests that humanity as we know it could come to an end in the next few decades based on the patterns observed with these previous civilisations.
If we look back in history, 3000 – 5000 years, we will find a historical record that clearly shows us how advanced and complex civilizations were just as susceptible to collapse as we are today. This ongoing pattern has led researchers to question the future existence of society and civilization as we know.
If we were to look back further back in time, over 10,000 years, we would encounter evidence of advanced civilizations that possibly predate the Pre-Inca, Olmec, and Ancient Egyptian civilization, not to mention other advanced ancient civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia.
It is difficult to overlook the repeating patterns identified by scholars in most of these civilizations and the NASA funded study is clear evidence of the path ancient civilizations on EArth have taken for thousands of years. This is considered by many people as a sign that clearly states that ancient civilizations have reset a number of times.
These factors have kept on repeating themselves and have been the culprit for ancient civilizations before us. In the report, applied mathematician Safa Motesharri and his “Human and Nature Dynamical” model claims that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”
“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”
The study came to the conclusion that there are two key social features that contributed to the collapse of every single advanced civilization from the past: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”
Even though our civilizations is at a very advanced technological stage, this does not necessarily mean that we are saved from imminent chaos. In the study we find that “Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.”
One of the best examples of advanced ancient civilizations disappearing can be found in Mesoamerica.
If we take a look at the ancient Maya who were an extremely advanced ancient civilization we find that several factors played a crucial role for this once great empire to crumble eventually. While most researchers would agree that Deforestation, Famine and Drought where some of the key components in the failure of the ancient Maya, we find a similar pattern in other civilizations, not only I the Americas, but around the globe.
Motesharrei and his colleagues conclude that under conditions “closely reflecting the reality of the world today… we find that collapse is difficult to avoid.” In the first of these scenarios, civilization:
“…. appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature.”-yournewswire.com
|The oldest known fossils of modern humans have been discovered in Herto, Ethiopia. An international team led by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found the skulls of two adults and a child dating from 160,000 years ago - 40,000 years earlier than the previous oldest remains of Homo sapiens.|
The discovery, described today in the journal Nature, fills a big gap in the human fossil record; the absence of accurately dated hominid remains in Africa between 120,000 and 300,000 years ago.
Is Homo floresiensis a dwarf Homo erectus, the product of local evolution that has taken place over a period of at least 840,000 years in a confined habitat?