Posts Tagged ‘hominid speciation’

Race and species

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

One of the many politically incorrect aspects of Darwinism is that races are the origin of species.  There is no objective way of distinguishing a large race difference from a small species difference, any more than one can distinguish a large hill from a small mountain.

To say that two closely related kinds are two races of the same species, or two distinct species is a fact about scientific terminology, not a fact about the external world.  As Lamarck argued, we draw sharp lines on a world that lacks sharp lines.  For any two kinds, an intermediate kind likely exists, or once existed.

Everyone agrees that if two kinds are not interfertile, that they will not have sex, or cannot have sex, or if they have sex but no offspring ensues, then that is truly two species, not two races of the same species.  But if we said that two kinds that can and will interbreed, given the opportunity, must belong to the same species, then we would be in a world with very few species.  We would not only say that dogs and wolves are the same species, which most people would think pretty reasonable, but that wolves and coyotes are the same species, which is a bit of a stretch, and that lions and tigers are the same species, which is just silly.

Such a standard is also unworkable, because there is very commonly a kind in the middle, such that kind A is interfertile with kind B, and kind B interfertile with kind C, but kind A is not interfertile with kind C, in which case we would like to call all three kinds different species, since we obviously have to call A and C different species.

That blacks are the same species as whites is not a fact about human kinds, but rather the fact that Darwin declined to draw an arbitrary line through the Sahara, not a fact about human kinds but a fact about scientific nomenclature.

We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour of classing the races of man as distinct species, and then and then the arguments on the other side.

The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spokenof in a trustworthy work as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a differentconsideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a proof of thespecific distinctness of the parent races.

Now if we reflect on the weighty argumentsabove given, for raising the races of man to the dignity of species, and the insuperabledifficulties on the other side in defining them, it seems that the term “sub-species”might here be used with propriety. But from long habit the term “race” will perhapsalways be employed.

Through the means just specified, aidedperhaps by others as yet undiscovered, man has been raised to his present state. Butsince he attained to the rank of manhood, he has diverged into distinct races, or as theymay be more fitly called, sub-species. Some of these, such as the Negro and European, areso distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a naturalist without any furtherinformation, they would undoubtedly have been considered by him as good and true species

Our naturalist would then perhaps turn t geographical distribution, and he would probabldeclare that those forms must be distinc species, which differ not only in appearance, butare fitted for hot, as well as damp or dry countries, and for the Artic regions. He mightappeal to the fact that no species in the group next to man–namely, the Quadrumana, can resist low temperature, or any considerable change of climate; and that the species which come nearestto man have never been reared to maturity, even under the temperate climate of Europe. He wouldbe deeply impressed with the fact, first noticed by Agassiz (7. ‘Diversity of Origin of the HumanRaces,’ in the ‘Christian Examiner,’ July 1850.), that the different races of man are distributed over the world in the same zoological provinces, as those inhabited by undoubtedly distinctspecies and genera of mammals. This is manifestly the case with the Australian, Mongolian, andNegro races of man; in a less well-marked manner with the Hottentots; but plainly with the Papuansand Malays, who are separated, as Mr. Wallace has shewn, by nearly the same line which divides thegreat Malayan and Australian zoological provinces. The Aborigines of America rangethroughout the Continent; and this at first appears opposed to the above rule, for most ofthe productions of the Southern and Northern halves differ widely: yet some few living forms,as the opossum, range from the one into the other, as did formerly some of the giganticEdentata. The Esquimaux, like other Arctic animals, extend round the whole polar regions. Itshould be observed that the amount of difference between the mammals of the several zoologicalprovinces does not correspond with the degree of separation between the latter; so that it canhardly be considered as an anomaly that the Negro differs more, and the American much less from theother races of man, than do the mammals of the African and American continents from the mammalsof the other provinces. Man, it may be added, does not appear to have aboriginally inhabitedany oceanic island; and in this respect, he resembles the other members of his class.

In determining whether the supposed varieties ofthe same kind of domestic animal should be ranked as such, or as specifically distinct, that is,whether any of them are descended from distinct wild species, every naturalist would lay muchstress on the fact of their external parasites being specifically distinct. All the more stresswould be laid on this fact, as it would be an exceptional one; for I am informed by Mr. Dennythat the most different kinds of dogs, fowls, and pigeons, in England, are infested by the same species of Pediculi or lice. Now Mr. A. Murray has carefully examined the Pediculi collected indifferent countries from the different races of man (8. ‘Transactions of the Royal Society ofEdinburgh,’ vol. xxii, 1861, p. 567.); and he finds that they differ, not only in colour, butin the structure of their claws and limbs. In every case in which many specimens were obtained the differences were constant. The surgeon of a whaling ship in the Pacific assured me that whenthe Pediculi, with which some Sandwich Islanders on board swarmed, strayed on to the bodies of theEnglish sailors, they died in the course of three or four days. These Pediculi were darkercoloured, and appeared different from those proper to the natives of Chiloe in South America,of which he gave me specimens. These, again, appeared larger and much softer than Europeanlice. Mr. Murray procured four kinds from Africa, namely, from the Negroes of the Eastern andWestern coasts, from the Hottentots and Kaffirs; two kinds from the natives of Australia; two from North and two from South America. In these latter cases it may be presumed that the Pediculi camefrom natives inhabiting different districts. With insects slight structural differences, ifconstant, are generally esteemed of specific value: and the fact of the races of man beinginfested by parasites, which appear to be specifically distinct, might fairly be urged asan argument that the races themselves ought to be classed as distinct species.

All spotted owls are obviously the same race and same species.  Californian spotted owls are no more a species than Californian blondes are a species.

Spotted owls differ from barred owls no more that whites differ from east Asians and, as with whites and east Asians, are connected by a cline.  The environmentalists want to exterminate the cline, to make spotted owls and barred owls conform to a plausible species definition.

Similarly coyotes and wolves.  The American government  exterminated the cline for political reasons.  Coyotes are pigmy wolves, and can freely interbreed with large wolves, and are fully interfertile.

Whites and East asians are fully interfertile.

Whites and blacks are interfertile, but *not* fully interfertile.

Whites and Australian mainland aboriginals are interfertile.  We don’t know if they are fully interfertile, because by the time Australia was settled, it had already become politically incorrect to study such matters.

Whites and Tasmanian aboriginals were not interfertile.  Tasmania was initially colonized by white males, and initially had zero single white women.  Very large numbers of Tasmanian aboriginal women were purchased or captured by lonely white males.   A fertile age Tasmanian woman cost about the same as a good dog. Not one mixed race child ensued.  Sex with white people was a substantial part of the reason that Tasmanian aboriginals became extinct.

[Correction some mixed race children did ensue. James Bonwick was there, and wrote a book about it “The lost Tasmanian race.” He tells us it was rare for half caste children to be born “even under the most favorable circumstances”, indicating dramatically reduced, but non zero, fertility]

All existing people who claim Tasmanian aboriginal ancestry and can plausibly trace it to someone who looks plausibly nonwhite (a very small subset of those who claim Tasmanian aboriginal ancestry), trace it back to one woman who is obviously (from her photograph and the date at which she had children) a mainland aboriginal who came over with the white colonists after the Tasmanian aboriginals became extinct.  If Truganini was the last Tasmanian aboriginal, and she was certainly the last person who looked Tasmanian, the Tasmanian aboriginals became extinct without the birth of a single mixed race child, despite massive fornication.

That Tasmanian aboriginals were the same species as ourselves is not a fact about scientific nomenclature, but a lie.  And, if they cannot be classed as the same species, then if we apply to humans the same standards as we apply to other groups of kinds, we also have to categorize kinds that are comparably different as different species.