- So, is there such a thing as race? Yes? No? Maybe? If you use the same identical criteria for humans as you use for dogs and cats, well then, dogs and catsMessage 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2008View Source
So, is there such a thing as race? Yes? No? Maybe?
If you use the same identical criteria for humans as you use for dogs and cats, well then, dogs and cats come in breeds that are named and identified based on their appearance and behavior. If you use that criteria, then humans do come in breeds! Is there a Woof or Meow in protest to that?
An interesting note: in a Russian experiment involving selection of foxes, the only criteria for selecting foxes out to breed separately was behavior. Friendly foxes were selected out of a group of wild foxes. Within a few generations, the scientists bred foxes that were a lot friendlier in behavior - but something unexpected happened.
The friendly breed of foxes look different enough from the other wild foxes that - if they were two groups of humans - they would be called "two races." After 40 years of selective breeding, Russian scientists have produced a friendly fox that whines for attention from humans, licks its master's face, and has even begun looking like a dog.
"They have shown themselves to be good-tempered creatures, as devoted as dogs but as independent as cats," writes geneticist Lyudmila Trut in the journal American Scientist.
"Both Belyaeve and Trut selected foxes for one criterion only tameness, which was evaluated by the foxes' reactions to their human keepers. If they were vicious, they didn't join the experimental population. If they showed slight fear and friendliness, they did.
To ensure that their tameness resulted from genetic selections, the scientists didn't train the foxes and their contact with humans was limited to brief, behavioural tests." (see full issue: American Scientist, March-April 1999 Volume: 87 Number: 2 Page: 160 DOI: 10.1511/1999.2.160)
So it appears that behavior and appearance go hand in hand with each other, for the most part! That would certainly account for stereotypes that humans tend to make. Humans use eyesight as their main sense organ for identification.