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Cultural studies February 3, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Fantastic takedown of William Reveille’s recent article here in the IT. I wonder if WR will respond.

There’s an interesting discussion, or half-discussion in comments which mentions the South African apartheid state. My father who wound up as an archaeologist visited SA shortly after the regime fell and was appalled by the museums there which dating from the apartheid era had displays detailing completely incorrect evolutionary and racial ‘theories’.

Anyhow, in the response in the IT was some good stuff. Particularly so was this…

Even if we were to try and find essential traits that define some culture, it would be a Sisyphean task. Even white skin is a relatively recent mutation – dark skin was the norm across central Europe for most of prehistory, with white skin confined to the northern-most part of the continent. The first farmers from the Near East carried genes for both light and dark skin. They reproduced with local hunter-gatherers, and it was only 5,800 years ago that the depigmentation gene variant known as SLC24A5, once rare, exploded in frequency across the continent. Far from being an essentialist trait, the emergence of white skin as a common phenotype required the sustained interbreeding of many cultures. Incidentally, this, of course, makes the spectacle of white supremacists touting racial purity as deluded as it is disgusting.

I know it’s obvious but in this world it bears constant reiteration. particularly in a supposedly ‘post-truth’ world.

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Comments»

1. CL - February 3, 2017

A very useful refutation of Reville’s pseudo-science. At at time when anti-immigrant xenophobia, based on racism, is rife its important to expose phonies such as Reville.

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2. Dermot O Connor - February 3, 2017

My current project ‘Continuum’ has a section which uses a thought experiment to deconstruct the race-realists. It’s based on a passage in Carroll Quigley’s book ‘Evolution of Civilization’ (1960).



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makedoanmend - February 4, 2017

This is excellent. Expoundingly explanatory and revealing.

I’m not a fan of “comic”, anime, etc. style books.

However, my outlook changed with I recently took out a copy of “Unflattening” by Nick Sousanis from the local library – a real eye opener and with political implications, although not a political tome. (It’s a current and revealing riff on Abbott’s “Flatland”.)

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3. Alibaba - February 3, 2017

I’ve always disliked William Reville’s articles so much; I just refused to read them, mostly because I couldn’t summon the counter arguments. Great stuff and refutation about this recent article

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4. Jim Monaghan - February 4, 2017

For me Irish culture does not need people of Irish descent (whatever that means) to survive.Eg Irish music is a world heritage. It does not belong to any particular group.
Now that virulent zenophobia is on the rise and indeed has become more mainstream (Le Pen, Wilders and co having a gathering in Germany, Trump in the USA etc.). we need to be wary.
This article is fairly good on the nonsense.
“http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article40191
“Scientific evidence shows overwhelmingly that people across the world are genetic refugees from Africa.

Table of contents
Starting with Kant
Genetic evidence
Genetic racism revived
Evolutionary origins
Race in human taxonomy [1] – the science of classifying organisms – has a long, disgraceful history.

Individuals have used race to divide and denigrate certain people while promoting their claims of superiority. Some of these individuals were, and are, respected in their time and their fields. They include philosopher and scientist Robert Boyle [2] and sociologists like Hans Günther. Others who’ve been guilty include biologists like Ernst Haeckel and historians such as Henri de Boulainvilliers [3].

What is the history of racially based classifications of humans? And does it have any scientific validity?”

I don’t think Reveille is a racist as such. More confused.

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