MACDONAK at Meena.CC.URegina.CA
Fri Jul 7 17:43:16 MDT 1995
:From: EQDOMAIN.EQWQ.LROGERS at email.state.ut.us
:I am not aware of any evidence that any human population is presently
:undergoing darwinian evolution (genetic change as a result of
:differential survival/reproduction.) Although, come to think of it,
It seems that the time scale of evolution seems to be missing in a
number of people's understanding of evolution. Changes within and to a
population occurs over several hundreds of generations of a particular species.
One needs also to separate and not confuse breeding, the controlled exageration
of a particular characteristic (which is genetically linked) within a species
and evolution, which is the change within a species at the genetic level (which
may and usually is reflected at the observable level).
Since evolution occurs at the genetic level and in essence affects the
entire population therefore genetic mutation is constantly occurring but
evolution (the transformation of going from one type of species to an
identifiable different species) of the said species progresses slowly over
thousands of years. For example the variation in the human species has been
occurring for thousands of years (hair colour, eye colour, skin pigmentation,
etc.) though these changes have occured there is still only a single species of
humanity (homo sapiens sapiens). It may occur that if the populations of
humanity were to be isolated from each other for the next 50,000 to 200,000
years or so, we may the development of separate species of humanity but we are
unlikely to ever witness it in our lifetimes :)
:cleansing" i.e. genocide. To a considerable extent, genocide is
:targeted toward "others" which are geneologically distinct, by tribe,
:language, geography, oral history, self-identification, molecular
:genetic assay, etc. Ethnic conflicts can then result in genetic
:change, as some genes are targetted for destruction. Evolution
Granted, we can and have, as a species, targeted those who are
different from us and part of those arguments in the past 100 years or so have
been grounded within genetic arguments. This goes beyond the horrific Nazi
period, but has been part and parcel of our society up and until about 15 or 20
years ago. In this case I am referring to the sterilization of many who were
mentally handicapped. This was a very calculated practice of our society to
insure that "mentally-retarded genes" would not be passed on.
However, regardless of the arguments that genocides are currently
grounded on arguments of "genes", this is simply a current fashion of facist
ideology. For it attempts to shift the argument from an ethical basis to a
supposidly "objective, scientized" basis. It attempts to the use the
valorization that our society has given to science as a guise of legtimacy for
:Attitudes, learning, culture, are indeed inherited in a sense, which
:brings us to a big trend in anthropology right now: dual inheritance.
:We inherit genes from our parents, and culture from society.
You appear to confuse the process of procreation and socialization.
This fallacy has been one that has been constantly promoted by facist
individuals. I am not attempting to aline you within that camp, I am simply
dealing with the argument.
That which we know to be human, at a species level, beyond the mere
observarable ones, are our capacities for learning and speach. These
capabilites, potentials, should not be confused with their actualization via
the process of socialization.
Unfortunately I have to stop in mid-reply as my company has arrived and
the mail system I use is an all or nothing viz. replies.
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