On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 1:29 PM, GS Chandy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Further my post dt. Feb 16, 2014 12:09 PM ( > http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?messageID=9389645?): > > > > I believe it should be easy enough to determine genetically that we > Indians today are actually an 'amalgam' of many racial 'colour-types' - > 'brown', 'black', 'ivory' and 'yellow': the 'brown' and the 'black' being > predominant, of course. >
The question is whether "racial" means anything in your sentence. Yes, there are proteins that influence skin color which trace back to one's genetic ability to protect from / absorb sunlight. Trees also have darker barks towards the equator on average, or so I'm told. Humans vary with geography, that much is obvious.
In the 1800s and early 1900s it was still fashionable to try tying some "five (or seven) races of man" to the Adam & Eve story. You had these timelines starting from Eden, going through the Tower of Babel, which is where the religious imams (preachers) said the races began. This mishmash of fantasy and geography is where our concept of "race" comes from, about as "scientific" as Lord of the Rings. Here in Cascadia at least, there's some "debunking" of the race concept going on, including in academic circles, e.g. at Willamette U., with spillover into popular thinking, e.g OMSI (science museum's) science pub.
You say "I've since looked at the Wikipedia entry on 'Cascadia'. For some reason, I'm unable to wrap my mind around it. Shall try again."
Think of Cascadia as a like a Pakistan in the upper left corner of India, uneasy at still being a part of the Federation, as one of most recent joiners -- kind of like Alaska in that way.
Hawaii is already thinking "outside the box" and may one day join a federation of Pacific island destinations, proclaiming liberty from all former colonial masters (Japan and/or the US and/or Russia and/or China and/or France -- India is too far east, or west depending how you look at it, to be considered a Pacific player, though one could say the same for France...).
Some critics say that will mess up the USA's 50 stars, if Hawaii leaves. Maybe that would be just the right time to pick up Puerto Rico, just to keep the stars numbering at 50 (more convenient for everyone that way). Or admit DC to the union with full statehood, if Puerto Rico says no.
> I am not adequately knowledgeable about the science of how various > 'gene-types' express themselves in succeeding generations to say anything > authoritative here. Any college student of biology etc should be able to > correct me on this. >
You can track all manner of genetic sequences and patterns down through the generations, but whether it all adds up to a coherent concept of "races" is quite another matter. My view is the more we learn about genetics, the more "races" fade away, kind of like the "four humors" of alchemy.
Racists are superstitious about some "racial essence" which they cannot define. They may claim modern genetics is only refining their understanding but I've not seen any well-reasoned articles to that effect in any reputable journals. In the scientific literature at least, I think racist concepts are on the wane.
> > My thoughts about how the 'red' also may be a part of our 'Indian mix' > come from some memories I have of my wanderings during the mid-sixties in > the Sikkim and > Indo-Tibetan Himalayas: in the higher reaches, I VERY often encountered > individuals who looked like the photographs I had seen in National > Geographic, etc, of people inhabiting the Andean mountains! (Spitting > images, actually!) > > As earlier noted, my scientific understanding of such phenomena is very > limited indeed. > > GSC >
People have been getting around and mixing it up for a long time.
In the Pacific Northwest, we talk about a "Clovis" people here as long ago as 13K years ago. Their exact ancestry is still in dispute (is unknown). The sea levels were a lot lower back then and the Atlantic was much smaller too, with long-ago submerged continental shelves still land back then.
The last ice age was only just coming to an end and much of the Earth's water was still caught up in those still receding glaciers.