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It's a white thing

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanSeptember 27, 2006 7:02 AM


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Sandy at Discovering Biology in a Digital World responded to my post about skin color with White People are Mutants. This is an interesting juxtposition with a observation that some might claim that this implies that one is saying white people are more evolved. But it's more complex than that, as I point out, it seems that before our species evolved dark skin, we were white skinned, underneath our fur, so white people are "back to the future." Does that mean they are primitive? Or evolved back to primitivity? Obviously not, these sort of categories, "more evolved," or "advanced," are really not appropriate in a grand evolutionary scheme.

Evolution just is

, the only thing it ascends is an abstract, idealized and unreal fitness landscape. A reification which I tend to feel is worthwhile in modelling, but needs to be treated cautiously in the real world where one moment you are on solid ground, and the next moment the mountain of selection moves on you Bugs Bunny style and you are hurtling down from the sky. A fundamental truth which I think is important to comprehend is that almost any scientific finding of relevance to humans can be twisted through rhetorical tricks to support almost any position. Though the process of science is very different from other human systems of thought, it is often very amenable to being leveraged by those systems of thought. Addendum: In regards to Europeans there is current debate about whether polymorphism on MC1R is due to relaxation of constraint (neutral transient polymorphisms) or positive sexual selection.

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