Talk:Caucasian race

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Why such obsolete sources for many parts of this article?[edit]

Why is this article so light on sources from current scholars of anthropology and human genetics? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 03:00, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

It is centered on the main anthropologists from the typology's heyday, though some retrospective literature is also linked to. Soupforone (talk) 04:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Who are you calling a Marxist? Anyone I know personally who edits this page (that would be myself, only) is definitely not a Marxist. But what sources do you recommend for improving this article? Discussing ways to improve the article (rather than name-calling) is the purpose of an article talk page. What constructive suggestions do you have for the discussion here? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 23:43, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, name calling aside, I've synopsized the main ancestral components and their geographical hubs, associated populations and times of divergence. Soupforone (talk) 03:11, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I've removed that since the genetic data is not relevant for the topic of this article since it does not purport to be about "the caucasian race" or suggest that the concept has any validity. I also removed the section on medicine on the same grounds. Any material included here has to be directly and specifically about "Caucasian" as a racial category. Not about more general ideas about European ancestry or phenotypical traits. I also removed a patently false claim about what physical anthropologists generally think about the putative Cro-Magnon origins of the "caucasian race".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

The ancestral components are purported to have West Eurasian origins, which have been associated with Caucasoid ancestry. Cro-Magnons were also often posited as the earliest or prototypical representatives of the Caucasoid race. Soupforone (talk) 03:01, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Sources that talk about European genetic ancestry do not talk about the Caucasian race. You cannot simply transfer studies of European populations to the notion of the caucasian race, which has been abandoned as a meaningful biological category by contemporary population geneticists and physical anthropologists. If you have a source for Cro-Magnon being considered ancestral to the caucasian race then that should be added. But it should be described in the proper historical context. It is not the case that current physical anthropologists think this, since they generally do not recognize the existence of a caucasian race.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 03:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Roger Pearson is not a reliable source for physical anthropology.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 03:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Alright; it was just some random anthropology treatise positing a Cro-Magnon prototype. Anyway, a number of these genetic studies do associate the West Eurasian origins for various ancestral components and lineages with Caucasoid ancestry [1][2]. But point taken. Soupforone (talk) 04:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Not that random, his introduction to anthropological concepts is probably the only one from that period that considers race to be a valid biological category. Your two other sources are about Tuvinian and Iranian ancestry, not about Caucasian race. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Fine, but they specifically associate West Eurasian origins with Caucasoid ancestry. One of them actually does so using parentheses. Soupforone (talk) 04:24, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, I am not sure whether such a passing mention is sufficient to establish the point. The problem is of course that "caucasian race" is an obsolete concept, which has been superseded by other concepts in most fields (such a European ancestry), but which still is sometimes used somewhat ambiguously in some fields. You really have to be careful to not use wikipedia's voice to lend legitimacy to a concept that is no longer scientifically current.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:38, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I support the OP. It seems to me that user Maunus is controlling this Wikipedia page to the comfort of his or her bias, blacklisting sources subjectively, and I would suggest reporting any undue reversions not to "get him in trouble", but rather to push away from socio-political bias in favor of objective facts. Wikipedia is not, and should not, be opinion-based. Education should not be opinion-based. Any opinion based not upon objective fact may aswell not exist at all, as one should be left to create opinions based upon such information, rather than be told what to think or be afraid of what prejudicial action might arise from such truth. An example, with regard to this article, where it could be expanded: the south-western Asian Indian sub-continent has indeed been found to genetically be related to the Australian aborigines via C Y-DNA haploid lineage, which is not ambiguous nor "outdated"—as new scientific knowledge—and only the understanding of biological race is outdated, but not the concept. There is a great socio-political reactionary anti-colonial anti-Indo-Aryan-European anti-Afro-Asiatic (Semitic) movement in India, et al, a nationalist & nativist movement, to recognize that the peoples there are, in the South especially, descended from indigenous Indians (not to be confused with indigenous Americans, at C3 Y-DNA, Inuit being a child-race, child-population group, of Caucasians, being Q1a3a divergent at P cluster circa 35thousand years ago, where Inuit language has been hypothesized to be Nostratic, of the greater Caucasian linguistic macrofamily), where Indians are H, L, C, & Indo-Aryan M, subdivision of Caucasian, Caucasoid, Indo-Aryan-European, one of three proven divisions of the Caucasian biological race as mentioned within the article. To that point, east Asians, "Mongoloids", are descended from Caucasians as a child-race, from central Asians, distinct from east Asians as a closely related population group, from Siberian Caucasians & Polynesians, where Siberian Caucasians are closely related to northern Africans, from Libyans to Egyptians to Ethiopians (black Caucasians), where skin-color has been found to only vary by latitude & altitude, though there is strong support for a combination of Out of Africa theory, Into Africa, & multi-origin hypothesis in contemporary academia, which does fall in-line with so-called "outdated" academia. I would refer to the Race (human categorization) aswell as Race (humans) as a biological concept articles within Wikipedia. Further to that point, sub-Saharan African populations have been found to be separate biological races, with separate archaic origin, separate linguistic families, et al, where there is no "sub-Saharan Negroid race", though there is a Caucasian race with single origin. The greatest genetic variety exists within sub-Saharan Africa, population group-to-population group, where individual genetic variance only exists from family to family—not literally by an individual basis. This article needs to be brought out of the 19th century and into evolving science & academia instead of Marxist-influenced sociological & socio-political sensitivities, per Wikipedia NPOV. W124l29 (talk) 06:09, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

I would further challenge anyone to provide a counter-arguement which even so much as suggests how two non-related population groups share languages or dialects proven to be from the same origin.W124l29 (talk) 06:16, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Could you perhaps provide the sources on which you base your own opinion? Particularly I would like to see the sources for the "fact" that there are "three proven divisions of the caucasian biological race", that "mongoloids are a "child race of Caucasians", and that the Inuit languages have been hypothesized to be part of a greater "Caucasian language family". Given your strong faith in the scientific and objective nature of these conclusions I assume they have been recently published in highly reliable scientific journals and met with general approval among population geneticists and linguists.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:19, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Gladly. Nostratic_languages#cite_ref-51 Nostratic_languages#Other_words Nostratic_languages#cite_ref-PIEpronoun_52-0 Nostratic_languages#cite_ref-PIEpronoun_52-1 [[3]] Race_and_genetics#cite_note-Cavalli-Sforza1994-2 History_of_human_migration#cite_note-Literature_2000-2 Early human migrations When biological race is removed from controversy about differences in performance, cognitively or physically, between two individuals of two distinct macro-population groups, races, as opposed to sub-population groups, ethnicities, or even more divided, nationality or political boundary, subculture, &c, region, et al, then those population groups have been found to share the same cultural connections: linguistics, religions, clothing, cuisines, traditions, symbolism, history, but not necessarily skin-color—where such is dependent upon geographical latitude & altitude, admixture between archaic Humanoids theorized at the base level as aforementioned within another comment, but more climatic regardless. There are “black” (pigmented), “brown”, & “white” (depigmented) Caucasians as there are “black” (pigmented), “brown”, & “white” (depigmented) east Asians & central Asians ("Mongoloids"). It is agreed generally that those divisions by skin-color are socially constructed fallacies, created when our academia & natural science was not so informed as it has become, and perpetuated by lay ignorance & preconceived bias. Those biological races have been proven to exist under such a definition, fact, by history, anthropology, &c, aswell as newer genetic studies regarding Human migration, evolution, & genetic genealogy, where biological race, again to emphasize, is not sub-species, but population group, though, again, admixture between archaic Humanoids theorized at the base level as aforementioned within another comment in combination with Out of Africa & Into Africa theories, specifically regarding E Y-DNA haplotype—less-so J Y-DNA haplotype—which in combination with northern E represents the majority of northern Africa aswell as a portion of southern Europe & non-Indo-Aryan Middle East, near East, western Asia, what have you, as Afro-Asiatic or Hamito-Semitic ethnic groups. Such archaic admixture suggests that Humans are able to mate successfully with other sub-species; furthermore, as to which skin-color, tone, pigmentation, ancient Humans were prior to Out of Africa, archaic Humanoids were, though Neanderthals are thought to have had “brown” or “white” skin & blue eye-mutation, red-hair-mutation, and whether there were differences between their skin-colors is both an unknown to consensus to my knowledge & irrelevant. That aside, there is only division within the USA, where such is a socio-political controversy due to implications historically of such academia being studied, with focus on biological race as sub-species instead of macro-population group, and such censorship is a cultural Marxist initiative in sociology—a term which I use very specifically, and not as a lay pejorative. Sociology is not a science, but a subjective interpretation of sciences when combined, no? Without being derailed entirely, I would have you & anyone else please consider again where within paragraph Caucasian_race#Classification, the latter views of Dr Carleton S Coon have been found correct via genetics Haplogroup_CF_(Y-DNA)#/media/File:C=M130-Migration.jpg:
19th century classifications of the peoples of India considered the Dravidians of non-Caucasoid stock as Australoid or a separate Dravida race, and assumed a gradient of miscegenation of high-caste Caucasoid Aryans and indigenous Dravidians. In his 1939 The Races of Europe, Carleton S. Coon thus described the Veddoid race as "possess[ing] an obvious relationship with the aborigines of Australia, and possibly a less patent one with the Negritos" and as "the most important element in the Dravidian-speaking population of southern India".[26] In his later The Living Races of Man (1965), Coon considerably amended his views, acknowledging that "India is the easternmost outpost of the Caucasoid racial region". However, he still recognized an Australoid substrate throughout the subcontinent, writing that "the earliest peoples who have left recognizable survivors were both Caucasoid and Australoid food gatherers. Some of the survivors are largely Caucasoid; others are largely Australoid."[27]
To the point of Dr Carleton S Coon simply being called "Carleton Coon" or "Carleton S. Coon" within the article aswell as his Wikipedia article, is there a reason other than Google statistics as to why he is never addressed as being a doctor? W124l29 (talk) 06:44, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
We don't use titles for any academics per the style guide (Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Biographies#Academic_titles). You are simply linking to the wikipedia articles on Nostratic. However, it so happens that the nostratic theory is not widely accepted by historical linguists at all - it is entirely speculative and papers on the Nostratic hypothesis are not published in most reputable journals. As for the potential vindication of Coon's racial classification, the burden rests on you to show that modern population genetics uses his classification - as far as I know they do not use it at all. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:49, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I find it curious that you have not addressed a single comment of mine in above responses, and instead have focused upon Nostratic not being widely accepted within textbook-academia. I never stated that it was. In fact, I see that I wrote specifically '[...]hypothesized to be Nostratic, of the greater Caucasian linguistic macrofamily[...]', where Inuit is 'hypothesized to be Nostratic'. Nostratic is by no means "speculative", and is indeed published in reputable journals. There is only lack of consensus being as that there are competing theories, and not that Nostratic is in anyway considered fringe. The field is linguistics, and if nothing were ever studied for want of "general consensus" in every field, then the field would not exist. There would be nothing to study. Nothing would ever be published. Again, Nostratic is very much an existing linguistic family, and I linked you directly to sources on each respective page. This is not a public edit, but a talk page, and I don't need to source here at the least my statements any further than I decide to. Sincerely, the burden rests upon you to provide sources for your statements against mine all the same.W124l29 (talk) 09:12, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
See, Race_and_genetics#/media/File:The_history_and_geography_of_human_genes_Luigi_Luca_Cavalli-Sforza_map_genetic.png Note, furthermore, that Dr Coon is not generally considered to be disreputable as a source even in contemporary academia, something which I've seen you claim on this article & elsewhere.W124l29 (talk) 09:20, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Carleton Coon's racial typology is considered pseudoscientific in mainstream academia, and you simply could not get a paper published in a mainstream journal that tried use his work as an authoritative source of information about human biological variation. None of your claims about Nostratic or racial typology are actually supported by sources, so untill you provide some I will just ignore you. Your opinions unsupporred by reliable sources are utterly irrelevant and I will not waste more time on argueing with them.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:23, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Now, you're simply typing with an authoritative tone yourself without any evidence for any of your claims. Where Dr Coon was an academic, he is an academic source until you can prove otherwise, where you are not an academic authority. The burden does not rest upon anyone else but you, User:Maunus. I'll openly type that it is nice, furthermore, that your denialist death-grip on this article's content WP:POV is at last loosening as more people edit it WP:NPOV. Everything that I've written is objective fact. Toodles. W124l29 (talk) 07:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
The process through which racial typology was outphased and a population view of human variation was introduced, and through which Coon's work was made obsolete is one of the better documented chapters of the history of physical anthropology. You can try to read these:
  • Caspari, R. (2003). From types to populations: A century of race, physical anthropology, and the American Anthropological Association. American Anthropologist, 105(1), 65-76.
  • Marks, J. (2010). The two 20th-century crises of racial anthropology. Histories of American physical anthropology in the twentieth century, 187-206.
  • Keita, Shomarka OY, and Rick A. Kittles. "The persistence of racial thinking and the myth of racial divergence." American Anthropologist 99, no. 3 (1997): 534-544.
  • Relethford, J. H. (2010). Race and the Conflicts within the Profession of Physical Anthropology during the 1950s and 1960s. Histories of American Physical Anthropology in the Twentieth Century, 207-219.
  • Jackson Jr, J.P., 2001. “In Ways Unacademical”: The Reception of Carleton S. Coon's The Origin of Races. Journal of the History of Biology, 34(2), pp.247-285.
  • Goodman, A., & Hammonds, E. (2000). Reconciling race and human adaptability: Carleton Coon and the persistence of race in scientific discourse. Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers, 28-44.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:52, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Race as a macro-population group of shared ancestry, genetics, origin, & cultural heritage is exactly what I believe in, and there is no consensus to the contrary. There are two commonly defined viewpoints of race accepted, one of which has changed over time as I've conceded, and the other a sociological definition as one might understand on the sidewalk (that race does not exist except as a fallacious social construct and/or illusion, that everyone shares the same history as everyone else, or that such is irrelevant and should not be pursued further due to the possibility of racist action or thought, a moralistic fallacy), put forth by Karl Marx à la cultural Marxism as founder of contemporary sociology and so more popular in the Americas alone where racism has made study of genetics, history, linguistics, & anthropology, all as related, controversial. Dr Coon was not made "obsolete" in that his work is viewed as "pseudo-" or "fringe", but that his work has been expanded upon & improved upon as has any field of academia or natural science. To argue that such studies are now "obsolete" in that way is the same logical twist as if hypothetically a fundamentalist Creationist were to tell a Darwinist that evolution does not exist due to the field not being consistent in knowledge and so understanding from Day One. W124l29 (talk) 05:12, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

Why create more irrelevant outdated mythology around the Basques on this Caucasoid wikipedia page, like this:

«In 1920, H. G. Wells referred to the Mediterranean race as the Iberian race. He regarded it as a fourth sub-race of the Caucasoid race, along with the Aryan, Semitic, and Hamitic sub-races. He stated that the main ethnic group that most purely represented the racial stock of the Iberian race was the Basques, and that the Basques were the descendants of the Cro-Magnons.»

Actually this was not supported by other authors and not by further studies AFAIK. And each author may have their own conception about the closest living relatives of cromagnon. Further studies state that Basques are strongly Baskid (at least, for the majority) Dinarid and Keltid influenced. Nothing about early Mediterraneans or cromagnon. In Youtube there are several videos like Basque the only true europeans, the earliest europeans, that use one or 2 very old authors and that reshus negative theory, which is sadly a mutation that would be unwanted in the past.

At least here, please spare us, from more Basque patriotic and unscientific claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Caucasian isn't a race, it's an ethnicity[edit]

Name of article should be altered. ScienceApe (talk) 18:28, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

It has become an ethnic term of sorts in the US only, referring to "white people" in general, but that is not how the term is used in the rest of the world. FunkMonk (talk) 19:10, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be the opposite then? "White people" being a race, it's a racial term in US, but an ethnic term everywhere else. ScienceApe (talk) 17:40, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Caucasian also isnt an ethnicity in the US, there is no Caucasian language, culture, or political identity or idea of shared ethnic heritage. The source of confusion is the fact that in the US "ethnicity" is used as a euphemism for "race".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:57, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

"there is no Caucasian language"

Not exactly true. "Caucasian languages" is a generic term for what Wikipedia calls Languages of the Caucasus. A geographic grouping of three unrelated language families: Kartvelian languages (also known as South Caucasian), Northeast Caucasian languages, and Northwest Caucasian languages. They have nothing to do with racial classifications, but more accurately reflect the cultural and linguistic situation in the Caucasus. Dimadick (talk) 08:32, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Meyer's Konversationsleksikon illustration[edit]

The prominent inclusion of this illustration and its color-coding of "races" lends undue prominence to a specific outdated historical construction of the "caucasian race" - and it is misleading to the reader. If the map is appropriate for the article (if it is a particularly notable example of the use of the concept) then it should be further down and it should be the object of critical analytic commentary in the text and caption. Specifically the color coding and legend makes the map appear as if it is interesting for the information that it contains rather than to serve as an illustration of an antiquated ideas.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:55, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't really follow that reasoning, but fine. I've moved the map lower down. Soupforone (talk) 15:09, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
A lot of what you are doing is not sufficiently showing the difference between the outdated racial typologization and the modern perspectives on racial typologies, your edits seem very apt to mislead readers into believing that these typologies are scientifically valid.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:15, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Please no ad hominem. Many scientists believe in the reality of racial differentiation and many don't. It is not our place as Wikipedians to take sides on this matter. Soupforone (talk) 15:26, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not making any ad hominems so don't make that accusation, I am noting that your edits do not sufficiently distinguish between historical analysis and current knowledge. No current scientists believe in 19th century racial typologies, and the article should not pretend that they do. What modern forensic anthropologists mean when they identify "caucasians" and "mongoloids" is not at all the same as what Meyer's Konversationsleksikon meant by those terms. It is our place as wikipedians to make it clear to our readers what is current knowledge and understandings of a topic and what is not, you are not doing a sufficiently good job of this here.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:33, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I think I understand your perspective now. However, I still did not claim any of the above. Soupforone (talk) 15:54, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not saying you made a claim, I am saying you did not adequately make a distinction which is very different - but still important. I think the article could do well with being restructured in a way that makes it clear which uses of the concept are historical and which are current - and why the historical uses are no longer considered valid. For example this requires a discussion of the difference between the typological view of biological race and the modern genomic/population-based view of biological race - as well as a more adequate description of the mainstream view that the idea of a distinct "caucasian" race is invalidated by current understandings of biological variation. For example most physical anthropologists would argue that forensic anthropologists are identifying the physical signs of geographic ancestry which also tend to co-vary with social racial classifications, but which do not produce those classifications.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:02, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Forensic anthropology evolved from early craniometry, so its methods/measurements are often still the same or similar (albeit more sophisticated) and cannot be divorced from those roots. Anyway, discussion of the difference between the forensic anthropology and socially progressive positions on biological race is more relevant to the race categorization page. We also have to be careful not to confuse either of these positions with the default Wikipedia position. Soupforone (talk) 18:43, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

No it is also relevant here that these positions be adequately summarized. Every wikipedia article needs to give priority to the mainstream view of a topic - and here the mainstream view is that "caucasian" is a socially constructed label applied to people with visible European ancestry in some historical contexts and in some countries - the article currently does not do a good job at conveying this, because it looses itself in details about how the concept was understood in olden days. The more images of "subtypes" and colorcoded maps and summaries of classifications from Blumenbach to Coon we put in, the bigger this imbalance gets. Additionally, I think it is quite false to say that forensic anthropology cannot be divorced from early craniometry, that may be true in terms of methods, but certainly not in terms of theoretical understandings, forensice anthropologists are educated in physical anthropology programs for the most part where they certainly will not be studying the "differences" between "alpine" and "arabid" subtypes of "caucasoids".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:35, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
That is the Caucasian=European meme, a primarily U.S. social trope. It's briefly touched on, and explained in greater detail on the relevant white people page. In the Caucasoid race of traditional physical anthropology, the subject at hand, skin color was usually subordinate to osteological morphology since many such individuals were naturally, deeply pigmented [4]. That being said, I can understand how two files of the alpine subtype would seem excessive, so I've removed one and the attached arabid file. What I meant by forensic anthropology cannot be divorced from its roots is indeed primarily via its methods/measurements, but also certain theoretical aspects [5]. Soupforone (talk) 15:12, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
It is not a meme it is a (social) reality, that "arabids" or brown skinned "mediterraneans" will not typically be described as "caucasians" in either the US or Europe - except perhaps in a purely osteological sense in forensic anthropology, but this is not by far the primary sense of the term "caucasian race". The article needs to cover also the social everyday sense of the word "caucasian" as a racial descriptor, such as in "the suspect is a 40-year old caucasian male", which is not typically based on osteological measurements or any particular typological scheme but is simply a shorthand for "looks European". ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:32, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
That is the modern U.S.-specific (not global) social construct of white people, which is discussed in greater detail on that more relevant page. This page is on the traditional caucasian race of physical anthropology, as its categorization indicates. Soupforone (talk) 16:01, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
No, we dont do content forks like that at Wikipedia. You cannot separate the historical understandings out and treat them separately from the contemporary understandings of the concept. Incidentally, I just looked for Forensic Anthro textbooks and the first two I found did not use the term Caucasian, and clearly stated that racial groupings have both socio-cultural and biological components. Showing again why the segregation of the sociocultural race concept and the biological one is not possible in this article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:18, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think the confusion stems from Caucasian specifically rather than Caucasoid. In the U.S., Caucasian denotes both the Caucasoid race of traditional physical anthropology and, in a different social context, persons of European ancestry. However, Caucasoid denotes almost exclusively the traditional race of physical anthropology. Per WP:COMMONNAME, the page should therefore probably be renamed to Caucasoid, as with Mongoloid, Negroid and Australoid. Soupforone (talk) 17:10, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

I disagree, those "-oid" terms are even more dated than "caucasian", also in forensic anthropology. We shouldn't have articles on outdated racial concepts separate from the modern views, that is per dfinition a violation of the rule against POVforks. One of the forensics textbooks by the way just used "white" the other used a mix of European and once "caucasian race", but not caucasoid.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:29, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
  • You wholesale reverted my changes to the lead, I have reinserted them because they are necessary, in light of the above discussion. The edits accomplish several things: 1. they make it clear that the populations "included" under the label depend entirely on which of the many different past classifications one follows. 2. they make it clear that the term is generally used as a synonym for "white" - indeed one forensics book uses the term "white" where one might have excpedted "caucasian". 3. They make it clear that it is a wide consensus view that a. humans do not have "types" they have populations in which traits vary and covary, b. that racial categories are social categories that divide biological traits into classes - i.e. they are both biological and cultural (this is not an AAA view, but is also the view found in most genetics textbooks, and even in the first two forensic anthropology textbooks I found online). 4. It gets rid of odd references like Berthier-Foglar et al which is not really about this topic, and Pickering (whose quote is simply his own opinion but clearly not representative of wider forensic anthropology) and replaces them with Caspari (which is a masterful overview of the history of the field of physical anthropology and human variation in the 20th century, and a forensics textbook and an article that critiques the forensic use of racial categories). They make it clear that not all forensice anthropologists use the term "caucasian" and that the primary use of the concept in forensics is to identify the ancestry of human remains.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:45, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A few quick points: (1) The phrasing "usually including some or all of the ancient and modern populations of..." works better since it implies that, although the classifications have varied, they generally constituted these groups. The historical race concepts page was also already linked a phrase or so below; no need to link to it twice. (2) Rachel Caspari is a member of the American Anthropological Association, her work was published by the AAA, and she now serves as the president of the AAA's Biological Anthropology Section [6]. She is therefore not neutral on the AAA/forensic anthropology issue. (3) The Caucasian=European trope is used in a social context in the U.S. primarily. Elsewhere, Caucasian first and foremost translates as natives of the Caucasus region (its original meaning) [7]. The note on the alternate U.S.-specific usage is thus undue in the lead. (4) Pickering's assertion that Caucasoid is still used in forensic anthropology is accurate, but C. A. Roberts explains the situation more succinctly [8]). In the anthropological traditions of many areas outside the U.S., Caucasoid as a biological entity is also still widely acknowledged (ex. [9]). Ergo, the AAA does not equal the U.S., and the U.S. does not equal the world. Soupforone (talk) 04:30, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

1. then unlink it in its second usage, it is important that it be established in the definition that this is primarily a historical concept and that the question of which populaitons it has included depends on which historical source you follow. 2. Being a member or president of AAA does not mean that she is not "neutral"m that is nonsense it is a review article reviewing a historical development, not stating her own opinions. The source provides history of the usage of race concept describing how the typological race classification was abandoned (which it also is in forensics I reiterate) Caspari is the best possible source for the development of the views in bio anth and in general. It is therefore a misrepresentation to say "social scientists" and it is a gross misrepresentation to say "some" - there is no current field of science that operates with a classic typological view of race. (note that a "typological view" means the tendency to see them as discrete types that can be labeled, todays biological race concept is of "genomic population clusters" which is extremely different in its implications) 3. It is fine to mention the etymology and that it tends to refer to people of Caucasus outside of the US. It is not undue in the lead since it is by far the most common usage AND ecause the article is about the "caucasian race" which I am sure any one anywhere who speaks English (language of this encyclopedia) is able to understand as referring either to "white people" or to "caucasoids" depending on their training. The lead by the way should summarize the article and there is a section specifically on US usage. Again I reiterate, it is not just the AAA that has moved away from typological race concepts to a population based genomic one - it is everyone, also forensic anthropologists, biologists and geneticists, and even the minority of American physical anthopologists who believe race is primarily biological. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:01, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (1) The historicity of the concept was already established via the linked phrase "first introduced in early racial concepts and anthropometry". Alright, though; that is a minor point anyway. (2) The fact that Caspari is not only an AAA member but a president of the AAA does mean that she is not a neutral observer on the AAA/forensic anthropology issue, as she has a vested interest/promotional stake in the matter. With regard to the AAA and Unesco statements on race, Walsh and Yun (2011) also point out that "the science involved in the development of these two statements was predominantly social science". (3) That is inaccurate. There is no uniformity worldwide among professional anthropologists as to the existence of biological race. Lieberman et al. (2004) examined various global surveys attempting to calibrate this, and found that opposition to biological race was highest among anthropologists in the United States and Canada, moderate in Europe (higher in the West, lower in the East), moderately low in Latin America (lowest in Cuba), low in Russia, and virtually non-existent in China [10]. Walsh and Yun (2011) summarized these anthropological surveys as follows-- "The distaste for race appears to be confined to Western anthropologists, however. A study of Polish physical anthropologists found that 75 percent of them agreed that human races are a reality (Kaszycka and Strzalko, 2003). The concept also appears alive and well among Chinese anthropologists. Examining a large number of Chinese anthropological articles about human variation, Wang, Strkali, and Sun (2003:403) found that "all of the articles used the race concept and none of them questioned its value." [11] Therefore, the AAA's position should not be presented as though it is the default global position among professional anthropologists when it certainly is not. Soupforone (talk) 16:56, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

The biological concept of race and the typological concept of race are two different things - no one defends the latter today, only the former (in a genomic-population based construction). What chinese anthropologists may believe about race in their hearts is irrelevant for all our intents and purposes unless they publish it in the major journals of the profession - and their views are of no consequence for the development of the wider field untill they do. Secondly, It is absurd to attempt to disqualify the opinion of a renowned anthropologist on the basis of her holding a distinguished office in the main professional organization of her discipline. The AAA is not an advocacy group but a professional organization, and probably the, majority of forensic anthropologists in the US are members of the organization that Caspari is president of. The idea that there are fundamental differences between forensic and physical anthropology is wildly exaggerated - as the fact that the first two forensics textbbooks i found clearly agreed with her position. Your attempt to marginalize the view that typological race is antiquated and no longer used by making it appear as if it is exclusive to the AAA is wildly inaccurate and tendentious - the same view is held by a biologists and geneticists who are not members of the AAA and are the standard view in genetics textbooks as well as forensic anthrpology textbooks. Typological race concepts are dead. Genomic race concepts are being debated. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:54, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I wrote above that there is no uniformity worldwide among professional anthropologists as to the existence of biological race. That also wasn't my opinion, but rather data points by Lieberman et al. [12] and Walsh & Yun [13]. Anyway, carry on believing what you want - the global anthropological surveys are what they are. Soupforone (talk) 15:19, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

I re-reiterate: I am not talking about "biological race" which is indeed a topic of current debate, but about the typological view of biological race which is not.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:28, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I hope to participate more in the coming weeks, but very briefly @Soupforone and Maunus: I have read a number of links provided here to presumably indicate Caspari's view of race does not accurately represent US professional anthropological opinion, nor that of anthropologists globally. However, the papers linked indicate that globally, anthropologists view race as an effectively obsolete term for describing human beings, and prefer instead terms like "population." Those terms are borrowed from population ecology, and this reflects the fact that modern conceptions of human diversity are formed by genetic data collected over the last two decades. Some variation on the term "caucasian" and its continued use do not imply in any way that anthropologists still regard the term "race" as a valid descriptor for human biological diversity. -Darouet (talk) 18:16, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
This may seem politically incorrect but I have to say it: The West's stance on physical anthropology will generally have have more weight since its tradition is much greater than other cultures. And today the West produces not only the most cited and peer reviewed works but they are the ones who advanced the field more. So the opinion of anthropologists in China or Poland is irrelevant. What matters, like the expert in this discussion has pointed, is what is in the journals not in the scientists mind in some other countries. As per Wikipedia's Scientific standards, not all claims have equal weight. I quote: "The weight given to each view should be proportional to the published articles in high-impact journals on a subject supporting each view according to the number of citations such articles receive" This is a non discussion regarding Wikipedia's policy. Western anthropologist claims matter more as a whole since their work are more cited in this domain. Again this may not sound politically correct but not all claims, not all countries have equal weight. CaliphoShah (talk) 14:49, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


The article was confusing the many different historical classifications and physical definitions, so I am going to reorganize the article to maintain a better distinction between the historical development of the concept, and the current use and understanding. The history section is currently empty between Blumenbach and Coon, so that needs to be filled out. Then I think we need a separate section on the use of the concept in contemporary forensic anthropology, which should include the anatomical traits that forensic anthropologists consider "Caucasoid". ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:26, 29 March 2017 (UTC)


The etymological derivation of the appellation Caucasoid comes from the Greek eidos (meaning "form", "shape", "resemblance") [14]. Soupforone (talk) 16:56, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

I have readded your helpful etymology section, after removing your other detrimental changes which misrepresent the topic and makes the article non-neutral. If you reinsert it, I will have to start a neutrality discussion in a wider forum.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:08, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Lead illustration[edit]

I have removed the rather bad photo of a map in a museum. Apart from being ugly and badly taken, the photo is not very informative or relevant for the topic - there is nothing to indicate that the map is particularly noteworthy in relation to the concept at hand or that the museum is particularly well regarded for its information regarding race. Blumenbach's drawing is both more historically relevant, and much more pleasant to look at.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:10, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

The Blumenbach archetypal skull is already illustrated further down. There is no need to duplicate it, so I've moved it down and placed at the top a Caucasoid skull from the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Soupforone (talk) 15:19, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it is a beautiful drawing that deserves a close-up as well as being represented in contrast to Blumenbach's other types. But I am open to considering other images if they are nicer. I can't see the one you are alluding to? It would also be great with an image that can be used to describe the distinctive features of "Caucasian" crania from the forensics viewpoint, as contrasted with the Asian and African cranial features (eye shapes, nose shapes, prognathism etc.).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:31, 30 March 2017 (UTC)


I've reworded the awkward lead phrase "in biological anthropology the term was earlier used as a cover term for different phenotypical groups in these different regions, but focusing on skeletal, and particularly cranial, anatomy rather than traits such as skin tone" to the more succinct "in biological anthropology, Caucasoid has been used as an umbrella term for phenotypically similar groups from these different regions, with a focus on skeletal anatomy, and especially cranial morphology, over skin tone." I linked the phrase to Pickering since Bhopal does not mention cranial morphology [15], nor is there a page number for Baum. Further, Bhopal alludes to Caucasian usage in U.S. medicine and epidemiological publications rather than in the entire Anglosphere, so I've substituted "in English" with "United States". I've also noted that complexion varied as per Blumenbach. Soupforone (talk) 15:19, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Good, that is a better phrasing.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:32, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

South Asia Reference?[edit]

Why do South Asians need to be referenced as 'Caucasian' in the first paragraph? They are more Caucasian than most Central Asians who are Mongoloid and people from the Arabian Peninsular who are mixed with Sub-Saharan African ("Negroid") ancestry which is quite visible in their appearance. Plus people from the Horn of Africa are not Caucasian at all. A Pakistani and a Somali look quite different both genetically and phenotypically. !! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:51, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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