Talk:Scientific racism/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Homo ferus?

Linnaeus' Homo ferus doesn't really belong here. It (and Homo anthropomorpha) don't refer to any real group of people; anthropomorpha didn't exist at all, it was just an idiosyncratic idea of Linnaeus's about ape-like creatures inspiring certain myths, and ferus was Linnaeus' mis-interpretation of feral children (since they walked quadrupedally and couldn't speak) as a separate species. Both were thought of as totally different species nevertheless related to humanity more closely than to apes; but they don't fall into a "racism" category at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vultur (talkcontribs) 05:47, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


I've removed Francis Galton’s 1870 Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences from the overview's "other scientific racist works that largely influenced Nazism" as the cited reference (Tucker 1994) doesn't appear to have a title, and Tucker 2002 appears to make no mention of that work by Galton. It precedes his coining of the term eugenics. While it's clearly about ideas of good breeding, it's about scientific snobbery rather than racism and it's very questionable if it can be included as a "scientific racist work". The transition from that work to eugenics to the racist eugenics of the United States and thence to the Nazis is complex, and the current overview appears over-focussed on the Nazis, thus missing the point of the pre-eugenics tradition of scientific racism, in particular the racist anthropology of the American school from the 1850s onwards. Something to sort. . dave souza, talk 18:07, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

human species losing allopatric speciation

The human race, via races (within itself as a whole race), was on the path of diversity through allopatric speciation; has any scientific racism source made the argument that race mixing destroys the change which allopatric speciation brings on since separate geographically distinct types were the initial steps in allopatric speciation.? (talk) 09:21, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

SUPPOSED physical differences?

Sorry, the caption for the picture on the page made me laugh. Those are depictions of the SUPPOSED physical differences between the various races? So it might not be true that blacks look like that? lmao. (talk) 06:02, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

IQ Bell Curve

On what basis would you exclude the graph depicting the gap in intelligence of the major races? This is one of, if not the, predominant driving forces behind acknowledgment of differences in the potential of racial populations for modern-day "scientific racists". It represents the scientifically racist worldview in a more current, not to mention scientific, fashion than a cartoon from 1899 with no scientific data available. This article needs to have more relevance with the current era, rather than dismissing so many philosophers and intellectuals of by-gone eras as if racism -- and racial differences -- are no longer an issue in society.

If the scope of this article is so limited as to render it completely biased, you will need to further define what "scientific racism" is -- i.e. who coined the term, and why it's relevant enough to have its own utterly biased article -- in order to provide a rationale for including what appears to be propaganda. [-- 17:23, 10 June 2010 User:Tyrtamus

The picture shows what scientific racism typically looked like in the period when it reached its greatest influence. This makes it better suited for summarizing the article's subject matter than the Bell curve graph, which merely shows a number of findings that may or may not be used to support racism. Iblardi (talk) 23:07, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
In no scenario should the sole focus of this article be that of dismissive condescension of racist attitudes on race from by-gone eras. This is a broad subject matter, and one that's not as entirely as irrelevant to modern-day attitudes on race as some would like to think. Right now it looks as though this article uses a term popularized by Gould to simply and deliberately summarize that author's views on race, when the term itself does not necessarily denote itself to this.User:Tyrtamus

article suffers from terminological confusion

some people, actually some vocal contributors to this article, appear to think that "racism" automatically equals "racial supremacism". Hence the train of thought "racism, zomg, racial supremacism, anti-semitism, eugenics, nazis". This is completely beside the point. A detached analysis of the topic will reveal, I am sure, that there are two uses of "scientific racism", one used neutrally of a historical field of scholarly study, and the other a pejorative used in postmodernist criticisms of racism. The dividing line between the mainstream academic field and the postmodernist bickering lies, not coincidentially, in the WWII period. Of course it is not possible today to speak of "racism" free of any negative implications. But it must be possible, in an encyclopedia, to discuss neutrally a historical field of scholarship.

  • in the period of, say, 1880 to 1930, "race" was just a bona fide way to divide the world's population in anthropology. This does not automatically entail any claims of superiority, let alone eugenics and what have you. The fact that there had always been racial supremacists is no excuse for distorting the historical mainstream view.
  • from, say 1950 to 2010, "racism" has become little more than a slur, much like "terrorism" or "communism". It isn't useful to write an article on a historical field of scholarship from the point of view of the culture wars.

Yes, this article should discuss the pitfalls of racial supremacism and eugenics inherent in scientific racism, but these are strictly marginal topics and they should not be allowed to dominate any significant portion of the article. In the very definition of the term, this article used, in Wikipedia's voice, the reference

Patricia Hill Collins, Black feminist thought: knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment (2nd ed., 2000), Glossary, p. 300: "Scientific racism was designed to prove the inferiority of people of color"

I mean, are we writing articles from the point of view of "black feminism" now? You might as well use quotes from Joseph McCarthy to "define" the subject matter at Communism. These are opinions, and they may be referenced, but please under a section "postmodernist criticism" and nowhere near the lead or introductory parts of the article. --dab (𒁳) 10:59, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

The lead conflated scientific racism, plain "racism", and racial supremacism completely and without remorse. For example, the claim of an "official debunking of scientific racism" by the UN is "substantiated" by a quote on "the myth of 'race'". I ask you, is it possible for the UN to "debunk" a scholarly hypothesis, and (b) is the quote on "the myth on 'race'" more likely to refer to racial supremacism or to scholarly attempts to group human populations? --dab (𒁳) 11:09, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure that there is a neutral use of "scientific racism". For most people, "racism", the dominant part of "scientific racism", is a pejorative label, and the use of the term "scientific racism" to describe 19th- and early 20th-century "race science" already expresses a value judgment about the subject. I don't have the impression that it has been different in the past.[1] It is not altogether strange that a negative approach to the scientificity of this form of "racism" will be present in the sources cited in the article. (I provided those in the lead.) Of course, the 19th-century scientists would disagree with our use of "racism"/"racialism" (both later invented); as far as they were concerned, they were practizing "pure" science and they would not have viewed themselves as conscious or unconscious perpetuators of non-scientific ideologies. The question should perhaps be whether we would not rather avoid the -ism altogether and use a more neutral descriptor such as "race science", "science of race", or perhaps "scientific race typology" for this lemma, and make clear in the body of the article that the science involved is considered outdated by today's standards and that the term "scientific racism" is also widely used in this context. Iblardi (talk) 21:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

you are right, it is now mostly a pejorative. This is mostly because the topic itself has become untouchable, and it is more or less impossible to find a non-pejorative term for something that is widely regarded pejoratively (i.e. no matter what euphemism you come up with, it will again turn into a pejorative almost immediately).

Now this seems to be our main article on the academic research into the question of "race" in the period of say 1880 to 1930. Of course the article should spend a lot of time detailing why and how the field fell from favour, but it also needs to make clear that for 50 years the validity of the approach was considered to be more or less self-evident.

It may be best to scan the literature for terminology and try to find a better title for this article. --dab (𒁳) 12:27, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Intelligence Citations Bibliography for Articles Related to IQ Testing

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Intelligence Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human intelligence and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in these issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human intelligence to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 17:00, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


Saying outright that it is racism disguised as science doesn't seem very NPOV to me. -Disko

It is science that is maligned in this perjorative (sic) term, a point that is not made in the current stub. Wetman 03:00, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I see that as POV. Science was very racial for a long period of time, far longer than the current era of wherein minimum import is placed on race. If science is maligned, rightly so :) Sam [Spade] 03:04, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
"Scientific racism is racist propaganda disguised as science. The phrase is used either as an accusation or to describe what is generally considered to be historical racist propaganda about the supposed inferiority or superiority of certain races. The phrase has been applied retroactively to publications on race as far back as the 18th century."
The first sentence alone shows that the article is not neutral, as it is only a charge against scientific opinions some people don't like. That the phrase had been used in 18th century is a silly claim, since there is virtually no publication from before 1930 were racism as a word is used at all.
While I do not like the first sentence myself, it does not mean what you think it does. When people say "Scientific racism" they do mean racist propaganda disguised as science; the question is not what the term means but whether or not anything accused of being it actually is "scientific racism." In any case, you have misread the reference to the 18th century: it does not say the term was used then, it says it is often retroactively applied to works from 18th century. --Fastfission 15:39, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by that, Wetman. "Scientific racism" is usually meaned to imply that the work labeled as such is not really science at all, but is using a veneer of science to justify notions which are simply racist at their core, at least in my experience (as someone who has done a lot of professional work on the history of "scientific racism"). This doesn't imply that science itself is racist, which is how I'm reading your comments as is. I've tried to make the entire article a little more NPOV by trying to put it all into historical context, without commenting on whether any particular work is actually an example of "scientific racism" except where it is relatively safe, such as the racial theories of the Nazis and early 20th century eugenicists, which are pretty well established as being politics wrapped in a blanket of statistics. --Fastfission 03:49, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps what's meant here is Pseudoscientific racism. The heading "Scientific" racism is false and maligns science, by which naturally I mean genuine science. See Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man. Wetman 03:55, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've read the Mismeasure of Man -- what part are you talking about? (Page #s would be fine, I can look it up) "Scientific racism" is a very common term and is used to describe what you are calling "Pseudoscientific racism," which is a term I've never seen in any reputable literature (I can't remember whether it is in Gould or not to be honest, it has been a few years). "Scientific racism" as a term is used as I have used it, in my experience: to describe work which is purported to not be science at all. I've never seen it used in a way which implies that all science is racist in anything reputable -- if you have an example of that, I'd love to see it. And though it's not the end-all metric, "Pseudoscientific racism" gets 220 hits in Google, "Scientific racism" gets 6,900. If you want to add a line that says that Gould doesn't like the term "scientific racism," and explains why, that would be fine by me and would, I think, keep this article useful. --Fastfission 04:04, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC) (also, I can't find "psuedoscientific racism" in the index of Mismeasure of Man, though I do see that Gould uses the term "scientific racists" all over the place in the book to indicate people who purport to use science to justify racism.. if there's something I'm missing here please let me know, and I don't mean to come off snotty with that)

I think it could be reworded from "disguised as science" to something less biased looking. -Disko

-The opening sentence is poor phrasing. Has anyone here read their Thomas Kuhn? "Science" as a practice and institution, when done right or wrong, is something full of cultural ideas, aesthetics, and, consequently it would seem to follow, social and political ideas. It can have incorrect premises, methodology, conclusions, etc, have biases, etc, and still be science. "Scientific racism" is something, then, that envelopes both racist pseudoscience and authentic science that is bad science which purports there is meterial legitimacy to the concept of race, superior and inferior races, etc. -Tom

There is no explanation for why the skulls drawn by Samuel George Morton illustrate scientific racism. What is it about these skulls that is racist? Forensic anthropologists can tell the race of a skull in an instant, so the racism cannot be simply that the drawing compares skulls. If the skulls are mis-drawn, an accurate drawing or photograph should be presented for comparison. (Be sure that the African skull is of a Congoid as some African (Somalis, Khosians) have a Eurasian heritage.) The same can be said of the other skulls. What is it exactly about the angle the skulls are at that makes them racist? The ape skull is presented for comparison. If it is not accurate, then the discussion should point out the distortions. Samuel George Morton is a respected natural scientist. The American Philosophical Society has assembled and catalogued a complete collection of his works. By suggesting, without submitting an explanation or evidence of his error, that he has in some way mis-used science this entry does him an injustice. rdfuerle 15:57, 22 January 2007

I have a question... is this scientific racism? Is it merely "propaganda" to suggest that natural selection may have continued to occur after the races separated 40,000-100,000 years ago? I have to agree with the Disko. That opening paragraph is extremely non-NPOV. -- Big Brother 1984 20:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I propose changing the first paragraph to read:

Scientific racism is a term that describes either certain scientific theories of the 19th century or historical and contemporary racist propaganda presented as scientific research. It may also refer to the notion, advanced by some relativists, that the very root of western science is fundamentally racist.[citation needed]

It makes the opening more neutral. However, some amplification would be needed to specify which theories are referred to in this way. Madgenberyl 17:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm just commenting to add my voice to the consensus that this article is incredibly biased and inaccurate (the first sentence alone is just not true - there's nothing necessarily racist about racial anthropology). Perhaps a new article should be created about this, but if not, this needs to be rewritten by someone without an axe to grind about the subject, which is certainly how the article reads now. Wikipedia should certainly not be a forum for propaganda as this article appears to be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean by "racial anthropology"? I think the terms "racial anthropology" and "scientific racism" may be distinguishable, and I'm not so sure that the article asserts that the terms completely overlap. What current sources do you recommend about the subject? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 04:00, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Coon maps

Do we really want/need maps suggesting Homo Sapiens existed before the Pleistocene? Dougweller (talk) 11:35, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Some would say that Carleton S. Coon wasn't really that much of a racist, but for various reasons he's a significant figure in the history of so-called "race science"... AnonMoos (talk) 14:22, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the 2nd bit (conversations with someone who worked with Coon suggest Coon was a garden variety racist of his time, but that's irrelevant here), but it's these maps which are just embarassing and might lead people to think there really were humans around before the Pleistocene - I don't see how they contribute to the article. Dougweller (talk) 16:09, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it is just the captions that need adjustment. What this is probably supposed to show is Coon's view of the distribution of races before and after the end of the Pleistocene (not "before/after the Pleistocene").
But it's a matter of attributing this properly to a publication by Coon. As they stand these maps do not have proper identification. All we know is that they were uploaded by Dark Tea (talk · contribs) -- nb a user blocked by Moreschi for their long-term trolling of race articles, and that they are named "Carleton Coon races Pleistocene.png" and "Carleton Coon races after Pleistocene.png" --dab (𒁳) 10:27, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

The original map captions are "Pleistocene" and "Early Post-Pleistocene" (see now the image pages on commons). The "before the Pleistocene" bit was just anonymous vandalism.[2] --dab (𒁳) 15:27, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Terminology, WP:NAME

alright, trying to figure out proper terminology, I can trace the term "scientific racism" to 1961. It was apparently coined by anthropologist Juan Comas in Current Anthropology, albeit in scare quotes, in the essay title "'Scientific' Racism Again?"[3]

So, the term was coined during the 1960s, clearly in the context of deconstructing the early 20th century scientific approach to race as "racist" and as leading to Nazi atrocities and as rationalizing racial segregation in the USA. Of course there is no dispute that these are in fact things that this approach has been used for, but not necessarily what it had been intended for: I am saying that the "scientific approach to race" during 1880 to 1920 may well have been bona fide science. The question, can "scientific racism" be applied to the bona fide scientific part, or is it a pejorative that already presupposes ideological misuse? A promising start to finding the answer to that might be

Elazar Barkan, The retreat of scientific racism: changing concepts of race in Britain and the United States between the world wars, Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 9780521458757[4]

Barkan states in the introduction that the topic of race was "transformed from a scientific fact into a political hot potato" in the interbellum period. The term racism itself was coined during the interbellum, already with negative connotations (similarly, racialism, although the OED recently unearthed an early attestation from 1902). I conclude that apparently, "scientific racism" is inherently derogatory and part of the postmodernist discourse of 1960ff.

I think that the study of race during 1880-1920 simply fell under anthropology and should be considered part of the topic of historical definitions of race.

The question is, should this article be concerned more with the historical anthropology of 1880-1920, or more with its deconstruction of 1960-1990? Obviously, both parts are relevant, reflecting two historical periods (modern vs. postmodern), but what exactly do we want as the scope of this article, and what would be the best title for it? --dab (𒁳) 13:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Here is an interesting reference suggesting that a neutral term might be racial anthropology. But note the existennce of biological anthropology. --dab (𒁳) 13:45, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I have tried to mould the article into a sensible toc structure. It still contains a lot of offtopic material. Especially the "ideological" parts which aren't "scientific" at all and belong under simple racism. The basic structure of the article could be

  • origins in Enlightenment anthropology (presently too long, needs to be trimmed)
  • classical racial/physical anthropology (1850-1918)
  • ideological application of these theories (justification of slavery, Nordicism, etc.)
  • the beginning of skepticism towards the concept of race during the interbellum; decline of racial studies after 1930; WWII period
  • after 1945, postmodernist deconstruction of "scientific racism" and ongoing debates

--dab (𒁳) 14:13, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the policy link. Thank you for the discussion of previous usage of the phrase now used for the article title. There doesn't appear to be any need to rush into a new title. It may be helpful first of all to check to see that the article text is well sourced, and then to reexamine how the article's scope fits in among other articles on Wikipedia. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 14:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
yes, yes, I do not want to rush anything. This article has been an open sore for years, the important thing is to begin getting it on its feet. We can still move it about once it gets stable. I think my research above puts us on the right track, but it will be a lot of work before this article is in any way acceptable. My experience is that an article with a flawed toc structure will just get worse over time as people pile up more misplaced factoids. By contrast, an article with a well-considered toc structure is more likely to improve over time.
btw, I see you are interested in the race and intelligence topic. I do not think this ongoing dispute should be given too much space here, as it has epic coverage on its own pages. But reference to it is certainly of importance, in the "after 1945" portion, to make clear that 'scientific racism' (or 'racial anthropology') is by no means just obsolete but is still the subject of bona fide scholarly debate today. Of course, as we should hope, people have moved beyond measuring skulls, but the fact that a field may move on does not mean it has been flawed from the start (I want to emphasize, though, that I am referring to the bona fide scholarly research, not the ideological misuse the field has inspired from day one. But equating research into human population groups with racism makes about as much sense to me as equating nuclear physics with the atom bomb) --dab (𒁳) 16:41, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I took the liberty to replace "Racial Anthropology" with "Raciology". Raciology is also a neutral term which was actually used by William Shockley to refer to the discipline his research falls under in reaction to charges that he was a racist. The Oxford English Dictionary notes a reference to the term Raciology dating to 1924 in which it is described as "the scientific study of race." In his book Racism Albert Memmi credits the doctrinal basis of racism to biological theories of race which he calls raciology. I think the term racial anthropology can too easily be confused with biological anthropology. Over the years theories of racial differences in mental ability were supported by scholars from a variety of disciplines so the generalization of such research as "anthropology" can be misleading. Raciology to me seems like a more logical phrase to use for this reason. EgalitarianJay (talk) 07:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Source suggestions sought from other editors

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Anthropology and Human Biology Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human genetics and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library system at a university with an active research program in these issues (and to other academic libraries in the same large metropolitan area) and have been researching these issues sporadically since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human genetics to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 04:02, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Change in lead to 'Raciology'

I'm not particularly happy with 'raciology'. Although it is used in scholarly sources, it isn't in my (very big) Oxford dictionary, and I'm not clear how it differs from 'racial anthropology' - the sources I've seen use both, but not as synonyms so far as I can tell. Dougweller (talk) 07:45, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't differ from Racial Anthropology in terms of definition but seems to me like it would be a better term because its etymology implies a broader discipline. Raciology is the scientific study of races or biological theories of race. Racial Anthropology is the exact same thing but the word "Anthropology" can confuse readers into thinking it refers specifically to that field. Plus raciology seems to be used more widely by well-known academics who have spoken on this subject. I have seen Shockley use the word in video more than once and as you said it is used by scholarly sources. EgalitarianJay (talk) 09:18, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good, but can we wait a few days to see if we get more input? Others watch this article. Dougweller (talk) 09:23, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah that's fine by me. EgalitarianJay (talk) 09:41, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
We could mention both 'racial athropology' and 'raciology' in lead.--Victor Chmara (talk) 12:20, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if reliable sources support such a treatment, it's possible to mention more than one related term in the lead paragraph of an article. One article I watch related to the Chinese language has something like four alternative terms listed in the first sentence of the article, besides the article title. And while I'm on the subject of sources, I'd love to hear from the editors active in watching and editing this page any suggestions you have for the source list I share with other Wikipedians about anthropology and race topics. I don't claim it is complete—anthropology is not a discipline in which I received my main professional training—so if you have suggestions for additional sources, I'd be glad to hear about them. (P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to the editors in the United States.) -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:59, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

In my opinion, "raciology" is a marginal pseudo-academic term with no real currency. Yes it exists and it can be mentioned, but certainly not prominently in the lead. --dab (𒁳) 22:01, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I had actually never heard the term 'raciology' before this discussion, but it seems to be used by many scholars[5] (whose contributions are mostly what I'd consider to be pseudo-science, but that's beside the point).--Victor Chmara (talk) 00:49, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
The reason I suggested the term raciology was as a replacement for racial anthropology, specifically because the latter term just seems like a poor description. Many of the scholars who promote biological theories of racial differences are not anthropologists. In my opinion it would be good if we avoided confusion by simply abandoning that term altogether in this article.

Fortunately we have an alternative which has the same meaning but more accurately describes the discipline while avoiding c[onfusion. I don't see how it can be considered pseudo-academic when prominent scholars such as William Shockley have used it to describe their work and it clearly has currency when a multitude scholars have used the term to describe similar work. In fact I did a search on Google and found a review of Vincent Sarich's book Race: The Reality of Human Differences, published in Nature in which Robert N. Proctor refers to J Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen as "raciologists." How's that for currency? EgalitarianJay (talk) 17:06, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

well, if we can establish that the term has currency, that's good for it, and we can keep it and define it. That doesn't take away the fact that "racial anthropology" is far more current. (what William Shockley, the inventor of the transistor who went on to dabble in eugenics? What sort of recommendation for the term is that?)
I do not think it is beside the point that most uses of raciology seem to be pseudo-academic or pseudo-scientific. I have also never heard of the term before.
From google books, I do get the impression that it was originally coined as a loan translation of German Rassenkunde,[6][7] and I probably don't need to elaborate on the, ahem, pedigree of that term.
I would also argue that Sarich's work would seem to fit the textbook definition of "racial anthropolgy". Perhaps "raciology" is seeing a renaissance as a popular synonym of "racial anthropology". It's certainly shorter and thus more convenient. If it turns out that it has any sort of respectable currency as a synonym, we can just mention it as such. If, otoh, the term drags us back to the field of Rassenkunde, I'll take the trouble to type out "racial anthropology" any time. --dab (𒁳) 17:11, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
What is the basis for considering Racial Anthropology to be current, by the way? I don't see many references to it in Google books (a search turns up physical anthropology more often than not). I myself had never heard the phrase before seeing it being used for this article. I can appreciate the attempt to find an ideologically neutral term but Racial Anthropology seems problematic. As I said, much of the work in this area does not come from anthropologists. Sarich himself uses a lot citations from Psychologists such as Rushton and Jensen to support his argument. Eugenics and "race science" are closely connected so it is not insignificant to note that well-known Eugenicists such as Shockley have used the term to describe their work. I have also read that Rushton identifies his work as Raciology. What uses of raciology are you considering to be pseudo-academic and pseudo-scientific? EgalitarianJay (talk) 20:32, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
you have a point there. The actual term is biological anthropology or physical anthropology, as the concept of "race" arises in these fields. It is impossible to define "race" without taking recourse to physical anthropology, even if "cultural constructs" can then be heaped on. I get 300,000 google books hits for "physical anthropology", but only 4,000 for either "racial anthropology" or "raciology". In the light of this, it is unsatisfactory that our physical anthropology article should be a neglected stub, while the "scientific racism" aka "racial anthropology" one get so much attention.
so perhaps the best approach would be to {{merge}} this article into Biological anthropology, and keeping a separate "scientific racism" article discussing just the pejorative character of that term used to refer to this field (or, of course, pseudo-scientific mimickry of the field). --dab (𒁳) 13:11, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I only just now note that the OED does have a "raciology" entry. The definition given is " The characteristics of a race or races of humankind; the racial constitution of a place. Also: the branch of knowledge that deals with these." The first recoreded attestation given is from 1924. Its context is given as Cultural Anthropology. --dab (𒁳) 13:16, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Argument as to why Scientific Racism and Physical Anthropology should stay separate articles:

Within the Wikipedia article on scientific racism there is a heading stating that scientific racism is synonymous physical anthropology. This is not the case. Physical anthropology is the study of the physical characteristics of humans and is a term that should be used in an objective way, not in racial or political charged ways. The etymology of the term ‘physical anthropology’ is derived from the Greek word anthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος), which means ‘man’, and logia (λογία), which means ‘discourse’ or ‘study’. Combined with the Latin word physica, ‘study of nature’, the phrase ‘physical anthropology’ is simply the study of the natural physical characteristics of man, or in modern terms, the study of the physical variations between humans. Scientific racism is using scientific information to try to show that one class of people are somehow better than another, within a political context.
Though a lot of scientific racists have tried to utilize physical anthropology to justify their faulty claims, it would be a fallacy to think of all physical anthropologists as racists. That would be like stating all medical doctors are bad people because the Nazis had medical doctors. Physical anthropology itself should be a sub-article/sub-category to biological anthropology and should only be associated with scientific racism as people use it through history to attempt to fallaciously categorize people into ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ groups. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scholar82 (talkcontribs) 18:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree. No field of science is inherently racist. Deimos1313 (talk) 22:05, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I concur. I do not feel it is appropriate for Scientific Racism to be merged with Physical Anthropology because it is pejorative and often considered to be Pseudoscience. I would not expect anyone to consider the work of doctors who abused their medical license under the Nazi regime to consider "Nazi science" to be a notable part of the biomedical field. Scientific Racism is concerned with ranking races in hierarchical fashion based on various human traits. Anthropologists may have contributed to such theories historically but it is outside the realm of modern Biological Anthropology much like Astrology and Cryptozoology are not in line with mainstraim views and work within Astronomy and Zoology. Therefore I think this article should be separate and I once again suggest a name change to Raciology so as not to confuse this particular discipline with Anthropology proper. EgalitarianJay (talk) 23:03, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

um, you misunderstand completely. "Scientific racism" was a term the study of the physical characteristics of humans to be used in an objective way, not in racial or political charged ways. That's how it is different from "political racism". "Scientific racism" will say that there are such and such races in existence, but it will not derive any politics from that, or it will cease to be "scientific".

As has become clear in the discussion above, "scientific racism" is simply a propaganda term coined to disparage historical physical anthropology. Now it is certainly true that historical physical anthropology had its flaws, but that is no excuse to discussing it under a pejorative title. If there is to remain an article on "scientific racism", it will have to focus on the term exclusively. In this sense, yes, "Scientific Racism" is pejorative. It is a pejorative term for Physical Anthropology. The problem here is that the pejorative term is being used in Wikipedia's voice.

Apparently, the term "race" has been discredited so thoroughly that you are unable to hear it and assume that it refers to some scientific concept. But at the end of the day, this is just terminology. The people writing before 1920 used "race" in the same sense you would use "ethnicity" today. It is very easy to bash historical literature because it uses terms that have changed their meaning since it was written. The same goes for "gay" and other words that started out as normal unmarked terms and became charged in the 20th century. Ha-di-ha, "nothing more gay or sprightly than [the poems] of sir John Suckling" (wikt:gay), written 1810. How gay. If you think that everyone using "race" in historical literature is a "racist" you are making the same silly mistake. --dab (𒁳) 11:49, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Apparently, you forget the entire primary purpose behind race science was to justify the "rightful place" of the Caucasian race, one of dominance over multiple "others". Initially, it was purely based upon skin color, later, justified by the fine "science" of phrenology, which was referenced by EVERY book and paper until such pseudoscience was finally sidelined.

The difference being, Race and Genetics IS a science. Physical anthropology is now BIOLOGICAL anthropology, courtesy of genetic fragments that are recoverable from remains found on digs, rather than purely based upon physical appearance of the specimen, which in early days, a jutting jaw, large occipital bone and brow ridges were "evidence of lower intelligence" than Homo Sapiens, utterly ignoring brain size and frontal lobe size, which are FAR more indicative of intelligence. One fine example of race and genetics being of import is with some drugs and foods. Consider Chloroquine in both African descended and Mediterranean peoples, the latter, largely being considered Caucasian, yet both have potentially lethal issues with the drug. Consider how many of European descent can eat fava beans, but ONE Caucasian group will be hospitalized, due to favism, a genetic mutation in that sub-group causing the body to be unable to break down one protein and cause the red blood cells to break down. According to Racial Science, such things should be untrue. As ALL MODERN, evidence based science refutes every claim of racial science, the article is substantially correct, those in favor of the pseudo-science are proved incorrect in their assumptions, by SCIENTIFIC FACTS that were peer reviewed.Wzrd1 (talk) 03:45, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

If the above is true, and 'Racial Science is not 'MODERN, evidence based science' then perhaps 'Racial Pseudo - Science' would be a more correct title for the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
However, Wikipedia is generally supposed to go by the most commonly-used title, and "Racial psuedo-science" could be considered even more derogatory than "Scientific racism"... AnonMoos (talk) 11:51, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Is this section necessary?

Do not the existence (or nonexistence) or racial differences, and the scientific evidence for them (or lack thereof) belong simply under Race? If not, why not?

Paul Magnussen (talk) 22:12, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that the entire article should be merged with Race? The reason for this is that this topic is separate and deals with the various ways in which science and particular pseudoscience has been used to promote different kinds of racism. There is some overlap between the history of race concepts and scientific racism, but not enough that it could be reasonably considered the same topic.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:18, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, I was originally suggesting that the entire article should be merged with Race; but, if by "racism" you mean the differential treatment (or advocacy thereof) of groups of people of the grounds of their (supposed) racial characteristics, then I see that this is indeed a different topic from Race itself, and requires its own section.
However, this is not what the article at present says, notably in the first sentence. Paul Magnussen (talk) 00:13, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that is what the definition says " the use of purportedly scientific techniques and hypotheses to support or justify the belief in racism, racial inferiority, or racial superiority" it then says "alternatively the practice of classifying individuals of different phenotypes into discrete races " - this is because this practice is nowadays often considered to be inseprable from the former, and because science has shown the idea of discrete racial types to be untenable.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:02, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
POV, surely? The Matabele (on average) are taller than Pygmies (on average). What has that to do with inferiority or superiority? And the gene that helps protect Africans from malaria but makes them more prone to sickle-cell anæmia — what has that to do with it?
As for discrete races: certainly races have fuzzy boundaries; but that doesn't mean they don't exist, any more than the fact that there are dogs with characteristics intermediate between those of a poodle and an alsatian means that poodles and alsatians don't exist — or that alsatians don't run faster (on average) than poodles. Paul Magnussen (talk) 17:15, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Biological diversity between populations is not the same as "race". The very concept of race relies on the idea that they are in so far as they exist mostly discrete types that correspond to large scale, mostly continental, groupings. Also there is no "gene that helps Africans protect from malaria" - sickle cell anemia is found outside of Africa in populations where malaria has been endemic such as the mediterranean and is hence not a "racial gene". Your arguments are old and trite and have been argued to death. They are thoroughly refuted in the article on race. And they have nothing to do with how to improve this article. I do not know of a single serious scientists that believes in races s discrete types. The only current argument for the biological validity of race argues that all populations that races exist in so far as they can be understood as having a correlation with clusters of allele frequencies. This is a very different argument from your false analogy between poodles and people. And it is one the redefines the word race to mean something that it has not meant historically - for example because it would require us to see Matabele and Khoisan as just as different "races" as the Maori and the Japanese. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:22, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, The concept of race you mention in your second sentence is, as you point out, outdated. That doesn't meadn that updated ones don't exist; for instance:

"The apparent disagreement among taxonomists can be almost completely resolved by applying the term race at three different levels according to the purpose of the investigator. The first level describes the largest unit observed and is termed a geographical race; it corresponds with the races recognized by Blumenbach and Boyd. There are no more than ten geographical races (Garn, 1961) at the present time. Each race comprises a collection of populations within geographical limits bounded by formerly insurmountable barriers to outbreeding, such a deserts, oceans and mountains. Each shares a degree of homogeneity for blood-group genes and some morphological features, but still retains a considerable degree of heterogeneity for various characteristics. Some examples of geographical races are the Amerindians ranging from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, with very low incidences of the genes for Type B blood and Rh-negative blood, and the African geographical race which occupies sub-Sahara Africa and which is characterized by extremely high frequency of the rhesus group gene R0 and the sickling gene associated with a type of anemia (Mourant, 1954). The presence of blood-group genes is easily inferred from chemical tests that clot samples of blood.

A second level of usage of the term race is local race. This term is necessitated by the fact that subordinate to a geographical race are the different breeding populations themselves, the groups which anthropologists and geneticists study when they speak of samples of Navajos, Bantu, or Eskimos. Local races may be separated by physical or social obstacles, they mate chiefly within the group (endogamy), and they are most like their nearest neighbors in gene frequencies. They number in the hundreds as contrasted with the six to ten geographical races, even though only thirty-four are singled out in Figure 1.1 as representative of the utility of the concept.

Even when looking at the genetic characteristics of a local race, one can observe significant pockets of variation. The populations are statistically distinct from neighboring pockets in some gene frequencies in the absence of geographical barriers or extensive cultural prohibitions. With high population density, mating tends to occur as a function of distance. Future geneticists may have to take note of the routes of buses and subway systems to understand their data. This phenomenon gives rise to our final level for the race concept, which is termed micro-geographical race or micro-race to avoid confusion with the first level above. An example of micro races, which number in the thousands, is provided by a survey of blood types for the ABO blood groups in Wales (Mourant and Watkins,1952). As illustrated in Figure 1.2, there were significant local variations in the gene frequencies even though Wales is a small country. […]

Garn, S.M. Human Races (C.C. Thomas, 1961)
Mourant A.R. The Distribution of the Human Blood Groupings (Blackwell, 1954)
Mourant and Watkins Blood groups, anthropology, and language in Wales and the western counties (Heredity,1952, 6, 13–36)"

This is from Gottesman, Social Class, Race, and Psychological Development. You are certainly free to disagree with him; but that, as I have submitted, is POV. It seems to me that the only usage of race you wish to admit is an outdated one which can be shown to be over-simplistic; whereas actual usage is much broader and capable of scientific definition, as exemplified by the above quotation.Paul Magnussen (talk) 18:18, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
50 year old sources have less than zero validity in this kind of discussion. The usage suggested by your sources have never been taken up in the literature and were written at a time when physical anthropology was struggling with whether to abandon the outdated race concept or reforming it. It ended up being abandoned. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:40, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Even if true, this doesn't show that the concept of race is only invoked to "support or justify the belief in racism, racial inferiority, or racial superiority", as you said. Where, for instance, is this implication in the passage of Gottesman quote above? Paul Magnussen (talk) 23:44, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I am not interested in debating 50 years old literature with you. What is your proposal for how to improve the article and what are the sources supporting it?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:58, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

"Scientific racism was thus most common during the New Imperialism period (ca. 1880s–1914)"

In the United States, it seems that scientific racism was really most respectable and broadly accepted during the first half of the 1920's, when a lot of factors (the publication of the results of the Yerkes army tests, the rise of the second KKK, the Palmer raid or red scare, discussions leading to the new restrictive immigration laws of 1924, etc.) coincided. 1920s advocates of scientific racism tended to feel that they had hard numerical proof for their claims (as opposed to the mostly anecdotal speculations and small-scale experiments of earlier periods). AnonMoos (talk) 09:41, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I think it was a lot longer than that. The heyday was definitely after 1914 in the US, with the immigration reform and miscegenation laws of the 1920s, and its worldwide culmination was WW2. Racist science was still practiced in the 1950s and used in the backlash to Brown vs. Board of education.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:17, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Scientific racism had lingering effects, but there was prominent public pushback in the United States after the 1920s (including revulsion against Nazism), and it wasn't really as intellectually respectable in the United States after the 1920s as it had been during the 1920s... AnonMoos (talk) 03:27, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
No, but by then it had taken root in Europe. This article is not only about US scientific Racism. I don't think it is correct to say that it became less respectable in the US untill after WW2, it did become increasingly evident that it was scientifically flawed, but it lived on in academia nonetheless untill WW2, and still exists as a minority science in psychology, genetics and physical anthropology. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:19, 14 September 2013 (UTC)


If I understand this article correctly, what is defined under the name Scientific racism is actually pseudoscientific racism. What, then, is the correct term for properly conducted scientific research that shows differences between races? As, for example, differential proneness to sickle-cell anæmia and other medical conditions? Paul Magnussen (talk) 19:32, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Probably "studies of genetic variability" or similar... AnonMoos (talk) 20:28, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Scientific racism is an oxymoron, because racism by definition is not scientific - regardless of what differences actually exist. Ancholm (talk) 11:50, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Reference 1 in the first paragraph is not to an authoritative definition of scientific racism, as it should be; it's to an assertion by Kuper et al. that the "science" cited was not, in fact, properly conducted. That isn't the same thing. Paul Magnussen (talk) 19:44, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Since, according to the assertions in the article, the racism concerned is not in fact scientific, shouldn't the title be 'Scientific racism' (with the quotes)? Paul Magnussen (talk) 20:51, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Not quotes in the actual title of the article, please -- in most cases it creates technical complexity for no real purpose. We don't have quotes around Christianity in Positive Christianity etc... AnonMoos (talk) 21:21, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

the article is inherently broken because of problems with terminology. Since "racism" is today a bad word, people will continue to assume that anything called 'racism' in the past must automatically classify as evil. This creates a lot of moral outrage and people will go out of their way to emphasize just how wrong racial discrimination is. Ignoring that this article isn't about racial discrimination in the first place. It is simply about the history of what would now be described as human genetic variation, avoiding the r word. The upshot is that perfectly innocent and perfectly valid observations about the variations in human populations as they developed over the past 40k years is branded "pseudoscientific" just because they were made 100 years ago and did use the word race, not knowing that just the use of that term would turn people off a few generations later.

I have little hope that this article can ever be fixed and become an objective treatment both of the field, of its terminology, and its various historical misuses, because there will always be drive-by editors who see the word "racism" and go into moral berserk mode just to show "they are not racist". Some time it would help to stop and thing about semantics and knee-jerk reactions. --dab (𒁳) 10:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, in the 19th century and early 20th century, there were quite common tendencies for researchers into racial differences to label whatever deviated from northern or western European traits as ipso facto inherently inferior for that reason alone, and Louis Agassiz embraced polygenism (even though this contradicted both science and the Bible) apparently mainly because he couldn't stand to be classified into the same species as blacks... AnonMoos (talk) 03:37, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Wee point: Agassiz believed in German idealism and was a deist, not a Biblical literalist. . . dave souza, talk 05:02, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't intending to claim anything about Agassiz's religion, just pointing out that at least by the 1860s (possibly earlier) neither cutting-edge science nor traditional religion supported polygenism... AnonMoos (talk) 16:34, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Absolute Nonsense

This article is nothing but race-baiting politically-incorrect POV. Wikipedia has officially jumped the shark. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracy on "Origins of scientific racism" section.

I was just reading the article and realized that there are inaccuracy in the section "Origins of scientific racism", especially when listing Robert Boyle and Carl Linnaeus. Racism is always a controversial topic, thus we should be both sensitive and sensible. Describing physical differences and aspects of physical appearance is not racism if you never talk about "superiority" or "inferiority". The article should only include those hypotheses that have been used to "support or justify the belief in racism: [the idea of] racial inferiority, or racial superiority", but it should not include those hypothesis and people who merely described physical appearance by naturalistic reasons. It's imprecise, unethical and inaccurate to include in a list of scientific racists' views, the names and photos of those who never talked about "superiority" or "inferiority" among human beings, because it makes them seem as if they had been racists. If you have a quote of THEM talking about "superiority" or "inferiority", then include it, and I'll shut up, but if not, please stop dirtying the names of these men and their reputation with scandals, please, out of respect to their memory. --Goose friend (talk) 22:36, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Linnaeus described Africans as lazy, Native Americans as prone to rage, and Asians as shifty and unreliable, which of course both justified and perpetuated racist stereotypes of his day. The fact that you apparently believe that they were entirely objective scientists who were not influenced by the racist ideologies of their time only shows how dangerous it is when racism takes on the guise of objective science. These scholars are frequently described as laying the early foundations of scientific racism and there is nothing in accurate in including them here.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:36, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Hello Maunus; well, I apologize. (What a disappointment about Linnaeus)... I admit I didn't know what he had wrote about those stereotypes, which are very wrong.
But, on the other hand, I still think Robert Boyle's name shouldn't be dirtied. I researched about him and his views. One book accused him, but I actually found his boook "Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours", and I didn't see anything about racist views. I found out that he merely hypothesizes that darkest brown skin is the result of "seminal impressions". That has nothing to do with racism; instead it should be considered that he envisioned at his time (17th century) what we know now: that skin color is disposed by genes, which are actually contained in the semen. Boyle even clarifies that beauty is not measured by skin colour, and he also strongly attacks and refutes the idea of those who said that darkest brown skin was a "curse". See it for yourself if you want, and leave his name alone.
Anyway, I already clarified some of those aspects on the article. I'm sorry If I seemed hasty at first. I thank you Maunus, and I hope you the best--Goose friend (talk) 03:44, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I have not found Boyle mentioned in the main works on scientific racism and it seems reasonable to exclude him here.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:20, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, if Native Americans were indeed prone to rage, would that be surprising? What were they expected to do, cheer? Paul Magnussen (talk) 16:31, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

This very oddly constructed sentence

…fails as a properly formatted, referenced, and integrated sentence in an encyclopedic article. It is placed here so its content, if important, can be sourced, better expressed, and properly placed (rather than appearing as a quick fly-by addition). Note, the reference to URLs and Wiki content in this way is also a clear WP sourcing policy issue; needed is a proper historical reference.

Note, this article does deserve a couple of well-sourced, POV-neutral sentences on Louis Agassiz, who is accused of racism based on his polygenic beliefs, see here [8]. The content there, and the Blowers citation in particular, can be relied on to present the opposing argument. I have no strong opinion on this matter, other than that the way in which it is addressed should be encyclopedic in style, and reflect preponderant views of historians (rather than focus on news story content), with those sources clearly and correctly stated, and that the result should be POV neutral. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 18:59, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

"The term scientific racism is pejorative as applied to modern theories, "

So its not pejorative if applied to old theories?KevinFrom (talk) 07:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Up until at least the 1930s, there were significant numbers of somewhat mainstream or respectable scientists who claimed that the findings of science supported racist conclusions. Many of these claims were fairly widely accepted in the 1920s, and moderately influential (though not fully-accepted scientific consensus) in other decades. However, in the post-WW2 period, if one scientist accuses another scientist of being a scientific racist, it's highly derogatory... AnonMoos (talk) 16:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Important to note is that the term "racism" was not around until 1930 when Lev Bronstein invented it. This article is inherently biased and assigns certain studies the moniker of "scientific racism" as a means to discredit them. (talk) 17:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The concept of race is much older. The studies were trying to establish racial hierarchy. They didn't have a word for it, so they invented one, specifically to describe the Nazis. However, the concept of racism (racialism, racialist) was still around and still used to describe those theories. (source). EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 18:28, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Is This Wiki Quotes?? The Article Miss the Mark

The Antecedents section should be Deleted!

I have never seen a Wiki Article Structured in such a Way before:

Antecedents 1.1 Classical thinkers 1.2 Enlightenment thinkers 1.3 Monogenism and polygenism 1.4 Voltaire 1.5 Lord Kames 1.6 Carl Linnaeus 1.7 Immanuel Kant 1.8 John Hunter 1.9 Charles White 1.10 Blumenbach and Buffon 1.11 John Mitchell 1.12 Benjamin Rush 1.13 Christoph Meiners 1.14 Samuel Stanhope Smith 1.15 Georges Cuvier 1.16 G.W.F. Hegel 1.17 Arthur Schopenhauer 1.18 Franz Ignaz Pruner

You're basically giving Creditably to Scientific Racism using Famous Name of the Past, which I'm pretty sure is the goal of the Editor who added it in such a way.

That Section is down right shameful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Minor Edits of Dec 10, 2014

I (Mark v1.0) added a link to the German Wikipedia article of Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss, that showed up as (de). A minor edit that a reader fluent in German would be happy to have to click on. I don't think it should be reverted.

The second minor edit (that was reverted) was adding the title of doctor to Josef Mengele, which he was. It was doctors who started and carried out the Nazi final solution. I started a Wikipedia article on the subject called Nazi doctors. "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it".--Mark v1.0 (talk) 22:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Some Validity Is Worth Mentioning

Blacks have a disproportionately high representation in the National Baskbetball league, and in prisons of all mixed race countries, and there is a scientific explanation for it, somewhere.

Those are just self-serving prejudices. How about: the United States incarcerates more people than any country, of any 'race', on the planet. The United States also introduced the criminalisation of hemp, which goes a long way to explain their incarceration rates. And of course, the system of opression doesn't change, it just changes names. It changed from Indentured Servitude into Chattel Slavery in 1740, from Chattle Slavery to Jim Crow in 1865, from Jim Crow into the War on Drugs in 1968, when Richard Nixon came to power. Why does China have a much lower incarceration rate than the US, even thouch China is a totalitarian communist state? All African countries have lower incarceration rates than the United States, and they are often all-Black. This is the problem of trying to see the world through the prism of something that doesn't exist - race.MrSativa (talk) 06:34, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

The questions are about everything else, i.e. who is brave and foolish enough to publish theories and risk their careers, enraging a class of people predisposed to violence and contradict political dogma as given to us by the one world government.

Oh yes, those brave bellcurvers, Charles Murray was already working for the Koch Brothers when he published The Bell Curve in 1994. He had been a member of the American Enterprise Institue since 1990. Another problem is that they avoided peer review, in order to prevent actual experts from ripping their data manipulation and deceptions to shreds. You should check out The Bell Curve Flattened, by Nicholas Lemann, in Slate Magazine, from 1997.[1]MrSativa (talk) 06:34, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

And honest Wikipedia articles mentions all the reasons why a fair and balanced article on this topic will never be allowed for a long list of reasons, and the best that a vulnerable-to-the-will-of-the-retarded-and-centrally-indoctrinated-and-controlled-majority will be able to produce is something that looks just like this. Long on condemnation and moralizing, and short on actual scientific data that shows relevant and reliably measurable differences between (primarily) the black and white race, with supporting and corroborating data comparing black to asian races.Jonny Quick (talk) 06:02, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

There is no such "actual scientific data" I am afraid. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:46, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Nearly 100 years of IQ testing is not "actual scientific data" for you?
Then why are they still using IQ tests today? Do they have too much money to waste?KevinFrom (talk) 06:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That's nice -- IQ tests were originally invented by Binet to be used as a rough and approximate diagnostic tool for discovering cases of significant mental abnormality, rather than as a method of slotting people into rigid and narrow categories, or as a basis for advanced numerological exercises.
After 100 years, there's still significant dispute as to what IQ tests are actually measuring, but it's certain that they are not measuring an abstract innate cognitive capacity which is completely independent of all variations of cultural background and life experiences... AnonMoos (talk) 16:14, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, whatever Binet thought about the purpose of IQ tests is irrelevant. Tests can be validly used for any purpose that is supported by evidence. Secondly, the idea that Binet thought that the only use for IQ was as "a rough and approximate diagnostic tool" is a fabrication by Stephen Jay Gould. In reality, Binet hoped that IQ tests would be used for large-scale social engineering in the future:
It now remains to explain the use of our measuring scale which we consider a standard of the child's intelligence. Of what use is a measure of intelligence? Without doubt one could conceive many possible applications of the process, in dreaming of a future where the social sphere would be better organized than ours; where every one would work according to his known aptitudes in such a way that no particle of psychic force should be lost for society. That would be the ideal city. ([[9]])
As to IQ not being "an abstract innate cognitive capacity which is completely independent of all variations of cultural background and life experiences", no one's arguing that it is, so why on earth would attack such a strawman?--Victor Chmara (talk) 07:29, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether anyone with respectable professional credentials overtly and explicitly claims that nowadays, but it's pretty much what IQ tests would need to be for most of the conclusions of the race-differentiators to be placed on a solid footing. AnonMoos (talk) 13:49, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
No, that's certainly not what would be needed. IQ is influenced by both heredity and the environment, and the latter includes the influences of cultural background and life experiences. There are research designs that enable the estimation of group differences in the genetic and environmental determinants of IQ.--Victor Chmara (talk) 15:18, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
That's nice -- you can correlate measured IQ (a complex and problematic entity) against socially-ascribed "race" (a complex and problematic entity), but if you're a race-differentiator, then neither of the things that you're correlating are what you really want and need to be correlating to be able to establish your conclusions on a sound footing. What you really want to correlate is an abstract innate cognitive capacity which is completely independent of all variations of cultural/social background and individual life experiences vs. genetics -- but you can't directly measure abstract innate cognitive capacity, and you can't directly measure genetics in any useful way, so you have to make do with correlating two imperfect proxies. All the advanced numerology in the world won't necessarily help you find a clear and exact correlation between two things when you're not able to measure either of them in any direct or immediate way... AnonMoos (talk) 03:41, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Actual "race-differentiators" such as Arthur Jensen have never felt any need for your pure Platonic categories.--Victor Chmara (talk) 18:56, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
And that's one reason why their conclusions have not achieved broader acceptance, as I was trying to explain to User:Jonny_Quick and User:KevinFrom. If they were actually directly measuring what they wanted to correlate (instead of correlating two indirect and complicated proxies), then they might be able to present their data in a simple and clear fact-based manner which would likely compel acceptance from many objective and honest researchers, regardless of political correctness. As things actually are, this has not happened... AnonMoos (talk) 03:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
In other words, they conduct social science research, and their results, no matter how compelling by the standards of social science, are not compelling to everyone. Nevertheless, surveys indicate that Jensen's position on race and IQ is the modal one among experts.--Victor Chmara (talk) 07:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
True, some people will only be convinced by a number regardless of whether they know what is being counted or how.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:19, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not a pure "social sciences" problem, and if social sciences methods only are used, then professionals from truly scientific fields like brain physiology and genetics are unlikely to be convinced... AnonMoos (talk) 22:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Truly scientific"? Anyway, this is becoming WP:FORUM. Please discuss the article itself, not the topic. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 23:10, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

P.S. For athletic factors mentioned in User:Jonny_Quick's original message, we have article Race and sports... -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


"nevertheless, it justified European imperialism until the First World War (1914–18)"

Reference? If none, then the above needs to be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Political pressure on hereditarianism

Not one word on the political pressure on the hereditarian viewpoint. Very biased article.NICK BOWMANwiki (talk) 20:23, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean the political pressure in the 1920s in support of hereditarianism, or something else? AnonMoos (talk) 18:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

No, he means it today. Political pressure and economic persecution for everybody who disagrees. People are losing their jobs and careers. It should be mentioned in an article that pretends to be balanced and objective. It's certainly not.KevinFrom (talk) 08:00, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Justifying White European imperialism

Is there any source for the broad claim that "Scientific racism was common during the New Imperialism period (c. 1880s – 1914) where it was used in justifying White European imperialism"? Since both China and Japan also thought they were racially superior to other counties, the claim - if substantiated - should not be limited to "White European imperialism".Royalcourtier (talk) 07:30, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Can't speak for the original sourcing, but you'd need some for your ideas about China. They may have been chauvinistic about their culture but any science they may have used to justify racial policies would have been aimed against the Han who were still subjugated to the Qing Dynasty's Manchu ruling class. — LlywelynII 18:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)


Not currently mentioned by the article but seems worth mentioning that both the EB 9 and 11's articles on "Anthropology" (both written by E.B. Tylor) have a kind of neurotic "science" to them whereby race is taken for granted even as it's admitted that the science to date has been sloppy and question-begging and racial mixing practiced on such as a scale as to render proper treatment impossible pending decades of further research:

 — LlywelynII 18:26, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Highland Clearences

Link between Scientific Racism and Highland clearances not cited. If no proof/sources given then it should be removed82.35.211.203 (talk) 19:57, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Utterly stupid page that should not exist

I am sure that if 13th century Europeans had Wikipedia they would create pages such as "scientific heresy" or that sort. But I wouldn't blame them because at least they had the excuse of ignorance towards the value of the scientific method and what it has done for humanity. This pesky,racist thing we call "science"(if you didn't know) is what humanity uses to discern truth from lies,if this happens to bulldoze your doctrine then maybe you should consider that the doctrine is wrong and not "science". Skyb0x (talk) 14:35, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Pejorative term

Would it make sense to modify the lead as follows (additions in bold):

  • Scientific racism is a pejorative term used to describe the use of pseudo-scientific techniques and hypotheses to support or justify the belief in racism, racial inferiority, or racial superiority, or alternatively the practice of classifying individuals of different phenotypes into discrete races...

"Pejorative term" reference is made lower down in the lead, but it may make sense to bring it up higher so that it's clear early on that the article is not supporting 'scientific racism.' --K.e.coffman (talk) 23:58, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I disagree strongly with the exclusive use of "pseudo-scientific", and going by the recent reversions someone else agrees. Scientific racism has been (the majority of times) pseudo-scientific, but there have been times were racism has been backed by actual scientific research -- such as the execrable Bell Curve. Science is neutral, a tool. Saying that you can't use it to justify racism and therefore all such research is pseudo-science is saying that racism is inherently unscientific, and that is an opinion and this isn't the place for opinions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
See my edit.VictoriaGraysonTalk 00:03, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you - the addition of "pseudo" makes the opening sentence read better, but it's still a bit ambiguous. For comparison, I'm currently involved with an article in a similar vein - "Jewish Bolshevism" - and it does benefit from very explicit statements early on, such as:
Even so, when referring to this term on the Talk page, I always say the so-called Jewish Bolshevism or use "Jewish Bolshevism" in quotation marks, so that not to offend anyone.
Adding a reference to "pejorative term" would perhaps serve the same purpose here. --K.e.coffman (talk) 00:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

UNESCO source misrepresented

@Maunus, EvergreenFir, and Volunteer Marek: - you're the last active editors to edit this so pinging you. The article states that ". In its 1950 The Race Question, UNESCO did not reject the idea of a biological basis to racial categories,[110] but instead defined a race as: "A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species Homo sapiens", which were broadly defined as the Caucasian, Mongoloid,Negroid races but stated that" etc. It's a raw url so it isn't clear what page it comes from but my point is that it does not call these races, it calls them "divisions". The source actually says:

"Now what has the scientist to say about the groups of mankind which may be recognized at the present time? Human races can be and have heen differently classified by different anthropologists, but at the present time most anthropologists agree on classifying the greater part of present-day mankind into three major divisions, as follows :

The Mongoloid Division

The Negroid Division

The Caucasoid Division

The biological processes which the classifier has here embalmed, as it were, are dynamic, not static. These divisions were not the same in the past as they are at present, and there is every reason to believe that they will change in the future."

So this has been completely misrepresented. This can be fixed, but how much do we want to include of this 66 year old statement? Doug Weller talk 08:26, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Racial biology

Are your sure "racial biology" should lead here? --YOMAL SIDOROFF-BIARMSKII (talk) 06:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't see a better place for it to lead. any suggestions?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:19, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Suggested Title Change to - Pseudo-scientific Racism

The current definition is pointlessly bloated, and contradicts the article title.

First clause

Scientific racism is the use of ostensibly scientific or pseudo-scientific techniques and hypotheses to support or justify the belief in racism, racial inferiority, racialism, or racial superiority;
(1) - ostensibly scientific , or pseudo-scientific This is entirely redundant, since pseudo-science is, by definition, ostensibly (allegedly, supposedly, mistakenly) scientific.
(2) - techniques and hypotheses Unnecessary explication of the definition of pseudo-science. It adds nothing to say pseudo-science uses techniques and hypotheses.
(3) - Racism, racial inferiority, racialism, or racial superiority Synonyms. Racialism is racism, and racial inferiority, and superiority, are its subsets.

Second Clause

Alternatively, it is the practice of classifying individuals of different phenotypes into discrete races. This practice is now generally considered pseudo-scientific, yet historically it received much credence in the scientific community.

This second clause is not an alternative definition; it is the exact same definition. It directly restates the sentiment of the first. The use of a pseudo-scientific technique to separate individuals into discrete races.

Implication, & Conclusion

This entire sentence could be reduced to:

The use of pseudoscience to justify racism.

The current definition in tandem with the double-think title of this article implicitly suggests, without reference, that all racism is pseudo-scientific. The title of this article needs to be changed to Pseudo-scientific Racism since that is what it is about. Fawby (talk) 20:41, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

This would not be an acceptable change, per WP:POV and many other policies. Renaming the article would suggest that some form of "scientific racism" exists separate from this category, which is patently false and extremely contentious. The consensus of sources is that racism is not scientific. Whether or not it's all pseudoscience is harder to pin-down, but that's a relatively minor point here. Many, but not all, of the theories described in the article were accepted by the scientific community at the time they were first proposed. That they are now rightly considered pseudoscience doesn't change that, so "ostensibly scientific" seems acceptable. If you want to make a case about the brevity of the lede, you should do that separate from a proposal to change the name of the article, but encyclopedia articles should explain complicated issues like this in depth, and some redundancy is actually desirable. Grayfell (talk) 21:11, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
My initial suggestion was the lesser of two evils, yet both titles suggest the existence of "Real-scientific-racism". Damned if we do, damned if we don't. We should avoid the scientific classification of racism altogether and go for something neutral like "Racism in the Sciences". Thoughts? (I moved my criticisms of th lead to it's own section) Fawby (talk) 12:54, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
fwiiw, I do not think you understand the term "racism" at all: it refers to a political ideology. A political ideology can never be "scientific". But the study of race can, of course, be scientific. Use of the term "scientific racism" implies that scientific results (even bona fide ones) are being used to justify an ideology. Even if the argument is entirely coherent, the scientific results per se will still exist apart from their application within any given ideology. No, study of race is not "pseudoscientific", as you will find if you even glance at research literature on physical differences between racial groups, e.g. in medicine. It was also not "pseudoscientific" to use anatomical data at a time when genetics was not available, that's not "pseudoscience", it is just a method that has since been displaced by better technology. It is only with the (subjective) claim that such study is used to argue an ideology that it becomes "racism", and this is the case even if the scientific results are perfectly unassailable.
thus, I would amend Fawby's definition to "The (alleged) use of ostensibly scientific arguments to justify racism (racial ideology)" ("alleged" because the term is always used as an attack / allegation). The arguments may or may not be scientific. E.g. data that group A is on average shorter than group B can be perfectly objective, but it only becomes "scientific racism" if you argue that "therefore group B must be discouraged from procreation because clearly tall people are inferior to short people". --dab (𒁳) 16:19, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I think it is you who don't understand the term "racism" at all. No contemporary scholars of racism consider racism to be purely an ideology - it is as system of practices and ideologies that have the effect of creating discrimination based on racial categories. The early history of racial "science" is very much both a part of the history of "racism" and it is clearly a part of the literature on "scientific racism". In Wikipedia of course we use sources to decide what to include or exclude in articles.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

"scientific racism" is indeed a term that has been used since the 1940s, and it can be used meaningfully, but always as a pejorative, there is no objective definition. It is a purely political term. As becomes evident if you google its historical usage since the 1960s. But this article has completely dropped the ball by discussing the history of the concept of race back to Voltaire, which is obviously completely irrelevant to the term "scientific racism" in particular. As it stands, it is simply a WP:CFORK of the "race" article. An ad-hoc change of the title to something like "pseudo-scientific racism" would not help at all, you just made this term up on the fly. It will not fix the article, because only rewriting the article, not re-titling it, will be helpful. --dab (𒁳) 16:19, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

You are wrong in two ways - that something is used pejoratively does not mean that it cannot be objectively defined, and in fact there are perfectly objective definitions of what is and isnt considered "scientific racism". You may want to acquaint yourself with the actual literature on the topic before pontificating.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
  • So no, there is a literature on the topic of "scientific racism" - this article summarizes that literature. There is no need to invent new terminology or to rewrite articles to suit anyone's individual definition of what is really racism. We just follow the literature.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:34, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is Wikipedia. You don't use logic or sense. You just copy stuff out. One doesn't simply "make sense" when copy pasting stuff into Wikipedia. (talk) 16:15, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

I added some sources to the Alfrdo Niceforo article

If someone would like to include him here i think that'd be helpful!Alfredo Niceforo — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paolorausch (talkcontribs) 05:43, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Suggestion to add a redirect to this page from pseudoscientific racism

A literal reading of the title of this page would suggest that racism can be scientifically justified when nothing could be further from fact.

The name was used as a label but does not hold in our present day and age.

So how about renaming the page to pseudoscientific racism and have a redirect lead here? --JamesPoulson (talk) 15:56, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Nope, because that is not what the literature calls it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:56, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Historical or biological literature? How scientific is racism according to today's scientific literature? Nothing is stopping representing ambivalent information on a wiki. --JamesPoulson (talk) 16:19, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Literature on "scientific racism". There is no literature on "pseudoscientific racism". And our naming policy stops us from using article titles that provide new names for topics with an already existing literature. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:16, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
What kind of literature? What field? Why ignore the usage of the expression pseudo-scientific racism in mainstream books? Also, are you absolutely certain that 100% of academic sources refer to the subject in terms of scientific racism? To seek out sources that only speak of scientific racism may be selection bias at work as the subject itself could very well be referred to using other terms. --JamesPoulson (talk) 19:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
First, the word "from" in the section-heading above is confusing. I would tend to oppose the rename on the grounds of Wikipedia's "common name" policy. It was largely accepted as being science during the 1920s, but since then things have changed. It's hard to capture all this history in an article title. AnonMoos (talk) 03:36, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
A lot of things were accepted as science in the 1920s including Eugenics and since Karl Popper's Falsifiability, among other developments, things have indeed changed. With that said, this isn't about facts but what sources say (Wikipedia's role is not be some kind of beacon of absolute truth) and scientific racism would indeed be referred to on historical grounds. There might also be people out there today wishing to establish that human races exist without necessarily this involving intolerance but pseudo-scientific racism is used as an expression. --JamesPoulson (talk) 19:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

modern scientific racism

critical whiteness studies and white privilege theory are nothing else, but a modern form of scientific racism 12:50, 26 September 2016 (UTC) (talk) 12:50, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

thanks for your opinion.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:56, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Arguments that human races exist

See Human Races Exist: Refuting 11 Common Arguments Against the Existence of Race.

It would not be a reliable source but there are references at the bottom of this blog article that someone could look into. --JamesPoulson (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Something similar on Wikipedia at Human Genetic Diversity: Lewontin's Fallacy... -- AnonMoos (talk) 14:49, 8 October 2016 (UTC)