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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

"blood" permissible in an "Aryan" have no quantitative basis and
no real biological meaning.
The alleged inferiority of half-castes between whites and black or
browns is another case in point. If the inferiority really exists, it is
much more likely to be the product of the unfavourable social atmo-
sphere in which they grow up than to any effect (which would be
biologically very unusual) of their mixed heredity.
The results of intelligence tests applied to different ethnic stocks
are for the same reason devoid of much value. Intelligence tests are
now very efficient when applied to groups with similar social environ-
ment; they become progressively less significant as the difference in
social environment increases. Again., we must equalize environment
upwards—here mainly by providing better educational opportunity
—before we can evaluate genetic difference.
To sum up, in the practical handling of every so-called racial pro-
blem, the error seems invariably to have been made of confusing
genetic with cultural factors. The former alone could legitimately be
called racial: but indeed the very term race disintegrates when sub-
jected to modern genetic analysis. The net results are, firstly, that
it would be best to drop the term race from our vocabulary, both
scientific and popular, as applied to man; and secondly, and more
importantly for our present purpose, that until we equalize environ-
mental opportunity, by making it more favourable for those now less
favoured, we cannot make any pronouncements worthy to be called
scientific as to genetic differences in mental characters between
different ethnic stocks.
In point of fact, so-called racial problems on analysis invariably
turn out to be problems of culture-contact. A dominant civilization
or class desires to continue its dominance over a civilization or class of
different colour or ethnic type, or is afraid that its values will be
impaired if it tries to assimilate those of the other group. These are
very real problems: but let us tackle them as such, sociologically, not
on the basis of a false appeal to genetic science.
My readers must not imagine that I underrate the extent of the
genetic differences between human groups, be they classes or so-called
races.   Man as an animal organism is unique in several respects: and
one of them is his abnormal range of genetic variability,   A reminder
of the basic nature of this variability is given by the recent work of
Blakeslee on taste and smell.1   He finds that a number of substances
which have a strong taste to some people, are not tasted at all by
others.   Thus the perceptual worlds inhabited by different human
1 Blakeslee and Fox, 1935.