Biological and Social Consequences of Race-Crossing

Biological and Social Consequences of Race-Crossing

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 9, Issue 2 (April/June 1926)
pages 145–156
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330090212

W. E. Castle (1867-1962)
Bussey Institution, Harvard University

What constitute the essential differences between human races seems to be a question difficult for anthropologists to agree upon but from a biologist’s point of view those appear to be on safe ground who base racial distinctions on easily recognizable and measurable differences perpetuated by heredity irrespective of the environment.  See Hooton, 1926.  It is still a moot question how races originate, not merely in man, but also among lower animals and plants.  At one time natural selection was thought to be an all-sufficient explanation of the matter, but the more carefully the question is studied and the more exact and experimental in character the data which enter into its solution, the more fully we become convinced that forms of life are rarely static, that organic is the rule rather than the exception. Change is inevitable and is not limited to useful or adaptive variations.  Natural selection undoubtedly determines the survival of decidedly useful variations, which arise for any reason, and also the extinction of those which are positively harmful, but a host of there variations fall in neither of these categories and survive among the descendants as a matter of course, quite unaffected by natural selection.

The experimental study of evolution indicates that genetic (hereditary) variations are all the time arising, and with especial frequency in such organism are bisexual and cross-fertilized.

In a state of nature no species can long be separated by geographical barriers into  non-interbreeding groups, without the origins of specific or racial differences between such groups…

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