Gazelle-like antelopes as living flags

Gazelle-like antelopes as living flags

Colouration seeks no camouflage where it advertises safety in numbers.

More...
Perverse exercise for the growing pelican

Perverse exercise for the growing pelican

An exceptional wingspan made resilient by violent nurturing.

More...
Why do mangroves lack fruity succulence?

Why do mangroves lack fruity succulence?

Potassium, the mineral of fruit-juice, can be unaffordable for mere seed-wrappings.

More...
Warning colouration in the giant panda

Warning colouration in the giant panda

The most checkered of bears is the least likely to be worth attacking naively.

More...
The marsupial lion: all slice and no bite

The marsupial lion: all slice and no bite

Unsheath the hidden weapon of an Australian carnivore with desultory canines.

More...
Supermoles despite being marsupial moles

Supermoles despite being marsupial moles

Notoryctids are primitively pouched but at the cutting-edge in other aspects.

More...
Who chose the eyespots on the peacock?

Who chose the eyespots on the peacock?

Peahens were less likely than human protectors to select for these false eyes.

More...
A continent mysteriously empty of tortoises

A continent mysteriously empty of tortoises

Land tortoises failed in Australia not by historical accident but by poor ecological prospects.

More...
Seeing the light for the trees

Seeing the light for the trees

Height of woodlands and savannas is aimed at resources scarcer than sunshine.

More...
How beavers engineered landscapes for bison

How beavers engineered landscapes for bison

Tree-felling, ponding, and silt-damming all eventually produce big grazing.

More...
Trees as green quazi-zombies

Trees as green quazi-zombies

Ponder the resources that really matter under the shade of the energetic living dead.

More...
The hidden power of sea snakes over eels

The hidden power of sea snakes over eels

Why eels can’t defend themselves from being engulfed by sea snakes.

More...
Time did not limit evolution in Zealandia

Time did not limit evolution in Zealandia

Why these are the largest islands without native terrestrial mammals.

More...
Kiwi were no solution to a mammalian vacuum

Kiwi were no solution to a mammalian vacuum

These birds are more far-fetched that even the least likely of furred imposters.

More...
Why external ears are redundant in birds

Why external ears are redundant in birds

A streamlined head is only part of the explanation why birds avoid using external pinnae to locate sounds.

More...
Why elephants defecate wantonly

Why elephants defecate wantonly

Megaherbivore digestion seems inefficient until its cream-skimming tactic is recognised.

More...
What is the real value of a kidney?

What is the real value of a kidney?

There must be good reason why the kidney is twice as energy-intensive as the brain or liver, making it the…

More...
Are birds really avian dinosaurs?

Are birds really avian dinosaurs?

Birds originated from dinosaurs, but equating them with dinosaurs falls off a logical tightrope.

More...
A new vitamin hiding in plain light

A new vitamin hiding in plain light

 Food beliefs have fallen on the buttered side

More...
D stands for delete as vitamin

D stands for delete as vitamin

Calciferol, vital but not vitamin

More...
Coital fanging in a giant cartilaginous fish

Coital fanging in a giant cartilaginous fish

A plankton-siever with only the rudest of Jaws.

More...
Does rickets show clinical deficiency of boron?

Does rickets show clinical deficiency of boron?

Hormonal ossification is elementary.

More...
What lies behind the kidney’s iron curtain?

What lies behind the kidney’s iron curtain?

Where the body ‘earths’ its electrons.

More...
An explanation for sexual skew in the priapiumfish

An explanation for sexual skew in the priapiumfish

Why micro-meta-genitals evolved in fishes.

More...
Can any true bambi weather a desert?

Can any true bambi weather a desert?

What it takes to drought-proof 3-centimetre hooves.

More...
Archaeopteryx is neither a first bird nor a bird in the first place

Archaeopteryx is neither a first bird nor a bird in the first place

The concept "archaeopteryx is a bird" is a dinosaur 

More...
Plumosaurs flew as dinosaurs, not as proto-birds

Plumosaurs flew as dinosaurs, not as proto-birds

Looking past the plumage to see the tell-tale tails.

More...
Fat mephitids not allowed in the Old World

Fat mephitids not allowed in the Old World

A black-and-white case of evolutionary skullduggery?

More...
Authentic mega-killers kept their mouths shut

Authentic mega-killers kept their mouths shut

The mythical snarl of dental sabres

More...
The paradox of the fire-loving crayfishes

The paradox of the fire-loving crayfishes

Building a life on wet combustion.

More...
A thumbs-up on amphibians

A thumbs-up on amphibians

The human hand as living fossil.

More...
The riddle of the failed frogs of Gondwana

The riddle of the failed frogs of Gondwana

Zealandic amphibians are a damp squib.

More...
Why no southern salamanders?

Why no southern salamanders?

The evolutionary compass of amphibian tails.

More...
Frogs are more dexterous than lizards

Frogs are more dexterous than lizards

The simplest frog is more manipulative than the cleverest lizard.

More...
 Frogs' tails hiding in plain sight

Frogs' tails hiding in plain sight

De-tailed amphibians conceal a hiptail of unknown potential.

More...
The dagger looks of golden toads

The dagger looks of golden toads

Black eyes can be poisonous exclamations in orange frogs.

More...
The giant panda as a sinister signboard

The giant panda as a sinister signboard

A black and white warning of dangerous teeth

More...
Arboreal reflections of amphibian eyes

Arboreal reflections of amphibian eyes

The bulging eyes of water and tree frogs differ more than they look.

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2012 JoomlaWorks Ltd.
Bio-bullets

What is the true adaptive value of human racial variation?

Racial features maintain the health of cultures indirectly rather than maintaining the health of individuals directly.

professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: “Racial features adapt people to local climates but become biologically useless and socially detrimental once people settle in new, different environments.”

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: "But hidden in plain sight is the fact that human races native to Australasia, Asia, the Americas and Africa spanned these whole continents, showing that features such as skin colour and hair texture defy environmental variation. Adding to the puzzle of racial variation without environmental correlation is the fact that in Africa and Asia different races have coexisted despite millennia of opportunity to interbreed. The resolution is that{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} racial discrimination is a means to conserve culture. Indeed, culture is so important for human survival – by means of technical traditions – that there’s strong natural selection for racial features that help conserve cultures by keeping racial groups intact even if those features, such as pale skins, aren’t optimal for a particular climate. Conservation of cultural diversity means conservation of a wide range of technical skillsets. This has enabled the human species to hedge its bets through evolutionary time and manage major environmental changes."{!njaccess}… Reveal the hidden half of this response by Robin and the Honey Badger by subscribing here{/njaccess}

 

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

What is the true adaptive value of human racial variation?

Last modified on 16 July 2015

Comments   

0 #1 Megabeast 2014-02-19 12:17
Have a look at this video clip of Jose Alvarenga:
news.com.au/.../...

Even the hardly-coloured skin of this man seems to be quite enough to protect against ultraviolet rays. If a tanned whitish man can drift in a 7 m boat for more than a year in the tropical sun, and his skin looks this good at the end of it, why on Earth would a southern Sudanese need to be blue-black? And why would black Africans need to have a dark penis tip!? This virtually proves that skin colour is only partly explained by physical adaptation against ultraviolet. Sure, Alvarenga is from El Salvador and obviously has some native American blood in him, but he’s no darker than most southern Europeans and his hair was almost ginger after sun exposure.
0 #2 Julien Peter Benney 2014-03-03 01:59
This is an interesting point – for instance the dark skins of Aborigines were non-optimal for southern Australia’s climate and low solar radiation, they helped keep them closely connected with bands to the north in a continent whose “natural unity” (following Jared Diamond) is extreme (with all the political consequences that implies).

The same is true very much of Australia’s European population, which due to the ‘Industrial Reversal’ (whereby industrialisati on turns have-nots into haves and haves into have-nots for simple reasons of relative elemental abudance) has maintained political and cultural positions largely extinct in Eurasia and the Americas.
0 #3 Taklamakan 2014-03-10 12:11
A recent finding that several generations of mice can, without genetic change, inherit a fear response has caused a minor kerfuffle, e.g. nature.com/.../... . Neo-Darwinists would assume that DNA must be the mechanism of all conscious and unconscious memory passed to offspring. But, as pointed out by Mark Cowan in a letter to New Scientist (page 33 of 1 Feb. 2014), we already knew that the nervous system has a capacity to store cultural information and meaning, ‘an external database which far exceeds genetic storage’. As Cowan explains, a neo-Darwinist’s dogmatic belief in the exclusive power of DNA is not encoded as such in his DNA, ‘but comes from information he has acquired perpetuated in culture’.
0 #4 Johns 2014-06-30 10:41
Human raciality is such a loaded topic that biologists can sometimes get more mileage denying its existence than exploring its nature. Recall that 13-year old book ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological theories of race at the millennium’ by Joseph Graves, Rutgers, 2001. Graves went to pains to deny that human races really exist, based on an interpretation of what he saw as a remarkably limited genetic variation within our species based on the early findings of the Human Genome Project. His idea seemed to be, human genotypes vary less than expected across the world, so the phenotypic variation we perceive as races must be illusory. As pointed out in a review in New Scientist by David Canter (‘States of mind’, 5 May 2001, page 46), Graves risks substituting ‘geneticism’ for racism, perhaps a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’...

You have no rights to post comments