Racism: The Artificial Category of Race
THESIS: Scientists and other intellectuals recognize the modern concept of "race" as an artificial category that developed over the past five centuries due to encounters with non-European people. Even though people still attempt to organize humans into categories according to their race, these categories have been shown to have no scientific basis.
The term "race" is a modern concept. It's definition has adopted radically new meaning over the past few centuries. Currently, the term is used to characterize differences among human groups. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term "race" in 1512 is "a group or class of persons, animals, or things, having some common feature or features." Today, Oxford's definition is quite different: "a local geographic or global human population distinguished by genetically transmitted characteristics and/or any of the major biological definitions of man distinguished by physically evident features, for example, Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid." This definition is a result of regular interaction with non-European people. The Europeans began to explore other lands, thus creating the idea that some people are different than them and should not be under the same category as them.
The constant interaction with groups of people who’s lifestyles were very different led Europeans to believe that they were a different "kind" of people. Scientists worked on and created many different ways to classify the different people they found. This unrefined method of categorization was the origin of a new culture-oriented taxonomic system for human beings. The system is based on the "Great Chain of Being," which is a way of classifying things according to a hierarchy. The awareness of perceptible race differentiation intensified as Europeans interacted with Native Americans, colonized North America, and established the slave trade. Classification resulted in the word "race" being an indication of human species, kind, variety, and type. Thousands of other systems were developed, designed to classify humans to a "race" according to their skin, brain size, violent behaviors, and intelligence (Holli 132). Physical characteristics, such as hair
textures and color, nose, lips, and muscles, sexual habits, morals, and religion were also considered as criteria to assign a "race" to a human being. Fundamental systems based mainly on physical characteristics allowed scientists to justify racial group placement.
Scientists and other intellectuals recognize the modern concept of "race" as an artificial category that developed over the past five centuries due to encounters with non-European, even though scientists attempted to organize humans into categories according to their race, they have been demonstrated to be unscientific in this century.
The definition of "race," is a group of people who have certain well-marked characters in common, evolved from terms including...