Thursday, January 20, 2011
Some Things to Keep in Mind
As we have noted, if we consider the human race to be monogenesis in origin, then differences must have developed or deviated away from a common source. If this is the case, then, as is a common assumption, varying external factors will play into a “nature selection” that will produce different results that in some way correlate to these factors. However, we know now that natural selection is confined to the gene pool already present in a population. That is, excluding mutations, the variation within a population is limited to what is already contained in its collective DNA, something akin to Kant’s “seed”. When a population is separated into two gene pools (migration, catastrophe, you name it) the two pools will at first appear more or less identical. However, once the distinction has been made and the respective populations refrain from interbreeding, their evolutionary paths necessarily diverge. This may not become immediately observable, but we must keep in mind physical appearances are only accidents in this respect. A population that strays to an extreme local will undergo heavy natural pressure to adapt, its gene pool being pulled in directions more accommodating to its environment. Of course, a population that separates itself, yet remains in a comparable climate will not be inclined to deviate much from its current manifestation. Still, over time differences will naturally occur; the chances of two isolated populations maintaining identical evolutionary tracks are slim, if plausible at all. We know race is contrived and culture is imposed, but to me it seems that at least originally, we are justified in making distinctions based on divergent (in the positive sense) gene pools. Now, how many generations does it take to produce a new race? Should we base race solely on observable differences? The Korean and the Chinese were separated long enough that their gene pools disseminated into two observably different populations. Strangely enough, while I see no difference, any Asian will immediately recognize the distinction. Now, as Dr J said, we are all mixed. Globalization means that there are no more isolated populations. We may now envision, at least theoretically, the entire human population as belonging to a single gene pool. There are, of course, clusters of certain genetic frequencies here and there, and the environment still pulls a relative population one way or another. Still, excluding human social factors, the advent of globalization produces a single human gene pool that entails, for better or worse, a higher propensity for biological convergence and a lower propensity for biological divergence. That any male on earth could potentially mate with any female means that the variation between humans at this moment is already theoretically contained in a single gene pool; we are all variations of the same thing.