Bill Nye: Race is a Human Construct
The Science Guy explores the social lessons to be learned from evolution. Paramount is that race, both as a classification for humans and dogs, is not a natural construct.
After joking about interviewing dogs for the new book, Nye began a dissection of the purebreed myth:
"We obsess about whether our dog is a pug-Jack Russell terrier mix with corgi overtones and an oaky finish. 'An approachable little dog,' whatever. They’re all dogs, okay? And so the idea of a purebred is just a human construct. There’s no such thing – in a sense there’s no such thing as a purebred dog."
This is one of the main lessons Nye hoped readers and viewers would take away from his analysis of dogs and evolution. No matter what kinds of dog mate -- pug with a chihuahua, Great Dane with a dachshund, whatever -- the result is still a dog. There is no variance in species. Years of breeding and evolution have resulted in a broad spectrum of dogs that look different from their proto-dog ancestors and certainly different from each other. But underneath it all they're still just dogs.
The same can be said for humans. Race, just like breed, is a human construct:
"If a Papua New Guinean hooks up with a Swedish person all you get is a human. There’s no new thing you’re going to get. You just get a human. Japanese woman jumping the African guy, all you get is a human. They’re all humans. So this is a lesson to be learned. There really is, for humankind there’s really no such thing as race. There’s different tribes but not different races. We’re all one species."
This isn't a groundbreaking idea in any way; sociologists and political scientists have argued over race for years. What's notable here though is that Nye is not making his claims from the platform of sociology. Instead, he's analyzing hard scientific evidence from a biological perspective. His argument that race doesn't exist is supported not by conjecture but through evolutionary evidence.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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