I'd like to teach my summer school class (yes, I'm already planning) about the science behind race, discrimination, homosexuality, etc. The goal is to make them more aware of their own perceptions and help them understand where they come from. The majority of kids are minority students, so I've found this to be a topic they are VERY interested in.

So far I have found this awesome site: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/
You should take some of the tests, they are quite interesting.

I am finding it difficult to find reliable sources regarding the science behind and the evolution of prejudice / race, homosexuality, sexism, etc. Most of the sites are either declaring that science is evil and promotes these things (it doesn't and can't). Or the sites promote racist/sexist/homophobic messages (obviously this is unacceptable). Of the human-rights type sites, few seem scientifically reliable and most seem like they are opinion (opinion I agree with, but that doesn't make it science).

I've heard two arguments regarding race:
1) Race is just a social category to help our human brains organize things...but race doesn't actually exist.
2) There is a basis for race as far as evolution goes. The argument that there is no race is just scientists scared of being called racist. Admitting that race is a thing is not racist. Claiming that one race is better for some reason is, and is not within the realm of science.

I'd like to find some sources that support both arguments.

I'd also like some information on where prejudice comes from.

So...any ideas? Any sources besides the one mentioned above?

Tags: Science, and, discrimination, homophobia, race, sexism

Views: 5

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Somehow I knew that doone would have the needed references.
Sometimes I wonder if doone is actually a single person or an entire team of researchers who can find any stat, screen shot, or reference you've ever imagined.
doone (or more properly D.O.O.N.E.) is an AI experiment that escaped into the net.

D.O.O.N.E. (Data-Organizing Operational Neuronet, Experimental) never sleeps.
I read a good book on race earlier this week; I would recommend it. It's called The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race

http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/acatalog/__The_Emperor_s_New_Clothe...
The Blank Slate - Steven Pinker. Not about race specifically but gives a good intro to how we are built to behave based upon common machinery.

The root of racism is our intuitive machinery for kin selection. The closer another individual resembles you the more likely that individual is a close kin. Close kin get higher trust for the reciprocal altruism from genetic predisposition.

Culture teaches us, against our primal instincts to trust people who look like they are out of our kin group. We actually start out as family-ist and grow to be more open tribe-ist then region-ists then human-ists.

The Science of Good and Evil by Michael Shermer. How did we evolve to become moral toward each other? What is the function of cooperation and why are we not living short, brutish and nasty lives?
I teach sociology/anthropology and have this site on my class websites. It was created a year or so ago by the American Anthropological Association and has lots of great information and interactive stuff:

http://understandingrace.org/humvar/

In case the link doesn't work, just google or bing "Understanding Human Variation"
Wow! These are great sources. I have a couple of the books on hold at the library and that website is great. Keep them coming and thanks!
Related but not entirely the same topic..

I wonder at what point science will be able to publish race statistics honestly without some person or group getting offended. There will always be (until we have managed to interbreed completely) some statistical differences, good or bad, from one race to another, whether it is height, IQ (entirely dependent on what test was used since they can be very culturally biased), likeliness of getting certian diseases, etc, etc.
My guess is that it will be awhile. I know someone who actually got offended when it was mentioned that fair-skinned people are more susceptible to sunburn.
I have read this through but will look in to it in more detail,. This has always been one of my projects to find out about prejudice, where one person believes he is better than another. It comes from when we are little and how others are presented to us.
Or, you could say that people of African descent are less likely to contract Malaria. It is an artifact of their ancestry, geography, and natural selection. It kept the Europeans out of Africa for hundreds of years!
The book Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade has some interesting and pretty recent information on the genetics and evolution of race.

RSS

  

Blog Posts

The Void of Silence

Posted by Carol Foley on July 31, 2014 at 11:02pm 0 Comments

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service