Carleton Stevens Coon The origin of races

ISBN 13: 9782246011217

The origin of races

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9782246011217: The origin of races
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The first 100 pages read like Social Anthropology. The next 250 pages deal with animal anatomy and evolution. If you are not a student of Anatomy, you'll need to consult an encyclopedia 5 times per page in order to keep up. The last 400 pages deal with actual topic - the origin of races and you'll still need to keep the encyclopedia handy through that one. The glossary helps but sometimes you want more information. I learned so much from this book but only because I already knew which parts were discreditted by Genetics and which parts were still valid. For example: Coon's theory as he expounds it in this book was that Caucasoids, Mongoloids, Negroids and Australoids and their phenotypes evolved from Homo Erectus populations living in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. He was wrong about that. Coon also hints that Negroids and Australoids may have developed the least from their Erectus ancestors than Mongoloids and Caucasoids. Genetics has shown us that Humans evolved in Africa two million years ago, they entered Europe and branched into Caucasoids one hundred and twenty thousand years ago and branched into Mongoloids fourty thousand years ago in Asia. Nevertheless, it is possible to divide Humans into `races` under the same designations Coon used, (only today we call these 'human populations'). Cavalli-Sforza Genetic map of Human populations identifies Caucasoids, Mongoloids, Negroids and Australoids. Most of the other observations on evolution and anatomy made by Coon in this book are still valid and are remarkably well thought out in spite of the fact that all the man had to work with were bones and carbon-dating. However, Coon underestimated the influence of Genetic Drift and he writes it off completely before page 60. He wisely discounted the relevance of blood-groups to `race.` Coon also came out against designating the many European phenotypes as `races` like he had in 1939 in `Races of Europe`.

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