HOW THE TERMS “CAUCASIAN” AND “MONGOLIAN”BECAME POPULARIZED: Blumenbach Presented Slaves as Case Studies to Illustrate his “Environmentalist” Theory of Human Polytypic Variation. (Part 3 of 3)

End Notes:

  1. The observation that some species are are polytypic (showing a diverse spectrum of traits) can be traced to Mayr’s (1964, 111) studies of birds and Dobzhansky’s (1947, 70) studies of Eurasian ladybugs. Dobzhansky (1962, 221) asserted that “mankind is a polytypic species”.
  1. It can be problematic to use the words “racist” and “antiracist” when discussing Blumenbach’s work since these terms originated in the 1930s, long after he died (OED 1989 Vol. 13, 74-75). However, the term “white supremacy” appears as far back as 1825, and “superior race” was used during the late 18th century (Winn 1825, 8; Winterbotham 1796, 111). Thus, in this paper, the term “race supremacist” will be used.
  1. Blumenbach (1795a, xxviii-xxx; 1794, 193) noted that his five principle racial varieties did not include 1.) Cossacks and Kyrgyz, 2.) Egyptians and Romani, and 3.) “Eskimotae”. He regarded these three populations as what might now be described as genetic bridges. As far back as 1850, Bachman noted that the “theory of Blumenbach” was “to a considerable extent arbitrary” such that Blumenbach “himself gives us so many exceptions to the rule, that in a vast number of instances we are at a loss under which of his five varieties we can place many tribes, and a vast number of individuals” (Bachman 1850, 231).
  1. Livingstone’s (1962, 279) contention that “there are no races, only clines”, was endorsed by Dobzhansky. Skull anatomist C. Loren Brace, wrote that “there is a spectrum of variation” in humans that is “rarely taken into account in appraisals of human evolution in general” (Brace and Hunt 1990, 341).
  1. These 11 specimens are quite clearly illustrated in Decades I-III in Figures 3, 5, 9, 15, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, and 30.
  1. The first unearthed Neanderthal fossil discovered in 1865 is now known as the Neanderthal “type specimen” or “holotype” (Kring et al. 1999, 581; Serre and Pääbo 2008, 212).

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Acknowledgements:

The author would like to thank Nicolaas Rupke of Washington and Lee University, Wolfgang Böker of the University of Göttingen’s Blumenbach Online Project, and Ann E. Michael of De Sales University for their encouragement. Thanks also to Robert E. Shillenn of Shillenn, Ltd., Silver Springs, MD who provided input on translations for selected Latin, German, French, and Russian texts.

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