The Transitory Nature of “Race”

I am currently reading Christopher Hitchens’ book “God is Not Great” and it brought to my attention something I had completely missed when I wrote about the fallacy of “Race”.
As I said in an earlier post, if we were to exist 30,000 years into the future (yes I know we’re not likely to make the next 50, but keep with it) then when we are all brown-skinned with Oriental features, what “Race” are we? Well just the one, whatever you want to call it – the Human Race? And if “Race” is some time-dependent quantity, does “Race” have any real meaning at all?
I thought this was pretty clever thinking until a couple of days ago (with Hitchens’ book) when I realised, I had completely missed the whole point.
Instead of going 30,000 years into the future, what about simply going back to our “Out of Africa” excursion? What “Races” were about then? Well, just the one of course, the one that ended up colonising the whole planet.
I find it extremely interesting that we started life as just one “Race”, and if we last any great length of time, we will end life as just one “Race” as well. It is only in this difficult intermediate period that intellectually challenged Homo Sapiens can point to other Homo Sapiens with environmentally-changed features and claim they are of a different “Race”.
I have always felt that there is only one “Race” the Human Race, and those that differ from us feature-wise because that is where that particular pocket of Homo Sapiens settled and formed a local community, are of no real consequence. Which of course is not the same thing at all as zero importance, when it comes to the genocidal tendencies of Homo Sapiens.
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One Response to The Transitory Nature of “Race”

  1. Ross Biddle says:

    Coincidence… I am on holiday and also rereading some of Hitchens works..
    below is a link to an interview with one of his close friends Phillip Adams, an Australian public intellectual who was claimed by Hitchens as a very close friend. The interview was given on the day of Hitchens not unexpected death. It gives some very useful insights to the man and his works..

    Separately, I note that colour continues to be the most commonly used denominator in the attribution of race and that it appears the lack of is little more than a naturally selected characteristic that provided additional vitamin D in humans that moved to higher latitudes .

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