THE VARIETIES OF MAN: An Introduction of Human Races by Edward Babun

THE VARIETIES OF MAN: An Introduction of Human Races

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An examination of the races of man that favors a controversial hypothesis (Carleton Coon's) as its basis and that offers 36 expedient categories to replace the traditional classification of Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Although several points are well taken, some of the statements are imprecise (e.g. in explaining Glober's, Bergmann's, and Allen's ecological rules, he refers to animals instead of specifying mammals). Babun properly asserts that there is no 1:1 correspondence between genes and body traits, that genes are affected by the environment, that selection may vary in intensity. Usually he mentions when evidence ""cannot be confirmed"" (e.g. anatomical adaptation to cold). While supporting Coon's argument for the separate evolution of five ""stocks"" which ""crossed the sapiens threshold at different times and places,"" and indicating some of the evidence (including linguistic suppositions), he does not tackle the question of innate abilities inferred by some. His ""system"" for classifying everyone from Ainu to Turkic is based on body build and size and surface features and does not take into account such variables as distribution of blood types or resistance to disease. And the ""characteristics"" are vague, have no apparent data source, and include inflammatory flab such as this tidbit about the ""North American Negro"" (No. 10): ""Many of the least Negroid members have been assimilated into the Caucasoid community through 'passing.'

Pub Date: April 14th, 1969
Publisher: Crowell-Collier