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Currently active religious and ethical conflicts:

About Racism, particularly in the U.S.
It continues today, but may be quickly fading:
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"Racism" is generally defined as the personal belief that individuals of one race are superior to those of another race. Unsuprisingly, most racists appear to believe that the race that they belong to is the single race whose members are superior to all others.

In the U.S., a definition of the current racial and ethnic categories was written by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. 1 They recognize the existence of five racial categories:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as "Haitian" or "Negro" can be used in addition to "Black or African American".
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

The Office also defines two ethnic categories:

  • Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

  • Not of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin.

The term "Negro" (plural Negroes) was widely used in the U.S. until the civil rights era of the 1950s. However, its use was dropped by the Census Bureau in 2013. 2it is now "regarded as an archaic term which is often seen as offensve." 3 The Obama administration proposed to eliminate "Negro" from all government forms. However, the Trump administration decided in late 2017 to delayed implementing that decision. 2

Similar definitions of "race" and "ethnic categories are found in other countries.

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The significance of race:

Most adults around the world identify themselves as affiliated with a Christian or Muslim faith group. Many of them follow passages in Bible or Qur'an that imply that race is of little significance because every human being is a descendent of Adam and Eve. They were the original two humans that these books state were created by God. Thus, we are all of one race -- the human race.

The Bible states in Genesis 1:27 & 28:

Verse 27: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; [one] male and [one] female created he them."

Verse 28: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it... " (King James Version) 3

If the original human couple was created in "the image of God," then it would seem that all of Eve and Adam's descendents are also in "the image of God," and of equal value.

The Qur'an often refers to mankind as the "Tribe of Adam." Muslims generally consider it as being written by Allah. It states in Verse 4:1:

" O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women ..." 4

Most of those who believe in the Naturalistic Evolution of the Earth's species from an original single-celled life form billions of years ago also agree that race is of little significance because all humans on Earth who have ever lived are of African origin and share distant onemale and one female ancestors who lived in that continent.

Research studies have found that:

  • Mitochondrial Eve is the woman who was the matrilineal most recent common ancestor of all humans -- that is, everyone's great-great-great-great ..... grandmother. She lived many thousands of generations in the past, sometime between 152,000 to 235,000 years ago and lived in East Africa. 5

  • Y-chromosomal Adam was the patrilineal most recent common ancestor of all humans - everyone's great-great-great-great... grandfather. He lived more recently, about 142,000 years ago, and was born in Western Africa. 6

  • They lived in different places about 10,000 years or more apart in time, and thus could never have actually met. Even if they had been born in the same village at the same time, neither would have realized that they would become the ancestors of the entire human race.

Research has also determined that:

  • Skin color, which is the indicator that many people use to assign a person's race, is primarily determined by the amount of melanin in the skin. This, in turn, is determined by a group of genes in their DNA. The most important gene appears to be one called SLC24A5. 7

  • Some racists, and others, believe that some persons -- typically those from the individual racist's own race -- are inherently superior to those of other races. For example, they believe that newborns of different races, on average, will have average different potential IQs as adults. They point to studies that indicate that the average IQ among adults of different races differ.

    This belief has been challenged in an review of a recent paper published in the Journal of Intelligence on 2016-DEC-23. It states:

    "Some academic publications infer from studies of transracial adoptees’ IQs that East Asian adoptees raised in the West by Whites have higher IQs than Western Whites, and that White adoptees raised by Whites have higher IQs than Black adoptees raised by Whites. That is that newborns of some races will have higher IQs as adults than those of other races."

    The authors of the paper studied the IQ differences among transracial adoptees and suggested that truth lies in:

    "... a nil hypothesis: East Asian, White, and Black adoptees raised in the same environment would have similar IQs, hinting at a minimal role for genes in racial IQ differences." 8

If this finding is correct, then the average IQ differences among Asian, Black, and White adults are largely or entirely determined by the environment in which they are raised, and not determined by their perceived race.

Just as:

  • Misogyny (bias against women), homophobia (bias against persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation), and transphobia (bias against persons whose gender identity conflicts with their birth-identified gender) are all fading in intensity and frequency, largely because of the growing realization that all are genetically or epigenetically based, and thus beyond an individual's control, and

  • Racism (bias against persons of different races) is expected to continue to decrease in the future because of the expected growing realization that:
    • race is genetically based, and thus beyond an individual's control, and that

    • the average IQ of persons of each race is largely determined by their upbringing which is also beyond an individual's control,

one can probably expect a gradual fading of all of the major bases for discrimination and a gradual shift towards a more tolerant society.

Unfortunately, if racism follows the pattern of past prejudice based on sexual orientation, then it will probably take at least a generation for these findings to be generally accepted by most race researchers. It will also probably take one further generation -- or more probably multiple generations -- before the findings will be accepted by the U.S. population generally, when racism will fade to insignificance.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "About Race," United States Census, at: https://www.census.gov/
  2. Hansi Lo Wang, " 'Negro' Not Allowed On Federal Forms? White House To Decide," National Public Radio, 2017-DEC-13, at: https://www.npr.org/
  3. From a search of the Bible Gateway web site at: https://www.biblegateway.com/
  4. From the English version of the Qur'an, Verse 4:1, by Yusuf Ali at: http://corpus.quran.com/
  5. "Mitochondrial Eve," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  6. "Y-chromosomal Adam," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  7. "How Skin Color Is Determined," Science Daily, 2018-FEB-27, at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/
  8. Drew Thomas, "Racial IQ Differences among Transracial Adoptees: Fact or Artifact?" Journal of Intelligence, 2016-DEC-23, at: www.mdpi.com/

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Original posting: 2018-APR-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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