Tuesday July 23, 2019
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Race as a tool to keep people Divided: Will Science break the Shackles?

Race as a concept has been used by humans to divide and create divisions among us for deriving economical and political gains.

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Race: Are We So Different at Chicago History Museum
Race is still a big deal in USA and other parts of the World. Pic by Dr. Munish Raizada taken at the Race exhibition at Chicago History Museum. November 2017

Chicago:

Last week I along with my family went to see an exhibit on Race that is being currently held at Chicago History Museum until July 2018. Developed by American Anthropological Association (AAA), theme of the exhibit is: “Race: Are We So Different?”

The answer is: No, we are not!

There is only one human race, and that is Homo Sapiens.

There are no sub-races in humans. We all humans constitute one race, despite the differences in our colors and contours, morphological features. The latter are largely explained by science.

However, it goes with out saying that Race as a concept has been used  by us to divide and create divisions among us for deriving economical and political gains. In the name of superior Vs inferior race, people have been subjugated, persecuted and killed. History tells us that, genocides have been carried out, citing the basis of race.

Whereas science and anthropological studies have solidified that we the current or Modern human species (Homo sapiens) are all descendants of our forefathers originating from Africa. Evidence shows that about 60,000 years ago, some of our African ancestors (therefore Blacks) started spreading out to other parts of world. Some reached Asia (including India) and others of course to Eurasia and the current Western hemisphere.This implies that we all form one race, called Human Race.

Exhibition on Race at Chicago History Museum
We might look different, but are we so different? This is the theme of the exhibit on Race being held at Chicago History Museum. Pic taken by Dr Munish Raizada Nov 19,2017

This anthropological facts backed increasingly with sophisticated genetics tools accessible now will change our understanding more and more in coming years. Indian nationalists will also be for a shock because their premise of preserving Indians as a very special civilization that uniquely originated in India will be difficult to maintain as the scientific concepts reach to the the public in more easy- to- understand style.

The scientific fact about race makes many people uncomfortable. Because this is a strong antidote to the man-made idea of Race. Historically, Race and color have been used to create power structures and inequalities within human societies. In the game of black and white, many find it hard to digest when confronted with the idea that their forefathers were blacks (coming from Africa).

Now, let us apply this fact to religion. The latter is also a man made concept. Religion (in contrast to spirituality) though seemingly a unifier, has historically played a mixed role. It has molded civilizations after civilizations, but no one will deny that much of the bloodshed, conflict and violence has emanated from the womb of religion.

Despite all this, we are living in exciting times of science and technology. The marvels of science are exploding at an unprecedented speed. The research into medicine, human genome project, human brain project, space and quantum or particle physics are already enhancing our understanding of ourselves and the Universe in a manner unknown previously. Through research into consciousness and ageing, humanity will see new victories in years and decades to come.

The rapid emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will catapult the World – for better or Worse, ‘God” only knows! But, I will agree with what Stephen Hawkins is saying: It is time for the humans to move to other planets before AI starts consuming or replacing humans.

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Race Plays No Role in Language Skills Children Later Develop

It was found that maternal education played an important role in predicting the amount and quality of the mother's language use

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Race, Children, Language
Our findings represent a big shift from previous thinking that race-based differences in maternal language play a significant role in children's language outcomes. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered that race plays no role in the amount and quality of words mothers use with their children or with the language skills children later develop.

Published in the journal Child Development, the study evaluated the language use of black mothers in comparison with white mothers with the same education levels to measure the amount and complexity of the words they use with their infants and young children.

“Our findings represent a big shift from previous thinking that race-based differences in maternal language play a significant role in children’s language outcomes,” said Mary Bratsch-Hines from University of North Carolina in the US.

The current study followed 1,292 children from birth and is part of the Family Life Project which focuses on disentangling race, socioeconomic status and educational attainment to better understand the factors that influence child outcomes.

Race, Children, Language
Researchers have discovered that race plays no role in the amount and quality of words mothers use with their children or with the language skills children later develop. Pixabay

Researchers measured the interactions between mothers and their children during four picture book interactions in the home between the ages of 6 and 36 months.

It was found that maternal education played an important role in predicting the amount and quality of the mother’s language use and the child’s language development.

Maternal education was very related to children’s later language at school age regardless of maternal race and that mothers’ early language input quality and complexity were even more related to children’s later language at school age, researchers said.

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This study is significant because earlier studies generally included parents with higher incomes who were primarily white and parents with lower incomes who were primarily black. As a result, educators and other child professionals were not able to distinguish between race, income or education as the cause of the language gap until now, they said. (IANS)