DR. FRANZ BOAS, 1858-1942. In the talk about race since the death of George Floyd, and since Charlottesville, I have not seen any media mention of Dr. Franz Boas. His is a name that should be mentioned whenever "race" comes up as an issue. He was the anthropologist who did the respectable scientific research that shot down the popular belief in "White Superiority." This was around 1910 to 1920. About the time of World War I. Boas was from Germany, but he spent most of his life teaching anthropology at Columbia University. He trained the whole next generation of American anthropologists, including the famous Margaret Mead. In the decades before 1910, White people took it for granted that they were superior to non-Whites in every way. On top of that, White Superiority was considered a respectable scientific theory. Boas did the rigorous research that disproved that theory. He found that there is no connection between race and intelligence. "Racism" means the theory that intelligence is determined by skin color. By the 1990s, scientists went a step further than Boas: They found that there is more genetic variety within a race than between races, and so just threw out the whole concept of race altogether. Boas, in his last years, actively spoke out against the Nazis and eugenics. So let's spread the fame and credit for a scientist who helped liberate mankind from an error that has caused much suffering.
September 7th 2022