The racist idea in its true sense started developing from the fifteenth century. Of course, the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle was of the opinion that some peoples are by nature free from birth while others slaves.
On the other hand Cicero believed that “Man differ in knowledge, but all are equal in ability to learn; there is no race which, guided by reason, cannot obtain virtue”. Thus conflicting views were expressed in the earlier times also.
Racists are opposed to racial admixture in order to keep the racial groups in ‘pure’ state. But it is an established fact that crossing has been taking place from the prehistoric past. And as such there is no so-called ‘pure race’, all more or less admixture groups.
At one time it was thought blood is the carrier of hereditary traits. Therefore, by admixture blood should not be polluted. But now that conception of blood has been proved wrong. Blood has nothing to do with hereditary transmission. Children’s blood may be different from the parents.
Criteria for Ethnic Classification:
Certain basic traits which are the basis of ethnic classifications are referred to as racial criteria. 188.8.131.52 Requirement’s for Ethnic Criteria the ethnic criteria should fulfill certain requirements. The important requirement is as follows:
1. A criterion must be objective, so that different investigations do not show individual variation in identifying and classifying the concerned traits.
2. A criterion should be non-adaptive, so that natural selection can not play effective role.
3. A criterion should not be modified to a large extent by environmental factor.
4. A criterion should not be subject to a high rate of mutation. So that the nature of the trail does not alter frequently, otherwise the frequency of the trait in a population may show considerable variation from time to time.
5. A criterion should be controlled by a known genetic mechanism. It is always better if the mechanism is simple.
Classification of Ethnic Criteria:
The ethnic criteria may be classified into three different categories:
1. First Category:
In the first category we can include some common variable characters, whose heredity mechanism is not simple and therefore not very perfectly known, viz., skin colour, nose form, face, etc. Some of these characters are noted by visual observation, as in hair colour, nasal bridge, etc. Some others are observed with the help of instruments. For example cross-section of hair is observed under microscope. Again, others require careful measurements by instruments, specially devised for the purpose.
2. Second Category:
In the second category some common physiological characters may be included. The genetic process of these traits is quite well known. Some of these traits are ABO blood group, MN blood type, etc.
3. Third Category:
Test reaction to phenyl-trio-carbonize (PTC), color blindness, abnormal traits of human blood, etc. are rare genetic characters, which occur in low frequencies. For such type of traits we can make a third category.