"There is no concept for the biological justification of races, and that has never happened," says Uwe Hoßfeld, one of the four initiators of the "Jena Declaration". "That is why we also formulate as a central sentence in the statement that the concept of race is result of racism and not its condition. "
Classifications in wool haired and simple-haired
At the 112th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society and on the 100th anniversary of the death of the zoologist Ernst Haeckel, Hoßfeld, Professor of Didactics of Biology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and three university colleagues wanted to question a critical side of Haeckel: his concept of human races.
Haeckel is also referred to as the "German Darwin". On the one hand, he introduced terminology terms such as ecology, phylogeny and ontogeny. On the other hand, there is also a page from Haeckel to find, where he has massively interfered in ideological, political things. Hoßfeld reports:
"That included his understanding of human species. Haeckel is the one who deals throughout his life with human phylogenetic, ie with human descent questions – over 45 years – and develops concepts early on. First he describes ten, finally twelve species with 36 races. Hierarchies and categorizations can be found in higher and lower categories for the first time in this scheme. For example, he places the Papua, or the Hottentots, at the lowest level and the central country, that is, the European, at the top. That is the reproach that one can then make Haeckel, that in addition to these classifications in wool haired and plain-haired, due of skin color, skull shape and hair structure a categorization of people makes. "
Skin color is not suitable for racist hierarchies
The researchers say in their statement, which would have joined many colleagues, that it should never have given the racial concept according to the latest research. It distances itself from deliberately false biological knowledge, which is used, for example, to discriminate against other people, as well as from current cases of populism in politics. Hoßfeld emphasizes:
"When other people are discriminated on the basis of skin color or appearance, one can speak of racism. But we can only state that the very skin color is not at all suitable for racist hierarchies and classifications. New research has just shown that until 8000 years ago, probably all of them were strongly dark pigmented. Only through diets, migratory movements to the north and there less sunlight, people have received less pigmented skin. The findings that we are all Africans and the cradle of humanity in AfricaThat's all scientifically proven. "
The complete interview with Professor Uwe Hoßfeld to listen: