John Randal Baker - Race


John Randal Baker - Race

John Randal Baker FRS (23 October 1900 – 8 June 1984) was an English biologist, zoologist, and microscopist, and a professor at the University of Oxford, where he was Emeritus Reader in Cytology. He received his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford in 1927.

The most widely received of his works was Race (1974). Uncharacteristically for the time, Baker used the traditional categories of physical anthropology and classified human populations in terms of race.
Baker rejected the methodological relativism that had characterized anthropology since the days of Franz Boas, instead going back to earlier ideas of hereditarianism and cultural evolution.
In Race, Baker used a restrictive sense of the term "civilization", giving 23 criteria by which civilizations might be identified. Based on these criteria, Baker declared that Mesoamerican societies such as those of the Aztecs and Maya were not civilizations, and that no indigenous civilizations ever arose in Africa. He enumerated five civilizations sensu stricto and explored the relationship between the biological traits and the cultures of these five civilizations. In this book, Baker speculated that different human races evolved from different subspecies of apes (known as Polygenism). Baker claimed that "negrids" were less evolved, and also inferior, to races Baker described as civilized.
Together with Michael Polanyi, Baker founded the Society for Freedom in Science in 1940. In March, 1958 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Races - PDF
Sciences - PDF

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