Anybody who knows a little about dogs will tell you that they come in all shapes and sizes. They may even tell you that certain dogs have different temperaments and are susceptible to different diseases and conditions. Some dogs are also more loyal and some more independent. Some are more intelligent and some not so much.
Cats can also be described in such a way. This is pretty well true of any animal. Yet I think sometimes we as human beings are too full of ourselves. We let our egos tell us that we are special. We aren’t like the rest of the animal kingdom because we are human. Maybe it’s because of our religious beliefs or maybe it’s just because we don’t want to accept it, but we often think too highly of ourselves.
The truth is, were aren’t different then dogs or cats or any of the other animals when it comes to genetic diversity. There just may be a smaller scale of diversity in humans then in some other species.
It’s easy for us to spot the physical differences. Skin color, body type, facial features, hair color and so on. We also know that certain groups of people are more susceptible to certain conditions then others are based on various factors.
That said, the human race is a huge melting pot. How many times have your heard someone jokingly say “I’m a mutt”. The reality is, all of us are. It just depends on how far back we are willing to trace our lineage. Many of us U.S. Americans trace our ancestry back to other countries and then stop there. As if for some reason that is the beginning. But it’s not. Even in those countries there has been genetic diversity over thousands of years. That diversity is based on genetic lineage as well as environment and society.
It may seem as though I am stating the obvious. But even today scientists debate the terminology of “race”. During the 19th century and early 20th century there had been a lot of debate in regards to race and intelligence. Often this research was used to fan the flames of difference and proclaim one race was intellectually superior to another. By the 1960’s we pretty much threw that concept out realizing that perhaps environment and social upbringing had more to do with it then genetics.
The truth is, genetics may have something to do with it. But that difference may be too small to be comparable. It also may be too difficult to make comparisons on a large scale because of genetic variation on a small scale. This is pretty easy to understand. We’ve all known people who aren’t as sharp as others, even if they may look similar to each other. Of course this also brings into debate the nature of intelligence itself since we really don’t have a very effective way of measuring such things at this point in time. Currently we use test scores rather then measuring brain cells or synaptic response times.
So what does all of this really mean? It pretty much means that we as human beings are diverse. Like dogs or cats or many other animals we too vary in size, shape, discourse and color. But like all species we share more common traits then differences. No matter what bread of dog you look at, all of them have four legs, all have a highened sense of smell and all lick their butts. Our traits might be difference then that of dogs, but not so different from other humans.