Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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UNESCO Statement On Race

Formal statement concerning race signed by many prominent biologists in 1950; the original statement rejected the existence of racial hierarchies and the notion of pure human races, and stated that the mental aptitudes of human races are similar and that no evidence suggested that miscegenation resulted in deterioration, that no correlation existed between emotional temperament or personality and race, and that ‘race is not so much a biological phenomenon as a social myth’. A revised ‘Statement on the Nature of Race and Race Differences by Physical Anthropologists and Geneticists’ appeared (1951) in which signatories agreed to retain the term race as a biological entity, and omitted previous statements regarding both temperament and intellectual capacity, while essentially retaining the remainder of the original document.

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