PL EN


2007 | 70 | 1 | 37-43
Article title

The alchemy of human variation: Race, ethnicity and Manoiloff's blood reaction

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Abstracts
EN
This paper examines the research on race determination conducted by Russian biochemist E.O. Manoiloff in the 1920s. Manoiloff claimed to have discovered a method which detected racial identity of an individual by a simple chemical reaction performed on a subject's blood sample. The method was published in one of the leading anthropological journals and it was not questioned for some time. It is obvious today that Manoiloff's claims were nothing short of ridiculous. The present study, based on the experimental history of sciences, tries to elucidate Manoiloff's procedures and reasons for his ‘success’. His experiments were repeated using both original and modern equipment. It has been demonstrated that Manoiloff's procedures, although rigorous at first glance, were highly arbitrary and methodologically flawed. It would appear that the socio-political and scientific contexts of the early twentieth century which favoured belief in the existence of clearly distinguishable racial types played a crucial role in the initial positive response to Manoiloff's research.
PL
Artykuł omawia metodę badań przynależności rasowej ludzi, jakie prowadził w latach 20. ubiegłego wieku rosyjski biochemik E.O. Manoiloff. Badacz ten twierdził, że odkrył sposób określania "rasy" osobnika przy użyciu prostych reakcji chemicznych wykonanych w próbce jego krwi. Z dzisiejszej perspektywy pomysł Manoiloffa wydaje się po prostu śmieszny, jednak na początku XX w. sprawę tę traktowano całkiem poważnie. Metoda, o której mowa, została opublikowana wAmerican Journal of Physical Anhropology, jednym z najważniejszych amerykańskich czasopism antropologicznych i przez długi czas pozostawała niezakwestionowana.W przedstawianym artykule autorzy omawiają historię "odkrycia" Manoiloffa i późniejszej jego falsyfikacji z wykorzystaniem nowoczesnej aparatury i metod. Badania Manoiloffa są charakterystycznym przykładem słabości rozwijanej w początkach XX w nauki o rasach, kiedy to, ze względu na stan wiedzy przyrodniczej i warunki socjo-polityczne, nawet tak absurdalne wyniki spotkały się początkowo z pozytywną reakcją środowiska naukowego.
Keywords
Publisher
Year
Volume
70
Issue
1
Pages
37-43
Physical description
Contributors
  • School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, 2193 Parktown, South Africa
  • School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, 2193 Parktown, South Africa
  • School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, 2193 Parktown, South Africa
References
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Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.cejsh-article-doi-10-2478-v10044-008-0002-8
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