A Facebook friend recently posted:

Mixing your seed interferes with the diversity of nature!

Ok. Basic rejection of the sentiments in this post.

Starting with the definitions.

Mixing of seed. I and most of the respondents on the original post take this to mean reproducing with others outside of your race. This is evident in the responses and Anku Sa Ra’s responses to them.

Interferes. This implies that the mixing of seed is contrary to the natural order of diversity in nature.

The diversity literally means variety. Numbers of different things in the simplest sense.

Nature. Occurring outside of deliberate intervention or man made influence.

If you are against the rest of what I am writing, start by telling me where these definitions are wrong.

Now. First, mixing of seed implies that there are fundamental differences between the seed (genetic material) of the races. And within the framework of the statement, differences that do not occur in nature. It is not true. Lots of racist scientists have tried to establish boundaries between (artificially constructed) races, eugenics is the most well known. But, we are all one species. We can all interbreed. Though there is lots of variation which is reduced within close proximity within geographically isolated populations, but that does not stop reproduction even between individuals whose ancestors have not crossed paths in millennia .

Diversity in nature indeed hinges upon differences between people and organisms. Sickle cell and other variations in our genes allow various groups to survive mosquito borne diseases as an example. Without variation, one catastrophe could wipe out an entire population by climate change disease etc. so micro and macro evolution work to counter these possibilities and the diversity in nature becomes greater over time unless interrupted by outside forces.

Interfering with natural diversity cannot happen by “mixing seed” in fact, that would contribute to the diversity in nature as it has since the beginning of earth biology. when humans have reduced the mixing of seed, it has inherently created weaker populations. Monocultures like corn and Augustina grasses for example take huge investments to maintain their health as they become less and less genetically diverse, especially under shifting climatic conditions. Isolated populations such as native people of the americas were hit hard with introduced diseases from the old world. Many such people died out due to the combination of deliberate genocide, enslavement and disease.

Granted, I am phenotypically black by American standards and married to a Mexican woman with whom I have two amazing sons, so I do have an emotional horse in this race. Heh. Race. And full disclosure, all of my brothers have children across cultures and what some would call races.

At the core, a statement like this, by a religious leader disgusts me. But, once I put that aside, it is wholly an unsupported opinion.

Some references:

the diversity of life by E.O. Wilson;

The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris;

Evolution at Berkeley

Indiana discusses convolution and the red queen hypothesis here.

This nature article highlights genetic drift and loss of diversity in populations.

This article points out how race and ethnicity arguments blur the understanding of genomics.