Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wide Gaps Found In Mortality Rates Among U.S. Groups

Wide Gaps Found In Mortality Rates Among U.S. Groups - Washington Post

One interesting aspect of the discussion of the gap in mortality among groups relates to the similarity of risks between US Black inner-city men and that of their West African counterparts, once they reach their forties.

If this similarity occurs in part, due to factors of origin, as implied, one wonders if there is something to be learned from analyzing the locations of ethnic origin (LEO) related to the whole of members in the ‘eight’ Americas - Asians; rural whites; white Middle America; low-income whites; Western Indians; black Middle America; low-income rural Southern blacks; and high-risk urban blacks.

It could be enlightening to correlate the technology achievement indexes of countries, a United Nations modern-day measure of historical advancement, against the various plights of groups hailing from different geographies of the globe, over the last 1-2,000 years.

Our automatic instinct is to consider attributing the correlations to heredity, although the test of genetic linkage, due to mixing and a lack of isolation, makes it a tough one. However, the test of behaviors of ethnic origin that aggregate to the plights we see and represent is not nearly as difficult, once we understand that societies around the world advanced at slow, distinguishable, and different rates over many thousands of years.

In fact, the LEO of any given person tells an illuminating story of the challenges they will experience when the behaviors, or 'ways', of their ancestral home ‘collide’ with behaviors of groups originating from societies of different technology bases.

But lets not be confused about the benefit of difference. Europe advanced most steadily of the continents, ahead of the rest of the world, due in part to the diversity of its societies, even while that same diversity had them fighting like proverbial 'cats and dogs'.

James C. Collier


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