Table of Contents November 1994

Discover Magazine's mission is to enable readers to lead richer lives by explaining and expanding their universe.  Each month we bring you in depth information and analysis from various topics ranging from technology and space to the living world we live in.
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In the eighteenth century a disastrous shift occurred in the way Westerners perceived races. The man responsible was Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, one of the least racist thinkers of his day.
The leaders of the human genome diversity project wanted to find a way to celebrate and preserve our genetic differences. Now they're being called racists.
We humans are mesmerized by melanin, the pigment that gives color to our skin, but almost always for quite the wrong reasons.
Can genes make one person more likely to act violently than another? Can the question even be asked in a country where violence--in many people's eyes--has come to wear a young black face?
Basing race on body chemistry makes no more sense than basing race on appearance--but at least you get to move the membership around.
Race is small but volatile word. It lacks a clear definition or scientific purpose. Yet it persists. Not only in the lingo of the streets but in the language of the laboratory.
In the vast emptiness of the Canadian Northwest, one stubborn geologist has started a stampede of corporate fortune hunters, seeking a treasure never before found on the North American continent.