Environmental Determinism

Topics: Human skin color, Environmental determinism, Climate Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Environmental Determinism

Naturally, you don’t expect that the early people who lived in the far north of the globe to be black skin color or the people who lived near the equator to be white skin color. As well as sea people to be skilled hunters and people living in the woodlands to be skilled fishers. Our social and cultural development is affected by the weather that surrounds us and also the geographical position that we live in, this is this belief is called environmental determinism. Although environmental determinism has been acclaimed throughout history, it has been lately declining; it has also been divided into various subsets including, climate, economic growth and many more. Since ancient times, many prominent Greek philosophers leaned on the idea that they were more developed than other societies due to their great climate. Plato, Aristotle and Strabo were supporters of these ideas; it was Strabo who wrote that the psychological disposition of races is influenced by the climate. An East-African writer, Al-Jahiz, related environmental determinism with the theory of evolution to explain skin colors. He believed that environment aspects of the black basalt rocks in the Arabian Peninsula were the cause of the dark-skinned African people and animals. An Arab sociologist, scholar and also first officially known environmental determinist, Ibn Khaldun, who wrote the Muqaddimah (1377), stated that most dark human skin color is due to the hot climate in the region. This belief was supported by many people but was later flamed around the years 1930s because it was believed it was a justification for imperialism and racism.Environmental determinism reached its maximum point in the 19th century when the German geographer Friedrich Rätzel and his students, Ellen Churchill Semple and Ellsworth Huntington, used it as the central theory of discipline and was quickly expanding. By the early 1900s environmental determinism was being replaced by environmental...
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