Hi
I just wanted to know if it is true if a black person will live longer because of his nose been flat? I know this is quite a bizarre question, but have been hearing from quite a few people about this matter. I wouldn't think so, it all depends on a person's living conditions and how he/she looks after themselves...

Statistically the world over black people live shorter lives than their white counterparts, due to a combination of genetic, social and environmental factors. I have never heard of a flat nose being related to longevity nor can I immediatly think of a reason why it should be so. Having said that on googling the term I did come up with the link below which though interesting is hardly "hard science"!

http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-B … dy-d1.html

In the 19th and early 20th Centuries there was a great deal of study on cranial and facial types, both of criminals and different races. Unfortunately many of these studies were simply attempts to find a scientific basis for prejudice - working out who was likely to commit a crime based on their looks, or justifying subjugation of a race within the Empire. Many anecdotal descriptive works were published, but they lacked thorough sampling, controls or analyses, so the conclusions drawn were far from sound. Many museums have large collections of plaster casts and real skulls of people from different regions and religions, collected at this time. The sample sizes used to generalise for a whole nation were sometimes as small as one.

Many "facts" reported in these publications were taken on by the popular press at the time and the misinformation spread through the social consciousness as memes. The "Tarzan" books by Edgar Rice Burrows are a prime example of how these studies became subsumed by the literary and social consciousness. We now have a large number of memes about the characteristics of a whole range of races, very few of which are accurate and even fewer that have been subsequently tested since this area of research became unfashionable.

If you hear any "facts" about racial or physical features relating to other, seemingly unrelated characteristics, always take it with a pinch of salt - it could possibly be true, but it is quite likely to be false.

Well summarised Paolo which immediately leads one on to the pseudoscience of phrenology! See the link below for a good summary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology