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  • Author: Thomas Daly x
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The alchemy of human variation: Race, ethnicity and Manoiloff's blood reaction

This paper examines the research on race determination conducted by Russian biochemist E.O. Manoiloff in the 1920s. Manoiloff claimed to have discovered a method which detected racial identity of an individual by a simple chemical reaction performed on a subject's blood sample. The method was published in one of the leading anthropological journals and it was not questioned for some time. It is obvious today that Manoiloff's claims were nothing short of ridiculous. The present study, based on the experimental history of sciences, tries to elucidate Manoiloff's procedures and reasons for his ‘success’. His experiments were repeated using both original and modern equipment. It has been demonstrated that Manoiloff's procedures, although rigorous at first glance, were highly arbitrary and methodologically flawed. It would appear that the socio-political and scientific contexts of the early twentieth century which favoured belief in the existence of clearly distinguishable racial types played a crucial role in the initial positive response to Manoiloff's research.

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of this study was to determine if high school physical education seniors’ health-related fitness knowledge is related to their aerobic capacity and body composition.

Material and methods: The FitSmart test assessed students (n = 171) health-related fitness knowledge. Aerobic capacity was calculated based on the students PACER score. Body Composition was measured using the Tanita TBF 300A body composition analyzer.

Results: Aerobic fitness was a statistically significant predictor of exam score (β = 0.563, p < 0.001), but percent body fat was not (β = 0.185, p =0.074). Comparing the health-related fitness exam scores by the FITNESSGRAM classification system, students who were classified as Very Lean and High Risk for body composition had lower exam scores than those classified in the healthy fitness zone.

Conclusions: The results confirmed previous findings that students have inadequate health-related fitness knowledge. Furthermore, the study extends these findings by identifying some associations of percent body fat and estimated VO2max to health-related fitness knowledge.