The term Caucasian race (also Caucasoid ) is a collective term that roughly corresponds to the concept Caucasian race. The race theory is now considered obsolete and has been scientifically disproved. Nowadays, in the English language " caucasian " is used as a synonym for Europeans in the sense of light-skinned people.
The term goes back to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. Already in the first edition of his Manual of Natural History from 1779 he distinguished five varieties ( "Race" ), which he only numbered. In 1795 released third revised edition of his thesis De generis humani nativa (On the natural differences in the human race ) varietate he described it as Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American and Malay varieties. The Caucasian variety Blumenbach characterized as follows:
" A) Caucasian variety. White in color, with red cheeks ( § .43. ) Blackish or nußbraunem hair ( § .52. ), Rounded Kopf ( §. 62nd ). With more regular oval face, in which the individual parts not too excellent, flat forehead, narrower, slightly gebogner nose, small mouth ( § .56. ). With perpendicular to each other standing front teeth of the upper and untern Kieferes ( § .62. ). With gently protruding lips ( especially the lower lip ), full round chin ( § .56. ) Ever from that, according to our ideas of Eben Maas, lovely and beautiful face shape. At this first variety are the Europeans ( with the exception of cloth and other Finns ) the westlichern Asians to the river Obi, the Caspian Sea and the Ganges. Finally, the inhabitants of northern Africa. "
The Caucasian variety saw Blumenbach as the most original, from which developed the other.
There are, historically, terms such as " Mittelland race" or " Indoatlantische race" and it is divided into the works of the later 19th century as a major race in Aryan or Indo-Europeans, Semites and Hamites. Used it was in the following, especially in the U.S. medical describing the originating from Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa as well as West and South Asia people. In particular, the anthropologist Carleton Stevens Coon developed a theory that still represent the " Caucasoids " own subspecies ( "races" ) of Homo sapiens, which, as four more had developed "races" of independent geographical populations of Homo erectus. This now proven to be completely false theory had yet at times considerable influence on the race thinking in the United States. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the corresponding terms are white or caucasian in official documents such as forms of management, medical documentation or census records still common.