Lure I wasn’t implying that you were being un-PC. You’re question is an interesting one and if I came across as harsh, that was just brevity. I had no intent to be argumentative…maybe my first post needs some qualification;
The last couple of years of research in genetics has proven that the concept of human ‘race’ does not have any basis in biology, nor anthropology. However, I’ll leave that rather more complicated debate aside (there are already a number of threads in Great Debates that have dealt with this issue).
My point was and is that you seem to be mixing up the erroneous concept of ‘race’ with discrete population groups. Even if there would be such a thing as ‘race’, the phenotype ‘tallness’ would not be part of characteristics that could be grouped into such a concept. Tallness exists all over the world in all population groups. Certain discrete groups in regions previously mentioned have an overrepresentation of tallness. To argue that this is then an ethnic quality is also incorrect since ethnicity needs to be used to describe cultural origin in order to not just become a euphemism for the concept ‘race’; which as already mentioned, is moot.
The biological reasons for tallness have yet not been understood. It is clear that genetics alone does not explain it and in more recent research an eye is being cast at the role of proteins and metabolism that we could possibly inherent from our parents in non-genetic ways yet to be discovered.
Remember that the areas in discussion, such as Croatia, Eastern Ethiopia, Western Tanzania , Sweden or the Shandong Province have pretty small portion of the respective continental population, and even in these regions we giants aren’t the norm.
Little bit of trivia related to the topic: One of the whackiest guys in history was Frederic William I of Prussia, who in the 18th century driven by some strange obsession with tallness decided to create a company of grenadiers called the Potsdam Giant Guards with a minimum height for enlistment of 6’4’’. He quickly ran out of tall men to forcefully enlist in Prussia so he resorted to kidnapping tall guys all over the European continent. To secure the future of the grenadiers he forced tall men and women in Prussia to marry, hoping that they’d be good citizens and make new little grenadier stock for him.
Kings, queens and politicians all over Europe made it a habit to bribe him with a small gift of tall men as soon as they wanted something; it always worked. Tsar Peter the Great of Russia (incidentally also a collector of ‘freaks’) once gave him ‘six tall and healthy men of varied Russian stock, all of 6’4’’ or more’ and the Saxon foreign minister once sent him some birthday presents with a courier of significant size and ended the attached missive ‘PS Keep the delivery boy DS’. By the time FWI went yonder to his maker the Grenadiers counted over 2000 men. Forceful enlistment in the NBA somehow doesn’t look that bad suddenly.