Do Different Human Races Exist?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by goofyfish, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    There's no possibility of human chimp hybridization. Can't happen and no scientist ever said it could.
     
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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    just said what was writen in one local science journal. there was one interview. But ok- maybe it was some pseudo-scientist. I don't know.

    but I'll take your word for it. can you assure me that at the nowaday level of technological and genetical advancement there is no way we can create a human-ape (chimpanzee) creature.

    if not, what prevents us (not that I wanted to be the new dr. Moreau)
     
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  5. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    I can only assume that when you use the word 'race' you are using it in the biologically defined sense. That being the case, there's only one human race.
     
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  7. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    humans, really? Or there is just one Homo Sapiens race.
    Because even if you coint neanderthals in as human there is a point where you'll have problems in deviding human from a monkey.
    So we might agree that humans are Neanderthals+Homo Sapiens.
     
  8. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Ummm.. Nope.
    Neandertalis, Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, etc., etc., all of our genetic ancestors were exactly that: a different genome.
    Ergo, different race.
     
  9. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    OK- Homo Sapiens is what we regard as "human race"

    or better- "current human race"
    because maybe in 15000 years there will be
    Homo Electronicus who will think itself human.
     
  10. Skull Registered Senior Member

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    What would the term humanoid relate to? Appearance, intelligence? Something else?


     
  11. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    apperance only
     
  12. Skull Registered Senior Member

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    Slight variations such as a fifth limb or non-carbon lifeform that looks humanoid... Then what category? Or would that be un/non defined?
     
  13. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    Neanderthals

    Neanderthals are Homo sapiens, are human and a different sub-species (race) than modern humans.
     
  14. Zoidberg Registered Senior Member

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    Aparrantly, we, Homo Sapiens, wiped out Neanderthals when the human species first explored Europe. Humans, it's believed, originated in Africa.
     
  15. le coq Registered Senior Member

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    I don't believe modern biology uses the term "race" any longer as much as it uses "population." The same species can occupy different areas and develop different traits to adapt or in response to mutation, and can still "cross-breed." Once the separate populations can no longer interbreed, they have become separate species. All dogs are the same species, and yet they have probably the widest variety of phenotypes of all earthly species, from behavior to body structure. Humans are not dogs, but it's not a great leap to understand that some populations will have distinct externally discernable traits as well as internal traits. For example, the population called "negroids" have a predominance for sickle-cell anemia, which was an adapative trait to fend off old-world malaria. Half of Asiatics (and a good number of American Indians) lack an enzyme to efficiently break down alcohol, which causes a red skin flush and contributes to a greater susceptibility to alcoholism, and may have contributed to retarding alcohol production and commerce in Asian countries, in contrast to European viticulture, beer and spirit production. I have recently read of the Asian susceptibility to SUNDS, Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome, though this malady is not confined to Asians. Used in this manner, race can be a biologically useful term, as we can separate the concept of genetically heritable traits from culturally reinforced behavior or environmental factors, as well as how they may interact. There are politically motivated groups who don't like the idea of biological race or population study, claiming that it will only lead back to eugenics and oppression. This is the danger of politics and science at all times, however, from using science to build bombs or vaccines.

    Has anyone here taken a look at the Bell Curve? I've tried to read it, as well as its critiques. The book is too damn long and boring, and the critiques are mostly rhetorical and all lead back to quote Stephen Jay Gould anyway. I don't believe that any particular race or population is "superior" in regards to eternity or religious primacy (as Nazis and Nation of Islam followers believe), but, much as humans have selected traits to isolate in dogs, it doesn't seem farfetched that certain human populations can be selected for particular traits, either wittingly or not. The political end of the Bell Curve seems to support that paying certain segments of the population to have children that are more than likely to have an overall detrimental effect on society, to wit, that paying welfare to inner city blacks to support more and more kids, without much educational opportunity, in greater risk and proximity to criminal lifestyle, cannot be good. (I think, besides providing the immediate perception that their premise was that blacks are genetically inferior in regards to overall intelligence, that the authors' mistake was to emphasize that welfare was disastrous, rather than call for more economic and educational development in the geographies in question). Over time, this "population" will possibly reinforce certain heritable traits. This logic would be valid anywhere, even to describe people of all societies in different socio-economic levels. It has been noted that many royal families across Europe have bred various recognizable behavioral traits amongst themselves. The caveat, however, is that even royal "superior" families, due to zealous exclusion of their gene pool, had begun to develop imbecility, insanity, and other undesirable traits among them: "inbreeding.", e.g. John, Peter the Great's half-brother. I wonder if any extensive genetic and sociobiological study has been done on Indian caste societies, who have historically controlled their breeding within the same class very closely for millenia.

    I think the differences between "races" that we see today are the result of thousands of years of geographical influence. The white skin of northern europeans comes from eons of covering up the skin from the sun, the opposite being true for Africans. While they kept the bulk of their populations separate, the geographies were never so distant as to prevent the curious, wandering human from someday coming in contact again, and the genetic differences never amounted to so much as preventing them to interbreed again. Hence, all human beings have remained the same species.

    An earlier post mentioned that Neandertals had larger brain-cases and whether this correlated to intelligence, etc. I'm not sure without looking it up, but I think Homo Erectus and some other human proto-species are supposed to have had larger brain-cases too. The difference lies in that our brains are constructed differently, with more sulci or folds in the brain tissue, actually adding more surface area for neurons to grow continuously. Other parts of the brain, especially the olfactory bulb and more evolutionary archaic regions are smaller as well, yet homo sapiens have the most developed frontal cortex, the region of our higher cognition. A smaller head may have helped us to stand up straighter, among other things.

    John Le Coq
     
  16. Erunion Registered Member

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    Actually, Im almost certain european's white skin is due to the ice age(s), during which it would have been overcast, snowing, raining etc all year around leading to little sun exposure. White skin is far more effective at producing vit D from sunlight then darker skin, taking advantage of what light was available. Africans who recieved all the sunlight they needed did not have to worry about this. And yes Africans who do not recieve enough sunlight can suffer from lack of vitamin D, same for everyone else, but its less common in Europeans. So "race" is a set of adaptations abtained to adjust to specific surroundings, but also they influenced by the promixity to others of different envirnments. Lets see if i can explain this right. Say if there were 2 groups of people from 2 completely different types of locations but they came in contact often. They would not develope into 2 different races even though they had different challenges, because there genepools mixxed the adaptations would be hampered. Well i cant support this, its all pulled out of my ass. but whatever
     
  17. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    My observation on race and intelligence are:

    1. Humans mutate to a higher order. At the same time, the original unmutated group also do remain within a specific timeline. For example, certain aborigins in India remain within their life style and social structure and have somewhat distinct social patterns. Intelligence wise, the bell curve within their sample group may be somewhat skewed to the so called advanced groups - but only to the extent of socio-cultural upbringing. Genetic factors could be minor.

    2. If adaptability is considered higher intelligence, then the Asian group would take the medal against the spanish or middleeast group. However - the same Asian group did not move along the adaptability curve until recently: such as China. This theory falls apart when you examine North Korea vs South Korea. The gene pool of both countries seem identical (from US perspective). Yet the adaptability or success in economy can be easily distingushable.

    So, may be we are just like dogs with various traits for various functions. As long as each function is equally covetted so that each group is happy in a social order - everything would be great. Let the Indians do the computer, the blacks do the basket ball, the chinese cook foods, the Italians design cars and Germans build them - then we all will be happy in a new caste system....

    The key is finding meaningful occupation for everybody so that no group is bred out of existence. Perhaps that is how the caste system started...otherwise, we would be constantly putting square pegs in round holes thus reducing the total growth of the human race. Unlike caste system, we now have technolgy to test each child as if he/she is an undifferentiated cell and find the shape of the child to move him/her in the right direction. Something like that could prevent the normal mutation issues within a group. Today, certain castes of India just change their names and move to another location to change their caste and hence their social order.
     
  18. le coq Registered Senior Member

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    This sounds plausible, the skin taking advantage of whatever sunlight in can get; however, there's more to it than just coincidence that one skin type utilizes sunlight for Vitamin D better and the color of the skin. There's some connection between sunlight -> melanin (pigment) -> melatonin (neurotransmitter) -> mood/sleep cycles, which is why Seattleites have the highest suicide rates, along with Alaskans/Scandinavians, who use special spectrum bulbs in their houses. I'm just wondering if the sunlight/melanin connection has a more profound genetic involvement in the "races".

    This passage isn't very clear. What is a "higher order" in this case, and when has it (mutation) been observed to effect such a large population as to deserve the term "humans"? Only genes mutate, the salient ones being involved in sexual processes, and the offspring is either more succesful for a particular environment than all other offspring, or not, and is able to outdo the others for reproduction. The success of a new gene does not always indicate a progression to a higher "order," rather just horizontal adapatability. Someday the cockroach may just be the most suited for life on earth.

    A longitudinal study across the caste systems for GI would be interesting. The mobility across caste lines was almost nil for centuries. Would overly intelligent people find the mind-numbing tedium of the lower castes (some castes existed solely to carry sewage, or hundreds of other specialized menial tasks to serve the upper castes) unbearable and not be as viable for reproduction? This is one of the arguments/explanations for the perceived/fabricated data that supports a lower GI median for African Americans, that Europeans selected for strength, and that four centuries of menial labor selected against the heritable traits of intelligence, which would be less compatible for a lifetime of demeaning physical labour and subjugation.

    Which brings us to another interesting question, is it just a myth or is there something to the perception that the most intelligent people tend to be ectomorphs, that brawn and brains are usually inversely proportional? There will be outliers to this perception, no doubt, but is this generally true, and why?

    John Le Coq
     
  19. kmguru Staff Member

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    higher order: meaning high per capita income or buying parity, high GDP from low GDP. Meaning on the top of global 1000. Per capita income could be a good indicator, because that includes high level of education, health and welfare.

    The mutation in this case I am talking about is not biological but social-economic. As in computers, the hardware take a long time to mutate while softwares such as genetic algorithms and other twiks can quickly surpass ROI over the hardware. So, mutations in thinking process can come from the infrastructure itself that adds to creativity and hence higher order.

    What I am not sure is how cognitive functions play a role and how they are distributed among different groups. There must be a relationship because Wal-Mart and Target do so well while K-Mart is in the crapper. So there must be a few idiots of a lesser order out there....

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    I think it has to do with the social infrastructure. I have a very high IQ kid who is also very big. Due to his feet problem (bone spurs) he could not play in major sports. That gave him time to do other stuff and I encouraged him to study. So he is doing pretty well in the brain department. I think, it is the nurture part that is different with respect to brawn side.
     
  20. jimmie Registered Member

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    jimmie

    The Human race came from one common ancestor, which then spread out far and wide,.before the so called big bang of the mind, they were at the mercy of the forces of nature, and made many physical changes to compensate, each different and better suited for each groups climate, then as the change happened in the brain, they no longer were forced by nature to change, they could build housing to shade them from cold, heat, ect ect. And along with intelligence came compassion, and the weak no longer simply died, the strong would help the weak thus allowing them to live and pass on there genome.
    Thus the only changes now would be the smart survived. So the differences you see today in different groups of people are very much they way that group of peoples appearance was when the so called big bang of the brain happened. So all the small amount of differences each so called race has is the product of the amount of time from the birth of the common anscestor to the time that the individual group had its big bang.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    "If we were dogs we'd all be the same breed" PJ O'Rourke

    More or less accurate.
     
  22. Dan (Edmond) Registered Member

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    I seem to be of a different species. My feet are flat, My intellect is on a different scale, my logic is opposite to an average person, and I have 5 brain related disorders, and when I was younger, on a 100m dash, I had a sustained speed of 45.8km/h... At thirteen, I'm now a fair bit slower. I did have shorter legs back then though... I guess I have to spend less time at the computer!

    --------------------------------Signature

    I am a strange, 13 year old loop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  23. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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