Does race exist?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Phill, Apr 8, 2016.

?

Is the race concept

  1. Invalid

    88.9%
  2. Valid but uninformative

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Valid and informative

    11.1%
  4. Unsure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. Phill Banned Banned

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    But necessarily all organisms must share ancestry to a greater or lesser degree? Race is then a nested taxonomy.

    The question is not whether individuals had a binary and arbitrary "common origin", especially not begging the question with the equally problematic term "human", but whether they had some of their origin in common, vis a vis those outside the taxon.
     
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  3. PaulJames Banned Banned

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    I believe we all came from a single origin. I would write all humans are equal regardless of colour, religion or sexuality (i.e. male or female) but some humans are prejusticed, which creates an inequality among humanity.

    "You're not funny Tom! In fact you're fat, and look as if you should be, but you're not!"-Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
     
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  5. Phill Banned Banned

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    Yes, we all came from a self replicating molecule. We are not talking about "colour, religion or sexuality", but race, which has always been defined by ancestry, "skin color" strawmen aside.
     
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  7. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    You have put the cart before the horse.

    First you demonstrate empirical traits have common origins, then you build your taxonomic tree, then you judge if taxonomic branches are merely the contingency of historical family trees collecting traits which are judged locally as "distinctive" or if you have an absolute biological case for existence of races.

    And as this is an area where human preconceptions are rife, you should never trust your logic without it being vetted by others. Confirmation bias is the enemy of scientific progress.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    15,264
    Has it now?

    So, I am of the Mongolian race, along with a goodly portion of the human race, thanks to Genghis Khan's fecundity.
     
  9. Phill Banned Banned

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    Absolutely not. The definition is first, and the definition is ancestry. This is then inferred empirically. Phenetic and genetic methods very much complement each other in grouping humans by shared ancestry.

    If you agree with the definition we are left with an empirical question: can ancestry be reasonably inferred from phentics and/or genetics?
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Defend this please?
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    15,264
    OK. I see it now.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  12. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    4,833
    Depending on ancestry means you don't have a biological case for race. It leads to hasty generalization instead of looking at actual shared traits and a never-ending list of exceptional cases (i.e. No True Scotsman ) and local rules (in this state you are black, in that state you are white, in this state you are "hispanic").

    Not according to the genetic testing done by Ancestry.com. There are multiple paths to similar phenotypes and genotypes.
     
  13. Phill Banned Banned

    Messages:
    144
    It's the historical sense of the word, as used by Darwin and others. It has also been defined by genomic similarity, producing a similar but not identical taxonomy. I can dig up sources on this. I think we are really at a semantic issue, which is the root of the confusion. The problem comes when people try to define their opponent's terms. For example, if I define race by ancestry or genomic similarity, and can defend the informativity or predictive validity of that, it's really an unassailable position. Sadly in this politically charged area people often resort to strawman tactics, such as "race means skin color", in the middle of debating an opponent who explicitly defined it otherwise. Such brazen dishonesty is beneath response.
     
  14. Phill Banned Banned

    Messages:
    144
    Can you reference the US state race classification being based on ancestry? If not you are not arguing with my definition, but the US state one. And "some guy's" imperfect implementation of inference does not impugn a definition or more precise methods. Your logic is faulty.

    Such as?
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,845
    Sure.

    Has it ever been scientifically useful, or even coherently applied? No.

    There's nothing stopping someone from putting the concept itself to good use somehow. But my guess is they'd have to find another term for it: "race" is pretrashed, and would interfere with clear analysis as well as comprehension by others.

    Like this:
    Nonsense. No human race has ever been defined by "genomic similarity".
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  16. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,833
    After 1865, various anti-black laws were passed. Initially, laws were passed which classified those with a single grandparent, great-grandparent, or great-great grandparent as of sub-Saharan African descent as "black." In Virginia the argument to raise the bar even higher was argued against, because race was a social construct and if turned into a mechanical rule, some prominent citizens were going to be very put out. In 1924, they forgot about that. Until 1967, various states implemented a "one-drop rule" and enforced laws against interracial marriage that were drafted in biased ways that made it about white political power. Only Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia never implemented anti-miscegenation laws.

    But as bad as the "one-drop rule" was to families, in Arizona people of mixed race could not marry anyone.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/sfeature/sf_relations_06.html
    “For more than 300 years, state legislatures wrote laws that defined whiteness for the purpose of marriage. Depending on the state and the decade, people who were more than half black, or a fourth black, or an eighth black, or one-sixteenth black, or even one-thirty-second black, could not marry anyone defined at law as white.”
    Also: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/10/whos-white-whos-black-who-knows/

    And for further reading:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_Integrity_Act_of_1924
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-drop_rule
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/mixed/onedrop.html
     
  17. Phill Banned Banned

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    144
    That's a political definition which has no connection to mine. I don't know why you bring it up. Would you bring up the US classification of tomatoes as vegetables in a botany discussion? It's disingenuous sophistry.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    If you are not using "ancestry", you don't have one. If you are, so were they.

    You seem to be mistaking sociological "ancestry", which is familial and culturally based, for some kind of "genomic similarity" you are simply assuming will correlate in the right way. As if, say, you could simply assume that all the sociologically black race descendants of the sub-Saharan African people enslaved in the US were "genomically similar" not only to each other (invalid enough) but to all the other sociologically black people in the US and everywhere else.

    One might bring it up in any discussion in which someone were attempting to argue the genomic similarity of tomatoes and red bell peppers, and the genomic separation of red and green bell peppers, based on their US salad identity.

    Whether one would call that a botany discussion is undecided, at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  19. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,833
    It is the route you go when you try an classify individuals by ancestry -- it's recursive and not helpful.
     
  20. Phill Banned Banned

    Messages:
    144
    Race refers to shared ancestry. The concept is demonstrably informative due to trait correlations. You don't like the word because it's been "trashed" due to your opinions of human affairs. So you have a problem with the word and not the concept?
     
  21. Phill Banned Banned

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    144
    Oh it's not "helpful"? According to who? You?
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,264
    Odd. It almost sounds like you are attempting to put the onus on others to divine your choice of definition.

    I did not see you state it as your choice; I saw you state it as "the definition is ancestry". Did I miss it?
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,264
    And me.

    I insist I am not of the Mongolian race.
     
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