Does race exist?

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


Is the race concept

  1. Invalid

  2. Valid but uninformative

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  3. Valid and informative

  4. Unsure

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  1. Bells Staff Member

    That is because there is no such thing as "ancestry based race".

    Sure. Pretty much your whole statement.

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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    This might be interesting:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Curiously, there is some strong evidence that Australasians were the first people to migrate into the americas. (with claims of 32+kya)
    Later fought with and forced into remote areas by "modern" Amerindians.

    West Hunter also has some interesting opinions on the subject:
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
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  5. Phill Banned Banned

    So I cannot define the word race by shared ancestry? Why?

    The paper does not contradict what I said.
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Because race does not exist in science.

    Understand now?

    What you are looking at is literally only skin deep. There are no sub-species of human races. You are not arguing anything with any scientific basis.

    I don't quite know how to make it clearer for you.

    Actually yes it does. The Welsh, for example, are not "Anglo Saxon", but their ancestry drives from the hunter gatherer groups that first migrated to what is now known as the UK. The groups in the UK are fairly distinct and separate. What you are determining to be shared ancestry for what is now the UK is not based in reality. What you are saying is shared ancestry is basically invasions of the UK Islands over a period of time. Some left genetic markers in the local population and others did not.

    The Anglo Saxons make up just a portion of their genetic ancestry and not for all of those who reside there currently. Just as the "Nordic" groups barely rate a mention despite Viking settlements and invasions and occupations. You applied a blanket statement to all. The reality is vastly different and much more diverse and distinct. There are fairly clear genetic lines in Europe and a lot of it can be found or followed with their county borders.

    But those differences are minute in the grand scheme of things and it is not enough to classify "race" as a term to describe it.

    This was the most interesting and which deals directly with the subject matter of this thread. From your link:

    In the final analysis, it is important to keep in mind that all humans around the world today are biologically quite similar despite our superficial differences. In fact, we apparently are 99.9% genetically identical. Most of the differences between us are due to our unique individual traits and being male or female. When we are compared to many other kinds of animals, it is remarkable how little variation exists within our own species. There is 2-3 times more genetic variation among chimpanzees, 8-10 times more among orangutans, and thousands of times more in many insect species. Most biological anthropologists would agree that human variation is not now sufficient to warrant defining separate biological races, varieties, or sub-species. However, it very likely was in our distant prehistoric past.
  8. Phill Banned Banned

    Does descent based Darwinian classification exist in science? And is it possible for me to define the word "race" by this? Is this how Darwin defined the word in "On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life."? Is "no biological differences between humans" something supported by evidence or some kind of religious fantasy?

    Did I say they were?

    Did I not mention Mediterranid elements in Wales?

    You are confused by ancestry shared at a major race (Nordid Germanokelten and Anglos) versus subrace level.

    Yes, did I say something different?

    Again you are confusing shared ancestry at different levels of analysis. I never disputed subgroups within the overall Nordid classification of the pre and post Anglo British. And you are presenting nothing to contradict this.

    Defining race by ancestry would make a classification possible if there were literally no differences. Do you honestly believe there are no biological differences between races? What, uh, quantity of difference would justify a classification? Would you like to compare human racial difference measures to various animal subspecies, or should I?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  9. Phill Banned Banned

    Good links. Cochran and Harpending?

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Darwin ushered in a new age of understanding re: evolution and natural selection, but he was far too early to benefit from our understanding of genetics. He guessed that traits were somehow passed from parent to child, but how this happened was a mystery to his century.

    I would certainly condone your use of race as being based on Darwin.

    And the fact that it is more than a century out-of-date.
  11. Phill Banned Banned

    Can you show me where genetics contradicted a descent based classification?
  12. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    As per long-debunked argument:
    “Race, as used by Darwin, refers to varieties, not to human races. It simply points out that some variations that occur naturally survive in greater numbers. Origin of Species hardly refers to humans at all.”
    So it was all about the variation and not about classification with Darwin.
    “When properly understood, evolution refutes racism. Before Darwin, people used typological thinking for living things, considering different plants and animals to be their distinct "kinds." This gave rise to a misleading conception of human races, in which different races are thought of as separate and distinct. Darwinism helps eliminate typological thinking and with it the basis for racism.”
    You are definitely engaged in typological thinking, but have not demonstrated a scientific value for your classification. Nor have you worked out how a classification scheme based solely on ancestry works when the classification is arbitrary and not respected as a boundary line the in past or future. Basically, all you have demonstrated is that most of the time the majority of the population has been lazy and therefore geographically localized near their parents. Historically, that has not always been the case so your hopes of classification populations based on ancestry always winds up with ridiculous border cases for individuals.
  13. Phill Banned Banned

    How can this not be applied to human races? Your website asserting the opposite is of no value.

    You are accusing me of pre-Darwinian Platonic typology, which I clearly do not agree with. A classification based on ancestry is by definition non-arbitrary. That's why Darwin used it, calling it race or variety. People will either share more or less ancestry, there are no "border cases".

    The scientific value of classifying human races is that it allows us to describe human variation, and make predictions. For example the best way to predict the IQ in an area is the racial constitution. It's also good for predicting many other cultural variables.
  14. PaulJames Banned Banned

    Generation: Population



    So then:




    For the first element. But for any other generation:










    And thus there are fourteen generations from the beginning to the chosen one (2^14).
  15. Phill Banned Banned

    "My dear Huxley.

    I know you have no time for speculative correspondence; & I did not in the least expect an answer to my last.2 But I am very glad to have had it, for in my eclectic work, the opinions of the few good men are of great value to me.—

    I knew, of course, of the Cuvierian view of Classification, but I think that most naturalists look for something further, & search for “the natural system”,—“for the plan on which the Creator has worked” &c &c.— It is this further element which I believe to be simply genealogical.

    But I shd. be very glad to have your answer (either when we meet or by note) to the following case, taken by itself & not allowing yourself to look any further than to the point in question.

    Grant all races of man descended from one race; grant that all structure of each race of man were perfectly known—grant that a perfect table of descent of each race was perfectly known.— grant all this, & then do you not think that most would prefer as the best classification, a genealogical one, even if it did occasionally put one race not quite so near to another, as it would have stood, if allocated by structure alone. Generally, we may safely presume, that the resemblance of races & their pedigrees would go together.

    I shd. like to hear what you wd. say on this purely theoretical case.

    Ever your’s very truly | C. Darwin

    It might be asked why is development so all-potent in classification, as I fully admit it is: I believe it is, because it depends on, & best betrays, genealogical descent; but this is too large a point to enter on."
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You can try. But you will end up with the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Gypsy, and English in separate races.

    And you will not end up with the black, red, yellow, or brown races your entire classification scheme must produce in order to match the sociological races that are your actual goal.

    So your entire discussion of racial IQ variation, cognitive ability, etc, would have to be abandoned. And those little boundary circles you drew on that genetic cluster map will all have to be erased.

    Nonsense. For starters, you have to decide how much emphasis you want to place on things like Neandertal ancestry, or any other long past outbreeding, which varies by order of magnitude between otherwise closely related people.

    Like this: we know the Americas were settled by various immigrations starting at least 20k years ago from populations we now identify as Siberian and north Asian members of the "yellow" sociological race, which had populations into modern Europe. It's possible that no coherent population, at that time, had the combination of features we now use to identify the "white" sociological race - that this came later, arising from the Eurasian populations of the time.

    So: many of the people in the Americas could be by ancestry more distant from the Siberians who look just like them than the average European "white" person is.

    So you could easily get at least four different racial classifications, depending on what exactly you mean by "shared ancestry" (and whether you put all the American reds and European whites in one race each) : The four combinations of Russian white, Siberian red/yellow, and American red. (3, 2/1, 1/2, 1/1/1, ).

    And for each of these combinations except the 3, there will be border cases of many kinds - starting with the different waves of American immigrants since the Ice Age, and the different degrees of separation between the modern whites and the modern Siberian red/yellows.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  17. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Because human history doesn't allow neat tree-like isolation of most populations even prior to the 1800's with multiple waves of overlapping colonization. Local variations in rates of superficial traits doesn't lend itself to firm classifications for individuals which is a requirement for taxonomic classification.
  18. Phill Banned Banned

    You can certainly break down the British into subraces mainly within the Nordid major race. You'll find the Gypsies in a very separate race. But the English are not a single group, or the Welsh. You are just making stuff up.

    Yes, race denial stems from opposition to discussion of human differences, and is politically not scientifically motivated. That's why we see fallacy after fallacy from the "race does not exist" side. Sadly for Marxists ancestry inferred from genomic similarity gives us clusters which match the traditional race concept. Of course Marxists will deny this, just as they denied genes in the Lysenko era. So the circles will remain and the discussion will continue.

    No emphasis. If individuals share ancestors they are grouped, whoever those ancestors are. You are begging the question talking of outbreeding. There is no criterion beyond ancestry.

    Huh? You make up some irrelevant story about appearance in between flatly contradicting yourself. Great point! Native Americans are related by ancestry to East Asians, not Europeans.

    I really don't understand this nonsense. Race is defined by ancestry, not appearance. So you are bashing a very lame strawman.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  19. Phill Banned Banned

    But individuals will share ancestry versus a third individual, or not, right? Whether or not this results in "neat tree-like isolation" whatever that is is irrelevant. The definition is ancestry, not "local variations in rates of superficial traits", whatever that means. Strawman.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    There is no biological differences between different ethnic groups that would define "race".

    "Race" does not exist in biology.

    The only people who obsess or demand that it exists are people who are only looking at skin colour and ethnic groups for social and political reasons.

    But in science and biology, "race" does not exist. At all. Race, as a concept, is only literally skin deep. In science, it does not exist.

    To put it another way, homo sapiens have not evolved to the point of having such differences to infer a different race of homo sapiens. In short, migrations out of Africa and adapting to climates which resulted in change of skin colour or eye shapes, is not the result of a new branch off the homo sapiens tree. It is still the exact same tree. Shared ancestry, is not race, nor does it involve race. I'll put it this way, take the organs out of people who are black, Asian, white or whatever little colour groupings you have going on in your head, and put them all on a table. You will not be able to tell which one is from which.

    Let's see:

    Are these not your words?

    No I am not. You, however, seem to be confused in a variety of ways.

    Because as others have pointed out, if this new direction of yours is to be believed, then all your previous arguments in this and other threads, are wrong. You are now directly contradicting yourself repeatedly.

    One the one hand, using terms often employed by white supremacist and the Nazi's will only help your cause with the white supremacist bigots currently 'liking' your posts. They have no place on a science forum. Your so called "Nordid Germanokelten and Anglos" are not a "major race". They are themselves, a mix of different ethnic groups that existed in Europe and were invading forces. They were literally, what one could call mongrels, with a mix of different ethnic groups, descended from homo sapiens who had "mixed" with various other hominids during their migration and settlements out of Africa. There is no "major race" simply for the fact that every single non-African group are so mixed that the only regard for "race" is looking at cosmetic things like skin colour, which is ridiculous.

    The fact that you believe that a) "Nordid Germanokelten" are a "major race" and b) that Anglos make up a major race, apparently versus what you deem to be "subrace level" is laughable and shows a clear lack of education and understanding of a) human evolution and b) biology and even rudimentary genetics. To refer to groups made up of different ethnicity's who were, in effect, invading other regions and inhabiting those regions as being a "major race" is laughable and completely contradicts your whole argument in this and other threads.

    You know, you aren't that clever or smart to try to pull this off.. You do know this, yes?

    Of course you don't think it contradicts you. Because anyone who read the study would see just how much it contradicts you. The fact that the study found that the "Nordic" groups left virtually no trace genetically is beside the point? The fact that despite being occupying forces in the UK for years, they left little to no trace genetically escaped you? Or the fact that the UK was made up of different tribes who did not share any ancestry in the sense that you are arguing and the only "shared ancestry" came from invading forces who were themselves made up of different ethnic groups. And you think the UK is made up racially of the "Nordid Germanokelten"?

    Just because you are obsessed with Nazi and white supremacist terminology to assign a major race, does not mean that is based in reality. You haven't even provided any scientific proof or support for your claims (possibly because none exists). What you have provided were from white supremacists. This isn't stormfront or any of the other white supremacist sites you might frequent. If you can't back up your claims with science, you will be relegated to the Cesspool.

    In science, race does not exist. So if you keep at it, you won't last here very long.

    Classification for what? For what reason or purpose?

    Because of the sheer level of mixing in human history, it is impossible to classify people based on their "ancestry". For example, someone could have French, Dutch, German and African ancestry. What race would they be in your opinion? What "shared ancestry" would they fall under? Look at their genes and see which is more dominantly represented? Or does the one drop rule apply?

    Do I believe there are no biological differences between races? Yes, I believe there are no biological differences between races. Hence why I suggested you leave the white supremacist writings and Nazi writings behind and actually stick to science.

    I guess it makes sense that you aren't actually sticking to science because if you did, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

    And you can try to compare "human racial difference measures to various animal subspecies", but the result will be to your detriment. We don't allow white supremacist bullshit on this site. And if you keep going as you are going, you will be permanently banned. The choice is yours.
  21. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

  22. Bells Staff Member

    There is a very good response to Wade's book and in some way, that Times article.

    It appeared in American Scientist:

    In short, Wade's book is far from scientific.

    Wade’s claim that races really do exist is based partly on genetic sampling of geographically distant populations. These samples appear to show clustering into distinct groups by gene variants, also known as alleles. But sampling geographically distant parts of a continuum and ignoring the regions between the samples can provide apparent clustering that does not actually prove the existence of discrete groups.

    Biologists have long understood, based on numerous studies with animals and plants, that the primary underlying factor determining within-species genetic variation is simple geographic distance. Novel alleles emerge through mutation and spread locally, so the greater the geographic distance between genetic samples, the more different the samples will appear. Numerous studies over the past few decades have demonstrated the strong association between geographic distance and genetic difference in human populations. For instance, in 2005 the Human Genome Diversity project published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science of the U.S.A. reporting “a linear relationship between genetic and geographic distance in a worldwide sample of human populations,” with notable but uncommon deviations explained by “admixture or extreme isolation.” This work also showed that the majority of genetic differences across human populations were independent for each gene’s alleles—that is, we do not see Homo sapiens divided into groups with each group defined by a characteristic set of genetic differences.

    This lack of clear divisions undercuts two important assumptions at the core of Wade’s argument. First, there are very few, if any, natural genetic boundaries between groups of people. The appearance of clear distinctions is an artifact of people’s geographical movement—as colonists or slaves, for example—and presumably short-lived on evolutionary time scales. Second, it is not scientifically possible to classify people into a “race” on the basis of certain traits (usually physical appearance) and then use that classification to reliably predict other, less visible, genetic features.

    Without boundaries or predictive value, race isn’t a valid biological concept. Human races may have existed in the past—just as there are subspecies of a number of different mammals, including chimpanzees—and they could exist in the future. Nonetheless, to this point the history of Homo sapiens has not led to a known emergence of distinct races. We evolved recently, spread quickly, and in many regions interacted readily. Race is a powerful and important social construct, and in that way it is very real, but it is not a biological useful concept for understanding human diversity.

    Not surprisingly, then, many of the examples Wade uses to discuss the evolution of human traits are probably not linked to genetic changes at all. For example, he refers to research in Quebec showing that during the 19th and early 20th centuries the age of first reproduction among women declined from 26 to 22 years. Although it may be argued that this is a heritable trait, we see similar changes happening in other populations globally far too quickly to be explained by genetic change. Alternative explanations abound, ranging from shifting cultural norms to changing diet. Claiming a genetic cause requires evidence of the genes involved, but Wade produces none.

    Similarly, IQ has changed rapidly in some populations and is known to fluctuate a great deal in response to economic conditions and other nongenetic factors; significant shifts can occur over a few generations, or even in a single one. Wade acknowledges this, and seems to accept that changes of well over 10 points in average IQ have occurred because of environmental factors among European populations. Still, he argues that differences in intellectual capacity between what he calls the three major races are innate, and that those differences can explain disparities between regions in economic and political success. (Further confusing things, he is inconsistent in assigning a number to the races he believes exists. He references the “three races” of sub-Saharan Africans, East Asians, and Caucasians, yet elsewhere adds a “fourth race, the natives of North and South America” and later brings in a fifth race, “the peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea.”)

    The article then points out how Wade literally tried to re-invent hunter gatherers to fit his own beliefs, not to mention fabricated a genetic template for human behaviour.

    Throughout A Troublesome Inheritance, Wade frames his argument with a review of human evolution from a chimplike ancestor. Unfortunately, his depictions of evolution and his characterization of our hunter-gatherers ancestors are glib and inconsistent.

    Wade claims that both chimpanzees and humans “inherited a genetic template” for social behavior from their common ancestor and asks why humans “should ever have lost the genetic template for . . . social behaviors.” But it has not been demonstrated that chimpanzee social behaviors differentiate because of genetics.

    Chimpanzee subspecies are very different from each other genetically. In 1999 Henrik Kaessmann, Victor Wiebe, and Svante Pääbo reported in Sciencethat “comparison to humans shows the diversity of chimpanzee sequences to be almost four times as high . . . as the corresponding values of humans.” That same year, Richard Warangham, Jane Goodall, and their colleagues published a Nature paper characterizing a great diversity in chimpanzee culture, including 39 distinct behavioral patterns, that could not be sorted out on the basis of subspecies and that were observed to be highly variable within subspecies. In short, chimp genetic variation has not been shown to correlate with cultural variation. Unlike humans, chimpanzees do have true races, but racial differences just don’t explain cultural differences among chimps.

    Then of course came the response from well known geneticists, who along with scientists, mocked Wade for his mistakes and his fabrications. Over 140 of whom signed a letter, sent to the New York Times in response to Wade's book. It can be found here:

    To wit, you will need to do better..

  23. Phill Banned Banned

    I'm not sure why are making the claim we cannot group organisms by ancestry or genomic similarity. This is fundamental mainstream systematics from Darwin to the present. Your unsubtantiated assertion that differences are only "skin deep" is irrelevant.

    Yes, I clearly do not say the Welsh are Anglo-Saxon.

    Nordid is a major race versus the contained Germanokelten and Anglo-Saxon subraces. Do you have a problem with the concept of nested taxonomies? What difference does it make if one subrace invaded the other? Whether or not they are "mixed" in some historical sense they exist as a group which shares ancestry versus other groups, and so are a race. Your cheap argumentum at Hitlerum has no place on a science forum. I am not contradicting myself at all, you simply say this. The irony of your arrogance and failure to support your assertions is what is laughable.

    No it isn't clever simply pointing out that you are lying about what I said.

    Whether the Saxons left much of a contribution is irrelevant to whether Saxons and pre-Saxon British cluster together versus other European races eg. Alpinids and Meds. You have shown nothing to contradict this. You are now saying UK tribes did not share any ancestry? This is a patent falsehood.

    Blah blah Hitler blah blah white power. Cheap sophistry.

    You will ban me for disagreeing with your asserted POV?

    They would be a hybrid Negroid/Europid obviously, and closer to Europid. This isn't complicated.

    Your fantasy political assertion is real science dude.

    So you assert differences are minor, then when I show that they are greater than in many other animal subspecies, you will ban me? Is your assertion so weak and unsupported by evidence that this is how you deal with criticism?
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