Race is Real?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Bowser, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Do you mean lactose intolerance as a race? Would it not be more accurate to characterize people by their specific genes? We have the technology now so why do we need to stay with such anarchic and inaccurate characterization as "race"?
     
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  5. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    To a white supremacist race is real and I believe that most white people are racist and xenophobic to some degree.

    And historically racism has always been related to white supremacy in some way or another.

    Black African people were and still are seen as inferior to whites and white culture in some parts of the world.

    Albert Einstein who was Jewish and white has also said that racism is a disease of white people.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    C'mon pluto, throughout history people have enslaved other people, all around the world.
    The practice goes back thousands of years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  8. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    Surely the irony is not lost on you that your claim is also racist and likely xenophobic towards western culture. Historically racism has always related to white supremacy? That’s not even remotely true. As a studying ethologist, we know that this isn’t true. Humans have always delineated themselves into tribes; whatever these are is mostly trivial. Think about your familial tribe, the people that are in your immediate family, would you not choose to spare their lives over a complete stranger? Is this not then racist if the stranger is a different race? Why, if racism is unique to whites — and to quote you directly “historically racism has always been related to white supremacy” — might I ask you why it is that African tribal society lived in feudal conquest for thousands of years? Often times destroying or enslaving conquered peoples? If you want to know why history is being written about the western white racist, I suggest reading Jared Diamond’s book “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” Jared isn’t much an anthropologist or an expert in the field, but his theories are some of the most complete that serve to explain our western centric views of history and civilization.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The races we in the US regard as "standard" - skin color based: white/black/brown/yellow/red - were invented by the white European slaveholders who colonized the Americas. Before that time and place they did not exist. This US racial classification system was and is of course rooted and founded and motivated in white supremacy, completely.

    The "US white" race, in particular, did not acquire its complete current US description until just prior to the Civil War in the United States (when the "Black Irish", Finns, and a few other outliers were admitted into it).

    For example: the "race" (current US definition) of many Greek and Roman Empire historical figures is not known for sure: it's quite possible that Cleopatra, Hannibal, Socrates, Spartacus, and other famous people were black as the US defines the race, but it's hard to tell - their contemporaries and describers did not have the concept, so we have to guess and infer from proxie features such as birthplace or remarks on their appearance.

    Similar difficulties (difficulties, that is, for US and some other Western historians) arise in other places and eras: the original Count Of Monte Christo (the historical figure inspiring the novel) was "US black", it's marginally possible Beethoven was "US black", Saint Nicholas was probably "US black", that kind of thing - which makes no sense and is of no importance to anyone except those raised in white supremacist cultures.
    It only becomes racist if one identifies one's "family" by race, rather than kinship. Tribes are not US races (one can join, change, or leave a tribe, voluntarily, to point to one obvious difference).
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  10. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    Now this a point I was hoping would be brought up. The point of contention I have with this is involuntary racial tribalism. It doesn’t make one more or less racist to identify with their particular racial group. It only becomes a matter of racism when it is to the detriment of another racial group — particularly racial minorities. There seems an innate instinct amongst humans, and visible as well in various primates, to naturally conform to various archetypical tribes. The nature of which is mostly arbitrary, but the notion that it’s a conscious choice for you to identify with particular key traits is where I’m lost. I don’t see the choice in the matter at all. Surely not all men and women who voluntarily participated in slavery were at their core evil and vindictive people. I would posit the same for the Nazi’s of Germany. This isn’t any sort of racial apologetics, and I flatly condemn racism or any other “ism” for that matter. I do think that at the core of this issue is a layer of biological determinism that we would be foolish to deny or ignore as an external factor. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t see these long term pervasive patterns of abuse.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There are no real world examples of racial groupings that do not benefit or privilege one race over another.
    Whether one labels racist people "evil" or "vindictive" is a separate issue.
    Some people chose otherwise. They chose to oppose slavery, and abuse of Jews by Nazis, and so forth. Don't you think they made a better choice - were even, in that respect, better people?
    A biologically determined factor that did not exist on this planet before about 1840 in the US is not plausible.
    We all know that the roots of US racism are somehow in human nature. But that's a long way down - the current situation was not determined by human nature, and no modification of human nature is necessary to change it for the better.
     
  12. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    Well that's the issue. Noticing that human variation can be described in terms of clusters/spectral-divisions of overall-genetic-variation, or races, means that some of these variation-divisions/races will be found to have negative traits, on average, vis a vis other races. And so therefore people pretend that you can't divide and describe human races, like you would for any other animal, because it's not nice. And that isn't science.
     
  13. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Bullshit. Science acknowledges that there is more variation within a perceived race than between racial categories, which is mostly just a social convention based on external appearance. Sure, people from Africa tend to be vulnerable to sickle cell anemia, but that's also an advantage in resisting malaria. So there are no real negatives, only adaptations to certain environments.
     
  14. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    Variation in what?

    The scientific concept is based on ancestry or overall genetic similarity, which are largely the same thing in practice. "Social convention based on external appearance" is as irrelevant as any popular conception that dolphins are fish.

    How do you go from one trait to "no negatives"? And note how you use racial categories, while simultaneously denying their existence with ad hoc irrelevant facts about variation.
     
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Genetic variation.
    Artificial boundaries for the sake of convenience. Not real. Just like the boundaries between species.
    Anything can be considered positive in another context, even something like schizophrenia or autism.
     
  16. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    But there is variation between races? Which is described by racial categories? Tell me, are you familiar with variation ratios in other subspecies? Is the human pattern unusual? If two populations of any animal separated and evolved for a bit, and were differentiated by 1% of their genes, would you say they were not differentiated?

    Well of course in some sense taxonomies aren't "real". They're just an observation of similarities. Should we throw out biological taxonomy and treat all living things equally? One organism: the organism? It is a useful concept isn't it?

    So you're resorting to relativism and solipsism, to the point where schizophrenia is considered a positive? How about if we say one race has a low IQ? For you this is a positive?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    My understanding is that for the concept of "race" to have any biological meaning, it has to correlate with subdivisions of humanity into groups with the most similar DNA. In other word, the members of one "race" should all have DNA that is more similar to other members of that "race" than to people from a different "race".

    However, my understanding is also that when one analyses the DNA from members of different "races" as commonly understood, this is not the case. If one were to group humanity by similarity in DNA, one would not end up with skin colour being a factor, nor eye shape, nor type of hair, nor any of the visible features that go to define what we think of as "race".

    If this is right, it would follow that our conception of "race" cannot predict any common characteristics of humanity, apart from the individual features that define it, like skin colour or whatever , i.e. there is no reason to think these attributes will correlate with any other characteristic.
     
  18. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    You're wrong.

    I think I see your error in thinking here. You are saying that traits don't correlate 100% with races. Sure. That doesn't mean they're "not predictive". E.g. if I tell you someone is a Caucasoid rather then a Negroid you could predict he had a lighter skin color or higher IQ, but you could be wrong. Prediction is really the sine qua non of a scientific construct. And people here don't understand the basics of it. Ok. I guess it's just a website where anonymous people type things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    If I'm wrong, can you cite a source, to help me understand what the science shows?
     
  20. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    Well race is defined by genomic similarity. So you are talking nonsense by definition. Races "as commonly understood" is rather sneaky. We were talking about clearly defined scientific races weren't we? Not "popular ideas". Trying to sneak in a little strawman due to your precarious position?

    Nevertheless

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1893020/

    Can you back up your assertion that individuals from different races are sometimes more genetically similar? And please do return the courtesy and answer this. By the way, how are you defining races? Not the man in the street or whatever. You.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There is no scientific concept of human race based on genetic similarity - there are genetic groups, but they do not align well with the sociological races of any society, much less the screwed up US.
    No human race has ever been defined by genomic similarity. There is no genetic definition for any human race. If you disagree, please post the definition or a source where it can be found.
    There is no such thing, apart from making replicable the "man on the street" opinion.
    The most common way scientists classify people by race is by asking them what race they are. Sometimes they can use proxies - like geographical ancestry - but that has to be adjusted for the society (in India, "US black" people can belong to different "castes"; in Brazil "US black" people sort into a couple of different "Brazil races" - even "white", according to some Brazilians when asked what race Michael Jordan was).
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  22. Riccardo Massini Registered Member

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    Well you're 100% wrong about that and obviously ignorant of the literature. I can reference a lot of people defining race like that. But why are you so dependent on authority? That's the total opposite of a scientific attitude. Why can't someone define race by genetic similarity? Like we do in phylogenetics with any other animal?
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There has never been a racial classification of IQ scores based on a genetic racial classification of people.

    There has never been a sociological race analysis of IQ test results that corrected for any of the environmental and sociological factors known to influence IQ scores.
     
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