Discussion in 'Human Science' started by paulsamuel, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    Paul, I have to agree with Persol here. I understand your agitation but your responses are not helping anything. Take a step back, a deep breath, and always wait 15 mintues and reread your response before posting when you're angry. Also know that in most cases you're not going to change anyone's opinion.

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  3. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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  5. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Why would anybody believe in separation?
    Why not just illegalize mating with your own 'race'.
    That way, we could eliminate all the ethnicities, and make it easier to show the braindead that we are all the same.
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  7. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    Regardless of your opinion, I'll continue to defend myself when attacked and will attack in kind. These attackers are not interested in learning, they already know everything, so any response by me (vitriolic or not) is irrelevant to them. Their minds (if you can call them that) will never be changed. If you go back and look at my responses, I am both courteous and patient with serious questions and discussions. I begin to lose patience only when the student is so reluctant to learn that he/she will attack me and my credentials. At that point I make a vitriolic response and put them on ignore. The only exception is xev who is impossible to ignore, and I have no compunction in denigrating her, and if she doesn't like it, she can give me the ability to ignore her, or she can lump it, and take it down the street and dump it.
  8. Big D Registered Senior Member

  9. chuck u farley Registered Senior Member

    Hi Raithere:
    Hey, have you read this one?


    I haven't yet. But one of the book reviews says that Sarich demolishes the 10 points made in the PBS special. Big D's emphasis on black-white differences only is getting especially annoying to me, as is the lack of any meaningful scientific argument on the part of paulsamuel. He has me on ignore so I don't guess he'll read this. I really thought that he would counter, at least in part, your argument that human populations have not been isolated for a sufficient number of generations for any amount of genetic divergence to have occurred. I don't think that paulsamuel really understands this topic.

    Here's something else I found today. Kinda cool.


    Also, here's an essay by Sarich. He states that the major races of humans differ more from each other than the subspecies of gorillas or the two species of chimp. I'd like to read some comments about Sarich and his position if anybody cares to. If there is a flaw or two, or if he is way, way off, maybe someone will counter his argument.

  10. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    Hi Chuck,

    No, I haven't read it either but it does sound interesting. I will say that I do not entirely agree with the PBS special and do I agree with some of Sarich's POV (or at least from what I can discern from the review). There are patterns of heritable variations in the human population, this is obvious. So it's not an illusion, as PBS attempts to indicate although many of the things people tend to think about race are indeed illusory. (Actually, the reason I gave that last link was I found the game quite fun and illuminating, not because I think it's a wonderful scientific examination of race.)

    What I do maintain, however, is that race is almost entirely misunderstood and misused, even in science.

    What causes the variation? The primary suggestion that we hear is that the variations we use to determine race are due to inherited mutation within isolated populations. This is just not the case. There has been an almost constant interaction between populations.

    The 'isolation' is falsely derived by deliberately selecting populations that are geographically removed from one another and ignoring all of the interacting and interbreeding populations in between. When these intermediate populations are included it is obvious that there has been a constant exchange of genes throughout the human population. Each population interbreeds with its neighbor, which interbreeds with its neighbor, and so on. Genes may take a while to filter from one end of a continent to another (pre modern transportation) but they do so faster than the mutation rate.

    The primary factor for most of these patterns of variation is environmental selection. That is, any population that lived in that environment for a number of generations would trend towards those traits. In fact, most (all?) of these differences are not due to different genes but the switching on or off of alleles that we all share. In fact (and oh but wouldn't it be fun to do so), we could turn Big D the blackest of black by switching on just 6 alleles. (I'll talk to my geneticist friend and see if she can invent a retrovirus to do just that.)

    Big D is simply a bigoted idiot. He has nothing to say for himself and relies entirely upon 'evidence' selected by others, most of which is severely out of date and has been resoundingly thrashed by better science long ago. To debate his sources is like debating Ptolemaic astronomy.

    Paul is just letting his emotions overwhelm him. He sees the issue as unquestionably resolved and is getting upset at the various tweaks and insults he's getting. I sympathize but he just doesn't have the hang of this forum yet.

    Assuming he's not lying about his experience, I'm guessing that he understands it too well and is having trouble relating what he perceives as common knowledge. The thing I think he's not keeping in mind is that people who believe there are different races of humans are not always racist bigots. We're having a debate but I'm betting that the overwhelming majority of the participants (with a few notable exceptions) believe in racial equality regardless of their take on whether or not race is a relevant distinction.

    Cool article.

    This is the same issue I've brought up before. He's basing this upon pre-selected populations. Yes, we can differentiate human populations genetically. There are, however, several problems that defeat this argument.

    One, we don't typically do so. We categorize race almost purely upon subjectively perceived racial 'markers' or perceived heritage. If we were to run around and categorize people into races scientifically, through genetic testing, many people would be extremely surprised. Also, what do we do with the fact that most people in geographically selected populations are of 'mixed race'? Okay, so we draw fuzzy borders around the groups, however...

    Two, if we select different traits we get very different groupings. Different traits are prone to different environmental pressures. So while we have one set of groups based upon skin color we have yet another based upon lactase persistence and another based upon sickle trait and another based upon alcohol metabolism. These various groups overlap and intermix to such an extent that it would be nearly impossible to form any logical conceptual map of them all much less discern any overriding categories. Also keep in mind that, once again, these borders are fuzzy.

    Thirdly, just how many races does Sarich suppose we should designate? He notes that the Kalenjin outpace (excuse the pun) the rest of the world's population in performance in the World Cross-Country Championships. For the moment we'll put aside the question of whether the entire population of the world was fairly represented in these races. What race does he suppose the Kalenjin, superb long-distance runners and average 5'10" (average Kenyan height technically) tall people that they are, are a part of? Are they the same race as the Mbuti tribe in the Congo whose average height is less than 5'? If we continue making such distinctions how many races will we have; one for every 'tribe'? Again we come back to the fact that we can differentiate population variances. The question that remains is; by what legitimate methodology do we do so because our current 'standard' isn't one of them.

  11. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    I believe I have already demonstrated a much higher level of maturity, logical thinking skills, and objectivity. 12 posts? Whats your point there?

    You know it saddens me the number of people who misunderstand the purpose of phds. They start out with no understanding of the world around them. They want to be seen as intelligent. But any time they try to share an idea they get shot down because they never learn how to share ideas effectively or that lack of abillity to often represents flawed ideas. And never overcome their own emotions for long enough to figure out how to communicate efficiently ... So then they work for years to get phds thinking they are going to replace logical thinking skills and diplomacy skills. And then are reduced to whining and cursing out everyone on forums because they still can't get anyone to take them seriously... you poor, poor soul

    Lets see here ... wah wah wah ok here...

    It has nothing to do with science? Its OBVIOUS. Its one thing to tell people something that is seems unlikely but is still possible. It's another thing to tell people something which obviously is logically impossible. The word race is related in the average person to all the differences in some groups of people which pass their traits from one generation to the next. Your saying "science has disproved" what we see everyday? The only evidence needed to deal with your argument is supplied in every day experience...

    Just to give you some idea of how things work in reality. If you have an idea that is valid and based on data either that everyone has seen (in some sciences) or that needs to be produced by experimentation, then all you have to do is present it and people can see for themselves. Even without the data the idea is based on if you understand what you are talking about, you can simply present the idea with the assumption that the experimental basis is true. And THEN you could post a link to help clear up weather the initial condition was true or not. (Assuming the initial condition is pure info rather than something which can be determined by reason)

    Anytime someone constantly repeats "science has proved, science has proved" it means the person doesn't understand their own argument, their own argument is flawed and they know it etc. If you don't understand the argument yourself, then your raving about it is not a sufficient reason to take the argument seriously. Besides that your actions demonstrate little understanding of the world around you. All people know (subconsiously) that anger is caused by fear and insecurity. Your anger shows your inability to adapt to the world. And ability to adapt to the world and understanding of the world are usually correlated... So even when people (subconsiously) consider the flawed prospect of giving ideas value based on who proposes them rather than their logical value, still noone pays attention to you.

    Regarding the metaphor- Yes using metaphors is inherently flawed. You obviously understand this SOMEWHAT as you criticise xev for using one. You claim it is "not the argument". Using a metaphor consists of causing someone to recognize that there is some logical relation between 2 things, but implying that there are other relations at the same time. The first relation causes a person to release the chemical which alerts a person to a sound idea, and then this feeling implies that the other relations which were never checked are sound as well. Through experience people begin to inductively reason that metaphors are not always a good way of reasoning, because often time future experience shows that the implied relations were NOT valid when examined differently. However some people retain the idea that metaphors are sometimes ok because experience teaches them that when stronger relations are given between the two objects of a metaphor the implied relations are USUALLY valid as well. However consious evaluation of metaphors causes us to overide this inductive reasoning and realize that metaphors are not useful without showing that the two compared ideas are similar in EVERY way relevant to deducing all implied ideas. But whats the point if you have to do that? Thus the legitimate use of metaphors in argument become 0.

    You claim science is research and background reading? Actually the most important thing in science is logical thinking skills. Without them no amount of evidence is going lead you to correctly model the world we live in (as you are proving now). Its the limiting factor in our understanding of the world around us. You'd be surprised how little evidence you need to work with when you have good logical thinking skills, and how much can be figured out with all the information presented to us just in our normal everyday lives.

    Scientists conduct controlled experiments, but everyday experience contains thousands of uncontrolled experiments and we only need 1 per each unkown. Theories come first from people with logical thinking skills, then they are tested. Did you think your pretty little paper granted you the ability to form theories from evidence (rather than logical thinking skills granting this?) I am afraid you may be doomed to a life of being a research and experiment bitch.

    Now back to the argument. Science couldn't possibly have disproved that there was a fork in the road sometime back where humans began to evolve differently. If people pass most of the same traits from generation to generation and we all were evolved from the same human at sometime (ie we are the same species). There had to be a fork in the road at some point where the groups were allowed to develop different traits. It is necessary for this to be true assuming everything we see every day.

    What exactly is your point here? People's physical locations have nothing to do with it. Some people might say blacks, some people might say negroes, some might say african american. If your point is its silly to say african american because originating from africa has no tie to genetic traits then point taken. Try to say that about the term black - I don't think so. There are psychological reasons why people don't interbreed as often with people that look (or smell, sound etc) drastically different than people they had frequent and signifigant contact with early in their life (usually their parents, maybe schoolmates or neighbors and their kids etc.) That means traits which drastically alter the appearance of people are going to cause that group to less often interbreed with the other groups, effectively cutting themselves off to continue differentiating themselves from the other groups.

    Whereas two groups that do look similar to each other are going to interbreed and mix up all their traits- Limited by how much access they have to each other that is. Which IS still a limiting factor. There are still lots of countries where most of the people share similar traits, where if a population of similar looking people were dropped in they would interbreed and mix most of their traits. But even if instantaneous travel was possible to anywhere on the globe, blacks for example would probably not completely interbreed with another population because they look,smell,act etc too different. Maybe over an extreme amount of time they would, but the more different they are the longer it would take. Im guessing the same for indians. Asians and whites would probably interbreed much quicker.

    Notice how differentiations between groups are usually made by skin color or location - its no coincidence that these are the things which prevent groups from intermixing. This is what I meant when I was talking about many people believing something. In the case of people believing the world was flat, there was an opportunity for a weakness in how the human mind works to propagate a false idea. This argument does not involve anything that such a weakness might come into play. Therefore it is absurd to argue against such widespread common sense. Of course many people believing something isn't a premise for deducing an ideas truth, its just a signal that you may have made a mistake. All people think 1+1=2, because everyone sees it is true. One who thought 2 meant 3 though might argue against it, but the fact that so many people held it might alert this person that something is wrong.

    Put in simplest terms, the fact that you know what I am talking about when I say black, indian, african american, asian, etc disproves your argument.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2004
  12. Big D Registered Senior Member

    That was clearly the best post of this whole thread.

  13. Konek Lazy user Registered Senior Member

    I just want to mention that I played the sorting game Raithere posted. I had some fun and I learned that I am actually clueless of what different races are actually supposed to look like. I'm guessing there's some really good sorting experts that have been studying cranial anatomy for quite long in order to prove that they are somehow superior. They might do better than I did.
  14. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    That game is rigged in more than one way. First the lighting is such in many of the pictures that you cannot even tell their skin color accurately. Also the pictures are originally 1/3 the size of a stamp, and even though you can enlarge it by double clicking they dont tell you this. Seems like a passive attempt to confuse people. (they are much easier to discern at full size) And also there are some people which are obviously multiracial in there that are not qualified as such (I suppose because they allowed the people to classify themselves, or they were mixed farther back than the person can trace) Multiracial people is where race designation does break down, but they represent all of what 2% of the US population? Thus they are grossly misrepresenting the population at large.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2004
  15. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    And what is your point exactly other than a disguised ad hominim attack?
  16. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    Im sorry where is the confusion exactly? He says science is background reading and research and I responded... And btw I am certainly not the limiting factor in the quality of this argument...
  17. Konek Lazy user Registered Senior Member

    It's says right there on the top: "Click on a photo to see an enlargement".

    I don't know. Hispanics, which represent a large minority, are of mixed heritage themselves.
  18. leda Registered Senior Member

    It seems that this thread is as much about what constitutes a group as it is about race. People subjectively group things by their conceptual distance to a central, stereotypical representative of that group. For example, the stereotypical mother for many people is married, stays at home and is both the biological and nurture mother of her children. Each of the other mothers is in some way a more peripheral member of that group. Its like a big fuzzy multi-dimensional Venn diagram of our own making!
    I don't want to upset Paul, because i think he's right in the main (he might even agree), but even scientific demarcations such as genus and species were in some way bended at their creation to appear more cognitively cohesive.
    The important thing to remember is that you can group things any way you like. Membership of one group does not preclude membership of another. Grouping things serves an important purpose, allowing us to simplify the way we look at the world, but at the end of the day it says as much about ourselves as the things we are grouping. It tells me that Paul is a scientist, wanting clear and precise rules, it also tells me there are a frightening amount of fascists on this forum, a fact which disappoints me enormously.
  19. DeeCee Valued Senior Member

    Looks like some people just have to have races.
    Well whatever floats your world view I guess.
    Dee Cee
  20. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    The evidence indicates otherwise. There is even evidence that Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man interbred, some ancient Greek and Roman citizens have turned out to be African, the Roman army continually intermarried and interbred with occupied peoples, as did Alexander's and Hannibal's armies. Archaeologists have also located a group of Europeans that migrated into China some 4-5000 years ago an intermingled with the population there.

    There is also the chain of intermediate populations between any two 'racial' populations to consider. People typically mate with their neighbors, regardless of what they look like, but most of their neighbors look just a little bit different than they do. Keep moving down the line from neighbor to neighbor and you'll find that there is just one large continually interacting (and interbreeding) group. Sure, genes take a while to propagate on down the line (except for the rather frequent migrations, which speed up the whole process) but they do propagate.

    Maybe you just have a crappy monitor because I could see their skin color quite clearly. But what's funny is that people keep telling me that skin color isn't particularly important in determining race. Which is it? Is race determined largely by skin color or isn't it?

    But since you figured it out, it obviously wasn't a factor for you, so why do you bring it up?

    And you know this how? Did you genetically test them? You just think they must be multicultural because you couldn't categorize them.

    What percentage of mixing must occur before a person is termed multiracial? Your 2% statistic is from the Census which is self-reported not based upon scientific testing contrary to this, it has been found that about 30% of the people who consider themselves white have less than 90% European heritage*.

    * http://www.racesci.org/in_media/does_race_exist.htm

    Sorry kriminal, but despite all your excuses the fact remains that you couldn't categorize people by their appearance. So when you see someone on the street by what do you determine their race? Should we genetically type everyone before they fill out an application? How do you know you're breeding with another white and not a *gasp* person of multiracial heritage? All you can do is make a vague, generalized, approximation based upon your subjective opinion of their appearance which is extremely likely to be incorrect.

  21. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    Well I think people are still just arguing different definitions. That people still use the term race and assign the groups (mostly) consistently is simply cultural. However I think Raith has demonstrated that the 'races' of humanity are not different enough to actually count biologically as races.
  22. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    Ok the lighting in the pictures really is way off. In person I can easily tell latinos from asians by their skin color, in these pictures it could be either one... Second those people obviously were chosen for the purpose of confusing people playing the game. Which is stupid because if they represented most of the population then race designations wouldn't exist. They exist because most people DO fall into categories that are easily distinguishable. And by the way I never said I wasn't able to differentiate most of them, I was. I had to enlarge and look at each picture carefully and realize which traits could only be from which group, and it was rediculous because there were black people with really light skin and similar things for all the races when in reality these people represent a very small portion of the population.

    Second the Information on that site seems designed to deceive kids and otherwise really relevant to why people distuinguish race or are real reasons why people should stop. For instance it says that: "Ancient people did not divide people according to physical differences but instead by religion race etc" Well duh ancient societies didn't have much contact with groups that retained signifigant physical differences. "Race has no genetic basis" And the support for this claim is not one trait differentiates all members of one race from another. So what? Race is about the majority of traits in the majority of members of a race. Who cares about "ALL" You get the point there are 1000 and 1 weak arguments for this when you really only need one if its logically sound....

    What I don't understand is what is the motivation for this kind of silliness? Do they actually believe that they are going to convince kids to think against their common sense? The best this can hope to accomplish is to cause people to lose faith in science...

    Anyways you seem to want to continue the argument in the same manner it has been up to this point. I AM saying that race has to do with skin color.(not only skin color). I am saying it has to do with any traits or physical barriers (or anything else) that cause groups to stop interbreeding with each other, and that is why races are named for these things.

    You are talking about how similar looking groups interbreed with each other and mix up all their traits. Well Im not arguing with you there. Im saying whites and blacks, whites and indians, and maybe others aren't going to mix up like that. And that people physically barred from one another obviously aren't going to. And I'm saying that this is were race designations come from and that common sense was right all along.

    The few counterexamples you present don't contradict what I am saying at all, in fact if what you were saying was true there would be infinitely more examples and your position would be common sense. Back in the time of Neanderthals and Cro-magnon rape was a prominent form of reproduction was it not? Of course roman soldiers are going to hookup with whoever is there if they are stranded in occupied territories. This is a special case because you have men removed from one group (and women they are used to) and give them access to only women of a different group... Second asians and whites probably would interbreed almost as if they were from the same group because they aren't that different (although Ive heard asians say white people smell like milk before). I think any example of two groups having access to each other and yet not interbreeding shows what I am saying to be true....

    Why is it relevant what percentage of whites are of european heritage? The designation says nothing more than that they have white skin. That means they could be from anywhere where the people originally (before transportation shorten distances so much) had white skin.

    My dad (who is from New York) for example can determine a person off the streets lineage with like 90% accuracy. He taught me the origin of not only many traits but also knows locations where groups intermingled and mixed traits on a large scale so that likely location can be pinpointed by combinations of traits from more than one group. The people in that game are not representitive of people off the street in terms of percentage of people that would be difficult to determine the origin of this way, speaking just from experience.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2004
  23. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    No leda, that's not what I mean. This thread is about biological science. Science's contention is that 'race' in humans does not exist; that 'race' is a social and cultural construct arbitrarily constructed with no basis in biology, i.e. no basis in science. I have provided some references that contain the data on which this conclusion was drawn. It boils down to the distribution of human genetic diversity being so widely distributed that racial lines cannot be drawn because there are no races in human.

    Your view of the subject is an intrinsic one, i.e. it is based on the human perception of categories and that different human categorize in different ways based on their backgrounds and interests. Humans may very well do this, but scientific categories (like race) are 'real', in that they exist extrinsically, i.e. they don't depend on human perceptions, human cognition or even human existence. Species and other taxonomic groups are real, natural groups based on genealogy and exist whether or not humans exist.

    The only possible second human race would have been Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

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