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Thread: Is there such thing as an Arab race ? OFFTOPIC about the definition of race

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    A while back, I had the discussion with Bossel about race. He would vehemently disagree with me, but race is a sociological construct. In that way, there is an Arab race if we can define a group of people as Arabs. It may not borne out in genetic testing or be good biology, but sociology is a "soft" science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    A while back, I had the discussion with Bossel about race. He would vehemently disagree with me, but race is a sociological construct. In that way, there is an Arab race if we can define a group of people as Arabs. It may not borne out in genetic testing or be good biology, but sociology is a "soft" science.
    Well then you can say there is an Anglo-Saxon race too, and it doesn't matter whether people are black or white, as long as they speak English or can claim at least distant Celtic or Germanic ancestry. That sounds quite pf ridiculous though. Let us not confuse race and linguistic or cultural groups. There is an Arabic linguistico-cultural group, but that is not a race, because race is only based on genes.

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    Race is not based on genes. At least not in practice. It is a concept that was known long before genes were even proposed. (Bossel would disagree.) We could repeat that whole discussion, but even with the best information-- my opinion seems more based on real world practice. Race is sociological, so it is how you want to define people. If you wanted to define them linguistically- it wouln't be that unusual- as in New Orleans- with Cajuns and Creoles. It is far more common to group by what people look like.

    The US census-- which collects data scientifically, but defines racial grouping very unscientifically uses a mix of categories that could be seen variously as gene/origin based, lingustic area based, and culturally/historically based. In the end, on the survey-- you self select... so your race is whatever you define it as.

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    If you defined a race as Ango-Saxon, then you can't include the English of African descent. Anglo-Saxon already has a definition that excludes blacks. You could however develop another term to describe all the English speaking Britains if there was a necessity to define them, the term would develop. (They could just use "British" or "English")

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    So what word do you use to describe a "gene-based group" ? (because I am going to need one)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    If you defined a race as Ango-Saxon, then you can't include the English of African descent. Anglo-Saxon already has a definition that excludes blacks.
    What definition ? Who made it ? Some people made a defintion of "Arab" including anyone who speaks Arabic or can claim some Arabic descent or has the nationality of an Arabic-speaking country. Why not for English-language speakers, etc. ?

    You could however develop another term to describe all the English speaking Britains if there was a necessity to define them, the term would develop. (They could just use "British" or "English")
    I do not want a term for people with British nationality (=British) of living in Britain (British residents), but for all native English speakers. It cannot be 'British' as its definition already mean "who has the British nationality", nor 'English' as it means "from England". The "Anglo-Saxon" were the Germanic tribes that invaded England in the 5-6th century, but it also refers to the "English speaking world".

    But "Arabic" could also have a meaning restricted to "from the Arabic peninsula" or "ethnic from the Arabic peninsula" Sometimes I wish there were more words, with more accurate and exclusive meanings. It's all so ambiguous.

    Anyway, I think you should learn the meaning of "sarcasm" and "devil's advocate" as all too often you think that I mean what I write when I intend it to be a counter-example to show how ridiculous a reasoning can be (e.g. here I found the idea of calling all English-speakers an "Anglo-Saxon race" extremely ridicuous, but you didn't see it).

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    A term for all English speakers would be "English Speakers."
    Arab is being used quite causually and Persians, Turks, and Kurds get thrown in willy nilly.

    I don't disagree with your point at all, although I wonder what the value is of having a gene based term...and your sarcastic counter example was fair game for disassembly. My intent was to demonstrate how unscientific race terminology is.

    The current paradigm among genomicists is to move away from "race" toward the term "genomic variation." Instead of concentrating on race, scientists are looking at more concise and accurate "human population groups." This article was one Bossel and I bandied about: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36...ll/ng1454.html

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    Maciamo-
    I wasn't even disagreeing with you on this thread, so I am puzzled by the tone of your last post. I understand sarcasm and "Devil's Advocate" just fine. If you say "all too often" I misunderstand your semantics, could you provide examples? I don't believe in this particular instance I misunderstood your intent. As I think that race terminology is inaccurate and ambiguous at best, I feel that my response was appropriate. (I was agreeing with you.)

    Why do you need a term for "gene based group"?

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    I think you may find a few Irish and Welsh that might object to being called Anglo-Saxon. They are Celts as far as they are concerned. The Welsh will sometimes refer to themselves as the true English, forced into Wales by the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

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    That was just a sarcastic example. I didn't mean a word of it of course !

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    I know it was just a sarcstic example... BUT Is there sufficient genomic variation between Europeans with Celtic, Germanic, Jutish and Angle and Saxon ancestry to be considered a "race" or are they all pretty indistinguishable from a genomic standpoint. I'm not certain that those particular populations groups have sufficient isolation and time to have develped into distinct races.

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    Be it for race, nationality or language (vs dialect), there are always several levels (imagine a "zoom in/out" option ). We could consider the EU as a nationality, but it could also be at the level of member-state (e.g. France, Spain, UK, Belgium...) or at a smaller regional level (e.g. Corsica, Catalonia, Scotland, Flanders...). All are valid categories of nationality, depending on one's feelings.

    Likewise, one could consider French, Spanish and Italian as languages and Catalan, Galician, Occitan as dialects. But we could also consider them all as languages, or all as dialects or Latin...

    It is the same for racial/ethinc groups. We could see big divisions such as Caucasian, Mongoloid, Negroid... or smaller ones like Germanic, Celtic, Latin, Slavic... or even smaller ones like Scottish Celtic, Irish, Celtic, Cornish Celtic, Iberian Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Frankish, Scandinavic, Gothic...

    But in any case, it is not possible to mix Black peolpe with Anglo-Saxons, or Latins with Japanese, or Indian with Jewish... I also don't think that the Arabic race should include the mainly Euro-African Berber, because the proportion of Arabic blood is just too tiny, even if they are linguistico-culturally Arabic.

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    Only now after the entire human genome has been mapped can we consider what variation is significant enough to determine the classification of a population group. The old categories were not quite arbitrary, but were based solely on appearance and cultural/geographical identification.

    I don't think "Arab" actually defines a genetically isolated and distinct group. In appliacation it means actually far less. It is the impercision and baggage that "race" carries that is causing genomicists to redefine the paradigm and use alternate terminology.

    As far as mixing people... we are all capable of interbreeding and producing viable and fertile offspring...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    As far as mixing people... we are all capable of interbreeding and producing viable and fertile offspring...
    Alright, let's think scientifically now and try to prove that statement by experimenting in person to see if it is true.

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    I should specifically warn you however that interbreeding only works if you pick an appropriate person of the opposite gender. Same gender breeding doesn't seem to work-- either within or between different population groups.

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    I got a question since we are talking about races, ethnicities and Nationalities and such…

    I consider Singaporean a nationality with diverse ethnicities like Chinese, Malay Indians and others and similarly in Switzerland’s case I think Swiss is a nationality too with diverse ethnicities such as Swiss Germans, Swiss French and Swiss Italians. However somebody told me Swiss is an ethnic group... Can somebody share their views on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty
    I got a question since we are talking about races, ethnicities and Nationalities and such…
    I consider Singaporean a nationality with diverse ethnicities like Chinese, Malay Indians and others and similarly in Switzerland’s case I think Swiss is a nationality too with diverse ethnicities such as Swiss Germans, Swiss French and Swiss Italians. However somebody told me Swiss is an ethnic group... Can somebody share their views on this?
    It is very possible that Swiss is both a nationality and an ethnic group. To avoid confusion, use the word Swiss national or ethnic Swiss.

    For example, "Japanese" can also mean either. Not every Japanese national is an ethnic Japanese (e.g. Arudo Debito, who is a Caucasian American naturalised Japanese), and not all ethnic Japanese are Japanese nationals (e.g. all the emigrants to the US, Brazil, etc.).

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    Whoa! Whoa!

    I can't help smiling - but isn't the thread already indicating just how ridiculously naive it is to stereotype people by "race"?

    This is the global village folks! We're all (particularly us Westerners) mutts! Mongrels! Mixed up!

    Sabro is right, race is increasingly (although not absolutely) becoming a sociological phenomenon.

    I'm pure ..... Saxon - Celtic - Norse (With undoubtedly, by virtue of those roots - some Latin, perhaps Slavic, and even Aramaic blood thrown in .... ! Not to mention my early ancestors who walked out of Africa and possibly interbred with Neanderthals!)

    ... and proud of it!

    ジョン

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensuikan San
    Not to mention my early ancestors who walked out of Africa and possibly interbred with Neanderthals!)
    ... and proud of it!
    ジョン
    Oooo...John ancestor, he make fire. Ahhhhhh
    My hairy ancestor, hit John ancestor with big club and claim fire his. Gets that for sleeping with my hairy ancestor sister. Ug

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensuikan San
    I'm pure ..... Saxon - Celtic - Norse (With undoubtedly, by virtue of those roots - some Latin, perhaps Slavic, and even Aramaic blood thrown in .... ! Not to mention my early ancestors who walked out of Africa and possibly interbred with Neanderthals!)
    I agree that Europe has been quite mixed up over time. However, are you familiar with the concept that mixed races form new races after several centuries or millenia ?

    I am always fascinated by the X vs Y chromosomes thing. I would be really interested to read studies made on various local population across Europe and try to trace back the proportion of blood left by each invador, and compare the physical traits of mixed ethnicities with inverted X and Y genes (e.g. predominantly Germanic X with Celtic Y, against predominantly Celtic X with Germanic Y). Does anyone know any good book on the topic ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    Oooo...John ancestor, he make fire. Ahhhhhh
    My hairy ancestor, hit John ancestor with big club and claim fire his. Gets that for sleeping with my hairy ancestor sister. Ug
    You cheeky bugger!

    ジョン

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