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View Full Version : Are the classifications of coon,deniker and ripley valid?



Vratyas
16-01-14, 16:28
Do the nordic/alpine/meditteranean classifications of the old anthropologists still hold? More recent studies say no. For example A classification of European Skulls From Three Time Periods - Sokal et. al
says:
"It is fairly evident that when these cranial variables are employed, racial classifications along traditional lines (Deniker, 1898; Coon, 1948; Biasutti, 1959) cannot be upheld. This point has also been made by Schwidetzky (1974)."

Do the classifications of Carlton Coon correlate at all with genetic data?


My feeling on the matter is that a trained human eye can discern much more than putting a few measurements into a computer and doing a PCA plot.
Some people have a genius for placing a living specimen's geographic origin just by looking at them.

matbir
16-01-14, 19:21
These classifications are outdated as phrenology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology) and geocentric model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model), they are part of the history of the science. Today we have only great races caucasoid, negroid, capoid, australoid and mongoloid.

Aberdeen
16-01-14, 20:24
These classifications are outdated as phrenology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology) and geocentric model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model), they are part of the history of the science. Today we have only great races caucasoid, negroid, capoid, australoid and mongoloid.

I think these ideas are regarded as outdated now. I'm not sure about geneticists but I can tell you for certain that social scientists currently take the view that there's no such thing as different races of people, only different ethnicities, and they regard the idea of ethnicity as a social construct. Social scientists don't deal with the reality that people tend to classify others on the basis of visual cues, since the current thinking in that field is that such classification shouldn't happen, so let's pretend it doesn't.

Tabaccus Maximus
17-01-14, 00:08
My feeling on the matter is that a trained human eye can discern much more than putting a few measurements into a computer and doing a PCA plot.
Some people have a genius for placing a living specimen's geographic origin just by looking at them.


I dig your statement here regarding the keeness of the human eye..

Follow this scenario:

"You walk out of a Manhatten building onto a crowed New York street. The street is teeming with thousands of people; pushing, shoving, moving all directions. Out of your peripheral vision, you notice a man walk out of a door, turn the other direction, and... I KNOW THAT GUY! We went to kindergarten together!!!"

Has this ever happened to you?

The human eye is incredibly keen at subtlety. We see people who are similar and are able to aptly categorize people without the aid of genetics, other sciences.

Angela
17-01-14, 17:10
So far as I can tell, the old style anthropologists contradicted each other to some extent. You just have to take a look at their maps to see how differently they view the data. Then, there are even internal contradictions within the work of one researcher, or situations where they change their minds.

What's more off-putting is that people who currently play this game don't even make an attempt to pick a certain anthropologist's "types" and stick to them. Instead, some groups make up their own definitions. Other people seem to follow the current fad in "classifying".

None of that leads to much confidence that most people know what they're doing, or are doing it honestly.

Not to mention that in this time of high internal migration and inter-marriage within certain countries, and the attendant mixing of features, I don't know what it's supposed to tell you anymore. That's why if I ask a classification question, it's always for a certain type of person whose family has definitely been part of the community for generations. And even then, it's merely for curiosity as to how they fit into these old classifications. We don't need to rely on this kind of reading of tea leaves anymore in terms of figuring out migration patterns into Europe.

What I do think is true is that if you've lived in a certain area for a good period of time, and you're at all good at visual pattern recognition, you usually can tell if a person "fits" or not. What I also think is true is that you can't make judgments like this if they are formed from pictures on the internet which have been cherrypicked by one group or another, for one purpose or another.

MOESAN
17-01-14, 19:30
These classifications are outdated as phrenology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology) and geocentric model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model), they are part of the history of the science. Today we have only great races caucasoid, negroid, capoid, australoid and mongoloid.

I would say this outdating is already outdated -we have to be cautious with scientific progress in "soft sciences"-
the old classifications were more or less imperfect (very often naive and imperfect but not always), concerning certain types they were almost accurate, knowing a raciation process in human population is always imperfect because even in ancient times crossings used to take place at the mergins; so according to isolation and geographic distances, the big distinction yout cites ("caucasoid" ... "mongoloid") were broken down into more regional types before the baby "boom" with néolithic and subsequent periods and the invasions came to mix all that - the problem is not there are no differences between types, the problem is that the deepth of difference cannot always be told based only on external phenotypical traits because mutations never occurred "on order": two well differentiated types could be nevertheless phylogenetically close enough one to the other and tow others closer at firts sight could be farther remote in the family tree - but if we look at classical types as determined by the best scholars, if we cannot see well separated "races" at same level of diffenreciation the oneS to the otherS, we can nevertheless see some big similarities and big differencies geographically and modifications in short times in the distributions of types and infer demic moves before later crossings (here I speak about skeletons!) -
whatever the pure drift or the stable mixing that produce 'nordic', even if we can imagine a close phylogenetic position to some 'méditerraneans' the diagnose shows always a distinct upper face proportion separating so called 'nordic' from' so called indo-afgan', so called 'eastern mediterranean' or 'arabic' or everykind of southern type - and 'nordic' spite it shares a light complexion, can be very easy to distinguish from some 'borreby' types, on the skeleton features (crania, trunk, legs, arms, shoulders...)
the pack of some stable traits in a supposed type tends to get along with the population having them as a majority and can be found in a mixed population, but in smaller pourcentages - in France, even if 'nordic' is not a "race", I can see very easily the distinctive weights of Germanic tribes in the northern and eastern provinces, no trouble! (even the small part of too blond too brachycephalic element) everybody can see that Scandinavians are not very much more 'nordic' than other northern germanic populations: they have just less southern types and more of the 'borreby' very blond element (here, if I am not too confused for bones, I am in the dark concerning the 'borreby' model which has this very light pigmentation (or a common element give them both this trait, magnified by selection?)
concerning Coon, he feeled the problem of non-purity and unlevel deepth of his types - I reproach him having spoken more about populations than types, spite he showed some light but accurate differences sometimes -
what is a type for me : a panel of homozygotous traits numerically dominent inherited in a population and tending to break down a greater more ancient grouping of hereditary traits: as a rule populations of living beings tends to separate one from another at the condition that isolation is kept on - some convergences can occur for some traits even if the mutations are distinct, when life conditions are the same ones (so errors of distances estimations) - but since a long enough time, this process of differenciation founds opposition in the more and more frequent crossings by contacts between population grewed more numerous -

a lot of new thesis emerged these last years, and every type of scientist is trying to explain all things only through his sicence means of investigation: it is funny!
some new points of view are vaulabel as the tempering bones measures by taking in account the way of life (physical activity, diet, climate) - but I smile sometimes when I read some explanations basing all the differences of stature upon the diet (the "best" ("most") feeded, the higher - the higher the "stronger" - the upper facial index depending ONLY of the rate of mastication and so on... pupil's work! It recall me some scholars, one saying brachycephally along with gracility was acquired at the beginning of agriculture life when an other scholars claims concerning diferences between Pit Ware and more southern cultures of the Steppes that "archaic skeletic traits" were recovered by this same agriculture way of life!!!
so, if a type is not "pure", if it was well made out it can help to find some historical affinities and movements - let's say "regional statistical genetic partial specialization" in place of "subrace"... (I like to create this redoundant words!)

matbir
20-01-14, 21:14
I think these ideas are regarded as outdated now. I'm not sure about geneticists but I can tell you for certain that social scientists currently take the view that there's no such thing as different races of people, only different ethnicities, and they regard the idea of ethnicity as a social construct. Social scientists don't deal with the reality that people tend to classify others on the basis of visual cues, since the current thinking in that field is that such classification shouldn't happen, so let's pretend it doesn't. You should have written: social "scientists". As far as I am concerned the concept of race is based on phenotypic characteristics which are the subject of research in biological anthropology. You shouldn't believe in words of people who are making comments about findings of other science without knowing its methodology. Races exist in scientific nomenclature regardless of the opinion of so-called social scientists, just check in scientific articles: e.g. on this site (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11376980,2402610,23398146,10825589,18392143,222536 95,9306665,8889667,10823876,2487056,13910982,12136 333,11260507,11950822,12391892,6821998,10202474,10 998089,17498266,8808610?report=docsum). In my view, claims about the non-existence of races are merely propaganda of cultural Marxism, and have no scientific basis.

martiko
21-01-14, 01:59
Do the nordic/alpine/meditteranean classifications of the old anthropologists still hold? More recent studies say no. For example A classification of European Skulls From Three Time Periods - Sokal et. al
says:
"It is fairly evident that when these cranial variables are employed, racial classifications along traditional lines (Deniker, 1898; Coon, 1948; Biasutti, 1959) cannot be upheld. This point has also been made by Schwidetzky (1974)."

Do the classifications of Carlton Coon correlate at all with genetic data?


My feeling on the matter is that a trained human eye can discern much more than putting a few measurements into a computer and doing a PCA plot.
Some people have a genius for placing a living specimen's geographic origin just by looking at them.

the military notings down of conscript, much stricter and neutral, returned all these researches as poor fixing things, rough, made by charlatans who claimed themselves to be scientists.
rigour scientists is short of it cannot boast any more today, it is a bit "Indiana Jones" if they compare it with archaeologists.

MOESAN
25-01-14, 18:51
the military notings down of conscript, much stricter and neutral, returned all these researches as poor fixing things, rough, made by charlatans who claimed themselves to be scientists.
rigour scientists is short of it cannot boast any more today, it is a bit "Indiana Jones" if they compare it with archaeologists.

I suppose you have not understood what is phenotypical classification, you as others:
the external physical features when they present some statistical majority in some places can help to understand links and ruptures between populations, because they are not less not more than partial autosomals phenotypic manifestations - we cannot pass without look at these tools of knowledge even if they are to be taken with big care - the "types" created like that are imperfect as I already said because there is no population that can pretend presenting a 100% homogenous aspect: yet, a "pure" endogame population will know some mutations if it is large, differenciating individuals of same recent enough origin, so a crossing... - but very often we can see in not to bad established phenotypes distributions AND THEIR MORE RECENT RE-CROSSINGS the confirmation of history: in Brittain it is clear, when you look at western opposed to eastern presences of certains features - the same in France where celtic "racial" influence is uneasy to distinguish (too old? too gradual) but where Franks, Normans, Alamans and Burgundians weight is precisely enough drawn with close enough "isoglosses" - in Switzerland it is the same, Between Wallonia and Frisia we see also isolglosses that could fit History - the opposition between averages phenotypical features between western and eastern Finland are very revelating too - Italy the same - I would say: a well drawn collective phenotype is nothing else than a 'pooling': autosomals genetical poolings do not work otherwise spite the "scientific" aura given to them, I find they are even more adventurous than the hazardous phenotypes classification and i wait some future surprises (I can mistake, of course) - the arrival of Iron age in Brittany saw an evident modification in skeletons phenotypes as it had occurred at megaliths times (but two very different new types) - useless the anthropology? No! bad served, Yes!
let's be humble

martiko
26-01-14, 14:01
I think that you are right on the whole; but on the condition of using the good skulls for good populations, on the other hand there are in the same important family the variations of indications, and it is also necessary to envisage the impact of food factors and in it I bring you back to notings down and statistics of the French armies which start under CharlesX reign.

These studies put in an obvious place the role of the food and cultural hygine on populations at the same time very semblalbes but having very different results in:
mensuration, illiteracy and culture....
these results and this science will for the first time used and will be decisive in the conscription of the troops during the conquest of Algeria.
the Alsatian and gascons will the most representing in these troops.6211
alcoholism in France in 19th century

they note that Lorraine and Alsatian has the same very different type of skeleton but results both by mensuration and by the alcohol consumption and made the same official report between Basque and Bretons.
Of course results in perspective for illiteracy, delinquency, conjugal violence, diseases ......

MOESAN
26-01-14, 17:11
YOu speak here of the imput of way and level of life (plus climate, this last influencing the others) upon populations or even classes among the "populations" - I agree, at the condition the social anthropologists do not put too much credit (a supposed 100% effects) to their own science, as are tempted a lot of scientitst (their wars are very funny sometimes, they are human beings like us...)
too globalized mensurations without looking at life levels and without attempt to typology lead to errors - the eye acuity is often better than a 20 mensurations set; If you compare different generations you can see sometimes the convergence in stature of two populations (say: one had an economical advantage at some time and lost it after: Japaneses are not as tall as Frenchies but are coming closer today concerning stature), and sometimes (it depends of mixtures) a convergence in cephalic index because the smallest becoming taller get a slightly lower C-I by a mechanical process: but your eye see always the presence or absence of certain features among these people (when they are genuine descendants of their place inhabitants), linking the different generations of the same "ethny" and differenciating the different ethnies, whatever the generation... two faces or two skulls that presents some global closeness concerning basic mensurations can look very very different - I'm aware of different impacts of way of life upon skeletons: by the way I say again here that increase in stature is not always a sign of encrease in force and health, as we could conclude when we read some papers - the new generations of "well evolved cultures" have in fact smaller heads compared to their sgtature than their grand-fathers and are less broad-shouldered and have less "robust" skeletons - it is true also that the weight and thickness of bones is not always the proof of a true greater robustness -
we can agree here by saying classical anthropology is an imperfect tool but that it can send some help, WHEN used with other sciences tools, for the most when it is applied to same time same culture same class populations