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View Poll Results: Is race a valid scientific concept.

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  • Yes, mankind can be divided into at least three distinct races.

    35 60.34%
  • No, there is only one race, the human race.

    23 39.66%
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Thread: Is Race a valid scientific category?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    That may be true, but someone who tries to fit biology into a political ideology (I have read only some quotes by Lewontin & those may have been taken out of context, but they surely imply that he is ideologically charged.) should expect to be attacked on political grounds.
    And from the other thread on this topic:
    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    Nope, to think that everybody could be able to differentiate would be naive.
    To say they should not be confused is not.
    These two statements are contradictory, IMHO. If you accept that Lewontin "should expect to be attacked on political grounds" because his science may be ideologically motivated, then you are also failing to differentiate. A scientific approach would be, "regardless of Lewontin's political beliefs, let's see if his conclusions are supported by the available data".

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    Tsuiyoko- Oooooh you're good! I humbly tremble in your presence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    These two statements are contradictory, IMHO. If you accept that Lewontin "should expect to be attacked on political grounds" because his science may be ideologically motivated, then you are also failing to differentiate. A scientific approach would be, "regardless of Lewontin's political beliefs, let's see if his conclusions are supported by the available data".
    Obviously you follow a different logic than I do (but at least it seems to have created you a fan/groupie). If someone argues on ideological grounds, why should he expect not to be criticised on ideological grounds? & in which way does this expected criticism take away the possibility of criticism on scientific grounds? Contradictory? No way (unless, of course, my English abilities lack a certain quality here, but then you should be able to enlighten me).

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    BTW, on Lewontin

    I had a little bit of time yesterday & went to the library. I borrowed The Triple Helix & The Doctrine of DNA, but didn't have time to read much of it. From what I've seen so far, Lewontin follows a philosophical approach more than anything else.

    As I said, couldn't read much, but what struck me is that Lewontin seems to accept the existence of races. Quote:
    "Regardless of one's political view, everyone must agree that we live in a world in which psychic and material welfare is very unevenly distributed. [...] There are rich countries and poor countries. Some races dominate others. Men and women have very unequal social and material power." (The Doctrine..., p.5/6)

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    You're still winning the poll right now. Not too much interest though.

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    Mulungeon

    Anybody hear of the Mulongeons from the Appalacian region. UV is looking at DNA markers and conducting research into their origin. Elvis Presley, Abraham Lincoln and Ava Gardner are supposed to be Mulongeon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    I had a little bit of time yesterday & went to the library. I borrowed The Triple Helix & The Doctrine of DNA, but didn't have time to read much of it. From what I've seen so far, Lewontin follows a philosophical approach more than anything else.
    I'm so glad you decided to read Lewontin, and I hope my nagging had a part in this! I used to be a school librarian, and I still have this urge to get people to read stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabro
    You're still winning the poll right now.
    Well, the ratio is down from 60:40 to 55:45... the difference is closing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bossel
    Lewontin follows a philosophical approach more than anything else... what struck me is that Lewontin seems to accept the existence of races. .
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewontin
    Some races dominate others. Men and women have very unequal social and material power." (The Doctrine..., p.5/6)
    I know it wasn't meant that way, but I noticed that in the parallel passage "some races" can seamlessly divide into the male race and the female race. Hence his idea of "race" might have been intended to cover more general instances of exploitation/domination than the biological race as a distinctive strain within a species.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    I'm so glad you decided to read Lewontin, and I hope my nagging had a part in this! I used to be a school librarian, and I still have this urge to get people to read stuff!
    Did you give out those personalised library cards where I get a star or a stamp whenever I finish reading a book for which I might win a prize, "Most Bibliomaniacal Reader of the Yr Award" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    Did you give out those personalised library cards where I get a star or a stamp whenever I finish reading a book for which I might win a prize, "Most Bibliomaniacal Reader of the Yr Award" ?
    I did loads of stuff like that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    All humans are different, but there are genetical characteristics (e.g. hair/eyes colour, size, facial trait, etc.) that enable us to categorise them into groups. It is not as simple as saying there are 3 main races (Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid). Looking at the people of India, Central Asia and the Middle East, we clearly see that it is more complex. But even within (what's looks like) a clear-cut group, there are many 'subcategories'. For example, among Caucasoids (=Europeans), we can notice very clearly the difference between the North Germanic type (tall, blond, blue eyes, smaller nose, squarer face...) or Celtic type (blue eyes, dark or red hair, rounder face), and Italic type (dark hair and eyes, taller and longer nose, deep features), Hispanic type (less pronounced features than Italic), Greek type (straight nose, sometimes blue eyes), etc.

    Even within one of these groups, we could divide further. E.g. The Frankic Germanic type is not the same as Scandinavian Germanic or Anglo-Saxon Germanic.

    Things get more complicated once we look at mixed race regions, like the South of Germany (Celtic, Germanic and Latin, possibly with a bit of Slavic).

    I this regard I am quite surprised at the ethnic homogenity of North East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Some Japanese clearly have Ainu features, but otherwise they are almost impossible to tell appart (much more difficult than to tell two Germanic group apart).

    In SE Asia, Indonesian and Malaysian are very easily distinguishable from Thai or Burmese, who are also easily disntinguishable from the Khmer (Cambodians). But there are so many ethnic tribes in Northern Thailand, Laos or Vietnam that it complicated things quite a bit.

    In Africa, there is no way to confuse a Bantu (Central and South Africa; slightest fairer skin, round face, flat nose) from an Ethiopian (face/skull closer to Caucasoid, smaller nose, squarer face and much darker skin than Bantu).

    I would put the Arabs in a separate division from Caucasoid, Negroid or Mongoloid. Dravidian people (originally from Southern India) are also a separate division. But today's Indians are mainly a mix of Caucasoid Aryans and Dravidians, which explains how two Indians can look completely different (some with skin as fair as a Mediterranean, others as dark as an Ethiopian + different features).

    So is there races or subdivisions within humans ? Yes. Can we scientifically classify them, as we would classify different species of plants and animals (e.g. the hundreds of races of dog or horses) ? Yes. Can we crossbreed them and get new races ? Yes. There is no reason humans should be different from other life beings.
    I agree. I think the reason why many people in the west now a days do not except races is because they think of it as "racist biology". It doesn't matter if there are superficial differences or races, we are all equal no matter what.

    I would keep 3 main races, but perhaps make Middle Easterners and Indians in their own category. Latin America people are even more complicated!

    You also forgot the 4th distinct race that are dieing out, the australoids ;).

  11. #36
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    Only a retard would say that the difference between the races is superficial.

    Do you ever observe the world? The difference is superficial? Are you joking? I hope that you are, otherwise, that comment is a clear indication of stupidity.

    Do you understand that the european populations have been separated from African populations for 600,000 years? That Europeans have neanderthal in them, and that those 600,000 years of evolution, per european climate, were significant enough to create isolated populations that did not breed and evolved with different pressures due to environment ala climate.

    Where did this whole, "there is no race, or, the difference is superficial" originate? For the better part of recorded history Africans were considered stupid and as inferior to Europeans. This was a belief held by almost every person and every intellectual, philosopher, scientist, and theologian that walked the face of Europe. Why? It was understood, because it was true. Because we can observe patterns and formulate opinions about them based on the observation alone. Do we look at dogs and monkeys and believe in their superior intelligence? No. Because they're less intelligent, we observe their behavior, and we deduce the fact. Which is what has happened for thousands of years, in European cultures, and - in fact - is proven through IQ tests and various other measures of intelligence.

    Anyone who believes "there is no racial difference" doesn't understand biology, genetics, evolutionary biology, the world, and is probably of less than average IQ themselves.
    Last edited by Sprinkles; 05-08-10 at 03:03.

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    2) Race is a scientific topic and is definable through analysis of the genome.
    3) Two people from the same race are more related, genetically, than two people from different races.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...0/?tool=pubmed

    DISCUSSIONS of genetic differences between major human populations have long been dominated by two facts: (a) Such differences account for only a small fraction of variance in allele frequencies, but nonetheless (b) multilocus statistics assign most individuals to the correct population. This is widely understood to reflect the increased discriminatory power of multilocus statistics. Yet Bamshad et al. (2004) showed, using multilocus statistics and nearly 400 polymorphic loci, that (c) pairs of individuals from different populations are often more similar than pairs from the same population. If multilocus statistics are so powerful, then how are we to understand this finding?

    In what follows, we use several collections of loci genotyped in various human populations to examine the relationship between claims a, b, and c above. These data sets vary in the numbers of polymorphic loci genotyped, population sampling strategies, polymorphism ascertainment methods, and average allele frequencies. To assess claim c, we define ω as the frequency with which a pair of individuals from different populations is genetically more similar than a pair from the same population. We show that claim c, the observation of high ω, holds with small collections of loci. It holds even with hundreds of loci, especially if the populations sampled have not been isolated from each other for long. It breaks down, however, with data sets comprising thousands of loci genotyped in geographically distinct populations: In such cases, ω becomes zero. Classification methods similarly yield high error rates with few loci and almost no errors with thousands of loci. Unlike ω, however, classification statistics make use of aggregate properties of populations, so they can approach 100% accuracy with as few as 100 loci.
    Last edited by Sprinkles; 05-08-10 at 03:05.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprinkles View Post
    Only a retard would say that the difference between the races is superficial.

    Do you ever observe the world? The difference is superficial? Are you joking? I hope that you are, otherwise, that comment is a clear indication of stupidity.

    Do you understand that the european populations have been separated from African populations for 600,000 years? That Europeans have neanderthal in them, and that those 600,000 years of evolution, per european climate, were significant enough to create isolated populations that did not breed and evolved with different pressures due to environment ala climate.

    Where did this whole, "there is no race, or, the difference is superficial" originate? For the better part of recorded history that Africans were considered stupid and as inferior to Europeans. This was a belief held by almost every person and every intellectual, philosopher, scientist, and theologian that walked the face of Europe. Why? It was understood, because it was true. Because we can observe patterns and formulate opinions about them based on the observation alone. Do we look at dogs and monkeys and believe in their superior intelligence? No. Because they're less intelligent, we observe their behavior, and we deduce the fact. Which is what has happened for thousands of years, in European cultures, and - in fact - is proven through IQ tests and various other measures of intelligence.

    Anyone who believes "there is no racial difference" doesn't understand biology, genetics, evolutionary biology, the world, and is probably of less than average IQ themselves.
    I agree. And of course if there were no races there wouldn't be racism, which is a contradiction.

  14. #39
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    Race certainly exists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    Race certainly exists.
    Agreed. As do the obvious differences. I think it's what makes the world an interesting place. Denying the premise is counter-intuitive if nothing else.

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    Of course! But no race is superior to another. Diversity make the world beautiful, until there are people who understand how to accept different cultures and believes.

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    There is only one race, the human race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rastko Pocesta View Post
    There is only one race, the human race.
    Hear Hear!!

    I agree.

    YDNA research proved it!

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    I think Race exists too, but I don't care who is better. Different does not necesarily mean anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    Hear Hear!!

    I agree.

    YDNA research proved it!
    How did it prove it? Different suspected "races" had different haplogroup distributions, as expected if race did exist. I suppose you could argue that it showed greater interrelationship than expected, and reinforced the idea that human genetics are a continuum across the world...

    Personally, I never really use "race" when analyzing the distribution of people. It's much more useful to describe historical ethnicities and cultures, I find. But that doesn't mean that racial distinctions can't be made.

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    And don't forget we are one race with Neanderthal, too! if we carry their genes

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    How did it prove it? Different suspected "races" had different haplogroup distributions, as expected if race did exist. I suppose you could argue that it showed greater interrelationship than expected, and reinforced the idea that human genetics are a continuum across the world...

    Personally, I never really use "race" when analyzing the distribution of people. It's much more useful to describe historical ethnicities and cultures, I find. But that doesn't mean that racial distinctions can't be made.
    Well, simply because DNA research proves we are one race.. humans.

    We could argue about YDNA haplo groups, but that's in fact irrelevant.
    We all have a rather limited group of ancestors as our common relationship.
    And that makes "races" irrelevant.

    And there may be some "Neanderthal" genes mixed somewhere, but that doesn't matter. We are ONE PEOPLE.

    Think of that, before anyone destroys Mother Earth!!!

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    We will never answer that question, because there is no fixed definition of the term race. Or at least, no fixed point where to draw the line of division. As long as two partners can produce healthy and fertile offspring, they belong to the same specie. It is up to the observer to decide how many races he wants to see. In regards of humanity, the range lies between none and 6 billion.
    That is why the term race is usually not used in scientific biology.

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    Any credible scientist will tell you no it isn't.

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    "Race" is a social constuct used to place individuals into categories for specific purposes (positive or negative). DNA reveals the truth about individuals that can't been seen by the human eye. i am a cnancer researcher with a focus on genetics. A patient that looked "black" would enter my office and I would immediately create, in my mind, her breast cancer risk profile based on what we knew in those days. Black female = higher risk. Autosomal testing revealed what my eyes didn't see. Her complexion deceived me. She was 79% European, not African. More Caucasian than black. What does this mean for risk, response to chemotherapy, mortality and morbity? It means a heck of a lot! Race is antiquated.

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