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Thread: Linking ethnicity and biology

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Country: France

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    Linking ethnicity and biology

    Hi all

    I am french, and came by accident hier. Also I do not speak that well english so please correct me or pardon me for the errors.

    I'd just like to say that, after reading some posts in this section, it seems to me you generally tend to make confusions between what is biologically determined, and what is of cultural origin. This is a confusion from a sociological point of view. You may be genetically black, but between blacks born in Africa, the Usa, Eu, or in Brasil, there are of course big differences. So biological proximity is overridden by the cultural conditions. Or, just as opposite, some people they are genetically really similar will have very different cultures. Inside a society the son of the king may have the same body as the peasant, he won't behave the same way at all.

    From a more biological point of view, you also seem to forget that our apparence is a priori not at all to be linked with all of our genetic background. Only a small portion of our genes does have a role in it. So a french and a vietnamese may look very different but have much in common. You cannot judge a priori genetic proximity by the visual similarities. This said, since people they live in the same place also mix more their dna than with foreigners, high correlations between appearance and genetic proximity may often be the case. But this is not a biological requisite.

    So, maybe you already thought of it, and I just misunderstood. If not, I hope you tend to be convinced :) Have a good day !

  2. #2
    Great Adventurer sparkey's Avatar
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    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I2c1 PF3892+ (Swiss)
    MtDNA haplogroup
    U4a (Cornish)

    Ethnic group
    3/4 Colonial American, 1/8 Cornish, 1/8 Welsh
    Country: USA - California

    1 members found this post helpful.
    Although it's important to avoid falling into that fallacy, I don't think that it is endemic here. Which analyses bother you most? Most talk about genetics that I have seen here involve correlating haplogroups (and occasionally autosomal comparisons) with the historical spread of peoples, which seems reasonable to me. If you're arguing that we should divorce haplogroups from ethnicity more than we are, I'm not sure I agree... often, haplogroups will date to important historical expansions of certain ethnic groups and archaeological findings, allowing us to understand the spread of people better. I suppose we should avoid saying things like, "My Y-DNA haplogroup is R1b-M153, therefore I am Basque." But someone could still say, "My Y-DNA haplogroup is R1b-M153, which has a current and historical correlation with the Basque peoples, therefore my patrilineal ancestors were likely Basque."

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Country: France

    DNA links between personality traits and facial features
    And French ethnicity
    Are two topics around mine I just picked up. This seems to link personality and ethnicity to biology. Maybe there is just a misunderstanding: I got nothing against genetic correlations they prove there was somewhere for some well-defined historic reasons some migrations or meltings. I totally agree with the goal of understanding the spread of the people. But you came yourself to the dangerous point: "My Y-DNA haplogroup is R1b-M153, therefore I am Basque." The above-mentionned topics wear this state of mind as I first read them. Because what I call ethnicity is not my genetic background, but my believes, my "way of thinking", and all those behaviours that I follow everyday without ever thinking of them. But this may just be a misunderstanding: I may have not read deep enough to make sure no such fallacy (linking behaviours and believes to biology, then) was made.
    Whatever, thanks for your reply ! I made this message without any intention to stay in this forum, so you might just have ignored it.

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