Is Race a valid scientific category?

Is race a valid scientific concept.


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sabro said:
sabro said:
if it is merely a sorting by superficial appearance.
Statement like "Its quite obvious that you don't want to understand." are insulting, condescending and uncalled for. (Especially because it was in response to terms I quoted from YOUR previous post!)
Haven't seen any quotation marks. Anyway, not my words. I never said that race can be sorted by superficial appearance.
What's more, that wasn't the 1st time that you brought up folk-taxonomy in order to discredit the scientific approach.

I have never put myself forth as an expert in this area, I am constantly asking for clarification and reading the articles that are parsed in this thread. If nothing else I have tried to understand with increasing difficulty your point of view. I am offended by your tone.
Well, sorry, but I'm a little annoyed by the fact that I have to constantly restate/reject the same stuff in different wording.

You also claim not to be an elitist, but the two times I brought up the fact that aboriginal Amazons and Persians would have a different taxonomy, you asked "How many of them are biologists."
Touché! Although your quote is not correct. I stated, "How many Persians are biologists?" I should have said, "How many Persians have enough knowledge in biology?"

You didn't say that A & P have a different taxonomy, you said that Persians wouldn't consider themselves caucasoid. But you didn't answer my question as to what they do consider themselves to be.

I am not a biologist either, and by your snide statement I am entirely unqualified to discuss the taxonomy of a subspecies. (and you would be right, actually.)
Wrong. There is no qualification necessary to discuss anything, but I doubt that 90+ % of Persians would have the necessary knowledge base to have an informed opinion. & you don't need to have a degree to be knowledgable, you don't even need one to be a scientist, IMO.

The tone of these statements to me seem not only elitist, but ethnocentric and arrogant.
Hmm, arrogant maybe, but ethnocentric? I'm pretty sure I'm egocentric.

As for words having the same meaning for the sender and reciever, I'm quite surprised as a linguistics major you didn't recognize one of the basics of communications.
Where did I say so?

And Yes, if a scientist intends to communicate with a houswife, he must use terms she understands. For communication to occur, the sender and reciever must share a common language. The sender should be aware of what terms connote (and possibly denote) in the INTENDED reciever. (So if a scientists were writing to other scientists, he would choose differert terms.)
How well argued, only, this not really what your original argument was about:
"For a term to have meaning it must have a shared denotation (and connotation) for both the sender and reciever. Race seems to be lacking in this parameter."
So, your above definition applied, race has meaning when 2 scientists (or perhaps even more restricted: biologists) talk to each other, but loses meaning when a scientist talks to a housewife? (Or do you mean it doesn't have any meaning at all because scientific & folk denotation/connotation don't match?)

Then Quantum Theory (or higher mathematics, or...) is meaningless because the common housewife (or houseman, if that word exists in English) most probably wouldn't understand a scientist talking about it?

I pulled the terms "superficial appearence" from an article YOU cited. Multiregional Evolution hypothesis, in the last sentence of the last paragraph, so if you want to ridicule anyone it should be the expert you cited and not me.
Very funny. Just because I quoted it, doesn't mean that I agree with it. The whole Multiregional Evolution hypothesis is rather improbable.

You also seem to have missed the entire point that we are talking about the validity, reliability and existentence of a concept, and so when I listed scientific concepts it was to illustrate the point that all of the concepts are significant, specific and important.
Nope, maybe you missed the point that you reacted to "For significance, meaning & importance are always relative." & in my response I showed that significance, meaning & importance of all those concepts is relative.

Although we may re-translate these concepts into different languages, the core of the concept does not change.
Neither does the concept of race. The terminology changes, the concept pretty much stays the same.

The "concept" of race, along with the old world terminology is saddled with so much negative connotation that intereferes with discussion that many or most scientists and scientific journals avoid its usage in favor of more accurate terminology that is devoid of such baggage.
Negative connotation? & you change anything by simply denying the underlying differences? Very PC!
More accurate? Since the denotation stays the same, how can it be more accurate?

(I doubt that the terms or concepts of language and dialect carry such baggage.)
Obviously they have, or else there wouldn't be some people in the PC faction trying to replace it with Ausbausprache/Abstandsprache/Dachsprache.

Although its connotation in the discussion of human variation may find some valid basis, the denotation attached to its historical and popular usage render its continued application in the current field of biology not just politically incorrect, but an anachronism.
It seems, many or most biologists disagree.

The "la la" relativism statement- again I applologize for being vague. When you said everything is relative, it seemed like a cop out- that anything can mean anything to anyone at any given time...(la, la, la...)
"Everything is relative" is a mere rhetorical expression where I live, which doesn't mean that actually everything is relative (although it probably is, in a different universe things may be completely different). But that's not what I said, anyway. I said (repeatedly, I think): "significance, meaning & importance are always relative." Significance, meaning & importance are not everything.

Materialism, that a thing can be known, measured, that a concept can be predictive, reliable and valid...
Acc. to this, race is a valid concept. It can be measured (by physical taxonomy & DNA structure), the concept predicts certain taxonomic features & gene markers which can reliably found & validated.

You may feel the need to reply to this post by breaking it down into little blue boxes and following each with a one line zinger.
Zinger? Was new to me, interesting. Anyway, that is my preferred method, since people sometimes (try to) re-interpret my posts, this is the best way to show what I'm referring to when I write.
 
Hi Bossel! You seem to care a lot about this subject! What do you think about what the scientists (especially Lewontin and Dawkins) have to say about it?
 
Tsuyoiko said:
Hi Bossel! You seem to care a lot about this subject! What do you think about what the scientists (especially Lewontin and Dawkins) have to say about it?
Care? Not really, though I'm interested in evolution & parts of biology, but I have problems with the PC faction trying to reign into science.

As for Lewontin & Dawkins, having read nothing by themselves but only about them (except for some occasional article or essay by Dawkins, I think), I can't say much. Only that Lewontin seems to represent the ideologically charged (or maybe challenged) scientist I have come to despise. Dawkins on the other hand seems to convey a number of views I can agree with.
 
Bossel - I would recommend that you read Lewontin before accepting what his opponents have to say about him. I think I am right in saying that he is the foremost exponent of the 'race is not a scientifically valid taxonomy' faction. I find the arguments of non-experts much more convincing if they can demonstrate their knowledge of both sides of an argument.

As for 'ideologically charged' scientists - do you mean scientists who seem to twist the available data to fit their personal beliefs? I don't think this is true of Lewontin. People who challenge the status quo are often criticised, and I think that much of the criticism of his claims is politically motivated.
 
Tsuyoiko said:
As for 'ideologically charged' scientists - do you mean scientists who seem to twist the available data to fit their personal beliefs? I don't think this is true of Lewontin. People who challenge the status quo are often criticised, and I think that much of the criticism of his claims is politically motivated.
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.
 
bossel said:
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:
bossel said:
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".
 
Tsuyoiko said:
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).
 
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)
 
You're still winning the poll right now. Not too much interest though.
 
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.
 
bossel said:
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!
 
Sabro said:
You're still winning the poll right now.
Well, the ratio is down from 60:40 to 55:45... the difference is closing.
Bossel said:
Lewontin follows a philosophical approach more than anything else... what struck me is that Lewontin seems to accept the existence of races. .
Lewontin said:
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.
Tsuyoiko said:
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" ? :D
 
lexico said:
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" ? :D

I did loads of stuff like that!
 
Maciamo said:
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 ;).
 
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.
 
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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/articles/PMC1893020/?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.
 
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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 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.
 
Race certainly exists.
 
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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