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Old 11-04-2005, 08:00 AM   #1
Suvaxal

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I would say that there are different races, but they're not always distinct.
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:29 PM   #2
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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 .
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:00 AM   #3
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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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Old 02-08-2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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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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Old 05-30-2006, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Is Race a valid scientific category?
This is in response to another thread. I was wondering what everyone thought and why. View more random threads same category:

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Old 06-21-2006, 07:00 AM   #6
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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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Old 07-23-2006, 07:00 AM   #7
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You're still winning the poll right now.
Well, the ratio is down from 60:40 to 55:45... the difference is closing.
Lewontin follows a philosophical approach more than anything else... what struck me is that Lewontin seems to accept the existence of races. . 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.
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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Old 09-11-2006, 07:00 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:03 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:13 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:14 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:03 AM   #12
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Race certainly exists.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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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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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #14
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It is very interesting - and very complicated! Thinking about plant and animal world, and cross-breeding in this respect, it seems like Maciamo says, that they can be scientifically classified. But, it can be so difficult if a person's exact 'origins' aren't known, because is there a way to tell 'race' (as a scientific category) from genetics? If not, then it's maybe not exactly a 'scientific category'. For many people I think their exact race in a scientific sense gets just too complex and subtle, with too many unknowns. Of course, it's still possible to know generally their race.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. We are all human.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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I think race being used as a valid scientific distinction is bordering on the ideas that various people have used in the past to say that white people are superior to black people, and visa versa. This articles about super volcanoes and the Toba euruption really puts a little kink in their argument about the differences between races, especially this quote:
Stanley Ambrose, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, suggested in 1998 that Rampino's work might explain a curious bottleneck in human evolution: The blueprints of life for all humans -- DNA -- are remarkably similar given that our species branched off from the rest of the primate family tree a few million years ago.

Ambrose has said early humans were perhaps pushed to the edge of extinction after the Toba eruption -- around the same time folks got serious about art and tool making. Perhaps only a few thousand survived. Humans today would all be descended from these few, and in terms of the genetic code, not a whole lot would change in 74,000 years. It seems that with only a few thousand surviving the eurption that we are more closly related to each other than was previously thought. Our differences are little more than skin deep. If this eruption never had occured, then maybe their would be a real differences between the various races of mankind rather than the ones we like to make up using dodgy science.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #16
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It seems that with only a few thousand surviving the eurption that we are more closly related to each other than was previously thought. Our differences are little more than skin deep. If this eruption never had occured, then maybe their would be a real differences between the various races of mankind rather than the ones we like to make up using dodgy science.
Actually, this is no news. IIRC, the separation of caucasoid & mongoloid race is put to around 40,000 years ago, much later than this volcanic eruption.

There may have been a much more severe bottle neck, some 60,000 years ago. According to one study we are all descended from one human male who lived around that time. To establish this needs a lot more work to be done, though. We still have varying theories regarding human evolution, the multiregional hypothesis is still not entirely discarded (got even a new spin recently).

Here you can find a summary of the Multiregional Evolution hypothesis, though the newest research is not included.
Quote:
"The authors point out that if replacement occured we would expect to find archaeological traces, yet we can find none in Asia.. The hand ax was common in Africa, yet the technologies of eastern Asia did not include handaxes before or after the African dispersal period. Artifacts found in the earliest assemblages continue to appear into the very late Pleistocene.

The hominid fossils from Australasia are argued to show a continuous anatomic sequence, with the earliest Australians displaying features seen in Indonesia 100,000 years ago. Similar evidence is seen in northern Asia. One million years old Chinese fossils differ from Javan fossils in ways that parallel the differences between north Asians and Australians today. Morphological continuity is also evidenced by prominently shoveled maxdlary incisors occurring in high frequency in living east Asians and in all the earlier Asian fossils."

On the same website is also a representation of the bottleneck hypothesis.
Quote:
"Ambrose concludes that bottlenecks occurred among genetically isolated human populations because of a six-year long volcanic winter and subsequent hyper-cold millennium after the cataclysmic super-eruption of Toba. This volcanic winter played a role in recent human differentiation. The resultant combination of founder effects and genetic drift may account for low human genetic diversity as well as population differences associated with so-called races. The bottleneck hypothesis offers an explanation for why human exhibit so little genetic variation, yet superficially appear diverse. It also affords an explanation for the apparent recent coalescence of mtDNA and African origins."

Nothing is settled yet.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
"...The bottleneck hypothesis offers an explanation for why human exhibit so little genetic variation, yet superficially appear diverse. It also affords an explanation for the apparent recent coalescence of mtDNA and African origins."

Nothing is settled yet.
Now here I agree with you. But I would latch on to the words "little genetic variation" and "yet superficially appear diverse." and run with them. How important can Race be as a "scientific" concept if it is only based on superficial differences? (Granted that as a layman, I may be totally incorrect...it just seems to prove my point.)

Nothing is settled yet- on this point I agree.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #18
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It seems that with only a few thousand surviving the eurption that we are more closly related to each other than was previously thought. Our differences are little more than skin deep. If this eruption never had occured, then maybe their would be a real differences between the various races of mankind rather than the ones we like to make up using dodgy science.
Or maybe 10,000 years ago, Noah and his family continued the human race after a world wide castrotophe. Just as possible as the above. ;oD
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #19
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Or maybe 10,000 years ago, Noah and his family continued the human race after a world wide castrotophe. Just as possible as the above. ;oD
You are tempting me, but I'd just say I will go along the lines of scientific research rather than myth. I'd prefer that this didn't become a science verses religion thread.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #20
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How important can Race be as a "scientific" concept if it is only based on superficial differences?
Sorry, but I still don't see which importance should be there? Importance is always relative.

Or maybe 10,000 years ago, Noah and his family continued the human race after a world wide castrotophe. Just as possible as the above. ;oD
Possible, yeah, but highly improbable. What Mycernius described has a much greater probability.
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