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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriberno1marauder
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    15 Aug '16 16:112 edits
    A discussion about race started in the "Duchess" thread; I decided it would do better as a separate thread. The first salient post by me was as follows:

    Racism is ignorant speech. Race itself is a dubious social construct and the idea that one "race" is innately superior to another is foolishness:

    Race doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't even exist in humans. While that may sound like the idealistic decree of a minister or rabbi, it's actually the conclusion of an evolutionary and population biologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, has analyzed DNA from global human populations that reveal the patterns of human evolution over the past one million years. He shows that while there is plenty of genetic variation in humans, most of the variation is individual variation. While between-population variation exists, it is either too small, which is a quantitative variation, or it is not the right qualitative type of variation -- it does not mark historical sublineages of humanity.

    Using the latest molecular biology techniques, Templeton has analyzed millions of genetic sequences found in three distinct types of human DNA and concludes that, in the scientific sense, the world is colorblind. That is, it should be.

    "Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept, and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans -- genetic differences," says Templeton. "Evolutionary history is the key to understanding race, and new molecular biology techniques offer so much on recent evolutionary history. I wanted to bring some objectivity to the topic. This very objective analysis shows the outcome is not even a close call: There's nothing even like a really distinct subdivision of humanity."

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/1998-10/WUiS-GSRD-071098.php

    Currently I waiting for twhitehead to tell me how many separate races exist in Homo Sapiens as he has claimed that mere difference in skin color satisfies the biological definition of race (obviously Dr. Templeton and I do not agree with this claim).

    EDIT: The full text of the Templeton article is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737365/

    Though some of its claims are "obviously stupid" in twhitehead's estimation it was published in a peer reviewed journal specifically Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Volume 44, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages 262–271

    EDIT2: Apparently the article in the "Edit" is a different one published 15 years after the first supporting the same claims with more data.
  2. Unknown Territories
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    15 Aug '16 16:20
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    A discussion about race started in the "Duchess" thread; I decided it would do better as a separate thread. The first salient post by me was as follows:

    Racism is ignorant speech. Race itself is a dubious social construct and the idea that one "race" is innately superior to another is foolishness:

    Race doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't even exis ...[text shortened]... the biological definition of race (obviously Dr. Templeton and I do not agree with this claim).
    When I summarized the same information, twhitehead felt I needed to purchase a dictionary.
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    15 Aug '16 16:241 edit
    From the Templeton article:

    biological concepts of race are needed to access their reality in a non-species-specific manner and to see if cultural categories correspond to biological categories within humans

    The genetic cluster article I posted does exactly that.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1196372/

    Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies

    We have analyzed genetic data for 326 microsatellite markers that were typed uniformly in a large multiethnic population-based sample of individuals as part of a study of the genetics of hypertension (Family Blood Pressure Program). Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14% ) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population. Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
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    15 Aug '16 16:491 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    From the Templeton article:

    biological concepts of race are needed to access their reality in a non-species-specific manner and to see if cultural categories correspond to biological categories within humans

    The genetic cluster article I posted does exactly that.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1196372/

    Genetic Struct ...[text shortened]... . Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.
    It's hardly surprising that different groups recently populating a land mass from different areas will possess some genetic differences from each other. But that does not make them different races in a biological sense. From Templeton's (2nd article):

    t is critical to note that genetic differentiation alone is insufficient to define a subspecies or race under either of these definitions of race. Both definitions require that genetic differentiation exists across sharp boundaries and not as gradual changes, with the boundaries reflecting the historical splits. These sharp boundaries are typically geographic, but not always. For example, even non-genetic behavioral differences, such as learned song dialects in birds or linguistic boundaries in humans, can serve as the basis for a sharp genetic boundary when these non-genetic traits are associated with evolutionary history. The fst definition in addition requires that the genetic differentiation across the geographical boundary exceeds a quantitative threshold, and the evolutionary lineage definition requires that the genetic differentiation fits a tree-like evolutionary structure. Hence, genetic differentiation is necessary but not sufficient to infer a race. Human populations certainly show genetic differences across geographical space, but this does not necessarily mean that races exist in humans.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737365/
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
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    15 Aug '16 17:00
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    It's hardly surprising that different groups recently populating a land mass from different areas will possess some genetic differences from each other. But that does not make them different races in a biological sense. From Templeton's (2nd article):

    t is critical to note that genetic differentiation alone is insufficient to define a subspecies or ra ...[text shortened]... ly mean that races exist in humans.


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737365/[/b]
    One commonly used threshold is that two populations with sharp boundaries are considered to be different races if 25% or more of the genetic variability that they collectively share is found as between population differences (Smith, et al., 1997).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 2 confirms the reality of race in chimpanzees using the threshold definition, as 30.1% of the genetic variation is found in the among-race component, a result expected from the pairwise analysis shown in Table 1. In contrast to chimpanzees, the five major “races” of humans account for only 4.3% of human genetic variation – well below the 25% threshold. The genetic variation in our species is overwhelmingly variation among individuals (93.2😵.

    Table 2
    Table 2
    AMOVA of genetic variation in chimpanzees (data from Gonder et al. 2011) and from humans (data from Rosenberg et al. 2002).
    The threshold definition also requires sharp genetic boundaries between the “races.” Figure 2 shows a plot of the pairwise fst values of humans as a function of geographical distance (Ramachandran et al., 2005). As can be seen, the pairwise fst values increase smoothly with increasing geographical distance (in this case based on waypoints to minimize travel across oceans and seas). There are no indications of the discontinuities expected when sharp geographical boundaries of genetic differentiation exist. A more detailed analysis reveals that the spatial patterns of human genetic variation are explained well by a series of long-range migrations and population founder events coupled with gene flow with isolation-by-distance (Hunley, Healy, & Long, 2009). The gene flow arising from long-range migrations and isolation-by-distance has obscured any sharp boundaries that may have temporarily existed after the founder events (Figure 2) as well as has reduced the quantitative amount of genetic differentiation. Consequently, neither aspect of the threshold definition is satisfied; there are no sharp boundaries separating human populations, and the degree of genetic differentiation among human groups, even at the continental level, is extremely low. Using the threshold definition, there are no races in humans.
  6. Joined
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    15 Aug '16 18:061 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    A discussion about race started in the "Duchess" thread; I decided it would do better as a separate thread. The first salient post by me was as follows:

    Racism is ignorant speech. Race itself is a dubious social construct and the idea that one "race" is innately superior to another is foolishness:

    Race doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't even exis ...[text shortened]... is a different one published 15 years after the first supporting the same claims with more data.
    If race does not really exist then get rid of the NACCP.

    It seems to me that they are merely perpetuating a falsehood.
  7. Subscriberno1marauder
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    15 Aug '16 18:16
    Originally posted by whodey
    If race does not really exist then get rid of the NACCP.

    It seems to me that they are merely perpetuating a falsehood.
    Race in humans doesn't exist in a biological sense. It is a social construct and one used, through racism, to discriminate against and oppress certain groups in society. This is irrational but until it can be irradiated groups designed to fight such foolishness remain necessary.
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    15 Aug '16 18:413 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Race in humans doesn't exist in a biological sense. It is a social construct and one used, through racism, to discriminate against and oppress certain groups in society. This is irrational but until it can be irradiated groups designed to fight such foolishness remain necessary.
    Before I say anything there is a difference between a discussion about a biological basis for race and racism, they are not synonymous. I disagree that race cannot be determined biologically and I sincerely believe that the human family is made up of three biological branches, Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid. I am also aware that this is no longer in scientific use although I can't say why.

    I read in a text book that there are three distinct branches of humanity within the human family. Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid. I think that this is demonstrably the case and biologically self evident. If we think of Mongoloids its a rather mundane affair to trace those with similar racial characteristics from the far East, Japan and China and Mongolia, all the way across Afghanistan, through Siberia, across the Russian Tundra to the Lapps on Finland, Sweden and Norway and eventually right across the the intuits of Canada and North America. I have personally known people from the tundra region of Northern Sweden and they have almost identical racial characteristics as those of the Inuit. How is this explained in any other terms other than they had at one epoch in time a common ancestry? Its biologically self evident that this must be the case.
  9. Joined
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    15 Aug '16 18:421 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Race in humans doesn't exist in a biological sense. It is a social construct and one used, through racism, to discriminate against and oppress certain groups in society. This is irrational but until it can be irradiated groups designed to fight such foolishness remain necessary.
    So you are saying that perception becomes reality?

    If so, then your entire thread about race not really existing is purely a non sequitur.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    15 Aug '16 18:48
    Originally posted by whodey
    If race does not really exist then get rid of the NACCP.

    It seems to me that they are merely perpetuating a falsehood.
    Sure, if you get rid of your buddies in the white supremacist movement.
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    15 Aug '16 18:49
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Race in humans doesn't exist in a biological sense. It is a social construct and one used, through racism, to discriminate against and oppress certain groups in society. This is irrational but until it can be irradiated groups designed to fight such foolishness remain necessary.
    So if we irradiate the entire human race, won't that make them sterile?
  12. Joined
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    15 Aug '16 19:05
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Sure, if you get rid of your buddies in the white supremacist movement.
    You sound like Duchess railing against white racist males.
  13. Cape Town
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    15 Aug '16 19:32
    Hilarious:

    Of all the words used to describe subdivisions or subtypes within a species, the one that has been explicitly defined to indicate major geographical “races” or subdivisions is “subspecies” (Futuyma, 1986, pg. 107–109; Mayr, 1982, pg. 289). Because of this well-established usage in the evolutionary literature, “race” and “subspecies” will be regarded as synonyms from a biological perspective.

    Clearly he is just playing word games and trying to define away the issue.
    The fact is that that is not what 'race' typically means in biology. After all, we already have a word and its 'sub-species'.
    I will readily agree that humans cannot reasonably be currently divided into subspecies.

    From Wikipedia:
    In biological taxonomy, race (Latin: prōles, stirps[1]) is an informal rank in the taxonomic hierarchy, below the level of subspecies;


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(biology)
  14. Standard memberHandyAndy
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    15 Aug '16 19:33
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I read in a text book that there are three distinct branches of humanity within the human family. Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid. I think that this is demonstrably the case and biologically self evident. If we think of Mongoloids its a rather mundane affair to trace those with similar racial characteristics from the far East, Japan and China and ...[text shortened]... one epoch in time a common ancestry? Its biologically self evident that this must be the case.
    Have any negroids or mongoloids up your way?
  15. Subscriberno1marauder
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    15 Aug '16 19:38
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Hilarious:

    Of all the words used to describe subdivisions or subtypes within a species, the one that has been explicitly defined to indicate major geographical “races” or subdivisions is “subspecies” (Futuyma, 1986, pg. 107–109; Mayr, 1982, pg. 289). Because of this well-established usage in the evolutionary literature, “race” and “subspecies” w ...[text shortened]... erarchy, below the level of subspecies;


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(biology)
    Why you think definitions in a Wikipedia article are more representative of current scientific thought than those contained in a peer-reviewed, heavily footnoted article from a scientific journal is a bit of a puzzle.
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