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Author Topic:   A race shares genes?
Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 1 of 19 (577750)
08-30-2010 9:36 AM


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...o-Sarrazin-sparks-outrage.html

Here's a recent article about some german banker who says that jews share a certain gene. Understandably, it sparked outrage and indignation, but this thread is not about anti-Semitism or anything of that sort.

I'm just wondering whether its such a far-fetched idea that all races share certain genes. If races usually share certain phenotype, wouldn't it make sense that they share certain genotype as well?

Edited by Ragged, : No reason given.


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Message 2 of 19 (577754)
08-30-2010 9:41 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the A race shares genes? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Huntard
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Posts: 2854
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 3 of 19 (577756)
08-30-2010 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ragged
08-30-2010 9:36 AM


Ragged writes:

Here's a recent article about some german banker who says that jews share a certain gene.


Your link doesn't work.

{ABE}: This will work

I'm just wondering whether its such a far-fetched idea that all races share certain genes. If races usually share certain phenotype, wouldn't it make sense that they share certain genotype as well?

Races, perhaps (I don't know for sure), but Jews are not a race, they're a religious group, just like "Christian" is not a race, but a religious group.

Edited by Huntard, : Added link


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Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 4 of 19 (577769)
08-30-2010 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Huntard
08-30-2010 9:46 AM


Thanks for getting the right link, sorry about that.

But wouldn't a non-religious person of Jewish decent (both parents Jewish) still be considered a Jew? Isn't that both a religion and ethnicity?


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Huntard
Member
Posts: 2854
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 5 of 19 (577772)
08-30-2010 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Ragged
08-30-2010 10:35 AM


Ragged writes:

Thanks for getting the right link, sorry about that.


No problem mate, that's why it pays to preview your posts.

But wouldn't a non-religious person of Jewish decent (both parents Jewish) still be considered a Jew? Isn't that both a religion and ethnicity?

No, that's a misconception often held by people, I mean, look at these pictures (from Message 269):

DevilsAdvocate writes:

Sephardi Jews:

Indian Jews:

Ashkenazi Jewish family:

Bukharan Jewish teacher and students in Samarkand, modern-day Uzbekistan:

Amazonian Jews:

Kurdish Jews in Rawanduz, Iraqi Kurdistan:

Chinese Jews from the city of Kaifeng, China:

Ethiopian Jews:

You can't tell me they all share a gene in common that they only share with each oither, yet not with, say Muslims from Iraq, Christians from Ethiopia or Hindus from India.


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caffeine
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Message 6 of 19 (577788)
08-30-2010 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ragged
08-30-2010 9:36 AM


It makes sense for particular genes (I think it would be more accurate to say particular alleles of genes) to be more common in certain races than in the general population, just because people share more recent common ancestry with others of their race. It'd be a surprise for every one of them to have the same allele though, and it would be an allele that is present in the general population too, just at lower frequencies.

As an example, the mutation which causes Tay-Sach's disease is more common among Ashkenazi Jews than amongst other populations (just Ashkenazim, though - this doesn't apply to other Jewish populations around the world). Not all Ashkenazi have it, though, and it's found in non-Jewish people too. It's also common amongst people of Cajun descent, according to wikipedia, though it's unknown whether they inherited it from Jews or if the same mutation arose independently (it's an insertion of four base pairs, not a single point mutation, so I think this makes it unlikely to have arisen independently).


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Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 7 of 19 (577841)
08-30-2010 6:05 PM


what about other races though
how about Caucasians, Africans or Asians? They all have very distinct physical similarities which are not shared with other races. would that be safe to say that they have a genetic make-up unique to their race?
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subbie
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 8 of 19 (577847)
08-30-2010 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Ragged
08-30-2010 6:05 PM


Re: what about other races though
If you simply mean that the genetics for one's physical appearance would be more similar to those of the same "race" than to those of a difference "race," the answer would seemingly be yes. However, beyond that, I'm not aware of anything particularly significant that is found among all persons of a particular "race" that is not found in others of a different "race."

You'll notice I put the word "race" in quotes. Race, for all intents and purposes, is a sociological construct, not a biological one. It makes as much sense from a biological standpoint to talk about the Italian "race" or the Scandinavian "race" or the European "race." As far as I know, there's more genetic diversity between members of the same "race" than there is between members of of different "races." The significant defining characteristics of a race are all related to superficial appearance, with skin color being the primary factor.

BTW, not all Africans share distinct physical similarities, nor do all Asians. It might do you good to think a bit more carefully about things before you post them.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


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Coyote
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Posts: 5663
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Member Rating: 2.5


Message 9 of 19 (577859)
08-30-2010 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Ragged
08-30-2010 6:05 PM


Re: what about other races though
how about Caucasians, Africans or Asians? They all have very distinct physical similarities which are not shared with other races. would that be safe to say that they have a genetic make-up unique to their race?

No, the classical racial traits occur in clines, that is, these traits have a range of variation. One example is skin color, which ranges from dark to light skin. Within each group you care to define there is a range of variation.

You can get significant differences by comparing groups at great distances from one another, or groups from vastly differing climates.

Likewise, you can see similarities by comparing groups in similar climates. Negritos in SE Asia share a number of traits with African pygmies (dark skin, short stature and hair form, for example), but the two groups are only very distantly related.

In addition to the classical racial traits (skin color, hair and nasal form, stature and body form, etc.) you also have genetic traits. These include a wide range of things from blood types to fingerprint patterns to ear wax type. These were not used in classical racial schemes because early explorers couldn't examine those traits--they just used those they could see.

And many of the classical traits relate more to climate than they do to descent.

Bottom line is race is a human construct applied by different people for different reasons and using different criteria.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 10 of 19 (577867)
08-30-2010 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by subbie
08-30-2010 6:28 PM


Re: what about other races though
I'm not implying that all representatives of the same race look the same (or even close), but I am implying however that you could never confuse a person of an Asian race with a person from, say, an African race. What this amounts to is that there could be alot of genetic diversity between representatives of the same race, but at the same time they could share a certain gene/allele which would only be found in their race.

A person of African descent would look distictly different from a person from Northen European descent. Those differences no doubte arose from differences in genetic makeup of the peoples. It would make sense that different races (or whatever you want to call them) of humans share certain genetic make-up unique only to that race. Or atleast a preponderance of that genetic make-up would be found in that race.


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Coyote
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Posts: 5663
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 11 of 19 (577882)
08-30-2010 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Ragged
08-30-2010 7:17 PM


Re: what about other races though
On the gross level you are correct.

But when you start to look at the details sometimes things are more complex. As I mentioned above the Negritos of SE Asia look remarkably like the Pygmies of Africa, but they are only very distantly related.

And you get different answers if you select different numbers of races. If you prefer three, them Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and African seem to cover most folks.

But where do you draw the lines if you want four races, or five, or a couple of dozen? And what traits do you use to separate the groups? Classical (visual) or genetic? Which is the most accurate? Do you want to separate groups by looks or by actual descent?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1252
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 12 of 19 (577935)
08-31-2010 6:21 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Ragged
08-30-2010 7:17 PM


Re: what about other races though
I am implying however that you could never confuse a person of an Asian race with a person from, say, an African race.

Of course you could. Without looking up the source of the pictures - which one's which?


People tend to share more genes with people who are more closely related to them - this much is obvious. But different traits have different distributions. Take a look at the maps on this page showing the distribution of the different alleles for blood groups around the world. It's a clear, regional distribution showing taht people are more likely to be similar to people near them than not. But it doesn't match up to any clear division of races. It's interesting to note, for example, that people from around the Ivory Coast, in the west of Africa, seem to have a very similar distribution of alleles to people from northern Siberia. Siberians don't look like Ivorians, and in lots of other genetic markers they'd be very different, but in this one they're similar.

There was a programme made for Brazillian TV, in which a bunch of celebrities agreed to have their DNA tested for markers of European, African and Amerindian ancestry. Brazil's a melting pot, so almost everyone's got a bit of each. One of the subjects was this singer, Neguiho de Beija Flor:

The guy's clearly got African ancestry, as we can tell from his skin colour and the shape of his face. Thing is, the estimate arrived at by the DNA analysis was that his ancestry was about 67% European. The obvious, external traits we think about when we think of race only account for a part of our genetic makeup, and the actual picture is much more complicated than any usual racial classification.


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Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 13 of 19 (578012)
08-31-2010 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by caffeine
08-31-2010 6:21 AM


Re: what about other races though
Of course when races interbreed genes get shared and it can be difficult to tell which race a person has as ancestors just from physical characteristics since traits have different degrees of dominance. For example, in the top picture the girl definately has African ancestry even if its mixed with something else. The bottom picture is more difficult, but I would guess that there is some Arabic blood involved . There is room for confusion in both cases no doubte. But you could never confuse a pureblooded Japanese person with a pureblooded Spaniard.

Yes, the distribution of some alleles probably have a more scattered distribution than could be explained by geography and race, but it seems reasonable to me that some traits are unique to a particular race. Even more so, peoples of the same general race but inhabitants of different historical countries (i.e China, Japan) have distinctly different appearences. Why would that be if there was nothing unique about their genetic make-up?


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Huntard
Member
Posts: 2854
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 14 of 19 (578017)
08-31-2010 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Ragged
08-31-2010 1:53 PM


Re: what about other races though
Well, Just because he asked that question, I had my doubts, the second girl is probably from north Africa. The first one is a bit tricky, I guessed she'd be from somewhere in Asia, because of him asking the question, so I cheated a little (no, I'm not gonna tell you how ). It turns out, she's from the Philippines.

Which is the point he was trying to make. It's not so easy to say that there is an "African" race, or an "Asian" race. For as you can see, the one with the lightest skin is actually from Africa, and thus, African. The darker skinned woman is from The Philippines, and is therefore Asian. Therefore, your proclamation of:

Ragged writes:

For example, in the top picture the girl definately has African ancestry even if its mixed with something else.


Is wrong, other than in the sense that we of course all share African ancestors.
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Ragged
Member (Idle past 937 days)
Posts: 47
From: Purgatory
Joined: 10-26-2005


Message 15 of 19 (578049)
08-31-2010 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Huntard
08-31-2010 2:05 PM


Re: what about other races though
That Philippine girl has African blood in her, even if it is mixed with Asian blood. And I know this simply by looking at her. Because of colonialism and travel we have people of different races live in different places. Just because a person of European descent was born in South America, it does not make him latin.
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