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Author Topic:   Human Races
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 16 of 274 (61567)
10-19-2003 2:42 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Rei
10-19-2003 2:30 AM


I think thought we can get an idea that a split, with only the level of selective pressures so far experienced, would take a lot of time.

We have been separated (after "out of africa") for about 60,000 years. In that time the gentic differences between races is still smaller than that within a given "race". It may be that our use of technologies has enabled us to be less sensitive to the pretty different environments we inhabit. It may also just be a fluke that no mutation occured that prevented breeding between the different groups.


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Replies to this message:
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Niw
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 274 (62377)
10-23-2003 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tsegamla
10-18-2003 11:52 AM


For some more differences... go to this site...

1. http://www.becominghuman.org/
2. Run the flash "BECOMING HUMAN The documentary"
3. Above it click on lineage
4. Below click on related exhibits.
5. click on exhibit 10. "a world of diversity"

[This message has been edited by Niw, 10-23-2003]


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 274 (62412)
10-23-2003 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Niw
10-23-2003 1:28 PM


What's the difference between a physical difference between two people due to race, and one that's not? What if they're the same difference? Suppose I'm taller than you. How would you tell the difference between me being taller than you because I'm of a different race than you, and me being taller than you just because I'm taller?

This is why race is useless. It's not a qualitative difference. It's a culturally-constructed sorting structure with a lot of holes.


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Niw
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 274 (62536)
10-24-2003 6:25 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by crashfrog
10-23-2003 5:56 PM


I think we would need to look at the population and not idividual if we are using a morphological trait like height to make comparison.

First of all tall is relative. Secondly height including weight is not a good trait to use for comparison since it can be influenced by diet other than genetics.

Below would be a better way I think to describe it if we use the height trait.
Eg. The frequency of homo-sapien in population A being >1.7m is 90%. The frequency of homo-sapien in population B being >1.7m is 20%.

Cline
A gradual change in the frequency of a trait over a geographic area.

I think it is better if we look at trait that occur only in specific populations. Eg. Certain traits like certain hair/eye-color do not occur at all in certain populations.

AAPA Statement on Biological Aspects of Race
http://physanth.org/positions/race.html


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Niw
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 274 (62537)
10-24-2003 6:28 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by crashfrog
10-23-2003 5:56 PM


Quote "The human features which have universal biological value for the survival of the species are not known to occur more frequently in one population than in any other. Therefore it is meaningless from the biological point of view to attribute a general inferiority or superiority to this or to that race."
source: http://physanth.org/positions/race.html
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 274 (62658)
10-24-2003 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Niw
10-24-2003 6:28 AM


The question you're not addressing is: "Of what use is race"?
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Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 274 (62697)
10-25-2003 2:54 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by crashfrog
10-24-2003 7:29 PM


Why should anything have to have a use in order for it to valid as a category? Is a genus useful?

I will say this, Europeans have the idea it seems quite often that if two things are different, then one must be better than another.

Races do exist and they have been around for around a million years, I can tell Halle Berry is of African descent not by her skin color, but by her bone structure. A forensic Anthropologist can tell the race of a homicide victim by subtle differences in bone structure. These differences have persisted for around a million years and we see them in the fossil record.

------------------
Bringer of fire, trickster, teacher.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 23 of 274 (62698)
10-25-2003 3:11 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Speel-yi
10-25-2003 2:54 AM


Around a million years?

I thought there was some evidence that we went through a bottleneck of a small number of 1,000's of individuals a few 10,000's of years ago. Wouldn't that suggest that all "racial" differences are very recent?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 274 (62700)
10-25-2003 3:43 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Speel-yi
10-25-2003 2:54 AM


Why should anything have to have a use in order for it to valid as a category? Is a genus useful?

Yes. Because any time you know two animals are in different genuses (geni?) you know that they're in different species, for one thing. You know that they're morphlogically different in specific ways that are always true.

None of that applies to race. Knowing someone's "race" tells you absolutely nothing about them. If I know an organism is of genus Canis that it has pointy teeth, a muzzle, and claws that don't retract. If I know a human is of race "African" or "black", what do I really know? That they have dark skin? Not always. That they have broad noses? Not always. That they have big d*cks? Not even close to always.

A forensic Anthropologist can tell the race of a homicide victim by subtle differences in bone structure.

Not quite correct - they can guess race. Not determine it. A sampling of Brazilians of almost every race informs us that there's no genetic markers that reliably determine race. Now, maybe that has nothing to do with bone structure. But there's more percieved races than can be determined by bone structure alone, unless you're so sure that a forensic anthropologist could tell the difference between a Slav and a Saxon.

These differences have persisted for around a million years and we see them in the fossil record.

Nope. Nowhere near that long.


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Niw
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 274 (62713)
10-25-2003 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by crashfrog
10-25-2003 3:43 AM


The question you're not addressing is: "Of what use is race"?

Wasn't addressing that... just addressing your use of only height as a trait mainly.

Race is pretty useless for classification in Scientific terms its value is more geographical,historical,cultural and social.

Different races or populations are more prone to various disease like cystic fibrosis, Sickle cell anemia, cancer all the way to Obesity due to diet/lifestyle and/or genetics. Different races also respond differently to certain drugs. The differance are in frequency in the population and not specific only to the race... They are specifically related more to family than race.
Researcher looking for a cure to a disease that occurs in higher frequency in a population(race?) won't that info be useful in some way?

As a businessman knowing a race likes/dislikes would also be useful as I can target my product specifically or the majority of them to make the most profit.

As a leader of a country knowing more about each of the races living in my country will be extremely useful to maintain harmony.

etc.

Knowing someone's "race" tells you absolutely nothing about them.

It tells me geographically where his ancestors came from... Its like a geographical marker...
This message is a reply to:
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Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 274 (62735)
10-25-2003 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by crashfrog
10-25-2003 3:43 AM


Racial differences show up in the fossil record about a million years ago. I don't ow about anyone else, but I have a tough time arguing about that.

Race has nothing to do with skin color, the Tamils in Sri Lanka and Swedes are both Caucasoids.

You also have to consider ethnicity and it too has almost nothing to do with race as most people think about it. Race and ethnicity are two different things and you should consider that most people make this fundamental mistake when talking about race. For example, there is not a white race.

Race will help give you a clue about how to treat people with a medical condition and also how people digest food. East Asians have much lower rates of type 2 diabetes as they can get by on high carbohydrate diets for extended periods of time. Some races respond to medicine differently than others and in that way it is useful.

------------------
Bringer of fire, trickster, teacher.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 10-25-2003 3:43 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by crashfrog, posted 10-25-2003 9:18 PM Speel-yi has responded

  
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 274 (62741)
10-25-2003 12:35 PM


quote:
None of that applies to race. Knowing someone's "race" tells you absolutely nothing about them. If I know an organism is of genus Canis that it has pointy teeth, a muzzle, and claws that don't retract. If I know a human is of race "African" or "black", what do I really know? That they have dark skin? Not always. That they have broad noses? Not always. That they have big d*cks? Not even close to always.

Well, given the mechanism of genetics, you can expect geographically isolated groups of individuals to have different frequencies of certain alleles after a period of time. What does this have to do with any notions of racism, superiority, inferiority, or any other social interpretation.. nothing really. We're all different.

It may certainly be that there is more variation between individuals in a population than between populations overall, but that doesn't mean that there are not distinct groupings of human beings which share a similar set of certain allele frequencies or fixations of a small set of more or less arbitrary genes.

But who cares? We should be mature enough to admit that races do indeed exist. So some of us have a greater frequency of a certain gene or genes which perhaps increase pigmentation, or a fixed gene possibly which is infrequent or perhaps non existent (unlikely) in another population which slightly changes facial bone structure.

What does all this mean? Nothing really other than "races" as groups of individuals have slightly different and visibly recognizable rates of expressions of a few alleles.

[This message has been edited by Rationalist, 10-25-2003]


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 274 (62838)
10-25-2003 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Niw
10-25-2003 10:30 AM


You were doing great with this:

Different races also respond differently to certain drugs. The differance are in frequency in the population and not specific only to the race... They are specifically related more to family than race.

But then you went here:

As a businessman knowing a race likes/dislikes would also be useful as I can target my product specifically or the majority of them to make the most profit.

How the hell does this make any sense? Like, my skin has more melanin than you, so automatically I like fried chicken and watermelon? What you're talking about are stereotypes, and they're not generally true. Consider your own race. (Something tells me you're probably caucasian.) What do you think you like, personally, because you're of a certain race? What aspect of race do you think makes you like stuff?

It tells me geographically where his ancestors came from... Its like a geographical marker...

So why do we have to say "he's black"? Why can't we just say "his ancestors are from Zaire"? My ancestors are from Italy. Yours may be from Poland, for instance. How does it help matters to lump us all as "caucasian"?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 274 (62840)
10-25-2003 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Speel-yi
10-25-2003 12:20 PM


Racial differences show up in the fossil record about a million years ago. I don't ow about anyone else, but I have a tough time arguing about that.

Well, you'll have a tough time arguing it without the presentation of a source, for instance.

What "racial differences" are you talking about? Given all the differences between two arbitrary human beings, how do we know which differences are normal variation and which are racial? Even if there appears to be a difference in the averages between two populations, how do we know that they're significant, especially if the difference is within the normal variation among human beings?


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 Message 26 by Speel-yi, posted 10-25-2003 12:20 PM Speel-yi has responded

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 274 (62843)
10-25-2003 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Rationalist
10-25-2003 12:35 PM


Nothing really other than "races" as groups of individuals have slightly different and visibly recognizable rates of expressions of a few alleles.

Sure. But people who are left-handed don't live nearly as long as right-handers, statistically.

But I don't see a Census box for handedness. I don't see scholarships for handedness. (Maybe there is one, but there's a lot less.)


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