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Author Topic:   Human Races
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3983 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 31 of 274 (62868)
10-26-2003 2:15 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Niw
10-25-2003 10:30 AM


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.

Nyet!, and profoundly so. Both of these represent cultural, not physical or biological, differences. As a businessman knowing what sells in a particular cultural context is of key importance. You can't sell non-Kosher meat to a Hassidic Jew, but can sell it to his next-door neighbor who's Eastern Orthodox Christian. Knowing that the color blue signifies death to a particular culture means you don't want to try and sell blue golfballs to them.

Understanding the cultural backgrounds and sensitivities of the different populations within your country is critical to effective national leadership. Knowing how different cultures perceive problem/solution and cost/benefit analyses is necessary for any policy on which you expect buy-in from the local population. Roma don't react the same way as Greek Orthodox Christian Macedonians who don't perceive things the same way as Moslem Macedonians. And they all live in the same village. Moreover, they're all "caucasian". So much for "race" being a useful distinction in this context.


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 32 of 274 (62879)
10-26-2003 7:06 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Niw
10-25-2003 10:30 AM


quote:
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.

Races of people don't have likes/dislikes.

Cultural groups have likes/dislikes which are in any way useful to businesspeople.


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Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 274 (62889)
10-26-2003 9:45 AM


quote:
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.)

Ethnic groups don't necessarily need to be defined by race. It's just a convenient marker for coalitional rivalry. In a pinch however any particular recognizable characteristic will do.

Ever notice how gang members will wear colored bandanas?

In short, human beings find it useful to separate themselves into gangs (coalitional groups). It's good to have lots of friends, but its pointless to have too many. Those who are not your friends might as well be your enemies. Given this, race is a natural set of unmistakable visual cues that come in quite handy when forming coalitional groups.

However, if races didn't exist, human beings would use some other difference. They wouldn't use handedness though, as it's too evenly spread in the population in every region. Religion makes a good coalitional signature though.


Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 274 (62948)
10-26-2003 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Rationalist
10-26-2003 9:45 AM


Given this, race is a natural set of unmistakable visual cues that come in quite handy when forming coalitional groups.

But are they unmistakeable? Why don't you tell me the race of this person:

http://www.tvtome.com/images/people/0/7/14-4771.gif

However, if races didn't exist, human beings would use some other difference.

Sure. But if we can eliminate race, then we're left with differences that largely, can be altered by choice. (Sexual preference is obviously an exception.)

[This message has been edited by crashfrog, 10-26-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Mammuthus, posted 10-28-2003 2:59 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 274 (62994)
10-27-2003 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by crashfrog
10-25-2003 9:18 PM


Links? I keep making the mistake of that I assume people actually look at ALL of the evidence before they decide something about whether something is true or not.

So here ya go, this first one discusses human evolution from a worldwide perspective.

From the URL: http://www.ramsdale.org/dna18.htm

For example, Chinese Homo erectus specimens had the same flat faces, with prominent cheekbones, as modern Oriental populations. Javanese Homo erectus had robustly built cheekbones and faces that jutted out from the braincase, characteristics found in modern Australian Aborigines. No definite representatives of Homo erectus have yet been discovered in Europe. Here, the fossil record does not extend back as far as those of Africa and eastern Asia, although a possible Homo erectus jawbone more than a million years old was recently excavated in Georgia.

Nevertheless, the multiregional model claims that European Homo erectus did exist, and evolved into a primitive form of Homo sapiens. Evolution in turn produced the Neanderthals: the ancestors of modern Europeans. Features of continuity in this European lineage include prominent noses and midfaces.

Then we have this one here:

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~jhover/thesis/section1.htm

The evidence offered for the multi-regional theory stems primarily from fossil evidence. Phyletic theorists contend that there is a great deal of morphological continuity in regional populations of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. For example, in the Far East, there are a number of morphological characteristics which modern humans and erectus have in common. These include cheek form: high, anteriorly placed cheekbones, resulting in a flatter face; dental characteristics: shovel-shaped incisors; and cranial traits. One of these cranial traits is known as an 'Inca bone', a feature resulting from an extra suture running across the occipital bone, which has its highest frequency (30%) in modern Eastern populations (and New World migrants ) and which was present in three out of four of the Peking erectus skulls (Krantz 1980:198). Thus, Chinese paleoanthropologists, at least, see a very clear transition from erectus to their modern populations (Nelson & Jurmain 1988:563; Wolpoff, Wu Xinzhi, and Thorne 1984; but see Young 1995).

and the page also has the interesting statement:

Proponents of the single-origin theory might respond to evidence of local morphological continuity by mentioning possible interbreeding between displacing and indigenous populations, but would maintain that the overwhelming nature of such gene flow was such that the end result was the same as it would have been had the invaders simply replaced, i.e., annihilated, the native populations.

The problem of which is this is really what MRH is saying in the first place with Wolpoffs model. (This is a model with gene flow out of Africa and interbreeding with local populations.)

I favor Brauers view.

The fact is that regional variations do exist, some of which are due to drift and isolation, others of which are due to selective pressures of dealing with climatic variations.

Personally, I have a sense of urgency about the subject since ignoring human variation is not going to contribute to solving the problems we will are dealing with in regard to human health.

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


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Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 274 (62996)
10-27-2003 2:12 AM


quote:
Sure. But if we can eliminate race, then we're left with differences that largely, can be altered by choice. (Sexual preference is obviously an exception.)

Yes, but human nature can't really be altered by choice to any great extent, so it doesnt' make any difference. The best we can hope for is to keep social and world economics in the "cooperatation" mode and keep it from slipping into a perception of "zero sum" as best we can. When it does slip into a zero sum condition, that's when all hell inevitably breaks loose.

As far as recognizing the race of another person, I think it's relatively easy. But hey, maybe that's just me.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 274 (63048)
10-27-2003 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Rationalist
10-27-2003 2:12 AM


As far as recognizing the race of another person, I think it's relatively easy. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Then again I ask you to identify the race of not-so-noted actor Wentworth Miller. Should be easy for you, right? Use a Google Image search to see who I'm talking about. If you get the same results as I do, it's the guy who's holding the baby dinosaur.

[This message has been edited by crashfrog, 10-27-2003]


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Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 274 (63092)
10-28-2003 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by crashfrog
10-27-2003 6:03 PM


You're not really making a meaningful argument. There are a lot of people that are the product of mixed race marriages etc etc.

Take a look at the at the head basketball coach at Oklahoma, his ethnic group is a really interesting bunch. One kid will be a blond haired, blue eyed nordic type and his cousin will have nappy hair and a dark skin color.

But if you go to the Niger river valley, you will know one race from another as is the case if you go to the Yangtze river valley or to the Ganges.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by crashfrog, posted 10-27-2003 6:03 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by DBlevins, posted 10-28-2003 3:24 AM Speel-yi has responded

  
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4586 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 39 of 274 (63096)
10-28-2003 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by crashfrog
10-26-2003 5:50 PM


Hi crashfrog,
There is a dilema associated with eliminating distinctions among groups that has medical repercussions. In terms of politics/social issues, race should not be used. There is greater genetic variation within groups than among them rendering a biological concept of race in humans highly inaccurate. However, in addition to superficial characteristics such as skin color which can identify people as originating in one population versus another, there are also certain alleles at higher frequency in different populations than others for not so obvious traits. There is some evidence that this can have an impact on how people from specific ethnic groups will respond to medicines. This is an example where one does want to make a distinction between groups so as to provide the appropriate tests in determining say drug safety or efficacy. However, this should not be taken as a way of dividing "races" as has commonly been practiced.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by crashfrog, posted 10-26-2003 5:50 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by crashfrog, posted 10-28-2003 6:42 PM Mammuthus has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 1886 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 40 of 274 (63098)
10-28-2003 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Speel-yi
10-28-2003 2:17 AM


But if you go to the Niger river valley, you will know one race from another as is the case if you go to the Yangtze river valley or to the Ganges.

I would have to wonder where the line is between races then? I might go to the Niger river valley and notice that the people look different than those in the Yangtze river, but what if instead I tried to compare those who live near Kilamanjaro (sp?). What if I choose between the Niger and the Blue Nile? Or, what comparison could be made between those who live in the Yangtze river valley and the steppes of mongolia or from the steps of mongolia to the Urals? There is NO fine line between what seperates races, and distinctions between populations are usually if not always greater within a population than across populations.

How many races would there be? Where would you place Eqyptians or Libyans who live in Africa yet many have features that are distinct and different than say the Masai or !Kung? How about the aboriginies? They have what some constitute african features but don't live in africa? What about the ainu of Japan? What "race" are they? I could go on...

The point is that this unit called "race" is an aribitrary system of classification with no basis in genetics. The questions that comes about are: What are the distinctions between the races? If you ask different people how many "races" there exist in the world I'd bet you'd get as many different answers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Speel-yi, posted 10-28-2003 2:17 AM Speel-yi has responded

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Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 274 (63100)
10-28-2003 3:53 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by DBlevins
10-28-2003 3:24 AM


The distribution is clinal like many other things. There are several races in Africa alone. Someone from the highlands of Ethiopia is from an ancient race referred to as the Saharans and then the Bushmen are again from another racial stock,

As Mammuthus pointed out, people will respond differently to medicines based upon racial types. We do need to look at the differences with a clinical detachment because people will die if we assume that a dose of medication for a 35 year old white man is appropriate for a 20 year old black woman. We are just beginning to figure this out.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by DBlevins, posted 10-28-2003 3:24 AM DBlevins has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by DBlevins, posted 10-28-2003 4:05 AM Speel-yi has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 1886 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 42 of 274 (63102)
10-28-2003 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Speel-yi
10-28-2003 3:53 AM


The clinal model is unable to distinguish between distinct "races." In fact there are some traits which are discontinuous or have non-clinal distribution patterns. You may find several discontinuous pockets within clinal regions. The problem is that the human population have been migrating for so long and interbreeding that the distinctions are difficult if not impossible. The patterns we find in human populations are too complex and shifting so much that defining what constitutes a "race" is impossible.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Speel-yi, posted 10-28-2003 3:53 AM Speel-yi has responded

Replies to this message:
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Speel-yi
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 274 (63127)
10-28-2003 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by DBlevins
10-28-2003 4:05 AM


quote:
The clinal model is unable to distinguish between distinct "races."

Says who? Given that assumption, you can't tell blue from red on a spectrum since colors are distributed clinally. You can visually tell red from orange easily, but you probably would be hard pressed to tell exactly where one began and another ended. By your reasoning, we can't tell blue from red and this is a ridiculous proposition.

People react emotionally to the idea of race these days because it has been it has been so badly used by ignorant people to oppress other people. Unfortunately, people are still being oppressed even without the category of race being involved. In fact I argue that treating people exactly the same puts many of them at a disadvantage.

Take a look at the skyrocketing rates of diabetes among many indigenous people and the rates of hypertension among African-Americans. Mismatching the environment to the people is a lethal combination for many minorities.

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


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 274 (63164)
10-28-2003 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Mammuthus
10-28-2003 2:59 AM


There is a dilema associated with eliminating distinctions among groups that has medical repercussions.

I realize that. To me it seems more like an issue of heredity and genetics, not an issue of race. Since race turns out not to be a very meaningful predictor of your heredity or genetics, how is race relevant? Why not just talk about the genetics?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Mammuthus, posted 10-28-2003 2:59 AM Mammuthus has responded

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Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4586 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 45 of 274 (63251)
10-29-2003 2:56 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by crashfrog
10-28-2003 6:42 PM


Hi crashfrog,
I agree completely. The burden is on the scientific establishment to make this clear and comprehensible to the general public while at the same time showing that the original concept of race is meaningless.

Thus far there has been a lot of ink and paper spent on the debunking of race but very little on providing a meaningful substitute. It's not so simple...you have seen on this site how few people understand genetics and race is a convenient way to maintain prejudice and control over people so it won't disappear even though it is in direct contradiction of the facts..kind of like creationism


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by crashfrog, posted 10-28-2003 6:42 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
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