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  #401  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:43 PM
Chuck11 is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
It's so darn cute the way he does this.
So far according to Chuck:
Race = ancestral group
Race = subspecies
Race = ancestry
race = clade
It appears according to Chuck that race = anything but race. Or perhaps I should say that Chuck wants race to be equivalent to those things so that he can then claim that race has some sort of biological existence.
To clarity:

Chuck has never defined race as subspecies. Chuck argues that that's a red herring. Chuck defines race as clade. As Blake knows clades are defined by ancestry-descendancy; they are ancestral groups. Given Blake's stipulations of what race must entail ---1) patterns of phenotypic differences and 2) a relation to the ordinary concept (i.e social concept) of race -- Chuck points out that the clades that qualify as races roughly overlap with Cavalli-Sforza's population clusters, which overlap with regionally branches (i.e regional ancestry).

So we have: race = clades with noticeable patterns of phenotypic differences = major population cluster = regional ancestry = ~the ordinary concept of race.
  #402  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:44 PM
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Chuck when you can answer the questions that you promised to answer, it might be amusing to engage you again.

At this stage you have so thoroughly discredited yourself, so thoroughly shown that you are incapable of accurately present references, so thoroughly demonstrated that you do not understand this subject, that there is really little point.
  #403  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank Beecher View Post
Huh? Ethiopians and Aborigines don't even look alike.
The both have dark skin; that's enough for a lot of people. And if you were to compare populations in Africa you'd find major differences in appearance as well that tend to get glossed over. The diversity of appearance within Africa is as wide as the difference between Ethiopians and Aborigines.
  #404  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GIGObuster View Post
Funny, the dubious was to underline the now obvious "method" that you have to ignore the conclusions of the reports when some line seems to fit your ideas or agenda. It does not work that way.
So you now accept that you were incorrect to say " two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian"? This is important, because your comment seemed to be an example of the Lewontin fallacy. Something that was pointed out in the same year as the PBS documentary you cited.

Last edited by Chen019; 04-07-2011 at 09:06 PM.
  #405  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
And yet, that abstract explicitly notes:Hardly a big show of support for proclaiming "race" to be an objective reality.
I already addressed this issue. As I noted, Cavalli-Sforza et al were discussing sub-species. I am not debating whether races are subspecies.

Cavalli-Sforza (elsewhere) and other do recognize "population clusters" that correspond to "races":

"By means of painstaking multivariate analysis, we can identify “clusters” of populations and order them in a hierarchy that we believe represents the history of fissions in the expansion to the whole world of anatomically modern humans. At no level can clusters be identified with races, since every level of clustering would determine a different partition and there is no biological reason to prefer a particular one. The successive levels of clustering follow each other in a regular sequence, and there is no discontinuity that might tempt us to consider a certain level as a reasonable, though arbitrary, threshold for race distinction."

They do not consider these "races" [i.e subspecies], because they argue that there are no major discontinuities -- they conclude that there is no non-arbitrary means of deciding which level of population clusters to talk about.

Above, I used Blake's arbitrary standards (which he imposed on my race qua clade definition) to circumvent this problem. (Personally, I'm fine with an understanding of multiple levels of race).

Last edited by Chuck11; 04-07-2011 at 09:12 PM.
  #406  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
The both have dark skin; that's enough for a lot of people. And if you were to compare populations in Africa you'd find major differences in appearance as well that tend to get glossed over. The diversity of appearance within Africa is as wide as the difference between Ethiopians and Aborigines.
This debate is about whether there is a biological thing as a racial group. The biological definition does not rely on a single trait.

Quote:
Race
Definition

noun

(1) A group or population of humans categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics (such as color of skin, eyes, and hair).

(2) A descent from a common heritage, ancestor, breed or stock.

(3) A tribe or family of people sharing a common breed or lineage.

(4) A population of interbreeding species that develops distinct characteristics differing from other populations of the same species, especially as caused by geographical isolation.

(5) (botany)
(a) A variety of distinct character that may be propagated by seed.
(b) A rhizome, especially of ginger.
(6) (zoology) A breed or strain of domesticated animal.

Last edited by Chen019; 04-07-2011 at 09:12 PM.
  #407  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chen019 View Post
This debate is about whether there is a biological thing as a racial group. The biological definition does not rely on a single trait.
So, name me the traits that apply to the race that Aborigines belong to.

Oh, and I noticed that you left out this bit at the bottom of the page you linked to:
Quote:
Humans have been categorized into many distinct varieties or races. One of the most common (and an old) subcategorization of human species is the five human races by Blumenbach: the Caucasian (white race), Mongolian (yellow race), Ethiopian (negro race), American (red race), and the Malayan (brown race). At present, such classification is disputed to have no biological validity. The biological context of the term race is only widely accepted when used to refer to a subspecies arising from a partially isolated reproductive population and thus share a considerable degree of genetic similarity. An example is the African wildcat, which is a subspecies of the domesticated cat.
We've already established that humans haven't been reproductively isolated in a significant sense, so that wouldn't seem to fit.

Last edited by Telemark; 04-07-2011 at 09:18 PM.
  #408  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank Beecher View Post
Huh? Ethiopians and Aborigines don't even look alike.
Really? Then you can tell me how these people differ in appearance.

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  #409  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Clark K View Post
Welcome back. If you're going to stick around, how about responding to my request that you clarify the debate a bit by listing the races that you believe exist? That would give us an assertion to examine.
Depends what you mean by "races" and "exist". I mean, obviously the "black" race "exists" in the sense that people every day say "hey, that guy is black" and "hey, that guy isn't black", and different people will often (although not always) think the same guys are or not black.

The claim I'm making is that in the general act of sorting people into races, which so many people do all the time, and which is:
(a) originally motivated by social/historical as opposed to biological factors
(b) impossible to concretely come up with rules for... it's a "I know one when I see one"
(c) generally a dangerous thing that we'd be far better off if people did vastly less often

will tend to come up with groupings which are not agnostic to biology. That is, if you examine the groupings that result there will be, on the average, shorter genetic distances between the people grouped into the same race than if you just picked equivalent sized groups out of the world's population at random. These groupings, however, will be far inferior, less accurate, than similar groupings arranged by actual biology/history/sociology/whatever. I do not endorse using these racial groupings in the actual study of biology. Nor do I claim that races are DEFINED biologically, or that there is ever a single trait that everyone in a race has.

Oh, and one other thing that is "biological" about this is that unlike many other ways one might arrange people into groups -- Christian vs non, smoker vs non, marathon runner vs non -- these racial groupings will often (usually?) be passed on genetically to one's children, even if those children are raised by a hypothetical skinnerian box.


(Also note, btw, that in different contexts the word "race" means all sorts of different things... in common US parlance, for instance, it tends to refer to large somewhat-arbitrary groupings of populations, but can also refer to much smaller populations in contexts where that is relevant. Most random Americans, when asked to list races, wouldn't immediately list "native Hawaiian" as one of them, but someone living on Hawaii, when discussing relations between native Hawaiians and others, might well view that as a racial issue...)
  #410  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:23 PM
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Oh good, Chen is posting right now.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.

We have asked you to do this 12 times so far. And you always weasel away form it.

Since you are now explicitly claiming that humans can clearly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair, the time has come for you to do so. You have made the explicit claim in GD that you are able to do something. So now lets see you do it.

And everybody remember, Chen's Pacific Islander race encompasses Polynesians, a population that not infrequently has red hair, along with Mongoloid Indonesians, Singaporeans Australian Aborigines and New Guinean Melanesians.

Chen has now painted himself into a corner. Watching him try to weasel out of this should be good.
  #411  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Chen019 View Post
So you now accept that you were incorrect to say " two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian"? This is important, because your comment seemed to be an example of the Lewontin fallacy. Something that was pointed out in the same year as the PBS documentary you cited.
He is not a Biologist. There is no mention of Race in the paper he cites and the paper deals with medical and forensic applications.

Once again, a clarification that he himself offers:

Quote:
There is no strong evidence yet for specific gene variants (alleles) that lead to group differences (differences between clusters) in behavior or intelligence, but progress on the genomic side of this question will be rapid in coming years, as the price to sequence a genome is dropping at an exponential rate.
  #412  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:29 PM
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And yet again Max has point-blank refused to answer the question.

If the position he and Chen espouse had any validity at all they would not need to adopt these weasel tactics. If race had any objective existence then they would be able to readily list the races and tell us what characteristics separate them.

The fact that they have been repeatedly asked to do so and repeatedly refused really says it all.

These two are not arguing in good faith. They keep saying that race clearly has an objective meaning, and yet they have been unable to name even a single race and the characteristics of that race.

  #413  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
So, name me the traits that apply to the race that Aborigines belong to.

Oh, and I noticed that you left out this bit at the bottom of the page you linked to:
Yeah, the supplement indicates it is disputed which is a truism. But the definition clearly does not relate to a single trait like skin colour. That is a strawman you have created.

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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
We've already established that humans haven't been reproductively isolated in a significant sense, so that wouldn't seem to fit.[/
Where have we established that? I posted previously with some rather obvious examples that suggest otherwise.

Also, I'd say that you are unaware of recent evidence showing that genetic changes accelerated over the past 10,000 years.

Quote:
What seems to be true (from preliminary studies) is that the gene variants that were under strong selection (reached fixation) over the last 10k years are different in different clusters. That is, the way that modern people in each cluster differ, due to natural selection, from their own ancestors 10k years ago is not the same in each cluster -- we have been, at least at the genetic level, experiencing divergent evolution.

In fact, recent research suggests that 7% or more of all our genes are mutant versions that replaced earlier variants through natural selection over the last tens of thousands of years. There was little gene flow between continental clusters ("races") during that period, so there is circumstantial evidence for group differences beyond the already established ones (superficial appearance, disease resistance).
  #414  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:32 PM
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Oh good, Chen is posting right now.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.

We have asked you to do this 12 times so far. And you always weasel away form it.

Since you are now explicitly claiming that humans can clearly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair, the time has come for you to do so. You have made the explicit claim in GD that you are able to do something. So now lets see you do it.

And everybody remember, Chen's Pacific Islander race encompasses Polynesians, a population that not infrequently has red hair, along with Mongoloid Indonesians, Singaporeans Australian Aborigines and New Guinean Melanesians.

Chen has now painted himself into a corner. Watching him try to weasel out of this should be good.
  #415  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
So, name me the traits that apply to the race that Aborigines belong to. We've already established that humans haven't been reproductively isolated in a significant sense, so that wouldn't seem to fit.
Aborigines belong to a specific population. That's what defines their relation to each other. Their relation is not defined in terms of their traits. Rather, their traits are a mark of their relative difference form other populations (i.e the unique selective pressures acting on this lineage + genetic drift). What unique traits does the Aborigineal population manifest? As opposed to which other populations? Relative to Europeans, Aborigines are darkly pigmented. Relative to darkly pigmented West Africans, they have different cranial structures.
  #416  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chen019 View Post
Yeah, the supplement indicates it is disputed which is a truism. But the definition clearly does not relate to a single trait like skin colour. That is a strawman you have created.



Where have we established that? I posted previously with some rather obvious examples that suggest otherwise.

Also, I'd say that you are unaware of recent evidence showing that genetic changes accelerated over the past 10,000 years.
As always, something is ignored on the way to make a point:

Quote:
But Harpending believes the speedup in human evolution "is a temporary state of affairs because of our new environments since the dispersal of modern humans 40,000 years ago and especially since the invention of agriculture 12,000 years ago. That changed our diet and changed our social systems. If you suddenly take hunter-gatherers and give them a diet of corn, they frequently get diabetes. We're still adapting to that. Several new genes we see spreading through the population are involved with helping us prosper with high-carbohydrate diet."
  #417  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Really? Then you can tell me how these people differ in appearance.

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Some look like East Africans, others like Australian Aborigines. It is pretty clear in most of the pics, some of the pics aren't that good. The first and second pics are good stereotypical examples of each.
  #418  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:49 PM
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Chuck when you can answer the questions that you promised to answer, it might be amusing to engage you again.
You refuse to list the questions. How am I supposed to answer them? I already gave you my definition, cited others who also use it, listed the clades that would qualify as races based on your stipulations, ect. What am I missing?
  #419  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:49 PM
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I already addressed this issue. As I noted, Cavalli-Sforza et al were discussing sub-species. I am not debating whether races are subspecies.
So, you're just making up your own definitions, now?

In biological nomenclature, race and subspecies have been equivalent terms for a very long time.
  #420  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:59 PM
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Some look like East Africans, others like Australian Aborigines. It is pretty clear in most of the pics, some of the pics aren't that good. The first and second pics are good stereotypical examples of each.
Which is simply restating your contention that they look different.

But your are clearly incapable of telling us how they look different. You simply keep asserting that they look different without being able to demonstrate that they in fact do.
  #421  
Old 04-07-2011, 10:02 PM
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Oh good, Chen is posting right now.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.

We have asked you to do this 12 times so far. And you always weasel away form it.

Since you are now explicitly claiming that humans can clearly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair, the time has come for you to do so. You have made the explicit claim in GD that you are able to do something. So now lets see you do it.

And everybody remember, Chen's Pacific Islander race encompasses Polynesians, a population that not infrequently has red hair, along with Mongoloid Indonesians, Singaporeans Australian Aborigines and New Guinean Melanesians.

Chen, why are you ignoring this question?

You made the assertion, now I ma calling you out.

Please do what you claimed that can easily do.
  #422  
Old 04-07-2011, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck11 View Post
You refuse to list the questions. How am I supposed to answer them? I already gave you my definition, cited others who also use it, listed the clades that would qualify as races based on your stipulations, ect. What am I missing?
You have done none of those things. Nor have you addressed at least 8 other questions that I have listed for you three times now.

I don't think that anybody involved in this thread has missed this.
  #423  
Old 04-07-2011, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
So, you're just making up your own definitions, now?.
Waddya mean "now"?

Chuck has been making up definitions the whole thread. Amongst his more amusing ones are.

Race is defined as "an ancestral group".
Race is synomymous with "ancestry."
Race is defined as "A clade".
Coherent is defined as "consistent"

Chucks entire argument hinges on refusing to answer simple questions and inventing deifnitions that nobody else in the entire world uses.

Last edited by Blake; 04-07-2011 at 10:10 PM.
  #424  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Which is simply restating your contention that they look different.

But your are clearly incapable of telling us how they look different. You simply keep asserting that they look different without being able to demonstrate that they in fact do.
You really think #5 looks like he could be an Australian aborigine?
  #425  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Which is simply restating your contention that they look different.

But your are clearly incapable of telling us how they look different. You simply keep asserting that they look different without being able to demonstrate that they in fact do.
Australian Aborigines don't have afros.
  #426  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Oh good, Chen is posting right now.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.
Chen is correct that "Pacific Islanders = Oceanians" and "East Asian" represent separate races, where we define race in terms of either clades or population clusters and we set the level of analysis such that we can discriminate between the two. (In the same manner, dark people and light people would never represent separate clades or population clusters).

The question that Blake asks is: either 1) what pattern of heritable characteristics would a non-geneticist recognize between these two populations.
2) by what patterns of heritable characteristics could a non-geneticist use to classify a particular individual as either "Oceanian" and "East Asian."

1) is easy. If we took a random sample of individuals who were independently classified as "Oceanian" and "East Asians" and measured a set of heritable differences (say h^2>.5) such as skin reflectance, hair texture, and craniofacial morphology, we would find average differences between these two populations. This would be our pattern of heritable characteristics, which would testify that we are, in fact, talking about different genetic population. (i.e. our population classifications would have external validity).

2) is less easy. It's worth noting that it's not particularly relevant to taxonomic classification -- unless someone here can cite some criteria that I am aware of. My experienced when traveling through the area was that I could guess Asian regional ancestry with a reasonable degree of accuracy. >75%

Last edited by Chuck11; 04-07-2011 at 11:25 PM.
  #427  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:36 PM
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So, you're just making up your own definitions, now?

In biological nomenclature, race and subspecies have been equivalent terms for a very long time.
This thread is not called: "Are there human subspecies?" This thread is called: "Is there such a biological thing as a racial groups?" Now, to clarify, I asked a couple of people if the thread was really about "human subspecies?" No one said that it was. This is why I have persisted in posting. I'm not interested in debating whether there are human subspecies. I am interested in debating the "biological reality of race" -- that seems to be a philosophically interesting question. Is anyone here seriously maintaining that it's either "subspecies" or "social construction"?
  #428  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Oh good, Chen is posting right now.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.

We have asked you to do this 12 times so far. And you always weasel away form it.

Since you are now explicitly claiming that humans can clearly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair, the time has come for you to do so. You have made the explicit claim in GD that you are able to do something. So now lets see you do it.

And everybody remember, Chen's Pacific Islander race encompasses Polynesians, a population that not infrequently has red hair, along with Mongoloid Indonesians, Singaporeans Australian Aborigines and New Guinean Melanesians.
Well, that is one of the biological definitions provided for race. The definition also provides:

Quote:
(2) A descent from a common heritage, ancestor, breed or stock.

(3) A tribe or family of people sharing a common breed or lineage.

(4) A population of interbreeding species that develops distinct characteristics differing from other populations of the same species, especially as caused by geographical isolation.
In terms of physical traits there is a description of some of the craniofacial traits variations across major racial groups here. There's also a graphical display of the clusters found in Howell's data here.

As I've said above, the existence of populations with shared traits due to shared evolutionary history can also be seen from cluster analysis. Different populations will have more or less gene flow between them but they can easily be recognized as distinct populations because they have different, relatively stable, allele frequencies. These reflect their common ancestry. Nonetheless, real life evolution and populations are messy. There are no neat and tidy boundaries, especially at the geographical edges.
  #429  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:10 AM
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So yet again Chen totally fails to answer the simple questions.

Chen has said that Pacific Islander and East Asian are two of the races.

Chen has now said that can races plainly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair.

Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.

We have asked you to do this 12 times so far. And you always weasel away form it.

Since you are now explicitly claiming that humans can clearly be categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair, the time has come for you to do so. You have made the explicit claim in GD that you are able to do something. So now lets see you do it.
  #430  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:10 AM
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And Ethiopioans, Indonesians, South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans and Indians are all mixed populations?
African Savanna and African Forest elephants are classified as African subspecies (some argue species). If 95% of the African elephants interbred, would that mean that the remaining 5% were no longer members of different subspecies. Your reasoning makes no sense.

That said, I don't get where you are getting your populations. Clearly, South and central Americans are hybrids (i.e.multiracial). I never suggested that other groups were. Even if they were it would be biologically interesting to know which ancestral populations they were a combination of. How is it not interesting to knowing how much W. SS African/European/Amerindian admixture this hybrid person or hybrid population has?

Quote:
Of course if you want to play a game whereby I post pictures of random people from those regions and other regions, and you attempt to place them into one of your racial groupings, then let;s have at it. Because of course if you can not assign random Indonmalayans or Indics to any racial group at better than chance, then clearly they do not meet any racial grouping standard.
I'm game. Since we are doing this cladistically, we have to figure out how to calculate "above chance." (From a caldistic perspective, there are degrees of error --- e.g African/Out of African; North Eurasian/South Eurasian; European; East Asians; etc.)

Quote:
Has anyone else noticed that every time that the people who promote the race concept get called on identifying the race of particular area, it is "mixed race"? Chen started this with India, expanded it to include Ethiopia, then Indonesia and now all Chuck wants to extend it to all of Latin America
I already gave you my list.
  #431  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:22 AM
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Well, if they plainly can then tell us which sets of heritable characteristics such as color of skin, eyes, and hair allow you to categorise your Pacific Islander and East Asian races.
You could start by looking at the craniofacial George Gill discusses. Or the Howell data discussed by Dienekes.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...&postcount=428
  #432  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:28 AM
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Waddya mean "now"?

Chuck has been making up definitions the whole thread. Amongst his more amusing ones are.

Race is defined as "an ancestral group".
Race is synomymous with "ancestry."
Race is defined as "A clade".
Coherent is defined as "consistent"

Chucks entire argument hinges on refusing to answer simple questions and inventing deifnitions that nobody else in the entire world uses.

It's funny that you argue that I'm making up definitions. You argue that "race" is a "mish-mash." Since, according to you, there is no correct definition of race, the problem can't be that I giving an incorrect one. The problem must be that I'm giving a novel definition. (I'm not; I'm not that creative). Now, you seem to think that this is problematic. Why?

If we could get everyone to agree with Chuck -- we would solve our "mish mash" problem. We would then be left with the question: Is chuck's definition biologically and socially interesting? This is what we need to investigate. The first step is to decide if Chuck's definition is "biologically coherent." After that we can try to play your guess a person game and see how socially predictive (and interesting) it is.

Last edited by Chuck11; 04-08-2011 at 12:29 AM.
  #433  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:51 AM
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This thread is not called: "Are there human subspecies?" This thread is called: "Is there such a biological thing as a racial groups?" Now, to clarify, I asked a couple of people if the thread was really about "human subspecies?" No one said that it was. This is why I have persisted in posting. I'm not interested in debating whether there are human subspecies. I am interested in debating the "biological reality of race" -- that seems to be a philosophically interesting question. Is anyone here seriously maintaining that it's either "subspecies" or "social construction"?
Your statement that I challenged tried to make a case for race as different from subspecies. If they are the same thing--as I have seen in numerous biological texts--then you are claiming a difference without a distinction simply to make an unsupportable claim.
  #434  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:53 AM
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So you now accept that you were incorrect to say " two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian"? This is important, because your comment seemed to be an example of the Lewontin fallacy. Something that was pointed out in the same year as the PBS documentary you cited.
Another reference would be Witherspoon, et al., 2007. "Genetic Similarities Within and Between Human Populations"

Quote:
Thus the answer to the question "How often is a pair of individuals from one population genetically more dissimilar than two individuals chosen from two different populations?" depends on the number of polymorphisms used to define that dissimilarity and the populations being compared. The answer, can be read from Figure 2. Given 10 loci, three distinct populations, and the full spectrum of polymorphisms (Figure 2E), the answer is 0.3, or nearly one-third of the time. With 100 loci, the answer is 20% of the time and even using 1000 loci, 10%. However, if genetic similarity is measured over many thousands of loci, the answer becomes "never" when individuals are sampled from geographically separated populations.
Due to this, advocates (like yourself) of the population race concept only need to argue that there are patterns of between population differences (which is trivially true) for your position to be readily defensible. Common sets of shared traits are unneeded to establish within population relations.

Last edited by Chuck11; 04-08-2011 at 12:54 AM.
  #435  
Old 04-08-2011, 01:38 AM
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Your statement that I challenged tried to make a case for race as different from subspecies. If they are the same thing--as I have seen in numerous biological texts--then you are claiming a difference without a distinction simply to make an unsupportable claim.
Ok. I am arguing that races (in the sense of the x-y historic geographical populations) can be understood as clades. As such, they can be understood as "biological groupings" as opposed to "social constructs." I am noncommittal as to whether these clades correspond with things (population clusters) which fulfill the criteria of being subspecies. Some might, some might not, none might.

In zoology "race" is equated with "subspecies." But clearly, when we talk about "race," we are not talking about something that is equated with subspecies. Rather, we are trying to clarify what we are talking about and we are trying to figure out its taxonomic status. In this debate,

Some argue that:
1) zoologically, race = subspecies
2) what we call races aren't subspecies
3) therefore, races don't exists (as subspecies)
4) therefore races are "social constructs"
5) (and therefore races have no biological basis)

others argue that:
1) logically, race is an incoherent concept
2) therefore, race is a social construct
3) and therefore race has no biological basis

My point is to establish:
1) that there is a logically coherent concepts of race which represent biological groupings and which roughly (sometimes very roughly) corresponds to the ordinary concept of race
2) that this concept of race is both biologically and socially interesting

Under ordinary circumstances, establishing the above 2 points should not be difficult. Yet, the "reality of race" issue is so sociopolitically charged and convoluted that it is quite trying.

Hope that helps.
  #436  
Old 04-08-2011, 08:40 AM
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Well, here you’ve given yet another example of a supposed pine forest which clearly has no biological basis . You say this is a pine forest, but over there you can clearly see some hardwoods which grow much more numerous the farther you travel in that direction. There’s a fairly large area near the middle that doesn’t have any fully grown trees at all which lowers the average number of trees per acre, and a lot of the growth around here is underbrush. You claim the density of pine trees in the area justifies calling it a pine forest, but there is no agreement among scientists on exactly how much density there would have to be before an area can be considered a forest of any kind, let alone a pine forest. Also, a creek runs through the middle, so it’s not one area, it’s actually two. So, you see, the concept of a pine forest, or any other kind of forest, has no biological basis and is therefore just a social construct.

And blah, blah, blah …
  #437  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:19 PM
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Well, here you’ve given yet another example of a supposed pine forest which clearly has no biological basis . You say this is a pine forest, but over there you can clearly see some hardwoods which grow much more numerous the farther you travel in that direction. There’s a fairly large area near the middle that doesn’t have any fully grown trees at all which lowers the average number of trees per acre, and a lot of the growth around here is underbrush. You claim the density of pine trees in the area justifies calling it a pine forest, but there is no agreement among scientists on exactly how much density there would have to be before an area can be considered a forest of any kind, let alone a pine forest. Also, a creek runs through the middle, so it’s not one area, it’s actually two. So, you see, the concept of a pine forest, or any other kind of forest, has no biological basis and is therefore just a social construct.

And blah, blah, blah …
Well, to make it clearer, biologists are not referring to the pine race but pine forest is good in this case.

Many do not make the mistake when talking about dogs as having different races (specially in English speaking countries) and yet, it is clear to all that breeds and natural changes observed in the Lupus genus do have genetic differences that depending on the kind can be observed, and that still does not create a different race among dogs.
  #438  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:32 PM
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Well, to make it clearer, biologists are not referring to the pine race but pine forest is good in this case.

Many do not make the mistake when talking about dogs as having different races (specially in English speaking countries) and yet, it is clear to all that breeds and natural changes observed in the Lupus genus do have genetic differences that depending on the kind can be observed, and that still does not create a different race among dogs.
What's the criteria for a race = subspecies? What would our biological groupings however we decide to delineate them (e.g population clusters, clades) need to have to qualify as zoological races? To put it another way -- just so we're all clear on the matter -- what disqualifies them?

If we establish the criteria, then we can look to see if there really are zoological human races, even if they don't correspond to the groups commonly called so.
  #439  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
And yet again Max has point-blank refused to answer the question.
BS. BS BS BS BS BS.

And particularly ironic given that in our previous thread of conversation the final post was #277 from me which you utterly ignored.


Quote:
If race had any objective existence then they would be able to readily list the races and tell us what characteristics separate them.
When did I ever claim that races had objective existence? And as I said in my last post, the "black" race clearly exists, in the sense that it is a grouping into which people (in the US in particular) mentally sort people. What else is a race other than that, at least in common parlance? And what's your point?

Quote:
The fact that they have been repeatedly asked to do so and repeatedly refused really says it all.
Your debate style is extraordinarily confrontational and condescending.

Quote:
These two are not arguing in good faith.
BS

Quote:
They keep saying that race clearly has an objective meaning,
I have never said that.
  #440  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck11 View Post
What's the criteria for a race = subspecies? What would our biological groupings however we decide to delineate them (e.g population clusters, clades) need to have to qualify as zoological races? To put it another way -- just so we're all clear on the matter -- what disqualifies them?

If we establish the criteria, then we can look to see if there really are zoological human races, even if they don't correspond to the groups commonly called so.
Again, the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race was imposed to biology, and are abandoning that old use. What I have seen so far, even from the medical cites produced so far, is a look at the populations and the propensities that they have or might have to specific diseases, but just like we don't go right away to say that since a German Shepperd has a propensity to have their hind bones fall apart that therefore that is what we would use to call it a different race, so it is becoming more silly to continue using the old way race was defined to the human race.

http://faculty.sgc.edu/lsteverson/SO...ings/brown.pdf
  #441  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:55 PM
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Question for the Racers in the thread:

What are the qualifications that make a group a race?

If I am congeniality Deaf and I marry another Deaf person and our descendants all keep marrying other Deaf and so forth until we have our own Deaf Martha's Vineyard, does that make us a racial group?
  #442  
Old 04-08-2011, 01:01 PM
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*edit - sorry, I got reply happy there*

Those who sign from birth also use significantly more of their right hemisphere when signing than non-native signers = a different cognitive process. (This is similar to native Chinese character readers.) This is not an inherited trait, but a sort of "nurture" function in cognitive development. Over the course of thousands of years, would it be biologically possible for this group of people to be naturally wired to process language in this way? Because, you know, according to plenty of people on this board, some "racial" groups are just less cognitively apt.
  #443  
Old 04-08-2011, 02:52 PM
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When did I ever claim that races had objective existence? And as I said in my last post, the "black" race clearly exists, in the sense that it is a grouping into which people (in the US in particular) mentally sort people. What else is a race other than that, at least in common parlance? And what's your point?.
You're not actually contending that "Blacks" (a.k.a "African Americans") are just grouped on the basis of pigmentations, are you (as opposed to, oh, say geographic ancestry)? (Here is the US census classification "Black, African Am., or Negro").

Last edited by Chuck11; 04-08-2011 at 02:54 PM.
  #444  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:00 PM
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You're not actually contending that "Blacks" (a.k.a "African Americans") are just grouped on the basis of pigmentations, are you (as opposed to, oh, say geographic ancestry)? (Here is the US census classification "Black, African Am., or Negro").
There are certainly times when that's the grouping that's made. Which is not to say that every person with dark skin would be viewed as "black", but in a normal everyday conversation about race, something like

"Oh, who's that guy over there?"
"You mean, the guy with the red sweatshirt"
"No, the black guy with the hat"

Then physical appearance is certainly the relevant factor. Not like the next line in that little dialog is usually going to be "well, given that I do not know the genetic or ancestral origin of each of the 'guys over there', I find your question impossible to answer with the information I currently have".
  #445  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:09 PM
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Again, the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race [qua subspecies] was imposed to biology, and are abandoning that old use. What I have seen so far, even from the medical cites produced so far, is a look at the populations and the propensities that they have or might have to specific diseases, but just like we don't go right away to say that since a German Shepperd has a propensity to have their hind bones fall apart that therefore that is what we would use to call it a different race, so it is becoming more silly to continue using the old way race was defined to the human race.

http://faculty.sgc.edu/lsteverson/SO...ings/brown.pdf
To clarify, do you mean "again, the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race qua subspecies was imposed"? Or do you mean that the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race qua population cluster was imposed"?

Either way, the statement is incorrect and rather ethnoocentric. There is substantial global variation with regards to what physical anthropologists think. See: Lieberman, 2004. The race concept in six regions: variation without consensus

As for the majority opinion in the Anglosphere, it's not at all clear to me. To quote one leading biological anthropologist:

‘‘Slightly over half of all biological/physical anthropologists today believe in the traditional view that human races are biologically valid and real. Furthermore, they tend to see nothing wrong in defining and naming the different populations of Homo sapiens. The other half of the biological anthropology community believes either that the traditional racial categories for humankind are arbitrary and meaningless, or that at a minimum there are better ways to look at human variation than through the "racial lens."....At the beginning of the twenty-first century, even as a majority of biological anthropologists favor the reality of the race perspective, not one introductory
textbook of physical anthropology even presents that perspective as a possibility. In a case as flagrant as this, we are not dealing with science but rather with blatant, politically motivated censorship’’

Gill, 2000. Does race exist? A proponent’s perspective. PB
  #446  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck11 View Post
To clarify, do you mean
Edit. My previous comment wasn't well thought out and it was based on a sloppy reading of your comment. Apologies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GIGObuster View Post
Again, the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race [qua subspecies] was imposed to biology, and are abandoning that old use. What I have seen so far, even from the medical cites produced so far, is a look at the populations and the propensities that they have or might have to specific diseases, but just like we don't go right away to say that since a German Shepperd has a propensity to have their hind bones fall apart that therefore that is what we would use to call it a different race, so it is becoming more silly to continue using the old way race was defined to the human race.
To clarify, do you mean "the majority of physical scientists [e.g physical anthropologists, genetics, and biologists] are acknowledging that the old concept of race qua subspecies was imposed"? Or do you mean that the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race qua population cluster was imposed"?

Either way, the statement ("majority of physical scientists are acknowledging" is misleading. (Are you saying they do acknowledge or don't?) As it is, there is substantial global variation with regards to what physical anthropologists etc. think. See: Lieberman, 2004. The race concept in six regions: variation without consensus

As for the majority opinion in the Anglosphere, it's not at all clear to me. To quote one leading biological anthropologist:

‘‘Slightly over half of all biological/physical anthropologists today believe in the traditional view that human races are biologically valid and real. Furthermore, they tend to see nothing wrong in defining and naming the different populations of Homo sapiens. The other half of the biological anthropology community believes either that the traditional racial categories for humankind are arbitrary and meaningless, or that at a minimum there are better ways to look at human variation than through the "racial lens."....At the beginning of the twenty-first century, even as a majority of biological anthropologists favor the reality of the race perspective, not one introductory textbook of physical anthropology even presents that perspective as a possibility. In a case as flagrant as this, we are not dealing with science but rather with blatant, politically motivated censorship’’

Gill, 2000. Does race exist? A proponent’s perspective. PB

The last poll taken (granted it's 20 years old) showed that more physical anthropologists supported the biological reality of race position (To be candid, I'm never sure what that means since, as I noted, races could be "biologically real" without them being subspecies.)
  #447  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
There are certainly times when that's the grouping that's made. Which is not to say that every person with dark skin would be viewed as "black", but in a normal everyday conversation about race, something like

"Oh, who's that guy over there?"
"You mean, the guy with the red sweatshirt"
"No, the black guy with the hat"

Then physical appearance is certainly the relevant factor. Not like the next line in that little dialog is usually going to be "well, given that I do not know the genetic or ancestral origin of each of the 'guys over there', I find your question impossible to answer with the information I currently have".
.......
In my experience, when people say,

"Oh, who's that guy over there?"
"You mean, the guy with the red sweatshirt"
"No, the black guy with the hat"

They are not equating "Blacks" with "African-Americans" and are not referring to "race" but are referring to "color." Continuing your dialogue:

"Oh, you mean the African-American guy"
"No, I mean the South Asian one"
"What's the difference"
"What do you mean? One's ancestors were from African and the other's were from South Asian"
"I mean, what's the difference in appearance"
"You can't tell"
"No"
"Look at the hair texture and facial features -- notice a difference?"
"Oh, ya, I get it"
  #448  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:50 PM
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Again, the majority of physical scientists are acknowledging that the old concept of race was imposed to biology, and are abandoning that old use.
Anyways,

Given the diversity of scientific opinion on this matter (as noted in my last comment) and given that we are debating it, it might be useful to clarify what would be needed for a given human population to be a subspecies. Since you are maintaining that there are no human subspecies (as I noted, I am agnostic), I am just inquiring about the criteria that you are using in coming to this conclusion. Hopefully the criteria is more than "what the majority of physical scientists are coming to think."
  #449  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:58 PM
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What's the criteria for a race = subspecies? What would our biological groupings however we decide to delineate them (e.g population clusters, clades) need to have to qualify as zoological races? To put it another way -- just so we're all clear on the matter -- what disqualifies them?
I've already posted this about half a dozen times in this thread. What disqualifies us is that the morphological differences are clinal.

I posed this question to one of the new posters here, and no one answered: Let's restrict ourselves to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. What are the races, and where do you draw the lines so that you don't have people on either side of the lines who don't look just like each other.
  #450  
Old 04-08-2011, 04:12 PM
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I've already posted this about half a dozen times in this thread. What disqualifies us is that the morphological differences are clinal.

I posed this question to one of the new posters here, and no one answered: Let's restrict ourselves to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. What are the races, and where do you draw the lines so that you don't have people on either side of the lines who don't look just like each other.
Missed the edit. That was supposed to be:

...so that you don't have people on either side of the lines who look just like each other.
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