How did Darwin define race?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Medium Dave, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    You looked at the studies? You looked at "Mapping Human Genetic Diversity in Asia"? Do they or do they not posit shared ancestry among East Asians, including Malay and Negrito?
     
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  3. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    No I wasn't arguing races were different species.
     
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  5. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    No Blumenbach used non-metric skull traits to infer ancestry, not skin color. He grouped South Asians with Europeans for example. Clearly you haven't read his work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  7. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    There's quite a lot of bloviating irrelevance to go through here, so I'll go through it when I have time.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not at all sure about that, Bells. I have always understood the idea of "races" of mankind to be the traditional distinctions all cultures have used to designate differences in appearance - and sometimes in culture, it always gets confused - between groups of people. This is what Darwin would have been talking about in his letter, I am sure.

    We all talk in daily speech about these differences, though it can become a political minefield to use terminology that keeps up with fashion well enough to avoid pissing somebody off. The Chinese call (or called - do they still?) Europeans "roundeyes", reflecting that they do have eyes that are of different shape from most Chinese and many other East Asians. This is not an imaginary distinction, just because it happens to be genetically insignificant. It is patently obvious to both Chinese people and to Europeans. Same with skin colour and curly hair of "black" people, i.e. those of sub-Saharan African descent, compared to East Asians who have generally lighter skins and very straight hair.

    Even M Dave, irascible, unreasonable and increasing absurd though he has been, does not seem to be asserting different species. I think where a perfectly acceptable and normal use of "race" (as above) becomes tainted is when people infer superiority of one "race" versus another, or make pejorative generalisations on the basis of it. It has been the tendency of people to do that (the Chinese and the Europeans have been notable offenders, perhaps) that has made the term "race" something of a dirty word nowadays.

    The irony, perhaps, is that while it appears M Dave is keen establish genetic factors as the primary criterion for determining "race" (as opposed to the morphological criteria I have used as examples above), you are pointing out that if one goes the DNA route, it tells you these small visible differences we see are insignificant compared to other - less visible - traits that vary within the human population!

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  9. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    Yes there are more genetic variances within humans and chimps than between them. The fact you think that invalidates taxa betrays a total ignorance of genetic variances in various species.
     
  10. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    So you find a paper which agrees with you and think that constitutes a rebuttal? Let me guess, Alan Templeton's misreading of the 75% rule for morphological subspecies applied to Fst? You're a joke.
     
  11. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    Yeah thanks for the essay on a piece of obvious nonsense.
     
  12. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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  14. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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  15. Bells Staff Member

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    Oh you weren't?

    Because the very notion of "race" and the argument used for race is to denote differences in the species, resulting in different sub-species. That is what "race" implies.

    There are more genetic variances within each group that you classify as a "race" living in one area than there are between two distinct groups.

    There is no actual scientific data that defines "race". The data you seem to be relying on is one a guy who classified "race" by means of how attractive he found each group. Literally. I noticed you mentioned Blumenbach earlier on in the thread. Do you even know how he came to classify 'different races'?

    You have yet to present any scientific arguments to support your contention that Homo sapiens are broken up into various "races". You have yet to even define what you mean by "race".

    Frankly, your whole argument is invalid for that reason.

    And you cannot count to two.

    It's not that I found papers that agree with my position. It is more the fact that I agree with the actual science. Which I can assure you, does not support your claim of the existence of "race" as you are badly trying to argue in this thread.

    It would help if you actually provided links, but you won't because what you spout on this site can only be found on pseudo white supremacist sites. We have been there done that many times with this subject. It is as nonsensical as it is routine.

    It certainly looks exceptionally similar and a few of us have noticed the similarities..

    Interesting, no?

    Even the personality is the same and even manner of posting.
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. And a few others, over the years. Again - as you illustrate with the Negrito, and the Malay - the clusters do not align with the sociological races of any known society - certainly not the US. The US racial classification has Negritos lumped in with Bantu, for example, and the the Japanese with the Han rather than the Malaysians.
    If you check out our neighbor Medium Dave's posting, you'll find he has included a couple of very dark and curly-haired peoples in his "East Asian" category, temporarily I think. There are several melanistic and curly-haired populations living in East Asia.
    That's not true. Humans in particular are quite homogenous, genetically - inbred, compared with most mammals.
     
  17. Bells Staff Member

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    Medium Dave is attempting to argue that there are distinct races and he is using Darwin to try to support his argument.

    Biologically, this does not exist.

    Race, from a sociological perspective, argues that each group is different from the other. Hence the terms like "negroid", for example. It sets clear classifications and pretty much argues that there are sub-species within the homo sapiens species. This is essentially what Medium Dave is arguing. Again, this is not supported by science.

    Those differences do not amount to or equal "race".

    The genetic variants within the Han Chinese for example, will be greater than the variants between Han Chinese and a Caucasian living in France.

    People seem to be going by looks alone to determine race.

    For one thing, the eye shape of the Chinese does not occur solely within that group.

    Look at the KhoiSan people from Southern Africa:

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    And no, they are not Asian.

    Oh?

    Medium Dave keeps bouncing back and forth and moving the goal post. Reading through his earlier posts in this thread, I believe differently to you..

    I am arguing that there are more genetic differences in a given population than between a population. Ergo, I do not believe that "race" exists.

    Medium Dave is arguing that the differences between populations is proof that race exists. If we are go the DNA route, it would show that "race" is simply a socio-political phenomenon and not a biological one. Because the DNA route shows that "race" does not exist as Medium Dave is badly trying to argue.
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    OK, I'd rather not discuss M Dave (or Phill, if that's who he is). He is not relevant to my point.

    I would contend that, for all the counterexamples you may provide, there patently are types of human appearance, broadly associated with different parts of the globe, for which we all find - and use - labels, quite properly. We may no longer call these labels, for reasons of political fashion, "races", but we use the labels, because they are obviously valid and useful in the right context.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    What is it that you want, M. Dave? What are you trying to accomplish?

    Your initial question about Darwin's use of the word 'race' now seems to me to have been a rhetorical question. I get the distinct impression that you are trying to lead the discussion in some favored direction, without telling us what that is. So you get people projecting all kinds of nefarious motives into what you are doing.

    I think that the subject of human race is so emotionally charged and serves as fulcrum of so many highly moralized judgments (from judgments of racial superiority to judgments of 'racism') that it's almost impossible to discuss it intelligently at the present time. (The word 'race' by itself drives many people a little crazy.) That's certainly true here on Sciforums, which is nothing if not politically correct. It's probably true in many university classrooms too.

    But that suggests that maybe you shouldn't run the risk of making so many knees jerk (you'll just end up getting kicked) unless you have something that you think really needs saying. So what do you have that you think really needs saying? What is your underlying thesis?

    If you originally hoped to lead the discussion towards your favored conclusion (whatever that is) that clearly isn't happening. This game has reached the point of diminishing returns. It's just people hurling insults back and forth.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There's genetic evidence that they might be the oldest surviving population in Africa and the world. (Albeit strongly influenced by the passage of time and by interbreeding with adjacent populations.) It's hypothesized that their ancestors once inhabited much more of the African continent than they do today.

    And there are at least superficially similar populations here and there across much of South Asia. Which suggests (but doesn't prove) that the early people who ventured 'out of Africa' by the southern route along the northern shore of the Indian Ocean across Yemen, India to Southeast Asia were perhaps from the same (or similar) ancestral stock as these people. The more familiar type of black African seems to have been a later evolutionary development in tropical West Africa, which spread across most of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (along with the Bantu languages and neolithic animal-herding) in comparatively recent times.

    I think that Southeast Asians (especially the Malays) have multiple ancestries, descended from this early southern-route population who may have been the first to populate the area and from more recent East Asian types more physically similar to the Chinese and Japanese who migrated south. (The Thais, Burmans and Vietnamese have obvious historical and linguistic affinities to groups further north.) And maybe from other early migrations as well that have been lost to subsequent history. (The ancestors of the Australian natives must have passed through the area and probably left genetic traces of their passage behind. Similar facial features can be seen in some Negritos in the Philippines.)

    I'm inclined to think that many peoples around the world today have highly diverse ancestries. Others who found themselves in geographically isolated territories maybe not so much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  21. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Because you know nothing of taxonomy and biology, you miss the point of Darwin's letter to Huxley. Shared ancestry is not biological race. It's a contingency of history, not necessarily of biological significance.

    Take table S1 from the supplementary data from your cited paper. Consistently, ~90% of the genetic variation happens within populations, with the remainder related to historical contingency as populations moved and diverged.

    http://www.picb.ac.cn/~xushua/index.files/Publications/2009_Science_326_1541-1545_SOM.pdf

    The data supports shared ancestry of all humans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  22. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    I bet you a gazillion dollars you do not get through to him.

    He makes me think of the Alt-Free song:
    Alt-Right Now.
     
  23. Medium Dave Registered Member

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    It's hilarious how you trot out Lewontin's fallacy, presumably ignorant of variation ratios in other species (such as the 82% of variation shared by chimps and humans, and subspecies Fst down to 1%), and say that I "know nothing of taxonomy and biology". I'm being generous by calling you ignorant. Perhaps you're just a liar.

    The taxonomy is about the difference. Analogously sex differences are a fraction of variation.

    And then "the data supports shared ancestry of all humans". Yeah, all living things share ancestry. The point is some share more than others.

    Of course this high school fail idiocy will be ignored by your circle jerk "race does not exist" "scientist" anonymous board fellows who'll congratulate you on your brilliant post. You'll then post new lies and fallacies, and I'll refute them, ad nauseam.

    *facepalm*

    PS I still haven't got around to addressing your 9000 word backfiring tap dancing irrelevant post. Most of it can be dismissed as irrelevant but frankly I can't be bothered going over it now. I will.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017

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