Jump to content

Are there different Human races?


Recommended Posts

12 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

 I think you are ignoring the actual levels of genetic diversity within and between populations in favor of superficial differences in appearance. 

Yes, the races are superficial differences in appearance. That's what I've been saying all along. This is why geneticist can't use genetic diversity to show the different races.

To shorten what has been quoted at least twice in this thread:

Quote

the vast majority of human genetic variation is found within, not between races.

So genetics can't define the races easily.  Why? Because the differences in the races are superficial differences in appearance.

Edited by BusaDave9
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I refuse to respond to any of your posts until you reread this thread. Be careful to understand my posts before you reply.  Please start with my very first post. I am tired of repeatedly posting the s

Alrighty,  I have a reasonable level of experience as a phylogeneticst and systematist.  In contemporary systematics, the word race is generally used to describe different karyotypes within

I prefer to learn from discussions. Or rather, learn more. If we all only shared our opinion about things we know for certain, a place like this would be very silent.

2 minutes ago, BusaDave9 said:

Yes, the races are superficial differences in appearance. That's what I've been saying all along. This is why geneticist can't use genetic diversity to show the different races.

Right, but you seem to be being randomly selective about which superficial differences matter. Between sets of Caucasians one can fairly easily group them to regions based on hair color and height yet they aren't considered different races. Likewise people living in Asian can be easily grouped based on skin tone and height. Also there are populations living in Asia who have the same skin tone as people in Africa yet they are considered different races. The definitions are too loose to be meaningful. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A) Classifications on the species levels are already tricky, below even more so. Nonetheless they are used for certain contexts in order to formulate hypotheses.

B) It follows that these types of classifications are not universal, but follow the context of traits/conditions under consideration. I.e. there are parameters with which we can construct group populations, but these are only meaningful in special contexts.

C) These classifications are in use in human studies, though there is increasing recognition that superficial groupings may not be appropriate to draw conclusions, resulting low reproducibility. There is somewhat more emphasis in trying to utilize genetic data instead.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Right, but you seem to be being randomly selective about which superficial differences matter.

And the problems arise because too often people are not randomly selective, but choose characteristics based on their personal prejudices.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Strange said:

And the problems arise because too often people are not randomly selective, but choose characteristics based on their personal prejudices.

Absolutely. I think modern ideas about race are akin to the Hamitic Hypothesis. We can also find differences between people if we look closely enough and our own biases and cultural traditions shape our views about those differences. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2019 at 7:51 AM, Ten oz said:

you seem to be being randomly selective about which superficial differences matter.

Me? Me specifically?  Examples please. I think you are generally referring to people that say there are human races. 

2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

I think modern ideas about race are akin to the Hamitic Hypothesis.

Now you are being ridiculous. Many of these comments are said in relation to human races. Don't post anything that you would not also say about bird races or races of any other animal.  I think the term race should be used for humans the same as any other animal. Looking through almost any bird guide book there are pictures and explanations of different races. Races are very important to ornithology.  But that does not mean races are clear cut and definitive. That's true of birds and of humans. Any biologist that wants to designate a new species has better have DNA evidence to back him up. Classifications below species are much harder to define but that doesn't mean they are frivolous and should be disregarded. Below species there is race, morphs and breeds. Many of you have tried to obfuscate the issue by bringing up other differences between humans such as height. In ornithology there are morphs and there are races. Some birds have a dark morph and some have a dark race. The difference is a dark race originated in a different geographical location. A dark morph lives and breads among the light morph.  Human races have originated in different geographical areas. In modern times we humans easily travel over the whole world. We interbreed and that also obfuscates the race issue.

22 hours ago, CharonY said:

A) Classifications on the species levels are already tricky, below even more so. Nonetheless they are used for certain contexts in order to formulate hypotheses.

B) It follows that these types of classifications are not universal, but follow the context of traits/conditions under consideration. I.e. there are parameters with which we can construct group populations, but these are only meaningful in special contexts.

C) These classifications are in use in human studies, though there is increasing recognition that superficial groupings may not be appropriate to draw conclusions, resulting low reproducibility. There is somewhat more emphasis in trying to utilize genetic data instead.

This is a good post and it applies to humans and to any other species except for the last point - C.  In regards to CharonY's point C: there is a strong moment to stop using race for humans because there isn't much genetic data to backup the term race. Talking about human races can lead to racism if people assume races imply more than superficial traits.

Ornithologist are not about to give up the term race. Race can be used to identify where birds have originally come from. But many biologists don't like the term race because it doesn't utilize genetic data. It is very hard to be definitive about races for this reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, BusaDave9 said:

Me? Me specifically?  Examples please. I think you are generally referring to people that say there are human races. 

:rolleyes:

On 2/17/2019 at 9:14 AM, BusaDave9 said:

There is far more genetic variation between species than between races. I could not find anything on the Wikipedia page to contradict that. Actually you (Strange) an I have both posted links showing that there is very little genetic variation within races.

DNA testing has shown that my ancestors have come from Ireland, France and Scandinavia. Looking at the link you posted Ten Oz, they say:

Although the test did mention countries those countries did not exist back then. I guess that's what they meant by "homelands rather than their country or origin itself".  I am an African American with very dark skin.

As stated earlier many people from around the world intermarry. This makes identifying races very difficult in most instances. But there are times that race can be easily distinguished. For example, if you placed 100 people from Southern Africa in a room with 100 native Japanese with 100 native Swedes with 100 native Australians you could sort out the members of each of these populations with 100% accuracy. However if you placed 100 Egyptians in another room with 100 Sudanese, with 100 Turkish people, with 100 Jordanians, it would be extremely difficult to sort out these people.

Some people are very different. Some are very similar.

 

Other than superficial differences how would you be distinguishing between Swedes and Japanese? Your argument appears to be that since you perceive Race to be a thing it in fact must actually be a thing. 

2 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Now you are being ridiculous. Many of these comments are said in relation to human races. Don't post anything that you would not also say about bird races or races of any other animal.  I think the term race should be used for humans the same as any other animal. Looking through almost any bird guide book there are pictures and explanations of different races. Races are very important to ornithology.  But that does not mean races are clear cut and definitive. That's true of birds and of humans. Any biologist that wants to designate a new species has better have DNA evidence to back him up. Classifications below species are much harder to define but that doesn't mean they are frivolous and should be disregarded. Below species there is race, morphs and breeds. Many of you have tried to obfuscate the issue by bringing up other differences between humans such as height. In ornithology there are morphs and there are races. Some birds have a dark morph and some have a dark race. The difference is a dark race originated in a different geographical location. A dark morph lives and breads among the light morph.  Human races have originated in different geographical areas. In modern times we humans easily travel over the whole world. We interbreed and that also obfuscates the race issue.

I am not challenging the use of race in ornithology. Race is not used through zoology. Humans are not a type of bird. Humans are a type of primate. To my knowledge Race is not used to describe different populations of primates. Bonobos for example are considered their own species and not a race of chimpanzee. Likewise there are hundreds of species, not races, of Monkeys. Your insistence that race be used for Humans as it is for birds ignores the manner in which mammals closet to humans are classified. Do you feel science is also failing to see race in other mammals out of political correctness? 

As for the Hamitic Hypothesis I think it is a good example of how superficial differences lead to inaccurate classification. As previously mentioned Africa is a very genetically diverse place. European explores in Africa had superficial preconceived ideas of what Africans look like. When they encountered those who did not match that idea they labeled them Hamites believing they were white people who must be descendants of Noah's (biblical flood) son Ham. Seems ridiculous today but that actually happened. Lots of what people use to believe about history was based on the bible and what people thought they knew about race was all superficial. The result was the erroneous classification of a race of people called Hamites. It is an example of what happens when people use the common eye test to classify human populations. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Don't post anything that you would not also say about bird races or races of any other animal.

Humans have wings. Even the flightless ones. And humans are descended from dinosaurs.

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

6 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

I think the term race should be used for humans the same as any other animal.

Even though science shows it to be a meaningless concept? 

Presumably you also think we should bring back phrenology, the aether and phlogiston.

6 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Races are very important to ornithology.

And what does ornithology tell us about humans?

 

On 2/17/2019 at 3:38 PM, BusaDave9 said:

Yes, the races are superficial differences in appearance.

So all red-headed people are one race? And all those with blue eyes are a different race? Then do we say that redheads with blue eyes are a different race from redheads with brown eyes?

On 2/17/2019 at 3:14 PM, BusaDave9 said:

For example, if you placed 100 people from Southern Africa in a room with 100 native Japanese with 100 native Swedes with 100 native Australians you could sort out the members of each of these populations with 100% accuracy.

If you put 100 redheads, 100 blonds and 100 dark-haired people, you could sort them by their race because of the superficial difference of hair colour.

Quote

However if you placed 100 Egyptians in another room with 100 Sudanese, with 100 Turkish people, with 100 Jordanians, it would be extremely difficult to sort out these people.

I bet Egyptians, Sudanese and Turks would disagree with that.

And, of course, you could sort out the members of each race by the superficial difference of the language they spoke.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Strange said:

Humans have wings. Even the flightless ones. And humans are descended from dinosaurs.

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

Even though science shows it to be a meaningless concept? 

Presumably you also think we should bring back phrenology, the aether and phlogiston.

And what does ornithology tell us about humans?

 

So all red-headed people are one race? And all those with blue eyes are a different race? Then do we say that redheads with blue eyes are a different race from redheads with brown eyes?

If you put 100 redheads, 100 blonds and 100 dark-haired people, you could sort them by their race because of the superficial difference of hair colour.

I bet Egyptians, Sudanese and Turks would disagree with that.

And, of course, you could sort out the members of each race by the superficial difference of the language they spoke.

The word that springs to mind when thinking about "race" is arbitrary.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

The word that springs to mind when thinking about "race" is arbitrary.

Sadly history tells us otherwise. Views about race have shaped our world. That doesn't make Race real. No more real than the Virgin Marie's image burnt into toast makes Jehovah real. It does make the idea of Race something more than arbitrary though. Perhaps something equally as haphazard yet more insidious? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Sadly history tells us otherwise. Views about race have shaped our world. That doesn't make Race real. No more real than the Virgin Marie's image burnt into toast makes Jehovah real. It does make the idea of Race something more than arbitrary though. Perhaps something equally as haphazard yet more insidious? 

Do you know what 'arbitrary' means? 

Quote

Subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion. - dictionary.com

 

Edited by StringJunky
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

So, why did you say this in response?:

 

Because I think it is greater than individual random discretion. The use of Race to classify people has been done with intention as a means to an end and not merely by random. It might be fictional but it has served specific purposes.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Other than superficial differences how would you be distinguishing between Swedes and Japanese?

I refuse to respond to any of your posts until you reread this thread. Be careful to understand my posts before you reply.  Please start with my very first post. I am tired of repeatedly posting the same thing over and and over again just to have people accuse me of saying things I have never said.

You see the title says someone is asking if there "are different human races".  From that you have a preconceived notion of what I have to say. Anyone that thinks human races are different is a racist. Racists think they know the races. Racists will overgeneralize with few statistics. They will find stats that support their view instead of developing their view to support to support facts they are collected without bias. A racist may first decide that a certain race is more prone to break laws. Then he'll go out and find specific examples of people of that race getting arrested and say that substantiates his claim that the race is prone to crime.

This is what you are doing to me. You have preconceived notions of what my intentions are and you don't listen to the ideas of me as an individual. Almost none of your rebuttals pertain to my beliefs that I have made clear.  You search our stats that fit your preconceived notion of what you think I believe.

1 hour ago, Strange said:

Even though science shows it to be a meaningless concept?

Strange, you are only a little better. But once again, all of science does not say race is a meaningless concept. Broader sciences such as biology don't like the word "race" because it can't be outlined definitively with genetics. More specific sciences such as ornithology very much like the term race because it can tell where a specific bird originally came from. The same can be said of humans. Once again I find myself repeating myself again and again and again and again and again, just to have someone put words into my mouth that have nothing to do with my stand on the topic.

1 hour ago, Strange said:

So all red-headed people are one race?

For Christs sake! Don't make me repeat myself every hour! Instead please reread my posts every hour. That would be less work on my part.

This is getting ridiculous. It's like you guys know my opinion better than I do. As I was saying before it's like you have preconceived ideas of anyone that talks about race. You have your canned replies that don't pertain to my remarks.

Edited by BusaDave9
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, BusaDave9 said:

I refuse to respond to any of your posts until you reread this thread. Be careful to understand my posts before you reply.  Please start with my very first post. I am tired of repeatedly posting the same thing over and and over again just to have people accuse me of saying things I have never said.

You see the title says someone is asking if there "are different human races".  From that you have a preconceived notion of what I have to say. Anyone that thinks human races are different is a racist. Racists think they know the races. Racists will overgeneralize with few statistics. They will find stats that support their view instead of developing their view to support to support facts they are collected without bias. A racist may first decide that a certain race is more prone to break laws. Then he'll go out and find specific examples of people of that race getting arrested and say that substantiates his claim that the race is prone to crime.

This is what you are doing to me. You have preconceived notions of what my intentions are and you don't listen to the ideas of me as an individual. Almost none of your rebuttals pertain to my beliefs that I have made clear.  You search our stats that fit your preconceived notion of what you think I believe.

Strange, you are only a little better. But once again, all of science does not say race is a meaningless concept. Broader sciences such as biology don't like the word "race" because it can't be outlined definitively with genetics. More specific sciences such as ornithology very much like the term race because it can tell where a specific bird originally came from. The same can be said of humans. Once again I find myself repeating myself again and again and again and again and again, just to have someone put words into my mouth that have nothing to do with my stand on the topic.

For Christs sake! Don't make me repeat myself every hour! Instead please reread my posts every hour. That would be less work on my part.

This is getting ridiculous. It's like you guys know my opinion better than I do. As I was saying before it's like you have preconceived ideas of anyone that talks about race. You have your canned replies that don't pertain to my remarks.

Have a look at this paper on the history of where the idea of race came from: Problems with the Terms:“Caucasoid”, “Mongoloid” and “Negroid” - Yasuko TAKEZAWA (pdf)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2019 at 10:19 AM, BusaDave9 said:

I say the differences in the races are superficial, visual differences such as skin color

That was stated in my very first post.

Almost every post I make I repeat that the differences in human races are superficial and then people still say:

6 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Other than superficial differences how would you be distinguishing between Swedes and Japanese?

Then strange says:

On 2/16/2019 at 11:17 AM, Strange said:

Is everyone with ginger hair or blue eyes part of the same race?

I said no and explained my reasoning but I'm not going to repeat myself again. Then Strange asks the same question again except for red hair:

 

2 hours ago, Strange said:

So all red-headed people are one race?

Twice I explained that:

1 hour ago, BusaDave9 said:

all of science does not say race is a meaningless concept. Broader sciences such as biology don't like the word "race" because it can't be outlined definitively with genetics. More specific sciences such as ornithology very much like the term race because it can tell where a specific bird originally came from.

 

but I'm going to scream if one more person says

On 2/17/2019 at 7:38 AM, BusaDave9 said:

 I think you are ignoring the actual levels of genetic diversity within and between populations in favor of superficial differences in appearance. 

I've addressed genetic diversity and superficial differences many times.

Since the differences in human races are superficial there isn't much genetic diversity. But we can still use race to determine where humans ancestors came from.

Once again I'm sure people will reply with ethnic groups that are hard to distinguish from other races or ethnic groups. And then once again I will have to talk again about splitting hairs and how many races are hard to tell apart and may not even be considered separate races.

Edited by BusaDave9
Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be hard, but pretend I don’t really care and am barely reading anyway. 

What is your core/central point you’re making, in one sentence or less, that you want me to take away from your posts?

Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, iNow said:

What is your core/central point you’re making, in one sentence or less, that you want me to take away from your posts?

To point out that race is real as it pertains to humans and can be used determine where the decedents of some humans have come from.

Why would I ever want to talk about race in that way? The same reason science likes to find out the origin of anything. I can say that Junco came from Oregon. Or a geologist can say that rock was formed in a shallow sea. Or an astronomer might say our solar system was formed after a very large star exploded.

Science is all about asking and answering these types of questions but when we start talking about humans everyone asks "why would you want to ask such questions. Why would you want to know where his ancestors came from?"

Some human races are easily distinguished and some not so much.

Edited by BusaDave9
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, BusaDave9 said:

race is real as it pertains to humans and can be used determine where the decedents of some humans have come from.

Ah. I see. You’re ignorantly conflating race with genealogy and/or anthropology. Thanks for clarifying. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, 

I have a reasonable level of experience as a phylogeneticst and systematist. 

In contemporary systematics, the word race is generally used to describe different karyotypes within the same species. As humans are generally all 2n=46, the use of the word race to describe phenotypically or genetically distinct groups of humans is somewhat antiquated. 

Subspecies is a bit of a squishy topic, insofar as it is more a categorization of convenience than one with objectively defined characteristics. Generally, it defines a group with some diagnostic molecular or phenotypic characters, or groups with allopatric distributions, but some degree of admixture between them. One could pose an argument that different populations  of humans are "subspecies", but there are a number of reasons why not: 1) Humans are a very, very recent group with very limited genetic diversity. 2) Genetic differences between human populations are generally clinal (with some exceptions of course). 3) Phenotypic traits are generally not fixed between groups of humans, and exist in a plethora of intermediate states. 4) The argument is all too often underlain by some sort of racist pseudoscientific motivation.  

While there is certainly valid population structure within Homo sapiens, and one could make an argument to taxonomically split the species into subspecies, I would imagine that such a designation would be of limited practical utility, fraught with ethical dilemmas and unlikely to be widely adopted. 

 

Edit to add: People publishing novel taxonomic arrangements that no one else agrees with happens all the time. If it's bad enough, scientists in the field will simply ignore the erroneous classification, then get super annoyed that when you do revise the group properly, the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature code dictates you have to use the existing names the crackpot registered. 

Edited by Arete
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

I refuse to respond to any of your posts until you reread this thread. Be careful to understand my posts before you reply. 

You assume people are not reading or understanding because they disagree with you.

The problem is that you are wrong and refuse to admit it.

9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

But once again, all of science does not say race is a meaningless concept.

I have provided references to research that shows it is not a meaningful or useful concept.

You have provided your assertions and beliefs.

9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Broader sciences such as biology don't like the word "race" because it can't be outlined definitively with genetics.

At least one definition of race is based on genetics.

9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

The same can be said of humans.

Another assertion without evidence.

9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Once again I find myself repeating myself again and again and again and again and again

Yes, all you do is repeat yourself.

I will report this thread for soapboxing as you are unable to engage in discussion.

9 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:
10 hours ago, Strange said:

So all red-headed people are one race?

For Christs sake! Don't make me repeat myself every hour! Instead please reread my posts every hour. That would be less work on my part.

This is getting ridiculous. It's like you guys know my opinion better than I do. As I was saying before it's like you have preconceived ideas of anyone that talks about race. You have your canned replies that don't pertain to my remarks.

It was you that said race is based on superficial appearances. So I picked a superficial appearance which must, by your definition, define a race.

Instead of getting annoyed that people are pointing out the inconsistencies and errors in your claims, maybe you should stop making baseless claims.

8 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

I said no and explained my reasoning but I'm not going to repeat myself again. Then Strange asks the same question again except for red hair:

So who gets to choose which superficial differences are significant and which are not?

8 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

Since the differences in human races are superficial there isn't much genetic diversity. But we can still use race to determine where humans ancestors came from.

Not really. Over time populations that have migrated often tend to look like the "native" inhabitants. For example, gypsies (in Europe) look European. It is pretty much only their language that show they originated in India.

7 hours ago, BusaDave9 said:

To point out that race is real as it pertains to humans

The evidence still shows you are wrong.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we can close the thread.

you and others have made some good points but then comes a rebuttable that has nothing to do with my position. That was happening a lot. Then I'm thinking if you don't know my position who are you arguing against? A straw man you've propped up?

Edited by BusaDave9
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.