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thethinkertank

Racism and survival of the fittest: Any scientific connection?

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Human beings evolved into the best they could be. Throughout history however we have observed that inter human conflict played a large part in that evolution. 

But something like racism seems so absurd I doubt even science has a basis for it. 

For example, one can believe that wars break out over food clothing and shelter, but what possible explanation is there for an abstract concept like racism? An even abstracter, illogical explanation like 'inferiority complex' won't apply here I suppose. 

This is neither a speculation nor a theory, but a question to you science buffs. 

Edited by thethinkertank

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  1. Hatred, superiority, Fear,  and probably about another thousand reasons for racism. Racism isn't science either.
  2. Ask Hitler.
Edited by Curious layman

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Just now, Curious layman said:
  1. Hatred, superiority, Fear,  and probably about another thousand reasons for racism. Racism isn't science either.
  2. Ask Hitler.

Totally agreed, and FEAR is the root cause of hatred. (And no thank you, I wouldnt desire to engage in conversation with somebody like Hitler who I would look down upon for entirely unracist reasons.)

Edited by thethinkertank

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1 minute ago, thethinkertank said:

Totally agreed, and FEAR is the root cause of hatred. (And no thank you, I wouldnt desire to engage in conversation with somebody like Hitler who I would look down upon for entirely unracist reasons.)

But more importantly I think is why is the fear there? 

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Just now, Curious layman said:

But more importantly I think is why is the fear there? 

It is a primordial defense mechanism in a living organism to react with fear or anger (fight or flight) when accosted by a stimulus that it subconciously deems threatening. But no, that doesnt answer my original question either.

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16 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Human beings evolved into the best they could be.

That’s not an accurate summary of evolution.

16 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Throughout history however we have observed that inter human conflict played a large part in that evolution. 

Patently untrue.

16 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

But something like racism seems so absurd I doubt even science has a basis for it. 

I would be shocked to find that this had not been studied and scientific explanations formulated.

Argument from ignorance gets old very fast.

16 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

For example, one can believe that wars break out over food clothing and shelter, but what possible explanation is there for an abstract concept like racism? An even abstracter, illogical explanation like 'inferiority complex' won't apply here I suppose. 

Why not?

 

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Just now, Curious layman said:

Racism isn't something that's linear with the evolution of man so how can they be connected?

LOL thats exactly my point. How can something so unscientific be such a major player in human affairs? I don't get it either. Maybe one explanation is that racist people are aliens and not subject to the laws of science.

Just now, swansont said:

That’s not an accurate summary of evolution.

Patently untrue.

I would be shocked to find that this had not been studied and scientific explanations formulated.

Argument from ignorance gets old very fast.

Why not?

 

Oh well, if you think racism has a scientific basis in inferiority complex after all, then I'm happy to go with that. 

You couldnt possibly elaborate?

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1 minute ago, thethinkertank said:

LOL thats exactly my point. How can something so unscientific be such a major player in human affairs? I don't get it either. Maybe one explanation is that racist people are aliens and not subject to the laws of science.

Because it's easier to blame other people when things go wrong, racism is generally aimed towards minority's, asylum seekers and immigrants.

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Just now, Curious layman said:

Because it's easier to blame other people when things go wrong, racism is generally aimed towards minority's, asylum seekers and immigrants.

Blame shelving is different than racism. 

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2 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Blame shelving is different than racism. 

But it is a cause of racism.

Edited by Curious layman

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26 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Oh well, if you think racism has a scientific basis in inferiority complex after all, then I'm happy to go with that. 

You couldnt possibly elaborate?

You dismissed inferiority complex as one possible basis for racism without any evidence. I asked why you can eliminate it. Has there been research done that rules it out? (You know: science site. Evidence. Scholarly studies.) 

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56 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Human beings evolved into the best they could be.

This is NOT how evolution works. You have misunderstood it. You should actually study it, it's fascinating, even more fantastic that what you make up about it.

58 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

Throughout history however we have observed that inter human conflict played a large part in that evolution. 

By definition, inter-human conflict is between the same generation of humans. Evolution requires at least a second generation. Individuals don't evolve; evolution is changes in allele frequency IN A POPULATION, OVER TIME.

1 hour ago, thethinkertank said:

But something like racism seems so absurd I doubt even science has a basis for it. 

You doubt?! You're arguing from incredulity about something you could have easily looked up? When you discover something you're ignorant about, if you make something up instead of learning the mainstream answer, you're being doubly lazy.

Look up tribalism and it's effect on human interaction. Tribalism causes us to like those who are like us, who have some bond with us. It was a way for early humans to protect their families and limited resources. Humans do a LOT of things other animals do, but we're also capable of higher thought, and changing our urges and behaviors to suit the situations. As humans evolved into agrarian societies rather than hunter/gatherer tribes, racism diminished, but is still a reaction in most societies to this day. "Fittest" takes on a different meaning in a modern society.

1 hour ago, thethinkertank said:

For example, one can believe that wars break out over food clothing and shelter, but what possible explanation is there for an abstract concept like racism? An even abstracter, illogical explanation like 'inferiority complex' won't apply here I suppose. 

Are you kidding?! "Those different-looking bastards want to take what we have, destroy what we are, how we behave as a people." "They have strange ways and don't respect the same things we do." What's illogical about that? It may be backward, antiquated thinking, but it's logically consistent.

Racism is hardly abstract, it's usually discernible through the senses. People look or smell or sound different, so they become outsiders to those who look/smell/sound alike. I'm a bit baffled why you think this isn't known, or hasn't been studied. 

Do you get most of your science knowledge from videos, or do you read a lot?

 

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1 hour ago, Curious layman said:

But more importantly I think is why is the fear there?  

...propaganda, brainwashing, for weak minds...

 

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I'm fairly sure that if you want to look at the science of racism (so far as that has a meaning the field you want to look at is psychology (rather than evolution- though that must have been involved too).

I think the phrase you need to look for  is something like "in group vs out group" because the problem of xenophobia isn't really related to race, ,colour, faith, sexuality, nationality, sports club or anything else in particular. It's down to  "like me vs not like me".

 

All I ask you to do is read at least half a dozen varied articles on the issues before you post- otherwise you are likely to get stuff monumentally wrong, and cause grave offense.

The safe option, for anyone who doesn't want to risk a few reputation points. is "just don't go there".

 

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2 hours ago, Curious layman said:
  1. Hatred, superiority, Fear,  and probably about another thousand reasons for racism. Racism isn't science either.
  2. Ask Hitler.

I think the first answer has summed it up rather nicely. The dictionary defines xenophobia as a deep rooted fear against foreigners or that which is different or unfamiliar, and would probably also include "culture". And it seems this irrational fear/hatred has been with us for bloody centuries and is often promoted and supported by religious sects.

Perhaps we all need to recall the words of a great American...Don't judge a man by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character....or words to that effect.

Edited by beecee

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This is as scientific explanation of fear, ignorance and hate as you can get. I liked it.

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Just now, Phi for All said:

This is NOT how evolution works. You have misunderstood it. You should actually study it, it's fascinating, even more fantastic that what you make up about it.

By definition, inter-human conflict is between the same generation of humans. Evolution requires at least a second generation. Individuals don't evolve; evolution is changes in allele frequency IN A POPULATION, OVER TIME.

You doubt?! You're arguing from incredulity about something you could have easily looked up? When you discover something you're ignorant about, if you make something up instead of learning the mainstream answer, you're being doubly lazy.

Look up tribalism and it's effect on human interaction. Tribalism causes us to like those who are like us, who have some bond with us. It was a way for early humans to protect their families and limited resources. Humans do a LOT of things other animals do, but we're also capable of higher thought, and changing our urges and behaviors to suit the situations. As humans evolved into agrarian societies rather than hunter/gatherer tribes, racism diminished, but is still a reaction in most societies to this day. "Fittest" takes on a different meaning in a modern society.

Are you kidding?! "Those different-looking bastards want to take what we have, destroy what we are, how we behave as a people." "They have strange ways and don't respect the same things we do." What's illogical about that? It may be backward, antiquated thinking, but it's logically consistent.

Racism is hardly abstract, it's usually discernible through the senses. People look or smell or sound different, so they become outsiders to those who look/smell/sound alike. I'm a bit baffled why you think this isn't known, or hasn't been studied. 

Do you get most of your science knowledge from videos, or do you read a lot?

 

LOL I never watch videos and I used to read but nowadays I write more than I read. I like the above explanation for racism it is undoubtedly the root cause (i.e differences and percieved differences)

I did read a post on the scientific reason behind that that says more or less the same thing, psychologically we are drawn to those like us and against those who are different. 

 

Just now, iNow said:

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thats a great way of putting it. 

Just now, swansont said:

You dismissed inferiority complex as one possible basis for racism without any evidence. I asked why you can eliminate it. Has there been research done that rules it out? (You know: science site. Evidence. Scholarly studies.) 

I did more research after seeing your question and here's what I came up with. 

Google definition:

inferiority complex
  1. an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed inferiority in one sphere, sometimes marked by aggressive behaviour in compensation.
     
    You notice most of it is 'unrealistic' feelings of inadequacy that lends to percieved belief. Now feeling inadequate could be due to many things depending on situation. 
    For example the guy at the supermarket who overtakes out of a feeling of inferiority to a person in front of him, perhaps because of racially induced reasons.
    So therefore I would say inferiority complex has its roots in several factors of whihc one is racism, wheras the situation could also be the other way around.
Edited by thethinkertank

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28 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

psychologically we are drawn to those like us and against those who are different. 

This is not correct. If you disagree, feel free to support your assertion with anything more than handwaving and evasion. 

30 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

I would say inferiority complex has its roots in several factors of whihc one is racism, wheras the situation could also be the other way around.

One “might be” racism. Not one “is” racism. Try harder. 

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it is important to note that the concept of "race" is fairly modern. For the longest part of human history there was no systematic concept of race or species. Groups were in conflict with other, of course but it follows completely different concepts. There were some concepts floated around but pretty much up to the 17th century "race" as a concept was fairly vague and often certain traits were more linked to a variety of things such as upbringing or area where one was born. During the enlightenment the natural world was starting to be classified systematically. Roughly the 18th century race was being used as a separate term as species and closely connected to imperialism, a precursor to our modern variant of racism was formed.

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Just now, CharonY said:

it is important to note that the concept of "race" is fairly modern. For the longest part of human history there was no systematic concept of race or species. Groups were in conflict with other, of course but it follows completely different concepts. There were some concepts floated around but pretty much up to the 17th century "race" as a concept was fairly vague and often certain traits were more linked to a variety of things such as upbringing or area where one was born. During the enlightenment the natural world was starting to be classified systematically. Roughly the 18th century race was being used as a separate term as species and closely connected to imperialism, a precursor to our modern variant of racism was formed.

I think racism goes beyond social or ethnic barriers into fundemental differences between human beings. Like, as Phi for all posted recently, and I quote 

"Are you kidding?! "Those different-looking bastards want to take what we have, destroy what we are, how we behave as a people." "They have strange ways and don't respect the same things we do." What's illogical about that? It may be backward, antiquated thinking, but it's logically consistent."

That's pretty much spot on. Biological wiring to be antiquely illogical about differences percieved and understood about each other. 

 

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5 minutes ago, thethinkertank said:

I think racism goes beyond social or ethnic barriers into fundemental differences between human beings. Like, as Phi for all posted recently, and I quote 

"Are you kidding?! "Those different-looking bastards want to take what we have, destroy what we are, how we behave as a people." "They have strange ways and don't respect the same things we do." What's illogical about that? It may be backward, antiquated thinking, but it's logically consistent."

That's pretty much spot on. Biological wiring to be antiquely illogical about differences percieved and understood about each other. 

 

Phi for All was making the point that is is logical not illogical. 

not everybody who's a racist will stay a racist and vice versa. People become racists for all sorts of different reasons, it's not something that's biologically wired, more to do with outside influences like upbringing, education, circumstances (prison), propaganda and anger,  etc I think. 

The rise of Hitler  would be a good example. Or try reading about the midwives in nazi Germany, who went from caring nurses to cold blooded child killers.

not to mention the Rwandan genocide. 

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