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The Biological Case Against Race
American Outlook, publication of the Hudson Institute ^ | Spring 2002 | Joseph L. Graves Jr.

Posted on 06/04/2002 5:24:31 PM PDT by cornelis

.

. American Outlook

The Biological Case Against Race
Joseph L. Graves Jr.

In The Descent of Man, published in 1871, Darwin outlined the basic reasoning that still stands today concerning the races of mankind. Darwin pointed out that if we used the techniques that naturalists used to identify race in nonhuman species, we would conclude that there really were no races in anatomically modern humans. Over one hundred and forty years of research have demonstrated that Darwin’s reasoning was correct. . .

In my recent book, The Emperor’s New Clothes, I demonstrate that our social construction of race was contingent upon the assumption that significant biological variation between groups of human beings existed that could be used to identify and classify these same races. Scientists now know that this was a false proposition, both at the level of the physical features and of the genes that produce them. Yet most Americans still believe that there is some biological legitimacy to our socially constructed racial categories. However, our modern scientific understanding of human genetic diversity flies in the face of all of our social stereotypes.

Many of our present political and social problems are rooted in racial misconceptions. The tragedy of this is that virtually none of the people directly involved in addressing our political and social disparities fully comprehend how our racial confusion influences how we deal with the consequences of injustice. Racist ideology has always relied on the mistaken assumption that significant biologically based differences exist between various groups of humans. In particular, racist ideology has always assumed that social inequality resulted from the biological inequality of races. Thus they saw racial differences as determining an individual’s morality, character, intelligence, athleticism, and sexuality, among other features. They also thought that these features were immutable and passed directly on to offspring. Seen in this way, society would never change, and injustice could never be eliminated from it, because nature itself had created fundamental genetic differences between the races. Most nineteenth-century Americans never doubted that both God and science declared the existence of race, and that there was a hierarchical relation among the races. According to this thinking, the European stood at the pinnacle of perfection, and all other races were to be measured against him. For this reason, they thought it legitimate to declare the African slave as chattel and to deprive the American Indians of their sovereignty.

We have come a long way since then. However, our change in thinking did not happen without tremendous struggle; the ideological battle against racism has now been fought across three centuries. Meanwhile, people continue to suffer and die as a consequence of racist policies. Still today the root cause of racism remains entrenched in the American consciousness. Many of us still believe that there are innate racial differences among people, reflected in their character and habits.

The core ideological principle that maintains racism is the mistaken belief that biological races really exist in the human species and that individual aspects of character and morality can be identified by one’s racial ancestry. Ironically, race theory is a consequence of relatively modern historical developments. We do not find clearly articulated theories of racial hierarchy in the writings of the ancients. They recognized that human beings had some physical differences from one another and that they had formed different cultures, but they did not believe that any specific race of people was inherently better than any other. Even Western civilization did not immediately develop substantial ideological support for theories of race classification and racially based variation in character and temperament. Anthropologists in the eighteenth century did not uniformly agree on the superiority of Europeans; Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, considered the founder of anthropology, did not accept the idea that races could be hierarchically classified. Yet by the middle of the nineteenth century, schemes of racial hierarchy would become entrenched. The rise of racial ideology coincided with the rise of Darwinism (specifically, a misunderstanding of how Darwin’s observations applied to humans) and the development of social institutions that exploited human biological differences for profit. This meant that a person’s West African ancestry could be used as the sole reason to reduce him to chattel slavery, and that a group’s American Indian ancestry in itself provided sufficient reason for the partial extermination of their population and seizure of their land.

Development of Biology and Race Theory

Pre-Darwinian biology utilized the “great chain of being” and ranked man higher than all other earthly life forms. This scheme suggested that the supernatural creator was responsible for the hierarchy of life, including the varieties of human beings. Naturalists of this period sought to find objective measurements to validate their beliefs, and turned to activities such as the measuring of skull volumes and other metrics. Not surprisingly, their studies supported the notion of European superiority. Yet to fully understand what modern biologists mean when they talk about race requires reference to evolutionary theory.

Without realizing it, Charles Darwin solved the problem of race when he asked how new species arose in nature. The origin of species was the most important scientific problem of the mid-nineteenth century, equivalent to what the discovery of the structure of DNA or the publication of the human genome was for us in 2001. However, to understand the origin of species, one also had to understand the significance of biological varieties or races, which result from genetic adaptation to local conditions and from chance events in the history of a given species that might radically change its genetic composition. Darwin recognized that the formation of biological varieties or races was essential to the formation of new species. His genius was in appreciating the significance of biological variation within species and the relationship of this variation to how new species were formed. He identified natural selection as the chief mechanism responsible for the adaptation of species to their environments. He thought that natural selection would eventually create varieties sufficiently different in their features so that they would become new species.

After the publication of The Origin of Species (1859), Darwin was forced to address the nature of human races. The anthropological debates of the latter portion of the nineteenth century had still not yet clarified whether there was one species of modern humans, or whether the races should be considered separate species. In The Descent of Man, published in 1871, Darwin outlined the basic reasoning that still stands today concerning the races of mankind. Darwin pointed out that if we used the techniques that naturalists used to identify race in nonhuman species, we would conclude that there really were no races in anatomically modern humans. Over one hundred and forty years of research have demonstrated that Darwin’s reasoning was correct.

Today the concept of geographical race is a cornerstone of evolutionary theory. Geographical races or subspecies have significant amounts of gene frequency differences form other such groups (usually on the order of about 20 percent). These differences result from natural selection for localized conditions, unique population history events (such as random fluctuations in population size), and a secession of gene flow with other populations within the species. Geographical races are thus thought to be intermediate steps along the way to the formation of new species. It is because this concept has been so thoroughly investigated that we can say with so much certainty that no biological races exist in modern humans.

Basic Definitions of Race

If humans had biological races, there should be some non-trivial underlying hereditary features shared by a group of people and not present in other groups, or possibly average differences that could be made sense of in some statistical way. Biology has developed relatively precise tools with which to examine whether the hereditary characteristics of populations can be classified into geographical races. It is here that the Western socially defined concept of “race” and the biological concept of race diverge. When one attempts to examine any of the physical features that have been used to define human races in our history, the concept breaks down. Skin color, hair type, body stature, blood groups, disease prevalence: none of these unambiguously corresponds to the “racial” groups that we have socially constructed. Thus, the common person distinguishes what he or she perceives to be racial categories by observable physical traits. These physical traits do vary among geographical populations, although not in the ways most people believe. For example, Sri Lankans of the Indian subcontinent, Nigerians, and Australoids share a dark skin tone, but differ in hair type and genetic predisposition to various diseases. Further difficulty results from the fact that people commonly link directly observable physical variations with less directly observable variation in such attributes as intelligence, motivation, and morality.

Modern biology defines geographical races as equivalent to subspecies. Subspecies are units that are intermediate to legitimate species. The biological species concept relies on whether individuals in such groups cannot mate and form fertile offspring. Horses and donkeys are considered legitimate species; if they are mated, mules result, but these are sterile. Also, gorilla and chimpanzees are separate species; yet within gorillas, mountain and forest gorillas might be considered subspecies, or geographical races of gorillas. No such level of genetic variation exists within anatomically modern humans. There is more genetic variation within one tribe of wild chimpanzees than has been observed within all existing humans! (See P. Gagneux, C. Willis, and U. Gerloff, “Mitochondrial Sequences Show Evolutionary Sequences of African Hominids,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 96 [1999]: 5077-5082.)

Genes, Human Variation, and Race

Only a fraction of the genetic information contained in the human genome has ever had anything to do with creating geographic variation associated with what has been historically called race. The DNA molecule in organisms like humans is associated with a group of proteins called histones. Together these make up a structure called the chromosome. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, with one set inherited from the mother and the other from the father. Along the DNA chain we can identify specific points, called loci, that are responsible for providing the instructions for a given trait, such as eye color. Some loci, called monomorphic (or one form) loci, control traits that are so crucial for the organism's function that no alteration of the genetic code is allowed. Loci that can allow genetic variation, usually because their functions are not as constrained as monomorphic loci, are called polymorphic (many forms). Polymorphic loci are defined by the presence of at least one rare variant, called an allele, that can be found at a frequency greater than 1 percent. A good example of a polymorphic locus i the A, B, and O blood group antigens. Polymorphisms occur when natural selection against any particular allele is weak, thus allowing all of them to persist in populations at different frequences. We might find that a given allele is better under one set of conditions, yet others are favored if we change the conditions. For example, alleles that produce darker skin are slightly favored in the tropics, as opposed to alleles that produce lighter skin in the temperate zones. The dark skin in the tropics might give better protection against ultraviolet light (UV) damage in the skin, or against skin parasites, while lighter skin in temperate zones might help with the synthesis of vitamin D (a hormone). In such a case, as the intensity of sunlight changes, we would expect to find a continuous change in the frequency of the alleles associated with changes in skin color. That is precisely what we find when we examine alleles for vitamin D binding proteins from the tropics to the northern latitudes. However, the whole story of skin pigmentation isn’t as simple as that. Human pigmentation is genetically complex, and we can only say with certainty that variation at only one locus, the melanocrotin-1 receptor (MC1-R), can be definitely associated with physiological variation in hair and skin color. The authors of a recent study sequenced that gene from one hundred twenty-one individuals from different geographical regions. DNA has four nitrogenous chemical bases called nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). These bases are aligned in various orders and constitute the chemical message of the DNA molecule that directs the synthesis of messenger RNA, and eventually the protein. Gene sequencing is the process by which geneticists determine the nucleotide structure of the DNA within a specific region of the molecule. The different nucleotide sequences are the molecular basis for what we call alleles. The authors found that there were five alleles for the MC1-R gene. The original protein sequence was observed in all of the African individuals studied, but it was also found in the other world populations at lower frequences (See B. K. Rana et al., “High Polymorphism at the Human Melanocortin 1 Receptor Locus,” Genetics 151, no. 4 [April 1999]: 1547-57). We also know that skin color in sub-Saharan African populations is more variable than that found in any other of the world’s populations. This is also true of total genetic diversity and physical variables such as skull types ( see J. H. Relethford, “human Skin Color Diversity is Highest in Sub-Saharan African Populations,” Human Biology 72, no. 5 [October 2000]: 773-80).

These observations alone shed doubt on whether we can truly divide the human species into discrete racial groups.

Genetic Variation Within and Between Races

There are statistical ways to summarize the similarity between human populations with regard to overall allele frequency. For example at the histocompatibility antigen A(HLA-A) locus, African-, Asian-, and European-Americans are quite similar in their allele frequencies. The HLA loci are responsible for tissue recognition and play an important role in warding off disease. We can further investigate the frequencies of alleles at other loci, and we can also statistically determine what the genetic distances are between socially constructed racial groups. This has been accomplished for modern human beings, and we have learned that there is about 8.5 times more genetic variation within the classically defined racial groups as there is between them. Another way of stating this is that 85 percent of the genetic variation within modern humans occurs at the individual level, 5 percent occurs between populations found on the same continent, and 10 percent occurs between continents. This general rule can be violated in groups that were originally generated from small groups that were themselves genetically uniform, or for cultural reasons maintained marriages amongst themselves. However, this special case does not invalidate the general principle that the majority of genetic variation in human occurs between individuals, without regard to membership in a socially constructed race.

A particularly illustrative example of the fallacy of the race concept occurs when we compare socially defined human races to populations in other species that have been defined by biologists as geographical races or subspecies. The standard figure for identifying the existence of geographic races is usually about 20 percent total genetic distance between populations at polymorphic loci. This has been observed in various drosophila (fruit flies) species, but we don’t see anywhere near that much geographical variation in modern humans. The estimates we have of the amount of variation between human populations varies between 3 and 7 percent at the polymorphic loci (see my book , The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium [Rutgers University Press, 2001], 204). Again, because polymorphic loci only represent about 33 percent of the human genome, the total amount of genetic distance we observe in humans is between (0.03 x .33 = 0.0099) and (0.07 x 0.33 = 0.023). This value is ten times below the 0.20 (20 percent) figure. It is apparent that different standards of biological reasoning would have to be used to make the argument for the existence of enough genetic distance in modern humans to support the existence of biological races.

. . . . snip . . .

Practical Implications of the Race Fallacy

In my recent book, The Emperor’s New Clothes, I demonstrate that our social construction of race was contingent upon the assumption that significant biological variation between groups of human beings existed that could be used to identify and classify these same races. Scientists now know that this was a false proposition, both at the level of the physical features and of the genes that produce them. Yet most Americans still believe that there is some biological legitimacy to our socially constructed racial categories. However, our modern scientific understanding of human genetic diversity flies in the face of all of our social stereotypes. Thus, if we cannot apportion humans into the socially constructed groups of American society, how can there be a genetic basis to the physical and behavioral features that have been ascribed to these mythological groups? In reality, the differences between groups we have been describing as resulting form biological race are really the result of cultural evolution. The rules that govern cultural evolution are dictated by the views of the eighteenth-century biologist Jean Baptist Lamarck, not those of Darwin. That is, cultural evolution occurs by the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and cultures change far more rapidly than genetic material. Thus, the social construction of race was a feature of our recent cultural evolution. Our reliance on racial thinking can just as easily be deconstructed.

To begin the deconstruction of racism, we must ask ourselves what role racist ideology plays in modern society. First, it provides a moral justification for maintaining a society that routinely deprives various groups of its rights and privileges. Racist beliefs discourage subordinate people from attempting to question their lowly status; to do so is to question the very foundations of the society. In addition, racism focuses social uncertainty on a specific threat, thus justifying existing practices and serving as a rallying point for social movements. Finally, racist myths encourage support for the existing order. Thus it is argued that if there were any major societal change, the subordinate group would suffer even greater poverty and the dominant group would suffer lower living standards. History demonstrates that racial ideology increases when a value system is under attack.

---snip---

Joseph L. Graves Jr. professor of evolutionary biology at Arizona State University West, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the author of The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium (Rutgers University Press, 2001).


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: bkrana; crevolist; cwillis; darwin; darwinism; dna; evolution; jhrelethford; kittu; pgagneux; race; ugerloff
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Comment #101 Removed by Moderator

To: cornelis
What a pantload of PC at it's worst. In his next book he will prove that there is no difference between men and women and that our personal observations on that subject are completely in error as well.

Regards

J.R.

102 posted on 06/04/2002 7:43:11 PM PDT by NMC EXP
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
I wouldn't say that person A is faster than person B because A is black. But I would say that the fastest humans in the sprints are of West African descent.

Let's take a different example. On average, men are bigger than women, right? If you disagree with this assertion, then skip the rest of this reply -- we are too far off the same wavelength to have a useful discussion on this.

Ok - still there? Good. Now is Tom Daschle bigger than Oprah Winfrey because he is a man? Well, no, he's smaller. Ok - is Colin Powell bigger than Condi Rice because he is a man? Well, he's bigger. But being a man doesn't make him necessarily bigger. Is the world's largest person (probably some Guiness book of records person) a man? I don't know, but likely, because at the fringes especially, the minor statistical difference in size results in a large difference in chances that the extreme individual will be of the group that tends slightly toward that extreme. But for any given person, except a few, there are larger and smaller individuals of both genders..

Another example of the fringes of a population most clearly showing the minor difference in an overlapping attribute - what's the chances that there will ever be a woman basketball player of the size and strength of Shaq? Damn slim, I'd say.

I'm not saying, given two individuals, that being black or male or this or that causes one of them to be more or less of this or that than the other.

I'm saying that given any two populations that have some distinction that is present at birth, there will be other distinctions, most visible at the extremes.

103 posted on 06/04/2002 7:43:32 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: Poohbah
Those same twin studies "prove" a genetic link to homosexuality. I question the twin studies that indicate such things, because the famous ones are based on severely flawed models.

So because you don't like the results of one genetic study you will throw out the results of them all? Were you an OJ Simpson juror by chance?

MANY different studies have studied identical twins (monozygotic) raised apart and found a 0.70 correlation for intelligence. This is enormous.

The Stanford-Binet test does presuppose some cultural knowledge. Once you correct for socioeconomic factors, that 15-point gap vanishes to within the MOE.

Look up the Minnesota transracial adoption study. They found that the average IQ of black babies adopted by white couples was around 85, the average IQ of half black babies adopted by white couples was 95, and the average IQ of white babies adopted by white couples was 105.

104 posted on 06/04/2002 7:43:34 PM PDT by Godel
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To: Poohbah
The Stanford-Binet test does presuppose some cultural knowledge. Once you correct for socioeconomic factors, that 15-point gap vanishes to within the MOE.

In "The Bell Curve", the authors note that the average SAT for Blacks from upper-middle-class families are lower than the SAT for low-income whites

Also, given that IQ has a lot to do with the income level you wind up with, correcting for parental socioeconomic level also corrects for parental IQ.

105 posted on 06/04/2002 7:46:31 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: Godel
Well said, Godel. Very well said. Thanks.
106 posted on 06/04/2002 7:47:57 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: NMC EXP
In his next book he will prove that there is no difference between men and women

He's not proving there are no differences. It would be ludicrous to insist that. We are quick to conjecture. Remember Oedipus? Tiresias did it!

107 posted on 06/04/2002 7:48:27 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: Godel
So because you don't like the results of one genetic study you will throw out the results of them all? Were you an OJ Simpson juror by chance?

No, I'm questioning the whole basis of many of these twin studies, because some of the more famous ones that get cited were "pre-loaded" to get certain results.

MANY different studies have studied identical twins (monozygotic) raised apart and found a 0.70 correlation for intelligence. This is enormous.

Great, if true.

Question: did they correct for the nurture end of things?

I've bumped into too many identical twins with very different overall temperments (intelligence, WHAT they're good at, personality, et cetera) to buy in that intelligence is that strongly determined by genetics. I have one rather smart sister, and two fair-to-middlin' brothers--and in mathematics, I'm the best of breed in my family. My sister and brothers are very coordinated; I'm something of a klutz. We're all over whatever charts you want to look at.

108 posted on 06/04/2002 7:48:53 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: ThePythonicCow
"is Colin Powell bigger than Condi Rice because he is a man? Well, he's bigger. But being a man doesn't make him necessarily bigger." Sometimes people here "X because Y" to mean there's a necessary connection between X and Y. But that's not how we ordinarily talk or think about causation. For example, smoking causes cancer, but it doesn't follow that if you smoke then necessarily you'll get cancer. Let's pick a neutral idiom to avoid this sort of complication. Let's use the phrase "It's no accident". Now, if you point to a man and a woman and the man is taller than the woman, I'd say it's no accident that he's taller. If you point to a Scottsman and an Irishman and the Scottsman was taller I wouldn't make the same claim. The fallacy at the heart of the folk theory of race isn't that group A has statistical properties not shared by group B. It's the "it's no accident claim". Once you give it up, race becomes useless as an analytical tool becuase it's not doing any explanatory work.
109 posted on 06/04/2002 7:49:19 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Arleigh
Why the disparity in behavior and outcomes? If we are all the same, then why do blacks - 13% of the population - make up only 2% of corporate executives and commit 50% of the crime?

Because their culture is severely messed up. You may also want to look at the comparative differences when you seperate Caribean blacks from American blacks.

Why has black student achievement lagged that of whites at the same rate for nearly 30 years - ever since the government has measured it - despite $billions of government money?

Because American black culture has picked up anti-intellectualism as part of it? Because those liberal programs that cost billions did nothing to address the underlying cultural problem? You are away that students in Harlem were able to rank second in the city before all those billions of dollars started helping them, right?

110 posted on 06/04/2002 7:49:40 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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Comment #111 Removed by Moderator

Comment #112 Removed by Moderator

To: BurkeCalhounDabney
For something as straight forward as this, yes, there is presumably one or a few identifiable genetic factors that are responsible for this similarity.
113 posted on 06/04/2002 7:51:39 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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Comment #114 Removed by Moderator

To: PatrickHenry
I donno ... Most people have always assumed that #1 is true, but I never believed in #2. I don't see why the two propositions have to go together.

As noted above, there are certainly very distinct differences in racial physiology. For example, there are specific racial settings/norms for breathing capacity tests. And for some reason the Olympic sprints are dominated by people of West African heritage.

As for character and morality, there's no particular reason to believe that there are not racial components, either. Compare, for example, the temperaments of golden retrievers vs. German shepherds. Although humans are more complex, why should we be immune to such things?

At any rate, it's interesting how a professor of evolutionary biology would tell us that subtle population differences between, say, silvereye birds is evidence of evolution; while simultaneously holding that significant physiological differences are somehow not evidence of evolutionary divergence between humans. This is not logical -- but it is politically correct.

115 posted on 06/04/2002 7:55:01 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Mortin Sult
Therein lies the real basis of Darwin's argument. Real races can't interbreed without obvious mismatches.

You can breed a poodle with a terrier, and get viable offspring that have some mix of characteristics. This does not invalidate the concept of "breed" among dogs (or horses or other species)

Within a dog breed, you have definite characteristics of the average/typical member, which include physical appearance, temperment (anybody here who has ever known a pure golden retriever who was successfully trained as an attack dog, please let me know), and intelligence.

116 posted on 06/04/2002 7:55:07 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: Sabertooth
     "The amount of genetic variation that has accumulated in humans is just nowhere near compatible with the age" of the species, Wood says. "That means you've got to come up with a hypothesis for an event that wiped out the vast majority of that variation."

There's a pretty old hypothesis that explains the lack of genetic variation in humans: "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." The more we learn the more we see evolutionist assumptions refuted by real science.

117 posted on 06/04/2002 7:56:26 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: Mortin Sult
I would agree that the differences between the 'races' of humans are not as clear, distinct and non-overlapping as the differences between non-mating species.

Consider the differences between fat people and thin people. For many of us, it's not clear which group we are in. My doctor would probably call me 'fat'. I would differ, though I would grant that I am no longer thin.

What is so dang hard about the notion of overlapping groups, such that for the bulk in the middle, it is not clear that they belong to either group?

Y'all keep trying to recast what I'm saying into some claim that race is a black and white issue.

118 posted on 06/04/2002 7:57:42 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow
Consider the differences between fat people and thin people. For many of us, it's not clear which group we are in. My doctor would probably call me 'fat'. I would differ, though I would grant that I am no longer thin.

Your doctor doesn't understand your unique gravitational profile, that's all =:o)

119 posted on 06/04/2002 7:59:47 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
"The typical Irishman is more prone to alcoholism than the typical Swede. This does not mean that all Irishmen or drunks or that Swedes are all teetotallers, but is a valid generalization based upon observation of group tendencies." OK, let's start with your example. You've got a way of distinguishing between two groups, and you've observed there's a statistical difference between them. Question: Does the criteria by which you seperated the two groups figure in the explanation of the statistical differences or not? If it does, then those criteria are playing a causal/explanatory role. If not then it's just a random connection. The criteria you used to initially divide the populations have no place in a scientific theory of the statistical data you've observed.
120 posted on 06/04/2002 8:00:47 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Poohbah
Believe it or not, the son of wealthy black parents who engage in typically wealthy behavior will produce a score on a par with the white kid across the street, and that will be somewhat higher than the mean.

Not true. No matter what factor you'd like to hold constant: socioeconomic status, an intact family, educational quality, and on and on, the gaps persist.

If you could link to your source, I'd be pleased to read it.

121 posted on 06/04/2002 8:00:50 PM PDT by winin2000
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
It's no accident that Shaq is a black male.
122 posted on 06/04/2002 8:00:53 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: cornelis
If humans had biological races, there should be some non-trivial underlying hereditary features shared by a group of people and not present in other groups, or possibly average differences that could be made sense of in some statistical way.

And what can these hereditary features be? The article looks only at genetic differences and completely ignores the profound differences found in expression patterns. It is those changes in expression patterns which account for the augmented variation between humans and chimps in such areas as physical, behavioral, and cognitive expression.

Furthermore, considering that we don't even know what genetic sequences in the human genome are meaningful and how (for instance, there is a 2-3 fold spread in opinion about how many genes are contained in the human genome), it is far too early to make a determination about the extent of the biological basis of racial differences. Yet, differences, even in genetic markers follow racial differences closely enough that ethnic identity markers can usefully group people into racial categories. This becomes important not only for disease markers, but also for targeting of pharmaceutical treatments.

(Nevertheless, under the law, we're all equal.)

123 posted on 06/04/2002 8:04:02 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: gore3000
You are correct. To look at mankind’s intellect and compare it while missing how mans’ intellect came into being…
That’s like saying ‘monkeys beat man into space and this is proof of evolution’.
124 posted on 06/04/2002 8:04:18 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: cornelis
I should add that control of expression patterns is contained in the genome but is not read as "nontrivial" differences as it is very small.
125 posted on 06/04/2002 8:05:44 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
"[quoting my use of the expression "folk theory of face"] Would you please explain". Sure. A folk theory of race is one any of the widely held views that makes claims of the form "X is F becuase X belongs to race Y." Or, to avoid tangents about causation and statistical relationships, "It's no accident that X is F and X belongs to race Y". I'd give examples, but you seem squeamish, so I'll leave it to your imagination. The target of the article is the folk theory of race. I'm not accusing you of holding that theory. I'm pointing out that no one who holds it can take any comfort in the observations you're making.
126 posted on 06/04/2002 8:06:06 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Nebullis
it is far too early

This crossed my mind. It's always the case, isn't it? It certainly was far too early for the 19th and 20th centuries.

127 posted on 06/04/2002 8:06:45 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: ThePythonicCow
What is it that you think is Shaq's skin pigmentation explains?
128 posted on 06/04/2002 8:08:23 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Billy_bob_bob
What a seriously rank load of hogwash. I'm no genetic scientist but I can look at Africa and see just what happens when the Europeans who built cities on that continent leave those cities behind to the natives.

Dig into history a little. Do you have any idea what the Germanic barbarians did to Rome when they finally got a hold of it? It took quite some time for what you think of as "European" culture took root across all of Europe.

Hmmm, some peoples build cities, some peoples tear them down. No, no difference between them at all.

That's a straw man. Of course there are differences. The question is whether they are cultural or genetic. The Europeans have done a great deal of both building and tearing down. You can witness the process at work in the Balkans.

Then I look here at formerly great cities like Detroit, populated with people who have been American citizens for generations. Hmmm. What do these examples have in common?

Do you think Europeans had cities forever? They didn't even invent the concept. There were cities in China, India, and the Near East over a thousand years before Europe had any. They learned how to build and maintain them.

129 posted on 06/04/2002 8:10:52 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: gore3000
There's a pretty old hypothesis that explains the lack of genetic variation in humans: "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." The more we learn the more we see evolutionist assumptions refuted by real science.

Actually, you missed a better parallel... That of the Flood.

I posted a thread on the "We Dodged Extinction" article HERE.

Which brings us sorta full circle, since the several chapters of Genesis after the Flood tell how the different races and ethnicities sprang from the sons of Noah.




130 posted on 06/04/2002 8:12:22 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: gore3000
"There's a pretty old hypothesis that explains the lack of genetic variation in humans: "And God created man in His own image" Let's put the same hypothesis to work to explain the surprising lack of genetic vatriation between humans and apes.
131 posted on 06/04/2002 8:14:01 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: cornelis
Pap.

Traditional classification of species would not say that there are diferenet species of mankind; ala races.

Yet all IQ tests over the last 100 years indicate that average IQ DOES show statistically diferences between groups according to self identified race.

The low to high average is 17%. This means that on the average, certain self identified races score 17% higher on intellegence tests than other self identified races.

Traditional classification of species seeks to find identifiers that distinguish between species. Here it is.

The IQ differential is more than 100 years old, and continues to today. SAT scores, ACT scores, are reliable IQ indicators to get you into Mensa. Yet the racial gap remains. Read "the bell curve."

Oh yeah, I am not in the highest racialy scoring group. That would be Asians.

132 posted on 06/04/2002 8:15:09 PM PDT by MonroeDNA
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To: tallhappy
"That race cannot be biologically defined is objective fact."

This statement is an objective lie. That there are biological differences between the races is easy to determine by simply observing your neighbors.

More junk science, from wishfully thinking "scientists".

133 posted on 06/04/2002 8:16:20 PM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: Sabertooth
I always wanted to meet someone who really thinks there was a flood and an Ark and two of every insect, etc. How do you explain the greater variation in Apes? Maybe Noah messed up and brough a whole mess of Apes on the ark?
134 posted on 06/04/2002 8:18:28 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Poohbah
I would put forth that most "racial" variations of behavior are more due to cultural influences than genetic.

Then which came first, the chicken (race) or the egg (culture)?

135 posted on 06/04/2002 8:20:02 PM PDT by William Terrell
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To: Demosthenes
Don't be silly. There are no races so there cannot be any black men. We are all exactly the same.

< / sarcasm>

136 posted on 06/04/2002 8:20:28 PM PDT by Ronin
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To: wcbtinman
Let's test. Do all blue eyed people constitute a single race? How about all people to whom fennel tasts bitter? In either case, why or why not?
137 posted on 06/04/2002 8:20:49 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: MonroeDNA
Oh yeah, I am not in the highest racialy scoring group. That would be Asians.

Nope. Jews of Eastern European origin.

138 posted on 06/04/2002 8:21:21 PM PDT by Interesting Times
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To: MonroeDNA
Oh yeah, I am not in the highest racialy scoring group. That would be Asians.

If this is so, why don't we live in a world dominated by Eastern Civilization. Why did Europe conquer Asia, Africa and the New World, rather than Asia conquering Europe, Africa, and the New World. Why isn't India and China more advanced than Europe and the United States?

139 posted on 06/04/2002 8:22:17 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: Arleigh
Not to mention differences between the tolerance of cold and heat. I have lived and worked the world over in many varied racial cultures/environments. For me to deny that there are at least superficial differences obvious even to my untrained eye would be self denial of my own observations.
140 posted on 06/04/2002 8:23:29 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: Interesting Times
Then why not Sephardic or Oriental Jews?
141 posted on 06/04/2002 8:24:20 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: LWalk18
Places that develop quickly tend to have a lot of outside trade. Greece, for example, after they defeated the Penelopensian (?) navy and become a major trading nation. Europeans have a high degree of cultural variation within a geographical area the size of China. You get cross-pollination through trade, travel, war, etc.
142 posted on 06/04/2002 8:25:10 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Question_Assumptions
Because their culture is severely messed up. You may also want to look at the comparative differences when you seperate Caribean blacks from American blacks.

You need to travel to Haiti and Jamaica and observe.

143 posted on 06/04/2002 8:25:54 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: Interesting Times
Are Jews supposed to be a racial group or a religion? Why would Jews from Eastern Europre than those from Western Europe. Are they different races? In fact, how many races are there- if racial differences are clear cut, then this question should be easy.
144 posted on 06/04/2002 8:26:20 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: William Terrell
Beats me, to be honest.
145 posted on 06/04/2002 8:27:49 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: wardaddy
It's an error in salience. There are probably unrelated statistical differences between people to whom fennel tastes bitter and people to whom it does not. But that clustering of characteristics doesn't jump out at us the way skin pigmentation does. We'd have a hard time even thinking there's a non-random connection even after we convinced ourselves through carefull observation that the satistical differences were real. But when we see statistical differences between people with different skin pigmentation, for some reason, it stirkes people immediately as salient and it's hard for many people even to think it's an accidental connection with no deep explanatory or causal significance.
146 posted on 06/04/2002 8:28:07 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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Comment #147 Removed by Moderator

To: William Terrell
Then which came first, the chicken (race) or the egg (culture)?

a most excellent reply!!

148 posted on 06/04/2002 8:29:46 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
His middle name.
149 posted on 06/04/2002 8:31:46 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
The expression "folk theory" is a handy one to have. There are folk theories about cold remedies, folk theories about unlucky days of the month and folk theories of race. What they have in common is that they are persisent and widely held despite being refutable and frequently refuted. More in a bit.
150 posted on 06/04/2002 8:32:13 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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