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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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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
"In the United States today, the two ethnic groups which consistently show the highest levels of academic achievement are Jews and Chinese. (Who will say nay?) Someone familiar with test scores and Ivy League admission rates might generalize from this and say, "Jews and Chinese are smart." Now, this generalization does not overlook fact that there are many Jews and Chinese of mediocre academic merits (and no doubt some who are as dumb as a stump), but it is a rational conclusion based upon observable data." Let's put this red herring to rest. Some people get nervous at generalizations because they think you're somehow saying everyone is the same way. You're not. You're just making a statistical claim. So there shouldn't be any issue here about the bare statistical claims. Yes, there are statistical differences between populations. If you compare lightly and darkly complected people you'll find statistical differences. Let's move on to the exciting part. More in a bit.
151 posted on 06/04/2002 8:34:49 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
Europeans have a high degree of cultural variation within a geographical area the size of China.

So does Africa.

152 posted on 06/04/2002 8:35:27 PM PDT by Apollo
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
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?

Sorry, you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm not a literal Creationist.

That said, there's far more convergence between what archaeology tells us about civilization and the Genesis account than naysayers may find comfortable. "The Bible as History" by Werner Keller is a classic comparative study, if a little dated.

If you're interested in a hypothetical discussion on how you could conceivably get greater variation out of two chimps than eight humans, go to the thread linked above at #130.

BTW, are you aware that the Bible does mention that some animals were brought aboard the Ark in numbers higher than a pair? None of them apes, however.

One more thing... in the future, you might want to familiarize yourself a little more with the Bible, archaeology, genetics, and who you're talking to before popping off.




153 posted on 06/04/2002 8:36:06 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: LWalk18
Being smarter doesn't necessarily make you meaner. My European ancestors have been some of the meanest (most territorially aggressive) in history.
154 posted on 06/04/2002 8:36:42 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: cornelis
At least I'm not the only one who feels this way.
155 posted on 06/04/2002 8:37:23 PM PDT by In veno, veritas
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
"Do all blue eyed people constitute a single race?"

Gee, I dunno. Ever see any blue eyed "African-Americans"?

156 posted on 06/04/2002 8:39:47 PM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
Someone familiar with test scores and Ivy League admission rates might generalize from this and say, "Jews and Chinese are smart."

As someone who's hung around Jewish and Asian (not just Chinese) families in California, I concluded that "Jews and Asians value education on many levels--they will save really hard and do without a lot of luxuries to put at least one of their kids through a better school than they attended, they ride their backsides about getting their homework done, they hire tutors, et cetera."

One of my high school classmates was the son of a RVNAF pilot who got out at the last moment, and came to San Diego. The father worked three jobs, one of them pretty damn menial, to be able to send his six kids to college. He rode them HARD about their studies, and demanded that they also do outside community work (always good on the selection resume), and always pushed them to develop themselves. My classmate graduated near the top of our class only six years later, and went to UCLA; his younger sister received a Congressional appointment to the Air Force Academy (and became the apple of Daddy's eye); the youngest son wound up going to Harvard on a full merit scholarship.

Most kids don't GET that kind of direction from their parents.

157 posted on 06/04/2002 8:40:49 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
I certainly don't view it as an accident. Different races have evolved around the planet at varying speeds relative to what we call civilizations. I'm not saying anyone is better or worse but simply different generally based on race and there are of course differences within each race and their repsective sub-groups. Take American Indians and Sub-Saharan Negroes: Neither had the wheel nor a phonetic written alphabet until introduced by an exploring race. Both of those tools are considered defining benchmarks of civilization. Did neither of these groups possess these because of racial discrepancy or because of environmental factors?....that I do not know the answer for. Why for instance are the Mandarins and the Japanese fairly highly evolved and yet Montangards or other isolated highland Asian tribes are not? In that case, it could be because of environmental factors. Why were the Romans and Greeks fairly evolved as well yet the continuing waves of Teutonic tribes spilling over from the steppes would have been considered less evolved?

No doubt determining what differences are racial and what are cultural or simply purely geographic in origin is tough but to ignore simple race as a factor is wishful "what if" thinking.

158 posted on 06/04/2002 8:40:51 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: wcbtinman
Gee, I dunno. Ever see any blue eyed "African-Americans"? Actually, I have right in my own family.
159 posted on 06/04/2002 8:41:40 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: cornelis
There is no "biological case" against race. Dobermans, Golden Retrievers, and poodles are all the same species and undoubtably interbreed far more often than European-Americans, blacks, and Asians do - but anyone who's been around dogs much knows that all three breeds (races) of dogs are markedly different both physically and mentally.

Or has anyone forgotten the O.J. trial - at which his black-led legal defense team argued that DNA comparisons had to be made to the same racial group?

Or what about racially-linked genetic diseases - such as sickle-cell anemia?

It is time to tell the truth!

160 posted on 06/04/2002 8:41:49 PM PDT by glc1173@aol.com
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To: Billy_bob_bob
There is only a 3% difference between humans and corn. Kinda puts it in perspective doesn't it?
161 posted on 06/04/2002 8:42:17 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: wardaddy
Then why not Sephardic or Oriental Jews?

Why? I have no idea. We're a long way from having a causal handle on any of this...

Still, Ashkenazi Jews seem to have significantly higher IQs than Sephardic Jews, Asians, whites and blacks.

162 posted on 06/04/2002 8:43:41 PM PDT by Interesting Times
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Comment #163 Removed by Moderator

To: BurkeCalhounDabney
OK, let's take a case where race actually does some explanatory work. Question: Why did Europeans enslave Africans when it would have been cheaper to ensalve other Europeans? It's tempting, if the background presupposition is true, to venture that race plays an exlanatory role in this case. But not in virtue of any intersting biological fact. It's not the bare fact of skin pigmentation that does the explanatory work. It's the attitudes Europeans had towards differences in skin pigmentation: Imagine if they had the same attitudes towards differences in one's abilitly to taste the bitterness in fennel ...
164 posted on 06/04/2002 8:46:18 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Apollo
So does Africa if you include the Northern coast of Arabs and other Caucasian tribes....some of which are mixed to varying degrees with the Negroid tribes from the South but the difference in Africa is a North/South issue...or in a limited manner between the interior and the coast which had more contact with the outside world.

It's not much different than the Americas before Colombus. Yes you had the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs but aside from those it was all a relatively similar cultural hodgepodge. And least we forget, all the vaunted American Indian cultures of note were subdued handily by a few mean as hell Spainards on horseback with primitive firearms. Ironically, the less advanced but hardier and simply tougher Plains Indians put up a much better fight proportionately.

165 posted on 06/04/2002 8:48:26 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
You said before you were having a hard time understanding. I believe you.
166 posted on 06/04/2002 8:48:41 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: wardaddy
You need to travel to Haiti and Jamaica and observe.

You'll notice that there is a substantial difference between conditions in Haiti and Jamaica. Those differences are largely cultural.

167 posted on 06/04/2002 8:49:02 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: glc1173@aol.com
"Or has anyone forgotten the O.J. trial - at which his black-led legal defense team argued that DNA comparisons had to be made to the same racial group?" Your citing Johnnie Cochran as an authority? I can't imagine a weaker argument.
168 posted on 06/04/2002 8:50:29 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Interesting Times
Askhenzim Jews even with their near Asian Khazar melding(to arguable degrees) are still what I would consider "white".....most of them I know emphatically would insist they are white....LOL
169 posted on 06/04/2002 8:50:30 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: Poohbah
Beats me, to be honest.

Well, I think it's an important question to get at the truth of the issue.

I'm no historian, but I managed to walk over some lengthy stretches of world history reading here and there over the years. It appears that caucasian cultures are very different than, say, oriental cultures. As oriental cultures are very similar within themselves, so are caucasian cultures. That is contrasted against those of black, browns and reds, which in turn are contrasted against one another. The rule seems to remain true, alien to one another and similar within one another.

Why are people so afraid of race that they would makes fools of themselves with articles that try to refute what is as plain as a green elephant in a herd of jack rabbits? Sometimes I wonder if they think all people are born complete idiots, and have to complete at least four years at a major US university to acquire intelligence.

170 posted on 06/04/2002 8:50:40 PM PDT by William Terrell
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To: LWalk18
"Actually, I have right in my own family."

Given all of the blacks I have observed in my lifetime, I would say that if there is someone in your family who is the offspring of unmixed negroid ancestry, and has blue eyes, I would have to consider that possible, but statistically akin to a birth defect. No offense meant, and if someone can provide some documentation to the contrary, I will gladly stand corrected.

Actually I was being flippant towards ConsistentLibertarian for trying to put up a meaningless argument.

171 posted on 06/04/2002 8:53:12 PM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: William Terrell
As oriental cultures are very similar within themselves, so are caucasian cultures.

Anyone who has studied the differences between French, English, and German common law wouldn't say that. They are VERY different, to the point where England would be far better served if she entered an EU-type relationship with the ANZAC nations rather than the EU, and when France and Germany try to harmonize their laws under the EU, they're going to be bickering for years, or until Germany says "BOO!" and the Frech surrender =:o)

172 posted on 06/04/2002 8:53:20 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
Who is Caucasian? Traditional scientific grouping include Europeans, Arabs, and Asian Indians in that catagories, yet those three cultures are rather different.
173 posted on 06/04/2002 8:55:59 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: Question_Assumptions
I have lived and worked in dozens of "black countries" around the globe. Poverty, serial illegitimacy, tolerated polygamy, rampant crime,inability to self govern, etc are endemic in all of them....sans Bermuda and the Cayman Islands (which is mostly mulatto)...and perhaps a few other heavy tourist spots(some of the Windwards). Zim and SA are soon to follow. Is this strictly cultural, racial or is it simply that most of these countries(and cultures) are playing catch-up civilization-wise? I think it is a bit of all of it and a result of one aspect affecting the other and so on.
174 posted on 06/04/2002 8:56:30 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: Poohbah
*sigh*


175 posted on 06/04/2002 8:56:36 PM PDT by William Terrell
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To: LWalk18
"Rather" different? =:o)
176 posted on 06/04/2002 8:56:50 PM PDT by Poohbah
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Comment #177 Removed by Moderator

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

Yes, that's why they do studies on monozygotic twins RAISED APART, i.e. in different environments.

178 posted on 06/04/2002 8:58:03 PM PDT by Godel
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To: Question_Assumptions
Jamaica outside of the touristy areas is mired in serious poverty and crime (even though guns are nearly outlawed). Haiti would be Sierra Leone or Liberia were it not so close to the US or shared it's island with the Dom Rep which btw is no poster child for posterity but benefits Haiti to a degree.
179 posted on 06/04/2002 8:59:09 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: r9etb
This is not logical -- but it is politically correct.

And given the priorities in our Universities today, the latter is all that really matters.

180 posted on 06/04/2002 9:00:35 PM PDT by Godel
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To: LWalk18
The three groups you mentioned are indeed considered Caucazoid by experts who use such classifications. They are sub-groups.
181 posted on 06/04/2002 9:01:10 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: LWalk18
Why isn't India and China more advanced than Europe and the United States?

[topic drift]Gwyn Dyer wrote a terrific op-ed piece several years ago with his own theory. Belongs in a whole 'nother thread (I'll post it if I can track it down), but the essence of his article was that the decline of Chinese civilization was the direct result of centralized authority because innovators and dissidents had nowhere to go, whereas in Europe there was far greater mobility so that someone getting grief in one state could go elsewhere.[/topic drift]

182 posted on 06/04/2002 9:01:15 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
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To: wcbtinman
You did not say unmixed Negroid ancestry, you said African-Americans- a grouping that includes Mariah Carey and Michael Jordan.
183 posted on 06/04/2002 9:01:33 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; maknight; South40; condolinda; mafree; trueblackman; FRlurker...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Don't know how I missed this one!

184 posted on 06/04/2002 9:03:35 PM PDT by mhking
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To: Arleigh
Twin studies show that genetics accounts for... 50% of sexual behavior

I hope you've got your asbestos undies on, now that you've endorsed the reality of the Gay Gene[tm] on FR.

185 posted on 06/04/2002 9:03:52 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: LWalk18
Mariah Carey contrary to her protestations is an octoroon at best. Her dad is a fairly light mulatto Venezuelan. White guilt has caused a number of celebrities to clamor for their "blackness". Ironic isn't it? We should call it the Halle Berry syndrome. I'm black when it suits me and white when it suits me.
186 posted on 06/04/2002 9:05:38 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: steve-b
Yup. That's the piece that makes me question the whole premise of these studies.
187 posted on 06/04/2002 9:05:53 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: wardaddy
Under the Jim Crow laws present until the 1960's, she most certainly been subject to same restrictions as her darker counterparts, so that is irrelevant. Calling her an octoroon is speculation- I know persons born of two black person lighter than her or Halle Berry.
188 posted on 06/04/2002 9:09:42 PM PDT by LWalk18
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To: cornelis
This author is pretty much full of it. Biologically humans are all one species, so are dogs. Like different breeds of dogs there are different breeds of man.

Like it or not that is a fact and no amount of PC will ever erase it.

Myself, I do not care what color or breed you are; can you pull your weight in society ? If so, then we have no cause for true quarrel.

189 posted on 06/04/2002 9:10:24 PM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: cornelis
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.

This is an outrageous misrepresentation. Here's Darwin:

There is however no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other, - as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain. ... The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation, and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental capacities are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual, faculties.

What Darwin argues, and what makes him liberal for his time, is that these differences are not enough to make different species out of the races, and that the variation among races is small compared to the features which distinguish humans from the other animals.

190 posted on 06/04/2002 9:10:48 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
We who have to live in the real world with that crazy bitch, Mother Nature, have to develop rules of thumb to survive. These academians don't know about thumbs. Their's were removed as a condition of employment.

191 posted on 06/04/2002 9:11:13 PM PDT by William Terrell
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To: LWalk18
"...a grouping that includes Mariah Carey and Michael Jordan."

I don't know about Jordan, but Carey could just as easily have decided to be "white" and would have been accepted as such, IMHO. IIRC, she is first generation mixed race (white and black parents), and as such, not germain to my point.

192 posted on 06/04/2002 9:13:35 PM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: Poohbah
Are there any IQ tests that do not require some sort of basic cultural awareness on the test-taker's part?...most IQ tests, including the Binet and the Wechsler series, have at least some portions which are not culturally dependent - immediate recall, visual pattern reproduction, etc...but blacks usually have problems with these items also...even when their scores differ from whites within the error of measurement, they differ almost always by being lower, rather than equally above and below which you would expect were the differences truly random due to test variability...there have been all sorts of attempts to prove that the lower IQ's registered by blacks on average are the result of "cultural factors" My favorite involved having a group of blacks judge what items on a particular test would be most difficult for them because they were unfamiliar with the material, then looking at how another group of blacks taking the test did on those items - turned out they actually did slightly better (but not statistically so) on those items than whites taking the test...there is no consistent evidence demonstrating that the differences shown between average black and white IQ's are attributable to cultural influences.....
193 posted on 06/04/2002 9:13:57 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: LWalk18
Hardly, the Greater New Orleans area (and the Miss Gulf Coast) has had a very lightly mixed mulatto class who never abided by Jim Crow and in fact were part of the "oppressor class". I am 7th generation Mississippian and have been around huge numbers of blacks my entire life and have never seen a woman looking like Mariah Carey who was considered "black". Halle Berry..yes. Mariah..no way. I grew up with several folks who it was fairly common knowledge that they had some slave or freedman blood and they were part of the white establishment. If you were white enough looking and had the social and economic pedigree then you were innoculated from Jim Crow.
194 posted on 06/04/2002 9:16:16 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: ThePythonicCow
The key is statistics. Races do exist; they are statistical concepts, not social constructs. The boundaries are blurry, especially these days when there is so much travel and marrying between ethnic groups and races, but when the genome is decoded we will see that each race lives in a definable part of DNA-space, in a statistical sense. As to how much nature or nurture matters in human variation--that's a separate discussion. People who deny the existence of races, a denial that is contrary to common sense and experience, are trying to prevent examination of that question for political reasons.
195 posted on 06/04/2002 9:17:30 PM PDT by maro
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To: maro
Yup. What I'm trying to figure out is for what political reasons. It smells like the classic liberal confusion to me ... stinks. But I haven't been able to articulate that sense persuasively, yet.
196 posted on 06/04/2002 9:22:23 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow, maro
Exactly.....the political reasons?....Hell, they are myriad. Let's not forget the psychological reasons as well: guilt, being "nice", wishing things were all the same in a Kumbaya sort of way. Funny thing is I doubt many Japanese or Mandarins lie awake at night feeling bad about being better at math than whitey or blacks. I know many Askhenazim Jews carry loads of guilt (they are raised that way...as opposed to shame which is reserved for Christians..LOL) but I'll bet nary a high IQ Jew lays around musing about how they wish they were collectively as dumb as their Caucazoid brethren. Nah, all this denial of race is just another finger in the dyke of white guilt designed by whites and for whites. It's such crap. Every race or ethnic group has their good and bad generalizations. We ought to all be able to celebrate the good and try to improve the bad without fear of recrimination. I bet right now Dr J and Michael Jordan are having a beer and lamenting how terrible it is that "white folks can't jump"....see how absurd all this self flagellation is..
197 posted on 06/04/2002 9:33:47 PM PDT by wardaddy
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Comment #198 Removed by Moderator

To: tallhappy
I don't think you are correct.
199 posted on 06/04/2002 9:41:57 PM PDT by Pushi
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To: Poohbah
Those same twin studies "prove" a genetic link to homosexuality.

No they don’t.

200 posted on 06/04/2002 9:44:07 PM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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