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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: tallhappy
[Sickle-cell anemia] is based on proximity to malarial areas. Thus there are Asian populations prone to it and African populations not.

Not to mention some Italian populations.

51 posted on 06/04/2002 6:38:25 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
It is based on ancestral proximity to malarial areas.

Yes. That is correct and I would assume undesood and inherent in the comment.

What is proven is that sickle cell anemia does not correlate with with what we define as racial groups.

Why are you emotionally attached to the idea of biologically based race categorization?

52 posted on 06/04/2002 6:39:00 PM PDT by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
Do you know the story about an American newspaper reporter asking Baby Doc Duvalier (former Haitian dictator) what percentage of Haitian society was white? Baby Doc says 95%. The reporter is _sure_ he's been misunderstood. So he repeats the question: What percentage of Haitians are _white_? Again, he gets the answer: 95%. Finally he asks how Baby Doc defines a white person. Baby doc shoots back: How do you define a black person in America? The reporter replies: Someone with some black blood. Baby doc smiles and says. That's how we define a white person in Haiti -- a person with some white blood.
53 posted on 06/04/2002 6:40:58 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Irene Adler
I think the 15-point gap is pretty consistent over all the common IQ tests.

Are there any IQ tests that do not require some sort of basic cultural awareness on the test-taker's part?

54 posted on 06/04/2002 6:41:15 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: cornelis; All
We Dodged Extinction
Chimpanzees
‘Pruned’ Family Tree Leaves Little Genetic Variety

Just one group of chimpanzees can have more genetic diversity than all 6 billion humans on the planet. (Corel)



Special to ABCNEWS.com
A worldwide research program has come up with astonishing evidence that humans have come so close to extinction in the past that it’s surprising we’re here at all.
    Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at San Diego, and other members of a research team studied genetic variability among humans and our closest living relatives, the great apes of Africa.
     Humanoids are believed to have split off from chimpanzees about 5 million to 6 million years ago. With the passage of all that time, humans should have grown at least as genetically diverse as our “cousins.” That turns out to be not true.
     “We actually found that one single group of 55 chimpanzees in west Africa has twice the genetic variability of all humans,” Gagneux says. “In other words, chimps who live in the same little group on the Ivory Coast are genetically more different from each other than you are from any human anywhere on the planet.”

Primate Tree
The branch lengths illustrate the number of genetic differences, not only between species, but among species as well. The pruned bush for humans shows how little genetic diversity exists. (Marco Doelling/ABCNEWS.com)

The Family Bush
“The family tree shows that the human branch has been pruned,” Gagneux says. “Our ancestors lost much of their original variability.”
     “That makes perfectly good sense,” says Bernard Wood, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Origins at George Washington University and an expert on human evolution.
     “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.”
     The most plausible explanation, he adds, is that at least once in our past, something caused the human population to drop drastically. When or how often that may have happened is anybody’s guess. Possible culprits include disease, environmental disaster and conflict.

Almost Extinct
“The evidence would suggest that we came within a cigarette paper’s thickness of becoming extinct,” Wood says.
     Gagneux, who has spent the last 10 years studying chimpanzees in Africa, says the implications are profound.
     “If you have a big bag full of marbles of different colors, and you lose most of them, then you will probably end up with a small bag that won’t have all the colors that you had in the big bag,” he says.
     Similarly, if the size of the human population was severely reduced some time in the past, or several times, the “colors” that make up our genetic variability will also be reduced.
     If that is indeed what happened, then we should be more like each other, genetically speaking, than the chimps and gorillas of Africa. And that’s just what the research shows.
     “We all have this view in our minds that we [humans] started precariously as sort of an ape-like creature” and our numbers grew continuously, adds Wood. “We’re so used to the population increasing inexorably over the past few hundred years that we think it has always been like that.”
     But if it had, Gagneux notes, our genetic variability should be at least as great as that of apes.

A Stormy Past
Gagneux is the lead author of a report that appeared in the April 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, carried out with researchers in Germany, Switzerland and the United States, is the first to examine large numbers of all four ape species in Africa.
     “We can do that now because new technology allows us to non-invasively take some hair, or even some fruit that these apes chew, and then we get their DNA from a couple of cells that stick to a hair or a piece of fruit they chewed.”
     Then they compared the DNA variability of apes and chimps to that of 1,070 DNA sequences collected by other researchers from humans around the world. They also added the DNA from a bone of a Neanderthal in a German museum. The results, the researchers say, are very convincing.
     “We show that these taxa [or species] have very different amounts and patterns of genetic variation, with humans being the least variable,” they state.
     Yet humans have prevailed, even though low genetic variability leaves us more susceptible to disease.
     “Humans, with what little variation they have, seem to maximize their genetic diversity,” Gagneux says.
     “It’s ironic,” he notes, that after all these years the biggest threat to chimpanzees is human intrusion into their habitats. When he returned to Africa to study a group of chimps he had researched earlier, Gagneux found them gone.
     “They were dead,” he says, “and I mean the whole population had disappeared in five years.”
     Yet as our closest living relatives, chimps still have much to teach us about ourselves.

Lee Dye’s column appears Wednesdays on ABCNEWS.com. A former science writer for the Los Angeles Times, he now lives in Juneau, Alaska.




55 posted on 06/04/2002 6:42:13 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: Dumb_Ox
Not to mention some Italian populations.

Exactly.

If 10 to 20% of the US population happened to be from malarial regions of Bangladesh we would understandibly, but superficially, associate Sickle cell anemia with that ethnic or racial group.

56 posted on 06/04/2002 6:42:26 PM PDT by tallhappy
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To: ThePythonicCow
"It's communism, socialism, liberalism (in the current abuse of the word). It's tyranny." I don't think that has anything to do with this issue. It's an empirical question. Can you find a genetic marker for race? Ie, is there some gene that darkly complected people carry in common which is causally responsible for the traits that people associate with darkly complected people?
57 posted on 06/04/2002 6:42:53 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Poohbah
Extracting and karyotyping XYY is pretty straight forward. The X0 Turner's syndrome (female) is similarly determined. XXY is Klinefelter's syndrome. It is mechanical observation. The presence of the genotypic expression as observed via the karyotype is not a guarantee of phenotypic expression. A phenotypic expression confirmed by examination of the karyotype would be unsurprising.

A description of typical XYY supermales gleaned from another web page:


58 posted on 06/04/2002 6:45:37 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Billy_bob_bob
"To summarize: Bla bla bla Lysenkoism bla bla bla nonsense data bla bla bla egalitarianism bla bla bla equality bla bla bla ." If you're telling me that's what you understood from the article, I believe you.
59 posted on 06/04/2002 6:45:40 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Myrddin
OK, I haven't kept up with the literature like I should have. The IQ information is

The most dangerous creature on God's Green Earth is as follows: a man with a high IQ, high testosterone, a violently crackpot idea or two, an absolute certainty of his own righteousness, and an ability to turn on the "Reality Distortion Field" and inspire people to commit mayhem in his name.

60 posted on 06/04/2002 6:48:31 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
Ah yes, the prophet Darwin.
Don’t drink the primordial soup!
61 posted on 06/04/2002 6:53:22 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
No - there is not a single marker distinguishing races, to the best of my expectations.

But that's not where this article is going. There are statistical differences between groups, even though the groups are not well defined at the boundaries, and though there is no single clear way to distinguish them.

Indeed, the groups almost totally overlap. Almost any white man can find some black man he can out jump, and almost any black man can find a white man who can outjump him. The biggest strongest NBA center is a black man, and since George Mikan usually has been. But there are usually both black and white centers succeeding in the NBA at any given time.

These differences are biological and exist, with 99% overlap and no clear boundary. This article doesn't dispute that, though it does its darndest to cloud that fact. Why? What agenda is it persuing? Not one I subscribe to, of that I'm confident.

62 posted on 06/04/2002 6:54:28 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
It's communism, socialism, liberalism

No one ever argued that the Soviet domination of Chess from 1950 - 90, was evidence of their genetically superior intellectual capacity. Soviet grandmasters agreed that it was their state funded training program that produced their success. link

63 posted on 06/04/2002 6:54:55 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: Heartlander
I believe God created the Universe over billions of years to serve His ends.
64 posted on 06/04/2002 6:55:44 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
I'm sure both cultural and genetic factors are involved. But culture is to some extent produced by the innate characteristics of the people in question.
65 posted on 06/04/2002 6:58:44 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Poohbah
Please accept my humble apology.

It was kinda’ funny though…

66 posted on 06/04/2002 7:00:21 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
No problem.

God created evolution. By saying those three words, I manage to tick off BOTH extremes of the crevo debate.

67 posted on 06/04/2002 7:01:34 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
Yup - where "evolution" is one manifestation of our current limited understanding of what's really going on.
68 posted on 06/04/2002 7:03:39 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow
The question isn't simply how great the differences are statistically between lightly and darkly complected people (ie do they meet some arbitrary threshold). Folk theories of race consist of claims like the following: "He's fast because he's black." That's a causal claim. What's the most charitable way to construe it? Surely the claim isn't that skin pigmentation itself makes one run faster, otherwise sprinters would train in tanning salons. The most charitable interpretation is that there's some genetic marker for skin pigmentation that is also responsible for one being fleet footed. Ie, the skin pigmentation the running ability have a common genetic cause. A genetic vindication of a folk theory of race would find those common causes. But when we look, they're not there.
69 posted on 06/04/2002 7:04:45 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: ThePythonicCow
Part of what I believe is that God works in a "hands-off" mode when it comes to the physical world--because to blatantly stick His fingerprints all over would neutralize our free will to believe and follow Him or not.
70 posted on 06/04/2002 7:05:22 PM PDT by Poohbah
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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?

No, but some tests have less cultural bias than others. The racial differences increase the more one decreases cultural bias, according to Murray.

71 posted on 06/04/2002 7:09:13 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: PatrickHenry
Placemarker.
72 posted on 06/04/2002 7:12:14 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: tallhappy
If race cannot be biologically defined, it's only because biologists refuse to define it. There are, in fact, huge differences between races. One of the more interesting ones is that Japanese people rarely have the underarm glands which produce the strong odor which we Caucasians obsess over masking. This odor almost certainly contains pheromones, which influence mating and other behavior. The presence of these glands in Japanese is so rare that it used to be grounds for exemption from military service in Japan -- it was considered a medical disorder.
73 posted on 06/04/2002 7:17:44 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: GovernmentShrinker
And vice-versa. If a certain trait is valued by the culture, there's a better chance that it will be selected. For example, what will be the long term effects of the Holocaust on Jews? It has already resulted in the reestablishment of the state of Israel and an aggressive self-defense mindset. Will this mindset now be selected genetically because it is seen as important?
74 posted on 06/04/2002 7:18:20 PM PDT by mikegi
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
True, such vindication is not there.

But it is true that West Africans dominate the 100 meter, and East Africans the long distances. To quote from the link below:

For a much more careful and detailed explanation of this, see TABOO: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We're Afraid to Talk About It .

You are misconstruing what I'm saying, turning it into a paper tiger, and then demolishing it.

75 posted on 06/04/2002 7:18:55 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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Comment #76 Removed by Moderator

To: GovernmentShrinker
Perhaps Al Gore wishes he was Japanese -- he wouldn't have had to worry about military service.
77 posted on 06/04/2002 7:21:17 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: Poohbah
Giving one better evidence for the truth somehow defeats a persons free will? In that case, come. Let me enslave you.
78 posted on 06/04/2002 7:21:49 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: ThePythonicCow
Do Races Differ in Athletic Ability?
Do races differ in athletic ability? Do Blacks really dominate sports? The answer to these questions is no. Unfortunately, this response flies in the face of commonly accepted logic. Most Americans believe that races are real and correspond to their common sense observations.

79 posted on 06/04/2002 7:22:49 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: Poohbah
Even our free will is part of His scheme, the grand order.
80 posted on 06/04/2002 7:23:04 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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Comment #81 Removed by Moderator

To: ConsistentLibertarian
Giving one better evidence for the truth somehow defeats a persons free will? In that case, come. Let me enslave you.

Well, I suppose that, if there was an elephant in your bedroom, you could deny that there was an elephant in there--but you'd have to give an alternate explanation of WHY the place is so damn crowded.

The decision to believe or not believe in God is the most interior one of our lives. God's not going to nudge the scales either way in the physical world, only in the realm of of the soul. And even that is going to be whisper-quiet

82 posted on 06/04/2002 7:25:14 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: cornelis
Another link from Graves does not convince me; the posting at the top of this thread is also by him, and as I elaborated in my first response on this thread, his position is deeply confused.
83 posted on 06/04/2002 7:26:41 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow
"it is true that West Africans dominate the 100 meter" Yes. And many people are tempted to make the inviting inference, and say "they dominate because they are black". That's an explanation which appeals to race. If it were true, it would be a vindication of a folk theory of race, ie the view that race plays an explanatory/causal role. What the article argues is that the folk theory of race is mistaken. I'll let you say whether you agree or disagree with that claim so as to avoid misatributing a view to you.
84 posted on 06/04/2002 7:27:15 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
Perhaps it is like this, perhaps more subtle.
85 posted on 06/04/2002 7:27:48 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: JediGirl
We already knew that all humanity fit within one species. No group has lost the ability to make viable, fertile children with any other group. "Race," as we apply it to humans, corresponds to "variety" as we apply it to orioles or wild columbines.

If I understand correcty however, by the measure the author of this article is using, a human and a mouse aren't all that different, either. It isn't just the raw genes; it's the interpretation. It may be too early to say as the author does that we actually have almost no differences.

86 posted on 06/04/2002 7:31:03 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
"here obviously must be DNA elements that select for each of the specific distinguishing traits of a race -- the red hair of the Irishman, the eyefolds of the Chinese, the nappy hair of the African -- and by mapping the PATTERN of these variations, one will have established the genetic basis of race." That's Step 1. Step 2 would be to show that the genetic basis for the eyefolds of the Chinese is causally responsible for any of the features a folk theory of face attributes to people of Chinese descent. If not, then all claims of the form "X is good at math because he's Chinese" or "X has a big penis because he's black" are false. That is to say, the folk theory of race is tripe.
87 posted on 06/04/2002 7:31:18 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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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.

Oh, horsesh*t. What is your source for that?

The racial grievance industry has spent the past fifty years trying to validate this "cultural bias" crap about academic testing, even to the point of being allowed to write the damn things themselves. And the differences not only never disappear, they don't even narrow!

88 posted on 06/04/2002 7:31:29 PM PDT by winin2000
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To: Heartlander
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 guy is so full of it, it is unbelievable. It was Darwin and his friends that developed the brachio-cephalic index which "proved" that blacks were a lower species than whites and closer to chimps. It was Darwin who said that Europeans had beaten off the Turks because whites are a superior race. Darwin was an inveterate racist and anyone who reads the Descent of Man can see that for himself. This guy is just whoring around spouting every pc mantra out there. There are differences between the races, genetic differences. Blacks are black and Caucasians are white and so are their children.

89 posted on 06/04/2002 7:33:51 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: cornelis
Wow.
Bump for great freeping.
90 posted on 06/04/2002 7:33:56 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: winin2000
I don't know why the left insist there are no differences. You'd think their position would be something like the following: "A disproportionate number of black children grow up poor, with inadequate prenatal care, etc etc. This limits their opportunities in life, even to the point of limiting the development of their IQ". I don't understand why they want to argue that discrimination is pervasive and unjust and then argue it has no effect.
91 posted on 06/04/2002 7:34:26 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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Comment #92 Removed by Moderator

To: cornelis

The author, Joseph L. Graves, Jr.

Yup.....I can't tell what "race" he is. I reckon he's right then.

93 posted on 06/04/2002 7:37:18 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: Irene Adler
I think the 15-point gap is pretty consistent over all the common IQ tests.

Maybe, but there is really no known way to measure raw intelligence, so culture comes into play in a huge way with these tests. The gansta culture that American blacks are bombarded with is very much anti-intellectual and discourages acedemic achievement, so a lot of low scores are probably due to lack of motivation and preparation rather than low intelligence.

94 posted on 06/04/2002 7:37:21 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
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To: winin2000
The racial grievance industry has spent the past fifty years trying to validate this "cultural bias" crap about academic testing, even to the point of being allowed to write the damn things themselves. And the differences not only never disappear, they don't even narrow!

Please note that I didn't say "race." I said "socioeconomic factors." 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. If either kid is any sort of intellectual prodigy, it will be identified early on by parents seeking to create a status-symbol kid, and that talent will be nurtured and developed at no small expense to the parents.

Meanwhile, po' folks have po' ways. They also produce offspring that score below the mean as a whole.

The issue is that as a percentage of their respective racial groupings, blacks are far more likely to be po' than whites. THAT, in turn, has its genesis in cultural matters tied only very indirectly to race.

95 posted on 06/04/2002 7:37:28 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Arleigh
You've hit the nail on the head. If we assume that all races are exactly identical that just gives fool to people who want to blame all the problems of every minority group on whites. Why is it then that hispanics and blacks score extremely poorly in school and are much more likely to become involved in crime than say Asians.

If you accept evolution, then you know that different human populations have evolved in wildly different environments under different selective pressures for tens of thousands of years. During this time average height, weight, bone structure, skin color, disease resistance, and virtually every other gene frequency have changed among those different human populations. In fact, the odds of any single human characterisitc being invariant after tens of thousands of years of evolution for every single different human populations is so astronomically slim as to not even be worth considering.

Look, Asians are shorter than Blacks but we don't spend billions of dollars on childhood nutrition programs trying to make Asians as tall as Blacks. Like it or not there are genetic differences between the races that cannot be changed. Now the individual variation is huge and normally these racial differences are not a big deal. But when you insist on categorizing people by race and compiling statistics, then these average differences are going to emerge very clearly. Lower intellectual performance by blacks does not imply racist white teachers any more than lower height by asians implies racism. It's time we truly accepted diversity. People are not the same, and we would be alot better off if we opened our eyes, accepted reality and dealt with it, rather than just believing what makes us feel good.

I bring this up not because I like to feel my race is superior to any other, it really doesn't matter, I'm an individual. But what does infuriate me is that me and all members of my race are constantly demonized by the media and targetted for discrimination because we perform too well compared to other groups. The implication is that the only reason I perform better is due to racism and preferences and that I don't really deserve what I get. I find this attitude highly racist and prejudicial. It's time to stop blaming whites for minority underperformance.

96 posted on 06/04/2002 7:37:59 PM PDT by Godel
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
Cute kids. Congratulations. But identifying the genes responsible for their hair color isn't enough to vindicate a folk theory of race unless it can vindicate the causal/explanatory role that race plays in that folk theory. Ie, finding the genes responsible for dark skin pigmentation isn't by itself going to justify the claim that "X is fast because he's black." Finding the genes responsible for foot speed won't help either. What you need is to find some causal connection, not a mere correlation, between the two. Good luck.
97 posted on 06/04/2002 7:38:56 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Squawk 8888;winin2000
The gansta culture that American blacks are bombarded with is very much anti-intellectual and discourages acedemic achievement, so a lot of low scores are probably due to lack of motivation and preparation rather than low intelligence.

Bingo.

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about, winin2000...

98 posted on 06/04/2002 7:39:13 PM PDT by Poohbah
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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?Look, from this post and others it is clear that you will not see the obvious. Stephen Jay Gould (RIP) spent a good deal of time trying to prove (mostly to himself, I think) that genes are insignificant contributors to the differences in human intelligence. Here are some facts:
--the gap between blacks and whites in aggregate is consistent through different ages (from toddlers through adulthood) and through different testing methodologies
--if it were significantly culturally based, then Native Americans and Hispanics should do worse than blacks. They don't. Further, Asians who arrive off the boat who can hardly speak English often do better than whites on these tests
--blacks raised in middle middle and upper middle class households score at about the same level as their inner city counterparts
--for anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of biological principles to believe that the crowning achievement of human evolution, ie, intelligence, is not to a great degree inherited needs to go back to school.

All this being said, we must understand that this does not make it possible to predict intellectual functioning for the individual of any race or ethnic group; these data are only for the aggregate. Oh--and the twin studies are on the money; they are not flawed just because people who disagree with their findings say they are. And finally, there is not a shred of evidence to support the point that genes do not play the major role here. Gould's ridiculous book, The Mismeasure of Man needed to go back to the 19th century and attack the strawmen of that era (eg, phrenology) in order to make his "case."

99 posted on 06/04/2002 7:39:15 PM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Godel
Godel! Wow. I know someone you used to babysit.
100 posted on 06/04/2002 7:40:09 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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