I was brought up in the "post-racist" world, and all my education, and those whom I looked up to, taught that there is no real difference based on color. I know this sounds frightful, but over the years I have come to feel that there are real differences between the races. I have based this on experience, and travel, and learning to recongise and respect difference. It is hard to say if these differences are the result of culture or race.
One consequence of modern reproductive technologies is that we will be able to determine if genetic material, on its own, can determine individual characteristics. Up until now, the only studies done on "acquired vs inherited" characteristics, have been done on identical twins seperated a birth (limited and unreliable studies.)
BTW - did you know that chimps and humans differ in their DNA by only 1.5%? We're about 98.5% identical! So, I guess we're really just the same as chimps! And we're really just the same as the gorillas and the spider monkeys as well. Heck, we're probably only about %5 different from a shark! We should make sharks citizens! Oh, wait, we already have lawyers, that's right.
What a seriously rank load of hogwash. I'm no genetic scientist but I can look at Africa and see just what happens when the Europeans who built cities on that continent leave those cities behind to the natives. Hmmm, some peoples build cities, some peoples tear them down. No, no difference between them at all. Then I look here at formerly great cities like Detroit, populated with people who have been American citizens for generations. Hmmm. What do these examples have in common?
This is a very serious case of the Emperor having no clothes whatsoever.
Scientists don't "know" any such thing! This is merely wishful thinking - something that the Hudson Institute specializes in.
First, any student anatomist can identify a person's race by a variety of physical features. Forensic pathologists can often identify a person's race by a single tooth or a few bones.
Second, when it comes to genes, it is much more honest to say that based on the current state of knowledge scientists cannot identify a person's race by analyzing his genes. To point out that there is very little genetic diversity between humans of all races does not mean there aren't meaningful differences between the races. Sometimes, a single genetic defect can make a HUGE difference in a person's wellbeing. Or, look at it this way: Chimps and humans share over 98% of their genetic makeup. Clearly, that 2% makes a LOT of difference.
What bothers me most about this pseudo-scientific hokum that tries to say there are no differences between the races is that it begs the question: Why the disparity in behavior and outcomes? If we are all the same, then why do blacks - 13% of the population - make up only 2% of corporate executives and commit 50% of the crime? Why has black student achievement lagged that of whites at the same rate for nearly 30 years - ever since the government has measured it - despite $billions of government money? If we are all the same - THEN WHITE PEOPLE MUST BE RACIST OPPRESSORS WHO WILL NOT/CANNOT CHANGE. If you were black and believed that the only reason you were not doing as well as whites was because they have been keeping you down for hundreds of years and show no sign of every stopping, how long would YOU put up with this situation?
What a utterly hopeless mess of a book - ten years from now he will have to write a complete retraction.
Ok - first of all he presents some analysis of statistics that show that the DNA diversity between human races is less than that what biologists use to define races or subspecies. Fine, by that definition, humanity is one race. By that definition, fine -- so what?
From this he determines that the assumption that there is significant biological variation amongst groups of humans is false, and that racial categories are socially constructed. Baloney. One example that comes to mind is the difference between East and West African runners. One strong in the sprints, the other in long distances. Or I look at the big men in the NBA - a higher percentage of blacks than in the general population, even though I am one of thousands of white men who would have given our eye tooth to be there, but I'm too short and suffer from white man's disease: white men can't jump.
He goes on to deduce that it's just recent history and racial myth. And he equates thinking to the contrary with racial supremists, such as those who might think that Europeans stand at the pinnacle of perfection, using such thinking to make it legitimate to declare the African slave as chattel. Well, since no person would admit in this day and age to such racist thinking, the contrary position must be right -- that there are no statistically significant biological differences as a group. Baloney. There are clearly such differences, just not large enough to pass the threshold for a separate subspecies.
One way I like to put the point is thus. Say I task you with forming a winning basketball team, and I say you have a choice of two players, one black and one white. I refuse to tell you anything else about these two. In such a case, your best bet would be to pick the black player. Now it might turn out that the black player was Colin Powell, and the white player was Larry Bird. In which case you made the wrong choice, for lack of sufficient information. But given what information you had, you did the right thing.
From all these false arguments, he goes on to determine that racism can be easily deconstructed -- it's just a social disease. But he has changed the topic here entirely.
Racism is unfairly prejudging someone on basis of their race. Any competent basketball team wouldn't ask who's black and pick them, sight unseen. They would find out how well they had played, and how well they could play now. And Larry Bird would beat Colin Powell for such a position everytime, as easily as Tiger Woods would beat me at golf, or I would beat Tiger at computer programming.
However he is not taking racism as this, but rather taking it as any making of statistically significant differences between the human races, which he is saying is just a social confusion which we can easily deconstruct.
I'm not sure where he is going with these confusions, but they can't possibly serve us well.
Animosity demonstrated here against this simple observation is very irrational.
What's y'all's problem?
OK. So a rose is a rose by any other name. Darwin, what a genius.
As I have stated before: if you take, A Pygmy and an Eskimo, and add, walk into a bar you got the beginnings of a pretty good joke.
The punch line is Evolution
We Dodged Extinction
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 its surprising were 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.
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 youve 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 anybodys guess. Possible culprits include disease, environmental disaster and conflict.
The evidence would suggest that we came within a cigarette papers 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 wont 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 thats 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. Were 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.
Its 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 Dyes column appears Wednesdays on ABCNEWS.com. A former science writer for the Los Angeles Times, he now lives in Juneau, Alaska.
The author, Joseph L. Graves, Jr.
Yup.....I can't tell what "race" he is. I reckon he's right then.
And what can these hereditary features be? The article looks only at genetic differences and completely ignores the profound differences found in expression patterns. It is those changes in expression patterns which account for the augmented variation between humans and chimps in such areas as physical, behavioral, and cognitive expression.
Furthermore, considering that we don't even know what genetic sequences in the human genome are meaningful and how (for instance, there is a 2-3 fold spread in opinion about how many genes are contained in the human genome), it is far too early to make a determination about the extent of the biological basis of racial differences. Yet, differences, even in genetic markers follow racial differences closely enough that ethnic identity markers can usefully group people into racial categories. This becomes important not only for disease markers, but also for targeting of pharmaceutical treatments.
(Nevertheless, under the law, we're all equal.)
Traditional classification of species would not say that there are diferenet species of mankind; ala races.
Yet all IQ tests over the last 100 years indicate that average IQ DOES show statistically diferences between groups according to self identified race.
The low to high average is 17%. This means that on the average, certain self identified races score 17% higher on intellegence tests than other self identified races.
Traditional classification of species seeks to find identifiers that distinguish between species. Here it is.
The IQ differential is more than 100 years old, and continues to today. SAT scores, ACT scores, are reliable IQ indicators to get you into Mensa. Yet the racial gap remains. Read "the bell curve."
Oh yeah, I am not in the highest racialy scoring group. That would be Asians.
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!
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Don't know how I missed this one!