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Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations
New York Times ^ | 12-20-02 | Nicholas Wade

Posted on 12/21/2002 3:54:34 AM PST by Pharmboy

Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

The study, based on scans of the whole human genome, is the most thorough to look for patterns corresponding to major geographical regions. These regions broadly correspond with popular notions of race, the researchers said in interviews.

The researchers did not analyze genes but rather short segments of DNA known as markers, similar to those used in DNA fingerprinting tests, that have no apparent function in the body.

"What this study says is that if you look at enough markers you can identify the geographic region a person comes from," said Dr. Kenneth Kidd of Yale University, an author of the report.

The issue of race and ethnicity has forced itself to biomedical researchers' attention because human populations have different patterns of disease, and advances in decoding DNA have made it possible to try and correlate disease with genetics.

The study, published today in Science, finds that "self-reported population ancestry likely provides a suitable proxy for genetic ancestry." In other words, someone saying he is of European ancestry will have genetic similarities to other Europeans.

Using self-reported ancestry "is less expensive and less intrusive" said Dr. Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, the senior author of the study. Rather than analyzing a person's DNA, a doctor could simply ask his race or continent of origin and gain useful information about their genetic make-up.

Several scientific journal editors have said references to race should be avoided. But a leading population geneticist, Dr. Neil Risch of Stanford University, argued recently that race was a valid area of medical research because it reflects the genetic differences that arose on each continent after the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

"Neil's article was theoretical and this is the data that backs up what he said," Dr. Feldman said.

The new result is based on blood samples gathered from around the world as part of the Human Genome Diversity Project, though on a much less ambitious scale than originally intended. Dr. Feldman and his colleagues analyzed the DNA of more than 1,000 people at some 400 markers. Because the sites have no particular function, they are free to change or mutate without harming the individual, and can become quite different over the generations.

The Science authors concluded that 95 percent of the genetic variations in the human genome is found in people all over the world, as might be expected for a small ancestral population that dispersed perhaps as recently as 50,000 years ago.

But as the first human populations started reproducing independently from one another, each started to develop its own pattern of genetic differences. The five major continental groups now differ to a small degree, the Science article says, as judged by the markers. The DNA in the genes is subject to different pressures, like those of natural selection.

Similar divisions of the world's population have been implied by earlier studies based on the Y chromosome, carried by males, and on mitochondrial DNA, bequeathed through the female line. But both elements constitute a tiny fraction of the human genome and it was not clear how well they might represent the behavior of the rest of the genome.

Despite the large shared pool of genetic variation, the small number of differences allows the separate genetic history of each major group to be traced. Even though this split broadly corresponds with popular notions of race, the authors of Science article avoid using the word, referring to the genetic patterning they have found with words like "population structure" and "self-reported population ancestry."

But Dr. Feldman said the finding essentially confirmed the popular conception of race. He said precautions should be taken to make sure the new data coming out of genetic studies were not abused.

"We need to get a team of ethicists and anthropologists and some physicians together to address what the consequences of the next phase of genetic analysis is going to be," he said.

Some diseases are much commoner among some ethnic groups than others. Sickle cell anemia is common among Africans, while hemochromatosis, an iron metabolism disorder, occurs in 7.5 percent of Swedes. It can therefore be useful for a doctor to consider a patient's race in diagnosing disease. Researchers seeking the genetic variants that cause such diseases must take race into account because a mixed population may confound their studies.

The new medical interest in race and genetics has left many sociologists and anthropologists beating a different drum in their assertions that race is a cultural idea, not a biological one. The American Sociological Association, for instance, said in a recent statement that "race is a social construct" and warned of the "danger of contributing to the popular conception of race as biological."

Dr. Alan Goodman, a physical anthropologist at Hampshire College and an adviser to the association, said, "there is no biological basis for race." The clusters shown in the Science article were driven by geography, not race, he said.

But Dr. Troy Duster, a sociologist at New York University and chairman of the committee that wrote the sociologists' statement on race, said it was meant to talk about the sociological implications of classifying people by race and was not intended to discuss the genetics.

"Sociologists don't have the competence to go there," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; carletoncoon; crevolist; genetics; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; humans; multiregionalism; neandertal; pcness; races; truth
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To: gore3000
"The Krakatoa volcano spewed a dust cloud that lasted for two years. There was no worldwide faunal destruction caused by it. There is no evidence of any species having been affected by this Toba eruption either."

We're dealing with an order of magnitude. Toba was a 'super-volcano' and Krakatoa wasn't. The faunal loss due to Toba is well documented.

151 posted on 12/23/2002 6:48:22 AM PST by blam
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To: gore3000
"Not only humans, but all species are of lighter coloring in colder regions than in equatorial regions."

In humans, that is partly due to lack of sufficent amounts of sunlight, vitamin D.

152 posted on 12/23/2002 6:54:15 AM PST by blam
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To: ghostrider
I think they already leaped past that one. The politicians, the media and the universities have spend trillions over the past 20 years to educate us that there are no gender differences

LOL

153 posted on 12/23/2002 7:32:59 AM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Pharmboy
In order to treat "the individual" properly, a diagnosis must be made. In order to do that, a history and physical must be done, along with appropriate laboratory screening tests. Knowing a person's ethnic/genetic background allows for a much more efficient approach to the individual.

That is a poor excuse. To make a proper diagnosis one has to look for evidence, not for statistics - as I said. While some traits may be found more in some groups than others, hardly any are unique to any one group so one must test if one suspects a genetic reason for a problem.

As far as your stuff about environment affecting skin color,so what?

It means that species have the ability to adapt to the environment without mutation. A total disproof of the theory of evolution which proposes that it is mutations which create adaptability. It is ludicrous to say that all species randomly mutate their coloring in the same way.

154 posted on 12/23/2002 7:43:33 AM PST by gore3000
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To: blam
Toba was a 'super-volcano' and Krakatoa wasn't. The faunal loss due to Toba is well documented.

And the loss is documented where? What species died from it?

155 posted on 12/23/2002 7:55:49 AM PST by gore3000
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To: blam
"Not only humans, but all species are of lighter coloring in colder regions than in equatorial regions." -me-

In humans, that is partly due to lack of sufficent amounts of sunlight, vitamin D.

There you go, adaptation without mutation.

156 posted on 12/23/2002 7:56:58 AM PST by gore3000
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To: gore3000
"And the loss is documented where? What species died from it? "

I don't care enough about convincing you to do the work required. The data is available if you care to search for it.

157 posted on 12/23/2002 7:58:49 AM PST by blam
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To: gore3000
Keep your faith...I'll keep the facts.
158 posted on 12/23/2002 8:16:04 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: gore3000; RightWhale
Yellowstone And Super Volcanoes

".... This sounds impressive until you compare it to a Super Volcano. Seventy-four thousand years ago, the eruption of Toba in Sumatra threw a total of about 670 cubic miles (2800 km3) of erupted material (about 480 cubic miles [2000 km3] of which was ash) into the air. This amount of ash in the upper atmosphere would have severely altered the temperature and weather patterns of the planet. Common estimates put it in the range of 18° to 36° F (10° to 20°C) drops in middle to high latitudes. With so much sunlight being blocked out, it is believed that a large percentage, around 75 percent, of plant life in the Northern Hemisphere was killed off and all of the animals that relied on them would have perished as well. To make matters worse, this effect continued unabated for four or five years. Some believe that this event pushed mankind to the brink of extinction, perhaps reducing the number of species to mere thousands. What of Toba today? Well, when Toba erupted it created a massive crater, called a caldera, 62 miles (100 km) long and 19 miles (30 km) wide that filled with water to form a lake. The middle of the lake floor later uplifted and formed the island of Samosir. Uplifts are not uncommon in large calderas and are attributed to the pressure of unerupted magma still trying to reach the surface...."

159 posted on 12/23/2002 8:18:59 AM PST by blam
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To: gore3000; Pharmboy
What happened during the last eruption of a super volcano?

The last eruption of a super volcano was in Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 years ago. It had 10,000 times the explosive force of Mount St. Helens and changed life on Earth forever. Thousands of cubic kilometres of ash was thrown into the atmosphere - so much that it blocked out light from the sun all over the world. 2,500 miles away 35 centimetres of ash coated the ground. Global temperatures plummeted by 21 degrees. The rain would have been so poisoned by the gasses that it would have turned black and strongly acidic. Man was pushed to the edge of extinction, the population forced down to just a couple of thousand. Three quarters of all plants in the northern hemisphere were killed.

160 posted on 12/23/2002 8:41:21 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Man was pushed to the edge of extinction, the population forced down to just a couple of thousand.

Only those few who possessed the then-rare gene for nostril hair survived.

161 posted on 12/23/2002 8:51:30 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Pharmboy
This is what he said; he did not quote the study's conclusion which said the OPPOSITE, i.e. that genes follow geography and that race is indeed definable biologically.

The study did not look at genes. It did not say genes follow geography. You still don't understand the basics of either biology or this study you try to use for your own idiosyncratic ends.

I've looked at your comments and realize you have no idea scientifically what you are talking about, which is fine as most people wouldn't.

But I see there is an overriding component to your posts - you have an agenda.

You guys try to turn real science in to pseudoscience in order to propagandize your weird xenophobic anti-American garbage.

162 posted on 12/23/2002 8:55:15 AM PST by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
Nope--you and your ilk in attempting to deny biological data are the distorters of truth. Right--there are no races; we're all the same; blank slates; it's all the environment. Lysenko lives on with your kind.

And where in my posts were there any hints of xenophobia or "anti-Americanism."

You sound like the one with the agenda, bub.

163 posted on 12/23/2002 9:04:43 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: blam
Makes one wonder how the 2000 survived.
164 posted on 12/23/2002 9:14:36 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: tallhappy
Here's You: The study did not look at genes. It did not say genes follow geography. You still don't understand the basics of either biology or this study you try to use for your own idiosyncratic ends.

Here's what the Times said of the study, quoting the study itself: The study, published today in Science, finds that "self-reported population ancestry likely provides a suitable proxy for genetic ancestry." In other words, someone saying he is of European ancestry will have genetic similarities to other Europeans.

Yep--just like you said, the study did not say that genes follow geography. Fool--take a reading comprehension course at your local community college.

165 posted on 12/23/2002 9:20:12 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: muir_redwoods
Yeah, and the world is flat.
166 posted on 12/23/2002 10:03:10 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez
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To: gore3000
Also, neither group developed any abilities while isolated that showed it to be in any way more biologically 'advanced' than the other.

Resistance to smallpox?

167 posted on 12/23/2002 10:55:35 AM PST by FreedomCalls
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To: FreedomCalls
Resistance to smallpox?

Ability to metabolize alcohol.

168 posted on 12/23/2002 11:10:12 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Pharmboy
For one, don't look at the Times article, look at the actual article in Science.

Two, "genetic ancestry" does not mean genes. You do not understand what they looked at. The markers are not genes.

169 posted on 12/23/2002 11:29:46 AM PST by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
While the markers may not be structural or regulatory genes, they are part of the genome (something you apparently don't understand). Just because we (in our ignorance) have not yet figured out what all these particular base sequences in the DNA molecule mean, doesn't mean they are not part of our genetics.

And, although I quoted from the article, I also quoted from the study itself--which you, of course, ignored ("self-reported population ancestry likely provides a suitable proxy for genetic ancestry").

But never-you-mind: keep denying reality and recite the mantra: "blank slate, all environment, no genetic difference between groups or individuals that's meaningful, etc. etc."

170 posted on 12/23/2002 11:56:35 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
You do not understand the difference between gene and part of the genome. NOt every thing part of the genome is a gene.

Now, you are quite ignorant and apparently indifferent to knowledge or accuracy.

You have problems. Nothing I am saying is controversial or something anyone should take umbrage at.

You could even learn something.

171 posted on 12/23/2002 12:23:43 PM PST by tallhappy
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To: Pharmboy
But never-you-mind: keep denying reality and recite the mantra: "blank slate, all environment, no genetic difference between groups or individuals that's meaningful, etc. etc."

I never said any of this. Nor did I ever imply any of it.

It does point out a bit where you are coming from and why you have problems discussing science dispassionately.

172 posted on 12/23/2002 12:25:30 PM PST by tallhappy
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To: PatrickHenry
Resistance to smallpox?

Ability to metabolize alcohol.

Here's another one: ability to digest lactose.

173 posted on 12/23/2002 12:53:22 PM PST by FreedomCalls
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To: Sabertooth
bump
174 posted on 12/23/2002 12:58:00 PM PST by Centurion2000
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To: tallhappy
Look, Bub, it was YOU who started the assumptions about what I knew or didn't know, what my agenda was or wasn't and it was once again YOU who showed his ignorance of biology and reading comprehension when it came to this report, the study itself and my answers to your questions and assertions (which you never answer back--all you do is make general statements and attack me).

And, it was YOU who began the nastiness on the thread. Read all of your posts...you're the one who is emotionally involved and wants to deny reality--not me. But, it's probably better to be tall and happy than tall and smart.

Buh-bye.

175 posted on 12/23/2002 1:05:31 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: RightWhale
"Makes one wonder how the 2000 survived."

I did some thinking on that. Where in the world would there be a sure supply of food for 2-5 years? The polar regions. When an animal fell over dead (for what-ever reason), he would be immediately frozen and preserved...a ready food supply, deep frozen. HUH?

176 posted on 12/23/2002 2:21:22 PM PST by blam
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To: PatrickHenry
Only those few who possessed the then-rare gene for nostril hair survived.

So I should tell my wife to quit complaining -- I have superior genes!

177 posted on 12/23/2002 2:59:07 PM PST by Junior
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To: blam
The polar regions

Mountains would work in that respect. Thinking of 5 or so bands of humans, separated by entire continents for a few 1000 years.

178 posted on 12/23/2002 2:59:32 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: blam
Humans, whether they like to admit it or not, are quite capable of eating just about anything available. Methinks the survivors weren't terribly selective about their next meal for those two to five years...
179 posted on 12/23/2002 3:02:56 PM PST by Junior
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To: blam
Where in the world would there be a sure supply of food for 2-5 years? The polar regions.

Don't overlook the obvious -- canibalism.

180 posted on 12/23/2002 3:05:49 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Bohemund
I'll have to try your link at another time. But the information you present looks interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks.
181 posted on 12/23/2002 5:00:19 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Pharmboy
Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

Geez, it took them all that time and money studying DNA to figure out what most people have known by observation for some time. Amazing.

182 posted on 12/23/2002 5:04:46 PM PST by AFreeBird
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To: AFreeBird
You would think so; however, take a look at some of the posts on this thread and you will see that there are still non-believers of this stuff right here in Freeperland.
183 posted on 12/23/2002 5:40:35 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: AFreeBird
.....the Americas

That statement could lead to some interesting arguemants

184 posted on 12/23/2002 5:56:15 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: RightWhale; PatrickHenry
"Mountains would work in that respect. Thinking of 5 or so bands of humans, separated by entire continents for a few 1000 years."

You understand it. My son (visiting from LA) said cannabilism...probably some of that too.

185 posted on 12/23/2002 6:32:29 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
My son (visiting from LA) said cannabilism ...

I hope you keep plenty of food in the house while that kid's around. He could be dangerous. We probably all have the tendency in our genes.

186 posted on 12/23/2002 6:42:43 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: RnMomof7
With the Feds and research grants to professors, it just gets worse and worse!

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/811259/posts
187 posted on 12/23/2002 8:11:16 PM PST by ghostrider
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To: blam
"And the loss is documented where? What species died from it? "-me-

I don't care enough about convincing you to do the work required.

In other words you were bluffing. You made the claim, you are that is supposed to back it up. As usual when evolutionists are asked to back up what they say they get insulted, insult the questioner and make excuses. The whole nonsense on the next few posts has nothing to do with whether the fauna died. This is therefore just more evolutionist nonsense, totally made up with no substance in fact.

188 posted on 12/23/2002 8:23:59 PM PST by gore3000
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To: blam
Man was pushed to the edge of extinction, the population forced down to just a couple of thousand. Three quarters of all plants in the northern hemisphere were killed.

Says who? TalkOrigins? You do not even give the source. This is totally made up stuff. BTW - how many plants were there in the Northern Hemisphere? Who counted them? Also the radius of the fall of what was spewed by the volcano was only some 1000 miles around. Hardly far enough to do that kind of damage. And of course that was not lava that was thrown off 1000 miles, so it might have polluted quite a bit, but would not have been an ecological disaster that far out.

189 posted on 12/23/2002 8:29:37 PM PST by gore3000
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To: AFreeBird
Geez, it took them all that time and money studying DNA to figure out what most people have known by observation for some time. Amazing.

As I pointed out in post #145, the study is garbage. We do not know that the DNA that they selected is truly useless. We do know that each time evolutionists have said that something is useless and proves evolution real science has shown it to be false. Also with some 3 billion DNA base pairs in humans, the selection of sites was bound to be very subjective. That the sites in question are totally meaningless also makes this study a true waste of money. All it does is for a while try to promote the lie that racist evolutionism is true.

Also it should be noted that while evolutionists all claim that evolution is not racist and that it did not inspire Hitler and other mass murderers, it seems that all evolutionists are on the side of this racist research.

190 posted on 12/23/2002 8:39:13 PM PST by gore3000
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To: gore3000
You are letting them off of the hook too easily. The simplest explaination for our lack of genetic diversity compared to other primates is that the human race was created far more recently than other primates.

The idea that Toba wiped out most of mankind and thereby restricted our genetic variablity is hard to reconcile with the facts. Why is MAN the ONLY primate whose genetic diversity was greately reduced by this event?

Why do they not accept the obvious? Toba, while a significant event, did not greatly reduce the genetic variability of any primate living today - much less humans (there is little to no evidence human beings even existed until tens of thousands of years after Toba).
191 posted on 12/23/2002 8:55:08 PM PST by Ahban
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To: gore3000
As the first poster to gratuitously bring Hitler into the discussion, Godiwn's rule is automatically invoked.
192 posted on 12/23/2002 9:03:39 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic
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To: FITZ
But skin tone doesn't make a race ----I've seen siblings with the same parents have different needs for suntan lotion. In the same family there can be very fair skinned, blue eyed blonds and dark complected. And then there are those very pale skin, freckled red heads that almost all look like they're from the same family or race but are born to all different kinds of families.

Sounds like there might actually be another race lurking in the family tree someplace. My family is mixed Scots/Cherokee/Choctaw and we have all sorts of color combinations, including my redheaded (yes, redheaded) olive skinned cousin. When you mix the races (in this case, European and NA) and stir for a couple hundred years, your kids are like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get.

193 posted on 12/23/2002 9:05:51 PM PST by Black Agnes
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To: FITZ
I know what you're talking about.

My husband is half German, half Brit. He was born with blond hair and grey eyes - his hair is now brown, his eyes still grey.

I have dark eyes, dark hair but fair skin.

Our first son has similar coloring to mine, dark hair, dark eyes, fair skin.

Our second son was born with blue eyes, blond hair, fair skin.

Why? Because I have ancestors with red hair and green eyes.

194 posted on 12/23/2002 10:59:33 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
I think red-heads are pretty interesting ---the pure ones with carrot hair, freckles, and pale skin. I've seen them from families where everyone else had dark hair and eyes, and from families where the rest were blonds, ----and you could put them all together and they look like they'd be from the same family. I guess race is just about genetic variety but there's a lot of genetic variety within a family.
195 posted on 12/24/2002 8:43:57 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Pharmboy
Dr. Alan Goodman, a physical anthropologist at Hampshire College and an adviser to the association, said, "there is no biological basis for race." The clusters shown in the Science article were driven by geography, not race, he said.

They seem to be defining "race" in a more distinctive way than I've generally seen it defined (basically, an ethnic group).

BTW aren't we supposed to "celebrate ethnicity" while we're deploring distinctions between "races?" [sigh] "'tis a puzzlement."

196 posted on 01/01/2003 11:43:48 AM PST by unspun
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To: unspun
Yes...you are absolutely correct! Celebrate diversity while denying it exists...oh the contortions the lefties must go through on every issue they embrace. Pity.
197 posted on 01/01/2003 1:39:04 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Congressman Billybob
Ping.
198 posted on 10/22/2003 6:17:33 PM PDT by blam
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To: Pharmboy
Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas

There is a big problem with this classification -- What about the Caucasians from North Africa and Asia? Most of the belt from India to Morocco is Caucasian.
199 posted on 02/17/2004 1:10:38 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: FITZ
Or from Persians and Arabs? Or are Persians an Asian race? I've read people from India are considered Caucasians which makes sense I guess but racially they seems different than your Scandinavians

Persians, Indians, Arabs are all Caucasians. Persians and Indians are members of the Aryan race from which the Germanic, Slavic, Italic and other members are derived.
200 posted on 02/17/2004 1:18:51 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4!)
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