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Art Vandelay

Classifying humans into races the biggest mistake in history of science

16 posts in this topic

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-23/the-biggest-mistake-in-the-history-of-science/8142992

 

Quote

We can take from this that there is a clear consensus among anthropologists that races aren't real, that they don't reflect biological reality, and that most anthropologists don't believe there is a place for race categories in science.

 

But buried within the survey results were some troubling findings like that anthropologists from privileged groups — in the US context 'white' males and females — were more likely to accept race as valid than non-privileged groups.

 

These privileged scientists represent 75 per cent of the anthropologists surveyed. Their power and influence reaches right across the field. They are the main people determining what research is done, who gets funding, they are training the next generation of anthropologists, and are the public face of the field as well as the experts whose opinion is sought on issues like race.

 

hahaha

 

What nonsense. There are clear differences between races. That doesnt mean anything other than a few superficial genetic differences, but ignoring them with some misguided notion is stupid.

 

 

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Phenotypic diversity isn't enough to qualify race. Declaring racial variance based on appearance is far more stupid.

 

and the concept of race is rooted in the prevailing culture and is by no means static or timeless. But sure, I'm sure you know better cause reasons.

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Further, the idea of race is anthropology was used to justify some of the most grotesque events in our past. Context, how does it work!?

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So..... there is no difference between a black african, a han chinese and a white american?

 

So, who are you putting your money on in the Math competition? The Swimming? The running? Who will have straight black hair? Really curly back hair? Inbetween hair with more colour variation?

 

There are clear differences between the races. There is no inherent problem with categorizing humans in that fashion for some scientific... stuff. Pretending there is no difference is stupider because.... there are clear ones. Again, there is a difference between a Native American and a Jew Yorker.

 

A tomato isnt just another tomato, there are many variations of tomatos. All may largely be the same, but there are differences, in service of those we give them different names and catagorise them.

 

Humans split.  Some left Africa. Some went to N America. Some to Australia. Some to Europe. Some interbred with Neanderthals... etc... this caused us to have small genetic variations, largely in appearances, but theyre still there. We are all human, but we are different. That difference isnt something important, but pretending it isnt there is stupid.

 

The fact that this sort of stuff was in the past used to do awful things is a stupid argument against the idea. I mean math has been used to kill millions, but we still learn that.

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All ideas are constructed socially.

 

There are genetic differences between the races. We can see these and we can also study them.

 

That doesnt mean anything, it doesnt mean one race is better or worse, although we may genetically be better at certain things. For instance are white people better swimmers due to genetics or is it cultural?

 

I think the reaction to racism, to essentially squash any talk of 'difference' between races is silly.

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There are genetic differences of course, that does not extend out to a genetic argument for race as there is more genetic variance in "races" than there is between them.

FFS, there is more genetic variance in African populations than there is in all populations outside of Africa, but clearly all black people are one race cause melanin. 

Extending that out, should we then say Down Syndrome classifies as another race due to their clear genetic variance? etc

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I think it's potentially reasonable to make biological classifications of "race" based on phylogenetic trees. But I also understand that the race categories we use in practice are motivated by other factors that may not provide any scientifically useful semantics.

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1 hour ago, markot said:

Sub catagories, ethnicity... etc... all taken care of already.

Then the issue becomes how do you define the difference in races. Genetic variance, phenotype diversity, ethnic origin etc. It is far too difficult and has never been static, an interesting reading of race identity is to read up on racial categorization in the Caribbean. It gives you the clearest example of how race is constructed based on the society in question.

1 hour ago, legend said:

I think it's potentially reasonable to make biological classifications of "race" based on phylogenetic trees. But I also understand that the race categories we use in practice are motivated by other factors that may not provide any scientifically useful semantics.

The people motivated in doing this classification are not in it for understanding, they have a narrative they want to sell. It is a far too dangerous topic in Anthro and there's a reason we are violently opposed to doing it. Plus there are major issues with approach.

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2 minutes ago, kaberle said:

The people motivated in doing this classification are not in it for understanding, they have a narrative they want to sell. It is a far too dangerous topic in Anthro and there's a reason we are violently opposed to doing it. Plus there are major issues with approach.

 

I can absolutely believe that people are prone to twisting it for shitty reasons.

 

I'm not sure I'd place it off-limits despite that. Science generally should be pretty free to make statements as long as they actually are scientifically useful. At the same time, it's fucking semantic classification :P We probably aren't losing a whole lot by ignoring those who might have meaningful classifications. So coupling those thoughts, someone better have a damn compelling reason for why we should care.

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Yeah, I don't think it was the scientific classification of races that made people hate those with different levels of pigment or that spoke a different language or that were from a different imaginary border. Y'alls nuts. At most, scientific classifications were flimsy justifications on top of existing hatred.

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2 hours ago, legend said:

 

I can absolutely believe that people are prone to twisting it for shitty reasons.

 

I'm not sure I'd place it off-limits despite that. Science generally should be pretty free to make statements as long as they actually are scientifically useful. At the same time, it's fucking semantic classification :P We probably aren't losing a whole lot by ignoring those who might have meaningful classifications. So coupling those thoughts, someone better have a damn compelling reason for why we should care.

I do not think why meaningful information can be gleaned by seeking to categorize humans into disparate genetic based racial identities. How do we even go about if? Frequency of alleles in a given population? Codon frequency? Etc

 

Biogically we already have a great metric for speciation and since all human populations are capable of interbreeding leading to reproductive success, including aboriginal populations cause leave it to Europeans to fuck everything, we already know we're far more similiar than different genetically.

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medically it could be beneficial to use classifications, especially since different ethnicities are genetically predisposed to things like sickle cell anemia right?

 

Or am I making that up, cuz Im pretty fuckin racist lol 

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1 hour ago, legend said:

I had a response, but it was nuked when the site shit the bed. Maybe I'll try to summarize later :P 

Damn Obama and his anti-semitism. 

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