Discussion in 'Human Science' started by paulsamuel, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    Sure it does. You'll note that at no point have I said that differences don't exist or that we cannot group people by different traits. In fact, one of my founding arguments is that we can categorize people into all kinds of different groupings depending upon which traits we select. I find it fascinating, for instance, that we can define categories by lactase persistence or the ability to metabolize alcohol.

    My question to you is; at what level is the colloquial concept of race really valid? Rarely do I see it being used merely as a label for observed differences and exclusive of a boat-load of prejudicial and erroneous assumptions. Otherwise I really would take no issue with it. Instead its use seems particularly divisive. Identification by continent, country, 'tribe', kinship, and/or family of origin and heritage seems to me to be less divisive, less loaded with prejudices and more likely to portray an accurate representation. I'm more than happy to discuss legitimate concepts of race on other levels but the honking and quacking of people like Big D, kriminal, and salt put me in a position of refutation.

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  3. Big D Registered Senior Member

    Need a Lawyer?
    In 1988, New York State's Chief Judge established a committee, The New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities. Its purpose was to study the presence and effects of racism in the state's courts. Buried in its final 2000-page report was the finding that minorities passed the New York bar exam at significantly lower rates than whites. The commission found that for the period spanning 1985 through 1988, first-attempt pass rates were 31.1 percent for blacks and 73.1 percent for whites. Applying the methods of Appendix A, we translated these pass rates to a corresponding black-white mean difference of 1.11 SD.

    Several years later, commenting on the Commission's findings, Edna Wells Handy wrote in The New York Law Journal of April 1996, "Determining whether those pass rates have remained constant since the Commission's report must await the completion and dissemination of the national bar exam study presently being conducted by the Law School Admission Council." Ms. Handy was referring to the most ambitious study of law students ever attempted. The Law School Admission Council is the organization that administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). At the time Handy's article appeared, it was tracking 27,000 students who enrolled in U.S. law schools in the fall of 1991. The students were followed from law school entry to the bar exam. The Council issued its report in 1998, finding that 92 percent of white law-school graduates passed the bar exam on the first attempt, as did 61 percent of black graduates. This implies a black-white mean difference of 1.13 SD.
    The Council also reported the results of repeated attempts at the bar exam. It found that eventually 97 percent of white and 78 percent of black law graduates passed, corresponding to a black-white mean difference of 1.11 SD.

    The one-plus SD gap between black and white lawyers stubbornly refused to go away. Others, however, viewed the Council's findings differently. "This study strongly refutes the myth that affirmative action policies tend to set students up for failure on the bar exam," hallucinated Henry Ramsey Jr., a retired California state judge and member of the committee that oversaw the study.

    Tamar Lewin, covering the Council's report for the New York Times, characterized the Commission's findings as "likely to provide important support for advocates of affirmative action." Her column appeared under the headline: "Minorities Achieve High Success Rate in Bar Exams, Study Says."
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  5. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    you also argue that "race does not scientifically exist"
    Raithere and I agree with you. Since you are simulataneously arguing for and against a thing, I'm must wonder whether you are not posting from an asylum. Are you?
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  7. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Let us make a compromise. Human races exist.

    We conclude that race does exist scientically, and also the term could be applied to the human species, but with the note that according to the scientific standards (set for instance in the field of population biology) there is only one human race.
  8. Big D Registered Senior Member

    Once upon a time it was expected that changes in laws would bring about racial equality. What is one to think when, despite these laws, racial differences in achievement have changed little in the last twenty-five years? An Associated Press bulletin from October 30th, 1997 is entitled "D.C. students post disappointing scores." Recent reports indicate that a black male in Washington, D.C. has about an 85% expectation of being arrested at least once in his life. Despite over thirty years of legislation and affirmative action, the situation has in many ways worsened. What are we missing?

  9. thetreegoddess Registered Member

    I really like black people, dark skin really facinates me. Plus the big lips trait that BigD so tactfully dissed well I think it's a charming feature to have. I've never really known a black person because there are so few down here because I live in an area full of racist people. Oh well
  10. Big D Registered Senior Member

    I never said anything about big lips, I have only said that your chances of being raped, murdered or catching aids is extreamly higher the more contact you have with blacks.
  11. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member


    I see once again you skip over all the strongest points in your reply, such as the fact that from your own statistics something like 2.5% of the black population in america breeds with whites. (I was wrong when I first said 5%) and yet you still ignorantly ask why racial categories are biologically signifigant.

    First of all I was saying that the percent of white/african americans is an overstatement as an indicator of the percent of a population that chooses to(or can) mate with whites, not that the percent of multiracials is overstated. Actually there is another reason it is an overstatement besides this. The percent of blacks who breed with whites would actually be half of the percent of multiracials assuming the interracial couples have about the same amount of children as the blacks. I have adjusted my previous statement of 5% to 2.5%

    Second, I suppose its true that people would not know their heritage, however by the usual nature of what people consider to be race (people of signifigant difference in appearance) any such mixing would normally be evident in their appearance. If it happened once like 9 generations ago but since then their ancestors have chosen to to continually mate with only one group or the other would not the mixed in traits eventually dissappear rather than remaining recessive, or if they were the type to mix such as how skin color turns out in black/white multiracials would they not eventually be completely drowned out? (this is a question)

    If so then if you take blacks and whites where only such a small percent choose to interbreed would not the two races as a whole be unaffected by this small percent of interbreeding, since the traits which have been mixed in would be drowned out? And would not the majority of two populations not having access to each other (artificially lowering the percent of people who breed between the two groups from would it be had they easy access to one another) have the same net effect?

    You talk about history as if say the entire population of china got up and moved to africa and breeded with everyone there, then the results moved to europe and breeded with everyone there. Instead it was very small portions of each group. And IS OBVIOUS TO ANYONE THAT CAN SEE, the large majority of each race remains unaffected.

    If the things you claimed were true there wouldn't be any socially recognized races because there wouldn't be any traits by which people could group the different races together. Everything would all be mixed up a very long time ago. Perhaps you are blind? If not please explain to me why it is that if races are not signifigant there are people with black skin that have babies with black skin and people with white skin that have babies with white skin and this trait and other signature racial traits do not jump the racial boundaries nor do people from one race have kids that become members of the other race?

    Um last time I checked humans must have certain traits or they are not human. Why don't you think next time before you go popping off at the mouth and make a fool of yourself...

    Btw the thing about groups interbreeding with each other is an outright LIE. As we JUST SAW from your statistics, despite having complete access to each other only 2.5% of blacks in america breed with whites. Noone is arguing with the fact that whites breed with other whites regardless of where they are from. This does not mean that biologists can generalize this rate of interbreeding to say blacks and whites and then say race doesn't exist. Thats ludicrous. If only 2.5% of blacks and whites interbreed now, why would it have been different throughout history (putting aside the fact that if they had there would be no recognizable difference in skin tone)

    Biologists say race is usually associated with not having access to each other due to geographic seperation. What does geographic seperation cause? Inabillity to frequently breed with each other. The races chosen socially by humans do not frequently breed with each other even though they are not geographically seperated. I only said "perhaps" anyways, as in "who knows?" so quit your little bitching about it.

    Wow you really are one of those political type debaters aren't you? YOu continually try and misquote me and mix up my points to try and make it less obvious how outmatched you are. I said your links are more likely to support my argument then yours I never said anything about you posting links in lieu of an argument.

    Please, I am done arguing with you. Im taking this to the biology forum, maybe someone there can string together a coherent argument.
    Last edited: May 12, 2004
  12. Xev Registered Senior Member

    "Raithere and I agree with you. Since you are simulataneously arguing for and against a thing, I'm must wonder whether you are not posting from an asylum. Are you? "

    How am I simultaneously arguing for and against a thing? Now your monkey friend, he is doing so.

    I am simply saying that, while race may not be an especially valid construct using your terms, it undoubtably is a valid construct using others.

    The question is then, what standards should we use?

    "We conclude that race does exist scientically, and also the term could be applied to the human species, but with the note that according to the scientific standards (set for instance in the field of population biology) there is only one human race. "

    Uhh....race simultaneously does and does not exist by "scientific" standards?
    My heavens, you are stupid.
  13. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    you've agreed with me that valid human races don't exist by my terms, which are scientific, then you attack Raithere for saying "race does not scientifically exist" (although I'm not sure that you're quoting him accurately).

    I cannot comment on the validity of human races in non-scientific contexts, but it appears that in a scientific context, you agree with me that human races don't exist.

    I contend that any non-scientific standard (i.e. non-biological standard) is arbitrary. And the only problem I have with that is that it is used to mislead people into thinking that the categorizations are scientific, which is not the case.

    This statement reveals that you don't even realize what the discussion, the one you are participating in!!!, is about. There are more organisms on earth than humans (this is the second time I've had to point this out to you, don't they let you roam the grounds of that asylum

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ). These other organisms may have races, in fact we discussed one such organism, the northern oriole. Spurious is pointing out the biological concept of race exists, however in humans, the human 'race' currently includes all extant humans. As I've mentioned before, the only other human race in our evolutionary history, could be Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. The extant race is H.s. sapiens.
  14. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    I always thought h.s. neanderthalensis and h.s. sapiens were considered different sub-species, and that racial differences would occur within a sub-species, if they occurred.
    Like there is only orcinus orca but there are a few races, they have different languages and slightly different appearance, maybe dorsal fin shapes and hue of white on their undersides, not to mention the behavioural differences.
    But technically they are all a member of the same species, they can't be divided into sub-species, but the differences between the populations have to be acknowledged.
    I thought the term for this was race. We have a word for the sub-species, its sub-species, race was never supposed to mean sub-species,at least i didn't think it was.
  15. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    races are sub-species. the term sub-species is replacing the term race in biology. race is an antiquated term in biology.

    see: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/english/Su/Subspecies.html

    near the bottom of the page under "synonym" it says race is synonymous with subspecies
  16. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    Beg pardon? When did I ask that? What I asked you to do was to demonstrate how racial traits are biologically more significant than other traits.

    They won't disappear unless they die off, if they don't die off they continue to spread though the population. But traits that require multiple alleles will tend to average out depending upon selective pressures.

    No. Those genes that survive propagate throughout the population.

    No, my point about history is that interbreeding between the races has been going on continuously.

    What you see is one thing. The question you're not answering properly is why you see what you see.

    Actually, this does happen to an extent. Children can be born significantly lighter or darker skinned than their parents depending upon the alleles they inherit from each. Let's say you have 2 'switched on' alleles and your wife has 3. Your children can range anywhere from 0-5 although the average will be 2-3. Whereas a darker skinned couple has, let's say, 4 and 5. Their children can range from 3-6 with an average of 4-5.

    I'm not the one that sounds like a fool here. We're talking about genetics. All genes are susceptible to mutation. There are no static genes.

    I asked you to demonstrate that the select traits by which we commonly define race are somehow biologically special or more significant than all the other human traits. Your response, as near as I can distinguish it, was that you're only talking about variable traits. Are you seriously trying to imply here that only those traits by which we distinguish race are variable?

    Okay, let's take that 2.5% and run with it. A generation is approximately 30 years. So over a 5 generation range (150 years) 2.5% of the populations intermix. Over 1500 years, 25% of the population has intermixed and over 3000 years, it's 50%. And this is only the intermixing of the distinct populations; it does not include the mixing of those people who are already of mixed heritage with either or both initial populations.

    Additionally, the U.S is a special case in history. It was populated by groups from all over the world. While there are examples throughout history of disparate groups combining most of the interaction, as I have already pointed out, takes place between neighboring populations that are very similar.

    Think of it like a light spectrum. You can pick out red, orange, yellow, green, and blue by selecting certain points on the spectrum. But that's not the whole picture, is it? The spectrum isn't divided into separate colors. When you look at the whole thing you find that each color blends imperceptibly into the next.

    The same thing goes for human 'races'. If you started in Norway and walked South through Asia Minor and on to South Africa you wouldn't see any divisions. What you would see would be a gradual change. Skin color would get darker and darker, facial and skeletal structure would change gradually as you traveled. Now the people in Norway are very different looking than the people in South Africa, but that's not the whole picture.

    My bad, I mistook your point.

    Have fun.

  17. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    what the heck is that mean??

    you're ignored!
  18. Big D Registered Senior Member

    But over the past 12 years, Albu and other researchers have produced evidence that differences in metabolism predispose blacks to obesity, regardless of external factors. "Being a minority is a risk in itself," she said.

    Albu's research comes at a time when medical studies involving race continue to be hotly debated in the scientific community. Last summer, the American Diabetes Scientific Sessions held a special debate session to discuss the issue, and the National Institutes of Health is seeking more researchers to conduct studies with racial components.

    Some scientists contend that race is a social construct and has no genetic basis, and editorials in support of this idea have recently appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. Part of the distaste and suspicion of using race comes from a long history of racism and unethical medical practice in scientific research. This suspicion, Albu said, is greatest when discussing genetics and race.

    "The public is very afraid of genes," she said. And genetic differences among races are slight. "We're more alike than not," she said. "But there are differences in populations."

    To separate races, Albu looks for genetic markers that show geographic links. Scientists have used this technique, called genetic admixture, to separate people with north European descent from those with south European decent. So Albu looks for genetic markers in blacks that are typically found in Africa.

    "Being more obese was related to African gene admixture," she said. Although obesity is not a problem in Africa, Albu said it would be if the population adopted a high-fat Western diet and a similarly sedentary Western lifestyle.

    Other studies using genetic markers have shown a similar link between diabetes and African ancestry. In a study published in April 2003, Dr. W. Timothy Garvey, a professor of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama, showed that blacks with close genetic ties to Africa are less sensitive to insulin, which puts them at higher risk for diabetes than those whose ancestors came largely from Europe
  19. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    Big D:

    Are you refuting your own earlier argument now? Which is it to be; are blacks thinner or fatter than whites?


    It seems to me that you can't decide what is what and that you'll post anything, regardless of content or contradiction.

  20. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    good one, thanks Raithere
  21. Big D Registered Senior Member

    ETERNAL body fat is just is just one reason, I would think a big obese black woman would float well, but not as well as a big obese white woman.

    blacks have such dense bones, they are less buoyant and less likely to be swimming champions. However, their bones are more resistant to aging. After their mid-30s, white men lose about 2.5 percent of their bone mass every year. Blacks lose less than one percent. Loss of bone mass speeds up greatly under conditions of weightlessness, so blacks could probably survive longer space voyages than whites.

    [Plagiarised text deleted]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2004
  22. Big D Registered Senior Member

    U.S. investigators have found that the leading cause of blindness among whites is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), while most blacks lose their sight from glaucoma or cataracts.

    Furthermore, within age groups, blindness occurs nearly three times more commonly in blacks than in whites.

    So many differences!
  23. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    The reason why characteristics race are chosen by are biologically signifigant is because they represent things which psychologically effect the rate at which the group interbreeds with other groups.

    So how to you propose to deal with all the groups that have access to each other but do not interbreed with each other?

    Do you not realize that what if you said were true, it would not be a spectrum of colors among people but all people would very soon have the same skin color which was some kind of mix and certainly not large populations with similar skin color and other traits.

    But despite this, let me get this straight. A white and black interracial couple have a kid and that kid and all following generations from this line continue to breed with blacks. 9 generations down the line they are going to have a white child? (or anytime inbetween) This is the only case in which you have not answered dishonestly. If the kid was a light skinned black, and then the next generation was a little darker etc, and soon they were indistinguishable from other blacks, than in terms of this one trait the population would have some capacity to absorb some interbreeding unaffected.

    As I understand what you said later in your post, you are claiming the population does not remain completely unaffected, but that it contributes to the POSSIBILITY that the family 9 generations down the line can have lighter skinned children. What kind of variation are we talking here. Very small? And does the variation depend on the frequency that the groups interbreed?

    Once again obviously reality has proven that populations have the ability to absorb some interbreeding generally unaffected. No amount of faulty reasoning can change this.

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