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Thread: How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of Race

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    How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of Race

    New York Times

    In 1942, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu published “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race,” an influential book that argued that race is a social concept with no genetic basis. A classic example often cited is the inconsistent definition of “black.” In the United States, historically, a person is “black” if he has any sub-Saharan African ancestry; in Brazil, a person is not “black” if he is known to have any European ancestry. If “black” refers to different people in different contexts, how can there be any genetic basis to it?

    Beginning in 1972, genetic findings began to be incorporated into this argument. That year, the geneticist Richard Lewontin published an important study of variation in protein types in blood. He grouped the human populations he analyzed into seven “races” — West Eurasians, Africans, East Asians, South Asians, Native Americans, Oceanians and Australians — and found that around 85 percent of variation in the protein types could be accounted for by variation within populations and “races,” and only 15 percent by variation across them. To the extent that there was variation among humans, he concluded, most of it was because of “differences between individuals.”

    (...)

    I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries could be misused to justify racism. But as a geneticist I also know that it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.”

    (...)
    Rest at the above link.

    Of course the author is mostly motivated that if what he considers the moral scientists keep ignoring the evidence that the wrong ones will get a stronger foundation to operate from. But he does not seem to realise that the evidence is being ignored because egalitarianism is a strong part of the dominant political culture.
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    In 1942, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu published “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race,” an influential book that argued that race is a social concept with no genetic basis.

    Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu
    (June 28, 1905 – November 26, 1999),
    previously known as Israel Ehrenberg, was a British-American anthropologist who popularized the study of topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development.[1]


    Every. Single. Time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashley_Montagu

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    I recently wrote a little justification of the concept of race:

    The genetic differences between different human populations in different geographical areas are very small, but those small differences represent ancestor groups who were separated from each other hundreds and thousands of years ago. (East Asians are estimated to have diverged from Africans about 55,000 years ago and Europeans from East Asians approximately 41,000 years ago. *) These time periods are highly significant from a human historical perspective and so can provide a meaningful basis for group identity.


    * Divergence of East Asians and Europeans Estimated Using Male- and Female-Specific Genetic Markers
    Tateno, Komiyama, Katoh, et al.
    Genome Biology and Evolution, Volume 6, Issue 3, 1 March 2014, Pages 466–473
    https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evu027
    Published: 03 March 2014

    "Our results suggest that the European people settled down in their territories about 41,000 years ago, and have developed their own cultures and languages since then."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huginn ok Muninn View Post
    [B]
    Israel Ehrenberg
    [/SUP]
    Terrified Schlomo admitting that it is getting increasingly difficult to deny that race exist, but still somehow saying that race is a social construct. Hah!

    It is true that race is a social construct. It is also true, as Dr. Lewontin wrote, that human populations “are remarkably similar to each other” from a genetic point of view.
    This argument should be put to rest already. We are genetically similar to most other living beings on this planet, should we deny that there are differences between humans and (for example) chimpanzees because of that?
    There is about 0,1% difference in genetic material in different human races. Anyone with basic understanding of how DNA works knows that this 0,1% is very significant and account for many different genetic mutations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigrdrífa View Post
    This argument should be put to rest already. We are genetically similar to most other living beings on this planet, should we deny that there are differences between humans and (for example) chimpanzees because of that?
    There is about 0,1% difference in genetic material in different human races. Anyone with basic understanding of how DNA works knows that this 0,1% is very significant and account for many different genetic mutations.
    The difference is far greater than 0,1%. All of our genes are our own race's expression of them, as they are variants and thus different from other races.

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    Read this last week. It's refreshing to see an article with these ideas in the mainstream media, and the NY Times of all places, when the the prevailing discussion on race to this point has all been centered around this fallacious idea that it is entirely a social construct, especially in academic circles which ironically pride themselves on being free of bias.

    I took an anthropology class in college that endorsed the same moronic arguments of Montagu and company that the author talks about in the opening paragraphs. It was baffling to me, back then as much as now, that arguments like 'there is more variation among individuals within a group than there is between groups, therefore race does not exist' were seen as irrefutable proof that humans cannot meaningful vary from group to group. It's like saying gender doesn't exist because there are some women who are taller than most men. I just can't get over how idiotic most of the arguments were in one of our supposed institutions of higher learning.

    Thankfully, however, for all of the ills in our societies today, discrediting objective scientific facts is for the most part not one of them, so I'm hopeful that the realities of human biological variation, or "race", will be uncovered and laid bare at some point in the near future. When that does happen, I'm curious about what will unfold. Speaking hypothetically, if, say, it does come out that certain races have inferior traits in regards to things like intelligence (although I'm not myself convinced that this is as much the case as most here probably are), how would that then change attitudes, beliefs, and behavior? My gut says not much. Our societies' values right now are such that we would sooner descend into another dark age than do something to affront the dogma of egalitarianism.

    Side note: It's funny to see the opposite reaction towards the article from some posters here compared to the majority of the comments posted on the article itself. The article's comment section is full of people blasting the author for daring to even entertain the idea that race might exist, whereas most here are angry that his primary concern is the possibility of legitimizing a racist agenda. I'm not sure the latter is really the case though, and not just the author knowing his audience. You can't really comment either direction on his beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by fjaran View Post
    The difference is far greater than 0,1%. All of our genes are our own race's expression of them, as they are variants and thus different from other races.
    No, the 0.1% is accounting for genetic difference as a whole. But pretending to know the significance of a given percentage is, in any case, absurd.

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    Interesting that some of those who seemingly reject race denial are so eager and wanting to accept the claim that "all races are 99.9% genetically identical." Which of course is absurdly false. Anyone who believes that lacks common sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fjaran View Post
    Interesting that some of those who seemingly reject race denial are so eager and wanting to accept the claim that "all races are 99.9% genetically identical." Which of course is absurdly false. Anyone who believes that lacks common sense.

    I often counter this argument with the fact (and yes, this is true) that we share 60% of our genetics with banana trees.

    https://www.getscience.com/content/h...are-we-bananas

    To see the relative real genetic differences between population groups graphically displayed using methods like PCoA graphs is to see Montagu's assertions for the anti-white lies they are...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fjaran View Post
    Interesting that some of those who seemingly reject race denial are so eager and wanting to accept the claim that "all races are 99.9% genetically identical." Which of course is absurdly false. Anyone who believes that lacks common sense.
    It's not a claim, it's a fact. Again, my point was that despite its being true, it says nothing about the significance of that 0.1%. Yes, it's an annoying statement used by race deniers to erroneously prove the idea that race doesn't exist, but denying the validity of the statement itself is incorrect and obtuse--and the kind of claim that gives us conservatives the unfortunate reputation of being dumb.

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    Ok, I wrote my first post in this thread without actually reading the article. Got to it revise a bit.

    David Reich doesn't do much to dispel the stereotype about Jews speaking in forked tongues. He certainly penned the article in such a way for it to have zero impact on the status quo.

    Take this statement:

    What makes Dr. Watson’s and Mr. Wade’s statements so insidious is that they start with the accurate observation that many academics are implausibly denying the possibility of average genetic differences among human populations, and then end with a claim — backed by no evidence — that they know what those differences are and that they correspond to racist stereotypes.

    Given the data that we can gather from human history, twin studies, performance tests, animal husbandry, and simply looking at the world around us, how can the notion that racial differences are more than just superficial be automatically dismissed as "insidious" and unsupported by evidence? Where is the evidence against it? Where is the science to support egalitarianism? And how is it that egalitarians are not the "insidious" ones as they gamble and sacrifice societal well-being for the sake of virtue signaling and feelings of moral supremacy?

    By merely admitting the possibility of cognitive racial differences, Reich is just trying to give his side the appearance of open-mindedness and objectivity. Neither he nor the NYT would ever do anything to rock the multiracial boat.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    Thankfully, however, for all of the ills in our societies today, discrediting objective scientific facts is for the most part not one of them, so I'm hopeful that the realities of human biological variation, or "race", will be uncovered and laid bare at some point in the near future.
    Actually, for quite some time now one of our societal ills has been the widespread notion that racial science equals "pseudo-science." Most of our people seem content to disregard certain sciences so long as they're living comfortably.

    Speaking hypothetically, if, say, it does come out that certain races have inferior traits in regards to things like intelligence (although I'm not myself convinced that this is as much the case as most here probably are), how would that then change attitudes, beliefs, and behavior? My gut says not much. Our societies' values right now are such that we would sooner descend into another dark age than do something to affront the dogma of egalitarianism.
    As our societies continue to diversify and become less comfortable places to live, maybe we'll see a renaissance in racial science as a survival mechanism. Hopefully it doesn't come too late.

    No, the 0.1% is accounting for genetic difference as a whole. But pretending to know the significance of a given percentage is, in any case, absurd.
    I agree with you, but that attitude also needs to be extended to differences in intelligence. We need to be open to the idea that even a seemingly insignificant difference in average group intelligence (and/or temperament) could in fact be the main reason for the differences between, say, Germany and Haiti.
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