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Thread: Race is a Myth? The Left Distorts Science for Political Purposes

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    Race is a Myth? The Left Distorts Science for Political Purposes

    Race is a Myth?

    The left distorts science for political purposes.

    by Michael Rienzi

    Racial egalitarianism has failed to produce the “fair and just” society promised by social engineers. At the same time, there has been a marked reawakening of racial and ethnic identity in the post-Cold War world. In response, the left has adopted a new strategy: Deny the very existence of race! This is why we so frequently hear that “race is a social construct, with no biological validity” and that “science proves we are all the same.” Ironically, it is in connection with progress in understanding the human genome–progress in the very field that will definitively prove the biological reality of race–that we most often hear that race is nothing more than “superficial” surface characteristics.

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    Against this view, there are first of all the obvious physical differences between human population groups that everyone recognizes. There is also genetic evidence that can be used independently of traditional methods to classify different human populations into racial groups that are virtually identical to those based on the allegedly “superficial” traits studied by traditional physical anthropology. As Professor Glayde Whitney has written in these pages:
    “These data are therefore a virtually irrefutable demonstration of the reality of race–a purely statistical analysis of allele frequencies [genetic differences from one group to another] gives results that are essentially identical to the racial groupings established by traditional anthropology.”
    An honest evaluation of the data confirms the reality of race. But let us look at the arguments on the other side.
    “We are 99.9 percent (or some other number) genetically identical; so there can be no race differences and no races.”
    Although it is true that human populations share roughly 99.9 percent of their genes, it is also true that humans share over 98 percent of their genes with chimpanzees, and a very high amount with animals like mice and dogs. Many of these genes produce basic body structures all mammals have in common; differences between organisms are caused by very small genetic differences.

    Men and women are 99.998 percent identical but no one suggests that men and women are identical.

    Current evidence suggests that all the sex differences between men and women are the result of just one genetic difference–one gene (the Testes Determining Factor) out of an estimated 50,000-100,000! This would mean men and women are 99.998 to 99.999 percent genetically identical, yet no one suggests that sex is a mere “social construct.” In like manner, the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees, which no one denies, can be described as 12 to 20 times the genetic differences between racial groups.

    Tiny genetic differences can have huge phenotypic consequences because genes are ordered in a hierarchical fashion. Some genes are “master genes,” and control the expression of a number of other genes, each of which may further control several other genes. Also, the expression of each gene is controlled by regions called “promoters” and “enhancers,” usually located in front of the functional part of the gene. A small change in the promoter region of gene “X” can alter its expression. X may control genes A, B, C, D, E, F. Gene A in turn may control its own set of genes. Even if all of the genes other than “X” are identical between two groups, the one difference in “X” would be sufficient to produce large group differences.

    It is not the quantity of genetic difference that is important, but the nature of the differences: which genes are different, in what ways they differ, and the consequences of these differences. Breeds of dogs are analogous to human races. It is likely that different breeds are as close genetically as different races of humans, but there is no doubt that these subtle variations result in significant differences in appearance, intelligence, and behavior.

    It is also worth considering that a butterfly and the caterpillar from which it developed are 100 percent genetically identical! The genes do not change; the enormous differences between caterpillar and butterfly result from the activation of different genes at different times. This should give some pause to those who think a 0.1 percent difference in tens of thousands of human genes “makes no difference.”
    “There is more genetic variation within human groups than between groups; therefore, group differences are invalid.”
    This is another very popular argument that, although true, does not at all mean that race is of no significance. The flaw in this argument is the same as in the “99.9 percent argument,” in that it stresses quantity–genetic “bean counting”–rather than the importance of genetic differences and their consequences. Indeed, there is more genetic variation within groups than between groups, but if this variation does not influence the expression of important genes, it is not of much consequence. There is considerable genetic variation between siblings and between parents and children, but this does not alter the fact that they are more closely related to each other than to strangers.

    Once again Prof. Whitney has demonstrated the absurdity of the “variation” argument. He points out that one could take the total genetic diversity contained within the population of Belfast and a troop of macaque monkeys and give it an index of 100 percent. Surprising as it may seem, more than half of that diversity will be found both in the population of Belfast and in the monkey troop. There is great genetic diversity even between two individuals who are very similar to each other. This does not, of course, mean that Irishmen are more like macaques than they are like their neighbors, though this is precisely the way the there-are-no-races advocates use the argument when they apply it to humans.

    Prof. Whitney explains that just as in the case of the genetic differences between men and women, “the meaningful question about racial differences is not the percentage of total diversity, but rather how the diversity is distributed among the races, what traits it influences, and how it is patterned.” Small genetic differences can translate into important physical and behavioral differences.
    “Population variation is continuous and human traits vary across a spectrum, so discrete racial entities do not exist.”
    This is a scientific way of saying that since hybrids (racially or ethnically mixed populations) exist, no single race exists. This is an amazingly popular argument, even though it is easily refuted. No one has ever thought the existence of hybrid populations of animals means these animals cannot be classified into distinct groups. This is self-evident. Your dog may be a mix of German Shepherd and Great Dane, but this does not mean there are no German Shepherds or Great Danes. The existence of dog hybrids means only that different breeds of dog can mate and produce offspring. Dogs and wolves–separate species–can mate and produce offspring but it is still easy to tell a dog from a wolf.

    There are certainly places in which there has been much human mixing and where there are racial gradients–Central Asia, Latin America, North Africa. The existence of hybrid populations in these areas in no way disproves the existence of other populations that are genetically more differentiated–in Europe, the Far East, and sub-Saharan Africa.

    This “continuous variation” argument is so illogical it is a wonder anyone takes it seriously. The existence of mixtures does not invalidate the existence of the original components of mixtures. The fact that red and yellow can be mixed to produce orange hardly means that red and yellow are illusions or do not exist. Although racial gradation is far from being a perfect and continuous gradient, even those variations in nature that do lie along such a gradient can be classified into distinct groups. The continuous variation of light frequencies in the rainbow, for example, are easily grouped into the distinct colors that virtually all people recognize.
    “All human populations are mongrels, there is no such thing as a pure race; thus, there is no such thing as race.”

    Australian aborigines

    This argument is related to the previous one, except that it says we are all hybrids, so there is no such thing as race. First, no scientists talk about “pure” races. What does racial “purity” mean, anyway? It is true that certain populations are more genetically differentiated and distinct than are other more hybridized groups. If we consider Englishmen, Central Asians, and Koreans, we can make the relative statement that Koreans and Englishmen are more genetically (and phenotypically) distinct and differentiated than Central Asians, who are in some respects intermediate between East Asians and Europeans.

    This does not imply that either Koreans or Englishmen are “pure,” which would presumably mean they can all trace their ancestries to a single population at a certain time. The English, for example, are a predominantly Nordic population made up of Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Normans/Vikings, Romans, and possibly early Mediterraneans. Many European groups are similarly composed of multiple related strains; if having an ancestry of different but relatively similar European groups makes someone a “mongrel,” then indeed we are all mongrels. But this does not invalidate in any way the concept of race, or the fact that the various “mongrel” populations are still genetically and phenotypically distinct from each other and thus are separate races. Both genetically and physically, Englishmen clearly belong in the European group and Koreans in the Northeast Asian group.

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    The “we are all mongrels” arguments fails in two ways. First, the various stocks that have gone into producing many of today's ethnic groups were relatively similar to each other, so it stretches the definition of the word to call them “mongrels.” How different were the Anglo-Saxons from the Celts? Likewise, would a person of mixed English and German ancestry be considered a “mongrel?” French-Italian? Do we call the millions of white Americans of mixed European stock “mongrels?”

    Second, mixtures of related stocks can stabilize over time, and form a new, unique, and separate ethnic group, race, or breed. Such is the case with the various European ethnic groups, formed by mixtures of related ethnic strains. Europeans could be bred for hundreds–perhaps thousands–of generations without producing offspring that look like Africans or Asians. The reverse is also true. Even if today's races are the result of ancient mixtures the mixtures are distinct and extremely stable.
    “Population differences are superficial and only skin-deep.”
    This is simply not true. Many consistent group differences have been found in intelligence, behavior, brain size, resistance to disease, twinning rates, speed of maturation, etc. Prof. Arthur Jensen has gathered irrefutable proof of racial differences in average intelligence. In Race, Evolution and Behavior Prof. Philippe Rushton has not only documented the large number of other racial differences but shown how they fit the varying reproduction strategies followed by different racial groups. Sometimes the race-does-not-exist argument appears to be a desperate attempt to shut down the argument about racial differences that the left has clearly lost. Since egalitarians have nothing to say in the face of mountains of evidence for racial differences, they have suddenly shifted their ground and try to pretend that race itself does not exist.

    Even the most anti-racist medical doctors recognize that transplant donors and recipients often have to be matched not just on the basis of race but on close ethnicity within race, because inter-racial transplants are likely to be rejected. They also know that people of different races react differently do the same drugs and suffer from different diseases. To say these differences are only “skin-deep” is completely at odds with reality.
    “There has not been enough time for racial differences to have evolved.”
    This is an odd argument because there has clearly been enough time for physical differences to evolve. Pygmies and Norwegians presumably once had a common ancestor but are now so different from each other a biologist from another planet might well think them different species. This argument therefore is an attempt to deny differences in average intelligence or other mental traits. In Why Race Matters Professor Michael Levin shows that the IQ difference between Europeans and black Africans has had more than enough time to develop during the estimated 4,400 generations since the two groups split from a common ancestor. According to his calculation,

    Canadian Eskimo Couple

    it would have required a rate of selection per generation of 0.000106 against recessive genes, a very small rate of genetic change that is the equivalent to a change in 11 individuals per 100,000 per generation. In nature this is an extremely slow rate of evolutionary change.
    “The white race–like all the others–is a social construct.”
    Here we begin to see the motivation behind all of the “there is no such thing as race” nonsense. If people of European descent can be convinced that race does not exist, in particular that their race does not really exist, there will be no resistance to the displacement of whites by the forces currently at work in America, Europe, and elsewhere. People will not defend something they have been convinced is not real.

    If–against their own instincts and the clear evidence of their senses–whites can be made to think race is an illusion they can have no reason to oppose across-the-board integration, miscegenation, and massive non-white immigration. If whites are mixing with and being displaced by people who are really no different from themselves nothing is being lost.

    The irony, of course, is that when it comes to “affirmative action”–policies that penalize whites–the very people who say race is a social construct insist that it is a valid basis for preferential treatment. People who say race is not biological somehow have no difficulty claiming to be “black” or “Asian” or “American Indian” if there is an advantage in doing so.

    Nor in the vast majority of cases is there the slightest disagreement about who belongs in which race. Children can distinguish race unerringly by the age of two or three. Nature is parsimonious and does not often endow its creatures with senses to distinguish things that do not matter. An inborn ability, acquired at a very early age, of who are “our people” and who are not is essential to group survival. Any attempt to override or downplay that ability is a direct attack on the group itself.

    Needless to say, it is only whites who parrot obviously absurd notions about race and who pretend that indifference or even disloyalty to race is a virtue. Non-whites have a healthy consciousness of race and know that it is a fundamental part of individual and group identity. They must be hugely amused by the potentially suicidal silliness they hear whites urging each other to believe.

    The claims of certain demagogues notwithstanding, Europeans are both a cultural and a biological reality. Like all racial and ethnic groups they have the right to preserve that reality and to resist efforts to obfuscate science in an attempt to eliminate races in fact, as well as name. Michael Rienzi is the pseudonym of a biological scientist living in the Northeast.

  2. #2
    The Galton Report

    A sampling of recent scientific literature

    by Glayde Whitney

    It's Official: Races Differ Genetically
    “Ethnicity can be inferred from the frequencies of alternative forms, or alleles, of genes; allele patterns differ by racial origin.”
    Thus spake Science magazine, the official organ of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    We live in confused times. As science increasingly proves the fallacy of the egalitarian myth, politicians and scientists who know better keep feeding the public absurd and wrong banalities to the effect that races do not exist (see cover story). The absurdity of these proclamations is all the greater in that sequencing of genomes from the different “ethnic groups” is only now beginning.

    Even so it is already easy to categorize people by race just by looking at their genes. This is because there are many DNA sequences (such as STRs, or Short Tandem Repeats, and SNPs, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) that differ absolutely from one race to another. Many SNPs common in various African tribes have not been found among Caucasians or East Asians, and vice-versa: there are Asian-specific and Caucasian-specific markers not found among sub-Saharan Africans. Also there are markers that are found in all races but at very different frequencies. Combining the results of just a few such markers can determine race with virtual certainty (one out of many millions).

    Forensic genetics–DNA profiling–makes use of these differences and could soon replace fingerprinting. In October, 1998, the FBI started CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) to consolidate DNA identification from the various state systems. CODIS looks at only 13 STR chromosome markers, but that is enough for absolutely certain individual identification: As Science notes,
    “The chance of two [unrelated] individuals on average having the same DNA profile [of just those 13 STRs] is about one in a million billion.”
    Soon to be added will be markers on the Y-chromosome, which is transmitted only in the male line, from father to son, and already a number of race-specific Y-markers have been found. In forensic applications Y-markers will be useful because many violent crimes are male-on-female, and the resulting “bodily fluids” are often a messy mix of DNA from both perpetrator and victim. Analysis of Y-markers will automatically concentrate only on the male DNA.

    Forensic identification is also just beginning to use another source of DNA called mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA. This stuff is interesting because it exists outside the nucleus of the cell–in the mitochondria–and is passed in the egg, from mother to offspring. Thus all the individuals in a female line of descent have the same mtDNA. Of course, families differ, and races may be thought of as extended families, or sets of people related by common descent.

    MtDNA is useful also because there is a lot of it: As Science notes, “there's probably 10,000 times as much mtDNA as there is nuclear DNA. In a sample that's aged or degraded, it's quite common that the nuclear DNA has been degraded beyond the point of recovery, and yet there is mtDNA that can be recovered.”

    This is why mtDNA is extracted from ancient remains, such as 100,000-year-old Neanderthals. It was mtDNA that linked the 9,000 year-old “Cheddar Man” to a “relative living today just down the road in Cheddar, England.” It is mtDNA that would have to be analyzed to determine Kennewick Man's race.

    For criminal identification the best is yet to come. There is research at places like the Galton Laboratory (University College London) on determining physical appearance from DNA. “Geneticists can assess the likelihood that a person is a redhead simply by testing for mutations in the gene for the receptor for a hormone that spurs production of the pigment melanin. All facial characteristics are on the agenda. A noble Romanesque profile or deeply cleft chin could be a villain's downfall. . . . [W]ithin 10 years we might be looking at genetic tests for the basis of the main facial characteristics like, for example, nose, chin, and forehead shape.” [Watson, A., “A new breed of high-tech detectives,” Science, Vol. 289, 11 Aug. 2000, Pp. 850-854].

    Jewish Y-Chromosomes are Semitic

    An international team of scientists from Israel, the United States, Italy, England, and South Africa, has investigated Y-chromosome markers to see if they shed light on the origins and genetic relationships of Diaspora Jewry.

    They do. Studies of Y-chromosome markers (transmitted from father-to-son) show that “religious affiliation is a better predictor of the genetic affinity among most Jewish populations in our survey than their present-day geographic locations. . . . [D]espite their high degree of geographic dispersion, Jewish populations from Europe, North Africa, and the Near East were less diverged genetically from each other than from any other group of populations in this study.” In other words, Y-chromosome markers indicate that Jews throughout Europe, North Africa and the Near East constitute a single genetically-related group that has bred endogamously despite wide dispersion.

    Among the seven Jewish populations tested (Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Near Eastern, Kurdish, Yemenite, Ethiopian), only the Black Ethiopian Jews were not a part of the Jewish genetic cluster. Instead, Ethiopian Jews were very similar to non-Jewish Ethiopians, and both populations were clearly distinct from Jews. Not surprisingly, Ethiopian Jews in Israel have encountered many problems, just as blacks have in other Western societies.

    The Lemba tribe of southern African blacks, who speak a Bantu dialect and claim Jewish ancestry, were remotely related to other Jewish groups, with about 40 percent of their Y chromosomes coming from African blacks. It is thought that they are descended from Jewish traders who established a trading outpost on the African coast.

    Complex statistics, including multidimensional scaling, show that non-Jewish sub-Saharan Africans, North Africans, and Europeans form three distinct genetic clusters. As in other genetic studies, the sub-Saharan cluster differed most from all other population groups or, as the authors put it, “sub-Saharan African populations were characterized by an almost completely different set of [markers].”

    The Jewish populations (excluding the Ethiopian Jews) formed a tight group located at a point between the North African and European genetic clusters. In the center of the Jewish group (and indistinguishable from the Jews) were non-Jewish Palestinians and Syrians, while other non-Jewish Middle-Easterners (Saudi Arabians, Lebanese, and Druze) were on the periphery of the Jewish group. Further genetic tests confirmed a “close genetic affinity of Jewish and Middle-Eastern non-Jewish Populations.” These findings are consistent with Jewish history and folklore, according to which modern Diaspora Jews are descended from Middle-Eastern Semites and have remained genetically distinct from host populations.

    The results appear to disprove Arthur Kestrel's theory in The Thirteenth Tribe, according to which Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the Asian Khazar tribe that converted to Judaism in the eighth century. However, the results of this study are entirely from male-line Y-chromosomes. In the unlikely event that the Khazars were converted by the method described in Deuteronomy in which the men were killed and the women taken as prizes, analysis of mtDNA transmitted in the maternal line might tell a different story. The authors point out that “comprehensive comparisons of mtDNA variation in Jewish and neighboring non-Jewish populations are not yet available.” [Hammer, M. F., and 11 co-authors, (Communicated to NAS March 15, 2000), “Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, published on-line before print at www.]

    The “Whites” of Brazil

    The racially mixed population of Brazil has played an important role in conceptions of the nature of man. In the nineteenth century Charles Darwin visited Brazil during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle and was struck by the extent of miscegenation. He wrote that the differences between African Negroes and Europeans were so great that any anatomist would classify them as separate species. However, he suggested they were better thought of as separate races (or subspecies) of a single species because of their proclivity to intermate.

    In the mid-20th century Brazil was often held up to Americans as an ideal example of an integrated, hybridized, egalitarian society without racial discrimination. This utopian vision was false. Brazil remains a very stratified society in which lighter-skinned people and recent European and Asian (mostly Japanese) immigrants tend to be at the top of the social order with blacks at the bottom. Amerindians are relegated to reservations. In a 1996 census 51.6 percent of Brazilians called themselves white.

    Recently scientists have analyzed the genetic markers of mtDNA, transmitted in the maternal line of descent, in order to determine the percentage mix in the present “white” population of Brazil from three sources: women of European descent; women from sub-Saharan Africa (blacks); and women from Amer-indian (or Asian) stock. This is possible because there are now known to be quite a few mtDNA markers that are unique to the major races.

    The authors note that Europeans have been in Brazil for 500 years. Between 1500 and 1808 (when the country was opened to other nations) about 500,000 Portuguese–mostly men–immigrated and, for a time, were encouraged to mix with Indians to form a Brazilian population. After 1808, immigrants included a variety of European and Middle Eastern populations, as well as Japanese. From about 1551 until 1850 when the slave trade was halted, it is estimated that some 3.5 million blacks arrived.

    The researchers analyzed mtDNA from 247 unrelated persons from the middle- and upper-middle-class–mostly whites. (Unfortunately, they do not identify their sample very well, giving the impression that it included at least some people who acknowledge mixed ancestry. If even a few obviously mixed-race people were included in a sample of “whites” the study exaggerated the extent of non-white admixture among people who consider themselves to be white.)

    The results indicate that on average the maternal ancestry of “white” Brazilians from the middle- and upper-middle-classes is 33 percent American Indian, 28 percent African, and 39 percent European. The results varied somewhat by region of Brazil. In the north, mtDNA was 54 percent of Amerindian origin, while in the northeast the largest single component was 44 percent from Africans. In the south, European origin accounted for 66 percent of the mtDNA. The African mtDNA was mostly from central Africa, the areas of present-day Cameroon and Angola.

    The authors conclude that “our mtDNA study of a random sample of white Brazilians has revealed an astonishingly high matrilineal contribution of Amerindians and Africans. Present-day Brazilians thus still carry the genetic imprint of the early-colonization phase: the pioneer-colonial population typically had Amerindian ancestry–and, after a few generations, increasingly African ancestry–in the maternal line but Portuguese ancestry in the paternal line.”

    They also note that “these values are probably minimum percentages, because, since our study group is primarily composed of middle- and upper-middle-class Brazilians, a bias toward a higher contribution of European mtDNA is to be expected.” It should be pointed out that this study determined genetic contribution only from female ancestors. Even if we were to assume that every “white” in Brazil has had only pure European male ancestors, only 70 percent of the genes of the average “white” Brazilian are European. Of course, this is an impossible assumption because once the early mixes took place, at least some hybrid males undoubtedly went on to contribute to the “white” gene pool, so many “whites” undoubtedly have non-white ancestors on both sides of the family tree. In any case, it is clear that for Brazilians “white” is a considerably more flexible category than in the United States. [Juliana Alves-Silva & 6 co-authors, “The Ancestry of Brazilian mtDNA Lineages” American Journal of Human Genetics, August 2000, v.67#2, Pp. 444-461.] Contributing Editor Glayde Whitney is professor in psychology, psychobiology and neuroscience at Florida State University.

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    Compare this to Homo Erectus.

    Is there really any difference?

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    That is interesting because redheads are nearly as rare in my area as a true Congoid. It is disappointing also how the media forces miscegenation on Blacks as well. Although is a far more cunning way, they show light-skinned blacks marrying darker-skinned blacks which is still is all essential components race-mixing. Most Blacks in my area are of mixed ancestry. Forgive me again for generalizing, but I will assume for the sake of discussion that the biggest majority of Blacks in the United States are Congoids. The number of mixing between Whites much be enormous as compared to Africa.

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    [QUOTE]Men and women are 99.998 percent identical but no one suggests that men and women are identical.[qUOTE/]

    very good point

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