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Thread: The "Race does not Exist" Debate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    If two different genetic markers exist for the same gene, then ergo, two races exist.
    Is "Genetic marker" in this case the same as "allele" or alternate form of a gene?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    If two different genetic markers exist for the same gene, then ergo, two races exist.
    with that definition of race we'll end up with many more distinct races than we can handle.

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    If race doesn't exist, and whites and blacks are the same, then how come white people can't acquire sickle-cell anemia; and blacks can?

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    Quote Originally Posted by a.squiggles View Post
    um...for the most part "race" is due to differential expression, not genetic differences.
    Maybe you could say the same thing for some species too.

    as an extreme example dogs (including wolves) are much more genetically similar than humans... but much more phenotypically varied. I'm sure many breeds are incapable of cross-breeding (not to speak of whether all would in 'natural circumstances'), which would make them seperate species, if all you went by is 'species is ability to produce fertile offspring'. But genetically they are almost indistinguishable... it's interesting that some animals are very very similar genetically, but the end products so different...


    we're 1 month into what is considered "autumn" here and last monday we had +41C with humidex...today it was +5C. i'm going to go out on a limb here and say that i really don't care if you call it summer, autumn, winter or royal blue, on a day by day basis knowing the season is proving of little use.

    so yes, like race, differences in weather exist, but seasons are (at this point) a rather useless social convention. judgement must be made on day-by-day and person-by-person basis.
    I don't know, on a day to day basis, you might be thinking 'it's warm today but it's winter, I'm going to need to buy a jumper/insulate my house/build an igloo/spear some mammoth to make pelts and store the food for the lean times like a squirrel does ' etc, if you were a tree you might be thinking 'seasons may be a useless human social convention and it may still be sunny but I'm gonna shed my leaves goddamit', if you were a turtle 'ZZzzzzzzzz' etc...

    whether some person calls it summer or été or a turtle just 'thinks' of it as time to hibernate or whatever, doesn't matter because it's a real phenomenon measured over a period of time (one day would be an inadequate mesure like one gene would, or 'genetic difference' might not be adequate to explain the full picture which is where gene expression comes in...) with real consequences, which a lot of things depend on, crop planting (imagine the disaster if all the farmers worldwide said 'sod seasons, which are a mere social construct!' and planted their crops willy-nilly based on how sunny it was today ), the aforementioned animal/plant behaviour, even the fashion industry (I read that it was 'threatened' by global warming as peple weren't buying their winter clothes, lol)) wheras 'social conventions' depend on human interactions for their existance and are prone to disappearing over time as society changes, but what we call 'seasons' would continue even if we all dissolved tomorrow. Likewise 'race' (and 'species' and all the rest) is a real biological phenomenon which we can get some kind of an understanding on with our labels even if they're not totally exact and perfect (but which of our terms are...?)

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    I found this statement in another thread: "they even forced the guy who discovered DNA into retirement because he mentioned there are genetic differences between races".

    ..My question is who is this man?

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    Senior Member stormlord's Avatar
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    James Watson

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_D._Watson

    Not only did the press crucify him, they also forced him to retire from the lab that he built into the foremost centre for genetic research in the world

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosLord View Post
    If race doesn't exist, and whites and blacks are the same, then how come white people can't acquire sickle-cell anemia; and blacks can?
    Sickle cell anemia has been found in some Mediterranean populations as well.
    SVMDEVSSVMCAESARSVMCAELVMETINFERNVM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renwein View Post
    Maybe you could say the same thing for some species too.
    no

    as an extreme example dogs (including wolves) are much more genetically similar than humans... but much more phenotypically varied. I'm sure many breeds are incapable of cross-breeding (not to speak of whether all would in 'natural circumstances'), which would make them seperate species, if all you went by is 'species is ability to produce fertile offspring'.
    ...it's not a matter of "going by"...that is the definition of species...as in the ONLY thing you can possibly "go by"....but yes, if they can't interbreed then they are two different species and they would have been classified as such. they haven't been classified as such .: they can interbreed despite your personal beliefs.


    AND while we're on that. dogs of different breeds are a lot more genetically distinct than humans are ...
    http://www.hhmi.org/news/kruglyak2.html

    believing things is good and all, but sometimes facts help

    But genetically they are almost indistinguishable... it's interesting that some animals are very very similar genetically, but the end products so different...
    yeah...like human siblings...often very different despite being very genetically close.

    whether some person calls it summer or été or a turtle just 'thinks' of it as time to hibernate or whatever, doesn't matter because it's a real phenomenon measured over a period of time (one day would be an inadequate mesure
    is this another one of your "beliefs"? what period of time are we talking about? and where are we measuring? and what are we measuring?

    to call something a "real measurable phenomenon" you have to give metrics that are varifiable and justifiable. not make stataments about turtles "thinking" of hibernation.

    wheras 'social conventions' depend on human interactions for their existance and are prone to disappearing over time as society changes, but what we call 'seasons' would continue even if we all dissolved tomorrow.
    um...no..seasons wouldn't continue, weather would continue...the planet would continue...seasons are precisely the social constracts that vary, change and disappear with us.

    Likewise 'race' (and 'species' and all the rest) is a real biological phenomenon which we can get some kind of an understanding on with our labels even if they're not totally exact and perfect (but which of our terms are...?)
    species is a valid biological concept because there's a definitive way to assay whether something is or isn't of a certain species - you breed it, then try to breed it's offsprings, then see what happens. very nice, binary, varifiable and scientific. not at all so with race.

    ...and crappy, misleading lables are worse than no lables at all, which is why in science, where exactness and objectivity are a touch more achievable (and a lot more necessary) than in everyday life race could never be a valid category...it's a nice social construct though

    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosLord View Post
    If race doesn't exist, and whites and blacks are the same, then how come white people can't acquire sickle-cell anemia; and blacks can?
    LOL..blacks can't "acquire" it either...it's a genetic disorder

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Sickle cell anemia has been found in some Mediterranean populations as well.
    Because they are racially mixed
    Contact Congress on immigration
    Contact Congress to reject banker bailout
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by a.squiggles View Post
    species is a valid biological concept because there's a definitive way to assay whether something is or isn't of a certain species - you breed it, then try to breed it's offsprings, then see what happens. very nice, binary, varifiable and scientific. not at all so with race.

    ...and crappy, misleading lables are worse than no lables at all, which is why in science, where exactness and objectivity are a touch more achievable (and a lot more necessary) than in everyday life race could never be a valid category...it's a nice social construct though
    Sorry to burst your bubble but species isn't that simple either. Different species can breed successfully in theory very often but it's an own species if, even when placed next to eachother, won't breed in significant numbers even if it's genetically possible.

    Race is a biological term,too, and simply means isolated populations which developed a characteristic morphology and survival strategies. The difference to species is that they most likely would breed if placed next to eachother.
    Ceterum censeo Iudaeam esse delendam.

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