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HOME > ON THE BOOKSHELF > COMMENTS

Race Finished


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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/14/opinion/14leroi.html
posted by Christopher Harison
February 22, 2012 @ 8:17 AM


There is but one race, the human race. I wrote song on YouTube now titled "Amazing Race" google or search, the lyrics say that there is no "Amazing Grace" of the gospels but that there is one amazing race of human beings. Go listen. A man in Sweden sings it.
posted by daniel bloom
February 22, 2012 @ 9:32 PM


Race is not a social construct. See this NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/14/opinion/14leroi.html
posted by Andrew Moroz
February 23, 2012 @ 2:51 PM


**But race is little more than skin deep in biological terms, and individuals are frequently more genetically similar to members of other so-called races than they are to their own said race.***

2004 Curt Stern award winner Neil Risch and colleagues have addressed this point as follows:

"Genetic data ... show that any two individuals within a particular population are as different genetically as any two people selected from any two populations in the world." [18]. This assertion is both counter-intuitive and factually incorrect [12,13]. If it were true, it would be impossible to create discrete clusters of humans (that end up corresponding to the major races), for example as was done by Wilson et al. [2], with even as few as 20 randomly chosen genetic markers. Two Caucasians are more similar to each other genetically than a Caucasian and an Asian."

'Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease' Genome Biology 2002

***First, although individual ancestries are useful on medical questionnaires, ancestry should not be conflated with race.***

Risch et al comment:

"For our purposes here, on the basis of numerous population genetic surveys, we categorize Africans as those with primary ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa; this group includes African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans. Caucasians include those with ancestry in Europe and West Asia, including the Indian subcontinent and Middle East; North Africans typically also are included in this group as their ancestry derives largely from the Middle East rather than sub-Saharan Africa. 'Asians' are those from eastern Asia including China, Indochina, Japan, the Philippines and Siberia. By contrast, Pacific Islanders are those with indigenous ancestry from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Micronesia, as well as other Pacific Island groups further east. Native Americans are those that have indigenous ancestry in North and South America. Populations that exist at the boundaries of these continental divisions are sometimes the most difficult to categorize simply. For example, east African groups, such as Ethiopians and Somalis, have great genetic resemblance to Caucasians and are clearly intermediate between sub-Saharan Africans and Caucasians [5]. The existence of such intermediate groups should not, however, overshadow the fact that the greatest genetic structure that exists in the human population occurs at the racial level."

***the variety of human populations seems to have both accumulated and begun to reintegrate within the past 50,000 to 60,000 years. The diversity among us has arisen in a blink of evolution’s eye. ***

I would refer the author of this to "The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution". This discusses how there has been considerable recent local change in response to population expansion, agriculture and changes in social structure.


posted by Mike Pearlstein
February 27, 2012 @ 12:37 AM


Caucasians have Neanderthal genes and Asians have Neanderthal and Denisovian genes. There are racial differences! As a blood and platelet pheresis donor, it was always asked as to my racial background. It is well known that there are racial differences present in blood.
posted by Louis Muller
May 11, 2012 @ 11:42 PM


The idea that race might be a social construct was proposed in 1972 by a Harvard geneticist named Richard Lewontin. He claimed that the genetic differences between races were so slight that no one working only with genetic data would categorize people as Asians, Whites, Blacks, Mestizos, etc. Lewontin said that racial classification "is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance."

Leftist racial egalitarians were quick to pick up on Lewontin's words and create a number of rally chants and slogans from them, including "Race is a social construct!" and "There's only One Race, the Human Race!"

The Lewontin Hypothesis almost immediately became a required belief among the politically correct. Unfortunately for them, less than 30 years later it became possible for geneticists and forensic scientists to conduct a statistical analysis of genetic markers in order to see whether their clusters correlated with the commonly identified racial groups.

They did. By 2005, it was well documented that Lewontin had been wrong. Practically every analysis of genetic markers demonstrated the biological reality of racial identities. In one of them, conducted by Tang, Quertermous, and Rodriguez, et. al., in 2005, all except five of 3636 test subjects (including Asians, Whites, Blacks and Mestizos) sorted statistically into the cluster of genetic markers that corresponded to their self-identified racial group. The success rate for predicting how someone would classify himself racially, using only his genes as information, was approximately 99.9 percent, according to that study.

It had long been possible for physical anthropologists to sort skeletal remains by race with very good accuracy, using only the shapes of skull, jaw, teeth and bones as guides. By the first years of the 21st century, it had become possible for forensic experts to do the same thing with DNA, which enabled more accurate identifications of fathers in paternity disputes and in showing police when they have arrested the right suspect, or, sometimes, when they'd nabbed the wrong fellow.

It's true. A forensic scientist with a drop of your blood can tell you your racial ancestry. If race had no genetic basis, that would be an impossible thing to do.

The progress of genetic science since 1972 should have eliminated Richard Lewontin's hypothesis in just the same way that Galileo and his telescopic observations caused the Earth-centered theory of the universe to disappear. Eventually.
posted by David Sims
May 15, 2012 @ 10:44 PM

 

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