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Is race a sign of evolution?

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posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma

It's all due to cultural learning and norms. Like in Japan, it is their current culture to copycat and improve, as it is their culture to go crazy with electronics. Likewise in Brazil it is their culture to play good Soccer, so you have plenty of good Brazilian soccer players.


Then one might reasonably ask why certain races develop different cultures and norms. There is reciprocity in every aspect of society so that culture and norms are the products of people and people are the products of cultures and norms. You cannot dismiss the one without dismissing the other and as our own recent history has shown, norms can be abandoned much more quickly than they can be instituted.

It might be correct on some level to say that race does not exist, but in fact race does exist in the sense that the poster uses the term and race implies much more than culture, but genetic predispositions, as well. The best statement is that there are no pure races, but the fact remains that there are substantive differences in the biology of the various races as indicated by metabolism, predisposition to various diseases, and skin color, though skin color is the most superficial, even if it is the most obvious.


[edit on 2006/2/24 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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There is no genetic definition of race. The genetic diversity of the whole of the human population, infact, is lower than that of chimpanzees. We recognize 'huge' differences because we choose to see them or emphasize them.

There are no real characteristics that are associated with race. There's been a lot of propaganda out there about IQ correlating with race, but no good studies have really shown this. There are, clearly, some differences between populations of peoples. Some populations tend to have higher concentrations of the skin pigment, 'melanin', than others. I've even heard that blacks in the US tend to have more 'fast twitch muscle fibers' (there being fast twitch and slow twitch types, and most people generally having varying amounts of either), and that that is why blacks tend to dominate most sports. Clearly there are socio-historical reasons for this trend also.

I think that the original poster's idea is sensible enough, if evolution is at work, there should be populations that are being selected for, and that will show up as them being different in one way or another, ie the development of races. If we were talking about shrews or birds, we wouldn't be uncomfortable with the idea.

The big problem with this idea is that, its just not working out like that. Humans just don't sort into biological races and incipient species and the like. There's also a hell of a lot of gene flow across the globe between human populations, and everyone is more or less under similar 'selection pressures', for any great length of time anyways.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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There is no genetic definition of race. The genetic diversity of the whole of the human population, infact, is lower than that of chimpanzees. We recognize 'huge' differences because we choose to see them or emphasize them.


Nooo Nygdan, I think we recognize them because there are obvious differences in the races. Blacks, white, asians, Indian, Native American, etc. There probably is some genetic definition.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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Yeah well, races are different...

How many, except for the freaks, asians are over 6' tall? Not very many, yet how many black males are full grown at 5'2, not very many.

Also, size does have advantage, but so does not being big. Like you have two sword fighters, one is using a 6 foot sword, one is using a 2 foot sword. Not the big sword has range, power, but is slow. The 2 foot sword needs to get close as range isn't there, along with power, but it is quick enough to block and go in for the kill. Why one race is not more 'advanced' then the other.

Also look at the other animals in the region, and the region itself. How many black animals do you see in northern regions where snow falls? Few to none because black against snow doesn't work, why many become white in winter if not white year round.(Ermines change, so do some types of foxes) Also, how many big predators are there in Canada/Northern Europe? The wolf, but not really 'big' compared to Lions, Leopards, or other big predators of Africa.

But really, no matter what color you are on the outside we all bleed red. Except for aliens, they have green blood, and Predators who blood glows for some reason.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by DevinS
How many, except for the freaks, asians are over 6' tall? Not very many, yet how many black males are full grown at 5'2, not very many.

So, then race is based on physical height? I'll agree that there are differences between populations, but I'd disagre that these differences are solid and can be called 'racial' differences.


[edit on 24-2-2006 by Nygdan]



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 04:32 PM
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Most common steorotypes (you judge whether it's right or wrong) :

Blonde chicks are dumb
Brunettes are smart
Chinese must be good at maths
Negro must be good at sports
Jewish are cunning businessman
Asian chicks are cute
Latin American chicks are hot
Middle East Muslims are insane

what else are there?



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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Humans are no different then any other animal well except for perhaps the title of the most egocentric animal in the universe. Look at Darwins Finchs there all finches but they have evolved slight differences over a peroid of time.

Except there is no PC campain to hide their differences





These birds may look the same and they are in many respects but they are indeed different species

Humans are not immune to evolution its happening to us all the same as any other animal. We just havent been around lone enough to see any major changes.



[edit on 24-2-2006 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 04:54 PM
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The mere fact that we know there are different races is proof that we can distinguish between them. Isn't it?



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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I think the bird analogy is incorrect. These birds, belonging to different species, to my knowledge cannot interbreed. A dog or cat analogy might be more precise when applied to humans. There are different breeds of humans. We just classify them as races. All are human; all can interbreed.

[edit on 2006/2/24 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
That may explain skin colour, but it doesn't explain what the original poster is asking -- why some cultures/ethnic groups have a predisposition to technology or athletic abilities and such.

Actually, it's body type, and that's independant of race. For instance, people with my body shape (which is found in all races) are not ever going to compete in Olympic anythings.

Technological competance runs in families -- but is not race/ethnicity dependant. It's culturally dependant only in that this dictates the materials and technologies they are most likely to come into contact with.

Gien an equal environment, there's equal skill in all ethnicities.


Anyways I stand by my assertion that there's no such thing as races, just different ethnicities and different cultures.

Quite true. Thanks for explaining it!



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I think the bird analogy is incorrect. These birds, belonging to different species, to my knowledge cannot interbreed. A dog or cat analogy might be more precise when applied to humans. There are different breeds of humans. We just classify them as races. All are human; all can interbreed.

[edit on 2006/2/24 by GradyPhilpott]


Darwins finches can indeed interbreed , but only rarely are fertile offspring produced but it can and does happen. The ground finches are a different story most of these six ground finches will interbreed, and the hybrids are fertile, meaning they can also breed among themselves

The finches had a few million year head start over homosapien so of course their changes are greater but not much.

The finches are a much better analogy then cats and dogs those two animals evolved along different routes many millions of years ago. Darwins finches in terms of time of evolution splits are much closer to humans.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:28 PM
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Just thought I'd make a few comments before this thread inevitably goes south.


A statistic I remember hearing somewhere: There's more genetic variety in one "tribe" of Chimps than there is in the entire human race. Compared to most higher species we're clones.

Also, scientists say that the Khoisan who currently live in Southern Africa are genetically the most similar to the original Homo Sapiens. That means they share features common in all the human "races". The have light brown skin, thin builds, flat faces, and epicanthal eye folds like Asians. Humans originally looked similiar to them and got darker, lighter, shorter or taller from there. So basically they're what you'd get if you mixed all the human populations together.

Khoisans:





[edit on 2/24/2006 by Flinx]



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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I don't know about the chimp/human comparison, but it is widely quoted that there is more variation among the races than there is between the races and that I can believe. Nonetheless, the idea of race has been with us for a long time and it is not going to go away anytime soon. It is innate in humans to categorize and organize. We can change the names or even refuse to speak the names, but racial identification both positive and negative will be with us until such time and racial admixture is complete and all humans have similar skin tones, hair texture, and eye color. Even then, there will be differences which we will categorize by another name.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Nonetheless, the idea of race has been with us for a long time and it is not going to go away anytime soon. It is innate in humans to categorize and organize. We can change the names or even refuse to speak the names, but racial identification both positive and negative will be with us until such time and racial admixture is complete and all humans have similar skin tones, hair texture, and eye color.


You're right but.... Unlike other species on this planet (I guess) we have the ability to analyse and alter our thoughts and actions. We will naturally categorize people but we don't HAVE to act on negative stereotypes of people in these categories. We have to stop and consider our own thoughts. Instincts and innate tendencies can be overridden. In fact, we all do so every moment of every day.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:10 PM
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I'd have to say that race is not a sign of evolution. We are all from the same tribe. Say if we all started from one family. Then three brothers got some friends and each went to a different part of the world. Then thousands and thousands of years go by and each race is now an extended family from each brother. Now one brother of the three might have been the smart one, weak one, dumb one, lighter one whatever. Now what happens is these original genes get passed and eventually you have a race (used loosely) German, English, Polish whatever. These races will have some traits of the originals. So race is not a sign of evolution but a people who have been inbread for thousands of years. This also depends on what your bread for. All races will have negative and positive traits that may help them to evolve but they just had the best genes to be able to evolve first or last-- survival of the fittest-- or stronger brother.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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Racial differences are indicators of adaptation to the environment. You may call that process by the name that pleases you most.

[edit on 2006/2/24 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:51 PM
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Originally posted by Flinx

A statistic I remember hearing somewhere: There's more genetic variety in one "tribe" of Chimps than there is in the entire human race. Compared to most higher species we're clones.



I dont know about a single tribe of chimps but surely chimps over all have more genetic variety though its declining rapidly rate thanks to humans.

Humans are thought to have went through a "genetic bottleneck" about 70,000 years ago when a much larger human population was wiped down to a few thousand humans. So theres alot less genetic variety then there should be at this time.

But the longer humans exists the greater thoses differences will become its evolution. Its how one finch can turn into a dozen different types in a few million years.

[edit on 24-2-2006 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
But the longer humans exists the greater thoses differences will become its evolution. Its how one finch can turn into a dozen different types in a few million years.


Yes despite conventional wisdom, humans will actually become more different rather than more similar in the future. There will be new "breeds" of humanity much different from us as we are now. I find this both fascinating and worrisome, considering the tendency of humans to attack the "different".

[edit on 2/25/2006 by Flinx]



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 12:24 AM
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Well atleast humans will have at the very least a few million years to come to terms with that before anything drastic changes.

I would like to think if our cousins the Neanderthals were still around we wouldn't treat them as subhuman or anything even today.



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I don't know about the chimp/human comparison, but it is widely quoted that there is more variation among the races than there is between the races and that I can believe.


There's a theory about that, that is, why we humans are not as genetically diverse as chimpanzees. It's called 'population bottleneck'

One of the main hypothesis for this situation is the Toba catastrophe. The theory states that 70,000 years ago the human population almost went extinct, with roughly 1,000 survivors, due to the eruption of the Toba supervolcano in Sumatera, Indonesia.


Population Bottlenecks and Volcanic Winter

The "Weak Garden of Eden" model for the origin and dispersal of modern humans posits a spread around 100,000 years ago followed by population bottlenecks. Then, around 50,000 years ago, a dramatic growth occurred in genetically isolated, small populations. In a 1998 article, Stanley Ambrose proposed an alternative hypothesis—a volcanic winter scenario—to explain recent human differenciation. The bottleneck was caused by a volcanic winter resulting from the super-eruption of Toba in Sumatra. If Ambrose's hypothesis is correct, modern human variations differentiated abruptly through founder effect, genetic drift, and adaptation to local environments after around 70,000 years ago.


Edit - thanks ShadowXIX, for pointing out the 'population bottleneck theory'



[edit on 25-2-2006 by Beachcoma]




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