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On races and species

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posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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Recently, I saw on french tv a man who said that "there are races among humans and we shouldn't be afraid of saying it out loud, races exist and if you don't say it, it's because you are a hypocrite"

So, I was thinking about that and I came to the conclusion that this man didn't know what he was talking about.

This man didn't understand that the concept of races is a subjective concept. Races are a classification, a means to list the differences among individuals of the same species. Races are a means for the people who work in those domains of knowledge, where this kind of classification is needed, to help them in their work.

It is a subjective concept because someone has to decide, at one moment or another, at which point the differences between individuals of the same species are sufficiently important or numerous to justify a knowledge subdivision into separate races. The catch here is "sufficiently important or numerous", and who has the privilege to decide that for everyone else ? No one has that privilege. Imagine two dogs, both german shepherds, they are perfectly identical a part from one thing : the tip of their tails are different, one for example has cartilage at the tip, and the other one has only skin : is that difference enough to justify a knowledge subdivision into separate races ? You tell me. If you said "no", now tell me which amount of differences justifies in your opinion a race subdivision ? To that question, everyone would give a different answer, because it is a subjective matter.

That man on tv was speaking to a woman. Yes, her skin is very brown, but who has the privilege to say that the color of skin is a difference that is enough to justify a subdivision into separate races ? I can say, and no one on earth could prove me wrong, that for me a different skin color does not justify a subdivision into separate races. I can also say, and no one on earth could prove me wrong, that all people with blues eyes belong to a separate race and people with brown eyes to another race. After all, the concept of races is only a means to list the differences between individuals of the same species. I have 3 brothers, we are all pretty small, but one of us measures around 2 meters, who can stop me from saying that he belongs to a different race ? After all, his difference is very visible. I can even say that people between 1.50m to 1.60m are a separate race, then people between 1.60m and 1.70m are again a separate race, and so on, and who could say that my classification is wrong?

The concept of races is so subjective that we can even say that our species is not the human species, but that ourspecies is the primates species, and that we are one race, the human race. We know we have around 95% of genetic symmetry with the chimpanzee, but did you know that the genetic symmetry between a white skinned man and a black skinned man is around 99,9% ? A white skinned individual can even have more genetic symmetry with a black skinned individual than with another white skinned individual. The truth is that humans are one of a kind, because there is little variation between human individuals, and this is a rare thing among mammals that have been tested, because for example there is more (around 4 times more) genetic variation between chimpanzee individuals.

As a final point, to those who think that "there are races because look! We don't have the same skin color!", I want to say that there are a lot more differences that you don't take into account, and nothing forces you to focus on the color of the skin. It's a free choice, a choice between creating more or less artificial barriers between humans. And if you can't help it, it is my opinion that xenophobia is no different than arachnophobia or agoraphobia.
edit on 14-8-2012 by gosseyn because: punctuation




posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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I fully agree with you OP.

Most people don't even know what the definitions for a species are, yet they further divide the human species into races.

For example, look at the following pic, and decide if the 2 ants belong to a different species, or are different races or breeds of the same species.



The answer is that both belong the same species. The both belong to species Pheidole barbata, but fulfill different roles in the same colony.
edit on 14/8/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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Well if there are no races, there are certainly different breeds...

Though it is interesting to note that out of ALL species, humanity has the least genetic diversity out there.

So we are all more alike than we are different subjectively compared to other species on earth.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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Luckily I will never have to worry about getting sickle cell. But of course, that's because of my race.

Race is subjective only in a sociological perspective, or when used inappropriately. There is nothing wrong with being different.


Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, ethnicity, and social status.



s sociological factors, racial categories may in part reflect subjective attributions, self-identities, and social institutions.


en.wikipedia.org...(human_classification)

There are different races, but we are all people at the end of the day...



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by boncho
Luckily I will never have to worry about getting sickle cell. But of course, that's because of my race.


Well, imagine you need a kidney transplant. Imagine you have brothers and sisters. The doctors test them all and conclude that they are not compatible, but they add that they have the kidney of a pig ready to be transplanted into your body and that it is compatible. Are you going to say after that that you and the pig are the same "race" or "species", and that your brothers and sisters who have the same father and mother as you are not from the same "race" or "species" as you ?

And why don't you consider that all people who have different blood types are of different "races" ? Did you know that you can die if for example the incompatible kidney of your very own mother or brother was to be transplanted into your body ? But but but .. isn't she/he the same *"*race*"* as you ?

Again, as I said in the OP, some people just see the differences they want to see, and they just overlook other differences, consciously or not.


There are different races, but we are all people at the end of the day...

There are different races, but they represent what anyone wants them to represent, nothing more. If I chose to, I can just say that there are no races, because it is just a choice. There are differences, but you are also different from your own brother, sister, father, mother, or child.

I am talking from the epistemology point of view, the philosophy of science point of view, the why and how we classify things.

Please next time, read the OP fully and carefully with a will to understand what is said.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by gosseyn
 


I agree with you.

I have always thought that this clutching and grasping for "race" is embarrassing and a very clear indicator of just how fearful people are of being different.

My parents have very different skin tones. My skin tone is somewhere between the two. I don't look like either parent. I don't identify with any specific group, and my ancestors on both sides came from all over the world. Yet, as a child, people always - without fail - would try to classify me as one particular "race". I can't tell you how many times I've been asked whether I was adopted or a foster child, or how many people have made extreme and unfortunate assumptions about me because I look a certain way.

I don't accept these classifications because they are meaningless. I figured this out when I first learned to use crayons and noticed that "white" and "black" make "grey". To make grey, one must have both white and black. I do not have grey skin. I was aged four when I realized this.

I decided not to treat people differently one way or the other based on physical characteristics.

As I became interested in science, I found that my belief was justified: all human fetuses must have a specific set of DNA to be viable. It doesn't matter where the DNA comes from, all that matters is that it can successfully combine.

When my children ask me, "Why do you look different than us?" I just say, "Because that's how I was born, and that's how you were born." and smile.

Because we are all just as different as we are the same.

We're human.
edit on 8/14/12 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by boncho
Luckily I will never have to worry about getting sickle cell. But of course, that's because of my race.

Neither do I, yet you would likely classify me as a potential carrier of sickle cell anemia. I am not. Neither is my parent who happens to have a darker skin tone.

I'm not sure why you even bothered to bring this up? You could just as easily said, "Luckily, I will never have to worry about hemophelia. But of course, that's because of my race."

It really doesn't make any sense.

You do not have to worry about very specific genetic diseases because your ancestors were not carriers. Be thankful for this.



Race is subjective only in a sociological perspective, or when used inappropriately. There is nothing wrong with being different.

So, then, where are the lines drawn? Who determines what "race" each person fits into? I am different from everyone else, even my siblings. Do I get to create my own race?




Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, ethnicity, and social status.


Assumptions about someone based on his/her physical attributes is shoddy scientific work - at best. These classifications (stereotypes) are so broad that even people who do not exhibit "typical" physical characteristics are labelled within the stereotype based on various other physical characteristics which might be indicators of said classification. There is no scientific basis for this continued categorization; it is a relic of a separatist past.




s sociological factors, racial categories may in part reflect subjective attributions, self-identities, and social institutions.


en.wikipedia.org...(human_classification)


I have no "race" and cannot classify myself by a "race". When do I get a "no race" box on my government forms?
edit on 8/14/12 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by ottobot

Originally posted by boncho
Luckily I will never have to worry about getting sickle cell. But of course, that's because of my race.

Neither do I, yet you would likely classify me as a potential carrier of sickle cell anemia. I am not. Neither is my parent who happens to have a darker skin tone.

I'm not sure why you even bothered to bring this up? You could just as easily said, "Luckily, I will never have to worry about hemophelia. But of course, that's because of my race."

It really doesn't make any sense.

You do not have to worry about very specific genetic diseases because your ancestors were not carriers. Be thankful for this.


He is talking about the misconception that sickle cell can only be found in black people.
From www.sicklecell.md/faq

Why is Sickle Cell Anaemia only found in Black people?
This is a very common mis-conception. Sickle cell anaemia (sca) is not "only found in Black people". White people in Greece, Sicily, Turkey, and their offspring around the world suffer from sickle cell anaemia (sca). In fact, the highest incidences of the sickle cell gene (S, for short) are not found in Africa at all; they are in India and Saudi Arabia.

And even if it wasn't a misconception, it would just be another difference among other differences. I wanted to show him that he blatantly chose to focus on people with different skin colors and other phenotype differences. That is why I gave him the example of him needing a kidney transplant, and him realising that a kidney from a member of his own family could well be incompatible with him. But since he thinks that there are races and that his own family is obviously of his own race, there are important differences that become invisible for him.



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by gosseyn


Please next time, read the OP fully and carefully with a will to understand what is said.


 


I'm saying race is clearly outlined with genetic markers and in a scientific context it does not contradict your OP in anyway. My post did not contradict your OP.

You failed to read my post and see that I supported the OP by even providing a link which supports that a sociological outlook on race is subjective.

Good one...




posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by gosseyn


That is why I gave him the example of him needing a kidney transplant, and him realising that a kidney from a member of his own family could well be incompatible with him.

 


If you want to classify the world by their blood type you can as well. But that will be another classification. Race and ethnic classification makes sense because there are distinct differences, and these differences have let us go back through time and see how the human race has developed using genetic markers. There is nothing "racist" about it. It is not meant to be offensive. It is a useful tool for scientists to track people in groups of race/ethnicity, because the world was not a global marketplace at one time, and humans did develop differently.

There is no reason to get mad at science for some idiots choice to make race or creed a mandatory question on a form somewhere.

Thanks for your time...



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by boncho
If you want to classify the world by their blood type you can as well. But that will be another classification. Race and ethnic classification makes sense because there are distinct differences, and these differences have let us go back through time and see how the human race has developed using genetic markers.

Ethnic classifications only make sense if you are actually of that ethnicity, meaning you share a culture, language, ancestry, or religion with others.

Unfortunately, ethnic classifications are often completely unrelated to actual culture, language, ancestry, or religion. They are, instead, specifically based on physical characteristics.

For example, in the US there is a commonly used ethnic term called "Hispanic" - used to describe people who are presumably of Mexican ancestry. The term originated in reference to people of Spanish ancestry. However, many of the people who are identified by this term have few or no ancestors of Spanish origins. Most of their ancestry would actually be ethnically classified as "Native American" because their ancestors were indigenous to lands conquered by Spaniards.

So, ethnically, they are not "Hispanic". They are not "Native American". What are they? Ethnically, they are American. They were born and raised in America. They may or may not share cultural, religious, language, and/or ancestral similarities with other people who are classified as "Hispanic" or "Latino". However, in the American culture at this time, the ethnic classification of ancestors supersedes actual ethnicity of the person.

Realistically, these classifications are self-imposed.


There is nothing "racist" about it. It is not meant to be offensive. It is a useful tool for scientists to track people in groups of race/ethnicity, because the world was not a global marketplace at one time, and humans did develop differently.

Yes, we all realize that people in different parts of the world evolved physically to survive in their environments. These physical changes became prominent because people with specific sets of mutations were better suited to survive the environment and, thus, procreate. These genetic markers (mutations) may or may not be present in their descendants.

I might be able to understand your perspective if "race" and "ethnicity" were determined solely by genetic markers.

They are not.

Many people in the US (for example) have ancestors who evolved in varied parts of the world. These people potentially carry genetic markers from various groups of humans. Scientists could not classify them as one particular "ethnicity" or "race" because they carry genetic markers from a plethora of "races".

Again, who determines "race"?



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 09:18 AM
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I just want to point out that "race" also matters somewhat when choosing a mate. Some people are more attracted to certain races, and not necessarily their own! That's interesting to me. I'm not racist if I'm just not able to "get it up" for most black women, it's something I have no control over. Btw that was just an example. I'm not going to reveal if I'm married or who I'm married to. Just something to think about. I LOVE the fact that we are all so different in some ways, and so similar in other ways. I would get bored fast if we were all the same in every visible way. Visible doesn't necessarily mean physical appearance either. Culture is also visible. I love all the different traditions that exist. It makes life interesting!



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

I agree with most of your thread. The beginning confuses me. You disagree with the man that says "races exist". Then you say "race is a classification", thereby acknowledging it's existence... but it doesn't exist, but it does? I know race doesn't really matter... But if the fate of the world depended on winning a basketball game, I'll prefer to have a black guy play that game on our behalf. The best player I've known, Michael Jordan, is black. So while I realize that there might be a white Asian or Mexican that might have a better chance of winning, all I have to go on is Personal Experience, and in my own personal experience, I've known black guys to be better basketball players. I guess I'm racist? Even though I love all races...



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:01 AM
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a reply to: 3n19m470

I acknowledge the fact that there are arbitrary classifications, I don't acknowledge that 'races exist' as if it was a fact of nature just like gravity. Gravity is not an arbitrary classification, it is not an arbitrary choice of criteria. There are two ways to deal with arbitrary classification : rejecting them all or accepting them all, but you can't pick some and reject some others. It would be like saying people who like blue color are wrong and people who like yellow color a right.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:16 AM
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I think that designating a particular race of people as superior or inferior to another is a fallacy, and for these purposes race is imaginary.

Acknowledging physiological characteristics that vary between races is valid though.

We aren't all the same, even within a race, but to deny race is to be blind to reality somewhat.



posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 12:43 AM
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as a mixed race person i feel as though typically the only people that have issues with race are those that appear to be one race/color.

has anyone thought about this in terms of biology?

mixed race people are genetically stronger and if you think about a newer stronger set of genes taking over and wiping out the old weak set of genes that would mean that as humans we are seeking to continually mix racially and not stick to the same race.

with that brings a shift in who is racially dominant and those that were once dominant start to go down in numbers.

so it would seem to me that its as much of a fear based factor a it is a biological one.

just a thought.



posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 01:22 AM
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To the OP, no.

I used to think this way, it's just a way to wash everything into a gray mess of no boundaries. There is nothing productive about it.

Clusters of genetic markers as well as physical features can mark certain races. Sure there are exceptions, mutations happen.

This train of thought leads to taking a big poop on archaeology, which uses genetic markers and known racial differences on parts of the body like facial structures to learn more about history.

We could also go into how said racial boundary is an idea/meme which society has generally accepted. When someone talks about race we do know what they are talking about. It is an idea, it exist in society and can be averaged out in the minds of men to give a great idea to what this boundary between races is.

Just because something is not perfectly concrete does not mean we have to destroy it. most things that use statistics would have to be destroyed due to their rather fuzziness.

-----------------------------
tldr Using an argument like the OP would have profound destructive implications such as destroying the concept of black and gray. Where does one separate the color gray from black? it's subjective. should we destroy both black and gray because we cannot agree on the boundary?

edit on 3-2-2016 by jellyrev because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: jellyrev

Don't you see the problem in your train of thought ? You suppose, before everything else, that races exist, and then you use this or that observation to reinforce your prior supposition that races exist.

As I said in the OP, the classification of 'races' is an arbitrary classification. There are many more differences that we could use to build a classification, for example blood type..

100% of the people agreeing on something does not magically make that something true. It's still just a convention.



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