It's time to deny the greatest ignorance of all--we are more alike than unalike

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posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 04:54 PM
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Have you ever filled out a job application, official form, or government census? Did you ever stop to think when asked to mark which race applies to you in the little box? I have, and I actually take a few minutes thinking about which race I am. I simply do not know. I do not have a “race,” do I? My skin is white, but not too white—it isn’t very dark either. My mom is a blond from Germany—my dad is Hispanic and an American native. I have dark hair from my dad and my mom’s facial features. My paternal genealogy has been traced back to a mixture of Spanish and the natives of the New Mexico-Colorado regions, but I don’t identify as Native American—why not? What race am I, really? How do I know which race I am? By asking my parents? How do they know? How did their parent’s parents know? So am I white, German, Hispanic, or a mongrel?—please don’t try to answer this for me because the answer is a myth.


I like the last option where you can choose “some other race.” I think I will be a Klingon next time.

I give blood. It’s not exactly by choice because my blood is not viable for transplanted donation (due to my history of cancer and auto-immune disease..otherwise I would.) I am regularly phlebotomized to reduce the dangerously high iron-content in my blood. I was once asked to state my race on a form. I told the phlebotomist that I didn’t want to disclose. She said, “Well, you have to if you want me to draw your blood. It’s standard procedure and policy blah blah blah.”

I reminded her that my blood wasn’t even viable for donation—that this was a preventative medical treatment. “Just check the box,” she insisted. I looked at the chart with my pen hovering back and forth over “Caucasian” and “Latino.” I finally said, “I don’t know what I am.” I checked both boxes and just got over it as quick as I could.

But what about when I filled out my college applications? I very quickly decided I was Hispanic. I bet you can guess why. I was even considered for a Hispanic heritage grant. Even worse, I do not look Hispanic and have taken some ribbing from people who “look” Hispanic.

The concept of race is a human construct that has been used interchangeably with terms like ‘biology’ and ‘culture’. This use of the word “race” is a misnomer and is an inadequate substitution for the proper term; what we’re talking about when we say “race” is ethnicity; and when we say ethnicity, we’re talking about cultural traits—and when we talk about culture we’re not talking about biology anymore. Unfortunately, this concept has been misunderstood and misused from its inception up to the present day. It has been used to justify ignorance and to justify prejudice—it has even been the impetus to rationalize ethnocide, genocide, and eugenics movements.

But let’s start slow—what is a biological race? Answer: a subpopulation or subspecies of organisms that can be divided into a discrete group, distinguished from others based on distinct and significant genetic differences in composition.

What is ethnicity? Answer: a supposedly shared culture based on a concept of cultural heritage. I am not sure what ethnicity I belong to either. Am I West Coast American? Hispanic? Pseudo-new age hippy? The artist formerly known as ‘Protestant-Christian?’ Do I identify my ethnicity based on what state I live in? This is why the word “supposedly” is important here because in the end, it is still somewhat up in the air.

How is this different from one’s Nationality? Answer: nationality is a political category of one’s citizenship in a nation-state comprised of many ethnic groups and different cultural heritages. Ah, so even one’s nationality is comprised of more than one ethnicity and more than one set of cultural traits. So that definition is definitely not suited to describe my race nor my ethnicity.

What are the most prevalent assumptions about race?
*Human races are extraordinarily important
*They are based on biological differences
*They are ancient and relatively unchanging
*They are easily distinguishable from one another

There’s one other term that I’d like to bring into the equation: racialization—an assumption that an arbitrarily chosen characteristic difference of a group is fixed, as if inherited genetically, and makes the outside group innately different. So, what is the most obvious skin-deep quality that we use to differentiate each other? That’s right, skin color.



But what happens when people of the same skin gradation need to differentiate themselves? Do they begin to define races based on height? Nose length? Hair color? Ability to eat 800 marshmallow peeps without vomiting?

What should we measure?


Anthropometry is the practice of measuring human anatomy. Arbitrary measures were often used to support racialism. All forms of measure were examined in an attempt to categorize “races”. For example, height, limb proportion, nose length and width etc. were all catalogued believing they would fit neatly into defined criteria to denote a “race”. Cranial measurements and cranial volume capacity, as well as other arbitrary measurements (such as prognathism) were used in an attempt to predict one’s supposed heritable intelligence. Of course, we now know that there is no correlation or reflection of one’s intelligence or other cultural acquisitions readable through the measurement of physical traits.

In fact, anthropometry hit the mainstream when Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Olympics. He was poked, prodded, and measured as a means to figure out why a black man had beaten the white competition. Before this event, it was generally believed that blacks were physically inferior in competitive sports. That assumption changed due to cultural, not biological, circumstances; it is an attitude that is liable to change in future generations as well. (In other words, these biological characteristics of race are usually changed to fit the popular belief of the times.)

en.wikipedia.org...

And when seeking to find direct relationships between intelligence and cranial shape, we only embarrass ourselves. A direct relationship would suggest that the person in the room with the biggest head is the smartest (again, arbitrary…smartest how? By what biased measure?) Although increased cranial capacity across primate species is directly related to somewhat increased intelligence—the variations from person to person (within a species) are negligible and the relationships associated with intelligence are nonexistent. So, no…the person with the biggest head isn’t the smartest.

Another problem with using anthropometry to determine characteristics of a race is that the samples provided show much variety in their measurements. In other words, each supposed “race” has people with big heads, small heads, etc. There is a wide range to consider when examining any ethnic group.

Human beings have a strong proclivity to organize the world around them into patterns and groups. People not only use taxonomy as a means to organize the world around them—plants, animals, and natural features—but also other people. Such attempts have given rise to racial classification models.
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posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 04:56 PM
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Different ethnic groups apply their own culturally derived divisions between the so-called “races”. One culture’s definition of what constitutes a “race” may vary greatly from others. Not only is race a culturally derived concept—it is not even supported biologically (as we will soon examine in turn.)

Many early attempts at racial classification looked like this:


It gets very complex and sophisticated though as further attempts were made to account for the seemingly endless range of skin gradations and biological diversity! Charts started to look more like this:


In other words it’s all contrived and very, very silly.


What’s most telling about the concept of race is that there isn’t even any agreement on them between ethnic groups! One person who is “negroid” in Brazil can get onto an airplane and fly to the USA and be viewed as “Caucasoid,” and the opposite is true. A person viewed as black in the USA may be treated as a white in Brazil.

Mankind has attempted to organize visible, observable genetic expressions across cultures into a hierarchy. The so-called experts that were involved in racial classification were often Europeans or Americans of European descent, and not surprisingly, these were the ethnic groups that often found themselves “at the top” of the racial hierarchy.

Historically, the idea of superior and inferior races has been used to justify the oppression of several ethnic groups and cultures. It was used to rationalize the forced slavery in the southern United States, used to rationalize the ethnocide of the Cherokee culture, and even used to justify movements such as the 19th century eugenics philosophy (concepts which we will come back to at the end of this thread.) Such ideas on race would seldom be considered acceptable by majority opinion nowadays. However, don’t be mistaken, because racialist thinking still exists. Even if one isn’t exactly bigoted, prejudiced, or hatefully racist—there are, at the very least, misinformed racialists who perpetuate that there are important, distinct, unchanging biological differences that fit neatly into categories.

Consider how different cultures try to categorize one’s race: In the USA we use the rule of hypodescent. If you had one black ancestor, you are more likely to be categorized as black. Conversely, the Dominican Republic uses the complete opposite scheme (hyperdescent.) If you have one white ancestor, you are more likely to be viewed as white no matter how dark your skin is. The difference here, is of course, a rise or fall in the social ladder. Whereas one black ancestor in the US stigmatizes you, one white ancestor in the Dominican Republic returns you to grace. The Japanese and Nazi Germany once had a concept of “racial purity” where any mixing would destroy the culture and the integrity of the individual. This is very ironic as genetic diversity is essential in maintaining the prosperity of a population (think of racial purity as inbreeding within a small population.) In many places of South America,(see the above chart on racial classification)—they have very complex and sophisticated (also, extremely prejudiced) systems of racial classification which are mostly based on skin and hair color. Sometimes, your hair color alone can make or break which tier you reside on and are treated as such in a social hierarchy.

That means your “race” can always change depending on which borders you cross into. Race can be contextual. When I am job hunting, I can be white when I want to not look like a minority. And I can be Hispanic when seeking out scholarships etc. I can change my “race” at will to fit the situation. In other words, this label is totally arbitrary and imaginary! I am not changing my looks nor my genes, am I? Yes, I can sufficiently get away with being viewed howsoever I choose to check that box.

But what about all those obvious differences in physical appearance between human beings? There must surely be some “human races.” Wrong. There are ample genetic differences within groups as well as between them. You are just as likely to share similar genetics with someone of a different skin color as someone with a similar skin tone (PLEASE refer to this great PBS documentary series www.youtube.com... which is embedded at the end.)


Since the modes of natural selection and Mendel’s principles of inheritance were discovered, there have been people misappropriating these scientific concepts for unscientific purposes. It eventually came into popular belief that based on genetic expressions, people were genetically predisposed for any range of seemingly measurable traits such as athleticism, intelligence, competence, and artistic ability. How does one measure something like artistic ability?
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posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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The most current studies on genetics all seem to indicate that there is no biological validity to the concept of racial classification. We know that genetics are expressed in two ways: as a genotype and as a readily visible, observable phenotype. It is the phenotype which we can see with the naked eye (an example of a phenotype would be the expression of skin color.) Therefore, it is a person’s phenotype we are looking at when we haphazardly attempt to assign them to a categorical race; the genotype is ignored because it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Phenotypes find themselves expressed in numerous ways. The most common traits that were historically used to define a race include skin color, eye shape, hair color and shape (curly hair, straight hair etc,) and other physical dimensions. Likewise, attributes such as intelligence, physical prowess, and artistic ability were associated with certain phenotypical traits.

However, we now know that features such as skin color and hair shape are polygenic traits. That is, they are influenced by more than one gene locus; Mendelian punnit squares are no good for polygenic traits.

Maps of the inheritance of polygenic traits look more like this:
…well beyond my expertise.

When it comes to polygenic traits it isn’t quite as clear-cut as Mendelian models where you either inherit something or you don’t based on dominant and recessive genes. Is your skin white? How white? How black? What about eye color? How blue are your eyes? Or, is it that there are so many genetic factors involved in determining some things that there is a complex gradient to follow? Even so—where does one race end and the other begins if we use a gradient of skin color etc.?



These traits are not only more complex than previously given credit for, they are also conditional in part by environmental influences. Characteristics such as intelligence and artistic aptitude are also much more complex than previously believed. These traits are also polygenic and are dependent on complex environmental factors. Certainly, one cannot predict another’s intelligence or athletic ability based on phenotypes such as skin color/ eye color etc.

Examinations of population genetics have revealed that there is actually more genetic diversity expressed within a population than when it is compared to multiple populations. Furthermore, because gene flow is continuous between groups, there is only one species of Homo sapiens. Subspecies of humans simply do not exist as was once erroneously propagated. Humans are a polytypic species. That is, there are multiple populations of the same species that express phenotypic traits in different ways. However, the underlying genotype is not quite as different between groups as the phenotypes appear to suggest.

Because skin color and other phenotypes are inherited independently of each other, there is no way to correlate them with other phenotypes (In other words, having blond hair does not mean you will have blue eyes, having curly hair does not mean you have a wide nose etc…which are again, totally arbitrary measures. How curly is curly? How wide is wide?) Thus, it is impossible to fit individuals into a racial classification system based on only one or two phenotypes much less an entire range of genotypes. We now know that an individual is made up of many complex genes, and there is still much to be learned about our own genotypes. In attempting to racially classify people and populations, so-called experts have only looked at a few phenotypes such as skin color and hair shape etc. whilst ignoring the numerous other traits that make up an individual.

Racial classification has been an instrument in rationalizing inequality, but genetics has shown us that such inequality does not exist biologically. Furthermore, many behavioral traits are only culturally derived, and we know that culture is learned and NOT inherited. Human “races” remain a social construct not supported by science.

The American Anthropological Association concurs. Here is perhaps the most important excerpt from the AAA on race:


Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.

www.aaanet.org...

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posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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Are there biologically distinguished human races? Answer: No. Why not? Groups have not been isolated long enough and there has been no controlled, selective breeding to accumulate mutations that would result in significant genetic differences. There are no groups of humans that are reproductively-genetically incompatible with other humans (all groups can have children with all other groups.)

Sorry, Todd Aken. You’re mistaken. It does not work like this.
Woman of all groups can produce fertile offspring with men of all groups. There is no selectivity because there are no races or subspecies of human beings. There are no subspecies that can be divided as seen with some plants and animals that may have been isolated or selectively bred. I’m not saying it’s impossible—I’m saying it hasn’t happened to humans because the waves have always been splashing around the gene pool. Groups and populations have been interbreeding with other groups…always. There has never been an isolated ethnic group that stayed isolated long enough to give rise to a race or a subspecies (as seen in chimpanzees etc.)

So, why do people still believe in “races?” Answer: Social Darwinism—Social Darwinism implies that there is a scientific rationalization for the biological diversity of ethnic groups and implies that there is scientific data to reflect socially constructed hierarchies. This idea was a socially acceptable explanation that justified colonialism and subjugation. This idea has survived into modern thinking.

Ultimately, the scientific and sociological evidence reveals that the biological, as well as ideological, definitions of race are fallacies. Remember, there is just as much (and perhaps more!) biological diversity found within groups as well as between them. But it’s hard to ignore that when we look at something blatantly obvious like differences in skin color. All along we were just judging books by their covers.

There you have it, folks. Despite our obvious cultural differences—we are very much alike. We are far more alike than unalike. Humans are the only species on the planet that uses culture as a means to adapt to their environment for survival. Much of human survival has relied on culture and NOT genetics. Although genetics have played very important roles—think of it this way—we can make a warm jacket out of fabrics much quicker than we can make a “warm jacket gene” to shield us from the cold.

Please do not misinterpret me. I am not downplaying the role of genetics in survival. There is a well-known example of malaria resistance involving the gene for sickle-cell trait.


Individuals carrying just one copy of the sickle mutation (inherited from either the father or mother) were known not to develop sickle cell anemia, leading rather normal lives. However, it was found that these same individuals, said to carry the sickle cell trait, were in fact highly protected against malaria, thus explaining the high prevalence of this mutation in geographical areas where malaria is endemic.

www.sciencedaily.com...

So much for the idea that inferior races breed disease. In this case, sickle-cell trait is a genetic mutation that gave one an advantage against malaria.

So, after all this—I am simply saying that there is no stronger, faster, healthier, more intelligent race that exists. There is only one race; the human race—Homo sapiens. Strength, speed, health, and intelligence are all culturally acquired. We learn to lift weights, we learn to run track, we learn to eat healthy, and we learn to study and do our homework. No one is born with these traits—predispositions, maybe—but not the traits themselves. You can be born with a predisposition for a track & field superstar body, but only will that be developed if the host culture encourages it and values it.

There is not even genetic disposition for cultural elements such as food preference. If I grow up liking one food, I can just as easily go spend time on the other side of the globe learning to like another food that I’ve never tried before. All ethnic groups share the same taste capability for sweet, salty, sour, bitter (and umami or whatever it is,) but it is ultimately cultural factors that determine which foods someone seeks out.

Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Well, so what?! Everybody knew all this already. It’s common sense!”

The point is…we need to get over this “us vs. them” stuff really quick! Why? Because misunderstanding is synonymous with misapplication.


edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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Consider how racial classification and hierarchical models have been misused—they have resulted in discrimination, prejudice, racism, violence, murder, ethnocide, and finally genocidal attempt—both as a matter of personal bigotry as well as political policy. What’s especially disheartening is that hatred and indifference is often the result of our failure to recognize our similarities—instead, we exaggerate and emphasize the differences.

Ethnocide:

The systematic killing of a culture (sometimes achieved through assimilation, though there are different methods of killing a culture.) This where we get the phrase “Kill the Indian, save the man.” ‘Nuff said. But I encourage further research if you are in doubt of the systematic ethnocidal policies seen throughout history—across the globe. These 2 paragraphs sum up the attitude and practice quite well
www.jstor.org...

Genocide:

The systematic killing of an ethnic group through extermination. Just take a very quick gander at this page: en.wikipedia.org...

Eugenics:

The systematic manipulation of genetics with the aim of “improving a race.” This one is not as well-known and there are indeed fewer examples of it throughout history. But, we needn’t look too far.

Eugenicists argued that "defectives" should be prevented from breeding, through custody in asylums or compulsory sterilization. Most doctors probably felt that sterilization was a more humane way of dealing with people who could not help themselves. Vasectomy and tubal ligation were favored methods

www.eugenicsarchive.org...

So, what’s it all about? I am not going to tell you to love thy neighbor as thyself. But just remember that when you are hating on your neighbors, you’re hating on cultural-environmental-circumstantial-contextual differences.

No, I am not saying we’re all brothers and sisters genetically speaking—but I am saying there is no reason we should be hateful towards each other under the assumption that we are different; especially when the biological differences are superficial and the cultural differences are malleable.

Are we all one? No, but humans are not the schism-prone species so many think we are.

And don’t forget to watch this video (series):


I think it’s time we did a turnaround here. Let’s stop emphasizing the differences between us and start emphasizing what we share. Or as Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder put it…

And of course…


It is time we denied the greatest ignorance ever conceived…hatred and/or apathy towards that which appears different on the surface.

(This thread consists of much research I did in college as an anthropology major. Much of this post comes from truncated, spliced versions of the many, many essays I wrote in class! I tried my best to cite sources and back up whatever I could with additional sources that you may not have access to (aka, my text books, library books etc.) There will be gaps in the sources, but I have done my best to provide the necessary evidence.)

edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:07 PM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Bravo!!!!! Well done OP!

The last census I was "forced" to fill out, where it said other, I put HUMAN!



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:10 PM
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In modern countries, you never have to specify a "race" in any application or anywhere else, for that matter. For obvious reasons. Maybe this myth is local?

Anyway, "Caucasian", "Asian", "African" etc, are quite useful terms sometimes to describe looks (and origin).



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:15 PM
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why do you even have to mark that. isn't the person interviewing you going to see what you are.

or is it just to avoid the awkward moment of realization in the interviewers office when you realize you're not getting the job because the guy doesn't like hispanics and he realizes that you know and has to nervously go thru the rest of the 5 min. interview process politically correct because he's sensing his job is on the line, is scared you'll beat the crap out of him or that he's being set up.

i think that's the real reason they ask you for race, so they can just toss out the application fast and efficiently and avoid all the racial hassle, awkwardness and guilt.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless
In modern countries, you never have to specify a "race" in any application or anywhere else, for that matter. For obvious reasons. Maybe this myth is local?


No, you don't HAVE to specify, but you're still asked, aren't you?



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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Hello,

thank you for this well put together thread, lots of very important information, and misconceptions that need to be looked at, and you do a very good job at both.

Hats off for a very well worded and presented thread.

S&F


SS



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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I noticed a significant mistake in the wording of this paragraph from post #2 (and editing has expired):

"What’s most telling about the concept of race is that there isn’t even any agreement on them between ethnic groups! One person who is “negroid” in Brazil can get onto an airplane and fly to the USA and be viewed as “Caucasoid,” and the opposite is true. A person viewed as black in the USA may be treated as a white in Brazil."

Here's what it should say:

"What’s most telling about the concept of race is that there isn’t even any agreement on them between ethnic groups! One person who is "caucasoid" in Brazil can get onto an airplane and fly to the USA and be viewed as “negroid,” and the opposite is true. A person viewed as black in the USA may be treated as a white in Brazil."
edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless
Anyway, "Caucasian", "Asian", "African" etc, are quite useful terms sometimes to describe looks (and origin).


Yes, we cannot do without labels such as these. We just wouldn't know what to do without them labels.

But as I have described in the OPs, such terms do not even adequately encompass looks, cultural similarities, or even a shared origin!

Consider the Caucasians who are chiefly "white."--Caucasians do not share an origin because they are said to be not only Europeans and Americans, but usually Northern Indians and the "noble white race" (as they were once called to distinguish them from other Asians,) the Japanese. Okay, so these "whites" do not all share an origin.

Think about how many different ethnic groups live on continents as large as Asia and Africa. In many cases, all that those ethnic groups have in common is that they were born on the same continent. For example, close examination will quickly show just what it means to be South African, West African, North African etc.

If I told you I was North American--you have no way of knowing whether I am French-Canadian, Italian-American, Inuit, or Cuban.
edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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There're no meaningful genetic differences between the races. The fact that we can all have children together I think is reason enough to conclude that nature didn't make us dramatically different.

The biggest difference between the races is environmental. For example, while differences in average IQ are observed in the races, most or all of this difference is attributed to socioeconomic factors.

See here:
www.albionmonitor.com - Poverty Lowers IQ, Study Says...


EVANSTON, Ill. -- Contrary to "The Bell Curve" findings, a new study published in the April issue of Child Development by researchers at Columbia and Northwestern Universities suggests that poverty and early learning opportunities -- not race -- account for the gap in IQ scores between blacks and whites.

Adjustments for socioeconomic conditions almost completely eliminate differences in IQ scores between black and white children, according to the study's co-investigators. They include Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Klebanov of Columbia's Teachers College, and Greg Duncan of the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University.

As in many other studies, the black children in the study had IQ scores a full 15 points lower than their white counterparts. Poverty alone, the researchers found, accounted for 52 percent of that difference, cutting it to 7 points. Controlling for the children's home environment reduced the difference by another 28 percent, to a statistically insignificant 3 points -- in essence, eliminating the gap altogether.
.........

And I agree that there's no physical advantage for being in a particular race. Even if there IS a small advantage, it's so small that only fractions of a second or a precision machine can see it. I'm not even aware of any studies that show a genetic difference in physical ability in competition. If there're any, I'd like to look at how socio-economic status impacts what sport someone picks or how much they do it. For example, poor neighborhoods may not have golf courses or swim teams or hockey teams, but they probably have basketball hoops. And kids in a poor family won't usually aim high in school. It's fairly well known that kids from poor families do not finish college as often.

What this all boils down to is that any genetic differences are extremely small.
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posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by jonnywhite
 


Thanks for responding. Yes! I was going to bring up The Bell Curve at one point--there was certainly A LOT that I had to cut out to keep the OP as concise and coherent as possible (which was no easy task.)

The socioeconomic factors that contribute to variations in IQ scores, crime rates, etc between ethnic groups was probably something I shouldn't have cut out. And again, it only goes to show that our cultural traits are socially derived; it is circumstances that give rise to this data, not genetic inheritance. It's like this...walk a mile in someone elses shoes and see how you do.

And when considering the biological differences between ethnic groups...it can not be ignored that said differences are advantageous ONLY in the environments that they were adapted to. This is why dark-skinned people tend to get vitamin D deficiencies the further away from the equator they go, and why light-skinned people get more skin problems the closer they go.


For example, poor neighborhoods may not have golf courses or swim teams or hockey teams, but they probably have basketball hoops.


Right! And consider what body types are valued. Some groups, especially mainstream USA highly values the slim and slender. Other ethnic groups may prefer the bulging muscular types. It's also about what we encourage and what we stigmatize.

Thanks for contributing and taking an interest in this thread
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posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:37 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Originally posted by Nevertheless
In modern countries, you never have to specify a "race" in any application or anywhere else, for that matter. For obvious reasons. Maybe this myth is local?


No, you don't HAVE to specify, but you're still asked, aren't you?


Sorry, my mistake on the "have", but no, you're not asked either.
edit on 20-12-2012 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Originally posted by Nevertheless
Anyway, "Caucasian", "Asian", "African" etc, are quite useful terms sometimes to describe looks (and origin).


Yes, we cannot do without labels such as these. We just wouldn't know what to do without them labels.

Ehrm.. Yes we can live without them. I personally just think that sometimes they might be useful.



But as I have described in the OPs, such terms do not even adequately encompass looks, cultural similarities, or even a shared origin!

Depends on how you use them. But cultural similarities? By looks? What?



Consider the Caucasians who are chiefly "white."--Caucasians do not share an origin because they are said to be not only Europeans and Americans, but usually Northern Indians and the "noble white race" (as they were once called to distinguish them from other Asians,) the Japanese. Okay, so these "whites" do not all share an origin.

Your race biology scares me. Why are you even thinking in such terms?
"Caucasian" is just a convenient way of describing a certain kind of looks.



Think about how many different ethnic groups live on continents as large as Asia and Africa. In many cases, all that those ethnic groups have in common is that they were born on the same continent. For example, close examination will quickly show just what it means to be South African, West African, North African etc.

Okay, I did it. Now what should I do?



If I told you I was North American--you have no way of knowing whether I am French-Canadian, Italian-American, Inuit, or Cuban.
edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

That is correct, because the U.S is populated by people who have their origin from around the world. What is your point?



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless

Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Originally posted by Nevertheless
In modern countries, you never have to specify a "race" in any application or anywhere else, for that matter. For obvious reasons. Maybe this myth is local?


No, you don't HAVE to specify, but you're still asked, aren't you?


Sorry, my mistake on the "have", but no, you're not asked either.
edit on 20-12-2012 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)


Wow, my mistake. What modern country do you live in where you've never seen this question on a form?



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
Wow, my mistake. What modern country do you live in where you've never seen this question on a form?


Whether or not I live in such a country is irrelevant.
But if you wonder what countries those would be, I'd say definitely the Nordic, if not all or most of Europe.



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
The point is…we need to get over this “us vs. them” stuff really quick! Why? Because misunderstanding is synonymous with misapplication.
edit on 19-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)


As if it were that simple. How do we 'get over it' exactly? Isn't this something we've always done? Perhaps the real misunderstanding is that racial tension is as natural to our species as social stratification? I doubt this comes down to just misunderstandings about our genetic makeup.
edit on 20-12-2012 by jheherrin because: (no reason given)
edit on 20-12-2012 by jheherrin because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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I can go with what you said. That quote of mine is my own...ideology? I guess you can say. There is definitely evidence to support your take on things as well...

that groups naturally have tension and suspicion towards each other. It is observed in primatology as well.

I like to think we can make a choice though..seeing as how we're supposed to be the stewards of this planet. I don't think we're all just hardwired to dislike and distrust each other. I think a lot of that dislike and distrust is learned. IF it is learned, it can be unlearned.

Thanks for your perspective and good job pointing out an alternative theory
edit on 20-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)





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