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Does Race exist?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by haroon, May 8, 2019.

  1. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    She's meme famous. And the thing has 15 million hits.
    For a half hour interview.
    Not on politics. But on "not even politics".
    And neither person is an American.
    That's an achievement.
    No matter if there's the supposition that part of that is for doing a noteworthily bad job.

    Anyway. I'll let Lex Villena have you catch up:



    Btw: To what extent are you familiar with British news channels in general?
     
  2. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Because they are both black. Modern understanding means we know some theories are wrong - it absolutely doesn't mean they don't make sense.
    You believe cultures exist, how many are there?
     
  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    So what you're saying is... :p
     
  4. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    There are obviously many many hundreds of cultures such as they are difficult to enumerate.

    Unless you want to claim that ethnicity is exactly equal to race then I don’t think you have much of a point.
     
  5. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    But if they're right (hell, or wrong) why is it racist? Is it racist to distinguish between a Congolese pygmy and an Alaskan Tlingit ? If you're a doctor treating both wont distinctions become important? If the Doc doesn't know much about the individual patients they will quickly get informed on what does distinguish them. Racism is about 1) a feeling of superiority, and 2) mistreating the 'inferior' because of it. Well, that pretty much defines humanity. There are plenty of people who feel superior to others and mistreat them as a result. Is an inflated sense of self worth a product of psychological evolution? If you come to realize you're not so worthy might you look down on others to feel more worthy? Winners need losers, even the losers need losers.

    How does your language refer to different peoples?

    Cranial capacity variations eg within a group will be greater than the means between groups. That will be true for many traits.
     
  6. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    There may be "hundreds of cultures" but not all of them have a lot of people practicing them, nor are they identified as something of local importance (eg they may be mostly a relic). Furthermore some current cultures are by and large so amalgamatic than they sort of aren't a cohesive culture. The latter seems to be true in most of the west.
    Not that i think this is that bad (besides, ultimately each person has a personal culture, albeit influenced by various factors) - yet if so it doesn't help with defining "ethnos" that much. Language would be a better paragon.
     
  7. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    You're quite happy to display a double standard then?

    Lex's objection falls as soon as you look at any model in which someone declared there to be a specific number of races. Linnaeus thought there were 4. Objection failed.
     
  8. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    I don't think anybody is disagreeing that they don't make sense, but rather that they are arbitrary and change frequently between people, societies, and history.

    We define race on the basis of skin color, but we could have just as easily categorized people on the basis of hair color, or whether or not they drink milk.

    Even within the confines of how our culture chooses to define race, tensions exist and are immediately identifiable: is Obama black or white? Is Tiger Woods black or asian? Is Elizabeth Warren white or Native American? If we aren't calling Elizabeth Warren Native American: why? On the basis of what criteria are we parameterizing [race]-ness and do those parameters work in all cases?
     
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  9. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    I don't think I am parameterising race. I'm pointing out that other people have done it and that it made sense to them, it referred to clearly definable characteristics, and therefore right or wrong you can't protest that it isn't 'real' in some sense. To me this argument makes as much sense as claiming that crufts cannot possibly distinguish between breeds.

    And I think that the objection is a purely ideological one, rather than one based upon sense and pragmatism. People who argue vehemently that race cannot be real are ideologically opposed to it, true or not - just as they argue against the idea that there are difference in male and female psychological traits (against the evidence a lot of the time).
     
  10. red_elk

    red_elk Warlord

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    What is strange to me, that people people regard the idea that races are "real", as racist and morally wrong.
    It may be scientifically right or wrong, but why is it racist?
    If I said for example, that Poles or Chinese are inferior, that would be racist or chauvinist or whatever you call it. But there is nothing wrong to claim that Poles and Chinese do exist and are different to some extent from people of other ethnicity or culture. And classification of people by ethnicity seems just as valid (or invalid) as classification by race. The only difference is granularity.
     
  11. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    No, because all the models of races declaring a specific number in the range of 3 - 12 that looks oddly similar to the standard white imperialist model of C19 are obviously stupid.

    There is no utility to the concept of race except to be racist. That’s what it was intended for. It’s not a secret truth that my politically correct eyes are too blind to see, it’s a weapon long past need of being decommissioned.

    It was ideological from the start. Why the desperation of some to defend it?
     
  12. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    The moon is not a social construct, it is an object that would continue to exist even if all humans were to be wiped out. Ants are not a social construct they are a class of physically existing things that can be defined by physical and functional features. Now of course the word "ant" is social construct but that's not the same things ants existed before we were around to name them. Race is a social construct, defined by cultural norms and primarily constructed as a means of establishing a hierarchy of discrimination. Unlike ants vs non-ants there arent criteria to distinguish whites vs non-whites that don't rely heavily on social categorization and historical accident.

    Now of course social constructs are real things with real consequences, but by merely changing our attitudes and systems we can fundamentally alter them. A gay wedding wasn't a real thing until we decided it should be and changed our laws and norms to incorporate it. We should look to alter race and stop thinking of it as anything more than an unfair system of discrimination that we should mop up, discard, and think about only as a historical folly.
     
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  13. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    In the sense of the individual's prejudices associated with skin color, in the sense of a social construct it is of course real. In the sense of a universal or sensible scheme to classify humans it is not real. It is about as real as my classification of people into stupid people and non-stupid people.
     
  14. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    The Sumerians referred to themselves as the black headed people
     
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  15. Truthy

    Truthy Non-boolean

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    I need to actually get work done at some point today, so I'll see what I can do later on. Also, if you find some more studies about clustering coming, I'll take a look at them.
    When people like Reich hear "race is just a social construct" it seems they hear "meaningful genetic differences don't exist between English and Native Americans." And then they respond saying "no, race isn't just a social construct." Then you say "but if we look at the genealogy of the concept of race, you'll find its origins rest on historical contingencies surrounding power dynamics, colonialism, and the 17th century political economy. Plus the classic racial categories are just kinda bs." And then they think "well, yeah, but that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm saying meaningful differences are correlated with where a person's ancestors were predominantly located 500 years ago because before that all of their ancestors had been separated for maybe 40,000 years. So the English and Native Americans are in fact divergent populations..." And then someone's like "so are you saying those are two different races??"

    I'm not clear on where your goalposts are or if we're even in disagreement about anything besides what we think David Reich is trying to say.

    A chapter of his book is devoted to the vast genetic diversity within Africa. He is the source for which I claim huge amounts of genetic diversity exist within Africa. E.g., huge differences between the San, Pygmies, and Bantu. He's well aware that defining a "black" race is problematic and this quote doesn't show he tries to do so. He puts the word "race" in scare quotes for a reason.

    What he is saying is that (1) genetic differences exist between populations whose ancestors were separated by 70,000 years prior to colonization, (2) at some level of granularity, e.g., African Americans are a population of relatively similar ancestry (note the US does not have a lot of African pygmy or San peoples) and this ancestry is separated from, e.g., European ancestry by like 70,000 years, and (3) tens of thousands of years is long enough for SNPs to build up. And for that reason, we observe differences in the distributions of medically relevant phenotypes, like propensity for a number of diseases between self-identified African Americans and self-identified whites. Which parts of this, exactly, do you object to?

    My guess is you object to (2). But I don't think his goal is to say there is some globally optimal level of granularity or height of the hierarchical clustering tree we should always stick with. Some mutations, like adaptations against malaria, are probably pretty high up the tree, in which case it makes sense to discuss the subtree of that height. I highly doubt his hill to die on is arguing we shouldn't adjust the granularity in different situations. His hill is that the tree matters and his argument is that people refuse to believe any such hierarchical tree can or should ever be created. I imagine he's also kind of taking for granted that the granularity already exists in people's identifications and given that granularity, we do in fact see meaningful differences between those subtrees and other parts of the overall tree. If African Americans had the luxury of identifying with particular parts of Africa, maybe it'd be different.
     
  16. Truthy

    Truthy Non-boolean

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    Well, sorry for being too harsh in my response. I didn't intended any disrespect.
    It doesn't make sense because it's too reductionist and it's inconsistent. If we're going about it that way, we should make up some new color to clump Europeans and Han Chinese together.
     
  17. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    that's not what I'm saying at all, just a strawman.

    people haven't distinguished between them and their neighbors in terms of race for thousands of years, they have distinguished themselves through tribalism, language, citizienship, culture, religion, and many other factors.

    race is about grouping people entirely on phenotype and as a concept can only really exist in a globalized world. how you perceive human differences is necessarily tied to what you see in your life. the "racial" distinctions are pretty much based on giving continent a respective haplotype "black, white, asian" etc.
     
  18. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Crufts can distinguish between dogs breeds because breeders are fanatically devoted to producing dogs that fit the exact criteria Crufts uses to define dog breeds. Crufts doesn't merely distinguish dog breeds it creates and sustains dog breeds often to the detriment if the dogs themselves.

    I don't think we should use Crufts as a good example for humanity.

    For more information on Dog Vs. Humans please see this thread
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  19. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    3 races - us, us + Neanderthal, and us + Denisovan

    no, that aint right... Us not only lived along side homo erectus populations in Africa we ran into them as we spread into Asia. There were erectus living in Indonesia relatively recently, enough to overlap with our arrival. Many Asian and European people acquired DNA from people who had already spent a long time living in cold mountainous regions.
     
  20. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    It doesn't, because it's only the start of the objection. Once you say there are so many races, then we can start poking innumerable holes in your actual assertion. But instinctively you avoid making specific claims about the nature of race, because you understand that getting into specific territory will mean being totally goddamn wrong.

    And this is just stupid garbage. It "made sense to them" because they needed a way to justify genocide, mass pillage and enslavement on a hitherto unknown scale.
     

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