Human races exist

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  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    A case for the existence of human races is best made by answering two questions:

    (1) is there sufficient variation within humans for there to be subspecies?

    (2) if so, is there sufficient variation to sort data into discrete subspecies?

    Let's address (1):

    When comparing humans to other species with sufficient variation to necessitate subspecies (race), we find that humans reach an comparable levels. Woodley (2009) compared the heterozygosity in humans with other species, all of which had wide ranges (https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/woodley-2009-is-homo-sapiens-polytypic-human-taxonomic-diversity-and-its-implications.pdf). Just so we're clear, heterozygostiy is the probability that, at any given gene location, two organisms of that species will have a different alleles (gene variant) at that specific location. Despite humans being anywhere from 99.5-99.9% the same (humans are 98.7% the same as chimpanzees, too (http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics)), it is possible to have more instances of variance than similarity, it's just that the magnitude of those differences accumulates to 99.5-99.9%.

    Woodley's data is under the heading "Table 2" in the first link provided.

    His conclusions (found under the heading "discussion" were that,

    "There are strong grounds for suggesting that the hypothesis thatH. sapiens is polytypic rather than monotypic is at least plausible ... Firstly, it has been demonstrated that there exists a considerabledegree of diversity (as measured by morphology, heterozygosityand FST) within this taxon, which is structured in such a way thatis suggestive of the existence of around five major clades (continentalpopulations) corresponding to biological subspecies. Andsecondly, as the phylogenetic species concept does not recognizethe validity of subspecies as a division, opting instead to labelthe most basic monophyletic unit as ‘species’, a case could be madefor the minor clades (sub-continental/racial populations) withinHomo qualifying as phylogenetic species in their own right, especiallywhen considered in light of the evidence suggestive of theidea that lineage admixture is in fact fairly peripheral and is probablynot negating the evolutionary distinctiveness of those groups."

    Thus, yes, there is sufficient variation between humans to warrant subspecies.

    Now let's address (2):

    The best way to sort human genetic data into discrete groups (subspecies) is through correspondence between genetic cluster and geography. Using as little as 3 human subspecies categories (K=3: African, Asian and European), Bamshad (2003) was able find almost 100% correspondence between cluster genetic and geographical location, given that 160 loci (a fixed position on a chromosome) were used (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1180234/). 

    Alloco (2007) conducted a somewhat similar study, looking at random locations of SNPs (a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome). Using only 100 randomly selected SNPs, 97% correspondence between self-reported ancestry and best-fit genetic cluster (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1828730/pdf/1471-2164-8-68.pdf). 

    In both cases, there was sufficient variation to sort data into discrete subspecies (race), as pre-defined races fit genetic clusters with near-perfect accuracy.

    Hence, the human races exist.
  • keithprosser
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    You miss the most important step which is to define 'subspecies'.   Once we have a definition it is trivial to see if humans have subspecies or not.   The problem is coming up with a definition that a) doesn't pre-judge what you want b) gets widespread acceptance from biologists.

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser
    You miss the most important step which is to define 'subspecies'.   Once we have a definition it is trivial to see if humans have subspecies or not. The problem is coming up with a definition that a) doesn't pre-judge what you want b) gets widespread acceptance from biologists.
    a) There is pre-judging in the sense that the number of human races is socially constructed (i.e. whether we want to use a filtration of 3 races, or whether we want to use 25 races, is socially determined). However, after conducting numerous tests (in this thread, I've only cited a few), and when we have near 100% correspondence to genetic cluster and geography, we find that there is rhyme and reason to human races, hence making them non-trivial.

    b) I'm not entirely sure what your threshold is for "widespread acceptance from biologists", or why it matters that much, but there is certainly some level of acceptance of race in biology.

    Ann Morning (2008) found that in the medical realm, at least 90% of biology textbooks were using race in their medical descriptions (as of 2002: http://www.academia.edu/632351/Reconstructing_Race_in_Science_and_Society_Biology_Textbooks_1952-2002). That's about as close as you'll get to surveys of biologists (especially recent ones), because they simply don't exist (at least I can't find them). I have plenty of data that demonstrates anthropologists seems to accept human races, though.



  • keithprosser
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    It's a little confusing because you wrote;

    A case for the existence of human races is best made by answering two questions:

    (1) is there sufficient variation within humans for there to be subspecies?

    (2) if so, is there sufficient variation to sort data into discrete subspecies?

    Are you saying that 'race and 'subspecies' are synonyms?

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser
    Are you saying that 'race and 'subspecies' are synonyms?
    Yes.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    AFAIK regular biologists treat them seperately so so all current humans are one subspecies with race as the next even finer-grained filter.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser
    Do you have a source to support your claim?

    Also, since it's not longer being talked about, I assume you're okay with the response here: (https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/831?page=1&post_number=3).
  • Plisken
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    A distinct race would be a relatively small population by modern standards of population, and most groups with resemblance to a race are probably comblobulated by now.  For example, I can trace my  lineage back to relatively distinct populations, but a lot has happened over the centuries and there are no surviving members of my family who could reasonably be said to be part of a race.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @Plisken
    A race would be a relatively small population by modern standards of population
    It doesn't have to be, since races are socially constructed classifications.

    and most groups resembling a race are probably comblobulated by now.
    Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
  • Plisken
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    It's just an assumption of the times, admittidly with a western slant.  The world is just not as big as it used to be.  With modern transportation and freedom of travel, all surviving populations reasonably classifiable as a distinct race will likely exist in extremely hostile climate, extreme cultural isolation, or extreme social heirchy.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @Plisken
    It's just an assumption of the times, admittidly with a western slant.  The world is just not as big as it used to be though.  
    No offence intended, but I really don't care about assumptions. If you have any data or evidence to support what you're saying, then please provide that. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother posting.

  • ethang5
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    It doesn't have to be, since races are socially constructed classifications.
    Then in what way is "race" scientific? Just that scientists simply acknowledging the social norm?

    Socially constructed classifications are by their nature, subjective. It seems to me that you have picked out a physical difference, and called it a racial difference. That isn't scientific. Anyone can do that using any physical difference.

    The question is, why do you point out the blindingly obvious? Whites have lighter skin. Everyone knows that. You cannot be so stupid as to be pointing out obvious differences just to point them out.

    So now that you've pointed out the differences, so what? What are we to draw from your obvious point? What are you saying? Surely it cannot simply be,

    "Different groups of people have different physical features."

    Is it?
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ethang5
    Then in what way is "race" scientific? Just that scientists simply acknowledging the social norm?

    Socially constructed classifications are by their nature, subjective.
    This is only partially true. They are subjective, in the sense of pre-determined numbers (K) to be filtered, and also the nature of those types. However, that doesn't mean the product of the filtration is subjective, too. For example, we can set K=3 (e.g. African, Asian and European), or we can set K=20 and have far more specific subspecies (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese etc.), and given enough loci, the result will produce correspondence between genetic cluster and geography.

    In other words, regardless of the number of types (or even the nature of those types) of humans you want sorted genetically, the results are clear and not liable to subjectivity.

    It seems to me that you have picked out a physical difference, and called it a racial difference. That isn't scientific. Anyone can do that using any physical difference. The question is, why do you point out the blindingly obvious? Whites have lighter skin. Everyone knows that. You cannot be so stupid as to be pointing out obvious differences just to point them out. So now that you've pointed out the differences, so what? What are we to draw from your obvious point? What are you saying? Surely it cannot simply be,

    "Different groups of people have different physical features."

    Is it?
    I specifically referred to "loci" and "alleles", of which aren't "physical", in the sense you're using the word, at all (albeit, they sometimes produce physical phenotypic expression). In fact, I haven't at all mentioned physical racial attributes until now (e.g. skin colour, cranial shape). You either aren't reading things I write, or you don't understand what I write. 


  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    Humans are undeniably polytypic, thought the quibble over whether to call the infraspecific taxa 'subspecies' has more to do with the limits of the zoological classification system imo. Botany is way more permissive of 'splitter' taxonomists, who have three different taxa available to them beneath the level of species, whereas zoologists only have one and get terribly pernickety over its use. If we used the botanical system, human races and ethnicities certainly qualify, as we divide things up over much, much less severe levels of differentiation.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    You either aren't reading things I write, or you don't understand what I write.
    And you didn't answer the question. Let's grant you your claim. Let's agree that human races exist in the way you claim. Something even a 12 year old takes for granted, so what? What are we to take from that? What is your point? It cannot be so stupid as to be pointing out obvious differences just to point them out. So now that you've pointed out the differences, so what? What are we to draw from your obvious point? What are you saying? Surely it cannot simply be,

    Different groups of people have different loci and alleles.

    Is it?
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ResurgetExFavilla
    Humans are undeniably polytypic, thought the quibble over whether to call the infraspecific taxa 'subspecies' has more to do with the limits of the zoological classification system imo. Botany is way more permissive of 'splitter' taxonomists, who have three different taxa available to them beneath the level of species, whereas zoologists only have one and get terribly pernickety over its use. If we used the botanical system, human races and ethnicities certainly qualify, as we divide things up over much, much less severe levels of differentiation.
    I honestly don't know how zoologists could get pernickety over its use, in regards to humans. I couldn't even play Devil's Advocate. I'm fairly certain their objections are merely visceral fits.

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ethang5
    :: You either aren't reading things I write, or you don't understand what I write.

    : And you didn't answer the question.
    Let's take a moment to dwell on how utterly idiotic your comment is here. In response to being accused of not reading what I write, or at least not understanding it, you simply concede it. I don't think you understand the gravity of your concession here -- you are admitting that you know you're engaged in a monologue. In other words, you get on a debate website to ignore what other people say (or not understand it), and then enter a monologue.

    Let's grant you your claim. Let's agree that human races exist in the way you claim.
    What way do I claim races exist? In your own words, explain to me exactly how I'm making that claim. I think you've seen the title of the thread and proceeded to enter your customary monologue.

    Something even a 12 year old takes for granted, so what?
    12 year olds take heterozygosity, loci and fst values for granted, do they?

    Bloody, spoiled children.

    What are we to take from that? What is your point? It cannot be so stupid as to be pointing out obvious differences just to point them out.
    Heterozygosity is an "obvious difference", is it now? I guess I need to tell all the scientists to stop conducting rigorous scientific tests, sell off their equipment and forget everything they know about cluster analysis, because heterozygostiy is an "obvious difference", completely observable to the human eye.

    So now that you've pointed out the differences, so what? What are we to draw from your obvious point? What are you saying? Surely it cannot simply be,

    Different groups of people have different loci and alleles.

    Is it?
    The reason you are asking for what I'm arguing is because you haven't read the OP, or at the very least you don't understand it. You are virtually an NPC in a monologue, as it stands.

  • ethang5
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    And you can't tell us your point.

    I'll do it for you. You are a lowlife racist. You think your "races" argument supports the extension you also believe. You believe it, but are afraid to clearly state it.

    You state it for the same reason all racists harp on obvious differences  and insist on petty silly classifications, so you can later claim your "race" is the superior one, and some other is inferior.

    I'm sure you think of yourself as one of those new fangled racists, who deny being racists, and insist they only state facts, but you smell like the same old funky racists of yesteryear.

    There, I've said it for you. You can relax now.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @ethang5
    i am always glad when when see eye to eye... it has rarity value!



  • ethang5
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    --> @keithprosser
    It's so ironic. The absolute dregs of society going around thinking they are better than others, making long bloated posts devoid of logic or reason. Hiding behind science as they dehumanize people wholesale. They bore me.

    i am always glad when [we] see eye to eye... 
    Yeah. The more yucky the person, the greater the chance of agreement. Approaching 100% here.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ethang5
    And you can't tell us your point.

    I'll do it for you. You are a lowlife heretic. You think your "science is cool" argument supports the extension you also believe. You believe it, but are afraid to clearly state it.

    You state it for the same reason all heretics harp on apparent scriptural inconsistency  and insist on petty silly scriptural interpretations, so you can later claim your "science" is the superior one, and some other god is inferior.

    I'm sure you think of yourself as one of those new fangled free thinkers, who deny being heretical, and insist they only state facts, but you smell like the same old funky heretic of yesteryear.

    There, I've said it for you. You can relax now.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    You're ashamed of being a racist, that means there is still hope for you.
  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    I'm sure that political considerations weigh on their conscience, but it's mostly structural limitations that they've imposed on themselves. In order to be defined as a subspecies under their current systems, animals normally have to be incapable of producing fertile offspring with one another. This is a dumb rule that ignores a lot of nuance, but zoologists like to stick to such dumb rules because they don't want to admit that botanists, mycologists, and microbiologists are literally right about everything.

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ResurgetExFavilla
    I thought detractors of human race theories were merely being obtuse, when they mentioned the interbreeding point. I didn't know it was ingrained in the profession. I was beginning to lose hope in learning anything from this thread, so thank you.

    Also, Belle Delphine's version is better than Nyannyan's.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @ethang5
    ur mom plays runescape