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Racial extinction watch

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    The Mandan are a Native American tribe that historically lived along the banks of the Missouri River and its tributaries, the Heart and Knife rivers in present-day North and South Dakota.

    The thing that set the Mandan apart was that were visably of a different ethnic stock than the neighbouring Amerinidian tribes of the region.

    These differences were not just restricted to appearances, unlike the neighbouring tribes in the Great Plains region, the Mandan practiced agriculture and established permanent villages.

    These villages were composed of round lodges surrounding a central plaza.

    In addition to farming, the Mandan gathered wild plants and berries and hunted buffalo.

    Unlike other tribes in the region which led a nomadic existence following herds of buffalo, the Mandan developed ceremonies to bring the buffalo closer to their villages.

    Because of these differences the Mandan recieved much attention from Euro-Americans, many of whom speculated that, because of their light skin colour, and traditions, that they had European origins.

    By the turn of the 19th century, because of attacks by neighbouring tribes and epidemics of smallpox and whooping cough, the numbers of the Mandan had diminished dramatically.

    Beginning in 1837, a major smallpox outbreak reduced the number of Mandan to approximately 125, and this decline continued, until in 1971 the last full-blood Mandan died.

    The Mandan are not the only peoples to have suffered such a fate.

    In the days of Leif Erikcson, when the Vikings sailed the North Atlantic, ruling the waves from Scandanavia, and Northern Europe, right across to North America, there were legends that abounded of a race of people known as the Skræling.

    These same people appear in inuit legends, as the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut ("First Inhabitants"), who were driven away by the Inuit.

    In 1824, HMS Griper, under Captain George Francis Lyon, anchored off Cape Pembroke on Coats Island in Hudson Bay. The whalers discovered a band of Eskimos who spoke a "strange dialect" and were called Sadlermiut. (Sallirmiut in modern Inuktitut spelling, from Salliq, the Inuktitut name for the settlement of Coral Harbour, Nunavut.)

    The Sadlermiut, living in near isolation on and around Southampton Island, preserved a culture distinct from the Inuit. They continued to have contact with Westerners and contracted Western diseases. By 1896, there were only 70 of them remaining. In the fall of 1902, some of them visited the Active, a whaling vessel that had stopped at Southampton Island. They caught a disease from a sick sailor, possibly typhoid or typhus. The entire community died within weeks.

    In 1954 and 1955, Henry B. Collins of the Smithsonian Institution studied Eskimo house ruins in the Canadian Arctic. He determined that these ruins were characteristic of Sadlermiut culture which had once been quite extensive. He also found evidence that the Sadlermiut were the last remnants of the Sivullirmiut culture.

    Recent genetic research has, moreover, confirmed the genetic connection between the Sadlermiut and the Sivullirmiut culture.

    Surprisingly, there appears to have been no genetic connection between the Sivullirmiut and the Inuit, which indicates the complete replacement and extinction of the former.

    I could go on, but I think the two examples above are enough to make my point.

    Peoples, races, tribes, whatever you want to call them, can become extinct, just as easily as the dodo. We have seen this many times through out history.

    The question is inspired by another thread here, talking about immigration, and the impact of immigration, multiculturism, and globalisation upon idigenous peoples.

    Should we take steps to preserve cultures and racial stocks, from such extinctions as above, or is the loss of such people and cultures not deemed significant?

    We seem to live in a world where we might seek to protect a breed of Tiger, or Elephant, or Bear, protecting it's enviroment, to save it from extinction, should humans to be treated differently?
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    We seem to live in a world where we might seek to protect a breed of Tiger, or Elephant, or Bear, protecting it's enviroment, to save it from extinction, should humans to be treated differently?
    I suppose one difference is that Tigers are distinct species, races or cultures are not.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    I suppose one difference is that Tigers are distinct species, races or cultures are not.
    I guess racial anthropology is not the most exact and respected science out there, and due to mans nomadic instincts there are some grey areas that abound in racial matters, but I think we can all see distinct differences between an indigenous man from Australia, Japan, or outer Mongolia, for that matter, so maybe they might not be classed as a distinct race, or species, in modern parlance, but does it make them any the less real?

    If you go to the The National Museum of the American Indian, in New York, part of the Smithsonian institute, and ask nicely, they might take you into a little back room, and bring a few boxes out for you to look at the contents of.

    In those boxes are a few artifacts, the last remaining traces of a distinct ethnic grouping, the Sivullirmiut, now extinct.

    How would we feel if all that was left of Britain, or Japan, or any other nation, or race, or ethnic species was a few bits and pieces, packed in dusty boxes, forgotten in the back room of a museum, only brought out ocassionaly for an enquiring mind, but completely unknown and forgotten to the rest of mankind?

    I don't think the fact that modern social thinking tells us that we mustn't call an ethnic group a race, or species, because it might be politicially insensitive is really much of a consideration. I think of more importance is should such things be preserved, under whatever label political correctness subscribes for them, or shouldn't it matter?
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    I guess racial anthropology is not the most exact and respected science out there, and due to mans nomadic instincts there are some grey areas that abound in racial matters, but I think we can all see distinct differences between an indigenous man from Australia, Japan, or outer Mongolia, for that matter, so maybe they might not be classed as a distinct race, or species, in modern parlance, but does it make them any the less real?
    In terms of food chains, the environmental impact of extinction etc, the extinction of these "species" matters far more than the loss of one particular cultural group.

    DNA wise, these groups are almost EXACTLY the same as us.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    I
    DNA wise, these groups are almost EXACTLY the same as us.
    So are monkeys.

    There is not much DNA variation between many living things.

    I couldn't confirm the exact figures, but I bet there is more DNA in common between us and the giant panda, or Siberian tiger, than there are differences.

    I don't see it as a reason to allow either animal to become extinct.

    I actually think the DNA argument is a bit missleading, because DNA variation is minimal, but that small variation can manifest itself as massive variation to our senses.

    It's almost like saying my name is Paul, and there is an Indian girl named Paula, there is only one letter different in our names, so we're almost identical.

    I think the differences are somewhat more significant than that, for example, despite minor DNA differences, even something as trivial as fingerprints vary between races.
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    I'd be more worried about protecting the WHITE RACE from extinction.
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    (Original post by Amon.)
    I'd be more worried about protecting the WHITE RACE from extinction.
    Well the white race is a bit of a fuzzy term, I don't know if anyone has actually nailed a defenition of it yet, but I guess you are saying, in answer to my question, that you do think we should take steps to preserve cultures and racial stocks, from such extinctions of the nature listed above?
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    Well the white race is a bit of a fuzzy term, I don't know if anyone has actually nailed a defenition of it yet, but I guess you are saying, in answer to my question, that you do think we should take steps to preserve cultures and racial stocks, from such extinctions of the nature listed above?
    White race = persons wholly of non-Asiatic, non-Jewish European ancestry.

    but yes, that is what I am saying.
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    So are monkeys.
    Relatively speaking, monkeys are far more removed from humans in terms of DNA than these groups.

    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    There is not much DNA variation between many living things.
    Not much is a relative term.

    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    I couldn't confirm the exact figures, but I bet there is more DNA in common between us and the giant panda, or Siberian tiger, than there are differences.
    Yes and we share 40% of our DNA with a banana or some such thing. Its RELATIVE - small DNA differences can make a MASSIVE difference in reality.

    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    It's almost like saying my name is Paul, and there is an Indian girl named Paula, there is only one letter different in our names, so we're almost identical.
    The point i was making is that the DNA difference is sufficent to give these species an entirely different place in the environment. Their extinction has a greater effect that the loss of a specific cultural group.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    Relatively speaking, monkeys are far more removed from humans in terms of DNA than these groups.
    But not that far, I believe the difference between the DNA sequences of man and his closest relative in the animal kingdom - the chimpanzee - is no more than 2%, although someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

    So really the size of difference is insignificant in the case of DNA, it's the fact there are differences?

    Yes and we share 40% of our DNA with a banana or some such thing. Its RELATIVE - small DNA differences can make a MASSIVE difference in reality.
    So the fact that DNA wise, these groups are almost EXACTLY the same as us is relatively insignificant?

    The point i was making is that the DNA difference is sufficent to give these species an entirely different place in the environment. Their extinction has a greater effect that the loss of a specific cultural group.
    Does it?

    Would the loss of the last few Siberian tigers really affect the world more than the loss of the Japanese, and their culture, for example?
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    (Original post by Amon.)
    White race = persons wholly of non-Asiatic, non-Jewish European ancestry.

    but yes, that is what I am saying.
    Slightly impossible as everyone on the planet has African ancestry.
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    Why do you choose to see humans in terms of vague, anthropological groupings? I am more than my 'race', I am an individual human being. So are you. So were these people. Most of what I value about myself - most of what most value about themselves - are individual traits of my own. Most of the things we value as significant in people vary far more within groups than between groups. And by far more, I mean far more. The word 'far' is too weak for me to truly express my meaning there.

    So that anthropological group doesn't exist anymore. You act as if this undermines their very existence in the first place, as if the individuals that made up that group have somehow been made less real by the event, or might as well have not existed. You talk of them being reduced to a few trinkets in a museum somewhere, and bemoan this. Well I say that you are the one reducing them to a few trinkets. They lived, they worked, they loved, they had kids, they played around, they built homes, they had hates and worries and dreams and each individual one of them lived an individual life of their own, just like we all will have. We cannot fathom the sheer individuality of these people except by observing the sheer individuality of all of us here today, an aspect of life a growing number of people are unfortunatly beggining to deliberatly ignore. They existed as individuals.

    Then things happened, and now that anthropological group doesn't exist. But their existence is unaffected by this. There is nothing inherently bad about this fact. The things that happened that caused this were probably immoral in themselves - rape, war etc. But this is seperate: no, I don't think that man's ever-altering anthropological tale is a bad thing. It is natural.

    Protecting species of animals is different. Firstly, we are protecting seperate species - there is a distinct biological difference between talk of species and talk of vague anthropological groups. This is not 'PC', this is biological fact. Yes, people used to talk of different anthropological groups of humans being different species. And they were scientifically incorrect then, as they are now.

    As for pandas etc...it's simply a different matter, for a variety of reasons. The main one being we value humans as individuals - free to make their own choices. Pandas can't comprehend their specieshood, let alone protect it. If members of 'the white race', whatever that is, want, for whatever reason, to protect their anthropological group, then the answer is simple: don't have children with members of other anthropological groups, and have children with members of your own. As for people who don't give a damn and are quite happy to have children with members from other groups or not have children at all....that's their free choice, and it is morally reprehensible to interfere with it.

    So no...we oughtn't 'protect' certain anthropological groups, whatever that would entail. We're not animals in a zoo, we're free-willed humans beings who draw most of our identity from our individuality. So long as we ensure that gross acts of immorality aren't being enacted (e.g. a people being deliberatly wiped out in gas chambers etc.) 'race' just isn't that important.
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    (Original post by cheesecakebobby)
    Slightly impossible as everyone on the planet has African ancestry.
    In ONE theory. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by cheesecakebobby)
    Slightly impossible as everyone on the planet has African ancestry.
    That's this week's theory anyway.
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    Hardly matters in comparison to what Iago just said, quite brilliantly. Of course, nobody will actually try and address his points as that would involve rationality and common sense in addition to effort.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    That's this week's theory anyway.
    Well you could choose to believe that different races evolved separately in different regions of the planet, and then all just happened by magic coincidence to belong to the same species that could crossbreed(the definition of species). Understatement to say this is highly improbable. It's clearly much more likely that mankind started in one region, and that races evolved as different genes were selected for in different environments, hence the 'out of Africa' theory. The evidence suggests that Africans have been around for the longest, as that continent possesses the most genetic diversity.
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    Well you could choose to believe that different races evolved separately in different regions of the planet, and then all just happened by magic coincidence to belong to the same species that could crossbreed(the definition of species). Understatement to say this is highly improbable. It's clearly much more likely that mankind started in one region, and that races evolved as different genes were selected for in different environments, hence the 'out of Africa' theory. The evidence suggests that Africans have been around for the longest, as that continent posesses the most genetic diversity within races.
    we could have come from Siberia - thats another theory.
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    (Original post by Iago)
    So long as we ensure that gross acts of immorality aren't being enacted (e.g. a people being deliberatly wiped out in gas chambers etc.) 'race' just isn't that important.
    Tell that to Frank Ellis, eh Vienna? You should hear his views on social progress and Africans
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    (Original post by Iago)
    Why do you choose to see humans in terms of vague, anthropological groupings?
    Why do you chose not to?

    I am more than my 'race', I am an individual human being. So are you. So were these people.
    So?

    Does that make their extinction acceptable?

    A Siberian tiger is more than a Siberian tiger, it is an individual entity, should we therefore not try to save it's species?

    Most of what I value about myself - most of what most value about themselves - are individual traits of my own.
    I would strongly disagree with that, most of what constitutes you is inherited.

    Most of the things we value as significant in people vary far more within groups than between groups. And by far more, I mean far more. The word 'far' is too weak for me to truly express my meaning there.
    Explain further.

    So that anthropological group doesn't exist anymore.
    Well obviously it does, which is why it's used in science and medicine.

    You act as if this undermines their very existence in the first place, as if the individuals that made up that group have somehow been made less real by the event, or might as well have not existed.
    Well I think being driven to extinction does make them less real, on the basis that they no longer exist.

    As for the argument that they might well have not existed, I think quite the opposite is true, it is through mourning their extinction, the emotional bereavement, that the question is raised.

    If they were just individuals then would their passing have had the same significance?

    By stripping them of their natural groupings you devalue the achievements, and failings of the group, and all the things that made them special, and unique, and class them as just another thing.

    You talk of them being reduced to a few trinkets in a museum somewhere, and bemoan this.
    You think it's good?

    Well I say that you are the one reducing them to a few trinkets.
    No, I think it's quite the opposite, I think it's something you are doing.

    If it wasn't for their unique ethnic grouping they wouldn't even be remembered.

    Your attitude strips away even those trinkets.

    They lived, they worked, they loved, they had kids, they played around, they built homes, they had hates and worries and dreams and each individual one of them lived an individual life of their own, just like we all will have.
    Which are things that should be preserved, no?

    We cannot fathom the sheer individuality of these people except by observing the sheer individuality of all of us here today, an aspect of life a growing number of people are unfortunatly beggining to deliberatly ignore. They existed as individuals.
    We can not fathom the sheer individuality of them at all by arrogantly gazing at ourselves.

    We can only fathom them by studying them, but that is no longer possible, as they are extinct.

    Then things happened, and now that anthropological group doesn't exist. But their existence is unaffected by this.
    No, I think being dead has quite an affect on people.

    I know I certainly wouldn't want to try it, not yet.

    :rolleyes:

    There is nothing inherently bad about this fact.
    Why?

    Why do you think there is nothing bad about the extinction of things?

    The things that happened that caused this were probably immoral in themselves - rape, war etc.
    It was diease if you read the post.

    But this is seperate: no, I don't think that man's ever-altering anthropological tale is a bad thing. It is natural.
    Is it?

    How can it be?

    Protecting species of animals is different.
    Why?

    Because they are cute and furry?

    Firstly, we are protecting seperate species - there is a distinct biological difference between talk of species and talk of vague anthropological groups.
    Well as demonstrated above it's not that vague, is it?

    You seem to have a desire to make it vague.

    Are you truely telling me if I put you in a room with an Aborigine, a Chinese man and a Scandinavian that you couldn't tell the difference?

    I know that some people wouldn't even need to be in that room, they could tell the difference from fingerprints alone, so it's not really that vague, is it?

    This is not 'PC', this is biological fact.
    See above, no, it's PC

    Yes, people used to talk of different anthropological groups of humans being different races. And they were scientifically incorrect then, as they are now.
    See above, obviously not that incorrect.

    As for pandas etc...it's simply a different matter, for a variety of reasons.
    Well lets have them then, because so far your only reason seems to be that a certain group of people shouldn't be protected from extinction because you can't tell the difference between an african and a mongolian, which I don't think really stands up.

    The main one being we value humans as individuals - free to make their own choices.
    So Pandas do not have individual personalities?

    I guess you haven't spent much time around animals.

    Pandas can't comprehend their specieshood, let alone protect it.
    I think a panda knows it's not a turtle, so it obviously does comprehend that it is something different.

    As for protecting itself, it's survived longer than Mandan hasn't it?

    So it's not that bad at the job.

    If members of 'the white race', whatever that is, want, for whatever reason, to protect their anthropological group, then the answer is simple: don't have children with members of other anthropological groups, and have children with members of your own. As for people who don't give a damn and are quite happy to have children with members from other groups or not have children at all....that's their free choice, and it is morally reprehensible to interfere with it.
    Bit isn't that exactly what you are doing, you are dictating to everyone else, with your set of rules, you're saying that if a species is wiped out that because you don't actually recognize it, or give a stuff about it then it's just tough luck.

    Is that really a moral position?

    So no...we oughtn't 'protect' certain anthropological groups, whatever that would entail. We're not animals in a zoo, we're free-willed humans beings who draw most of our identity from our individuality.
    Completely incorrect again.

    So long as we ensure that gross acts of immorality aren't being enacted (e.g. a people being deliberatly wiped out in gas chambers etc.) 'race' just isn't that important.
    I think your attitude is a gross act of immorality.
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    (Original post by cheesecakebobby)
    Hardly matters in comparison to what Iago just said, quite brilliantly. Of course, nobody will actually try and address his points as that would involve rationality and common sense in addition to effort.
    See my post above
 
 
 
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