Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

Is there a biological basis for race and racial differences? watch

Announcements
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Races does not exist. Race, in biology, is defined as groups within a species which can reproduce together but normally do not. Humans naturally reproduce with other humans regardless of tehir ethnical background. Thus teh human species is not composed of races. In addition skin color does not provide much information about ethnical background because it is mainly determined by the intensity of UV light in the region from which the ethnic group originates. Therefore people with similar hue can be vastly different genetically with the only common factor being those genes which favour resistance towards UV radiation.
    The question did not regard the biological definition of races but whether or not there were biological differences present between the human 'races' (as the word is commonly used and understood in this context) and the answer to this is yes.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Species do not exist
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    there are "normal racial variants" you have to take into account when analysing ECG's and lung function tests.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pinkfairy)
    It is said that there is no biological basis for race, that is there are no specific genes that define any particular race, so why does the concept race still exist and why is there still racial categories ? Is it for social/political reasons? Is it important we distingush people by their colour?

    Well, 'race', when used of humans, is a very sensitive topic. No-one denies that people in different parts of the globe look different, but the question is about how relevant it is to arrange those differences into clear-cut races. 'Race' as a concept has its own history and it has often been used to set a group of people above others. I think that at least people shouldn't be too quick to assume that people's personalities or mental capabilities are very much due to their race.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by an Siarach)
    The question did not regard the biological definition of races but whether or not there were biological differences present between the human 'races' (as the word is commonly used and understood in this context) and the answer to this is yes.
    Actually the original question was as follows:

    It is said that there is no biological basis for race, that is there are no specific genes that define any particular race, so why does the concept race still exist and why is there still racial categories ? Is it for social/political reasons? Is it important we distingush people by their colour?

    Biologically there is no basis for dividing the huma species into races, mainly because the biological definition of a race would group all humans as belonging to teh same race, but also because the ethnical differences and similarities are so flowing that no clear border between one race or another can be defined. The traditional division between human in most racist theories has been according to physical appearance. This is a very poor indicator because it does not correctly identify people with similar genetic material, but it selects people according to environmental factors of their origin (such as a high intensity of UV radiation). The concept of human races is at best severely flawed, if meaningful at all. Genetic variation within a "race" is frequently so large that it often exceed genetic variations between people of other ethnic origin.

    Of course people have different genetic material (except for identical twins) but the differences are such that there is no meaningful way to group people as being a sub-species of humans. If you are given a persons genetic material coding for visual appearance this provides very little information about other genetic features. This is in contradiction to species , such as dogs, where the animals can be sorted into groups of similar genetic material. Given that a dog is a buldog you know a long list of genetic features which distinguishes it from a pudle, but given that a person is black you have virtually no information about how that person's genetic material compares to a randomly selected white person's genetic material.

    In species where teh concept of race is meaningful you will find that when you sort the population according to a genetic trait, the result will most offenlt agree with a population sorted according to a different trait. For humans the exact opposite is the case. If you sort humans according to skin color the result will be vastly different from sorting people according to physical strength, as an example.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DivideByZero)
    Species do not exist
    Quite the contrary. In biology different species are defined as species from which two healthy individuals cannot get fertile offspring together. Thus Chimps and Humans are different species because a human and a chimp is unable to get fertile offspring (We have different numbers of chromosomes). Note that the definition deals with healthy individuals, thus you are not suddenly non-human if you would lose your testicles to cancer. Of course, all definitions have problems and there are some life forms where this definition is not aplliable. As an example, it is only meaningful for sexually reproducing organisms, thus bacteria and other species which reproduce asexually are subject to other definitions.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DivideByZero)
    Species do not exist
    yes i do!!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Colour
    Black men can’t swim
    Noise (wider)
    Hair (frizzy)
    Eyes (wider and wider apart)
    Bone structure

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that you are speaking tongue in cheek and are not serious. These are some of the most ridiculous and ill-conceived notions on race. First of all, there is tremendous genetic variation within Blacks alone. There is no standard as to a certain look or athletic ability or intellectual capacities. Go to any large city in the U.S and you will see a dizzying array of visible difference b/t blacks: skin color, body type, etc.

    If these aren’t caused by different genes then how can these be features be different from whites to blacks? And I don’t mean in the sense that we all have different shaped noses etc..[/QUOTE]

    I suggest that you do a little research into biological anthropology and questions that you might have about race will surely clear up. One reason that race continues to play such a massive role in world culture, is because we make it an issue. P.S. go to any synagogue in the world and spot all the people with frizzy hair. Hint: It ain't the blacks.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    If you cant tell theres differences in races then you are an utter dispicable liberalist idiot. If we had been meant to "mix" together we`d of been made "mixed" to begin with. Now why dont you libs stop trying to destroy the white civilization. All of us are not ignorant wimps like some others and we will fight for our culture even unto death. So go ahead, ruin your own lives if you like, but dont push your views onto others that DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEM.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    If you cant tell theres differences in races then you are an utter dispicable liberalist idiot. If we had been meant to "mix" together we`d of been made "mixed" to begin with. Now why dont you libs stop trying to destroy the white civilization. All of us are not ignorant wimps like some others and we will fight for our culture even unto death. So go ahead, ruin your own lives if you like, but dont push your views onto others that DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEM.
    Don't you push yours either.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    I All of us are not ignorant wimps
    pot kettle black?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Quite the contrary. In biology different species are defined as species from which two healthy individuals cannot get fertile offspring together. Thus Chimps and Humans are different species because a human and a chimp is unable to get fertile offspring (We have different numbers of chromosomes). Note that the definition deals with healthy individuals, thus you are not suddenly non-human if you would lose your testicles to cancer. Of course, all definitions have problems and there are some life forms where this definition is not aplliable. As an example, it is only meaningful for sexually reproducing organisms, thus bacteria and other species which reproduce asexually are subject to other definitions.
    Interesting. I stand corrected.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    i didn't read all the debate..but anyway, we had a lecture on ethnicity in healthcare that said:

    87% human variation was due to individual differences &
    only 7% could be atributed to what is termed 'race'

    no idea how those stats work, but that's what we were given. his point being ethnicity was more valid to consider.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    If you cant tell theres differences in races then you are an utter dispicable liberalist idiot.
    Unsupported claim!

    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    If we had been meant to "mix" together we`d of been made "mixed" to begin with.
    By this reasoning theres no point in doing anything, cus if we were meant to do it, then it would already be done! Still, a cure for AIDS has not been discovered...


    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    Now why dont you libs stop trying to destroy the white civilization. .
    You cant stop doing something you are not doing.

    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    All of us are not ignorant wimps like some others and we will fight for our culture even unto death. So go ahead, ruin your own lives if you like, but dont push your views onto others that DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEM.
    Funny, I was about to tell you the same thing...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    We all have our selection of alelles which code independently and in conjunction with other ones at other genetic loci for our proteins. These proteins are chopped and changed by enzymes both loose in the cell and in the endoplasmic reticulum. These proteins then perform a task in our body. They could fuse into our cell membranes and form ion channels or they could be secreted as extracellular enzymes or form part of the cell's cytoskeleton. Everything in us, even our thoughts and memories are fundementally down to the expression of the various forms of of human genes at various times.

    This includes the secretion of melanin. I am not black, most Africans, for example, are. This implies a biological difference between the races.

    This is not to condone racial prejudices. If I lived in Africa, I'd quite like to be black as skin cancer doesn't appeal to me! On the other hand, if I took a colony of whites over to Africa and only let them interbreed with each other for a few hundred/thousand years then, ceteris paribus, I'd guess they'd start to get darker and darker and eventually black!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    This thread is slightly confusing, because firstly is there/or isn't there any ‘biological differences’ between races? From Biology I recall briefly going over the human genome project, and we were given rather conflicting information, first the recently adopted view that there is no biological basis for race, given that the most recent genetic evidence from the human biodiversity project confirmed that races don’t exist because the genes are almost identical in all people (also looked at articles in ‘Nature Genetics’ & ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ which proposed this idea). Secondly we considered an article from ‘Genome Biology’ by some scientists from Stanford University, who challenged the view that there was no ‘biological basis for race’. I can’t quite recall what they said but they did criticise many of the findings for not being based on an objective scientific perspective but rather an exaggerated sensitivity to historical notions of genetic superiority (which I sort of agree with) but going back to the question asked, if there isn’t ‘any biological basis to race’ then fine, but if there is (which I think there is), and we falsely believe there isn’t then the denial of racial differences might lead to poor healthcare, because characterising groups by race is an effective approach to identifying risks of disease. Ignoring any possible differences will be dangerous.
    I saw a show about the black race a few weeks ago and apparently the pigment in their skin that actually makes them black is evolved to protect them from UV rays which you would get more nearer the equator (i.e Africa) can anyone confirm this one is right. oh and in response to something said a while back about black people not being able to swim that's completely wrong i think you're basing that on the fact that there are very view black swimmers but this is more due to socio-economic conditions. actually i think black people are able to swim better, it's all explained in the aquatic ape hypothesis by elaine morgan if anyone's read it i can't quite remember the reasons
    Oh and sesame street kicks barney's fat arse
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by WildAmerican)
    If you cant tell theres differences in races then you are an utter dispicable liberalist idiot. If we had been meant to "mix" together we`d of been made "mixed" to begin with. Now why dont you libs stop trying to destroy the white civilization. All of us are not ignorant wimps like some others and we will fight for our culture even unto death. So go ahead, ruin your own lives if you like, but dont push your views onto others that DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEM.

    you really are a despicable person aren't you that's right despicable with a E fool and i spell checked it just in case lol. but seriously mate how in this day and age can you still believe that the white race is superior.
    Si j’avais à soutenir le droit que nous avons eu de rendre les nègres esclaves, voici ce que je dirais :

    Les peuples d'Europe ayant exterminé ceux de l'Amérique, ils ont dû mettre en esclavage ceux de l'Afrique, pour s’en servir à défricher tant de terres.

    Le sucre serait trop cher, si l'on ne faisait travailler la plante qui le produit par des esclaves.

    Ceux dont il s'agit sont noirs depuis les pieds jusqu'à la tête ; et ils ont le nez si écrasé qu'il est presque impossible de les plaindre.

    On ne peut se mettre dans l'esprit que Dieu, qui est un être très sage, ait mis une âme, surtout bonne, dans un corps tout noir.

    Il est si naturel de penser que c’est la couleur qui constitue l'essence de l’humanité, que les peuples d'Asie, qui font les eunuques, privent toujours les noirs du rapport qu'ils ont avec nous d'une façon plus marquée.

    On peut juger de la couleur de la peau par celle des cheveux, qui, chez les Égyptiens, les meilleurs philosophes du monde, étaient d'une si grande conséquence, qu'ils faisaient mourir tous les hommes roux qui leur tombaient entre les mains.

    Une preuve que les nègres n'ont pas le sens commun, c'est qu'ils font plus de cas d'un collier de verre que de l'or, qui, chez les nations policées, est d'une si grande conséquence.

    Il est impossible que nous supposions que ces gens-là soient des hommes ; parce que, si nous les supposions des hommes, on commencerait à croire que nous ne sommes pas nous-mêmes chrétiens.

    De petits esprits exagèrent trop l'injustice que l'on fait aux Africains. Car, si elle était telle, qu'ils le disent, ne serait-il pas venu dans la tête des princes d'Europe, qui font entre eux tant de conventions, d'en faire une générale en faveur de la miséricorde et de la pitié ?

    MONTESQUIEU, De l’esprit des Lois, XV, 5 (1748)

    i don't really expect you to get that since in my opinion you're an idiot however i would use google translator, its french by the way and its ironic
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Speciez99)
    Could someone please provide some scientific evidence that has been subject to peer review that there are gentic differences between races. I am not doubting it but if people are going to make claims some proof would be appreciated.
    This may have already been said, but here goes anyway.
    Blood quantum testing for us native americans???? Not saying I agree with the whole genetic difference idea, but there is something to it, otherwise the US government would not be able to tell us who is ndn and who is not simply by performing a genetic test on our blood.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    J’habitais en Belgique autrefois, donc je parle un peu français… I wouldn’t advise the use of an internet translator though… Except for a laugh! Try giving it English to translate to, say, Spanish. Then translate it back! That should put you off using them for life!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by polthegael)
    This includes the secretion of melanin. I am not black, most Africans, for example, are. This implies a biological difference between the races.
    Races do not exist! All humans have different genetic material, BUT this does not imply that humans divide into different genetic subgroups. The genetic variations between two people are so many that given two peoples skin color only you have virtually no basis for evaluating how close they are genetically to each other. A black womman could have a white sister, meaning they have very similar genetic material For the concept of race to be biologically meaningful some minor genetic difference is not enough, there must be a distinct grouping of whole sets of genetic similarities which differ from one race to another. Thus eaven though my father has green eyes and I have blue, it would be rediculous to claim that we are not the same race. The same goes for skin color. Humans are to intermixed to be meaningfully divided into different races. With other animals (such as dogs) this is not the case. A siberian husky is vastly different from a buldog in many different aspects. More importantly, given two siberian husky's and two bulldogs, it is close to certain that the dogs belonging to the same race have the most similar sets of genes. This can not be concluded given two randomly selected black humans and two randomly selected white humans.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.