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

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    (Original post by Infinity)
    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.
    All humans have different DNA. That is why forensic investigators can use it as evidence in a murder trial. However, this does not mean that humans are divided into races. The concept of race is only meaningful when the species can be ordered into different groups such that peopel with similar genetic material are placed in the same group. With humans the genetic differences between different ethnic groups are usually smaller than the genetic differences within the groups themselves. Thus grouping of humans according to genetic similarity is set to fail. You could for instance have a black and a white person much more similar in genetic material than two randomly chosen white persons.
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    (Original post by Tombomb)
    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.
    This is correct. Melanin absorbs UV radiation and this is why we develop a tan if exposed to the sun during the summers. In areas close to the equator sunlight is more intense (not just UV). This is because the earths surface is almost perpendicular to the sunlight whereas areas close to the poles make a much smaller angle to the incoming light (it can be compared to a sail on a boat which may eaither catch or cut the wind, depending on its orientation.) Therefore evolution has caused people living close to the equator to develop a black pigment which protects them from the UV radiation. This is however the only thing blacks in general have in common. Other genetic features give little advantage or disadvantage with regard to UV radiation (they are neutral with respect to it) and therefore these genetic features are essentially the same as those for people from the northern hemisphere. In fact, close to all genetic differences causing differences in visual appearance can be atributed to environmental influence, or local fashion, and have close to no correlation to other abilities (such as inteligence or the ability to swim).
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    I'm not so sure Jon!
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    (Original post by polthegael)
    I'm not so sure Jon!
    Well eaven if you could somehow consistently define different human races which agree with ethnical heritage (something which is close to impossible to begin with), the definition would still not be very usefull. What good is it to define races based on a few sets of genes only to discover that those sets of genes are the only thing which is specific to the "race" you have defined? For the concept of race to be useful you would have to group humans in such a way that knowing a few genetic properties would provide you with a large ammount of information about OTHER genetic properties.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    With humans the genetic differences between different ethnic groups are usually smaller than the genetic differences within the groups themselves.
    Are you going to provide a source to back up this claim?

    According to Scientific American in their article "Does Race Exist?" it was stated that differences between racial groups are LARGER than differences between individuals.

    The idea that you can't seperate people into racial groups is ridiculous. It is simple, if i look on TV I can easily categorise the actors on it into different racial groups based on their appearance. Races have different skin colour, testosterone levels, physical structures etc.

    There is practictally no difference at all between the genetics of dogs and wolves, does this enable you to say that they are one and the same? No, and it would be stupid to do so - just as it is to say that it is unfeasable to categorise humans into different racial groups.
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    (Original post by benm)
    Are you going to provide a source to back up this claim?

    According to Scientific American in their article "Does Race Exist?" it was stated that differences between racial groups are LARGER than differences between individuals.

    The idea that you can't seperate people into racial groups is ridiculous. It is simple, if i look on TV I can easily categorise the actors on it into different racial groups based on their appearance. Races have different skin colour, testosterone levels, physical structures etc.

    There is practictally no difference at all between the genetics of dogs and wolves, does this enable you to say that they are one and the same? No, and it would be stupid to do so - just as it is to say that it is unfeasable to categorise humans into different racial groups.
    Regarding the differences it depends on what you mean and how you measure it. As an example, in the very same article Sciam stated that 90% of the differences were population differences and that only 10% were continental differences.

    When it comes to separation of races into different racial groups it doesnt seem like you understood what I said. Of course you can group people into different races, the question is whether your grouping represents ethnical origins as well as genetic similarities. Grouping peopel according to one trait will give you a very different outcome from grouping peopel according to a different trait. I beleive the article adressed these problems.

    If you read teh article again youd see that it several times concludes that there are differences between humans which could be useful for , say drug treatment, but it also stressed that these differences do not correspond with the usual idea of "races". You can sort peopel according to their geographic origin, but this does not imply that these differences are significant enough to imply different races.

    I read teh article in Scientific american and my general impression was that human races does not exist in the way it is usually thought of. Of course you can group people depending on their physical appearance ( say melanin pigment concentration) but that ios not the same thing as identifying sub-groups of humans within teh species. Most significantly the differences due to geographic orientation are often misleading because different ethnic groups living in similar environments are likely to have developed similar genetic traits due to this.
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    About the nose thing i believe (from what i read in the aquatic ape hypothesis) that it is actually an adaptation to allow you to swim better therefore technically black people would be better swimmers and the fact that they do not produce olympic level swimmers is down to social and economic factors and also you lip can come up to block the nostrils prevent water from going up your nose. and it all fits neatly together thanks to the dip (cleft i think its called) in your lip but evolution now means that very few people can actually do this.
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    (Original post by benm)
    Are you going to provide a source to back up this claim?
    I will look for one, but it makes sense and I think I have heard that before. I mean think about it within the white "race" there are tall people, short people, blond haired people, brown haired people, black haired people, red haired people, people with blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, hazel eyes, different nose shapes, eye shapes, body shapes, different blood groups, tissue types ect. Now this is a huge variation. A greater variation than there is between the racial groups. Because all people reguardless of race have these individual difference.

    There is practictally no difference at all between the genetics of dogs and wolves, does this enable you to say that they are one and the same? No, and it would be stupid to do so - just as it is to say that it is unfeasable to categorise humans into different racial groups.
    May I ask your bases that there is pratically not genetic difference between a dog and a wolf. They are classified as different species which means that they are genetically different enough to prevent them from having fertile offspring. I believe that they come from the family but no the same species. So making no distinction is the same as saying that there is no difference between you and a chimpanzie (which would be stupid wouldn't it). Now is regurads to classifying people into racials groups. Why not classify people into groups according to blood group, hair colour, eye colour, level of intelligence if you need catagorise people. Why use race?
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    (Original post by randdom)
    I will look for one, but it makes sense and I think I have heard that before. I mean think about it within the white "race" there are tall people, short people, blond haired people, brown haired people, black haired people, red haired people, people with blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, hazel eyes, different nose shapes, eye shapes, body shapes, different blood groups, tissue types ect. Now this is a huge variation. A greater variation than there is between the racial groups. Because all people reguardless of race have these individual difference.
    Exactly, and all these liberals are telling us we need diversity! I think we have plenty diversity already.
    I have prodided a source that says differences between racial groups are larger than differences between individuals. In consideration of all the points you used above, doesn't this make you consider that perhaps there is more to racial differences than meets the eye?

    (Original post by randdom)
    May I ask your bases that there is pratically not genetic difference between a dog and a wolf.
    http://www.lioncrusher.com/animal.asp?animal=35&page=4

    "Recent genetic testing has proven that wolves and dogs are almost identical to each other genetically."

    (Original post by randdom)
    They are classified as different species
    "wolves and dogs are considered the same species"
    Same website.

    (Original post by randdom)
    which means that they are genetically different enough to prevent them from having fertile offspring.
    "Wolfdogs have existed for centuries. Wolves often interbred with native dogs in America, Europe, and the Middle East, producing many strains of wolf-dog hybrids."
    Same website.

    (Original post by randdom)
    I believe that they come from the family but no the same species. So making no distinction is the same as saying that there is no difference between you and a chimpanzie (which would be stupid wouldn't it).
    It would only be as stupid as saying the lack of genetic difference between races mean there is no distinction between them. Humans and chimpanzees share 98.4% of their genetic structure.

    (Original post by randdom)
    Now is regurads to classifying people into racials groups. Why not classify people into groups according to blood group, hair colour, eye colour, level of intelligence if you need catagorise people. Why use race?
    It comes naturally.
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    (Original post by benm)
    Exactly, and all these liberals are telling us we need diversity! I think we have plenty diversity already.
    I have prodided a source that says differences between racial groups are larger than differences between individuals. In consideration of all the points you used above, doesn't this make you consider that perhaps there is more to racial differences than meets the eye?
    No, it means that humans within the same "race" are already very dissimilar, so to point out genetic differences between different humans based on their physical appearance is nonsense. Although there are some minor trends (e.g. black people are more likely to have a certain bloodtype) this is rather irrelevant to society. The differences between individuals is so large that you have to differ between person and person anyways, so there is little reason , although it is debated whether it has medical applications, fro sorting people by race.

    An example includes sickle cell disease. It is a genetic and quite problematic disease which appeared to be much more common among africans than Europeans. However, afroamericans ran the same risk of getting sickle cell disease as white americans. Why? In northern Africa the poor economic situation means that many peopel die from malaria. A side effect of sickle cell disease is that you gain a small protection from malaria. Thus Africans on average benefited from being carriers of the disease as long as they did not get the sympthomes of it. Thsi accounts for the increased rate of it. But why do Afroamericans not have this same increased rate? After all, the black population in the US comes from these malaria plagued areas, so why do they not have the increase rate of sickle cell disease? It turns out that only after a few generations the genetic profile of the american black population has adapted top the changed environment. This example illustrates how little racial differences really matters in todays society. Severe disadvantages due to geographical differences adapt so rapidly that there is little reason to bother about them. Furthermore, as globalisation has increased these differences become less and less relevant because genetic material can now travels across the globe within 24 hours. Thus eaven if one could point to some difference between advatages or disadvantages between people from different areas, these differences are dissapearing eaven as I write this. It is only a matter of time until evolution has caused humans to adapt to the fact that people immigrate and emmigrate all over the globe in rather short time. I dare predicting that within 300 - 400 years any relevant differences due to ethnic origin will be isolated to countries where economic or political factors prevent the people from moving freely according to their preference.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    No, it means that humans within the same "race" are already very dissimilar, so to point out genetic differences between different humans based on their physical appearance is nonsense. Although there are some minor trends (e.g. black people are more likely to have a certain bloodtype) this is rather irrelevant to society. The differences between individuals is so large that you have to differ between person and person anyways, so there is little reason , although it is debated whether it has medical applications, fro sorting people by race.
    You clearly missed the whole point I was trying to make. The difference between individuals is quite large, we have established this, we are then faced with the fact that genetic differences between racial groups are even larger than intraracial genetic difference - this suggests that there is more to racial differences than just appearance or 'skin colour'.

    (Original post by Jonatan)
    An example includes sickle cell disease. It is a genetic and quite problematic disease which appeared to be much more common among africans than Europeans. However, afroamericans ran the same risk of getting sickle cell disease as white americans. Why? In northern Africa the poor economic situation means that many peopel die from malaria. A side effect of sickle cell disease is that you gain a small protection from malaria. Thus Africans on average benefited from being carriers of the disease as long as they did not get the sympthomes of it. Thsi accounts for the increased rate of it. But why do Afroamericans not have this same increased rate? After all, the black population in the US comes from these malaria plagued areas, so why do they not have the increase rate of sickle cell disease? It turns out that only after a few generations the genetic profile of the american black population has adapted top the changed environment.
    Do you have a source. This sounds illogical, humans would adapt to being carriers of sickle cell disease because they would be more likely to survive if they were carriers. But how could they adapt to the changed environment, unless those that carried sickle cell disease died, or their offspring died as a result, and those that were not carriers survived?


    (Original post by Jonatan)
    This example illustrates how little racial differences really matters in todays society. Severe disadvantages due to geographical differences adapt so rapidly that there is little reason to bother about them.
    I fundamentally disagree with this. Sure a recessive or dominant alleles presence in a population may be able to alter over a relatively short period of time, but not traits such as average intelligence, running abilities, physical structure, testosterone levels etc.
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    I thought this was a interesting question proposed...and here is my view on races. Why are there different coloured people in this world? Because we live in a very cosmopolitan age, we tend to overlook the roots of these racial differences, mainlyin our appearances, also in our physiology. Its not entirely due to our genes, the environment we are in is very influential. The various skin colours - when man was not living in a multicultural society - is I think due to the climate of where they were borned and lived.

    If you lived in a hot country, the darker your skin, because this would protect you from UV rays. However, if we were to step back further, do you think humans originated from one single type? Many believe (i am not entirely sure) that we came from africa.

    Then, the different coloured skins is just another example of polymorphism within the same species, so they can interbreed and produce viable fertile offsprings. Its like have different colours of the same species of flower, if you breed them together, you get a fusion of the two parents' colours.

    Biological basis of race? This question still seems unanswered, maybe we need to take in account the sociological aspects as well, because races arelike different tribes of humans, with their different customs and beliefs. I dunno...maybe im just yabbering on! :rolleyes:
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    Humans and chimpanzees may share 98.4% of their genome with each other,but it should be noted, most of its the non-coding part our DNA -that is the part of DNA that doesntdoing anything 'junk DNA', what we should be looking at is the similarities in the coding part of our DNA - then we can only find out how similar we are with each other?

    Classifying people into races is only superficial isnt it? But it is easiest way to, and in most cases they'll be from the same gene pool. what about those who aren't?
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    (Original post by benm)
    I fundamentally disagree with this. Sure a recessive or dominant alleles presence in a population may be able to alter over a relatively short period of time, but not traits such as average intelligence, running abilities, physical structure, testosterone levels etc.
    Actually the genetical contribution of inteligence is about equal among all ethnic groups. Socio economic factors have caused those with low income to score lower, but this is not due to genetics. If it were due to genetics the difference should be displayed as a horisontal shift in the normal distribution, this is not the case. When it comes to physical structure running abilities etc, these differences will not remain distinct as these are all traits which are interchanged when people from different ethnic background mate. Thus over large periods of time these differences are only relevant if you assume that peopel from different ethnic backgrounds do not mate with each other, a very poor aproximation.
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    (Original post by benm)
    But how could they adapt to the changed environment, unless those that carried sickle cell disease died, or their offspring died as a result, and those that were not carriers survived?
    A carrier does not have to physically die because of a gene to dissapear. All that is required is that the probabilities render the likelyhood of a particular allele unlikely to survive in the long run. This becomes particularely important when you considder more than one genetic trait. All peopel have genes which are advantages and genes which are disadvantages. In a rather short time genes with advantages have a greater probability of being reproduced. It is not necessarily the case that people with the given gene die (although that could be the case) it is enough that the healthy gene reproduces at a faster average speed. In areas where malaria is common the reproduction of the healthy genes are likely to be impaired as these individuals are not very protected from Malaria. Furthermore I didnt say it was not a disadvantage to be a carrier of scd, I merely stated that serious disadvantages would dissapear naturally due to evolution. There is no need to pay any extra atention to them as nature will get rid of them quickly enough anyways.
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    However large these differences in DNA are, they are still absolutely minute.

    Remember that as humans we are quite genetically similar to bananas.
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    race, in humans, is the differences in physical appearance.

    these appearances occurred due to specialisation to the surroundings.

    we all have the same genes, that is what makes us human.

    differences in alleles contribute to different phenotypes.

    mutation and darwinism would say the most favourable characteristics would be exaggerated/become most dominant.

    those living further away from the equator do not need dark skin.

    they need larger noses to warm the air before reaching the lungs.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Actually the genetical contribution of inteligence is about equal among all ethnic groups. Socio economic factors have caused those with low income to score lower, but this is not due to genetics.
    Or perhaps intelligence has caused those to have a lower income and also to score lower, this giving the appearance that it is lower income that causes lower intelligence scores, when in fact lower intelligence is the cause of both of them?

    (Original post by Jonatan)
    If it were due to genetics the difference should be displayed as a horisontal shift in the normal distribution, this is not the case.
    Isn't it? I thought there was. How can races have different average intelligences if their normal distirubtions are the same?

    (Original post by Jonatan)
    When it comes to physical structure running abilities etc, these differences will not remain distinct as these are all traits which are interchanged when people from different ethnic background mate. Thus over large periods of time these differences are only relevant if you assume that peopel from different ethnic backgrounds do not mate with each other, a very poor aproximation.
    That would be a blow for diversity.
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    (Original post by magicalsausage)
    However large these differences in DNA are, they are still absolutely minute.

    Remember that as humans we are quite genetically similar to bananas.
    ....... and in conclusion minute differences in DNA cause large differences in the genetic make-up of organisms.
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    (Original post by benm)
    ....... and in conclusion minute differences in DNA cause large differences in the genetic make-up of organisms.
    changes in the sequences of dna bases causes differences but genetics isn't the cause of all differences ¬_¬
 
 
 
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