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[OBG] Nature of Race Full

#11
(2015-Jan-05, 18:57:40)Meng Hu Wrote: Sometimes, I have the feeling that for the non-initiated reader, the terms "phylogenetics" "genealogy" "phenetics" etc. may be difficult to grasp and need to be introduced. It's optional but maybe I can suggest to add a glossary, either at the beginning or the end of the manuscript (I'm not talking about Part1, but the entire manuscript).


How about putting the definitions in the footnotes, instead?

Quote:My impression is that it is simpler to just write "classifications should be made only on the basis of genealogy". What do you think ?

Agreed.

Quote:Currently, there is a consensus in biology (and the philosophy of biology) against the first two schools

This was from Mayr and Ashlock (1991), I believe. I will see if they say this specifically.

Quote:Finally, there is a text that I find illuminating, here. I don't know if you will find the use of it in your text, but I just wanted to say it.

It draws a "genealogy"/"phylogeny" distinction that I wasn't aware of. I more or less used the two terms synonymously. Let me think through the distinction and adjust my usage accordingly,
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#12
(2015-Jan-08, 00:15:45)Chuck Wrote: How about putting the definitions in the footnotes, instead?

I have no problem with this.
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#13
[OBG] Nature of Race, part 3: The Ontology of Biological Race

Author: John Fuerst

Abstract: Racial constructionists, anti-naturalists, and anti-realists have challenged users of the biological race concept to provide and defend, from the perspective of biology, biological philosophy, sociology, and ethics, a biologically informed concept of race. We do this in a six part analysis. Part 3 elaborates on the ontology of biological race.

Keywords: natural division, race, biology

The article can be found here: https://osf.io/u9i5q/

(There are 6 parts; each will be submitted to OBG as a separate chapter.)

[Edit (1/21/2015): Please download the latest version of the document and read it; the OSF browser version does not include the many footnotes.]
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#14
Chuck,

Your discussion focuses almost exclusively on shared descent as the one factor that defines human races. There is no mention of differences in natural selection, yet this second factor is just as important.

Imagine, for instance, two populations completely cut off from each other but exposed to the same pressures of natural selection. Over time, they will gradually diverge, but the rate of divergence will be slow and most of the divergence will not take the form of adaptive, functional differences.

Now imagine two populations not fully cut off from each other but exposed to very different selection pressures. Over time, they will diverge at a much faster rate and most of the divergence will take the form of adaptive, functional differences. On the other hand, genes of low selective value will show considerable genetic overlap between the two populations.

This is the view of human races I learned at university by reading Ernst Mayr and (ironically) L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. Human races are a product a reproductive isolation and differences in selection pressure. Both factors are important.
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#15
Peter,

I uploaded a new version: : https://osf.io/6bznx/?view_only=cf911721...3eeaf7ff5f

(1) I changed the intro to:

Quote:IV-A. A Very Brief Historical Review

As noted by Sarich and Miele (2004), classifying people by inferred genetic ancestry and different morphology is neither a particularly new nor a particularly European practice. Crude race-like classifications are depicted in Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Chinese, and Islamic art and literature. Egyptians divided our species into four color groups: Egyptians, Negros, White Libyans, and Asiatics (Middle Easterners). Han Chinese differentiated between Caucasian and Mongoloid barbarians. In Moretum, the Roman poet Virgil characterized the sub-Saharan African phenotype (dark skin, tightly curled hair, puffy lips, broad shoulders) little different from how modern anthropologists have. Islamic writers distinguished between black sub-Saharan Africans and white North Africans. Medieval Islamic scholars distinguished white slaves from black slaves. In short, the existence of different peoples with different sets of inter-generationally transmitted traits has long been recognized and discussed.

During the Age of Discovery, when exploring distant lands, Europeans encountered various peoples who had conspicuous phenotypic differences. The dogma at the time was that all of these many peoples along with Europeans descended from the biblical Adam and Eve several thousand years prior. Some prominent thinkers conjectured that these different peoples might represent different species of man, where species were understood to be distinct creations. This position was condemned by the spiritual authorities as heretical, but, as it had a face plausibility, given the intellectual framework at the time, it did not disappear. Some opponents of this ‘different species’ view argued that these different peoples, instead, represented different lineages of the same species which, over the last several thousand years, for various reasons, developed or acquired differences that became, somehow, more or less rooted in their lineage: races.

Darwin inaugurated an intellectual revolution which led to the revision of the species concept. Individual species were no longer understood as being Creator made entities but as being the product of descent and modification from a common stock. In turn, races were understood as being incipient species, the lineages that could evolve into species lineages. Both species and races were, then, understood as being a part of the same network of filiation. With the discovery of DNA, the molecular form of genes, genealogy was re-understood genotypically. Races and Species have begun to be understood likewise. Since the early part of the 20th century, a growing body of people, particularly in Western Europe and the Anglosphere, have come to disapprove of the practice of thinking about and treating members of different human natural divisions differently . This moral stance has culminated in, among some, a disapproval of thinking about human biological races as such, at least in the genealogical form (note 1).

Note 1: For example, discussing the project of so-called racial eliminativists and conservationalists, Kelly et al (2010) notes: “In sum, both eliminativist and conservationist agendas include, often tacitly, goals of psychological reformation. In particular: Eliminativists’ Goal: A reduction of racial categorization in thought and behavior. Conservationists’ Goal: The retention of racial categorization together with a rejection of thick racialism and pernicious racial discrimination. As we shall go on to show, the extent to which these psychological aims can be achieved depends on the particular facts of racial cognition… What exactly would eliminativist like to eliminate? Politically conservative eliminativists (e.g. D’Souza, 1996) are committed to the elimination of racial categorization in public policy. But many eliminativists (including a variety of liberal thinkers) have something much more sweeping in mind, and suggest reform extending from large-scale features of social organization all the way to individual habits of thought and action."

(2) I replaced "miscegenation" with "intermixing".

(3) I changed "Holocene races" to "Traditional races".

(4) I added the following:

Genetic variability as indexed by Fst and Fst analogs is not a particularly accurate index of the magnitude of the genetic influences on trait differences between populations. For example, Long and Kittles (2003) found a between-population Fst of 11% based on a sample of human populations; when they added chimpanzees to the set of human populations, the between-population Fst rose only to 18%. Mountain and Risch (2004), citing this example, noted that “a low FST estimate implies little about the degree to which genes contribute to between-group differences.” Part of the reason for this is because, as anthropologist Peter Frost has noted, genetic variation between populations “coincides with a geographic or ecological barrier, such as a change from one vegetation zone to another or, as with humans, a change from one way of life to another. It thus separates not only different populations but also differing sets of selection pressures.” As a results, genetic variation between populations takes on a meaning different from genetic variation with. The former corresponds more with differences in environmental selection pressures and so, per unit, often matters more.

Does that make sense? (Maybe this isn't that clear.)
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#16
(2015-Jan-11, 04:16:31)Peter Frost Wrote: Chuck, Your discussion focuses almost exclusively on shared descent as the one factor that defines human races. There is no mention of differences in natural selection, yet this second factor is just as important.


Thanks for the comment.

In sections I and II, I touched (very lightly) upon the matter. In section I, I discussed cladism (which is genealogy only) and evolutionary taxonomy (with is genotypic based). There, I mentioned the genealogy versus genealogy plus issue and I referred readers to an appendix, under revision, which discusses Darwin's descent + modification view and some of the debate on the matter. See:

Quote:I-H. The Natural Division as a Taxonomic Unit

"As for the latter two schools, there is intractable and sometimes hostile debate. Both schools take into account genealogical relatedness. For the evolutionary school, grouping by genotypic affinity, not phylogeny, is the goal. Mayr and Ashlock (1969) expressed the evolutionary position... "

blah blah blah

"We favor an evolutionary taxonomic (and ultimately genotypic) perspective. As will be seen latter on, this has some, though not much, bearing on our defense of certain human racial classifications."

In section II, I then mentioned why this issue doesn't much matter:

Quote:II-G. Genotype-Genealogical Complications

As discussed above, we don't see much conceptual distinction between genealogical conceptions of race, and genotypic ones. However we recognize a technical difference.

In evolutionary biology, individual organisms are grouped into natural divisions according to pedigree, since, on the level of the individual, genealogical similarity alone explains genotypic, and with it concordant phenotypic, similarity. When it comes to the level of populations (which is what taxonomy concerns itself with), factors other than genealogy come into play in explaining genotypic similarity.

Regarding the level of the individual organism, it is generally assumed that pairs of individuals from the same population, defined in terms of pedigree, will be more similar to each other in genotype than will be pairs of individuals from different divisions...

I originally had a longer discussion, which included:

Quote:To forestall confusion, we must briefly clarify the phrase “more genotypically related” in context to a set view of races. The genotypic differences between the sets of individuals called evolutionary races must result from differences in genealogy, not shared evolutionary history since individual organisms don’t have evolutionary histories. In this sense, races as sets of organisms are genotypically different owing solely to genealogy. Evolutionary histories (genetic non-divergence, divergence) come into play at the level of the population or lineage segment. The lineage segments themselves differ on the account of both phylogeny (genealogy) and evolutionary history (divergence). When we leave out discussion of evolutionary history as a factor conditioning relatedness in the context of the set definition of race, it is only because individual organisms don’t have evolutionary histories, not because we are flirting with a cladistic conception

But I deleted it because the paper was running too long. I then briefly mentioned the topic in section IV:

Quote:IV-I. THR and Taxonomy

It has further been argued that the TRCL doesn't represent a valid taxonomic classification scheme....

The claim is that certain THR are nested within each other and that this nestedness precludes these races from being placed in the same taxonomic categorization scheme along with other THR (presumably because one would then have a paraphyletic classification),

In relation to this type of argument we make two points...

(b) From the perspective of the evolutionary classificatory school, at least, taking into account "evolutionary relationship" (as defined by this school (e.g., Mayr and Bock (2002)) is what allows paraphyletic taxa to be given the same category rank. This is in accords with Darwin's position.

Now, there are three possibilities here:

(1) You object to the reasoning that genealogy alone matters on the level of the individual.
(2) You think that I am not being clear enough on the issue in sections I and II.
(3) You think that the matter has relevance for section III and so should be noted.

Could you clarify?

To reply more directly, since I treat races as genetically related sets of individuals, I do focus exclusively on shared descent, since this is what makes the individuals similar/dissimilar. I nonetheless note, if obliquely, that other factors condition differences on the level of the population. It is true that I don't note the issue in section 3, but I'm not sure that it fits there, since I mostly discuss pre-Darwin notions of races, ones which didn't discuss the difference between differences due to modification and to descent. But if I am not making myself clear enough in the paper, I am not and I would like to fix this. Perhaps you could offer some advice?
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#17
"on the level of the individual, genealogical similarity alone explains genotypic, and with it concordant phenotypic, similarity."

I guess this is where you and I fundamentally disagree. Genotypic similarity and phenotypic similarity are weakly concordant. It might be better if you replaced "on the level of the individual" with "Among individuals subject to the same selection pressures."

Differences in the degree of shared ancestry are not the main reason why individuals or populations differ from each other in anatomy, behavior, and other adaptive characteristics. Such differences are simply an enabling factor. Two reproductively isolated populations can go on looking and behaving similarly for millions of years if they are subject to the same selection pressures. Conversely, if the selection pressures are very different, those two populations will diverge radically from each other.

I realize that much, if not most, of your book is a historical review of thinking on race. But most of what people wrote before Darwin was, frankly, clueless. And this cluelessness has persisted since Darwin's time. People have trouble thinking in terms of natural selection and its effects on organisms.

Another point. If you wish to provide an exhaustive historical review, why do you ignore some of the really nutty (though popular) explanations? For instance, there's the Curse of Ham (as elaborated in the Talmud). One day, Noah was drunk and went to sleep undressed with his genitals exposed. His son, Ham, came by and saw him undressed. Instead of averting his eyes, he continued to look, and as he continued to look his hair became singed, his skin turned black, and his penis became grotesquely enlarged. When Noah awoke, he cursed Ham and condemned all of his descendants to slavery.

Then there's the notion of degeneration from an ideal type. This was Blumenbach's thinking. Because Noah's ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, the people of that region are the closest to God's original design and are thus the most beautiful. As one moves away from Mount Ararat, they become more degraded and thus uglier in appearance.

I could go on, but do you see my point? You're trying to present a fair review of many authors, most of whom were clueless about the nature of human differentiation. Most people still are.
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#18
Chuck,

It's important to note that prior to Darwin (actually prior to the rediscovery of Mendel's work around 1900), people tended to conceive human physical and behavioral variation in Lamarckian terms. They believed that the natural environment, and climate in particular, exerted a direct action on the human organism, which would be passed on to one's descendants. So the debate of nature versus nurture didn't really exist as we understand it today. People were different, and these differences would appear in their immediate progeny when transported to a different climate. Over successive generations, however, they would become more and more like the surrounding population of their new environment.

I'm flattered by the citation, but I'm not sure that a discussion in a web forum constitutes a citable reference. (Note: the end of the sentence is missing. It should read "takes on a meaning different from genetic variation within any one population."
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#19
(2015-Jan-11, 18:39:54)Peter Frost Wrote: It's important to note that prior to Darwin (actually prior to the rediscovery of Mendel's work around 1900), people tended to conceive human physical and behavioral variation in Lamarckian terms. They believed that the natural environment, and climate in particular, exerted a direct action on the human organism, which would be passed on to one's descendants. So the debate of nature versus nurture didn't really exist as we understand it today. People were different, and these differences would appear in their immediate progeny when transported to a different climate. Over successive generations, however, they would become more and more like the surrounding population of their new environment.


I imagined that I explained this clearly enough at the beginning of section II and in section III, taken in conjunction. In the Linnaean system, intraspecific variation (varieties) were seen as being immediately due to environmental factors (e.g., food, climate, etc.). This model implied that regional group differences would disappear with changing environments. This wasn't seen, so some inferred the existence of different species of man. See the Forster passage in section III-C. Racialist, mostly being monogenists, proposed that groups represented intraspecific lineages which somehow acquired or developed differences that became somewhat fixed on genealogical line. Most, like Buffon were epigenicist, some like Kant had a more complex model. I didn't mention Lamarckianism, since the position is better characterized, in my opinion, by the term "epigenetic", which describes a process where the environment actively leaves an imprint on genealogical lines, with individuals being, more or less, passive objects that are acted on. Lamarckianism, if not denotes, connotes, a process whereby individuals actively exercise a trait and then pass on the product -- I don't think that this captures the idea as well as "epigenetic" does. If you disagree, perhaps you could reference me to discussions. Here, for example, is Buffon:

Quote:Upon the whole, every circumstance concurs in proving, that mankind are not composed of species essentially different from each other; that, on the contrary, there was originally but one species, who, after multiplying and spreading over the whole surface of the earth, have undergone various changes by the influence of climate, food, mode of living, epidemic diseases, and the [206] mixture of dissimilar individuals; that, at first, these changes were not so conspicuous, and produced only individual varieties; that these varieties became afterwards specific, because they were rendered more general, more strongly marked, and more permanent, by the continual action of the same causes; that they are transmitted from generation to generation, as deformities or diseases pass from parents to children; and that, lastly, as they were originally produced by a train of external and accidental causes, and have only been perpetuated by time and the constant operation of these causes, it is probable that they will gradually disappear, or, at least, that they will differ from what they are at present, if the causes which produce them should cease, or if their operation should be varied by other circumstances and combinations.

This strikes me as proto-epigenetic, not Lamarckian, as I was taught the latter term.

Anyways, I said:

(updated version) Section II
Quote:To solve the problem of constant varieties, of how groups, without being species, could with relative constancy transmit character differences, even when reared in novel environment, these groups were understood as intraspecific lineages; and it was allowed that the environment could cause heritable character changes which either became fixed in a genealogical line (Kant) or became relatively constant (Buffon). In one exceptionally lucid passage, Kant (1975) discussed the process by which something like races could arise:

Quote:Of course, as the passage above makes clear, Buffon's was an epigenetic concept with respect to the cause of the lineage differences. There is, then, no perfect correspondence between modern and early race concepts. There are nonetheless substantive similarities: Kant and Buffon identify races with divisions of a species that, owing to shared genealogy, exhibit relatively constant character.

Section III
Quote:The monogenist Buffon (1779) had a response. He conceptualized species as "physical networks of historical filiation" (Sloan, 1979) and, in turn, constant varieties as intraspecific lineages, ones which share a common ancestral origin. He tells us: "[I]n animal species, races are simply constant varieties that propagate through generations"; he also noted: "The germ of blackness is transmitted to children by their fathers and mothers so that in any country where a Negro may be born, he will be as black as if he were born in his own country". He introduced the concept of race into the study of natural history, in part, to account for the relatively constant differences between regional varieties; he proposed that environmental factors left imprints on genealogical lines -- an idea not too dissimilar to the modern one of epigenetics. Accordingly, members of races shared relatively constant patterns of traits, owing to the imprint which the environment, acting long across generations, left on their particular lineage.

Quote:It could be said that races were thought to have essences in a thin, non-classificatory, explanatory natural sense -- that is, that they were thought to have different or differently imprinted genealogical lineages which explained different phenotypes; indeed, they were; but here we are using "essentialism" in a substantially different sense than that since rejected. To be clear, this non-classificatory sense can now be used in context to both species and races, since post-Darwin we understand that horses beget horses essentially, so to speak, for the same reason that Ethiopians beget Ethiopians; in both cases, genotypes are passed on generationally. But this thin sense of biological essentialism happens to makes sense.

If I am not being clear enough, let me know -- this might be another case where I cut out too much. Originally, I had a paragraph in section III pointing out the "epigenetic" "genetic" difference.





Quote:I'm flattered by the citation, but I'm not sure that a discussion in a web forum constitutes a citable reference. (Note: the end of the sentence is missing. It should read "takes on a meaning different from genetic variation within any one population.

I thought that you said the same in a blog post/Unz review article of yours (and just copied and pasted it to this thread):

Quote:Yes, genes vary much more within human populations than between them, but these two kinds of genetic variation are not comparable. A population boundary typically coincides with a geographic or ecological barrier, such as a change from one vegetation zone to another or, in humans, a change from one way of life to another. It thus separates not only different populations but also differing pressures of natural selection. This is why genetic variation within a population differs qualitatively from genetic variation between populations. The first kind cannot be ironed out by similar selection pressures and thus tends to involve genes of little or no selective value. The second kind occurs across population boundaries, which tend to separate different ecosystems, different vegetation zones, different ways of life ... and different selection pressures. So the genes matter a lot more.

But maybe you changed the wording slightly and I didn't catch this? I did check to make sure that you said the same elsewhere. Also, I didn't forget the end, I just cut it off and rephrased it in my own words. If you don't want me to cite the argument, I wont, but then I won't make mention of it. Otherwise, I will edit the passage and make sure to formally reference your article/blog post.
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#20
(2015-Jan-11, 18:15:29)Peter Frost Wrote: Peter Frost:I guess this is where you and I fundamentally disagree. (1) Genotypic similarity and phenotypic similarity are weakly concordant. It might be better if you replaced "on the level of the individual" with "Among individuals subject to the same selection pressures." (2) Differences in the degree of shared ancestry are not the main reason why individuals or populations differ from each other in anatomy, behavior, and other adaptive characteristics. Such differences are simply an enabling factor. (3) Two reproductively isolated populations can go on looking and behaving similarly for millions of years if they are subject to the same selection pressures. Conversely, if the selection pressures are very different, those two populations will diverge radically from each other.


I took the liberty of labeling what I see as your key points. We absolutely agree on point (2), in a sense. In section I, I touched upon this issue, though perhaps not clearly enough for you, and provided the examples of reptiles, birds, and crocodiles. That is, we agree that crocodiles are more phenotypically related to reptiles e.g., snakes, despite sharing a more recent ancestor with birds. What this means, effectively, is that the lines of a pedigree did not survive at random. As a results some e.g., Archosauria are much more phenotypically related to reptiles than are others, and so might be grouped with them. Now, regarding point (1), I was under the impression (following Mayr and others) that genotype tracked this modification (i.e., non-random pedigree survival), thus if we were to groups by whole genomic similarity we would end up putting reptiles with crocodiles and not birds. If not, then Mayr's evolutionary taxonomy has a deep theoretical problem, since it claims (see discussion in section I) to be genotypic similarity based and, also, claims to e.g., groups crocodiles with reptiles. Note that this, the correlation between phenotype, genotype, and "phylogeny" (in the sense of most recent common ancestor) is a purely technical/factual issue. Let me know what you think and if we still disagree I will have to look into the matter more.

This leaves (3, and 2 in some senses). I think that this is more of a semantic/language disagreement, though, than a fundamental conceptual one. What I am trying to communicate is that: (a) the individual crocodiles are crocodiles purely for genealogical reasons in the sense that this relative similarity is completely explained by the crocodiles' recent parentage (i.e., individuals don't experience modification, they don't evolve); in context to races, when assigning Peter Frost to one, one only need to know his personal genealogy, not the environmental adversities he experience ND (b) there is a sense of "genealogy" in which one can say that populations are taxonomically organized in a purely genealogical fashion and this is similar to the retrospective sense of (a). Thus:

Darwin: "I believe that the arrangement of the groups within each class, in due subordination and relation to the other groups, must be strictly genealogical; but that the amount of difference in the several branches or groups, though allied in the same degree in blood to their common progenitor, may differ greatly, being due to the different degrees of modification which they have undergone; and this is expressed by the forms being ranked under different genera, families, sections, or orders."

See also: Mayr and Bock (2002): "The study of phylogeny has been traditionally considered to be, so to speak, a backward looking endeavour, the search for and study of common ancestors. The starting point in such an analysis is a particular taxon and the student of phylogeny attempts to infer the ancestors of this taxon. If all the species of a tentatively delimited taxon are the descendants of the nearest common ancestor, the taxon following Haeckel (1866) is called monophyletic (Mayr 1969, Mayr and Ashlock, 1991 pp. 253–255). Hennig (1950) [the key founder of cladism] introduced an entirely different concept. The study of phylogeny was for him a forward (to the future) looking process; its starting point was a stem (mother) species ....Genealogical branching alone is not sufficient for the construction of a sound classification of living organisms. Darwin (1859, p. 420) said rightly, ‘… but that the amount of difference in the several branches or groups, though allied in the same degree in blood to their common progenitor [at branching points], may differ greatly … and this is expressed by the forms being ranked under different genera, families, sections, or orders.’ A sound Darwinian classification, therefore, must be based on a balanced consideration of both genealogical branching (cladogenesis) and similarity (amount of phyletic evolutionary change = anagenesis)."

A distinction is made between (a) (retrospective) requiring that all valid taxa, at a lower level, descend from a common one at a higher level, and (b) (prospective, or branching based) requiring that all valid taxa at a higher level include all taxon that descended from it. Both (a) and (b) are, in a sense, strictly genealogical.

I noted this in the paper, saying: The evolutionary taxonomist attempts to group by genotypic affinity. Since genetic affinity is conditioned by phylogenic affinity, retrospectively understood, evolutionary classifications are genealogical ones, to use Darwin's phrase, in arrangement. They are genealogical in that they are not, to use modern terminology, polyphyletic. Cladists group by genealogical relatedness alone and are uninterested in overall genotypic relatedness. The picture below illustrates a situation in which the disagreement between the schools emerges:

Generally, I'm not sure that (regarding a) I shouldn't note that genealogy ~ genotype (~ phenotype) on the (necessarily retrospective) individual level -- or do you think that, on this level, relying on overall genealogy versus genotype versus phenotype similarity will result in discordant results? -- and (regarding b) that I can't discuss racial classifications as being genealogical units in a retrospective sense.

Let me know what we disagree with here. Perhaps I need to rewrite some sections for clarity.

Peter Frost:
Quote:(4) I realize that much, if not most, of your book is a historical review of thinking on race. But most of what people wrote before Darwin was, frankly, clueless. And this cluelessness has persisted since Darwin's time. (5) Another point. If you wish to provide an exhaustive historical review, why do you ignore some of the really nutty (though popular) explanations? For instance, there's the Curse of Ham (as elaborI took the liberty of labeling what I see as your key points. ated in the Talmud)..(6) Then there's the notion of degeneration from an ideal type. This was Blumenbach's thinking. I could go on, but do you see my point?

Again, I took the liberty of labeling key points. As for (4), the overall dissertation is not intended to be a historical review but rather a philosophical discussion of the biological "race concept". Section 3 provides some historically review in attempt to explain that the concept of race as introduced into natural history was not "really nutty" and that is was surprisingly similar, at least compared to the past species concept, to the one we currently have. As for (5), I did, in fact, make reference to such concepts:

(Section 2) "Prior to being incorporated into natural history and anthropology in the 18th century, the term race referred to breeds and lineages. The idea of race was employed, in a related manner, in several different discourses. It was used in context to domestic breeding to describe strains of animals produced through intercrossing; it described the lineages of noble families (e.g., noblesse de race); in theological context, it was employed to explain the transmission of original sin; all men were said to inherit the original sin of Adam due to being of his race or lineage; also, different lineages of Adam, dispersed across the world, were also said to represent different races e.g., the race of Sem (Doron, 2012). This concept of race as breeds and lineages was integrated into biology and anthropology, largely by Comte de Buffon and Immanuel Kant, to make sense of a particular sort of intraspecific variation".

They were not "natural history" ones though, yet they were lineage based ones, and so at least demonstrate an understanding of the "genetic" (qua genealogical/generational) basis of differences. As for (6), Blumenbach's was a natural history one but it was originally a linnaean varieties, not race per se, concept. I discussed these [varieties concepts], extensively:
e.g.,

"...As Stamos (2006) notes: "Linnaeus believed in the so-called law-of-reversion, the belief that species can vary within certain "fixed limits" and that when the conditions that caused them to vary are removed, "true species" as he put it in Critica Botanica, will "Finally revert to the original forms" (Ramsbottom 1938, 200n)". Of course, Buffon, though not Kant, also believed that constant varieties (races), were not permanent; according to him, for example, if Black Africans were transplanted to the north after eight to twelve generations, their skin would lighten . Nonetheless, the varieties of Linnaeus, were generally seen as significantly more variable and more subject to change with shifting external conditions."

That said, I don't think that this is a crazy idea at all. It makes perfect sense when you are willing to give the idea a charitable reading. "Degeneration" form an "ideal type" was just environmentally induced divergence from an adaptive norm. Surely, we agree that this happens in context to e.g., "fat and thin, straight and bowed, leprosic and lame people (Linnaeus, 1737). I don't think that these ideas were implausible at all, though we would have to discuss specific ones.
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