Hello There, Guest!  
 Previous 1 15 16 17 18 19 40 Next   

[OBG] Nature of Race Full

(2015-Apr-17, 21:22:57)Krom Wrote: We already have "population" as a unit/tool of study which captures low-moderate levels of biological variation - there is no need to re-define race, or invent a new race concept.


There seem to be quite a few points of disagreement. In these situations, I find that it is best to deal with one issue at a time. Doing so allows for the possibility of coming to either an agreement or a modus vivendi. Let us first address the one mentioned above.

"Population" is both a term and polyseme (a set of related concepts).

The term is ambiguous. See my table 2.2. It frequently describes
spatial units . By this understanding, all New Yorkers, for example, form a "population".
They don't all form a race. The term population also is a synonym for demes.

To specify races, or natural divisions, one would have to qualify the term e.g., ""genealogically arranged" populations". If you want we could call "races" this, but my point would still stand that this is what "race" is meant to mean by proponents of the concept. That said, I have epistemic problems with using the term "population" since it does imply spatial groupings. Natural divisions can be these, but they need not be and, as said, populations need not be such divisions (e..g, all New Yorkers).

For sake of discussion, let us adopt the neutral phrase "natural division" -- or if you don't like "natural", then ""genealogically arranged" divisions". I agree that the term "population" is, at times, used as a synonym for this. I don't have a problem with this. But you do have a problem with me using "race" as a synonym. The argument ultimately is that the term "race" really meant something much different.

I discussed this semantic issue at length. And I also showed that what has been meant by race corresponds with "genealogically arranged divisions". So it is reasonable to call these entities races. Why specifically do you disagree?

Before answering read, in order, III-A, then II-C, I-F, and II-A.
 Reply
Yea, I defined a population by geographical criteria, but this isn't strictly so. Relethford's definition is more accurate:

"The population in this context is usually defined as the local unit within which most mating takes place. For many organisms including humans, distinct geographic units are often used to delineate population - for example different towns or villages"

But you can find examples of non-geographical barriers: religion, cultural (language) etc. Relethford does discuss these in humans. In non-humans two populations might also inhabit the same area, but not mate much because of behavioural differences.

I can read "Nature of Race" more closely, especially those sections before further responding in detail. However I think you are getting into nested hierarchy, for example Basques, English, Poles falling into "European" and so on, so these are continental divisions. This though doesn't follow for the reasons outlined below:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism#Genetic_clusters
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism#Defining_race

"Zones of discontinuity in human gene frequency distributions are present, but the local gradients are so small that they can be identified only by simultaneously studying many loci using complex statistical techniques. In addition, such regions of relatively sharp genetic change do not surround large clusters of populations, on a continental or nearly continental scale. On the contrary, they occur irregularly, within continents and even within single countries." http://www.pnas.org/content/94/9/4516.abstract
 Reply
(2015-Apr-18, 05:23:19)Krom Wrote: Yea, I defined a population by geographical criteria, but this isn't strictly so. Relethford's definition is more accurate:

"The population in this context is usually defined as the local unit within which most mating takes place. For many organisms including humans, distinct geographic units are often used to delineate population - for example different towns or villages"...But you can find examples of non-geographical barriers: religion, cultural (language) etc. Relethford does discuss these in humans. In non-humans two populations might also inhabit the same area, but not mate much because of behavioural differences.


The main point of the original race concept was to explain why transplanted organisms retained their region of origin characters -- for example, why Africans in Europe and the Americas bore black children -- that is, to explain "constant varieties". Black individuals born in Europe were said to be of the Ethiopian/Negro race = lineage, regardless of their breeding habits (deme) or spatial population. So "population" does not seem really to get at what is meant. In the wild, populations, demes, and (what I call) races correspond, since you typically don't have migrations of the magnitude that humans have experienced in the last several hundred years. So the distinction is often not made. Nonetheless, when not made, it's tacitly recognized. This is why, when subspecies are relocated to zoos around the world and at times cross-bred their (the parental generation) trinomen doesn't change.

Just as in the 1700s the concept -- whatever we wish to call it e.g., biogeographic ancestry group -- is important now. It describes a phenomenon out there and it helps us make sense of the world. I think the area of discussion can only be:

(a) how do we precisely define the concept ?
(b) do various once called racial classifications correspond with it?
© is it reasonable to call this concept "race"

Quote: However I think you are getting into nested hierarchy, for example Basques, English, Poles falling into "European" and so on, so these are continental divisions. This though doesn't follow for the reasons outlined below:

I discuss why race is compatible with nested hierarchies -- why one could speak of a European race and a Caucasoid one.

Quote:"Zones of discontinuity in human gene frequency distributions are present, but the local gradients are so small that they can be identified only by simultaneously studying many loci using complex statistical techniques. In addition, such regions of relatively sharp genetic change do not surround large clusters of populations, on a continental or nearly continental scale. On the contrary, they occur irregularly, within continents and even within single countries.

I don't understand the argument. As I noted, races can be cut from a genomic continuum -- even formally recognized ones. In fact, continuity -- blending together -- was traditionally used as evidence that groups were (intraspecifc) races and not species. Blumenbach, Prichard, Darwin, etc. made this point. I discussed this in the Clines section. But also elsewhere.

Also, I dug up the first subspecies definition:

Ehrhard (1784) noted:

"[Halbarten, Scheinarten, Subspecies] are, in a word, Varietates constantes, or an intermediate between species and Spielarten. They are separated from species in that they differ from one another in small particulars of little importance; and they differ from Spielarten in that they reproduce themselves unchangingly by seed and always beget their like." [Emphasis added]

This corresponds with Buffon's races, except that they were treated as taxa. Notice the highlighted part.
 Reply
(2015-Apr-16, 18:34:45)Chuck Wrote: I will make public the list of reviewer requests I have sent out. I am primarily emailing researchers who have written about the biological concept.

Adam Hochman -- pending (sent 4/16)

Michael O. Hardimon -- pending (sent 4/14)

Jeremy Pierce -- No reply (sent 4/08)

Michael Levin -- Accepted, then no reply after (sent 3/13)

Michael Woodley -- Replied, noted he liked it, but said to publish elsewhere (sent 3/13)

Neven Sesardic -- Replied, busy (3/11)


Adam Hochman kindly notified me that he had other commitments (received 4/18)
 Reply
Because biological classification is based on usefulness. This is measured by how much variation it captures, and how accurately:

"It is critical to note that genetic differentiation alone is insufficient to define a subspecies or race under either of these definitions of race. Both definitions require that genetic differentiation exists across sharp boundaries and not as gradual changes, with the boundaries reflecting the historical splits. These sharp boundaries are typically geographic, but not always. For example, even non-genetic behavioural differences, such as learned song dialects in birds or linguistic boundaries in humans, can serve as the basis for a sharp genetic boundary when these non-genetic traits are associated with evolutionary history." (Templeton, 2013)

The relatively sharp or abrupt genetic boundaries in humans are found only at the local level, e.g. linguistic borders. Interestingly, these sharp boundaries to a large extent are concordant with ethnic groups (which can be considered gamodemes).

Clearly if there are distinguishable and non-vague boundaries: genetic variation can be captured more accurately.

Steve Sailer criticizes Diamond (1994) by stating he ignores geographical ancestry when he wrote Nigerians can be grouped with Swedes, and that racial classification is arbitrary. What Sailer misses is biological variation is only abrupt within continents, not between them. So what Diamond is stating is actually true, and note that he is using terms like Nigerians and Swedes. He does not deny those population exist.
 Reply
(2015-Apr-20, 19:56:33)Krom Wrote: Because biological classification is based on usefulness. This is measured by how much variation it captures, and how accurately:

"It is critical to note that genetic differentiation alone is insufficient to define a subspecies or race under either of these definitions of race. Both definitions require that genetic differentiation exists across sharp boundaries and not as gradual changes, with the boundaries reflecting the historical splits. These sharp boundaries are typically geographic, but not always. For example, even non-genetic behavioural differences, such as learned song dialects in birds or linguistic boundaries in humans, can serve as the basis for a sharp genetic boundary when these non-genetic traits are associated with evolutionary history." (Templeton, 2013)


Did you read the paper in full? I explain the problem with Templeton's argument in section I-G and V-B and . Not all race =/ taxa subspecies. By the way, I added some material in II-B to give historical context for those arguments made.

"Another level of confusion has resulted from the use of the term “race” to describe both taxa subspecies and intraspecific lineages not formally recognized. The term “subspezies” was first employed and defined by the Swiss botanist Jakob Ehrhart. Ehrhard used the term to describe “constant varieties”, the same entities which Buffon (1779) had called “races”. In 1784, Ehrhard noted:

[Halbarten, Scheinarten, Subspecies] are, in a word, Varietates constantes, or an intermediate between species and Spielarten. They are separated from species in that they differ from one another in small particulars of little importance; and they differ from Spielarten in that they reproduce themselves unchangingly by seed and always beget their like. (Cited in Chater et al. (1966).)

As with Buffon’s races, Ehrhard’s subspecies filled the gap between inconstant varieties and species. They were varieties whose characters were with constancy transmitted genealogically. Notably, in contrast to how Buffon, Kant, and Blumenbach dealt with their intraspecific races, Ehrhard consistently assigned trinomina to his subspecies. In 1781, German entomologist and botanist Eugen Esper published a dissertation in which “subspecies” was similarly equated with “essential varieties” and contrasted with both “accidental varieties” and species.

The relation between race and subspecies did not go unnoticed. Thus, Rorn (1810) equated subspecies with both races and “permanent varieties” (Fuchs, 1958). Over the course of the 19th century, “subspecies” increasingly came to be used to refer to a taxonomic rank under species. For example, when, in 1844, Hermann Schlegel created the concept of conspecies, he included an intraspecific rank designated as “subspecies” or “local races” (Johnson, 2012). As noted by Haffer (2003), Ornithologist Christian Brehm also placed “subspecies” in a hierarchical system. In the early 20th century, “subspecies” was official recognized by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature as a taxonomic rank or category. Initially, there were no even informal conventions for the recognition of taxonomic category subspecies. Over time, informal conventions were developed and were tightened up, leaving us with the subspecies we have today, which represent major and “significant” divisions in a species. In zoology, “race” did not come to officially describe a taxonomic category. This was partly owing to the term’s legacy of being dually used to refer to both specific and intraspecific lineages. While, in the 19th and 20th century, “geographic race” was often used as a synonym for taxa subspecies, it was generally recognized that taxa subspecies (except in the case of polytypic subspecies) referred to races which were thought to be deserving of formal taxonomic recognition. Thus, for example, Hubbs (1943) noted: “Unlike races, subspecies are animal kinds which are sufficiently clear-cut as to be thought worthy of a place in the nomenclatorial system”."

Not only are races not necessarily taxa subspecies, which is what Templeton discusses -- moreover (evolutionary taxonomic) taxa subspecies can be cut from a continuum.

See for example, section II-E.

"But there is a substantive issue that we have not touched upon immediately above. When the “clines, not races” argument is not altogether conceptually confused—when it is only semantically so—it raises an issue that we must address. Sometimes natural divisions are such that they form a smooth genetic population continuum, across which character clines would tend to run in the same way. (This is not the case, though, for human continental divisions (Weiss and Fullerton, 2005; Rosenberg et al., 2005).) In zoology, these are simply known as population continua and are distinguished from population isolates. If we take “cline” to mean population continuum, then we might rephrase the American Anthropological Association’s question as: “Races or population continuums?” But this begs the question: “Races: not population continuums?” As defined above, and as consistent with zoological practice, races can exist in and be cut out of a population continuum. The existence of a population continuum is not even inconsistent with the formal zoological recognition of biological races (Mayr and Ashlock, 1991). As Albrecht et al. (2003) note:

Population structure refers to the geographic arrangement of local populations across the species' range. Population structure can be described in terms of three phenomena: the population continuum, geographic isolates, and zones of secondary intergradation (hybrid zones) (e.g., Mayr and Ashlock, 1991). The population continuum is that part of the species' range where there is continuity of contact among local populations, some of which may be recognized as subspecies if sufficiently differentiated. [Emphasis added.]"

The distinction I am making here is well grounded. For example, in section 4, table 4.1, more Polish anthropologists supported the idea of human races than human taxa subspecies see: Kaszycka & Strzałko (2003)

This point should have been very clear. Try searching for "continuum" or "continua" and read the surrounding passages.

Also, I noted, "(intraspecific) races" historically were often understood as continuous, this is what distinguished them from species. This is often still the case. See footnote 23.

Quote:Clearly if there are distinguishable and non-vague boundaries: genetic variation can be captured more accurately.

I discussed this. Section II-F and IV-E. If there is a continuum, natural divisions can not be objectively picked out.

Quote:Steve Sailer criticizes Diamond (1994) by stating he ignores geographical ancestry when he wrote Nigerians can be grouped with Swedes, and that racial classification is arbitrary. What Sailer misses is biological variation is only abrupt within continents, not between them. So what Diamond is stating is actually true, and note that he is using terms like Nigerians and Swedes. He does not deny those population exist.

The criticism is that Diamond's races don't match with historic understanding of race as lineage. They are molecular polymorphs -- and from the start "race" has been defined in contrast to these.


But do we agree about "populations" -- or at least agree to disagree?
 Reply
Obviously, I didn't make some of my point clear enough.

If you think that there are issues that were discussed but not clearly so, let me know and I might add text boxes to summarize the points. I'm not a particularly good writer, so some points don't come off well.
 Reply
Here is an image showing how "race realists" and "anti-race realists" view human biological variation:

[Image: pic.png]

The first shows a genetic continua, with relatively abrupt, or sharp breaks between local populations. The second agrees with the first, but adds sharp breaks between each continent (groups of populations as races) and imposes a hierarchical clustering, e.g. each local population falling into a much larger regional grouping (race).

I don't really like the term "race realism" because it implies an ontological position. Instead the race dispute in biology is whether race as a concept is an accurate or productive (useful) way to describe/capture human biological variation, not whether race "exists" or is "real". Can you show anything exists? This is philosophy not science. The debate about race and 'natural kinds' has no relevance to biology. I have tried to separate these issues, but many on both sides confuse them.
 Reply
Would you agree a definition of a race is a meta-population? "a regional group of connected populations [of a species]".

Anyway, I've read your replies, i'm not ignoring them. If I get the time I can go back. What it seems to come down to, is that you see significant-enough "breaks" in genetic/phenotypic variation at the continental level, to justify a racial classification in the sense of Caucasoid/Mongoloid/Negroid, while I am saying these are incredibly weak and do not support the race concept as being useful.
 Reply
(2015-Apr-28, 22:35:42)Krom Wrote: Here is an image showing how "race realists" and "anti-race realists" view human biological variation:

[Image: pic.png]

The first shows a genetic continua, with relatively abrupt, or sharp breaks between local populations. The second agrees with the first, but adds sharp breaks between each continent (groups of populations as races) and imposes a hierarchical clustering, e.g. each local population falling into a much larger regional grouping (race).


I would consider myself to be a race realist and yet my races can be cut from a continuum. Steve Sailer and Michael Levin, two other self-described realists, allow for the same. Obviously different meanings of "realism" are afloat. For clarity, we can simply call your type "Krom-race realism". I have already noted my problems with this:

1) Historically intraspecific races were not thought this way. Discontinuities evidenced species, continuities races.
2) Presently, many self-proclaimed "race realists" do not have a problem with continuities.
3) Presently, taxa subspecies can be cut from continua.

You add another:

Quote:I don't really like the term "race realism" because it implies an ontological position. Instead the race dispute in biology is whether race as a concept is an accurate or productive (useful) way to describe/capture human biological variation, not whether race "exists" or is "real".

I actually employ "realism" in an ontological sense. You do not. What I mean is that "the concept references something in nature". What you mean is that "that which is referenced, at least when it comes to humans, is worth my attention".

Maybe you should call "Krom-race realism" something else. Do you at least apply the formulation consistently? If climatic zones run seamlessly into one another are they not real. Are clines (i.e., character gradients) by definition also not real? Or do races alone need to show "abrupt, or sharp" breaks to be "real"? Why?

Quote:This is philosophy not science. The debate about race and 'natural kinds' has no relevance to biology.


I don't care for the "nature kind" nonsense either. It adds no clarity to the discussion. The concept of "natural division", however, does -- since the distinction between natural and artificial division is pretty clear and well understood in biology.

Quote:Can you show anything exists?

Yes, if you define "exists" in a way that allows you to show this. I do this in my section I. By this ontology, for example, dinosaurs don't exist because while the concept is biologically coherent no referent is currently to be found.
 Reply
 Previous 1 15 16 17 18 19 40 Next   
 
 
Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)