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[OBG] Nature of Race Full

(2015-Jul-04, 18:32:01)Krom Wrote: I don't have a problem with that, what i'm though saying is "commonsense sense of real" or rather how someone perceives reality is not "real", or cannot be shown to mirror reality. For example that would assume there is a systematic relation between "reality" and our senses (so what we see, smell, touch etc., is "real" and not an illusion, or something else).


I can't disagree here.

Quote:Its all low....Once you remove this redefinition and use the traditional definition of race (Mongoloids, Caucasoid etc) you find the support is low everywhere. Very few modern biologist take these traditional race classifications serious.

"Mongoloids, Caucasoid etc" was never a traditional definition of race, rather these were major human continental level classifications. Race concepts often extended down to include micro, minor, regional, local, etc. divisions of species. So, as far as I can see, there is no re-definition. But if you think that the traditional race concept -- what time period did you have in mind, by the way? -- only characterized major human continental level divisions, maybe you could provide refs.

But I would agree that there is a semantic issue. I can't imagine that any biologists would argue that races -- as I understand them -- do not exist (in my commonsense sense of exist) or that the general race concept -- as I define it -- is meaningless or useless. Instead, some seem to argue that e.g., human races in the sense of taxa subspecies do not or that the race concept in the sense of "genetically homogeneous populations" is useless (since these don't exist). Do you disagree?
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(2015-Jul-05, 03:34:22)Krom Wrote: However if you look, 35% of this 75% are proponents of defining a race via "populationism" which is a local breeding population (deme)...What this study actually shows is the majority of Polish anthropologists (60%) don't defend or use traditional races like "Caucasoid", "Mongoloid" etc.


This point would be worth discussing. Dobzhansky's "population definition" strikes me as being conceptually fuzzy/confused. Thus, I am not sure how others interpret it. Let me quote from: "Heredity, race, and society":

Quote:The confusion is made worse by those who fail to distinguish groups resembling each other biologically from those united in a national or language community. "American" as applied to citizens of the U.S.A. can certainly designate no biological unit. There is no "American race" (unless it be the red men we displaced); nor is their a Swiss race or a French race. A nation may consist of more than one race, and several nations, like those of the British commonwealth, may be biologically alike. The inhabitants of northern Germany resemble physically the inhabitants of Denmark and Sweden more than they do the south Germans who in turn are physically similar to some Frenchman, Czechs, and Yugoslavs...

Race can be defined as populations which differ in the frequencies of some gene or genes... Races are populations which differ in the relative commonness of some of their genes. ... The populations of these villages or districts are different races by the above definition, but you will never be certain from which village an individual came by merely looking at him or examining his blood group... If a group of people, some of them of Norwegian and others of Italian descent are present in the same room and you are asked to tell which is which, you will probably guess mostly right but you will make some mistakes too. In short when we are saying that two populations are racially different we are not saying very much. They may be so different that it is possible to tell to which of them any individual belongs, or so similar that only very careful study by specialists can reveal their distinctness at all...

It is very easy to be deceived by differences amongst peoples even more superficial and easily acquired than language or ideas or religion. Dress and decoration, even hair do, may make people seem dissimilar as a group from the very populations from which they are descended...How does layman and how does a scientist arrive at the idea of race? Suppose that we have consider the inhabitants of an American city, such as New York. We know that different kinds of people who live in different sections of the city, in Harlem, in Little Italy, in the Norwegian colony in Brooklyn, and so on. As laymen we recognize the facial and bodily traits which are usual in different groups. In Harelem the majority of people have dark skin. tightly curled hair, broad noses, and thick lips and we know that these have come from African ancestors. In the Norwegien colony we find many tall people, many blonds, and many with blue eyes; whereas those of Italian descent tend to be shorter, brunnette, and dark eyed. Among those of South German or Swiss descent we are more likely to find medium stature, brown hair, fair skin, and round heads...

Considered biologically, the idea of Negro-white segregation as propounded by partisans of this measure in the United States is a plan to prevent the flow of genes between these races by social means -- customs and legislation -- instead of geographical separation. Milder forms of social barriers against intermarriage of groups of peoples, such as religious, economic, educational, and language divisions may also slow down the gene exchange between populations and postpone for a time the obliteration of the races. But the long tine trend is clearly towards race fusion.

Dobzhansky and Dunn are clear that by race they do not mean statistical populations which genetically differ on average e.g., UK and US citizens. And in other passages they make clear that morphs or forms e.g., blue and brown eyed individuals are not races. On the other hand, their race concept, at least as presented here, seems to diverge from mine in that apparently some individuals can not clearly be assigned to a specific race based on molecular (?) characters. (They are not really clear on the point, though.) What then makes individuals a member of a said races?

You seem to argue that their races are just demes/breeding populations which happen to differ on average genetically. (If I misinterpret, perhaps you could clarify.) That's a defensible reading. But how can it be reconciled with the statements in bold? Don't national or language communities represent demes which differ genetically on average; can't individuals therein be arranged by the probability of descendant sharing (mating)? Why wouldn't, were this reading correct, there be a "Swiss race"; didn't circa 1950 -- with the immigration laws as they were -- Switzerland form a breeding community different from other national ones. And if our individuals are arranged by probability of descendant sharing, why the concern about physically similarity? And why do Dobzhansky and Dunn continually refer to regional "ancestry" in regards to race -- what, by your construction, would that have to do with anything? And how do we make sense of the point about segregation. For Dobzhansky and Dunn, races are only indirectly "obliterated" by exogamy; as this allows for gene sharing. If races were just demes or just demes which differed genetically on average, lifting barriers to endogamy per se should do the obliteration.

Your reading then seems to be over simplistic. I'm not sure why Dobzhansky and Dunn didn't simply define race in the classic way -- as divisions were individuals are arranged according to lineage -- but this understanding seems to be less inconsistent with their overall discussion than does the notion of races as simply demes.

[Edit: 7/7/2015. I came across the following passage in "A review of some fundamental concepts and problems of population genetics" (attached):

Quote:The dictionary definition of "'population" is "the inhabitants of a country, place, or town." To the ecologist, a population is "any single or mixed species association in the laboratory or in nature that presents a closely interacting system which can be studied and expressed with some quantitative rigor" (Allee, et al., 1949). Such a concept of population is too broad for a population geneticist. We are dealing mostly, though not exclusively, with populations of a particular kind. These are the breeding populations of sexually reproducing species. For these, I have utilized Wright's expression Mendelian population, defining it as "a reproductive community of individuals who share in a common gene pool" (Dobzhansky, 1950).

"Races and breeds of sexual and cross-fertilizing species are Mendelian populations, but a Mendelian population is not necessarily a race. Races, breeds, varieties, species, and all other categories of systematics are recognized because and by means of the morphological, physiological, and genetical differences between them. Conversely, two or more Mendelian populations may or may not have similar gene pools. Thus, the inhabitants of a group of islands may form isolated breeding communities without immediate genetic divergence. Such island communities will be different Mendelian populations but they will not be different races. The existence of breeding communities may be apprehended by observing the kinship relationships and the pedigrees of a sample of individuals. Genetic and morphological differences between Mendelian populations may or may not exist. Much avoidable confusion would be prevented if anthropologists would keep in mind this simple distinction...

To complicate things further, Mendelian populations are usually organized into systems of various orders. The species is, in sexual and cross-fertilizing organisms, the most inclusive Mendelian population. This is as good a definition of species as any so far proposed, and incidentally also the shortest. species are composed of races or subspecies, which are subordinate Mendelian populations differing in relative frequencies of genes or chromosomal structures, and usually also in external appearance and in physiological and ecological properties. Major races consist of local populations or minor races which are seldom recognized or named by classifiers. The elementary local populations are Wright's panmictic units, which have also been called demes (Gilmour and Gregor, 1939). Demes may or may not be genetically distinct.

The infra-specific Mendelian populations maintain more or less distinct gene pools because they are, as a rule, separated in space. Among domesticated forms the geographic isolation is reinforced or superseded by reproductive barriers imposed by the breeders or masters. The numerous breeds of dogs live as sympatric Mendelian populations in New York City, and owe their separateness to the control of their reproduction by man.

The human species is by far the most complex system of Mendelian populations. As in other species, the geographic isolation is, or until recently was, the chief agent maintaining the separateness of the gene pools of human populations. However, the marriage regulation by custom, language, religion, class and caste, economic status, and occupation has introduced new population sub-divisions, which may be on their way towards superseding the geographic divisions. A person may belong to two or more partly overlapping Mendelian populations. Consider a person who resides in New York City, has a black skin, belongs to the unskilled worker class, speaks Spanish as his native language, and is a Roman Catholic. Such a person is potentially a member of several different but over-lapping breeding communities.

Clearly, Dobzhansky's races were not equivalent to demes or gamodeme as you once previously argued. It's not clear what he means by being "genetically distinct" and having "more or less distinct gene pools", though.

He does agree with the view that racial classifications should be based on many concordant traits:

"It is a commonly held opinion that a superior racial classification must be based on many traits. This is however true only to the extent that different traits show a congruity in their geographic distribution." (Dobzhansky, T. (1950, January). Human diversity and adaptation. In Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology (Vol. 15, pp. 385-400). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.)

"[This] is not to deny that a racial classification should ideally take cognizance of all genetically variable traits, oligogenic as well as polygenic.” (Dobzhansky, T. (1970). Genetics of the evolutionary process (Vol. 139). New York: Columbia
University Press.)

Thus, it seems to me that the set of possibilities is limited to something resembling Darwinian natural divisions, which Dobzhansky well characterized in "Evolution Genetics and Mankind" (1955). Quote: "A natural classification must take into account the greatest possible number of characteristics of the organism classified...[for Darwin] a natural system is one which puts together the near kin, and separates the distant relatives".

No?]


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.pdf   Mendelian Populations and Their Evolution.pdf (Size: 1.29 MB / Downloads: 387)
.pdf   A review of some fundamental concepts and problems of population genetics.pdf (Size: 1.66 MB / Downloads: 580)
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(2015-Jul-05, 03:47:08)Chuck Wrote: To summarize: For Darwin, a natural classification is one where individuals are arranged into divisions by propinquity of descent. Since full pedigree tables are unavailable, heritable characters are used to index genealogical relationship; correlated characters -- of little importance -- are used because in aggregate they better index ancestry.


What is a "natural classification"? All classifications are artificial and (to some extent) arbitrary. Classifications are based on their utility -

"I look at the term species, as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience... The term variety... is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience." (Darwin, 1859)

If something isn't useful to classify, it won't be because it is not practical. A librarian will not put books classified as "geography" with "cookery" etc., but this classification is not objective, it is still arbitrary. For example book x in "geography" might be "small" in size and book y in "cookery" might be also "small" in size, so why aren't they classified together? Because the contents of the book are more convenient for us to classify (the contents contain a lot more info than just one property: size). But, an alien from Mars that cannot read the contents would probably find classifying by size to be more useful.

So there is probably no objective measure of convenience, it changes based on the classifier and context. In science we restrict how useful species and races are to biology, ecology etc. I point out that human races are not convenient in this context and most biologists agree.

Quote:Now, your initial point is that our correlated characters imperfectly index true pedigree, just as say color board-measured color imperfectly indexes true color. This is no doubt true, and I note this point in no less than 3 sections (e.g., p. 43, p. 95-97, p. 134). From here, from the point that our correlated character based classifications are not perfectly reliable with respect to true ancestry, you seem to deduce that they are artificial. If you do, you confuse conceptual dichotomies: measure versus latent variable and artificial versus natural classifications. An artificial classification purports to arrange individuals by specific character resemblances e.g., color, a natural one by (genealogical) affinity. Due to almost inevitable non-zero measurement error actual classifications imperfectly correspond with intended (latent) ones. This is a non-interesting point.

I argue all classifications are artificial, but I see what you are saying. It could be re-phrased that because we cannot "perfectly index" - the accuracy or reliability is open to dispute, so to quote again Sokal:

"Is there an asymptotic similarity among organisms that is approached as more and more characters are measured, or will each additional set of characters contribute a new dimension to similarity, making the taxonomic structure of a group inherently unstable?"

Note though that "perfectly indexing" straight away resolves this issue.

Quote:I say "you seem to" because I am not 100% sure about your argument. You continue for example:

" Likewise, the list of differences could be infinite… any two entities can be arbitrarily similar or dissimilar by changing the criterion of what counts as a relevant attribute." (Murphy and Medin, 1985)"

This statement seems to suggest a different argument. The problem here is not that our measure is imperfect, per se, but that a system based on "overall similarity in characters" can produce inherently discordant classifications, because, after all, you could weight or define characters differently. If this is the real critique you missed the point. The classification is not based on "overall similarity in characters" in a phenetic sense, but rather is based on propinquity of descent.

Yes I get that, because ''propinquity of descent'' is an imposed constraint on the similarity. It limits the classification to genetics. To use the alien example from Mars, an alien landing on Earth might not think to classify us by this method or criteria. Now what? My point is that any constraint imposed on measuring similarity is itself arbitrary -

"Medin et al. (1993) point out that this does not actually resolve the arbitrariness or bias problem since in what respects A is similar to B: “varies with the stimulus context and task, so that there is no unique answer, to the question of how similar is one object to another"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_duckling_theorem

Quote:Here again you conflate issues. I can show that classifications highly reliably arrange individuals by propinquity of descent and thus are natural in the Darwinian sense. I can't show that this arranging is the only or "True" way of arranging things -- because it isn't and I nor anyone else is claiming that it is.

Then what you are showing is not "natural", but artificial and arbitrary. I don't know why you cannot see this. There is nothing "natural" or "real" about your race concept/classification.
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(2015-Jul-05, 04:23:23)Chuck Wrote: "Mongoloids, Caucasoid etc" was never a traditional definition of race, rather these were major human continental level classifications. Race concepts often extended down to include micro, minor, regional, local, etc. divisions of species. So, as far as I can see, there is no re-definition. But if you think that the traditional race concept -- what time period did you have in mind, by the way? -- only characterized major human continental level divisions, maybe you could provide refs.

But I would agree that there is a semantic issue. I can't imagine that any biologists would argue that races -- as I understand them -- do not exist (in my commonsense sense of exist) or that the general race concept -- as I define it -- is meaningless or useless. Instead, some seem to argue that e.g., human races in the sense of taxa subspecies do not or that the race concept in the sense of "genetically homogeneous populations" is useless (since these don't exist). Do you disagree?


Ok, then why was Alpine/Mediterranean/Nordic only added to Caucasoid/Caucasian race in about 1900 (W. Ripley)? That tripartite subrace classification is not in Linnaeus and Blumenbach etc, centuries earlier. All or most of the subraces and microraces or whatever came in after 1900. But even if what you are saying is true, as I showed: these races were originally thought as having major differences between them rather than showing trivial intergroup variation (in terms of averages).
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(2015-Jul-08, 00:28:49)Krom Wrote: Then what you are showing is not "natural", but artificial and arbitrary. I don't know why you cannot see this. There is nothing "natural" or "real" about your race concept/classification.


This now seems to boil down to a semantic disagreement.

We both agree that we can't determine which systems of classifications are natural in the deep ontological sense of cutting being-in-itself by its joints -- since we can't determine what reality-in-itself is like. I don't, though, see this as a problem for "race naturalism" since "race naturalism" was never tied to this deep ontic sort of "naturalism". Consider that Kant was both the founder of transcendental idealism and the most prominent philosopher to develop and defend the race concept. Despite his transcendental idealism, which precluded any sort of "naturalistic" claims in the sense you mean, he yet clearly identified race as being a part of a natural historian's natural system:

Quote:A scholastic division is based upon classes and divides things up according to similarities, but a natural division is based on identifying lines of descent that classify the animals according to reproductive relationships. The first of these procures a scholastic system for memory; the second, a natural system for the understanding. (Of the Different Human Races)

My point here is that I am not committed by the concept's genealogy to defend Krom-like race-naturalism -- and, moreover, that the concept's genealogy does justify my identifying races with natural divisions in some Kantian/Darwinian-like sense.

Would you at least agree that this latter sense has currency in biology? Dobzhansky summarized the idea nicely -- and even employed the book analogy which you used. In case that it helps, I attached excerpts from his "Evolution Genetics and Mankind", which is available at https://archive.org/

Think the matter over and then let me know if you agree that races, as I define them, form natural divisions in the above sense -- and if this sense has currency. If you agree, you can't then accuse me of sophism. You can only disagree with my term use, while acknowledging that it has some legitimacy. I will in turn grant that (intraspecific) races, as I understand them, are not Krom-natural. I will just continue to assert that they generally were not thought of as being so.

I await your reply.


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(2015-Jul-08, 01:07:59)Krom Wrote: But even if what you are saying is true, as I showed: these races were originally thought as having major differences between them rather than showing trivial intergroup variation (in terms of averages).


Did you not like my discussion in Box 3.1?

Quote:...These subspecies and races as constant varieties were originally understood in contrast to the species realists' species. They were seen as superficial cuts of biological variation as compared to the realists' species, which, conceived as independent creations, were thought to sever biological nature at its joints. A collection of early definitions are listed below...

As for the other stuff. So, for example:

Buffon (1749): "Those of Formosa, and the Mariana islands, resemble each other in size, vigour, and features, and seem to form a race distinct from that of every other people around them…In Ceylon there is a species of savages, who are called Bedas; they occupy a small district on the north part of the island, and seem to be of a peculiar race…in the island of Mindoro, which is not far from Manilla, there is a race of men called Manghians, who have all tails of [four to five inches], and some of these men had even embraced the Catholic faith."

Blumenbach (1795): "Some races of Ethiopians are found with long hair: other copper-coloured nations again with curly hair"; “nations preserve their peculiar stature when they mingle least with the immigrants and strangers of other races.”
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Dobzhansky extended ''race'' to the deme/local breeding population: tribes, clans, villages, etc., and that was his focus (for example his work rarely mentioned "Negroids", or large continental groups). I'm now aware though he defended some hierarchal clustering, but the confusion about his race concept is probably because he changed it:

"Dobzhansky’s definitions of race changed over this time from races as ‘arrays of forms’ or ‘clusters’ in 1933–1939, to races as genetically distinct geographical populations in 1940–1946, to races as genetically distinct ‘Mendelian populations’ in 1947–1955." (Gannett, 2013)

Quote:Think the matter over and then let me know if you agree that races, as I define them, form natural divisions in the above sense -- and if this sense has currency. If you agree, you can't then accuse me of sophism.

Very few (if any) modern biologists will find a human race concept based on genealogy to be useful because of the gene flow between populations:

[Image: cluster.png]
- Marks, 2010

+

"Larger units than the deme lack cohesion or time depth. Their evolutionary meaning is consequently not obvious." (Ibid.)

Also, Marks explains why biologists recognise the utility of local populations/demes, but not races: "higher-order classifications of human populations are largely ephemeral" (1995: 115).
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(2015-Jul-08, 23:42:19)Krom Wrote: Dobzhansky extended ''race'' to the deme/local breeding population: tribes, clans, villages, etc.,)


My definition is consistent with the idea that certain "tribes, clans, villages, etc." are races. And this is consistent with other population genetic definitions, such as the one offered by Hartle and Clark (1997):

Quote:In population genetics, a race is a group of organisms in a species that are genetically more similar to each other than they are to the members of other such groups. Populations that have undergone some degree of genetic differentiation as measured by, for example, Fst, therefore qualify as races. sing this definition, the human population contains many races. Each Yanomama village represents, in a certain sense, a separate "race," and the Yanomama as a whole also form a distinct "race " Such fine distinctions are rarely useful, however. It is usually more convenient to group populations into larger units that still qualify as races in the definition given. These larger units often coincide with races based on physical characteristics such as skin color, hair color, hair texture, facial features, and body conformation." https://archive.org/stream/Population1/6...s_djvu.txt

I agree that this understanding applies the race concept to divisions which were often not considered to be races. I discussed this issue in my paper:

Quote:It became clear in the 20th century that one could differentiate populations all the way down to the local level. Given this situation, one could define “the” race concept such to include all intraspecific natural divisions (for example: Hartl and Clark, 1997) or to include only those that differ “enough” (where “enough” denotes some arbitrarily chosen level of differentiation). Or one could, as we sensibly do, simply distinguish between the general concept and narrow ones – and recognize the narrowness of concepts of race which exclude less differentiated divisions. Our argument for why the “general concept” should be more inclusive would run along the lines of Hochman‟s (2013) argument for why there is no reason that “race” should describe a specific level of genetic analysis. We just draw a very different conclusion: it is (general) races all the way down – not no races at all.

But why is our argument sound? It is because, as said, there was never a claim the races described one “right” level of analysis. It has always generally been accepted that “race” described multiple nested levels. There has just been disagreement about how far down the concept extends. Hochman-like arguments work from the premise that there is no non-arbitrary reason for picking a specific level; this only works against race, in general, if race was originally understood to imply one “right” level; otherwise, it works for Dobzhansky‟s (1946) and our point – that the general concept should apply to all levels. Instead of ruling out races, it proliferates them!

I would not say that this constitutes a re-conceptualization of the race concept so much as a re-understanding of races. Whatever the case, it is a logical extension.

That said, you might be right that Dobzhansky's definition represents a fundamental re-understanding. This would be the case if he considered e.g., social classes to be races, since while these might be Mendelian populations which differ on average, they are not necessarily, and most often are not, genealogical or lineage based divisions. Consider Gannett's discussion in relation to one of Dobzhansky's statements:

"But the species population is split up into a complex series of subordinate populations or isolates. These populations are the geographically isolated races, and socially isolated local or religious communities, linguistic groups, economic classes, etc. Even though these subpopulations may have indistinct boundaries and may not be easy to delimit, they are nevertheless the fundamental biological entities which the anthropologist must study."

Regarding this passage, she notes, "Note that Dobzhansky referred only to geographically isolated populations as races, otherwise using ‘communities’ and ‘groups’. And yet, on his definition of race, any genetically distinct Mendelian population counts as a race."

She apparently considers Dobzhansky's races as "genetically distinct Mendelian populations" to include "socially isolated local or religious communities, linguistic groups, economic classes". To me this makes little sense in relation to his other discussions, some cited above. But perhaps he meant this. I have read many of his papers and have found nothing which clearly indicates that this is what he meant and much which suggests otherwise, including this passage where he conceptually separates races and economic groups. To determine the issue, I will have to read through his letters, since what he wrote in his papers is not clear. (I had to do the same for Darwin.) I signed up for an account at APS library, would you be interested in helping me look through the communications, if I am approved?

If it turns out that Dobzhansky considered e.g., somewhat assortatively mating economic groups, religious groups, etc. to be races, then I certainly would agree that he fundamentally redefined the concept, one which originally defined groups in terms of, and arranged individuals into groups by, genealogy and lineage. Now, to be clear, by such a hypothetical concept of race, natural divisions races would be these -- or at least would overlap with these; they would, when endogenous, be ones which were sufficiently linebred.

You say, though, that Dobzhansky "rarely mentioned "Negroids", or large continental groups". This is clearly false. For example, I attached excerpts from "Genetics of the Evolutionary Process". There is nothing unusual about this discussion. I am not going to go through all of his papers and books to count the many times he discussed "large continental groups", though, just to prove to you otherwise. The question is not how far up he extended his races, a cursory reading will tell you this, but how outbred he allowed them to be.

Moving on, regarding the topic of natural divisions, you state, "Very few (if any) modern biologists will find a human race concept based on genealogy to be useful because of the gene flow between populations". Why do you avoid answering my question? Is my usage of "biological natural divisions/classification" legitimate or not?

As for your claim, though, it is complete rubbish. Firstly, my "race concept based on genealogy" is not a "human race concept", it's a pan species one. Secondly, as far as I can tell, this concept picks out the same types of things that "retrospective genetic populations", "genetic clusters", "bio-geographic ancestry groups", etc. do, entities on which there is a tremendous amount of research, and which are recognized by many as being races:

"The difficulty with biological projects of subdividing our species is that they appear to introduce a conceptual framework that can easily revive unjust and damaging social practices. Although contemporary research may speak of “clusters” rather than “races,” it is relatively easy to foresee that the old, loaded word will often substitute for the aseptic scientific terminology. (Kitcher, 2007)"

"It appears that many scientists do not even believe this distinction makes a difference; they have concocted a thinly disguised euphemism for race they hope will not stir up as much controversy. Geographic ancestry has not replaced race -- it has modernized it." (Roberts, 2011)

"Race thinking in science is still with us today, despite a few brief retreats as recently as the year 2000. Increasingly, the use of race in certain geneticists’ circles can be seen as acceptable on several registers. Scientists who organize studies by race, even if they prefer the euphemism “continental genetic ancestry,” now hope to include racial minorities in projects with social justice and real capital effects." (Fullwiley, 2014)

"Thus, though the “population” concept is touted as an advancement in freeing genomics from racial bias, it is merely a terminological mask for “race” in genomics...The language employed to talk about “race” without talking about it overtly then takes the form of racial euphemisms like “population." (Williams, 2015)

If Marks thinks that research on what I call "race" is worthless, then he needs to explain why so much is being done. If the claim is simply that "race" is not a useful or politically correct term but that the divisions I call "races" are useful, then we are dealing again with sematics. And the issue reduces to irrelevance because I only claim that these types of divisions have a strong claim to the name "race", not that they must be called "races". And I clearly draw a distinction between the term "race" and concept "race".

Do you agree that the entities often called "populations", "clusters", "biogeographic ancestry groups" can, based on historic term usage and insofar as they actually cut out what I call races, legitimately be called "races"?

Fourthly, as I have shown a large chunk of biologists and anthropologists around the world agree that race concepts as they understand them are useful. Now, you counter that by "race" they often mean "population"; but for such an argument to work you would have to show that by "populations" they do not just mean "races" (in the sense of my meaning). The matter is, at best for your position, undetermined.

It seems as if you are out of arguments.


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(2015-Jul-08, 23:42:19)Krom Wrote: Very few (if any) modern biologists will find a human race concept based on genealogy to be useful because of the gene flow between populations..Quote:

Marks (2010): "Consequently, the more accurate mode of representing is not as a tree, but at a trellis.."


I should note that either you are Marks are confusing issues. One can have genealogy-based divisions while also having extensive reticulation. I discussed this point in numerous sections and I pointed out how the identification of races with strict-branch-like divisions or deep clades -- the type of entities that are inconsistent with reticulation -- makes no sense. Consider that Buffon and Duchesne, who imported the race concept into natural history and botany, were the first to discuss genealogical networks -- and they located races in these. Either Marks is conflating genealogy-based divisions with strict-branch-like ones or he is sophistically equating "race" with the latter.
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(2015-Jul-09, 07:34:26)Chuck Wrote: My definition is consistent with the idea that certain "tribes, clans, villages, etc." are races. And this is consistent with other population genetic definitions, such as the one offered by Hartle and Clark (1997):


Not sure how that helps, the population genetics view on race is post-typology when race was re-defined. Dobzhansky in 1950 organized the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, "Origin and Evolution of Man". It was here that population geneticists and biologists first chose to redefine race, and invent a "new kind of race biology". The concluding remarks of the symposium chairman:

"This is most certainly just the beginning of a new kind of race biology which will be fun for all concerned." - Sheldon C. Reed

The traditional race concept was discredited, but instead of abandoning it, some scientists tried to salvage the word "race" and apply it to a new theory of race. Montagu at the symposium disagreed and argued we should not re-adapt the term to something it never originally meant.

Quote:But why is our argument sound? It is because, as said, there was never a claim the races described one “right” level of analysis. It has always generally been accepted that “race” described multiple nested levels.

It never did. This is a modern redefinition. Show where Linnaeus for example defined a village as a "race" as you are now doing...

Anyway:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_race_concepts

"François Bernier (1625–1688) is believed to have developed the first comprehensive classification of humans into distinct races which was published in a French journal article in 1684, Nouvelle division de la terre par les différentes espèces ou races l'habitant, New division of Earth by the different species or races which inhabit it. (Gossett, 1997:32-33). Bernier advocated using the “four quarters” of the globe as the basis for providing labels for human differences. The four subgroups that Bernier used were Europeans, Far Easterners, Negroes (blacks), and Lapps."

"Among the 19th century naturalists who defined the field were Georges Cuvier, James Cowles Pritchard, Louis Agassiz, Charles Pickering (Races of Man and Their Geographical Distribution, 1848). Cuvier enumerated three races, Pritchard seven, Agassiz twelve, and Pickering eleven."

None of these 17th-19th century scientists I could find proposed there were millions of races, only about 3 - 20 (i.e. large groupings).

Quote:You say, though, that Dobzhansky "rarely mentioned "Negroids", or large continental groups". This is clearly false. For example, I attached excerpts from "Genetics of the Evolutionary Process". There is nothing unusual about this discussion. I am not going to go through all of his papers and books to count the many times he discussed "large continental groups", though, just to prove to you otherwise. The question is not how far up he extended his races, a cursory reading will tell you this, but how outbred he allowed them to be.

Dobzhansky rarely touched upon "Negroids", "Caucasoids" etc. He also gave a very negative book review for Coon's The Origin of Races and criticised him for his crude racial terminology and racism etc. Regarding the other Dobzhansky stuff, no it doesn't interest me. All of it is outdated and not worth time going through.

Quote:Moving on, regarding the topic of natural divisions, you state, "Very few (if any) modern biologists will find a human race concept based on genealogy to be useful because of the gene flow between populations". Why do you avoid answering my question? Is my usage of "biological natural divisions/classification" legitimate or not?

As for your claim, though, it is complete rubbish. Firstly, my "race concept based on genealogy" is not a "human race concept", it's a pan species one. Secondly, as far as I can tell, this concept picks out the same types of things that "retrospective genetic populations", "genetic clusters", "bio-geographic ancestry groups", etc. do, entities on which there is a tremendous amount of research, and which are recognized by many as being races:

A deme or breeding population is not a formal classification, but a unit of study. This is what you overlooked. So for example we can say a Swede on average is genetically distinct to an Eskimo, but only in regards to the Eskimo. According to Garn (1971) there are hundreds of thousands to millions of "microraces" [= demes in Garn's terminology]. It is not possible to draw this sort of classification, nor would it be needed because we are not dealing with a taxonomy. So my answer is "retrospective genetic populations", "genetic clusters", "bio-geographic ancestry groups", has nothing to do with race and the issue of nested hierarchy aside, I don't see your "biological natural divisions/classification" legitimate because it is a formal classification.

Quote:"If Marks thinks that research on what I call "race" is worthless, then he needs to explain why so much is being done."

If the claim is simply that "race" is not a useful or politically correct term but that the divisions I call "races" are useful, then we are dealing again with sematics. And the issue reduces to irrelevance because I only claim that these types of divisions have a strong claim to the name "race", not that they must be called "races". And I clearly draw a distinction between the term "race" and concept "race".

Do you agree that the entities often called "populations", "clusters", "biogeographic ancestry groups" can, based on historic term usage and insofar as they actually cut out what I call races, legitimately be called "races"?

Fourthly, as I have shown a large chunk of biologists and anthropologists around the world agree that race concepts as they understand them are useful. Now, you counter that by "race" they often mean "population"; but for such an argument to work you would have to show that by "populations" they do not just mean "races" (in the sense of my meaning). The matter is, at best for your position, undetermined.

It seems as if you are out of arguments.

Yes, scientists in the 21st century are really pigeon-holing people into "Negroid" or "Caucasoid". That was sarcasm by the way.

I don't see "so much is being done", when the traditional race concept is virtually dead. This covers all the other points.

Your main problem is that you don't seem to want to touch the traditional races with a bargepole, probably because you know it is toxic pseudo-science. You've reduced a "race" to a village of people. As Hochman says:

"The problem with weak versions of racial naturalism is that they do not contrast with anti-realism about biological race. When race naturalists weaken their position they end up agreeing with their opponents about human biology, and defending a trivialised definition of race."

You are defending a trivial definition of race. And no I don't have a problem with that, nor does anyone. Appiah and Zack two labelled "race denier Marxists" by people like J. P. Rushton & Richard Lynn, have no problem with recognising the utility of the Amish as a race in a specific study, or your villagers.
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