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[OBG] Nature of Race Full

I'm finishing this dispute, but here is my summary of what I call elsewhere (following Hochman) "weak racial population naturalism":

Quote:What racialists argue

Modern racialists reject the standard taxonomic definition of race as a "geographically circumscribed, sharply [genetic] differentiated population".[6] This is because by such a definition, no human races (subspecies) exist. Rather than accept this reality, racialists invent new race concepts. A typical example is John Fuerst, who has published a recent work in a pseudojournal called The Nature of Race (2015). Fuerst invents a new biological theory about race, and re-defines race to mean something it never originally meant.

Glasgow (2003) cautions:


“”Thus, while some minimal revision to the meaning of 'race' (as for all definitions, of course) is allowable in the search for biological backing for race, we must stay fairly close to the vest, or we risk not talking about race at all.


The main problem is that new concepts of race used by racialists are watered down to the extent they are trivialised:


“”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.[7]


Hochman (2013) rejects these new concepts and re-definitions on the grounds "the criteria applied to humans are not consistent with those used to define subspecies in nonhuman animals, and no rationale has been given for this differential treatment".[8] (emphasis added)

Another problem with re-defining race is: "To avoid making 'race' the equivalent of a local population, minimal thresholds of differentiation are imposed".[9] Modern racialists however argue there is no threshold which runs into the problem of any population being a race: "There are undoubtedly no two genetically identical populations in the world; this has nothing to do directly with the validity of race as a taxonomic device. Unless we have defined exactly what we mean by this… differences between populations are population differences, nothing more."[10] Another objection here is a "mismatch argument", where local populations not ordinarily conceived as races such as the Amish, become races: "a mismatch occurs between the concept and its typical referent. Thus, the concept of race must be eliminated due to its logical incoherence (Mallon, 2006)."[11]

Most modern racialists redefine race as a "genetic cluster" by continent which captures minor variation (<10%) between groups of populations. Molecular anthropologists such as Jonathan Marks are confused by this re-definition because it is so far removed from standard taxonomy and the traditional meaning of race:


“”What is unclear is what this has to do with 'race' as that term has been used through much in the twentieth century - the mere fact that we can find groups to be different and can reliably allot people to them is trivial. Again, the point of the theory of race was to discover large clusters of people that are principally homogeneous within and heterogeneous between, contrasting groups.[12]


The geographical pattern to human interpopulation variation, matches an almost continuous gradient/isolation-by-distance model[13][14][15] as little as 1.53% of this variation is unexplained by geographic distance, and can be captured by clustering.[16][17] However much of this discontinuity is found within continents, not between them.[18] Human genetic clustering does not lend support to racialism.[/b]
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism
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(2015-Sep-12, 00:04:04)Krom Wrote: I'm finishing this dispute, but here is my summary of what I call elsewhere (following Hochman) "weak racial population naturalism":


The fact that I was able to respond to all of your numerous critiques and questions (some 20+ pages of them) while you were unable to return the favor testifies either to the coherence of my defense or the incoherence of your critique or both. But you add more, so let me address that briefly.

If Glasgow (2003) is right that we must stay fairly near to the original meaning, then your supposed "standard taxonomic definition" can be ruled out as a general concept. Also, if he is right, then Hochman's (2013) "strong races" can also be. Historically, intraspecific race just described (genealogically understood) contant varieties, the differences between which could be fairly trivial. More generally, race described lineage, specific or intraspecific. For example, naturalist Georg Forster noted in 1786:

Quote:We have borrowed <the term> [race] from the French; it seems very closely related to <the words> racine and radix and signifies descent in general, though in an indeterminate way. For one talks in French of the race of Caesar <in> the same <way> as of the races of horses and dogs, irrespective of the first origin, but, nevertheless, as it seems, always with tacit subordination under the concept of a species... <The word> should mean nothing more than a mass of men whose common formation is distinctive and sufficiently at variance with their neighbors <such that they> could not be immediately derived from them
.

This sounds quite akin to what Hochman would term a "weak concept" and yet this is how race was frequently understood. By this same 'historical consistency criterion' (HCC), we can rule out Hochman's equation of races with taxa subspecies. For one, the race concept preceded the taxa subspecies. For another, nested races were always recognized and yet nested taxa (in the sense of a division and a subdivision of that) can not be assigned to one and the same taxonomic rank. Thus not all races could be assigned to the subspecies category; thus race can not be equated with taxa subspecies unless we wish to disallow nested races.The HCC likewise works against general concepts of race as "large clusters of people that are principally homogeneous within and heterogeneous between" since this is not how races as such were conceptualized either in the 18th, 19th, or 2Oth century. This is not to say that races which represented large clusters of people were not recognized; it is to say that race was used also to describe smaller groups. A quick Ngram search for "microgeographic" and "local" race verifies this point. As shown previous, the HCC rules out all race concepts which require discontinuities and high levels of homogeneity.

Now the HHC might rule against Dobzhansky's broad construction of his Mendelian population concept. But, if so, one can easily salvage the idea or something similar to it by simply only recognizing as races visibly different populations. To set the bounds for which populations should be recognized, one would just look at which were from the mid 1700s to the early 20th century. A quick look at the literature shows that local and even tribal races were frequently discussed, both of which fall fairly far down the scale of differentiation. In short, not much would be lost by restricting the race concept to populations which exhibited differences of magnitudes similar to those that existed between those populations which were frequently called races prior to the 20th century. Likewise the HCC might rule against my natural divisions concept insofar as it claims to be a very general one -- as race was indeed used in an even more expansive and less precise sense e.g., "forms which propagated themselves". But here again there is an easy remedy. Whereas, one can readily constrict Dobzhansky's broad concept to bring it in line with pre-20th century use, one can easily expand mine, just subsuming it under an even more expansive notion of biological race. In my paper I note that this is possible.

My concept works because it corresponds with an actual historical concept which was frequently employed by major players in anthropology and biology and because it happens to more or less correspond with some widely used contemporaneous concepts e.g., "biogeographic ancestry groups", ones which many people recognize as being very race-like. It also works because I adopt pluralism. My concept doesn't preclude others. It either treats them as narrow definitions or as different renderings. On the other hand, the critiques above fail because they cherry pick narrow definitions of race, when not just specific applications of these definitions, and claim that race "really" meant only this, when it is easy, with archives just a few mouse clicks away, to demonstrate otherwise, as I have done across the last 20 to 30 pages of discussion.
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Race is a superficial construct. There are too many ethnicities to categorize the entire human population into mongoloid, caucasian, negroid and other flawed racialist terms. There are too many differences between a Dutch and a Polish individual as there are between English and an Italian individuals for them to be all categorized as caucasian.
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(2016-Jan-21, 02:57:26)General-Factor analyst Wrote: There are too many ethnicities to categorize the entire human population into mongoloid, caucasian, negroid and other flawed racialist terms. There are too many differences between a Dutch and a Polish individual as there are between English and an Italian individuals for them to be all categorized as caucasian.


Might you clarify the argument? Are you contending that one can not carve out natural (i.e., genealogical-based) human divisions? Or that such would not constitute "races" in the Buffonian or Darwinian sense? Or that such would not correspond with traditional macro-delineations such as "Negroid","Caucasoid" and "Mongoloid"?

Quote:Race is a superficial construct.

In what way is the construct qua construct superficial? Do you think that the principle races of Struthio camelus are superficially different?
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The article's title has been changed, upon author's request to: "The Nature of Race: the Genealogy of the Concept and the Biological Construct’s Contemporaneous Utility".

This change was due to the paper not showing up on Google Scholar, possibly due to other drafts with the same name being indexed.
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Human races are like different colored cats. Despite the difference in visible phenotypes, they are all still cats. Any label to categorize them by color class is superficial.
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(2016-Jan-23, 21:07:04)General-Factor analyst Wrote: Human races are like different colored cats. Despite the difference in visible phenotypes, they are all still cats. Any label to categorize them by color class is superficial.


Different colored cats -- of the same species -- could be either morphs (defined in terms of single or complexes of phenotypic differences) or breeds (i.e., domestic races), which are defined in terms of lineage. An example of a complex (di)morphs is male / female. I don't see why you would consider that categorization to be superficial.
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The categorization is superficial because there is no use of it. Pets are categorized as breeds because customers sometimes prefer one breed over another.
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It is not that people have denied racial differences (they are differences in every individual) but rejected the scientific categorization of racial differences in intelligence capacity simply due to racial differences in socioeconomic and culture factors. It's like comparing apples to oranges.

And applying science to race has no benefit because it's not like gender which will exist forever. Races will eventually intermix and cease to exist as a concept sometime in the distant future.
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(2016-Feb-11, 02:33:20)General-Factor analyst Wrote: The categorization is superficial because there is no use of it


The concept/construct which I call "race" is more or less equivalent to the concept/construct which population geneticists call "biogeographic ancestry" group. If there is no use for this, why is it so frequently employed in population genetics and why can I find hundreds of recent admixture mapping studies which examine the association between ancestry with respect to major "biogeographic" groups and medical related outcomes?

Quote:Races will eventually intermix and cease to exist as a concept sometime in the distant future.

In the unlikely event of perfect human panmixia, how would the concept/construct per se cease to exist? The concept/construct allows one to express the proposition that "there are presently no human races"; if it, as an epistemic class, ceased to exist, the proposition would be rendered meaningless, equivalent to ""there are presently no agfhddsf", no?

Do you mean, instead: "In the future there will be no distinguishable human biogeographic ancestry groups"? In my assessment, synthetic biology will allow for accelerated divergence and interstellar travel will impose substantial reproductive barriers, so I expect, in the long run, speciation. Do you disagree? If so, why?

Note that I have made all of these points in my paper. Maybe try reading it and after formulating a critique.
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