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Old 01-18-2005, 11:23 AM   #31
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Is that a conclusion that we shouldn't look, or is that the conclusion of scientific research?

I am not suggesting that I disagree with your statement. But it appears that we are touching on an area of research that may be unacceptable to conduct.

my understanding is that it is the conclusion of scientific research in genetics. can't reference an article for you at work, but i believe i have it in a book somewhere at home.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:41 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



my understanding is that it is the conclusion of scientific research in genetics. can't reference an article for you at work, but i believe i have it in a book somewhere at home.
Would find it hard to believe geneticists would conclude anything.

What was that fascinating book a year ago about a little boy who was raised as a girl (or v/v, can't remember), but who rebelled against his/her social programming? It was a true story. Have to check that one....
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:51 PM   #33
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Originally posted by nathan1977


Would find it hard to believe geneticists would conclude anything.


i'm fairly certain that there is no "race gene" -- but i'll look it up when i get home.

and i think the lesson stands -- the genetic difference between two white Americans is no more or no less than the genetic difference between a black and a white American.
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Old 01-18-2005, 01:38 PM   #34
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You're probably right considering the genes that code for outer appearance traits make up a small percentage of the genome as a whole.
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Old 01-18-2005, 01:39 PM   #35
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Originally posted by drhark
You're probably right considering the genes that code for outer appearance traits make up a small percentage of the genome as a whole.

thus underscoring the scientific rejection of any notions that certain races have certain "traits."
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:50 PM   #36
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I have read that racial characteristics are, genomically speaking, so insignificant that on a DNA level, every single human being is more than 99% identical.
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:56 PM   #37
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
human being is more than 99% identical.

uh, ok
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:50 PM   #38
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hmmmmm ... can't seem to find the book that i was talking about earlier -- stupid move, misplaced lots of things.

anyway -- race and gender, is it innate?

i do feel confident in asserting, at least among academics, that "race" is a socially constructed concept. the meaning of "race" has evolved over centuries. racism itself developed as a set of ideologies and pseudo-scientific doctrines after the Renaissance, especially with the industrialization of Europe and the process of colonization. racism became universal. non-European peoples were seen as inferior, and material ripe for exploitation. non-wetsern cultures are still seen as obstacles to development, and the idea that there is even race to begin (and then the century's old justification for one race as being better than the other) has done a wonderful job maintaining colonialist attitudes and exploits, despite the fact that there is no biologically valid difference between the genetic make-up of different "races." racial identities are constituted by power relations, and western representations of race have created ethnic identities not through any actual difference but through novels, theater, painting, films, television, music and photography. essentailly, race is a "social imaginary" which divides various cultrual groups into "imagined communities" by bonmding them together in media narrations created, usually, by the dominant (white) culture.

gender -- we need to contrast this with "sex," in order to understand the difference between social consturction and biological determination. feminist thought posits that society not only influences personality and behavior, but also the ways in which the body appears. if the body is seen through social interpretation, then sex is not something seperate from gender, but is only an artifice under it. feminism itself is still debating the biological male/female difference, and some deliberately blur the distinction.

how? postmodernity, of course! gender and race do not have a fixed meaning. individuals are composites of subjective elements. no one is naturally male or female. femininity and masculinity are socially constructed, and po-mo feminists do not concern themselves with finding an "authentic" female, but in showing that social construction of gender involves power relations.

so there's some theory for thought. sorry i can't find the science part, but like i said, i feel pretty confident.
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:00 AM   #39
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and your conclusions, gentlemen?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:08 AM   #40
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editorials

http://www.boston.com/news/education..._gender_block/

http://www.boston.com/news/education...ortured_logic/
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:05 PM   #41
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Originally posted by Jamila
and your conclusions, gentlemen?

Inquiring minds want to know.
No conclusions, but lots of questions. This professor shouldn't have been slammed for asking questions
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:35 PM   #42
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Math class is hard!

Everyone's favorite former Treasury Secretary turned university president gets in trouble again:

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Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers triggered a national media frenzy when he suggested at an economics conference last Friday that the scarcity of female scientists at elite universities may stem from “innate” differences between the sexes, although two Harvard professors who heard the speech said his remarks have been taken out of context.
MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins ’64 said she felt physically ill while listening to Summers’ speech at a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) luncheon on Friday, and left the conference room half-way through the president’s remarks.

“For him to say that ‘aptitude’ is the second most important reason that women don’t get to the top when he leads an institution that is 50 percent women students—that’s profoundly disturbing to me,” Hopkins said in an interview Monday. “He shouldn’t admit women to Harvard if he’s going to announce when they come that, hey, we don’t feel that you can make it to the top.”

But Lee Professor of Economics Claudia Goldin, whose own research has examined the progress of women in academia and professional life, said she “was pretty flummoxed” by the negative response to Summers’ speech, which—in her view—displayed “utter brilliance.”

“Somehow Larry knew exactly where he wanted to go, and every word was just very well chosen,” Goldin said in an interview Monday. “He gave a talk that from beginning to end was a beautifully linear set of thoughts.”

Goldin and Ascherman Professor of Economics Richard Freeman both said that after Summers speculated that “innate differences” might explain the underrepresentation of females on elite faculties, he explicitly told the audience: “I’d like to be proven wrong on this one.”

Summers spoke from a set of notes—not a prepared text—so a transcript is unavailable. Summers said in an interview on Monday that his speech was a “purely academic exploration of hypotheses.”

His speech comes against the backdrop of widespread faculty criticism following reports that women received only four of the 32 tenure offers from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) last year.

The FAS Standing Committee on Women responded yesterday with a letter to the president charging that his remarks “send at best mixed signals to our high-achieving women students.”

“[T]hey serve to reinforce the institutional culture at Harvard that erects numerous barriers to improving the representation of women on the faculty, and to impede our efforts to recruit top women scholars,” reads the letter from the 19-member panel chaired by Kenan Professor of English Marjorie Garber.

Summers wrote back to the committee within hours, admitting that “I misjudged the impact of my role as a conference participant.”

“I had hoped to stimulate research on many interrelated factors that bear on women’s careers in science,” Summers wrote yesterday. He also reiterated his pledge to push hard for increased recruitment of female faculty members.

THE HYPOTHESIS

Early in his talk Friday, Summers noted that many women with young children are unwilling or unable to put in the 80-hour workweek needed to attain tenure status on elite faculties.

“I said that raised a whole set of questions about how job expectations were defined and how family responsibilities were defined,” recalled Summers in an interview Monday. “But I said it didn’t explain the differences [in the representation of females] between the sciences and mathematics and other fields.”

Goldin, who prepared a memo that Summers cited in his speech Friday, said the president “had mountains of research” on the subject, although he spoke extemporaneously.

Summers referred repeatedly to the work of University of Michigan sociologist Yu Xie and his University of California-Davis colleague Kimberlee A. Shauman, whose analysis of achievement test results shows a higher degree of variance in scores among men than among women. While males and females posted similar average scores, males were more likely to fall at the higher and lower ends of the distribution. (Please see related article, page 1.)

Summers suggested that behavioral genetics could partially explain this phenomenon. He stressed that this hypothesis required further research, and he hoped it would turn out to be incorrect. But by that point Hopkins, who last year was inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, had left the conference room. She said she was concerned that it would be “rude” to get up midway through Summers’ speech, but “it was just too upsetting” for her to stay.

FULL COURT PRESS

Freeman said that he invited Summers to the NBER event “to come and be provocative.”

“We didn’t invite Larry as a Harvard president per se,” Freeman said. “I think if we had invited him as Harvard president, he would have given us the same type of babble that university presidents give. And thank God we have a president who doesn’t say that.”

Freeman said that Hopkins’ decision to take her concerns to the press was “very bizarre in my view.” Summers said he had not expected that the comments would be published.

“If I disagree with you, I should tell you why I disagree with you and what the evidence for my point is,” Freeman said.

Hopkins said she mentioned the Summers speech in an e-mail exchange relating to another matter with Boston Globe reporter Marcella Bombardieri on Friday—but that she did not intend for her sentiments to spark the media circus that is now underway. By late last night, Summers’ comments had been reported by hundreds of newspapers from Britain to Beijing.

Hopkins dismissed the idea that Summers’ remarks were meant to be kept private among conference attendees: “The notion that Larry Summers’ position should be kept a secret on issues like this—that’s just wrong.”

Summers said that universities must address discrimination head-on, but that academics must also engage in “careful, honest and rigorous research” to understand the factors fueling the underrepresentation of females. “My speculations were intended to contribute to that process,” he said.
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:11 PM   #43
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the "lack of conclusions" on this issue by our male counterparts, for me, says as much as if they had actually stated a viewpoint on this issue.
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Old 01-20-2005, 01:15 AM   #44
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Race exists in this world, it would be wrong to suggest that there are absolutely no differences between a negro and a caucasian, I would venture that there are a good many differences for better or worse in each that while minor when considering the simmilarities are differences nontheless. I think that the push to ignore the taxanomic value of race is driven by political correctness and politics. Races do exist in this world however much they can be blurred in many parts of the world and in the final analysis these slight differences in appearance and some other functions have no effect on individual worth or potential. When tracing the origins of man is it not better to have an agreed benchmark for the differing populations.

I do wonder would you have considered race to be a social framework if you were comparing two groups that had never encountered one another.

As for postmodenism, I find most of what is churned out by that to be complete and utter garbage especially when it starts to argue that there are no such things as facts and only interperatations. It really gets under my skin when some take it to such an extreme level I make the suggestion that they consume a big glass of dihydrogen sulfate safe in the knowledge that science is but a social construct equally as valid as tribal sun worship .
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:11 AM   #45
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Race exists in this world, it would be wrong to suggest that there are absolutely no differences between a negro and a caucasian, I would venture that there are a good many differences for better or worse in each that while minor when considering the simmilarities are differences nontheless. I think that the push to ignore the taxanomic value of race is driven by political correctness and politics. Races do exist in this world however much they can be blurred in many parts of the world and in the final analysis these slight differences in appearance and some other functions have no effect on individual worth or potential. When tracing the origins of man is it not better to have an agreed benchmark for the differing populations.

race exists in this world because it was invented and then maintained. there are superfical differences between a white person and a black person, but these are cosmetic and nothing more, and of no greater biological difference than that between you (assuming you're a white australian) and me (a white american). however, you're focusing on biological differences between the races, and those are the least important. it is the invented, imagined cultural differences between the races that constitute what "race" actually is, and more importantly, how it functions in power relations and politics. race is more of a socio-political identity than a biological one.

if you were to place two groups together who had never seen each other before, you'd have the beginnings of the makings of two different races. they'd regard each other, notice the difference, and then through language, stories, art, whatever cultural practices, replicate and interpret these differences thus pushing these two groups apart. yes, there might be a biological difference between the two, but it is first what is noticed by the human eye (the most obvious differences, skin color to begin with, then body shape characteristics) and then what specific featuers one race chooses to exagerate in order to distinguish themselvse from that race.

convoluded? probably my fault ... let's take an example: blackface. minstrel shows. what these performances do, wonderfully, is emphasize the performative nature of race, and notice the features of african-americans that white-americans chose to exaggerate -- lips, skin color, and wildly emotive gestures. you then get a chicken-and-egg situation -- when a black person sees a white person imitating a black person, and when white people are in control of the methods of cultural reproduction, the effect becomes, "what if that's really how i am?" "what if that is how we act?" "what if that is how i should be acting." one then feeds into the other, and you basically have white people creating, in a sense, "black people." and now that we have a category of "black people," suddenly there can be "white people."

all categories of social difference pretty much follow this pattern -- and i could continue this with some personal examples and observations on gay culture, but i should go do some work.
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