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Old 01-25-2006, 08:39 PM   #1
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The FYM Racist Card Thread

I thought, since we all see both sides of the political spectrum play this card to their own political ends..... it would be interesting to have a universal RACE CARD thread.....

So here it is...

any time you feel the race card is being played, lets post about it in here.

Peace
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:47 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:49 PM   #3
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^ Beat me to it!
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:11 PM   #4
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How dare you! Race does not exist, it is all a social construction perpetuated by whitey to keep the black and brown man down, but theres no such thing as race because it is a social construction.

Repeat ad infinitum.
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
How dare you! Race does not exist, it is all a social construction perpetuated by whitey to keep the black and brown man down, but theres no such thing as race because it is a social construction.

Repeat ad infinitum.

only sort of right.

race is not a social construct.

race is the performance of a social construct.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:25 PM   #6
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And any explorations into the biological nature of variation between breeding populations of human beings becomes a subject off limits.

Our similarities overwhelmingly outnumber our differences, but that does not make differences cease to exist.

Individual variation is also very large factor to be sure, the "science" of race from the 19th Century is very much a pseudoscience built upon an ethnocentric position. The idea of having common traits within a population occupying a specific environmental or geographic location with barriers but with gene flow with gradients between populations does not deserve to be thrown out the window in the name of anti-racism.

The existence of groups determined by multi-locus genetic analysis should not be used as a basis for bigotry. Race pride is absurd because populations are best suited to envionmental positions - the issues regarding intelligence and race are often cited by those with that particular sort of axe to grind, but that recent study of geometric competence within an Amazonian tribe shows that these attributes are deeply routed in humanity and did not arise since dispersal.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:47 PM   #7
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
And any explorations into the biological nature of variation between breeding populations of human beings becomes a subject off limits.

Well I think you answered that by admiting it's a pseudoscience based on bias.

IF there are any variations beyond the physical, it would be next to impossible to prove. The environmental factors are far too many.

Plus any "results" would prove to be far too dangerous.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:59 PM   #8
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Well I think you answered that by admiting it's a pseudoscience based on bias.

IF there are any variations beyond the physical, it would be next to impossible to prove. The environmental factors are far too many.

Plus any "results" would prove to be far too dangerous.
Quite the contrary, taking measurements of the brain-pan of Nordic and Negroid specimens and demonstrating inherent Aryan superiority is pseudoscience. Performing genetic analysis on a set of DNA samples with proper methodology to avoid bias and group the samples according to genetic markers is not, that is scientific and is worthy of investigation.

Understanding the way in which humanity spread around the globe and our origins is based on the study of human variation and the exchange of genetic material.

Your statement about how results would be too dangerous shows that there is a danger that science becomes supressed for political reasons. That is a dangerous thing. It has paralells with the aims and designs of the creationist movement, namely supression of investigation and information to prevent a supposed belief system from being threatened.
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:10 PM   #9
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Quite the contrary, taking measurements of the brain-pan of Nordic and Negroid specimens and demonstrating inherent Aryan superiority is pseudoscience. Performing genetic analysis on a set of DNA samples with proper methodology to avoid bias and group the samples according to genetic markers is not, that is scientific and is worthy of investigation.
But what can you tell from DNA alone? Can intelligence, behavior, etc be measured by DNA? I'm not sure what you are getting at.


Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer


Your statement about how results would be too dangerous shows that there is a danger that science becomes supressed for political reasons. That is a dangerous thing. It has paralells with the aims and designs of the creationist movement, namely supression of investigation and information to prevent a supposed belief system from being threatened.
Well you are proceeding under the assumption that racial profiling under science is plausible...

If it is, then you are right. But I haven't seen any studies to prove that, so until then I'll stick with the idea that it's dangerous.
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:24 PM   #10
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


But what can you tell from DNA alone? Can intelligence, behavior, etc be measured by DNA? I'm not sure what you are getting at.
These are phenotypes - things that do have a degree of genetic determinism too but are also governed by environmental factors and random variation. Innate genetic differences for things like intelligence are minor compared to those differences caused by individual variation and environmental conditions (stick Albert Einstein to work in a coal mine from a young age and he would never have lent his mind to forming a new view of the universe).
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Well you are proceeding under the assumption that racial profiling under science is plausible...

If it is, then you are right. But I haven't seen any studies to prove that, so until then I'll stick with the idea that it's dangerous.
I do not think that it is dangerous, if there are common genetic factors within human populations that can lead to risk of certain diseases then understanding them and treating people with what will work the best is wise. The implications of race in a biological context extend beyond narrow minded discrimination and ill-founded assumptions of racial superiority.

Heres a paper as well
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
These are phenotypes - things that do have a degree of genetic determinism too but are also governed by environmental factors and random variation. Innate genetic differences for things like intelligence are minor compared to those differences caused by individual variation and environmental conditions (stick Albert Einstein to work in a coal mine from a young age and he would never have lent his mind to forming a new view of the universe).
This is exactly what I'm talking about...


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Originally posted by A_Wanderer

I do not think that it is dangerous, if there are common genetic factors within human populations that can lead to risk of certain diseases then understanding them and treating people with what will work the best is wise. The implications of race in a biological context extend beyond narrow minded discrimination and ill-founded assumptions of racial superiority.
This is what I was trying to ask you. If you thought racial differences were "behavioral" or more "medical". I agree with the disease understanding of race, but I honestly don't think that's the point of most people who want to see the results of this type of science.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:02 AM   #12
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And if there is a genetic basis for race then it diminishes the hard line of race as an exclusively social construct.

Racial pride be it White Nationalism or Afrocentrism is flawed, the concept of genetic racial superiority can be readily disproven with the molecular data. The absence of racial superiority or inferiority does not in itself remove race and such a hardline position should not be taken. It is population genetics, it deals with geneflow within inbreeding populations and clinal variation and transmission of traits between distinct "races" over time.

There has not been enough seperation or time for the evolution of a more intelligent subspecies of Homo sapiens, if we do embark upon the path of genetic engineering then we could engineer people with greater potential intelligence and that potential would have a genetic basis.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
And if there is a genetic basis for race then it diminishes the hard line of race as an exclusively social construct.

Racial pride be it White Nationalism or Afrocentrism is flawed, the concept of genetic racial superiority can be readily disproven with the molecular data. The absence of racial superiority or inferiority does not in itself remove race and such a hardline position should not be taken. It is population genetics, it deals with geneflow within inbreeding populations and clinal variation and transmission of traits between distinct "races" over time.


right.

so race, as it is understood, is the performance of a social construct, otherwise known as culture.

the genetic differences you point out between "races" is absolutely valid, however that does not prove even the scientific existence of race. race definitions are usually sloppy, arbitrary, derived from custom and history, and that the existence of a "race" is willed into existence by the observer. "race" is an amalgamation of certain genetic traits -- insofar as such traits are affected and evolved through natural selection or migration -- but there is no race gene; there are no biologically singificant subcategories. "race" is simply not a valid way, either scientifically or culturally, to describe any population.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:32 PM   #14
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The old nature v. nurture debate... I remember this from my college days. As I recall, based on various studies, it's always a little of both.
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Old 01-26-2006, 08:03 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Irvine511

right.

so race, as it is understood, is the performance of a social construct, otherwise known as culture.
No it is not, in the complete absence of social interaction and expression, with thousands of samples of DNA from around the world, one can group them according to genetic markers, identify relationships and find the borders of distinct types and the clinal zones between them (which are a small part of the total).

Acknowledgement of distinct and identifiable groups of human beings on a genetic level that indicates common evolutionary linneage is defining race in biological terms.

Such methodology is independent of social interactions - it is objectively determining relationships between populations. It is a suspension of logic on par with young earth creationism to suppose that humanity is removed from the natural processes of evolution that act upon every other organism. It is not issuing arbitrary declarations of racial superiority, racial pride is not based upon evidence - it is based upon social expression. To pursue objective research into human population genetics is not arbitrary and requires very real and testable evidence to make conclusions with
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the genetic differences you point out between "races" is absolutely valid, however that does not prove even the scientific existence of race.
How so? Distinct and identifiable inbreeding populations with some gene flow from other populations. Identifying basal groups of human populations with genetic evidence and not arbitrary physiological evidence.

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race definitions are usually sloppy, arbitrary, derived from custom and history, and that the existence of a "race" is willed into existence by the observer.
One can hardly will into existence the genetic differences associated with inbreeding populations. Like many arguments the cultural invention of race requires the objective scientific evidence to have a very wide margin of uncertainty. Which is a good reason that the oft cited paper to support the absence of race (Lewontin RC, 1972) is used rather than more recent papers using more advanced and specific analysis which give contrary results (Edwards AW, 2003)
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"race" is an amalgamation of certain genetic traits -- insofar as such traits are affected and evolved through natural selection or migration -- but there is no race gene;
You are right there is no single gene to identify race, this is the argument of Lewontin, but when we analyise at multiple points of variation it is possible to distinguish people into well defined groups. There is no single race gene - that is true, likewise there is no single intelligence gene, it is a set of many different traits.
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there are no biologically singificant subcategories. "race" is simply not a valid way, either scientifically or culturally, to describe any population.
Wrong, there are statistically significant differences between inbreeding populations that can be objectively measured allowing grouping of individuals. These groups have some correlation to what we have considered race at a cursory level but reconstructions can be much more accurate in depicting the history of change and gene flow between populations.

It is a controversial subject to be sure. But to deny any and all evidence that identifiable groups of race exist as a reaction to history is wrong.

Race defined as identifiable groups of human beings that can be quantified by genetic evidence, with blurry clinal variation between boundaries and with complex histories of gene flow does exist. Human beings are subject to evolutionary mechanisms just as much as other species in the world and we can apply taxonomy to humanity - like most things in the natural world this is not a heirachy of development and any slight variation in aptitude between basal groups is outdone by individual variation. But that does not stop the basal groups themselves from existing.
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #16
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Most of anthropology would disagree with you. It is usually argued that race lacks taxonomic validity because there is more variation within racial groups than there is between racial groups. The grouping on the basis of genetic markers you point towards is little more than saying that "people are similar to those populations geographically nearby and different from those populations far away."

Why do the children of immigrants to Western countries tend to be taller than their parents? Why has the average height of a Japanese citizen grown so dramatically since WW2? Why, now, in the US, are more Tay-Sachs babies born to non-Jewish parents (thus removing the efficacy of genetic tests for race-linked gene mutations)? Do the “the natural processes of evolution that act upon every other organism” happen in a single generation? Aren’t things like height and genetic diseases biological phenomenons? Or must it be true that such things are determined not just by inheritance but by environment as well, and nothing in the biological classification of race is deterministic?


[q]How so? Distinct and identifiable inbreeding populations with some gene flow from other populations. Identifying basal groups of human populations with genetic evidence and not arbitrary physiological evidence.[/q]

What’s your criteria for classification? How specific can you be? What are the boundaries you’re going to draw up between races? How do you arrive at such boundaries and distinctions? How will such classification help you to explain and predict individual and group behavior? Will this classify and explain all biological difference between people?

We might be better off using words such as “population” rather than “race” – I think you might be substituting one for the other. It may well be an issue of semantics, as I still use race in everyday speech, but I am really distinguishing people upon already known, often highly complex ethnic groups – which can get incredibly specific – but it already belies how predisposed we are to reinforce these distinctions.

Cultural anthropologists point to places especially in Latin and South America as places where what seemed like distinct racess have gradually faded into one another.

Basically, I take your points, but my argument rests upon the conviction that genetic variation is better described as clinal, and we're better seved by understanding the differences between far looser categories like "ethnic groups" than constructs like "race."

in light of this, "race" remains an antiquated word that speaks much more to a historical narrative for ethnic groups with certain genetic characteristics -- but then we get to the whole issue of blacks who have "passed" as white, and so on -- and who's presence is felt in the lives of those classified into different races not biologically, but socially and culturally.

However, I think it would be interesting to take into account the problem of distinguishing Black Africans as a racial group -- doesn't this require the inclusion every living person on Earth within that single African "race", due to the common ancestor? doesn't the genetic variation of the rest of the world represents essentially a single subtree within that of Africa?
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:35 AM   #17
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What does "clinal" mean?

This is a great thread BTW, way better than the original intent ! I'm afraid I don't know too much about this particular area of science myself.

Just to throw something probably useless out, I remember being told by a sociology prof in India that human genetic diversity was so great there that often, different individuals within the same generation of one family fall into different "racial" groups (that's how she put it; unfortunately, I didn't ask for her definition of race). I would say that I suppose I've seen evidence of what she meant, but that would entail presuming that what I perceived as "racial" differences had any bearing on the empirical facts of what she meant.

Also, I'm not sure that all dark-*skinned* Africans necessarily do generally get classified as "Negroid"? But perhaps that was not what you meant.

And the idea of ethnicity as an "alternative" to race flummoxes me a bit because I have a social scientist's understanding of that concept, meaning I think of it primarily in terms of self-identified groups (or, it CAN be ascribed by other groups) which are as likely to base that identity on nontangibles like language, religion or provenance in a common nation-state (by definition an arbitrary construct) as on more quantifiable factors which can be "seen."

And I have yet to meet a sociologist who can address the question of "So who are the Jews, really?" without tying themselves in rhetorical knots.
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
What does "clinal" mean?



it's the adjectival form of "cline" -- "cline" is defined as: "A gradual change in a character or feature across the distributional range of a species or population, usually correlated with an environmental or geographic transition."

what i mean by using "clinal" to describe race is to say that race doesn't exist in a biological sense ... such genetic similarities within ethnic groups are due to geography.


[q]And the idea of ethnicity as an "alternative" to race flummoxes me a bit because I have a social scientist's understanding of that concept, meaning I think of it primarily in terms of self-identified groups (or, it CAN be ascribed by other groups) which are as likely to base that identity on nontangibles like language, religion or provenance in a common nation-state (by definition an arbitrary construct) as on more quantifiable factors which can be "seen."[/q]

it's less that it's an alternative, and that it's simply more accurate. to use the word "race" is to play into colonialist narratives; there is no finite list of essential racial characteristics. thus, the use of the word "ethnic group" is a looser but ultimately more accurate way to understand how human beings (as you say) self-identify, and much self-identification is done through the noticing of biological similarities as well as the nontangibles you mention.

though it would be interesting to investigate how the noticing of genetic similarities between individuals lead to different mannerisms and speech patterns, such intangibles that might not be a part of that person's normal lexicon but they adapt themselves to certain cultural expectations when confronted with another individual who mirrors themselves and seeing said culture in that individual, and then identifying through nothing more than visual similarity, that person quickly self-identifies and then performs whatever racial/ethnic expectations exist in the culture at large.

or something.

basically, using myself as an example, i get "gayer" the more gay men there are in the room.

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And I have yet to meet a sociologist who can address the question of "So who are the Jews, really?" without tying themselves in rhetorical knots.
oy. i have no idea.
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
it's less that it's an alternative, and that it's simply more accurate. to use the word "race" is to play into colonialist narratives; there is no finite list of essential racial characteristics. thus, the use of the word "ethnic group" is a looser but ultimately more accurate way to understand how human beings (as you say) self-identify, and much self-identification is done through the noticing of biological similarities as well as the nontangibles you mention.
Right, however even in some areas of social science "race" is also still used as a category of analysis, if only insofar as you can't study a given social group properly without engaging the actual conceptual devices its own members use (or have used against them--this is especially true of race, since it's generally ascribed from "outside") in order to define themselves and the social world around them. Of course, you can do this in a "deconstructionist" way and thus simultaneously problematize it but then, depending on your research goals, that might not always be practical. This is one of the psychic torments of social science research actually, you come to doubt the ultimate tenability of every research tool you have, as well as of the conceptual categories your subjects inhabit the world through--yet you cannot complete your work or mission without using them, and in highly programmatic ways to boot. Literary theorists have it easy, they have the freedom to respond creatively to this dilemma through "playful" writing style evolutions to some extent. Though I never did understand how anyone can write the way Derrida or Cixous did without absolutely losing touch with reality after a few years .

Quote:
though it would be interesting to investigate how the noticing of genetic similarities between individuals lead to different mannerisms and speech patterns, such intangibles that might not be a part of that person's normal lexicon but they adapt themselves to certain cultural expectations when confronted with another individual who mirrors themselves and seeing said culture in that individual, and then identifying through nothing more than visual similarity, that person quickly self-identifies and then performs whatever racial/ethnic expectations exist in the culture at large.

basically, using myself as an example, i get "gayer" the more gay men there are in the room.
Sounds like you're describing code-switching behavor? There certainly is literature analyzing that as a kind of performance, though I'm not familiar with it really--my own research deals in much less discrete events, tracking broad trends over time etc., so thinking in terms of behavior as performance is not often helpful to me.


*sigh* this is fun. It's going to suck to have to go back to work next week!
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Old 01-27-2006, 01:12 PM   #20
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I am sorry but the thought of applying social context to understanding the way biology functions makes my skin crawl.

The term ethnic group encompasses culture. Culture is not a race dependent feature. Societies and social interactions are also not race dependent features. Marginalising the biological evidence and blurring the arguments with social issues means that we are talking past eachother. I cannot accept culture as a meaningful implication of race given that human societies have arisen all over the world and individuals are mostly wholy capable of engaging in them regardless of their lineage.

The flaws in physiological race based analysis are plain to see, those shortcomings and biases are removed when dealing with differences on a genetic level, where it is not the colour of skin or the shape of a nose but clusters of nucleotides fed in and then treated with statistical tests.

The supposition that populations are all clinal all over the world is disproved by the molecular evidence. In light of this the older papers without the more recent data are still used - the reason I assume is that in keeping the margin of scientific fact as wide as possible and misrepresenting the state of it today the political ends alluded to by BVS can be achieved. The absence of identifiable basal human groups is a testable hypothesis, one that has in recent years been challenged by evidence.

Phenotype is a combination of genotype, envirionment and variation - that is why better fed children grow into taller adults. But a trait expressed in a population such as risk of diabetes in the Pima Indians (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in628877.shtml). Is such a high incidence a statistical fluke, or does it indicate inherent genetic differences. Or how about studies such as this
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Recognizing that our one-size-fits-all approach to medicine has serious flaws, some doctors are urging research into the development of racially targeted drugs. In March 2001, the Food and Drug Administration allowed the testing of a drug called BiDil in about 600 black subjects who will participate in the African-American Heart Failure Trial, the largest clinical trial ever to focus exclusively on African-Americans.

In previous studies including both white and black patients, BiDil provided a selective benefit for the black subjects. White subjects did no better on average than those given a placebo. The leading explanation for this disparity revolves around the molecule nitric oxide, a chemical messenger that helps regulate the constriction of blood vessels, an important mechanical dynamic in the control of blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to and worsens heart failure because it makes the heart pump harder to overcome peripheral resistance in the arteries. BiDil acts by dilating blood vessels and replenishing local stores of nitric oxide. For unexplained reasons, blacks are more likely than whites to have nitric oxide insufficiency.
Quote:
Not surprisingly, many human genetic variations tend to cluster by racial groups -- that is, by people whose ancestors came from a particular geographic region. Skin color itself is not what is at issue -- it's the evolutionary history indicated by skin color. In Africa, for example, the genetic variant for sickle cell anemia cropped up at some point in the gene pool and was passed on to descendants; as a result, the disease is more common among blacks than whites. Similarly, Caucasians are far more likely to carry the gene mutations that cause multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.

Admittedly, race is a rough marker. A black American may have dark skin -- but her genes may well be a complex mix of ancestors from West Africa, Europe and Asia. No serious scientist, in fact, believes that genetically pure populations exist. Yet an imprecise clue is better than no clue at all.
http://www.sallysatelmd.com/html/a-nytimes3.html

So in the context of medical research racial groups are used and statistically significant differences are being observed. If race was merely a social construct then you should not see obsence rates of diseases with genetic risk factors among these populations, you should see random distributions across all races. All of these signs are consistent with a view of population genetics that encompasses races.

I would seriously recomend the group blog Gene Expression for some running commentary on developments in genetics including race research from a science blog. No nazi fucks, no racists, only evolutionary biology.

http://www.gnxp.com/

And an exactly on target post that cuts to the core of this argument.
Quote:
Other studies have produced comparable results. Noah A. Rosenberg and Jonathan K. Pritchard, geneticists formerly in the laboratory of Marcus W. Feldman of Stanford University, assayed approximately 375 polymorphisms called short tandem repeats in more than 1,000 people from 52 ethnic groups in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. By looking at the varying frequencies of these polymorphisms, they were able to distinguish five different groups of people whose ancestors were typically isolated by oceans, deserts or mountains: sub-Saharan Africans; Europeans and Asians west of the Himalayas; East Asians; inhabitants of New Guinea and Melanesia; and Native Americans. They were also able to identify subgroups within each region that usually corresponded with each member's self-reported ethnicity.

And relevent for Yolland about South Asians


The results of these studies indicate that genetic analyses can distinguish groups of people according to their geographic origin. But caution is warranted. The groups easiest to resolve were those that were widely separated from one another geographically. Such samples maximize the genetic variation among groups. When Bamshad and his co-workers used their 100 Alu polymorphisms to try to classify a sample of individuals from southern India into a separate group, the Indians instead had more in common with either Europeans or Asians. In other words, because India has been subject to many genetic influences from Europe and Asia, people on the subcontinent did not group into a unique cluster.[ India is a genetically heterogeneous place, but this effect is probably dependent on the loci selected. ] We concluded that many hundreds--or perhaps thousands--of polymorphisms might have to be examined to distinguish between groups whose ancestors have historically interbred with multiple populations.
http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/001313.html
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