[OBG] Nature of Race Full
2015-Aug-28, 06:08:11,
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
One of your neo-Nazi fans on Stormfront:

https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1076596/

Quote:The guy who wrote that blog is Chuck (aka John Fuerst). He also writes at Occidentalist and Human Varieties. The facts that need to be explained & The Nature of Race should be mandatory reading for any literate scientific racialist.

Its simply dishonest to attack what you call "deniers of race" as socio-politically motivated, when you have these connections and agenda yourself.
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2015-Aug-28, 16:47:41, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-28, 16:50:02 by Krom.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
Fuerst's work also attacks "deniers of race" as being politically correct. This argument was debunked by C. Loring Brace twenty years ago. It is in fact "race realism" which is the direct result of political correctness:

"Brace states that 'it is the assumption that ‘there is something there’ which is the product of sociopolitical circumstances' (Brace 1995:173). Therefore, Brace argues that race, in a forensic sense, is created as a response to political correctness. It is a politically correct duty of the forensic anthropologist to report a person’s race. According to Brace, forensic anthropologists try to assess the race of an individual because it is something that is demanded by society." (Wheat, 2009)
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2015-Aug-28, 20:07:31, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-28, 21:15:22 by Chuck.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
(2015-Aug-28, 06:08:11)Krom Wrote: One of your neo-Nazi fans on Stormfront:

https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1076596/

Quote:The guy who wrote that blog is Chuck (aka John Fuerst). He also writes at Occidentalist and Human Varieties. The facts that need to be explained & The Nature of Race should be mandatory reading for any literate scientific racialist.

Its simply dishonest to attack what you call "deniers of race" as socio-politically motivated, when you have these connections and agenda yourself.


First, I have no beef against SFers or "neo-Nazis". I do against intellectual frauds.

Second, as for socio-politically motives, I specifically said: "As we see it, such extra-scientific intents are not, with regards to evaluating positions, problematic per se; such motives are only so insofar as they lead one to accept unsound arguments or as they dispose one towards intellectual dishonesty... Our focus here is exclusively on the merits of the arguments. We do not pretend to be purely passive voices of science ourselves."

Third, I did attack the moralism of the race deniers, but on logical grounds. That is, I granted the validity of moralist arguments and critiqued their coherence. Thus I said: "While we feel that scientific and philosophical fundamentalism is often the appropriate stance for knowledge seekers to adopt, we appreciate that our moralists see things otherwise. Cofnas (2015) has offered additional arguments, both pragmatic and communitarian, against scientific moralism. While these are reasonable, we will not rest our defense on them. The problem for us is not just that scientific moralism, as such, is epistemically problematic and also, by way of this, socially so, but that the attack on the race concept is impugnable given what we take to be common sense morality"

Fourth, as for the other point, the concept of race preceded modern political correctness by over 200 years, so you won't get much traction with that argument.

That said, I did point out that the (intraspecific) race concept was originally employed by moralists in an attempt to defend the PC Catholic dogma that all men were of the same species: "The position that different human groups represented different species (that is, did not share a common ancestral origin) was deemed heretical and considered to be a dangerous idea; it was thought to undermine the moral and spiritual unity of man. The concept of race, in the intraspecific sense, was advanced to defend the dogma that all humans formed but one species (Doron, 2011; Doron, 2012). It was offered as an alternative to the species or inconstant varieties dichotomy and it provided the monogenist position with an empirically plausible model of human biological variation. The moral aspect of the early race debates is readily apparent. For example, in reply to Kant, Georg Forster (1786) defends his position, much as we might ours, from moral-egalitarian criticisms..."

So I guess one could say that the race concept -- or at least its application to humans -- was, in part, motivated by moralism and "political correctness". But I don't imagine that that's what you have in mind.

Anyways, did you have any substantive critiques? I thought that we were going to discuss the issue of within race variance after you conceded my other points.
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2015-Aug-28, 21:13:26, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-29, 06:06:41 by Emil.)
Behavior
Krom,

I think I have told you once already to mind your tone and I will do it again. Don't keep writing posts stating that this and that and everybody is a racist. I recommend that you keep these kind of insults to yourself or write them somewhere else. Informal conversation would be the correct place for these kind of comments, or perhaps a blog.

I appreciate that you take the time to debate here despite having a very different view of things. Forums like this tend to attract mostly people that already agree on most issues related to the genetic or lack thereof of human psychological differences. This can result in a kind of echo chamber or filter bubble situation with a lot of confirmation bias. Since science suffers when confirmation bias reigns, it is important to have some input from persons with other views.

In general, social science is too 'liberal' (US sense) and suffers as a consequence (see works by Lee Jussim and Jon Haidt), but discussions in this area can sometimes be too full of conservatives. However, no one seems to have actually done a poll of the political opinions of people interested in these topics, so someone should do that.
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2015-Aug-29, 02:27:26, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-29, 02:29:55 by Krom.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
(2015-Aug-28, 20:07:31)Chuck Wrote: Anyways, did you have any substantive critiques? I thought that we were going to discuss the issue of within race variance after you conceded my other points.

Each time I look up one of your old sources - they say the opposite what you say and confirm what I posted. Here's what I found for Kant:

Immanuel Kant "Of the Different Human Races" (1777):
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.to...7/KANT.pdf

Things to note:

1. Kant clearly states races must show significance (distinctiveness, relative homogeneity etc) in their characteristic heritable features, otherwise they do not justify a "special division"/classification:

"The people of this stock would always be recognizable and might even be called a race, if their characteristic feature does not seem too insignificant and so difficult to describe that we are unable to use it to establish a special division." (emphasis added)

Instead, your book quotes Dobzhansky (1946) that there is virtually no threshold for race classification as long as there is a "minimum magnitude" of genetic frequency (<0.1%), e.g. between adjacent villages. This "minimum magnitude" was certainly not what Kant had in mind - he ignored such trivial variation because it has no utility.

2. Despite arguing any inter-population variation is racial, you cannot demonstrate this with Kant, Buffon, Blumenbach, or Darwin (I have repeatedly shown: these 18th-19th century scientists set a non-negligible threshold for race, i.e. Hochman's "strong" racial population naturalism). By setting a negligible "minimum magnitude" (where even adjacent villages could qualify as races), Dobzhansky was re-defining race, and you are using his obsolete argument. Dobzhansky was criticized for this decades ago (see for example Montagu, 1962).

3. Kant thought that races were to a high degree homogenous, at least for certain attributes or traits. In fact for inherited behaviour and intelligence, he maintained there was no variation <whatsoever> (!) within the races, extending to broad climatic regions, e.g. "All inhabitants of the hottest zones are, without exceptions, idle" (emphasis added), and "The race of the American cannot be educated" (every individual of the "red American" race are described as of low intelligence). How that fits in with what you are saying: I don't have a clue.

Regarding phenotypic variation, Kant describes his Mongol race as uniformly black haired, and having the same facial bone structure such as "flat faces". He seemed to recognise little to no phenotype variation in each race (one of the few variations in his white race he describes is hair colour). His descriptions show he thought races were primarily homogenous.

4. Kant's racial classification is typological. His emphasis is that variation found between his races - is the result of mixture. While he does discuss an alternative (climatic adaptation, but in pre-Darwinian terms), he only allows this for a small number of traits.
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2015-Aug-29, 05:54:07, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-29, 15:31:31 by Chuck.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
I edited my reply, in line with the editor's request, so to come across less acerbic.

(2015-Aug-29, 05:54:07)Chuck Wrote:
Quote:Each time I look up one of your old sources - they say the opposite what you say and confirm what I posted. Here's what I found for Kant:

Immanuel Kant "Of the Different Human Races" (1777):
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.to...7/KANT.pdf

Things to note:

1. Kant clearly states races must show significance (distinctiveness, relative homogeneity etc) in their characteristic heritable features, otherwise they do not justify a "special division"/classification:

"The people of this stock would always be recognizable and might even be called a race, if their characteristic feature does not seem too insignificant and so difficult to describe that we are unable to use it to establish a special division." (emphasis added)

I discussed Kant at length and said: "As discussed in section III, when it came to
identifying races, Kant seemed not to have considered the possibility of what Darwin later called “correlated variation.” Since he conceptualized races in contrast to polymorphs and other inconstant varieties and since he seemed not to have recognized the principle of correlated variation, it was only logical for him to look for uniformly shared and inevitably inherited characters. Whatever the case, Kant did not give us races in the contemporaneous sense of divisions identified using ancestrally informative correlated variation. For that, Blumenbach had to read Kant’s race concept through his phenetic-based understanding." [I should clarify that Kant's formulation did not (seem to) require within race uniformity in the sense of all members of race A having a height of 6'2" and all members of race B having a height of 5'2". Rather it required a non-overlap between races e.g., all members of race A being taller than all of race B. This can be satisfied by having large enough differences in quantitative traits.]

In section III, I then state: "As for strict character essentialism, as noted in section II, Kant’s formulation would probably best qualify. We quote from his paper, Determination of the Concept of a Human Race (1785)...Thus, his character essentialism was not inherently biologically implausible. To get a situation where one could identify lines of descent this way, one would just need several traits which well tracked lineage and for which the between group variance was high, that is, for which the distributions of the traits did not overlap (outside of the zones of intergradation). The problem with regards to human races is, of course, that there are a dearth of such traits. Some molecular characters such as SNP rs3827760 allele G of the EDAR gene, which conditions Mongoloid typical phenotype (for example, thick hair and shovel shape upper incisors) runs high in East Asian populations and low in many others. But using such characters singularly would end up misclassifying many individuals with respect to how they would be if classified according to overall genetic similarity. It is now clear that individual traits do not make for good differentia. But this is not a new discovery. It was recognized by Buffon, Blumenbach, Darwin, and the many others who argued that one should simultaneously take into account similarity in numerous traits. We imagine that Kant would have had no problem with using character clusters if he understood the technique. Thus, we do not see Kant’s concept as principally or foundationally character essentialist. It was just contingently so; he did not grasp the possibility of cluster classes."

I hardly dodged the key issue. As for you, you might be confusing matters. Kant did not require significant -- in the sense of extensive -- differences, nor did he argue that races were homogenous, indeed he emphasized the manifold of heritable individual variation in his third paper. Rather, he argued that one needed, to make a genealogy-based class division, some trait which uniformly differed between groups. As I noted, the concept of a cluster class did not occur to him. If it did, he would have realized that single uniform trait differences were not necessary. Now, that said, his formulation was not biologically outlandish. After all, proponents of the popular diagnostic phylogenetic species concept presently require the same for the diagnosis of different species. His formulation was just unnecessarily restrictive given his expressed aims.

Quote:Instead, your book quotes Dobzhansky (1946) that there is virtually no threshold for race classification as long as there is a "minimum magnitude" of genetic frequency (<0.1%), e.g. between adjacent villages. This "minimum magnitude" was certainly not what Kant had in mind - he ignored such trivial variation because it has no utility.

The quote from Dobzhansky (1946) is:

"[One may perhaps question the desirability of applying the term "racial differences" to distinctions as small as those that can be found between populations of neighboring villages and as large as those between populations of different continents. Might one modify the definition of race by specifying that differences in genes frequencies be above a certain minimum magnitude? Such a modification is undesirable for two reasons.] First, since all magnitudes of difference are found among populations, any specified minimum can be only arbitrary. Second, it is most important to realize that the differences between the ‘major’ human races are fundamentally of the same nature as the relatively minute differences between the inhabitants of adjacent towns or villages. There is no "true" subspecific level. And arguably, as noted by Darwin, there is also no true distinction between specific variation and subspecific variation as the two form a genetic continuum; even when we define a species as a genetically reproductively isolated population, the intrinsic isolation is more accidental than substantial."

Dobzhansky's "racial differences" and "gene frequencies" refer to average differentiation, for example as indexed by Wright's F-statistic. The average difference in "gene frequencies" between groups delineated by a single uniform trait -- like color -- would, of course, be slight. Thus there is no inconsistency between Dobzhansky's lack of requirement of large racial differences and Kant's requirement of a uniform difference. There is an inconsistency between Kant's character essentialist class formulation and the cluster class ones, but I discussed that in detail.

Quote:Despite arguing any inter-population variation is racial, you cannot demonstrate this with Kant, Buffon, Blumenbach, or Darwin (I have repeatedly shown: these 18th-19th century scientists set a non-negligible threshold for race, i.e. Hochman's "strong" racial population naturalism). By setting a negligible "minimum magnitude" (where even adjacent villages could qualify as races), Dobzhansky was re-defining race, and you are using his obsolete argument. Dobzhansky was criticized for this decades ago (see for example Montagu, 1962).

Naturally, I discussed this issue in my paper. The short version is: Early race concepts, which divided humans by genealogy/lineage, did not extend all the way down to e.g., small ethnic groups. But now we know that one can make genealogy based divisions often at the level of these. So now one faces a choice: one can set an arbitrary differentiation criteria and recognize only some genealogy based divisions as races or one could recognize all such divisions as races -- or, better, one can distinguish between a general inclusive concept and narrow concepts...The long version is: "Now, to be fair, some used the race concept to describe only certain levels of what we would call racial differentiation. As said, Blumenbach, if ambiguously, distinguished between races and nations. Similarly, Buffon considered as “races” only groups which exhibited constant enough differences (Doron, 2011); less distinct groups were often classified as nations. Thus, many of Dobzhansky’s (1946) “races” would correspond with Buffon’s “nations"..." [Read the whole section.]

Quote:Kant thought that races were to a high degree homogenous, at least for certain attributes or traits. In fact for inherited behaviour and intelligence, he maintained there was no variation <whatsoever> (!) within the races.

As detailed, Kant adopted a character essentialist position, which he expressed most fully in his second paper ("Determination of the Concept of a Human Race" (attached)). In that, he stated that skin color -- which he notes is often seen as insignificant -- was the only inevitably inherited -- and thus race delineating -- character that he had clear evidence of. (His position shifted some between papers; in the third, he suggests other possibilities e.g., skeletal structure; and in the first, his positions reads more like Buffon's.) In that second paper, he discussed individual and family differences, including ones in propensity for insanity (which would be behavioral, no?). In "On the use of teleological principles in philosophy" he elaborates more on why he thinks that there is so much non-racial heritable variation in the species. (By the way, can you cite the passage about "inherited behaviour and intelligence" that you had in mind?)

Anyways, Kant's construction supports my position in that:
(a) races were natural divisions
(b) natural divisions were genealogical ones
© (base) races were by definition intraspecific lines of descent that differentiated from a common origin and that owing to reproductive isolation maintained these differences
(d) the physiological basis of the differences was conceived in a genetic-like fashion (dispositions in the common lineal stem) as opposed to a Buffonian epigenetic or a Darwinian lamarckian one.
(e) race differences needed not be extensive (see discussion below)
(f) there was a heap load of heritable individual variation (see discussion below)
(g) race differences were adaptive (see discussion below)

Kant's formulation is problematic in that:
(h) it was character essentialist

Quote:Regarding phenotypic variation, Kant describes his Mongol race as uniformly black haired, and having the same facial bone structure such as "flat faces". He seemed to recognise little to no variation in each race (one of the few variations in his white race he describes is hair colour). His descriptions show he thought races were primarily homogenous.

I suppose it's possible that he changed his mind by the second paper. I would tend to think, rather, that you might be reading too much into "uniformly black hair" etc. Whatever the case, I don't see how from the first paper you could get "little to no [overall] variation" since he discusses heritable varieties. In the third paper (attached), he notes: "The variety among human beings from the very same race is in all probability just as purposefully secured in the original lineal stem stock in the same way in order to establish the greatest manifold diversity for the sake of infinitely different purposes, as is the difference among races in order to establish the usefulness for fewer, but more essential, purposes [my note: i.e., climatic adaptation].and to develop them in successor generations." So tons of heritable variation within races, but a few adaptive ones between!

Quote:Kant's racial classification is typological. His emphasis is that variation found between his races - is the result of mixture. While he does discuss an alternative (climatic adaptation, but in pre-Darwinian terms), he only allows this for a small number of traits.

Please read over his two other papers (attached). He is clear that his base races (Whites, Hindus, etc.) diverged from a common stock and that those base races, when admixed, form half races.


Attached Files
.pdf   determinationoftheconceptofrace.pdf (Size: 3.7 MB / Downloads: 93)
.pdf   OnTheUse.pdf (Size: 5.81 MB / Downloads: 92)
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2015-Aug-29, 16:20:57, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-29, 16:31:07 by Chuck.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
(2015-Aug-29, 02:27:26)Krom Wrote: [quote='Chuck' pid='3557' dateline='1440785251']
Anyways, did you have any substantive critiques? I thought that we were going to discuss the issue of within race variance after you conceded my other points.

This was a curious claim on your part:

He re-defines race as a breeding population. For example, he told me he thinks a tribe in the jungle, or villagers are a race; he also claimed he didn't see the problem with there being 1,000,000+ human races on earth... they are re-defining race as a panmictic population or deme (bizarrely though they claim this is not a re-definition and Fuerst now argues "races" originally meant jungle tribes, or local populations like a group of villagers....And the funny thing is that one minute Fuerst is defending a trivial re-definition of race as a local population like a jungle tribe, next minute he jumps to talking about racial differences in intelligence between "Negroids" and "Whites" and changes his definition of race to include large continental groupings of peoples.

I stated repeatedly that races were not demes, but were rather natural divisions. Demes are defined in terms of the probability of descendant sharing, while races are defined in terms of ancestor sharing. Regarding how low one can go, I simply followed Adam Hochman's logic: as there is nothing intrinsically different between major races and micro-races, both describing genealogy-based division, a general concept of race should include micro-races. Is that a redefinition of race? If it makes you feel better we can pretend so, though it's easy to find early conceptions of "micro races", for example Duchesne's (1766) Versailles strawberry race which he witnessed the birth of, or some of Buffon's races of dogs.
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2015-Aug-30, 18:19:48, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-30, 18:20:58 by Krom.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
Your distinction between Darwin and Kant doesn't make any sense since Darwin (1871) also maintained there were profound (e.g. large, significant, worthy of attention) human racial differences:

"The variability or diversity of the mental faculties in men of the same race, not to mention the greater differences between the men of distinct races, is so notorious that not a word need here be said."

"There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other... Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotions, but partly in their intellectual faculties."

"[Man] has diverged into distinct races, or as they may be more fitly called, sub-species. Some of these, such as the Negro and the European, are so distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a naturalist without any further information, they would undoubtedly have been considered as good and true species."

All these quotes you ignore in your book, just like the Blumenbach quote where he states racial differences are not minor (and compares the differences between at least two races as enormous, like between species). I've also shown Kant did not think racial differences were negligible:

"The people of this stock would always be recognizable and might even be called a race, if their characteristic feature does not seem too insignificant and so difficult to describe that we are unable to use it to establish a special division." (emphasis added)

Darwin, Blumenbach and Kant falsify your position.

Quote:Kant did not require significant -- in the sense of extensive -- differences/

But this is false as the Kant quote above shows.

Unless you can show variation between races that is significant, you aren't talking about race. There is no logic behind a race classification that is trivial - because it is not useful. Classification is based on utility, and this is why racial differences must be large (that capture a lot of variation), or are structured in such a way (with discrete boundaries/sharp discontinuity) that the divisions are still of use. Regarding the latter its true as Coyne (2012) notes: "Races of mice, for example, are described solely on the basis of difference in coat colour, which could involve only one or two genes." However the point he misses is that for those races of mice, one would have to insist that almost all members would have to contain the same coat colour, and other races a low to absent frequency. Can you show this for a single trait for humans?
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2015-Aug-30, 20:04:25, (This post was last modified: 2015-Sep-01, 19:27:36 by Chuck.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
(2015-Aug-30, 18:19:48)Krom Wrote: Your distinction between Darwin and Kant doesn't make any sense since Darwin (1871) also maintained there were profound (e.g. large, significant, worthy of attention) human racial differences:

Your propensity for misunderstanding passages, issues, and context is quite striking. Firstly, and most importantly, you fail to grasp the distinction between perceptions of specific race differences and requirements of race concepts. This seems to be related to a general inability to grasp the distinction between race concepts and racial classifications. Now, Michael Hardimon has elaborated on this point, so I don't feel that I need to. Also, we have gone over it so many times, that I should not have to repeat the point. But I will: there is no inconsistency between saying that such and such races have very large differences (some do -- for example the major races of Ostriches) and saying that races do not need to have large differences. Let me quote what I said prior:

Now to be clear, since you seem to not be the most philosophically inclined individual, the claim, for your argument to work, must be that the concept of race, not merely the understanding of specific races, was one of deeply discontinuous divisions. Michael Hardimon has well clarified this distinction between definitions or concepts of race and perceptions of specific classifications. To give a concrete example, Coon's major races were (prior to the proposed time of admixture) deeply discontinuous, since he adopted a multiregional model. However, since he allowed for numerous "local races" which were not deeply discontinuous, one can not say that his concept of race entailed deep discontinuity. Given the aforesaid, as counter evidence to your claim, I need only provide the following types of evidence: (1) claims made during the said time that races as such (that is, definitionally) did not entail deep discontinuity, (2) discussions of races which the authors acknowledge were NOT deeply discontinuous, or (3) discussions which imply (1) or (2).

I am tempted to rebut your specific claims now -- but I see little long term utility in doing so if we can not agree on this simple point, which is a purely logical one. Do you agree that when an author claims that there are "large" differences between such and such races this does not entail that her concept of race necessitates such differences? Yes or no?

After you agree, I will explain the problems with your examples. As a teaser, I will note a few point about Darwin's claim. First Darwin noted:

Quote:Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, etc., yet if their whole organization be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. ... The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans differ as much from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the “Beagle,” with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.

He did, as you said, claim that there were large mental differences between major human races. As reference he cited, in one of his books, his nephew Galton who conveniently provided a quantitative estimate in "Hereditary Genius". Therein, Galton noted:

Secondly, the negro race is by no means wholly deficient in men capable of becoming good factors, thriving merchants, and otherwise considerably raised above the average of whites—that is to say, it can not unfrequently supply men corresponding to our class C, or even D..In short, classes E and F of the negro may roughly be considered as the equivalent of our C and D—a result which again points to the conclusion, that the average intellectual standard of the negro race is some two grades below our own.

See the attached pick. Galton estimated a difference of two grades which comes out to 1.39 standard deviations or 21 IQ points (Jensen, 1974). Now consider three facts:

(a) For a normally distributed trait the average difference between random individuals within a population is 2SD/sqrt(pi) = 1.13SD or about 17 IQ points. So, the discussed race differences were thought to not be much larger than the average inter-individual differences. They are nonetheless "large" by conventional standards. (Granted, I am not sure how well Darwin grasped the math -- but Galton surely did, as he developed it.)

(b) It so happen that Africans in African have an average measured cognitive ability quotient of around 75 or 1.67 SD below the UK mean. So the perception of the magnitude of differences was not off. Did Darwin specify what percent was owing to genes? I doubt it, because he didn't have a clear concept of genotype versus phenotype.

© This difference comes out to a 33% between group variance (in the sense of eta squared), so more variance would be within than between groups.

Generally, his perception was quite in line with reality, no?

Now, as for the claim that the differences between major humans races was of a magnitude similar to that between many species this was correct -- given how species were often classified in the 18th and 19th century. All sorts of groups which we would now call races or "genetic populations" were classed as species because the standard Linnean criteria for species was simply the intergenerational transmission of form when reared in novel environments. I discussed this point, for example:

As such, in this Linnaean framework, there was little place for what would later be understood as race. And since there was little, and since certain human geographic groups exhibited relatively constant (across environments) and quite conspicuous differences, it was concluded by some (polygenists) that these regional groups represented different species of man. This tendency to deem as species what we would now call races was not limited to zoology and anthropology; it was fully realized in botany (Stamos, 2012; Ratcliff, 2007). The situation, as noted by Stamos (2012), led Jean Baptiste de Lamarck to complain that “nearly all present day Botanists are multiplying species, at the expense of their variety to infinity.” Polygenists were merely treating humans as many botanists treated their objects of study.

It was only in the 20th century -- largely by adopting the criterion of intrinsic reproductive isolation and the biological species concept, which necessitates great isolation (I think a couple of million years on average) -- that species became the deeply different groups which we think of*. Likewise subspecies transformed from Ehrhart's (1784) groups with minor genealogically transmitted differences to the major divisions of a species worth taxonomic recognition**.

*Except in the case of diagnostic phylogenetic species -- the authors of that concept note that some human races probably did recently constitute species. Quote:

Given the vast extent of interbreeding among current human populations, it is unlikely (although not impossible) that any geographically restricted sample of humans is diagnosable [as separate species] today... [P]rior to the advent of intercontinental travel in the past few hundred years, it does appear probable that character distributions would have suggested more than one species of human on the planet...however...the obvious contemporary pattern of increasing introgression among previously allopatric human populations suggests that we are or soon will become on global polymorphic species[.] (Wheeler and Platnick, 2000)

**The subspecies for several non-BSC species concepts do not need to be as differentiated.

But before I deconstruct your other points, answer this question: Do you agree that when an author claims that there are "large" differences between such and such races this does not entail that her concept of race necessitates such differences? Yes or no?


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2015-Aug-31, 13:47:19, (This post was last modified: 2015-Aug-31, 13:50:20 by Krom.)
RE: [OBG] Nature of Race Full
Quote:Do you agree that when an author claims that there are "large" differences between such and such races this does not entail that her concept of race necessitates such differences? Yes or no?

Let's go back to 1951, to UNESCO's (revised) Statement on Race. The 1950 statement was criticized because it consulted very few geneticists and physical anthropologists (it was drafted by sociologists and cultural anthropologists). The revised statement however was approved by Gunnar Dahlberg, J. B. S. Haldane, A. E. Mourant, Henri V. Vallois, S. Zuckerman and Julian Huxley, among many others.

Note the following line in the opening paragraph:

"In its anthropological sense, the word 'race' should be reserved for groups of mankind possessing well-developed and primarily heritable physical differences from other groups."

The Statement also clarifies that Icelanders, English etc., are not races, but local (breeding) populations. Why this is significant is that this Statement was drafted and approved by all leading scientists a decade before denial of race had appeared (Livingstone, 1962; Brace, 1964). Both the 1950 and rev. 1951 Statements do not deny human races exist, or dispute "Negroid"/"Mongoloid"/"Caucasoid" (what are described as major stocks) are useful classificatory tools.

The point is that virtually all proponents of race up to 1951 realized:

(a) Races must show non-trivial (i.e. significant) differences.
(b) Races are not local populations.

In 1952, UNESCO published criticisms of the 1951 rev. Statement. Only a single scientist (out of many hundreds) complained about the above line in the first paragraph, and it is not a surprise he quotes Dobzhansky:

"Frota-Pessoa considers that this is not altogether true at the present stage of scientific research: “It should be interesting to add that, from the genetical point of view, even not ‘well-developed’ differences suffice for distinguishing races (cf. Dobzhansky: ‘Races may be
defined as populations which differ in the frequencies of some genes.‘)"

The vast majority of scientists (who as I noted were all proponents of race at the time, this is why your position is almost comical) rejected this view. It was seen as a re-definition of race, and as being absurd.

You cannot have a race classification in the first place if there is negligible difference between populations, or groups of populations.

This is something you repeatedly ignore. Do you not also see that by defending a trivial definition, your position is hard to distinguish to mine?

"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." (Hochman, 2013)
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