Recently, I was denied membership in a Facebook group because I expressed the idea that people of color can be racist. Honestly, I thought everyone agreed with that. Obviously, I'm not suggesting that all people of color are racist. But I believe any person, regardless of skin color, can be racist. What do you think?

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Biologically you are exactly right BenGee. There are no fixed significant genetic differences among so called "races". 

Thank you John :)

I have never been able to understand the problem people have grasping this concept. II grew up understanding this. I also understood it is pretty much the same with dog breeds. I have no idea how I learned this when almost everyone can't seem to figure this shit out but....

Guess I musta had a damn good science teacher early on that I don't remember very well, or maybe a book I read when I was very young that I have forgotten. But it was so painfully obvious to me I never understood how everyone has such a problem here.

However my parents never treated anyone any different based on race, ect... but somehow from between when they were in their 30's or so they've been brainwashed by their church. I've heard them say some shit I never imagined I'd hear them say. But it's not like I could ever stand up to them, not unless I want them to shoot me (which is something they've tried a few times before). Churches have been changing over the past 30 years. They've been changing in some very dangerous ways, from wanting to create a church run government to openly embracing of racism, anti science ideas ect. I"ve had the unfortunate privilege of seeing these changes first hand having hidden among them for so long.

Yes and no. With mixed race populations, such as African Americans, geneticists can track an individuals genome, and assign each segment to an African or European ancestor. That means race does have some basis in biological reality ( timeinc.net ). All humans,whatever their race, do share the same set of genes though. The designation of different races are often an artificial construct.

The point is, it is OK for their to be some differences among people. Diversity is a good thing.

It is also true that Japanese and Jewish get their own diseases and perhaps there are others as well. But if race is only a construct it is a lie i can live with. 

People of different races do indeed have different propensities for illness. White and Asian women are more prone to decreased bone density. There is a long list of race specific diseases. As I said, there are biological differences among the races. The artificial construct is where the lines are often drawn. For example some government forms have white / hispanic as a box to check or Asian / Pacific Islander. There are genetic differences between people of north and south China as there are between people of north and south Mexico. So these racial delineations don't make much sense.

You should ask John Elder about this, as he's a biologist. However, I'll quote him for you here...

"Biologically you are exactly right BenGee. There are no fixed significant genetic differences among so called "races". -John Elder

It's not a lie, what it is is a failure to understand what constitutes a new species. Race isn't really a thing, you can have similar delineations in animals which in turn carry specific genetic propensities for illness, ect. However that doesn't mean they posses "significant genetic differences" add to that those "differences" are not fixed between the "races" I can not accept your claim. So I did not lie, nor do I think I am wrong here.

Dog breeds are the closest example I can think of that could be similar to "race" and yet dog breeds are also a social construct, in fact dog breeds have far more genetic variety than humans and yet still are all the same species with no further meaningful delineation. Dog "breeds" were invented by rich people in the 17th century or so with too much time on their hands having fun with selective breeding. However none of the changes constitute anything significantly different on a genetic or biological level. John, feel free to jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong on this. After all I'm just a kid who grew up in bio labs. I never actually studied biology as a science. I have been to many of the research bio labs around the world and have seen absolutely nothing to back up your claim that "race" exists.

(My dad was a microscope sales rep, I grew up being cheap/free labor putting together multi million dollar microscopes, I got to use a laser dissecting microscope in Hawaii, have worked with electron scanning microscopes, inverted microscopes. My dad treated me like shit, like I was too stupid to understand, the lab personnel however treated me well and answered any/all questions I had. I just made sure to ask when my dad wasn't in the room. None of this is the same as having the qualifications John has, who is a biology professor. So I could be wrong, but this is how I grew up viewing the world. I have yet to see any evidence that should suggest I significantly change my view of things)

Right again BenGee.

When people track our origins around the planet using our genetics they are not really tracking our "racial" origins. Many people misunderstand that what they actually are tracking are some few genetic markers that have known mutations that occurred among groups of people during demonstrable places at known times. Those mutation markers provide signposts for tracking family histories back into time. Sometimes very deep time. Mine for instance show I have more Neanderthal markers than 97% of modern humans (my parents would not have been surprised). They point to certain historical groups and places.

These markers are largely neutral, say, like mitochondrial DNA markers, meaning they have no real biological function because they occur in the fraction of our DNA that has no function. Usually these markers do not correspond to genes, or when they do, they are mutations that do not cause change in the genes's function. Choosing markers with this neutrality is essential because if they are not neutral, then the information they provide on historical groupings, dispersal and origin may be compromised. If the markers are not neutral then natural selection and other factors can alter their abundance and distribution in groups and confuse the pattern produced by tracking dispersal alone. 

Point is, these studies do not really track our meaningful "Genetic differences" in any function or character difference sense. Because of that they are largely meaningless in terms of "race". As someone here has said, race is a human construct. These marker studies do not  really correlate to genetic difference among groups that people define as "races". If one looks at the functional portions of our genomes and compares them between those groups of people who are defined by race, they revel no fixed difference associated with traditionally defined racial groups.  

When we talk about group genetics we are talking about collective gene pools. When we do, we have to talk about genetic variation in the pools and compare them between pools. We have to look at the amount of gene variations shared by pools versus the amount partitioned into each pool. When we do that for humans we find that we are just as likely to be more genetically different from someone within our own group than  we are to someone from another group. That means there is virtually no partitioned genetic variation between any groups anywhere. What little partitioned variation there is , is partitioned among geographic groupings that do not correspond to traditionally defined racial groups. And most of that is trivial in nature not affecting our characteristics in any definable group identity way that has been historically ascribed to races.

End result? Human races have no inherent genetic, biological identity or meaning. We all come from North East Africa in origin and we have all dispersed from there picking up a few meaningless group changes since. All modern humans descend from a very small group in N.E. Africa, stem from one original small gene pool, spread while driving the Neanderthals extinct, and colonized the globe. Besides, the way the world is today with people moving and interbreeding all over the globe since the 1700's the few genetic differences that may have once been partitioned are now all mixed among all human groups to some extent. That means there is really only ONE human gene pool.

The true biological story is the racist's (of all races) nightmare!

I learned. Thanks for taking the time John. 

My pleasure sir.

Also, BenGee,

Referring to your line:"After all I'm just a kid who grew up in bio labs. I never actually studied biology as a science. " 

As we have talked before, being a scientist is really about adopting a realistic world view that provides an acceptance of realistic rules about "how we know what we know"and how we evaluate what constitutes acceptable knowledge. That trumps all training, specialization, degrees  and formal authority. In all our interactions I have always found you to be as much the "scientist" with a capital "S" as anyone I have ever dealt with. You shouldn't downplay that!

Best always, John.

That really is kind of you to say, thank you John.

Too bad I can't turn this into a decent job lol. To be fair I find many people place a high degree of emphasis on credentials, so my attempts to play mine down is an active attempt to disarm people who would judge me based on education rather than listen to my arguments and points.

Also you did a far better job explaining how the genetic markers used to identify heritage than I think I could have.

If only the adults were as wise as the children.

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