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Old 26th March 2018, 11:27 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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The concept of 'race' Reich's view

In his new book, David Reich offers a lukewarm defense of the concept of 'race' ---in last Sunday's NY Times.. He notes racial differences in genetic lines. I think his view is over-simplified. There are regional differences in genetic lines both within and between continents. For example, not all African Americans are predisposed to sickle cell anemia.

Last edited by josh w.; 26th March 2018 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 26th March 2018, 01:40 PM
AFH AFH is offline
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There is no mention of adaptation to climate? Beneficial mutations etc or anything along those line?
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Old 26th March 2018, 06:33 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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There is no mention of adaptation to climate? Beneficial mutations etc or anything along those line?
Reich gives much room to the environment but also room to Darwinian genetic adaptations to the environment. I have no problem with this approach but don't think race is a necessary factor. Let me go back to African sickle cell anemia. It is often thought of as a race related disease. However, it is region related not race related. It was a genetic adaptation to malaria. The disease is not prominent in all parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It is only prominent in West-Central Africa where there are high rates of malaria. Skin color itself is region based not race based. 10,000 years ago old time residents of England had dark rather than white skin. Skin color changed as people moved to a new region from Africa.

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Old 26th March 2018, 07:06 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Reich gives much room to the environment but also room to Darwinian genetic adaptations to the environment. I have no problem with this approach but don't think race is a necessary factor. Let me go back to African sickle cell anemia. It is often thought of as a race related disease. However, it is region related not race related. It was a genetic adaptation to malaria. The disease is not prominent in all parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It is only prominent in West-Central Africa where there are high rates of malaria. Skin color itself is region based not race based. 10,000 years ago old time residents of England had dark rather than white skin. Skin color changed as people moved to a new region from Africa.
The skin color example is a good illustration of why the notion of race is outmoded. The ancient English were not simply transplanted Africans. They had begun to adapt to a northern region even before their skin pigment changed. They had dark skin but blue eyes. This would be difficult to explain from a 'racial' perspective.
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Old 26th March 2018, 07:51 PM
dna dna is offline
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When dividing the world into races, the sub-Saharan Africa gets dived the most (or the fastest).

Africa is the least uniform. Most uniformity was in pre-1492 Americas (as the founding populations of Australia are estimated to be larger than those of Americas, and possible later admixtures were identified in Australia).

Mr. W.
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Old 27th March 2018, 06:55 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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When dividing the world into races, the sub-Saharan Africa gets dived the most (or the fastest).

Africa is the least uniform. Most uniformity was in pre-1492 Americas (as the founding populations of Australia are estimated to be larger than those of Americas, and possible later admixtures were identified in Australia).

Mr. W.
Are you saying that sub-Saharan Africans were divided into different races
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Old 27th March 2018, 04:12 PM
dna dna is offline
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Are you saying that sub-Saharan Africans were divided into different races
Exactly!

I cannot take any credit for that though, as that had been noticed long time ago. A fairly recent classification would be The Origin of Races by Carleton Coon, published in 1962 (refers to times before 1492):
  • Australoid
  • Capoid
  • Caucasoid
  • Congoid
  • Mongoloid

From Wikipedia at File:Carleton Coon races after Pleistocene.PNG.

Mr. W.
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Old 27th March 2018, 06:49 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Exactly!

I cannot take any credit for that though, as that had been noticed long time ago. A fairly recent classification would be The Origin of Races by Carleton Coon, published in 1962 (refers to times before 1492):
  • Australoid
  • Capoid
  • Caucasoid
  • Congoid
  • Mongoloid

From Wikipedia at File:Carleton Coon races after Pleistocene.PNG.

Mr. W.
Then you reject the notion of a sub-Saharan African race. I have nothing against regional groups. My point is that is more accurate to speak of regional groups than a continental or subcontinental race. I don't wish to focus on it but Coon's map seems way off

Last edited by josh w.; 27th March 2018 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 27th March 2018, 08:54 PM
ewd76 ewd76 is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Then you reject the notion of a sub-Saharan African race. I have nothing against regional groups. My point is that is more accurate to speak of regional groups than a continental or subcontinental race. I don't wish to focus on it but Coon's map seems way off
I had never heard of him, but his work was apparently very controversial.
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Old 27th March 2018, 08:57 PM
dna dna is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Then you reject the notion of a sub-Saharan African race. I have nothing against regional groups. My point is that is more accurate to speak of regional groups than a continental or subcontinental race. I don't wish to focus on it but Coon's map seems way off
I am fresh after arguments exchanged in the Recreation Room

It was not a discussion, so no consensus, but the minimum is three.

Concept of regional variations does not carry the bias of previous centuries. As long as we agree that there are differences, we can use any words.

Sub-Saharan Africa is large, with a huge variety of DNA, and thousands of years of localized endogamy due to slow migration patterns. There must be very many regions that significantly differ from each other after thousands of years being on the other side of some body of water, jungle or a mountain range.

DNA testing has revealed that if populations differ in terms of their genetics, it might imply that different medical treatments have greater chances of success, and might imply necessity of different interpretation of medical tests (standard blood etc.). Rates of various diseases might be substantially different etc.

Modern medicine only now fully understands that XX and XY patients might need different treatments (although I am not sure whether everybody gets it). Beyond the defining differences, most people would probably only know that males on average have thicker skin...

If there is a digital divide now, there might be soon a global divide in availability of medical treatments. Some populations are so small, that there is no possibility to fully test on them everything the modern medicine has to offer.


Mr. W.

P.S.
My wife and me had fellow international students from different places in Africa. We never had a problem recognizing whether someone was from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa (real students, real countries, really small unscientific sample). Then I understand that an African Pygmy would look yet different.
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