New Science undermines oldest notions about race....or not
I was forwarded an article from the baltimore sun which can be found here:
It is entitled " New Science undermines oldest notions about race" and purports to throw cold water on the notion of race.
It starts with this comment:
Most of us know a white person, a black person, an Asian or American
Indian when we
see one. We say we can spot them by their skin color, their hair
texture, or by the
shape of their eyes, or nose, or lips.
And many people, consciously or unconsciously, will leap from the
perception of race
to assumptions about a stranger's genetics, biology, behavior and abilities.
They'd probably be wrong.
Indeed they are right. In America what is defined as black, white, etc. is simplyh an extension of white supremacy. Those of us who rejected the "one drop rule" already could tell you that what many people consider "black" is not black at all and that black in such a state is more a social contruct than a true classification based on phenotype. And let's be clear the concept of race, which goes as far back as Egypt was not based on Genetics but on phenotype. Thus the article starts from a propostion that is flawed: Given that 'race" itself was not originally based on genetics nor a means to indicate inferiority or dominance.
But let us examine the statement further, In my discussions of this topic I usually pose the following question: Would you confuse Loretta Devine, Lucy liu and Pamela Anderson? No one ever "mistook" any of them for the other indicating that there were definitely discernible differences between groups which we call "races."
Let's look at their next set of comments:
"Race as an explanation for human biological variation is dead," says
Alan H. Goodman,
president-elect of the American Anthropological Association.
The truth emerging from modern genetics, scientists say, is that we're
identical. Thanks to our common origins, and our natural eagerness to
our genes are thoroughly scrambled. And what patterns do emerge bear little
resemblance to our traditional, geographically rooted notions of "race."
Well according to Francis Collins a new analysis of of the human genome reveals that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 genes in humans. .1 % of whic would be 2000 genes. That's a whole lot of genes given that a mutation in just one of them could result in something like sickle cell.
if we took the lower number of genes (20,000) the "difference" between "races" would be the equivalent to the genetic difference between humans and C. elegans, a worm or a mustard plant. So clearly the fact that humans are so genetically close does not absolve the fact that even such closelness can contain massive differences. And if that number doesn't tickle you, consider that there are 3 Billion + Chemicals that make up DNA and .1% of that is 3 million. That's a whole lot of difference.
They continue after much social discussion:
Because of our relatively recent, partial genetic separation, two
individuals of two
different "races" are only slightly more different, genetically, than
two people from
the same race. And the few genetic differences scientists can identify
distributed neatly by continent, as traditional racial categories suggest.
*A genetic 'tree'*
For example, there is more genetic variation among humans in Africa than
in the rest
of the world combined. The point is illustrated on a genetic "tree"
Jorde devised. Based
on 620 genetic samples from around the world, it displays the genetic
24 Old World population groups.
The resulting diagram is dominated by 11 genetically diverse populations
sub-Saharan Africa, widely spaced along the tree's trunk and lower
branches. At one
end, crowded in a tight cluster that reflects their close genetic
"recent" dispersion out of Africa, are 13 other groups representing
from the Finns and French to the Chinese and Cambodians.
That sub-saharan Africans have the most genetic diversity comes to no surprise as it was told to us by Loius Leakey that Africans have the genetic ability to reconstitute most of the human variation that we observe today. But this last point highlights the lack of seriousness on the part of the researchers:
Finally, visible markers such as skin color, hair texture and facial
patterns change in
response to natural selection. "Those differences we perceive physically
external adaptations to extreme environments, at least in part," Jorde
says. "It's only
a very small fraction of our genes responsible for those differences."
For example, sub-Saharan African people and Australian Aborigines both
have dark skin,
an adaptation to strong sunlight. But genetically they're relatively far
apart. White skin
was selected as humans moved north from Africa. It's an adaptation to
sunlight that enhances the skin's vitamin D production. That, in turn,
a bone disease.
Now we have agreement that the founding population of humans came from Africa but nowhere do the researchers stake a claim as to how these persons look. Instead we get the usual BS that the skin became dark to protect the sun and the skin became light to allow more sunlight. I mean really now. How many non-blacks are poping out black skinned babies? It does not happen. Some people insist tha the "darkening was gradual" There is no evidence to support this. There is plenty of evidence of albinism among pigmented populations thereby supporting the claim that there was no "darkening" to protect from the sun, but lightening to access more light. It is even known that black (as opposed to lighter brown) populations have genetic markers for pigmentation that is not found in other human populations. In otherwords the gene can only be inherited from a black person.
This failure to even state that the human populations derived their color from depigmentation shows that the researchers were more motivated by some social agenda rather than the facts.
The facts are quite clear really:
1) NOrthern European populations are not genetically equiped to produce "nappy hair" or black skinned humans.
2) Asian (Chinese, Japanese)populations from my limited observations are unable to produce curly hair and also are unable to produce Black skinned humans. Their neighbors to the south have the abiity to produce "colored" humans of varying hues but none as dark as, or with the "nappy" hair of the darkest and "nappiest" African. Africans have the ability to produce the darkest, widest nosed and nappiest humans as well as the lightest, blondest, blue eyed, slant eyed humans. Why not just admit these facts and move along?