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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly

For genetics, use scientifically relevant descriptions, not outdated social ideas:

With the advent of genomic studies, it's become ever more clear that humanity's genetic history is one of churn. Populations migrated, intermingled, and fragmented wherever they went, leaving us with a tangled genetic legacy that we often struggle to understand. The environment—in the form of disease, diet, and technology—also played a critical role in shaping populations.

But this understanding is frequently at odds with the popular understanding, which often views genetics as a determinative factor and, far too often, interprets genetics in terms of race. Worse still, even though race cannot be defined or quantified scientifically, popular thinking creeps back into scientific thought, shaping the sort of research we do and how we interpret the results.

Those are some of the conclusions of a new report produced by the National Academies of Science. Done at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the report calls for scientists and the agencies that fund them to stop thinking of genetics in terms of race, and instead to focus on things that can be determined scientifically.

The report is long overdue. Genetics data has revealed that the popular understanding of race, developed during a time when white supremacy was widely accepted, simply doesn't make any sense. In the popular view, for instance, "Black" represents a single, homogenous group. But genomic data makes clear that populations in Sub-Saharan Africa are the most genetically diverse on Earth.

And, like everywhere else, populations in this region haven't stayed static. While some groups remained isolated from each other, the vast Bantu expansion touched most of the continent. Along the coast of East Africa, the history of interchange with Mideastern traders can be detected in many groups. There's also a tendency to treat African Americans as being equivalent to African, when the former population carries the legacy of genetic mixing with European populations—often not by choice.

Similar things are true for every population we have looked at, no matter where on the globe they reside. Treating any of these populations as a monolithic, uniform group—as a race, in other words—makes no scientific sense.

Yet in countless ways, scientists have done just that. In some cases, the reasons for this have been well-meaning ones, as with the priority to diversify the populations involved in medical studies. In other cases, scientists have carelessly allowed social views of race to influence research that could otherwise have had a solid empirical foundation. Finally, true believers in racial essentialism have always twisted scientific results to support their views.

The NIH, as the largest funder of biomedical research on the planet, has been forced to navigate our growing understanding of genetics while trying to diversify both the researchers it funds and the participants who volunteer to be part of these studies. NIH thus commissioned the National Academies to generate this report, presumably in the hope it would provide evidence-based guidelines on how to manage the sometimes competing pressures.

The resulting report makes clear why racial thinking needs to go. A summary of the mismatch between race and science offers welcome clarity on the problem:

In humans, race is a socially constructed designation, a misleading and harmful surrogate for population genetic differences, and has a long history of being incorrectly identified as the major genetic reason for phenotypic differences between groups. Rather, human genetic variation is the result of many forces—historical, social, biological—and no single variable fully represents this complexity. The structure of genetic variation results from repeated human population mixing and movements across time, yet the misconception that human beings can be naturally divided into biologically distinguishable races has been extremely resilient and has become embedded in scientific research, medical practice and technologies, and formal education.

The results of racial thinking are problematic in a variety of ways. Historically, we've treated race as conveying some essential properties, and thinking of populations in terms of race tends to evoke that essentialist perspective—even though it's clear that any population has a complicated mixture of genetic, social, and environmental exposures. Essentialist thinking also tends to undermine recognition of the important role played by those environmental and social factors in shaping the population.

The report also notes that science's racial baggage leads to sloppy thinking. Scientists will often write in broad racial terms when they're working with far more specific populations, and they'll mention racial groups even when it's not clear that the information is even relevant to their results. These tendencies have grown increasingly untenable as we've gotten far better at directly measuring the things that race was meant to be a proxy for, such as genetic distance between individuals.


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by RamiK on Saturday March 18 2023, @10:42AM

    by RamiK (1813) on Saturday March 18 2023, @10:42AM (#1296842)
    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Gaaark on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:01AM (30 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:01AM (#1296846) Journal

    and Jesus is not the white droid you're looking for.

    He's the 'dark' fellow over there.

    Gotta laugh when i see pictures of a nice white Jesus.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:06AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:06AM (#1296850)

      Systemic racism has been defeated. Race no longer exists.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:34AM (15 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:34AM (#1296852) Homepage Journal

      I'll second the laughing at white Jesus. Pretty much all white supremacists would spit on the real Jesus, and kick him out of their way. I think their term for people who look like Jesus is 'sand nigger'. But, white supremacists still insist that they are good Christians!

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:00PM (3 children)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:00PM (#1296902)

        He was a carpenter in olden times and wandered and preached outdoors -- he shouldn't look like someone who worked indoors at a desk job. I think an image like this [bbc.com] (scroll to near the bottom) should get more visibility and be more prevalent. (Maybe rein in that nose a little, though.)

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:21PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:21PM (#1296957)

          I remember a similar article that came out very recently but I can't find it. Here's one that's fairly recent with some other ideas of how Jesus might have looked:

          https://www.gbnews.com/news/what-jesus-really-looked-like-finally-revealed-after-2000-years/413335 [gbnews.com]

          • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:29PM

            by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:29PM (#1296959)

            See? Even AI can tell you gotta get that nose in check.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:45AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:45AM (#1297119)

            you really have to wonder

            after all of that wandering around helping people

            all those deeds

            no one, not one person, took to the time to make a painting of the son of god

            not one

            or were all paintings of jesus destroyed

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:21PM (10 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:21PM (#1296906)

        Good Christians defeated the sand niggers to liberate the Holy Land, but didn't have the financing to make a lasting occupation until WWII.

        Since Jesus is more of a concept than a real person, He (1/3 of Our "One true God") can be Any Colour You Like [wikipedia.org].

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:32PM (5 children)

          by Gaaark (41) on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:32PM (#1296929) Journal

          Yup! NOBODY wrote about Jesus while he was alive.

          He fed the masses with, what, a few fish (I don't remember the story)
          He turned water into wine! (He'd have been invited to EVERY party, but no one writes about him even once?)
          He made the blind see.
          He made the lame walk.

          And not ONE person wrote about him until hundreds of years after he supposedly lived; wrote down an oral history (and we all know how accurate oral histories are).

          The Gospels tell us about Jesus, but the one Gospel about Jesus that to me would be the most accurate was left out of the Bible: the Infant Gospel.
          Jesus, it says, as a child was a bit of a dick at times: he killed two people (a man and a child) on a whim.

          YET who, as a child, wasn't a dick at times. Who, as a child, wouldn't have killed someone if they had a special power to: a bully; an abusive parent; ?

          To me, Jesus being a dick as a child but reforming later on and going ultra-kind to people is an accurate portrayal, but showing Jesus as a dick is not something 'THE ESTABLISHMENT' (Catholic church, etc) wants people to see (and remember, this is only if you believe Jesus actually existed).

          Oral history, written down hundreds of years after the 'fact' about a guy who did all these miraculous things that NO ONE wrote about....

          ...and Jesus would have been black, or at least brown. Something 'THE ESTABLISHMENT' also tries to hide.

          I believe in what the bible/God/religion attempts to teach ('Be a good person'), but I think organized religion should be banned: NOT RELIGION, just ORGANIZED religion. As far as I've seen, organized religion is just about power and money (I know, money IS power).

          If you believe, fine. But why would you want/need someone to tell you HOW to believe. God is right there (supposedly): ask HIM how to believe.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:19PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:19PM (#1296941)

            Most of what was written about Jesus was by a guy named Josephus, a Roman propagandist, advocating Jewish pacifism during the invasion of Jerusalem

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:20AM (1 child)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:20AM (#1296980)

              Talk about backfire... Christianity didn't topple the empire, but it spread like wildfire compared with Judaism.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:06AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:06AM (#1296986) Homepage

                Christians recruited. Jews don't.

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:36PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:36PM (#1296947)

            The concept of Jesus was/is massively powerful, at least in the minority of the world where Christianity has taken hold.

            It only got that way by evolving into a socially spreadable and durable concept, and it continues to evolve today. "Jesus wants you to donate so we can buy more satellite time, etc."

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:25PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:25PM (#1296958)

              Comeon, get it together man. The satellites are up in heaven, duh.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jman on Sunday March 19 2023, @11:29AM (3 children)

          by jman (6085) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @11:29AM (#1297031) Homepage
          The tone of that first sentence is offensive, and sure doesn't sound anything like satire. Sounds like you mean it. Which is mean.

          The second sentence also begins with a false statement. Historical record shows Jesus probably was an actual person, but that's beside the point.

          While many pay lip service and claim to be this thing called a "Christian", no one who actually adheres to the principals he espoused would consider violence to be acceptable.
          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:35PM (1 child)

            by Gaaark (41) on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:35PM (#1297034) Journal

            While many pay lip service and claim to be this thing called a "Christian", no one who actually adheres to the principals he espoused would consider violence to be acceptable.

            According to the Infant gospel, Jesus killed at least 2 people.

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:50AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:50AM (#1297120)

              it's ok

              he brought them right back to life soon after

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:00PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:00PM (#1297043)

            Personally, I have known a lot of "Good Christians" who are mean to their core. Like sponsor military expeditions to the Middle East to go kill some brown people because that'll show 'em to fear our insecure unstable selves mean, and I am not only talking about the Crusades.

            If Jesus the man was son of God, He is an incredibly uncaring or impotent God, particularly with respect to what goes on in His name.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:07PM (6 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:07PM (#1296877) Homepage Journal

      As I am a Christian, seeing a "Jesus" that doesn't look Jewish saddens me.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:34PM (3 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:34PM (#1296930) Journal

        Seeing Jesus as he actually would have been (if he existed) saddens you?

        Have you read the Infant Gospels?

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 20 2023, @05:45PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 20 2023, @05:45PM (#1297210) Homepage Journal

          He would have looked no less like a modern Jew than an ancient Roman era European would have looked like me. As to skin pigments, if I get a lot of sun I'm darker than a lot of people with African ancestry, and I have hazel eyes.

          Jesus was Middle Eastern, not African.

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 20 2023, @05:53PM (1 child)

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 20 2023, @05:53PM (#1297212) Homepage Journal

          What are the infancy Gospels?
          The so-called Infancy Gospel of Thomas (IGT) or Paidika is an apocryphal document that narrates episodes from Jesus' youth from the age of five up until his twelfth year. With the exception of the Temple narrative based on Luke 2:41–52, the episodes are not found in the New Testament.

          No, I haven't, and wikipedia says "The texts are of various and uncertain origin." [wikipedia.org]

          Two centuries after Jesus was executed, anybody could have written them. They could not possibly have been eyewitness accounts.

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday March 20 2023, @10:37PM

            by Gaaark (41) on Monday March 20 2023, @10:37PM (#1297292) Journal

            What are the infancy Gospels?
                    The so-called Infancy Gospel of Thomas (IGT) or Paidika is an apocryphal document that narrates episodes from Jesus' youth from the age of five up until his twelfth year. With the exception of the Temple narrative based on Luke 2:41–52, the episodes are not found in the New Testament.

            No, I haven't, and wikipedia says "The texts are of various and uncertain origin." [wikipedia.org]

            Two centuries after Jesus was executed, anybody could have written them. They could not possibly have been eyewitness accounts.

              In later manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages, the Gospel opens with a prologue where "Thomas the Israelite" introduces himself, but with no further explanation. It is possible that this was meant to hint that the author was Judas Thomas, better known as Thomas the Apostle, thought by some Christians to be a brother of Jesus and thus familiar with young Jesus's activities.[5]

            ************************************************************

            but as eyewitnesses began to die, and as the missionary needs of the church grew, there was an increasing demand and need for written versions of the founder's life and teachings.[44] The stages of this process can be summarised as follows:[45]

                    Oral traditions – stories and sayings passed on largely as separate self-contained units, not in any order;
                    Written collections of miracle stories, parables, sayings, etc., with oral tradition continuing alongside these;
                    Written proto-gospels preceding and serving as sources for the gospels;
                    Canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John composed from these sources.

            The four canonical gospels were first mentioned between 120 and 150 by Justin Martyr, who lived c.100-185.[51] Justin had no titles for them and simply called them the "memoirs of the Apostles", but around 185 Iraneus, a bishop of Lyon who lived c.130–c.202, attributed them to: 1) Matthew, an apostle who followed Jesus in his earthly career; 2) Mark, who while himself not a disciple was the companion of Peter, who was; 3) Luke, the companion of Paul, the author of the Pauline epistles; and 4) John, who like Matthew was an apostle who had known Jesus.[51] The scholarly consensus is that they are the work of

            • unknown Christians

            and were composed c.68-110 AD.[52][51] The majority of New Testament scholars agree that the Gospels do not contain eyewitness accounts;[53] but that they present the theologies of their communities rather than the testimony of eyewitnesses.[54][55]

            Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the synoptic gospels because they share many stories (the technical term is pericopes), sometimes even identical wording; finding an explanation for their similarities, and also their differences, is known as the synoptic problem,[56] and most scholars believe that the best solution to the problem is that Mark was the first gospel to be written and served as the source for the other two[57] - alternative theories exist, but create more problems than they solve.[58]

            [Emphasis mine]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Gospels [wikipedia.org]

            Seems like the four gospels were picked and chosen, the infancy gospels rejected. Why?

            And, it's all oral history: why should ANY of it be believed?

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:32PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @09:32PM (#1296960)

        I'm not sure if you're being literal or tongue-in-cheek. I'm not sure what Jewish would look like, especially 2,000 years ago. I've known many and been around many many, and they vary wildly, including some with very red hair and blue eyes. Maybe even some blondes, but very few "blondes" are actually blonde.

        I like the depiction in this article a lot: https://www.gbnews.com/news/what-jesus-really-looked-like-finally-revealed-after-2000-years/413335 [gbnews.com]

        This image: https://www.gbnews.com/media-library/the-real-jesus-the-ai-generated-image-of-the-son-of-god.jpg?id=32937807&width=861&height=1079&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C4&quality=80 [gbnews.com]

        • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:24AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:24AM (#1296981) Homepage Journal

          That image is very passable. Years ago, I participated in a discussion, in which several modern look-alikes were discussed. We settled on the late Colonel Omar Khadaffi as one of the most likely candidate. Basically the same as your link, but with a more oval head.

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:48PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:48PM (#1296886)
    • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Sunday March 19 2023, @04:08AM (2 children)

      by aafcac (17646) on Sunday March 19 2023, @04:08AM (#1297007)

      Not necessarily, look at the people that currently invite there middle east, he wouldn't be Scandinavian white, but Caucasian is hardly unreasonable

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:46PM (1 child)

        by Gaaark (41) on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:46PM (#1297035) Journal

        Now go back 2000ish years. Probably brown, at least.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Sunday March 19 2023, @06:00PM

          by aafcac (17646) on Sunday March 19 2023, @06:00PM (#1297061)

          Probably not that much, that was after the Aryans started migrating into modern day India and there was already a bunch of trade routes around the Mediterranean region. They probably were slightly darker, but still Caucasian. Getting to and from subsaharan Africa was a particular challenge at the time.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:06AM (#1297111)

      Given that Jesus was a Jew and we still have Jewish people in the world take a look at them to see what he probably looked like. For example: https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2012/12/18/17/web-jews-getty.jpg [independent.co.uk]

      It's only been 2000 years. Why do people keep saying Jesus was black?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by maxwell demon on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:05AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:05AM (#1296848) Journal

    Actually it's very easy to define race:

    A race is a competition whose objective is to reach a goal as early as possible. The participant reaching the goal first is called the winner of the race.

    SCNR :-)

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Troll) by turgid on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:06AM (16 children)

    by turgid (4318) on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:06AM (#1296849) Journal

    If you speak to some really old people (well into their 90s now) you can get a glimpse of some very simplistic and ignorant attitudes from the past. In fact one of my own grandmothers, who lived to be over 100, had some "interesting" attitudes to race. She and others of her generation, considered "races" of people not unlike people used to talk about breeds of dog, particularly the fact that if you cross the breeds you get mongrels. It's a pretty stupid attitude and highly insulting. My grandmother claimed not to hate people with different skin colours but she thought they shouldn't intermarry. "It's the children I feel sorry for." Presumably because they'd get looked down on by people like her.

    Scotland has a pretty shameful history when it comes to racism (and many other sorts of -isms). Scotland was heavily involved in slavery and made a lot of money out of things like tobacco and sugar produced by slave labour in the colonies. This from a country of raving puritanical Christians, too. The hypocrisy stank to high Heaven. I believe there was a Scot who made his fortune getting Chinese people addicted to opium. He was a raving puritan and made sure that things like whisky were banned at home, thus criminalising the locals.

    What a dreadful and shameful past. I'll write about the homophobia another day.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by turgid on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:57PM (4 children)

      by turgid (4318) on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:57PM (#1296862) Journal

      How is this a troll? Have some Alt-Wrong nerves been touched?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:00PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:00PM (#1296894)

        > How is this a troll?

        It is not. This system gives far too much power to one person who "has an ax to grind", is closed-minded, and gets his little incel rocks off by using his mighty downvote.

        > Have some Alt-Wrong nerves been touched?

        When haven't they?

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:43PM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:43PM (#1296924) Journal

          This system gives far too much power to one person who "has an ax to grind", is closed-minded, and gets his little incel rocks off by using his mighty downvote.

          What usually happens is that, over time, others correct the perceived bad moderation with moderations of their own. No single moderation should be taken as the view of the entire community.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:30AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:30AM (#1296997) Journal
            This downmod [soylentnews.org] on September 2, 2019 totally destroyed SoylentNews. It has been wiped clean from the face of the Earth by the fury of this downmodder. We no longer even know of it. It's like it never existed in the first place!
            • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Sunday March 19 2023, @07:53AM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @07:53AM (#1297023) Journal

              September 2, 2019 totally destroyed SoylentNews

              That comment and the moderation are still there, with the username that gave it. Yet here we are and the same people are still posting today - literally. Nothing to do with the comment that you linked to has been "wiped clean from the face of the Earth by the fury of this downmodder". Another person upmodded that comment too, so the comment score stayed exactly the same.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by mcgrew on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:13PM (4 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:13PM (#1296879) Homepage Journal

      It's really hard for a young person to wrap their head around, but the legal enslavement of Black people wasn't really all that long ago. I'll be 71 next month, and I met my great grandpa Harry McGrew when I was four. He was 101 and had been alive during the Civil War. My Grandpa Bill McGrew was alive a few years after Congress outlawed Asians in 1890 (they considered all Asians "Chinese").

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:09AM (3 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:09AM (#1296987) Homepage

        The legal enslavement of whites was even more recent.
        Just not where Americans would notice it.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_slavery [wikipedia.org]

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:21AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:21AM (#1297116)

          Even more recent is the rape crisis in England - https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/august/easy-meat-britains-muslim-rape-gang-cover-up [cbn.com]

          As many as one million white English children may have been the victims of Muslim rape gangs, better known as grooming gangs, in towns up and down Great Britain.

          Perhaps even harder to believe is that while there have been prosecutions, the British government has still not stopped this criminal activity.

          In one local jurisdiction, it was estimated that six out of seven Muslim males either knew about, or were part of, a grooming gang.

          The thing you have to understand about this rape of children is it's not just sexual abuse. It is unspeakable levels of violence, victims being raped with knives, victims being raped with bottles, victims having their tongues nailed to tables. These are sometimes girls who are picked up from a children's home on a Friday, are being raped during the course of a weekend by hundreds of men and returned with bleeding groins back to the children's' home on a Monday morning and they don't do anything about it at all.

          If you are a young English girl, particularly between the ages of nine and 14, and you find yourself subject to the perversions of Muslim men, you effectively exist in a country where the forces of law and order don't exist at all.

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday March 20 2023, @08:28AM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2023, @08:28AM (#1297137) Journal

            If you think that a news report from 2016 backs up your claim then I will have to disagree with you.

            Secondly, it is not in 'England' any more than Ohio or Florida is the whole of America. The report you quoted tried to make it easier for you by saying "in towns up and down Great Britain" which includes other countries in addition to England (England, Scotland, and Wales). Even the US news site that you mis-quoted knows the difference.

            Finally, we are discussing the use of the word 'race' specifically in science. Muslim isn't a race. It is a religion. And any religion can be corrupted. Another example is the corruption of Christianity by the extreme right wing, the Catholic church, and others in the USA. I am surprised that you didn't quote that as a more recent example of the 'rape crisis in America'. You should look at the evidence that is being recorded on other sites on the internet which details the large numbers of Christian priests and pastoral staff who are currently being convicted for child abuses - including rape.

            Your comment was so bad I can fully understand why you chose to post it as an Anonymous Coward.

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 20 2023, @05:41PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 20 2023, @05:41PM (#1297208) Homepage Journal

          "Legal" referred to legal IN AMERICA, and the examples I saw in your link were from before 1900. Grandma McGrew wasn't even born until 1903. Hardly "recent" although one was less ancient than American slavery

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:19PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:19PM (#1296897)

      Learning from history is vitally important, but people shouldn't dwell on it and get all riled up in a negative and equally hateful way. We should be happy and inspired by how far we've come, especially compared to many societies who even today oppress and murder those who don't conform. Sure, there's more to do, but I think we need to be careful of the unintended consequences, like increasing racism because some whites are going to hate blacks no matter what, and the more benefits and talk of reparations we give blacks, the more the racists will hate.

      I was severely underfunded in college, to the point that my grades suffered because I had to work part-time, had to take semesters off, and the weak GPA caused a domino-effect in my lack of a career. In college I went to the "financial aid" office over and over. They knew me by face. Were always polite, but finally said (and I'll never forget these exact words): "If you were black or Hispanic, there would all kinds of money available to you." That was the last time I went there. Maybe I should have bought some skin coloring and changed my name to something black or Hispanic sounding. I don't, and have never resented blacks or Hispanics as a result, rather I strongly resent the people who put "Affirmative Action" in place, a system which discriminates against white people, and it should be obvious that it fuels the fire of racism. When we cease ALL racism, maybe it'll dissipate.

      • (Score: 2) by j-beda on Sunday March 19 2023, @05:35PM

        by j-beda (6342) on Sunday March 19 2023, @05:35PM (#1297060) Homepage

        They knew me by face. Were always polite, but finally said (and I'll never forget these exact words): "If you were black or Hispanic, there would all kinds of money available to you." That was the last time I went there. Maybe I should have bought some skin coloring and changed my name to something black or Hispanic sounding. I don't, and have never resented blacks or Hispanics as a result, rather I strongly resent the people who put "Affirmative Action" in place, a system which discriminates against white people, and it should be obvious that it fuels the fire of racism. When we cease ALL racism, maybe it'll dissipate.

        I'm sorry you struggled with paying for your tuition, and that that contributed to challenges then, and later in life.

        I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion that your experience represents evidence that "Affirmative Action" discriminates against white people. What I think your experience shows is that we need more support for more people, not that we should eliminate the support being provided to under-represented groups. Most of use fail to recognize that the tiny advantages we might get or not get because someone else of similar status does or does not get them is NOTHING as compared to the systematic barriers that favour those at the top end of the system. The vast majority of the benefits that college savings funds, tuition tax credits, financial aid, and the entire financial system go towards those who are "upper middle class" or above. "The rest of us" spend a whole lot of our emotional and political energy fighting each other over how to divide the "scraps that fall from the tables".

        Of course, figuring out how to combat racism more broadly is something I have no real idea how to do. Combating extremism in all its myriad forms seems virtually impossible.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:33PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:33PM (#1296908)

      >she thought they shouldn't intermarry.

      My grandparents were born in Tennessee in the 1910s of poor mongrel German, Scottish, English descent and that's pretty much where they landed in their racial attitudes by their later life, 1975 and beyond.

      That, and they were pretty much afraid of blacks, wouldn't often mingle with them if given a choice. Fair enough when you consider the 1960s and what was happening in the US South at that time.

      My parents made some progress, have some black and Hispanic friends, but still are racially conscious/ slightly standoffish sometimes.

      My wife and sons attended integrated schools, they slightly prefer the company of other races, the remaining white supremacists are not as much fun to be around, although there are still a significant number of black, Asian and Hispanic people around who are as racist as the whites - they aren't fun to be around either.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:43PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday March 18 2023, @07:43PM (#1296933) Journal

        Yeah: i've known some non-white people who are/were great, and some white people who are/were scum.

        How in hell can you be prejudiced against an entire people when your own can be so fucking useless.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:29PM (#1296945)

      Scotland has a pretty shameful history when it comes to racism

      Damn Scots! [youtu.be]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Sunday March 19 2023, @01:49PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Sunday March 19 2023, @01:49PM (#1297041)

      I don't know - seems to me the only fucked up part is the attitude toward mongrels, and the idea that "mongrel" humans are a *bad* thing.

      Other than that it sounds like a pretty reasonable analogy. It's not like the biological rules behind animal husbandry work any different for humans.

      Consider:

      Purebred animals are pretty much by definition heavily inbred. And prone to all the mental and physical health problems that accompany that. Mongrels are the ones that tend to be dramatically healthier and more intelligent. The first generation may still get fucked up genes from both parents, but they're *different* fucked up genes, so all the recessive problem genes aren't a problem for them, and the blending problem genes are at least diluted. And subsequent generation of mongrels have a better chance of not carrying the bad genes at all.

      Now dogs and other domesticated animals were bred to have very specific traits be good tools or trophies for us - and it makes sense that someone who wants a tool or trophy rather than a healthy individual will look down on mongrel animals.

      But for a person? If someone wants a person to be a tool or a trophy, then *they* are the problem. And while human races generally aren't nearly as inbred as dog breeds, if you want healthy, intelligent people then "mongrels" are still where it's at. Among closely related wild species we call the phenomena "hybrid vigor", with the offspring often combining the best qualities of both parent populations into an individual that can out-compete those from either original population. Like the coyote-wolves that are currently re-populating a Unites States in which both coyotes and wolves have been nearly exterminated - the greater size, strength (and brain size) of wolves combined with the stealth, cleverness, and litter size control of coyotes have created a mongrel canid that's driving sheep ranchers to distraction and even thriving, mostly unseen, in the hearts of cities.

      Which I suppose for the more intelligent and self-aware racists might be the real problem...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:48AM (17 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:48AM (#1296854) Homepage Journal

    "leaving us with a tangled genetic legacy that we often struggle to understand."

    Well, their struggle doesn't invalidate the concept of race.

    People have been mutating since they became people. Actually, even before they became people. That's how they became people, after all. Animals mutated into the original humanoids and humans, and humans have kept on with the mutations.

    A race would consist of people who share a set of mutations.

    And, yes, race is a legitimate concern medically speaking. I don't think anyone gets shaving bumps, aside from Black Africans. Sickle cell anemia seems to be unique to Africans. Lactose tolerance and intolerance seems to be racially connected, with most Euros being very tolerant. And, while sun burns aren't unique to Euros, we are especially susceptible to them.

    I have a better idea. Let's not stop talking about race. Instead, let's speak more intelligently about race. This article, and the ideas behind it, are just lame. Races aren't hard to identify, in real life. No one confuses a French man with a Korean man. Few are going to confuse a Pacific islander with a Caribbean islander.

    When you pretend that there is no such thing as a race, you have discounted the ancestry and heritage of most of the peoples of the world. I'm proud of my heritage, and I know for a fact that most people from around the world are equally proud of their own heritage.

    The National Academy of Science should do real science, and figure out what it is that makes us all so different, as well as what makes us all so much alike. Pretending that there are no races is not science at all.

    --
    Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:19PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:19PM (#1296857)

      They're not saying race doesn't exist, they're saying you can't define it. There's no genetic markers or other ways to say "this person is hispanic." There's no "black gene." Genetic mutations are not discrete so there's no consistent dividing line between them. Some mutations you might see predominantly in one region also show in other regions. Genetically everything is blurred together. This has nothing to do with heritage. All this is saying is you can't speak intelligently about race so stop relying on ill defined and unscientific artificial boundaries to group people in scientific papers.

      You are missing the whole point which is, yes, races actually are hard to identify. Racism comes directly from looking at someone and saying "he's Korean, he's Jewish, he's not like me." If instead of using your eyes and you looked at their DNA, you couldn't confidently group them, so the National Academies is saying stop pretending you can or know how to.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:57PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:57PM (#1296861)
        The fact that you can look at someone and have a good idea of their "race" invalidates your point.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by mcgrew on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:17PM (1 child)

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:17PM (#1296884) Homepage Journal

          Some people, yes. Others? No. Take Kamala Harris, she sure looks White to me, but she's not.

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:42PM (#1296909)

            She doesn't look "white" to me. Well, not pure Caucasian. Maybe Hispanic, and some of them look very Asian to me. They probably have much Asian heritage because IIRC Asians came to South American very long ago. My solution: stop worrying or even thinking about "race" and get on with life.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:21PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:21PM (#1297046)

          In casual conversation, perhaps.

          In rigorous scientific research though it's just a false division that's going to lead to false conclusions. There's a reason we distinguish between genetoypes (what your genes are) and phenotypes (how those genes get expressed in an individual)

          You try to divide a sample population into groups "by eye", or even by self-identification, and the genetic diversity within a group is going to dwarf the diversity between groups. Since only a few superficial traits like skin tone and facial features can be seen, and they can easily be inherited with few other traits from the source population. Like the kid born to black parents who can pass as white because he happened to inherit the recessive light-skin genes from two ancestors a couple generations back. If he embraces the social benefits of his mis-identification his kids might never know they're actually mostly-black. Not to mention a great many traits from Group B can be simulated by blending genes from Group A and Group C to get features that look very similar, even though the genetic basis is completely different.

          If you're testing anything other than the effect of skin color or facial characteristics, then dividing your sample population by race is going to result in so much more noise than signal that your study will be worse than useless - drawing false conclusions that obscure rather than illuminate.

      • (Score: 3, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:29PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:29PM (#1296870) Homepage Journal

        They're not saying race doesn't exist,

        "so stop using it in science" translates to "pretend there are no races".

        I can't say that the term "race" is applicable here, but I know for a fact that some Native Americans, especially Apache, have metabolisms that are quite different from most of us. Take an Apache to any general practitioner for a DOT physical. Unless that GP has experience with Apache, he'll deny the Apache his physical card, based on pulse. At rest, his heart rate is far below that of any of us Euro or African descended Americans.

        There are many things that distinguish groups of people. If we are to stop talking about race, then all those differences just go away, into the land of mystical unexplainable things - metaphysics.

        To reiterate - we need to talk more intelligently about race.

        --
        Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:43PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:43PM (#1297048)

          I think it's more we need to talk about ancestry and genetic traits rather than race. And if we don't have that information (and almost nobody does), then don't try to pretend we do.

          Because any individual human is a big ole mixed up ball of traits from all over the world, and trying to classify us by race amounts to trying to divide a rainbow into individual colors: You're forever trying to classify different shades of orange as either red or yellow, and different shades of teal as either blue or green. The differences in the colors of a rainbow are real - but the boxes we draw around them are entirely of our own creation, and far more reflective of our own biases than the reality we're misclassifying.

          And when you're talking about something as multidimensional as genetics, where even the same "primary colors" can be arrived at in dozens of completely unrelated ways? Drawing arbitrary boxes is far more likely to hide the important details than reveal them.

          And for common classifications like "black" that encompass a *huge* amount of diversity - if your study doesn't have at least a dozen different types of "black", then "white" or "asian" aren't different enough to deserve classifications of their own either.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:17PM (4 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:17PM (#1296915)

        The races have been blending since the 1500s when global travel got cranked up.

        If you go back 600 years or more, you will find large distinct populations that "didn't blend" much, or at all, with the global melting pot for tens to hundreds of generations. Those races had real differences that could be studied, classified, etc.

        Today? Probably better to talk about specific genetic markers, which may be associated exclusively with one or a few of "the older races" but could show up just about anywhere today. Only a small minority of today's population is "purely" from one old race back 10 generations (1000+ ancestors) or more.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:01PM (3 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:01PM (#1297051)

          They've been blending a LOT longer than that. Most peasants might have never traveled more than a few miles from the place they were born, but tinkers, traders, armies, and explorers have always roamed extensively. And like sailors, pretty much all for them had a well-deserved reputation for promiscuity. And while any given genetic thread might not make much difference to a population, millions of of threads across centuries of mingling and blur the edges into indistinguishably.

          And before there were peasants we were nomadic hunter-gatherers whose populations wandered and mingled across the breadth of continents and back again over the course of generations. The Americas

          The different colors of the rainbow are real, but the named boxes we try to cram them into are completely arbitrary. Which is all that "races" are.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:11PM (2 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:11PM (#1297054)

            >all that "races" are.

            For 10-20 generations of no mixing, yes.

            When a population successfully isolated for hundreds of generations, it will develop distinctive traits.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:02PM (1 child)

              by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:02PM (#1297411)

              They will, though a few hundred years is not much to actually evolve and distribute significant new traits across all but the tiniest of populations. More likely you'll get situations like the blue people of Kentucky, where outside traits they brought with them rose to prominence, and thus doesn't actually provide genetic separation.

              Regardless though there's what, a small handful of such societies still in existence, totaling thousands of individuals? And we don't actually know that for sure - they might occasionally accept outsiders we know nothing about. Or have occasionally sent out explorers/exiles who mingled with the rest of the world. Without doing a population-level genetic analysis of such isolationists it's pure speculation.

              The Americas were mostly cut off for a long time by vast stretches of unbroken ocean and ice, but even those barriers were crossed occasionally, and it's been centuries since that was true - good luck finding a 100% "purebred" native.

              For everyone else... we're all part of the global mixing pot. Embrace your spot on the multidimensional rainbow with pride - just don't imagine that any borders you draw on it are any more real than the borders we draw on maps. They have been redrawn countless times, and will be again, until such time as we collectively decide that drawing and defending such imaginary lines is a waste of effort.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 21 2023, @06:01PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 21 2023, @06:01PM (#1297432)

                >blue people of Kentucky

                All four of my Grandparents are from Tennessee, Central and East... We're a bit blue (which is really just a lack of melanin and prominent venous flow in the skin) ourselves.

                >a few hundred years is not much

                No, it's not, but a surprising amount of variation can develop in a few hundred generations, particularly in "challenged" populations that don't let everyone procreate. There's much study of the European Jews developing some traits within just a handful of generations when life was particularly hard for them - skills like money lending were key to successful offspring.

                >a small handful of such societies still in existence, totaling thousands of individuals?

                The uncontacted of the Amazon come to mind, and there's that island off India. But, yes, mostly we're all susceptible to that alluring foreigner who just stepped off the airplane.

                >good luck finding a 100% "purebred" native.

                Hey, I've got 1/64 Cherokee and 1/128 Oklahoma Plains in me, not that we actually wrote those heathen names into the family tree of our Christian bible, but the blank spots in the tree line up with other stories pretty conclusively. Along those "blank spots" lines, there were a significant number of Jews in Europe who simply stopped self-identifying as Jewish around about 1940... understandably. History is harder to track when people intentionally erase it.

                Before the Chinese invasion of Tibet, I'd wager there were significant populations there which hadn't mixed with outsiders for 10+ generations, basically since the previous conquerers swept through. Did Ghengis Khan make it to Tibet?

                >any borders you draw on it are any more real than the borders we draw on maps.

                Hey, Georgie W declared a "New World Order" - those lines are permanent now, for Freedom French Fries' sake!

                Cultural practices still keep mixing to a minimum in significant parts of the world, nothing like the few remaining pure islands, but even if you've got one or two interlopers in your past 10 generations, you're still going to primarily have the traits of your clan. There's probably some (meaningless) threshold for how much mixing can happen in a population before it becomes non-distinct from the population it is mixing with - that's all going to depend on which genes have been shared and whether or not they tend to be conserved in the environment the clan is living in. If, for instance, the Eskimos were still a distinct population, but were somehow occasionally visited by Brazilian Beach tribes - with a few resulting offspring - I could see those Beach genes fading rather quickly in the Eskimo lifestyle. Maybe the "exotic look" would confer some advantages in physical attraction, but lacking insulating bodyfat would not be good for living long enough to have children of your own.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by darkfeline on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:00PM (3 children)

        by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday March 18 2023, @08:00PM (#1296938) Homepage

        Since we can't be 100% accurate about almost anything, let's just toss the baby into the river and not use language at all. Throw out all medical and scientific knowledge.

        > If instead of using your eyes and you looked at their DNA, you couldn't confidently group them

        Absolute dogshit, apparently they have never heard of genetic testing services.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday March 19 2023, @08:35AM (1 child)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @08:35AM (#1297024) Journal

          So when your DNA test show that your parents came from 2 different 'races', which race are you? What about if you marry another, different, race and have children? What is their race? Do they make another, completely new, 'race'? At what point does the original race of one's ancestors have no relevance whatsoever? If your ancestors have always bred inter-racially at what point do you have no discernable race left?

          Are Koreans (north and south) all of the same race, or do they differ from each other - or should they all be termed as 'Asians'?. What are the racial differences between Koreans and Chinese? Can they be divided clearly by a DNA assessment alone? Are there any overlapping or borderline cases? Who decides what race they are and who determines which ones are good people and which are not?

          Nobody, not even TFA, has suggested that we throw any knowledge away. Simply that when we use the term 'race' we define what we mean by it in that particular instance. It means very different things to different people and is too vague a term to be used in science. There are more accurate ways of describing what we mean, particularly in science, that clearly explain anything that is known. As you point out, DNA markers are more accurate than the term 'race'.

          I think the title was chosen quite carefully: "We Can’t Define “Race,” So Stop Using It in Science". It does not suggest that the term should be stricken from any language, but its use has become so distorted and abused that it has very little to offer science.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2023, @05:37AM (#1297117)

            by dna then I belong the the race which largely stopped culturally backed raping and killing of others

            what a shame other races are still at it

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:11PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:11PM (#1297416)

          If we're talking dogshit, start with the idea that genetic testing can tell race. That part is a marketting gimmick, nothing more. Precisely because race has no scientific meaning.

          As t a test, submit your sample to a handful of independent testers. - you'll get back different racial mixes for each one. Heck, for the less reputable you can submit your sample to the same one repeatedly under different names and get back different results.

          Even the most reputable will tend to give you back very different answers for every member of your family

          Genetic testing is good for finding out what genetic traits you have - but "race" is not a genetic trait, it's arbitrary lines drawn around phenotypes and cultures that have been intermixing since before we began recording history.

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:05PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday March 18 2023, @05:05PM (#1296903)

      To your point, we're at/past the level of computational power, storage, and machine learning that AI can probably comprehend each of us (~10E9) as individuals, at which point "race" might be an emergent categorization rather than an important originating one.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:53AM (3 children)

    by looorg (578) on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:53AM (#1296855)

    Not in all science from what I can tell. It seems to be in genetics where it's apparently not a very interesting definition or concept. I guess for the rest of science it's still alive and kicking cause they are not really all that bothered by genetic data or combinations of whatever when they talk about race. They are clearly not talking about the same things.

    But to say that they can't come up with a viable definition sounds really bad. It is usually not the hard part of any research project or paper. You can pretty much put down whatever you like as long as you state that this is what is your definition of it (whatever it might be) is and then that is what you mean when you use the term.

    So for them talk about human races or the human race isn't very interesting. That is fine. But it's hard to not think that they are really dancing around the issue here or making it a lot harder for themselves if they think they are going to find some kind of universal definition that is applicable on everything with total accuracy. There will, almost, always be things that fall outside the curve or norm or group. So good luck with that forever project. Never going to complete. An eternal dark hole for grant money. Or it will be so watered down or utterly abstract that it will be even more useless then "race".

    Perhaps it would be better if they just saw human race as some kind of Venn diagram -- we are all human (biggest circle), and then you start to split them into the obvious large observable groups of differences such as sex, skin colour, dominant hand, hair colour or whatever you need or want. It's won't be pretty, but there it is.

    Or for most people, that are not geneticists, just keep using phenotype or whatever you like, the thing that you observe. The blindingly obvious difference between people. No need to go down on genetics levels and check whatever combination they have -- it's the black dude over there! the bad mofo!

    So if the national academy of science can't define race does that mean that there is no more racism anymore? After all if you can't define it then it's not really a thing. Probably not. So race is still alive and kicking as a concept and it's not going anyway no matter how much some, or all, of the geneticists would like it to.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:20PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:20PM (#1296917)

      Social "science" is much more concerned with how people self identify and how others classify them.

      In social studies, race is very much still relevant to attitudes and behaviors.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday March 19 2023, @05:12PM (1 child)

        by looorg (578) on Sunday March 19 2023, @05:12PM (#1297058)

        That is or can be part of it. Normally they are more interested in grouping people so they can draw conclusions or generalize information. They are weirdly enough often not very interested in individuals as actual persons but instead part of a collective or a group. So whatever their DNA makeup or whatever geneticists are interested in doesn't really concern them. So I would think, based on the article, that this is more about genetics and not the rest of the various scientific fields. I can understand how it doesn't make sense for them to use the term but to claim that it makes no sense or have no place in science and should stop being used is really an overreach on their part.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Entropy on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:13PM (7 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:13PM (#1296856)

    This kind of thing seems like it has the same origin as the folks that say there is no biological basis for gender. While it's certainly possible to find individuals difficult to categorize coming up with a "race" term as a "useful description of general appearance" is something most grade school children should be able to do. It's really not that difficult to discern if someone is from China or India, for instance. By "from" I don't mean you were born in China from Mexican parents and moved to India, either.

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:20PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:20PM (#1296858)

      So how do you tell if someone is from China or India?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:24PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @12:24PM (#1296860)

        You look at their deity, if it's a blue fat elephant or have more then two arms it's from India.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:25PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:25PM (#1296868) Journal

          And when they are atheist, you look at which deity they don't believe in.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Entropy on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:25PM

        by Entropy (4228) on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:25PM (#1296869)

        It clearly requires detained analysis of their DNA. Right?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:34PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:34PM (#1296872) Homepage Journal

        Ask him/her.

        BTW, which Indian were you talking about? You do realize that there are a hell of a lot of different peoples in India? Some of them, you can easily confuse with a Chinese. Others, you'd have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to confuse with the - shall we say "typical" Chinese? And, despite the fact that I believe Chinese to be more homogenous than Indians, the Chinese may be offended that I said so.

        --
        Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by istartedi on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:51PM

        by istartedi (123) on Saturday March 18 2023, @11:51PM (#1296976) Journal

        Mostly by looking at their face. This can't be done perfectly, but with considerably better accuracy than guessing their weight, and nobody is saying weight isn't a thing... yet.

        --
        Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:30PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:30PM (#1296871)

      This kind of thing seems like it has the same origin as the folks that say there is no biological basis for gender.

      For English natives it's mostly an Academic thing:

      Though the terms sex and gender have been used interchangeably since at least the fourteenth century,[1] in contemporary academic literature they usually have distinct meanings. Sex generally refers to an organism's biological sex, while gender usually refers to either social roles based on the sex of a person (gender role) or personal identification of one's own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity).[2][3][4][5] While in ordinary speech, the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably,[6][7] most contemporary social scientists,[8][9][10] behavioral scientists and biologists,[11][12] many legal systems and government bodies,[13] and intergovernmental agencies such as the WHO[14] make a distinction between gender and sex.

      ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex%E2%80%93gender_distinction [wikipedia.org] )

      For speakers of gendered nouns language it's simply how they perceive many things as gendered but not sexually so.

      The reason it spread across biology is because they failed in establishing empirical tests for male/female genders around LGBT edge cases. That is, from a basic scientific perspective, if %10 of the sample size doesn't fit into the model, the model is wrong. And if you've spent 50 years on the issue and still failed to come up with a blood test / MRI scan that can tell give you a 99.95% certainty, it's likely you've been asking the wrong questions.

      --
      compiling...
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @01:01PM (#1296863)

    Over-generalization is bad. But in recent years, this has been expanded to all generalization is bad, and that's clearly wrong. This is an example of the latter.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:14PM (17 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @02:14PM (#1296881) Journal

    There have been several interesting or even insightful comments so far, but no one has managed to define 'race' - they have only managed to stick a label on it that they are happy with, but not a label that everyone agrees with.

    Most seem to be basing this on visual appearance - Indian, Chinese or whatever. So how about when a 'standard couple of mid-European appearance' give birth to a mongoloid baby? Is the baby a different race than its parents just because it looks different? What are the visual differences between Korean and Japanese - or do we just class them as Asian? And if so, how can we say that Chinese is a race - aren't they just Asian too? How about Kazakhs? I spent several years working in Kazakhstan but they didn't differentiate between themselves based on appearance - which could be anything from Western European to Mongolian or Chinese.

    If, as has happened in the UK many times, somebody who has mixed ethnicity parents (say one is Pakistani and the other is English) what is their race? And if they also have a spouse or partner of a different ethnicity and they have children, at what 'dilution' of the original ethnicity does the race change? Do they actually become a different race?

    It cannot depend on appearance. It is not the colour of their skin. It is not simply a matter of culture, religion or wherever you live. It is not the result of a simple DNA test. Perhaps it is, as TFS suggests, indefinable. So far they are all part of the human race as far as I can tell.

    And if someone wishes to disagree - give us a solid definition, not some hand-waving excuse for your own personal way of putting people into categories.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:14PM (2 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:14PM (#1296888)

      You want to define something as an array of booleans when it is really an array of floats i.e. the question is wrong.

      In a clinical setting, it is clearly useful if one can say "people who look like this are more susceptible to X", or "people who come from this region are more susceptible to Y", or "people who identify as being from this culture are more susceptible to Z". It is highly naive to ignore that valuable diagnosis tool.

      I might add that not every ailment is related to genetics, as in TFA. Many are cultural.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:39PM (1 child)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:39PM (#1296891) Journal

        You want to define something as an array of booleans when it is really an array of floats

        So it is indefinable, as the headline to TFS states? There are too many variations to make defining a race a simple and straightforward matter. You suggest that it is the wrong question - so what is the right one?

        As humans we tend to simply go for the easiest option and choose appearance. That seems to be reasonable until we look at problems such as mongolism or vitiligo or inter-breeding between the different groups. Are they of a different race? I would argue that they are not, but I also try not to put people into arbitrary groupings. Stating a nationality is fine - it is clearly defined. Most other groupings are simply different to ourselves.

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday March 20 2023, @11:39AM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday March 20 2023, @11:39AM (#1297151)

          > Stating a nationality is fine

          That does not pick up cultural and regional variations correctly. If my folks are from Europe but I live in Asia, I would expect to suffer from different diseases. Probably the easiest thing is to ask people to self-define "What do you consider to be your ethnic origin (score 1-5, followed by options)".

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:22PM (8 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:22PM (#1296890) Journal

      And if someone wishes to disagree - give us a solid definition

      You are entitled to 'Disagree', but what is your response to my request for a definition? (crickets....)

      TFS simply states that we should stop using the term race in science; there is nothing to say that we cannot keep using it in anyway we choose elsewhere. Your moderation of 'Disagree' simply makes my point - it cannot be defined based upon the ways that people actually use it to classify those who are different from ourselves.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by EEMac on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:48PM (7 children)

        by EEMac (6423) on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:48PM (#1296892)

        "Define race. But don't use appearance, genetics, or culture. See? You can't define it!"

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:15PM (6 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:15PM (#1296896) Journal

          "Define race. But don't use appearance, genetics, or culture. See? You can't define it!"

          Which TFS acknowledges:

          In humans, race is a socially constructed designation, a misleading and harmful surrogate for population genetic differences, and has a long history of being incorrectly identified as the major genetic reason for phenotypic differences between groups. Rather, human genetic variation is the result of many forces—historical, social, biological—and no single variable fully represents this complexity. The structure of genetic variation results from repeated human population mixing and movements across time, yet the misconception that human beings can be naturally divided into biologically distinguishable races has been extremely resilient and has become embedded in scientific research, medical practice and technologies, and formal education.

          Emphasis mine.

          I am merely supporting the assertion that it should have no place in science without clear definitions of what it means in a particular domain of scientific research because it means very different things to different people - as your response makes clear. People will continue to use/abuse it as they have often done.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:24PM (#1296898)

            You, sir, have a stunning ability to see and describe big-picture, and from an outside observer's viewpoint. Thank you for steering the car back into the lane.

          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:19AM (3 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:19AM (#1296988) Homepage

            I would say rather that it =became= a "socially constructed designation" by =defining= it as "misleading and harmful" rather than acknowledging that it's a pretty good proxy for "population genetic differences".

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:51AM (2 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday March 19 2023, @02:51AM (#1296991) Journal

              Don't be disingenuous. The people who make a big deal of race and racial categories don't give half a flaming hot weasel turd about "population genetic differences."

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:36AM (1 child)

                by Reziac (2489) on Sunday March 19 2023, @03:36AM (#1296999) Homepage

                Making a big deal of it does not equate to making a serious study thereof.

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:31AM

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday March 21 2023, @04:31AM (#1297342) Journal

                  Which is exactly my point, crazy-face! The kind of people who go on at length about race (as opposed to things like haplogroups or ethnicity) are the ignorant haters.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2023, @04:19AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2023, @04:19AM (#1297009)

            People say "race" because "phenotype" is too many syllables

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:42PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:42PM (#1296900)

      I don't have a definition, nor a desire to be downmodded. I'll say this: a couple of years ago, early in COVID pandemic, there was a discussion here generally about medicine. I quite literally and simply posted a link to an NIH article about how people of African descent have some different body chemistries and biologies, and in some specific cases need different treatments and medications. I first learned of this from the show "House (M.D.)", and it's 100% true. Well, I got down down down-modded, just for posting a link. WTF is with this site that gives idiots the power to downmod into invisibility an important post, just for linking to NIH data?

      Were we to give blacks the exact same medical treatment as whites, we will extend their disease and suffering, and kill some blacks. Is that the goal? Conform to whitey's biology or be killed?

      I think of myself as "human race", and no matter how you define "race", most of us have variations in our biology / body chemistry, and that's critically important for correct medical treatment.

      Incidentally, there are many cultures (races?) that practice an interesting form of "racism". For instance, it's all but forbidden for a Japanese to mate with non-Japanese.

      I've always observed mixed-"race" people to be more beautiful (that's not important, just mentioned it) and more intelligent, and often healthier. To the other extreme, look at the result of inbreeding (monarchs!). Sorry. Had to.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:33PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:33PM (#1296922) Journal

        I don't disagree with anything that you say.

        However, in any scientific research it is necessary to state what the term 'race' means in the context of that research. That is what TFS is stating - but here in this discussion many think it is something to do with their own history, or immigration, or different cultures where they live. That is not scientific research and is not what this discussion is about.

        The word 'race' itself has been distorted and abused so much that it has become a trigger for so many people who do not like their neighbours or are against those who are trying to improve their own lives. But that is a different discussion.

        PiMuNu summed it up very well here: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=54329&page=1&cid=1296888#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]. Yet he didn't have to use the word race (which means different things to different people) once. It is not that different people do not exist or should not be referred to, but that science should be clear about what it is saying rather than use a word that is ill-defined.

      • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:45AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2023, @12:45AM (#1296984) Homepage Journal

        Were we to give blacks the exact same medical treatment as whites, we will extend their disease and suffering, and kill some blacks.

        That is some interesting food for thought. Now, look back up the page at my post about mutations.

        In relatively recent years, AIDS erupted. And, went largely untreated in much of Africa. As a result, some, maybe a lot, of Africans are slowly becoming immune to the virus. Another mutation, underway!

        --
        Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:30PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 18 2023, @06:30PM (#1296921)

      Mongolism, or Downs Syndrome, is a genetic abnormality that can occur to human children of any genetic background.

      To me: race is a category beneath sub-species. The species starts to evolve, develops distinguishing characteristics, but can still interbreed with other races of the same species.

      It's a real thing, at the risk of blurring some sacred lines, human races are a less pronounced form of breeds like in Cats, dogs, horses, etc. But, in our population of 8+ billion people with easy access to global travel and fairly common instinctive affinity for exotic mating partners, we are quickly blurring the distinctions that evolved over the last 20,000 to 50,000 years of separate populations evolving in different environments.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by inertnet on Saturday March 18 2023, @10:34PM

      by inertnet (4071) on Saturday March 18 2023, @10:34PM (#1296968) Journal

      I think that what many people think of as racial differences, actually are mostly cultural differences. As I see it, people can not be held accountable for their DNA, they just got a mix of their parents, who in turn got a mix from theirs, and so on. That's just another way of saying that all people are to be considered equal, or a bit more detached: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". No matter where they're from or what their DNA happens to look like. Nobody gets to choose any of that in advance.

      On a personal level, I had to laugh about the comment about a person from maybe a century ago, who thought that people of different descend would get mongrels as children. I'm happy to report that I married someone from another race 25 years ago. And I'm very proud of our children, who are doing extremely well, even better than either of us did when we were growing up.

  • (Score: 2) by EEMac on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:55PM (1 child)

    by EEMac (6423) on Saturday March 18 2023, @03:55PM (#1296893)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:25PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 18 2023, @04:25PM (#1296899) Journal

      I would perhaps accept your sources if they weren't so obviously biased:

      • https://thuletide.wordpress.com/2023/02/12/debunking-understanding-race-2022-thuletide-mentioned-in-libtard-race-denialism-book-written-by-american-museum-of-natural-history-scientists-and-published-by-uks-cambridge-university/
      • https://thuletide.wordpress.com/2023/02/10/leftist-disinformation-101-breaking-down-a-4chan-pol-post-from-2016/
      • https://thuletide.wordpress.com/2023/01/08/the-great-replacement-is-a-top-down-project-the-role-of-the-united-nations-and-other-transnational-globalist-organizations/

      .... and so many others.

      And in the authors own words:

      The question I am asked most frequently is: “What ideology do you identify with?” Simply put, I don’t — I just call myself “Right-Wing.” You could call me a conservative, traditionalist, reactionary, paleo-con, and so on — it really doesn’t matter to me. All Right-Wing thought converges towards one end (a natural, organic society) and certain fundamental truths. There are only so many ways to say “I’m pro: family, religion, ethnocentrism/nationalism, private property, free enterprise (unless it betrays the nation), hierarchy, strength, beauty, nature, etc., and anti: globalism, usury, immigration, etc.”

(1) 2