Race and “The Journey of Man”

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by CoolTraderDude, Dec 17, 2009.

DOES RACE EXIST?

  1. RACE EXISTS BIOLOGICALLY

    12 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Race and “The Journey of Man”

    I have recently watched the documentary “The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey” created by the geneticist Spencer Wells and I have to admit that I found some contradictions in the reasoning presented. At issue here is the concept of race and human origin. Wells tells us that all people today are descended from a single man “Y-chromosomal Adam” who lived in Africa about 60000-90000 years ago. I can not personally deny this particular fact. Nevertheless, this “Adam” man creates two Haplogroup lineages; Haplogoup A and Haplogroup BT. Haplogroup A which can be found in large quantities in Namidia and Sudan emerged close to 60000 years ago and has no lineages emerging from it. Haplogroup A still has a large amount of carriers in Southern Africa today. On the other hand Haplogroup BT emerged close to the same time around 60000-75000 years ago and all modern humans except Haplogroup A are descended from it.
    Now Wells takes us on a genetic journey across the world and concludes that there is no such thing as race and that race is a social construct. Nevertheless I find that the very evidence that Wells provides contradicts him. Let us examine this further.
    I chose to focus on the example Wells provided with the Chukchi people of Russia who reside close to the Arctic Ocean and Bering Strait. These are the Chukchi:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anadyr_residents_1906.JPG

    A drawing representing their nomadic lifestyle from 1816:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Choris,_Tschuktschen.jpg
    My issue with Wells is that he contradicts himself on the issue of race. Wells tells us that race is a “social construct”. Nevertheless, he also tells us that the Chukchi are a people specifically adapted for surviving in Arctic conditions. Their bodies are modified to conserve and produce more heat. Their arms and legs are shorter and they are mostly “barrel chested” or in other words “stout”. Now the Chukchi also display typical “mongoloid” characteristics and have a Haplogoup related to most Native Americans and other mongoloid people. I can not accept that this evidence supports the idea that race is a social construct.
    This man is a San tribesman who are generally carriers of Haplogroup A.


    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/San_tribesman.jpg

    I have chosen this example due to the fact that there is a great deal of contrast in adaptations between these people and because they are separated by Haplogroup mutations. The San live in Southern Africa and are specifically adapted to live in a hot climate. We have both a difference in DNA and in appearance.
    Now we are going to examine modern Europeans who are generally carriers of Haplogroup R and I. Haplogroup I is unique because it is the only Haplogroup that emerged in Europe exclusively. If we focus on Haplogroup R and trace it back to Haplogroup BT (excluding R and BT from the count) we find no less than seven genetic mutations. Tracing it back from R we have Haplogroup R > P > MNOPS > K > IJK > F > CF > CT > BT.

    Haplogroup Family Tree:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroups

    Again based on this evidence I have to argue against the notion that race is simply a social construct. Europeans do in fact look different and have different genes. There are in fact more factors to consider when examining race. Simple Y-chromosome DNA is not enough. The anthropologist George W. Gill argues for the existence of race as a biological fact. However, his argument mentions that more factors need to be taken into account in a population to determine race. For instance skin colour may not be enough on its own but skin colour combined with DNA, skeletons, blood types and general physiology can in fact determine race. Personally I have to agree with his assessment.
     
  2. don't think feel :

    If I hit you, will you suffer ?
    If I smile at you, will you smile at me ?
    If I cry with big drops, will you understand that I am sad ?
    If I laugh, will you understand that I am happy ?

    If my loved one leave me, will I be sad, and if yours leave ?
    If I am thirsty, water will rehydrate me, will it for you ?
    If I smoke some drug, I will be druged, will it have an effect on you ?
    If I you send me the ball, I will send it to you back, would you ?

    However...

    If you let your wallet on a banch, I will call you to give it back, would you ?
    If you are dying of lack of water, I will give you water, would you ?
    If you are sad, I will try to reconfort you, would you ?
    If you are crying, I will try to stop it, would you dare to stop and ask me what happen ?
     
  3. SNB...

    "don't think feel :

    If I hit you, will you suffer ?
    If I smile at you, will you smile at me ?
    If I cry with big drops, will you understand that I am sad ?
    If I laugh, will you understand that I am happy ?

    If my loved one leave me, will I be sad, and if yours leave ?
    If I am thirsty, water will rehydrate me, will it for you ?
    If I smoke some drug, I will be druged, will it have an effect on you ?
    If I you send me the ball, I will send it to you back, would you ?

    However...

    If you let your wallet on a banch, I will call you to give it back, would you ?
    If you are dying of lack of water, I will give you water, would you ?
    If you are sad, I will try to reconfort you, would you ?
    If you are crying, I will try to stop it, would you dare to stop and ask me what happen ?"


    @ SNB...

    Well... I'm not sure that I agree with "don't think feel."... ...LOL.... But I agree with the rest of your point. I have nothing against humanity in general. Nevertheless, I am interested in what people think about race... Do you think that race exists or do you think that it is all in our head?
     
  4. Ricter

    Ricter

    Where is our "Both" choice?
     
  5. @ Jficquette...

    IQ, poverty and race...?

    I don't know what to say about it. I have met plenty of very intelligent black people. I have also met some very poor and utterly broke geniuses...

    We all know that there are some really dumb rich people out there...
     
  6. @ Ricter...

    "Both" choice...?


    Well...

    "Both" is a possibility but I think that it would create a "paradox".
     
  7. thx Ricter...

    they are individual whose constuency has made them more perfect for the environnement where their parents parents are from...
    It's called adaptation !

    The effect are visible on digestion of certain cereals, and all the foods... we all have different optimal set up ( temperature, sunshine hours, sun intensity, humidity rate, crowed or not etc... ))...

    However the most important variable is in our heart !
     
  8. Ricter

    Ricter

    Why do you think there may be a paradox? We can think of a tree as both a biological entity, and as shade.
     
  9. Well Ricter... I think we would end up in a "Chicken and the egg!" debate. That is... Do genes create society or does society create genes? Really, I know of no way to answer that.
     
    #10     Dec 17, 2009