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Let me begin with race. There is a widespread feeling that the word "race" indicates something undesirable and that it should be left out of all discussions. This leads to such statements as "there are no human races." Those who subscribe to this opinion are obviously ignorant of modern biology. Races are not something specifically human; races occur in a large percentage of species of animals. You can read in every textbook on evolution that geographic races of animals, when isolated from other races of their species, may in due time become new species. The terms 11 subspecies" and "geographic race" are used interchangeably in this taxonomic literature.
Does biology show there are human races/subspecies?
Since race is a social, rather than scientific concept, to decide on whether animals have "races" or not, we would need to ask the animals their opinion.That's just plain silly.
Quote from: Bored chemist on 30/05/2016 11:33:22Since race is a social, rather than scientific concept, to decide on whether animals have "races" or not, we would need to ask the animals their opinion.That's just plain silly.Not sure about that. I used to own two retreivers, a golden and a flatcoat. They are actually genetically close, the golden strain having been bred from the erstwhile popular flatties in the 19th century. Anyway, these two dogs would only associate with other gundogs, regardless of size and color: they would happily play with spaniels, pointers, poodles and setters, but ignored terriers or guard dogs. Race or class distinction?
There is no true "number" of races. One can subdivide as many times as one wants.
Quote from: Collapsing Jack on 10/10/2016 17:42:18There is no true "number" of races. One can subdivide as many times as one wants.which pretty much confirms the statement that race is a social rather than a scientific construct.
There seem to be some biological differences between groups with different ancestral histories. Doctors have long recognised that and adjusted their work accordingly. Then you can look at sport and count the number of 100M sprint champions who do not have West-African ancestry, or the number of distance runners who do not have East-African ancestry, or the number of black swimming champions, etc, etc. Then you can Google the ethnicity of science/maths Nobel Prize winners and discover that Jews are massively over-represented, and check the scholarly achievements of Asian-Americans.