lyingcheat wrote; The trouble is the term 'race' has a biological (scientific) meaning separate, and often different, to the meaning of the term as commonly used.HAJiME wrote; Really? I don't necessarily think that is true. People group other people by their obvious visual differences, differences caused by biology, before considering other social and cultural traits to group by.
You question that there might be confusion between the common and scientific use of the term, while illustrating that very confusion with your response.
Visual inspection is an unreliable way of determining 'race' as defined taxonomically.
Recall from the definition you quoted -
In biology, races are distinct genetically divergent populations within the same species with relatively small morphological and genetic differences. The populations can be described as ecological races if they arise from adaptation to different local habitats or geographic races when they are geographically isolated. If sufficiently different, two or more races can be identified as subspecies, which is an official biological taxonomy unit subordinate to species. If not, they are denoted as races, which means that a formal rank should not be given to the group, or taxonomists are unsure whether or not a formal rank should be given.
This definition, if applied to homo sapiens, would qualify the Old Order Amish of North America as a separate race since they form a closed breeding population who have presumably diverged genetically from the surrounding population. However, in downtown New Holland, Pennsylvania it's difficult to tell them apart from non-Amish locals other than by their clothing or choice of transport. And... well... I don't think wardrobe preferences are biologically valid race defining characteristics.
Likewise, bearing in mind your statement that - "People group other people by their obvious visual differences, differences caused by biology, before considering other social and cultural traits to group by.".
How would a visual inspection of these four children, scanning for 'obvious visual differences caused by biology', assist in classifying them according to a biologically valid taxonomy?
Here they are again, with their parents -
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 082429.ece
HAJiME wrote; I'd say there are more social and cultural traits defining groups than biological ones, but that is besides the point, the obvious difference is visual - a difference decided (mostly, with the expectancy of environmental visual differences) by biology.
The idea that biological differences are visually obvious, and are therefore a reliable guide for racial identification purposes, is meaningful only if ones concept of 'race' is the one in common usage, ie; black, white, yellow, eskimo etc, but these are not necessarily the kinds of divisions a scientific taxonomy, that is 'race' in the biological sense, would be concerned with.
There is more genetic diversity in Africa than in the rest of the world combined. Scientifically, Africans - despite appearances, resist classification as 'the black race'. Asians are not a 'race' either since many asian cultures separated long ago, so genetically speaking they're no more a unified 'race' group in the biological sense than Africans are.
Perhaps people with Downs Syndrome qualify as a 'race', since they can be spotted visually and differ genetically from regular homo sapiens?
HAJiME wrote; The idea that things that look and behave alike are the same is a far more solid way to classify... /snip/
What you are describing is a 'folk taxonomy'. Such concepts are culturally relative and have no meaning in the objective biological sense, nor do they serve as proof, or even evidence, that any such thing as a separate 'race' of homo sapiens exists.
HAJiME wrote; /snip/ ....because in many cases species/sub-species/races wont interbreed because of such differences. Take the example of a chihuahua and great dane, unlikely that they would breed on their own accord. Some sub-species of animals found naturally won't interbreed because they have such particular mating rituals or behaviours. Same can be applied to humans.
Do you have a citation to support this assertion?
Galaxian wrote; So what does this imply? IT means that subspeciation is a rule of Nature. Even when the population is well mixed, subspeciation WILL occur...in humans as well as other animals.
WILL occur? A while ago you were insisting it 'simply must' (occur).
But all the while unable to produce an example where iT hAs OcCuRrEd.
Galaxian wrote; Chew on that!
No thanks, my diet precludes overcooked rhetoric prepared from rotten ingredients.
What are the driving forces behind speciation, or sub-speciation?
Disregarding eugenics and selective breeding of domesticated animals by humans, it is almost always the complex interplay between geographical isolation, environment, and food supply/niche.
None of which affect homo sapiens to any great degree since we've always, since leaving Africa, wandered about globally, can adapt to any environment, and readily adapt to many different sources and types of food.
So in saying, and maybe even actually believing for all I know, that humans and animals are subject to the same evolutionary and genetic forces that force sub-speciation 'race' proponents highlight the biological similarities with other animals but ignore the very thing required by biological forces to generate the effect.
How long does it take for stable sub-speciation to occur?
Considering the life cycle, complexity of the organism, and time between generations, I mean... all of which 'race' proponents also ignore in referencing our alleged 'sameness' to budgies, cichlids, and salamanders.
How long would we have to stay in complete, or very near it, geographical isolation relative to our capacity to roam, never interbreeding with adjacent populations, subjected to significantly different biological pressures versus neighbouring populations, before we were not homo sapiens any more, but perhaps homo sapiens intelligentsia?
With the neighbours no doubt forming a ragged band of homo sapiens stupidus inferios.
pinkharrier wrote; There's loads of comparisons with humans. Dogs, cats, horses, lorikeets (my fav), brahminy and whistling kites, red and black kites. Probably hundreds if not thousands. A pile of evidence.
"Pile" is an apt adjective applied to the mound of 'evidence' you present.
All life is subject to unique forces, that these forces have led to similar outcomes in many cases isn't 'evidence' that these outcomes are pre-ordained. Speciation is detectable in hindsight, not in advance since it's a side effect of evolution, not a driver.
Yet you, and others, allege that because budgies and cichlids vary, humans simply must!!!!!!!
But did prehistoric stone age cows establish trade routes all over Europe, mixing genes with local bovines? In later years did airborne tribes of Celtic budgies establish outposts and settlements from far Eastern Europe all the way to far Western?
Were Viking horses roaming out of Northern Europe as far as (some say) North America 1200 years ago, mixing genes with local horses?
Your fallacious comparisons with dogs, birds, and fish ignore the mobility and adaptability of humans, our tendency to absorb or be absorbed into local and/or adjacent populations over time, and the obvious evolutionary fact that we are going in the opposite direction biologically to 'race' or sub-species formation.
Globalism is a reality.
The evolutionary conditions that produce or force sub-speciation, or 'races', have hardly ever applied to homo sapiens and the fact is, those forces have almost no impact now.