In the first edition of The Featherless Biped, Bo Winegard asks whether race realism can ever penetrate the orthodoxy...
Excellent job! I really enjoyed this and appreciated the audio.
Dr. Winegard, I agree completely, and I point out that conceding the definition of the word "race" is conceding the robust fortress of evolutionary biology, where the concept of race is rooted. We simply can not have the diverse tree of life on Earth without having races diverging within species. The word "race" is still used abundantly among biologists of many fields.
Interesting related conversation with ChatGPT.
Do biological human races exist?
The concept of biological human races is a controversial one, and the scientific consensus is that there is no evidence to support the idea of discrete biological races within the human species. Instead, human genetic variation is continuous and does not follow clear-cut boundaries.
Although physical differences such as skin color, hair texture, and facial features may vary among individuals from different geographic regions, these differences are the result of adaptations to local environments rather than a clear-cut classification of biological races.
Moreover, the genetic differences between individuals within the same geographic region are often greater than the differences between individuals from different regions. In other words, genetic variation is not neatly organized into discrete groups or races.
Therefore, it's important to avoid using the concept of biological race as a basis for discrimination or prejudice, as there is no scientific basis for it. Instead, we should celebrate our shared humanity and recognize the value and diversity of different cultures and ethnicities.
Do biological races exist among non-human species?
The concept of biological races or subspecies exists among non-human species, and it is a recognized category in biological classification. In non-human species, subspecies are defined as groups within a species that share distinct physical, genetic, or behavioral characteristics and have evolved in geographic isolation from other groups within the same species.
However, it's important to note that the concept of subspecies is still debated in biology and can be subjective. Some scientists argue that the genetic and morphological differences between populations of a species are not sufficient to warrant recognition as separate subspecies, while others believe that such differences are significant enough to warrant such classification.
Additionally, the concept of subspecies is used in a descriptive rather than prescriptive manner in biology, meaning that it is used to describe patterns of variation among populations rather than to impose value judgments on them. Therefore, the use of subspecies in non-human species should not be conflated with the concept of race in humans, which is a socially constructed and often divisive concept.
Nice review, and thanks for citing the Lasker et al. paper, which ultimately got me fired from my "tenured" position as a full professor at a uni in Ohio. We hope to finally file our federal suit this week or next...wish us luck.
Charles wanted to find some way of helping the low IQ without counter productive moral or state intervention.
Ultimately though, what this boils down to is "let's just give up on poors/blacks, its pointless."
Charles doesn't actually mean that (he kind of does with immigration, but let's leave that aside).
But most people aren't going to devote their lives to trying to do the individual in person charity Charles called for (and I don't mean money) to slightly straighten out the lives of the left behind. If it's more complicated then writing a check or passing a law, forget about it. So functionally it feels like giving up.
I used to visit some refurbished factories that had been turned into condos, and they had pictures and pamphlets about what the area was like back in the factory age. Lots a working class people living conservative lives heavily involved in their Methodist churches. I think in an era where working class people had valuable economic roles capitalist, religious leaders, local politicians, etc all put a lot of work into keeping them on the straight and narrow because doing so had a huge economic payoff for the people doing the work. Nowadays they are just a Medicaid reimbursement.
More adventures with ChapGPT. The final question is when I finally made the son of a bitch break down. It completely failed to answer the question.
Why do biological races exist among non-human species but not for the human species?
Biological races, also known as subspecies, do exist in some non-human species because populations of these species have evolved in geographic isolation from each other over time, resulting in genetic and physical differences that distinguish them from other populations of the same species.
In contrast, human populations have not been isolated from each other for long enough periods to evolve into separate subspecies. While there are certainly physical and genetic differences between human populations, these differences are not sufficient to justify the recognition of separate subspecies or races within the human species.
Additionally, the concept of race in humans is a socially constructed idea that has been used historically to justify discrimination and inequality, whereas the concept of subspecies in non-human species is a descriptive category used to describe patterns of variation among populations. Therefore, the comparison between the two concepts is not necessarily valid, and it's important to recognize that the way we think about and categorize human populations is influenced by social and cultural factors.
What level of physical differences or genetic differences between human populations is sufficient for non-human populations to qualify as biological races?
The criteria used to determine whether populations of non-human species qualify as biological races, also known as subspecies, can vary depending on the species and the context. However, in general, the criteria used to define subspecies are based on a combination of genetic, physical, and behavioral differences that are significant enough to warrant recognition as a separate group within the species.
Some of the factors that can be considered when identifying subspecies in non-human species include:
1. Geographic isolation: The populations of a species must be geographically isolated from one another for a significant amount of time to evolve distinctive genetic and physical characteristics.
2. Genetic differences: Subspecies can be distinguished by genetic differences such as allele frequencies or variations in DNA sequences.
3. Physical differences: Subspecies can be distinguished by morphological differences such as size, color, or body shape.
4. Behavioral differences: Subspecies can also be distinguished by differences in behavior such as mating behaviors, vocalizations, or feeding habits.
It's important to note that the criteria for identifying subspecies can be subjective and may vary depending on the context. Additionally, while these criteria are used to identify subspecies in non-human species, they are not applicable to humans as the concept of biological races has been deemed irrelevant due to the continuous nature of human genetic variation.
Must biological non-human races have non-continuous divisions separating them?
Biological races, also known as subspecies, in non-human species are typically defined by a combination of genetic, physical, and behavioral characteristics that are distinguishable from other populations of the same species. However, the presence or absence of clear-cut boundaries between subspecies is not a strict requirement for their recognition.
In some cases, the differences between subspecies can be continuous and gradual rather than discrete, and the decision to recognize them as separate subspecies may be based on subjective criteria such as the degree of genetic or morphological differences, or the geographic separation of populations.
Moreover, the recognition of subspecies in non-human species is a descriptive rather than prescriptive category, meaning that it is used to describe patterns of variation among populations rather than to impose value judgments on them. Therefore, the presence or absence of clear-cut boundaries between subspecies is not necessarily a crucial factor in their recognition, and the decision to recognize them may depend on a variety of factors that reflect the unique evolutionary history and characteristics of each species.
If the idea of race in humans was not used to justify discrimination and inequality throughout history, would human races be scientifically recognized as biological races?
Even if the idea of race in humans was not used historically to justify discrimination and inequality, the recognition of biological races within the human species would still be scientifically problematic due to the continuous and complex nature of human genetic variation.
While there are certainly physical and genetic differences between human populations, these differences are not sufficient to justify the recognition of separate biological races or subspecies within the human species. Human genetic variation is continuous and does not follow clear-cut boundaries, and there is more genetic variation within human populations than between them.
Moreover, the concept of race in humans is a socially constructed idea that has been used to classify people based on arbitrary physical characteristics such as skin color or facial features rather than on any meaningful biological differences. Therefore, even if race was not used to justify discrimination and inequality throughout history, it would still not be a valid or meaningful scientific category for describing human genetic variation.
Abel Dean's experience reminds me that when, several weeks ago, I asked a chatbot to suggest a few movies about terrorism in which the terrorist was Muslim (as opposed to a greedy corporation, a neo-Nazi group, a rogue government official, etc., although I didn't actually say this), the bot responded with a sermon about the evils of Islamophobia.