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This Race related article has been awarded GOLD status for quality. Please keep this in mind when editing the article. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Editorial notes
  • This talk page has been vandalised by Mikemikev on countless sockpuppets for years; don't feed the troll.
  • View the archives of this talk page for previous discussions, so not to make a PRATT.
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Archaic Admixture[edit]

I often hear racialists use archiac admixture in populations as "proof" of races being heavily different (like Asians and Europeans having 1-4% Neanderthal DNA but Africans having none). The recent discovery of a "ghost" population contributing DNA (about 8%) into the African gene pool has caused some debate as well. Anyone care to elaborate on that? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Fst Comparison with Other Mammals[edit]

It seems like the Lewontin Fst arguments are at least being overstated and there are other mammals with uncontroversial subspecies that have similar Fst values. I've skimmed some of the archived history here and I see that this is unfortunately a talking point for drive-by race realists but I think they have a point. One very motivated source, The Alternative Hypothesis, has a table of humans and other mammals comparing Fst data and number of accepted subspecies: I haven't checked the citations, and some of those Fst comparisons appear outright inappropriate (i.e. not large dispersive mammals), but I think the general argument has weight. It's hard to find a neutral source tabulating similar data. The closest I've found is this, which doesn't include number of accepted subspecies data but does show that while humans have low diversity, they don't have wildly less diversity than all comparable mammals: A very brief search of primary sources suggests that the commonly quoted human Fst of 0.15 is indeed comparable to other mammals with accepted subspecies (e.g. this paper for brown/black/polar bears has Fst values for brown vs black and polar vs black of 0.1759 and 0.1832: I'm not an Fst expert though, so maybe pairwise comparisons aren't comparable to many population comparisons. In either case, I think these points should be pre-empted in the article. (talk) 08:53, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Much of what TAH has wrote about in that article has already been covered on these talk pages and his own page's talk page, such as him making up data/misunderstanding data/quotemining to populate his table and quietly ignoring how scientists actually utilize Fst. I support a full rebuttal of the whole thing in one place, though. His page here is quite barren considering all the crankish stuff he pushes, like saying that peer review was invented 60 years ago as a way for the United States government to divvy out bogus research funds, and there is no proof it has ever done anything positive. -- (talk) 08:40, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Clarify What Mainstream Science Does and Does Not Say About Race[edit]

There's a lot of criticism of this page as politically motivated SJWs denying that there's any human genetic diversity at all. Most of these people are acting in bad faith but I think some of this is a real misunderstanding from people confused by statements like "race is a social construct". The article does clear things up but it's all the way under "Lewontin's Fallacy", so it's a bit hard to find. It would help to have a paragraph in the intro that states human genetic diversity does exist, gives a sense of why scientists have moved away from the word race, and outlines the mainstream understanding of human genetic diversity. How about something very roughly like this?

"Race", as used in common speech, refers to a folk taxonomy of people based on superficial characteristics and social customs (e.g. one-drop rule). This folk taxonomy is not totally unrelated to human genetics, but human genetic variation is more accurately described by clines and clusters. Human genetic variation has been found to form continuous gradients over land, or "clines", along with some small discontinuities across geographic barriers. Human genetic variation can be clustered, but the number of clusters is arbitrary and they differ from traditional folk taxonomies of race. Unlike species with tree-like genetic structures relating isolated subspecies, human genetics are heavily interwoven.

A section with some historical context would help too. Modern race realists seem to think the points about continuous variation and arbitrariness of clusters are attacks on strawmen and don't realize that not too long ago there were some mainstream anthropologists that literally believed there were distinct human races with separate origins. (talk) 10:51, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Hi, I get you believe some of the racialist talking points, I assume thinking, bonafide, it's an inconvenient truth which is not less truthful because of that and trace disagreement to being Sjw's, well about this term, you know, I'd invite you to use it appropriately as it risks undermining the discussion in name calling. We should know, in principle Sjw were just referred to extremist campus activists, who don't tolerate any reasonably different opinion or open debate, it's more about their behavior than their ideas, and if we apply it to an idea, well it has to be an extremist one, so decidedly just not agreeing with racialism doesn't define Sjw, nor it is not accepting at face value any "politically uncorrect" presumed biotruth, just on the guise of it being un-pc. First off racialism, being an extraordinary claim, needs extraordinary evidence, before being politically recognized as truth and acting as if they are. Some say presence of significant somatic differences suggest there can be significant cognitive difference too, at least in distribution, similarly to how average height can differ, etc. Nevertheless lets remember that the "aryans" used to be the barbarians in the first millennium A.D. Also, substantially similar groups of people, somatically speaking, like chinese, japanese and korean, compared to filipinos and kyrgyz (but not sure about these ones) have in theory a higher Qi. Albanians as well compared to Italians despite being substantially the same. Qi might be a relative measure.-- (talk) 10:57, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

Irrational Wiki[edit]

To be rational is to admit those things which we may not me comfortable with. There are many important people who believe that there are substantial genetic differences between populations of our species. Yes, it is true that there are cultural and social boundaries that are constructed, but there are many who believe that race is real. Additionally, there may possibly be differences in intelligence between races. People like Steven Pinker have defended the idea that the certain Jewish populations may be more intelligent than other human populations. This is not racism.

This article should consider both sides more thoroughly and let people decide for themselves. Let us rectify the biases in this article and not embarrass ourselves, for we cannot claim to have neutrality nor reason when sections of this article read like a rant of a mediocre first year university student, especially the introduction. --Thomas Tallis (talk) 06:01, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

At Rationalwiki, we do not have a neutral point of view, we have a scientific point of view. Our Anti-vaccination movement article does not present anti vaxxer arguments as just as truthful as the real scientific consensus. Balance fallacy aka assuming both sides are equally "right". —ClickerClock💾 talk.txt 09:05, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Also the conclusion that "certain Jewish populations may be more intelligent than other human populations" sounds racist to me. Dysklyver (talk) 09:19, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

There is a difference between a white supremest supporting racial theories while providing dubious evidence such as craniometry compared to a prominent Harvard scientist such as Steven Pinker speculating that the average intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews may be higher. That is not to say that Pinker's conclusion was correct, but it is most irrational to characterise this man as racist when you know nothing about the matter. We do not destroy the reputations of serious thinkers merely for discussing matters which me may not find politically correct. There are many people in the skeptic community who support equal rights but also believe race is real such as Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Sam Harris, and Steven Pinker. Cambridge Geneticist AWF Edwards also thinks race is real.

Nor did I say anything about assuming both sides are correct. I am certainly not suggesting adding superstitions to this article, but serious scientific studies are not the same thing as anti-vaccination articles on cheap Christian websites. --Thomas Tallis (talk) 11:59, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Richard Dawkins explains it much better:

  • As does Jerry Coyne:

  • Steven Pinker's article:

  • Sam Harris article is interesting:

  • If you want scientific journal articles (peer reviewed): — Unsigned, by: Thomas Tallis / talk / contribs

see editorial notes above. "View the archives of this talk page for previous discussions, so not to make a PRATT. You're making a point refuted a thousand times and setting up the same straw man arguments that have been dealt with here countless times. Just go away.MrSheen (talk) 12:55, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Scientific consensus says that race does not exist. Let's both admit that we are not Anthropologists. We do not have sufficient experience nor knowledge concerning race. A neuroscientist specializes in the brain, an evolutionary scientist in evolution, and an astrophysicist in astronomy. IMO scientists should not generally comment on matters outside their specialization. Anthropologists specialize in studying humans and anthropology introduced the concept of race. Since a lot of people are speaking outside their expertise, it's difficult to distinguish between crank ideas and unusual truth; especially for a layperson. —ClickerClock💾 talk.txt 13:01, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Compare the DNA-based maps ("The modern cline concept" and the "A map of Y-chromosome haplogroups") on the page vs. the race-based map ("Johann Blumenbach's 1775 racial typologies") that were only at-bast based on physical/geographical features. More historical maps are available at History of racialism. I think that you would have great difficulty defining "Jew" in a non-religious-based scientific way. Do you mean Ashkenazim, Sephardim or Falasha? The Cohen Modal Haplotype is a genetic indicator but it is neither universal among Jews nor universally absent among non-Jews (see also Ten Lost Tribes). People have been converting to and from Judaism for thousands of years. Bongolian (talk) 16:19, 14 July 2018 (UTC)