Evolution and Human Diversity

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Imported

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    doubtless_mouse: As this topic was brought up in another thread that wasn't really about evolution, and some members expressed chagrin over what was considered to be off topic posts, thought it would be better to start a separate post on this specific topic.

    The idea that speciation is better for the species in question is actually wrong (I think). Consider this, if humans were to speciate (not sure if this is a real word or not) according to "racial" characteristics (I use quotes around the word racial as I think these are more geographically related then anything else), then the ability of our species to survive would be diminished.

    One of the strengths of the human species has been its ability to adapt to factors that should have forced our ancestors to evolve. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis became extinct. This is a fact. Another fact about Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was that this species was adapted for life in colder climates, while the exact reasoning for the extinction of this closely related species is still in debate (either they were replaced by anatomically modern people, or that anatomically modern people evolved from them), the fact is their speciation led to their demise. Anatomically modern people on the other hand do not seem to be as specialized for any one climate. We have such a diverse morphological pattern that as a species we are able to adapt and survive while still staying one species. We have so many differences within our species we should be amazed, these differences are a direct result of outbreeding (mating among unrelated individuals) or inter”racial” breeding.

    My children are of both Caucasian and Japanese descent. They are a mix of physical characteristics of both “races.” And they will hopefully now carry new genes into both “races.” They have more genetic diversity than two whole Caucasian children or two whole Japanese children. And amazingly their children will in turn carry this diversity into the future.

    The idea of racial purity is extremely dangerous. It is a concept that has led to millions of deaths over the course of our collective histories. We as a species need to learn that no “race” is any better or worse than any other “race.” We are the same. We have cultural differences, and we may look different, but we all share the same DNA. If it were to happen that our species speciated along so called racial lines that would be the day that equality is thrown out the window. We currently don’t treat other species that are closely related to us with equality (i.e. Chimpanzees) what would stop us from treating these new “racial” species any different. As a society (world wide) we have shown a marked lack of tolerance towards differences (we could have a whole separate long thread about this). Every society at one time or another has committed atrocities they thought we justified because they thought they were superior. And as has been proven time and time again, history tends to repeat itself. Please be very careful when using the term racial purity.

    Ramblings from the Mouse
     
  2. Pene_Negro_Grande

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    I try not to touch subjects like this because my views can bounce back and forth...I mean I have a lot of mixed family members and I consider them black...I mean my family members mix range from Chinese, Japanese, Latino and white...You would not know it by looking at me because of my darker complexion but my dad's grandmother was Korean...Some people try to tell me they can tell a little my eyes (which don't see - I really don't open my eyes very wide sometimes) and my hair may be slightly loosely curled and somewhat like baby hair...And my mom's sisters and brother even with the same parents - complexions vary from people mistaking her sister as white to dark brown...

    I say find love where you can...But I do see where some people have prejudices about mixing - thinking that we will lose ethnic diversity and I can see where they are coming from and can't get mad at them...Change and acceptance is hard for some people...And I am from a carribean background - and I don't know if you guys have ever been to Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, Trinadad or the Virgin Island - there is quite a bit of Asian/Black and Indian/Black (India)...I had a really good friend who was Indian/Jamaican and he actually looked like a light skinned black but his brother look like he from India and not black at all...I find people of ethnic diversity very interesting...
     
  3. jonb

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    Well, ChimeraTX, I would say that speciation isn't the end-all and be-all. Basically, evolution is chaos: X may catch on, or it may not, even if it's more fit than Y under current condition A. But if A changes to slightly-different condition A', X might be less fit than Y.

    The fact that these conditions can change at any time is a constant. Well, until 5 billion years from now when the sun blows up. Therefore, as much genetic diversity as possible, without reaching the point of speciation, is the ideal. That way, when that time comes, you can mate with someone with the favored genes and still survive.

    With biotechnology as it is today, the issue of speciation is ultimately irrelevant; we can introduce an engineered virus into people with a certain disorder to cure that disorder, or at least make sure their children don't get it. If you can afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay some wankers in Melbourne, that is.
     
  4. jonb

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    Mongoloids? At this point, the only people who believe in progressive evolution are mongoloids. Or brain damaged. Or some other type of retardation.

    Or if you meant that racially, "mongoloid" basically means "anyone who isn't caucasoid or negroid". It's sort of like how "protists" refer to all eukaryotes which don't fit the definition of animal, plant, or fungus. Of course, no one in biology uses the term "protist" anymore simply because "all protists" don't have shit in common beyond what all eukaryotes have in common.

    There is little evidence of a correlation between race and IQ. You can't say "haha you're my black twin and your Stanford-Binet is five points less" anymore than I can say "haha you're my white twin and your Goodenough Draw-A-Man is 13 points less". (Of course, in that case, your Kuhlman-Anderson is also 18 points more, and your Stanford-Binet is 19 points more.)
     
  5. jonb

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    But what do you mean by eastern Eurasian? Do you seriously think a Chukchi or a Koryak has the same genetic history as a Korean? That Chukchi or Koryak is genetically closer to a German than to a Korean, while that Korean is genetically closer to a Dani or an Etoro.

    For reference, the scientific community did praise Darwin and Copernicus. Agassiz was the last legitimate naturalist to support creationism. Otherwise, it was primarily the religious community which had problems with evolution or a heliocentric universe.

    While we're here, Darwin was actually an abolitionist. He writes about slavery in Voyage of the Beagle, and again talks about the problem of classification of man in Descent of Man. Why, practically the only decidedly racist thing I can find in Voyage is about Fuegians learning by imitation. By contrast, Agassiz believed in multiple origins of man, and that there were innate mental differences between the races.

    As for studies, these studies are nice cases of the inability to see the forest for the trees. The only studies of race and IQ which have actually come to an affirmative conclusion (Jensen, Bouchard, Rushton, etc.) are generally quite flawed. In Bouchard's case, he wouldn't even let anyone review his work.
     
  6. Freddie53

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    This evolution concept gets extremely complicated with all the bias and religion thrown in. Physically we are no different then the animals when it comes to breeding. The best example is the dog. We have deliberately bred dogs to be miniture, some are hunting dogs, others don't have a clue how to hunt. And on and on. But all dogs have some things in common. There mating habits ae about the same. They all bark. And members of all breeds will wag their tails.

    The reason there is not more speciation in humans as the term was used eairlier is that there has ben much interbreeding through the years.

    And for the religious right or other expousing Judaism or Christianity. There is a story about how some of the Hebrews got upset that Moses married a Kushite. God said it was OK according to the Torah or the first five books of the Bible. Most people know about that Scripture. What they don't know is that the Kushites were black. Moses had a black wife. But God said it was OK because she was a believer.

    The point is the religious folks can't use the Bible as a basis for being against interracial marriaages. The Bible does frown on marrying outside your faith meaning a Jew marrying a non Jew or a Christian marrying a non Christian.
    The reason is that their is friction in the marriage. What will the child become? The Bible does approve of this is one of the partner converts. That makes the family one in belief and culture.

    I bring this up because there iare racial and there are culture differences and they can't be put in the same camp. There are blacks educated in white colleges that have a complete highly educated English culture. Then there are poor whites living in the delta in the United States who are a minority in their area. Their culture has become more Afro-American. I mean by that these whites listen to the same music and wear the same typ of clothes as the poor blacks in the area and the interracial marriages is increasing. The rich whites in the delta go to private schools mostly.

    All of this to say that culture is so mixed up in this that very few people can look at the actual genetic material and separate it from culture, religious and political biases.

    Now for the truth. Before the migrations after the ice age. The people living closest to the equator had the darkest skin and the people living closest to the poles had the lightest skin. Jon who keep mentioning the Mongoloid race. You can call it another name I suppose. But all social studies books list native Japanese, Chinese and certain other western Asia groups such a poynesian. (spelling oops) and Native Americans. Jana believes that people from India are Mongoloid. The social studies books say they are caucasian. And some take caucasian to mean European and that is not what the word means.

    Back to the dog. Dogs reach sexual maturity at age one year or so. It is easy to breed dogs for a particular purpose such as size, skills color and such. We all know this and know that all dogs are not equal because we have delieberatey breed them that way.

    What about people. It would be harder to do with people. Our sexual maturation is later. It can be done however. It would just take longer. Of course, it is illegal in every country I think to do this and it should be.

    There has been enough cross breeding between different ethnic and racial groups to keep humans close to the same page. Migrations have really made a difference with people constantly moving to new areas.

    Now for the big argument about which ethnic group can do better then this or that. That only applies to doctors determining which tests to run. Both parents are diabetic, the need to check all children of that marriage is paramount and early. ON a larger scale we ned to check all Afro-American for sickle-cell anemia disease. Why, it is a disease almost exclusive to the people who are descended from the area if the world around Nigeria. Most African Americans, not all, have their heritage traced to the area around the Niger River. Niger is pronounced with a long i as ins ride not rid.

    What do any differences in those tests mean? nothnig. They only tell what a large group of people average on a particular test at a particular time. They tell nothing about what me, Freddie, is going to score. It is wrong to determine what I can and can't do based on the average of the people of my ethnic or racial ancestry.

    Look at MY score on that test. See what I can do on certain tasks. Judge me for what I can do. And give me scholarships based on that, jobs on that, and promotions on what I did at my job, not what the average of my ethnic or racial group did.

    I want to be judged by me and what I did on any test and what MY performance is on any test, skill or job. I don't want anyone to be testing my hair to see if a qualify to take a job. I don't want a dick measurement to see if I am qualified to go to a certain college. I don't wnat cells of my skin put to a light darkness test and see if I qualify for anything.

    The great Dr. Martin LUther King, Jr. in a famous speech said and I paraphrase that he looke to a day when people will be judged by what they do and not by the color of their skin. I saulute Dr. KIng. He died for his beilefs. Some fool didn't lik ti and ended his life tragically at age 39.

    Before anyone writes a post saying, Yes , well. of course, you would expect such a ost from a black person. Sure I have some black blood whay back there somewhere. I just don't know were or when.

    But all my immediate ancestors came from the Bristish Isles the best I can tell.

    ih closing, if any two creatures can mate, regardless of your religious, cultural or scientific views, those two people have some common ancestors and not that far back; 50,00 years at the most. If they didn't, they would not be ale to mate and produce chidren.

    Bakc to the speciation, the most it would do is produce a super bred that can do a certain task above the rest of the human population. It would not change who they were, They would still be human. This jumping speciies is a bit farfetched and is a theory that no scientist has been been able to do much more than make a hypothesis which is a bit below a theory.

    Can't we just love our fellow man regardless of what color, size, culture, religion or dick size or lack there of for the females, breast size. Can't we judge a person on his or her own merit and not consider their ancestry as part of the mix?

    Surely we have better things to do then have all the boys come up and be measured so we can tell what they can and can't do in alebra. That is a bit prepposterous. And who sets up the guidelines to tell us who would makea good doctor based on penis size alone?

    That is what we do when we try to determine which ethnic group is better? There has been too much interbreeding over the years for that to successfully to happen.

    By the way, there is scientific evidence the Neanderthals interbreed with the CroMagnon Man who seemed to appear out of nowhere. Neanderthals are a subspecies, not a separate species according to some antorpologists. There is some evidence of Neanderthal characteristics showing up in some people in Europe.

    Botom line. Statistics for any ethnic or racial group are fine, but they don't mean a thing about aibilities or even physical problems for a specific person. We are each unique and there is no one out there just like us. Even identical twins have some differences. Let's celebrate our uniqueness and what each person can contribute to our world to make it a better place for EVERYONE!

    Freddie
     
  7. jonb

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    Polynesian. Mongoloid's not even a paraphyletic category, much less a holophyletic category. (At least protists have the former going for them.) The genetics of "mongoloid" would require three or four migrations from Africa in and of themselves. Not to mention there are also mongoloids in southern Africa. I had a genetics link once: It had like Japanese-Gambians as 86 (where 1 is the distance between the English and the Swedes), and Japanese-Cheyenne as 159.

    If we focus on craniometrics, there's absolutely nothing to list Indians as mongoloids (if we define mongoloid as "from Indochina up into Siberia and east to Turkistan") either. You get Eskimos as mongoloids, but the rest: Round eyes, long faces, big noses . . . Draw your own conclusion.

    I personally think mongoloid began as a way to fit Christian gematria: Three facets of God, three sons of Noah, etc. (A similar trick was done with sevens.) So they decided to create one catch-all category for anyone who didn't fit black or white, like Michael Jackson. LOL

    These days in biology, we focus on holophyletic categories -- that is, categories where all members have a common ancestor which excludes all non-members.
     
  8. D_Humper E Bogart

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    I have an "easy solution", wipe out the Jews, I mean, that's one "race" down, a few thousand to go. While I'm at it, I think we could breed blue eyes to be a dominant (numerically) characteristic, as well as selective breeding of humans for intelligance and physical health, oh and while I'm at it, let's begin a purification of the race and the destruction of all that are undersirable. And while I'm at it, I'll quote the "good book, "Democracy, the decietful theory that the jew would insinuate. Namely that all men are created equal."*

    *Yes, Jon, I know I've called on the H-man already.
     
  9. Freddie53

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    And you don't read very well either.

    I am not racially mixed. But I know that all human beings are related and have common ancestors. There is no way we could share that much DNA and not have common ancestors. But we have millions of ancestors. And everyone has some of everything somewhere in their background. This idea of a pure race or breed is utter nonsense. That sounds like Hitler.

    And I am a retired teacher. (I don't see as well as I used to and it is hard for me to read mistakes now, but i used to never have an error in writing. Health does change things a bit.) You think I am going to give grades based on the ethnic background of a student. Hell no. Each student is an individual. I am not going to rate a student based on the average of his ethnic background. Some of the smartest students I have taught have been black, but in my area the blacks generally score lower on those standarized tests

    If you were my son's teacher and gave all of a certain ethnic group the same grade, you bet I would see you in court.

    I STAND BEHIND MY STATEMENT THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE JUDGED BY HIS OWN ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERSONALITY. To do otherwise is to be a bigot.




    Generalizations mean everything, as they are the only way for us to be able to estimate the abilities of a specific person. Would you like to measure the individual differences in our six billion plus population? If a collective group scores lower on a certain test, it can be correctly assumed that the average individual from that group will score low.

    TRY THAT OUT IN A SCHOOL ROOM OR AS A MAJOR EMPLOYER AND YOU WILL HAVE YOUR BUTT IN COURT BEFORE YOU CAN SAY ETHNIC GROUP.

    You begin by speaking of biases associated with race, then you say you are racially-mixed. Why wouldn't your bias lead to a more P.C. created,
    "We are all the same"? The Black ancestry you have likely doesn't effect your phenotype(a lot), but it has a very anti-racial effect on your mentality.

    YOU DON'T READ VERY WELL. ALL PEOPLE HAVE SOME BLACK ANCESTRY. GET OVER IT. AS FAR BACK AS 500 YEARS ALL MY ANCESTERS WERE WHITE FROM THE BRITISH ISLES. I AM NOT RACIALLY MIXED ANY MORE THAN THE FOLKS FROM SWEDEN. AND I AM SURE THAT MY ANCESTORS REMAIN WHITE FURTHER BACK AS BLACKS IN BRITAIN WERE RARE BEFORE 1500. I NEVER SAID I WAS RACAILLY MIXED. NOTHING WRONG WITH IT EXCEPT OF COURSE IN YOUR EYES.

    I disagree selectively breeding humans can lead to general evolution as well. Intelligence will benefit any group in any area, and that is the main reason not to miscegenate racial boundaries.



    SORRY WE ARE ANIMALS, IF OVER ENOUGH TIME ONLY THE TALLEST OF THE TALLEST WERE BRED WE WOULD CREATE GIANTS. WE FOLLOW ALL THE SAME RULES THAT ALL OTHER MAMMALS FOLLOW. WE JUST HAVEN'T BRED PEOPLE FOR CERTAIN TASKS. DOESN'T MEAN IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. THOUGH I WOULD HOPE WE HAVE THE GOOD SENSE NOT TOO.

    There hasn't been too much interbreeding to not be able to discern racial boundaries, so your argument there is absurd. We can still tell each other apart just be physical features, so it is extremely likely that any mental features would still be intact.

    I NEVER SAID THAT THERE WERENT' DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL ABILITIES FROM PERSON TO PERSON. BUT WE OWE EACH PERSON A CHANCE TO BE WHAT HE WNATS TO BE AND NOT FOLLOW A CASTE SYSTEM WHERE EACH PERSON'S WORTH AND INTELLIGENCE IS BASED ON HIS ANCESTORS. NOT A VERY BRIGHT IDEA.

    You would tell me that big penises are better, but men with small penises aren't inferior(in that one sense)? That is hypocritical.

    WHY WOULD I DO THAT? I NEVER SAID THAT. I AM AT BEST AVERAGE IN THAT DEPARTMENT AHD DEFINTELY BELOW AVERAGE FOR THIS SITE. DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH THAT ARE CONTRARY TO WHAT I SAID AND BELIEVE.

    I WAS MAKING A POINT AND YOU DIDN'T CATCH IT. WE DON'T SELECT PEOPLE BY COLOR, GENDER, DICK SIZE OR ANY OTHER PHYSCIAL CHARACTERISTIC, WE SELECT PEOPLE IN THE WORK PLACE BASED ON THEIR ABILITIES AND THEIR DESIRE TO START AND COMPLETE ASSIGNED TASK. PERIOD.

    There is absolutely no evidence to support interbreeding between Cro-Magnons and Homo neanderthelensis. The DNA from Neandethals that has been examined is nothing like modern European DNA.

    THE LAST RESEARCH I READ SAID THAT IT IS INCONCLUSIVE IF WE ARE PARTIALLY DESCENDED FROM THE NEANDERTHALS. IF WHAT YOU SAY IS CORRECT, THEN WE DIDN'T DESCEND FROM HOMO ERECTUS OR "LUCY" EITHER. THAT COMPLETELY DESTROYS THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. AND YES I READ THAT THERE ARE SOME NEANDERTHAL CHARACTERISTICS. NEW DNA TECHNOLOGY MAY CHANGE THE WHOLE IDEA OF EVOLUTION.

    LAST I SAW NEADETHAL MAN WAS LISTED AS HOMO SAPIANS. THAT IS THE SAME SPECIES AS WE ARE. NEANDERTHAL IS A SUBSPECIES. THE AVERAGE BRAIN CAVITY WAS LARGER FOR NEADERTHAL THEN MODERN MAN. PERHAPS HE WAS SMARTER THAN SOME OF US LIVING TODAY.

    "Bottom line" eh? If a group is different from another group variations between individuals can't change that. I want collective differences to be preserved, not the increase of individual variation. I tried to address everything you put. I really don't like these long posts though. :D

    SO YOU WANT BLACKS TO ALWAYS SCORE LOWER ON ACHIEVEMENT TESTS THEN WHITES IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW. AND IT IS NOT DUE TO LACK OF INTELLECT. IT IS DO TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC LEVELS. BLACKS WHOSE PARENTS ARE DOCTORS SCORE ABOUT THE SAME AS WHITES WHOSE PARENTS ARE DOCTORS. WELFARE BLACKS SCORE ABOUT THE SAME AS WELFARE WHITES. IT HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH SKIN COLOR.


    WHY DON'T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY IT, YOU DON'T WANT YOUR SON OR DUAGHTER MARRYING ANYONE OUTSIDE YOUR RACIAL OR ETHNIC GROUP. FINE. BUT DON'T TRY TO MAKE SCIENCE FIT YOUR RACIST IDEAS.

    AND FOR THE RECORD, I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF LAWYERS AND A DOCTOR WHO ARE DESCENDED FROM THE WEALTHY PLANTATION OWNERS IN COLONIAL TIMES. MY PEDIGREE IS JUST ABOUT AS GOOD AS ANYONE IN THIS NATION. YOU DON'T KNOW OF WHAT YOU SPEAK.

    BUT THAT QUALIFIES ME FOR NOTHING EXCEPT BRAGGING RIGHTS AND NO EMPLOYER IS INTERESTED IN THAT. ONLY THE DAR AND SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTOIN CARE ABOUT THAT.

    BUT I CHOSE TO BE A TEACHER AND GAVE UP FAME AND FORTUNE.

    SO YOU ARE OPPOSED TO PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT ETHNIC OR RACIAL GROUPS INTERMARRYING AND UPSETING THE PRESENT EHTNIC AND RACIAL MIX? THAT IS FINE FOR YOU. MARRY WHOM YOU WISH. I AM FOR PEOPLE MARRYING WHO THAT FALL IN LOVE WITH AND WANT TO SPEND A LIFETIME WITH. THERE SHOULDN'T BE A RACIAL, SKIN COLOR, SIZE OR ANY OTHER PHYSICAL DIFFERENCE PREVENTING SUCH A MARRIAGE.

    WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? THE SOUTH OF 40 YEARS AGO?
    [post=285499]Quoted post[/post]​
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  10. Freddie53

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    Thanks for your satire on this subject.


    And Jon the expert on all of this. This Neanderthal Man thing. You would know. But to debunk one theory is to bring a lot of other theories into serious question.
    I know you know the answers. I am not sure I will understand what you say with the big words. But I do know where the dictionary is.
     
  11. Freddie53

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  12. Freddie53

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    Jon, I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. First the idea of full blood anything human isn't completely true. WE all come from a group of about 100,000 people several thousand years ago. We are all interrelated in some way.

    I never understood how Native Americans were classified as Mongoloid. Except they supposedly came from Asia. I kept asking in class why they didn't look the same as the folks in Asia. Teachers didn't know. When I was young, my grandmother said there were five races: red, yellow, black, brown and white. They has always made more sense then the three. But then the teacher said it was based on skeleton joints and such. So I don't know. I think ethnic background is much more important anyway. If a devout religious right person wants to marry a Muslim, there is going to be major culture and belief problems. NOt that is is wrong to marry. That is much more a problem, then agreeing on what color the babies hair is going to be. No discussion. It is what is will be. Period.

    I just wish I understood all what you wrote about. I don't. Those big words are beyond me. But I am not too proud to admit it. We are all humans, and our differeences are still less then the breeds in the dog species, much less.

    If you could put what you wrote in terms for a retired elementary teacher, not biology teacher. I made an A all right in biology some 30 years ago. And I never took advanced biology. Being a music major I got out of taking the real sciences in college.

    And the word Mongoloid is a poor choice of words. It is spelled the same as the word for Down Syndrome. That just shouldn't be. I don't know how that came to hapen, but I think a better choice of words is in order.

    Tell us more. Some would like to know.

    Freddie

     
  13. Freddie53

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  14. Imported

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    doubtless_mouse: You ask why we can’t breed humans, in the sense that we selectively mate people with genetic characteristics (which can be seen in the physical characteristics) that we as a society find desirable. The primary reason we should not and can not do this is called ethics. Who in the society is going to be the deciding factor in which characteristics are desirable? Would there be an ASTM (American Standards for Testing and Measurement) or maybe an ISO (International Standards Organization) standard to let the world know what traits are desirable? Would you allow the moral majority to make that decision or would it need to be controlled by someone else. Read Aldous Huxley’s book Brave New World which is an ironic vision of the future where the society is stratified based on what “type” of class you were born to, Alpha’s, Beta’s, etc. Each class (which is made up of cloned individuals) has a certain place in society and their rights are based of their class and each particular class is bred for a certain function.

    Selective breeding in our society would result in a profound loss to our society as a whole. Let’s say for arguments sake that a few years from now, our society (a global society) started to perform genetic testing on fetuses as Freddie mentioned. This testing was designed to allow for the selective breeding of certain traits (i.e. you would know hair color, eye color, if the fetus carried any genetic defects), you and your wife years from now go down to the local genetic test center when you find out she is pregnant. Through the course of the test, you find out that your unborn son carries the genetic marker for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). As society has deemed it acceptable to breed out these types of genetic problems, you and your wife decide to end the pregnancy. (If possible let’s not discuss the pro-choice or pro-life aspects of this scenario). So because the society that you are advocating is choosing to breed humans to control the genetic outcome (because that is what breeding is really all about), you chose not to have a child that has the genetic marker for ALS. Do you realize that you just stopped the birth of Stephen Hawking (who happens to be one of the most prominent theoretical physicists and mathematicians in our century)? Stephen Hawking was born in 1942 and has been living with ALS since the late 60’s. He has been afflicted with a disease that should not have to be tolerated by any person, but he is and he continues to contribute to society.

    Every person contributes to the whole (gene pool), so by selecting which genes we want to keep and which genes we want to dump, we would not be evolving. Irregardless of selective breeding, technological advances in medicine have stopped the evolution of our species. While it is a joke, the Darwin Award is an award given to people who have removed themselves from our gene pool because of stupidity. But the actual instances of people removing themselves from our gene pool because of stupidity are rather few. When I was in the Marines, we had a guy intentionally eat a Tri-oxen Fuel tablet (used in the field to heat MRE’s), the guy survived because the doctors were able to help him. Now this idiot is still around to reproduce. As mentioned in an early post of mine, the bases of Darwin’s theory on evolution was that “within a given population in a given environment, certain individuals possess characteristics that make them more likely to survive and reproduce. These individuals will pass these critical characteristics on to their offspring. The number of organisms with these traits increases as each generation passes on the advantageous combination of traits. Outmatched, individuals lacking the beneficial traits gradually decrease in number.” (MS Encarta, Evolution) We as a species have stopped this process. Because of our mental development, we are no longer tied to the need to adapt to an environment. As I mentioned early, my children being born with excessive body hair (while it would be advantageous if we lived in a cold clime) would more than likely be a deterrent in their ability to survive and more importantly would most defiantly be a deterrent in their ability to reproduce (who would want to marry some guy or girl who looked like Chewbacca let alone have sex with them).

    Lastly, generalization of a population does not allow us to say anything about the specific person. It may allow us to make some assumptions about people from that population, but it does not allow us to say John Brown of such and such a population will do well or not do well on such and such. This was a mistake our ancestors made. It is sad, but it is still a commonly held belief that African-Americans posses a lower IQ then Caucasians (using the commonly accepted definition of Caucasian being white). This is not true. What may be true is that African-Americans tend to score lower on certain IQ tests than Caucasians. These tests unfortunately typically don’t take into socio-economic backgrounds, educational back-grounds, or other similar factors that have a dramatic impact on the results. And as you specifically mentioned intelligence, while genetics does play a part in the development of an individual’s intelligence, other factors are likewise equally (if not more important) to the development as well. Nutrition for instance is very important to an individual’s development, studies have shown that the myelin coating (or fat coating) on neurons is basically set during infancy. The development of myelin is tied to the amount of fat you take in during infancy (most baby formulas’ have a fairly high fat content). It is common joke that upon dissecting Einstein’s brain they found it to be full of fat. Genetics is important to our development but it is a small piece of the pie. My height was not predisposed at the moment of conception – the moment my genetic pattern was set in stone - but instead my potential for height was defined. My height (6’0”) was determined by many factors, other than my genetic make up, during my growth.

    And finally, I think one of the points that Freddie was trying to make was “Don’t judge me based on what you think of me (which is determined by some generalization) but instead judge me based off of my actual skills, abilities and knowledge.”

    Sorry for the long post, but any intelligent discussion tends to be long

    Ramblings from the mouse.
     
  15. jonb

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    The idea that Indians came from Asia began with Jose de Acosta. This was back when maps had this crazy idea of North America extending all the way to China, but it became popular because of two people, Ales Hrdlicka and Paul Martin. Hrdlicka was a turn-of-the-century anthropologist with a half-assed explanation (e.g., if a human skeleton was found, it was just a burial from people who really practiced cremation) to discredit every find of Pleistocene habitation of the Americas because he had a "progressive" view of evolution, so anything from the Upper Pleistocene would be neanderthal. Martin, OTOH, believed that humans were responsible for a blitzkrieg (Note Martin's invocation of Godwin's law.) wiping out large Pleistocene mammals. It's slowly being discredited. Here are a few reasons:

    *DNA. Definitely doesn't match the Pacific Rim. Actually, it really doesn't match anywhere that easily.
    *Human habitation. Some 50,000 years in South Carolina and Piaui (a province of Brazil) now. By contrast, eastern Siberia's only been inhabited by modern humans for 10,000 years. One could rely on other parts of the Pacific Rim, but you only get other hominids in any reasonable distance until around 40,000 years ago. It's also older than anything in Alaska or Canada.
    *Our actual features. Not only are our features so un-Oriental, but the differences are of a type which really wouldn't survive well in Pleistocene Alaska. Longer legs, larger ears, and the absence of the epicanthic fold. (In fact, one term I've heard for non-Indians is "moon monkeys", a reference to light skin, short legs, and hairiness.)
    *Diseases. As you know, Indians and smallpox don't really get along. Nor do Indians and syphilis, measels, mumps, malaria, or tuberculosis. But our immune system reacts to intestinal parasites pretty well. Needless to say, intestinal parasites spend part of their life cycle outside a host and therefore vulnerable to the cold.
    *The Cordilleran and the Laurentide. In an awkward story similar to the parting of the Red Sea, a warm, biologically-rich corridor only a couple hundred metres wide was the "orthodox" explanation for how humans got into the American interior. But now it's been proven that they touched during the Upper Pleistocene.

    Well, gematria isn't really a biological phenomenon. It's a superstition. Christian gematria considers 3 and 7 proper numbers. Many Enlightenment thinkers spelled out three races to fit that gematria.

    Holophyletic, paraphyletic, and polyphyletic refer to whether or not a taxon has a common ancestor also of that taxon: In polyphyletic categories, they don't; in paraphyletic categories, they do, but so do organisms not in that taxon; in holophyletic categories, all descendants of that ancestor are part of the category. Here's an example:

    Holophyletic: All birds.
    Paraphyletic: All flying birds.
    Polyphyletic: All flying animals.

    Turkistan is a region in Central Asia. It includes northwestern China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and northern Afghanistan.

    Oh, and evolution actually says that all organisms share a common ancestor some 4 billion years back.
     
  16. jonb

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    Actually, body hair in humans is more under the influence of sexual selection. Basically, genes favored in this manner will typically react to a sex hormone, so you will start to see them at the onset of sexual maturity and a consistent pattern along gender lines. Sexual selection comes in two basic flavors, intersexual and intrasexual. The former's a beauty contest, and the latter's an actual competition.
     
  17. jonb

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    The overwhelming evidence goes against the idea of Indians being from Siberia, though. It's one of those cases of "no evidence, but it's supported because no one's creative enough to think of a different theory". Basically, the problem is, if you take an Indian today, or even one from the Pleistocene, and put him in Siberia, watch how long he lasts. Not long. In fact, human habitation of North America goes back farther than human habitation of Siberia, and I've said it before: I hate time travel.
     
  18. Freddie53

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    Outstanding treatise on this subject. Thanks. It really is a real moral decision to make if you know the fetus is damaged. If it can't live or it will always be in an infant stage I can see termination. However, doing it for sexual selection, color of hair and those kind of things. No. I don't know what the answer is for certain diseases that may or may not develop in an individual. I would say that if that is that important to a couple, they just use birth control and not have children. That is a very difficult road to travel - fetus physicals to determine whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. Overall, I think I am against it except for very obvious and very serious problems that are defintely going to be there from the start and will result in the death of either the mother or the fetus or have a baby born that is extremely diseased from the beginning with no cure or help available and no quality of life. I do think that decision should rest with the parents, the doctors and the parent's God if they have one, and not the state.

     
  19. jonb

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    Yeah, but Stanford-Binet would put us at an average of 81. 104 for the Omaha. And that, mikola, is the problem with a genetic IQ.

    If you're interested, we refer to non-Indians as "moon monkeys" because of certain apish features (e.g., hairiness, small noses, short legs).
     
  20. jonb

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    Yeah, actually, it makes more sense to list Indians as caucasoids.

    As for selective forces, they couldn't cause these changes. Only mutation can cause new genes; remember, the old "tropical genes" were supposedly lost somewhere in Turkistan.

    The danger of saying "more evolved" is that it isn't such. Natural selection occurs more rapidly under certain conditions, true, but only certain agents such as viruses, certain chemical agents, or certain types of radiation, can change the rate of mutation. Or a disproportionate frequency of certain types of "junk DNA".
     
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