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social and plitical concept of race and relationship to biology

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message 1: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda | 2 comments Just read a great review

http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/revie...

Author posts interesting argument that there is absolutely no biological basis for the social and political concept of race. The review site is offering a freebie!


message 2: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) It looks interesting that is for sure.


message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 2 comments I don't completely agree with her, mainly because there are practical relationships between classical races and disease. Some of these are clearly genetic, some cultural. It's a gray area, not black and white. As time goes on and we mongrelize (assuming we survive as a species and can continue to easily travel) these differences will become less and less important.


message 4: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1 comments I may check it out. "absolutely no biological basis" is perhaps strong, but I understand that biological differences are so small that they don't justify any of the separateness that society and culture put on race. I believe there are twice as many genes that have to differ between a short and tall person--and yet it would seem silly to consider that a fundamental difference in personhood.


message 5: by Terrence (new)

Terrence | 1 comments How come they've found that people of Jewish descent have a shared genetic heritage and a much higher rate of diseases like Tay-Sachs then? Seems fishy.


message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 4 comments Because they're closely related. How are we going to class it? Would it be better to classify people by which deseases they have a genetic load for? Sickle-cell anemia is common in the whole mediterranean area - it gives some protection against malaria, although I wouldn't be one to say which is worse. Yet we think of it as something only people with dark skin have. Eye color? Height? Epicanthic folds on the eyes (Asians as well as some Africans have that)? Nose width? That is common to people from warm regions, African and South American. All these classifications are equally arbitrary. You share about 98% of genes with anybody you choose, except a close relative, and that 98% may or may not consist of skin color or thousands of other qualities.


message 7: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 2 comments Well various studies show that chimps and humans share between 96 and 98.8% of DNA/Genes. Perhaps differences have more to do with quality than quantity.

BTW, it is Thalassemia that has a high prevalence in the Mediterranean area descent. Sickle cell trait and disease is common in those of subsaharan African descent.


message 8: by James (new)

James Birch (jameswallacebirch) | 1 comments i didn't really see a place for introductions so i thought i'd just drop in and say hello right here!


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