Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

Philip Deitiker (
Sun, 03 Nov 1996 04:11:58 GMT

Laura Finsten <> wrote:

> () wrote:
>>In article <55b2s9$>,
>>Philip Deitiker <> wrote:

>>>I don't think any geneticist will argue this point, every population
>>>is going to have variation to the extent it can't be made identical to
>>>another population. The issue really revolves around who should, and
>>>under what circumstances population based genetic distinctions be
>>No, no, no! It is desirable, of course, and may eventually happens, but it
>>is extremely common for nonobservables to be given theoretical status long
>>before the thing being postulated is found. The best case in point here is
>>the gene itself![...]

>How useful is the "nonobservable" category "race" in the biological and
>ecological sciences? The gene have turned out to be highly useful concept,
>since we can actually figure out what it is made from and are in the process
>of figuring out genes working together do other things. I don't think that
>"race" is a comparable concept, though, because it is a classificatory
>rather than an identifying concept.

Ditto, From a semantic point of veiw the word 'race' is ambiguous. In
the US, race defines a tripartite system, which at the laymans level
is not in the process of changing, although the scientific
understanding of the relatedness of various world populations has.
Neither is 'race' a scientific framework, since scientist will opt to
use terminology used for other species such as subspecies,
subpopulation, variant, etc. Race works in areas were you have
caucasions which primarily come from a certain part of eurasia,
africans from a certain region of africa (ivory coast) and asians
principally from regions of asia (china and vietnam). When one starts
throwing in dravidians, philipinos, amerindians, east or north
africans, middle-easternerns, etc, etc one is going to see that the
tripartite systems fails. It is conviently used by political
agencies,but this has historical underpinnings not based in scientific