Talk:Race and genetics/Archive 1

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I'VE JUST changed the correct term hispanic it was being used as an ethnic/racial term!!![edit]

the user meant mestizo I guess hispanic as anglophoenes can be of any race.

the source says hispanic, does not clarify on race.Muntuwandi 11:48, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Merge from Race and multilocus allele clusters[edit]

The intro says it all:

"Racial distinctions are generally made on the basis of skin color, facial features, inferred ancestry, national origin and self-identification. Ongoing debate exists over the merit of the concept of 'race', especially from the perspective of genetics" Lukas19 17:07, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree, merge in Race and multilocus allele clusters the title is too long anyway-- it can be a section of this article. futurebird 16:56, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
  • hmm the difference is that Population groups in biomedicine is mostly aboud encoding sequences coneccted with subject of medicine - diaseses. Those DNAs regions are under evolutionary presure. The other is foscus on rather evoulutionary not selectable silent gens whose jus taging inherited genoms. Do you see the essential differences ? How you want to abrig the 'biomedicine' with 70+ references :) . IMO = no. Nasz 11:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Lukas19's edits of 20:05[edit]

regarding Lukas19's edits of 20:05 quoting the Risch article, I did a search of the Risch article using the Adobe acrobat reader's search engine and did not find the term "racial level". This leads me to believe that the quote cited does not exist in the article.

regarding his edits in the section titled "Distribution of genetic variation within/between populations", the version by Wobble is more NPOV.

regarding his edits on Lewontin's fallacy, I reviewed them and found that they did have merit, however not enough as to completely replace Wobble's version. So, I went through both versions and tried to make a compromise between the two.-Psychohistorian 20:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

This is the second absurd claim of yours within an hour. First, you have claimed that no material was deleted by Wobble. This was blatantly incorrect. And now this. Is this a bad faith effort or something physical on your part? Page 4:

[1]

It's a bit above "are racial differences merely cosmetic?". Hopefully these are simple enough for you to locate this time...Lukas19 20:31, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
The search engine within Adobe Acrobat reader does not find "racial level", however now that you've pointed out where it is, I will admit that the quote is in the article. I will restore that quote in just a minute.-Psychohistorian 20:38, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
And what is the excuse for changing this:
"Populations within continents are more closely related to one another than to populations on other continents. Genetic variation between races is highly structured [1]. Thus, when one considers many points (i.e., genetic loci) of variation one can distinguish groups and allocate people into groups (Bamshad, 2004). Whether or not these groups constitute races is a matter of ongoing dispute."
~to this:
"Humans from geographically proximate regions generally show a greater degree of genetic homogeneity with each other than they do with humans from more distant geographical regions, this applies to all geographical regions except for Africa, which has the highest genetic variation of any geographic region.[2]"
Wobble's edit deleted the fact that "Populations within continents are more closely related to one another than to populations on other continents". I fail to see any good faith in both of you...Lukas19 20:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. His quote says exactly that AND points out that Africa difers the most from that trend.-Psychohistorian 20:54, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Exactly? Pffft.
"...this applies to all geographical regions except for Africa...." This implies Africans do not show "a greater degree of genetic homogeneity with each other". The correct form should be:
"Humans from geographically proximate regions generally show a greater degree of genetic homogeneity with each other than they do with humans from more distant geographical regions, this applies to all geographical regions. The continent, which has the highest genetic variation of any geographic region is Africa[2]"
And geographical regions is not a substitude for continents. It's extra information to continents. Benelux is a geographical region but not a continent. So the reader should know that the scope of geographical regions also includes continents as well as sub groups within them...Lukas19 21:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Reversion[edit]

First, there are the usual silly mistakes, similar to the inability to use Acrobat search engine.

"A study called Clines, Clusters, and the Effect of Study Design on the Inference of Human Population Structure and done by Neil Risch, Esteban Burchard, Elad Ziv and Hua Tang, two of them from Stanford University:"

No, that study was done by: Noah A. Rosenberg1*, Saurabh Mahajan2, Sohini Ramachandran3, Chengfeng Zhao4, Jonathan K. Pritchard5, Marcus W. Feldman3

Second, if humans show big DNA differences, it is important and relavant to the article. Because BBC source explicitly says:

"It would seem the assumption that the DNA of any two humans is 99.9% similar in content and identity no longer holds."

This work was on copy number and relates to differences in copy number associated with developement. It may be interesting, but has absolutely no relevance here. It neither pertains to "race" nor to hereditary. It's inclusion is either a lie intended to artificially support a POV, or it is the result of ignorance on the part of the person who added it. I note that the cite is extremely selective, and avoids context completelly, presumably because providing proper context would invalidate it's inclusion. Do you understand the difference between a Somatic cell and a gamete? This information is irrelevant. Secondly we cite science from scientific papers and books that are written by scientists. See in science avoid citing the popular press. Alun 13:05, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on genetics. I think I've been very up front about that. But I think it should be pointed out that the article Lukas sourced says the following, "the research will also inform the study of human evolution, which probes genetic variation in modern populations for what it can say about their relationship to ancestral peoples". That seems like it is relevant to the race question. Wobble, can you expound on that?-Psychohistorian 14:43, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Sure, this research was misrepresented in the British media bigstyle. Indeed, on the The Guardian "Science Weekly" podcast they commented on the fact that most of the media failed to fully understand what this research is about. Here's a brief summary. When scientists measure genetic variation as it pertains to the geographic distribution of human variability, they are measuring differences in polymorphisms. Most genes are not polymorphic in humans (this is called Gene fixation and indicates the relative youth of our species), when they are it means that more than one allele is present in the population. It's like having a gene for blue eye colour and a gene for brown eye colour, some people will have two copies for blue eye colour (and be homozygous) and some will have two copies for brown (and also be homozygous), yet other people will have one copy of each (and be heterozygous). This is a polymorphism, each of us has two copies of each gene, and so any individual can only have at most two alleles present for any given gene, but some genes are extremely polymorphic, with hundreds of alleles occuring in the gene pool, from which each individual can only ever have two, the Major histocompatibility complex is extremely polymorphic. When population biologists measure variation between populations they are measuring the occurence and frequency of different polymorphisms between "populations". That is, some polymorphisms will occur at a greater frequency in certain geographical regions than they do in other geographical regions. The more polymorphisms we measure the greater the accuracy we get for infering geographic region of origin. Most studies these days measure SNPs, which are Single nucleotide polymorphism, these are single base mutations within genomic DNA. Geneticists want to measure only selection neutral polymorphisms, because measuring mutations that are under selection (like Haemoglobin S) does not give a good indication of relatedness. This BBC article is about the copy number of a gene, this is not relevant to the type of allele that is present. What I mean is this, I have one of my father's alleles for eye colour and one of my mother's. My father may have a single copy for blue eye colour, but I may have two or three copies of the same gene from him, if there was a mistake in copying during gametogenesis or some other developemental process. But the version of the polymorphic allele I carry is not affected, it is still the same polymorphism, I just have a greater number of copies. When it comes to measuring the difference in frequencies of polymorphisms that occur between populations, copy number in the individual organism is irrelevant, what is relevant is the frequency of the polymorphism in one population relative to another population. So if I were measured they would not count my copy number variation as three versions in the population, sequencing of this polymorphism would simply tell them which allele I carry, not the number of copies of the allele I carry. So the variation they are refering has a completely different meaning to the variation population geneticists are talking about. I have tried to make this explanation as simple as possible. As to the claim that it might have implications for human evolution, maybe this is true, but not in terms of measuring the different frequencies of polymorphisms between populations. Alun 15:49, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I'll take NG's views over yours. Human genetic variation is relevant to the article.
"Scientists say that surprisingly many large chunks of human DNA differ among individuals and ethnic groups." [2] Lukas19 01:39, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
They are talking about the plasticity of the genome, not about differences between allele frequency. You really don't understand this at all do you? You are trying to compare apples and bananas here. Next you'll be telling me that my red blood cells are a different "race" to the rest of my body because the DNA there massively different to the DNA in other cells in my body, that is that RBCs are anuclear. There is massive variation in the DNA between cells within each organism. How do you think antibody diversity is generated? By chopping up the nuclear DNA in B cells. Variation in our DNA is not necessarily attributable to either "race" or heredity. There are numerous causes of variation. It is incorrect to conflate the CNV that is being talked about here with the allele frequency variation that is applicable to this article, these are different measures of variation, and as such should not be used interchangably. This article is not abut human genetic variation, it is about "genetic views on race". Please use applicable articles that stay on topic. Alun 06:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Third "size of variation" repeats "Genetic variation at the individual level" WITHOUT counter arguments. Again, blatant bias mixed with limited understandings.

You are talking about blatant bias and limited understanding? This is a joke, right? See above. Alun 13:05, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
The above paragraph doesnt answer this. "size of variation" talks about Lewontin's claims without mentioning opposition. Lukas19 01:39, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
So put some in then. You have been editing this article haven't you? So aren't you as responsible for this "ommision" as anyone? Indeed the size of variation section is correct, no one disputes that this is small relative to other species, even the papers you cite don't dispute this, they claim only to be measuring the small proportion of variation that does occur between "population". Alun 06:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
LOL. As I said size of variation and its counter arguments were already in another section. ("Genetic variation at the individual level") You seem to be needing to be told everything couple of times since I said "Third "size of variation" repeats "Genetic variation at the individual level"" but I dont so I wont ommit arguments which are already in the article. Lukas19 01:07, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with this section. It simply states that size of genetic variation is small, it mainly talks about how this supports the Out of Africa model. You don't get it do you. We don't have to include all counter arguments all the time. Please read the WP:NPOV policy. NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and may not include tiny-minority views at all (by example, the article on the Earth only very briefly refers to the Flat Earth theory, a view of a distinct minority). We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention as a majority view, and views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views. Alun 03:53, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
LMAO. You still dont understand...wow...
Size of variation:
Since the 1980s it has been known that human genetic variation is low relative to other species, this is usually attributed to the recent origins of our species, and tends to support the recent single-origin hypothesis (or Out of Africa).[4] It has also been shown that most of this small variation is distributed at the individual and local level (about 90-94%), with the remaining 6-10% distributed at the continental (or racial) level.[5]
Genetic variation is greatest at the individual level:
Richard Lewontin argued in a 1972 paper that human races have no taxonomic value because there exists more variation within racial groups than between them. Indeed, some researchers report the variation between racial groups (measured by Sewall Wright's population structure statistic FST) accounts for as little as 5-7% of human genetic variation.
Maybe you think that they talk about different things since one mentions 90-94% and other 5-7%?
Size of variation:
Even so, it is possible to use genetic data to "distinguish groups and allocate individuals into groups",[4] genetic data also show that groups that live on the same continent tend to be more similar to each other than groups that live on different continents.[4]
Genetic variation is structured by geographic origin:
Human genetic variation can be used to deduce the geographical origins of an individual's recent ancestors, this is possible because a small proportion of human genetic variation is geographically distributed, with close geographical proximity strongly correlating with genetic similarity.
Hopefully this is simple enough for you. And this is the counter argument that is not mentioned:
However, a some geneticists now think that low FST values may not be relevant to the existence of human races due to technical limitations of FST (Edwards, 2003).
A. W. F. Edwards claimed in 2003 that Lewontin's conclusion is incorrect because the argument does not address the posibility that most of the information that distinguishes populations may be hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors.[14] Edward's paper does not address the existence or absence of human race. Lukas19 04:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I have addressed this issue. I have removed the section about Lewonin and Edwards and replaced the Edwards argument with a primary source that tests the validity of FST. This source finds that there are two main problems with the argument regarding genetic variation. Firsts that it assumes that all populations are of equal sixe, and second it assumes that all populations diverge independently. They test several models and fail to find a good fit model, though their last choice model has a much better fit than that which is usually used. They go on to conclude that sub-Saharan African populations have a far greater level of diversity than those populations that exist outside of Africa. They also show that none of the "race" models they discuss (the same four that are mentioned in this article) fit their observations. They think that human genetic variation cannot be easily measured because human population structure is very complex, but their results seem to support the idea that our species is recent and out of Africa, and also that from a biological point of view "races" do not exist. Alun 07:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
As you can see I wasnt joking about limited understanding. It took you 4 responses to figure it out. Maybe in future, I can just copy and paste my arguments 4 times so you wouldnt engage in silly reverts. I just dont want to think how many times I should try copy and pasting my argument in an article OUTSIDE your profession.
Why was Edwards' quote deleted? Besides allele relatedness, he also talked about overall correlation structure. Of course I can add this and I will. But YOU are the one reverting the article so make your reverts correctly....
As you can see I wasnt joking about limited understanding. It took you 4 responses to figure it out. Maybe in future, I can just copy and paste my arguments 4 times so you wouldnt engage in silly reverts. I just dont want to think how many times I should try copy and pasting my argument in an article OUTSIDE your profession.
Why was Edwards' quote deleted? Besides allele relatedness, he also talked about overall correlation structure. Of course I can add this and I will. But YOU are the one reverting the article so make your reverts correctly....
As you can see I wasnt joking about limited understanding. It took you 4 responses to figure it out. Maybe in future, I can just copy and paste my arguments 4 times so you wouldnt engage in silly reverts. I just dont want to think how many times I should try copy and pasting my argument in an article OUTSIDE your profession.
Why was Edwards' quote deleted? Besides allele relatedness, he also talked about overall correlation structure. Of course I can add this and I will. But YOU are the one reverting the article so make your reverts correctly....
As you can see I wasnt joking about limited understanding. It took you 4 responses to figure it out. Maybe in future, I can just copy and paste my arguments 4 times so you wouldnt engage in silly reverts. I just dont want to think how many times I should try copy and pasting my argument in an article OUTSIDE your profession.
Why was Edwards' quote deleted? Besides allele relatedness, he also talked about overall correlation structure. Of course I can add this and I will. But YOU are the one reverting the article so make your reverts correctly....Lukas19 22:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't worry about it, you can't help having a limited understading. What I did was use a completelly different source. Edwards does not criticise the calculation of FST, so your argument was incorrect. Edwards claims that the argument regarding the non existence of population structure is a fallacy, not that the calculation of FST is incorrect. What I have done is use a completelly different article that does actually criticise the calculation of FST. You have not mentioned the Long and Kittles article once, and apparently were not aware of it's existence untill I used it, so to claim that this article was the point of your complaint seems like a lie. My edit was not about Edward's oservation, which was different. So to claim that my edit was prompted by your observation is to completelly misunderstand just about the whole point of Edward's article, and that of Long and Kittles. So your little odd outburst above is somewhat moot. I went and found an article that actually did something that Edwards did not do, and you try to take credit for it and claim that this was what you were talking about all the time? Even though you appear not th have had the slightest idea that the Long and Kittles article existed in the firt place. I mean come on. Who are you kidding? Talk about re-writing history. Alun 19:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Fourth "But is the variation by geographic origin distinct enough to count as race" includes JUST anti-race arguments. As if the answer to that question is no. Again, blatant bias mixed with limited understandings. Lukas19 00:02, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

The answer to the question is no. Read the proper literature, from the point of view of a biologist "race" is synonymous with "subspecies", and by any measure of genetic diversity humans all group into the same subspecies. Risch admits that he doesn't use biological definitions of race, but rather social ones, such as "self defined" ethnicity or definitions from the US "census". So what is Risch measuring? He is measuring the small amount of variation we see distributed geographically, he does not claim that this represents a definition of biological "race", and he does not claim that the degree of variation is more significant than that observed by any other group. Therefore from a biological point of view humans are all part of the same subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens. If you want to argue that Risch's definition of race is valid but ns not a biological construct, then that is a different point. Risch is arguing from a biomedical point of view and not from a biological one. There are other researchers in the field of biomedicine that do not support the point of view that the variation observed is of biomedical importance, but that is another story as they say. Only a tiny number of discredited right wing pseudo-scientific nutcases have argued that the answer to the question is yes. Wikipedia does not include tiny minority opinion as if it "fact". If it needs to be included at all, then it is included as tiny minority opinion. Stop including your distorted interpretation of science, you keep claiming that papers that show geographically distributed genetic variation are somehow supporting the concept of "race", when none of the papers claim this. This is at best a distortion, and more like a lie. Alun 08:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding humans showing big DNA differences, I agree with you. If they do show big DNA differences, it should be mentioned as a foundational piece of knowledge before addressing whether there are races. Regarding lack of sources showing alternate points of view, I deleted no sources when I did the reorg, so your revert didn't fix that problem either and, so, there is no justification for the revert on that point. However, I do encourage you to provide such sources. In short, the huge revert you made was unwarranted, but you did raise a couple of points which were justified. So, I reverted your revert, but edited the article to conform with the points you made which were justifiable. Having said that, again, I welcome any reliable sources which are pro-race in those areas you identified as needing more balance.-Psychohistorian 02:54, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Race and genetics[edit]

This article should be called "Race and genetics", the title "Genetic views on race" doesn't make any sense to me. Alun 08:08, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Schwael 07:37, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Dont change citations if you cant do it correctly[edit]

I already warned about citation of:

""A study called Clines, Clusters, and the Effect of Study Design on the Inference of Human Population Structure and done by Neil Risch, Esteban Burchard, Elad Ziv and Hua Tang, two of them from Stanford University:"

No, that study was done by: Noah A. Rosenberg1*, Saurabh Mahajan2, Sohini Ramachandran3, Chengfeng Zhao4, Jonathan K. Pritchard5, Marcus W. Feldman3"

Now, Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease is also attributed to Noah A. Rosenberg1*, Saurabh Mahajan2, Sohini Ramachandran3, Chengfeng Zhao4, Jonathan K. Pritchard5, Marcus W. Feldman while it was done by: Neil Risch, Esteban Burchard, Elad Ziv and Hua Tang.

So if you cant manage these simple points dont edit the correct form. Lukas19 01:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Wobble/Alun's Reverts[edit]

This user keeps reverting. After being told 4 times, he finally comprehended that sections "Genetic variation at the individual level" and "size of variation" contain same arguments. (And section "size of variation" didnt contain the counter arguments down in section "Genetic variation at the individual level"). Now his edits put the article AGAIN repeating arguments. For ex:

Section: "But is the variation by geographic origin distinct enough to count as race"

"While geographical origin can be inferred from genetics, observed geographically distributed human genetic variation does not amount to the sort of discontinuous distribution that would be expected if the human population were descended from distinct lineages, neither is the variation great enough for human populations to be considered subspecies, the usual biological synonym for race.[7]"

Just down, section "Do biologically distinct races exist?"

Race is generally used as a synonym for subspecies, which traditionally is a geographically circumscribed, genetically differentiated population. Sometimes traits show independent patterns of geographical variation such that some combination will distinguish most populations from all others. To avoid making "race" the equivalent of a local population, minimal thresholds of differentiation are imposed. Human "races" are below the thresholds used in other species, so valid traditional subspecies do not exist in humans. A "subspecies" can also be defined as a distinct evolutionary lineage within a species. Genetic surveys and the analyses of DNA haplotype trees show that human "races" are not distinct lineages, and that this is not due to recent admixture; human races are not and never were "pure". Instead, human evolution has been and is characterised by many locally differentiated populations coexisting at any given time, but with sufficient genetic contact to make all humanity a single lineage sharing a common evolutionary fate.[2]

Both uses same sources. One summarizes and one full quote. Again Leroi's arguments are repeated. If people will insist on reverting more than 10 times, the least they could do would be not to do such a crappy job...Lukas19 23:23, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

"Genetic surveys and the analyses of DNA haplotype trees show that human "races" are not distinct lineages, and that this is not due to recent admixture; human races are not and never were "pure". A plain lie - or a nauseating demagogy at best. No wonder that the PC anti-racial propagators never explain this claim in detail and dance around it in foggy verbal circles. Centrum99 02:12, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like your argument applies to yourself more than anyone else. So I keep reverting but you don't? Indeed you have reverted massive changes with the most spurious and tenuous excuses. There is nothing wrong with saying the same thing twice in the article if it is relevant to two seperate sections, there is nothing wrong with citing thesame source several times. Take a good look at your really poor editing, just putting long windy quotes into articles, presumably because you do not understand them well enough to explain them properly. Something you don't seem to understand is that biology is not the samer as medicine. When niologists talk of "race" they mean subspecies, medical researchers and doctors don't mean this. When you claim that the term is used heterogeneously in the literature you need to address the fact that biologists are not confused about this term, they understand it and use it consistently. Therefore if you want to talk about "race" as a biological construct you need to understand that to a biologist "race" in the human sense doesn't exist. If you want to talk about medicine and the treatment of disease, and how they categorise/classify people and do genetic analyses, they are not using "race" in a biological context, they are not using "race" as abiological construct, they are using a social construct for medical purposes. This is deliberate, because they want to see if "self identified" descent has any medical validity, if it does then simply asking someone their identity is good enough to determine what treatment to use, but this is 'not a biological construct. Biologists are scientists, they are interested in taxonomy and naturally occuring phenomena, medicine is not a science, it is clinical, they are interested in treatment, not in biological classification. It is therefore incorrect and misleadingto claim that the term "race" is used in various ways in the biological literature, biologists are clear on it's use, medical clinicians are less clear, but they are not biologists, you need to understand the distinction. Alun 07:17, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Alun, the only thing that allows me to sustain reading such cretinuos defence of a more and more collapsing fallacy is the certainty that genetic research will already soon push you to the corner (at best, if the corner were in some mental hospital), where your screaming and howling about the non-existence of human races will be for laugh to everybody. Centrum99 02:03, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Charming. I note you restrict yourself to insults and refrain from conducting constructive debats. By the way, where did I ever claim that race does not exist? Race is very real and very pernicious. It's effects are felt everywhere a person is murdered because of the colour of their skin. Race is real, as is racism, what it is not is a biologically defined concept. Go and check Homo sapiens sapiens and tell me where it claims that biologists have an accepted consensual categorisation of the human specieson the subspecific level. Furthermore there is no generally accepted definition of subspecies. So essentially your comments have no merit. Claiming that geographically distributed variation is analogous to biological race is simply a point of view, it is not a definition. Alun 10:20, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is way too personal for you, being involved in this topic in real life. You keep pushing your own unique POV, Alun, but don't you stop to think that others deserve to be heard? Why, in the thick of all the debate, are your beliefs centrally important to the discussion, as unassailable? Savignac 08:51, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Please Savignac, pot/kettle? Also, many people complaining about Wobble's reverts are permanately blocked now. Not because he got his way, but because of the tone, soapboxing, constant personal attacks, false reports to AN/I, constant reverts. There was a whole gang of them here. (Lucas19/Hayden5650/KarenAER/MoritzB/Fourdee/Phral) are blocked indef, and one was banned by Jimbo himself. And good riddance to them. This is not a treat, but you seem to be headed in the same direction. ~Jeeny (talk) 09:12, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Jeeny, please have an above standard sense of understanding both for me, Savignac and these unlucky blocked boys. It is not easy to be non-personal, if you combine reading Alun's contributions with the reading of his anarchist's personal profile. Thank you in advance. Centrum99 82.100.61.114 14:51, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Well the thing is, I don't think he is any different than they. He is just as abrasive and lets loose on other people. I have never seen him apologize to those he is in philosophical disagreement with, because he is "right no matter what". Savignac 09:19, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

So you actually know Lukas19 et al. then? I have never "let loose" on anyone. I may have been abrasive with you, but considering the offensive personal comments you have made about me I think I have been extremely tolerant. You seem to think that it is OK for you to make very personal comments about other users, but I cannot even point out that you are breaking Wikipedia rules? Take a look at my talk page posts compared to yours. My posts generally deal with discussing the article and using reliable sources to support any given POV. They involve the correct application of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Looking at your posts they invariably contain ad hominem personal attacks. I have simply and repeatedly told you two important things.
  • You cannot remove material cited from reliable sources just because you disagree with the source. You need to provide evidence that the source is unreliable.
  • If you can provide reliable sources that contradict the material you disagree with, then you can add this material in addition to the article. This is how we get neutrality, find a different source that contradicts a claim in the article, and add this as well. Giving both points of view leads to neutrality. The problem you have is that you do not have any reliable sources to support the point of view you want to introduce to the article. Alun 09:29, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

You write more polite than you act, but then again, it is condescending, with the pretense that you are in the right philosophically, simply because you ass-kiss the establishment that lets you spew your acid theories, while attacking another type of establishement that is in real life. So Wikipedia is your venue to disperse racist science. I get that. It's your thing. It's not mine. Your personal user page and edit history are justification for my scrutiny of your involvement in this array of topics. You are always taking sides; I just want no triumphalism, no "seal of infallible approval" being appended to make it truer than true, because I am not a True Believer and no matter what conviction you have in these matters, it doesn't give you a right to violate WP:POINT, even if the WP:BIAS is entirely in your favor. Wikipedia editors do not represent the average sort of citizen, but the intelligentsia and their quirky POVs. Savignac 09:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

BTW Jeeny...if these types of situations always seem to be associated with User:Wobble, regardless of the many other people involved at odd times (but always him), then why wouldn't anybody suspect him of being at least partially at fault for this misery of his that loves company? That's naive. Savignac 12:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

It's pretty obvious that there are quite a few that agree with the edits that wobble makes. He has the consensus, just not the loudest consensus. Loud, with cherry picked facts and often rude, which is what I have seen here often, gets too trying to deal with after a while, maybe that's why the others are blocked? If you are with the others you should consider that Wobble is not blocked, the fact he happens to be in your path is a good thing for wikipedia. I'm sure you will cry bias but actually its just a case of not giving undue weight to minor or outlying points of view. David D. (Talk) 16:17, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

The crackpot views of Wikipedians who break WP:POINT day in and day out, to preach the "truth" to passing readers, do not need to be heard, or acknowledged as influential. You may believe in memetic propagandization, but that's your problem. Savignac 21:57, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe anything. I just read what is available. Both sides, believe it or not. Why are you so surprised that others find less weight with the racist view. You think it is based on PC propoganda, but its not, its based on looking at the data. One thing you often miss is that scientists who conclude there are not races do not conclude there are no genetic differences between populations. So what is it everyone is actually arguing about? It all comes down to a definition. The one that racists like to use does not dovetail with the one that academics use. David D. (Talk) 03:36, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Who is naive to believe that there is no academic racism taking place? Savignac 17:56, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

I read their data as well as their conclusions. I am free to disagree with the conclusions if they do not fit the data. Am I naive to assume their data is not fraudulant? David D. (Talk) 18:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

You can have this mind game to yourself. Savignac 04:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no mind game here. And no agenda. David D. (Talk) 04:58, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay; mindless pedantics. Spin in circles on your own. Savignac 05:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It's pedantic to consider all the data? David D. (Talk) 05:09, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It's pedantic, because it swims in theoretical circles and comes to no factual conclusion. Relativism prevents a completely accurate picture, especially with the preconceptions, unconscious or otherwise, in those connected to the study. People rely on inferences and their personal filters to decide what to believe. In any case, if you reply again, I will not continue on my part. Savignac 05:17, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Back to the point. This section was added by User:Lukas19 on the 10th of January, so ten months or so ago. Since then Lukas19 has been banned for one year by Arbcom and his suspected sockpuppets User:KarenAE and User:KarenAER have also been blocked indefinately, which extends Lukas19's block. His concern over my reverts is hardly relevant ten months after the event. The article has been comprehensively rewritten in in the meantime, and not by me. Muntuwandi has totally transformed the article, and though I cannot claim to be a fan of the changes he has made, I can acknowledge that he has made it more accessible, it was probably overly technical before his changes.[3] Though I note that Dbachmann has expressed some concern that the article has strayed off topic, a concern I share.[4] So this section is regarding some specific changes that were made ten months ago and which are not remotely relevant to the current article. Furthermore although I am not a big fan of the changes Muntuwandi has made, I have not attempted to move the article back towards my preferred version, something Savignac has stated that I am constantly guilty of.[5] So you see I am perfectly happy with compromise, as long as an editor can support their edits with reliable sources fairly. The inclusion of personal opinion is specifically against the three most important Wikipeda policies, which is why we should all, always have a zero tolerance approach to the inclusion of original research. Unless Savignac has something specific to say about the article an about the changes made ten moths ago, then I see no reason to be having this surreal and irrelevant discussion. This page is not here to discuss Savignac's personal opinion about the state of science (something he appears to know very little about) or about his opinions of me personally (I really do not care what he thinks about me). I suspect Savignac of being a sockpuppet of User:Fourdee due to his very similar talk page style of attacking other editors (especially his tendency to describe editors who challenge him as having a pov to push and of not being neutral), his description of science and scientists as being biased and fabricating results when it does not support his personal opinions, rather than him simply providing the reliable sources he has been asked for, his queer opinions about "race", and the fact that he clearly knows his way around Wikipedia, and is therefore probably not the newbie he claims to be.[6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] Alun 07:28, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay; I'll take Fourdee as a nice pseudonym...though I'm not sure that identity has had any sexual misunderstanding with User:deeceevoice, or Jeeny? or otherwise with other color-afflicted folks such as yourself, as well as with people all over the map, from Mediterraneanists to Nordicists. I take arrogance from all rich, fat fucks, but I don't give it to the poor, vanquished souls under your elite, anti-God, goose-stepping abolitionism. I'm everybody to everyone. I'm your perfect, raceless chameleon. Savignac 08:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Removal of non existent source[edit]

I have removed the following text

There are variety of ways in which 'race' is used in biological literature. <ref>Pigliucci ''et al.'' (2003)</ref>

because this citation does not occur in the references list, so how can anyone heck it claims this? I have asked Lukas before to learn how to cite sources properly, ther eis still a source cited by a single URL link in the article, this needs to be dealt with by Lukas or I will remove it. Alun 07:21, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Nice Article[edit]

There are many severe problems with this article that deserve mention. However, due to the nature of despotic supervisors, politics and the general instability that comes with being in a deadend situation (if it's not possible to agree on something like mathematical truth, then it sure as hell ain't possible to agree on the nature of human origins), I shall not criticise the whole of this article. Here are some points : 1) NO MATHS. Nowhere. There's *mention* of mathematics. But not one equation. Nowhere. That one observation attests more weight to the validity of this 'science' than all the others put together probably would. Do the math, or don't bother writing the article. 'Mentioning' Principal Component Analysis Sounds all respectable (in the same way that 'collateral damage' makes 'massacre' sound a little less harsh), but what does the term mean? Answer, you the reader can't know as they haven't been shown the workings (even if they had, they would probably pick up on the lack of 'rigour' in some of the statistical issues that are bought up (the philosophy of statistics being what it is).

2) The "This genetic distance map was made in 2007 using statistical Euclidean distance.[33]" remark is interesting - how is such a distance defined (in a reasonable and non-nonsensical way given that *so little* is still known about DNA and how it is that introns and exons fold, meander and generally dance in a way that would make Torvell and Dean look like amateurs when expressing proteins? How does *any* definition of distance make sense, let along a *linear* or 'well-behaved' notion such as Euclidean distance? Even if such a notion of distance did make sense - it wouldn't make much sense (though, again, I would have to do the maths before being capable of proving that Euclidean metrics are not curvilinear enough to do the job of describing distance - now *I'm* speaking nonsense). I'm willing to accept the validity of this reference, or whatever you call it - but it needs better explanation if this is to be done.

3) " genetic distance matrix among the 26 population samples, based on 29 polymorphic genes with 121 alleles." This remark, from Jensen, is interesting - what on earth does it mean? How are such 'genetic distance matrices' formed? Given the importance of what is being spoken about here, I would hope that all the necessary statistical theorems have been tied together using some Proof checking utilities, otherwise, well, you would be basing your conclusions on bad mathematical models (ie: you'd probably be wrong). Clearly, there is room for statistics here, which, given the amount of statistical errors that social scientists (and scientists and mathematicians) are in general prone towards making, is quite troubling given that which is being claimed.

4) General lack of a 'method' or lack of access to experimental data : It is my opinion that a graph, picture, or, indeed, a paper is not worth publishing unless all the details associated with how it was generated have been published online with it, together with useful software and tools needed to process that information.

I've rambled too long on some subjects that I don't fully understand (the point I'm making here is that I'm guessing quite a few other people publishing this stuff don't understand it that well either).

Please correct me if I'm wrong, or if you misunderstand my comments. MrASingh 23:03, 14 Feb 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the quotes you point out in 2 and 3 need to be further explained (i also don't know enough on the subject to help here). In 1 and 4, i think your criticism is not valid for an encyclopedia article. There does not need to be either math nor the tools to access the information cited. I do agree that the more citation the better, but I don't think the article should be deleted simply for not having enough citation. Schwael 00:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, we need to explain context, for sure, but we do not include original research. We don't draw our own conclusions or include any of our own thinking. Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought. For example Principal components analysis has it's own article, this should at least be linked to. It is not the scope of this article to explain this concept. It is the scope of this artícle to give [[WP:NPOV|all significant points of view] regarding the topic of "race and genetics". If wikipedia's policies are followed correctly (something that hardly ever happens) then all of the information here should be verified from what are considered reliable sources. There may be some fundamental problems with explaining context in the article, but this is often the case in mant technical articles, or articles where there may be people with strong personal opinions. Alun 18:58, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


I'm interested in the above comments. The essence of my points in 2 and 3 (that have been conceded by Schwael) is that mathematicians, statisticians and politicians have this gift of using interesting vernacular (let's call this 'the gift of the gab'). They speak quickly, write swiftly and think nonsensically when making various statements. I have always held it that everyone is intelligent enough to realise that such things occur, and then ignore such vernacular as being an interesting 'vernacular dance' but with not intrinsic and truthful meaning. To have that, such statements need to apply an objective, nearly universally agreed and somewhat provable 'scientific method'. I do not see this in either of the references referred to in 2 and 3. As for not needing math in order to justify a particular viewpoint, this is just plain wrong. Statistics are required to justify a great many things in the world. If such statistics are incorrectly applied, and if the reader is not made, or given an opportunity to deal with such mathematics within the article's context, they will not have access to that information without significant effort on their own part. They will be left with the impression that, since something like 'principal components analysis' is used to justify a viewpoint, then the very formal sounding wording justifies the truthfulness of said viewpoint. That's complete nonsense!

Clearly, I could rant on forever here... [User:MrASingh|MrASingh]] 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Edwards does not say it's not small[edit]

Regarding this edit. It is factually incorrect to claim that "Not a small proportion according to Edwards. ". Edwards does not dispute the fact that the differences are small. He disputes that this observation automatically leads to the conclusion that "race" is not a biological construct. Edwards argument is not that Lewonin's statistical analysis is wrong, nor that variation is not small, his argument is that what is important is how the small variation is structured when it comes to determining if races are biological or not.

These conclusions are based on the old statistical fallacy of analysing data on the assumption that it contains no information beyond that revealed on a locus-by-locus analysis, and then drawing conclusions solely on the results of such an analysis. The ‘taxonomic significance’ of genetic data in fact often arises from correlations amongst the different loci, for it is these that may contain the information which enables a stable classification to be uncovered.....There is nothing wrong with Lewontin’s statistical analysis of variation, only with the belief that it is relevant to classification.Human genetic diversity: Lewontin’s fallacy A.W.F. Edwards

Long and Kittles paper Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races is more informative. Here they claim that FST is only relevant when calculated on a population by population basis. They conclude that

a great deal of genetic variation within groups is consistent with each of these [race] concepts. However, none of the race concepts is compatible with the patterns of variation revealed by our analyses.

They think that none of the current concepts of race are consistent with their observations, because their best fit model for human population structure does not conform to any of the proposed models. They do not claim that this invalidates the concept of biological "race", just that for humans this concept needs to be defined in such a way as to explain the observed diversity and population structure, and no current concepts do this. Their main criticism of Lewonin is that he assumes that all populations are independent, and that all populations are equally distant from each other, whereas in reality many human populations represent sub-sets of other populations, for example all out of Africa populations are sub-sets of the ancient African population. They claim that their observations support this.Alun 08:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Bit of a reorganisation[edit]

I have had a bit of a reorganisation. I have tried to avoid changing the meanings or emphasis of any section. Please be assured that any section that seems to stress one point of view over another, when it didn't before is purely due to oversight on my part. I did not come intending to make such a large change, but I fond that many sections repeated other sections, and certain sections needed to be merged into other sections, I am assuming this is due to the fact that this article is essentially made up from three previous articles. The main things I have done are to try and rationalise the article, as it makes sense to me. Therefore sections that appeared to be discussing the validity of "race" as a concept I have moved to the section "Do Biologically Distinct Races Exist?", etc. Edward's criticism of Lewontin occured in several places, I have put it in the "Genetic variation and human populations", it is especially relevant to the "Multilocus Allele Clusters" sub-section as this is the crux of his argument. I have also had a go at explaining this argument, Edwards argument is excellent, and exlains why the use of multiple loci is effective very well. Further I have removed two extensive paragraphs, not because there was anything wrong with them per se, but because as I was reading them I got the impression that they were identical to something else I had read just recently. Sure enough they were directly copied from athe paper The Use of Racial, Ethnic, and Ancestral Categories in Human Genetics Research, by the Race, Ethnicity, and Genetics Working Group, National Human Genome Research Institute, Am. J. Hum. Genet. 77:000–000, 2005. This is obviously plagiarism and is not allowed, these sections were unatributed, and even if they had been they represented far too long sections to be compliant with WP:QUOTE. I'm now going to have a go at making a graphic to explain how multi-locus clusters work, I'll base it on Edward's example. Hope I have not troden on anyones toes here, it really was only meant as a bit of reorganisation, if I have inadvertantly removed important info, please understand this was not my intent. Alun 16:21, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Multi locus allele clusters[edit]

I've made some diagrams, I don't know how clear they are.

Geographical distribution between two populations for two alleles of a single locus. Population I is 70% wild type allele (+), population II is 70% mutant allele ( -). For any given individual genotyped for the blue locus there is a 30% chance of misclassification. For example someone with the mutant blue allele - will be correctly assigned to Population II 70% of the time.
Geographical distribution between two populations for three loci, each with two alleles. Population I is 70% wild type for Blue (+), 30% wild type for Red (+) and 70% wild type for Green (+). Population II is 30% wild type for Blue (+), 70% wild type for Red (+) and 30% wild type for Green (+) For any individual genotyped +/-/+ there is a 2.7% chance of misclassification if they are placed into population I. There is a greater chance of misclassification for someone genotyped +/+/+. The more loci used, the smaller the chances of misclassification.

Are these figures of any value for explaining the advantage of using multi locus allele clusters? Do they explain what Edwards is getting at in his essay? Sometimes a diagram can explain concepts better than words, but sometimes they can be confusing. These diagrams make sense to me, I'd like to include them. Some constructive comments would be nice. Alun 18:43, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Multi-Locus Allele Clusters

OK, I've made an infobox, thought it might be good to have a single place where this concept could be explained. Any thoughts? I'm going to put it into the article. Feel free to make changes and discuss how it can be improved. Alun 18:35, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


Wow, nice work! futurebird 18:48, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
1) There are NPOV violations. For ex: "...however, that genes tend to vary clinally, and there are likely to be intermediate populations that reside in the geographical areas between our sample populations ....."
This is from one of the cited sources, Kittles and Weiss. It is also a fact. It is not a violation of POV (whatever that's supposed to mean) because both POVs are given, ie that people can be classified into groups, but that it depends on how they are sampled. Both of these are correct observations, and both are cited.

The Big Few races can seem real in samples of size N (Norway, Nigeria, Nippon, Navajo). That is, if one examines only the geographic extremes, differences appear large because they can be seen in comparisons between graphic and tree-like presentations of the same data. In that sense it is sometimes said that there are only four or five major patterns of variation. But if we look at geographically closer or intermediate populations, differences diminish roughly proportionately. Even our view of the Big Few might change were it not for our curious convenience of overlooking places such as India. Who are those pesky billion? One race? A mix of the other already-sampled races? A multiplicity of races, as has often been suggested?[12]

and this from Tishkoff and Kidd

Although the amount of genetic diversity between populations is relatively small compared with the amount of genetic diversity within populations, populations usually cluster by geographic region based on genetic distance (Fig. 4). Rosenberg et al.43 analyzed 377 microsatellites genotyped in 52 global populations using a clustering algorithm (STRUCTURE45) to assign individuals to subgroups (clusters) that have distinctive allele frequencies. They could distinguish five main clusters of individuals that corresponded to broad geographic regions (Africa, Middle East and Europe, Asia, Oceania, Americas). They identified a sixth cluster specific to a Pakistani population, which probably reflects high levels of inbreeding and genetic drift in that group. Without reference to sampling location, individuals from the same predefined population nearly always shared membership in one of the five main clusters. There were some exceptions, however, for populations from geographically intermediate regions (e.g., Central Asia, the Middle East), in which individuals had partial membership in multiple clusters, especially those of flanking geographic regions, indicating a continuous gradient of variation among some regions. Thus, although the main clusters correlate with the common concept of 'races' (as expected, because populations from different parts of the world have larger differences in allele frequencies than populations from the same region of the world), the analyses by STRUCTURE do not support discrete boundaries between races.[13]

This is more or less what the infobox actually says, except that the infobox doesn't talk about race, because it is about a method, not a concept. Besides which, this is not a comment on the validity of the statistics or method, it is a comment on sampling errors, all statistical analyses are contingent on non biased sampling methods, it is also true that in genetic studies there is a bias in sampling, the vast majority of samples are taken from Europeans, the descendants of Europeans and the North American population, look at any of the papers and it is obvious this is true. It is also obvious that regions like Africa (which, let's face it is appallingly under represented given it's greater genetic diversity) and India usually only have small segments of their populations sampled, but to get a good unbiased sampling there should be more sampling from different geographic areas in these regions. This is just my opinion, but I doubt that any geneticist worth their salt would disagree, the more samples from as diverse a population as possible would be the aim of all people associated with this field. Alun 13:55, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
This summary make it seem like this is the only opinion out there. This is blatantly POV. For ex: "...At the same time, we find that human genetic diversity consists not only of clines, but also of clusters, which STRUCTURE observes to be repeatable and robust..." [14]
This is not a summary, it is an explanation of how multiple loci can be used to differentiate different populations and how individuals can then be assigned to those populations. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, it's purpose is to educate, this article is about "race and genetics", it seems tha certain users want to make claims for multi locus allele clusters, but don't want to explain what they are. This shows that multi locus allele clusters map genetic variation, but variation is not the same as distribution, we are not talking about people having different genes, just that they have different ratios of those genes in different parts of the world. This infobox is about what researchers do when they use multiple loci to identify populations, and about the theory behind it. It cannot be POV, because it's about a methodology and not about opinion. It nowhere disputes the quote you have given, it nowhere claims that the results of these analyses are not reproducible, nor does it claim that the results are not robust. Clustering does not invalidate the fact of clines, all genes must be clinal, just as there is clustering of alleles, such as in the example, Population I displays clustering for wt blue, mut red and wt green, but it does not preclude these genes from being clinal, neither does it mean that the results obtained are not reproducible. Indeed the infobox clearly states that the use of more loci makes the results more robust, and also states that modern techniques can utilise hundreds or even thousands of alleles. Indeed your complaint does not appear to apply to the infobox at all. You do not seem to have read the infobox at all. Alun 13:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Then why not clarify it further and also explain while genes are clinal, genetic variation is also composed of clusters? Why not make a reference to only clines but not to clusters? Lukas19 17:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Clusters are mentioned. Have you actually read it? It clearly states that certain alleles correlate and form clusters: it is possible not only to distinguish such correlations for hundreds or even thousands of alleles, which form clusters, it is also possible to assign individuals to given populations with very little chance of error. Alun 17:39, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Similarly, about Observations and recommendations regarding race and genetics by the National Human Genome Center of Howard University, it says: "The demographic units of human societies (and of the U.S. census) are the products of social or political rules, not the forces of biological evolution." while not mentioning this: "Nevertheless, recent research indicates that self-described race is a near-perfect indicator of an individual's genetic profile, at least in the United States...."
This infobox contains the Observations and recommendations regarding race and genetics by the National Human Genome Center of Howard University, so it is directly relevant to this article, and it is from a reputable source. If you do not like their guidelines, then I suggest you take it up with them. Your quote does not seem to be from this organisation, but from a single published paper, therefore it does not represent a document used by any national or international body. If you can find a similar document, from a similarly high profile organisation that gives a different perspectivee, then please include it. I am of the opinion that we should also include the AAA and AAPA statements on race as well. Statements like this from authoritative organisations, which are draghted by experts in the field certainly represent reliable sources. Alun 13:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Then source the importance of National Human Genome Center of Howard University relative to many other scientist whose some of views contradict the "Observations and recommendations " of HU. Why is HU on top while their views arent? Provide reliable sources to address this. Lukas19 17:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand what "whose some of views" means. The National Human Genome Center recomendations are on the top of the article for the simple reason that they are a nationally and internationally recognised center of excellemce. These are their recomendations. The opinions of individual scientists are not the same as recomendations from leading international organisations. This document carries the weight of a whole orgańisation, which is a world leader in human genetic research and which is dedicated specifically to this goal. It is therefore more important than the opinion of a single scientist or group of scientists. Alun 17:39, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I have removed the template, I did a bit of checking and discovered that I was mistaken. I had confused the National Human Genome Research Institute with the National Human Genome Center, so I'm not so sure it has the same international reputation. My mistake, the similarity in the names misled me. Alun 07:03, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
So the info box does not comply with WP:NPOV. It is right at the beginning and an infobox, making it look like a summary of the article, or the most important part, but it does not include some counter arguments.Lukas19 03:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
It does not claim to be a summary of the article, so why should anyone think it is? It is clearly labelled, and represents the considered opinion of one of the most authoritative and important organisations in the field of human genetic research. It is therefore highly relevant and of great importance. Alun 13:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
2) Too big: The infobox is too big. It makes the reading really hard. The pictures about Multi Locus Allele Clusters may stay but in a different location. Lukas19 03:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you have the right to make decisions unilaterally, "The pictures about Multi Locus Allele Clusters may stay but in a different location." do you think this is your article? Alun 13:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I was stating my opinions and I had clearly not touched the infobox. Your question was therefore redundant and silly. Lukas19 17:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Silly? Please see WP:CIVIL. You did not express it as an opinion. If it is your opinion, then please clearly state "IN mt opinion..." otherwise how else are we to know? Alun 17:39, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Human Genetic Variation[edit]

"Human genetic variation can be used to deduce the geographical origins of an individual's recent ancestors, this is possible because a small proportion of human genetic variation is geographically distributed"

Whether only a small proportion of human genetic variation is geo distributed or not is disputed. This is discussed in "Multilocus Allele Clusters" section:

"Since the 1980s it has been known that human genetic variation is low relative to other species, this is usually attributed to the recent origins of our species, and tends to support the recent single-origin hypothesis (or Out of Africa).[3] It has also been claimed that most of this small variation is distributed at the individual and local level (about 90-94%), with the remaining 6-10% distributed at the continental (or racial) level.[4] This observation has been used to argue that racial classifications are not valid when within group variation exceeds between group variation.[5]

A. W. F. Edwards claimed in 2003 that such conclusions are unwarranted because the argument ignores the fact that most of the information that distinguishes populations is hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors.[6] While it makes Lewontin's argument unwarranted, Edward's paper does not address the existence or absence of human race, see Lewontin's Fallacy.

Also, it has been argued that the calculation of within group and between group diversity has violated certain assumptions regarding human genetic variation. Calculation of this variation is known as FST and Long and Kittles (2003) have questioned the validity of this reproducible statistic....... "

So the method of calculation is disputed. That also means that numerical results are also disputed since different methods may yield to different answers. Hence it is disputed that only a small proportion of human genetic variation is geo distributed. Indeed, Edwards accuses popular articles:


"In popular articles that play down the genetical differences among human populations..." and goes on "...It is not true that ‘‘racial classification is .. . of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance’’. It is not true, as Nature claimed, that ‘‘two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world’’, and it is not true, as the New Scientist claimed, that ‘‘two individuals are different because they are individuals, not because they belong to different races’’ and that ‘‘you can’t predict someone’s race by their genes’’. Such statements might only be true if all the characters studied were independent, which they are not."

So it is POV to include "small" there. If people insist, we can repeat the debate in "Multilocus Allele Clusters" section but that would be stupid given the size of the article. An alternative would be to say that that "small variation" conclusion is found by locus by locus analysis, as apposed to a more comprehensive analysis which would find the correlations and hence yield a different number. Lukas19 03:04, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

It's OK to include any point of view if it is verified from a reliable source. Small is not a POV, but it could be considered a relative term. I have modified the text to read this is possible even though most human genetic variation occurs within sub-populations and not between sub-populations. Long and Kittles do not find any sub-population where within group variation is smaller than between group variation, so even for their work this statement is correct. If it is POV then please provide evidence and the alternative POV, and cite appropriate sources. We can explain how this minority of variation can be used to assign people to different groups, as Edwards suggests in his paper, but he nowhere claims that the amount of inter-group variation is greater than the amount of intra-group variation. This is an encyclopaedia, we say what the researchers say, and you are disputing what the published research states. Alun 07:04, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • So the method of calculation is disputed.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability not truth. (see WP:V) So if it can be verified from a reliable source, then it can be included. The fact that there is a dispute about calculation of FST is mentioned in the article already, it does not mean that we dismiss the statistic. The section you changed did not include any mention of FST or it's calculation, or it's value. Alun 12:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • That also means that numerical results are also disputed since different methods may yield to different answers. Hence it is disputed that only a small proportion of human genetic variation is geo distributed. Indeed, Edwards accuses popular articles:
Umm...when did "small" become a "numerical result"? You claim that numerical results are disputed, but the word "small" is not a numerical result, so the claim that this makes the word "small" POV is somewhat strange. Besides which you are incorrect about the inclusion of numerical results. Have you actually read either Long and Kittles or Edward's papers? I think not. What Long and Kittles state is that calculation of a single FST datum (ie a single figure) for the whole of humanity is disputed. They nowhere dispute that diversity is largest at the individual level, they nowhere claim that inter-population diversity is not smaller than within group diversity. Their claim is that a single value of FST cannot be calculated for the whole of humanity, this is the method of calculation that is disputed. As for the comment that "small variation would be found on a locus by locus basis", this is not what Edwards claims. Edwards specifically states that using multiple loci does not affect variation, but does help with classification.

With k loci, therefore, the distance between two individuals from the same population will be binomial with mean k(p2þq2) and variance k(p2þq2)(1�p2�q2) and if from different populations binomial with mean 2kpq and variance 2kpq(1 2pq). These variances are, of course, the same.[15]

Your quotes of Edwards above regarding popular articles are irrelevant, none of the quotes deals with variation, only with classification. That's kind of the point he's making, that humans can be classified into different groups, even though variation is mainly at the individual level, with only a small amount at the population level. Edwards comments are quite correct, but they do not support your assertion that there is a dispute about the variation mainly existing at the within group level, and he clearly does not make this claim. Please provide evidence that most variation is not distributed at the within population level, because neither Long and Kittles, nor Edwards dispute this and it is incorrect to claim that they do. This fact has been reproduced hundreds of times, and I do not believe that any reputable geneticists disputed it. I have tried to explain in the infobox how multiple loci can contribute to classification, it is clear in the infobox that although variation remains constant between Population I and Population II, it is easier to assign an individual to either population based on three loci instead of one. This is due to the cumulative effect of the loci, not due to a lowering of variation. Alun 06:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the sources, none of them say "small". There is only "smaller": "In particular, the finding is consistent that although there are rare variants, about 85–95% of all genetic variance occurs within populations (almost no matter how they are defined) and only the remaining smaller fraction occurs between groups". Again it seems to be your POV that that number is "small". Lukas19 17:14, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Edward also argues: "Now suppose there are k similar loci, all with gene frequency p in population 1 and q in population 2. The ratio of the within-to-total variability is still 84% at each locus. The total number of ‘þ’ genes in an individual will be binomial with

mean kp in population 1 and kq in population 2, with variance kpq in both cases. Continuing with the former gene frequencies and taking k ¼ 100 loci (say), the mean numbers are 30 and 70 respectively, with variances 21 and thus standard deviations of 4.58. With a difference between the means of 40 and a common standard deviation of less than 4.6, there is virtually no overlap between the distributions, and the probability of misclassification is infinitesimal, simply on the basis of counting the number of ‘þ’ genes. Fig. 1 shows how the probability falls off for up to 20 loci."

He clearly argues that numerical results (15% and such, not "small") may change. Lukas19 17:14, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Well this is just a question of wording. We don't actually need to mention it here, and maybe "small" is a poor way to describe it. I don't have a problem removng this from this section of the article, it's mentioned a bit lower down anyway. Alun 13:58, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

About the modified form, statements, "this is possible even though most human genetic variation occurs within sub-populations and not between sub-populations" and "therefore close geographical proximity strongly correlates with genetic similarity" seem contradictory so we need to explain those terms; ie: genetic variation and genetic similarity Lukas19 17:31, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

There is no contradiction here, but you may be right, it may need to be explained better. Any suggestions? Alun 17:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Too Long[edit]

We need some clean up Lukas19 03:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Well I'm not convinced we need the section about "biogeographic ancestry" at all, or at least we can cut it down to a much smaller section. It's mostly not about genetics anyway. Alun 18:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Likewise the section "Do biological races exist?" can be cut down. Currently it is a mess, with just lots of quotes. I suggest we do not try to "answer" the question. I suggest we take the main points and outline them. This sort of layout would make sense to me.
Main: Different concepts of biological "race". Mainly it involves two ideas: subspecies and geographically distributed genetic variation.
a. Race and subspecies. Discuss the idea of subspecies, but not in too much detail, we don't need to define it, just give an overview and link to the subspecies article. We can include multiregionalism in this because it is practically a definition of subspecies, ie independent lineages etc. We can conclude that multiregionalism is not supported by genetic data, and that humans do not form subspecies, I don't think anyone supports this observation, and the genetic data certainly do not.
b. Race as geographically distributed variation. State that this is not race as subspecies, but it is possible to differentiate people genetically by geography. Give the points of view of Risch, Rosenberg and Leroy, that human genetic variation is measurable and basically conforms to the major continents, but that there is a great deal of continuity between the groups. State that these researchers think that "race" should be defined as geographically distributed variation, as tey have stated this. Give the point of view of other scientists who think that the human species is too similar to form "races" from a biological perspective even if variation can be measured. They think that "race" then becomes too arbitrary and is not a properly quantifiable concept. I think we need to differentiate between biomedical observers and biological observers, there is clearly a different way of looking at this in the biological community and the medical community. Medical doctors see race as real, because they see people of different "races" with different disease risks etc. Biologists are scientists who would like to see an unambiguous way to classify people, and do not see this in the human population.
Not make any real conclusions in this section, just give the various povs. I don't think we need such long quotes, I think it is a violation of WP:QUOTE. Alun 18:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
We can lose the section at the beginning "Race as a biological concept", this seems to deal with definitions of subspecies, but these belong in the subspecies article and not here. We should concentrate on discussing the population genetics of human variation, explaining the various points of view and methodologies used, and conclude that some geneticists think race is simply geographically distributed variation, and others disagree, we should also state that genetics supports the ROA model and has more or less discredited the multiregional model.Alun 18:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to put some more graphics in, especially about human lineages and population history, how all out of Africa populations are a sub-set of African diversity etc. We need to discuss the origins of human diversity, this means covering the ROA model, probably at the start of the article, we can cover it briefly and link to the ROA article, it can replace the section about subspecies and their definitions. Alun 18:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


I have made several proposals and am happy to discuss more if anyone has any other ideas. Alun 14:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Nature "Race and Genetics" supplement[edit]

Genetics for the human race lots of papers and reviews. Good resource. There was a symposium at Howard University as well, sponsored I think by Nature. Alun 19:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Clean-up: "some says..."[edit]

The vast majority of scientists state that : "common racial classifications are insufficient, inaccurate, or biologically meaningless." Thus, writing that "Some scientists argue that common racial classifications are insufficient, inaccurate, or biologically meaningless." is giving undue weight to fringe theories. This is not acceptable, even less on such a sensitive subject where people are looking for what modern science has to say concerning this problem. This article needs expert attention from a mainstream scientist. Tazmaniacs 23:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


this article needs a major clean up and reorganization. a lot of stuff is repeated. I think we need a defninite split into a for and against camp of scientists and their respective views.Muntuwandi 23:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

It would be probably the best solution, although we need to remember WP:UNDUE and not give too much weight (and space) to proponents of scientific racism. Tazmaniacs 21:37, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Do Biologically Distinct Races Exist?[edit]

I think this section should be delected. It is mostly a collection of various quotes. Most of the arguments have already been presented in earlier section, so it adds nothing new but takes up unnecessary space.Muntuwandi 17:51, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, or at least the quotes could be replaced with a brief section discussing the various POVs. On the whole though the existence or non existence of biological races is not a subject for this article. Whether biological races exist or not is totally dependent upon the definition of "race" used, and given that there is no universally accepted definition of "race", or even subspecies in the biological sciences it seems like a pointless excercise to try to "answer" the question. Certainly if this question needs to be addressed at all it is not in this article because this article is not about biological race, it is about "Race and genetics", the question of the existence or non existence of "biological races" cannot be answered by the discipline of genetics, it can only be answered by a universally accepted definition of "race". Therefore this question belongs in the "race" artice and in the subspecies article. Alun 12:54, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Human genetic variation[edit]

The articles are discussing the same issues thus they should be merged. The title of Human genetic variation sounds less controversial.Muntuwandi 16:34, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Admixture studies in latin america[edit]

Aires, Argentina, Using Uniparentally and Biparentally Inherited Genetic Markers]

This is a peer reviewed scientific journal that published these facts.Muntuwandi 19:50, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism site and gene-watch.org spefically says these Genetic testings are faulty at best. I have proven that they are not reiable therefore I am removing it. Unless you can find an arugement against whwat the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism is doing which I dought. XGustaX 19:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

XGustaX i read the article on Genetic Markers Not a Valid Test of Native Identity. this article does not contradict any of the findings. This article is against using DNA testing for tribal affiliation


"But the most important argument against this type of testing to establish tribal affiliations is that biology (and genetics) track just part of our tribal inheritance. These DNA tests treat “Native American biology” as though all Indians were essentially the same. But in reality, it is our traditions that make us who we are, not just our biology."

So it does not dispute that mtDNA studies can be used for ancestry purposes.Muntuwandi 19:56, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

No, It states that DNA testing AT ALL cannot determine both tribal and ancestrial origins. Read the article carfully.

  • "There are numerous problems with using genetics to determine whether or not one has Native American ancestry, and/or alternatively to determine tribal membership. The most obvious problem is that being Native American is a question of politics and culture, not biology: one is Native American if one is recognized by a tribe as being a member. And one is not necessarily a member of a tribe simply because one has Native American ancestors. Another problem is that genetic analysis, and some of the processes involved, can be problematic for indigenous people in terms of their own cultural knowledge. Put simply, there are things involved in genetic analysis that some indigenous cultures consider violations of their principles or values."

XGustaX 19:58, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the position identified here as the Native American position is essentially a matter of standards asserted by the leadership of some group and accepted by the members of that group so that it becomes the position of that group. So at least some percentage of Native Americans are saying, "We get to decide who belongs in our group. Outsiders cannot impose their ideas, based on genetics, to force us to recognize some individuals as members of our group." Like membership in a private club being decided by the members of that club, that's not something that I would personally object to. (On the other hand I once witnessed a group of tribal elders from several tribes tell one individual who was half Native American that he was a source of shame to their group. I heartily contend such exercises of group arrogance. It seems probable to me that groups who exclude individuals from membership are rigid and fragile, but maybe one should tolerate individuals who have those special needs.) P0M 05:44, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Are you saying that all the studies based Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups are useless. Muntuwandi 20:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


No, of course not. But For Native Americans they are as the Article explains that is why I removed only the Native American part. XGustaX 20:03, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

If someone has a maternal ancestor who is native american it will show up in your mtDNA. At the moment this is not disputed. The whole study of mtDNA, the single origin hypothesis, historic migrations are all based on mtDNA. At the moment the study is on solid foundation. The council you are talking about is against testing Native americans but it is not talking about the caucasian population who have native american ancestry.

"the concept of using genetic tests to prove Native American ancestry is of relatively recent origin, but there are many problems with it. Perhaps foremost of these problems is that to make a genetic test the arbiter of whether someone is Native American is to give up a tribe’s sovereign ability to determine its own membership and relations."

The reason why is because even native americans are admixed so someone might say you do not have membership rights because you have european ancestry. They argue that it is cultural identity that is important. I recognize the problem with admixture testing of Native americans for this purpose but when it comes to the caucasian population, it makes no mention of its use.

This is not just about Native americans. Even white americans have african or native ancestry. And blacks have european and native ancestry. The above study is a peer reviewed scientific journal. when it comes to reputable sources, they do not get much more reputable. Maybe you are uncomfortable that someone found that 45% of Argentines have Native american mtdna. but that is what the study found.Muntuwandi 20:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC) Muntuwandi 20:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


You are misreading the article then because it clearly says mtDNA and Y-Chromosomal DNA testing are both inaccurate. The whole single origin is obviously flawed as the article points that out very very clearly.

  • "To begin, an explanation of the theory behind using genetics to determine Native American identity is in order. Scientists have found certain variations, or “markers” in human genes that they call Native American markers because they believe all “original” Native Americans had these genetic traits. The theory is that, if a person has one of these markers, certain ancestors of the person must have been Native American.
Are you saying that there is something factually wrong about the work that has been done in tracing out changed to mtDNA and Y-chromosomal DNA? Or are you saying that the these studies are inapplicable to the situation under discussion for some reason? P0M 06:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes the article does touch upon trible indeity but it touches on how people use DNA testing to prove whether or not they are part Native american and this is just reiable because all the "Native American Markers" are actually found all over the world Including in Southern Europeans which is were most Argentines are from for example. You do not know me so please do not say I am not uncomfortable with the idea. When it seems you are the one dragging this conversation on and on. XGustaX 20:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

If I am following what you have said above, I think I can agree in general. It is indeed true that hardly any genetic markers are not represented all over the world. On the other hand, a recent mutated gene is likely to be found in the vicinity of the original mutation, and it takes some time for that gene to make its way across the world.
The attempts to establish group memberships ("race") are all statistical arguments, at least to the extent that they have any objective investigations behind them. There might be one chance in 10000 that a Northern European would have an epicanthal fold. There might be one chance in 1000 that a Northern European would have shovel-shaped incisors. There might be one chance in 2000 that an individual would manifest a bluish circle on the lower back at birth. But the chance that all of these traits would appear in one individual of Northern European ancestry would = 1/2,000,000,000 if I did my math right. It can happen, but it doesn't happen very often, so if you find an individual with these characteristics it is most likely that s/he has an East Asian ancestry.
If some high percentage of Native Americans have an unusual mtDNA marker or Y-chromosomal marker, and that marker happened to have been acquired after migration to the Americas, it would be entirely possible for some intrepid explorer to have made his/her way all the way to Europe leaving genetic calling cards all the way along. But if any time passed and people were looking at the grandchildren or the great-grandchildren much of the original genetic material from the Americas would have become swapped out for the prevalent local forms.
Now bring this argument back to the Americas. To me it has about the same relevance to anything as the number of hair follicles in somebody's scalp, but it would be possible to score an individual's genome against an idealized genome, and if people wanted to do that they would get verious percentages of "Indianness." It all sounds very "scientific," but it probably does not actually provide you with any additional useful information. In medicine the individual's doctor may have a statistical ground for keeping an eye out for certain problems.
What does the genetic information tell somebody? For one person it says, "I bet I can tell what part(s) of the world your ancestors came from." For another person it gives no reason either to include them in the tribe or to exclude them from the tribe.P0M 06:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, It is indeed. XGustaX 14:06, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

The reason is that if we believe their study then all mtDNA and Y-Chromosomal DNA testing is inaccurate. Yet we know this is not true because people are publishing journals According to the single origin hypothesis, native americans arrived from asia between 10000 and 33000 years ago. This was enough time for distinctive DNA markers to accumulate in them to distinguish native americans from all other populations. Yes some of the haplogroups or markers are found in other populations but the whole point of genetic testing is to find what is unique not what is the same. since humans are all very similar we share most of our DNA. What differs is what can be used to determine our ancestry. Are you saying it is impossible to test Native american DNA. At the moment the specific study cited is valid. I will agree to remove it if you find a specific source that says this peer reviewed study is invalid.Muntuwandi 20:34, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Can the two of you compromise on saying that it is a statistical argument? P0M 06:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Again I am not saying it is impossible just very very unreiable. This source as well as the other one both say they are for example it says the DYS199 or , M3 as it is known, was tested however, (M3 or DYS199) is found in Southern Europeans as well. That is what i was spefically refering to, that totally disproves the peer reviewed study. In fact Unless you can disprove both sites by actually saying so the sources stand. Since both sources state very clearly these people who are publishing journals are working from a theory and nothing else. They have however, disproven the theory because they have found that these unique Native American markers are not unique to Native Americans at all. People all over the world including Europeans have these markers? There point is does this make them Native Americans? No of course not. The article if you read it which it seems you havn't yet has dsiproven the single origin hypothesis has been disproven by doing various other studies on other populations around the world. In other words the sources stand. They even state how scieniest stick to this theory too much and the assert that there are Native American Markers when in reality there are not. Again read the article because you havn't read it clearly otherwise why would I waste my time citing sources that inst totally against it. Again if you find a way to discredit these Native American organizations in some way by some sort of press release I will agree to put the information back but the sources stand strongly, since none of your sources do. XGustaX 20:40, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the studies yet. I do know that in the United States there is a recent mutation that gives people blue skin. That mutation has presumably not spread widely. (With air travel now common it is conceivable that it could soon appear in widely separated parts of the globe.) If there were markers like this one for American Indians would you accept that as a distinguishing trait?
Actually, as I recall the studies I've read there seems to be linguistic and genetic data to suggest that the Americas were not the product of a single migration. Maybe it was one long migration with people joining the end of the line coming from various parts of Eurasia, or maybe it was a punctuated migration with a rest period in between and two separate paths from different parts of Eurasia. So I wouldn't expect to a single distinguishing marker ever to be found. Also, no matter whether the mutations deemed characteristic of Native Americans actually occurred in East Asia and came across the Bering Strait, or developed in the Americas, there has been plenty of time for back-migration to occur. So it shouldn't be surprising to find them in Europe or anywhere else. (Well, pre-contact Australia would be a bit of a stretch.) P0M 06:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
wikipedia policy is what decides whether a source is reliable. the article you have cited is not a peer reviewed journal,
Wikipedia is all about compromise. In that case why don't you include a critique of the study using your source but we include the source. removing cited information is not what wikipedia is about. And it is not our responsibility to prove or disprove theories but to give the information from reputable sources. I believe the source is reputable and I have not found any source that criticizes mtDNA or y chromosomal studies.[17], [18]Muntuwandi 20:59, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


No, Wikipedia also has a policy where only new and relevant information can be present (unless part of the a history section for example, Carlton S. Coon.) since this is a new study and since this does disprove much what the theory thought, We will have to remove it. I will add a section in the article about how testing for Native American ancestry cannot be so easily proven and it is very very diffcult to do so, unlike other "races". The source stands unless you can find something against it that isnt what they are talking about. It is indeed a peer reviewed journal since it is by experts, if it is not please prove it with sources other wise. Due to Wikipedia's rules we must leave it out. You keep saying that I think or the source thinks mtDNA or y chromosomal are wrong. That is not the case they are speficially saying so for Native Americans it is so. For Africans and other "races" you are right I have found none. Since None of your sources disprove what that Biocolonism is wrong or The Council for Responible Genetics both experts in their fields,then we will have to keep it this way. XGustaX 21:04, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Why being so forceful, XGustaX none of these theories have been disproven. The source you are citing is more political than it is a scientific study it is about native american tribal rights, it is not about the specifics of mtdna studies. It is against using genetic tests to decide whether someone has enough native american dna to claim membership and receive some benefits. It is not a study with any experiments or analysis. The source i am including is a scientific study with materials, methods , abstracts etc.
Native americans are thought to have arrived from Asia between 10000 and 33000 years ago so yes the share certain haplogroups with other populations, this is not surprising neither is it new information. However they still have markers that are unique to native americans that can be used to identify them. What you are implying is that all the people studying DNA are wasting their time as it is completely useless at indicating ancestry.
To me this is completely strange, using DNA to determine ancestry is a well established. there are many commercial companies who accept dna from the public to give them their personal history. That is why I think that at the heart of the matter you do not like the information contained in the article.
There is no such thing as racial purity all populations are mixed. When Europeans first arrived in latin america they had no women so the married extensively with native americans and africans. This was even encouraged, mestizaje and the casta. After several generations many could pass for white. What do you think happened to all the native americans who lived in Argentina before the Europeans came. Did they just disappear. Muntuwandi 05:28, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

To you it may seem logical but it has been disproven indeed. Now if you want to keep this up we can but I have sources saying other wise and you well you do not. I think it is funny that you have tried to shoot that theses sources as much as possible you need to learn to be sercue just because you do not like something Muntuwandi. XGustaX 05:48, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

If you want to include your source I have no problem, I will not remove it because that is what wikipedia is all about, unless you think your source is not good enough. let us put both your source and my source as a compromise.Muntuwandi 02:23, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


No, I am sorry Muntuwandi. There are many sciencist that do not agree with Native American testing and I think it is Racist to include that into the article! I will not stand by racism on this article. The article is about Race and Genetics it should be well known that Native American testing has it flaws but some sciencist still fail to see its flaws. This should be included. I have made a compromise with you to including the African DNA information which I think is fair. XGustaX 02:26, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

This is in bad faith, wikipedia is a corroborative effort requiring compromise. It is not "its my way or the highway". You can include your source and I can include mine. Other readers will judge for themselves. I am willing to let your source but you are not willing to allow mine, that is greed or selfishness. Muntuwandi 02:33, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

No it is not just like how do not accept the skull pictures, even though they are based on complete science no. I completly agree with you on the skull issue by the way. I do not accpet this treatment of Native Americans, not only that it against WP:RS to included outdated information unless its a part of a history section. I personally will not support Racism.XGustaX 02:37, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

What racism, white americans have their admixture tested, african americans have their admixture tested, brazilians regularly test admixture, why is it racist when it comes to argentina, what makes argentina different from all the other cases.Muntuwandi 02:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't talking about just Argentina as you can see I removed EVERYTHING about Native Americans DNA testing. The article mentions all Native American DNA testing. It is racist to say a certain group of people are mixed when it is known the World is mixed. We all come from Africa. It is just like you and the Skull Pictures you do not support them because they label people, right? XGustaX 02:45, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

This is not labelling it is admixture, if we say african americans have some european ancestry, is it racist. Is it racist to say many white americans have black ancestry no. It is a political issue when tribal membership uses dna to decide, for purposes such as funding or affirmative action. but just to study history and genealogy it is not.


your article was published in 2001

After your article was published people continue to study mtDNA. the source i intend to add is from 2004, long after your critique. So it means your critique is outdated.Muntuwandi 03:10, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is labeling Muntuwandi is pointing out other people due to racial mixture and I will stand for it, since we are all mixed. The article explains that too if you read it. It states that some sciencist assert those claims. However since this is a newer study and as well known to many sciencist especially ones from other countries it is not well known of course. There for it is valid explaining how other information is indeed outdated. That is what I keep saying, and since this true since many have published this article over including the Council for Responiable Genetics and other organizations. XGustaX 03:16, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Your source is outdated from 2001, and the source i intend to add is from 2004. So what is your excuse? Muntuwandi 03:43, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


It doesn't matter when it was published, infact because it was published later just proves their whole point even more. I just explained why, many scientist are still using the "native American markers". The article explains that too if you read it. It states that some sciencist assert those claims however all Native American Markers are present in other populations all around the world. XGustaX 03:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Your study is not new. In fact everything they are mentioning is already known. Your source says haplogroub b is not a good indicator of Native american ancestry because it is found in asia. But that is already known, see Haplogroup B (mtDNA). You have to understand the difference between an haplotype and a haplogroup. A haplogroup is a collection of several haplotypes. Haplogroup B (mtDNA) will be family of certain haplotypes, but some haplotypes will be specific to native americans and others to Asians because asians and native americans split at least 11000 years ago.

For example all non Africans are part of the super haplogroup l3. but they are then divided in to sub-haplogroups. Europeans are a daughter haplogroup of L3 which is N. and so on. So the concept of saying haplogroub b cannot be used as an indicator for native american ancestry is an oversimplification. Because there are sub haplogroups B1 and B2 which are only specific to native americans. That is why your source is political, it is just trying to poke holes in the science to avoid testing people for native american ancestry and instead use self identification or tribal affiliation. It is not my wish to get into that debate. my main interest is reconstructing history.Muntuwandi 04:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

your article mentions false negatives, well in this case they are not testing native americans so a false negative on a caucasian will reduce his or her admixture. That means that the caucasian could in fact have more amerindian admixture. Muntuwandi 04:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I have explained to you a thousand times already, the tribal part and political aspects are just parts of the article. It is not the whole arugment, What don't you understand about this?The article explains a vast amount problems with Native American testing. The article mentions false negatives just like it mentions false positives, because it talking in board sense for people trying to prove or not whether they are or not at least part Native American. Yes you are right, that is another reason it is not reiable to test whether someone is native american or not.XGustaX 04:20, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

why don't you include your source and i will include mine. If your intentions are in good faith you should agree to this. I am willing to compromise so that you can include your source but you are unwilling to compromise and include my source, that is what I do not understand. I beleive your source to be political not about science but I am willing to compromise and include it. But you on the other hand are about removing cited information that is from a reliable source. You do not wish to get into that debate but here you are... Muntuwandi 04:25, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It is not Political, How is Jonthan Marks a expert in molecular anthropology, evolutionary theory, history, human genetics, and sociology and philosophy of science. Doing a Political paper? He clearly states his science and Brett Lee Shelton clearly states the Political side of the issue. You keep saying this but you fail to see all this infront of you. My intentions are in good faith but having outdated material is forbidden. There fore we can debate this all night and week, but the source clearly shows how there science is flawed even giving the genes they used and HOW they are flawed. You should assume good faith, because I am simply trying to make the article better on a subject that is not too well known apparently. You said you did not want to get into this debate but then again here you are...XGustaX 04:32, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

You are being unreasonable your article is from 2001 and mine is from 2004, how can that be outdated. Muntuwandi 04:34, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


Unreasonable? You are the one who wont let anyone edit the article. I am sorry I wasnt aware you were the dicator of this page. The Publishing date doesnt matter the information revealed in this article is newer then the what sciencist thought they were "Native American Markers" . XGustaX 04:38, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

making stuff upMuntuwandi 04:38, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Making stuff up? You are being unreasonable. You are not letting anyone edit this page and Yes the article point these things out serveal times. XGustaX 04:42, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

You are free to add information from your source to the article, i am not against that. Muntuwandi 04:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am also free to add remove and revise the article according the Wikipedia's Be bold. Which is what I am doing. But are not letting me. XGustaX 04:50, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

contd[edit]

Like I said let us include both sources and let any readers decide for themselves.Muntuwandi 04:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Like I said no, when it comes to science newer discoveries need to be replaced. XGustaX 04:54, 20 June 2007 (UTC) I extend a hand of compromise and you have not acceptedMuntuwandi 04:55, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

This is not about Compromising this is about following the rules of Wikipedia in science related issues. XGustaX 04:59, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you include that some scientists believe that it is not possible to test for native american ancestry using mtdna because of ABC.Muntuwandi 05:01, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


I will, I am going to write up a lengthy section about this, however since this section will be added it will no longer follow the rules of Wikipedia since this is a science related matter not a historical related matter. XGustaX 05:03, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Thats fine with me as long as it is WP:NPOV and WP:NOR.Muntuwandi 05:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, That is all because we will have to remove the testing as it will not follow Wikipedia's rules once I add this section into the article. I am glad we could to agreement that is all I wanted. If you would like check back tomorrow to check for the sections WP:NPOV and everything will be cited from the article. Fair enough. XGustaX 05:12, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

We need to present both sides of the story, that is NPOV. Muntuwandi 05:19, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

We can't in this case, since this is a science related issue we have to get newer discoveries. If this issue were however a historical issue for example then you are right. XGustaX 05:20, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

even in science disputes arise. but the newer studies are the sources I have included. I can even provide sources from this year 2007 involving native american mtDNA Muntuwandi 05:33, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

No, since this issue is science based, since this falls under the WP:NPOV section of:

  • "Scientific

favoring a scientist, inventor, or theory for a non-scientific reason."

Since it falls under this, we cannot. This is for scientific reasons. As I have said earlier it does not matter what date it is from but whether or not the source uses newer knowleage about "Native American Markers" and there reliability. Since the article makes mention of this too. XGustaX 05:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

don't forget to add your sourceMuntuwandi 13:26, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I will. This is not my point of view as I said, I am following the section from stated above. This is what we have to do. XGustaX 13:26, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I said we should compromise you include your statement criticizing the sources I have added. This is not communist era where you censor information that you do not like. Muntuwandi 13:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


Did I ever say that? No... If that was the case, which is not, look whos talking. You are the one who doesnt like the skull pictures. Do not sound like a hypercrite Muntuwandi ok. XGustaX 13:42, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

yes I do not like the skull picture because they are oversimplified. I am very interested in skulls but the topic is too deep that you cannot use 3 skulls to be representative of 6 billion people. I said that there is more information needed in the craniofacial anthropometry regarding skulls. I do not mind even using real pictures instead of drawings. Muntuwandi 13:50, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, so could I not say the same thing about these markers? These "markers" are only very few and they also oversimplify people. These "markers" are found in other people around especially. We are all mixed just like we are all different features for example with the skulls. XGustaX 13:53, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

your source has got some useful information about tribal identity, it is not very scientific but it is useful. your source mentions haplogroup b but it does not mention b1 and b2 which are specific to native americans. Muntuwandi 14:04, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It mentions B because B is both B1 and B2,Just like M3 or DYS199 is named M3 but you can use either name you use B1 and B2 to spefic but B when you are talking about both and since they are both "Native American markers", comon now... Do we have to discuss this again Muntuwandi. How many times must we discuss this there is a lot of science in this article if you dont want to see thats your problem, but it just proves my point even more of you being a hypercrite. XGustaX 14:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

COme on, dont stoop as low as to start calling names. That does NOTHING to help promote communication here on this issue. XGustaX, you express frustration that Munuwandi is ignoring your arguments when it appears you are ignoring Munuwandis arguments as much as he may be on yours. This is a TWO WAY STREET. Dont call names, not point fingers and reach a compromise. I would love to see some communication here on how to reach a compromise. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 17:34, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I would too. I want this to work out. How about this for a compromise. We leave the African DNA tests and remove the Native American ones. Since we can't seem to both want to keep the article the extact way we want. That way we both win, We both get to keep a part of the article that we like. XGustaX 17:39, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

thats where I can see that your intentions are not honorable. You do not mind talking about african admixture but because you have seen that your beloved argentina has not been studied for african admixture.Muntuwandi 02:12, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

No Muntuwandi, please believe me when I say this. I really want us to reach an compromise tonight. If you need to be conviced further please read your talk page. I am being honest. Can we agree on this compromise? I think its fair. XGustaX 02:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

the compromise that I can offer is for you to find scholarly and peer reviewed scientific journals that dispute genetic testing for Native american ancestry or admixture. I searched for these articles making sure that they were reliably sourced, only for someone to say that they do not like them with no satisfactory explanation and causing an unnecessary and childish edit war. Do I really need to convince anyone that the world is round and not flat in 2007. the only reason why you are able to cause this much trouble is simply because most editors to this article are inactive at the moment. but any responsible wikipedian does not censor reputable information simply because they do not like it. what you do is dig up counter sources. There are people who have written books and articles that some would consider racist such as Arthur Jensen or J. Philippe Rushton but we do not delete their articles even though most of us do not like what they have written. Its not wikipedia policy to give personal advice, but please GROW UP!!!!! Muntuwandi 02:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, but that is not the case, I do not want it deleted just because I do not like it. We do not delete there articles because those people you mentioned are noblitity and can be included. Which is a totally different reason then we have hear. Look we need to compromise and I am really trying to, as I have said before many times this is written by experts and it is well known by many sciencist, I do not want to debate this any longer. I am saying as a compromise we include the African DNA studies but leave out the Native American studies. We are suppose to be compromising and not aruging as we have done for the last two days, I think this is best compromise we both get something we want but we have to sacrifice something as well. XGustaX 02:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

White Latin American says

The evolution of Latin America's modern population is embedded in a long and widespread history of intermixing between Europeans, Amerindians and sub-Saharan Africans, and racial categories are more so a social construct there than in other parts of the world. Consequently, many White Latin Americans have a degree of Amerindian and/or sub-Saharan African ancestry.

all this study is putting some numbers to this. it is widely known and accepted.Muntuwandi 03:13, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I would be ok with that with that statement. However, We need to compromise and I am willing, since we compromising which means we both need loose something in order to make the article better. Like I said before I am willing to keep the African DNA and remove the Native American ones. It is not because I do not like them but because I have no clear sources against African DNA studies. Thats how a compromise works. XGustaX 03:18, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I just had a quick look at the Jonathan Marks article. Basically what it says is that you cannot tell very much about an individual's ancestry by looking at a single genetic trait. The more traits you pin down the higher chance you have of guessing the remaining ones with a high percentage of accuracy. On the other hand, you won't find that "identical" twins are actually identical. Genetics tells us that "races" are fuzzy categories. I need to follow his treatment of the Y-chromosomal markers through, as it looks offhand like it might be an over-simplification. No time now.P0M 07:16, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Patrick. It is very interesting, it just comes to show races are indeed as you said a fuzzy area. XGustaX 14:04, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

The article says

There are numerous problems with using genetics to determine whether or not one has Native American ancestry, and/or alternatively to determine tribal membership. The most obvious problem is that being Native American is a question of politics and culture, not biology: one is Native American if one is recognized by a tribe as being a member. And one is not necessarily a member of a tribe simply because one has Native American ancestors.

this is a political debateMuntuwandi 11:26, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

It says Very Very Clearly There are numerous problems with using genetics to determine whether or not one has NATIVE AMERICAN ANCESTRY, AND/OR ALTERNATIVELY TO DETERMINE TRIBAL MEMEBERSHIP. Basically saying that using Genetics to prove Native American ancestry or/and tribial memebership or to test if your part of certain tribe is flawed. They mention this all through out the article, talking about both whether you are to be accepted as part of a tribe or just to be tested for ancestry. Later on in the article it talks more about problems with testing for Native American ancestry using DNA testing. I do not see it getting any clearer. We are suppose to be compromising or else we both could get blocked ,but we cant come to compromise? XGustaX 13:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

New Section break[edit]

Let me get this straight, you are trying to say that information un Muntuwandi's source shoulkd not be included because your source says it is unreliable? Is that the basic jist of this argument? -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 14:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

To clarify further that the content here XGustaX's sources means that content here

Not exactly. XGustaX 16:55, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

My point of view[edit]

I have reviewed the sources. Here is what I think.

  • User:XGustaX 's source from XGustaX's sources - states, "This is a briefing paper published by the Indigenous People’ Council on Biocolonialism, P.O. Box 818, Wadsworth, Nevada 89424. Ph: (775)". I am leery about this source, it does not appear to be peer reveiwed or even very academic. Plus it appears the group performing the study may have a conflict of interest. I cannot see why this source would overrule anything in a more appropriate source.
  • User:Muntuwandi's source - [19] appears to be the most reliable source and should trump the above source in my opinion. This appears to be a scholarly peer reveiwed soruce that I would use if I were writing a paper for college credit.
  • User:Muntuwandi's other source -another source added by Muntuwandi - comes from an repository of sholarly sources, I would take this 2nd above the one listed above. Based on this, I see no reason information from either of Muntuwandi's sources should not be included based on the information in XGustaX's source. I hope this can go to help acheive a consensus on the appropriate version of the article. -- Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 14:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

King of the Mountain[edit]

I've had another look at the Marks material. He is a professionally qualified writer,professor at the University of North Carolina, and there is nothing whatsoever wrong or misleading in what he has to say about genetics. According to Spencer Wells,

WellsGenMarkers x time.JPG

the M45 mutation occurred around 35,000 years ago. That's plenty of time for somebody to have found his way back across the Bering Strait and for him or his male line to have made it all the way to Europe. The M3 mutation occurred around 10,000 years ago. So it would not be surprising to find some individuals possessing that marker even in Iceland.

But the problem for "American Indian" markers is less intense than it is for almost any other group, i.e., if the lines are a little fuzzy with Native Americans they are much more fuzzy for groups that had historically known contacts, at least since Roman Empire times, all over Eurasia and Africa.

The reason that Marks was writing for the website where his essay was found is that he is trying to explain to people outside the Native American community the multiple reasons why some people are not credited with status as members of some tribe or other and/or why they are not regarded as Native Americans despite the genetic evidence of one or more markers. He clearly distinguishes between the genetic evidence, which is his area of expertise and which he is endeavoring to explain to people, and the other criteria for membership that people use.

What does all of this stuff have to say about race and genetics? Basically, it is a good object lesson on how mixed we all are. We are not like a steam table with seven or eight separate food containers. We are more like a stew pot in which different ingredients have been added along different spots on the rim of the pot. Salt added to the north end at the top doesn't take forever to reach the south end at the bottom. In between there would be a steady gradient were it not for the fact that there are convection currents involved. P0M 21:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

The main issue about the Marks article is more about tribal identity which is more complex than genetics. Since many people have native American ancestry, not all of them identify themselves as native American. And those who do identify as Native American may also have European or African ancestry. For example Chris Tucker admixture showed 10 % native American, Oprah had 8 % native American admixture, yet both identify themselves as black. But then both could say since I have discovered my native American heritage, I would like some of the casino revenues. This is the sort of controversy that the Marks article is addressing.
One model of human migration based on Mitochondrial DNA

The dubious part of Marks article is when they try to poke holes in the Mitochondrial DNA testing. The whole concept of identifying admixture or tracing ancestry is based on identifying mutations that are found in one population and not in another. If all mutations were found to occur with equal frequency in all populations it would not be possible. But since Native Americans have been separated from Asia for a couple of thousand years, they have mutations that are unique to them. Scientists know this when testing for admixture. This is why page 546 (4 of 15) says:

Molecular Markers. The samples were screened for the following mtDNA haplogroups: A1, A2, B, C1, C2, D1, and D2 (native American–specific haplogroups); H, I, J, K, T, U, V, W, and European -specific haplogroups); and L1/L2 (African-specific haplogroups).

Even within a macro-haplogroup there are specific haplogroups that are localized and can be reliably used to determine admixture or ancestry.Muntuwandi 23:44, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

There is probably a good reason why "population-specific alleles" are also called "population-associated alleles." There are no barriers to genetic travel. In the present, genetic travel has even been greatly facilitated.
B occurs in China and in Hawaii as well as in the Americas. It looks like the others have sub-types (N1, N2, etc.) that may be geographically related. They still tell us only about the male ancestor or the female ancestor in the direct line of descent. One of the points of the Martinez/Marignac article is that European males really got around in S. America. A particularly bloody form of this activity is in the news today -- one group wipes out all the males of the group they have made their victims.(A documentary made in Africa is coming in over my TV as I write this.) Future genetic history will show their Y-chromosomes highly represented in the conquered population. The mtDNA will represent the contributions of the widows and daughters of the slaughtered males. The other genetic characteristics will be mixed and not locked proportionally to either the mtDNA traits or the Y-chromosomal traits. So down the road someone may claim bragging rights as the lineal descendant of the slain king of the original group, but his/her other genetic characteristics will not reflect the genetic traits of that ancestor. (One of the things that burned Malcolm X up was his reddish hair that he believed was inherited from a white man that he described as a rapist.)
These studies are useful and informative with regard to groups of people. It is possible to say that a certain percentage of a population has a certain trait. The result is that it is possible to look at an individual and say that s/he has a certain probability of possessing that trait, but you can never say that a certain individual has it or doesn't have it unless you look.
One can never prove a negative, so with 10,000 years or so since the Americas began to be populated, and with about the same length of time being estimated for the appearance of M3, and with nearly 600 years since European explorers came to the Americas and took some Native Americans back with them to Europe, it is entirely possible that there is a little Native American DNA lurking in the "pure white" populations of Europe. Some of the people with Native American DNA and European surnames mentioned in the Martinez/Marignac article may have moved to Europe and established families there. (I heard that Snow White's great great great grandmother was Ainu! ;-)
The article looks o.k. to me without inclusion of the information on the fuzziness of Native American genetic groupings. The rest of us (with the possible exception of Australian aborigines and maybe some of the island dwellers around the world) are all much "fuzzier" than they are, and the Marks article is about several issues that pertain to individuals but are not relevant to the group genetic characteristics. P0M 06:35, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Admixture or ancestry testing is more about probability than absolute certainty. If as you mention there is some Native American DNA lurking in Europe amongst the "pure white", which is most certainly likely, then as a researcher one would need to make adjustments in the calculation. For example Sub-Saharan African mtDNA is found in sprain and Portugal at about 3% of the white population. Latin America was primarily occupied by Europeans from these two countries. If then the white population in Latin America has 29% sub-Saharan ancestry, then the difference can be attributed to admixture from recent African arrivals.
However one could still make a hypothesis that all the lain Americans got this DNA from a the small subset of Siberians who had these traits and not from the local African imports. But Occam's razor says the simplest explanation is usually the best. Furthermore historical records and the spectrum of physical appearances of the Latin American population attest to this. Muntuwandi 12:32, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure of exactly what your point is, but anyway there is a difference between "the simplest explanation" (which would apply to a population in general) and the truth of one person's actual genealogy. If somebody shows up and claims to be a Native American on the grounds of a single genetic trait there is very little chance that it represents a mutation that occurred in one individual that duplicated a mutation remote in space and time that occurred in another individual. So it is reasonable to assume that if two people display that same genetic marker trait then they must have descended from the same remote mutant ancestor. Marks would not, I think, disagree on that point. Basically all he is saying is that somebody could carry traits that derived from all sorts of places other than the Americas, and only the Y-chromosome of some remote "American Indian" ancestor (who may even have been born on the wrong side of the Bering Strait). Marks is explaining why some tribes or other groups of Native Americans refute the claims of some that certain individuals ought to be given group membership as Native Americans. Being "Native American" is clearly a social construct, and it is a social construct that includes much more than having the "one drop" of common genetic heritage. Would Amnesty International be required to accept the membership application of some genocidal leader? I think groups have the right to say that there are requirements for membership, and that seems to be the point of view that Marks is trying to help explain. P0M 18:04, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The simplest explanation is as you mentioned, it is theoretically possible for person to have a mutation that is an exact duplicate of someone who lives in a distant place, even in a distant time frame. But that probability is so low that if two people share the same mutations for all practical purposes, they share common ancestry. This was the argument that Marks was attempting to make that haplogroup B is found in Asia and Europe
the fault with this argument is firstly he mentions haplotype, which is a single SNP, when in fact they are haplogroups which are groups of related haplotypes. His claim is thus that these haplogroups cannot be used to determine ancestry because of false positives. I would like to think that in this situation a scientist would use the difference in the frequency of haplogroup B in Europe with the frequency in lain America and attribute this difference to Native American admixture. But most importantly haplogroups B and A have several variants that are only found in the Americas such as b2, A1 and A2 which can be used to distinguish native Americans from Samoans, Asians or Europeansnatgeo spread of hap b.


People were asked to comment. here is my comment: As far as I can tell, this is the heart of the argument: Muntuwanda has articles that "published these facts" (19:50, 18 June 2007) and XGustaX has "proven that they are not reliable therefore I am removing it" (19:54, 18 June 2007). Most of the discussion is the same basic points, back and forth, and claims about which sources are superior. It seems to me that both editors think that there is something called "the facts" and that the purpose of this page is to figure out what they are so that they can be incorporated into the article. I suggest that, at least with this issue, the question of what are the facts is irrelevant. According to our NPOV policy it is not for us to decide what are the facts, what is the truth. It is for us to find out what are the major views, and provide an adequate account of the views. XGustavX comes close to admitting this when he writes of the reality of haplogroups, "No, of course not." but then s/he screws it up by writing "But For Native Americans they are as the Article explains that is why I removed only the Native American part." That one group of people (Native Americans) have a certain view (let's leave aside that there are many native American views) does not mean that other views e.g. those of molecular geneticists, or the US government, or whomever, gets removed. We represent multiple points of view. Muntuwandi writes, "After your article was published people continue to study mtDNA. the source i intend to add is from 2004, long after your critique. So it means your critique is outdated." which is just as silly as what XGustaX wrote - an article can be written one, two, or twenty years after another and that does not necessarily mean that the earlier article is "outdated." The earlier article expresses a point of view held by someone. If a later article shows that that person or that group has changed its view, then the earlier article is outdated. But if the later article represents a point of view held by someone else, then the earlier article is NOT outdated. We just have two different views. My advice is that the two of you should stop debating the truth and instead clearly identify the different points of view you have researched. Then you can spend time more productively ensuring that each point of view is represented accurately and clearly rather than a pointless debate over what views get included. But let's be clear: you are not including "the facts" or "the truth" but rather divverent views ov the facts, held by different people. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:31, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Some of the discussions involving the dispute were on User_talk:Chrislk02#Race_and_geneticsMuntuwandi 15:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Muntuwandi, sometimes it seems to me that you change your argument. If your argument is that certain sources ought to be represented, e.g. articles you cited concerning mtDNA lineage, you know that I am sympathetic with your side. I agree with XGustaX that some Native Americans claim that "Genetic testing for at least for Native Americans is not reliable" but I strongly disagree that this is grounds for deleting the material you wish to include. Am I to understand that you DO accept that alternate views provided by XGustaX should be included too? Then I cannot fault you. However, there is a second issue which gets at the question of the relationship between the sources you cite concerning haplotypes and mtDNA lineages and the topic of this article, race and genetics - which gets to my attempt to include in the race article a section called "race as lineage." Alun was very critical of that and he and I had a very productive discussion on his talk page (now archived) but when he comes back from his Wikibreak I hope he and I will work together to improve the race article. The issue is, what exactly is the relevance of these mtDNA lineages for any discussion of race? I am not asking you for your opinion and I will not give my opinion. But the views of the authors of these articles and other molecular geneticists has to be accurate and clear. By the way, did you draw on Marks? i forget who brought him in, but he is definitely a reliable source. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:06, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

mtDNA lineages are useful for tracing migrations and reconstructing human history. But they are easily non concordant with the socially constructed races. All it requires is for one ancestor along the maternal line to be of a different race. Someone can be as white as snow and have an African haplogroup and conversely someone can be very dark and have a European haplogroup. But in the proper context they are still useful markers for identifying relatively recent admixture.Muntuwandi 19:38, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Thank You. It was me who brought Marks in. It final seems we are reaching a consensus. Do not add chris into the equation as well as he was just a moderator, and had no interest in the subject. You do indeed keep changing your argument over and over again. Slrubenstein I am sorry if I screwed it up by saying Native American DNA testing only when in reality its genetic testing in general. XGustaX 17:34, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

There seems to be a strong consensus about this table so I am removing it from the article. YuZuu 14:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

no strong consensus. third parties reviewed the information and found it to be reliableMuntuwandi 14:40, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

There does seem to be a strong consensus, by XGustavX,201.235.38.117,P0M, and myself. If you do not like what is on the page simply because you do not like it, then tough. You seem to be the only one here against the information Muntuwandi. Everyone else agrees the information is reliable. YuZuu 14:43, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

No, I did not say a word about the table, and I am not in favor of removing it. P0M 03:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
What is the basis for reverting this article. The information in the article has been deemed reliable, why is it that you would like to consider a reliable scientific study as wrong. It is not the only study, several other studies come up with consistently the same information. If you disagree once again let us seek the opinion of an independent 3rd party. Muntuwandi 23:49, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The reasons have been stated to you over and over again, it appears and most people other then you and XGustavX have given their views. Please follow the consensus, on the talk page. Happy Wiking! YuZuu 23:54, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's calm down a bit. I've been working on a textbook the last few days, my mainstay computer died, and I've been busy cleaning up the carnage. So I haven't followed the arguments over the chart. I did just have a look at it, and it seems reasonable. One of the things that is perhaps most significant about the data is that there is not very much mtDNA from European sources. Let's step away from the data for a while and look at the situation from the other end. We know that Europeans conquered the Native American peoples of S. America. We know from events past and present that one thing military conquerors can do is to kill males and inseminate females. We know that if the conquerors bring their wives along with them they do not reciprocate by giving males of the conquered groups access to reproductive opportunities. We also know that such groups may restrict sexual access to their daughters to members of their own group. All these commonplaces of world history are consistent with the picture produced by genetic research. The one thing that would need research to make clearer was whether a few of the conquerors had matings with huge numbers of captured females or whether a more egalitarian raping privilege was given by the conquering rulers to their subordinates. Knowing more about the non-recombinant Y-chromosome DNA would clarify that part of the picture. The picture is an ugly one, but it is consistent with what we know about Japanese military brothels (being discussed on TV as I write this message), rapes of women in refugee camps in Africa in the present, the descendants of Ghengis Kahn being found all over the place, lots of other human examples, challenging male lions killing the older male and then killing all his offspring before mating with the females, etc.
Depending on how many European males contributed their autosomal DNA, the European genetic contribution might be minimal (if only one or a few leaders were permitted to breed) or might be approximately equal (if there were approximately as many European males as there were Native American females involved in breeding). What the balance is can be determined only by looking at the data. P0M 03:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
XGustaX and YuZuu have been found to be sockpuppets attempting to fake consensus.Muntuwandi 12:09, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

i REMOVE THE TABLE IS WRONG[edit]

TELL ME IF YOU NEED SOURCES,

Where do you take something like 45% of the Mtda AMERINDIAN chromosome!!!! IN ARGENTINIANS??? Thisis the most important genetic test in that country and shows that it's 80% European, and this is including immigrants and the entire population regerding their ethnic orgin.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/114025749/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

"Notably, when individual admixture was examined, the Amerindian and European admixture showed a very large variance and individual Amerindian contribution ranged from 1.5 to 84.5% in the 94 individual Argentine subjects." Muntuwandi 13:38, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

This just proves my article even more! Yes That means some that of the 19% of the total population have "Amerindian Markers", the Amerindian contribution ranges in those people from 1.5 to 84.5% in those people. Thank you for sharing this information. XGustaX 14:17, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


There seems to be a strong consensus about this table so I am removing it from the article. YuZuu 14:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

First of all you need to understand that there are two methods of calculating admixture, one method is uniparental that is the mtdna or y-chromosomal tests. These tests do not measure admixture proportions of an individual, they simply indicate the presence of admixture and are used to measure the proportion of a population that is affected by admixture. They are also useful in studying sex-biased admixture

The second method is autosomal which measures the individual ancestry intermixture proportions. this study is obviously a lot more detailed and complex than uniparental studies. so by using autosomal admixture argentina is 80% european on average. but this does not mean that every argentinian is 80% european. No it is the average over the whole population. Some may be 100% European and others less than 80% european. In this study all 94 individuals had amerindian ancestry ranging from 1.5% to 84.5%. so in this study 100% of the individuals had some amerindian ancestry. This is even more than the estimates using uniparental admixture. This study does not contradict the uniparental studies. Furthermore this study was based on the Argentinian population in general and the uniparental study is based on those who self identify as caucasian. Muntuwandi 00:03, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

You argument doesn't make much sense for starters this used Autosomal testing was used in this test for the "Native American Markers" and indeed 80 precent were found to be of both lineages from Europe and 19 precent were found with these "Native American markers". Also it doesnt make any sense how a study with only Causaisans would be more accurate then one that does a survey of the whole population. XGustaX 00:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

why not just include the information from this new article into this article aswell instead of removing the table. I have no problem with including autosamal admixture, infact I would welcome it. Muntuwandi 00:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
There seems to already be a consensus on this talk page. That is why. I think most 3rd parties have spoken. Including myself. YuZuu 00:37, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
fellow wikipedians. there is no need to worry about admixture, the whiteness of Argentinians has never been in doubt, they are white. but admixture is present and scientists have found it using both autosomal, mtDNA and y-chromosomal dna. why trying to sweep this admixture under the carpet. Are you ashamed that some argentines have native american admixture. Its just the truth. Both history and science attest to this.Muntuwandi 00:51, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
No one seems to be worried about this on the talk page. I think what most people are trying to tell you is that they know quiet clearly we are all mixed. I believe no one here is ashamed of Argentines. I suggest you settle down because now your edits are becoming to look like Wikipedia:Disruptive editing Rejects community input. You need to learn you can not always be right. Happy Wiking. YuZuu 01:29, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes I cannot always be right but I need a solid reason why you dispute this scientific information. Not simply because a gang of editors disagree with me.Muntuwandi 01:34, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
They have tried to tell you why, but it seems that you do not bother to listen. In order to be a good editor here you need to take criticism and be willing to accept others view points not just throw sources at them and say they are wrong. You need to learn how to work well with others and not just edit with you. You are assuming Bad faith when you say we are ganging up on you we are not. We are trying to give our view points to an issue that has gone on long enough. This needs to end. I suggest you leave here with all this in mind. YuZuu 01:47, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Contradictory statement[edit]

"Some estimate that as much as 40% of the genome may contribute to intelligence[37]."

It is contradictory since 97% of the genome is junk DNA, therefore, it must be less than 3%.

I suggest removing that statement.

71.175.32.77 14:39, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Simplistic rubbish deleted[edit]

I removed the paragraph: "In Argentina the process of Europeanization was most efficient since those who identify as white are 97% of the population. Some have therefore accused former Latin American governments of secretly promoting white supremacist policies. They cite the fact that many Nazi war criminals, such as Adolf Eichmann who lived in Argentina, were given safe havens in Latin America after the end of the world war 2."

Adolf Eichmann and Nazis had nothing to do with the general racial views of Argentinians. Talking about Nazis strays from the topic of this article.

Argentinians are generally of European descent because there the original amount of Native Americans was small and the climate was considered temperate enough for White people. If you wish to argue that Argentinian governments have been racist a more suitable foundation for that argument would be the Constitution of Argentina which includes Section 25 of Part 1: "The Argentinian Government shall foster European immigration".

text being removed from Race in the United States page taht you might want here?[edit]

I wrote this a while ago on the messy Race in the United States page (help requested if any of you are interested) but now am taking it out. I think it fits better here. Incorporate some/all if you wish: Calliopejen1 09:09, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

A recent American study indicates that "ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population."[7]. Using 326 genetic markers, Tang et al. (2005) identified four genetic clusters among 3,636 individuals sampled from 15 locations in the United States. After recruiting people identifying as white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic, they were able to assign individuals to the "correct" groups, based on their DNA alone, for all but five individuals (an error rate of 0.14%).

The authors of this study also concluded that Hispanics' genes "generally represent a differential mixture of European, Native American, and African ancestry, with the proportionate mix typically depending on country of origin." The sample used in the study was composed of Mexican Americans, and was from a single location in Texas.[8]

While critics of the study acknowledge that biological genetic variation among humans exists, they "argue that the bulk of human variation is continuously distributed and, as a result, any categorization schema attempting to meaningfully partition that variation will necessarily create artificial truncations."[9] Because of this, they say, similar studies that have tried to allocate individuals into ancestry groups based on their DNA "have yielded varying results that are highly dependent on methodological design." [9]

admixture[edit]

i replaced the 2-20% figure, which came from the backintyme website. On that site, the author is not a geneticist but he cites the Shriver paper for the statement. I went back to the original shriver paper and what i added (0.7%, s.e.=0.9%) were the actual findings. The 1/3 have 2-20% statement is silly, because you could say 1/3 of Americans make between $60,000 and $1,000,000,000 per year, if you want to include Bill Gates in the mix. The current number is more informative.

I also deleted a bunch of unreferenced stuff that looked implausible. If anyone wants to find citations and readd it, have at it! Calliopejen1 10:40, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

It is not silly, I think you missed the point. The issue is what is the most black admixture that a white person can have and still look white. The study based on skin reflectance suggests that a white person can have up to 20% African admixture and still look white. Secondly the statistical analysis was done before watson and crick but it is an independent analysis using only statistics and is pretty much in agreement with shriver's study.

Muntuwandi 22:40, 18 July 2007 (UTC)


NY Times article about "brain" genes[edit]

I have made some changes regarding this content for the simple reason that any reading of the NY Times article in question does not support the claims made by this article. My biggest concern is the breach of Wikipedia guidelines regarding science and the popular press, we should avoid citing the popular press when we make scientific claims, but there were serious distortions even using the Times article as a source.

  • "However, some scholars disagree with this philosophy."
I don't see any mention in the Times article of the researchers making any comment regarding Jared Diamond's book.
  • "Recently scientists identified two genes, microcephalin and ASPM that were thought to be associated with brain size."
We are citing the NY Times so we state this clearly, this appears to imply that the scientific papers themselves are the source for this edit, they are not, it is a newspaper article written by a non expert. The genes identified are not "thought to be" anything, they are known to be associated with brain size, people lacking functional copies are microcephalic.
  • "These genes are found at high frequencies in the Eurasian populations...but they are not found amongst the sub-Saharan African populations."
Not what the Times article says. It says that a specific type of the microcephalin gene is found at a 70% frequency in Europe and Asia (meaning that 3 in 10 of Europeans and Asians lack this allele) and that a specific type of the ASPM gene is found at about a 50% frequency in the Middle East and Europe (meaning that 5 in 10 Europeans and a great majority of East Asians lack this allele), they are not both found at high frequencies in Eurasian populations. The article nowhere states that these alleles are absent from sub-Saharan Africa:

They report that with microcephalin, a new allele arose about 37,000 years ago, although it could have appeared as early as 60,000 or as late as 14,000 years ago. About 70 percent of people in most European and East Asian populations carry this allele of the gene, but it is much rarer in most sub-Saharan Africans.....With the other gene, ASPM, a new allele emerged 14,100 to 500 years ago, the researchers favoring a midway date of 5,800 years. The allele has attained a frequency of about 50 percent in populations of the Middle East and Europe, is less common in East Asia, and is found at low frequency in some sub-Saharan Africa peoples.

  • "They thus believe these two genes conferred some cognitive abilities upon the Eurasian populations."
This claim is not made in the article, the article states: "They note that the ASPM allele emerged about the same time as the spread of agriculture in the Middle East 10,000 years ago and the emergence of the civilizations of the Middle East some 5,000 years ago, but say that any connection is not yet clear."

The article not only misreported the NY Times, it also selectively omitted certain statements such as this: "Even if the new alleles should be shown to improve brain function, that would not necessarily mean that the populations where they are common have any brain-related advantage over those where they are rare."

I have endevoured to correct this biased interpretation of a journalistic source. It appears that the data in question are not really relevant to this section of the article. I would suggest that these data do not belong in this article, they have little or no relevance to any concept of "race". In which "racial" scheme are "Eurasians" considered a "race"? If Eurasians have never been considered a "race", then how can the fact that they share a specific allele in common be relevant to any concept of "race"? Indeed how can any single genetic marker ever be considered a marker for "race"? These genes show the same pattern of distribution as many other genes, they appear to be distributed clinally, am I to infer that African people who happen to have the relevant copy of these genes are considered to be part of an "Eurasian race"? Obviously these genes are not "racial" genetic markers, for no such thing exists, in which case what is the point of mentioning them? Indeed, I don't understand what a section entitled "Modern civilisation and genetics" has to do with an article about "Race and genetics". The concept of "Modern civilisation and genetics" seems best debated with regard to the way genetics was misused by "modern civilisation" in the first half of the twentieth century in order to promote eugenic and racist policies in places like the USA and Germany. Jonathan Marks discusses this in detail in his book "What it means to be 98% chimpanzee", a discussion of genetics with regard to eugenics and racism would be much more apt in this section IMHO. Alun 16:13, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Clustering analyses[edit]

  • It is a statistical program that works by placing individuals into a number of predefined clusters based on their overall genetic similarity. These predefined clusters are based on genetic markers whose frequencies are already known to vary significantly amongst the races.
I'm not sure what is meant by "predefined clusters", predefining them would be an a priori classification, something the papers claim they don't do. I have reintroduced my infobox, I think it explains how the methodology of clustering works quite well. The claim that these alleles are known to vary significantly across races is surely wrong, it would invalidate the research if it were true, as their sample genes would be biased and therefore the results would be predetermined. It also pre-supposes that "races" are know biological constructs, another thing that would invalidate the research. Indeed it is a fundamental point of these analyses that it is the geographical spread of multiple allelic frequencies distributed clinally over geographic distance that is determining the clustering, and not a pre-known property of the genes.
  • The notion of a genetic cluster is that people within the cluster are significantly more related to each other than to those in other clusters.
According to Edwards it is the fact that populations that are geographically close tend to share alleles at the same frequencies that causes the clustering, so I have said this. It may amount to the same thing as being closely related, but I have more closely worded it to what Edwards says.
  • I have included a small section on factors that affect clustering analyses. Specifically that clustering is relative, samples are compared to samples in the same study, the clusters are not absolute entities; sampling methods are important because geographically distant "populations" will give more discrete clustering patterns that geographically close "populations". The number of alleles available for study is also a factor, more alleles produce better resolution and consequently a greater number of clusters, this is related to the concept of relativity mentioned above, these clusters are not absolute entities. "Populations" are another problem, is an "ethnic group" really a [Panmixia|panmitic] population? If it is not can we claim that these "populations" conform to an accurate definition of "population" for such studies? There is a nice paper about identifying populations called "What is a population? An empirical evaluation of some genetic methods for identifying the number of gene pools and their degree of connectivity" by Robin Waples and Oscar Gaggiotti that tests several concepts of "population", they show that the computer programme STRUCTURE gives very mixed results when it identifies "populations", especially when mutation rates are low and there is a large degree of migration between sub-populations. So we should also include these criticisms of STRUCTURE. Besides this paper also clains that

When it is not possible to partition individuals into a priori samples (or when the basis for doing so is of uncertain validity), it is necessary to use an approach that clusters individuals without reference to sample information. We chose the most widely used clustering program (STRUCTURE) to represent this class of analyses. The authors (Pritchard et al. 2000; Falush et al. 2003) admit that the procedure to estimate the number of populations is ad hoc and recommend that it be used only as a guide, but these caveats are often ignored. Previous assessments of the performance of structure (Evanno et al. 2005) have focused on situations involving strong differentiation. In agreement with those results, we found that structure accurately identified the number of populations when Nm was 5 or lower, mutation was High, and full samples of loci and individuals were used, but performance deteriorated sharply under less ideal conditions (Fig. 7). The complete inability of structure to correctly estimate the true number of populations using Low mutation markers is somewhat surprising but in agreement with previous observation regarding the factors primarily responsible for statistical power to detect population differentiation.

  • Another study by Risch of 3,899 SNPs in 313 genes based on US populations (Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics) once again showed distinct and non-overlapping clustering of the Caucasian, African-American and Asian samples.
This claim seems to be confusing three different publications. Tang et al. from Risch's lab produced a paper in 2005 (Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies) that used 326 microsatelites, it also used the SIREs (Self Identified Race/Ethnic group) white (not Caucasian), African American, East Asian, and Hispanic as "populations", but individuals did not actually self-identify, they were compelled to choose from one of these defined groups. A comment paper (not a research paper) by Neil Risch in 2002 called Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease cited some work published by a different research group that did indeed use "3899 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were present within 313 genes" (the paper is called Haplotype Variation and Linkage Disequilibrium in 313 Human Genes by Stephens et al. and was published in 2001), but this paper does not do any clustering analyses, it discusses linkage disequilibrium. I have corrected this and have included a quotation from the Tang paper.
  • I have included mention of two papers that identify clustering in European "populations". These papers define "populations" differently from each other, and use different numbers of alleles, unsurprisingly they produce different results. I included these papers to show that clusters occur within continental regions and not just between so called "races".
  • I included a map of Europe where I have displayed the regions that the clusters are found, the map also shows that the clusters overlap significantly, which one would expect from geographically proximate "population" sampling. Alun 15:40, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Professor Rushton??[edit]

I find it unfathomable that one of the leading Professors of Psychology in the race debate, and author of the groundbreaking book on the matter, 'Race, Evolution and Behavior', Professor Phillipe K. Rushton is not quoted anywhere on the pages on race. Of course, his conclusions are not politically correct so it's little wonder. His sources are entirely legitimate, his approach academic and considered and his education and expertise speak for themselves. He should be cited here and soon, particularly considering the one-sidedness of these articles. Anything that denies racial difference comes with no affidavit, everything that supports it has to be followed by lengthy (and often ineffectual) rebuttals (ref: the sporting differences section, which tries to suggest that lack of African American presence in baseball disproves the suggestion that African Americans have greater muscle mass to bone density ratio and thereby are overrepresented in competitive sports that REQUIRE THESE ATTRIBUTES). This article needs a lot of work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.160.96.237 (talk) 00:30, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

When did Rushton become a geneticist then? This article is about Race and genetics and not about race and intelligence, there's a whole bunch of Rushton lovers over at the "race and intelligence" articles. Personally I think his racist pseudoscience is only credible to the "true believer", but then that has always been the case, racism is a belief system based on faith and has never had any basis in reality. Alun 05:41, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Race is pretty arbitrary in the sense there is no strict cut off for the number of genetic differences that are required to constitute the use of the term. Clearly there are genetic differences between populations but does that mean different races? How does Rushton define race? David D. (Talk) 05:44, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that anyone defines "race". This is one of the major problems with people who study "race", they do not properly define their parameters, they tend to assume that everyone knows what they mean when they talk about "race", by the way there is the same problem with "population" in science, this is very rarely defined and scientists are coming under increasing pressure to properly define their parameters. In North America it is less of a problem because the population there is more or less derived from three relatively isolated populations, Europeans, west Africans and indigenous Americans, so the differences between these groups appear obvious. But this is a function of recent migrations and not of real variation, which tends to be gradual and non-concordant. The upshot is that in places like North America the idea of fundamental differences between people seems real. On the other hand there has been a "race line" in North America that has produced something of a barrier to gene flow between certain groups, notably African Americans and European Americans, there were even "anti-miscegenation laws" which outlawed people from different "races" marrying. This has perpetuated the belief in distinct "races". This sort of scenario did not occur in South America, where there are not such great distinctions between people because most people are various shades of brown, rather than "black or white". I think this is why there is so much racialised research coming out of North America, which generally seems odd to non-North Americans. The obvious other problem is that in the past "races" or subspecies were categorised by prominent physical features in both humans and other species, this seemed to make sense because these prominent features appeared to be evolutionarily adaptive. With idea that most genetic differences are selectively neutral, and the observation that a few prominent physical features were very poor markers for parapatric populations, came the concept of defining populations by genetic markers that are selectively neutral. This hinges on the idea that neutral markers will diverge over time given (a) that there is little migration between any given populations and (b) the populations have had enough time to accrue a level of differentiation that equates to "subspecies". Usually this level of differentiation is measured with Sewall Wright's Fixation index (FST), but there is no accepted level at which "race" or subspecies is defined (though Templeton (1999) has suggested 25% between group differentiation). There are several problems with using this statistic, but it is still used a great deal in population genetics, it basically measures the genetic variation that occur within compared to between populations. One of the most famous observations is that for humans the amount of within population variation is about 85%, this is a moderate degree of variation, but a great deal of this variation between populations occurs between populations within the same geographical continent, so the amount of variation between continental groups (often these are considered the "races") is sometimes given as little as 5%, though it varies depending upon the type of DNA studied, SNPs give different results to STRs for example. This is clearly far less than the 25% suggested by Templeton (there is some evidence that Templeton had misquoted some previous work when he came up with this figure, but it is routinely quoted in the scientific literature, and is arbitrary anyway). Mostly subspecies are defined by the phylogeographic subspecies concept these days, O'Brien and Myer (1991) define phylogeographic subspecies thus:

Members of a subspecies share a unique geographic range or habitat, a group of phylogenetically concordant phenotypic characters, and a unique natural history relative to other subdivisions of the species. Because they are below the species level, different subspecies are reproductively compatible. They will normally be allopatric and they will exhibit recognizable phylogenetic partitioning, because of the time-dependent accumulation of genetic difference in the absence of gene flow. Most subspecies will be monophyletic, however they may also derive from ancestral subspecies hybridization.

All in all there seems to be little or no real anthropological or biological evidence that humans fragment into subspecies based on genetics. Many other organisms that have apparently divergent phenotypes are genetically homogeneous (for example domesticated dogs are very genetically homogeneous, having been domesticated by a few founder events only about 14,000 years ago, though different breeds are obviously phenotypically very diverged, and these breeds are on the whole only about 200 years of age, it shows the discrepancy between physical variation and genetic variation very nicely), on the other hand some populations have been identified as subspecies in the past but have been shown to be genetically very different, recently a new species of elephant was identified in Africa, though there were observable differences between African forest and savanah elephants they had always been classified as subspecies, genetic analysis recently found an FST of 94% between these populations and a new species of elephant was born, we now have Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis.[20] The genetic differentiation between leopard species of Asia and Africa has been shown to be far greater than anything seen in humans, with an FST of 36% of variation between populations. Humans do not fragment into subspecies as some other populations of organisms do, and other organisms also appear not to fragment into subspecies based on genetic analysis, even though they had been classified into subspecies previously. On the other hand some populations of organisms are being shown to have a greater degree of genetic variation than previously thought and are starting to be recognised as subspecies. I think it is safe to say that the idea of human "races" being equivalent to subspecies (ie the existence of "biological race") is not accepted by either mainstream anthropology or biology.
On the other hand "race" as a social construct really does exist. It is clear that people are discriminated against based on all sorts of socially constructed classifications. There's a nice essay discussing the work of Shriver about skin colour and ancestry in the USA. There is evidence that some African Americans have very low levels of detectable African ancestry (sometimes undetectable), while a few European Americans have up to 30% African ancestry. Clearly some European Americans have a greater degree of African ancestry than some African Americans. The essay discusses the selection by social groups of people who "look" European being accepted as "white", while people who "look" African American are not accepted as "white" irrespective of ancestry. The number of genes that are involved in skin colour determination is very small, for example, so people who happen to inherit genes for light coloured skin from their African ancestors, while also inheriting genes for light coloured skin from their European ancestors will have lighter coloured skin than other people with similar numbers of ancestors from the respective continents. I believe that the figure for "white" Americans is that about 30% have some non-European ancestry (that is either African or indigenous American or a combination of all three). The essay estimates that as many as 70 million "white" Americans have some African ancestry, and probably don't know it.[21] I think this sort of study emphasises the fact that the work of people like Rushton is really highlighting inequality and not biology. Indeed the fact that people like Rushton jump to "biological" conclusions emphases the lack of objectivity or impartiality of the research. There's a nice quote from Jonathan Marks' book about Rushton's work on "cranial capacity": "...the study was being undertaken for a reason...it is easy to collect data that support your position...Some 150 years after Morton, Canadian psychologist J. Philippe Rushton again compares crania sorted by race in order to show that brain size is a predictor of 'intelligence'. And what does he find? In an era in which Asians excel academically, their brains are now bigger than European or African brains! Unsurprisingly, Rushton's interpretations are not the obvious ones-that brain size seems to track the measurer's expectations; or that people's brains mysteriously seem to expand in size as they attain higher educational levels- but rather simply, again, that blacks are inherently dumb....Comparisons are made to prove a point. And in a racially fixated society, the purpose the physical comparisons are used for is generally going to be unflattering to somebody....Colin Groves..recognising that human biological variation is local, not continental,.. looked at skulls that way-and he found exceedingly large brains among some aboriginal populations of Hawaii, Mongolia, France, South Africa, and Tierra del Fuego; middling brains among some aboriginal inhabitants of Korea, Norway, Hawaii, and East Africa; and small brains among some populations of Sicily, Peru, India, and West Africa. Indeed, skulls do vary, and they do so like everything else-locally." Eugenics has bee shown to be scientifically nonsense many decades ago, but Rushton is a supporter of eugenics. There's plenty of evidence of the non neutrality of this "scientist". Alun 09:01, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
"Statement on Race as a Biological Concept" by J. Philippe Rushton: http://www.amren.com/rushton.htm His book is also available online. http://www.charlesdarwinresearch.org/Race_Evolution_Behavior.pdf MoritzB 07:17, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
What a surprise. But the only people who would read it are those who already agree with this nonsense anyway aren't they? Alun 09:01, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Once again, Alun, you embody the qualities of the majority on here doing their darndest to disprove racial differences. You attack with your favourite ad hominem buzz-word 'racism', thinking that invalidates anyone and anything that might suggest that race is a legitimate divide for subsections of humanity. I know it might be hard for someone so clearly driven by politically-correct impulses to make the world one giant homogeneous family in which no individual or group dare defy the Law of Absolute Equality, but try and recognise that recognition of racial difference does not equate to RACISM. It equates to recognition of racial difference. What political spin, positive or negative, someone wants to put on that is irrelevant to an encyclopedic entry. 'Facts do not cease to be facts just because they are ignored' to paraphrase Huxley. Now to carry on to the only two points I've seen made since my last comment that seem worthy of discussion (first pointing how absolutely LUDICROUS Alun's suggestion is that scientific recognition of racial difference equates not only to racism, but to FAITH? Perhaps Alun would like to look up the definition of that word, and see the irony of that suggestion in light of the 'faith' required to see all humanity as completely homogeneous at a genetic level despite, in some cases, up to 120,000 years of population isolation in vastly different climatic and social conditions and volumes of scientific evidence to the contrary...)
After many years of Neomarxist brainwashing, some people lost common sense and want to tell us that there is not sufficient difference to classify a Pygmy and a Montenegrin as people belonging to separate races. Obviously, these people differ so much that they could be classified as different species by an extra-terrestial. In fact, basic physical features of racial groups from extreme climatic areas are so different that their Gaussian curves of distribution virtually don't touch at all. I always wondered, why there is such a nonsensical discussion about these apparent differences, but I forgot that once I was as ill-informed about human anthropology as these anti-racial mythologists and the reason behind it is very simple: ignorance. This is also obvious from the primitive character of this article that turns around skin color as a major feature differentianting human races. Today, with the help of genetics, we could already make a new, modern racial classification (that I posted elsewhere on an older discussion forum to this article), but current science is so paralyzed by the stupid left-wing egalitarian ideology that no activity apparantly happens on this field. Centrum99 82.100.61.114 03:38, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I have never tried to prove or disprove anything, I have merely cited reliable sources.Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • My argument above is not based on any accusations of "racism". Read it again. Indeed if my argument were based on an accusation of racism then all I would have to do is have a single sentence reply. The opposite is actually true, you are trying to accuse anyone who disagrees with you of simply being politically motivated rather than having any concern for scientific or academic neutrality. Indeed it is you who have chosen to make an ad hominem attack on my motivations, I have made no such attack. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I have never claimed that recognition of racial differences in "racism", I acknowledge that socially constructed races are very real, and have a very real impact on peoples lives. I personally recognise that "race" is a very real issue, I also point out that there is no scientific evidence for any fundamental divisions of humanity, and that no scientists are calling for the recognition of such. I nt that you are from Australia, where you have the same situation as in the USA, the immigrant population in Australia are mainly from very different parts of the world to the indigenous inhabitants, because of the presence of a few populations that derive from distinct parts of the world, the differences between people appear very real. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I never claimed that scientific recognition of races amounts to racism, I claimed that there is no evidence that the genetic variation observed in the global human population does not amount to the level of subspecies, and does not manifest as discrete non-overlapping populations, I then say that this is the reason why mainstream biology and anthropology do not recognise biological "race" as a concept. You do not seem to have any sort of argument regarding this observation. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't think I have ever claimed that the whole human population is genetically homogeneous, it clearly is not. This is not an either or situation, the existence of geographically distributed variation is not equivalent to the claim that humanity is composed of discrete highly diverged populations. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

(1) That Rushton doesn't apply because he is not a geneticist, and that his work should appear in Race and Intelligence. Nonsense on two counts. First, if you actually care to read his work, you'll realise intelligence is only one of the many differences Rushton observes in racial trends. Many, in fact, most of his observations and statistical analysis point to differences that if nothing else, are related very closely to genetic differences and their expressions in phenotype. Read his R-K reproduction theories for one, as well as cranial, jawbone, bone-density differences etc. How could these possibly be more relevant to an Intelligence rather than Genetic article?

  • How are these relevant to genetics? Jaw bone density is a physiological, but the environmental plasticity of phenotypes is well attested by the work of Franz Boas with cranial measurements of US immigrants. Rushton's work is not in genetics, and what you say above is irrelevant to genetics. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

(2) This recurrent and ridiculous argument that because race requires some consideration in terms of definition, that it is somehow redundant as a means of division. Yes, there are elements of cross over and population shifts that muddy the waters in some areas of racial division. And, as per all bell-curves, there will be individuals who defy the norm. Does this mean we throw out the entire means of classification when so many clearly representative trends exist? Of course not. A difficulty in finding a 'dividing line' does not render redundant a general and relevant means of division. For example, in ethics we have difficulty finding a clear 'dividing line' for the point when abortion is morally acceptable, because there is no clear-cut point at which the foetus/child becomes immediately distinguishable. Does this mean we send all those who wear protection during intercourse to prison for murder? Or perhaps we should allow mothers to murder their 5 year old sons? Obviously without a dividing line without any ambiguity whatsoever, the entire means of classification must be redundant, right?

  • I don't see how an argument about a moral question like abortion is at all relevant to this. Your analogy is at best tenuous. Besides I wonder which "racial classification system" you are referring to? There are many different ways of classifying people into biological races, none of which is particularly informative. As Troy Duster has pointed out, wen anthropologists really started looking at physical variation they ended up with hundreds of "races" because there really is no sensible way to divide people into anything like discrete groups. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


Alun can bury his/her head in the sand all day, and can do so with the best of intentions. Racial difference is a scientific reality. That doesn't make one race better or worse, it just shows that humanity, like all forms of life on earth, is subject to the laws of Darwinian evolution, and that human populations that remained ethnically isolated for thousands of generations did what all species will do over time: ADAPT TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.160.96.237 (talk) 07:43, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Actually you make several errors in your concluding remarks. "Racial" differences are not a scientific reality, indeed you refrain from providing any evidence to support your claims. You seem to misunderstand the point of biological classification. Biological classification exist to help us understand the natural world, the classifications we use are not necessarily representative of the natural world, they simply reflect our attempt to understand the natural world, as such they are often simplistic. Racial differences do not exist in humans because humans do not conform to the requirements for subspecific classification. If the requirements were altered, then possibly humans could be classified into subspecies, but the point is not that variation exists or that it does not, clearly variation does exist, the point is the criteria that are used to define any give recognised subdivision of a species. Obviously the level of differentiation that is used to define a subspecies is arbitrary, though it needs to conform to a certain level of diversity otherwise any local small level of diversity could constitute a subspecies. If most biologists and anthropologists do not accept that humans show a large enough degree of differentiation to be classified on the subspecific level, then that is hardly of my doing. But this goes to my point about faith, because you want to believe that "race" is a valid taxonomic classification, but it is not, we are all Homo sapiens sapiens, this is not my doing, and getting outraged at the fact that I have simply stated this point is not going to change the fact. Claiming that any sort of geographically distributed genetic variation is ipso fact a criterion for defining a subspecies (as you seem to be doing), simply means that all small local populations are subspecies or "races". Secondly you claim that ethnic isolation has existed for thousands of generations. This is clearly hogwash, ethnic groups are social groups, they come and they go, most ethnic groups are of relatively recent origin. Adaptation to environment is all very well. But adaptation can occur in a very small space of time with little genetic change. This is why biologists became interested in the neutral theory, but I covered this earlier.
  • Let's try to stick to the point of the article. Clearly the two examples of Rushton's "work" you have discussed have no relevance to genetics. They do not discuss genetics in any way shape or form. This article is about race and genetics, let's keep it relevant. Alun 14:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


It is true that "A difficulty in finding a 'dividing line' does not render redundant a general and relevant means of division." but it does explain why there are so many arguments on the topic. There is no consistent dividing line so to some race is obvious but others use a more stringent definition, hence the arguments. For this reason alone the term race is pretty much useless. But we should discuss the genetic differences between populations. David D. (Talk) 08:41, 3 October 2007 (UTC)