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Is race, in your view, biologically based, or a social construct?

Race


  • Total voters
    5

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
A reasonably straightforward question. Is race a real thing, biologically speaking, or is it simply a social construct?

Poll to follow.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
It's a social construct based on physical characteristics.

Biologically speaking, it does not exist. In other words, you cannot look at a person's DNA and say "this person has dark skin, dark brown eyes, and short kinky hair" or "this person has blonde hair, pale skin, and blue eyes" or "this person is a ginger and has no soul".

The physical characteristics which are used to determine race are actually a result of adaptation. As people moved to northern climes where there wasn't as much sunlight, it was necessary for their skin to become lighter in order to absorb more vitamin D from the sunlight. They became shorter to conserve heat.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
Jeanie's right. And in fact, occasionally there are instances of a black family having a white kid (or vice versa)
 

Scott75

Registered Member
Jeanie's right. And in fact, occasionally there are instances of a black family having a white kid (or vice versa)
I've heard of Albino blacks, but I've never heard of the idea that there's nothing genetic about skin/hair colour. The more important issue in my mind, though, is that hair/skin colour differences are trivial; the most important thing to remember is that everyone (or virtually everyone) is compatible enough that they males and females of a given race can have offspring with males and females of any other race. To make an analogy, this ensures that while there may be different ingredients in the soup, it's still all part of the soup.
 

Random9

Registered Member
Biologically speaking, it does not exist. In other words, you cannot look at a person's DNA and say "this person has dark skin, dark brown eyes
yes you can.
from Human skin color - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes in a process called melanogenesis. Melanin is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which creates the color of skin, eyes, and hair shades. Melanocytes produce two types of melanin: pheomelanin (red) and eumelanin (very dark brown). Both the amount and type of melanin produced is controlled by a number of genes which operate under incomplete dominance. One copy of each of the various genes is inherited from each parent. Each gene can come in several alleles, resulting in the great variety of human skin tones.
and i'm not sure i understand the question.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
I have a friend whose DNA would probably indicate that she should have dark skin, kinky hair, and a broad, flat nose. However, the first time my sister met her, she thought my friend was a Swedish model. So no, you can't look at a person's DNA and know exactly what they look like and in what "race" they should be classified.

I have cousins whose race would be impossible to know if you just saw them without knowing anything about their families.

Race is a social construct.
 

Random9

Registered Member
I have a friend whose DNA would probably indicate that she should have dark skin, kinky hair, and a broad, flat nose. However, the first time my sister met her, she thought my friend was a Swedish model. So no, you can't look at a person's DNA and know exactly what they look like and in what "race" they should be classified.

I have cousins whose race would be impossible to know if you just saw them without knowing anything about their families.

Race is a social construct.
you can't tell exactly what they look like,but unless they have some rare medical condition which you decided not to report,you can tell a persons skin color and i'm pretty sure eye color from their DNA.

also i'm not sure what's your point,if i say that race A is stupid/smart/ugly/pretty/etc i don't mean that every person in that race is(for example about smart) smarter than every person from a different race,i mean that the average person in that race is smarter than the average person.and i think we both agree that if both parents are considered to be black then their children are more likely to be considered black than the average child.

but i'm still not clear about the question,can someone give an example?
 
Last edited:

shelgarr

Registered Member
May I ask, what word should we use instead? Race only means that among the human species, there are groups that have variations of appearance. And is it biological? Of course. Just as men and woman are different biologically. Is there some social construct, which to me insinuates sterotype, yes I think so. Some is damaging such as associating intelligence, some is quite benign such as those that run better. Biologics made their muscles different.
 

Dekzper

Registered Member
I think it's biology. I mean, does anybody ask why dogs are different? Horses? Monkeys? Fish? Did each animal have to start as just one kind? Was there an original dinosaur and what social constructs did they have that kept them different?

I don't think Neanderthals or CroMagnums built ships to cross oceans and get lighter or darker. And how can the weather change somebody's DNA? I think tons of animals evolved and a lot of them looked like birds, monkeys, people, etc with a lot of differences in each group on the different continents. The only social construct that I think was involved was when they wanted to mix, not cause they wanted to stay different.

Btw, if you check out all the different types of prehistoric people there were, it's very easy to believe that more than one kind of people evolved. A lot of those must have mixed or there would be way more "races". Also, "race" is a social construct. For all the other animals, we use the word "species" and I've never heard anyone say they wish all birds were Cardinals or that all dogs were Chows. I like Huskies and it doesn't mean I wish all dogs were Huskies.
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.
I believe race is a mix of the two areas mentioned in the OP.

In terms of biology, the racial aspect is more or less the ethnicity-based makeup of the person, while in terms of the social construct, it is more related to how people view the person's race.

So to be clear, I think race is biological in terms of appearance and the like, but race is also a pillar of the social construct that many people critique every day. So it is both.
 
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