The Concept of Race with Richard Lewontin

The Concept of Race with Richard Lewontin

(upbeat music) – It’s a great pleasure to be allowed to introduce professor Lewontin. He is an old friend and my former post doctoral supervisor from my time at the University of Chicago. Professor Lewontin, as you heard yesterday Professor Lewontin received his undergraduate
degree from Harvard and then a master’s and PhD
from Columbia University where he was a student
with Theodosius Dobzhansky. He then held faculty positions at North Carolina State University, the University of Rochester, and then the University of
Chicago before moving to Harvard to become Alexander Agassiz
Professor of Zoology. In addition to the great many honors that were mentioned yesterday, Professor Lewontin was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1967 and then resigned the
National Academy in 1973. Now Dick Lewontin has
really had two careers, one career as an evolutionary geneticist and another as a public
spokesman for science. As an evolutionary geneticist
he’s made major contributions to both the theory of
evolutionary genetics and to its experimental study. He was among the first to use computers as tools for simulation. He was among the first to use the tools of modern molecular
biology to study genetic variation in natural populations. In 1974, he wrote a book entitled The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change which really defined the research program in evolutionary genetics ever since. As a public spokesman for science, he has entered I think
every major controversy involving genetics and evolution. If he hasn’t, it was only an oversight. (audience laughing) As a result he entered the controversy over sociobiology, over the use of genetically
modified organisms, over race and IQ, over
large-scale genomic projects, and many other controversies. In these areas he has
always been provocative, controversial, and stubborn. And it’s a great pleasure today to introduce him to speak
on one of these topics. His title is, The Concept
of Race: The Confusion of Social and Biological Reality. Dick. (audience applauding) – Thanks very much, Monty. I only want to make one
correction to your introduction and that is the notion
that I ever supervised you is a very extraordinary one. (audience laughing) We worked together for a while but I certainly never supervised him. The lecture today is rather different from the one I gave yesterday. The one I gave yesterday
was largely impressionistic, if you like, and heuristic. Today I’m gonna bombard you with numbers. I’m sorry about that. Those of you who hate numbers, perhaps you should leave now. But the subject of race
as a biological concept cannot be dealt with except numerically. Quantitatively, that is to say, and the best way I know
to do it is with numbers. So I should warn you about that, that it may in some ways
be a disappointment to you, and I regret that, but I
don’t know how else to do it with intellectual honesty. The question of race is a curious one. The classification and
denomination of others as belonging to different races is, of course, not a uniquely American or European phenomenon. The Japanese have their
notions about race. Indeed, the word race
has had many meanings. We speak, for example, of someone being the last of his race, and what we mean is the last member of his family. Or the human race at the other extreme, which means the entire species. So that race, which
comes from the root root, means what that person sprang from. And the notion that we
understand who we are and others belong to a different kind, a different race, seems
to be if not universal, because I don’t know
enough about what everybody in the world or every culture thinks, seems to be extraordinarily widespread. And I’ve tried to understand that and I think we should
all try to begin with to ask ourselves why is it
that the concept of race, the division of the world
between us and them, whoever us happens to be
and them happens to be, why that is so common historically and culturally and geographically. I would like to make a
couple of suggestions. They’re only suggestions. One is, of course, that one is constantly, certainly in the history
of the human species and in the early history
of the human species but still true, there is a kind of if I may call it nationalism
or localism or villagism or tribalism, whatever you wanna call it. That is to say, a group that
has solidarity living together which deals with other groups that have their own solidarity often in a hostile and contradictory way, and so there’s the constant reiteration of the within our group as
opposed to as against those, and that occurs at the village level in people in the Amazon. It occurs at the national level in Europe and everything in between. So that constant struggle
between the group of which you are a member, in which you have some
economic, social, marital, other kinds of religious ties as against somebody else already creates a separation
between them and us. That seems obvious. But the other thing which is
perhaps not quite so obvious is that the concept that
there exists other races comes in great part from our perception of the variation among people in the world and the variation that we know among those people with
whom we are brought up. To illustrate that I’ll tell a story which my wife will tell
me is not quite accurate but it’s what we call
(speaks in foreign language). I mean, it’s close enough. She and I were in in Egypt, upper Egypt, years and years ago, and
we were in a large hotel and a man came up to her and started to talk to her volubly
about something in Egyptian. And she kept saying, no, no, you’ve got the wrong person. I mean, I’m sorry, I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know what this incident is. And he kept at it and kept at it and she kept insisting that
no, no, he’d made a mistake. And finally he stepped back and said oh, I’m terribly sorry, but
you all look alike to me. And this notion that you all look alike but we all look different is a consequence of our acculturation, our
walking down the street, our understanding of who is whom. I mean, again, to make it personal my wife and I often play a game. We walk down the street in Cambridge, which is a very cosmopolitan community, unlike Berkeley, of course. (audience laughing) And we walk behind people
and I put my elbow there and I say, French. And she’ll say, German. And then we walk a little faster in order to catch up with them
to hear what they’re saying and one of us is right
usually, or the other. That is to say, the very
motions of their bodies, the way in which they move their faces and lips and hands, their
total physical appearance tells us that they are not Americans and even gives us hints
about what they are. My greatest triumph in this respect, which I’m very proud of, is that once we were in the desert in California and on the top of a knoll very far away, I mean, twice as far as
the back of this room was a group of young people who were talking to each other volubly. You couldn’t hear a syllable
that they were saying. And I said they are
French, and I was right. (audience laughing) So you you must take account of the fact that there are local differences
in every aspect of culture including body appearance
and carriage and so on of which we are not ordinarily conscious until we confront people who
come from someplace else. And the result of that has been that you all look different
but they all look alike. And that is a consequence
of that acculturation. Now the question I wanna talk about today is really what is it we
know in some objective sense about the variation among human beings that corresponds or does not correspond to that perception that
we all look different and we recognize each other instantly but they all look alike. And what can we say about that? Because, of course, it has
immense political consequences. Once you agree that we are all different but they are all alike, you also have a way of
handling the problem of colonizing them, enslaving them, dealing with them in
all kinds of demeaning, and ways of asymmetric power because they’re all alike anyway. And that, in a sense, dehumanizes them. But part of that dehumanizing process is not just that they don’t look like us but they are all alike. They can be objectified. They belong to a race, and once I know that
I know all about them. That’s all I need to know. Whereas, of course, if
I say they’re Europeans or Americans or something then that doesn’t help me much because, after all, we’re all different. So the reason this talk
will be so numerical is precisely because we
need to ask the question how variable are human
beings within groups and between groups, within those people who speak Swedish as opposed to those who
are Kikuyu or whatever. How much objective reality is there to the claim that I just discussed about differences within
and between groups? And, of course, to say
objective means obviously to ask about genes, because
nothing else is objective, so… (audience chuckling) Well, I mean, I have to apologize for that because the last lecture
downplayed the importance of genes but genes have one advantage to us, and that is we can actually characterize without any prejudice the
DNA sequences of organisms and we can ask questions like how much of the variation in DNA sequences exists among the people
who live in Denmark as opposed to the
difference on the average between Danes and Ewe. I mean, we can ask that question and that question has some relevance. Although it’s not completely probative, it has some relevance to
asking questions like, do we expect that all
the people in Denmark will be smarter than all
the people in South Africa. And that’s because we
believe that genes tell us something about people. So I want to deal with this
issue on a quantitative basis. I want to ask the question, putting perception aside and the way in which we
learn to distinguish people one from another, what can we say about
actual genetic differences between individuals, between groups, within populations, between populations, what do we know about the geography of human biology and what does that tell us about the concept of race and how do we have to cope with that when we deal with what is a reality? Race is, look, I want to make it clear and I tried to make it clear in my title. Race is a reality. It is a social reality and everybody knows it’s a social reality. The issue is what is the relationship between that social reality, that social allocation
of individuals to groups, and anything we can say
about their biology. So I speak as a biologist
rather than a sociologist, because there’s no question about the social reality of race. Now what I wanna do is to go through some evidence about how many, how much difference there is
within and between human groups and then discuss what the processes are that modulate that variation and why it looks the way it, probably looks the way it does, and what we might expect even
in the future in that respect. So I guess, Ellen, you gotta help me here. I can’t get on without Ellen. I wanna show you a slide
which is sort of typical. It’s gonna take me a minute to explain it, it but you’re stuck with it. This is a diagram having to do
with human ABO blood groups. You all know your ABO blood group. You probably know what group you are whether you’re AB, or B, or O. And this is a so-called trilineal diagram, and it gives the proportion
of the gene allele A, the proportion B, and the proportion O at the genic level, so they add up at 100%. And it gives the proportion of that in a particular population. And what I have done is plot on this little triangular diagram the location in this kind of
funny three-dimensional space. Although it really looks
like two dimensions, it’s really got three dimensions in it. Frequency of I, frequency of the O allele, the A allele and the B allele, plot various human populations. And then I’ve drawn little
circles around clusters. This is a cluster here. There’s a cluster here. There’s a cluster here. And the first question I wanted to ask is, I mean, this is just
typical of what we’ll see. Is there any geographical or
racial meaning to the clusters? Let’s say if you belong
in the same cluster is it because you’re all Europeans or you’re all Africans? So these are different populations. And let me give you an example. This cluster here consists
of population two, eight, 10, 13, and 20. Population two is an African population. Eight and 13 are Asian
populations, 20 are Europeans. So Europeans, Asians, and Africans all clustered together in
this one little cluster here. Here’s another cluster made
of three, four, and five. And number three are Africans, and four and five are Native Americans. So this kind of thing
is disturbing already. I’m just trying to give you an example. Genetically disturbing to the notion that there are clear
differences between populations. Okay, this is just an introduction
to the general question and the general approach. No, I don’t need the next one quite yet. We need to know a few facts
about the human species and its genetics which are relevant. First of all, human beings are immensely variable genetically. The people in this room, one from another, the person next to you differs by about three million
nucleotides from you. Three million. Now that’s not very many considering that you have three billion nucleotides, but nevertheless there are
three million nucleotides on the average between any
two people in this room. And by the way, that’s
true whether the person sitting next to you you think belongs to the same race as you or not. There isn’t much difference,
as it’ll turn out, but three million nucleotides different. Something like 25% of all
genes of known function that produce known
enzymes of various kinds are what we call polymorphic in humans. That is to say, there
exists more than one form of that gene, like the ABO blood groups, which there is A, B, and O. So about a quarter of all the genes that anybody’s ever looked
at are variable in this way, so that some percent of the
population has one variant and another percent of
the population has another and another and another. So 25% of your genes belong
to the variable class. Third, something on the order of 10% of all your genes you got a different form
of it from your mother than from your father. You’re what is called a heterozygous. You’ve got two different allelic forms. So about 10% of your genes are already different from one another in the two copies that your got from. And that makes humans pretty
typical of species in general. I mean, for fruit flies
that I know more about, the numbers are a third
of them are polymorphic, 12% are polymorphic, or
you got a different one from one parent and the other. But human beings are
sort of typical animals in this respect. They’re very variable genetically, and every one of you is very different in 10% of your genes, or different in 10% of genes of the gene you got from
your mother and your father. Now that’s the first thing
we have to understand, this huge amount of genetic variation. Now because there is this huge amount of genetic variation, we are able to ask a question, which is, if you are different from the
person sitting next to you because of these variable genes, how much more different are you if you have ancestors from completely different parts of the world than if you have ancestors who came from the same part of the world? If both your ancestors were Swedes, does that mean you’re much more similar than if one of your ancestors was a Swede and the other one was Chinese? That’s a question we can ask objectively. The second, and one thing we do know and I wanna make this
clear from the beginning, we do not know of any gene, no one has ever found a gene, I’m not saying they don’t exist, but in all the searching no
one has ever found a gene in which one so-called race has 100% of one form of the gene and some other race has 100%
of another form of the gene. There are no single
genes that differentiate Africans from Asians,
Asians from Europeans, Europeans from from Australian
Aborigines, and so on. And the second slide I want to show you are the most extremely
different genes that we know of between the classical races. And by the way, for a lot of the time when I talk about race I’m going along with a gag. Asians are one race,
Africans are another race, Europeans are another race, Australian Aborigines are another race, Polynesians are another race. I’m gonna talk a lot about that problem, how you decide, because you can’t ask how much difference there is between races until you tell me how
you know what a race is and who’s in it. I mean, do the people of India belong to the same race that we do? If they don’t then the
answer will be different than if they do, so we have that problem. Here are three genes,
the Duffy blood group, the Rhesus blood group, and the P factor for which there are greater differences between the classical races. They even have these classical names, Caucasoid, Negroid, and
Mongoloid, whatever. What they mean is white,
yellow, and black, I guess. What they mean is people from
Africa, people from Europe, and people from the mainland of Asia. And you see that there
are huge differences in the frequency of the
three forms of this gene, the Duffy blood group. Caucasoids only have 3% of FY and roughly 50/50 numbers of these two whereas people from Africa are 94% FY and that’s gonna turn out
to be very useful to us in asking some questions,
and only 6% of FYA. And the Mongoloids are only 9% of this and 90% of this. So you see huge differentiation
in this particular gene between these major groups, okay? That’s a maximum. But notice it is not the case that Africans are 100% of one thing and Mongoloids are 100% of another. There’s always overlap, and that’s an extreme
point I want to make. We don’t know of any gene
which is race distinguishing. Here are three genes
which, on the contrary, show extreme similarity in frequencies of the variant types. The Auberger factor, 62 to 38, 65 to 35. I don’t have the data for for Asians. XG, 2/3 to 1/3, 55 to
45, 55 to 40, and so on. So I put these up to give
you the outside limits of what we know. Some genes you can’t
distinguish by frequency at all between major groups,
but there are a few genes in which there are big differences. But that’s about all you can say. But I do want to emphasize, again, I’ve said it three times
but I’m gonna say it again. We do not know of any gene which, if you’ve got it you’re certainly, I mean, that distinguishes you 100% from some other so-called racial group. Okay, now we could dispense with that. Now what I wanna do is to ask the question which I began with, how much variation between individuals lies
within local populations, how much of it lies between populations belonging to the same what
we call classical race, and how much of it comes between races. Now to ask that question you have to define these
races to begin with. I can’t ask how much genetic difference is there between races until I decide who’s in what race. And that turns out to be not so easy. For example, are the
Turks Asians or Europeans? Well you see, they speak
a Central Asian language but they look like Europeans to me. Are the Urdu and Hindi-speaking people of the Indian subcontinent, are they belong to the Caucasians or should they have their
own group or are they Asians? What about the people of the Pacific, the Islanders of the Pacific, and so on. Each one presents certain
contrasts linguistically and physically. The Finns are a real pain in the neck because nobody could look more washed out European than a Finn, but they, alas, speak a Turkic language, a language they got from Central Asia. So maybe we ought to throw
them in with the Chinese. You see the problem, that the
definition depends in part on those a priori
perceptions you already have of what race are and in part
on knowledge about linguistics and in part on knowledge
about movements of people. I’m gonna show you the result of a study, the first one that I know
of that was done about this, in which racial decisions were made and essentially the world was divided up into yellows, blacks,
browns, reds, and whites, with a few extras. The people of Southeast Asia were put in a separate race. The Oceanians of the Pacific
were put in a separate race. I mean, something had to be
done, so that was what was done. We have less problem deciding whether people belong in
the same national group or local group within
races, local population, because we have linguistic definitions. I mean, there are some
people who speak Italian, some Irish, some English, some French, and each one of those
linguistic groups is consistent. We have Ewe and Kikuyu and and so on. Those are put in separate groups. And now we can ask the question, how much of the known genetic variation, of which there’s a lot, falls between two individuals both of whom came from Isle de France? How much of it falls
between French people, Italians, Germans, Swedes, and so on, and then how much of it is
between Europeans on the one hand and Africans, sub-Saharan
Africans on the other. So we can break down the variation to within local populations, between populations belonging
to the same so-called race, and between races. And when that study was done, the result looked like the next slide. At the time this study was done, worldwide information existed. I mean, this study had to depend on the literature of science. Worldwide information existed
for these bunch of genes. They’re a mixture of human blood groups and various enzyme proteins. We needn’t concern
ourselves of what they are. And then the question was asked of all the variation
within the human species for a particular gene, like the HP gene, how much of it, what
proportion of that variation occurs within local populations, within Zulu, within Italians
within Han Chinese, and so on. How much of it is between populations, between Japanese and Chinese, between Ewe and Kikuyu, between Toba and bloods, between Sioux and Yakuts, and so on. And the answer, for example, for HP was that 89% occurred within populations, 5% occurred between populations within what we would call a race, and only 5 1/2% percent
occurred between black, white, yellow, brown, red and the others. Is this clear to people
what’s being done here? The total variation is being divided up in these three categories. And if you do that for all the cases, and I won’t go through all these, they’re just a bunch of
numbers, the grand average, which you may not be able to
see in the back of the room, is that 85.4% of all
human genetic variation then known by these genetic techniques, 85.4% occurs among individuals belonging to the same linguistic local group on the average overall groups, within the Yakuts, within the English, within the Icelanders,
within the Zulu, and so on. Is that clear? 85%. A further 8% in this study fell between linguistic groups within
what we would call a race, between Italians, French, Germans, between Zulu and Ewe and Kikuyu. And only 6% fell between
these major races. Now you do appreciate that
although this number here doesn’t depend on how you define races, the split between these two does depend on how you define races, which group you put in which race and which group you don’t. But 85% of that variation falls within. Now this study comes from
the Pleistocene of science. I mean, it was done when we knew nothing about DNA sequences and so on, and it’s entirely conceivable
that when the thing is updated and people actually look at DNA sequences that the answer will be quite different. I want to show you the
result of the studies of Dr. Barbujani on
DNA sequences in humans which are not identified
by any particular genes. We don’t know what they do, they’re just chunks of DNA
plunked for various reasons out of the human genome. A huge number of numbers. Ignore ’em. Forget the details. Just believe what I tell you. (audience laughing) Here’s the name of all
of these little bits and pieces of DNA which are recognized by the techniques of DNA hybridization. Forget about what they, nobody knows what they do anyway. They don’t do anything,
they’re just genetic variation. And here is his list of the
percent of the variation for these different ones
that fall within groups, and these are not the same as
the genes I just showed you. The total answer comes out to be 84 1/2%. That’s pretty close. In fact, that’s closer than any scientist is entitled to expect. Remember the previous result was 85.4. Barbujani’s result is 84.5. He got the two last numbers confused. But when he then asked how much is within, he called it within continents and that meant that he
had a particular way of dividing populations
belonging to the same or different races which was different from the previous study. He only got 4% between
groups within a race and 11.7, about 12% between races. So his between races
was about twice as much as the previous study, but the within group variation as opposed to the between group variation was identical with the previous study. 85% within and 15% between, and depending on how you
decide who goes in what race, you get more or less these two categories. In fact, a number of such
studies have been done, and let me show you all of them. That’s the next slide. The number of studies being four. (laughs) It’s pretty remarkable, it really is. I’ve never seen a scientific
result as clear as this, a numerical scientific
result as clear as this. Here are the four studies, the first one based on proteins is the one I showed you originally. There’s another one by Barry Latterton, and then one on proteins and a DNA study. And look at that, 85.4, 83.8, 86. But you know, the point is
made, thank you very much, that 85% of the variation
is already present in all the people who are like us. And only 15% are someplace else, and some fraction of
that, between 3% and 8%, is people who we think are like us anyway. I mean, sure, they might
be Swedes and we’re Danes, but we don’t make that distinction, or between French and Irish. And only something on
the order of 6% to 10% lies between them, the ones
who all look alike, and us. Now that’s a fact of life, and that’s a fact with
which one has to cope, that there is a strong
contradiction or disagreement between our perception of
a lot of variation with us and no variation in them, with the observation that they’re
just as variable as we are and the differences between us and them are pretty small on the
average genetically. I want to depart from
these results for a moment to say that doesn’t mean
that there are no genes which are found in some mutations which are found in high
frequency in some groups and not in others. We all know that Tay-Sachs disease is in very high frequency
among Ashkenazi Jews and is essentially missing
in many other groups. That’s a special mutation
which has risen in frequency for some reason we don’t understand. We have guesses about it
but we don’t really know. Or the famous case of sickle cell anemia which is essentially unknown in Finland but is very common in
Mediterranean groups, not just African groups, by the way, but Mediterranean and and
East Indian groups as well. Various forms of abnormal hemoglobin are spread through the Mediterranean and West African groups. So it doesn’t mean that because there’s 85% variation within that you can’t find occasional
genes which really do, as I showed you in the very first slide or second slide, the genes which are highly differentiated between groups, but they’re not typical. And we don’t need all this
fancy data to know that because we identify people of other races by things that are genetic. You know, skin pigment
differences are genetic. What I’m trying to say
is that the differences between those groups are only skin deep, if I can put it that way. And therefore any claim, and
this is the important point, any claim that because
there are patent differences in skin color or height or hair form or eye shape or something between groups in different
parts of the world that that implies that there are likely to be differences in genes that matter to any sensible person, genes that contribute to our ability to solve mathematical equations or to be nice to other people
or something like that, if such genes exist. But that carryover cannot be made because the genes that are very different are the exception rather than the rule. That doesn’t prove, and I have to say to avoid a question that
someone will ask me, that doesn’t prove that
there isn’t a gene someplace, nobody’s ever found it, that might influence your
charitable instincts, and that maybe people in Africa have a much higher frequency of that gene than people in England. That could be, but nobody’s ever found it and there’s no reason to
think that such things exist. So those are the facts about
human genetic variation, that tremendous variation, almost all of it within any local group. And the question we have to ask is how come how does that come to be in the face of the fact
that there are some obvious physical differences between people in different parts of the world, skin color for example,
hair form, and so on. And that means we have
to ask about the forces that operate on genetic differences between and within groups. The first thing I want to show you is that most of the extreme
differences that we know of where there’s a very low
frequency of one form of a gene in one group
and a very high frequency of another form in another group, most of them are between
small isolated populations, hunters and gatherers or
people living in jungle regions or something like that. They’re not between the
main body of West Africans and the main body of Europeans. That’s not true for
everything, but this is a list, and we’re not gonna go down the list but notice that, for example, for this gene phosphoglucomutase the lowest frequency of that gene is known among Habana Jews and the highest, which
is a very small group, and the highest frequency
among the Yanomami Indians. Take another one. Here’s NS, it’s a blood
group type and secretor type. 5% is the extreme low value in the Navajo and 65% in Palawans. Zero in Luo, 96% in Papuans. Ainu appear, Basques appear,
Blood Indians appear, Chenchu, Eskimo, Dyaks,
people of the Yucatan, people on Tristan da Cunha, and so on. Over and over again the
names of these groups, which are at one extreme or
another of the genetic variation are names of small groups
living in out-of-the-way places fairly isolated from other groups. And that’s a very important observation, that most of the genetic differences are differences at the extreme. If you think of all the
frequencies of genes as sort of being clustered in a space, then the ones on the outside of the ball, the ones that are oddball are these very small populations isolated from one another, and
we have to understand that. It’s not always true. You can find exceptions here,
but it is the general rule. And the question is, why is that? How come my list contains
all these oddball, I mean, oddball in the
sense of of small groups outside of our experience. Part of the reason, probably an important part
of the reason, we don’t know. By the way, we don’t know the answer because we don’t know for example how natural selection might
operate on these genes to make Papuans have one form and Luo have another form. But probably the answer
has to do with the fact that they are very small in numbers, and when populations are
very small in numbers then they differentiate from one another in the kinds of genes
they have by sheer chance. Let me show you one of the
most extreme cases I know. This is really a very striking case. This is a genetic type that people use in forensic uses of DNA. They say, oh, your honor, the probability that the person on trial did not commit the crime
is one in 4,327,256 because we know that because
we looked at his DNA. This is one of those DNA differences that are used for that, and I wanted to call your attention to the frequency distribution of the nine different kinds known in two populations, the Karitiana which are 97% number one and 3% number six and don’t
have any of the others as compared to the Surui who have 56% of one and 14%
of two 14% of seven, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. Who are the Karitiana and the Surui? They are two Brazilian
Indian forest-dwelling groups living within 500 miles of each other and they are as extremely
different as you can get with respect to this gene. How did that happen? They’re even linguistically
separated from one another. So somehow in the history of the evolution of these groups they have become
extraordinarily divergent. It’s be hard to make the case, I think, that natural selection favored number one in the Karitiana and number, and something else in the Surui, but I suppose it’s possible. But the answer is almost certainly a consequence of the small
size of the breeding group, and the way it works is as follows. You have a very small number of people who represent the breeding population. Some of those people have no children, some have one, some have
two, some have three. Moreover, if I have two
different forms of a gene, half of my sperm have one form and half of ’em have the other, and if I only have one
kid that kid will have one or the other but it
can’t have both of them. So the result of that
is that every generation there’s a kind of sampling process, like tossing a coin by chance. And that means if you
start out a population with 50/50 of two forms, the next generation made up of 27 people or 420 or even a 1,000 will
not have exactly 50/50. They may be 48 to 52 or even 45 to 55. Well, what about the
generation after that? Well, they don’t tend to go back. There’s no law of averages, because they started
out with 45% of one type and 55% of the other
so the next generation makes a sample from that, and it’s what’s known in our
field as a drunkards walk. That is, say, what happens
if the frequency of the gene goes from zero over
there to one over there, then the frequency of the
thing every generation takes random steps back
and forth like this, and if you wait long enough
it falls off the platform on one side or the other. That is, say everybody
has one kind or the other, but some groups will have one kind and other drunkards will fall over there. And that’s what’s known as the process of random genetic drift. And all populations and all genes are subject to this phenomenon, but a very small population is obviously much more subject to it
than a very big population. So we expect indeed that
very small populations will tend to be outliers. They will be more drunken, if you like, in this random walk, and will be closer to one of the edge points than others. And that is a very important factor in the differentiation of groups. So even though it’s
true that a fair amount of genetic variation
occurs between populations and between major groups, that is not the same as saying that those differences
arose for functional and natural selective reasons because this population ought to have that and the other population
ought to have that. A good part of that
variation between groups is sheer chance, and I must emphasize that because you don’t want to make too much of the variation of the
differences that do exist. The other feature which we
have to take into account, the very important feature
we have to take into account in trying to understand
the origins of variations have to do with the fact
that human populations have been migrating, slave-taking, raping, carrying off other populations presumably in prehistoric time and certainly in all historical time. Let me say a brief word
about the Icelanders. Some of you have heard
that some people in Iceland claim that Icelanders are
more genetically homogeneous than anybody else in the
world, and why is that? Because Iceland was founded
by a few hardy Vikings and after that all the breeding
occurred within Iceland and no foreign genes came
in, and therefore Iceland, everybody is related to everybody and therefore that would be very good for, I don’t know, some medical
purpose that I can’t fathom. But the reason I haven’t
tried to fathom it is because it happens to be untrue. If you look at these data
about genetic variation of all these kinds for Icelanders, they turn out to be, roughly speaking, as variable as Norwegians,
English, Scottish, Danes, and so on, and indeed they fall right down in the middle of all Europeans. I mean, they’re far from
being the most homogeneous of all Europeans. They are sort of in the middle someplace. They’re nothing special. And why is that? Because if you, and as every geneticist, human geneticist should do, if you read the Sagas,
the Icelandic Sagas, you will discover that the
Icelanders made a living exactly, the Icelandic Vikings made a living exactly the way the classical Greeks made a living, namely they were farmers half the year and the other half the
year they were pirates. They got on their boats
and they went off raiding. And when you raided, you just
didn’t take money and things, you took girls, too. And there were slaves in Iceland. Those slaves came from Russia,
they came from Scotland, they came from all over the North Sea. There was a tremendous
amount of slave-taking and a tremendous amount
of the sort of thing you expect from pirates. And the consequence of that is
that the Icelandic population is as heterogeneous as any, genetically heterogeneous
as any population in Europe. Indeed, you can trace that. I should take a cultural detour here. I do urge you, those of
you who are interested in the subject, to read the Sagas. They’re a real eye-opener. If you look at place names around the northern border of Scotland, the northern 1/3 of the Scottish coast, you will discover a lot of place names that have the word ness
in them like Lochness and Inverness and so on. Ness is the Icelandic word for cape, and it’s the capes on
which these pirates landed and set up little settlements. So northern Scotland is as
Icelandic as it is anything else. And it’s extremely
important to understand, I tell the story in some detail because this is the
story of human movement and mating and so on,
a lot of moving around, a lot of taking of captives, of slaves, of rape, of all that kinda, and it’s gone on all over the world. I mean, you might like to think that Europeans invented
slavery, but they didn’t. Now I want to show you, for example, the effect of cross group
mating in the United States. We have a fairly good idea
from this FY blood group that I showed you, which
is highly differentiated between Africans and Europeans, of how much mating has occurred between Africans in North
America brought over as slaves and their European masters, or more recently between
Africans in urban areas and Europeans in urban areas. There’s a history of
mating that’s occurred between these two groups, and we have a fairly good
notion of how much that is. Our estimate based on this gene that happens to be highly differentiated between Africans and Europeans is that among people
who classify themselves as Afro-Americans or Blacks, at that time they were
classified as Blacks, the proportion of their
European ancestry was 19%. Among those who live
in Detroit it was 26%. Among those in Oakland,
California it was 22%. Among the people in
Charleston, South Carolina it was only 4%. And in Evans and Bulloch
counties in Georgia, rural counties, it was 11%. So that gives you some notion of how much intermixture has gone on. Various people who are
classified as Afro-American have various amounts of European and American Indian
ancestry, but on the average in the larger cities of the United States people have something like
20% to 25% European ancestry. And that’s only been
going on in large amount presumably since the
beginning of the 19th century, or perhaps a little earlier. So the rate of infiltration of genes from one group into another where the groups themselves still maintain some kind of arbitrary
racial classification, and that’s important. Look, this is an underestimate because it’s only the
people who report themselves as being African American. How about all the people in this room who don’t report themselves
as being African American, but like Pushkin have
an African grandfather or great-grandfather. Pushkin was a great guy. Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandfather was a famous general, Russian general, who was, in fact, an African, who was a kind of Russian Othello. He became a very important
person in the Russian military. Pushkin would not have
reported himself as black, but 1/8 of his genes came from Africa. And that’s important to understand that. Okay, you don’t have to see the numbers. So you have fusion of populations but you also have, on
the the other face of it, a tremendous amount of local marriages and staying where you are, and you also have the effect of migrations and of conquests like the Icelanders which leave their genetic trace in places where they came in. And we could look at the next picture, that first map which is supposed to be of the British Isles. It is. You will notice that migration also occurs by continental drift because in the north of the British Isles is Kyushu. I don’t know. I don’t know how Kyushu got
just to the north of Scotland. but there it is.
(audience laughing) Please ignore it. You’ll see Kyushu on another slide. This is a map of the frequencies
of the blood group, A, ordinary blood group A, in different parts of
England and Scotland. I don’t know if you can see
it at the back of the room but the average frequency
in northern Scotland is 31% of type A. It gets down to be 35%, 39%,
down to greater and greater. And just off the east
coast of England it is 46%. Now England, as you
know, is one of the most, as they used to say, bastardized
countries in the world. It is a consequence of invasions from Denmark and Saxony, from France, from the north of Vikings and so on, and what has happened is
that where the invaders land they leave their genes, quite locally, and even though those
invaders no longer arrived after the 11th century, the last time there was
serious invasions of England was the 11th century, their
genes have stayed around. And if you look, this part
of England which is called, I don’t know how you
pronounce it in English, Dane-law or Dan-a-law, Danelaw, which has a lot of
Danish place names and so on, has Danish blood group frequencies. And this part has Pictish and Gaelic blood group frequencies. And Ireland, which is not shown
in here, is quite different. However you notice 37.6 right
here, that’s like Ireland. Why is that? Because that’s where Liverpool is and that’s where large
numbers of Irish immigrants arrive still into Britain. So despite the fact, and I was talking to
Monty Slatkin about this, I was puzzled by it but he, I think, gave me the right answer. Despite the fact that England
has, since the 17th century, since the acts of enclosure,
the first acts of enclosure, had a huge amount of migration of people into cities from the countryside, the ones that are left behind, see, Liverpool does influence this but London apparently not much. The ones that are left
behind in the country are the descendants of those invaders or the Picts who were pushed north or the Danes who came in
and so on and so forth. So still to this day Britain shows the history of invasions of more than 1,000 years ago. Now that’s not only true of Britain. The other extremely industrialized country for which this is true is Japan. There’s Hokkaido, Honshu,
Shikoku, and Kyushu and here’s the Korean Peninsula, and this is the frequency of
the blood group A in Japan which is about 24% in Hokkaido among the Ainu and Japanese in Hokkaido, and reaches a maximum
of more than 30% here. This cline in frequencies is maintained despite the fact that Japan
is highly industrialized and that great deal of movement because of people who stay behind. But this is much more ancient in some ways and more recent in others
than the English situation. I call your attention to this cluster here across the Straits of Tsushima from Korea, which has this gene frequency which is like the Korean gene frequency. People living across the
Straits of Tsushima from Korea, in Kyushu and and southern Honshu, have gene frequencies like the Koreans. Why is that? Because there were repeated invasions of the Japanese archipelago from Korea over and over again by the Chinese, by the mainland Chinese. And the last of those
invasions occurred in the, somebody’s gonna tell
me I’m wrong about this but I’m gonna say the 15th century, and that last attempted
invasion was in the 15th century but it didn’t work. Why? Because the invasion fleet which was leaving Korea to arrive in Japan was blown away by a huge tropical storm which was called the wind of the gods, which in Japanese is kamikaze. So the first famous
kamikaze got rid of that and the Chinese never tried it again. Nevertheless, since the 15th century that differentiation has remained and is probably the historic, the longtime history of Japan with northern Aborigines here and mainland Asians here fusing together to form the modern Japanese population and the cline still shows. So what I’m trying to emphasize to you is if you want to understand the genetic differentiation between people you have to understand that
a constant feature of it has been invasions from
one place to another, cross mating, and the world is a kind of hodgepodge made of that. And the last picture I’m gonna show is a very abstract picture which I cannot possibly explain to you correctly. It’s an attempt to
summarize everything we know about gene frequency
differences all in one number. It’s called a principal component, and maybe a few of you, like Leo Goodman, know what that means, but I’m
not gonna try to explain it. It’s a way of combining the numbers from all the different
genes in an optimal way. And what this shows is the
value, roughly speaking, of that principal component
of human variation in Africa, Europe, coming
across Europe this way, getting smaller and smaller and smaller and being smallest in Asia. That’s the so-called
first principal component. And what it reveals is the
big picture of migration in the Eastern Hemisphere. Well, in the world, in fact. You had a northward spread
from Africa into Europe so the European gene, the European gene frequencies in their principal component
are most like Africa. I know that’ll be very
alarming to some Europeans, but there it is. The Slavs are somewhat less Africanized, and then when you get into Central Asia it changes somewhat, and then you get into central, the steps, when you get into Central
Asia it moves again. Australian Aborigines
are off by themselves, and then these Asians, these Siberians moved into the new world and moved south and so on. This is a picture of the general migration of people from prehistoric times perhaps, from the origin
of humans in Africa. So if you want to understand, and now you have to tell me, where are the racial boundaries? Well, if I use principal components then of course all the Africans and their English and French
masters belong to one race. The people of Central
Europe belong to another and so on and so forth. Which doesn’t, of course, correspond to what you ordinarily think. So my final point is that
human genetic variation, we can get rid of that last slide, Ellen. The human genetic variation
is the consequence of a long history of migration, of cross mating, of
piracy, of slave-taking. You know, by the way, I’ll just
make a parenthetical remark. If you read Henry M. Stanley’s journal of how he found Livingstone in Africa, you find that as he moved
across from the coast to Lake Victoria, he
passed through one town. He didn’t hack his way
through any jungles. He walked on a road, and that road passed
through a lot of towns. And the chief in those
towns was always called the Sheikh because, of course, the Arabs had been there long since and they had left behind not only culture but genes as well. East Africa is very much Arabized, at least in Henry M. Stanley’s time. So the picture you have to have is of a mobile species
moving from its origin throughout the world, occupying the world, and in the process by mercantile movement, by slave-taking and so
on, mixing things up, leaving behind some variation whose origin we don’t really understand. I mean, I don’t know why
people in West Africa have dark skins and people
in Finland have light skins. Don’t believe the stories. And I wanna end this,
don’t believe the stories that, well, it’s because if you’re in, in the far north you don’t get much UV. If you don’t get enough
UV you’ll have rickets, so it’s better to have
the lightest possible skin so you get as much
ultraviolet as possible. Whereas if you live in darkest Africa, why, you might get skin cancer if you didn’t filter
out all that sunlight, so natural selection’s
made your skin dark. Those stories don’t work
for a variety of reasons. One is because even
the most avid sun lover of the Los Angeles beaches
who finally gets skin cancer from constantly being irradiated generally gets that skin cancer
after reproductive years. It’s not a serious issue
in reproductive rates. And as far as UV is
concerned in the far north, it’s not clear to me that
if some people got rickets that had any effect on the
reproductive rate at all. The most fertile mouse I ever worked with when I used to work with mice was a so-called paralytic mouse, a male who could barely
get himself around. So those stories are easy to tell but we have no evidence about them. My best guess is that the
differences in skin color, hair form, eye shape and so on are a consequence of Darwin’s notion, a notion that Darwin had and that of so-called sexual selection, that for one accidental
historical reason or another the person who was darkest
in skin in your place seemed most powerful and most attractive and became the model for beauty, whereas someplace else
it was some other oddball morphological feature. And the consequence is that there is by reduplication of that a buildup of differentiation based on who wants to have, mate with whom. Now that’s just a guess. I don’t know. But none of those natural
selection stories work, and I think you should abolish
them from your notions. We do not know why the
skin-deep, superficial, minority differences in genes that do exist between major
geographical regions exist. We don’t even know where the
genes for skin color are. Nobody’s ever found them. I mean, they’re there
somewhere, but we don’t know. Okay, so let me then end by saying that although race is unquestionably a reality, a social reality in
every place in the world, it is not a very good biological reality. It doesn’t make sense biologically. It’s not the way a systematist would want to divide up the species,
if they are sensible. It is rather an excuse
for a social reality and an attempt to prove
that that social reality must also correspond to deep
and important differences, some of which are appearing on the surface but most of which are
inside and important, and the evidence is against that. And so I think you need
to reject the notion that race is a sensible
biological concept for humans. Thank you. (audience applauding) And again, I apologize
for all the numbers. If there are questions, Ellen has said that you must
come up to this microphone and ask the question. – [Audience Member] So
what is the latest status of Out of Africa theory and
multiregional hypothesis? Which one has more evidence? – The latest status of
the Out of Africa theory. Well, there’s a general
consensus that that’s right and this components
analysis that I showed you underpins that, so I’d say that’s right. It’s a big difference between saying that’s the general consensus of people who work in the field and saying that it’s somehow
proven as the night, the day. That’s another issue, but
that’s the general status, yes. To answer about Out of Africa, I should make a remark. I believe that human ancestors originally differentiating came out of Africa, but I haven’t the faintest
idea what they looked like. Look, it’s very important. They may have come Out of Africa but that doesn’t say they were black. For all I know they looked like Arabs, or they looked like
something we’ve never seen. I mean, we don’t have the faintest idea what they looked like,
because if the theory of sexual selection is right, this differentiation of skin
color and hair form and so on is something that occurred subsequently or during the process,
and tells us nothing about what our Aboriginal
ancestors looked like. But they did apparently
come Out of Africa, yes. – [Audience Member] One more. I was watching Journey of
Man by Dr. Spencer Wells. – Yeah. – [Audience Member] So according to him there is this group of Kalihari Bushmen who are supposed to be the original group. So what do you think,
what’s your take on that? – Well, I don’t have a
professional opinion on that. I should confess that Spencer Wells was my graduate student, and therefore I’m not perhaps capable of giving an objective opinion. (audience laughing) I’ll say nothing more than that. Don’t get the wrong idea. But the Kalahari people
are a special case, are a kind of special case which we have to be very cautious of. Most of the people like the Kalahari are people who apparently
have been pushed out by more powerful groups from
a different sort of life, and marginalized, and
live a marginal existence. That was almost certainly true for the people of Patagonia, of the extreme south around Cape Horn, of the Kalahari, indeed of the Berbers, the desert-dwelling, pastoral
people of the Near EAst who, if one believes Ibn Khaldun, were repeatedly extruded
and then conquered and then extruded and conquered. So I’m rather loath to come to conclusions about evolution from groups who have been somewhat recently, we don’t know how recently, were originally part of another population and then shoved out in small numbers. I think it’s dangerous to make too many conclusions from that, okay? – [Audience Member] Thank you. – [Audience Member] In your final slide, the upper map was principal component one that is consistent with the
Out of Africa hypothesis, but the lower map, I’m wondering if that’s principal component two. – It is. – [Audience Member] And I’m wondering that there was a line across
Africa at the Sahara, there’s a line across
Eurasia at the Urals, and that would seem to suggest
that the primary signal in human genetics is out of Africa and the colonization of the planet. But the next strongest signal is the regional differentiation? – Absolutely, I mean you’re
quite right about that. For this particular
purpose I can’t go into the difference between the first and the second principal component, but what you say I think
people should listen to. – [Audience Member] All right. (audience laughing) – [Audience Member] You may be familiar with the Affymetrix GeneChip platform. Are you familiar with any new studies that look at gene expression analysis on top of just gene differentiation? – No, I’m not, I’m sorry. I mean, I’m familiar with
the Affymetrix GeneChip but perhaps you want to
say something about that. – [Audience Member] No, do you feel knowing about that technology, do you think that that may reveal more information about this subject? – Well, the trouble with gene expression is that expression patterns are embedded in a network of signaling,
of expression signaling which would be very difficult to interpret in the way we need to. That is, say, we might have a
different expression pattern in one group than another because one gene is being
expressed differently and that’s having a downstream effect on the expression of others. So I’m not saying that expression patterns will not be of any interest, but I think their
interpretation is subject to the serious complexity of the patterns of expression induction. And I don’t know exactly
how to interpret them is the problem. For example, I don’t know, somebody can tell us
because they could look, what the effect on gene
expression patterns of all kinds is of people who have, say, sickle cell anemia as opposed to not sickle cell anemia. Does that have consequences in other parts of the gene expression pattern? I don’t know the answer. You could find out. But I think one has to do that because of the epistatic interactions between gene expression patterns. That’s the best I can say. – [Audience Member] Hi, I thought
the sexual selection story that you gave at the end
was very interesting. I had never heard that before with people. And I was wondering what you think would be an ideal test to test
the sexual selection story versus a non-sexual
natural selection story such as the one that you mentioned about vitamin D and cancer,
short of time travel. – I don’t know the
answer to that question. Monty, have you got an answer to that? How I could distinguish sexual selection from what we usually
call natural selection? It doesn’t seem obvious to me because the difference
is not a statistical or mechanical difference, it’s a difference in causation which has the same influence on the fact that some types have more
offspring than others and the various statistical tests one does doesn’t ask why do some types have more offspring than others, it only presents evidence that some types do have more offspring than others. The differentiation natural selection and sexual selection is
in the engineering story you’d tell, and that’s
a physiological story which is not revealed by
patterns of gene frequency. So I guess the reason that even Monty can’t answer it is because
it doesn’t have an answer. No, no, I’m serious about that. I mean, you have to understand
that sexual selection does not differ in its dynamics from, or kinetics from other kinds of selection. It’s just a different
kind of causal story. It still lines up that some people have a lot more offspring than others, and certain genotypes have
more offspring than others. – [Audience Member] Two questions. First, what is your
perspective on hybrid vigor? And secondly, what do you think about this whole idea of they’re not, the surface meaning does
not have this deeper meaning and what are the implications for– – I’m sorry, what was the second question? – [Audience Member] The whole idea about the surface differences really don’t have these deeper meanings that we sometimes in the lay public apply to them, and how do you speculate your information? What effect do you think it will have on the lay public, which sometimes care, want to perpetuate this notion of racial prejudice and so forth? – Well, the answer to the first one as far as hybrid vigor is concerned, there’s no evidence of hybrid vigor. Indeed, there’s no evidence
of hybrid vigor in corn. I mean, I could give a whole lecture on the nonsense about
hybrid vigor in corn. The hybridization in corn is a gimmick to guarantee property
rights to seed companies. We could produce corn as productive as hybrid corn by mass selection. That’s well known, that’s not a problem. So to try to carry over
the claim of hybrid vigor from corn to people, if
that’s what you’re asking, whether people who are
the result of matings between distant groups
will somehow be better, we have no proof it couldn’t exist but we have no evidence for it. Now one thing that does
happen is if you mate between people who have as differentiated gene groups as possible, you may cover up certain
deleterious recessive genes. That may happen, but I don’t think that’s what you’re really asking. And one more. No, no, let me finish my answer to her. As far as what effect
this has on the attitudes of people toward superiority
of one race or another, it’s not clear it has any effect because, as I said, the fact
that 85% of the variation is within a local group
and so little of it between doesn’t prove that the
genes that really matter are highly differentiated between groups. I could always say, yeah but what about that small percent? You haven’t told me
about the genes for IQ, the genes for charity, and if I want for some ideological reason to claim that there are those, I haven’t
proved they don’t exist. So I think data like these in large part predispose
one toward an understanding of the situation, but if
you’re a hardcore racist they’re not gonna have any effect at all. – [Audience Member] Thank you very much. (audience applauding) (upbeat music)

100 thoughts on “The Concept of Race with Richard Lewontin

  1. civilizations of history were notorious for not only being multicultural, but actively incorporating new customs, deities, and languages into their own. The Romans, Greeks, and Byzantines are considered the foundation of western culture and they were quite fond of the practice. It certainly never harmed them in terms of longevity and achievement. The great western intellectual awakenings were not insular, either. So how exactly are 'white' civilizations failing? Every 'white' ethnic group

  2. have long and stories histories of incorporating outside genes and culture into their own. The Scandinavians were far from genetically 'pure' as they repeatedly brought back wives from North Africa, the Russo-Slavic regions, and central Asia (as shown both by period accounts and gene marker tracking), and the Finns actually speak a Turkic derived language. You're also working off the assumption that civilizations can be permanent, which is pure fantasy. EVERY civilization ends at some point,

  3. and if anything western civilization has been the proverbial distance runner when compared to the world's great historical civilizations. So, you silly boy, use that brain of yours for a change and stop credulously scooping up sensationalist nonsense.

  4. *sigh* You're repeatedly using the well known logical fallacies of spotlighting, mistaking correlation for causation, statistical generalization, and circumstantial ad hominem. Again, look at the actual study the statistics are derived from, and the big picture. By your rationale since 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had 15 hurricanes then that should be the number of storms you should expect every year. And how am I anti-white? I think people should be judged as individuals. Being white

  5. make me any better than anyone else. You feel insignificant, and naturally gravitate towards ideas and movements that say you're special because it's gratifying. You're refusing to look at the issue objectively because it would destroy the set of beliefs your self worth relies on, and thus render you back to being an average person.

  6. You've yet to provide any facts whatsoever. So, how about you find the actual studies that supposedly support your viewpoint.

  7. Some of the comments posted are so ignorant, they're funny! Folks, the world is brown/black, get used to it because it's only getting browner.

  8. u come to this vid but then when truth slaps u u get bitter and dislike and leave stupid comment hahahaha what a joke keep being ignorant itll catch up to u soon

  9. Actually you'r wrong. Every person outside Africa, even the Negritos from Melanesia or Aborigines of Australia have the same percentage of Neanderthal DNA as a caucasian person, which is about 4%. There is not a scientific consensus if that DNA is from Neanderthal origin, and they have not found anything crucial in that 4% that contributed to a different characteristic or ability to humans who possessed that genetic marker.

  10. Japan explanation was wrong to say Korea invaded Japan many times in the 15th, in the Japanese history textbook there were 2 times invasions and it was in the 12th centuries by Mongolians, the same Mongolians that invaded Middle East and part of Europe. Actually a big group of Koreans(N/S Koreans) was brought in Japan in WW2 and and a big group of South Koreans migrated to Japan in the Korean war (without official entrance permission).

  11. Even 3% is greater than 1%. I imagine that how this measurement is calculated makes a great deal of difference. I've read claims that we share over 80% of genes with mice and perhaps 35% (or more) of genes with bananas.

  12. What do you mean? I think it's more or less established that humans and bananas share about 50% genes. Google it, plenty of reputable sources. 23andme uses it in their educational video on genetics, too, I think.

  13. Evolution is pure bullshit. The genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees is a fixed number, that difference is true for all humans…evolution as a process would lead you to find that this numerical difference should be less fixed as a number…

  14. Hey why not try to acquire some class with that childishness. Your just being silly because youre butthurt.

  15. butt hurt and lonely, I love the way you just cant leave me alone. lol Like the clown prize fool you are regardless of the humiliation… youll be back.

  16. Embarrassing video… He's observing the same things that make even neighbours different. What is more race has no scientific or genetic viability as a category therefore to base your theories using it is a red herring and a flag to the educated that a clown is about.

  17. Lewontin has a fallacy named after him. It's called "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy" written by the geneticist A.W.F. Edwards. Look it up.

  18. More genetic variation within than between groups is meaningless. It's about measuring the frequency of alleles at several different loci at the same time, that is how human races can be genetically mapped. Genders also have more genetic variation within than between, and it doesn't mean gender is a social construct.

  19. I've always been amused by the multiple ways Jews define themselves. When I read articles titled "Jews" and "Who is a Jew?" it borders on the riduculous.

  20. I thought we were having a discussion about human biological diversity but you seem to be concerned with ''jews'' so I will let you get back to that.

  21. This is more "race is a social construct" nonsense – politics masquerading as science.

    There are numerous diseases and developmental disorders that only affect certain races – Tay Sachs Syndrome, Sickle Cell Anemia – proving there is an underlying biological difference.

    Following this logic, e.g. blood group patterns do not correspond to racial categories, the difference between Chimpanzees and Humans is purely cultural.

  22. Dear edydon, Race can indeed be more of a socio-political construct than a biological one. On Youtube a CARTA seminar aired on U of Calif. TV, on Mar 12, 2011 in which Michael Bamshad, MD spoke on the Evolution of biodiversity –Race, Ancestry & Genomes about a Wayne Joseph who looked & was raised African-American, only to be surprised by a genetic test that showed he had every other race but NOT African! Appearance said African-American, but genes said no. Interesting.

  23. WHO reports the incidence of sickle cell is 10-40% in Africa in latitudes 15o N – 20o S. N. Africa 1-2%, S. Africa <1%. The Zulus, Xhosas are Bantu people like Nigerians, Ghanaians in 15o N to 20o S region. But the former have a lower incidence; disease in Greece, India and Italy is almost as high. The gene for sickling is found in Turkey, Latin America, Middle East, according to NIH. Theory says the gene originated in S.W. Saudi Arabia; gene follows malaria, parasite can’t live in sicklers.

  24. Does race exist?:

    Before assuming bias, think perhaps you hold opinions, and that you have bias.

  25. What do you expect from a government institution. Only those that tow these globalist ideologies are promoted. If they don't tow the anti-white line, or god forbid they oppose it, they are sacked. Notice how this type of "we are all one race" ideology is only being pushed in white western countries.

  26. So I suppose this dumb ass is going to try and tell us that different dog breeds have no differences. Or maybe he thinks we are dumb enough to believe that dog breeds are a figment of our imagination.

  27. So the questions on the IQ tests are compiled in a way that black people cannot understand? Brilliant logic!

    Evil white man conspiracy? Or the usual good old explanation that says if you can't understand the question – you are stupid!

  28. the main thing is that people aren't segregated or discriminated against because of racial differences however let's not pretend "we're all the same" as we are told
    it's just not true

  29. Look up Lewontin's Fallacy. If you compare individual genes of course there is overlap, but this overlooks the correlations when you look at larger number of genes. When you do individuals from different geographic regions fall into readily identifiable clusters that correspond to traditional racial categories. 

    What Lewontin is doing is like comparing the number of individual letters of the alphabet in a book about cars and a book about cooking. Of course there might be more overlap. You need to look at the sentence structure, or in this case the correlation of genes and their frequency. When you do you get clusters (races/populations). 

    Professor Steve Hsu, on the BGI Cognitive Genomics Project, explains all this well.

  30. "So, we have a colloquial concept which is poorly defined. Why don't we find a more precise scientific definition for use? We did the same for species, right? In fact, the term species is still being debated. The reason we don't have a solidified definition of race is because sham peer-review has only focused on the colloquial usage in efforts to debunk using it as a notion. It is pure deconstruction of real, useful concepts"

  31. No gene is discrete to a "race." I think you guys really have a primitive propensity to find a way to categorize people so that you can subject them to abject slavery. Where's my proof? It already happened. 

  32. Race is irrelevant, genotype without a doubt but based on the amount of eumelanin one has in his or her skin is ludicrous what i will say is science has moved on a little bit since this video check out Nina jabolanski's work she has shown it is almost certainly to do with variances in  UVB exposure  some of her work has even shown that indians have lost and regained their pigmentation she does feel that the hair  and eye colour are products of sexual selection also she presents a lot of information that is just too tantalizing for me to dismiss to be honest big fan of his work though also  a gene that correspond to some aspects of skin colour has been found its called "SLC24A5" for those that want to do their own research

  33. 9:51 – he points to his personal observations of different behaviors between French and others, but then just assumes that difference is down to "culture".

    This is quite an assumption.

  34. At 11:00, he's being super-vague. Is he claiming that European outgroup identification of Africans was the primary cause of the atlantic slave trade?

    If he's claiming that Germans saw Danes as different, why didn't Germany ever try to conquer Denmark? Or is he claiming that the European conquest of Africa was due to outgroup identification of Africa relative to a roughly homogeneous European identity?

    And the notion that Africans were dehumanized in the eyes of white people in Europe generally is an empirical claim – which I think is false.

  35. 16:37 – He points to something where the races don't differ as evidence that there are no systematic differences between the races.

    He isn't so brazen, but says "this is disturbing to the notion that" – except it's not at all. Blacks and whites have fingernails made of the same stuff as well.

  36. 24:05 – Oh this is quite silly.

    First off, you don't need strict parameters for defining a population in order to identify differences between populations.

    You can define Europeans are "people who look to the naked eye like Europeans", and that's fine, and then quantify the differences from there.

    Second off, Neil Rische made this irrelevant in 2005. Self-identified race corresponds with best fit cluster over 99.8% of the time – this classification problem is not something that exists except as a theoretical critique of race.

  37. 24:57 – Holy shit is ANYONE fooled by this sophistry? The racial classifications of Finns is problematic because they speak a Turkic language?

    Language is a complete red herring to this discussion. Of course he would likely retort with a diversion like "what definition of race are you referring to, you know people in the olde-timeys had a conception of race that included langauge and culture".

    Which is fine, but definitions change, and Lewontin is just muddying the waters with definitions that nobody uses anymore – to the extent anyone ever did.

  38. His arguments deconstructing initial categorization are breathtakingly vapid.

    You can say the exact same thing about species. Rabbits and squirrels have differences in behavior? Well how do you know, how do you define them?

  39. An academic coward spewing politically correct bullshit in the direction of Marxist-indoctrinated zombies. This crap only works on individuals incapable of critical thought and lacking a bull-shit meter. Lewontin missed his calling in life; he would have made an exceptionally successful sideshow con artist. Chumps are in large supply in his milieu. The only thing missing are the three walnut shells and the pea.

  40. I am thoroughly entertained by the pain and anger exhibited in some of these comments by people who want to cling to the colonial idea of race, AHAHA! ERUROPEANS ARE AFRICANIZED AHAHA!

  41. The guy got the whole environmental color change theory wrong. It wasn't about people in the north having rickets? Where did that come from? I always heard it that it was an adaptation thing, that as the people moved to different regions their skin color changed to help them in their new environment. Such as a minxes fur being white in Canada but brown in warmer climates. Prehistoric people could have been the same way, being fairer skinned to blend in with the winter climates and darker skinned to blend in with the forests and such. Idk that's just how I always heard it.

  42. THERE IS NO RACE base genes !!! 
    BUT THERE ARE genes that makes biological differences between races !!!
    …. after a group having specific appearance , THEN socially WE name that group something ..

    how come a lecturer says word like "THERE IS NO RACE base genes" !!!!
    OF COURSE there is NO … do you except genes configures and form word 'B-L-A-CK, or W-H-I-T-E,
    such rugby cheerleaders do ????

  43. Around the 6-8 minute mark he blew it. In-group-ism is not the same as people defining others as from other races…..then he says  when we think a group  'looks alike' phenomenon is culturally determined…. then he says he and his wife can determine different language cultural groups by looking at people from a distance- huh? Everyone can do this.

    If two masked white men, wearing gloves, etc…and never speaking, rob a group of blacks,  afterwards when the police ask the group  what race the robber were, every single black person would automatically know  that it was white dudes who robbed them.   "They ran 'white' " etc…how you move, talk fuck, eat, sleep, is biologically determined to a large degree.  We are not all just humans just like the breeds of dogs are not all just one group called dogs.

  44. If subtle  very minute biological variations constitute each racial ethnic groups, then race exists and what is the debate about ?  If we are biologically identical then we should all exhibit the same behaviors but we dont and culture does not account for the differences.  3 million nucleotides are enough, a genetic difference of 1% or even less is enough to create a different racial type…….

  45. There is no single "race gene", there is an accumulation of different genes that show races. Nobody argues different breeds of dog, but once you do it with humans, suddenly its not true.

    Its very true.

  46. I honestly just feel you are hurting medicine by trying to deny race/differences between groups of individuals based on geographical isolation.

    Nobody denies that geographical isolation occurred between several groups of people. Nobody denies that because of geographical isolation different groups of people will develop different genes and traits that other groups will not possess. Nobody denies that for hundreds of thousands of years this occured, and that genetics can look at your genes and tell you exactly where you come from….

    But the moment you say thats race, you all deny it. Sorry, thats race. They most certainly can tell by your genes where in the world you come from, and how you differed from other isolated groups.

  47. This talk should be called, how to lie about race. Ways to lie to fit your Marxist agenda. The term "Lewontin's Fallacy" isn't for nothing.

  48. What are you people so worried about? He clearly says in the beginning that race as a social phenomenon is very real, he doesn't talk about that, this is about biology.
    Look at religion; God lost the support of science a long time ago and he's doing great without it. If you want to be a racist, why look at scientific evidence to back up your belief, just have faith and you'll be fine

  49. His sooo wrong, we the withes got our skin and hair from the Neanderthals. and the blacks dont have this.. look it up and you see Im right…. We got round hair, africans have flat hair the same as on There genitals… Look it up pls

  50. There is no race. All humans originated from black Africans.
    All patterns of thought, intelligence, civilization, art and everything else originates in Africa.

    The only reason white Europeans invented the pseudo-science of race is to justify killing off all the black and brown people around the world they found. As part of this pseudo-science they purposely turned history upside down and tried to hide and cover up the fact that all humans were black up to relatively recently by making up nonsense about all humans originating in Europe or in multiple regions. And to this day that is what they still believe in. Yet before 1000AD most Northern Europeans lived in caves and mud huts. All the civilization came from the South And East from non Europeans.

    Prior to this invention of "race", most people believed in ethnicity and blood lines or lineages, not 'races'.

  51. Judging by the comments, it's interesting to note the responses are driven by the very stereotypes gained through racial disparity.

  52. It's rather sad really, having to watch this undoubtedly great scientist performing rhetorical contortions and statistical sleights of hand to wish away biological reality. Of course this talk was given some years ago and genetics has advanced astonishingly in even that comparatively brief time, but even so, the evident influence of politically driven pressures to "responsible" academic conformity remain a little saddening all the same.

  53. Cluster analysis destroys his argument. Read N. Sesardic's papers on the biological concept of race.

  54. Another Jew telling the goy race doesn't exist. I guess there's no need for the all-Jewish state of Israel then. It would make NO difference at all if Israel was populated by Africans, amiright? The narrative is this: Race doesn't exist goy, therefore mass nonwhite immigration and race mixing for you. For us: ingroup preference, AIPAC, the ADL and Israel. Denial of biological differences between the races is insane, it's one of the foundations of SJWs, and we see how this deranged ideology manifests itself in reality. See: Trigglypuff

  55. In the journal Nature, three separate teams of geneticists surveyed DNA collected from cultures around the globe and concluded that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 – 80,000 years ago. – A Single Migration from Africa Populated the World, Zimmer, Sep. 21,2016, – New York Times Also "consider humankind as one family, the surface of the earth as one nationality and all races as one humanity."
    – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

  56. Die Fähigkeit von genomisch informierten Leuten, uns zu erzählen, wo unsere Vorfahren gekommen sind, hat nichts mit evolutionären Kräften zu tun, die eine lokale Anpassung bewirkt haben könnten. Es ist eher wegen des Wissens darüber, wo Gruppen mit einem bestimmten genomischen Muster endete, unabhängig davon, ob die Bedingungen an diesem Ort etwas ausgewählt.

    Sie könnten davon profitieren, eine physische Antrhopologie Buch aus etwa den 1950er Jahren, und erhalten Sie einen Griff auf, was als die grundlegenden fünf Rennen typisiert wurde, und die Grundlage für diese Typisierung. Das würde Ihnen vielleicht ein tieferes Verständnis der Lockerheit des Begriffs der Rasse, als etwas biologisch basiert.

    Das Konzept der Rasse Phänotyp ist ein nützliches für verschiedene Zwecke. Sein nicht sehr nützlich im Verständnis der biologischen Verteilung der verschiedenen phenotypischen Markierungen, jedoch. Zum Beispiel hat die Epikantalfalte des Augenlidgeschäfts, von der angenommen wird, dass sie den mongolischen Rassentyp unterscheidet, keine Kovariation mit irgendetwas anderem, wie Hautfarbe, Haarstruktur usw., aufweist. Die Gene, die zu asiatischen Augen führen, haben keine Beziehung zu der Gene, die zu einem gelblichen Hautton führen. Es dauert etwa vier Generationen der Zucht der schwärzesten afrikanischen mit weißen Europäern (vier Generationen von einer weißen Mama oder Papa zu einem ursprünglich dunklen schwarzen männlichen oder weiblichen) zu bleichen alle schwarzen aus. Die phänotypischen Eigenschaften sind einfach nicht belastbar in jedem sinnvollen Sinne, und so ist heute das meiste, was die Rasse ausmacht, ein gesellschaftliches Phänomen. Dies ist der Biologe Punkt.

  57. Its not from a biblical start. The people were one and then migrated and then, in segregated populations, changed their looks upon pressure from the envirorment reacting with innate abilities of our biology.
    So indeed Finns are really a oriental people, very Asian or Chinese like, but they moved to the west and got zapped into a present White people.
    Entirely a issue of location and not breeding relationships.
    There is simply segregated populations being changed re;ative to a original population.
    So there are no races but simply a coincidence of groups changing.
    So white Europeans only got white after moving to europe and were already segregated in population groups. Just affected the same. Yet there is no white race.

    Mankind never believed in races. Only in the last centuries did such a ide kick in.
    People looked so different and were so different in intelligence etc etc. So a hard and fast concept of race became persuasive to the educated population after a rejection of biblical conclusions.

  58. الخلطة الطبيعية و الأكيدة في قضاء على المشاكل ضعف الانتصاب و سرعة القذف و صغر الحجم قضيب للحصول على المنتج يرجى التواصل مع الطبيب المالكي مصطفى على الواتساب 00212689611487
    خلطة رجال الصحراء هو علاج طبيعي وكل أعشابه طبيعيه ١٠٠٪ وليس له أي أثار جانيه امن تماما.
    رجال الصحراء هو المنتج الأكثر مبيعا في دول العالم عامة وفي الشرق الأوسط خاصة وذالك لنجاحه مع كل زبناء اللذين استخدموه
    خلطت رجال الصحراء منتج مرخص من هيئة الغذاء والدواء
    فوائد كريم رجال الصحراء
    1-يعمل على تكبير القضيب
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    3-يقوي على لانتصاب
    لا تترددوا وغيروا حياتكم للأفضل…
    نحن نرسل المنتج لجميع دول الخليج و دول العالم
    أخواتي الكرام دعوكم من الفيديوهات النصابة حول موضوع زيادة حجم القضيب و التخلص من القذف السريع و ضعف الانتصاب لان أغلبيتها لها هدف تجاري و لأنني جربت معظم هده الوصفات دون أي نتيجة حتى تواصلت مع الطبيب مصطفى المالكي الذي ساعدني على زيادة حجم قضيبي 4 سنتيم في ضرف 6 أيام هاتف الدكتور 00212689611487
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  59. It is a report to the audience: look — 1 this what I know, 2 this is what I do not know ++++++ a lot of PC. The only thing I've got about the man – he is in the business of PC — a cowardly coward!

  60. "A proper analysis of human data reveals a substantial amount of information about genetic differences. What use, if any, one makes of it is quite another matter. But it is a dangerous mistake to premise the moral equality of human beings on biological similarity because dissimilarity, once revealed, then becomes an argument for moral inequality." A.W.F. Edwards, Human genetic diversity: Lewontin’s fallacy

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