Searches: Interracial Theme

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how does Vin Diesel's prefer to be ethnically classified
Everything I've seen suggests that he doesn't.

why interracial people so pretty
Well, they are less inbred than everyone else. Facial features resulting from infrequent gene combinations can turn out to be very striking. Supermodels can, in comparison, look downright boring.

many celebrities identified as white have non white ancestry
Everyone identified as white has non-white ancestry! Why would celebrities be exempt?

4 Comments

Dude ... FYI, a lot of supermodels have an interracial background.

I'm fully aware of that. On several occasions in the past, I've made a point of the popularity of mixed race celebrities in popular culture more than once in the past, and supermodels are easily a part of that.

I worded my statement very carefully, with that fact in mind. All I said is that some in one category can look downright boring compared to some in the other. That's perfectly consistent with some people being in both categories.

I like the idea that there is one race -- human -- with many color shades and varying features. Check out http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/race-definition.html

It's a DNA thing.

There are a number of fallacies in the argument at that site. Completely aside from the pseudo-science that Ken Ham is fond of, he makes some real arguments that many in the genuinely scientific community also tend to make, but they involve huge mistakes.

One is that a certain percentage of genes being different doesn't tell you how significant those genes are. It just assumes that a small percentage of genes means there are no significant differences between any groupings that you could pull together in terms of those differences. As it turns out, most of the differences you'll find among genetically identifiable groups are biologically insignificant, but some recent research has found a few that aren't.

For example, they've discovered a gene that enables brain growth to occur much faster earlier that appears in people of European (and I believe Asian) descent, including many black Americans. As far as we know, there's nothing similar found in certain genetic populations, including many of purely African descent and a number of aboriginal groups in Australia, the Pacific islands, and elsewhere. It's not clear to me what significance this might have, but it might have some significance in terms of the early development of certain abilities.

I'm going to have to spend some time looking into this sort of thing, because it really would affect what I wanted to argue in my dissertation, but I haven't spent that time yet. My general thesis still stands. The genetic differences between the groups we classify as racial groups aren't all that significant, and part of the reason is due to the social practices that lead to racial assignment. Someone like Henry Louis Gates, who is genetically 50% of European descent, is classified as black. If that's all it takes to count as black, then black people are going to have just all the genetic characteristics that those who are assigned as white would have. But that doesn't mean there aren't genetically identifiable populations with biologically significant differences in traits.

One piece of information the article gives is completely wrong. They say when mulattos have children together, the skin color of the children could be anything. That depends entirely on the skin color of the mulattos. The skin color, as far as geneticists can tell, can be anywhere between the skin color of the parents. It can't be darker than the darker parent or lighter than the lighter parent, barring mutation (which is why we have lighter skin to begin with). But the skin color of the parents may not reflect the underlying genetic makeup of the parents. For instance, our kids are all very light considering how dark my wife is. She must have a lot more light skin genes than her own skin color demonstrates, and I must have virtually no dark skin color genes. So it's probably not just that the skin color can be anywhere between the two parents. There's no way it can be outside that range, but there seem to be other limiting factors. The way the article reads, though, you get the sense that two very light skinned mixed race parents can have children who look like Clarence Thomas.

In the end, the primary argument of the piece is that racial groups as they exist in our current social setting cannot truly exist because they do not arise from the most significant of biological differences but rather from primary social identification of biologically insignificant traits such as skin color, bone structure, hair type, and so on. But we have all sorts of genuine groupings that are socially determined. You couldn't argue that Republicans aren't a genuine group simply because what it takes to be a Republican is not genetic. There are significant practices that rely on identifying people according to racial groups, and those create those groups and assign people to them based in large part on biologically insignificant but biologically produced characteristics.

Pretending those groups have no significance is simply wrongheaded, and Ham and company are seriously mistaken in thinking that racial groupings don't exist just because the categories don't match up to the 19th century scientific view of what race is. You need no such thing to think of race as real. This is also fully consistent with recognizing that the differences between human beings as a species distinct from all other animals are extremely insignificant in the broader ethical and theological context that I think is driving this article.

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