Talk:Race (human categorization)/Archive 33

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Nicholas Wade as citation on race

I think the works of Nicholas Wade are excellent sources for the science on race as presented from an entirely unbiased perspective. Here's what eminent scholar on race Charles Murray has to say about Wade here. What do fellow editors think about such additions? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:17, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Murray is not a scholar on race, nor is Wade. The opinions of both are in the extreme miniory among those qualified to comment on the topic. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 06:17, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Wade is very much a biased, non-expert, source.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:30, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
But then Maunus will happily edit in lawyers and philosophers when they agree with his POV. Also surveys show race denial is a minority viewpoint. (talk) 12:53, 4 May 2014 (UTC) Mikemikev sockpuppet. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 20:52, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Jonathan Kaplan is a philosopher of biology who specializes in bioethics and has published numerous peer reviewed articles about race. Wade is a journalist who specializes in popularizing hereditarian research and dissing the social sciences. I dont know what Lawyer you are talking about. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:43, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure why Wade would be seen as some sort of 'race realist'. In his book he actually admits races by genetic clustering are arbitrary. He's only arguing races are convenient, not real. At lot of people however confuse these. FossilMad (talk) 03:44, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

He doesn't actually say that it's arbitrary or anything. He is a HBD writer because he upholds the truth of genetic clustering creating races, which is the realist view as opposed to the politically correct one — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:29, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Then obviously you haven't read his book. Wade admits that delimiting genetic clusters as races is a "human decision" (arbitrary). He is certainly not arguing races are natural or objectively real. FossilMad (talk) 18:13, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Most genetic variation (85 - 90%) is found within populations rather than between them. However an argument can be made that during the Pleistocene, hundreds of thousands of years ago (like cranial morphology) most variation was inter-populational. This is why there is a legitimate argument races once existed, but that they no longer do. It has nothing to do with political correctness. FossilMad (talk) 18:23, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Jonathan Marks' opinions are too partisan to be included, and so are Wade's opinions. On the other hand, the biological facts that Wade cites might be good to include, as well as research findings that he cites. Same with Marks. When he's citing actual research, great additions. When he's concluding something himself, can we trust him any further than we'd trust Wade? Leadwind (talk) 22:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Oh crap. Hi Maunus. Leadwind (talk) 22:46, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Rewrite draft

In my user space I am drafting an outline for a restructuring of the article. Feel free to comment at its talkpage. You will notice that it in contrast with the current version it doesnt treat the constructivism/biology debate as the main focus, but includes the extensive literature on inequality and on racial history. Really the biology debate accounts for a rather small part of the global literature on race.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:53, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us know. That looks like a good start to a much improved article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 21:10, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
+1 Although I have worked on the biological race debate, I agree that the article should be restructured and that your draft looks very promising. I'd also be happy to give you feedback on your draft. --David Ludwig (talk) 00:09, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


[...] "in the 17th century, people began to use the term to relate to observable physical traits."

What people? The Chinese? The Hindus? The Eskimos? The Europeans, perhaps? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Dubious statement in lead

"Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete,[5] and generally discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits." The only known survey on the question put a majority supporting a partially genetic reason for group performance differences. Writing your POV and adding a couple of cherry picked individuals to support you violates NPOV. ColonelAnguish (talk) 13:40, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Come again about the "only known survey" and how it "put a majority supporting a" where or what? Just trying to understand the exact objection and how or why it violates NPOV. AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 23:37, 26 August 2014 (UTC) ColonelAnguish (talk) 09:16, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
A survey from 1987 is meaningless. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 09:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

New review articles on human population genetics based on studies of ancient DNA

Wikipedia has a lot of interesting articles based on the ongoing research in human molecular genetics that helps trace the lineage of people living in various places on the earth. I've been reading university textbooks on human genetics "for fun" since the 1980s, and for even longer I've been visiting my state flagship university's vast BioMedical Library to look up topics on human medicine and health care policy. On the hypothesis that better sources build better articles as all of us here collaborate to build an encyclopedia, I thought I would suggest some sources for improving articles on human genetic history and related articles. The Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources in medicine provide a helpful framework for evaluating sources.

The guidelines on reliable sources for medicine remind editors that "it is vital that the biomedical information in all types of articles be based on reliable, third-party, published sources and accurately reflect current medical knowledge."

Ideal sources for such content includes literature reviews or systematic reviews published in reputable medical journals, academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant field and from a respected publisher, and medical guidelines or position statements from nationally or internationally recognised expert bodies.

The guidelines, consistent with the general Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources, remind us that all "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources" (emphasis in original). They helpfully define a primary source in medicine as one in which the authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences. By contrast, a secondary source summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to provide an overview of the current understanding of a medical topic. The general Wikipedia guidelines let us know that "Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper. When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised: Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves."

Two review articles in prominent journals about human population genetics are bringing together analysis of the many recent studies of human DNA, including DNA from ancient individuals.

  • Pickrell, Joseph K.; Reich, David (September 2014). "Toward a new history and geography of human genes informed by ancient DNA". Trends in Genetics. 30 (9): 377–389, 378. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2014.07.007. PMC 4163019Freely accessible. PMID 25168683. Retrieved 16 September 2014. However, the data also often contradict models of population replacement: when two distinct population groups come together during demographic expansions the result is often genetic admixture rather than complete replacement. This suggests that new types of models – with admixture at their center – are necessary for describing key aspects of human history ([14–16] for early examples of admixture models). 

Earlier studies of this issue were based on more limited samples (fewer genes, and fewer human individuals from fewer regions and only recent times). As more samples of more genes from more individuals from more places and times are gathered, the molecular evidence is making it increasingly clear that human beings have been moving back and forth across the Earth's surface and mixing genes over long distances ever since their earliest ancestors moved out of the human homeland in Africa. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:59, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

What conclusions can we draw from these sources vis-à-vis the race concept and our article? (talk) 19:59, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 September 2014

hey im alanoud from Saudi Arabia i translated your article and i would like to add my translation if its ok with you thank you and have great day AlAnoudAlHomoud (talk) 01:22, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Not done - This is the English Wikipedia - we don't add translations. Please ask this at the Arabic Wikipedia, or whichever other language you have translated it into. - Arjayay (talk) 12:30, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Single word change in lede?

I'm sure that over the course of 36 archived pages the lede terminology has been exhaustively parsed, BUT...I must ask since I've studied critical race theory quite a bit: Have folks here ever considered referring to "race" as "a sociopolitical construct" rather than "a system of classification" in the first lede sentence? I can cite abundant reliable academic sources defining "race" as the former, while the latter terminology strikes me as a little colloquial for an encyclopedic entry. And is it really accurate to define "race" as "a system" of anything? The term "system" implies some kind of objective or at least consensus-based criteria, whereas all the possible qualifiers of racial identity are not systematized in the least. Since determinants of race are in fact quite arbitrary and contested, it seems more accurate to define it terms of the fluid "sociopolitical construct" that it is. Hope that makes some sense! AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 04:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

We should go with what the reliable sources say, per Wikipedia content guidelines. What sources do you have in mind? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:12, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
By far the most widely-cited source in academia that argues the sociopolitical fluidity rather than empirical basis of racial identity is an article by RC Lowentin, published in 1995 in the journal Evolutionary Biology, entitled "The Apportionment of Race." Abstract:
Another seminal paper arguing the arbitrariness of "race" as a concept is entitled, "The conceptualization of racial identity and other 'racial' constructs," by JE Helms et al. in the 1994 text Human diversity: Perspectives on people in context (part of the Jossey-Bass social and behavioral science series., pp. 285-311, San Francisco, CA, US: Jossey-Bass, xxii, 486 pp.). Link to its abstract:
From a public health standpoint, the following influential article published in the American Journal of of Public Health in 2000 argues that any attempt to aggregate & analyze statistical data by "race" is inherently problematic & doomed to futility due to conceptual irregularities and lack of empirical criteria justifying racial distinctions in any context but sociopolitical:
I could go on, and would be happy to, but those sources are the biggies for folks in clinical medicine and the social sciences. AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 23:27, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the change, it is a sociopolitical construction, and its application is not fixed or agreed upon by all who the cats are applied to. The current lead does not have a ref also.--Inayity (talk) 09:06, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Regarding this edit, I don't see anything wrong with "classification system." Plenty of WP:Reliable sources refer to race as that, and "a sociopolitical construct" sounds too POV; by "too POV," I mean that it is bound to cause WP:Edit wars, especially with regard to those who first and foremost argue that race is biological. We should weigh the sources and give especial WP:Due weight to what the vast majority of WP:Reliable sources state, not to "[b]y far the most widely-cited source in academia." Flyer22 (talk) 09:19, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
It will be helpful to specify sources here. I have a source list for Wikipedians in my user space, compiled over several years with suggestions from fellow Wikipedians, and on the particular point at issue here, it will be helpful to see what those and other sources say. Who has specific citations that are on-point with the issue being discussed in this talk page section? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:46, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that with this talk page edit summary, WeijiBaikeBianji stated, "Many sources support 'sociopolitical construct,' including official publications of the United States Census." I'll leave this wording of the lead matter to WeijiBaikeBianji and others. Flyer22 (talk) 15:01, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
There is no shortage of sources on social construction, just a quick google scholar search sorts that out. As I mentioned the issue is the lead almost institutionalize race like if it was nomenclature or solid as periodic tables. Race is very subjective and the race-biology position is a dying position. --Inayity (talk) 16:45, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

(Outdent). I'm puzzled by Flyer22's reasoning that academic sources constitute less of a RS than...what, exactly? If using "sociopolitical construct" in the lead starts an edit war, that doesn't by definition impugn the term's POV so much as those who dispute it. All that matters is what RS say on the subject. I'm new here, but doesn't Wiki recognize a reliability hierarchy according to which peer-reviewed academic sources are the most authoritative? There is certainly tons of literature on the subject, and I'll start reviewing Weji's resource list, but because of this, source quality seems especially important to consider. Inayity is correct that the concept of race as some kind of biological marker amenable to discrete classification like elements within the periodic table is extremely dated among both hard & social science scholars, as well as those within clinical medicine. Surely many lay folks disagree, which is a perspective worth discussion, but not legitimization in Wiki's own voice, per preponderance of the most reliable sources. AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 21:13, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

"Social construct" is one thing, and, as currently shown on my user talk page, I agree that "race" is a social construct. "Sociopolitical construct" is another thing, and it remains that many people will see "social construct" or "sociopolitical construct" wording as non-neutral. Yes, the article is clear that "[t]here is a wide consensus that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed, and that racial groups cannot be biologically defined." The lead is also clear about that without driving home the "sociopolitical construct" angle in the first sentence. The article is also clear that "[s]cholars continue to debate the degrees to which racial categories are biologically warranted and socially constructed, as well as the extent to which the realities of race must be acknowledged in order for society to comprehend and address racism adequately. Accordingly, the racial paradigms employed in different disciplines vary in their emphasis on biological reduction as contrasted with societal construction." So the Race (human classification) article is clear about the biological debate of race, and this talk page has been subject to much debate about it. I'm puzzled that you are puzzled by my response on that. I have no problem with giving WP:Due weight to what the vast majority of sources state on this matter, and that is what I emphasized. The WP:Due weight policy is clear that we should go by that, not by one widely cited source. I did not state anything about academic sources constituting less of a reliable source, other than that we should not base the line in question on what one source states.
Also, I reverted this edit that an IP made to your post; if you are that IP, it is better that you edit your post while signed in so that people know that it's you and so that you don't expose your IP if you don't want it exposed (you can request that your IP be hidden via WP:Oversight), or you can note in the edit history that the IP is you. Flyer22 (talk) 15:34, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Maybe we can change "a classification system" to "a concept"? I agree with AgentOrangeTabby that it is not very helpful and potentially misleading to describe race as a "classification system". Anyway, "social construct" is not ideal either because it presupposes too much theory. For example, philosophers of race usually understand "social constructionism" as the non-trivial thesis that "race" is real as a social kind but not real as a biological kind. "Social constructionism" in this sense is a widely shared position but still presupposes a somewhat controversial point of view as it excludes both straight racial realism and straight anti-realism. Anyway, the current situation is not ideal either - especially with the "specify" tag. Maybe we can start by describing "race" as a "a concept that is used to categorize humans into large...." Objections? --David Ludwig (talk) 15:18, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm completely fine with using the words a concept instead. Flyer22 (talk) 02:44, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
For the record, Inayity, regarding this and this edit you made, I was not agreeing to "social-political concept" and perhaps David Ludwig was not either. We agreed to "a concept." I don't see being WP:Bold as a good thing when there is disagreement on the talk page about the proposed wording, unless you think that the WP:Consensus is clear. WP:Bold is tied up in WP:BRD -- making the edit and seeing if anyone objects to it. Here at the talk page, you already know that at least one editor objects to it. But I've stated my piece (and I do mean "piece," not "peace") on the topic, so I am not looking to press the issue. Flyer22 (talk) 03:07, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I saw no strong evidence supporting why social Something was a train wreck. Per BLD as opposed to let the discussion fade away and nothing change, which I think is a greater problem, I got bold and made the moves to get the problem fixed. I think (as stated before) the previous lead was so vague to distort the meaning an imply race classification as some fix fact of life. Race per most def of it is a social-political concept/construction. Just saying concept, but what kind of concept? A scientific one? --Inayity (talk) 03:16, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
The discussion was already rejuvenated by David Ludwig's comment and by my reply to David Ludwig above, however. As for simply describing race for this article as a sociopolitical construct, social construct, sociopolitical concept or social concept (as your latest edit has done), I already stated above that past heated debates on this talk page prove that it can be a train wreck, that the lead already addresses this topic, and that the lower part of the article is clear that there is debate about simply calling race a social matter and acting as though it has nothing to do with biology. And as for describing this topic as scientific... Anthropology, which the topic of racial classification of humans concerns, is a branch of science. So, yes, this topic is a scientific topic as well; it's a number of things, which speaks further to the point of trying to label it one thing in the first sentence. Again, I'm not too interested in continuing to debate this, though. I will leave this matter to you all to handle. Flyer22 (talk) 03:51, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, I do understand your point about naming what kind of concept it is, but the rest of the first sentence is clear on what categorization fields the topic covers. Either way, "social concept" is better than the other proposals in this section. Flyer22 (talk) 04:00, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with "social concept". Honestly, I cannot think of any serious scholars who would deny that "race" is a social concept. Of course, some argue that that it is not only a social concept but also a legitimate genomic/cladistic/biomedical/whatever concept. Anyway, these issues are discussed at length in the article and I think its ok to use "social concept" in the first sentence. David Ludwig (talk) 06:53, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Anytime you deal with a definition you going to have this issue. Sure it in some rare and exotic instances it can be biological. But for the purpose of a WP:LEAD the definition in the main is social. --Inayity (talk) 07:34, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Rare and exotic instances? That is not the case as far as the racial classification of humans goes, considering that people base these classifications on biological aspects of people. The article is explicitly clear about that. And that is what I mean. But David Ludwig's "06:53, 3 October 2014 (UTC)" comment is mostly satisfactory to me on this topic. Flyer22 (talk) 07:50, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
And there are plenty of topics on Wikipedia that never have a definition issue. "Race" is obviously far from being one of those topics. Flyer22 (talk) 08:04, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
On a side note: Since "social concept" redirects to "social constructionism," which is because both terms often or usually mean the same thing, it hardly matters if we state "social construct" or "social concept" in this case; I'll go ahead and link "social concept" in the lead. Flyer22 (talk) 08:10, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Linked. Flyer22 (talk) 08:16, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, was gone for 2 months. I LOVE the link! Makes up for going with the "social concept" colloquialism, which strikes me as more appropriate for Wiki's Simple English edition. What's important is acknowledging that race is a social abstraction, which the word "concept," does well enough, versus a logical positivist entity, which "system of classification" implied. Because I disappeared for 2 months, I can live with the reality that "social concept" appears in none of the RS, probably because it's also stylistically kinda clunky-sounding. Did I mention I love the hyperlink? AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 20:42, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Why would sociologists be quoted in an anthropology discussion?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) .

Because they're overlapping disciplines that study the same phenomenon but through different methods and theoretical lenses. Sociologists are interested in race as a component of social structures, while anthropologists are interested in it as a component of culture - a much more fluid & subjective concept. Sociologists tend to rely on statistics & quantitative research methods, while anthropologists rely on ethnography and case studies. They ask different questions about similar subjects, although the answers the disciplines derive are often mutually informative.
So since "race" is the article subject, it makes sense for it to highlight both sociological & anthropological perspectives on the concept, since most reliable academic sources represent one or the other. Do a Google Scholar search of the term. The "cited by" statistic following each reference is a good indicator of how influential or notable each is within it's respective field. AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 21:10, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Good answer although I think it oversimplifies the sociological approach. Dougweller (talk) 09:48, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
What I almost said is that sociology deals with the who, what, where, why & how of cultural phenomenon, while anthropology asks, "But what does is all MEAN?" especially from the perspectives of those living it. So now I've said it. AgentOrangeTabby (talk) 21:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

This Article needs a Full Re-Vamp

I just read this article and almost all of it is wrong, or contradictory. This whole article needs to be re-written in a serious way! (talk) 21:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

What reliable sources do you have to suggest? I think if you are a curious person, as I suppose most Wikipedians are, you will enjoy reading the sources recommended in the Anthropology and Human Biology Citations source list in Wikipedia user space, which lists a lot of what professional scholars read and write about this topic. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 01:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Social Concept?

Who wrote this nonsense? Race is a scientific, genetic, anatomical, fact. Someone who wrote this article must live in a cave if they think race is about being social. (talk) 21:50, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It's written by American social "scientists". (talk) 23:48, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
See the Talk:Race (human classification)#Single word change in lede? section above, for how the first sentence evolved to define race as a social concept; I noted there that people would object to that single categorization, or anything like it, for the first sentence. Flyer22 (talk) 00:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
A significant number of scientists think it's a biological concept AFAIK. Peasant in Suit (talk) 03:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The professional demographers who work for the United States Census say this: "The U.S. Census Bureau collects race data in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and these data are based on self-identification. The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as 'American Indian' and 'White.' People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race."[1] There is an extensive user bibliography about this issue with many more details for Wikipedians who desire more factual background on what scientists say these days. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 01:34, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

:::::The U.S. Census Bureau is not a reliable source on this question. Race obviously can be socially constructed. You could "socially construct" an "Asian" race. But that wouldn't be biologically valid, as East Asian/West Eurasian is. Why not visit your best local library to find out more? (talk) 04:03, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Checking the time stamps on the various talk page comments here, it seems to me that some careful reading is in order. In fact, there is nothing in the Wikipedia reliable sources content guideline that suggests that an official publication of the United States Bureau of the Census, online or in print, would be a bad source for this article. I can recommend a print source that also lives online

Humes, Karen R.; Jones, Nicholas A.; Ramirez, Roberto R. (March 2011). "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010" (PDF). United States Census Bureau: 2010 Census Briefs. United States Census Bureau. footnote 7. Retrieved 3 October 2014. The race categories included in the census questionnaire general reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and are not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race question include race and national origin or sociocultural groups.  line feed character in |title= at position 31 (help)

for even more detailed information on the topic. I have already recommended in this very same talk page section an extensive bibliography about the topic of this article that includes many books that you can find either in good public libraries (where I found many of them) or in academic libraries (where I found the rest of them). Reading is a wonderful response to curiosity, and I highly recommend it. I especially recommend reading professionally edited books written by experienced scholars on these topics. That kind of reading is much more helpful for future edits to this article than blog posts on political blogs or other sources that are plainly identified by Wikipedia content guidelines as unreliable sources. Renewing the question I posted earlier in another section of this talk page, what sources do you particularly recommend as good sources on this article's topic? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 16:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Struck edits by racist sock. Dougweller (talk) 17:06, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Nice image of global genetic variation

How about including this? Peasant in Suit (talk) 08:22, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I see you currently have this one under 'cluster analysis' Peasant in Suit (talk) 08:38, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

::I think both images could be included. The new one would go well next to the last paragraph in cluster analysis which starts:

"Anthropologists such as C. Loring Brace,[96] the philosophers Jonathan Kaplan and Rasmus Winther,[97][98][99][100] and the geneticist Joseph Graves,[101] have argued that while there it is certainly possible to find biological and genetic variation that corresponds roughly to the groupings normally defined as "continental races", this is true for almost all geographically distinct populations. The cluster structure of the genetic data is therefore dependent on the initial hypotheses of the researcher and the populations sampled. When one samples continental groups, the clusters become continental; if one had chosen other sampling patterns, the clustering would be different..." Peasant in Suit (talk) 08:52, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There are newer secondary sources on the issue, and more detailed explanations of how the latest data interrelate with the overall theoretical framework of classifying human populations. I don't think the proposed graphics, especially the first one mentioned here, the animated gif, have much to add to this article in 2014. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

:Please feel free to specify your newer sources. Is the image I provided not more informative than the 1994 Sforza image? Peasant in Suit (talk) 15:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

PCA of global genetic variation
I uploaded the file. Peasant in Suit (talk) 08:41, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
PCA of global genetic variation
Hmm it's not spinning. This one only spins half way. Peasant in Suit (talk) 08:50, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
"Permission granted.
Doug McDonald" Peasant in Suit (talk) 14:55, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've gone ahead and removed the image. Not only is it presented without context or sourcing to establish weight, it's not based on any reliable sources. As best I can tell, this is not about race, but genetic clustering, which is a related topic and which has it's own article: Race and genetics. aprock (talk) 18:22, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I am going to have to agree with the removal. B/c as cute as the image is, this article is about Race. And race is one thing, and genetic clusters are another conversation. While they exist in the same universe, so do a lot of things. --Inayity (talk) 19:06, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Struck comments by blocked sock of racist Mikemikev, deleted the last as no replies to them - if anyone wants to delete this whole section feel free. Dougweller (talk) 09:12, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Who deleted those images? Copyright was given and Peasant in Suit (talk) 10:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Striking out

What is the reason for striking out all the various material in the sections above? What does it accomplish and who does it? Is there some Wikipedia policy involved? Thanks. Dynasteria (talk) 14:10, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Ask admin who done it, he signed at the bottom. Either way I am not bothered the content was not important.--Inayity (talk) 14:52, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Sock puppet edits are normally either deleted, or, if there has been a response struck through. That can be done by anyone. To do otherwise would be to encourage more socks. Dougweller (talk) 16:46, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

The sockpuppets are all Mikemikev - a vandal who has 200+ banned socks since October, 2010, but with no main-page contributions - he just hangs around on talk-pages trying to start up controversies on racial topics. Wikipedia is not a forum to debate, but Mikemikev uses these race talk pages to troll. FossilMad (talk) 17:55, 14 December 2014 (UTC)


  • Pigliucci, M., & Kaplan, J. (2003). "On the concept of biological race and its applicability to humans". Philosophy of Science. 70(5): 1161-1172.
  • Pigliucci, M. (2013). "What are we to make of the concept of race?: Thoughts of a philosopher–scientist. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C". Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 44(3): 272-277.

These papers argue that races exist in humans as ecotypes. There is no mention of this on the article. Paleoresearcher (talk) 17:23, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Probably because the argument has received little recognition? We don't include every hypothesis ever published. If we were to include the first paper, this comment from the abstract might be relevant:
"We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general correspond with ‘folk’ racial categories, largely because many similar ecotypes have multiple independent origins. Consequently, while human natural races exist, they have little or nothing in common with ‘folk’ races."
AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:44, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Another recent paper by the philosopher of science Pigliucci (co-authored by the human population geneticist Guido Barbujani) points out: "Can we not just say that races are populations between which there are genetic differences? This definition has actually been proposed, but it has a disadvantage. Any two human populations differ genetically to some extent, and so each of them would be labeled as a race, in contrast with current taxonomic practice. But there is more; any pair of human groups, even when defined socially (say, dentists vs. plumbers), or arbitrarily (say, those who wore black shoes vs. those who wore shoes of other colors on June 8th, 2010) will differ in the average of many biological properties, say body weight, speed in running, ability to digest milk or sensitivity to bitter flavors. However, this does not mean that a person’s weight or ability to digest milk has anything to do with that person choosing plumbing or dentistry. The crucial question is not whether we are identical (we are not) but whether humans are like cell phones, which can be Nokia, Samsung or Motorola, but hardly anything in between, in which case the different human brands could legitimately be called races. The answer is no." Human races -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 18:30, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Pigliucci is only criticizing the genetic concept of race which treats races as "clusters" of populations by mean frequencies of shared alleles. The ecotype race concept in contrast: "is not whether there are significant levels of between-population genetic variation overall, but whether there is variation in genes associated with significant adaptive differences between populations" and "if there is sufficient selective pressure to maintain the genetic differences associated with the different adaptive phenotypes, other genes, not so associated, may flow freely between the populations" (Pigliucci & Kaplan, 2003). As an example look at this map of the SLC24A5 gene's derived allele rs1426654 (Ala111Thr) associated with light skin in the western inhabitants of Eurasia:
Global frequency distribution of the SLC24A5 gene's ancestral Ala111 allele (yellow) and its derived Ala111Thr allele (blue).

Paleoresearcher (talk) 23:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Race is religious, and/or social affiliation.

Race is religious, and/or social affiliation. There is no supporting text in the body for this statement in the lead? It does not need a citation [citation needed] it needs to be deleted. --Inayity (talk) 21:53, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree with deleting that part of the sentence. But for the sake of completeness and verifiability, there should still be a citation for the rest of the lead sentence. danielkueh (talk) 22:35, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
From one POV social affiliation is a contributor (while not exclusive) factor in Race. I.e believing your are part of a particular group. I think what was wrong with the sentence was it made it almost seem like religion = race, social affiliation = race, while the latter is a factor. either way supporting content in the body is needed --Inayity (talk) 19:46, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. And until such content supported by reliable sources is forthcoming, we'll stick with your initial suggestion of keeping it off the lead definition. Cheers, danielkueh (talk) 21:48, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I reinserted the citation tag because according to WP:LEADCITE, information in the lead needs to be verified. Granted, the need for citations in the lead should be done on a case-by-case basis and should be based on consensus. There are several reasons why I think a citation is warranted here:
1. Race is a fairly controversial topic and so any information in the lead, especially the lead sentence, should be verified with reputable sources. Adding citations also prevents erroneous information (previously removed) from creeping in.
2. Adding a citation contributes to the stability of the article.
3. Adding a citation to the lead DOES NOT hurt the article. If anything, it improves the quality and reliability of the article. It also helps readers locate the sources quickly without having to read the entire article.
4. Citations already exist in the lead. Adding a citation to the definition would not be inconsistent.
5. This page really needs it.
danielkueh (talk) 08:46, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
If this is the case then pick one of the 20 citation tags from the body and put there. It is hardly something controversial since it is the most common criteria for race, per the body. Adding citations for things which most agree and have been excessively discussed in body are of no use and drop readability. By this reason you then add tags on everything. --Inayity (talk) 09:44, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
By controversy, I am referring to the topic in *general.* It's a topic that can arouse other people's passions. Why do you think a page like this is semi-protected? You must not have followed the recent changes that have been made to the lead definition. Not everyone agrees with the previous definition, which is why it was changed to the current, which as you say, many people do. Citation tags are standard and common in Wikipedia. They may not be pretty or improve readability, but they serve an important purpose, which is to alert the reader as to the quality and reliability of the article. So get used to them. But don't like them? Then insert a citation. It's that simple. Anyway, I do intend to insert a source soon. Plus, it's good to wait a bit so that other editors can read this thread and respond. If you would like to suggest a citation, then paste it on this talk page for discussion. Otherwise, sit back and be patient. danielkueh (talk) 16:06, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
I have been editing Race related articles on Wikipedia for so long I cannot even remember, it is my area. U should look at the contributions to this page cuz I do recall being part of the new lead before you came. I have never seen any disagreement, EVEN from critics of race, that physical traits are central to the definition of race. And there is no disagreement around that. Seems like a very odd thing to take issue with. And I will cease commenting on it. If you have read the rest of the article it is cover over and over again. citations are at the discretion of other editors. I say unnecessary for the tag, but you go and put it back on your own. --Inayity (talk) 17:15, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand my comments. If you did, you would not have written all that. danielkueh (talk) 18:19, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 20 April 2015

This page cites polygenism in the US as promoted by Nott, Morton, et al in "the late 19th century." This should read in "the mid-nineteenth century" (Morton was active in the 1840s and dead by the 1850s, and Nott's most famous polygenist work was in the 1850s, such as Types of Mankind). Wikipedia pages for these authors will bear me out. (talk) 13:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

 Done: [2]. G S Palmer (talkcontribs) 02:01, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Lead sentence

To me having 'as a social construct' in the first sentence implies that there are more ways to define it that will be discussed in the article. For that reason I find it odd that it is included in the first sentence because it seems like it is cherry picking one definition. I think it would be better to split the phrase 'as a social construct' into a second sentence to explain that race being a social construct is the most common, albeit not only, way of thinking of it. That also has the advantage of a sentence corresponding to the first subsection. Something along the following I think would be an improvement.

'Race is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics. Whilst some scholars argue that race correlates with biological traits, there is wide consensus that the racial categories used in everyday usage are instead socially constructed'

Thoughts? Hollth (talk) 14:02, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Before a change can even be considered, you need to first cite reliable sources that support the points being made by your proposed second sentence. As far as I can see, the current lead sentence is supported by reliable sources. Also, I recommend that you take a look at the recent archive of this talk page to view the previous discussions of this issue. danielkueh (talk) 17:32, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I knew it would be contentious, hence posting it before putting it in. My proposal is just an amalgamation of the lead sentence and the first paragraph of the definitions subcategory. Both are already sourced so that shouldn't be an issue. Hollth (talk) 06:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Given the discussions at Talk:Race (human classification)/Archive 33 about initially defining race as a social concept and the #Race is religious, and/or social affiliation. discussion above, I think that the current lead is a good compromise. It's also standard on Wikipedia to have the most common definition first, just like it's often or usually the case that dictionaries and other encyclopedias give the most common definition first. Flyer22 (talk) 14:39, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

It is not common to have the basis for a definition nested in commas as it currently is, much less so if the basis is one of several, nor is it uncommon to have the definition by function (grouping similar looking people) in a separate sentence than the reductionist definition, which is what I would like. To be clear, I'm not trying to change the meaning, I just find it really, really jarring the way it is phrased. If you feel it is undue, I'd be fine with the second sentence being changed to not include scholars arguing that it correlates to biological traits. Hollth (talk) 08:45, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I notice that the book "Race" by Prof John R. Baker, Oxford University Press, 1974, which was once in the bibliography, has been deleted. Any reason for this? (talk) 15:06, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Possibly because it is worthless as a source on the topic. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 11:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the issue (if there is one) being discussed here is mainly about style (the way the lead sentence is written) rather than substance (what the lead sentence actually says). I don't know whether the present format of having "the basis for a definition nested in commas" is common or not. What I do know is that it is not wrong or unorthodox. For a few examples, see the lead sentence in France, Ivory Coast, world, sports, and atheism, just to name a few. Plus, the present lead is consistent with Wikipedia's guidelines on formulating lead sentences (see WP:LEADSENTENCE). I think separating the present lead into two sentences is not an improvement, even if weasel words such as "whilst some scholar argue..." were removed. In fact, it disrupts the otherwise smooth transition to the next sentence, which discusses the historical development of the word race. Anyway, I will let other editors to weigh in and come to a consensus. danielkueh (talk) 17:26, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I fixed up Race (biology) to show it's a social construct. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 03:40, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
And it's been reverted. The race and species concepts are social concepts, for example tomatoes can be fruits or vegetables, and dolphins can be fish or mammals. I think it's important to point out that everything is a social concept, and if people take that to mean "never scientific" that's their problem. It's nobody's intention to deceive the masses for some nefarious purpose after all. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:53, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedias' 'nefarious purpose' is to base article content on material verifiable in published reliable sources, rather than on facile analogies concocted by POV-pushing 'contributors' who clearly don't have a clue what they are writing about. Go find a forum somewhere, and promote your tinfoil-hattery there. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
The lead sentence is problematic because it implies the biological concept cannot be applied to humans. The purpose of Wikipedia is to base article content on material verifiable in published reliable sources, rather than on cherry picked fallacies and sources selected by POV-pushing 'contributors' who clearly don't have a clue what they are writing about. Go find a forum somewhere, and promote your tinfoil-hattery there. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 17:21, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

"Let me begin with race. There is a widespread feeling that the word "race" indicates something undesirable and that it should be left out of all discussions. This leads to such statements as "there are no human races." Those who subscribe to this opinion are obviously ignorant of modern biology. Races are not something specifically human; races occur in a large percentage of species of animals. You can read in every textbook on evolution that geographic races of animals, when isolated from other races of their species, may in due time become new species. The terms 11 subspecies" and "geographic race" are used interchangeably in this taxonomic literature."

Mayr 2002 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Captain JT Verity MBA (talkcontribs) 17:49, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I reverted an edit by Captain JT Verity MBA because it was not supported by the sources in the lead sentence and there doesn't appear to be consensus for this change. danielkueh (talk) 19:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
It's supported by Mayr above. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 19:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I think you're missing the context here. Race, as it is used by Mayr, refers to "breed" or "varieties". The Mayr reference is more applicable to the Race (biology) article. Also, this reference was published in 1953, before the days of the human genome. If we're going to rely on quotes by scientists, then at least use a recent one such as this quote by another biologist, Craig Venter, who described race as follows:
"Race is a social concept. It's not a scientific one. There are no bright lines (that would stand out), if we could compare all the sequenced genomes of everyone on the planet." "When we try to apply science to try to sort out these social differences, it all falls apart."[109].
danielkueh (talk) 19:50, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

You are looking at an article that discusses race applied to humans, you tell me he means "breeds and varieties" when he uses the word race, when he explicitly states he is talking about the word race, and you say "I think you're missing the context here". I think you are missing simple comprehension, intentionally or no. The article is from 2002. Here's another from 2002.

"Effectively, these population genetic studies have recapitulated the classical definition of races based on continental ancestry - namely African, Caucasian (Europe and Middle East), Asian, Pacific Islander (for example, Australian, New Guinean and Melanesian), and Native American." (Risch, 2002)

Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 19:57, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

@Captain JT. You're right, it is published in 2002. But my point about its relevance to this article still stands. As you know, this article is separate from the Race (biology) article. If they are one and the same, then yes, we would define race differently. Hence, "context" is important. "Breeds" and "varieties" are common subspecies classifications. danielkueh (talk) 20:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
The point of Mayr's article is that they are the same in a biological context. Try reading it again. In a social context race may of course be different. Breed and variety are infrasubspecific categories, as is race. Therefore to claim race is always "social" is just false. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 20:12, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Captain JT, then you're asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is why are there two separate articles? Until you get that resolved, there is really nothing more to discuss. danielkueh (talk) 20:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Because one is about the biological race concept in general and one is about the race concept applied to humans biologically and socially. I take though that since such a huge problem exists I can edit the first sentence? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 20:21, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Captain JT, You're missing my point. You need to figure out why the word "race" is defined differently in both articles. For starters, take a look at Webster's dictionary on race [3]. You will notice there are multiple definitions of race, depending on the context. Try to figure out which definition fits here and which definition fits there [Race (biology) article]. danielkueh (talk) 20:30, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be defined differently if the POV pushers on this article put in the biological race concept applied to humans. And we include any other social definitions and POVs, including race is biological meaningless. Multiple definitions and POVs are possible in an article. This is what NPOV is about. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 20:38, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Captain JT, Really? So there is only one definition of race? And one commentary by Mayr trumps everybody else? Interesting. So why do we have two articles again? danielkueh (talk) 20:43, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
At this point I am reporting you for wilfully misunderstanding me. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 20:45, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Captain JT, Ok, good luck with that. :) danielkueh (talk) 20:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Captain JT Verity MBA: Supposed the qualifer, "as a social construct," was removed, resulting in a more straightforward lead sentence as follows:

Race is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics.

Would this slight modification address your concern? I'm asking this question in good faith (WP:AGF). danielkueh (talk) 06:51, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

That is not a possible definition since it is a direct contradiction of the mainstream viewpoint and the vast majority of sources. Mayr was certainly a good biologist, but he was working in a period where a very different understanding of race was current - his view has primarily historical value.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:25, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: How is it a contradiction? It doesn't say it is not a social construct. Plus, the second lead paragraph makes that point. danielkueh (talk) 12:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Because most mainstream research does not see phenotypical traits as causally defining the construction of racial groups at all - lots of other factors play a role in defining those groups as well including economy, politics, ethnicity etc. By taking phenotype as defining racial groups it de facto suggests a biological rather than constructionist model. The current definition flatly contradicts at least one of the references that is used to supprt it, namely the Smedley and Smedley that states directly that races are not characterized by any distinct biological traits. Besides this entire discussion is futile since it does not actually build on any sources but just personal musings. It is a discussion we have had countless times here, and we cannot reboot it every time a race realist surfs by and wants to redefine the concept to fir their preconceptions. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:00, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The "as a social concept" parenthtical needs to be removed as it adds nothing but unnecessary hedging.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:04, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: I am confused by the last statement. Are you saying it should be removed or are you making a larger point?
I am saying it should be removed. The larger point, namely that a definition needs to be based on reliable sources, is in the preceding statement in response to you.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:14, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: I take your point about basing the lead definition on reliable sources, which it is. With or without the qualifier "as a social concept." I am just confused because I had assumed that you wish to retain the qualifier. Now you're suggesting that it be removed. Is that correct? danielkueh (talk) 13:20, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
No it is not based on reliable sources - it contradicts them. And no, the "qualifier" suggests that there is a "biological" AND a "social concept" which is not the case. The vast majority of scholars, both in the social and biological sciences, consider race to be a social concept thamay or may not correlate significantly with biological variables. Saying "race, as a social concept" is meaningless, whereas "race is a social concept" is the standard view.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:24, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus: Actually, it is. It is based on three sources cited in the lead definition. A lot of things are social concepts. Color and gender identity for instance. The lead definition in those articles don't explicitly mention social concepts. I guess the larger question would be should we rename this page from Race (human classification) to Race (social construct), so as to better distinguish it from Race (biology)? danielkueh (talk) 13:36, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
It is not a meaningful thing to say that a definition is based on a source whose definition it contradicts. So no, it actyually isn't based on reliable sources. And yes, all concepts are social concepts. Which is why we do not need to add it, and why it adds nothing to the definition and needs to be removed. Having a POV fork is not a solution to anything. And renaming it "social construct" is not possible either since scholarship is not unanimous in their acceptance of the lack of biological basis for race - there are of course still proponents of biological race in different ways. It is unlikely we will find a consensus for another title. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:52, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: Ok, now I am really confused. Are you saying we should not even mention "social concept" in the lead definition at all? Is that right? danielkueh (talk) 13:59, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Not if the definition is worded right, which it is not currently since it is worded in a way that suggests the concept is biologically defined. A better definition would be "Race is a system used to classify humans into large groups based on different combinations of biological and cultural features including phenotype, ancestry, ethnic markers and socio-economic factors." ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:22, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
A majority of biologists and anthropologists think the race concept applied to humans is a physically meaningful and objective biological concept. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 14:18, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Source? AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:19, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
That is 100% counter factual and shows that you are either entirely ignorant of the literature or willfully misrepresent it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:22, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: But adding "cultural features" would directly contradict the sources in the lead. danielkueh (talk) 14:26, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
If you think that then you have either not read them or not understood them. It is the entire point of the Smedley source that cultural factors play a role in racialization (quote: "It is the culturally invented ideas and beliefs about these differences that constitute the meaning of race (A. Smedley, 1999b).") Smedley in fact defines "race" not as a concept but as a social and political ideology which emerges from and supports a racist society. This is a quite extreme version of the cultural constructionist view - although not necessarily a fringe view. But in addition those three random sources are not the best at all for a definition. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:28, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: It is silly to even suggest that I did not read or understand the sources. The first two sources especially are quite clear. See p. 6 of source 1, p. 63 and 65. of source 2. danielkueh (talk) 14:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
The Race Question is from 1950 and suggesting it has something other than historical value for describing how we understand race today is what is silly. I have not read Sharma and Sharma, but being a text book published in India in 1997, it is not a particularly good source and I have no clue why anyone would have chosen it. Honestly even referring to those shows poor judgment, and limited knowledge of the field.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:41, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: The UNESCO reference has not been systematically refuted or disproven (e.g., see p. 75 of [4]). If you haven't read Sharma and Sharma, then you cannot discredit it or make the claim that the lead definition contradicts the source. Also, just because the book is published in India or in 1997 does not make it an inferior source. To suggest that it is on that basis IS silly. danielkueh (talk) 14:51, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
That is an absurd comment. You are clearly not capable of judging the quality of sources in this field. Are you seriously claiming that there has been no changes in how scientists view race over the past 75 years? And yes an 20 year old Indian textbook can not in anyway be considered likely to represent the mainstream of anthropology 25 years later. They are crap sources. The only relatively useful source of the three is Smedleys, but even that is not useful for provding an acceptable general definition. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:54, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: Commenting on my ability to judge sources or using disparaging remarks such as "absurd comment" will not advance your argument. Right now, you're just shifting the goal post. First, you made the claim that the sources contradict the lead definition but you haven't provided specific paragraphs and sentences in these sources to support your claim. In fact, you haven't even read one of the sources, or the other one that I suggested, which undermines your argument. Second, now you claim that the sources are crap. To support your claim, you point to a location of publication (India). That is elitist and irrelevant. The burden of proof is still on you. danielkueh (talk) 15:07, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, I said that the definition is not based on RS. Two of the sources are not reliable at all and the third which is contradict the definition given. Someone clearly fucked up big time when they wrote the definition, cherry picking to antiquated sources and adding a third without reading it. And location of publication is of course extremely relevant - because science is international and publishing in international presses is one of the hallmarks of good current mainstream science - especially in terms of race where some local traditions have been very slow to adopt the consensus view. And the fact that you show yourself entirely unable to recognize a reliable source is also extremely relevant for future discussions. Your statement about the Unesco statement not having been "disproven" is particularly ludicruous as it shows you havent even read the article about the statement, or you would have known that the statement was heavily criticized and three further revised statements were published in 1951 1967 and 1978 - none of which reflect the current state of knowledge either.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:13, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: The third source does not contradict the lead sentence. It merely states that race is not meaningful as a way of classifying groups of people, which is consistent with the first two sources and with new sources. Furthermore, its description of race, from its historical origins to its present day use, is consistent with the first two sources. The UNESCO reference has been criticized, but for different reasons. I have the read the Sharma and Sharma reference. You haven't. And to suggest that a publication is inferior simply because it is published in India is not a tenable argument, which is why I am perplexed why you would even suggest that. And your last statement on my ability to recognize source is also irrelevant. You're not debating the contents of the sources. And you have not offered a source to support your alternative definition above. In fact, you are resorting to cheap tricks (e.g., personal attacks), which I have to say, is very disappointing, given our previous collaborations in other WP articles. danielkueh (talk) 15:28, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
I am not going to keep up this conversation. You are either not willing or able to understand the arguments of the sources you use or the arguments I have presented as to why they are inadequate. That is such a fundamental problem of competence that I can think of no way to actually make you get what is wrong with your approach. I will however restate the problem: The lead is based on three sources, one of which is a 75 year old statement that has since been revised three times and which has no way of reflecting anything useful about current understandings of race. The second is a textbook published in India 25 years ago - and which did not even represent what was the mainstream view in 1997. The third is an article that uses a radical view of race that contradicts 100% the view that it is used to support. That you can spend several screens defending that state of affairs, means tha at this point I have little hope of ever having a rational conversation with you. Hence I shall waste no more time. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
@Maunus and Snunɐɯ: I don't know you have access but here are three journal articles from the American Anthropologist:
  1. Caspari (2003). From Types to Populations: A Century of Race, Physical Anthropology, and the American Anthropological Association. American Anthropologist, 105: 65-<
  2. Visweswaran, K. (1998). Race and the culture of anthropology. American Anthropologist, 100: 70-83. <>
  3. Cartmill (1998). The status of the race concept in physical anthropology. American Anthropologist, 100:651-660. <>
We can add these sources to the lead but they won't change a single thing because their descriptions of race are consistent with the other three sources. We can even add more.
So far you have only made baseless assertions without pointing to concrete specific examples to support them. You haven't presented any source for discussion. It is your prerogative not to continue this discussion on this talk page. But I would like to remind you that WP policies still stand: WP:consensus, WP:own, WP:OR, WP:RS. If you wish to initiate an RfC for a new lead. Fine, that is something I can support. But if you wish to edit this article without regard to the views and comments of the other editors but your own, then you are potentially initiating an edit war WP:Edit_warring. danielkueh (talk) 16:55, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Multiple sources have been presented on this talk page supporting race as a biological concept. It is simply incorrect to describe it only as a social construct in the lead, and a clear case of POV editing. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:36, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Problematic opening

From the opening entry: "Although still used in general contexts, race has often been replaced by other words which are less ambiguous and emotionally charged, such as populations, people(s), ethnic groups, or communities, depending on context."

- This is misleading and incorrect because the "race = population" was a failed 1950-60s re-definition attempt by Theodosius Dobzhansky who didn't want to abandon the race concept when it was being abandoned at the time. As Montagu wrote:

"It seems to me an unrealistic procedure to maintain that this late in the day we can readapt the term “race” to mean something utterly different from what it has always most obfuscatingly and ambiguously meant." - Montagu, A. (1962). "The concept of race". American Anthropologist. 64(5:1):919-928

Clearly populations exist and no one denies them - so its inaccurate to state "race" has simply been replaced with this other word when breeding populations have nothing to do with race in the first place. Are the Amish then a race? Ralph Roadrash (talk) 19:02, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Basically my point is the opening reads as if human races are actually real and that through politically correct semantics or word-play "race" has been replaced with "population" or "people groups" etc. This is false, and is actually an argument racist hereditarians or "race realists" use like Richard Lynn. Ralph Roadrash (talk) 01:29, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. Unfortunately it is partly the case that some people who continue to believe in races as discrete biological entities have simply adopted population as a euphemism. However of course sensible folks realize that a population (not breeding population, just a collection of individuals) has very different implications than the idea of races as discrete biological or evolutionary units. Several analyses show that in the literature the term "population" is often used in ways that are indistinguishable in implications from the traditional race concept, leading to equally problematic conclusions and analyses.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:57, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
No, that's exactly what happened. "Population" is a very broad term. "Race" groups by ancestry, or genetic or phenetic similarity. It is a precise defined term with predictive validity. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Nonsense.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:59, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Who is currently checking sources for this article?

I see that there have been quite a few edits to this article recently that cite no source, and on the whole this article still needs much better sourcing to meet the expected standard of Wikipedia articles. Since 2010, I have been compiling a source list for this article and articles on related topics, and I'd be delighted to hear from other active editors here what other sources you know that fit the Wikipedia content guideline on reliable sources and especially the Wikipedia content guideline on reliable sources for medical topics. I think if we look at reliable sources together, we will be able to resolve many of the recent issues that have come up in editing this article. Please let us know what you recommend that we read to follow Wikipedia policy and guidelines to improve this article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 22:50, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

It is claimed in the article that forensic scientists can identify someone's race (= ancestry by continent) with high accuracy, almost 100%. This is simply false and is challenged in numerous recent studies, e.g. Henneberg who found as low as < 30% accuracy:

Note the 100% claim from the page is using Sesardic as a source. Sesardic is a philosopher not a physical anthropologist. Ralph Roadrash (talk) 23:18, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

You are right, although forensic textbooks still claim to be able to identify race with high accuracy. The claim in the article was inserted as a concession to some "race realist" editors who used to be actively editing the page. It is of course true that forensic anthropologists are partly overstating their case (because they would be mostly out of a job if they claimed it was hard to identify race) and partly using some leaps of reasoning (i.e. identifying aspects of ancestry and then making claims about race based on how their society relates race and ancestry). I would be open to a rewriting with newer and better sources.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:15, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
This quote is probably relevant:

"The claim of 90% accuracy that has been reported for “race”- determination methods is unsubstantiated. Despite the relatively high-allocation accuracies (often more than 80%, but rarely more than 90%) and the strength of the statistical significance that are noted when various methods are first described, the comprehensive independent tests of “race”-determination methods consistently result in low-allocation accuracies." - Albanese, John, and Shelley R. Saunders. "Is It Possible to Escape Racial Typology in Forensic Identification?". (2006). In: Forensic Anthropology and Medicine. Humana Press: 281-316.

What Sesardic (2010) never took into account was the lack of consistency between different methods when applied to the same skeleton, e.g. "For example, one unknown was classified as “Black” with the Giles and Elliot method, “White” with the Gill method, “Japanese” with FORDISC using the FDB data, and “from the Philippines” with FORDISC using the Howells’ data." (Ibid). So when you look at a number of methods (Henneberg looked at 9) the overall accuracy for racial assessment of a skeleton is moderate to low, nowhere near the 80-90% claim cited commonly in forensic literature, or the 100% figure by 'race realists'.Ralph Roadrash (talk) 20:57, 12 May 2015 (UTC) :"What Sesardic (2010) never took into account was the lack of consistency between different methods when applied to the same skeleton"

Shouldn't that read "What Sesardic (2010) never took into account was the lack of consistency between different methods when applied to one cherry picked skeleton" (talk) 04:33, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Struck post by block-evading racist Mikemikev. Dougweller (talk) 13:36, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
No. See Henneberg's study: "In 14 cases (70%), various methods identified the same individual as belonging to all three racial classes. This suggests that the existing methods for the determination of ‘race’ are compromised." 70% of of Henneberg's skeletal samples were identified as White, Black or Asian depending on the method. This is nothing new, and is what happens when you apply different methods to the same skeleton. As the 2006 study notes: "comprehensive independent tests of “race”-determination methods consistently result in low-allocation accuracies." Ralph Roadrash (talk) 07:22, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
The reason for the above is that there is far more variation within continental populations than between them: "We have shown that even with 20 non-fragmented sets of skeletal remains none could be consistently placed into a single racial category. Individual variability may have played a significant role leading to inconsistency of the results found in this study, which further confirms the ideas of Brace and Ryan (1980), Henneberg (2010) and Lewontin (1976); that most human variation occurs between individuals of the same population rather than being attributable to geographic distribution." (Sierp & Henneberg, 2015). Ralph Roadrash (talk) 07:38, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Cherry picked sources

Going through this article the sourcing is disgraceful and cherry picked to support the "race is biologically meaningless" POV. Where is Mayr, Dobzhansky, Rushton, Dawkins, Strkalj, Sesardic, Risch, Witherspoon etc.? Instead we have only Smedley, Keita, Montagu, Dorothy Roberts, Marks, Graves, Templeton, Brace, Lewontin etc., all referenced again and again with what can only be described as a censorship of contrary points. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 19:49, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Mayr and Dobzhansky should be mentioned for historical reasons. Rushton, Sesardic and Risch are irrelevant fringe nonsense. Strkalj used to be included. Dawkins is not a specialist in either race or human population genetics and his few highly publicized opinions on the matter are irrelevant to this article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:03, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Why are they "irrelevant fringe nonsense"? Because you don't like them? You're seriously suggesting we reference Dorothy Roberts over Dawkins on biological taxonomy? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 14:31, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Race is not about biological taxonomy, regardless of whether Dawkins think it is. Dawkins has not published anything about race, and therefore is not a reliable source on the topic except for his own point of view which happens not to be notable here (he just restates Edwards view which is notable and included). As for Rushton he is irrelevant fringe nonsense because he are not considered serious reputable scientists by anyone in the field. Sesardic is a philosopher. And Risch is not generally taken seriously in relation to race (same goes for Cochran and Harpending which is presumably your next suggestions).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:49, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
You seem to have this strange conception of "the field" as "those people that agree with my POV". Rather than providing any kind of objective analysis your statements amount to little more than gratuitous name calling. Isn't Dorothy Roberts a law professor? How is Sesardic the philosopher of biological science less relevant? Risch is not generally taken seriously in relation to race: by whom? Those people that agree with you or those people who approve his work to be published in top biology journals? Is Graves taken seriously? Is this why his work is referenced by nobody? Is Graves to be taken more seriously than Rushton? Why? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
I now understand your agenda. J. Philippe Rushton was one the most notorious racists in modern science. Not even the species concept is well-understood in modern evolutionary biology. Yes, there is genetic variation across populations within a species. When applied to humans, race is largely a social construct (largely associated with skin color and geographic region), but this social notion of race does not map nicely into genetic variation. --I am One of Many (talk) 22:29, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
That's very interesting. Would you like to explain how you define race, apply it to humans, and then explain why it "does not map nicely into genetic variation". Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:10, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
As a social construct, race is 'defined' by the particular sociocultural context. It has no external definition. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:29, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
How convenient. According to you race has no defnition. Unfortunately according to any number of biologists it is a valid concept. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
You seem to think that repeating something often enough makes it so. That is not the case. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:53, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
As a speaker of English, you are probably aware that words can have radically different meanings in different contexts. Race in social and cultural contexts has various meanings and is often applied based on superficial characteristics such as skin color, religion, region where a person was born. We don't know whether these social and cultural distinctions map onto genetic population differences population differences are biologically meaningful. I think to really understand the problems here, you need to take a careful look at the relevant literature in evolutionary biology, population biology, and quantitative genetics.--I am One of Many (talk) 18:06, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure race concepts based on "skin color" don't map onto genetic population differences very well. Species concepts based on "fur color" would probably be pretty useless too. Luckily no biologist in his right mind would apply such an absurd concept. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:40, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
There's quite the difference between socially constructed race as above mentioned and the actual being of race as a population group. So, I disagree. Khoisan itself is a race, as race has not meant sub-species since the earth 20th century--and so is quite the strawman arguement. Race means macro-population group, a traceable migratory population with shared ancestry (DNA) & cultural inheritance, so linguistics, religion, cuisine, architecture what have you. Clines are related to races, and are representative of the bounds crossed by nomadic populations. Clines are not perfectly applicable to Humans, however, as southern Indians, Dravidians, C Y-DNA, origin of Roma, though rather Caucasoid/Caucasian, do not have white-skin gene, though are no further from the equator than much more pale populations. Though there exists a common misconception that somehow sub-species cannot intermate, incorrect, what races are can be understood to be a type, a varieta, variety, of the Human sub-specie, as macro-population groups of shared ancestry (copulation) & cultural inheritance (contact). So, I agree with the OP. There is no room for soapboxing. WP:NOT#SOAP WP:NOTADVOCATE WP:NOTOPINION WP:NOTBLOG WP:NOTCENSORED WP:NPOV W124l29 (talk) 22:21, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Franz Boas

See Franz_Boas#Physical_anthropology. His findings were far from "demonstrated" and are thought by some to have been fraudulent. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 14:48, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Please provide secondary sources (e.g., university textbooks, monograms, review journal articles, etc) along with page numbers and relevant quotes (See WP:SECONDARY). Thanks. danielkueh (talk) 14:52, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
No this is just a time wasting stratagem. You can see that the finding is disputed by top scholars and cannot be described as "demonstrated". Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 14:53, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not a waste of time. It is Wikipedia's policy (See WP:RS), which we all (myself included) have to abide by. As for that wikilink, I see post hoc disagreements about his findings. But that is different from what you are trying to do. danielkueh (talk) 14:55, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
So you are trying to say that Jantz and Gravlee's papers are not RS? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:01, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
That is not what I said. What I said is you need to cite reliable secondary sources. See above for details. danielkueh (talk) 15:03, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course I don't. We have reviewed PNAS papers disputing Boas' claims. Why do those need to be repeated elsewhere to be valid? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:05, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
You're claiming that Boas committed fraud. That is a serious assertion, which requires evidence. The threshold here is a reliable secondary sources. Again, please familiarize yourself with WP's policies such as WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:RS. Believe it or not, having sources will only help you. danielkueh (talk)
No I was changing "demonstrated" to "claimed" when you started reverting me. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
He didn't just claim, he presented evidence, which is what the current source says. Also, you inserted additional wording about fraud. (See [5]). danielkueh (talk) 15:16, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
So you deny that I changed "demonstrated" to "claimed" and you reverted that? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 15:19, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't deny that. I reverted it because it gave the impression that that is all he did, which is not consistent with the cited source. I also reverted your other assertion that fraud was committed. Again, we go with the source. danielkueh (talk) 15:22, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
No not "again". You reverted with no idea what you were talking about. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 16:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I call on any uninvolved administrator who is following the discussion here to be ready to impose the ArbCom discretionary sanctions that already apply to this article on Captain JT Verity MBA for his persistent disruptive behavior here. I will meanwhile, in a while in a new article talk page section, try to shed some light on the content issues here with links to current sources, some of which have yet to be cited in this article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:28, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Can you explain how I am disruptive and others aren't? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 17:37, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I think if is clear POV to push for the inclusion of the scientific racist views J. Philippe Rushton and to remove the views of Franz Boas, one of the leading critics of Scientific racism.--I am One of Many (talk) 22:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Whereas entirely censoring Rushton isn't POV, because he's "racist", whatever that means in this context. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 23:00, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
The word 'racist' has the same meaning in this context as any other, as far as I'm aware. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:30, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Could you define it so I understand the relevant point. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:40, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
No. This talk page is for discussions regarding article content. It is not a correspondence course in elementary sociology. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:56, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Are you also of the opinion that Rushton's view should be censored because it's "racist" (whatever that means). Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 08:47, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Racist views are fringe and in this context, they should be given no weight. --I am One of Many (talk) 17:57, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Can you point to the policy that forbids the addition of "racist" views (whatever they might be exactly). Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:31, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────See WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 04:09, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

There is literally nothing there about "racism". You are just making up policies. That's disgraceful. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 00:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
See also WP:COMPETENCE. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 10:36, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Does the incredibly cheap tactic of randomly naming policies which in no way apply and which you fail to demonstrate apply ever work out for you? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 00:21, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Sort it out here, page protected for 3 days

Get some other opinions. The two editors editing the article (you know who you are) are over 3RR. Doug Weller (talk) 15:30, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. danielkueh (talk) 15:31, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Discussion of useful sources for updating this article

Some other editors have requested discussion of reliable sources for updating this article, particularly from the biological point of view, and as I gather sources about that topic for updating this article and related articles on Wikipedia, I thought I'd mention some particularly new, good sources by expert authors published in professionally edited publications for use in updating this article. Other editors are of course very welcome to discuss other useful sources here. I gathered these sources in part by tracing references to some important earlier scientific journal articles (key articles that are already cited in this Wikipedia article) to see how those sources are viewed in late of subsequent genetic discoveries. Other sources listed here are simply new sources about the general article topic or important subtopics, also well informed by current research, that appear not have been used in this article yet. Several of those sources update sources by the same author(s) already cited in this article. I'll list some sources I think are worthy of use for this article in approximate chronological order of publication. I think we all agree that this article here on Wikipedia should be well sourced with current reliable sources.

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is a medical doctor who was a student of Ronald Fisher in statistics, who has devoted most of his career to genetic research. In an invited review article for the 2007 Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, Cavalli-Sforza joins issue directly with the underlying factual disagreement among previous authors about how genetic data might or might not relate to race classification.


In the early 1980s, Lewontin (11) showed that when genetic variation for protein markers is estimated by comparing two or more random individuals from the same populations, or two or more individuals from the whole world, the former is 85% as large as the latter. This means that the variation between populations is the residual 15%, and hence relatively trivial. Later research carried out on a limited number of populations and mostly, though not only, on protein markers has confirmed this analysis. The Rosenberg et al. data actually bring down Lewontin’s estimate to 5%, or even less. Therefore, the variation between populations is even smaller than the original 15%, and we also know that the exact value depends on the choice of populations and markers. But the between-population variation, even if it is very small is certainly enough to reconstruct the genetic history of populations—that is their evolution—but is it enough for distinguishing races in some useful way? The comparison with other mammals shows that humans are almost at the lower extreme of the scale of between-population variation. Even so, subtle statistical methods let us assign individuals to the populations of origin, even distinguishing populations from the same continent, if we use enough genetic markers. But is this enough for distinguishing races? Darwin already had an answer. He gave two reasons for doubting the usefulness of races: (1) most characters show a clear geographic continuity, and (2) taxonomists generated a great variety of race classifications. Darwin lists the numbers of races estimated by his contemporaries, which varied from 2 to 63 races.

Rosenberg et al. (16 and later work) analyzed the relative statistical power of the most efficient subdivisions of the data with a number of clusters varying from 2 to 6, and showed that five clusters have a reasonable statistical power. Note that this result is certainly influenced by the populations chosen for the analysis. The five clusters are not very different from those of a few partitions that had already existed in the literature for some time, and the clusters are: (a) a sub-Saharan African cluster, (b) North Africa–Europe plus a part of western Asia that is approximately bounded eastward by the central Asian desert and mountains, (c) the eastern rest of Asia, (d ) Oceania, and (e) the Americas. But what good is this partition? The Ramachandran et al. (15) analysis of the same data provides a very close prediction of the genetic differences between the same populations by the simplest geographic tool: the geographic distance between the two populations, and two populations from the same continent are on average geographically closer than two from different ones. However, the Rosenberg et al. analysis (16) adds the important conclusion that the standard classification into classical continents must be modified to replace continental boundaries with the real geographic barriers: major oceans, or deserts like the Sahara, or other deserts and major mountains like those of central Asia. These barriers have certainly decreased, but they have not entirely suppressed genetic exchanges across them. Thus, the Rosenberg et al. analysis confirms a pattern of variation based on pseudocontinents that does not eliminate the basic geographic continuity of genetic variation. In fact, the extension by Ramachandran et al. of the original Rosenberg et al. analysis showed that populations that are geographically close have an overwhelming genetic similarity, well beyond that suggested by continental or pseudocontinental partitions.

cont. "The number of groups to be distinguished depends on the differences among popula- tions that are really useful for some valid purpose, and we still have not decided on criteria to choose populations that we want to distinguish. Therefore, the real question remains: What do we want races for? Let us start by agreeing on what could be the most important reason for defining “races.” Incidentally, I am inclined to dismiss the word “race” because of its connection with the odious episodes of racism with which we are continuously con- fronted. The word “populations” is useful in statistics for defining the group from which we draw samples, but is in practice used arbitrarily, and perhaps the most neutral term could be that used by Rosenberg et al. (16): “clusters.” We want to define useful genetic clusters. But more than a term to be used, what I am looking for here is a general agreement on a good reason for doing research aiming to define a useful genetic stratification of populations, and it seems to me we can really find it in research that can be of help for medicine, that is for diagnosis and therapy.
The expression “ethnic groups” is also useful, but especially in situations in which it is not clear if the basic difference is of genetic or cultural (including socioeconomic) nature, or both." Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 05:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

A year later Cavalli-Sforza joined seventeen other genetics researchers as co-authors of a review article, published as an "open letter" to other scholars, on using racial categories in human genetics.

  • Lee, Sandra; Mountain, Joanna; Koenig, Barbara; Altman, Russ; Brown, Melissa; Camarillo, Albert; Cavalli-Sforza, Luca; Cho, Mildred; Eberhardt, Jennifer; Feldman, Marcus; Ford, Richard; Greely, Henry; King, Roy; Markus, Hazel; Satz, Debra; Snipp, Matthew; Steele, Claude; Underhill, Peter (2008). "The ethics of characterizing difference: guiding principles on using racial categories in human genetics" (PDF). Genome Biology. 9 (7): 404. doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-7-404. ISSN 1465-6906. Retrieved 3 December 2013. We recognize that racial and ethnic categories are created and maintained within sociopolitical contexts and have shifted in meaning over time Human genetic variation within continents is, for the most part, geographically continuous and clinal, particularly in regions of the world that have not received many immigrants in recent centuries [18]. Genetic data cannot reveal an individual’s full geographic ancestry precisely, although emerging research has been used to identify geographic ancestry at the continental and subcontinental levels [3,19]. Genetic clusters, however, are far from being equivalent to sociopolitical racial or ethnic categories. 
  • Koenig, Barbara A.; Lee, Sandra Soo-jin; Richardson, Sarah S., eds. (2008). Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-4324-6. Lay summary (24 November 2010). 

This book (Koenig, Lee, and Richardson 2008) is useful because it includes a chapter co-authored by Richard Lewontin in which he updates his views.

  • Whitmarsh, Ian; Jones, David S., eds. (2010). What's the Use of Race?: Modern Governance and the Biology of Difference. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-51424-8. Lay summary (28 April 2013). 

The Whitmarsh and Jones (2010) source has several very useful chapters on medical genetics.

  • Ramachandran, Sohini; Tang, Hua; Gutenkunst, Ryan N.; Bustamante, Carlos D. (2010). "Chapter 20: Genetics and Genomics of Human Population Structure". In Speicher, Michael R.; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.; Motulsky, Arno G. Vogel and Motulsky's Human Genetics: Problems and Approaches (PDF). Heidelberg: Springer Scientific. pp. 589–615. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-37654-5. ISBN 978-3-540-37653-8. Retrieved 29 October 2013. Lay summary (4 September 2010). Most studies of human population genetics begin by citing a seminal 1972 paper by Richard Lewontin bearing the title of this subsection [29]. Given the central role this work has played in our field, we will begin by discussing it briefly and return to its conclusions throughout the chapter. In this paper, Lewontin summarized patterns of variation across 17 polymorphic human loci (including classical blood groups such as ABO and M/N as well as enzymes which exhibit electrophoretic variation) genotyped in individuals across classically defined 'races' (Caucasian, African, Mongoloid, South Asian Aborigines, Amerinds, Oceanians, Australian Aborigines [29] ). A key conclusion of the paper is that 85.4% of the total genetic variation observed occurred within each group. That is, he reported that the vast majority of genetic differences are found within populations rather than between them. In this paper and his book The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change [30], Lewontin concluded that genetic variation, therefore, provided no basis for human racial classifications. ... His finding has been reproduced in study after study up through the present: two random individuals from any one group (which could be a continent or even a local population) are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world (see proportion of variation within populations in Table 20.1 and [20]). 
cont. "While it is an undeniable mathematical fact that the amount of genetic variation observed within groups is much larger than the differences among groups, this does not mean that genetic data do not contain discern- able information regarding genetic ancestry. In fact, we will see that minute differences in allele frequen- cies across loci when compounded across the whole of the genome actually contain a great deal of informa- tion regarding ancestry. Given current technology, for example, it is feasible to accurately identify individu- als from populations that differ by as little as 1% in F ST if enough markers are genotyped. (See discussion below for a detailed treatment of the subject.) It is also important to note that when one looks at correlations in allelic variation across loci, self-identifi ed popula- tions and populations inferred for human subjects using genetic data correspond closely [12, 53] . " Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 04:35, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Like Whitmarsh and Jones (2010), the Krimsky and Sloan (2011) source has several useful chapters on medical genetics.

  • Tattersall, Ian; DeSalle, Rob (1 September 2011). Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth. Texas A&M University Anthropology series number fifteen. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-60344-425-5. Retrieved 17 November 2013. Lay summary (17 November 2013). Actually, the plant geneticist Jeffry Mitton had made the same observation in 1970, without finding that Lewontin's conclusion was fallacious. And Lewontin himself not long ago pointed out that the 85 percent within-group genetic variability figure has remained remarkably stable as studies and genetic markers have multiplied, whether you define populations on linguistic or physical grounds. What's more, with a hugely larger and more refined database to deal with, D. J. Witherspoon and colleagues concluded in 2007 that although, armed with enough genetic information, you could assign most individuals to 'their' population quite reliably, 'individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own.' 
  • Barbujani, Guido; Colonna, Vincenza (15 September 2011). "Chapter 6: Genetic Basis of Human Biodiversity: An Update". In Zachos, Frank E.; Habel, Jan Christian. Biodiversity Hotspots: Distribution and Protection of Conservation Priority Areas. Springer. pp. 97–119. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-20992-5_6. ISBN 978-3-642-20992-5. Retrieved 23 November 2013. The massive efforts to study the human genome in detail have produced extraordinary amounts of genetic data. Although we still fail to understand the molecular bases of most complex traits, including many common diseases, we now have a clearer idea of the degree of genetic resemblance between humans and other primate species. We also know that humans are genetically very close to each other, indeed more than any other primates, that most of our genetic diversity is accounted for by individual differences within populations, and that only a small fraction of the species’ genetic variance falls between populations and geographic groups thereof. 

The book chapter by Barbujani and Colonna (2011) above is especially useful for various Wikipedia articles as a contrast between biodiversity in other animals and biodiversity in Homo sapiens.

  • Barbujani, Guido; Ghirotto, S.; Tassi, F. (2013). "Nine things to remember about human genome diversity". Tissue Antigens. 82 (3): 155–164. doi:10.1111/tan.12165. ISSN 0001-2815. The small genomic differences between populations and the extensive allele sharing across continents explain why historical attempts to identify, once and for good, major biological groups in humans have always failed. ... We argue that racial labels may not only obscure important differences between patients but also that they have become positively useless now that cheap and reliable methods for genotyping are making it possible to pursue the development of truly personalized medicine. 

By the way, the Barbujani, Ghirotto, and Tassi (2013) article has a very interesting discussion of SNP typing overlaps across the entire individual genome among some of the first human beings to have their entire individual genomes sequenced, with an especially interesting Venn diagram that would be a good graphic to add to this article.

  • Barbujani, Guido; Pigliucci, Massimo (2013). "Human races" (PDF). Current Biology. 23 (5): R185–R187. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.024. ISSN 0960-9822. Retrieved 2 December 2013. What does this imply for the existence of human races? Basically, that people with similar genetic features can be found in distant places, and that each local population contains a vast array of genotypes. Among the first genomes completely typed were those of James Watson and Craig Venter, two U.S. geneticists of European origin; they share more alleles with Seong-Jin Kim, a Korean scientist (1,824,482 and 1,736,340, respectively) than with each other (1,715,851). This does not mean that two random Europeans are expected to be genetically closer to Koreans than to each other, but certainly highlights the coarseness of racial categorizations. 
  • Pickrell, Joseph K.; Reich, David (September 2014). "Toward a new history and geography of human genes informed by ancient DNA". Trends in Genetics. 30 (9): 377–389, 378. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2014.07.007. PMC 4163019Freely accessible. PMID 25168683. Retrieved 16 September 2014. However, the data also often contradict models of population replacement: when two distinct population groups come together during demographic expansions the result is often genetic admixture rather than complete replacement. This suggests that new types of models – with admixture at their center – are necessary for describing key aspects of human history ([14–16] for early examples of admixture models). 

A new reliable source that was just published this year is the massive International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences published by Elsevier. It is available online by subscription and widely available in academic libraries. It has several articles about the topic of this Wikipedia article.

  • Barbujani, Guido (2015). "Race: Genetic Aspects". In Wright, James D. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second ed.). Elsevier. pp. 825–832. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.82004-8. ISBN 978-0-08-097087-5. Retrieved 10 April 2015. Lay summaryPenn Libraries News Center (8 April 2015). Race remains an important component of our social and psychological world, but envisaging humans as subdivided in genetically differentiated races leads to poor evolutionary inference and to errors in clinical practice.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
  • King, Nicelma J.; Murray, Carolyn B. (2015). "Race: Ethnicity and Health". In Wright, James D. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second ed.). Elsevier. pp. 812–819. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.14036-X. ISBN 978-0-08-097087-5. Retrieved 10 April 2015. Lay summaryPenn Libraries News Center (8 April 2015). A growing body of evidence indicates that the traditional conceptualization of race is flawed. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, after writing a draft of the entire sequence of the human genome, unanimously declared, that there is only one race – the human race (Angier, 2000; NCHPEG, 2014). Our current racial categories are more alike than different in terms of biological characteristics and genetics, and there are no scientific criteria to classify the human population unambiguously into discrete biological categories with rigid boundaries. Thus, racial taxonomies are arbitrary, and race is more of a social construct than a biological one.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)

There are other recent popular books on this article's topic that deserve mention, but I'll pause here and let other editors suggest sources. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 16:29, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Very nice. Thank you WeijiBaikeBianji. danielkueh (talk) 18:06, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

::WeijiBaikeBianji seems to have collected every example of somebody parroting Lewontin's fallacy. I fail to see how useful that is, unless you want to add ten references to a single point. Yes indeed, there is more genetic variation within than between races (most of which is neutral). However, this is true between species.

"Sewall Wright’s fixation index F ST measured among samples of world populations is often 0.15 or less when computed as an average over many alleles or loci. To many, this result indicates that the genetic similarities among human populations far outweigh the differences. For example, a finding like this led Richard Lewontin to claim that human races have no genetic or taxonomic significance (Lewon - tin 1972). Despite the far- reaching proclamations that researchers make from F ST , few have questioned the validity of how it is applied or interpreted. Earlier in this decade, Rick Kittles and I took an unusually critical look at F ST (Long and Kittles 2003). We analyzed a unique data set composed of short tandem repeat (STR) allele frequencies for eight loci genotyped in both humans and chimpanzees (Deka et al. 1995). These data made it possible to see how F ST played out when no one could dispute taxonomic and genetic significance. The answer surprised us. F ST was pretty close to the canonical 0.15 shown so many times for human populations. In our analysis, F ST was 0.12 for humans, but for humans and chimpanzees together, F ST rose only to 0.18." Update to Long and Kittles’s “Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races” (2003): Fixation on an Index Jeffrey C. Long"
So I fail to see how F ST impugns race unless you want to argue that the difference between humans and chimpanzees is a social construct. But sure, we can edit in that some people think Lewontin's fallacy is some kind of meaningful fact, as long as this fact follows it. In addition:
"The study of Ahn et al. (2009) suggests that the pairwise distances among three individuals, a Korean (“SJK”), Craig Venter and James Watson, measured by multilocus ASD, are roughly similar despite the distinct geographical origin of SJK in relation to Venter and Watson (see also their Fig. 2E). These results are surprising in light of our model for n, which predicts that for worldwide distant populations (FST > 0.13) the probability for such an occurrence is virtually zero given as little as 200 independent and informative SNPs (Appendix F, Fig. F.1). In fact, with roughly 3.5 million SNPs sequenced in each individual genome,the pairwise distances Venter–Watson and Venter–SJK (or Watson–SJK) must show substantial discrepancy, since the ratio of average pairwise distances RAD is above 1.3 already at FST = 0.10 (see Fig. 5A). The paradoxical result is most likely an artifact of the high error rate and low coverage in Watson’s SNP calling (Yngvadottir et al., 2009)."
It's pretty lame to rely on this early single case. It almost like it was cherry picked to conform to a POV. As Witherspoon showed:
"Thus the answer to the question “How often is a pair of individuals from one population genetically more dissimilar than two individuals chosen from two different populations?” depends on the number of polymorphisms used to define that dissimilarity and the populations being compared. The answer, equation M44 can be read from Figure 2. Given 10 loci, three distinct populations, and the full spectrum of polymorphisms (Figure 2E), the answer is equation M45 ≅ 0.3, or nearly one-third of the time. With 100 loci, the answer is ∼20% of the time and even using 1000 loci, equation M46 ≅ 10%. However, if genetic similarity is measured over many thousands of loci, the answer becomes “never” when individuals are sampled from geographically separated populations."
So in short edit in Lewontin's fallacy and supposed genetic similarity between races, but please edit in the data which counters it. Anything else would be dishonest. Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 01:26, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Pro-biological race views are very relevant to this article and must be included.Wajajad (talk) 02:57, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

There seems to be a reading comprehension problem here. The great majority of the cited authors are medical doctors, geneticists, or other persons with specific biological expertise. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:51, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Views must be represented per WP:NPOV (i.e., proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources). "Pro-biological race" views (if I know what that entails) are a very low proportion of the viewpoints published in reliable sources, and thus are afforded very little weight. Other than that, did any suggestions for improving the article? — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 04:05, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

""Pro-biological race" views (if I know what that entails) are a very low proportion of the viewpoints published in reliable sources"
How did you work that out? Captain JT Verity MBA (talk) 05:05, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Reading and basic math. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 07:13, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Deleted posts by sock of User:Mikemikev that have had no reply, struck the rest. Doug Weller (talk) 18:14, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

A new "pro-race" source

This article based on recent population genetic advances by avowed geneticist Razib Khan is an excellent source for the pro-race views in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wajajad (talkcontribs) 02:04, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Razib Khan is a graduate student. An opinion piece is not adequate for sourcing scientific claims. The article suggests that Ashkenazi Jews are a race. The POV of this opinion article is quite clear.--I am One of Many (talk) 02:18, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
  • @Wajajad:, the term "avowed geneticist" doesn't even make sense in this context. People do not become acknowledged as geneticists by what they avow, but by what they publish in the peer-reviewed professional literature. For correctly sourcing this article, it is helpful to review the Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources in medicine, which provide a helpful framework for evaluating sources. The guidelines on reliable sources for medicine remind editors that "it is vital that the biomedical information in all types of articles be based on reliable, third-party, published secondary sources and accurately reflect current medical knowledge."

Ideal sources for biomedical content includes literature reviews or systematic reviews published in reputable medical journals, academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant field and from a respected publisher, and medical guidelines or position statements from nationally or internationally recognised expert bodies. Primary sources should generally not be used for medical content.

To become an Avowed Geneticist, you have to be a member of the Holy Faith Church of Our Lady of the Chromosomes, I think. LOL  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:47, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The guidelines, consistent with the general Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources, remind us that all "All Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources." (Emphasis in original.) They helpfully define a primary source in medicine as one in which the authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences. By contrast, a secondary source summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to provide an overview of the current understanding of a medical topic. The general Wikipedia guidelines let us know that "Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper. When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised: Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves." There are a large number of sources that meet all these criteria already cited on this talk page that deserve to cited in the article. If one young author's opinion piece ignores some of that published professional literature, that has very little weight for deciding how to edit this article to reflect the sources. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:02, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
I had hope to find some help in interpreting a remark in another article that Amerinds are "Eurasians" which did not seem helpful to me.
Clearly the longer skulls and more open pores of Africans is useful to dispel heat. A darker skin to repel harmful uv rays. Likewise, the lighter skin of Caucasians was useful to allow the absorption of Vitamin D from the sun. The squarer heads and closed pores (and extra fat) of Asians was supposed to help to conserve heat. They have since moved south in Asia, rendering these differences nearly useless! Making this article PC seems a nuisance to those who need a clear, general level of demarcation. I've found there are other articles and will use one of those, I suppose. Student7 (talk) 17:44, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, many of those claims you made are simply false and many such claims are little more than Old wives' tales. People vary in indefinitely many biological characteristics. We can arbitrarily use any biological characteristic to define groups. We could create "racial" groups based on eye color or height. So you see, the POV pushed by pro-racers is simply an attempt reify their subjective racial views in arbitrary biological characteristics. --I am One of Many (talk) 17:58, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

::::Rushton (1998): "Diamond's classifications, however, are nonsensical. They are far more arbitrary than the traditional classifications because the traits he singles out for classifying have little, if any, predictive value beyond the initial classification. Such schemes are not only confused, but dishonest."

"The empirical reality appears to refute decisively the claim so confidently advocated by many philosophers that "as the number of traits increases, racial classification becomes increasingly difficult" (Andreasen 2004, 428), or that "multiplying phenotypic racial traits has the result … that … they correlate with one another in no particular order, throwing the alleged features for biological racial reality into an unorganized mess" (Glasgow 2009, 88). This is exactly backwards: multiplying relevant phenotypic racial traits brings more order and structure, and indeed lays ground for an objective biological classification." (Sesardic, 2010). Zhang500 08:26, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I'll add another source to discuss here since there is a dearth of biological race sources in this article. Neil Risch et al. 2005 is a good source and a strong pro-race source confirming the existence of biological race through random SNPs with near 100% accuracy.Wajajad (talk) 08:45, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Two sources for perceptions of race and genetics

Link 2 Link 2 The above two papers are good recent sources for perceptions of race and related science (eugenics, genetics, behavior genetics) among the public. Very few seem to hold to the race denial position. Wajajad (talk) 12:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing the links. It's not clear why a primary source about a survey conducted by a political science professor of the general public should influence how Wikipedians edit this article according to the established content guidelines here. The first sentence of the abstract of the 2013 paper notes "Most American social scientists and legal scholars now concur that the concept of race (like that of ethnicity), boundaries between groups, and purported racial characteristics are socially constructed, with minimal or no biological basis," and maybe we should think about that a little harder before proceeding to edit article text. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 13:49, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Most American social scientists and legal scholars now concur that the concept of race (like that of ethnicity), boundaries between groups, and purported racial characteristics are socially constructed, with minimal or no biological basis."
Emphasis added. Zhang500 21:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Further POV editing. From the article:
"There is a wide consensus that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed, and that racial groups cannot be biologically defined."
This statement is referenced to Marks, Templeton three times, and the executive board of the AAA (not the members) going on about Lewontin's fallacy and skin color in 1998. Various international surveys in fact show a majority of relevant scholars hold the opposite view. Please can we remove the lie that there is a "consensus"? Zhang500 07:26, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
The thread below, at #"Consensus" of social construction demonstrates that even opponents of the idea concede that, yes, it is a general consensus, even if it has its challengers.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:11, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 27 July 2015

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved per below. @My very best wishes: COMMONNAME is for the title, not the dab. However, this is an important enough article that if this move violates broader consensus we'll soon hear about it. — kwami (talk) 21:47, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

(non-admin closure)

Race (human classification)Race (human categorization) – "Classification" implies a classifying system, but much of the article demonstrates that there's not anything systematic about it, and that quasi-systematic attempts at it have been mutually inconsistent. It is clear that it's categorization, which doesn't imply anything systematic. I think "classification" lends a false veneer of credibility to an idea that has been rejected by the sciences (physical anthropology, zoology, genetics, etc.) as a social construct, a cultural fiction. The present name is both a WP:NPOV and WP:NOR problem. Oh, and "human classification" is also confusable with "social class"; a disambiguator that introduces a new ambiguity is a failure.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. This is a good suggestion. I saw that a new discussion of a requested move of this page had appeared in my watchlist, and I feared that the suggested move would be tendentious and not based on sources. But I actually like this suggestion very much after reading your rationale, SMcCandlish, and I support this requested move. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 13:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - good eye. Red Slash 18:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 19:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems entirely reasonable. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:03, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. (1) Yes, it is precisely the point that the page is about (pseudo)scientific classification of humans. This is reflected in current title. (2) No, the wording "classification" does not necessarily imply any scientific basis; people classify objects in everyday life. (3) Some concepts or ideas are highly controversial, and this is one of them, nothing special. The title should be constructed simply based on WP:Common name. If one can make a case that new title is better in this regard, then let's rename, but I do not see it at all. My very best wishes (talk) 20:23, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Consensus" of social construction

I'm being reverted[6] for changing an unsupported statement that social constructionism is the consensus view of race. The sources referenced do not support that claim. The burden is on those who would support that claim to demonstrate it. Zhang500 05:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

A good new source on the topic is a popular book by a professor of genetics, Fairbanks, Daniel J. (7 April 2015). Everyone Is African: How Science Explodes the Myth of Race. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-63388-019-1. Retrieved 20 July 2015. Lay summary (20 July 2015).  -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 12:56, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
The footnotes/bibliography in any first-year physical anthropology textbook should provide dozens of sources. Same goes for any work on human genetics, or on the sociology of "race". This term has lingered in the popular imagination, but a biological basis for what we socially construct as "races" has been rejected by biological and social sciences for a few generations now. The genetic truth is far, far more complex than this nonsense, since human population largely do not stay put, nor distinct, and haven't for at least tens of thousands of years. Classification of people by skin tone is absurd; East Africans who are all dark have more genetic diversity between neighbors than exists between the Irish and the Japanese. Peoples from the tropics tend to be darker as an evolutionary defense against the same increased solar radiation at those latitudes, not because they're all closely related.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:38, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
@WBB You've totally failed to support your position. I will therefore revert your edit. Zhang500 23:41, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
@Zhang500: WP:LMGTFY: [7]. Some additional material I found in seconds, without even checking journal sites that have paywalls:
  • Machery, Edouard; Faucher, Luc. "Social Construction and the Concept of Race" (PDF). Retrieved 31 July 2015. A dominant view about races today is the so called 'social constructionist' view.... [F]rom the 1970s on, it has been widely recognized that the biological concept of subspecies, that is, of populations of conspecifics that are genetically and morphologically different from each other, could not be applied to humans. ... Researchers agree that racialism has not been [evolutionarily] selected for: it is a byproduct of an evolved cognitive system, which was selected for another function. 

    This paper actually outlines some of what the critiques of social constructionism are, and illustrates why this "social constructionism is a lie!" nonsense is nonsense; social constructionism is simply not the be-all and end-all to the question, for everyone in every field. The the sub-thread below, I'll explain why this is of little present concern to Wikipedia.

  • Secondary source: Wade, Nicholas (9 May 2014). "What Science Says About Race and Genetics". Time (Online ed.). "The Weekend Read" section. Retrieved 31 July 2015. A longstanding orthodoxy among social scientists holds that human races are a social construct and have no biological basis. 

    This op-ed actually criticizes social constructionism; but it recognizes that it is a long-standing consensus, which is the question at issue here.

  • Secondary source: Harris, Tom (13 May 2015). "Is Race a Social Construct or Scientific One?". WO Magazine. Retrieved 31 July 2015. It is of general consensus among various scientific groups that race is purely, entirely a social construct. 

    Coincidentally, the piece rationally approaches medical critiques of social constructionism in precisely the way I do in the sub-thread below (using the same sickle cell disease example I picked!), demonstrating that this "social constructionism must be wrong because a few diseases are more prevalent among particular 'races'" idea is neither new, nor any kind of smoking gun. Frankly, the evolutionary psychology angle (also detailed below) is a more cogent critique, and it's just a partial one, a please to add evolutionary psychology approaches to the question.

  • A science (not journalism) secondary source: Mukhopadhyay, Carol C.; Henze, Rosemary; Moses, Yolanda T. (11 December 2013). "The Fallacy of Race as Biology". How Real Is Race?: A Sourcebook on Race, Culture, and Biology (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 5. ISBN 9780759122741. Retrieved 21 July 2015. Most scientists now reject the validity of biological races, yet the idea persists in the wider culture. 

    There's an entire chapter devoted to this topic, over 70 pages. — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:45, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Zhang500, demanding sources for content while at the same time making unsourced assertions in your own edits (i.e. the statement that "A minority of biologists hold the view that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed...") is inadvisable in relation to any article - and even more so when the article in question is subject to discretionary sanctions. I suggest that you take the time to actually look at the sources which have been provided (or indeed at any recent relevant textbook on the subject) before making further edits. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:00, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
"AndyTheGrump (talk | contribs)‎ . . (183,914 bytes) (-528)‎ . . (Undid revision 674005483 by Zhang500 (talk) rv undue promotion of fringe POV)"
What sources demonstrate that what is a majority POV is a "fringe" POV. You are lying. Zhang500 00:22, 1 August 2015 (UTC),
You are on very shaky ground here - I suggest that you redact that personal attack, before it gets reported. And then read the sources you have been given. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:26, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
A couple of magazines asserting this or that doesn't demonstrate a consensus in the relevant scientific field. Try again. Zhang500 00:42, 1 August 2015 (UTC),
Again: WP:LMGTFY: [8]. Hint: That's a Google Scholar search, not "magazines". But we're able to rely to an extent on secondary, journalist sources for something like this, anyway. Whether there's a consensus on something is a social question, not a laboratory data question. — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:45, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Note:Zhang500 has been blocked as a sock puppet of banned User:Captain JT Verity MBA. No surprises there... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:44, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Rationally approaching dissent regarding the general consensus in science

Really, we have three views to cover:

  1. The general consensus, which does in fact clearly exist
  2. The view that this consensus is shaky, which needs due but not WP:UNDUE coverage
  3. The anti-consensus WP:FRINGE viewpoint, that the social construct is a lie, and that "race" is biological; this needs minimal coverage.

Let's look at the middle of these. Clearly it is not true that there is no dissent at all about the consensus. The dissent is simply not the prevailing view, so while it can be covered, it has to be within the bounds of WP:UNDUE. And it has to be covered accurately. I present three randomly selected examples below, the first reputably published examples I came across. Note that in none of these cases is a claim being made that consensus runs the other direction, but rather that the consensus may not be as clear as some think it is. All of the quotes I'm using here are too long for our own article, and one is nested, but they hint at where we need to go in explaining what the dissenting view of the consensus is.

  • Hartigan, John, Jr. (June 2008). "Is Race Still Socially Constructed? The Recent Controversy over Race and Medical Genetics" (PDF). Science as Culture. 17 (2): 163–193. Retrieved 31 July 2015. A controversy is growing over long-established claims that race is a social construct rather than a biologically based concept. The primary site where this contest is being waged—in the field of genetics—is notable in that, until quite recently, genetics provided a firm ground for critiquing racial thinking and racist beliefs about linkages between an individual's phenotype and their personal characteristics and abilities. But challenges to the apparent scientific consensus on the biological insignificance of race are also emerging from the practice of clinical medicine, and they have the potential to impact how epidemiological research and public health interventions are conducted. This controversy, as well, is enveloping the very notion of social construction, which has been fundamental both to work in science studies and to numerous political claims concerning a variety of naturalized identities.1 Savvy political commentators are taking new findings by geneti- cists and directly assailing both social constructionist perspectives and their alleged influence in shaping policies redressing racial inequalities. ... I raise the prospect that social constructionist assertions are not effectively formulated in relation to race. ... [A]ssertions that race is socially constructed need to be drastically rearticulated. 

    So, Hartigan argues not against the idea, but against the present formulation of it, and is relying primarily upon a medical basis. We'll return to that in a moment.

  • A secondary source simultaneously tells us that the consensus does exist and is already regarded as "the old orthodoxy" (as long ago as 2005!), while also hinting at where the confusion lies: Holt, Jim (11 December 2005). "Madness About a Method". The Way We Live Now. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2015. For the last three decades, the scientific consensus has been that 'race' is merely a social construct, since genetic variation among individuals of the same race is far greater than the variation between races. Recently, however, a fallacy in that reasoning – a rather subtle one – has been identified by the Cambridge University statistician A.W.F. Edwards. The concept of race may not be biologically meaningless after all; it might even have some practical use in deciding on medical treatments, at least until more complete individual genomic information becomes available. Yet in the interests of humane values, many scientists are reluctant to make even minor adjustments to the old orthodoxy. 'One of the more painful spectacles of modern science,' the developmental biologist Armand Marie Leroi has observed, 'is that of human geneticists piously disavowing the existence of races even as they investigate the genetic relationships between "ethnic groups."'  

    The thing is, "ethnic group" and "race" are not synonyms. The concept "black" in the racialism sense includes over 100 distinct ethnic groups, some of whom are more distantly related than Norwegians are to Indonesians, genetically. The fact that, e.g., the genetics that lead to malarial resistance among Africans are also linked with sickle-cell anemia doesn't actually prove any kind of special close relation between distinct ethnic groups in Africa that we already know are very widely divergent; all it does it tell us something about that particular gene (or group of genes; I'm not a geneticist, much less a specialist in that condition, and don't presume to lecture on its exact mechanisms, but am making a general point).

    Later note: This (as is clear by the citation to Leroi) is a decade-later followup to a previous NYT op-ed: Leroi, Armand Marie (14 March 2005). "A Family Tree in Every Gene". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2015. . Like most "social construct denialism" [I don't feel bad calling it that, since Leroi calls his opponents "race denialists"], it relies on medical research arguments that have an intrinsically unsound basis (see elsewhere on this page when I cite sources that go into this). But Leroi doesn't go as far some people think he does. He suggests race, in a modern reconceptualization, could be a beneficial "shorthand that enables us to speak sensibly, though with no great precision, about genetic rather than cultural or political differences." I.e., he explicitly realizes it is, and advocates it as, a social construct, just a different one from the old version! This Leroi piece itself was immediately shredded by others. Some took it apart in detail, e.g.: Wallace, Robert (2005). "A Racialized Medical Genomics: Shiny, Bright and Wrong". Race – The Power of an Illusion. PBS. Retrieved 31 July 2015. [M]uch of Leroi's article unravels his own argument. .... [he] recognizes these complications, but still asks us to ignore them in favor of, ironically enough, a social construct. ... Leroi and the new racialists are trying to get around population thinking by correlating aggregations across loci, as a set of emergent essentialisms. Funny, though, that within the very medical framework they are attempting to define, as they live by the sword of correlation, so must they die by that sword. When we correlate putative racial continua across diseases, the same groups are time and again imputed the most susceptible alleles. 

    The especially interesting thing to me is that Leroi is himself an evolutionary developmental biologist, yet we know (see elsewhere in what I've written here over the last couple of hours) that current thinking in evolutionists' peer-reviewed papers, ten years after Leroi's op-ed, is that their approach isn't contradictory to social constructivism, but complementary to it, and that they need to be combined. PS: This response piece by Wallace also happens to outline three, not just two, approaches to the entire question, which is precisely the conclusion I've come to in skimming the low-hanging fruit in the available literature. I'll be very surprised if other sources, then, don't also confirm this.

    This pieces refutes Leroi's on more basic conceptual and reasoning grounds: Hammonds, Evelynn M. (7 June 2006). "Straw Men and Their Followers: The Return of Biological Race". Race and Genomics. Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 31 July 2015. . Hammonds makes the keen point that, as with Herrnstein & Murray's widely debunked but widely influential The Bell Curve, ideas like Leroi's are influential, despite their flaws, because they are felt to naturalize and rationalize pervasive social inequities. [Side point: These warring op-eds also clearly illustrate why op-eds are primary sources, not secondary: They are non-neutral opinion pieces by subject matter experts, which are published primarily to generate debate, which sells more newspapers and magazines. If you think "it was in a newspaper, so it must be secondary", you're making a mistake.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:43, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Next, another secondary source questions the consensus, but does so in a way that doesn't seem particularly useful: Morning, Ann (24 June 2011). The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach About Human Difference. University of California Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 9780520950146. Retrieved 31 July 2015. In the absence of empirical data that can offer a definitive statement regarding racial conceptualization among today's [2011] scientists, a wide range of scholarly opinions flourish. Some observers believe that scientists have overwhelmingly rejected a biological concept of race, while others are persuaded that scientists have largely retained such essentialist views. 

    Morning essentially acknowledges that from one approach to studying science, a consensus emerges, while from another approach, one does not. She therefore doesn't think there's really a consensus. But her data is surveys of questions asked of scientists choosing to respond to the surveys. This really isn't comparable to a literature review of what the peer-reviewed, reputably published consensus is at all. WP basically doesn't really care what the aggregate personal approach is among scientists in their private thoughts that they choose to share in anonymized surveys; the encyclopedia cares what the actual science says according to scientific reliable sources.

Followup: Let's look again at a source mentioned in the parent thread:

  • Machery, Edouard; Faucher, Luc. "Social Construction and the Concept of Race" (PDF). Retrieved 31 July 2015. The cognitive and evolutionary approach to racialism is a needed supplement to the social constructionist approach. ... Thus we are confronted with two explanatory approaches to racial categorization that are symmetrically incomplete. This point has been recognized by several evolutionary-minded researchers. Indeed, they have paid lip service to the project of integrating the constructionist approach and the cognitive/evolutionary approach in the domain of race (e.g., Hirschfeld 1996). However, in the domain of race, few have walked their talk. 

    This is very important for the Wikipedia analysis: It is absolutely not WP's job to try to wade in on current topics of scientific conflict, per WP:NOR; all we can do is accurately report what these conflicts are and what the conflicting sides have to say, within the bounds of encyclopedic coverage. It's highly dubious that elaborating in great detail this particular inter-field dispute, a presently moving target, is an encyclopedic enterprise.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:18, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

This is an issue that encyclopedia editors (that is, professional encyclopedia editors) have already been grappling with for years. I'll cite some encyclopedia articles here as I expand this edited reply. From a human geneticist: Barbujani, Guido (2015). "Race: Genetic Aspects". In Wright, James D. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second ed.). Elsevier. pp. 825–832, 825. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.82004-8. ISBN 978-0-08-097087-5. Retrieved 10 April 2015. Lay summaryPenn Libraries News Center (8 April 2015). Abstract: Genetic research has shown that all individuals and populations are different, but no agreement has ever been reached on the number and definition of human races, with proposed races numbering from none to 200. Human genetic differences are patterned in geographical space, but each population harbors a large proportion of the species’ diversity and shares with other populations most of its genetic variants. Race remains an important component of our social and psychological world, but envisaging humans as subdivided in genetically differentiated races leads to poor evolutionary inference and to errors in clinical practice.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.) -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 03:20, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
The Leroi piece I just added a citation to above makes essentially the same point, despite being opposed to social constuctionism: "[I]f a sample of people from around the world are sorted by computer into five groups on the basis of genetic similarity, the groups that emerge are native to Europe, East Asia, Africa, America and Australasia – more or less the major races of traditional anthropology. ... Yet there is nothing very fundamental about the concept of the major continental races; they're just the easiest way to divide things up. Study enough genes in enough people and one could sort the world's population into 10, 100, perhaps 1,000 groups". (As noted above, Leroi's often missed point is that he just disagrees with the extant social construct, and argues for a new one; so he's not a true anti-social-constructionist anyway.) This is one of the reasons the Wallace response to that article, also cited above, criticizes its conclusions because Leroi undermines his own argument; Wallace: "Even as population biologists [like Leroi] use differences in averages to heuristically distinguish populations ... by race ..., individuals clearly vary in all traits and can be reaggregated from trait to trait." I.e., the aggregations are arbitrarily correlated, depending on what it is you're looking for. It's actually mathematically absurd to suppose that, by averaging data about every phenotypic criterion we can think to include, and coming up with 5 geographical correlative lumps after that number-crunching, that these are, as groups, somehow intrinsically separate (i.e. "races" in any meaningful sense).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:43, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Funny how various phenotypic and genetic methods all produce the same clusters and how your data detached imagination is just that. (talk) 12:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
"Study enough genes in enough people and one could sort the world's population into 10, 100, perhaps 1,000 groups"
Yeah, that would be various levels in a hierarchical taxonomy. Strange how such childish fallacies work when people are falling over themselves to be "not racist". (talk) 12:50, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't be. It would be meaningless trivia. There is no use of any kind for a "hierarchical taxonomy" of a single species down to 1,000 different groups. And biological taxonomy is not simply genetic groupings, though certain cladists would like it that way; they are missing the forest for their one specialist tree. A gene in isolation is relatively insignificant most of the time, and they're highly mobile between populations. It's the collections of genes in a group that result in consistently heritable traits that make up an identifiable population. And one trait (e.g. really dark skin) generally doesn't make one. It's an assemblage of genetically heritable phenotypic traits that make a population worth classifying taxonomically. The stupidity of the racialist hypothesis is the very fact that neighboring African peoples often have greater genetic diversity between them than do the Irish and the Japanese. It's literally impossible for the Africans to be a "race" in any meaningful sense of the word.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:13, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

On the "ethnicity and race are not synonyms" question, there's plenty of literature on this, too. Just one example, found near the top of the Google Scholar search in the parent thread, and which points out severe problems in the inaccurate uses of theses words in medical research in particular (i.e., the very field that is the main one purporting to be challenging social constructionism!):

  • McKenzie, K. J.; Crowcroft, N. S. (20 July 1994). "Race, ethnicity, culture, and science: Researchers should understand and justify their use of ethnic groupings". British Medical Journal. 309 (6950): 286–287. PMC 2540908Freely accessible. Retrieved 31 July 2015. Race and ethnicity are commonly used variables in medical research. Each year about 2500 papers are indexed under the headings 'ethnic groups' or 'racial stocks' on Medline.... Patterns of disease ...are increasingly being explained in ethnic or racial terms.... However, substantial problems exist with this burgeoning literature. The categories of race or ethnic group are rarely defined, the use of terms is inconsistent, and people are often allocated to racial or ethnical group, arbitrarily. [One major medical research fund] classes all disadvantaged groups as 'black populations', believing that the experience of racism is paramount.' 

    The paper outlines many other problems with these usages, especially in medical research in particular. How can a field which is mix-and-matching, and intentionally incorrectly categorizing people as "black" for social reasons that have nothing to do with genetics, then be taken to claim, in the aggregate, to be challenging the notion of social contructionism? Medicine is clearly an integral aspect of the constructing to begin with.

Morning (2011) is more critical of social constructionism than what I quoted would suggest; I wasn't trying to encapsulate her views, just address her approach to the topic. She says elsewhere in the same material that "The empirical data that have been gathered on the topic [of what scientist's surveyed views are], however, do seem to largely rule out ... a consensus that race is a purely social construct without biological underpinning". I've already addressed why her assessment of what scientists admit about their personal views is less (if at all) relevant to WP as what research they publish. One thing that's not been addressed is the straw man latent in such arguments, the "purely" caveat. To what extent science tells us (or there's a consensus that science tells us) that "race" is primarily a social construct has not even been approached yet in this discussion. The idea that no one can be counted in favor of social constructivism unless they agree that it is the 100% total answer to all relevant questions about race is a red herring, as well as obvious original research; the evolutionary psychology approach is concrete proof that such an assumption is WP:BOLLOCKS.

I could do this all day (the Google Scholar search alone digs up dozens of additional directly relevant sources, just in the first few pages of results, and that's without even checking more specialized journal search sources). But this is enough for the shepherds of this article to work with; I've even formatted the citations for you.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:30, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

PS: An additional bit: Leroi (2005) above suggests that "The dominance of the social construct theory can be traced to a 1972 article by Dr. Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist" and a follow-up by the same writer "a few years later"; probably wouldn't be hard to dig up these exact sources if necessary. We know that idea is much older, pre-dating WW2, but this is a reliably-enough published statement, and one specifically about the dominance of the idea rather than its origin, that we can probably include it. This one even comes from someone opposed to the social construct theory; if the idea's opposition considers it "dominant" and can even trace where the dominance starts, I think we've conclusively answered the question of whether it's dominant.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:43, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

PPS: Here's another one: Gannett, Lisa (June 2004). "The Biological Reification of Race". British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 55 (2): 323–345. Retrieved 1 August 2015. A consensus view appears to prevail among academics from diverse disciplines taht biological races do not exist, at least in humans, and that race-concepts and race-objects are socially constructed. The consensus view has been challenged recently by Robin O. Andreasen's cladistic account of biological race. ... [F]rom a scientific viewpoint there are methodological, empirical, and conceptual problems with Andreasen's position, and ... from a philosophical perspective, Andreasen's adherence to rigid dichotomies between science and society, facts and values, nature and culture, and the biological and the social needs to be relinquished.  There's an entire section titled "Consensus view: biological races do not exist". Papers like this (and there are many, in multiple fields) are a clear indication that a) it is a generally accepted consensus; b) there are challenges to it, enough to attract repeat but often negative attention in journals (i.e., the contrarian view is notable enough we should cover it, within the bounds of WP:UNDUE.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:54, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Specific proposal on how to proceed

This article should document:

  1. The consensus in favor of social constructionism, as at least the principal process behind the conceptualization of "race", both exists and is widely recognized, within science and in general-audience writing about science. (Note: The authors of a paper cited above have previously done a literature review on this topic that should probably be consulted in depth: Machery, Edouard; Faucher, Luc (24 December 2005). "Why Do We Think Racially? Culture, Evolution and Cognition". In last=Cohen, Henri; Lefebvre, Claire. Handbook of Categorization in Cognitive Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 1009–1033. ISBN 978-0080446127. . I don't have a copy of this, and it's a very expensive textbook, so should probably be obtained via interlibrary loan. The relevant pages are not included in the Google Books preview.
  2. The field of medical research in particular has raises some challenges to this consensus. But it has in turn been challenged on its own conceptualization of the issue, because of inconsistent use and definitions of key but distinct concepts, and its own injection of social considerations into the midst of non-social science work. Evolutionary psychology posits that some of its findings and approaches need to be integrated with social constructionism for the approach to be more sound, but that this integration work has barely begun as of August 2015.

That should be entirely sufficient for this article's purposes, as of this point in time. I suggest further that:

  1. The state of this material should be reviewed annually, at least, to see whether there's been any sea change, e.g. strides in integrating the dominant genetics and physical anthropology approach with nascent evolutionary psychology material, in a cross-discipline way.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:30, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

  • I think the subject of this page is poorly defined. Is it about "race as a social concept" (first phrase) or is it about classification of humans into different ethnic groups and populations? Are we telling that different human ethnic groups and populations do not exist? In other words, after reading this page one might conclude that there are no genetic differences between different human populations or that human populations do not exist. Not so according to population genetics as far as I remember. My very best wishes (talk) 21:07, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
How does a concept being defined, constructed, and used socially and sociologically translate into "does not exist"?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:04, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Some editors have paid good money to trace their ancestors, female-all-the-way back, or male-all-the-way back, to discover that their ancestor orginated in Europe or Asia or Africa, having migrated there from Africa. National Geographic has such a site. They could hardly do this without recognizing differences in mitochondria or whatever for men. There are differences observable to science. Once assimilated, the ancestor-all-the-way back stays the same, however, regardless of assimilation. So it may be deficient in describing the person whose DNA was submitted.
But what about sickle cell deficiency, apparently evolved to resist malaria? These, and other differences, are scientifically observable.
Anyway, ancestry is already incorporated in a number of articles about colonized areas in the Caribbean and South America. Student7 (talk) 20:01, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree, entirely. There is an inherent problem with the assumption made by the lead of this article. As I've posted above, aswell: there's quite the difference between socially constructed race as above mentioned and the actual being of race as a population group. So, I disagree. Khoisan itself is a race, as race has not meant sub-species since the earth 20th century--and so is quite the strawman arguement. Race means macro-population group, a traceable migratory population with shared ancestry (DNA) & cultural inheritance, so linguistics, religion, cuisine, architecture what have you. Clines are related to races, and are representative of the bounds crossed by nomadic populations. Clines are not perfectly applicable to Humans, however, as southern Indians, Dravidians, C Y-DNA, origin of Roma, though rather Caucasoid/Caucasian, do not have white-skin gene, though are no further from the equator than much more pale populations. Though there exists a common misconception that somehow sub-species cannot intermate, incorrect, what races are can be understood to be a type, a varieta, variety, of the Human sub-specie, as macro-population groups of shared ancestry (copulation) & cultural inheritance (contact). So, I agree with My very best wishes. There is no room for soapboxing. There are two definitions of race, both with consensus as they're applied. This needs to be recognized more clearly in the lead. WP:NOT#SOAP WP:NOTADVOCATE WP:NOTOPINION WP:NOTBLOG WP:NOTCENSORED WP:NPOV W124l29 (talk) 22:26, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Four historical sources, 1966–1973

This paper was originally presented at the AAAS symposium "The Utility of the Construct of Race", Washington, D. C., December 30, 1966. Baker, Paul T. "The biological race concept as a research tool [reprint]". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 27 (1): 21–25. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330270104. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 

Abstract: In present day research in human biology, the validity of the concept of biological race rests on its utility as a research tool. The methodology of this research into human biological variability is a multidimensional application of the comparative method, utilizing, as one dimension, genetic distance. The body of this paper suggests two generalizing principles for the establishment of genetic distance. Genetic distance may occur due to physical or temporal isolation or in conjunction with environmental differences. A brief analysis of the fifteenth century human populations examines the relationship between these principles and presently used racial taxonomic systems. It is concluded that race may be defined operationally as a rough measure of genetic distance in human populations and as such may function as an informational construct in the multidisciplinary area of research in human biology.

The first page of the slightly-over-4-page paper is previewable here, and given its age may be available elsewhere.

For some critical context on the scramble in US and UK genetics to backpedal away from race in wake of WWII and nazism, see this 1973 piece (full, short text): Provine, William B. (23 November 1973). "Geneticists and the Biology of Race Crossing: Geneticists changed their minds about the biological effects of race crossing". Science. 182 (4114 pages=790–796). doi:10.1126/science.182.4114.790.  An abstract is available here. The paper goes into some detail about changes in scientific views on this question between the 1930s and the 1970s.

Some other sources, from 1979 to 1999, are listed below the abstract as having cited this, and two of them seem like "likely suspects" to use for this article: "Science and Race" in American Behavioral Scientist (1996), and "The Controversy Between Biometricians and Mendlians: A Test Case for the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge", in Social Science Information (1980).

While I'm pretty firmly in the social constructionist camp (modulo some evolutionary psychology approaches to why we seem to want so badly to racialize), we need sources like this to elucidate how the approach changed, when, and why. Even as late as 1973, there was resistance to such a change in thinking in the scientific mainstream, largely on the basis of "lack of new data", when what was going on was a fundamental shift in framing the relevant questions. Obviously we've come a long way since then in getting new data.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:02, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Orthodox views

Adding sources..."The consensus among Western researchers today is that human races are sociocultural constructs" - Even If tend to agree with supportive findings, it must be pointed out that social scientists will say something to make you smile and another day to make you cry. It worthwhile to note that the statement is a "orthodoxy" and that is mostly held by social scientists (TIME May 9, 2014/ There is no AMEN in science RudiLefkowitz (talk) 22:52, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Given all the above material on this, someone who wants to really work on this article in depth can used what's been provided in this and the above thread or two to build a section summarizing the nature of this consensus/orthodoxy. It is widespread, it's challenged from some quarters, and some of these challenges are weak, some may not be, and some are not really challenges but tangential and modifying. There's also the matter that just because something is an orthodoxy and resistance to changing the view is strong and hidebound and politicized, doesn't mean it's wrong. That the moon landings were not faked is a strong orthodoxy, for example.
Aside from that, we need to keep clear the anthropological views and the "social science" views (whatever that means), even if they somewhat converge. This lead shouldn't commingle them without discussion and a clear idea where we're going with that. There seem to be several ways to approach this (and I'm paraphrasing, not using exact wording):
  1. There's a consensus in anthropology, and it's shared by several fields classified as social sciences, including sociology ... (My preference, FWIW. Sources needed for each field claimed.)
  2. There's a consensus in several fields classified as social sciences, including anthropology, sociology ... (This is a re-scope, away from race as anthro topic, and to the consensus itself as a topic, a consensus that is allegedly shared [are we sure? is it the same or just similar?]. I think that would need an RfC. Main downside is that if the scope is broadened, it will open a floodgate of PoV pushing – "anything goes now". Also, not all anthro. disciplines are properly classified as social sciences. Sourced needed for each field claimed, and for the idea that they're in agreement - putting them together this way would be OR without secondary RS doing so.)
  3. There's a consensus in anthropology, and it's shared across the social sciences [plural] (This is a very broad claim; extraordinary sourcing required, as there's high OR danger of conflating not-quite-comparable views.)
  4. There's a consensus across the social sciences [plural], including anthropology and sociology (The same kind of re-scope noted above, plus the same very broad claim. RfC; OR danger; plus lumping all of anth. into social.)
  5. There's a consensus in anthropology, and it is shared by "social science" [i.e. sociology and some disciplines closely related to it]. (This would not need to be in the lead sentence or even the lead. It's too much like "Elizabeth II is the queen of the United Kingdom. Elizabeth I was, too.")

 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:55, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

"Race" in non-human contexts (specifically, botany): request redoing 1 short paragraph

Under the heading "Biological classification" (currently 3.2), a paragraph now reads:

In biology the term "race" is used with caution because it can be ambiguous. Generally when it is used it is synonymous with subspecies.[63] For mammals, the taxonomic unit below the species level is usually the subspecies.[64]

I think this needs improvement. Here's an example citation from a work of scientific botany[1], discussing the Douglas-fir, a tree of major commercial importance:

Although the races described above were statistically significantly different, a degree of intergradation was evident. Thus, the northern inland race and coastal race intergrade in central British Columbia, northeastern Washington, and northern Idaho as well as in the mountains of central and east central Oregon. The coastal race intergrades with the Sierra Nevada race in coastal and northern California.

I prefer to let others edit the present article, Race (human categorization). I recognize that the word "race", as it is used in botany, isn't the main topic of this article. I commend the article for citing published sources (I haven't checked them). But I doubt that the cited sources considered usage in botany, which is part of biology. Thus my conclusion is: The paragraph that I'm flagging needs redoing. Oaklandguy (talk) 22:45, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

@Oaklandguy: You've not identified any actual problem in the text, though this example might be useful over at Race (biology). The quote isn't inconsistent in any way with what the present article says. Probably all that really should be done is removing the second sentence, since it's misleading (the unit below species is subspecies in all of zoology, not just for mammals), and off-topic (this isn't the article about that stuff, and "race" is used in biology with the same "more or less a subspecies, that we're not going to bother to classify in more detail" meaning. It's most often used in botany in the subdiscipline of phytopathology to classify fungal varieties that evolve too fast to bother formally describing and naming them as subspecies. They're only of interest as pathogens in commercial agriculture, and it's not necessary for be more formal about them than "Race N1 responds really to this fungicide, race N2 doesn't, and here's how to tell which one you've got in your greenhouses."  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:15, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Actually, I was able to do a minor rewrite that corrected and preserve that bit while adding the botanical summary without getting into details. It's covered at Race (biology) in detail, and the section now links there:

The term race in biology is used with caution because it can be ambiguous. Generally, when it is used it is effectively a synonym of subspecies.[1] (For animals, the only taxonomic unit below the species level is usually the subspecies;[1] there are narrower infraspecific ranks in botany, and race does not correspond directly with any of them.)

Does this resolve the issue to your satsifaction?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think this is a fine revision. Oaklandguy (talk) 19:35, 13 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Bohm, Bruce (2010). The Geography of Phytochemical Races (Google Books ed.). p. 158. ISBN 978-9048180578. 

Race as social construct

The very first sentence - "Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics" needs to be explained better. I had a real difficult time wrapping my head around the entire concept of race being a social construct since were that true than forensic anthropologists (trained to determine the race/gender from human skeletal remains) would be akin to fortune tellers or psychics, (which is not the case). I looked online for a better explanation that's easier to understand and found one that should be included somewhere in this article:

"Take two people from Rwanda. One is Hutu, the other is Tutsi. In Rwanda these are separate races in conflict, with genocide in the recent history. Take those same two people and put them in downtown Los Angeles. The Hutu/Tutsi divide is meaningless in the USA, to the residents of LA both people are one race: black. How can two people be different races in one culture, but the same race in another? Because their race is not an intrinsic property, but a construct of their society and context." - The above quote is found on this page : [[9]], a rephrased from another source.

An excellent analogy to illustrate what is meant by social construct and race and clear up misconceptions that should be added to this article. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 19:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

This is like saying different breeds of Dogs is a social construct since as dogs, they are obviously are different but as animal, they are all dogs, therefore, different breeds of dogs are social construct!! They are no doubt that not all Blacks are the same, but that doesn't mean Blacks are a group doesn't exist. There are race and sub races(sub groups). Race obviously exists. Wiether you like it or not. Pretending it doesn't will not do you any Good. If People with Blond hair and White skin living in Northern Europe exist in your opinion, I don't see why would a wider race classification would be a problem. if you admit there is a Hutu and Tutsi, What's the problem with a black race(Group). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 06:44, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for proving the case against yourself. Dog breeds are a social construct. No two major cynological organizations have the same list of breeds, they all define each breed (even the ones they list in common) differently, and classify them into groups differently. Moving on: It does mean that Blacks as a group don't exist, in any objective sense. It's just a classification based on skin color and a few other traits that are the result of the same evolutionary, environmental pressures on people with widely different actual genetics (more diverse than anywhere else in the world). It's like saying "I can observe that a bunch of dogs are tan, so I say all tan dogs are the Tans and they form a race of dogs, and you can't tell me that's not real, because I'm looking at them right now." That's approximately a 6-year-old's reasoning. A cat bit me once, therefore cats are mean and I hate them. Same pattern of "logic". Moving on again: the Hutu and the Tutsi are cultures, not races in any scientific sense; their existence isn't an "admission". The fact that they treat each other as wholly different "races", with a great deal of animosity, while to most people elsewhere they're essentially indistinguishable without blood samples and genetic testing, makes the point: Race is a social idea, a label we stick on people based on patterns we perceive. Humans are very good at this. We've created an imaginary herb "race" called "oregano", populated with Mexican oregano, Cuban oregano, and American oregano, all based on their scent and flavor similarity to real or Mediterranean oregano; some of these are not even in the same botanical family at all; the perceived similarity is simply incidental, and not genetically supportable. People with light skin and hair also exist in Japan (see Ainu) and in various other places, including Central Asia (various), and high in the Andes (see Chachapoya culture), without being closely related to Central and Northern Europeans. Peoples who are, on average, darker than many African groups live in southern India (various) and insular Southeast Asia (see Negritos). See also any of a number of photo-essays like this one for people as dark as average for Africans but often having features more in common with Europeans or northern Asians; note that they all live pretty close to the equator or derive fairly recently from ones that did. Polar bears, arctic foxes, and arctic hares (etc.) are all white; it's because they converged on that trait, through different genetic paths. It's not because white canines and snow rabbits have been mating. It's environmental pressure on entirely different gene pools to select for similar traits.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
@Meishern: That sounds like a really good idea, though we should either use the original RS version if it's findable, and makes a good quote, or work from the original to paraphrase it in WP's own idiom. We can't use some Reddit post as a source. I wholeheartedly agree that a plain-English explanation like this would be a great help in this article.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: I finally found a source for the Hutu/Tutsi story. Analogy used by Dr. Troy Duster in a NYT article [10] and the text from the article reads "As Duster sees it, race is a relationship, largely dependent on social context. Take a Tutsi and a Hutu and set them down in Los Angeles, he says, and they're both the same race, both black. But put them back in Rwanda, and they're two different races, different enough to slaughter each other." Cheers! Meishern (talk) 05:04, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
yea, dogs are social constructs like you say. so are fish (see below). So is virtually everything we classify. So it seems totally redundant to point this out and focus so much on this on the article for race.ArmyMenRTS (talk) 00:09, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
A Hutu and a Tutsi may look the same, but they are different peoples, not races. I don't know the current PC terminology, but it's set up as Aryan, Mongoloid, and Negroid. That's not something that would confuse you if they were plopped down in LA. If race is instantly discernible, and not because Group A wars with Group B (English and French must have been different races several hundred years ago), it's not a social construct. A preference for baguettes in and of itself doesn't distinguish you genetically from someone that hates them. What is arguably a social construct is looking at someone of mixed race, and slapping one on them, even if it's not a majority constituent. I.e., President Obama is considered to be black by most. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Except they consider themselves different races... The Germans considered Jews a race. The English considered the Irish a different race. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 23:02, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah. I'll outdent and put a new subtopic heading on this, since there's a lot to cover about why this "national race" stuff is part of the proof that race is a social construct.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:27, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Hutu & Tutsi actually are different macro-population groups/races. They correspond with Bantu & Khoisan peoples, and are not genetically related to eachother, nor do they have cultural or linguistic affinity. You are very much mistaken in assuming that they're ethnicities/nationalities. Race is not, in this understanding of race, a social construct. To assume that Bantu & Khoisan peoples are the same due to their skin-color is, however, a social construct. W124l29 (talk) 22:50, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

A crash course in why it's a social construct

The entire idea of "the Three Races" is genetically ignorant. The underlying truth is really haplogroups and their interrelation. They are not constrained by national boundaries, do not correspond to linguistic groups, and are not chained to things like skin tone or nose shape, which are the product of combinations of different traits in various haplogroups and their subsequent mixing, statistically clumped geographically and sometimes by social constraints (like caste breeding, and other forms of xenophobia). Humans are innately geared for pattern recognition, to such an extent that we'll exaggerate patterns that do exist, and mentally invent them when they're not actually there.

A good demonstration of this is that Indian, Pakistani, Persian, Semitic, and Arab people with albinism are regularly mistaken for Russians, Scandinavians, etc., by appearance. The "characteristic" features of these populations (e.g. a certain range of skin tones, nose shape, cheekbone shape, etc.), are not actually characteristic, but shared by other groups. Regional populations tend to aggregate particular ranges of these traits (determined by intermingling of certain haplogroups with certain others, but not with those (much) that are not native to or heavily introduced into the area; various of these traits are preserved in other populations, just not in exact same combination, and it's usually skin tone we key off of. And we do it poorly. Different haplogroups and the genes most commonly found in them can result in the same trait; various southern Asian groups, Australian Aborigines, Papuans, etc., are darker on average than many African groups. But the "African" nose is also commonly found (with more "Asian" features) in much of China, and among Central and South American indigenous peoples. A "beak" nose associated with Mediterraneans is also common in Japan, which is also home to the Ainu, a population of pale-skinned people. And so on. Anyone who believes there really are Caucusoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid "races" simply doesn't study ethnology, or travel much.

The term "race" (and its cognates in all the Germanic and Romance languages) originated as a synonym of "breed" (of domestic animal), and was used metaphorically as a national term ("the race of Germans", etc.). After Darwin and the rise of taxonomic nomenclature, it was borrowed by early biologists to mean a biologically definable group within a species, but this was later replaced with the term subspecies (and some even finer divisions like forma in botany). "Race" (or raza in Spanish, etc.) is still used in both the "breed" and metaphoric "people of a nation" sense in some languages, and rarely still in English. The idea, unfortunately, took hold in the public imagination in the Victorian era that humanity was divided into "races", i.e. subspecies, and early anthropologists (to their eternal shame) went along with this and promoted the idea, despite their being no scientific basis for it (much of the fin-de-siecle passion for anthropometry was a field-wide attempt to provide this evidence. It failed.) They certainly do not use this term today. With modern genetics, it's proved to be complete hogwash.

"Race" in biology today is only used to refer to sub-specific populations that are not subspecies but even narrower, and identified by a very specific, defining, innate characteristic. One example is an insect group with a unique mating chirp, both made and responded to, that causes them to only mate with others in the same population and not intergrade with other, otherwise identical, populations in the same area, which will over enough time cause them to speciate (or die out through lack of hybrid vigor and its genetic diversity). Another is a species of fungus that infects one cultivar of melons virulently, is barely and weakly seen on a few other varieties, and does not flourish at all on others (there are lots of these, and they mutate so quickly that no one bothers to try to formally classify them as subspecies or whatever; by the time the trinomem was official, the race might not even exist any longer). Another is an animal that feeds on only one particular subspecies on plant and cannot be distinguished from others of the same species in the same area, even chromosomally, other than by observing what they will eat. Another is plant or animal population found only in a very constrained environmental niche that they cannot move away from it. And so on. There's nothing at all like this among humans. There is no human population that does not sexually respond to other humans unless they have an exact voice tone and speak only at a certain time of day. There are no human populations innately incapable of thriving in another human group's environment or eating their foods, until they produce enough mutant offspring adapted to the change.

So, if humans aren't artificially and selectively bred livestock (inbred royal families notwithstanding); do not have traits that are innately and literally, not metaphorically or politically, defined by national boundaries; are not subspecies; and are not races by modern biological definition of that word, then there is nothing left that "race" applied to humans can possibly be but a social construct.

And it obviously is such a construct. Everyone with dark complexion and a broad nose is "black" to Americans, but actual Africans can tell their groups apart by features very easily (including the fact that some actually have thin, cartilaginous noses), while to them any African-American (or Afro-British, etc.) is a mixed-looking "coloured" (i.e. part-European) person. If you spend a lot of time (and pay attention) in a place with a lot of Asians of different backgrounds, like San Francisco, you can learn to tell Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and South-east Asians apart on sight with reasonable accuracy; but to someone from Idaho, Ireland, or Nairobi they'll all just look "Asian". Negritos, who are closer related to New Guinean and Maori peoples, were named that by European explorers because they were dark and broad-nosed, and the visitors just couldn't figure out they weren't misplaced Africans, though today few if any of us would fail to see the distinction and recognize them as Asian–Pacific by the features we're "trained" culturally to look for. The "there must be races because I can tell the difference between black and white and Asian" argument, a form of "I know it when I see it" fallacy, is in fact provably fallacious, because people have felt that way throughout history, yet if you just wait a few hundred years, the categorizations they come up with mismatch. It is therefore demonstrably non-objective. They're simply looking for and applying different culturally determined criteria with which to categorize. Less than a century ago, the peoples of Turkey and what are now

What is going on here is humans innately categorize things, and begin doing so early in the language acquisition process, but exactly how they categorize isn't innate. Sometimes it's very subjective. Early English settlers in New England divided Native Americans into two "races", the "savages" versus the "Five Civilized Tribes", based on behavior and social organization level, without any realization that genetically there was less distinction between any of these groups than between English people from Devon versus York. Meanwhile, there's actually more genetic diversity between neighboring peoples in Africa than there is between Danish and Nepalese. The Three Races hypothesis is untenable. It's closely akin to the medieval idea that there are Man, animals, birds, fish, and plants. All of us who are not African are descended from a single one of the multiple population groups of Africa, just as fish and birds are really animals.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:27, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Your opinion is noted, though of course your arguement of "Indian, Pakistani, Persian, Semitic, and Arab people with albinism are regularly mistaken for Russians, Scandinavians, etc., by appearance...[so being a good demonstration of population groups not existing]" itself ignores that those mentioned ethnic groups, Arabs being Semites, Persians & Indians being Indo-Europeans, are considered and have always been considered Caucasoid or Caucasian in both ancestry (DNA, copulation) & cultural inheritance (contact). There exists no evidence to suggest otherwise. Any social construct existing is of your opinion, which relies on Dr Stoddard's attempted racist segregation of "white" from "brown" from "yellow" from "red", albeit all such peoples have white-skin gene, where shared ancestry does not always correlate to shared skin-color as nomadic ethnic population groups have migrated away from their macro-population group centres and inter-mated with others nomadic & non-nomadic peoples, an example being Blackamoor Berbers, another example being indigenous/aboriginal North Americans as originally from nordic Europe, central Asia, & Siberia: Uralic & Indo-Iranian peoples, and another example being Indo-Chinese & Indonesians as a mix between nomadic Indo-Aryan Indo-European colonists, mainland Malayo-Polynesians, & ethnic Chinese.

As I've stated twice elsewhere: there is an inherent problem with the assumption made by the lead of this article. As I've posted above, aswell: there's quite the difference between socially constructed race as above mentioned and the actual being of race as a population group. So, I disagree. Khoisan itself is a race, as race has not meant sub-species since the earth 20th century--and so is quite the strawman arguement. Race means macro-population group, a traceable migratory population with shared ancestry (DNA) & cultural inheritance, so linguistics, religion, cuisine, architecture what have you. Clines are related to races, and are representative of the bounds crossed by nomadic populations. Clines are not perfectly applicable to Humans, however, as southern Indians, Dravidians, C Y-DNA, origin of Roma, though rather Caucasoid/Caucasian, do not have white-skin gene, though are no further from the equator than much more pale populations. Though there exists a common misconception that somehow sub-species cannot intermate, incorrect, what races are can be understood to be a type, a varieta, variety, of the Human sub-specie, as macro-population groups of shared ancestry (copulation) & cultural inheritance (contact). So, I agree with My very best wishes. There is no room for soapboxing. There are two definitions of race, both with consensus as they're applied. This needs to be recognized more clearly in the lead. WP:NOT#SOAP WP:NOTADVOCATE WP:NOTOPINION WP:NOTBLOG WP:NOTCENSORED WP:NPOV W124l29 (talk) 22:40, 10 July 2016 (UTC) ::"The entire idea of "the Three Races" is genetically ignorant. The underlying truth is really haplogroups and their interrelation." ::Stopped reading there. How ironic. Is SMCandlish trying to say some variation isn't racially correlated? Is some variation shared? Yes obviously. This is true of species also. You understand humans and chimps share most of their genetic variation? What's confusing you? Taxa are based on the '''different portion''', however small. [[User:Tiny Dancer 48|Tiny Dancer 48]] ([[User talk:Tiny Dancer 48|talk]]) 11:59, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

"A good demonstration of this is that Indian, Pakistani, Persian, Semitic, and Arab people with albinism are regularly mistaken for Russians, Scandinavians, etc., by appearance. The "characteristic" features of these populations (e.g. a certain range of skin tones, nose shape, cheekbone shape, etc.), are not actually characteristic, but shared by other groups. Regional populations tend to aggregate particular ranges of these traits (determined by intermingling of certain haplogroups with certain others, but not with those (much) that are not native to or heavily introduced into the area; various of these traits are preserved in other populations, just not in exact same combination, and it's usually skin tone we key off of. And we do it poorly."

::You wrote this from your imagination right? [[User:Tiny Dancer 48|Tiny Dancer 48]] ([[User talk:Tiny Dancer 48|talk]]) 12:44, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

"And it obviously is such a construct. Everyone with dark complexion and a broad nose is "black" to Americans, but actual Africans can tell their groups apart by features very easily (including the fact that some actually have thin, cartilaginous noses), while to them any African-American (or Afro-British, etc.) is a mixed-looking "coloured" (i.e. part-European) person. If you spend a lot of time (and pay attention) in a place with a lot of Asians of different backgrounds, like San Francisco, you can learn to tell Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and South-east Asians apart on sight with reasonable accuracy; but to someone from Idaho, Ireland, or Nairobi they'll all just look "Asian". Negritos, who are closer related to New Guinean and Maori peoples, were named that by European explorers because they were dark and broad-nosed, and the visitors just couldn't figure out they weren't misplaced Africans, though today few if any of us would fail to see the distinction and recognize them as Asian–Pacific by the features we're "trained" culturally to look for. The "there must be races because I can tell the difference between black and white and Asian" argument, a form of "I know it when I see it" fallacy, is in fact provably fallacious, because people have felt that way throughout history, yet if you just wait a few hundred years, the categorizations they come up with mismatch. It is therefore demonstrably non-objective. They're simply looking for and applying different culturally determined criteria with which to categorize. Less than a century ago, the peoples of Turkey and what are now"

::So the concept of a hierarchical taxonomy confuses you? You realise that animals split into subgroups? Is all taxonomy a social construct? Also we should throw out taxonomy because some dude thinks dolphins are fish. That makes phylogeny a meaningless social construct. Thanks for the "crash course" bro. *''facepalm''* [[User:Tiny Dancer 48|Tiny Dancer 48]] ([[User talk:Tiny Dancer 48|talk]]) 12:05, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

List of races

Would this article benefit by having a list of human races? Margolis-Marmite (talk) 10:34, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

I think the article makes it clear why such a list can't be made, or rather that it would only be one point of view. Doug Weller talk 17:46, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
Yep. We should probably have an article on attempts at such lists however, as there have been many, some quite influential, their bases have been different, and the categorizations they produce are inconsistent. I think it would be too much material to add to this article as a section. It should not be a "list of races" in Wikipedia's voice, but an article on various approaches to trying to racially categorize.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:18, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Redundant to point out race is a social construct

Can you name something that isn't a social construct? Virtually everything is per this definition:

"social construct. noun. a social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society; a perception of an individual, group, or idea that is 'constructed' through cultural or social practice."

"To take it one step further, we may ask: What is an animal outside of culture? As sociologist Keith Tester wrote, “'A fish is only a fish if you classify it as one'” (1991:46)." (DeMello, 2012)

Shall we put social construct on fish too? ArmyMenRTS (talk) 23:55, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

The purpose is to distinguish it as a non-biological trait (which many readers think it is). EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 00:11, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

??? I don't get what you mean. No one denies race = biological. Race as a social categorization still captures biological information.ArmyMenRTS (talk) 01:18, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Perceptions of biological information. Doug Weller talk 08:33, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Gravity is not a social construct. Neither is septicemia. I can probably continue listing things that are not a social construct until the end of the decade, and then keep going. As the amount of argumentation on this page proves, many people labor under the confusion that race is not a social construct, that it's an immutable biological fact like cats not being able to produce offspring with rabbits, and the fact that our nervous systems run on internally generated electricity. So, yes, our article should continue to state it. Not only do the sources state it, they even get deep into why it's important to do so.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:37, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
It would make more sense to say that it is an arbitrary social construct, if that makes it clearer for you. Maybe we ought to change it to that. This is evidenced by the fact that anthropologists really could never agree on how many races there were. Classifications ranged from there being only one to over a hundred races. AlwaysUnite (talk) 15:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Scientists cannot agree on the number of languages. Does it make language an arbitrary social construct? Same goes for colours, another social construct. Are there three major colours, or are there 500, or are there different sub-types of colours that fall within major groups? Everyone comes up with their own classification scheme, so it should all be abolished. --Humanophage (talk) 13:02, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Race is not a social construct

This article features some extreme bias and information based on propaganda, mostly from sources which stretch the principles of reality to suit their own agenda. Race is not a social construct, and is very observable, especially when categorized among the three main skull types (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid). I suggest putting more research into this topic before making such a sweeping, unsubstantiated claim on a website which is supposed to remain objective in scope. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nate8080 (talkcontribs) 00:37, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Definition of Race as such

Article must not be biased towards one understanding of Race, for example, as social construct, but must at least start with definition of Race as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 June 2016

Please change "Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics." to 'Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics, as well as shared cultural practices and affectations.' because the first citation discusses the cultural human diversity related to the social construction of race.

Omarisafari (talk) 20:16, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

You can do it your self, just be sure that you have the appropriate references. Einar aka — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carptrash (talkcontribs) 05:34, 30 June 2016
The requester is unable to, because they are not autoconfirmed yet. Note how the user has only 3 edits as of now. — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 06:48, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Applied the edit. Existing refs among the 6 there look convincing to back it up. — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 06:56, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Thank you Andy!! Omarisafari (talk) 17:05, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

I reverted the edit because it is a misreading of the chapter. Robert Anemone wasn't referring to shared cultural practices and affections when describing race as a cultural/social construction. He was referring to the arbitrary nature of specific racial labels used to categorize different groups of people, which varies depending on the geographical region. Here's the relevant excerpt from that chapter:
"Clearly, race is real in America, but this kind of race is not biological. This version of race is what anthropologists refer to as a social or cultural construction, and here is where the real strength of race resides. Social constructions of race are the cultural belief and meanings associated with people of differing phenotypes such as skin color. Different societies have different ideas about the meaning of being black, for example. Even the same society attributes different meanings to races at different times and in different places. It is obvious that being black in Mississippi meant very different things in 1850 and 2010, with the result that the lived experiences of black people in Mississippi would have been very different then and now. Similarly, race can have different cultural meanings in different geographic zones of a single society or country even at the same point in time. When I lived in New Orleans during the early 1990s, I was surprised to note the existence of a range of racial categories with which I had no prior familiarity. Such categories as creole (a mixed race involving some combination of French, Spanish, African American, and native American ancestry), quadroon (one African American grandparent), and octoroon (One African American great-grandparent) were still in every day use there, suggesting that race was constructed very differently in southern Louisiana than it was in my native New York. So in this cultural sense, it is clear that race does indeed exist, as all anthropologists would agree. Here is the resolution of the paradox: race as biology fails completely, but as a social construction has a continuing and significant relevance in America." - p. 163. Chapter 9, Race as a cultural construction
I hope this clarifies why I reverted the good-faith edit. Best. danielkueh (talk) 02:16, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
"Here is the resolution of the paradox: race as biology fails completely, but as a social construction has a continuing and significant relevance in America."
Why's that? This guy is the final authority? Race is just ancestry or overall genetic/phenetic similarity. Do they not exist? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 07:24, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Awful article

The "anthropology" template includes race, but race "is" a "social construct"... The fact that race is not that much important as some racists think, does not make race a mere "social construct". --YOMAL SIDOROFF-BIARMSKII (talk) 06:25, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

First sentence? Sources?

Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics.

There are 6 sources. Let's see them:

  • Two of the six sources are from books written by Anemone, Robert L. Is he so famous? Why do his books (even two books!) have to be put as sources in the first, important (and therefore relevent) sentence in a Wikipedia's article?
  • One source is Encyclopædia Britannica. There's no trace of the two words "social construct".
  • One other source is from American Anthropologist. American Anthropological Association. That's ok, even if a bit obsolete (1998). Human genetics updated a lot since then (for example, Human Genome Project was in 2003).
  • The Race Question of UNESCO! This is the biggest misunderstanding of the century. It seems like no one has ever read or understood properly this document, despite it has always been quoted by everybody. It never said that "races do not exist" or "races are social constructs." Let's read it carefully:

A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species Homo sapiens. These populations are capable of inter-breeding with one another but, by virtue of the isolating barriers which in the past kept them more or less separated, exhibit certain physical differences as a result of their somewhat different biological histories. These represent variations, as it were, on a common theme. In short, the term “race” designates a group or population characterized by some concentrations, relative as to frequency and distribution, of hereditary particles (genes) or physical characters, which appear, fluctuate, and often disappear in the course of time by reason of geographic and or cultural isolation.

  • Last source! Is this a joke? Nicholas Wade? The man who wrote a book where he explains that race is not a social construct, but it has biological and genetical basis? Let's see the article in the source:

In the decade since the decoding of the human genome, a growing wealth of data has made clear that these two positions, never at all likely to begin with, are simply incorrect. There is indeed a biological basis for race.

So, please. This sentence doesn't deserve the first position. The first sentence in an article is the most important, reliable, and above all, well-documented.

--Ptroski (talk) 09:35, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

It's truly pathetic. What the cultural Marxists want people to think is social = non-biological, but the opening sentence calls a biological construct (phenetic similarity) social. Ridiculous. But WP is run by cultural Marxists so good luck with that. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:10, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

By the way Darwin defined race by shared ancestry and Mayr by genomic similarity. I'm not sure why anyone cares what some US sociologist thinks. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:14, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

"* One other source is from American Anthropologist. American Anthropological Association. That's ok, even if a bit obsolete (1998). Human genetics updated a lot since then (for example, Human Genome Project was in 2003)."

Yes, it simply trots out Lewontin's fallacy, irrelevantly points out skin color is locally adapted, then starts waffling about US slavery. The statement was adopted by a stacked leftist executive board with no membership voting.

"It is a basic tenet of anthropological knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any cultural behavior."

Oh really AAA executive board? We can all be quantum physicists I guess. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:11, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

If you wish to make a major edit to the lead sentence, then please provide a preponderance of mainstream secondary sources to support your claim WP:RS and seek consensus WP:consensus. Also, please focus on the issues. Otherwise, whatever change you make is unlikely to remain. Thanks. danielkueh (talk) 11:20, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Well the eminent biologist Ernst Mayr says race is a biological construct so to describe it as an entirely social construct is simply false. There are plenty of biologists who agree. Why present one view as fact? It's a lie. Why not write that it's both a biological (eg ancestry, genetic/phenetic similarity) and social (eg one drop rule) construct? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:28, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
First, please indent your responses. Second, please propose the exact change that you wish to make to the lead sentence and provide a list of mainstream secondary sources (complete references). Providing quotes from those sources would be helpful too. Thank you. danielkueh (talk) 11:40, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
How about putting that it's a biological or social construct. We could reference Mayr, Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, Rushton, Dobzhansky, Sesardic, Edwards, Rushton, Leroi, Wade, Risch. That should be enough to establish a view contrary to US sociology right? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 15:25, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Two things. First, there is no such thing as a "biological construct." It either exists in reality, regardless of whether we can perceive it or it doesn't. The term "social construct" used here refers to the "labeling of different racial groups (e.g., Use of the label "black" in New York vs. creole, quadroon, and octoroon in Mississippi.). This is not some view of US sociology. It is a well-established fact that cuts across various disciplines such as anthropology and biology. No one disputes that differences in skin color exist or that there is a genetic basis for it, but that is a separate issue and is not the same as referring to different racial labels/categories as being social constructs. Thus, calling racial categories a social construct does not contradict the genetic basis for specific physical characteristics. Second, please specify the references and includes quotes from them. And they have to be from reputable secondary sources specifically dedicated to this topic. Thanks. danielkueh (talk) 18:37, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
"First, there is no such thing as a "biological construct.""
"John Molot, MD - 2014 Sex is a biological construct. Gender is a social construct that includes cultural norms, roles, and behaviours."
"but the consensus among most scientists is that race is a social, not biological, construct (Braun, 2002)."
"Jonathan Kahn - 2012 - ‎Medical.. have worked diligently since World War II to reconfigure race from a biological construct into a social construct."
"by MJ Williams - ‎2008 - ‎Cited by 185 - ‎Related articles of race as a biological construct, the more accepting they were of current racial disparities—perceiving these disparities ..."
If you don't like the term "biological construct" how about "biological concept". Not trying imply you're nitpicking. I must admit to being a little confused. If all constructs are social constructs, why mention it? I got the impression it meant "non biological". Is that right? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 19:05, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
"The term "social construct" used here refers to the "labeling of different racial groups (e.g., Use of the label "black" in New York vs. creole, quadroon, and octoroon in Mississippi.). This is not some view of US sociology. It is a well-established fact that cuts across various disciplines such as anthropology and biology."
It's a "well established fact" in biology that cutting divisions by ancestry is a "social construct"? I'm sorry but that's complete nonsense. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 19:24, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Read your own reply again and ask yourself if you actually understand how the term "social construct" is used here. We're not talking about ancestry, we're talking about racial categorizations. And you have yet to provide any specific secondary sources to further this discussion. Until you do, there's really nothing more to discuss. danielkueh (talk) 19:33, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
No I certainly don't understand. That's why I asked does social mean non biological? Racial categorizations can be based on shared ancestry. Are you familiar with the biologists I listed? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:40, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
From the article:
"They thus came to believe that race itself is a social construct, a concept that was believed to correspond to an objective reality but which was believed in because of its social functions."
So the biological constructs of shared ancestry and genetic/phenetic similarity are not social constructs, n'est-ce pas? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:49, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Anemone is a professor of anthropology and his book was published by an academic publisher. Authors do not have to be famous in order for their books to be reliable sources for facts. The authors of standard university textbooks rarely achieve celebrity status. TFD (talk) 15:57, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
For those (such as myself) who might be unclear about the meaning of cultural Marxists, used several times in this discussion, check out what wikipedia has to say on the subject. Carptrash (talk) 18:32, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

I added some biological definitions to the article. Hopefully it's clear that it is considered a biological concept, by biologists. Also "There is a wide consensus that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed, and that racial groups cannot be biologically defined." 4 references to Templeton? The guy is a quack. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:39, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

I strongly suspect you're a sock puppet of the previous user Captain TJ Varity/Mikemikev, who has been banned from WP. You obviously have no regard for civil discussion or WP policies. So rather than continuing to engage you, I think it's best that I leave this issue to WP administrators. danielkueh (talk) 16:57, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
What on earth are you going on about? Please logically address my sources and points. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:11, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
We now have Cartmill as a source. What he actually says:
"In summary, the role played by racial taxonomy in the study of modern human variation has apparently changed little or not at all over the course of the past 30 years. In the 1990s, as in the 1960s, most researchers studying human variation do not make use of the concept of race in gather- ing and analyzing their data; however, a consistently large minority continue to do so." Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:26, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


I notice a tactic of the "race is a social construct" team here is to revert, citing BRD, then fail to address any points. That isn't BRD, that's stonewalling. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 19:43, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Biological Definitions

Tiny Dancer 48 - The onus is on you to start the discussion for your bold edits. I've removed your "Biological definitons" section. The text is below, collapsed:
Text from "Biological definitions" section
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Biological definitions

"There is a widespread feeling that the word "race" indicates something undesirable and that it should be left out of all discussions. This leads to such statements as "there are no human races." Those who subscribe to this opinion are obviously ignorant of modern biology." Ernst Mayr

The race concept arose in the context of Linnaen taxonomy, which was based on phenotypic resemblance, to describe intraspecific lineages defined genealogically, or by descent.

Kant: "What is a race? The word is not to be found in any systematic description of nature [Linnaen taxonomy], so presumably the thing itself is nowhere to be found in nature. The concept which this expression designates is, however, surely well established in the reason of every observer of nature who supposes a self-peculiar feature in different animals produced from interbreeding, that is to say, a union of cause that does not lie in the concept of its species but was certainly placed originally in the lineal stem stock of the species itself. The fact that the word race does not appear in the description of nature (but instead, in its place, the word variety) cannot keep an observer of nature from finding it necessary from the viewpoint of natural history." (On the Use of Teleological Principles in Philosophy)

Darwin: "Grant all races of man descended from one race; grant that all structure of each race of man were perfectly known – grant that a perfect table of descent of each race was perfectly known – grant all this, & then do you not think that most would prefer as the best classification, a genealogical one, even if it did occasionally put one race not quite so near to another, as it would have stood, if allocated by structure alone. Generally, we may safely presume, that the resemblance of races & their pedigrees would go together." (Darwin, letter 204)

However, descent based phylogenetics was subsumed in the 20th century due to concerns that it was possible for organisms with different descent to be genetically more similar, rendering descent based classification less informative.

Mayr: "In phylogeny, where thousands and millions of generations are involved, thousands and millions of occasions for a change in gene frequencies owing to mutation, recombination, and selection, it is no longer legitimate to express relationship in terms of genealogy. The amount of genotypic similarity now becomes the dominant consideration for a biologist … When a biologist speaks of phylogenetic relationship, he means relationship in gene content rather than cladistic genealogy."

Modern biological definitions of race thus tend to use overall genetic similarity as the criterion:

Hulse (1962): “Races are breeding populations which can be readily distinguished from one another on genetic grounds alone. They are not types, as are a few of the so-called races within the European population, such as Nordics and Alpines. It is the breeding population into which one was born which determines one’s race, not one’s personal characteristics.”

Dobzhansky (1970): “A race is a Mendelian population, not a single genotype; it consists of individuals who differ genetically among themselves … This is not to deny that a racial classification should ideally take cognizance of all genetically variable traits, oligogenic as well as polygenic."

Hartl and Clark (1997): "In population genetics, a race is a group of organisms in a species that are genetically more similar to each other than they are to the members of other such groups. Populations that have undergone some degree of genetic differentiation as measured by, for example, Fst, therefore qualify as races."

Dawkins (2004): "But that doesn’t mean that race is of “virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance.” This is Edwards’s point, and he reasons as follows. However small the racial partition of total variation may be, if such racial characteristics as there are highly correlated with other racial characteristics, they are by definition informative, and therefore of taxonomic significance."

Leroi (2005): "Populations that share by descent a set of genetic variants in common that are collectively rare in everyone else."

Coyne (2014). “To a biologist, races are simply genetically differentiated populations, and human populations are genetically differentiated. Although it’s a subjective exercise to say how many races there are, human genetic differentiation seems to cluster largely by continent, as you’d expect if that differentiation evolved in allopatry (geographic isolation).”

I've removed this because it relies on primary quotes from a range of authors (many without ref tags, but at least there are years). This runs afoul of WP:QUOTEFARM. Your brief paragraphs that summarized stuff are WP:SYNTH, that is, your own interpretations and summaries of the primary material. Instead, we need secondary sources to do this for us and to properly cite them. If there are textbooks or other scholarly works that summarize these "biological definitions", then we can just cite those and eliminate all the direct quotes. In its current state, this material cannot remain on the page. EvergreenFir (talk) 01:17, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
"A primary source can have all of these qualities, and a secondary source may have none of them. Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate on any given occasion is a matter of good editorial judgment and common sense, not merely mindless, knee-jerk reactions to classification of a source as "primary" or "secondary"." Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 22:02, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
So you would argue that my summary of these last five quotes as "Race is a biological concept defined by genetic similarity" is some kind of skewed interpretation? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 22:06, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Skewed or not, it's SYNTH. Still haven't assessed anything I raised. This topic is covered well enough that secondary sources shouldn't be hard to find. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:48, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it is synth. I think that these biologists are stating very clearly that race is a biological concept based on genetic similarity. What do you think they are saying, something different? I think I have assessed what you raised. The article claims race is a social construct, the article states social means non biological, while various biologists state race is a valid biological concept. Your response to this is to say "secondary", which is invalid in the face of unambiguous sources. You're wikilawyering to push a lie. Either point out a relevant "social" ambiguity in the sources or drop it. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:40, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
The fact that you can cherry pick a couple of biologists who make these statements is 100% irrelevant - what the article is summarizing is the mainstream consensus that you will find in a biology or genetics textbook today. And this is that race is a biocultural construct (i.e. cultural ideas about biological variation) and that populations differetiated by ancestry or by frequency of genes are not races.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:06, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
How ironic. Why is it that your claims are referenced to a handful of cherry picked sources? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:04, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Find sources for your summaries then. Also, there are far too many quotes (still haven't addressed that). Saying someone is wikilawyering is WP:ASPERSIONS as assuming bad faith. I'm simply asking you to follow policy. EvergreenFir (talk) 18:02, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
There isn't any dispute about what my sources are saying though right? It isn't actually a policy to require a clear statement to be reprinted elsewhere for no reason. I'd agree that the quotefarm format is inelegant, but these are valid source for the point. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 19:05, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
"Primary sources may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person—with access to the source but without specialist knowledge—will be able to verify are directly supported by the source. This person does not have to be able to determine that the material in the article or in the primary source is true. The goal is only that the person could compare the primary source with the material in the Wikipedia article, and agree that the primary source actually, directly says just what the article says it does." Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 15:12, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's been pretty clearly demonstrated that race is considered biological by biologists and social construct theory is just some Marxist nonsense from American sociologists. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 19:44, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
If you think so then you need to read some more biology that is not fifty years old. Biological populations and races are two different things and only a small minority of biologists insist on confusing the two. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 05:39, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Then maybe you should edit on Race (biology)? And wouldn't it be Boasian in this case? EvergreenFir (talk) 19:50, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
No, he shouldnt unless he demonstrates abetter idea of what the consensus among biologists is regarding race.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 05:39, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You keep asserting this but I'm seeing little reference to biologists. I've referenced several top biologists so how can there be a consensus? "Fringe" doesn't mean "disagrees with me". Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:12, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You have not referenced several top biologists - you have referenced a small selection of handpicked pro-race biologists - several of whom have no expertise in human biological variation or race (e.g. Dawkins) - and then a selection of outdated biologists writing before genetics was even a discipline. That is exactly why we dont base articles on quotes from single biologists stating their personal beliefs, but on the way secondary and tertiary sources describe the consensus in the field.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:54, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

The sources are misrepresented. How can you have Cartmill as a source for a consensus when he says this:

"In summary, the role played by racial taxonomy in the study of modern human variation has apparently changed little or not at all over the course of the past 30 years. In the 1990s, as in the 1960s, most researchers studying human variation do not make use of the concept of race in gather- ing and analyzing their data; however, a consistently large minority continue to do so."

Anemone doesn't say there is a consensus.

"Another anthropologist who is a staunch opponent of the concept of biological race is not nearly as optimistic as Lieberman concerning the demise of the race concept in anthropology. Alan Goodman (1997b:222) ..."

He references Lieberman claiming the concept is going out, Goodman who says it isn't. Strkalj contradicted Lieberman with a more recent survey. What's going on here? Are people even reading these sources? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:38, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

I can agree ewith you as far that the current sources are no good. We used to have decent sourcing, but apparently they have been lost in the constant squibbling over the lead and definition. The solution however is not to cherry pick a couple of "race realist" scholars and represent their views as the mainstream.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:15, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Further I am unaware of any biologists being referenced by Maunus. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:13, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Read the archives, there is nothing new in your claims or in the tired sources you are parading to support them, we have been over this dozens of times.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:15, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
In other words the only sources presented here directly contradict you. Hilariously, they are the same sources used to claim tb opposite of what they say. They are good sources and you are wrong. I guess you only bother commenting to wikilawyer your POV, and didn't bother checking the sources of "your" article. But are just going to avoid admitting that by claiming to be "bored" or something. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:24, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Race realists like you turn up here literally every three months to present the same tired argument and having no acquaintance with the literature on human genetic variation or race other than what can be found on Breitbart and Jared Taylor's different websites and Nicholas Wade's book. Pardon me if I am not prepared to take the time to welcome each of your individually with extended discussion and presentation of mainstream sources that you could have found with a google search if you were in fact interested in representing the status of the evidence and not simply propping up your own POV.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:35, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm really not sure what to make of this. Here I am looking at your sources, which contradict you, and you accuse me of having no acquaintance with the literature. You present nothing to support you, other than an assertion your POV is a consensus view. You are babbling irrelevantly about sources I never mentioned. This is ridiculous. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:41, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
If you want a list of population geneticists who disagree with Nicholas Wade and the neo-racialist perspective this letter is a start.[11]·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:36, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
That's a different question. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:44, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Admittedly, though not very.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:45, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You think a question of whether genetic evidence for genetic racial IQ differences currently exists is the same as whether race is a biological concept? Of course it isn't. Sadly you still have nothing to back up your POV. This is POV pushing at its worst. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:50, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree that dealing with POV pushing is tiresome. Now read the discussion archives and present some argunments that are actually new and get consensus for changes based on them.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:27, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't need to go through the archives. If you're aware of sources that back up your POV in the face of my sources which contradict it, you can simply name them. The article is unsupported by the references. So fix it or accept the edit. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:30, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, in fact you do - you are the one who is attempting to try to alter the version established by consensus- this means you have the responsibility for understanding the basis of the consensus and challenging it. And literally a dozen sources are listed further up on this very page. And a nother dozen or so are already cited in the article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:36, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
So you understand the basis of the consensus. I notice you like to claim your opponents "just don't understand". Luckily it should be very easy for you to name the relevant sources. Unfortunately unsourced claims get changed. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:40, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Feel free to propose any changes here on the talkpages, then if there is a consensus that they improve the article they can be carried out. You do not seem to have convinced anyone this far, so maybe a change of strategy is in order.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:45, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Which noticeboard is appropriate for a POV pushing tag team misrepresenting sources? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:47, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I took a look at the last archive page and it's just the same. You pointing to cherry picked papers and ignoring consensus surveys. Accusing your opponents of what you are doing. Disgraceful. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:49, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You could try WP:ANI.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:59, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Here are some sources you should look at, most of them are reviews, and hence secondary sources that represent more than the opinion of the author themself.

  • Caspari, Rachel (2003). "From types to populations: A century of race, physical anthropology, and the American Anthropological Association". American Anthropologist. 105 (1): 65–76.
  • Graves, Joseph L. (2006). "What We Know and What We Don't Know: Human Genetic Variation and the Social Construction of Race". Is Race "Real"?. Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  • Marks, Jonathan (2008). "Race: Past, present and future. Chapter 1". In Koenig, Barbara; Soo-Jin Lee, Sandra; Richardson, Sarah S. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. Rutgers University Press.
  • Relethford, John H. (August 2002). "Apportionment of global human genetic diversity based on craniometrics and skin color". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 118 (4): 393–398.
  • Sussman, R. W. (2014). The myth of race: The troubling persistence of an unscientific idea. Harvard University Press.
  • Long, J. C.; Kittles, R. A. (August 2003). "Human genetic diversity and the nonexistence of biological races" (PDF). Human Biology. 75 (4): 449–71. doi:10.1353/hub.2003.0058. PMID 14655871. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  • Marks, J. (1995). Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
  • Keita, S. O. Y.; Kittles, R. A. (1997). "The persistence of racial thinking and the myth of racial divergence". Am Anthropol. 99 (3): 534–544.
  • Morning, A. (2011). The nature of race: How scientists think and teach about human difference. Univ of California Press.
  • Morning, A. (2014). Does genomics challenge the social construction of race?. Sociological theory, 32(3), 189-207.
  • Yudell, M., Roberts, D., DeSalle, R., & Tishkoff, S. (2016). Taking race out of human genetics. Science, 351(6273), 564-565.
  • Maglo, K. N., Mersha, T. B., & Martin, L. J. (2016). Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Biological Classification of Human Populations and Implications for Clinical Genetic Epidemiological Research. Frontiers in genetics, 7.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:59, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I picked one at random, Tishkoff:
"In the wake of the sequencing of the human genome in the early 2000s, genome pioneers and social scientists alike called for an end to the use of race as a variable in genetic research (1, 2). Unfortunately, by some measures, the use of race as a biological category has increased in the postgenomic age" Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Are you failing to read your sources or just lying? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:07, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Sigh, I knew it would be pointless. Yes, the use has increased, which is why we are even discussing this. But if you read the sources there is a general agreement that this increase is not scientifically warranted. Cherrypicking quotes out of contexts unfortunately is only too easy. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:13, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Well those who use it think your POV is not scientifically warranted. You are accusing me of cherry picking while asserting people who agree with you are the correct ones. It's quite bizarre. Hopefully you can at least admit there is no consensus. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:17, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Well partly, if you read the sources you will see that many scholars argue that "race" is often used as a biological variable in ways that are not actually considered, but simply a shortcut to some other result. There are those who disagree with the viewpoint, but those who use it are in the minority - so, sure there is no solid consensus, but there is a broad mainstream viewpoint and a narrow minority one - within population genetics - in social sciences (which is where almost all experts in the topic of race are located, there is a clear consensus). At this point I should mention that the kind of editing where you take sentences out of context and make them support the opposite argument of what they are actually supporting is called tendentious editing and has in the past resulted in people being banned from wikipedia. Dont twist sources and dont cite out of context, if you keep doing that I will tire very quickly and find something better to do after you are blocked.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
It's you that is misrepresenting sources. Your hypocrisy honestly turns my stomach. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:30, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I can't say I care much about your feelings.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:33, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

What's going on now? You just admitted there is no consensus for your POV. And you continue to push it in the article? What's going on here? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:46, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

We need to establish something here, you dont know anything about my POV. And we are not talking about my POV. We are talking about the predominant POV in the literature on race. Within the literature there is no clear consensus, but a majority of scholars agree that race is not meaningful as an objective biological category, but a minority of scholars disagree claiming that any discernible biological difference between populations with distinct ancestries can be considered "race". In the past there has been a basic consensus among wikipedians that this is the relative standing of the two viewpoints. If you wish to challenge this consensus and claim that race is considered a biological category by a majority of scholars then you need to stop playing games and present some new sources that suggest otherwise - without your having to selectively misquote them or make them argue the opposite of what they intend to argue. I have not written the current lead, and I think it is quite problematic and should be changed, but it is nonetheless a much better and more accurate representation of the topic than what you are proposing which expresses a distinct minority viewpoint as if it were a generally agreed upon fact. Now I will waste no more time on your shenanigans.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Well now you're just lying. Even assuming your minority/majority assessment is correct, I have suggested all along that both positions are represented. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 15:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Of course they should be, and they are. You also may want to read our policy on personal attacks.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:16, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Poll: is there a consensus that race is a social construct and not a biological concept?

Why are you wasting our time with this? Everyone knows that there is no consensus (as in general agreement), and no one is claiming there is. The correct quesiton is "Is it the predominant position in the literature that racial categories are not a useful way of describing human biological biological variation?"·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:43, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
This is why *I'm* wasting your time:
"The fact that you can cherry pick a couple of biologists who make these statements is 100% irrelevant - what the article is summarizing is the mainstream consensus that you will find in a biology or genetics textbook today. And this is that race is a biocultural construct (i.e. cultural ideas about biological variation) and that populations differetiated by ancestry or by frequency of genes are not races.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:06, 5 September 2016 (UTC)"
There isn't a consensus and you can't write as if there is. And looking over this page it seems most are questioning this POV. There is just a regular cadre pushing one side. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 16:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Sure, I misused the word consensus there to describe the mainstream majority viewpoint - if we agree that consensus means a broad general agreement within a field. And yes misinformed new comers like you arrive every couple of month claiming that biologists believe race is biological, based on reading a handful of race realist authors, but not being acquainted with the actual literature on the topic. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:06, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm well aware of the literature on the topic and it's you that misrepresents sources. You seem to have little more to contribute than assertions and personal attacks. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:16, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Then providing valid sources should be easy. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 22:09, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You can see sources and quotes above. Why are you pretending they aren't there? Are you trying to push a POV? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 22:50, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
"When did you stop hitting your wife?" Enough with that. This "poll" is in bad faith too. If you want to do an RFC, then start one. But there are a dozen discussions about the lead sentence in the archives for this page. The burden is on you to gain consensus for your changes. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:35, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
The poll isn't in bad faith. There is no consensus in academia for the view expressed in the lead. So it must be changed. I know the regular team here WP:IDONTLIKEIT, but it's necessary to comply with policy. We can't have a group of editors WP:OWNing an article then demanding "consensus" for an unsupported view, ie. appealing to nothing more than the fact they outnumber their opponent on the talk page. Is the "social construct" view consensus or not? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 06:52, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Note to US sociology WP:TAGTEAM: the point we were discussing is here. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 18:00, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Maunus suggestion for a new Lead

I think the current lead is pretty bad, and so is the article structure which leaves out most of the contemporary literature about race (which is about race as a social category and not about the debate about biology vs. social construction). This is my suggestion for a new lead (and for amending the article to have a similar structure).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:42, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Race are the various ways of classifying of humans into large groups based on the relations between physical appearance, continental ancestry and social group.
Humans have probably always classified each other into groups based on traits that differ such as physical appearance and membership of different cultural groupings. Such groupings based on cultural affiliations are usually described as ethnicity. In contrast to classification by ethnicity, which is considered to be a human universal, race is generally considered to have become an important way of classifying people during the age of exploration and colonialism when humans from different continents for the first time began interacting – in this context racial groupings classified individuals by their continental ancestry often coupled with folk-taxonomies and essentialist assumptions. Within the framework of colonialism, continental populations with different physical aspects came into contact in a socio-political context in which the phenotypical differences between racial groups often correlated with differences in power. Consequently, in many colonial societies political rights and privileges were unevenly distributed among racial groupings creating hierarchies justified and sustained by ideologies of racism. While Europeans colonized the indigenous cultures of the Americas subjugating them, the transatlantic slave-trade brought Africans to the Americas in the role as slaves. In the American colonies generally the racial hierarchy classified European-born Whites at the top and enslaved Africans and un-baptized Native Americans at the bottom. In Latin America legal racial hierarchies were abolished with independence, whereas in North America they were only abolished late in the twentieth century as a result of the Civil Rights movement. During the colonization of Africa European colonizers subjugated native Africans establishing themselves as the ruling class, often resulting in sharply racially divided societies such as South Africa under Apartheid. In the early modern world, science sought to categorize human populations following objective anatomical criteria also used for classifying other species into biologically distinct groupings. It was generally assumed that racial phenotypical differences corresponded with significant underlying biological differences, and it was often believed that these biological differences justified or produced the racial hierarchies found in society. In Europe, such scientific racism reached a climax under the second World War where racial classifications motivated the Nazi holocaust. Following WWII racism and racial hierarchies came to be seen as malignant and unjust in most Western societies, and an international movement for universal human rights and civil rights sought to abolish legal discrimination based on race.
Within science, shifting consensus have seen race as having a mostly biological or mostly socio-cultural basis. Early 20th century racial scientists saw race as biological and argued that phenotypical traits such as cranial shape, skin-color and hair texture could be used to classify biologically distinct racial types, and they attributed essential characteristics to each type. Starting in the 1950s, the typological approach to human biological variation was replaced with an approach that saw variation as clinal, in which evolutionary, historical and geographical relations between populations produced a continuum of gradual changes of phenotypes. Early studies of diversity in blood proteins which have found broad empirical support, found that that the majority of the total genetic variation between humans (i.e., of the 0.1% of DNA that varies between individuals), 85.4%, is found within populations, 8.3% of the variation is found between populations within a "race", and only 6.3% was found to account for the racial classification, suggesting that the biological significance of racial groupings race is negligible. With the genomic revolution in the early 21st century it became possible to analyze ancestry and biological diversity at a much more detailed level than ever before, and racial groupings were often used as way to achieve broad sampling of biologically diverse populations. New knowledge of the genetic structure of populations reignited the debate about whether biological clusters correlated with racial groups, and geneticists argued that even a small portion of the total genetic variance may be significant if it correlates across many genetic loci, suggesting that race could be biologically significant even in spite of the small part of genetic variation that it accounts for. Following this argument, today some scholars argue that clustering of genetic frequencies correspond well with continental ancestral groups, and that race therefore is a potentially meaningful biological category for some purposes. Others scientists have maintained that such correspondences are artifacts of population history and largely irrelevant as a form of taxonomic classification, both because of the problematic socio-political significance of using racial categories in biological research, and because it only provides a very crude and potentially misleading view of the global genetic variation and ancestry - they tend to advocate using more precise and less loaded concepts such as "population", "ancestry", "ethnic groups" and "communities".
Race continues to be of enormous political significance in many of the world's societies. While most countries today do not permit explicit racial discrimination, and do not operate with distinct legal rights based on race, it is often argued that racism continues to be systemic property of many societies. In many countries social inequality correlates highly with racial categories, and often has important political and socio-cultural correlates as well. The question of which policies, if any, should be adopted to address this disparity is often a contentious question.
Is this a paraphrase of Smedley? I'm pretty sure the history of race has more to do with natural science than slavery and Nazis. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 08:45, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
That you would suggest that this is based on Smedley's EB article (which by the way is an excellent summary of the relevant literature) sort of demonstrates the narrowness of your knowledge of the literature on race about 90% of which is written outside of the natural sciences. The concept of race of course predates the idea of "natural sciences", and the full history of the concept should be in the article and in the lead. As should the enormous relevance of race to contemporary social science.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:09, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh really. Perhaps you'd like to review the history of the concept from John Baker, a far more informed scholar, and probably with less politically motivated bias. It looks more like 90% is in the natural sciences. And it's ridiculous to expect this proposal to be approved when your article ownership team refuse to admit and accept one valid word change. Go back to the single word above before expecting me to address any of this. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:09, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
You are proposing that a 1976 book by John Baker, a cytologist with no credentials as a historian or scholar of anything above cell-level, that proposes that human races are distinct species and which was ill-received even in its own date and which contains arguments that are outright laughable from the perspective of what we today know now about genetic variation, should be compared to the work of a scholar who has dedicated her distinguished career to the study of race. You are fun. I think we can safely ignore you from now on.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:05, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
You're wrong on most of what you write, but that doesn't need to be addressed right now because you are just changing the subject to avoid the "social construct" issue above, an easily resolved issue you refuse to compromise on. You are stonewalling and you are not following NPOV. Of course if you refuse to accept the point above I will have to take it to the NPOV noticeboard. Then we can slowly address your sweeping change to the entire article, based on paraphrasing the stacked executive board of the AAA in 1998. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:42, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
"paraphrasing the stacked executive board of the AAA in 1998"... care to explain? EvergreenFir (talk) 16:26, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
The fact that he thinks the lead is a "paraphrase" of two different sources that are written by actual experts in race (not by sociologists, but anthropologist) of course should be considered a sign that the proposed lead is on target. However there is some reason to believe that TinyDancer either has not really read either the proposal or the sources that he is comparing it to, since there are some significant differences in the fact that my lead proposal clearly states that there is ongoing debate about the whether genetic clustering has made race a relevant biological variable or not. Neither of the sources that he compares it to gives nearly that much weight to the pro-biological view on race.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:10, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
The nerve that you display in asking me to explain this diversion while refusing to address the simple point I raised is unbelievable. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Redacting link to scanned book. Copy vio. EvergreenFir (talk) 17:54, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not going to address this "race was created by American slave owners" lead until you accept the "currently considered biological or social" change above, or suggest some acceptable variation. It's totally unreasonable for you to only accept my point if we fill the article with hundreds of pieces of your other dubious assertions. Actually it's extremely rude. You admit my point is correct, let's change that and move on. I will take this to NPOV in 24 hours. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:37, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Wow the vitriol expressed by folks who are supposed to be working toward a neutral point of view clearly demonstrates that we do not share a neutral point of view and some of us are more vehement in getting our point of view represented than others. Might I suggest that we take a step back and work toward a collaborate rather than combative approach to reach consensus?Omarisafari (talk) 15:04, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
The failure to follow policy of some here is more of an issue than the tone of others. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:37, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Point taken! I'd like to re-read the exchange to see if I can see past the tone to what's being asked and what the policy breach is (unless someone can clearly summarize that from a NPOV, which I'd much appreciate) Omarisafari (talk) 15:01, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The issue is summarized here. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 15:06, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

"Early studies of diversity in blood proteins which have found broad empirical support, found that that the majority of the total genetic variation between humans (i.e., of the 0.1% of DNA that varies between individuals), 85.4%, is found within populations, 8.3% of the variation is found between populations within a "race", and only 6.3% was found to account for the racial classification, suggesting that the biological significance of racial groupings race is negligible."

Wouldn't it be better to point out that this "argument" has been debunked by finding a similar variation ratio between humans and chimpanzees? It would be good to put this one to rest because US sociologists and PBS presenters parrot it all the time and I find such ignorance jarring. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:05, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"Starting in the 1950s, the typological approach to human biological variation was replaced with an approach that saw variation as clinal, in which evolutionary, historical and geographical relations between populations produced a continuum of gradual changes of phenotypes."

Clinality was described by Blumenbach and Darwin. Are there sources for whether variation is primarily clinal or clustered? Biological sources. And typology does not replace clinality, but can be imposed on it eg. ring species Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

How about "A popular argument against race was that "there is more genetic variation within races than between them", a view popularised by Richard Lewontin and the AAA. However, this argument was decisively debunked by finding a similar variation ratio between humans and chimpanzees."
It's just your lead makes it sound like there is some doubt that the AAA were completely wrong. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:11, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Lewontin's argument has not been debunked - on the contrary the finding it represents has been replicated multiple times - any "racial" (or species) grouping has more internal diversity than the diversity between two "racial groups" - Edwards argument is not with this basic fact but about whether it is still possible for racial groups to be biologically significant in spite of it, which he argues they can (not that they are, but that they could or can be). So Lewontin's argument has not been debunked, rather theoretical and technical advances in genetics has moved past it. Edwards argument that statistical clusters of traits can be "races" in turn has not been generally adopted (as evidenced by the biological texbook sources I supplied above) - since most population geneticists (not all, as e.g. Vogel and Motulsky do) do not consider genetic similarity clusters to be "races". Whether trait diversity are clinal or clustering depends largely on the sample method, but for many traits the clinal variation has een conclusively shown e.g. skin color. Noentheless, in general genetic similarity correlates near perfectly with geographical distance with some breaks imposed by major geographical divides such as mountains and oceans.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The argument "more variation within than between groups invalidates race" is 100% false. It has been debunked. This is the argument made by the AAA and Lewontin. Everyone is disputing this argument, not its premise. Nobody disputes Sewell Wright's Fst, just Lewontin claiming it invalidates race. Nobody disputes "more variation within than between groups". Stop claiming Lewontin was correct because of a correct premise. It's dishonest.
"We will take F = 0.25 as an arbitrary value above which there is very great differentiation, the range of 0.15 to 0.25 as indicating moderately great differentiation. Differentiation is by no means negligible if F is as small as 0.05 or even less as bought out in the preceding chapter” (Wright 1978, p. 85)." Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:38, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
No, it is not that simple even though racialists would like it to be. And yes, I can find recent biological references that demonstrate that both Edwards and Lewontin are correct and that the issue is whether a race is conceptualized as necessarily discrete groups (the concept which Lewontin was argueing against) or as statistical frequency clusters (a concept that only emerged in this century). The Fst issue is separate, and noone today operates with Fst measures - Templeton shows that human Fst value is not compatible with the "race as subspecies" conceptualization, but that is a different discussion. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:13, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
No. You are changing the subject. This this is very simple. "There is more genetic variation within races than between them therefore race is an invalid concept" is a false argument. Yes or no? Lewontin and AAA do not say "discrete groups" whatever that is. They say this. I get that Kaplan and Marks move the goalposts. Templeton misrepresents Wright as I just quoted.
Fst is exactly what we are talking about.
"Sewall Wright's fixation index FST measured among samples of world populations is often 0.15 or less when computed as an average over many alleles or loci. To many, this result indicates that the genetic similarities among human populations far outweigh the differences. For example, a finding like this led Richard Lewontin to claim that human races have no genetic or taxonomic significance (Lewontin 1972)...These data made it possible to see how FST played out when no one could dispute taxonomic and genetic significance. The answer surprised us. FST was pretty close to the canonical 0.15 shown so many times for human populations. In our analysis, FST was 0.12 for humans, but for humans and chimpanzees together, FST rose only to 0.18..."
Everything you write is false. Are humans and chimps not "discrete groups" also? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 13:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Edwards moved the goalpost by suggesting that the term race can be used for non-discrete groups - the race concept Lewontin was argueing against was not the one that Edwards is suggesting to be possible. The degree of genetic variation between and within humans and chimps is irrelevant because they are distinct biological species whose classification does not rely on statistical (or clinal) measures of similarity. The fact is that the place where the discussion is located now is between those who like Edwards suggest that racial groups can be statistical clusters rather than discrete groups, and those who think this is not a reasonable way to redefine the word. Kaplan and Marks are certainly relevant in that discussion but they are by far the only one's argueing against Edwards argument in its different forms - many population geneticists agree that genetic clusters are not races.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:01, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I dont know if Templeton misrepresents Wright but if you have a good source for that I would believe it - however Templeton is argueing against the idea that there is a certain Fst threshold at which a human population can be classified as a race in the subspecies sense and that human races meet this threshold. This is not an argument that anyone is actually making today (though they did in the past) so the Fst/Templeton discussion is a red hering. The question at this point is whether genetic clusters can reasonably be called "races".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:04, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
An interesting source for you is Shiao, Bode Beyer and Selvig (2012) who argue that although members of "racial" genetic clusters do not share any single biological trait they do in an experimental setting share the trait that they selfidentify as members of the same racial group. This arguments show that this is exactly where the discussion is located today - can genetic clusters be considered "races" or not.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:06, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Edwards simply showed Lewontin was wrong. He said nothing about "discrete groups". Please quote him.

You cycle through the same fallacies.

  • Variation within versus between invalidates taxa.
  • Clines can't be divided, without even showing human variation is mainly clinal.
  • Taxa are defined by "single traits".
  • Taxa must be "discrete", even though when defined by ancestry or genomic similarity they are. Taxa aren't even required to be discrete eg. 75% rule for phenetic subspecies.
  • Claiming biologist X said something he didn't.

Unsurprisingly it's usually non-biologists that parrot this nonsense. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:16, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I have not made any of those claims, I have noted that those claims have been made and accepted by biologists at various points in time. If you were half as biologically savvy as you claim you would again have realized this and understood that there has been a development in the conceptualization of all taxonomic levels away from essentialist and discrete groupings and towards statistical forms of classification. The Lewontin vs. Edwards debate is a step in that development. But I see that you are still not willing to engage in discussion that is more complex than assertion and name-calling. I am not saying that Edwards said anything about discrete groups, he conveniently ignored that the racial concept that Lewontin was argueing against was based on the presence of discrete groups (which is a requirement for typology, though not for taxonomy (at least not in the genomic age)).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:25, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
What do you mean by discrete and essentialist?
" "Rose et al have no clear idea of what they mean by biological determinism. "Determinist", for them, is simply one half of a double-barrelled blunderbuss term, with much the same role and lack of content as "Mendelist-Morganist" had in the vocabulary of an earlier generation of comrades. Today’s other barrel, fired off with equal monotony and imprecision is "reductionist"." Dawkins review of Rose, Lewontin and Kamin's "Not in our genes"
  • Calling things meaningless "ist" names. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:36, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry but i am not going to change common vocabulary to cater to your aversion to certain grammatical endings. An essentialist conceptualization of a category is the idea that the members of the category is defined by some inherent property that defines them as members of a group, and as not-members of certain other groups . Some groups do share such essential properties. "Redheads" for example is a group whose members share an inherent property that defines them as a group and excludes them from others - namely the color of their hair. There is however not any property or trait that in that way exclusively define "white people" or "black people", or "europeans" or "people of recent African ancestry". Hence, as all knowledgeable authorities agree, races cannot be conceptualized through biological essentialism in the same way that haplogroups, hair, skin or eye-color-groups, can. When you claim that "ancestry is a trait in some sense" you are making the essentialist fallacy - because even though it seems logical that ancestry is a biological trait that is not in fact the case since there is no actual biological feature shared by all descendants of a given individual - including their race. Going far enough back in a lineage one will inevitably encounter people whom one would classify as members of a different race than oneself. And you will find people with whom one shares less genetic material than with a random complete stranger.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:09, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Then if taxa defined by ancestry or genomic similarity (which they are) aren't "essentialist" according to whomever then that's just an irrelevant strawman argument. Nobody was saying they were "essentialist" in that sense. You don't even define the term coherently. What's an "inherent property"? You try to redefine the simple definition of ancestry to include "biological features shared by all", presumably meaning additional phenotypic traits. You're making strawman arguments. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 15:36, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
There is not and have never been a single established way of defining taxa. Taxa can be defined in many different ways some of which are essentialist and some of which arent. Prior to the 1950s most conceptualizations of races as taxa were essentialist. Today none are (at least not explicitly). "Properties" can be genotypic or phenotypic traits - "shared ancestry" or "genetic similarity" is neither because they are statistical and relative. In terms of logic an essentialist category is one defined through "necessary and sufficient criteria" whereas a non-essentialist category is defined through "family resemblances" - having dispensed with the idea that races can be defined by any set of necessary or sufficient criteria, the question then becomes whether "families" are a kind of "race" and "races" are a kind of "family". And this is where the current discussion in the biology of race stands.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:47, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
And so can you explain how Edwards and Lewontin were arguing for or against essentialist taxa? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 16:00, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
They were both applying a non-essentialist concept of race based on shared genetic similarity - it is basically a question of the degree of similarity considered to be "taxonomically significant". Edwards shows that even very small amounts of shared similarity of can be taxonomically significant if several traits cluster. Lewontin was looking at a single trait, demonstrating that for any single trait there would be as much variation between a category as within it. Which as you say is something that nobody disagrees with. His fallacy was in whether or not this could be taxonomically significant. That was not at all an odd understanding of taxonomy in the pre-genetic era when taxonomies were usually established based on conspicuous phenotypical traits that could be shown to be characteristic of specific populations. The genomic and statistical revolution made it possible to make very different kinds of taxonomies, which Edwards demonstrated (and as others including Wright had suggested before). But this is all a digression, what matters is what others write about the debate. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:20, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

No the race concept from Blumenbach onwards used multiple phenotypic traits simultaneously, or a "non-essentialist" concept to use your term for a concept nobody wasn't talking about. I agree that this is a digression. It's a ridiculous strawman argument to get away from the embarrassing failure, if we're generous not to accuse them of fraud, of the AAA. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:44, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Using multiple phenotypic traits simultaneosuly does not necessarily free you from the risk of essentialism - not if any of the specific traits are considered to be exclusive to one group, of if any specific combination of traits is considered to be "necessary and sufficient" for determining group membership.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:59, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"I dont know if Templeton misrepresents Wright but if you have a good source for that I would believe it"

You require a "good source" to evaluate whether something is correct or incorrect by looking at it? How about reading Templeton, and comparing it with Wright. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:20, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

We would call that "original research" here at wikipedia and we are instructed to avoid it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:26, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Come on. Templeton says Wrights sets 25% Fst for subspecies cut off. He didn't. You could at least admit that although I understand policy requires editing demonstrable falsehoods into a public resource. Or does it? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:43, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course we should use our good judgment when assessing whether to include Templetons claim. If he is indeed misattributing that figure (I do not have either Temleton or Wright at hand to check) we should probably not include that claim of his.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:52, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
It seems that Wright's view is already accurately described in the article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:54, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Not his view that 0.25 Fst is required for subspecies which Templeton relies on, a view which doesn't exist because Templeton made it up.
"A standard criterion for a subspecies or race in the nonhuman literature under the traditional definition of a subspecies as a geographically circumscribed, sharply differentiated population is to have F* values of at least 0.25 to 0.30 (Smith et al. 1997). Hence, as judged by the criterion in the nonhuman literature, the human Fn value is too small to have taxonomic significance under the traditional subspecies definition…Although human “races” do not satisfy the standard quantitative criterion for being traditional subspecies (Smith etal. 1997)…(Templeton, 1998. Human races: a genetic and evolutionary perspective"
This is pure fiction. There is no Fst limit for subspecies. Smith cites the 75% rule for hybrid classification.
"The non-discrete nature of subspecies is evident from their definition as geographic segments of any given gonochoristic (bisexually reproducing) species differing from each other to a reasonably practical degree (e.g., at least 70-75%), but to less than totality. All subspecies are allopatric (either dichopatric [with non-contiguous ranges] or parapatric [with contiguous ranges], except for cases of circular overlap with sympatry); sympatry is conclusive evidence (except for cases of circular overlap) of allospecificity (separate specific status). Parapatric subspecies interbreed and exhibit intergradation in contact zones, but such taxa maintain the required level of distinction in one or more characters outside of those zones. Dichopatric populations are regarded as subspecies if they fail to exhibit full differentiation (i.e., exhibit overlap in variation of their differentiae up to 25-30%), even in the absence of contact (overlap exceeding 25-30% does not qualify for taxonomic recognition of either dichopatric populations or of parapatric populations ….The use of multivariate statistical procedures can provide approaches that are reasonably objective and not dependent on preconceptions about taxonomic membership. Nonetheless, the discriminatory power of such methods depends critically on the quality of the characters being analyzed and, in addition, the adopted standard for level of differentiation required for taxonomic recognition. Multivariate analyses (Thorpe 1987) are useful techniques for substantiation of subspecific validity, with revival of the now generally neglected 75% (or similar) rule (idem:7) (Smith et al., 1997. Subspecies and Classification)" Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:54, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the quote from Smith et al. So Templeton is not in fact claiming that Wright is using this threshold, but cites it to Smith et al. I can see that Graves[12] also read Smith et al as proposing that Fst values above .25 are required for subspecies classification for non-humans. I honestly don't know if this is the correct reading of Smith et al. but I dont see a good reason to doubt both Graves and Templeton both of whom are respected geneticists are able to interpret Smith et al correctly. Especially not in the absence of anyone who has interpreted it to mean something very different. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:13, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"Races could be called sub-species if we adopted for man a criterion from systematic zoology. The criterion is that two or more groups become sub-species when 75 percent or more of all individuals constituting the groups can be unequivocally classified as belonging to a particular group." Bodmer and Sforza 1976 Dave Davidson (talk) 17:33, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 September 2016

In the "Complications and various definitions of the concept" section, please change "A popular view in American socology" to 'A popular view in American sociology' because it's a typo.

I would further like to consider changing it from "American sociology" to 'American anthropology and social sciences' or something of the like since the journals referenced are from a variety of fields. Omarisafari (talk) 15:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Partly done: Typo has been corrected. For the second change concerning adding anthropology, please provide sources that reference that field. -- ferret (talk) 15:07, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Ferret, regarding the anthropology reference, just look at the journals already cited there: American Anthropologist, New England Journal of Medicine, and American Journal of Physical Anthropology to name a few. Calling it a popular view of "American Sociology" just doesn't seem to account for the breadth of fields where this viewpoint has been researched and developed.Omarisafari (talk) 14:58, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

I agree entirely. It grossly misrepresents the degree to which this view is accepted. I would suggest looking at Ann Morning's book to see how prevalent the view is, even if there are still many hold-outs to an earlier biological race concept in specific disciplines and local disciplinary traditions in places like China and Eastern Europe.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:54, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Maunus suggests looking at a book by an American sociologist to "see how prevalent" certain biological views are internationally. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 17:35, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Maunus assumes that "Ann Morning" is the leading light in biology and the Russians, Chinese and British are just "holding out" against her groundbreaking ideas. Another possibility is that she's a babbling Marxist pseudoscientist. Who knows? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 18:29, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, your opinion on Morning is fairly irrelevant as long as you clearly havent read her book. The book is a book length study of the way the concept of "race" is used by biologists across the world. She does ont present her own research on "race" but simply surveys and describes how the usage differs between social scientists and biologists. it is the perfect book to use as a source for the relative standing of the two viewpoints in different contexts.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 05:54, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
So now your argument is "book X agrees with me". Nice one. Could you at least drop some quotes so your favorite book can be considered as a source. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 06:38, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
"Morning explores different conceptions of race—finding for example, that while many sociologists now assume that race is a social invention or “construct,” anthropologists and biologists are far from such a consensus."
Are we done yet? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 08:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, we clearly are, there is very little perspective in continuing this conversation.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:42, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

So in other words every source including the one you just recommended says that there is no agreement on whether race is a social construct, but you don't like that so the first sentence will say that race is a social construct. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:12, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I didnt write or defend that sentence and if you read my proposal you will not find it there. But you are not really interested in reading are you? Just in pushing your trite "race realism" using whatever means necessary...·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:17, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Cool would it be ok to change the first sentence then to reflect the differing views of academia? I'll happily discuss your proposal after that. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 10:35, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
The version you have editwarred to include is not acceptable, and is not an improvement. If you make a proposal for a new definition sentence, here we can certainly discuss it. Please support the proposed definition with sources of a better quality than you have this far. Please realize that the definition has to reflect the best and most widely respected sources (i.e. secondary and tertiary sources that summarize opinions of others, such as for example Morning, or textbooks or review articles or encyclopedia entries, and not primary sources that provide the opinion of an individual scholar on what the definition ought to be). Please make sure that your proposed definition is broad enough to encompass both the social construct and the potential of biological definitions.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:43, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Feel free to actually name any of these "best sources" that only you know about. Going by the sources I looked up and quoted however, there is no consensus. So forgive me if I accuse you of yet more useless patronization. You didn't like my sentence: [13]. Could you suggest something better? What's the problem with that? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Morning is a very good source, Anemone is a very good source, Sussman is a very good source, Caspari is a very good source, Wade, Smedley and Takezawa's EB article is a good source, Muehlenbein's Human evolutionary genetics textbook is a very good source (p. 271), Julian Knight's textbook on human genetic diversity is a very good source (haven't read it though), Jobling Hollox and Hurle's textbook on "Human Evolutionary Genetics" is a very good source (p. 331). Vogel and Motulsky's textbook on human genetics is also quite good and is an example of one that actually states that "genetically distinct populations are popularly called races" and uses the term race in this sense. The other ones explicitly reject this usage - this is the kind of lack of consensus about how to use the term that Morning describes.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:40, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Your suggested first sentence was this "Race are the various ways of classifying of humans into large groups based on the relations between physical appearance, continental ancestry and social group." I agree with the "various ways" bit, but I'm not sure you need "the relations between" or "continental". I would also add "genetic similarity". Are race classifications based on social group? I'm not aware of this. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 11:55, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Race is generally used specifically about large continental ancestry groups correlating with large noticeable differences in skin-color and anatomy , not about small scale local ancestry or haplotypes(even though we can find average genetic differences of the population of Leeds and the population of York, very few people would use the term "race" about this difference). Race is occasionally used about "genetic similarity" and this use is recently becoming somewhat more common so maybe adding that can be justified (though widely rejected by what is probably a majority of geneticists), as for social groups your statement shows that you are ignorant (perhaps wilfully) of the enormous amount of social science research that demonstrates that historically and currently the main function of race has been to create social groups AND that the classification schemes adopted in different places are based on already existing social distinctions AND that social mobility also produces mobility between socially constructed racial categories (whitening) - social science research employing this definition accounts for the bulk of research on race in the past 30 years so it cannot be ignored.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:04, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not saying race can never be socially constructed but your sentence says that race can be based on social groups. I don't really see how this works. Eg the one drop rule was based on ancestry. And race is certainly applied subcontinentally.
"Race is generally used specifically about large continental ancestry groups"
Huh? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 12:08, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I am sorry, I didnt realize you had trouble reading English. In this sentence "generally" refers to the number of people using it. "Specifically" refers to the way it is used. So though the two adverbs may look mutually contradictory they are in fact not. The one drop rule is based on ancestry. Blood quantum is also based on ancestry. But the fact that the same government used two different "ancestry" classifications for two different social groups, show that the social classification was primary and the ancestry criterion a secondary choice made under specific socio-political circumstances. It is well documented that people in many countries are considered "more white" if they are wealthier or move in prestigious social circles. In US society being "black" is also for many people a question about participating in black culture, (e.g. the phrase "acting white"), because in the US racial groups also often have distinct cultural and social affiliations. These social constructions differ between countries and between contexts within the same country - which is why it is very important to state that racial classifications can be (and are usually) based both on biological variables and social variables - specifically it is social variables that determine which biological variables are considered relevant for classificatoin and which arent.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:23, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Ok but you understand race can just be based on ancestry. You need to work on that first sentence. Any ideas? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 14:52, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I think the wording I suggest fully encompasses the possibilities of categorization schemes that are entirely "social construction" based or entirely "genetic similarity" based in therms of their explicit definitions - and of the reality that each of these possibilities will always draw to varying degrees on both implicit social and biological parameters. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
How about "Race are the various ways of classifying humans into groups based on or on the relations between physical traits, ancestry, genetics, and social group." Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 08:41, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
That sentence doesnt parse for me. "on or on"·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:07, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Works for me. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:10, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Race are the various ways of classifying humans into groups based on physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social group, or on the relations between them. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I wouldn't oppose that wording.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Also I was looking at your proposed lead versus Historical race concepts. There seems to be a disconnect. Should we rewrite Historical race concepts to be about European slave traders and Nazis? Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 09:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

There certainly seems to be a disconnect between that article and the mainstream literature on the history of the race concept. So yes, it needs to be rewritten.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Mikemikev Tiny Dancer now blocked for antisemitic attacks

I have blocked Tiny Dancer indefinitely - immediately after a 48 hour block for personal attacks, he responded with ":::Bye for now US kike slave. Tiny Dancer 48 (talk) 18:59, 20 September 2016 (UTC)" and when reverted, "oh no I used an "ethnic slur" while kikes demonize and genocide whites." Doug Weller talk 19:40, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

The account seems to be a sock of the banned User:Mikemikev. Besides other evidence, the antisemitic rant is typical of him. Doug Weller talk 15:22, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
He was able to keep civil and coherent much longer than he used to. Maybe there is hope for him afterall. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:36, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I have tweaked that poor lead sentence he added. And whether or not we should have the "social construct" part in the lead sentence, the lead should be clear that the literature on race generally considers race a social construct. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:35, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I think the wording you changed was more clear about that, the social construction part is implicit in the plural of "ways of classifying", which of course assumes that there are more ways of classifying than one and that it is social human beings who choose between them, and I think it is in fact better to have it implicit like this because most people either dont understand what "social construction" is (which is why it makes sense to describe it instead of mention it) or have a knee-jerk adverse reaction to the word. I think the "race, as a social construction" phrasing was meaningless and to most people "race is a social construction" is meaningless too.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:15, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Maunus, the previous wording of "race are" was poor grammar. It immediately stood out to me as needing to be reworded. I don't see how the previous format is better. I lightly changed what was there. You and others are obviously more than free to further tweak the lead sentence, but I object to the "race are" format. The edit history shows that you were against Tiny Dancer's changes, but I guess you eventually accepted the change to the lead sentence. As for "social construct," I think people usually know what it means, and we wikilinked to it for better understanding. People objected to "social construct" because it's been ingrained into society to automatically think of race in biological terms that are commonly disputed by the scientific community. I was one of the editors who questioned "sociopolitical construct" or "social construct" being in the first sentence, but I still feel that "social construct" should be clearly mentioned somewhere in the lead; I'm not going to press the matter, however. I also briefly commented in the #Lead sentence section above. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:42, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
The "poor grammar" could be fixed by simply saying "is". Tiny Dancers addition to the lead was a suggestion by me, which he finally accepted as preferable to the one he disliked. Not the other way round. It was not the change he was previously editwarring to insert.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:47, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
I tried "is," as the only change, first (I obviously didn't save it), and the rest of the sentence still did not flow well to me. Tony1, a WP:Manual of Style editor, is good with matters such as these. Perhaps he doesn't mind weighing in on the previous and current wording and how the current wording can be improved? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:57, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Nowadays, "MOS editor" is an insult! "Race are" was a bad glitch. Current version: "Race is the classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations, or the relations between them." ... much better, but the relations between what? Tony (talk) 08:13, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
LOL, thanks for weighing in, Tony1. As for "the relations between them," I thought about cutting that, but I left it in. It's wording by Maunus, so he can clarify. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 10:05, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
"Them" refers back to "physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations", it may be redundant. I do however insist that "ways of classifying" is both much more accurate and easier to understand than "classification"(which suggests the possibility of there being only one such classification which is counterfactual).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:20, 30 September 2016 (UTC)