Racism

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:26 pm

"So pygmies are a race?"

Actually breeds is probably the word that accurately applies. Any objections?

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:48 pm

pinkharrier wrote:
You don't prevent racism (or breedism) by pretending the obvious doesn't really exist.

BS Replied
On the contrary, acknowledging that race isn't a valid concept supported by the evidence..

PH..So it is my obvious v your evidence?

So assuming I don't have a gram of evidence, what are your observations alone?

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:55 pm

pinkharrier wrote:"So pygmies are a race?"

Actually breeds is probably the word that accurately applies. Any objections?
According to Wikipedia, the term "breed" refers only to domesticated animals. So in that sense I would expect plenty of objections. But there are other examples where the term is applied to humans.

The sociological term of "population" probably fits your usage much better than "breed".

In any regards, exactly how do you define a "breed" in the sense you're using it? Is it just a group of individuals that your gut tells you deserve a label or is there a more specific and objective measure?

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:03 pm

pinkharrier wrote:
Blacksamwell wrote:
pinkharrier wrote:You don't prevent racism (or breedism) by pretending the obvious doesn't really exist.
On the contrary, acknowledging that race isn't a valid concept supported by the evidence[...]
So it is my obvious v your evidence?
Direct, measurable, and repeatable evidence generally carries more weight than folklore. You'll note that what you find to be "obvious" is contradicted by the evidence and that scientists have long since abandoned your folklore.

I note that you either cannot or will not present any evidence in support of your folklore.
pinkharrier wrote:So assuming I don't have a gram of evidence, what are your observations alone?
I observe that you stand by your discredited paradigm no matter how much contradictory evidence is presented.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:21 pm

Love to hear your attempt at a police description involving different "populations" of muggers. Can't wait. LOL. Suddenly there'll be social constructs all over the page.

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:21 pm

pinkharrier wrote:Love to hear your attempt at a police description involving different "populations" of muggers. Can't wait. LOL. Suddenly there'll be social constructs all over the page.
How are the race labels used in criminal descriptions NOT social constructs? Is there a system of objective metrics in use that allow law enforcement to differentiate along the continuum of human trait expression between one label group and the next? Is there are threshold of nose width or hair kinkiness past which one is always considered to be of one certain label? It doesn't work that way, does it?

Any race label being used in describing a suspect won't be an objective measure, it'll be whatever the common folklore practice for that community supports. Which means that the same individual will often receive a different race label depending on who's describing them and where they are. You'll note that race labels are drastically different in Brazil than they are in the US and those in the US today are drastically different than those used in the US decades ago.

Therefore the race labels in use currently for describing criminals ARE social constructs. No suddenly about it, it's already here.

Besides, as the PBS page that provided 20 faces to sort into 5 commonly used race categories showed... It isn't as easy or as obvious as you keep claiming.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:03 pm

So give me an example of a police description of, in oldspeak, three adults males: one fair haired caucasian with a corgie, one African Pygmy with a dachshund, one east Asian holding onto a black labrador.

I am quite serious and very curious.

I gather terms like adult, child, and baby are also social constructs.

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Re: Racism

Post by vanderpoel » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:14 pm

Blacksamwell wrote: Besides, as the PBS page that provided 20 faces to sort into 5 commonly used race categories showed... It isn't as easy or as obvious as you keep claiming.
They could all be Brazilian.
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Re: Racism

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:31 pm

On crime versus race.
This is cultural, not racial. As I have pointed out before, Britain in 1000 AD had a homicide rate of 100 murdered people per 100,000 population each year. Today it is 1.

The homicide rate caused by any ethnic group you care to name is well below that of Britain 1000 years ago. As cultures change, so does crime rate.

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Re: Racism

Post by OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:34 pm

vanderpoel wrote:
Blacksamwell wrote: Besides, as the PBS page that provided 20 faces to sort into 5 commonly used race categories showed... It isn't as easy or as obvious as you keep claiming.
They could all be Brazilian.
They could all be unemployed Episcopalian liberals. How would we know?
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Re: Racism

Post by 4sure » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:50 pm

When the biology of race is concerned; remember that its said that 99% of our genetics is the same as the other primates, does that mean we are 99% the same as any random ape?

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Re: Racism

Post by 4sure » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:55 pm

I'm beginning to "THINK" that BS is of a mixed racial heritage and is having trouble in accepting it...... I myself have no problem in saying that I'm a mongrel...my wife has black ancestry and my great grandma was full blooded Cherokee..so I've been told. And to me, I am a compilation of different races as defined by biology. No ifs, ands, or butts, grow up and accept who you are!

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Re: Racism

Post by Gord » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:32 am

4sure wrote:...I am a compilation of different races as defined by biology.
How's that again?
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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:40 am

Gord wrote:
4sure wrote:...I am a compilation of different races as defined by biology.
How's that again?
Yes, let's hear about this biological definition of race that would make this a valid claim.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:31 am

Yawn - asking for more definitions again. Cop out.

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:57 am

pinkharrier wrote:Yawn - asking for more definitions again. Cop out.
How so? To "cop out" means avoiding taking responsibility or meeting an expectation. I've provided extensive evidence and explanation of my position, that's the exact opposite of a cop out.

Declaring that something like race exists but then refusing to put forward a definition is a textbook example of copping out.

If you can't define it, how do you know it even exists?

On the other hand, I find your claims that it is "obvious" to be the epitome of a cop out. You're merely tergiversating.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:15 am

You consistently ask for definitions, not because you don't understand the context, but merely to shoot people down. It is tedious and makes me yawn. Varieties exist. Do you need a definition or is it, yawn, "approved". Well race is in these contexts much the same no matter which preferred link you choose,

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:04 pm

pinkharrier wrote:You consistently ask for definitions, not because you don't understand the context, but merely to shoot people down. It is tedious and makes me yawn. Varieties exist. Do you need a definition or is it, yawn, "approved". Well race is in these contexts much the same no matter which preferred link you choose,
Nonsense. You're merely deflecting.

Either you can explain how distinctions between races are made or you can't. If you cannot, then your claim that race is a valid classification system is without even a shred of support.

Still though, I expect that won't stop you from acting the fool and continuing your charade.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Why bother explaining anything to you? According to your logic, I wouldn't be able to explain the differences between babies, children and adults because age is a social construct. Actually every word in every language is a social construct with the possible exception of onomatopoeias.

I'm still waiting for your revision of my police description, BTW.

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:40 pm

pinkharrier wrote:Why bother explaining anything to you? According to your logic, I wouldn't be able to explain the differences between babies, children and adults because age is a social construct. Actually every word in every language is a social construct with the possible exception of onomatopoeias.

I'm still waiting for your revision of my police description, BTW.
I'm just asking for you to provide your definition of race. My logic has nothing to do with your definition. You insist that it's real, but can't seem to define it. That strongly suggests you're merely parroting inherited folklore and quite likely have never thought through the issue using any evidence or metric.

I asked for your definition first long ago in another thread entirely. I'll provide the best description possible as soon as you provide a biological definition of race. Quid pro quo. :D

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:05 am

There is no quid pro quo at all. For example I could say race in biology (including humans) is another term for varieties. But that wouldn't do it for you. You would continue to question, ask for more definitions, etc etc. So why bother?

I simply want your effort at a police description that would be in the public interest (ie they could identify the suspects).

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:33 pm

pinkharrier wrote:There is no quid pro quo at all. For example I could say race in biology (including humans) is another term for varieties. But that wouldn't do it for you. You would continue to question, ask for more definitions, etc etc. So why bother?
Again, you're merely deflecting. I've stated again and again what would do it for me, you've simply not ever made an attempt. The only reason to not bother is if you can't do it.

Use a system of varieties if you like. You just have to explain how the distinctions are made between one variety and the next. What measures are used and how do you determine where the line is drawn between one group and the next.

You'll need to describe a system that's objective to support your case that race isn't merely a subjective system of folklore.
pinkharrier wrote:I simply want your effort at a police description that would be in the public interest (ie they could identify the suspects).
Jump through my hoop and I'll jump through yours. I already have a description of your individuals prepared. You can have it as soon as you provide your objective definition of races.

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:47 pm

Yawn. Any answer will beg more questions. That's all you have got. Don't worry about your police description. Without "social constructs" it is bordering on impossible. We both know it.

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:31 pm

pinkharrier wrote:Yawn. Any answer will beg more questions. That's all you have got. Don't worry about your police description. Without "social constructs" it is bordering on impossible. We both know it.
So is it that you cannot define race, or that you're just being obstinate and won't provide your definition?

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:43 am

BS, my definition is much the same as Darwin's. Pre-PC, but good enough for him to make his point. But providing you with a definition is a waste of time as we both know you are simply a time waster.

Your trapped by the idea that a "social construct" is somehow something that isn't real. So gold doesn't exist. Grass doesn't exist. Even language doesn't exist. You would have loved Derrida.

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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:42 pm

pinkharrier wrote:BS, my definition is much the same as Darwin's. Pre-PC, but good enough for him to make his point. But providing you with a definition is a waste of time as we both know you are simply a time waster.
I can only see it as a waste of time if you are actually unable to provide a definition. If you actually have a working definition, then you provide much support for your position.
pinkharrier wrote:Your trapped by the idea that a "social construct" is somehow something that isn't real. So gold doesn't exist. Grass doesn't exist. Even language doesn't exist. You would have loved Derrida.
Nonsense. You're building straw men and knocking them down. I've never stated and believe nothing of the sort.

As for Darwin's definition of race... I note that Darwin was aware of the arbitrary nature of racial classification. I'm not aware of any definition that Darwin provided that would allow a clear objective division since Darwin himself noted in his The Descent of Man...
Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke. This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.[Bold italics added]
This would suggest that you think you understand Darwin's position, but haven't really read the details. Darwin though explicitly notes the arbitrary nature of race classification and says there are no clear distinctions to be found in the spectrum of physical expression. That's precisely what I've been arguing all along.

Was there some other more specific definition of race that Darwin provided that I may have missed? Should I conclude that you actually agree with my position since you state that your definition is the same as Darwin's?

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:35 pm

Yes. Note your "it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them."

The key is the word between. Rather like the graduations between the colours in a rainbow. The colours themselves are real enough to our eyes.

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Re: Racism

Post by Matthew Ellard » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:52 pm

Blacksamwell wrote: Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke. This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.[Bold italics added]
Thanks for that. I have never read that quote from Darwin before. It was very interesting and enlightening as to how smart Darwin was.
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Re: Racism

Post by Blacksamwell » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:56 pm

pinkharrier wrote:Yes. Note your "it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them."

The key is the word between. Rather like the graduations between the colours in a rainbow. The colours themselves are real enough to our eyes.
I've never said there weren't differences. Only that any system that attempts to group them must make arbitrary decisions as to where the lines are drawn. That just means that the differences between humans cannot objectively be used to define race groupings.

Colors are a perfect example illustrating my point. The choice of exactly which wavelength marks the transition from one color to the next is arbitrary and subjective.

The Wikipedia page on Color notes that the divisions into various color labels is not absolute and depends on reference to arbitrarily designated labels and that different groups use different sets of labels:
The color table should not be interpreted as a definitive list – the pure spectral colors form a continuous spectrum, and how it is divided into distinct colors linguistically is a matter of culture and historical contingency. A common list identifies six main bands: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Newton's conception included a seventh color, indigo, between blue and violet – but most people do not distinguish it, and most color scientists do not recognize it as a separate color; it is sometimes designated as wavelengths of 420–440 nm.

Russians divide spectral colors into seven main bands: red, orange, yellow, green, light blue (голубой, g'luboy), blue, and violet. Chinese traditionally divide the spectrum into: red, orange yellow, green, blue-green, blue and violet.

The intensity of a spectral color, relative to the context in which it is viewed, may alter its perception considerably; for example, a low-intensity orange-yellow is brown, and a low-intensity yellow-green is olive-green.
So yes, we perceive colors. But because color is a completely smooth spectrum, the groupings we use are subjective and arbitrary. We find that color labels are just as dependent on who's doing the defining as race groupings are. What a wonderfully supporting example you've chosen. I have to thank you since I wasn't aware that color labels were so divergent until I looked into your claim. I'm delighted to find that your best argument supports my position so well. (Yes, I'm gloating. ;) )

With light at least we can say that a certain wavelength has certain characteristics and those remain constant under specified conditions. (But if the conditions change so does the perception.) Does that work with race concepts? Can you define what characteristics the prototypical individual of any race group would have? And then how close would other individuals have to be in order to be included in the same race grouping? Does this sort of definition then provide a helpful guide for grouping other individuals and would those groupings correspond to the family and social groups people place themselves?

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:00 am

Funnily enough, there aren't such colours. It appears to be a function of the eye.

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Re: Racism

Post by 4sure » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:29 am

Well, it all started out when we were hunters and gatherers.....I dont know what happened next, maybe somebody can chime and continue with the story..

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Re: Racism

Post by pinkharrier » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:36 pm

Huh?

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Re: Racism

Post by SaintlyMic » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:03 am

Humans as a race is singular.
There are sub-races of the human race.
Simple as that.
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Re: Racism

Post by landrew » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:41 pm

SaintlyMic wrote:Humans as a race is singular.
There are sub-races of the human race.
Simple as that.
In which ways exactly are we not all equal?
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Re: Racism

Post by landrew » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:45 pm

4sure wrote:Well, it all started out when we were hunters and gatherers.....I dont know what happened next, maybe somebody can chime and continue with the story..
Hunting and gathering is a hard way to make a living. The carrying capacity of the land can change from year to year, so when you get hungry, it seems to make sense to steal from a neighboring tribe who have been stealing from you. It all changed when someone discovered that you can plant seeds, domesticate animals and make lots of food. That was great until we started to run out of land...
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Re: Racism

Post by Gord » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:22 pm

landrew wrote:Hunting and gathering is a hard way to make a living. The carrying capacity of the land can change from year to year, so when you get hungry, it seems to make sense to steal from a neighboring tribe who have been stealing from you. It all changed when someone discovered that you can plant seeds, domesticate animals and make lots of food.
To be more accurate, cultivation and domestication simply meant you could get about twenty times more food out of the same amount of land. When the population increased to twenty times what it had been under the hunting/gathering system, the same old problems came back.
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Re: Racism

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:44 pm

What Gord says is true.

In a TV documentary some time ago, anthropologists reported on the way of life of modern hunter/gatherer societies. Surprisingly, they had more leisure time on average than agricultural societies, and a lot more than the average citizen of a western society.

The problem is food security. While the old hunter/gatherers ate very well some of the time, they also had periods of famine, in which people got sick and died. Agriculture with food storage gives a much more secure and reliable way of feeding your family, albeit at the cost of less healthy foods.

Hunter/gatherers tend to have high animal protein diets, which help children achieve maximum growth and strength (when food supply is good), coupled with a wide range of fruits, berries, root veges, leaves etc - which is also very healthy. Farmers (up until very recently) produced a far more narrow range of foods, which tended towards concentration on one or two cereal crops - which are not healthy.

Makes hunter/gatherer way of life look good. Pity about the frequent periods of starvation!

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Re: Racism

Post by landrew » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:17 pm

Racism is a prejudice based on fear. Not reasoned conclusions, based on facts and empirical data; but those things which inspire fear as they point to conclusions which go against our desired beliefs. Otherwise decent and honest folk often get caught up in practicing such prejudices. At some level this has to be disturbing to the psyche. Hence the need for pseudo-intellectual rationale invented to support the prejudiced conclusions. Hitler and his gang were able to subvert the finest minds in Germany to this end. They invented every sort of "scientific" proof that they were the master race, and everyone else was inferior. It eventually became more than a certitude, but a mass obsession.

It's not really much different with fundamentalist religion. Scientific "facts" are welcomed only if they support the presupposed conclusions which underlie the certitudes. Evidence which contradicts those conclusions is dismissed, often with extreme prejudice. The middle ground between between the two positions becomes an ever-widening void. A pity, because that's where most of the truth is likely to reside.

It's not really much different in many skeptical circles. The intolerance towards an open mind can be openly hostile and vehement, even from ordinarily decent and honest folk. After this attitude develops, any evidence supporting the "other side" is completely dismissed, disqualified and filtered out. Skeptical organizations have revolted against elements in their midst who seem to be more moderate or "soft" attitude towards a more neutral and scientific position, sometimes described as skeptical agnosticism. Unfortunate, because investigating mysteries are the foundation to new scientific discoveries. Much knowledge was lost in the Dark Ages when fundamentalism forced us to stop asking questions and only accept the certitudes which we were issued. It took the Renaissance to bring us back to our senses.

Unfortunately, we seem to be dwelling in a sort of Mini Dark Age, ignoring much evidence of unknown phenomena, yet to be understood. As the circle of enlightenment and knowledge grows, the perimeter of darkness and "unknowns" grows even longer.

There is hope however, as these formerly forbidden subjects are receiving growing legitimacy over time, much to the chagrin of the hardcore denialist skeptics.
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Re: Racism

Post by JJM » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:01 pm

landrew wrote:... It's not really much different with fundamentalist religion. Scientific "facts" are welcomed only if they support the presupposed conclusions which underlie the certitudes. Evidence which contradicts those conclusions is dismissed, often with extreme prejudice. ...
So, everything comes back to Landy's topic, her/his fundamentalist belief in science as long as science does not contradict his/her own faith. Dowsing is a good example, Landy believes it could work despite all the failures to validate it under controlled conditions. What are you afraid of, Landy?
landrew wrote:It's not really much different in many skeptical circles. The intolerance towards an open mind can be openly hostile and vehement, even from ordinarily decent and honest folk. After this attitude develops, any evidence supporting the "other side" is completely dismissed, disqualified and filtered out. ...
And any evidence mitigating against dowsing is dismissed by you.
landrew wrote:Unfortunately, we seem to be dwelling in a sort of Mini Dark Age, ignoring much evidence of unknown phenomena, yet to be understood. ...
Or, understood; but not in accord with your own misunderstanding. If you even progressed to the Renaissance it would be an improvement on your current ignorance.
landrew wrote:There is hope however, as these formerly forbidden subjects are receiving growing legitimacy over time, much to the chagrin of the hardcore denialist skeptics.
Of course, you are going to provide evidence- NOT.

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Lance Kennedy
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Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Racism

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:22 pm

Sad.

landrew began his post with some pertinent and intelligent observations about the relationship between human emotion and racism. That might have led to some excellent debate.

Then he spoiled it by returning to his hobby horse about how skeptics are not open minded enough.

Sad.