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Old 10-26-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,904 posts, read 18,462,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
But are we a polytypic species? That is two or more subspecies.
We are a monotypic species.

Pretty much all species have superficial variations. Take Chimps, for example:







Humans naturally put more importance on the slightest of variation because our brain is hard-wired to work that way so we can effectively identify and remember different individuals. Otherwise, our color or eye slant is irrelevant; all racial variations are simply variations on the same theme.

Humans vs Neanderthals is another thing alltogether though... there are distinct variations of the plan between them and us.

That could count as a subspecies, though science has since decided to call them a sperate species... and in reality the whole classification system is crude and flawed because all life has seamlessly morphed out of the same primordial ooze over billions of years anyway.

I will admit people were going the way of becoming different species due to a couple hundred thousand years of isolation, but it wasn't long enough. Now the isolation has vanished so or separation into different species has halted before it really even began.

Last edited by Chango; 10-26-2012 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:09 PM
 
5,496 posts, read 4,404,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konraden View Post
We are all basically the same. Predisposition to illness is hardly qualifying speciation material.



Imagine a line of color that goes gradually from yellow to red. Between yellow and red is orange, and at certain points along that line, you can say that the point is definitely yellow, definitely orange, or definitely red. as you move around between yellow to red, there are points where it might be yellow, or might be orange. But you'll call it Gold. So now you have a point called gold that sits between yellow and orange.

Rinse. Repeat. Classifying species based on genetic differences is akin to attempting to classify every possible color amongst this gradient. You can say that this group is a subspecies based on these genes, and this group is a sub species based on these genes, but what about the group between them? Is that another group? And the group between those? And between the new groups?

Evolutionarily, it's the same reason why there is no "missing link," because every form is a transitional form.



People definitely have different cultures and ethnicity, but these are socially constructed terms, not genetic or biological ones. Race itself is entirely socially constructed because it isn't genetically or biologically defined--for the reasons posted above.



There aren't significant genetic differences between humans any more than there are between breeds of animals. Breeds don't constitute a sub-species.

Geographic differences between people doesn't directly translate to genetic differences between those groups. Humans haven't had environmental pressure to force those kinds of genetic changes in 10,000 years. We're more or less the same.

The part you're missing is that gradient. We're incapable of taking these minute genetic differences between two groups of people and claiming each group a sub-species. You'll spend a lifetime breaking up further and further differences, increasingly insignificant, in order to continually classify subspecies.

Obviously skin-tone is the easiest one to start with. Let's say the dark guy who reflects light off his skin at X- wavelength less is considered subspecies 1. The guy who reflects light off his skin at wavelength X+ is subspecies 2.

What happens when two of subspecies 2 make a child whose skin reflects at X-? This kind of thing happens all the time.

Evolution 101: Cats don't turn into dogs.

You can expand your classification of subspecies if you want. Say, to include things like facial features, height, width, predisposition to illness, etc.

But what happens when someone only meets three out of six of those criterion?

We classify animals regularly on 'breed' based on such trivial markers as hair length and color, size, frame, and other genetically aesthetic but otherwise meaningless information.
Yeah, I see the problem. I guess it's just some of these terms that are floating around in my head.

Here is something from Wikipedia: Subspecies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A polytypic species has two or more subspecies, races or more generally speaking, populations that need a separate description. These are separate groups that are clearly distinct from one another and do not generally interbreed (although there may be a relatively narrow hybridization zone), but which would interbreed freely if given the chance to do so. Note that groups which would not interbreed freely, even if brought together such that they had the opportunity to do so, are not subspecies: they are separate species.


A monotypic species has no distinct population or races, or rather one race comprising the whole species. Monotypic species can occur in several ways:
  • All members of the species are very similar and cannot be sensibly divided into biologically significant subcategories.
  • The individuals vary considerably but the variation is essentially random and largely meaningless so far as genetic transmission of these variations is concerned.
  • The variation among individuals is noticeable and follows a pattern, but there are no clear dividing lines among separate groups: they fade imperceptibly into one another. Such clinal variation always indicates substantial gene flow among the apparently separate groups that make up the population(s). Populations that have a steady, substantial gene flow among them are likely to represent a monotypic species even when a fair degree of genetic variation is obvious.
I read both of these and they both make sense - although the monotypic makes more sense which you helped explain. Am I following you correctly on that?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:12 PM
 
5,496 posts, read 4,404,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
We are a monotypic species.

Pretty much all species have superficial variations. Take Chimps, for example:







Humans naturally put more importance on the slightest of variation because our brain is hard-wired to work that way so we can effectively identify and remember different individuals. Otherwise, our color or eye slant is irrelevant; all racial variations are simply variations on the same theme.

Humans vs Neanderthals is another thing alltogether though... there are distinct variations of the plan between them and us.

That could count as a subspecies, though science has since decided to call them a sperate species... and in reality the whole classification system is crude and flawed because all life has seamlessly morphed out of the same primordial ooze over billions of years anyway.
Alright that makes more sense. Don't some moderns have Neanderthal genes floating around - wouldn't that qualify Neanderthal as a subspecies?

That last pic - He one BUFF Chimp.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,904 posts, read 18,462,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
Alright that makes more sense. Don't some moderns have Neanderthal genes floating around - wouldn't that qualify Neanderthal as a subspecies?

That last pic - He one BUFF Chimp.
That's the thing about catagorization. Life itself is not catagorized; it's an incredibly dynamic, ever-changing 2-3+ billion year long event, not the neat and orderly human-invented system that we've tried to shoe-horn life into. That's why scientists have lively debates over what is and isn't a species/subspecies/famiy/ect.

BTW all chimps are that that buff... you just can't tell under the hair. They are quadupedal so their arms get plenty of exercise.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:56 PM
 
5,496 posts, read 4,404,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
That's the thing about catagorization. Life itself is not catagorized; it's an incredibly dynamic, ever-changing 2-3+ billion year long event, not the neat and orderly human-invented system that we've tried to shoe-horn life into. That's why scientists have lively debates over what is and isn't a species/subspecies/famiy/ect.

BTW all chimps are that that buff... you just can't tell under the hair. They are quadupedal so their arms get plenty of exercise.
Yeah how come he does not have hair? He looks like - Yeah! What you gonna do bout it - it's all good.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:40 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 2,952,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
Yeah, I see the problem. I guess it's just some of these terms that are floating around in my head.

Here is something from Wikipedia: Subspecies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A polytypic species has two or more subspecies, races or more generally speaking, populations that need a separate description. These are separate groups that are clearly distinct from one another and do not generally interbreed (although there may be a relatively narrow hybridization zone), but which would interbreed freely if given the chance to do so. Note that groups which would not interbreed freely, even if brought together such that they had the opportunity to do so, are not subspecies: they are separate species.


A monotypic species has no distinct population or races, or rather one race comprising the whole species. Monotypic species can occur in several ways:
  • All members of the species are very similar and cannot be sensibly divided into biologically significant subcategories.
  • The individuals vary considerably but the variation is essentially random and largely meaningless so far as genetic transmission of these variations is concerned.
  • The variation among individuals is noticeable and follows a pattern, but there are no clear dividing lines among separate groups: they fade imperceptibly into one another. Such clinal variation always indicates substantial gene flow among the apparently separate groups that make up the population(s). Populations that have a steady, substantial gene flow among them are likely to represent a monotypic species even when a fair degree of genetic variation is obvious.
I read both of these and they both make sense - although the monotypic makes more sense which you helped explain. Am I following you correctly on that?
Scientists generally don't reject the idea of species or sub-species, but understanding that these are no "hard and fast" rules to call one thing a member species 1, and something else a member of species two when they share a tremendous amount of DNA with one another. Species are classified in a number of ways, including genetically and morphologically (how they look, essentially).

We can classify species, we just have to be aware that they're categories on a gradient. We can name colors too, as long as we're aware there are colors between 'red' and 'yellow.'
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:57 PM
 
603 posts, read 1,074,477 times
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If you could produce a sharp picture of the DNA (you can't, the molecular structure is so small relative to the wavelengths of visible light that it's blurry), they would look exactly the same. The differences in the DNA that produce the characteristics we call "race" are a small few genes among very many, and, of course, the difference between one gene and another is like a single digit in a sea of random numbers (with only the numerals "1", "2", "3" and "4" used!).

Put another way, an unlabeled CD of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony looks just like a CD of the music of 50-Cent.

People of more than one race have some of each of these few genes, and many (most?) of us are multiracial, but don't know it.
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