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  • #16
    Originally posted by grumbler View Post
    Actually, this is false. There is no "race gene" in the human species. Our genes are astonishingly homogenous (it is believed that humans had a "genetic bottleneck" some three hundred generations ago), far more so than most species.

    "Race" is purely a social construct. While there are differences in alleles caused by geographic separation, they are overwhelmed by the similarities, and unless one arbitrarily selects a gene and declares it to be the "race gene" (which will prove problematic, to say the least, because it won't result in "races" as we socially construct them) genetics provides us with no means of distinguishing reliably between any two groups of humans.
    I never said there was a "race gene", so let me be clear what I meant: groups of genes that have small differences between peoples of different regions. Some clusters of genes are more common between clusters of people in certain regions (e.g. lactose tolerance is more common for Asians, Hispanics are more prone to diabetes, Africans are more prone to sickle cell anemia, etc.)
    I'm also aware that if you "quantify" such genetic differences between people of different races and compare them to the genetic differences between persons of the same race the latter may be larger than the former.

    I share your P.o.V., that we're all humans of the very same species, but I see no wrong in recognizing that a few racial differences exist, and that they go deeper than the skin. I however draw the line at anyone saying that any race is better or worse.

    If that makes my position clear let's drop it, as the topic is a sensitive one that might distract us. I'm basically saying the same as you, but you call it "geographic allele differences" while I call it "clusters of genes in certain regions".

    Same thing, different words.

    Speaking of which....
    Originally posted by EarthandBeyond
    Well i speak 3 languages, and can understand 2 more. And i feel like it was a big waste of my time, learning all of them insted of just 1, because basicly what i did was, i learned to pronaunce "same words" in to 3 different ways.
    And i ask my self, did it really enriched me? The answear is no.
    Then you only learned to translate, and did not really learn the language. Other languages sometimes have words for something that can only be translated as a phrase.
    To me that is cultural richness, that other people have words for concepts that the English language can't describe the same way. Same goes for how Engish can easily express some things that are harder to say in another language.
    If languages did not make you feel culturally richer too bad, to me it's an enriching experience.
    And I'm also fond of different alphabets, I can't read cyricllic, nor greek, but I recognize what most of those symbols are (i.e. the transliteration), and I actually think it's cool that other alphabets can represent with one character phonemes that the roman alphabet has to show as different letters.

    Frankly, whether aliens would chose to communicate with us or not is at the very bottom of my concerns.
    But think about this: if all we know is one single language how on Earth (and Beyond) would we ever know even where to start to speak with aliens?
    IMO it's only by being a diverse species, with different languages, that we can ever hope to know to learn a truly alien language if we ever need to.
    Same goes for you hypothetical aliens: if they only know one language how can they even get the notion to learn and translate a human language?

    Same goes for a unifed culture, if we are all the same, how can we even begin to understand that we might be offensive to an alien because they have different customs?
    And how would aliens be able to be understanding (and forgiving) of "quirky" human behaviours if they are a monolithic culture that knows nothing of sentient beings with different customs?

    Also think of how would we even think of translating alien script if we didn't have the experience and knowledge of different writing systems on Earth.

    Right now, for better or for worse, English has become the lingua franca of the world. That is how we communicate among people of different countries, of different native tongues, and this forum is an example of that already. Think about it, more and more people already can communicate through a common foreign (for most of them) language, English. And they also can communicate around the world through the internet.
    I think those two facts go a long way toward helping erase barriers, at least in communication.
    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Capt.Montoya View Post
      I never said there was a "race gene", so let me be clear what I meant: groups of genes that have small differences between peoples of different regions. Some clusters of genes are more common between clusters of people in certain regions (e.g. lactose tolerance is more common for Asians, Hispanics are more prone to diabetes, Africans are more prone to sickle cell anemia, etc.)
      I'm also aware that if you "quantify" such genetic differences between people of different races and compare them to the genetic differences between persons of the same race the latter may be larger than the former.

      I share your P.o.V., that we're all humans of the very same species, but I see no wrong in recognizing that a few racial differences exist, and that they go deeper than the skin. I however draw the line at anyone saying that any race is better or worse.

      If that makes my position clear let's drop it, as the topic is a sensitive one that might distract us. I'm basically saying the same as you, but you call it "geographic allele differences" while I call it "clusters of genes in certain regions".

      Same thing, different words.

      Speaking of which....Then you only learned to translate, and did not really learn the language. Other languages sometimes have words for something that can only be translated as a phrase.
      To me that is cultural richness, that other people have words for concepts that the English language can't describe the same way. Same goes for how Engish can easily express some things that are harder to say in another language.
      If languages did not make you feel culturally richer too bad, to me it's an enriching experience.
      And I'm also fond of different alphabets, I can't read cyricllic, nor greek, but I recognize what most of those symbols are (i.e. the transliteration), and I actually think it's cool that other alphabets can represent with one character phonemes that the roman alphabet has to show as different letters.

      Frankly, whether aliens would chose to communicate with us or not is at the very bottom of my concerns.
      But think about this: if all we know is one single language how on Earth (and Beyond) would we ever know even where to start to speak with aliens?
      IMO it's only by being a diverse species, with different languages, that we can ever hope to know to learn a truly alien language if we ever need to.
      Same goes for you hypothetical aliens: if they only know one language how can they even get the notion to learn and translate a human language?

      Same goes for a unifed culture, if we are all the same, how can we even begin to understand that we might be offensive to an alien because they have different customs?
      And how would aliens be able to be understanding (and forgiving) of "quirky" human behaviours if they are a monolithic culture that knows nothing of sentient beings with different customs?

      Also think of how would we even think of translating alien script if we didn't have the experience and knowledge of different writing systems on Earth.

      Right now, for better or for worse, English has become the lingua franca of the world. That is how we communicate among people of different countries, of different native tongues, and this forum is an example of that already. Think about it, more and more people already can communicate through a common foreign (for most of them) language, English. And they also can communicate around the world through the internet.
      I think those two facts go a long way toward helping erase barriers, at least in communication.
      I was thinking about what you said, about culteral richness of different languages. I can see you point of view here. But i just think that, its hard way to do things. There is simpler ways of geting that culteral richness with out spending years of studying diffrent languages. - A one language that would have all "enrichment" of others languages.

      Also, Languages, from my point of a view, is a part of something much bigger then just a source to divide us. Think about this:
      One species - divided in to hundreds different, smaller communitys - and here comes the real question: Why?
      Is it really that we can find some culteral inrichments with in this diversity? Or could the answear be much simpler : To control us.
      "We are the universe, trying to understand itself."

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by EarthandBeyond View Post
        Also, Languages, from my point of a view, is a part of something much bigger then just a source to divide us. Think about this:
        One species - divided in to hundreds different, smaller communitys - and here comes the real question: Why?
        Is it really that we can find some culteral inrichments with in this diversity? Or could the answear be much simpler : To control us.
        ...Except that that's pretty much the opposite of the course of human development so far.

        Go back far enough, and primitive humans lived in tribes that were pretty much extended families. There was 'us' which was a very small group, and them which was everyone else.

        Over time we developed larger societies in the form of villages or nomadic clans, expanding the 'us', and maybe even trading rather than warring with the 'them' that was everyone else.

        Feudal societies united even larger groups of 'us' under one Lord or ruling family, and potentially even formed alliances with some of 'them'.

        This eventually (mediaeval times onwards) lead to the formation of large 'nations' with common language and culture, where the 'us' counted people in the millions.

        While there have been many periods of wars and empire-building since then, these days we still have slowly expanding definitions of 'us':

        - with concepts like the 'international community', or 'western civilisation' that people talk about,
        - and meta-national organisations like the United Nations, The European Union, the British Commonwealth, and the African Union,
        - and then there's the best tool for unifying the world ever developed - the internet we're using to communicate (probably from different continents, assuming you're American) right now.

        As for language, less than a thousand years ago, language was so divergent that people in different parts of England couldn't even understand each other, their regional dialects were so different. It was the invention of the printing press and the common availability of the King James Bible that standardised the language enough to allow people from even a hundred miles away from each other to understand each other. Nowadays you could go to any fairly populous region (like a city) of any country in the world and be guaranteed to find somebody who spoke some English.

        In the end, I tend to be optimistic. While there's no doubt that there is much conflict and division in the world right now, and much to worry about in the near future of our lives and those of the next generation, if you step back and look at humanity over a long enough time-scale we're actually becoming ever more united. In my opinion I think we should be focusing on what we can change and effect in the here and now and "let history tend to itself."

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        • #19
          I never believed much in history - there was never enough facts to back up everything that is today in a history books. And all the facts that there ever were, are just to easy to fabricate. ( at least thats how i see it )

          Now for a moments lets imagine that tommorrow we manage to build an engine capable of interstellar travell. The whole galaxy would have been open to us. What do you think would have happend, then?

          As i see it, it would look something like this: Majore nations, such as Russia, China, America and EU, would made there own space programms to explore the Universe.
          And once planets simmuler to Earth are discovered, Russians and Chinas nations would be the first to leave Earth for good. And simply why wouldnt they? Just think about it: No more "American Democracy ", no more opposition in government(because simply, whom ever would not aggree with government policy, would be simply left behind), no more threat of terrorists atacks, no more bowing down to other countrys because of there resources, simply put: no more taking Bullshit from other countrys, and the most important: no more English language, no more foreign influence on traditions of Russia and China.
          Russian and Chinies people can finnaly find peace, and work as a 2 separate united nations to improve there living, there traditions, there languages, theer wealth.
          And eventually every other majore country would do the same. Leave Earth for good to find peace among the stars.

          But of couse there will be huge opposition against all of this. Alote of people would loose alote of power over general population. And they will try to do anything to prevent this. And maybe just maybe, they are doing it already now. Making us hummans look like a barbariens, sabotaging Space programs. Ever woundered why Humans havent visited Moon for the last 30+ years? Almost 40 years ago, a human first landed on the moon, we should have been colonizing the moon right now, and working towards the Mars, insted governments spend billlions of dollars on making and figting mininless wars, frightning people with constant treads of terrorrists atacks. They want us to be frightened so they can guide us in what ever way they choose too.
          "We are the universe, trying to understand itself."

          Comment


          • #20
            words fail

            First reaction: LOL
            On second thought, seeing that you actually believe what you wrote:



            Be happy with your utopian dreams as escapism from distopian control conspiracy nightmares. I prefer to live in the real world.

            Raw Bean has it exactly right, if you believe we are fragmented just look at the past.

            P.S. if you don't believe history then you don't know it and you are doomed to repeat it...
            Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
            James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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