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SC2218: Anthropology and the Human Condition Lecture 3: Human Diversity ( It’s Not in Our Genes ) Eric C. Thompson Semeste...
Where Are We Going? <ul><li>Part 1: What is Anthropology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strangers Abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
Today’s Lecture… <ul><li>Rethinking “Race” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Race? Do Races really exist? </li></ul></ul><ul><...
From Last Week: Boas’ Basic Questions for Anthropology: <ul><li>“ Why are the tribes and the nations of the world differen...
Understanding Diversity remains at the core of Anthropology <ul><li>“ Diversity Is Our Business”… “I think it is a valid c...
Why are People Different? Three General Theories <ul><li>Geography (“Environmental Determinism”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>19 ...
What is Race? <ul><li>We have many words, in many languages to refer to groups of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Race, Ethnic G...
What is Race? <ul><li>“ Race does not have a biological reality, but is a mere social construct.  … However, critical issu...
<ul><li>“ Old fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive but scientifically wrong…” </li></ul><ul><li>Spenc...
How the Idea of Race Developed <ul><li>18 th  to 19 th  Centuries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Race, Nation and People (e.g. Germ...
Race: Essentialist Categories Ethiopian Malayan Mongoloid American Caucasoid Blumenbach’s Classification (1775) “ Scientif...
What is Race? (From Biology) <ul><li>Race vs. Species </li></ul><ul><li>Species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional Definitio...
Coherence of Traits: Race and Ethnicity <ul><li>“ Race” is interpretation of Biological Traits </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ethnici...
Traits Do Not Cohere <ul><li>The Idea of Race is based on “coherence” of traits (esp. biological). </li></ul><ul><li>Trait...
“ Incoherent” Traits (Example of Biological and Cultural Traits) “ African” and “European” men wearing “Asian” batik.
Trait 1: Skin Color Trait 2: ABO Blood Group Trait 1 varies North-South Trait 2 varies East-West “ Incoherent” Traits (Exa...
Racial Categories? 30 26 4 3 Type B Type A Type O Reflectivity of Skin? ABO Blood Type?
Race and Ethnicity Today: Folk Categories / Scientific Categories <ul><li>More often than not, “folk categories” (used in ...
Example 1: American use of “race” <ul><li>Barak Obama is first “Black” President of the United States of America. </li></u...
Children have to learn how to classify people “correctly”
Example 2: Malaysian use of “race” <ul><li>Who is “Malay”? </li></ul><ul><li>What counts as “Malay”? </li></ul>
Do Races Exist? <ul><li>People can be classified based on biology. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skin color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Conclusions about Race <ul><li>Race is not a  scientifically  useful scheme for categorizing human diversity. </li></ul><u...
INTERMISSION…
Our Common Ancestry <ul><li>All people alive today share common African ancestry. </li></ul><ul><li>We have changed over t...
Journey of Man <ul><li>Why does Spencer Wells describe his research as tracing the journey of  Man ? </li></ul><ul><li>Wha...
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/photogalleries/journey_of_man/ Journey of  MAN : Tracing the Y chromosome
Tracing Genetic Ancestry <ul><li>Y-chromosome: Paternal (Father) Lineage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only Men have Y-Chromosomes...
http://www.mygenetree.com/articles/types-of-dna-tests/mitochondrial-dna.php
Race versus Lineage Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio Recent advances in genetics allow us ...
Saito-Thompson Family Tree Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio
Race versus Lineage ? ? Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio Japanese European
Race versus Lineage ? ? Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio mtDNA Haplogroup D mtDNA Haplogro...
Race versus Lineage X X ? ? X X Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio NRY- Haplogroup  I 170
Eric Charles Thompson son of Dorothy L. Thompson mtDNA Deep Ancestry Lineage Haplogroup H
Mia Dorothy Saito Thompson daughter of Mayumi Saito mtDNA Deep Ancestry Lineage Haplogroup D
Isaac Asahi Saito Thompson son of Eric Charles Thompson Y-Chromosome Deep Ancestry Lineage
 
For more information, see the National Geographic Genographic Project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genograp...
Genetic Evolution of the past 50,000 years <ul><li>Four sources of genetic evolution (change in allele frequency; DNA sequ...
“ The Form Is Fixed . . .” http://anthro.palomar.edu/tutorials/physical.htm <ul><li>2.5 Million Years Ago –  Homo habilis ...
“ . . . and Culture Takes Off” http://anthro.palomar.edu/tutorials/physical.htm <ul><li>Biological change in humans has be...
What is Evolution? <ul><li>Merriam-Webster Dictionary  ( http://www.m-w.com/ ) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a process of change...
“ A Certain Direction” <ul><li>Evolution  DOES NOT  proceed “in a certain direction”. (Error of “teleology” or assuming th...
“ Lower, Simpler, Worse… to Higher, More Complex, Better” <ul><li>Contemporary evolutionary thought  does  look at emergen...
“ Gradual and Relatively Peaceful … Advance” <ul><li>Much evidence shows that evolution may proceed through “punctuated eq...
Survival of the Fittest… (Natural Selection; Darwin Revisited)
Which of these is Best? (Which is  “ FITTEST ”? ) A B C D
“ Survival of the Fittest”  <ul><li>“ Survival of the Fittest” does not mean “best” in an abstract way (e.g. strongest, sm...
Which of these is Best? (Which is  “fittest”? ) A B C D
“ Fitness” is a meaningless concept without a Context
Context (e.g. environment) determines “fitness”
What is “fittest” in one context…
…  May be “unfit” in another context
…  May be “unfit” in another context
…  May be “unfit” in another context
“ Survival of the Fittest” versus “Survival of the Minimally Adequate” <ul><li>Both mean the same thing (though the second...
So… What  is  Evolution? <ul><li>Change in a system over time resulting in a  qualitatively  different system. </li></ul><...
Some Examples of Evolved Systems <ul><li>Biological Species </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Bird Songs </li><...
Summing Up… <ul><li>Race is a social construct with social consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Race – genetically distinctive ...
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Sc2218 lecture 3 (2011)

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Sc2218 lecture 3 (2011)

  1. 1. SC2218: Anthropology and the Human Condition Lecture 3: Human Diversity ( It’s Not in Our Genes ) Eric C. Thompson Semester 1, 2011/2012
  2. 2. Where Are We Going? <ul><li>Part 1: What is Anthropology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strangers Abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2: What do Anthropologists Study? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kinship, Gender, Economy, Community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3: Current Debates and Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Representing Others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Poetry of Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World Anthropologies </li></ul></ul>YOU ARE HERE
  3. 3. Today’s Lecture… <ul><li>Rethinking “Race” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Race? Do Races really exist? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Journey of Man… and Woman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did we all get here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our common African ancestry. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The Form is Fixed and Culture Takes Off” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the “Big Bang” of Culture? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is Evolution? </li></ul>
  4. 4. From Last Week: Boas’ Basic Questions for Anthropology: <ul><li>“ Why are the tribes and the nations of the world different and how have the present differences developed?” </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropology , 1907 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Understanding Diversity remains at the core of Anthropology <ul><li>“ Diversity Is Our Business”… “I think it is a valid claim that this is what the discipline (of anthropology) is all about… a focus on diversity identifies (anthropology’s) important contribution to knowledge.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ulf Hannerz (2010) Anthropology’s World: Life in a Twenty-First-Century Discipline , p.48-49. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why are People Different? Three General Theories <ul><li>Geography (“Environmental Determinism”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>19 th century idea; uncommon now </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Race (“Biological Determinism”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>19 th century idea; still common </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture (“Cultural Relativism”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>19 th to 20 th century idea; popular now </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What is Race? <ul><li>We have many words, in many languages to refer to groups of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Race, Ethnic Group, Nation, Tribe… </li></ul><ul><li>Bangsa, Sukubangsa, Kaum… </li></ul><ul><li>Minzu… </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is Race? <ul><li>“ Race does not have a biological reality, but is a mere social construct. … However, critical issues still remain. The statement alone that race does not have a biological reality does little to help us understand the ways we experience or ‘feel’ race as ‘real’ in our everyday lives.” </li></ul><ul><li>Yasuko Takezawa (2011) Racial Representations in Asia , p.1 </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>“ Old fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive but scientifically wrong…” </li></ul><ul><li>Spencer Wells, The Journey of Man (Film) . </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  10. 10. How the Idea of Race Developed <ul><li>18 th to 19 th Centuries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Race, Nation and People (e.g. German Race, German Nation, German People) overlapped. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>19 th to 20 th Centuries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Race became a biological idea. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nation (nationality) became a political idea. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>20 th Century </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ethnicity” and “Ethnic Group” came to describe cultural difference; Race came to mean only biological difference </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Race: Essentialist Categories Ethiopian Malayan Mongoloid American Caucasoid Blumenbach’s Classification (1775) “ Scientific” Approach Based on “Coherence” of Traits Originally included Cultural & Biological Traits Nations, Races, Peoples
  12. 12. What is Race? (From Biology) <ul><li>Race vs. Species </li></ul><ul><li>Species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional Definition: Members of the same Species can mate and have viable offspring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human beings ( Homo sapiens ) are one species. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Race (or Sub-species) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members of the same species, but distinctive in some way. Racial classifications are arbitrary and non-functional . </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Coherence of Traits: Race and Ethnicity <ul><li>“ Race” is interpretation of Biological Traits </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ethnicity” is interpretation of Cultural Traits </li></ul><ul><li>Racial Theory and Primordial Ethnic theory are based on an assumption of within-group “coherence of traits”. </li></ul><ul><li>Biological and anthropological (sociological) research indicate that traits do not cohere enough to make racial or primordial ethnic theories valid or useful. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Traits Do Not Cohere <ul><li>The Idea of Race is based on “coherence” of traits (esp. biological). </li></ul><ul><li>Traits do not cohere. </li></ul><ul><li>94% of biological/ genetic variation occurs within human populations </li></ul><ul><li>6% occurs between populations </li></ul>http://anthro.palomar.edu/vary/default.htm
  15. 15. “ Incoherent” Traits (Example of Biological and Cultural Traits) “ African” and “European” men wearing “Asian” batik.
  16. 16. Trait 1: Skin Color Trait 2: ABO Blood Group Trait 1 varies North-South Trait 2 varies East-West “ Incoherent” Traits (Example of Biological Traits)
  17. 17. Racial Categories? 30 26 4 3 Type B Type A Type O Reflectivity of Skin? ABO Blood Type?
  18. 18. Race and Ethnicity Today: Folk Categories / Scientific Categories <ul><li>More often than not, “folk categories” (used in everyday life) conflate race and ethnicity (i.e. they use biological characteristics and cultural characteristics at the same time). </li></ul><ul><li>Example 1: Americans use mostly (but not only) biological traits to categorize people by “race”. </li></ul><ul><li>Example 2: When Malaysians (and Singaporeans?) use the word “race” they mean something closer to what anthropologists call “ethnicity” </li></ul>
  19. 19. Example 1: American use of “race” <ul><li>Barak Obama is first “Black” President of the United States of America. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people question if he is “really black”; NOT mainly because of biology, but because of culture (e.g. the schools he went to; the way he talks). </li></ul>
  20. 20. Children have to learn how to classify people “correctly”
  21. 21. Example 2: Malaysian use of “race” <ul><li>Who is “Malay”? </li></ul><ul><li>What counts as “Malay”? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Do Races Exist? <ul><li>People can be classified based on biology. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skin color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blood Type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Y-lineage or mtDNA-lineage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Factor Analysis (see Thompson 2006 reading) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrilineage (CMIO in Singapore) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does this make Race real? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Race can be an important social reality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race is meaningless outside of society. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Conclusions about Race <ul><li>Race is not a scientifically useful scheme for categorizing human diversity. </li></ul><ul><li>Biological traits do not cohere enough to make race useful. </li></ul><ul><li>Mental & attitudinal traits (e.g. IQ) cohere even less. </li></ul><ul><li>Race is a set of social and cultural categories; Race is “socially constructed” </li></ul>For a more detailed contemporary view of “race” by professional anthropologists, see the 1998 “Statement on Race” of the American Anthropological Association.
  24. 24. INTERMISSION…
  25. 25. Our Common Ancestry <ul><li>All people alive today share common African ancestry. </li></ul><ul><li>We have changed over time genetically and biologically; but the changes are small, mostly random and literally superficial (e.g. skin pigmentation). </li></ul><ul><li>Culture and social organization have changed tremendously. </li></ul><ul><li>People have developed different cultures; but all have the same capacity for culture. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Journey of Man <ul><li>Why does Spencer Wells describe his research as tracing the journey of Man ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is meant by the comment in film that “After 50,000 years ago . . . the form is fixed and culture takes off.”? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the major routes taken by humans out of Africa? What are the significance of the Kalahari, Australia, India and Central Asia in understanding the “journey of man”? </li></ul><ul><li>How does Spencer Wells’ interest in and portrayal of San people in the film compare to that of Lee, Wilmsen and others we will read about in this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does the Wells argue that “Old fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive but scientifically wrong”? If he is correct, what are the implications for societies like Singapore? How do we explain difference without the concept of race? </li></ul>
  27. 27. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/photogalleries/journey_of_man/ Journey of MAN : Tracing the Y chromosome
  28. 28. Tracing Genetic Ancestry <ul><li>Y-chromosome: Paternal (Father) Lineage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only Men have Y-Chromosomes (XY vs. XX) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Y-Chromosomes pass down from father to son without recombining (“NRY”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mitochondrial DNA (“mtDNA”): Maternal (Mother) Lineage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone has mitochondria (a microscopic organism that lives in our cells) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We inherit our mitochondria from our Mothers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutations in mtDNA reveal Maternal Lineages </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. http://www.mygenetree.com/articles/types-of-dna-tests/mitochondrial-dna.php
  30. 30. Race versus Lineage Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio Recent advances in genetics allow us to trace “Deep Ancestry” But these Lineages are a very different thing than Race
  31. 31. Saito-Thompson Family Tree Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio
  32. 32. Race versus Lineage ? ? Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio Japanese European
  33. 33. Race versus Lineage ? ? Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio mtDNA Haplogroup D mtDNA Haplogroup H
  34. 34. Race versus Lineage X X ? ? X X Nobuko Takeshi Dorothy Charles Bret Eric Mayumi Mia Isaac Yoshio NRY- Haplogroup I 170
  35. 35. Eric Charles Thompson son of Dorothy L. Thompson mtDNA Deep Ancestry Lineage Haplogroup H
  36. 36. Mia Dorothy Saito Thompson daughter of Mayumi Saito mtDNA Deep Ancestry Lineage Haplogroup D
  37. 37. Isaac Asahi Saito Thompson son of Eric Charles Thompson Y-Chromosome Deep Ancestry Lineage
  38. 39. For more information, see the National Geographic Genographic Project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html Spencer Wells Director of Research
  39. 40. Genetic Evolution of the past 50,000 years <ul><li>Four sources of genetic evolution (change in allele frequency; DNA sequence over time): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural Selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Genetic Drift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migration and Population Expansion (Gene Flow and “Founder Effect”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current consensus: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genetic Drift and Migration (Founder Effect) not Natural Selection account for most of the biological variation we see in Homo sapiens </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. “ The Form Is Fixed . . .” http://anthro.palomar.edu/tutorials/physical.htm <ul><li>2.5 Million Years Ago – Homo habilis (the “handy man”) </li></ul><ul><li>1.8 Million Years Ago – Homo erectus (first out of Africa) </li></ul><ul><li>200,000 to 50,000 years ago – Modern Homo sapiens* </li></ul>*Wells calls this “the Great Leap Forward” and “First Big Bang” in modern Human cultural evolution. Marking a qualitative difference between Homo sapiens and others; like Homo erectus . (pp.151)
  41. 42. “ . . . and Culture Takes Off” http://anthro.palomar.edu/tutorials/physical.htm <ul><li>Biological change in humans has been largely & literally superficial for 50,000 years . </li></ul><ul><li>Human diversity is primarily cultural not physical or racial. </li></ul>
  42. 43. What is Evolution? <ul><li>Merriam-Webster Dictionary ( http://www.m-w.com/ ) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a process of change in a certain direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are all BAD definitions according to contemporary scientific research in the field of evolution!!! </li></ul>
  43. 44. “ A Certain Direction” <ul><li>Evolution DOES NOT proceed “in a certain direction”. (Error of “teleology” or assuming that because something did happen that it had to happen ). </li></ul><ul><li>Mutation </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic Drift </li></ul><ul><li>Migration, Founder Effects and Gene Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Selection </li></ul><ul><li>The “direction” of change is only apparent ex post facto (after the fact). </li></ul>Why are marsupials predominant in Australia but not elsewhere?
  44. 45. “ Lower, Simpler, Worse… to Higher, More Complex, Better” <ul><li>Contemporary evolutionary thought does look at emergence of complex systems out of simpler ones. But… </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lower to Higher” and “Worse to Better” are value judgments, NOT science. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Complexity” only means “more working parts”; NOT “better” </li></ul>Progress?
  45. 46. “ Gradual and Relatively Peaceful … Advance” <ul><li>Much evidence shows that evolution may proceed through “punctuated equilibrium”: periods of relative stability punctuated by relatively rapid change. </li></ul><ul><li>Evolutionary change may be “peaceful” but may be very violent. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Advance” is yet another unscientific value-judgement (i.e. “advanced” civilization vs. “primitive” civilization). </li></ul>
  46. 47. Survival of the Fittest… (Natural Selection; Darwin Revisited)
  47. 48. Which of these is Best? (Which is “ FITTEST ”? ) A B C D
  48. 49. “ Survival of the Fittest” <ul><li>“ Survival of the Fittest” does not mean “best” in an abstract way (e.g. strongest, smartest, fastest, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Fittest is better thought of as “that which fits the best” (like a puzzle piece) </li></ul><ul><li>Fitness depends on context . </li></ul>
  49. 50. Which of these is Best? (Which is “fittest”? ) A B C D
  50. 51. “ Fitness” is a meaningless concept without a Context
  51. 52. Context (e.g. environment) determines “fitness”
  52. 53. What is “fittest” in one context…
  53. 54. … May be “unfit” in another context
  54. 55. … May be “unfit” in another context
  55. 56. … May be “unfit” in another context
  56. 57. “ Survival of the Fittest” versus “Survival of the Minimally Adequate” <ul><li>Both mean the same thing (though the second may be slightly more accurate) </li></ul><ul><li>They have different social implications (the first has been used in justifying eugenics in ways the second might not). </li></ul>
  57. 58. So… What is Evolution? <ul><li>Change in a system over time resulting in a qualitatively different system. </li></ul><ul><li>The qualitative difference may or may not entail greater complexity . </li></ul>
  58. 59. Some Examples of Evolved Systems <ul><li>Biological Species </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Bird Songs </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Settlement Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Modes of Production </li></ul><ul><li>Kinship Systems </li></ul>
  59. 60. Summing Up… <ul><li>Race is a social construct with social consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Race – genetically distinctive populations – is not scientifically valid (not supported by evidence). </li></ul><ul><li>Physical (genetic) difference we see today is mostly based on genetic drift , gene flow (migration), and “founder effects” all of which is random (not selected change based on “fitness” or improvement). </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural, not biological, change over the past 50,000 years is the primary source of human diversity today. </li></ul>

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