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View Poll Results: Can race be determined at the biological level?
Yes 24 57.14%
No 5 11.90%
eR? Whut chu talkin' bout Willis...? 13 30.95%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-12-2007, 12:11 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob919 View Post
Well, for those interested, this is the response I got from my brother. As I mentioned earlier, this is his area of expertise:



My response to the original question is: "ummm yeah, just what he said!"
ya, what he said
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:28 AM   #82
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He just edited his original reply, although I'm not sure where. So I'll Just post it (the edited version) again:

Hi Rob,

Please don't use my name, but you're welcome to cite me as your "bro", below.


There's a lot of mixed interpretations that can be made by simply posting these comments, as conclusions, in such a "broad and general" manner. 2 sentences does not make a scientific report. It's like citing 2 verses from the Bible, and claiming it's all you need to know about the Word of .

First, we should not confuse distinctions in terms between " taxonomy" (and the classification of race) versus "scientific taxonomy " (and classification of animal species).

As an anology, there are now hundreds of breeds of dog that arose 'ancestrally' from the gray wolf, yet there is one species, Canis familiaris - the domestic dog. If a Pomeranian mates with a Pug,.. you may call it a new breed (maybe after 9 generations of inbreeding) and call it a PomPuger; but scientifically speaking, whatever it looks like, it'll always be a dog in the same species! And, as there are yellow, chocolate and black labs, no one should argue that these represent different races of labs because of their coat color.


Of course, we (humans) can construct any "taxonomy" you wish, especially when it's based on the populations commonly-grouped ancestrial traits. There are without question, obvious genetic differences between "Mongols vs "Chinese" and "Poynesians vs the Malaysians", ... whatever. I agree, these differences can be distinguished at the genetic level.


But here's a quote from Rushton himself;


"...from an evolutionary point of view, superiority can only mean adaptive value--if it even means this. And we've got to realize that each of these populations is perfectly, beautifully adapted to their own ancestral environments ...."[12]


For example, Tibetans have a genetic trait that permits greater circulation of blood and oxygen to their muscles ( http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-eno103007.php ) at altitudes up to 14,000 feet, a 'selective advantage', which is something that we're researching now. You, I or anyone else we know who goes up to this altitude will likely die to pulmonary hypertension or edema at this level of low oxygen, without drug or medical intervention. Iow, Alexander the Great would've passed out and his army decimated had they attempted to conquer that region, if he had made such a very "stupid" decision to ascend and fight at that altitude.

An ancestrial population's habitat and environment heavily shaped its selection of socially- and culturally-derived genetic traits. There are verifiable genetic traits, no doubt. A fair-skinned population in the tropics is unlikely, given it's a "selective disadvantage" to get UV-mediated skin cancer. Conversely, thin and small is likely a disadvantage in colder climates, where saving heat and more body fat is an advantage. (Note these are general terms) These societies preferences in traits are not driven solely by evolution, per se, but is a human construct that was propogated by a populations unique, yet complex cultural and social constructs.

So "scientifically-speaking", we humans can procreate with someone of any human race, Regardless of our ancestrial lineage. It'll still be a sapien, another 'human being' of your own species. Otherwise, if someone you know were able to cross-procreate with another species, then whatever "popped out" from that kinky relationship,... likely did not evolve on this planet.

Distinctions in 'race' can be determined genetically; but ' scientifically speaking', these distinctions could never be considered a valid or legitimate taxonomic species by definition, nor should it be confused as such.

Signed as,
"Rob's Bro", PhD
Research Scientist
Molecular and Developmental Biologist


And I say again: "Ummm... yeah. What he said."
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:11 AM   #83
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SO THE QUESTION WAS TO SIMPLE FOR A REASONABLE YES NO ANSWER FROM WHAT I GATHERED FROM YOUR BROTHERS POST
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It makes me cry, but real tears not the ones out of my like usual.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:16 AM   #84
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SO THE QUESTION WAS TO SIMPLE FOR A REASONABLE YES NO ANSWER FROM WHAT I GATHERED FROM YOUR BROTHERS POST
I haven't met a Liberal who could ever give a Yes/No answer to a simple question.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:37 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob919 View Post
I haven't met a Liberal who could ever give a Yes/No answer to a simple question.
whoops my post sounded a little negative when i reread it sorry not my intentions hahaah.
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Originally Posted by Sifu-TZ View Post
It makes me cry, but real tears not the ones out of my like usual.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:49 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob's Bro
There's a lot of mixed interpretations that can be made by simply posting these comments, as conclusions, in such a "broad and general" manner. 2 sentences does not make a scientific report. We should not confuse distinctions in terms between " taxonomy" (and the classification of race) versus "scientific taxonomy" (and classification of animal species).


As an anology, there are now hundreds of breeds of dog that arose 'ancestrally' from the gray wolf, yet there is one species, Canis familiaris - the dog. If a Pomeranian mates with a Pug,.. you may call it a new breed (maybe after 9 generations of inbreeding) and call it a PomPuger; but scientifically speaking, whatever it looks like, it'll always be a dog in the same species! And, as there are yellow, chocolate and black labs, no one should argue that these represent different races of labs because of their coat color.


Of course, we (humans) can construct any "taxonomy" you want, especially when it's based on the populations commonly-grouped ancestrial traits. There are without question, obvious genetic differences between "Mongols vs "Chinese" and "Poynesians vs the Malaysians", ... whatever. I agree, these many of these differences can be distinguished at the genetic level.


But here's a quote from Rushton himself;


"...from an evolutionary point of view, superiority can only mean adaptive value--if it even means this. And we've got to realize that each of these populations is perfectly, beautifully adapted to their own ancestral environments ...."[12]


For example, Tibetans have a genetic trait that permits greater circulation of blood and oxygen to their muscles at altitudes up to 14,000 feet, a 'selective advantage', which is something we're researching now ( http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-eno103007.php ). You, I or anyone else we know who goes up to this altitude will likely die to pulmonary hypertension or high altitude edema at this high altitude and low oxygen level, without drug or medical intervention. Iow, Alexander the Great and his army would've passed out and/or become decimated at that altitude had they attempted to conquer that region.

An ancestrial population's habitat and environment heavily shaped its selection of socially- and culturally-derived genetic traits. There are verifiable genetic traits, no doubt. A fair -skinned population in the tropics is unlikely, given it's "selective disadvantage" to UV-mediated skin cancer. Conversely, thin and small is likely a disadvantage in colder climates, where saving heat and more body fat is an advantage. (Note these are general terms) These societies preferences in traits are not driven solely by evolution, per se, but is a human construct that was propogated by a populations unique, yet complex cultural and social constructs.


So "scientifically-speaking", we humans can procreate with someone of any human race, Regardless of our ancestrial lineage. It'll still be a sapien, another 'human being' from your own species. Otherwise if someone you know were able to cross-procreate with another species, then whatever "popped out" from that kinky relationship,... likely did not evolve on this planet.

...Distinctions in 'race' can be determined genetically; but 'scientifically speaking', these distinctions are not a valid or legitimate taxonomic species by definition, nor should it be confused as such.



Signed as,
"Rob's Bro", PhD
Research Scientist
Molecular and Developmental Biologist
Yo Rob, tell your brother I definitely appreciate the response. This was EXACTLY the type of response I was looking for. I 'think' I have the jist of what he is saying, but would ask if I could get a little clarification on one or two things? If so, thanks in advance.

Your brother, more intelligently than I could, indirectly- whether intentionally or not- pointed out that the concept of race is quintessentially more a social construct than a scientific one. (Correct me if I am mistaken).

1) With regard to the following:

...Distinctions in 'race' can be determined genetically

Is that to say that if sometime in the future, say 400 years, a group of scientists were to find a set of bones from today, would they then be able to determine said individual's ethnicity based on genetic analysis? (This gets to the root of my question)

2) With regard to this following:

....societies preferences in traits are not driven solely by evolution, per se, but is a human construct that was propogated by a populations unique, yet complex cultural and social constructs.

+1 I can definitely agree with this statement, it's evident in the Indian population with many families who are born snake charmers. Many people who grow up in the rural areas essentially grow up charming the cobras and are bitten numerous times, thus introducing the venom to any given individual. Many people would die after these bites, but due to generational introduction of the venom throughout the ancestry, genetically, they've adapted and built up an immunity. This, is an example of socially determined preferential traits. Given the circumstances and processes involved with the latter process, I would say that this still constitutes evolution, perhaps not naturally induced, but evolution no less.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:54 AM   #87
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SO THE QUESTION WAS TO SIMPLE FOR A REASONABLE YES NO ANSWER FROM WHAT I GATHERED FROM YOUR BROTHERS POST
Yeah i figured that after the first few responses so I had to address it here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaJuNsOuLjA View Post
No the question wasn't whether there are biological differences in races. The question was: Is race a valid taxonomic construct? Can race be biologically discernable, meaning, if you were to look at a few strands of DNA, can you determine a given individual's race/ethnicity?
I also conceded here that the question was perhaps not equitable to what the proper response should have been....
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:59 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaJuNsOuLjA View Post
Yo Rob, tell your brother I definitely appreciate the response. This was EXACTLY the type of response I was looking for. I 'think' I have the jist of what he is saying, but would ask if I could get a little clarification on one or two things? If so, thanks in advance.

Your brother, more intelligently than I could, indirectly- whether intentionally or not- pointed out that the concept of race is quintessentially more a social construct than a scientific one. (Correct me if I am mistaken).

1) With regard to the following:

...Distinctions in 'race' can be determined genetically

Is that to say that if sometime in the future, say 400 years, a group of scientists were to find a set of bones from today, would they then be able to determine said individual's ethnicity based on genetic analysis? (This gets to the root of my question)

2) With regard to this following:

....societies preferences in traits are not driven solely by evolution, per se, but is a human construct that was propogated by a populations unique, yet complex cultural and social constructs.

+1 I can definitely agree with this statement, it's evident in the Indian population with many families who are born snake charmers. Many people who grow up in the rural areas essentially grow up charming the cobras and are bitten numerous times, thus introducing the venom to any given individual. Many people would die after these bites, but due to generational introduction of the venom throughout the ancestry, genetically, they've adapted and built up an immunity. This, is an example of socially determined preferential traits. Given the circumstances and processes involved with the latter process, I would say that this still constitutes evolution, perhaps not naturally induced, but evolution no less.
Hey man, no problem! I will forward your reply to him, and I'm sure he will be happy to share his thoughts. I think he lives and breathes for this thing called knowledge.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:04 PM   #89
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I have no knowledge of anyone being able to tell what "race" someone is at a molecular level.... but I don't cut people up for a living.....(only fun)

Unless you want to look at things like the amounts of melanin in skin tissue or something, but even then, I'm not so sure it would matter. (and may be a larger scale than what you're asking.)

Last edited by jus10; 12-12-2007 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #90
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Hey man, no problem! I will forward your reply to him, and I'm sure he will be happy to share his thoughts. I think he lives and breathes for this thing called knowledge.
Lol, me too...AND I LOVE hearing from someone who actually knows what teh they are talking about haha...that way I can absorb the information. And please add in the post directly above yours, I don't want him thinking that the question was whether there were biological differences in races because as much is evident, my question was a bit more deeply rooted than that. Essentially I was asking whether you could genetically, specifically identify ethnicity. Thanks again bro!
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:13 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaJuNsOuLjA View Post
Lol, me too...AND I LOVE hearing from someone who actually knows what teh they are talking about haha...that way I can absorb the information. And please add in the post directly above yours, I don't want him thinking that the question was whether there were biological differences in races because as much is evident, my question was a bit more deeply rooted than that. Essentially I was asking whether you could genetically, specifically identify ethnicity. Thanks again bro!
He got it! I already did the Copy/Paste as soon as I saw it.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:15 PM   #92
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He got it! I already did the Copy/Paste as soon as I saw it.
Koo, I'll await his response.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:45 PM   #93
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pointed out that the concept of race is quintessentially more a social construct than a scientific one.
That is what most scientists claim from what I learned. It makes sense.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:50 PM   #94
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That is what most scientists claim from what I learned. It makes sense.
Lol n that's what makes the poll results so funny
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:01 PM   #95
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Well, I learned something because I really thought there was a difference when you got down to the molecules.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:03 PM   #96
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OK, you asked for it....

Here's his Reply:

Rob,

First, there are more "educated" experts than myself.

Second, eventually I believe that it could be possible to cluster similar genes and produce a predictive profile of ones ancestrial heritage, but I doubt that anyone could ever do so with 100% accuracy at this point, stating that your line is 70% of one race and another at 29% and/or another at 1%. Right now, it's becoming more apparent that our understanding of the human genome is a LOT more complex than previously thought.

Fwiw. I attended a book signing discussion by Dr J. Craig Ventor, whose work sequenced the entire human genome. His goal is to sequence 10,000 human genomes in less than 10 years. Care to volunteer? His institute/company may eventually provide the service, in fact. Going back, he said that hair color and eye color is no longer considered or based on just 1 or 2 genes, but defined by several genes and gene families that are themselves influenced by a host of environmental factors. So it's possible that identical twins could have difference eye colors. In fact, genetically speaking, identical twins are not 100% genetically identical. They are identical after conception and perhaps after the cells split to the 2-cell stage. But by the time the human body reaches 10 trillion cells, a lot of genetic changes have occurred in each of them that their genomes are no longer identical.

Another environmental factor is diet. There are over 25,000 chemicals in our blood, but 2/3 are chemicals that are processed by the bacterial flora in our gut and absorbed by out diet. It's obviously unclear what all these do, but some do influence gene expression. Twins separated at birth, and raised in Asia and Europe would likley differ in their genome profile, because of environmental and dietary differences. So, depending on where we live and what we eat, these compounds can have eventually confer different health and physical effects to the adult. In the end, it's possible that they could have slight differences in hair color and eye color, and yet they were "identical"

Tell your friend that genes may someday be grouped by a common ethnicity profile. In fact, some gene families are being characterized for this purpose in a field called medical toxicogenomics, since certain genes that metabolize some of these 25,000 compounds do differ according to ethnicity. The reason that it's important is address why certain individuals suffer more adverse affects with one drug, yet another individual or population may does not. An example is Coumadin, a commonly prescribed drug for those prone to stroke or heart desease. Too much can cause cerebral bleeding in some individuals and could be associated with differences in the gene expression profile of the p450 family of durg metabolizing enzymes. It's possible that some populations metabolize it better, others may accumulate a more toxic by-product and yet for others, it really has no serious adverse effect at the prescribed doses. However, given the overlap of their activities, it's possible that a white male, could have the same P450 profile, as an Asian female. Iow, it's not an absolute determinant. The human body has 23,000 genes.

Hope that answers it,.. understand the facts, trash the soundbites.

Ref's:

I recommend a book for your friend called,
" A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life by J. Craig Venter (Author)"
"http://www.amazon.com/Life-Decoded-My-Genome/dp/0670063584"

Note: Dr Ventor is the cell biologist who developed the technique that sequenced the entire human genome. He discusses this in his new book and shares insights into his own genome, which was one of the representative genomes published in Science. He outlines similar principles, as described above, including why he is more predisposed to sudden cardiac disease, like his father, and why he also has genetic markers for Alzheimers, which obviously concerns him greatly.



2. Also, here's refs to his story in the US's top science journal, Science, and others.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten.../291/5507/1177
http://www.genome.gov/10001772#geninfo




Signed as,
"Rob's Bro", PhD
Research Scientist
Molecular and Developmental Biologist


And yet again, I say "Yeah........"
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:14 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob919 View Post
OK, you asked for it....

Here's his Reply:

Rob,

First, there are more "educated" experts than myself.

Second, eventually I believe that it could be possible to cluster similar genes and produce a predictive profile of ones ancestrial heritage, but I doubt that anyone could ever do so with 100% accuracy at this point, stating that your line is 70% of one race and another at 29% and/or another at 1%. Right now, it's becoming more apparent that our understanding of the human genome is a LOT more complex than previously thought.

Fwiw. I attended a book signing discussion by Dr J. Craig Ventor, whose work sequenced the entire human genome. His goal is to sequence 10,000 human genomes in less than 10 years. Care to volunteer? His institute/company may eventually provide the service, in fact. Going back, he said that hair color and eye color is no longer considered or based on just 1 or 2 genes, but defined by several genes and gene families that are themselves influenced by a host of environmental factors. So it's possible that identical twins could have difference eye colors. In fact, genetically speaking, identical twins are not 100% genetically identical. They are identical after conception and perhaps after the cells split to the 2-cell stage. But by the time the human body reaches 10 trillion cells, a lot of genetic changes have occurred in each of them that their genomes are no longer identical.

Another environmental factor is diet. There are over 25,000 chemicals in our blood, but 2/3 are chemicals that are processed by the bacterial flora in our gut and absorbed by out diet. It's obviously unclear what all these do, but some do influence gene expression. Twins separated at birth, and raised in Asia and Europe would likley differ in their genome profile, because of environmental and dietary differences. So, depending on where we live and what we eat, these compounds can have eventually confer different health and physical effects to the adult. In the end, it's possible that they could have slight differences in hair color and eye color, and yet they were "identical"

Tell your friend that genes may someday be grouped by a common ethnicity profile. In fact, some gene families are being characterized for this purpose in a field called medical toxicogenomics, since certain genes that metabolize some of these 25,000 compounds do differ according to ethnicity. The reason that it's important is address why certain individuals suffer more adverse affects with one drug, yet another individual or population may does not. An example is Coumadin, a commonly prescribed drug for those prone to stroke or heart desease. Too much can cause cerebral bleeding in some individuals and could be associated with differences in the gene expression profile of the p450 family of durg metabolizing enzymes. It's possible that some populations metabolize it better, others may accumulate a more toxic by-product and yet for others, it really has no serious adverse effect at the prescribed doses. However, given the overlap of their activities, it's possible that a white male, could have the same P450 profile, as an Asian female. Iow, it's not an absolute determinant. The human body has 23,000 genes.

Hope that answers it,.. understand the facts, trash the soundbites.

Ref's:

I recommend a book for your friend called,
" A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life by J. Craig Venter (Author)"
"http://www.amazon.com/Life-Decoded-My-Genome/dp/0670063584"

Note: Dr Ventor is the cell biologist who developed the technique that sequenced the entire human genome. He discusses this in his new book and shares insights into his own genome, which was one of the representative genomes published in Science. He outlines similar principles, as described above, including why he is more predisposed to sudden cardiac disease, like his father, and why he also has genetic markers for Alzheimers, which obviously concerns him greatly.



2. Also, here's refs to his story in the US's top science journal, Science, and others.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten.../291/5507/1177
http://www.genome.gov/10001772#geninfo




Signed as,
"Rob's Bro", PhD
Research Scientist
Molecular and Developmental Biologist


And yet again, I say "Yeah........"
Good stuff! I'll check out those sources and more than likely buy that book. I'm very interested in the topic, but I tend to gravitate more toward anthropology because of the historical elements associated with the discipline (I love history). If he was serious about this:

Quote:
Fwiw. I attended a book signing discussion by Dr J. Craig Ventor, whose work sequenced the entire human genome. His goal is to sequence 10,000 human genomes in less than 10 years. Care to volunteer?
Heck yeah, but I'd predicate that by saying I am in no way shape or form any kind of genius at either genetics or biology, I just like the subjects and love science in general. To be part of such a project though would be great!

Thanks again to your brother for his insight and taking the time to write all of that out! It's definitely much appreciated
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:24 PM   #98
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Good stuff! I'll check out those sources and more than likely buy that book. I'm very interested in the topic, but I tend to gravitate more toward anthropology because of the historical elements associated with the discipline (I love history). If he was serious about this:



Heck yeah, but I'd predicate that by saying I am in no way shape or form any kind of genius at either genetics or biology, I just like the subjects and love science in general. To be part of such a project though would be great!

Thanks again to your brother for his insight and taking the time to write all of that out! It's definitely much appreciated
You bet, bro. I'll let him know!

Have fun when you start getting "sequenced"!
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #99
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Laymen's:
Can race be determined at the biological level?
Don't know, don't really care, but, I wish there was a way to distinguish dumbasses biologically!
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:56 PM   #100
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Don't know, don't really care, but, I wish there was a way to distinguish dumbasses biologically!
No need, they make themselves known rather quickly lol
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