Uniquely Unique | Our Sad History

In the long history of searching for what makes humans special, we have often caused great harm to our neighbors. In this episode, we are examining our track record with racial injustice and creation care and the harm we have caused along the way.

This is the second-to-last in the series! Hope you tune in next week for its conclusion.

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Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one listening to these podcasts. I was waiting for someone else to set the tone for discussion and go after that because I keep getting stuck on the race as a non biological thing. When I keep seeing it as a biological thing. Sort of like snake morphs. I’ve listened to that geneticists discussion on his two part episode and that aspect just makes no sense to me. But I wanted to read a few books on it and listen to other speakers on it so that maybe something would click. You can have 10 people teach the same subject with the same conclusions being taught and only one of them may get through for whatever reason regardless if it’s the “pickle jar” syndrome ( thanks to AHS for introducing me to that ) or if it’s that they are simply better speakers for you.

But we have definitely done lots of evil in the name of “whose worthy to be called human”. From slavery, indigenous people, or Jews in Germany. Even China and how many and what kind of kids can be had all kind of falls into what’s considered human.

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I listened to the one with Francis Collins and Jane Goodall. That was very good. I started to listen to one other one, but I asked a question which wasn’t answered, so I kind of lost interest.

If a white doesn’t think it’s a biological thing he should try getting a haircut at a Black barbershop. And vice versa. I heard about this white guy who went into a black barbershop just be be a wise ***. The poor barber said, “I don’t know how to cut this!”

Anyway, I will definitely listen to this one because you have piqued my interest.

I shave my head lol. I use to get it done for free at a college that worked with inmates to help get them their barber hours ( which required more hours of training than to become a cop lol) and I did it for like 2 years twice a month and stopped. Got nicked so many times. One time a guy cut a pepperoni size slice off my head and I had a weird scar for like 6 years but it’s essentially fine now.

I don’t even use straight razors anymore. Just a buzzer on the without a clipper head on it. I can’t stand beards either and so I buzz my face twice a week. Have a friend who spends $125 a month on his hair cut and beard cut or whatever you call it. Manscaping.

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Biological just means that it’s not evidenced in the variations of the DNA. There is more variation between people who look similarly than from those who live on the other side of the world. Did you listen to the ones from Joseph Graves?

So you know these are pre-recorded, right?? When and where did you ask a question that wasn’t answered?

I love all the wonderful hairstyles of Black People! From the Afro to braids, cornrows, etc.

Yes, of course I know these are pre-recorded. It was this one I was talking about.

I did. I listened to it and listened to a handful of others. Ultimately I just don’t see a reason to use that terminology. Race is genetic and biological. It’s why black parents have black kids outside of a mutation and ect… same as with how morphs and variations and cultivars are all genetic differences within a species. What it does not do is change anything about our value. The importance, or how that is viewed, is societal. Racism is societal. Cultures are societal.

All I can say is that I’ll have to find others and listen to them that believe differently and see if something connects because so far all I see is that race is biological and depends upon our parents and society is the ones that adds or subtracts any value to it, or like me see it as nothing more than a fact like hair color or eye color.

I’ll listen to the podcasts by Graves again and see if something comes off differently than before since it’s been a while. Maybe we are simply using the term differently.

But so far I have listened to every podcast out out BioLogos on their podcast “Language of God” at least twice. Some multiple times more.

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Maybe when you hear race, you are thinking ancestry. Our ancestry affects aspects of our genetics and aspects of our physical features that are used by society to determine racial categories. So there are definite biological realities associated with our ancestry and ancestry often correlates with racial categories of society.

There is a scientific definition for “biological race” that is basically equivalent to subspecies. Wolves and antelopes and chimpanzees have identifiable biological races within their species. Humans don’t. We are too similar to one another to meet the biological criteria for classification into subspecies. Even though we can identify certain patterns of biological difference between groups of people with different ancestries, we can’t use these patterns to draw lines between groups that map onto what we currently identify as races in our society. There are a bunch of different continuums that represent genetic variations between populations and any lines you draw to separate them would be arbitrary.

No group of humans alive today represents a unique evolutionary lineage. We all share the same ancestors if you go back a couple dozen generations. There is genetic variation in certain alleles based on where our ancestors lived (like in the genes that influence skin color). But since there is so much genetic variation within populations of similar ancestry and so much genetic similarity among all humans, we can’t draw lines between populations based on allele frequencies. That’s why biologically speaking, there is only one human species and one human race.

Sure. We are all one species. If you use species to mean race then there is one race. I don’t use race to mean species or subspecies but but a combination of physical features including skin tone. So when I see a black kid, I know he’s black. I’m not confused over his race or adding or subtracting any value to it. Same as when I say someone is blue eyed, I’m not adding a societal value to it just stating biologically he has blue eyes. That’s the way I have always heard the term used, including by other biologists. Skin tone differences is not created by society but parents. Values can be added or subtracted to skin based on society or niches of it rather.

Just saying when I see a black person, I’m not confused on what it means. If two black parents gave birth to a Chinese kid with blue eyes and orange hair I would be caught off guard and not because of society. That’s all I mean. But I’m listening to it again. I’m starting to think it s just simply semantics and I’ll continue using race as physical feature and understand it’s passed down by their parents and it’s biological in nature.

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Race not being biological means that the traditional large-scale human “races” (e.g., a 3 way division into African, Asian, and European) is not biologically accurate. Skin color is influenced by a large number of genes, so there is certainly a significant biological impact on what you look like, but people can arrive at similar appearances from different ancestry (e.g., the dark-skinned Asian and Pacific Island populations are more closely related to Asians and Europeans than to sub-Saharan Africans, and most sub-Saharan Africans are more closely related to Europeans than to some other Africans, even if we allow major oversimplification to ignore all the mixing between groups).

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@beaglelady, @HRankin, @jstump,
We seem to have a problem of definition. What they are saying is not that dark skin, [moderated] hair, whatever that are usually associated with race are not biologically transmitted, but that “race” itself is not an accepted scientific concept. “Race” is generally a social construct based on ethnicity. Race is not a biologically defined concept. It is a category that people use as an identifier of others and themselves,

Everyone is different. Everyone is unique. We need ways to identify ourselves and others. The problem arises when we believe that some aspect of ourselves makes us special which we interpret as making us better than others. .

It seems that we all have a psychological need to feel that we are special and there is nothing wrong with this because we are unique and special. The issue arises when we feel we have to tear others down to build ourselves up.

The best solution I have found is to understand that we are special because God created each one of us specially in God’s Own Image. We are special because God created us, not because what we have done. Others are special because God created them, not because of what they have done, although that does not mean that they have not done anything special.

Yet none of that changes the way I , and the majority of people
Use the term race. It’s simply a easier , and traditional way , than saying “ a subpopulation of a Saharan phenotype “. In the two part podcast, the guy uses the term race “ as a simplified response” even. No one on the planet is confused when i refer to myself as white and no one is confuse when I say Danish people from 2,000 years ago was white and no one is confused when I say “ Black Lives Matter” is referring to black people, and not white and ect…. It’s not messy and it’s not confusing. No one is called brown skinned Asian girls black. No one is confusing nicki Minaj for a dark skinned Indonesian.

The fact that multiple genes are involved is just further evidence it’s biological, obviously, and not just some social construct. A Nationality is a social construct. It’s not based on anything biological. You can’t say the same for race.

No one is saying race isn’t real or that people shouldn’t use racial categories because they are meaningless. They are saying those categories are made up and regulated by society not determined by biology.

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I understand what y’all are saying. I’m just saying it makes absolutely no sense. But in the podcast he mentioned that not everyone within the scientific consensus agrees and that many other biologists interpreted the data differently and so that is where I fall as well. To me it just seems like some weird semantic battle to try to turn race from meaning a “subpopulation of specific phenotypes” into something abstract is weird. Diversity within a race is normal but it still lines up with typical morphological features and those features are all determined by genes.

But I’m dropping it. I’m just going to ignore it like I ignore a handful of other topics in here.

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I think many use race and ethnicity interchangeably.

Maybe. I personally don’t. I also use it separate from nationality including tribe and species.

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I brought this conversation up to Colin the other day and here’s what we kind of came up with. I’m not a scientist but I am a POC so I’m trying to put it into words I can understand…

Race, in a cultural understanding, is more than the pigment of your skin. Because there are all shades of people from similar ancestry that we consider in the same race. And vice versa.

Skin COLOR is inherited, yes. Eye shape, color, etc. all inherited, individually. It’s the grouping of all those phenotypes together that make us say “that person is _____.” And the way that all those phenotypes all appeared in individual people may have all come about biologically through different paths. Maybe an eye color is a common characteristic of a certain group, but maybe they got the recessive gene from the other parent, etc. That’s why they say people that may have similar features still may not be remotely biologically similar.

For example, people in Southeast Asia may have the same skin color, eye color, hair color as some Latinx, Hispanics. But we don’t ever consider them the same race. We don’t call someone Black even if they are just as dark as an African American person if they are from the Philippines, say. So race is a cultural context that society has chosen to place around people groups based on not only what they look like, but also their shared culture and ancestral location.

But of course it is kind of inherent that people know this, even if they don’t express it this way, so the shorthand of race often is explained the way you did: white people beget white kids, etc.

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