21
   

Can humans be divided ito subspecies?

 
 
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 07:29 am
I know that the official contemporary and politically correct answer is no, but can someone explain the following to me:

If two types of finch are discovered, for example, and their skeletons analysed, a biologist looks at the differences and determines they are both of the same genus (because much of their skeleton evidences a common ancestor) but ascribes a different species to each, perhaps because one has a slightly larger beak than the other. So we end up with (and you will forgive the over-simplification) Finchus beakusnormalis and Finchus beakusbiggus. Both are Finchus but the slight differences in the skeleton are enough in birds, and all other animals, to allow for a different species or subspecies.

When a biologist examines the skeletal remains of a human, often he is able to determine whether the person was African, European, Asian, Inuit, etc. This may be down to a wider palate in the mouth, more pronounced brow ridges, height, build, and so on.

Why is this not enough to warrant classification of subspecies? Surely, all are Homo sapiens, but some are Homo sapiens africanus, some Homo sapiens caucasianus, etc.

Please note, I do not intend to be racist at all. This is a legitimate question that has always puzzled me: Clear, visible, demonstrable differences within a species, but unrecognised in formal scientific classification. Why?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 21 • Views: 21,189 • Replies: 139

 
View best answer, chosen by iamsam82
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 07:48 am
@iamsam82,
concepts of ubspecies have always been a tenuous point anyway. What many look at as "subspecies" can merely be variability of the phenotype. We used to use a neutral term "polytipic speciation" which recognizes that the larger amount of such variability of phenotypes is along the margins of their range here youd expect to see new kinds of adaptation to newer environments.(See Mayr and Diamond 2001) The Birds of Northern Indonesia

0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  2  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 07:49 am
@iamsam82,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perdix

In the case of partridges, mere differences in plumage colouration are enough to distinguish separate species. Surely variety in plumage colouration is comparable to variety in skin colouration.
parados
 
  3  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 07:56 am
@iamsam82,
Where does it say that on the wiki page?

I see a mention of different number of tail feathers between species but nothing about colorization being the only difference between any of them.
0 Replies
 
Patrina
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 08:16 am
Their already are two human species, the elites who live to be 100+ and health the whole time, and the dumbed down mass'es who die at 69 from heart disease or cancer, and are stupid their entire life.

Homo elitus sapeien, & us Homo retardus sapien. Smile
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 08:24 am
@Patrina,
That is really funny, Patrina.

How about Homo dumbasstia footballus.?
and, of course, the more superior : Homo Credoamus Soxium.


Joe(they believe that someday Boston will win again)Nation
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 08:31 am
In a word, no.

There are two means by which species are differentiated. One is reproductive viability. A horse and an ass can reproduce, but their offspring is sterile--the mule or molly (male or female). In any case in which there is not an individual physical defect, humans from different "races" are able to reproduce, and their offspring will be reproductively viable--they will not be sterile, unless there is some unusual physical deffect.

The other means for differentiating species is called sexual isolation. Although it is not certain, scientists believe that polar bears and grizzly bears are, essentially, the same species. If they were to breed, their offspring would probably be reproductively viable. There was a bear produced by the mating of a grizzly and a polar bear just a few years ago, but we don't know if the offspring was reproductively viable, because the dumb son of a bitch who found him shot his ass.

It now appears that not only does sexual isolation not apply to humans, but that sexual isolation might never have applied to them. There is a tribe in southern Africa who always claimed to be descended from the "lost tribes" of Israel. The following is from Wikipedia, and reads as though it were lifted directly from the report of one of the geneticists who studied this:

Quote:
The Lemba have become world famous because of genetic testing that has demonstrated the possible authenticity of some of their oral traditions. A genetic study in 1996 suggested that more than 50% of the Lemba Y-chromosomes are Semitic in origin. A subsequent study in 2000 reported more specifically that a substantial number of Lemba men carry a particular haplotype of the Y-chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype (CMH), as well as, a haplogrup of Y-DNA Haplogroup J found amongst some Jews, but also in other populations across the Middle East and Arabia. Studies have also suggested that there is no Semitic female contribution to the Lemba gene pool.

One particular sub-clan within the Lemba, the Buba clan, is considered by the Lemba to be their priestly clan, while among Jews, the Kohanim are the priestly clan. The Buba clan carried most of the CMH found in the Lemba. This is the element in the Y chromosome that appears to be a signature element for the Kohanim or Jewish priesthood. The fact that we found this marker in such high concentrations in one of the Lemba subclans, the Buba—much higher, incidentally, than the general Lemba population—seemed finally to provide a real, usable link between the Lemba and Jews.

Among Jews the marker is also most prevalent among Jewish Kohanim, or priests. As recounted in Lemba oral tradition, the Buba clan "had a leadership role in bringing the Lemba out of Israel" and eventually into Southern Africa.

More recently, Mendez et al. (2011) observed that a moderately high frequency of the studied Lemba samples carried Y-DNA Haplogroup T, which is considered to be of Near Eastern origin. The Lemba T carriers belonged exclusively to T1b*, which is rare and was not sampled in indigenous Jews of the Near East or North Africa, but shares a similar estimate expansion time with the T1* Somalis. T1b* has been observed at low frequencies in the Bulgarian and Ashkenazi Jews as well as in a few Levantine populations.


That's not the only case, either. The island of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, was originally settled, not from Africa, but from what we now call Indonesia. (Wikipedia is also the source for the following):

Quote:
Factual information about the peopling of Madagascar remains incomplete, but much recent multidisciplinary research and work in archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and historyconfirms that the Malagasy people were originally and overwhelmingly Austronesian, native to the Indonesian archipelago. They probably arrived on the west coast of Madagascar with outrigger canoes (waka) at the beginning of our era or as much as 300 years sooner according to archaeologists, and perhaps even earlier under certain geneticists' assumptions. These pioneers are known in the Malagasy oral tradition as the Ntaolo, from proto-Malayo-Polynesian *tau-ulu, literally "first men", from *tau, "man", and *ulu, "head", "first", "origin", "beginning". It is likely that those ancient people called themselves *va-waka, "the canoe people" from proto-Malayo-Polynesian *va, "people", and *waka-"canoe". Today the term vahoaka means simply "people" in Malagasy.

The Southeast Asian origin of the first Malagasy people explains certain features common among the Malagasy, for instance, the epicanthic fold common among all Malagasy whether coastal or highlands, whether pale, dark or copper skinned. This original population (vahoaka ntaolo) can be called the "Proto-Malagasy" .


There is yet more evidence, or so it seems. There is a theory about European migration to North America about 20,000 years ago, called the Solutrean hypothesis. It is based on archaeological findings, specifically, the manner of making flint tools which was first seen among the Solutrean people who lived in what we now call France. The crucial evidence is in the method by which they made stone tools. They used a mthod called "pressure flake knapping." That means that they shaped the tools, not by hitting them directly with another stone, but by using an intermediate tool, made of wood or bone, which was held on the piece of chert (flint) they were working, and was itself struck with another stone. This technique allows them to make very thin and very sharp tools. It is a superior technology, and the culture which supplanted the Solutreans, the Magdalenans, did not use the technique. Essentially, their stone tool technology was inferior to the Solutreans.

This becomes important because the only other early example of pressure flake tool making is the Clovis technology. The name comes from Clovis, New Mexico, where such flint tools were first found. Clovis points (referring to spear heads and arrow heads) date back to about 11,500 years ago. The Solutreans were using this technology 25,000 years ago or longer. I should caution you that most archeaologists and paleoanthropoligist do not believe the Solutrean hypothesis.

Briefly stated, the Solutrean hypothesis states that Solutreans, keeping close to the edge of the pack ice, arrived in North America 20,000 years ago. The people who eventually derived the Clovis tool making technique arrived in North America about 12,000 years ago. Those who support the hypothesis point out that pressure flake tools have been found in North America which are far older than 12,000 years ago, and they have been found far, far away from Clovis, New Mexico--in Virginia, for example. Pressure flake points were found in Pennsylvania that date back to 16,000 years ago. The standard method of dealing with such evidence in the academic community is to ignore it.

This page from the BBC lays out some of the controversy. There is also a slight difference in the use of pressure flake knapping between the Solutrean method and the Clovis method.

These are Solutrean style points:

http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/chapter54/text-Clovis/Solutrean.jpg

Note that the flakes have been removed perpendicularly to the center line of the spear heads.

These are Clovis style points:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/stoneage/images/fenn-149-l.jpg

Note the characteristic diagonal flaking of these points. Those who support the Solutrean hypothesis point out that the pressure flake points found in Pennsylvania and Virginia are characteristic of Solutrean points, and not characteristic of Clovis points.

Supporters of the Solutrean hypothesis also claim they have MtDNA evidence, and their opponents dispute that evidence. I am not qualified to judge between the claims. I do know that a Canadian geneticist has said that 25% of Amerinidans from eastern Canada have MtDNA characteristic of ancient Europeans.

**************************************************

So, there are no human subspecies on the basis of reproductive viability. Any pair of humans (maele and female) who are not physically defective can reproduce, and their children will not be sterile. And, with the issue of sexual isolation, as more and more evidence accumulates, it appears that there was no sexual isolation, either. A last example. The Japanese and the Koreans obviously owe a big cultural debt to the Chinese. They are not, however, Chinese themselves. Their languages are Altaic (which means they originated in the Altai Mountains of north central Asia), and their nearest linguistic cousin is Turkish. Furthermore, the Koreans and Japanese had pottery, ceramics, at least 12,000 years ago, and some claim as long ago as 14,000 years. The Chinese did not begin making pottery until about 10,000 years ago. I'm not saying the Chinese learned to make pottery from the Koreans and the Japanese--no one has the evidence to make such a claim, and i personally doubt it. But it is strong evidence that the people who became the Koreans and the Japanese arrived on the Pacific coast with their own unique cultural heritage. I believe that there has never been real secual isolation among human beings.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:13 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

...There are two means by which species are differentiated. One is reproductive viability. A horse and an ass can reproduce, but their offspring is sterile--the mule or molly (male or female). In any case in which there is not an individual physical defect, humans from different "races" are able to reproduce, and their offspring will be reproductively viable--they will not be sterile, unless there is some unusual physical deffect...



How does one account for the current theory that there was mixing between Neanderthal and Homosapiens? One theory, I thought, is that many of these matings did result in sterile offspring; however, those few offspring that managed to be able to mate with one or the other of the parental types resulted in the beginnings of our current Homosapiens, that might be sort of a mutt?

Perhaps, a nuanced answer, to the thread's question, might be that we are already so mixed that subspecies might just be a thing of the past? As we can agree that once upon a time blondes did not exist in southern Europe, and blue eyes did not either. In effect, in my opinion, regardless of who has this face or that face, our DNA may show that we are just a bunch of Homomongrels? Excluding the British of course (just a joke).
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:20 am
@Foofie,
Mating between A and B resulted in A?

You might want to rethink your logic there Foofie. It has a major flaw in it.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:26 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

Mating between A and B resulted in A?

You might want to rethink your logic there Foofie. It has a major flaw in it.


No. Mating between A and B resulted in AB that could mate with possibly A or B to arrive at a hybrid AB that could now continue to mate with A's or B's.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:32 am
@Foofie,
I guess if homosapiens are A and AB which would then mean that B must be ZERO.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:37 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

I guess if homosapiens are A and AB which would then mean that B must be ZERO.


You lost me in the algebra.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:41 am
What the hell is homo sapiens caucasianus supposed to mean? There is absolutely no good reason to assume that Europeans derived from Caucasian tribesmen. I regret having taken the time to give a detailed answer to this joker, i strongly suspect that this member is a racist.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:41 am
@Setanta,
"Reproductive viability" and "sexual isolation " are merely the reciprocals of the same thing. Weve learned so much about the genome that true "subspecies" may be a gone concept and "Species" (Which has always been the only demonstrable unit in Linnean classification) needs to be reassessed in terms of "critical" genetic/phylotypic variability)
Often, an organisms intraspecies genetic variability is greater than its phenotypic variability and , conversely, some species phenotypic variability is greater than its genetic variability would define. Look at the finches of the Galapogos that formed the bases of Darwins "Origins..." Recent genetic studies of finch end member variants show that their genic compliments are very similar and that their adaptive expressions are mere variation within a species concept that most of the variation occurs at the margins of their ranges.

Weve only begun to understand the role that epigenetics and "junk genes" have to offer in speciation ,
The only other cpnce[ts are is "paleontologic species" or "geotemporal species" (Which are also kind of the same things). Even here,were we
able to look at the fossil genomes (an Impossibility at our levels of technology and maybe forever), we may see that fossils of , say, trilobites that have been given entire new genera names PHACOPS v GREENOPS are actually variants of the same species.

Genetics has been disclosing some interesting things about brown bears v polar bears. It appears that their separation rom a common ancestor was abut 5 MILLION years ago rather than less than 100000, as was the common belief till recently.
Still, the polar/brownie hybrids have sexual vigor and are able to interbreed freely.

The three principle subspecies of humans that have been recognized , H sapiens sapiens, H sapiens idaltu, and H sapiens florensis are, all paleontological/temporal species variants. THey each have significant phenotypic variations so that weve merely assigned them subspeies titles without any clear understanding of their sexual isolation, or whether they could be free breeding like we recognize with Neanderthal genes. (Weve successfully decoded the Neanderthal genome in the last 10 years so we can say, with confidence that several percentages of Europeans carry Neanderthal something.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:48 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

"Reproductive viability" and "sexual isolation " are merely the reciprocals of the same thing. Weve learned so much about the genome that true "subspecies" may be a gone concept and "Species" (Which has always been the only demonstrable unit in Linnean classification) needs to be reassessed in terms of "critical" genetic/phylotypic variability)
Often, an organisms intraspecies genetic variability is greater than its phenotypic variability and , conversely, some species phenotypic variability is greater than its genetic variability would define. Look at the finches of the Galapogos that formed the bases of Darwins "Origins..." Recent genetic studies of finch end member variants show that their genic compliments are very similar and that their adaptive expressions are mere variation within a species concept that most of the variation occurs at the margins of their ranges.

Weve only begun to understand the role that epigenetics and "junk genes" have to offer in speciation ,
The only other cpnce[ts are is "paleontologic species" or "geotemporal species" (Which are also kind of the same things). Even here,were we
able to look at the fossil genomes (an Impossibility at our levels of technology and maybe forever), we may see that fossils of , say, trilobites that have been given entire new genera names PHACOPS v GREENOPS are actually variants of the same species.

Genetics has been disclosing some interesting things about brown bears v polar bears. It appears that their separation rom a common ancestor was abut 5 MILLION years ago rather than less than 100000, as was the common belief till recently.
Still, the polar/brownie hybrids have sexual vigor and are able to interbreed freely.

The three principle subspecies of humans that have been recognized , H sapiens sapiens, H sapiens idaltu, and H sapiens florensis are, all paleontological/temporal species variants. THey each have significant phenotypic variations so that weve merely assigned them subspeies titles without any clear understanding of their sexual isolation, or whether they could be free breeding like we recognize with Neanderthal genes. (Weve successfully decoded the Neanderthal genome in the last 10 years so we can say, with confidence that several percentages of Europeans carry Neanderthal something.


So, if even in the best of HomoSapien families, a child married a Neanderthal, what would the children of that marriage be referred to? Regardless, the grandparents on each side likely cared for the grandchildren, whether or not they grunted more than HomoSapiens, or weren't as strong as Neanderthals.

I suspect on Christmas, both sides still got together for a nice mid-winter feast on whatever herd was in the neighborhood. As the saying goes, the more that things change, the more they stay the same.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:52 am
@Setanta,
OK, so i went to his profile page and looked back through a couple of years posting. He spends most of his time in word game threads. From his postings in other threads, i've come to the conclusion that he's not necessarily a racist, just an unconscious white supremecist dick.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:52 am
@Setanta,
DNA reportedly of the Solutrean genic compliment have been seen within Ojibway, Ottawa, and Menomenee , and Some Algonquin peaoples. (All these are commonly circum great Lake and St LAwrence raeas of origins)
Ive only seen the one report however and Im waiting for the other shoe to drop because this would be fuckin huuge, giving all the Solutrean tories some greater credibility.

Everyone makes little deals of the MEaowcroft nd the SHoop sites of paleo populations , but at Madowcroft and Shoop, the C14 "Smear" data is greater than 6K years (And it could be greater but the bacteriological "smear" afforde by the charred bones and charcoal give it a more conservative estimate. We are developing better and better methods of sample "Cleanup" for C14
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 09:59 am
@Foofie,
Quote:
So, if even in the best of HomoSapien families, a child married a Neanderthal, what would the children of that marriage be referred to

Descendants. Theyw ould carry the genes of both and the variability would either be preserved or lost over time.

Im sure that, when they get togeter for Christmas today, these descendants with Sapiens and Neanderthal genes would all atch some stupid cricket match or soccer nd get hammered with all the other folks in Europe who believe in celebrating Christmas
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 10:16 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

What the hell is homo sapiens caucasianus supposed to mean?


Could it correlate to one of the Crayola crayons? Something that looks like pink mixed with white?
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2012 11:44 am
@Foofie,
You lost yourself when you argued that Homosapiens mated with Neanderthals creating Homosapiens.
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Can humans be divided ito subspecies?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/16/2019 at 11:02:50