How Do We Define a Race of Humans?

aircommodore writes:

Robert, you’ve probably done this already but can you please provide a definition for “race”?

Based on this post here, The Major and Minor Races of Man, where I divided humans up into four macro races, 11 major races and 115 minor races based on genetic distance. The questioner wants to know what my methodology is for determining what a race is and what it is not.

Here was my method and I must admit that my methodology was completely impressionistic in that I would just look at how far certain group[s were from each other to determine where they were racially. I didn’t have any strict figures that I was using (more sort of general ones) but I used the same basic distance for all groups.

At some certain X genetic distance, you a race. At some certain less than X distance, you have groups in the same race.

For instance, I created a South China Sea Race due to data showing that Filipinos, the Ami aborigines of Taiwan and the Guangdong or Hong Kong Han all formed a nice tight genetic race because they were so similar to each other. On the other hand, there is no Guangdong Han Race, Ami Race nor Filipino Race as they are all part of a larger group or actual race. I am not sure what you might call them – perhaps those three could be called ethnic groups.

On the other hand, the Puyuma Taiwan aborigines were far enough apart to even be in a separate race from the Ami.

The biggest races of all – the huge groups with the most genetic distance from each other, form Macro-Races such as Caucasians, Africans, Asians and Oceanians. Included within those groups are eleven Major Races the names of which elude me now as I forget what I called them. For instance, I believe I split Asians into Southeast Asians, Northeast Asians, and Amerindians because those three groups are so far apart that you really need to split them.

Within each Major Race, I split each one up in to a number of Minor Races. Within say Northeast Asians, I had the Japanese-Korean Race consisting of the Japanese, the Koreans and the Ainu because they are so close to each other genetically and they form a nice neat little cluster that is away from all other groups.

2 Comments

Filed under Ainu, Amerindians, Anthropology, Asians, Blacks, Chinese (Ethnic), Europeans, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Northeast Asians, Oceanians, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, SE Asians, Taiwanese Aborigines

2 responses to “How Do We Define a Race of Humans?

  1. It’s so annoying that everybody denies race exists. Most people want to claim that were all the same species, and it’s one big happy family… Which based on the genetics, as you have discussed, is clearly not the case.

  2. MariconPower

    Genetics shows all Guangdong people are are mixture of Han and aboriginal ethnic groups. Although they are closer to southeast Asian they still have a heavy mixture of 30-45% East Asian blood from North Han

    Many Taiwanese aborigines and Amis have pseudo-Caucasian traits.

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