Sunday, May 22, 2005

beard.

ok so tonight i talked to clifford, chat, and alex for like an hour about genetics and race, and then after that i talked to chat about physics and relativity for another hour.

basically me and clifford debunked the myths of race for chat, which basically led to a crash course in genetics. itll be hard to type all of it out, but ill try my best to summarize.

basically, genetic variation is the most important factor. humans are 99.9% genetically identical. (or less, like me and andre.) inversely, humans vary by .1% of their genes. (at the most, like me and pat dean.) of that .1% variation, there is only a fraction that affects physical appearance, and then only a fraction of that fraction effects the phenotypes that people typically use to determine race. (skin color aka melanin amount probably being the most important one, then hair color/texture/amount, eye color, body/eye/nose/mouth shape, blahblahblah.) of that retardedly tiny amount of genes, all are inherited independently of eachother and so none can be said to have any causal linkage with each other (or for that matter, any of the other .1% genetic variations.) sooo in conclusion, race is a silly silly social construct, and necessarily so, because there is no causal variable or set of variables that determines a race. you will always have some exception (/contradiction) that you cant reconcile. the only way to explain race is to say, a race is what most people think a race is. what should you do if you really really want to believe but have no evidence of a causal variable? have faith and go to this website. (see my second blog entry for the invalidity of social constructs.)

if you want even more...

nih stuff on genetic variation.

pbs super duper documentary on race... i may have told you about this before.

after all that, chat taught me about relativity, the uncertainty principal, and how he was colorblind (which is why we had to explain race to him in the first place.) it was fun. i should like to explain that too, but its 430 and im tired.

oh and i grew a beard over beachweek, so i have a beard.