Caucasian???


Off-Topic Discussions

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Sissyl wrote:

My only point is that, at least within medicine, race is a relevant issue. It rarely comes up, but when it does, you need to be aware of it. Humanity is far from random genes. Study of the differences and similarities of race is not by itself, blasphemy. The difference between humans is enormous, startling and magnificent, and it should not lead to morons saying one configuration is better than some other.

That said, it does. Morons will always mistreat others for the flimsiest reasons. Whether you are fat, thin, male, female, black, white, or have a patch on your jeans, you will be targeted. Perhaps we shouldn't give the morons ammunition? But when it comes to medical biochemistry, please let us not ignore what knowledge we have and say "lalala he said race he must be racist!!!"

You realize with just that short and vastly incomplete list of human descriptors (that can be used for justifying mistreatment of others) you've already labeled >>50% of humanity as "morons"?

Quark feels sad :(

Srsly though, people self-select. It's one of the founding principles of the USofA. That freedom results in some associations of debatable social worth. Not having that freedom always results in net worse conditions.

Back to the OP.

"Caucasian", along with "Mongoloid" and "Negroid", are best understood in their historical context. More useful than "Phlogiston", less useful than "Continental Drift".

Liberty's Edge

Since there's no evidence of penicillin resistant T pallidum, malariotherapy hasn't ever been used for almost seventy years anday we have much better ways to employ pyrotheray that have lower mortality rates than malariotherapy's 15% I seriously doubt that anyone is arguing against malaria eradication on those grounds.


Krensky wrote:
Since there's no evidence of penicillin resistant T pallidum, malariotherapy hasn't ever been used for almost seventy years anday we have much better ways to employ pyrotheray that have lower mortality rates than malariotherapy's 15% I seriously doubt that anyone is arguing against malaria eradication on those grounds.

No evidence for penicillin resistance yet, but the mechanisms necessary for resistance have already been found. At this point, we're praying it doesn't make the necessary mutation.

Liberty's Edge

Um, that's not what that article says at all.


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quark blast wrote:
You realize with just that short and vastly incomplete list of human descriptors (that can be used for justifying mistreatment of others)

The problem is misusing it to treat others not making the list in the first place. Weight is INCREDIBLY important in dosing someone its absolutely crucial in dosing someone. You can't pretend that it doesn't exist just because someone might misuse the idea.

yes, everything is offenseive. Everything is a thing. But some of it is real and you need to account for it.


Krensky wrote:
Um, that's not what that article says at all.

"However, Cha et al. (8) showed that Tp47, an abundant, membrane-bound lipoprotein that was initially identified and characterized by Norgard and colleagues (12, 82), binds penicillin and has high β-lactamase activity that is subject to strong product inhibition. Furthermore, Cha et al. (8) hypothesized that if a mutant variant of Tp47 emerges that overcomes the product inhibition of its β-lactamase activity, this would confer novel, bona fide resistance to penicillin."

The article is pretty clear.

Liberty's Edge

Way to leave out the rest of that section that discusses how the bacteria lacks the strucures and processes by which penicillin resistance develops and how there's been no signs of it in over sixty years of use of penicillin G. That paragraph mentions a route that it could acquire it, despite how unlikely it is.

The article is quite clear, but you still misread it.


Krensky wrote:

Way to leave out the rest of that section that discusses how the bacteria lacks the strucures and processes by which penicillin resistance develops and how there's been no signs of it in over sixty years of use of penicillin G. That paragraph mentions a route that it could acquire it, despite how unlikely it is.

The article is quite clear, but you still misread it.

Your conclusion is only accurate if one completely ignores the entire section of the discussion on penicillin resistance that comes after that, including the conclusion.

"It is important to note that the absence of documented penicillin resistance in T. pallidum after more than 6 decades of its use for treatment of syphilis suggests that the development of penicillin resistance will likely require a multistep mutational process whose probability of occurrence is much rarer than those of the single point mutations that are responsible for macrolide resistance. Although this may have forestalled the emergence of penicillin-resistant T. pallidum, it provides no guarantee that such resistance will not emerge."

I didn't misread the article. I'm just not dismissing the parts of it that don't fit with my worldview.

Liberty's Edge

Yes, you did, and yes, you are.

You are completely misrepresenting that paper in order to prop up your rediculous claim that epidemiologists and public health officials want to keep malaria around as a treatment for syphilis.

Which is crazy.


Krensky wrote:

Yes, you did, and yes, you are.

You are completely misrepresenting that paper in order to prop up your rediculous claim that epidemiologists and public health officials want to keep malaria around as a treatment for syphilis.

Which is crazy.

Epidemiologists are scientists. Public health officials are politicians. I said doctors. And even then, I said some were leery of wiping malaria out, which is far different from wanting to keeping it around; that is considering that exterminating it in the wild may not necessarily be the best idea.

What you are doing is misrepresenting the paper to say there is no chance of syphilis gaining penicillin resistance in order to fight the ridiculous words you put in my mouth.

Seriously, "some doctors are leery" suddenly meaning there's a conspiracy theory to keep a disease around or that there's a collective effort among policy makers and researchers to keep it around? That's insane. This level of leaping to conclusion would impress Superman.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Wow..been lightly skimming, but as an evolutionary biologist who is teaching at a medical school, I have some thoughts:

First...race as some sort of discrete category is not terribly useful, simply because most of the features originally used to define those categories are highly variable, and they don't perfectly track things of evolutionary interest. For instance, there is more genetic diversity in Africa than there is in pretty much all the continents combined.

That said, many medical disorders and propensities due have genetic components, and are often tied to specific geographic regions and ethnicities, even when taking in account dispersal of some group and other forms of genetic interchange. Race is a VERY IMPORTANT element to take into account when testing new drugs and therapies. Our students end up hearing all about this in school. For a very large chunk of the history of medicine, the default human was a white adult male. Doctors and scientists not taking variation due to sex and racial/ethnic differences can skew there data, or miss important side effects and other considerations. Hell this even extends to anatomy; People were still making major discoveries in female anatomy long after the male reproductive anatomy was well described, as an example.

Also, knowing the genetic variability of different populations, and the health effects, can actually teach us a lot about potential cures to disorders. Knowing why X group of people don't get this disease is just as important as knowing why X group of people do.

Secondly, Orfamy's description of phylogenetic analysis/cladistics doesn't seem that up to date. Most of the problems he cites with performing such studies on humans are present in other groups of organisms. If anything humans are often more simpler to examine: we don't parthenogenetically reproduce, exchange plasmids, or bud off new individuals. Yes, single genes can give a misleading picture of the evolution and phylogeny of a group, but it's not a human specific problem, but an issue known for well over a decade now and which influences everything from population structure in canines to the Avian tree of life. The solution is to just keep throwing more individuals and genes into the analysis (which advances in automation make increasingly cheap and fast), until you are able to sort out artifacts from past hybridization events or convergence.

Also species are INCREDIBLY MESSY. There are whole books written on what species concept is best and the problems with each one (We are up to 50+ concepts). Reproductive Isolation is far far more uncommon than people think. I work on pinnipeds, which have rampant hybridization between populations that the majority of people wouldn't hesitate to consider different species. Ducks are also notorious in this regard. The truth of the matter is, species are convenient fiction that biologists use because sometimes labels are important and meaningful, even when the underlying biology is messy.


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It's time of last separation or it's stamp collecting dammit! :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It's time of last separation or it's stamp collecting dammit! :)

Well, good news if you're in the US!

They've *dropped* to .47 USD because Congress doesn't want the Post Office to make too much money...


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The Raven Black wrote:

BTW statistics based on race or ethnic group are illegal in France

I think both are a reaction against the racial paradigm used by Nazis when they occupied France

I think there is also an element of France not wanting to acknowledge its indigenous ethnic minorities as being anything other than French. For example, the Basques, Bretons, Alsatians, Corsicans, Catalans, Flemings, Occitans etc. The government's policies towards those groups and the teaching of their languages has not been conducive towards their maintaining their cultural identity.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gallo wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

BTW statistics based on race or ethnic group are illegal in France

I think both are a reaction against the racial paradigm used by Nazis when they occupied France

I think there is also an element of France not wanting to acknowledge its indigenous ethnic minorities as being anything other than French. For example, the Basques, Bretons, Alsatians, Corsicans, Catalans, Flemings, Occitans etc. The government's policies towards those groups and the teaching of their languages has not been conducive towards their maintaining their cultural identity.

The point about languages was quite true in the 19th and early 20th century. Regional languages and identities have known quite the revival since the 1970s though.

That said, the cementing of the various people in the French nation truly came with the 1st World War, where they all bled and died together in the battlefields and the trenches.


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We use family records all the time as a cheap and somewhat effective starting point to judge a person's medical risks. And checking for a person's ethnic group is basically like using their very, very extended family record.

It's not always possible to identify a person's ethnic background, but when it is, it seems counterproductive to me to purposely ignore it on the basis that some other people use those concepts to act like garbage.


I guess we needed/wanted a word to refer to people with certain physical traits... And "Caucasian" is as good as any, I suppose.

In the end, I suppose it's convenient to have a way to quickly convey a general physical description of someone (or group of someones) without having to meticulously describe their skin tone and facial features.

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