Africans different species?

Quijiboh

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Mar 24, 2011
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"Africans" is a rather far-reaching term, when in fact it refers specifically to the Hadza, Pygmies and Sandawe. Also, the fact that minute traces of a different human ancestor's DNA can be found in their genes is, to me, insufficient evidence of their being a different species.

As the first article says, "the total number of known human DNA variants is about 40 million?. There is room for a helluva lot of diversity before species becomes an issue.
 

Hero in a half shell

It's not easy being green
Dec 30, 2009
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According to the 3rd article it's not just Africans:

intermingling of early modern humans and Neanderthals led to modern-day Europeans and Asians typically having a genome that is 1- 4% Neanderthal, according to the study.
But we knew this already. There are slight inherited differences between people of different "race" from skin type, to body shape. But we are still demonstrably the same species, because we can still mate and bring up healthy offspring.

Everyone has slight genetic differences from everyone else. My family on my fathers side personally have the unenviable trait of huge roots to our teeth, that go right down to our chin and hook around our jaws. It always gets the dentists excited when they have to pull out a tooth and are like "Holy crap, look how deep it goes!"

Any difference on a mental level is so minimal as to be swamped by other, more important factors in determining the intellectual development of a child, such as the educational facility they attend, their level of care, quality of parenting, breadth of experiences etc.
Because someone still carries a single string of genomes from some extinct almost human race means nothing.

After all, we all live under the same sun...
 

WoW Killer

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If your intent is to not come off as racist then you have failed.

Cultural and technological progression in a society is tied to their economy. With the economy being historically dominated by agriculture, the difference between nations is one of climate. It was climate change (the end of the last glacial period) which sparked the birth of civilisation in the Levant region, spreading to Europe and Asia precisely as those areas became suitable for agriculture.

As for the modern era, well... you could say the modern economy is dominated by banking. Those who were ahead when modernity arose are still ahead now.
 

Elate

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rainz555 said:
but is it minimal, as hard as i try to not come off as racist, there are observable differences between races. im not gonna come out and say "every asian i have ever talked to is really smart hurrf durff". but for example the statistic that "African-Americans" are more likely to commit crime (again, statistically) than a white from the same upbringing.

why did the Africans never create, why did they never expand there own knowledge. why does every single african nation (excluding south Africa) seem to either rely on aid (at the extreme) or struggle becauseof their own pride. The enviroment cant be to blame for the inherrent corruption that all african governments seem to suffer from. i hate to say this, but south africa flourished, and it was ruled by the "white man". Is that a genuine advantage conferred from breeding with neanderthals all those millenia ago?
I think that is more due to social issues, people are still racist, as such a black individual (Screw your PC) may feel more inclined to be pressured towards crime. And why you ask? Go read a history book, no serious, a lot of that is down to colonization from big empires. That is like asking why China is full of poverty? Yet it used to be the hub of technological advancement. It's just all about how history plays out, not genetics.
 

zehydra

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rainz555 said:
but is it minimal, as hard as i try to not come off as racist, there are observable differences between races. im not gonna come out and say "every asian i have ever talked to is really smart hurrf durff". but for example the statistic that "African-Americans" are more likely to commit crime (again, statistically) than a white from the same upbringing.

why did the Africans never create, why did they never expand there own knowledge. why does every single african nation (excluding south Africa) seem to either rely on aid (at the extreme) or struggle becauseof their own pride. The enviroment cant be to blame for the inherrent corruption that all african governments seem to suffer from. i hate to say this, but south africa flourished, and it was ruled by the "white man". Is that a genuine advantage conferred from breeding with neanderthals all those millenia ago?
In the 19th century and prior, Africa has been exploited time and time again by Imperialist nations, which has in turn, created a history of exploitation which the Africans themselves continue against their own people.

Truth be told, different Civilizations grow at different rates. If Africa had been left alone by various Empires, it would probably be a lot better off today than it is.
 

MiskWisk

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Speciation occurs when a population of organisms capable of interbreeding with each other become reproductively isolated causing a new group that is incapable of breeding with the original population and producing viable, fertile offspring (therefore, speciation, if given enough time, can form a new species). However, I do believe that the Africans to which you refer can still breed and form fertile offspring with any other human. So, while they could have formed a separate species, not enough time passed and so never managed to. Incidentally, had the Americas never been discovered, I feel that the native Americans had a better chance of successfully diverging.

Man, I felt racist typing that.
 

cerebus23

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and did not the genome project prove that every human on this planet black, yellow, blue or white, came from the same rather small group of homo sapiens about 4 million years ago.

think odds are that initial group was also black, differences in melonin (sp) in skin over millions of years between very sun baked equatorial regions and temperate northern climates where u need more sun, because of the lack of it part of the year.

besides we are all made of stars, dying stars most of the elements of life come from dying stars, so all life in this planet is only possible because of stars dying and seeding systems with elements that make organic life possible.


and yes implying that blacks or whoever are some sort of sub species is racist, it is what many racists do to dehumanize the people they hate say they are less than human.
 

The Funslinger

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Sep 12, 2010
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If I remember my biology right, if African people had genetics that were different enough from ours (I am white) to qualify them as another species, interracial children would be sterile.

The fact that half African half Caucasian children can further reproduce suggests we're the same species.

Am I missing anything?

Oh yeah, damn racist OP :p
 

RyuujinZERO

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Oct 4, 2010
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"No"

It's really that simple. Speciation is when species become separately distinct enough that breeding is impossible. The difference between human races are akin to breeds not species, like you see in dogs or pidgeons.

Visually, perhaps even behaviourally different, but still a pidgeon (or dog)




/Thread finished
 

JochemHippie

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We're all slightly different I guess.

But who gives a damn, a world without diversity would be a boring one.
 

headshotcatcher

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rainz555 said:
but is it minimal, as hard as i try to not come off as racist, there are observable differences between races. im not gonna come out and say "every asian i have ever talked to is really smart hurrf durff". but for example the statistic that "African-Americans" are more likely to commit crime (again, statistically) than a white from the same upbringing.

why did the Africans never create, why did they never expand there own knowledge. why does every single african nation (excluding south Africa) seem to either rely on aid (at the extreme) or struggle becauseof their own pride. The enviroment cant be to blame for the inherrent corruption that all african governments seem to suffer from. i hate to say this, but south africa flourished, and it was ruled by the "white man". Is that a genuine advantage conferred from breeding with neanderthals all those millenia ago?
I would just like to point out that Timbuktu, in the Kingdom (or whatever) of Mali, was one of the intellectual hotspots in the world up to the fourteen hundreds or so. After that everything went downhill, first due to problems in the Muslim world, then due to colonisation and all the obvious results thereof.
 

vallorn

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Nov 18, 2009
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Definition of Species: "A group of similar organisms that can reproduce to create viable and fertile offspring"

Kids with different coloured parents can have kids ergo your so called "africans" and everyone else are the same species.

Large scale diversity with a large species is not uncommon. Especially not in a species that has managed to spread itself across the globe in a very short timespan.

On another note. If you did completely separate 2 different groups of Homo Sapiens from one another in different environments for a few million years it is likely you would see them diverge enough to form different species.

MiskWisk said:
Speciation occurs when a population of organisms capable of interbreeding with each other become reproductively isolated causing a new group that is incapable of breeding with the original population and producing viable, fertile offspring (therefore, speciation, if given enough time, can form a new species). However, I do believe that the Africans to which you refer can still breed and form fertile offspring with any other human. So, while they could have formed a separate species, not enough time passed and so never managed to. Incidentally, had the Americas never been discovered, I feel that the native Americans had a better chance of successfully diverging.

Man, I felt racist typing that.
Don't forget the native Australians.
 

Gennadios

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Here's the thing, if Africans had been a different species, they wouldn't have been able to reproduce with any other breed of human. To be classified as a separate species, two individuals need to either not be able to reproduce wholesale or have an extremely high chance of producing sterile offspring.

And yes, African's genetic diversity is through the roof, they're more variable than the rest of the human race, but it has to do with the fact that humanity started out in Africa. Only reasonably small bands of humans migrated out of the continent, and those that did only had themselves to interbreed with, so our genetic diversity is nowhere as great.
 

Basement Cat

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Jul 26, 2012
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As a biologist I understand where you are coming from in trying to differentiate between different lineages of human ancestry without coming across as 'racist'. It's ironic that the simplest way to differentiate groups is the one that has a Grand Chance of ticking people off, and I'm not just referring to 'racism'.

Breeds. That is the key word. Black, caucasian, asian, plaid, etc. The differentiation that occurred over the tens of millenia can simply be referred to as different breeds.

Given that people don't like being classified in the same way that we classify dogs...well, that's why it's not considered P.C.

OT:

The fact that DNA studies indicate that there are uncommon gene sequences in some black african lineages (Africa is a continent, not a skin tone. America is the only nation in the world where people look at you cross eyed for saying someone is black...*sigh*...) is not a surprise.

The source of the different lines isn't hard to deduce, given what we know of our species' history.

One of the key ways scientists track human genetic mutations and developments are by keeping track of mitochondrial DNA mutations. Mitochondria are the remnants of symbiotic prokaryotes that reside in our cells. Mitochondria have their own DNA which mutates with almost clock like predictability. Backtracking Mitochondrial mutations allows scientists to map out changes etc within a deduced time frame.

The point of my explaining this is that it's by tracking Mitochondrial variations that scientists can point to a cataclysmic event that occurred about 75 thousand years ago that resulted in existing Homo sapiens genetic variation being bottle necked--Long story short, we think that it was a caldera's explosion which has been identified as occurring about the same time which nearly exterminated our species and which led to the loss of a LOT of genetic variation as well as resulted in a LOT of inbreeding.

The estimate is that only 10,000 humans survived that event.

Archeological evidence demonstrates that we were spread out all over the place, not isolated. This led to the forementioned inbreeding amongst isolated survivors which resulted in, among other things, a lot of recessive genetic traits (which over time led to much of our phenotypic variations i.e. different appearances--breeds) coming out and becoming dominant traits among descendants.

Circling back to the different genetic traits that have and are being found in the african genomes it is safe to speculate that the differences simply represent original genetic variations that survived our near extermination and have been passed down to those descendants .

As for the "Why didn't the africans build skyscrapers etc. like caucasians question I suggest that you look up a book that very thoroughly studies the subject: Guns, Germs, and Steel.
 

DEAD34345

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Biologically speaking, Africans are the same species as any other humans. I don't think I even need to look at those links...

Africans can reproduce with any other humans and produce fertile offspring, therefore... -> same species.

Whether there is Neanderthal genes in there too or whatever else doesn't really matter at all, unless I've just been lied to in education all this time.
 

Jonluw

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Different species?
Are you out of your mind?
That would mean we couldn't procreate (well, there are exceptions, but you get what I mean).

Yes, there are genetic differences in peoples from different parts of the world.
Doesn't make them different species.
At most, it makes them races, depending on how you want to define race.
 

SciMal

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rainz555 said:
the theories follow something like homo-sapiens breed with other human race and produce offspring which has a different genetic make-up. Im going to emphasize how this isnt saying one type is superior or not, but is it interesting how we are taught how everyone is exactly the same and the melanin is the only difference. as far as i can tell, there are genetic differences. but should that mean we should make exceptions?
Ask your local biologist.

There are three Major methods of defining species:

-Different physical characteristics.
-Can interbreed and produce fertile offspring in the wild.
-Genetically different.

There are strengths to all of them:

-Very easy to ascertain.
-Fits the most popular delineations of species pretty well.
-Causes the other two.

There are also some significant weaknesses to all of them:

-Miscategorization of species is rampant.
-Creatures that won't bone in the wild can still produce fertile offspring.
-The cutoff of the amount of genetic difference is completely arbitrary, and may or may not produce the other two.

The problem with your post is that you don't define "Africans" because genetically speaking there are actually 4 different groups of humans. 3 of which stayed in Africa, and the last group which spread throughout the rest of the world. That means that some Africans are as genetically different (and sometimes MUCH more so) than Europeans and South Americans.

The other problem is that you don't make it clear what your speciation threshold is. African lineages certainly can and do interbreed with non-African lineages. The appearances of all humans fall to within more than acceptable variations for other documented species - basically there's some differences in coloration and extremely minor differences in other areas; about what you'd expect for a species that went through a bottlenecking event and then quickly dispersed.

Genetic difference is what your post seems to be pointing towards, and you should probably know that 99.9% of human genomes are the same. The minor differences in coloration and other characteristics compose a pitifully small portion of our DNA, and now that technology has brought populations more in contact with each other, there's not going to be a chance for speciation until we either willfully separate each other or a group isolates themselves (like living on Mars for a few millenia).

Any of the ways you want to go about it, African-born humans are just as human as any other group. So, 'No' - Africans are not a separate species. Genetically speaking, they're much more diverse than most humans, but that diversity is extremely limited to begin with.
 

Navvan

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Going so far as to state "Different Species" is a bit extreme. The term species is actually somewhat difficult to define, but for sexually reproducing organisms a good rule of thumb is to simply state "Ability to produce reproductively viable offspring with one another". Since all (healthy) humans have the ability to reproduce with one another and produce viable offspring we are all the same species. At most all you could say is that there are different subspecies of humans pending on ethnic origin, however since there is regular reproduction between these groups now (biologically speaking) that too would be incorrect on that point alone. Humanity currently only has different races. Also part of the definition of race is to have genetically divergent populations within a species. So yes, people of different races have distinct genetics.

zehydra said:
rainz555 said:
but is it minimal, as hard as i try to not come off as racist, there are observable differences between races. im not gonna come out and say "every asian i have ever talked to is really smart hurrf durff". but for example the statistic that "African-Americans" are more likely to commit crime (again, statistically) than a white from the same upbringing.

why did the Africans never create, why did they never expand there own knowledge. why does every single african nation (excluding south Africa) seem to either rely on aid (at the extreme) or struggle becauseof their own pride. The enviroment cant be to blame for the inherrent corruption that all african governments seem to suffer from. i hate to say this, but south africa flourished, and it was ruled by the "white man". Is that a genuine advantage conferred from breeding with neanderthals all those millenia ago?
In the 19th century and prior, Africa has been exploited time and time again by Imperialist nations, which has in turn, created a history of exploitation which the Africans themselves continue against their own people.

Truth be told, different Civilizations grow at different rates. If Africa had been left alone by various Empires, it would probably be a lot better off today than it is.
Many people assume Africa was just a bunch of tribes/nomadic and such before Europeans discovered it. This is not the case. Africa had its own cities, empires and was roughly equivalent to the European nations of the era. In fact some were very prosperous. They just were not big on the whole written history thing.

Relevant Link [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvnU0v6hcUo&feature=plcp]

History is largely how societies got to where they are, and the role of genetics in that is minimal to non existent.
 

Coffinshaker

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Feb 16, 2011
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a brown rabbit and a white rabbit are not different species. you can have multiple colors of the same species and they can interbreed. also, it's like saying redheads, blondes, and brunettes are all different species. granted, there are some skeletal differences, but that's not enough to warrant they are different as species, more like, localizations of the same species. however, I'd wager that if you kept all the races separate for a few million years, you might get something of a species divergence, but for us right now, it's not an issue.