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WikiProject iconWikiProject Biology is part of the WikiProject Biology, an effort to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to biology on Wikipedia.
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This interrelated series of articles is one of the most disoriented, contradictory and factually compromised sets that I've encountered on our project in quite some time. Moreover, the overlapping nature of content and lack of adequately unambiguous central navigation is confusing, even for someone who has existing familiarity with the general topic. I'm not certain of how much available manpower WikiProject Biology has to offer at the moment, but I'd like to get the ball rolling on a collaborative effort of some sort.   — C M B J   04:56, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia Discord has a Biology Channel!Edit

It has recently come to my attention that not only is there a highly active Wikimedia Discord Server, it also has a #wpbiology channel! See Wikipedia:Discord for more details.

I hope to feature a link to this on the main page after the redesign is complete, but for the time being I wanted to advertise it here. I would love for more people to join, and I hope it will prove a major resource to us going forward as we improve WP:BIOL and it's subprojects. I cannot emphasize how refreshing it can be to talk in real time (or even in voice channels!) rather than in talk pages.

@Evolution and evolvability and Alexmar983: This also should serve us nicely for the user group discussions--they have a #meta channel as well.

Is there a consensus in biology that race is a social construct?Edit

A tweet by Steven Pinker agreeing with Richard Dawkins agreeing with a list by Jerry Coyne of ideological perversions of science included the idea that race is a social construct. Race (human categorization) claims there is a consensus ("Modern science regards...") about this, which I find hard to square with disagreement by these eminent biologists. Whether race is a valid biological concept is of course a question for biologists, who could situate it in normal taxonomic practice. For example they would know observations like "more genetic variation within groups" was typical among subspecific taxa, whereas a cultural anthropologist or even a medic would likely not. I raised the question of how this consensus was established on the talk page[1], it seems to be merely asserted. Responses were evasive. So perhaps Wikiproject Biology can help. Bogestra Bob (talk) 08:19, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Jerry Coyne's list is "Ideological distortions of biology". One of his 10 items is:
"C.) The claim that “race” (I prefer “ethnicity”) is purely a social construct with no biological value and containing no biological information [is an ideological distortion of biology]. I don’t believe in “races” as they were classically conceived of by Carleton Coon and others, but humans are genetically different from place to place, and those differences contain information of value in tracing our ancestry and our movement around the globe from Africa."
This is quite a limited statement biologically. He agrees (with the social construct people and others) that the Carleton Coon idea of race is wrong, i.e. there is no hierarchy from ape to African to White Man at the top (there is a clear consensus in biology that that was racist nonsense), but he disagrees insofar as genomics shows genetic differences in different parts of the world (and through history). Biologists in general (if I may be so bold) broadly agree that "race" is a mistaken concept, but they also agree with Coyne/Dawkins (tweet)/Pinker (his tweet) that it's possible to trace gene differences. All three of them are well aware that saying so means treading a narrow path through an ideological minefield. Hope this helps, Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:54, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
How did you establish that biologists in general think that? Bogestra Bob (talk) 09:19, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
A lifetime of reading. If you want immediate evidence, you have the three sources cited here already; if you want another, David Reich's book Who We Are and How We Got Here is a WP:RS, and of course it has been attacked for the reasons I've given. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:35, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
You're saying Dawkins and Coyne think race is a "mistaken concept"? That's a bit of a stretch. Dawkins: "Social construct"? Forget it. Race is biologically real." Reich does indeed say race is a social construct, although it's unclear what he means by this. Greg Mayer quoted by Coyne:
"I also like Reich’s article, but if he hopes to be able to talk about genetic differentiation, he’s going to have to stop accepting the “race is a social construction” fallacy..."[2]
I don't think consensus describes this. Bogestra Bob (talk) 10:14, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
If you know everything already, then don't ask for help. Reich's book makes it clear that there are many genetic differences between populations, something that Coyne, Dawkins, and Pinker all agree with, and that Coonian "races" do not exist, something that the three of them also support. If within that they differ in shades of meaning, that's up to them. I can tell you one thing, which is that many (most?) biologists won't touch this subject with a barge pole, for the exact same reason that I'm not going to any further. I'm out of here, don't ping me. Chiswick Chap (talk) 11:46, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
It's just different definitions. The people saying race is a social construct mean to say that any clearly defined boundary between groups of people (one-drop rule, Ariernachweis, brown race, Caucasian race and so on) is just a random decision someone made, based on their own set of ideas, and could have made differently, and they mean that any differences between such "races" are smaller than the differences within those "races".
The people saying race is not a social construct mean to say that populations with little mixing in the past have slightly different genomes: if your ancestors lived in Central Africa for many generations, you are likely to look similar to other people whose ancestors lived there and different from people whose ancestors lived in China for many generations.
Both statements are true: race is a social construct and not a social construct, depending on what people mean by it. Both groups of biologists are completely in agreement with each other as soon as the statements are broken up into more detailed statements instead of being compressed into the phrase "social construct". --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:52, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
Coyne: "Multilocus groupings of humans, for example, show that they can be divided into various fairly distinct genetic clusters, ranging from 4-7, and which correspond roughly to areas where humans were genetically isolated" Bogestra Bob (talk) 13:27, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
That does not contradict anything I said. --Hob Gadling (talk) 15:53, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
You said the boundaries between races were a "random decision" and that no biologist disagreed with this. Bogestra Bob (talk) 15:57, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
And now ponder the difference between "can be divided into" and "are divided into" as well as the difference between "fairly distinct" and "distinct" and the difference between "correspond roughly" and the sharp line the people who invented the one-drop rule drew. My actual point flew right by your head. I think it would be fruitless if I commented any further. --Hob Gadling (talk) 16:59, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
I'm not sure I need to ponder anything. Coyne is an eminent biologist. You are a Wikipedia editor. Coyne thinks race is not a social construct. What you think is irrelevant. Nevertheless Coyne is applying a typical subspecific model, which often have hybrid zones. This is how race has been conceptualized since Blumenbach. "Sharp lines" is the kind of strawman requirement we find among non biologist sources. A biologist would be embarrassed to write such a thing. This has nothing at all to do with the one drop rule, which is another system. I can agree with your last sentence. Bogestra Bob (talk) 05:52, 5 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Agree Biologists in general consider it a social construct. I don't think we'll get a proper survey of biologists views though it might be interesting, and the literature isn't going to be much help either. I'm surprised they stuck their necks out! NadVolum (talk) 14:32, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks for commenting but I don't think flat assertions carry any weight. Bogestra Bob (talk) 14:44, 4 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Yes That is the general scientific consensus, yes. While there is an acknowledgement that there are genetic compositional differences between groupings of humans, the differences are much more complicated and numerous than the handful of groupings that society has given names to. For the field of pharmacogenomics, for example, there are over a hundred, if not far more, genetic groupings that make up meaningful biological distinctions on a pharmacological level. But those groupings have little relation to the societal ones and the relations between them often are completely contrary to how society commonly groups human populations via the term race. SilverserenC 06:00, 5 August 2022 (UTC)
    We could check whether your claims are correct by typing "race" or "ancestry" into PubMed to see whether the field typically uses the broad categories or your "over a hundred genetic groupings" which frankly I've never heard of. Bogestra Bob (talk) 06:08, 5 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Consensus in the fields of anthropology, human genetics, and taxonomy as applicable to hominoids is that the divisions commonly treated as "races" are fundamentally of social origin, and less informative to misleading in non-social contexts. This is clearly reflected in current literature, and consequently our articles. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 06:32, 5 August 2022 (UTC)
    So they are informative to some degree, in biological contexts? Which is why looking at the genetics literature[3] we can see these categories being used to the present to compare genetic variants between groups. The first result is looking at genetic smoking susceptibility between Europeans and Africans. Look at all of the authors in just that first paper, from yesterday. I guess they don't all think race is just a social construct which only indexes social differences, seeing as they're looking for causal genetic differences. This one paper carries more weight than the couple of opinion pieces the "Modern science regards race as a social construct" in the article is currently based on. Bogestra Bob (talk) 07:43, 5 August 2022 (UTC)
    Now this.[4] Don't they even read Scientific American or Wikipedia? Somebody needs to tell them race is just a social construct while they're trying to help black women with breast cancer. Bogestra Bob (talk) 10:31, 6 August 2022 (UTC)
    August 1 2022
    "We report a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of coronary artery disease (CAD) incorporating nearly a quarter of a million cases, in which existing studies are integrated with data from cohorts of white, Black and Hispanic individuals from the Million Veteran Program. We document near equivalent heritability of CAD across multiple ancestral groups, identify 95 novel loci, including nine on the X chromosome, detect eight loci of genome-wide significance in Black and Hispanic individuals, and demonstrate that two common haplotypes at the 9p21 locus are responsible for risk stratification in all populations except those of African origin, in which these haplotypes are virtually absent."[5] Bogestra Bob (talk) 10:05, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
    Am I correct that Wikipedia cannot reference the above studies because there is a consensus they are using fringe concepts? Bogestra Bob (talk) 10:12, 7 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Bogestra Bob, Is there a specific point you are trying to make here? Please ping with reply. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:52, 8 August 2022 (UTC)
    It seems rather obvious. The race article says "Modern science regards race as a social construct", but looking at modern science we see the concept very much in use by large numbers of the best geneticists. So it appears the article is cited to garbage sources and should be rewritten. In addition it was my pleasure to inform Wikipedia editors who referenced "the literature" apparently without looking at the literature. Bogestra Bob (talk) 08:41, 8 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Concur with Chiswick Chap, who already said most of what I would. See also WP:R&E (especially the section "Genes don't work the way the average person thinks they do"). In short, Bogestra Bob (whom I would bet money is an American, because only Americans are this obsessed with racialism) seems to be confusing "races" with gene pools or more specifically with haplogroups, and not distinguishing between biologists who observe that different populations of humans, defined by haplogroups typically, have some genetic differences that may express phenotypically (which is broadly true), versus [fringe, at least on this point] people who still buy into racialist ideas from the Victorian era. Population ≠ "race".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  08:39, 8 August 2022 (UTC)
    I am sorry to say, you are writing nonsense. "Populations defined by haplogroup"? What? Look at the breast cancer paper I referenced, they use black and African ancestry interchangeably. "Ideas from the Victorian era" (appeal to novelty), we group living things by ancestry, not haplogroup. Sure that sounds modern and cool and The Science, but it's just nonsense you made up. It is not what they are doing. Bogestra Bob (talk) 08:49, 8 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
    No, you are just not understanding the material you are skimming without sufficent background to absorb it. I mean this in response to what you wrote immediately above, and a little further above to Pbsouthwood (who asked to be pinged but was not). You're being a WP:Randy in Boise. E.g., the fact that the study you quoted from above socially selected "Black and Hispanic individuals" then detected "novel loci ... of genome-wide significance" in "populations except those of African origin" says nothing about and has nothing to do with "the Black race" being a biological categorization. You are reversing cause and effect here, a classic and very basic logic fallacy. If the study had instead socially selected "people who wear squishy shoes and people who like green", the result of the study would be the same: the test subjects who happened to be of largely African background would mostly lack the loci in question, because "these haplotypes are virtually absent" in "those of African origin". Having chosen (presumably for funding reasons) to do testing on social categories of Black and Hispanic subjects did not cause the results of the testing; haplogroups did, and would continue to do so no matter what the social categories were of the selected participants. Being of African origin is a geographically distinct biological categorization for certain purposes (namely those pertaining to genotypes confined until modern history to Africa). This does not mean that the social construct "the Black race" means anything outside people's prejudices and perceptions. In reality, Africa has hundreds of ethnic groups, and there is more genetic diversity between them than there is between the Basques and the native Andeans.

    PS: I'm also going to point you toward WP:NOT#FORUM. WP is not a forum for endless debate-for-sport, which is clearly what you are attempting here. The respondents appear to be unanimously against your position on this, and with the topic being under discretionary sanctions, you should give it a rest. You appear to have created your account only a few days ago for the sole purpose of stirring up trouble in a contentious subject. I predict a topic ban if this continues.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:07, 8 August 2022 (UTC)

Oh dear, you write this, frankly, horseshit, then tell me it's not a forum and I'm looking at a ban. Should I not respond? You are simply wrong that the race categories in use in modern scholarship are defined by "haplogroup". In fact that very paper says they're "virtually" absent. Do you really think they would define a category by a variant (in this case a haplotype not a haplogroup) then assess the frequency of the same variants in that group? It's you that has it backwards, and you that's using the place as a forum. Modern science uses race categories, defined by ancestry not haplogroup, ancestry groups of course being standard biological categorization, despite you asserting otherwise. It's right there in front of you. But you seem to place more weight in your ridiculous Wikipedia essay, than the literature. So why do top geneticists use race categories rather than "people who like green and squishy shoes"? No need to explain the (pathetically obvious) reason, we only need to know they do, for the purposes of this discussion. BTW, you're factually incorrect there is more genetic diversity between ethnic groups in Africa than Europeans and Native Americans, see e.g. Gurdasani 2014. Your factoid has absolutely no relevance to anything, overall diversity in junk DNA is irrelevant to the distribution in any specific functional gene (which tend to fracture along major race lines see e.g. Coop 2009), but just for your information. Bogestra Bob (talk) 09:25, 8 August 2022 (UTC) Striking WP:BLOCKEVASION. Generalrelative (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Hi, Bob, you seem to know it all already. Do you agree with Darwin that there are races of cabbages? . . .dave souza, talk 11:03, 8 August 2022 (UTC)
  • Useful reading: "How to argue with a racist: Five myths debunked". BBC News. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2022., Kumar, Manjit (30 January 2020). "How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford review – how genetics can combat prejudice". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2022. . . . dave souza, talk 11:16, 8 August 2022 (UTC)

FAR for Alfred Russel WallaceEdit

I have nominated Alfred Russel Wallace for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets the featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" in regards to the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Z1720 (talk) 20:50, 11 September 2022 (UTC)

Featured Article Save Award for Alfred Russel WallaceEdit

There is a Featured Article Save Award nomination at Wikipedia talk:Featured article review/Alfred Russel Wallace/archive1. Please join the discussion to recognize and celebrate editors who helped assure this article would retain its featured status. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:52, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

Intelligence in plants ( Intelligence#Plant ) is pseudoscience or mislabeling and should be removed.Edit

Our article Intelligence has a section on intelligence in plants - Intelligence#Plant.

This is pseudoscience or mislabeling and should be removed.

- 2804:14D:5C59:8693:3D7F:4056:46AB:658D (talk) 00:40, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

What's pseudoscience about it? The section is literally about discussing the topic as actually debated in regards to what counts as intelligence for sentient organisms. SilverserenC 00:47, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

CZ Biohub Organization draftEdit

Hello! I'm here on behalf of Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a nonprofit that partners with universities to advance biology and medical science research. My full COI disclosure can be read at my user page. You might notice that I posted a note above, asking for some help with the Biohub page's infobox. That edit request has since been closed, so if any helpful editors came from this WikiProject, know that I appreciate it.

I recently put forward a new edit request on the Biohub Talk page, which proposes an Organization section that combines some parts of the page's existing History section with information about the Biohub's structure, how it operates, and the types of research projects it pursues. That request is available for review here and if you would like to review the full text of the Organization draft, which I uploaded to my user page, you can do so using this link. Would anyone at this WikiProject be interested in reviewing my request and/or draft? Any help or feedback would be deeply appreciated. Thanks! Patricia at GMMB (talk) 19:47, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

RfC on Male expendabilityEdit

There is currently an active request for comment on Male expendability. Feel free to add your voices. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:40, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

Vaquita extinct?Edit

I just saw that the Vaquita article has been edited to say it is now extinct. I have not been able to find sourcing for this. Thriley (talk) 19:49, 8 December 2022 (UTC)