(Funniest Comment I’ve Read Today)
First, you keep saying that “there are no human races. If you compare genetic variation within each of the so-called races with other populations, there is more vriation within group than between groups.”
I love this point. Such wisdom. But when I tried it out today on a fellow worker, I got confused. He happened to mention that men are on average a few inches taller than the average woman. What a know-nothing, I thought, and then I used your argument: “If you look at variation in height among men, you find some men who are 4 feet tall and others who are over 7 feet tall. Thus, there is more variation among men than there is between men and women.” Pretty good point, no? But my co-worker didn’t seem as shock-and-awed as I expected. He just said, “Sure, there’s lots of variation among men, but there’s still an overall average difference between male and female height, even if it’s comparatively small.”
I was stumped, and I have to ask for your assistance here. What do I say when some hack tries to suggest that there can be differences between groups even if each individual group has internal variation? I mean, clearly it’s a fact of anthropology that [variation within a group] = [no possible differences between that group and another group]. Just no way it can be. But I can’t seem to get that point across very effectively.
Maybe an analogy would help. Such as, “There’s more variation between inch 1 and inch 36 of a yardstick than there is between a yardstick and a meter. Therefore 1 yard = 1 meter.” Would a simple example like that help? Or maybe you can think of others.
— Commenter John Brown
You’ll have to read the post and the thread to get the full context, but its pretty funny. Also, look at the comment directly below the one linked to.