View Poll Results: Alien RACES or SPECIES?

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  • Species

    6 28.57%
  • Race

    3 14.29%
  • both (cos it varies... plz explain)

    11 52.38%
  • Neither (again, pl explain

    1 4.76%
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Thread: species or race?

  1. #11
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    Re: species or race?

    Quote Originally Posted by F.G.
    edit: so, CopperBezel, should we take it that you are of the opinion that neither is technically correct, but both can be can be considered correct in colloquially usage?
    It depends on how you mean "technically." In specific contexts, each one would seem to be "correct." In the case of "race," it'd be important to be clear that the word is being used in its "less technical" definition, but that doesn't actually make it any less correct. "Species", I think, is correct in any case - you could say that you'd discovered a "new species" without knowing its classification, and this doesn't seem like a big jump from that. So if the question is between "colloquial" (or even just "everyday") and "scientific," then yeah, "species" is a more technical term, but that means that it's more correct in technical contexts, not that it's inherently more correct.

    And like PJs Ronin pointed out, it's probably just as important to consider the connotations that sci-fi readers are going to read into each.
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  2. #12
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    Re: species or race?

    I would say it would be species. Races are groups that are within one species. It is doubtful that all of the various aliens would be homo sapiens, or even one other species scattered around the galaxy. I'm sure the various types of aliens originating from different planets would have different DNA makeups. So I would say they should be species and not races.

    But I agree with some that you could have different races within one alien species. So I guess I agree that you could use both.
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  3. #13
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    Re: species or race?

    The word "race" is nonsense. Where does the black "race" start and the white "race" begin? Where exactly on the scale do Asians become Asians? If a hild has one grandparent who is white, one who is black, one who is Asian, and one who is Native American, what race are they exactly? Race is highly subjective at best and belongs in the nineteenth century.

    Aliens are species. Unless you want to dive head first into complicated Alien racial issues and possible civil rights movements, Id leave race out of it all together. Instead, you could have different classes or social positions, something much easier to define and less controversial.

  4. #14
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    Re: species or race?

    Maybe, but again, he's not using race to mean the individual ethnic lineages within the species, but referring to the species as a whole as a "race," in the same way that the human species can be referred to as a "race." Obviously, that's not what the term originally meant, but we've developed that meaning, and it's worth considering. It also flows naturally from referring to groups in fantasy settings, like dwarves and elves and things, as "races."
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  5. #15
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    Re: species or race?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    The word "race" is nonsense. Where does the black "race" start and the white "race" begin? Where exactly on the scale do Asians become Asians? If a hild has one grandparent who is white, one who is black, one who is Asian, and one who is Native American, what race are they exactly? Race is highly subjective at best and belongs in the nineteenth century.
    "Race" doesn't have to be offensive. Some people are actually proud of their heritage. I've known plenty of black people, Asians, and Native Americans who are proud of their heritage, and they don't want to just be melded into one common, cookie cutter man. People are different. That doesn't mean we hate each other or aren't allowed to mate with people who are different. But there is nothing wrong with celebrating differences in a non-arrogant way.
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  6. #16
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    Re: species or race?

    Quote Originally Posted by forrestcupp View Post
    "Race" doesn't have to be offensive. Some people are actually proud of their heritage. I've known plenty of black people, Asians, and Native Americans who are proud of their heritage, and they don't want to just be melded into one common, cookie cutter man. People are different. That doesn't mean we hate each other or aren't allowed to mate with people who are different. But there is nothing wrong with celebrating differences in a non-arrogant way.
    Herritage and race are totally different. Two people of different heritages can be of the same race. Nazis and skin heads are proud of their race. Normal people are proud of their heritage.

  7. #17
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    Re: species or race?

    Do neither. Call them flavours.

  8. #18
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    Re: species or race?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    Herritage and race are totally different. Two people of different heritages can be of the same race. Nazis and skin heads are proud of their race. Normal people are proud of their heritage.
    That's just one example of people who are screwed up with their idea of what race means. Just because Nazis and skinheads have a twisted view of what race means doesn't mean it has to be offensive. That's almost like thinking all postal workers kill people because one went "postal" once.

    You're mistaking race for meaning species. Of course it's wrong to look at people who are different as being a different species. Here's one of Webster's definitions of race:

    3. c : a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits
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  9. #19
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    Re: species or race?

    If humans were a domestic animal, some say we'd be considered inbred. Very low genetic diversity despite our (very) minor morphological differences.

  10. #20
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    Re: species or race?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    Herritage and race are totally different. Two people of different heritages can be of the same race. Nazis and skin heads are proud of their race. Normal people are proud of their heritage.
    A sizeable number of my in-laws' extended family are proud of their Samoan heritage, to the point of calling themselves Samoan, even though many haven't actually lived in (or visited) Samoa. It's tempting at times to let loose with a loud "Bah, Humbug!" - first and foremost, they're all people.
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