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Viewpoint: How genetics challenges the ‘folk notion’ of distinct races

| | October 19, 2017

Speaking from the BBC studio in London where he hosts the weekly radio program Inside Science, [geneticist Adam] Rutherford explains how the development of farming changed human biology; why the most important story our genes tell is that we are all family, despite race or tribe.

In many ways, genetics makes a mockery of race. The characteristics of normal human variation we use to determine broad social categories of race—such as black, Asian, or white—are mostly things like skin color, morphological features, or hair texture, and those are all biologically encoded.

But when we look at the full genomes from people all over the world, those differences represent a tiny fraction of the differences between people. There is, for instance, more genetic diversity within Africa than in the rest of the world put together.

It says something about us that we look for simple answers to complex questions. Inevitably, people have turned to the relatively new science of genetics to try to explain otherwise unfathomable human behaviors, such as spree killing or murder.

There is a genetic basis to human behaviors. But there is also an environmental component. We used to say nature versus nurture. But we might say nature via nurture.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Race Is Not a Thing, According to Genetics

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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