Is race biologically real? Or is it just a social construct?
In 1912 most Western scientists would have said yes, race is real, a fact of nature. They took it for granted as “obvious”. But in 2012 most geneticists and biological anthropologists would have answered no.
What seems to have changed their minds:
- The Holocaust made “race” seem like a dangerous idea now that white people were getting killed. Many scientists began to question it.
- Advances in genetics made race seem arbitrary, subjective and, at best, skin deep. It did not match what genes did.
- The rise of colour-blind racism in the US, which seeks to address the issue of race by – not seeing it!
- Out of Africa – once it became clear that humans came from Africa, not Europe or North Eurasia, scientists did not trade their white supremacism for black supremacism. Instead it was: “Race does not matter!”
Community Village‘s insight:
The words ‘haplogroup’ and ‘haplotype’ are the scientific replacements for the word race.
The word ‘cline’ is the poetic replacement for the word race.
The best book I’ve read on this topic is ‘The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference’ by Ann Morning
– – @getgln
See on abagond.wordpress.com