Race (classification of human beings)

Race (classification of human beings)

The term race or racial group usually refers to the concept of categorizing humans into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of characteristics. [http://www.physanth.org/positions/race.html AAPA Statement on Biological Aspects of Race] American Association of Physical Anthropologists "Pure races do not exist in the human species today, nor is there any evidence that they have ever existed in the past."] The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits (especially skin color, cranial or facial features and hair texture), and self-identification. [Bamshad, Michael and Steve E. Olson. [http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/rhking/departments/science/bio/evol_pop_dyn/does_race_exist.pdf "Does Race Exist?"] , "Scientific American Magazine" (10 November 2003).]

Conceptions of race, as well as specific ways of grouping races, vary by culture and over time, and are often controversial for scientific as well as social and political reasons. The controversy ultimately revolves around whether or not races are natural types or socially constructed, and the degree to which perceived differences in ability and achievement, categorized on the basis of race, are a product of inherited (i.e. genetic) traits or environmental, social and cultural factors.

Some argue that although race is a valid taxonomic concept in other species, it cannot be applied to humans. [S O Y Keita, R A Kittles, C D M Royal, G E Bonney, P Furbert-Harris, G M Dunston & C N Rotimi, 2004 "Conceptualizing human variation" in "Nature Genetics" 36, S17 - S20 [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1455.html Conceptualizing human variation] ] Many scientists have argued that race definitions are imprecise, arbitrary, derived from custom, have many exceptions, have many gradations, and that the numbers of races delineated vary according to the culture making the racial distinctions; thus they reject the notion that any definition of race pertaining to humans can have taxonomic rigour and validity. [For example this statement expressing the official viewpoint of the American Anthropological Association at [http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm their webpage] : "Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation lies within so-called racial groups. This means that there is greater variation within 'racial' groups than between them."] Today most scientists study human genotypic and phenotypic variation using concepts such as "population" and "clinal gradation". Many contend that while racial categorizations may be marked by phenotypic or genotypic traits, the idea of race itself, and actual divisions of persons into races or racial groups, are social constructs.cite book | last = Thompson | first = William | authorlink = | coauthors = Joseph Hickey | year = 2005 | title = Society in Focus | publisher = Pearson | location = Boston, MA| id = 0-205-41365-X] [Daniel A. Segal " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0268-540X%28199110%297%3A5%3C7%3A%27EAORP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage 'The European': Allegories of Racial Purity] " Anthropology Today, Vol. 7, No. 5 (Oct., 1991), pp. 7-9 doi:10.2307/3032780] [Bindon, Jim. University of Alabama. " [http://www.as.ua.edu/ant/bindon/ant275/presentations/POST_WWII.PDF#search=%22stanley%20marion%20garn%22 Post World War II"] . 2005. August 28, 2006.]


In ancient civilizations

Central Asian (Tocharian?) and East-Asian Buddhist monks, Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century. [ [http://discovermagazine.com/1994/apr/themummiesofxinj359 The Mummies of Xinjiang] , DISCOVER Magazine] [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/a-meeting-of-civilisations-the-mystery-of-chinas-celtic-mummies-413638.html A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China's celtic mummies] , The Independent] ] Given visually complex social relationships, humans presumably have always observed and speculated about the physical differences among individuals and groups. But different societies have attributed markedly different meanings to these distinctions. For example, the Ancient Egyptian sacred text called "Book of Gates" identifies four categories that are now conventionally labeled "Egyptians", "Asiatics", "Libyans", and "Nubians", but such distinctions tended to conflate differences as defined by physical features such as skin tone, with tribal and national identity. Classical civilizations from Rome to China tended to invest much more importance in familial or tribal affiliation than with one's physical appearance (Dikötter 1992; Goldenberg 2003). Ancient Greek and Roman authors also attempted to explain and categorize visible biological differences among peoples known to them. Such categories often also included fantastical human-like beings that were supposed to exist in far-away lands. Some Roman writers adhered to an environmental determinism in which climate could affect the appearance and character of groups (Isaac 2004). In many ancient civilizations, individuals with widely varying physical appearances became full members of a society by growing up within that society or by adopting that society's cultural norms (Snowden 1983; Lewis 1990).

Julian the Apostate was an early observer of the differences in humans, based upon ethnic, cultural, and geographic traits, but as the ideology of "race" had not yet been constructed, he believed that they were the result of "Providence":

Come, tell me why it is that the Celts and the Germans are fierce, while the Hellenes and Romans are, generally speaking, inclined to political life and humane, though at the same time unyielding and warlike? Why the Egyptians are more intelligent and more given to crafts, and the Syrians unwarlike and effeminate, but at the same time intelligent, hot-tempered, vain and quick to learn? For if there is anyone who does not discern a reason for these differences among the nations, but rather declaims that all this so befell spontaneously, how, I ask, can he still believe that the universe is administered by a providence? — Julian, the Apostate. [ [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/julian_apostate_galileans_1_text.htm Julian the Apostate, "Against the Galileans"] : remains of the 3 books, excerpted from Cyril of Alexandria, "Contra Julianum" (1923) pp.319-433]

Medieval models of "race" mixed Classical ideas with the notion that humanity as a whole was descended from Shem, Ham and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, producing distinct Semitic (Asian), Hamitic (African), and Japhetic (European) peoples.

Age of Discovery

The word "race", along with many of the ideas now associated with the term, were products of European imperialism and colonization during the age of exploration. (Smedley 1999) As Europeans encountered people from different parts of the world, they speculated about the physical, social, and cultural differences among various human groups. The rise of the Atlantic slave trade, which gradually displaced an earlier trade in slaves from throughout the world, created a further incentive to categorize human groups in order to justify the subordination of African slaves. (Meltzer 1993) Drawing on Classical sources and upon their own internal interactions — for example, the hostility between the English and Irish was a powerful influence on early thinking about the differences between people (Takaki 1993) — Europeans began to sort themselves and others into groups associated with physical appearance and with deeply ingrained behaviors and capacities. A set of folk beliefs took hold that linked inherited physical differences between groups to inherited intellectual, behavioral, and moral qualities. (Banton 1977) Although similar ideas can be found in other cultures (Lewis 1990; Dikötter 1992), they appear not to have had as much influence upon their social structures as was found in Europe and the parts of the world colonized by Europeans. However, often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world.

Scientific concepts

The first scientific attempts to classify humans by categories of race date from the 17th century, along with the development of European imperialism and colonization around the world. The first post-Classical published classification of humans into distinct races seems to be François Bernier's "Nouvelle division de la terre par les différents espèces ou races qui l'habitent" ("New division of Earth by the different species or races which inhabit it"), published in 1684.

17th and 18th century

According to philosopher Michel Foucault, theories of both racial and class conflict can be traced to 17th century political debates about innate differences among ethnicities. In England radicals such as John Lilburne emphasised conflicts between Saxon and Norman peoples. In France Henri de Boulainvilliers argued that the Germanic Franks possessed a natural right to leadership, in contrast to descendants of the Gauls. In the 18th century, the differences among human groups became a focus of scientific investigation (Todorov 1993). Initially, scholars focused on cataloguing and describing "The Natural Varieties of Mankind," as Johann Friedrich Blumenbach entitled his 1775 text (which established the five major divisions of humans still reflected in some racial classifications, i.e., the Caucasoid race, Mongoloid race, Ethiopian race (later termed the Negroid race), American Indian race, and Malayan race). From the 17th through the 19th centuries, the merging of folk beliefs about group differences with scientific explanations of those differences produced what one scholar has called an "ideology of race" (Smedley 1999). According to this ideology, races are primordial, natural, enduring and distinct. It was further argued that some groups may be the result of mixture between formerly distinct populations, but that careful study could distinguish the ancestral races that had combined to produce admixed groups.

19th century

The 19th century saw attempts to change race from a taxonomic to a biological concept. In the 19th century a number of natural scientists wrote on race: Georges Cuvier, Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Francis Galton, James Cowles Pritchard, Louis Agassiz, Charles Pickering, and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. As the science of anthropology took shape in the 19th century, European and American scientists increasingly sought explanations for the behavioral and cultural differences they attributed to groups (Stanton 1960). For example, using anthropometrics, invented by Francis Galton and Alphonse Bertillon, they measured the shapes and sizes of skulls and related the results to group differences in intelligence or other attributes (Lieberman 2001).

These scientists made three claims about race: first, that races are objective, naturally occurring divisions of humanity; second, that there is a strong relationship between biological races and other human phenomena (such as forms of activity and interpersonal relations and culture, and by extension the relative material success of cultures), thus biologizing the notion of "race", as Foucault demonstrated in his historical analysis; third, that race is therefore a valid scientific category that can be used to explain and predict individual and group behavior. Races were distinguished by skin color, facial type, cranial profile and size, texture and color of hair. Moreover, races were almost universally considered to reflect group differences in moral character and intelligence.

The eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inspired by Arthur Gobineau's "An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races" (1853–1855) and Vacher de Lapouge's "anthroposociology", asserted as self-evident the biological inferiority of particular groups (Kevles 1985). In many parts of the world, the idea of race became a way of rigidly dividing groups by culture as well as by physical appearances (Hannaford 1996). Campaigns of oppression and genocide were often motivated by supposed racial differences (Horowitz 2001).

In Charles Darwin's most controversial book, "The Descent of Man", he made strong suggestions of racial differences and European superiority. In Darwin's view, stronger tribes of humans always replaced weaker tribes. As savage tribes came in conflict with civilized nations, such as England, the less advanced people were destroyed. [Charles Darwin, [http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-descent-of-man/chapter-07.html "The Descent of Man", Chapter 7 - On the Races of Man.] Consider, for instance, the following excerpt: "We thus see that many of the wilder races of man are apt to suffer much in health when subjected to changed conditions or habits of life, and not exclusively from being transported to a new climate. Mere alterations in habits, which do not appear injurious in themselves, seem to have this same effect; and in several cases the children are particularly liable to suffer. It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races."] Nevertheless, he also noted the great difficulty naturalists had in trying to decide how many "races" there actually were (Darwin was himself a monogenist on the question of race, believing that all humans were of the same species and finding "race" to be a somewhat arbitrary distinction among some groups):

Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke. This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them. [Darwin, C. (1871/1874). The Descent of Man, 2nd. Ed., London: John Murray.]

Modern debates

Models of human evolution

In a recent article, Leonard Lieberman and Fatimah Jackson have suggested that any new support for a biological concept of race will likely come from another source, namely, the study of human evolution. They therefore ask what, if any, implications current models of human evolution may have for any biological conception of race. [Leonard Lieberman and Fatimah Linda C. Jackson (1995) "Race and Three Models of Human Origin" in "­American Anthropologist" Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 232-234]

Today, all humans are classified as belonging to the species "Homo sapiens" and sub-species "Homo sapiens sapiens." However, this is not the first species of hominids: the first species of genus "Homo", Homo habilis, evolved in East Africa at least 2 million years ago, and members of this species populated different parts of Africa in a relatively short time. "Homo erectus" evolved more than 1.8 million years ago, and by 1.5 million years ago had spread throughout the Old World. Virtually all physical anthropologists agree that "Homo sapiens" evolved out of "Homo erectus." Anthropologists have been divided as to whether "Homo sapiens" evolved as one interconnected species from "H. erectus" (called the Multiregional Model, or the Regional Continuity Model), or evolved only in East Africa, and then migrated out of Africa and replaced "H. erectus" populations throughout the Old World (called the Out of Africa Model or the Complete Replacement Model). Anthropologists continue to debate both possibilities, and the evidence is technically ambiguous as to which model is correct, although most anthropologists currently favor the Out of Africa model.

Lieberman and Jackson have argued that while advocates of both the Multiregional Model and the Out of Africa Model use the word race and make racial assumptions, none define the term. [Leonard Lieberman and Fatimah Linda C. Jackson (1995) "Race and Three Models of Human Origin" in "­American Anthropologist" Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 237] They conclude that"Each model has implications that both magnify and minimize the differences between races. Yet each model seems to take race and races as a conceptual reality. The net result is that those anthropologists who prefer to view races as a reality are encouraged to do so" and conclude that students of human evolution would be better off avoiding the word race, and instead describe genetic differences in terms of populations and clinal gradations. [Leonard Lieberman and Fatimah Linda C. Jackson (1995) "Race and Three Models of Human Origin" in "­American Anthropologist" Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 239]

Race as subspecies

With the advent of the modern synthesis in the early 20th century, many biologists sought to use evolutionary models and populations genetics in an attempt to formalise taxonomy. The Biological Species Concept (BSC) is the most widely used system for describing species, this concept defines a species as a group of organisms that interbreed in their natural environment and produce viable offspring. In practice species are not classified according to the BSC but according to typology by the use of a holotype, due to the difficulty of determining whether all members of a group of organisms do or can in practice potentially interbreed.Pleijel, F. and Rouse, G., W. (2000) "Least-inclusive taxonomic unit: a new taxonomic concept for biology" "Proceedings of the Royal Society" 267: 627–630 [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1690571&blobtype=pdf PDF] ] BSC species are routinely classified on a subspecific level, though this classification is conducted differently for different taxons, for mammals the normal taxonomic unit below the species level is usually the subspecies.SUSAN M. HAIG, ERIK A. BEEVER, STEVEN M. CHAMBERS, HOPE M. DRAHEIM, BRUCE D. DUGGER, SUSIE DUNHAM,§ ELISE ELLIOTT-SMITH, JOSEPH B. FONTAINE, DYLAN C. KESLER, BRIAN J. KNAUS, IARA F. LOPES, PETE LOSCHL, THOMAS D. MULLINS, AND LISA M. SHEFFIELD (2006) "Taxonomic Considerations in Listing Subspecies Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act" "Conservation Biology" 20: 1584–1594 doi|10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00530.x] More recently the Phylogenetic Species Concept (PSC) has gained a substantial following. The PSC is based on the idea of a least-inclusive taxonomic unit (LITU), in phylogenetic classification no subspecies can exist because they would automatically constitute a LITU (any monophyletic group). Technically species cease to exist as do all hierarchical taxa, a LITU is effectively defined as any monophyletic taxon, phylogenetics is strongly influenced by cladistics which classifies organisms based on evolution rather than similarities between groups of organisms. In biology the term "race" is very rarely used because it is ambiguous, "'Race' is not being defined or used consistently; its referents are varied and shift depending on context. The term is often used colloquially to refer to a range of human groupings. Religious, cultural, social, national, ethnic, linguistic, genetic, geographical and anatomical groups have been and sometimes still are called 'races'". Generally when it is used it is synonymous with subspecies.Templeton, 1998] Keita "et al." 2004] [Long and Kittles, 2003] One of the main obstacles to identifying subspecies is that, while it is a recognised taxonomic term, it has no precise definition.

Species of organisms that are monotypic (i.e. form a single subspecies) display at least one of these properties:
* All members of the species are very similar and cannot be sensibly divided into biologically significant subcategories.
* The individuals vary considerably but the variation is essentially random and largely meaningless so far as genetic transmission of these variations is concerned (many plant species fit into this category, which is why horticulturists interested in preserving, say, a particular flower color avoid propagation from seed, and instead use vegetative methods like propagation from cuttings).
* The variation among individuals is noticeable and follows a pattern, but there are no clear dividing lines among separate groups: they fade imperceptibly into one another. Such clinal variation displays a lack of allopatric partition between groups (i.e. a clearly defined boundary demarcating the subspecies), which is usually required before they are recognised as subspecies.O'Brien, S., J. and Meyr, E. (1991) "Bureaucratic mischief: recognizing endangered species and subspecies." "Science" 251: 1187-1190 [http://www.life.uiuc.edu/ib/451/OBrien%20(1991).pdf PDF] ]

A "polytypic" species has two or more subspecies. These are separate populations that are more genetically different from one another and that are more reproductively isolated, gene flow between these populations is much reduced leading to genetic differentiation.

Morphological subspecies

Traditionally subspecies are seen as geographically isolated and genetically differentiated populations. Or to put it another way "the designation 'subspecies' is used to indicate an objective degree of microevolutionary divergence" One objection to this idea is that it does not identify any degree of differentiation, therefore any population that is somewhat biologically different could be considered a subspecies, even to the level of a local population. As a result it is necessary to impose a threshold on the level of difference that is required for a population to be designated a subspecies. This effectively means that populations of organisms must have reached a certain measurable level of difference in order to be recognised as subspecies.
Dean Amadon proposed in 1949 that subspecies would be defined according to the seventy-five percent rule which means that 75% of a population must lie outside 99% of the range of other populations for a given defining morphological character or a set of characters. The 75 percent rule still has defenders but other scholars argue that it should be replaced with 90 or 95 percent rule. [AMADON, D. 1949. The seventy-five percent rule for subspecies. Condor 51:250-258.] [MAYR, E. 1969. Principles of Systematic Zoology. McGraw-Hill, New York.] [Patten MA & Unitt P. (2002). Diagnosability versus mean differences of sage sparrow subspecies. Auk. vol 119, no 1. p. 26-35.]

In 1978, Sewall Wright suggested that human populations that have long inhabited separated parts of the world should, in general, be considered to be of different subspecies by the usual criterion that most individuals of such populations can be allocated correctly by inspection. It does not require a trained anthropologist to classify an array of Englishmen, West Africans, and Chinese with 100% accuracy by features, skin color, and type of hair in spite of so much variability within each of these groups that every individual can easily be distinguished from every other. However, it is customary to use the term race rather than subspecies for the major subdivisions of the human species as well as for minor ones. [Wright, S. 1978. Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, Vol. 4, Variability Within and Among Natural Populations. Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. p. 438]

On the other hand in practice subspecies are often defined by easily observable physical appearance, but there is not necessarily any evolutionary significance to these observed differences, so this form of classification has become less acceptable to evolutionary biologists. Likewise this typological approach to "race" is generally regarded as discredited by biologists and anthropologists.

Because of the difficulty in classifying subspecies morphologically, many biologists reject the concept altogether, citing problems such as:

*Visible physical differences do not correlate with one another, leading to the possibility of different classifications for the same individual organisms.
*Parallel evolution can lead to the existence of the appearance of similarities between groups of organisms that are not part of the same species.
*The existence of isolated populations within previously designated subspecies.
*That the criteria for classification are arbitrary.

ubspecies genetically differentiated populations

Another way to look at differences between populations is to measure genetic differences rather than physical differences, these should be less biased. Genetic differences between populations of organisms can be measured using the fixation index of Sewall Wright, which is often abbreviated to FST. This statistic is used to compare differences between any two given populations and can be used to measure genetic differences between populations for individual genes, or for many genes simultaneously.Joseph L. Graves, (2006) " [http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Graves/ What We Know and What We Don’t Know: Human Genetic Variation and the Social Construction of Race] " from " [http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/ Race and Genomics] "] For example it is often stated that the fixation index for humans is about 0.15. This means that about 85% of the variation measured in the human population is within any population, and about 15% of the variation occurs between populations, or that any two individuals from different populations are almost as likely to be more similar to each other than either is to a member of their own group. It is often stated that human genetic variation is low compared to other mammalian species, and it has been claimed that this should be taken as evidence that there is no natural subdivision of the human population." [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1275602 The Use of Racial, Ethnic, and Ancestral Categories in Human Genetics Research] " by Race, Ethnicity, and Genetics Working Group. "Am J Hum Genet." 2005 77(4): 519–532.] [" [http://www.fiu.edu/~biology/pcb5665/RACEgen.pdf DECONSTRUCTING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENETICS AND RACE] " Michael Bamshad, Stephen Wooding, Benjamin A. Salisbury and J. Claiborne Stephens. "Nature Genetics" (2004) 5:598-609] [ [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1455.html Conceptualizing human variation] " by S O Y Keita, 2, R A Kittles1, C D M Royal, G E Bonney, P Furbert-Harris, G M Dunston & C N Rotimi. "Nature Genetics" 36, S17 - S20 (2004)] [" [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1438.html Implications of biogeography of human populations for 'race' and medicine] " by Sarah A Tishkoff & Kenneth K Kidd. "Nature Genetics" 36, S21 - S27 (2004)] [" [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1435.html Genetic variation, classification and 'race'] " by Lynn B Jorde & Stephen P Wooding. "Nature Genetics' 36, S28 - S33 (2004)] Write himself believed that a value of 0.25 represented great genetic variation and that an FST of 0.15-0.25 represented moderate variation. It should however be noted that about 5% of human variation occurs between populations within continents, and therefor the FST between continental groups of humans (or races) is as low as 0.1 (or possibly lower).

In their 2003 paper "Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races" [ [http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/human_biology/v075/75.4long.pd] ] Jeffrey Long and Rick Kittles give a long critique of the application of FST to human populations. They find that the figure of 85% is misleading because it implies that all human populations contain on average 85% of all genetic diversity. This does not correctly reflect human population history, they claim, because it treats all human groups as independent. A more realistic portrayal of the way human groups are related is to understand that some human groups are parental to other groups and that these groups represent paraphyletic groups to their descent groups. For example under the recent African origin theory the human population in Africa is paraphyletic to all other human groups because it represents the ancestral group from which all non-African populations derive, but more than that, non-African groups only derive from a small non-representative sample of this African population. This means that all non-African groups are more closely related to each other and to some African groups (probably east Africans) than they are to others, and further that the migration out of Africa represented a genetic bottleneck, with a great deal of the diversity that existed in Africa not being carried out of Africa by the emigrating groups. This view produces a version of human population movements that do not result in all human populations being independent, but rather produces a series of dilutions of diversity the further from Africa any population lives, each founding event representing a genetic subset of it's parental population. Long and Kittles find that rather than 85% of human genetic diversity existing in all human populations, about 100% of human diversity exists in a single African population, whereas only about 70% of human genetic diversity exists in a population derived from New Guinea. Long and Kittles make the observation that this still produces a global human population that is genetically homogeneous compared to other mammalian populations.

Wright's F statistics are not used to determine whether a group can be described as a subspecies or not, though the statistic is used to measure the degree of differentiation between populations, the degree of genetic differentiation is not a marker of subspecies status. Generally taxonomists prefer to use phylogenetic analysis to determine whether a population can be considered a subspecies. Phylogenetic analysis relies on the concept of derived characteristics that are not shared between groups, this means that these populations are usually allopatric and therefore discretely bounded, this makes subspecies, evolutionarily speaking, monophyletic groups. The clinality of human genetic variation in general rules out any idea that human population groups can be considered monophyletic as there appears to always have been a great deal of gene flow between human populations.

Population genetics: population and cline

At the beginning of the 20th century, anthropologists questioned, and eventually abandoned, the claim that biologically distinct races are isomorphic with distinct linguistic, cultural, and social groups. Shortly thereafter, the rise of population genetics provided scientists with a new understanding of the sources of phenotypic variation. This new science has led many mainstream evolutionary scientists in anthropology and biology to question the very validity of race as a scientific concept describing an objectively real phenomenon. Those who came to reject the validity of the concept of race did so for four reasons: empirical, definitional, the availability of alternative concepts, and ethical (Lieberman and Byrne 1993).

The first to challenge the concept of race on empirical grounds were anthropologists Franz Boas, who demonstrated phenotypic plasticity due to environmental factors (Boas 1912), and Ashley Montagu (1941, 1942), who relied on evidence from genetics. Zoologists Edward O. Wilson and W. Brown then challenged the concept from the perspective of general animal systematics, and further rejected the claim that "races" were equivalent to "subspecies" (Wilson and Brown 1953).


One of the crucial innovations in reconceptualizing genotypic and phenotypic variation was anthropologist C. Loring Brace's observation that such variations, insofar as it is affected by natural selection, migration, or genetic drift, are distributed along geographic gradations or (Brace 1964). This point called attention to a problem common to phenotype-based descriptions of races (for example, those based on hair texture and skin color): they ignore a host of other similarities and differences (for example, blood type) that do not correlate highly with the markers for race. Thus, anthropologist Frank Livingstone's conclusion that, since clines cross racial boundaries, "there are no races, only clines" (Livingstone 1962: 279).

In a response to Livingston, Theodore Dobzhansky argued that when talking about "race" one must be attentive to how the term is being used: "I agree with Dr. Livingston that if races have to be 'discrete units,' then there are no races, and if 'race' is used as an 'explanation' of the human variability, rather than vice versa, then the explanation is invalid." He further argued that one could use the term race if one distinguished between "race differences" and "the race concept." The former refers to any distinction in gene frequencies between populations; the latter is "a matter of judgment." He further observed that even when there is clinal variation, "Race differences are objectively ascertainable biological phenomena .... but it does not follow that racially distinct populations must be given racial (or subspecific) labels." [Theodosious Dobzhansky "Comment" in "Current Anthropology" 3(3): 279-280] In short, Livingston and Dobzhansky agree that there are genetic differences among human beings; they also agree that the use of the race concept to classify people, and how the race concept is used, is a matter of social convention. They differ on whether the race concept remains a meaningful and useful social convention.

In 1964, biologists Paul Ehrlich and Holm pointed out cases where two or more clines are distributed discordantly—for example, melanin is distributed in a decreasing pattern from the equator north and south; frequencies for the haplotype for beta-S hemoglobin, on the other hand, radiate out of specific geographical points in Africa (Ehrlich and Holm 1964). As anthropologists Leonard Lieberman and Fatimah Linda Jackson observe, "Discordant patterns of heterogeneity falsify any description of a population as if it were genotypically or even phenotypically homogeneous" (Lieverman and Jackson 1995).

Patterns such as those seen in human physical and genetic variation as described above, have led to the consequence that the number and geographic location of any described races is highly dependent on the importance attributed to, and quantity of, the traits considered. For example if only skin colour and a "two race" system of classification were used, then one might classify Indigenous Australians in the same "race" as Black people, and Caucasians in the same "race" as East Asian people, but biologists and anthropologists would dispute that these classifications have any scientific validity. On the other hand the greater the number of traits (or alleles) considered, the more subdivisions of humanity are detected, due to the fact that traits and gene frequencies do not always correspond to the same geographical location, or as Ossario and Duster (2005) put it:quotation|Anthropologists long ago discovered that humans' physical traits vary gradually, with groups that are close geographic neighbors being more similar than groups that are geographically separated. This pattern of variation, known as clinal variation, is also observed for many alleles that vary from one human group to another. Another observation is that traits or alleles that vary from one group to another do not vary at the same rate. This pattern is referred to as nonconcordant variation. Because the variation of physical traits is clinal and nonconcordant, anthropologists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries discovered that the more traits and the more human groups they measured, the fewer discrete differences they observed among races and the more categories they had to create to classify human beings. The number of races observed expanded to the 30s and 50s, and eventually anthropologists concluded that there were no discrete races (Marks, 2002). Twentieth and 21st century biomedical researchers have discovered this same feature when evaluating human variation at the level of alleles and allele frequencies. Nature has not created four or five distinct, nonoverlapping genetic groups of people.Pilar Ossorio and Troy Duster (2006) "Race and Genetics Controversies in Biomedical, Behavioral, and Forensic Sciences" "American Psychologist" 60 115–128 doi|10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.115]


Population geneticists have debated as to whether the concept of population can provide a basis for a new conception of race. In order to do this a working definition of population must be found. Surprisingly there is no generally accepted concept of population that biologists use. It has been pointed out that the concept of population is central to ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology, but also that most definitions of population rely on qualitative descriptions such as "a group of organisms of the same species occupying a particular space at a particular time""What is a population? An empirical evaluation of some genetic methods for identifying the number of gene pools and their degree of connectivity." by ROBIN S. WAPLES and OSCAR GAGGIOTTI. "Molecular Ecology" (2006) 15, 1419–1439. doi|10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.02890.x] Waples and Gaggiotti identify two broad types of definitions for populations, those that fall into an "ecological paradigm" and those that fall into an "evolutionary paradigm". Examples such definitions are:
*"Ecological paradigm": A group of individuals of the same species that co-occur in space and time and have an opportunity to interact with each other.
*"Evolutionary paradigm": A group of individuals of the same species living in close enough proximity that any member of the group can potentially mate with any other member.

Richard Lewontin, claiming that 85 percent of human variation occurs within populations, and not among populations, argued that neither "race" nor "subspecies" were appropriate or useful ways to describe populations (Lewontin 1973). Nevertheless, barriers—which may be cultural or physical— between populations can limit gene flow and increase genetic differences. Recent work by population geneticists conducting research in Europe suggests that ethnic identity can be a barrier to gene flow. [Koertvelyessy, TA and MT Nettleship 1996 Ethnicity and mating structure in Southwestern Hungary. Rivista di Antropologia (Roma) 74:45-53] [Koertvelyessy, T 1995 Etnicity, isonymic relationships, and biological distance in Northeastern Hungary. Homo 46/1:1-9.] [Pettener. D 1990 Temporal trends in marital structure and isonymy in S. Paolo Albanese, Italy. Human Biology 6:837-851.] [Biondi, G, P Raspe, GW Lasker, and GGN Mascie-Taylor 1990 Relationships estimated by isonymy among the Italo-Greco villages of southern Italy. Human Biology 62:649-663.] Others, such as Ernst Mayr, have argued for a notion of "geographic race" [http://www.goodrumj.com/Mayr.html] . Some researchers report the variation between racial groups (measured by Sewall Wright's population structure statistic FST) accounts for as little as 5% of human genetic variation². Sewall Wright himself commented that if differences this large were seen in another species, they would be called subspecies. [Wright S. 1978. Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, Vol. 4, Variability Within and Among Natural Populations. Chicago, II: Univ. Chicago Press] In 2003 A. W. F. Edwards argued that cluster analysis supersedes Lewontin's arguments (see below).

These empirical challenges to the concept of race forced evolutionary sciences to reconsider their definition of race. Mid-century, anthropologist William Boyd defined race as::A population which differs significantly from other populations in regard to the frequency of one or more of the genes it possesses. It is an arbitrary matter which, and how many, gene loci we choose to consider as a significant "constellation" (Boyd 1950).Lieberman and Jackson (1994) have pointed out that "the weakness of this statement is that if one gene can distinguish races then the number of races is as numerous as the number of human couples reproducing." Moreover, anthropologist Stephen Molnar has suggested that the discordance of clines inevitably results in a multiplication of races that renders the concept itself useless (Molnar 1992).

The distribution of many physical traits resembles the distribution of genetic variation within and between human populations (American Association of Physical Anthropologists 1996; Keita and Kittles 1997). For example, ~90% of the variation in human head shapes occurs within every human group, and ~10% separates groups, with a greater variability of head shape among individuals with recent African ancestors (Relethford 2002).

Molecular genetics: lineages and clusters

With the recent availability of large amounts of human genetic data from many geographically distant human groups scientists have again started to investigate the relationships between people from various parts of the world. One method is to investigate DNA molecules that are passed down from mother to child (mtDNA) or from father to son (Y chromosomes), these form molecular lineages and can be informative regarding prehistoric population migrations. Alternatively autosomal alleles are investigated in an attempt to understand how much genetic material groups of people share. This work has led to a debate amongst geneticists, molecular anthropologists and medical doctors as to the validity of conceps such as "race". Some researchers insist that classifying people into groups based on ancestry may be important from medical and social policy points of view, and claim to be able to do so accurately. Others claim that individuals from different groups share far too much of their genetic material for group membership to have any medical implications. This has reignited the scientific debate over the validity of human classification and concepts of "race".

Molecular lineages, Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA

Mitochondria are intracellular organelles that contain DNA, this mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed in a direct female line of descent from mother to child. Human Y chromosomes are male specific sex chromosomes, any human that possesses a Y chromosome will be morphologically male. Y chromosomes are therefore passed from father to son. When a mutation arises in mtDNA or Y chromosome it is passed down a specific maternal or paternal line and because mutations accumulate on these molecules they can be used to identify specific molecular lineages. These mutations are derived from copying mistakes, when the DNA is copied it is possible that a single mistake occurs in the DNA sequence, these single mistakes are called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome research has produced three reproducible observations relevant to race and human evolution. Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking, Allan C. Wilson (1987) " [http://artsci.wustl.edu/~landc/html/cann/ Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution] " in "Nature" 325: 31-36) ]

Firstly all mtDNA and Y chromosome lineages derive from a common ancestral molecule. For mtDNA this ancestor is estimated to have lived about 140,000-290,000 years ago (Mitochondrial Eve), while for Y chromosomes the ancestor is estimated to have lived about 70,000 years ago (Y chromosome Adam). These observations are robust, and the individuals that originally carried these ancestral molecules are the direct female and male line most recent common ancestors of all extant anatomically modern humans. The observation that these are the direct female line and male line ancestors of all living humans should not be interpreted as meaning that either was the first anatomically modern human. Nor should we assume that there were no other modern humans living concurrently with mitochondrial Eve or Y chromosome Adam. A more reasonable explanation is that other humans who lived at the same time did indeed reproduce and pass their genes down to extant humans, but that their mitochondrial and Y chromosomal lineages have been lost over time, probably due to random events (e.g. producing only male or female children). It is impossible to know to what extent these non-extant lineages have been lost, or how much they differed from the mtDNA or Y chromosome of our maternal and paternal lineage MRCA. The difference in dates between Y chromosome Adam and mitochondrial Eve is usually attributed to a higher extinction rate for Y chromosomes. This is probably because a few very successful men produce a great many children, while a larger number of less successful men will produce far fewer children.

Secondly mtDNA and Y chromosome work supports a recent African origin for anatomically modern humans, with the ancestors of all extant modern humans leaving Africa somewhere between 100,000 - 50,000 years ago. [S Horai, K Hayasaka, R Kondo, K Tsugane, and N Takahata (1995) "Recent African origin of modern humans revealed by complete sequences of hominoid mitochondrial DNAs" "Procedings of the National Academy of Science", 92: 532-536. [http://www.pnas.org/content/92/2/532.full.pdf+html PDF] ] [Mark Seielstad, Endashaw Bekele, Muntaser Ibrahim, Amadou Touré, and Mamadou Traoré (1999) "A View of Modern Human Origins from Y Chromosome Microsatellite Variation" "Genome Research" 9: 558-567. [http://genome.cshlp.org/cgi/content/full/9/6/558 Full Text] .] [Gibbons, A. (2001) "Modern Men Trace Ancestry to African Migrants". "Science". 292: 1051 - 1052 DOI|10.1126/science.292.5519.1051b]

Thirdly studies show that specific types (haplogroups) of mtDNA or Y chromosomes do not always cluster by geography, ethnicity or race, implying multiple lineages are involved in founding modern human populations, with many closely related lineages spread over large geographic areas, and many populations containing distantly related lineages. Keita "et al." (2004) say, with reference to Y chromosome and mtDNA studies and their relevance to concepts of "race": quotation|Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA genealogies are especially interesting because they demonstrate the lack of concordance of lineages with morphology and facilitate a phylogenetic analysis. Individuals with the same morphology do not necessarily cluster with each other by lineage, and a given lineage does not include only individuals with the same trait complex (or 'racial type'). Y-chromosome DNA from Africa alone suffices to make this point. Africa contains populations whose members have a range of external phenotypes. This variation has usually been described in terms of 'race' (Caucasoids, Pygmoids, Congoids, Khoisanoids). But the Y-chromosome clade defined by the PN2 transition (PN2/M35, PN2/M2) [see haplogroup E3b and Haplogroup E3a] shatters the boundaries of phenotypically defined races and true breeding populations across a great geographical expanse21. African peoples with a range of skin colors, hair forms and physiognomies have substantial percentages of males whose Y chromosomes form closely related clades with each other, but not with others who are phenotypically similar. The individuals in the morphologically or geographically defined 'races' are not characterized by 'private' distinct lineages restricted to each of them. [ [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1455.html Conceptualizing human variation] " (2004) by S O Y Keita, R A Kittles1, C D M Royal, G E Bonney, P Furbert-Harris, G M Dunston & C N Rotimi in Nature Genetics 36, S17 - S20]

How much are genes shared? Clustering analyses and what they tell us

Human genetic variation is not distributed uniformly throughout the global population, the global range of human habitation means that there are great distance between some human populations (e.g. between South America and Southern Africa) and this will reduce gene flow between these populations. On the other hand environmental selection is also likely to play a role in differences between human populations. Conversely it is now believed that the majority of genetic differences between populations is selectively neutral. The existence of differences between peoples from different regions of the world is relevant to discussions about the concept of "race", some biologists believe that the language of "race" is relevant in describing human genetic variation. It is now possible to reasonably estimate the continents of origin of an individual's ancestors based on genetic dataLynn B Jorde & Stephen P Wooding, 2004, "Genetic variation, classification and 'race'" in "Nature Genetics" 36, S28 - S33 [http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1435.html Genetic variation, classification and 'race'] ]

Richard Lewontin has claimed that "race" is a meaningless classification because the majority of human variation is found within groups (~85%), and therefore two individuals from different "races" are almost as likely to be as similar to each other as either is to someone from their own "race". In 2003 A. W. F. Edwards rebuked this argument, claiming that Lewontin's conclusion ignores the fact that most of the information that distinguishes populations is hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors (see Infobox: Multi Locus Allele Clusters). Edwards concludes that "It is not true that 'racial classification is ... of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance' or that 'you can't predict someone’s race by their genes'." [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12879450&dopt=Abstract "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy."] , Edwards AW., Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in "PubMed", 2003 Aug;25(8):798-801.] Researchers such as Neil Risch and Noah Rosenberg have argued that a person's biological and cultural background may have important implications for medical treatment decisions, both for genetic and non-genetic reasons. [" [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1196372 Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies] " by Hua Tang, Tom Quertermous, Beatriz Rodriguez, Sharon L. R. Kardia, Xiaofeng Zhu, Andrew Brown, James S. Pankow, Michael A. Province, Steven C. Hunt, Eric Boerwinkle, Nicholas J. Schork, and Neil J. Risch Am J Hum Genet. 2005 February; 76(2): 268–275.] [" [http://genomebiology.com/2002/3/7/comment/2007 Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease] " by Neil Risch, Esteban Burchard, Elad Ziv and Hua Tang] " Genome Biology 2002, 3:comment] [Noah A. Rosenberg, Jonathan K. Pritchard, James L. Weber, Howard M. Cann, Kenneth K. Kidd, Lev A. Zhivotovsky, Marcus W. Feldman. "Genetic Structure of Human Populations." "Science" (2002) 298:2381-5]

The results obtained by clustering analyses are dependent on several criteria:
* The clusters produced are relative clusters and not absolute clusters, each cluster is the product of comparisons between sets of data derived for the study, results are therefore highly influenced by sampling strategies. (Edwards, 2003)
* The geographic distribution of the populations sampled, because human genetic diversity is marked by isolation by distance, populations from geographically distant regions will form much more discrete clusters than those from geographically close regions. (Kittles and Weiss, 2003)
* The number of genes used. The more genes used in a study the greater the resolution produced and therefore the greater number of clusters that will be identified. (Tang, 2005)

Rosenberg "et al.s (2002) paper "Genetic Structure of Human Populations." especially was taken up by Nicholas Wade in the "New York Times" as evidence that genetics studies supported the "popular conception" of race. [Wade, N. (2002) "Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations, Linking Them to Geography" "New York Times" 20 December. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500E3DE1E3DF933A15751C1A9649C8B63] ] On the other hand Rosenberg's work used samples from the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP), a project that has collected samples from individuals from 52 ethnic groups from various locations around the world. The HGDP has itself been criticised for collecting samples on an "ethnic group" basis, on the grounds that ethnic groups represent constructed categories rather than categories which are solely natural or biological. Scientists such as the molecular anthropologist Jonathan Marks, the geneticists David Serre, Svante Pääbo, Mary-Claire King and medical doctor Arno G. Motulsky argue that this is a biased sampling strategy, and that human samples should have been collected geographically, i.e. that samples should be collected from points on a grid overlaying a map of the world, and maintain that human genetic variation is not partitioned into discrete racial groups (clustered), but is spread in a clinal manner (isolation by distance) that is masked by this biased sampling strategy. [Marks, J. (2002) "What it means to be 98% chimpanzee" (paperback ed.) pp.202-203. Berkley. University of California Press.] Serre, D. and Pääbo, S. (2004) "Evidence for Gradients of Human Genetic Diversity Within and Among Continents" "Genome Research" 14: 1679-1685 [http://genome.cshlp.org/cgi/content/full/14/9/1679 full text] .] [Mary-Claire King and Arno G. Motulsky "Mapping Human History. Science" (2002) 298: pp. 2342 - 2343. DOI|10.1126/science.1080373] The existence of allelic clines and the observation that the bulk of human variation is continuously distributed, has led scientists such as Kittles and Weiss (2003) to conclude that any categorization schema attempting to partition that variation meaningfully will necessarily create artificial truncations.Kittles, R., A. and Weiss K., M. (2003) "RACE, ANCESTRY, AND GENES: Implications for Defining Disease Risk." "Annual Review of Genomics Human Genetics" 4:"' 33-67. doi|10.1146/annurev.genom.4.070802.110356] It is for this reason, Reanne Frank argues, that attempts to allocate individuals into ancestry groupings based on genetic information have yielded varying results that are highly dependent on methodological design. [http://paa2006.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=61713 Back with a Vengeance: the Reemergence of a Biological Conceptualization of Race in Research on Race/Ethnic Disparities in Health Reanne Frank] ]

In a follow up paper "Clines, Clusters, and the Effect of Study Design on the Inference of Human Population Structure" in 2005, Rosenberg "et al." maintain that their clustering analysis is robust. But they also agree that there is evidence for clinality (isolation by distance). Thirdly they distance themselves from the language of race, and do not use the term "race" in any of their publications: "The arguments about the existence or nonexistence of 'biological races' in the absence of a specific context are largely to the question of scientific utility, and they should not obscure the fact that, ultimately, the primary goals for studies of genetic variation in humans are to make inferences about human evolutionary history, human biology, and the genetic causes of disease.""Rosenberg NA, Mahajan S, Ramachandran S, Zhao C, Pritchard JK, "et al." (2005) "Clines, Clusters, and the Effect of Study Design on the Inference of Human Population Structure." "PLoS Genet" 1(6): e70 doi|10.1371/journal.pgen.0010070]

One of the underlying questions regarding the distribution of human genetic diversity is related to the degree to which genes are shared between the observed clusters, and therefore the extent that membership of a cluster can accurately predict an individuals genetic makeup or susceptibility to disease. This is at the core of Lewontin's argument. Lewontin used Sewall Wright's Fixation index (FST), to estimate that on average 85% of human genetic diversity is contained within groups. Are members of the same cluster always more genetically similar to each other than they are to members of a different cluster? Lewontin's argument is that within group differences are almost as high as between group differences, and therefore two individuals from different groups are almost as likely to be more similar to each other than they are to members of their own group. Can clusters correct for this finding? In 2004 Bamshad "et al." used the data from Rosenberg "et al." (2002) to investigate the extent of genetic differences between individuals within continental groups relative to genetic differences between individuals between continental groups. They found that though these individuals could be classified very accurately to continental clusters, there was a significant degree of genetic overlap on the individual level.Bamshad, Wooding, Salisbury and Stephens (2004) "Deconstructing the relationship between genetics and race." "Nature Reviews Genetics" 8:598-609. doi|10.1038/nrg1401]



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* Wilson and Brown 1953 "The Subspecies Concept and Its Taxonomic Application" in "Systematic Zoology" 2: 97-110
* Wolpoff, Milford 1993 "Multiregional Evolution: The Fossil Alternative to Eden" in The Human Evolution Sourcebook Russell Ciochon and John Fleagle, eds.
* Yu N, Chen FC, Ota S, Jorde LB, Pamilo P, Patthy L, Ramsay M, Jenkins T, Shyue SK, Li WH (2002) Larger genetic differences within Africans than between Africans and Eurasians. Genetics 161:269–274

External links

Official statements and standards

* [http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm American Anthropological Association's Statement on Race] and [http://www.understandingRACE.org RACE: Are we so different?] a public education program developed by the American Anthropological Association.
* [http://www.physanth.org/positions/race.html American Association of Physical Anthropologists' Statement on Biological Aspects of Race]
* OMB Statistical Directive 15, [http://www.doi.gov/diversity/doc/racedata.htm "Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity"] , "Federal Register", 30 October 1997.
* [http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001282/128291eo.pdf "The Race Question"] , UNESCO, 1950
* [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/meta/long_68184.htm US Census Bureau: Definition of Race]

Popular press

* Richard Dawkins: [http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6467 Race and creation] (extract from The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life) - On race, its usage and a theory of how it evolved. ( [http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/ Prospect Magazine] October 2004)
* [http://www.medicinemagazine.info/consumer/index.php/articles/5-human-evolution-biology-and-anthropology/7-the-myth-of-race The Myth of Race] On the lack of scientific basis for the concept of human races (Medicine Magazine, 2007).
* [http://www.pbs.org/race Race - The power of an illusion] Online companion to California Newsreel's 3-part documentary about race in society, science, and history.
* [http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/ Is Race "Real"?] - forum organized by the Social Science Research Council, includes a [http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Leroi/ March 2005 op-ed article by A.M. Leroi from the "New York Times"] advocating biological conceptions of race and responses from scholars in a variety of fields. - [http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/leroi05/leroi05_index.html More from Leori with responses]
* Steven and Hilary Rose, The Guardian, [http://www.politics.guardian.co.uk/life/science/story/0,12996,1455716,00.html "Why we should give up on race"] , 9 April 2005
* Times Online, [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-1331319,00.html "Gene tests prove that we are all the same under the skin"] , 27 October 2004.
* Michael J. Bamshad, Steve E. Olson [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=00055DC8-3BAA-1FA8-BBAA83414B7F0000 "Does Race Exist?"] , "Scientific American", December 2003
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/20/health/20GENE.html "Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations, Linking Them to Geography"] , Nicholas Wade, "NYTimes", December 2002. Covering
* [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00055DC8-3BAA-1FA8-BBAA83414B7F0000 Scientific American Magazine (December 2003 Issue) Does race exists ?] .
* [http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=15042002-084051-5356r DNA Study published by United Press International showing how 30% of White Americans have at least one Black ancestor]
* Yehudi O. Webster [http://multiracial.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=213&Itemid=39 Twenty-one Arguments for Abolishing Racial Classification] , "The Abolitionist Examiner", June 2000
* [http://literature.sdsu.edu/nericcio/textmex.html The Tex(t)-Mex Galleryblog] , An updated, online supplement to the University of Texas Press book (2007), [http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/nertex.html Tex(t)-Mex]
* [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Editorial/Cut_out_the_racism/articleshow/2208634.cms Times of India] - Article about Asian racism
* [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ir/documents/april_4_2007.pdf South China Morning Post] - Going beyond ‘sorry’


* James, Michael (2008) [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/ Race] , in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
* [http://www.newsreel.org/guides/race/10things.htm Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race] by California Newsreel.
* [http://www.understandingRACE.org American Anthropological Association's educational website on race, geared for general public with links for primary school educators and researchers]
* [http://www.southwestern.edu/~greenmue/boas.htm Boas's remarks on race to a general audience]
* Catchpenny mysteries of ancient Egypt, [http://www.catchpenny.org/race.html "What race were the ancient Egyptians?"] , Larry Orcutt.
* Judy Skatssoon, [http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1153697.htm "New twist on out-of-Africa theory"] , "ABC Science Online", Wednesday, 14 July 2004.
* [http://www.bloodbook.com/world-abo.html Racial & Ethnic Distribution of ABO Blood Types] - bloodbook.com
* [http://www.jonentine.com/reviews/daily_mail_uk.htm Are White Athletes an Endangered Species? And Why is it Taboo to Talk About It?] Discussion of racial differences in athletics
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/gill.html "Does Race Exist? A proponent's perspective"] - The author argues that the evidence from forensic anthropology supports the idea of race.
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/brace.html "Does Race Exist? An antagonist's perspective"] - The author argues that clinal variation undermines the idea of race.
* [http://www.americanethnography.com/article_sql.php?id=36 "American Ethnography -- The concept of race"] Ashley Montagu's article in American Anthropology from 1962.
* [http://www.americanethnography.com/article_sql.php?id=37 "American Ethnography -- The genetical theory of race, and anthropological method"] Ashley Montagu's article in American Anthropology from 1942.

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