I’ve written about racism before. I think I’ve made it clear that I don’t think science can justify dividing us into “races.” The similarities among us are too great, and the differences within the “races” are also too great. As I have said, if you see races, you’re racist. Here’s a link to an article that covers the subject more thoroughly, including the admission that racists are not idiots. Not all of them, anyway. They know about the science too, and they know how to bend it to support their bias.
Over the last decade, there have been hopes that the US has become a post-racial society, free of racial prejudice and discrimination. However, the most recent months indicate the contrary: race remains an incendiary issue. Race and racism are not new issues, but in todayâ€™s 21st century Trump-era, discussions about race are distinct from those of the past in that they possess an entirely new dimension: that of genetics and DNA.
Ancestry test kits are the new â€œitâ€ itemâ€”and with their success is the tacit admission of our belief that our DNA can sort us into categories like the â€œfive races:â€ African, European, Asian, Oceania, and Native American.
If separate racial or ethnic groups actually existed, we would expect to find â€œtrademarkâ€ alleles and other genetic features that are characteristic of a single group but not present in any others. However, the 2002 Stanford study found that only 7.4% of over 4000 alleles were specific to one geographical region. Furthermore, even when region-specific alleles did appear, they only occurred in about 1% of the people from that regionâ€”hardly enough to be any kind of trademark.
In the biological and social sciences, the consensus is clear: race is a social construct, not a biological attribute.
… the broader public is not convinced of this. After all, if an Asian person looks so different from a European, how could they not be from distinct groups? Even if most scientists reject the concept of â€œraceâ€ as a biological concept, race exists, undeniably, as a social and political concept.
Despite the scientific consensus that humanity is more alike than unlike, the long history of racism is a somber reminder that throughout human history, a mere 0.1% of variation has been sufficient justification for committing all manner of discriminations and atrocities.
Mounting scientific evidence has shown that humans are fundamentally more similar than different from each other. Nonetheless, racism has persisted. Scientific findings are often ignored, or otherwise actively misinterpreted and misused to further racist agendas of extreme political groups.
If you’re interested in a synopsis of the current state of “race” and the science around it, follow the link to the original article.