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Given the racialized violence we have seen in our country, it is clear the civil rights
movement is NOT over and America is still plagued with racist ideology. But what does
science say about race? What if science could help us erase racism once and for all?
Hey everyone! I’m Natalia Reagan back at it again at DNews!
First of all, it’s time that we start teaching our kids as soon as they can talk (and adults
for that matter!) that there is no biological basis for racial classification! In terms
of biology, race doesn’t exist. That’s not to say race isn’t real! Though, it’s
important to understand that it’s a cultural construct, that humans created and has nothing
to do with our biology! There are no distinct genetics boundaries for the groups commonly
called races. Traditionally, scientists have used ‘race’ to refer to a subspecies,
and what determines a subspecies from species varies among taxa. But in humans, there are
no distinct genetics boundaries for the groups commonly called races and we have only .1%
variation within our species versus chimpanzees which have .7% variation. Now, there IS genetic
variation within and between populations but it is quite small. And the most amount of
genetic variation found within our species isn’t between those of European and African
ancestry, it’s between various populations within Africa. This is called the “founder
effect” or a “reduced genetic diversity in a population founded by a small number
of individuals”.
Scientists refer to races as ‘populations’ or ‘ethnic groups’ And many of the physical
characteristics that are associated with race are due to adaptations to climate and environment.
This can include skin color, height, nose shape. These slight morphological differences
are called clines- they are genetic adaptations to the environment over time and a geographic
area. As biological anthropologist Todd Disotell says, ‘it’s about clines not clades!’
Meaning that the variations between populations of our species are rather small versus being
another branch in the ol’ evolutionary family tree.
There is also the idea that certain races are more susceptible to certain illnesses,
such as heart disease and diabetes in African Americans. However, extensive research has
shown that these illnesses are highly correlated with diet, stress, and socioeconomic standing-
thus, it’s a lot more complex than just saying certain ‘races’ are more likely
to suffer from certain illnesses than others.
Ok, we’ve established that race as a scientific concept does not exist, so if race doesn’t
exist then WHY are people racist? Are we born to be wary of ‘the other’ or is this learned
behavior? Biological anthropologist Robert Sussman’s tackles the history of racism
and the concept of race in his book “The Myth of Race”. He stresses that racism is
a learned behavior or ideology that can be avoided if parents teach their children to
be open and tolerant. Sussman also discusses the history of racism stating that “concept
of human races began during the Spanish Inquisition (around 1480), when a purity of blood decree
was established and those converting to Christianity (or converses) needed to prove their Christian
origins.” Searching for ‘pure blood’ is a ridiculous idea considering there has
never been a point in time when any population could be considered 'pure'. This ideology,
rooted in a racist political and religious agenda, continued on and was used by the Nazis
to justify their goal to create an “Aryan Race” which led to the murder of 6 million
Jews and millions of others who were deemed inferior- including gypsys, homosexual and
transgender individuals. But what if the Nazi agenda worked? Sure we would probably all
speak German, but we might also have a population of people who are considered ‘purer’ in
terms of lower genetic diversity. But low genetic diversity is usually the result of
long-term inbreeding. So, we’d have a population of inbreds that would also inherit a slew
of genetic ailments associated with inbreeding. Yeah. How’s that for the not-so-fabulous
result of genetic ‘purity’?
And guess what!? Genetic diversity is actually good for us! It leads to robust and healthy
offspring, and who doesn’t want that?
Scientifically speaking, there’s only one race- the human race! We’re all pretty much
the same. And if you want to know more about what science says about race, ethnicity, and
evolution, check out Trace's series on TestTube Plus.
It's a great discussion on his new show, so I really recommend you check it out. It's
the first link in the description if you're on mobile.
Got any burning questions you wanna ask us or other science topics you want us to cover?
Leave them in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more DNews every day
of the week.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

The Science Of Racism

2348 タグ追加 保存
羅紹桀 2016 年 4 月 18 日 に公開
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