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Scientists prove that race does not exist

December 17 2002 at 11:27AM

Washington - The idea of race is not reflected in a person's genes, Brazilian researchers said on Monday, confirming what scientists have long said - that race has no meaning genetically.

The researchers looked at one of the most racially mixed populations in the world for their study, which found there was no way to look at someone's genes and determine his or her race. Brazilians include people of European, African and Indian, or Amerindian, descent.

"There is wide agreement among anthropologists and human geneticists that, from a biological standpoint, human races do not exist," Sergio Pena and colleagues wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Races exist as social constructs," they said.

They found 10 gene variations that could reliably tell people apart genetically, but the differences did not have anything to do with physical characteristics such as skin or hair colour.

Maternal DNA suggested that even "white" people had, on average, 33 percent of genes that were of Amerindian ancestry and 28 percent African. - Reuters

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

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Junebug,

I suppose so, but I wonder if it simply depends on what we're looking for. I think that they're probably right if we mean "is there a perceptible genetic pattern that is peculiar to each race?" Given that most of our genes are intended simply (!!) to keep us alive--regulating heartbeat and bloodpresure, making the mix of proteins right--it would make sense that we don't have enough "room" in our chromosomes to make up a "Euro" or "African" pattern recognizable to our eyes at the moment. Our bodies tend to be pretty efficient: if it isn't needed, toss it out.

However, the fact that color is passed on in quite genetically-predictable ways makes me suspect that this announcement by our scientists is just saying that we haven't found the genes, the genetic pattern, for making more melanin in Africans than in anybody else.

Granted, this is an intuition and not founded on any proof, yet it makes sense to me. If it acts like genetics an dcan be predicted like genetics--which is not an exact science, I know--then perhaps it really is genetics?

On the other hand, I would also find it quite plausible that it doesn't take many genes at all to make that happen, to make one person darker and another lighter than someone else.

There are all those other characteristics, too--the eye flap that makes the Asian eye appear more slanted, the nose that says "aborigine," the nappy hair, the curly beard, the thin nose and blue eye...I would say that somewhere down the line we're going to find out that genes do play a role in all this.

ell, let's say that this happens. What will that mean? And what will it mean if the scientists are right?
Melesi,

Your reasoning is on target. I too was under the impression that genetics, our chromosomes accounted for every aspect of our physical being.

Something inherent in our genetics has to account for race, perhaps it's just misunderstood at this point. I agree with you and follow your reasoning on all points. To say "race has no scientific meaning" is probably too strong. Evidently, the boundaries of race are very fluid and difficult to define in the world of genetics. Here in society no trouble, huh? >grin<

What will that mean? Good question, let me get this cliche out, "there is only one race- the human race." Smile

Hmmm, one thing about science it is a pursuit of truth, typically philosophy does not seek the advice and direction of science, unfortunately. We humans waste a lot of time on myths and maintaining erroneous belief systems, modifying and creating them to serve our particular purposes, race as a component, certainly has been exploited to denigrate others according to physical attributes.

This issue on genetics lends itself to challenge erroneous beliefs about race, one being more superior or inferior than the other. It does get us closer to the kernel of what race is and is not. So much research is conducted how each race performs in every human aspect, intelligence, physical performance, and social assimilation.

If "race has no scientific meaning" it undermines philosophy based on race.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
Didn't someone already start a forum on this ( the concept of race ) ?

Anyways, race is a biological concept. I would be willing to bet you my life, not that I'm suicidal or even that I feel so strongly about this just that I know it is, so it's would be like betting my life that I have 10

fingers( and yes I'm counting the thumbs), it's not a bet when you know it's the truth. The biased misinterpretation that race is not a bioligical concept is intellectual dishonesty and politically motivated. It's sad that scientists, because they're in the position of being the "big professional experts"( so the idea that they could be biased human beings who make mistakes. misinterpret things is simply out of the question, lol ) would be resposnible for such intellectual dishonesty so they can mask the idea of being "color blind " off as "science" since this is what is accepted by the dominant culture. First off, the article says how White people had some Amerindian and African ancestry, and many Blacks had some non-Black ancestry. Race is not a genetic concept but there are "racial genes"? I thought scientists said they could not tell someones racial makeup by loooking at their DNA but others say they can? Let's look at the reasons why scientists say race is not a bioligical concept

All human beings share 99.9% of the same genetic makeup, and many/most people have more in common, genetically, with people of other races then with their own. Human beings also share 20-30% of their genetic make up with common yeast and bacteria, 80% with birds, 90% with non-primate animals, 99% with chimpanzees and 99% with mice. Human even have the genes that can produce mouse tails. With this in mind, it's not @ all unlikely that I would have more in common genetically with a mouse, monkey or even bird than another human being. Considering we have 3.1 billion genes and 1% of our genes alone makes us a completely different species then mice and chimpanzees, I am sure .1@ of our genes are actually quite significant!

Scientists also say that they haven't "discovered" any "race gene", ( first off, keep in mind sicence is the study, not the creator of reality, and things exist beyond our scientific understanding of them, if this were not so, many things whouldn't have existed until quite recently. This is like C. Columbus saying N.America didn't exist until he "disovered it ). Where is it written that there must be one gene alone that determines your race, otherwise race douesn't exist?? This is ridiculous. With regards to what I just mentioned about the genetic similarities between mice, men, chimps and even birds, there isn't any one "human gene" either, technically, though there are genes( 1% of all our genes ) that make us human and very distinct from other species, like their are genes( .1% of all our genes ) that determine our racial background.

A race is not a species. A species is a group of organisms that are fully capable of reproduing fertile offspring. A race is a subspecies, and only with humans is it considered "superficial" to classify a subspecies by it's phenotype( physical characteristics ).

Scientists also say that humans are too evolutionary young to have evolved into distinct subspecies, yet there are many type of birds whpo are classified as subspecies, which evolved into those subspecies with a short matter of time, based on ther geographic location while evolving.

Don't be afraid to against what the "big professional experts" say, or suppress your own intuitive judgement and common sense in the name of "political correctness". Be like that little boy in The Emperors New Clothing. I would much rather trust my own intuitive judgement, common senses and eyes then what someone else tells me.

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