Most of the world population, whether they are ‘racist’ or ‘anti-racist’, perceive ‘differences in race’ as biologically real, meaning, as being the parameters that decide the classification of humans into genetically separate groups. Nothing could be further from the truth, because, over the years, geneticists, biologists and anthropologists have found compelling evidence that
race, as a primary genetic divergence is biologically invalid.
They have proven how differences in skin colour are, precisely, only skin-deep and only existent in modern humans, not in our ancestors prior to the first mass migrations (when they adapted to different latitudes); that diversity in facial and body features are only the result of gene combinations as we adapted to different environments and nutrition; that certain diseases with hereditary predominance sprang from the mutation of the genes first exposed to the disease and are transferred through that particular lineage but not through a particular ethnic group; and that intelligence, musical ability and athletic aptitude are common to all populations, their development depending on education, culture and even particular upbringing, because there are no specific racial genes.
There are no genes that make blacks in the USA more susceptible to high blood pressure, just as there are no genes for particular kinds of cancers that can be assigned to only one racial grouping. There is no neurological patterning that distinguishes races from one another, nor are there patterns in muscle development and structure, digestive tracts, hand-eye coordination, or any other such measures.
All humans living today belong to a single species, Homo sapiens, and share that common descent.
And, although there are differences of opinion regarding how and where different human groups diverged or fused to form new ones from a common ancestral group, all living populations in each of the earth’s geographic areas have evolved from that ancestral group over the same amount of time. Much of the biological variation among populations involves modest degrees of variation in the frequency of shared traits.
In fact, genetic variation within any population is much greater than between populations. ”If you take even a small camp of Pygmies,” says L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, a pioneer of genetic anthropology, ”they are extremely different for all the genetic markers we look at.” Indeed, they show almost all the genetic variation catalogued in the world“.
In humankind as well as in other animals, the genetic composition of each population is subject over time to the modifying influence of the aforementioned and many other diverse factors.
But the human features which have universal biological value for the survival of the species are not known to occur more frequently in one population than in any other.
Therefore it is meaningless from the biological point of view to attribute a general inferiority or superiority to this or to that race, especially because it’s only one race.
Yet, even in mainstream genetics, largely discredited concepts of race persist. Scientific articles constantly speak of ”admixture” between races, which implies a pure and static standard for each race. ”Where did these standards come from?” – asks University of Maryland anthropology and biology professor Fatimah Jackson – ”We’ve taken a 19th-century view of racial variation and plugged in 20th-century technology.”
But it is also through our DNA that the final answer comes forth.
Today, data show that the DNA of any two human beings is 99.9 percent identical, and we all share the same set of genes, scientifically validating the existence of a single biological human race and one origin for all human beings.
Certainly, the whole notion of racial standards—of a pure Caucasian or a pure Negro—is exactly what modern genetics undermines. “But – says Jackson – the philosophy hasn’t caught up with the technology.”
Over time, ”genetics will help beat down racist arguments,” says Eric Lander, a world-renowned geneticist at M.I.T. ”But they will need to be beaten down, because they will keep coming up.”
Race is not a biological distinction but a geographical classification of the world population, and yet the only living species in the human family, Homo sapiens, has become a highly diversified global array of populations. And the geographic pattern of genetic variation within this array is complex, and presents no major discontinuity.
Furthermore, the complexities of human history make it difficult to determine the position of certain groups in classifications. Thus, humanity cannot even be classified into discrete geographic categories with absolute boundaries and multiplying subcategories cannot correct the inadequacies of these classifications.
Pure races, in the sense of genetically homogenous populations, have never existed – all populations are mixed.
“If you look down at any one part of a trellis, you see that all parts are interconnected.” – Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, explains – “Similarly, with modern molecular evolutionary techniques, we can find over time genes in any one local area of humanity that are shared by all of humanity throughout time.
There are no distinct branches, no distinct lineages. By this modern definition for race, there are no races in humanity.”
But whereas our notion of race is an illusion, racism is not.
Racial distinctions serve as a tool of socioeconomic dominance. By dehumanising other groups of people, labelling them as genetically inferior (and subsequently as morally inferior) the dominant groups feel justified in their oppressive actions. It is History, not Science, which reveals how the concept of different human “races” arose, how the term has become widely misused, and how it continues to pervade our minds.
We are witness of how racial categories, while not having any biological validity, keep on exerting a physiological and psychological impact not only on those who are victims of racism but on our species as a whole. Wars, genocides, slavery, abuse, discrimination, stereotyping and categorisation based on race have been and are based on a fallacy, laid by interest, pure ignorance or, usually, a combination of the two. But we now have the knowledge that, genetically, at the basis of what we truly are…
there is absolutely no logic in racial categories, for there has only ever existed ONE RACE of modern humans: THE HUMAN RACE.
So the question is, how long are we willing to be told who we are, when the very essence of who we are is rich in the diversity of an entire and unique ever-evolving race?