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Race is not an accurate or productive way to describe human biological variation.
—Edgar et al. 2009[1]

Racialism is the idea that humanity can be easily divided into well-defined groups (or "races") that are both broad (each "race" should include many humans, such as entire continents) and specific (the categorization method should almost never misidentify someone's "race"). Racialism implies that these races are substantially different from each other and that these racial differences strongly determine the abilities and behavior of individuals and peoples. Essentially, racialism argues that human populations are substantially different from each other to a degree which necessitates biological classification below the species level. In addition, most racialists maintain there is also a "racial hierarchy" of best and worst races.

Racialism was first developed in the 1700s. It remained virtually unchallenged until the 1930s-1960s, when it was shown to be erroneous by genetics. Simply put, modern racialism is pseudoscientific bullshit.[1][2][3][4] As Lieberman et al 2003 write:[2]

The rejection of the race concept […] in the 1960s[ ]was based on the genetic evidence reviewed earlier. Conformity to political correctness was not the cause of these changes[.]

Very few racialists call themselves "racialist". (Racism isn't hip anymore.) Their preferred labels include scientific racism (pre-2000),[note 1] race realism or racial realism (post-2000),[note 2] and human biodiversity or HBD (post-2010).[note 3]

This article details why racialism is an unscientific and pseudoscientific theory.


In a nutshell

"Race" is a mostly meaningless construct. Here's the short version:

  • Scientific consensus: A 2012 survey of 1,900+ members of the American Anthropological Association found that 93% strongly disagreed with the statement that "There are discrete biological boundaries among races". 89% strongly agreed with the statement that "Biological variability exists but this variability does not conform to the discrete packages labeled races." Source: Wagner et al., "Anthropologists' views on race, ancestry, and genetics", Am. J. Phys. Anthro., 2016.[3]
  • Theoretical flaws: Modern methods of racialism are based upon flawed empirical methods. For example, examining "clusters" of human genetics can artificially produce apparent racial typologies when, in fact, human genetics are mostly "clinal" -- gradients, not binaries. Source: Maglo et al., "Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race", Frontiers in Genetics, 2016.[5]
  • Weak predictive power: Race is a poor predictor of genetic and phenotypic variation. Source: Ruvolo et al.., "The apportionment of human diversity", in Thinking about Evolution, 2001.[4]
  • Weak genetic predictive power: The strongest predictor of race using genetic variation comes from Jorde 2001's analysis of 79 RFLP's[note 4] and 30 atDNA microsatellite loci[note 5]. Yet 84.8% of the variation in this strongest predictor occurs within populations, rather than between races. This would suggest that, conversely, race is a poor predictor of these genetic variations. Source: Jorde et al., "Microsatellite diversity and demographic history of modern humans", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2001.[6]
  • Weak phenotypic predictive power: The strongest predictor of race using phenotypic variation comes from Relethford's 1994 analysis of 57 landmarks and dimensions of the skull. Yet 78.8% of the variation in this strongest predictor occurs within populations, rather than between races. This would suggest that, conversely, race is a poor predictor of these phenotypic variations. Source: Relethford, "Craniometric variation among modern human populations", Am. J. Phys. Anthro., 1994.[7]

Scientific viewpoint

There are two objective scientific definitions of race. The first is "geographically isolated & genetically different subpopulations" and the second is "evolutionarily independent subpopulations". Templeton 2013 explains:[8]

One definition regards races as geographically circumscribed populations within a species that have sharp boundaries that separate them from the remainder of the species (Smith, Chiszar, & Montanucci, 1997). In traditional taxonomic studies, the boundaries were defined by morphological differences, but now these boundaries are typically defined in terms of genetic differences that can be scored in an objective fashion in all species. Most demes or local populations within a species show some degree of genetic differentiation from other local populations, by having either some unique alleles or at least different frequencies of alleles. If every genetically distinguishable population were elevated to the status of race, then most species would have hundreds to tens of thousands of races, thereby making race nothing more than a synonym for a deme or local population. A race or subspecies requires a degree of genetic differentiation that is well above the level of genetic differences that exist among local populations. One commonly used threshold is that two populations with sharp boundaries are considered to be different races if 25% or more of the genetic variability that they collectively share is found as between population differences (Smith, et al., 1997). A common measure used to quantify the degree of differentiation is a statistic known as pairwise fst. The pairwise fst statistic in turn depends upon two measures of heterozygosity. The frequency with which two genes are different alleles given that they have been randomly drawn from the two populations pooled together is designated by Ht, the expected heterozygosity of the total population. Similarly, Hs is the average frequency with which two randomly drawn genes from the same subpopulation are different alleles. Then, fst=(Ht-Hs)/Ht. In many modern genetic studies, the degree of DNA sequence differences between the randomly drawn genes is quantified, often with the use of a model of mutation, instead of just determining if the two DNA sequences are the same or different. When this done, the analysis is called an Analysis of MOlecular VAriation (AMOVA), and various measures of population differentiation analogous to fst exist for different mutation models. Regardless of the specific measure, the degree of genetic differentiation can be quantified in an objective manner in any species. Hence, human races can indeed be studied with exactly the same criteria applied to non-human species. The main disadvantage of this definition is the arbitrariness of the threshold value of 25%, although it was chosen based on the observed amount of subdivision found within many species.

A second definition defines races as distinct evolutionary lineages within a species. An evolutionary lineage is a population of organisms characterized by a continuous line of descent such that the individuals in the population at any given time are connected by ancestor/descendent relationships. Because evolutionary lineages can often be nested together into a larger, more ancestral evolutionary lineage, the evolutionary lineages that are relevant for defining subspecies in conservation biology are the smallest population units that function as an evolutionary lineage within a species. The phylogenetic species concept elevates all evolutionary lineages to the status of species (Cracraft, 1989), but most species concepts allow for multiple lineages to exist within a species. For example, the cohesion species concept defines a species as an evolutionary lineage that maintains its cohesiveness over time because it is a reproductive community capable of exchanging gametes and/or an ecological community sharing a derived adaptation or adaptations needed for successful reproduction (Templeton, 1989, 2001). Two or more evolutionary lineages nested within an older lineage that are capable of exchanging gametes and/or share the same adaptations necessary for successful reproduction are considered lineages nested within a single cohesion species. The biological species concept only uses the criterion of gamete exchangeability and is a proper logical subset of the cohesion concept (Templeton, 1998b; Templeton, 2001). Hence, the biological species concept also allows multiple evolutionary lineages to exist within a species. The possibility of multiple evolutionary lineages within a species is commonly recognized in the area of conservation biology, and indeed the evolutionary lineage definition of race or subspecies has become the dominant definition in much of conservation and evolutionary biology, in large part because it is a natural historical population unit that emerges from modern phylogenetic theory and practice (Amato & Gatesy, 1994; Crandall, Binida-Emonds, Mace, & Wayne, 2000).

Both of these concepts are rejected within the human species.[8]

Scientific consensus: Races aren't useful

The first attempt to determine scientific consensus on the concept of race came in 1978. Since then, surveys have showed that the proportion of researchers subscribing to racialism is continuously declining.[9] Indeed, a 2012 survey of 1,900+ members of the American Anthropological Association found that 93% strongly disagreed with the statement that "There are discrete biological boundaries among races." Conversely, 89% strongly agreed with the statement that "Biological variability exists but this variability does not conform to the discrete packages labeled races."[3]

The percentage of publications within AJPA's variation section that use the race concept has dropped from ~70% (1910's) to ~15% (1990's).

Definition One: The human gene pool does not divide neatly into geographical groupings

An explanation of how "clusters" of very high genetic similarity can be -- purposefully or accidentally -- constructed from inadequate sampling of intermediate populations.[5]

In gene clustering research a set of populations is typically determined via subjective descriptors in ethnicity, language and geography, and people can be reliably identified as members of these groups.[5] However, this way of categorizing people depends fundamentally on the quantity and method used to create the aforementioned framework of ancestral populations; how people are grouped into populations is completely arbitrary.[5] In contrast, racialism relies upon the idea that large clusters of people who are homogeneous within the cluster and heterogeneous between clusters in terms of genetic similarity exist. However, this idea has no scientific basis and in fact there is evidence against it, as Witherspoon et al. concluded in their 2007 paper "Genetic Similarities Within and Between Human Populations".[10] Moreover, it is possible to artificially create "clusters" from clinal variation by failing to adequately sample all populations, as shown in the image to the right and explained in Maglo et al. 2016.[5] As Maglo et al. 2016 later write:[5]

An evolutionary-based grouping of world populations attempts to summarize the complex human population history while an instrumental grouping lumps pragmatically world populations into five continental groups reducing evolutionary relations. It is this instrumentally engineered clustered picture of human evolutionary history that is misleadingly construed as corresponding to socially defined races in countries such as the US. Although these socially defined races and continental genetic clusters do not actually match, the alleged correspondence has generated its own sets of debates.

As a case study: The highest level of long-distance runners comes not just from Kenya, but a particular part of Kenya and their success is defined, in part, by common genetics.[11] But that isn't race. In fact, the opposite end of the running spectrum, sprinters, features a large proportion with ancestral origins in West Africa.[12][13] Both sets of genes favor running, but entirely different aspects of it. By these genes alone, the two groups might appear to be different races, even while our knee-jerk appearance-based definitions put them in the same race.

These distinctions should be made quite clear from the following comparison:

Johann Blumenbach's 1775 racial typologies,[14] from which modern racial typologies are scarcely changed.
  Not clearly distinguished
The modern cline concept (from Maglo et al. 2016[5]). Note two things: First, that there are no sharp variations, only gradual changes: there are innumerable "intermediary" cases between any two colors. Second, that there are variations within sublocations: Africa, for example, would have its own clinal variations, and is not one homgenous group.

Focusing on phenotypical differences doesn't fix it

See the main article on this topic: Phenotype

Expressed genes turn into phenotypes, the actual manifestation of differences. Phenotype is, at times, fairly close to genotype and, thus, might fit into the genetics of race.

Applying the same technique as Witherspoon,[10] Strauss and Hubbe analyzed data of head shape and found that, across three regions that correspond to three common racial definitions, a typical person in any region was about 30% likely to be more similar to someone from a different region than to someone within their own region.[15] In other words, head shape, one defining factor of race, does not correspond consistently to geographical heritage in the way it would be expected were genetic differences determinant of race. In even shorter words, the genotype may be similar among a race, but phenotype is less similar. This may explain how one white supremacist was so surprised to discover his African heritage.[16]

Definition One: Humans variation isn't predicted well by race

It is possible to compare the variation of various phenotypic markers (eg, skull structure) genetic markers (ie, DNA patterns) within populations and between populations. The vast majority of these studied differences have yielded low rates of deviation between races and between ethnic groups. This suggests that the vast majority of deviation actually occurs within populations, rather than between populations. In turn, this casts serious doubt on the term "race" having any meaning whatsoever -- if the vast majority of variation is within populations, then it makes little sense to categorize each population.

Taken in part from Ruvolo & Seielstad (2001).[4]

Neutral genetic/phenotypic markers
Data Reference Percent of deviation within populations Percent of deviation between ethnic groups Percent of deviation between "races"
17 classical polymorphisms[note 6] Lewontin (1972)[17] 85.4% 8.3% 6.3%
18 classical polymorphisms[note 7] Latter (1980)[18] 85.5% 5.5% 9.0%
25 classical polymorphisms[note 8] Ryman et al. (1983)[19] 86.0% 2.8% 11.2%
57 landmarks and dimensions of the skull Relethford (1994,[7] 2002[20]) 78.8% 6.7% 14.6%
109 atDNA microsatellite loci[note 5] Barbujani et al. (1997)[21] 84.4% 4.7% 10.8%
79 RFLP's[note 4] and 30 atDNA microsatellite loci Jorde et al. (2000)[6] 84.8% 1.6% 13.6%
21 Alu insertions Romualdi et al. (2002)[22] 82.9% 8.2% 8.9%
377 atDNA microsatellite loci[note 5] Rosenberg et al. (2002)[23] 94.1% 2.4% 3.6%
100 Alu insertions Watkins et al. (2003)[24] 88.6% 1.9% 9.6%
17 X chromosome markers Ramachandran et al. (2004)[25] 90.4% 4.6% 4.9%
40 atDNA insertions/deletions Bastos-Rodrigues et al. (2006)[26] 85.7% 2.3% 12.1%
642,690 atDNA SNPs[note 9] Li et al. (2008)[27] 89.9% 2.1% 9.0%
783 atDNA microsatellite loci[note 5] Rosenberg (2011)[28] 93.9% 2.4% 3.8%
27 landmarks and dimensions of the pelvis Betti et al. (2013)[29] 91.5% 5.6% 3.0%

Definition Two: Human races are not distinct gene pools

Simplistic racialist views impose themselves upon the more complicated history of humanity. For example, the racialist tree diagram of human expansion hides sub-expansions and instead groups people by very broad brushes.

Human expansion (top) does not fit a pattern consistent the modern racialist view of human races (bottom) (Lieberman 2003[2])

Beyond that, the tree structure itself hides the fundamental gene admixture that has occurred throughout human history.

A "lattice" structure better describes human genetic variation (Templeton 2013[8])

Clines: gradual human variation without discrete steps

There are no races, there are only clines.
—Frank B. Livingstone, 1962[30]

Lieberman & Rice (1996) in their work Race or Clines? discuss several facts that "laid low the concept of race", including the rise of the cline concept.[31]

The word "cline" derives from the Greek word for slope and the smooth gradient or continuity of a given trait across geographic space is known as a clinal distribution:

The influence of clines

Strong genetic influence weakening the race concept is also seen growing out of the concept of clines and supporting data. Clines referred to gradations of genotypes or phenotypes over a geographic area, and were distributed within and across racial and national boundaries. In 1938 HUXLEY proposed the concept of clines, but clarified that it was not a taxonomic entity, otherwise it might be confused with race. At about the same time HUXLEY and HADDON’S [1936] book, We Europeans, presented one of the early maps of a cline showing gradations in the B blood type starting at a low frequency in Spain and increasing towards Moscow […] The concept of cline began to enter anthropological awareness in the 1950s when LIVINGSTONE [1958] published data indicating that the clinal distribution of the sickle-cell allele (Hbs) corresponded to the distribution of malaria throughout West Africa, the Mediterranean, and South Asia, demonstrating that Hbs is not confined to one so-called race and that alleged boundarylines between so-called races are really continuous gradations, not merely transitions between one race and another. In the early 1960s LIVINGSTONE [1962] participated in the debate over the validity of race and declared that 'there are no races, there are only clines' (p. 279).[2]

Clines replaced the race concept from the 1960s.[32] Although Stephen Molnar in his book Human Variation points out "the clinal approach has its strength, but only when used in conjunction with the actual basis for trait distribution — the population". He defines a local breeding population (gamodeme) as a "the most narrowly restricted group of individuals that interbreed a majority of the time".[33]

Genuine human biological variation

What human genetic groupings actually look like: a chart of Y-chromosome haplogroups. See how many distinct groups "black" would break down into?
Racialized phenotypes can differ considerably between closely-related individuals, like the members of this extended family from Cape Town South Africa.
Nonetheless, the boundaries in global variation are not abrupt and do not fit a strict view of the race concept; the number of races and the cutoffs used to define them are arbitrary. The race concept is at best a crude first-order approximation to the geographically structured phenotypic variation in the human species.
—biological anthropologist John Relethford, 2009[34]

Human genetics doesn't work like racialists think it does. Race realists spend a great deal of time and effort pointing out genetic differences between geographically separated populations in gene clustering research and insisting this is evidence for "races".

If race were more than just a social construct, the genetics of race should show differences strongly associated with the definitions of race. The easiest distinctions come from things like skin color, hair, and eye shape which, yes, are genetically based, but the surface commonality is not enough to justify racial stereotypes. For those stereotypes to be true, the genetics of race have to extend deeper.

However, modern genetic data has demonstrated the vast majority of variation (>85%) is found within populations, rather than between them (<15%).[21][35][36][37][38] Of the latter, <10% is found between large continental groups of ethnic groups/demes (such as "white" or "black" or "Asian"). Interpopulation variation is mostly continuous, and the arbitrary categorization of humans into races is therefore neither useful nor an accurate method in analyzing biological variation. Instead, modern biologists and physical anthropologists tend to study clines.Wikipedia's W.svg

Genetic data does show that random people sampled from within a population are generally more similar to each other than a pair sampled from different populations.[10] (That's hardly surprising since, when left to their own devices, people tend to procreate with local folk more than with folk from another part of the world.) Essentially, with enough genetic information (i.e. more than 1000 genetic loci), it is possible to quite accurately identify the geographic origin of a sampled person's ancestors, but only when the chosen regions are quite distinct.[10] Even then, Witherspoon concludes:[10]

The fact that, given enough genetic data, individuals can be correctly assigned to their populations of origin is compatible with the observation that most human genetic variation is found within populations, not between them. It is also compatible with our finding that, even when the most distinct populations are considered and hundreds of loci are used, individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population. Thus, caution should be used when using geographic or genetic ancestry to make inferences about individual phenotypes.

In short: Icelanders and Ashkenazi Jews might be genetic clusters; "Caucasians", "Mongoloids", or "Negroes" are not.

Problems with racialism

Case study: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid

A very scientific drawing of negroid, caucasoid, and mongoloid skulls by Samuel George MortonWikipedia's W.svg.

As an example of why arguments for racialism fail, consider the case of the "-oid" concept of race.

Ethnic groups and demes in Africa/East Asia/West Eurasia do not form a sharply discontinuous genetic (or phenotypic) cluster, nor are there substantial differences between populations in East Asia, compared to populations from other regions across the globe. Overall, genetic variation between continental human populations is fairly little (<10%) and does not support the concept of different human races. The terms, however, have continued into modern forensic literature (though they are being phased out even of that).

For several reasons, these types of theories are incredibly flawed.


It is claimed by racialists that these features, among others, are sufficient to identify someone, from their skeletal remains, as having ancestry from one continent or another, with an accuracy up to 90%. However this high accuracy percentage only applies to limited subsets of a sample; "Caucasoid" as a very broad continental grouping has no utility. For example, Heard 2008 writes:[39]

Recently, physical anthropologists have noted that traits considered to be characteristic of the classical Mongoloid group were not derived from studies encompassing all of the populations that would be classified as Mongoloid.

Similarly, the anthropologist Alan Goodman found: "the 85 percent to 90 percent results are based on the accuracy of the method when standards are developed on a subset of a sample and then 'tested' on the sample from which the subset derived."[40] There are many populations in Southeast Asia with a low frequency of "Mongoloid" traits, in fact Southern Chinese also tend to lack these features (see below for shoveling). This gradient or cline in East Asia, contradicts the idea of there being discrete racial boundaries. Howells 1983 notes:[41]

At any rate, there is a sort of gradient beginning with… northeast Siberians (all very flat in the face and having the facial skeleton actually set more forward from the skull relative to other peoples) and sloping off in these and other ways into… Southeast Asians, and Indonesians. About mid-way on the scale are, by general appearance, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese, all of whom in historical times have swelled into major populations.

Ling & Wong (2008) note: "It could be said that the Southern Chinese shows a lesser degree of shoveling than the other Chinese population."[42]

The below table reproduces their data for maxillary lateral shovel-shaped incisor percentages (for females):

East Asian Population Shoveling %
Japanese 74%
Northern Chinese 69%
Southern Chinese 27%

According to Wu Rukang and Wu Xinzhi (1997): "The cephalic, facial, and nasal indices, plus stature, show clinal variation. From north to south [China], the cephalic index and the stature are seen to decrease, while the facial and nasal indices increase."[43]

Definitional issues

[W]hile some minimal revision to the meaning of 'race' [...] is allowable in the search for biological backing for race, we must stay fairly close to the vest, or we risk not talking about race at all.
—Glasgow 2003[44]

The main problem is that new concepts of race used by racialists are watered down to the extent they are trivialised. Hochman 2014 writes: [45]

The problem with weak versions of racial naturalism is that they do not contrast with anti-realism about biological race. When race naturalists weaken their position they end up agreeing with their opponents about human biology, and defending a trivialised definition of race.

Hochman (2013) rejects these new concepts and re-definitions on the grounds (emphassis added) "the criteria applied to humans are not consistent with those used to define subspecies in nonhuman animals, and no rationale has been given for this differential treatment".[46]

Another problem with re-defining race is: "To avoid making 'race' the equivalent of a local population, minimal thresholds of differentiation are imposed".[47] Modern racialists however argue there is no threshold which runs into the problem of any population being a race: "There are undoubtedly no two genetically identical populations in the world; this has nothing to do directly with the validity of race as a taxonomic device. Unless we have defined exactly what we mean by this… differences between populations are population differences, nothing more."[48] Another objection is a "mismatch argument", where local breeding populations not ordinarily conceived as races (e.g. Amish, or Kalash peopleWikipedia's W.svg), become races: "a mismatch occurs between the concept and its typical referent. Thus, the concept of race must be eliminated due to its logical incoherence."[49]

Capoids and Australoids

Carleton S. CoonWikipedia's W.svg realized a major flaw in the 3-oid version of racialism — Eastern and Southern Africans and aboriginals Australian were black but looked totally fucking different from North Africans. How to fix this? "Negroid" became three races — CongoidWikipedia's W.svg (North Africans), CapoidWikipedia's W.svg (East or South Africans), and AustraloidWikipedia's W.svg (aboriginal Australians).

Coon did not, however, figure out what "oid" the Native Americans were. Perhaps racialists of the future will finally create the long-anticipated 6-oid system — or find out that Native Americans were actually just really tanned Caucasoids.

An irony: reversed hierarchy

Funnily enough, the cranial order was once asserted to be Caucasoid > Mongoloid > Negroid; clearly, whites are the bestest. Nowadays, as raciallists have become fond of Asians, the order has shifted to Mongoloid > Caucasoid > Negroid. Or perhaps an entire continent of people have simply upgraded their skulls?[50]


Along the way from chemistry to expression, the environment gets its chance to intervene. Epigenetics studies the way in which factors outside of the DNA itself alter the way in which genes are expressed. Resembling Lamarckian genetics, epigenetic effects can be remarkable enough for a mouse to pass a specific fear response down at least two generations (F3).[51] In humans, increased risk for cardiovascular disease among African Americans is hypothesized to result from genetic expression modified by in utero experience of maternal stressors.[52] Epigenetic effects might tie socioeconomics to future IQ, explaining some portion of controversially observed racial differences.[53][note 10]

Alternate classifications

Lactose intolerance worldwide. Greener = more tolerant, redder = less tolerant. A racial classification system?

Why stop with simplistic appearance-based racial definitions? Why not consider other definitions for which there are genetic determinants?

  • Type B blood: Native Americans (First Nations for residents of Canuckistan) and Aboriginal Australians would form one race while Africans would form up partly with Europeans and partly with Asians.[54]
  • Sickle-cell anemia risk: One race would encompass the major malaria-risk zones of Central and Northern Africa, parts of the Mediterranean, Arabia, and India.[55]
  • Lactase persistence, the ability to digest milk sugar in adulthood: much more common in areas where dairy farming has been practised for thousands of years.[56]
  • Defined by one gene alone, you could divide the world into sprinters (strong RR on ACTN3), long-distance runners (strong RX on ACTN3), and everyone else.[12][13] Geographically, that's some people with West African heritage, some with East African Heritage, and everyone else.

Racialist viewpoint and claims

Proof that Continentals are small-head idiots — unlike us big-brained Brits. (From Ripley's The Races of EuropeWikipedia's W.svg.)

Most modern racialists redefine race as a "genetic cluster" by continent which captures a fairly small amount of variation (<10%) between groups of populations. Molecular anthropologists such as Jonathan Marks are confused by this re-definition because it is so far removed from biological taxonomy, and the traditional meaning of race. Michael P. Muehlenbein writes:[57]

What is unclear is what this has to do with 'race' as that term has been used through much in the twentieth century — the mere fact that we can find groups to be different and can reliably allot people to them is trivial. Again, the point of the theory of race was to discover large clusters of people that are principally homogeneous within and heterogeneous between, contrasting groups.

The geographical pattern to human interpopulation variation, matches an almost continuous gradient/isolation-by-distance model[58][59][60][61] as little as 1.53% of this variation is unexplained by geographic distance, and can be captured by clustering.[62][63] However much of this discontinuity is found within continents, not between them[21][64][65] — which again renders the ideas of (e.g.) "white" and "black" as irrelevant.

Race and intelligence

In which the Irish are proven to be Negroes, because they're so fucking dumb. Surprisingly, the English always seemed to find that their subjects were idiots, while they themselves were a dashingly well-dressed folk.

One obsolete theory attempted to link cranial capacity (cc) to intelligence. While cranial capacity is an accurate measure of brain size, the fallacy was in assuming that a larger cranial capacity (and brain) correlates with higher intelligence. The size of the brain itself is not a measure of intelligence.

If this idea were taken to its logical conclusion, the world would likely be ruled by elephants, or sperm whales. It is only when a person has an extremely small brain, as with abnormal conditions such as microcephaly,Wikipedia's W.svg that absolute brain size has any negative impact on cognitive functions.

Furthermore, having a very large amount of brain tissue, referred to as megalencephaly, is recognized as being pathological and is strongly correlated with several neurological disorders, especially severe epilepsy and autism. What is much more important than absolute brain size includes factors such as cortical folding, neuronal organization, dendritic and synaptic connections, etc.[66]

A handful of 21st century racialists including figures such as J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen have continued to argue that certain races are just inherently dumb. While they still like their skull and brain size measurements, their arguments hinge more on pointing to differences in races' average IQ scores and claiming this is the work of genetics. These claims rest on several big assumptions:

  1. That IQ is a measure of some kind of objective intelligence, rather than a measure of the skills needed to excel in 21st century Western society (a controversial claim).
  2. That there are genetic differences between "races" big enough to explain the IQ difference.
  3. That IQ is more dependent on racial genes than environment (or: if environment affects IQ, then the differences in IQ by race should still be significant after controlling for the environment).

Increasingly, evidence has been suggesting that environment plays a large role in IQ. This started with the discovery of the Flynn effect — the realization that national average IQ scores were increasing over time at a rate much faster than could be explained by genetics (and, interestingly, ethnic minorities were often making the biggest leaps).[67][68]

Relevant to this discussion also is Eric Turkheimer's study of twins separated at birth and raised in different socioeconomic environments. The study found that environment mattered more to the development of IQ in the poor kids than it did in the rich kids. Essentially, some degree of genetically-determined IQ exists, but the degree to which it develops is dependent on how intellectually-stimulating their environment as children is.[53] Other explanations, such as the stereotype threat, racial discrimination in the education system, lack of funding for schools in poor areas, more talented teachers avoiding teaching at schools in poor areas, and even differences in diet have been offered.

An irony

Although these IQ-based arguments for racialism are often used by white supremacists, taken to their logical conclusion, they would better support Asian or Jewish supremacy than white supremacy. Rushton actually agrees that Asians, not whites, are the intellectual master race, leading anthropologist Jonathan Marks remarks:[50]

First we must admire the apparent cranial expansion of Asians over the last half-century, when [earlier] researchers consistently reported their having smaller brains than whites. Obviously this implies the possibility of a comparable expansion in blacks. More likely, it implies the possibility of scientists finding just what they expect when the social and political stakes are high.

Adaptation doesn't work like that

Adaptation to environments, including social environments, through natural and sexual selection of random mutations is the linchpin of evolution. Remembering this means knowing why scientific racism is ridiculous. To argue that races or ethnic groups differ innately in intelligence, however defined, is exactly equal to an assertion that intelligence has proven less adaptive for some people than for others.

This at minimum requires an explanation, a specifically evolutionary explanation, beyond mere statistical assertion; without that it can be assumed to be cultural bias or noise. Since most human intelligence is in fact social intelligence — the main thing the human mind is built for is networking in human societies — this would require this social evolutionary arms race to have somehow stopped.

One such explanation could be that within a certain population the random mutations needed for certain intelligence boosts never occurred. The genetics related to brain development are not uniform among the genetically diverse and geographically distant populations (the microcephalin alleles being an example of brain-related gene complexes that are not geographically uniform).[69] Wade 2005 writes:[69]

They report that with microcephalin, a new allele arose about 37,000 years ago, although it could have appeared as early as 60,000 or as late as 14,000 years ago. Some 70 percent or more of people in most European and East Asian populations carry this allele of the gene, as do 100 percent of those in three South American Indian populations, but the allele is much rarer in most sub-Saharan Africans. With the other gene, ASPM, a new allele emerged some time between 14,100 and 500 years ago, the researchers favoring a mid-way date of 5,800 years. The allele has attained a frequency of about 50 percent in populations of the Middle East and Europe, is less common in East Asia, and found at low frequency in some sub-Saharan Africa peoples.

To argue otherwise is to argue that all required mutations magically appear in all social living beings as soon as they develop social intelligence.

Genetic differences between people from different locations are pretty much entirely genetic drift (which itself can lead to the appearance of genes that are not expressed anywhere else). Amount of melanin does vary with distance from the equator, and there's recent actual evolution such as Lactase persistence in adults.[70]

Race and sporting ability

Venus and Serena Williams, African American tennis champions

There are several common beliefs about how different races have different sporting abilities. Clichés include:

  • Blacks are good at track and field (especially sprinting[71]) and heavyweight boxing (hence the phrase "The Great White Hope"[72]).
  • Blacks can't swim.[73]
  • East Africans are good at long-distance running.[74]
  • East Asians are athletically weaker, at least at some sports.[75][76]
  • Whites are better at tennis.[77] (except the Williams sistersWikipedia's W.svg).
  • Whites can't jump (basketball).[78]

On the other hand, why has Norway (population 5 million) won 118 golds in Winter Olympics and Vietnam and India none?[79] Are Asians intrinsically terrible at skiing compared to tall Nordic types? Or does Norway have more ski slopes and better ice rinks and just care more and spend more money on it? Why has one small Catholic UniversityWikipedia's W.svg produced more Hall of Fame caliber National Football League (NFL) players than the entire continents of Europe and Asia combined? Is it because Irish-Americans are naturally fightingWikipedia's W.svg? Is it because running and throwing are inherently deficient in Europeans? Or is it because College Football is a huge money making business in exactly one country on Earth?

It appears that some factors implicated in sporting success are heritable (e.g. height), and therefore will be more or less common in groups with common ancestors. However, in many cases, these do not correlate closely to race (the Dutch are the tallest nationality[80], despite stereotypes about black basketballers). As the section on genetic variation makes clear, there is not a simple pot of genes that corresponds to each race, so you can't assume a member of a race will have a given gene. And there are few clear cases where genes define sporting success: even factors like height are affected by nutrition, medical facilities, etc, and distributed across races.

One well-known genetic factor is the gene ACTN3 associated with fast twitch muscleWikipedia's W.svg fibres, which are greatly beneficial to sprinters and basketball players amongst others, and such genes are particularly common in west Africa.[81] The frequency of the optimum (RR) genotype is 0.25 in Asians, 0.36 in European whites, 0.60 in African-Americans, but 0.81 in African Bantu.[82] This is perhaps the clearest and best known example of sporting behaviour where genetic variation is connected to race, although even then it relates to a particular population rather than an entire race in the old-fashioned concept. The relative frequency of the gene in whites and Africans does not fully explain the fact that 77% of National Basketball Association (NBA) players are black, and blacks have 83% of NBA court time.[82]

It is also important not to confuse genetic heritage with nationality, cultural factors, or social status. There are many non-biological reasons why people of a certain race, ethnicity, or nationality may choose to play specific sports, or excel at them. These include:

  • economic factors (which may affect everything from nutrition and health, to ability to afford equipment and tuition, and time to train)
  • discrimination (from racist sports clubs restricting membership, to expectations of coaches)
  • environment and climate (where you live may affect what sports you do, along with factors such as heat or cold tolerance or lung capacity developed from living at high altitude)
  • religions or cultural factors (e.g. requirements that women keep their bodies covered, or stay in the home)
  • cultural beliefs about the importance of specific sports or sport in general (anecdotally some cultures celebrate sport as a means to success, while others favour academic achievement at school)
  • Cultural ties of a sport to a certain ethnic group. For instance within South Africa Rugby Union was long considered the sport of white Afrikaans speaking people while cricket was considered the sport of white people of English descent with soccer the sport of everybody else. This has only begun to change since Apartheid ended.

Sport science academic Ben Oakley attributes the success of east African long-distance runners partly to their experience at high altitude and partly to the cultural factors that encourage running in east Africa more than in high regions of Latin America. According to Oakley there is no specific genetic factor, but their tendency to light, lean bodies probably helps. None of these are unique to the region, but they combine to produce a greater effect.[74]

"Lewontin's fallacy"

Racialists argue that while overall genetic variation between continental population divisions is <10%, this rather little human population structure still supports race classification (contra Lewontin, 1972[17]).

They quote Edwards (2003) who found by looking at how gene loci are correlated: "probability of misclassification falls off as the number of gene loci increases". It is notable Edwards in his paper does not dispute Lewontin's statistical data on various blood polymorphisms, writing: "There is nothing wrong with Lewontin's statistical analysis of variation, only with the belief that it is relevant to classification". As a result, as Marks (2010) explains, there is no "Lewontin fallacy":[83]

Geographical correlations are far weaker hypotheses than genetically discrete races, and they obviously exist in the human species (whether studied somatically or genetically).

What Lewontin (or Marks) and Edwards are discussing are two completely different things. Of course genetic correlations exist which can pinpoint someone's geographical ancestry, but as Marks asks: "What is unclear is what this has to do with race", and concludes: "Lewontin's analysis shows that such groups [races] do not exist in the human species, and Edwards's critique does not contradict that interpretation" (emphasis added). What this means is that Edwards is re-defining the race concept to a far weaker hypothesis, which is not how race is commonly understood in biological taxonomy: Fujimura 2014 writes:[60]

[I]f one wants to measure the meaningfulness of differences between groups with different geographic ancestries, one needs to use a “proportion of variation” approach. This approach compares genetic variation among individuals within groups to the genetic variation between these groups. Ironically, Edwards’s (2003) reported findings confirm Lewontin’s (1972).

What is the significance of the "proportion of variation" (FST) approach? It measures phylogenetic 'treeness' via genetic differentiation[35] i.e. whether populations reflect a common evolutionary history or intraspecific distinctive lineage, which is taxonomically meaningful. Human populations however "have such little structure that ‘treeness’ is not demonstrated and phylogenetic models are invalid".[32] As Lewontin 1974 himself writes:[84]

The taxonomic division of the human species into races places a completely disproportionate emphasis on a very small fraction of the total of human diversity. That scientists as well as nonscientists nevertheless continue to emphasize these genetically minor differences and find new “scientific” justifications for doing so is an indication of the power of socioeconomically based ideology over the supposed objectivity of knowledge.


FST (or the fixation indexWikipedia's W.svg) is the ratio of the genetic allele variance between different subpopulations (S) the variance within the total population (T):

 F_{ST} = \frac{\sigma^2_S}{\sigma^2_T}

Wright (1978) calculated FST values under 5% indicate little genetic differentiation between populations, 5% to 15%, moderate genetic differentiation, 15% to 25%, great genetic differentiation, and above 25%, very great differentiation which is the threshold for subspecies (races).[46] Human continental population divisions fall at the lower end of moderate genetic differentiation (<10%), while demes and ethnic groups under 5%: "Hence, as judged by the criterion in the nonhuman literature, the human FST value is too small to have taxonomic significance under the traditional [definition of] subspecies".[47]

Muddying the waters

In order to discredit the science against racialism, it is a common racialist tactic to compare race with some other (supposed) biological characteristic. For example, as one commenter on The Right Stuff writes:[85]

Lewontin's Fallacy, that because there is more variation within a group than between groups, therefore the groups are the same.

The difference in average height between men and women is about 4" (7%), but the variation in height among women is about 24" (4' to 6') , and among men about 36" (4' to 7'), therefore men and women are the same average height. Clearly false.

The commenter fails to note that human sexes are (traditionally) differentiated on the grounds of certain attributes which have decidedly low rates of variation within a sex. (Or: the genes considered "female" almost always result in an organ-level difference from those for "male".) In other words: the variation in height is not what maleness and femaleness are based on, and so variation within them doesn't matter. In contrast, the variation in certain traits (eg, skin color) are precisely what race is based upon, and so variation within one "race" being greater than between races makes it functionally meaningless.

Race-based medicine

A topic that has been controversial (for both social and scientific reasons) is so-called "race-based medicine." Currently, some doctors may use racial profiling as a proxy for determining the geographic origins of the patient's lineage to diagnose and treat certain diseases.[86] However, this is not the same thing as "race." The researchers at the Human Genome Project sum it up:[87]

DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.

The word cline is sometimes used to describe this. To put it more succinctly, as the leader of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins does:[88]

'Race' and 'ethnicity' are poorly defined terms that serve as flawed surrogates for multiple environmental and genetic factors in disease causation, including ancestral geographic origins, socioeconomic status, education and access to health care.


It should be noted that all human classifications used in medicine are considered probabilistic heuristics and not perfectly deterministic. While research has shown that many people are extremely effective at classifying themselves based on ethnic origin[89] and so researchers may find "race" to be a convenient label, it fails as a source of attribution: "[R]ace as a social construct may result in differences in treatment that affect health outcomes, but such descriptive use does not imply that "race" can be used as a proxy for biological difference."[90]

"Race" will continue to exist as a cultural phenomenon; while great care should be taken in using this construct in medicine, it would be counter-productive to discard potentially useful information, such as the way in which racial identity shapes social, legal and economic outcomes. Unfortunately, the knotty history of "race" makes even the language used a potential source of error — "race realists" often point to a news headline or study that uses "race" sloppily and declare it to be "evidence" of the truth of "race," mastering sufficient jargon to talk about the reality of "genetic clines" and missing the fundamental mismatch between "race" as culture and "race" as genetic destiny.

Current trends

Even if race was useful or currently is useful, current medicine is moving towards actually looking at people's genetics (rather than their phenotype (race), which is a poor approximation). As Pena 2011 puts it:[91]

Personalized pharmacogenomics aims to use individual genotypes to direct medical treatment. Unfortunately, the loci relevant for the pharmacokinetics and especially the pharmacodynamics of most drugs are still unknown. Moreover, we still do not understand the role that individual genotypes play in modulating the pathogenesis, the clinical course and the susceptibility to drugs of human diseases which, although appearing homogeneous on the surface, may vary from patient to patient. To try to deal with this situation, it has been proposed to use interpopulational variability as a reference for drug development and prescription, leading to the development of “race-targeted drugs”. Given the present limitations of genomic knowledge and of the tools needed to fully implement it today, some investigators have proposed to use racial criteria as a palliative measure until personalized pharmacogenomics is fully developed. This was the rationale for the FDA approval of BiDil for treatment of heart failure in African Americans. I will evaluate the efficacy and safety of racial pharmacogenomics here and conclude that it fails on both counts. Next I shall review the perspectives and the predicted rate of development of clinical genomic studies. The conclusion is that “next-generation” genomic sequencing is advancing at a tremendous rate and that true personalized pharmacogenomics, based on individual genotyping, should soon become a clinical reality.

Case study: Sickle-cell anemia

Sickle-cell anemia is a famous example of how "race" can mislead. It was originally classified as a "negro disease" due to its high incidence in blacks. However, it was later found that sickle-cell anemia, being an adaptation to the risk of malaria, was also more common in central and western Africans (but not southern Africans) as well as Mediterraneans (Turks, Greeks, etc.) and Indians. Thus, the disease was not an indication of "race," but of geographic ancestry (in this case, areas where malaria was more common).[92]


Classification of race (e.g. "Caucasian", "Black") has been criticized on the grounds studies on disease rarely control environmental factors and so a genetic etiology is assumed without testing. That said, no doctor denies that some diseases are heritable and found at high frequency in some populations, low in others. While information about ethnicity may be informative for biomedical research: "it is imperative to move away from describing populations according to racial classifications such as 'black', 'white' or 'Asian'… there can be considerable genetic heterogeneity within a region, it is most useful to be as specific as possible about geographic origins, ethnicity or tribal affiliation".[93] Those diseases that show considerable inter-group difference, are only confined to local breeding populations, that are often more inbred (e.g. ethno-religious sects such as the Samaritans) rather than large regions, or continents.

Dr. Jurgen K. Naggert, a geneticist at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, has noted:[94]

These big groups that we characterize as races are too heterogeneous to lump together in a scientific way. If you're doing a DNA study to look for markers for a particular disease, you can't use 'Caucasians' as a group. They're too diverse.

Forensic anthropology

(Left) A forensic reconstruction of a male human skull considered "Mongoloid", in fact the ancestry of the man was from India (Right).[95]

Racialists quote forensic anthropologists who are said to be able to estimate ancestry of skeletal remains by continent ("race") with an accuracy of up to 90%. However this high accuracy figure only matches limited subsets of a sample in each broad continental grouping: "in cases where independent samples are used to test the methods, allocation accuracies decrease to levels that undermine the applicability of the methods in actual cases."[40][96] For example, Birkby (1966) found a high allocation accuracy for "Native Americans" (>90%) based on an archaeological sample from Knoll, Kentucky.[97] When however indigenous remains were sampled from many other locations, the accuracy for the "Native American" racial category diminished: "the methods performed poorly on the respective American Indian samples (accuracies ranged from 14 to 30%), and confirmed Birkby’s conclusion that the Indian Knoll sample cannot be considered a proxy for the pattern of variation in numerous populations that are included in the group American Indian".[96] The high accuracy rate claim for racial determination methods is also questionable since different methods have a tendency to produce different results:

We have shown that even with 20 non-fragmented sets of skeletal remains none could be consistently placed into a single racial category. Individual variability may have played a significant role leading to inconsistency of the results found in this study, which further confirms the ideas of Brace and Ryan (1980), Henneberg (2010) and Lewontin (1976); that most human variation occurs between individuals of the same population rather than being attributable to geographic distribution.[98]

Sauer (1992) notes that "to estimate, with varying degrees of specificity, a person’s place of ancestry from their physical features" is "not a vindication of the [biological] race concept".[99]

C. Loring Brace makes the same point that "region, does not mean race".[100] More recently terms such as "geographical ancestry", or "ancestral population" have replaced race in forensic literature.

Claimed features of different "oids"
Caucasoid Mongoloid Negroid
Nasal aperture width Narrow (Nasal Index: <47) Medium (Nasal Index: 47 — 51) Broad (Nasal Index: 51>)
Nasal sill Sharp Moderate Dull to absent
Skull shape (norma verticalis) Medium (Cranial Index: 75 — 80) Broad (Cranial Index: >80) Narrow (Cranial Index: <75)
Maxillary incisor tooth shape Blade Shovel Blade
Malar form Retreating zygomatics ('beaklike') Inferior zygomatic projection ('facial flatness') Intermediate zygomatics
Alveolar prognathism Absent to minimal Moderate Extreme

Misquoting Witherspoon et al 07

Similar to creationist quote-mines of evolutionist literature, online racialists often do the same with Witherspoon et al. 2007:[10]

Thus the answer to the question “How often is a pair of individuals from one population genetically more dissimilar than two individuals chosen from two different populations?” depends on the number of polymorphisms used to define that dissimilarity and the populations being compared. The answer, Formula can be read from Figure 2. Given 10 loci, three distinct populations, and the full spectrum of polymorphisms (Figure 2E), the answer is Formula ≅ 0.3, or nearly one-third of the time. With 100 loci, the answer is ∼20% of the time and even using 1000 loci, Formula ≅ 10%. However, if genetic similarity is measured over many thousands of loci, the answer becomes “never” when individuals are sampled from geographically separated populations.

The above paragraph is what they spam, especially the bold. What they don't post is the paragraph that immediately follows:

On the other hand, if the entire world population were analyzed, the inclusion of many closely related and admixed populations would increase. This is illustrated by the fact that Formula and the classification error rates, CC and CT, all remain greater than zero when such populations are analyzed, despite the use of >10,000 polymorphisms (Table 1, microarray data set; Figure 2D).

Two individuals from separate populations can then be genetically more similar than two individuals from the same population (with >10,000 SNP's). In other words: even with an incredibly stringent set of criteria (think about the last time you sat down and listed out 10,000 genetic reasons that someone was a member of their race), race still isn't a binary, but a gradient. Moreover, at the point where you are using >10,000 polymorphisms, races like "white" and "black" have utterly ceased to exist and are replaced with innumerable smaller groups.[note 11]

Notable racialists

  • Benjamin Rush: Rush was, rather interestingly, one of the Founding Fathers and an abolitionist. He believed that blacks suffered from a disease called "negritude," supposedly a form of leprosy, that could be "cured" and would result in turning their skin white.[101] This led to his attempts to develop quack "cures" for "negritude."
  • Samuel Cartwright: Expanding on Rush's work, Cartwright argued that drapetomania also a physical illness that could be diagnosed through the appearance of lesions on the skin. No doubt this had nothing to do with the backbreaking manual labor and frequent whippings and beatings slaves endured.[101] Cartwright coined two pseudo-psychological diagnoses that rationalized and justified slavery. The first he called "drapetomania," which was allegedly an illness causing slaves to run away from their masters. Conveniently for the slave masters, much of the "treatment" for this "illness" consisted of whipping. The second "diagnosis" was "dysaethesia aethiopica", or laziness.
  • J. Philippe Rushton: Advocate of "Life History Theory" that proposes that all socially desirable personality and intellectual traits are concentrated in the white and Asian races, whereas all the antisocial and undesirable traits are concentrated in black people. Repeatedly criticised in academia for sloppy scholarship including using questionable sources of information including the Penthouse Forum.[102]
  • Richard Lynn: Eugenics advocate who recently wrote a paper claiming that black people have longer penises than whites, who in turn are better endowed than Asians.[103] This was based on Rushton's "Goldilocks" theory of race: "Orientals have big brains but small genitalia, Africans have small brains but big genitalia, but Europeans Are Just Right."[104] One of the key sources of data used in this paper was the World Penis Size Site,[105] an anonymously compiled source that includes a lot of made-up data and bogus references.[106] Lynn has also stated that "incompetent cultures" need "phasing out."[107] Just to clear up any doubt about which cultures he thinks need "phasing out" he writes: "Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization?"[108]
  • Donald Templer: Authored a book on penises used as an additional reference by Richard Lynn even though Templer has no qualifications in urology. Advocates the voluntary sterilization of welfare recipients on eugenics grounds.[109][110]
  • Lothrop Stoddard:Wikipedia's W.svg American racist, eugenicist, and anti-immigration campaigner, author of many books including The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. He was enormously influential in early 20th century America, and is satirised by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, but a lengthy and enthusiastic visit to Nazi Germany in 1939-40 caused his reputation to fall after America entered World War II.

External links

Further reading

  • Edgar, Heather and Keith Hunley. "Race reconciled?: How biological anthropologists view human variation". American Journal of Physical Anthropology, May 2009, Volume 139, Issue 1, Pages 1–4.[1]
  • Lieberman, Leonard, et al. "The decline of race in American physical anthropology". Przegląd Antropologiczny – Anthropological Review. 2003, Vol. 66, 3-21.[2]


  1. While scientific racists do have to admit their racism, they also get the joy of slapping the "approval" of SCIENCE on it.
  2. Racial realists get a two-pronged advantage: First, they can deny their racism by saying, "I'm not a racist, I'm a realist!". Second, they can paint non-racialists as "race deniers" or "racial difference deniers", which suggests denial of the obvious facts — when in fact, science opposes racialism.
  3. By being just one "bio" away from supporting "diversity" and by failing to mention race, human biodiversity is the most innocuous form of racialism, because it allows one to deny any racism — because it's recognizing biodiversity, not being racist! Coined by Steve Sailer (a political blogger) of VDARE. Unlike biological diversity, HBD is unscientific.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (meaning, variations in the length of a restriction fragment, which is a fragment of DNA that has been cleaved by a restriction enzyme).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Autosomal DNA (meaning, any DNA inherited from chromosomes other than sex chromosomes) microsatellite (meaning, long stretches of DNA where a pattern in the DNA is repeated) locations.
  6. 17 blood groups.
  7. 10 blood groups, 3 serum proteins and 5 red blood cell enzymes.
  8. 14 serum proteins, 9 blood groups and 2 leukocyte antigens.
  9. Autosomal DNA (meaning, any DNA inherited from chromosomes other than sex chromosomes) single nucleotide polymorphisms (meaning, variations in a single pair of the ATCG nucleotide bases).
  10. See also the lead-crime hypothesis article.
  11. Imagine a hooded Klansman saying: "Fuck those Group 1467 bastards. I can't believe that they inherited a statistically significantly different set of polymorphisms."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Edgar, Heather and Keith Hunley, "Race reconciled?: How biological anthropologists view human variation", American Journal of Physical Anthropology, May 2009, Volume 139, Issue 1, Pages 1–4. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20995. Full quote:
    The points of agreement in the following articles reflect a shared evolutionary perspective that focuses on describing and interpreting the apportionment of biological variation between individuals both within and among groups (see also Lee et al., 2008). We agreed that:
    • There is substantial variation among individuals within populations.
    • Some biological variation is apportioned between individuals in different populations and among larger population groupings.
    • Patterns of within- and among-group variation have been substantially shaped by culture, language, ecology, and geography.
    • Race is not an accurate or productive way to describe human biological variation.
    • Human variation research has important social, biomedical, and forensic implications.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lieberman, Leonard, et al. "The decline of race in American physical anthropology". Przegląd Antropologiczny – Anthropological Review. 2003, Vol. 66, 3-21. Full quote: TLDR: The reason racialism is challenged is perhaps because of political correctness; the evidence on which it is challenged is purely scientific.
    Occasionally a student will suggest that the race concept has been rejected because of political correctness arising from the horrified reaction to the holocaust in World War II Nazi Germany. We must acknowledge that political correctness is a generic aspect of human behavior. Without conformity to group expectations human societies would be anarchies devoid of cultural patterns. An example of the negative consequences of political correctness is seen in the widespread belief that there were superior and inferior races. Colonialism, involving the conquest, exploration and slaughter of millions of people in the Americas, Africa and parts of Asia was rationalized by the belief in the inferiority of the alleged races inhabiting those areas [COCKER 1998]. The rejection of the race concept by most anthropologists beginning most recently in the 1960s, was based on the genetic evidence reviewed earlier. Conformity to political correctness was not the cause of these changes; rather awareness of the uses of race in colonialism, slavery, segregation, and in the holocaust stimulated reexamination of the race concept using the new genetic data that was accumulated throughout the 20th century. The presence of new genetic data does not guarantee that the data will be given careful consideration. This consideration came about as a new generation of anthropologists with new biographical experiences entered the discipline and examined the new data that developed during the century. Those who characterize these developments as political correctness are using simplistic reductionism, and a naive conception of science in an ivory tower. Scientists must struggle with and develop new data in the context of biography and history.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wagner, Jennifer K., et al. "Anthropologists' views on race, ancestry, and genetics." American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2016).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ruvolo, Maryellen, and Mark Seielstad. "The apportionment of human diversity: 25 years later" in Thinking about Evolution: Historical, Philosophical, and Political Perspectives, edited by Rama S. Singh et al. (2001). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521620708.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Maglo, Koffi N., Tesfaye B. Mersha, and Lisa J. Martin. "Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Biological Classification of Human Populations and Implications for Clinical Genetic Epidemiological Research." Frontiers in genetics 7 (2016).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Microsatellite diversity and demographic history of modern humans. by L. B. Jorde et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94:3100-31003.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Relethford, John H. "Craniometric variation among modern human populations." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 95.1 (1994): 53-62.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Templeton, Alan R. "Biological races in humans." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44.3 (2013): 262-271.
  9. Štrkalj, Goran. "The status of the race concept in contemporary biological anthropology: A review", Anthropologist, 2007, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 73-78.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Genetic Similarities Within and Between Human Populations by D. J. Witherspoon et al. 2007. Genetics. 2007 May; 176(1): 351–359. doi:10.1534/genetics.106.067355.
  11. The Kenyan success genetic controversy by Ross Tucker (13 April 2013) The Science of Sport.
  12. 12.0 12.1 [Pourquoi les Blancs courent moins vite by Jean-Philippe Leclaire (2012). Grasset. ISBN 2246785316.
  13. 13.0 13.1 French book examines why black sprinters dominate the Olympics (2012-08-06) France 24.
  14. Johann Frederick Blumenbach. De generis humani varietate nativa, pp. XII-XLII. Gottingae : Vandenhoek et Ruprecht.
  15. Craniometric similarities within and between human populations in comparison with neutral genetic data by A. Strauss and M. Hubbe. Hum. Biol. 2010 Jun;82(3):315-30. doi: 10.3378/027.082.0305.
  16. White Supremacist Finds Out His Ancestors Were Black Nov 13, 2013, The Trisha Goddard Show (via The Young Turks).
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Apportionment of Human Diversity by Lewontin, R. (1972). Evolutionary Biology. 6: 381–398.
  18. Genetic differences within and between populations of the major human subgroups. by B. D. H. Latter (1980). Am. Natu. 116:220-237.
  19. Differences in the relative distribution of human gene diversity between electrophoretic and red and white cell antigen loci. by N. Ryman et al. Hum. Hered. 33:93-102.
  20. Relethford, J. H. (2002). "Apportionment of Global Human Genetic Diversity Based on Craniometrics and Skin Color". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 118(4): 393-398.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Apportionment of Racial Diversity: a Review by Brown, R. A., Armelagos, G. J. (2001). Evolutionary Anthropology. 10(1): 34-40.
  22. Patterns of Human Diversity, within and among Continents, Inferred from Biallelic DNA Polymorphisms by Chiara Romualdi et al. Genome Res. 2002 Apr; 12(4): 602–612. doi:10.1101/gr.214902.
  23. Genetic structure of human populations by N. A. Rosenberg et al. Science. 2002 Dec 20;298(5602):2381-5.
  24. Genetic Variation Among World Populations: Inferences From 100 Alu Insertion Polymorphisms by W. Scott Watkins et al. Genome Res. 2003 Jul; 13(7): 1607–1618.
  25. Robustness of the inference of human population structure: A comparison of X-chromosomal and autosomal microsatellites by Sohini Ramachandran et al. Hum. Genomics. 2004; 1(2): 87–97. doi:10.1186/1479-7364-1-2-87.
  26. The genetic structure of human populations studied through short insertion-deletion polymorphisms by L. Bastos-Rodrigues et al. Ann. Hum. Genet. 2006 Sep;70(Pt 5):658-65.
  27. Worldwide human relationships inferred from genome-wide patterns of variation by J. Z. Li et al. Science. 2008 Feb 22;319(5866):1100-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1153717.
  28. A Population-Genetic Perspective on the Similarities and Differences among Worldwide Human Populations by Noah A. Rosenberg. Hum. Biol. 2011 Dec; 83(6): 659–684. doi:10.3378/027.083.0601.
  29. Global Geometric Morphometric Analyses of the Human Pelvis Reveal Substantial Neutral Population History Effects, Even across Sexes by Lia Betti et al. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e55909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055909.
  30. On the Non-Existence of Human Races by Frank B. Livingstone. Current Anthropology Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jun., 1962), pp. 279-281.
  31. Race or Clines? by Lieberman, L., Rice, P. C. (1996). Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Deconstructing Race by Caspari, R. (2010). In: Larsen, C. (ed.). A Companion to Biological Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell:
    Promoted by Livingstone (1962), the study of clines, the distribution of individual morphological and genetic traits, came to replace race as a focus of analysis for many workers.
  33. Human Variation: Races, Types, and Ethnic groups Molnar, Stephen (1975). Prentice Hall. Page. 109. ISBN 0137502400.
  34. Race and global patterns of phenotypic variation by Relethford, John H. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139.1 (2009): 16-22.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Human Races: Classifying People vs. Understanding Diversity by Barbujani, G. (2005). Current Genomics. 6(4): 215-226:
    "Classical population-genetics theory and empirical data show that large genetic differences among groups develop if reproductive barriers separate these groups. In the presence of reproductive barriers, that is, under isolation, genetic drift, affecting independently each group, will reduce the group’s internal variation (because the alleles that are lost are not reintroduced by gene flow) and will lead groups to diverge from each other (because different alleles are lost in each group and different mutations occur in each group); divergence will generate genetic discontinuities... between groups."
  36. Partitioning of Genetic Variation in Human Populations and the Concept of Race by Madrigal, L. & Barbujani, G. (2007). In: Crawford, M. (ed.). Anthropological Genetics. Cambridge University Press.
  37. Race, Ancestry, and Medicine by Feldman, M. W. & Lewontin, R. (2008). In: Koenig, B. A. (ed.). Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. Rutgers University Press.
  38. Genetic Basis of Human Biodiversity: An Update by Guido Barbujani & Vincenza Colonna, in Biodiversity Hotspots, 2011. Springer, ISBN 9783642209918.
  39. Heard, A. N. (2008). "Non-Metric Assessment of Southeast and Northeast Asian Ancestry in the Forensic Context". M.Sc. Thesis. Michigan State University.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Smay, D., Armelagos, G. (2000). "Galileo Wept: a Critical Assessment of the Use of Race in Forensic Anthropology". Transforming Anthropology. 9(2): 19-29.
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    The standard criterion for subspecies division is an FST estimate of or over 0.25.
    However, the new racial naturalism is not convincing. The continental clusters appealed to by race naturalists are arbitrary and superficial groupings, which should not be elevated to subspecies status. Moreover, the criteria applied to humans are not consistent with those used to define subspecies in nonhuman animals, and no rationale has been given for this differential treatment.
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