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Natural Selection, the Human Genome, and the Idea of Race

© 2009 GeneWatch

By Robert Pollack | May 19, 2009

This briefing paper discusses the history of humanity as a single species, born of an ancestral species some hundreds of thousands of years ago, in Africa. The history of our single species tells us that all people who were ever born anywhere on Earth have been, are and will be descendants of Africans. Because all human beings are members of one species, all concepts of "Race" that place one set of humans aside as in some way more or less fit or worthy than another set, must be in conflict with the facts of nature. The persistence of imaginary, false notions such as "Race" is an example of the most remarkable characteristic of all members of our species: our imaginations. The emergence in our species of brains capable of mental worlds and self-awareness has paradoxically produced both the science that reveals these facts of our history and our biology, and the dreams of perfection that keep such imaginary notions as "Race" and racism alive despite these facts. The briefing paper concludes with the optimistic observation that the same DNA-encoded brains that can have any thought, are also therefore capable of learning these facts from science, and choosing to discard the fantasies of "Race."

Download: Natural Selection, the Human Genome, and the Idea of Race (PDF, 861.00 K)

Read More: Culture, Ethics, Human Rights, Science, Africa, Global

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