Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Genes week continues. In today's Globe and Mail: Concept of race a social invention, research shows:

There is fresh evidence that, ethnically speaking, you really can't judge a book by its cover: A new study has found that skin colour is a poor indication of ancestry.

Men and women who look like black Africans can carry genetic traits similar to those of white Europeans, according to a multipronged study carried out on Brazilian populations. Some of the lighter-skinned Brazilians showed more genetic evidence of African heritage than their darker-skinned counterparts.

The research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds to the growing body of science that says race is merely a social invention and, biologically, does not exist.

The research fits quite nicely into my worldview: there is no such thing as race (although racism can exist) ; there is no such thing as the white race (but 'white priviledge' can exist) ; and while genetic markers are very handy to demonstrate whether one is from African ancestry or not it should not be used to determine what North American First Nations tribe you belong to.

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