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Biological Basis Of Race Essay

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Among anthropologists it has become increasingly clear that the concept of race having a biological basis is fundamentally flawed. There a number of flaws with this concept of race. One issue is that features attributed to race, such as skin color, very across the globe in a clinal fashion rather than in uniform groups. Another issue is that there is more in-group variation within races than there is variation between races. Finally, human variation is non-concordant. These flaws make the biological basis of the race concept an untenable idea. The first flaw with the biological basis of the race concept is that features attributed to race vary in a clinal fashion rather than being broken into different categories. Perhaps the most iconic feature attributed to race is skin color, but skin color cannot be broken into discrete categories. As “Race the Power of an Illusion” demonstrated in the first episode, skin color variation in humans can be seen as a gradient where the similarity between variations can be determined by geographical distance. This means that the closer two peoples ancestral groups lived to each other, the more similar there skin color will be. This concept is not isolated to skin color, but is nearly universally constant among biological variation. It is difficult to argue that race is based upon biology when…show more content…
This means that two people of the same race can be more different from each other than they are with people of other races. This point was cleverly made in “Race the Power of an Illusion” when they tested the genetic similarity of a classroom full of students. To the surprise of the students, the results showed that in many cases people were more similar to people of other races than they were to people of the same race. This fact alone makes the argument that race is based upon a biological basis very
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