Race and genetics

Race And Genetics

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Race and genetics

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The relationship between race and genetics has relevance for the ongoing controversies regarding race.

Ongoing genetic research have investigated how ancestral human populations migrated in the ancestral geographic environment into different geographic areas. Migrations and gene flow were relatively slow. Today it is possible to determine, by genetic analysis, from which ancestral geographic regions a person originates and to what degree from each region. Also other factors such as endogamy for cultural reasons may give rise to genetically differentiated groups. This has been seen as a validation of the concept of race. Especially since geographic ancestry has some utility in areas such as medicine.

Critics have made a number of arguments against this. There were often no clear distinctions between the ancestral populations with transitions being gradual. Genetic variations in such groups were larger than genetic variations between groups. How a person is identified racially may be different from geographic ancestry. Especially for groups with mixed ancestry self-identified race is often uncertain and culturally dependent.

Human evolution

The human lineage diverged from the common ancestor with chimpanzees about 5–7 million years ago. The genus Homo evolved by about 2.3 to 2.4 million years ago from Australopithecines. Several species and subspecies of Homo evolved and are now extinct. These include Homo erectus, which inhabited Asia, and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis,...
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