Race Is A Delusion

From a purely biological view, there is no appreciable difference between any two members of Homo sapiens so there is a good case for declaring  that race is a delusion.

Chimps (a male dominated aggressive species) and bonobos (a female dominated peaceful species) are very close relatives close enough to breed (in captivity at least) with something of the order of 99% common DNA. Both these species are close to homo sapiens and part of our close family. (Not so long ago, there were also two human species.) We share about 98% DNA with both and have a recent common ancestor.

The three of us are cousins to the two gorilla species with the shared DNA level dropping a little more and all five of us are related to the two orangutan species, a little further away.

It is only the development of a higher number of neuron connections in the human brain that makes us more than marginally different to any other animal on the African plains. This expansion of our brain traffic is the only reason we can have this discussion and be aware of our mortality.

With these distinctions in mind, it seems ludicrous that we still have people who think (a) that we have ‘races’ as in different ‘types’ of people and (b) ‘races’ as human and non-human.

This is entirely down to the lack of education and those who promote keeping adults and children ignorant, with religious belief as the primary motivator. The latter could easily be classed as child abuse.

In practice of course, race is real enough when viewed through the lens of skin colour and face shape, relatively minor variations that have evolved in recent years.

Everyone alive today is descended from the 3 million humans alive 35,000 years ago. They and your other ancestors came from the original 10,000 drought survivors who were alive a mere 200,000 years ago which accounts for the almost identical DNA we share.
We are almost inbreeds, or would be if not for the 5% infusion of Neanderthal genetic material from our recent human cousin.

There is a 99% chance you and anyone else on the planet have the same pair of ancestor ‘grand parents’ 8,000 generations back. In that sense, you are related to everyone you ever met or ever heard of in every country.

The chances are almost as high only 1,400 generations or 35,000 years back for most people who live outside Africa. If you live outside Africa, you are almost certainly related to people of all other skin colours.

‘Race’ as a descriptor only works if you are considering very recent history, say the last 500 generations of so and using the different inherited colors and face shapes as the guide, but even that is unreliable.

To use these primitive tools to define race, you can only go back a couple of generations or ‘minutes’ on the geological time scale.

It is reasonable for our uneducated ancestors a mere 5 or 10 generations back to have assumed that race was real, that people of different colour, face shape or culture were non related to them.
Now, no such excuse exists for educated people as the science, the data, the DNA is conclusive. We are one race that has been mixing, changing, evolving and only presents in different colours due to local factors, in particular the difficulty of travel.

Now that travel is no longer a barrier, it is very likely the homogenizing of our species will become even more widespread. One can see a future not too distant where the concept of race is an anachronism a relic of the past.

To argue otherwise in the face of science, is counter productive when the evidence is readily available. There is no point arguing with the messenger in an attempt to justify or cling to current belief. One either looks up the science and accepts the facts or suffer the label of the wilfully ignorant.

The concept of race is kept alive by two of the five scourges of human existence, nationalism and religion. (The other three are tribalism, corruption and subjugation.)

References and links

The brain cells in your bum (and other places)
Why you don’t really have a birthday

Chimps and Bonobos. The same but different.
Homo Sapiens. The real story, not the fairy story.


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