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More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people. He spoke out against the idea of “white” and “black” as discrete groups, claiming that these distinctions ignored the scope of human diversity.

Science would favor Du Bois. Today, the mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning. And yet, you might still open a study on genetics in a major scientific journal and find categories like “white” and “black” being used as biological variables.

In an article published today (Feb. 4) in the journal Science, four scholars say racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. [Unraveling the Human Genome: 6 Molecular Milestones]

Continue reading:  Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue

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7 thoughts on “Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue

    • I don’t think that was these scientists’ intent (to overcome racism). Rather, they were just informing the world that our official distinctions between “white” and “black,” etc., are archaic and misrepresent human genetic diversity. From a cultural point of view, I believe it is imperative that we openly discuss the often taboo subject of race.

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      • Again, it is precisely because it is a social/cultural construct that it is difficult to openly discuss this taboo. Taboos are cultural constructs and by their very nature aren’t discussable; they are taken by the culture to be ‘given,’ i.e. simply the way things are.

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