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SoCalChevy Post time: 2013-3-19 06:49
I don't think any race has better genes than any other race.
I would just like to know what Chin ...
actually there is a body of science that suggest that they actually might be..
But the combination of inbreeding being bad and diversity being good has flung open the doors for another claim about what it means to be mixed-race. The idea sounds simple enough. If inbreeding is bad, then the opposite – outbreeding – should be good. It makes sense, some suggest, that people might be genetically better off if they were mixed race. The anecdotal evidence is writ large in the over-representation of Britain's tiny mixed-race population in the arts, music, modelling and sport. Mixed-race people account for 30 per cent of the current England football team in a country where they make up only 2 per cent of the general population.
But to explore claims of biological advantages and challenge ideas of purity, neither anecdote nor instinct is enough. A scientific approach requires data and evidence, and it needs to stack up. But there's a problem: scientific research on race is hard to come by, and it's not difficult to see why. Science and race have long been uneasy bedfellows. After all, the shoddy, prejudiced half-truths dressed in scientific clothing that were touted as hard fact hit a shameful low 70 years ago, when they were used by people with a dangerous agenda. The unyielding divisions used by some anthropologists in the early years of the last century had humanity neatly sectioned into an absolute and immutable hierarchy in which northern Europeans were at the top. It was embraced by the Nazis, and culminated in the horrors of their final solution. In the aftermath, scientists would no longer recognise "race" as a useful categorisation. Many would not even acknowledge differences between people at all.
Here's the thing, though. We are different. Some of our genes – albeit a very small 7 per cent of them – vary between the continental populations, and along the lines of "races" as they were popularised by Victorian anthropologists. But we do not fit into tidy boxes as they believed. The map of the human genome has shown that the DNA of human populations across the globe is a continuum, not bluntly divided as had been erroneously supposed. That means that each race's DNA blurs into the others because humans have the same ancestors, groups of people who left the African continent between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago. The genes that are obviously different between races include those that enabled each population to adapt to new latitudes; the ones that maximised our success in particular environments, and protected us from the diseases that we were exposed to.
So are these differences significant and, more to the point, are they significant enough so that when they are brought together, there might be tangible benefits for people who are mixed-race?
The answer from some scientists who still do what could be called "racial science" appears to be yes on both counts. Dr Mark Shriver, who studies human origins at Penn State University, is interested in ancestry, variations in skin and hair colour, facial features and height. He finds that observing traits that are obviously different between people from different parts of the world is a useful tool for studying evolution. This is because his research focuses on how our genes adapted to changing environments – research which helps him understand why certain populations are more at risk of developing diseases like type-2 diabetes, obesity, prostate cancer and high blood pressure.