1932

Abstract

For more than 50 years, biological anthropology has argued against the use of the biological race concept. Despite such efforts, aspects of the concept remain in circulation within society and within the discipline itself. As commonly articulated, anthropology's rejection of the biological race concept lacks an evolutionarily based explanatory grounding. Biological patterns of variation in living humans do not map onto commonly utilized categorizations of race, but this knowledge does not explain why human evolution has not produced such structures. This article attempts to offer one such explanation by constructing a biocultural framing of race around ancestry. By examining ancestry through two related lenses, genealogical and genetic, it is shown that the coherence of race as a biological concept has been disrupted by demographic changes in our recent evolutionary past. The biological construction of race is invalid not because it is impossible but because evolutionary forces have actively worked against such patterns in our evolutionary past.

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2019-10-21
2024-06-19
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