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  2. Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth by Ian Tattersall
  3. Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth

Yet, according to many biologists, physical anthropologists, and geneticists, there is no valid scientific justification for the concept of race. In this intriguing and highly accessible book, physical anthropologist Ian Tattersall and geneticist Rob DeSalle, both senior scholars from the American Museum of Natural History, explain what human races actually are—and are not—and place them within the wider perspective of natural diversity.

They explain that the relative isolation of local populations of the newly evolved human species during the last Ice Age—when Homo sapiens was spreading across the world from an African point of origin—has now begun to reverse itself, as differentiated human populations come back into contact and interbreed.

Indeed, the authors suggest that all of the variety seen outside of Africa seems to have both accumulated and started reintegrating within only the last 50, or 60, years—the blink of an eye, from an evolutionary perspective. The overarching message of Race? Debunking a Scientific Myth is that scientifically speaking, there is nothing special about racial variation within the human species.


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These distinctions result from the working of entirely mundane evolutionary processes, such as those encountered in other organisms. Table of Contents. Cover Download Save. Frontmatter Download Save. Contents p.

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Acknowledgments p. Prologue pp. Chapter 1. Race in Western Scientific History pp. Chapter 2. Species, Patterns, and Evolution pp. Chapter 3. Human Evolution and Dispersal pp.

Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth by Ian Tattersall

Chapter 4. In Who We Are and How We Got Here , Reich allows listeners to discover how the human genome provides not only all the information a human embryo needs to develop but also the hidden story of our species. Ever since Darwin and The Descent of Man, the existence of humans has been attributed to our intelligence and adaptability. But in Catching Fire , renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. In a groundbreaking theory of our origins, Wrangham shows that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution.

She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early s seemed to do precisely that.

Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer's lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. Wilson renews the Enlightenment's search for a unified theory of knowledge in disciplines that range from physics to biology, the social sciences and the humanities.

Using the natural sciences as his model, Wilson forges dramatic links between fields. Presenting the latest findings in prose of wonderful clarity and oratorical eloquence, and synthesizing it into a dazzling whole, Consilience is science in the path-clearing traditions of Newton, Einstein, and Richard Feynman. Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5, years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash.

It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.

Understanding our humanity - the essence of who we are - is one of the deepest mysteries and biggest challenges in modern science. Why do we have bad moods?

Is Race Genetic or Socially Constructed? - Philip Kitcher

Why are we capable of having such strange dreams? How can metaphors in our language hold such sway on our actions? As we learn more about the mechanisms of human behavior through evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and other related fields, we're discovering just how intriguing the human species is. In the mids, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field is horizontal gene transfer HGT , or the movement of genes across species lines.

For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection - a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them.

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation - that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies.

Rather, he incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation - the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments - that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. This revised edition of Human Nature begins a new phase in the most important intellectual controversy of this generation: Is human behavior controlled by the species' biological heritage? Does this heritage limit human destiny? With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, the author of Sociobiology challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate.

This mantra has been invoked by scientists for decades and has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. But today, that taboo is dead.

Race?: Debunking a Scientific Myth

The causal revolution, sparked by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed causality - the study of cause and effect - on a firm scientific basis. In February , Reni Eddo-Lodge posted an impassioned argument on her blog about her deep-seated frustration with the way discussions of race and racism in Britain were constantly being shut down by those who weren't affected by it.

Her sharp, fiercely intelligent words hit a nerve, and the post went viral, spawning a huge number of comments from people desperate to speak up about their own similar experiences. Race has provided the rationale and excuse for some of the worst atrocities in human history. Yet, according to many biologists, physical anthropologists, and geneticists, there is no valid scientific justification for the concept of race. To be more precise, although there is clearly some physical basis for the variations that underlie perceptions of race, clear boundaries among "races" remain highly elusive from a purely biological standpoint.

Differences among human populations that people intuitively view as "racial" are not only superficial but are also of astonishingly recent origin. In this intriguing and highly accessible audiobook, physical anthropologist Ian Tattersall and geneticist Rob DeSalle, both senior scholars from the American Museum of Natural History, explain what human races actually are - and are not - and place them within the wider perspective of natural diversity. They explain that the relative isolation of local populations of the newly evolved human species during the last Ice Age - when Homo sapiens was spreading across the world from an African point of origin - has now begun to reverse itself, as differentiated human populations come back into contact and interbreed.

This book attempted to debunk the notion that human races exist. It would have been more accurately named: Species?