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Race and Human Genome Variation

  • By: Valerie Ooka Pang, Jennifer M. Pang & Christine Clark
  • In: Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education
  • Edited by: James A. Banks
  • Subject:Diversity & Consistency, Sociology of Education (general)

Race is typically understood as a group classification system for humans based on assumed or perceived differences established in the fields of biology or sociology. In U.S. culture, race is often alluded to as being a truth of biology, but the results of large-scale DNA sequencing endeavors, such as the Human Diversity Project, have refuted race as a biological construct. By sequencing the human genome—the sum total of the hereditary information of Homo sapiens—scientists have uncovered that, although human genome variation exists, people have DNA that is 99.9% the same. Therefore, delineation by race is strictly a social and political construct.

Alan H. Goodman and other biological anthropologists believe the discussion of race and human genome variation creates the context for understanding the reality of ...

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