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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Human Races Populations

I get pretty sick of hearing that there's no such thing as "races" in the species Homo sapiens. RPM has revived the controversy in More About Human Populations. Read the comments as well.

Apparently, it's more politically correct to refer to human "populations" and avoid the r-word.


  1. I think it's more a matter of avoiding a word that has different meanings to the average citizen and to a scientist. We can have a nice long wrangle about exactly what constitutes a human race and how many there are, or we can use a word that is widely understood to mean grouping people by their genetic characteristics however broad or narrow.

  2. Sometimes words get hijacked and their meanings changed to the point where they just can't be used effectively. That's largely the case with the word "race". It's better to leave the word aside and be able to talk about the science.

  3. Over on Uncertain Principles Chad is planning some regular posts on basic concepts. Doing that here, starting with with "race" and "population", might be interesting.

  4. The ony possible productive or scientifically sound reason to divide the human race into subspecies or races is that of disease rates and medicine reactions. There are so many factors that go into collecting data for diseases and medicne reactions that even this seemingly valid utility is put to bed.

    I would suggest getting used to hearing it. It is only becoming more and more true and regressive folks like you are becomiing less and ess common.