Genes and Race

In the beginning of “Of Mice and (Hu)Men Genes”, Sapolsky gave examples of ridiculous urban legends to highlight the types of stories, thoughts, and ideas that can spread rapidly throughout a population. Although I hadn’t heard of most of the legends that were mentioned, I did start to think more about what makes a discovery interesting to the general public. We talked a little bit about it in class with components such as graspability being mentioned. After a quick internet search, I found it a hot topic among the best seller type authors but not so widely explored in scientific literature. I did, however, find an interesting article that takes the discussion about the genetic determinants of a person one step further by bridging the gap between the assumption that “genes determine our race” and the understanding that “genes don’t determine ‘us'”. I found the article to be one that, once again, showed how an established idea on the nature side may be easy for the general public to grasp but may actually need to be expanded upon or challenged to fully understand.

The article exploring some disproved assumptions behind the biological basis of race can be found here.

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