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Old January 11th, 2015 #1
RickHolland
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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RickHolland
Default What is Race?

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Race in general usage includes both a cultural and biological feature of a person or group of people. Given the fact that physical differences between populations are often accompanied by cultural differences, it has been difficult to separate these two elements of race. Over the past few decades there has been a movement in several fields of science to oversimplify the issue declaring that race is "merely a social construct". While, indeed this may often be true, depending on what aspect of variation between people one is considering, it is also true that there are biological differences between the populations of the world. One clear example of a biological difference is skin color. There is a strong genetic component to the level of pigmentation in a person's skin and there are dramatic differences across populations. Pigmentation is, however, only skin deep and really a simple heritable trait in light of the complex environments in which we all live and how these environments affect our individual and group quality of life is far beyond our ability to understand as scientists.

The biological feature of race is largely based on the genetic structure of human populations. This structure is a nested hierarchy from East to West where populations in the Americas and the South Pacific are a subset of the genetic diversity found in Eurasia which itself is a subset of the diversity found in Africa (Shriver and Kittles 2005):

It is clear that the human species is relatively young. As a species, we most likely originated in east Africa, according to most archaeologists, 100,000 to 300,000 years ago, and diverged as groups, expanded, moved, and settled the globe. During these migrations, and in the time since, there has been some degree of independent evolution of the populations that settled the various continents of the world. The simplest evidence of this evolution can be seen in the differences in allele frequencies at genetic markers. Generally, we see that alleles found in one population are also found in all populations and the alleles that are the most common in one are also common in others. These similarities between populations highlight the recent common origin of all populations and strong connections between populations throughout human history. However, there are examples of genetic markers which are different between populations and it is these markers, called Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs), which can be used to estimate the ancestral origins of a person or population.

Race is a complex and multivariate construct that we tend to over simplify but in our analysis, we are measuring a person’s genetic ancestry and not their race. Your DNA has no recorded history of your political, social, personal or religious beliefs. It is a simple four letter code that records all of the changes in the DNA from one generation to the next. We report those changes, they are like finger prints and snow flakes, unique and wildly complex.
http://www.ancestrybydna.com/faq/dna-origins/


Autosomal DNA Testing Successfully Using Autosomal Testing in Conjunction with Mitochondrial and Y-Line Testing to Address Genealogical Questions

http://www.dnaexplain.com/publicatio...ing5-20-09.pdf


The Autosomal Me – Unraveling Minority Admixture

http://dna-explained.com/2013/02/06/...ity-admixture/


The Autosomal Me – The Ancestors Speak


http://dna-explained.com/2013/02/10/...cestors-speak/

The Autosomal Me – Who Am I?


http://dna-explained.com/2013/02/13/...l-me-who-am-i/

The Autosomal Me – Testing Company Results

http://dna-explained.com/2013/02/24/...mpany-results/
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