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Since the decoding of the human genome in 2003, a sharp new light has been shed on human evolution, raising many interesting but awkward questions.
It is now beyond doubt that human evolution is a continuous process that has proceeded vigorously within the past 30,000 years and almost certainly—though very recent evolution is hard to measure— throughout the historical period and up until the present day. It would be of the greatest interest to know how people have evolved in recent times and to reconstruct the fingerprints of natural selection as it molded and reworked the genetic clay. Any degree of evolution in social behavior found to have taken place during historical times could help explain significant features of today’s world.
But the exploration and discussion of these issues is complicated by the fact of race. Ever since the first modern humans dispersed from the ancestral homeland in northeast Africa some 50,000 years ago, the populations on each continent have evolved largely independently of one another as each adapted to its own regional environment. Under these various local pressures, there developed the major races of humankind, those of Africans, East Asians and Europeans, as well as many smaller groups.
Because of these divisions in the human population, anyone interested in recent human evolution is almost inevitably studying human races, whether they wish to or not. Scientific inquiry thus runs into potential conflict with the public policy interest of not generating possibly invidious comparisons that might foment racism. Several of the intellectual barriers erected many years ago to combat racism now stand in the way of studying the recent evolutionary past. These include the assumption that there has been no recent human evolution and the assertion that races do not exist. Source: A Troublesome Inheritance PDF.
Contents of this book A Troublesome Inheritance
- EVOLUTION, RACE AND HISTORY
- PERVERSIONS OF SCIENCE
- ORIGINS OF HUMAN SOCIAL NATURE
- THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT
- THE GENETICS OF RACE
- SOCIETIES AND INSTITUTIONS
- THE RECASTING OF HUMAN NATURE
- JEWISH ADAPTATIONS
- THE RISE OF THE WEST
- EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVES ON RACE
- A Troublesome Inheritance