Biological Anthropology

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González, AureaMarch 6, 2013Question #1
For many years biological anthropologists have been trying to identify race through genetics but race is not determined biologically. The closest aspect to a biological feature in grouping people is cline; geography making people of the same area in the world similar. Human variation, however, is classification of skin color, eye color; characteristics that are genetic and unchanging genes. Genetic traits have nothing to do with race; it influences the idea of it. Mutations cause variation. An example of this would be with how sunlight affects skin tone because of dark and light melanin. Race cannot be naturally divided into groups because it is an arbitrary, modern idea; a social construct based on ethnicity, social reform, and culture, otherwise known as The Great Chain of Being. Constant change in the world, such as migration and reproduction, brings diversity upon us. Jim Brown, in The Power of Illusion, specifically says, “Race has changed as a definition in this country.” The world is always changing; people will continuously try to identify race through genetics, but it never will be proven biologically because it’s merely a cultural classification. Also, in the film, a group of students try to find out who they might be closely related to, based on mitochondrial DNA. A black girl believes she is more closely related to another black boy in the class. When they matched the MTDNA, they found out they were wrong. Some had the same number and pattern of MTDNA that others across the country had. This proved race had nothing to do with genetics. Scientists have tried to see differences in athletic ability according to race. However, there is no biological explanation for why someone of one race might be more athletic than someone of another. If a white person ran in the mountains with high altitude, he would have greater lung capacity than someone who ran an average racetrack. Nutrition and adaptation affect...
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