Chapter

What Genes Are, and Why There Are No ‘Genes for Race’<sup>1</sup>

John Dupré

in Processes of Life

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691982
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691982.003.0016
What Genes Are, and Why There Are No ‘Genes for Race’1

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This chapter reviews recent ideas about the biological basis of race in the light of recent work in population genetics that has been interpreted as claiming that there are, after all, genes that determine racial difference. The chapter reviews a range of meanings of the word ‘gene’ and concludes that none of them lends any support to such a claim. There are geographical differences in the human population, and genetic analysis can reliably discern geographic origins. But ecotypes, geographical variants in a species, are a quite different thing from traditional racial classifications.

Keywords: race; population genetics; gene; ecotype

Chapter.  7254 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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