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Unformatted text preview: third latin name follows the two for 1 @nus and species. A biologist, for exa ' pie, might speak of the West African v sus East African races of chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus versus Pan troglodytes troglodytes. While every IndI- I vidual organism must be assignable to a particular species (such as Homo-sapfens for people), there is no necessity that a species be divided into subspecies. Biologists would only do so in species that include very distinct, geographically separated, genetically well-defined sub- groups. The general practice of biologists is not to classify every slightly different, localized population of a widespread species as a'subspecies or race, but to recognize only a small number of highly different geographic clusters In that way. .. Does the human species consist 0 @ch a small number of geographical separate, distinct and genetically _ _ defined groupings? The unambiguous ’ answer is ”no,” and, therefore, in the bio- logical sense, human ”races” do not exist. There are a number of reasons for stating this answer so definitively. First, if human races existed in a bio- logical sense, one would expect the genetic differences between members of different human races to be of the same magnitude as the differences between subspecies of other species. This is not the case; instead, members of different eii‘". human races are much more alike geneti- cally than are members of different sub- species of other animals. For example, the two genetically well-defined subspecies of chimpanzees mentioned above are sepa- fiated from each other by a ”genetic dis- tance” which is 5.5 times greater than the average genetic distance separating mem- , one means the College has selected for Diversity as Part: of Creighton’ 9 Curriculum As a faculty member In Creighton’ 5 Department of Biology, l have . recently been led to pander the ques- tion of race as part of the process of implementing the new Core Curriculum of Creighton’s College of Arts and Sciences. One objective of the new cur- riculum is to raise the awareness of all 7 the members of the Creighton commu- nity about domestic and international human diversity. Incorporation of aspects of diversity into the curriculum of our courses, wherever appropriate, is meeting that objective. _ of race and ethnicity, but that w humanities, I found the semester' 5 expe- rience extremely enlightening: We read - and discussed prose essays, short stories and autobiographies, touching on the American experiences of individua a number of different ”races” and eth nic groups Only one week’s read' dealt specifically with biological move to incorporate aspectsflfif diver'sity into their courses, a College Diversity Project was developed by a committee of Arts and Sciences faculty, chaired by Dr. Patricia Fleming, and approved by Fr. Michael Proterra, S. j., dean of the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Fleming now serves as director of - the Diversity Project. One part of the ' Diversity Project is the formation of semester-long Reading Groups, in which 10 faculty of the college select a topic, gather a set of relevant readings related to the topic, then meet her-2“ quently to discuss both the specific ' readings and the topic In general. This spring I had the stimulating experience of being a participant in such a reading group, on the topic of ”Race and Ethnicity." As one of two sci- entists in a reading group that con- tained eight faculty from the _§?bi0logists. doned the idea of race. Their assumption was that scientists conSId f4 ered a person's race to be a hard-and? fast, biologically- determined . characteristic. Obviously, communica- .‘ significant of American' Issues has The purpose of this article IS to pre- sent one biologist’s viewpoint on the biology of human ”races.” I want make it clear that what Is present my opinions; but, while scientists agree among themselves on any to least as much as other people do, don’t expect that any of what l say Wlll V _‘ be very controversial to a majority of — TEB _ ...
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