Biology and Human Variation

Humans come in all shapes and sizes, and group differences in health and disease are real. But it’s overly simplistic and misleading to map those onto our ideas of race. Modern humans simply haven’t been around long enough to evolve into separate sub-species or races.

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Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
by Larry Adelman
Some quick facts about race that help dispel common myths and misconceptions.
Scientific and Folk Ideas About Heredity
by Jonathan Marks
Jonathan Marks provides an anthropological and historical perspective into why we classify people the way we do, and why those classifications, while culturally important, don't hold up from a biological standpoint.
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Differences in Skin Color
If we were to walk from the tropics to Norway, what we would see is a continuous change in skin tone. And at no point along that trip would we be able to say, "Oh, this is the place in which we go from the dark race to the light race."
expert connection
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The Evolution of Human Biology & Genomics: Interview with Leslea Hlusko
Leslea Hlusko, Professor of Integrative Biology, discusses new research in genomics in regards to human variation, and relates it to the science presented in the film, and outlines the important role human biologists can play in engaging with social issues and misperceptions about human variation.
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2020 panel discussion on Race—The Power of an Illusion, Part I
On Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 we hosted the first in a three-part series of events which consisted of a screening of Race—The Power of an Illusion, Part I: The Difference Between Us followed by a live panel discussion.
Aren't Black people on the whole the best athletes in the world?
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Pilar Ossorio
A look at biological notions of race, how race is socially real, health consequences of race, and drug company research and classification.

Pilar Ossorio is currently (2019) Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.