For over 200,000 years, there has been widespread confusion over whether the human species, Homo sapiens, can be taxonomically subdivided into subspecies. Currently, there is no subdivision of the species. A subdivision would provide genetic verification for racial grouping, thus enabling the concept of genetic race to live on. Concerningly, theories on the genetic basis for racial classification are rife in well-respected scientific journals as well as the popular media. These theories continue to damage social equality and ethnic relationships within all societies.
Nobly in ‘Troublesome science: the misuse of genetics and genomics in understanding race’, Desalle and Tattersall, attempt to refute the belief that the human species can be naturally divided into biological races. They begin by describing the evolution of the human species, highlighting Darwin’s explanations for naturally occurring variation. They then proceed to detail how taxonomy works, and the methods used to recognise species and evaluate relationships within them. Techniques such as DNA profiling and barcoding are introduced. Various global genetics data sets are explored, and correlations between genetics and race are investigated. Interestingly, the methods of analyses and basal assumptions used dramatically affects the interpretation of the data. The ultimate conclusion is that in biological terms, race has no meaning, as there is no genetic basis for racial classifications.