The role of science in Race argument

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The role of science in Race argument

The influence of science has moved passed the areas to include the concept of race that has been the center of the debate on its origin between those who believe it is real and the one who believes that it’s a social construct. Alondra Nelson takes the heart of the debate in her article known as the ‘’Bio-science’’ The genetic genealogy testing and the pursuit and trace of the African ancestry. These concepts launched by scientists provides a link between Race, identity, and heritage. In this line, she gives the definition of two oppositional groups that is race pragmatic and race naturalists. Race pragmatist view race as a social construct and an index emanating from authority instead of scientific classification and reasoning while naturalists confirm that race is a biological reality that shows differences between the various existing human groups in the society.

The scientist applies ethnographic data to show that contrary to both naturalists and pragmatic argument on race, genetics testing provides an opening that race and ethnicity are constituted in genetic science, kinship aspirations and perhaps the strategic self-making criteria. Nelson states that reality and perception of scientific data and human genome cannot verify the validity of race factor since epistemologist and ontologies provide contributions to its meaning and significance. She argues that the subjective interpretation of scientific data based on personal ideologies shapes up racial identities and the relationship that is between race and genetics which is not purely biological or social but takes the chance of both factors.

Moreover, science through an extensive research has provided information that there are no an absolute genetic variations between Europe and Africa. Therefore, this indicates that there is no single variant where all Africans have one option while at the same time all the Europeans have another one. These show that the modifications are different in all the continents meaning that different regions have a different variant case. This information indicates that genetic information was not fixed along the racial lines that exist in the globe. Science has come in between the argument of race as a biological reality through the provision of various data to assist the people in the analysis and making decisions. Moreover, science has gone further to investigate the issue of reality through genetic mark up to trace the originality of the entire race that exists globally.

Science has assisted the society to understand race as a statistical distinct genetic population. A Biologist Alice Brues states that race is a division through a frequency of hereditary traits occurs among its members. In other words, races are distinguished from each other not because they have unique fixed genetic features but because one varies from another statistically in the frequency of a particular gene that exists in that specific race. It is vivid that the Europeans will continue to have blue eyes while the Africans will become less likely to suffer less from cystic fibrosis due to the gene variation. Therefore, based on this information, the race realist rejects that the differences signify inferiority or superiority (Condit).


The role of science regarding race has been distinct through many scientific investigations on the gene factor which has been proved to be hereditary. The scientists through an extensive research came through the argument about race by providing data on the information that exist regarding race. The biological data on the factor of race has allowed various individuals to come up with different views. Some of the people claiming that race is the social constraint while other says that race is a reality and it exists. The argument about its existence and exact definition has been countered with various points from various social constraints. However, through science, some have understood the notion that race is just a continental difference.

Work cited

Nelson, Alondra. “Bio science: Genetic genealogy testing and the pursuit of African ancestry.” Social Studies of Science 38.5 (2008): 759-783.

Condit, Celeste M. “Race and genetics from a modal materialist perspective.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 94.4 (2008): 383-406.

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