Race: The Power of An Illusion

I very recently discovered this fascinating 3-part documentary about race in society, science & history, which asks quite a compelling question – how valid are your beliefs about the human species? This is a PBS documentary, which I’ve just ordered, but have already read a lot about on their website.

Some of the many major concepts that are explored in detail: Race is a modern idea. Ancient societies did not divide people according to physical differences, but according to religion, status, class, even language. Race has no genetic basis. Not one characteristic, trait or gene distinguishes all members of one so-called race from all members of another so-called race. Skin color is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently of one another. The genes for skin color have nothing to do with genes for hair texture, eye shape. blood type, musical talent, or athletic ability. Most variation is within, not between “races”. Of the small amount of total human genetic variation, 85% exists within any local population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans, or Cherokees. Two random Koreans are likely to be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian. There is a great more to learn in this series, and I’m quite excited to have found it!! For as much as I read about this subject, I was surprised to have never heard of this amazing documentary. If you are already familiar with this series, I’d love to hear about it…

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