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Race Differences: A Very Brief Review

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


Published: 2019/12/01


The nature of race differences, and even the mere “existence” of human races, continues to be a major source of controversy and confusion. This brief review summarizes the empirical evidence about race differences and the conceptual issues related to taxonomy, as well as practical implications for medicine and the social sciences. The review shows that human races are distinctive phenotypically and genotypically, the latter with regard to the frequencies of a very large number (millions) of alleles. Distributions of these traits are clinal rather than discrete, and human races are subject to continuous change across evolutionary time.

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