Blog Three – Population Biology

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) and American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) post were both interesting but AAA article stood out most for me. One of the lines that stuck out the greatest for me was how “historical research has shown that the idea of “race” has always carried more meaning than mere physical changes.” It has always blown my mind that people consider someone else different just because of their skin color. The paragraph also went on to say how the only reason race was established was to distinguish between the populations that were being brought to colonial America. It was also astonishing to read that science has proven that there is a greater variation within racial group that between them.

Last semester I took an Anthropology class called Race, Ethnicity, and Nation and it was very fascinating. We talked and covered a lot about what the reading are this week. One of the first things we talked about was Forensic Anthropologist and their concept of race. A lot of what we covered was in the reading “Forensic Anthropology and the concept of race: if race doesn’t exist, why are forensic anthropologists so good at identifying them?” When it comes to race within this job, it can be a very important determining factor. When a forensic anthropologist is identifying human bones it can be very useful to know the descent or race of the remains to help lead to an identification. The use of race is this situation or similar situations helps narrow down the search, which I believe to be helpful. If two extremely similar people, one black and one white, went missing one of the simplest ways to identify them correctly would be to discover their race. This should be the only time race is the determining factor for something.

Race is an idea used in all cultures, all around the world. For many people they identify themselves as their race and it can also be a bonding mechanism in many communities. Race is something that only exists because we let it. Generations pass on certain views to their children, which are then consistently passed down. Making it hard for the idea of race to not exist. I was very fortunate in my life to have parents that never looked at someone different because of their skin color and my siblings and I were raised to do the same. I grew up in an all white community but my parents made sure during the summer I spent time outside out town to experience all the different cultures around us. Race is just something humans make up to differentiate ourselves from others but scientifically there is not that big of a difference. Many years ago and even now the color of your skin defined whom you are and what you were worth. Not because of how smart or skilled you were but just because of the color on your body. Unfortunately, this mind set is something I believe will never stop. At least not in my life time.

One thought on “Blog Three – Population Biology

  1. Hi,
    I really liked how you incorporated the class you took last semester into your blog post. We all have to read the same article for this class so it was refreshing to hear new information that is relevant to this course as well . I liked when you said that it is helpful for anthropologists to know the descent or race because it will help them identify the individual. I especially liked that you used the word descent, because it is so much more appropriate than race, since we now know that race is a socially constructed concept and not biologically recognized. Sadly I too believe that in our lifetime we will always know and be aware of “race”. I think it is an issue that will always exist and the magnitude of the issue will be affected by the social climate of the time that we live in.

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