One of my convictions, learned over decades of working in this niche, is that both Christian faith and modern science have much to contribute to most pressing issues of our day, including race.
Race & Science
Humans share 99.9% of the same genetic material, regardless of complexion or other physical features. There is no genetic sequence that can be used to identify racial groups. Biological anthropologist Agustin Fuentes explains what we know about race and genetics and that race remains real not as a biological category but as a social one.
In his work to understand health disparity, geneticist Rich Kittles helps us to understand race in terms of biology, social construction and public health category in this TEDx Talk. In doing so, he unpacks what we now about ancestry, a more adequate category for understanding health differences among populations.
“Today, the mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning. And yet, you might still open a study on genetics in a major scientific journal and find categories like “white” and “black” being used as biological variables.” This article goes on to detail how scientists are pursuing new, more accurate categories based on geography and ancestry.
What does it mean to be human? Should we focus on what makes us unique or what makes us similar? This 9-minute video from Science for Seminaries looks at paleontology, modern genetics, and the fossil record and suggests that our journey to becoming human has the potential to tear down walls of division and give reason to celebrate the unity and diversity of human beings.
What does race mean socially and genetically? How does it matter and not matter in the fields of genetics and medicine? And how does all of it inform our purusit of God? Georgia Mae Dunston, professor of human immunogenetics and founding director of the National Human Genome Center at Howard University shares her research.