Is Race a Biological Concept?

Lab 6: Is Race a Biological Concept?

30 Points

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Part 1: The Illusion of Skin Color (Dr. Nina Jablonski)


  1. What is the function of UVB? (1pt)




  1. What role has melanin played in human evolution? (1pt)





  1. What is the evolutionary explanation for skin color variation among populations around the world? (3pts)






  1. Many people live under UV conditions to which they are poorly adapted, what are the consequences for their health? (2pts)






Part 2: Modern Human Variation and Race  (Gravlee, 2009)

  1. How does geographic difference relate to genetic difference? (1pt)



  1. What is the central argument of Gravlee (2009) (3pts)?


  1. What factors influence biological correlates of race—e.g. racial inequalities in health? (2pts)







Part 3: Other Discussion Questions

(Use what you have learned from assigned videos & readings)

  1. If racial classifications do not coincide with genetic variation, why does race persist as a concept? (3pts)





  1. What other term can be used to describe variation in features among human populations? Think about ways that we could determine differences in peoples’ lives that does not rely on race. (2pts)




  1. What is epigenetics? And, how do you think epigenetics intersects with race? (4pts)





  1. Byrd & Hughey (2015) use the terms biological determinism and racial essentialism. After reading this article, what is your understanding of what these terms mean? (2pts)


  1. Is race, or rather skin pigmentation, representative of a person’s ancestry? Why or why not? (3pts)




Explain what gene x environment (GxE) interactions are and how your group believes they relate to race. Use Byrd & Hughey (201

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