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Should we rely on science to understand race?

The Prime Directive

Tim Wise debunks the “race realists” and makes a point which may be tough to swallow for the New Atheists: that we shouldn’t solely rely on scientists to tell us what is moral and ethical, or to inform our views on race. Science, like any other endeavor, is ultimately always ideologically motivated, and so are we, so there’s no reason to let scientists’ bias trump over ours.

Does this mean that race is real? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. It certainly means that there are persistent and real genetic differences that cluster within so-called racial groups, and more so than many have heretofore believed. Yet these differences still fall far short of indicating sub-speciation, which is the normal standard used by biologists to indicate different “races” or breeds of a larger species. And this research, however interesting, did suggest that the DNA differences discovered (which were distinct…

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