In this particular piece, I will give a general view of evolution and race.
In evolutionary biology, it is a general principle that when populations of species become isolated from another, they evolve into two or more subspecies.
They typically termed as strains, breeds, or varieties.
For humans, these different characteristics are called races.
Different characteristics evolve from a result of four processes of founder effects, genetic drift, mutation, and adaptation.
A founder effect is when a population splits and one group migrates to a new territory to form a new population; the group will not be genetically identical to the one left behind. Hence the groups differ.
Genetic drift effect is when gene frequencies change over time to some extent as a matter of change, and this leads to differences between populations.
The mutation effect is that new alleles ( an allele is several forms of a gene) appear through chance in some populations and, if they are advantageous for survival and reproduction, will gradually spread through the population.
Individuals that possess beneficial alleles in a new environment will have more surviving offspring, so their alleles will be selected and spread throughout the population. The varieties of several species that evolved as adaptations when migrated into arctic environments are as follows: foxes, bears, and hares, they evolved white fur to give them camouflage to avoid being seen by predators or prey.
In these cases, mutations for white fur appeared and spread throughout their population because of the selective advantage.
This relates to humans because of the different isolated populations that evolved overtime that developed dissimilar alleles.
Masatoshi Nei (1993), Director of the Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, developed a new method of classifying humans into races by a number of genetic polymorphisms ( meaning that a gene has more than one allele). It takes a number of polymorphic genes for blood groups, blood proteins, lymphocyte antigens, and immunoglobins, and tabulate the different allele frequencies in populations.
The purpose is to find which form clusters of the population that are genetically similar to one another. In Nei’s data, they found 26 different populations which have been analyzed by Jensen (1998) to show six major groups of humans that correspond closely to the races.
They are in these categories:
1.Africans of sub-Saharan Africa
The same technique was used by Cavlli-Sforza (1994) to analyze a larger data set of 120 alleles for 42 populations.
They group these populations into “clusters.”
The 10 significant clusters are as follows:
1. Bushmen and Pygmies
2. sub-Saharan Africans
3. South Asians and North Africans
5. East Asians
6. Arctic Peoples
7. Native American Indians
8. Southeast Asians
9. Pacific Islanders
10. Australian Aborigines and Aboriginal New Guineans.
This classification is close to the racial taxonomies of what classical anthropologist based on visible characteristics such as color of skin, hair, eyes, body shape.
The composition has proven that race is not a social construct, but a biological one. It also shows that different populations have different alleles that are dissimilar and similar of partitions in the human species.