DeSalle and Tattersall argue that taxonomy, the scientific classification of organisms, provides an antidote to the myth of race's biological basis. They explain how taxonomists do their science--how to identify a species and to understand the relationships among different species and the variants within them. DeSalle and Tattersall also detail the use of genetic data to trace human origins and look at how scientists have attempted to recognize discrete populations within Homo sapiens. Troublesome Science demonstrates conclusively that modern genetic tools, when applied correctly to the study of human variety, fail to find genuine differences. While the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any systematic attempt to recognize discrete units within it. The stark lines that humans insist on drawing between their own groups and others are nothing but a mixture of imagination and ideology. Troublesome Science is an important call for researchers, journalists, and citizens to cast aside the belief that race has a biological meaning, for the sake of social justice and sound science alike.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of pages: 216
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Troublesome Science provides one of the most lucid expositions in the scientific literature of how taxonomies of human populations have developed--and most important, the authors use this explication to take us on a fascinating 200,000-year journey to demonstrate the flaws in any attempt to use a genetic boundary for racial categories.--Troy Duster, Chancellor's Professor at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Backdoor to Eugenics
In Troublesome Science, DeSalle and Tattersall tackle the contentious and important subject of human genetic diversity and its relationship to the definition of human groups. This bold, beautiful, thorough, and up-to-date demolition of the biological concept of race is based on excellent history and the latest science. Think of this clearly written and approachable book as a user's guide to your own DNA and ancestry.--Nina G. Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology, associate director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
Troublesome Science provides a deeper analysis than one usually finds in discussions of racial classifications. It brings clarity to the field of systematics and in so doing reveals the hollowness of claims to the scientific legitimacy of race. Clear, assertive, and well argued, it demonstrates that scientific taxonomy cannot draw racial boundaries in human populations from genetic-clustering studies. More than a takedown of a popular journalistic account, it is an important contribution to our understanding of the science behind the classification of species and subspecies.--Sheldon Krimsky, author of Stem Cell Dialogues: A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers
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