For the longest time, scientists – and everyone else – thought that humans were divided into biological races. But contemporary studies of human genetic diversity show that human variation is continuous and that we do not divide into races. The idea of races fails to capture the wonderful complexity of human diversity.

In these pages, we outline four reasons race is not in the genes: evolution vs. typology, continuous variation, non-concordance, and the structure of human variation.

Evolution, Yes. Typology, No.

Evolution, Yes. Typology, No.

Evolution explains human variation. Race is static and can not explain how variation arises.

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Continuous Variation

Continuous Variation

There are no clear dividing lines between where one race begins and another ends. Humans vary continuously.

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Race Is Skin Deep

Race is Skin Deep

Knowing someone’s skin color does not tell us about their other traits. In general, knowing one trait tells us little about other traits.

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Race Does Not Explain Variation

Race Does Not Explain Variation

Human variation is local rather than racial. Variation among ground is a function of their geographic distance. Location, not race, is what best explains variation.

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