The Colour Argument – Race you to the Top?

From William Saletan at Slate

“If you want to know why I keep writing about this subject, there’s your answer. I’m staring over your shoulder at an oncoming train. It starts with genomic differentiation of populations around the world, and that’s just the locomotive. If you turn around and look, you’ll see that the first few cars are already in view: genes that affect mental traits, genes that affect abilities, and variations between populations in the prevalence of these genes. No genetically distinguishable population will be spared. We’re sitting in the path of this train, tied to the tracks by a literalist conception of equality that can’t accept hereditary differences between group averages.”
In the field where I work, the term “race” does not refer to the colour of the skin or the ethnic group with whom you identify. A “white” person or a “black” person is not defined by his/her self proclaimed ethnicity. Ancestry Information Markers (AIMs) are the way to go in population genetics. But their use too has limits on interpretation. We have to find a way to integrate the two views about race, and racial differences. They are both identifiers of our sense of belonging – one is not greater than the other. Which one do we use? YOU decide, and that will frame your debate.