Racial Classification of Yesterday and Today, Essay Example

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In early history, scientists investigated studies of human biological diversity in two different ways. They were racial classification and the current approach, which focuses more on the differences between separate groups of individuals. Race has historically been defined as a group of populations that share some of the same biological characteristics. Thus, it is difficult to divide humans into a specific race and really it always has been. There has and always will be a certain level of duplicity in genetics between different people groups and this will cause it to become impossible to divide these groups into separate races.

The main classification of race today with Westerners is by placing people into groups based on their skin color. Anthropologists feel this is not a good classification system because a person classified to be ‘white’ actually does not have white skin, but a much pinker shade. The same goes for a person who is considered ‘black’. They do not have black skin, but several varying shades of brown. Also, a person of African descent might be the same color shade as a person of Asian descent. How can this person be classified in color?

Other traits such as the texture of a group’s hair or the shape of their face have been used to classify them into different races. This method has not been successful either. Anthropologists are more interested today with taking a people group’s similarities, such as in the second differentiations method, and using them to differentiate as much as possible from another people group’s similarities. This will help us all better understand and predict trends and traits for whatever happens in the future.

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