Articles Highlight Different Views on Genetic Basis of Race
The New York Times
October 27, 2004
By NICHOLAS WADE
A difference of opinion about the genetic basis of race has emerged between scientists at the National Human Genome Center at Howard University and some other geneticists. At issue is whether race is a useful signpost to tracking down the genes that cause disease, given that certain diseases are more common in some populations than others.
In articles in the current issue of the journal Nature Genetics, scientists at Howard, a center of African-American scholarship, generally favor the view that there is no biological or genetic basis for race. “Observed
patterns of geographical differences in genetic information do not correspond to our notion of social identities,
including ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity,’ ” writes Dr. Charles N. Rotimi, acting director of the university’s genome center.