1165 København K
Foredrag — Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Professor of Humanities, University of California, Santa Cruz discusses the relevance of Lewontin's classic paper to ongoing genomic studies of human diversity, and to philosophical investigations of the reality (or not) of the contested category of race.
Date & Time:
Nørre Campus, Universitetsparken 15, Bygning 1, Auditorium A
Department of Biology (host Jes Søe Pedersen) and Department of Science Education (host Claus Emmeche)
Richard C. Lewontin was arguably the most influential evolutionary biologist of the second half of the 20th century. What exactly were the data, methodology, and results of Lewontin’s influential 1972 article “The Apportionment of Human Diversity”?
This lecture reviews the 17 genes, 169 global populations, and mathematical population genetic theory Lewontin drew on in calculating Lewontin’s Distribution, which – correctly (re)calculated – states that approximately and on average 86% of genetic variation in Homo sapiens is among individuals within populations (e.g., Icelanders, Yanomama, Zulu), 7% is found across populations within continental regions (for example, Kikuyu, Tutsi, Zulu), and 7% is found across continental regions, or across “races” (i.e., Africans, Europeans, East Asians, Indigenous Americans, and three others).
The metrics and models, ontological assumptions, calculation errors, and significant ironies of Lewontin’s technical, conceptual, and ethical analyses are explored (Winther 2022).
The relevance of his classic 1972 article to ongoing genomic studies of human diversity, and to philosophical investigations of the reality (or not) of the contested category of race, will also be surveyed.