It’s a reasonably obvious concept that offspring resemble their parents. The question that scientists had been trying to answer for centuries was: how? In his work on pea plants, ‘Father of Genetics,’ Gregor Mendel observed that there are environmental factors which influence the expression of certain traits (Saraswathy and Ramalingam 14). This was an important discovery because prior to Mendel’s work on pea plants, it was widely believed and accepted by scientists that inheritance was described by blending.
The relationship between race and genetics is relevant regarding the multi-century long controversy which concerns race classification. In the PBS TV Series Race: The Power of an Illusion, race is interpreted as “a concept that was invented to categorize the perceived biological, social, and cultural differences between human groups” (Episode 1). To sum this up, race is a human invention. However, as a concept, race does categorize biological differences. For example, there is a mother and father, both of mixed race, and they have twins that visibly appear to be different races. However, as dizygotic sororal twins, they share 50% of their DNA. Nonetheless, they would be categorized as “white” and “black” due to their appearance. The problem with the relationship between race and genetics is that the concept of race being manipulated as a form of categorization is inherently fallacious. This manipulation is advanced by bigotry and social structures which served as the basis of scientific understanding of race.
Pounder, C C. H, Larry Adelman, Jean Cheng, Christine Herbes-Sommers, Tracy H. Strain, Llewellyn Smith, and Claudio Ragazzi. Race: The Power of an Illusion, Episode 1: The Differences Between Us. San Francisco, Calif: California Newsreel, 2003.
Saraswathy, N. and Ramalingam, P. Concepts and Techniques in Genomics and Proteomics. Woodhead, 2016.
Wade, Lisa. “”Black and White Twins” and the Social Construction of Race.” Sociological Images, The Society Pages, 1 Aug. 2014, thesocietypages.org/socimages/2014/08/01/black-and-white-twins/.