The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 26, 2019

Philosophy and Race

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
Pages 135-151

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Population Genomics of Homo sapiens
Origins, Race, and Medicine

It is important to understand the science underlying philosophical debates. In particular, careful reflection is needed on the scientific study of the origins of Homo sapiens, the division of current human populations into ethnicities, populations, or races, and the potential impact of genomics on personalized medicine. Genomic approaches to the origins and divisions of our species are among the most multi-dimensional areas of contemporary science, combining mathematical modeling, computer science, medicine, bioethics, and philosophy of biology. The best evidence suggests that we are a young species, with a cradle in Africa. While prejudice, misunderstanding, and violence grow in many corners of the world, our best genomic science suggests a deep biological connection among all peoples.