1. All humans living today
belong to a single species, Homo sapiens, and share a common descent.
All living geographical populations have evolved from that common
ancestral group for the same amount of time.
Much of the biological
variation among populations involves modest degrees of variation in the
frequency of shared traits. Human populations have at times been
isolated, but have never genetically diverged enough to produce any
barriers to interbreeding.
2. Biological differences
between human beings reflect both hereditary factors and the influence
of natural and social environments. In most cases, these differences are
due to the interaction of both. The degree to which environment or
heredity affects any particular trait varies greatly.
3. There is great genetic
diversity within all human populations. Pure races in the sense of
genetically homogeneous populations do not exist in the human species,
nor is there evidence that they have ever existed in the past history of
the human family.
4. There are obvious
physical differences between all populations living in different
geographical parts of the world. Some of these differences are strongly
inherited and others, such as body size and shape, are strongly
influenced by nutrition, way of life and other aspects of the
environment. Genetic differences between populations commonly consist of
differences in the frequency with which the same hereditary characters
occur in various populations.
5. For centuries, scholars
have sought comprehend patterns in nature by classifying living things
The only living species in the human family, Homo sapiens, has become a
highly diversified global array of populations. The geographic pattern
of genetic variation within this array is complex, and presents no major
discontinuity. Humanity cannot be classified into discrete geographic
categories. Furthermore, the complexities of human history make it
difficult to determine the position of certain groups in
classifications. Multiplying sub-categories cannot correct the
inadequacies of these classifications. Generally, the traits used to
characterize a population either are independently inherited or show
only varying degrees of association with one another within each
population. Therefore, the combination of these traits in most
individuals does not correspond to any typological racial
characterizations. This fact renders untenable the idea of discrete
races made up chiefly of typical representatives.
6. In humankind as well as
in other animals, the genetic composition of each population is subject
over time to the modifying influence of diverse factors. These include
natural selection, tending towards adaptation to the environment;
mutations involving modifications of genetic material; and random
changes in the frequencies of genetic characteristics. The human
characteristics which have a universal biological value for the survival
of the species are not found more frequently in one population than in
any other. Therefore it is not possible from the biological point of
view to speak in any way whatsoever of a general inferiority or
superiority of this or that 'race'.
7. The human species has a
past rich in migrations, in territorial expansions and in contractions
As a consequence, we are adapted to many of the earth's environments in
general but to none in particular. For many millennia, human progress in
any field has been based an culture and not on genetic improvement.
Mating between members of
different human groups tends to mitigate acquired differences, and has
played a very important role in human history. Wherever different human
populations have come in contact, they have interbred. The obstacles to
such interbreeding have been social and cultural, not biological. The
global process of urbanization, coupled with intercontinental
migrations, has the potential to reduce the differences among all human
8. Partly as a result of
interbreeding, the hereditary characteristics of human populations are
in a state of perpetual flux and distinctive local populations are
continually coming into and passing out of existence. Such populations
cannot in any way be compared to breeds of domestic animals, which have
been produced by artificial selection for specific human purposes.
9. It has never been shown
that interbreeding has biological disadvantages for humanity as a whole.
The biological consequences of a marriage depend only on the individual
genetic make-up of the couple and not on their race. Therefore, no
biological justification exists for prohibiting intermarriage between
persons of different 'racial' classifications.
10. There is no necessary
concordance between biological characteristics and culturally defined
groups. On every continent, there are diverse populations that differ in
language, economy, and culture. There is no national, religious,
geographic, linguistic, cultural group, or economic class that
constitutes a race. However, human beings who speak the same language
and share the same culture frequently select each other as mates, with
the result that there is often some degree of correspondence between the
distribution of physical traits on the one hand, and that of linguistic
and cultural traits on the other. But there is no known causal linkage
between these physical and behavioral traits, and therefore it is not
justifiable to attribute cultural characteristics to the influence of
11. Physical, cultural, and
social environments influence the behavioral differences among
individuals in society. Although heredity influences the behavioral
variability of individuals within a given population, it does not affect
the ability of any such population to function in a social setting. The
genetic capacity for intellectual development is one of the biological
traits of our species essential for its survival. This genetic capacity
is known to differ among individuals. The peoples of the world today
appear to possess equal biological potential for assimilating any human
culture. Hereditary potentials for overall intelligence and cultural
development do not appear to differ among modern human populations, and
there is no hereditary justification for considering one population
superior to another. Racist political doctrines find no foundation in
scientific knowledge concerning modern or past human populations.