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2010 | 59 | 1-2 | 251-256
Article title

Co jest ewolucyjnym dziedzictwem człowieka: rasy czy rasizm?

Title variants
The human evolutionary legacy: races or racism?
Languages of publication
Owing to their morphological homogeneity and limited mobility people, for thousands years of their existence, had no reason to seek (and classify) biological discontinuities in their species. This began to change when technological progress made possible contacts between ever more distant populations. To describe the revealed diversity physical anthropology, originating as an independent discipline in the 18th century, co-opted the term race (used to describe breeds of domestic animals) and applied it to varieties of the human species. Soon race came to be regarded as a core concept of the discipline instead of simply a hypothesis able to be investigated empirically. Racial typology (assigning human individuals into discrete racial types) gained widespread currency at the very beginning of the 19th century and dominated the study of human variation up to the second half of the 20th century. By the mid-20th century, with the formulation of a synthetic theory of evolution, the debate on race had taken on completely different dimension. Scientific factors now included new linkages of concept and data as evidenced by Livingstone's research on cilines, Lewontin's studies on inter- and intrapopulational allele variation and Templeton's investigation of the evolutionary genetics of race. Problems of perceived racism, however, led many anthropologists to carefully examine these new data and to recognize that the concept of relatively homogenous and separate populations (races in populational sense) lacked both validity and utility.
Physical description
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