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Race is the distinct biological adaptions of an individual that differentiates people groups in society, however, race is not inherently genetic. Due to genetic diversity occurring more within than between, race is still not an accurate way of pinning down a particular genetic code (Jurmain 315). These phenotypic variations, differences that we can visually see (skin color, eye color, body, face, and head shape, etc.), are determined geographically and by the environment. Natural selection played a part in the visual ombré of geographical clines. For example, dark-skinned individuals have adapted to living near the equator where ultraviolet rays are the most intense. Those with light skin live in areas with less exposure to ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D production, stimulated by ultraviolet rays, is essential for human life. Geographical skin color plays a role in the way an individual successfully produces and absorbs vitamin D therefore natural selection occurs. These differences are not “racial” but precisely biological adaptions stemming from the effect that particular environment had on the physiological body (Jurmain 315). While adaption, such as darkened/lightened skin, may be long term, tanning of the skin is short term. Anthropologists call this short-term adjustment acclimatization (Kellar 5). Ethnicity is often a term mistaken with “race”. Instead, ethnicity is a social construct not determined by biology or genetics and is the intentional segregation of people groups. People use this as a way to distinguish themselves through values, food, language, etc. While the word “race” when talking about segregation is touchy, the word “ethnicity” as a form of segregation is generally more acceptable across the globe.

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Works Cited
Jurmain, Robert, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan, and Eric J. Bartelink. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. 10th ed. Australia: Cengage Learning, 2017.
Kellar, Brenda. “Modern Human Variation and Population Genetics.” Oregon State University. Reading presented at Oregon State University Ecampus, October 12, 2020.

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