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date: 18 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Recent developments in molecular genetics have given us much information about DNA markers and a detailed look at evolutionary causes of genetic variation in humans. Patterns of genetic variation within populations and genetic differences among populations is best understood in light of our species’ African origin 200,000 years ago and the subsequent dispersion of human populations throughout the world 70,000 to 100,000 years ago. Although an evolutionary focus on genetic variation using methods from the field of population genetics provides us with considerable insight regarding our history, older ideas based on traditional definitions of biological race have no explanatory value.

Keywords: biological anthropology, genetic variation, DNA, modern human origins, population genetics

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