en
Scientific article
Open access
English

The racist origins, racialist connotations, and purity assumptions of the concept of “admixture” in human evolutionary genetics

Published inGenetics, vol. 223, no. 3
Publication date2023-03-01
First online date2023-01-27
Abstract

The concept of admixture is currently widely being used, both in population genetics research and in DNA ancestry testing discourse. It is assumed to describe the process of gene flow between 2 previously distinct populations that eventually become admixed because of this flow. The concept per se does not require pure or unadmixed populations; the changes are relative and what matters is the level of admixture before and after the event under consideration. However, in this paper, we argue that the concept of admixture as currently used assumes the existence of pure or unadmixed categories. These do not need to have actually existed but to be able to exist in principle. We argue that this is a problematic notion that accrues from the racialist origins of the term admixture, which, as a result, is based on assumptions about purity. We suggest that scientists should be very cautious in their use of this term, especially in science education and communication. We also suggest that the term admixture should be better replaced by terms denoting similarity rather than difference.

eng
Keywords
  • Admixture
  • Ancestry
  • Ethnicity
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Population genetics
  • Purity
  • Race
  • Racialism
  • Racism
Citation (ISO format)
KAMPOURAKIS, Kostas, PETERSON, Erik L. The racist origins, racialist connotations, and purity assumptions of the concept of “admixture” in human evolutionary genetics. In: Genetics, 2023, vol. 223, n° 3. doi: 10.1093/genetics/iyad002
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0016-6731
25views
2downloads

Technical informations

Creation11/06/2023 2:16:37 PM
First validation11/17/2023 1:36:52 PM
Update time11/17/2023 1:36:52 PM
Status update11/17/2023 1:36:52 PM
Last indexation05/06/2024 5:23:33 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack