Facing Up to Neanderthals


  • John Hartigan Jr. Temple University Press




I open by thanking Terence Keel both for inviting me to participate in this dialogue and for so effectively framing two distinct stances on how to understand the role of race in human genetics research today. This discussion is important to critical assessments of racial thinking—its depth and breadth in contemporary societies—but also to encouraging a correct understanding of genes and risk factors related to disease more broadly. For the sake of debate, I first elaborate on the position I have taken in critiquing social constructivist claims about race, then offer my thoughts on how an attention to Neanderthals provides a broader understanding of racial thinking as it pertains to the question of variation within a species.