“The Human Race vs. Races of Humans: Facts and Fantasies about Genes and Evolution”

The Origins Science Scholars series continues Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a talk on race by Isaiah Nengo, associate director of Turkana Basin Institute. Held in the Tinkham Veale University Center ballroom, Nengo’s talk is titled “The Human Race vs. Races of Humans: Facts and Fantasies about Genes and Evolution.”

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with cookies and coffee, Nengo will present his talk at 6 p.m. and a dinner and a Q&A session will follow at 7 p.m.

About the talk

What does race mean? Are cultural notions about it firmly rooted in biology, especially genetics, or is race primarily a social construction built on a few superficial characteristics superimposed on societal shortcomings, like inequality and xenophobia? Are subspecies in other animals genetically equivalent to human races? Should fossil forms like Neanderthals be considered different species, or are they biological races distinct from what should properly be considered the one single modern human race alive today? Nengo, a paleobiologist originally hailing from the Luo culture in Kenya, came to the U.S. for a PhD at Harvard University and has stayed ever since, giving him a unique vantage point on this issue. He will lead attendees through one of the thorniest puzzles confronting humankind today.

Series details

The Siegal Lifelong Learning and the Institute for the Science of Origins—a partnership of several northeast Ohio research and educational institutions led by Case Western Reserve University—host the Origins Science Scholars series, which will run on Tuesdays through Nov. 13.

During this program, community members engage with one another and with leading scholars to investigate rapidly developing areas of origins science. Each evening features a presentation by a world–class researcher.

The event will cost $43 for members of the Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program and $50 for all others.

Register on the Origins Science Scholars website.

For more information, contact Patricia Princehouse at 440.478.5292 or evolution@case.edu.