Could the world eventually become one race through the interbreeding of races over time?

611 views

Genetically speaking is it possible? I would like to know more about how dom/recess genes work with skin complexion as i’m just basing this question on the layman’s observation that interracial couples produce mixed childen whose skin complexion lies somewhere between the two.. This would also be assuming an idealistic future world society millions of years down the road whose moralities have progressed past all prejudice/racism/tribalism due to globalization/integration/social reform.

In: Biology

Yes, and no.

In a perfect scenario where everyone interbred equally you could achieve this.

However, in practice, even just two communities who live in different environments and do not interbreed equally will eventually grow to have different genetic developments that are specific to their situation.

This will become a much larger problem once we colonize space. The reality is that, without FTL, *Humanity* might be sending out the colonization ships, but it sure won’t be Humanity who will colonize those stellar bodies when they arrive. Throw a few ten thousand years over it and those people will have evolved in way different ways.

The short answer is yes.

The slightly longer answer is yes, we are not really divided into races in a biological sense as it is.

The long answer includes an explanation of how skin color genes work, and how human migration history and environment together explain why people look different in different areas of the planet.

I don’t have time now but will come back later if you don’t get a long answer from someone else. As an evolutionary biologist I feel obliged to provide one but not now.

Yes. Technically we are already one race. The biological differences between what we refer to as “races” are so minor and negligible that there is no scientific basis for differentiating them. That’s what people mean when they say that “race” is a cultural construct.

But when it comes to those minor biological differences, like skin tone, even they will blend together with time, assuming enough interbreeding happens. There is actually already a sort of prototype for this: [Brazil](https://www.livescience.com/34228-will-humans-eventually-all-look-like-brazilians.html). Almost half of Brazil’s population is a mix between European, African, and Amerindian ancestry.

Race is an imagined and completely superficial construct anyways. It’s literally only skin deep.

Becoming one race is more about changing attitudes and how we treat each other. At some point, the skin color someone has should become as irrelevant as the color of their eyes or whether they’re left or right handed, both things that have been used as the justification for discrimination less than 100 years ago.

People who discriminate on skin color will find something else to focus their hatred on anyways. Haters gonna hate. Doesn’t mean you have to be one.

I’m gonna go ahead and say *no*.

The results of population combo’s like the Metis will, after a certain population size is reached, often just form their own community instead of assimilating into either parent group, and even then those can be subdivided by origin and location. On the other end of the scale you have populations like Japanese Brazillians who are still mostly Japanese culturally and genetically despite being up to half a dozen generations out from immigration and are increasingly distinct from Japan’s native population. Which will of course bring up populations like the Ainu that show that native populations can and will remain distinct despite heavy social pressure and a fairly small area. Which we can use to loop back around to the Saami who maintain their own ethnic, linguistic, and cultural identity within Europe despite never having been a continual nation or unified people. Which will bring us to Kurdistan. Which can bring us to a million other groups around the world.

More people moving has traditionally just meant more separate groups forming. The idea of a unified national identity or broad overarching racial identity as Americans understand it only really happens when a state or civil authority works to make it happen. Even if we were all the same shade of brown we’d just divide based on other ethnographic or cultural lines.

This is much more of a cultural question than a biological one. Race is very difficult to define scientifically. For example, SPECIES is quite easy to define: “the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction”. Homo sapiens is a species. We cannot reproduce sexually with chimpanzees.

Race is not so easy to define scientifically. It is something that is mostly defined culturally. Seems that part of human behavior is to create meaningful categories that have assigned values. Skin tone sometimes. Accent sometimes. Language sometimes. Shape of nose sometimes. It seems unlikely that humans will ever be able to overcome this.

We’re already one race, but yes. Eventually, at some point, we’re all going to be basically one general shade with some mild variation. And eventually even those variations will be negligible.

That’s how genetics work.

Haven’t you seen this south park?

It’s physically possible but it’s not going to happen. And if it did it wouldn’t change anything. And it would only take a few ten thousand years for the so called races to diverge again. Look at the aboriginies. They look that way because they were isolated genetically from the rest of the species for tens of thousands of years and so they changed.

People already find differences within their races enough that it’s still tribalism or “racism”.

People will always be tribalistic. It’s not going anywhere.

How much variety we have is a balance between selection pressure and intermixing.

When you have an isolated population (no intermixing) subject to strong selection pressure (like the freezing weather in northern Europe), that population adapts to those selection pressures (like getting white skin and growing more body hair). This results in more variety.

There’s not really any selection pressure anymore (at least for particular traits rather that just general health), as we have all sorts of technology and dominate our environment. There’s also a lot of mixing due to easy global travel and fewer people caring about interracial marriage. The variety we previously had tends to average out.

So yes – without any evolutionary force making us different, and with more mixing than any point in history, humans will continue to mix. Any scenario that changes this would not be good… Think apocalypse type stuff.