Race Without Color

For much better current resources, see Teaching Race Anthropologically, which supersedes “Race Without Color” and please consider the political implications described in Social Construction of Race = Conservative Goldmine.

This is a 15-slide presentation on “Race Without Color” by Jared Diamond, using the version in the 9th edition of Applying Anthropology: An Introductory Reader. Please click on this link for a free download: Race Without Color.

After many years appearing in the Applying Anthropology series, Jared Diamond’s “Race Without Color” is not included in the 2012 and most recent 10th edition of Applying Anthropology. In a very welcome improvement, the 10th edition anthrologizes Clarence Gravlee’s fantastic article How Race Becomes Biology: Embodiment of Social Inequality.

Therefore, as of 2012, I consider Diamond’s “Race Without Color” article to be entirely superseded for anthropology courses. I include this PowerPoint for people who may use older editions of Applying Anthropology or who want to use the freely available article from Discover 1994: Race Without Color.

Diamond’s “Race without Color” encapsulated what became the best race debunking available from 1960-2000: that most race traits are clinal and subject to independent recombination, not appearing as a concordant package.

However, since 2000 the people behind the Race Revival, Attacking Anthropology on Race have tried to trash articles like Diamond’s. Following Lewontin’s Fallacy (Edwards 2003) and especially the 2005 New York Times Op-Ed A Family Tree in Every Gene by Armand Marie Leroi, it is no longer acceptable to cite Diamond–or even Lewontin–as definitively disproving biological race groupings (see the comments in Mismeasuring Gould in the “Mismeasure of Science”). Instead, it is necessary to investigate more contemporary critiques, such as discussed in Race Reconciled Re-Debunks Race.

This PowerPoint presentation does not go into the 2000-2010 material, and instead opts for a straightforward presentation of Diamond as de-bunking race. I leave it up to the professor to decide what level of detail to discuss the race revival.


To cite: Antrosio, Jason. 2011. “Race Without Color by Jared Diamond.” Living Anthropologically website, https://livinganthropologically.com/race-without-color/. First posted 22 August 2011. Revised 21 September 2017.