These explorations are intended to expand your understanding of the nature of modern human biological variation around the world today. Use your favorite Internet search programs to roam around the World Wide Web and discover what other people who have interest in these subjects have said to explain and support their views. Seek out reliable, factual sources. Do not stop at just two or three. It is worth the extra time to thoroughly research these questions and get views on all sides of the issues.
Questions to Explore
Search the Internet for examples of genetically inherited human traits that have a discontinuous distribution around the world today. What are some of these traits? What are the patterns of their distribution? Describe the evidence.
Search the Internet for examples of the U.S. government's current use of the typological model for classifying people into "races". What are the categories of people that are defined? Are some categories subdivided into smaller groups? If so, which ones? Why? What has the American Anthropological Association said about the U.S. government's use of "racial" categories? (HINT: the U.S. Census Bureau is a good place to start your search, but don't stop there.)
Search the Internet for information about the global distribution of Rh and other blood type systems not described in this tutorial. What are the broad outlines of these distributions--what regions are high or low? Are these distribution patterns similar to those for the ABO blood types or skin color? What are the implications?
Help Getting Started
If you have not been satisfied with the search programs that you have used in the past, try one of the following. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, none of them can link you to everything available on the Web today because of the rapid growth of sites and the way search engines selectively exclude certain kinds of sites.
Old Standby General
If you don't have success searching with these programs, take a look at the Related Internet Links section of this tutorial.
CAUTION: In doing your searches, keep in mind that not everything on the Web is accurate, current, or true. To help discover which sites can be trusted and which ones cannot, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who are the authors of the site? What are their credentials? Are they experts? 2. Is the information current? When was the website created and last updated? 3. Do the facts presented in the site seem correct? 4. Is the purpose of the site to objectively inform and explain or to persuade and sell a particular perspective?
Copyright © 2000-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.