According to The Free Dictionary, race defined is “a group of people identified as distinct from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group”. In other words, a race of people may be considered unique from other races due to genetic influences influencing various physical and possibly psychological traits common to that race.
Genetic variation among different races arises from random mutations within genetic DNA material. Evolutionary biologists attribute incidences of random mutations to population migration, gene mixing via sexual reproduction and environmental factors (natural selection). Since pattern variations in genetic traits may be clinal and unexpected, it is feasible to develop statistically significant correlation clusters of primarily physical characteristics in human races. In addition, populations of people living geographically adjacent to each other tend to exhibit common allele frequencies, especially when strict national, linguistic or cultural boundaries exist to separate these populations.
What is a Haplogroup?
Haplogroups are genetic population groups (humans) who share a common ancestor on a matrilineal or patrilineal line. Each haplogroup is assigned one or more letters of the alphabet and may also contain letter/number combinations to further describe the haplogroup.
To determine Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups, an SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) test is necessary, since SNPs are located on DNA where the mutation of one nucleotide has occurred. This mutation results in the creation of a different nucleotide.
Comparing Gene Pools of Five European Countries.
According to research involving 1215 Germans who underwent genetic analysis:
38.9% of Germans belonged to the Haplogroup R1b, the most common western European Haplogroup
23.6% of Germans belonged to Haplogroup I, a genetic group most frequently found in Scandinavian countries
17.9% of Germans belonged to the R1a group. This group is is typically considered the Eastern-European Haplogroup
6.2% of Germans belonged to the E1b1b group, or the North African Haplogroup
4% of Germans belonged to the West Asian Haplogroup
In summary, the German ethnic gene pool cocktail consists of approximately 40% Western-European, 24% Scandinavian, 18% Eastern-European, 6% North African and 4% West Asian DNA.
What does the genetic pool of Polish people look like? From 913 Poles tested for Y-DNA markers:
57% belonged to R1a Haplogroup, the group common in Eastern-European countries
17.3% belonged to the I1 “Scandinavian Haplogroup (Y-DNA)
11.6% belonged to the R1b group, or the so-called West European Haplogroup
4.5 % belonged to the E1b1b North African Haplogroup
2.5% belonged to the J Haplogroup, or the West Asian Haplogroup
In summary, the Polish gene pool consists mostly of Eastern European and Scandinavian Haplogroups, with lesser evidence for West European, North African and West Asian Haplogroups.
Of 160 Swedes tested, researchers found that:
37.5% belonged to I1 (specifically, the I-M253) Haplogroup
24.4% belonged to the R1a Haplogroup
14.4% belonged to the N Haplogroup (Y-DNA)
13.1% belonged to the R1b Haplogroup
1.3% belonged to the E1b1b
No Swedes included in this study belonged to the J Haplogroup.
215 Hungarians were genetically tested. Out of these 215, researchers discovered that :
28.37% belonged to the macro Haplogroup I ( I1 , I2a, I2b , and so on)
25.6% belonged to the R1a Haplogroup
18.1% were R1b positive
10.23% were J positive
6.1% belonged to the E1b1b, or North African Haplogroup
From 223 Albanians tested:
35.43% belonged to the North African Haplogroup E1b1b
23.77% belonged to the West Asian Haplogroup J
18.39% were R1b positive
13% were I Haplogroup positive
4.04% were R1a Haplogroup positive
As indicated by these test results, 80% to 90% of Germans, Poles, Swedes, Hungarians and Albanians apparently share the same genetic ancestors, with the only difference being the variations of haplogroup proportions. Is it therefore empirically possible to define race when deep genetic testing reveals that many Europeans share similar blood DNA?
Rapid developments in molecular technology have affirmed the intriguing fact that within-group genetic differences are much larger than between-group differences. Consequently, it has become increasingly self-evident that the frequency of alleles/genetic markers do not differ significantly among major European populations.