We, as a nation of equals, need to open a dialogue about culture with one another -- and quickly -- because that is all that differentiates us. Without education, those differences can and do breed hate. With genes being a microscope into evolutionary processes, we can think of culture as sort of a macroscope into those same processes. We are able to discover which genes determine appearance, what diseases we might have, or even how to turn genes on and off. Race does not exist -- at least not scientifically. There is but one human race. Scientists know and understand this at the genetic level.

So why must we hate one another over appearance? A glimpse into genetics might help illuminate the subject.

Human culture, climate, and genes

If a group of human beings spent several thousand millennia in high gravity, they would likely adapt to become shorter and more stout, with thicker bone structure able to hold up to more gravity. Those humans that evolved in cold or wet climates with little sun, evolved with very fair skin. Similarly, those that evolved in hot, arid regions had less body hair and more sweat glands in order to cool the body quicker. They also developed higher levels of melanin, responsible for the pigmentation which protects against UV radiation.

Each human being is different.

Each person is as unique as a fingerprint, with variations in appearance, eye color, height, likes and dislikes, quirks and neurosis. There may be multiple expressions of any particular gene within the human population. There are an estimated 19,000 genes that code the proteins that make up a person. Each gene can be expressed in myriad ways.

If two people appear to be "black" and you look closer, you will note that even those two people are drastically different. There are differences in hair color and/or texture, eye color, and skin tone. Some of us lose our hair, and some of us have hair of wool. We’re tall, short, with large foreheads or dimpled chins -- the list is seemingly infinite.

Culture is the cup into which all of the above is poured.

Culture, differences via environmental pressures

Culture is defined by Merriam Webster as “the integrated pattern of knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends on the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations” Differences and likenesses occur in large groups of humans at a time because we are a social species. It starts in the family. Then, children from this group go on to start their own families, and so begins a culture of human beings.

Different climates, food sources, etc., facilitate the development of large groups, or cultures of human beings who naturally develop vast variations in taste and style.

In many countries such as Vietnam, South Korea, and China, they still eat dog meat. In Japan, they eat fish, lobster, squid, etc. while they are still moving, and in India, they worship the cow -- which we eat in America. Culture manifests in practically as many ways as genes. It is merely another reflection of the evolutionary processes. So, the next time you see someone that looks different from you, or eats food you find repulsive, realize that they are just another version of you -- the result of a different set of environmental pressures.