Slightly Over Half of all biological/physical anthropologists today believe in the Traditional view that human Races are biologically valid and Real.
Furthermore, they tend to see nothing wrong in defining and naming the different populations of Homo sapiens. The Other Half of the biological anthropology community believes either that the traditional racial categories for humankind are arbitrary and meaningless, or that at a minimum there are better ways to look at human variation than through the "racial lens."
Bones don't lie
First, I have found that forensic anthropologists attain a high degree of accuracy in determining geographic racial affinities (white, black, American Indian, etc.) by utilizing both new and traditional methods of bone analysis. Many well-conducted studies were reported in the late 1980s and 1990s that test methods objectively for percentage of correct placement. Numerous individual methods involving midfacial measurements, femur traits, and so on are over 80% accurate alone, and in combination produce very high levels of accuracy. No forensic anthropologist would make a racial assessment based upon just one of these methods, but in combination they can make very reliable assessments, just as in determining sex or age. In other words, multiple criteria are the key to success in all of these determinations..... My students ask, "How can this be? They can Identify skeletons as to Racial origins but do not believe in Race!"
My answer is that we can often function within systems that we do not believe in.
"The idea that Race is 'only skin deep' is simply not true."
Deeper than the skin
[.......]The "reality of race" therefore depends more on the definition of reality than on the definition of race. If we choose to accept the system of racial taxonomy that physical anthropologists have traditionally established—major races: black, white, etc.—then one can classify human skeletons within it just as well as one can living humans. The bony traits of the nose, mouth, femur, and cranium are just as revealing to a good osteologist as skin color, hair form, nose form, and lips to the perceptive observer of living humanity. I have been able to prove to myself over the years, in actual Legal cases, that I am more accurate at assessing Race from skeletal remains than from Looking at living people standing before me.
Seeing both sides
Where I stand today in the "great race debate" after a decade and a half of pertinent skeletal research is clearly more on the side of the reality of race than on the "race denial" side. ... Morphological characteristics, however, like skin color, hair form, bone traits, eyes, and lips tend to follow geographic boundaries coinciding often with climatic zones. This is not surprising since the selective forces of climate are probably the primary forces of nature that have Shaped human Races with regard not only to Skin color and Hair form but also the Underlying Bony structures of the Nose, Cheekbones, etc.."
On political correctness
Those who believe that the concept of race is valid do not discredit the notion of clines, however. Yet those with the Clinical perspective who believe that races are not real do try to discredit the evidence of skeletal biology. Why this bias from the "race denial" faction?
This bias seems to stem largely from socio-political motivation and Not science at all. For the time being at least, the people in "race denial" are in "reality denial" as well. Their motivation (a positive one) is that they have come to believe that the race concept is socially dangerous. In other words, they have convinced themselves that race promotes racism. Therefore, they have pushed the Politically Correct Agenda that human races are not biologically real, no matter what the Evidence.
How can we combat racism if no one is willing to talk about race?"
Consequently, at the beginning of the 21st century, even as a majority of biological anthropologists favor the reality of the race perspective, not one introductory textbook of physical anthropology even presents that perspective as a possibility. In a case as flagrant as this, we are not dealing with science but rather with blatant, politically motivated censorship.
But, you may ask, are the politically correct actually correct? Is there a relationship between thinking about race and racism?