This essay explores the relationship between the social sciences and biology with respect to race. I begin by giving an overview of the disparate origins of racial classification and the population history of South Africa, noting the peculiarity of their roots. I move from there to sketch how knowledge from the social sciences can improve the quality of hypotheses about population history and, conversely, how the biological sciences can be informative to the social sciences. I end by discussing the relationship between race, biology, and social scientific questions in the context of the land debate in South Africa.