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Cyril Sermon (@admin)
13 days ago
A decade-long DNA project by National Geographic collected DNA samples from individuals in the jungles of Papau New Guinea, the rolling hills of Tuscany, Brazil, Siberia, China, Ireland, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Albania, and every nook and cranny on the planet. It was the largest and most intensive DNA project ever conducted on the planet and resulted in a startling discovery; every living person on Earth is a direct descendant of one woman who lived in East Africa 150,000 years ago. They named her Mitochondrial Eve. She was a nomad and after many many generations her descendants began to migrate out of Africa and eventually physically adapted to populate every viable ecosystem in the world. The further north her descendants traveled - and after hundreds of generations - their skin and hair lightened. This is known as natural selection, a biological process where a living organism will morph and change to adapt to its environment. The Observer has shared this information with dozens of our friends and family over the years, and while most are surprised and delighted, for some this scientific discovery is not well received. "We all come from an East African nomad?" they ask shaking their head. "Yes." "And she was black?" "Yes." "Well I don't believe that," they'll say. And in today's world divided by faith and culture and politics and skin color, it is a hard concept to fully embrace - but we are all related - blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics. We all come from that one mother in East Africa 150,000 years ago. She may be the biblical Eve, or she may have evolved from primates and Neanderthals. It really doesn't matter if you embrace her in faith, or in science, but by accepting her and learning about human history and how we have adapted in the past 7000 generations we might begin to realize that we literally are one human family. And in that realization we might begin the slow and painful process of reconciliation and learn to accept and embrace our physical differences. So today, on Mother's Day we salute our mothers, our grandmothers, our great grandmothers, and all the mothers on the path that lead straight back to Mitochondrial Eve, who started our astoundingly diverse family 150,000 years ago. Happy Mothers Day