Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Mother of All Peoples


Roots of Human Family Tree are Shallow

Whoever it was probably lived a few thousand years ago, somewhere in East Asia — Taiwan, [!?] Malaysia and Siberia all are likely locations. He — or she — did nothing more remarkable than be born, live, have children and die.

Yet this was the ancestor of every person now living on Earth — the last person in history whose family tree branches out to touch all 6.5 billion people on the planet today. . . .

"It's a mathematical certainty that that person existed," said Steve Olson, whose 2002 book Mapping Human History traces the history of the species since its origins in Africa more than 100,000 years ago. . . .

Furthermore, Olson and his colleagues have found that if you go back . . . about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, everybody living today has exactly the same set of ancestors. In other words, every person who was alive at that time is either an ancestor to all 6 billion people living today, or their line died out and they have no remaining descendants. . . .

It also means that all of us have ancestors of every color and creed. Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past. Every Sunni Muslim in
Iraqis descended from at least one Shiite. And every Klansman's family has African roots. . . .

{the fairly simple math of this is explained at the link above}


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