Who's in Your Gene Pool?

Everybody, according to Steve Olson, author of Mapping Human History.

With the help of a statistician, a computer scientist and a supercomputer, Olson has calculated just how interconnected the human family tree is. You would have to go back in time only 2,000 to 5,000 years — and probably on the low side of that range — to find somebody who could count every person alive today as a descendant.
It means when Muslims, Jews or Christians claim to be children of Abraham, they are all bound to be right.

This gave me a chuckle:

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 Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite. And every Klansman's family has African roots.

Poetic justice for the aforementioned groups to be related to their archenemies.

Furthermore, Olson and his colleagues have found that if you go back a little farther — 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's an interesting read.

Posted by Mutti at July 3, 2006 04:15 PM | TrackBack

cough ADAM AND EVE cough

Posted by: Nasa Nerd at July 5, 2006 03:12 PM