I Just Discovered that I am “Black”

I Just Discovered that I am “Black”

The Thom Hartmann Program: “Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day”

Thom Hartmann, Host

All one has to do is to pay $99, spit something like 10 cubic centimeters of saliva into a test tube, send it to 23andme, and you too, can discover all the things you are but never thought that you were. I also discovered that I am a Neanderthal (no surprise there), a bit of an Ashkenazi Jew, a mixture of European backgrounds, and to the delight of my Hungarian friend Ria, distinctly part Hungarian although I have no idea how that happened. According to Ria, of course, that is where I got my intelligence, from a small segment of Hungarian DNA on Chromosome 1. Anyway, if I am ever feeling downtrodden and persecuted, I rest secure in the knowledge that I belong to several historically persecuted groups, including Sub-Saharan African, Jewish, and I suppose that Neanderthals were persecuted, too. Plus, I belong to the historically persecuted group known as left-handed people; in fact, I am in the mere 4% of the population who is completely left-handed. (I am also left-footed and left-eyed.) I do intend to write more about the handedness issue one of these days, most likely venturing where no blogger has ever ventured before. But for now, it’s about genetics…

Now, speaking of beginnings, let me go back to the beginning. My eldest brother, Craig, is a geneticist. Around Christmas break, he arranged for me to take the 23andme genetics test — which, being a geneticist, is of great interest to him, and being a scientific-minded psychologist, is of great interest to me as well. The testing kit was sent to me in early January and I promptly gave the saliva sample and sent it back to 23andme…

…Overall, this genetics testing was an interesting and potentially useful learning experience. All life on the planet came from the same primordial ooze, and all humans came out of Africa, earlier for the Neanderthals, and merely 60,000 years or so ago for other humans. In that sense, we are all Africans. Our genetics reflect a combination of different ancestry and mutations, and over time, as modern life brings peoples of the world closer together, the genome in the melting pot mixes even further. Probably nearly everyone has more mixed heritage than we are aware of, as it is, and that’s a good thing — much better than it is to be inbred. Furthermore, human evolution appears to be accelerating, according to people who study human evolution. We have created a world of great flux. Bringing us closer together as one humanity, and working to overcome our differences, and to defeat those forces of selfishness within us and among us — forces with such aims as world domination — should be our common goal.

Read the entire article here.

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