By Adam Rutherford
due to the fact scientists first learn the human genome in 2001, it's been topic to every kind of claims, counterclaims, and myths. in reality, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes will be learn now not as guideline manuals, yet as epic poems. DNA determines some distance under we now have been ended in think approximately us as members, yet significantly extra approximately us as a species.
during this desirable trip throughout the increasing panorama of genetics, Adam Rutherford finds what our genes now let us know approximately historical past, and what background tells us approximately our genes. From Neanderthals to homicide, from redheads to race, useless kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this can be a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we're and the way we got here to be.
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Extra info for A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes
9 million years ago. But the Neanderthals still clocked up a longer innings than we have so far. We anatomically modern humans are generally thought to have evolved in eastern Africa around 200,000 years ago, and emerged out of Africa in our own exodus sometime in the last 100,000 years. This number inches up every few years, as more specimens are found. A discovery in October 2015, from the Fuyan cave in the Daoxian region in southern China, dug up forty-seven modern teeth at least 80,000 years old, and it’s not unreasonable to presume that the owners of those teeth took some tens of thousands of years to get that far east from the motherland.
Humans themselves are terribly unreliable witnesses to objective reality. We fumble. The precise details of the events of 11 September 2001 when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed may well remain obscure because of conflicting reports and the chaos of those horrors. Witness testimonies in courts are notoriously defective and are always subject to squint-eye scrutiny. Flit back a few centuries, and there is no contemporary evidence even for the existence of Jesus Christ, arguably the most influential man in history.
We all have two parents, and they had two parents, and all of them had two parents, and so on. Keep going like this all the way back to the last time England was invaded, and you’ll see that doubling each generation results in more people than have ever lived, by many billions. The truth is that our pedigrees fold in on themselves, the branches loop back and become nets, and all of us who have ever lived have done so enmeshed in a web of ancestry. We only have to go back a few dozen centuries to see that most of the 7 billion of us alive today are descended from a tiny handful of people, the population of a village.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes by Adam Rutherford