That black, white and Asian races do exist has always been perfectly obvious but Leftists are always trying to deny it. They say it is "racist" even to mention it. A study of the DNA of many different populations has however now confirmed the obvious. And the researchers admit that the genetic differences can have notable effects. They also however make much of the fact that the differences occur in only a small percentage of our genes. Most genes are shared by all races. One does wonder why they think that is important. We also share around 98% of our genes with chimpanzees. Does that mean that the difference between humans and chimpanzees is unimportant?
Let me illustrate the importance of small genetic differences by a story about cricket. I know that some of my readers are American and will therefore likely know nothing about the world's most widely-followed bat-and-ball game -- but my story is a simple one so I don't think much will be lost in translation.
Australia's most famous cricketer is the recently deceased Don Bradman. What made him famous was that in his hands a cricket bat seemed to have a miraculous attraction to a cricket ball. No matter what they bowled down to him he could always swat it. As a result he would in some matches get as many as 400 runs, where 100 runs is normally considered a great achievement. Now the Don's eerie skill with a bat was obviously the result of a very rare confluence of genetic factors. If practice and training were what made Bradman great, we would have 10,000 Bradmans.
Now I am fairly sure that I share around 99.9% of my genes with Don Bradman -- but I can't hit a ball for nuts. So even very small genetic differences can make a huge difference in abilities etc. -- and not only in cricket -- JR
There is a simplicity and all-inclusiveness to the number three -- the triangle, the Holy Trinity, three peas in a pod. So it's perhaps not surprising that the Family of Man is divided that way, too.
All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. They are the products of the first and most important journey our species made -- the walk out of Africa about 70,000 years ago by a small fraction of ancestral Homo sapiens.
One group is the African. It contains the descendants of the original humans who emerged in East Africa about 200,000 years ago. The second is the Eurasian, encompassing the natives of Europe, the Middle East and Southwest Asia (east to about Pakistan). The third is the East Asian, the inhabitants of Asia, Japan and Southeast Asia, and -- thanks to the Bering Land Bridge and island-hopping in the South Pacific -- of the Americas and Oceania as well.
The existence of this ancient divergence has long been known. What is new is a subtle but important insight into what happened on a genomic level as the human species spilled across the landscape, eventually occupying every habitable part of the planet.
People adapted to what they encountered the way all living organisms do: through natural selection. A small fraction of the mutations constantly creeping into our genes happened by chance to prove beneficial in the new circumstances outside the African homeland. Those included differences in climate, altitude, latitude, food availability, parasites, infectious diseases and lots of other things.
A person who carried, by chance, a helpful mutation was more likely to survive and procreate than someone without it. The person's offspring would then probably be endowed with the same beneficial mutation. Over thousands of generations, the new variant (what geneticists call the "derived allele") could go from being rare to being common as its carriers fared better than their brethren and contributed more descendants to the population.
Scientists have long known that regardless of ancestral home or ethnic group, everyone's genes are pretty much alike. We're all Homo sapiens. Everything else is pretty much details.
Recent research has produced a surprise, however. Population geneticists expected to find dramatic differences as they got a look at the full genomes -- about 25,000 genes -- of people of widely varying ethnic and geographic backgrounds. Specifically, they expected to find that many ethnic groups would have derived alleles that their members shared but that were uncommon or nonexistent in other groups. Each regional, ethnic group or latitude was thought to have a genomic "signature" -- the record of its recent evolution through natural selection.
But as analyses of genomes from dozens of distinct populations have rolled in -- French, Bantu, Palestinian, Yakut, Japanese -- that's not what scientists have found. Dramatic genome variation among populations turns out to be extremely rare.
Instead, it is "random genetic drift" that appears to be more important in sculpting our genes. Drift describes the chance loss of genetic variation that occurred not only in the out-of-Africa migration, but through all of human history as famine, climate change or war caused populations to crash and then recover.
Despite those calamities, it appears that all contemporary populations ended up largely the same, or only crudely distinguishable from one another, on the genome level.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here