Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Genetics of Charles Darwin

National Geographic has a story on the ancestry of Charles Darwin. They write:
Darwin's great-great-grandson, Chris Darwin, 48, who lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, took a Genographic Project public participation cheek swab test analysing his "Y" chromosome.

According to Spencer Wells, project director of the Genographic Project, a research partnership between National Geographic and IBM with field support from the Waitt Family Foundation, Darwin's deep ancestry shows his ancestors left Africa around 45,000 years ago.
Eventually, the Genographic project should be able to show us the migratory trajectories of many of the genes in humans. That will help with both historic and prehistoric studies.

An interesting afterthought: There have been several of these genetic studies that have been used to trace ancestry back through time, the Cann, Stoneking and Wilson study on Mitochondrial Eve being only one. Not one of them has pointed to an origin of the modern human genome in the Middle East. Where ever modern humans originated, it was not from the Mesopotamian basin. This has always been, to me, an unanswerable question regarding the YEC model of Noah's flood: if it was universal, why doesn't the genetic information point to it? Further, why do cultures around the area not have records of it? Why don't nations across the world have a story about people that came out of the ark and moved into the area? Why are all the flood stories around the world different, with their own survivors? There seems to be this great amnesia with regard to the event, almost as if it never happened in their areas.

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