That is, and I suspect will forever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.” –Bill Bryson
I’m sure most of you have heard of that a couple of times from your biology teacher, that we’re all related one way or another. You may be rolling your eyes and be like “Yea yea, what’s your f**king point?” Well, my point is that we tend to think in current time frame or at least since we were born, meaning we don’t bother to think what has happened in the last century or longer than that. You say that’s for history majors. You know, if you could go back in time and change one TINY thing and everything after that point will be drastically different than they would be now and it would directly affect us and our existence. How’s that for history?
Obviously we can’t be here without our parents procreating first. And that goes the same thing for our grandparents, then our great-grandfathers. Start to see the pattern yet? Just keep going on and if you go eight generations back, that’s when Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin lived and that took 250 people in order to make your existence possible. Go even further to the time of Shakespeare, you have no fewer than 16,384 couples who f**ked each other. Let’s skip some generations here and go to the time of the Romans, the number of people on whose cooperative efforts your existence depends on has increased to approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. So, basically, we’re not just the product of our parents but the product of gazillion numbers that led to our existence. And what’s the most remarkable of them all? We’re still 99.9 percent the same.
Now comes the scary part is this paragraph in “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”
“In late 2000 Nature and other publications reported on a Swedish study of the mitochondrial DNA of fifty-three people, which suggested that all modern humans emerged from Africa within the past 100,000 years and came from a breeding stock of no more than 10,000 individuals. Soon afterward, Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Genome Research, announced that modern Europeans, and perhaps people farther afield, are descended from “no more than a few hundred Africans who left their homeland as recently as 25,000 years ago.”
That’s right, with the DNA’s help, science has found enough evidence to suggest that we descended from no more than 10,000 people in Africa.
So that made me thinking. With the numbers I mentioned above, wouldn’t it be safe and logical to assume that at the pattern it keeps going at, that it traces all the way back to a single couple—perhaps Adam and Eve?
What we know for sure is that we’re all related to each other, no matter how different we may appear to each other yet we have all kinds of problems in this world and cannot be perfectly at peace. I suppose that’s what makes it interesting—our problems—despite the 99.9% similarity between us.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m even writing this post but that’s kind of things my thoughts tend to wander, reflecting on the bits of information I read in books or hear about what people say. One thing about this book that struck me is we didn’t even account for 1% of the entire Earth’s history and that dinosaurs dominated the world much longer than we ever did. The author also said that the extinction for human race is pretty much inevitable; it’s just a matter of when. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we all should make the best/most out of our life and don’t worry too much on small stuffs because we are pretty much insignificant to the universe. But remember, we ARE significant to one another. And that’s my point. :-)