Journey of Man

In one of my classes we watched a documentary called Journey of Man, which follows Dr. Spencer Wells, a geneticist, as he tracks humans back to their roots in Africa by looking at markers on the Y chromosome of millions of people.  Briefly FYI, humans started in Africa about 50-60,000 years ago.  The San Bushmen are direct descendants of the first people ever.  Then the first wave of migration left Africa due to drought.  They went along the coast of Eurasia and ended up in Australia—the aborigines.  The second wave of migration led humans to the middle east about 40,000 years ago.  From there, groups branched out to become Europeans, Asians, and Native Americans. We know all this because of the genetic trail (and archaeological evidence) and looking at pictures of some of these people really sends it home.  I mean, look at the San (below).  They’ve been in Africa since the beginning and they have features of every race on the planet.

Anyway, it was a very interesting docu and afterwards the prof was going around asking what we thought of it.  There are only about 20-25 people in my class, and upwards of 90% said they “didn’t buy it!”  Most of the time it was for “religious reasons,” but a few of them said they didn’t want to take his word for the genetic evidence and couldn’t understand why he was “trying to use pictures as evidence” (just a side note, I knew from earlier classes that these people were also religious, so they were likely trying to make it seem like they actually had a legit argument)  I was astounded.  I mean, I thought we young people were supposed to be more rational and intelligent than that!  When he came to me I said that I trusted in the science and since the guy mentioned that he had published several peer reviewed papers that if I wanted to see the exact data, I could easily find it, but that he didn’t present it because he would have lost too many people to boredom.  Because who wants to watch two hours of a guy analyzing DNA (though he did actually show the data for when he found the “missing link” in India which proved that the ancestors of the aborigines used a land route).

One thing that really annoys me is when people say they “don’t believe” in science.  Science has nothing to do with belief!  It’s fact and has mountains and mountains of peer reviewed evidence to support it.  I don’t “believe” in science, I accept it (assuming that the theory has gone through all the proper peer-reviewing and replication, which it has to in order to gain the title of theory in the first place….).  You can choose to reject it and hide behind your little religious text, but that doesn’t make the evidence go away.  Like the people who don’t accept evolution.  I mean, come on.  We see micro-evolution all the time and can observe macro-evolution through the fossil record.  There’s a reason why animals and humans are adapted to the climates they originate from (Africans have long limbs to give off body heat and dark skin to fight skin cancer, Europeans are shorter to conserve heat and have lighter skin because we wear more clothes so we need to absorb vitamin D from the sun from a smaller exposed surface area, etc….) and it has nothing to do with the little invisible man that doesn’t exist.

Idk, honestly I just couldn’t believe how many people in my class refused to accept genetics. There was just myself, the Londoner, the Argentinian, and the two Chinese girls who basically all said that “duh, scientists aren’t just making this up and if you want more data, go look in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.”  Just because you can’t get your invisible man to hold up against scrutiny doesn’t mean that the people doing the scrutinizing are manipulating data and are out to get you….it just means that you have no proof for what you believe, and I have every proof for what I accept 😉


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