Our American lineage
Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2016
We Americans often loudly trumpet our lineage, whether it be social, historical, racial, hereditary, or of some other ilk.
We Americans, as should all of humankind, be proud of the many contributions and sacrifices made for all, by so many groups and individuals. Many of some faiths ascribe their human creation, as the Bible relates, to the progenitors of humankind: Adam and Eve.
Others hold to the theory of evolution, where humans evolved from other species. It is an often heated discussion and debate, even within similar camps.
Our scientists today have discovered and developed a “mapping” of our genetics through the analysis of DNA. These dual strands ofdeoxyribonucleic acid contain all of the hereditary information of our composition, with 150,000 identifiers present therein.
Recently, a fellow participated in a genome project with the National Geographic Society and the Genographic Project, comparing his DNA with 780,000 other participants. At the expense of a few dollars, and patience awaiting the results, the door was opened to the deep recesses of history and beyond error-prone familial and recorded history. The discovery of a connected family, founded over 188,000 years ago in East Africa, with deep connections to the Neanderthals’ and their Denisovan cousins, was revelatory.
The results reported many journeys, over the millennia, proceeding through the Middle East, the Sub-continent of Asia, Scandinavia,
much of today’s Western Europe and ending most recently in Britain. Clearly, the results showed many traits attributed to so many ancestors. So it is with all of earth’s peoples, as the spread of we humans progressed.
These connections to our common ancestors, connected by faith, or scientific analysis, belay any supposition our relatives of the past had anything approaching a single lineage.
For us, no matter what ancestry we may claim, the reality is we are a composition of many, from many sources. What is also true is we are the very blends of all our ancestors, no matter what their seeming origin in our minds.
If there is any pride to be taken, it is we are all survivors, made even truer by the survival of the fittest. The ability of this fellow, or anyone, to claim a bloodline which excludes a particular race, or lineage of any kind, is fallacious. It simply does not hold up to the evidence.
Some will claim Charlemagne, or some relative on the Mayflower, or being a slave’s ancestor, is linked to their past. Even better, we may all claim we are linked together by the mists of time and our common ancestors, in the generations of our past.
Rather than speak so loudly to our differences, in this common era, we would be better served to voice our commonalities in concert with each other.
What a marvel it would be to have the entirety of the earth’s population participate in such an exploration of our mutual DNA.
Here we would have reliable scientific evidence of the natural condition of ourselves, in relationship to ourselves. This sect, or that, this group, or that, this race, or that, would quickly discover we are all from one source, regardless of belief, and the differences we establish are our own.
Consider the DNA analysis could be the impetus for all of us to come together as one, as we are indeed of one, separated only by viewpoints and attitudes.
Consider, we could better understand and accept each other, as a family should.
By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins