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Tuesday, January 24

Mitochondrial Eve

by Lalock

The idea of a black ancestor from Africa—a woman—millions of years ago, is enough to cause a lily-white neocon with roots that go back to the Mayflower to stick his head in a gas oven. There are probably a number of reasons for wanting to teach science fiction (intelligent design, creationism) as scientific fact. Not only is it another feeble, thinly-veiled attempt to shove the Bible into the public classrooms across America (and down the student’s throats), but it’s roots may be in a theory called “Mitochondrial Eve”—the fact that we indeed have that common black ancestor, is enough to take the starch out of any Klansman’s hood.

What is mitochondrial DNA, and hence mitochondrial Eve. When in doubt, look to the BBC. The best, most succinct explanation I’ve found is this:
Well, put it this way. You are a genetic mix of your parents, each of which contributed half of your genetic material. They, of course, have gone through the same process and share an equal split of their parent's DNA. This means if you stop this back-tracking process with your grandparents, you are already a genetic mix of six distinct individuals who may have come from different regions of the planet.

But one factor remains constant – the mitochondrial DNA hasn't altered at all – it remains intact through the female line. Male sperm contains only enough mitochondria to power the sperm to the surface of the egg – it does not enter the egg. The egg, however, contains mitochondria that have been passed from mother to daughter for countless generations. The only way for mitochondrial DNA to alter is by natural mutations, which occur very slowly when compared with the almost frantic gene mixing we and our parents take part in.

Personally, I love the idea that we all share a common ancestor. It will ultimately force us to redefine the term “race,” and look at it in a way that there really only is one “race”—the human race—and the differences (skin color, hair, culture, etc.) are simply all minutiae. The simplicity of it, the “village” concept, is beautiful.

So is the fact that it takes idiocy like “intelligent design” and makes a piñata out of it. The thought that every “stars and bars” flag-waving, NASCAR-lovin’, Bush-votin’, patriotic ‘Murican has the DNA of a black female running through their cells gives me no end to pleasure. Imagine the chest clutching that goes on when neocon hypocrites who would normally just want to bed their black servants rather than treat them as an equal now find out they have something in common—a great, great, great, great, great, great grand-mammy. To learn more about this concept, start here.

Thanks and a big "You Betcha" to BlondeSense fan and reader, Lalock of Minnesota, for this post. I kind of made him write it.

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