Survey On Human Genes Reveals We Probably Need To Reconsider Our History (Again)


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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An article published Monday detailed how there may be millions of undiscovered genetic variants within the human species, upending a long-held paradigm about our past.

It’s an incredibly long story, but at some point in the last million or so years, the human species (Homo sapien specifically) was knocked down to just a small handful of individuals, maybe as few as 1,280 breeding individuals, according to published scientific research. And we remained as a minor-species for hundreds of thousands of years, allegedly. Researchers have many ideas as to how and why this happened, but they focus their evidence on the significant lack of genetic variability within our species. Until recently, genetic differences between individual humans was thought to be “minuscule,” researchers argued.

But a new study that is completely upending this paradigm of human history suggests there are millions of undiscovered genetic variants within our species — so could this overturn the human story of near-extinction in our distant past?

The enormous U.S. research program “All of Us” is analyzing up to 245,000 genomes from participants in historically underrepresented groups. And the researchers have already found more than 275 million new genetic markers. The research has cost around $3.1 billion to-date and will build more than a million health profiles for Americans by the end of 2026. But … there’s a major issue no one from “All of Us” or the journal Nature bothered to report in their coverage: genes may not be the blueprint for life.

A study published in early February argued that scientists need to start accepting that our genetic codes just aren’t as important as most people think. Genes are apparently far more influenced by external factors than those programmed within our body’s natural development, the researchers argued. (RELATED: Human ‘Hobbit’ Ancestor Might Still Exist Today, New Book Claims)

So, could the “All of Us” project not only be a waste of everyone’s money, but also a huge waste of time that misleads not only our current scientific trajectory into human development … but could also continue to mislead our understanding of human history? Right now, I’d say “yes.” But a lot more research is needed to know the truth.

And it may be that our genes actually show us who we are as a result of our nurture, not as a result of our nature (which would be super freaking cool).