A new study about population bottlenecks raises fascinating questions about the individuals who most shaped our species in the past—and those in the present day who are most making their genetic mark.
Loved this, especially the conclusion. Thank you for zooming out when the doom cycle has us all down in the weeds.
Well, talk about a forking path...human population bottlenecks in the past are fascinating as you describe the parlor game of what was the gene pool and the characteristics of passed down. But even more fascinating as you bring up at the end are what were those events? How did it affect the population? What is the probability of them happening again?
But in a tongue in check sense, maybe one of them carried the dark triad, or believed themselves a secret genius because they survived.
Intriguing. Some recent (2021) research on the neanderthal genome and schizophrenia caught my interest too. Something about this fascinates. Their genome seems to be responsible for quite a few things in theory and maybe in fact. I don’t know enough about this.
Thanks Brian for going down a different path, although a very entertaining and interesting one! I used to work in fertility and performed many artificial inseminations that actually concluded with a human being! I always wondered about the sperm donors who wanted to remain anonymous and never got to meet their off-spring. Weren’t they curious to learn how they ended up? Who they were, what traits were passed on? I am also a curious being and love learning. The thought of the poor Russian woman giving birth to all those babies, what if men were able to give birth, there would probably be a whole lot less sperm donors! Like you said though, if everyone took a step back and thought about why they are haters and fearful, maybe the world would be a nicer place for humans.
This week has been very difficult for me as it has for so many others. It’s great to read something intriguing that doesn’t focus on human brutality. Though one conclusion is that throughout these bottlenecks humans as a whole have remained (or become?) the cruelest animals on the planet. Another thing I’ve read about is bottlenecks of specific groups. I’m an Ashkenazi Jew, and I’ve read about at least one of the bottlenecks of European Jews (involving finding human remains in a well, which means we’re all descended from about 350 women. Thinking through those implications requires more coffee!
Fascinating. I've read about human population bottlenecks but not thought through the implications like you do.
Which makes it fascinating to contemplate that so many of us still have Neaderthal genes.