A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

3.43
This is a tale about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is simila to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex.

Since scientists first read the human genome in 2001, it has been subject to all orts of claims, counterclaims, and narratives. In fact, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes should be read not as instruction manuals, but as epic poems. DNA determines far less than we have been led to believe about us as individuals, but vastly more about us as a species.

In this unforgettable journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about history, and what history tells us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.
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Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published October 3rd 2017 by The Experiment (first published September 8th 2016
Original Title of the Book
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes
Number of Pages
402

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gave it

British.In the sense that its assumed core audience was Brit, and a lot of the eferences and examples aimed at them.

There was a lot of patiently attempting to explain how science really works, from a scientist/science journalist who is clearly deeply pained by how headlines and pop science news and the general public consistently get it wrong; remedial science education, on the fly.

gave it

The unwelcome revival of ‘ race science ’ ... ..https: //www.theguardian.com/news/2018 ... ======= “ What genes are and what they tell us about people are very closely related, but not, in almost all cases, definitive.

That this is a fallacy is universally known among geneticists, yet it is still an idea that carries a lot of cultural significance, fueled frequently by the media and an ultra-simplistic understanding of the absurd complexities of human biology ... ... ... ... When we look to the past and to our presumed genetic ancestry to understand and explain our own behaviors today, it is not much better than astrology.

Unless you carry a particular disease that has passed down the family tree, the unending shuffling of genes, the dilution through generations, and the highly variably and immensely complex influence that genes have over your actual behavior mean that your ancestors have little sway over you at all. " ===================== " There are no essential genetic elements for any particular group of people who might be identified as a “ race. ” As far as biotechnolog is concerned, race does not exist. " ==================== " With our current nowledge of the biology of of Native Americans, there is no ossibility of DNA being anywhere near a useful tool in ascribing tribal status to people.

Furthermore, given our understanding of ancestry and family trees I have profound doubts that DNA could ever be used to determine tribal membership ... ..Over centuries, people are too mobile to have remained genetically isolated for any significant length of time.

Genealogy companies will sell you kits that claim to grant you membership to historical peoples, albeit ill-defined, is highly romanticized.

It 's a sense of of genetic astrology.That hasn ’ t stopped the emergence of some companies in the United States that sell kits that claim to use DNA to ascribe tribal membership.

These outfits state: “ All tests can be done for legal purposes ” and “ The results of this scientific test can be used to receive a status card or tribal enrollment. ” The author goes on to express full sympathy to Native Americans and their traditio and religion.

He just wants to debunk profiteers who claim to provide what is scientifically impossible at this time.Meanwhile, the author debunks several " genetic services " such as Accu-Metrics and DNA Consultants above, as well as BritainsDNA.

These kin included Charles the Younger, Pippin the Hunchback, Drogo of Metz, Hruodrud, Ruodhaid, Adalheid, Hludowic, and not forgetting Hugh " " Christopher Lee— the great actor who among his roles counts Dracula; Tolkien ’ s Saruman the White; the an with the Golden Gun himself, Scaramanga; the fallen Jedi Count Dooku; and The Wicker Man ’ s Lord Summerisle— claimed direct ancestry to King Charlemagne via the ancient house of his aunt, Countess Estelle Marie ( née Carandini di Sarzano) ... .but I can say with absolute confidence that if you ’ re vaguely of European extraction you are also descended from Charlemagne. " I have a very detailed genealogy on my mother 's side, going back to the arrival to America of our ncestor in 1636.

Basically, everyone alive in the 7th century who left descendants is the descendant of every living European today, including Charlemagne, Drogo, Pippin and Hugh. " If this seems unlikely or confusing, of course you will have to read the books to get more details.

For them, the scale on which the Nazis were carrying out their mass sterilization was what they had wanted for America.Of course, the fullest horrors would come with the Nazi Holocaust, which not only included Jews in their illions, but also homosexual men, Roma, Poles, and people with mental illness. -- -- The author discusses the futile search for a " criminal gene, " supposedly a defective MAOA gene.

But the report includes the possibility that she ’ s just 1/1024th Native American if the ancestor is 10 generations back. " Not satisfied with this, in a video that Warren released along with the nalysis, she described how her mother had discussed their Native American origin.

Family lore held that there were Cherokee and Delaware indigenous ancestors.The Cherokee Nation condemned Warren ’ s stud in a statement Monday. “ Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is nappropriate and wrong ” As explained above, there is no DNA test to demonstrate direct tribal heritage, Cherokee or otherwise.==========Interesting new development,.

gave it

Topics about genetics and behavior and the effec of environment on gene expression are covered in a far more nuanced fashion in " Behave: The Chemistr of Humans at Our Best and Worst " by Robert Sapolsky.While it was only a small part of the ook: I found his discussion of color vision ( as an ex-vision scientist) annoying.

gave it

Adam Rutherford reads his own work, something I particularly love as it enables the author to convey the passion and enthusiasm they hold for their subject in a way that no narrator can match.

For xample, in genetically mapping the people of ritain, it was found that there was very little of the Roman invaders left in our genome, suggesting that while they may her left us many things within the material, cultural, and social pheres, they clearly were n't interacting with us more physically.

Like a lot of history, it 's a thrilling form of detective work and the science of our genes has so much to say.I very much recommend it, even if you are new to the matte, as I was.

gave it

Further, genetic research has shown that race is not identifiable in the genome.

Indeed, gene research has shown that a Namibian and a Nigerian have more genetic similarities with a Swede than they do each other.

gave it

It ’ s tough to find a modern book on race which will tell you what is the current scientific thinking, given the remarkable progress of genetics and the unravelling of the human genome and all that.

RACEOne of the way he thinks genetics can do and has done is show that scientifically speaking, there ’ s no such hing as race.

Genetically, two black people are more likely to be more ifferent to each other than a black person and a white person….

He says robustly: The dea that lack people are better at sport because of genetics, and possibly because of breeding during the wicked centuries of slavery, is built upon tissue foundations, and its cultural ubiquity yet another xample of the chasm between what we think and what science says is true.Well, it ’ s a urious thing.

So it all becomes rather like atheists arguing that there ’ s no God when almost everyone in the world operates on the ssumption that there is.I think we must conclude that the human race, speaking generally, does not much care what scientists say is real or not real.

They just stick their fingers in their ars and say to people like Adam Rutherford “ la la la la, we ’ re not listening ”.

gave it

I 'm not sure why this stayed on my currently reading table for quite so long, because it is actually utterly fascinating.

Mr. Phillip has an excellent technique of finding relatable analogies to the sophisticatio of genome mapping, frequently using letters, words, sentences as his vehicle to make DNA understandable, and cutting down false analogies on the ay, the ones that only relate one complex incomprehensible concept to another, equally unknown quantity.

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