The Great Remixing
The best guesstimate for the appearance of an infant with full-blown homo sapiens syndrome is between 150 and 200 thousand years ago. Not really that long in geological terms but beyond anyone’s memory. How long it took to go from one to a family and from a family to a tribe is unknown but it took a while and a fair amount of luck I think.
It could have taken a hundred thousand years to spread throughout Africa but eventually we headed north and east, the long walk of our species to reach every continent save Antarctica and to establish ourselves all across the face of the Earth. Future DNA analysis will reveal more details of our journey but the results are evident. Where tribes settled and grew their physical differences grew as well and gave us both what we call races and within the races ethnicities.
We were separated by oceans and mountains and glaciers and deserts and flourished in our separateness. During the past ten thousand years isolated instances of contact were made and during the last five thousand most groups had come in contact with most others. Given the propensities of humans we can be sure that interbreeding occurred from the earliest days of meeting “the other”.
The last thousand years of war and conquest and enslavement has only served to speed up the rise in the number of interbreeding events and currently with our enormous population and global trade and tourism the numbers are rising exponentially. In the last hundred years the results of inbreeding have begun to transform our culture. The standard of beauty has become browner, finer featured and lissome on the stages of the beauty pageants and larger, hippier and sassier in popular culture.
Our best athletes now include a discernible cadre of children of two individuals of different races. After tens of thousands of years of development of physical qualities in relative isolation from each other the “races” have entered the age of the great remixing.
The bay area is a wonderful place to observe this ongoing change. Mixed race couples and their offspring abound and the place is better off for it. Our population is better looking, stronger and smarter than is found in most places and we are one of the epicenters of remixology. Even commercial life has picked up on this happening with mixed race couples showing up in TV ad after TV ad, buying cars, in bed, in the pool and usually with their beautiful mixed race children.
It will do us well to remember that we came from a single ancestral mutation and that the differences we developed were only skin deep and as we remix we keep the strongest version of our genes.
Racism was understandable when we were ignorant of history and science. It is inexcusable now.