The Genographic Project, launched in 2005, by the National Geographic Society, was a genetic anthropological study that aimed to map historical human migration patterns by collecting and analyzing DNA samples. As of 2018, almost one-million participants have joined the project. The project is sunsetting in a few months.
The project made seminal contributions to the understanding of how well mixed the 8 billion homo sapiens are across the world. As an example, my paternal ancestry shows gene concentrations across three continents with little connection to where my family was for many generations. As the patchwork of hundreds of countries, myriad of languages, religions, and races object to one another, it is instructive to think about the irrelevance of it all.
As eloquently put by Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that…”
Is it too much to ask to wipe away the ignorance at sea level?