So I've come to the realization that I need to get a smartphone.
I've avoided it for years now because I know if I have one that I will use it and it will be incredibly distracting, that's what I do, I get a hold of something shiny and I start tinkering with it. That's just my nature.
Because of that I've avoided smartphones and stuck with slide and flip phones and until this latest phone that's been just fine. The problem is that the phone companies are just not providing any support for the older phone models anymore and the actual functionality of the phones has gotten noticeably shitty (my last phone lasted for five years, this current one is crapping out at one).
All this means that I must indeed sign up for a smartphone on my next upgrade, joy. I'll finally be a part of the world wide consciousness!
And now for something completely different.
It wasn't that long ago when people believed that being Greek, German, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Russian, Irish or what have you meant that you had a distinctive set of genes. The most extreme view of this belief was displayed in horrifying detail by the Nazis but most of the world actually did believe in one form or another that where you came from determined your genetic template, making you a different sub-species of human.
Then came the Human Genome Project which determined that despite some physical variations such as skin color and facial features, that there was indeed only one species of human and that we all share the same DNA at the base level and that the country from which you originated from actually made no difference in that DNA.
More recently (last few years) there has been another, similar project to map the Neanderthal genome. More specifically, to determine how (di)similar they are to our own Homo Sapiens species.
What that study found it actually kinda funny.
It turns out that there actually are shared genes between Homo Sapiens (us) and Neanderthals, a very small amount, but they are there. What is interesting is in which groups of humans these genes show up in.
Of the three groups studied (people of African, Asian, and European descent) it was found that those descended from Asian or European ancestors actually have the most genetic material in common with Neanderthals (up to 3%) while those of African descent averaged below 0.9% genetic similarity.
When you think about it, this actually makes sense since Homo Sapiens originated in Africa while Neanderthals were located further north in Eurasia so when the two populations intermingled it only made sense that those of us whose ancestors settled in Europe and Asia would inherit some of the genes of the Neanderthals when interbreeding occurred whereas those that remained in Africa had a more limited exposure to northern genes.
However the part that I find hilarious in all of this is the case of white supremacists like the Nazis and KKK along with other hate groups that talk about how they're the pure race etc etc. If these studies are accurate, then they're really not pure at all. Their members are likely less genetically pure Homo Sapien than one of the principle ethnic groups they love to hate even if only by a few percentage points.
Now to make sure everyone understands what I'm saying, I am not saying that any one group is superior or inferior to another, nor am I promoting racism. I am simply pointing out an interesting case of genetic intermingling and diversity along with a case of modern irony.