Bishop Tutu And South African DNA Unlock Ancestral Similarities

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Some South Africans as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among those being studied by genome scientists to discover more about the beautiful secrets of the first civilization.  A report in Nature magazine follows these scientists as they have uncovered in their works the massive diversities in the people.  Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace laureate and former head of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, found wonderful discoveries in his ancestry. 

Tutu was used in the study to represent the Bantu who are traditionally farmers.  But, it turns out that his ancestry included at least one woman was Bushmen.  Bushmen are normally hunters and harvesters.  They are also the oldest living humans on Earth.  The Bushman ancestry occured on his mother’s side with no idea of how far back in his lineage the woman lived.

The scientists noticed that if they found two Bushmen that spoke different languages, their DNA was as different as comparing a “European to an Asian.”   Which was true even if they lived in close proximity to one another.  The study found, in fact, that Bushmen are as different from a previously studied Yoruba man in Nigeria as a European man is.

The author of the study Stephan Schuster of Pennsylvania State University said ,”We are all very, very similar to one another,” Schuster said. Gibbs said the DNA differences discovered in the African subjects can’t be used to support racist arguments. He found that DNA diversity within a continent is greater than the differences between continents.  

Tutu told The Associated Press that the discoveries of his relation to “these wise people” made him feel “very privileged and blessed.”

Read more here.

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