KEEPING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
by H. Millard (c) 2013-2016
A little understanding of science, along with proper beliefs, can help us understand the ways of existence and our place in it and may strengthen our faith in the importance of DNA, and help us stay on the path to our highest possible destiny.
Here's how we came to be as we are today (all dates approximate):
13.7 billion years ago--Big Bang. Start of our universe.
4.5 billion years ago--Earth forms from spinning cloud of stellar dust.
3.8 billion years ago--First DNA molecule .
330 million years ago--First reptiles.
220 million years ago--First true mammals.
2.5 million years ago--Genus Homo.
200,000 years ago--Modern humans.
50,000 years ago--A few humans leave Africa for Europe and Asia and keep evolving.
20,000 years ago--White people begin emerging in Europe.
5,000 years ago--White people become dominant and virtually only type in Europe.
4,000 years ago--Recorded history begins.
Scientists believe that a tiny mutation in gene slc24a5, located on the long leg of chromosome 15 at position 21.1, started in the few people who left Africa and headed into Europe about 50,000 years ago was a major reason for the emergence of white skin.
White skin allowed in more sunlight and helped with the production of more Vitamin D than darker skin, and prevented rickets. This mutation became the norm in Europe 5,300 to 12,000 years ago. This gene has primary alleles that differ in only one nucleotide, changing the 111th amino acid from alanine to threonine. In White European descended peoples, the threonine form is found in from 98.7% to 100% of the population while in Africans, East Asians and American Indians from 93% to 100% of the populations have the alanine form.
Many other mutations occurred among this new subspecies as these people moved out of Africa. And that, dear friends, is how White people came to be.
What about mutations?
Up until recent years it was thought that mutations were few and that most were catastrophic for those humans who received mutated genes. Now, it is known that mutations occur all the time. Most are very minor and cause no harm. If they provide a survival advantage (like white skin in less sunny lands) these mutated genes eventually may become fixed in the population and replace the non-mutated versions.
Some of these mutations are caused by cosmic rays (subatomic particles) that change the DNA sequence, and some are caused by temperature and other more common environmental agents and forces.
Remember, all DNA is the same for all living things that we know about. That is, all DNA is composed of four chemicals that are abbreviated A, T, C, G. These chemicals are then shuffled by nature to make a blade of grass or a man.
Humans have approximately 3.1 billion combinations of these four letters in their genotype. These are further organized into 46 chromosomes and the chromosomes carry the approximately20,000 genes (this seems to be the most accepted count as of 2016) that make us as we are. The genes carry the instructions for producing a new organism in all its parts.
During mating, 23 chromosomes from the male join with 23 chromosomes from the female to create a new child.
If members of a species are isolated from others of the species for a long enough time, those who are isolated may become a new species no longer capable of breeding with the old species. But if the isolation is removed before specieshood, those who were on their way to being a new species may blend back in with the masses of the species.
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