The Genetics of Race
Life on earth is a mysterious miracle. Fundamentalist Christian Creationists would like you to believe that God somehow played a hand in it. However, the origins of life are probably quite a bit more complicated possibly only the result of a series of giant accidental organic chemistry experiments that played themselves out on Earth over a period of billions of years.
Some of those more miraculous experiments were the organization of molecules into cells, the appearance of DNA, the ability of cells to grow and reproduce, accompanied by the appearance of aerobic metabolism.
Miraculous: yes. Driven by a supreme being who resembles a snow white haired old Protestant dressed in a flowing white robe: probably not.
Additionally, life itself would be nothing if not for the organized molecules that allow for procreation of a species by conjugal complementary reproduction; the genes.
Whatever the case may be, all living Animals and Plants are categorized by a taxonomy system that logically organizes them into groups and then ultimately labels them by Latin nomenclature.
Life: Domain: Kingdom: Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species.
Individual animals as we know them have both Latin names as designated by their genus and species as well as by common names that are given to them by language vernaculars.
For example, the Horse is designated by the Latin: Equus caballus, ergo the Spanish term for cowboy being one who rides one: Caballero.
Although closely related, the far less intelligent Donkey is a separate species that is designated by the Latin Equus asinus, ergo the vernacular terminology designating a person who behaves stupidly as being an ass or as being asinine.
Members of the same species can successfully mate and reproduce, whereas members of different species cannot, with certain rare exceptions.
Bears (Genus: Ursus), which are commonly referred to as polar (white), brown (grizzly) and black are three separate species; respectively martimus, arctos, and americanus; none of which can interbreed one with the other. Nor do they have any desire to do so.
Interestingly, the Horse and the Donkey are closely enough related at both the genetic and the pheromone levels, interbreeding can actually occur, but within certain genetic proscriptions.
A male donkey, attracted by both the sight and smell, can mate with a female horse resulting in a hybrid offspring designated in the Latin as: Equus mulus, otherwise commonly known as the Mule. In fact, the Latin word for hybrid, the scientific designation for the offspring of two different species, is “mulus.”
However, because a Horse has 64 chromosomes and a Donkey has 63 chromosomes, the price to pay for this breeding is the fact a Mule being a sterile male with very little sex drive.
There is an upside to this procreation in that the mule is less distractible or irascible than a horse, which makes for a better pack animal; but with downside being that he cannot successfully mate another mule.
A serial rapist would be just as equanimous and far less dangerous if he too had his balls cut off. Most of them already seem to being lacking a sanity gene anyway.
Chromosomes happen to enjoy traveling in paired numbers and if not, then the result of breeding may either be a nonevent or an aberration.
In the extremely rare case of the above offspring between a male donkey and a Mare being a female, we then do not have a Mule, but rather a Molly.
Breeding between a male Horse and a female Donkey is rarely if ever successful and if so results in a hybrid known as a Hinny. Even rarer yet is the successful breeding between a male Horse and a Molly.
In general, different species do not even attempt interbreeding and have no genetic programming that even allows for it to happen. At this level, animals are smart enough to know that if something simply does not smell right, or even if it did, would probably not go right, so they don’t even attempt it.
Maybe a “horse’s ass” then is nothing better than a deserving sobriquet applied to anyone attempting the impossible in a situation in which he should know better than to even try. And although a male dog humping on a human leg would equally apply as being completely asinine; it does support the fact that there is always an exception to most rules. This must discount bestiality; which is categorized as only being a sexual perversion.
As for these humans with far out sexual proclivities, and who rationally ignore both pheromones as well as biology as for example a woman who enjoys having sex with a horse, at least she has no need not worry about conception; although the mythological Satyr may be some ancient Greek’s imaginative rendition of what that genetically impossible offspring might indeed resemble. Unfortunately for me, this oddity then became attached to my sun sign, Sagittarius.
Then again, the human species may be the only one other than a sheep itself; in which a man might try to mount a sheep, while the domesticated male dog is often known to randomly attempt to mate with human legs.
The Latin scientific terminology designates all human beings as: Homo sapiens. Race is a scientific term applied to a finer tuning of species that only means that subspecies exist within a larger context. However, it is at this very level of sub-categorization where all the trouble begins. As a side bar, since Homo sapiens literally means “Wise man,” perhaps the subspecies should be expanded to include Homo stultus or “Stupid man.”
When speaking of genetics, it is useful to review a few technical definitions. Chromosomes carry all our genetic material in the form of DNA. All cells in any given species have identical chromosomes and the identical number of chromosomes; which occur in pairs. For human beings, the number of chromosomes is twenty-three pairs.
When mating occurs, each parent contributes half the complement of chromosomes in the germ cells, meaning each egg and each sperm cell carries only half of the twenty-three chromosomal alleles. Gender is determined by unique sex chromosomes originating in the sperm cells, such that a sperm cell can carry either a female X chromosome or a male Y chromosome.
All eggs are X, such that if an X sperm combines with the X egg the result is a girl XX and if a Y sperm combines with the X egg, the result is a boy XY.
Chromosomes contain DNA, the material that codes for protein production in the cell and that thus directs all genetic development of the individual person.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules are long helical double strands of organized molecules that consist of sugars and amino acids.
Each binary pair of necleo-peptides is known as a gene base pair.
Every person’s DNA makeup is unique, which is why criminologists can do a molecular fingerprint on an individual accused of leaving some DNA behind at the scene of the crime, by subsequently matching it to that person.A gene is a hereditary unit of a sequence of DNA base pairs that can be of varying lengths along the DNA strand, although not all DNA sequences are active as genes.
For example, human beings have 3 billion DNA base pairs, but only 30,000 genes, meaning that much of the genetic material does not actually express itself. This also means that individual genes can code for the synthesis of the several hundred thousand protein messengers that make up all our intrinsic biology.
Many hereditary diseases or for example, a predisposition for an individual to develop cancer, is rooted at the level of individual variations or defects in certain genes.
Stem cell research focuses on the ability to manipulate individual genes to eliminate these defects, or to supply an afflicted person with some otherwise missing ingredients.
Familial inbreeding or long term inbreeding of certain small clusters of species can often result in genetic catastrophes, because certain genetic defects tend to become unmasked if two closely related individuals both carry the same defect. Cystic fibrosis and hemophilia might qualify as examples.
This is also why having chromosomes lining up as pairs, with one originating from each parent, minimizes the risk of this happening in general. It is analogous to two genetic heads being better than one and may explain in part the beneficial advantage of the evolution of binary sex in the first place.
It would be a very dull world indeed if we could all reproduce ourselves agamously like budding yeast; although I have met a few individuals who are so egocentrically narcissistic, they would not at all mind being alone on this planet, or with a group of personal identical clones to serve as being their best and closest friends.
This would make for fabulous and stimulating dinner conversations:
- Don’t you agree?
- Yes, of course. You know I always agree with us.
Or with that ability to self reproduce we would then have a planet filled with only Adams and only Eves; or worse yet a planet filled only with XXYYs:
Not man. Not woman. But rather something in between, perhaps akin to that transgender entity, otherwise come to be known as: The Chick-With-A-Dick.
Ergo, proscriptions against consanguineous marriage, were not something made up by a bunch of ancient human moralists, but rather came about as the result of generations of empirical observations as to the disastrous outcomes of people breeding with their first-degree relatives. This is also from whence we come by those jokes about Hillbilly mating and the only good reason my Aunt Jean did not want me to become romantically involved with my cousin Beverly.
We already had enough idiots in our family.
Perhaps then Moses should have added a thirteenth Commandment:
- Thou shalt not marry thy sister’s sister.
If someone had pointed this one out to some of the debauched, consanguineously oriented Roman Emperors, enough familial dementia may have been prevented to save an entire empire.
However, this principle applies to all species, and provides the rationale explaining why there is rightfully so much concern about shrinking, limited gene pools existing for currently endangered animal species. The result of the contracted gene pool is too much inbreeding and subsequently too many genetically deficient and/or non-viable offspring.
In reference to humans, we are designated Genus: Homo. Species: sapiens
The human species also evolved along three or possibly four racial lines that for purposes of stupidly simplistic clarity can be called by the colors white, red, yellow and brown. For you purists out there Anthropologists designate us as Caucasian, Asian or Mongoloid, Negroid or Black and Australoid.
The essential point of the argument, however is that because we are all in the same species, we can and do successfully interbreed with each other, whatever personal bias one might have against mixed race marriage.
The human gene pool happens to be racially insensitive, is not biased and is thus why we generically tend to refer to all humans on the planet as being part of the “Human Race.”
At the genetic level, all human beings differ from one another by a total of 0.1% of their total DNA make up, meaning by only a total of 30 genes out of 3 billion DNA base pairs and 23,000 coding gene sequences. This variation expresses itself in minor racial differences such as skin color, epicanthic eye folds, hair color and texture, eye color and all the very few other superficial differences that ultimately lead us as racial subgroups to single these things out for targeted hatred.
We are all 99.9% purely the same.
Better than Ivory soap.
But it is that 0.1% which makes us a little different, one from the next, that is sadly, the only thing accounting for 100% of all cultural, religious, and racial hatreds.
If you hate a person you hate something in him that is a part of yourself.
What isn’t a part of ourselves does not disturb us.
|Gene base pair and DNA gene sequence: Wikipedia|