We are all linked together in the recent past by genealogical ancestry
Our findings suggest a remarkable proposition: no matter the languages we speak or the color of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
As a kid, I read an article in the Scientific American. It measured the efficiency of locomotion of various species on the planet. Bears. Chimpanzees. Raccoons. Birds. Fish. How many kilo-calories per kilometer did they spend to move?
Humans were measured too.
And the condor won. It was the most efficient.
Humankind came in with an unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. But somebody there had the brilliance to test a human riding a bicycle. We blew away the condor. Off the charts.
This really had an impact on me. Humans are tool builders. We build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities. We ran an ad for this once that the personal computer is the bicycle of the mind. I believe that with every bone in my body.
Genealogical ancestry, therefore, is surprising. It works much differently than genetic ancestry. [...] None of these surprises in genealogies, however, contradict ...