Are We Really What We Think We Are: A Journey Back in Time


we hold true is nothing more than a misconstrued fallacy? How would our beliefs, affiliations, and attitudes towards one another change if incontrovertible evidence was introduced into our lives? Scientific discovery has facilitated dramatic advancements in identifying critical DNA differences between us and the great apes, specifically the bonobo, orangutan, chimpanzee, and gorilla.

We can now trace our origins back at least 8 million years, as modern humans a.k.a. hominins. This is an astonishing finding, and one that has been made possible through the works of leading experts including Thomas Henry Huxley, the acclaimed biologist, naturalist Charles Darwin, biologists Morris Goodman, Emile Zuckerkandl, and Allan Wilson. Notable anthropologists including Vince Sarich have also contributed with breakthrough studies on protein structures, identifying virtually indistinguishable characteristics between the great apes and modern humans.

While few people dispute the evolution of mankind over time, surprisingly little is known about our unique cultural makeup, ethnic origins, and religious affiliations from epochs when documented data was unavailable. Where did our families originate from? Do we have Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist or Buddhist origins? Do we have Hamito-Semitic ancestors in our family tree? Many of these burning questions have never even crossed our minds – why would they? It is human nature to assume that closely held beliefs are factually accurate. We now know different. Genealogists have been using autosomal DNA testing to discover mind-bending facts about our true origins.

Imagine finding out that you a long history of Jewish ancestry in your genealogy? The Jews were one of the most displaced groups of people to have ever lived on the planet. Expulsions from Asia, Africa, Europe, and beyond were commonplace, and the concept of the ‘Wandering Jew’ was a reality of life for a people determined to survive against the most iniquitous elements of human nature. Expulsions of Jews have lasted for time immemorial, leading to the Jewish Diaspora. Of course, making a definitive scientific link proves difficult given complicating factors such as endogamy. Often times extensive research vis-a-vis family trees needs to be conducted to identify overlaps and common ancestry.

A Heritage to Be Proud Of

Nothing happens in isolation; we are the products of a proud lineage that has existed for thousands of years, resulting in our being here. Were it not for the grit and determination, the courage and fortitude of our ancestors, we would not exist. From a philosophical perspective, our existence serves as a thunderous tribute to everyone in our line. We are here because of them; whomever they were, wherever they were, and whatever they believed in.

Modern day science has made it possible for us to journey back in time by using DNA testing to answer many of those burning questions. Are we really what we think we are? Are the beliefs we hold true really true? Our individual and collective heritage provides incontrovertible proof about where we come from, and what cultures and religious affiliations have shaped our ancestry. By connecting the dots, everything comes into sharp focus.

Today, it’s easier than ever to accurately determine heritage with a simple cheek swab. DNA testing companies offering heritage-style services to clients are bringing this type of breakthrough technology to the mainstream, and people are eating it up. Competitively priced testing services now combine family tree analysis and DNA results, all at an affordable price. The breakthrough advances in technology are readily available to anyone, anywhere, with no prescription required. An independent MyHeritage DNA review confirms what we know to be true: the past is relevant insofar as it has shaped the present and it provides greater clarity for the future.

Connecting the Dots…

The veracity of the ancestry data is strengthened by global participation, and organizations like MyHeritage DNA rely on their massive user base for greater accuracy. With an estimated 80 million global users, this particular genealogy service has won praise and admiration from scores of families, with tens of millions of family tree networks on its database. DNA testing is painless, hassle-free, and confidential. With privacy assured, ancestry results can determine which parts of the world our relatives come from, and what percentage of these elements make up our DNA ancestry.

Heritage is but one aspect of DNA testing that is now possible – others being DNA health which indicates the probabilities of a predisposition towards a specific genetic risk. Other elements like carrier status reports, ethnicity estimates, and DNA matches are useful in piecing together the complex puzzle that is essentially every one of us. The utility of knowing who we really are, and where we really come from is true peace of mind and that is priceless. All of the things that separate us as human beings are all of the things that bind us as human beings, since we are all cut from the same cloth.

Pride and prejudice, loving and loathing, tolerance and intolerance are products of societal differences, ethnic differences, and religious differences. It comes as a surprise to many of us that there may just be 6° of separation between everyone on this planet. While ancestry DNA testing is certainly no elixir for the maladies of the world, it is nonetheless a potent tincture we can use to provide peace of mind, historical context, and rational for why we are where we are, and who we are. A tongue twister perhaps, but all that’s needed is a cheek swab to get started!

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