Your Genetic Journey

The National Geographic Society and IBM launched a research initiative to trace the migratory history of humans.

The Genographic Project will use laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people to map how the Earth was populated.

You can learn more about the Genographic Project here.

Scientific evidence suggests that the human species ultimately traces back to Africa. But other questions remain. For example, how did we migrate and populate the world? The Genographic Project aims to uncover some of these mysteries and discover the details of how we journeyed around the world.

What a fascinating project.

3 replies
  1. Richard Cottrell
    Richard Cottrell says:

    How is the Genographic Project as you say, “What a fascinating project.” ?

    It is simply Dr. Wells fulfilling his dream to make everyone believe they are Out of Africa using a Tom, Dick and Harry test (12 markers) from FTDNA.

    The Out of Africa model or single-origin hypothesis is a weak theory that is derived from a fact of belief rather than a fact of evidence.

    Scientists don’t agree that it is a valid theory for human origins or migrations.

    John Hawks, Assistant Professor of Anthroplogy at University of Wisconsin-Madison in his article “The Genographic Project” had this to say about the project as well as other ‘commercial ancestry studies’:

    “Individually, each of them will be a flimsy case based on weak evidence.”

    So other then being “a fascinating project” what scientific value will be obtained from the Genographic Project.


  2. richard cleaver
    richard cleaver says:

    Hello Richard,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The project is fascinating to me for a couple of reasons: 1) the project is arguably the largest genetic anthropology research initiative ever undertaken; and 2) it will gather one of the largest collections of DNA samples.

    The lead IBM scientist, Ajay Royyuru, heads the Computational Biology Center at IBM”™s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He oversees 35 researchers in areas such as bioinformatics, structural biology,functional genomics, systems biology, and medical informatics.

    His view on the scientific value of the project:

    “I must confess I”™d take part in the project solely for the opportunity to understand human diversity. But I also feel that the scale and scope of it will allow researchers to learn things that we don”™t already know in an area that we are eager to study ”“ information-based medicine.

    The understanding of how medicine relates to a population, why one solution works for some people and not for others, how to minimize side effects and maximize benefits, these are all very important for the future of healthcare. And to reach this understanding, you have to get to the root of what population diversity means. The data from the Genographic Project, while not having any medical content, will far exceed anything we could ever get in a medical study.”

    I try to keep an open mind about the research activities of scientists. Scientists do not agree on many things. That is why research is warranted on such topics particularly if there is debate within the scientific community about the relative strength or weakness of a given theory.

    I hope that helps you understand my perspective. And, it is just that… my perspective.

  3. Richard Cottrell
    Richard Cottrell says:

    At least you have a reason for thinking the project is “fascinating” and can state that reason.

    And your statement:

    “That is why research is warranted on such topics particularly if there is debate within the scientific community about the relative strength or weakness of a given theory.”

    Very well said. That is a strong argument for support of the project.


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