Just as Genghis Khan’s personal DNA has characterised huge numbers of the Mongolian and northern Chinese population ever since around 1220 AD — something that has been known for a number of years now – we have recently learned from similar DNA evidence of the male Y chromosome that another potent ancestor also existed.
He is termed the Bronze Age King by DNA biologists and accounts for half the population of present-day Europe. There’s a fifty-fifty chance that the present writer might be carrying exactly the same mutation — hopefully a good one — that the Bronze Age King, and he alone, initiated some three or four thousand years ago at least.
On further research, it is now realised by geneticists that here have been many such DNA explosions throughout history in different parts of Europe and Asia since we left Africa at around 60,000 BC. All of these relatively sudden genetic concentrations are due to the precocity of single males, usually powerful males with large harems, whose contributions to the human gene pool have been disproportionately significant.
Just as high-ranking males within groups usually have more children than lower-ranking males in a any group or culture — leading to the elimination of deleterious genes from the lowest ranks — so would the Genghis Khans, Bronze Age Kings and many other super-privileged males of the past have been a double bonus in improving the genetic stock.
Indeed, had it not been for birth control, then America might have been benefiting from a recent example of its own. I speak of President John F Kennedy, of course, who had sex with a different female on most nights he was away from home before and during his term of office (1961-1963) — particularly latterly when his secret service agents would precede him scouting for constant supply of beautiful young ladies for his evenings. Unlike today, the media of those days and kept quiet about these events voluntarily!
These latest insights into explosive reproduction based on Y chromosomes has been due to a team led by Dr David Poznikbad, from Stanford University, California and colleagues from the Welcome Foundation. They have shown that single mutations can finally be narrowed down and dated to their first arrival thousands of years ago. Not only that, but the evolution of good genes and the devolution of inferior ones is a great deal more dramatic than the slow pace of selection as envisaged by Darwin.
When it comes to improving the human stock of genes — or at least of eliminating the inferior mutations we are constantly assailed with — it is a moot point as to whether tomorrow’s society will tolerate Genghis Khan’s behaviour or whether it will all have to be done by excision engineering in the lab as is presently done in IVF clinics. It is difficult to imagine the former at the present time but no more difficult to understand how media reticence of only 50 years ago has changed into the nasty hounding that goes on today.