Thursday, September 15, 2005

Genghis Khan: I Feel For You, I Think I Love You

There's a pretty fascinating article over at National Geographic about Genghis Khan and his impact on the population of the Earth. Here's an excerpt:
An international group of geneticists studying Y-chromosome data have found that nearly 8 percent of the men living in the region of the former Mongol empire carry y-chromosomes that are nearly identical. That translates to 0.5 percent of the male population in the world, or roughly 16 million descendants living today.

The spread of the chromosome could be the result of natural selection, in which an extremely fit individual manages to pass on some sort of biological advantage. The authors think this scenario is unlikely. They suggest that the unique set of circumstances surrounding the establishment of the Mongol empire led to the spread.

In brief: Khan and his sons were, well, whores. Khan's eldest son Tushi (I know, I know--stop it) had forty legitimate sons, and Khan himself received first pick of all virgins in a conquered territory. So it's basically promiscuity on a gigantic scale (as well as the slaughter of competing males from the vanquished) having a remarkable affect genetically.

Not conclusive, but very interesting, and as a bonus there are two links to amazing photos at the bottom of the page, one titled "Flourescent Shark Caught on Film" and "Rare White Giraffe Spotted in Africa."

That's right. A white giraffe. With a photo.

Here's the link (thanks Robot Wisdom Weblog):

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