Who we are and how we got here

If you are, at all, interestd in human pre-history, then you should read this book. David Reich, Who we are and how we got here.

(Full disclosure, David is a friend of mine and I did a sabbatical in his lab a few years ago, but I am not just recommending it because of that — or because I’m mentioned in it, which I am :) — no, it really is amazingly good).

If you are worried about catching racism from reading it, don’t be. The only racism you can read into what David writes is stuff you bring yourself. He is very careful about distinguishing between classical racism and what we in genetics could call ancestry. He has a whole chapter on it. And he writes, and I agree completely:

“The right way to deal with the inevitable discovery of substantial differences across populations is to realize that their existence should not affect the way we conduct ourselves. As a society we should commit to according everyone equal rights despite the differences that exist among individuals”

No, no racism in this text — and if you know David you would know that. What is in there is a very exciting description of what ancient DNA has told us over the last decade about human prehistory. So you should read it. Really. Now.

(If you are still in doubt, check some highlights I made while reading it here).

Author: Thomas Mailund

My name is Thomas Mailund and I am a research associate professor at the Bioinformatics Research Center, Uni Aarhus. Before this I did a postdoc at the Dept of Statistics, Uni Oxford, and got my PhD from the Dept of Computer Science, Uni Aarhus.

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