It is a highly interesting thought that every human being might be related in some way. With so many people currently living on the planet, it is strange to think of the time when only certain parts of the world were occupied. This is exactly the goal of the documentary, The Human Family Tree, in which the filmmakers document what a wealth of information can be obtained from a few simple cheek swabs from strangers on a busy New York street. On might expect that people living in a close quarters with one another would have more similar genetic makeup then people living in other parts the world. While that is true to an extent, it is remarkable just how similar human genetic material is among people. In fact, it is so similar that when there is a difference noted, scientists are able to use it together information about distant historical relatives. When this information can be gathered from many people at one time, it can be used to describe patterns of how early human beings migrated throughout the world.
This documentary cites many examples of science is ability to trace human beings from history. By simply working backwards, and using a combination of biology, genetics, and math, scientists have been able to figure out a great deal about humans of the past. For example, it is proposed that early human beings slowly started to migrate away from their families moving only a mile or so away on average. While this seems to be quite a slow rate, especially for modern people who are used to cars, trains and airplanes, these people were actually able to migrate at the rate of one mile a year. In keeping up with this number, scientist could confirm that people could get from Africa to Australia in 10,000 years. The wealth of knowledge that is known in this area is highly commendable. And, the documentary The Human Family Tree only presents a small segment of knowledge that we now have available about our ancestry.

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