Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On the Origins of Humanity

Hitchens says
What we will find ... is what Russians find when they look at Pushkin, or what Frenchmen find when they scrutinize Alexandre Dumas: that African ancestry is commingled everywhere. If Pushkin could be a black Russian, everything is possible.

The fantasy of ethnic purity is simply a fantasy, and the fantasy of racial purity is not even a delusion, because we are all of the same race. Ex Africa semper aliquid novi, as the Romans phrased it. There is always something new out of Africa.

The latest tidings tell us in a sense what we already knew, and knew before the DNA string was unraveled and decoded: We are all brothers and sisters under the skin. No, let me amend that cliche: We were all brothers and sisters under the skin long before pigmentation was evolved. The only surprise is that we are still surprised; but then we do still live in the prehistory of our species. When we eventually get over this, one of the toasts will certainly be l'chaim.
And who's to argue with that?

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