Tuesday, May 23, 2006


On the agency list there has been a discussion of responses about "Why Ethiopia." This got me thinking about our reasoning. It hit me that our reasoning is very scientific. We chose Ethiopia because of its status as the believed place of the human species. That means something to me. I am connected to Ethiopia in a way that I am not connected to China, Taiwain, Guatemala, or Nepal. I love anthropology. I didn't use to give it much thought, but my super intelligent and cerebral husband is an anthropologist by degree. We have fascinating discussions about genes and cultural, etc. Yeah we don't get out much. I love to think about the evolution of the human species and the way in which our ancestors spread out from what is now Ethiopia. Our son will have the oldest genes in the world and for my husband that is just as good as having his genes.

My husband has struggled as an anthropologist with the idea that his genes may not continue. Genes want to continue on. I had never really thought about that, nor do I think that some of my families genes should have an opportunity to continue on. I am surrounded by connections. My son was born the day before our wedding anniversary. There is a birds nest with babies outside of our bedroom window--it is a stained glass window--we can see thier shadows--the cats love that. We are all connected. Some scientists believe that all of our genes can be traced back to 4 women from Ethiopia. That amazes me and brings me to another connection or lack there of a connection.

Why don't we feel more connected as a society. When did we become us and them and cease being us? My husband believes the downfall of our modern civilization came with agriculture. Once we started to produce for ourselves we didn't need anyone else anymore. Once we decided we could pen up an animal and say he is mine and you can't have him because look I have a fence--we separated ourselves. I use to not put a lot of stock in that line of thought, really how could something that has helped us survive and evolve be the downfall of our species. But now I see. I no longer have to rely on my neighbor or my community to help me survive. I can go to the store and get whatever I need, given I have the resources. It is all about us now. I try to argue that the family unit is still strong, but it isn't. Families all live so far apart that help is hours away sometimes hours by plane.

Why do I wonder about this? Because I want my son to feel connected to us and to the world around him. But it is a world the may or may now want a connection to him. But I then look at my family--currently made up of cats and dogs and I see their connection. The cats and dogs are connected. They sleep together, they love each other. They are geneticly inclined to fear or want to eat the other, but they don't because they are a family. They are a pack. They have responded to our love and our family will do the same with our child. We are a pack--extended family and all--they will have a connection with our child because we do. They will love and accept him into the pack because we do. Connections...


MP2 said...

Go evolution!

Dawn said...

Nice to know someone else is interested in genetics too.