The force of love writ large—as well as the evolution of consciousness—is recognized through our understanding of how the concept of the human race itself has evolved. Race did not come into play in ancient societies. The Greeks were in some ways more “equal opportunity” societies than most today. They created distinctions based only on religion, social status or class, and in some cases language.
Appearing in the English language relatively recently, only 500 years ago, race was first used as a term to separate us. It was thought that there were many “races,” which contributed to privileges for some and disadvantages for others. The result, racism, is still one of the most challenging social issues of our time.
Yet now, research in genetics, genealogy, and molecular anthropology gives us much more to consider. The discovery of DNA is a paradigm-shifter; we now understand that scientific truth is relative and continuously unfolding.
What science once had no way of knowing can now be understood from DNA: all human beings alive today are the descendants of ancestors who set out from central Africa some 70,000 years ago on a long migration that spanned the earth.
As the children of our primeval parents spread out and moved into different continents of the globe, it was environment, or geography, that caused genetic variation and differences in skin tone, not biology. What DNA tells us completely shatters our previous worldview. We are no longer just the ethnic or national heritage we thought we were; we are all members of the “tribe of nomads—at home nowhere and ceaselessly on the way to someplace else.”
We are world wanderers, global migrants; this is what is written in our genes. The recent increase in numbers of immigrants and refugees worldwide, although massive, is not new. Throughout history there have always been forces that have pushed or pulled people from their place of origin.
But this new information from our DNA changes how we see our connection to each other, and what we think of as home. We can all now begin to understand the Earth as our common homeland; we are all global villagers, put in this unique setting to specifically but gradually and inevitably recognize our oneness in all our diversity.
Most important from our new understanding of DNA is the interrelatedness of all human beings; we all share the same common ancestors. Even with over 7 billion of us today, measuring our surprisingly close relation to each other, we find that no human being—of any so-called “race”—can be less closely related to any other human being than approximately 50th cousin; most of us are a lot closer than that.
Before we trace our ancestry back 50 generations, every family tree, of whatever origin, meets and merges into one genetic tree of all humanity. As we integrate these new understandings, our worldview will gradually shift, too.