Humans are continuing to evolve, not just culturally but in our genetic makeup. With each generation there is increasing blending of genes as more and more people can affordably travel outside of their primary community and form relationships that cross their historical geographies, ethnic groups and heritage reproductive pools.
Every day the future of the human race is changing. In every new birth, there is more blending of their DNA than before, and the mixing of racial DNA profiles will change how we as a race evolve for the future.
A report that came out in 2017 by Pew Research showcased that within the United States since 1980, multiracial infants has tripled. They made up 14% of babies that were born in 2015. In the United Kingdom, mixed ethnic groups were not part of the census until 2001. When it was first introduced only 1.3% of the population utilized related to one of the groups, now in 2011, that number has grown to 2.3%. Dual heritage children have also increased from 116,000 at the 2001 consensus to 220,000 in 2011.
As races continue to mingle, we have to understand that genetics will change with that. In the past, there has been some genetic mixing, but with how mobile the human species is, it is allowing many to travel the world and migrate. Interracial marriages have been increasing which is showcasing a surge of multiracial kids.
One advantage to the mix of genes is that certain traits that present themselves in populations may be able to make that jump into others. An example of this is if someone with a genetic mutation that made them immune to a virus were to be born, but the virus they were resistant to was in a different portion of the world. It may not help them where they were born, but if they decided to move, and enter an area where that virus thrives and set up a family. The mutation would be able to be passed down, helping others.
With the possibility of adaptive genes being passed on, we also have to look at what else may be passed on. University of Edinburgh, compiled over 100 studies that have occurred around the world and analyzed the information within. It showed that genetic diversity is linked to children being born with increased height, and cognitive ability. The abilities are going to be more prominent in humans moving forward.
Genetics are going to change more person’s genes; they are also going to change the perspective of what we begin to think of as “normal.” Not everyone will have multiracial children; there will still be a set group of individuals that may not benefit from these additional features. We could see a world in which those of short-stature may begin to be seen as abnormal with a whole new set of racial stigma emerging for the non-mixed populations.
There may even be negative repercussions when races do not mix. For example, in purebred dogs, certain genetic conditions can occur to specific breeds if they are not bred with another bred. The same can be said to humans, where 10% of marriages occur between close relatives, these are considered second cousins or closers. The closer the relationship between the parents are, the higher chance there is to genetic disorders or birth defects will be present in the child, in the medical world this is called consanguinity.
The changing nature of our genetic profile also has implications for ethnically targeted services and how we talk about race in the context of a much more mixed world. In the UK we are in the middle of Black History Month in October and although this is already evolving into Black and Minority Ethnic History Month, I’m not sure how many initiatives and events would specifically market themselves to a mixed ethnicity audience because we have such a binary view of ethnic identity.
There are also implications for things where you genetics play a key role – like organ donation where certain protein profiles on organs are only found in specific ethnic minority people and mixed race people face significant challenges finding a match.
Although there are challenges in this global mixing pot of genes, globalization is very necessary in order to give the human race an advantage in the terms of evolution. When conditions change the human species will need to adapt, or face extinction. Genetics will help change the human race get better and survive some of the other global challenges ahead….