THE BLOG

Most Human?

11/05/2012 05:05 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Adam the human being. Adam the mud man, cut in two, and then there's Eve. What does it mean to be a human being? Were Adam and Eve within the Homo sapiens species? Assumedly, Cain and Able were. Were Adam and Eve pure Homo sapiens before they sinned? And less than pure after? What does it mean to be pure Homo sapiens? Who among us is pure? Who among us is pure Homo sapiens, human being? Who is among earthlings is most human? I thought I knew. No one could be pure human unless we all are, so therefore we all are pure Homo sapiens. It would have to be either all of us or none of us, biblically, won't it?

And then I learned from genetic science that mixed among all of our Homo sapiens DNA are bits and pieces of Neanderthal DNA amounting to about 3 percent. I am 3 percent Neanderthal. No denying it. I am an impure human, and so is every other human being on every continent on earth. We slept with Neanderthals. We interbred. There is a benefit to having shagged with Neanderthals 30,000 years ago -- many of us inherited a more robust immune system.

Take heart! Here is a shout to the marginalized TV Neanderthals featured in the insurance commercials. Stand taller my friends! Know that the bigots who belittle you carry in their DNA measurable bits and pieces of your people. We are your kindred.

Stunning news arrived recently from HuffPost Science in an article titled "Neanderthal Sex Study Suggests Ancestors Of Sub-Saharan Africans Didn't Mate With Extinct Species" by Jacqueline Howard. I read the article. In brief, it is possible that the only pure bred human beings, the only pure bred Homo sapiens on our planet right now, are Sub-Saharan Africans. The very people belittled, dehumanized and enslaved by Europeans, by my people, who we believed not to be human, at least not fully human, but animal, expendable, own-able and enslave-able Sub-Saharan Africans no detectable Neanderthal DNA in their bodies making the most human among us.

This is an irony of historic and human proportion. May God forgive our misconceptions.