March 29, 2018

Just Saying…

By Q.C. Jones

Ancestors of Aliens in the QCA? The Mysterious Case of Non-Human DNA Strains

First, let me wish all my friends out there in the far reaches of our Great Quad-Cities, USA a happy and healthy April. Even though April starts off with the infamous Fool’s day, let me assure you that what you are about to read is not the QC Jones version of HG Wells’ literary piece or Orson Welles radio drama bearing the same name, War of the Worlds. Instead of war, this article is about amour, family and the strange realities of mankind. Rest assured, this is not related to April Fool’s day in any, shape or form; actually it would be too hard to make this stuff up.

Pursuing the latest in internet news a couple of days ago, I saw an interesting piece. The headline was an attention grabber: “Humans bred with this mysterious species more than once, new study shows.” Here’s the scoop on the article. DNA test studies have revealed that our otherwise “human” ancestors intermixed, intermarried and had children with yet another species.

A molar and a chip of “pinkie” bone found in a cave in the Denisova Cave located in the Altai Mountains of Siberia retrieved DNA from a “human-like” primate. The primate group has been named the Denisovans. The 41,000 year old find reveals the presence of a long extinct species in the area. But now for the really interesting part.

The DNA provided proves there was, what the scientists refer to as “cross-species breeding,” meaning this group and humans of today carry some of the same genes. Further, this little bit of prehistoric hanky-panky didn’t stop in Siberia. Humans who traveled across South Asia mated with separate groups of Denisovans. The descendants of this group traveled over parts of Europe and eventually worked their way as far as Australia and the fringes of Europe. As QC Jones’ favorite TV pitchman, Ron Popeil would say, but wait there’s more…

This isn’t the first evidence of this “cross-species breeding” thing. Sometime around 2007, scientists started to suspect that some interbreeding had taken place between modern humans and the long extinct Neanderthals of the past. Contrary to what most of us were taught in school about the Neanderthals being an “evolutionary step” between man and President Reagan’s co-star in “Bed Time for Bonzo,” it turns out the Neanderthals were a separate species. This is an important update swinging around many of our family trees (pun intended).

If you are of European ancestry like old QC, you could claim not only Irish, German or Viking kin, but Neanderthal as well. According to one article, “Everyone living outside of Africa today has a small amount of Neanderthal in them, carried as a living relic of these ancient encounters. A team of scientists comparing the full genomes of the two species concluded that most Europeans and Asians have approximately 2 percent Neanderthal DNA.” The article goes on to say, Europeans have the greatest percentage. Armed with this little dose of science, allow your trusted correspondent to toss out a few points to ponder.

What if these kindly cave men were not the primitive beings portrayed in our Junior High Science class? What if instead, these two groups were actually leftovers from some long forgotten UFO crash? Looking back at my post from April 2017 (which is on the 50+ Lifestyles website), because of the unusually high incidents during the month, I all but declared April International UFO month. Could this be the search party coming to take a few of us away?

Just returning from the QCA St. Patrick’s Day Parade and overflowing with anecdotal evidence and a few green beers, allow me to extend this thought further. Red hair is caused by a relatively rare recessive allele (variant of a gene). By all rights, normal human genetics would indicate that by now, red headed folks of the non-Clairol variety would have worked their way out of the human population. However, I come from a family where both my maternal grandfather and my paternal uncle went by the nickname Red. As a youth, I had tinges of red hair and definitely sport “gingerly” pale skin. I also happen to have ancestry from the areas Neanderthals and Denisovans once called home.

Tracing through all this “cross species stuff” one can’t help but notice, the places where the “other species” lived are hotbeds of gingerness. Further, based on my observations down near the parade route, these potential aliens do like to mass together from time to time. I felt a sort of otherworldly need to join them and consume mass quantities of green beer. Perhaps deep down the beer color reminded me of what we drank back on the mother ship. Now back to the Parade.

Just saying…

Filed Under: History, Humor