From a biological point of view, humans don’t have enough diversity?

We recently read on a Smithsonian websitefern that humanity doesn’t really have a lot of genetic Diversity. We’ve got less Diversity than most other species. In fact, we’ve heard that biologists consider humans to have a “suboptimal” amount of Diversity. That is, healthy species have more Diversity than we do; our Diversity is on the low end. Plus, the Diversity we do have is greater between individuals, than, say, between people from different countries or “races.”
And Diversity is important, because it is what helps species withstand environmental and other changes.

Hold up. Run that back.
We’ve got less Diversity than a lot of healthy species.
Less Diversity than, say, chimps, or many plants.
And likely more Diversity between me and my neighbor (who looks like me) than between me and someone from the other side of the world who doesn’t look like me at all?

Less diversity than a species of plant

As a species, we’ve had thousands of years of wars and mistrust and enslavement and abuse
ad nauseam–“look/pray/act/talk/trade-like-me or else”– all in pursuit of limiting something that, in truth, we don’t have enough of?
Lack of Diversity is counter-evolutionary. It’s counter-life.
Species that want to survive and thrive usually have more biological Diversity, more genetic Diversity, more cultural Diversity.
We often focus on Diversity at the micro-level–in construction project hiring practices, on school boards and in police forces–and that’s mostly all good–but there’s an even bigger picture:
We need Diversity everywhere we can find it: In our approaches to problems, in our culture, in our churches, in our offices, in our genes, in our stories.
Diversity is Life and the Future.

Share and connect–help build a Bliss community

At Bliss Group Books, we want to add Diversity in our kids books. And elsewhere.
Where do you want to add Diversity in your life?

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1 Comment on "From a biological point of view, humans don’t have enough diversity?"


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Gillian Ball
August 29, 2015

Reminds of the comment by the geneticist Steve Jones that Pyrenean snails living in adjacent valleys have more genetic differences than the entire human race.