July 15, 2004

Speading the Seed

I caught part of an episode of Richard and Judy the other day. I PROMISE I wasn't really watching it, you have to believe me, it was a freak coincidence. I was actually flicking through the channels waiting for the Weakest Link to come on. Before you start to consider the behavioural implications of actually waiting for the Weakest Link to come on, I must stress, that it was in the name of research, as it is quite possible I will be on the show in the next couple of months.
Anyway, on the Richard and Judy show, there was a bloke who reckoned that there are about 16 million people around today, who have got Genghis Khan's Y chromosome. This is quite an impressive feat, and in fact represents the world's most successful gene. The success is apparently due to Mr. Khan's vast empire, and the fact that when he was out conquering, he liked to 'spread his seed', so to speak. Then, after his death, his many sons also liked to 'spread their seed' and so on, and so on, for about a thousand years to bring us up to the giant total we have at present.
You can apparently have a test done, to see if you have this gene. Presumably, a positive result means you can say things like -
'I'm sorry I was cheating on you honey, I can't help it, it's the Genghis gene.'
'Do you have any Mongolian in you? Would you like some?'
'I'm off down the next village to kill everyone, and burn down their houses. Don't wait up.'
'Fancy going to that new Mongolian hot pot restaurant in Covent Garden?'

I was wondering if a thousand years from now, there will be a new leader gene on the block, from some kind of movie star or pop star. I guess not, as nowadays people don't like to leave a vast swathe of babies in the wake of their philandering. So, it looks like Mr. Khan's legacy will last the next thousand years too. If you start getting hot pot cravings, better go take the test...

Posted by paul at July 15, 2004 12:11 PM

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