William the Conqueror

William as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry during the Battle of Hastings, lifting his helm to show that he is still alive1.


But to the extent that ancestry is considered in genealogical rather than genetic terms, our findings suggest a remarkable proposition: no matter the languages we speak or the colour of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

J.T. Chang2.



One of the things in Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code that really ground my gears to a complete stop was the ‘revelation’ that Sophie Neveu and her little brother are descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. At the time I thought the whole concept was ridiculous, because in every one of the 67 generations between the year zero and the present Jesus’ and Maria’s genes were halved, and nothing would be left, not even a base pair3. I never read another of his books.

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