Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey


In the “The Journey of Man“, a must-watch documentary produced by  National Geographic and PBS in 2003, Dr Spencer Wells narrates:

“I have some information that will surprise you.  For the past 15 years scientists have been using cutting edge technology to investigate your family history. We’ve been delving into your distant past and we’ve discovered an incredible secret.  It’s time you knew the truth. A long time ago your family was on the brink of dying out… Come with me and I’ll tell you something that will change your view of the world. It’s the story of your family and how they conquered the earth… What if I told you scientists have discovered a time machine, a portal that has allowed us to see back into ancient history. And what if I told you that for the past 10 years I’ve been using this time machine to gather information that has been rewriting history – your history…  Inside this tiny crimson drop is the greatest history book ever written. It’s the story of a journey, the journey of our species and each of us is carrying a unique chapter. But it’s only in the last decade that we discovered how to read these stories. A window on the past that archeologists could only dream of… A time machine hidden in our genes… in science, every now and again a big idea comes along… Blood was the time machine and we are time travelers… Ten years on and we’re ready to rewrite history… I’ve spent nearly 10 years checking and rechecking the details of this journey until I’ve complete and total faith in our results…”

This is indeed an engaging, informative documentary tracing the earliest human migration on this planet, as shown by our genetic roots. He, along with his team, explored the world for indigenous people with deep roots in one place, taking and testing DNA samples, and came up with some surprising candidates which he interviewed. The best parts are when he returns with DNA results and we see the diverse ways in which people and tribes react to the news of what science says about their arrival and relations.  It more or less confirms the long belief that Africa is the cradle of humankind!

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