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My Analysis
Davonte Olfus
Delaware State University

Journey of a Man; a Genetic Odyssey


By Spencer Wells

Spencer Wells does a wonderful job of going on a journey to try to retrace the steps of
our ancestors to locate the answers of how and why the human race is so diverse today. It is my
job to analyze and critic the information given through this documented video. Geneticists use
the testing of DNA in blood samples to retrace and relocate the steps of our ancestors through

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common errors in the DNA structures of males. This is very important because those common
eras in the DNA structures of a male would allow scientists to understand that many males all
over the world have the same ancestors due to the fact that the Y chromosomes of male DNA
passes through off-breads unchanged. Geneticists have found the same errors somewhere in the
Y chromosome of males from all over the world to prove that in fact we all originate from one
area at a point in history, that area being Africa. I believe that this case is valid in using DNA to
relocate ancestral and it in fact proves that all people may come from the same origin. To further
prove the point of everyone coming from the same origin I would have liked to see evidence of
this being gathered from men all across the globe of different skin variations.
Spencer Wells describes the use of isolated tribes as being key to retracing the steps of
our ancestors. It makes a lot of sense to use isolated tribes to relating to our ancestors due to the
fact that societies have not corrupted their lifestyles, and they have rituals that have passed
through many generations possibly unchanged. As the rest of the world goes under constant
change to improve our governments. Spencer visits what he calls the Bushmen Tribe which are
actually the San people indigenous to parts of South Africa. These people have been inhabitant to
their area for at least 20,000 years and are hunter gatherers. This group of people are interesting
due to the rituals they continue to practice through generations as they are the closest people in
relation to our ancestors. Spencer speaks on their language and of how they speak in clicks
which is not done anywhere else in the world. I find the clicks in their language very interesting
because they may resemble the language of the original population on the planet of Africa. The
language has not traveled outside of Africa, which is the motherland of humankind. These clicks
may intrigue us as something new, however this may be close to the original language that our
ancestors have spoken. The video shows the San people with unique tracking skills as they must
use to track and hunt food for the main purpose of survival. They were referred to as the best
trackers in the world. This also fits in to what was said by Spencer as they were not
philosophers, they were hunters. The San people very much like the origins ancestors did not
dwell on technological advances that didnt revolve around hunters. They happen to be the best
trackers in the world due to the fact that generation after generation they are taught to survive
and pay attention to detail. I find it interesting that they were not named the best hunters in the
world with the skills that they hone. This may come from the fact that they are not the most
technological advances as the rest of the world when it comes to weapons. However, they
continue to be more skilled in hunting than the average human.
Spencer began to continue with his quest in an attempt to retrace the steps of our
ancestors to end up all over the globe. While visiting a cave, Spencer happened to say that they
may have looked like us, but the people that were here were not as smart. I find this very
interesting as also a lie. We measure one being smart on the basis of knowledge that can be
gained from the many different technologies that are accessible today. Our ancestors had no need
of information because they were the originators. They set the foundations for us to thrive on the
planet as we have today. In fact, I believe that they were smarter than us in aspects of survival
and architecture. Their lives revolved around the instinct of survival in conditions that we would
today not be able to withstand without our technology that we have today. As the San people,
there is no doubt that our ancestors were extraordinary hunters and they made craft and tools
from the materials that were available through their resources. As shown throughout the video,
there is no doubt that climate changing constantly occurred throughout the globe. These were
challenges that our ancestors had to endure without the luxury that we have today. The fact that

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the human race still exists speaks volumes on the survival skills of our ancestors, which many
believe should have been impossible. These climate changes no doubt nearly pushed humankind
on the verge of extinction which is easily the reason that our ancestors had to venture off into
new parts of the world to find food. As Spencer continued to travel he stopped in Australia to
look for signs of how are ancestors arrived. Unfortunately, his search there was not too
successful. He could not get any help from the Australians due to the facts that they believe that
they are aborigine. This means that they believe that they along with the animals originated in
Australia. The fact that Australians are the only primates in Australia hints that humans could not
have originated in Australia.
The journey further traveled into eastern Europe as geneticist Spencer Wells searched to
find the nomad tribe in Eastern Russia called the Chukchi people. His trip into the Arctic Circle
was the most interesting trip in the documentary. The Chukchi people lived in a very remote area
on the globe which Spencer Wells described as seeming as an entirely new world. This tribe
lived in possibly the least living environmental conditions that I have witnessed. This is
remarkable because it shows the strength of humankind when it comes to surviving in terrible
conditions. Before the viewing the documentary I would have not imagined living in the Arctic
circle possible for humankind. The Chukchi diet consists mainly of reindeer which played a
valuable role in them being able to survive. These people show the brilliance of our ancestors in
surviving with the little resources available throughout the worst living environments. This
specific isolated tribe shows how our ancestors made it possible to survive their migrations over
the globe. With the research of Spencer Wells and many more along with this journey Spencer
Wells allowed us to go on with him opened my eyes to the true power and ability for human
survival throughout history with their innovative thinking. The Chukchi tribe fascinates me the
most because they are still living to simply survive. They travel from place to place with their
reindeer in search of ways to keep the reindeers alive and a constant resource of food and
clothing to survive. Without realizing the importance, they might not see that they are an exact
projection of the past of our ancestors.
Altogether, this documented video along with information presented by Spencer Wells
fascinates me. The video inspires me to pay a lot more attention to humankind across the globe
in how we relate each other. The journey taken in the video allows us to look at the cultures step
by step as our ancestors came to populate the world. Our cultures vary through area but yet there
are similarities amongst us all. Spencer Wells enlightens me of not only the physical features, but
encourages me to look at the religious practices and rituals that may be similar and where they
differ into looking further into what happened throughout time to get us to where we are today.
We neglect each other as humans and tend to get caught up in our differences while we create
problems within our societies. The video helps one realize that we truly are one world and that
we should work together and except out ancestral history.

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