- Before we ever wrote on paper or even stone tablets, humanity was unwittingly writing its history in the DNA of each successive generation. Now, after tens of thousands of years, scientists reading the history written in—and omitted from—those genes are re-writing the story of how human culture began.
By combing through 100,000 years of genetic history, scientists say they have shown that modern human behaviors which arose about 50,000 years ago traveled from person to person through cultural, not genetic exchange. The genetic data also add new layers to the history of human migration out of Africa and provide a valuable medical resource. The findings were published last month in the journal Nature.