The Art of Inheriting Physical Characteristics from our Ancestors
As science tells us, we all know that we inherit our appearance, our health, intelligence, and our beings from our parents and somehow from our ancestors. 50% of our genes come from our mother, and the other half is from our father. Our parents have also inherited a certain proportion from their parents and so forth. This will mean that for each individual, there is a “quarter” from their four grandparents, each contributing 25”% of their genes. Going further back, we share some 900 genes from each of our great great great grandparents. Notice some distinct characteristics like hair color? Trace the characteristics from your parents and ancestors, and you will.
This sharing of genes happens horizontally and vertically across the family trees. While identical twins share all their genes, on the average we share 50% of our genes with our siblings and 25% with half-siblings. With our first cousins, we normally share 1/8 of our genes.
Genetic inheritance is random, and one cannot pinpoint the exact genes that will make up the contributions from every parent. This means that theoretically, siblings may not have overlapping genes. Bryan Sykes, a professor at Oxford University, explained that generally it will appear that an individual has inherited almost all of his or her looks from a single parent.
Habsburg Law explains the inheritance of facial characteristics, based on the occurrence of distinct and protruding jaws, or mandibular prognathism syndrome, which afflicted 34 generations of the European upper class, specifically the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It explains that this gene containing this feature is dominant, and if a child takes the gene from a parent and a normal gene from the other parent, then he or she will develop the distinct feature. We can notice this from a few pictures of these aristocrats. Sykes further points out that most of us do not have pictures of how our real ancestors looked.
It is important to know our forefathers to better understand who we are now. Then we can thank them and pray for them. It is a fact that there are things that we are going to pass on to future generations that are beyond our control, but surely we can send good things, such as our healthy lifestyles and environments, to make their lives better.