Here’s how to talk to kids about where we come from. First you have to decide whether you’ll be telling your children a strict Biblical or other religious writing account depending on your choice, your ethnic background, and your religion of where people came from–where your child came from, included. If you were raised in a particular faith, you can pass those teachings to your children. But what if you were raised with no explanation? Should you tell your children under age eight where babies come from first or start with how the universe first came into existence?
Or if you are a Humanist or want a secular explanation you could premise the talk by saying all books in print were written by human beings who were inspired, but you have no way personally of knowing whether the books were inspired by natural or supernatural causes. Or maybe you were inspired by supernatural events. It’s your choice what to tell your children so that they can read further on the subject.
Or you could premise the explanation any way that makes you feel at ease. Since no one knows who wrote the books, you have no reason to judge or jump to a conclusion, you can only show your child videos online or on DVD or refer your child to other books. At least you can decide on what point of reference you want to make. One way to start is to become a storyteller in shopping malls, food courts, schools, and libraries. This works well at holiday times throughout the year.
How would you like to be a Sacramento storyteller in public places such as schools, libraries, shopping malls, parks, museums, galleries, community centers, childrens’ clubs, birthday parties, or other gathering places to talk to kids and their families about the First African Exodus, approximately 80,000 years ago?
You can talk to kids about the first genetic Eve. Her daughters would take humans out of Africa to populate the rest of the world. See the 1:28:03 (one hour, 28 minute) Google video, The Real Eve.
The reason this first exodus is of value, is that every one on Earth today that has not remained in Africa, probably is descended from that first African Exodus. And those who remained in Africa, are ancestors and relatives of the first group of people that crossed the narrowest point of the Red Sea called the Gate of Grief in what today is Ethiopia to arrive on the shores of what today is Yemen. And from there, the surviving family member had descendants that populated the rest of the world. See: Gate of Grief 85000 years ago.
Here’s how the story goes, set in a way that would hold the interest of school children. It doesn’t conflict with anyone’s religion, because many other migrations occurred in different geographic areas at different times. There were gardens of plenty, such as Eden in different parts of the world at different times. What the first African Exodus explains is how the first humans populated all areas of the world outside of Africa during an ice age that occurred about 80,000 years ago, give or take some years.
(You can play music in the background). Recommended is a relaxing tune suitable for meditation, such as pan flutes and slow drums that can be played over and over by linking the several minute video in a loop to keep repeating as background music at low volume, as the story is told. Try this uTube video of Relaxation, Mediation Sounds –slow drums, pan flutes.
The First African Exodus
Once upon a time, about eighty thousand years ago, an ice age all over the world froze the north and dried out the south. In the Eastern part of Africa, about where Ethiopia is located today, the dry weather there signaled a small band of people the time to move across a narrow strip of water called the Gate of Grief, which today is the Red Sea.
As they crossed that narrow strip of water, the group landed in Asia, in what today is called Yemen. We are physically the same people that the people in Africa eighty thousand years ago were, hunters-gatherers looking for food and sheltering where they could.
And from that point on, the group walked east and south to populate the rest of the world with human beings all descended from one woman and one man whose children survived all the changes in climate the world threw at the family. They survived by adapting and by their own wits to figure out how to find food, drinking water, and how to build shelters that stood up against the rain, sun, and later, the cold.
From this small group of people, actually just one man and one woman survived. And from this man and woman were born generations of people that kept moving to populate the rest of the world. They left behind them families and friends in Africa who stayed there. But for those that left, many of them began to be changed and shaped again and again by the climate to look differently, but they all trace back to the one man and woman who survived the trip out of Africa about eighty thousand years ago.
In the first African Exodus–the first couple and their family to leave Africa, there would have been a mix of different peoples with a diverse variety of genes. A gene is the basic unit of heredity in a living person, animal, insect, microbe, or plant. You inherit genes from your parents and other relatives. All living things depend on genes. Genes hold the information to build and maintain any living creature such as a person, plant, or animal.
Of the small band of people leaving Africa on that fateful day, eighty thousand years ago, or so, there may have been about fifteen or twenty genetically different types of people, that is different genetic lines that left Africa in a particular group. And there may have been a few groups to leave.
Even today, if we look at most of the people whose ancestors have never left Africa and whose descendants still live there, there are fifteen surviving African genetic lines of women older than eighty thousand years. That means those peoples’ female ancestors that never left Africa have been there at least eighty thousand years.
So we know that at least fifteen different genetic lines were in Africa, are in Africa today, and possibly may be the ancestors of the same fifteen people who left Africa as a group eighty thousand years ago, if we just look at the female side of the genes in these people.
Of course, there were similar groups of males that went with the females. So we’d have to look at both male and female and see how many lines are still in Africa that turn out to have lived there at least eighty thousand years ago as well.
The fascinating point is that from those fifteen lines that may have left Africa eighty thousand years ago, give or take a few thousand years, only one line of women survived, that is one one woman and her daughters and sons survived the trip from Africa to populate the rest of the world. The rest survived inside Africa. And and the one woman and her family that survived is called the First African Exodus Eve.
Her line survived to populate the rest of the world. It’s called genetic drift. And this how it gets narrowed down to one woman. One Out of Africa Eve remains today from that the original group of people leaving Africa eighty thousand years ago. Her genes have drifted towards one out-of-Africa genetic type of human being today. And the fifteen or so other diverse branches of African genes still remain in Africa today.
On the male side, it’s as if a village ends up with one last name representing everyone related to one male ancestor. The more you look at genes in Africa, the more diverse they are. And the more you look at genes outside of Africa, the fewer diversity you see, as if the people are descended from fewer groups that left Africa, and most of the diversity has drifted down to a few survivors from the last few ice ages.
Once upon a time a lot more diversity existed outside of Africa. Now genetic drift has a lot of people who left Africa drifting down to fewer gene lines. Drift is due to random extinction from the changing climate, wars, lack of food and shelter, or fewer people surviving. Of course you have later groups coming out of different parts of world at later times and some returning to where they started at different times.
Tens of thousands of years may have passed between these treks out any given place on the Earth where people followed the food sources. Most likely, the first African Exodus populated Southeast Asia and Australia as well as India. From there, thousands of years later, Europe may have been populated as people walked across Central Asia moving West at the same time other people walked East towards the border of China thousands of years later. People moved in search of food and found their way to almost anywhere on Earth.
During the different ice ages, the sea dropped about 300 feet. So more land had been exposed for people to walk across like a bridge, from Asia to what now is America. And in time, almost the entire Earth became a cross-roads in places where it was not too cold or too hot and dry to live.
Think of that first African Exodus when people walked across the Gate of Grief, that little strip of sea separating East Africa from what today is called Yemen, carrying with them a few tools, looking for food along the oyster beds as beachcombers. If you would like to read a great book on the modern human journey out of Africa, highly recommended is The Real Eve, by Stephen Oppenheimer. Or watch the Google video documentary, The Real Eve, which is based on the book.