A little more than a year ago, I got to thinking about blood type. I wondered how come I have a B+ blood while everyone in my family is type O or A. Every time I’m asked my blood type and I say “B positive,” the doctor looks askance and says “We’ll just double-check that.” Because I shouldn’t have that blood type … but I do.
I decided to do a little research. See if I could learn something about where I come from using this tidbit.
Blood type O: the Americas
It turns out, B-type people are universally less common than O and A.
I discovered that there is a high probability I have some Asian — Siberian, Mongolian, Chinese, Indian — ancestor. Genghis Khan made serious inroads into Europe and I am probably proof of it.
The incidence of type B is low amongst Jews (my folks). Low everywhere. It’s not unheard of, nor so infrequent as to be considered rare, but it’s not common.
Among native peoples in the western hemisphere, type O is basically 100%. Many scientists theorize “O” as the “original” human blood type with all other types having mutated from it.
That’s one theory, anyhow.
This is a bit of a hot topic because in a few places, notably Japan, blood typing has been used to categorize people as inferior,
There are always racists looking for a way to prove they are superior to everyone else. At least one group claims people of B type blood are descendants of Neanderthals while O and A are descended from Cro-Magnon. This is pure speculation based on not a particle of research.
Worse, there are pockets of racists who contend that A is the only pure Aryan blood type. On what evidence did they base this?
None. Nada. Nothing. Zero. No proof of any kind. They probably decided this because Aryan starts with an A.
Overall in the world, B is the rarest ABO blood allele. Only 16% of humanity has it. It reaches its highest frequency in Central Asia and Northern India.
B is not a dominant blood type anyplace. It is most common in the Philippines and Siberia, lowest in the Americas. Exceedingly rare in the British Isles and Scandinavia. The highest percentage it reaches is 38% of the population in the Philippines. The middle East is more or less evenly divided into all three major blood types. If this shows some kind of migratory pattern for our ancestors, no one can prove it.
It turns out there is no universally accepted theory of the origins of man. Scientists and other theorists can’t even agree on whether or not we have the same progenitors.
So after all this, I don’t know (for sure) more than I did when I started. Yet there is something to be learned from the distribution of blood types in the world. Unfortunately, no one is sure exactly what.
So, did you learn anything?
I did learn a bit about blood types and inheritance in the course of this. My mother was O+ and by father A+ … so … where do I come from? The answer is that no matter what they say on television, it’s not that simple. There are at least 25 sub-types of blood, recessive genes … and mutations. The possibilities are literally, endless. So, when all is said and done, if you look like your parents, they’re your parents.
It’s also possible my blood type shows somewhere in my dim, distant ancestral history, a soldier from the Golden Horde left his DNA behind. I’m sure there is a story there.
I wish I knew more. So romantic.