Out of 43 US Presidents, 42 are cousins. And Barack Obama is not the exception (I thought he may be since he’s black unlike the others). And who is the common ancestor that connects all the US Presidents (apart from Martin Van Buren, the eighth president)? King John of England – the same guy who signed the Magna Carta in 1215 and limited the monarch. He also happens to be the ‘villain’ in the Robin Hood series.

So the Royal Family is genetically linked to all the US Presidents excluding one? This is rather intriguing for me because I would have never guessed that all the people in great power today are related at all!

Other than fascination, this brings about suspicion of the matter within me. How is it that every president (except one) who was apparently elected by the people always turns out a cousin of the previous? Could there be some bias in this? Are the election results entirely true and reliable? How comes it is specifically their bloodline that is chosen to take over the world?

Taken from the National Geographic website is the following passage:

“While royal families in Europe avoided sibling incest, many, including the British royal family, often married cousins. The Spanish Habsburgs, who ruled for nearly 200 years, frequently married among close relatives. Their dynasty ended in 1700 with the death of Charles II, a king so riddled with health and development problems that he didn’t talk until he was four or walk until he was eight. He also had trouble chewing food and couldn’t sire a child.

The physical problems faced by Charles and the Pharaoh Tutankhamun (the son of siblings) point to one possible explanation for the near-universal incest taboo: overlapping genes can backfire. Siblings share half their genes on average, as do parents and offspring. First cousins’ genomes overlap 12.5%. Mating between close relatives can raise the danger that harmful recessive genes, especially if combined repeatedly through generations, will match up in the offspring, leading to elevated chances of health or developmental problems – perhaps Tut’s partially cleft palate and congenitally deformed foot or Charles’s small stature and impotence?

Incest also protects royal assets. Marrying family members ensures that a king will share riches, privilege, and power only with people already his relatives. In dominant, centralized societies such as ancient Egypt or Inca Peru, this can mean limiting the mating circle to immediate family. In societies with overlapping cultures, as in second-millennium Europe, it can mean marrying extended family members from other regimes to forge alliances while keeping power among kin.”

This is a possible reason as to why the rule still belongs to the same family to this day: marrying family members to ensure that a king (or president in this case) will share riches, privilege and power only with people already his relatives. I mean, can’t you see the link? I’m not saying this is for sure but it is a possible explanation which does make sense. If you have any other possible explanations to put forward, please go ahead and notify me either on Twitter, Facebook or here.

It really is something to think about, isn’t it? Food for thought.

 

 

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183858/All-presidents-bar-directly-descended-medieval-English-king.html

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2010/09/tut-dna/dobbs-text