An article I found at ScienceDaily today described a recent study that revealed that more than 16 million Asian men are direct descendants of Genghis Khan, including about 35% of all Mongolian men. Using genetic tests to investigate the Y-chromosome of Asian men, the study found that a large number of men must have descended from a common ancestor who lived about 1000 years ago in Mongolia, who researcheres inferred must have been Genghis Khan.
For me, these statistics are both staggering and disconcerting. It's incredible that one individual could have such an immense influence on the genetic makeup of such a large portion of the modern world. It's also a little frightening to think that the individuals who have had the greatest influence on the global gene pool were not nice, meek individuals, but tyrants, mass rapists, and conquerors, who forcefully spread their seed to possibly tens of thousands of offspring, which then multiplied as the generations passed. Nevertheless, the fact that you don't see most of us trying to take over the world despite this selection for aggressive traits suggests that there must be a strong counteracting selection for altruistic traits as well.
Read the article here.