Shanghaiist is pretty sure that this has something to do with the Da Vinci Code fever that swept the world in the last few years. While not many Chinese will lay claim to being descendants of the Son of God (making them descendants of God as well!), there are quite a number that could possibly be descendants of another thinker. One was the son of a virgin and the other was born out of wedlock, but you can never judge a man by his origins. Confucius did all right by himself, as we reported earlier. But some of you, especially those surnamed Kong, are not going to be satisfied until you know that you are definitely descendants of Confucius. Well, 1,000 RMB is all that is standing between you and an answer. You can take a DNA test and find out:
“We would like to help these unconfirmed claimants to test their DNA and to establish a Confucius-DNA database,” it quoted Deng Yajun, a DNA expert from Beijing Institute of Genomics at the Chinese Academy of Science, as saying.
How the scientists had obtained a sample of Confucius’s DNA was not explained.
Oh Reuters — always asking the hardball questions when everyone else has long since lost their nerve. We like that. Whoever wrote this report also has a nice sense of historical irony:
Association with Confucianism was fatal during the tumult of the Cultural Revolution, when “old China” and its traditions were condemned as reactionary by fervent Communist Red Guards.
But since the 1990s, Beijing has been encouraging Confucianism as part of celebrating traditional Chinese culture — and of pushing a message of obedience to those in power.
Also in Shanghaiist:
Confucianism alive and well in 2006