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#1183 - March 09, 2005 05:10 PM Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
By Unknown Writer

There is no such thing as race, thanks to the genetics revolution.
The Human Genome Project (HGP) has determined unequivocally
that there is the same amount of genetic variation among individuals
within a so called racial group as there is between individuals in
different racial groups. What that means is that there is no real
genetic difference between blacks and whites or between whites and
Asians or between any of the so called races.

Wonder why it's been so hush-hush? I mean, you would think this would
be big news. Certainly on the order of Galileo stating that the Earth
goes around the Sun and not vice versa. But you haven't heard it on
NBC or read it in your local newspaper. It's more or less kept within
the high brow community as if the common every day man in the street
just couldn't take it. So you can read about it in the Atlantic
Monthly or New York Times, but not your home town newspaper. And some
professors on ivory tower college campuses are scrambling to prove it
isn't so, just like there some who argue that Darwin was a fruitcake
and evolution a stunt he pulled to grab the limelight.

Genographic Map

Migration Map

Yhaplotree Map

But if we are all one race, which race are we? One answer is the cute
one that we are the "human race". But buckle your seat belts folks,
because the genetic answer is that we are all really black. And white
people are pale adaptations of black people that evolved during the
past 140,000 years.

From whence does this white skin come? Weren't we all taught that it
was the black people who evolved black skin and it happened so they
would be protected from getting skin cancer?

Forget it. Scientists have thrown the whole notion out. Here's how
evolution works. If you don't live long enough to reproduce, your
genes are lost to the gene pool forever. There being no high school
back when Humans came into being, females started reproducing around
the age of 13. Skin cancer develops later in life when the female has
already reproduced and her genes have entered the world gene pool.
Bye, bye skin cancer theory.

What scientists now believe is that everyone started out with dark
skin in the first place because it is protective against absorbing
too much Vitamin D, which is toxic. Too much vitamin D causes calcium
to be pulled from the intestines and bones and deposited in soft
tissues all over the body, damaging the kidneys, heart and blood
vessels. Dark skin screens out UV radiation and your body, which uses
UV to produce Vitamin D, produces less of it - a real evolutionary
advantage at the lower latitudes where we began.

So where did the 10,000+ shades of paler brown, beige, pink, white
and what Crayola crayons used to call "flesh" come from?
Archaeological data places the origin of genetically modern humans in
sub-Saharan Africa approximately 140,000 years ago. Humans then began
migrating out of Africa in successive waves, starting approximately
100,000 years or 5000 generations ago. Now that scientists have
mapped the human genome, they are homing in on when each wave began
their outward bound journey and where they migrated to. So far they
have confirmed that everyone on the entire planet, even the 1.3
billion Chinese, have a common ancestor back in Africa.

For example, the first wave appears to have been a migration to the
Middle East and then eastward and northward from there. Some
geneticists studying the human genome map believe that in a later
north moving wave, which occurred about 60,000 years ago, a mere 50
people inbred together across successive generations to create all
the people who now occupy Europe (excluding recent immigrants, of
course).

But wait a minute, I have blond hair, blue eyes and my hair isn't
nappy and I don't have thick lips. So how can my great, great, etc
grandpappy be a black African? It's all from lines of genetic
inheritance splitting apart and then coming together again.
Lines of genetic inheritance, or lineages, split apart when there is
a mutation that is evolutionarily advantageous, meaning the mutation
makes it more likely for someone to reproduce greater numbers of
offspring that survive. Someone with a non advantageous mutation has
offspring that are less likely to survive.

So as humans migrated out of Africa, why did dark skinned people
start losing the genetics Powerball Lottery to their paler kin? Lower
UV levels in the sunlight of the more northern latitudes meant a dark
skinned individual's body could not produce enough Vitamin D.
Insufficient Vitamin D would then result in a child developing
rickets. A child with rickets would not likely reproduce either
because it would die before it could or because its pelvis would be
so deformed it could not pass a child through the birth canal. Its
genes would be lost forever. So lighter skin, and more absorption of
Vitamin D at higher latitudes would be an adaptive genetic advantage.
Interestingly, in high latitudes where some people still retain dark
skin, such as with the Inuit in the Arctic, the people obtain
significant amounts of Vitamin D from eating fish and sea mammal
blubber.

Seal blubber aside, what about all the other features that make us
look so different? Mutations that endure are often advantageous to
specific climates. For example, the tall thin body of the Masai
warrior dissipates heat while the short squat body of the Inuit
retains it. Long northern European noses moisten and warm the air
before it reaches lungs, while in Africa short noses remain because
the air is already moist and warm. The Asian's eyelid folds protect
their eyes against dry sandy desert winds and wind driven snow. In
the far north, light sensitive blue eyes allow people to see better
when it is dark much of the year. The tightly coiled hair of the
African keeps the hair off his neck so he remains cooler. All these
diverse physical features promote the promulgation of different lines
of inheritance, or ethnic lineages.

Countering this splitting apart of ethnic lineages is the melding
through interbreeding between different ethnic lineages. If you walk
the Silk Road from Persia to China, across the southern flank of
Asia, you will see a continuum of physical feature change. You will
not be able to tell where the European look ends and the Asian
begins. Remember all those shots during our assault on the Taliban in
Afghanistan and the TV scans of Afghani children? How many looked
European and how many looked Asian?

Many mechanisms for melding ethnic lineages have been at play. The
rape part of the plunder and pillage drill by invaders, traders
passing through with silver to buy bedtime favors, marriages for
political convenience to form alliances between not so friendly
tribes, and the boy and girl from neighboring tribes sneaking out for
a little tryst under the stars, have all contributed to the
recombining of diverse ethnic lineages.

So what we have instead of the meaningless terms Caucasian, Negro,
Asian, etc, is a large multiplicity of ethnic lineages, all of whom
descended from a only a single black race. So don't forget, next time
you fill in the U.S. Census you should write in the word Black next
to the question about your race, regardless of your shade of pale.

End.



[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited September 03, 2008).]


Edited by Vadi (October 02, 2012 01:35 PM)

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#1184 - March 09, 2005 05:11 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Koenraad Elst

An Atlantis in the Indian Ocean (Review of Stephen Oppenheimer: Eden in the East)

One of the many insulting epithets thrown at AIT disbelievers is that they are no better than "Atlantis freaks". Actually, this is not entirely untrue. Some AIT skeptics who have applied their minds to reconstructing ancient history, have indeed thought of centres of human habitation in locations now well below sea-level. When Proto-Indo-European was spoken, the sea level was still recovering from the low point it had reached during the Ice Age, about 100 metres lower than the present level. It was in the period of roughly twelve to seven thousand years ago that the icecaps melted and replenished the seas, so that numerous low-lying villages had to be abandoned.

After all, it is a safe bet that more than half of mankind lived in the zone of less than 100 m above sea level. In the context of the present debate on global warming, it is said that a rise in sea level of just one metre would be an immense catastrophe for countries like Bangla Desh or the Netherlands. The Maledives would completely disappear with a rise of only a few metres. But more importantly, most big population centres today are located just above sea level: Tokyo, Shanghai, Kolkata, Mumbai, London, New York, Los Angeles etc. If the sea level would rise 100 m, most population centres including entire countries would become a sunken continent, a very real Atlantis. Consequently, there is nothing far-fetched in assuming the existence of population centres and cultures, 10 or 15 thousand years ago, in what are now submarine locations on the continental shelf outside our coastlines.

In a recent book, Eden in the East: the Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia (Phoenix paperback, London 1999 (1998)), Stephen Oppenheimer has focused on one such part of the continental shelf: the region between Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Taiwan, which was largely inhabitable during the Ice Age. Thinking that this was then the most advanced centre of civilization, he calls it Eden, the Biblical name of Paradise (from Sumerian edin, "alluvial plain"), because West-Asian sources including the Bible do locate the origin of mankind or at least of civilization in the East. In some cases, as in Sumerian references, this "East" is clearly the pre-Harappan and Harappan culture, but even more easterly countries seem to be involved.

Oppenheimer is a medical doctor who has lived in Southeast Asia for decades. He is clearly influenced by Marxism, e.g. where he dismisses religion as a means to "control other people's labour", with explicit reference to Karl Marx's Das Kapital (p.483). His book is based on solid scientific research (genetic, anthropological, linguistic and archaeological), and is in that respect very different from the numerous Atlantis books which draw on "revelations" and "channeling".

The most airy type of evidence, in its massiveness nonetheless quite compelling, is comparative mythology: numerous cultures, and especialy those in the Asia-Pacific zone, have highly parallel myths of one or more floods. These are not opaque allusions to Freudian events in the subconscious but plainly historical references to the catastrophic moments in the otherwise long-drawn-out rise of the sea level after the Ice Age. For, indeed, this rise was not a continuous process but took place with occasional spurts, wiping out entire tribes living near the coast. The last such sudden rise took place ca. 5500 BC, after which the sea level fell back a few metres to the present level.

According to Oppenheimer, the Southeast-Asian Atlantis, provisionally called Sundaland because it now is the Sunda shelf, was the world leader in the Neolithic Revolution (start of agriculture), using stones for grinding wild grains as early as 24,000 ago, more than ten thousand years older than in Egypt or Palestine. Before and especially during the gradual flooding of their lowland, the Sundalanders spread out to neighbouring lands: the Asian mainland including China, India and Mesopotamia, and the island world from Madagascar to the Philippines and New Guinea, whence they later colonized Polynesia as far as Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.

Oppenheimer aligns with the archaeologists against the linguists in the controversy about the homeland of the Austronesian language family (Malay, Tagalog, Maori, Malgasy etc.): he locates it in Sundaland and its upper regions which now make up the coasts of the Southeast-Asian countries, whereas most linguists maintain that southern China was the land of origin. Part of the argument concerns chronology: Oppenheimer proposes a higher chronology than Peter Bellwood and other out-of-China theorists. My experience with IE studies makes me favour a higher chronology, for new findings (e.g. that "pre-IE" peoples like the Pelasgians and the Etruscans, not to speak of the Harappans, turn out to have been earlier "Aryan" settlers) have consistently been pushing the date of the fragmentation of PIE back into the past.

Another reason for not relying too much on the theories of the linguists is that Austronesian linguistics is a very demanding field, comprising the study of hundreds of small languages most of which have no literature, so the number of genuine experts is far smaller than in the case of IE, and even in the latter case linguists are nowhere near a consensus on the homeland question. Linguistic evidence is very soft evidence, and usually the data admit of more than one historical reconstruction, so I don't think there is any compelling evidence against a Sundaland homeland hypothesis. Conversely, archaeological and genetic evidence in favour of the spread of the Austronesian-speaking populations from Sundaland seems to be sufficient.

It is quite certain that some of these Austronesians must have landed in India, some on their way to Madagascar, some to stay and mix with the natives. Hence the presence of some Austronesian words in Indian languages of all families, most prominently ayi/bayi, "mother" (as in the Marathi girls' names Tarabai, Lakshmi-bai etc.), or words for "bamboo", "fruit", "honey". More spectacularly, linguists like Isidore Dyen have discerned a considerable common vocabulary in the core lexicon of Austronesian and Indo-European, including pronouns, numerals (e.g. Malay dva, "two") and terms for the elements. Oppenheimer doesn't go into this question, but diehard invasionists might use his findings to suggest an Aryan invasion into India not from the northwest, but from the southeast.

But he does mention the legend of Manu Vaivasvata saving his company from the flood and sailing up the rivers of India to settle high and dry in Saptasindhu. Clearly, the origins of Vedic civilization are related to the post-Glacial flood, probably the single biggest migration trigger in human history.

The Tamils have a tradition that their poets' academy or Sangam existed for ten thousand years, and that its seat (along with the entire Tamil capital) had to be moved thrice because of the rising sea level. They also believe that their country once stretched far to the south, including Sri Lanka and the Maledives, a lost Tamil continent called Kumarikhandam. If these legends turn out to match the geological evidence quite neatly, our academics would be wrong to dismiss them as figments of the imagination. But the Indian or Kumarikhandam counterpart to Oppenheimer's book on Sundaland has yet to be written. This indeed is probably the most important practical conclusion to be drawn from this book: extend India's history by thousands of years with the exploration of now-submarine population centres.

Another language family originating in some part of Sundaland was Austro-Asiatic, which includes the Mon-Khmer languages in Indochina (its demographic point of gravity being Vietnam) but also Nicobarese and the Munda languages of Chotanagpur, at one time possibly spoken throughout the Ganga basin. It is the Mundas who brought rice cultivation from Southeast Asia to the Ganga basin, whence it reached the Indus Valley towards the end of the Harappan age (ca. 2300 BC). In this connection, it is worth noting that Oppenheimer confirms that "barley cultivation was developed in the Indus Valley" (p.19), barley being the favourite crop of the Vedic Aryans (yava). Unlike the Mundas who brought rice cultivation from eastern India and ultimately from Southeast Asia to northwestern India, and unlike the Indo-European Kurgan people whose invasion into Europe can be followed by means of traces of the crops they imported (esp. millet), the Vedic Aryans simply used the native produce. This doesn't prove but certainly supports the suspicion that the Aryans were native to the Indus Valley.

Concerning the political polemic, the usual claim that the caste system with its sharp discrimination was instituted by the invading Aryans to entrench their supremacy is countered by the finding that even the most isolated tribes on India's hills turn out to have strict endogamy rules, often guarded with more severe punishments for inter-tribal love affairs than exist in Sanskritic-Hindu society. Here, Oppenheimer confirms that in the Austro-Asiatic and Austrone-sian tribal societies, where many of India's tribals originate, inequality is deeply entrenched: "Yet the class structure which cripples Britain more than any other European state, is as nothing compared with the stratified hierarchies in Austronesian traditional societies from Madagascar through Bali to Samoa. (...) This consciousness of rank is thus clearly not something that was only picked up by Austronesian societies from later Indian influence." (p.484) Social hierarchy is not a racialist imposition by the Aryans, but a near-universal phenomenon especially pronounced among Indo-Pacific societies including most non-Aryan populations.

Stephen Oppenheimer makes a very detailed and very strong case for the importance of the culture of sunken Sundaland for the later cultures in the wide surroundings. India too certainly benefited of certain achievements imported from there. What is yet missing is a similar study for the equally important and likewise neglected culture of the sunken lands outside India's coast.
   

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#1185 - March 09, 2005 05:13 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
originally posed in navyashastra.

JOURNEY OF MAN

I am reading a book now - " The Journey of Man" by Spencer Wells
which is a study of genetics - study of several thosands of males
and females around the world - studying the Mitochondrial DNA for
female leneage and Y-chromosome to trace all male leneage.

His conclusion was that all humans go back only to about 70,000
years and at the most to 120,000 years to a small family in East
Africa, all other human species being destroyed by a cold weather of
an Ice-age. Remarkable in this study was only one line of Y-
Chromosome and one mDNA and a small group of a second mDMA in found
all over the entire India possibly moved in 45,000 years back. If
you do not get this book, please let me know, I have it in Digital
format and I can send it to you [1.68 megabytes]. Again this shows
all Indians have the similar mDNA, and all males have the Y-
Chromosome since 50,000 yearswhich is DIFFERENT from others outside
India,- even the Iranians, Mongols, Arabs, Africans and "Caucasian"
of central Europe are different - branched out before this period.

It is said in another book that about 70,000 years back a big world
calamity of volcano- earthquake-Ice age destroyed all Human species
around the world -like the dinosaurs, just about 100 to 1000 persons
in one cave settlement survived who started the neo-lithic age with
fire, clothingf and language just for survival.

Bala N. Aiyer

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#1186 - March 09, 2005 05:16 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Documentary Redraws Humans' Family Tree

Hillary Mayell
for National Geographic News
January 21, 2003

By analyzing DNA from people in all regions of the world, geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago.

Modern humans, he contends, didn't start their spread across the globe until after that time. Most archaeologists would say the exodus began 100,000 years ago—a 40,000-year discrepancy.

Wells's take on the origins of modern humans and how they came to populate the rest of the planet is bound to be controversial.

His work adds to an already crowded field of opposing hypotheses proposed by those who seek answers in "stones and bones"—archaeologists and paleoanthropologists—and those who seek them in our blood—population geneticists and molecular biologists.

Over the last decade, major debate on whether early humans evolved in Africa or elsewhere, when they began outward migration, where they went, and whether they interbred with or replaced archaic species has moved out of scientific journals and into the public consciousness.

Wells addresses these issues in a new book, The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, and a National Geographic documentary of the same title. In a straightforward story, he explains how he traced the exodus of modern humans from Africa by analyzing genetic changes in DNA from the y-chromosome.

"As often happens in science," he said, "technology has opened up a field to new ways of answering old questions—often providing startling answers."

Of course, not everyone agrees with him.

Search for Origins

The use of population genetics and molecular biology in human origins research has been extremely important in helping to resolve a long-running debate on where modern humans first evolved.

According to the multi-regional model, an archaic form of humans left Africa between one and two million years ago, and modern humans evolved from them independently and simultaneously in pockets of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Wells's work and that of others confirms the more widely accepted Out of Africa model, which says that all modern humans evolved in Africa and then left in several waves of migration, ultimately replacing any earlier species.

"Genetic evidence tells us that Homo sapiens are of recent origin and arose in Africa," said S. Blair Hedges, a molecular biologist at Pennsylvania State University.

"African populations have the most ancient alleles [gene pairs that code for specific traits] and the greatest genetic diversity, which means they're the oldest," Hedges explained. "Our species probably had arisen by 150,000 years ago, with a population of perhaps 10,000 individuals."

Chris Stringer, director of the Human Origins Program at the Natural History Museum in London, said: "The multi-regional model of Homo sapiens evolving globally over a long time scale is certainly dead."

Whether archaic humans and modern humans interbred is another point of debate.

"Given the uncertainties, it isn't yet possible to establish whether we are entirely recent African in origin—certainly my preference—or whether there was a little bit of hybridization/assimilation" between modern and archaic species," said Stringer.

Wells says there is no genetic evidence that supports the idea of intermixing, and several DNA studies actually argue strongly against it.

Journey of Man

Today, there is general agreement that Homo erectus, the precursor to modern humans, evolved in Africa and gradually expanded to Eurasia beginning about 1.7 million years ago.

By around 100,000 years ago, several species of hominids populated the Earth, including H. sapiens in Africa, H. erectus in Southeast Asia and China, and Neandertals in Europe.

By around 30,000 years ago, the only surviving hominid species was H. sapiens.

But when did we leave Africa and where did we go? Here's where opinions diverge widely.

Wells says his evidence based on DNA in the Y-chromosome indicates that the exodus began between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago.

In his view, the early travelers followed the southern coastline of Asia, crossed about 250 kilometers [155 miles] of sea, and colonized Australia by around 50,000 years ago. The Aborigines of Australia, Wells says, are the descendants of the first wave of migration out of Africa.

Many archaeologists disagree, saying the fossil record shows that a first wave of migration occurred around 100,000 years ago.

"Archaeological evidence suggests that there were modern humans in at least two places in the Levant region of the Middle East 90,000 years ago," said Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "They disappear from the Levant about 10,000 years later, but could have survived further south in Asia—we just have no evidence."

"There's also evidence," she added, "of Homo sapiens in Australia 60,000 years ago, and they'd have to go through India and Southeast Asia to get there."

Wells agrees that there may have been early human forays into the Middle East, but argues that the Levant of 100,000 to 150,000 years ago was essentially an extension of northeastern Africa and was probably part of the original range of early Homo sapiens. These early settlers were replaced by Neandertals in the region about 80,000 years ago.

"There's a roughly 30,000-year gap in the archaeological record of Homo sapiens outside of Africa," said Wells. "The real expansion occurred in the Upper Paleolithic (around 40,000 years ago) into the uncharted territory of Asia proper."

Brooks agrees there's a gap, but puts it closer to 20,000 years.

Richard Klein, an anthropologist at Stanford University, has one explanation for the gap and the subsequent waves of colonization beginning around 45,000 years ago.

Klein thinks Homo sapiens may have been anatomically modern 150,000 years ago, but did not become behaviorally modern until about 50,000 years ago, when a genetic mutation related to cognition made us smarter.

He theorizes that this change in thinking ability enabled modern humans to craft sophisticated tools, build permanent lodgings, hunt more effectively, and possibly develop language. It also led to greater travel.

Other possible triggers for the burst of migration 45,000 years ago include an increase in population, which spurred competition and innovation; a change in diet, with consumption of more meat and fish; the acquisition of language; and climate change.

Populating the Globe

Wells says a second wave of hominids left Africa around 45,000 years ago, reproduced rapidly, and settled in the Middle East; smaller groups went off to India and China.

Isolated by mountains and the sea for many generations, and exposed to a colder climate and less sunlight than in Africa, the Asian populations became paler over time.

Around 40,000 years ago, as the grip of the Ice Age loosened and temperatures briefly became warmer, humans moved into Central Asia. Amid the bountiful grassy steppes, they multiplied quickly.

"If Africa was the cradle of mankind, then Central Asia was its nursery," said Wells.

Around 35,000 years ago, small groups left Central Asia for Europe. Cold temperatures kept them there. Cut off from other groups, these migrants became paler and shorter than their African ancestors.

From there, around 20,000 years ago, another small group of Central Asians moved farther north, into Siberia and the Arctic Circle. To minimize physical exposure to the extreme cold they developed, over many generations, stout trunks, stubby fingers, and short arms and legs.

Finally, around 15,000 years ago, as another Ice Age began to wane, one small clan of Arctic dwellers followed the reindeer herd over the Bering Strait land bridge into North America.

According to the genetic data, says Wells, this initial group may have included as few as two or three men—perhaps 10 to 20 people in all. Also isolated, they too acquired distinct physical characteristics.

Many archaeologists, however, believe that Australia, the Middle East, India, and China were inhabited much earlier.

"The dates don't compare well to the order or the geography of the migration patterns revealed by the fossil record," said Brooks. "Y-chromosome data give consistently younger dates than other types of genetic data, such as mitochondrial DNA."

Hedges said that "the dates of expansion and colonization discussed by Wells may be correct, but they almost appear to be too recent. Most geneticists are getting data that agree with most archaeological and fossil data." He noted, however, that all of the different methods used for dating can generate errors.

"If you step back a bit and look at the bigger picture, there is a lot more agreement in this field today than there was a decade ago," Hedges said.

Common Ancestors

Wells's work is based on studies of DNA in the y-chromosome. The y-chromosome is a good candidate for population studies such as this because it doesn't recombine as other parts of the genome do (each parent contributes half of a child's DNA, which join together to form a new genetic combination).

Thus, the y-chromosome is passed on as a chunk of DNA from father to son, basically unchanged through generations except for random mutations.

These random mutations, which can happen naturally and be harmless, are called markers. Once a marker has been identified, geneticists can go back in time and trace it to the point at which it first occurred, which would be the most recent common ancestor.

As in any scientific work, there are caveats.

The point at which a single common ancestor is found "can vary based on which gene you're looking at, the mutation rate, and population size, and on factors such as whether a bottleneck in the population occurred," said Sarah Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Maryland. "Natural selection also plays a significant role."

There is another chunk of DNA that also passes through generations relatively unchanged; it is found in a part of the cell called the mitochondria and is transferred from mother to daughter.

While the most recent male common ancestor identified through the y-chromosome lived 60,000 years ago, the most recent female common ancestor traced through mitochondrial DNA lived around 150,000 years ago. Whether an individual can be identified as our single common ancestor is open to debate.

"There's almost certainly not an Adam or Eve," said Tishkoff. "Each of our genes have their own history, which could be passed on from different ancestors. It's more likely that a lineage can be traced back to a population of 50, 100, or even several thousand people."

Others agree.

"The fact that one man apparently gave rise to the y-chromosome genes of all moderns does not mean he was our only male ancestor," said Stringer. "What it means is that his male progeny were more prolific breeders or luckier, and their Y genes survived while those of his contemporaries didn't. But those contemporaries could have passed on many other genes to present-day peoples."

That's "absolutely correct," said Wells, adding: "The real significance of the date of our common Y-chromosome ancestor, is that it effectively gives us an upper limit on when our species began to leave Africa."

One point of wide agreement among those who study human origins is that more and more insight will come from closer collaboration between disciplines

"Greater discussion and collaboration between geneticists and paleoanthropologists would be good for both," said Stringer.

"It's worth bearing in mind," he said, "that studies of recent DNA are studies of the genes of the survivors. Such studies can't tell us anything about non-survivors, such as the Neandertals and Solo Man in Java. We still require fossils, archaeology, and, where possible, ancient DNA for the whole picture of human evolution."

Wells's work described in Journey of Man draws on genetics, palaeoanthropology, palaeoclimatology, archaeology, psychology, and linguistics.

"I really see the field as a collaborative, synthetic effort to make sense of our past," he said. "The notion that any single area of investigation, operating in isolation, could have all the answers is ludicrous."

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#1187 - March 09, 2005 05:17 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
WE ARE ALL ARFICANS UNDER THE SKIN

The Rediff Interview/

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/nov/27inter.htm

Dr Spencer Wells




Are Osama bin Laden and George W Bush related? Yes, if you believe Dr Spencer Wells.

Dr Wells has found new genetic evidence, based on thousands of DNA samples taken across the world over the past 10 years, that shows that all humans alive today have descended from a single man who lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago.

On a recent visit to Madurai and New Delhi to find out more about the origins of Indian ancestors, Dr Wells said he had found genetic evidence to show that Dravidians were the first settlers in India from Africa, and the Aryans followed later.

The experiments of Dr Wells will be telecast on the National Geographic channel on December 15. The programme, 'Journey of Man', tells the epic story of how humans populated Planet Earth. He spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai about his experiments in India.

You did your experiments in Madurai. Can you tell us about your findings?

The experiments were regarding the early coastal migration of human beings to Australia. Because, according to our theory, the first time man migrated from Africa was to Australia. India proved a critical turning point for us as genetic testing of isolated Indian populations produces a key genetic marker [one of the genetic changes] linking India as a crossroad for the journey of man to both Australia and Central Asia. So we were looking in the south of India because most Indian scientists said that the oldest population in India stayed in south India. And we found out in our experiments that these people were Dravidians.

Did you do a study of different kinds of species in India, say, for example, of people from the northern side or from eastern and western India also?

We have sampled some other parts of the Indian population. But you know, India is incredibly diverse. And we would love to expand our centre in India. There is a fascinating story to tell about recent migrations throughout the subcontinent. Everybody would be very interested to know about the origins of Bengalis, Maharashtrians and Punjabis.

So you have not done any research in any other part of India?

Unfortunately, most of our samples have been taken in New Delhi and from large cosmopolitan populations because research centres are located in cities. So, it is easy to have research groups. What we need to do in India is to set up a programme to sample different groups.

Some people say Aryans are the original inhabitants of India. What is your view on this theory?

The Aryans came from outside India. We actually have genetic evidence for that. Very clear genetic evidence from a marker that arose on the southern steppes of Russia and the Ukraine around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. And it subsequently spread to the east and south through Central Asia reaching India. It is on the higher frequency in the Indo-European speakers, the people who claim they are descendants of the Aryans, the Hindi speakers, the Bengalis, the other groups. Then it is at a lower frequency in the Dravidians. But there is clear evidence that there was a heavy migration from the steppes down towards India.

But some people claim that the Aryans were the original inhabitants of India. What do you have to say about this?

I don't agree with them. The Aryans came later, after the Dravidians.

Can you say something about the Indians in the Northeast?

I would love to visit those places. Unfortunately it is difficult for foreigners to visit those areas. I would love to sample them. They look more Asian and the reason for that is there was a massive expansion in East Asia around 8,000 years ago because of the development of rice and agriculture. And these people spread down to the south and to a certain extent to the west in eastern India. So that is why these people look different.

You said that all human beings are related to one man in Africa. Was this the Adam mentioned in the Bible?

It's interesting that both genetic science and the Bible show that there is a single origin of molecule. According to genetic science we come from a single male ancestor. In the Bible too it is mentioned that there is a single male Adam and single female, Eve. Personally, I don't equate that one to one with the story of the Bible because if you come back generations, Adam should have existed in 4004 BC, and our Adam existed 60,000 years ago.

So can you say that you are disputing the claim of the Bible?

I don't like to get involved in religious issues because I am not a specialist in religion. I am a scientist and I demand evidence. And religion is not about evidence but about belief.

How long did it take you to do this research?

Twenty laboratories and about hundred people were involved in this research and it took us ten years to conclude this.

So, how has the scientific community reacted to your findings? Do they agree with your thesis?

They would if they have a careful look. But the problem is that particularly a lot of geneticists do not have archaeological records. So they say that how did these human beings spread out of Africa 60,000 years ago? They say, Oh! That is impossible as humans have been living outside Africa before that but they were not fully modern.

Do you feel archaeologists and geneticists should work together in such experiments?

Absolutely! They must work together, and also cultural anthropologists. It has to be the synthesis of many different fields. Linguists, historians, etc should also come together.

How many people have you used for the experiments?

To create this tape, we probably tried about 50 different populations around the world and nearly 20,000 men. Obviously, that is a tiny subset of the diversity in the world. We have 6,000 languages in the world that equate to the 6,000 populations we should be sampling.

You are very critical of racism.

Yes. We are all much closely related than we ever expected. Racism is not only socially divisive, but also scientifically incorrect. We are all descendants of people who lived in Africa recently. We are all Africans under the skin.

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#1188 - March 09, 2005 05:20 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
INTERVIEW

http://www.indiantelevision.com/special/y2k2/ncg-t.htm

How did you get involved with National Geographic and 'Journey of Man'?

When I decided to make the film, National Geographic was a natural choice. National Geographic Channel is about going out and seeing what the world is like. The idea took shape around nearly 10 years ago and I soon found out that filmmakers have a different approach to their work as opposed to scientists. Firstly, it is important to use the best possible gear. One should also try and be able to sleep anywhere no matter the type of environment. When you travel from Central Asia to Australia to Alaska, it is important to travel light. The other alternative was Discovery, which I did not go with as their approach to filmmaking is different in that they concentrate more on imaging.

When starting out, there were two basic issues to deal with. Where exactly do our origins lie, and how did we come to be in every single corner of the globe. One of my most remarkable findings came in Kazakhstan. A man Niyazov is the descendant of the Central Asian man who populated Europe and America.

 
How much money did you spend on the project? Where did funding come from?

Oh! Millions of dollars and we got funding from various sources. National Science Foundation US, Grants from local universities, NATO, National Geographic Society. Ten years ago, the process of securing funds was more difficult than it is today primarily because Americans were sensitive towards race. Now they are more gradually becoming more open in their attitude. I would also like to stress that racism is not just silly but also scientifically incorrect. I mean President Bush could be closely related to a member of the Taliban.

This has been a collaborative effort with scientists from all over the world including India. Our method is to make contact with local regions especially indigenous tribes. Folk tales that they have to tell about their ancestors are also important.
 
"Our method is to make contact with local regions especially indigenous tribes. Folk tales that they have to tell about their ancestors are also important"


 
What old theories of evolution does 'Journey of man' throw out of the window and is Darwinism one of them?

The Multiregionalism Theory which states that we evolved depending on the region our ancestors settled in. This we now know to be untrue. Our ancestors came from Africa and we used the Y Chromosome of human DNA to uncover secrets. Earlier, for tracing family trees, we used to dig up bones from the ground. The problem with this is that there are different fossils and so it doesn't give us an idea as to who our direct ancestors are. When we study DNA sequences any changes form a line of descent.


The advantage of the Y Chromosome is that it is handed down only by the male parent unmingled with a woman's DNA. So it can stay the same from generation to generation. It can only change with a mutation which is an accidental but natural change in the genetic code. This can happen to strengthen the immune system from newly emerged diseases.

 
From your research in the 60,000 years, how rapidly did man's intellectual and physical traits developed?

The most rapid development took place around 10,000 years ago. This was the upper paleolithic transition. We went from being hunter-gatherers to being able to mould the environment. The arts like music, painting came into being and man made a conscious decision to stop constantly travelling whenever the conditions became unfavourable.

60,000 years ago the world was in the grip of an ice age. So a lot of land mass was uncovered which is now buried in the sea and that is how I believe our ancestors travelled. This was the first migration wave. I believe that the ancestors of Australian aborigines come from here. The second wave took place 45,000 years ago. Southern Indians trace their ancestors from here. What is remarkable is that they survived although temperatures could reach minus 100 degrees.
 
How did men, women of different colours come into being if we all come from a black man?

The skin colour explanation accepted is that we first evolved in a tropical region in Africa. The sun is strong in that region and so the skin had to act as a protective layer. When we started moving into the Northern Hemisphere 60,000 years ago the sun power was not as great. The sun helps us form Vitamin D without which one get the Rickets disease. So we feel that our ancestors made deliberate attempt to reduce the amount of melanin in the system.
 
Has your theory generated a lot of controversy and heated debate among the scientific community?

The main problem people in scientific circles have is with the date. For the average man 60,000 years is a long time. I for one cannot remember what I did last week. However scientists when talking of discoveries think in terms of millions of years. However archaeological evidence supports our study of the first fully modern man who does not hunch and behave like an animal
 
Over the last five years, has the amount of coverage that television channels devote to genetic and scientific discoveries, research, studies gone up?

Yes it has. The interest among people all over the world on the latest scientific advances is rising. This is healthy as participation is important if we are to progress rapidly. Science creates the future and I see the present as nothing more than a thin membrane separating what lies ahead from what has already gone by. I agree with poet T S Eliot saying "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." For us, the present served as the starting point from where we traced our steps backwards.
 
"Ten years ago, the process of securing funds was more difficult because Americans were more sensitive towards race"
 
For how long have you been a geneticist?

For 15 years. I got interested in the field when I was doing my undergraduate studies in History at the university of Texas in the mid 80s. In the beginning, I had to a lot of lab work and my PhD was rather tedious. Now I spend more time on the field. In fact around 30-40 per cent of work in Journey of Man was done on the field. My interest stems from the desire to know where exactly do we come from? Darwin got it right when he said that the differences between human beings were exaggerated. He also correctly pointed out that we come from Africa.

Now we are working a new project on the Journey of Man microsite on the National Geographic site. This is a global project in order to obtain a genetic snapshot. We will create a place on the site which will allow visitors to digitally create an attractive face they would like to get sexually involved with. This is then fed into a database. Through the regional average we hope to get an insight into how races evolved. The global average will give us a glimpse into Adam and Eve. Speaking of this I look at the Bible with its
stories of the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark as a parable seeking to explain a diverse strand of elements and circumstances.

 
What kinds of advances have been made since you started out?

Plenty. The whole complexion and nature has changed. Now a lot of progress has been made in the area of mapping the human genome. This involves getting and deciphering the DNA sequence of man.
 
Besides 'Journey of Man', what other important research projects have you been involved in?

I have written two books. Journey of Man has just been published in India. I have also done a study on the origins of the Aryan race and studied the Silk Route in-depth. I will be making a sequel to Journey of Man looking at the last 10,000 years, where rapid strides were made and also taking a glimpse into the future. In addition, I am doing genetic research to find out more about the Phoenicians. These were sea faring people who lived in one million BC and then were conquered and destroyed by the Romans. They were spread across the Mediterranean creating trade groups. I want to know who they were, how far they travelled….
 
Is the extinction of animal species in the future still a huge concern when one considers the advances in cloning?

Yes, it is a concern. Right now, once a species disappears it is gone forever. Cloning is a complicated process and right now there are a lot of technical difficulties. Cloning Dolly the sheep took 100 attempts and even then she is not keeping good health. In the near future though, when the problems get ironed out then perhaps the issue could be a possibility.
 
Finally do you see a bright future for biotechnology research in India?

Yes I do. The potential for quality work is huge because of the advances India has made in the field of Information Technology. Genetic sequences can now be generated. We have to be careful about genetic manipulation however lest a strain of virus is created.

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#1189 - March 09, 2005 05:21 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Journey of Man:A Genetic Odyssey

http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/i7442.html

AN INTERVIEW WITH SPENCER WELLS

Geneticist Spencer Wells spends his life traveling the globe taking blood samples from men and women in order to unravel the secrets of the human story: Where did humans come from? How did they spread over the globe? How did different races evolve? In THE JOURNEY OF MAN: A GENETIC ODYSSEY (Princeton University Press), Wells answers those questions for the first time using the latest discoveries of human genetics. We talked to Spencer as he sat for a moment between trips to Lebanon and Tunisia:

You say that there really was an Adam--a common male ancestor for all humans. How did you find that out?

We study a historical document carried in the blood of everyone alive today - DNA. Tiny spelling mistakes - changes in the DNA sequence - that occurred in the past can give us clues about genealogical relationships. If two people share a change, then they are likely to share an ancestor. If we look at the spelling mistakes carried by people all over the world, we find that ultimately all of us share a common ancestor. In the case of the male line, defined by a piece of DNA known as the Y-chromosome, this analysis allows us to trace back to a common male ancestor for everyone alive today. In other words, Adam.

Where did Adam live and what did he look like?

The unequivocal answer is that he lived in Africa. Every piece of DNA in our bodies can be traced back to an African source. The Y-chromosome traces back to eastern or southern Africa, around 60,000 years ago. The present-day inhabitants of Ethiopia, Sudan and southern Africa carry the clearest signals of our earliest ancestry, signals that have been lost in the rest of us. So they give us a glimpse of our 60,000 year-old Adam. Adam would have been fully modern, both in terms of his appearance and his brain function. It is speculation, of course, but perhaps the San Bushmen of the Kalahari - who in many ways are a composite model of facial features from people all over the world - give us a portrait of Adam and his fellow early humans.

Why do you focus on men? What about Eve?

It turns out that the Y-chromosome gives us two very important clues to the question of how we populated the world. First, it shows us our most recent common ancestor (Adam). This man lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago. The significance of this date is that it means that all modern humans were living in Africa until at least that time. In other words, within the past 60,000 years - only about 2,000 generations - our species has populated the entire planet. Clearly, we are all very closely related. The second clue provided by the Y-chromosome concerns the routes we followed in our migrations around the planet. Due to something I describe in the book as 'sexual politics', the male line gives us the best view of the routes followed. So, the Y - a piece of DNA that really doesn't do much more than to make men men - is one of the best historical documents ever written. Women also have a female history written in their mitochondrial DNA, showing the path to Eve around 150,000 years ago. For reasons explored in the book, the mitochondrial signal turns out to provide less resolution for studies of population history than the Y. Again, it comes down to a long history of sexual politics.

How does the genetic Adam relate to the Adam of the bible?

It's interesting that both genetics and the Bible show that there is a common origin of humanity. According to genetic data we come from a single male ancestor. In the Bible too it is mentioned that there is a single male Adam and single female, Eve. I don't equate our results one-to-one with the biblical story, of course, because if you count back through the generations described in the Bible, Adam should have existed in 4004 BC, and our Adam existed 60,000 years ago. Also, our Adam and Eve weren't the only people alive at the time, just the lucky ones who left descendants down to the present day. But it is nice to know that we arrive at the same general conclusion: we're all related.

If we all came from a black man, how did men and women of different colors come into being?

The accepted explanation for skin color differences is that we first evolved in a tropical region, in Africa. The tropical sun is quite strong, so the skin needed the protection provided by the natural sunscreen, melanin, which makes skin dark. When we started moving into the Northern Hemisphere 40,000 years ago, the sun was not as strong. Anyone who's been to London in February can tell you that! And because the sun helps us to synthesize Vitamin D, which we need to grow strong bones, we had to lose some of our pigmentation to allow enough sunlight through.

So what do our genes tell us about the biological differences between, say, Europeans and Africans?

They are literally only skin deep. We are all African cousins separated by - at most - 2,000 generations.

Has research on genes told us something about the first people to arrive in America?

Yes. Our data tells us that we could not have been in the Americas prior to 20,000 years ago, and the most likely date of entry was around 15,000 years ago. This is because the oldest Y-chromosome lineage in the Americas originated in Central Asia 15,000-20,000 years ago, and then migrated to the northeast, across the Bering Strait. If we were still in Central Asia 20,000 years ago, we couldn't have been in the Americas until after that date.

How do other scientists and the public react to your research?

In general, there is more and more agreement among paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, geneticists and historians about the details of our past. I suppose one thing that some people still find hard to accept is that we left Africa so recently, and blitzed our way around the world, but it does seem to have happened like that. I urge them to read the book, where I discuss the archaeological, linguistic and climatological clues that fill in the details of our journey. It is a synthetic look at the past, not simply a genetic tale.

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#1190 - March 09, 2005 05:22 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Another death blow to the jaati system and endogamy. We were
travellers and we interbred. We are all brothers and sisters. It is
prejudices in our minds that says otherwise. The truth now sets us
free and united.

http://www.nature.com/news/2004/040927/full/040927-10.html


Family tree shows our common ancestor lived just 3,500 years ago.

Besides dating our most recent common ancestor, Rohde's team also
calculates that in 5,400 BC everyone alive was either an ancestor of
all of humanity, or of nobody alive today. The researchers call this
the 'identical ancestors' point: the time before which all the family
trees of people today are composed of exactly the same individuals.

Nonetheless, the results show that we are one big family, Rohde says.
As he and his colleagues write: "No matter the languages we speak or
the colour of our skin, we share ancestors with those who planted
rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on
the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of
North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid
of Khufu."

Pathma

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#1191 - March 09, 2005 05:24 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
The cradle that is India by Subhash Kak

March 07, 2005

Ideas about early Indian history continue to play an important role in
political ideology of contemporary India. On the one side are the Left
and Dravidian parties, which believe that invading Aryans from the
northwest pushed the Dravidians to south India and India's caste
divisions are a consequence of that encounter. Even the development of
Hinduism is seen through this anthropological lens. This view is
essentially that of colonial historians which was developed over a
hundred years ago.

On the other side are the nationalist parties, which believe that the
Aryan languages are native to India. These groups cite the early
astronomical dates in the Vedas, noting these texts are rooted firmly
in the Indian geographical region. But Leftist scholars consider such
evidence suspect, politically motivated, and chauvinistic.

In recent years, the work of archaeologists and historians of science
concluded that there is no material evidence for any large scale
migrations into India over the period of 4500 to 800 BC, implicitly
supporting the traditional view of Indian history. The Left has
responded by conceding that there were probably no invasions; rather,
there were many small scale migrations by Aryans who, through a
process of cultural dominance, imposed their language on north
Indians.

The drama of text-book revisions, both during the NDA and the current
UPA governments, is essentially a struggle to impose one or the other
of these viewpoints. In any other country, such a fight would have
fought in the pages of academic journals; but in India, where the
government decides what history is, it is a political matter.

'There is no absolute objective history'

Now, in an important book titled The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey
out of Africa (New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers, 2003), the
prominent Oxford University scholar Stephen Oppenheimer has
synthesised the available genetic evidence together with climatology
and archaeology with conclusions which have bearing on the debate
about the early population of India. This work has received great
attention in the West, and it will also interest Indians tremendously.

Much of Oppenheimer's theory is based on recent advances in studies of
mitochondrial DNA, inherited through the mother, and Y chromosomes,
inherited by males from the father. Oppenheimer makes the case that
whereas Africa is the cradle of all mankind; India is the cradle of
all non-African peoples. Man left Africa approximately 90,000 years
ago, heading east along the Indian Ocean, and established settlements
in India. It was only during a break in glacial activity 50,000 years
ago, when deserts turned into grasslands, that people left India and
headed northwest into the Russian steppes and on into Eastern Europe,
as well as northeast through China and over the now submerged Bering
Strait into the Americas.

In their migration to India, African people carried the mitochondrial
DNA strain L3 and Y chromosome line M168 across south Red Sea across
the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. On the maternal side the
mtDNA strain L3 split into two daughters which Oppenheimer labels
Nasreen and Manju. While Manju was definitely born in India the
birthplace of Nasreen is tentatively placed by him in southern Iran or
Baluchistan. One Indian Manju subclan in India is as old as 73,000
years, whereas European man goes back to less than 50,000 years.

Considering the paternal side, Oppenheimer sees M168 as having three
sons, of whom Seth was the most important one. Seth, in turn, had five
sons which are named by him as Jahangir, H, I, G and Krishna. Krishna,
born in India, is the ancestor of the peoples of East Asia, Central
Asia, Oceania and West Eurasia (through the M17 mutation). This is
what Oppenheimer says about M17:

South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17 and his ancestors;
and sure enough we find highest rates and greatest diversity of the
M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the
Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central
Asia but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal
groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of
a 'male Aryan Invasion of India.'

Study of the geographical distribution and the diversity of genetic
branches and stems again suggests that Ruslan, along with his son M17,
arose early in South Asia, somewhere near India, and subsequently
spread not only south-east to Australia but also north, directly to
Central Asia, before splitting east and west into Europe and East
Asia.

Oppenheimer argues that the Eurocentric view of ancient history is
also incorrect. For example, Europeans didn't invent art, because the
Australian aborigines developed their own unique artistic culture in
complete isolation. Indian rock art is also extremely ancient, going
back to over 40,000 BC, so perhaps art as a part of culture had arisen
in Africa itself. Similarly, agriculture didn't arise in the Fertile
Crescent; Southeast Asia had already domesticated many plants by that
time.

Oppenheimer concludes with two extraordinary conclusions: 'First, that
the Europeans' genetic homeland was originally in South Asia in the
Pakistan/Gulf region over 50,000 years ago; and second, that the
Europeans' ancestors followed at least two widely separated routes to
arrive, ultimately, in the same cold but rich garden. The earliest of
these routes was the Fertile Crescent. The second early route from
South Asia to Europe may have been up the Indus into Kashmir and on to
Central Asia, where perhaps more than 40,000 years ago hunters first
started bringing down game as large as mammoths.'

This synthesis of genetic evidence makes it possible to understand the
divide between the north and the south Indian languages. It appears
that the Dravidian languages are more ancient, and the Aryan languages
evolved in India over thousands of years before migrations took them
to central Asia and westward to Europe. The proto-Dravidian languages
had also, through the ocean route, reached northeast Asia, explaining
the connections between the Dravidian family and the Korean and the
Japanese.


Perhaps this new understanding will encourage Indian politicians to
get away from the polemics of who the original inhabitants of India
are, since that should not matter one way or the other in the
governance of the country. Indian politics has long been plagued by
the Aryan invasion narrative, which was created by English scholars of
the 19th century; it is fitting that another Englishman, Stephen
Oppenheimer, should announce its demise.

http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/mar/08kak.htm

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#1192 - April 08, 2005 04:56 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_132193,000900020001.htm


Of lasting genes and lost cities of Tamil Nadu

Papri Sri Raman (Indo-Asian News Service)
Chennai, January 5

India's East Coast, especially along Tamil Nadu, is increasingly
drawing the attention of archaeologists and anthropologists from
across the world for its evolutionary and historical secrets.

The focus has sharpened after genetic scientist Spencer Wells found
strains of genes in some communities of Tamil Nadu that were
present in the early man of Africa.

In the "Journey of Man" aired by the National Geographic channel,
Wells says the first wave of migration of early man from Africa took
place 60,000 years ago along the continent's east coast to India.
Genetic mapping of local populations provided the evidence.

RM Pitchappan, a professor of Madurai Kamaraj University in Tamil
Nadu, helped Wells collect the gene evidence from Tamil Nadu's
Piramlai Kallar people, inhabiting the Madurai and Usilampatti areas
500 km south of Chennai.

Their genes have the amino acid bands found in the gene map of the
original man from Africa.

Says Pitchappan: "The ancestors of the Kallar community may have
come into India from the Middle East."

Wells believes there were three waves of migration that early man
undertook.

According to him and his Indian collaborator, early man went from
Africa to the Middle East, on to Kutch on India's west coast, all the
around to the peninsula's east coast and then on to Australia.

Pitchappan, who heads the immunology department at Madurai
Kamaraj University, has found that the gene markers M130 seen in
man 50,000 years ago and M20 seen in man of 35,000 years ago are
present in the Kallars and several other local people of Tamil Nadu.

Some of the markers are common to the Kallars and the Yadava
populations of the Saurashtra coast in Gujarat. And the M172
markers found in some Tamil Nadu populations are also found in the
people of Pakistan's Balochistan province and M17 in some
populations of Central Asians.

"These gene pools are unique and very accurately map the path a
population has taken, leaving behind original communities to grow
into independent groups but with a common ancestor," explains
Pitchappan.

It is not only the study of Wells and Pitchappan that has focused
scholars' attention on India. A British marine archaeologist, Graham
Hancock, has been examining a submerged city on the East Coast.

Hancock says a civilisation thriving there may predate the Sumerian
civilisation of Mesopotamia in present-day Iraq and definitely existed
before the Harappan civilisation in India and Pakistan.

Hancock has been excavating the site off the coast of Poompuhar,
near Nagapattinam, 400 km south of Chennai.

At a meeting of the Mythic Society in Bangalore in early December,
Hancock said underwater explorations in 2001 provided evidence that
corroborated Tamil mythological stories of ancient floods.

He said tidal waves of 400 feet or more could have swallowed this
flourishing port city any time between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago,
the date of the last Ice Age. The Gulf of Cambay was also
submerged, taking with it evidence of early man's migration.

The populations Wells and Pitchappan mapped settled on India's East
Coast 50,000 to 35,000 years ago and developed into modern man.

According to Hancock, "the Poompuhar underwater site could well
provide evidence that it was the cradle of modern civilisation."

Hancock's theory is strengthened by findings of India's National
Institute of Oceanography (NIO), which has explored the site since
the 1980s. Man-made structures like well rims, horseshoe-shaped
building sites are some of the lost city's secrets.

At low tide, some brick structures from the Sangam era are still
visible in places like Vanagiri. The region, archaeologists say, has
been built over and over again through the ages and some of its past
is now being revealed.

Glenn Milne, a British geologist from Durham University, has confirmed
Hancock's theory. The American Learning Channel and Britain-based
Channel 4 have funded Hancock to make films of the site, in
collaboration with the NIO. The areas of archaeological interest are
Tranquebar and modern Poompuhar.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is now beginning
excavations in another site, about four kilometres from Pondicherry,
in a place called Arikamedu. This was an ancient port town on the
banks of the river Ariyankuppam.

Archaeologists Mortimer Wheeler and JM Casal first found artefacts in
this area in the 1930s and 1940s, says historian M. Mathew, former
head of Pondicherry University's department of history.

Vimala Bagley, a US-based historian, has also done research in the
early 1990s on the Pondicherry coast's maritime links with
Greco-Roman empires.

The ASI is in the process of acquiring 10 acres of land where the
site, now privately owned, lies. The Pondicherry government too is
planning to develop the area as a major tourist attraction that can
be accessed by boat.

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#1193 - July 02, 2005 04:31 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Aryans: A people or an obsession?


The Aryan problem is a modern European creation that has no relevance to ancient India. The invasion is the tail wagging the Aryan dog, writes N.S. Rajaram


Who were the Aryans?

No single aspect of ancient Indian history and historiography has so dominated discourse as the so-called ‘Aryan problem’. There is the Aryan invasion (or migration), which is supposed to have brought in the Vedic civilisation and the ‘Aryan’ language (Sanskrit), the Aryan race and even an Aryan nation thousands of years later, of all places, in Germany! Even archaeology has not escaped the Aryan assault with scholars claiming that the Harappan civilisation was non-Aryan, destroyed by the invading Aryans, who, of all things, are supposed to have introduced the horse into India. Never mind the fact that horse fossils in India are over a million years old, but what is the reality?

In the whole of the Rigveda, consisting of ten books with more than 1,000 hymns, the word Arya appears fewer than 40 times. It may occur as many times in a single page of a modern European work, like for example, in Hitler’s Mein Kampf. As a result, any modern book or even a discussion on the “Aryan problem” is likely to be a commentary on the voluminous 19th and 20th century European literature on the Aryans having little or no relevance to ancient India. This is simply a matter of the sources: not only the Rigveda, but also the whole body of ancient literature that followed it have precious little to say about Aryans and Aryanism. It was simply an honorific, which the ancient Sanskrit lexicon Amarakosha identifies as one of the synonyms for honorable or decent conduct. There is no reference to any “Aryan” type.

A remarkable aspect of this vast “Aryanology” is that after two hundred years and at least as many books on the subject, scholars are still not clear about the Aryan identity. At first they were supposed to be a race distinguished by some physical traits, but ancient texts know nothing of it. Scientists too have no use for the “Aryan race.” As far back as 1939, Julian Huxley, one of the great biologists of the 20th century, dismissed it as part of “political and propagandist” literature. Recently, there have been attempts to revive racial arguments in the name of genome research, but eminent geneticists like L. Cavalli-Sforza and Stephen Oppenheimer have rejected it. The M17 genetic marker, which is supposed to distinguish the “Caucasian” type (politically correct for Aryan), occurs with the highest frequency and diversity in India, showing that among its carriers, the Indian population is the oldest.

This article is based on the latest findings in history and natural history. It is part of a pathbreaking effort to place ancient history on a scientific foundation. (Source: Out of Eden by Stephen Oppenheimer (2003), Wiedenfield and Nicholson: London.)

Natural history of modern humans
There have been some strange claims in the name of genome research, going so far as to claim that they support the Aryan invasion. But here is what world leading geneticists like L. Cavalli-Sforza and S. Oppenheimer have to say: Our ancestors used to live in Africa 150,000 years ago. A small group of homo sapiens left Africa some 80,000 years ago and settled along the South Asian coast from where they spread out to colonise different parts of the world. All non-Africans in the world today are descendants of a small group of South Asians living south of a line from Yemen to the Himalayas, especially along the Indian coast. This ‘founder group,’ from which all non-Africans are descended, barely survived the fallout from a volcanic eruption in Sumatra known as the ‘Toba Explosion’ 74,000 years ago.

This is roughly the story of our past growing out of more than fifty years of intensive mapping of human genes and climate changes by different scientists. By relating these movements to ecological upheavals, what we obtain is the genetic history of modern humans correlated with the natural history of our planet. Climate changes have been the drivers of both evolution and migration, and hence the growth and decline of civilisations.

Equally interesting is the message of the M17 genetic marker, which some have sought to identify with the ‘Aryan’ gene. It appears in India, Iran, Eurasia and Europe, but exhibits the greatest frequency and diversity in India showing that among its carriers, the Indian population is the oldest. This means that proponents of the Aryan invasion (or migration) have got both the origin and the direction of movement wrong. (See migration map. Source: Out of Eden by Stephen Oppenheimer.)

It is important to interpret this properly. It does not mean that there were no non-African humans before the Toba Explosion, but only that no descendants of those earlier populations have survived outside Africa. A group out of Africa 120,000 years ago made its way to Egypt but disappeared 90,000 years ago without a genetic trace. All Europeans living today are descended from South Asians, possibly as recently as 40,000 years ago. South Asia, India in particular, was the jumping off point for the colonisation East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and ultimately the Americas.

This raises some questions for theories about Indian history and anthropology created during the colonial era. Leaving aside pseudo-scientific theories about race and language, which have been discredited by science but continue in various guises in some academic circles, it shows that both the so-called adivasis (tribals or aborginals) and the caste Hindus share a common African origin. The same is true of Dravidians and Dalits.

A remarkable aspect of this vast “Aryanology” is that after two hundred years and at least as many books on the subject, scholars are still not clear about the Aryan identity. At first they were supposed to be a race distinguished by some physical traits, but ancient texts know nothing of it. Scientists too have no use for the “Aryan race.”

Tail wagging the dog

It is a similar situation with the Aryans as a linguistic group, which is what some scholars, sensitive to the disrepute that race theories have fallen into are proposing. But the vast body of Indian literature on linguistics, the richest in the world going back at least to Yaska and Panini, knows nothing of any Aryan language. The German-born Friedrich Max Müller made his celebrated switch from Aryan race to Aryan language only to save his career in England following German unification, when the British began to see Germany as a major threat. The “Aryan nation” was the battle cry of German nationalists. It was German nationalists, not ancient Indians who were obsessed with their Aryan ancestry.

All this means that the “Aryan problem” is a non-problem- little more than an aberration of historiography. It has been kept alive by a school of historians with careers and reputations at stake. According to its advocates, the Vedic language and literature are of non-Indian origin. In the words of Romila Thapar, a prominent advocate of the non-indigenous origin theory: “The evidence for the importation of the earliest form of the language [Vedic] can hardly be denied.” (Foreword to Aryans and British India by Thomas Trautmann (1997), Vistaar Publications: New Delhi, page xiv.)

In other words, Aryans are needed because without them there can be no Aryan invasion (or migration). The invasion is the tail that wags the Aryan dog.

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, it is best ignore labels and stereotypes like ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ and look simply at the record of the people who lived in India and created her unique civilisations. This is the spirit in which my colleagues and I study history- as a combination of natural history and the human record.

(The author has written several books on ancient history including Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilisation with David Frawley and The Deciphered Indus Script with Natwar Jha.)

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#1194 - December 13, 2005 04:23 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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ANNEXURE ON THE ARYANS: SCIENCE, HISTORY AND POLITICS
By
Dr. N.S. Rajaram
Background


           The recent controversy surrounding the curriculum revision in California schools, particularly with regard to Harvard linguist Michael Witzel's attempts to influence the curriculum has created the need for a  proper understanding of the issues involved. The present document summarizes different aspects of the issue- the latest scientific evidence and the historical position.

           The author of this report is not associated with any group or  institution. He is a former U.S. academic with more than twenty years experience as a faculty member and administrator in Indiana, Ohio and Texas. He is currently an independent researcher and author on the ancient world including India.

Scientific evidence

           Before we go into the history and the politics of the controversy that let to Mr. Witzel insist on his 'Aryan' version of the history being included in the California school curriculum, it is useful to  have an idea of what science has to say about Aryans and the Aryan invasion (or migration). It essentially boils down to the following two questions:

1.                  Was the civilization of India, the Vedic civilization in particular, the result of an 'Aryan invasion' (or migration) in secondmillennium B.C.?

2.                  Is there such a human group identifiable as 'Aryan'?
The answer to both these questions is an emphatic NO.

Taking up the first question, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Emeritus Professor at Stanford University and widely regarded as the world's foremost population geneticist, notes that the people of India, whatever their present ethnic identity, are largely of indigenous origin, going back to the Pleistocene, or the last Ice Age. The exact words used by Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues in a recent paper are:

Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have receivedlimited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene.

In non-technical language, this means their current genetic heritage goes back to the Ice Age (Pleistocene), or more than 50,000 years. Further, they have received limited external gene flow since the Holocene meaning they are not the result of any major invasion or migration since the Ice Age ended more than 10,000 years ago.

This is what Dr. Metzenberg, who served on the Commission appointed by the California's State Board of education, was referring to when he said: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard  evidence of DNA more than I believe historians."

Similar views have been expressed by many others like the geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer of Green's College at Oxford University. This, and not Mr.Witzel 's Aryan theories, represents the scientific consensus today.

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, it is presumptuous to say the  least for Mr. Witzel or anyone else to claim that the exclusion of his favorite Aryan theories would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they [curriculum changes] are accepted by the California's State Board of Education."

Next, is there an Aryan race, or, does such a thing as race exist at all?  Again, the answer of science is a resounding NO. Here is what Sir Julian Huxley, one of the great biologists of the twentieth century had to say as
far back as 1939:

       In England and America the phrase 'Aryan race' has quite ceased to be used by writers with scientific knowledge, though it appears occasionally in political and propagandist literature.. In Germany, the idea of the 'Aryan race' received no more scientific support than in England.  Nevertheless, it found able and very persistent literary advocates who made it appear very flattering to local vanity. It therefore steadily spread, fostered by special conditions.

           In other words, the whole idea of 'Aryan' is a myth. The passage cited above sheds light on two factors (shown in italics) that have kept this discredited and indefensible idea alive, especially in academia: (1) political and propagandist interests; and (2) special conditions. This is what is examined next.

The Aryan myth fostered in 'special conditions'

           Having looked at the so-called Aryan problem from the scientific angle, we may next take a brief look at the 'special conditions' (as Huxley  called it) that led to this scholarly pathology being foisted as a central dogma of ancient historiography. These conditions grew out of nineteenth and twentieth century political currents arising out of German nationalism and  British imperial needs.

The notion that Indians are one branch of a common stock of people who lived originally in Central Asia or in the Eurasian steppes arose in the late  eighteenth century.  It began as a linguistic theory to account for  similarities between Sanskrit and classical European languages like Greek and Latin. From this modest beginning it soon acquired a life of its own when scholars, especially in Germany, concluded that Europeans and ancient

Indians were two branches of a people they called Aryans and later as Indo-Europeans. A whole new academic discipline called Indo-European studies came into existence whose very survival is now at stake following scientific discoveries. 

           The Aryan theory, which began life as a linguistic theory soon acquired a biological form. Scholars, mostly linguists, began to talk about not just Aryan languages, but also an Aryan race. Since Indology had its greatest flowering in nineteenth century Germany, it is not surprising that racial ideas that shaped German nationalism should have found their way into scholarly discourse on India. The Indo-European hypothesis and its offshoot
of the Aryan invasion (or migration) theory came to dominate this discourse for over a century.

           It is important to recognize that the people who created this theory were, and are today, linguists (like Michael Witzel), not biologists.  We have already seen that scientists, including German scientists, have no use for it. Its perpetuation then and its survival today is the result of 'special conditions.'

           These 'special conditions' were the rise of Nazism in Germany  and British imperial needs in India. While both Germany and Britain took to the idea of the Aryan race, its fate in the two countries was somewhat different. Its perversion in Germany leading eventually to Nazism and its  horrors is too well known to be repeated here. The British, however, put it to more creative use for imperial purposes, especially as a tool in making their rule acceptable to Indians. A recent BBC report admitted as much  (October 6, 2005):

It [the Aryan invasion theory] gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done  thousands of years earlier.

           That is to say, the British presented themselves as a 'new and improved brand of Aryans' who were only completing the work left undone by their ancestors in the hoary past. This is how the British Prime Minister

Stanley Baldwin put it in the House of Commons in 1929:

       Now, after ages, .the two branches of the great Aryan ancestry have again been brought together by Providence. By establishing British rule in  India, God said to the British, "I have brought you and the Indians together after a long separation, .it is your duty to raise them to their own level as quickly as possible .brothers as you are."

           After this, nothing needs to be said. Today it is sustained by other 'special conditions', like vested interests in the survival of Indo-European studies in Western academia. It is only a matter of time  before this vestige of colonial politics disappears from the scene making way for a more enlightened approach to the study of ancient India.

           Mr. Witzel's campaign to have his Aryan theories made part of  the California school curriculum is simply a last ditch effort to keep alive his academic discipline from sinking into oblivion under the impact of science.

           The 'scholarship' that is being put forward in its cause is little more than "political and propagandist literature" (as Huxley put it) dressed up in academic jargon.

           In drawing lessons from this distasteful episode, it is necessary to go beyond the immediate causes and effects of Mr. Witzel's  campaign by placing it in the proper moral and ethical context. When we do
so, one fact stands out above all: Mr. Witzel's reckless disregard for the sensitivities of young minds in his effort to use them to serve his personal interests. Can there be education without human feeling?

The California State Board of Education has done the right thing in not giving in to the lobbying pressure from Mr. Witzel and his group.

_______________
Dr. N.S Rajaram, formerly a U.S. academic, is the author of several books on ancient history. He is currently working on Mekong to Indus: A natural history of the Vedic Age.

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#1195 - December 23, 2005 10:53 AM Re: Races and Anthropology
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The Economist article

> The coming together of two groups of humans can be seen in modern
> India, too. In the south of the subcontinent, people have Y-
> chromosomes derived almost exclusively from what the Cambridge school
> would interpret as being northern folk (and the Oxford school as the
> western survivors of Toba). However, more than 20% of their
> mitochondria arrived in Asia with the first migration from Africa
> (or, according to taste, clung on along the south-eastern fringes of
> the ash plume).
>
> That discovery speaks volumes about what happened when the two groups
> met. It suggests that many modern south Indians are descended from
> southern-fringe women, but few from southern-fringe men?implying a
> comprehensive conquest of the southerners by the northerners, who won
> extra southern wives.



It is a nice intro article but lousy conclusions that is
already being challenged.

Looks like even the Economist too is pushing the north south divide. The way I conclude, rather than any invasion, conquest or occupation, which I dont see, large numbers of northern men just fell for the exotic southern belles! Its the southern ladies who conquered the northern men! And we have always been, almost uninterruptedly, exogamous. [see the indian ocean region]

I could share another piece of information. An immediate uncle of my looked like a 'white man' and we used to call him 'vellakaran'. My sister and father in law have natural curly sai baba like afro hair. My first cousin and all his children, honest to god, have oriental eyes. And I tell you we were all orthodox Sri Lankan and Madurai folks. I have punjabi clients who have oriental features too.
Brahmin priests here look exactly like africans, pitch black hairless skin with short wiry hair. Others look caucasian. So who are we kidding!

The point of all the recent dna studies, which are conclusive, and many miss its obviousness, invasion or migration or not, is that Indian endogamy is a myth. Jaatiism and notions of endogamy are scientifically incorrect. In an average Indian family one can undeniably see african, caucasian and oriental features. Endogamous jaatis is based on a false premise. Indians are hybrids. This is what we have to tell the Hindus.

It is also equally true that in the immediate recent past of about 150 years or so, Hindus have retreated into their jaati shells, pulled over the varna curtains and practiced strict endogamy to the point where it slips into shades of incest.

There must be genetic reasons why all cultures aborred incest. Can someone explain that? The same applies to strict endogamy. I think its genetic suicide.

Pathmarajah

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#1196 - June 26, 2006 01:51 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/ths.../24/&prd=th


People in north and south India belong to the same gene pool: ICHR Chairman

T.S. Ranganna

He says studies prove this; conclusion that Aryans came here 15,000 years before Christ does not hold water


BANGALORE: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests of blood samples from people in the Indian subcontinent have confirmed that the human race had its origins in Africa and not Europe or Central Asia as claimed by a few historians.

The test has classified the people in north and south India as belonging to one gene pool, and not different ethnic groups such as Aryans and Dravidians.

Giving the information to The Hindu here, Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research D.N. Tripathi said geneticists from Pakistan had collected samples for genetics analysis of the people of Indian subcontinent and sent them to cellular and molecular biology laboratories in the U.S. Scientists in Pakistan concluded from the test results that the human race spread out of Africa 60,000 years before Christ. They settled in the subcontinent. Geneticists in Pakistan concluded that people living in the northern and southern regions of India and those in the West Asian region were from the same gene pool, he added.

Asked about the argument of many historians tracing the lineage of people in north India to Aryans, Prof. Tripathi said test results had proved this wrong. "We have the results of studies. The conclusion of some historians that Aryans came here 15,000 years before Christ does not hold water," he added.


[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited June 26, 2006).]

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#1197 - July 03, 2006 12:49 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Roots of the human family tree are remarkably shallow


(AP) -- Whoever it was probably lived a few thousand years ago,
somewhere in East Asia -- Taiwan, Malaysia and Siberia all are likely
locations. He -- or she -- did nothing more remarkable than be born,
live, have children and die. Yet this was the ancestor of every person
now living on Earth -- the last person in history whose family tree
branches out to touch all 6.5 billion people on the planet today.


That means everybody on Earth descends from somebody who was around as
recently as the reign of Tutankhamen, maybe even during the Golden Age
of ancient Greece. There's even a chance that our last shared ancestor
lived at the time of Christ.

"It's a mathematical certainty that that person existed," said Steve
Olson, whose 2002 book "Mapping Human History" traces the history of
the species since its origins in Africa more than 100,000 years ago.

It is human nature to wonder about our ancestors -- who they were,
where they lived, what they were like. People trace their genealogy,
collect antiques and visit historical sites hoping to capture just a
glimpse of those who came before, to locate themselves in the sweep of
history and position themselves in the web of human existence.

But few people realize just how intricately that web connects them not
just to people living on the planet today, but to everyone who ever lived.

With the help of a statistician, a computer scientist and a
supercomputer, Olson has calculated just how interconnected the human
family tree is. You would have to go back in time only 2,000 to 5,000
years -- and probably on the low side of that range -- to find
somebody who could count every person alive today as a descendant.

Furthermore, Olson and his colleagues have found that if you go back a
little farther -- about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago -- everybody living
today has exactly the same set of ancestors. In other words, every
person who was alive at that time is either an ancestor to all 6
billion people living today, or their line died out and they have no
remaining descendants.

That revelation is "especially startling," statistician Jotun Hein of
England's Oxford University wrote in a commentary on the research
published by the journal Nature.

"Had you entered any village on Earth in around 3,000 B.C., the first
person you would have met would probably be your ancestor," Hein marveled.

It also means that all of us have ancestors of every color and creed.
Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past. Every Sunni
Muslim in Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite. And every
Klansman's family has African roots.

How can this be?

It's simple math. Every person has two parents, four grandparents and
eight great-grandparents. Keep doubling back through the generations
-- 16, 32, 64, 128 -- and within a few hundred years you have
thousands of ancestors.

It's nothing more than exponential growth combined with the facts of
life. By the 15th century you've got a million ancestors. By the 13th
you've got a billion. Sometime around the 9th century -- just 40
generations ago -- the number tops a trillion.

But wait. How could anybody _ much less everybody -- alive today have
had a trillion ancestors living during the 9th century?

The answer is, they didn't. Imagine there was a man living 1,200 years
ago whose daughter was your mother's 36th great-grandmother, and whose
son was your father's 36th great-grandfather. That would put him on
two branches on your family tree, one on your mother's side and one on
your father's.

In fact, most of the people who lived 1,200 years ago appear not
twice, but thousands of times on our family trees, because there were
only 200 million people on Earth back then. Simple division -- a
trillion divided by 200 million -- shows that on average each person
back then would appear 5,000 times on the family tree of every single
individual living today.

But things are never average. Many of the people who were alive in the
year 800 never had children; they don't appear on anybody's family
tree. Meanwhile, more prolific members of society would show up many
more than 5,000 times on a lot of people's trees.

Keep going back in time, and there are fewer and fewer people
available to put on more and more branches of the 6.5 billion family
trees of people living today. It is mathematically inevitable that at
some point, there will be a person who appears at least once on
everybody's tree.

But don't stop there; keep going back. As the number of potential
ancestors dwindles and the number of branches explodes there comes a
time when every single person on Earth is an ancestor to all of us,
except the ones who never had children or whose lines eventually died out.

And it wasn't all that long ago. When you walk through an exhibit of
Ancient Egyptian art from the time of the pyramids, everything there
was very likely created by one of your ancestors -- every statue,
every hieroglyph, every gold necklace. If there is a mummy lying in
the center of the room, that person was almost certainly your
ancestor, too.

It means when Muslims, Jews or Christians claim to be children of
Abraham, they are all bound to be right.

"No matter the languages we speak or the color of our skin, we share
ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first
domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant
sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who labored to
build the Great Pyramid of Khufu," Olson and his colleagues wrote in
the journal Nature.

How can they be so sure?

Seven years ago one of Olson's colleagues, a Yale University
statistician named Joseph Chang, started thinking about how to
estimate when the last common ancestor of everybody on Earth today
lived. In a paper published by the journal "Advances in Applied
Probability," Chang showed that there is a mathematical relationship
between the size of a population and the number of generations back to
a common ancestor. Plugging the planet's current population into his
equation, he came up with just over 32 generations, or about 900 years.

Chang knew that answer was wrong because it relied on some common, but
inaccurate, assumptions that population geneticists often use to
simplify difficult mathematical problems.

For example, his analysis pretended that Earth's population has always
been what it is today. It also assumed that individuals choose their
mates randomly. And each generation had to reproduce all at once.

Chang's calculations essentially treated the world like one big meet
market where any given guy was equally likely to pair up with any
woman, whether she lived in the next village or halfway around the
world. Chang was fully aware of the inaccuracy -- people have to
select their partners from the pool of individuals they have actually
met, unless they are entering into an arranged marriage. But even
then, they are much more likely to mate with partners who live nearby.
And that means that geography can't be ignored if you are going to
determine the relatedness of the world's population.

A few years later Chang was contacted by Olson, who had started
thinking about the world's interrelatedness while writing his book.
They started corresponding by e-mail, and soon included in their
deliberations Douglas Rohde, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology
neuroscientist and computer expert who now works for Google.

The researchers knew they would have to account for geography to get a
better picture of how the family tree converges as it reaches deeper
into the past. They decided to build a massive computer simulation
that would essentially re-enact the history of humanity as people were
born, moved from one place to another, reproduced and died.

Rohde created a program that put an initial population on a map of the
world at some date in the past, ranging from 7,000 to 20,000 years
ago. Then the program allowed those initial inhabitants to go about
their business. He allowed them to expand in number according to
accepted estimates of past population growth, but had to cap the
expansion at 55 million people due to computing limitations. Although
unrealistic in some respects -- 55 million is a lot less than the 6.5
billion people who actually live on Earth today -- he found through
trial and error that the limitation did not significantly change the
outcome with regard to common ancestry.

The model also had to allow for migration based on what historians,
anthropologists and archaeologists know about how frequently past
populations moved both within and between continents. Rohde, Chang and
Olson chose a range of migration rates, from a low level where almost
nobody left their native home to a much higher one where up to 20
percent of the population reproduced in a town other than the one
where they were born, and one person in 400 moved to a foreign country.

Allowing very little migration, Rohde's simulation produced a date of
about 5,000 B.C. for humanity's most recent common ancestor. Assuming
a higher, but still realistic, migration rate produced a shockingly
recent date of around 1 A.D.

Some people even suspect that the most recent common ancestor could
have lived later than that.

"A number of people have written to me making the argument that the
simulations were too conservative," Rohde said.

Migration is the key. When a people have offspring far from their
birthplaces, they essentially introduce their entire family lines into
their adopted populations, giving their immediate offspring and all
who come after them a set of ancestors from far away.

People tend to think of preindustrial societies as places where this
sort of thing rarely happened, where virtually everyone lived and died
within a few miles of the place where they were born. But history is
full of examples that belie that notion.

Take Alexander the Great, who conquered every country between Greece
and northern India, siring two sons along the way by Persian mothers.
Consider Prince Abd Al-Rahman, son of a Syrian father and a Berber
mother, who escaped Damascus after the overthrow of his family's
dynasty and started a new one in Spain. The Vikings, the Mongols, and
the Huns all traveled thousands of miles to burn, pillage and -- most
pertinent to genealogical considerations -- rape more settled populations.

More peaceful people moved around as well. During the Middle Ages, the
Gypsies traveled in stages from northern India to Europe. In the New
World, the Navaho moved from western Canada to their current home in
the American Southwest. People from East Asia fanned out into the
South Pacific Islands, and Eskimos frequently traveled back and forth
across the Bering Sea from Siberia to Alaska.

"These genealogical networks, as they start spreading out they really
have the ability to get virtually everywhere," Olson said.

Though people like to think of culture, language and religion as
barriers between groups, history is full of religious conversions,
intermarriages, illegitimate births and adoptions across those lines.
Some historical times and places were especially active melting pots
-- medieval Spain, ancient Rome and the Egypt of the pharaohs, for
example.

"And the thing is, you only need one," said Mark Humphrys, an amateur
anthropologist and professor of computer science at Dublin City
University.

One ancestral link to another cultural group among your millions of
forbears, and you share ancestors with everyone in that group. So
everyone who reproduced with somebody who was born far from their own
natal home -- every sailor blown off course, every young man who set
off to seek his fortune, every woman who left home with a trader from
a foreign land -- as long as they had children, they helped weave the
tight web of brotherhood we all share.

By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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#1198 - April 17, 2007 02:50 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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The Prolific Slavic, Sinic and Indic Groups


Late Will Durant in his first volume (Story Of Our Civilization) correctly alludes that there were historically three ethnic groups that procreated more than any other group. They are the Slavic, Sinic and Indic groups.

Wikipedia shows that whole of Asia's population increased 7.8 fold between 1750 and 2005. But Europe+North America+South America's combined population increased 8.9 fold.

It appears that Will Durant forgot to include European origin wombs that had migrated to the Americas. If Australia is also included, and recalling that native american population was much smaller in 1750, it would be clear that European origin wombs have been much more prolific than the asian ones.

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#1199 - October 23, 2007 12:01 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Posts: 375
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The Journey of Mankind - Oppenheimer


http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/

Watch for ther merging of two migrating races in India.

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#1200 - February 10, 2008 09:48 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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When Europeans Became 'White'[/b[

http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com/dispatches/2007/04/when_europeans_.html


April 20, 2007

[b]When Europeans Became White


Some interesting news for y'all, hot from the pages of Science magazine:

Researchers have disagreed for decades about an issue that is only skin-deep: How quickly did the first modern humans who swept into Europe acquire pale skin? Now a new report on the evolution of a gene for skin color suggests that Europeans lightened up quite recently, perhaps only 6000 to 12,000 years ago. This contradicts a long-standing hypothesis that modern humans in Europe grew paler about 40,000 years ago, as soon as they migrated into northern latitudes. Under darker skies, pale skin absorbs more sunlight than dark skin, allowing ultraviolet rays to produce more vitamin D for bone growth and calcium absorption. "The [evolution of] light skin occurred long after the arrival of modern humans in Europe," molecular anthropologist Heather Norton of the University of Arizona, Tucson, said in her talk.

The genetic origin of the spectrum of human skin colors has been one of the big puzzles of biology. Researchers made a major breakthrough in 2005 by discovering a gene, SLC24A5, that apparently causes pale skin in many Europeans, but not in Asians. A team led by geneticist Keith Cheng of Pennsylvania State University (PSU) College of Medicine in Hershey found two variants of the gene that differed by just one amino acid. Nearly all Africans and East Asians had one allele, whereas 98% of the 120 Europeans they studied had the other (Science, 28 October 2005, p. 601).

Norton, who worked on the Cheng study as a graduate student, decided to find out when that mutation swept through Europeans. Working as a postdoc with geneticist Michael Hammer at the University of Arizona, she sequenced 9300 base pairs of DNA in the SLC24A5 gene in 41 Europeans, Africans, Asians, and American Indians.

Using variations in the gene that did not cause paling, she calculated the background mutation rate of SLC24A5 and thereby determined that 18,000 years had passed since the light-skin allele was fixed in Europeans. But the error margins were large, so she also analyzed variation in the DNA flanking the gene. She found that Europeans with the allele had a "striking lack of diversity" in this flanking DNA--a sign of very recent genetic change, because not enough time has passed for new mutations to arise. The data suggest that the selective sweep occurred 5300 to 6000 years ago, but given the imprecision of method, the real date could be as far back as 12,000 years ago, Norton said. She added that other, unknown, genes probably also cause paling in Europeans.

As there are several other genes which are involved in skin color, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that Europeans "suddenly" turned white a few thousand years ago, at least until we're sure that the rest of the mutations responsible are of similarly recent vintage. Still, SLC24A5 accounts for enough of the color variation for us to be able to confidently say that until relatively recently Europeans didn't look distinguishable from the people of northern India or southern Arabia.

Either way, the implication is that our European ancestors were brown-skinned for tens of thousands of years--a suggestion made 30 years ago by Stanford University geneticist L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza. He argued that the early immigrants to Europe, who were hunter-gatherers, herders, and fishers, survived on ready-made sources of vitamin D in their diet. But when farming spread in the past 6000 years, he argued, Europeans had fewer sources of vitamin D in their food and needed to absorb more sunlight to produce the vitamin in their skin.
The poor diet of the farmer is to blame! Whether this old hypothesis is correct or not is too early to determine, but this report certainly gives it new life. I imagine that the increased paleness of East Asians is also of relatively new vintage (as are all the other derived, prototypically "Asian" features), perhaps dating back no further than about 5,000 years, when one people* started farming rice somewhere in China and underwent a radical population explosion; similarly, I don't think you'll find any people who look like today's West Africans before ~10,000 years ago. All the external "racial" features people invest so much importance in are of surprisingly recent vintage.

*There's no reason to suppose said people were speakers of proto-Chinese, by the way, as the genetic evidence suggesting that all north-east Asians share very recent common roots also suggests - based on the distribution of languages in the region - that the shared ancestor of the Korean and Japanese languages has its roots in northeast China. The speakers of proto-Chinese likely came from the Himalayan region after rice-growing had become established, and made the original inhabitants of their new homeland drop their old languages in favor of the invaders'.

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#1201 - April 04, 2008 12:33 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Indians are Africans


http://www.asianage.com/presentation/leftnavigation/news/top-story/madurai-family-traces-its-roots-70,000-yrs-back-.aspx

April 04, 2008

Madurai family traces its roots 70,000 yrs back
By Kumar Chellappan

Chennai, April 3: A 30-year-old systems administrator hailing from a sleepy village close to Madurai in Tamil Nadu has been identified as one of the direct descendants of the first ever settlers in India, who had migrated from the African coast some 70,000 years ago.

The DNA of Virumandi Andithevar, one of the 700-odd inhabitants of Jothimanickam village, matched the white chromosome marker scientifically labelled "M130", which is a gene found only among the descendants of the African migrants who had spread across the world tens of thousands of years ago. "This young man and 13 members of his nine-generation clan carried the same marker in their genes. It means that his ancestors in all probability settled in this village several generations ago," said Prof. Rm Pitchappan, who led a team of scientists tracking the "M130" DNA and ended up at Virumandi�s little house.

"M130 is actually present sporadically among the population along the Western Ghats and around Madurai," said Dr Pitchappan, who heads the School of Biological Sciences at Madurai Kamaraj University. His research was part of the "Genographic Project", a global initiative launched by National Geographic and a team of reputed scientists for unravelling the mystery of human migration.

"The genetic studies carried out using M130 told us about the first human migration to India. We identified the marker of the first coastal migration in our Madurai samples. The search took us to Virumandi, who belongs to the Piramalai Kallar community, whose DNA matched M130, establishing him as one of the direct descendants of the first migrant from the African coast, who must have come here some 70,000 years ago," Dr Pitchappan told this newspaper.

Understandably, Virumandi is on cloud nine since learning from the professor that he is among the direct descendants of India�s first family. "This is God�s gift to me, to be told that my roots go back to 70,000 years. They used to say that our village of 700 people had spawned from just three ancestors and I had often wondered from where and when they came. Now I have the answer � they came 70,000 years ago from Africa," Virumandi said.

A graduate in science, he is now working as a systems administrator at a call centre in Trichy. The oldest man in Jothimanickam is about 90 years old and is full of stories of his robust grandparents, so is Virumandi�s 60-year-old father. "Until recently, most of our activities and even marriages were confined to a radius of less than 10 km. We were such a closed clan," Virumandi told this newspaper.

It took five years for the Pitchappan team of 10 scientists to establish the DNA link between Virumandi and the first migrants to the subcontinent. The studies also proved that though the migration to India took place some 70,000 years ago, the first settlement in the South happened about 10,000 years later.

"More than half of the Australian aborigines carry this M130 gene. The marker is also present among some people in Philippines and the tribals of Malaysia," said Dr Pitchappan.

The Genographic Project will gather all data in collaboration with indigenous and traditional people around the world. The public is invited to join the project by purchasing a Genographic Project public participation kit. The proceeds from the sales go to further field research and the Genographic Legacy Fund, which in turn supports indigenous conservation and revitalisation projects.

Virumandi Andithevar is being presented before the media by the Discovery Channel in Chennai on Friday during the national launch of its serial The Story of India.

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#1202 - August 12, 2008 05:30 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Neanderthals

http://history.howstuffworks.com/european-history/cave-
dweller1.htm

Neanderthals and humans split from a common ancestor around 660,000 years ago. The
researchers based this initially upon prior research that determined
humans and chimpanzees diverged from each other six to eight million
years ago.

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#1203 - March 03, 2009 02:18 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Common genetic traits - Aryan theory demolished
BY KUMAR CHELLAPPAN
CHENNAI

An international team of genetic scientists has ruled out the theory of Aryan invasion of the Indian sub-continent.

“The age old argument that there was an Aryan invasion of the sub-continent is simply bunkum.

Scientific studies prove that there is no such thing as Aryan Indian or Dravidian Indian. Genetic high resolution studies carried out by us prove that all Indians are derived from same grand grand parents who arrived here 60,000-70,000 years ago from Africa,” Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, a scientist of the team, told Deccan Chronicle.

Dr Chaubey, a member of the scientific community at the Institute of Molecular an d Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Estonia, said the research also proved that all Indians had common genetic traits irrespective of the regions to which they belonged.

“It took us four years to complete the study and we analysed 12,200 samples to reach this conclusion,” said Dr Chaubey.

“Genetic studies help us to establish relations between populations. We focussed on the paternal (Y chromosomes) and maternal DNA genealogies. The data which we generated does not support any major influx to the subcontinent other than the earlier arrival of migrants from Africa,” he said.

“The present day caste/creed/religion is of indigenous origin,” said Dr Chaubey.

http://www.dc-epaper.com/DC/DCC/2009/03/02/ArticleHtmls/02_03_2009_001_020.shtml?Mode=0#

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#1204 - September 28, 2009 09:07 AM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Posts: 375
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Two roots for Indians/b]

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090924/jsp/nation/story_11536075.jsp

A new genetic study has provided glimpses of India’s population patterns from deeper in the past than before, revealing the existence of two distinct, ancestral populations in the country about 45,000 years ago.

The study has suggested two ancient populations [b]"ancestral North Indians and ancestral South Indians" that had diverged from older population groups,
derived from the earliest modern humans who trudged out of Africa some 70,000 years ago.
“They appear to be progenitor populations "nearly all the groups we studied have descended from mixtures of the two,” said Kumarasamy Thangaraj, ..

The genetic patterns suggest that most present-day Indian population groups have inherited 39 per cent to 71 per cent of their ancestry from the ancestral North Indians who are genetically close to central Asians or Eurasians.

The balance comes from ancestral South Indians who do not appear to share genetic proximity with any group outside India. “The ancestral South Indians may have diverged from the earliest of modern humans to arrive in India,” Thangaraj said.
The new study was not designed to explore how far back in time the distinct populations arrived, or when they began to mix. But the new data combined with earlier research would put the ancestral South Indians in India about 65,000 years ago and the ancestral North Indians about 20,000 years later.

Genetic studies by other research teams have indicated that modern humans began walking out of Africa into West Asia, central Asia and South Asia, about 70,000 years ago. The new study has also confirmed earlier findings from the CCMB that the Onges in the Andamans are the descendants of the first modern humans who moved out of Africa, but have remained isolated on the islands.

The Onges appear exclusively related to the ancestral South Indians.

The CCMB-Broad Institute study has shown that genetic contribution of ancestral North Indians is high in upper caste and Indo-European language speakers on the subcontinent �" such as the Pathans from Pakistan or the Kashmiri Pandits, Vaish, Srivastava groups from India.

But some tribal and lower caste groups appear closer to the ancestral South Indians.

The study also indicated that four groups �" the Onges from Andamans, the Siddhis from Karnataka, and the Nyshi and Ao Naga from the Northeast �" have genetic proximity to populations outside India and do not have detectable contributions from either the ancestral North Indians or ancestral South Indians.


Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/...how/5053274.cms


The great Indian divide along north-south lines now stands blurred. A pathbreaking study by Harvard and indigenous researchers on

ancestral Indian populations says there is a genetic relationship between all Indians and more importantly, the hitherto believed ``fact'' that Aryans and Dravidians signify the ancestry of north and south Indians might after all, be a myth.

``This paper rewrites history... there is no north-south divide,'' Lalji Singh, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and a co-author of the study, said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Senior CCMB scientist Kumarasamy Thangarajan said there was no truth to the Aryan-Dravidian theory as they came hundreds or thousands of years after the ancestral north and south Indians had settled in India.

``The genetics proves that castes grew directly out of tribe-like organizations during the formation of the Indian society,'' the study said. Thangarajan noted that it was impossible to distinguish between castes and tribes since their genetics proved they were not systematically different.

The study was conducted by CCMB scientists in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School,
Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. It reveals that the present-day Indian population is a mix of ancient north and south bearing the genomic contributions from two distinct ancestral populations - the Ancestral North Indian (ANI) and the Ancestral South Indian (ASI).

``The initial settlement took place 65,000 years ago in the Andamans and in ancient south India around the same time, which led to population growth in this part,'' said Thangarajan. He added, ``At a later stage, 40,000 years ago, the ancient north Indians emerged which in turn led to rise in numbers here. But at some point of time, the ancient north and the ancient south mixed, giving birth to a different set of population. And that is the population which exists now and there is a genetic relationship between the population within India.''

The researchers, who are now keen on exploring whether Eurasians descended from ANI, find in their study that ANIs are related to western Eurasians, while the ASIs do not share any similarity with any other population across the world. However, researchers said there was no scientific proof of whether Indians went to Europe first or the other way round.

Migratory route of Africans

Between 135,000 and 75,000 years ago, the East-African droughts shrunk the water volume of the lake Malawi by at least 95%, causing migration out of Africa. Which route did they take? Researchers say their study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences and its comparison those of world populations has led to the theory of a ``southern coastal route'' of migration from East Africa through India.

This finding is against the prevailing view of a northern route of migration via Middle East, Europe, south-east Asia, Australia and then to India.

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#1205 - September 28, 2009 09:13 AM Re: Races and Anthropology
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The Aryan-Dravidian divide myth

http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/

A new paper published in Nature reveals that Indians are descendents of two genetically divergent ancient populations. One of the groups, Ancient North Indians (ANI), is closer to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans and the other, Ancient South Indians (ASI), is quite distinct from the ANI. At some unknown point in time these two groups, which don’t exist now, mixed and the rest was Indian history[1].

Before getting into the findings, it is important to to mention certain notions that prevalent today. The most prominent among them is the discredited Aryan invasion theory which has morphed into the Aryan migration/trickle-down theory. According to this theory, around the middle of the fourth millennium an “unknown disturbance” triggered a cluster of Indo-Europeans tribes in Central Asia on a trip across the continent. This group of nomadic people wandered around looking for a place where there is sun, water and grass for their cattle. They reached India, around 1500 �" 1200 BCE and during the journey “forgot” about their wanderings through Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan[2]. In the simplified version, these Indo-European speakers mixed with the native Dravidians, but 3500 years later, those divisions are still exploited by politicians.

The study finds that there are differences between caste groups and tribals and between Indo-European speakers and Dravidian speaking population, but despite those differences, they are closer to each other than to outsiders like Europeans or East Asians. This is because, after the founder event, only few external genes mixed into the Indian gene pool. Thus the Dravidian Karunanidhi and the Indo-European speaking Mallika Sherawat are genetically not much different or in simple terms: there is no Aryan-Dravidian divide.

While no divide exists, what exists is a gradient with different groups having different levels of ANI in them, including Dravidian speakers and tribals. The level of ANI varies from 39 �" 71% with higher values in upper castes and Indo-European speakers.

Thus if mainland tribals and Dravidian speakers are not “pure” ASI then who are? Since ANI is closer to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans, those without this component can be considered to be pure descendents of the ancestral population which gave rise to ASI. The study found that there indeed is a group like that: the Onge people, who live in the Andamans and as per the last census there were 95 of them. The remaining one billion and change have some “foreign” gene in them, including K Veeramani.

When did the ANI originate? Other than the fact that ANI is genetically closer to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans, what else do we know about them? Also when did the ANI-ASI mixture happen?

In paper the authors don’t give a time frame for the origin of ANI or the mixture of ANI and ASI, but speculate that the ancestral population of the ANI could have spoken proto-Indo-European. This is a bit controversial since it synchronizes events with the arrival of Aryans. But in a later press conference they pushed back on the time.

“The initial settlement took place 65,000 years ago in the Andamans and in ancient south India around the same time, which led to population growth in this part,” said Thangarajan. He added, “At a later stage, 40,000 years ago, the ancient north Indians emerged which in turn led to rise in numbers here. But at some point of time, the ancient north and the ancient south mixed, giving birth to a different set of population. And that is the population which exists now and there is a genetic relationship between the population within India.” [Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study]

This agrees with the journey of man over the past 160,000 years. But if ANI emerged 40,000 years back, they would not be speaking proto-Indo-European, but would be singing Frits Staal’s bird songs. Genetic evidence supports the fact that common ancestors of Indians and Europeans lived more than 40,000 years ago.

“We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations. Our estimate for this split [between Europeans and Indians] is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe.” [Genetics and the Aryan Debate]

and according to another study.

“The supposed Aryan invasion of India 3,000-4,000 years before present therefore did not make a major splash in the Indian gene pool. This is especially counter-indicated by the presence of equal, though very low, frequencies of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both southern and northern India. Thus, the ‘caucasoid’ features of south Asians may best be considered ‘pre-caucasoid’ �" that is, part of a diverse north or north-east African gene pool that yielded separate origins for western Eurasian and southern Asian populations over 50,000 years ago.” [Genetics and the Aryan Debate]

Thus Ancient North Indians emerged not during the Aryan migration but 40 millennia before that. Hence it would be hard pressed to imagine that they would wait till Max Muller and various colonials gave the go to mix with the ASI.

In the paper, the authors write, “A priority for future work should be to estimate a date for the mixture, which may be possible by studying the length of stretches of ANI ancestry in Indian samples.” That definitely should tell us what happened from the rise of ANI to present.
References:

1. Reconstructing Indian population history by David Reich et. al.
2. Gem in the Lotus by Abraham Eraly
3. The peopling of India, by Michel Danino,Pragati,June 2009

See Also:

1. Indians as hybrids (a.k.a Aryan invasion in the house!)
2. SNPtastic India

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#1206 - December 14, 2009 10:39 AM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
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AIT Falls, All asias are Indians


The AIT falls flat, totally demolished. Aryan supremacists have tails between their legs. Superstitious nonsense demolished by science. All of asia are Indians, ASI specifically, as they migrated 33,000 years ago from coastal south India.

We now have the Indian Migration Theory (IMT).

Pathma


http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/India-is-the-source-of-genetic-diversity---Study/553371/

It says that over 50,000 years ago there was a first single stream entry of humans into India from Africa. From India the human population settled in South-East Asia and from there some of then moved to east and central Asia.

The study tends to refute the age old belief that Aryans as a distinct race who migrated from Central Asia and settled in the plains of north India. If we are believe the origin of humankind in Africa and the first outward stream of humans settling in India and thereafter spreading to other parts of Asia, including Central Asia, then they are same people who might have probably come back and resettled in India from Central Asia.

According to the study the most recent common ancestors of Asians arrived first in India. Later some of them migrated to Thailand and southwards to the land known today as Malaysia, Indonesia and also eastwards to the Philippines. The first group of settlers must have gone very far south before they settled successfully. These includes the Malay Negritos, Philippine Negritos, the East Indonesians and early settlers of the Pacific Islands. Thereafter one or several groups of people migrated North, mixed with previous settlers there and finally formed various population groups we now refer to as Austronesian, Austro-Astiatic, Tai-Kadal, Hmong-Mien and Altaic.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...how/5301655.cms

Prof Singh of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, who was in the city on Friday to inaugurate the three-day international conference on emerging trends in biotechnology organised by School of Biotechnology, Banaras Hindu University, told reporters that the recent studies would also change the theory of White Invasion (given by Max Muller of Germany).

There was no White Invasion, neither there was any Aryan Invasion as was believed in the past, he said referring to the recent studies on diversity of Indian population that had been published in 'Nature' magazine. The studies indicated southern route of migration of East African population (believed to originate 70,000 years ago) towards Indian sub-continent via Gujarat coast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he added.

Saying that Indian population was made up of many populations that have varied genetic compositions, he also added recent studies on DNA linkage indicated an invisible thread (trait) that bounded the Indian population comprising populations of other countries in the sub-continent including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, believed to have originated almost 33,000 years ago.

"The study is on to trace the ancestors of Ancestor North Indian (ANI) population, while the ancestors of Ancestor South Indian (ASI) population has been already traced," he said. "Ongee and Jarva species have been established to be the ancestors of ASI population while DNA matching has found resemblance of East African population with Kurumbha species in Kerala and Raghuvanshi of West Bengal," he added.

"We are looking for DNA from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir to trace the origin of ANI population and once that is established, we would be in a position to indicate the movement of ANI population towards European countries that would change the face of world history," he said.


Genetic Maps
http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/11/fro...ent=channellink


Indians are ancestors of East Asians
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/sci-..._100287805.html

The present-day populations of China, Japan and other east Asian countries had migrated from India..

"This is path breaking. This large study establishes that Indians are ancestors of Japanese, Chinese and all other East Asians," Samir Brahmachari, director general of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) told IANS Friday.

According to the study, people from India moved to southeast Asia and east Asia. "They all have a common genetic origin.

Scientists said that earlier it was believed that several groups of people from Africa entered India, China, Japan and other eastern Asian regions separately.

"But this study now negates them all. There was only a single group of entry from southern Africa to India around 100,000 years ago. They entered India through land but in and around the coastal belt. They slowly spread to southern India and moved to south east and east Asian regions," the CSIR chief added.

The study suggest that there was a single initial entry into the continent of Asia, instead of multiple inflows," Chavan added.

"You can say, Indians are the ancestors of Asians," Rajesh Gokhale, director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), said.

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#1207 - December 24, 2009 01:02 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Africa is the Mother, India is the Big Sister

The Human Genome Organisation has in a study published in Science discovered that Indians are the ancestors of all East Asians -- that is, the people of China, Japan and South East Asia.

The immediate question that arises here is about ethnic facial and other characteristics because that is how we distinguish ourselves into "races". But anthropologists have long known that skin colour, the shape of the eyes, the size of lips and nostrils change with climate and geography. That there is only one human race is by now practically indisputable.

Genetics and the study of the human genome give us a complete and so far fascinating picture of who we are and how we emerged. From our migration patterns, from our social interactions, from our marriage laws, we can create a picture of how we developed as societies and civilisations. Many of these divisions happened more recently in time than we had imagined. Obviously, now that we know that the usual race indicators -- skin colour and so on -- are superficial we ought to be better equipped to deal with our prejudices.

But now that India is in a sense the big sister, if Africa is the mother, we share far more than we realise. Only months ago, we learnt that genetically, North and South Indians are very closely connected. Before those revelations -- which are yet to sink in -- we had used language and cultural choices as ways to separate us.

http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/editorial_we-are-the-world_1323407

The ASI populated asia

The ASI migrations to asia turns out to be far more prolific than any eurasian migrations to India.

According to the new study, Dravidians - the race of people who inhabit south India, including Tamils - could be a common ancestral link to most modern-day Asians.

"Most of the Indian populations showed evidence of shared ancestry with European populations," observed page four of the six-page report in Science.

The people wave continued to India, and then to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. From Southeast Asia, settlers migrated to other parts of Asia, including China.

If the study is accurate, the Han Chinese - the single-largest ethnic group in Asia and in the world - have ancestral linkages to southern China, northern Thailand and earlier in India.

So do Chinese have Indian ancestors? "It is probably more correct to say that Dravidians [in southern India] and Chinese had common ancestors, than to say that Chinese ancestors originated in India," said Liu, who was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to the United States in 1957.

"What we are seeing is the transit of our ancestors in their travels out of Africa through India and into Southeast Asia and North Asia," Liu explained. "Along the way, they deposited progeny that later expanded, or contracted."

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#1208 - December 25, 2009 03:27 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1

Brahmins are Indian tribals. And so are the rest of us as we descended from them.

http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v54/n1/full/jhg20082a.html

Conclusions
The observation of R1a* in high frequency for the first time in the literature, as well as analyses using different phylogenetic methods, resolved the controversy of the origin of R1a1*, supporting its origin in the Indian subcontinent. Simultaneously, the presence of R1a1* in very high frequency in Brahmins, irrespective of linguistic and geographic affiliations, suggested it as the founder haplogroup for the population. The co-presence of this haplogroup in many of the tribal populations of India, its existence in high frequency in Saharia (present study) and Chenchu tribes, the high frequency of R1a* in Kashmiri Pandits (KPsâ€"Brahmins) as well as Saharia (tribe) and associated phylogenetic ages supported the autochthonous origin and tribal links of Indian Brahmins,confronting the concepts of recent Central Asian introduction and rank-related Eurasian contribution of the Indian caste system.

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#1209 - December 25, 2009 03:46 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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The Migration from Africa to India to South East Asia, and then to China


http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/India-is-the-source-of-genetic-diversity---Study/553371/

It says that over 50,000 years ago there was a first single stream entry of humans into India from Africa. From India the human population settled in South-East Asia and from there some of then moved to east and central Asia.

The study tends to refute the age old belief that Aryans as a distinct race who migrated from Central Asia and settled in the plains of north India. If we are believe the origin of humankind in Africa and the first outward stream of humans settling in India and thereafter spreading to other parts of Asia, including Central Asia, then they are same people who might have probably come back and resettled in India from Central Asia.

According to the study the most recent common ancestors of Asians arrived first in India. Later some of them migrated to Thailand and southwards to the land known today as Malaysia, Indonesia and also eastwards to the Philippines. The first group of settlers must have gone very far south before they settled successfully. These includes the Malay Negritos, Philippine Negritos, the East Indonesians and early settlers of the Pacific Islands. Thereafter one or several groups of people migrated North, mixed with previous settlers there and finally formed various population groups we now refer to as Austronesian, Austro-Astiatic, Tai-Kadal, Hmong-Mien and Altaic.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...how/5301655.cms

Prof Singh of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, who was in the city on Friday to inaugurate the three-day international conference on emerging trends in biotechnology organised by School of Biotechnology, Banaras Hindu University, told reporters that the recent studies would also change the theory of White Invasion (given by Max Muller of Germany).

There was no White Invasion, neither there was any Aryan Invasion as was believed in the past, he said referring to the recent studies on diversity of Indian population that had been published in 'Nature' magazine. The studies indicated southern route of migration of East African population (believed to originate 70,000 years ago) towards Indian sub-continent via Gujarat coast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he added.

Saying that Indian population was made up of many populations that have varied genetic compositions, he also added recent studies on DNA linkage indicated an invisible thread (trait) that bounded the Indian population comprising populations of other countries in the sub-continent including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, believed to have originated almost 33,000 years ago.

"The study is on to trace the ancestors of Ancestor North Indian (ANI) population, while the ancestors of Ancestor South Indian (ASI) population has been already traced," he said. "Ongee and Jarva species have been established to be the ancestors of ASI population while DNA matching has found resemblance of East African population with Kurumbha species in Kerala and Raghuvanshi of West Bengal," he added.

"We are looking for DNA from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir to trace the origin of ANI population and once that is established, we would be in a position to indicate the movement of ANI population towards European countries that would change the face of world history," he said.


Genetic Maps
http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/11/fro...ent=channellink


--- In akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti" <frabrig@...> wrote:

..theorizing a migration or a series of migrations? Especially if the postulated immigrants were, as in the case of the pre-Rgvedic Indo-Aryan speakers, a Central *Asian* people whose phenotypical, genotypical, and even cultural features were most likely very different from those of the other Indo-European-speaking groups (such as the Celts, Germans, Greeks etc.) who in the meantime had migrated to Europe. The Vedic Aryans were not "White Europeans"; in my views, they had been an "Asian" ethnos for centuries before migrating to South Asia. I picture them to myself as Pashtun-looking folks, but I may, of course, be wrong; certainly I don't picture them to myself as European-looking folks.

I think it is a good thing that the old "invasionist" scenario has been abandoned by most of scholars in the field. Scholarship needs to get updated when some of its assertions prove wrong.

.. only ancient Indo-Iranian speakers (e.g. Indic speakers, Persian speakers, Ossetic speakers etc.) can be termed as "Aryans". Consequently, I could in no way be an "Aryan".

http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v54/n1/fig_tab/jhg20082f1.html#figure-title

This technical report may be be summarised as follows:

1. If central asians invaded India, one would expect that brahmins have many central asians genes. They do not.

2. R1a1 genes which has been associated with traditional 'high caste' brahmins are concentrated in India but sp**** in central asia. (On the contrary it should have shown similar levels or even higher in central asians.)

3. Brahmins, dalits and tribals all show a common genetic ancestor.

4. The age of this yet to be determined common parentage goes back to India itself, to at least 9,000 years and possibly 20,000 years, leaving no genetic support for recent migrations.

To summarise again the four above, all ethnic groups/castes in India are related by common parentage and were autochthonous to India and, and if ever there were recent migrations (less than 9,000 years ago) into India, it left no genetic imprints.

IOW, no AIT, no AMT. An out of India theory, well, maybe!


"This becomes more complex with the claims7, 9, 12, 23 proposing a scenario of the recent major gene flow from Central Asia to India and the antagonistic observations9, 12 of its highest variance in India, suggesting the gene flow in opposite direction.
All rival models of the origin of caste system were taken into consideration and results were analyzed to the highest Y-SNP marker resolution for the R1a haplogroup (Supplementary Figure 1), in addition to adding data and information from the literature, making a pooled dataset of the R1a1* haplogroup containing 1030 individuals (530 Indians, 224 Pakistanis, and 276 Central Asians and Eurasians) from around the Indian-subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe. Using different phylogenetic tools and parameters (mentioned in Materials and methods) and concentrating on the distribution of R1a1* and its ancestral lineages, the answer to the source and expansion of this haplogroup, across the globe, was explored.

Spatial frequency and molecular diversity distribution of R1a1* in Eurasia, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent
The spatial frequency distribution of R1a1* across Eurasia along with spatial representation of associated diversity based on microsatellite markers within the haplogroup are given in Figures 1a and b. It was interesting to find that by adding information regarding the frequency and diversity of R1a1* from different population groups of North India (Information from North Indian population groups was scanty in earlier publications from India.) to the pooled data from different published sources, a clearer picture emerged, with overlapping high frequency and molecular diversity of R1a1* within India.

Admixture and diversity analysis
Considering the very high frequency of R1a1* (upto 72.22% as in WB) in Brahmins, irrespective of their geographical and linguistic affiliations, admixture analysis41 based on pooled data was performed. Three models of potential parental contributions of R1a1* (Figure 2) were tested, to evaluate the concepts of Central Asian introduction of the Indian caste system7 by Indo-Aryans (appointing themselves to the castes of higher ranks),14 as well as of rank-related West Eurasian admixture.11, 21 The observed proportions of contributions, taking all populations (Europeans (EU), Central Asians (CA) and Indian Brahmins (IB)) alternatively as source populations under different models (Figure 2), suggested model 3 (CA+IB EU) as the best fit model (tested by 1000 bootstraps) and model 2 also as a possibility, for contributions of R1a1*, based on both proportion of frequency distribution as well as molecular divergence. Admixture analysis in light of other genetic evidences from this study did not seem to favor either Central Asian origin of the haplogroup or rank-related Eurasian admixture; instead it supported the Indian origin of this haplogroup and its contributions to other regions.

[Pathma: meaning tribal people migrated to central asia and became central asians with high frequency of R1a1. Central asians are tribals.]

Further, the average diversity of the R1a1* haplogroup in Central Asians, Europeans and Indians was also calculated. The highest diversity of 0.52 (for both sampling and stochastic processes s.d.=0.32) was observed in Indians when compared with Europeans (0.40, s.d.=0.27) and Central Asians (0.32, s.d.=0.23). The calculation of Spearman's rank correlation coefficients46 between the latitude and longitude with haplogroup R1a1* frequency (r2=-0.13, 0.30) did not show any significant correlation, The same observation for R1a1* diversity (r2=-0.25, 0.20) has been reported earlier as well.9 This observation is again in favor of the suggestion that there has been no bulk migration from Central Asia to India.

Age estimates for Y-haplogroup R1a1*
The age of microsatellite variations was re-calculated using Y-STRs data and by applying mutation rates and generation times (discussed in Materials and methods) within R1a1* lineage in Central Asia, Eurasia, Pakistan, as well as Indian populations (Table 3), and compared with the already published ages. The ages of the haplogroup, within the various population groups of India as well as after distributing them to social groups, were also calculated (Table 3). It was observed that the age of R1a1* was the highest in the Indian subcontinent. Interestingly, among different groups, the age of Y-haplogroup R1a1* was highest in scheduled castes/tribes when compared with Central Asians and Eurasians. These observations weaken the hypothesis of introduction of this haplogroup and the origin of Indian higher most castes from Central Asian and Eurasian regions, supporting their origin within the Indian subcontinent.

High frequency of Y-haplogroup R1a1* in tribal populations and ancestral Y-haplogroup R1a* in the Indian subcontinent."


The Spread of R1

This map shows the spread of R1 from from it's source in North-West Afghanistan.

http://img24.imageshack.us/i/21183012.jpg/


In 20, 000 years an African can morph skin color to aNordic and 8,000 years is more than enough for a Punjabi to morph into a Russian. If it is contended that north Indians spread to Russia, that is something I can accept. But not the other way around. There is no data to substantiate that.

Central Asia and Pakistan contains R1b1b1 which is a sister clade of the western R1b1b2. R1b expansion is probably over the Caspian with subsequent migration into Anatolia via the Caucasus and into Europe along both coasts of the Black Sea:

http://www.worldfamilies.net/Tools/r1b_ydna_in_europe 

Complete R1b data from the "YHRD" database, indicated that, after an earlier existence in Asian Khazakstan, all European variants of R1b shared an existence in Russia ( in the region of  Kazan, on the Volga river at about 55 North and 50 East), and that, later  they separated and expanded  into two major migrations ( a westward  migration to the Russian-Baltic region, and a south-western migration to the Black Sea area and then further, westwards, to the Alpine-South German region). Eventually, a North Sea-Baltic migration evolved from the  Russian-Baltic expansion; and  an Atlantic migration  evolved from the  Alpine-South German variant.

Research showed that the greatest diversity of  R1b's DYS 390 locus is within the Russian-Baltic region. The data suggested that the Russian-Baltic variant migrated/expanded from the Kazan region of Russia westwards to Moscow, and then to the Baltic States of  Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia & Poland.

R1 is the parent. R1 is the sibling of R2 which anchors the entire line in Asia. The progenitor P is also Indian and is a sibling of NO which is SE Asian.

R1b is post-glacial. Some even say neolithic.

R1b can be localized to Kazakhstan. R1a to Afpak. R2 to Bengal. P to South India. India also has its own Q lines (E Siberian, Nat Am) attesting to India's centrality in expansion of P.

As amazing as it sounds, a full 50% (R1b, R1a) of Euro lines are traceable to Greater South Asia.

The north Indians, migrated to central asia, and thenceforth to russia and europe.

The basques are R1B and they are definitely of south asian origins.

Most west euros are also R1B, meaning there was South Asian migration into west Europe.

Does anyone know why is there no R1a1 in Greece and Italy? Meaning, they are not related to Indians.

Pathma

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#1210 - December 25, 2009 03:50 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Posts: 1030
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Scientists Find A DNA Change That Accounts For White Skin

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/15/AR2005121501728.html

Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife.

The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person's offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world's races.

"Almost all the differences used to differentiate populations from around the world really are skin deep."

The work also reveals for the first time that Asians owe their relatively light skin to different mutations. That means that light skin arose independently at least twice in human evolution, in each case affecting populations with the facial and other traits that today are commonly regarded as the hallmarks of Caucasian and Asian races.

They got a bigger surprise when they looked in a new database comparing the genomes of four of the world's major racial groups. That showed that whites with northern and western European ancestry have a mutated version of the gene.

The Penn State team calculates that the gene, known as slc24a5, is responsible for about one-third of the pigment loss that made black skin white. A few other as-yet-unidentified mutated genes apparently account for the rest.

Although precise dating is impossible, several scientists speculated on the basis of its spread and variation that the mutation arose between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago. That would be consistent with research showing that a wave of ancestral humans migrated northward and eastward out of Africa about 50,000 years ago.

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#1211 - January 04, 2010 12:18 PM Re: Races and Anthropology
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Summary of Nine Recent Genetic Studies


This is a summary of 9 (pre-2009) recent genetic studies compiled by Michel Danimo, and check out the references. It is self explanatory and there is no need for me to restate my views.

I think this will put an end to all those hairbrained hallucinations of invasions, substantial migrations, race, tribal and caste ideas floating in Indian minds.

Pathma

http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/genetics-aryan-debate.html

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46438


GENETICS AND THE ARYAN DEBATE

By Michel Danino



Background

Along with the birth of anthropology, the nineteenth century saw the development of semi-scientific to wholly unscientific disciplines, such as anthropometry, craniometry or phrenology. Unquestioningly accepting the prevalent concept of race, some scientists constructed facial and nasal indexes or claimed to measure the skull’s volume for every race, of course with the result that the white race’s cranium was the most capacious and its owner, therefore, the most intelligent; others went further, insisting that amidst the white race, only the Germans were the “pure” descendants of the “Aryan race” which was destined the rule the earth.

In India, from 1891 onward, Herbert H. Risley, an official with the colonial government, set about defining in all seriousness 2,378 castes belonging to 43 “races,” all of it on the basis of a “nasal index.” The main racial groups were Indo-Aryan, Turko- Iranian, Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Mongoloid and Mongolo-Dravidian.

Unfortunately, this imaginative but wholly unscientific work weighed heavily on the first developments of Indian anthropology; in the 1930s, for instance, B. S. Guha studied skeletons from Mohenjo-daro and submitted a detailed report on the proto- Australoid, Mediterranean, Mongoloid and Alpine races peopling the city, all of them “non-Aryan” of course. Long lists of such fictitious races filled academic publications, and continue to be found in Indian textbooks today.

In the wake of World War II, the concept of race collapsed in the West. Rather late in the day, anthropologists realized that race cannot be scientifically defined, much less measured, thus setting at naught a whole century of scholarly divagations on “superior” and “inferior” races. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Franz Boas,1 leading scientists, such as Ashley Montagu,2 now argued strongly against the “fallacy of race.” It is only with the emergence of more reliable techniques in biological anthropology that anthropometry got a fresh chance; it concentrated not on trying to categorize noses or spot “races,” but on tracing the evolution of a population, on signs of continuity or disruption, and on possible kinships between neighbouring populations.

In the Indian context, we are now familiar with the work of U.S anthropologists Kenneth Kennedy, John Lukacs and Brian Hemphill.3 Their chief conclusion, as far as the Aryan debate is concerned, is that there is no trace of “demographic disruption” in the North-West of the subcontinent between 4500 and 800 BCE; this negates the possibility of any massive intrusion, by so-called Indo-Aryans or other populations, during that period.

Die-hard proponents of such an invasion / migration have therefore been compelled to downscale it to a “trickle-in” infiltration,4 limited enough to have left no physical trace, although they are at pains to explain how a “trickle” was able to radically alter India’s linguistic and cultural landscape when much more massive invasions of the historical period failed to do so.5 Other proponents still insist that “the Indo-Aryan immigrants seem to have been numerous and strong enough to continue and disseminate much of their culture,”6 but do not explain how the “immigrants” failed to leave any trace in the anthropological record.

A powerful new tool

In the 1980s, another powerful tool of inquiry came on the scene: genetics, with its growing ability to read the history contained in a human body’s three billion bits of information. In particular, techniques used in the identification of genetic markers have been fast improving, leading to a wide array of applications, from therapeutics to crime detection to genealogy. Let us first summarize the basic definitions relevant to our field.

In trying to reconstruct ancestry, biologists use two types of DNA, the complex molecule that carries genetic information. The first, Y-DNA, is contained in the Y- chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes; it is found in the cell’s nucleus and is transmitted from father to son. The second, mtDNA or mitochondrial DNA, is found in mitochondria, kinds of power generators found in a cell, but outside its nucleus; this mtDNA is independent of the Y-DNA, simpler in structure, and transmitted by the mother alone. For various reasons, all this genetic material undergoes slight alterations or “mutations” in the course of time; those mutations then become characteristic of the line of descendants: if, for instance, the mtDNAs of two humans, however distant geographically, exhibit the same mutation, they necessarily share a common ancestor in the maternal line.

Much of the difficulty lies in organizing those mutations, or genetic markers, in consistent categories called “haplotypes” (from a Greek word meaning “single”), which constitute an individual’s genetic fingerprint. Similar haplotypes are then brought together in “haplogroups,” each of which genetically identifies a particular ethnic group. Such genetic markers can then be used to establish a “genetic distance” between two populations.

Identifying and making sense of the right genetic markers is not the only difficulty; dating their mutations remains a major challenge: on average, a marker of Y- DNA may undergo one mutation every 500 generations, but sudden changes caused by special circumstances can never be ruled out. Genetics, therefore, needs the inputs from palaeontology and archaeology, among other disciplines, to confirm its historical conclusions.

India’s case

Since the 1990s, there have been numerous genetic studies of Indian populations, often reaching apparently divergent conclusions. There are three reasons for this: (1) the Indian region happens to be one of the most diverse and complex in the world, which makes it difficult to interpret the data; (2) early studies relied on too limited samples, of the order of a few dozens, when hundreds or ideally thousands of samples are required for some statistical reliability; (3) some of the early studies fell into the old trap of trying to equate linguistic groups with distinct ethnic entities �" a relic of the nineteenth-century erroneous identification between language and race; as a result, a genetic connection between North Indians and Central Asians was automatically taken to confirm an Aryan invasion in the second millennium BCE, disregarding a number of alternative explanations.7

More recent studies, using larger samples and much refined methods of analysis, both at the conceptual level and in the laboratory, have reached very different conclusions (interestingly, some of their authors had earlier gone along with the old Aryan paradigm8). We will summarize here the chief results of nine studies from various Western and Indian Universities, most of them conducted by international teams of biologists, and more than half of them in the last three years; since their papers are complex and technical, what follows is, necessarily, highly simplified and represents only a small part of their content.

The first such study dates back to 1999 and was conducted by the Estonian biologist Toomas Kivisild, a pioneer in the field, with fourteen co-authors from various nationalities (including M. J. Bamshad).9 It relied on 550 samples of mtDNA and identified a haplogroup called “U” as indicating a deep connection between Indian and Western-Eurasian populations. However, the authors opted for a very remote separation of the two branches, rather than a recent population movement towards India; in fact, “the subcontinent served as a pathway for eastward migration of modern humans” from Africa, some 40,000 years ago:

“We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations. Our estimate for this split [between Europeans and Indians] is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe.”

In other words, the timescale posited by the Aryan invasion / migration framework is inadequate, and the genetic affinity between the Indian subcontinent and Europe “should not be interpreted in terms of a recent admixture of western Caucasoids10 with Indians caused by a putative Indo-Aryan invasion 3,000�"4,000 years BP.”

The second study was published just a month later. Authored by U.S. biological anthropologist Todd R. Disotell,11 it dealt with the first migration of modern man from Africa towards Asia, and found that migrations into India “did occur, but rarely from western Eurasian populations.” Disotell made observations very similar to those of the preceding paper:


“The supposed Aryan invasion of India 3,000�"4,000 years before present therefore did not make a major splash in the Indian gene pool. This is especially counter-indicated by the presence of equal, though very low, frequencies of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both southern and northern India. Thus, the ‘caucasoid’ features of south Asians may best be considered ‘pre-caucasoid’ �" that is, part of a diverse north or north-east African gene pool that yielded separate origins for western Eurasian and southern Asian populations over 50,000 years ago.”


Here again, the Eurasian connection is therefore traced to the original migration out of Africa. On the genetic level, “the supposed Aryan invasion of India 3000-4000 years ago was much less significant than is generally believed.”

A year later, thirteen Indian scientists led by Susanta Roychoudhury studied 644 samples of mtDNA from some ten Indian ethnic groups, especially from the East and South.12 They found “a fundamental unity of mtDNA lineages in India, in spite of the extensive cultural and linguistic diversity,” pointing to “a relatively small founding group of females in India.” Significantly, “most of the mtDNA diversity observed in Indian populations is between individuals within populations; there is no significant structuring of haplotype diversity by socio-religious affiliation, geographical location of habitat or linguistic affiliation.” That is a crucial observation, which later studies will endorse: on the maternal side at least, there is no such thing as a “Hindu” or “Muslim” genetic identity, nor even a high- or low-caste one, a North- or South-Indian one �" hence the expressive title of the study: “Fundamental genomic unity of ethnic India is revealed by analysis of mitochondrial DNA.”

The authors also noted that haplogroup “U,” already noted by Kivisild et al. as being common to North Indian and “Caucasoid” populations, was found in tribes of eastern India such as the Lodhas and Santals, which would not be the case if it had been introduced through Indo-Aryans. Such is also the case of the haplogroup “M,” another marker frequently mentioned in the early literature as evidence of the invasion: in reality, “we have now shown that indeed haplogroup M occurs with a high frequency, averaging about 60%, across most Indian population groups, irrespective of geographical location of habitat. We have also shown that the tribal populations have higher frequencies of haplogroup M than caste populations.”

Also in 2000, twenty authors headed by Kivisild contributed a chapter to a book on the “archaeogenetics” of Europe.13 They first stressed the importance of the mtDNA haplogroup “M” common to India (with a frequency of 60%), Central and Eastern Asia (40% on average), and even to American Indians; however, this frequency drops to 0.6% in Europe, which is “inconsistent with the ‘general Caucasoidness’ of Indians.”

This shows, once again, that “the Indian maternal gene pool has come largely through an autochthonous history since the Late Pleistocene.” The authors then studied the “U” haplogroup, finding its frequency to be 13% in India, almost 14% in North-West Africa, and 24% from Europe to Anatolia; but, in their opinion, “Indian and western Eurasian haplogroup U varieties differ profoundly; the split has occurred about as early as the split between the Indian and eastern Asian haplogroup M varieties. The data show that both M and U exhibited an expansion phase some 50,000 years ago, which should have happened after the corresponding splits.” In other words, there is a genetic connection between India and Europe, but a far more ancient one than was thought.

Another important point is that looking at mtDNA as a whole, “even the high castes share more than 80 per cent of their maternal lineages with the lower castes and tribals”; this obviously runs counter to the invasionist thesis. Taking all aspects into consideration, the authors conclude: “We believe that there are now enough reasons not only to question a ‘recent Indo-Aryan invasion’ into India some 4000 BP, but alternatively to consider India as a part of the common gene pool ancestral to the diversity of human maternal lineages in Europe.” Mark the word “ancestral.”

After a gap of three years, Kivisild directed two fresh studies. The first, with nine
colleagues, dealt with the origin of languages and agriculture in India.14 Those biologists stressed India’s genetic complexity and antiquity, since “present-day Indians [possess] at least 90 per cent of what we think of as autochthonous Upper Palaeolithic maternal lineages.” They also observed that “the Indian mtDNA tree in general [is] not subdivided according to linguistic (Indo-European, Dravidian) or caste affiliations,” which again demonstrates the old error of conflating language and race or ethnic group.

Then, in a new development, they punched holes in the methodology followed by studies basing themselves on the Y-DNA (the paternal line) to establish the Aryan invasion, and point out that if one were to extend their logic to populations of Eastern and Southern India, one would be led to an exactly opposite result: “the straightforward suggestion would be that both Neolithic (agriculture) and Indo-European languages arose in India and from there, spread to Europe.” The authors do not defend this thesis, but simply guard against “misleading interpretations” based on limited samples and faulty methodology.

The second study of 2003, a particularly detailed one dealing with the genetic heritage of India’s earliest settlers, had seventeen co-authors with Kivisild (including L. Cavalli-Sforza and P. A. Underhill), and relied on nearly a thousand samples from the subcontinent, including two Dravidian-speaking tribes from Andhra Pradesh.15 Among other important findings, it stressed that the Y-DNA haplogroup “M17,” regarded till recently as a marker of the Aryan invasion, and indeed frequent in Central Asia, is equally found in the two tribes under consideration, which is inconsistent with the invasionist framework. Moreover, one of the two tribes, the Chenchus, is genetically close to several castes, so that there is a “lack of clear distinction between Indian castes and tribes,” a fact that can hardly be overemphasized.

genetic map

This also emerges from a diagram of genetic distances between eight Indian and seven Eurasian populations, distances calculate on the basis of 16 Y-DNA haplogroups (Fig. 1). The diagram challenges many common assumptions: as just mentioned, five castes are grouped with the Chenchus; another tribe, the Lambadis (probably of Rajasthani origin), is stuck between Western Europe and the Middle East; Bengalis of various castes are close to Mumbai Brahmins, and Punjabis (whom one would have thought to be closest to the mythical “Aryans”) are as far away as possible from Central Asia! It is clear that no simple framework can account for such complexity, least of all the Aryan invasion / migration framework.

The next year, Mait Metspalu and fifteen co-authors analyzed 796 Indian (including both tribal and caste populations from different parts of India) and 436 Iranian mtDNAs.16 Of relevance here is the following observation, which once again highlights the pitfalls of any facile ethnic-linguistic equation:

“Language families present today in India, such as Indo-European, Dravidic and Austro-Asiatic, are all much younger than the majority of indigenous mtDNA lineages found among their present-day speakers at high frequencies. It would make it highly speculative to infer, from the extant mtDNA pools of their speakers, whether one of the listed above linguistically defined group in India should be considered more ‘autochthonous’ than any other in respect of its presence in the subcontinent.”

We finally jump to 2006 and end with two studies. The first was headed by Indian biologist Sanghamitra Sengupta and involved fourteen other co-authors, including L. Cavalli-Sforza, Partha P. Majumder, and P. A. Underhill.17 Based on 728 samples covering 36 Indian populations, it announced in its very title how its findings revealed a “Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists,” i.e. of the mythical Indo- Aryans, and stated its general agreement with the previous study. For instance, the authors rejected the identification of some Y-DNA genetic markers with an “Indo- European expansion,” an identification they called “convenient but incorrect ... overly simplistic.” To them, the subcontinent’s genetic landscape was formed much earlier than the dates proposed for an Indo-Aryan immigration: “The influence of Central Asia on the pre-existing gene pool was minor. ... There is no evidence whatsoever to conclude that Central Asia has been necessarily the recent donor and not the receptor of the R1a lineages.” This is also highly suggestive (the R1a lineages being a different way to denote the haplogroup M17).

Finally, and significantly, this study indirectly rejected a “Dravidian” authorship of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, since it noted, “Our data are also more consistent with a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus....” They found, in conclusion, “overwhelming support for an Indian origin of Dravidian speakers.”

Another Indian biologist, Sanghamitra Sahoo, headed eleven colleagues, including T. Kivisild and V. K. Kashyap, for a study of the Y-DNA of 936 samples covering 77 Indian populations, 32 of them tribes.18 The authors left no room for doubt:

“The sharing of some Y-chromosomal haplogroups between Indian and Central Asian populations is most parsimoniously explained by a deep, common ancestry between the two regions, with diffusion of some Indian- specific lineages northward.”

So the southward gene flow that had been imprinted on our minds for two centuries was wrong, after all: the flow was out of, not into, India. The authors continue:

“The Y-chromosomal data consistently suggest a largely South Asian origin for Indian caste communities and therefore argue against any major influx, from regions north and west of India, of people associated either with the development of agriculture or the spread of the Indo-Aryan language family.”


The last of the two rejected associations is that of the Indo-Aryan expansion; the first, that of the spread of agriculture, is the well-known thesis of Colin Renfrew,19 which traces Indo-European origins to the beginnings of agriculture in Anatolia, and sees Indo-Europeans entering India around 9000 BP, along with agriculture: Sanghamitra Sahoo et al. see no evidence of this in the genetic record.

The same data allow the authors to construct an eloquent table of genetic distances between several populations, based on Y-haplogroups (Fig. 2). We learn from it, for instance, that “the caste populations of ‘north’ and ‘south’ India are not particularly more closely related to each other (average Fst value = 0.07) than they are to the tribal groups (average Fst value = 0.06),” an important confirmation of earlier studies. In particular, “Southern castes and tribals are very similar to each other in their Y-chromosomal haplogroup compositions.” As a result, “it was not possible to confirm any of the purported differentiations between the caste and tribal pools,” a momentous conclusion that directly clashes with the Aryan paradigm, which imagined Indian tribes as adivasis and the caste Hindus as descendants of Indo-Aryans invaders or immigrants.

In reality, we have no way, today, to determine who in India is an “adi”-vasi, but enough data to reject this label as misleading and unnecessarily divisive.

genetic-distance


Conclusions

It is, of course, still possible to find genetic studies trying to interpret differences between North and South Indians or higher and lower castes within the invasionist framework, but that is simply because they take it for granted in the first place. None of the nine major studies quoted above lends any support to it, and none proposes to define a demarcation line between tribe and caste. The overall picture emerging from these studies is, first, an unequivocal rejection of a 3500-BP arrival of a “Caucasoid” or Central Asian gene pool. Just as the imaginary Aryan invasion / migration left no trace in Indian literature, in the archaeological and the anthropological record, it is invisible at the genetic level. The agreement between these different fields is remarkable by any standard, and offers hope for a grand synthesis in the near future, which will also integrate agriculture and linguistics.

Secondly, they account for India’s considerable genetic diversity by using a time- scale not of a few millennia, but of 40,000 or 50,000 years. In fact, several experts, such as Lluís Quintana-Murci,20 Vincent Macaulay,21 Stephen Oppenheimer,22 Michael Petraglia,23 and their associates, have in the last few years proposed that when Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, he first reached South-West Asia around 75,000 BP, and from here, went on to other parts of the world. In simple terms, except for Africans, all humans have ancestors in the North-West of the Indian peninsula. In particular, one migration started around 50,000 BP towards the Middle East and Western Europe:

“indeed, nearly all Europeans �" and by extension, many Americans �" can trace their ancestors to only four mtDNA lines, which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.” 24

Oppenheimer, a leading advocate of this scenario, summarizes it in these words:

“For me and for Toomas Kivisild, South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17 and his ancestors; and sure enough we find the highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central Asia, but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of a ‘male Aryan invasion’ of India. One average estimate for the origin of this line in India is as much as 51,000 years. All this suggests that M17 could have found his way initially from India or Pakistan, through Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming into Europe.”25



We will not call it, of course, an “Indian invasion” of Europe; in simple terms, India acted “as an incubator of early genetic differentiation of modern humans moving out of Africa.”26

Genetics is a fast-evolving discipline, and the studies quoted above are certainly not the last word; but they have laid the basis for a wholly different perspective of Indian populations, and it is most unlikely that we will have to abandon it to return to the crude racial nineteenth-century fallacies of Aryan invaders and Dravidian autochthons. Neither have any reality in genetic terms, just as they have no reality in archaeological or cultural terms. In this sense, genetics is joining other disciplines in helping to clean the cobwebs of colonial historiography. If some have a vested interest in patching together the said cobwebs so they may keep cluttering our history textbooks, they are only delaying the inevitable.

end.

2009 genetic reports

Genomic research shows Indians descended from two groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/43696

Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/43738

The Onge are the only Pure South Indians
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/43758

The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1*
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45369

India is the source of genetic diversity: the mother of all asians
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45533

Confirmed: Genetic Mutations Makes Blacks into Whites
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45538

Africa is the Mother, India is the Big Sister
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45941

The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1* substantiates the autochthonous origin of Brahmins and the caste system
http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v54/n1/full/jhg20082a.html

The spatial distribution maps of Y-haplogroup R1a1
http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v54/n1/fig_tab/jhg20082f1.html#figure-title
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45685
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/45696

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/48485

.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46066

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46141

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46238

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46245

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46250

Clines, not race
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46347

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46235

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46420

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46511

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/48485

Humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/56374

All non Africans are part Neanderthals
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/56814

South Asian Genetic Studies - Dec 2011
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/57881



Edited by webmaster (December 11, 2011 11:33 AM)

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#1441 - June 02, 2011 11:53 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
The Story of Our Origins

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/the-story-of-our-origins

Just where did our ancestors come from? Indian diversity has long been reduced by many historians to a simple story of an invasion of Aryans pushing Dravidians further south in the Subcontinent. But an analysis of the genes that Indians bear throws up enough evidence to rubbish that theory, pointing instead to a far more complex set of migrationsand perhaps reverse migrationsmany millennia earlier than commonly supposed.

To get a clearer picture of our origins, Open sent DNA samples of a couple of celebrities, John Abraham and Baichung Bhutia, alongwith those of four magazine staffers to the National Geographic Deep Ancestry Project. Based on the genetic markers thus identified and other research conducted by scientists, we present a plausible map of our origins. Be prepared for some surprises

+++

The diversity of India is tremendous; it is obvious; it lies on the surface and anybody can see it. It concerns itself with certain mental habits and traits. There is little in common between the Pathan of the North-West and the Tamil in the far South. Yetthere is no mistaking the impress of India on the Pathan, as this is obvious on the TamilThe Pathan and the Tamil are two extreme examples; the others lie somewhere in betweenIt is fascinating to find how the Bengalis, the Marathas, the Gujaratis, the Tamils, the Andhras, the Oriyas, the Assamese, the Canarese, the Malayalis, the Sindhis, the Punjabis, the Pathans, the Kashmiris, the Rajput, and the great central block comprising the Hindustani-speaking people, have retained their peculiar characteristics

+++

Nehru, even in his romanticism, was only stating what every observer of India has always noticedthe tremendous diversity of people in India, not just in terms of customs and culture, but in religion, caste and appearance. The obvious question has always been: where does this diversity come from? Take, for example, caste: did the system evolve in India, or did it originate outside and become part of the countrys social structure? Were our different language groups, such as Dravidian and Indo-European, brought in by different sets of migrants? The questions are endless, and the answer to any one of them lies in the answer to the most basic question of all: where do we Indians come from? How was the Subcontinent settled?

Attempts have been made to answer these questions with evidence drawn from fields as varied as linguistics and archaeology. Despite the inroads that have been made, the question has not even come close to being answered, and even the partial answers that have been on offer have been a source of contentious debate. For one, the Aryan Invasion theorysuggesting that an invasion of Indo-Europeans displaced the original Dravidian inhabitants of north India, which found favour at one time and was later rejected and denouncedaddresses only a small part of the Subcontinents diversity as a theory.

But results from an entirely different area of human study suggest that there may be a satisfactory answer to the question, and it lies in our genes.

For each of us, our physical characteristics are encoded in the DNA that we carry within each cell of our body. A study of our DNA (see The Science of DNA Testing) allows us to trace our ancestry. In case of men (and for women by testing their brothers or father), we can trace our line of paternal descent, our fathers fathers fathers father, by studying the Y-chromosome; and in case of both men and women, we can trace our line of maternal descent, our mothers mothers mothers mother, by studying mitochondrial DNA.

This field, now over two decades old, has slowly been refined to the point where events in our distant ancestry can now be studied. Not only are the new answers on offer fascinating, there is also the certainty that with each passing year, they will be refined, questioned and challenged to the point where we would be able to make definitive statements about our past. One such project is National Geographics Deep Ancestry that is compiling data from across the world on people who want to determine their distant ancestry.

We sent six samples, four men and two women, of people from various parts of India to the National Geographic Project (NGP), and, based on the results we have obtained (see the case studies listed in the right column), we have attempted to map out a representative history of what can be said today about the peopling of India. To do so, we have not only sought elaboration from Ramasamy Pitchappan, principal investigator, India, of the NGP, we have also spoken to a leading Indian geneticist, RNK Bamezai, director of the National Centre of Applied Human Genetics (NCAHG) at Jawaharlal Nehru University and vice-chancellor of Jammu University.

Of course, having collated all this research material and inputs, the final responsibility of the interpretations made rests with Open.

ANTIQUITY OF THE INDIAN FEMALE POPULATION


Sometime between 60,000 to 90,000 years ago, humans first moved out of Africa by crossing the Red Sea. This, in all likelihood, occurred during a glacial period when the earth was at its coldest, and falling sea levels would have shrunk the distance between Africa and Asia at its narrowest to barely 11 km. Crossing into Asia, surviving on a diet rich in shellfish, these early humans who left Africa stayed close to the coast as they made their way round to South Asia.

The strongest evidence of this is offered by the study of mitochondrial DNA, which indicates the maternal line of descent (see DNA analysis of Sohini Chattopadhyay and Haima Deshpande of Open). All human beings outside Africa are descended from two female lines, termed Haplogroup M and N. It is unclear whether the two female lines evolved while humans were still in Africa or shortly after, but the available evidence suggests both lines were present in that first migration from Africa to South Asia.

DISTRIBUTION OF MITOCHONDRIAL DNA HAPLOGROUPS IN THE INDIAN POPULATION:

M 60 per cent

N 25 per cent

U* 15 per cent

*A sub branch of N that is found in larger numbers in the northwest of the country

The vast majority of the Indian population carries Sohini and Haimas Haplogroup M, whose antiquity in India dates back at least 60,000 years ago, if not more. Since mitochondrial DNA is passed down in direct line of maternal descent, this suggests that the female population of India dates directly back to that first exodus of humans from Africa.

The N Haplogroup and its sub-haplogroup U are also found in India, but show up in high frequencies largely in the Northwest. Even these groups seem to be largely of great antiquity in the Subcontinent. There seems to have been very little migration of women into the Subcontinent after the first settlers arrived here. According to Bamezai, who advises caution in saying anything more than warranted by the data, this is not so surprising: The mobility of males was much moreraiding parties or for that matter armies on the move even today are largely male.

THE COMPLICATED STORY OF THE INDIAN MALE POPULATION


The men who are believed to have migrated to India along with women as part of the first coastal migration from Africa are identified by the Haplogroup C. This marker is found in less than 5 per cent of the Indian population today. These migrants seem to have moved further along the coast, settling in East Asia and Australia.

DISTRIBUTION OF Y-CHROMOSOME (FOUND ONLY IN MEN) DNA HAPLOGROUPS:

H 30 per cent

R1a1 20 per cent

R2a 15 per cent

L 10 per cent

O and related markers 10 per cent

Others 15 per cent

In rather broad terms, it is possible to make some generalisations. H is found in greater percentage among the Austro-Asiatic tribal population, L among the Dravidian language (such as Tamil and Telugu) speaking non-tribal population, R1a1 among speakers of the Indo-European languages (such as Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali). But there is no way on this basis to distinguish any individual from another. An individual with R1a1 could as well be a tribal as an Indo-European language speaker. Nor can discrete groupings be identified in any clear-cut way. The L marker could be found in the north of the country, and H could show up among some Brahmins.

What we do know for sure is that the earliest large-scale male settlers in the Subcontinent belong to the line defined by Haplogroup F and its branch Haplogroup H (see the DNA analysis of John Abraham). Both these haplogroups are found in significant percentages in the Indian tribal population, reaching a combined percentage of well over 30. The F Haplogroup dates back to at least 45,000 years in the Subcontinent. Johns H haplogroup, which is not found anywhere else in the world in any significant proportion and has hence been termed the Indian marker, has an antiquity in the Subcontinent of at least 25,000 years. Interestingly, though, it is found among Europes gypsies, indicating their Indian origin.

A related line descended from Haplogroup F, termed Haplogroup L (see the DNA analysis of Sharad Raghavan), is also found in significant numbers in South India, especially Tamil Nadu among the non-tribal population. Again, this is a haplogroup rarely found outside India and has an antiquity of around 25,000 years.

Two other significant haplogroups found in the Indian population are R1a1 (see the DNA analysis of Hartosh Singh Bal) and R2a, both found deep in the line of descent that goes back to Haplogroup F. Their antiquity in India dates back 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.

Hartoshs R1a1 is found in higher proportions in the north of India and among upper-castes, reaching a proportion of nearly 50 per cent in Punjab and over 70 per cent in such caste groups as West Bengal Brahmins. But it is also found in the South and among the tribal population, reaching a proportion of well over 25 per cent among the Chenchu tribals of Andhra. R2a mirrors the distribution of R1a1, but it has a far more evenly spread across the geography of the Subcontinent and the hierarchy of castes; in some ways, it is a pan-Indian marker, a significant marker that has not shown up in the small sample sent by Open to the NGP.

There are also an assorted number of other markers, such as the D Haplogroup (see DNA analysis of Baichung Bhutia). This haplogroup is found in large numbers in East Asia and has likely reached Sikkim from Tibet. It is also found among some northeastern tribes that bear Haplogoup O as the other important marker.

MAKING SENSE OF THE MALE LINEAGE

The first male settlers of the Indian Subcontinent would have accompanied the women, whose descendants still inhabit the Subcontinent, on the first coastal migration from Africa. They are identified by the Haplogroup C marker, found in less than 5 per cent of the Indian population. According to the NGP, the presence of both Johns and Sharads haplogroups (H and L) in India can be explained by two separate migrations, one from the Middle East and the other from Central Asia, both dating back some 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

The NGP goes on to describe the first encounter between the men from the original settlement of India with those who arrived later. The genetic trail, the NGP states, provides some tantalizing clues as to what may have happened when members of the Indian Clan and the [earlier settled] Coastal Clan met. The [mitochondrial DNA] of people in this region preserves evidence of the early coastal dwellers in the female lineage, but Y-chromosome frequency for the Coastal Clan is very weakaround 5 per cent in southern India, and even less frequent going farther north. These data suggest that the descendants of the Indian Clan may have mated with the women of the earlier coastal population, but that the coastal men were killed, driven off, or otherwise prevented from reproducing.

Pitchappan elaborates, Probably initial colonies consisting of males and females settled and expanded. In the later migrations, either the males were by themselves or they came accompanied by very few females. Local males could have resisted and could have been exterminated, while females may have been amalgamated. He adds that other possibilities are also conceivable, such as matrilineal societies by which the incoming males could have been amalgamated: There is some evidence to suggest that settlements in the Dravidian belt were female centric. He points to the existence of matriarchal societies in the South, such as Keralas Nairs, as the survival of an older tradition.

But stories such as this are speculative at best. In the Indian context, they are reminiscent of the possibilities once cited to describe the entry of Indo-Europeans into India, the so-called Aryan Invasion theory.

The evidence so far, however, seems to suggest that the presence of both Johns and Sharads haplogroups in India could be well explained by an earlier arrival of the super-ancestral F haplogroup in India. In fact, it is quite likely that either the F haplogroup arrived as part of the coastal migration along with the C haplogroup, to which it is very closely related, or it evolved here in males who were part of the earlier migration. If so, it would make sense that the antiquity of a great majority of the Indian male population also goes back to the out-of-Africa coastal migration.

In fact, much of the genetic evidence seems to suggest a South Asian origin for the F haplogroup. This haplogroup and its lines of descent account for perhaps 90 per cent of the male population in the world. Contrary to received wisdom, this would imply that much of the globe outside Africa was settled by outward migrations from South Asia dating back to over 50,000 years ago. Certainly, the distant origins of the modern European population seem to lie in South Asia, emphasising the crucial importance of this region in understanding the peopling of the globe.

But beyond such speculation, which will be settled as more and more data is gathered by projects such as the NGP, the one thing that can be said with a degree of certainty is that the antiquity of both the L and H haplogroups in India suggests that a majority of the Indian male population can trace its presence in the Subcontinent back at least 20,000 years if not earlier.

THE MYTH OF THE INDO-EUROPEAN MARKER

This brings us to perhaps the most contentious of markers, Hartoshs R1a1. The NGP states: Some linguists believe that the Kurgans, nomadic horsemen roaming the steppes of southern Russia and the Ukraine, were the first to speak and spread a Proto-Indo-European language, some 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. Genetic data and the distribution of Indo-European speakers suggest the Kurgans may have been descendents of M17 (the genetic marker that identifies the R1a1 haplogroup). Today a large concentrationaround 40 per centof the men living from the Czech Republic across the steppes to Siberia, and south throughout Central Asia are descendants of this clan. In India, around 35 per cent of the men in Hindi-speaking populations carry the M17 marker, whereas the frequency in neighboring communities of Dravidian speakers is only about ten percent. This distribution adds weight to linguistic and archaeological evidence suggesting that a large migration from the Asian steppes into India occurred within the last 10,000 years.

This NGP claim goes far beyond what the genetic data warrants. Says Bamezai, after looking through the NGP results published in this article, For me as a scientist, it is necessary to be very conservative in my claims. Any broad conclusions require much more work and detailed study of not just haplogroups, but sub-haplogroups. I think the migration paths described in these cases are in question. I feel R1a1 originated here and contributed to Central Asia rather than the other way around.

A key 2009 paper published in the Journal of Human Genetics by Bamezai and his colleagues at JNU argues this point further: Many major rival models of the origin of the Hindu caste system co-exist despite extensive studies, each with associated genetic evidences. One of the major factors that has still kept the origin of the Indian caste system obscure is the unresolved question of the origin of Y-haplogroup R1a1, at times associated with a male-mediated major genetic influx from Central Asia or Eurasia, which has contributed to the higher castes in India. Y-haplogroup R1a1 has a widespread distribution and high frequency across Eurasia, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent... To resolve these issues, we screened 621 Y-chromosomes (of Brahmins occupying the upper-most caste position and schedule castes/tribals occupying the lower-most positions)... for conclusions. A peculiar observation of the highest frequency (up to 72.22%) of Y-haplogroup R1a1 in Brahmins hinted at its presence as a founder lineage for this caste group. Further, observation of R1a1 in different tribal population groups, existence of Y-haplogroup R1a in ancestors, and extended phylogenetic analyses of the pooled dataset of 530 Indians, 224 Pakistanis and 276 Central Asians and Eurasians bearing the R1a1 haplogroup supported the autochthonous [indigenous] origin of R1a1 lineage in India and a tribal link to Indian Brahmins.

The conclusions bear restatement. The first thing that the evidence suggests is that the origins of Hartoshs R1a1 haplogroup lie in India. Thus, a large part of Central Asia, Southern Russia, Ukraine onwards to the Czech Republic may well be populated by a 15,000-year-old migration from India. Given the timeframe of the origins of the R1a1 haplogroup in India, it is important to note that this does not rule out a subsequent re-entry of people from Central Asia bearing this marker into India at a much later date. As further sub-lineages of Hartoshs R1a1 are studied, it may well be possible to answer even this question.

The second part of their conclusions rests on the fact that the proportion of R1a1 in some Brahmin groups such as those of West Bengal is as high as 72 per cent. This indicates that the origins of Brahmins as a caste may well lie in the R1a1 haplogroup. But since the antiquity of the Ra1a haplogroup in tribals such as Central Indias Sahariyas is older than it is among Brahmins, it is reasonable to believe that Brahmins may not be entrants from outside but may have originated as a caste from the tribal population of this country.

It is a strong claim, one that hints at possible discoveries that may lie ahead as the genetics of the Indian population is studied in greater detail. The one conclusion, though, that is unlikely to change is the one Bamezai emphasises over and over: Groups we seem to see as distinct have overlapping genetic signatures. In fact, two castes that may have great hostility towards each other may carry the same signatures. Caste, tribe and religion in India do not have any genetic basis. Trite as it may sound, the conclusion is inescapable, there is unity in this diversity.

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#1478 - November 07, 2011 09:44 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Scientists confirm early humans were from Africa but their route out was via Arabia not Egypt

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/a...l#ixzz1cypbxDiz

Scientists had thought that humankind left for other continents in a northern direction through Egypt's Sinai region but now it seems they wandered further south, probably via Yemen.



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#1485 - December 11, 2011 11:38 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL

South Asian Genetic Studies - Dec 2011


http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2704716.ece

Led by Dr. Kumarasamy Thangaraj of CCMB, it found that South Asia harbours two major ancestry components, one of which is spread at comparable frequency and genetic diversity in populations of South and West Asia, Middle East, Near East and the Caucasus; the other component is more restricted to South Asia.

Both the ancestry components that dominate genetic variation in South Asia demonstrate much greater genetic diversity than those that predominate in West Eurasia. [IOW, Indians mixed a lot.]

The genetic affinities of both the ancestry components are incompatible with substantial gene flow into the region during Max Mueller's purported Indo-Aryan invasion 3,500 years ago. [IOW, no invasion or mass migration in the last 5,000 years.]


New research debunks Aryan invasion theory

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_new-research-debunks-aryan-invasion-theory_1623744

Saturday, Dec 10, 2011,

In what could be a major setback to Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu, an inter-continental research in cellular molecular biology has debunked the Aryan invasion theory.

"We have conclusively proved that there never existed any Aryans or Dravidians in the Indian sub continent. The Aryan-Dravidian classification was nothing but a misinformation campaign carried out by people with vested interests," Prof Lalji Singh, vice-chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, told DNA.

The findings of a three-year research by a team of scientists, including Prof Singh and others from various countries, has been published by American Journal of Human Genetics in its issue dated December 9.

"The study effectively puts to rest the argument that south Indians are Dravidians and were driven to the peninsula by Aryans who invaded North India," said Prof Singh, a molecular biologist and former chief of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

According to Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia, who was another Indian member of the team, the leaders of Dravidian political parties may have to find another answer for their raison d'tre. "We have proved that people all over India have common genetic traits and origin. All Indians have the same DNA structure. No foreign genes or DNA has entered the Indian mainstream in the last 60,000 years," Dr Chaubey said.

Dr Chaubey had proved in 2009 itself that the Aryan invasion theory is bunkum. "That was based on low resolution genetic markers. This time we have used autosomes, which means all major 23 chromosomes, for our studies. The decoding of human genome and other advances in this area help us in unraveling the ancestry in 60,000 years," he explained.

However, Gnani Shankaran, noted Dravidian thinker, said the time for writing the last word on Dravidian philosophy has not yet come.

"We have to find out the credentials of the authors of this research paper and their hidden agenda. In Tamil Nadu, the Dravidian and Aryan ties are inter-related. The Dalits in our land are the descendents of the Dravidian Brahmins who were pushed to the lowest strata of society by the Aryans," Shankaran said.

According to Prof Singh, Dr Chaubey, and Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj, another member of the team, the findings disprove the caste theory prevailing in India. Interestingly, the team found that instead of Aryan invasion, it was Indians who moved from the subcontinent to Europe. "That's the reason behind the findings of the same genetic traits in Eurasiain regions," said Dr Thangaraj, senior scientist, CCMB.

"Africans came to India through Central Asia during 80,000 to 60,000 BCE and they moved to Europe sometime around 30,000 BCE. The Indian Vedic literature and the epics are all silent about the Aryan-Dravidian conflict," said Dr S Kalyanaraman, a proponent of the Saraswathi civilization which developed along the banks of the now defunct River Saraswathi.

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#1508 - September 28, 2012 04:36 PM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Rethinking "Out of Africa"

Here's a somewhat simple representation of my current thinking now about human evolution over the last two million years:

We've got the lineage of the hobbit, 'Homo floresiensis' (in quotation marks because its human status in not yet clear), perhaps diverging more than two million years ago, evolving in isolation in southeast Asia, and apparently going extinct about 17,000 years ago.

We've got Homo erectus, most likely originating in Africa, giving rise to lineages which continue in the Far East in China and Java, but which eventually go extinct. In Europe, it perhaps gave rise to the species Homo antecessor, "Pioneer Man," known from the site of Atapuerca in Spain. Again, going extinct.

In the western part of the Old World, we get the development of a new species, Homo heidelbergensis, present in Europe, Asia and Africa. We knew heidelbergensis had gone two ways, to modern humans and the Neanderthals. But we now know because of the Denisovans that actually heidelbergensis went three waysin fact the Denisovans seem to represent an off-shoot of the Neanderthal lineage.

North of the Mediterranean, heidelbergensis gave rise to the Neanderthals, over in the Far East, it gave rise to the Denisovans. In Africa heidelbergensis evolved into modern humans, who eventually spread from Africa about 60,000 years ago, but as I mentioned, there's evidence that heidelbergensis populations carried on in Africa for a period of time. But we now know that the Neanderthals and the Denisovans did not go genetically extinct. They went physically extinct, but their genes were input into modern humans, perhaps in western Asia in the case of the Neanderthals. And then a smaller group of modern humans picked up DNA from the Denisovans in south east Asia.

We end up with quite a complex story, with even some of this ancient DNA coming back into modern humans within Africa. So our evolutionary story is mostly, but not absolutely, a Recent African Origin.

CHRISTOPHER STRINGER is one of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists. He is a founder and most powerful advocate of the leading theory concerning our evolution: Recent African Origin or "Out of Africa". He has worked at The Natural History Museum, London since 1973, is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and currently leads the large and successful Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB), His most recent book is The Origin of Our Species (titled Lone Survivors in the US).

http://www.edge.org/conversation/rethinking-out-of-africa

.

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#1533 - May 09, 2013 10:36 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

We have Neanderthal and Denisovan dna in us


Here's a somewhat simple representation of my current thinking now about human
evolution over the last two million years:

We've got the lineage of the hobbit, 'Homo floresiensis' (in quotation marks
because its human status in not yet clear), perhaps diverging more than two
million years ago, evolving in isolation in southeast Asia, and apparently going
extinct about 17,000 years ago.

We've got Homo erectus, most likely originating in Africa, giving rise to
lineages which continue in the Far East in China and Java, but which eventually
go extinct. In Europe, it perhaps gave rise to the species Homo antecessor,
"Pioneer Man," known from the site of Atapuerca in Spain. Again, going extinct.

In the western part of the Old World, we get the development of a new species,
Homo heidelbergensis, present in Europe, Asia and Africa. We knew
heidelbergensis had gone two ways, to modern humans and the Neanderthals. But we
now know because of the Denisovans that actually heidelbergensis went three
ways"in fact the Denisovans seem to represent an off-shoot of the Neanderthal
lineage.

North of the Mediterranean, heidelbergensis gave rise to the Neanderthals, over
in the Far East, it gave rise to the Denisovans. In Africa heidelbergensis
evolved into modern humans, who eventually spread from Africa about 60,000 years
ago, but as I mentioned, there's evidence that heidelbergensis populations
carried on in Africa for a period of time. But we now know that the Neanderthals
and the Denisovans did not go genetically extinct. They went physically extinct,
but their genes were input into modern humans, perhaps in western Asia in the
case of the Neanderthals. And then a smaller group of modern humans picked up
DNA from the Denisovans in south east Asia.

We end up with quite a complex story, with even some of this ancient DNA coming
back into modern humans within Africa. So our evolutionary story is mostly, but
not absolutely, a Recent African Origin.

The whole article is a good read. And the video.
http://www.edge.org/conversation/rethinking-out-of-africa



CHRISTOPHER STRINGER is one of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists. He is
a founder and most powerful advocate of the leading theory concerning our
evolution: Recent African Origin or "Out of Africa". He has worked at The
Natural History Museum, London since 1973, is a Fellow of the Royal Society,
and currently leads the large and successful Ancient Human Occupation of Britain
project (AHOB), His most recent book is The Origin of Our Species (titled Lone
Survivors in the US).

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#1537 - August 10, 2013 09:21 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

Transformation of India's population - from exogamy to endogamy

Ancestral South Indians are native to the subcontinent, having arrived 70,000
years ago. Ancestral North Indians arrived about 8,000 years ago, but the two
groups kept apart. Then between 4,200 years bp to 1,900 years bp, the two groups
mated until there are no more ASI and ANI left, only Modern Indians all of whom are
mixed including all tribals.

Then suddenly for reasons unknown the caste system began in about 100 CE with
endogamy. This is the most complete picture we have of Indian history of
the people backed by genetic studies.

The CCMBs Thangaraj said long periods of endogamy had led to concentration of
certain deleterious genetic mutations in some populations.

Pathma


http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/08/india%E2%80%99s-fragmented-society-was-once-m\
elting-pot

..a new study concludes that several thousand years ago, the entire subcontinent
underwent a period of massive intermarriage, shuffling its populations
genetic deck so thoroughly that it left clear traces&#65533;"even in the genomes of
todays most isolated tribes.

.. most Indians today are descendants of two major population groups: Ancestral
North Indians (ANI), who probably migrated into the subcontinent 8000 or more
years ago from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe; and Ancestral South
Indians (ASI), who were native to the region and had been there much longer. The
study also showed that these two groups began to mix at some point in the past,
although just when was not clear.

The results, reported online today in The American Journal of Human Genetics,
paint a complex picture: Beginning about 4,200 years ago, ANI and ASI
populations, which previously had kept mostly separate, began mating together, a
flurry of intermarriage that probably lasted more than 2 millennia. Then,
beginning about 1,900 years ago or somewhat later, mating patterns shifted
dramatically. Local populations became entrenched, eschewing intermarriage with
other groups and adopting a cultural pattern of what researchers call endogamy,
the practice of marrying only within an ethnic or social group.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130809/jsp/nation/story_17213287.jsp#.UgQn6VNzpC0

Older report:
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1623744/report-new-research-debunks-aryan-invasion\
-theory

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Edited by Pathmarajah (August 10, 2013 09:23 AM)

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#1541 - October 13, 2013 07:29 AM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India

http://www.cell.com/AJHG/fulltext/S0002-9297%2813%2900324-8
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929713003248

This is definitive evidence!

Pathma

.
Most Indian groups descend from a mixture of two genetically divergent populations: Ancestral North Indians (ANI) related to Central Asians, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Europeans; and Ancestral South Indians (ASI) not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent. The date of mixture is unknown but has implications for understanding Indian history. We report genome-wide data from 73 groups from the Indian subcontinent and analyze linkage disequilibrium to estimate ANI-ASI mixture dates ranging from about 1,900 to 4,200 years ago. In a subset of groups, 100% of the mixture is consistent with having occurred during this period. These results show that India experienced a demographic transformation several thousand years ago, from a region in which major population mixture was common to one in which mixture even between closely related groups became rare because of a shift to endogamy.

Archaeological and linguistic studies provide support for the genetic findings of a mixture of at least two very distinct populations in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

Our estimated dates of mixture correlate to geography and language, with northern groups that speak Indo-European languages having significantly younger admixture dates than southern groups that speak Dravidian languages. This shows that at least some of the history of population mixture in India is related to the spread of languages in the subcontinent. One possible explanation for the generally younger dates in northern Indians is that after an original mixture event of ANI and ASI that contributed to all present-day Indians, some northern groups received additional gene flow from groups with high proportions of West Eurasian ancestry, bringing down their average mixture date.

The shift from widespread mixture to strict endogamy that we document is mirrored in ancient Indian texts. The Rig Veda, the oldest text in India, has sections that are believed to have been composed at different times. The older parts do not mention the caste system at all, and in fact suggest that there was substantial social movement across groups as reflected in the acceptance of people with non-Indo-European names as kings (or chieftains) and poets.

Although we have documented evidence for mixture in India between about 1,900 and 4,200 years BP, this does not imply migration from West Eurasia into India during this time. On the contrary, a recent study that searched for West Eurasian groups most closely related to the ANI ancestors of Indians failed to find any evidence for shared ancestry between the ANI and groups in West Eurasia within the past 12,500 years. An alternative possibility that is also consistent with our data is that the ANI and ASI were both living in or near South Asia for a substantial period prior to their mixture.

The most remarkable aspect of the ANI-ASI mixture is how pervasive it was, in the sense that it has left its mark on nearly every group in India. It has affected not just traditionally upper-caste groups, but also traditionally lower-caste and isolated tribal groups, all of whom are united in their history of mixture in the past few thousand years.

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#1542 - October 24, 2013 12:03 PM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

Indians migrated to Australia 4,230 years ago and mated with the Aborigines there.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art...5.1a1&hl=en

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#1543 - October 24, 2013 12:04 PM Re: Races and Anthropology [Re: Pathmarajah]
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang

Shared ancestor mother and father


All males shared a single male ancestor in Africa roughly 125,000 to 156,000 years ago.

All women on the planet trace back to a female who lived in Africa between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago almost the same time period during which the Y-chromosome Adam lived.

A separate study in the same issue of the journal Science found that men shared a common ancestor between 180,000 and 200,000 years ago.

And in a study detailed in March in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Hammer's group showed that several men in Africa have unique, divergent Y chromosomes that trace back to an even more ancient man who lived between 237,000 and 581,000 years ago.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/08/02/genetic-adam-and-eve-uncovered/

A new study of the spread of the herpes virus has confirmed widely held beliefs about human migration out of africa.

"What we found follows exactly what the anthropologists have told us, and the molecular geneticists who have analyzed the human genome have told us, about where humans originated and how they spread across the planet."

Using high-capacity genetic sequencing, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists were able to develop a family tree for the virus, emerging in Africa, bottlenecking in the Middle East and ultimately spreading to Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Interestingly, the study also offers some evidence for the theory that Native Americans are descended from Asian peoples who crossed a land bridge from far eastern Siberia into the Americas thousands of years ago.

"We found support for the land bridge hypothesis because the date of divergence from its most recent Asian ancestor was about 15,000 years ago, Brandt says. "The dates match, so we postulate that this was an Amerindian.

Herpes Study Confirms That Human Migration Spread Out From Africa
http://www.ibtimes.com/herpes-study-confirms-human-mirgration-spread-out-africa-1435098

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