October 16, 2004

Mark Jobling on HLA-DRB1

Mark Jobling has written Human Evolutionary Genetics, an important new textbook about the genetic origins and makeup of humans. You can read three chapters online at the publisher's site.

In chapter 1, Jobling uses Arnaiz-Villena's work on the alleged "Sub-Saharan African" origin of the Greeks as an example of misguided interpretation (p.12):

As an example, Figure 1.5 illustrates the arbitrariness of different possible population groupings based upon DNA sequence diversity at an HLA locus. Often an objective way to choose between different interpretations is not obvious (though objective methods are discussed later in this book), and in its absence, simple assertion often fills the vacuum.

Figure 1.5: Grouping populations – take your pick.

Relationships between populations based on DNA sequence diversity data at the HLA-DRB1 locus, displayed as a correspondence analysis plot (similar to principal components analysis; see Chapter 6) in which clustered populations are genetically similar. (a) Populations, with names indicated; (b, c, d) Three alternative groupings of the populations (there are others). The grouping chosen by Arnaiz-Villena et al. (2001) is (d) (adduced as support for a sub-Saharan origin for the Greeks) but is essentially arbitrary. Why is it preferred to alternative groupings shown in (b) and (c)? If the population origins were unknown when the groupings were made, would it affect the outcome? Note that this locus is generally regarded as being under strong selection. Adapted from Arnaiz-Villena et al. (2001).[Q1]

Of course Arthur Kemp, White nationalist "historian" insists otherwise.

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