January 09, 2009

More on Lebanese Phoenicians or mixing Science and Politics

The BBC has a story on Divided Lebanon's common genes.
Dr Zalloua says in Lebanon the Phoenician signature is distributed equally among different groups and that the overall genetic make-up of the Lebanese is proving to be similar across various backgrounds.

"Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical," says Dr Zalloua.

But, from another older BBC story referring to the actual study:
The team analysed the Y chromosomes of 926 Lebanese males and found that patterns of male genetic variation in Lebanon fell more along religious lines than along geographical lines.

and from the study itself:
In the present study, 926 Lebanese men were typed with Y-chromosomal SNP and STR markers, and unusually, male genetic variation within Lebanon was found to be more strongly structured by religious affiliation than by geography.We therefore tested the hypothesis that migrations within historical times could have contributed to this situation. Y-haplogroup J*(xJ2) was more frequent in the putative Muslim source region (the Arabian Peninsula) than in Lebanon, and it was also more frequent in Lebanese Muslims than in Lebanese non-Muslims. Conversely, haplogroup R1b was more frequent in the putative Christian source region (western Europe) than in Lebanon and was also more frequent in Lebanese Christians than in Lebanese non-
Christians.

If a Christian village and a Muslim village are likely to have "identical" DNA makeup, then why is genetic variation strongly structured by religious affiliation and not by geography?

Since contradictions don't exist in nature, the explanation is simple: in the published scientific article, which had to go through peer-review, someone could not claim that there are no differences between Christian and Muslim Lebanese. But, to the polloi of Lebanon, it is apparently alright to sell a vision of national unity and identity.

I don't know what % of modern Lebanese are descended from Phoenicians, but I detest the idea of mixing science with politics.

More on the topic of "Lebanese Phoenicians":
  1. Muslim and Christian Lebanese or Hasty Conclusions in Human Population Genetics
  2. Christian and Muslim Lebanese do differ from each other after all
  3. "Phoenician" Y-chromosomes

102 comments:

  1. Lebanese (but Jews too) discovered and practise a new Science, the Political Genetics, as the Jewish Marx practised the Political Economics, but it is dangerous to say it, above all on "Rootsweb" and "Dna-forums".

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  2. There was this some months ago:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7316281.stm
    I think I read somewhere something about - obviously - more R1b among Christians, the difference was clear but not dramatic, rather less than 10% of difference, I think.

    Gioiello,
    I think that "science" was discovered over 100 years ago by Germans and some others in Europe, only with other aims and their conclusions culminated in 1941-1945.

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  3. "Y-haplogroup J*(xJ2) was more frequent in the putative Muslim source region (the Arabian Peninsula) than in Lebanon, and it was also more frequent in Lebanese Muslims than in Lebanese non-Muslims. Conversely, haplogroup R1b was more frequent in the putative Christian source region (western Europe) than in Lebanon and was also more frequent in Lebanese Christians than in Lebanese non-
    Christians".

    What percentage of each group are they? And is either haplogroup found at all in the other group?

    It's normal that people adopt the religion of their parents so these results are not at all surprising. But it Sounds as though the population of Lebanon is made up totally of people from Arabia and Western Europe! Perhaps the other Y-chromosomes account for "Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical"

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  4. And indeed that seems to be the case.
    Look:
    "The study, funded by the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project , found that 10 per cent of Lebanese Christian men belong to a Y haplogroup known as R1b, which is of Western European origin. Just 6 per cent of nonChristians had this kind of Y chromosome. "
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3635086.ece
    So, it is about 10% against 6%. That is significant, but not surprising at all. The rest are basically the same.

    So: which side is having a political purpose in mind? Or both? Or none?

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  5. I think that "science" was discovered over 100 years ago by Germans and some others in Europe, only with other aims and their conclusions culminated in 1941-1945.

    Hmmmm? Klemperer or Kepler? Colonel Kook Is that you?

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  6. What percentage of each group are they? And is either haplogroup found at all in the other group?

    Exactly that is what I was thinking. Both conclusions can probably be drawn from the same raw data. It's only logical to think that *some* of the ancestry of Muslim Lebanese comes from the Arabian Peninsula and that *some* of the ancestry of Crhristian Lebanese comes from Europe (Crusades specially). But how much? That is the issue and I would think from the contradictory views (without having read the original papers) that these "immigrant" elements are minority, while the shared "native" ancestry is rather dominant in all or most groups.

    It's like saying that Spanish and Germans are different because the first have more J2 and E1b1b and the latter more R1a, when both actually share the main component of their respective Y-DNA genetic pools: R1b. It depends of what you want to emphasize.

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  7. as the Jewish Marx practised the Political Economics

    Marx' economis is not any more "political" than Smithian/Ricardian one. In fact, I'd say that Marx' economic analysis are much more scientific and holistic than the classical British ones, which ammount to mere accountability and lots of faith in "the invisble hand" of market.

    I think that "science" was discovered over 100 years ago by Germans and some others in Europe

    Science is surely as old as humankind. We just need to find the truth of things to be able to act accordingly and not perish by doing the wrong thing.

    But even in a more restrictive sense, I see no particular reason to think that science was invented in the early 20th century, much less by Germans specifically. People were doing science long before, people like Servet, Kepler, Galileo, Da Vinci, Newton, etc., not to mention Archimedes and the like (as well as many other in the most remote places you can imagine, from China and India to pre-Columbian America) were doing science all the time.

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  8. Maju the Moron? Then it could be a good science if you could show the golden tables.

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  9. This isn't very surprising. When you understand that races are essentially very large, extended families, it makes sense that the Christian and Muslim Lebanese would be genetically different. Although there has been mixing and conversion over the centuries in Lebanon, most Muslims breed with Muslims and most Christians breed with Christians. Due to the Arab Muslim invasions, obviously the Muslim population would be closer to the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula than the Christian Lebanese. The Druze who are sometimes thought of as Muslim and sometimes seen as a distinct group would also be genetically distinct.

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  10. Cyd the kid writes: "Hmmmm? Klemperer or Kepler?", but if you watch his picture, he has the right eye closer than the left (I think typical of we European R1b1b2 who come from Central Asia) and he looks typical German (what I have always supported, that Jews-Ashkenazim are above all Italian or from the people of the Rhine Valley: a mix od Celts, Romans, etc.). Unfortunately they felt (and feel) Middle Eastern Abrahamians, and this is mostly untrue. An European tragedy, then.

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  11. Maju wrote: "It depends of what you want to emphasize".

    That's certainly what we're seeing with many of the the comments here. Many are emphasising small differences and ignoring the widely spread similarities. This emphasis on 'difference' is exactly what's led to the current disaster in Palestine.

    I also agree with Maju's comment:

    "Science is surely as old as humankind".

    Even within Europe scientific advance was a product of shared knowledge, not something that just one genetic group thought up.

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  12. I haven't replied to Maju by tiredness, but Science truly was born with Ancient Greeks: they only discovered the Causes of a Phenomenon (what "phainetai"): Chinese practice acupuncture without knowing why, if not the mythical Ying and Yang. Many as Maju are thinking to know and to practice "Science", but truly are full of mythical thought. Please, show me the golden tables!

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  13. Maju,
    With regards to science: I was being ironic, responding to Gioiello. I was saying that kind of pseudoscience, political genetics, is something that rather started rather before, by the Nazis and predecessors
    I agree with you. I think both groups are drawing those different conclusions based on the same data but interpreting them according to their different non-scientific aims

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  14. Hi,
    I don’t want to generalize, but allot of Lebanese Christian are almost obsessed with the idea of being pure Phoenicians and that they all belong to haplogroup J2,ignoring other haplogroups in their population structure. I mean why is J2 supposed to be Phoenician, what about E1b1b? I am of Palestinian Christian ancestry and belong to haplogroup G (M201) and regardless of haplogroup issues I see myself as an ethnic Arab.
    The Levant should be viewed as a crossing road of people and civilizations thus they are Hybrids.

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  15. "why is J2 supposed to be Phoenician, what about E1b1b?"
    I will tell you why:

    J2 HAS to be Phoenician because Phoenicians are cool now (alphabet, shipping, etc), because Pithagoras' dad was Phoenician, lots of Cretans, with their great heritage, are also J2 and because I am J2!

    Did you see why?
    Seriously: I agree with you (even if I do have as paternal haplogroup J2 :-). It is incredible how people always try to associate themselves with anything that looks "cool" to them at a given moment in time. Nothing to do with science.

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  16. "The Levant should be viewed as a crossing road of people and civilizations thus they are Hybrids".

    And all roughly the same mixture, varying slightly through cultural divisions of course. And most of the groups there insist on accentuating these slight differences, and they maintain that somehow they are the ones who are completely different to all the others. They insist on this so much that they are quite prepared to destroy everyone in any other group.

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  17. It seems Muslims are 85% native Lebanese and 10-15% Southern Arab since there are 10% more J1 among Muslims than in Christians. On the other hand, Christians are 95% native Lebanese and 5% Western European R1b, since there is more R1b among Christians than among other populations. So, it would seem the overwhelming majority is the same, with the exception of the above minor differences. Where is the problem?

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  18. So, it would seem the overwhelming majority is the same, with the exception of the above minor differences.

    Thanks A LOT for clarifying. It's the problem when writing about some news article on what some argue on some genetic data that is nowhere to be seen.

    And that kind of trivial difference was roughly what I expected anyhow. Some with preconcieved ideas will try to aggranadize what is just a minor hue of variation.

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  19. I am trying to understand the comment made by Dienekes.

    Yes there will be genetic differences and the lines can be visible by religious lines is this part of the world.

    It is minimal yet it is noticible.

    Still the political message represents the overall genetic footprint. word Identical may not be 100% technical . but in general genetic footprint is similar.

    Not sure who is making it political here Dienekes or Dirty politicians of Middle East.


    Mixing of science and politics is not a good idea. OK. At the same time dont promote your agenda when projecting the irregularities.

    The Phoenician signature became part and parcel of the society with intricacies of religious and tribal groups. Not sure what this blogger's message on that.

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  20. Christian and Muslim Lebanese are not "identical", nor indeed are they very similar within the broader regional context.

    http://i41.tinypic.com/2v34hnr.jpg

    As for their common "Phoenician" roots, that is all extrapolation (and pretty bad at that) from poorly defined modern populations.

    It may be politically expedient to portray Christian and Muslim Lebanese as the same, and as descendants of Phoenicians. It at once serves as a point of unity of Lebanese Arabs, and of differentiation between them and other Arabs.

    However, Christian and Muslim Lebanese are genetically not one people, and the difference is due to religion, not geography. As for the Phoenician connection, that is hypothetical, and its extent remains to be seen by better studies.

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  21. Dienekes: the only hard data in this discussion has been posted by J2hapydna. Unless you have other data that contradicts it, I gather that the two religious communities are fundamentally the same, just that in the last 1300 years or so, the Muslim community has been apparently more open to incorporate foreigners from the interior, while, to a lesser extent, the Christian community has also incorporated foreigners from overseas.

    The differences are minimal and mere common sense. Probably the differences are even much less relevant when it comes to mtDNA or autsomal genetics.

    A question I do have is wether the Druze are considered Muslims or just something apart. Druzes do appear to have a complex, largely non-local in origin and extremely inbred at village level genetic pool; if included within Muslims they might distort the picture somewhat.

    More in general it'd be interesting to know about the genetic similitudes/differences between the different sects. There are at least 4 major Muslim sects and some 6 major Christian ones, which may also show some differences, as they surely had somewhat different histories (i.e. Shia and Sunni, and both re. Druzes were pretty much refractary to each other; Catholics and Orthodox also were many times in bitter conflict).

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  22. Dienekes: the only hard data in this discussion has been posted by J2hapydna.

    Your idea of what constitutes hard data is peculiar. An MDS plot is hard data, arbitrary admixture proportions based on a non-disclosed methodology are not.

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  23. For what it's worth I agree with Maju:

    "the two religious communities are fundamentally the same, just that in the last 1300 years or so, the Muslim community has been apparently more open to incorporate foreigners from the interior, while, to a lesser extent, the Christian community has also incorporated foreigners from overseas".

    As usual religion has divided the population. As I understand things Jews and Palestinians have also simply been separated through their religions. In this case too "the two religious communities are fundamentally the same". The separation goes back a little further in this case, perhaps something approaching 3000 years.

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  24. The older dataset suggested that Christians were 9% J1 and Muslims were over 31% J1. Apparently, this is not what the genographic project data seems to suggest. My impression is that the new data seems to suggest a higher numbers of J1s among Christians, perhaps closer to 20-25%.

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  25. The paper you refer to has actually performed an admixture analysis which contradicts your made-up numbers, according to which "It seems Muslims are 85% native Lebanese and 10-15% Southern Arab since there are 10% more J1 among Muslims than in Christians. ."

    According to the actual paper, Lebanese Muslims are estimated to have 37% of Arabian Peninsula ancestry (Table 6).

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  26. MDS plot says

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1181945

    The origins of the Etruscans, a non-Indo-European population of preclassical Italy, are unclear.

    All mitochondrial lineages observed among the Etruscans appear typically European or West Asian, but only a few haplotypes were found to have an exact match in a modern mitochondrial database.

    So that makes Etruscans are also Indo Europian.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Looks like my response didnt post. So I will write again:

    Dienekes, I didnt refer to any study. So thanks for the link. I simply saw the news article:

    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.lebanon/2008-03/msg00318.pdf

    The report suggests 10% of Muslim J1 came from Southern Arabia. Knowing that Southern Arabia is 80% J1, I assumed there would have been an additional 50% non J1 Southern Arab component with that Southern Arab J1. In any event, with nearly two thirds of Muslim Lebanese being descendants of Arabized Lebanese men (according to the study), they would still share much common ancestry with most Lebanese Christians.

    So my question to you is, if Lebanon was 75% Christian until very recently, then what percentage of the overall Lebanese population had Southern Arab ancestry? Would it be 1/4 th of 37 or less than 9%? Then, how did 9% convince 90% of Lebanese to adopt Arabic as their language? Can you give me any examples in history where such a small percentage of invaders forced such a large majority to switch their native tongue?

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  29. ... how did 9% convince 90% of Lebanese to adopt Arabic as their language?

    Power, prestige. Same that a tiny nation of middle Italy managed to persuade half Europe (and other places) to speak Latin. Additionally, Arabs had religion as cultural-political tool and, also, the local pre-Arabic languages of the Levant were all Semitic, closely related to Arabic. Arabic basically replaced Aramean and Greek, though guess it took some time.

    After the region was conquered by Muslims, Lebanon was under Christian control for something like a century (before the colonial period), nothing more. The colonial period was very short (few decades) but still many Lebanese and Syrians speak French as second language. Just imagine if the French control would have lasted many centuries or more than a full milennium, as Muslim control (with Arabic as main language) did.

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  30. Many are emphasising small differences and ignoring the widely spread similarities. This emphasis on 'difference' is exactly what's led to the current disaster in Palestine.

    It seems to be a human tendency, based on evolution, to overemphasize group differences, especially when there is a perceived conflict.

    Whether the Lebanese Muslims are 10% or 40% "Arabian" is, in my view, relatively unimportant. It would still leave plenty of genetic and racial similarity between Lebanese Christians and Muslims.

    It is in the interests of the Muslims in the region to abandon their fundamentalism anyway, which, among other things, contributes to their poverty, ignorance, and desire to impose their way of life on others.

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  31. the sangha: Whether the Lebanese Muslims are 10% or 40% "Arabian" is, in my view, relatively unimportant. It would still leave plenty of genetic and racial similarity between Lebanese Christians and Muslims.

    My sentiment exactly. I think this is what the Genographic project was trying to say too.

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  32. the sangha: Whether the Lebanese Muslims are 10% or 40% "Arabian" is, in my view, relatively unimportant. It would still leave plenty of genetic and racial similarity between Lebanese Christians and Muslims.

    My sentiment exactly. I think this is what the Genographic project was trying to say too.

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  33. ... how did 9% convince 90% of Lebanese to adopt Arabic as their language?

    Power, prestige. Same that a tiny nation of middle Italy managed to persuade half Europe (and other places) to speak Latin. Additionally, Arabs had religion as cultural-political tool and, also, the local pre-Arabic languages of the Levant were all Semitic, closely related to Arabic. Arabic basically replaced Aramean and Greek, though guess it took some time.

    After the region was conquered by Muslims, Lebanon was under Christian control for something like a century (before the colonial period), nothing more. The colonial period was very short (few decades) but still many Lebanese and Syrians speak French as second language. Just imagine if the French control would have lasted many centuries or more than a full milennium, as Muslim control (with Arabic as main language) did.


    So, would you agree, that whatever forces compelled the people of the region to speak Arabic, it was not the systematic murder of Byzantine men and replacing them with Southern Arabs that caused the change in language in the region? That infact, 80-90% of the population were descendants of native Lebanese when it was speaking Lebanese Arabic, in the early part of this century? Does Dienekes agree?

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  34. ""Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical," says Dr Zalloua. "

    "Genetic structuring by religion has been rarely reported in human populations: it was not detectable, for example, among Muslim and Hindu paternal45 or maternal46 lineages in India. A Y-chromosomal lineage that is rare in India but common in western Asia was found at unusually high frequency in an Indian Shiya Muslim sample47, and structuring by religion has been seen among Jewish maternal (although not paternal) lineages48. Such structure might only arise when several unusual criteria are met: migrations based on religion must take place between areas with different representative Y-chromosomal types, and they must establish genetically differentiated communities that remain stable over long time periods. In Lebanon, these conditions appear to have been met for over 1,300 years."

    I know doublespeak when I see it.

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  35. So, would you agree, that whatever forces compelled the people of the region to speak Arabic, it was not the systematic murder of Byzantine men and replacing them with Southern Arabs that caused the change in language in the region? That infact, 80-90% of the population were descendants of native Lebanese when it was speaking Lebanese Arabic, in the early part of this century? Does Dienekes agree?

    I have not yet read Dienekes reply and have no idea if he agrees or not.

    I have no particular reason to think that "Byzantines" were murdered systematically in Lebanon or elsewhere (though I don't know enough of the local history to exclude occasional massacres either). In general early Muslim domination was rather benevolent and in many cases the monophysitic Christians of West Asia and Egypt had many grudges on Byzantine religious policies, what oviously favored the Muslim penetration to some extent, as well as deep cultural affinity maybe (Afroasiatic ethno-cultural area).

    I think that all Lebanese are descendants to a very large degree from the peoples inhabiting there in the Roman/Byzantine age, and even before, probably dating it back to PPNB or maybe even Natufian. Of course each new cultural change, often implying some level of immigration, must have altered somewhat the genetics and overall ancestry of the people but I don't think this ever happened massively (with some doubts about PPNB).

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  36. I don't think it would have been so difficult to take over Arabic.
    Lebanon was occupied for centuries by a population speaking mostly Semitic languages. They had Phoenician, then they were under the rule of Assyrians, Babylonians, who spoke Akkadian. The Aramaic influence was big and it can be felt in the Lebanese Arabic. When the Greeks were there and then the Romans Koine was one of the linguae francae, but also Aramaic. I imagine that make it easier to pass to Arabic. And of course, the elements Manu mentioned explain best how it was quite normal for them to take over the language of a (conquering) minority.
    I don't think the Arabs massacred there more than others had done in previous times.

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  37. That infact, 80-90% of the population were descendants of native Lebanese when it was speaking Lebanese Arabic, in the early part of this century? Does Dienekes agree?

    It depends on how you define "native Lebanese". If you mean, pre-Arab, then I would agree that the great majority of Christian Lebanese are indeed pre-Arab, descendants of the Greco-Aramaic Byzantine population of the region, with a sprinkling of Western European genes among Catholics.

    Pre-Arab does not, however, mean in any way "Phoenician". Whether there was a substantial Phoenician component in the Greco-Aramaic population of Lebanon is a matter open to investigation.

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  38. Do you have some facts about how substantial the Greek component was? Greek was a lingua franca back then, but I wonder how long the proportion of Greeks were.

    "Christian Lebanese are indeed pre-Arab, descendants of the Greco-Aramaic Byzantine population of the region, with a sprinkling of Western European genes among Catholics."
    And the Muslim Lebanese?
    Percentages differing please?

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  39. ""Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical," says Dr Zalloua. "

    "Genetic structuring by religion has been rarely reported in human populations: it was not detectable, for example, among Muslim and Hindu paternal45 or maternal46 lineages in India. A Y-chromosomal lineage that is rare in India but common in western Asia was found at unusually high frequency in an Indian Shiya Muslim sample47, and structuring by religion has been seen among Jewish maternal (although not paternal) lineages48. Such structure might only arise when several unusual criteria are met: migrations based on religion must take place between areas with different representative Y-chromosomal types, and they must establish genetically differentiated communities that remain stable over long time periods. In Lebanon, these conditions appear to have been met for over 1,300 years."

    I know doublespeak when I see it.


    Dienekes, humanbeings are complex and such contradicitions make them interesting. It is refreshing he is starting to see the world from both sides.

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  40. ... how did 9% convince 90% of Lebanese to adopt Arabic as their language?

    Power, prestige. Same that a tiny nation of middle Italy managed to persuade half Europe (and other places) to speak Latin. Additionally, Arabs had religion as cultural-political tool and, also, the local pre-Arabic languages of the Levant were all Semitic, closely related to Arabic. Arabic basically replaced Aramean and Greek, though guess it took some time.

    After the region was conquered by Muslims, Lebanon was under Christian control for something like a century (before the colonial period), nothing more. The colonial period was very short (few decades) but still many Lebanese and Syrians speak French as second language. Just imagine if the French control would have lasted many centuries or more than a full milennium, as Muslim control (with Arabic as main language) did.




    That is an interesting point you have raised, Arabic does restrict itself to lands with significant J/J1 populations, that spoke semitic languages pre- 6th c. Arab expansion. In the case of Latin, would it be correct to say, that it was more popular in R1b populations of the Roman Empire, that felt they were somehow related to each other? I dont think Latin ever made it across to the middle east where R1b is quite uncommon. So, perhaps, it is power and prestige, as you said, that compels a people to adopt a new language, as long as it is power and prestige associated with a tribe that is closely related to them.

    I am not convinced nations in the middle east or north africa were ready to substitute French for Arabic. For example, English is a common second language among Indians, since India was under 200 years of British colonial rule, but it also never got close to adopting English as a first language.

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  41. I doubt that language is as closely tied to haplogroups as many here seem to believe. Particular haplogroups may be concentrated in the population involved in the original spread of a particular languge but languages can be easily adopted by other groups with different haplogroups who come in contact with the bearers of that language.

    Any coincidence between the distribution of Latin and Y-hap R1b has more to do with the similar region the two spread through rather than any propensity for R1b to adopt the language. And Arabic has far more to do with the spread of Islam rather than being tied to a particular Y-chromosome haplogroup. And I don't believe people carrying particular haplogroups are more likely to adopt a particular religion. It's just that culture and haplogroups tend to be tied through accidents of history.

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  42. Arabic spreading through J1/J2? I think it simply spread where Arabs stayed in power the longest period. I suppose this J1 in North Africa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:J1_Hal.jpg came about MOSTLY via the Islam invasion.

    I imagine Arabic spread also in Lebanon more easily because 1) it was relatively close to the core Arabic homeland and 2) the people spoke languages that had a lot in common

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  43. It is obvious that J1 is the native Lebanese because Phoenician spoke semitic language like Arabs and so they were more likely J1 the haplogroup associated with semitic languages.
    Both Poenicians and Arabs are J1.
    It is the J2 that is not native to Lebanon it came with the Turks and Kurds and Greek and even Gorgomites who are the ancestors of the Maronites who came from Anatolya or Georgia as soldiers for the Byzantian empire to help them fight the Arabic conquest.

    Hence J1 is Phoenicians and who have more J1 is more Phoenician.
    Druse have up to 40% L haplogroup found only in Pakistan and India and are believed to had been brought by the Fatimited to help them rule Egypt, that is why many druse speak strange language they claim it is from the supberbs of Kalkuta as Junbulat once said.
    Christians have excess of J2 and R1 both foreigner haplogroups (gorgomites and Europpean crusaders)

    many Shiite arabs converted to Maronite and added the J1 to the maronites numbers during the pogroms of sunni Mamlukes and Salim Sultan of the Ottomans in 1520 AD.

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  44. That is an interesting point you have raised, Arabic does restrict itself to lands with significant J/J1 populations, that spoke semitic languages pre- 6th c. Arab expansion. In the case of Latin, would it be correct to say, that it was more popular in R1b populations of the Roman Empire, that felt they were somehow related to each other? I dont think Latin ever made it across to the middle east where R1b is quite uncommon. So, perhaps, it is power and prestige, as you said, that compels a people to adopt a new language, as long as it is power and prestige associated with a tribe that is closely related to them.

    History and culture, and therefore languages, is more complaex than that. All I said was that maybe ancestrally shared Afroasiatic (not Semitic: Egyptians or Berbers were largely Arabized without being Semitic) may have played a role in that process. Just that.

    Connecting R1b and Roman legacy make little sense to me anyhow. Certainly Latin did expand specially in the Western Empire (Greek was dominant in the East before and after the classical, pre-Byzantine, Roman Empire - and Hellenistic culture was anyhow extremely influential in the West, Roman religiona and Christianism included). Italy is not particularly high in R1b anyhow, nor is Rumania, while the Germanized areas of Europe often are.

    What happened with Latin was:

    1. Imperial language. But Greek in the East (Hellenistic legacy).
    2. Supression/absorption of Phoenician and Celtic (and others like Iberian or Etruscan) cultural areas into Romanity. This supression never affected the Greek cultural area (where not just Greek was spoken anyhow).
    3. Latin, specially heavily creolized "vulgar Latin", becoming lingua franca in the Western Empire.
    3. Latin as Catholic liturgical and scholarly language (in this very similar to Arabic and Islam). In this form remained as lingua franca until the late Middle Ages at least, when some Romances first and later English gradually displaced it.
    4. Latin as official language of the post-Roman Germanic kingdoms. If you have read anything about early Western Medieval society, you'll know that the Catholic Church made up the backbone of such states providing scribes, scholars, bureaucrats, reserve resources, and, of course, an ideology. It's very possible that Latin (both erudite classical and spoken vulgar Latin) spread even more under the Germanic monarchies, once the Western Empire had been liquidated.

    I am not convinced nations in the middle east or north africa were ready to substitute French for Arabic. For example, English is a common second language among Indians, since India was under 200 years of British colonial rule, but it also never got close to adopting English as a first language.

    British colonial style was very mercantile. The French one instead was more socio-cultural and political, more "Roman". Nevertheless it may certainly take many many centuries before such change happens, moreso if the native languages are very distant. But the Latin and Arabic cases (among others) show this may perfectly happen anyhow. While language is identitarian it is also a primary tool in most importantthings as trade and the social ladder. People in rural communities surely take longer to switch, while ambitious social climbers and businessmen will surely change as soon as possible. In the particular case of India (and other multiethnic post-clonial countries), the colonial lingua franca allows comunication even within the country itself (probably a Nigerian from Lagos will need English to talk with a Nigerian from Kano, same for Indians from Madrass and Mumbai, etc.), so the new post-colonial entities may well be pushing even more strongly for the colonial languages to become more and more common. In a non-globalized world, this would surely lead eventually to new languages such as Indian neo-English, Peruvian neo-Spanish and Malian neo-French.

    Yet in some cases there are important, deeply rooted, local ligua francae (Hindi, Swahili, Lingala, Quechua and certainly Arabic) that may also even benefit from the post-colonial structures and compete with the colonial languages succesfully.

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  45. t is obvious that J1 is the native Lebanese because Phoenician spoke semitic language like Arabs and so they were more likely J1 the haplogroup associated with semitic languages.
    Both Poenicians and Arabs are J1.
    It is the J2 that is not native to Lebanon it came with the Turks and Kurds and Greek and even Gorgomites who are the ancestors of the Maronites who came from Anatolya or Georgia as soldiers for the Byzantian empire to help them fight the Arabic conquest.


    I'd say that both are deeply rooted in West Asia, albeit at different apportions. In any case J2 has often been attributed to Phoenicians (how acurately? no idea) in many papers on places of strong historical Phoenician influence like Malta or Tunisia. True that it could also be older: Neolithic or whatever (or both). J1 is not only strong in Arabia but also in non-Semitic Caucasus.

    You do raise an interesting question anyhow.

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  46. Maju says: "Italy is not particularly high in R1b anyhow, nor is Rumania, while the Germanized areas of Europe often are". In Central-North Italy R1b is 62%, overall in Italy more than 40%. I hope having demonstrated that Italy was the Refugium, during Younger Dryas, of R1b1b2. The less percentage in the South was due to the neolithic introgression from Balkans of E1b1b, J2 etc., but the original R1b1b2 (mine, R1b1b2-ht35) is present overall in Italy and demonstrates, I think, the first expansion from the Italian refugium after the Younger Dryas. I think having demonstrated this also by an exam of rare mtDNA, like N1b, I spoke recently about in another thread. Re Romania I have said recently I found the closest to me among the Aromunians of Skoplje and a Vlach mtDNA from Greece matches an Italian one. I think all this is meaningful.

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  47. maju,

    As you can see both Italy and Romania have fairly high in numbers of R1b:

    http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml

    --------------

    I hope I did not give the impression that I believe Latin has some genetic affinity with those who are R1b. I was saying that *perhaps* people might be more willing to change languages for the sake of power and prestige, if they

    1. speak a related language

    and/ or

    2. Feel closely related to those who speak the new language.

    I was suggesting that languages appeared to spread more easily within people who think they are related and/ or spoke related langauges. I realize that R1b is older than many tribal identities. So there can be populations that have R1b but dont think of themselves as all that closely related. I suspect with the discovery of more snps we may find out which populations are more closely related to each other. Then there is also the question/ variable of being maternally related. However, Latin seems to stay within populations with significant numbers of R1b.

    In the case of North Africa and Egypt they may not have spoken a semitic language, but the people are overwhelmingly J1 and E3b, the same as the Arabs and tend to believe in a common Ishmaelite ancestor. The populations had intermixed significantly before it appears the language change could occur.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/archaeogenetics/1547718128/

    Like I said, I am really not convinced if small unrelated populations who speak unrelated langauges can compel other human populations to change languages.

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  48. Italian R1b is concentrated in the North, more populated and historically and prehistorically influenced by its transalpine neighbours. Rome is rather to the South instead.

    I don't know what role played the very scondary (and Epigravettian) Italian refugium in the LGM but seems it had no relation with the Magdalenian expansion that is most solidly associated with West European R1b. I do wonder though if the distinct Sardinian clade of R1b might be an odd survivor of the Gravettian epysode.

    In any case, while cultural background elements may have weighted in historical epysodes somewhat, and while cultural background may have a very loose correlation with genetics, they are different things. In the past they had no DNA tests, but they had customs and language and that was what identified people as belonging to this or that ethnicity, be it micro- or macro-, not genes.

    As for Rumania, its levels of R1b are similar to those of Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary Czech Republic and Austria. It shared much of prehistory with some of these countries as well (specially those in the Danubian basin). Magdalenian certainly reached as far east as Hungary but, for the Rumanian case, one would have to look either to Danubian Neolithic or to Roman colonization probably. I'd suspect more of the first, specially as its figures are so close to those of Bulgaria and Hungary, with whom it shared many cultural processes.

    In the case of North Africa and Egypt they may not have spoken a semitic language, but the people are overwhelmingly J1 and E3b, the same as the Arabs and tend to believe in a common Ishmaelite ancestor.

    E3b1b is most likely linked to Afroasiatic expansion in the Mesolithic. J is instead linked to West Asia and its role as major cultural hub since Neolithic onwards. These are two different things, at least originally. Now, as West Asians adopted Afroasiatic language and culture (Semitic) in a still rather obscure process (Natufian??), I guess they also adopted some of their customs (and vice versa since Neolithic). This may have (very speculatively) played a somewhat favorable role to the expansion of Islam among those populations.

    But, in any case, the Ishmailite myth is a Judaic legend adopted by Judaized Arabs, i.e. Muslims (and only from them spread to other regions). If you research minimally such a rich mythology as that of ancient Egypt, you'll find nothing of the like.

    Let's understand please that history is a process, where the past acts as conditionant (somehwat it defines the odds) but does not rigidly determine anything not yet happened.

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  49. And Arabic has far more to do with the spread of Islam rather than being tied to a particular Y-chromosome haplogroup. ...

    Terry, As far as Arabic is concerned, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are over 97% Muslim, but they do not speak Arabic. So, spread of Islam did not guarantee the spread of the Arabic language. Arabic is in essence, restricted to regions that have a high numbers of J/ J1 haplogroups. However, being J/ J1 doesnt guarantee acceptance of Arabic, as in the case of Daghestan and other Central Asian Muslim populations, but do not speak Arabic. This is similar to how R1b doesnt guarantee adoption of Latin. However, Latin does not spread to nations without R1b. This, inspite of the great prestige Latin must have had, as the language of the rulers of the Great Roman Empire.

    Which leads me to wonder, are there any examples in history where a small foreign minority compels a much larger nation to adopt a different language?

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  50. As far as Arabic is concerned, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are over 97% Muslim, but they do not speak Arabic.

    And Indonesia, Malaysia and notably places like Somalia, which is also strong in E3b. History is a Labyrinth, not an easy provider of easy answers.

    But if you take the Umayyad Caliphate, only the areas that were more strongly Iranian speaking (or under historical Iranian influence) resisted clearly the pressure of Arabic (even if we can't ignore the many Berber pervivences and even the less common Coptic ones). Iranian civilization was a most important deeply rooted and long-lived one and some would argue that the most important non-religious influence in Islamic culture by large. While Arab culture could only present itself as the "genuine Muslim original thing", it could not really compete with Persian one in nearly any other field: if Arabs snubbed Persians, Persians snubbed Arabs too or more.

    Instead in the Berber area, you see even today how Arabic culture is presented as "higher" and Berber as "primitive", in what is not just a social but also a political attitude that pisses off many Berbers but maybe make others to accept Arabization as the natural thing to do.

    Most of modern Turkey was not part of the Ummayad Caliphate and the rest was Kurdish (Iranian) or Armenian (not really Muslim ever). The Islamization of Anatolia happened under Turkish (Seljuk first, Ottoman later) leadership and there conversion meant to become Turkish and adopt the Turkish language, not Arabic. It's again a clear case of elite dominance by an originially small (but powerful) minority.

    You can say much of the same of Swahili in East Africa.

    If anything, you can see in West Asia a cultural border between the lowlands and the highlands, so to say. Bedouin (and therefore typical Arbic, and before them Semitic in general) lifestyle is not probably the kind that fits naturally in the mountains. Mountains also work as refuge and resistence areas naturally for the peoples that are used to them. This largely "ecological" border in West Asia appears to hav somehow limited not just Arabic but Semitic expansion in general before them.

    Arabs were the first Semitic people to expand to North Africa (except the Phoenicians and to some extent Assyrians). Earlier Egypt provided a formidable political barrier and after Egypt succumbed, the Semitic powerhouse also did soon after. But in the time of Arabo-Muslim expansion, Egypt was just a province of a distant empire. This surely alowed Arabs to expand into the North African plains, promote their language as alternative to "Christian" Greek and Coptic (and to some extent Berber further west) and to also expand through the lowlands of North Africa (Berbers have resisted best in the mountains as well).

    You can certainly think of all these kind of conditionants: ecology, ancestral cultural background (more or less associated with genetics maybe), etc. as factors that helped the process of Arabization. But you can't just renounce to study the actual historical-cultural processes that took pace in each case. You can't ever reduce history to some possible circustance: you are talking of the actions and lifes of many many people along many many generations: even if some patterns may exist, these are not the only elements making history and cultural evolution.

    But yes, for West Asia at least, it does seem to be certain cultural border between the "lowlands" and the "highlands" that pre-dates by many milennia the Arabic expansion but that may have conditioned Semitic expansion overall even since the time of Akkadians.

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  51. You can certainly think of all these kind of conditionants: ecology, ancestral cultural background (more or less associated with genetics maybe), etc. as factors that helped the process of Arabization. But you can't just renounce to study the actual historical-cultural processes that took pace in each case. You can't ever reduce history to some possible circustance: you are talking of the actions and lifes of many many people along many many generations: even if some patterns may exist, these are not the only elements making history and cultural evolution.

    Often, the only history we know, is the one told by the conqueror or the one told by 'our' historians, who are often pandering to our religious and political beliefs and demonizing the 'other'. In such a world, I believe science, can sometimes help keep everyone a little more honest.

    When it comes to people changing their native language there are it seems to me, two ways it can happen.

    1. People end up being forcibly absorbed into a larger majority that speaks a different language

    2. People gradually and willingly adopt the language of some closely related smaller, but more successful tribe, with whom they feel an affinity.

    This doesn't mean I am advocating the majority should compel the minority to adopt it's language. What I am saying is that it can happen, if the majority is cruel. However, what cannot happen is a large majority change it's language at the insistence of a small unrelated minority.

    Therefore, when someone tells me the story of how a large group of people were forced/ compelled by a small minority to adopt their language, I am skeptical, because I have never observed such a thing. I mean if someone told me that there is a place on earth where gravity doesnt pull things towards the earth, I would like to see it, before I believe it.

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  52. Often, the only history we know, is the one told by the conqueror or the one told by 'our' historians, who are often pandering to our religious and political beliefs and demonizing the 'other'.

    True. That's a problem: history is too often a political battlefield but research can be done in most cases anyhow and it's being done in fact (not without limitations at times).

    When it comes to people changing their native language there are it seems to me, two ways it can happen.

    1. People end up being forcibly absorbed into a larger majority that speaks a different language

    2. People gradually and willingly adopt the language of some closely related smaller, but more successful tribe, with whom they feel an affinity.


    In fact an intermdiate process is surely the most common. A powerful minority, gradually, generation after generation, century after century, if they can keep the resorts of power, can impose their language definitively.

    And that was often possible before modernity and its ideal of popular power (i.e. democracy), when a handful of aristocrats on horse and shiny armor with a small household army could rule vast extensions and peasants had no voice or rights and were bloodily crushed if they attempted to change anything. The Middle Ages, and the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, were true reigns of terror by brutal warlords. The civilized empires and kingdoms that now and them appeared were normally not less brutal if need be: hands were cut, whole cities were put in chains, rebels were crucified, hanged, impaled, burnt at the stake...

    Legal codes like sharia reflect that enviroment (sharia may have been very progressive for its time in many aspects in fact, even if it's now despised as medieval and retrograde). Whippings, beheadings, stoning to death... all such measures were (are still in some places) used against the criminal, the moral disrupter but certainly also against the rebel, who is often confused with the other classes. The people had little choice: conform and obey or risk huge consequences.

    Nevertheless languages were "imposed" specially by means of being those of the elite. So if you wanted to become one of them, or even aspire to some of their privileges and status, you would need to adopt their language. You would also need that language for trade, schooling and almost anything that is not living a peasant's life in an isolated village. Gradually most people would adopt it, almost naturally, eventually dropping their ancestral one.

    If you belong to any ethnic minority (or opressed majority, though these are rarer nowadays), you know how this happens, not gladly maybe but grudgingly people renounces more and more to their ancestral tongue and adopt the most convenient one: the one of their opressors.

    However, what cannot happen is a large majority change it's language at the insistence of a small unrelated minority.

    It can happen. The rule of the majority is a most recent advance. In the past it was just the rule or the rulers. The rest would better shut up or prepare to risk everything. Of course, in some cases, the people could have some influence via consensus or even via archaic "democratic" institutions of some sort. But for the most part, where these institutions existed they were reserved for privileged classes of citizens. When Rome decreed universal citizenship within the Empire, any remnant of popular representation had been already rendered useless. And we must not forget that in such early republican societies slaves and those considered non-nationals, often many, often the vast majority, had no political rights at all (and in any case the aristocrats controlled the "democracy" all or most of the time anyhow).

    Look at ancient Rome: it did not demand to know Latin to be given the citizenship, often a privilege given to ally chieftains and other useful colonial collaborators. But it was understood that any Roman citizen would certainly make a serious effort to dominate the language, language that intially was only spoken by a small tribal ethnicity of middle Italy. Celts were many more than Romans in the Western Empire, for example, but Celtic died off and Celts began to speak Latin instead. Brutality was used (Druidism was fiercely persecuted for instance) but persuasion by giving advantages to those who assimilated and became good would-be citizens was also part of the process.

    This kind of double edged process of elite dominance, also observed in Arabization or Turkification, etc., was surely very common in the Metal Ages as well. And you can be sure that with whatever variants it was the most common process of assimilating the conquered into the new nation foged by the new rulers.

    In some cases though a language was prestigious of powerful enough to survive. Sumerian did for a time, and even Akkadians learned Sumerian if they could, but in the end Semitic replaced it totally. Latin did survive in modified versions (classical Latin is dead, only some erudites can speak it), Chinese (also a very prestigious literary language) managed to survive Mongol and Manchu domination. There may be others.

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  54. However, what cannot happen is a large majority change it's language at the insistence of a small unrelated minority.

    It can happen. The rule of the majority is a most recent advance.


    Then, show me where it has happened? As far as democracy is concerned, the concept was probably not pulled out of thin air. Democracy is perhaps, recognizing the limitation of what a minority can and cannot do in humman socities. Kind of like watching apples fall to the ground. Then everyone agreeing it is probably a valid observation, democracy, gravity. However, apples have been falling to the ground for a lot longer than anyone called it the work of gravity.

    Before the British, Muslims ruled India, yet the Hindu majority continues to speak Hindi. The Italians and French failed to convince the Berbers and Arabs to surrender their own and adopt European languages. Even in the Americas, Spanish speaking populations in countries like Mexico are notably descendants of Europeans more than native American men. In the USA and Australia, the natives had to be killed and/ or displaced by Europeans.

    If you belong to any ethnic minority (or opressed majority, though these are rarer nowadays), you know how this happens, not gladly maybe but grudgingly people renounces more and more to their ancestral tongue and adopt the most convenient one: the one of their opressors.

    I know it happens to minorities, but where is the example of an opressed large majority in danger of losing it's language to a small unrelated minority, in this world? By the way, dont you have it backwards, modern powerful minorities with the help of technology (guns, airplanes, tanks, missiles etc) can be far more powerful than minorities in the past with their horses and shinny armour, but who had to fight, hand to hand, eye to eye?

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  55. You're comparing recent events of modernity with ancient ones, some of the modern events bear little or no resemblance. Anyhow, Peru is certainly not genetically European (nor most of the Andean region) and most people speaks Spanish. Other languages survive but Spanish is clearly as dominant as Arabic is in Morocco. One could well think that in the mid-run English (or a dialect of it) is likely to become India's main language. Hindi, while important, has little to offer in comparison, specially as many Indians do not speak Hindi at all, while most do speak English rather well.

    Equally, Latin surely was not fully generalized in the centuries of the Western Roman empire (something like 450 years, much more than any European colonial empire, even the Spanish one) but it was still being imposed, so to say, in the Middle Ages, when it was also the administrative and religious language. There was nothing like Hindi to compete with it anyhow, as Western Europe had not seen a major local civilization since the Chalcolithic: it's situation was hence more comparable to that of Africa than to Asia.

    Very much of the same can be said of NW Africa and Arabic. Islamic states with Arabic as official language have dominated the scene there fore the last 1200 years or so, but you can still see important pockets of Berber (and a growing Berber consciousness and nationalism). Like Arabic, Latin either was not really able to absorb every single corner: Basques managed to overcome Romanizaton to some extent (and this may have been a rather "democratic" process, in contrast to the authoritarian feudalist imposition of Latin) and so did Welsh (i.e. pre-Saxon Britons) and their cousins of continental Brittany.

    The processes are complex and somewhat varied but, for the case of Lebanon, we can't forget that:

    1. Native language was already Semitic (it's easier to switch between closely related languages)
    2. Lebanon was never independent after the conquest of Tyre by Alexander (except arguably under Frankish Crusader control) and therefore Christian Lebanese were not a majority but a minority of a much larger country of varied extension and name, country where Arabic was official (it was even in the Ottoman Empire to an extent) and very useful (trade, etc.).
    3. The duration of the "foreign" Muslim control, with a couple of parenthesis, has lasted like 1200 years, more than four times the longevity of the Spanish colonial empire in mainland America (c. 1500-1800), almost ten times the British colonial control of India (c. 1800-1950) and about 25 times most of the European colonial empires in Africa. Even compared with the Western Roman Empire (c. 50 BCE-400 CE) it is much more time (almost triple). And time is not a trivial matter in this issue.

    but where is the example of an opressed large majority in danger of losing it's language to a small unrelated minority, in this world?

    We live in the "age of the people", so to say. The importance of the public in politics and society has never been so strong. Still in some cases, like Guatemala, you can see majorities (Mayas) being pushed, exploited, aculturized and denied rights by a minority (Spanish-speaking criollos). You can also see how colonial languages do not just survive but are most important in so many post-colonial countries where there's no truly alternative local language to unify the "nation" (this is particularly noticeable in Africa, where colonial rule was really brief, with few exceptions, but where French, English and Portuguese are most important official and real languages). you can see how Moroccan Berbers, a majority historically, and nowadays still like 40% of the total population are being discriminated against and pushed to become Arabs. So yes, even today, majorities can be aculturized by powerful minorities, though luckily it's becoming rarer.

    By the way, dont you have it backwards, modern powerful minorities with the help of technology (guns, airplanes, tanks, missiles etc) can be far more powerful than minorities in the past with their horses and shinny armour, but who had to fight, hand to hand, eye to eye?

    We live in "the age of the people" because the people can get guns and explosives and create guerillas and sometimes even succeed. Guerrillas are a most modern phenomenon (they probably existed before in their rural from but very limitedly), and popular revolutions even much more strictly modern. You can nuke a country or region with modern weaponry but unless you're willing (and able: it causes outrage and delegitimization) to go to the last extremes of genocide, you are likely to have to face such kind of guerrillas and other popular revolts all the time if you're opressing any minimally conscious people. Just look at Palestine (or so many other modern examples): the brutal methods of the past are hardly effective anymore.

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  56. maju, let me reflect on some very interesting information you have provided in the last few posts. I have to admit this is a very enjoyable blog with some very smart people, with thought provoking ideas.thanks.

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  57. I'd say that Marx' economic analysis are much more scientific and holistic than the classical British ones, which ammount to mere accountability and lots of faith in "the invisble hand" of market.

    Possibly the most hilarious solecism I've encountered among thousands of comments in the blogosphere.

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  58. Having lived in Lebanon and learned the Arabic language at a high level of proficiency [State Dept. S 3+, R4], I find it interesting that no one has noticed that as recently as the late 19th c., almost half the Lebanese population was Druzi, a heterodox sect resembling the Syrian Alawites. The Druse sect lost power and prestige by backing the British colonial endeavors in the early 19th c. in the region, which were surpassed by the French whom the Druse opposed.

    Another anecdotal origin of much of the Lebanese population, according to the Lebanese themselves, is that many are descended from the remnants of the Ten so-called Lost Tribes of Israel, which simply abandoned Judaism during the times of the Torah and assimilated into the general population in Lebanon and southern Syria.

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  59. Possibly the most hilarious solecism I've encountered among thousands of comments in the blogosphere.

    Have you read him? ^^

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  60. "but where is the example of an oppressed large majority in danger of losing it's language to a small unrelated minority, in this world?"

    Guatemala, you can see majorities (Mayas) being pushed, exploited, aculturized and denied rights by a minority (Spanish-speaking criollos). …

    For a moment I thought you had found me an example. However, after a little research, I found:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatemala

    “According to the CIA World Fact Book, Guatemala has a population of 12,728,111 (2007 est). The majority of the population is Ladino, also called Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Spanish), and Whites (primarily of Spanish, but also those of German, English, Italian, and Scandinavian descent), they make up a combined total of 59.4%.

    From the above, it seems the European/ non indigenous mixed people are a majority in Guatemala. The ratios appears quite similar to Mexico. This is not an example of a large majority in danger of losing it’s language to a small unrelated minority. At best it could be described as a population with equal numbers of indigenous and non indigenous fathers with a linguistic heritage that reflects this tension in the population. I see the challenge for the native population. However, this is an example of what happened to the Australian Aboriginies and Native Americans in the USA, clearly not what happened in Lebanaon, where the Souther Arab fathers are between 15-40% of the Muslims and less than 10% of the greater population, until quite recently.

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  61. You have to consider the religious aspect. According to the Islam the Koran can be fully interpreted only in Arabic language, so the converts learn the Arab and in a small country this can bring to the disappearance of the native language.
    Iran is a great country, very populous and with a long history but the fast affirmation of the Islam provoked the disappearance of the zoroastrism and also of the use of the alphabet and the Arabic language. But Iran regained soon its politic and religious independence,with a new iranian dinasty , embracing the Islamic doctrine scita, with it taken back the use of the persian, but always using the Arabic alphabet.

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  62. Maybe you're right but from memory: Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala were the three Latin American countries where natives were still a majority. Bolivia certainly has a native majority and until yesterday was ruled by the white (and to lesser extent mestizo) caste.

    In Ethiopia the Amhara speakers are not majority (but have been rulers traditionally), in Sudan Arabs are not majority either, but most northern ethnic peoples speak Arabic as second language fluently and are considered often to be "Arabs", even if their mother tongue is something else, like Nubian.

    Anyhow, it's not the real matter because even if the natives are like 40%, they were obviously many more in the past and what we are seeing is an davanced stage of aculturation and assimilation, which is an even better example.

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  63. Ah, and a 19th-20th century case: South Africa, where the Dutch and English-speaking colonists, always minority, have managed to get all natives to speak a germanic dialect. Dutch (Afrikaaner) will maybe get lost in the long run but English is surely there (and in other areas) to stay.

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  64. Ah, and a 19th-20th century case: South Africa, where the Dutch and English-speaking colonists, always minority, have managed to get all natives to speak a germanic dialect. Dutch (Afrikaaner) will maybe get lost in the long run but English is surely there (and in other areas) to stay.

    maju, Afrikaana is spoken by less than 15% of people in South Africa. English is spoken by about 8%. Zulu and Xhosa are most common (40%). Then there are many other African languages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa

    "While each language is formally equal to every other, some languages are spoken more than others. According to the 2001 National Census, the three most spoken first home languages are Zulu (23.8%), Xhosa (17.6%) and Afrikaans (13.3%).[52]"

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  65. How about Hungarian language which was left by invading Central Asians, while present day Hungarians are virtually 100% the same as their Eastern European neighbours? Or, Turkish language in Anatolia? Or English in Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

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  66. Possibly the most hilarious solecism I've encountered among thousands of comments in the blogosphere.

    Have you read him? ^^


    I have an MA from the U. of Mich [Ann Arbor] in Poli Sci, have read Marx and regard him as a second-rate sociologist and a fourth-rate economist, if that term can even be applied to such a pathological specimen.

    Let's say his appeal is sociopathic rather than rational.

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  67. How about Hungarian language which was left by invading Central Asians, while present day Hungarians are virtually 100% the same as their Eastern European neighbours? Or, Turkish language in Anatolia? Or English in Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

    Of course. :-)

    But J2 wants some contemporary case where a minority is getting its own language to dominate but still remain a minority. When this happens like in South Africa he says is not a valid example, because most people's maternal language is still some other tongue, and when the minority has already crossed the 50% line becoming majority then he argues it's not a valid example either.

    ...

    Dave: your opinion only. In fact Marx' approach to real economy is much stronger than all the Smithian school alltogether. Why? because he is the only one (at least by his time) who thinks in realistic and not merely accountancy (virtual) terms. A rose is a rose, not 50 cents, if you get what I mean. And you eat bread, not dollar bills, accountancy anotations or even gold coins.

    But obviously if you are going with such extremist judgements, I think there's nothing to discuss. And anyhow it's offtopic.

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  68. Aristotle destroyed Communism 22 centuries before Marx, but Marx apparently missed the memo.

    "Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when every one has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business."

    ...

    "Again, how immeasurably greater is the pleasure, when a man feels a thing to be his own; for surely the love of self is a feeling implanted by nature and not given in vain, although selfishness is rightly censured."

    ...

    "Such legislation [common property] may have a specious appearance of benevolence; men readily listen to it, and are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody's friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteriesof rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause--the wickedness of human nature. Indeed, we see that there is much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who hav private property."

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  69. "Y-haplogroup J*(xJ2) than in Lebanon and was also more frequent in Lebanese Christians than in Lebanese non-
    Christians".

    I am sorry that statement is not correct!

    Christians vary, just like muslims.

    The Highest J*(xJ2) population in Lebanon are the Ghassanid Christians -not the Muslims!-, because the Ghassanids didn't mix & you can't be a Ghassanid unless your father is Ghassanid!

    Many muslims mixed with recent settlers & natives.

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  70. R1b in Lebanon is really rare in both Christians & Muslims > 10%

    Compare that to the R1b amongst
    Turkish Muslims 15%
    Sudanese Muslims 13%
    Iraqi Muslims 11%

    And you see R1b is not exclusive to any religious group (in the region)

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  71. I am a capitalist, definitely not a communist, not even a socialist and yet I agree with Manu on this. Marx may have got it very wrong regarding solutions, but he certainly presented a much better analysis on how the capitalist system worked than a lot of so-called capitalists who tell other people fairy tales.
    I wonder how many people who consider Marx an idiot had ever read Das Kapital.

    Well, this
    "Indeed, we see that there is much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who hav private property."
    contrasts with what the Spaniards were reporting about how many Indians lived.
    Absolutes are of little use in social topics.

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  72. But J2 wants some contemporary case where a minority is getting its own language to dominate but still remain a minority. When this happens like in South Africa he says is not a valid example, because most people's maternal language is still some other tongue, and when the minority has already crossed the 50% line becoming majority then he argues it's not a valid example either.

    In other words, my position is that a majority can gradually and willingly adopt the language of a closely related smaller, but more successful tribe, with whom they feel an affinity. However, a small and powerful unrelated minority can never force the majority to adopt s distant language of the minority.

    This discussion is in the context of how an ancient Lebanese population, adopted the language of Southern Arabs, when Southern Arabs are only 10% or less in the Lebanese population. I was saying that it probably happened because the native Lebanese population felt an affinity with the semitic Southern Arabs (J1, J and E3) who had defeated the ruling Indo European Greek minority.

    maju was wondering if it was not because of the cruelty of the Hadith system enforced by the minority Arabs, that gradually compelled the Lebanese to adopt Arabic as their langauge. To which I responded by saying that, historically, cruelty was unable to compel large human populations to to adopt languages of a powerful miniority, unless fathers of the original populations were murdered or driven out, allowing the minority to become the majority. For example, Australian aboriginies and Native Americans in the USA.

    So if you know of an example where this was not true. please share, thanks.

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  73. I was saying that it probably happened because the native Lebanese population felt an affinity with the semitic Southern Arabs (J1, J and E3) who had defeated the ruling Indo European Greek minority.

    J2 and E3 occurs much more frequently in Greeks than in "semitic Southern Arabs".

    Also, the "semitic Southern Arabs" did not defeat the "Indo European Greek minority" but the Roman Christians, which included both Greeks and Syrians.

    If they were welcome by any segment of the local population, then this might be among the monophysites who were at odds with the official Orthodoxy of the Roman Empire and may have been more friendly towards Islam.

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  74. J2: I was saying that it probably happened because the native Lebanese population felt an affinity with the semitic Southern Arabs (J1, J and E3) who had defeated the ruling Indo European Greek minority.

    Dienekes: J2 and E3 occurs much more frequently in Greeks than in "semitic Southern Arabs".

    Also, the "semitic Southern Arabs" did not defeat the "Indo European Greek minority" but the Roman Christians, which included both Greeks and Syrians.

    If they were welcome by any segment of the local population, then this might be among the monophysites who were at odds with the official Orthodoxy of the Roman Empire and may have been more friendly towards Islam.




    Dienekes, I don't think you have been following our discussion, but can you suggest a large human population that has adopted the language of a minority from a distant land that speaks a distant language? I am suggesting that large majorities dont accept such languages because they dont feel a tribal affinity to those from distant places that speak distant languages.

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  75. I am a capitalist, definitely not a communist, not even a socialist and yet I agree with Manu on this. Marx may have got it very wrong regarding solutions, but he certainly presented a much better analysis on how the capitalist system worked than a lot of so-called capitalists who tell other people fairy tales.
    I wonder how many people who consider Marx an idiot had ever read Das Kapital.


    Thanks for the clarification/support. Whatever you think of property, socialism, etc., thinking that Marx (or many other economists not all marxist but certainly critical with the Smithian accountancy concept of economics, some from an ecologist viewpoint btw)was just an idiot is not understanding anything about modern history, society and specially economics.

    Economics means originally management of the enviroment, not mere traders' accountancy. Under market "law" (anarchy in fact) what is free and aboundant like natural resources has value zero, it has to be made scarce and appropiated to get a value in the market. That's why we are destroying our planet. (This is post-Marx thought anyhow but goes in the same line of understanding the true value of things beyond their market price - Marx was not really aware of ecology, he limited his thought to labor, capital - i.e. machinery - and different types of value for consumers).

    Anyhow, as said before, way off topic.

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  76. The Highest J*(xJ2) population in Lebanon are the Ghassanid Christians -not the Muslims!-, because the Ghassanids didn't mix & you can't be a Ghassanid unless your father is Ghassanid!

    Does this tribe still exist? They existed also in late Roman times and (from memory) they played a role in the Muslim conquest by switching sides against Byzantium (they used to be Byzantine vassals but were Arabs and monophysites).

    However, a small and powerful unrelated minority can never force the majority to adopt s distant language of the minority.

    They can. Clearly they can.

    This discussion is in the context of how an ancient Lebanese population, adopted the language of Southern Arabs, when Southern Arabs are only 10% or less in the Lebanese population. I was saying that it probably happened because the native Lebanese population felt an affinity with the semitic Southern Arabs (J1, J and E3) who had defeated the ruling Indo European Greek minority.

    Explain me then how they arabized Egypt, Sudan or North Africa. Explain me please how Anatolia was Turkified (with nearly no Turkic genetics in it), how SW Europe was Romanized, how England was Anglicised, Hungary Magiarized, etc.

    And as said before Lebanon was not an independent country for milennia anyhow. So Lebanese as whole were a minority all the time.

    maju was wondering if it was not because of the cruelty of the Hadith system

    No. I argued that in the past law was much more ruthless and autocratic. The sharia is just an example of that age. Of course being second class citizen, as happened with religious groups not in power in that time (and sometimes even today) was one of the elements favoring religious and cultural homogeneization towards the dominant group. Any Christian in West Asia or any Muslim in Christian Spain, for example, percieved as evident that his/her position would be generally much better if he/she converted and adopted the dominant culture and language. On occasion that was enforced but most of the time it was just a beneficial option, causing a constant drip of "renegades", more or less opportunistic, more or less convinced.

    But believe whatever you want. What I say is based in real history.

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  77. "Does this tribe still exist? They existed also in late Roman times and (from memory) they played a role in the Muslim conquest by switching sides against Byzantium (they used to be Byzantine vassals but were Arabs and monophysites)."

    A big % of the modern Lebanese Christians have Paternal Ghassanid lineage. About half of them moved from the border region between Syria-Jordan in the last 800 years & mixed with earlier Ghassanids.

    The current Maronite Patriarch is Ghassanid.

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  78. Maju said,

    "Explain me then how they arabized Egypt, Sudan or North Africa. Explain me please how Anatolia was Turkified (with nearly no Turkic genetics in it), how SW Europe was Romanized, how England was Anglicised, Hungary Magiarized, etc."

    How dare you presume to know what constitutes "Arab genetics," "Turkic genetics," "Roman genetics," "Anglo-Saxon genetics," or "Magyar genetics"?

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  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  80. Explain me then how they arabized Egypt, Sudan or North Africa.

    I think the story is similar to why Arabic spread in Mesopotamia and Syria.

    First, I would point out that Southern Arabia's inhospitable climate, with few resources, could probably support only a small human population compared to the lands we are talking about. The estimates of the Arab armies are about 40,000. So to make suggestions that an endless supply of humanbeings were some how flowing out of Southern Arabia or available to conquer, all these regions in, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and North Africa seems a logistical impossibility. The Byzantine Empire alone, probably had over 10 million people living in these regions. These people were probably defended by a standing army of 50 thousand or more Roman soldiers, which could quickly be increased in case of an invasion. So the Arabs who survived the wars with the Romans, could not have been that many. Therefore, it is hard for me to believe they were a majority anywhere.


    As far as the Arabization process in North Africa is concerned, I suspect, Islam was initially presented (as it was to Lebanese and most Christian/ Jewish populations) as a religion that accepted the Jewish and Christian scriptures to promote harmony between the two traditions. Muhammad was probably presented as just another prophet in a string of many. The religion was probably viewed by the converting Christians as a fulfilment of some biblical prophesies, but most importantly as a way to get rid of their cruel Roman masters, with whom most Egyptians did not share an Indo European language (Latin and Greek associated with haplogroup R). Possibly, making the linguistic and cultural distance between the populations too much to bridge.

    In contrast, the Arabs may have been seen by N. African Christians as distantly related, Ishmaelites (descendants of Egyptian Hagar), who spoke an Afro Asiatic language, like the North Africans themselves, livinng in Western Arabia, a region historically considered a part of Egypt.

    I think, after the initial acceptance of Arabic and Islam in North Africa, Islam may have metamorphisised and adopted the Hadith code, as an attempt to further the Arabizing process, extract taxes from non Muslimms and consolidate Arab power. However, that would have come centuries later, since the Shariah was written more than 150 years after Islam had spread out of Arabia.

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  81. I will focus in just one case, Ebizur, for the sake of clarity: Rome. We have enough historical and archaeological data of the Roman Empire, it's not like I am making up anything with my imagination.

    We know that the peoples of SW Europe were only slightly colonized by Italians (and maybe other "Romans") and we know the modern genetics of Italy and other possible origins of colonists like North Africa (which surely played bigger role in Phoenician times but anyhow). We know also that Italy has not been conquered by people of other origins than Western/Central Europeans (with a brief Byzantine interlude) since then and we know that Italy's genetics, specially those of central and southern Italy, are somewhat different from those of Romance SW Europe (Iberia, France, romance Belgium and Switzerland).

    I don't know you but there's absolutely no data, neither historical, nor archaeological nor genetic, that suggests that SW Europe was strongly colonized by Romans. The opposite is true in fact. But SW Europe was strongly aculturized by Romans and post-Roman kingdoms (and Catholic Church). Even Basque has a huge ammount of Latin loanwords (not modified by Romance creolization, just slightly Basquized), marking the importance of Latin in the past here too (instead there are just zero Celtic loanwords, for example).

    We know from history that the natives, often very advanced and civilized themselves (Iberians for example) were gradually but rather rapidly assimilated. From the conquest of Gaul by Caesar to the concession of universal citizenship by Hadrian, just a few generations had passed. In any case, selective concession of citizenship was widely used before for all kind of allies as a tool of cultural and political romanization. Hadrian's "constitution" was just the final step in a process that had lasted several centuries.

    Was there some Roman/Latin emigration in all the process? Surely but a tiny country as Latium (much smaller than modern Lazio) could not ever provide enough people to populate a empire that was hundreds of times its size (much like the Dutch or the Portuguese or the Venetians could not but very sparsely colonize their overseas domains) and often as developed as the metropolis or just slightly less so.

    For that reason, Romans selectively integrated and assimilated their allies and conquered peoples. Selective grant of citizenship was used widely as political and cultural tool. Additionally, Romans invented Italy for the first time ever and gave all Italians (first south of the Rubico, later also to Cisalpine Gaul) a citizen-like status. With Augustus this was extended largely to those provinces considered more advanced and alike like Baetica or Asia. Finally with the second "creole" emperor Hadrian, citizenship was granted to all subjects of the Empire.

    The process of assimilation nevertheless did not stop there and probably even continued in post-Roman times under the several kingdoms of Germanic dynasties (but not language, religion nor culture). It is very likely that when Western Rome collapsed many areas, especially in the Atlantic facade, still kept remnants of the pre-Roman languages, be them Celtic or Basque or whatever. The pervivence of Basque, as well as to some extent that of Welsh/Briton, is living witness to that.

    In any case WE KNOW (as far as human knowledge can reach in such historical matters) that Rome colonized only so much and that native peoples were assimilated in a gradual process in their entirety.

    And I think we can say the same for the other cases mentioned. Certainly the Turkish, Arabic and English cases offer relatively low level of doubt. There can be some argument about the exact percentages of immigrants, be them 1%, 5% or 15%, but there is no reasonable doubt on the vast majority of modern Anatolian Turks', North African Arabs' and British Anglo-Saxons' ancestry being local and predating these historical processes of invasion and aculturation.

    C'mon!

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  82. First, I would point out that Southern Arabia's inhospitable climate, with few resources, could probably support only a small human population compared to the lands we are talking about. (...) Therefore, it is hard for me to believe they were a majority anywhere.

    Right.

    I suspect, Islam was initially presented (as it was to Lebanese and most Christian/ Jewish populations) as a religion that accepted the Jewish and Christian scriptures to promote harmony between the two traditions. Muhammad was probably presented as just another prophet in a string of many. The religion was probably viewed by the converting Christians as a fulfilment of some biblical prophesies, but most importantly as a way to get rid of their cruel Roman masters, with whom most Egyptians did not share an Indo European language (Latin and Greek associated with haplogroup R).

    Islamic rule originally did not emphasize conversion at all. As by the original sharia rules, Muslims would pay no taxes, the rulers were interested in keeping a large dhimmi population who paid the bill. Also in Mohammed's and successors' discourse, conversion should be a most important personal decission done by conviction. And, of course, Judaism and Christianity were considered akin and protected religions.

    This changed somewhat later on. But you are right that initially at least Islamic rule was very very tolerant in particular to Christian and Judaistic believers (another issue would be Zoroastrianism, for instance).

    Now, while I was the first one pointing out the possible cultural affinity of the Islamic code of conduct with an Afroasiatic cultural background, somewhat distinct from the Indoeuropean one, I also understand that genetics and culture are not the same thing (even if sometimes are related) so I have to disagree with your emphasis on genetics.

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  83. ... I also understand that genetics and culture are not the same thing (even if sometimes are related) so I have to disagree with your emphasis on genetics.




    Keep in mind that North Africa is not an example of a small haplogroup J minority compelling a large E African majority to speak an unrelated language. In addition to Arabs and North Africans speaking "related" Afroasiatic languges, this is also a region where the number of middle eastern J ancestry are nearly identical to those who belong to African E ancestry in many areas. So, no surprise that after 1,400 years, Arabic has been unable to replace local languages. However, we can also see why Arabic is and will continue to be so attractive to many in this population.

    I have to agree with you that it is sad to see Arabs trying to Arabize non Arabs in North Africa. However, my feeling is that this is a lost cause.

    Take a look at the numbers of middle eastern haplogroup J in North Africa and Egypt compared to African haplogroup E:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/archaeogenetics/1547718128/

    ---------------

    As far as Turkey is concerned it is hard to know the genetic identity of the invading Turks, to determine what portion of the population descends from the Turkish invaders.

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  84. The notion that North Africans were converted to Islam to rid themselves of their "cruel Greek and Roman masters" is BS. North Africa has never known a greater prosperity and efflorescence of civilization than under the Greeks and Romans.

    The notion that North Africans were receptive of Arabs because they were Afroasiatic speakers is also BS. "Afroasiatic" is a modern category to denote languages that were mutually unintelligible. It wouldn't make one iota of difference to an Egyptian that his language shared a common origin with Arabic many thousands of years in the past.

    Finally, it is BS that Islam spread by convincing the North Africans. It spread first by the sword, and secondarily by instituting a state of apartheid in which dhimmis were second-class citizens. This state of social-cultural-economic discrimination resulted in a steady stream of conversions, with the results that we see today almost everywhere in the Islamic world.

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  85. You have good points Dienekes but:

    1. It's true that many West Asian and NE African populations where Christianity was old and had traditions that conflicted with Greco-Roman trinitarianism were to some extent suffering the attempts of homogeneization by Constantinople. Some of these groups, notably the Ghassanids, actively switched sides towards Muslims. Most did not but surely found the new Muslim domain, once estabilished, not as oppresive as to feel nostalgia for the old Byzantine order. Some may have found it even "liberating" to some extent.

    This does not apply to most Berbers anyhow, who were independent, albeit fragmented. They were largely Arian anyhow, and hence monophysitic, and therefore could feel some sympathy for Islamic monophysism too. In any case Berbers actively resisted Muslim expansion in most cases, as did Egyptians and to some extent Syrians (including Lebanese, Palestinians, etc.)

    2. Languages were certainly as different as German and Russian, or maybe even as Bengali and Spanish, true. But it's not impossible that some shared elements existed anyhow. I'm thinking for instance in that circumcission is pretty common among many African pastoralists, mostly not Muslim. I wonder is traits such as the preference of sheep, goat or cow meat over pig's may also reflect some sort of cultural background, not necesarily Afroasiatic but specifically from the hot arid lands that border the deserts, where pigs are certainly out of place. Monophysism was also something that was shared by most Afroasiatic Crhistians, as well as all Jews and Muslims, while most Indo-European Christians were instead Trinitarian (i.e. bodering polytheism for the others).

    3. Islam spread by the sword, true. And religiously-justified blackmail (convert, submit or fight) was totally part of their way of life. This doesn't contradict the fact that initially Islamic domain was less interested in conversion than in mere expansion and that conversion happened then very limitedly and mostly by conviction or opportunism (tax exemption for instance). Only later would Islam become more zealot and intolerant, specially as Muslims began to be taxed in a rather blasphemous reform. The extent of this intolerance varied a great deal depending on the actual history of the area.

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  86. Islam spread by the sword, true. And religiously-justified blackmail (convert, submit or fight) was totally part of their way of life. This doesn't contradict the fact that initially Islamic domain was less interested in conversion than in mere expansion and that conversion happened then very limitedly and mostly by conviction or opportunism (tax exemption for instance). Only later would Islam become more zealot and intolerant, specially as Muslims began to be taxed in a rather blasphemous reform. The extent of this intolerance varied a great deal depending on the actual history of the area.

    I agree 100%. The early Muslim Arabs had no idea of why early Christians and Jews were converting and helping them defeat the Romans and to this day, still do not know. We know this because there is nothing in Arab history describing reasons for why most Christians and Jews in the region accepted Islam. The Arabs made no effort to learn because they were not interested in knowing this to convert others. The early Arabs, as maju said, regarded the conversion of Christians and jews as a loss of jizya revenue. So the Arabs made demeaning suggestions that the Christians and Jews changed religion to avoid paying taxes. The fact is that local Jewish and Christian population was fed up of the Greek brutality, forcing them to accept Chalcedonian Christianity. Also because, these Christians saw Muhammad as a prophet who had fulfilled some minor prophesies in the Bible.


    The Arabs began to seek conversions a few centuries later, after they realized that Islam was no longer spreading on it's own as it had in the early days. They sought conversions because they needed bigger and bigger armies to conquer new lands. However, clearly, the harder they tried, the less Islam would spread.

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  87. North Africa has never known a greater prosperity and efflorescence of civilization than under the Greeks and Romans.

    Before Islam began to spread in the middle of the 6th century, the Greeks/ Romans ruled the region for the last four hundred years under Christianity. Could you please give me a list of scientific and mathematical achievements of the Greeks and Roman civilization during this period? How about the six hundred years after Islam was born? This way we can gauge how truly civilized creative and civilized they were during that 1000 year period.

    Furthermore, it is my understanding that the Romans and Greeks under Heraclius were busy looting Persian temples and palaces, persecuting Jews, invented ways of going back on their word, passing laws to kill Jews and forbidding them from entering Jerusalem on the eve of the Islamic conquests. I hope this is not the efflorescence of civilization you were talking about.

    --------------------------


    It wouldn't make one iota of difference to an Egyptian that his language shared a common origin with Arabic many thousands of years in the past.

    So, you dont see these factors (family of languages/ similarity of Y DNA Haplogroups) as indicators of cultural distance/ proximity. Okay, then why haven't you given me an example of a minority (that speaks an unrelated language/ composed of different haplogroups than the majority) but has compelled a large majority to speak it's language? I have given you an example of Southen Arabs who as 10% of the Lebanese population, compelled them to change and speak Arabic. However, the Arabs also spoke a related language and were composed of the same haplogroups as the Lebanese majority.

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  88. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the Romans and Greeks under Heraclius were busy looting Persian temples and palaces, persecuting Jews, invented ways of going back on their word, passing laws to kill Jews and forbidding them from entering Jerusalem on the eve of the Islamic conquests. I hope this is not the efflorescence of civilization you were talking about.

    No, the Persians and their supporters were busy slaughtering Christians at the time of Heraclius, when they sacked Jerusalem. It's been downhill for the entire Levant ever since it was lost to the Roman Empire, culminating to its present sorry state. The early achievements in Islamic lands had nothing to do with Islam itself, but rather with the sudden possession of wealth, and access to Greek learning. But, sure enough, the stultifying effects of the religion won in the end.

    Okay, then why haven't you given me an example of a minority (that speaks an unrelated language/ composed of different haplogroups than the majority) but has compelled a large majority to speak it's language?

    You have been given several examples by others in this thread.

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  89. The fact is that local Jewish and Christian population was fed up of the Greek brutality, forcing them to accept Chalcedonian Christianity.

    Utter nonsense. The "population" had no idea what Chalcedonian Christianity was, and had little interest in the inner workings of the Holy Trinity.

    Conversion to Islam had nothing to do with theology or "Greek brutality". It had everything to do with opportunism, as conversion to Islam meant elevation to a superior status in the new regime.

    Given the socio-economic advantages of a Muslim in an Islamic society, it was profitable to become one. And, that is the main reason why people became Muslim, although more direct forms of "persuasion" were also used sometimes, e.g., in the case of notables, to ensure their loyalty.

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  90. "Finally with the second "creole" emperor Hadrian, citizenship was granted to all subjects of the Empire".

    When one speaks about History, he should know it. Hadrian was born in Hispania, but from “Italian” family, like Traian. The citizenship to the whole Empire was due to Diocletian in 212 AD, 74 years after Hadrian’s death.

    "much like the Dutch or the Portuguese or the Venetians could not but very sparsely colonize their overseas domains"

    Ricardo Costa de Oliveira says that 40% of Brasilians are of Portuguese ancestry (a recent paper says 55%): i.e from 80,000,000 to 110,000,000. The same did Romans.

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  91. When one speaks about History, he should know it. Hadrian was born in Hispania, but from “Italian” family, like Traian. The citizenship to the whole Empire was due to Diocletian in 212 AD, 74 years after Hadrian’s death.

    Maybe I'm wrong about the exact date and signatary emperor of "universal citizenship" in the Roman Empire. Actually, checking Wikipedia, it seems it was Caracalla the ruling emperor in the time of that edict.

    Caracalla was himself a "creole" Roman, of North African and West Asian ancestry.

    But Hadrian also had North African ancestry by maternal side, or so I have read. In any case he was a provincial by birth, and hence the term "creole" can also apply.

    ...

    No, the Persians and their supporters were busy slaughtering Christians at the time of Heraclius, when they sacked Jerusalem.

    AFAIK, occasional epysodes apart, Persian Zoroastrians were normally much more tolerant of different religions than Roman Christians. That was a Persian tradition only broken with the advent of Islam.

    ...

    Ricardo Costa de Oliveira says that 40% of Brasilians are of Portuguese ancestry (a recent paper says 55%): i.e from 80,000,000 to 110,000,000. The same did Romans.

    No. Romans could not and did not do the same. And I challenge you to prove it.

    The huge population of Brazil is due to local explosion (plus a good deal of immigration from varied origins) in a relatively "empty" context.

    Anyhow that 40% of Brazilians are of some Portuguese ancestry is not the same as Brazilians being 40% Portuguese by ancestry. The latter figure may be more like, I guess, 10% (due to intense admixture, with other Europeans, with Africans and with Native Americans).

    It's possible that you could argue that 80% of Spaniards are of Roman, Phoenician, Berber or Frankish ancestry. But that's not the same as Spaniards being 80% of alien ancestry. In fact all genetic studies appear to show that they are largely native.

    If one of my many thousands ancestors was, say, from Mongolia, is not the same as most of my ancestry being Mongol. It's very possible that many Europeans have a Hunnic ancestor somewhere lost in tehir genealogical trees but that's not the same as they being overwhelmingly Hunnic by ancestry, not at all.

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  92. J2: Furthermore, it is my understanding that the Romans and Greeks under Heraclius were busy looting Persian temples and palaces, persecuting Jews, invented ways of going back on their word, passing laws to kill Jews and forbidding them from entering Jerusalem on the eve of the Islamic conquests. I hope this is not the efflorescence of civilization you were talking about.

    Dienekes: No, the Persians and their supporters were busy slaughtering Christians at the time of Heraclius, when they sacked Jerusalem. It's been downhill for the entire Levant ever since it was lost to the Roman Empire, culminating to its present sorry state. The early achievements in Islamic lands had nothing to do with Islam itself, but rather with the sudden possession of wealth, and access to Greek learning. But, sure enough, the stultifying effects of the religion won in the end.


    Why did the Jews collaborate with the Persians against the Byzantines, in the first place? Have you ever wondered if it may have something to do with how the Jews were being treated in that glorious society that you describe as a place where:

    "they had never known a greater prosperity and efflorescence of civilization than under the Greeks and Romans"?

    Secondly, why make an agreement with these Jews (if they were so trecherous to begin with) for help with getting rid of the Persians, then to go back on that agreement? Only to deny Jews access to Jerusalem. Pass orders to kill them. There is ample proof to see who was the real trecherous opportunist in this sordid saga. Heraclius saw everything as a zero sum game. It is no wonder, why the Byznatine Empire failed to convince anyone to adopt it's language and culture in the middle east. Why people would have supported the Arabs against such a pathological rule.

    Finally, where is that list of the greatest mathematical achievements of the Byzantine Empire from 200 CE to 1200 CE? So we may all known that great prosperity and efflorescence of civilization under the Christian Greeks and Eastern Roman (Byzantine Empire).

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  93. Maju, I think Ricardo means YDNA ancestry. We know perfectly that the mtDNA is about one third Native American, one third African and only one third European. Recent papers have demonstrated that Brazilians are European (YDNA) probably more than 90%.
    My provocation, against also Capelli, is that also North Africans could be mostly Romans: as they have a 10% of European R1b, they could have also E and J from South Europe. I don't understand how North Africans could have lost their YDNA in Central Tuscany. The recent paper on mtDNA in Tunisia, with some European haplogroups, have an half of L from South Saharan Africa. They too could be as modern Brasilians. The variance of J and E in North West Africa is low, lower than in South Europe, and they demonstrate genetic drift and founder effect. I think that in genetic studies there are too many sponsors and too many politics.

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  94. It is no wonder, why the Byznatine Empire failed to convince anyone to adopt it's language and culture in the middle east. Why people would have supported the Arabs against such a pathological rule.

    It seems that you are quite emotionally invested in your anti-Byzantine feelings.

    Arabs managed to change peoples' language because Islam is inseparable from Arabic (the Koran was even forbidden to translated until quite recently, and all Islamic worship is in Arabic). Thus, the vehicle of religion became also the vehicle of linguistic Arabization. This is quite unlike the spread of Christianity, which, from earlier times aimed to translate the scriptures or at least to create a religious literature in native languages.

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  95. Why did the Jews collaborate with the Persians against the Byzantines, in the first place?

    Opportunism, the chance to resettle in Jerusalem. The same motive which led them in more recent times to collaborate with the British Empire to resettle Palestine and found their modern state.

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  96. It seems that you are quite emotionally invested in your anti-Byzantine feelings.

    Arabs managed to change peoples' language because Islam is inseparable from Arabic (the Koran was even forbidden to translated until quite recently, and all Islamic worship is in Arabic). Thus, the vehicle of religion became also the vehicle of linguistic Arabization. This is quite unlike the spread of Christianity, which, from earlier times aimed to translate the scriptures or at least to create a religious literature in native languages.


    Dienkes, like I told Terry, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are all over 97% Muslim, but do not speak Arabic, as their native language. On the other hand 75% Christian Lebanon does speak Arabic. So, it would seem, spread of Islam does not guarantee the spread of the Arabic language. Arabic is in essence, has difficulty expanding into to regions with populations with low numbers of J1/ J/ E and high numbers of R, speaking non Afroasiatic languages.

    As far as being invested in anti Byzantine feelings is concerned, all I can say is, you should see my vesting into my anti Islamic world feelings, someday.

    After a few initial centuries of enlightenment, during the Goldgen Age of Islam, the Islamic world adopted the same cruel things it began it's life opposing- in the stagnant and degenerative Christian Byantine world. The conquerors soon became the conquered, The Islamic world turned into a terrible inward looking monster after a few centuries... And has never looked back. I hold the development and implementation of ideas contained in Islamic Shariah (Law)/ Hadith system developed about 200/ 250 years after the birth of Islam, responsible for this change. Would you like to share with me any signifcant Islamic world achievements in mathematics and science after say 1400 CE?

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  97. I don't know about Brazilians, but in Venezuela there is around 85-90% European male haplogroups

    This is an example:

    http://www.xalab.fcnym.unlp.edu.ar/index.php-action=posGENEDEPO.htm#4
    But there are other regions with more Spanish component within Venezuela.
    Interestingly, around 75% of mtDNA is native American and the rest is half half European or African.
    This reafirms what we know from history: rape and conquest by a bunch of Spaniards.

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  98. J2: Why did the Jews collaborate with the Persians against the Byzantines, in the first place?

    Dienekes: Opportunism, the chance to resettle in Jerusalem. The same motive which led them in more recent times to collaborate with the British Empire to resettle Palestine and found their modern state.


    Do you see nothing unfair about how the Jews were treated in Europe that would make it right for them to want a modern state of their own? Do you think, it was just opportunism that led to the creation of the state of Israel? In that case, I can understand why you would also think the local population of the middle east/ North Africa was being treated fairly by the Byzantines. You dont have to explain any further.

    Now, when are you going to post that list of greatest mathematical achievements of the early Roman/ Byzantine Empire from the period between 200 CE to 1200 CE?

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  99. my 2 cents... haplogroup j2 is basically levantine/anatolian in origin and haplogroup j1 is arabian and yemeni! arabians/yemenis and levantine/anatolians are both middle easterns the differnce is between the j haplogroups in them! so the j haplogroups is middle eastern obviously! levantine/anatolian j2 spread to southern europe with the neolithic farmers who probably looked like ancient lebanese or syrian peoples possibly they looked like mesopotamians who knows! and j1 did only to the extreme south parts of europe with the arabian saracens and moors theres no mystery there! imo the e3b haplogroups are more of a mystery more complicated to study because they are found in northwest africa.. east africa.. and the balkans at their highest frequencies! 3 very different locations

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  100. to J2hapydna:

    Maybe the best example against your argument is that the jews in the middle east despite sharing a similar language and genetics never converted unlike Egyptians and Iranians. I hope this reaches somebody. It was a very stimulating debate and your arguments J2hapydna are very interesting but too shaded by the history of the jews.

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