October 24, 2009

Stephen Oppenheimer's bad science

Stephen Oppenheimer is quoted in the Times Online in regard to some comments that BNP leader Nick Griffin recently made about indigenous Britons. From the article titled Nick Griffin's Bad Science.
Watching Nick Griffin's performance on Question Time last night, I was struck by more than his objectionable views and evasive answers. He also seems to have a distinctly sketchy grasp of science, which he misrepresents to support his idea that Britain belongs to its "indigenous people".

He described white English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish people as "Britain's aborigines", suggesting these groups are descended from an ancestral population that arrived 17,000 years ago. Scientists, he said, would happily confirm this.

His comments seem, so far as I can tell, to be based on the hypothesis advanced by Stephen Oppenheimer, of Oxford University, in his book The Origins of the British. This uses genetic data to suggest that about 75 per cent of British ancestry can be traced back to very ancient times, before the Anglo-Saxons, Romans and Celts -- the argument is summarised nicely in this Prospect piece.
Part of Openheimer's response:
"About three quarters of the ancestors had arrived before the neolithic. Most of the rest arrived during the neolithic. There’s about 5 per cent from Anglo-Saxons, about 6 per cent from Vikings."
The idea of Paleolithic genetic continuity has been demolished recently, as I detail in Migrationism Strikes Back. Most of the mtDNA haplogroups, thought by scientists to have been in Europe since the Paleolithic, were absent when actual Paleolithic DNA was tested. Genetic continuity must be proven directly, and inferences from modern populations are suspect.

Oppenheimer bases his inferences on age calculations based on Y-chromosome STRs on modern populations, using an extreme evolutionary mutation rate that overestimates time depth by almost an order of magnitude, and leads to even more extreme time overestimates than the evoluationary rate that I criticized recently.

I had been positively inclined towards Oppenheimer's work, and I still consider it superior to other popularizing efforts, because of its data richness and clear effort to synthesize different strands of knowledge. In retrospect, however, it is flawed, as it is based on faulty mutation rates and faulty interpretation:

Oppenheimer's argument is a special case of what Francois Balloux described recently, and Guido Barbujani a long time ago. To make a long story short, it doesn't matter if a certain haplogroup found in Britons is 1,000 or 10,000 years old. Knowing this fact tells us nothing about when the patrilineage arrived in Britain: a 1,000-year old haplogroup may have developed from a British line of ancestors that were reduced to a single man 1,000 years ago, and a 10,000-year old haplogroup may have arrived in Britain only 10 years ago by a group of distantly related immigrants.

Nick Griffin is of course also wrong in inferring that Britons are descended from Paleolithic ancestors. But, he is wrong only in misquoting a date and in building a political case around a belief in Oppenheimer's inferences on Paleolithic origins of Britons.

Oppenheimer's political case is also flawed, however:
"He’s missed the point of the genetics in terms of his perspective that he can determine who is indigenous British. All British people are immigrants. As Bonnie Greer pointed out, the original Britons were Neanderthals. They were exterminated, then the Ice Age left a clean sheet. The modern population is essentially of north Iberian origin. So what’s British?"
Clearly the word "indigenous" cannot be taken literally and everyone living in Britain is descended from people who arrived there at some point or another. But, this is a gross oversimplification of the situation. Why do people speak of "native" Americans or Australian "aborigines"? They do not, certainly, mean that these people emerged from American or Australian soil. What they do mean, however, is that these people are the oldest recorded inhabitants of their homelands, the first people that can be named.

In the case of Britain, there are indeed indigenous people that can and are named by ancient writers, e.g. the Britons or Picts. No traditions for the immigration of these people exists, although their immigration can be inferred on linguistic grounds (Britons were IE speakers). There were certainly other people before them, whose names are lost to memory, but whose genetic trace may persist in the current inhabitants. There are also non-indigenous people that arrived there a long time ago, e.g., the Gaels, the Anglo-Saxons, the Norse, or the Normans, and their arrival was noted by historians. Finally, there are people that arrived in Great Britain more recently, e.g., Poles or Pakistanis.

Is there any way to distinguish between all these groups?

Clearly, one possible distinction is chronological: groups that arrived earlier are more indigenous than groups that arrived later. However, this is a relative difference, which does not allow us to make a sharp distinction between indigenous and foreign. 50 generations certainly earns you more "native" points than 2, but no obvious demarcation of indigeneity exists.

However, the main distinction is between groups that developed in situ and groups that arrived from elsewhere. The English are descended from a bunch of different sets of people, but as a people they developed in the country that came to be known as England.

In that sense the English are indigenous to England, not because their genes didn't arrive from elsewhere (they did), but in the sense that they became a people in the land itself. Different people were grafted onto the English over time, but they became English in an ethnic sense by being grafted onto them, and not by simply co-existing with them while retaining their own identity.

84 comments:

  1. Linguistics can't be used to 'prove' anything about migrations of IE speakers. You're flogging a dead horse buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dienekes,

    This is fairly off topic, so feel free not to answer it if you have no interest or if you don't know, but I was wondering how you thought about how the evidence from these new genetic studies squares with the previous evidence from skulls.

    I got thinking about a post of yours I read in passing a few years ago - http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2005/12/questionable-contribution-of-neolithic.html - where you seem to be describing Mediterranean populations as straight up Neolithic migrant descendants and Continental Europeans as relatively intermediate between Neolithic populations and robust Cro-Magnon populations.

    Is this reflective of the picture from skulls generally, and if so, how do you think it squares with the new picture from genetics that shows Paleolithic populations as only representing a very small element in the constitution of the present populations?

    ReplyDelete
  3. two comments:1. If there isn't continuity - then what caused the discontinuity? 2. There is some evidence that along with the early Picts there was a native british race in the scottish highlands. Their language was unintelligible to the emissaries of Columba.(per Kenneth Jackson). Further, this race again was decimated by the Vikings: completely erased from the Islands and by 800 AD, they were a minor force in Scotland as the Picts and the Scottis joined forces against the Vikings and succeeded in defending their homeland. Its not a pretty story but it is the truth. The inundation of Doggerland and the invasion by the Vikings has to be considered when looking at the genetic makeup of modern day scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If your hypothesis is true 5000 years ago the indigenous population of Britain were descendants of a tiny minority of post paloelithic immigrants from south of Europe because those without light hair and white skin would have to have died off under natural selection. Those few white skinned and light haired ME immigrants must have been have been very busy to populate the islands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is fairly off topic, so feel free not to answer it if you have no interest or if you don't know, but I was wondering how you thought about how the evidence from these new genetic studies squares with the previous evidence from skulls.

    I'd say it squares pretty well. Traditional physical anthropology held that the gracile gracile skulls that came to dominate Europe diffused from the Balkans, along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast, and as a wedge along the rivers into Central Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If your hypothesis is true 5000 years ago the indigenous population of Britain were descendants of a tiny minority of post paloelithic immigrants from south of Europe because those without light hair and white skin would have to have died off under natural selection. Those few white skinned and light haired ME immigrants must have been have been very busy to populate the islands.

    I see no evidence that the earliest Britons were light-pigmented. Tacitus mentions the Silures as dark and curly-haired and Iberian-like, and there are plenty of dark types among native Britons today. Also, many colonizations from continental Europe (Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Norse) came from people that were described as light-pigmented.

    I would say that the earliest Neolithic inhabitants of Britain were darker than today, and Britain became progressively lighter, both due to the action of selection that influenced northern European populations in pigmentation traits, and due to later waves of immigrants from the continent.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I see no evidence that the earliest Britons were light-pigmented. Tacitus mentions the Silures as dark and curly-haired and Iberian-like, and there are plenty of dark types among native Britons today. Also, many colonizations from continental Europe (Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Norse) came from people that were described as light-pigmented."

    Disagree 100%. In fact by Tacitus' time there was probably very little difference among the physical resemblance of *some* or *many* of the Celtic or Spanish groups from Romans or Greeks. His time was only roughly 2000 ybp, quite modern in the scope of things and certainly post-Neolithic. There were most definitely isolate groups of Celts who still possessed these light hair and light skinned traits. When discovered, these people were worth writing about because they were different. Dominance of dark hair/eyes and medium tone skin is actually a post-Neolithic among Europeans. The earliest people from Siberia or W. Asia were likely fair and light eyed and these traits arose out east. There is no "Nordic" invasion, that is pure propaganda. This is just the original colouring of the people way back when...

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I would say that the earliest Neolithic inhabitants of Britain were darker than today, and Britain became progressively lighter both due to the action of selection that influenced northern European populations in pigmentation traits, and due to later waves of immigrants from the continent ".

    Selection pressure for white skin would need to have been extremely powerful at the begining of the Neolithic to have produced any change in such a short time. If that were true the white Paleolithic Brits would have a powerful advantage over the agriculturist immigrants who were unadapted to the latitude, being noticeably pigmented as late as the Neolithic.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dienekes - I'm glad that you have seen the fatal flaw in the views of Oppenheimer. As for the various comments that have been made on your post, I scarcely know where to start.

    If there isn't continuity - then what caused the discontinuity?
    1) Migration.
    2) Climate changes
    3) Miscellaneous other causes of failure of communities to survive and reproduce. We are unlikely to be able to work out all of these.

    There is some evidence that along with the early Picts there was a native British race in the Scottish highlands. Their language was unintelligible to the emissaries of Columba.

    There is no such evidence. It is specifically stated in the Life of St Columba that he (a Gaelic-speaker) needed an interpreter to communicate with the Picts. No other languages than Gaelic, Pictish, and (in southern parts) British and Anglian has ever been recorded or mentioned in any source for early medieval Scotland.

    Kenneth Jackson's ideas are out of date and unsupported. All this has been thrashed out on the DNA Forums.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "No other languages than Gaelic, Pictish, and (in southern parts) British and Anglian has ever been recorded or mentioned in any source for early medieval Scotland".

    I've seen it claimed (can't remember where) that Pictish was indeed a Celtic language, in fact related to Welsh and so Brythonic. The language group was originally spread up the west coast of Britain into Scotland. Gaelic, being Irish in origin, was different and explains why Columba couldn't understand Pictish.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This obsession with pale skin is pretty tiresome. But if we want science rather than progaganda, we have to get to grips with it.

    It looks so far as thought there are a number of genes affecting pigmentation, some of which have been around since man was confined to Africa, but others are much more recent. I sum up in Who do you look like?

    If the geneticists are on the right track in dating the predominant gene for blue eyes and the "golden gene" between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, then obviously they have been spread by migration as well as natural selection since then. Uralic-speakers and Indo-European speakers appear to have spread over Europe from adjacent homelands and could both have played a part in this. But they would just be the last big waves in a lengthy process.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tacitus mentions the Silures as dark and curly-haired and Iberian-like....

    Disagree 100%

    You can't disagree about what Tacitus said. He either did or he didn't. In this case he did point to a difference between the red-haired Caledonians and the dark-haired Silures. (Though that shouldn't be taken to mean that every single member of these tribes had the exact same hair colour. It was probably more impressionistic.)

    We need to get rid of the idea that all Celtic-speakers looked exactly alike at all periods from the first pre-Celtic-Italic dialect to the post-Roman period, regardless of which tribes they came from, where they went and how much they intermarried with locals.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "If the geneticists are on the right track in dating the predominant gene for blue eyes and the "golden gene" between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, then obviously they have been spread by migration"

    But 10000 years ago humans had already been in been in N.Europe for 20,000 years they would have evolved light skin by natural selection themselves. They wouldn't have been able to survive if the white skin/ UV-B /vitamin D theory is correct.

    Of the vitamin D centred explanations only Frank W. Sweet's theory "that Europeans are unique because their diet became uniquely cereal-based and so deficient in vitamin D". can be correct. If true it, like the other vitamin D centred explainations, would require that Europeans maximize vitamin d - well they don't!


    Why are Europeans white?

    ReplyDelete
  16. They wouldn't have been able to survive if the white skin/ UV-B /vitamin D theory is correct.

    Think this through. If it meant instant death for man to venture out of the tropics with dark skin, then mankind would never have managed to spread across the globe.

    Natural selection does not come up with instant adjustments to a changed environment. It is a gradual process, which eventually brings about evolution by giving an individual with a chance mutation favourable to the new environment an advantage (possibly slight) over an individual without such a mutation. Over many, many generations those with the favourable mutation would predominate. But nature has to wait for a useful mutation to crop up.

    What the geneticists are saying is that some for human pigmentation cropped up quite early, but others that are now common cropped up relatively late. This is not an all-or-nothing, one-event scenario. But the fact that the late mutations are so widespread argues for massive migration after they appeared.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow Dienekes

    You don't listen to a word anyone says do you.

    There are only 2 samples of paleolithic British mtDNA. Both can be found in modern British populations.

    Not everyone agrees with you that H is a neolithic haplogroup. I worry about the haplogroup dates but fail to see how they they could be as wrong as you propose.

    All the early neolithic ancient U is consistent with migrants from the Balkans refugia. And it may be that burial practices (Scandinavia is famous for cremations) may be distorting what little data we have.

    You are jumping the gun. We dont know what happened in europe yet. And the bulk of the evidence points to post glacial repopulation of Western Europe from the Pyrenean refuge/refugia.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The early Greek traveler, 300 BC, from marseilles described the inhabitants of present day scotland much like Dienekes said. I believe there were at least two major tribes in scotland when the Romans arrived: early britons and Picts. The Picts "tattoed" their body with Woad. Note that Brittany still makes Woad today. The Picts were taller, red-haired in general with somewhat curly hair as I read it. Some evidence points to a Brittany origin (e.g. standing stones). I believe the early (0 AD to 500 AD) kings of Scotland were not Pictish? I have read one account of the meeting of Columba as the Pict interpreter for the king spoke to Columba. A far different interpretation? Note the Picts had settled in Eastern Ireland, possibly before settling Eastern Scotland? The genetic data we see today in the highland clans supports at least 3 to 4 distinct R1b peoples: Picts, Ulster Scottish, Dalriadic Scottish and a small sampling of the native (of which I may be one). Re: continuity vs discontinuity. none of the examples: climate/migration are discontinuities in my lexicon. Read the recent releases on doggerland and the impact on the eastern scottish coast. Thats a discontinuity. The evidence suggests that what the Romans ran into, a veritable buzz-saw of resistance, implies that the peoples of this region were not to be taken lightly. I would suggest that Rome didn't build two walls because they won. So much for historical accounts? The problem is that really all we have for real historical purposes is the DNA of the descendants and a lot of questinable sources whether they be Roman or the early church. Each had its own axe to grind. To really understand early Scottish history we really have to understand the remaining DNA haplotypes. JMHO

    ReplyDelete
  19. BRAVO! An article not laced with the liberal agenda. We are after the truth not a political or economic biased theory.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "An article not laced with the liberal agenda."

    Whas is the "liberal" agenda? In the sense of a "Verschwörung"?
    Agendas...agendas...tz.


    On old accounts of people by Tacitus or anyone else:
    depictions of people should be taken with a pinch of salt. I just remember the descriptions made by Indians about Spaniards (mostly blue-eyed people with lots of blond, which was probably true only of some as today) and that of the Spaniards about the Indians, which were even more innacurate, sometimes really ridiculous descriptions about giants or two-headed people, sometimes simply rubbish.

    As other contributors say: there is still very little from either side to draw conclusions. It seems the "war on genetic contribution" between Sforza and his enemies is still raging and every side rushes to claim victory when a tiny fraction of the whole puzzle is known.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Over many, many generations those with the favourable mutation would predominate. But nature has to wait for a useful mutation to crop up."

    Yes but there were people there ALREADY who would have adapted to the latitude of north Europe they would have an advantage to the extent that the putative selection pressure for white skin existed so the immigrants would be at a disadvantage.

    "What the geneticists are saying is that some for human pigmentation cropped up quite early, but others that are now common cropped up relatively late. This is not an all-or-nothing, one-event scenario. But the fact that the late mutations are so widespread argues for massive migration after they appeared."

    here is an alternative explaination.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh McG!

    1) In the pre-Roman era the people of the British Isles were collectively known as Britons (or a word to that effect.) But they were divided into many Celtic tribes, all with their own names, living in the two islands of Albion and Hierne. After the Romans conquered the southern part of Albion, the Romans called the new province Britannia. So after that only those within the province were Britons. The Roman name for the people outside their jurisdiction to the north was the Picts - painted people.

    2) The Picts were not the only Celts who tattooed their bodies. The practice seems to have been common among them.

    3) Brittany is not the only place in which woad is or has been grown to make dye. Woad was a dye used for clothing across Europe until the better blue dye from indigo became readily available in the 19C. A quick Google will supply you with plentiful information on this.

    4) Adamnan: Life of St. Columba is online. See for yourself that it says "AT the time when St. Columba was tarrying for some days in the province of the Picts, a certain peasant who, with his whole family, had listened to and learned through an interpreter the word of life preached by the holy man, believed and was baptized the husband, together with his wife, children, and domestics."

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columba-e.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jean,

    Well put!

    McG,

    You state over and over again on every forum that your 393=12 (aka ht35) DNA is indicitive of some ancient Pictish/Alban lineage, it most certainly is NOT.

    You come from an area where there is a considerable pocket of this Eastern lineage, most likely due to the 5,500 Alano-Sarmatians settled there. See the Border Reiver project for more info:
    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gallgaedhil/dna_by_haplogroup_2.htm#393_12

    More info on the Sarmatians here:
    http://www.livius.org/sao-sd/sarmatians/sarmatians.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. " Red-haired variants of the MC1R gene probably arose about 20-40 000 years ago."
    Red hair is most common in the Scotish borders, the Celtic fringe is exceptionally Paleolithic and compared to the rest of Europe Britain has a lot of red hair. Therefor the British population is exceptionally Paleolithic by descent.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Red hair was also common among the Circassians from the North Caucasus and the Mountain Jews from this area are also known for their red hair.

    The Borders area was the meeting point of many immigrant populations and can't seriously be considered a refuge of paleolithic people in Britain.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Interesting discussion all based on whether the Brits are out and out Wogs or true blue European with Paleolithic pedigree.

    First of all, Oppenheimer is a dickhead much the same as Wells. Both dilettantes using genetics to bigname themselves and create a celebrity status for themselves and a media profile. Their science is mediocre. Their media talents however are excellent.

    Secondly, the fact that primitive humans, slightly more modern than the archaic Sapiens humans found in the Middle East of 100 ky vintage, have been found in Europe like Cro Magnon, Grimaldi, Mladec and so on, is not significant. There is no proof they lead on to form any later European populations, not more so than Neanderthals. Red hair in Neanderthals is quite old and suggests that minor mutations to MCR1 which could lead to redhair or a purplish complexion preceeds humanity.

    I doubt any modern European has Paleolithic ancestry in Europe. In the Middle East and Western Siberia is more likely. European are descended from recent migrations into Europe from Asia starting in the Mesolithic close in time to the start of the Holocene period. As far as Britain is concerned, it being on the arse end of Europe, was hardly populated by moderns in the Paleolithic. It is likely Brits descend from European mainland immigrants no more than 8 kya.

    Mitochrondial haplogroups U and H are most likely Asian in origin. Their age signifies nothing. Australian Europeans have similiar aged haplogroups and have not been in the continent more than 300 years.

    Frequency and age does not prove anything folks, just how dirt common something is, and that it originated probably in Asia thousands of years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @pconroy "You state over and over again on every forum that your 393=12 (aka ht35) DNA is indicitive of some ancient Pictish/Alban lineage, it most certainly is NOT.

    For the record, mcg is not "ht35" nor are the Border Reivers to any significant degree. Most tested Reivers, even ones with DYS393=12, are P312+.

    VV

    ReplyDelete
  28. PConroy: You say I am sarmathian genetically? I am R - L21! How can that be?

    I am a data analyst, not a historian - whatever. I agree that the various Eastern tribes used by the Romans have left part of their genes in Scotland; That is why there are E's, I's, J's, etc in the clans and especially in the Border Reivers where the Walls were maintained. That said, the Clans subdivide R1b into several distinct pieces: what I call Picts, WAMH; Scottis; Ulster Scottis, and haplotypes like mine which is not only a 12 at 393, but a 23 at 390, a 13 at 388 and so on.
    RE: Columba, there are several "stories" of what happened - the truth is probably unknown. Refuting Jackson seems popular now, at one time he was highly respected - the climate of "truth" changes.

    I guess the broad picture Oppenheimer creates is one I also think is correct. To date we don't understand the SNP/STR data well enough to corroborate his thesis.

    ReplyDelete
  29. PConroy: You say I am sarmathian genetically? I am R - L21! How can that be?

    I am a data analyst, not a historian - whatever. I agree that the various Eastern tribes used by the Romans have left part of their genes in Scotland; That is why there are E's, I's, J's, etc in the clans and especially in the Border Reivers where the Walls were maintained. That said, the Clans subdivide R1b into several distinct pieces: what I call Picts, WAMH; Scottis; Ulster Scottis, and haplotypes like mine which is not only a 12 at 393, but a 23 at 390, a 13 at 388 and so on.
    RE: Columba, there are several "stories" of what happened - the truth is probably unknown. Refuting Jackson seems popular now, at one time he was highly respected - the climate of "truth" changes.

    I guess the broad picture Oppenheimer creates is one I also think is correct. To date we don't understand the SNP/STR data well enough to corroborate his thesis.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I ampologize for the double post. One last thought re: another idea. Look at R1b on a map; the clines show the highest concentration in the West! Why isn't the highest concentration in the East? For almost all other haplogroups it is?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jean M. I copied this from an account of St. Columba. Two points: 1. He brought Irish Picts with him! They wouldn't have needed a translator to understand Pictish!. 2. I find it difficult to take these accounts seriously - too much politics for me.
    "Columba seems to have first devoted himself to teaching the imperfectly instructed Christians of Dalriada, most of whom were of Irish descent, but after some two years he turned to the work of converting the Scottish Picts. With his old comrades, Comgall and Kenneth, both of them Irish Picts, he made his way through Loch Ness northward to the castle of the redoubtable King Brude, near modern Inverness. That pagan monarch had given strict orders that they were not to be admitted, but when Columba raised his arm and made the sign of the cross, it was said that bolts fell out and gates swung open, permitting the strangers to enter. Impressed by such powers, the King listened to them and ever after held Columba in high regard."

    ReplyDelete
  32. McG,

    If you are R-L21 then your ancestors came up the Rhine from South West Germany, through Belgium and on to the Isles

    ReplyDelete
  33. McG,

    Please don't say Scottish Picts, as now you are mixing and matching incorrectly. When there were Picts in the East of Northern Britain, there were Scots in the West - there were never Scottish Picts.

    There were people in the North East of Ireland called Cruitne, who may or may not be similar to the Picts of Scotland - what we do know is that they spoke a language that was not Gaelic.

    ReplyDelete
  34. P. Conroy: I have no basis for imagining where my forebears came from when they immigrated to scotland. If you were to ask me, my best guess would be Iberia. In a database of Iberians maintained by R.L.Tarin, Jr. (of basque descent I believe) the percentage of 393 = 12 is 9%; 3X higher than WAMH.

    If you read my post carefully you will note that what you're referring to is a quote from a source on St. Columba. They are not my words. The quote does suggest that there were Picts (cruithne) settled in both Eastern Ireland and Eastern Scotland.

    The naming issue is not my cup of tea. The Picts(cruithne) have the WAMH, the scottis don't. I haven't seen a good dictionary defining what to call WAMH folks in different geographical contexts?

    ReplyDelete
  35. McG,

    Last I checked there was only 2 L21's in all of Iberia, both seemed associated with Britons, ancient and modern.
    One was from Galicia - an area known to have been settled by Britons fleeing the Saxons, the other among the Basque, where a great many British industrialist and miners lived in the 1800's.

    Whereas L21 is relatively common in the areas I already mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My point would be that Iberia is well stocked with P-312 ancestral to R-L21. I agree L21 didn't originate in Iberia if thats your point. I believe the Iberians were P-312 or earlier R1b when then they first came to Britain. L21 is a doggerland/Islands mutation?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I don't know much about Doggerland or the Bible, but know that you seem to be interested in tying it to deluge/biblical flood stories, so I won't comment on that theory.

    What I do know is that R-L21 is found in a continuous pattern up the Danube from Southern Germany - so may mark an expansion of Hallstatt Celts... but whatever it is, it does not seem to be Iberian, but Central European.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Circassians from the North Caucasus and the Mountain Jews from this area are also known for their red hair"


    There is no argument that it occurs elsewhere. Nevertheless in no country has anything like as much as Scotland or Ireland and red hair is much older than the other hair colour variants.

    Compared to other countries Scotland and Ireland have a awful lot of red hair Wales has quite a bit. England has significantly more red hair than countries outside the British Isles.


    "As many as 10% of Scots and Irish people have ginger or strawberry blond hair, while it is thought that up to 35% carry a recessive "ginger gene".

    The figure is a far higher proportion than any other nationality"

    It's just a coincidence, that the Celtic fringe has the oldest and rarest hair colour variant?

    Neanderthal Redheads?
    "Moreover, if we examine the many homozygous and heterozygous combinations of hair color (MC1R) alleles, most have little visible effect on skin pigmentation, except for the ones that produce red hair (Duffy et al., 2004). It is difficult to see how either relaxed selection for dark skin or increased selection for light skin could have given rise to most of these alleles, especially over such a short span of evolutionary time".

    Immigration is a possible explanation for blonde hair in Britain .

    But surely its a total impossibility for immigration to make red hair much more common in Scotland and Ireland than they countries that the immigrants were from.

    And if its selection pressure for lighter skin the redheads in countries further north than Scotland - like Finland - should have become more common than blondes in those countries.
    Well they're not!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ken,

    Well it seems that you have partially answered your own question.

    In the Isles, where dark hair was probably the norm due to Neolithic immigration, and Blonde hair very scarce, surely there would be selection on red hair due to its lightening of the skin and facilitation of vitamin D3.

    So you would have some admixture between red haired natives and dark haired immigrants, resulting in selection for red-hair.

    ReplyDelete
  40. It's being suggested that the selection for white skin was strong enough to lightened the population since the Neolithic. If that were so the Paleolithic population would have been adapted (ie been white) for life in Britain. So the dark immigrants would have been strongly selected against. They would have died off at quite a rate under the putative selection for light skin. Surely the descendants of the dark immigrants lightened as a result of the admixture with light skinned Paleolithic inhabitants, that's immeasurably faster than selection among the immigrants.

    Selection 'of' red hair for light skin would surely have resulted in the redheads in eg Finland having an advantage and being selected for over time. There were always some redheaded people in Finland (red hair is much older than blond remember) red hair should have become more common than blonde hair which is comparatively useless for lightening skin. If the skin lightening for vitamin D theory was true:-

    1)In all counties of latitudes comparable to Scotland and Ireland the redheads would be more common than blondes, quite a bit more common.
    2)White people would maximize vitamin D.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I would say that Germany could be a source or a sink for L-21. We don't have enough data yet to really know?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Ken,

    Remember that there would be little need for Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, who ate a lot of fish and also meat, especially liver, to have light skin - as they would have already gotten enough vitamin D3 from these sources. It is only with the advent of cereal farming, when early agriculturalists would have a serious shortage of vitamin D3 - resulting in rickets, stunted growth, poor immune systems, cancer etc..

    ReplyDelete
  43. Neanderthal Man is thought to be white skinned. Not much frosted wheat on the breakfast table back then.

    Its an adaptation to the cold and low light along with red hair. The modern Japanese are very pale for similar reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Annie,

    How is white skin an adaption to cold?

    The modern Japanese are very pale for similar reasons.
    First off they are not very pale - at least when compared to the Irish and most Northern Europeans. Also, their high fish diet, allows them to be darker, as they get quite a bit D3 in their normal diet.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "the clines show the highest concentration in the West! Why isn't the highest concentration in the East? For almost all other haplogroups it is?"

    Probably because R1b is the oldest surviving male haplogroup in Europe and the others have diluted its presence as they have followed it in from the east.

    "when Columba raised his arm and made the sign of the cross, it was said that bolts fell out and gates swung open, permitting the strangers to enter".

    And you insist on taking the remainder of the account literally?

    "your ancestors came up the Rhine from South West Germany, through Belgium and on to the Isles".

    Down the Rhine, don't you mean?

    "Nevertheless in no country has anything like as much as Scotland or Ireland".

    My feeling as I wandered around Britain and Ireland was that red-heads were particularly common in the eastern borderlands between England and Scotland, rather than actually deeper inside Scotland or, especially, Ireland.

    "Surely the descendants of the dark immigrants lightened as a result of the admixture with light skinned Paleolithic inhabitants, that's immeasurably faster than selection among the immigrants".

    Agree totally.

    "If the skin lightening for vitamin D theory was true".

    That sums up the problem. It's probably not true. Vitamin D has nothing to do with it.

    "How is white skin an adaption to cold?"

    Probably not. More likely an adaption to winter snow, the same as for many other species that change from white to brown with the seasons. But hang on. We must be able to find some other explanation. Humans can't be the product of the same ecological processes as all other species! They've got to be special.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Its an adaptation to cold because when it is cold you cover up and when you cover up you dont get enough light. Traditional Moslem women have a similar problem.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The Japanese are very pale in comparison with their neighbours the Chinese.

    Incidently when I visited an (at that time) non-touristy part of China it was very ammusing. I literally stopped traffic. Relatives of the family I stayed with exclaimed things in shock like "Wow, English people really are white". Someone on the street was staring at me so hard he missed the pavement and fell over. I have only seen behaviour like that in Black and White comedy movies.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Regarding the red hair selection stuff. Until relatively recently certain traits were associated with witchcraft and regarded as excuses for the ultimate in persecution:

    Red hair tops the list as the sign of a witch.

    Green eyes is one of the reasons why cats in particular were tortured to death all over Western Europe.

    Others include an extra finger or nipple. And heaven forbid if you were able to swim.

    ReplyDelete
  49. re: Terry T: There are a whole bunch of folks, especially on rootsweb, that will argue I, J are the oldest and R1b in the west is young, L-21 2K to 3K years old, etc. I happen to agree with you about R1b but cannot prove using current data on mutation rates and SNP formation.

    Columba: You missed my point entirely, I do not trust many historical records. They are always the output of a person with an agenda, be it religious, cultural(rome is invincible), etc.

    Back to R1b: The usual argument re: R1b is that the oldest haplotypes are in the East not the West. This appears to be true. VV has extensive analysis to support this position. My comment would be is that I have read "opinions" that there was a very early back migration of R1b c. Ice Age, when there was a East-West corridor open along the Baltic all the way back to the Steppes. The later migrations could then be looked at as remigrations to the West. All this is very argumentative and not well supported by any archaeology that I am aware of?

    ReplyDelete
  50. PC Conroy
    "Remember that there would be little need for Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, who ate a lot of fish and also meat, especially liver, to have light skin - as they would have already gotten enough vitamin D3 from these sources"

    Yes that is the latest incarnation of the vitamin d hypothesis, it assumes that ingesting the amount of 'D' available from food was originally the predominant source of vitamin D for Europeans, also that only when this 'D' rich hunter gather diet ceased was there a need for maximizing the synthesis by increasing UVB penitration from the sun.

    The amount of vitamin D available from food never approached the massive excess potentially available from the sun. Although food is a source of 'D' it's evident the possibility of vitamin D poisoning from eating wild animals never existed; humans never evolved a mechanism to guard against it.

    The 20,000IU we are limited to producing in a days sun exposure (at tha beach say) which is reached in 20 minutes sunshine is, by my way of thinking, proof that the trivial amount available in food was never a primary source of D anywhere ever. and the potential 240,000 IU that would be produced over a days sunshine if we had no limiting system makes me wonder why anyone could think whites have evolved their skin to maximize vitamin D.

    Even the best source - wild salmon in 10 servings (35 ounces) would supply only about 7000IU of vitamin D.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "Its an adaptation to cold because when it is cold you cover up and when you cover up you dont get enough light. Traditional Moslem women have a similar problem"

    Someone hasn't been bothering to follow the links provided in the thread they're commenting on, Annie Mouse.


    Would you be surprised to know that Nigerian children get rickets?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Ken,

    Using myself as a proxy for Irish for the Irish at least, here's what i know:
    1. I can't go to the beach, as I can't tan, only burn - so have gotten sunburn in Springtime in Ireland.

    2. Ireland is very, very overcast, as there are clouds being continually formed off the South West coast, due to warm currents - Gulf Stream - meeting cool Northern air.

    3. As Ireland is cold on average, people wrap up well, but there is little sunlight, so the parts of the body exposed - face and hands - barely get enough sunlight exposure to produce sufficient vitamin D3.

    3. I was born with rickets, and diagnosed as a vitamin D3 deficiency at birth.

    So yes, there is tremendous incentive for Irish people to get lighter skinned, and that's why they have the lighest skin in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  53. UV-B is strictly limited and this limit is the same in Irish whites and the blackest of Africans. Are Africans in Ireland -who wrap up one would think - getting rickets? No, because in sunny counties it's a nutritional disease due to consuming food with phylates. (in cereal grains used to make unlevened bread ect..).

    The British of a hundred years ago suffered it for a different but still nutritional reason

    What caused the rickets epidemic?
    The !Kung bushmen are hunter gatherers in Africa and are far lighter than the Agriculturist black Africans (who get rickets).
    How can anyone think vitamin D from the sun is behind the extremes of skin colour ie black and white. Medium brown people do just fine anywhere in the world.

    I don't know if your mother was eating some kind of unusual diet or never went out in the sun (or shade, yes 'D' is made in the shade) but she was doing something very unusual I bet.

    Ireland is overcast mainly during a time when there is no UV-B to speak of anyway, over winter there is a period of several months when due to weak UV-B no vitamin D can be synthesized.
    People wrapped up in the summer months and summer is overcast too?; that is more support for my argument.

    Having evolved where clothes are worn and so only small amounts of skin exposed to the very rare sunshine the Irish should have modified the limit of the amount of vitamin D that can be made in these rare periods of solar exposure on face and hands.
    But in fact the exposed skin stops making vitamin D after twenty minutes. Now this limiting mechanism would be the first thing modified (by natural selection of those with the highest limit), if white peoples' skin had evolved in response to selection presure to produce extra vitamin D on very scarce sunny days.
    It hasn't been so it wasn't.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Correction first line ought to read

    "Vitamin D synthesis in skin exposed to UV-B is strictly limited and this limit is the same in Irish whites and the blackest of Africans."

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ken said:

    if white peoples' skin had evolved in response to selection presure to produce extra vitamin D on very scarce sunny days.
    It hasn't been so it wasn't.


    Well that's precisely where I disagree - I see the evidence as supporting the that white people at high latitudes, and especially where combined with overcast conditions, should have evolved the lightest skin in the world, and are.

    BTW, I was born at the end of February on a record cold year in Ireland, with snow drift up to 5' outside the house.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Siberia, Alaska, Canada all with brown skinned people who lived by hunting (low in vitamin D) reindeer ect and didn't get any more vitamin D from the sun than anyone at high latitude. We know Danes had a diet as high in D as can be got from food, yet Danes are light skinned.

    ' In the case of Norway, agriculture did not arrive until 2400 BC and fatty fish, rich in vitamin D, have always been a mainstay of the diet (Prescott, 1996)'.

    Cold doesn't cut down on UV-B distance from the sun does and that is something that changes over a year. The summer in Ireland provides more than enough to store for the UVB -less period. Otherwise the limit would have long ago been modified.

    ReplyDelete
  57. "Someone hasn't been bothering to follow the links provided in the thread they're commenting on, Annie Mouse. "

    OK, I'll bite. What is it you think I have missed?


    "Would you be surprised to know that Nigerian children get rickets?"

    No. Should I be?

    For the record my father was born in Northern England in 1939 with congenital rickets. It was quite common at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "Siberia, Alaska, Canada all with brown skinned people who lived by hunting (low in vitamin D) reindeer ect and didn't get any more vitamin D from the sun than anyone at high latitude. "

    Not quite sure what you are getting at here but I am going to assume that you are saying that white skin cannot be an adaptation to the cold because these people are darker. Well you could easily use the modern Australian white poeople to make the same argument. But it would be ridiculous as these people are from somewhere else.

    Plus just because a mutation is favourable that does not mean it will evolve on order. Evolution takes a long time and takes different paths. And you have still not justified why Neanderthal man could be white in your scenario. These people were the ultimate hunter-gatherers.

    ReplyDelete
  59. "Moslem women have a similar problem"

    Annie Mouse
    It's not true that studies of rickets in Asians (Pakistanis) have found sun avoidance was a factor the etiology is down to to nutritional factors. It's true that if someone never had any UVB striking their skin they would have a problem but that is not true of even the most heavily veiled (in public) women. Very little sun goes a very long way. When Iranian children with abundant sun exposure got rickets it was from the same thing as caused Asians in Britain to get it - their diet.

    You ought to be surprised to find out that Nigerian children get rickets - in Nigeria but not in Britain.

    " ...rickets can be caused not only by lack of vitamin D but also by ingested substances that make phosphorus or calcium unusable. Alum is one, as seen in reports of rickets induced by antacids. Another is phytic acid in cereal grains (Sandberg, 1991). The acid binds to calcium and makes it unavailable to the body, as shown when dogs develop rickets on an oatmeal diet (Harrison & Mellanby, 1939)."

    Rickets in Britain and Ireland among white and Asian (ie Indians/Pakistanis) is not related to the latitude. There is a massive excess of UV-B available in Britain, so much that Vitamin D production is limited to a fraction of what it could be. The pigmentation of skin doesn't make the slightest difference in practice. Rickets is a nutritional disease found in people who live in sunny countries, when they move to Britain they only get rickets from consuming their traditional diet. There is a tendency for veiled women to be traditional in their diet obviously but Asian non veiled women have gotten rickets in Britain and the cause was traced to their diet.

    "For the record my father was born in Northern England in 1939 with congenital rickets. It was quite common at that time."

    Not from a lack of sun exposure it wasn't. That's not the cause of congenital rickets.

    Congenital rickets due to maternal vitamin D deficiency in a sunny island of Greece

    "And you have still not justified why Neanderthal man could be white ...".

    I'm sure they did have white skin - under their - coat of fur.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Re. the massed ranks of commenters who had treatment for vitamin D deficiency as babies.

    Infant Vitamin D Supplementation and
    Allergic Conditions in Adulthood

    ReplyDelete
  61. The medical profession disagrees with you Ken about the impact of light on Rickets, and so do I. Of course diet is also important, but the impact of light is significant.

    We do not know how hairy Neanderthal man was but they were not furry. And in anycase, why would that matter?

    ReplyDelete
  62. "Siberia, Alaska, Canada all with brown skinned people who lived by hunting (low in vitamin D) reindeer ect and didn't get any more vitamin D from the sun than anyone at high latitude. "

    Not sure where this sudden questioning of the vitamin D / sunlight / skin cancer interplay is coming from. It is quite well established.

    People in the above regions have a huge amount of their sustenance from fishing - even inland. The more, the darker they are (e.g., coastal Inuits, who also traditionally ate sea mammal parts that are rich in vitamin D).

    High-latitude inland peoples that historically rely less on fishing are typically very light-skinned - including Northern Chinese, Mongols, and Siberians.

    Google Nenets etc. for images.

    ReplyDelete
  63. "If the geneticists are on the right track in dating the predominant gene for blue eyes and the 'golden gene' between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, then obviously they have been spread by migration as well as natural selection since then".

    It's very unlikely that just a single gene is involved in the development of white skin. If it were so we would expect the gene to be either dominant or receesive. If either black or white skin is dominant we would then expect any hybrids to be all just one or the other colour option. However observation shows us that hybrids usually belong to some sort of halfway house. Of course that halfway house may mean the gene in question is co-dominant with at last several other options.

    Perhaps white skin is to aid production of vitamin D, although it's just as likely it has nothing to do with that. But to claim that the gene for white skin evolved around the Caucasus Mountains about 10k years ago and spread from there is obviously a gross oversimplification.

    ReplyDelete
  64. And on the blonde hair. I dont doubt the origin of adult blonde hair in Scandinavia.

    But most of Western Europeans have the pattern of blonde hair in childhood that gradually darkens with age at variable rates. I was still distinctly blonde when I was eighteen. Curiously many Australian aboriginal children appear to have the same pattern of blondeness in childhood. This suggests to me the possibility that the tendency to blonde hair was present in an ancestral population. Admixture has never manifested in this way in any other population I can think of.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "There are a whole bunch of folks, especially on rootsweb, that will argue I, J are the oldest and R1b in the west is young, L-21 2K to 3K years old, etc. I happen to agree with you about R1b."

    I'll give you my interpretation of how the present distribution arose. See if you can improve it.

    I'll start by admitting I have no idea what haplogroup my own Y-chromosome fits into. But my surname is Irish Gaelic and my paternal great grandfather came from Cork, so it's most likely R1b.

    Acknowledging that migrations usually involve more than just one haplogroup, and brushing aside accusations of bias, I'd guess that R1b is the oldest surviving Y-hap in Europe. It is pre-Neolithic, perhaps Gravettian. Certainly from before the formation of the English Channel.

    I'll concede that R1b people may have had some sort of primitive boat but I strongly suspect that Y-hap T (or K, or whatever you like to call it) introduced effective boating to the Mediterranean, across the Aegean in the first place and then further afield. Any G in Europe probably came in with T by the same route.

    Then Y-hap J (through the Mediterranean, with cardial pottery) and I (along the Danude, with linear pottery) followed close behind.

    With the Mediterranean now open to shipping various Es spread through it, and beyond to the Black Sea and into the Atlantic.

    R1a then brought in the Indo-European languages. Then N came in with Northern Asians, such as the Saami, and their languages. I think that accounts for all European Y-haps.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Maju has commented extensively here on this subject and his feeling/beliefs. Dienekes has shown via modelling that some of the assumptions re rates are questionable. There are two questions: what rates to use and what math (model) to employ. I have found that Chandlers rates work for close in estimates, like the TMRCA of the Ian Cam of Clan Gregor. Estimates of very long (greater than say 5K years) using the same rates and variance lead to questionable results. Why? Zhivotovsky says that evolutionary rates, about 30% the rate of Chandler are required - Why? At this point, the academic community continues to support Zhiv. The issue needs to be understood/resolved.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "High-latitude inland peoples that historically rely less on fishing are typically very light-skinned - including Northern Chinese, Mongols, and Siberians".
    Yes but the Inuit are not really dark skinned at all compared to the natives who lived inland and were not getting vitamin D eating reindeer ect.

    Here is a point that makes the vitamin D content of diet irrelevant. Light skin despite extremely high UV:-

    "Comparisons of UV-B radiation levels in Lhasa (Tibet), Oslo (Norway), and Dar-Es-Salaam (Tanzania) show that the UV-B dose rates during the summer in Lhasa are higher than the maximum value in Dar-Es-Salaam, which is at the sea level in the equatorial region, and 60% higher than in Oslo, which is at the sea level but 60 degrees North. We conclude that the UV-B dose rates during the summer on the Tibetan plateau are among the highest levels in habituated regions of the world."

    Tibetans are much lighter than they should be for their UV exposure. Black Africans are much darker than the should be for the UV (look at the medium brown Bushmen)

    Explaination?
    Polyandry in Tibet but polygyny in Africa (except among the bushmen where it is rare.)

    Sexual selection and human geographic variation.

    For those who still believe in the skin lightening at high latitude for Vitamin D theory my question is: how could the recent mutation for blond hair have become much more common than a earlier mutation that is for red hair and unlike the blonde one lightens skin. It is easy to see for ones self that redheads have lighter skin so why are Finns (supposed to need vitamin D and hence lighter skin) so much more often blond than redheaded?

    If it is all down to a need for lighter skin how could red hair have been supplanted by a hair colour that is useless for lightening skin?

    Immigration from blonde counties might explain things as far as Britain is concerned but the question remains how did blonde countries get that way.

    ReplyDelete
  68. There is no question that sexual selection played a role in the spread of various eye and hair colors.

    And clearly, blond hair is detrimental at lower latitudes (so are blue eyes). However, blond hair offers a small extra UV benefit for the head, neck, and shoulders in cold climates (where people are typically wearing a lot of clothing year-round).

    I don't yet believe the datings on the eye/hair color mutations published so far. They could easily be off by a factor of two or three.

    And the figure in your reference does not show the huge, actually existing north-south skin color variation in Asia - so it is very misleading.

    ReplyDelete
  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Red hair was discriminated against and is associated with some health risks.

    Blonde hair reminds us of children and is favoured in the ongoing neotency.

    ReplyDelete
  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  72. eurologist said,

    "And the figure in your reference does not show the huge, actually existing north-south skin color variation in Asia - so it is very misleading."

    Please specify which part of "Asia" you intend to discuss. Also note that we are talking about measuring the reflectivity of unexposed skin; the average degree of tanning is irrelevant to the question of inherent degrees of skin pigmentation.

    ReplyDelete
  73. It doesn't matter much, since the Fig. 2 in that reference claims the same "medium light" skin color from the arctic all the way to Taiwan, Hainan, and southern Myanmar.

    Now, I know that there are Siberian groups with as pale as a skin color as it gets (i.e., "lightest" in the nomenclature of the figure), while the aborigines of Taiwan are without doubt closer to "medium dark".

    Do you guys not travel or at least watch cultural programs? I mean, this isn't some unexplored mystery of the 16th century...

    ReplyDelete
  74. "Now, I know that there are Siberian groups with as pale as a skin color as it gets (i.e., "lightest" in the nomenclature of the figure"

    Here's what "as pale a skin colour as it gets' (in men, women are always lighter skinned) actually looks like as pale as a skin color as it gets

    indigenous Siberian - Chukchi

    Taiwanese aborigines

    Due to it's altitude the Kalahari gets a comparable amount of UV to equatorial Africa check out the colour of the largely monogamous !Kung

    'UV-B dose rates during the summer in Lhasa are higher than the maximum value in Dar-Es-Salaam (Tanzania), which is at the sea level in the equatorial region[...]UV-B dose rates during the summer on the Tibetan plateau are among the highest levels in habituated regions of the world."
    Tibetan Nomad Family

    The extremes of pigmentation (ie Europe and Africa)have nothing to do with natural selection for UV . Black Aficans are 'black ' on unexposed skin, which is different to every other ethnicity where the unexposed skin is far lighter. (eg Australian aborigines)

    Why have Finland and other northern countries got more blondes than redheads?
    Why are blonds not in a majority in any country in the world?

    ReplyDelete
  75. INDIGENOUS?
    The earliest remains of H Erectus hominins in Britain were found in Boxgrove near Arundel, dated about 400,000YBP with a plethora of well-crafted hand axes, evidence of large-animal butchering and use of fire.
    The earliest AMH (anatomicaly modern human) or Cromagnon Type) is the Paviland tribal shaman cave burial, dated at
    ca 27000 ybp, complete with tools, mammoth skull, and red ochre corpse anointment. The MtDNAis reputed to be proto-H. This pre LGM "modern" and the Erectus tribe of Boxgrove bracket the neanderthal presence. All three qualify as indigenous Britons. Do google them.

    ReplyDelete
  76. "This pre LGM 'modern' and the Erectus tribe of Boxgrove bracket the neanderthal presence. All three qualify as indigenous Britons".

    The argument normally presented these days would be that there is no continuity at all between the three. However I'm quite prepared to reserve judgement on that.

    ReplyDelete
  77. The only continuity claimed is of feet-on-soil on Britannia. Or Doggeria? Except that Neandertal and AMH could quite credibly have temporally overlapped even, if they never met.

    ReplyDelete
  78. However one must be careful in seeing ethnicity as the same as halogroups or genes. For example even the Poles are not one haplogroup, most are R1a, but others who see themselves as ethnically Polish are also R1b, I, J, E3b etc. These haplogroups do not determine ethnicity. But if these groups were together for a long time in the same climatic conditions, sharing culture then they would share things in common. The point is the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Normans etc were not coming from defined nations, there were no nations - and it is far fetched to see any of these are defined ethnic groups as many of them had more allegences to local leaders than to an ethnic groups, or cultures. The truth is as well is many of these had cultural things in common. The Celts were never an ethnic group but there was celtic culture which was common throughout Europe even amongst Germanic speaking peoples. The Britons at that time shared much in common with people all over Europe and so defining people into neat ethnic groups is unhelpful. The point is as well is that it was the English that created England not England that created the English. Without a group of people who shared a common language, culture, religion, way of life, laws etc then nations would not exist - nations are created by people not the other way around. The argument is is how long these genes have been in Britain. There is no evidence R1a simply defines the Vikings and was therefore brought into Britain by them. Scandinavians even today are a mix R1b, R1a, I as well as smaller haplogroups like J, N, etc. Southern Britain was Roman before the Romans even conquered it as Roman culture just became fashionable. The amount of genes these later invaders had on Britain was simply too small, it was more a case of locals adopting what was fashionable. They might of dressed like Romans but may have seen their ethnicity as local or indigenous. People have always been tribal. Even the first humans coming out of Africa would have fought each other for territory, human beings are incredibly territorial like other animals. They certainly did not think of themselves as Africans. People have created the term 'Africa'. Tribes/clans whatever you want to call it have existed as far back as humans have existed. These tribes change over time but this is often linked to shared culture, shared traditions, shared climatic conditions etc. Genetics however is often a flawed science and opinions keep changing as to when groups arrived in various places. But genes have little importance in people sharing culture and language, the three things are very different. In a sense we can all be traced back to hunter-gatherers as all our ancestors at some point were hunters and gatherers before they were farmers. As no nations existed in the stone age or indeed even the neolithic, we are talking about something different than Poles, Pakistanis who can trace direct ancestors back to nations. The question is when did Poles see themselves as Poles. Ethnicity or tribalism exists without nations. Aborigines don't have a nation as such neither do the Fulani in Africa but they have distinct cultural identities, histories, way of life etc. The history of the English is no different to any other groups ethnic history. But explaining changes in language, culture by simply mass movements of people is completely wrong. If people had separate ethnic identities, they simply would have retained them, but in tribal societies, keeping separate identities is highly unlikely because of the nature of the society itself. You are either accepted as part of the tribe or not. That's indeed if Vikings, Normans, Celts etc saw themselves as distinct people with distinct cultures and identities. The difference between the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish isn't genes but is history, politics and language.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Having just arrived at this thread, I offer two additional skeins of thoughtThe first is by Leif Ekblad, who has posted his own view that Autism is a survival trait for hunter gatherers. Links below.

    http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm

    http://www.rdos.net/eng/main.php

    Another website by Ashton Embry, Ph.D. discusses the relevence of Vitamin D3 in MS.

    http://www.direct-ms.org/

    I hope they are of interest.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Terry- I had always thought that I came before R1b in Europe because of where it is- pushed up into the scabdinavian penninsula where its cold.
    And the scandanavians are still so tall and robust, like classic cromagnons.
    But Im intrigued that your haplogroup might have been the first- it is probably mine too as my great grandfather was from Ireland.
    What makes you think I didnt come in until the neolithic? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  81. Autism ha also been linked to neanderyhals, who were hunter gatherers...

    ReplyDelete
  82. Deinekes, I am wonderingif I am being blocked here. If I am I guess it is because I didnt agree with your deep african substructure theory years ago? Im sorry, its just so much easier to explain without deep african substructure so I cant comprehend why someone would resort to it.
    I promise all my posts will be civil, but if you are going to keep blocking me can you please let me know so that wont be wasting my time trying to participate in your discussions? Josephlayden@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Things people keep forgetting in the comments section of anthro blogs:
    Neanderthals lasted until 21000 years ago on Gibralter, and may have continued as the hybrid ibero-maurusian culture.
    AMHS came out of Africa prior to 125000 years ago, hence the tools and chinese fossils. Neanderthal seperated the genome later by coming down south and running AMHS out of west asia.
    Balangoda man, two new genomes inside the denisovan and neanderthal genimes, the lack of human lithics in Java together with solo man and flores, the red deer cave people, iwo eleru and the introgressed archaic genes in subsaharan africans, andd added doses of neanderthal genes in native americans and Irish all prove that AMS encountered archaics in the neolithic expansion.
    Several studies have found introgressed genes from a split that happened over 3 million years ago. That explains why georgicus, ergaster, and java man look so different. The first exodus from the original source of hominids had to happen before even rudolphensis had evolvediris

    ReplyDelete

Stay on topic. Be polite. Use facts and arguments. Be Brief. Do not post back to back comments in the same thread, unless you absolutely have to. Don't quote excessively. Google before you ask.