The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Peter Frost ArchiveBlogview
The Past Is Another Country
Male figurine, pottery, c. 7,000–5,000 years ago, Greece, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Male figurine, pottery, c. 7,000–5,000 years ago, Greece, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

A very important recent finding is the recovery of the entire genomes of three prehistoric farmers who lived in northern Greece 7500-5500 years BP. The data have been analyzed and are expected to shed light on the ancestral relationships of the first Europeans and provide a wealth of information about functional and morphological characteristics. Already it is known that some of our Neolithic ancestors could not digest milk, i.e., they were intolerant to lactose, and had brown eyes and dark skin. (Anon, 2015)

This is one of several findings with a common theme: the farther back in time we go, the less familiar people look. And we don’t have to go very far.

This fact came up in a column I wrote about the Americas. If we turn back the clock, Amerindians look more and more European, yet their genes say they’re still Amerindian. We’re just getting closer to the time when both groups were the same people. If we turn back the clock even farther, those “proto-Amerindians” give way to a very different sort of human, much like the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea (Frost, 2015).

What happened to those first Americans? They were “replaced.” If you’re looking for family entertainment, don’t study history or prehistory.

Ironically, one of the comments on that column argued that European settlers had stolen this land from the Native Americans and had thus forfeited any moral right to complain about immigration. Well, one genocide doesn’t justify another. I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction. Everything else is sophistry.

Early and not-so-early Europeans

Ancient DNA is telling a similar story about early Europeans. As late as 8,000 years ago, only the hunting peoples of northern and eastern Europe had white skin and a diverse palette of hair and eye colors. Farther west and south, in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary, we find hunter-gatherers with a strange mix of brown skin and eyes of blue, green, or grey. Central Europe was also home to early farmers with white skin, dark hair, and brown eyes. If we go still farther south, beyond the Alps, we see faces and bodies that seem to evoke another continent (Gibbons, 2015; Olalde and Lalueza-Fox, 2015).

This is in line with earlier work on skeletal remains. Angel (1972) found that “one can identify Negroid (Ethiopic or Bushmanoid?) traits of nose and prognathism appearing in Natufian latest hunters [...] and in Anatolian and Macedonian first farmers.” In the Middle East, the Natufians (15,000-12,000 BP) were anatomically more similar to present-day West Africans than to present-day Middle Easterners (Brace et al., 2006).

Many African-looking skulls and skeletons have been found in an arc of territory stretching from Brittany, through Switzerland and northern Italy, and into the Balkans. Most are from the Neolithic, but some are as recent as the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age (Boule and Vallois, 1957, pp. 291-292)

Does this mean that prehistoric Greek farmers were more closely related to sub-Saharan Africans than to present-day Greeks? The genome analysis isn’t complete, but I think not. They may have looked un-European, but their genomes would probably place them a lot closer to present-day Europeans than to anyone else. We saw the same thing with Kennewick Man. His skull looked European, yet genetically he was closer to Amerindians.

Those prehistoric Greeks were descended from a wave of modern humans that entered Europe some 40,000 years ago. In the north and east, the new settlers encountered selection pressures that recolored and reshaped their most visible features, making them look very different from their African-like relatives to the south and west. Yet this new look came about through changes to just a tiny subset of the genome.

This is not to argue that “we’re all pretty much the same under the skin.” One could just as well say that humans and chimps are pretty much the same under the skin. They are, actually, if one looks only at flesh and blood. Nonetheless, a human is not a chimp with a body shave.

A second look at the spread of farming

This portrait of early Europeans is still incomplete, and some findings seem contradictory. For instance, why did those Greek farmers lack the alleles for white skin and lactose tolerance when the same alleles were present in Central European farmers from the same time period? In fact, it now seems that both traits evolved in Europe (Gibbons, 2015). A year ago, almost everyone pointed to those Central Europeans as proof that white skin and lactose tolerance must have come from the Middle East, along with farming itself.

It has become popular to argue that farming spread out of the Middle East and into Central Europe through a process of population replacement. The argument seems logical. Because farming supports a larger population per unit of land area, immigrants from the Middle East should have overwhelmed the native hunter-gatherers of Europe by force of numbers. Apparently, things weren’t so simple. Early European farmers were a mixed bunch, and their relationship to the Middle East looks just as problematic. Farming did spread out of the Middle East, but the extent to which this diffusion was genetic or cultural is far from clear. Even the hard evidence looks soft when given a second look.

For instance, we know that a sharp genetic boundary separates late hunter-gatherers from early farmers in Europe. That’s good evidence for population replacement. But when a Danish team used a more complete time series of ancient DNA samples, they found that the genetic boundary actually separated early farmers from somewhat later farmers. Haplogroup U, the supposed genetic signature of Europe’s ancient hunter-gatherers, reached its current low level after the Neolithic, according to that time series (Melchior et al., 2010). The genetic boundary must therefore be partly due to something else than population replacement, perhaps new selection pressures.

Another piece of hard evidence is the cultural conservatism of hunter-gatherers, who generally prefer to die out than embrace farming and who especially dislike having to plan their lives over a yearly cycle. But that finding is based on tropical hunter-gatherers. Northern hunter-gatherers plan ahead over the coming year and are better able to make the leap. If we take the Mississippian culture of the American Midwest and Southeast (c. 800 -1600), we find that small groups of hunter-gatherers had little trouble making the shift not only to large-scale intensive maize farming but also to life in large towns of up to 40,000 people—all this in half a millennium.

Indeed, if we look at pre-Columbian America, we see that farming first developed in Mesoamerica and then spread north through cultural diffusion. There were very few cases of farmers demographically replacing hunter-gatherers. Why would the situation have been so different in prehistoric Europe? As a general rule, it seems that population replacement occurs only when there is a profound difference in mental makeup that cannot be easily changed.

A final question

Southern Europe and the Middle East were initially home to dark African-like people, who were then replaced by European-like people, apparently from the north, beginning around 12,000 ago. The process of replacement was still incomplete, however, during the time of those northern Greek farmers 7,500 to 5,500 years ago. That last date is very close to the dawn of history. Only a millennium and a half later, the Minoans were building the palace of Knossos. Are those African-like people remembered in European myths, legends, and folk tales?

h/t to Dienekes

References

Angel, J.L. (1972). Biological relations of Egyptian and eastern Mediterranean populations during Pre-dynastic and Dynastic times,Journal of Human Evolution, 1, 307-313.

Anon. (2015). The Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Report on ancient DNA -Learn what eye color your ancestor had and what he ate in the Neolithic! Iefimerida
http://www.iefimerida.gr/news/219751/ekthesi-gia-arhaio-dna-mathe-ti-hroma-matia-eihe-kai-ti-etroge-o-neolithikos-progonos

Boule, M. & Vallois, H.V. (1957). Fossil Men. New York: Dryden Press.

Brace, C.L., N. Seguchi, C.B. Quintyn, S.C. Fox, A.R. Nelson, S.K. Manolis, and P. Qifeng. (2006). The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 103, 242-247
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/1/242.full

Dienekes. (2015). Prehistoric farmers from northern Greece had lactose intolerance, brown eyes, dark skin, Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog, August 7
http://dienekes.blogspot.ca/2015/08/prehistoric-farmers-from-northern.html

Frost, P. (2015). Guess who first came to America? The Unz Review
http://www.unz.com/pfrost/guess-who-first-came-to-america/

Gibbons, A. (2015). How Europeans evolved white skin, Science, Latest News, April 2
http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2015/04/how-europeans-evolved-white-skin

Melchior, L., N. Lynnerup, H.R. Siegismund, T. Kivisild, J. Dissing. (2010). Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations, PLoS ONE, 5(7): e11898
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0011898#pone-0011898-g002

Olalde, I. and C. Lalueza-Fox. (2015). Modern humans’ paleogenomics and the new evidences on the European prehistory,Science and Technology of Archaeology Research, 1
http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1179/2054892315Y.0000000002

(Republished from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. There were odd looking people in the north too. In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour and 4/7 had the Asian EDAR mutations, which has effects on appearance including hair, teeth, ears, breasts and sweat glands so the Motala people looked (and smelled) unlike any group of modern Europeans.

    The Motala people are only known from an unfortunate group that ended up with their heads mounted on stakes. The time frame suggest Doggerlanders.

    THERE would have been huge population shifts,” says Clive Waddington of Derbyshire-based Archaeological Research Services Ltd. “People who were living out in what is now the North Sea would have been displaced very quickly.” Some headed for Britain. At Howick in Northumberland, on the cliffs that run along Britain’s northeast coast and would therefore have been the first hills they saw, his team has found the remains of a dwelling that had been rebuilt three times in a span of 150 years. Among the earliest evidence of a settled lifestyle in Britain, the hut dates from around 7900 B.C. Waddington interprets its repeated habitation as a sign of increasing territoriality: the resident people defending their patch against waves of displaced Doggerlanders

    Myths and legends don’t come better than Atlantis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @J1234

    There were odd looking people in the north too. In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour and 4/7 had the Asian EDAR mutations, which has effects on appearance including hair, teeth, ears, breasts and sweat glands so the Motala people looked (and smelled) unlike any group of modern Europeans.
     
    Interesting. Thanks for the post. Given this information, I found the following news article amusing. I know the people at the Motala site 8000 years ago are different than the people there today, but I still found it amusing :) :

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150419/ugly-swedes-offered-total-makeover

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/the-past-is-another-country/#comment-1068722
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. The way that this article reads, it seems that you believe that there are only two options: violent total replacement, or peaceful cultural diffusion. I doubt that you believe this. The third (and probably most common) option is violent partial replacement, which you seem to be lumping in with cultural diffusion.

    Take the Norman invasion for example. Apparently DNA studies don’t show the English having much Norman DNA but we know (just look at surnames) that there was an influence. The Norman invasion turned England away from the Germano-Celtic way of life towards the French and resulted in some big cultural changes.

    I assume that farming spread north from Mesoamerica in the same way, with the second sons moving a little farther north each generation and marrying into the local populations, with the mesoamerican DNA getting diluted at each stage of the journey.

    Read More
  3. ” I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction. Everything else is sophistry.”
    That’s a neopagan worldview. The “universe” you are believing in is obviously an “universe” which doesn’t include a Christian god or a Christian heaven. Well, you are entitled to your own worldview, but don’t mix that up with science, please.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe. Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning. This is something that is very hard for many people to accept. It is not at all a "pagan" view as pre-Christian pagans, at least in classical civilization, certainly conceived of their gods as moral agents.
  4. They might be the Pelasgians of the Greek myth, there was people speaking Etruscan-like language in some Greek islands well into the Classical period.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The Pelasgians were extant in historical times. Most sources on them aren't mythical. They were linguistically distinct from Greeks. There are undeciphered incriptions in languages that don't seem Indo-European that were probably left by them. But, as far as I know, the Greeks who wrote about the Pelasgians never described them as being visually distinct.

    There is an inscription on Lemnos in a language that resembles Etruscan. The Etruscans in Italy left a lot of pictorial representations of themsleves. They looked modern Mediterranean.
  5. Living a farming lifestyle has a selection pressure on the population. If farming spreads through cultural diffusion to a neighbouring population, who have similar roots, then similar selection pressures will occur, making them more similar to the original farming population. How can you distinguish between this kind of change, and the other kind of change – physical takeover, war etc?

    Another question. Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like? And are hunter gatherers more aggressive and roaming? Intuitively, the answer seems to be yes, and yet all I hear about early history is that farmers spread and took over everywhere. Did hunter gatherers ever take over farmers territory?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    Another question. Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like? And are hunter gatherers more aggressive and roaming?
     
    Generally speaking yes but

    1) if there is a particularly valuable static food source, for example a lake, that can support a sedentary HG population then the local HGs may become sedentary to hold onto it so in that regard they are like farmers already. I think any population that made the jump from HG to farmer are likely to have started that way - sedentary HGs.

    2) there's being war-like as an individual and war-like as a group. I think dense sedentary populations need to become less war-like on an individual basis for social peace however if farming creates larger populations then the farmer group gains an advantage in numbers and that advantage can compensate for being less war-like on an individual basis.


    Intuitively, the answer seems to be yes, and yet all I hear about early history is that farmers spread and took over everywhere.
     
    Farming produced larger numbers so they greatly outnumbered the HGs and (imo) simply pushed them off any territory that could support farming.

    However there was a lot of territory that didn't support farming where the HGs survived for a time and long enough on the periphery of the farming spread for them to adapt and bounce back in numbers.


    Did hunter gatherers ever take over farmers territory?
     
    There may be one or two examples but generally no - hunter-gathering supports too few people per square mile. On the other hand the HGs that turned into herders on the edge of the farming zone did it a lot as (imo) they had the same war-like traits combined with larger numbers.

    #

    The point about selection for body heat is very interesting. Mobile HGs without a nice warm house might need more of it than sedentary farmers.

  6. @Chiron
    They might be the Pelasgians of the Greek myth, there was people speaking Etruscan-like language in some Greek islands well into the Classical period.

    The Pelasgians were extant in historical times. Most sources on them aren’t mythical. They were linguistically distinct from Greeks. There are undeciphered incriptions in languages that don’t seem Indo-European that were probably left by them. But, as far as I know, the Greeks who wrote about the Pelasgians never described them as being visually distinct.

    There is an inscription on Lemnos in a language that resembles Etruscan. The Etruscans in Italy left a lot of pictorial representations of themsleves. They looked modern Mediterranean.

    Read More
  7. Ironically or otherwise, the groups now subsuming Europeans and their descendants are gaining their hegemony solely through overbreeding.

    And certainly less ironically, but tragically, the same descendants of old-time Europe are facilitating their own extinction. In any other time, groups which overpopulated so far beyond the bounds of sustainability would meet with famine.

    Europeans and their descendants, however, are giving–not even selling, but giving–Africans, Latinos, and Asians the rope with which they themselves will be hanged.

    Read More
  8. “. . . one genocide doesn’t justify another. I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction. Everything else is sophistry.”

    While these conjectures about genetic diffusions, replacements and assimilations are very interesting, there seems to be a contradiction latent in this sequence of extracted assertions.

    Read More
  9. “I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction.”

    Isn’t the main benefit of morality to promote the survival of the group in which such behaviors develop and is often at the expense of outsiders?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    The moral codes of the great majority of human cultures in practice strongly distinguish between members of the group and outsiders.
  10. In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour

    The Motala site in Sweden yielded DNA from seven individuals. Three of them had white skin, three of them had inconclusive data, and one had dark skin. So I suppose one could say that Swedish hunter-gatherers were 25% “diverse” (using the modern meaning of that word). But if you look at the samples from Karelia and Samara, they were all white-skinned. It’s still premature to put a figure on the degree of diversity or the degree of fixation for white skin.

    The way that this article reads, it seems that you believe that there are only two options: violent total replacement, or peaceful cultural diffusion.

    That wasn’t my intention. Personally, I believe that about 20% of the present-day European gene pool comes from those Middle Eastern farmers, the proportion being higher in Southern Europe and lower in Northern Europe. But a lot of people out there don’t think so. At one point, I was told that Europeans were overwhelmingly descended from Middle Easterners who arrived during the Neolithic. The native hunter-gatherers were just a dead end.

    People read more into the data than what the data actually said. Some people also found this kind of interpretation to be politically useful.

    That’s a neopagan worldview.

    It’s also a Christian worldview. Morality is something that God gave only to human beings, and not to the universe. The universe is fundamentally amoral and is not bound by God’s covenant.

    I might add that this covenant was initially given only to one people. Cross-culturally, all forms of morality were originally ethnic-based. By attempting to universalize morality, we end up with one absurdity after another. Did our ancestors steal Europe from the Neanderthals? Shouldn’t this crime be rectified? Or is there a time limit on right and wrong?

    If farming spreads through cultural diffusion to a neighbouring population, who have similar roots, then similar selection pressures will occur, making them more similar to the original farming population. How can you distinguish between this kind of change, and the other kind of change – physical takeover, war etc?

    Genetic change due to population replacement can be seen throughout the genome, even in junk DNA that has no useful value. Genetic change due to selection affects only a tiny part of the genome.

    Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like?

    Indirectly. Farming leads to the creation of a food surplus that can be seized by powerful individuals and used to amplify their power. They now have the means to pay for underlings of all sorts: servants, assistants, soldiers, etc. This is how states come into being. All states originate in gangs of warriors who monopolize the use of violence. The result is a pacification of social relations, which leads to selection for individuals who are more peaceful and submissive.

    Selection for sedentary living is more direct, although early forms of farming tend to involve frequent movement from one place to another. Over time, farming tends to breed out monotony avoidance.

    No offense but a lot of what you say is simply wrong.

    I feel offended when people say that I have “totally lost my mind.” That kind of language leads to a shouting match where people talk past each other. This is a good example. “Krefter” doesn’t seem to be listening to me when he writes: “Autsomal DNA is all we need to prove massive migration and replacement anyways, yet to him the debate isn’t over.”

    First, I’m not saying there has been no population replacement. I am questioning the degree of replacement and whether it originated in the Middle East. Moreover, we see signs of reverse replacement, with the original Central European farmers being themselves replaced.

    Second, the gene changes that are used to indicate population replacement are not insensitive to selection. This is notably the case with Haplogroup U, which is associated with production of body heat.

    Third, I realize that other time series of ancient DNA differ from the Danish time series. I would argue that this is partly because the Danish time series is more complete. More importantly, the Danish time series shows that the frequency of Haplogroup U can vary in response to factors other than population replacement (probably natural selection).

    Fourth, “Krefter” says mockingly. “If any of the upcoming Greek genomes showed African ancestry, we would have heard about it.” Well, Krefter, they probably won’t. That was my point. The genes that make Europeans look European are a tiny subset of the genome. One can look African and still be European when one looks at the whole genome. Just as Kennewick Man looks European while being Amerindian when one looks at the whole genome.

    He mentions in the article that African-like appearance doesn’t imply african ancestry. But why the hell mention the African-like appearance in the first place?

    Because that’s what people see.

    It’s so obvious he cherry-picked the most African-looking statue from Neolithic Greece to have as the picture of his article.

    Most of the statues I looked through on Wikicommons didn’t show much in terms of facial features. The one for the Greek article shows a woman with a fat nose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Krefter
    @Peter Frost,

    Ok, I was too harsh.
    "I am questioning the degree of replacement and whether it originated in the Middle East."

    Two separate teams have sampled Neolithic Anatolian genomes and have confirmed(with abstracts) they were of the same ancestral stock as Neolithic Europeans. Both teams made it clear they think Neolithic Europeans were from Anatolia after looking at the data.

    "Personally, I believe that about 20% of the present-day European gene pool comes from those Middle Eastern farmers"

    All of Europe except the Eastern and Northern edges were inhabited by "WHG" in the Mesolithic. Those WHGs-folks contribution to modern Europeans peaks at 30-40% in North and SouthWest Europeans. The other 60-70% arrived from the East Mediterranean and Russia/Ukraine in the last 8,000 years.

    Parental markers and Ancient DNA also make it clear the WHG-folk were mostly replaced.

    "The genes that make Europeans look European are a tiny subset of the genome. One can look African and still be European when one looks at the whole genome."

    There's a lot of variation within single populations. You can't always tell someone is European by looking at their skull. Sometimes the skull might look African, but in life the person looked European.

    I have to say. There's no way Neolithic Greeks looked anything like Africans!! I just don't see why you think this is likely. Middle Easterns and Europeans share many of the same features, despite sharing little common ancestry in the last 7,000 years.

    I mean look at Sardinians!! Once Neolithic Anatolian and Greek genomes are published, we'll see Sardinians trace 80%+ of their blood to those people. Sardinians have the same basic features as Europeans and Middle Easterns do. Sardinians could actually probably blend in with Middle Easterns if they immigrated there. No surprise, they have shared very ancient Middle Eastern ancestry.

    I know you like the idea that physical appearance changes a lot overtime, and that our ancestors looked totally differnt from us. But often this isn't the case.

    "Just as Kennewick Man looks European while being Amerindian when one looks at the whole genome.'

    Native Americans and East Asians share a lot of the same features. Do you think they evolved independently in America and Asia? So, Kennewick man is an exception. There certainly were early Americans with the same features as modern ones running around in that era.

    "Three of them had white skin, three of them had inconclusive data, and one had dark skin. "

    We can't predict skin color at all with DNA. A lot more research is needed. There are plenty of Middle Easterns with the two Light skin mutations and they have Brown skin. My brother and I lack one of the mutations and are pale like any-other Europeans. We don't know what skin color the Motala HGs had. To pronounce it as fact that we know the skin color of each individual isn't logical.

    We can be confident some did have Red hair and therefore pale skin. This is because it has been proven Red hair can be predicted 80%+ of the time.
  11. @Stogumber
    " I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction. Everything else is sophistry."
    That's a neopagan worldview. The "universe" you are believing in is obviously an "universe" which doesn't include a Christian god or a Christian heaven. Well, you are entitled to your own worldview, but don't mix that up with science, please.

    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe. Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning. This is something that is very hard for many people to accept. It is not at all a “pagan” view as pre-Christian pagans, at least in classical civilization, certainly conceived of their gods as moral agents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @VisPacem
    Your assertion implies that those to whom you are communicating that 'scientific knowledge of the universe . . . Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning" is a truth at we are obliged to assent to, to believe.

    Do you not realize how the very objective you have expressed of conveying truth to others and the implied obligation of others to accept such contradicts what you are asserting?

    You would be on much more secure ground if you were to merely assert that 'certain focuses' or 'certain methods' or 'methodologies' leave moral considerations aside because such does not pertain to their horizons, starting points, etc.
    , @Nico

    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe.
     
    Not all scientists would agree with that particular cosmology:

    https://theamericanscholar.org/a-new-theory-of-the-universe/#.VdD_iEU0u7Q
  12. @Drapetomaniac
    "I would also venture to say that the universe cares little about our notions of morality. There is only survival or extinction."

    Isn't the main benefit of morality to promote the survival of the group in which such behaviors develop and is often at the expense of outsiders?

    The moral codes of the great majority of human cultures in practice strongly distinguish between members of the group and outsiders.

    Read More
  13. “As late as 8,000 years ago, only the hunting peoples of northern and eastern Europe had white skin and a diverse palette of hair and eye colors.”
    As Scandinavian mythology has it, trolls had dark skin and green eyes. Ancient North Eurasian DNA was in Motala, and admixture with dark ANE influenced trollish folk explains why one of the Motala seven was actually dark. (The dark skinned Swede sinks the reduced melanin for UVb skin synthesis of vitamin D theory.)

    Late Mesolithic coastal fishing practices: the evidence from Tybrind Vig, Denmark [2007] : Also suggestive of net fishing at Tybrind Vig is a wood-en float with a single perforation. The form of this float is analogous to the type used in traditional net fishing (e.g. Nelson 1899 ). Similar Mesolithic examples were found at Antrea/Kamennogorsk (near Lake Ladoga in Russian Karelia)

    The use of traps and weirs is interesting too. The climate was a few degrees warmer than now, but wading about in the water up there would be require a lot of Thermogenin. The greatest food resources were fish for those who could exploit it . (Neolithic Danish eel spear just like modern ones here).

    I think the African-like people would have been found away from the coasts in forested areas. European myths, legends, and folk tales talk about wood-sprites.

    Read More
  14. @Jim
    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe. Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning. This is something that is very hard for many people to accept. It is not at all a "pagan" view as pre-Christian pagans, at least in classical civilization, certainly conceived of their gods as moral agents.

    Your assertion implies that those to whom you are communicating that ‘scientific knowledge of the universe . . . Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning” is a truth at we are obliged to assent to, to believe.

    Do you not realize how the very objective you have expressed of conveying truth to others and the implied obligation of others to accept such contradicts what you are asserting?

    You would be on much more secure ground if you were to merely assert that ‘certain focuses’ or ‘certain methods’ or ‘methodologies’ leave moral considerations aside because such does not pertain to their horizons, starting points, etc.

    Read More
  15. “Are those African-like people remembered in European myths, legends, and folk tales?”

    The short answer is no, Europeans don’t have myths relating to the Indoeuropean migration (oral memories tend to go only a few generations back), so they hardly have memories of the people they replaced.

    Read More
  16. @Jim
    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe. Biological evolution including human history has no moral meaning. This is something that is very hard for many people to accept. It is not at all a "pagan" view as pre-Christian pagans, at least in classical civilization, certainly conceived of their gods as moral agents.

    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe.

    Not all scientists would agree with that particular cosmology:

    https://theamericanscholar.org/a-new-theory-of-the-universe/#.VdD_iEU0u7Q

    Read More
  17. @Peter Frost
    In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour

    The Motala site in Sweden yielded DNA from seven individuals. Three of them had white skin, three of them had inconclusive data, and one had dark skin. So I suppose one could say that Swedish hunter-gatherers were 25% "diverse" (using the modern meaning of that word). But if you look at the samples from Karelia and Samara, they were all white-skinned. It's still premature to put a figure on the degree of diversity or the degree of fixation for white skin.

    The way that this article reads, it seems that you believe that there are only two options: violent total replacement, or peaceful cultural diffusion.

    That wasn't my intention. Personally, I believe that about 20% of the present-day European gene pool comes from those Middle Eastern farmers, the proportion being higher in Southern Europe and lower in Northern Europe. But a lot of people out there don't think so. At one point, I was told that Europeans were overwhelmingly descended from Middle Easterners who arrived during the Neolithic. The native hunter-gatherers were just a dead end.

    People read more into the data than what the data actually said. Some people also found this kind of interpretation to be politically useful.

    That’s a neopagan worldview.

    It's also a Christian worldview. Morality is something that God gave only to human beings, and not to the universe. The universe is fundamentally amoral and is not bound by God's covenant.

    I might add that this covenant was initially given only to one people. Cross-culturally, all forms of morality were originally ethnic-based. By attempting to universalize morality, we end up with one absurdity after another. Did our ancestors steal Europe from the Neanderthals? Shouldn't this crime be rectified? Or is there a time limit on right and wrong?

    If farming spreads through cultural diffusion to a neighbouring population, who have similar roots, then similar selection pressures will occur, making them more similar to the original farming population. How can you distinguish between this kind of change, and the other kind of change – physical takeover, war etc?

    Genetic change due to population replacement can be seen throughout the genome, even in junk DNA that has no useful value. Genetic change due to selection affects only a tiny part of the genome.

    Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like?

    Indirectly. Farming leads to the creation of a food surplus that can be seized by powerful individuals and used to amplify their power. They now have the means to pay for underlings of all sorts: servants, assistants, soldiers, etc. This is how states come into being. All states originate in gangs of warriors who monopolize the use of violence. The result is a pacification of social relations, which leads to selection for individuals who are more peaceful and submissive.

    Selection for sedentary living is more direct, although early forms of farming tend to involve frequent movement from one place to another. Over time, farming tends to breed out monotony avoidance.

    No offense but a lot of what you say is simply wrong.

    I feel offended when people say that I have "totally lost my mind." That kind of language leads to a shouting match where people talk past each other. This is a good example. "Krefter" doesn't seem to be listening to me when he writes: "Autsomal DNA is all we need to prove massive migration and replacement anyways, yet to him the debate isn't over."

    First, I'm not saying there has been no population replacement. I am questioning the degree of replacement and whether it originated in the Middle East. Moreover, we see signs of reverse replacement, with the original Central European farmers being themselves replaced.

    Second, the gene changes that are used to indicate population replacement are not insensitive to selection. This is notably the case with Haplogroup U, which is associated with production of body heat.

    Third, I realize that other time series of ancient DNA differ from the Danish time series. I would argue that this is partly because the Danish time series is more complete. More importantly, the Danish time series shows that the frequency of Haplogroup U can vary in response to factors other than population replacement (probably natural selection).

    Fourth, "Krefter" says mockingly. "If any of the upcoming Greek genomes showed African ancestry, we would have heard about it." Well, Krefter, they probably won't. That was my point. The genes that make Europeans look European are a tiny subset of the genome. One can look African and still be European when one looks at the whole genome. Just as Kennewick Man looks European while being Amerindian when one looks at the whole genome.

    He mentions in the article that African-like appearance doesn't imply african ancestry. But why the hell mention the African-like appearance in the first place?

    Because that's what people see.

    It's so obvious he cherry-picked the most African-looking statue from Neolithic Greece to have as the picture of his article.

    Most of the statues I looked through on Wikicommons didn't show much in terms of facial features. The one for the Greek article shows a woman with a fat nose.

    ,

    Ok, I was too harsh.
    “I am questioning the degree of replacement and whether it originated in the Middle East.”

    Two separate teams have sampled Neolithic Anatolian genomes and have confirmed(with abstracts) they were of the same ancestral stock as Neolithic Europeans. Both teams made it clear they think Neolithic Europeans were from Anatolia after looking at the data.

    “Personally, I believe that about 20% of the present-day European gene pool comes from those Middle Eastern farmers”

    All of Europe except the Eastern and Northern edges were inhabited by “WHG” in the Mesolithic. Those WHGs-folks contribution to modern Europeans peaks at 30-40% in North and SouthWest Europeans. The other 60-70% arrived from the East Mediterranean and Russia/Ukraine in the last 8,000 years.

    Parental markers and Ancient DNA also make it clear the WHG-folk were mostly replaced.

    “The genes that make Europeans look European are a tiny subset of the genome. One can look African and still be European when one looks at the whole genome.”

    There’s a lot of variation within single populations. You can’t always tell someone is European by looking at their skull. Sometimes the skull might look African, but in life the person looked European.

    I have to say. There’s no way Neolithic Greeks looked anything like Africans!! I just don’t see why you think this is likely. Middle Easterns and Europeans share many of the same features, despite sharing little common ancestry in the last 7,000 years.

    I mean look at Sardinians!! Once Neolithic Anatolian and Greek genomes are published, we’ll see Sardinians trace 80%+ of their blood to those people. Sardinians have the same basic features as Europeans and Middle Easterns do. Sardinians could actually probably blend in with Middle Easterns if they immigrated there. No surprise, they have shared very ancient Middle Eastern ancestry.

    I know you like the idea that physical appearance changes a lot overtime, and that our ancestors looked totally differnt from us. But often this isn’t the case.

    “Just as Kennewick Man looks European while being Amerindian when one looks at the whole genome.’

    Native Americans and East Asians share a lot of the same features. Do you think they evolved independently in America and Asia? So, Kennewick man is an exception. There certainly were early Americans with the same features as modern ones running around in that era.

    “Three of them had white skin, three of them had inconclusive data, and one had dark skin. ”

    We can’t predict skin color at all with DNA. A lot more research is needed. There are plenty of Middle Easterns with the two Light skin mutations and they have Brown skin. My brother and I lack one of the mutations and are pale like any-other Europeans. We don’t know what skin color the Motala HGs had. To pronounce it as fact that we know the skin color of each individual isn’t logical.

    We can be confident some did have Red hair and therefore pale skin. This is because it has been proven Red hair can be predicted 80%+ of the time.

    Read More
  18. “a human is not a chimp with a body shave”

    Good line. You should assemble some of your pieces into one or more Kindle books, like I did: http://goo.gl/C4k2H7

    Read More
  19. “Indeed, if we look at pre-Columbian America, we see that farming first developed in Mesoamerica and then spread north through cultural diffusion.”

    Do you think this might explain why some of the surviving art objects in the Mississippian cultures have a kind of Meso-American look? At least they strike me that way.

    Read More
  20. What would induce hunter/gatherers to take up agriculture? I read that some of the Iroquois who were still into hunting but had started growing corn also were able to militarily dominate neighboring tribes who hadn’t. Maybe because they had a portable food supply they could take with them in the field?

    Read More
  21. “Southern Europe and the Middle East were initially home to dark African-like people, who were then replaced by European-like people, apparently from the north, beginning around 12,000 ago. The process of replacement was still incomplete, however, during the time of those northern Greek farmers 7,500 to 5,500 years ago. That last date is very close to the dawn of history.”

    Don’t the Indo-European speaking peoples come into play here?

    Read More
  22. “Morality is something that God gave only to human beings, and not to the universe.”

    And in Genesis at least, if you read it literally, a humanoid-looking creature was fully human if only if it “feared God.” See here for details: https://goo.gl/kO3Wzk

    Read More
  23. “Indirectly. Farming leads to the creation of a food surplus that can be seized by powerful individuals and used to amplify their power. They now have the means to pay for underlings of all sorts: servants, assistants, soldiers, etc. This is how states come into being. All states originate in gangs of warriors who monopolize the use of violence. The result is a pacification of social relations, which leads to selection for individuals who are more peaceful and submissive.”

    That’s the hidden meaning of the Adam and Eve myth (I hypothesize): http://goo.gl/uikvFb

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    If there was selection for peaceful and submissive, there would never have been any revolutions. Most of which are quite violent and some display savagery that surpasses that of your HGs.
  24. “The other 60-70% arrived from the East Mediterranean and Russia/Ukraine in the last 8,000 years. ”

    Doesn’t that mean that if 40-50% comes from R/U then 20% comes from EM, isn’t that similar to what Peter is saying?

    I find Peter’s work interesting because he comes up with plausible hypotheses that take into consideration several disciplines. Over at Eurogenes I find the discussion seems to revolve around the details of stats programmes or, a back and forth debate between statistical and linguistic perspectives. Nothing seems to be certain yet and Peter deserves credit for his holistic approach.

    Regarding myths – Maciamo at Eupedia suggested that the Leprechaun myth (little people hiding precious metals) could originate with the arrival of taller people looking for copper. Then there is the Norse cow-god myth which is interesting too.

    Read More
  25. Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe.

    Science is limited and one of its limits is that it does not address a whole lot of things. History cannot be tested by the scientific method (no experiments) and has its own method. Morality is something that is beyond science because science addresses the “is” part of the reality and morality addresses the “ought” part of the reality

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem.

    The fact that science cannot detect X does not mean that X does not exist. Science is a path (a method) to the truth, not the only path to the truth. In addition, it is not an infallible method. today’s science is different than tomorrow’s science. DNA was not detected by science for longtime so, for a longtime, you could say “our scientific knowledge does not indicate that there are physical things that produce biological inheritance”.

    You seem to be affected by a radical scientism, a philosophical position you are not aware of.

    In addition, your position is contradictory. The assertion you base your reasoning on:

    “If something is not proven by science is false”

    Cannot be proven by science so it’s false by your standards and you enter into a contradiction (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction). Your metaphysical assumptions are self-defeating.

    The problem with people who think that science is everything and philosophy is useless is that they have a (completely contradictory) philosophy and they don’t even notice.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You misconceive the point of the is/ought distinction. True that science cannot prescribe an ought which is not already in the logical formulation, though it can sometimes tell you what you ought to do if, for moral or other reasons, you wish to achieve a particular end. But that is to concede you were addressing the right point.

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group. It obviously could take some repeated harsh lessons for people who remembered good times when they had been very happy worshipping Baal....
  26. @Luke Lea
    "Indirectly. Farming leads to the creation of a food surplus that can be seized by powerful individuals and used to amplify their power. They now have the means to pay for underlings of all sorts: servants, assistants, soldiers, etc. This is how states come into being. All states originate in gangs of warriors who monopolize the use of violence. The result is a pacification of social relations, which leads to selection for individuals who are more peaceful and submissive."

    That's the hidden meaning of the Adam and Eve myth (I hypothesize): http://goo.gl/uikvFb

    If there was selection for peaceful and submissive, there would never have been any revolutions. Most of which are quite violent and some display savagery that surpasses that of your HGs.

    Read More
  27. It’s extremely unlikely that any prehistoric Europeans were dark or exotic enough to be called black.

    Based on their genotype data it seems that they were mostly of different shades of brown, but quite a few, including both the hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers, probably had fair skin.

    Also, it already seems fairly obvious that southern Europeans are in large part of Neolithic Anatolian origin. On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin, but with significant Mesolithic and Neolithic admixture from West and Central Europe.

    When I say steppe, I mean the European steppe and forest steppe in what are now Russia and Ukraine. The people who lived there during the Early Bronze Age (ie. our ancestors) were also probably mostly brown, but also very northern in terms of genome-wide genetic structure.

    In any case, it seems that when they moved west their descendants lightened up very quickly, so that by the time of the Andronovo culture, even the Asian steppe was mostly populated by Kurgan people with lots of light hair and eyes and fair skin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin, but with significant Mesolithic and Neolithic admixture from West and Central Europe.
     
    If I'm not mistaken, Peter Frost disputes this and argues that Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Mesolithic ancestry with minor Bronze Age steppe and Neolithic ancestry and primarily cultural imposition of diffusion of the Indo-European languages.
  28. All of Europe except the Eastern and Northern edges were inhabited by “WHG” in the Mesolithic. Those WHGs-folks contribution to modern Europeans peaks at 30-40% in North and SouthWest Europeans.

    Krefter,

    I’m not arguing that there was no population replacement of European hunter-gatherers by Middle Eastern farmers. I’m arguing that the degree of replacement has been exaggerated because no allowance is made for natural selection. When humans went from hunting and gathering to farming, they entered a new environment with new selection pressures. That change in natural selection altered the frequencies of many alleles at many genes.

    Let me give an example. Haplogroup U was very frequent among European hunter-gatherers and very rare among European farmers. This looks like strong evidence for population replacement, except that we know that Haplogroup U has an impact on production of body heat. We also know that hunter-gatherers and farmers have very different profiles of energy expenditure. The latter tend to produce body heat at an even rate, whereas the former tend to produce it in bursts. So Haplogroup U should have lost its original selective value as humans went from hunting and gathering to farming.

    This isn’t just speculation on my part. The Danish series of ancient DNA found that Haplogroup U didn’t fall to its current low frequency until after the Neolithic, at a time when archaeological evidence shows cultural and demographic continuity. So how do we know that population replacement was really responsible in those other cases where Haplogroup U became less frequent with the onset of farming? Maybe those cases too resulted from a change in natural selection.

    Let me give another example. We know that cranial volume declined with the shift from hunting and gathering to farming. This probably reflects the fact that hunting requires considerable storage of spatial and temporal data. The hunter has to pursue game animals over space and time, and the latter are not passive agents in this process. They are trying to elude the hunter. In contrast, farmers don’t have to chase their crops. Nor do crops try to run away.

    Like you, I’m familiar with the literature on paleo-genetics, and I’ve never seen any recognition that selection pressures differ between farming and hunting/gathering. Since early European farmers and hunter/gatherers lived under similar conditions of climate, the assumption seems to be that they lived under similar conditions of natural selection.

    So when you say that 30-40% of the European gene pool comes from Middle Eastern farmers, you’re assuming that none of this genetic change was due to changes in natural selection. That assumption inevitably leads to an overestimate.

    If we look at northern Europe, some Finnish groups did not adopt farming until historic times. Farming was not adopted in Finland itself until 2500 to 3000 years ago. We see similar time depths for the Baltic states. In all these cases, we have good archaeological evidence for demographic and cultural continuity.

    This leads to a quandary. On the one hand, the Finns should be 100% of native hunter-gatherer origin, whereas other Scandinavians should presumably be only 60-70%. Putting aside the theoretical arguments, do these estimates pass the test of superficial plausibility? Yes, there are some differences between the two populations, but they are of the sort that would easily develop through regional differentiation.

    You can’t always tell someone is European by looking at their skull. Sometimes the skull might look African, but in life the person looked European.

    Which is why the latest findings from Greece are significant. Early Greek farmers did not simply have African-looking skulls. They had alleles for dark skin that are no longer present in Europeans and that are now found only in non-European groups.

    There’s no way Neolithic Greeks looked anything like Africans!! I just don’t see why you think this is likely.

    At one time, we all looked like Africans. The debate is only over the timing. Most people probably assume that ancestral Europeans began to look European when they first entered Europe some 40,000 years ago. Yet the evidence doesn’t really support that view. Kostenki Man (36,000 BP) had an African facial shape and the ancestral alleles for SLC45A2, SLC24A5 and OCA2. Yet he lived in the heart of Europe. If we look at the skin color genes SLC45A2 and SLC24A5, the alleles for white skin seem to have appeared long after the entry of humans into Europe, approximately 19,000–11,000 years ago (Beleza et al., 2013).

    Beleza, S., Murias dos Santos, A., McEvoy, B., Alves, I., Martinho, C., Cameron, E., Shriver, M.D., Parra E.J., & Rocha, J. (2013). The timing of pigmentation lightening in Europeans. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30, 24-35.

    Native Americans and East Asians share a lot of the same features. Do you think they evolved independently in America and Asia? So, Kennewick man is an exception.

    No, that’s not what I think. If we go back in time, we get closer to the time when Amerindians, East Asians, and Europeans were the same population. Kennewick Man was no fluke. This is a general time trend we see in prehistoric Amerindian remains.

    We can’t predict skin color at all with DNA

    We can if we have enough data, but I understand your point. There are other gene loci that influence skin color, but the loci in question provide a marker of selection for lighter skin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    No, that’s not what I think. If we go back in time, we get closer to the time when Amerindians, East Asians, and Europeans were the same population. Kennewick Man was no fluke. This is a general time trend we see in prehistoric Amerindian remains.
     
    Was there convergent evolution for East Asians and Amerindians? Or did Mongoloids evolve in the Americas?
  29. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Davidski
    It's extremely unlikely that any prehistoric Europeans were dark or exotic enough to be called black.

    Based on their genotype data it seems that they were mostly of different shades of brown, but quite a few, including both the hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers, probably had fair skin.

    Also, it already seems fairly obvious that southern Europeans are in large part of Neolithic Anatolian origin. On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin, but with significant Mesolithic and Neolithic admixture from West and Central Europe.

    When I say steppe, I mean the European steppe and forest steppe in what are now Russia and Ukraine. The people who lived there during the Early Bronze Age (ie. our ancestors) were also probably mostly brown, but also very northern in terms of genome-wide genetic structure.

    In any case, it seems that when they moved west their descendants lightened up very quickly, so that by the time of the Andronovo culture, even the Asian steppe was mostly populated by Kurgan people with lots of light hair and eyes and fair skin.

    On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin, but with significant Mesolithic and Neolithic admixture from West and Central Europe.

    If I’m not mistaken, Peter Frost disputes this and argues that Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Mesolithic ancestry with minor Bronze Age steppe and Neolithic ancestry and primarily cultural imposition of diffusion of the Indo-European languages.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Davidski
    That is impossible to argue, because Middle Neolithic Western and Central Europeans did not resemble modern Europeans in the context of modern West Eurasian/European variation.

    They were just too western, and that's because they lacked steppe ancestry. You can see this in any half decent analysis.

    But it's also important to note that the steppe invaders had a very high ratio of European Mesolithic ancestry; higher than most Europeans today.
  30. I wish commentators would take their annoyingly combative comments over to the political ideology blogs.

    Razib Khan has an excellent blog post on the Genetic Architecture and Natural History of Pigmentation here ww.unz.com/gnxp/the-genetic-architecture-natural-history-of-pigmentation/

    We don’t really know why natural selection worked on the very few genes that control skin pigmentation…yet. There are several possibilities. That is the nature of science. What we do know is that very few genes control skin pigmentation and this supports Frost’s statement that replacement of one population by another has quite possibly been exaggerated because natural selection has likely worked to lighten the skin of Europeans over this time frame.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Davidski
    There's no need to limit this discussion to pigmentation SNPs, because we have information from hundreds of thousands of neutral SNPs, both genome wide and Y-chromosome, which clearly show that these massive population turnovers did take place.
  31. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    All of Europe except the Eastern and Northern edges were inhabited by “WHG” in the Mesolithic. Those WHGs-folks contribution to modern Europeans peaks at 30-40% in North and SouthWest Europeans.

    Krefter,

    I'm not arguing that there was no population replacement of European hunter-gatherers by Middle Eastern farmers. I'm arguing that the degree of replacement has been exaggerated because no allowance is made for natural selection. When humans went from hunting and gathering to farming, they entered a new environment with new selection pressures. That change in natural selection altered the frequencies of many alleles at many genes.

    Let me give an example. Haplogroup U was very frequent among European hunter-gatherers and very rare among European farmers. This looks like strong evidence for population replacement, except that we know that Haplogroup U has an impact on production of body heat. We also know that hunter-gatherers and farmers have very different profiles of energy expenditure. The latter tend to produce body heat at an even rate, whereas the former tend to produce it in bursts. So Haplogroup U should have lost its original selective value as humans went from hunting and gathering to farming.

    This isn't just speculation on my part. The Danish series of ancient DNA found that Haplogroup U didn't fall to its current low frequency until after the Neolithic, at a time when archaeological evidence shows cultural and demographic continuity. So how do we know that population replacement was really responsible in those other cases where Haplogroup U became less frequent with the onset of farming? Maybe those cases too resulted from a change in natural selection.

    Let me give another example. We know that cranial volume declined with the shift from hunting and gathering to farming. This probably reflects the fact that hunting requires considerable storage of spatial and temporal data. The hunter has to pursue game animals over space and time, and the latter are not passive agents in this process. They are trying to elude the hunter. In contrast, farmers don't have to chase their crops. Nor do crops try to run away.

    Like you, I'm familiar with the literature on paleo-genetics, and I've never seen any recognition that selection pressures differ between farming and hunting/gathering. Since early European farmers and hunter/gatherers lived under similar conditions of climate, the assumption seems to be that they lived under similar conditions of natural selection.

    So when you say that 30-40% of the European gene pool comes from Middle Eastern farmers, you're assuming that none of this genetic change was due to changes in natural selection. That assumption inevitably leads to an overestimate.

    If we look at northern Europe, some Finnish groups did not adopt farming until historic times. Farming was not adopted in Finland itself until 2500 to 3000 years ago. We see similar time depths for the Baltic states. In all these cases, we have good archaeological evidence for demographic and cultural continuity.

    This leads to a quandary. On the one hand, the Finns should be 100% of native hunter-gatherer origin, whereas other Scandinavians should presumably be only 60-70%. Putting aside the theoretical arguments, do these estimates pass the test of superficial plausibility? Yes, there are some differences between the two populations, but they are of the sort that would easily develop through regional differentiation.

    You can’t always tell someone is European by looking at their skull. Sometimes the skull might look African, but in life the person looked European.

    Which is why the latest findings from Greece are significant. Early Greek farmers did not simply have African-looking skulls. They had alleles for dark skin that are no longer present in Europeans and that are now found only in non-European groups.

    There’s no way Neolithic Greeks looked anything like Africans!! I just don’t see why you think this is likely.

    At one time, we all looked like Africans. The debate is only over the timing. Most people probably assume that ancestral Europeans began to look European when they first entered Europe some 40,000 years ago. Yet the evidence doesn't really support that view. Kostenki Man (36,000 BP) had an African facial shape and the ancestral alleles for SLC45A2, SLC24A5 and OCA2. Yet he lived in the heart of Europe. If we look at the skin color genes SLC45A2 and SLC24A5, the alleles for white skin seem to have appeared long after the entry of humans into Europe, approximately 19,000–11,000 years ago (Beleza et al., 2013).

    Beleza, S., Murias dos Santos, A., McEvoy, B., Alves, I., Martinho, C., Cameron, E., Shriver, M.D., Parra E.J., & Rocha, J. (2013). The timing of pigmentation lightening in Europeans. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30, 24-35.

    Native Americans and East Asians share a lot of the same features. Do you think they evolved independently in America and Asia? So, Kennewick man is an exception.

    No, that's not what I think. If we go back in time, we get closer to the time when Amerindians, East Asians, and Europeans were the same population. Kennewick Man was no fluke. This is a general time trend we see in prehistoric Amerindian remains.

    We can’t predict skin color at all with DNA

    We can if we have enough data, but I understand your point. There are other gene loci that influence skin color, but the loci in question provide a marker of selection for lighter skin.

    No, that’s not what I think. If we go back in time, we get closer to the time when Amerindians, East Asians, and Europeans were the same population. Kennewick Man was no fluke. This is a general time trend we see in prehistoric Amerindian remains.

    Was there convergent evolution for East Asians and Amerindians? Or did Mongoloids evolve in the Americas?

    Read More
  32. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-homo-sapiens-became-the-ultimate-invasive-species/

    This suggests hunter gatherers have nothing to fight over, but experiments in south Africa suggest coastal shellfish exploitation can mean 4000 plus calories for an individual hour’s work. The shellfish grounds were first thing worth fighting over, and that these valuable resources triggered territoriality in early human groups. Here you say

    I suspect its origins go back to a unique Mesolithic culture that once existed along the North Sea and the Baltic (Price, 1991). At that time, an abundance of marine resources drew people to the coast each year for fishing, sealing, and shellfish collecting, thus creating large but fluid settlements unlike anything seen in other hunter-gatherers. Social interactions would have largely involved non-kin, and there would have thus been strong selection for mechanisms that could enforce social rules in the absence of kin obligations.

    Hmm, as hunter gatherers they would have nothing to fight over, but in the Mesolithic cooperation to ensure food for the family might have required rather more nefarious activities than food processing. The group would need to be big enough to defend the coastal resources, but the members would have to not run away. http://prospect.org/article/evolutionary-roots-altruism

    A shorter version comes from a paper he wrote with another famous Wilson, Edward O.: “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.”

    But consider for a moment some real human instances. After stealing vast tracts of land from Native Americans, largely slaughtering them in the process, competitive Euro-Americans held land rushes in which the conquerors raced as fast as they could to plant flags and claim hundreds of acres each. This land was stolen from people who lived in far more cooperative groups, believed much less in individual property rights, and often viewed land as a resource held in common. They vied with each other before white culture came, and perhaps more cooperative groups prevailed. But faced with a less cooperative group than any of theirs, the Native Americans lost.

    On the other hand, the Nazis who murdered most of the Jews of Europe were very organized indeed, much more so than the communities they destroyed. Some scientists project group replacement back through human evolution. Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, in A Cooperative Species, explain the evolution of cooperation as a result of what they believe was extreme group conflict, with the elimination of less cooperative groups throughout the formation of our species. [...] But altruism is safe in the end, according to Wilson, because only groups that control these disruptive forces can succeed against other groups, which will disintegrate, dwindle, or be destroyed.

    Leaving aside how plausible his scenario is, we have known at least since sociologist Lewis Coser published his 1950s classic, The Functions of Social Conflict—backed by long historical experience—that group conflict tends to bring out the best and the worst in people. Sure, groups at war cohere quite beautifully. The difficulty is that the group has to be really nasty to outsiders. If you need group conflict to evolve cooperation, why don’t you need group conflict to sustain it? And if you do, the logic of group selection seems no help in getting to the kind of cooperation that includes all humanity—the group that is not at war because there is no outsider left to fight.

    Read More
  33. @Anonymous

    On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin, but with significant Mesolithic and Neolithic admixture from West and Central Europe.
     
    If I'm not mistaken, Peter Frost disputes this and argues that Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Mesolithic ancestry with minor Bronze Age steppe and Neolithic ancestry and primarily cultural imposition of diffusion of the Indo-European languages.

    That is impossible to argue, because Middle Neolithic Western and Central Europeans did not resemble modern Europeans in the context of modern West Eurasian/European variation.

    They were just too western, and that’s because they lacked steppe ancestry. You can see this in any half decent analysis.

    But it’s also important to note that the steppe invaders had a very high ratio of European Mesolithic ancestry; higher than most Europeans today.

    Read More
  34. @dave chamberlin
    I wish commentators would take their annoyingly combative comments over to the political ideology blogs.

    Razib Khan has an excellent blog post on the Genetic Architecture and Natural History of Pigmentation here ww.unz.com/gnxp/the-genetic-architecture-natural-history-of-pigmentation/


    We don't really know why natural selection worked on the very few genes that control skin pigmentation...yet. There are several possibilities. That is the nature of science. What we do know is that very few genes control skin pigmentation and this supports Frost's statement that replacement of one population by another has quite possibly been exaggerated because natural selection has likely worked to lighten the skin of Europeans over this time frame.

    There’s no need to limit this discussion to pigmentation SNPs, because we have information from hundreds of thousands of neutral SNPs, both genome wide and Y-chromosome, which clearly show that these massive population turnovers did take place.

    Read More
  35. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @AshTon
    Living a farming lifestyle has a selection pressure on the population. If farming spreads through cultural diffusion to a neighbouring population, who have similar roots, then similar selection pressures will occur, making them more similar to the original farming population. How can you distinguish between this kind of change, and the other kind of change - physical takeover, war etc?

    Another question. Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like? And are hunter gatherers more aggressive and roaming? Intuitively, the answer seems to be yes, and yet all I hear about early history is that farmers spread and took over everywhere. Did hunter gatherers ever take over farmers territory?

    Another question. Does farming make people more sedentary, and less war-like? And are hunter gatherers more aggressive and roaming?

    Generally speaking yes but

    1) if there is a particularly valuable static food source, for example a lake, that can support a sedentary HG population then the local HGs may become sedentary to hold onto it so in that regard they are like farmers already. I think any population that made the jump from HG to farmer are likely to have started that way – sedentary HGs.

    2) there’s being war-like as an individual and war-like as a group. I think dense sedentary populations need to become less war-like on an individual basis for social peace however if farming creates larger populations then the farmer group gains an advantage in numbers and that advantage can compensate for being less war-like on an individual basis.

    Intuitively, the answer seems to be yes, and yet all I hear about early history is that farmers spread and took over everywhere.

    Farming produced larger numbers so they greatly outnumbered the HGs and (imo) simply pushed them off any territory that could support farming.

    However there was a lot of territory that didn’t support farming where the HGs survived for a time and long enough on the periphery of the farming spread for them to adapt and bounce back in numbers.

    Did hunter gatherers ever take over farmers territory?

    There may be one or two examples but generally no – hunter-gathering supports too few people per square mile. On the other hand the HGs that turned into herders on the edge of the farming zone did it a lot as (imo) they had the same war-like traits combined with larger numbers.

    #

    The point about selection for body heat is very interesting. Mobile HGs without a nice warm house might need more of it than sedentary farmers.

    Read More
  36. On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin That is why Swedes look so much like west coast Irish, because THEY ARE BOTH MAINLY YAMNAYA?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Davidski
    That's very funny.

    Both Swedes and Irish are ~50% Bronze Age steppe, but much of the rest of their ancestry is somewhat different.

    Also, their more recent ancestry is somewhat different, with Swedes no doubt having a higher proportion of Corded Ware ancestry.
  37. @Sean
    On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Europeans are mostly of Bronze Age steppe origin That is why Swedes look so much like west coast Irish, because THEY ARE BOTH MAINLY YAMNAYA?

    That’s very funny.

    Both Swedes and Irish are ~50% Bronze Age steppe, but much of the rest of their ancestry is somewhat different.

    Also, their more recent ancestry is somewhat different, with Swedes no doubt having a higher proportion of Corded Ware ancestry.

    Read More
  38. So Swedes are mainly Yamnaya. OK how did Swedes get to have their distinctive pigmentation? If it was just living in the latitude of Sweden how come there were 1/7 dark people in Motala. Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe line 75-92

    The derived allele of rs12913832 at the HERC2/OCA2 locus is the primary determinant of blue eyes in Europeans, and may also contribute to light skin and hair pigmentation25-28. Our analysis detects a genome-wide signal of selection at this locus, but instead of the signal being one of positive selection with a coefficient of 0.036 as in a previous study of ancient DNA in the eastern Europe steppe our signal is of weakly negative selection (

    Read More
  39. continued

    The remaining two genome-wide signals are both located on chromosome 11 in the genes FADS1 and NADSYN1. FADS1 (and its linked family member FADS2), are involved in fatty acid metabolism, and variation at this locus is associated with plasma lipid and fatty acid concentration. The derived allele of he most significant SNP in our analysis, rs174546, is associated with decreased triglyceride levels31. This locus is therefore a plausible target of selection related to changes in diet. Variants at NADSYN1 (and the nearby DHCR1), have been associated with circulating vitamin D levels and the most associated SNP rs7940244 in our dataset is highly differentiated across closely related Northern European populations suggesting the possibility of selection related to variation in environmental sources of vitamin D.

    If natural selection has made closely related north European populations highly differentiated in their vitamin d metabolism people, then those adapted to “environmental sources of vitamin D” (ie UVb) near the equator would not do too well, because they are completely lacking the fine metabolic adaptation and light pigmentation. Yet there are black Africans growing up and living in countries like Sweden who are suffering no ill effects at all. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies took years to compile an authoritative report on D for the US and Canadian governments, it recommended no special vitamin D requirements for blacks, even in northern Canada. What the paper is saying is wrong.

    Read More
  40. Our analysis detects a genome-wide signal of selection at this locus, but instead of the signal being one of positive selection with a coefficient of 0.036 as in a previous study of ancient DNA in the eastern Europe steppe8, our signal is of weakly negative selection One possible explanation is local adaptation: that the allele is advantageous in the north and disadvantageous in the south of Europe. [!] This hypothesis is supported by the fact that our data shows that an extreme north-south gradient in allele frequencies has been maintained in Europe for the last 8,000 years (Figure 2C, Extended data Figure 3).

    Read More
  41. Was there convergent evolution for East Asians and Amerindians? Or did Mongoloids evolve in the Americas?

    There is no need to postulate convergent evolution to explain the similarities between East Asians and Amerindians. The ancestors of each group became separated at a later date than was the case with ‘West Eurasians’ (ancestral Europeans) and ‘East Eurasians’ (ancestors of East Asians and Amerindians).

    The separation between ancestral Amerindians and ancestral East Asians is usually set in the time period of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, i.e., after the glacial maximum. The other separation (West Eurasians and East Eurasians) happened earlier. I prefer a late date — the onset of the glacial maximum c. 20,000 years ago — but most people argue for an early date, around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.

    Sean,

    I disagree with the Wilson quote. It’s far too ‘Noble Savage.’ There were territorial conflicts among native American groups, apparently long before Europeans came on the scene. Yes, there were cases of native groups working out a modus vivendi. This was the case when the Inuit began to replace the Dorset people. They shared the same territory with one group exploiting one resource and the other another. But the modus vivendi broke down as the Inuit became more and more numerous.

    There’s no need to limit this discussion to pigmentation SNPs, because we have information from hundreds of thousands of neutral SNPs, both genome wide and Y-chromosome, which clearly show that these massive population turnovers did take place.

    Davidski,

    I’m not saying that no population replacement took place. I’m saying that the degree of replacement is exaggerated because your calculations make no allowance AT ALL for differences in natural selection.

    The geneticists who construct these models think that natural selection is generated only by the natural environment. If two human groups are exposed to the same climate, they must be exposed to the same pressures of natural selection. Most geneticists have no understanding that humans have to adapt not only to their natural environment but also to their cultural environment. Nor do they understand that human genetic change over the past 10,000 years has been overwhelmingly in response to different cultural environments.

    You say that these hundreds of thousands of SNPs are “neutral” and have no selective value. That is nonsense. All genes have some selective value, even junk DNA that never gets expressed (because it affects the spatial configuration of other genes). Look at Haplogroup U. Everybody thought it had no selective value, until it was shown that it did. Selective value is uncertain even for those genes that have been well studied. Two alleles may behave the same way in one context, and yet behave very differently in another.

    When I get into this kind of argument, people will point out that the selective value of these SNPs is probably too small to explain all of the genetic differences between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers. I agree. But I’m not the one who is arguing for a single explanation. You’re the one who is arguing that the genetic differences are completely due to population replacement. And this assumption leads to greatly inflated estimates of population replacement.

    If there was selection for peaceful and submissive, there would never have been any revolutions.

    It depends. In some societies, nothing terrible happens when the forces of law and order are knocked out of commission. Look at Japan during the tsunami. There was no looting or rioting, even though there was nothing to stop looting or rioting. The same in India during recent flooding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The separation between ancestral Amerindians and ancestral East Asians is usually set in the time period of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, i.e., after the glacial maximum.
     
    That's before Kennewick man, no? Wouldn't that suggest that there was either convergent evolution or that Mongoloids evolved in the Americas and then went northwest into Asia?
    , @iffen

    Look at Japan during the tsunami. There was no looting or rioting, even though there was nothing to stop looting or rioting. The same in India during recent flooding.
     
    Look at them (and any others you have in mind) before a natural disaster. They are different before, during and after.
  42. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Was there convergent evolution for East Asians and Amerindians? Or did Mongoloids evolve in the Americas?

    There is no need to postulate convergent evolution to explain the similarities between East Asians and Amerindians. The ancestors of each group became separated at a later date than was the case with 'West Eurasians' (ancestral Europeans) and 'East Eurasians' (ancestors of East Asians and Amerindians).

    The separation between ancestral Amerindians and ancestral East Asians is usually set in the time period of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, i.e., after the glacial maximum. The other separation (West Eurasians and East Eurasians) happened earlier. I prefer a late date -- the onset of the glacial maximum c. 20,000 years ago -- but most people argue for an early date, around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.

    Sean,

    I disagree with the Wilson quote. It's far too 'Noble Savage.' There were territorial conflicts among native American groups, apparently long before Europeans came on the scene. Yes, there were cases of native groups working out a modus vivendi. This was the case when the Inuit began to replace the Dorset people. They shared the same territory with one group exploiting one resource and the other another. But the modus vivendi broke down as the Inuit became more and more numerous.

    There’s no need to limit this discussion to pigmentation SNPs, because we have information from hundreds of thousands of neutral SNPs, both genome wide and Y-chromosome, which clearly show that these massive population turnovers did take place.

    Davidski,

    I'm not saying that no population replacement took place. I'm saying that the degree of replacement is exaggerated because your calculations make no allowance AT ALL for differences in natural selection.

    The geneticists who construct these models think that natural selection is generated only by the natural environment. If two human groups are exposed to the same climate, they must be exposed to the same pressures of natural selection. Most geneticists have no understanding that humans have to adapt not only to their natural environment but also to their cultural environment. Nor do they understand that human genetic change over the past 10,000 years has been overwhelmingly in response to different cultural environments.

    You say that these hundreds of thousands of SNPs are "neutral" and have no selective value. That is nonsense. All genes have some selective value, even junk DNA that never gets expressed (because it affects the spatial configuration of other genes). Look at Haplogroup U. Everybody thought it had no selective value, until it was shown that it did. Selective value is uncertain even for those genes that have been well studied. Two alleles may behave the same way in one context, and yet behave very differently in another.

    When I get into this kind of argument, people will point out that the selective value of these SNPs is probably too small to explain all of the genetic differences between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers. I agree. But I'm not the one who is arguing for a single explanation. You're the one who is arguing that the genetic differences are completely due to population replacement. And this assumption leads to greatly inflated estimates of population replacement.

    If there was selection for peaceful and submissive, there would never have been any revolutions.

    It depends. In some societies, nothing terrible happens when the forces of law and order are knocked out of commission. Look at Japan during the tsunami. There was no looting or rioting, even though there was nothing to stop looting or rioting. The same in India during recent flooding.

    The separation between ancestral Amerindians and ancestral East Asians is usually set in the time period of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, i.e., after the glacial maximum.

    That’s before Kennewick man, no? Wouldn’t that suggest that there was either convergent evolution or that Mongoloids evolved in the Americas and then went northwest into Asia?

    Read More
  43. @Peter Frost
    Was there convergent evolution for East Asians and Amerindians? Or did Mongoloids evolve in the Americas?

    There is no need to postulate convergent evolution to explain the similarities between East Asians and Amerindians. The ancestors of each group became separated at a later date than was the case with 'West Eurasians' (ancestral Europeans) and 'East Eurasians' (ancestors of East Asians and Amerindians).

    The separation between ancestral Amerindians and ancestral East Asians is usually set in the time period of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, i.e., after the glacial maximum. The other separation (West Eurasians and East Eurasians) happened earlier. I prefer a late date -- the onset of the glacial maximum c. 20,000 years ago -- but most people argue for an early date, around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.

    Sean,

    I disagree with the Wilson quote. It's far too 'Noble Savage.' There were territorial conflicts among native American groups, apparently long before Europeans came on the scene. Yes, there were cases of native groups working out a modus vivendi. This was the case when the Inuit began to replace the Dorset people. They shared the same territory with one group exploiting one resource and the other another. But the modus vivendi broke down as the Inuit became more and more numerous.

    There’s no need to limit this discussion to pigmentation SNPs, because we have information from hundreds of thousands of neutral SNPs, both genome wide and Y-chromosome, which clearly show that these massive population turnovers did take place.

    Davidski,

    I'm not saying that no population replacement took place. I'm saying that the degree of replacement is exaggerated because your calculations make no allowance AT ALL for differences in natural selection.

    The geneticists who construct these models think that natural selection is generated only by the natural environment. If two human groups are exposed to the same climate, they must be exposed to the same pressures of natural selection. Most geneticists have no understanding that humans have to adapt not only to their natural environment but also to their cultural environment. Nor do they understand that human genetic change over the past 10,000 years has been overwhelmingly in response to different cultural environments.

    You say that these hundreds of thousands of SNPs are "neutral" and have no selective value. That is nonsense. All genes have some selective value, even junk DNA that never gets expressed (because it affects the spatial configuration of other genes). Look at Haplogroup U. Everybody thought it had no selective value, until it was shown that it did. Selective value is uncertain even for those genes that have been well studied. Two alleles may behave the same way in one context, and yet behave very differently in another.

    When I get into this kind of argument, people will point out that the selective value of these SNPs is probably too small to explain all of the genetic differences between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers. I agree. But I'm not the one who is arguing for a single explanation. You're the one who is arguing that the genetic differences are completely due to population replacement. And this assumption leads to greatly inflated estimates of population replacement.

    If there was selection for peaceful and submissive, there would never have been any revolutions.

    It depends. In some societies, nothing terrible happens when the forces of law and order are knocked out of commission. Look at Japan during the tsunami. There was no looting or rioting, even though there was nothing to stop looting or rioting. The same in India during recent flooding.

    Look at Japan during the tsunami. There was no looting or rioting, even though there was nothing to stop looting or rioting. The same in India during recent flooding.

    Look at them (and any others you have in mind) before a natural disaster. They are different before, during and after.

    Read More
  44. That’s before Kennewick man, no? Wouldn’t that suggest that there was either convergent evolution or that Mongoloids evolved in the Americas and then went northwest into Asia?

    Kennewick Man survived the peak of the last Ice Age in the Northwest coastal refugium (from Washington State to the Alaskan Panhandle). That’s why he still had a more archaic, “Eurasian” appearance. A similar phenomenon took place on the other side of the Pacific, among the ancestors of the Ainu.

    The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.
     
    What's the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you've said before that there wasn't continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.
  45. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    That’s before Kennewick man, no? Wouldn’t that suggest that there was either convergent evolution or that Mongoloids evolved in the Americas and then went northwest into Asia?

    Kennewick Man survived the peak of the last Ice Age in the Northwest coastal refugium (from Washington State to the Alaskan Panhandle). That's why he still had a more archaic, "Eurasian" appearance. A similar phenomenon took place on the other side of the Pacific, among the ancestors of the Ainu.

    The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.

    The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.

    What’s the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you’ve said before that there wasn’t continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.

    Read More
  46. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Kennewick Man. His skull looked European, yet genetically he was closer to Amerindians.”

    No, genetically he is NOT related to an American Indian/”native” American group. (They’re not native, they came here from Siberia… You might call them “First Nations” folks, as the Canadians do, but then you’re not aware of the Clovis and pre-Clovis folks, who preceded “native” Americans by many hundreds of years and not by way of Siberia.)

    Really good article:
    ===============

    Now, though, after two decades, the dappled, pale brown bones are at last about to come into sharp focus, thanks to a long-awaited, monumental scientific publication next month co-edited by the physical anthropologist Douglas Owsley, of the Smithsonian Institution. No fewer than 48 authors and another 17 researchers, photographers and editors contributed to the 680-page Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton (Texas A&M University Press), the most complete analysis of a Paleo-American skeleton ever done.

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/kennewick-man-finally-freed-share-his-secrets-180952462/#gzY2SujRi5SG7Qo0.99
    ===============

    Read More
  47. @imnobody00
    Our scientific knowledge of the universe does not indicate that any morality whatsoever is part of the fundamental structure of the universe.

    Science is limited and one of its limits is that it does not address a whole lot of things. History cannot be tested by the scientific method (no experiments) and has its own method. Morality is something that is beyond science because science addresses the "is" part of the reality and morality addresses the "ought" part of the reality

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem.

    The fact that science cannot detect X does not mean that X does not exist. Science is a path (a method) to the truth, not the only path to the truth. In addition, it is not an infallible method. today's science is different than tomorrow's science. DNA was not detected by science for longtime so, for a longtime, you could say "our scientific knowledge does not indicate that there are physical things that produce biological inheritance".

    You seem to be affected by a radical scientism, a philosophical position you are not aware of.

    In addition, your position is contradictory. The assertion you base your reasoning on:

    "If something is not proven by science is false"

    Cannot be proven by science so it's false by your standards and you enter into a contradiction (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction). Your metaphysical assumptions are self-defeating.

    The problem with people who think that science is everything and philosophy is useless is that they have a (completely contradictory) philosophy and they don't even notice.

    You misconceive the point of the is/ought distinction. True that science cannot prescribe an ought which is not already in the logical formulation, though it can sometimes tell you what you ought to do if, for moral or other reasons, you wish to achieve a particular end. But that is to concede you were addressing the right point.

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group. It obviously could take some repeated harsh lessons for people who remembered good times when they had been very happy worshipping Baal….

    Read More
  48. What’s the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you’ve said before that there wasn’t continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.

    The evidence comes from ancient DNA and archaeology. Ancient human DNA dated to 24,000 BP and 17,000 BP in south-central Siberia shows strong affinities with present-day Europeans and Amerindians and a more distant affinity with present-day Siberians, who seem to be largely the product of repeopling from the south near the end of the ice age.

    Maanasa et al. (2013). Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans. Nature, 505, 87-91.

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.

    Goebel, T. (1999). Pleistocene human colonization of Siberia and peopling of the Americas: An ecological approach. Evolutionary Anthropology, 8, 208-227.

    Graf, K.E. (2009a). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”: evaluating the radiocarbon
    chronology of the middle and late Upper Paleolithic in the Enisei River valley, south-central Siberia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 694-707.

    Graf, K.E. (2009b) Modern human colonization of the Siberian Mammoth Steppe: A view from South-Central Siberia. In M. Camps and P. Chauhan (Eds.), Sourcebook of Paleolithic transitions. Springer Science & Business Media, p. 484-496.

    In a nutshell, Kennewick Man and Amerindians are two samples from the same population in northeast Asia but at different times, the first sample being around the beginning of the last ice age and the second one being later and closer to its peak.

    “No, genetically he is NOT related to an American Indian/”native” American group.”

    Sorry, but that was the finding of the genome analysis.

    Rasmussen, M., M. Sikora, A. Albrechtsen, T. Sand Korneliussen, J.Victor Moreno-Mayar, G. David Poznik, C.P.E. Zollikofer, M.S. Ponce de Leon, M.E. Allentoft, I. Moltke, H. Jonsson, C. Valdiosera, R.S. Malhi, L. Orlando, C.D. Bustamante, T.W. Stafford Jr. D.J. Meltzer, R. Nielsen, and E. Willerslev. (2015). The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man. Nature, early view

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature14625.html

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group.

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc.

    I’m surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God’s covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven …

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I’m surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God’s covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven …
     
    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws. Also, faith in Jesus is not sufficient for salvation in Catholicism.
    , @Anonymous

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.
     
    But you said in your previous comment that "The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia."

    If NE Asia had depopulated during the Ice Age, how could they have evolved there?
    , @iffen

    now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything.

     

    3And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    4But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

    5For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
  49. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    What’s the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you’ve said before that there wasn’t continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.

    The evidence comes from ancient DNA and archaeology. Ancient human DNA dated to 24,000 BP and 17,000 BP in south-central Siberia shows strong affinities with present-day Europeans and Amerindians and a more distant affinity with present-day Siberians, who seem to be largely the product of repeopling from the south near the end of the ice age.

    Maanasa et al. (2013). Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans. Nature, 505, 87-91.

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.

    Goebel, T. (1999). Pleistocene human colonization of Siberia and peopling of the Americas: An ecological approach. Evolutionary Anthropology, 8, 208-227.

    Graf, K.E. (2009a). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”: evaluating the radiocarbon
    chronology of the middle and late Upper Paleolithic in the Enisei River valley, south-central Siberia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 694-707.

    Graf, K.E. (2009b) Modern human colonization of the Siberian Mammoth Steppe: A view from South-Central Siberia. In M. Camps and P. Chauhan (Eds.), Sourcebook of Paleolithic transitions. Springer Science & Business Media, p. 484-496.

    In a nutshell, Kennewick Man and Amerindians are two samples from the same population in northeast Asia but at different times, the first sample being around the beginning of the last ice age and the second one being later and closer to its peak.

    "No, genetically he is NOT related to an American Indian/”native” American group."

    Sorry, but that was the finding of the genome analysis.

    Rasmussen, M., M. Sikora, A. Albrechtsen, T. Sand Korneliussen, J.Victor Moreno-Mayar, G. David Poznik, C.P.E. Zollikofer, M.S. Ponce de Leon, M.E. Allentoft, I. Moltke, H. Jonsson, C. Valdiosera, R.S. Malhi, L. Orlando, C.D. Bustamante, T.W. Stafford Jr. D.J. Meltzer, R. Nielsen, and E. Willerslev. (2015). The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man. Nature, early view
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature14625.html

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group.

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc.

    I'm surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God's covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven ...

    I’m surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God’s covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven …

    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws. Also, faith in Jesus is not sufficient for salvation in Catholicism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc
     
    .
    Thomas Aquinas's guide was Aristotle, who referred to non-human creatures as "other animals". I think you are taking Thomism as a timeless Catholic position .
  50. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    What’s the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you’ve said before that there wasn’t continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.

    The evidence comes from ancient DNA and archaeology. Ancient human DNA dated to 24,000 BP and 17,000 BP in south-central Siberia shows strong affinities with present-day Europeans and Amerindians and a more distant affinity with present-day Siberians, who seem to be largely the product of repeopling from the south near the end of the ice age.

    Maanasa et al. (2013). Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans. Nature, 505, 87-91.

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.

    Goebel, T. (1999). Pleistocene human colonization of Siberia and peopling of the Americas: An ecological approach. Evolutionary Anthropology, 8, 208-227.

    Graf, K.E. (2009a). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”: evaluating the radiocarbon
    chronology of the middle and late Upper Paleolithic in the Enisei River valley, south-central Siberia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 694-707.

    Graf, K.E. (2009b) Modern human colonization of the Siberian Mammoth Steppe: A view from South-Central Siberia. In M. Camps and P. Chauhan (Eds.), Sourcebook of Paleolithic transitions. Springer Science & Business Media, p. 484-496.

    In a nutshell, Kennewick Man and Amerindians are two samples from the same population in northeast Asia but at different times, the first sample being around the beginning of the last ice age and the second one being later and closer to its peak.

    "No, genetically he is NOT related to an American Indian/”native” American group."

    Sorry, but that was the finding of the genome analysis.

    Rasmussen, M., M. Sikora, A. Albrechtsen, T. Sand Korneliussen, J.Victor Moreno-Mayar, G. David Poznik, C.P.E. Zollikofer, M.S. Ponce de Leon, M.E. Allentoft, I. Moltke, H. Jonsson, C. Valdiosera, R.S. Malhi, L. Orlando, C.D. Bustamante, T.W. Stafford Jr. D.J. Meltzer, R. Nielsen, and E. Willerslev. (2015). The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man. Nature, early view
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature14625.html

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group.

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc.

    I'm surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God's covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven ...

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.

    But you said in your previous comment that “The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.”

    If NE Asia had depopulated during the Ice Age, how could they have evolved there?

    Read More
  51. @Anonymous

    I’m surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God’s covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven …
     
    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws. Also, faith in Jesus is not sufficient for salvation in Catholicism.

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc

    .
    Thomas Aquinas’s guide was Aristotle, who referred to non-human creatures as “other animals”. I think you are taking Thomism as a timeless Catholic position .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What's your point? Thomism isn't just one aspect of Catholic theology, but a central part of it, and it has a longer history than Protestantism itself.

    Also, the Catholic view of a moral universe with natural law predates Aquinas. You've never heard of St. Augustine?
  52. Great article!

    Mr. Frost,

    I was curious as to your impressions of the Windover Hill Bog Mummies of Florida. To my understanding the DNA retrieved from these Bog People was or European origin as well as their skeletal characteristics. Was this due to error in DNA sampling? Or were they different then Kennewick man. How did European DNA get to Pre Colombian Florida? Could they give life to the supposedly dead Soloutrean Hypothesis? Or could they simply show decent from the same population as Mal’ta specimen near lake Baikal?

    Read More
  53. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc
     
    .
    Thomas Aquinas's guide was Aristotle, who referred to non-human creatures as "other animals". I think you are taking Thomism as a timeless Catholic position .

    What’s your point? Thomism isn’t just one aspect of Catholic theology, but a central part of it, and it has a longer history than Protestantism itself.

    Also, the Catholic view of a moral universe with natural law predates Aquinas. You’ve never heard of St. Augustine?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    If you pick up on minor points of people's comments it opens the door for others to pick up on yours. For example, they do not accept the Trinity so Unitarians are not even Christians, let alone Protestants.

    Alasdair McIntyre makes a good case that the past is another country for morality.

  54. @Peter Frost
    What’s the evidence for this view? Have they found remains there? I think you’ve said before that there wasn’t continued settlement there during the Ice Age but continual die offs and resettlement from outside because it was too inhospitable.

    The evidence comes from ancient DNA and archaeology. Ancient human DNA dated to 24,000 BP and 17,000 BP in south-central Siberia shows strong affinities with present-day Europeans and Amerindians and a more distant affinity with present-day Siberians, who seem to be largely the product of repeopling from the south near the end of the ice age.

    Maanasa et al. (2013). Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans. Nature, 505, 87-91.

    This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.

    Goebel, T. (1999). Pleistocene human colonization of Siberia and peopling of the Americas: An ecological approach. Evolutionary Anthropology, 8, 208-227.

    Graf, K.E. (2009a). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”: evaluating the radiocarbon
    chronology of the middle and late Upper Paleolithic in the Enisei River valley, south-central Siberia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 694-707.

    Graf, K.E. (2009b) Modern human colonization of the Siberian Mammoth Steppe: A view from South-Central Siberia. In M. Camps and P. Chauhan (Eds.), Sourcebook of Paleolithic transitions. Springer Science & Business Media, p. 484-496.

    In a nutshell, Kennewick Man and Amerindians are two samples from the same population in northeast Asia but at different times, the first sample being around the beginning of the last ice age and the second one being later and closer to its peak.

    "No, genetically he is NOT related to an American Indian/”native” American group."

    Sorry, but that was the finding of the genome analysis.

    Rasmussen, M., M. Sikora, A. Albrechtsen, T. Sand Korneliussen, J.Victor Moreno-Mayar, G. David Poznik, C.P.E. Zollikofer, M.S. Ponce de Leon, M.E. Allentoft, I. Moltke, H. Jonsson, C. Valdiosera, R.S. Malhi, L. Orlando, C.D. Bustamante, T.W. Stafford Jr. D.J. Meltzer, R. Nielsen, and E. Willerslev. (2015). The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man. Nature, early view
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature14625.html

    The relevant point to address is whether there is any other source of morality than that which our scientific thinking can easily convince us is the source of moral codes, namely what human groups living together agree on as the rules which maintain tolerable social peace and stability and seem to work because adherence has gone with a flourishing tribe or wider ethnic group.

    Morality is something that humans impose on an amoral world. It originally was the set of rules for proper living among humans of the same tribe. It has since become universalized by various religions, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Bahai, etc.

    I'm surprised that several commenters have challenged my belief that the universe is fundamentally amoral. This was what I was taught in Sunday School. God's covenant is only for humans, and only for those who welcome Jesus into their hearts. There now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything. Even your kitty cat will get to go to heaven ...

    now seems to be a kind of postmodern Unitarianism that promises salvation to everyone and everything.

    3And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    4But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

    5For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

    Read More
  55. @Sean
    There were odd looking people in the north too. In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour and 4/7 had the Asian EDAR mutations, which has effects on appearance including hair, teeth, ears, breasts and sweat glands so the Motala people looked (and smelled) unlike any group of modern Europeans.

    The Motala people are only known from an unfortunate group that ended up with their heads mounted on stakes. The time frame suggest Doggerlanders.


    THERE would have been huge population shifts,” says Clive Waddington of Derbyshire-based Archaeological Research Services Ltd. “People who were living out in what is now the North Sea would have been displaced very quickly.” Some headed for Britain. At Howick in Northumberland, on the cliffs that run along Britain’s northeast coast and would therefore have been the first hills they saw, his team has found the remains of a dwelling that had been rebuilt three times in a span of 150 years. Among the earliest evidence of a settled lifestyle in Britain, the hut dates from around 7900 B.C. Waddington interprets its repeated habitation as a sign of increasing territoriality: the resident people defending their patch against waves of displaced Doggerlanders
     
    Myths and legends don't come better than Atlantis.

    There were odd looking people in the north too. In what was now Sweden 8000 years ago was the Motola hunter gatherers who were of diverse skin colour and 4/7 had the Asian EDAR mutations, which has effects on appearance including hair, teeth, ears, breasts and sweat glands so the Motala people looked (and smelled) unlike any group of modern Europeans.

    Interesting. Thanks for the post. Given this information, I found the following news article amusing. I know the people at the Motala site 8000 years ago are different than the people there today, but I still found it amusing :) :

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150419/ugly-swedes-offered-total-makeover

    Read More
  56. @Anonymous
    What's your point? Thomism isn't just one aspect of Catholic theology, but a central part of it, and it has a longer history than Protestantism itself.

    Also, the Catholic view of a moral universe with natural law predates Aquinas. You've never heard of St. Augustine?

    If you pick up on minor points of people’s comments it opens the door for others to pick up on yours. For example, they do not accept the Trinity so Unitarians are not even Christians, let alone Protestants.

    Alasdair McIntyre makes a good case that the past is another country for morality.

    Read More
  57. Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws.

    The idea of Natural Law originally came from the Stoics of Ancient Greece. They believed that the universe is governed by laws and that everyone naturally wishes to live in harmony with them, thanks to the divine spark that exists in all of us. In reply, the Epicureans argued that the laws of the universe are indifferent to humans and their problems.

    I can’t speak on behalf of all Protestants, but none of the ones I grew up with believed that morality applied to the entire universe, including animals and inanimate objects. I remember seeing how a cat would torment a mouse before finally killing it, and often it wouldn’t even eat the mouse. It just killed for pleasure.

    If that cat were a human, it would have been guilty of a serious moral offence. At the very least, it should have been brought to trial and charged with murder.

    I was curious as to your impressions of the Windover Hill Bog Mummies of Florida. To my understanding the DNA retrieved from these Bog People was or European origin as well as their skeletal characteristics.

    According to Wiki, the DNA analysis indicated Asian origin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    It just killed for pleasure.
     
    This is silly.

    They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior. The non-descendants of cats that did not do this are not here. There are probably experts in this field that could tell us a lot more. I would guess that repeated activation of the chase and kill behavior has all kinds of benefits for the hunter.

    You are an anthropologist. Go get some examples of warrior castes practicing killing on the slave and peon classes before going into battle against other warriors.
    , @Curious
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbayBEbIEwc

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin as it virtually does not exist in Siberia or East Asia.

    I believe Dr. Joseph Lorenz of the Coriell institute made the determination the DNA was of European origin.
    , @Anonymous
    The broader natural law tradition, derived largely from the Catholic natural law tradition, is derived from Plato and Aristotle, as well as the later Stoics. The Stoics are often credited as originating natural law, but the tradition has been based on Plato and Aristotle as well.

    Protestantism tends to eschew or depart from, either directly or indirectly, classical philosophy and tends to reject natural law, whereas natural law is a major foundation of Catholic theology. This can lead to quite different conceptions of morality.
  58. “This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age.” – [Your question] But you said in your previous comment that “The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.”

    There is a semantic difference between “the peak of the last ice age” and “the last ice age.” The latter is a much longer period of time than the former. Definitions vary. I define it as lasting from 25,000 to 10,000 years ago, but some see it beginning earlier, around 30,000 years ago, and some see it ending earlier, before the onset of the Younger Dryas (10,800 – 10,000 years ago).

    There is also some argument over the peak of the last ice age. In Northeast Asia, it seems to have been between 20,000 and 17,000 years ago. This is the time when we see widespread depopulation of that region. The depopulation doesn’t seem to have been total, however. The ancient DNA from 17,000 years ago still looks like something between Europeans and Amerindians, but there does seem to have been subsequent in-migration of people from the south.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The depopulation doesn’t seem to have been total, however. The ancient DNA from 17,000 years ago still looks like something between Europeans and Amerindians, but there does seem to have been subsequent in-migration of people from the south.
     
    If the area was depopulated and there was in-migration from the south, wouldn't that mean that they evolved elsewhere before the migration?

    Also, why would they move north during an ice age, the peak of an ice age no less, where it's colder and there's less food?
  59. @Peter Frost
    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws.

    The idea of Natural Law originally came from the Stoics of Ancient Greece. They believed that the universe is governed by laws and that everyone naturally wishes to live in harmony with them, thanks to the divine spark that exists in all of us. In reply, the Epicureans argued that the laws of the universe are indifferent to humans and their problems.

    I can't speak on behalf of all Protestants, but none of the ones I grew up with believed that morality applied to the entire universe, including animals and inanimate objects. I remember seeing how a cat would torment a mouse before finally killing it, and often it wouldn't even eat the mouse. It just killed for pleasure.

    If that cat were a human, it would have been guilty of a serious moral offence. At the very least, it should have been brought to trial and charged with murder.

    I was curious as to your impressions of the Windover Hill Bog Mummies of Florida. To my understanding the DNA retrieved from these Bog People was or European origin as well as their skeletal characteristics.

    According to Wiki, the DNA analysis indicated Asian origin.

    It just killed for pleasure.

    This is silly.

    They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior. The non-descendants of cats that did not do this are not here. There are probably experts in this field that could tell us a lot more. I would guess that repeated activation of the chase and kill behavior has all kinds of benefits for the hunter.

    You are an anthropologist. Go get some examples of warrior castes practicing killing on the slave and peon classes before going into battle against other warriors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    No actually they do it because when the cat delivers the killing bite it is exposing vulnerable vital areas like eyes to a mouse attack . Mice like other animals freeze totally when a cat gets them, and many animals will turn and attack a predator when they can't get away. Tom has to make sure Jerry is dead. So to get cats to avoid injury, they have been selected to enjoy torturing mice.

    Cats are trying to improve their owners' hunting skills by bringing them half dead mice. Having never seen their owners catch anything the cat brings them a prey animal to get the idea across, just as the mother cat did with them. Anyway, stop pestering busy people with irrelevant issues.
  60. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    "This is corroborated by archaeological evidence. There seems to have been widespread depopulation in northeast Asia at the peak of the last ice age." - [Your question] But you said in your previous comment that “The current appearance of Amerindians and East Asians seems to have developed during the last Ice Age in northeastern Asia.”

    There is a semantic difference between "the peak of the last ice age" and "the last ice age." The latter is a much longer period of time than the former. Definitions vary. I define it as lasting from 25,000 to 10,000 years ago, but some see it beginning earlier, around 30,000 years ago, and some see it ending earlier, before the onset of the Younger Dryas (10,800 - 10,000 years ago).

    There is also some argument over the peak of the last ice age. In Northeast Asia, it seems to have been between 20,000 and 17,000 years ago. This is the time when we see widespread depopulation of that region. The depopulation doesn't seem to have been total, however. The ancient DNA from 17,000 years ago still looks like something between Europeans and Amerindians, but there does seem to have been subsequent in-migration of people from the south.

    The depopulation doesn’t seem to have been total, however. The ancient DNA from 17,000 years ago still looks like something between Europeans and Amerindians, but there does seem to have been subsequent in-migration of people from the south.

    If the area was depopulated and there was in-migration from the south, wouldn’t that mean that they evolved elsewhere before the migration?

    Also, why would they move north during an ice age, the peak of an ice age no less, where it’s colder and there’s less food?

    Read More
  61. @iffen

    It just killed for pleasure.
     
    This is silly.

    They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior. The non-descendants of cats that did not do this are not here. There are probably experts in this field that could tell us a lot more. I would guess that repeated activation of the chase and kill behavior has all kinds of benefits for the hunter.

    You are an anthropologist. Go get some examples of warrior castes practicing killing on the slave and peon classes before going into battle against other warriors.

    No actually they do it because when the cat delivers the killing bite it is exposing vulnerable vital areas like eyes to a mouse attack . Mice like other animals freeze totally when a cat gets them, and many animals will turn and attack a predator when they can’t get away. Tom has to make sure Jerry is dead. So to get cats to avoid injury, they have been selected to enjoy torturing mice.

    Cats are trying to improve their owners’ hunting skills by bringing them half dead mice. Having never seen their owners catch anything the cat brings them a prey animal to get the idea across, just as the mother cat did with them. Anyway, stop pestering busy people with irrelevant issues.

    Read More
  62. @Peter Frost
    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws.

    The idea of Natural Law originally came from the Stoics of Ancient Greece. They believed that the universe is governed by laws and that everyone naturally wishes to live in harmony with them, thanks to the divine spark that exists in all of us. In reply, the Epicureans argued that the laws of the universe are indifferent to humans and their problems.

    I can't speak on behalf of all Protestants, but none of the ones I grew up with believed that morality applied to the entire universe, including animals and inanimate objects. I remember seeing how a cat would torment a mouse before finally killing it, and often it wouldn't even eat the mouse. It just killed for pleasure.

    If that cat were a human, it would have been guilty of a serious moral offence. At the very least, it should have been brought to trial and charged with murder.

    I was curious as to your impressions of the Windover Hill Bog Mummies of Florida. To my understanding the DNA retrieved from these Bog People was or European origin as well as their skeletal characteristics.

    According to Wiki, the DNA analysis indicated Asian origin.

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin as it virtually does not exist in Siberia or East Asia.

    I believe Dr. Joseph Lorenz of the Coriell institute made the determination the DNA was of European origin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Plantagenet
    That YouTube video took lorenz comments out of context. He said the samples were contaminated with The scientists European DNA. Because they could not replicate those same results. Also, the skulls were Sinodont and and within the variability of Native American morphology.
  63. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    If you pick up on minor points of people's comments it opens the door for others to pick up on yours. For example, they do not accept the Trinity so Unitarians are not even Christians, let alone Protestants.

    Alasdair McIntyre makes a good case that the past is another country for morality.

    Ok, but you don’t seem to have a point here.

    Read More
  64. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Perhaps that is the Protestant view? In Catholicism, the universe is not fundamentally amoral. There is a moral universe, and its Natural Laws can be determined by Reason, like the physical laws.

    The idea of Natural Law originally came from the Stoics of Ancient Greece. They believed that the universe is governed by laws and that everyone naturally wishes to live in harmony with them, thanks to the divine spark that exists in all of us. In reply, the Epicureans argued that the laws of the universe are indifferent to humans and their problems.

    I can't speak on behalf of all Protestants, but none of the ones I grew up with believed that morality applied to the entire universe, including animals and inanimate objects. I remember seeing how a cat would torment a mouse before finally killing it, and often it wouldn't even eat the mouse. It just killed for pleasure.

    If that cat were a human, it would have been guilty of a serious moral offence. At the very least, it should have been brought to trial and charged with murder.

    I was curious as to your impressions of the Windover Hill Bog Mummies of Florida. To my understanding the DNA retrieved from these Bog People was or European origin as well as their skeletal characteristics.

    According to Wiki, the DNA analysis indicated Asian origin.

    The broader natural law tradition, derived largely from the Catholic natural law tradition, is derived from Plato and Aristotle, as well as the later Stoics. The Stoics are often credited as originating natural law, but the tradition has been based on Plato and Aristotle as well.

    Protestantism tends to eschew or depart from, either directly or indirectly, classical philosophy and tends to reject natural law, whereas natural law is a major foundation of Catholic theology. This can lead to quite different conceptions of morality.

    Read More
  65. They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior.

    Why is it necessary to make that assumption? If you enjoy masturbating with a copy of Playboy, does this behavior help you to improve your sexual skills?

    Natural selection has favored cats that feel intense pleasure when they catch and kill mice. End of story.

    If the area was depopulated and there was in-migration from the south, wouldn’t that mean that they evolved elsewhere before the migration?

    Let me walk you through this. Siberian DNA from 24,000 and 17,000 years ago reveals the existence of humans who were more closely related to present-day Europeans and present-day Amerindians than they were to present-day Siberians. Both Amerindians and Kennewick Man are descended from this earlier Siberian population. The difference seems to be that one group left Siberia at an earlier time than the other.

    Also, why would they move north during an ice age, the peak of an ice age no less, where it’s colder and there’s less food?

    I wrote “subsequent in-migration.” The word subsequent means “at a later date.” After the depopulation at the peak of the ice age, other people began to move in from the south, when the climate began to improve.

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin

    The original claim was that the DNA was Amerindian with European admixture (Haplogroup X):

    “Thus, Windover can be considered a single population. Neighbor-joining tree analysis of mtDNA sequences suggests that some mitochondrial types are clearly related to extant Amerind types, whereas others, more distantly related, may reflect genetically distinct origins. A more complete sequence analysis will be required to firmly resolve this issue.”

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01921729

    The presence of Haplogroup X is now believed to be due to contamination:

    http://public.wsu.edu/~bmkemp/publications/pubs/Smith_et_al_2005.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I wrote “subsequent in-migration.” The word subsequent means “at a later date.” After the depopulation at the peak of the ice age, other people began to move in from the south, when the climate began to improve.
     
    So wouldn't this mean that the Mongoloids evolved south of northeast Asia, either in Asia or the Americas or both? And if both, that there was convergent evolution?
    , @Curious
    Does this mean that the Windover Hill remains had West Eurasian genes (European) unique from other modern Amerindian populations? Was the testing done by Joseph Lorenz a false positive? I just read an article claiming that the testing done by Lorenz showed DNA too close to his own to rule out contamination. But I understand there was a lack of funding for further testing.
  66. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior.

    Why is it necessary to make that assumption? If you enjoy masturbating with a copy of Playboy, does this behavior help you to improve your sexual skills?

    Natural selection has favored cats that feel intense pleasure when they catch and kill mice. End of story.

    If the area was depopulated and there was in-migration from the south, wouldn’t that mean that they evolved elsewhere before the migration?

    Let me walk you through this. Siberian DNA from 24,000 and 17,000 years ago reveals the existence of humans who were more closely related to present-day Europeans and present-day Amerindians than they were to present-day Siberians. Both Amerindians and Kennewick Man are descended from this earlier Siberian population. The difference seems to be that one group left Siberia at an earlier time than the other.

    Also, why would they move north during an ice age, the peak of an ice age no less, where it’s colder and there’s less food?

    I wrote "subsequent in-migration." The word subsequent means "at a later date." After the depopulation at the peak of the ice age, other people began to move in from the south, when the climate began to improve.

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin

    The original claim was that the DNA was Amerindian with European admixture (Haplogroup X):

    "Thus, Windover can be considered a single population. Neighbor-joining tree analysis of mtDNA sequences suggests that some mitochondrial types are clearly related to extant Amerind types, whereas others, more distantly related, may reflect genetically distinct origins. A more complete sequence analysis will be required to firmly resolve this issue."

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01921729

    The presence of Haplogroup X is now believed to be due to contamination:

    http://public.wsu.edu/~bmkemp/publications/pubs/Smith_et_al_2005.pdf

    I wrote “subsequent in-migration.” The word subsequent means “at a later date.” After the depopulation at the peak of the ice age, other people began to move in from the south, when the climate began to improve.

    So wouldn’t this mean that the Mongoloids evolved south of northeast Asia, either in Asia or the Americas or both? And if both, that there was convergent evolution?

    Read More
  67. Natural selection has favored cats that feel intense pleasure when they catch and kill mice. End of story.

    Natural selection has favored cats that are the best at catching prey. Practicing on crippled prey hones some of the skills that make a good predator. Mother cats bring crippled prey to their kittens and let them chase and catch in order to teach them how to catch prey. I have watched them do this for over sixty years. Cats do not experience pleasure, nor do they torment or torture, those experiences have been reserved to humans.

    Read More
  68. So wouldn’t this mean that the Mongoloids evolved south of northeast Asia, either in Asia or the Americas or both? And if both, that there was convergent evolution?

    The answer is ‘no’ to both of your questions:

    - At one time, before the last ice age, northern Eurasia was home to a population that was ancestral to present-day Europeans, Amerindians, and East Asians.
    - Kennewick Man and the Ainu seem to be very close phenotypically to this archaic Eurasian population, probably because they lived in coastal refugia during the last ice age.
    - Ancestral Amerindians seem to have branched off during the last ice age but before the peak or perhaps they moved eastward in response to this peak.
    - Ancestral East Asians seem to have branched off by moving southward, while remaining within a subarctic or boreal environment.

    Mother cats bring crippled prey to their kittens and let them chase and catch in order to teach them how to catch prey.

    Cats don’t learn to hunt prey. It’s instinctive:

    Investigated the reaction of 8 kittens when in the presence of mice. The kittens (5 males and 3 females) belonged to 2 litters. The reactions of each kitten to the smell, sight and presence of mice, from the period of post birth blindness till the age of 4 or 5 wks, was tested. Results indicated the presence of an instinct to kill mice which may manifest itself in the kitten before the end of the first month of life. The instinct appeared suddenly and was fairly definite in character, complex, and highly adaptive. The instinct was aroused by the movement and the odor of the mice, but became increasingly difficult to evoke after the age of 3 to 5 mos. Imitation may also contribute to the awakening of this instinct, but no such opportunity was provided during the experiments. Suggests that the female kitten has a more highly developed instinct than the male.

    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/7/8/253/

    Cats do not experience pleasure, nor do they torment or torture, those experiences have been reserved to humans.

    Cats have pleasure centers in their brain, just like humans:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.901210310/abstract;jsessionid=2DE557E2A851361E662E08A5940BC99F.f04t04

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    First, I would like to apologize for my use of the word silly. I was the one that was silly plus I was rude.

    Second, I would like to make it as clear as I can that I was dwelling upon the idea that cats torment and torture; not that they don’t have some bio-chemical reinforcement mechanisms that influence their behavior. I do not know how instincts are formed and reinforced; it may be that pleasure is the main mechanism.

    I know that cats have a predator’s instinct to chase, catch and kill. I am just trying to point out that the play with crippled prey will allow a cat to become better at executing that instinct. It serves a legitimate purpose in their existence.

    I also think that humans have a predator’s instinct as well. Whether that derives from a common thread that runs through all predators I don’t know. We execute this instinct in varied ways and I don’t mean just by killing Cecils.

    Let me give you a scenario that will very clearly illustrate what I mean. If this doesn’t work, I will stop trying.

    Suppose my mother cat brings back a crippled chipmunk and lets her kittens play with it until it is finished off by one of the kittens. I do not consider this to be torture. I do not intervene.

    Instead, suppose I take the wounded chipmunk and decide to have some fun. I break a leg and see how far it can get on three legs. Then I poke out both eyes and have a good laugh while watching a three-legged blind chipmunk try to get away. I would be engaging in torment and torture.

    I make a very clean, completely unambiguous distinction between what I did and what the kittens did. You can consider them the same if you want.

    , @Anonymous

    - At one time, before the last ice age, northern Eurasia was home to a population that was ancestral to present-day Europeans, Amerindians, and East Asians.
    - Kennewick Man and the Ainu seem to be very close phenotypically to this archaic Eurasian population, probably because they lived in coastal refugia during the last ice age.
    - Ancestral Amerindians seem to have branched off during the last ice age but before the peak or perhaps they moved eastward in response to this peak.
    - Ancestral East Asians seem to have branched off by moving southward, while remaining within a subarctic or boreal environment.
     
    Wasn't the Mal'ta specimen found to be unrelated to East Asians?

    So have the oldest specimens been found in NE Asia dating to the ice age, or are people just guessing or assuming that Mongoloids evolved in NE Asia during the ice age? Have people just found East Asian and Amerindian specimens and assumed that they must have evolved in NE Asia during the ice age? In which case, what's the basis for this assumption?
  69. Protestantism tends to eschew or depart from, either directly or indirectly, classical philosophy and tends to reject natural law, whereas natural law is a major foundation of Catholic theology.

    Protestants believe that divine revelation is limited to the Bible. This has its good points and its bad points. One bad point is that they turn the Bible into a “paper Pope.” Another bad point is that they completely ignore the rich literature of post-Biblical theologians: Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, Aquinas, and so forth.

    The good point is that Protestants, by limiting divine revelation, make it possible to question many dubious ideas and subject them to the harsh light of scientific enquiry. Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas were good men, but they were men. They made mistakes or they inherited mistakes from thinkers before them. Natural Law is one of them.

    Yes, there are laws in this universe, but morality has nothing to do with them. At best, Natural Law leads to a dumb fatalism where everything that happens must happen. If Aunt May dies in a horrible car accident, there must have been some higher purpose. Otherwise why did it happen? I noticed this during my time in Russia. A lot of Russians think in terms of “good omens” and “bad omens.” If something strange happens on a particular day or in a particular place, there must be a mystical reason. It all comes down to this idea that everything is purposeful. It’s a very wrong idea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Natural Law proponents make similar claims about Protestantism, that its rejection of natural law leads to fatalism, relativism, and moral nihilism. In the Catholic natural law tradition, natural law complements agent based, virtue ethics and the salvific power of works. Whereas, according to natural law proponents, Protestantism's rejection of natural law and reduction of morality and salvation to a contractual relationship and faith alone leads to fatalistic views such as predestination and eventually moral relativism and nihilism.
  70. @Peter Frost
    So wouldn’t this mean that the Mongoloids evolved south of northeast Asia, either in Asia or the Americas or both? And if both, that there was convergent evolution?

    The answer is 'no' to both of your questions:

    - At one time, before the last ice age, northern Eurasia was home to a population that was ancestral to present-day Europeans, Amerindians, and East Asians.
    - Kennewick Man and the Ainu seem to be very close phenotypically to this archaic Eurasian population, probably because they lived in coastal refugia during the last ice age.
    - Ancestral Amerindians seem to have branched off during the last ice age but before the peak or perhaps they moved eastward in response to this peak.
    - Ancestral East Asians seem to have branched off by moving southward, while remaining within a subarctic or boreal environment.

    Mother cats bring crippled prey to their kittens and let them chase and catch in order to teach them how to catch prey.

    Cats don't learn to hunt prey. It's instinctive:

    Investigated the reaction of 8 kittens when in the presence of mice. The kittens (5 males and 3 females) belonged to 2 litters. The reactions of each kitten to the smell, sight and presence of mice, from the period of post birth blindness till the age of 4 or 5 wks, was tested. Results indicated the presence of an instinct to kill mice which may manifest itself in the kitten before the end of the first month of life. The instinct appeared suddenly and was fairly definite in character, complex, and highly adaptive. The instinct was aroused by the movement and the odor of the mice, but became increasingly difficult to evoke after the age of 3 to 5 mos. Imitation may also contribute to the awakening of this instinct, but no such opportunity was provided during the experiments. Suggests that the female kitten has a more highly developed instinct than the male.
     
    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/7/8/253/

    Cats do not experience pleasure, nor do they torment or torture, those experiences have been reserved to humans.

    Cats have pleasure centers in their brain, just like humans:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.901210310/abstract;jsessionid=2DE557E2A851361E662E08A5940BC99F.f04t04

    First, I would like to apologize for my use of the word silly. I was the one that was silly plus I was rude.

    Second, I would like to make it as clear as I can that I was dwelling upon the idea that cats torment and torture; not that they don’t have some bio-chemical reinforcement mechanisms that influence their behavior. I do not know how instincts are formed and reinforced; it may be that pleasure is the main mechanism.

    I know that cats have a predator’s instinct to chase, catch and kill. I am just trying to point out that the play with crippled prey will allow a cat to become better at executing that instinct. It serves a legitimate purpose in their existence.

    I also think that humans have a predator’s instinct as well. Whether that derives from a common thread that runs through all predators I don’t know. We execute this instinct in varied ways and I don’t mean just by killing Cecils.

    Let me give you a scenario that will very clearly illustrate what I mean. If this doesn’t work, I will stop trying.

    Suppose my mother cat brings back a crippled chipmunk and lets her kittens play with it until it is finished off by one of the kittens. I do not consider this to be torture. I do not intervene.

    Instead, suppose I take the wounded chipmunk and decide to have some fun. I break a leg and see how far it can get on three legs. Then I poke out both eyes and have a good laugh while watching a three-legged blind chipmunk try to get away. I would be engaging in torment and torture.

    I make a very clean, completely unambiguous distinction between what I did and what the kittens did. You can consider them the same if you want.

    Read More
  71. @Peter Frost
    They do it because the cats that do this improve their hunting skills. It trains their young to be better hunters and their descendants will continue with this behavior.

    Why is it necessary to make that assumption? If you enjoy masturbating with a copy of Playboy, does this behavior help you to improve your sexual skills?

    Natural selection has favored cats that feel intense pleasure when they catch and kill mice. End of story.

    If the area was depopulated and there was in-migration from the south, wouldn’t that mean that they evolved elsewhere before the migration?

    Let me walk you through this. Siberian DNA from 24,000 and 17,000 years ago reveals the existence of humans who were more closely related to present-day Europeans and present-day Amerindians than they were to present-day Siberians. Both Amerindians and Kennewick Man are descended from this earlier Siberian population. The difference seems to be that one group left Siberia at an earlier time than the other.

    Also, why would they move north during an ice age, the peak of an ice age no less, where it’s colder and there’s less food?

    I wrote "subsequent in-migration." The word subsequent means "at a later date." After the depopulation at the peak of the ice age, other people began to move in from the south, when the climate began to improve.

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin

    The original claim was that the DNA was Amerindian with European admixture (Haplogroup X):

    "Thus, Windover can be considered a single population. Neighbor-joining tree analysis of mtDNA sequences suggests that some mitochondrial types are clearly related to extant Amerind types, whereas others, more distantly related, may reflect genetically distinct origins. A more complete sequence analysis will be required to firmly resolve this issue."

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01921729

    The presence of Haplogroup X is now believed to be due to contamination:

    http://public.wsu.edu/~bmkemp/publications/pubs/Smith_et_al_2005.pdf

    Does this mean that the Windover Hill remains had West Eurasian genes (European) unique from other modern Amerindian populations? Was the testing done by Joseph Lorenz a false positive? I just read an article claiming that the testing done by Lorenz showed DNA too close to his own to rule out contamination. But I understand there was a lack of funding for further testing.

    Read More
  72. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Protestantism tends to eschew or depart from, either directly or indirectly, classical philosophy and tends to reject natural law, whereas natural law is a major foundation of Catholic theology.

    Protestants believe that divine revelation is limited to the Bible. This has its good points and its bad points. One bad point is that they turn the Bible into a "paper Pope." Another bad point is that they completely ignore the rich literature of post-Biblical theologians: Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, Aquinas, and so forth.

    The good point is that Protestants, by limiting divine revelation, make it possible to question many dubious ideas and subject them to the harsh light of scientific enquiry. Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas were good men, but they were men. They made mistakes or they inherited mistakes from thinkers before them. Natural Law is one of them.

    Yes, there are laws in this universe, but morality has nothing to do with them. At best, Natural Law leads to a dumb fatalism where everything that happens must happen. If Aunt May dies in a horrible car accident, there must have been some higher purpose. Otherwise why did it happen? I noticed this during my time in Russia. A lot of Russians think in terms of "good omens" and "bad omens." If something strange happens on a particular day or in a particular place, there must be a mystical reason. It all comes down to this idea that everything is purposeful. It's a very wrong idea.

    Natural Law proponents make similar claims about Protestantism, that its rejection of natural law leads to fatalism, relativism, and moral nihilism. In the Catholic natural law tradition, natural law complements agent based, virtue ethics and the salvific power of works. Whereas, according to natural law proponents, Protestantism’s rejection of natural law and reduction of morality and salvation to a contractual relationship and faith alone leads to fatalistic views such as predestination and eventually moral relativism and nihilism.

    Read More
  73. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    So wouldn’t this mean that the Mongoloids evolved south of northeast Asia, either in Asia or the Americas or both? And if both, that there was convergent evolution?

    The answer is 'no' to both of your questions:

    - At one time, before the last ice age, northern Eurasia was home to a population that was ancestral to present-day Europeans, Amerindians, and East Asians.
    - Kennewick Man and the Ainu seem to be very close phenotypically to this archaic Eurasian population, probably because they lived in coastal refugia during the last ice age.
    - Ancestral Amerindians seem to have branched off during the last ice age but before the peak or perhaps they moved eastward in response to this peak.
    - Ancestral East Asians seem to have branched off by moving southward, while remaining within a subarctic or boreal environment.

    Mother cats bring crippled prey to their kittens and let them chase and catch in order to teach them how to catch prey.

    Cats don't learn to hunt prey. It's instinctive:

    Investigated the reaction of 8 kittens when in the presence of mice. The kittens (5 males and 3 females) belonged to 2 litters. The reactions of each kitten to the smell, sight and presence of mice, from the period of post birth blindness till the age of 4 or 5 wks, was tested. Results indicated the presence of an instinct to kill mice which may manifest itself in the kitten before the end of the first month of life. The instinct appeared suddenly and was fairly definite in character, complex, and highly adaptive. The instinct was aroused by the movement and the odor of the mice, but became increasingly difficult to evoke after the age of 3 to 5 mos. Imitation may also contribute to the awakening of this instinct, but no such opportunity was provided during the experiments. Suggests that the female kitten has a more highly developed instinct than the male.
     
    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/7/8/253/

    Cats do not experience pleasure, nor do they torment or torture, those experiences have been reserved to humans.

    Cats have pleasure centers in their brain, just like humans:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.901210310/abstract;jsessionid=2DE557E2A851361E662E08A5940BC99F.f04t04

    - At one time, before the last ice age, northern Eurasia was home to a population that was ancestral to present-day Europeans, Amerindians, and East Asians.
    - Kennewick Man and the Ainu seem to be very close phenotypically to this archaic Eurasian population, probably because they lived in coastal refugia during the last ice age.
    - Ancestral Amerindians seem to have branched off during the last ice age but before the peak or perhaps they moved eastward in response to this peak.
    - Ancestral East Asians seem to have branched off by moving southward, while remaining within a subarctic or boreal environment.

    Wasn’t the Mal’ta specimen found to be unrelated to East Asians?

    So have the oldest specimens been found in NE Asia dating to the ice age, or are people just guessing or assuming that Mongoloids evolved in NE Asia during the ice age? Have people just found East Asian and Amerindian specimens and assumed that they must have evolved in NE Asia during the ice age? In which case, what’s the basis for this assumption?

    Read More
  74. Anon,

    If you’re looking for an unconditional supporter of Protestantism, you’ve come to the wrong person. I am well aware of its many defects. I trust that you too are aware of the many defects of Catholicism.

    Read More
  75. It is a good thing to throw out, shred or use as toilet paper any studies and reports before the current date. Why? Because they are based on old data, old ideas and old paradigms. So Brace et al, Angel et al… garbage.

    Read More
  76. @Curious
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbayBEbIEwc

    This is a link to an old Science Channel Special that claims the DNA was of pre Colombian European origin. The special is a bit old so maybe they have done more accurate testing as of late. The Wikipedia account did list that the human remains had haplogroup X which I understand has been hypothesized to be of west Eurasian and possibly Iberian origin as it virtually does not exist in Siberia or East Asia.

    I believe Dr. Joseph Lorenz of the Coriell institute made the determination the DNA was of European origin.

    That YouTube video took lorenz comments out of context. He said the samples were contaminated with The scientists European DNA. Because they could not replicate those same results. Also, the skulls were Sinodont and and within the variability of Native American morphology.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Peter Frost Comments via RSS