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When Did European Adults Finally Evolve to Drink Milk?
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There will be a flood of ancient DNA evidence coming out soon, including analyses of genes not just denoting ancestry but also functional DNA. Here’s a preview from last year.

From Science a year ago:

Warrior skeletons reveal Bronze Age Europeans couldn’t drink milk

Ability to digest dairy as an adult evolved later—and much more quickly—than scientists thought
3 SEP 2020 BY ANDREW CURRY

About 3000 years ago, thousands of warriors fought on the banks of the Tollense river in northern Germany. They wielded weapons of wood, stone, and bronze to deadly effect: Over the past decade, archaeologists have unearthed the skeletal remains of hundreds of people buried in marshy soil. It’s one of the largest prehistoric conflicts ever discovered.

I wrote about the Tollense River battle four years ago when I got into the Late Bronze Age Collapse. Archaeologists’ back-of-an-envelope calculations are that there were 4,000 combatants, which sounds like a lot for a site at 54 degrees north. It took a long time to adapt Fertile Crescent crops to the latitude of Edmonton, Canada.

So, what were all the warriors getting their calories from? Milk?

I guess not:

Now, genetic testing of the skeletons reveals the homelands of the warriors—and unearths a shocker about early European diets: These soldiers couldn’t digest fresh milk.

Searching for more insight into the battle, researchers sequenced the DNA of 14 of the skeletons. They discovered the warriors all hailed from central Europe—what is today Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, their genetic similarity offers little insight into why they fought.

“We were hoping to find two different groups of people with different ethnic backgrounds, but no,” says study co-author Joachim Burger, a geneticist at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. “It’s disappointingly boring.”

I suspect they need more than 14 skeletons to be sure of getting samples from both sides. Lots of battles turn into massacres when one side breaks and runs. I guess analysis of the bones might suggest whether most died from wounds from the front (a battle) or the back (a massacre).

However, two of the 14 skeletons were women, suggesting a more complex scene than archaeologists had reconstructed.

The study, published today in the journal Cell Biology, turned up a different surprise, too. None of the warriors had the genetic mutation that allows adults to digest milk, an ability known as lactase persistence that’s common in many Europeans.

Other studies have shown lactase persistence was common in parts of Germany by 500 C.E., and widespread across the region by 1000 C.E. So the gene must have spread before that time, but after the battle just 2000 years earlier. That means that within about 100 generations, the mutation had penetrated populations across Europe. “That’s the strongest selection found in the human genome,” Burger says.

The finding only deepens the mystery of lactase persistence. In a 2007 study, Burger showed that Europe’s first farmers, living more than 8000 years ago, weren’t lactase persistent either. At the time, he argued that the mutation gradually spread along with the development of agriculture and herding, a theory supported by signs of milking and cheese- and yogurt-making in Stone Age Europe. People able to digest milk, the argument went, would be able to get more calories from their herds than those without, and more of their children would survive to pass on the gene.

But the Tollense skeletons show that at least 6000 more years went by before the gene for lactase persistence caught on. The DNA results also quash the theory, first proposed in 2015, that the gene for lactase persistence was imported to Western Europe at about 5000 B.C.E. by cow-herding nomads from the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Russia, the Yamnaya people.

I thought that was a Cochran and Harpending theory in their 2010 book?

The results leave scientists more puzzled than ever about exactly when and why Europeans began to drink milk. “Natural genetic drift can’t explain it, and there’s no evidence that it was population turnover either,” says Christina Warinner, a geneticist at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History who was not involved with the study. “It’s almost embarrassing that this is the strongest example of selection we have and we can’t really explain it.”

 
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  1. Last I heard, the allele came with the Indo-Europeans, despite it not being widespread among Indo-Europeans. It only became widespread among their hybrid descendants. Sorry, I don’t remember the source for this theory.

  2. Whether or not genetic traits are acknowledged as markers of global regions and the races that inhabited them as distinct identifiers seems to be a coin flip depending on what day of the week it happens to be.

  3. Anonymous[279] • Disclaimer says:

    Could it be Europeans learned to drink milk by first beginning with human females? Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children. Milk for the babies, and milk for men. And perhaps this behavior led to men favoring women with bigger breasts.

    And then, European figured they could get the milk from cows instead and give mothering women a break.

    The Gary Theory of Milk Consumption might be correct.

    • Replies: @al gore rhythms
    @Anonymous

    "Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children"

    Interesting. One can almost imagine their hungry mouths searching, probing. Could you expand on this a litte more? I'm a scientist, you see.

    Replies: @Veteran Aryan

    , @International Jew
    @Anonymous

    No, because to produce that milk, women need to eat. In fact, to produce a pint of milk, they need to consume more calories than that pint of milk provides. If I knew more physics, I could tell you why this is an implication of the second law of thermodynamics. Or think of it this way: if your idea made sense, then women could live off their own milk.

    The same principle applies to cow milk, except that cows eat stuff we humans can't eat (like grass). So drinking cow milk, unlike your idea, really is a net win for us.

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    , @anonymous coward
    @Anonymous

    No. Human milk isn't like cow milk at all in nutrition and composition.
    (People say human milk is very oily and sweet; no experience with this first hand. Artificial baby formula is made from palm oil, not cow milk. Supposedly palm oil is the closest we can get to human milk.)

    , @Muggles
    @Anonymous

    One of the principal theories about how agriculture ended up overwhelming the hunter-gatherers in Europe (via various migrations) was that hunter-gatherer populations grew very slowly, if at all.

    The reason? The H-Gs were always on the move for new food sources. Women bearing children would suckle them up until the age of 6 or so (this also partly from research into modern H-G peoples). Very young children could only drink milk.

    Women who wean their young evidently can't reproduce due to hormonal responses to that. Hence much slower and lower population replacement. One (or two) every five-six years leads to very slow and low replacement rate. You also have to factor in survivability of live births.

    As agriculture replaced hunting/gathering living in a stable place or location became necessary and desirable if crops maintained the population. As a result very young children no longer had to move with the tribe/clan. Instead they stayed with their parents in one place for the most part.

    So young children were weaned off mothers milk at 12-18 months. This meant no longer lactating fertile women could bear again, much sooner. Years sooner.

    Even tolerance for replacing mothers milk with cow milk (or sheep/goat) could accelerate the rate of reproduction and birth as weaning could take place in just a few months. So this might also be a factor in some European populations adaption to the lactose tolerant genetic makeup. Agriculture came with domestication of livestock.

    Fertile women accelerating the rate of live birthing due to stability of home location (hence no travel of very young) plus faster weaning off of mothers milk via cows. Populations in northern Europe could grow faster as a result.

    Studies of existing H-G groups suggest very low population growth for the same reason.

  4. Whether or not genetic traits are acknowledged as markers of global regions and the races that inhabited them, seems a coin flip depending on what day of the week it happens to be.

    It’s all social constructs, unless you need certain things like bone marrow transplants, or sickle cell anemia gene therapy.

  5. It’s almost embarrassing that this is the strongest example of selection we have and we can’t really explain it.”

    What’s wrong with “selection happens faster than we thought” as an explanation?

    It certainly seems to be happening pretty fast nowadays, and we don’t even have 4000-KIA bronze age battles to speed things along.

    • Replies: @epebble
    @Almost Missouri

    Is it that shocking than an ability (Lactase Persistence) did not drop off as rapidly when humans started consuming milk beyond infancy? We did not acquire a trait. We just held on to it longer. That is like saying "He did not quickly lose all his money" which is different from "He quickly earned a lot of money".

  6. The Old Testament certainly mentions milk drinking. Maybe some Phoenician traders helped a bit in visits to port.

    • Replies: @Oldtest
    @2BR

    Yes, the promised land is described as the land of milk and honey

    Replies: @al gore rhythms

    , @Franz
    @2BR


    The Old Testament certainly mentions milk drinking.
     
    The fact that the "Old Testament" was written no earlier than 150 B.C. is a likely explanation.
  7. A sample size of 14 individuals. And sampled together (not random). Worthless.

  8. An alternative hypothesis: The bodies left behind on the battlefield were those of the losers, overwhelmed Early European Farmers, whose corpses were left to rot in situ by the invading Yamnaya victors. The victors removed their dead for cremation or some other burial rite. The Yamnaya were herders and milk drinkers which gave them a large nutritional edge, which helped create a competitive edge in battle.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Thanks: AnotherDad
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Yamnaya never made it to Germany and did not exist 3000 years ago (they disappear by 2600 BC, replaced by Corded Ware migrants from central Europe.)

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...

  9. This is a good time to mention Erectus Walks Amongst Us, available right here on TUR.

  10. @Almost Missouri

    It’s almost embarrassing that this is the strongest example of selection we have and we can’t really explain it.”
     
    What's wrong with "selection happens faster than we thought" as an explanation?

    It certainly seems to be happening pretty fast nowadays, and we don't even have 4000-KIA bronze age battles to speed things along.

    Replies: @epebble

    Is it that shocking than an ability (Lactase Persistence) did not drop off as rapidly when humans started consuming milk beyond infancy? We did not acquire a trait. We just held on to it longer. That is like saying “He did not quickly lose all his money” which is different from “He quickly earned a lot of money”.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  11. @Jus' Sayin'...
    An alternative hypothesis: The bodies left behind on the battlefield were those of the losers, overwhelmed Early European Farmers, whose corpses were left to rot in situ by the invading Yamnaya victors. The victors removed their dead for cremation or some other burial rite. The Yamnaya were herders and milk drinkers which gave them a large nutritional edge, which helped create a competitive edge in battle.

    Replies: @Anon

    Yamnaya never made it to Germany and did not exist 3000 years ago (they disappear by 2600 BC, replaced by Corded Ware migrants from central Europe.)

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    @Anon


    Yamnaya never made it to Germany and did not exist 3000 years ago (they disappear by 2600 BC, replaced by Corded Ware migrants from central Europe.)
     
    Thanks for your comment. In light of it, I'll correct my hastily written alternative hypothesis, viz.:

    An alternative hypothesis: The bodies left behind on the battlefield were those of the losers, overwhelmed autochthones, whose corpses were left to rot in situ by the invading victors from the east. The victors removed their dead for cremation or some other burial rite. The invaders were herders and milk drinkers which gave them a large nutritional edge and increased their advantage in battle.

  12. There is archeological evidence for cheese making in Egypt from 5000 years ago.

    The only form in which milk/curds could be preserved for dietary purposes in hot climates was in very salty cheeses, although European cheeses did not need to be so salty, so a variety of tasty cheeses were developed.

    Sheep and goats were certainly herded in very ancients times, hence the Bible mentions the difficulty in telling one from the other.

    Cheese making was certainly very well developed by Roman times.

    Viking warriors apparently fueled themselves on mare’s’ milk, although it was usually drunk in a fermented form probably somewhat similar to kefir milk today.

    Of course all mammals start life outside the womb on a diet of milk, but in most cases they get weaned off the milk, except perhaps for cats.

  13. Did horse riding warriors first drink horse milk while on the steppe before taking to cow milk?

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @clifford brown

    No. Horse milk causes diarrhea in people. Modern horse herders in central Asia ferment horse milk in order to drink it.

    , @Boomthorkell
    @clifford brown

    Hmm, I suppose it's a question of whether cows or horses came first.

    If nomadism started with the availability of cattle, then likely cow's milk, with horses being more an extension of a working theory.

    Replies: @hooodathunkit

    , @backup
    @clifford brown

    At least Yamnaya did.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    However, chances are that while Yamnaya and Corded Ware were very related - there are even samples of both culture that appear to be 3rd of 4th grade cousins - they both are separate expansions from the same ancestral group.

    Frankly, the map looks like Germanic + Ireland and Scotland.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/2cfpq8/lactose_intolerance_in_europe_700x612/

    Replies: @Herp McDerp

  14. More potential genetics complication, also involving lactose, from the Canadian Medical Association Journal : Refrigerator blindness: selective loss of visual acuity in association with a common foraging behaviour

    To which John Fisher replies:

    Did the authors of a recent report on “refrigerator blindness”1 consider that men, as hunters, are programmed to spot moving game, whereas women, as gatherers, are programed to spot stationary edible plants and fruit?

    • Replies: @Enochian
    @hooodathunkit

    One of the main ways you find 'moving game' is by spotting their stationary tracks or environmental disturbances.

  15. Were there ever any warrior class of people who never bred out of their caste? Instead of drinking milk they may have relied more on alcohol. Real men drink “ Carlton draught.”

  16. @2BR
    The Old Testament certainly mentions milk drinking. Maybe some Phoenician traders helped a bit in visits to port.

    Replies: @Oldtest, @Franz

    Yes, the promised land is described as the land of milk and honey

    • Replies: @al gore rhythms
    @Oldtest

    There is also the bit about 'blessed are the cheesmakers' in the New Testament.

  17. @clifford brown
    Did horse riding warriors first drink horse milk while on the steppe before taking to cow milk?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Boomthorkell, @backup

    No. Horse milk causes diarrhea in people. Modern horse herders in central Asia ferment horse milk in order to drink it.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  18. Perhaps a little gas didn’t bother them.

  19. These soldiers couldn’t digest fresh milk.

    They did as babies. Do a Ctrl-F for s-p-e-c-i-e-. C-o-w doesn’t show up for nine paragraphs.

    Cheese Louise…

  20. Anon[560] • Disclaimer says:

    The Tollense River battle was not a battle. It was a peace conference between two peoples, the local Tollense people and the migrant visitors. They mutually came to the decision, as documented in the unfortunately no-longer-extant Declaration of Tollense, that from that point on, as a welcoming gesture, the womenfolk of Tollense would mate only with visitor men and give birth only to their children, but would continue to give blow jobs and hand jobs to Tollense men, and would allow them to watch their matings with the visitors. In this way a new and superior blended culture was achieved. If only modern man would learn from Tollense the world would be a much better place.

  21. • Replies: @Anon
    @Stan Adams

    I think cows were domesticated from wild oxen for the explicit purpose of having access to milk. Baby humans drink human milk, baby oxen drink ox milk, lightbulb flashes on, let's try drinking oxen milk.

    In the Journals of Lewis and Clark there is a description of the cook preparing a sort of sausage cased in oxen intestines. It's quite funny reading them describing the perfect degree of washing (not too much) of the intestine to preserve the taste from the secret ingredient. So humans consume all kinds of disgusting food, and get to like it.

    Replies: @Muggles

  22. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    We draw on proteomic analysis of dental calculus from individuals from the western Eurasian steppe to demonstrate a major transition in dairying at the start of the Bronze Age. The rapid onset of ubiquitous dairying at a point in time when steppe populations are known to have begun dispersing offers critical insight into a key catalyst of steppe mobility.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4\

    Published two days ago.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Thanks.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @John Milton’s Ghost

  23. @Anonymous
    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    We draw on proteomic analysis of dental calculus from individuals from the western Eurasian steppe to demonstrate a major transition in dairying at the start of the Bronze Age. The rapid onset of ubiquitous dairying at a point in time when steppe populations are known to have begun dispersing offers critical insight into a key catalyst of steppe mobility.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4\

    Published two days ago.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thanks.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Steve Sailer


    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions
     
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    CONFIRMED

    https://twitter.com/OakGwove/status/1274422678569525251

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/002/076/210/68b.jpg

    https://i.redd.it/8qq33g0mknz11.jpg

    https://media.springernature.com/lw685/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41586-021-03798-4/MediaObjects/41586_2021_3798_Fig1_HTML.png
    , @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    The study found dairy proteins on Yamnaya teeth around 3000 BC. So not a genetic finding per se. At the end of the article the author suggests the lactose intolerant can get dairy from fermented yogurts and hard cheeses, as the Mongolian herders do.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  24. Pioneers died like flies from ‘the milk sick’. If I was bronze age foodie I’d boil my milk or die trying.

    • Replies: @Veteran Aryan
    @bruce


    Pioneers died like flies from ‘the milk sick’. If I was bronze age foodie I’d boil my milk or die trying.
     
    'Milk Sickness' is caused by ingesting meat or milk from an animal that has ingested 'White Snakeroot'. The poison is not neutralized by pasteurization.
  25. So, what were all the warriors getting their calories from? Milk?
    I guess not:

    Why not? Lactose is only about 45% of the caloric content of cow milk (less in sheep). So it still makes sense to drink it even if you don’t have lactase persistence mutation.

  26. @Anonymous
    Could it be Europeans learned to drink milk by first beginning with human females? Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children. Milk for the babies, and milk for men. And perhaps this behavior led to men favoring women with bigger breasts.

    And then, European figured they could get the milk from cows instead and give mothering women a break.

    The Gary Theory of Milk Consumption might be correct.

    https://youtu.be/g9GBuciv20A?t=98

    Replies: @al gore rhythms, @International Jew, @anonymous coward, @Muggles

    “Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children”

    Interesting. One can almost imagine their hungry mouths searching, probing. Could you expand on this a litte more? I’m a scientist, you see.

    • LOL: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @Veteran Aryan
    @al gore rhythms


    I’m a scientist, you see.
     
    Here you go, ya pervert, feast your eyes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Charity

    P.S. Does anyone recall the final scene of 'Grapes Of Wrath'?

  27. @Oldtest
    @2BR

    Yes, the promised land is described as the land of milk and honey

    Replies: @al gore rhythms

    There is also the bit about ‘blessed are the cheesmakers’ in the New Testament.

    • LOL: dearieme, Gordo
  28. >>The DNA results also quash the theory, first proposed in 2015, that the gene for lactase persistence was imported to Western Europe at about 5000 B.C.E. by cow-herding nomads from the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Russia, the Yamnaya people.<<

    The idea that Aryan pastoraliat cow-herding invaders brought milk drinking to Europe 5000* years ago (3000 BC) must surely date back many decades. This evidence indicates that the invaders were still drinking curdled milk and eating cheese at the time since their descendants 3000 years ago were lactose intolerant.

    BTW the language in the article seems unnecessarily obfuscatory.

    *Article says 7000 years (5000 BC), that looks very early to me. Wonder if the writer got mixed up with all their BCEing.

    • Replies: @Gordo
    @Simon in London

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    Replies: @Polymath, @3g4me, @Anonymous

    , @nokangaroos
    @Simon in London

    - What I do not get is why the trait is treated as isolated;
    genes do not move in isolation or fall from the heavens like rain -
    it should be easy enough to ascertain which wave (of several)
    introduced that peculiar advantage.

  29. Have scientists ever considered that we did not evolve from monkeys, learning to drink milk along the way, but that Europeans are a distinct genus evolved from cows?

    Much evidence for this proposition

    • Replies: @Escher
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The way obesity trends are going, this hypothesis is looking more and more likely.

    , @nokangaroos
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    For Czech women this has long been suspected.

  30. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    Have scientists ever considered that we did not evolve from monkeys, learning to drink milk along the way, but that Europeans are a distinct genus evolved from cows?

    Much evidence for this proposition

    Replies: @Escher, @nokangaroos

    The way obesity trends are going, this hypothesis is looking more and more likely.

  31. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Thanks.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @John Milton’s Ghost

    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    CONFIRMED


    [MORE]

    • Thanks: Gordo, The Anti-Gnostic
    • LOL: Inquiring Mind, TWS
  32. Anonymous[333] • Disclaimer says:

    A plurality of western European males are under the R1b Y DNA haplotype, particulary the R 269 ariety. In Ireland, for example, this clade is overwhelming.
    Altogether, tens of millions of western European men – and their American descendants – have this marker.

    Now, the remarkable thing about R 269, which is attributed to the Bell Beaker people, and ultimately eastern Europe, is that it is, historically speaking, a young haplotype, subject to a historical event massive, exponential expansion, the inkling being that a dominant chieftain/king of one particular dominating clan had it, and his male line descendants dominated their societies.

    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.

    • Thanks: S. Anonyia
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Anonymous


    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.
     
    What does this mean? And what is its significance?

    Replies: @Mackerel Sky

    , @S. Anonyia
    @Anonymous

    Worth pointing out that Ireland has the world’s highest rate of lactose tolerance, at 96 %. Denmark is right behind it.

  33. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @Stan Adams
    https://i.ibb.co/Jxphg9t/28-D36586-FECE-426-D-8931-C62-F7-B2-EF497.png

    Replies: @Anon

    I think cows were domesticated from wild oxen for the explicit purpose of having access to milk. Baby humans drink human milk, baby oxen drink ox milk, lightbulb flashes on, let’s try drinking oxen milk.

    In the Journals of Lewis and Clark there is a description of the cook preparing a sort of sausage cased in oxen intestines. It’s quite funny reading them describing the perfect degree of washing (not too much) of the intestine to preserve the taste from the secret ingredient. So humans consume all kinds of disgusting food, and get to like it.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Anon


    In the Journals of Lewis and Clark there is a description of the cook preparing a sort of sausage cased in oxen intestines. It’s quite funny reading them describing the perfect degree of washing (not too much) of the intestine to preserve the taste from the secret ingredient. So humans consume all kinds of disgusting food, and get to like it.
     
    All sausage used to be encased in similar substances.

    The French today have a particular kind and style of sausage which, not being French, I can't specifically name. But the name in French alludes to it's digestive system origins.

    https://unclestinky.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/andouillette-french-pig-colon-sausage/
  34. about 5000 B.C.E. by cow-herding nomads from the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Russia, the Yamnaya people.

    Typo: should be “5000 years ago”.

  35. None of the warriors had the genetic mutation that allows adults to digest milk, an ability known as lactase persistence that’s common in many Europeans.

    It used to be called “lactose tolerance.” The change to “lactase persistence” is designed to paint a positive White trait as abnormal.

    • LOL: Gabe Ruth
  36. @Anonymous
    Could it be Europeans learned to drink milk by first beginning with human females? Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children. Milk for the babies, and milk for men. And perhaps this behavior led to men favoring women with bigger breasts.

    And then, European figured they could get the milk from cows instead and give mothering women a break.

    The Gary Theory of Milk Consumption might be correct.

    https://youtu.be/g9GBuciv20A?t=98

    Replies: @al gore rhythms, @International Jew, @anonymous coward, @Muggles

    No, because to produce that milk, women need to eat. In fact, to produce a pint of milk, they need to consume more calories than that pint of milk provides. If I knew more physics, I could tell you why this is an implication of the second law of thermodynamics. Or think of it this way: if your idea made sense, then women could live off their own milk.

    The same principle applies to cow milk, except that cows eat stuff we humans can’t eat (like grass). So drinking cow milk, unlike your idea, really is a net win for us.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @International Jew

    I sorta hoped he was joking, with his energy positive breasts ... but you never know around here.

    Replies: @International Jew, @RodW

  37. Oh my God! Do these “scientists” think it’s even imaginable for a neutral allele to drift up to 90% frequency in the Dutch in even 8000 years in a large population? If it drifted up that far, why did it stall out at ninety? Cuz .9^2 + 2*.9*.1 = 99%. Only one guy in a hundred was lactose intolerant, so only 10% of the ancestral (intolerant) alleles were being selected against in a generation. That last 10% frequency takes a long time to get selected away.

    Of course, it was selected. I know adaptationism is unpopular on the left, but do you think maybe eyes evolved to see things? Not in these guys. As a general rule, selection is strong enough in a population that anything that looks like it has a function, that survival reproduction, or childrearing was impacted by the trait, and the trait varied, even just a little. ie there was raw material for selection to act on, then the trait is probably an afaptation. What about population size? Well, if the population size was so small that obviously beneficial traits were nit being selected for, the harmful traits were not being selected against (both more strongly than drift) then the population would likely have declined yet more, so selection was even weaker, so the population was even less adapted… extinction.

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA) + waa*(1 – fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA))/that whole equation above. Where w’s are relative fitnesses, one of them is always 1, fA is the frequency of the A allele and fa is the frequency of the a allele. wAA = 1 + s, so s is the selective advantage one genotype has over one of the other genotypes.

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    For a lactose intolerant population closer to home, I wonder if the cattlemen ancestors of some African Americans were lactose tolerant. Yep, west African herders have lots of lactose tolerance.

    But American Indians don’t! Didn’t. Wonder how much more common lactase persistence is in Mexicans or other Latin-Americans than one would predict from Spanish LP gene frequency * percent of autosomal genome that is Spanish. Is it higher around the LP mutation region? That might give us a sense of how quickly lactase persistence can climb when it is being selected for. The gauches of Argentina might be a good place to look. Though they probably were not too hard up for calories, not living in Malthusian conditions like the old world. Maybe Bolivian uplanders keep goats, and have since 1500 or so?

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    @Rob

    - The lactose tolerance of Massai and Samburu (+/- Sahel herders)
    evolved independently from the European.
    - It is estimated dairy is 7x more efficient than meat economy
    i.e. the selective advantage is huge and clearly greatest
    where the land is marginal (steppe and mountains) where it should not
    take more than a few generations to become prevalent
    (and horses, as badly adapted to grass feed, are useless).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Almost Missouri

    , @Anon
    @Rob


    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA) + waa*(1 – fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA))/that whole equation above.
     
    What math education would be helpful to understand this?

    Replies: @Rob

    , @Anon
    @Rob

    33% of Mexicans are lactose tolerant. However, even the intolerant eat crema and a few cheeses like cojita. These forms are high fat and low lactose. From the numbers, the gene is spreading.

    Replies: @Rob

    , @res
    @Rob


    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.
     
    What makes you think that? And what values would you assign to each? Here is a 2020 analysis (about more than just lactase persistence).
    Estimating time-varying selection coefficients from time series data of allele frequencies
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.17.387761v1.full

    Abstract

    Time series data of allele frequencies are a powerful resource for detecting and classifying natural and artificial selection. Ancient DNA now allows us to observe these trajectories in natural populations of long-lived species such as humans. Here, we develop a hidden Markov model to infer selection coefficients that vary over time. We show through simulations that our approach can accurately estimate both selection coefficients and the timing of changes in selection. Finally, we analyze some of the strongest signals of selection in the human genome using ancient DNA. We show that the European lactase persistence mutation was selected over the past 5,000 years with a selection coefficient of 2-2.5% in Britain, Central Europe and Iberia, but not Italy. In northern East Asia, selection at the ADH1B locus associated with alcohol metabolism intensified around 4,000 years ago, approximately coinciding with the introduction of rice-based agriculture. Finally, a derived allele at the FADS locus was selected in parallel in both Europe and East Asia, as previously hypothesized. Our approach is broadly applicable to both natural and experimental evolution data and shows how time series data can be used to resolve fine-scale details of selection.
     
    In particular, see the section "Selection at LCT in Europe" and Figures S7-S9. Why is Italy so different?

    The frequency graphs allow a decent answer to iSteve's question. Looking at Central Europe (Figure 3 shows the site locations). The frequency date should correspond to proportion of population able to drink milk as adults (using the same equation you did, since lactase persistence is dominant, equation given only for one example).

    Frequency | Proportion of adults able to drink milk
    0.05 | 0.10
    0.1 | 0.1^2 + 2*0.1*(1-0.1) | 0.19
    0.2 | 0.36
    0.3 | 0.51
    0.4 | 0.64
    0.5 | 0.75
    0.6 | 0.84
    0.7 | 0.91
    0.8 | 0.96
    0.9 | 0.99

    Using the frequency numbers in Figure S8 (seem more plausible to me than those in S7 given the trait originated further away from Britain than Central Europe) we have numbers for Central Europe like:

    Years BP | Frequency | Proportion of adults able to drink milk
    3500 | 0.05 | 0.1
    3000 | 0.1 | 0.19
    2500 | 0.15 | 0.28
    2000 | 0.25 | 0.44
    1500 | 0.35 | 0.58
    1000 | 0.5 | 0.75
    500 | 0.63 | 0.86
    0 | 0.8 | 0.96

    BTW, remember those are only estimates from a model--not gospel.
  38. @2BR
    The Old Testament certainly mentions milk drinking. Maybe some Phoenician traders helped a bit in visits to port.

    Replies: @Oldtest, @Franz

    The Old Testament certainly mentions milk drinking.

    The fact that the “Old Testament” was written no earlier than 150 B.C. is a likely explanation.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  39. @Rob
    Oh my God! Do these “scientists” think it’s even imaginable for a neutral allele to drift up to 90% frequency in the Dutch in even 8000 years in a large population? If it drifted up that far, why did it stall out at ninety? Cuz .9^2 + 2*.9*.1 = 99%. Only one guy in a hundred was lactose intolerant, so only 10% of the ancestral (intolerant) alleles were being selected against in a generation. That last 10% frequency takes a long time to get selected away.

    Of course, it was selected. I know adaptationism is unpopular on the left, but do you think maybe eyes evolved to see things? Not in these guys. As a general rule, selection is strong enough in a population that anything that looks like it has a function, that survival reproduction, or childrearing was impacted by the trait, and the trait varied, even just a little. ie there was raw material for selection to act on, then the trait is probably an afaptation. What about population size? Well, if the population size was so small that obviously beneficial traits were nit being selected for, the harmful traits were not being selected against (both more strongly than drift) then the population would likely have declined yet more, so selection was even weaker, so the population was even less adapted... extinction.

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA) + waa*(1 - fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA))/that whole equation above. Where w’s are relative fitnesses, one of them is always 1, fA is the frequency of the A allele and fa is the frequency of the a allele. wAA = 1 + s, so s is the selective advantage one genotype has over one of the other genotypes.

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    For a lactose intolerant population closer to home, I wonder if the cattlemen ancestors of some African Americans were lactose tolerant. Yep, west African herders have lots of lactose tolerance.

    But American Indians don’t! Didn’t. Wonder how much more common lactase persistence is in Mexicans or other Latin-Americans than one would predict from Spanish LP gene frequency * percent of autosomal genome that is Spanish. Is it higher around the LP mutation region? That might give us a sense of how quickly lactase persistence can climb when it is being selected for. The gauches of Argentina might be a good place to look. Though they probably were not too hard up for calories, not living in Malthusian conditions like the old world. Maybe Bolivian uplanders keep goats, and have since 1500 or so?

    Replies: @nokangaroos, @Anon, @Anon, @res

    – The lactose tolerance of Massai and Samburu (+/- Sahel herders)
    evolved independently from the European.
    – It is estimated dairy is 7x more efficient than meat economy
    i.e. the selective advantage is huge and clearly greatest
    where the land is marginal (steppe and mountains) where it should not
    take more than a few generations to become prevalent
    (and horses, as badly adapted to grass feed, are useless).

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @nokangaroos

    I did not know that about horses. If you don’t mind, what are they adapted to eat?

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    , @Almost Missouri
    @nokangaroos

    What's the source for the 7× dairy advantage?

    Replies: @res

  40. @Simon in London
    >>The DNA results also quash the theory, first proposed in 2015, that the gene for lactase persistence was imported to Western Europe at about 5000 B.C.E. by cow-herding nomads from the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Russia, the Yamnaya people.<<

    The idea that Aryan pastoraliat cow-herding invaders brought milk drinking to Europe 5000* years ago (3000 BC) must surely date back many decades. This evidence indicates that the invaders were still drinking curdled milk and eating cheese at the time since their descendants 3000 years ago were lactose intolerant.

    BTW the language in the article seems unnecessarily obfuscatory.

    *Article says 7000 years (5000 BC), that looks very early to me. Wonder if the writer got mixed up with all their BCEing.

    Replies: @Gordo, @nokangaroos

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    • Replies: @Polymath
    @Gordo

    Duh BC = Before Christ which means Christ was important, can’t have that, make it “Christian Era” to show that maybe they believed in him then but we don’t need to. And AD is even worse, Anno Domini says Christ was not only important but was Lord, can’t have that at all!

    Not hard to figure out who complained.

    , @3g4me
    @Gordo

    @40 Gordo: The Juice decided BC and AD were offensive and began working, in the 1960s I know for sure although it could have been earlier, to change them to the utterly nonsensical "BCE" and "CE" (Before Common Era and Common Era). Because Jesus' historical reality and importance to the development and existence of Western Christendom is deeply offensive to them, so must be twisted and destroyed. Along with other nonsensical, made-up terms such as 'judeo-christian,' which have nothing to do with reality and history and everything to do with inserting their preference into others' historical reality.

    , @Anonymous
    @Gordo


    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.
     
    When quoting dates in conversation, I now make a point of using 'In the year of our Lord'.
    I like the poetry of it.
  41. @Simon in London
    >>The DNA results also quash the theory, first proposed in 2015, that the gene for lactase persistence was imported to Western Europe at about 5000 B.C.E. by cow-herding nomads from the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Russia, the Yamnaya people.<<

    The idea that Aryan pastoraliat cow-herding invaders brought milk drinking to Europe 5000* years ago (3000 BC) must surely date back many decades. This evidence indicates that the invaders were still drinking curdled milk and eating cheese at the time since their descendants 3000 years ago were lactose intolerant.

    BTW the language in the article seems unnecessarily obfuscatory.

    *Article says 7000 years (5000 BC), that looks very early to me. Wonder if the writer got mixed up with all their BCEing.

    Replies: @Gordo, @nokangaroos

    – What I do not get is why the trait is treated as isolated;
    genes do not move in isolation or fall from the heavens like rain –
    it should be easy enough to ascertain which wave (of several)
    introduced that peculiar advantage.

  42. @clifford brown
    Did horse riding warriors first drink horse milk while on the steppe before taking to cow milk?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Boomthorkell, @backup

    Hmm, I suppose it’s a question of whether cows or horses came first.

    If nomadism started with the availability of cattle, then likely cow’s milk, with horses being more an extension of a working theory.

    • Replies: @hooodathunkit
    @Boomthorkell

    Cows or horses? Probably neither; sheep (11,000-9,000 BC) and goat (8,000 BC) herding predate both. Cattle domestication period might equal goats, but horses are much more recent.

  43. I say that a massacre here, a massacre there, and pretty soon the whole population is “lactase persistent.”

    Your turn, scientists. Because You Know.

  44. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Thanks.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @John Milton’s Ghost

    The study found dairy proteins on Yamnaya teeth around 3000 BC. So not a genetic finding per se. At the end of the article the author suggests the lactose intolerant can get dairy from fermented yogurts and hard cheeses, as the Mongolian herders do.

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    Yamnayas are descended ~50% from Ancient North Eurasian (ANE), of northern Siberia, carrying with them arguably the most greatest gene in all of human history, KITLG, associated with European light hair and eye color.
    https://imgur.com/nBmoSfc

    The Mongols are simply a designation for an Altaic tribal confederation that showed up in 13 CE Middle Ages. The founding myth for Han Chinese is that of 炎黄子孙 Descendants of Yan and Huang Emperors of the Central Plains. A hot new take in Sinosphere that the 黄帝 Huang Emperor (26 CE BC) is actually a proto-Genghis Khan (!), who conquered the Sinitic farmers of Central Plains; who further displaces Hmong–Mien speakers south of Yangtze. In effect mirroring the Yamnaya expansion on the other end of Eurasia.

    Early Eurasian nomads in Xinjiang and further west were largely Caucasoidal, such as the Iranic Scythians, Sarmatians* (and probably what the Chinese called Yuezhi 月氏), both descended from Yamnaya. Then in 6 CE Tang China defeated the Turks, who expanded west, displacing the Iranic speakers. In a sense reversing the displacements earlier in history**.
    https://imgur.com/FBIIFfn

    *Identified as a progenitor for Slavic people
    **And repeating Han China's defeat of Xiongnu 1 CE BC

  45. @clifford brown
    Did horse riding warriors first drink horse milk while on the steppe before taking to cow milk?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @Boomthorkell, @backup

    At least Yamnaya did.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    However, chances are that while Yamnaya and Corded Ware were very related – there are even samples of both culture that appear to be 3rd of 4th grade cousins – they both are separate expansions from the same ancestral group.

    Frankly, the map looks like Germanic + Ireland and Scotland.

    Lactose intolerance in Europe. [700×612] from MapPorn

    • Replies: @Herp McDerp
    @backup

    According to that map, the epicenter of lactose tolerance would seem to have been Doggerland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

  46. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    Have scientists ever considered that we did not evolve from monkeys, learning to drink milk along the way, but that Europeans are a distinct genus evolved from cows?

    Much evidence for this proposition

    Replies: @Escher, @nokangaroos

    For Czech women this has long been suspected.

  47. Since lactose is more of a dairy cow thing, when did cows come to Europe? Were cows always there? Wonder could the early cows come in heat thru out the year, and produce calves and milk when other ancient goats and sheep could not? The dead of winter and hungry kids could explain why early human tried cow milk. Those that did not get sick from cow’s milk lived many other days, and eventually made kids that were lactose tolerant. Wouldn’t really take more than a generation would it? And if you really want to know when lactose tolerance became a thing, find out when cows made their appearance. Finally why would you even test ancient remains for this?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Old and Grumpy

    You can also keep cows for beef and hides or, as the Maasai do, bleed the cow a bit and drink its blood.

    You can also ferment the milk, which reduces the lactose since that's what the bacteria eat. In the days before refrigeration and pasteurization, drinking milk in its raw liquid form was probably the LEAST common way to have it and the best way to get sick.

    Developing lactose tolerance would take a lot longer than 1 generation. At first there would be a few individuals that had it and gained an advantage and eventually the gene would go from being rare to being common. But it would take many generations or sometimes never which is why there are mixed populations to this day.

    , @JR Ewing
    @Old and Grumpy

    Aurochs (ancient wild cattle) were in Europe well before humans ever got there, but what we call "European cattle" today (as opposed to "Indian cattle") were actually domesticated in Turkey about 10,000 years ago and then brought to Europe after that.

  48. @Boomthorkell
    @clifford brown

    Hmm, I suppose it's a question of whether cows or horses came first.

    If nomadism started with the availability of cattle, then likely cow's milk, with horses being more an extension of a working theory.

    Replies: @hooodathunkit

    Cows or horses? Probably neither; sheep (11,000-9,000 BC) and goat (8,000 BC) herding predate both. Cattle domestication period might equal goats, but horses are much more recent.

  49. @Anonymous
    A plurality of western European males are under the R1b Y DNA haplotype, particulary the R 269 ariety. In Ireland, for example, this clade is overwhelming.
    Altogether, tens of millions of western European men - and their American descendants - have this marker.

    Now, the remarkable thing about R 269, which is attributed to the Bell Beaker people, and ultimately eastern Europe, is that it is, historically speaking, a young haplotype, subject to a historical event massive, exponential expansion, the inkling being that a dominant chieftain/king of one particular dominating clan had it, and his male line descendants dominated their societies.

    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.

    Replies: @Anon, @S. Anonyia

    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.

    What does this mean? And what is its significance?

    • Replies: @Mackerel Sky
    @Anon

    I think in Australian Bogan (my native tongue) it's "The chieftain and his descendants rooted all the Sheilas" and so "spread their genes", including the one for lactase tolerance.

    I'm not so sure. Not every ruler is Genghis Khan.

    (Apologies in advance if I have misunderstood.)

  50. Anon[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rob
    Oh my God! Do these “scientists” think it’s even imaginable for a neutral allele to drift up to 90% frequency in the Dutch in even 8000 years in a large population? If it drifted up that far, why did it stall out at ninety? Cuz .9^2 + 2*.9*.1 = 99%. Only one guy in a hundred was lactose intolerant, so only 10% of the ancestral (intolerant) alleles were being selected against in a generation. That last 10% frequency takes a long time to get selected away.

    Of course, it was selected. I know adaptationism is unpopular on the left, but do you think maybe eyes evolved to see things? Not in these guys. As a general rule, selection is strong enough in a population that anything that looks like it has a function, that survival reproduction, or childrearing was impacted by the trait, and the trait varied, even just a little. ie there was raw material for selection to act on, then the trait is probably an afaptation. What about population size? Well, if the population size was so small that obviously beneficial traits were nit being selected for, the harmful traits were not being selected against (both more strongly than drift) then the population would likely have declined yet more, so selection was even weaker, so the population was even less adapted... extinction.

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA) + waa*(1 - fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA))/that whole equation above. Where w’s are relative fitnesses, one of them is always 1, fA is the frequency of the A allele and fa is the frequency of the a allele. wAA = 1 + s, so s is the selective advantage one genotype has over one of the other genotypes.

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    For a lactose intolerant population closer to home, I wonder if the cattlemen ancestors of some African Americans were lactose tolerant. Yep, west African herders have lots of lactose tolerance.

    But American Indians don’t! Didn’t. Wonder how much more common lactase persistence is in Mexicans or other Latin-Americans than one would predict from Spanish LP gene frequency * percent of autosomal genome that is Spanish. Is it higher around the LP mutation region? That might give us a sense of how quickly lactase persistence can climb when it is being selected for. The gauches of Argentina might be a good place to look. Though they probably were not too hard up for calories, not living in Malthusian conditions like the old world. Maybe Bolivian uplanders keep goats, and have since 1500 or so?

    Replies: @nokangaroos, @Anon, @Anon, @res

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA) + waa*(1 – fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA))/that whole equation above.

    What math education would be helpful to understand this?

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Anon

    Algebra and s copy of Theoretical Evolutionary Genetics by Felsenstein,which you can legally download at that link. . If you don’t remember the basic genetics they teach in high school, like Punnet squares, you should google that, and i’m sure you can find a good tutorial with figures (very useful for this stuff)

    The equations i put up there were selection acting on single trait, derived from Hardy-Weinber equilibrium, which is just turning punnet squares into symbols. The basics are not hard at all, and i heartily recommend the book.

    It has essentially no molecular biology or chemistry, maybe none. It’s pure theory, but well done, i think.

    For “real evolution” what actually happened on earth, i’m pretty sure Evolution 4th ed by Futuyma and Kirkpatrick is the standard. I have it, but i haven’t read it. Don’t think it’s free.

    Replies: @Anon

  51. @Anonymous
    A plurality of western European males are under the R1b Y DNA haplotype, particulary the R 269 ariety. In Ireland, for example, this clade is overwhelming.
    Altogether, tens of millions of western European men - and their American descendants - have this marker.

    Now, the remarkable thing about R 269, which is attributed to the Bell Beaker people, and ultimately eastern Europe, is that it is, historically speaking, a young haplotype, subject to a historical event massive, exponential expansion, the inkling being that a dominant chieftain/king of one particular dominating clan had it, and his male line descendants dominated their societies.

    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.

    Replies: @Anon, @S. Anonyia

    Worth pointing out that Ireland has the world’s highest rate of lactose tolerance, at 96 %. Denmark is right behind it.

  52. @Anon
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Yamnaya never made it to Germany and did not exist 3000 years ago (they disappear by 2600 BC, replaced by Corded Ware migrants from central Europe.)

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...

    Yamnaya never made it to Germany and did not exist 3000 years ago (they disappear by 2600 BC, replaced by Corded Ware migrants from central Europe.)

    Thanks for your comment. In light of it, I’ll correct my hastily written alternative hypothesis, viz.:

    An alternative hypothesis: The bodies left behind on the battlefield were those of the losers, overwhelmed autochthones, whose corpses were left to rot in situ by the invading victors from the east. The victors removed their dead for cremation or some other burial rite. The invaders were herders and milk drinkers which gave them a large nutritional edge and increased their advantage in battle.

  53. @Gordo
    @Simon in London

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    Replies: @Polymath, @3g4me, @Anonymous

    Duh BC = Before Christ which means Christ was important, can’t have that, make it “Christian Era” to show that maybe they believed in him then but we don’t need to. And AD is even worse, Anno Domini says Christ was not only important but was Lord, can’t have that at all!

    Not hard to figure out who complained.

  54. Not really speculative: Indo-Europeans brought it in with them – kind of from Asia – or, really: from Asia.
    Only a little speculative: After these battles were over and they mixed in with the native populations the genetic drift got going.
    Very soon – if you had the allele, and there were cows, in what was the millenia before refrigeration and global food supply chains, you lived a few years longer and therefore had 1, 3, 5 more kids. They proceeded to have kids who quickly outnumbered the children of those without the allele – while all of them mixed it up reproductively. This took just a few generations and isn’t hard to envision or mathematically chart. There is no such thing as the magic archaeo-genetic “aha!” in the DNA of a 4000 year old corpse that will uncover it that’s a perfectly silly thing to expect. Anything to do with Indo-Europeans and scientists have to pretend to be stupid – it’s written in their scientist contract somewhere.
    Re-read the last paragraph, think about that, and remember it the next time mysteries-that-aren’t-really-mysterious comes up in things Indo-European.

  55. The whole lactase genetics story is misleading. More on that in a bit.

    But first, Burow is only 20 miles from the sea, which means smoked fish and shellfish as a potential major source of calories and also calcium, fish oil, and vitamin D. Maybe one reason the area was valuable enough to fight big fights over.

    Second, barley can be grown farther north than any other grain, and had already spread across Eurasia perhaps about a thousand years before the Tollense battle. For one thing, is has a short growing season, so naturally easier to grow further north. Also, it had been cultivated for so many millennia down south, there had already been a long time to develop cultivars for northern climate.

    Many other pieces of evidence, but one that has a typically Greg Cochran-ish flavor to it is that there is a bad barley fungus – R. secalis – that, like the Sea People, came from the north and suddenly started attacking barley fields in the south which had been established and disease-free for thousands of years. R. secalis’s ancestor was growing on leaves of wild grass in Northern Europe when barley arrived, switched hosts, and only *then* rampaged across Europe. But again, best evidence is that this was a long time before Tollense.

    Point is, with bread and fish, probably no need for milk.

    But they still probably also had milk.

    Because finally, another interpretation of the genetic data could be that they were getting calories from milk just fine, and that this is yet another bit of evidence suggesting that there is probably something seriously wrong with the textbook version of the lactase tolerance just-so story.

    For example, from Razib at GNXP, people were drinking milk long before they got “genes for milk.”

    That suggest that while the genes help with milk, maybe not really all that much. Also, if that’s true, then the fact that they went to fixation in certain populations probably means those genes are coincidentally also good for something else that’s really important, and the lactase impacts may be a kind of minor incidental benefit.

    Just like previous commenters who mentioned praise of milk and dairy in the Old Testament (despite lots of Jews aren’t very lactose tolerant today, and perhaps even fewer of them were in the past), it turns out lots of people who don’t have the lactase-persistence genes nevertheless deal with dairy just fine.

    I’m one of them. I thrive on dairy, never had any GI issues, and got a considerable portion of my calories from dairy when on a Keto diet (which isn’t for everyone but worked great for me.)

    So when I got one of those genetic tests I figured I had to be blasting a double dose of lactase-persistence genes.

    Nope, I’m the opposite, two copies of the wrong gene, highly suspected to be lactose intolerant.

    Which was quite surprising given my phenotype! And started me down a path of doing a lot of research on it.

    Turns out, the textbook story is not just an oversimplification but also a kind of “too good to check” model which “proves human evolution via driving alleles to fixation” just-so story. Some sources argue there is apparently a “use it or lose it” aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don’t stop doing so for long periods of time.

    • Thanks: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Handle

    Thanks.

    , @Sean
    @Handle

    Yes the shellfish were a valuable resource that supported large communities, the battle was likely between local groups . When it comes to the amount of Vitamin D available from coastline resources, you don't know what you are talking about. I am pretty sure the advantage of milk is dairy farming is the best way to make lots of calories from pasture. Areas of gravel soil near the coast would not support the Yamanaya herding lifestyle herding, let alone dairy farming, so it was likely an area slow to be conquered by the Indo Europeans. Especially as the native communities there were relatively large.The stongest genetic selection know so far is for white skin. The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    , @Herp McDerp
    @Handle

    Some sources argue there is apparently a “use it or lose it” aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don’t stop doing so for long periods of time.

    I've read that elsewhere, and "use it or lose it" seems to have been true for both my wife and me. She quit drinking milk in her twenties; later, in her thirties, she developed severe lactose intolerance. I quit drinking milk as a young teen. In college a couple of very promising dates were ruined when my date and I had Irish coffees at the end of dinner. (You don't need the details.) It took me years to figure out what was going on, since I "knew" I wasn't lactose intolerant.

    If "use it or lose it" is true, then the dietary habits by age of various ethnic groups would seem to be at least as important as whether they had the tolerance gene.

  56. @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    The study found dairy proteins on Yamnaya teeth around 3000 BC. So not a genetic finding per se. At the end of the article the author suggests the lactose intolerant can get dairy from fermented yogurts and hard cheeses, as the Mongolian herders do.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Yamnayas are descended ~50% from Ancient North Eurasian (ANE), of northern Siberia, carrying with them arguably the most greatest gene in all of human history, KITLG, associated with European light hair and eye color.

    View post on imgur.com

    The Mongols are simply a designation for an Altaic tribal confederation that showed up in 13 CE Middle Ages. The founding myth for Han Chinese is that of 炎黄子孙 Descendants of Yan and Huang Emperors of the Central Plains. A hot new take in Sinosphere that the 黄帝 Huang Emperor (26 CE BC) is actually a proto-Genghis Khan (!), who conquered the Sinitic farmers of Central Plains; who further displaces Hmong–Mien speakers south of Yangtze. In effect mirroring the Yamnaya expansion on the other end of Eurasia.

    Early Eurasian nomads in Xinjiang and further west were largely Caucasoidal, such as the Iranic Scythians, Sarmatians* (and probably what the Chinese called Yuezhi 月氏), both descended from Yamnaya. Then in 6 CE Tang China defeated the Turks, who expanded west, displacing the Iranic speakers. In a sense reversing the displacements earlier in history**.

    View post on imgur.com

    *Identified as a progenitor for Slavic people
    **And repeating Han China’s defeat of Xiongnu 1 CE BC

  57. @Rob
    Oh my God! Do these “scientists” think it’s even imaginable for a neutral allele to drift up to 90% frequency in the Dutch in even 8000 years in a large population? If it drifted up that far, why did it stall out at ninety? Cuz .9^2 + 2*.9*.1 = 99%. Only one guy in a hundred was lactose intolerant, so only 10% of the ancestral (intolerant) alleles were being selected against in a generation. That last 10% frequency takes a long time to get selected away.

    Of course, it was selected. I know adaptationism is unpopular on the left, but do you think maybe eyes evolved to see things? Not in these guys. As a general rule, selection is strong enough in a population that anything that looks like it has a function, that survival reproduction, or childrearing was impacted by the trait, and the trait varied, even just a little. ie there was raw material for selection to act on, then the trait is probably an afaptation. What about population size? Well, if the population size was so small that obviously beneficial traits were nit being selected for, the harmful traits were not being selected against (both more strongly than drift) then the population would likely have declined yet more, so selection was even weaker, so the population was even less adapted... extinction.

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA) + waa*(1 - fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA))/that whole equation above. Where w’s are relative fitnesses, one of them is always 1, fA is the frequency of the A allele and fa is the frequency of the a allele. wAA = 1 + s, so s is the selective advantage one genotype has over one of the other genotypes.

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    For a lactose intolerant population closer to home, I wonder if the cattlemen ancestors of some African Americans were lactose tolerant. Yep, west African herders have lots of lactose tolerance.

    But American Indians don’t! Didn’t. Wonder how much more common lactase persistence is in Mexicans or other Latin-Americans than one would predict from Spanish LP gene frequency * percent of autosomal genome that is Spanish. Is it higher around the LP mutation region? That might give us a sense of how quickly lactase persistence can climb when it is being selected for. The gauches of Argentina might be a good place to look. Though they probably were not too hard up for calories, not living in Malthusian conditions like the old world. Maybe Bolivian uplanders keep goats, and have since 1500 or so?

    Replies: @nokangaroos, @Anon, @Anon, @res

    33% of Mexicans are lactose tolerant. However, even the intolerant eat crema and a few cheeses like cojita. These forms are high fat and low lactose. From the numbers, the gene is spreading.

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Anon

    But how much faster is lactose tolerance spreading than Euro genes on average? I’d bet European genes are driving out natives all around Latin America. A study in Bolivia(?) region(?, town?) found like Y chromosomes were 100% Euro, mitochondria were 100% Indian. Implies that autosomes (the chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes) would be 50/50 Spanish/Native, right? But autosomes were like 70% Euro.

    It looks like Spanish men came and took Indian wives. Their mestizo kids lived, blah, blah, but more male Spaniards kept coming. They tended to outcompete the half Indian men for wives, life, land, who knows. That implies selection is acting on one European gene(s).

    Maybe lactose tolerance is one of those genes.

  58. @International Jew
    @Anonymous

    No, because to produce that milk, women need to eat. In fact, to produce a pint of milk, they need to consume more calories than that pint of milk provides. If I knew more physics, I could tell you why this is an implication of the second law of thermodynamics. Or think of it this way: if your idea made sense, then women could live off their own milk.

    The same principle applies to cow milk, except that cows eat stuff we humans can't eat (like grass). So drinking cow milk, unlike your idea, really is a net win for us.

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    I sorta hoped he was joking, with his energy positive breasts … but you never know around here.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @AnotherDad

    Yeah, and I wouldn't want to be that guy who, having missed the joke, waxes pedantic.

    It's not a totally nutso idea though. It would make a little sense if women could store an entire winter's worth of milk. Or better yet, some more concentrated nutrient. But at that point we'd be another species. We might look something like this...
    https://ibb.co/z2gSZSp

    (That's from Dougal Dixon's Man after Man.)

    , @RodW
    @AnotherDad

    One of the serious scientists bothering to post here mentioned ‘adfaptations’. I see a lot of value in adopting this term to explain the inexplicable using titillating confabulations.

  59. About 3000 years ago, thousands of warriors fought on the banks of the Tollense river in northern Germany.

    If they’d been able to look into the future and see the post-1945 West all rainbow faggy and waving in Asiatic and African invaders … they’d have thought “this doesn’t turn out well” and turned around and gone somewhere else.

    • Agree: Drapetomaniac
    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    @AnotherDad

    I wonder how long it took our psychopathic social-minded ancestors to realize the importance of the Asperger's/STEM brain to survival in general. They probably made a habit of killing them off.

    One would think that the more primitive societies on Earth would have much lower incidences of Asperger's along with higher testosterone levels.

    , @JMcG
    @AnotherDad

    See also every Western European and American army of the twentieth century.

  60. @Gordo
    @Simon in London

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    Replies: @Polymath, @3g4me, @Anonymous

    @40 Gordo: The Juice decided BC and AD were offensive and began working, in the 1960s I know for sure although it could have been earlier, to change them to the utterly nonsensical “BCE” and “CE” (Before Common Era and Common Era). Because Jesus’ historical reality and importance to the development and existence of Western Christendom is deeply offensive to them, so must be twisted and destroyed. Along with other nonsensical, made-up terms such as ‘judeo-christian,’ which have nothing to do with reality and history and everything to do with inserting their preference into others’ historical reality.

  61. @hooodathunkit
    More potential genetics complication, also involving lactose, from the Canadian Medical Association Journal : Refrigerator blindness: selective loss of visual acuity in association with a common foraging behaviour

    To which John Fisher replies:

    Did the authors of a recent report on “refrigerator blindness”1 consider that men, as hunters, are programmed to spot moving game, whereas women, as gatherers, are programed to spot stationary edible plants and fruit?
     

    Replies: @Enochian

    One of the main ways you find ‘moving game’ is by spotting their stationary tracks or environmental disturbances.

  62. @Old and Grumpy
    Since lactose is more of a dairy cow thing, when did cows come to Europe? Were cows always there? Wonder could the early cows come in heat thru out the year, and produce calves and milk when other ancient goats and sheep could not? The dead of winter and hungry kids could explain why early human tried cow milk. Those that did not get sick from cow's milk lived many other days, and eventually made kids that were lactose tolerant. Wouldn't really take more than a generation would it? And if you really want to know when lactose tolerance became a thing, find out when cows made their appearance. Finally why would you even test ancient remains for this?

    Replies: @Jack D, @JR Ewing

    You can also keep cows for beef and hides or, as the Maasai do, bleed the cow a bit and drink its blood.

    You can also ferment the milk, which reduces the lactose since that’s what the bacteria eat. In the days before refrigeration and pasteurization, drinking milk in its raw liquid form was probably the LEAST common way to have it and the best way to get sick.

    Developing lactose tolerance would take a lot longer than 1 generation. At first there would be a few individuals that had it and gained an advantage and eventually the gene would go from being rare to being common. But it would take many generations or sometimes never which is why there are mixed populations to this day.

  63. I enjoyed a strawberry milkshake today. Does that mean I’m one of the Übermensch?

  64. @Old and Grumpy
    Since lactose is more of a dairy cow thing, when did cows come to Europe? Were cows always there? Wonder could the early cows come in heat thru out the year, and produce calves and milk when other ancient goats and sheep could not? The dead of winter and hungry kids could explain why early human tried cow milk. Those that did not get sick from cow's milk lived many other days, and eventually made kids that were lactose tolerant. Wouldn't really take more than a generation would it? And if you really want to know when lactose tolerance became a thing, find out when cows made their appearance. Finally why would you even test ancient remains for this?

    Replies: @Jack D, @JR Ewing

    Aurochs (ancient wild cattle) were in Europe well before humans ever got there, but what we call “European cattle” today (as opposed to “Indian cattle”) were actually domesticated in Turkey about 10,000 years ago and then brought to Europe after that.

  65. @Handle
    The whole lactase genetics story is misleading. More on that in a bit.

    But first, Burow is only 20 miles from the sea, which means smoked fish and shellfish as a potential major source of calories and also calcium, fish oil, and vitamin D. Maybe one reason the area was valuable enough to fight big fights over.

    Second, barley can be grown farther north than any other grain, and had already spread across Eurasia perhaps about a thousand years before the Tollense battle. For one thing, is has a short growing season, so naturally easier to grow further north. Also, it had been cultivated for so many millennia down south, there had already been a long time to develop cultivars for northern climate.

    Many other pieces of evidence, but one that has a typically Greg Cochran-ish flavor to it is that there is a bad barley fungus - R. secalis - that, like the Sea People, came from the north and suddenly started attacking barley fields in the south which had been established and disease-free for thousands of years. R. secalis's ancestor was growing on leaves of wild grass in Northern Europe when barley arrived, switched hosts, and only *then* rampaged across Europe. But again, best evidence is that this was a long time before Tollense.

    Point is, with bread and fish, probably no need for milk.

    But they still probably also had milk.

    Because finally, another interpretation of the genetic data could be that they were getting calories from milk just fine, and that this is yet another bit of evidence suggesting that there is probably something seriously wrong with the textbook version of the lactase tolerance just-so story.

    For example, from Razib at GNXP, people were drinking milk long before they got "genes for milk."

    That suggest that while the genes help with milk, maybe not really all that much. Also, if that's true, then the fact that they went to fixation in certain populations probably means those genes are coincidentally also good for something else that's really important, and the lactase impacts may be a kind of minor incidental benefit.

    Just like previous commenters who mentioned praise of milk and dairy in the Old Testament (despite lots of Jews aren't very lactose tolerant today, and perhaps even fewer of them were in the past), it turns out lots of people who don't have the lactase-persistence genes nevertheless deal with dairy just fine.

    I'm one of them. I thrive on dairy, never had any GI issues, and got a considerable portion of my calories from dairy when on a Keto diet (which isn't for everyone but worked great for me.)

    So when I got one of those genetic tests I figured I had to be blasting a double dose of lactase-persistence genes.

    Nope, I'm the opposite, two copies of the wrong gene, highly suspected to be lactose intolerant.

    Which was quite surprising given my phenotype! And started me down a path of doing a lot of research on it.

    Turns out, the textbook story is not just an oversimplification but also a kind of "too good to check" model which "proves human evolution via driving alleles to fixation" just-so story. Some sources argue there is apparently a "use it or lose it" aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don't stop doing so for long periods of time.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Sean, @Herp McDerp

    Thanks.

  66. @Handle
    The whole lactase genetics story is misleading. More on that in a bit.

    But first, Burow is only 20 miles from the sea, which means smoked fish and shellfish as a potential major source of calories and also calcium, fish oil, and vitamin D. Maybe one reason the area was valuable enough to fight big fights over.

    Second, barley can be grown farther north than any other grain, and had already spread across Eurasia perhaps about a thousand years before the Tollense battle. For one thing, is has a short growing season, so naturally easier to grow further north. Also, it had been cultivated for so many millennia down south, there had already been a long time to develop cultivars for northern climate.

    Many other pieces of evidence, but one that has a typically Greg Cochran-ish flavor to it is that there is a bad barley fungus - R. secalis - that, like the Sea People, came from the north and suddenly started attacking barley fields in the south which had been established and disease-free for thousands of years. R. secalis's ancestor was growing on leaves of wild grass in Northern Europe when barley arrived, switched hosts, and only *then* rampaged across Europe. But again, best evidence is that this was a long time before Tollense.

    Point is, with bread and fish, probably no need for milk.

    But they still probably also had milk.

    Because finally, another interpretation of the genetic data could be that they were getting calories from milk just fine, and that this is yet another bit of evidence suggesting that there is probably something seriously wrong with the textbook version of the lactase tolerance just-so story.

    For example, from Razib at GNXP, people were drinking milk long before they got "genes for milk."

    That suggest that while the genes help with milk, maybe not really all that much. Also, if that's true, then the fact that they went to fixation in certain populations probably means those genes are coincidentally also good for something else that's really important, and the lactase impacts may be a kind of minor incidental benefit.

    Just like previous commenters who mentioned praise of milk and dairy in the Old Testament (despite lots of Jews aren't very lactose tolerant today, and perhaps even fewer of them were in the past), it turns out lots of people who don't have the lactase-persistence genes nevertheless deal with dairy just fine.

    I'm one of them. I thrive on dairy, never had any GI issues, and got a considerable portion of my calories from dairy when on a Keto diet (which isn't for everyone but worked great for me.)

    So when I got one of those genetic tests I figured I had to be blasting a double dose of lactase-persistence genes.

    Nope, I'm the opposite, two copies of the wrong gene, highly suspected to be lactose intolerant.

    Which was quite surprising given my phenotype! And started me down a path of doing a lot of research on it.

    Turns out, the textbook story is not just an oversimplification but also a kind of "too good to check" model which "proves human evolution via driving alleles to fixation" just-so story. Some sources argue there is apparently a "use it or lose it" aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don't stop doing so for long periods of time.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Sean, @Herp McDerp

    Yes the shellfish were a valuable resource that supported large communities, the battle was likely between local groups . When it comes to the amount of Vitamin D available from coastline resources, you don’t know what you are talking about. I am pretty sure the advantage of milk is dairy farming is the best way to make lots of calories from pasture. Areas of gravel soil near the coast would not support the Yamanaya herding lifestyle herding, let alone dairy farming, so it was likely an area slow to be conquered by the Indo Europeans. Especially as the native communities there were relatively large.The stongest genetic selection know so far is for white skin. The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Sean


    The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.
     
    Could you expand on this please?

    Replies: @Sean

  67. @AnotherDad
    @International Jew

    I sorta hoped he was joking, with his energy positive breasts ... but you never know around here.

    Replies: @International Jew, @RodW

    Yeah, and I wouldn’t want to be that guy who, having missed the joke, waxes pedantic.

    It’s not a totally nutso idea though. It would make a little sense if women could store an entire winter’s worth of milk. Or better yet, some more concentrated nutrient. But at that point we’d be another species. We might look something like this…
    https://ibb.co/z2gSZSp

    (That’s from Dougal Dixon’s Man after Man.)

  68. @Anon
    @Anonymous


    Perhaps R 269 is linked to lactose persistence, in that it is an incidental marker of that chieftain who had the lactose persistence gene.
     
    What does this mean? And what is its significance?

    Replies: @Mackerel Sky

    I think in Australian Bogan (my native tongue) it’s “The chieftain and his descendants rooted all the Sheilas” and so “spread their genes”, including the one for lactase tolerance.

    I’m not so sure. Not every ruler is Genghis Khan.

    (Apologies in advance if I have misunderstood.)

  69. @Gordo
    @Simon in London

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    Replies: @Polymath, @3g4me, @Anonymous

    What’s wrong with BC and AD?

    Did they offend someone.

    When quoting dates in conversation, I now make a point of using ‘In the year of our Lord’.
    I like the poetry of it.

    • LOL: Gordo
  70. @backup
    @clifford brown

    At least Yamnaya did.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    However, chances are that while Yamnaya and Corded Ware were very related - there are even samples of both culture that appear to be 3rd of 4th grade cousins - they both are separate expansions from the same ancestral group.

    Frankly, the map looks like Germanic + Ireland and Scotland.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/2cfpq8/lactose_intolerance_in_europe_700x612/

    Replies: @Herp McDerp

    According to that map, the epicenter of lactose tolerance would seem to have been Doggerland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

  71. @Handle
    The whole lactase genetics story is misleading. More on that in a bit.

    But first, Burow is only 20 miles from the sea, which means smoked fish and shellfish as a potential major source of calories and also calcium, fish oil, and vitamin D. Maybe one reason the area was valuable enough to fight big fights over.

    Second, barley can be grown farther north than any other grain, and had already spread across Eurasia perhaps about a thousand years before the Tollense battle. For one thing, is has a short growing season, so naturally easier to grow further north. Also, it had been cultivated for so many millennia down south, there had already been a long time to develop cultivars for northern climate.

    Many other pieces of evidence, but one that has a typically Greg Cochran-ish flavor to it is that there is a bad barley fungus - R. secalis - that, like the Sea People, came from the north and suddenly started attacking barley fields in the south which had been established and disease-free for thousands of years. R. secalis's ancestor was growing on leaves of wild grass in Northern Europe when barley arrived, switched hosts, and only *then* rampaged across Europe. But again, best evidence is that this was a long time before Tollense.

    Point is, with bread and fish, probably no need for milk.

    But they still probably also had milk.

    Because finally, another interpretation of the genetic data could be that they were getting calories from milk just fine, and that this is yet another bit of evidence suggesting that there is probably something seriously wrong with the textbook version of the lactase tolerance just-so story.

    For example, from Razib at GNXP, people were drinking milk long before they got "genes for milk."

    That suggest that while the genes help with milk, maybe not really all that much. Also, if that's true, then the fact that they went to fixation in certain populations probably means those genes are coincidentally also good for something else that's really important, and the lactase impacts may be a kind of minor incidental benefit.

    Just like previous commenters who mentioned praise of milk and dairy in the Old Testament (despite lots of Jews aren't very lactose tolerant today, and perhaps even fewer of them were in the past), it turns out lots of people who don't have the lactase-persistence genes nevertheless deal with dairy just fine.

    I'm one of them. I thrive on dairy, never had any GI issues, and got a considerable portion of my calories from dairy when on a Keto diet (which isn't for everyone but worked great for me.)

    So when I got one of those genetic tests I figured I had to be blasting a double dose of lactase-persistence genes.

    Nope, I'm the opposite, two copies of the wrong gene, highly suspected to be lactose intolerant.

    Which was quite surprising given my phenotype! And started me down a path of doing a lot of research on it.

    Turns out, the textbook story is not just an oversimplification but also a kind of "too good to check" model which "proves human evolution via driving alleles to fixation" just-so story. Some sources argue there is apparently a "use it or lose it" aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don't stop doing so for long periods of time.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Sean, @Herp McDerp

    Some sources argue there is apparently a “use it or lose it” aspect to lactase persistence, such that even people without the genes can still keep producing lactase and consuming dairy into adulthood so long as they don’t stop doing so for long periods of time.

    I’ve read that elsewhere, and “use it or lose it” seems to have been true for both my wife and me. She quit drinking milk in her twenties; later, in her thirties, she developed severe lactose intolerance. I quit drinking milk as a young teen. In college a couple of very promising dates were ruined when my date and I had Irish coffees at the end of dinner. (You don’t need the details.) It took me years to figure out what was going on, since I “knew” I wasn’t lactose intolerant.

    If “use it or lose it” is true, then the dietary habits by age of various ethnic groups would seem to be at least as important as whether they had the tolerance gene.

  72. @Anon
    @Rob


    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA) + waa*(1 – fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 – fA))/that whole equation above.
     
    What math education would be helpful to understand this?

    Replies: @Rob

    Algebra and s copy of Theoretical Evolutionary Genetics by Felsenstein,which you can legally download at that link. . If you don’t remember the basic genetics they teach in high school, like Punnet squares, you should google that, and i’m sure you can find a good tutorial with figures (very useful for this stuff)

    The equations i put up there were selection acting on single trait, derived from Hardy-Weinber equilibrium, which is just turning punnet squares into symbols. The basics are not hard at all, and i heartily recommend the book.

    It has essentially no molecular biology or chemistry, maybe none. It’s pure theory, but well done, i think.

    For “real evolution” what actually happened on earth, i’m pretty sure Evolution 4th ed by Futuyma and Kirkpatrick is the standard. I have it, but i haven’t read it. Don’t think it’s free.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Rob


    The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.
     
    Thank you.
  73. @Anon
    @Rob

    33% of Mexicans are lactose tolerant. However, even the intolerant eat crema and a few cheeses like cojita. These forms are high fat and low lactose. From the numbers, the gene is spreading.

    Replies: @Rob

    But how much faster is lactose tolerance spreading than Euro genes on average? I’d bet European genes are driving out natives all around Latin America. A study in Bolivia(?) region(?, town?) found like Y chromosomes were 100% Euro, mitochondria were 100% Indian. Implies that autosomes (the chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes) would be 50/50 Spanish/Native, right? But autosomes were like 70% Euro.

    It looks like Spanish men came and took Indian wives. Their mestizo kids lived, blah, blah, but more male Spaniards kept coming. They tended to outcompete the half Indian men for wives, life, land, who knows. That implies selection is acting on one European gene(s).

    Maybe lactose tolerance is one of those genes.

  74. As it happens, I’m in Berlin this week and next on business. I’ve been as close to this battlefield as Neubrandenburg. But I’m going to make some time at one point these next two weeks to make a brief half day trip and see it, as it’s only 75 miles north of Berlin.

  75. @Anonymous
    Could it be Europeans learned to drink milk by first beginning with human females? Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children. Milk for the babies, and milk for men. And perhaps this behavior led to men favoring women with bigger breasts.

    And then, European figured they could get the milk from cows instead and give mothering women a break.

    The Gary Theory of Milk Consumption might be correct.

    https://youtu.be/g9GBuciv20A?t=98

    Replies: @al gore rhythms, @International Jew, @anonymous coward, @Muggles

    No. Human milk isn’t like cow milk at all in nutrition and composition.
    (People say human milk is very oily and sweet; no experience with this first hand. Artificial baby formula is made from palm oil, not cow milk. Supposedly palm oil is the closest we can get to human milk.)

  76. @bruce
    Pioneers died like flies from 'the milk sick'. If I was bronze age foodie I'd boil my milk or die trying.

    Replies: @Veteran Aryan

    Pioneers died like flies from ‘the milk sick’. If I was bronze age foodie I’d boil my milk or die trying.

    ‘Milk Sickness’ is caused by ingesting meat or milk from an animal that has ingested ‘White Snakeroot’. The poison is not neutralized by pasteurization.

  77. @al gore rhythms
    @Anonymous

    "Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children"

    Interesting. One can almost imagine their hungry mouths searching, probing. Could you expand on this a litte more? I'm a scientist, you see.

    Replies: @Veteran Aryan

    I’m a scientist, you see.

    Here you go, ya pervert, feast your eyes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Charity

    P.S. Does anyone recall the final scene of ‘Grapes Of Wrath’?

  78. @Rob
    Oh my God! Do these “scientists” think it’s even imaginable for a neutral allele to drift up to 90% frequency in the Dutch in even 8000 years in a large population? If it drifted up that far, why did it stall out at ninety? Cuz .9^2 + 2*.9*.1 = 99%. Only one guy in a hundred was lactose intolerant, so only 10% of the ancestral (intolerant) alleles were being selected against in a generation. That last 10% frequency takes a long time to get selected away.

    Of course, it was selected. I know adaptationism is unpopular on the left, but do you think maybe eyes evolved to see things? Not in these guys. As a general rule, selection is strong enough in a population that anything that looks like it has a function, that survival reproduction, or childrearing was impacted by the trait, and the trait varied, even just a little. ie there was raw material for selection to act on, then the trait is probably an afaptation. What about population size? Well, if the population size was so small that obviously beneficial traits were nit being selected for, the harmful traits were not being selected against (both more strongly than drift) then the population would likely have declined yet more, so selection was even weaker, so the population was even less adapted... extinction.

    Selection is more powerful than drift in sexual diploids when s > 1/Ne, where s is the selection coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size, usually quite a lot smaller than the actual population size. Relative fitness works like wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA) + waa*(1 - fA)^2. The frequency of allele A in the next generation is (2* wAA*(fA)^2 + wAs*2*(fA)(1 - fA))/that whole equation above. Where w’s are relative fitnesses, one of them is always 1, fA is the frequency of the A allele and fa is the frequency of the a allele. wAA = 1 + s, so s is the selective advantage one genotype has over one of the other genotypes.

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    For a lactose intolerant population closer to home, I wonder if the cattlemen ancestors of some African Americans were lactose tolerant. Yep, west African herders have lots of lactose tolerance.

    But American Indians don’t! Didn’t. Wonder how much more common lactase persistence is in Mexicans or other Latin-Americans than one would predict from Spanish LP gene frequency * percent of autosomal genome that is Spanish. Is it higher around the LP mutation region? That might give us a sense of how quickly lactase persistence can climb when it is being selected for. The gauches of Argentina might be a good place to look. Though they probably were not too hard up for calories, not living in Malthusian conditions like the old world. Maybe Bolivian uplanders keep goats, and have since 1500 or so?

    Replies: @nokangaroos, @Anon, @Anon, @res

    Looks like s for lactose tolerance was higher than they thought. Wonder how much.

    What makes you think that? And what values would you assign to each? Here is a 2020 analysis (about more than just lactase persistence).
    Estimating time-varying selection coefficients from time series data of allele frequencies
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.17.387761v1.full

    Abstract

    Time series data of allele frequencies are a powerful resource for detecting and classifying natural and artificial selection. Ancient DNA now allows us to observe these trajectories in natural populations of long-lived species such as humans. Here, we develop a hidden Markov model to infer selection coefficients that vary over time. We show through simulations that our approach can accurately estimate both selection coefficients and the timing of changes in selection. Finally, we analyze some of the strongest signals of selection in the human genome using ancient DNA. We show that the European lactase persistence mutation was selected over the past 5,000 years with a selection coefficient of 2-2.5% in Britain, Central Europe and Iberia, but not Italy. In northern East Asia, selection at the ADH1B locus associated with alcohol metabolism intensified around 4,000 years ago, approximately coinciding with the introduction of rice-based agriculture. Finally, a derived allele at the FADS locus was selected in parallel in both Europe and East Asia, as previously hypothesized. Our approach is broadly applicable to both natural and experimental evolution data and shows how time series data can be used to resolve fine-scale details of selection.

    In particular, see the section “Selection at LCT in Europe” and Figures S7-S9. Why is Italy so different?

    The frequency graphs allow a decent answer to iSteve’s question. Looking at Central Europe (Figure 3 shows the site locations). The frequency date should correspond to proportion of population able to drink milk as adults (using the same equation you did, since lactase persistence is dominant, equation given only for one example).

    Frequency | Proportion of adults able to drink milk
    0.05 | 0.10
    0.1 | 0.1^2 + 2*0.1*(1-0.1) | 0.19
    0.2 | 0.36
    0.3 | 0.51
    0.4 | 0.64
    0.5 | 0.75
    0.6 | 0.84
    0.7 | 0.91
    0.8 | 0.96
    0.9 | 0.99

    Using the frequency numbers in Figure S8 (seem more plausible to me than those in S7 given the trait originated further away from Britain than Central Europe) we have numbers for Central Europe like:

    Years BP | Frequency | Proportion of adults able to drink milk
    3500 | 0.05 | 0.1
    3000 | 0.1 | 0.19
    2500 | 0.15 | 0.28
    2000 | 0.25 | 0.44
    1500 | 0.35 | 0.58
    1000 | 0.5 | 0.75
    500 | 0.63 | 0.86
    0 | 0.8 | 0.96

    BTW, remember those are only estimates from a model–not gospel.

  79. @Anonymous
    Could it be Europeans learned to drink milk by first beginning with human females? Suppose there was little food in the North in the coldest darkest winters, and hungry men decided to suckle on the teats of women who had children. Milk for the babies, and milk for men. And perhaps this behavior led to men favoring women with bigger breasts.

    And then, European figured they could get the milk from cows instead and give mothering women a break.

    The Gary Theory of Milk Consumption might be correct.

    https://youtu.be/g9GBuciv20A?t=98

    Replies: @al gore rhythms, @International Jew, @anonymous coward, @Muggles

    One of the principal theories about how agriculture ended up overwhelming the hunter-gatherers in Europe (via various migrations) was that hunter-gatherer populations grew very slowly, if at all.

    The reason? The H-Gs were always on the move for new food sources. Women bearing children would suckle them up until the age of 6 or so (this also partly from research into modern H-G peoples). Very young children could only drink milk.

    Women who wean their young evidently can’t reproduce due to hormonal responses to that. Hence much slower and lower population replacement. One (or two) every five-six years leads to very slow and low replacement rate. You also have to factor in survivability of live births.

    As agriculture replaced hunting/gathering living in a stable place or location became necessary and desirable if crops maintained the population. As a result very young children no longer had to move with the tribe/clan. Instead they stayed with their parents in one place for the most part.

    So young children were weaned off mothers milk at 12-18 months. This meant no longer lactating fertile women could bear again, much sooner. Years sooner.

    Even tolerance for replacing mothers milk with cow milk (or sheep/goat) could accelerate the rate of reproduction and birth as weaning could take place in just a few months. So this might also be a factor in some European populations adaption to the lactose tolerant genetic makeup. Agriculture came with domestication of livestock.

    Fertile women accelerating the rate of live birthing due to stability of home location (hence no travel of very young) plus faster weaning off of mothers milk via cows. Populations in northern Europe could grow faster as a result.

    Studies of existing H-G groups suggest very low population growth for the same reason.

  80. @Anon
    @Stan Adams

    I think cows were domesticated from wild oxen for the explicit purpose of having access to milk. Baby humans drink human milk, baby oxen drink ox milk, lightbulb flashes on, let's try drinking oxen milk.

    In the Journals of Lewis and Clark there is a description of the cook preparing a sort of sausage cased in oxen intestines. It's quite funny reading them describing the perfect degree of washing (not too much) of the intestine to preserve the taste from the secret ingredient. So humans consume all kinds of disgusting food, and get to like it.

    Replies: @Muggles

    In the Journals of Lewis and Clark there is a description of the cook preparing a sort of sausage cased in oxen intestines. It’s quite funny reading them describing the perfect degree of washing (not too much) of the intestine to preserve the taste from the secret ingredient. So humans consume all kinds of disgusting food, and get to like it.

    All sausage used to be encased in similar substances.

    The French today have a particular kind and style of sausage which, not being French, I can’t specifically name. But the name in French alludes to it’s digestive system origins.

    https://unclestinky.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/andouillette-french-pig-colon-sausage/

  81. @Sean
    @Handle

    Yes the shellfish were a valuable resource that supported large communities, the battle was likely between local groups . When it comes to the amount of Vitamin D available from coastline resources, you don't know what you are talking about. I am pretty sure the advantage of milk is dairy farming is the best way to make lots of calories from pasture. Areas of gravel soil near the coast would not support the Yamanaya herding lifestyle herding, let alone dairy farming, so it was likely an area slow to be conquered by the Indo Europeans. Especially as the native communities there were relatively large.The stongest genetic selection know so far is for white skin. The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.

    Could you expand on this please?

    • Agree: Gabe Ruth
    • Replies: @Sean
    @Anonymous

    The Yamnaya invaders (mainly men) culled the indigenous males, and had an excess of conquered native slave women. The society was highly patriarchal, with slave women being burned alive on the funeral pyre of their husband. For the children to survive and the women's genes to flourish a woman had to obtain the position of number one of official wife to a prominent man (Yamanaya society was extremely hierarchal). Being a tawny blonde was not enough, because sexy did not ensure survival for the genes. There was selection for women who were sexy and good in bed, but also for making men want to take care of them. White skin does the latter, just as it does in infants (of many species). This is connected to the fact that when in the Bronze Age the Yamanaya showed up in Europe the ancestral (ie dark skin) SLC24A5, which was very common, suddenly disappeared from Europe.

    Admixture of the Bell Beaker sort of Yamnaya or Indo-Europeans with other populations they met cannot explain the DISAPPEARANCE of the G allele even though it is dominant. If a genotype is AG or GG on at rs1426654 then the individual is very unlikely to be European.

    Selection for light skin rather than the initial proportions of the mix are key. The ancestral G variant, which was once very common in continental Europe, started disappearing in the Copper Age . Razib once mentioned this.


    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-caucasian-gene/#comment-2345249
    there are very very very few copies of the ancestral allele across so much of europe. this seems to be a recent feature of the last 5,000 years. the % isn’t really the most interesting thing. it is that there are very very very few copies of the ancestral allele across so much of europe. this seems to be a recent feature of the last 5,000 years. the impact on skin color is dominant toward lightness (see the original 2005 paper). so it is very strange that if lightness is driving the selection that heterozygotes are so much less fit than homozygotes. lactase persistence allele is maxed out at ~90% because it is dominant it. this allele should have been similar, but it’s not.
     
    The areas where there was the greatest replacement of Neolithic farmers by the Yamnaya or BellBeaker invaders, such as Ireland, are the same areas where skin is today lightest. A few years ago Scottish reasearchers discovered red hair requires several more genes than previously thought, in my opinion full on red hair is probably a side effect of super strong selection for white skin. Peter Frost first raised the possibility that white skin in European women was to inhibit aggression and elicit care and provisioning from their husbands, but I don't think he believes it is the primary mechanism or that it began in the Bronze age to the extent I am saying here.
  82. @Rob
    @Anon

    Algebra and s copy of Theoretical Evolutionary Genetics by Felsenstein,which you can legally download at that link. . If you don’t remember the basic genetics they teach in high school, like Punnet squares, you should google that, and i’m sure you can find a good tutorial with figures (very useful for this stuff)

    The equations i put up there were selection acting on single trait, derived from Hardy-Weinber equilibrium, which is just turning punnet squares into symbols. The basics are not hard at all, and i heartily recommend the book.

    It has essentially no molecular biology or chemistry, maybe none. It’s pure theory, but well done, i think.

    For “real evolution” what actually happened on earth, i’m pretty sure Evolution 4th ed by Futuyma and Kirkpatrick is the standard. I have it, but i haven’t read it. Don’t think it’s free.

    Replies: @Anon

    The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.

    Thank you.

  83. @AnotherDad

    About 3000 years ago, thousands of warriors fought on the banks of the Tollense river in northern Germany.
     
    If they'd been able to look into the future and see the post-1945 West all rainbow faggy and waving in Asiatic and African invaders ... they'd have thought "this doesn't turn out well" and turned around and gone somewhere else.

    Replies: @Drapetomaniac, @JMcG

    I wonder how long it took our psychopathic social-minded ancestors to realize the importance of the Asperger’s/STEM brain to survival in general. They probably made a habit of killing them off.

    One would think that the more primitive societies on Earth would have much lower incidences of Asperger’s along with higher testosterone levels.

  84. @nokangaroos
    @Rob

    - The lactose tolerance of Massai and Samburu (+/- Sahel herders)
    evolved independently from the European.
    - It is estimated dairy is 7x more efficient than meat economy
    i.e. the selective advantage is huge and clearly greatest
    where the land is marginal (steppe and mountains) where it should not
    take more than a few generations to become prevalent
    (and horses, as badly adapted to grass feed, are useless).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Almost Missouri

    I did not know that about horses. If you don’t mind, what are they adapted to eat?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @JMcG

    AFAIK, it's not true. I think it would be more correct to say that steppe ponies (early domesticated horses) were grass eaters, but that later agricultural civilizations (especially the medieval Europeans) bred larger horses that needed supplemental grain to have enough energy to sustain their large size and to do useful work (pull large plows, charge carrying an armored knight, etc.).

  85. @AnotherDad

    About 3000 years ago, thousands of warriors fought on the banks of the Tollense river in northern Germany.
     
    If they'd been able to look into the future and see the post-1945 West all rainbow faggy and waving in Asiatic and African invaders ... they'd have thought "this doesn't turn out well" and turned around and gone somewhere else.

    Replies: @Drapetomaniac, @JMcG

    See also every Western European and American army of the twentieth century.

  86. “It’s almost embarrassing that this is the strongest example of selection we have and we can’t really explain it.”

    BAP touches on this in his book.

  87. @Anonymous
    @Sean


    The disappearance of dark skin at the time of the Bronze age invasion was most probably due to white skin inhibiting aggression and stimulating care and provisioning of the conquered women by the invader males.
     
    Could you expand on this please?

    Replies: @Sean

    The Yamnaya invaders (mainly men) culled the indigenous males, and had an excess of conquered native slave women. The society was highly patriarchal, with slave women being burned alive on the funeral pyre of their husband. For the children to survive and the women’s genes to flourish a woman had to obtain the position of number one of official wife to a prominent man (Yamanaya society was extremely hierarchal). Being a tawny blonde was not enough, because sexy did not ensure survival for the genes. There was selection for women who were sexy and good in bed, but also for making men want to take care of them. White skin does the latter, just as it does in infants (of many species). This is connected to the fact that when in the Bronze Age the Yamanaya showed up in Europe the ancestral (ie dark skin) SLC24A5, which was very common, suddenly disappeared from Europe.

    Admixture of the Bell Beaker sort of Yamnaya or Indo-Europeans with other populations they met cannot explain the DISAPPEARANCE of the G allele even though it is dominant. If a genotype is AG or GG on at rs1426654 then the individual is very unlikely to be European.

    Selection for light skin rather than the initial proportions of the mix are key. The ancestral G variant, which was once very common in continental Europe, started disappearing in the Copper Age . Razib once mentioned this.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-caucasian-gene/#comment-2345249
    there are very very very few copies of the ancestral allele across so much of europe. this seems to be a recent feature of the last 5,000 years. the % isn’t really the most interesting thing. it is that there are very very very few copies of the ancestral allele across so much of europe. this seems to be a recent feature of the last 5,000 years. the impact on skin color is dominant toward lightness (see the original 2005 paper). so it is very strange that if lightness is driving the selection that heterozygotes are so much less fit than homozygotes. lactase persistence allele is maxed out at ~90% because it is dominant it. this allele should have been similar, but it’s not.

    The areas where there was the greatest replacement of Neolithic farmers by the Yamnaya or BellBeaker invaders, such as Ireland, are the same areas where skin is today lightest. A few years ago Scottish reasearchers discovered red hair requires several more genes than previously thought, in my opinion full on red hair is probably a side effect of super strong selection for white skin. Peter Frost first raised the possibility that white skin in European women was to inhibit aggression and elicit care and provisioning from their husbands, but I don’t think he believes it is the primary mechanism or that it began in the Bronze age to the extent I am saying here.

  88. @AnotherDad
    @International Jew

    I sorta hoped he was joking, with his energy positive breasts ... but you never know around here.

    Replies: @International Jew, @RodW

    One of the serious scientists bothering to post here mentioned ‘adfaptations’. I see a lot of value in adopting this term to explain the inexplicable using titillating confabulations.

  89. @JMcG
    @nokangaroos

    I did not know that about horses. If you don’t mind, what are they adapted to eat?

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    AFAIK, it’s not true. I think it would be more correct to say that steppe ponies (early domesticated horses) were grass eaters, but that later agricultural civilizations (especially the medieval Europeans) bred larger horses that needed supplemental grain to have enough energy to sustain their large size and to do useful work (pull large plows, charge carrying an armored knight, etc.).

    • Thanks: JMcG
  90. @nokangaroos
    @Rob

    - The lactose tolerance of Massai and Samburu (+/- Sahel herders)
    evolved independently from the European.
    - It is estimated dairy is 7x more efficient than meat economy
    i.e. the selective advantage is huge and clearly greatest
    where the land is marginal (steppe and mountains) where it should not
    take more than a few generations to become prevalent
    (and horses, as badly adapted to grass feed, are useless).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Almost Missouri

    What’s the source for the 7× dairy advantage?

    • Replies: @res
    @Almost Missouri

    This page gives a range from about 2x for chicken to about 12x for beef (relative to whole milk).
    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/energy-efficiency-of-meat-and-dairy-production

    Original source full text here. See Table 1.
    https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk/ws/files/28108199/half_s3_v2.pdf

  91. @Almost Missouri
    @nokangaroos

    What's the source for the 7× dairy advantage?

    Replies: @res

    This page gives a range from about 2x for chicken to about 12x for beef (relative to whole milk).
    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/energy-efficiency-of-meat-and-dairy-production

    Original source full text here. See Table 1.
    https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk/ws/files/28108199/half_s3_v2.pdf

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri

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