|Chapter 20 - Population Differences in MtDNA
|“Things are seldom what they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream."
|W.S. Gilbert, “A Many Years Ago,” H.M.S. Pinafore
Some of the strongest evidence that the afrocentrists are wrong comes from DNA studies of living people across the globe. As explained in Chapter 3, most genes have a number of different alleles. Although all the alleles of a gene are different in their A-C-G-T sequences, several of those alleles may nevertheless code for the same trait (e.g., several different alleles may code for the same eye color).
Certain alleles are more common in some populations than in others. For example, the allele for blue eyes is common in Europe, but absent in Africa and Asia. 1 As one would expect, scientists have found that particular alleles from different genes tend to group together in different populations. In Europeans, the allele for blue eye color, which is on one gene, is often found with alleles for blond hair, on a different gene. A group of alleles that are inherited together is a “haplotype,” a group of haplotypes is a “haplogroup,” and a group of haplogroups is a “macrohaplogroup.” 2
There are two mtDNA macrohaplogroups, known as M and N, which include all Eurasians, but very few Africans. The M macrohaplogroup includes people from India 3 and SE Asia and the N macrohaplogroup includes Europeans and northern Asians, as well as (extinct) Cro-Magnons. Figure 20-1 answers the question left over from Footnote 14 in the last chapter, “If Europeans did not come from Africans, why is their mtDNA less varied than Africans?”
In Figure 20-1, time goes from left to right and the number of people alive in Eurasia increases from the bottom to the top, but population size is very approximate. The arrows entering from the left symbolize the many lineages of mtDNA haplogroups that different populations living in Eurasia had prior to the eruption of Mt. Toba and the first ice age. 4 The two population crashes (dips in the curve) were caused by Toba and the two ice ages when large numbers of Eurasians starved to death. Some people in the M and N macrohaplogroups made it through the ice ages, but people in other haplogroups did not, resulting in a population “bottleneck” in the trough of the first ice age (and possibly the second, as well) and leaving the survivors with less variation.
The “coalescence date,” the date that the populations who have the alleles in the M and N macrohaplogroups began to diverge, has been determined to be about 65,000 ya. 5 The fact that both the M and the N macrohaplogroups are dated near the trough in the first ice age supports the explanation that the M and N coalescence was the result of the extinguishment of most mtDNA haplogroups due to Toba and the first ice age. 6
When the ice eventually receded, the survivors, who were in a haplogroup within the M or N macrohaplogroups, repopulated Asia and Europe. As the populations expanded, mutations occurred, producing other haplogroups within the M and N macrohaplogroups. 7 The mtDNA of today’s Eurasians has less variation than African mtDNA not because Eurasians are younger than Africans, but because female Eurasians who had mtDNA that was not in the M and N macrohaplogroups did not survive the ice ages. 8
The ice age bottlenecks that the Eurasians suffered through 9 had very little affect on tropical Africa. 10 Before agriculture (about 12,000 ya), the tropics (African and Asian) supported populations that were much greater (per unit area) than the temperate Eurasian populations, 11 more than enough to account for the higher variations in Africans. Although there was a severe drought in East Africa from 135 to 75 kya, after about 70 kya Africa became much more humid and stable, as shown in Figure 20-2. (Scholz, 2007,).
The African droughts, however, could not be predicted by the Africans (as Fig. 20-2 suggests, they may have been caused by eccentricities in the precession of the earth’s orbit), so they could not be planned for as winters could be in the north, even if the Africans were capable of such planning.
Figure 20-3 is a wonderful tree 12 that shows the evolution of populations inside and outside the M and N macrohaplogroups.
In the tree, “NG” is New Guinea. Note that all of the Europeans are in the N macrohaplogroup. Note that some of the South Indians, perhaps descended from the Aryans who invaded India, are in proximity to the Southeast Asians, some of the Pacific Islanders, and some of the Australian aborigines. There are several lineages of Australians in both the M and N macrohaplogroups, suggesting multiple migrations into Australia by widely-separated populations. (Chap. 27).
No Africans are in either the M or N macrohaplogroup. The lowest branch of Africans (61) is tied directly to the common ancestor with the chimpanzee at the very bottom of the tree; Africans are the race most closely related to chimpanzees and the Nigerians (“Ibo,” “Hausa”) are the closest Africans to chimpanzees. 13 Thus, if OoA is correct, once Africans evolved from an ape into modern humans, they ceased to evolve any further, while Eurasians continued to evolve farther away from those modern Africans and from our ape ancestor. That would explain how Africans can be, at the same time, the most primitive, simian race, yet also the first, and only, race to evolve directly all the way from an ape into a modern human. Section IV, however, presents another explanation that, hopefully, makes more sense.
Since an individual who is in the M or N macrohaplogroup is modern and those macrohaplogroups originated (coalesced) about 65,000 ya, long after man became modern 160,000 ya, anyone who was in those groups 65,000 ya was modern. Therefore, in order for OoA to be correct, the M and N macrohaplogroups must have originated in Africa where the first modern humans allegedly arose, then were carried out of Africa when those modern Africans left Africa 65,000 ya. If M and N did not originate in Africa, then modern man did not originate in Africa or, at least, only in Africa, and there was no migration of modern man out of Africa into Eurasia, i.e., OoA collapses.
If M and N originated in Africa, one would expect most of the haplogroups in the M and N macrohaplogroups to be found in Africans, but there are, in fact, almost none, and those that are found in Africans are in NE Africans (e.g., Ethiopia), which is easily accessible from Eurasia. As the fossil skull photos in Chapter 17 (and other evidence to be presented in Chap. 26) show, there were very likely multiple incursions of Eurasians into NE Africa. The small amount of alleles in the haplogroups included within M and N that were found in NE Africans is easily explained as being due to Eurasians crossing over into Africa from the Middle East or from North Africa (the first Egyptians were Caucasian) and interbreeding with Africans.
Since very few Africans are in macrohaplogroups M and N, it is likely that these macro-haplogroups did not originate in Africa (Chap. 4, Rule 11), but in Eurasia, which means that modern man was in Eurasia at least 65,000 ya. In fact, at least one publication claims that most of the haplogroups, and the oldest ones, in the M macrohaplogroup originated in India, not Africa. “The deep roots [i.e., old age] of M phylogeny [i.e., the evolution of the M macrohaplogroup] clearly establish the antiquity of Indian lineages, especially M2, as compared to Ethiopian [i.e., African] M1 lineage and hence, support an Asian origin of M majorhaplogroup [i.e., macrohaplogroup].” 14 If the M macrohaplogroup originated in India and some NE Africans are in the M macrohaplogroup, then that is evidence that the migration was in to Africa (Section IV), not out of Africa.
The afrocentrists’ explanation for the absence of Africans in the M and N macrohaplogroups is that any Africans who had M or N alleles “lost” them, i.e., they died without living descendants. But if M and N arose in Africa and the Africans had them, they were very probably beneficial or, at the very least, not harmful, so why would the Africans who had them die out? Africa was little affected by Toba and there were no disasters in Africa that could have wiped out populations in the M and N macro-haplogroups, but left populations in other haplogroups intact. The environment in Africa did not change drastically so as to turn harmless or beneficial alleles in the haplogroups of M and N into deadly liabilities. Rather than say that those alleles were so advantageous in Eurasia that the people having them were able to repopulate those two continents, but so deadly that in Africa that anyone having them died, it is far more likely that no one in Africa had the alleles in M and N until a few Eurasians brought them there.
Furthermore, why is it only in NE Africa, where Eurasians entered Africa multiple times, that traces of M and N in Africa are found? Under OoA, the fact that different populations fall into different haplogroups is explained as being due to the Founder Effect, where the first migrants from Africa into a new territory all belong to one tribe in the same haplogroup. However, this model is difficult to reconcile with the fact that northeastern Africa harbors all of the African-specific mtDNA lineages. Why, when NE Africa has all the other African-specific mtDNA lineages, did only the Africans who had M and N lineages, the least common lineages in Africa, allegedly leave Africa and replace all the Eurasians? 15
Also, in going from West Asia to Siberia, haplogroups A, C, D, and G do not gradually merge, but sharply change, even though the land has no sharp dividers, such as water, deserts, or mountains. That is better explained by invasion and conquest than by a gradual expansion of founder populations. (Mishmar, 2003).
Mungo Man (Figure 20-4, a reconstruction) was an “anatomically modern human” fossil found near Lake Mungo, NSW, Australia. (Adcock, 2001). He was buried with his hands interlocked and positioned over his crotch, covered in red ochre.
MtDNA was recovered from Mungo Man (“LM3”), but it did not match the mtDNA of any living person and differed from modern human mtDNA as much as Neanderthal mtDNA. 16 (That fact establishes that at least some mitochondrial variation has been lost from the Eurasian gene pool, which is consistent with Fig. 20-1.) Since Mungo Man is dated at at least 40,000 ya, 17 his mtDNA is the oldest known mtDNA in the Hss lineage. If every Hss came from Africa, how did the oldest Hss mtDNA get into a modern Australian who lived 40,000 ya? How did modern Africans leave Africa 65,000 ya and arrive in Australia only 25,000 yrs later, and probably sooner, since it is unlikely that Mungo Man was the first person in Australia who had the LM3 mtDNA?
The LM3 mtDNA found in 40,000 year old Mungo Man is so similar to an “insertion” of nuclear DNA on chromosome 11 that is found in some people living today that scientists have concluded that the nuclear DNA insertion at one time must have been mtDNA. In other words, Mungo Man is descended from an archaic population that had LM3 mtDNA in it and, in one of the individuals in that population, a highly unique event occurred – some LM3 mtDNA migrated into the nucleus in an egg that became a reproducing human. Because that insertion was so unusual, it must have happened to only a single person in that population.
As the years passed, that individual had descendants, some of whom are the people living today who have that insertion. Other individuals in that same archaic population, who did not have the insertion, also had descendants, 18 some of whom are also still living today alongside those who have the insertion. The insertion is not known to confer any advantage on those who have it, so it was not positively selected, but just gradually spread from that single individual through subsequent populations. Today, over half of the Eurasians have it. 19 Although the size of the archaic population the insertion arose in is not known, it would have had to have been in the thousands in order to be sustaining, so the insertion went from being in only one person in thousands to being in over half of the Eurasians, which would have required hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years. 20 In other words, the date of the insertion was long before 65,000 ya, the date that supposedly modern Africans supposedly left Africa.
Mungo Man was Asian and the populations living today in which the majority of people have the insertion are Eurasian, so it is almost certain that the archaic population in which the insertion occurred was Eurasian, not African (Chapter 4, Rule 11). And, if that is true, it must also be true that Eurasians did not descend from Africans.
Because Mungo Man’s LM3 mtDNA is unlike any other known mtDNA, afrocentrists claim that it does not belong to any known macrohaplogroup. However, the mtDNA of most of the people living today who have that nuclear LM3 insertion are in the N macrohaplogroup, including the living descendants of the original inhabitants of Australia, e.g., Mungo Man. The only reasonable conclusion is that LM3 is, and always has been, part of the N macrohaplogroup, which is, and always has been, Eurasian.
Mitochondrial haplogroups A, B, C, and D are shared by 95% of Native Americans. Haplogroups A, C, and D are found in 58% of the Siberians who migrated into the Americas across the Bering Strait. 21 Haplogroup B is found in people living along the Asian coast who may have come to the Americas later, using boats that followed the coast.
However, a fifth haplogroup, called X, is 21,6000 ± 6000 yrs old (for the X2 version; Reidla, 2003) and is present in about 20,000 Native Americans living mostly in north central North America; it has also been found in several pre-Columbian populations. Haplogroup X is also present in European populations (Figure 19-1), but absent in Asians, except people in southern Siberia (Altaia) who are believed to have come from an area just north of Turkey and Iran, i.e. Georgia, where georgicus was found (Chap. 24). This suggests that Europeans brought haplogroup X to the Americas. 22
There is a variety of other evidence that consistently points to the Europeans as the first Americans. At least one linguist (Swadesh) believes that the Na-Dene Indian language (Algonquian) and the Basque language (between Spain and France) are related. The native domesticated America dog did not descend from the N. American wolf, but from the European or Asian wolf.
Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant sediments in South Carolina (Topper site) showed that artifacts found in the sediments were at least 50,000 yrs old. (Goodyear, 2004). The artifacts were not the same as more recent (13,000 ya) Clovis artifacts 23 that were made by Asians who crossed the Bering Strait, 24 but were very similar to Solutrean artifacts. (Bradley, 2004). The Solutreans were hunters and craftsmen who lived along the shores of France and Spain at a time of maximum glaciation, when the sea level was about 425 feet lower. 25 Boats of hides and other materials were used, and travel along the northern ice to North America would have been possible. (See migration route in Figure 19-1, dotted line from (X) in France to (X) in N. America). Figure 20-5 shows the skull and a facial reconstruction of 10,630 year old Spirit Cave Man found in Nevada, and Figure 20-6 shows the skull and facial reconstruction of 9300 year old Kennewick Man found in the state of Washington, both of whom are definitely Caucasian. 26
How likely is it that “modern” Africans left Africa only 65,000 ya, migrated to what is now France, then traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to what is now South Carolina at least 50,000 ya, when only a few thousand years ago Africans could not even build boats that would take them to islands just off Africa?
Table of Contents
1. The only other blue-eyed primate is the blue-eyed black lemur in Madagascar. Back
2. There are mitochondrial haplogroups, autosomal (not on the X or Y chromosome) nuclear haplogroups, and Y chromosome haplogroups, all using some of the same letters. Back
3. (Rajkumar, 2006). The oldest mtDNA in the M macrohaplogroup is found in India and, in the absence of evidence that it was brought into India, it is reasonable to assume that it arose there (Chap. 4, Rule 11). Since it is in living non-African Hss, if it did arise in India, the Hss from which those living non-Africans descended were not from Africa, which refutes OoA. Back
4. Artifacts have been found in India immediately above and below a 2.4 meter thick layer of Toba ash, showing modern man was in India prior to Toba and survived it. (Petraglia, 2007). Back
5. (Mishmar, 2003), ±12,000 years. Ingman (2003) gives a coalescence date for the N macrohaplogroup of 71,000 ya and for the M macrohaplogroup of 78,000 ya (both ±12,000 years). Back
6. (Mishmar, 2003). “Collapse into a population bottleneck is one interpretation of positive values of Tajima's D [a statistical test], reported for some, mostly non-African, populations, on the basis of analyses of autosomal [i.e., not X or Y chromosome] loci …, with the strongest signature found for eastern Asian populations.” (Harding, 2000). Indeed, since there was no coalescence of M and N, but a purging of other mtDNA lineages, Eurasians could have had the M and N macrohaplogroups hundreds of thousands of years before 65,000 ya. Back
7. The migrations due to the first ice age would have brought diverse populations into contact. Interbreeding followed by selection of the most fit would have also reduced the number of haplogroups. Back
8. (Marth, 2003). The second ice age may have also wiped out some haplogroups. Also, some mtDNA haplogroups may have died out due to “lineage sorting,” the failure of Eurasian women within those haplogroups to have daughters, but this loss is less significant. Back
9. Since the populations at that time were less migratory and therefore more inbred than today, the bottleneck may have had a very disproportionate effect on different populations, killing most or all of some populations and few of others, thereby significantly reducing variability. A decrease in population size will increase the average IQ of the surviving population, at least for a time, if more intelligent people can better overcome the selector that is responsible for the decrease. Back
10. “Analyses of sub-Saharan African populations provide little evidence for a history of population bottlenecks …” (Garrigan, 2007). Back
11. (Chapter 4, Rule 8). “… long-term effective [population] size was greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Relethford, 1995). Back
12. (Ingman, 2003), reproduced from (Saito, 1987). Back
13. (Deka, 1995). Using Nei's standard genetic distance method, the Nigerian-chimp genetic distance was 1.334 +/- 0.375, by far the closest value. Using the Cavalli-Sforza method, the Sokoto Nigerians were again the closest to chimps (0.539) by a large margin. Back
14. (Rajkumar, 2006). Although no direct reference claims that the N macrohaplogroup is of Asian origin, its highest incidence is in Asia. Back
15. “… Northeastern Africa harbors all of the African-specific mtDNA lineages as well as the progenitors of the Eurasia radiation, yet only two mtDNA lineages (macrohaplogroups M and N) left northeastern Africa to colonize all of Eurasia…” (Mishmar, 2003). Back
16. “If genuine,… the sequence of Lake Mungo 3 is among the most divergent modern human mtDNAs …” (Caramelli, 2003). Back
17. The age is in dispute (Wikipedia, “Mungo Man”), with one study (Adcock, 2001) giving an age of 62,000 ya. Back
18. Mungo Man’s nuclear DNA has not been analyzed to determine whether or not he had the insertion. Back
19. It is found in 78% of an Amerindian tribe, 68% of Melanesians, 65% of Japanese, and 54% of Europeans, but only 10 to 25% of Africans. (Zischler, 1995). That distribution is consistent with its origination somewhere in Eurasia, with migration gradually carrying it outward. Back
20. Although the insertion is believed to be ancient, determining its date is not easy. Ronald A. Fonda discusses its date on his web site under “Australian Ancestry.” Back
21. There was a continuous land bridge between Siberia and Alaska between about 50 and about 38 kya and a second one between about 25 and 13 kya. (Sykes, 2001, p. 280; Goebel, 2008). Language also ties Siberians to Amerindians. (Ruhlen, 1998). Back
22. (Brown, 1998; Derenko, 2001; Newman, 1950). Y chromosome data supports a connection between people living in the Americas and people living in India, who were possibly invaders from Europe. (Underhill, 2001). When later arrivals are more numerous (or more advanced) they push earlier arrivals away from the entry point. If the later arrivals entered the Americas across the Bering Strait they would push the earlier arrivals east. Since the Amerindians in eastern US are more Caucasian in appearance, they either were pushed east or they came from Europe. Also see http://www.vimeo.com/user331557/videos/sort:date Back
23. Sites in Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania, Cactus Hill, Virginia,, and Monte Verde, Chile also indicate settlements thousands of years older than Clovis. Also see the DVD documentary, “Ice Age Columbus: Who Were the First Americans.” Mummies at least 600 years old of the Chachapoyas, "a tall, fairhaired, light-skinned race that some researchers believe may have come from Europe" were found in a cave in northern Peru. (“Moment 600 years ago that terror came to the mummies of the Amazon,” Jan. 10, 2007). A virus found in one of those mummies is most similar to viruses found in today’s Japanese. (Sonada, 2000; Coulthart, 2006). Back
24. Howells (1948, p. 296) describes American Indians as unspecialized Mongoloids, suggesting they either left Asia prior to the Asian specializations for the cold or, more likely, were not pure Mongoloids but Caucasian-Mongoloid hybrids; the Eskimos, who are specialized for the cold, left Asian later. Back
25. “The extinction [of the Neanderthals] coincides with the rise of the Solutrean culture.” (Jiménez-Espejo, 2007). Back
26. (Wikipedia, “Forensic Facial Reconstruction,” BBC News; "Indian Giver,"American Renaissance, Nov., 2004, 15(11)). “The Indians of New England seem to have been the least mongoloid and most European-looking of any in appearance, and are fairly well represented by the head on the buffalo nickel.” (Howells, 1948, p. 257; also see Leonard, R.C., "Atlantians in America"). Back