Friday, January 31, 2014

We non-Africans are part Neanderthal

For decades we have been told that anatomically modern humans emerged from Africa about 50k to 100k years ago, and that there has been no human evolution since. But there has been overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the latest being this:
Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.

These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.

The snippets that come from Neanderthals can be identified because a few years ago, scientists were able to extract DNA from Neanderthal remains and read out their genetic blueprint.

A startling 20 percent of Neanderthal genes live on in us today, according to a published Wednesday in Science magazine. Researchers found that out by combing through the genes of more than 600 living people.
By "our genes", NPR radio means the genes of non-Africans. The NY Times made a similar mistake.

The out-of-Africa folks are always telling us that all humans are the same, while the scientific evidence is always pointing to variation among humans. Many have trouble accepting the variation:
continuing on from the other day, jamie bartlett and timothy stanley are flat-out wrong that human biodiversity (hbd) is “neo-fascist” “bad science.” human biodiversity is simply the diversity found among and between human populations that has a biological basis.
Steven Pinker is one of those academic leftists who reluctantly accepts biological differences, but announces:
Behavior = Genes + Environment
He merely points to technical difficulties in giving precise definitions to Genes and Environment. But he cannot dispute that behavior is some complex combination of nature and nuture. While no one has figured out how individual genes affect behavior, there is strong evidence that psychometrics are heritable. The heritability of behavior traits is typically about 50%, with the rest usually assumed to be environmental but maybe just random.

Update: John Hawks explains Multiregional vs. Out of Africa in 2005, and comments in 2010 that recent DNA evidence shows Multiregional evolution lives! Wikipedia says that Out Of Africa is the most widely accepted theory, with the main rival being Multiregional origin of modern humans. I have a feeling that the Out Of Africa folks will never admit to being wrong.

Update: The LA Times reported:
Mating between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians gave our forebears important evolutionary advantages but may have created a lot of sterile males, wiping out much of that primitive DNA, new genetic studies suggest.

The comparison of Neanderthal and modern human genomes, published online Wednesday in the journals Nature and Science, identified specific sequences of altered DNA that both Neanderthals and several hundred modern Europeans and Asians had in common.
This is misleading. The DNA comparison proves that Neanderthals are among the ancestors of Europeans. The first sentence is written as if the Neanderthals and European ancestors were two different groups. Then it goes on to mention "primitive DNA", whatever that is.

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