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The Native American Genome and Dubious Interpretations

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1100 words

A recent paper was published on the origins of Native Americans titled Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans (Moreno-Mayar et al, 2018). An infant genome was studied and it was found that group of people the infant belonged to was similar to modern Native Americans but not a direct ancestor. The infant’s group and modern Native Americans share the same common ancestors, however. This, of course, supports the hypothesis that Native Americans are descended from Asian migrants.

The infant is also related to both North and South Natives, which implies they’re descended from a single migration. (Though I am aware of a hypothesis that states that there were three waves of migration into the Americas from Beringia, along with back migrations from South America back into Asia.)

Moreno-Mayar et al (2018) write in the abstract: “Our findings further suggest that the far-northern North American presence of northern Native Americans is from a back migration that replaced or absorbed the initial founding population of Ancient Beringians.” And they conclude (pg 5):

 The USR1 results provide direct genomic evidence that all Native Americans can be traced back to the same source population from a single Late Pleistocene founding event. Descendants of that population were present in eastern Beringia until at least 11.5 ka. By that time, however, a separate branch of Native Americans had already established itself in unglaciated North America, and diverged into the two basal groups that ultimately became the ancestors of most of the indigenous populations of the Americas.

This is a highly interesting paper which shows that, as we’ve known for decades, that the ancestors of the Native Americans crossed the Bering Land Bridge around 11 kya. Though, my reason for writing this article is not for this very interesting paper, but the ‘conclusions’ that people that people are drawing from it.

Dubious ‘interpretations’

Of course, whenever a study like this gets published you get a whole slew of people who read the popular articles on the matter and don’t read the actual journal article. The problem here is that some people took the chance to attempt to say that this paper showed that the origins of Man were in Europe, not Africa as can be seen in the tweet below.

Black Pigeon SpeaksYouTuber, purportedly shows a quotation from the Nature article which said:

“…represent a growing body of evidence being discovered across the world that suggests the origins of the human race may have been Europe and not Africa as once believed.”

So I read the paper, read it again and even cntrl f’d it and didn’t see the phrase. So where did the phrase come from?

I did some digging and I found the source for the quote, which, of course, was not in the Nature article. The quote in question comes from an article titled Scientists discover DNA proving original Native Americans were White. Oh, wow. Isn’t that interesting? Maybe he read a different paper then I did.

The author stated that the infant was “more closely related to modern white Europeans“, though of course this too wasn’t stated anywhere in the article. He also quoted an evolutionary biologist who stated “This is a new population of Native Americans — the white Native American.” Wow, this is interesting. Now let’s look at what else this author writes:

Working with scientists at the University of Alaska and elsewhere, Willerslev compared the genetic makeup of the baby, named Xach’itee’aanenh t’eede gaay or “sunrise child-girl” by the local community, with genomes from other ancient and modern people. They found that nearly half of the girls DNA came from the ancient North Europeans who lived in what is no Scandinavia. The rest of her genetic makeup was a roughly even mixed of DNA now carried by northern and southern Native Americans. Using evolutionary models, the researchers showed the ancestors of the first Native Americans started to emerge as a distinct population about 35,000 years ago.

Isn’t that weird? This is nowhere in the original article. So I did some digging and what do I find? I found that the author of this article literally plagiarized almost word for word from another article from The Guardian

Working with scientists at the University of Alaska and elsewhere, Willerslev compared the genetic makeup of the baby, named Xach’itee’aanenh t’eede gaay or “sunrise child-girl” by the local community, with genomes from other ancient and modern people. They found that nearly half of the girls DNA came from the ancient north Eurasians who lived in what is now Siberia. The rest of her genetic makeup was a roughly even mixed of DNA now carried by northern and southern Native Americans.

Using evolutionary models, the researchers showed the ancestors of the first Native Americans started to emerge as a distinct population about 35,000 years ago.

This is not only an example of straight up plagiarism, the author of the other article literally only switched “Siberia” with “Scandinavia” and “ancient north Eurasians” with “ancient North Europeans”. Ancient north Eurasians are NOT WHITE! Where do you gather this from?! There is NO INDICATION that they were ‘ancient north Europeans!

In sum, if you ever see articles like this that purport to show that Native Americans were white European and that it supposedly calls the OoA model into question, always ALWAYS check the claims and don’t fall for plagiarist bullshit. This is truly incredible that not only did the author literally copy and past a full article, he also snipped a few words to fit the narrative he was pushing! I will be notifying the author of the Guardian article of this plagiarism. You can check it out yourself, read the first article cited above then read the Guardian article. Do people really think they can get away with literally plagiarizing and article like that word for word?

This article is on a whole other level compared to the claims that modern Man began in Europe and that a few teeth upend the OoA model. This guy didn’t even read the paper, it seems like he read the Guardian article and then copy and pasted it and changed a few words for his own ‘gain’ to ‘show’ that the first Native Americans were white. There is no way that one can interpret this paper in this manner if they’ve truly read and understood it. Always, always read original journal articles and, if you must read popular science articles then read it from a reputable website, not kooky websites with an agenda to push who literally plagiarize other people’s work. You can tell who’s gullible and who’s not just by what they say about new papers that can possibly be misinterpreted.

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18 Comments

  1. Phil78 says:

    Damn, this is worst than one thread on National Vanguard that though the neolithic r1b chromosomes in Northern Cameroon belonged to ancient Aryans that sailed the Benue. That one just conveniently left out details, not outright fabricate quotes.

    Like

  2. Jeez, have these people never seen a Native American? They are obviously Asian. Even Columbus figured that out.

    Like

  3. Ben Boatman says:

    The modern races are actually the result of interbreeding between at least four very different hominin species, including homo sapiens.

    Hominin interbreeding and the evolution of human variation (on NIH.gov)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947341/

    Like

    • Phil78 says:

      While different races do indeed each have their own quanitity of archaic admixture, the paper itself was simplistic in trying to explain intelligence difference through Archaic admixture.

      As far as we are sure know, Archaic admixture was relevant many to phenotypes regarding Oral Bacteria in Africans, Immune systems in Mainland eurasians at least, and White skin genes in West eurasians.

      If intelligence did diversify, the Neolithic would be the best Approximate period because artifacts such as tally marks on bones, adornment, Cave paintings, and toolkits were found in various Late Stone age cultures in both West Eurasia and Africa.

      Like

    • Ben Boatman says:

      IQs and Alleles, a perfect correlation – Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid:

      Like

    • Trogfromsisco says:

      Give a source for your graph, it’s probably fake or use shitty tactics

      Like

    • Jm8 says:

      Ben Boatman

      The allele patterns (of putatively cognitively-linked alleles) determined/proposed (with the most alleles so far), though perhaps suggestive, do not exactly fit the putative racial hierarchies often proposed—they are not really a perfect correlation.

      Interestingly it seems that many subsaharan African populations’ allele scores are above many Amerindian ones (e.g. the Mandinka and the Yoruba scores are above the Mayans, Pima, and South American Indians; the Biaka Pygmies and Kenyan Bantu are above the Surui and Karitiana Indians; and the Mbuti Pygmy, Bantu and San Bushman scores are above the South American Indian Karitiana one.) , and also overall in the “subcontinental average factor scores” where “Sub Saharan Africa” collectively ranks just above the overall score of “Amerindians”
      And also , the Papuans and Melanesians score above Mozabites (a predominantly Caucasoid group of North African Berbers) and Mayans.
      The Africa,

      Also, each allele would be of very small effect (there are thousands that affect intelligence), and all would give a very incomplete picture at most (assuming the correlation is true).

      (and in addition the results may also be somewhat confounded by the complication mentioned below:
      Africans possibly having their own additional alleles for IQ that are not detected—or as much picked up, etc.—a association studies finding a correlation mostly use European populations:
      It seems they might not do so as reliably/accurately—or be as accurately calculated— (or the current “scores” may not because there may be other IQ genes unaccounted in them since they (Africans) are a more distinct/distant population—and possibly other genes might work differently) There seems to be some evidence that there may be some other alleles for IQ in Africans (and perhaps to a lesser extent some other divergent non-European groups) that are not likely in samples/tested for (since the studies on/showing the correlations of the alleles to intelligence are mostly on European/Eurasian—and now increasingly also North East Asian—populations)—making the correlations posited in Africans likely somewhat more uncertain.

      “Another new paper finds that the GWAS hits for IQ – largely determined in Europeans – don’t work in people of African descent. That was always a possibility: I’ve talked about it. If you look at the frequencies of height alleles (determined from GWAS in Europeans) you would predict that Pygmies are pretty short – but they’re considerably shorter than that. They have their own private alleles influencing height, which make them even shorter than you would think. Or, if you tried to estimate skin color in Koreans by the frequencies of variants that cause light skin in Europeans, you would conclude that they were black as night – but they’re not. They’re pretty light-skinned, but that’s caused by light-skin alleles common in East Asia, almost completely disjoint from the common light-skin alleles in Europeans.

      So you can’t use those GWAS hits to tell how smart sub-Saharan Africans are, at least not today. All you can use are IQ measurements and achievements. It is as if the only way we could determine your height was by using a ruler, instead of GWAS predictions.”

      https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/everything-is-different-but-the-same/

      https://topseudoscience.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/new-genes-same-results-group-level-genotypic-intelligence-for-26-and-52-populations/

      Continent Factor
      E Asia 0.959
      SE Asia 0.34
      Siberia 0.311
      Europe 0.293
      M East 0.009
      W Asia -0.002
      Oceania -0.551
      North Africa -0.768
      Sub-S. Africa -1.287
      America -1.378
      I looked up the 18 intelligence GWAS SNPs and the 9 EA quasi-replicated SNPs and could find 4 in ALFRED. Factor analysis was run on them, producing a very interesting factor. For ease of interpretation, I report results ranked from highest to lowest:
      Continent Population Factor
      EastAsia Tujia 1.507
      East Asia Mongolian 1.358
      EastAsia Daur 1.246
      EastAsia Yi 1.19
      EastAsia Koreans 1.127
      EastAsia Miao 1.078
      EastAsia Japanese 1.018
      EastAsia Dai 0.987
      EastAsia Hezhe 0.98
      EastAsia Han 0.936
      EastAsia Lahu 0.877
      EastAsia Tu 0.828
      EastAsia Xibe 0.802
      Europe Orcadian 0.753
      EastAsia She 0.737
      EastAsia Uyghur 0.566
      Asia Hazara 0.506
      Asia Kalash 0.475
      Asia Oroqen 0.445
      Europe Italians_N 0.437
      Europe Italians_C 0.404
      SE Asia Cambodians, Khmer 0.34
      Siberia Yakut 0.311
      Europe Adygei 0.257
      Asia Druze 0.254
      Europe French 0.217
      Asia Burusho 0.151
      EastAsia Naxi 0.113
      Europe Russians 0.073
      Asia Balochi 0.055
      Asia Palestinian -0.071
      Europe Basque -0.088
      Asia Bedouin -0.156
      Europe Sardinian -0.225
      Asia Brahui -0.334
      Asia Pashtun -0.426
      Asia Sindhi -0.438
      Oceania Melanesian, Nasioi -0.533
      Oceania Papuan New Guinean -0.569
      Africa Mozabite -0.768
      Africa Mandenka -1.153
      Africa Yoruba -1.27
      NorthAmerica Maya, Yucatan -1.3
      NorthAmerica Pima, Mexico -1.312
      SouthAmerica Amerindians -1.366
      Africa Biaka -1.369
      Africa Bantu Kenya -1.381
      SouthAmerica Surui -1.382
      Africa Mbuti -1.415
      Africa Bantu SA -1.454
      Africa San -1.488
      SouthAmerica Karitiana -1.53

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    • Jm8 says:

      Edit:
      “Also, each allele would be of very small effect (there are thousands that affect intelligence), and all—that have been discovered (or suggested/indicated) so far—would give a very incomplete picture at most (assuming the correlation is true).”

      Like

    • Jm8 says:

      Cont: And many researchers of not believe it is yet possible to predict intelligence from genomes (but may possibly increasingly be as more alleles are mapped—though on the other hand, this does not take into account the complicating, and possibly significantly so, effects of epigenetics)

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      Ben, that paper makes a lot of wild claims which I’ll cover soon. For instance, he makes this unsubstantiated claim:

      Furthermore, without an archaic Neanderthal ancestry, Sub-Saharan African populations would be more affected by genes linked to aggression or hyperactivity, which are found only in H. sapiens. This finding could help account for the differences in violence or aggression found in the human race today.

      I’d love to know which genes he’s implicating here and then how they ’cause’ differences in violence or aggression. Most of the popular conceptions have huge holes in them or have been refuted. But I’ll write something on this paper soon.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      Also Ben, is that graph Piffer’s data? Isn’t it like only three SNPs out of ten million? You should also read GWAS and cognitive abilities: Why correlations are inevitable and meaningless: GWA studies to identify genetic factors for educational achievements largely ignore underlying social structures and dynamics for a bit more information on PGS (polygenic scores) and how GWAS finds meaningless correlations correlated with social and genetic stratification (with genetic differences being functionally irrelevant to cognitive ability/educational attainment). Either way, using GWAS hits from European populations and comparing who has what with other populations is dubious.

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  4. Kamran says:

    RaceRealist,

    The misconception here is happening because Native americans share a considerable portion of their genome with europeans. I am talking about people who remain unadmixed post-colonially as well as ancient native american samples. Native americans are a mix of two ancient eurasian populations, ancient north eurasians (ANE) and a group similar to present day east asians and siberians. They’re about 50% ANE and 50% east asian.

    The similarities that these native american samples show to Europeans is because European hunter gatherers (from whom Europeans have a healthy dollop of ancestry) were distantly related to ancient north eurasians

    the phylogenetic tree of humans splits like this:

    original east african —> basal eurasian
    —-> west eurasian —-> european hunter gatherers
    —–> ancient north eurasian
    —-> east eurasian —-> papuan/australian
    —-> every other east asian (ancesors of japanese,chinese, indonesian, southeast asian, etc._

    Like

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