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Gene Study Supports Single Bering Strait Migration

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nice-to-know-what-the-relatives-have-been-up-to dept.

Biotech 289

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "One of the most comprehensive analyses of genetic variation ever undertaken supports the theory that the ancestors of modern native peoples throughout the Americas came from a single source in East Asia across a northwest land bridge some 12,000 years ago. One particular discovery is of a 'unique genetic variant widespread in natives across both continents — suggesting that the first humans in the Americas came in a single migration or multiple waves from a single source, not in waves of migrations from different sources.' The full article is available online from PLoS."

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289 comments

Native? (1, Insightful)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494245)

Does this mean that Native Americans really aren't "native"?

Re:Native? (3, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494291)

Perhaps. Though they are still "more native" than the rest of the inhabitants.

Re:Native? (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495579)

Define native and then tell me how you can be more native.

Have I ever felt the scorn of a woman more then when I thought that you couldn't be "more late" (hint, you can). So your answer is probably going to involve creative interpretation.

Re:Native? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495705)

Nope, it means all peoples who turned up a few thousand years before the Columbus age are Americans, regardless of origin.

Humans only evolved on one continent, so it all depends on how long you have to be somewhere before you can be called Native. If the Criteria is having evolved there (as is often the case with most species), then Humans are native to a small region of Africa, and exotic everywhere else.

As for the Land Route only thing, is this just another attempt to bury the slight Clovis point problem? That of it appearing only in France and America, and no-where else? Hard to explain if a population is migrating.

Re:Native? (3, Funny)

lstellar (1047264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494293)

No, it doesn't. "America" wasn't called so until explorers bestowed it with the name. Hence, whoever was living on the land at the time the land was named "America" would be Native Americans.

Just like how someone can be Native New Jersey if they were born and raised there, though we don't like to talk about those types.

Re:Native? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494347)

Native American means people on a continent we now call America, not SINCE it was called America.

Re:Native? (1)

lstellar (1047264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494513)

From Princeton WordNet:

Noun S: (n) native, indigen, indigene, aborigine, aboriginal (an indigenous person who was born in a particular place) "the art of the natives of the northwest coast"; "the Canadian government scrapped plans to tax the grants to aboriginal college students" S: (n) native (a person born in a particular place or country) "he is a native of Brazil" S: (n) native (indigenous plants and animals)


Under the definition to be native is to be born somewhere, negating the relevance of where they came from and when. Also, "Native American" is different than "Native Land Occupier." You cannot be Native American until such a place exists, there is no retroactive assignment of identity.

Re:Native? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494641)

America wasn't called "America" until long after Columbus. Instead, it seems to be a joking allusion by mapmakers to a work about the sexual exploits of a clerk on a ship in the Caribbean.

Re:Native? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494305)

Yes.

They also did not live in peace and harmony with each other.
And they were a great aid in hunting other tribes when the 'white man' arrived.

Sorry, but the last month I have had a bunch of "native American heritage". Interesting paint all native American as some sort of hand holding pride race in perfect harmony with all others.

For the record, MY ancestors had nothing to do with it.

Re:Native? (0, Troll)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494591)

Probably I'll get modded troll or off-topic by some of the short-sighted with accounts here.

Time for me to re-read "1421: The Year China Discovered America".

From the book, the word "America" is based on a Chinese word "Americ" (I have to surf or reread for it:

http://www.google.com/search?q=word+america+origins+in+chinese&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com]

)

My own commentary below...

Columbus' poor-navigating landed him here (with the aid of dubiously-obtained (hint: stolen/misappropriated) maps originating FROM/IN China), and proclaiming he'd found Indians (he WAS trying to get to India...)

Also, relatively recent evidence (in the 70's/80's) a junk (Chinese in origin) was found buried in silt in the SF Bay Area (Sacramento River?) when someone investigated glass beads they sucked up into a tube. Found out the beads originated from China. Samples of the hull wood indicated non-English/Portuguese/other European vessel. Various tombstones and observatories and obelisks also of Chinese origin, along with numerous "Native Americans" having Chinese clothing, tribal, cooking and artistic attributes known to have Chinese characteristics, further indicated 1420's era Chinese landed here, not by ACCIDENT, but by DESIGN.

Yes, like Europeans, Chinese sailors inadvertently passed/carried diseases, which in the case of Chinese, wiped out 10,000s of Natives. However, the difference is the Chinese didn't come here to STAY, invade, expurgate, demolish, or hijack an existing, thriving human ecosystem (competitive and warring, true), nor to subject the Natives.

That alone speaks VOLUMES about wisdom, humility, and more.

Sorry, but history in the US is so full of shit, and it's tragic that this is NOT being taught to inspire respect, humility, and more in modern US citizens who will have to deal with the morass we and our so-called leaders have gotten this country into time after time.

Returning to the book:

Sadly, too, it seems Australia at the behest of the US and UK/Britain, erected a shield of environmental or national preservation laws to stymie Gavin Menzies and the world's researchers from diving or going close to reefs and wrecks that would likely further the evidence that Chinese even were all over what became called Australia.

Something I read in this AM's news:

However, I suppose to its credit, Australia's government is going to formally apologize to the Aborigines. Hopefully, Australia's new government will demolish the pugnacious stymie law and the body of information allowed to continue additions to 1421's story.

Re:Native? (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494863)

Yes, like Europeans, Chinese sailors inadvertently passed/carried diseases, which in the case of Chinese, wiped out 10,000s of Natives. However, the difference is the Chinese didn't come here to STAY, invade, expurgate, demolish, or hijack an existing, thriving human ecosystem (competitive and warring, true), nor to subject the Natives.

That alone speaks VOLUMES about wisdom, humility, and more.
Not really. You should finish reading that book, or perhaps read it a little more in-depth. It speaks VOLUMES about how massive expeditions became politically taboo in China due to economic concerns and power struggles within the royal family.

As for China's attitude towards other "less developed" cultures, I think you've quite a bit of reading to do. China's relations with other states in the 15th century was varied, and assimilation/domination of other cultures was definitely within their repertoire.

Re:Native? (3, Informative)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494981)

That alone speaks VOLUMES about wisdom, humility, and more.

Sorry, but history in the US is so full of shit, and it's tragic that this is NOT being taught to inspire respect, humility, and more in modern US citizens who will have to deal with the morass we and our so-called leaders have gotten this country into time after time.
China really ought to have. From about 1 ad to 1200 ad China had the economic and military might to conquer large portions of the world but were always too introspective. They viewed anything outside of china as barbarian lands hardly worth the effort to visit. It was arrogance more then humility and wisdom. the greatest downfall of China was the isolationist policies enacted by one of the emperors to curb the power of the merchant class. Had he been less successful china might have been a merchant empire as well as Europe.

Ps. I'm proudly Chinese, this isn't china bashing.

Re:Native? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495073)

China really ought to have. From about 1 ad to 1200 ad China had the economic and military might to conquer large portions of the world but were always too introspective. They viewed anything outside of china as barbarian lands hardly worth the effort to visit. It was arrogance more then humility and wisdom. the greatest downfall of China was the isolationist policies enacted by one of the emperors to curb the power of the merchant class. Had he been less successful china might have been a merchant empire as well as Europe.

Ps. I'm proudly Chinese, this isn't china bashing.
Oh well, the Mongols did that for you.

Re:Native? (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495221)

That is something that most people don't get. It does not have to be bashing of a culture to discuss the attributes that a culture had 500 years ago, that don't match with the ones we have today.

The funny part is that most of the people that would consider it bashing, don't realize that in another 500 years, morals will likely change again, and things that are just taken for granted today, will be considered horrific at that time. We may find the idea that people were allowed to breed out of control even though we have the technology to prevent it. We may find that the idea of people having to trade their time just to get enough to eat to be horrific. Or, we may find that, much like the Indians trading land for beads, we will find it horrific that people could sell and hoard ideas for money. Of course, we might also find it horrific that ANY ideas could be used without someone getting paid for them.

Re:Native? (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495651)

That is something that most people don't get. It does not have to be bashing of a culture to discuss the attributes that a culture had 500 years ago, that don't match with the ones we have today.

The funny part is that most of the people that would consider it bashing, don't realize that in another 500 years, morals will likely change again, and things that are just taken for granted today, will be considered horrific at that time. We may find the idea that people were allowed to breed out of control even though we have the technology to prevent it. We may find that the idea of people having to trade their time just to get enough to eat to be horrific. Or, we may find that, much like the Indians trading land for beads, we will find it horrific that people could sell and hoard ideas for money. Of course, we might also find it horrific that ANY ideas could be used without someone getting paid for them.
Never mind 500 years, people outside of the US find the indefinite imprisonment or people without a trial horrific. Heck people inside the US do too.

Re:Native? (4, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495139)

Some points:
1. America is named for Amerigo Vespucci, and its earliest use to refer to the continent is in a German map from the very early 1500's. It's pretty certain it's not of Chinese origin.
2. Because of the way the winds blow in the (very large) Pacific Ocean, it's much harder to set up trade routes to the Americas than it is across the Atlantic. I'm not sure I'd credit any particular enlightenment with the reason the Chinese didn't aggressively populate California until after the Spanish.
3. Few can argue that Columbus is the first non-native person to set foot on the Americas since the original migration. There is extensive evidence of both nordic and African sporadic contact. But similar to the argument over whether the Wright brothers were the first to ever lift off the ground in something resembling a plane, it's quite clear that Columbus opened the way for everyone coming after him.
4. The origin of Columbus' maps (which he refers to having in his log books) is a matter of extensive debate. Some say they were nordic, some say Chinese. Lots of theories... but the charts did not survive history, and no one really knows.
5. The exploits of ancient Chinese seafarers, from Zheng He on, is often cited as some kind of precedent to later explorers. In its history China has gone through many cycles of technology and exploration. It's interesting to note that China had invented everything from the printing press to rocketry to large seafaring vessels, but by the time Columbus arrived at the new world they pretty much had lost all of that. Zheng He's flotilla had been long ago disassembled, and the printing press forgotten until Gutenberg re-invented it and re-introduced it to China.

The bottom line, though, is that China appears to have set up no regular trade routes with the rest of the world that survived to Columbus' day. It was left to the Europeans to unite the world in trade and colonization, for better and worse.

Vikings (0, Redundant)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495729)

. Few can argue that Columbus is the first non-native person to set foot on the Americas since the original migration

Actually, there's a pretty solid chance the Vikings made it to Canada for a bit. So they beat Chris by almost 500 years.

Re:Vikings (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495853)

Actually, there's a pretty solid chance the Vikings made it to Canada for a bit. So they beat Chris by almost 500 years.

It's plausible, but is there any actual Archeological evidence of Norsemen getting to the US?

FYI The Word Viking was made up a lot later, They were Norsemen, a Germanic Tribe, and they never *ever* wore horned Helmets.

Re:Vikings (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495915)

There is tons of evidence that they made it to the US. Google around for it. They have found evidence as far in as Oklahoma. And they most certainly did beat that lost fool thinking he found India.

Re:Native? (0, Redundant)

pinguwin (807635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495947)

Point 3: Columbus was not the first non-native, plain and simple. That the Norse were there is more 'extensive evidence', they were there, period, proven evidence. They lived their, set up homes and gardens, and hunted. Now the last part of your statement is correct, the Norse didn't have lasting impacts, except maybe on their own society (and truthfully, one could argue that many of the indian tribes won't have a lasting impact, in a thousand years, will you be able point to their influence? That is *NOT* trolling). But the first part of your statement is incorrect.

Personally, I'm not even sure that what we consider 'native' are really natives. No one knows who is 'really native' and who arrived somewhere to find someone else already there. Look at the archeaological record and often the people there 150 years ago, weren't there 500-1000 years ago. Societies are fluid, whether it be due to disease, environment, or conquest. Review Kennewick man (9k y.o. skeleton found in Washington). The 'native' tribes tried to claim him as their own but it was ruled that they couldn't prove ownership as there is no evidence that the specific native tribes were there thousands of years ago. Someone was, but who it was is unknown at this time and may never be known.

I'm not passing judgement on any group or set of beliefs, I'm just making the point of that word 'native' isn't neccesarily easy to define.

Chinese Explorers: Motives? (2, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495187)

However, the difference is the Chinese didn't come here to STAY, invade, expurgate, demolish, or hijack an existing, thriving human ecosystem (competitive and warring, true), nor to subject the Natives.

What evidence do we have for these assertions?

Given the scant archaeological evidence -- very interesting evidence, yes, but scant -- how can we say anything more than "Chinese ships arrived at an early date, carrying glass beads" and "some tombstones and obelisks appear to be Chinese" ...?

I submit that these archaeological evidences tell us more or less nothing about Chinese motives. Perhaps the Chinese attempted to conquer the native peoples, and failed. Or, maybe the Chinese were noble non-invasive explorers. No way to tell.

-kgj

Re:Native? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495495)

History is not taught to "inspire respect, humility, and more". American History should be taught to US school children so that they know how they came to be here and bring them up to speed with the state of things. I don't care if you're a Chinese immigrant. You should learn about Columbus etc. instead of these Chinese explorers. Why? You're not here because of those Chinese sailors. What they did had very little significance on how the New World unfolded. Even if you're a Chinese immigrant, you're here because Columbus was here.

Now, I had never heard of this Chinese explorer in America business before. I think it's very interesting. Myself and others should be free to pursue this interest. If it become a history elective in US schools, that's great!

Re:Native? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495707)

"Probably I'll get modded troll or off-topic by some of the short-sighted with accounts here."

Probably because the 1421 book's author has some pretty weak evidence.

Just a few points of criticism here [thehallofmaat.com] , here [1421exposed.com] , and here [historycooperative.org] .

Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495795)

Probably I'll get modded troll or off-topic by some of the short-sighted with accounts here.


Probably you got modded Off Topic because you started your comment with "Probably I'll get modded troll or off-topic ..."

Probably.

Re:Native? (0, Flamebait)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495667)

Sorry, but the last month I have had a bunch of "native American heritage".


Oh, you poor thing -- you had to be exposed to the notion that European settlers were an invading force? The horror! No shit that Native American's weren't living in perfect harmony, but we all weren't holding hands around a big turkey, either. Despite that, that's the history we teach our children and it's the imagery that we're told to associate with the holiday. Do you not see how fucking disrespectful it is to have some fairy-tale retelling of our nation's history? Do you really not see why American's need to be re-educated about the events they're celebrating? But instead, people like you throw a fuss cause that anyone has the gall to say "the story of Native American's and European colonists isn't so rosey".

Ummm... Yes. (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494307)

In short, yes... this has been pretty widely known for a long time. That's not their point. Their point is that all the people who over to North America came from a single, highly localized area in East Asia... not from all over the place in Asia and elsewhere.

GP Moderated Insightful? (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494403)

Are you guys serious? Seriously, who DIDN'T already know this? This is a troll... like asking "so Linux is some kind of operating system?" in an article about the new scheduler. Well, maybe it's worth some "Funny" moderation...

Re:GP Moderated Insightful? (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494495)

Actually, that's not the case. Recent studies have suggested the single-source theory was wrong and that a significant migration came from Portugal by mariners following a sea route by hugging the coast of Europe, then Greenland, over to Canada, and down the east Coast. THIS study proves them wrong.

Re:GP Moderated Insightful? (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495129)

When you say "significant migration" from Portugal, what time-frame are you refering to? Pre-historic movement? Because what you describe looks like the Portuguese-Danish joint venture in the XV century, which can hardly be qualidied has a migration, so that's not what you are refering to...

The only knowledge I have of a non-Mongoloid migration to the Americas is the hypothesis raised by ancient Europoid skulls that arguably were there before the NA. Not sure if the origin is Iberia though.

Re:Native? (2, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494385)

Under that reasoning, we are all Africans.

But any reasonable mind knows that the historical definition of 'native American' is one who's family lived there before the 15th century, when some serious immigration issues began.

Re:Native? (4, Funny)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494531)

Under that reasoning, we are all Africans.

Speak for yourself. My ancestors are all pure-blooded Pangaeans.

Insightful? Bah! (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494425)

Maybe 12,000 years ago that was true, but not today. Otherwise you might as well say humans aren't native to anywhere but Africa, or that land creatures aren't native to anywhere but the sea.

People can't really help where they're born.

Re:Native? (1)

ArchAngelQ (35053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494547)

Yes, but that's old news. Or, at least the strong possibility that this is true is old news. Then again, the same is true of nearly all 'native' cultures: they are only native the from the point of view of Anglophiles, unless you are talking about some possible descendants of a group of early humans that spawned the rest of us didn't bother going far from home.

Oblig. Simpsons (4, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494577)

Lisa: "You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans."
Homer: "Yeah, Native Americans like us".
Lisa: "No, I mean American Indians."
Apu: "Like me!"

Re:Native? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494731)

the only people on the planet that could very well be natives of the territory they now ihabit are in Africa. starting several thousand years ago, humanity started migrating out of Africa, up into the middle east through europe and asia and across the ice-age land bridge between russia and alaska down through the americas. so to answer your question: very few of the people on Earth are natives including native americans.

Article abstract (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494259)

"We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians--signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas."

If only... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494277)

If only they had listened to Al Gore and stopped driving those nasty SUVs, the seas wouldn't have risen and the land bridge would still be here today.

Re:If only... (1, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494389)

the oceans have been rising since the last ice age, Al Gore forgets that part

Re:If only... (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495237)

the oceans have been rising since the last ice age, Al Gore forgets that part

No. If you'd actually been paying attention, by looking at the evidence over the last SEVERAL Ice Ages, we have determined that our climate is way outside the norms.

Everyone, even Al Gore, understands that the world gets warmer after an Ice Age then peaks, and then gets cooler as we head into another Ice Age. And everyone gets that we will experience 'global warming' until we peak, and the cycle turns the other way.

The issue here is that the evidence shows that we're FAR FAR beyond where we usually peak between Ice Ages.

Its like gravity and the mantra "Whatever goes up must come down!" And everything we through into the air until the 20th century complied with that rule.

But if you've go up high enough fast enough you don't come back down naturally.

Now at this stage with 'global warming' we don't KNOW we can't come back down naturally, but we don't have any evidence that we will, either. We are NOT within the normal climate parameters for the 'warming periods' between Ice Ages. We are FAR beyond that.

You'd be the guy sitting on Voyager-1 going, "I don't see what all the fuss is about the potential for leaving the solar system never to return. We throw things up, they peak, and then they fall back down! And everything that we have ever launched upwards has always had a stage where it was 'going up'. The people raising this issue forget that part."

Re:If only... (0, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495323)

you wrote alot of stuff starting with "no", but you completely ignored the absolute truth of my statement that the oceans have been rising since the last ice age. With or without the minute contribution to the ocean levels by climate change, the peoples who are relocating because their lands were within inches of sea level would have to do so in future decades anyway, because sea levels will continue to rise with or without man's contribution.

Typical Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495687)

Go against the group think, and you get modded down into oblivion.

Re:If only... (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495743)

you completely ignored the absolute truth of my statement that the oceans have been rising since the last ice age.

Probably because the absolute truth about that absolute truth is that it is irrelevant.

With or without the minute contribution to the ocean levels by climate change, the peoples who are relocating because their lands were within inches of sea level would have to do so in future decades anyway, because sea levels will continue to rise with or without man's contribution.

Again, No. The oceans have been rising since the last ice age because the polar ice is melting and the glaciers have been retreating since then. But THIS much ice doesn't usually melt; and the ocean's don't usually rise this much.

In other words, the people who have to move right now due to rising oceans would be just fine, if this was -any- other inter-ice-age period in recorded history.

So, no, they shouldn't 'have to move in future decades anyway'. The ice that is melting NOW, didn't melt after the Ice Age before it, nor the ice age before that, nor even the ice age before that, and on down the line.

This ice doesn't normally melt between Ice Ages! Get it?! But its melting NOW!

Not ALL the ice on the planet melts between Ice Ages. The glaciers retreat, but they only retreat so far. You knew that didn't you? Well THIS time the Ice that doesn't get melted between Ice Ages is melting.

And as a result the oceans are rising MORE *IN TOTAL* than they normally rise between ice ages.

Re:If only... (1, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495857)

He doesn't forget it, you just can't make money off the carbon trade if people think it is natural. It all has to be your fault, and there has to be something that can be done about it.

12000 years ago? (-1, Flamebait)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494295)

Twelve thousand years ago? Pshaw, that's twice as old as the earth itself is! ... right ? ....

Re:12000 years ago? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494377)

Only to certain misguided evangelicals.
Most interpretations disagree. St. Augustine being the most notable.

The real question is "Can God kill himself?" ;)

Re:12000 years ago? (1)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494453)

Well theoretically, under trinitarian doctrine Jesus IS God, and God sent Jesus down to die. Therefore God did kill Himself.

Re:12000 years ago? (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495335)

I think the story goes.... God sent Jesus, and the Jewish elders had him killed by the Romans.

Food (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494323)

This marks the first time someone in Asia said "hey, anybody up for American?"

Journey of Man (2, Interesting)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494361)

If you haven't seen it yet, watch (or read, I suppose) "Journey of Man."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Journey_of_Man:_A_Genetic_Odyssey [wikipedia.org]
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/1212_021213_journeyofman.html [nationalgeographic.com]

It provides a great grounding in the science and methodology, and the documentary is narrated by the scientist who did much of the research (a rare treat).

Interesting (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494379)

This is interesting stuff, although from the article the issue doesn't seem to be closed completely. But even if it was a single migration event, that doesn't mean there wasn't subsequent trading contact - we know that happened on the East coast of North America long before Columbus, and it would be fascinating to see a full account of the West coast evidence. That's something I've heard rumors about but have never actually seen.

Mexicans (2, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494465)

So does this mean that I really have Chinese people working on my lawn, not Mexicans?

Hmmm... we might want to reconsider building that wall along the Mexican boarder. Didn't seem to work too well on the Mongolians.

It doesn't mean they were the only people here (5, Funny)

shoor (33382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494503)

I've seen documentaries on TV about this stuff. Unfortunately, I
can't cite sources only do this from memory. (Maybe somebody else
can provide links/references.)

But, as I recall, there is evidence that there was a signicantly
different ethnic group (race?) of people here who were possibly
wiped out by the invading ancestors of present day Native Americans.
There was a fossil human found in the Pacific Northwest, whose
face was reconstructed and found to resemble Patrick Stewart.
There's been a lot of controversy as it's a very sensitive subject
for some modern day Native Americans.

If an earlier group of people were wiped out, the only genetic
signatures you'd find for them would be in fossils, right?

Picard (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494619)

So what you are saying is that Captain Picard time traveled back to the 15th century only to be killed by his great-great-great-great grandfather, thus completing the paradox?

Re:Picard (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495601)

So what you are saying is that Captain Picard time traveled back to the 15th century only to be killed by his great-great-great-great grandfather, thus completing the paradox?
Wow... Seven generations in 900 years? Those Picards are seriously long-lived... I'm trying to imagine how a 120 year old Picard could get any pre-menopausal woman to have his baby...

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494721)

I think much of that is based on carbon dating of prehistoric settlements found in various parts of North America. Some of the carbon dates appear to predate the estimated earliest migrations across the Bering strait land bridge. AFAIK, there is significant controversy as to whether the dates are correct.

If an earlier group of people were wiped out, the only genetic signatures you'd find for them would be in fossils, right?
If they exterminated the entire population, then yes. However, you often see examples where only the males were killed and the women were "appropriated". In that case you'd expect to see sudden introduction of new variants into those populations.

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494767)

>There was a fossil human found in the Pacific Northwest, whose
>face was reconstructed and found to resemble Patrick Stewart.

Well, duh.

In our timeline, Wesly created a rip in the fabric of time when setting up his science fair project... and, yada, yada, yada ... Picard crashed the Enterprise on stone-age Earth.

This post would have been better if it weren't for the writer's strike.

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494785)

Was this supposed to be a poem?

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (2, Interesting)

thexdane (148152) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494893)

actually that is correct, there is evidence of other groups coming over here before the bering strait migration. they do come from what would become southern france. i'm sorry but i forget the name of the discovery channel show called stone age columbus [bbc.co.uk]

the jist of the show is they followed the ice cap to north america, much in the same way the inuit do today when hunting in the arctic. they landed on the east coast and lived there and migrated around a bit.

the cool part about the show was they showed an inuit lady a bone needle and said "this is 30 000 years old" and she looked at them and picked one off the table and said "i made this yesterday". the cool part was they looked identical

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (2, Interesting)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495135)

Also, there is evidence of early contact with Polynesia (pre-Columbus), thanks to (of all things) chicken DNA [livescience.com] .

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (5, Interesting)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495151)

You are talking about the Kennewick Man, which is believed to be of an ethnic group that modern Native Americans descended from over the past several thousand years. The controversy was regarding its alleged caucasoid features combined with its dating before the Bering migration. IIRC the forensic artist reconstructing the face was watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, noticed some resemblance in bone structure to Capt. Picard, and more or less made the model look like that.

It has the amazing ability to make anyone associated with it act like an asshole, as represented by white supremacist groups claiming that white people colonized the continent before the Native Americans; and Native American groups attempting to prevent research on the skull by asserting tribal affiliation despite the fact that it doesn't look like any modern Indian, and could not possibly be a former member of any existing tribe. They object to research possibly in part in fright of an invalidation of their origination claim to the continent, but also because of a general (and somewhat justified, based on Native American history) distrust of the impartiality of white man science. I am going to go out on a trollish limb here, but their passed-down "history" is unfalsifiable mythological fiction, and just because science has screwed over Indians doesn't mean they have the right to have their fake history uncritically accepted by the scientific community when it comes to Native American origins. they don't know where the skull came from, but at least scientists have the tools to find out, unlike someone just waving their hands and saying "discussion over, it's a Blackfoot and we were still here first" (or whatever.) By all accounts it was NOT a white man, but it wasn't a modern Indian either, it seems.

If I am wrong about any of this, please correct me. But I highly recommend reading the book "Skull Wars" regarding this skull and the historical reasons for Native American distrust of scientific method with regards to Native American anthropology and history. It will likely make you angry, but you will understand more the Native American position on this even if you don't entirely agree with it. This is the position I am in now.

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (1)

max99ted (192208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495269)

Perhaps you're referring to the Dorset [wikipedia.org] peoples? They were supposedly establised before the ancestors of the Inuit (eskimo) arrived, the Thule [wikipedia.org] .


Wiki says that the Thule referred to the Dorset as 'giants' although technically inferior to the Thule (they had no dogsleds, for example). The Thule had completely replaced the Dorset by the 15th century. It also goes on to say there were other pre-Dorset cultures but there is little information available.

IANAGNA (I am not a geneticist nor anthropologist)

Re:It doesn't mean they were the only people here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495395)

There was a fossil human found in the Pacific Northwest, whose
face was reconstructed and found to resemble Patrick Stewart.


Looks like someone miscalculated and went back a little further than 2063.

Sailing across the Pacific (2)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494581)

Does this kill the idea that some South Americans got here by sailing across the Pacific?

Re:Sailing across the Pacific (3, Insightful)

mothlos (832302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495661)

No, but it does suggest that the genetic evidence for this was not found in this study. Small genetic populations can easily be lost in a larger population. All this says is that the populations which survive today have markers and appropriate genetic variation to be descendants of descendants of populations in Asia.

This doesn't explain the cultural aspects of how the move occurred or how they were culturally linked to each other and to groups outside of the Americas. This mostly reinforces what was already known: that around 15,000 years ago, there was a dramatic population increase in the Americas starting in the Pacific Northwest and moving down to South America.

This information doesn't say anything about a land bridge or existing populations of people except to say that if there were existing populations that their genetics didn't survive to modern times in significant amounts which is suggestive of small populations which did not integrate into the new-coming population; if they existed at all.

will all the genuine 'purebreds' raise your mouse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494703)

& repeat after us: most of us don't know the full contents of our gene pool, although we frequently claim to.

no surprise there, as most of US are being constantly being mis-re-trained/held hostage by scriptdead mindphuking corepirate nazi hypenosys.

alternativelt, the creators' newclear powered planet/population rescue initiative is as free & open as any format can be. it recognizes no difference between race/culture/heritage. it requires no gadgets, or payper liesense hostage taking scams. that puts it ahead of the curve from the getgo. plus, you'll be able to live with the results, & everybody else, in peace & harmony, caring for/about one another. sounds like a dream? no, it's just time to get real.

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there's lots to be done. the planet/population remains in crisis mode.

we're intending (do not underestimate intentions) for the philistine nazi execrable to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com] [google.com] [google.com] [google.com] [google.com]

micro management of populations/anything has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster/death.

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of 'angels'(light bringers, for those who are afraid of/confused by heavenly stuff), coming yOUR way

do not be dismayed, it is the way it was meant to be.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way), there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash occurs.

beware the illusionary smoke&mirrors.con

all is not lost or forgotten.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or, it could be (literally) ground hog (as in dead meat) day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

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"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Land bridge vs ? (1, Offtopic)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494707)

Very interesting articles, and no, in advance I am not a geneticist.


What I find interesting about this article isn't in the science -- it's in the data as reported. So they gathered Native American folks together and performed some very advanced genetic analysis -- which in essence leads to the conclusion that "all folks in the group have certain genetic markers", and the closer you get to the so called "Bering land bridge" (heck, coulda been ice and canoes too....), the more genetically alike the people are. Okay, I'll buy that. Considering that the Inuit peoples, etc. are even now visually related to the folks from the step areas of northern China and Siberia than say, the native folks from Columbia. Who are more related to each other and the folks just north than say, I am [my ancestry is such that I'm one of those blue eyed migrant mutt imports from northern European countries who emigrated to what is now the US in the 17th and 18th centuries ]. What I don't see is evidence that says "all ancient peoples from all cultures including dead ones" (Mayan, etc.) share this same gene pool and no one else. Or that the folks from the Steppes of east Asia aren't themselves migrants at the same time and from the same gene pool as folks that arrived in the Americas at some distant point in the past.

My point is, the science seems interesting...but the explanation of the data is not exclusive nor conclusive regarding other possible genetically analyzable possibilities. So the jury will still be out until at some point in the future, until all of the other plausible possibilities have been ruled out.

Land bridge vs Land shark (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494835)

In a knock down drag out no holds barred fight to the finish. Did we mention that the land shark has a fricken laser? We'll sell you the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge, edge edge!

Sorry, I've been stuck in the server room for two hours watching the HVAC guys and the fan noise has obviously driven me insane.

Re:Land bridge vs ? (1)

non (130182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494891)

all modern humans (homo sapiens sapiens, as they're known) can be traced back to a single maternal ancestor via mitochondrial RNA. is that what you meant? do some research on 'Lucy'.

Re:Land bridge vs ? (2, Interesting)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495119)

No, not that. Just more breadth in the science that says "we believe this hypothesis is correct because it is exclusive for testable reasons x,y, and z".


An "testable" reason, for example might be a "working with DNA from Mayan mummy #abc (IIRC the Mayans are considered a lost civilization, right?) that has been dated to X hundred years b.c. was found to have the same markers as related to the steppe people from Siberia etc." combined with "these markers are unique because...." where the "because" is fairly exclusive in terms of the genetics involved, that is, something along the lines of "the Steppe peoples and their mummies (pun intended) all have Gene xyz variants, and almost no or no other peoples and their mummies have that unique genetic signature"

Re:Land bridge vs ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495473)

This is all wrong. What geneticists found was that when you draw your family tree, with 2 parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc, then at some point in your strictly maternal lineage the same woman appears in everyone's tree, provided you go sufficiently far back. In other words, that "single maternal acestor" is in truth one out of about 1 billion ancestors you have in that huge tree.

 

Re:Land bridge vs ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495193)

Hey man, stop poking holes in the soft sciences. You get no point for pointing out water is wet.

Re:Land bridge vs ? (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495439)

Such as the blue eyed migrant mutt imports from Norway who arrived in 1000AD?

I am [my ancestry is such that I'm one of those blue eyed migrant mutt imports from northern European countries who emigrated to what is now the US in the 17th and 18th centuries ].

Re:Land bridge vs ? (1)

Saija (1114681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495623)

are even now visually related to the folks from the step areas of northern China and Siberia than say, the native folks from Columbia

Hey buddie its Colombia, not Columbia... thanks ;)

So why did they name the study after Rodenberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494747)

Did they use a tricorder analysis or something? Why call it a Gene study and name it after the Star Trek creator? Perhaps it was a tractor beam and not a land bridge? Or where people transported across by Scotty?

GRRRRRR, liberalism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494759)

What is sad is that so many people will except this "12,000 years ago" crap without bating an eye. It is a sure sign of how bad public education has gotten in this country, kids don't learn anything that isn't evolutionistic or other lib propaganda in nature, it's even worse to see crap like this on /.

Re:GRRRRRR, liberalism (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494939)

Weaksauce troll. 1/10.

Even the christians on slashdot are generally too intelligent to buy into that young-earth crap. Try digg.

Re:GRRRRRR, liberalism (0, Troll)

Sesticulus (544932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495017)

Perhaps you're right, the public education is bad, you can't even use the word except correctly. Did you intend to use accept?

wtfbbq!!11!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21494857)

12 thousand years ago? Inconseavable. Not possible. How did they survive the flood? The earth isnt even that old!

What about those French Native Americans? (5, Interesting)

sckeener (137243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494879)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/columbus.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

So I guess this study conflicts with the OP....

Stone Age Columbus - programme summary

Who were the first people in North America? From where did they come? How did they arrive? The prehistory of the Americas has been widely studied. Over 70 years a consensus became so established that dissenters felt uneasy challenging it. Yet in 2001, genetics, anthropology and a few shards of flint combined to overturn the accepted facts and to push back one of the greatest technological changes that the Americas have ever seen by over five millennia.

The accepted version of the first Americans starts with a flint spearhead unearthed at Clovis, New Mexico, in 1933. Dated by the mammoth skeleton it lay beside to 11,500 years ago (11.5kya), it was distinctive because it had two faces, where flakes had been knapped away from a core flint. The find sparked a wave of similar reports, all dating from around the same period. There seemed to be nothing human before Clovis. Whoever those incomers were around 9,500BC, they appeared to have had a clean start. And the Clovis point was their icon - across 48 states.

An icon that was supremely effective: the introduction of the innovative spearpoint coincided with a mass extinction of the continent's megafauna. Not only the mammoth, but the giant armadillo, giant sloth and great black bear all disappeared soon after the Clovis point - and the hunters who used it - arrived on the scene.

But from where? With temperatures much colder than today and substantial polar ice sheets, sea levels were much lower. Asia and America were connected by a land bridge where now there's the open water of the Bering Strait. The traditional view of American prehistory was that Clovis people travelled by land from Asia.

This version was so accepted that few archaeologists even bothered to look for artefacts from periods before 10,000BC. But when Jim Adavasio continued to dig below the Clovis layer at his dig near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he found blades and blade cores dating back to 16,000BC. His findings were dismissed as erroneous; too astonishing to be credible. The Clovis consensus had too many reputations behind it to evaporate easily. Some archaeologists who backed Adavasio's conclusions with other similar data were accused of making radiocarbon dating errors or even of planting finds.

Decisive evidence would have to come from an independent arena. Douglas Wallace studies mitochondrial DNA, part of the human chromosomes that is passed unchanged from mother to daughter. It only varies when mistakes occur in the replication of the genetic code. Conveniently for Wallace's work (piecing together a global history of migration of native peoples) these mistakes crop up at a quite regular rate. The technique has allowed Wallace to map the geographical ancestry of all the Native American peoples back to Siberia and northeast Asia.

The route of the Clovis hypothesis was right. The date, however, was wrong - out by up to 20,000 years. Wallace's migration history showed waves of incomers. The Clovis people were clearly not the first humans to set foot across North America.

Dennis Stanford went back to first principles to investigate Clovis afresh, looking at tools from the period along the route Clovis was assumed to have taken from Siberia via the Bering Strait to Alaska. The large bifaced Clovis point was not in the archaeological record. Instead the tools used microblades, numerous small flint flakes lined up along the spear shaft to make its head.

Wallace's DNA work suggested migration from Asia to America but the Clovis trail contradicted it. Bruce Bradley stepped in to help solve this dichotomy, bringing with him one particular skill: flintknapping and the ability to read flint tools for their most intimate secrets.

He spotted the similarity in production method between the Clovis point and tools made by the Solutrean neolithic (Stone Age) culture in southwest France. At this stage his idea was pure hypothesis, but could the first Americans have been European?

The Solutreans were a remarkably society, the most innovative and adaptive of the time. They were among the first to discover the value of heat treating flints to increase strength. Bradley was keen to discover if Solutrean flintknapping styles matched Clovis techniques. A trawl through the unattractive flint offcuts in the storerooms of a French museum convinced him of the similarities, even though five thousand kilometres lay between their territories.

The divide was more than just distance; it crossed five thousand years as well. No matter the similarities between the two cultures, the possibility of a parallel technology developing by chance would have to be considered. More evidence emerged from an archaeological dig in Cactus Hill, Virginia. A bifaced flint point found there was dated to 16kya, far older than Clovis. Even more startling was its style. To flintknapper Bruce Bradley's eye, the Cactus Hill flint was a technological midpoint between the French Solutrean style and the Clovis points dating five millennia later. It seemed there is no great divide in time. The Solutrean flint methods evolved into Clovis.

If time could be discounted, Bradley's critics pointed to an obstacle that was hardly going to go away: crossing the Atlantic Ocean in small open boats. How could Stone Age people have made such an epic journey, especially when the Ice Age maximum would have filled the Atlantic with icebergs.

Dennis Stanford returned to his earlier hunch, looking for clues among the Arctic Eskimo peoples. Despite the influx of modern technologies, he was heartened to discover that traditional techniques endured. Clothing makers in Barrow, Alaska, recognised some Solutrean bone needles he showed them as typical of their own. The caribou skin clothing the Inuit still choose to wear could equally have been made by people in 16,000BC. And for Eskimo peoples the Arctic is not a desert - but a source of plentiful sea food. If the Solutreans had the Clovis point it would have made a formidable harpoon weapon to ensure a food supply. Would modern Eskimo ever consider a five thousand kilometre journey across the Atlantic?

The answer it seems is yes - they have undertaken similar journeys many times.. Most encouraging was the realisation that Inuit people today rely on traditional boat building techniques. 'Unbreakable' plastic breaks in the unceasing cold temperatures whereas boats of wood, sealskin and whale oil are resilient and easily maintained. The same materials would have been available to Solutrean boat builders. Even if the Stone Age Europeans could make those boats, would it survive an Atlantic crossing?

Stanford believes the boats' flimsiness is deceptive. With the Atlantic full of ice floes it would be quite possible for paddlers in open boats to travel along the edges, always having a safe place to haul out upon if the weather turned in.

All this evidence was still essentially circumstantial, making the Solutrean adventure possible not proven. Douglas Wallace's DNA history bore fruit once more. In the DNA profile of the Ichigua Native American tribe he identified a lineage that was clearly European in origin, too old to be due to genetic mixing since Columbus' discovery of the New World. Instead it dated to Solutrean times. Wallace's genetic timelines show the Ice Age prompted a number of migrations from Europe to America. It looks highly likely that the Solutreans were one.

The impact of this new prehistory on Native Americans could be grave. They usually consider themselves to be Asian in origin; and to have been subjugated by Europeans after 1492. If they too were partly Europeans, the dividing lines would be instantly blurred. Dr Joallyn Archambault of the American Indian Programme of the Smithsonian Institute offers a positive interpretation, however. Venturing across huge bodies of water, she says, is a clear demonstration of the courage and creativity of the Native Americans' ancestors. Bruce Bradley agrees. He feels his Solutrean Ice Age theory takes into consideration the abilities of people to embrace new places, adding, "To ignore this possibility ignores the humanity of people 20,000 years ago."

Re:What about those French Native Americans? (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495133)

Very interesting comment. Thanks for posting that! Wish I had mod points.

12 is too young (2, Informative)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21494909)

But there were people here before 12kya, learning the "Clovis" point from the French, inventing chewable crack cocaine by themselves (using calcium carbonate), and generally having a good time.

Folks have been here so long it is hard to calibrate their radiocarbon dates.

Genes can be killed off. We have artifacts older than genes. I guess the Old Ones got killed off. Was Kennewick Man (portrayed by Patrick Stewart) an Old One?

Anyone with specialist knowledge, please comment.

Follow the trails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495033)

Remember that a migrating group 12,000 years ago wasn't moving fast and had few choices of routes. Even if several groups crossed to North America, they came through a small region of Asia (even smaller before glaciers retreated). Plenty of chances for groups to exchange genes with a small group of Asians. It's not surprising that there are common genetic markers.

European Migration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21495161)

Wasn't there some studies being done discussing a possible migration from Western Europe to America by means of a glacial landbridge?

Not a theory? (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495341)

Excuse me, could someone explain to me how "the theory that the ancestors of modern native peoples throughout the Americas came from a single source in East Asia" is not a theory, as the !atheory tag seems to point out?

At a glance (1)

Frantactical Fruke (226841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495477)

A single glance at pictures of Tibetans and natives from the Andean highlands convinced me of that years ago - but then I'm not a scientist and don't work under any burden of proof, so I have it easy.

Mormon's story of how the America's were populated (1)

mAineAc (580334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495701)

This totally ruin's their theory that ships came across from northern Africa to South America. Sort of blows all sorts of holes in their religion.

Truth be told ... (2, Informative)

sgunhouse (1050564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495791)

I do wish people wouldn't make such baseless claims as that. "... the first ..."? We have found some fossil remains that predate that (as in, more than 12000 years ago) by quite a bit. One could claim that those others failed to survive where they'd have descendents alive today - raising the question of when they died out and for what reason - but claims that the first humans in the Americas arrived 12000 years ago are obviously false.

Unfounded Conclusions (2, Interesting)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495903)

Unlike what is claimed in the summary, the study makes no claims about the "first humans" in the Americas, only about the ancestry of the existing descendants of early settlers.

IMHO, it is a stretch to use the analysis they did for making conclusions about migration routes and so forth. We're talking about an analysis of general DNA diversity after over 10,000 years of empires, wars, and extinctions of many lineages.

1) We know there existed in the south, especially the extreme south, morphological diversity non-existent in the north. Some examples are the "giants" Magellan and others saw in Patagonia -- even if you discount his reports, the most conservative estimates still put them at 6 1/2 feet tall, which is still "giant" by comparison to everything else at the time; There is another extinct race -- whose bones we actually have, not based on reports of others -- from the same region, with thick bones, large vertebrae, and prominent browridge, almost as if they were a cross with neanderthals.

2) Analysis of the Y-chromosome DNA distribution and the mitochondrial DNA distribution, show a much different, and apparently unrelated, distribution between the male ancestry of the current populations, and the female ancestry. As with most of Asia and Europe, the female ancestry in the region is older, which stands to reason as with new invasions, female populations are kept, while male populations are killed off and replaced by the invaders. Except, in the Americas, the last successful invaders seem to have a significantly different genetic history than the original females.

3) Certainly, there were migrations over the Bering Strait. There's lots of evidence for that. But IMHO, the only reasonable conclusion is that there were also migrations by sea to the west coast of South America around the same time. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to support it, and the only argument against is that people 10kya were too "primitive" to navigate the ocean -- which is nothing but "cave man" prejudice.

only surviving populations (3, Interesting)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21495923)

That's only the surviving population; it doesn't tell you whether there were previous migrations that didn't survive, or small previous migrations that just completely got absorbed in the last big one.

People that are hypothesizing previous migrations (and there is some archaeological evidence) generally also assume that those populations died out, were killed, or were absorbed by the "native Americans".
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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