Dna mutations dating migrations lesson

21-Nov-2018 23:21

There is a new paper out of the Reich lab, Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India, which follows up on their seminal 2009 work, Reconstructing Indian Population History.

I don’t have time right now to do justice to it, but as noted this morning in the press, it is “carefully and cautiously crafted.” Since I am not associated with the study, I do not have to be cautious and careful, so I will be frank in terms of what I think these results imply (note that confidence on many assertions below are modest).

Though less crazy in a bald-faced sense than another recent result which came out of the Reich lab, this paper is arguably more explosive because of its historical and social valence in the Indian subcontinent.

There has been a trend over the past few years of scholars in the humanities engaging in deconstruction and intellectual archaeology which overturns old historical orthodoxies, understandings, and leaves the historiography of a particular topic of study in a chaotic mess.

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I want to highlight in particular two genome bloggers, Dienekes and Zack Ajmal, who’ve prefigured that particular result. The figure which I posted at the top illustrates that it looks like Indo-European speakers were subject to two waves of admixture, while Dravidian speakers were subject to one!

The authors were cautious indeed in not engaging in excessive speculation.