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What DNA Says About Aryan Invasion Theory -2
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Jan 28 2008, 12:01 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Jan 28 2008, 12:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
I am a non-brahmin Tamil myself, but one could place me anywhere in the subcontinent and I wouldn't look out of place there.

There will always be exceptions, I am not denying that. But exceptions don't make the rule. All I am saying it that, usually, it's very easy to distinguish between the two. The diff. is too obvious to be missed. A person like Advani (or Khan or any NI), for instance isn't just slightly 'fairer' compared to SIs. He's as white as a caucasian, period. The same goes for many, many people I've seen in the North, it isn't relative at all.

As to Bharat Varsh's point on climate and Lanka, I've been to Lanka and I can say that the cricket team is hardly a true representative. Many Lankans are fair, some of them as white as Kashmiris or Punjabis.
Look at the two Yadavas.... Mulayam and Lallu
<!--QuoteBegin-sureshmoorthy+Jan 28 2008, 07:08 PM-->QUOTE(sureshmoorthy @ Jan 28 2008, 07:08 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Jan 28 2008, 12:01 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Pandyan @ Jan 28 2008, 12:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
I am a non-brahmin Tamil myself, but one could place me anywhere in the subcontinent and I wouldn't look out of place there.

There will always be exceptions, I am not denying that. But exceptions don't make the rule. All I am saying it that, usually, it's very easy to distinguish between the two. The diff. is too obvious to be missed. A person like Advani (or Khan or any NI), for instance isn't just slightly 'fairer' compared to SIs. He's as white as a caucasian, period. The same goes for many, many people I've seen in the North, it isn't relative at all.

As to Bharat Varsh's point on climate and Lanka, I've been to Lanka and I can say that the cricket team is hardly a true representative. Many Lankans are fair, some of them as white as Kashmiris or Punjabis.
All the Indian genetic features have been in the sub continent atleast 50000 years.
That should tell you the antiquity of our history for both NI and SI


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ash and Angelina may have common ancestors
London, January 31: Top actors Aishwarya Rai and Angelina Jolie may have common ancestors. If a research is to be believed all people with blue eyes can trace their ancestry back to one person who probably lived about 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea region.

Scientists studying the genetics of eye colour at the University of Copenhagen found that more than 99.5 per cent of blue-eyed people who volunteered to have their DNA analysed have the same tiny mutation in the gene that determines the colour of the iris.

Professor Hans Eiberg of the university said he has analysed the DNA of about 800 people with blue eyes, ranging from fair-skinned, blond-haired Scandinavians to dark-skinned, blue-eyed people living in Turkey and Jordan.

"All of them, apart from possibly one exception, had exactly the same DNA sequence in the region of the OCA2 gene. This to me indicates very strongly that there must have been a single, common ancestor of all these people," he said.

The study reported in the journal Human Genetics indicates that the mutation originated in just one person who became the ancestor of all subsequent people in the world with blue eyes.

"From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor. They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA," Professor Eiberg was quoted as saying by The Independent daily of Britain on Thursday.

Even though the scientists are unable to pinpoint the exact date when the mutation occurred, evidences suggested it probably arose about 10,000 years ago when there was a rapid expansion of the human population in Europe as a result of the spread of agriculture from the Middle East.

<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Feb 1 2008, 01:38 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Feb 1 2008, 01:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->link

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ash and Angelina may have common ancestors

Even though the scientists are unable to pinpoint the exact date when the mutation occurred, evidences suggested it probably arose about 10,000 years ago when there was a rapid expansion of the human population in Europe as a result of the spread of agriculture from the Middle East.

Whoa lucky Ash!

This poppycock belongs to "Desiring Whiteness Scientifically" thread. <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As to Bharat Varsh's point on climate and Lanka, I've been to Lanka and I can say that the cricket team is hardly a true representative. Many Lankans are fair, some of them as white as Kashmiris or Punjabis.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Then how exactly is it that they are not found in the cricket team, it is drawn from the general population I assume.

Advani is not as white as a "caucasian", if by that you mean a white man, he can't pass for one (if only he could all the vellai thol worshipping clowns in Bharat would clamour for him instead of Sonia Mata) and most Indians are supposed to be "caucasian" irrespective of skin colour.

From what I know ancient sanskrit literature (i do not have the exact reference with me now but it is in one of Elst's books) classified Indians into:

Gaura (fair) = North
Pandu (pale) = N.West
Shyama (dark/dusky) = East
Krishna (Black) = South

That is generally the case.
Seems like the news media has nothing else to do these days than churn out useless crap. Everybody in the world has a common ancestor, its just on what terms you level it to. In this case, its someone 10k years ago in the Black Sea region. That is so long ago that it reduces this purported "common ancestry" to inanity.

Either way, no one knows if esh rai's eyes are really blue or if they are contacts. She has never disclosed that fact. To me they have the fake glimmer of contact lenses. In all my years spent in Bharat, I've never seen anyone with blue eyes.

THE REAL EVE by Stephen Oppenheimer. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. 440 pages, appendices, notes, index. Hardcover; $25.00. ISBN: 0786711922.

Geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer is a member of Green College at Oxford. This is Oppenheimer’s second book on human evolution and genetics. Its purpose is to illuminate the peopling of the world by anatomically modern humans (AMH) through the mtDNA and Y-chromosome lineages. The seven chapters start with explaining the Out-of-Africa Theory and then move through the change from archaic hominids to moderns, the first steps into Asia and Australia and the peopling of the Americas.

Oppenheimer presents a great argument against the view common among Christian apologists that intelligent, rational humans arose suddenly within the past 60,000 years in Europe, where there was a flowering of art and Upper Paleolithic tools. If this had happened, then everyone on earth who can speak, draw, or write must have descended from the Europeans. Not only is this a terribly Eurocentric idea, it is also impossible based upon the genetic evidence. MtDNA and Y-chromosome trees are rooted in Africa, not Europe. Besides, art first appears on earth, not in Europe but in Australia. Oppenheimer argues that those humans who left Africa 100,000 years ago were speaking. Thus all of their descendants—those of us alive on earth now—could speak as well.

When it comes to the peopling of the New World, Oppenheimer presents some interesting ideas for explaining the genetic distribution and variations seen among Native Americans. Americans in the north, where they were supposed to have lived the longest, have the least genetic diversity. Americans living farther south have much greater genetic diversity. Oppenheimer explains this by suggesting that the last glaciation forced people south and then after the glaciation, limited groups with limited diversity moved back north.

Other interesting ideas in the book are that language existed 2.5 million years ago, and existed in two different genera—Homo and Paranthropus. Oppenheimer vigorously defends the concept that the human intellect did not suddenly flower 35,000 years ago. He also chides anthropologists for engaging in that time-honored human tradition of finding one group and denigrating them. In this case, it is the Neanderthals whom Oppenheimer says were basically like us. He also demonstrates a huge mtDNA genetic divide between peoples west of India from those farther east. He ascribes this divide to the eruption of Toba, which was the largest volcanic explosion in the past 100,000 years. It turned India into a wasteland of ash, dividing the peoples.

One weakness of the book is that Oppenheimer tries to follow too many genetic lineages. Trying to follow a logical argument with sentences like, ”As I mentioned in Chapter 5, A, C and Z are characteristic of North Asia …” is very difficult. One must have the memory of an elephant to follow such an argument. And it does not end there. Each Y-chromosome and mtDNA lineage is given the name of a mythical person and that does not seem to help either.

Oppenheimer is a committed Out-of-Africa proponent although initially he does not sound like one. Early on, he reminds his readers that the vast bulk of our nuclear genes come to us from hominids on earth long before anatomically modern humans appeared. He then notes (p. 49) that it is very difficult to construct genetic trees from nuclear DNA so evidence of AMH and archaic hominid interbreeding could be found. This clearly sounds like the words of a multiregionalist, an anthropologist who believes that there was gene flow between the ancients and AMH. But then, inconsistently with his own words, Oppenheimer proceeds to discount any possibility of archaic genes and interbreeding, stating over and over that the archaics went extinct without passing on any of their genes to us. This is a disappointment because it is so illogical and this illogic is so foundational to the book.

The book is worth having if only as a reference for following the mtDNA lineages. It would have been better had the discussion of those lineages been clearer.

Reviewed by Glenn R. Morton, 10131 Cairn Meadows Dr., Spring, TX 77379.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He's as white as a <b>caucasian</b>, period. The same goes for many, many people I've seen in the North, it isn't relative at all.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->As for some N Indians being fair as "Caucasians" - well, it's true that a number of Armenians look Indian enough to make me wonder where they're from (whilst others look E-European). And Armenia is in the Caucasus.
The Armenians I'm talking about are brown enough not to be considered European but 'exotic'. There was a whole segment on Armenia in the Times mag here some months ago and about half the people in the pictures could have convinced me if they said they were Indian. The other half looked thoroughly Russian, though.

Here you go, pictures of some Armenian (when going by the surname) moviestar - could pass for an Indian colour, IMO:

Turns out Armenians were of the Zoroastrian religion. Certainly their names still seem somewhat Iranian-sounding to me (surnames often end on "-ian") - even though it's regularly emphasized how they're not an Iranian people. Yet they still manage to have first names like Arthashes, Varazdat, and similar which sound pretty Iranian to these ears. (Others have Russian names, but that might be on the parts that border Russian lands, or from the time the country became part of the Soviet Union.)

(Apparently there were even Hindus in Armenia: http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Glimpses_XIV.htm)

Moving on, Sarmatian communities (Iranian people) settled somewhere in the Caucasus too. And Iran is right next door to Afghanistan. So if some people in the Caucasus look N Indian - well, that might be because some Iranians kinda could pass for Indian. I think the pretty Parsee lady in the original Star Trek series looked passably N Indian, and Parsees are true-blue Iranian.

<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Feb 1 2008, 04:27 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Feb 1 2008, 04:27 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Either way, no one knows if esh rai's eyes are really blue or if they are contacts. She has never disclosed that fact. To me they have the fake glimmer of contact lenses. In all my years spent in Bharat, I've never seen anyone with blue eyes.
[right][snapback]77893[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Had already stated my opinion on this earlier: post 58 in DNA thread

But in summary:
(1) Aishwarya Rai could just have grey eyes. Until at least 1998/1999 her eyes were heralded as "green". A little later, and references to them being "blue" were doing the rounds.
Grey eyes reflect colour of clothing and surrounding colours. With some grey-eyed people it can easily look like they have blue eyes one day, while it looks like green or violet eyes on another day.

(2) Green and grey eyes are said to be accidental, as per my bio class.
So Aishwarya's all-Bunt ancestors (native Tulu speakers - a language classed as "Dravidian" by the Oryanists/Dravidianists) need never have had any ancestors who went and dipped their toe in the Black Sea or thereabouts.

(3) Even if any Indian's eyes were blue: I didn't know that Europe has tabs on origin of blue eyes. In fact, I've never seen it proved that blue eyes are the exclusive property of Europe. Yes, it occurs there lots more frequently. But since blue is stated to occur (though very rarely) in India, why can't it also have an independent origin in India? Why is it impossible for blue to occur - albeit in lower frequencies - in, say, Kashmir? And with extremely rare frequencies in less predictable parts of India? Stranger things <i>have</i> happened.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ash and Angelina may have common ancestors... "blue eyes"... "Black Sea"<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Why not some shared N American native American ancestry. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> In any case, Angelina is known to have native American ancestry.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Scientists studying the genetics of eye colour at the University of Copenhagen found that more than 99.5 per cent of blue-eyed people who volunteered to have their DNA analysed have the same tiny mutation in the gene that determines the colour of the iris.

Professor Hans Eiberg of the university said he has analysed the DNA of about 800 people with blue eyes, ranging from fair-skinned, blond-haired <b>Scandinavians to</b> dark-skinned, <b>blue-eyed people living in Turkey and Jordan</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Did they say Turkey and Jordan? Islamic slave traffic of E-Europeans could explain the surfacing of the Black Sea's blue-eyed genes there. And of course, lots of Greek genes still remain in Anatolia-turned-Turkey today. Then there were the Crusades that introduced many unwanted pregnancies in the ME - that could explain it very well too.

Still says nothing here about Indians let alone Aishwarya.

What I want to know is how many (if <i>any</i>) Indians were sampled in this grand "genetics study". Finding <i>blue</i>-eyed Indians must have been a difficult business for them. (Not grey or green, mind - which are said to be somewhat regular among GSBs.) But even if they didn't bother finding one such Indian, they *will* draw sweeping conclusions, won't they? After all, they must defend the copyright ('originating claim') on blue eyes, fair skin and all. Can't allow a Bunt girl with grey(?) eyes to encroach on their long-held record for uniqueness. Besides, the AIT must be propped up somehow when Oryan corpses have still not surfaced anywhere.

Maybe if they sit and concentrate on Oryans, one will finally manifest before them... Should I encourage them to hold their breath, however? :moral dilemma
Another scientific psy ops

Ethnic India: A Genomic View, With Special Reference to Peopling and Structure
Analabha Basu1,4, Namita Mukherjee1,4, Sangita Roy2,4, Sanghamitra Sengupta1,4, Sanat Banerjee1, Madan Chakraborty1, Badal Dey1, Monami Roy1, Bidyut Roy1, Nitai P. Bhattacharyya3, Susanta Roychoudhury2 and Partha P. Majumder1,5

1 Anthropology & Human Genetics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta 700 108, India 2 Human Genetics & Genomics Department, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta, India 3 Crystallography & Molecular Biology Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Calcutta, India

We report a comprehensive statistical analysis of data on 58 DNA markers (mitochondrial [mt], Y-chromosomal, and autosomal) and sequence data of the mtHVS1 from a large number of ethnically diverse populations of India. Our results provide genomic evidence that (1) there is an underlying unity of female lineages in India, indicating that the initial number of female settlers may have been small; (2) the tribal and the caste populations are highly differentiated; (3) the Austro-Asiatic tribals are the earliest settlers in India, providing support to one anthropological hypothesis while refuting some others; (4) a major wave of humans entered India through the northeast; (5) the Tibeto-Burman tribals share considerable genetic commonalities with the Austro-Asiatic tribals, supporting the hypothesis that they may have shared a common habitat in southern China, but the two groups of tribals can be differentiated on the basis of Y-chromosomal haplotypes; (6) the Dravidian tribals were possibly widespread throughout India before the arrival of the Indo-European-speaking nomads, but retreated to southern India to avoid dominance; (7) formation of populations by fission that resulted in founder and drift effects have left their imprints on the genetic structures of contemporary populations; (8) the upper castes show closer genetic affinities with Central Asian populations, although those of southern India are more distant than those of northern India; (9) historical gene flow into India has contributed to a considerable obliteration of genetic histories of contemporary populations so that there is at present no clear congruence of genetic and geographical or sociocultural affinities.
India has served as a major corridor for the dispersal of modern humans (Cann 2001Go). The date of entry of modern humans into India remains uncertain. By the middle Paleolithic period (50,000-20,000 years before present [ybp]), humans appear to have spread to many parts of India (Misra 1992Go). The migration routes of modern humans into India remain enigmatic, and whether there were also returns to Africa from India/Asia is unclear (Maca-Meyer et al. 2001Go; Roychoudhury et al. 2001Go; Cruciani et al. 2002Go). Contemporary ethnic India is a land of enormous genetic, cultural, and linguistic diversity (Karve 1961Go; Beteille 1998Go; Majumder 1998Go).</b> The people of India are culturally stratified as tribals, who constitute 8.08% of the total population (1991 Census of India), and nontribals. There are ~450 tribal communities in India (Singh 1992Go), who speak ~750 dialects (Kosambi 1991Go) that can be classified into one of the following three language families: Austro-Asiatic (AA), Dravidian (DR), and Tibeto-Burman (TB). Most contemporary nontribal populations of India belong to the Hindu religious fold and are hierarchically arranged in four main caste classes, namely, Brahmin (priestly class), Kshatriya (warrior class), Vysya (business class), and Sudra (menial labor class). In addition, there are several religious communities, who practice different religions, namely, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, and so on. The nontribals predominantly speak languages that belong to the Indo-European (IE) or Dravidian families. The IE and DR groups have been the major contributors to the development of Indian culture and society (Meenakshi 1995Go). Indian culture and society are also known to have been affected by multiple waves of migration and gene flow that took place in historic and prehistoric times (Ratnagar 1995Go; Thapar 1995Go). In a recent study conducted on ranked caste populations sampled from one southern Indian State (Andhra Pradesh), Bamshad et al. (2001Go) have found that the genomic affinity to Europeans is proportionate to caste rank—the upper castes being most similar to Europeans, particularly East Europeans, whereas the lower castes are more similar to Asians. <b>These findings are consistent with the migration of IE groups into India, the establishment of the caste system, and subsequent recruitment of indigenous people into the caste fold.</b> Because the Indian samples for this study were drawn from one geographical area, whether we can safely generalize these findings needs to be investigated.

The tribals are possibly the original inhabitants of India (Thapar 1966Go; Ray 1973Go), although their evolutionary histories and biological contributions to the nontribal populations have been debated (Risley 1915Go; Guha 1935Go; Sarkar 1958Go). Therefore, it is crucial to carry out genetic investigations in geographically and culturally disparate, but ethnically well-defined, populations, using data on a uniform set of mitochondrial (mt), Y-chromosomal, and autosomal DNA markers. Unfortunately, the vast majority of earlier studies on Indian populations have been conducted on ethnically ill-defined populations or have been restricted to a single geographical area or a single set of markers—primarily either mitochondrial or Y-chromosomal (e.g.,Kivisild et al. 1999aGo; Bamshad et al. 2001Go). The objectives of the present study are to (1) provide a comprehensive view of genomic diversity and differentiation in India, and (2) to draw inferences on the peopling of India, and the origins of the ethnic populations, specifically in relation to the various competing hypotheses, such as whether the Austro-Asiatic or the Dravidian-speaking tribal groups were the original inhabitants of India (Risley 1915Go; Guha 1935Go; Sarkar 1958Go).

We analyzed genetic variation in 44 geographically, linguistically, and socially disparate ethnic populations of India (Table 1). These include 10 restriction site polymorphisms (RSPs), one insertion/deletion (InDel) polymorphism, and hypervariable segment 1 (HVS1) sequences on mtDNA; 11 RSPs, 1 InDel, and 10 short tandem repeat (STR) loci on Y-chromosomal DNA; and 8 InDel and 17 RSPs on autosomal DNA.
Austro-Asiatic-Speaking Tribals May Be the Earliest Inhabitants of India</b>
Sociocultural and linguistic evidence indicates (Risley 1915Go; Thapar 1966Go; Pattanayak 1998Go) that the AA tribals are the original inhabitants of India. Some other scholars have, however, argued that tribal groups speaking DR and AA languages have evolved from an older original substrate of proto-Australoids (Keith 1936Go), whereas the TB tribals are later immigrants from Tibet and Myanmar (Guha 1935Go). Our findings strongly support the hypothesis that AA tribals are the earliest inhabitants of India. They possess the highest frequencies of the ancient east-Asian mtDNA HG-M and exhibit the highest HVS1 nucleotide diversity (Table 4). They also have the highest frequency of subHG M2 (19%), which had the highest HVS1 nucleotide diversity compared with other subHGs and therefore possibly the earliest settlers (the estimated coalescence time is 63,000 ± 6000 ybp; Kivisild et al. 1999aGo). Although all sociolinguistic groups seem to have undergone significant population expansions as evidenced by the unimodality of the HVS1 mismatch distributions (data not shown) and by the values of the relevant statistics (small values of the "raggedness" statistic and significantly large negative values of Fu's Fs statistic; Table 4), the AA tribals show the highest value of the estimated expansion time, ~55,000 years, which is ~15,000 years larger than the estimates for the other groups. Although we cannot be sure that this expansion took place in India, in conjunction with the other findings, it appears that this group of tribals may be the earliest inhabitants of India.

Dravidian Speakers, Now Confined to Southern India, May Have Earlier Been Widespread Throughout India: Genetic Signatures of "Elite Dominance"?</b>
The IE and DR speakers share a significantly larger number of HVS1 sequences (Fig. 8A) compared with those between other groups. The number of individuals sharing these sequences is also the largest between IE and DR groups (Fig. 8B). These facts are striking, especially because the geographical regions presently inhabited by them are virtually disjoint. To explore in further detail the presence of cryptic population structure and the relationships among the various subgroups of populations, we have carried out a "population structure" analysis (Pritchard et al. 2000Go). In this analysis, an unknown number (K) of hypothetical ancestral populations is assumed to have contributed to the genetic profiles of contemporary populations. The number of hypothetical ancestral populations and their relative genetic contributions are statistically estimated from allele frequency data of contemporary populations. The results of population structure analysis based on our autosomal data also show (Fig. 9) that the DR and IE speakers are the most similar, in the sense that the proportional contributions of the five estimated hypothetical ancestral populations to these two groups are the most similar. These findings are consistent with the historical view that the DR speakers were possibly widespread throughout India (Thapar 2003Go). When the ranked caste system was formed after the arrival of the IE speakers ~3500 ybp, many indigenous people of India, who were possibly DR speakers, embraced (or were forced to embrace) the caste system, together with the IE language and admixture. In fact, Renfrew (1992Go) has suggested that the elite dominance model, which envisages the intrusion of a relatively small but well-organized group that takes over an existing system by the use of force, may be appropriate to explain the distribution of the IE languages in north India and Pakistan. As the IE speakers, who entered India primarily through the northwest corridor, advanced into the Indo-Gangetic plain, indigenous people, especially the DR speakers, may have retreated southward to avoid linguistic dominance, after an initial period of admixture and adoption of the caste system. As evidenced by their strong genetic similarities (data not shown), the IE-speaking Halba tribals were most probably a DR-speaking tribal group, which is consistent with IE dominance over DR tribals.

Central Asian Populations Have Contributed to the Genetic Profiles of Upper Castes, More in the North Than in the South</b>
Central Asia is supposed to have been a major contributor to the Indian gene pool, particularly to the north Indian gene pool, and the migrants had supposedly moved to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. From mtHVS1 data, we have estimated FST values between the populations of the Central Asia and Pakistan regions (data were collated from Calafell et al. 1996Go; Comas et al. 1998Go; Kivisild et al. 1999aGo) and those belonging to various geographical regions of India. Populations of Central Asia and Pakistan show the lowest (0.017) coefficient of genetic differentiation with the north Indian populations, higher (0.042) with the south Indian populations, and the highest (0.047) with the northeast Indian populations. The Central Asian populations are genetically closer to the upper-caste populations than to the middle- or lower-caste populations, which is in agreement with Bamshad et al.'s (2001Go) findings. Among the upper-caste populations, those of north India are, however, genetically much closer (FST = 0.016) than those of south India (FST = 0.031). Phylogenetic analysis of Y-HG data collated from various sources (Hammer et al. 2000Go; Nebel et al. 2000Go; Rosser et al. 2000Go; Qamar et al. 2002Go) and with those generated in the present study also showed a similar picture (data not shown). One explanation, consistent with those of the previous section, is that even after the DR speakers retreated to the south to avoid elite dominance, there has been admixture between Central and West Asians and northern Indian populations.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(1) there is an underlying unity of female lineages in India, indicating that the initial number of female settlers may have been small;

This is not relevant to the direction of movement of population.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(2) the tribal and the caste populations are highly differentiated;

The "Out of India" theory is posited on the fact that there is a lot of genetic variation. So the above statement does not contradict that finding.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(3) the Austro-Asiatic tribals are the earliest settlers in India, providing support to one anthropological hypothesis while refuting some others;

Basically, the austro-asiatic tribal does not provide conclusive evidence one way or another. So why mention it?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(4) a major wave of humans entered India through the northeast;

Which crystal ball did they read that from. There are various points of access into India, and in the geological scale the land masses were all one and the migration could have occurred before then.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(5) the Tibeto-Burman tribals share considerable genetic commonalities with the Austro-Asiatic tribals,
supporting the hypothesis that they may have shared a common habitat in southern China, but the two groups of
tribals can be differentiated on the basis of Y-chromosomal haplotypes;

Again, this does not suggest anything about the direction of migration, since this only proves common ancestry, which is not relevant to direction of migration.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(6) the Dravidian tribals were possibly
widespread throughout India before the arrival of the Indo-European-speaking nomads, but retreated to southern
India to avoid dominance;

So let us get this straight, "the dravidians" are already taken as an article of faith, and then the authors build on one unproven assumption to make another claim the the "dravidians" went south to avoid "domination by the aryans". so not only do these "Scientists" who came up with this nonsense know that (a) aryans and dravidians did not get along (b) the aryans dominated the dravidians from way back then.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(7) formation of populations by fission that resulted in founder and drift effects have left their imprints on the genetic structures of contemporary populations;

WTF is the "genetic structures"...we have only barely mapped the human genome of one human being, and already these "scientists" are pulling various theories on "genetic structures" and speak as if the genomes of people of various tribes on this planet have been mapped, which is of course, completely bogus.

What "genetic structures"? The ones that determine TFTA "aryan" characteristics?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(8) the upper castes show closer genetic
affinities with Central Asian populations, although those of southern India are more distant than those of northernIndia;

The above does not contradict the "out of India" theory...in fact, the above data can be used to claim that dravidians were the root population and the "aryans" were the ones who decided to migrate north. Such a migration could also explain the difference in genetic distance.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> (9) historical gene flow into India has contributed to a considerable obliteration of genetic histories of
contemporary populations so that there is at present no clear congruence of genetic and geographical or sociocultural affinities.

So this last point basically says that genetic studies are useless because "historical gene flow" (whatever that means) has destroyed the "lineage". There are many problems with this line of thinking, first among which is the notion that these people are in fact using a rigorous methodology to come up with their fanciful "aryan dravidian theory" which apparently is rock solid.


The methodology used in the above paper uses the fact that the maximum variation and variety points to the place of origin (on the thesis that variation decreases when a "tribe" branches out to another part of the world from the point of origin. Which one sounds more plausible even to the average science amateur?

The main difference in the methodology used is that:

The paper by the bunch of bengali Indians is based on the notion that genetic distance can somehow be used to claim that Aryans went this way and dravidians the other -- the whole notion itself is bogus unless the authors can explain how they came up with the direction of migration just on the knowledge that two populations came from a common set of ancestors.

Put more simply: The "Genome Research" article's authors only know the absolute value of the "magnitude" (genetic distance) of the difference between populations and yet they are making claims about "sign" (direction of migration).

The Michael Danino paper clearly explains how they used genetic distance to determine the direction of migration.

<img src='http://www.archaeologyonline.net/indology/2007/horse/genetic-distance.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />


It is, of course, still possible to find genetic studies trying to interpret differences between North and South Indians or higher and lower castes within the invasionist framework, but that is simply because they take it for granted in the first place. None of the nine major studies quoted above lends any support to it, and none proposes to define a demarcation line between tribe and caste. The overall picture emerging from these studies is, first, an unequivocal rejection of a 3500-BP arrival of a “Caucasoid” or Central Asian gene pool. Just as the imaginary Aryan invasion / migration left no trace in Indian literature, in the archaeological and the anthropological record, it is invisible at the genetic level. The agreement between these different fields is remarkable by any standard, and offers hope for a grand synthesis in the near future, which will also integrate agriculture and linguistics.

Secondly, they account for India’s considerable genetic diversity by using a time- scale not of a few millennia, but of 40,000 or 50,000 years. In fact, several experts, such as Lluís Quintana-Murci,20 Vincent Macaulay,21 Stephen Oppenheimer,22 Michael Petraglia,23 and their associates, have in the last few years proposed that when Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, he first reached South-West Asia around 75,000 BP, and from here, went on to other parts of the world. In simple terms, except for Africans, all humans have ancestors in the North-West of the Indian peninsula. In particular, one migration started around 50,000 BP towards the Middle East and Western Europe:

“indeed, nearly all Europeans — and by extension, many Americans — can trace their ancestors to only four mtDNA lines, which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.” 24

Oppenheimer, a leading advocate of this scenario, summarizes it in these words:

“For me and for Toomas Kivisild, South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17 and his ancestors; and sure enough we find the highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central Asia, but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of a ‘male Aryan invasion’ of India. One average estimate for the origin of this line in India is as much as 51,000 years. All this suggests that M17 could have found his way initially from India or Pakistan, through Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming into Europe.”25

We will not call it, of course, an “Indian invasion” of Europe; in simple terms, India acted “as an incubator of early genetic differentiation of modern humans moving out of Africa.”26

Genetics is a fast-evolving discipline, and the studies quoted above are certainly not the last word; but they have laid the basis for a wholly different perspective of Indian populations, and it is most unlikely that we will have to abandon it to return to the crude racial nineteenth-century fallacies of Aryan invaders and Dravidian autochthons. Neither have any reality in genetic terms, just as they have no reality in archaeological or cultural terms. In this sense, genetics is joining other disciplines in helping to clean the cobwebs of colonial historiography. If some have a vested interest in patching together the said cobwebs so they may keep cluttering our history textbooks, they are only delaying the inevitable.
Post 130: Acharya, that paper is from 2003. I think Kivisild et al wrote their more scientific paper in 2006. But cheers for your subsequent post highlighting the twaddle of Analabha Basu et comrades.

Sorry to bring this up again, but I missed the following earlier. More questions:
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Feb 1 2008, 01:38 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Feb 1 2008, 01:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->link
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ash and Angelina may have common ancestors
Professor Hans Eiberg of the university said he has analysed the DNA of about 800 people with blue eyes, ranging from fair-skinned, blond-haired Scandinavians to dark-skinned, blue-eyed people living in Turkey and Jordan.

"<b>All of them, apart from possibly one exception</b>, had exactly the same DNA sequence in the region of the OCA2 gene. This to me <b>indicates very strongly</b> that there must have been a single, common ancestor of all these people," he said.

The study reported in the journal Human Genetics <b>indicates </b>that the mutation originated in just one person who became the ancestor of all subsequent people in the world with blue eyes.

"From this we can <b>conclude</b> that all blue-eyed individuals <b>are linked</b> to the same ancestor.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->[right][snapback]77883[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd--><b>Short version:</b> Grief. Their whole bet is on one person being responsible for/being ancestor of all the blue-eyed individuals today. And yet in the same brief interview they themselves admit to their seemingly geographically-challenged sample of 800 showing how 1 person is possibly not a descendant of their poster boy and would therefore have derived it from elsewhere. And yet they have the audacity to bypass scientific sense and pronounce poster boy the origin of <i>all</i> blue eyes anyway. Must be "Oryan science" - it obviously has special privileges.
Oh, and did the samples at least include Iran and Afghanistan?

<b>Long version:</b>
Is there anywhere that has more about that possible exception (the 1 person in the apparently geographically-limited sample of 800)? How is the observed deviation in that one person explained? When the researchers themselves admit to a possible exception, how can they - two sentences later - conclude that <b>all</b> blue-eyed individuals <i>all over the world</i> derived their eye colour from the same ancestor? Do they not want to explain the outlier at all? Is it okay all-of-a-sudden just to ignore an outlier like it hadn't occurred at all? What, no suggestions for further testing, larger sampling?

Where did that one subject get their blue eyed genes from then? How do they explain that person/inconvenient anomaly? Error in recording the measurement? Error in extracting the data/in methodology (then did it affect/spoil the results of the entire sample...)?
If that subject's eye colour was not obtained from that one magic ancestor the world is supposed to be bowing down to now, then the anomalous subject could have either got it from some other 'unique' ancestor or spontaneously mutated themselves. After all, if one person could do it 10,000 yrs ago, why not some other ancient human or someone else at some other point in time. (Ancient blue-eyed Black Sea inhabitant not so unique anymore then...)

Really hope they have asked and publicly answered such basic questions <i>somewhere</i>, else such science is as sad as the reliability of the English-language 'Indian' media that also bounds to distant conclusions ("Aishwarya and Angelina with possible common ancestry... Extry Extry, Read All About It.")
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Feb 8 2008, 09:51 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Feb 8 2008, 09:51 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><img src='http://anthropologynet.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/regional-population-sizes-through-time.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<i>mtDNA variation tells us of Southern Asia’s massive population growth 50,000 years ago » Relative Regional Population Sizes through Time</i>
mtDNA Variation Predicts Population Size in Humans and Reveals a Major Southern Asian Chapter in Human Prehistory
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rat genetics enlighten human migrations as far back as the Neolithic</b>

I’m clearly digressing. Back to Aplin’s results,<b> he and his team identified six lineages that all originated in Asia – in India and the Himalayan region, Thailand, the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, Indonesia….</b> These six lineages can be traced to four major episodes of global rat expansion, all associated with human migration or trade. <b>See, about 20,000 years ago, one lineage moved from western India to the Middle East and from there to Europe. </b>Apin hypothesizes that this expansion was probably associated with the growth of trade networks during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages . But I think Apin has his dates all mixed up, the Neolithic is thought to have sprung up about 11-8,000 years ago and Bronze Age around 5-4,000 years ago. His work then shows how the European established rat lineage then spread to Africa and the Americas with European explorers. The East Asian lineage, meanwhile, arrived in Micronesia, from Taiwan via Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, about 3,500 years ago.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Two genetic studies negate the indological ATT, AMT, AIT

Two genetic studies by scientists including Gyaneshwer Chaubey and Toomas Kivisild which negate the Aryan Trickle-in/ Tourist/Migration /Invasion Theory and point to the indigenous and autochthonous evolution of populations and languages of Bharatam that is India.

Congratulations to Gyaneshwer Chaubey and the team of researchers led by Toomas Kivisild .


Int J Hum Genet, 8(1-2): 41-50 (2008)
<b>Language Shift by Indigenous Population: A Model Genetic Study in South Asia</b>

Gyaneshwer Chaubey1,2*, Mait Metspalu1, Monika Karmin1, Kumarasamy Thangaraj2, Siiri Rootsi1, Juri Parik1, Anu Solnik1, Deepa Selvi Rani2, Vijay Kumar Singh2, B. Prathap Naidu,

Alla G. Reddy2, Ene Metspalu1, Lalji Singh2, Toomas Kivisild1,3 and Richard Villems1

1. Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu and Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia 2. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India 3. Leverhulme Centre of Human Evolutionary Studies, The Henry Wellcome Building, University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QH, UK

KEYWORDS Mushar; language shift; mtDNA; Y-chromosome


Language shift is a phenomenon where a new language is adopted by a population with virtually no influence on its genetic makeup. We report here the results of a case study, carried out on the Mushar populations, which is thought to have undergone language shift from Munda (an Austro-Asiatic language) to Hindi (an Indo- European language). We compared the mtDNA and Y-chromosomal phylogenies of this population with those of the neighbouring Indo-European and Austro-Asiatic speaking populations, standing at similar social status. The results revealed much closer genetic affinity of the Mushar people to the neighbouring Austro-Asiatic (Mundari) populations, than to the neighbouring Hindi-speaking populations. This example shows that the language shift as such is not necessarily a signal for a rapid genetic admixture, either maternally or paternally.

Corresponding Author: Gyaneshwer Chaubey,
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Tartu University
and Estonian Biocentre, Riia 23 Tartu, 51010
Estonia Telephone: (372) 7 375 052 Fax: (372) 7 420 194
E-mail: gyanc@ebc.ee

Full text can be downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/2z3tcb

Hum Hered 2008;66:1–9 DOI: 10.1159/000114160

<b>Maternal Footprints of Southeast Asians in North India</b>

Kumarasamy Thangaraj a Gyaneshwer Chaubey a, b, n Toomas Kivisild b, c Deepa Selvi Rani a Vijay Kumar Singh a Thanseem Ismail a Denise Carvalho-Silva d Mait Metspalu b L.V.K.S. Bhaskar aAlla G. Reddy a Sarat Chandra e Veena Pande f B. Prathap Naidu a Niharika Adarsh gAbhilasha Verma h Inaganti Amara Jyothi i Chandana Basu Mallick j Nidhi Shrivastava k Ragala Devasena l Babita Kumari m Amit Kumar Singh n Shailendra Kumar Dhar Dwivedi n Shefali Singh n Geeta Rao n Pranav Gupta n Vartika Sonvane o Kavita Kumari m Afsar Basha p

K.R. Bhargavi i Albert Lalremruata q Arvind Kumar Gupta j Gurukamal Kaur r K.K. Reddy s A. Papa Rao s Richard Villems b Chris Tyler-Smith d Lalji Singh a *

a Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad , India; b Estonian Biocentre and Tartu University, Tartu , Estonia;c Leverhulme Centre of Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge , d The Wellcome TrustSanger Institute, Hinxton Cambs , UK; e Nagaland University, Nagaland , f Kumaun University, Nainital , g BIMR College ofLife Science, Gwalior , h Bundelkhand University, Jhansi , i JJ College of Arts and Science, Pudukottai , j APS University,Rewa , k GGD University, Bilaspur , l DS College of Arts and Science for women, Perambalur , m TM Bhagalpur University,Bhagalpur , n VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur , o BarkatUllah University, Bhopal , p St. Josph's PG College, Kurnool ,q Loyola College, Chennai , r Guru Nanak Dev University, s S. V. University, Tirupati , India


We have analyzed 7,137 samples from 125 different caste, tribal and religious groups of India and 99 samples from three populations of Nepal for the length variation in the COII/tRNA Lys region of mtDNA. Samples showing length variation were subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis based on HVS-I and informative coding region sequence variation. The overall frequencies of the 9-bp deletion and insertion variants in South Asia were 1.9 and 0.6%, respectively. We have also defined a novel deep-rooting haplogroup M43 and identified the rare haplogroup H14 in Indian populations carrying the 9-bp deletion by complete mtDNA sequencing. Moreover, we redefined haplogroup M6 and dissected it into two well-defined subclades. The presence of haplogroups F1 and B5a in Uttar Pradesh suggests minor maternal contribution from Southeast Asia to Northern India. The occurrence of haplogroup F1 in the Nepalese sample implies that Nepal might have served as a bridge for the flow of eastern lineages to India. The presence of R6 in the Nepalese, on the other hand, suggests that the gene flow between India and Nepal has been reciprocal.

Received: March 21, 2007
Accepted after revision: August 27, 2007
Published online: January 28, 2008
Dr. Lalji Singh/Dr. K. Thangaraj
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad-500 007 (India)
Tel. +91 40 2716 0789, Fax +91 40 2716 0591
E-Mail lalji@ccmb.res.in, thangs@ccmb.res.in

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia. Stephen Oppenheimer

Dominic Kirkham

Before reading further, recite all you know about the culture of the S.E. Asian archipelago! did I hear you mumble something about the head-hunters of Borneo? Anything else about this third most densely populated and historic area of the globe?

Precisely! Our ignorance is not only shocking when we move out of familiar European terrain, it is also shockingly Eurocentric. Basically, our cultural view (and this includes all our belief systems) stops short at the Zagros mountains, at the feet of which lay the biblical Eden – the fertile crescent where civilization began, didn’t it?

The short answer to this question is, No! Ah, ha! – another revisionist. I hear you say, challenging the cumulative effect of centuries of education and scholarship? Well, er, Yes! Indeed, the revision of the Aryan myth – well established long before Hitler became obsessed with it, that all the really important things in the world originated among a people who now happen to inhabit Europe – the revision of this myth becomes inevitable with the growth of knowledge. Stephen Oppenheimer’s book, by enlarging our view of the world, helps us to understand why.

Oppenheimer is a medical doctor who has worked in a variety of professional capacities among the people of S.E. Asia for the last 30 years. Extensive contact with aboriginal peoples prompted him to ask questions about their cultural origins, in particular their myths of origin, which seemed to focus on the idea of a great flood – sounds familiar?

Think again! What is not so familiar is that the origin of this myth now seems closely linked to the sudden ending of the Ice Age some 14,000 years ago. The consequent rapid rise of sea level caused flooding of catastrophic proportions, in S.E. Asia covering an area the size of N. America (the so-called Sunda shelf).

Oppenheimer first attempts to clarify these events through a detailed study of geology, oceanography and archaeology. He then goes on to focus on the human effect which was the widespread dispersal of the original human population. This is where the boat begins to rock, so to speak.

The received opinion of scholars is that this area was colonised from China and India as a secondary effect of mainland civilisation. Oppenheimer’s careful sifting of the genetic and linguistic evidence reverses this picture to reveal the opposite truth of "the peoples of a lost continent who fertilised the great cultures not only of the Far East, but the Middle and Near East as well, over 7,000 years ago and provided Eurasia with its library of folklore."

Challenging stuff! It is to substantiating these claims that this large and detailed work is devoted. What is impressive is the scope of learning embraced here – an indication of how complex any critique of a ‘world view’ must be. The results do seem to substantiate the title’s claim of an "Eden in the East".

At this point I can hear people chaffing that this is just another of those ‘lost civilization’ books, a plethora of which now pack the shelves of book stores, such as Graham Hancock’s widely read "Fingerprints of the Gods" (subject of a recent TV series). This genre of ‘cult-archaeology’ seems to become ever more fantastic. It is important to note, therefore, that Oppenheimer has written a totally different sort of book, which goes for multi-disciplinary scientific evidence and testable hypotheses.

If nothing else, this book will open your eyes to a world you probably knew nothing about and in doing so change your view of the world you thought you knew something about. But be warned, you may find this account of the flood washing away some of the foundations of your cultural and religious convictions – or should I say prejudices?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
N.S. Rajaram

<b>Background: Mismatches</b>

When we examine the accounts of ancient India as given in history books still in use against the background of empirical data and the primary (literary) sources, we find fundamental mismatches between data and historical theories. These mismatches are both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Qualitatively speaking, we may note the following:

1. There is no archaeological record of any invasion and/or massive migration from Eurasia in the Vedic period. If anything we find traces of movement in the opposite direction- to West Asia and even Europe.

2. The geography described in the Rigveda corresponds to North India in the fourth millennium BC and earlier and not Europe or Eurasia.

3. The flora and fauna described in the Vedic literature, especially those found in the sacred symbols, are tropical and subtropical varieties and not from the temperate climate or the steppes.

4. The climate corresponds to that found in North India.

In quantitative terms, there is huge time gap-exceeding a thousand years-between the dates assigned to significant features and what we actually find. These include:

1. Indian writing is supposed to be based on borrowings from the Phoenicians, but the Indus (Harappan) writing is more than a thousand years older than the oldest Phoenician examples known.

2. Naturalistic art with realistic depictions is supposed to have been brought to India by the Greeks, but we find superb realistic depictions in Harappan remains. To summarize John Marshall: "The Indus artist anticipated the Greek artist by more than 2000 years."

3. Indian astronomy is claimed to be a borrowing from the Greeks, but the Vedanga Jyotisha cannot be dated later than the 14th century BC. The name Vedanga indicates it is later than the Vedas, so the astronomical references in the Vedas must be older.

4. Migrations: The major migration or invasion is supposed to have taken place after 2000 BC, but the genetic evidence shows that the people of India have lived where they are for tens of thousands of years.

It is clear that we need a serious re-examination of history- both of the chronology and the descriptive accounts. Two fundamental tasks suggest themselves: (1) establishing independent chronological markers that connect literary accounts and datable physical features; (2) determining the identity of the people of India on scientific grounds, independent of historical and/or linguistic theories.

<b>The Indian people</b>

Indian literary records are the most extensive in the ancient world. Indian archaeologists have also found many important settlements going back to prehistoric times. They include not only the well-known Harappan and pre-Harappan sites in India and Pakistan but also Neolithic and Paleolithic sites as well as cave dwellings like those at Bhimbetka. These are now being supplemented by underwater discoveries like the ones at Poompahar in Tamil Nadu and off the coast of Gujarat. In spite of this profusion of records, a basic question remains: who are the people that created all this? This remains a closed book.

It is not as if Indian records are silent about them. We have references to various peoples like the Purus, the Turvashas, the Druhyus, the Yadus and others who remain unidentified in archaeological terms. In even broader terms, although there are many theories about their languages and culture, the Aryans and the inhabitants of the south have not been archaeologically delineated. Existing historical theories make arbitrary assignments and then use these to define important kingdoms, events, and even chronology. This is a highly unsatisfactory situation. What are needed are objective methods that lead us to chronological and historical identification of the different people of India and their contribution- in archaeology and in literature.

This identification has to address two basic issues- chronological and descriptive. We need to find objective ways of relating the archaeological dates with the dates assignable to literary passages. For example, if the Harappan sites in a particular region may be assigned to a particular period-say 3000 to 2000 BC-we need to find references in the literature that refer to this period. We may note that this corresponds to what is known as the Krittika period (equinox in Pleiades in Taurus). So references to this in the literature, found for example in the Yajurveda and the Shatapatha Brahmana, may be taken as the first step in establishing a chronological link between archaeology and literature.

When we come to the identity of the inhabitants, the problem becomes qualitatively different and at once more challenging. First, we need to ask a basic question: are the inhabitants of India primarily of indigenous origin or are they the result of successive migrations? The historical theories that have dominated textbooks for over a century lean towards the latter view, especially as regards the creators of the Vedic civilization. Of late, there is a tendency to attribute even the Harappan civilization to foreign inspiration, notably from West Asia and Elam. The languages of India, the two main classifications-Aryan and Dravidian-are said to be imports. The first from some "Aryan or Indo European homeland' (or Urheimat) and the latter from Scythia.

As a result, we may say that the first task in establishing the identity of the Indian people is to get an idea of the evolutionary history of its inhabitants going back some tens of thousands of years. This takes us to the last Ice Age. In pursuing such an inquiry, we may take a clue from paleontology where data are scarce, but intelligent use of molecular biology, especially genetics, has led to important breakthroughs in our understanding of human origins in different parts of the world. As Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, one of the world's foremost human geneticists put it:

"Historians relying on written records can tell us nothing about 99.9 per cent of human evolution which preceded the invention of writing. It is the study of genetic variation, backed by language and archaeology which provides concrete evidence about the spread of cultural innovations, about the movements of peoples across the globe... and the sheer scientific absurdity of racism."

He further notes speaking of his most recent and most ambitious work: 1 "It is a history of the last hundred thousand years, relying on archaeology, genetics, and linguistics. Happily, these three disciplines are now generating many new data and insights. All of them can be expected to converge to a common story; and behind them must lie a single history."

Needless to say such an approach, while promising, is fraught with pitfalls some of which the eminent author is not entirely successful in avoiding. Upon critical examination, one finds the work in the field to be marred by oversimplifications, uncritical acceptance of discredited historical theories, and unsupported flights of fancy all of which serve to highlight the promise as well as the pitfalls that challenge researchers in the field. This perhaps is to be expected in any work that seeks to break new ground. A critical examination therefore is the need of the hour. For this reason, various claims and conclusions need to be subjected to careful scrutiny. This is what is done here, beginning with the notion of race- a colonial legacy that has so dominated historical discourse in India.

<b>Science on race</b>

Racism has no scientific basis; the genetic variation within any geographical or any other group is always greater than the variation between different groups.2 In quantitative terms, the human species on the planet now has 99.9 per cent of its genetic material in common. As a result, samples taken from any two human groups will be overwhelmingly similar. Further, we share 98.4 per cent of our genes with the chimpanzees. According to the evolutionary tree used by some paleontologists, humans are a subspecies of chimpanzees. So, anyone using genetic similarity to argue that a particular people (like the Indo Europeans) invaded a particular geographical region had better be aware that an almost equally strong case can be made for an invasion of chimpanzees!

(An even stronger case can be made for an invasion theory of Parsees, who happen to speak Gujarati. It may be argued that the invading Parsees drove away the Dravidians from western India and imposed the Gujarati language and culture. This can draw further support from the fact that numerous Kannada inscriptions have been found in the region- a legacy of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties that ruled the region in early medieval times.)

To return to race, many biologists once believed that different races carried dramatically different sets of genes. But studies in human genetics have shown that they were completely wrong. Geneticist Mark Feldman puts it this way: "The biological notion that we used to have of races is not compatible with the reality of the genetics we are finding today."

So, when one finds claims that try to revive old race based theories and their conclusions in the name of genetics research, it is necessary to look for reasons that lie beyond the frontiers of science. They will usually be found to lurk behind social, political and religious beliefs. As a rule, one cannot apply biological or other scientific rules and causes to man-made classifications like race, caste or creed. Yet, theories that purport to do precisely this persist in the literature, especially in history and anthropology. Nature does not respect man-made laws. We need to understand nature on its own terms. This is what is examined next, in the context of human populations.

<b>Genotypes and phenotypes: no "blending" of traits</b>

Many historical and anthropological theories, especially those created during the European colonial period, start with the assumption that civilizations in different parts of the world began with a massive migration from a central homeland. The most famous-or infamous, depending on one's viewpoint-is the Aryan invasion theory (AIT) of India, now being repackaged as AMT or the Aryan migration theory. It is too well known need elaboration. Though discredited, it persists in various forms because of entrenched academic and political interests.

This is not to suggest that migrations have not made an impact on history and civilization. They certainly have. But a migration thousands of years ago, is not easy to establish based on the genetic profile of a population today. To take an example: Parsees now living in Western India migrated from Persia more than a thousand years ago. We know this only because of historical records. Genetics alone may or may not be able to establish the fact, unless there is a specific genetic polymorphism like a particular blood group, which the immigrants carried- one that is found in Persia but rare in India. Physical appearance is the most misleading of indicators; what we see is only the phenotype or the reaction of the individual to the environment, and not any blending of imported traits (like skin color) into an existing population.

The idea that phenotypes (observable traits) somehow ‘blend' from parents to offspring is probably the greatest fallacy that people generally have. It was this fallacy that gave rise to colonial anthropologists like Herbert Risley coming up with classifications like Nordic Indo-Aryans and others that are supposed to be the result of the blending of the invading Nordic races with the natives, thousands of years ago. Gregor Mendel demolished the whole notion in 1865 by showing that heritable traits are transmitted from generation to generation by discrete units that we now call genes. So, if we see a gradation in color in India as we move north, it is for the same reason that we see a similar gradient in Europe- adaptation to the environment through natural selection. 3

How about race? Here genetics makes it clear that the determining factor in physical similarity is geographical proximity. In Cavalli-Sforza's words, "...the genetic distance between two populations generally increases with geographic distance separating them." This is still not the whole story, for the differences between individuals within a group are always greater than differences between different groups. That is to say, human beings now inhabiting the world are extraordinarily close, genetically speaking, though they exhibit great variability in observable traits (phenotypes) like physical appearance. This is a very complex issue: the phenotype is the result of interaction between the genotype (inherited factors) and the environment. And the same genotype can produce different phenotypes in different environments. The simplest example is language. Though all of us inherit the capacity to learn language, the language we actually use is strictly the product of the environment. The same applies to height, weight and other features that strike the eye. They are a complex mix of inheritance and environment.

Genes determine the pattern of variation in response to variation in the environment. This makes it virtually impossible to recover the past history of a people based on genetic analysis, because, the environmental conditions in which the population underwent the changes leading to its present genetic state are lost forever. A possible exception is a clearly defined polymorphism (different form) like blood group that is constant across environments. Even this can be lost due to natural selection, which may favor some groups but not others. We see this phenomenon both in the Basque region of Spain and among South American Indians. This means that the best we can do is speculate and offer plausibility arguments. This is the reason that human geneticists like Cavalli-Sforza (and his lesser imitators like Spencer Wells) frequently fall back on the phrase "it is likely" in presenting a particular scenario.

<b>Norm of reaction</b>

The great difficulty in using genetics as a tool in history arises from the fact that we are all incredibly similar. Geneticists use a measure known as the genetic distance to measure differences between population groups. This is based on the frequency of some observable genetic trait like the blood group. As Cavalli-Sforza observes: "For most genes, the frequency differences between populations are nil to very slight and their contribution to the global genetic distance between populations is close to zero." In the face of this, it would take a very brave man indeed to try to reconstruct the history of some current practices (like caste) based on genetic data.

This is further complicated by the fact that the same genotype can give rise to different phenotypes, and also, different genotypes can produce the same or similar phenotypes. In general, the relationship between the genotype and phenotype varies from one species to another, or even between phenotypic traits that are superficially similar within a species (like skin color). There is no simple way of characterizing the relationship between the genotype (even if it is known) and phenotype. For this reason, geneticists use a technical term they call the ‘norm of reaction.' It describes a range of responses of a genotype to different environments. But our norm of reaction, the manner in which human genes (or genotypes) react to different environments, is unknown.

As Harvard Geneticist Richard Lewontin observes: 4 "Except for such traits as the presence or absence of blood-group antigens, which are absolutely constant across environments, we do not have the norm of reaction for any human trait."

This fact, there is no known norm of reaction for any human trait, should be firmly kept in mind in evaluating any historical claims made supposedly on the basis of genetics. Again as Lewontin observes (Op. cit. p 163): "Reconstructing the evolutionary past of the human species is almost as difficult as predicting the future, although both are common exercises that biologists engage in, especially when they address a nonscientific public." This is doubly so for history where the time scale is shorter than in evolution and the influence of culture is incomparably greater. Regrettably, even knowledgeable geneticists (including Cavalli-Sforza) tend to indulge in speculative reconstructing of human history, especially of migrations, based on genetic data. There is of course no shortage of such theories created by historians and anthropologists in the past. This leads to an illusion of scientific plausibility to theories that have already been discredited, giving them a lease of life which they don't deserve.

<b>Most variation is within groups</b>

What then is the story of the spread of human populations that our genes do have to tell? This may be stated very simply: we humans are incredibly alike. Something like 85 percent of the genetic variation is within any group or tribe. And it does not matter what race you assign them to- Caucasian, Mongoloid, Negro or anything else. Africa is the most varied continent, but Yorkshire, for example, has 85 percent as much variation as all of Africa. (This means, among other things, that the genes responsible for the white skin of Europeans were already present in Africans before they made their way to Europe! The same holds for Aryan genes, Dravidian genes, Dalit genes and so forth even if they exist.) At the same time, at the individual level, there is enormous variability, which is what makes possible genetic matching (as in parentage) and identifying inherited disorders. By this combination of extreme similarity on a global scale and great variability among individuals, nature has conspired to keep our past locked from scrutiny- or so it seems.

This means that any two population groups can be shown to be similar by looking at the genetic inheritance. The difficulty lies in finding the differences- contained in 0.1 percent of our genes spread over a population of over 6 billion. So, a classification based on language families (which is what Indo European studies claims to do) can be shown to have a genetic basis by comparing Indian and European populations. (More rigorous studies based on blood group frequencies have shown this to be unfounded.) Some genetic marker or other can always be found that shows up a statistical quirk to which historical significance can always be attached. This doesn't make it historical fact.

The statistical method that many population geneticists use is the principal component, which realigns multi-dimensional data along directions that represent the smallest set of coordinates. (This is done with the help of eigenvalues and eigenvectors for those who might be mathematically minded.) This is based on the pioneering work of the late Sir Ronald Fisher, who carried on the work of Mendel and developed many statistical techniques that are in use today. 5

<b>Garbage-in, garbage-out: language theories</b>

It is important to note, however, that any mathematical entity (like a principal component) is meaningful only in a physical context. For example, Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 is important only because of its physical content: it establishes a fundamental relationship between mass and energy. Without the physical meaning, it is a commonplace equation that describes a parabola. Assigning arbitrary meanings to some computable mathematical quantity does not make a theory valid. A dubious theory cannot be made rigorous by appealing to mathematics; it may only obfuscate the truth. But this is what some scholars have done in attempts to correlate statistical results with theories in linguistics and anthropology. Even competent scientists like Cavalli-Sforza can fall into this trap when they allow their enthusiasm to get the better of judgment. The following examples illustrate the dangers.

The first example relates to the work of Kruksal, Dyen and Black who applied statistical tests to the languages that make up the Indo European family. 6 The most important member is of course Sanskrit, but their analysis threw up a major contradiction: Indian and Iranian languages failed the grouping test! This is a bombshell, for according to Indo European linguistics, Indo-Iranian is the lynchpin of the whole discipline, but the one quantitative test that was applied to the hypothesis discredited it.

Cavalli-Sforza is too good a scientist to ignore the problem. So he contents himself by observing that his (and his group's) analysis gives a similar linguistic grouping, "but slightly contradicting the results of Kruksal and his colleagues." It is more than a slight contradiction. In fact, the author himself had noted in his earlier work that the Kruksal, Dyen and Black study "...found no similarity at all between Italic and Celtic languages, nor between Indian and Iranian ones... The non-identification of an Indo-Iranian group by Dyen, et al. is the major departure from the conclusions accepted by the majority of traditional linguists." (Great Human Diasporas, Addison-Wesley, 1995: page 190)

This is quite unequivocal, and not slightly contradicting, as he suggests in his more recent Genes, Peoples and Languages. To his credit, in a more recent article, Cavalli-Sforza appears to have gone back to his original position- that there is a problem with the conclusion of linguists. He and his coauthors note that genetic data don't support the linguistic, or caste and/or race based division of the Indian population.7 The real meaning of all this: if the empirical base of a subject is weak, genetics and mathematics may be used to give an appearance of scientific soundness, but it is a bubble that waits to be punctured by critical scrutiny. "Garbage-in, garbage-out" works in genetics no less than it does in computing and statistics.

It is the same story with the Kurgan homeland theory of Indo European speakers. (This refers to prehistoric settlements in the region north of the Black Sea in Ukraine.) Since there are no genetic methods for detecting what language a people spoke thousands of years ago-or speak today-its proponents have to exercise considerable ingenuity in support of their theory. This they have done. The Kurgan people have left no written records of any kind. Noting this Cavalli-Sforza observes: "Without written documents, it is very difficult for archaeologists to say what language was spoken in this region at the time." Difficult? Impossible seems a better description. Apparently, the argument for the Kurgans as the original Indo European speakers is based on the fact that some horses have been found buried in the region. The logic of this lies beyond the grasp of this writer who happens to be a mathematical scientist.

<b>Methodological confusion</b>

Several observers have noted that the tree diagrams used to classify language families bear a striking similarity to tree diagrams used in biology, and later, in evolutionary genetics. From this some have concluded that there must be some mysterious connection. This is no accident. It is simply an artifact of analysis, which it would be naïve to see as the manifestation of a natural law. Here is the story in brief. August Schleicher (1821 - 1868), an amateur biologist, borrowed the idea of tree diagrams for classifying species from biology and applied it to languages. Later, scientists applied the same tool in evolutionary biology and genetics. So, the fact that language tree diagrams bear a resemblance to tree diagrams used by some geneticists is simply the result of this historical accident.

Indo European scholars are now hailing the resemblance between the tree diagrams used in genetics and linguistics as scientific validation of their conclusions. It is nothing of the sort: it is simply a restatement of their method and the fact that both- population genetics and linguistics have borrowed the same tool from the same source. This was noted as far back as 1935 by Leonard Bloomfield: 8 "The earlier studies of Indo-European did not realize that the family tree diagram was merely a statement of their method: they accepted the uniform parent languages and their sudden clear-cut splitting, as historical reality." But some linguists and anthropologists are now going further, attempting to revive discredited race theories in the name of genetics research. This is what we may examine next, looking especially at migrations and the important but neglected concept of genetic drift.

<b>Evolutionary forces: Founders' Effect</b>

The human species is young, no more than 10,000 generations or 200,000 years old. Modern humans evolved in Africa between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. As things currently stand, the major geographical races-meaning the people that inhabit different parts of the world-are believed to have diverged from their common African ancestors between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. This corresponds to some 1500 generations. This means that all the physical differences we see in non-African humans today are the result of changes in these 40 to 50 thousand years that took place after our ancestors left Africa. But the seeds of these or the potential for these changes - like the capacity to learn language - must already have been there in our African ancestors. Evolutionary forces acting in conjunction with the environment have brought about these changes. In the process they have produced the rich diversity of peoples and cultures that we see in the world today.

Four evolutionary forces have contributed to the evolution of modern humans: natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and migration (or gene exchange). Natural selection selects those members of the population that have the best chance of survival in a particular environment. It is in reality an elimination process, with those members with low probability of survival and reproduction being allowed to become extinct. Mutation is random change in the genetic structure that is passed on to successive generations. The great diversity of organisms and species that we see on the planet is the result of mutation and natural selection working together. It is the main creative force in evolution; evolution is the great unifying theme in biology.

Observable features in different geographical regions, like the high concentration of brown skin pigmentation in parts of India, Southeast Asia and Africa are adaptive characteristics. The same is true of the high frequency of hemoglobin S in parts of Africa, Yemen and South India. This confers an advantage to its possessors in the form of resistance to malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. This advantage was lost when some of these Africans ended up on the American continent as slaves. The same hemoglobin made them susceptible to the disease sickle cell anemia. This shows the importance of the environment in natural selection.

Drift (or genetic drift) works differently and accounts for fluctuations in gene frequencies in small populations. "The smaller the population, the greater the fluctuation in the gene frequency over generations," is how Cavalli-Sforza puts it. This allows small population groups to survive, provided the environment is benign. A good example is furnished by the Parsees of Western India. They began as a small group of immigrants arriving in India more than a thousand years ago. When successful, as the Parsees were, the members of such a group become ‘founders'. For this reason, the phenomenon is also called the Founders' Effect.

The key though is survival by adaptation in the new environment. Founders' Effect is important because, if the founders succeed, the population that it gives rise to will also succeed rapidly. This was the case with the Parsees in India a thousand years ago and may also be the case today with the Indian immigrants in the United States. On the other hand, the Vikings who landed in North America several centuries before Columbus's voyage could not survive in the hostile environment. They became extinct within a few generations. Unlike the Parsees, they did not become founders. The environment was against them.

Genetic drift is important in history and can work in different ways. But a genetic analysis cannot reveal if a particular feature (phenotype) in a population is the result of drift or natural selection. For example, if there is some observable feature in Parsees that distinguishes them from their surrounding populations (this is not known), we can only attribute it to their being of Persian origin; we cannot prove it by genetic analysis. We may assume that this is due to genetic drift, only because of our knowledge of history. At the same time, a proper understanding of drift can be a useful tool in reconstructing history, for the Founders' Effect may well prove to be a major historical force, as it has been the case in the United States and in Australia. This may also have been the case 50,000 years ago, when our modern ancestors moved out of Africa and settled in different parts of the world, possibly mixing with or even replacing earlier inhabitants. This is what seems to have happened when modern humans encountered the Neanderthals of Europe. (See Figure 1)

<b>Drift and migration in India</b>

The Founders' Effect is usually the outcome of migration of a small population followed by drift. It need not be permanent. To begin with, it needs a benign environment in which the population can thrive in isolation. But drift can accentuate negative features that work against long term survival due to excessive in breeding in the small population. In addition, the genetic identity of the small population may be lost due to changed historical and social conditions, when the founders and their descendants mix freely with the local populations. This is what seems to have happened following the Mongol invasions in Russia and West Asia. This is true also of the Delhi Sultanate established by Central Asian Turks, and later, the Mogul Empire. There was no Founders' Effect. (We should not confuse cultural traits like language, art and dress with the Founders Effect, which is strictly a biological and demographic phenomenon.)

Until recently, and even now to some extent, histories of India have emphasized the impact of migrations (and invasions) going back to ancient times. Karl Marx, who incidentally knew next to nothing about India, asserted that the history of India is nothing but the "record of successive intruders." We may now have the scientific tools to test these theories- like the Aryan invasion. All attempts so far to establish the presence of European (or Eurasian) genetic traits in the Indian population, especially the upper castes, have failed. Brahmins for example, share the physical traits of the rest of the people in the region where they come from. Kerala Brahmins for example, look like other Keralites and not like Kashmiri Pandits, much less European invaders who were supposed to have been their ancestors thousands of years ago. The same is true of their genetic traits to the extent they are known.

A comparison with the Parsees is illuminating. The Parsees are a Founder Group. According to the various Aryan invasion-migration theories, the upper castes, including the Brahmins, should also be a Founder Group. But unlike the Parsees, who until recently were concentrated in small isolated communities in Western India, Brahmins are found all over India. They show no indication of any peculiar genetic traits that may be attributed to the Founders' Effect or even genetic drift. (Cultural influences like the study of Sanskrit and rituals are not genetic traits.) Also, literary and archaeological records show that India has been heavily populated for at least 5000 years. So, it would have been impossible for Founder Groups of Brahmins to be established in all parts of India through diffusion, while simultaneously genetic drift would have preserved their genetic traits. This is a clear contradiction. It is a serious indictment of scholarship that this simple analysis has not been applied to these theories.

Genetic studies of European populations based on the frequency of RH gene (blood group), suggests a gradual movement of humans from south and east. This is the reverse of the gradient that would have appeared if the migration were from Europe. (See Figure 2) All the different forms (known as alleles) of the RH gene are present in Africa and Asia also, though the frequency is less than in Europe. Combined with archaeology, some scholars attribute the increasing RH gene frequency in Europe to the diffusion of agriculture from Asia into Europe. But we do not know when the spread took place, if at all it did, so the picture is hopelessly confused.

A common error is to confuse linguistic and other cultural diffusion with genetic drift caused by migration. Migration doesn't always result in the Founders' Effect and drift, except under highly favorable conditions. But the confusion persists with its authors generally unaware of the phenomenon involved. In fact, it can be said that the whole discipline of Indo European studies rests on this confusion. This is the reason that biological (race) and cultural (language) features are readily interchangeable, and often lead to the same conclusions.
Genetics of caste and race 9</b>

In the past few years, there have been several articles purporting to show that the Indian caste system was imposed by invading (or migrating) Indo-Europeans-or ‘Aryans'-though the term Aryan has lost some of its appeal following Hitler. This is claimed to have scientific support in the form of genetic evidence of the present day Indian population. In an article titled "Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations," eighteen authors, mainly from Utah in the U.S. and Vishakapatnam in India, led by Michael Bamshad of the Department of Pediatrics from the University of Utah make the claim that there were several waves of immigration into India, the last of which (from Europe) was responsible for the caste system. In their words: 10

"In the most recent of these waves [of immigration], Indo-European speaking people from West Eurasia entered India from the Northwest and diffused throughout the subcontinent. They purportedly admixed with or displaced Dravidic-speaking populations. Subsequently, they may have established the Hindu caste system and placed themselves in castes of higher rank."

To begin with it is palpably absurd to mix genetics and language: how does one distinguish the genes of "Dravidic-speaking populations"? In his press statements, Bamshad has gone a good deal further, claiming, "we are able to demonstrate unequivocally that the upper castes are more similar to Europeans than lower castes..."

The first point to note is that it is impossible to trace the origin of a small segment of a population like upper caste Indians through genetic analysis. We have already seen that the genetic variation within any group-like the upper castes-is always greater than the variation between two groups like the upper caste Indians and Europeans. Scientifically speaking it requires no great effort to demolish the claim. This can be further illustrated with the example of the Zoroastrian Parsees who are fairly recent immigrants (by Indian standards of time), having emigrated from Persia only some 1200 years ago.

This of course, we know from historical records. But Bamshad and his colleagues would have us believe that they can detect this from genetic analysis, and even "unequivocally demonstrate" it. This means their genetic analysis should be able to tell us how the Parsees living in Western India happen to be speaking Gujarati. To go by the Aryan invasion analogy, the migrating (or invading) Parsees brought the ancestor of the Gujarati language and imposed it on the native population, which the Bamshad method can prove with the help of genetic analysis!

A point to note is that despite its appeal to science, it is simply a reincarnation of nineteenth century colonial race prejudice. No less a ‘scholar' than Max Müller wrote: " ...how the [English] descendants of the same [Aryan] race, to which the first conquerors and masters of India belonged, return ...to accomplish the glorious work of civilization, which had been left unfinished by their Aryan brethren."

There was more than scholarship involved in this, for Max Müller was as much a colonial-missionary politician as he was a scholar, for which he was richly rewarded. As he proudly declared in his Autobiography: "Lord Derby, then Secretary of State for India, declared that the scholars who had discovered and proved the close relationship between Sanskrit and English, had rendered more valuable service to the [British] Government of India than many a regiment." The most eloquent statement relating this ‘history' to the British rule came from Stanley Baldwin, in a speech he made in the House of Commons in 1929:

"Ages and ages ago, there sat, side by side, the ancestors of the English, Rajputs and Brahmins [upper caste Indians]. Now, after ages, the two branches of the great Aryan ancestry have again been brought together by Providence.... By establishing British rule in India, God said to the British, "I have brought you and the Indians together after a long separation, not in order that you should lord over them, or that you should exploit them, but in order that should recognize your kinship with them.... It is your duty to raise them to their own level as quickly as possible, and work together; brothers as you are, for the evolution of humanity...." "

From brotherhood, it took only a step to turn them into oppressors. This was done with a sleight of hand by missionary ‘scholars' and colonial officials. Anthropologists like Herbert Risley, a colonial official, equated caste with race with the help of what he and his colleagues claimed were measurements of facial features, of the nose in particular. Risley wrote in 1891: "The social position of a caste varies inversely as its nasal index.... Community of race... is the real meaning of the caste system."

All this ‘science' was part of the agenda to divide the people of India into antagonistic groups under labels like Aryan and Dravidian to facilitate colonial rule and conversion to Christianity. The most influential figure in this was Robert Caldwell, Bishop of Tirunelveli, who wrote the highly influential Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages. First published in 1856, it continues its influence today, especially in Tamil Nadu. This is due less to its scholarly content than the fact that it became the political manifesto of Dravidian politicians who not infrequently engaged in obscene conduct towards innocent people that were labeled as descendants of Aryan oppressors.

This digression is necessary to understand the sources and motivations of the research of men like Michael Bamshad who would seek to prove all this with the help of genetics. This is worth a brief look.

<b>Semantic confusion</b>

A study that appeared in February 2004 takes this exercise further.11 Specifically it claims that tribal females and caste females are of indigenous origin while caste males are descended from Eurasian ancestors. Further, they claim that this is supported by linguistic and archaeological evidence. Upon closer examination, one finds that their ‘linguistic evidence' is nothing more than the conclusion of linguists derived under the assumption of the Aryan invasion, which, as previously noted, cannot withstand scrutiny. The archaeological evidence is only an interpretation (by Walter Fairservis) of archaeological remains, again assuming the Aryan invasion theory to be valid. So it is no evidence at all but a circular argument that proves itself. It is nothing but a combination of ignorance and shoddy science.

It is worth noting that the authors of the study depend on the work of Michael Bamshad and associates that has been refuted, with one of his co-authors repudiating his claims. 10 For example, Bamshad's label of Europe was applied to "anything West of the Indus," and his sample was from the East Coast of India. Further, as previously noted, claims were made about Indo European language speakers, who, needless to say are not distinguished by genetic features. Further, there is the claim that these Eurasian (Aryans)-males only-arrived in India 3500 years ago (1500 BC). There is no genetic method of determining this date; Max Müller derived the 1500 BC date for the Aryan invasion based on the Biblical belief that the world was created was on 23 October 4004 BC!

In evaluating all this, it helps to recall Risley's claim, "Community of race... is the real meaning of the caste system." We are asked to believe that theories about racial invasions and migrations, concocted by nineteenth century colonial officials like Risley and missionary propagandists like Bishop Caldwell-and modern Dravidian politicians-has all been proved by the magic of genetic research!

A close look at these studies show them to be full of technical sounding terminology in an attempt to convince the uninformed reader that high science is being used to derive profound results of great importance. But an informed reader, familiar with quantitative methods, will have little difficulty in recognizing this as scientific name dropping- an example of what physicist Robert Park calls "Voodoo Science." 12

<b>Recent revisions</b>

Happily, some recent studies in which Cavalli-Sforza has been a leader, have taken steps to correct this error. 7 As previously noted, an important article based on a study of Indian tribal and caste populations by Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues observes: "Taken together, these results show that Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have received limited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene. The phylogeography [neighboring branches] of the primal mtDNA and Y-chromosome founders suggests that these southern Asian Pleistocene coastal settlers from Africa would have provided the inocula for the subsequent differentiation of the distinctive eastern and western Eurasian gene pools." (Italics added)

Put in non-technical language, it means that the Indian population-upper castes, tribals (or indigenous peoples), Dravidians and so forth-are mainly of indigenous origin, and the contribution of immigrants (gene flow) is negligible. This is a major blow to the many invasion-migration theories that continue to dominate academic (and political) discourse in India. These of course hold that only the adivasis (‘first settlers') as tribals are often called, are indigenous while caste Hindus are descended from later immigrants, with the upper castes made up of immigrants from Europe. What these careful scientific studies have shown is this is simply not true.

A basic fallacy in many of these analyses is to compare paternal lineages using Y-chromosomes and maternal lineages using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). (Y-chromosomes are passed on along the male line while the mtDNA are transmitted along the female line.) The mtDNA mutate (change) much more rapidly than other DNA (or nuclear DNA) - by as much as 15 to 20 times. The Y-chromosomes on the other hand hardly change at all. As Walter Bodmer, one of the originators of the Human Genome Project observed: 13 "No matter where they look, scientists have found that the Y chromosome, regardless of race or creed, has a molecular configuration that hardly varies at all. It does not matter whether the sample is Japanese, or from a Bushman, or a South American Indian, its composition produces extraordinarily few distinctive characteristics and none that can distinguish human populations from each other..."

<b>Origins of Indian populations</b>

Where does all this leave one with regard to the origin of Indian populations? Put simply, unlike the Americans or the Australians, Indians are overwhelmingly of Indian origin. There must have been migrations in past several thousand years, but their influence is negligible. The social structure of Indian society, or the linguistic evolution for that matter, cannot be attributed to migrations. But there is more: the Y-chromosome patterns suggest that modern Indians are descended from migrants from Africa who settled along coastal regions, that is to say in peninsular India. (Note that this Y-chromosome pattern changes hardly at all.) In addition, some mutations in the blood groups found in South India, which evolved as resistance to malaria, are found in Africa and South India. This is further evidence of migration from Africa to Coastal India. This took place according to modern studies-by no means a consensus-some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. 14

This means: all of us are immigrants, but hardly any the result of any recent ones - like the Aryan invasion 3500 years ago or an earlier Dravidian migration from Scythia as Bishop Caldwell would have it. To understand the evolution of the Indian people, and the civilization they created-Pre-Vedic, Pre-Harappan and so forth-we need look deeper into the early settlements in peninsular India, especially in the coastal regions. It is probably no accident that the oldest settlements in India are being found in the peninsular region, like the caves of Bhimbetka, and, more recently, underwater settlements off the Gujarat coast and also Tamil Nadu. This is where historians need to look. But a multi-disciplinary approach is essential.


The picture one obtains from a study of our evolutionary past is one of great diversity- biological diversity as well as cultural diversity. They do not lend themselves to simple, not to say simplistic, explanations based invading people bringing forth their genes, cultures and languages supplanting local populations- all in a few thousand years. We now have the beginnings of the technical tools needed to unlock the secrets of human past, but it needs many more years of dedicated study and research in several disciplines. It is important, however, to familiarize oneself with the basics of human genetics to be able to make use of the wealth of ideas and data that are becoming available to historians. 15 This probably calls for a new generation of historians that is less intimidated by science and also less deferential towards anything coming from Western academia as valid. Indian scientists and technologists have achieved this progress, but humanities scholars in India are yet to.

The following words of Sri Aurobindo written seven decades ago remain substantially true, especially in history: "... [that] Indian scholars have not been able to form themselves into a great and independent school of learning is due to two causes: the miserable scantiness of the mastery in Sanskrit provided by our universities, crippling to all but born scholars, and our lack of sturdy independence which makes us over-ready to defer to European [and Western] authority."


1. Genes, Peoples and Languages by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza 2001 Penguin, U.K. Pages: 228 + xii. Price: £7.99, Preface. See also The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells (2002). Penguin, India. It is based on a television series drawing upon Cavalli-Sforza's work, but often fails to distinguish between science and speculative theories, especially in linguistics and history. Quite different is Mapping Human History: Genes, Race and Our Common Origins by Steve Olson (2002), Mariner Books: New York. Olson makes a distinction between what is scientifically established and speculation about origins, especially when writing about linguistic groups.
2. For example, this means that the variation within one caste group (like upper caste Hindus) will be greater than between upper castes and so-called adivasis or aborginals.
3. The skin color tends to get darker as we move closer to the equator and lighter as we move towards the poles. This is due to the effect of natural selection. Human pigmentation has evolved to be dark enough to prevent sunlight from destroying the nutrient called folate but light enough to foster the production of vitamin D. The fact that we see wide variation in skin color in India and Europe is evidence that they have lived there long enough for natural selection to work and therefore not recent migrants. Even then, there is a tendency to argue from extreme cases. There are fair skinned Keralites and dark skinned Kashmiris, but we tend to ignore them!
4. Human Diversity by Richard Lewontin (2000), New York: Scientific American Library, p 22.
5. R.A. Fisher was the founder of two important closely related disciplines- population genetics and mathematical statistics. Cavalli-Sforza carried forward Fisher's work in population genetics while C.R. Rao, another of Fisher's students, came to be recognized as the world's foremost mathematical statistician. (Thirty years ago, I was fortunate enough to be Rao's student at Indiana University in Bloomington, where I learnt some of this at first hand.)
6. The Vocabulary and Method of Reconstructing Language Trees: Innovations and Large Scale Applications by J.B. Kruksal, I. Dyen and P. Black, in Mathematics in the Archaeological and Historical Sciences (1971) edited by F.R. Hodson, D.G. Kendall, and P. Tatu, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
7. The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers Persist Both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations: by T. Kisilvid, S. Rootsi, M. Metspahi, S. Mastana, K. Kaldma, J. Parik, E. Metspalu, M. Adojan, H.-V. Tolk, V. Stepanov, M. Gölge, E. Usanga, S.S. Papiha, C. Cinniğolu, R. King, L. Cavalli-Sforza, P.A. Unterhill and R. Villems. 2003. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72: pp 313 - 332.
8. See Language by L. Bloomfield (1935), London: Allen and Unwin, p 310. See also Chapter 4 (Emperor's Clothes) in The Politics of History (1995) by N.S. Rajaram, New Delhi: Voice of India.
9. The material in this section (except for facts on genetics) is discussed in detail in The Invasion that Never Was by Michel Danino (2001), Mysore: Mira Aditi. See also, The Politics of History, Op. cit.
10. Genetic Evidence on the Origin of Indian Caste Populations by M. Bamshad, T. Kivisild, W.S. Watkins, M.E. Dixon, C.E. Ricker, B.B. Rao, J.M. Naidu, B.V.R. Prasad, P.G. Reddy, A. Rasanagam, et al. 2001, Genome Research 11, pp 994 - 1004. (This article has a checkered history. When I pointed out the fallacies contained in the article to the editor of Genome Research, he stated that he was not the one responsible for its publication!)
11. Independent Origins of Indian Caste and Tribal Parental Lineages by Richard Cordaux, Robert Aunger, Gilian Bentley, Ivan Nasidze, S.M. Sirajuddin and Mark Stoneking, Current Biology, Vol. 14, February 2004: 231 - 35. This division into male migrants and indigenous females became necessary because, with no European traces in the mitochondria, the females could not have come from Europe. Cavalli-Sforza on the other hand concluded that females moved around more than the males, who for the most part stayed put in one location!
12. Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud by Robert Park (2000). New York: Oxford University Press. Park makes the telling observation: "This brings up another symptom of pathological science ...: there does not appear to be anything resembling progress. The evidence never gets any stronger. Decades pass, and there is never a clear photograph of a flying saucer or the Loch Ness monster. Ten years after the announcement of cold fusion, results are no more persuasive than those obtained in the first weeks." (P 199) In the case of these race theories, including their linguistic incarnations, not decades but centuries have passed. To Park's observation, I would add another: while no evidence may be forthcoming, terminology multiples without end. This is what we are witnessing in these publications- the same conclusions being recycled in ever more profuse technical sounding verbiage.
13. The Book of Man: The Quest to Discover Our Genetic Heritage by Walter Bodmer and Robin McKie (1994), London: Abacus, p 225.
14. This is not accepted by several scientists, especially those who rely more on fossil data than on molecular analysis alone. See for example, The Multiregional Evolution of Humans by Alan G. Thorne and Milford H. Wolpoff that appeared in the April 1992 issue of Scientific American. This was updated in the Special Edition of Scientific American, Volume 13, Number 2, as A New Look at Human Evolution, that appeared in the summer of 2003. Thorne and Wolpoff state (p 46): "Both fossil and genetic evidence argue that ancient ancestors of various human groups lived where they are found today." This pushes back the date our ancestors in India by hundreds of thousands of years. See also The First Chimpanzee: In Search of Human Origins by John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas (2003), New York: Barnes and Noble, for an interesting account of the various controversies surrounding human origins and world populations.
15. A useful place to start is Human Diversity by Richard Lewontin (1995), New York: Scientific American Library. It is a popular work by one of the world's foremost human geneticists. Those more technically inclined might consult, The Molecular Biology of the Gene by James Watson, Tania Baker, Stephen Bell, Alexander Gann, Michael Levine and Richard Losick, 5th edition (2004), Delhi: Pearson Education. It does not, however, discuss population genetics. Genes and Evolution by A.P. Jha (1994), Delhi: MacMillan, India, is more comprehensive but can be hard going. Several others are cited in the article.

<i>About the author:
N.S. Rajaram is a mathematical scientist and historian whose books include Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization (with David Frawley) and The Deciphered Indus Script (with Natwar Jha). He is the Dean of Humanities at the Vivekananda Yoga Maha Vidyapeeth in Bangalore.</i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> 'The first human immigrant was from India'
4/5/2008 10:45:57 AM

The first human migrant ever could have been an Indian and that, too, from Madurai - that is, if research by a professor from the Madurai University is to be believed.

A billion to 400 million years ago, the Big Drift occurred when the single landmass on the planet broke apart to form what we today call continents. Fifty-seventy thousand years ago the first human made his way out to colonise Eurasia, from the cradle of human civilisation Africa, through the coastal region via the land bridge at a time when the sea levels were low; this human is believed to represent the species that first migrated out of Africa.

And if Professor R M Pitchappan from Madurai University is to be believed, Indians perhaps were the first ever migrants out of Africa.

"Gene M130 is a marker for the first human migration out of Africa, that took place in India 70,000 years ago. We have found this in the DNA of members of a community in a village near Madurai," says R M Pitchappan of Madurai Kamraj University. "There is no other marker older than M130 in India. This way we have been able to identify the first human settlers in India, who obviously came out of Africa. Because all later migrations do not have his marker, it is evident that they were the first ‘Indians,’” he said.

His findings are being presented on Discovery Channel’s new six-part series The Story of India starting April 16, he added.

Gene mutations are key to tracing human history because with the help of mutations that has built up on the one surviving copy, geneticists can arrange people in lineages and estimate the time of origin of each lineage.

Gene M130, the defining gene marker that the professor speaks of has living proof in the form of a man called Vidumurai, who claims to be a descendant of the first human migrant.

"This discovery has completely come as a surprise. I am happy to know that I am the descendant of the first human migrant into India," said Vidumurai to the press on Thursday (April 3).

But this doesn't seem to be the Eureka moment in the scientific circles.

"If anybody finds a tribe that is 70,000 years old, it is not surprising. It is already well established from our studies that there are not only tribes from Andabar and Nicobar islands but also several other such tribes," said Dr Lalji Singh, a reputed molecular biologist who is currently Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), located in Hyderabad.

Pitchappan said it is believed that the entire human race is essentially African - "brothers and sisters separated by 2,000 generations" - but if proved that Indians were the first human migrants then it will add a defining chapter to our 120,000-year-old evolutionary history. <b>The recent findings serve as strong evidence that the rest of the world may have been populated from India. There is already a growing view among geneticists that South Asians populated the rest of world.</b>

Central Asia is said to be the most important reservoir of genetic diversity, and the source of at least three major waves of migration leading into Europe, the Americas and India.

this is haplo C which some have tried to overinterpret as east asian, rather than as a root type. CCMB Hyderabad, despite some bigoted interpretations from one thangaraj, is putting in good work.
Study says near extinction threatened people 70,00 years ago

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Thu Apr 24, 6:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests. The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age.

"This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history," Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence, said in a statement. "Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

Wells is director of the Genographic Project, launched in 2005 to study anthropology using genetics. The report was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Previous studies using mitochondrial DNA — which is passed down through mothers — have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

The migrations of humans out of Africa to populate the rest of the world appear to have begun about 60,000 years ago, but little has been known about humans between Eve and that dispersal.

The new study looks at the mitochondrial DNA of the Khoi and San people in South Africa which appear to have diverged from other people between 90,000 and 150,000 years ago.

The researchers led by Doron Behar of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel and Saharon Rosset of IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and Tel Aviv University concluded that humans separated into small populations prior to the Stone Age, when they came back together and began to increase in numbers and spread to other areas.

Eastern Africa experienced a series of severe droughts between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago and the researchers said this climatological shift may have contributed to the population changes, dividing into small, isolated groups which developed independently.

Paleontologist Meave Leakey, a Genographic adviser, commented: "Who would have thought that as recently as 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate had reduced our population to such small numbers that we were on the very edge of extinction."

Today more than 6.6 billion people inhabit the globe, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The research was funded by the National Geographic Society, IBM, the Waitt Family Foundation, the Seaver Family Foundation, Family Tree DNA and Arizona Research Labs.


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The Genographic Project: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/genographic

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