Skip to comments.Potential Origins of Europeans Found
Posted on 11/11/2005 1:09:32 AM PST by AlaskaErik
A study of DNA from ancient farmers in Europe shows sharp differences from that of modern Europeans results that are likely to add fuel to the debate over European origins.
Researchers led by Wolfgang Haak of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, argue that their finding supports the belief that modern residents of central Europe descended from Stone Age hunter-gatherers who were present 40,000 years ago, and not the early farmers who arrived thousands of years later.
But other anthropologists questioned that conclusion, arguing that the available information isn't sufficient to support it.
Haak's team used DNA from 24 skeletons of farmers from about 7,500 years ago, collected in Germany, Austria and Hungary. Six of the skeletons 25 percent belonged to the "N1a" human lineage, according to genetic signatures in their mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother.
The N1a marker is extremely rare in modern Europeans, appearing in just 0.2 percent.
"This was a surprise. I expected the distribution of mitochondrial DNA in these early farmers to be more similar to the distribution we have today in Europe," co-author Joachim Burger, also from Johannes Gutenberg University, said in a statement.
"Our paper suggests that there is a good possibility that the contribution of early farmers could be close to zero," added co-author Peter Forster from the University of Cambridge in England.
Absence of the marker in modern people indicates they are descended from ancient hunter-gatherers rather than the later-arriving farmers, the researchers said.
But others challenged that conclusion.
"The data are new, the analysis is not compelling, and the conclusions are illogical," said anthropologist Milford H. Wolpoff of the University of Michigan.
Anthropologist Joao Zilhao of the University of Bristol, England, noted that the study didn't compare the DNA of the ancient farmers with that of the ancient hunter-gatherers, adding that there are plenty of hunter-gatherer burials in German cave sites that could have been sampled for comparison.
Without that comparison it's hard to say that the difference between modern DNA and that of the ancient farmers means current people are descended from the ancient hunter-gatherers.
"In this particular case, the reason may be because of a farmer input that was subsequently diluted, assuming that the N1a haplotype is a marker of spreading farmers, and that it was as rare in pre-Neolithic Europe as it is today," Zilhao said.
But, he added, "I see nothing in the data that would necessarily carry the exclusion of, for instance, the opposite hypothesis ... that (the N1a marker) represents the incorporation of hunter-gatherer females in the farming communities that are coming into Europe about 7,500 years ago, that incorporation being in such small numbers that, eventually, it all but disappeared."
The research was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
The most interesting things going on right now with language have to do with designing computer languages--they are beginning to develop programs whereby computers can *generate* their own grammar.
I don't even remember Esperanto being taught at the college level. If it's not taught consistantly in schools and/or spoken at home, how the heck was it to catch on?!
That was my point. Just because a language or a DNA sequence LOOKS ad-hoc, doesn't mean that it isn't intelligently designed. Truely great design may conform to Plato's forms, but that doesn't mean that the form will be anything close to easily apparent. We should be humble both in our ability to design and our ability to recognize it.
My point exactly, it's well designed, but considered useless.
Most European languages are part of the Indo-European language tree.
we dont come from india
Any evidence for this claim, other than subtle racism?
we are from here
The ancestors of Europeans left Africa a lot earlier than that.
Why are you so opposed to this idea? Is it because (gasp) it would mean that white people are related to black people? Oh, the horror!
Take the journey, I think you'll find it interesting.
why didnt i thunk that?!, - must be a rascist, and sit in the back of the class!
It's not my business to speculate on your motives, but your knowledge of anthropology seems lacking.
While that's somewhat true (although that fails to explain how Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) speaks) we're not consciously directing the evolution of our language, so it is not correct to say that language is designed. I'm not a linguist, but my understanding nevertheless is that the most popular mechanism for linguistic evolution is quite a bit different from biological evolution.
I see words on the screen, but haven't a clue what you're trying to say. Are you drunk?
Your assumptions are incorrect. In case it matters, I can directly trace my European background to at least 1389.
with your pee-pee choice of sentence structuring and verb noun-displacement. are you a gypsy? speaketh ancient sanskrit? spriechen sie skrit?
Ah, I see. People who speak Roma or Hindi use "pee-pee" language. I smell racist troll.
post pyramids, the mesopotamian kicked us out of our caves by scaring us with the unbeknowethed fire. then took our place. oh yeah, but they kept our women and created us only 10,000 years before present
What the deuce are you talking about?
An even more astounding fact is that there is a keyboard alternative to the standard Querty keyboard (circa 1870)that is easier to learn and to use. It would make nearly everyone a faster typist.
But is it taught? NOOOOOOOO. Because everyone still has the old keyboard and it's considered too difficult to switch over.
Thank you for quoting the troll's message, so I could get a sens of what was going on here. I hate it when I come upon the scene late and the trolls' posts have been pulled.
the available information isn't sufficient to support it.Same warning goes for the Homo Heidelbergensis mtDNA "study" from a few years back.
Haak's team used DNA from 24 skeletons of farmers from about 7,500 years ago, collected in Germany, Austria and Hungary. Six of the skeletons -- 25 percent -- belonged to the "N1a" human lineage, according to genetic signatures in their mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother. The N1a marker is extremely rare in modern Europeans, appearing in just 0.2 percent.To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Absence of the marker in modern people indicates they are descended from ancient hunter-gatherers rather than the later-arriving farmers, the researchers said... "The data are new, the analysis is not compelling, and the conclusions are illogical," said anthropologist Milford H. Wolpoff of the University of Michigan.Milford said that because using mtDNA (assuming that it is strictly matrilinear and has a constant rate of change, standard assumptions, which are of course not true) doesn't tell anything about whom the farmers married. :')
Neanderthals Like UsEven today, features thought to be Neanderthal are as familiar as the portraits in a grandparent's home: the sloping forehead, the heavy brow, the stocky, big-boned physique... many Neanderthal features persist in European visages today: a unique hole in the jawbone, the shape of a suture in the cheek, a highly angled nose... Meanwhile, archaeologists are questioning their assumptions about the Neanderthal lifestyle. In particular, it has become less clear exactly who invented the Upper Paleolithic. One assemblage in France, dated between 39,000 and 34,000 years ago, has bone and shell pendants, carved teeth and beads, as well as finely worked tools like the Cro-Magnons used. But the only bones found with this technology are Neanderthal... [Ian] Tattersall says studies that use DNA from contemporary populations to reconstruct human genealogy support the idea of a single, small source of Homo sapiens... The mtDNA extracted from Neanderthal bones doesn't match anything in the modern world. But last year, when geneticists compared mtDNA from an early modern Australian with contemporary mtDNA, it didn't match either."
by Karen WrightFathers can be influential tooBiologists have warned for some years that paternal mitochondria do penetrate the human egg and survive for several hours... Erika Hagelberg from the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues... were carrying out a study of mitochondrial DNAs from hundreds of people from Papua-New Guinea and the Melanesian islands in order to study the history of human migration into this region of the western Pacific... People from all three mitochondrial groups live on Nguna. And, in all three groups, Hagelberg's group found the same mutation, a mutation previously seen only in an individual from northern Europe, and nowhere else in Melanesia, or for that matter anywhere else in the world... Adam Eyre-Walker, Noel Smith and John Maynard Smith from the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK confirm this view with a mathematical analysis of the occurrence of the so-called 'homoplasies' that appear in human mitochondrial DNA... reanalysis of a selection of European and African mitochondrial DNA sequences by the Sussex researchers suggests that recombination is a far more likely cause of the homoplasies, as they find no evidence that these sites are particularly variable over all lineages.
by Eleanor LawrenceIs Eve older than we thought?"Two studies prove that the estimation of both when and where humanity first arose could be seriously flawed... The ruler scientists have been using is based on genetic changes in mitochondria, simple bacteria that live inside us and control the energy requirements of our cells. Mitochondria are passed from mother to daughter and their genes mutate at a set rate which can be estimated - so many mutations per 1,000 years... However, these calculations are based upon a major assumption which, according to Prof John Maynard Smith, from Sussex University, is 'simply wrong'. The idea that underpins this dating technique is that mitochondria, like some kinds of bacteria, do not have sex... Two groups of researchers, Prof Maynard Smith and colleagues Adam Eyre-Walker and Noel Smith, also from Sussex, and Dr Erika Hagelberg and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand, have found that mitochondria do indeed have sex - which means that genes from both males and females is mixed and the DNA in their offspring is very different... Prof Maynard Smith and his colleagues stumbled over mitochondria having sex in the process of tracking the spread of bacterial resistance to meningitis... For the 'out-of-Africa' theory to hold water, the first population would have to have been very small. Sexually rampant mitochondria may put paid to this idea. Maynard Smith thinks that the origin of humanity is much older - may be twice as old - which, according to Eyre-Walker, means we are likely to have evolved in many different areas of the world and did not descend from Eve in Africa."
by Sanjida O'Connell
15th April 1999
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.