September 22, 2011

Denisovans

For the last couple of decades, there has been a popular theological concept that every living human being was 100% descended from modern humans who came Out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, so therefore there hasn't been enough time for evolution to cause any changes among people, so, therefore, Science Proves the complete genetic equality of all human racial groups.

So, what happened to the not-so-modern humans who were around back then, like the Neanderthals? Well, to Prove Racism Wrong, they had to have been utterly exterminated, the victims of a 100% genocide with no living descendants whatsoever. You see, old theories that some of the old non-African humans weren't completely obliterated were racist, because that would imply that living humans aren't all identical by descent, so they had to be utterly wrong. So, the old humans had to die. You can't make anti-racist omelet without exterminating a few lineages.

In reality, it's not actually a good idea to get too worked up over some theory you hold about the distant past. It's especially not a good idea to create political/moral/religious dogmas dependent upon some assumption you make about the far past. You never know what somebody might dig up. 

It's a better idea to keep an open mind about the present. If, say, men of West African descent keep making the Olympic 100m finals, well, that's pretty interesting. There are a variety of ways that that could have come about, and there's a variety of evidence for assessing those theories. In contrast, the conventional wisdom that anybody who notices these patterns must be evil because Science Proves that these patterns shouldn't exist is just setting yourself up for a fall.  

Not long ago, it turned out that, sure enough, non-Africans tended to be a few percent Neanderthal by descent. Then, it turned out that some people (but not others) were related to an archaic group christened Denisovans. 

A new paper that came out today finds evidence of Denisovan ancestry in various islands off the southeast coast of Asia, such as the Mamanwa negritos of the Philippines and Australian Aborigines. Dienekes has some follow-up on it.

Meanwhile, a second big paper that came out today (see below) says that Australian Aborigines didn't intermarry with anybody after they got to Australia 44,000 years ago. 

You'll notice that there seem to be at least superficially contradictory lessons here about human nature: the ancestors of Australian Aborigines mated with a different quasi-species somewhere in the past, then maintained splendid isolation genetically for many tens of thousands of years in Australia, with no subsequent intruders mating with them until the 18th Century. So, maybe the general rule to draw from this is that You Can't Tell about human history. You've got to go look it up.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

This, the Chinese search for alleles for intelligence... what are the pc academicians gonna do?

epobirs said...

Every breed of dog in existence came about in a far lesser stretch of time. The fact is, human diversity just isn't that great compared to species level division where two seemingly similar animals can interbreed but the offspring are sterile.

We're sensitive to things that throw off our sense of scale for diversity. Compared to the range of dog breeds the range of cosmetic differences between groups of humans are pretty minor, yet so significant to us we treat them as far more important than they really are.

A lot of it is just what your brain is trained to recognize. I remember a period, about twenty years ago, when I was watching a lot of Chinese action movies. At first, I had a lot of trouble telling some of the actors apart. (Look at how often Hollywood movies make bizarre casting choices for siblings because it helps the audience if they don't look too much alike. Dean Martin and John Wayne as products of the same parents?) This made me feel a bit annoyed because I had no doubt the Chinese audience found all of these actor quite distinct. I remember one movie where the hero and villain seemed like twins separated at birth but there was no indication in the plot that they should regarded as especially similar to each other.

After a few months I found the problem had gone away. My brain just became more accustomed to Chinese faces and distinguishing actors with similar features was no longer a problem.

We just aren't as different as we'd like to believe. We're just cognitively trained to specialize in the ethnicity most common during our upbringing. It would be interesting to find out if kids raised in more mixed environments are better at avoid the "they all look alike to me" problem.

Anonymous said...

Up to around 1980, multiregionist theories of human origins held the ascendancy amongst the anthropoligical establishment.This was during a time when DNA testing didn't reall exist, and anthropology reled on bones and analysis of skulls and skull features.
Around that time a very forceful, bombastic school (lead by one Dr. Chris Stringer), propounded the 'Out of Africa' theory proposing a recent common African origin.They were very loud, forceful and intolerant - and the captured the debate and the establishment (to the point where they were never questioned).Their ace in the hole was purported DNA evidence ('African Eve'), whic was later shown to be erroneous.
However researchers such as Ronald Fonda and Richard Fuerle, never gave in to the bombastic, overpowering dogma.

catperson said...

For the last couple of decades, there has been a popular theological concept that every living human being was 100% descended from modern humans who came Out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, so therefore there hasn't been enough time for evolution to cause any changes among people, so, therefore, Science Proves the complete genetic equality of all human racial groups.

Steve you are correct that most people invoked the out of Africa hypothesis to ague that all races are equal, but Rushton brilliantly invoked the out of Africa model to argue that Africans were the most genetically primitive race because they are the oldest race, while mongoloids are the most new and improved race because they are the most recent to diverge from the human evolutionary tree.

However the recent evidence suggesting archaic neanderthal and Denisovan genes in non-Africans actually presents a challenge to Rushton's theory because it suggests that non-Africans might be more genetically primitive than Africans are. However given that the percentage of archaic genes is generally tiny, it might be irrelevant.

It does make sense that Australian aboriginals would have primitive genes though. I never understood how a non-African population like Australian aboriginals could have IQ's below 70, but if they mixed with Denisovans, then I guess that explains it.

wren said...

It is interesting that certain folks are on the one hand openly hostile to Christians who question evolution, and on the other openly hostile to scientists who take evolution seriously and try to understand it.

You just can't please some people.

Konkvistador said...

epobiris: I literally got no value out of your post. Have you perhaps commented in the wrong thread?

John said...

"However the recent evidence suggesting archaic neanderthal and Denisovan genes in non-Africans actually presents a challenge to Rushton's theory because it suggests that non-Africans might be more genetically primitive than Africans are. However given that the percentage of archaic genes is generally tiny, it might be irrelevant."

I was under the impression that the main contribution of Neanderthal genes to Homo Sapiens (in Europe at least) was the ability to tolerate cold temperatures.

Georgia Resident said...

epobirs-
What is your point, exactly? Actually, the fact that people of other races tend to look relatively similar to each other, from the view of outsiders (all Chinese look the same, etc) probably just shows how large and identifiable group differences are compared to individual differences. People often have trouble placing individuals of the same race as siblings, but relatively little trouble placing people into the correct racial category (mixed-race people excepted, of course).

SPImmortal said...

"However the recent evidence suggesting archaic neanderthal and Denisovan genes in non-Africans actually presents a challenge to Rushton's theory because it suggests that non-Africans might be more genetically primitive than Africans are. However given that the percentage of archaic genes is generally tiny, it might be irrelevant."

The idea that an older species or subseta are more "primitive" just because they are older is a logical falacy.

Living things are always changing and adapting, generation after generation.

Anonymous said...

" It would be interesting to find out if kids raised in more mixed environments are better at avoid the 'they all look alike to me' problem."

Wasn't there an actual study that showed that non-white faces actually exhibit a lot more mutual similarity than white faces?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"the recent evidence suggesting archaic neanderthal and Denisovan genes in non-Africans actually presents a challenge to Rushton's theory because it suggests that non-Africans might be more genetically primitive than Africans are."

WTF??? Human, hummingbird, or horny toad, we are all equally "genetically primitive" - all going back to that single cell in the sea that launched all life on earth. If non-African races kept some of the DNA from the other humanoid species with which they mated, it is because that DNA was useful, under some circumstances or under all circumstances.

When a black man and white woman mate, that's good: hybrid vigor! When an early Homo sapien and a Neanderthal mate, that's bad: genetically primitive!

There is no rule that says that valuable new mutations can only arise in the most advanced race. If a new mutation arose that doubled human intelligence, it could just as likely occur in a Detroit welfare queen as a Nobel Physics laureate.

What I L-O-V-E is this statement by the lead researcher in the newest aboriginal study showing their ancestors left Africa earlier than ours: "While the ancestors of Europeans and Asians were sitting somewhere in Africa or the Middle East, yet to explore their world further, the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians spread rapidly; the first modern humans traversing unknown territory in Asia and finally crossing the sea into Australia." [Emphasis mine]

Got that? Our ancestors were incurious dullards for sitting around in Africa an extra 20,000 years. Nevermind that some of our ancestors left Africa 700,000 years ago. Oh, and nevermind the implications for the lack of curiosity and intelligence that suggests of Africans who never left at all, except in chains. Woops...

hailtoyou said...

Consult Sections II, III, and IV of Erectus Walks Amongst Us for a more-realistic appraisal of deep human origins, up-to-date with all of today's scientific discoveries.

Highly recommended, from me, for whatever that's worth. It is rigorous science, presented at a Sailer-esque level. (i.e., Erudite, but not obfuscatory, as so much academic writing is).

NOTE: Fuerle predicted that Neanderthal DNA would be found in the European genepool years before Paabo and co. published to that effect.

Glaivester said...

I refer to this theological concept as "egalitarian fundamentalism."

There is now even a symbol equivalent to the "Darwin fish" to use in opposition to them. (In full disclosure I created the idea for the symbol and "The Reluctant Apostate" vastly improved upon it).

Peter Frost said...

Steve,

You're creating the impression that proponents of the multiregional model are (secret) race realists. Conversely, proponents of the Out of Africa model are supposedly apologists for anti-racism.

It's not true. Both sides have called each other 'racists'. In some cases, the accusation is simply opportunistic. In other cases, it reflects a profound commitment to the antiracist world view. This is certainly the case with C.Loring Brace, who has been both a multiregionalist and a leading antiracist writer.

You're also committing yourself to the position that nothing significant could have happened in human evolution over the past 40,000 years. Therefore, only archaic admixture could provide a source of significant human differences. That too isn't true.

Personally, I don't believe archaic admixture explains very much about current human biodiversity. I may be wrong, but I have seen little to convince me otherwise.

Ian said...

To anonymous at 12.42am:

The confidence with which you describe the emergence of Out-of-Africa and its proponents sadly exceeds your knowledge of the subject.

Out-of-Africa replaced Multiregionalism because it had more evidence to support it. In turn, new evidence has meant that Out-of-Africa must be changed.

Chris Stringer has been receptive to the new findings of admixture with Neanderthals, see this article dated 2010:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7118688.ece

It is correct that some did indeed latch enthusiastically onto Out-of-Africa in the hope that it would support their ideological beliefs on how the world should be. Gould was one of the more prominent examples.

The same also goes for those who search for evidence of deep racial differences with equal fervour. Don't pretend that one side or another has the monopoly on objectivity.

Anonymous said...

"However researchers such as Ronald Fonda and Richard Fuerle, never gave in to the bombastic, overpowering dogma."

Those 2 believe africans, aborigines etc. aren't fully human but are instead some kind of primitive, subhuman h. erectus offshoot species. (and at various points believe h. erectus of nearly 1 million years ago was more intelligent than modern africans.)

I always love people who trumpet that ultra fringe work when even Jared Taylor found it rather off putting.

Anonymous said...

One aspect of aboriginal migration to Australia is that, contrary to the old notion of a land bridge due to the Ice Age, there was a daunting water passage that had to be negotiated. If the latter theory is true, it means two things:

1) Humans navigated open waters much earlier than once thought, and

2) Later waves of migrants to Australia over open water was very likely, especially considering the paucity of resources and food sources in adjacent areas like Papua/New Guinea, that would have been a huge incentive to go south.

epobirs said...

Konkvistador,

Considering that you couldn't even reproduce my name correctly, I'd suggest your reading comprehension and short-term memory are perhaps at fault. I was plainly addressing the claim that 50,000 years was insufficient to produce the range of human groups found around the world. My belief is that this is an illusory belief when held up against the evidence of domesticated canines and other animals humans have managed to divide into numerous distinct groups that remain of the same species and interfertile.

Humans are very good are spotting the differences between other humans, especially those of the variety most familiar to the observer. But the same person might have quite a hard time consistently finding one individual out of fifty, say, Golden Retrievers. We're not that tuned in to recognizing individuals from such a group. The owner of one such dog would likely do better but of course familiarity helps.

Considering what has been demonstrated with controlled breeding in far lesser spans of time, our species has had plenty of time to produce all of the subgroups we identify. Regardless of whether they all have a common origin or not. From there it becomes a matter of detail, which matters a great deal in the science. How long does it take for a group settling a region to be shaped by their environment enough to acquire enough differences to be considered a distinct group. The evidence suggests a lot less than 50K years but what is the minimum needed to do this by combination of time and environment? How many generations after humans appear in South America, for example, do you get the variety that is well adapted to living at high altitude? Does it take a minimum population to drive some to seek new territory on the mountains or did humans settle there for other reasons?

There are so many details to work out, even when the broader story appears to have been defined.

Baloo said...

I read somewhere (maybe here) about an Oriental who immigrated here, and when going back to visit his home country years later, everybody looked alike to him there, because he'd grown used to distinguishing the variety of American types from each other, and he'd lost his knack for doing likewise at home.

M said...

It does make sense that Australian aboriginals would have primitive genes though.

Alone, archaic admix, probably would not explain either Australian robustness nor lower IQ. Very robust populations in the Americans, for example, the Patagonians, have robustness that is far more similar to Australians that Europeans or East Asians, but probably don't have admixture (Amerinds don't show Denisovan admix in this paper, and it's hard to imagine there were other archaic pops for them to mix with). Plus, Australians are not (I think) especially robust compared to paleolithic Europeans and East Asians and so on (although they have small braincases for their robustness, unlike the early West Eurasian Homo Sapiens, who are also very robust but have much larger braincases than modern Europeans or Asians).

However, one of the interesting things about this whole (slight) resurgance of the classical Weidenreich/Wolpoff multiregional ideas, is that that those models tended to assume either that there was introgression of local climatically functional genes into expanding H. Sapiens populations (with neutral characters being dragged along behind) while H. Sapiens behaviour was retained, or else the reverse, introgression of generally superior H. Sapiens coadapted complexes of "advanced nature" (i.e. smaller midface, globulisation of the braincase, more advanced language and cultural behaviours) into local, climatically adapted populations.

These are kind of understandable ideas - modern H. Sapiens traits (or at least the traits at least loosely associated with the stepping up of the Homo lineage to its current rapid [speaking on a large timescale] increase in population size and cultural sophistication) seem like a massive leap forward - so it seems obviously that they are "just better". Plus it is more anti-racist, and that's been a good thing to be in academia at least after the first quarter of the twen cen).

But it doesn't have to be like that - it could very well be that alleles associated with more archaic behaviours introgressed into some populations that experienced archaic admixture, while being wiped out in others that experienced the same volume of archaic admixture, while leaving the same, mostly neutral, imprint of archaic admixture on the overall genome (e.g. Chinese and Europeans and Australians all get the same Neanderthal mix, but environmental selection pressure in Australia lead to the Australians becoming "more Neanderthal" on behavioural genes, while the general Eurasians get "less Neanderthal" on behavioural genes, even though total Neanderthal admix is the same in both populations).

I don't think this is necessarily very likely though - I think all that's really needed is appropriate selective pressures, and that archaic admixture has fairly slight effects. And I think it's more the case that Australian Aborigines didn't change from Early H. Sap (other than reduction in cranial volume) rather than that they have some "innovative" archaic traits.

But it's the bad cherrypicking story that is the natural converse of the good cherrypicking story that Cochran and Harpending have proposed. And it is a testable theory (at least in the long run).

M said...

If non-African races kept some of the DNA from the other humanoid species with which they mated, it is because that DNA was useful, under some circumstances or under all circumstances.

Jack,

Yeah, but useful is not the same as "derived" in the sense of being a derived homo sapiens characteristic (i.e. characteristic of more recent rather than older forms). Like I say above (assuming Steve let the comment through) there isn't really a reason to assume that the stuff that was kept was desirable or progressive; it's just what worked. (Now, if a present day population has more of the stuff that we regard as desirable and progressive, we have more justification to look with favour on the hypothesis that archaic admixture did give us stuff that we regard as desirable and progressive, but...)

The real message here, actually, is to focus on phenotype rather than the purity of your ancestry. Which also offers a wider message for HBD when applied to an individual scale as well as on populations...

M said...

It's not true. Both sides have called each other 'racists'. In some cases, the accusation is simply opportunistic. In other cases, it reflects a profound commitment to the antiracist world view.

Exactly correct. Checkout Razib Khan's interview with Milford Wolpoff at bloggingheads and what he says about Coon. Even the Multiregionalists were calling the Multiregionalists "racists", let alone the multiregionalists to out of africaists...!

Anonymous said...

The fact that cromags and neans could mate to produce fertile offsprings is both good and bad for the 'anti-racist' left.

On the good side, it means that so-called white people are racially mixed to begin with. So, all those white nationalists who call for blood purity aren't so pure.

On the bad side, it means races and racial differences are real. Even liberal would agree that neanderthals were substantially different from cromags, and it for this reason that they had been deemed a different SPECIES of man. Btw, if neanderthals were a different species of man, then cromag's killing them off would not necessarily have been 'genocide'--by which we mean wiping out a race of people--since it was one species killing another.

As it turns out, it seems Neanderthals were actually a different race of man. Leftist preached that racial differences are very trivial, but who can deny substantial differences between neanderthals and cromags? So, racial differences among mankinds can be substantially different.

Anonymous said...

"Every breed of dog in existence came about in a far lesser stretch of time. The fact is, human diversity just isn't that great compared to species level division where two seemingly similar animals can interbreed but the offspring are sterile."

I think some species are genetically more hyper and flexible. Dogs are one of them. Cats not so much. But then, there was less motivation to create different breeds of cats since you can't train them for anything.

Anonymous said...

"It is interesting that certain folks are on the one hand openly hostile to Christians who question evolution, and on the other openly hostile to scientists who take evolution seriously and try to understand it."

True, but some people are all too willing to take findings like this and use it for crackpot radical racist theories. Had WWII and Holocaust not happened, we could say such people are just fringe loonies. But such ideas did almost turn the world upside down.

So, I say let's have more honest discussion but let's attack radical racist scum. We need real race-ism.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reason to believe the large physical difference between human races (black-white, white-asian, etc) are due to breeding with different archaic humans?

All eurasians (ie non-africans) have neanderthal DNA. Were neanderthals the source of the lighter skin and straighter hair?

Neanderthals were living in Europe before modern humans, so presumably they had already adapted to the lower amounts of sunshine. Lot easier to steal some useful genes by mating with the Neanderthals than waiting for evolution to work it's magic.

Anonymous said...

"This, the Chinese search for alleles for intelligence... what are the pc academicians gonna do?"

Amy Chua found some already. Her kids are the products of Project S.

Anonymous said...

"I read somewhere (maybe here) about an Oriental who immigrated here, and when going back to visit his home country years later, everybody looked alike to him there, because he'd grown used to distinguishing the variety of American types from each other, and he'd lost his knack for doing likewise at home."

Most people don't look alike but ugly, and the mind just shuffles all the ugly stuff into one bin. It's like everything in a garbage can looks alike.

catperson said...

The idea that an older species or subseta are more "primitive" just because they are older is a logical falacy.

Most biologists would agree with your assertion that I am being logically fallacious in asserting that older life forms are more primitive than newer life forms, however most biologists are wrong and so are you.

Living things are always changing and adapting, generation after generation.

This where you and most biologist get confused. You think that because all life forms have been evolving for the same amount of time, all are equally evolved. However evolution is a tree and some branches are higher than others. For example, mammals are higher than reptiles. Caucasoids are higher than negroids. Mongoloids are higher than Caucasoids.

If you're the lowest branch, and you don't do anymore branching, then you are less evolved than higher branches. This is a very subtle concept that even highly intelligent scientists have trouble grasping when I try to explain it to them. They, like you, think that because all branches continue to evolve, it doesn't matter if you are on a lower branch. What they don't get is that if you are on a low branch and you don't do anymore branching, then you probably haven't done anymore significant evolving because branching signifies an evolutionary development.

Gene Berman said...

Hail to you:

I'm a pioneer in recognizing the likelihood that modern humans were descended, at least in part, from Neanderthals.

Where most scientists would have made use of a microscope, all I needed was a mirror.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Maybe "neanderthal and Denisovan" are just Homo Sapiens

Anonymous said...

Am I to assume from the comments made here that physical anthropologists are, like sociologists, very prone to bias based on their political proclivities?


I would have thought the biases of men and women of science would arise out of a natural ego-centric tendency to argue on behalf of theses one has previously argued for rather than biases arising out of the emotionality and sentimentality of political tendencies.

Guess I don't know much about scientists.

Anonymous said...

This where you and most biologist get confused.

A population can remain cohesive while changing substantially in its gene frequencies and phenotype. You don't always need to have a group split off and evolve into something new and then outcompete or replace the older population. Look up the concept of chronospecies.

Plus, I get the impression from your tone, rather than anything you have specifically said, that you are conflating "higher" with overall progress too much. Island dwarf species forms are a branch which is, in your sense (in the sense that Mongoloids are higher than Caucasoids), higher than the mainland non-dwarf forms (in the sense that there is a population split and the other population gets to keep the old moniker as part of the same species because it is phenotypically less derived, even though it experiences its own evolutionary dynamics). But that doesn't mean they will survive in the long term, nor replace their antecendents, nor that they won't be replaced by them, nor that gene flow will not continue between the two groups, nor that the form we see as having "branched off" is necessarily a more complex or intelligent organism.

You are correct that there is such a thing as phenotypically derived and primitive forms, but I think, otherwise, weird ideas have entered your thinking.

Hapalong Cassidy said...

I've always wondered why it is that Australian Aborigines look different from the Melanesians of New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji. The latter group have traits that would make them look at home in East Africa. The Aborigines, on the other hand have straight hair and pronounced furrowed brows. It's especially strange when you consider that New Guinea and Australia were connected by land throughout most of the Ice Age. Perhaps Denisovan ancestry may have something to do with it, but my own theory is that these variations may have actually arisen in Africa. Several different waves of human migration have "pulsed" out of Africa at various points in pre-history, and it makes sense that these groups would have had different characteristics. For instance, why do the Bushmen have the "mongolian spot" at birth, while no other African peoples have it? Possibly, the Bushmen and East Asians have common ancestry.

hailtoyou said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Those 2 believe africans, aborigines etc. aren't fully human but are instead some kind of primitive, subhuman h. erectus offshoot species. (and at various points believe h. erectus of nearly 1 million years ago was more intelligent than modern africans.)"

Wrong on both points.

First, all humans are "erectus offshoots", and the thesis of EWAU is that there was parallel evolution by pockets and ultimately ever-shifting para-groups of humanoids going back quite a while, with intergroup geneflow driving much of evolution and keeping it mostly 'parallel'. Rejected totally is the rather-absurd thesis (when you think about it) of a "wordlwide total extermination campaign", that showed no quarter whatsoever, not even to captive women of lesser-evolved humans, perpetrated by a group of Africans 50 milennia ago. (i.e., Hardline Out of Africa, which has been disproven again and again, and is finally falling from fashion).

Second, it is very clear from even a casual appraisal by a layman that pure-blood Aboriginie skull shape resembles late-erectus skull shape.

Third, nowhere does Fuerle say in EWAU that "Erectus of 1 million years ago was smarter than modern Africans". This is preposterous and a simple fabrication by the poster.

I would note, though, for what it's worth: Richard Lynn recently published findings for IQ of Central-African pygmies, putting them at 53. (I saw the study on racehist blog). It has been previously estimated that mid Erectus had an IQ of ~50. (However, these should be taken with a certain dosage of salt, and I doubt 53 is the maximum pygmies could reach, given the proper environment and so on.)

hailtoyou said...

Ian wrote:
"Out-of-Africa replaced Multiregionalism because it had more evidence to support it."

Confirmation Bias does indeed tend to yield 'evidence' with quite a respectable success rate!

Fuerle devotes his Section III to refutation of the scientific-sounding "evidence" presented for OoA.

Chapter 19 is on the African Eve theory, which has used DNA studies to allegedly 'prove' that all human mtDNA comes from Africa within the past 150 milennia. Fuerle refutes this and offers a more-plausible hypothesis to explain the DNA findings contrary to the 'afrocentrist' model.

hailtoyou said...

Anon wrote:
"Am I to assume...the comments made here [are]...prone to bias based on political proclivities?"

Although I am no leftist, I was a believer in Out of Africa, just as much as the next man, until a few years ago. I mean, I even had arguments in which I condemned "irrational political science" when persons with racialist sympathies argued against OoA.

And, in fact, I'd probably still cling to OoA today, with modifications (as the evidence against hardline OoA keeps piling up), had I not read Erectus Walks Amongst Us by R Fuerle.

The Fuerle book convinced me I was wrong. It is one of the perhaps half-dozen books that has had such an effect on my thinking, completely flipping my opinion on a major subject. This is the basis of my recommendation of the book.

ben tillman said...

However the recent evidence suggesting archaic neanderthal and Denisovan genes in non-Africans actually presents a challenge to Rushton's theory because it suggests that non-Africans might be more genetically primitive than Africans are.

1. No genes are more or less "primitive" than others.

2. You're mischarecterizing Rushton's main theory, which has nothing to do with Africans being "primitive".

ben tillman said...

I was under the impression that the main contribution of Neanderthal genes to Homo Sapiens (in Europe at least) was the ability to tolerate cold temperatures.

Don't presume that all Europeans have the same Neanderthal genetic legacy. Some Europeans have much more Neanderthal DNA than others.

catperson said...

Island dwarf species forms are a branch which is, in your sense (in the sense that Mongoloids are higher than Caucasoids), higher than the mainland non-dwarf forms (in the sense that there is a population split and the other population gets to keep the old moniker as part of the same species because it is phenotypically less derived, even though it experiences its own evolutionary dynamics). But that doesn't mean they will survive in the long term, nor replace their antecendents, nor that they won't be replaced by them, nor that gene flow will not continue between the two groups, nor that the form we see as having "branched off" is necessarily a more complex or intelligent organism.

I'm not saying the "higher" form of life will be more intelligent in every case, but there's probably a high correlation between the degree of branching on the evolutionary tree, and intelligence/brain size.

catperson said...

I would note, though, for what it's worth: Richard Lynn recently published findings for IQ of Central-African pygmies, putting them at 53.

You got to love Richard Lynn. He's the only really old school person left in the IQ debate and yet he's always right. He just takes all the IQ data at face value. If pygmies score 53, it's not as other psychologists would argue, because they have no exposure to education and Western culture, it's simply because they have very low intelligence.

If whites in 2011 score far better on IQ IQ tests than whites in 1917 (the Flynn Effect) it's not because of media, schooling, and culture making people increasingly test savvy, it's simply because better nutrition has increased brain size and complexity and made people smarter.

Lynn always takes the IQ data at face value, and instead of coming up with some politically correct nuianced explanation, he always invokes a simple elegant biological explanation.

Now in Lynn's 2006 book, he lumped pygmies in with Bushmen and declared this group to have a mean IQ of 55. At the time there was no published data on pygmie IQ, but Lynn just assumed they were the same genetic cluster as Bushmen so used Bushmen IQ as representative of both groups. I remembered being bothered by the fact that there was no data on pygmie IQ and I wanted to fly to Africa to test some before it was too late (with their small population I feared they would go extinct). So now you say Lynn has published actual data on pygmie IQ and they turn out to have IQ's virtually identical to the level Lynn assumed they would in his book published several years earlier. I wonder what tests were used.

I find it interesting that the hunter gatherer negroids (bushmen and pygmies) have IQ's 1 SD below the agricultural negroids (East and West Africans).Similarly the hunter/gather mongoloids (arctic people) have IQ's 1 SD below the IQ's of of agricultural mongoloids (East Asians).

Perhaps being 1 SD below your race prevents you from practicing agriculture, or perhaps adapting to an agricultural life style selected for an extra 1 SD of IQ during the last 10,000 years. Or perhaps IQ tests are just biased against hunter/gatherers.


It has been previously estimated that mid Erectus had an IQ of ~50. (However, these should be taken with a certain dosage of salt, and I doubt 53 is the maximum pygmies could reach, given the proper environment and so on.)

Well IQ 50 is also not the maximum homo erectus might reach given the proper environment. I think it's quite possible that homo erectus was almost as intelligent as modern pygmies, as pygmies have not developed significantly more advanced technology or culture. Negroids are the oldest human race (excluding trivial bits of neanderthal/Denisovan DNA in non-Africans)and Bushmen/pygmies are perhaps the oldest form of negroid, so they represent humanity when it first branched off of erectus and had not yet blossomed genetically. Also given their short stature, the absolute brain size of pygmies is probably not that much bigger than Erectus.

Hail said...

Catperson,
Interesting comments on Pygmies. It seems that Pygmies are simply Negroids who have pygmicized, or, in anthropological terms, been "reduced", due to adaptation(s) to their environment.

See here for an account of the latest scientific theory on the origin of the Pygmies. It's quite fascinating.

Svigor said...

Every breed of dog in existence came about in a far lesser stretch of time. The fact is, human diversity just isn't that great compared to species level division where two seemingly similar animals can interbreed but the offspring are sterile.

We're sensitive to things that throw off our sense of scale for diversity. Compared to the range of dog breeds the range of cosmetic differences between groups of humans are pretty minor, yet so significant to us we treat them as far more important than they really are.


You talk about cosmetic differences as if they're what's most salient. Beyond that, I think you have it backwards; if one subgroup of birds built cathedrals and the other nests, this would be the basis of their categorical differentiation, their appearance and inter-fertility notwithstanding.

The differences between humans are hugely important precisely because they're human differences. As I said in another thread, if the History of Interesting Things in the Universe were the Empire State Building, everything other than humanity would be a postage stamp on the roof.

I'm reminded again of the anti-human(ist) aspect of "anti-racism."

Steve you are correct that most people invoked the out of Africa hypothesis to ague that all races are equal, but Rushton brilliantly invoked the out of Africa model to argue that Africans were the most genetically primitive race because they are the oldest race, while mongoloids are the most new and improved race because they are the most recent to diverge from the human evolutionary tree.

You think I'm brilliant? Thanks. I came up with that in junior high on my own.

The idea that an older species or subseta are more "primitive" just because they are older is a logical falacy.

It is not fallacious to respond to "ha! White men evolved from Black men!" with "ha! White men evolved from apes, too!"

When a black man and white woman mate, that's good: hybrid vigor!

Funny how hybrid vigor is when you have a hybrid with vigor, but leftoids conflate that with hybrids in general - "hybrids=vigor!" - when it suits their "who - whom?" purposes.

There is no rule that says that valuable new mutations can only arise in the most advanced race. If a new mutation arose that doubled human intelligence, it could just as likely occur in a Detroit welfare queen as a Nobel Physics laureate.

True, but selection determines the spread of genes, not mutation.

I always love people who trumpet that ultra fringe work when even Jared Taylor found it rather off putting.

I think you just called Jared Taylor moderate.

But then, there was less motivation to create different breeds of cats since you can't train them for anything.

There was less ability to breed cats because you can't train them for anything, too.

True, but some people are all too willing to take findings like this and use it for crackpot radical racist theories. Had WWII and Holocaust not happened, we could say such people are just fringe loonies. But such ideas did almost turn the world upside down.


The "anti-racists" like commies make the "racists" like Nazis look like bloody amateurs when it comes to body count. So I'm way beyond tired of the stupid "Hitler ruined it for everyone" thing. No, the commies ruined equality and blank-slatism and "anti-racism" for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Part 1:

"First, all humans are "erectus offshoots", and the thesis of EWAU is that there was parallel evolution by pockets and ultimately ever-shifting para-groups of humanoids going back quite a while, with intergroup geneflow driving much of evolution and keeping it mostly 'parallel'. Rejected totally is the rather-absurd thesis (when you think about it) of a "wordlwide total extermination campaign", that showed no quarter whatsoever, not even to captive women of lesser-evolved humans, perpetrated by a group of Africans 50 milennia ago. (i.e., Hardline Out of Africa, which has been disproven again and again, and is finally falling from fashion)."

The term I used is an exaggeration, but he for all intents and purposes believes africans, aborigines etc. are for all intents and purposes not fully human, but are largely relict h. erectus populations.

On the other hand, he believes "caucasians" (a term he uses to refer almost exclusively to europeans- his book focuses almost entirely on europeans, east asians, africans, australo-melanesians and negritos) are a sort of hybrid with neanderthals, so his concept of what defines a human is pretty nebulous.

"Second, it is very clear from even a casual appraisal by a layman that pure-blood Aboriginie skull shape resembles late-erectus skull shape."

I'm aware of that, but aborigines on the whole most resemble humans of 250k-several tens of thousands of years and a higher frequency of ancestral traits can arise without input from a more ancestral population.

For quick reference: http://www.ahnenkult.com/?p=167

"However, as Brown (1999) argues, the notion that “Australoid” traits in material of this age are indicators of a close relationship with living Australian natives is supremely ill-founded:

Greater supraorbital development, including an inflated glabella, more pronounced superciliary ridges and a depressed nasion, was a common feature in early Holocene and late Pleistocene human crania throughout the world [emphasis mine]. Similarly, human crania during this time period tended to have low, rectangular orbits, a longer and lower cranial vault and greater curvature in the occipital region."

"Third, nowhere does Fuerle say in EWAU that "Erectus of 1 million years ago was smarter than modern Africans". This is preposterous and a simple fabrication by the poster."

He doesn't flat out say this, but he heavily implies it. See: http://erectuswalksamongst.us/Chap18.html

Note the heavy fixation on how africans didn't settle the islands of madagascar, zanzibar etc. because of intelligence and virtually nothing else. He then mentions how h. erectus of 800-900 k years ago was supposedly fashioning boats, and the only thing I can take away from this is that h. erectus back then was smarter than modern africans.

And if you want to see where he implies africans and such aren't human, see: http://erectuswalksamongst.us/Chap28.html

Anonymous said...

Part 2:

I don't know the full validity of the studies he cites, but considering how it implies some really far-fetched stuff- such as that eurasians are vastly more similar to neanderthals than they are to modern africans, that the genetic distance between h. erectus and "homo sapiens" is less than that of the distance between inuits and africans, I think he's full of it, abit off kitler and his claims of a cover up for something this blatant are wanting.

And here, he says that aborigines and similar populations are literally an h. erectus hybrid population: http://erectuswalksamongst.us/Chap27.html

"The resulting erectus hybrids had traits of both parent populations, but only those individuals who had traits best adapted for the tropics survived. Today, erectus hybrids and Hs can be found in the aborigines of India, the Andaman Islands, some South Pacific Islands, the Philippines, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, and elsewhere in Asia."

I really love how Fuerle (and quite a few other multiregionalists) basically treats the mental faculties of various hominid populations as essentially interchangeable and that h. erectus were basically just really ugly, violent, low IQ people.

Anonymous said...

One more, just noticed this:

"It has been previously estimated that mid Erectus had an IQ of ~50."

This is so ridiculous. The only people who would "estimate" this aren't even hereditarian academics but cranks like Fuerle and scientific illiterates on the internet. Why? H. erectus, and by extension virtually all other non-human hominids, were not sapient, meaning they were virtually incapable of symbolic thought and a wide variety of other modern mental processes. They couldn't really talk, they couldn't really reason, and their mental differences went far beyond that of a modern human. Their brain sizes fall into the range of mentally retarded modern humans, but the differences would go far beyond IQ. There are indeed h. erectus skulls that fall into the non-retarded, modern human range, but an h. erectus with the brain size of a modern european would have mental failings well beyond that of personality differences.

Baloo said...

Good for you, Glaivester! I'm running with the ball at Ex-Army HERE.

Baloo said...

When did Bushmen get classified as Negroid? I learned years ago that they're a separate stock, Capoid.

Anonymous said...

"If non-African races kept some of the DNA from the other humanoid species with which they mated, it is because that DNA was useful, under some circumstances or under all circumstances."

Not necessarily. They may have been kept cuz they didn't do much of anything: not much good but not much bad either. Thus, no need out to weed out such genes. Natural selection weeds out stuff that causes problems, not stuff that causes no problems. But stuff that causes no problems may not do much good either.

catperson said...

When did Bushmen get classified as Negroid? I learned years ago that they're a separate stock, Capoid.

I think that you like a lot of people are confusing negroid with congoid. Negroids can be subdivided into two major categories: congoids and capoids. So Bushmen are not congoid, they're capoid, but both capoids and congoids are negroid.

catperson said...

This is so ridiculous. The only people who would "estimate" this aren't even hereditarian academics but cranks like Fuerle and scientific illiterates on the internet.

The crude estimate of homo erectus IQ comes from the discovery that their tool making skills were equivalent to that of a modern 7 year old:

http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/grady/iq_intell.html

Anonymous said...

Homo Elect Us. That is American politics.

Anonymous said...

A chimpanzee's intelligence is often compared to that of a 4-5 year old, but they're hardly comparable overall for many, many other reasons, which is why acting like h. erectus is interchangeable with homo sapiens is inane.

catperson said...

A chimpanzee's intelligence is often compared to that of a 4-5 year old, but they're hardly comparable overall for many, many other reasons, which is why acting like h. erectus is interchangeable with homo sapiens is inane.

No one is saying they are comparable overall or interchangeable, we are simply comparing intelligence levels.

Anonymous said...

The same also goes for those who search for evidence of deep racial differences with equal fervour. Don't pretend that one side or another has the monopoly on objectivity

Monopoly? Maybe not, but one side is far closer to having its eyes open than the other.

Anonymous said...

The fact that cromags and neans could mate to produce fertile offsprings is both good and bad for the 'anti-racist' left.

The anti-racist left position is essentially one dimensional. Any issue examined at an angle other than that purveyed by an anti-racist leftist causes their position to collapse on itself.

Hail said...

Anonymous wrote:
"This is so ridiculous [to estimate Erectus IQ at 50]. The only people who would "estimate" this...[are] cranks...and scientific illiterates"

I am glad we have you, Anon, to judge who the cranks and scientific illiterates are!

I am astonished at how many PhDs, professors emeritus, and still-publishing researchers in major journals are to be found among the ranks of these awful "cranks and illiterates". What a world!

Hail said...

Baloo wrote:
"When did Bushmen get classified as Negroid? I learned years ago that they're a separate stock, Capoid."

Bushmen and Hottentots are the surviving Capoid (a.k.a. Khoisanoid) racial stocks in Africa. Both groups use clicks in their language. Some Bantu-Negroid groups in southern African have mingled with them to varying degrees. Tribes like the Xhosa also use a few clicks, but the mingling is seen more in their blood. Nelson Mandela (Xhosa) is -- unusually for the Xhosa -- arguably a Khoisanid proper by phenotype (a.k.a. Capoid, Dr. Coon's term).

Pygmies -- who are not Bushmen -- according to recent studies are simply pygmicized Negroids. See here for a theory on their ethnogenesis.

Hail said...

Catperson wrote:
"I think that you like a lot of people are confusing negroid with congoid. ..."

There is a lot of confusion on these terms because (1) different race-anthropologists used different terminology, (2) this science has been largely-'underground' for decades.

See the useful SNPA Glossary for reference.

According to SNPA, Negroid and Congoid are both terms for the racial parastock of American-Blacks and their cousins in Africa. There are numerous subraces, as with Europeans. ["Congoid" comes from the Congo, this racial-parastock's supposed hearthland].

Capoid and Khoisanoid are terms for the small-in-number surviving hunter-gatherers of southern Africa (San-Bushmen and Khoi-Hottentots). ["Cape" comes from the Cape of Good Hope, their supposed hearthland].

catperson said...

Hail,

Rushton gives the following definition of "NEGROID RACE" in the glossary of his book, "Race, Evolution and Behavior":

A major racial division of mankind originating and predominating in sub-Saharan Africa. Skin pigmentation is dense, hair wooly, nose broad, face generally short, lips thick, and ears squarish and lobeless. Stature varies greatly, from pygmy to very tall. The most divergent group are the Khoisan (Bushman and Hottentot) peoples of southern Africa.

So it seems negroid is a broad category which covers all the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa including Bushmen.

As for congoid and capoid, my guess is that these terms originated with Carleton Coon. He did not view Sub-Saharans as a single race and subdivided them into these two major categories. Since most negroids are what Coon would call congoids, over time some people began using using the terms congoid and negroid interchangeably to distinguish them from capoids (bushmen); but it seems far more accurate to refer to both congoids and capoids as two different types of negroid.

catperson said...

And, in fact, I'd probably still cling to OoA today, with modifications (as the evidence against hardline OoA keeps piling up), had I not read Erectus Walks Amongst Us by R Fuerle.

I've been reading through Fuerle's book online ever since you mentioned it, but it has not yet convinced me that OoA is wrong. There have been way too many fossils found in Africa for me to easily believe "modern" humans originated anywhere else and all the genetic linkage trees show Africans at the trunk of the tree and the OoA model is even confirmed by linguistic data and by Rushton's theory which finds that Caucaoids are intermediate between Africans and mongoloids (exactly as the OoA migration pattern would predict)on a series of physical and behavior traits.

Now the extreme form of OoA (that modern humans completely replaced all archaic forms with no interbreeding) has been called into question by evidence that modern humans might have mated with neanderthals and denisovans, but 5% or so admixture is trivial and does nothing to alter the big picture. Indeed Michael Hart's book "Understanding Human history" invoked the OoA model but correctly predicted there would be trivial amounts of interbreeding with archaic forms.

I'm enjoying Fuerle's book but I find his thesis a little ridiculous. He's arguing that every major development in human evolution occurred in Eurasia and only spread to Africa because Eurasian primates kept migrating down to Africa and giving the African primates some of their more advanced genes over a 2 million year time span but never enough for the African primates to ever fully become human. It all seems kind of random and messy.

Anonymous said...

Ok ok all this discussion is nonsense, is it not? Fast forward to the time when the human race is almost wiped out and all the peoples and races present today descend from a handfull of females with a total human population of less than 40,000. Fact. proven by the very dna you all cite for all of your theories. How many races/species/types of humans could there be with a total hominid population of under 50,000 worldwide? What time era was this? could there have been several distinct species of hominids at that low level of total population?
Remember now, this is accepted dna data that the total hominid population worldwide was at the near extinction level. Where does this leave the argument? Where were the remnant populations located, were they islands of tiny numbers of distinct races as you would have us believe ( to bolster your distinction theory, you would need tiny widely seperated populations to maintain dna purity)
OR were the populations close enough to intermingle and breed in sufficient numbers to prevent extinction ( which did not occur obviously)