March 14, 2012

Anomalous Paleolithic skull from South China

This is sure going to cause some heated debates:


See also the press release (Eureka Alert) and a photo gallery (Live Science).

And this is what is all about:


It's not the skull of Darth Vader, although I know you thought so as soon as you saw it, but actually that of a person living some 14,000 years ago at Longling cave, known as Longlin 1.

The authors of the paper argue on craniometric grounds that the specimen may not be a modern human, however in all PC analysis the skull falls (oddly enough) within or very close to modern human clusters. Only in the PC3 some differences show up. 

In fact the closest among those skulls analyzed in fig. 8 is Mai Da Nuoc[PDF], an Early Hoabinhian skull from nearby Vietnam, which is claimed to be Australoid (but does not look at all like the Australian skulls I'm familiar with, normally quite broader).

In fact I have been searching and I found at least one skull that looks a lot like Longlin 1: Peñón woman from Mexico:

(Source)
She's one of a number of Paleoindian skulls that have puzzled prehistorians because they are not quite like most modern Native American skulls. However to my eyes, the Peñuelas skull (Chile) skull is not that different, even if it is also more like modern Native American ones.

Also to my eyes, those very marked cheek bones (regardless of whether they may have been produced by mastication) remind me of one of the most characteristic traits of the so-called Mongoloid type (which is quite unreal and plural in fact): prominent cheekbones that give the face a flat appearance.

But I'll leave that to the experts. Not worth bumping heads for something that may well be partly epigenetic/environmental for all I know.

What I do not see is any ground for the claims of the authors that it could be a newly found species. They even have worked a fancy reconstruction that makes Longlin 1 to look like a well-known reconstruction (by the same author) of the notorious Hobbit (when the skulls do not look at all similar):

Credit: Peter Schouten (info)

Notice please how any trait that could make him look Mongoloid (East Asian or Native American) has been scrapped from the reconstruction: he has dark brown skin, beard (which could well have been shaven by a professional just yesterday) and a hairy body, a very broad nose that does not fit at all with the small triangular orifice, absolute lack of epicanthic fold - plus very small ears that make him look odd. 

Another analyzed skull from the same area is Maludong 1704, of which only the vault remains. This one overlaps in the analysis (fig. 9) with Crô-Magnon 1, however when more samples are added (fig. 10) some archaic skulls (H. erectus) also show up close, as do again CM1, early African H. sapiens and Nazlet Khater 2. 

For me, with due caution, modern proto-Mongoloid H. sapiens (anomalous) but your call: the debate is served.


Update (Mar 17): I must mention that the excellent anthropological artist Zaender (which I have mentioned before) has also produced his own versions of the Maludong people without most of the exotic fancy of Schouten's reconstruction:

Credit Zaender

He has another example at his blog: Regional Ancestry Bands.

The ears still look small to me and the nose and lips unnecessarily too wide but it is probably more correct re. eyes and hair.

In any case it makes evident that it's very difficult to actually reconstruct a face from just a skull when all the expressiveness and even most ethnic traits are in the flesh and skin, being impossible to discern from a mere skull.


Update (Mar 30):

Another interesting reconstruction by Zaender (he drew the nose smaller on my suggestion):

Credit: Zaender

See the discussion below and at his blog.

Also very interesting and surely important is the argumentation by Biological Anthropologist A.P. Van Arsdale that the main diveregent measure is the zygomatic bone but this one is fractured in several points, what may distort the results singnificantly:


Otherwise the skull fits quite well with modern East Asian metrics.

39 comments:

  1. To me, it's quite clear that it looks much more "modern" than anything, and the comparison with the Mexican lady is very good.


    The skull could have been deformed, it looks odd. It seems they're anaylizing it's DNA, but it seems very unlikely that erectus survived in the region until 11.000 BP and mixed extensively with modern humans.

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  2. I am not convinced that this is a real new type of human. It does seem kind of odd that an unusual type of human was able to maintain a separate existence into such a late period. The skull looks deformed, especially in the upper parts. Very interesting. I hope they are able to get genetic data from it.

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  3. Looked at the original paper, a very dense read. I guess we are all in agreement so far. My guess is that these are modern-ish people. Meaning mainly modern with perhaps with more than 4% contribution from an older Asian Homo species. They could have been that and later been replaced by the usual 96 to 99% Hs moderns.

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    1. after drawing it, I completely agree with what you said:
      http://www.regbands.blogspot.de/

      Delete
  4. Hello, Zaender. I discovered your work last year, via Neanderthalerin's blog and found it fascinating: drawing every single mtDNA haplogroup ancestor with a style and intuition which at least makes good sense. Thumbs up.

    Here again I like your drawing of Longlin 1, which I consider much more likely (if nothing else because the result has epicanthic folds and straight hair as modern inhabitants of the area do in most cases.

    I therefore, if you don't mind, will hotlink to your drawing here (with due attribution and link to your blog). If you have any problem, please tell me and I'll remove it immediately.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks to you as well. :)

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    2. Thank you for the great drawing zaender! I will now forgive you for sticking my U3 archetype down in Dubai with a head scarf. (Just joking) Besten Wünsche nach Köln

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    3. @Joy
      since I don't know your face, I can't judge, wether a head scarf would suit you or not!

      Delete
  6. "In fact the closest among those skulls analyzed in fig. 8 is Mai Da Nuoc[PDF], an Early Hoabinhian skull from nearby Vietnam, which is claimed to be Australoid (but does not look at all like the Australian skulls I'm familiar with, normally quite broader)".

    The claim of 'Australoid' probably means, in this case, 'Papuan' rather than 'Aborigine'. The reconstruction could be nearly Papuan, while Zaender's reconstruction would definitely look Papuan if it had curly hair rather than long locks. The comparison with the Hoabinhian skull is especially interesting. If they are the same 'species' it would support the idea that the pre-Mongoloid population of South China and SE Asia was very similar to today's New Guinea indigenous people. The original phenotype has been diluted by southward-moving Mongoloids in the time since the Hoabinhian. At 14,000 years it is very likley within the modern haplogroups. Mt-DNA M would be my guess.

    "Notice please how any trait that could make him look Mongoloid (East Asian or Native American) has been scrapped from the reconstruction: he has dark brown skin, beard (which could well have been shaven by a professional just yesterday) and a hairy body, a very broad nose that does not fit at all with the small triangular orifice, absolute lack of epicanthic fold - plus very small ears that make him look odd".

    I'm sure that if the authors felt there was any resemblance to Mongoloid people they would have reconstructed the skull in that direction.

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    1. It is very easy to collect photos of Papuan skulls, they use them even as pillow. Check them: they have less marked zygomatic bones (cheeks) and much bigger nasal holes.

      I think that the nose of both Longlin and Mai Da Nuoc have remarkably small triangular nasal holes and neither have the "bridge" of the nose (nasal bone) too prominent. They could well have noses similar to those of modern East Asians: rather flat and small but actually most modern Mongoloids have broader nose holes and these are remarkably small and triangular. I've tried to find comparisons but no luck but they must have got very small noses, probably narrow, as well as very strongly marked cheeks. MDC is close to Mongoloids in that (but he's too longfaced and dolicocephalic to be considered Mongoloid by the usual standards), while Longlin is a dimension of his own, no doubt.

      As for the reconstruction, it is customary to look to modern inhabitants for references. The skull is not Mongoloid by the usual standards but it may well be proto-Mongoloid and some or most of the secondary fleshy traits of modern Mongoloids be there. It's not Papuan either: one of the closest "relatives" (by measures) is Cro-Magnon 1, which is not exactly like modern Europeans either but is generally considered an ancestor anyhow.

      In fact LL1 in the PC1-2 plot is between MDC and Combe-Capelle, an Epipaleolithic European (it seems now). But CC has a much bigger nose than the SE Asian specimens. In PC2-3 the closest is again Combe-Capelle (this may well because of the zygomatic bones almost on its own).

      Its counterpart, Maludong, is most similar to Cro-Magnon 1 and 3.

      Hence, excepting the cheeks the guys may have got some "European" look, rather than "Australoid" or "Papuan". This would be coincident with my hypothesis of an Australo-Caucasoid continuum of early Eurasian looks, of which Mongoloids are just a peculiar and ill-defined branch, best defined by the fleshy bits and marked cheeks.

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    2. In a new blog entry at [URL=http://regbands.blogspot.de/]regbands.blogspot.de[/URL] I looked for the frameset of skull reconstruction, taking the famous skull of Homo Mousteriensis Hauseri, found in 1908 by Otto Hauser.
      I simply played with some artistic ideas and possibilities to show, that we could imagine our famous Hauseri skull both as european or rather african or asian.

      thought, I should let all of you know! There is more in it.

      Delete
    3. Correct link: http://regbands.blogspot.de/2012/03/homo-mousteriensis-hauseri-faces.html

      If you wish to insert a link in text you must use HTML with the format:

      [a href=LINK]TEXT[/a]

      However replace [...] for <...> (I did the opposite so you could see the code).

      I cannot comment in your site, Zaender, not sure why, so I will say that I feel that you misinterpret the nasal width. In the LL1 case you drew a very wide nose yet the nasal hole is tiny, instead in the Neanderthal case you drew a very narrow nose but the nasal holes are always very wide and round in Neanderthals, close to the Negroid archetype (but more prominent).

      I do not understand why artists don't correlate nasal hole size with nose lateral size, which should be obvious.

      Delete
    4. Now I can comment. It was a javascript issue, sorry.

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    5. sorry, twice I tried in vain to answer. I will have to go in detail for your critic, but that is exactly, what I was heading for. It will take a couple of days, since I'm rather busy now.

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    6. done:
      http://regbands.blogspot.de/2012/03/longlin-1-again.html

      Delete
    7. Ah, very interesting, really.

      The only criticism I can make now is that thick lips are subjective (a feature only sometimes apparent among Papuans and Negritos, and in any case exaggerated in the drawing) and then: are you drawing a female? Do we know that LL1 was a female or have any reason to suspect that. I don't know how to pick apart a female skull from a male one easily but female ones tend to be more gracile and with less irregularities and prominences. My impression has been all the time, also from Schouten's drawing, that LL1 was a male. Of course I may be misled by the paedomorphism of East Asian phenotype that give even males some "feminine" likeness but I think that you're trying to draw a woman in fact, right?

      In any case, great work, I'm posting-linking it also. Thanks.

      Delete
    8. yes, I was heading a woman's face, since I cannot tell apart between too, just looking at skulls and I already had a bunch of own references from my "magenta marias" series. So this time I really tried not to exaggerate!

      Delete
  7. Also, of interest to all, the discussion that Zaender mentions at his blog, by Biological Anthropologist A.P. Van Arsdale is very relevant: the zygomatic bone is the only relevant divergence with modern East Asian metrics and is fractured in several points, possibly distorting the results:

    https://blogs.wellesley.edu/vanarsdale/2012/03/15/fossils/longlin-fossils/

    I also included mention to this in the latest update. The "new hominin" will in the end be the first known "Mongoloid" in spite of his (her?) peculiar zygomatic bone.

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  8. I aploogise in advance that this is only marginally related to the subject, but I missed this when it came out, and it is close:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/06/present-genetic-variation-is-a-weak-guide-to-past-genetic-variation/#more-12386

    Seems the population of the Andamans has been shown very definitely not to be a remnant of the OoA, just as I've long been claiming. Quote:

    "On a final note, if the Andaman Islanders arrived ~20 thousand years before the present from the South Asian mainland they don’t tell us very much about the 'Out of Africa' people. They’re not 'living fossils,' and it was frankly somewhat stupid probably to think they would be".

    Isn't that exactly what I've been trying to tell you for years? And, here we could have what is, at last, the end of the 'coastal migration' theory:

    "A reader alerted me to a short paper from this spring which attempts to ascertain the point of origin of the dominant mtDNA haplogroup among the Onge tribe of the Andaman Islanders, M31a1. This is an interesting issue because some researchers proposed, plausibly in the past, that these indigenous people in the Andaman Islands represent the descendants of the first wave 'Out of Africa,' who took the rapid 'beachcomber' path".

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  9. I'm not in agreement with that: it's all molecular-clock-o-logy and of the kind I would not use. I already did some molecular-clock-o-logy of MY kind (counting from the root and using archaeologically consistent references) and the Andaman lineages seem quite old, true OoA remnants.

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  10. Hmmm ... So Razib doesn't know what he's talking about?

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  11. Captious question.

    Do you know what you are talking about?

    This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy, the same as when we may discuss with someone else on the existence of God. You, Razib and me are going to agree on the later, at least in principle but obviously not on the former. Yet IMNSHO molecular-clock-o-logy is akin to God: a myth, an elusive legend that explains nothing and confuses a lot.

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  12. "This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy"

    The 'molecular clock' is not the sole piece of evidence, Maju. I'll explain:

    "You, Razib and me are going to agree on the later, at least in principle but obviously not on the former".

    You're out-voted then. I agree with Razib. Your claim of Andaman M13 being part of the original M expansion is another example of your having decided in advance what you want the evidence to say.

    Take another look at Phylotree and the distribution of the various M31 subclades. For a start basal M31 is 4 mutations from basal M so it suffered a period of drift. It looks, like many other M haplogroups, to have coalesced in northeast India, presumably east of the Ganges. At this 4 mutation level M31 splits into M31a and M31b'c. The two haplogroups within the second clade are combined by a single control region mutation. Both M31b and M31c are centred on northeast India. M31b even reached Nepal and Tibet. Now to the clades in the first haplogroup:

    Following a further 3 mutations from the M31a/M31b'c split M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2. M31a2 is also a northeast Indian haplogroup that managed to spread south into Orissa and even to Sri Lanka. In the other direction M31a1 can therefore only have arrived in the Andamans no earlier than 7 mutations from basal M. M31a1 and M31a2 are the product of a coastal migration that went round the Bay of Bengal from the Ganges Delta in opposite directions. But that 'southern coastal migration' is long after basal M's spread, or the OoA.

    Of course M31's arrival in the Andamans is even more recent if you're going to claim that M31a1 developed its long stem of a further 7 mutations while moving from northeast India east around the Bay of Bengal.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Knowledge is not "democratic" (i.e. "outvoted"), mind you. Otherwise God would be "science".

      "Take another look at Phylotree and the distribution of the various M31 subclades".

      What Bout M32 (100% Andamanese)? It is just one coding region mutation away from the basal M node.

      Even if you could imagine M31 belonging to a second wave into the Andamans, maybe 10 or 15 Ka after the Great Eurasian Expansion (phase 1 or M) or OoA (phase-2), you still have to agree that M32 is as old as the Great Eurasian Expansion itself. And so is M29'Q in Melanesia (at least).

      Btw, welcome to the Wiki.

      Delete
  13. "What Bout M32 (100% Andamanese)?"

    What about it? We're talking about M31 here. And don't forget that M32 is part of M32'56. M56, like members of M31, is Indian. So who's trying to change the subject now?

    "Even if you could imagine M31 belonging to a second wave into the Andamans, maybe 10 or 15 Ka after the Great Eurasian Expansion (phase 1 or M) or OoA (phase-2)"

    Possible. But not usually considered as being the case.

    "you still have to agree that M32 is as old as the Great Eurasian Expansion itself. And so is M29'Q in Melanesia (at least)".

    Not necessarily. While a long 'stem' is indicative of a period of drift a short stem is not necessarily indicative of no, or a negligible, period of drift. A long stem is formed when 'daughter' haplogroups replace 'parent' haplogroups. But there is no reason to assume that replacement is regular, or has a sort of 'half-life'.

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    1. You're telling me that the Andamanese people can't be a leftover from the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion and I'm saying that they totally look like they are, at least per the M32 mtDNA lineage.

      "And don't forget that M32 is part of M32'56. M56, like members of M31, is Indian".

      Sure but still M32 is only one coding region mutation away from M-root (because what describes M32 as different from basal M32'56 are two HVS-I transitions, less reliable and important (the transition at 16319 is found in other 12 lineages only in that same M(xD) page of PhyloTree, 16526 is "only" found in another one however).

      "... there is no reason to assume that replacement is regular, or has a sort of 'half-life'".

      Whatever. It is common sense, although of course nothing that can be proven beyond the stubborn doubt of someone who knows where he wants to arrive but not how.

      Delete
  14. "Whatever. It is common sense, although of course nothing that can be proven beyond the stubborn doubt of someone who knows where he wants to arrive but not how".

    On the contrary it is you who is demonstrating yet another example of your deciding in advance what it is you want the evidence to say. Yoyr inconsistency is breath-taking. Just a few days ago you wrote:

    "This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy"

    But now you're taking the molecular clock as Gospel.

    "Sure but still M32 is only one coding region mutation away from M-root (because what describes M32 as different from basal M32'56 are two HVS-I transitions, less reliable and important (the transition at 16319 is found in other 12 lineages only in that same M(xD) page of PhyloTree, 16526 is 'only' found in another one however)".

    And that immediately introduces a problem for you. M32a and M32c are combined only because of those two 'unreliable' control region mutations yet, as far as I'm aware, M32c is found only on Madagascar (M32c is called 'M46' in the paper, according to Phylotree):

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3378/027.081.0407

    But M32c can have arrived in Madagascar no more than some 2000 years ago. That makes a complete mockery of any 'molecular clock' you might wish to apply to the haplogroup M32'56. We have no real way of knowing how long M32 and M56 remained together before separating into the two existing subclades Besides which, if we're going to assume M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together, we are left with the certainty that both originated in north or northeast India and arrived in the Andamans some time after the basal M expansion. But, of course, you have quite consistently been quite prepared to accept the molecular clock when it fits your belief but completely dissmissive when it fails to do so.

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    1. "But now you're taking the molecular clock as Gospel".

      I'm not. You are tendentious.

      It was you who raised this "molecular-clock-o-logy" matter, I'm just reversing your logic by transferring your reasoning from M31 to M32.

      Quod erat debunkatum.

      "And that immediately introduces a problem for you. M32a and M32c are combined only because of those two 'unreliable' control region mutations yet, as far as I'm aware, M32c is found only on Madagascar (M32c is called 'M46' in the paper, according to Phylotree)"

      Interesting, I was unaware. It's not a problem for me at all, as all what I just said keep applying to M32a.

      "But M32c can have arrived in Madagascar no more than some 2000 years ago".

      It's probable indeed but first we'd need to locate where in Asia originated M32c (probably Indonesia but not necessarily). By the moment the whole lineage is described as proposed (cursive in the mutation list). It's even possible that the lineage was picked in Andaman, although I'd rather bet for Indonesia or nearby areas.

      Whatever the case the triple M32'56 clade looks like coalesced also right after the Great Eurasian Expansion, one of its branches being now only found in Andaman.

      "if we're going to assume M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together"...

      No reason to assume that.

      "we are left with the certainty that both originated in north or northeast India and arrived in the Andamans some time after the basal M expansion".

      We can't determine at the moment where M32'56 coalesced, the fact that M32c is an Austronesian lineage rather points towards SE Asia, at least in that branch, so the overall coalescence point could be anywhere between India and Indonesia most likely.

      Similarly we can't determine where M31 coalesced, right? If 1/2 branch is Indian and the other from SE Asia (Andaman), then there is a 50-50 uncertainty.

      Whatever the case: you are way off topic. Write your own blog.

      Delete
  15. "It was you who raised this 'molecular-clock-o-logy' matter"

    Your memory is defective. You raised it response to a comment I made concerning M31 that you misinterpreted as being based on the molecular clock. It wasn't based on the clock at all.

    "I'm just reversing your logic by transferring your reasoning from M31 to M32".

    I repeat (because your comprehension seems defective as well) my comments concerning M31 had not a single thing to do with a molecular clock of any kind. The comments were based solely on the phylogeny, which is independent of any 'molecular clock'.

    "Interesting, I was unaware. It's not a problem for me at all, as all what I just said keep applying to M32a".

    It is still a huge problem for your molecular clock. M32c developed a stem of three mutations (9269 14152 15935) in just two thousand years. Other haplogroups appear not to have developed a stem longer than one mutation in tens of thousands of years. Your molecular clock is completely useless.

    "Whatever the case the triple M32'56 clade looks like coalesced also right after the Great Eurasian Expansion, one of its branches being now only found in Andaman".

    But that, on its own (disregarding problems concerning the molecular clock), tells us nothing about when the lineage reached the Andamans.

    "Similarly we can't determine where M31 coalesced, right?"

    Wrong. The phylogeny tells us a great deal about where it coalesced. For any other haplogroup you would have immediately willingly accept the evidence of the phylogeny, but in this case that phylogeny fails to fit your prefered scenario, so you dismiss it immediately.

    "If 1/2 branch [M31] is Indian and the other from SE Asia (Andaman), then there is a 50-50 uncertainty".

    Wrong. Have another look at the phylogeny. M31 split first into M31a and M31b'c. Haplogroups M31b and M31c are both centred on northeast India. I agree that that is 50% of the M31 phylogeny, but that is just half the story. M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2, the second of which is a northeast Indian haplogroup. So we have 75% Northeast Indian and 25% Andaman. And if we disregard the control region mutations (16093 16136) we have three basal M31 haplogroups, reducing the proportion of Andaman members considerably. Surely your belief that 'basal diversity = origin' should lead inexorably to the conclusion of a northeast India origin for the haplogroup as a whole.

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  16. "No reason to assume that [M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together]".

    There is far more reason to assume it so than there is to deny it.

    "We can't determine at the moment where M32'56 coalesced"

    We can come to a very informed conclusion though, if we're prepared to consider ALL the data. I've been trying to tell you for ages that the bulk of evidence points to an arrival in the Andamans no more than about 15,000 years ago. The phylogeny of M31 is further support for that conclusion. The only evidence you can offer in contradiction is your 'belief' that the Andamans were settled by the first wave of M haplogroup OoA humans: an assumption that is surely past its 'use by' date.

    "the overall coalescence point could be anywhere between India and Indonesia most likely".

    Probably correct, but it almost certainly did not coalesce in, and expand from, the Andamans. Its arrival there is certainly not necessarily part of the 'great southern coastal migration from Africa'. It arrived later, from the nearby mainland.

    "Whatever the case: you are way off topic. Write your own blog".

    The topic is, 'Anomalous Paleolithic skull from South China'. The hill country of Northeast India/South China/Burma looks to have been a single ecological region for early human inhabitation of the East. Something like half the M haplogroups look to have coalesced and spread from there. Similar humans to the one that is the topic of this post were probaly found right through the region, although this particular individual could be a late survivor.

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  17. "M32c developed a stem of [at least] three mutations (9269 14152 15935) in just two thousand years".

    Actually in some 80 thousand years (assuming that's the age of M). Here we have a clear example of haplogroup which has wandered far away, whose origins are lost (by the moment at least) but that has not been at destination (Madagascar) for all its history but just a small fragment of it.

    "Other haplogroups appear not to have developed a stem longer than one mutation in tens of thousands of years".

    You know my cannibal mum hypothesis by which the dominant clade "drifts out" the rest (or at least keeps them small) in relatively large stable populations, right?

    "M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2, the second of which is a northeast Indian haplogroup. So we have 75% Northeast Indian and 25% Andaman".

    Alright.

    Except that my list of populations actually point to Central-East India and not NE India (i.e. West of Bangladesh and in that country and not East of it): "Bengal, Munda, Orissa, Saharia". Bengal and Orissa, together with some other states make up Eastern India according to common regional terminology in India itself. The Munda also live there, in East India (and not NE India), while the Saharia are from Central or North India.

    "an arrival in the Andamans no more than about 15,000 years ago"

    How good and extensive is the underwater archaeological survey? I mean: seriously!

    You're just trying to pull the ember to your sardine... not fair. And you do that once and again.

    ....

    And you know so well that you are off topic that you even apologized when you introduced this diversion:

    "I aploogise in advance that this is only marginally related to the subject"...

    You have stated your point well beyond that, please do not hijack the thread. You have many other spaces (such as forums, other blogs, your own blog...) to write on the matter publicly. Pushing it beyond common sense and my patience only makes you a troll.

    Don't be a troll, please.

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  18. "Here we have a clear example of haplogroup which has wandered far away, whose origins are lost (by the moment at least) but that has not been at destination (Madagascar) for all its history but just a small fragment of it".

    Only in your immagination. That's complete rubbish, Maju. M32c has not been found anywhere other than Madagascar and it could quite easily have developed its stem there. I'll grant it probably comes from somewhere between NE India and the Andamans but it certainly developed its stem after it had separated from either of them. It seems incredibkle that it could have become common enough to last until Madagascar was settled the suddenly have dissappeared completely in its region of origin. Unless you're claiming genocide as an explanation yet again.

    "You know my cannibal mum hypothesis by which the dominant clade 'drifts out' the rest (or at least keeps them small) in relatively large stable populations, right?"

    Exactly. There is absolutely no reason at all why displacement of haplogroups within a particuler region should obey a molecular clock of any kind. What we actually often seem to find is that 'successful' haplogroups are the ones who have moved away from their region of origin.

    "Except that my list of populations actually point to Central-East India and not NE India (i.e. West of Bangladesh and in that country and not East of it)"

    I have no problem with that. It explains quite a bit. M31 moved from NE India into the Bay of Bengal and M32 moved into the Bay of Bengal from further south. Both apppear to have been the culmination of the spread of boating along the coast between SE Asia and Eastern India. We even have haplogroups shared between the Philippines and East India. At this stage we have no way of determining the direction of movement.

    "The Munda also live there, in East India (and not NE India)"

    And speak and early Austro-Asiatic language and so most likely came from even further east.

    "How good and extensive is the underwater archaeological survey? I mean: seriously!"

    I realise religious fundamentalists often raise the argument, 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence', but surely any theory relies on the presence of evidence. Otherwise it's possible to claim almost anything.

    "And you know so well that you are off topic that you even apologized when you introduced this diversion"

    But it is very relevant in our attempt to unravel the threads of human expansion. The paper on mt-DNA P is even more relevant but I'll refrain from introducing that topic here. You'll find it very interesting to study the paper I linked to elsewhere though.

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    1. Again: none of them is in "NE India"!!!

      "I realise religious fundamentalists often raise the argument, 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'"

      It's not a religious argument but a scientific one. Argh!

      This is specially true when we have reasons to think that it is statistically likely that our survey of the potential evidence is very poor.

      For example we have no direct evidence of life outside Earth (yet) but we realize that our evidence is very limited and we have come to gradually understand that life can exist in so many different econiches that it's most likely that there is life outside earth.

      We have no direct evidence of black holes but all the indirect evidence and cosmological theories point to their existence.

      Etc. The weight of existing evidence is always in relation to the extent and intensity of the data mining process, of the quality of the overall survey.

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  19. "Again: none of them is in 'NE India'!!!"

    M31 is in 'Northeast India'. Your 'list of populations' is probably incorrect. I got my information from this paper, although it was free at that time:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1673852711000324

    "It's not a religious argument but a scientific one. Argh!"

    It's an argument I've heard used far more often by religious fundamentalists than by any scientist. And your claim in this case is far more closely related to 'religious fundamentalist' than it is to 'scientist'.

    "This is specially true when we have reasons to think that it is statistically likely that our survey of the potential evidence is very poor".

    But in this case the evidence is not too bad, except if you have already made up your mind what the situation is and the evidence does not actually fit that belief.

    "For example we have no direct evidence of life outside Earth (yet) but we realize that our evidence is very limited and we have come to gradually understand that life can exist in so many different econiches that it's most likely that there is life outside earth".

    Who is moving off topic now?

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  20. "It's an argument I've heard used far more often by religious fundamentalists than by any scientist".

    You seem to be more interested on fundamentalists than scientists.

    Lack of evidence being different from evidence of lack is just obvious. You are denying possibilities without sufficient research and that's not acceptable: it is dogmatic instead.

    "But in this case the evidence is not too bad"...

    In SE Asian archeology the evidence is generally too bad: we know almost nothing. Between India and Australia there's a huge gap of archaeological knowledge!

    "Who is moving off topic now?"

    It's my blog: my diary, "my home". I was just explaining you why lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. Otherwise there'd be no life outside earth and, almost for sure, there is (but no direct evidence as of yet).

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  21. "Lack of evidence being different from evidence of lack is just obvious. You are denying possibilities without sufficient research and that's not acceptable"

    And you're making up possibilities just to fit your beliefs. At least I'm relying on the evidence as we have it.

    "In SE Asian archeology the evidence is generally too bad: we know almost nothing. Between India and Australia there's a huge gap of archaeological knowledge!"

    Maybe for you there is because you are not so interested in the region. Anyway, even if the evidence is incomplete you are still not entitled to make stuff up that doesn't actually fit the evidence as we have it. Once you start doing that you can come up with almost any theory you wish, such as an American origin for humans. Or that the Andaman Islanders represent a relict population from a great southern coastal migration.

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  22. I am very interested in MP and UP archaeology in SE Asia. There's just not much.

    I am entitled, because it is for real, to say that the almost nil archaeological data from the region does not allow us to reconstruct what happened in the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion as of now.

    We have to infer from nearby regions, very specially Sahul (because in order to go there people MUST have gone through SE Asia) but also Mid-East Asia and South Asia.

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  23. "the almost nil archaeological data from the region does not allow us to reconstruct what happened in the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion as of now".

    There is actually rather a lot of 'archaeological data' but much less genetic data. Much of the data is pre world wide web so available only in papers and books, but I'll see what I can find. I have been following developments in the region since the early-80s, if not before. I recall that you have consistently dismissed Peter Bellwood as an authority, although he is considered an expert on the region in these parts.

    ReplyDelete

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