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Thread: Do modern Europeans partly descend from Neanderthal ?

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    Out-of-Africa is supported by DNA evidence

    First, I believe that C. Coon was thrown out of the AAA for being a racist. He believed that the cold climate made white people smarter, that the tropics made black people lazy and stupid.

    The Neandertal genome has been sequenced. It is COMPLETELY different from that of Homo sapiens, including the European varieties. The red hair gene in Homo neandertalensis was not the same as the mutation which causes ginger hair in H. sapiens. The olive skin tone of Mediterraneans/Mideasterners is quite ancient. The lighter skin accompanied by blonde hair of many Europeans is dated to around 6000 years ago, apparently among the Indoeuropeans.

    DNA analysis indicates the last common ancestor of H. neandertalensis and H. sapiens to have been at least 600,000 years ago. The genetic evidence speaks very clearly to say that Homo sapiens does not have H. neandertalensis genes in Europe or Mideast or Central Asia, does not have H. heidelbergensis genes in Africa or southern Asia, and does not have H. erectus genes in eastern and southeastern Asia.

    Now, there is the morphological evidence... fossils found in Europe which seem to be hybrids. And well they may have been. But either the hybrids were sterile, or so few in number that their genes have disappeared over the many intervening generations, due to natural selection or just random genetic drift.

    IF there is in fact neandertalensis ancestry for any living person, it is very little, miniscule in total for all the Euro-Mideast-Central Asian peoples living on former Neandertal turf.

    For some it is romantic to imagine Neandertal ancestors. For some Afrocentrics, the belief in Neandertal ancestry among Europeans is cause to proclaim the inferiority of "white" people. But the facts don't support any of it.

    Now, there are anthropologists still bucking the tide, who believe in multiregionalism as opposed to pure Out-of-Africa to explain the diversity of modern humans, including Wolpoff, Trinkhaus and some others. Their arguments are respectable, and their disagreements with the mainstream are very useful and productive to keep the science honest, and keep us open to the possibility of new discoveries which will sway the argument their way. But currently, the prevailing belief is that neandertalensis was not the ancestor of any living humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barros Serrano View Post
    The Neandertal genome has been sequenced. It is COMPLETELY different from that of Homo sapiens, including the European varieties.
    The genome of ONE Neanderthal has been sequenced, and I think that the sequence isn't even complete yet. Let's keep in mind that the very first complete human genome was only completed in 2007, and Neanderthal DNA was quite damaged and much harder to process.

    The part of the Neanderthal genome tested so far is 99.5% similar to the genome of a modern human. This is far from being "completely different" considering that the lowest similarity between two modern humans appears at present to be 99.7%.

    The variety of Neanderthal sequenced is one of the southern European subspecies. It is still unknown how much genetic diversity there was between various subspecies of Neanderthals, but judging from the 600,000 years of evolution and the clear physical differences between the 3 main subspecies (bigger differences than between modern humans), it is probable that Neanderthals had a higher genetic diversity than modern humans. Furthermore, if modern humans interbred with Neanderthals, it would make sense that this happened in Central Asia, where red hair and other features shared with Neanderthals first appeared. There is no genetic data from Central Asian Neanderthal yet.
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    We need more evidence!!!

    Yes... in general, though advances are constantly forthcoming, we are still in a period of the infancy of genome analysis. Genes which act as "switches" to turn on other genes, and other complications keep arising to confound the conclusions reached with the earliest studies. We can expect this knowledge and expertise to increase exponentially over the coming years.

    The % differences don't mean a whole lot, since we are fairly similar to even chimps, the way of calculating these differences can vary so that you get different %s from different scientists, but they don't mean much. The 95-plus% similarity of Homo sapiens with any related type doesn't tell us a thing, really.

    What matters is if they can find some identifiable neandertal gene in moderns, which has not yet occurred.

    But... we should all keep on raising objections on both sides, because we are all raising valid points which must be addressed in order to resolve this.

    Currently my position has altered from "Out-of-Africa ONLY" to a slight modification, that we are all overwhelmingly descended from Out-of-Africa, but some mixing probably did occur, most of its genetic results disappearing via natural selection or drift, but with the possibility that there may still be an allele or 2 floating around in modern peoples which can be traced to erectus, heidelbergensis or neandertalensis. Of course my training was mostly in socio-cultural rather than physical anthro., so what do I know?

    The evidence consistently produced by Trinkhaus, et al., is mostly morphological, so we are getting 1 conclusion from the DNA but valid objections to it from the morphological analyses...

    I'm like an addict needing a fix, waiting eagerly for more data to appear...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barros Serrano View Post
    What matters is if they can find some identifiable neandertal gene in moderns, which has not yet occurred.
    If you look at it the other way round, you could just as well say that we have not yet found a single gene in common between modern humans and Paleolithic Homo Sapiens (e.g. Cro-Magnon), apart from one tiny Cro-Magnon mtDNA sequence. The reason is that no Paleolithic Homo Sapiens has been tested yet. That doesn't prove or disprove anything. We just don't know yet.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find quite a few differences between Cro-Magnon and modern Europeans/Near Easterners. Have you read The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution ? The authors demonstrate that modern humans have drastically changed genetically since the birth of agriculture. For example there was a strong selection for new mutations that lowered blood sugar since we became cereal eaters, so as to avoid diabetes. This is why Native American or Polynesian tribes that never became agricultural before Columbus suffer a lot from diabetes in modern societies. There are many more examples, including changes in cranial features (e.g. quick disappearance of brow ridges since the Antiquity).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The Neanderthal image depicted shows more physical similarities than differences, compared with modern man.

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    Still... the Cro-Magnon genome is Homo sapiens, without a doubt. The neandertal one, no. What will be found, if anything, to show neandertal ancestry of modern humans, will be some isolated allele or 2, nothing basic or indicating more than a very small bit of neandertal ancestry.

    Nowadays it is being discovered just how advanced neandertals were culturally... musical instruments, sewn clothing, funerals, etc., and the Upper Palaeolithic Châtelperronian tool complex is now proven to have been made by neandertals without sapiens influence. So... they were not dumb hulking brutes...

    Of course we may find evidence that Homo erectus was also a lot more "human" than is now thought...

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    Eventually enough hard evidence will be accumulated that provides sufficient proof of Cro-Magnon / Neanderthal mixing.

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    Great thread Maciamo, I had a nice read this evening. Glad to find guys thinking alike in this matter. Although I think you are pushing the envelope a bit too much sometimes, with legends and red hair yeti.

    I also enjoyed sobering remarks of Barros. The truth will be probably somewhere in the middle even if we don't like it, lol.

    I always shake my head when I read scientific material with scholars arguing about neanderthals demise. Wars with Cro-Magnon? Interbreeding? Climate? Disease?
    Let me see. It was almost exactly like Europeans discovered North America and settled there. Wars, on and off for centuries. Peaceful coexistence, in places yes. Interbreeding, not a lot percentage wise, but enough to pick up useful genes, and is ongoing since Pocahontas. And if not for the change of thinking about races,human rights, welfare services, etc, the last native American would vanish probably in next 200 years.
    That's most likely what happened with Neanderthals.


    Here is one my, push the envelope type, theory about sharing some of Neanderthals' genes.
    Europeans are the list religious, spiritual, superstitious people of all the races. Also when one looks at burial practices of Neanderthals and Cro Magnons, it looks like Neanderthals were lacking somewhat in spiritual department. Did Europeans pick up none-believer gene from them too?
    Interestingly the farther north in Europe one goes the less spiritual people seam to be.

    Regards

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    The debate I'm certain will accelerate...

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    about hair and skin now :
    red hair legacy due to neanderthal populations :

    I only found infos confirming (till furhter notice) that the gene responsible for red hair found in a neanderthal sample (of only 1 individual) is a variety which is not existing as such in any today human. It is believed to represent another version producing the same visible results. Beside this measured fact (Max Plank Institute report) the question is still open how it is possible that 80 other versions of the "red hair" provoking gene exist in today living humans when it should be considered that all of them arrived maximum 40.000 years ago in a climatic region where red hair and light colored skin can not be a terrible handicap any more and even be an advantage as it used to be the case for the neanderthal population. Beside that in africa the "red hair gene" did not develope prior neither, so there is a "problem" to solve concerning the "speedy" developement of so many "red hair producing" genes in supposed to be less than 40.000 years and this only in europe...
    Last edited by Nicolas Peucelle; 16-12-09 at 03:17.

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    I may suggest that the neanderthal may have died out because the interbreeding may have just produced mixed species individuals like a "mule" would be a hybrid descendant of a horse and a donkey mixing up. (and mules are sterile). In this case the children would never have viable descendants at all and each couple formed by a Homo Sapiens-Sapiens and a Neanderthal would be the genetical end of these 2 individuals. This would explain the existence (to be still proved by more than anatomic aspects, but also by DNA checking) of skeletons presenting themselves as half-neanderthals. (a child skeleton discovered in a portugese cave p.ex.) The existence of such a hybrid descendant will not automaticaly prove that a second generation of such half neanderthals could be procreated by that hybrid. It s possible that Homo Sapiens Sapiens males or females "occupying" a partner of the other kind.. would in fact sterilize him this way. Also we can consider a second option: That the procreation of viable descendants was only possible if the male was Homo Sapiens Sapiens and the female a neanderthal.. or the opposite way (only neanderthal males could have a viable descendant with a Homo Sapiens sapiens female)... and this last version could also explain than that apparently NOTHING of the specific neanderthal mtDNA is present in todays human mtDNA but a large chunk of neanderthal DNA would still exist in modern humans despite this total absence of mother transmitted mtDNA. (Now I wonder what the Ydna of the neandethal males is like.. has anybody yet a code of it? I don't think so). Consider that approx 450.000 years separated the neanderthal line from the lineage of the modern human and this may very well have been enough to create a genetical incompatibility explaining what I suggest here before. Beside this supposition I still add that it is also quite humanly possible that when the 2 populations met the fact that the 2 human kinds were not able to have descendants together would not exclude that they could have formed sex and lust or loving "couples" or taken (seduced or kidnapped) wives of the other group. Ignoring that no children will result of these "unions", the neanderthal female may still have been attractive to Homo Sapiens Sapiens males, and by remaining with their H.S.S.tribes neanderthal females were missing in the neanderthal group, creating a slow diminuishing of neanderthal female population over the few thousands of years, what may have let the neanderthal population to a "quiet" extinction by the means of "women stealing or seducing" and other "natural disasters", more than by murder of the entire neanderthal population over the time. And how can we exclude that an average neanderthal female did not prefer to join a "cool" Homo sapiens sapiens group anyhow? In case she would never be pregnant there, this could have been an advantage for her personal comfort. Maybe it was a great deal for the old H.Sapiens Sapiens tribes to have a couple or even bunches of these neanderthal females which never had to bear children and could spend more time helping the other mothers doing work arround the settlements. In this way the neanderthal female would have been a kind of servants, maybe sex slave race which the H.Sapiens sapiens males kidnapped or exchanged from their neanderthal counterparts. (Humans are probably very much alike as we are today.. and the idea to procure females through trade is very possible). Maybe the neanderthal males ended up as "pimps" of their own female population, trading them away for better tools and objetcs which the H.S.S. tribes were able to create better. Unfortunately beside the genetical checks which do not confirm (yet) any neanderthal DNA present in modern living humans, there seems to be not evidence (yet) neither of "mixed" settlements.. because we should expect to find at least a grave or mixed remains of the the two human kinds in a contemporary archeological layer and site. So were they so much disgusted by each other that they even not shared a cave or a burial site after having formed couples or sexual groups ? The future will tell us hopefully with good evidence, either way.
    Last edited by Nicolas Peucelle; 16-12-09 at 03:49.

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    Hello to all

    I believe strongly in neanderthal origins of europeans. Another fact is that we find brachycephal neanderthals exactly where today live dinaric people (Brachycephal); the only brachycephalic neanderthals are those of Crapina and Vindija caves in Croatia.

    Others were dolichocephalic, as are the people of the same places today.

    And I should like to know your opinion about linking of neanderthals with certain haplogroups.

    I think haplogroups C D and E (without african subclade), are linked to neanderthals.

    Because, the haplogroup D is linked to chinesse paleolithics who were caucasians as are today their descendants Ainu people, who are also with haplogroup D.

    Haplogroup C before migrating to North America and Australia, lived in the East Asia (Siberia, China, India, Indochina etj).

    And haplogroup E, which is a brother of haplogroup D, could have lived in Europe.

    Three centers of Blood Group A, are Europe, Australia and North America. The two last are with high frequency of haplogroup C. Europe could have been with haplogroup E in that time.

    After the arrival of Sapiens, Neanderthals would have been refugees to forests of Balkan and Iberia. In Balkan still today remain the haplogroup E-V13, and in Iberia we find the last Neanderthals together with hybrid in Portugalia.

    After that, Neanderthals could migrate to North Africa, where we can find Berbers with haplogroup E-M78, which have a high frequency of Blonde hairs and fair eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neander View Post
    Hello to all

    I believe strongly in neanderthal origins of europeans. Another fact is that we find brachycephal neanderthals exactly where today live dinaric people (Brachycephal); the only brachycephalic neanderthals are those of Crapina and Vindija caves in Croatia.

    Others were dolichocephalic, as are the people of the same places today.
    That's a very good point. Considering the complex geographic carving of the European continent the probabilities that this is just a coincidence are very low indeed.

    And I should like to know your opinion about linking of neanderthals with certain haplogroups.

    I think haplogroups C D and E (without african subclade), are linked to neanderthals.
    Neanderthalian haplogroups would have diverged from Homo Sapiens ones well before haplogroup A. Haplogroups C and D represent the first migrations of modern humans from Africa to Asia. I am convinced that these people mixed with the local descendants of Homo Erectus. There were at least two subspecies of Homo Erectus in Asia at the time, the one related to the Peking Man, and the one descended from the Java Man. The former mixed with both hg C and D to make Mongoloid people in East Asia. The latter intermingled with hg C (mostly) in modern Indonesia and Papua-New Guinea, then moved to Australia. Aboriginal Australians are their "purest descendants, followed by Papuans. But Indonesians certainly have a small amount of admixture too, even though it was mostly repopulated by East Asians.

    Haplogroup E is typically African, so it's one of the least likely to have mixed with Neanderthals. The most likely are IJ and K.

    Because, the haplogroup D is linked to chinesse paleolithics who were caucasians as are today their descendants Ainu people, who are also with haplogroup D.
    Chinese Paleolithic people weren't Caucasian. The Ainu aren't Caucasian either, despite being hairier and having rounder eyes than typical Mongoloids.


    Three centers of Blood Group A, are Europe, Australia and North America. The two last are with high frequency of haplogroup C. Europe could have been with haplogroup E in that time.
    I wouldn't try to link blood group with ethnicity. Chimps and gorillas have the same ABO blood groups as humans, so that is a very old genetic feature. Modern Native Americans are almost all O+, but it has been proven that pre-Columbian Natives had a lot of A and B too. The theory is that group O was better adapted to cope with the diseases brought by the Europeans (such as syphilis). Likewise the distribution of blood groups in Eurasia can be explained by various epidemics in the last 2000 years. I have explained this in ABO blood type and resistance to diseases


    After the arrival of Sapiens, Neanderthals would have been refugees to forests of Balkan and Iberia. In Balkan still today remain the haplogroup E-V13, and in Iberia we find the last Neanderthals together with hybrid in Portugalia.

    After that, Neanderthals could migrate to North Africa, where we can find Berbers with haplogroup E-M78, which have a high frequency of Blonde hairs and fair eyes.
    Neanderthal blood would have passed through y-haplogroup I. I2a2 being strong in the Balkans, this is where you should look. E-V13 replaced a lot of older I lineages in the southern Balkans, but did marry with native women of haplogroup U4, U5, H1, H3, etc. The same is true in North Africa. All native men of European descent have been killed or made not to pass their Y-DNA, but over half of maternal lineages in northern Morocco and north-west Algeria are of European descent. Neanderthal genes can pass just as well through mothers as fathers. Y-DNA is only one side of the story.
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    Thanx for answers. :)

    And one question for you (or others), about haplogroups:

    Is it possible, that some haplogroups (Y or mtdna) are not with same ancestry, but just share dhe same mutation, which is created as a coincidence in two populations??

    If it is possible, maybe we can find neanderthal haplogroups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neander View Post
    Thanx for answers. :)

    And one question for you (or others), about haplogroups:

    Is it possible, that some haplogroups (Y or mtdna) are not with same ancestry, but just share dhe same mutation, which is created as a coincidence in two populations??

    If it is possible, maybe we can find neanderthal haplogroups.
    A haplogroup is not defined by one or a few mutations, but a long series of cumulative mutations. This is why coincidences don't happen, except maybe for two subclades of the same mtDNA haplogroup defined only by one common mutation.
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    http://atlantisinireland.com/DNA/Europeernas_DNA.php

    Here is distribution of Mtdna and Y haplogroups.

    Notice Mtdna haplogroups I X and W, and their distribution, and What you think??

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    Have you seen the Y-DNA and mtDNA frequencies on this website ? At least it is complete for Europe, unlike the website you are referring to.

    I, W and X probably all originated around the Caucasus (I, X) and the Pontic steppe and forest-steppe (W).
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    The naysayers are going to have a hard time denying all the new evidence in favour of a genetic assimilation of Neanderthals by Homo Sapiens.

    BBC News : Neanderthal genes 'survive in us'

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study.

    The finding has surprised many experts, as previous genetic evidence suggested the Neanderthals made little or no contribution to our inheritance.

    The result comes from analysis of the Neanderthal genome - the "instruction manual" describing how these ancient humans were put together.

    The genomes of 1% to 4% of people in Eurasia come from Neanderthals.

    ...

    The sequencing of the Neanderthal genome is a landmark scientific achievement, the product of a four-year-long effort led from Germany's Max Planck Institute but involving many other universities around the world.

    The project makes use of efficient "high-throughput" technology which allows many genetic sequences to be processed at the same time.

    The draft Neanderthal sequence contains DNA extracted from the bones of three different Neanderthals found at Vindija Cave in Croatia.
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    ^^ In this video from El Pais we can see how neanderthals mixed with modern humans.

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    The latest DNA research concludes that Europeans and Asians have between 1-4% Neanderthal genetic influences. The only populations without any Neanderthal DNA are from Sub-Saharan Africa.

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    This is a question I've been pondering about for many years. As far as I can tell, the Neanderthals were light and blue eyed. Some dispute that. I don't know. If that however is the case, it seems as if the region of distribution of Neanderthals concur roughly with the area where light humans are distributed i.e. caucasians. My thought was that we might have gotten the fairness and blue eyes from mixing with them. That they didn't disappear or where exterminated but that they are us. Mixed and integrated over time.

    Hardly scientific, but something that I thought about for a long time. It probably has no merit at all. Subjects like this are probably rarely as simple as that.
    Last edited by Michael Folkesson; 08-05-10 at 23:15.

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    Very interesting to read that Eurepeans and Asians have 1-4% Neanderthaler
    ancestry.

    But did the Asiatic Neanderthaleres have fair/red hair and blue eyes?
    I supposed that Neanderthalers only lived in Western-Europe.
    Why were these fair hair and blue so numerous with the North- and
    West-Europeans? Perhaps there was an other cause which stimalated
    blond hair and light eyes for the West-Europeans?

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    Light eyes and hair are indigenous throughout Europe. The north has higher percentages of light hair and eyes primarily because of environmental adaptation. Actually, in the mountainous areas of Morocco, descendants of non-mixed Eurasian (White) origin Berbers show ~ 40% light eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Folkesson View Post
    This is a question I've been pondering about for many years. As far as I can tell, the Neanderthals were light and blue eyed. Some dispute that. I don't know. If that however is the case, it seems as if the region of distribution of Neanderthals concur roughly with the area where light humans are distributed i.e. caucasians. My thought was that we might have gotten the fairness and blue eyes from mixing with them. That they didn't disappear or where exterminated but that they are us. Mixed and integrated over time.

    Hardly scientific, but something that I thought about for a long time. It probably has no merit at all. Subjects like this are probably rarely as simple as that.
    That's what I also hypothesised here and here.

    Central Asia appears to be the most likely place for Homo Sapiens-Neanderthal intermingling. Blond and red hair as well as blue eyes might well have come to Europe with the Indo-Europeans from the Eurasian plain. I think it is very probable that modern humans got fair skin, hair and eyes from Neanderthal in Central Asia around 45,000 years ago. These new hybrid modern humans would have belonged to Y-haplogroup K, who has spawned haplogroups L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S and T.

    L and T moved back to South and South-West Asia (T as far as North-East Africa). M and S went all the way to Australia and Papua. N moved north to Siberia, O east to East Asia. P, Q and R remained in Central Asia for many millennia, then Q moved to north-east Siberia and the Americas around 20,000 years ago. R1 and R2 developed in Central Asia. R2 moved to northern India and Pakistan. R1 split into R1a and R1b. R1a remained all over Central Asia, with a branch in the Pontic steppe. R1b moved to northern Mesopotamia and Anatolia, the rejoined the western R1a branch across the Caucasus. Their fusion gave birth to Indo-European culture and people, then expanded into Europe and back to Central and South Asia.

    That's a very brief and schematic summary of how Neanderthal genes spread all over Eurasia.

    As for why fair hair and eyes are not found among the first branches to depart from Central Asia (N, O and Q), there are several possibilities.

    1) N, O and Q people mixed early with another human population and lost the fair hair and eyes gene before expanding. My guess is that they mixed with another hybrid, of Homo Sapiens and the descendants of the Peking Man, which gave the Mongoloid features to East Asians, Siberians and Native Americans. These older Homo Sapiens in East Asia belonged to Y-haplogroup C and D. N, O and Q might have replaced them as paternal lineages for any of the reasons that R1a and R1b replaced older Y-lineages in Europe. I am increasingly in favour of a genetic predisposition for these haplogroups to father more boys.

    2) The fair hair and eyes mutations were not present in the people who migrated north and east from Central Asia. It was only inherited by another tribe, who later became the R people.

    3) The fair hair and eyes mutation did not come from Neanderthal but was a later independent happening.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 10-05-10 at 08:41.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    Light eyes and hair are indigenous throughout Europe. The north has higher percentages of light hair and eyes primarily because of environmental adaptation. Actually, in the mountainous areas of Morocco, descendants of non-mixed Eurasian (White) origin Berbers show ~ 40% light eyes.
    Haplogroup R1b has been found among the Berbers. It's possible that the Vandals who settled in the Maghreb mixed with the Berbers after being defeated.
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