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Thread: What ancient dna tells us about caste-David Reich

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    4 out of 5 members found this post helpful.

    What ancient dna tells us about caste-David Reich

    See:
    https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge...220915568.html

    "Our focus in India has mostly been on the main pattern variation among people speaking Indo-European and Dravidian languages. The observation we made in 2007-08 was that if you look at genome-wide data in most people in India today, it’s clear that there’s a gradient of people ranging from two extremes—from those related to East Asians and others related to South Asian hunter-gatherers. It’s a striking pattern. We were able to document that this was, to a large extent, the result of the mixture of two very different source populations. More than 4,000 years ago, there were unmixed representations of these groups in India but that no longer is true. It was also clear that what we see of the caste system now goes back much deeper in time, long before the British strengthened these social divisions."

    "
    How can ancient DNA affect the political and social lives of nations?Ancient DNA has proven to be very disruptive. When you look at data from the skeletons of people who lived in any one place today, it’s extremely rare that those people looked like people who live in those same places now. This seems to be true almost everywhere now where we get ancient DNAs. We can use this microscope to look at the past and apply it to different ancient cultures and ask the question, how are the people living there in ancient times related to the people living there today? The technology we now have is probing and taking measurements about phenomena that wasn’t possible to quantify before."


    Speaking truth whether people like it or not. Go David.




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    Right on, it will give people some perspective on purity of their "race".
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    See:
    https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge...220915568.html

    "Our focus in India has mostly been on the main pattern variation among people speaking Indo-European and Dravidian languages. The observation we made in 2007-08 was that if you look at genome-wide data in most people in India today, it’s clear that there’s a gradient of people ranging from two extremes—from those related to East Asians and others related to South Asian hunter-gatherers. It’s a striking pattern. We were able to document that this was, to a large extent, the result of the mixture of two very different source populations. More than 4,000 years ago, there were unmixed representations of these groups in India but that no longer is true. It was also clear that what we see of the caste system now goes back much deeper in time, long before the British strengthened these social divisions."

    "
    How can ancient DNA affect the political and social lives of nations?Ancient DNA has proven to be very disruptive. When you look at data from the skeletons of people who lived in any one place today, it’s extremely rare that those people looked like people who live in those same places now. This seems to be true almost everywhere now where we get ancient DNAs. We can use this microscope to look at the past and apply it to different ancient cultures and ask the question, how are the people living there in ancient times related to the people living there today? The technology we now have is probing and taking measurements about phenomena that wasn’t possible to quantify before."

    Speaking truth whether people like it or not. Go David.
    I'm not so sure. To me, it looks like a version of truth that shows signs of being driven by stylistic over-simplification and potential agenda:
    1. He tends to convert things to simple dichotomies (Indo-European v. Dravidian)(East Asian v. South Asian hunter gatherers), identifying them as 'striking', 'extremes', 'very different' and 'unmixed'. Whereas, in reality, the two source populations that he divides everyone into were not unmixed at all, but were themselves mixtures of other populations.
    2. He seems to be promoting a politically-correct anti-racial purity message, but its logic is based on a racial-purity assumption - that, in the past, everyone fell into one of two racial 'extremes' before they all mixed together and became as one.
    3. His over-generalisation that it is 'extremely rare' for people who lived in any one place in the past to have looked like people who live there today seems to be disuading people from looking at what they can learn from modern data (deemed unreliable), and that all we can rely on are the closely-guarded and partly-published results of the archaeological studies monopolised by the few people like him who have access to all the most advanced technology.



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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    I'm not so sure. To me, it looks like a version of truth that shows signs of being driven by stylistic over-simplification and potential agenda:
    1. He tends to convert things to simple dichotomies (Indo-European v. Dravidian)(East Asian v. South Asian hunter gatherers), identifying them as 'striking', 'extremes', 'very different' and 'unmixed'. Whereas, in reality, the two source populations that he divides everyone into were not unmixed at all, but were themselves mixtures of other populations.
    2. He seems to be promoting a politically-correct anti-racial purity message, but its logic is based on a racial-purity assumption - that, in the past, everyone fell into one of two racial 'extremes' before they all mixed together and became as one.
    3. His over-generalisation that it is 'extremely rare' for people who lived in any one place in the past to have looked like people who live there today seems to be disuading people from looking at what they can learn from modern data (deemed unreliable), and that all we can rely on are the closely-guarded and partly-published results of the archaeological studies monopolised by the few people like him who have access to all the most advanced technology.


    Couldn't disagree more.

    1. Nowhere has he ever said that the source populations which form the admixtures he's investigating in a particular place are not themselves admixtures. If you took that from the Reich Lab papers you're not reading them carefully enough, or not reading papers about that area where they're looking at a different time period. What do you want them to do, talk about the possible Aurignacian minority ancestry in WHG when they're discussing the Neolithic transition. You're assumed to have some breadth of knowledge of everything they've produced.

    2. I have no idea what you're talking about here. He can't win for losing. He talks about admixture and he's a mouthpiece for politically correct speech. He talks about the Indo-Europeans and the movement from the steppe into Central Europe and he's an apologist for Nazis.

    This is when you know you're right: when both extremes attack you.

    Both sides don't understand what he and other researchers like him are doing: presenting the facts no matter whom it discomfits.

    None of this has anything to do with "RACE". What race were the dark skinned, dark eyed, dark haired Aurignacians? These are populations which existed long before the modern notions of race.

    3.It's a FACT that 20th century Europeans don't look like the people who lived in Europe 6000 years ago. If you're going to make a "generalization" that this isn't true, where are the examples? There may be a few populations on other continents, say, for example, some islands of Indonesia, where you'd have to go further back, but even there there's admixture.

    People might not like it, as I said, but it's the truth.

    He's not dissuading people from looking at anything. Look at Eurogenes, the morons at Stormfront etc.

    Ed. Well, the Sardinians might not be "really" far from the people who lived there 4,000 years ago, but even they got a bit of admixture after that. The Reich Lab mentions the Sardinians and their resemblance to M/L Neolithic people often, btw.
    Last edited by Angela; 19-02-19 at 05:30.

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    Much of the hostility to Reich, his lab, and his colleagues bluntly roots in the following:
    1. DNA evidence casting doubt on narratives of racial/ethnic/national pride.

    2. DNA evidence upending narratives entrenched in archaelogy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    Much of the hostility to Reich, his lab, and his colleagues bluntly roots in the following:
    1. DNA evidence casting doubt on narratives of racial/ethnic/national pride.

    2. DNA evidence upending narratives entrenched in archaelogy.
    Absolutely correct. :)

    We've soon numerous examples here on this board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Nowhere has he ever said that the source populations which form the admixtures he's investigating in a particular place are not themselves admixtures.
    You quoted Reich as saying "More than 4,000 years ago, there were unmixed representations of these groups in India". In my view, to use the word "unmixed" is misleading, and can be taken to imply a mythical age of genetic purity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I have no idea what you're talking about here. He can't win for losing. He talks about admixture and he's a mouthpiece for politically correct speech. He talks about the Indo-Europeans and the movement from the steppe into Central Europe and he's an apologist for Nazis.

    This is when you know you're right: when both extremes attack you.
    I didn't say anything about him being an apologist for Nazis, and who are these "extremes" you say are attacking him? I have no idea where you got this from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    None of this has anything to do with "RACE".
    Exactly - I only mentioned it in reply to Lebrok referencing race in post 2.
    In my view, all mention of unmixed/pure populations is misleading bunkum, whether it comes from racists or Reich.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's a FACT that 20th century Europeans don't look like the people who lived in Europe 6000 years ago. If you're going to make a "generalization" that this isn't true, where are the examples?
    No one looks exactly the same as anyone else. But 4,500 year old Bell Beaker looks pretty similar to modern Western European - a major example of what Reich asserts is "extremely rare".

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    He's not dissuading people from looking at anything.
    When he says it is "extremely rare" to find any similarity between modern and ancient samples from the same area, he is clearly implying that we can learn little about genetic inheritance from looking at the mass of sophisticated data on modern DNA databases, and therefore instead we largely have to take his word for it, because of his advanced "technology" and because so much of his ancient data remains unpublished that we are left unable to examine it for ourselves.

    To me, the kind of simplistic, dichotomous talk in his quote looks like tabloid fodder and basic marketing speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    I'm not so sure. To me, it looks like a version of truth that shows signs of being driven by stylistic over-simplification and potential agenda:
    1. He tends to convert things to simple dichotomies (Indo-European v. Dravidian)(East Asian v. South Asian hunter gatherers), identifying them as 'striking', 'extremes', 'very different' and 'unmixed'. Whereas, in reality, the two source populations that he divides everyone into were not unmixed at all, but were themselves mixtures of other populations.
    2. He seems to be promoting a politically-correct anti-racial purity message, but its logic is based on a racial-purity assumption - that, in the past, everyone fell into one of two racial 'extremes' before they all mixed together and became as one.
    3. His over-generalisation that it is 'extremely rare' for people who lived in any one place in the past to have looked like people who live there today seems to be disuading people from looking at what they can learn from modern data (deemed unreliable), and that all we can rely on are the closely-guarded and partly-published results of the archaeological studies monopolised by the few people like him who have access to all the most advanced technology.


    Inter-regional genetic structure was generally much higher before the Neolithic. That has been proven for many regions. Also, I'm totally sure that Reich is fully aware that those populations were not themselves unmixed and pristine, but he's interested in the formation of the presente genetic structure of a region like South Asia, and the defining admixture events that determined how it is today seem to have happened in the last 5,000 years, as in many other places of the world, too. That is of course a simplification of the whole complex history, but one has to got to set a beginning date, otherwise no historic narrative can be given, because of course everything - not just genetic history - had its antecedents, you gotta begin from some specific point and assume that from then backwards will be the topic for another discussion/study, at least if you do not want to become totally lost amidst the complexity and length of the total plot.

    I see your claims more as a "disclaimer", but it is not enough to become a disagreement with Reich's claims. As for the fact that "it is extremely rare" for people to look like the ancient inhabitants of the same land, well, it is just like that if you go back far enough in history, and that of course does not dissuade people from learning anything from modern data, as long as they are fully aware that they can take from that data reliably is the recent (say, the last centuries) of the genetic/demographic history of their homelands and ethnicities. In that sense, if he is disuading people from using modern data to make inferecens about the oldest layers of the genetic formation of their people, well, he is not wrong at all, in fact.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Inter-regional genetic structure was generally much higher before the Neolithic. That has been proven for many regions. Also, I'm totally sure that Reich is fully aware that those populations were not themselves unmixed and pristine, but he's interested in the formation of the presente genetic structure of a region like South Asia, and the defining admixture events that determined how it is today seem to have happened in the last 5,000 years, as in many other places of the world, too. That is of course a simplification of the whole complex history, but one has to got to set a beginning date, otherwise no historic narrative can be given, because of course everything - not just genetic history - had its antecedents. I see your claims more as a "disclaimer", but it is not enough to become a disagreement with Reich's claims. As for the fact that "it is extremely rare" for people to look like the ancient inhabitants of the same land, well, it is just like that if you go back far enough in history, and that of course does not dissuade people from learning anything from modern data, as long as they are fully aware that they can take from that data reliably is the recent (say, the last centuries) of the genetic/demographic history of their homelands and ethnicities. In that sense, if he is disuading people from using modern data to make inferecens about the oldest layers of the genetic formation of their people, well, he is not wrong at all, in fact.
    Broadly, I don't disagree with Reich's claims. It's his style and the simplistic expression of his conclusions I am not fond of, from what I have seen.

    If modern data is analysed in a sophisticated manner, it tells for the most part pretty much the same story as archaeological data, going back as long as you like. However, it is better quality, in greater quantity, freely available and there are far fewer gaps in it. The current trend for completely ignoring it is, in my view, philistinism.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    You quoted Reich as saying "More than 4,000 years ago, there were unmixed representations of these groups in India". In my view, to use the word "unmixed" is misleading, and can be taken to imply a mythical age of genetic purity.
    That is a matter of interpretation of the text. To me it sounds perfectly fine and clear: in the immediately preceding period he talks about the extreme groups that characterize the two major clines of differentiation in modern India. Then, right after that, he talks of still unmixed representations of these groups 4000 years ago. It's very understandable that he of course mean groups unmixed between themselves unlike they are today, and not groups that are themselves unmixed. This is really expecting too much specificity, complete unambiguity and technical accuracy from what is essentially a talk that NEEDS to be intelligible and interesting to the media and the public if he really intends his views to be published. A degree of simplification is inevitable to convey at least the essential aspects of the story to the wider public, even if some may don't like this "vulgarization".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Broadly, I don't disagree with Reich's claims. It's his style and the simplistic expression of his conclusions I am not fond of, from what I have seen.

    If modern data is analysed in a sophisticated manner, it tells for the most part pretty much the same story as archaeological data, going back as long as you like. However, it is better quality, in greater quantity, freely available and there are far fewer gaps in it. The current trend for completely ignoring it is, in my view, philistinism.
    It tells very little about the demographic history of a given place as people come and go, but it may be useful (I'm not that confident as you in its marvels, though) to reveal the essential aspects and groups that participated in the genetic formation a certain modern ethnicity. But you will not be able to specify how the population of the very same territory was like millennia ago, nor how the antecedents of your ethnicity were like at a given time in the past. You see the final outcome, not the process layer by layer.

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    Good posts, Ygorcs. Sorry, no more juice for voting.:)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Good posts, Ygorcs. Sorry, no more juice for voting.:)
    Haha no problem, Angela. I'm patient. (Just kidding)

    Thanks for your appreciation.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I expect that the hostility to ancient DNA will continue the longer it happens and the more toes Reich and Co. step on. Can you imagine when we get that Indus Valley Civilization paper? Or one on Djehutynakht and other Early Middle to Predynastic Egyptian samples? Or even one with Roman Israel samples?

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    I like the fact that he use dna to tell us that the caste system is way older than the British potentat. A lot of people ( generally of outside of india/inside of western world ) today, use the caste system as a way to reproach " more " to British people than it would need to be. That some can believe it or not, there is a trend to believe that all countries and continent outside Europe were happy and pacifists until Europeans put their hands on it, and this is something that have to be debunked. That apart, it would be finally nice to have prehistoric large scale datas from India, there could be interesting things to see, notably some Outliers, maybe East India / Bengladesh had Austronesian Outliers in some times, maybe Western India / Punjab had other kinds of outliers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    That is a matter of interpretation of the text. To me it sounds perfectly fine and clear: in the immediately preceding period he talks about the extreme groups that characterize the two major clines of differentiation in modern India. Then, right after that, he talks of still unmixed representations of these groups 4000 years ago. It's very understandable that he of course mean groups unmixed between themselves unlike they are today, and not groups that are themselves unmixed. This is really expecting too much specificity, complete unambiguity and technical accuracy from what is essentially a talk that NEEDS to be intelligible and interesting to the media and the public if he really intends his views to be published. A degree of simplification is inevitable to convey at least the essential aspects of the story to the wider public, even if some may don't like this "vulgarization".
    Exactly. It seems to be about selling crass, politically-correct soundbites to the media - two wholly different peoples joining together for the first time to form the melting pot that is modern India.
    Of course, when two populations come into contact for the first time, they are unmixed. This doesn't mean there was no DNA shared between elements of their ancestral populations.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    It tells very little about the demographic history of a given place as people come and go, but it may be useful (I'm not that confident as you in its marvels, though) to reveal the essential aspects and groups that participated in the genetic formation a certain modern ethnicity. But you will not be able to specify how the population of the very same territory was like millennia ago, nor how the antecedents of your ethnicity were like at a given time in the past. You see the final outcome, not the process layer by layer.
    No, you can indeed use it to estimate the process layer by layer. It's what people used to do before they lost the skill and started relying instead on waiting for years for people to half-publish data from skeletons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    I expect that the hostility to ancient DNA will continue the longer it happens and the more toes Reich and Co. step on.
    What is this hostility to ancient DNA to which you're referring? I wonder whether you're seeing imaginary enemies.
    I've just spent the last few weeks on this forum referencing and analysing ancient DNA. It's unfortunate that many people seem to prefer to ignore what ancient DNA data actually indicates, preferring instead to rely on simplistic and misleading headlines from genetics celebrities.

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