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Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations
New York Times ^ | 12-20-02 | Nicholas Wade

Posted on 12/21/2002 3:54:34 AM PST by Pharmboy

Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

The study, based on scans of the whole human genome, is the most thorough to look for patterns corresponding to major geographical regions. These regions broadly correspond with popular notions of race, the researchers said in interviews.

The researchers did not analyze genes but rather short segments of DNA known as markers, similar to those used in DNA fingerprinting tests, that have no apparent function in the body.

"What this study says is that if you look at enough markers you can identify the geographic region a person comes from," said Dr. Kenneth Kidd of Yale University, an author of the report.

The issue of race and ethnicity has forced itself to biomedical researchers' attention because human populations have different patterns of disease, and advances in decoding DNA have made it possible to try and correlate disease with genetics.

The study, published today in Science, finds that "self-reported population ancestry likely provides a suitable proxy for genetic ancestry." In other words, someone saying he is of European ancestry will have genetic similarities to other Europeans.

Using self-reported ancestry "is less expensive and less intrusive" said Dr. Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, the senior author of the study. Rather than analyzing a person's DNA, a doctor could simply ask his race or continent of origin and gain useful information about their genetic make-up.

Several scientific journal editors have said references to race should be avoided. But a leading population geneticist, Dr. Neil Risch of Stanford University, argued recently that race was a valid area of medical research because it reflects the genetic differences that arose on each continent after the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

"Neil's article was theoretical and this is the data that backs up what he said," Dr. Feldman said.

The new result is based on blood samples gathered from around the world as part of the Human Genome Diversity Project, though on a much less ambitious scale than originally intended. Dr. Feldman and his colleagues analyzed the DNA of more than 1,000 people at some 400 markers. Because the sites have no particular function, they are free to change or mutate without harming the individual, and can become quite different over the generations.

The Science authors concluded that 95 percent of the genetic variations in the human genome is found in people all over the world, as might be expected for a small ancestral population that dispersed perhaps as recently as 50,000 years ago.

But as the first human populations started reproducing independently from one another, each started to develop its own pattern of genetic differences. The five major continental groups now differ to a small degree, the Science article says, as judged by the markers. The DNA in the genes is subject to different pressures, like those of natural selection.

Similar divisions of the world's population have been implied by earlier studies based on the Y chromosome, carried by males, and on mitochondrial DNA, bequeathed through the female line. But both elements constitute a tiny fraction of the human genome and it was not clear how well they might represent the behavior of the rest of the genome.

Despite the large shared pool of genetic variation, the small number of differences allows the separate genetic history of each major group to be traced. Even though this split broadly corresponds with popular notions of race, the authors of Science article avoid using the word, referring to the genetic patterning they have found with words like "population structure" and "self-reported population ancestry."

But Dr. Feldman said the finding essentially confirmed the popular conception of race. He said precautions should be taken to make sure the new data coming out of genetic studies were not abused.

"We need to get a team of ethicists and anthropologists and some physicians together to address what the consequences of the next phase of genetic analysis is going to be," he said.

Some diseases are much commoner among some ethnic groups than others. Sickle cell anemia is common among Africans, while hemochromatosis, an iron metabolism disorder, occurs in 7.5 percent of Swedes. It can therefore be useful for a doctor to consider a patient's race in diagnosing disease. Researchers seeking the genetic variants that cause such diseases must take race into account because a mixed population may confound their studies.

The new medical interest in race and genetics has left many sociologists and anthropologists beating a different drum in their assertions that race is a cultural idea, not a biological one. The American Sociological Association, for instance, said in a recent statement that "race is a social construct" and warned of the "danger of contributing to the popular conception of race as biological."

Dr. Alan Goodman, a physical anthropologist at Hampshire College and an adviser to the association, said, "there is no biological basis for race." The clusters shown in the Science article were driven by geography, not race, he said.

But Dr. Troy Duster, a sociologist at New York University and chairman of the committee that wrote the sociologists' statement on race, said it was meant to talk about the sociological implications of classifying people by race and was not intended to discuss the genetics.

"Sociologists don't have the competence to go there," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; carletoncoon; crevolist; genetics; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; humans; multiregionalism; neandertal; pcness; races; truth
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"Sociologists don't have the competence to go there," he said.

'Scooze me, they don't have the competence to go anywhere.

Hmmm. So all these years our senses have been right and the PC police who wanted to deny reality were wrong.

Surprising that the NY Effin' Times didn't ignore this one...

1 posted on 12/21/2002 3:54:34 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: aculeus; blam; thefactor
Ping
2 posted on 12/21/2002 3:55:54 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Ping. Research as un-PC as "The Bell Curve."

[This ping list for the evolution -- not creationism -- side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. If you want to be included, or dropped, let me know.]

3 posted on 12/21/2002 3:58:59 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Please add me to your ping list--thanks.
4 posted on 12/21/2002 4:03:16 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
Dr. Feldman said the finding essentially confirmed the popular conception of race. He said precautions should be taken to make sure the new data coming out of genetic studies were not abused.
...
The new medical interest in race and genetics has left many sociologists and anthropologists beating a different drum in their assertions that race is a cultural idea, not a biological one. The American Sociological Association, for instance, said in a recent statement that "race is a social construct" and warned of the "danger of contributing to the popular conception of race as biological."
Poor Dr. Feldman. He's gonna be demonized for sure.
5 posted on 12/21/2002 4:03:45 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Pharmboy
Done.
6 posted on 12/21/2002 4:06:37 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Pharmboy
Carlton Coon
1904 -1981
Carlton Steven Coon was born June 23,1904 in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He attended post secondary education at Harvard University, where he earned his A.B., A.M., and Ph. D. (Coon, 1962). From 1934 to 1948, Coon taught at Harvard, and later that year became an Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania until 1963. He also became Curator of Ethnology at the University Museum in Philadelphia (Coon, 1962). Coon made contributions to both archaeology and to cultural and physical anthropology. He conducted controversial studies of the origins and contemporary variations of human racial types. His areas of study ranged from prehistoric agrarian communities to contemporary tribal societies in the Middle East, Patagonia, and India (Britannica, 2000).

Carleton Coon wrote several books during his lifetime. They include The Origins of Race, The Story of Man, Culture Wars and the Global Village: A Diplomat’s Perspective, The Races of Europe, Races: A study of the Problems of Race Formation in Man, The Hunting Peoples, Living Races of Man, Seven Caves: Archaeological Exploration in the Middle East. Others include his autobiography, Adventures and Discoveries: The Autobiography of Carleton S. Coon, Mountains of Giants: A Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Ghegs, Yengema Cave Report, and Caravan.

Coon worked with the Air Force in 1956-1957. During World War II, Coon was a member of the United States Office of Strategic Services. He was a member of the National Academy of Science and served as President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in 1961-1962 (Academic American Encyclopedia,1995). In 1981, Coon served as the United States Ambassador to Nepal before his death on June 6, 1981, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Bibliography

Coon, Carleton S. (1962) . The Origins of Races. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Academic American Encyclopedia (vol. 5, p.271) . Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated (1995).

Encyclopedia Britannica (1999-2000). Carleton Coon. Retrieved October 12, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=26561&tocid=0&query=carlton%20coon
7 posted on 12/21/2002 4:13:40 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy

8 posted on 12/21/2002 4:17:38 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
A sixth race?
9 posted on 12/21/2002 4:18:37 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
[i]that "race is a social construct" and warned of the "danger of contributing to the popular conception of race as biological." [/i] Race is a social construct, and there is danger is the popular concept that race is biological?????

Who knew? I think the social engineers have too much invested in trying to convince people that without them we would degrade into barbarians. Us sheeple need to be guided you know.

10 posted on 12/21/2002 4:27:25 AM PST by Fzob
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To: Pharmboy
The American Sociological Association, for instance, said in a recent statement that "race is a social construct"

I'll be sure to remember that next time I go to Club Med in Guadalupe, near the Equator. While I am having lunch with my new acquaintances, Sven, from Sweden, and Akiri, from Ghana, I'll mention to them to use the exact same suntan lotion, since, the apparent difference in their skin color is actually a social construct.

11 posted on 12/21/2002 4:38:54 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: Pharmboy
Very interesting, and surely expected.
To ignore the differences among races is as stupid as seeing only the differences.
If one can only see the possible misuse of information, and as such, wish to deny it's existance...then I guess beyond learning how to hold a spoon and get dressed, I shouldn't teach my kids anything. PC is the lobotomy of mankind and will surely be the downfall of those who continue to espouse that thinking.
12 posted on 12/21/2002 4:39:31 AM PST by visualops
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To: visualops
"...To ignore the differences among races is as stupid as seeing only the differences..."

Amen
13 posted on 12/21/2002 4:44:06 AM PST by error99
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To: error99
I'll have to second that. Great statement.
14 posted on 12/21/2002 4:54:33 AM PST by mikegi
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To: Pharmboy
Some diseases are much commoner among some ethnic groups than others. Sickle cell anemia is common among Africans, while hemochromatosis, an iron metabolism disorder, occurs in 7.5 percent of Swedes. It can therefore be useful for a doctor to consider a patient's race in diagnosing disease.

DUH alert

However, although sickle cell disease is common in US and UK Blacks, I saw very few cases when I worked in East Africa, mainly because the people lived high up in the mountains where malaria was rare. The only case of Sickle cell disease was in a lady from Malawi whose husband worked at the local mine.

And "Scandanavians" with hemochromatosis is probably true. But Finns are not "scandanavians", but have linguistic and cultural similarities to American Indians. In Minnesota, the Finns and Chippewa got along because of this.

15 posted on 12/21/2002 5:06:29 AM PST by LadyDoc
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To: Pharmboy
Why should they ignore this? People are geographically related. There's a news flash. How do these slight genetic differences constitute justification for the classification of races? Last time I knew the genetic variation between people in the same population was greater than the difference between people in different populations. Has that changed?
16 posted on 12/21/2002 5:17:55 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Pharmboy
Oh, no!... Now I am confused!

Just the other day we read a report on FR about a team of scientists who discovered that race had no meaning genetically -- now we find out that there really IS such a thing as race?!?!

But seriously, I have a copy of "The History and Geography of Human Genes" by Cavalli-Sforza et al, that I got in 1994, that says pretty definitively what this article says. The book is as big as an unabridged dictionary, with chart after chart and map after map of very rigorous, thoroughly annotated analysis of DNA from thousands of blood samples from all over the world.

Point being, why is this being released as if it were a new insight?

17 posted on 12/21/2002 5:19:03 AM PST by Yeti
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To: Pharmboy
Zoologists would also describe these as sub-species.
18 posted on 12/21/2002 5:39:50 AM PST by SevenDaysInMay
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To: Pharmboy
Stehhen J Gould must be rolling over in his Harvard grave.
19 posted on 12/21/2002 5:43:15 AM PST by bert
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To: Pharmboy
There are many ethnic groups but only one human race. Any sociologist can make any kind of case he wants, that's the attraction of sociology I suppose.

The differences among the ethnic groups are apparent but slowly changing over time as the groups mix. It seems likely to me that within ten or twenty more generations there will be very few distinct ethnic groups as people intermarry.

This is a good thing, I think, because two or three more generations of white-only marriages for my offspring and you'll be able to read through us.

20 posted on 12/21/2002 5:44:58 AM PST by muir_redwoods
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To: PatrickHenry
Poor Dr. Feldman. He's gonna be demonized for sure</>

and this is unfortunate because we live in a world where people's lives and reputations are ruined by turning a phrase rather than by their actions.

21 posted on 12/21/2002 5:50:54 AM PST by stanz
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To: LadyDoc
Finns are actually related closer to Estonians and Hungarians ( Magyar )than the other Scandanavians. The language base all three share is Finno-Ugric.
22 posted on 12/21/2002 5:53:04 AM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: visualops
To ignore the differences among races is as stupid as seeing only the differences.

Another ditto to that...

23 posted on 12/21/2002 5:53:05 AM PST by machman
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To: stanz
Blasted html.
24 posted on 12/21/2002 5:53:29 AM PST by stanz
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To: Fzob
Us sheeple need to be guided you know.

Please! I prefer to be herded.

25 posted on 12/21/2002 5:53:49 AM PST by laredo44
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To: visualops
To ignore the differences among races is as stupid as seeing only the differences.

I must disagree at least insofar as government is concerned. Legislation based on race is a recipe for disaster. It was during "Jim Crow" and it is now. It divides and that is bad.

26 posted on 12/21/2002 5:58:49 AM PST by laredo44
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To: Pharmboy
...have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

Well, I'll be damned! I wonder how many Federal Grant dollars that those Professors pocketed to reach the same conclusion as my 4th grade "Weekly Reader" reached back in the dark ages. Now, let's get back to more serious stuff - like raising college tuition, so the universities can attract all these brilliant people (LOL).

27 posted on 12/21/2002 6:07:25 AM PST by ghostrider
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To: vikzilla
Affymetrics (AFFX)
28 posted on 12/21/2002 7:00:36 AM PST by vikzilla
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To: Pharmboy
And a bump.
29 posted on 12/21/2002 7:22:04 AM PST by aculeus
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To: laredo44
I agree. Race baiting is a tool of the Fascist/Socialist etc etc, to divide and conquer. If you believe in freedom, anything that divides is a danger.
30 posted on 12/21/2002 7:41:27 AM PST by marty60
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To: Pharmboy
The Science authors concluded that 95 percent of the genetic variations in the human genome is found in people all over the world, as might be expected for a small ancestral population that dispersed perhaps as recently as 50,000 years ago.

Interesting side note - some recent studies suggest that there was a 'bottleneck' in human genetic diversity that occurred around 70,000 - 75,000 years ago. The implication of such a bottleneck is that the population was drastically reduced by some event or circumstance. That time perios happens to coincide with the eruiption of a supervolcano near New Zealand known as Tova.

31 posted on 12/21/2002 8:00:29 AM PST by Noumenon
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To: Pharmboy
> "Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease"
Abstract
A debate has arisen regarding the validity of racial/ethnic categories for biomedical and genetic research. Some claim ‘no biological basis for race’ while others advocate a ‘race-neutral’ approach, using genetic clustering rather than self-identified ethnicity for human genetic categorization. We provide an epidemiologic perspective on the issue of human categorization in biomedical and genetic research that strongly supports the continued use of self-identified race and ethnicity.
--------------------------------------------------

Some claim and others
advocate. Shouldn't "science"
be more than dueling

claims and counter claims?
Is science just "Hardball" with
guys in long, white coats?

32 posted on 12/21/2002 8:01:36 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: PatrickHenry
Poor Dr. Feldman. He's gonna be demonized for sure.

By whom?

Feldman's is the PC, leftist liberal position.

Funny how ignorant idiots fall in to line with the PC police.

33 posted on 12/21/2002 8:23:19 AM PST by tallhappy
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To: Pharmboy
The clusters shown in the Science article were driven by geography, not race,

Exactly.

Race is a construct based roughly on geographical considerations.

Race exists sociologically, but as this study points out, markers are in all of the five populations.

This NY Times article (and most of the PC based spin) play up the ostensible 5 groups confirming race theory, when in fact the study does not back their heacy races-based world view. Liberals like to make up as many differences in people as possible so they distort findings like this.

And who put this in this computer.

Where did the bad punctuation and grammar ("more commoner"???) come from, Pharmboy?

34 posted on 12/21/2002 8:28:42 AM PST by tallhappy
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To: Pharmboy
The new medical interest in race and genetics has left many sociologists and anthropologists beating a different drum in their assertions that race is a cultural idea, not a biological one.

Illustrates how the introduction of PC'ness into science enables some to ignore facts.

35 posted on 12/21/2002 8:38:09 AM PST by DoctorMichael
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
I'll mention to them to use the exact same suntan lotion, since, the apparent difference in their skin color is actually a social construct.

But skin tone doesn't make a race ----I've seen siblings with the same parents have different needs for suntan lotion. In the same family there can be very fair skinned, blue eyed blonds and dark complected. And then there are those very pale skin, freckled red heads that almost all look like they're from the same family or race but are born to all different kinds of families.

36 posted on 12/21/2002 8:48:08 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

Just an fyi.




37 posted on 12/21/2002 8:51:25 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Sabertooth
corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas

But even then ---they have to pick an arbitrary point in time because for example look at all those regions now aren't what they were 10,000 years ago and 1,000,000 years ago they weren't the same as they were 10,000 years ago or 100,000 years ago.

38 posted on 12/21/2002 8:56:45 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Pharmboy
The Science authors concluded that 95 percent of the genetic variations in the human genome is found in people all over the world, as might be expected for a small ancestral population that dispersed perhaps as recently as 50,000 years ago.

But as the first human populations started reproducing independently from one another, each started to develop its own pattern of genetic differences. The five major continental groups now differ to a small degree, the Science article says, as judged by the markers. The DNA in the genes is subject to different pressures, like those of natural selection.

We Dodged Extinction
Chimpanzees
‘Pruned’ Family Tree Leaves Little Genetic Variety

Just one group of chimpanzees can have more genetic diversity than all 6 billion humans on the planet. (Corel)



Special to ABCNEWS.com
A worldwide research program has come up with astonishing evidence that humans have come so close to extinction in the past that it’s surprising we’re here at all.
    Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at San Diego, and other members of a research team studied genetic variability among humans and our closest living relatives, the great apes of Africa.
     Humanoids are believed to have split off from chimpanzees about 5 million to 6 million years ago. With the passage of all that time, humans should have grown at least as genetically diverse as our “cousins.” That turns out to be not true.
     “We actually found that one single group of 55 chimpanzees in west Africa has twice the genetic variability of all humans,” Gagneux says. “In other words, chimps who live in the same little group on the Ivory Coast are genetically more different from each other than you are from any human anywhere on the planet.”

Primate Tree
The branch lengths illustrate the number of genetic differences, not only between species, but among species as well. The pruned bush for humans shows how little genetic diversity exists. (Marco Doelling/ABCNEWS.com)

The Family Bush
“The family tree shows that the human branch has been pruned,” Gagneux says. “Our ancestors lost much of their original variability.”
     “That makes perfectly good sense,” says Bernard Wood, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Origins at George Washington University and an expert on human evolution.
     “The amount of genetic variation that has accumulated in humans is just nowhere near compatible with the age” of the species, Wood says. “That means you’ve got to come up with a hypothesis for an event that wiped out the vast majority of that variation.”
     The most plausible explanation, he adds, is that at least once in our past, something caused the human population to drop drastically. When or how often that may have happened is anybody’s guess. Possible culprits include disease, environmental disaster and conflict.

Almost Extinct
“The evidence would suggest that we came within a cigarette paper’s thickness of becoming extinct,” Wood says.
     Gagneux, who has spent the last 10 years studying chimpanzees in Africa, says the implications are profound.
     “If you have a big bag full of marbles of different colors, and you lose most of them, then you will probably end up with a small bag that won’t have all the colors that you had in the big bag,” he says.
     Similarly, if the size of the human population was severely reduced some time in the past, or several times, the “colors” that make up our genetic variability will also be reduced.
     If that is indeed what happened, then we should be more like each other, genetically speaking, than the chimps and gorillas of Africa. And that’s just what the research shows.
     “We all have this view in our minds that we [humans] started precariously as sort of an ape-like creature” and our numbers grew continuously, adds Wood. “We’re so used to the population increasing inexorably over the past few hundred years that we think it has always been like that.”
     But if it had, Gagneux notes, our genetic variability should be at least as great as that of apes.

A Stormy Past
Gagneux is the lead author of a report that appeared in the April 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, carried out with researchers in Germany, Switzerland and the United States, is the first to examine large numbers of all four ape species in Africa.
     “We can do that now because new technology allows us to non-invasively take some hair, or even some fruit that these apes chew, and then we get their DNA from a couple of cells that stick to a hair or a piece of fruit they chewed.”
     Then they compared the DNA variability of apes and chimps to that of 1,070 DNA sequences collected by other researchers from humans around the world. They also added the DNA from a bone of a Neanderthal in a German museum. The results, the researchers say, are very convincing.
     “We show that these taxa [or species] have very different amounts and patterns of genetic variation, with humans being the least variable,” they state.
     Yet humans have prevailed, even though low genetic variability leaves us more susceptible to disease.
     “Humans, with what little variation they have, seem to maximize their genetic diversity,” Gagneux says.
     “It’s ironic,” he notes, that after all these years the biggest threat to chimpanzees is human intrusion into their habitats. When he returned to Africa to study a group of chimps he had researched earlier, Gagneux found them gone.
     “They were dead,” he says, “and I mean the whole population had disappeared in five years.”
     Yet as our closest living relatives, chimps still have much to teach us about ourselves.

Lee Dye’s column appears Wednesdays on ABCNEWS.com. A former science writer for the Los Angeles Times, he now lives in Juneau, Alaska.



Thread here



39 posted on 12/21/2002 9:00:46 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Pharmboy; PatrickHenry; Quila; Rudder; donh; VadeRetro; RadioAstronomer; Travis McGee; Physicist; ..
((((((growl)))))



40 posted on 12/21/2002 9:01:57 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Noumenon
"That time perios happens to coincide with the eruiption of a supervolcano near New Zealand known as Tova."

That was Toba in Sumatra. I've seen estimates that only 5,000 people worldwide survived this incident.

41 posted on 12/21/2002 9:18:05 AM PST by blam
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To: All
Here's a sampling of the political correctness agony that goes on in academia over the concept of "race:"

Does Race Exist? A proponent's perspective by George W. Gill. (he says "yes")
Does Race Exist? An antagonist's perspective by C. Loring Brace. (he says "no")
RACE DOESN’T EXIST . (this discusses both views)

42 posted on 12/21/2002 9:38:22 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Sabertooth; All
At first I misread this. I thought it was a reference to The Bush Family. < /bad humor >
LOL! Wouldn't they wallow in THAT at DU?....

The Family Bush

Primate Tree
The branch lengths illustrate the number of genetic differences, not only between species, but among species as well. The pruned bush for humans shows how little genetic diversity exists. (Marco Doelling/ABCNEWS.com)


43 posted on 12/21/2002 9:52:17 AM PST by MeekOneGOP
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To: Sabertooth
Hi toothy,

I'd like to know how they came up with the "as recently as 50,000 years ago number". If it is like some of the fudge factor numbers I have seen in other DNA studies, the real number will be even more recent than that.

I have a suggestion for a potential bottleneck- Adam and Eve were created recently compared to the creation of Chimps and other primates.

I understand the Toba hypothesis, but I'd like someone to explain to me how Toba thinned only the HUMAN gene pool, while leaving the genetic diversity in the other primate gene pools, allegdedly from the same region, intact.

The most logical explanation for the data is that human beings are very recent compared to other primates.
44 posted on 12/21/2002 10:14:41 AM PST by Ahban
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To: blam
Thanks for the geographical and spelling correction. Quite scary, isn't it? Even though we're about 700 miles upwind of Yellowstone, I don't take much comfort fro mthat. It'll be a worldwide disaster when that caldera blows.
45 posted on 12/21/2002 10:54:37 AM PST by Noumenon
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To: theFIRMbss
Some claim and others advocate. Shouldn't "science" be more than dueling claims and counter claims? Is science just "Hardball" with guys in long, white coats?

Heh! Pretty close to the truth in many cases. The longer I live, the more I see Thomas Kuhn validated. It really is a human activity, and humans sure aren't paragons of objectivity and logic.
46 posted on 12/21/2002 10:56:57 AM PST by NukeMan
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To: Ahban
In mammals, mitochondiral rna mutates at a fairly fixed rate. The number of mutations is sort of like a ticking clock. Count the mutations and you have a very good time line. PS. Modern science does not preclude a god or even a christian god. Besides, the bible is simply man's imperfect translation of whatever was originally said. You can use it as a guide, but it may be an imperfect translation. Don't let creationist BS blind you to facts.
47 posted on 12/21/2002 11:05:21 AM PST by staytrue
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To: PatrickHenry
I think race can exist but it depends on how someone wants to define it. We're still all descended from the same people (group or couple depending on evolution or creationism), it still takes making some kind of cut-off ---in time or geography and it all seems very arbitrary where you'd make the cut-offs.
48 posted on 12/21/2002 11:15:41 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Sabertooth
Yet humans have prevailed, even though low genetic variability leaves us more susceptible to disease.

I think it's the ability to make tools that has reduced human genetic diversity. It has also reduced the need for genetic diversity.

Rather than waiting for time and evolution to kill off one genetic population and enhance another, humans make tools for themselves that work much faster. Before evolution can kick in, humans have already fixed the situation.

That means that a person's genetic makeup is less important than his ability to use his brain. "Genetically inferior" people can make contributions that overpower the evolutionary threat. Someone once said that if we outlawed eyeglasses, the gene for near-sightedness would disappear, along with the people that carried it. But the simple "tool" of eyeglasses lets these "inferior" people thrive and survive, and contribute more to society than what the glasses cost.

"Brain" short-circuits evolution because it works faster than evolution. Genetic differences become small and meaningless because everybody has the tools needed to survive, regardless of the genes one was born with. If the earth was hit by a killer asteroid, humans would get busy with making new tools, while the other creatures could only "ride it out", and hope that their genes are good enough to get some of them through.

49 posted on 12/21/2002 11:27:21 AM PST by 300winmag
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
I'll be sure to remember that next time I go to Club Med in Guadalupe, near the Equator. While I am having lunch with my new acquaintances, Sven, from Sweden, and Akiri, from Ghana, I'll mention to them to use the exact same suntan lotion, since, the apparent difference in their skin color is actually a social construct.

But an Italian and a North African aren't very different. And the North African isn't very different from an Ethiopian, and they're black. It's not the case that's you're simply in one category or another.

The idea of simple categories comes from the historical accident that early America was settled by immigrants from northern Europe and slaves from equitorial Africa.

I bet if they'd look specifically at North Africans, they'd have both European and African markers.

50 posted on 12/21/2002 12:07:06 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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