By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Science
There are more genetic differences within ethnic groups than between them, indicating that distinct 'ethnic groups' exist in the mind more than the body, according to new research.
Writing in the journal BMC Genetics, researchers studying central Asian ethnic groups found that the groups are more defined by society than ancestry.
An international team of researchers led by Evelyne Heyer of the Musée de l'Homme in Paris, France studied mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome data from several populations of two major language ethnic groups of Central Asia: the Turkic and Indo-Iranian groups.
Results concluded that, for at least two of the Turkic groups in Central Asia, "ethnicity is a constructed social system maintaining genetic boundaries with other groups, rather than being the outcome of common genetic ancestry."
Fascinatingly, there was no common ancestry in a specific ethnic group, according to the research.
If common among other ethnic groups, the finding could turn the way humans think about each other on its head.
So what determines "ethnicity," really? According to the research, cultural, linguistic, economic, religious and political walls put up by humans themselves. [via ScienceDaily]
Sep 1, 2009
It is as if we are thinking of the two studied groups of people (the Turkic and the Indo-iranian) as unchanging over time? The Turkic people, for example, especially during the Ottoman Empire, mixed with people from many parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Thus, although we may think of the Turkic people as one ethinicity (to use the term used in this article), and they may consider themselves as one pure group, having mixed with people from places they conquered could explain why their intra-ethnic genetic diversity is greater than expected.
Perhaps, we can have this moral debate because we don't really depend on each other. A cataclysmic event may present the cure for this conundrum. If we were all able to feel threatened as one, we may come together under a common need and, thus, reshape our moral arguments. As to the physio-genetic differences, there have been statistically proven and repetitive observations that show there are differences between ethnic groups. From a medical point of view, this is quite clear and used daily to diagnose and treat disorders. Let us make readily observations not argue theories mixed with passions.
Those who believe this are deluding themselves or have fallen for the PC propaganda. There are huge differences between ethnic groups--read works of Glayde Whitney, Sam Francis and others. Most of their writings have been ignored because they don't follow the PC guideline. If you took a black person, made his skin white, you would still know he belonged to the Negroid race. And IQ stats don't lie. Northern Asians still top the charts. The differences are as obvious as comparing a thoroughbred horse and a zebra. If you still don't believe me, ask anyone in the medical fields. The great differences among the physiology of different ethnic groups is one of the biggest hidden secrets in that field. Thinking like this article (and the Bible thumpers) is not only absurd but dangerous. You work with the differences, not try to put apples and oranges in one basket and pretend they are the same fruit. P.S. Remember, even a .005% difference in DNA translates into millions of genetic factors.
Actually, the study from U of AZ seems to contradict this one. But it tested only Y chromosome DNA, not mitochondrial DNA. We already knew that the Sephardic Jews and Arabs were all Semitic people. (The genetic link between the Middle Eastern Jews and those in Somalia, Ethiopia and South Africa is another interesting development.) I've heard of other studies that came to the same conclusions as this one -- more variation within "ethnic" groups than between them. Another multi-disciplinary study in just the last few years put the most recent common ancestor as having lived between 2K and 5K years ago. And then we have Sykes' work and his _7 Daughters of Eve_, and the more expansive project in conjunction with National Geographic. But I have to mildly disagree with mwagner; the amounts of DNA variation could reflect presence of more selective factors in Africa before the diaspora than were experienced by those who scattered, as well as the diffusion back into Africa via Gibraltar and the Middle East in the last couple thousand years.
DUH..!! ACTUALLY IT IS THE MAN ALWAYS TRYING TO SET PEOPLE AND MANKIND APART FROM EACH OTHER.... WE ALL BELONG TO A SINGLE SPECIES: HOMO SAPIENS; AND A SINGLE RACE: THE HUMAN RACE. THEREFORE I AGREE WTH THIS STUDY, ETHINCS IS NON EXISTING... WE JUST COME IN DIFFERENT COLORS AND "FLAVORS" ;-)
DAH..!! ACTUALLY IT IS THE MAN ALWAYS TRYING TO SET PEOPLE AND MANKIND APART FROM EACH OTHER.... WE ALL BELONG TO A SINGLE SPECIES: HOMO SAPIENS; AND A SINGLE RACE: THE HUMAN RACE. THEREFORE I AGREE WTH THIS STUDY, ETHINCS IS NON EXISTING... WE JUST COME IN DIFFERENT COLORS AND "FLAVORS" ;-)
These researchers are spouting complete nonsense. Yet another case of political correctness masquerading as science. If the phenotypes of two ethnic groups can be reliably discriminated, the differences between them are not 'simply imagined'. They are a product of the underlying biological reality. Whether this fact is a happy addition to your socio-political worldview or not.
Modern humans walked out of Africa about 200,000 years ago. There is more genetic diverity among human populations which did not leave African than between those that did because, until very recently in our history (the last few hundred years), there was no interbreeding between these widely separated populations. Thus, the largest interbreeding populations (those in Africa) resulted in the greatest diversity within their population. Today, worldwide, these so-called "ethnic groups" tend not to interbreed with those not in their ethnic group but their populations are large enough to result in diversity "within". This is reassuring in many regards but those who tend to hate what they fear and fear those that "don't look like them" will not be swayed by the facts.
The scientific estimates for the time of the genetic Eve is not 4000 years ago as mis-stated in jetrangers comment but 140,000 + years ago. The same studies that were misquoted by jetranger also indicate that humanity is a current form in a long and complicated process of history (evolution). Scientific inquiry is not a blind faith in evolution. It is an exploration of the universe and a seeking for understanding of Gods creation. Blind faith sounds more like those who believe that the world is flat, the heavens revolve around the earth, you must confess my version of faith or I will torture and kill you, the black man was placed here to serve the interests of the superior race, and if I can find a single passage in the bible that seems to support me then I am absolutely correct. If you do not believe those things then perhaps even faith is not an absolutely static condition, but has evolved during the course of time. Even as science has to learn morality, perhaps religion has to learn more about Gods creation.
This merely adds support to what many people have said many times before: ethnic groups are simply human social constructs. For example, it has been shown that Palestinians and Jews share a recent common genetic ancestry... "Jews and Arabs are all really children of the House of Abraham," says Harry Ostrer, M.D., Director of the Human Genetics Program at New York University School of Medicine, an author of the new study by an international team of researchers in the United States and Israel. "And all have preserved their Middle Eastern genetic roots over 4000 years." - http://uanews.org/node/3082 (I'm sure there are other sources to support this.) However, if things continue as they are going for the next 50,000 years or so, the two populations might diverge genetically. Enough that they could be more different than alike even. That still wouldn't necessarily mean they would become separate races of people. Ethnicity is simply how a group identifies itself through a common heritage and doesn't necessarily involve physical characteristics, such as eye color, skin color, etc. To belong to an ethnic group, the people do not necessarily have to have genetically similar backgrounds. "Race" would be the more important argument here, i.e. "the categorization of humans into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics." - wikipedia, for lack of a better source... To prove that race doesn't exist is very important. Anyone who knows about Latinos, already knows that race has nothing to do with belonging to an ethnic group. The American Association of Physical Anthropologists put out the statement: "Pure races do not exist in the human species today, nor is there any evidence that they have ever existed in the past." Putting people into racial groups is wrong. That people identify themselves to be part of a certain ethnic group seems to be a natural human inclination... Ethnicity may be all in the mind, but it doesn't make it any less real.
There have been similar findings in genetic studies of Jews. They show a common ancestry even among ethnically diverse Jewish populations.
Whoops! Jetranger, I am sorry, I misread and misunderstood your post. You were speaking about the "faith" of evolution!! Duh!!
Jetranger, I am glad you said "BLIND faith." Real, Bible faith does not contradict science, nor vice-versa because God designed science and told us about it a thousand years (or two?) before Moses wrote it down. In fact, if it had not been for true Bible believers understanding an order and reason in the universe, science would not have been as advanced as it is now. It was only during the Dark Ages--called the Middle Ages out of political correctness--when superstition and garbage was incorporated into Christianity that so many of the current so-called "Christian" doctrines were started.
Not saying that Ms Heyer is wrong, but a single study doesn't constitute scientific proof. I'd like to see the sample sizes, selection methodology, the process of assignment to an "ethnic group", and the areas selected for genetic comparison. for review of validity by a third, independent party. And then of course run a half dozen more experiemental samplings for peer review to confirm or debunk the claim. The reason why I doubt her findings is that there are too many people who can be given a group of humans that can assign them to their ethnic origin groups, providing that those selected were not late acquisitions to the group. The ability to assign people to ethnic groups based on appearance is indicative of a common morphology. And morphologies are mostly genetically dependent. Furthermore, ethnicities may incorporate multiple morphologies whcih would skew her test results.
That's not new, they already know that the recessive characterists of DNA indicate a common female approximately 4,000 years ago. They even nicknamed this woman "Eve" ... much to the wrath of the humanists. But true science takes a back seat to blind faith in the religion of evolution. Things that are scientifically impossible don't become possible over time. That is not science. That is faith.
Well, surprise, surprise!! God told us that in the Bible over 4000 years ago! We are all descended from the same folks.