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Biotech Science

DNA Suggests Three Basic Human Groups 459

Death Metal writes "All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. They are the products of the first and most important journey our species made — the walk out of Africa about 70,000 years ago by a small fraction of ancestral Homo sapiens."
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DNA Suggests Three Basic Human Groups

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  • by kbrasee ( 1379057 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @07:16PM (#28460415) Homepage
    Now tell me something I DON'T know.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @07:44PM (#28460733) Homepage Journal

    Only if you read the book of Genesis like a Catholic does- as an allegorical story explaining many things about the natural world and how to live in it.

    Otherwise, no. And in fact, for the racists out there, this proves once and for all that Africans, of the three groups, are the most evolved, with the most diversity. The other two groups are subgroup descendants of the Africans.

  • Re:What's PC now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shikaku ( 1129753 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @07:49PM (#28460789)

    there's more Chinese people than any other ethic group. Chances are because you are posting on Slashdot with perfect English YOU are a minority.

  • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D ( 1160707 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @08:12PM (#28460997)
    Did you miss the paragraph on the first page of the article where they explicitly said that this wasn't a new result and then proceeded to say what was the novel finding (subtle as it was)?
  • Re:Pointless article (Score:3, Informative)

    by NoMaster ( 142776 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @09:47PM (#28461703) Homepage Journal

    At the very least I find it hard to believe the Australian Aborigines aren't a distinct group since they separated from the rest of the race before Europeans left Africa.

    Err... no?

    There's some circumstantial evidence to suggest that there may have been early humans in Australia 80~125,000 years ago. But the genetic & archaeological evidence suggests that the arrival of the ancestors of current aboriginal Australians occurred 40~70,000 y.a.

    In other words, there may have been humans in Australia before the group that colonised Europe and Asia left Africa, but modern Aborignal Australians would seem to be descendants of the first wave of H. sapiens to leave Africa and migrate along the equatorial line into southern Asia. This study doesn't contradict that at all (though it does a bit to challenge the prevailing view of the timing of the split between emergent African populations in the Middle East, and the European / Asian populations diverging from that.)

  • by FishWithAHammer ( 957772 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @09:54PM (#28461757)

    People don't allege that Homo sapiens came from the Fertile Crescent. The thinking is that what we recognize as civilization came from there. Which, anthropologically and archaeologically speaking, seems to be correct.

  • Re:I don't think so (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hucko ( 998827 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @09:57PM (#28461775)

    I've read and continue to read the Bible, and incest occurred. These 'other people' you talk of were descended from Adam and Eve. Contrary to the unread beliefs, Adam and Eve had children other than their famous three boys. In the Bible after Noah left the ark the only people available to marry was ones cousins for a considerable time.

  • Re:What's PC now? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @10:34PM (#28462091)
    Right, there is no such thing as discrimination in current society.

    There sure is. Just ask the guys who made the mistake of being the wrong color when they passed the New Haven fire department's promotion test.
  • by Ian Alexander ( 997430 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @10:50PM (#28462227)
    Well, our civilization. Civilization arose in several places independently, including India, several places in the Americas, China, and Egypt (Its civilization developed mostly independently of the Levant & Fertile Crescent), and perhaps elsewhere, too.
  • by Ian Alexander ( 997430 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @10:51PM (#28462241)
    Oh, and because I suck and didn't qualify this properly: The actual establishment and early development of Egypt's civilization was independent; its later history (Hittites onward or so) is actually pretty entangled with the rest of the Middle East.
  • Re:So, basically,... (Score:2, Informative)

    by nscott89 ( 1507501 ) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @11:21PM (#28462445)

    With the only exception being the FIFA sanctioned events such as the World Cup...

  • no (Score:3, Informative)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 25, 2009 @02:30AM (#28463405) Homepage Journal

    they used to be called "black dwarves" by the chinese when they were on the chinese mainland

    they indeed were once the sole occupants of southeast asia

    but they are not anywhere near the same race of peoples as the han chinese, japanese, malay, thai, etc., and they are separated by tens of thousands of years genetically from any other race

  • Oops (Score:2, Informative)

    by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @03:29AM (#28463711) Homepage

    No actually on second thought the parent was right. DNA is quaternary. Each strand can contain all four nucleotides in any order. I was making a dumb assumption and my previous post was incorrect. Please mod down.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @05:40AM (#28464335) Journal

    You don't produce any citations, but I believe you are referring to a single study on IQ which concluded that asian populations had a higher mean and mode IQ than whites who, in turn, scored higher than blacks. There are several problems with this study.

    The most obvious is that IQ is a terrible measure of innate intelligence. It is largely based on verbal reasoning, which is a small subset of what is traditionally regarded as intelligence. Not only is it a small subset, it's one that is improved a lot by education. Most people get a variation of around 20 points when they take different IQ tests, and generally the score improves by a few points on each subsequent test. If your education system focusses on verbal reasoning then you will score more highly in an IQ test.

    Another major problem was the tiny variation in the results. Their results showed a variance of under ten IQ points between the top of the black bell curve and the top of the asian bell curve (at both the top and bottom ends, they were similar). On average, therefore, a black person will score 10 points worse than an asian person. Due to the variation between repeated IQ tests, this is completely meaningless. The variation between the same person taking two different IQ tests is likely to be greater than the variation between ethnic groups.

    So, the study conclusively showed that the variation in a relatively meaningless test between members of different ethnic groups was small enough to be counted as experimental error, but presented its results as demonstrating racial superiority. I can't think why this isn't used in schools.

  • by teh kurisu ( 701097 ) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @06:31AM (#28464499) Homepage

    The BBC have an excellent documentary on this subject called The Incredible Human Journey [] up on the iPlayer at the moment. Its focus isn't quite the same as the article's, as it discusses genetics only as a means to confirm or reject theories of how humans made their way around the planet, but it's definitely worth watching if you're in the UK or can use a UK proxy.

  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:34AM (#28466231)

    Wait a minute. Did Noah have daughters too?

    Probably, but the sons are also said to have brought their wives with them.

  • by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @02:54PM (#28470103) Homepage Journal


    Check out [].

    This basically say that the more diverse the gene pool, the more likelyhood of wacky combinations that are advantageous. It's more complicated than that, and I don't really get it all (my wife is in vet school, so she explained it somewhat to me). But basically, introducing foreign genes into the reproductive pool benefits the population as a whole significantly.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall