Discussion:
Article] Date limit set on first Americans
(too old to reply)
Robert Karl Stonjek
2003-07-23 02:59:30 UTC
Permalink
Date limit set on first Americans

By Paul Rincon

A new genetic study deals a blow to claims that humans reached America
at least 30,000 years ago - around the same time that people were
colonising Europe.

The subject of when humans first arrived in America is hotly contested
by academics.

On one side of the argument are researchers who claim America was first
populated around 13,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age.
On the other are those who propose a much earlier date for colonisation
of the continent - possibly around 30,000-40,000 years ago.

The authors of the latest study reject the latter theory, proposing that
humans entered America no earlier than 18,000 years ago.

Read the rest at BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3086777.stm


--
Kind Regards,
Robert Karl Stonjek.
MIB529
2003-07-23 20:05:26 UTC
Permalink
How do these DNA studies work? Does the DNA "remember" how much time
has passed since a mutation occurred?
Post by Robert Karl Stonjek
Date limit set on first Americans
By Paul Rincon
A new genetic study deals a blow to claims that humans reached America
at least 30,000 years ago - around the same time that people were
colonising Europe.
The subject of when humans first arrived in America is hotly contested
by academics.
On one side of the argument are researchers who claim America was first
populated around 13,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age.
On the other are those who propose a much earlier date for colonisation
of the continent - possibly around 30,000-40,000 years ago.
The authors of the latest study reject the latter theory, proposing that
humans entered America no earlier than 18,000 years ago.
Read the rest at BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3086777.stm
John Roth
2003-07-24 10:59:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
How do these DNA studies work? Does the DNA "remember" how much time
has passed since a mutation occurred?
There are ways of calculating the probability that a mutation will occur.
By comparing the degree of divergence between two lineages, the time since
divergence can be calculated using said probabilities. It's a fairly
standard tool in phylogenetic studies. There are several assumptions and
many details that I'm not prepared to discuss here, but the above captures
the general idea. The DNA itself does not (usually) "remember" anything.
However, I use the term "usually" due to the presence on introns, which
are
sections of the DNA that are not expressed. These introns are more highly
conserved than exons, or the expressed portions of DNA. A good
phylogenetic
study will include several regions of mitochondrial and, sometimes,
regions
of nuclear DNA. The presence of intron/exons and retroviruses also
provide
clues, as I suggest here, but I'm not sure about their utility. ...
There
is a huge body of literature addressing the use of DNA in the construction
of phylogenies. You might want to take a look at it if this topic piques
your interest. Sorry, but I don't know a good review paper for use an
introduction to the topic.
Didn't you reverse that? Exons (the parts of a gene that are expressed
as protein) are more conserved than introns (the parts of a gene that
are not expressed.) That's because there are no consequences (usually)
to changes in the introns, so they change faster.

In any case, while everyone uses mutation rates to set time frames,
they are very uncertain, and it's not uncommon to see variances
of more than two to one for the same event derived from studies
of different genes.

John Roth
~norm
John Harshman
2003-07-24 19:35:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
How do these DNA studies work? Does the DNA "remember" how much time
has passed since a mutation occurred?
There are ways of calculating the probability that a mutation will occur.
By comparing the degree of divergence between two lineages, the time since
divergence can be calculated using said probabilities. It's a fairly
standard tool in phylogenetic studies. There are several assumptions and
many details that I'm not prepared to discuss here, but the above captures
the general idea. The DNA itself does not (usually) "remember" anything.
However, I use the term "usually" due to the presence on introns, which are
sections of the DNA that are not expressed. These introns are more highly
conserved than exons, or the expressed portions of DNA.
No, introns are in general less conserved than exons, because changes in
most sites in an intron don't do anything and thus are evolving
neutrally, while changes in the majority of sites in an exon alter the
amino acid sequence of the protein and thus are conserved.
A good phylogenetic
study will include several regions of mitochondrial and, sometimes, regions
of nuclear DNA. The presence of intron/exons and retroviruses also provide
clues, as I suggest here, but I'm not sure about their utility.
You are presumably not talking about the presence of introns/exons, per
se, since I strongly doubt that any two humans differ in this way.
However, you may have intended to mention indels (insertion/deletion
events), which happen with reasonable frequency, such that we may hope
for polymorphism within species. And if you are lucky, you may find a
unique indel marking the group you are interested in. However, in most
sequences they are too rare to be used in constructing an estimate of
age. Same with retroviral insertions. Great for deciding that hippos and
whales are sister taxa, useless for timing the entry of humans into America.
... There
is a huge body of literature addressing the use of DNA in the construction
of phylogenies. You might want to take a look at it if this topic piques
your interest. Sorry, but I don't know a good review paper for use an
introduction to the topic.
Nor do I. But there are some decent books. I suggest starting with
Phylogenetic Trees Made Easy by Barry Hall (Sinauer) or Molecular
Evolution: A Phylogenetic Approach by Rod Page and Edward Holmes
(Blackwell).
Mike Noren
2003-07-25 10:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
How do these DNA studies work? Does the DNA "remember" how much time
has passed since a mutation occurred?
The molecular clock is the assumption that DNA mutates at a constant
rate through time.

This is a deeply, even fundamentally, flawed assumption, and it is
*known* to be just that, but as the molecular clock is the only means
to put a date to evolutionary events which have left no physical
evidence, people have deviced dozens of different ways of trying to
salvage it.

Mainly, the molecular clock gives such poor time due to two sources of
error: that the DNA does not mutate in a clock-like fashion, and that
it is hard to find known dates aginst which to calibrate the assumed
clock-like mutation rate of the DNA.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles has been published on how to
avoid these two sources of error - but to date, noone has managed to
produce a means to massage the data so that it consistently produces
reasonably accurate molecular clock estimates.

This is all well known, but rarely discussed - I think because most of
those who don't use the molecular clock themselves don't have enough
knowledge to criticize it, and those who do don't want to draw
attention to how unreliable the molecular clock really is. The result
is that it's become a very widespread tool, especially in anthropology
- which is doubly ironical, as in anthropology there is reason to
suspect that another fundamental assumptions of phylogenetic analysis,
the assumption of non-interbreeding, does not hold, adding another
source of error.

The molecular clock also has a methodological flaw: it is almost
guaranteed to overestimate time since events, simply due to the fact
that the lower bound is set by the calibration to physical evidence,
whereas there is no upper bound. E.g. molecular clock estimates of
when hominids came to the americas will *never* produce an estimate
equal or lower than 13000 years, as that is the lower bound set by the
calibration, but may, and has, produced a very wide range of higher
estimates.

I know full well I am pissing in the wind saying this, but the
take-home message really is: Never, EVER, trust a molecular clock
estimate.

(Oh, and please don't confuse molecular clock estimates with molecular
methods of analysis in general - I am strictly talking about putting
dates to evolutionary events here.)
MIB529
2003-07-25 13:38:40 UTC
Permalink
Also, it assumes no intermixing, another fundamentally flawed
assumption, right up there with the "races are species" argument,
which it in fact assumes; damn Chukchi have to ruin the whole clock by
reaching North America, and the damn Eskimos have to bring DNA to
Siberia to ruin the clock even more.

BTW, I agree about molecular analysis; it's benefited paleontologists
greatly, but species are different from populations of the same
species in that species can't cross. Still, a genetic clock screws
with the phylogeny.
Post by Mike Noren
Post by MIB529
How do these DNA studies work? Does the DNA "remember" how much time
has passed since a mutation occurred?
The molecular clock is the assumption that DNA mutates at a constant
rate through time.
This is a deeply, even fundamentally, flawed assumption, and it is
*known* to be just that, but as the molecular clock is the only means
to put a date to evolutionary events which have left no physical
evidence, people have deviced dozens of different ways of trying to
salvage it.
Mainly, the molecular clock gives such poor time due to two sources of
error: that the DNA does not mutate in a clock-like fashion, and that
it is hard to find known dates aginst which to calibrate the assumed
clock-like mutation rate of the DNA.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles has been published on how to
avoid these two sources of error - but to date, noone has managed to
produce a means to massage the data so that it consistently produces
reasonably accurate molecular clock estimates.
This is all well known, but rarely discussed - I think because most of
those who don't use the molecular clock themselves don't have enough
knowledge to criticize it, and those who do don't want to draw
attention to how unreliable the molecular clock really is. The result
is that it's become a very widespread tool, especially in anthropology
- which is doubly ironical, as in anthropology there is reason to
suspect that another fundamental assumptions of phylogenetic analysis,
the assumption of non-interbreeding, does not hold, adding another
source of error.
The molecular clock also has a methodological flaw: it is almost
guaranteed to overestimate time since events, simply due to the fact
that the lower bound is set by the calibration to physical evidence,
whereas there is no upper bound. E.g. molecular clock estimates of
when hominids came to the americas will *never* produce an estimate
equal or lower than 13000 years, as that is the lower bound set by the
calibration, but may, and has, produced a very wide range of higher
estimates.
I know full well I am pissing in the wind saying this, but the
take-home message really is: Never, EVER, trust a molecular clock
estimate.
(Oh, and please don't confuse molecular clock estimates with molecular
methods of analysis in general - I am strictly talking about putting
dates to evolutionary events here.)
Penguin Dreams
2003-07-24 20:26:13 UTC
Permalink
The problem is these people are assuming that their samples of the people
alive today contain the genes of the first Americans and I don't see any
evidence to prove that.
If you're thereby arguing that native americans came to the americas
the ONLY evidence suggesting that people have been in the Americas for
more than about 13000 years are DNA studies. That 13000 year estimate
is derived from the age of the earliest well-dated archaeological
finds.
However, the real take-home message in this debate is that the
molecular clock is exceedingly inaccurate, and best viewed as a very
rough guide, likely to be wildly wrong.
Yes, really.
It is unfortunately also the only existing means (short of simply
guessing) to put a date, any date, on evolutionary events which have
left no physical evidence - and this is why it gets used even though
it is notoriously inaccurate.
And that is OK, really; it's data, even if unreliable.
The real problems begin when people believe molecular clock estimates
are accurate and can be trusted.
It is true that
the earliest archaeological evidence for native Americans is
13,000 BP, but those artifacts are very unlikely to be the
evidence of the _first_ Americans. The first tribes to arrive
could easily have arrived 10K years earlier. We may never
find physical evidence of the first groups to arrive, so
a DNA estimate may be all we can count on as something that
approximates the truth.

Tom
Philip Deitiker
2003-07-24 21:48:38 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 16:26:13 -0400, Penguin Dreams
Post by Penguin Dreams
It is true that
the earliest archaeological evidence for native Americans is
13,000 BP, but those artifacts are very unlikely to be the
evidence of the _first_ Americans. The first tribes to arrive
could easily have arrived 10K years earlier. We may never
find physical evidence of the first groups to arrive, so
a DNA estimate may be all we can count on as something that
approximates the truth.
Doubtful, 1000s of years but not 10000 years.
Penguin Dreams
2003-07-26 13:45:58 UTC
Permalink
it is not evidence in itself, and you confuse it with the Truth at
your own peril.
I'm always wary of people who spell truth
with capital letters.

Tom
deowll
2003-07-27 05:26:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Penguin Dreams
It is true that
the earliest archaeological evidence for native Americans is
13,000 BP, but those artifacts are very unlikely to be the
evidence of the _first_ Americans. The first tribes to arrive
could easily have arrived 10K years earlier.
Why not millions?
You asked the question. Try and come up with a good answer. Then do the same
thing for a hundred thousand.
Evidence is equally lacking, and there is no telling how long ghost
people (counterpart to the ghost lineages of phylogenetic analysis)
were there without leaving any trace.
The evidence says that people were in the americas 13000 years ago -
and that's it. Beyond that you're solidly in the realm of speculation.
You sound just like the people who said it was 9,000. I think most of them
were buried still saying that. Nobody was going to find enough evidence to
convince them they were wrong. Philip is right about one thing. If you find
a site that old where that one was found the one thing you can be certain of
is that there are a lot others around that are much older. It takes a while
to populate a continent when small groups of people are having to do it by
population growth and the ones in South America are about as old as any.
That's two continents.
Post by Penguin Dreams
We may never
find physical evidence of the first groups to arrive, so
a DNA estimate may be all we can count on as something that
approximates the truth.
A molecular clock estimate is akin to a weather forecast, or perhaps
even more still to a stock market prognosis: it is a theory based on
generalisation and simplistic probabilistic analysis of evidence, but
it is not evidence in itself, and you confuse it with the Truth at
your own peril.
Post by Penguin Dreams
Tom
Mike Noren
2003-07-27 09:03:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by deowll
Post by Penguin Dreams
evidence of the _first_ Americans. The first tribes to arrive
could easily have arrived 10K years earlier.
Why not millions?
You asked the question. Try and come up with a good answer. Then do the same
thing for a hundred thousand.
*My* answer is that humans became numerous in the americas 13 - 11000
years ago, based partly on archaeological evidence but largely on the
fact that that is the period where a large number of large animals
suddenly went extinct in the area.
The point I was making above was that "easily arrived 10K years
earlier" is unsupported speculation - and if you're going to do
unsupported speculation, why not aim high?
Post by deowll
The evidence says that people were in the americas 13000 years ago -
and that's it. Beyond that you're solidly in the realm of speculation.
You sound just like the people who said it was 9,000. I think most of them
were buried still saying that. Nobody was going to find enough evidence to
convince them they were wrong. Philip is right about one thing. If you find
a site that old where that one was found the one thing you can be certain of
is that there are a lot others around that are much older. It takes a while
to populate a continent when small groups of people are having to do it by
population growth and the ones in South America are about as old as any.
That's two continents.
So l'Anse aux meadows proves that Vikings were in the americas
thousands of years before Leif the Red? After all, "if you find a site
that old where that one was found the one thing you can be certain of
is that there are a lot others around that are much older", right?

Also, what is your proof that both the americas were populated 13000
years ago?

It is not known when humans came to the americas. You're free to
speculate about when they did, but remember that you're speculating.
The only thing we know is that they were there 13000 years ago.
Post by deowll
Post by Penguin Dreams
Tom
res6l2wx
2003-07-28 21:05:21 UTC
Permalink
Let's start with a ridiculously small founder group of 50 people and
the equally ridiculous assumption that only one group ever invaded.
Let's to that add a very modest growth rate of 2% per annuum (again
probably an underestimate - the first few hundred years will have been
paradise: lots of wildlife unafraid of humans;
Yeah, I bet short faced bears and lions probably weren't afraid of
humans.

no competition; no war;
no disease)...
Why no disease?

Cheers
John GW
John Brock
2003-07-28 21:52:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by res6l2wx
Let's start with a ridiculously small founder group of 50 people and
the equally ridiculous assumption that only one group ever invaded.
Let's to that add a very modest growth rate of 2% per annuum (again
probably an underestimate - the first few hundred years will have been
paradise: lots of wildlife unafraid of humans;
Yeah, I bet short faced bears and lions probably weren't afraid of
humans.
I'll bet they learned quickly enough!
Post by res6l2wx
no competition; no war;
no disease)...
Why no disease?
Only the diseases they brought with them through the artic freezer,
a relatively clean environment. Most of the really nasty diseases
seem to be tropical diseases (perhaps because that is where we
evolved), and none of those would have been carried over the Bering
Strait. (That's the theory anyway).
--
John Brock
***@panix.com
res6l2wx
2003-07-30 18:46:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Brock
Post by res6l2wx
Let's start with a ridiculously small founder group of 50 people and
the equally ridiculous assumption that only one group ever invaded.
Let's to that add a very modest growth rate of 2% per annuum (again
probably an underestimate - the first few hundred years will have been
paradise: lots of wildlife unafraid of humans;
Yeah, I bet short faced bears and lions probably weren't afraid of
humans.
I'll bet they learned quickly enough!
Post by res6l2wx
no competition; no war;
no disease)...
Why no disease?
Only the diseases they brought with them through the artic freezer,
a relatively clean environment. Most of the really nasty diseases
seem to be tropical diseases (perhaps because that is where we
evolved), and none of those would have been carried over the Bering
Strait. (That's the theory anyway).
--
Your reasoning is circular. People couldn't have been here because
their population would have increased in a new Eden. How do we know it was
a new Eden? Because they _must_ have been able to deal with these
predators - your claim that they could have can have no other basis. Native
Americans found dealing with grizzlies a real feat. Killing one was the
same coup as killing an enemy warrior. Nor does there seem to be much
reason for supposing they didn't have their feuds or tropical parasites,
like bot flies and syphilis...
They might have been able to hunt lions a la Masai practise, but I
notice lions didn't go extinct in Africa.
Then, having argued they couldn't have been here, all evidence they
were must be thrown out. Darwin said one should use especial care in
considering evidence that countered one'e theory. Granted, the date men
arrived is not exactly a theory, but your arguments about a new Eden are
The earliest date is is just a determination from a number of sites, and the
practise seems to be, as each one comes along that shows earlier than such
and such a date, throw it out because no site has been accepted previously.
It's questioned. You can throw out any amount of data that way.
My opinion is that one should go by the evidence rather than from some
sort of conclusion from rather dubious claims about what is and is not. In
law, one cannot introduce a chain of conclusions into evidence, and your
claim that men with spears could successfully compete with lions and short
faced bears, and saber tooth cats and therefore their popuilation had to
increase, and therefore they weren't here, is a chain of conclusions.
Cheers
John GW
MIB529
2003-07-31 00:50:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by res6l2wx
Post by John Brock
Post by res6l2wx
Let's start with a ridiculously small founder group of 50 people and
the equally ridiculous assumption that only one group ever invaded.
Let's to that add a very modest growth rate of 2% per annuum (again
probably an underestimate - the first few hundred years will have been
paradise: lots of wildlife unafraid of humans;
Yeah, I bet short faced bears and lions probably weren't afraid of
humans.
I'll bet they learned quickly enough!
Post by res6l2wx
no competition; no war;
no disease)...
Why no disease?
Only the diseases they brought with them through the artic freezer,
a relatively clean environment. Most of the really nasty diseases
seem to be tropical diseases (perhaps because that is where we
evolved), and none of those would have been carried over the Bering
Strait. (That's the theory anyway).
--
Your reasoning is circular. People couldn't have been here because
their population would have increased in a new Eden. How do we know it was
a new Eden? Because they _must_ have been able to deal with these
predators - your claim that they could have can have no other basis. Native
Americans found dealing with grizzlies a real feat. Killing one was the
same coup as killing an enemy warrior. Nor does there seem to be much
reason for supposing they didn't have their feuds or tropical parasites,
like bot flies and syphilis...
Besides which, the theory falls apart when one considers, say,
Melanesians, who have the same immunity problems with smallpox. Or
Polynesians. Or Micronesians. Or Australian aboriginals.

The trick is that certain immunities are to certain diseases. (If I'm
allergic to cats, does that necessarily mean I'm allergic to mold? If
not, if I'm allergic to mold, does that necessarily mean I'm allergic
to cats?) Indians have relatively little trouble with intestinal
parasites, for example. (I dare say that hookworm, pinworm, and
whipworm wouldn't have survived Wisconsonian Beringia. Something about
Siberia in an Ice Age doesn't sound too much like the environment
hookworm's from.)

And certain diseases were originally in certain animals. Smallpox from
cattle, for example.

So it's not a latitude thing at all. Anyone who tries to use latitude
to explain human variation is setting himself up to look like an
idiot.

<snip>
Mike Noren
2003-07-31 08:29:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
So it's not a latitude thing at all. Anyone who tries to use latitude
to explain human variation is setting himself up to look like an
idiot.
How fortunate, then, that I've not used latitude to explain human
variation, or number of diseases.

Really, guys, it's quite simple: if you pick a small sample of people
from a large population with a large number of diseases, not all of
which are found in all people, you're going to have fewer diseases in
the sample than there is in the original population. It's got nothing
to do with latitude, it's got everything to do with sampling error.
Think, please.

In *addition* to that, in my ridiculously simplified hypothetical
example not only nearly all diseases present in less than 1 in 50
people would have been absent due to sampling error but all diseases
which required a vector not present in north america would have
disappeared, and all diseases which you can only get once and then
develop an immunity to, such as influenza, would disappear, as the
parasite population in such a small population of humans is not
sufficient to allow the parasite to evolve new variants.

And, in addition to *that*, low-density fragmented populations make it
more difficult for the diseases which do exist to propagate, further
increasing the probability that they'll go extinct for stochastic
reasons.
res6l2wx
2003-07-31 17:34:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Noren
Really, guys, it's quite simple: if you pick a small sample of people
from a large population with a large number of diseases, not all of
which are found in all people, you're going to have fewer diseases in
the sample than there is in the original population. It's got nothing
to do with latitude, it's got everything to do with sampling error.
Think, please.
What, and maybe get a headache?!!
It's not a very scholarly book, but, IIRC, "Who Gave Pinta to the Santa
Maria?", by Dersowitz more or less agrees with you on the loss of Eurasian
diseases.
He does accept Pedra Furada, which I suspect is questionable (though,
again, admissible as evidence.)

Cheers
John GW
MIB529
2003-07-31 19:49:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Noren
Post by MIB529
So it's not a latitude thing at all. Anyone who tries to use latitude
to explain human variation is setting himself up to look like an
idiot.
How fortunate, then, that I've not used latitude to explain human
variation, or number of diseases.
Really, guys, it's quite simple: if you pick a small sample of people
from a large population with a large number of diseases, not all of
which are found in all people, you're going to have fewer diseases in
the sample than there is in the original population. It's got nothing
to do with latitude, it's got everything to do with sampling error.
Think, please.
In *addition* to that, in my ridiculously simplified hypothetical
example not only nearly all diseases present in less than 1 in 50
people would have been absent due to sampling error but all diseases
which required a vector not present in north america would have
disappeared, and all diseases which you can only get once and then
develop an immunity to, such as influenza, would disappear, as the
parasite population in such a small population of humans is not
sufficient to allow the parasite to evolve new variants.
And, in addition to *that*, low-density fragmented populations make it
more difficult for the diseases which do exist to propagate, further
increasing the probability that they'll go extinct for stochastic
reasons.
Very well-written. There's also the lack of domesticable animals, and
the fact that Indians did common-sense medical tactics like basic
hygiene, sterilizing wounds, and isolation.

I was describing John Brock as setting himself up to look like an
idiot, actually. Smallpox is found in pretty much all latitudes, so
the freezer wouldn't do much of anything.
John Brock
2003-07-31 21:01:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
Post by MIB529
So it's not a latitude thing at all. Anyone who tries to use latitude
to explain human variation is setting himself up to look like an
idiot.
How fortunate, then, that I've not used latitude to explain human
variation, or number of diseases.
Really, guys, it's quite simple: if you pick a small sample of people
from a large population with a large number of diseases, not all of
which are found in all people, you're going to have fewer diseases in
the sample than there is in the original population. It's got nothing
to do with latitude, it's got everything to do with sampling error.
Think, please.
In *addition* to that, in my ridiculously simplified hypothetical
example not only nearly all diseases present in less than 1 in 50
people would have been absent due to sampling error but all diseases
which required a vector not present in north america would have
disappeared, and all diseases which you can only get once and then
develop an immunity to, such as influenza, would disappear, as the
parasite population in such a small population of humans is not
sufficient to allow the parasite to evolve new variants.
And, in addition to *that*, low-density fragmented populations make it
more difficult for the diseases which do exist to propagate, further
increasing the probability that they'll go extinct for stochastic
reasons.
Very well-written. There's also the lack of domesticable animals, and
the fact that Indians did common-sense medical tactics like basic
hygiene, sterilizing wounds, and isolation.
I was describing John Brock as setting himself up to look like an
idiot, actually. Smallpox is found in pretty much all latitudes, so
the freezer wouldn't do much of anything.
You clearly didn't understand my point. Many diseases in fact have
geographical distributions that you don't find them outside of,
because that is where their animal (especially insect) vectors
live. There are a great many nasty diseases that you find in the
tropics that you simply do not find in the tundra. Any group of
people spending time on the tundra passing from one continent to
another are going to lose these diseases, period. So latitude
*does* matter, if not for all diseases then certainly for some.
Do you have a problem with this analysis?
--
John Brock
***@panix.com
Jim McGinn
2003-08-01 00:58:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Brock
You clearly didn't understand my point.
<snip>
Post by John Brock
Do you have a problem with this analysis?
I don't. Are there any other experts in
immunology here?
It seems we found the one subject to which
Phil is not a self-declared expert.

Jim
MIB529
2003-08-02 02:04:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Post by John Brock
You clearly didn't understand my point.
<snip>
Post by John Brock
Do you have a problem with this analysis?
I don't. Are there any other experts in
immunology here?
It seems we found the one subject to which
Phil is not a self-declared expert.
So he's a self-declared expert? Adds +20 points to Phil's net loon index.
deowll
2003-08-03 01:36:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Post by MIB529
Post by John Brock
You clearly didn't understand my point.
<snip>
Post by John Brock
Do you have a problem with this analysis?
I don't. Are there any other experts in
immunology here?
It seems we found the one subject to which
Phil is not a self-declared expert.
So he's a self-declared expert? Adds +20 points to Phil's net loon index.
He makes a living doing work on some of the things he claims to be an expert
about.

The real net loans couldn't get a job doing work in their favorite area of
interest unless they worked for themselves. I also think he might have
prefered well informed to expert on a good many topics. He occasionally
notes that he doesn't have the time to read everything on some topic because
it isn't his field.
res6l2wx
2003-07-31 17:24:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Post by res6l2wx
Post by John Brock
Only the diseases they brought with them through the artic freezer,
a relatively clean environment. Most of the really nasty diseases
seem to be tropical diseases (perhaps because that is where we
evolved), and none of those would have been carried over the Bering
Strait. (That's the theory anyway).
--
. Nor does there seem to be much
Post by MIB529
Post by res6l2wx
reason for supposing they didn't have their feuds or tropical parasites,
like bot flies and syphilis...
Besides which, the theory falls apart when one considers, say,
Melanesians, who have the same immunity problems with smallpox. Or
Polynesians. Or Micronesians. Or Australian aboriginals.
The trick is that certain immunities are to certain diseases. (If I'm
allergic to cats, does that necessarily mean I'm allergic to mold? If
not, if I'm allergic to mold, does that necessarily mean I'm allergic
to cats?) Indians have relatively little trouble with intestinal
parasites, for example. (I dare say that hookworm, pinworm, and
whipworm wouldn't have survived Wisconsonian Beringia. Something about
Siberia in an Ice Age doesn't sound too much like the environment
hookworm's from.)
Yeah, that's what Alan Dersowitz claims (professor of tropical medicine.)
Post by MIB529
And certain diseases were originally in certain animals. Smallpox from
cattle, for example.
So it's not a latitude thing at all. Anyone who tries to use latitude
to explain human variation is setting himself up to look like an
idiot.
Well, just to be contrary, I suppose the First Americans probably did
shed some diseases by coming through Beringia.
I don't know but what the Americas may have been an Eden from that point of
view. But to learn to exploit new sources of food, to deal with strange
predators....
REgards
John GW
Philip Deitiker
2003-07-31 20:39:31 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 17:24:56 GMT, "res6l2wx"
Post by res6l2wx
Well, just to be contrary, I suppose the First Americans probably did
shed some diseases by coming through Beringia.
I don't know but what the Americas may have been an Eden from that point of
view. But to learn to exploit new sources of food, to deal with strange
predators....
Maybe north america, think of all those bugs that got
carried over from africa to south america with all those
monkeys, niave, ran their little epidemics in monkeys.

One has to think about disease from the point of view of
jumping, for example a cold virus from a serville cat to
humans causing Pnuemonia with a 5 to 20% Fatality rate.
The combination of completely unexposed diseases, tropical
environment and a host population, monkeys, some with diets
not to dissimilar from recent human ancestral species, you
have the recipe for alot of new diseases.
From the new world we have Chaga's disease, Couple of
varieties of malaria, . . . . . . Imagine how bad those
diseases affected the first settlers to those regions.
res6l2wx
2003-07-31 17:24:54 UTC
Permalink
Nonono - I didn't say it was impossible they had been here longer, I
made a case for it being *possible that they hadn't*, a counter
argument to the "they must have been here tens of thousands of years"
argument.
Oh, certainly - the question of probable date of entry is certainly not
settled.
Post by res6l2wx
a new Eden? Because they _must_ have been able to deal with these
predators - your claim that they could have can have no other basis.
Native
Post by res6l2wx
Americans found dealing with grizzlies a real feat.
They WERE able to deal with these predators. There is absolutely no
doubt about that. People at the same technology level were busy
exterminating even bigger animals in europe at about the same time,
e.g. cave bears, mammoths, and cave lions, and people at the same
technological level hunt lions and elephants in africa.
Why species go extinct can be a complicated question, as Martin knows,
of course, and I daresay you do.
Whether one can predict effects or explain them without considerable data is
a question. More raptor birds in Yellowstone when the wolves were
introduced, for example. The climate changed markedly at the beginning of
this interglacial, which certainly stressed species.
You're not seriously suggesting that indians are much less efficient
hunters than paleolithic europeans or africans, are you?
Don't know that the PaleoIndians were 'indians' exactly - maybe fishermen
who weren't terribly interested in hunting lions.
Since we don't know when they arrived, we don't know they drove species into
extinction 11,000 BP. Since we don't know whether they drove species into
extinction, that has no probative value for the time of their arrival.
They had the diseases they brought with them, and what could be
sustained by their population size. More diseases may, and indeed did,
come with later immigrants, and some will have jumped from native
species, but that's the way it is. Disease can not travel the pacific
(or atlantic) on its own: there were no human diseases in the americas
before there were humans there.
But diseases do jump from other species - granted not so much for
hunting or fishing people - more farming, I think.
Post by res6l2wx
They might have been able to hunt lions a la Masai practise, but I
notice lions didn't go extinct in Africa.
No, but two species did in Europe. I don't know why human arrival
leads to rapid mass extinction of the larger species all around the
world (europe, madagascar, australia, new zealand, pacific islands,
north america...) except africa.
The correlation is certainly an item of evidence to consider.
.
Post by res6l2wx
Then, having argued they couldn't have been here, all evidence they
were must be thrown out.
There _is no_ evidence which says they were in the americas
significantly more than 13000 years ago.
Oh yes, Dixon lists a number of sites. Let me make my point again.
In law, questioning an item of evidence simply goes to the weight, not the
admissibility, and this is a sound rule where there are a number of items.
In other words, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." is garbage.
As Bugliosi points out, items of evidence are not links in a chain; they are
strands in a rope, and even if you cast doubt on one strand, you need not
have destroyed the whole case. Note the words, "cast doubt."
Dixon lists a number of sites to which he applies the four criteria
Adovasio and others laid down. REgardless of who insists that all four
must be satisfied to accept the site as evidence, I maintain the lack of one
or two points goes to the weight, not the admissibility, particularly since
the doubters simply claim that something "might" be wrong. For example,
Haynes claiming that any pre-Clovis dates at Meadowcroft "must" be
contaminated. Throwing out evidence in science is usually regarded with a
jaundiced eye, and sound reasons should be given for doing so. Not that
evidence that contradicts one's preconceptions "might" be wrong.
Nor am I impressed by authority or reputation. Unfortunately, the
mavens in anthro have been wrong too often - Piltdown man, the rejection of
the Taung child, etc. Allowing for the difficulty of the field, I think
bias is a malady that affects the most learned here.
I, of course, am completely objective (8-)

John GW
Doug Weller
2003-07-31 20:17:42 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 17:24:54 GMT, in sci.anthropology.paleo, res6l2wx
Post by res6l2wx
Nonono - I didn't say it was impossible they had been here longer, I
made a case for it being *possible that they hadn't*, a counter
argument to the "they must have been here tens of thousands of years"
argument.
Oh, certainly - the question of probable date of entry is certainly not
settled.
Post by res6l2wx
a new Eden? Because they _must_ have been able to deal with these
predators - your claim that they could have can have no other basis.
Native
Post by res6l2wx
Americans found dealing with grizzlies a real feat.
They WERE able to deal with these predators. There is absolutely no
doubt about that. People at the same technology level were busy
exterminating even bigger animals in europe at about the same time,
e.g. cave bears, mammoths, and cave lions, and people at the same
technological level hunt lions and elephants in africa.
Why species go extinct can be a complicated question, as Martin knows,
of course, and I daresay you do.
Whether one can predict effects or explain them without considerable data is
a question. More raptor birds in Yellowstone when the wolves were
introduced, for example. The climate changed markedly at the beginning of
this interglacial, which certainly stressed species.
And don't forget the food chain. Killing off a large number of small
animals can have a drastic effect on species higher up the food chain.

[SNIP]

Doug
--
Doug Weller -- exorcise the demon to reply
Doug & Helen's Dogs http://www.dougandhelen.com
Doug's Archaeology Site: http://www.ramtops.demon.co.uk
Mike Noren
2003-08-11 00:06:07 UTC
Permalink
So the question isn't whether men could _kill_ a short faced bear.
Could they compete with it? And dryness of the prarie for setting fires
could make a lot of difference in that regard. Lot of factors
The proof would seem to be in the pudding: the short-faced bear, the
cave bear, the mammoth, the cave lion, the giant deer... in fact,
pretty much all species larger than about the size of a deer, went
extinct.

People who wish to blame the destruction of these species on changing
climate or disease has to explain howcome it is that these extinctions
happened not once, but time and time again, over a period of at least
50000 years, whenever humans entered a new area, all around the world,
and continued until present day. And that some of these species had
already survived at least two iceages with interglacial. And that some
of them survived well into historic time in protected areas such as
Wrangel island or royal hunting parks.

Humans preferentially kill large animals, and the larger and more
ferocious the species, the more desired it is as prey.
This process hasn't stopped either, it continues to this very day -
present day fishermen and hunters still show this exact same
preference, with much the same results.

It seems to me the only real argument against humans having killed the
bulk of the earths megafauna is one from incredulity: people refuse to
believe that "small bands" of humans introduced into a new environment
can do this massive damage to an ecosystem.
In that context, I've always found it difficult to understand that the
same people seem to have no problem believing that small numbers of
introduced cats, dogs, or foxes, working singly and without tools, can
cause massive damage to ecosystems.
Philip Deitiker
2003-08-11 03:36:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Noren
Humans preferentially kill large animals, and the larger and more
ferocious the species, the more desired it is as prey.
This process hasn't stopped either, it continues to this very day -
present day fishermen and hunters still show this exact same
preference, with much the same results.
It doesn't happen every where. In africa you can find lions,
leapords, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffe, zebra. In
india and south asia you still find tigers, elephants,
rhino, kimona dragons. However in europe most of the large
predators are gone, in east asia the tiger remains only in
places that for some odd reason are underpopulated by
humans. The european varieties and north east asian, and
north american varities are mostly extinct. Isn't that
strange.
In North America the only Large cats that survive are the
mountain lion (small compared to a lion, a lynx, the ocelot
lives in south texas but no-one ever seens it. Masterdon is
gone, musk ox survive in small numbers. Buffulo became
predominant (almost as if natives had selected to prey of a
given size), the caribou are favored in then north and in
east asia. In europe the bovid is favored and not it has
largely replaced the buffulo. In south america there are
several different varieties of wild cats.
Mike Noren
2003-08-11 12:32:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Philip Deitiker
Post by Mike Noren
Humans preferentially kill large animals, and the larger and more
ferocious the species, the more desired it is as prey.
It doesn't happen every where. In africa you can find lions,
leapords, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffe, zebra.
True. That is also, as I've said, the only area in which humans are
native. In Madagascar, however, human introduction was followed by the
demise of native megafauna.
Post by Philip Deitiker
In
india and south asia you still find tigers, elephants,
rhino, kimona dragons.
It is true that south east asia seems to have suffered fewer megafauna
losses than europe, australia, madagascar, new zealand, oceania, and
new zealand.
Post by Philip Deitiker
In North America the only Large cats that survive are the
mountain lion (small compared to a lion, a lynx, the ocelot
lives in south texas but no-one ever seens it. Masterdon is
gone, musk ox survive in small numbers.
Musk oxen, btw, is one of the species presumed hunted to extinction in
eurasia. It was reintroduced to Norway in the mid 1900's, is doing
well, and has managed to spread to Sweden as well.
Post by Philip Deitiker
Buffulo became
predominant (almost as if natives had selected to prey of a
given size)
This I don't follow. Are you saying that buffalo INCREASED after human
settlement of NA?
Post by Philip Deitiker
, the caribou are favored in then north and in
east asia.
I can't see how, unless you're talking about domesticated reindeer?
Post by Philip Deitiker
In europe the bovid is favored and not it has
largely replaced the buffulo.
I'm not sure what you're getting at here - both our buffaloes and the
aurochs are extinct in the wild. The aurochs (wild ox) was hunted to
extinction in the 1700's, after a long period of being restricted to a
royal hunting park in Poland (a fate which very nearly befell also
european moose & roe deer, btw). There were two species of european
buffalo - forest and steppe visent. The steppe visent is extinct, the
forest visent survived in the same royal reserve as the wild ox until
mid 1900's. It has since been reintroduced from captive stock, and is
doing well (in that same park, now a national nature reserve, to which
it AFAIK is still restricted).
Philip Deitiker
2003-08-11 15:20:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Noren
Musk oxen, btw, is one of the species presumed hunted to extinction in
eurasia. It was reintroduced to Norway in the mid 1900's, is doing
well, and has managed to spread to Sweden as well.
So under the protection of humans it survives, assuming by
protection one means protection from predation.
Post by Mike Noren
Post by Philip Deitiker
Buffulo became
predominant (almost as if natives had selected to prey of a
given size)
This I don't follow. Are you saying that buffalo INCREASED after human
settlement of NA?
[this has been xposted to sci.archaeology maybe tk will have
some comment]

That is what has been claimed, that native americans set
fire to the regions east of the rockies in order to increase
the amount of grazing land. It is certainly true in the hill
country north and west of San Antonio. The earliest
paintings show this as a vast grassland. When the spanish
move in and the grazing is taken over bovids and horses.
The bovids brought mesquite seeds from mexico and also
mexican red cedar. The mesquite was very invasive and
without fire ecology continued to spread, the red ceder has
become the predominant hill country tree. Oaks (more fire
resistent) which would have dominated in a fire ecology
often failed to compete with the cedar. Thus at least the
edwards plateau was part of the fire ecology use to maintain
grasslands preferential to the migratory grazing species.
Post by Mike Noren
Post by Philip Deitiker
, the caribou are favored in then north and in
east asia.
I can't see how, unless you're talking about domesticated reindeer?
North American and Northern Asia, sorry.
Post by Mike Noren
I'm not sure what you're getting at here - both our buffaloes and the
aurochs are extinct in the wild. The aurochs (wild ox) was hunted to
extinction in the 1700's, after a long period of being restricted to a
royal hunting park in Poland (a fate which very nearly befell also
european moose & roe deer, btw). There were two species of european
buffalo - forest and steppe visent. The steppe visent is extinct, the
forest visent survived in the same royal reserve as the wild ox until
mid 1900's. It has since been reintroduced from captive stock, and is
doing well (in that same park, now a national nature reserve, to which
it AFAIK is still restricted).
Replaced largely by domesticated cattle.

What I am getting at is that humans in the temperate zones
appear to have focused predation on animals and did things
to favor other animals. This is something they may have
started doing from their earliest occupations in europe
(after 35 kya).
MIB529
2003-08-12 16:37:19 UTC
Permalink
Having gone hunting before, allow me to interject.
Post by Mike Noren
So the question isn't whether men could _kill_ a short faced bear.
Could they compete with it? And dryness of the prarie for setting fires
could make a lot of difference in that regard. Lot of factors
The proof would seem to be in the pudding: the short-faced bear, the
cave bear, the mammoth, the cave lion, the giant deer... in fact,
pretty much all species larger than about the size of a deer, went
extinct.
Mammoth, cave lion, giant deer...Either humans are idiots, or you are
for not realizing that hunters prefer something safe. *sigh* What
community college did you get your degree from?
Post by Mike Noren
People who wish to blame the destruction of these species on changing
climate or disease has to explain howcome it is that these extinctions
happened not once, but time and time again, over a period of at least
50000 years, whenever humans entered a new area, all around the world,
and continued until present day. And that some of these species had
already survived at least two iceages with interglacial. And that some
of them survived well into historic time in protected areas such as
Wrangel island or royal hunting parks.
And in this case, we're talking about an area where people had been
for millennia. Your "theory" requires Clovis-first.
Post by Mike Noren
Humans preferentially kill large animals, and the larger and more
ferocious the species, the more desired it is as prey.
Humans apparently are the stupidest species on the planet. Who would
kill large (and more dangerous) animals.
Post by Mike Noren
This process hasn't stopped either, it continues to this very day -
present day fishermen and hunters still show this exact same
preference, with much the same results.
Only those who hunt for sport. Those who don't, only kill enough to
feed their family.
Post by Mike Noren
It seems to me the only real argument against humans having killed the
bulk of the earths megafauna is one from incredulity: people refuse to
believe that "small bands" of humans introduced into a new environment
can do this massive damage to an ecosystem.
"Introduced to a new environment". Too bad that Clovis-first is dead.
So, can small bands of humans who have been in an environment for
millennia do massive damage?
Mike Noren
2003-08-12 22:04:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
The proof would seem to be in the pudding: the short-faced bear, the
cave bear, the mammoth, the cave lion, the giant deer... in fact,
pretty much all species larger than about the size of a deer, went
extinct.
Mammoth, cave lion, giant deer...Either humans are idiots, or you are
for not realizing that hunters prefer something safe. *sigh* What
community college did you get your degree from?
Not the same as yours, I'm happy to say: big & dangerous animals are
preferred prey in neolithic societies for the exact same reason Hummer
cars and Armani clothes are preferred in industrialized societies. Do
some reading on the concept of status in neolithic societies, please.
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
People who wish to blame the destruction of these species on changing
climate or disease has to explain howcome it is that these extinctions
happened not once, but time and time again, over a period of at least
50000 years, whenever humans entered a new area, all around the world,
and continued until present day. And that some of these species had
already survived at least two iceages with interglacial. And that some
of them survived well into historic time in protected areas such as
Wrangel island or royal hunting parks.
And in this case, we're talking about an area where people had been
for millennia. Your "theory" requires Clovis-first.
What the heck are you talking about?
What happened 50000 years ago was the immigration of humans into
Australia, and the associated mass extinction of large animals there.

You should read this:
http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/massextinctionsbyhumans061501.htm


Oh, and btw - that neolithic humans, including indians, only kill as
much as they need to survive is a myth. If you don't have the concept
that things can go extinct, and believe the abundance of prey is
solely controlled by the gods, there is no point in conserving
resources, is there.
deowll
2003-08-16 20:12:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIB529
Having gone hunting before, allow me to interject.
Post by Mike Noren
So the question isn't whether men could _kill_ a short faced bear.
Could they compete with it? And dryness of the prarie for setting fires
could make a lot of difference in that regard. Lot of factors
The proof would seem to be in the pudding: the short-faced bear, the
cave bear, the mammoth, the cave lion, the giant deer... in fact,
pretty much all species larger than about the size of a deer, went
extinct.
Mammoth, cave lion, giant deer...Either humans are idiots, or you are
for not realizing that hunters prefer something safe. *sigh* What
community college did you get your degree from?
So hunt rabbits but there isn't much meat on a rabbit and they often lack
vital fat. The point is if you have a method for taking down big game that
is reasonibly safe you may be better off doing it than chasing something
smaller. If it's all that is to be had on a given day you may give it a shot
even if it's very risky.
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
People who wish to blame the destruction of these species on changing
climate or disease has to explain howcome it is that these extinctions
happened not once, but time and time again, over a period of at least
50000 years, whenever humans entered a new area, all around the world,
and continued until present day. And that some of these species had
already survived at least two iceages with interglacial. And that some
of them survived well into historic time in protected areas such as
Wrangel island or royal hunting parks.
And in this case, we're talking about an area where people had been
for millennia. Your "theory" requires Clovis-first.
Post by Mike Noren
Humans preferentially kill large animals, and the larger and more
ferocious the species, the more desired it is as prey.
Humans apparently are the stupidest species on the planet. Who would
kill large (and more dangerous) animals.
Yeah, it is very stupid to want eat and feed your family. Big animals =
enough to food to feed many people. Small animal means you eat with maybe a
taste left over for somebody else but you aren't going to get much respect
from the females unless you can bring home enough to share with them.

Taking down dangerous animals may well have been a method for gaining status
with humans as long as humans have been around.


Doing so was a way to get on the prefered stud list. Staying away from such
beasts may have been safer but it may have meant you made fewer babies.
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
This process hasn't stopped either, it continues to this very day -
present day fishermen and hunters still show this exact same
preference, with much the same results.
Only those who hunt for sport. Those who don't, only kill enough to
feed their family.
Yeah driving a herd of bison over cliff or poisoning a stream only kills the
ones you want to eat. Sure thing. Remains of bison that were skinned and
left to rot or not skinned with the skeleton showing no evidence of human
processing are as old as evidence of bison drives.
Post by MIB529
Post by Mike Noren
It seems to me the only real argument against humans having killed the
bulk of the earths megafauna is one from incredulity: people refuse to
believe that "small bands" of humans introduced into a new environment
can do this massive damage to an ecosystem.
"Introduced to a new environment". Too bad that Clovis-first is dead.
So, can small bands of humans who have been in an environment for
millennia do massive damage?
They can if they use fire to reshape the landscape. Just ask the government.
They should be able to give you some interesting numbers. It only takes one
person being careless with one fire to burn over thousands of acres. We know
many groups traditionally set them as a mater of course each year.
Philip Deitiker
2003-07-31 20:34:24 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 17:24:54 GMT, "res6l2wx"
Post by res6l2wx
Don't know that the PaleoIndians were 'indians' exactly - maybe fishermen
who weren't terribly interested in hunting lions.
Since we don't know when they arrived, we don't know they drove species into
extinction 11,000 BP. Since we don't know whether they drove species into
extinction, that has no probative value for the time of their arrival.
I think the issue has shifted, not did humans drive them to
extinction generically, but did the coming of clovis culture
and the growth in population trasnfer a benign relationship
to a displacive relationship. No matter what anyone says of
the matter the extinctions and clovis are too close together
to argue that one is not related in some way to the other.
Post by res6l2wx
But diseases do jump from other species - granted not so much for
hunting or fishing people - more farming, I think.
Yes, and they tend to jump from wild animals to farm animals
and from farm animals to humans.
Post by res6l2wx
Oh yes, Dixon lists a number of sites. Let me make my point again.
In law, questioning an item of evidence simply goes to the weight, not the
admissibility, and this is a sound rule where there are a number of items.
Law is supposed to be absolutely, reasonable doubt is
doubtful since we find alot or reason to question why people
who are guiltless ended up being convicted under reasonable
doubt.

Science is a matter of confidence, and confidence is defined
whereas legal certainty is not.
Post by res6l2wx
In other words, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." is garbage.
O.J. was guilty, the problem was the prosecution continued
to lay out a case based on weak evidence instead of focusing
on their strenghts thus confusing the Jury. The prosecutions
point was the police investigation was flawless. If they had
backed off that and admitted many flaws in the investigation
however here is the evidence we are certain of, they would
have convicted him. The glove is exemplary of their botched
methodology (I think they probably should pay the state of
california bay the 20 million they wasted, california could
certainly use the money).
Post by res6l2wx
As Bugliosi points out, items of evidence are not links in a chain; they are
strands in a rope, and even if you cast doubt on one strand, you need not
have destroyed the whole case. Note the words, "cast doubt."
The earlier sites can be questioned, until they show
unambiguously that they are earlier and as far earlier as
they suggest, then I suggest that the early sites are
conditionally earlier. Not so far early to create a whole
new timeline, but early enough to expand the 'clovis'
timeline.
One has to remember if one places 'adam' and 'eve' in
south america, despite inbreeding, lack of culture and all
kind of inhibitors to population growth, eventually the
population is going to reach a critical mass in which
population will inflect upwards greatly. Maximally for that
I would say 20 ky, no more. Competition between expanding
groups drives cultural innovation. As long as there is space
enough for groups to continue to fissure then that won't
occur, however once they reach the hospitable boundaries of
expansion, then the competition will soon begin and in
places with competing groups with large carrying capacity,
expansion of culture will begin.
Right now we have a sample of 1 which lies close to the
clovis boundary, there is no statistical reason for calling
for a much earlier date or that this was the first settlment
either. I think the best evidence is to look to asia and ask
the question when was there a presences and an opportunity
to migrate. We may never have the earliest date from the New
World. Amazonian culture is almost an entirely organic
culture, with few stone tools.
Post by res6l2wx
Dixon lists a number of sites to which he applies the four criteria
Adovasio and others laid down. REgardless of who insists that all four
must be satisfied to accept the site as evidence, I maintain the lack of one
or two points goes to the weight, not the admissibility, particularly since
the doubters simply claim that something "might" be wrong. For example,
Haynes claiming that any pre-Clovis dates at Meadowcroft "must" be
contaminated. Throwing out evidence in science is usually regarded with a
jaundiced eye, and sound reasons should be given for doing so. Not that
evidence that contradicts one's preconceptions "might" be wrong.
Nor am I impressed by authority or reputation. Unfortunately, the
mavens in anthro have been wrong too often - Piltdown man, the rejection of
the Taung child, etc. Allowing for the difficulty of the field, I think
bias is a malady that affects the most learned here.
I, of course, am completely objective (8-)
So am I. lol. The basturds.
res6l2wx
2003-08-01 20:46:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Philip Deitiker
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 17:24:54 GMT, "res6l2wx"
Post by res6l2wx
Don't know that the PaleoIndians were 'indians' exactly - maybe fishermen
who weren't terribly interested in hunting lions.
Since we don't know when they arrived, we don't know they drove species into
extinction 11,000 BP. Since we don't know whether they drove species into
extinction, that has no probative value for the time of their arrival.
I think the issue has shifted, not did humans drive them to
extinction generically, but did the coming of clovis culture
and the growth in population trasnfer a benign relationship
to a displacive relationship. No matter what anyone says of
the matter the extinctions and clovis are too close together
to argue that one is not related in some way to the other.
Yes, I should think that is a reasonable conclusion. Question remains,
was clovis developed by people who had been here for some time, or was it
brought in by a new wave, or were clovis people the first wave?
Post by Philip Deitiker
Post by res6l2wx
But diseases do jump from other species - granted not so much for
hunting or fishing people - more farming, I think.
Yes, and they tend to jump from wild animals to farm animals
and from farm animals to humans.
Post by res6l2wx
Oh yes, Dixon lists a number of sites. Let me make my point again.
In law, questioning an item of evidence simply goes to the weight, not the
admissibility, and this is a sound rule where there are a number of items.
Law is supposed to be absolutely, reasonable doubt is
doubtful since we find alot or reason to question why people
who are guiltless ended up being convicted under reasonable
doubt.
Science is a matter of confidence, and confidence is defined
whereas legal certainty is not.
All right if you don't like legal analogies, how about Rhine proving
men can read minds, or are clairvoyant or whatever he was supposed to have
proven. He did it by throwing out evidence. He was confident enough.
In science, one should go by the balance of probabilities. I've
given the argument before - if you have eight sites each of which has a 10%
probability of being pre-Clovis, then the odds are over 1/2 that one of them
is. And 10% is giving the doubters a good deal more credit for
infallibility than I am willing to do.
Post by Philip Deitiker
Right now we have a sample of 1 which lies close to the
clovis boundary, there is no statistical reason for calling
for a much earlier date or that this was the first settlment
either.
Which sample is this?
Post by Philip Deitiker
I think the best evidence is to look to asia and ask
the question when was there a presences and an opportunity
to migrate. We may never have the earliest date from the New
World. Amazonian culture is almost an entirely organic
culture, with few stone tools.
I certainly agree with you there.
Post by Philip Deitiker
Post by res6l2wx
I, of course, am completely objective (8-)
So am I. lol. The basturds.
Cheers
John GW
Penguin Dreams
2003-08-03 01:42:52 UTC
Permalink
Nonono - I didn't say it was impossible they had been here longer, I
made a case for it being *possible that they hadn't*, a counter
argument to the "they must have been here tens of thousands of years"
argument.
Mike, you can't put quote marks around something
that _nobody_ said and then proceed to attack that person.
That's called a "strawman argument".

The DNA studies suggest that the populations split
30 Kya. It could be wrong. Nobody has said that it
is accepted as fact. That's how research goes, sometimes the
data is fuzzy but it still needs to be considered. It's a lot
like circumstantial evidence in a trial, you need to
evaluate it in light of other data.

Tom
deowll
2003-08-04 00:33:55 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Because I tend to think that everybody in South East Asia 40,000 ago most
likely looked like the people considered native to Australia and the
Oldest
South Americans are very similiar, am I crazy for thinking that the first
American's mtDNA ought to match up at least a little with the native
Australians as would anyone who had their mtDNA?
I'm looking for the same myself but I'm not completely satisfied with
my knowledge of mtDNA sequences to the south of China although I think
I've seen most of the ones available for comparsion. Nor am I
satisfied with the ones coming out of South America where recurrent
mutations appear to be more problematic than in other parts of the New
World. I don't know how much you have studied the same but my point
would be - just because researchers have focused upon the sequences
most similar to those of Native Americans in northern Asia doesn't
mean that they are *only* found there.
I previously mentioned that I thought the haplogroup D sequences of
the Fuegians went with the Brazilian Luzia's traits. Looking over the
article, 'Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphisms in Chilean Aboriginal
Populations: Implications for the Peopling of the Southern Cone of the
Continent, Moraga et al., AJPA 113:19-29 (2000), I see that the 'D'
sequences were determined to be most diverse and lacked the 16325
T-->C mutation which is found in most other New World haplogroup D
"Haplogroup D was the most diverse at the sequence level, revealing 30
polymorphic sites, in contrast to haplogroups A with 13 changes, B
with 14 changes, and C with 16 changes."
"Regarding haplogroup D/cluster II, C nucleotides at position 16325
and 16362 have been described by Horai et al. (1993) as
characteristics of cluster II, since they were shared by 72 native
Americans, including 45 Chilean aborigines. From our study, one
Mapuche individual lacked the 16362 T-->C transition, and the other 13
individuals belonging to the three Chilean populations did not show
the characteristic 16325 T-->C transition. Hence, our results do not
corroborate the classification of haplogroup D/cluster II on the basis
of these mutations, but are in agreement with the results of Ginther
et al. (1993), who also observed the absence of the 16325 T-->C
mutation in haplogroup D mtDNAs from the Argentinean."
"Comparison of the two hypervariable D loop regions reveals a high
variability of haplogroup D, in comparison to the other three
haplogroups ..."
There's also this relevant passage. Pay special attention to the part
about the "consensus" (!)
"Comparing our findings with other Amerindian mtDNA sequences from
South America, we found that the retrieved sequences of the three
Chilean groups cluster into the four basic mtDNA haplogroups, together
with the Amazonian tribes and the Argentinean Mapuche (Fig. 3). These
findings are noteworthy in relation to unconventional speculations
concerning the origin of the aborigines of Tierra del Fuego. More than
half a century ago, it was proposed that people of Tierra del Fuego
had direct ancestral links to Australoid populations (Frenguelli,
1963; Imbelloni, 1938). This hypothesis was based on the unusual
morphological characteristics, particularly the cranial robustness
(supposedly a sign of antiquity), of the aborigines of Patagonia and
Tierra del Fuego, that is to say the Ona (Selk'nam), Yaghan (Yamana),
and Alacaluf (Kaweskar). In the interim, a consensus among
anthropologists was reached in the sense that Amerinds were derived
from Mongoloids who, moving from Asia, crossed the Bering Land Bridge
as suggested by Hrdlicka (Frenguelli, 1963). There are, however, still
anthropologists with different views. Recently, on the basis of the
statistical manipulation of craniometric means, Neves and Pucciarelli
(1991) suggested the existence of a pre-Mongoloid migration to South
America, coming close to reviving the old ideas of Imbelloni (1938) in
a more current context. In contrast, our results indicate that the
Yaghan do not exhibit divergent D-Loop sequences, clustering together
with the corresponding haplogroup sequences from other South
Amerindian populations (Fig. 3), and presenting similar haplogroup
frequencies compared to the Mapuche and Pehuenche. In other words, our
data do not support the hypothesis that the Yaghan descend from a
different Paleoindian migration lacking haplogroups A and B, as
suggested by Lalueza et al. (1997)."
Gisele
I think I got it. They checked but didn't find the genes that would tie any
of the locals to the Australians. This isn't overly meaningful given a
limited sample and the obvious clue based on anatomy that the blood line had
been much diluted.
res6l2wx
2003-08-04 21:13:04 UTC
Permalink
. Of the Old World haplogroup B sequences,
one from Guangdong province in China, in particular, fits perfectly
into the B1 branch.
My atlas doesn't list Guangdong, so I will take the lazy man's way and
see if I can impose on you - is it safe to infer this is in the south, like
around Canton?
REgards
John GW
Gisele Horvat
2003-08-04 22:23:17 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Post by res6l2wx
My atlas doesn't list Guangdong, so I will take the lazy man's way and
see if I can impose on you - is it safe to infer this is in the south, like
around Canton?
Yes, it is very safe to say that. My atlas lists the same as
Kwangtung.
Also, John, if you haven't yet seen Yao's previous articles, I
recommend this one:

Am. J. Hum. Genet., 70:635-651, 2002
Phylogeographic Differentiation of Mitochondrial DNA in Han Chinese

Yong-Gang Yao,1 Qing-Peng Kong,1 Hans-Jürgen Bandelt,2 Toomas
Kivisild,3 and Ya-Ping Zhang1

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/issues/v70n3/013347/013347.html

Note in Figure 2 that mtDNA haplogroup A, the predominant haplogroup
of Native Americans (expecially the North and Central), has no close
"neighbours".

Gisele
Gisele Horvat
2003-08-08 02:23:20 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 00:32:19 GMT, "res6l2wx" <***@verizon.net>
wrote:

[...]
Well, that one ought to keep me out of mischeif for a bit.
Yup.
Ya'know,
if one never asks a stupid question, one doesn't learn, so I'll see if I can
learn. The article says that R9 and B are potentially the most ancient.
Why not A if it has no near neighbors?
Often, a haplogroup has no close neighbors like this one when it is
out of place, however, it would not fit better in any other
phylogenetic charts. It's just a loner, I guess. This is odd because
in Europe, for instance, most of the haplogroups are phylogenetically
close to at least one other i.e. J is close to T, U is close to K, and
V is close to H.

To answer your question - Yao's calculations only pertained to
sequences found in China and haplogroup A may not have originated
there. (See below)
And what is the significance of A not being found in Guangdong?
None (?) In another study, Yao et al. (2002) determined that 30% of
Lisu and Nu residing in Yunnan province had haplogroup A lineages.
These sequences are very quite homogeneous which is consistent with
their fairly recent arrival from NW China, Yao postulated below:

"The vicissitudes of time, war, seizure of lands, and
plague throughout history have produced numerous
large changes to the populations in China (Ge et al.,
1997). Movement and admixture have thus obscured
much of the population history of Chinese groups.
According to historical documents, Bai, Sali, Nu,
Tibetan, and Lisu have their origins in the ancient
Di-Qiang group in northwest China, and some of
them (Lisu, Nu, and Sali) were separated from each
other about 1,000-1,400 years ago (Du and Yip,
1993; Ma, 1994; You, 1994). Thus, it is not surprising
that Sali, Nu, and Lisu share similar linguistic
backgrounds, geographic distributions, ethnic
names, customs, and habits."

Haplogroup A sequences which are identical or very close to the Lisu &
Nu ones were also found in the Sali, Tu, Hubei, Xinjiang, Korean and
Buryat samples; especially the latter.

Anyway, if these sequences recently arrived in southern China, perhaps
none simply reached Guangdong.

Gisele
res6l2wx
2003-08-08 21:33:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gisele Horvat
[...]
Well, that one ought to keep me out of mischeif for a bit.
Yup.
Ya'know,
if one never asks a stupid question, one doesn't learn, so I'll see if I can
learn. The article says that R9 and B are potentially the most ancient.
Why not A if it has no near neighbors?
Often, a haplogroup has no close neighbors like this one when it is
out of place, however, it would not fit better in any other
phylogenetic charts. It's just a loner, I guess. This is odd because
in Europe, for instance, most of the haplogroups are phylogenetically
close to at least one other i.e. J is close to T, U is close to K, and
V is close to H.
To answer your question - Yao's calculations only pertained to
sequences found in China and haplogroup A may not have originated
there. (See below)
And what is the significance of A not being found in Guangdong?
None (?) In another study, Yao et al. (2002) determined that 30% of
Lisu and Nu residing in Yunnan province had haplogroup A lineages.
These sequences are very quite homogeneous which is consistent with
"The vicissitudes of time, war, seizure of lands, and
plague throughout history have produced numerous
large changes to the populations in China (Ge et al.,
1997). Movement and admixture have thus obscured
much of the population history of Chinese groups.
According to historical documents, Bai, Sali, Nu,
Tibetan, and Lisu have their origins in the ancient
Di-Qiang group in northwest China, and some of
them (Lisu, Nu, and Sali) were separated from each
other about 1,000-1,400 years ago (Du and Yip,
1993; Ma, 1994; You, 1994). Thus, it is not surprising
that Sali, Nu, and Lisu share similar linguistic
backgrounds, geographic distributions, ethnic
names, customs, and habits."
Haplogroup A sequences which are identical or very close to the Lisu &
Nu ones were also found in the Sali, Tu, Hubei, Xinjiang, Korean and
Buryat samples; especially the latter.
Anyway, if these sequences recently arrived in southern China, perhaps
none simply reached Guangdong.
Okay, thanks that makes it all a lot clearer.
Regards
Johnn GW
Philip Deitiker
2003-08-05 04:09:23 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 04 Aug 2003 21:13:04 GMT, "res6l2wx"
Post by res6l2wx
My atlas doesn't list Guangdong, so I will take the lazy man's way and
see if I can impose on you - is it safe to infer this is in the south, like
around Canton?
Canton = Guangdong.
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