Friday, May 25, 2007

Round-eyed Chinese, part n   posted by Razib @ 5/25/2007 11:21:00 AM
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European Man Found in Ancient Chinese Tomb, Study Reveals. This is a follow up on an earlier story, worth reading for a lot of quotes. One might ask why the Chinese look so "Chinese" with this ancient evidence of gene flow. Well, non-trivial gene-flow is not the same as a non-trivial flow of peoples. The low level introgression of selectively favored alleles via isolated matings may be genetically significant, but leave little overall signatures on the genome (ergo, ancestry and other characters keep on a truckin' as before). I recall once reading an ethnography of the Hui people, roughly, Chinese speaking Muslims, where local villagers presented an old man with a large nose, a full beard and round eyes and declared that "this is a true Hui man!" Even though generations of intermarriage has resulted in the bleeding into the Chinese Muslim population (presumably founded by Central Asians who settled during the Yuan dynasty of the 13th and 14th century) of the general cultural and genetic character of the surrounding Han population (and likely some flow in the other direction too) these people still remember what they once supposedly looked like.

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