Nick Wade

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Nicholas Wade did an interview with PLOS Genetics a few months ago. You might be interested, as he has a new book coming out, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of our Ancestors. I am doing a review for a magazine so I have a copy, and the galley has a lot more in it than the history of our ancestors (think his sequence of articles over the past 5 years). I suspect it will be marketed like Spencer Wells’ book, but this is a different beast altogether.

6 Comments

  1. I hate to admit my utter ignorance but…did the human race exit Africa in toto and then re-colonize it, or are modern Africans the descendants of those who did not leave? 
     
    BTW, I saw Prof. Henry Louis Gates on Charlie Rose last night, and his mtDNA points to A-Jewish ancestry. I do intend to watch the show he is hosting, but from what I saw on Charlie Rose, it seems heavy on the “white master rapist” stuff. Given his mtDNA, it would appear that his white genes come from a lady.

  2. I hate to admit my utter ignorance but…did the human race exit Africa in toto and then re-colonize it, or are modern Africans the descendants of those who did not leave? 
     
    i think most people would argue that there was back-migration and admixture. it seems (from the mtDNA & Y) recolonizatioon is implausible since that would make africans a subset of non-africans, when it looks like the other way around (e.g. eurasians are often found to be a subset of northeast africans).

  3. what is the difference between “back migration” and “recolonization”? 
     
    are you basically saying that modern africans are mostly descendants of people who didn’t go “out of africa”?

  4. what is the difference between “back migration” and “recolonization”? 
     
    well, recolonization implies to me that the ones coming in were dominant genetically. i don’t think that’s the case, as the lineages in africa show greater diversity than those outside africa. if you had a massive recolonization event it would be a sampling from western eurasia, so it should be less diverse than that region because samplings are imperfect and lose information. a back-migration i think of more as a admixture into the local substrate. 
     
    are you basically saying that modern africans are mostly descendants of people who didn’t go “out of africa”? 
     
    probably. but i don’t know enough about this, and ‘africa’ is a big continent. i suspect most north africans are recolonizers, in that the northern sahara was uninhabitable and populated by people from western eurasia perhaps. the people of northeast africa are probably a mix…but all these terms get confused because it isn’t like there were ideal types at time 0 which then were mixed up to form all the variants. but, i would say most people in western and southern africa carry a preponderance of genes which never left.

  5. i was referring to sub-saharan africa, yes

  6. Hey! What’s all that about “breaking out of Africa and defeating the more physically powerful Neanderthals who stood in their way” in the review? 
     
    I am hoping that one day Nicholas Wade will write the introduction to Steve Sailer’s book…

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