Saturday, June 22, 2002

Melungeon in America Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

Melungeon in America Ever heard of Melungeon's? Well, this article in Wired is one of many coming out due to a study that examines the Melungeon's claims about their ancestry. They say they might be of Mediterranean-Turkish on the exotic extreme, Portuguese when they're trying to make a plausible case-extraction, the offspring of sailors and slaves escaped from their Anglo overlords. Of course, historians dismiss this as a smokescreen to divert from possible African ancestry, saying they are a tri-racial isolate. Well, the study you can check out above seem to dismiss that they are a tri-racial isolate in 1/3 chunks via the female line. In fact, they turned out to be 5% Native American and 5% black African, which probably overestimates the quantum of non-"white" blood in them since females were mostly likely to have married white males, not vice versa. Certainly that's more non-white than the typical American, but they are a mostly "European" population. Why do I use quotes? Well, weird things like possible affiliation with Middle Eastern and South Asian groups. The Wired article hints of a relationship to Siddis, Afro-Indians, blacks imported during the Islamic period to serve the military courts of Hindu India's Muslim rulers. That's mighty peculiar, since a South Asian lineage should have some relationship with the Roma who have been spreading their genes west into as far as Wales for a thousand years. Why so much attention to an obscure group in the south? Well-because historic questions lead toward political circumstances, and politics impacts our lives no matter how much we care. On a more innocuous note-geneticists have been trying to figure our how Irish the female ancestors of Icelanders were. I did a review of the literature a few years back and it seemed somewhat inconclusive. The Irish and the Scandinavian populations are genetically too close to make it easy to differentiate them. But serious historical questions can be answered with genetics. For instance. Consider this scenario. The Greeks and the Turks have detested each other for the past few centuries. I know from the history that between the period 600 and 1000 Greece proper-excluding fortresses and towns likes Salonika were abandoned, and the center of Hellenic culture was The City (Constantinople) and fertile littoral of Anatolia (as far east as Caucasian coast where the Empire of Trebizond lasted longer than the late Byzantine Empire). The people that populated Greece at this time were Slavs, the Skalveni. With the coming of the Turks, Anatolia was slowly de-Hellenized (though the full purging of Greeks didn't occur until the 1920s). We know from genetics that the Turks aren't very Asian genetically. I don't know about the Greeks, but if it turned out that they shared a lot with say Serbs and Croatians, it could be that a lot of their ancestry is from the Skalveni, rather than the original Greeks, and they were "Hellenized" at some point after the Byzantine reconquest or during the early period of Greek nationalism. Ultimately, blood is important, and our confused and mingled bloodlines (since most ethnic rivalries are between adjacent peoples, the bloodlines are usually mingled) ultimately ameliorate some of the antagonism. P.S. On a different note-I just moved to Portland, Imbler yesterday. If someone lives in Southeast, feel free to e-mail me to have coffee if you think you can convince me of the error of my ways before the middle of this week (I'll get busy again after that). I'm pretty open-minded.

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
The Evolutionists
The Creationists
Of Moths and Men
The Language Instinct
How We Decide
Predictably Irrational
The Black Swan
Fooled By Randomness
Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
Darwin's Cathedral
A Theory of Religion
The Meme Machine
Synaptic Self
The Mating Mind
A Separate Creation
The Number Sense
The 10,000 Year Explosion
The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
The Origins of Virtue
Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
The g Factor
The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
Defenders of the Truth
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
The Classical World
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
History of Rome
How Rome Fell
The Making of a Christian Aristoracy
The Rise of Western Christendom
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
A History of the Byzantine State and Society
Europe After Rome
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity
The Barbarian Conversion
A History of Christianity
God's War
Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Sacred Chain
Divided by the Faith
The Reformation
Pursuit of Glory
Albion's Seed
From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
China in World History
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Great Arab Conquests
After Tamerlane
A History of Iran
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language
A World History
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Human Web
Plagues and Peoples
A Concise Economic History of the World
Power and Plenty
A Splendid Exchange
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
The Ascent of Money
The Great Divergence
Clash of Extremes
War and Peace and War
Historical Dynamics
The Age of Lincoln
The Great Upheaval
What Hath God Wrought
Freedom Just Around the Corner
Throes of Democracy
Grand New Party
A Beautiful Math
When Genius Failed
Catholicism and Freedom
American Judaism

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