December 22, 2009

African-American admixture

Over the weekend, I started thinking about a 2002 article I wrote called "How White Are Blacks? How Black Are Whites?" about Penn State geneticist Mark D. Shriver's research that came up with an estimate of self-identified African Americans having 17% to 18% European admixture. I wondered: What's the latest on that number? The technology has certainly improved over the years.

Last May 22, Sarah A. Tishkoff of Penn published a paper in Science called "The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans." It featured a huge number of samples from within Africa, and a small number of African-Americans.

Anthro blogger Dienekes said:
The importance of this new paper from the Tishkoff Lab cannot be emphasized enough. It is probably the most comprehensive study of African genetic variation to date. The supplementary material (pdf) is itself 102 pages long and should keep you busy reading for a while (free for non-subscribers [the Science paper is not free, however]).

What this study has found in a nutshell is that "black" Africans belong to 14 distinct clusters. Black Americans belong overwhelmingly to the Niger-Kordofanian cluster [beginning mostly in Cameroon and Nigeria, and spreading broadly from their], consistent with their origin largely from Western Africa. ...

As I have stated many times before, Bantu speakers have recently expanded from their cradle and contributed genetically to almost all other Africans, while remaining relatively pure in their own homeland. [See p. 12 of Tishkoff's supplementary material.]

You hear a lot of stuff about how "Africans are the most genetically diverse population on earth, therefore, they have the most geniuses, etc." Malcolm Gladwell was trumpeting that argument way back in 1997 with his New Yorker article about "Why blacks are like boys and whites are like girls."

Unfortunately, this whole line of thought is based on a misunderstanding of what kind of genetic diversity population geneticists are interested in. You, me, and Malcolm Gladwell are interested in genes that affect IQ, sprinting skills, and the like. But population geneticists don't like to look at genes that do important things because those get altered over time by selection precisely because they are important. They like to look at genes that don't do much of anything, because they only change by random mutation, so they are the most useful for genealogical purposes.

The press release for Tishkoff's paper says:
A median proportion of European ancestry in African-Americans of 18.5 percent, with large variation among individuals.

Which is very similar to Shriver's work. Shriver had more crude technology but a larger sample of African-Americans from a couple of dozen areas, while Tishkoff has 365 drawn from Chicago, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and North Carolina.

Yet, here's Tishkoff's abstract, which says Europeans make up about 13% of African-American genetic ancestry.
Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (~71%), European (~13%), and other African (~8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.

If you look at Table S6 on page 89 of 102 in her supplementary materials, you can see that her 13% figure apparently comes from a subsample of 98 African-Americans in four locations.

Interestingly, they come up with less than 1% of the genetic ancestry of African-Americans are American Indians but 5% are Asian Indian! Dienekes suggests that may be related to backflow from Out of Africa populations that went back In to Africa. Tishkoff says they are probably getting Asian Indians and Europeans confused in their analyses (they're basically all Caucasians), so the actual European admixture figure is likely higher and the actual Asian Indian figure lower:
Low levels of ancestry from several additional populations were also detected (Table S6): Fulani (means 0.0 - 0.03, individual range 0.00-0.14), Cushitic East African (means 0.02, individual range 0.05 - 0.10), Sandawe East African (means 0.01- 0.03, individual range 0.00 - 0.12), East Asian (means 0.01 – 0.02, individual range 0.0 - 0.08), and Indian (means 0.04 – 0.06, individual range 0.01 -0.17). The Fulani are present across West Africa and, therefore, would be expected to have contributed to the slave trade, and the Cushitic and Sandawe ancestry could represent slave trade originating from the east coast of Africa (S126). It should be noted that the levels of Indian ancestry in African Americans may be slightly overestimated, and the levels of European ancestry slightly underestimated, due to moderate levels of the Indian AAC in European/Middle Eastern individuals (Figs. 3 and 4). We did not observe significant levels of Native American ancestry. However, other regions of the US, may reveal Native American Ancestry, as previously reported (S125). Finally, European and African ancestry levels varied
considerably among individuals (Fig. 6).

Also, her Other African origins include some Saharan and Ethiopian groups that are somewhat Caucasian.

So, the 18.5% figure in the press release jibes fairly well with the supplementary materials if you add in the Asian Indians and some of the Northern Africans.

So, seven years later, Shriver's work is reasonably well confirmed.

By the way, Figure S28 shows Tishkoff's best guess for the origin of modern humans (the Atlantic coast of Namibia) and the Out of Africa exit point (half way up the Red Sea -- that may just be because there were two exit points, one at the Sinai and the other at Djibouti-Yemen, and their statistics are just splitting the difference).

Lots of interesting stuff in Tishkoff's paper on Pygmies, Bushmen, and others within Africa, but the African-American stuff is basically what I've been telling you all decade.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

59 comments:

OhioStater said...

Kids have a greater resemblance to their father than mother since that helps the dad know if the kid is his.

Look at Barack Obama who's half white and half black. He looks like a black man since his dad is black, however, he's half white.

Many blacks I see have medium brown skin comparable to Barack Obama's, which implies admixture greater than 30%.

I think 18.5% is too low.

TH said...

What I'd like to see is a study where the IQs of black Americans are compared to their degree of white ancestry.

There's one study where they found a small correlation between IQ and the lightness of skin in African-Americans. However, skin color is controlled by no more than a few genes, and all Af-Ams have some white ancestry, so you need to look at a larger number of genes.

Hereditarian theory predicts that there should be a more or less linear relationship between IQ and the degree of white ancestry in African-Americans. If that is what such a study would show, the liberal creationists would have to wield Occam's butterknife like crazy to explain the results away.

Anonymous said...

"Africa is the source of all modern humans,"

if a scientific paper includes this phrase, one can assume that findings will be slanted to be PC acceptable.

Bob said...

Since african-americans are so strongly western bantu, it is interesting to look at pictures of the other African ethnic groups.

While there are more than 10 clusters, it looks several of them are not much more than small tribes that make up less than 0.1% of the total African population.

The Fulani people seem to have pretty caucasian or east indian facial features. For example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Young_Peul_girl_in_Mali.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Peul_women_in_Paoua.jpg

rec1man said...

About 80% of west Europeans are Y-Haplogroup R1B
( The Slavs and upper caste Indians are 60% R1A )

In prehistoric times there was a mini-migration of R1B to North Africa and also to Sub-Saharan African

--
From Wiki
--

R1b is also present at lower frequencies throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and parts of North Africa and appears in an isolated pocket of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Viking said...

In his television documentary, Louis Gates, Jr, claimed that 58% of African Americans are one-eighth white, which broadly squares with the above stats.

Anonymous said...

It'd also be interesting to know the stats for southern whites with long lineages in the south. For instance, I wonder what the African and American Indian admixture rates are for white descendents of Jamestown settlers. With an almost 400 year timeframe it might be non-trivial.

Anonymous said...

What I'm really curious about is what percentage of non-white DNA is carried by the ostensibly white population of the USA. How much African, Asian, Native American, etc., is hidden away in there? I suppose the longer one's roots here are the greater likelihood there is of having some ancestral surprise. I remember reading that the black oriented press back in the 30's and 40's reported that thousands of blacks "disappeared" each year by passing themselves off as white and reinventing themselves, living and marrying white. Quadroons, octaroons and other light skinned individuals managed to do this quite regularly. Add up the number of years of opportunity for this to occur, who knows what the numbers might turn out to be. Gore Vidal, I think, claimed that J Edgar Hoover had some black ancestry but managed to "pass". Under the old rules he would have been classified as "negro" and wouldn't have become FBI director. Something to think about, eh?

Anonymous said...

You hear a lot of stuff about how "Africans are the most genetically diverse population on earth, therefore, they have the most geniuses, etc."

Stephen Gould made a similar argument in an article in Natural History magazine, which later became an appendix to the revised edition of The Mismeasure of Man. I don't have access to the book right now, so this may be a little off, but as I remember his argument went like this: African populations have more genetic diversity than other populations. Therefore other populations are genetically subsets of African populations. Therefore the claim that African populations are less intelligent than other populations, or that they run faster, or have more rhythm, or that they are different in other important ways from non-Africans, is intrinsically nonsensical. This argument is so amazingly bad that it really should have distroyed Gould's credibility on the subject.

First of all, while Africans may have more genetic diversity overall, we now know that there are still plenty of particular genes that are rare or absent in Africans but common in other populations, and that those genes could be very important. So Africa is not a genetic superset of the rest of the world.

But aside from that, the really awful mistake is the idea that if one population is a subset of another, it cannot be "better" than the other. That is so amazingly wrong that even an intelligent non-scientist can understand the problem. Consider race horses. As a practical matter, we do not breed faster horses by adding new genes for speed to the race horse population. Over a long period of time, as new mutations appeared, you could do this, but in the short run the only way to breed faster horses is to subtract the slow genes from the population. Race horses are a genetic subset of the general horse population, but they are still faster, because the existing genes for speed have been concentrated. Likewise, even if whites and Asians were true genetic subsets of Africans, they could still be on average more intelligent, if the genes for low intelligence had been subtracted out.

Anyway, as I said, I don't have access to the text right now, so I can't give quotes or anything. But somebody (Steve?) really ought to do a careful analysis of this article, since I think it has the potential to do some well deserved damage to Gould's reputation -- especially among scientifically minded young people -- if it became widely known. I mean, think about it. If this argument were true Africans couldn't be phenotypically different from other populations in any way! They couldn't even be a different color!!!

Anonymous said...

So American Blacks are [more than] 1/6th Scots-Irish.

I wonder what the figure is for American Jews?

Anonymous said...

"You hear a lot of stuff about how "Africans are the most genetically diverse population on earth, therefore, they have the most geniuses, etc." Malcolm Gladwell was trumpeting that argument way back in 1997 with his New Yorker article about "Why blacks are like boys and whites are like girls."


How on earth does Gladwell get taken seriously? He, I guess, is the token intellectual that writes what the elite wishes were true (but that they know deep down isn't true) so they can get together at his book openings and celebrate the pretty lies they are afraid to put their own names on.


Common observation shows us that most of the real innovators and leading scientists are caucasoids (whether it be jews, whites, Indians) and east asians.


Whats next, Gladwell telling us most leading mathematicians, physicists, and engineers are actually female, but we just haven't noticed it because of our prejudices? The composition of the NFL? Geesh...............

Robert said...

Almost all blacks that I know and most white southerners say that they are part American Indian. Cherokee seems to be the most popular then Choctaw or others are next. It seemed to me that it is just popular across the south to say that you are part Cherokee or another tribe and that these people are not really part Indian. There was a PBS show on a while back that showed blacks getting genetically tested to see what their ancestry was and a couple of the participants who believed that they were part Cherokee or whatever were shown to have no American Indian ancestry at all.

Concerned Netizen said...

"You hear a lot of stuff about how "Africans are the most genetically diverse population on earth, therefore, they have the most geniuses, etc.""

Where do you hear this?

Where do you pick this garbage up, Steve?

"Malcolm Gladwell was trumpeting that argument way back in 1997 with his New Yorker article about "Why blacks are like boys and whites are like girls."

Actually, with respect to testosterone, that's not so different from what YOU say.

"Lots of interesting stuff in Tishkoff's paper on Pygmies, Bushmen, and others within Africa, but the African-American stuff is basically what I've been telling you all decade."

Yeah right. That bitch deprived you of a cite, too, I'm sure.

Simon said...

"Tishkoff's best guess for the origin of modern humans (the Atlantic coast of Namibia)"

This seems to be based purely on that being the locale with the greatest genetic diversity, AIR. But it could just be that this is the longest surviving isolate, that the population in the actual origin area(s) was/were largely wiped out by later invaders, their rapid expansion leaving little genetic variance.

albertosaurus said...

Back in the sixties when the whole Black Pride movement was raging, it was the fashion for American blacks to think of themselves as having a lot of American Indian genetic heritage. I remember Little Richard announcing on Johnny Carson (or was it Jack Paar?) that he was only partly African. He was, he claimed, mostly American Indian.

Later when the federal government actually paid you for being an Indian and Civil Service gave you all sorts of hiring/firing advantages, everyone wanted to be an Indian. (Cue Betty Hutton singing "I'm an Indian Too").

So its good to see that the large mixture of American Indian genes in the American black gene pool was just a myth.

Insightful said...

European and African ancestry levels varied
considerably among individuals.


If they had sampled black dna from Oklahoma—bet their would have been some American Indian blood. Just as the degree of admixture varies from black to black, region to region also varies, such as Memphis & St. Louis--as compared to Charleston, SC & Savannah, GA. It would have been interesting to see the DNA results of blacks who have lived along the Mississippi river for generations. Something tells me the mouth of the river (New Orleans) would have stood out when compared with those places and towns much further up. I would've also liked to have seen results from blacks in Arkansas as compared with blacks next door in Tennessee! Interesting!

n/a said...

"Yet, here's Tishkoff's abstract, which says Europeans make up about 13% of African-American genetic ancestry."

The press release is for a newer paper in PNAS, which hasn't gone online yet.

Anonymous said...

did you catch this steve?

"The only thing I cannot do is, by law, I cannot pass laws that say 'I'm just helping black folks.'

Anonymous said...

hey steve, this is off topic, but i noticed some movie reviewers doing their "Top 10 of the Decade" film lists.

would be interested in your Top 10 if you cared to offer it.

Anonymous said...

"hey steve, this is off topic, but i noticed some movie reviewers doing their "Top 10 of the Decade" film lists.
would be interested in your Top 10 if you cared to offer it."

Here's mine. In no particular order:

Amores Perros
Y Tu Mama Tambien
A.I.
Mulholland Dr.
Assassination of Jesse James
Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Gohatto (Taboo)
Werckmeister Harmonies
Lost in Translation
Before Sunset
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima
Time Out
United 93
Bourne Identity
Master and Commander
King Kong
High Fidelity
Zodiac
Insomnia
Little Miss Sunshine
A History of Violence
The Pianist
Munich
Minority Report
Attack of the Clones
Beau Travail
Downfall
Nobody Knows
Matrix Revolutions
Gangs of NY
Hamsun

Anonymous said...

Here's a hint: a top 10 list by definition only lists ten items. Not 32.

Kim said...

"Black Americans belong overwhelmingly to the Niger-Kordofanian cluster"
According to Wikipedia, that's in Sudan, which makes no sense.

Schwartz said...

***Consider race horses. As a practical matter, we do not breed faster horses by adding new genes for speed to the race horse population. Over a long period of time, as new mutations appeared, you could do this, but in the short run the only way to breed faster horses is to subtract the slow genes from the population. Race horses are a genetic subset of the general horse population, but they are still faster, because the existing genes for speed have been concentrated.***

You could make the same point using wolves & dogs too?

Truth said...

"Here's a hint: a top 10 list by definition only lists ten items. Not 32."

Now there's a poster after my own heart, just in time for Christmas!

Anonymous said...

"Gore Vidal, I think, claimed that J Edgar Hoover had some black ancestry but managed to "pass". Under the old rules he would have been classified as "negro" and wouldn't have become FBI director. Something to think about, eh?"

Warren Harding and Dwight Eisenhower (through his mother) are believed by some to have had African ancestry.

Anonymous said...

TH Said:

"Hereditarian theory predicts that there should be a more or less linear relationship between IQ and the degree of white ancestry in African-Americans."

There doesn't seem to be any relationship between IQ and admixture proportions in the Afro-American community. Recall that New Orleans blacks, on average, are 22% European, which is the highest of all the regional samples tested thus far. Apparently, they also have a lower mean IQ than the rest of the U.S. black population too. According to Steve Sailer, that is. Not sure where he got that bit of info from...

Anonymous said...

Africa is the source of all modern humans

Is that 100% settled, even now?

Anyhow, true or not, the purpose of that statement is to tacitly imply that modern whites (and other non-Africans) are descended from people who are in every way like modern Africans. The purpose of PC groupthink is to encourage this idea.

Surely this cant be correct, assuming we all started out in Africa, modern whites et al and modern Africans are both descended from some older African group.

Anonymous said...

Hey, why don't we have an official Top Ten Movies of the Decade thread?

That could be a lot of fun.

[And no math Nazis arguing about 2000 to 2009 -vs- 2001 to 2010.]

Truth said...

"Surely this cant be correct, assuming we all started out in Africa, modern whites et al and modern Africans are both descended from some older African group"

And the tribe members of that group looked like Fabio and Elin Woods.

Reg Cæsar said...

Sarah A. Tishkoff of Penn published a paper...

Er, it's only "Penn" (and "Pitt" and "Cal") when you're talking about football. It's "the University of Pennsylvania" ("...Pittsburgh", "...California at Berkeley") when you discuss academics.

Sports talk is fine, but it's best left at the gym door, not brought into the lab.

You, me, and Malcolm Gladwell are interested in genes that affect IQ...

So, if Malcolm and I lose interest, the sentence reads "Me are interested in genes that affect IQ..." I can imagine why!

Reg Cæsar said...

For those who wondered about the black "blood quantum" in America's white population, American Renaissance reported a study years ago (during or before Glayde Whitney's tenure there) which showed that it was about one percent in the South, and one-half percent outside the South.

There was enormous European immigration everywhere but the South; it would be interesting to know whether that lowered or raised the figure.

Middletown Girl. said...

"Gore Vidal, I think, claimed that J Edgar Hoover had some black ancestry but managed to 'pass'. Under the old rules he would have been classified as 'negro' and wouldn't have become FBI director. Something to think about, eh?"

So, he was gay AND black.

Middletown Girl said...

You hear a lot of stuff about how "Africans are the most genetically diverse population on earth, therefore, they have the most geniuses, etc."

----------

Mexicans are racially more diverse than Germans, so there must be far more geniuses and great athletes among Mexicans.

Kazakhstan has been a diverse meeting point of Asians, Europeans, and Turks, so just imagine all the great potential chess players, Wall Street wizards, Nobel prize winners, and basketball stars that piece of real estate has.

And, if you have one group of dogs composed mostly of greyhounds and another group composed of bulldogs, chihuahuas, dacshunds, and terriers, the latter group must have the fastest dogs since it is more diverse.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for someone to tell me who made the claim that Africas "have the most geniuses". Did Gladwell say that?

It's not a stretch to say that African groups *might* possess "genius genes" at higher frequencies than other groups, considering that the majority of our species' genetic diversity remains in Africa.

Unfortunately, geneticists haven't identified any genes that control genius. However, I don't think it's because they're not interested in finding them. The HBDers will be on to something if researchers in that field ever discover genes that directly correlate to IQ, and then go on to find out that variants of those genes are more or less common in certain races.

However, it seems most plausible that whatever network of genes control intelligence also control other functions that are critical to survival. Which means that they probably (but not certainly) appear at roughly even frequencies within human races. Not to mention that the non-biological factors required to trigger genius in individuals are largely unknown as well.

Arborist said...

Steve, the authors only say that "the levels of Indian ancestry in African Americans may be SLIGHTLY overestimated, and the levels of European ancestry SLIGHTLY underestimated, due to moderate levels of the Indian AAC in European/Middle Eastern individuals". They are not saying that they are confusing the two. In fact they are easily distinguished as you can see for yourself in Figure S10.
So where is this 4 or 5% Asian Indian ancestry in this sample of African-Americans coming from. In a very few individuals such as Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney, directly from Indian immigrants. Mostly from Carribean immigrants such as in Arnold Rampersad (biographer), Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (photographer and widow of Arthur Ashe) and Nicole Narain (Playboy Playmate and sex addict). The authors have chosen a sample where Carribean immigrants have been over-represented.

Steve Sailer said...

Nah, if you take a look at the later pages of the supplementary material, you'll see they are reporting that 5% to 20% of European ancestry is Asian Indian. 10% of French and 16% of Russians, if I recall correctly. In reality, Gypsies are probably the only non-recent immigrant group in Europe to have come from India.

They're just having trouble telling Europeans and Indians apart.

n/a said...

The new paper is up: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/10/0909559107.abstract

It's open-access.

Dutch Boy said...

It ought to be easy to estimate the "white" portion of black Americans' ancestry. Both mitochondrial DNA and Y haplotypes are distinct for sub-Saharan African and European populations.

Insightful said...

Steve Sailer quote: They're just having trouble telling Europeans and Indians apart.

The simple question that nobody has answered is where does Europe end and Asia begin or vice versa? These are all the cultural & political delineations & biases of man. And in the wider scheme of things it makes no sense at all. There is no ‘European’ continent—no physical boundary between the supposed two. There is only Eurasia!

Dahlia said...

Here is more on the DNA serial killer who was 85% African, 15% Indian that I referenced the other day:

"In early March, 2003, investigators turned to Tony Frudakis, a molecular biologist who said he could determine the killer's race by analyzing his DNA. They were unsure about the science, so, before giving him the go-ahead, the task force sent Frudakis DNA swabs taken from 20 people whose race they knew and asked him to determine their races through blind testing. He nailed every single one.

Still, when they gathered in the Baton Rouge police department for a conference call with Frudakis in mid-March, they were not prepared to hear or accept his conclusions about the killer.

"Your guy has substantial African ancestry," said Frudakis. "He could be Afro-Caribbean or African American but there is no chance that this is a Caucasian. No chance at all."

There was a prolonged, stunned silence, followed by a flurry of questions looking for doubt but Frudakis had none. Would he bet his life on this, they wanted to know? Absolutely. In fact, he was certain that the Baton Rouge serial killer was 85 percent Sub-Saharan African and 15 percent native American."

"The Inconvenient Science of Racial DNA Profiling"

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/10/dnaprint?currentPage=all

Also, google Todd for photos.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, why don't we have an official Top Ten Movies of the Decade thread?
That could be a lot of fun."

Amelie (French)
Safe Conduct (French)
Blind Mountain (Chinese)
Sunflower (Chinese)
Femme Fatale
Apocalypto
Blame It on Voltaire (French)
Lady and the Duke (French)
The Return (Russian)
Katyn (Polish)

Haven't seen Baaden-Meinhof. Heard it's good.

Other mentions:

Best of Youth (Italian)
Mystic River
Taking Sides
Mongol
Babel

corvinus said...

Nah, if you take a look at the later pages of the supplementary material, you'll see they are reporting that 5% to 20% of European ancestry is Asian Indian. 10% of French and 16% of Russians, if I recall correctly. In reality, Gypsies are probably the only non-recent immigrant group in Europe to have come from India.

They're just having trouble telling Europeans and Indians apart.


Unsurprising. Asian Indians consider Iranians to be white, end of story. Same with Afghans and Kashmiris. Despite from our side seeing them as somewhere between us and Asian Indian.

Middletown Girl said...

Didn't the Huns invade the Germanic tribes? Didn't Mongols rule Russia over 200 yrs? Didn't the Turks rule over Greece for nearly 300 yrs? Didn't the Moors and other Arabs invade parts of Spain, Portugal, and Southern Italy?

And long long ago, didn't the Romans bring in a whole bunch of diverse folks to Rome from all over the empire? I think most of them were raped by Germanic tribes when Rome fell.

Middletown Girl said...

So, what's the latest line on Socrates and Beethoven having been black?

n/a said...

"Here is more on the DNA serial killer who was 85% African, 15% Indian that I referenced the other day:"

The same test determined that Larry David is 37% Native American.


"What I'm really curious about is what percentage of non-white DNA is carried by the ostensibly white population of the USA."

Black admixture in white Americans: essentially 0%. Amerindian admixture in white Americans: fleetingly low and in most cases non-existent. As for "surprises", I have little doubt that the number of white Americans claiming to be descended from Amerindians is larger than the number of white Americans with any detectable Amerindian genes. According to 23andMe, 'in our ancestry survey, "Where Are You From?", 4.3% of our customers with Ancestry Paintings indicating greater than 99.74% [23andMe considers anything less than 0.26% admixture noise] European DNA said they had some Native American ancestry.' Likewise, one finds among a certain stratum of white Americans eagerness to claim Melungeon, crypto-Jew, Arab, gypsy, etc., ancestry, on the flimsiest of evidence. The "surprise" is more often in a direction opposite that hoped for by the anonymous commenter, with genetic testing failing to support these white trash flights of genealogical fancy (legitimate testing anyway -- AncestryByDNA and DNAtribes are popular with these types since one can typically read into the results whatever one likes).

All the evidence I've seen suggests southern Europeans have higher levels of non-white admixture than white Americans. The idea that whites with deep roots in America must carry non-white DNA is founded on a misunderstanding of genetics (as well as history). Genetic material is not infinitely divisible, and we don't carry DNA from all our ancestors. Looking 10+ generations back, only a small fraction of our ancestors contribute DNA. So, for example, the overwhelming majority of people who claim genealogical descent from Pocahontas won't carry a single base of DNA from her. Only in members of groups where Amerindians constitute a meaningful fraction of the pool of ancestors (as with French Canadians, perhaps), might we expect to commonly find Amerindian DNA.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, why don't we have an official Top Ten Movies of the Decade thread?
That could be a lot of fun."

City of God
City of Men(fine sequel)
Elephant

Anonymous said...

"Hey, why don't we have an official Top Ten Movies of the Decade thread?
That could be a lot of fun."

Congorama and C.R.A.Z.Y. are great movies. Ararat is pretty thoughtful, though some gay-agenda-oriented. Chin-gu(Friend) is a solid gangster flick. Twilight Samurai is pretty good. Russian Ark is interesting.

Truth said...

Whiskey is not going to respect you guy's whimpy movie choices.

Baloo said...

Look again — Niger-Kordofanian languages spread all across Africa.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the way the black-American population is changing. Has it's % of white started to even out? Or is it increasing with interracial coupling? I would bet on the former. Under segregation, whiter blacks selected each other and so perpetuated large individual variances. Back then they also had much higher marriage rates. Today blacks are taught (without complete success) that lighter is not better. And black women are having babies with multiple fathers. These factors favor a blackening or at least an evening of the black population. Also, after desegregation, the whitest blacks might choose white or Asian mates and leave the general black gene pool.
I am making this hypothesis because I have met a number of intelligent older blacks, but very few intelligent young ones, even though I have met many more young ones.

Anonymous said...

So old J Edgar was gay and black. He was ahead of his time and we didn't even know it then. Today he'd be presidential timber.

Anonymous said...

So, he was gay AND black.

Actually, the current speculation is that Hoover allowed the gay rumor to circulate (it was being whispered about as early as the 1940s) precisely to divert attention (and whispers) from his racial background. Being the head of American counterespionage, it would not surprise me that he would have hit upon that approach as the ultimate sleight of hand.

Interestingly, Hoover came to public prominence in the 1920s--the same decade that two other public figures did who had some rumors (probably untrue) about their "passing"--Warren Harding and Babe Ruth. Given that it was the apogee of the Klan, perhaps it should not be surprising that that decade was full of racial suspicions.

Anonymous said...

"Whiskey is not going to respect you guy's whimpy movie choices."

Truth demonstrates his high intelligence by making two spelling and punctuation mistakes in one small sentence - and his passive-aggressive "let's you and him fight" attitude.

corvinus said...

I'm curious about the way the black-American population is changing. Has it's % of white started to even out? Or is it increasing with interracial coupling? I would bet on the former. Under segregation, whiter blacks selected each other and so perpetuated large individual variances. Back then they also had much higher marriage rates. Today blacks are taught (without complete success) that lighter is not better. And black women are having babies with multiple fathers. These factors favor a blackening or at least an evening of the black population. Also, after desegregation, the whitest blacks might choose white or Asian mates and leave the general black gene pool.
I am making this hypothesis because I have met a number of intelligent older blacks, but very few intelligent young ones, even though I have met many more young ones.


I think you're in the main correct. Also keep in mind that basically all (>90%) blacks are hard-left marxist commies, and the smarter ones are birth-controlling themselves out of existence. The CDC/NCHS recorded some time ago in fact that the birth rate among married black women was considerably lower than for married non-Hispanic white women. The black underclass is the only thing keeping the black population growing, with their rampant out-of-wedlock births.

So as far as I can tell, all the data appear to indicate that the Idiocracy Effect is not operating at all among whites (poor white meth-lab trash don't have any more children than upper-middle-class whites) but certainly is among blacks (welfare mommas versus Condi Rice, a childless only child).

Truth said...

Is there truly any greater American art form, than instigation?

Anonymous said...

So, for example, the overwhelming majority of people who claim genealogical descent from Pocahontas won't carry a single base of DNA from her.

1) Assume about 26,000 genes in the human chromosome.

2) Assume about 5 generations per century, and four centuries since Pocahontas, to give you about 20 generations of descendants.

3) Assume no bastardy and no cuckoldry [which, genealogically speaking, is not always a good idea].

4) Assume no cross-pollination of the ancestry chart [e.g. no cousin marriages] - in general, this is a VERY BAD assumption, but we'll make it anyway.

5) Assume that each parent contributes exactly one half of their genes to the offspring.

6) Assume that the selection of this parental contribution is completely random and completely INDEPENDENT as regards different gene positions and as regards the ancestry of the particular genes - note that these may or may not be a good assumptions [the Darwinists will be particularly angry about the latter assumption], but we'll make them anyway.

Then each gene in the 20th generation has an equal likelihood of having come from 2^20 different possible ancestors, so each gene has a 1/[2^20] chance of having come from Pocahontas, and a [1 - (1/[2^20])] chance of NOT having come from Pocahontas.

And with 26000 genes, the probability that NONE of a descendant's genes came from Pocahontas is

[1 - (1/[2^20])] ^ 26000 = 0.975509340

I.e. for any given descendant, there is just shy of a 2.45% chance that at least one gene from Pocahontas persisted through 20 generations to that particular descendant.

And if there are N genealogical descendants of Pocahontas [in real life, N is in the tens or hundreds of thousands], then the expected number of descendants who still carry Pocahontas DNA would be

N * 0.02449

which, if N were 10,000, would be about 245 people, and if N were 100,000, would be about 2449 people.



PS: In reality, the most important correction you would have to make would be to account for cross-pollination in the ancestor chart [things like cousin marriage], because, in reality, there aren't going to have been fully 2^20 = 1048576 different 20th generation ancestors [among whom was a single instance of Pocahontas herself], and cross-pollination quickly makes the problem so complicated that you can't really model it mathematically and you really need to get out there and run Monte Carlo simulations on real world data to get some sense of what's actually happening.

PPS: Because Pocahontas's only child, John Rolfe, was a boy, her mtDNA did not persist into the subsequent generation - it was replaced by the mtDNA of Elizabeth Washington [in the case of Anne Rolfe] and Jane Poythress [in the case of Jane Rolfe].

Anonymous said...

Pedantry: Subsaharan Africans are not "only" more diverse on "junk genes", but it's true that most of the additional genetic diversity found in Subsaharan Africans does not give any more diversity of function. They have more in population diversity than any other part of the world. They aren't particularly diverse compared to the rest of the world in terms of the adaptations to different climates and lifestyles/subsistance methods (the things we generally care about, but not the sum total of meaningful human diversity), but that's because the rest of the world is fucking huge and diverse while Africa, diverse as it is in terms of these things (certainly more diverse than Europe) is not as diverse as the rest of the world .

Re: Mexicans and diversity. Most diversity is within population (as all good population geneticists tell us). Mexicans are basically a composite of two populations, one with slightly higher diversity than Northern Europeans, such as Germans (the marvellous Spaniards!) and one with radically lower genetic diversity (Amerinds). It's also true that these two populations haven't lost diversity (from Africa) in the same pattern. Based on this, I wouldn't expect Mexicans to actially have somewhat less overall diversity than Northern Europeans (eyeballing on the order of East Asians), while being very diverse on the things we expect from adaptations to climate and which we view as "diverse", particularly based on the fact that they are stil lan admixed population (rather than one which has become homogenised over time). But that's theory. Does anyone have any numbers on Mexican genetic diversity (FST statistics, &c.)? Or is anyone with a better understanding of the theory able to tell me where I'm going wrong (if I am, indeed, going wrong)?

Anonymous said...

The author is really cool. But some of the commentators are just posting stupid words.

Anonymous said...


That happened to both Unitas and Namath, for example. How can you play football if you can barely move, without an ACL?