Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

Philip Deitiker (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 02:36:25 GMT (Gerold Firl) wrote:

>Actually, there are significant geographical barriers between the
>homelands of the IE and HS populations. The black sea, the caspian,
>and the highlands of anatolia, the caucasus, and iran would provide
>suffient isolation to inhibit genetic transfer; in addition, the two
>areas are subject to very different kinds of selection pressures.
>Linguistic affinity between HS and IE languages is an interesting
>connection, but I have a hard time relating it to the evolution of
>either language or populations. Any suggestions?

There is a significant geographic barrier to the immediate southeast,
this is for certain (hitler learned a little about this during world
war II). The issue is how prevelant was sea travel from 12-7 KYBP
and in specific in the black sea, my opinion is that sea travel over
the last 50 KY was significant enough to allow some genetic exchange
over bodies of water this size. To the west there seems to be a
corridor in which many groups had traveled; however, the presence of
peoples along that corridor may have restricited travel. Most probably
the route was across the black sea itself was useful. As I will
adress below there are few barriers to movement toward and from the
east (east -northeast) the actual contact period may have been
earlier and in a completely different region, there is no good reason
for holding IE in the ukraine for 10,000 years or more. Also consider
the parmeters of mobility if average sea level is reduce 400 feet (as
speculated for the mediterranian at the end of the last ice age).
As far as relating genetics, linguistics and those barriers. I
think there is significant reason to believe that the semites would
trade with anyone who desired trade, historically speaking the black
sea is not a significant barrier in this regard. There is also
evidence from at least some of the emmergent IE groups that they also
desired trade. Looking at the developement of technologies in the
region its kind of hard not to believe that there was not some trade
going on in the black sea region between unrelated groups. The next
issue is did this manifest itself in gene flow between the two
cultures, its hard to say with IE since there is little known of
ancient history on the north side of the black sea, but according to
many I've talked to the semites of the southern black sea region had
many characteristics of IE distuiguishable from semites elsewhere.
Alot of this may have resulted from incursions in the historical

>People move, genes move, but local variation in selection criteria
>plus geographic barriers will maintain steps in the cline. Those steps
>are the logical place to differentiate subpopulations, and all the
>groups you list above precisely match the conditions for existing as a
>distinct subpopulation.

Yup, but one has to consider the flip-side which is that a vast
movement of people can dramatically and immediately change the genetic
characterisitcs of a locality. This is what appears to have happened
in europe, and the genetic profile of those (ancient) peoples is
unknown today, the only thing I can say is they probably were not
There are situations where entire populations (with there
selection, drift, dynamic equiliubria with adjacent populations) can
be _largely_ displaced with a new population and the statement
'People move, genes move, but local variation in selection criteria
plus geographic barriers will maintain steps in the cline. '
may periodically be completely out of synch with reality.
In this immigrant population, selection will occur but now it will be
based on the new genetic peculiarities of that incoming group. The
eventual result (say given 40,000 years) might be similar if one
compares what might have become of the displaced versus the diplacer;
however, because of the glaciation events we are talking about what
happens largely over a 10,000 year time frame.
Now one can argue that deglaciation initially resulted in
recolonizations of northern europe from the mediteranean or northern
africa and that these groups were less suited to europe with respect
to indoeuropeans which had lived at higher latitudes during the
previous iceage, and there may be some truth to this; however, the
indoeuropean were also successful in occupying lands in lower
latitudes with markedly different characteristics during the same
period. The major qualities of the indoeuropean conquest which made
them successful are

the conversion from use of copper to iron.
the use of animals for mass transportaions.
the adaptation to trade of scarce materials
(i.e. learning to control scarce materials and using this to gain
adavantage over surrounding groups)

the smelting of iron clearly has a link to the middle east, the
controlling and trading of scarce materials is something the semites
where famous for, but these clearly are not genetic predispositions in
humans but learned traits and falls under the catagory, 'Opportunity

As for horsemanship, look how the use of horses upset the traditional
balance of power of native american tribes after their introduction
and before anglos had conquered the west. The use of horses increases
mobility and allows one to avoid situations associated with strictly
pastoral living. I think the conquest of europe by IE was a conquest
of technology over tradition. The new technologies imparted on IE
strengths that allowed them to overcome traditional barriers of
immigration to the region. Where did these horses come from its hard
to say but north central asia may have represented the primary source.

If the IE had access to horses prior to neolithic northern europeans
then this could have been a tremendous non-inherant advantage.

>My best guess is that the proto-IE people occupied the great swath of
>steppe lands from the ukraine east to lake balkash, descending
>directly from the ice-age big game hunters whose mammoth-tusk shelters
>are so well known. They probably had pretty close affinity to the more
>westerly europeans as well; the hungarian and north german plains are
>similar habitats.

This would have placed peoples of vastly different characteristics in
long term association with one another. Its possible but from what I
understand of seafaring in immediate prehistory its not likely. The
ukraine seemed to be a hub of IE peoples up to about 3 KYBP (but their
date of settlement their is questionable) and its possible that they
moved from time to time into hungary/and the other northern slovic
states; however, its unlikely that they had a strong presence into
western europe prior to 5KYA given the linguistic similarities of the
IE languages. This must have changed during the last 5 to 2 KY because
they manged to settle in scandenavia, eastern europe, and the
balkans. How long this state existed is unclear, but around 3000-2000
YA different subgroups began aggresive pushes into to western europe
and has been documented. There is also the issue of how the latium
folks ended up in central italy while the surrounding groups where
either not -IE or of unknown heretage and when this push was made. One
imporant piece of information which might illucidate what the
occupants of at least part of the region were is to define gentically
this 5000 YO ice-man discovered in the italian alps.
The genetics of IE points to a ancient largely land locked people
staying in northern latitudes and away from open marine areas. Modern
technology clearly changed all that, and the use of animals and
advanced edifices allowed them to move into a larger variety of

I also need to make a couple of logical points

1. just becasue a site was occupyable during one point in an glacial
period does not mean that it was always usable, even during glacial
periods glaciers expanded and receded.

2. just because there are people on a site 35 KYA, doesn't mean that
these are the same people found some 28KY later. In africa, and other
tropical regions longterm settlements _can_ occur because of better
longterm stability in the climate allowing the development of stabile
dynamic equilibrium between adjacent groups which (without the
invention and differential distribution of some remarkable technology)
promote very long term settlements. In temperate clines this is
certainly not true and any real look of population mobility in
temperate regions supports this.
Arguably IE might represent an exception, but I wonder how convincing
the argument can be since historic information on IE only date back 5
KY. There are two bits of information which might alter our historic
perspective of where IE ranged. First there is evidence that there was
an ancient caucasion settlement in the gobi 'desert', and second there
is evidence that caucasions along the western pacific coast 9500 YBP.
This could happen if 5 to 12 KYBP IE ranged more easterly and that
movements of peoples or climate changes in the east forced IE
westward. I would be inclined to think that during the prehistoric
interglacial period this group range was probably more east of the
black sea than west.

>The sheer size of this ecosystem creates some interesting dynamics for
>hunter-gather residents. Some of the modern characteristics of IE
>societies may still be tracable to those conditions.

Yes, but as stated above the steppe and similar ecosystem ranges far
more eastward than westward.

>One has to consider that prior to
>|> 12 KYA that this group may have been a part of some larger regional
>|> group which split off as the glaciers in the region retreated.

>What did you have in mind? I think the eurasian steppe remained as a
>single ecumene throughout the transition to this interglacial.

See above. Its very difficult to say. The only group that appear with
any reliable certainty in the central temperate asian region are the
semites (back to about 14 KYBP). IVC culture indicates that early
semites might have ranged far more eastward than territories
classically assigned to them. The issue is if HS traveled by sea
(indian ocean) to trade with these regions then HS association via an
easterly path would have been limited; however, if HS treked by land
then there is no reason to restrict them to paths southward and they
might have been in areas far north of the IVC centers. If regions
east of the caspian were also used by IE then its _possible_ that
these two groups interacted before and after the ice age in an more
easterly region, then events push IE and HS westward then they resumed
there interaction in the black sea. This is the only scenario in which
I can pair these two cultures for a significantly long period of time.

There are other groups in the region prior >5KYA but where exactly
is unknown. There are a myriad of minor central asian groups which
seem to stem from unknowns, most of these are probably mobile groups
which are of intermediate genetic makeup of the major northern
eurasiopn groups. There is also the ural/altaic tree. There is
significant reason to believe based upon appearances and language that
this group had ancient range in the far north east (northern
china/southeastern russia/mongolia) this can be supported by language
similarities of language with japanese and koreans. If true (that UA
was to the east) then IE may have direct contact with some far
northeastern asian (siberian) cultures which, from what Ive seen, have
many characteristics incommon with IE (citing pigmentation spectrum as
well as density as one example). Again we can cite the example of a
causcasion in the pacific northwest.
The point is that (as you have mentioned) the vast open lands of
central and eastern eurasia is going impart mobility not seen in other
parts of the world except the plains of the US. Associated groups of
the region may have parted ways after the last ice age and pumping
from tropical regions may (_probably_) pushed these groups into areas
not occupied during the glacial period.

So Heres what I'm thinking of (grandious speculation but what the

Consider a scenario where there 3 major groupings of temperate
euarsions. To acheive this I stipulate that during the hieght of an
(the last) ice age longitunally aligned groups compress latiitudinally
into the most productive pockets (say mediterranean and asia minor is
one (P) , arabia, persia and indus region are another (Q), and
southeast asia, southern china is a third(R)). Each grouping is going
to be comprised of more tropically oriented subgroups and more
temperately oriented subgroups as a result of incomplete mixing during
the compression. As the ice recedes a little (still glacial for
thousands of years) the groups begin two differentiate into A (south)
and X(north) in the west, B(south) and Y(north) in the central
regions, and C(south) and Z(north) in the east. Then 12,000 years ago
the ice age ends and huge territories to the north become available
and some coastal regions in the south dissapear. To add to this a
whole new continent to the extreme northeast becomes available.
Upon deglaciation group Z moves northward pushed by southern C and
pulled by territories opening northeast. within 500 years a huge
territory in the northeast becomes available and as its explored, word
gets back to core Z of the vast territory available. This would for a
time suck Y eastward because the psycology of Z would be one of 'go
east, young man' minimizing confrontation with Y. eventually the core
of Z would actually be in the new world and remnants of Z would begin
to hybridize with C and Y producing YZ and reinforcing CZ (R) hybrid
population present prior to the interglacial period. Since Y was
itself expanding and because Y was sucked eastward B moves into the
regions previously occupied by Y. A and X are so distal from the new
contintent they gain only marginal benefit. Sooner or later the new
continent is going to fill in and back pressure to immigration will
result in a build up in population in the northeast to the extent that
resources will be depleted and the best lands will lie westward. Y
begins a move toward the west and begins to achieve stronger
interactions with B (which at that point is in the process of
developing immergent civilization). While B doesn't actually conquer Y
Bs development probably provides a technological windfall for Y and Y
may be attracted to B but restricted as a result of territorial
boundaries between B & Y. Y might also be pushed by population
expansion in C and hybrid groups CZ, and ZY in the east. As Y moves
westward it begins to associate with X which occupies european
northern and highland regions which have diminished productivity
compared with the rest of asia. Incoming Y displaces X in the steppes
of west asia/eastern europe and for a time the core of Y moves to the
ukraine. At the same time pressures from the north and east push B
westward and into regions compressing A in the western mediterranean.
A and X are so compressed that they form a number of mergent
populations in europe with A principally occupying the mediterranean
and X occupying the remaining usable lands of northwestern europe. The
catch is that all of these events could have occured prior to recorded
history( >7 KYBP), many would have occured in areas which would
historically go unnoted for thousands of years more (>2 KYBP). From
about 7 KYBP the movement patterns become clearer. Sometime during the
last 7 KY group in east asia created a couple of more waves of new
world immigration however, these groups are genetically and
linquistically distinct from the first wave (called Z above), these
new waves probably represent clines of YZ and CZ which had developed
considerable populations in northeast asia. Some of these clines
remain in northeast asia. One of these clines was significant and was
at least partially responsible for migrations into china/korea/japan
with the larger portion moving westward in asia and eventually budding
off a group which will compete for territory with Y (as you've
gathered by now core Y= IE). This budding hybrid subgroup eventually
ends up at the convergance of the kama and volga rivers. Y being a
robust group explodes in all other directions: into the balkans,
anatolia (hittites), eastward and southward (persia/indus) and
presumbably northward into the baltic region and scandanavia, and
southward into central india. Both X and A suffer loses in territory.
Now lets take a look at what the scenario creates to about 4000 YA

R gives rise to C and Z, the core of Z is now in south america
groups genetically most similar to R are in north america and north
east asia. Z geographic center has traveled a distance of 12,000 miles
in a remarkably small period of time (say 1500 years).

Q gives rise to B and Y, the geographic center of B and Y are
approximately were they have been glacially but the population reflect
large recipricating migrations across east central asia, leaving a
number of hybrid groups from contact with each other and C and Z
across east asia. One of these hybrid groups may now be competing for
territory with Y in central asia. Compression of B into arabia also
has resulted in the migration of B eurasions into africa. The western
most Y groups probably had formed hybrid groups with X in the eastern
europe and events in the east dilutes affect of Z on Y particular the
intact culture that moves westward into the ukraine thus western Y is
probably XY and eastern Y is core Y. But by this time Y is also
differentiating into directionally oriented subgroups. Since Z flooded
out of asia any preglacial equilibrium based upon a northern eurasian
cline of X-Y-Z is disrupted and a new cline developes which probably
is best represented by x-Y-YZ-ZC.

P gave rise of A and X, both probably enjoyed a brief period of
expansion at the end of the last ice age but because of the layout of
europe and population pressures from the east particularly X lost
group to Y, X may have become so small that by about 4000 years ago
only hybrid culures of XA, and XY exist. While A territory decreased
its association with Y and its own technological advancements couple
with a developing and advanced mergant mediterranean/semitic culture
in the west make this group a formidable froce in the region.

The focus of the discussion is on Y as IE. can any predictions be
1. Y was part of an ancient matrix of humans occupying glacial euasia.
Y would have shared the greatest characteristics with B (semites and
ancient south central eurasians), followed by X(unknown north
europeans) and Z(native americans) , with Y having evolved many of
its own characteristics suitible for life in north central eurasia.
The core of Y if such a thing exists might as old as the divergance of
BY from Q sometime in the last 30 KY, but because of its migration and
central localation in asia would have had continuos genetic input from
surrounding groups.

2. As Z departs and later as Y moves west Y again is genetically
influenced by X and B and possibly A. Thus Y may pick up some
characteristics of X and B and suffer a loss of Z/C traits in the

3. The events in the east establish Y and clines of YZ as the
principle occupants of east/north central asia.

If this isn't complicated enough we still are 4000 years and several
mass migration in europe and central asia to go to get to the present
day. I'm sure you can find numerous holes in the scenario above, but
the point is that .....given 12,000 years and what is known about
migrations in the temperate region it is _unlikely_ that a group at
position A (current) was at that position A 12,000 years previous or
that A(current) is a pure derivative of a single 12,000 year old
group. I would predict that the overwhelming majority of current (or
4000 KYA) groups in the temperate northern hemisphere are not pure
derivatives of ancient groups and current localization of ancient
groups would be completely unrepresentative of ancient localization.

>|> Part II the sorting of Sub Saharan Africans

> Glacial/interglacial cycles have followed one another
>during the last few million years of human evolution with a
>periodicity of abouut 100,000 years. Since h. erectus left africa
>about 1 million years ago, the old world hominid population has gone
>through about 10 cycles of glaciation. Moving to greener pastures has
>a long history for humans, and one of the aspects of culture which I
>consider to be of supreme importance is _making a virtue of
>necessity_. Go west, young man.

Manifest destiny, if you have the ability to take a new region then
its manditory that you do or some one else will. But also don't forget
during the glacial periods there were significant changes in climate
and the extent of glaciation.

>Don't lump the pygmies and bushmen together; they are very distinct
>peoples. The pygmies are adapted to the rain forest environment,
>whereas the bushmen lived in more open country. The genetic distance
>between them might be greater than that between swede and han.

It probably is. but then the han and swede distance may be trivial.
However, the barriers in africa for gene flow are nowhere near as
prevalent as the barriers to flow of the other two groups mentioned
thus this is the delimna I am emphasizing. compare australo aborigines
with swedes or iberians with han and one starts to pull at the
extremes of the non african population.

The african groups are older but have no substancial barriers for
gene flow and glacial cycles should cause some scambling over the
human period. Their relationship with ancestral african groups is
assured but the precise link with those anscestral groups is unknown,
each group may be of recent (say 50 or 60 KY) origin with respect
ancient groups (meaning they merge two ancient groups and the ancient
groups were lost). OTOH we have younger groups, such as the first two
mentioned, which, in the precolumbian interglacial period, have a
rather strong (and definable) isolation. How does one weigh which
groups are more or less closely related. You say five african groups.
The real question is whether there are fewer or more, whether there
are six (the last being the rest of the world), and whether they are
clearly definable or what types of geneflow exist between the these
groups. Saying there are five dosen't really reflect on the 'race'
issue because 2 may be at the same level as non-african population and
three may represent a subordinate tiering. I have nothing against the
5 grouping, but as I said earlier actual genetics (molecular analysis)
has shown that rates of population evolution (for outward
characterisitics) can vary markedly depending on the situation. An
example would be conditions which would quickly select for increased
pigmentation or an alteration in the metabolism. One can easily pick
up the altered color variations, but not comprehend the metabolic
differences for several generations. Thus I'm of the mind to say there
is alot of genetic evidence to say the tripartite race classification
system is an antiquated model (obviously) but not to say that there is
any suitable classifcation model presently out there which is capable
of encompassig all current information, and even if there were for
certain groups (particulalrly africans) there simply isn't enough
information to formulate a classification. Thus all classifcation
systems really are speculative, just as the grandious one I present in
section I. Face it there's simply not enough known about the archeic
rates of genetic exchange and less known about what constitues a real
barrier to exchange. Even the genetic studies show big question marks
for the paths of emmergent populations from africa to there
precolumbian positions in the world, and timings assume lack of great
transcontinental reciprical migration patterns. But even if one
overinterprets the data it really can only paint a picture back about
75 KYBP, prior to this and for 125 KY (a majority of human evolution),
we haven't the foggiest idea about how many or the genetic makeup of
human populations. The key maybe to focus entirely on africa, but even
with this you probably are going to start to get real foggy answers
for the majority of human existance.