How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

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How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Rashmun on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:02 pm

The thorniest, most fought-over question in Indian history is slowly but surely getting answered: did Indo-European language speakers, who called themselves Aryans, stream into India sometime around 2,000 BC – 1,500 BC when the Indus Valley civilisation came to an end, bringing with them Sanskrit and a distinctive set of cultural practices? Genetic research based on an avalanche of new DNA evidence is making scientists around the world converge on an unambiguous answer: yes, they did.

This may come as a surprise to many — and a shock to some — because the dominant narrative in recent years has been that genetics research had thoroughly disproved the Aryan migration theory. This interpretation was always a bit of a stretch as anyone who read the nuanced scientific papers in the original knew. But now it has broken apart altogether under a flood of new data on Y-chromosomes (or chromosomes that are transmitted through the male parental line, from father to son).

Until recently, only data on mtDNA (or matrilineal DNA, transmitted only from mother to daughter) were available and that seemed to suggest there was little external infusion into the Indian gene pool over the last 12,500 years or so. New Y-DNA data has turned that conclusion upside down, with strong evidence of external infusion of genes into the Indian male lineage during the period in question.

The reason for the difference in mtDNA and Y-DNA data is obvious in hindsight: there was strong sex bias in Bronze Age migrations. In other words, those who migrated were predominantly male and, therefore, those gene flows do not really show up in the mtDNA data. On the other hand, they do show up in the Y-DNA data: specifically, about 17.5% of Indian male lineage has been found to belong to haplogroup R1a (haplogroups identify a single line of descent), which is today spread across Central Asia, Europe and South Asia. Pontic-Caspian Steppe is seen as the region from where R1a spread both west and east, splitting into different sub-branches along the way.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/how-genetics-is-settling-the-aryan-migration-debate/article19090301.ece

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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by silvermani on Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:44 am

Do the $99 DNA tests sold in the US also do only mtDNA tests?
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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:45 am

These researchers should get out of their narrow thinking that genetic similarity can only be inherited, because similarity in genetic markers of people in India and those outside could also be the result of long term similar environmental effects on people in deifferent places (e.g. similarity in climates, living styles and conditions, nature of work, etc.,... ) --
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory
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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:09 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:These researchers should get out of their narrow thinking that genetic similarity can only be inherited, because similarity in genetic markers of people in India and those outside could also be the result of long term similar environmental effects on people in deifferent places (e.g. similarity in climates, living styles and conditions, nature of work, etc.,... ) --
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory
Scientific investigation even in fundamental physics is fraught with uncertainties and controversies. It is hard to come with conclusions without bias and most don't stand scrutiny and the test of time. 

Biological science is mostly flooded with very low quality research and a lot of improperly done garbage.

The field of genetics is changing rapidly with the invent of newer experimental techniques and old theories are falling apart and new ones should be viewed as tentative until tried and tested through falsification. There is a lot of wishful thinking among investigators and the average "scientist" is more interested in finding evidence FOR his/her ideas rather than to question and put them to rigorous testing. This approach is in many ways, as Bacon puts it, pseudoscientific and is detrimental to understanding nature.

Many scientific ideas that prevail in literature are those of the noise makers who have a large number of "I scratch your back if you scratch mine" type colleagues.

Coming to the Aryan infiltration into India, it is a valuable story only to those who have a vested interest - like DKheads who want to convince themselves that they are the original Indians and political Dalits and their supporters like Kanch Ilaiah who have their own agenda.

A strong case can be made that Aryans (the term is not really race related; people of all hues were respected in ancient India; perhaps more so than in the modern Sikular era) moved West from India and spread their culture. These days, if anyone suggests this, Sikular junkies will jump at you and DKheads will start crying.........

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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:41 pm

Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:These researchers should get out of their narrow thinking that genetic similarity can only be inherited, because similarity in genetic markers of people in India and those outside could also be the result of long term similar environmental effects on people in deifferent places (e.g. similarity in climates, living styles and conditions, nature of work, etc.,... ) --
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory
Scientific investigation even in fundamental physics is fraught with uncertainties and controversies. It is hard to come with conclusions without bias and most don't stand scrutiny and the test of time. 

Biological science is mostly flooded with very low quality research and a lot of improperly done garbage.

The field of genetics is changing rapidly with the invent of newer experimental techniques and old theories are falling apart and new ones should be viewed as tentative until tried and tested through falsification. There is a lot of wishful thinking among investigators and the average "scientist" is more interested in finding evidence FOR his/her ideas rather than to question and put them to rigorous testing. This approach is in many ways, as Bacon puts it, pseudoscientific and is detrimental to understanding nature.

Many scientific ideas that prevail in literature are those of the noise makers who have a large number of "I scratch your back if you scratch mine" type colleagues.

Coming to the Aryan infiltration into India, it is a valuable story only to those who have a vested interest - like DKheads who want to convince themselves that they are the original Indians and political Dalits and their supporters like Kanch Ilaiah who have their own agenda.

A strong case can be made that Aryans (the term is not really race related; people of all hues were respected in ancient India; perhaps more so than in the modern Sikular era) moved West from India and spread their culture. These days, if anyone suggests this, Sikular junkies will jump at you and DKheads will start crying.........
Naturally, as the following explains,
  “About the origins of Vedas and Sanskrit (including Aryan Invasion Theory)”: 
http://creative.sulekha.com/about-the-origins-of-vedas-and-sanskrit-including-aryan-invasion-theory_591513_blog
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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:07 am

Genetics is now in a position to act as an umpire between competing theories on the Aryan question. Earlier genetic studies dealt with mtDNA, which is transmitted by the mother; these studies pertain to much earlier periods. Since societies were male-driven and migrants would have been accompanied by very few women, studies of Y-chromosome variations which track the male line are far more important for establishing correlations with historical periods. These studies show that about 4,000 years ago, there were migrations from Central Asia into Iran and north western India. The conclusion will come as no surprise to scholars who have been examining the relevant linguistic, literary and archaeological evidence in an open-ended manner. There is, however, a very strong non-scholarly ideological dimension to ancient Indian history.

Lexical and grammatical similarities between people in India and those to the country’s west have been explained by postulating the existence of Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) who at one time lived together and subsequently dispersed in stages. Indo-Iranians were part of this family; they are the only peoples who have left behind literature, with the Rig Veda being closer to the Zoroastrian text Avesta than to the later Vedas.

In all other cases, we only have surviving vocabularies as guides.

A clue to the geographical location of the original PIE homeland is provided by the fact that there are a number of IE loan words in Finno-Ugric languages. For example, the Finnish vasara for hammer is cognate with Indra’s weapon, vajra. The Finno-Ugric homeland is confidently placed in the northern forest zone in northern Europe. PIE can then be allotted the contiguous territory to the south that is the resource-less steppes bordering the Caspian and Black Seas. The Sanskrit maks and the Avestan maksi, fly, correspond to the Mordvinian meks, but do not have an equivalent in other Indo-European languages. This borrowing must have taken place after the European branches had already migrated.

Commonality in vocabulary suggests that Indo-Europeans were already familiar with the wheel, metal (copper or bronze), and horse before their dispersal began.

Domestication of the horse is a major event in world history. It transformed PIE society. Ox-driven vehicles had been very slow; horse owners could now move swiftly and cover large territories....

There were a number of Indic groups which spoke related dialects. The Rig Veda, however, was the creation of just one of them. The Indo-Iranians display interesting linguistic divides. There is an s-h divide between the Rig Vedic and the Avestan peoples: S in Rig veda becomes H in the Avesta (soma/haoma). But both use r instead of l. Later Vedic texts abound in l (rohia/lohita). Here, we have examples of an expanded catchment area for the post-Rig Vedic literature.

An examination of the new material and cultural features in the post-Urban Harappan sites suggests the arrival of Indic speakers in three prominent waves. The first Indic speakers to arrive in India made their presence felt in Swat (Rig Vedic, Suvastu), and Gomal river (Rig Vedic Gomati) in Balochistan during 2,000-1,800 BCE . They do not seem to be connected with the Rig Veda. The Rig Vedic people are estimated to have arrived in India in Swat and Punjab about 1,400 BCE after a 3,00-year sojourn in south Afghanistan.
After the pioneering extensive male-line related Y-chromosome studies covering vast areas, the time has now come for India-specific work. Such investigations would take ancient Indian history beyond the realm of speculation and place it on a firm footing.


http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/aryans-dna-genetics-archaeology-4765740/

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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:37 am

The current use of genetic testing to decide on the ancient population migrations, both in India and elsewhere long ago, has serious flaws. Thus there is little value and useful information in the above article posted by you. Check out the following.

"Genetic testing issues in the study of ancient population migrations in India (includes info. about the Out of Africa Theory)" --- http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory
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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Rashmun on Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:11 am

Where did our ancestors come from? This can be a highly emotional, and political issue.

It is clearly an important question for many people and one that modern genetics has answered to a great extent. In recent months, a scientific paper published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology has sparked a heated controversy in the Indian media by outlining an 'Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region' into the Indian subcontinent.

Behind the gently arcane scholarly language, the paper argues that the genetic ancestry of all modern Indians displays evidence of significant mixing with populations that moved to the subcontinent from northern Iran and the Caspian region some 4,000-5,000 years ago. Tempers are fraying because these findings have reignited a long-simmering and highly politicised debate about the ancient origins of the Vedic 'Aryans'. For decades, historians, linguists and archaeologists have debated the relationship of the Aryans to India, with little resolution, indeed the argument has been subsumed by its implications for the contemporary battles between the hyper-nationalist politics associated with the Sangh parivar and the secular liberal opposition. Many Hindu nationalists are uncomfortable with the idea that the ancient roots of the Indian peoples may lie outside the sacred geography of the subcontinent. Meanwhile, there is often an element of liberal schadenfreude in embracing the narrative that suggests a parallel between the Vedic Aryans as conquering 'invaders', not unlike the later visitations of Islamic and European empires.

Over the last few years, genetics has begun to offer its own findings, which much more definitively indicate that a people, who may have been Aryans, moved into the subcontinent approximately 4,000-5,000 years ago. Soon, the field of ancient DNA research may close the case. The BMC paper that has drawn so much interest and ire is just the latest in a line of research that goes back decades, and grows more precise and insightful with every new technological advance. By looking at patterns of genetic markers in modern humans, geneticists have been able to sketch the family tree of our species. Researchers are also testing genetic material from remains tens of thousands of years old. It has already highlighted the Neanderthal heritage extant today in all humans outside of Africa....

In 2013, geneticist Priya Moorjani and colleagues published research concluding that at least two very distinct populations were mixing in the Indian subcontinent 2,000-4,000 years ago. Moorjani says that "4,000 years ago, there were unmixed ANI and ASI groups in the Indian subcontinent".

ANI and ASI are acronyms for Ancestral North Indians and Ancestral South Indians. The former population was genetically very similar to Near Easterners and Europeans. One of the original researchers who developed this model of Indian origins, Nick Patterson, characterises the genetic distance between ANI and European populations as so small that if you did not know of the provenance you might say it was a European population. The ASI, in contrast, do not have any close relatives. Rather, they were distant relatives of indigenous Andaman islanders. Moorjani reiterates that though there were unmixed populations representative of these groups in the relatively recent past, today all native South Asian groups display ancestry from both...

Researchers in David Reich's lab at Harvard have tested what possible groups could be combined to create the ANI element in South Asians. After exhaustive comparisons, they find ANI is best modelled as a combination of the Pontic pastoralists and early Neolithic Iranian farmers!...

The distinctive genetic heritage of India, the ASI component, deeply rooted in the subcontinent and not closely related to populations elsewhere, exists in low proportions in Iran and Afghanistan. But with the exception of the Roma people, ASI ancestry is notably absent throughout Western Eurasia aside from India's near neighbours. This suggests there has been very little westward movement out of India over the past few thousand years because, as Moorjani observed, all Indian populations have ASI ancestry within the past 4,000 years.


Many geneticists now believe a major migration of people from Central Eurasia and West Asia into South Asia during the Neolithic and Copper age is the simplest and most parsimonious model to explain the data we have. The Out of India model is not theoretically impossible, but it strikes many as far-fetched and a stretch to explain the pattern of the accumulated data....

In a few years, it may be crystal clear that a new people arrived in the Indian subcontinent 4,000 years ago. That now seems to be the belief among the majority of prominent researchers. A century of theorising and ideologising has armed us with answers and objections, but history as unveiled by genetics may hold some bracing surprises for our rigid grandiose pretensions. That may be the most exciting aspect of these lines of research, not how they align with century-old arguments.


http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vedic-aryan-race-genetics-dna-europe-indians-europe-caspian/1/1012041.html

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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:15 pm

genetics in the current form cannot settle the aryan migration (to India) debate accurately because there are serious shortcomings in genetic testing method (which currently overlooks the epigenetic environmental influences) and the Out-of-Africa model for humans (arbitrary assumption for humans moving only in the direction away from Africa) .... 
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory
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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Rashmun on Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:15 pm

Seva Lamberdar wrote:genetics in the current form cannot settle the aryan migration (to India) debate accurately because there are serious shortcomings in genetic testing method (which currently overlooks the epigenetic environmental influences) and the Out-of-Africa model for humans (arbitrary assumption for humans moving only in the direction away from Africa) .... 
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory

if the same genetic methods would have endorsed your pet theory (of a westward migration from India) you would have been jumping with joy. Now that they are contradicting your pet theory you have become despondent.

Is this the behavior of a scientist?

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Re: How Genetics is settling the Aryan Migration Debate

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:26 am

Rashmun wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:genetics in the current form cannot settle the aryan migration (to India) debate accurately because there are serious shortcomings in genetic testing method (which currently overlooks the epigenetic environmental influences) and the Out-of-Africa model for humans (arbitrary assumption for humans moving only in the direction away from Africa) .... 
http://such.forumotion.com/t19332-genetic-testing-issues-in-the-study-of-ancient-population-migrations-in-india-includes-info-about-the-out-of-africa-theory

if the same genetic methods would have endorsed your pet theory (of a westward migration from India) you would have been jumping with joy. Now that they are contradicting your pet theory you have become despondent.

Is this the behavior of a scientist?
LOL. 
I am merely pointing out in my blog the drawbacks in the use of current genetic testing to decide ancient human populations, such as having no consideration for the environmentally induced epigenetics while applying also the spurious out-of-Africa model.
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