DNA mapping of human origins and migrations? Considering Spencer Wells
Posted: 02 May 2017 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Any of you folks familiar with the geneticist Spencer Wells?
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/spencer-wells/

He’s made a number of documentaries visiting areas around the globe to get genetic swabs and family histories of thousands of people throughout the world.
After processing he then uses the DNA mapping to trace the origins of people, thus revealing humanity’s migration over the past few millennia.
He’s been at this fifteen years so has learned a thing or two.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaE6qtut3ek
Published on May 30, 2015 - 24 min.
Geneticist Wells sets out to answer long-standing anthropological questions of where humans came from,
how we migrated and when we arrived in such places as Europe and North America.
To trace the migration of human beings from our earliest homes in AFRICA to the farthest reaches of the globe,
Wells calls on recent DNA research for support.

Clues in the blood of present groups such as eastern Russia’s Chukchi, as well as the biological remnants of long-extinct human clans,
allow Wells to follow the Y chromosome as a relatively unaltered marker of human heritage. Eventually, working backward through time,
he finds that the earliest common “ingredient” in males’ genetic soup was found in a man Wells calls the “Eurasian Adam,” who lived in Africa between 31,000 and 79,000 years ago. Each subsequent population, isolated from its fellows, gained new genetic markers, creating a map in time and space.

Wells reveals that the first modern humans “left Africa only 2,000 generations ago” and quickly fanned out across Asia, into Europe,
and across the then-extant land bridge into the Americas. Using the same markers, he debunks the notion that Neanderthals were our ancestors, finds odd links between faraway peoples,...

Seems to me this offers a world of interesting discussion hooks and I dare say more interesting and relevant than weighting the truth in a myth.

For starters can this DNA mapping be trusted?
etc.
Then the human journey and need for exploration,
how our finest attributes, unleashed in excess and untamed become our suicide pill.
etc.

Here’s a Ted Talk he gave back in 2007
https://www.ted.com/talks/spencer_wells_is_building_a_family_tree_for_all_humanity

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Posted: 02 May 2017 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Wells is alright when he sticks to early human migration across the earth. When he ventures into how human societies developed, he drifts from science to ideology.

He wouldn’t be the first scientist I’d recommend to a person trying to get a grasp on these topics.

[ Edited: 02 May 2017 08:06 PM by Beltane ]
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Posted: 03 May 2017 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Beltane - 02 May 2017 08:02 PM

Wells is alright when he sticks to early human migration across the earth. When he ventures into how human societies developed, he drifts from science to ideology.

He wouldn’t be the first scientist I’d recommend to a person trying to get a grasp on these topics.

Okay give.  cheese 

Who would you suggest?

As for Wells, how does he slip into ideology?  I don’t pretend to understand the topic very well, though I find it endlessly fascinating.

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Posted: 03 May 2017 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 03 May 2017 05:48 AM
Beltane - 02 May 2017 08:02 PM

Wells is alright when he sticks to early human migration across the earth. When he ventures into how human societies developed, he drifts from science to ideology.

He wouldn’t be the first scientist I’d recommend to a person trying to get a grasp on these topics.

Okay give.  cheese 

Who would you suggest?

As for Wells, how does he slip into ideology?  I don’t pretend to understand the topic very well, though I find it endlessly fascinating.

Wells thinks nearly all human ills result from our adoption of agriculture, and we need to (at least partly) reintroduce a hunter-gatherer social system in order to survive. This is contrary to the evidence we have, across many fields. It stems from his sympathy to radical ecology. He wrote a book called “Pandora’s Seed” where he lays out these ideas.

I would suggest Richard Dawkins to start with - he provides a great intro with “The Ancestors Tale” and “The Blind Watchmaker”. Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel” has a lot of accessible information, but his basic thesis is dishonest. Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending’s “The 10,000 year Explosion”.

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Posted: 04 May 2017 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Beltane - 03 May 2017 08:17 PM

As for Wells, how does he slip into ideology?  I don’t pretend to understand the topic very well, though I find it endlessly fascinating.

Wells thinks nearly all human ills result from our adoption of agriculture, and we need to (at least partly) reintroduce a hunter-gatherer social system in order to survive. This is contrary to the evidence we have, across many fields. It stems from his sympathy to radical ecology. He wrote a book called “Pandora’s Seed” where he lays out these ideas.

Interesting how we draw different lessons simply by virtue of what we are focusing on. 
Now that you mention it, I do recall echoes of that, but I was too busy focused on the Human Journey part of it. 
Namely, that they are tracing out the routes of human migrations over time and over the globe.
I’m thinking more in the richness of our origins, and Wells’ contribution to that understanding.


As for trying to turn back the clock or something, nah. 
When it comes to huge numbers of people surviving on a resource limited finite planet? 
We had one chance to get it right.  We blew it.

From here on out it’s going to be all about sliding towards self-destruction.
We’ve been hubristically marching past tipping points in gleeful disregard.

Our global/communal mindset is dedicated to military adventure and destruction, . . .
along with consuming everything in sight, in utter disregard of consequences.

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Posted: 04 May 2017 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Beltane - 03 May 2017 08:17 PM

Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending’s “The 10,000 year Explosion”.

Thanks, not familiar with him.  I’ve looked up a couple things on YouTube to listen to.

Gregory Cochran & Razib Khan Discuss Evolution
New Paradigm Podcast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUFLsIZ7ZRA
(only ten minutes in - the kid interviewer is a tad irritating - but will listen to it)


Genetics and Society - Gregory Cochran
hceconomics - half hour talk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3310KWlDXg

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Posted: 04 May 2017 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Why would anyone think evolution stopped with agriculture?  surprised
Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

Well those were interesting, the short talk and Q/A video was a nice introduction

The interview, was interesting though not particularly informative.
I found Razib Khan rather distracting and spent as much time considering the difficulty of the art of giving a good interview, as listening to Cochran.
It would be fun to hear Terry Gross interview Cochran.
Still not sure I’m ready to get the book on tape - not sure what Cochran is adding - I’ll be fishing around for some more

got this from Wiki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_10,000_Year_Explosion
Opinions in book[edit]
Cochran and Harpending put forward the idea that the development of agriculture has caused an enormous increase in the rate of human evolution, including numerous evolutionary adaptations to the different challenges and lifestyles that resulted. Moreover, they argue that these adaptations have varied across different human populations, depending on factors such as when the various groups developed agriculture, and the extent to which they mixed genetically with other population groups.[2]

Such changes, they argue, include not just well-known physical and biological adaptations such as skin colour, disease resistance, and lactose tolerance, but also personality and cognitive adaptations that are starting to emerge from genetic research. These may include tendencies towards (for example) reduced physical endurance, enhanced long-term planning, or increased docility, all of which may have been counter-productive in hunter-gatherer societies, but become favoured adaptations in a world of agriculture and its resulting trade, governments and urbanization.

What I’m not hearing is any sort of explicit acknowledgement of our environment’s intimate influence on all we do and how we develop.
Or the way the human brain spends half it’s “gestation” outside the womb exposed to the world of their parents.
That’s got to have deep biological consequences.
 
Cochran comes across as very sure of himself and caught up in clinical classifications and divisions,
as though what’s going on inside your body is isolated from the day to day that your body is dealing with.

Another thing that puts me off is their lack of explicit acknowledgement that our behavior traits flow directly from more primitive primate behavior traits.

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Posted: 06 May 2017 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“Citizenschallenge-v.3” date=“1493931492]
What I’m not hearing is any sort of explicit acknowledgement of our environment’s intimate influence on all we do and how we develop.
Or the way the human brain spends half it’s “gestation” outside the womb exposed to the world of their parents.
That’s got to have deep biological consequences.

It’s in the book.
 

Cochran comes across as very sure of himself and caught up in clinical classifications and divisions,
as though what’s going on inside your body is isolated from the day to day that your body is dealing with.

Cochran can be arrogant, and dismissive of people he disagrees with. Harpending was more tactful. Neither of them overemphasized the technical, though.

Another thing that puts me off is their lack of explicit acknowledgement that our behavior traits flow directly from more primitive primate behavior traits.

Well, that another topic. No need for them to delve into that with this book.

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Posted: 06 May 2017 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Spam filter won’t let me fix quotes!

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Posted: 06 May 2017 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Beltane - 06 May 2017 04:42 AM

Spam filter won’t let me fix quotes!

It won’t let you fix anything!

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 06 May 2017 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Beltane - 03 May 2017 08:17 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 03 May 2017 05:48 AM
Beltane - 02 May 2017 08:02 PM

Wells is alright when he sticks to early human migration across the earth. When he ventures into how human societies developed, he drifts from science to ideology.

He wouldn’t be the first scientist I’d recommend to a person trying to get a grasp on these topics.

Okay give.  cheese 

Who would you suggest?

As for Wells, how does he slip into ideology?  I don’t pretend to understand the topic very well, though I find it endlessly fascinating.

Wells thinks nearly all human ills result from our adoption of agriculture, and we need to (at least partly) reintroduce a hunter-gatherer social system in order to survive. This is contrary to the evidence we have, across many fields. It stems from his sympathy to radical ecology. He wrote a book called “Pandora’s Seed” where he lays out these ideas.

I would suggest Richard Dawkins to start with - he provides a great intro with “The Ancestors Tale” and “The Blind Watchmaker”. Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel” has a lot of accessible in
formation, but his basic thesis is dishonest. Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending’s “The 10,000 year Explosion”.

humans seem to have done all right with agriculture. There are now more than 7 billion of us. If a hunter-gatherer system would have helped more humans survive than an agricultural system, that’s what humans would have stayed with. It was a crap shoot and agriculture won. Humans can’t “decide” the system they will embrace. They try one, many die out. Others try something else, they survive, that’s how it works.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 06 May 2017 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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LoisL - 06 May 2017 10:10 AM
Beltane - 03 May 2017 08:17 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 03 May 2017 05:48 AM
Beltane - 02 May 2017 08:02 PM

Wells is alright when he sticks to early human migration across the earth. When he ventures into how human societies developed, he drifts from science to ideology.

He wouldn’t be the first scientist I’d recommend to a person trying to get a grasp on these topics.

Okay give.  cheese 

Who would you suggest?

As for Wells, how does he slip into ideology?  I don’t pretend to understand the topic very well, though I find it endlessly fascinating.

Wells thinks nearly all human ills result from our adoption of agriculture, and we need to (at least partly) reintroduce a hunter-gatherer social system in order to survive. This is contrary to the evidence we have, across many fields. It stems from his sympathy to radical ecology. He wrote a book called “Pandora’s Seed” where he lays out these ideas.

I would suggest Richard Dawkins to start with - he provides a great intro with “The Ancestors Tale” and “The Blind Watchmaker”. Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel” has a lot of accessible in
formation, but his basic thesis is dishonest. Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending’s “The 10,000 year Explosion”.

humans seem to have done all right with agriculture. There are now more than 7 billion of us. If a hunter-gatherer system would have helped more humans survive than an agricultural system, that’s what humans would have stayed with. It was a crap shoot and agriculture won. Humans can’t “decide” the system they will embrace. They try one, many die out. Others try something else, they survive, that’s how it works.

34a6d567-cdad-4608-97d8-ba6d77658a38

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Posted: 07 May 2017 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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try that again

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