EGI Notes

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Ethnotype

Introducing a new genetic concept.

The following I see as extremely important.

This paper discusses the “beanbag” approach to population genetics.
In a sexual population, each genotype is unique, never to recur. The life expectancy of a genotype is a single generation. In contrast, the population of genes endures. The quantities that are followed, in mathematical theories or in observations, are allele frequencies. The geneticist knows that at any desired time, the genotype frequencies can be obtained by the simple binomial rule.

Now, herein lies a problem I see with mainstream population geneticists (and other, related scientists) blinded perhaps by anti-racist political correctness.  It’s true than an exact, specific genotype is unique (except for identical twins) and does not recur.  The error – the fundamental error – these people make is not admitting that some genotypes are more similar than to others.  It’s not just a comparison between a genepool and a genotype, at opposite ends of the genetic integration scales.  There are levels in between the general population of genes at one end and the unique, never-to-be-reproduced genotype at the other end.

I therefore name one such level, which is of importance to the preservationist viewpoint: the ethnotype. 

An ethnotype is a range of possible genotypes that characterizes populations that have specific genepools.  An ethnotype is not as specific as a genotype, and ethnotype can be found in the many millions, and is stable across evolutionary time.  Otzi the Iceman and contemporary Europeans can be said to belong to the same broad ethnotype.  Ethnotypes can be considered to total set of possible genotypes produced by a genepool, the total set of possible allele combinations, and that will be different from that produced by another genepool.

Ethnotypes can be broader or narrower.  Europeans vs. East Asians are examples of two ethnotypes, each consisting of specific combinations of alleles from their respective genepools (ethnotypes, like genotypes, are emergent properties of genepools, and the frequencies of ethnotypes should be calculable from genepool allele frequencies as are genotypes).  One can go narrower: different types of Europeans (North, South, East, West, Central, etc.) can be thought of as being represented by a specific ethnotype or set of ethnotypes, the same for East Asians or any other population group.

Thus, while the forces of independent assortment and recombination at meiosis, combined with genetic drift and various forms of selection, insure that exact genotypes will never again be reproduced, ethnotypes will continue to be reproduced.  The European genepool may produce Isaac Newton or Michelangelo or Tesla only once, but can produce allele combinations reasonably similar to those individuals and similar to Europeans worldwide over and over again, as long as the genepool says intact.  Of course, over time, with drift and selection, the genepool changes, so that the possible ranges of ethnotypes and genotypes produced from the genepool will be altered, but these ranges will be more similar than to alien peoples. 

Therefore, the European genepool of 1016 AD had the potential to produce a different set of ethnotypes and genotypes than the European genepool of 2016; nevertheless, both are much more similar to each other than to, say, East Asian genepools of any date picked.  Again, genotypes are one-shot affairs, while ethnotypes are more stable over time, since they are a less specific, and more generalized, arrangement of genepool alleles.

The advantages of considering comparisons at the ethnotype level are that (a) this is the level that has the most practical significance (including selection) at the population level, as populations are collections of genotypes, not a soup of randomized alleles floating around; (b) given that genetic distance increases with increasing genetic integration and that the ethnotype is at a higher level than at the genepool, then considering the genetic structure inherent in the ethnotype will increase the level of genetic interests; and (c) while not as unique as the genotype, the ethnotype is unique in cross-population comparisons AND has the advantage of being preservable.  Thus, while genotype can be preserved only by cloning, ethnotypes can be preserved, to a reasonable degree over time, by following the precepts of Salterian Universal Nationalism.  Preserving the ethnotype can be done today, via acts of political will and social convention, no new technology needs be implemented.  Further, while “beanbag” genetics will tell you that miscegenation in some cases (at least at the parental level) can be compensated by increased reproduction and replication of the individual alleles, ethnotypes are specific to particular ethny genepool – no number of hybrids could reproduce the genetic structure of ethnotypes; hence, the ethnotype concept better represents the preservationist imperative.  I may add that ethnotypes better represent an ethny’s phenotypes as well, since phenotype is produced not by individual alleles working alone, but by the interaction of the whole genome with the environment.

Further, the ethnotype concept is compatible with eugenics, since, unlike the genotype, we are not talking about a fixed, perfectly unique set of genetics, but a more flexible range of genetic types that can still exhibit similarity over time even with some degree of substitution if alleles (again, consider the similarity of Otzi to today’s Europeans).

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,