Thursday, August 17, 2017

Population Genetics: 8/17/17

More refutation of “movement” ethnic fetishism.

From the original paper (emphasis added):

Phenotype prediction from genetic data has enabled the reconstruction of the appearance of ancient Europeans who left no visual record of their pigmentation. By contrast, the appearance of the Bronze Age people of the Aegean has been preserved in colourful frescos and pottery, depicting people with mostly dark hair and eyes. We used the HIrisPlex tool (Supplementary Information section 4) to infer that the appearance of our ancient samples matched the visual representations (Extended Data Table 2), suggesting that art of this period reproduced phenotypes naturalistically. 
We estimated the fixation index, FST, of Bronze Age populations with present-day West Eurasians, finding that Mycenaeans were least differentiated from populations from Greece, Cyprus, Albania, and Italy (Fig. 2), part of a general pattern in which Bronze Age populations broadly resembled present-day inhabitants from the same region (Extended Data Fig. 7).

No, no, a thousand times, no! 

Seriously though, I believe we will find that (relative) genetic continuity is more the rule rather than the exception.  The big changes in population composition are occurring today, and it’s probably more realistic to concentrate on preserving our genetic interests today than indulging in increasingly refuted “movement” ethnic fetishism.