Monday, March 29, 2010

Origins of Indians: Version 10.1

The tribes of Andaman and Nicobar:
There is a saying 'looks could be misleading'. However, we have an academic field(though most of the time termed 'pseudo science') that deals exclusively with looks of people. This is a field which allows shallow people to feel they are very scientific. I read some of them making the claim 'what is obvious need not be proven' and talk very authoritatively on looks. I have already discussed about dumbness of Anthropometry many a time. Unfortunately, what should have been a pure recreational field most the time taken little too seriously. Your present looks don't tell anything about your past in the timeline of human race.

Consider the case of Jarawas of Andaman islands. They look "African". Well their patrilineages and matrilineages are Asian. Their main Y-Haplogroup is D, which is mostly observed among Tibeto-Burman population and Japanese. Their main matrilineage is M, which is common in India. They don't carry any lineages that are characteristics of Bushmen (? ..I suppose that BBC author might have meant Pygmies).

They are cousins to Indians and Tibetans/Japanese. Now they don't resemble either. Therefore their African looks can only be explained in terms of convergent evolution. They are related to Africans with the same degree of relatedness of everybody outside Africa.

I would say the author of that BBC report might have sounded better educated had she also made this point that Jarawas are related to Asians though they look like Africans.

Yap Signature in South Asia