Saturday, 14 May 2022

YEC/Creationism - Notions in Crisis

A spatiotemporal interpretation of population differentiation in SW Asia and Europe based on our model and the geographic distribution of the genomes.
Colored shaded areas indicate approximate putative distributions of populations at different time points. The letters (A) to (H) indicate the chronological order of events; see main text for a detailed description. Note that warmer periods (Bølling and Allerød interstadials, Holocene) correspond to population range expansions while colder periods (LGM, Older Dryas) are associated with contractions. See also Figure S4 for additional f-statistics analyses supporting alternative connections between the Levant and the Aegean/Greece area.

Ancient DNA maps ‘dawn of farming’

The flood of evidence that YECism and Creationism are notions (I won't grace them with the scientific term, 'theories') in crisis continues with news that two of the largest assemblages of ancient human genomes have revealed that the origins of European farmers was in Turkey, but that population originated many thousands of years earlier from diverse hunter-gatherer populations in Europe and Asia.

Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that all humans are descended from a single founder couple who lived just a few thousand years ago in the Middle East, as creationism's favourite myths claim.

The advances in recovering high quality genomes from ancient remains would be terrifying creationist cult leaders if they weren't safe in the knowledge that their dupes would never dream of checking facts or reading scientific publications in case they had to admit they could be wrong, so articles in science magazine such as Nature or New Scientist will go unnoticed and ignored.

The evidence in question was published in two open access papers in Cell and BioRxiv a few days ago. These works build on the 2016 findings by Lazaridis, Iosif, et al, who showed that:
…the earliest populations of the Near East derived around half their ancestry from a ‘Basal Eurasian’ lineage that had little if any Neanderthal admixture and that separated from other non-African lineages before their separation from each other. The first farmers of the southern Levant (Israel and Jordan) and Zagros Mountains (Iran) were strongly genetically differentiated, and each descended from local hunter–gatherers. By the time of the Bronze Age, these two populations and Anatolian-related farmers had mixed with each other and with the hunter–gatherers of Europe to greatly reduce genetic differentiation. The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those of Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia.
Copyright: © 2022 The authors.
Published by Published by Elsevier Inc. Open access (CC BY 4.0)
So, in contrast to the YEC/Creationist myth, the people of Israel and Jordan did not arise in situ, without ancestry, but evolved locally from earlier hunter-gatherer people to form genetically distinct populations which later merged and mixed with other hunter-gatherer people in what is now modern Turkey and then spread westwards into Europe.

These new papers flesh out the bbare bones of that finding by exploring the origins of the populations who merged with the indigenous people to become the original farmers of Anatolia who then spread westwards.

A team co-led by population geneticist, Laurent Excoffier, from the University of Bern, sequenced the genomes of 15 individuals from archaeological sites in Western Anatolia and along the Danube River - one of the main migration routes into Europe. The genomes were of sufficient quality to enable analysis of, for example, major changes in population size. Excoffier's team found that the ancient Anatolian farmers were descended from repeated mixing between populations from Europe and the Middle East who had split about 25,000 years earlier at the height of the last Ice Age. The European population had almost died out at one point but bounced back when the climate warmed. The spread of these farmers into Europe began about 8,000 years ago. The migrants would have encountered and replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers although they don't appear to have interbred extensively with them. This team's findings are published inCell:
Graphical abstract

  • European HGs diverged from SW Asian HGs during the LGM
  • Low genetic diversity of European HGs is due to a strong LGM demographic bottleneck
  • Ancestors of western early farmers emerged after repeated post-LGM admixtures
  • EFs strongly diverged from SW Asians during their expansion through Anatolia


The precise genetic origins of the first Neolithic farming populations in Europe and Southwest Asia, as well as the processes and the timing of their differentiation, remain largely unknown. Demogenomic modeling of high-quality ancient genomes reveals that the early farmers of Anatolia and Europe emerged from a multiphase mixing of a Southwest Asian population with a strongly bottlenecked western hunter-gatherer population after the last glacial maximum. Moreover, the ancestors of the first farmers of Europe and Anatolia went through a period of extreme genetic drift during their westward range expansion, contributing highly to their genetic distinctiveness. This modeling elucidates the demographic processes at the root of the Neolithic transition and leads to a spatial interpretation of the population history of Southwest Asia and Europe during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene.

These findings are supported by the work of a second team, co-led by palaeogeneticist Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen, who obtained genomes from 317 early farmers and hunter gatherers from across Eurasia. Their findings also show an early split between eastern and western hunter-gatherers and dates the arrival of early farmers in the Balkans to about 8,000 years ago. Their findings are published in BioRxiv:
Copyright: © 2022 The authors.
Published by Published by bioRxiv. Open access (CC BY 4.0)
The transitions from foraging to farming and later to pastoralism in Stone Age Eurasia (c. 11-3 thousand years before present, BP) represent some of the most dramatic lifestyle changes in human evolution. We sequenced 317 genomes of primarily Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals from across Eurasia combined with radiocarbon dates, stable isotope data, and pollen records. Genome imputation and co-analysis with previously published shotgun sequencing data resulted in >1600 complete ancient genome sequences offering fine-grained resolution into the Stone Age populations. We observe that:
  1. Hunter-gatherer groups were more genetically diverse than previously known, and deeply divergent between western and eastern Eurasia.
  2. We identify hitherto genetically undescribed hunter-gatherers from the Middle Don region that contributed ancestry to the later Yamnaya steppe pastoralists.
  3. The genetic impact of the Neolithic transition was highly distinct, east and west of a boundary zone extending from the Black Sea to the Baltic. Large-scale shifts in genetic ancestry occurred to the west of this “Great Divide”, including an almost complete replacement of hunter-gatherers in Denmark, while no substantial ancestry shifts took place during the same period to the east. This difference is also reflected in genetic relatedness within the populations, decreasing substantially in the west but not in the east where it remained high until c. 4,000 BP.
  4. The second major genetic transformation around 5,000 BP happened at a much faster pace with Steppe-related ancestry reaching most parts of Europe within 1,000-years. Local Neolithic farmers admixed with incoming pastoralists in eastern, western, and southern Europe whereas Scandinavia experienced another near-complete population replacement. Similar dramatic turnover-patterns are evident in western Siberia.
  5. Extensive regional differences in the ancestry components involved in these early events remain visible to this day, even within countries. Neolithic farmer ancestry is highest in southern and eastern England while Steppe-related ancestry is highest in the Celtic populations of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall (this research has been conducted using the UK Biobank resource).
  6. Shifts in diet, lifestyle and environment introduced new selection pressures involving at least 21 genomic regions. Most such variants were not universally selected across populations but were only advantageous in particular ancestral backgrounds. Contrary to previous claims, we find that selection on the FADS regions, associated with fatty acid metabolism, began before the Neolithisation of Europe. Similarly, the lactase persistence allele started increasing in frequency before the expansion of Steppe-related groups into Europe and has continued to increase up to the present.
Along the genetic cline separating Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from Neolithic farmers, we find significant correlations with trait associations related to skin disorders, diet and lifestyle and mental health status, suggesting marked phenotypic differences between these groups with very different lifestyles. This work provides new insights into major transformations in recent human evolution, elucidating the complex interplay between selection and admixture that shaped patterns of genetic variation in modern populations. [My formatting for added clarity].

Allentoft, Morten E.; Sikora, Martin; Refoyo-Martínez, Alba; Irving-Pease, Evan K., et al
Population Genomics of Stone Age Eurasia
bioRxiv 2022; DOI:10.1101/2022.05.04.490594

Copyright: © 2022 The authors. Published by bioRxiv.
Open access
Reprinted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
Two papers that both tell the same story: not spontaneous generation in the Middle East a few thousand years ago, but a history going back at least 250,000 years by which time the Eurasian populations had already diverged and become genetically distinct, just as the Theory of Evolution predicts isolated populations will, and these were the people who populated the Middle East to form the Bronze Age farmers who invented the origin myths in the Bible - the same people who believed Earth was small, flat, ran on magic and had a dome over it to keep the water above the sky out and as somewhere to hang the sun, moon and stars.

Creationists hold that this is the best description of geological and human history, far surpassing for accuracy anything that science can produce, such as the above genetic evidence that the myths are nothing more than childish fantasies, made up by people who knew no better. The human story is far too fascinating and wonderful to be dismissed by childish fools who require the narrative to be simple enough for a toddler to understand.

Thank you for sharing!

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