genetic facts [was: Ashby, botanical facts

Duncan Craig dunkers at
Thu Oct 22 19:30:03 EST 1998

Bernard Ortiz de Montellano wrote:

> In article <70jba0$k2c$1 at>, yuku at
> (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:
> > Bernard Ortiz de Montellano (bortiz at wrote on Mon, 19 Oct
> 1998 15:40:20 -0500:
> >
> > : Peter,
> >
> > : Obviously Yuri did not want to give you a cite. I finally got connected
> > : again with a library.:
> >
> > : J. Lum, R.L. Cann, J.J. Martinson, and L.B. Jorde. 1998. ³Mitochondrial
> > : and Nuclear Relationships among Pacific Island and Asian Populations²
> > : *American Journal of Hman Genetics* 63:613-624.
> >
> > Very nice of you, Bernard. But you've missed the very same reference being
> > posted here already a few times, both by me, and by Peter, who apparently
> > forgot about it right after he posted it.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Yuri.
> >
> The point is that you were misquoting the reference. Cann and Lum do *not*
> support the god Heyerdahl.
> Regards
> > Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=-
> >
> > "Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be, and
> > if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.  That's logic!"
> >                 -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
> --
> Bernard Ortiz de Montellano

  I have to agree. This from 'Civilization', the magazine of the Library of
Congress (mar-april 1996).  The article is titled "Mapping the Past"
 "Slowly but surely, researchers like Kolman are rewriting history. In the
Pacific, scientists are tracing the genetic trail left by the ancient mariners
who settled Polynesia, finding evidence of a journey that began in Southeast
Asia nearly 4,000 years ago- and sinking for good the widely publicized theories
of Thor Heyerdahl,  who sailed the balsa raft Kon Tiki from Peru to the Tuamotu
Archipelago to "prove" that American Indians had settled the Pacific. And, in
disproving Heyerdahl, the geneticists have found evidence of the Polynesians'
traditional sagas, which speak of their ancestors' frequent voyages between
Hawaii and Tahiti in huge ocean-going canoes."
  So, while the genetic evidence against Heyerdahl is strong as to origins and
directions of migrations,  the same evidence seems to support Heyerdahls
estimation of the maritime abilities of ancient Polynesians. The next paragraph
of the article is haunting.
          "Archaeologists kept saying that it was impossible, that it was just a
story people told," says Rebecca Cann, a geneticist at the University of Hawaii.
"But by doing a very fine analysis of the DNA, we've seen that there is in fact
one very common cosmopolitan lineage that's spread throughout the Pacific,
[which] could only have happened if people were in constant physical contact.
The idea that these islands were so isolated is really a foreign invention.  The
Polynesians used the ocean as a superhighway."
  Computer simulations (Levison, Ward and Webb, 1973)  heavily indicate that the
colonizations were purposeful. That this "cosmopolitan lineage" was in constant
physical contact is also shown by G. Irwin (1980) who noted the radical shift in
canoe technology from ocean-going, to inter-island about 1000 AD. As he noted,
"we are faced with the situation that once every scrap of land in the Pacific
had been settled, the process (colonization) stopped."
  Is there any reason, given the purposefullness and maritime prowess of this
Austronesian lineage, to suppose that Easter Island was the easternmost point of
their voyages?

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