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Stephen Jay Gould scientifically explains white supremacy??!!

henry harpending hxh5 at psu.edu
Sat Jul 15 08:00:31 EST 1995

In message <95195.231746U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu> - <U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu> writes:

:>   Which leads me to the question:  *IS* his claim that there is a major
:>difference in the degree of genetic variability actually correct?  Or was he
:>giving some more half-truths or outright inaccurate information?

There is more genetic diversity in African populations at the mtDNA locus 
(which is probably what he is talking about) and at short repeat loci, but not
with other systems like classical protein and blood group markers nor with the
nuclear RFLP polymorphisms.  Gould is probably talking about the mtDNA 
differences since they have been in the press a lot.

There is also more African diversity in some nuclear sequences and in 
craniometric traits.

The pattern seems to be that humans used to be a really small species, then 
we grew and are large.  African ancestors exploded earlier, and so mutations 
have been accumulating longer in the larger population.  Thus there is 
greater African diversity at systems with high mutation rates, but no greater 
African diversity at low mutation rate systems where the diversity is 
ancient, having passed through the "bottleneck" in human history.

I really doubt that any of this has anything at all to do with the IQ 
controversy but maybe I am missing something.

Henry Harpending, Penn State University

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