The Clusters of the Races of Europe

Catholigauze blogged the last genetic map of Europe and numerous friends asked me for my thoughts on it, so I thought I would be ahead of the curve and post the latest version of how they can place your ancestry by your DNA (hat-tip to gnxp):

Baby boomers — and those taught by them — have long since digested the conventional wisdom that there are no “races,” that ancestral populations exist only in social construction, and that we all come with the same abilities when we are born (or at least, that different “races” all come with the same average abilities and same variation in thsoe abilities, statistically). Of course, this is not true. Not only are we able to identify this race from that, this population from that, we are zooming in farther and farther in the data: what valley did your ancestors come from? We may soon be able to tell you.

Exposing the fallacy of equal-ability–when-treated-equally-at-birth is a grave challenge, both to those Marxists who insist on a “blank slate” and to those conservatives who insist on laissez faire policies because everyone can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. But this political debate, finally, is being impacted by the latest in scientific knowledge.

6 thoughts on “The Clusters of the Races of Europe”

  1. Where do the Basques and Lapps fit in ? I’d guess they would be extreme outliers. Perhaps the Mordvinians and Vlachs too ( not sure there though).

    Any similar map for Africa ?

  2. zenpundit — Any similar map for Africa ?

    I believe that there was a similar map of Africa in Jared Diamond’s book “Guns, Germs and Steel”. There was an extraordinary diversity in north sub-Saharan Africa. There was a similar extraordinary diversity in languages in the same area. His take on it was that this was an indication that mankind had originated in that area and lived there for quite a while before various groups had come up with innovations that allowed them to move into new areas and be wildly successful at peopling those new areas with their descendants.

  3. My guess is that wherever they fit, Basques and Gascons will be pretty similar… I don’t think the names are a coincidence

    I’ve never seen this kind of map in Africa, but I have seen general family trees, as well as maps of expansion. I think Nick Wade’s book [1,2] had them

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/05/02/review-of-before-the-dawn-by-nicholas-wade.html
    [2] http://www.amazon.com/Before-Dawn-Recovering-History-Ancestors/dp/1594200793?tag=particculturf-20

  4. It would be interesting to see something like this worked up in a book. Maybe with explanations for the different distributions and anomalies. More minorities and more of Europe would be nice, too.

  5. Michael,

    I agree!

    The illustrations of The Passing of the Great Race are strikingly beautiful — if marred by a racist companion text and now woefully out-of-date methods!

    As more data becomes available, let us hope that someone will combine this knowledge with human geography to give us an approachable, attractive — and accurate — picture of the races of all the continents!

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passing_of_the_Great_Race
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Passing_of_the_Great_Race_-_Map_4.jpg

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