Sunday, June 30, 2013

Haplogroup Assignment; Old Habits that Die Hard


It has become a common theme in DNA research papers dealing with population genetics, particularly those that are either published in the "west" or else rely heavily on references to previous publications by "western" research teams, to dichotomize human phylogeny neatly into two main types: African and non-African. As a result, a good amount of the readership of these papers have also become accustomed to treating human phylogeny accordingly. No doubt that the reactionary segment of that readership have applied such a phylogenetic arrangement synonymously with "races" of humanity.

It's one thing to assign human phylogeny into two main types, but it's another, in terms of how these assignments take form. One would be hard-pressed not to come across a single example, whereby lineage that is given an "L" designation in mictochondrial phylogeny, is automatically treated as "African", while the two main offshoots of the L3 clade are taken for granted as "non-African". Such arrangements tacitly or by design, insinuate non-overlapping phylogeny between the so-named two main groups. The discussion section will deal with this kind of arrangement of human phylogeny further, applying specific examples from published material.