GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269291135
From: Jonathan Day <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Genetic heritage and native identity of the SeaconkeWampanoag tribe of Massachusett
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:52:15 -0700 (PDT)
Well, the statement is ambiguous, so if you could help clarify, I'd appreciate it.
I'm not certain about the DNA results being open to debate. One must remember that DNA reflects the people who survive into today. We know perfectly well that there were people who arrived by boat into the northern part of South America long before people crossed the Bering Straight, but it is believed these people did not survive there - that they left (possibly for Australia) or died out.
Regardless of which option you choose, clearly nobody today carries the genetic markers of that fraction of those early settlers who stayed put. That's too far back for genetic archaeology as it currently exists, so we don't know what markers they had. Further, we cannot know what other landmasses those early explorers landed on with any certainty.
There are likewise some serious questions that need answering regarding the Kennewick Man. He's probably of Native American origin, simply by logic of where he was found. (For Mesolithic people, crossing America would likely be multi-generational, so no matter what the ultimate origin, he's essentially Native American by the time he's in Washington State.)
Thus, 100% unambiguous DNA evidence does not equate to 100% knowledge, only 100% certainty of those aspects of history that the DNA lineages that survived into the present day managed to preserve.
If, on the other hand, you mean that the history itself is open to debate (minus those aspects known via things like DNA), then I'd agree. The more you know, the more unknowns you can identify. Thus, 100% certainty in any inexact field is impossible.
--- On Mon, 3/22/10, Sam Sloan <> wrote:
> From: Sam Sloan <>
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Genetic heritage and native identity of the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe of Massachusett
> Date: Monday, March 22, 2010, 11:09 AM
> On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 12:36 PM,
> Robert Paine <>
> > Algonquian • Native American • mtDNA •
> Y-chromosome • Melanesia • New
> > England
> > "also surprisingly revealed the presence of a paternal
> lineage that appears
> > at its highest frequencies in New Guinea and
> > Didn't Melville have a South Sea Islander as the
> harpooner in Moby Dick? He
> > got the idea someplace.
> > RPaine
> What I am wondering is we just finished proving that all
> Americans got here by crossing the Bering Strait to Alaska,
> and none
> got here by the Pacific or Atlantic Routes, and now that we
> settled on that, you have just blown a hole in that
> The current prevailing theory is that during the last Ice
> Age sea
> levels were lower because so much water was in the ice.
> Because of the
> lower sea level, all of the Bering Strait Area plus Western
> Alaska and
> Far Eastern Siberia was above water. This land area has now
> been given
> the name "Beringian". The area was inhabited for 20,000
> years, the
> length of the last Ice age, but now is mostly under water.
> During that 20,000 years the people living in Beringian
> could not
> penetrate to the lower United States because they were
> locked in by
> the mountains and the ice. However, when the ice melted and
> the sea
> level rose they were forced to relocate south and then very
> spread all the way down to Terra Del Fuego.
> This is all explained by the recent DNA study here:
> What is interesting is that this study shows that the DNA
> characteristic of Native Americans quickly divided into
> subgroups. This is the same number of groups that was
> believed to show the arrival of four different groups of
> Americans, at least one of whom crossed the Pacific Ocean
> by boat and
> landed in Chile.
> Thus, while the DNA results seem conclusive, they are still
> open to debate.
> Sam Sloan
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