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Health

Australian Aboriginals & Levantines separate subspecies?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanMarch 16, 2008 3:52 PM

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OK, the title is somewhat of an exaggeration, but not much. Out of Africa, Not Once But Twice:

Modern humans are known to have left Africa in a wave of migration around 50,000 years ago, but another, smaller group -- possibly a different subspecies -- left the continent 50,000 years earlier, suggests a new study. While all humans today are related to the second "out of Africa" group, it's likely that some populations native to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia retain genetic vestiges of the earlier migrants, according to the paper's author, Michael Schillaci.

The paper is forthcoming in The Journal of Human Evolution. The article weirdly keeps saying this was a genetic analysis, which I think will confuse people since it seems clear that the author was doing cladistics on the 28 fossil samples. I'll wait for what the bonespeople have to say when the paper comes out, but I have to admit a bit of fatigue about the whole issue about whether they would be a subspecies or not. I dread a lumper-splitter fight if more data comes to light of relict alleles or traits in modern populations from archaics. Why the fixation on vehicles?

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