lørdag 1. mai 2021

New information has emerged about the peopling of East Asia throughout history.

In recent decades, we have witnessed an explosion of new knowledge in genetic science. We know a lot more about ancient DNA than ever before. And this also has a political dimension. These studies revealed new information about the peopling of many societies throughout history and challenged some modern-day beliefs about identity and nationalism. As a result, various nationalist political groups and pundits in liberal democracies, such as India, Israel and Britain, have misused this new scientific research to advance their own xenophobic political agenda.

The last two years have been particularly fruitful for studying ancient DNA in China, and new information has emerged about the peopling of the region throughout history. These latest studies were published in reputable journals, such as Science and Nature, and led by renowned geneticists such as David Reich and Qiaomei Fu.

What these papers tell us is that genetic differentiation in China was higher 3,000 years ago than it is today. The papers all attest that during the Neolithic revolution, there were two large differentiated population nuclei: one centred around the Yellow River basin and related to Sino-Tibetan speakers, and the other one around the Yangtze River valley and related to a multitude of language families, such as Hmong-Mien, Tai-Kadai, Austroasiatic and Austronesian.