Indian Aboriginal gene mix found, according to a report in Nature News and PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211927110, 14 January 2013. Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and colleagues, have carried out a study of genomes of 344 individuals, including Australian aborigines from the Australian Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea highlanders, Mamanwa (a Negrito group from the Philippines), and people from Southeast Asia, India, United States and China. They confirmed there has been gene mixing between Australians, New Guineans and the Mamanwa going back to the original migration to Australia. They also found evidence of genetic mixing between the Indian and northern Australian populations taking place around 141 generations ago, which researchers calculated to be “during the Holocene, 4,230 y ago”.

This contradicts the popularly held belief that aborigines arrived in Australia over 40,000 years ago and remained isolated until European settlement in the eighteenth century. The results of the new study indicate some aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11% of their genomes to this mix. The researchers also claim the Holocene migrants from India also brought microlith (small stone-tipped weapons) technology, along with the ancestors of the dingo, which resemble Indian dogs. According to Nature News: “This gene flow could not have occurred during the initial wave of migration into Australia because it is absent from New Guinean and Mamanwa genomes, and it is too uniformly spread across the northern Aboriginal genomes to have come from European colonists”. The article goes on to report: “A few smaller studies of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome have hinted at recent gene flow between India and Australia, but a genome-wide study in 2010 missed it by not including any Indian populations, and a project that sequenced a full Aboriginal genome dismissed signs of gene flow from India as a spurious result”.

Nature News

Editorial Comment: This study fits the cultural, linguistic and archaeological evidence that Australian aborigines came from India much more recently than 40,000 years ago. It also fits the Biblical record that all people (including Indians and Australian Aboriginals) are descendants of those who left the Tower of Babel in the Middle East around 4,000 years ago. The route from the Middle East to Australia includes India, South East Asia and Papua New Guinea, so gene mixing with any of these people groups is no surprise. Furthermore, there is no excuse for dismissing evidence of recent gene flow from India as a “spurious result” just because it is politically incorrect. The 2010 study that missed it by not including any Indian populations is also a reminder that you only get the answers to the questions you ask. Therefore, don’t let anyone claim there is no scientific evidence the Bible is true. We suggest you ask politely: What evidence would you look for? That could be a good way to get them to read the Bible to find out what it really says. (Ref. history, genetics, genomics)

Evidence News 11 September 2013