Middle East & South Asia

India has a large and diverse population with many language and tribal groups, but little is known about where they originally came from.  An international group of scientists from USA, India and Finland have carried out an extensive study of genomes of over 2,700 people from every geographic region, speakers of every major language group, and all tribes and castes. 

They summarised their findings: “We show that most Indians derive ancestry from three ancestral groups related to ancient Iranian farmers, Eurasian Steppe pastoralists and South Asian hunter-gatherers.” 

They also studied previously extracted “ancient DNA” from other groups with Iranian ancestry and found the best match was from farmers in an ancient agricultural centre in what is now Tajikistan.  According to an article in Science (AAAS) News “Farmers here grew wheat and barley and kept cattle, and traded extensively throughout Eurasia.”  This fits with an archaeological find in a place named Sarazm in Tajikistan. One individual was found to carry traces of Indian ancestry, and another who was buried with ceramic bracelets similar to those made in ancient India.

Michael Frachetti, an archaeologist who not was not involved in the genome study commented: “There’s a very significant story being told here. Societies were far more connected in deep time than most have given them credit for.”

The genome researchers also claim “Indians derive around 1-2% of their ancestry through gene flow from archaic hominins, Neanderthals and Denisovans.”  This is much the same as Europeans, but no fossils of these have been found in India.

References: Science (AAAS) News 4 March 2024; bioRxiv 17 February 2024, doi: 10.1101/2024.02.15.580575

Editorial Comment:  These results all fit well with Biblical history of human spread across the Asian continent.  After people settled around the Tower of Babel in what is now Iraq, small groups were scattered in many directions carrying whatever knowledge and skills they had to make a living. These people were intelligent and capable, and were derived from the same original population, so it is no surprise there is evidence of similar technology and similar genes in populations along the way from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent.

The finding of gene variants also found in Neanderthals and Denisovans is a reminder that these were not “ancient hominins” but people derived from the original population of Babel.  When the Babel population was divided, some people who went east into Asia would have carried some of the same gene variants as those who went west into Europe.

Creation Research News 27 March 2024

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