Saturday, May 10, 2008

Haplogroup X and The Druze of Galilee

The Druze: A Population Genetic Refugium of the Near East. PLoS ONE. 2008 May 7;3(5):e2105.

Critics of the Book of Mormon have been bashing its authenticity the last 5-10 years over mtDNA phylogenic population genetics studies showed that the principal genetic ancestors to the Native Americans are Asian and not from the Middle East. Defenders of the Book of Mormon recognized that the Book of Mormon never claimed that the Nephites of the Book of Mormon would be the main genetic source for modern Native Americans. The Book of Mormon considered the Nephites the "principal ancestors" in a spiritual sense only. In fact the Book of Mormon again and again reiterated that only a small remnant of the Nephite seed would remain.

5 years ago, additional mtDNA work on Native Americans discovered a new haplogroup which had been ignored in previous studies. Haplogroup X (subclave X2a) was considered to be a 5th Native American founding haplotype, although it is not present with the same frequency as the other 4 ( A, B, C, D). What made Haplogroup X of interest to believers in the Book of Mormon is that the Haplotype X2 is not found in Asia but mainly concentrated in Europe and the Middle East.

A new study looks at the Druze population in Lebanon and Northern Israel to examine the high frequency of Haplogroup X among them. Haplogroup X is highly concentrated in this group which has a 1000 year history of isolationism, consanguinity, and endogamy. The Druze are Islamic and not Jewish but have observed a strict orthodox religious and cultural practice since the founding around 1000 AD. The Druze come from a heterogenous founding population which is evidence of the low rate of genetic disease as opposed to the Ashkenazi Jews. But, the high rate of haplogroup X, especially in Galilee, is not believed to have originated with them but is believed to have been a reflection of the genetics of the population at the time the Druze settled Israel. Because of this, the Druze are considered in this latest paper "a population genetic refugium."

Now, Jews did not live in Ottoman Turk controlled Palestine in 1000 AD, but Samaritans still did. It is also less likely that haplogroup X came from the Turks because although Druze DNA is most like current Turkish DNA, Turks don't exhibit haplogroup X to the same degree as the Druze. The source population of Haplogroup X in the Druze is still unknown but remains an intriguing detail.

All population genetic papers assume the time that these migrations happened occurred over 10,000 to 60,000 years ago. However, religionist have never agreed with scientific dating which is based on the assumption of constant rate of cosmic rays hitting the Earth, producing a constant ratio of elemental isotopes, and a constant rate of DNA mutation. There is clear evidence from environmental data that gamma radiation varies over the centuries and science needs to measure and account for this variation in scientific dating.

This evidence suggests that current single-wave migration theories from Asia to the Americas must be rethought. Other papers postulate that at some point, Middle East or European Caucasians had to have migrated to the Americas; some scientist are of the opinion that the migration could have been by ship.

1. Distribution of mtDNA haplogroup X among Native North Americans. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Nov;110(3):271-84.

2. Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 November; 73(5): 1178–1190.


cadams said...

Keep up the great posts!

Jon W said...

You know last year when I was taking my Archeology class there was a mention of this strain of DNA in the Native American populations. Fascinating stuff.

Jared* said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

The paper postulates that at some point, Middle East or European Caucasians had to have migrated to the Americas; most likely by ship.

I don't mean to cause trouble, but where did you get this from? I didn't see any such thing in the Druze paper.

Further, I've never heard of molecular clock being based on gamma rays. My understanding is that it is based on the error rate of the DNA polymerase.

BRoz said...

Oops, I miswrote that. Thanks for catching my mistake. I made the correction.

About DNA mutation rates. I don't understand all the specifics but the basics are that DNA mutation is caused by ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation comes from the earth, the sun and from cosmic rays striking the earth which generate isotopes used in dating.

There is clear evidence from global warming data that the solar radiation and cosmic rays vary. This variation is not taken into account with most isotopic-based dating techniques.

Ionizing radiation causes DNA mutation. But not all areas of DNA mutate the same. For, istance there are areas in our Chromosomes known as hypervariable areas. The current DNA mutation rate calculations do not take into account the variation in the amount of ionizing radiation man has been exposed to nor the variation in DNA susseptibility to that radiation.

BRoz said...

DNA mutation is also caused by oxidants. Again there are areas more suseptible to mutation than others and current mutation rate models do not account for the complexity.

Jared* said...

I don't deny that the molecular clock concept has caveats. For example, the rate of mutation is not equal among all organisms, or even among all parts of the genome. Scientists are not generally idiots though, and they spend a lot of effort refining these techniques. As far as I can determine, molecular clocks are still employed with fair confidence.

When it comes to science, my general rule is to never trust a creationist to represent it correctly. I don't have the time or expertise to take on the link you provided, but I see things that concern me, such as many of the references being from the 1990s, and that its overall message does not agree with my ongoing casual reading of the scientific literature.

As to radiometric dating, C-14 is affected by cosmic rays, but the idea that this is ignored by scientists is manifestly untrue (random example). Beyond C-14, can you name another isotope-based method that is sensitive to the sun's rays? I am not aware of any.

My point is not to pick a fight, and unless you ask me to, I will not comment again on this thread.

BRoz said...

Thank you, my point is not to knock the scientific community. My point is that dating is still an imperfect science especially when it comes to DNA.

In time I think faith and science can come together. That will likely mean changes in what we thought was true on both sides.

Even in religion we realize that the Bible can be interpreted in a different way then it's traditional interpretation (i.e. days of creation are not literal 24-hr days but long periods of time).

Nanjing said...

This is all very interesting. I am an American of 100% Druze ancestry (but not of Druze faith); and among the last in my family I suppose since I am married to a woman of Scotch-Danish ancestry with no biological children of our own. My only child is from China, but that's another story.

Two years ago I was in Iraq as an investigator with the U.S. Defense Department when I was cornered by an Iraqi officer who thought that I was an American military interpreter; due of course to the name tape on my uniform. When I explained to him that my Arabic language skills were a bit thin, he became somewhat miffed until a Lebanese born American interpreter stepped in and explained things. Both men correctly deducted on their own that my name was that of the Druze and I found myself as their temporary guest for dinner. The Iraqi officer explained that he understood that the Druze where descendants of the Medes who, as any historian knows, conquered all the lands from the present "Stan" states to the Indus River, to Egypt in an alliance with the Persians. While I had always heard that the Kurds are the descendants of the Medes, he explained that there were likely many grouped Mede descendants separated by migration and geography. It was further explained to me that the Medes were historically a mountain people of southwest Asia and that their tradition carried on with the Kurds in present day Turkey and Iraq, and the Druze in present day Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. The question that comes to mind is why did the Druze suddenly mobilize and travel from Egypt, and perhaps other locations, to the Lebanese mountains at once around 1000 AD. I know there were some religious flirtations with very early Islam by the Druze, but while the Kurds embraced Islam, the Druze rejected it and they reverted …somewhat… to their more ancient Eastern faith which appears similar to ancient Indo-European practices but with more contemporary figures from Judism, Christianity and Islam fitted into the old I-E religious structure.

I am not an anthropological or genetic researcher; rather I am a fairly new historian who has found absolutely nothing on the Druze prior to about 1000 AD. Could the Iraqi Army officer have been on to something? Has anyone out there done any research on this? If he was right … and he seemed pretty confident of himself, then this might clear up a lot of questions about a significant group of people in the mountains of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. said...

FYI - Wikipedia's entry for "Druze" states, "The Druze claim descent from Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses,[18] and there is some genetic evidence that they are descended from Jews.[19]"

Anonymous said...

k Moses??? any religious group that bases its ideas of current day humans on the retarded bible stories stating that the nearly 7billion people that exist today (race and genetic discernment aside) came from 4 mid eastern men 3700 years ago are as dumb as children....look at mummified remains of whites found in chinas tarim basin, they predate that biblical area by a vast sorry but most humans were here long before moses and his 3 sons......dont be so stupid...

mike said...

I find the discovery of a genetic link regarding the Druze and 25-40% of Ojibwa Indians as being of the same ancestry amazing.I have always thought that my ancestors the Ojibwa looked strikingly similar to many of the Hebrew people I have known, and been friends with over the years.Also I always wondered why my people the Ojibwa shared very few racial traits with Asian people or many of the other Native Indian people of North America.I do not have any interest in the Mormons beliefs so this is not an attempt to support any of their claims.I am merely a fan of Genetics and my peoples origins.Asians tend to be small of stature and very mongoloid in appearance.Ojibwa are tall and much more Middle Eastern in appearance.Sadly historians refuse to bend in this matter simply because it would refute many of their commonly accepted, and taught teachings regarding where in their narrow minded opionions that all Native Indians place of origin was prior to European contact.Hopefully more research can be done in this area so I can finally know for certain what I have always suspected.I have always felt a kinship to Hebrew people and some Arabic people as well.

Anonymous said...

I've problem in remembering pass words. So I've left it as anonymus. Yes genes are complex. As a non medical person my comment is we didn't just evolve. We are older
than our planet. Main stream science tries to make it fit. We perhaps should of just been coming out of the trees right now. If we evolved right here.

I believe we have been genetically engineered
a long time ago. The planet may well of
been manipulated in some way. There is evidance
the population was even more diverse
but those genes have vanished.
There are different races where Africa was not the point of oragin Africans my well of mixed. But we are essentially different races. Some political agender is
being and relegious agender is being catered for.
And may be millitary.

To relies we are a mixture of different people from different planets. We have all ended up here.
Life don't only exsist here but else where.
Many civerlisation refere to these people.

Monkeys chimpazines have more genes than us
we did not evolove from these apes the missing link is not on this planet.

I would like to talk about the electropolltion aspect
computers mobile phones so called green technology does not work in the right phase.

Our body our spirit is electrical.
We work on nuclear energy so do computers
Hence computers can control us.
Enstein knew and so did Freud.
Secrucy laws hide it from us.

Question why the government has to make British policemen sick from their microwave radios.
Then tell them they must not talk about it to their doctors or one another.
The world governments are wasting money on new technology. Wind turbines produce too much radiation they do not comply to EMC Law electromagnetic compatibility law. There were two versions of EMC Law.
One partaning to the civilian law. Two partaning to millitary equipment. In the Uk that law is filed at the DTI. WHILE officals have not a clue what they do.
The millitary law works on a different phase or polarity to the civilan law. Stealth or some call it zero-point energy. Microwaves are not high frequncy but low freq. the oscillerscope was read in the wrong direction. Its the equivlent of running a motor backwards. So called old tech runs forwards or clockwise. When solid state came in they had no idea which way which way it ran and still don't.

Inverters are used to replace transformers.
They are not the same.
An inverter could generate electricity. While attached to a wind turbine. The turbine is not power efficient.
The same with all so called green tech. Inverters are used on their own. Without spending money on wind and other add ons. Huge amount of infra sound and radiation is off scale.They call us electrosensitive over sensitive. Copled with that Lyme Disease is possibly been genetically modified. in combo.

Like the US the UK has a problem.
Southampton hosp. Used to do the testing.
Now Porton Down is where the samples go. They have been playing with it for years. So has the US RUSSIA AND Iran
any chemical can be broadcast over any distance vire the
sine wave. Hence like Star Trek our TRUE an ancestors came from else where. Like any good mason they like playing games. Science says one thing the government does not like it so it gets another one. To make up something else when the solution was in plan sight.
Question what are they turning us into?
Are they trying to kill us or make us their slaves.
What they do will effect them. But they will not be told. So come on G4 G5 6 and seven lucky for somebugger We will be not as we were on this planet.

By the why Tick are not killed just like wood lice and cockroches with microwaves. Or nuclear as it really is.