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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Native American DNA reveals they are descended from Asian ancestors

The Americas were the last continents colonized by humans and the nature and timing of this colonization has been the subject of intense scientific research for over a century. The Mormon Church claims special knowledge within this field of scientific research. Most Mormons believe that native people in the Americas and Polynesia are largely (or at least partly) descended from Israelites. These views are largely based on the sacred writings Mormons possess, in particular the Book of Mormon, and numerous statements by church leaders, including all of its prophets, over many decades. As recently as March 2013 native Central American Mormons from Honduras were reassured by an apostle that they are the descendants of father Lehi, an Israelite who the Book of Mormon claims sailed to the Americas in 600BC.


Scientists studying Native American populations see no cultural or genetic connection between Old and New World populations. There is a broad consensus view among archaeologists, geologists and biologists, based on more than a century of excavating thousands of archaeological sites, that the New World was first populated at least fifteen thousand years ago, and possibly as early as twenty thousand years ago, by migrants from Asia. These people entered the Americas via a wide expanse of land—called Beringia—which connected northeastern Asia with northwestern North America during ice ages when sea levels were lower. These small groups of migrants soon exploited the richness of the “new world,” and their populations grew quickly and expanded across the North and South American continents over a few thousand years. There is widespread agreement among archaeologists that there is no evidence that the cultural developments unveiled in the archaeological record in the New World were in any way inspired by visitors or migrants from Africa, Europe, or Asia.




The Asian origin of essentially all Native Americans was firmly established by the middle of the 20th century, using classical genetic markers such as blood groups and variation in other proteins (enzymes). During the last two decades, much higher resolution molecular studies have confirmed the Asian origin of Native Americans, the timing of migrations into the Americas and the routes these people took as they entered North and South America.

Scientists carrying out molecular studies have focused on two portions of human DNA that have simple patterns of inheritance.  The majority of our DNA (carried on our chromosomes) is passed from generation to generation as complex rearrangements of parental DNA. In contrast mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed along maternal lines from mothers to their offspring, while Y chromosome DNA (YDNA) is passed from father to son (Figure 1.1).  These uni-parentally inherited DNAs have been used extensively to build maternal or paternal links between related populations and to study the movement of human populations throughout the world.

Figure 1.1



The earliest immigrants to the Americas brought with them a subset of the maternal and paternal DNA lineages present in their Asian source populations. An excellent summary of the distribution of global mtDNA and YDNA lineages can be found here.

Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA variation in the Americas indicates unambiguously that the ancestors of Native Americans originated in Asia. Virtually all modern Native Americans possess an mtDNA lineage that belongs to one of five founding lineage families (haplogroups), which are all present among native populations of Siberia. These maternal lineages have now been designated A, B, C, D and X (Figure 1.2; Brown et al. 1998; Schurr et al. 1990). Of these haplogroups, only X is present in both central Asian and European populations; however, the X haplogroup is large and diverse, and the particular X lineage (X2a) found in Native American populations represents a distinct branch on the Eurasian X lineage tree (Reidla et al. 2003).

Figure 1.2


The four major Native American founding lineages have been renamed A2, B2, C1, and D1 to distinguish them from closely related lineages in Asia.

A small proportion of mtDNA lineages found in indigenous peoples (<1%) are derived from recent non-native (European or African) admixture (Gonzales et al. 2003; Richards et al. 1996). The majority of these mtDNAs belong to lineage H, the most common mtDNA lineage family in European populations such as Spain and the United Kingdom (Figure 1.3.). The most common mtDNA lineage among Ashkenazi Jews is lineage K (Behar et al. 2004). Lineage L is the most common lineage in African populations.

Figure 1.3


References

Behar, D. M., Hammer, M. F. Garrigan, D., et al. (2004) MtDNA evidence for a genetic bottleneck in the early history of the Ashkenazi Jewish population. European Journal of Human Genetics. 12, 355-364.
Brown, M. D., Hosseini, S. H., Torroni, A. et al. (1998) MtDNA haplogroup X: An ancient link between Europe western Asia and North America? American Journal of Human Genetics 63, 1852–1861.
Gonzales, A. M., Brehm, A., Perez, J. A., et al. (2003) Mitochondrial DNA affinities at the Atlantic fringe of Europe. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 120, 391-404.
Reidla, M., Kivisild, T. Metspalu, E. et al. (2003) Origin and diffusion of mtDNA haplogroup X. American Journal of Human Genetics 73, 1178–1190.
Richards, M., CĂ´rte-Real, M. Forster, P. et al. (1996). "Paleolithic and Neolithic lineages in the European mitochondrial gene pool," American Journal of Human Genetics 59, 185-203.
Schurr, T. G., Ballinger, S. W. Gan, Y. Y. et al. (1990) Amerindian mitochondrial DNAs have rare Asian mutations at high frequencies, suggesting they are derived from 4 primary maternal lineages. American Journal of Human Genetics 46, 613–623.
Southerton, S. G. (2004) Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon ChurchSalt Lake City, Signature Books.



42 comments:

  1. Simon,

    Wonderful job and I am quite pleased to see you doing you this work. Excellent first post!

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    1. Saying Native americans are Asians is like saying Pakis, Iraqis, Arabs, Kurds are white people aswell, there genetically more related and closer with White people. Even Ainu are genetically 100% related with Asians but don't look Asians.

      NATIVE AMERICANS = PROTO-MONGOLOID

      Asians = Neo-Mongoloid

      Anyway... can we say middle easterners are white people since they are the ancestors of Europeans?

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    2. "Saying Native americans are Asians is like saying Pakis, Iraqis, Arabs, Kurds are white people aswell"

      Pakistanis, Iraqis, Arabs, and Kurds are all Caucasians.

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    3. Native may be dark skinned Asian and Middle Easterners may dark skinned Caucasians but regarded as "Savages" by their lighter skinned counterparts cause of Human Sacrifice history and the terrorism pacts in the Middle East. European and East Asian are economically tied to each other and value light skin color so it would make sense for Native American and Middle Easterner to be Allies for being hated on by the lighter skinned "Cousins"

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    4. I"m guessing you don't think committing genocide on Natives is not a "savage" act perpetrated by "Non-savage" Caucasians.

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    5. Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

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    6. And nearly one-third of Siberian DNA is also from west Eurasia. The connection between Native Americans and west Eurasians occurred about 47 thousand years ago. I discuss this in another post. http://simonsoutherton.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/the-great-dna-surprise.html

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  2. Replies
    1. I am Native American and my mother did a DNA test and when it came back it said that she was most likely Druze. I found out that Druze are from the Israel area which shocked me. How is that possible?

      There are different tribal groups. The different Native languages show that we Natives are different from each other. So we Native Americans are not all the same.There were 100s of nations just in the USA.

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    2. Maybe your mother's mitochondrial DNA goes back to Spanish Jewish blood. There were lots of Jews in Spain at one time. Remember the Spanish Inquisition.

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  3. You never cease to amaze me. Nice format, great blog topic!

    wings

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  4. Simon, I'm curious about your thinking on how dilution arguments, ferried by Ugo Perrego, hold up in light of the findings of neanderthal DNA having entered the human genepool over 40,000YA in small percents. If we can find that, would it not argue against drift & dilution excuses?

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  5. Also, how would you respond to the following argument? "There is lots of DNA commonality between Native Americans and the Middle East. The only kind of DNA not shared by people in the Middle East and Native Americans is MtDNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X2a. Critics are only focusing on a minor difference while ignoring the huge overlap between the groups..."

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  6. Thanks for doing this Simon.

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  7. I finally bought my own copy of your book this year, and I'm looking forward to your blog. Best wishes!

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  8. I am a Mormon and I believe that the location of Mesoamerica is not the correct location. This is the primary reason that the Mesoamerica research has not produced any meaningful results. The Book of Mormon itself states clearly that "other" people from other countries were also led to this land. Most people including most Mormons overlook this small fact. Those who carefully read the book will know that DNA showing an Asian origin means nothing. In my personal opinion, America is the most logical setting for the BOM. MtDNA X2a has been located in the midwest and it is also found in Europe. The Hopewell Indian culture has amazing similarities to the BOM. Sorenson might have published what made sense to him and others but the academic world does not accept the words of Joseph Smith or the BOM itself. JS words and the BOM provide the best clues as to where it happened. But, the academic world will not accept this and so it is dismissed even throughout the church. So I understand the meaning of your presentation. But, if the BOM didnt occur in Mesoamerica, then finding no support for it with DNA comes as no surprise. Good presentation though. Thanks for your work.

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    1. Is there any mention of dinosaurs in your Mormon bible? I would thank religion and racism not to get in the way of science.

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  9. Thank you Simon - this information is very interesting. The DNA issue for Mormonism has peaked my interest in genetics. And what a fascinating field of study this is!
    Awhile back my folks went to Rodney Meldrum's presentation and lapped it up. They bought the DVD and all. Could you please clarify the DNA claim that Mr. Meldrum is making for the Great Lakes region of the US? It could be that the previous poster - Rob - has alluded to it.
    Quite frankly, anyone that suggests the events described in the BOM took place in an isolated area of the Americas has simply has not read or fails to understand the words of the Prophets. I would invite all to review the article "Of Royal Blood" by Spencer W. Kimball published in the July 1971 Ensign. Here are a few snippets that clearly and undeniably clarify who the Lamanites are and where they are proposed to be located:
    “And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea.” – Spencer W. Kimball/Ensign July 1971
    “The term Lamanite includes all Indians and Indian mixtures, such as the Polynesians, the Guatemalans, the Peruvians, as well as the Sioux, the Apache, the Mohawk, the Navajo, and others. It is a large group of great people.” – Spencer W. Kimball /Ensign July 1971
    This is clearly the ‘hemispheric model’ that I was taught as a young person. It is utterly astounding that no traces of DNA from Israel can be found in any of the modern day blood lines or in ancient DNA samples analyzed to date.

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    1. Even in strictly religious terms, the BOM is a joke.

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  10. Thanks for your comment Rob.

    You mentioned that the X2a lineage has been found in the Americas and Europe. The X lineage family is very large and diverse. Lineages in the X family have been found in Europe and the Americas, but they are distantly related. X2a is one branch in the X lineage family and it has only been found in the Americas. Rodney Meldrum has been claiming that the X lineage supports the migration of Middle Eastern people into North America but he is incorrect. There is compelling evidence that Native American X lineages have been in the Americas for just as long as the other 4 lineages (A, B, C & D).

    I am preparing a larger post about the X lineage that may interest you.

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  12. Jesus Smith said...
    "Simon, I'm curious about your thinking on how dilution arguments, ferried by Ugo Perrego, hold up in light of the findings of neanderthal DNA having entered the human genepool over 40,000YA in small percents. If we can find that, would it not argue against drift & dilution excuses?"

    I have a lot of trouble with the disappearing DNA apologetics. It sounds like they are twisting the words in the the Book of Mormon to fit with the science and it flies in the face of decades of prophetic statements about how numerous the Lamanites are today. The Book of Mormon says the Nephites and Lamanites "multiplied exceedingly" until they formed large populations. For their DNA to go extinct it would mean that their populations did the exact opposite.

    The Book of Mormon is filled with prophecies about the preservation of the “seed” of Lehi in the Latter Days. If their DNA has gone extinct what do they make of this prophecy given to Jacob?

    18 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our God: I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the Gentiles; nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore, the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel.
    19 Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God.

    Jacob 10:18-19.

    Apologists making these claims need to talk to the millions of Native American and Polynesian Mormons who know that they are the seed of father Lehi.

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  13. Excellent work, it should not be ignored!

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  14. I found this site because I was looking for Druze and Native American in Google after my mother did a DNA test and it came back she was mostly DRUZE but we are Native Americans.

    My family is trying to figure it out.

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  15. Hi,
    I'm Druze from Israel and I was connected somehow to this research. It only says the facts about our genetic similarities of connection, as you may call it. It does not explain how it possible that distant societies are connected to each other.
    Additionally, a similar connection was found between us and between indigenous folks in far Asia. In both cases, we have no physical connection at all. But...
    As a philosopher hundreds of years ago said: "The science of today is the joke of tomorrow".
    The whole modern scientific explanations barely exist a 100 years. the world exists millions of years. It's arrogant even to claim or think that we know one billionth of it's secrets. In other words, what might appear today as no physical connection, tomorrow might be explain differently, as we evolve further towards the ultimate truth.

    Btw, I knew of Druze from here who visited the indigenous Indians in the States before this research took place and they found much of a common language. I personally sympathize the indigenous Americans a lot, and that is not new and independent of the research.

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  16. you white idiots are too stupid to not know that Caucasian doesn't mean white at all it means bonestructure identity such as negroid ,mongolouid and Caucasoid and the first Caucasian were brown Caucasian and are not white at all not 'European 'at all so quit with the bull sh theorys and mind your own fn business.only in western society the whites categorize Caucasian as being white in passports which is beyond rehabilitating its true origin and meaning.

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  17. mongoloid typo

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  18. West African Olmec....enough said

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  19. All life on earth began at Creation in the middle east and expanded from there with changes in people over time visa vie features, etc. The asian indians either walked on a land bridge, frozen sea, or boated across the straight and began populating the Americas from their entry point in Alaska all the way to the tip of south America. this is indisputable fact. the aging of materials found dates the oldest in Alaska and the most recent at the tip of south America. all peoples that came from asia were immigrants/nomads. all indians born in America are native americans. all people no matter their race who were/are born in America are native americans. the term native American used to describe American indians is inaccurate. the proper term is American indian. all American indians are related. in fact, all humans are related from the creation of Adam. all other arguments are null and void.

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    1. You're wrong! Natives are NOT Indian. Indians originate from India. Also, all Americans are NOT native. Only Natives are native. All others are immigrants to the western hemisphere, whether they came in 1000 AD, 1492, or after.

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  20. Oh, what we may never know regarding history. I compare the telling of history to that of a group of people who just witnessed a car accident. If you ask them individually what they had just witnessed, each person will tell you a slightly different version. Why? Time, place and what the human eye captures at that particular moment play a role. I happen to be of Irish, Austro-German and Cherokee Indian decent. However, I was born and raised in the United States and am proud to be an American. By the way did I mention I also have Japanese cousins and nephews. You can see my point. I think in recent years, because of political correctness, people have placed too much emphasis on diversity and not enough emphasis on reading history. And Native American? Wait a minute, I'm Native American... because I was born and raised in the United States. Allow me to take this a step further. If you are of German/Austrian heritage, French, Italian, etc. your lineage goes back to the Roman Empire (hence the Romance Languages). Regarding American Indian/Eskimo lineage it is very possible, going back thousands of years, your relatives came from the Asia mainland (remember Russia is also on the Asian continent). In reality you are more or less descended from the Chinese Empire which stretched far and wide. Even the Japanese come from the Chinese mainland thanks to human history. If you are of African decent, your lineage is rooted in the Egyptian Empire. Actually, this revelation is something to be embraced not feared or to be offended by. So please stop with the political correctness, or trying to merge history w/diversity or preaching to me about diversity. Especially when I've been to the house of the one-breasted man and bearded lady.

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  22. Dear Simon,
    I think you try to be an objective observer and applaud all who can see this topic as it develops and is confirmed by multiple witnesses. As opposed to deciding the answer up front and then force-fitting the data to support your position. In that spirit, I would like to introduce the latest witness to the scene. Which would apparently refute Simon's opening statement at the top of this blog, which in case you have lost track of it is this:

    "Mormons believe ancient Jews built boats, sailed to the Americas and established large civilizations. In 1998 while serving as a Mormon bishop I encountered scientific research that seriously challenged my religious beliefs and changed my life. DNA science has revealed that essentially all of the ancestors of Native Americans were Asians who entered the New World as early as 15,000 years ago. This blog explores the issues raised by DNA."

    In fairness Simon, 1998 was a long time ago and many new things have emerged since then, but I notice even so, he has not backed away from his original assertion that "essentially all of Native Americans were Asians who entered the New World as early as 15,000 years ago." A new finding recently published in the Journal NATURE would seriously challenge that (pre-mature?) assumption. It is summarized in a National Geographic article linked below:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131120-science-native-american-people-migration-siberia-genetics/

    The National Geographic article is titled: "Great Surprise"—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins -- Oldest human genome reveals less of an East Asian ancestry than thought. Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome."

    That is a direct lift from the article. Nearly one-third of Native American genes linked to the Middle East. Hmmmmm, how it is that Joseph Smith keeps getting so lucky? Is it just a huge coincidence that the three tribes he visited when the Lord told him to "Go unto the Lamanites" just happen to to be the three tribes with the highest concentration of X2 Haplotype? How did he know that? Just lucky I guess.

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  23. Hi FinePix2009,

    I am well aware of the paper you mention and have addressed it in another article I recently published on my blog.

    http://simonsoutherton.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/response-to-president-newsroom.html

    Here is the relevant section.

    LDS.org
    At the present time, scientific consensus holds that the vast majority of Native Americans belong to sub-branches of the Y-chromosome haplogroups C and Q and the mitochondrial DNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X, all of which are predominantly East Asian. But the picture is not entirely clear. Continuing studies provide new insights, and some challenge previous conclusions. For example, a 2013 study states that as much as one-third of Native American DNA originated anciently in Europe or West Asia and was likely introduced into the gene pool before the earliest migration to the Americas. This study paints a more complex picture than is suggested by the prevailing opinion that all Native American DNA is essentially East Asian.

    Southerton
    This is a very confusing paragraph. The authors jump from talking about Native American mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA (~100% Asian origin) to a 2013 study on autosomal DNA of a 24,000-year-old Siberian who shared one-third of his autosomal DNA mutations with European or West Asian populations. Many readers could easily conclude that the earlier mitochondrial and Y-chromosome studies were faulty. But they would be wrong.

    DNA mutations that define Native American mitochondrial and Y-lineages arose AFTER their ancestors separated from their Asian neighbours about 18,000 years ago. They are mostly new mutations that occurred in the New World. The Siberian study is about mutations that arose BEFORE 24,000 years ago. They are earlier mutations that occurred during the 10s of thousands of years that humans spent migrating across Eurasia before reaching Siberia.

    It's like looking at a 1975 Ford and declaring it is a Hyundai because it has 4 wheels. Yes, Native American autosomal DNA carries vast numbers of mutations; some arose 5,000, 20,000 or even 50,000 years ago. The ones that arose 50,000 years ago, when their ancestors were in Eurasia, are shared by numerous populations spread over vast areas because humans have migrated over vast areas of the globe. The ones that arose 5,000 or 15,000 years ago have a more restricted distribution, exclusively in the Americas. But these are the most informative mutations for ancestry studies.

    The 2013 study is not relevant to the conclusions derived from mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA.

    Also, I hate to be picky but Native American DNA is essentially Siberian, not East Asian. East Asia includes the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans who are not direct ancestors of Native Americans.

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  24. @ Simon Southerton, you are partially right about the haplogroups that you mentioned; However they are not the predominate groups found throughout East/Northeastern part of North America. Not even in South America, which has a proven Polynesian origin, even though polynesia is an interesting case itself. You are right about Eurasians crossing over Asia and into Siberia over the course of several thousands of years. But when they were doing that, different groups from within AND around Eurasia explored northwards and westwards across the prime meridian. 20,000 years ago glaciers were still in much of the northern U.S. and that means that there would've been a lot of seals and fish along the edge of the glaciers. It's a known fact nowadays that around 23 to 25,000 years ago boats were sailing across the Atlantic and riding along the shores of the glaciers because that's where many seals would make there homes. There are a couple sites around Maine that are being debated because dates are showing them to be around 24 thousand years old and one somewhere in Canada or Greenland that's almost 40,000 years old. It's possible that the makeup of the rock is throwing off the measurement techniques. Over the hundreds of thousands of years of groups of people doing this, the human body IS going to biologically adapt to the conditions that are outside of the body. Which, in theory, can lead to the changing or diverging of a singular haplotype. It can be the same regarding a few haplotypes within a somewhat isolated population. As to how isolated they were, its hard to say since voyages could last almost a couple years. The reason for these biological changes is because of at least a couple of different things regardless of 15,000 years or 30,000 years. Different latitude combined with different plants, or a lack thereof, animal diversity, elevation, weather, and most importantly natural resources. These are what affects the timing of adaptability. The more extreme the environment is compared to where the people came from, the more change in the body will happen.

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  25. So in otherwords, you can't just go by a narrow avenue of approach because "life and nature" doesn't operate like that.

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  26. Being Caucasian doesn't mean white skin, but rather facial structure. A Causasian can have dark to light skin. As Asians can have dark or light skin same with black. People of the Middle East AKA West Asians are Caucasians/ West Asians. Hence the word "Asian" in Caucasian. It is strongly believe that whole Caucasian race comes from the Middle East, which if you seen the people from the Middle East you can see the whole entire race of Caucasian. Also all the Indo-European languages come from the Middle East. The only reasons Europeans are called Europeans is because their from continent of Europe. Caucasians can have monolid. As East Asians can have double. All Asians are one and the same people who have spread out all over Asia. Remember guys, there was a time when all lands on this Earth was one. The Native Americans are Asian just look at some of the Nomads from Central Asia, same people. EVERYONE on the Earth is connected. When you view it that way. Racism is really stupid.

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  27. Native Americans are certainly not Chinese , yes they are a Canaan ite race , they say Mongoloid , there are different races among Hamitic people. Even if you look at pure aboriginal people ,they have a distinct look from Chinese , but I have heard chinese were in the Americas as well before time of Columbus , I grew up with aboriginal people and generally they have their own distinct feature , some look Asian , remember chinese also came to north America to build railways so who is to know if some mixed with the aboriginal people. For me I can tell the difference . And I am talking abiut aboriginals that look unmixed and with black hair.

    Also weren't vikings in North America?


    Also dravidians are the original Phoenician and Sumerians , they are canaanites with dark skin and straight hair

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  28. Also it is very easy to figure out that same type type of people could have migrated and settled in different areas for example the indo aryan scythians . Anyways I can tell the difference between chinese and native Americans

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  29. The Aboriginals are a Canaanite people probable origin is Syria not asia . What makes you guys think they came from China . When Spanish went to South America and to Mexico how theygot there by ship or by land? You are saying natives came from siberia how come many aboriginal people look unmixed with white
    abd dont look chinese?

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  30. Semitic people are semitic not caucasian .

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  31. http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000to8sPELeQ.g/s/850/850/20120116-israel-6630.jpg
    beduoin of Jordan
    http://www.floraine.org/jordan/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/IMG_7094R-300x200.jpg arabs of Jordan
    http://www.asianews.it/files/img/bedouin.jpg arabs of jordan

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