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  1. Link to Post #361
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    Default Re: Racism

    There are some fundamental differences in the human family that may come from the melding of differential populations, long ago. It wasn't just Neanderthals, it was also Denisovan and others. There are benefits that have come from that admixture, but also a realization that humanity is one family, and there has never been a pure race of any type, anywhere. We've been mixing blood and genes forever. That realization alone should release some people from any feelings of superiority or inferiority they may harbor.

    ANCIENT SEX BETWEEN DIFFERENT HUMAN SPECIES INFLUENCES MODERN-DAY HEALTH

    It's just as well we Homo sapiens got some Neanderthal and Denisovan genes into our DNA.

    When Homo sapiens left Africa and encountered the Homo neanderthalensis in Europe, the two ancient hominins did the obvious thing and had sex with one another, exchanging life-saving genetic adaptions. That genetic exchange allowed human-hybrid children to skip the thousands of years of natural selection Neanderthals experienced in Europe, and inherit virus-fighting and life-saving genes fast.

    This genetic boon occurred some 100,000 years ago, but Neanderthal genes — along with the genes from another species of ancient human, the Denisovans — continue to influence our health today.

    Now, scientists say this influence may be more expansive than they previously thought. In fact, ancient humans’ genetic exchange could be one of the major causes of adaptive evolution in humans, according to a new study.

    Using new computational methods, scientists determine that the gene flow between archaic humans affects modern-day human metabolism, our response to different types of pathogens, and a scattering of neuronal traits. The findings were published on Tuesday in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

    Study authors Alexandre Gouy and Laurent Excoffier first analyzed “archaic introgression maps” for 35 Melanesian individuals. Introgression maps, Gouy tells Inverse, tell you which blocks in your genome are likely to be of archaic ancestry. They’re traced by comparing the genomes of ancient hominins — obtained from Neanderthal and Denisovan fossils — and modern humans using statistical tools.

    Basically, you can “see a genome as a mosaic of blocks inherited from your ancestors,” he says. As ancient hominins interbred with modern humans, some of these blocks along the genome can be traced back to Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors.


    The researchers then looked at introgression maps across participants in the 1,000 Genomes Project. For the purposes of the study, the researchers focused on those of people from East Asia, Europe, and Papua New Guinea.

    WHAT DID HUMANS INHERIT?

    Their analysis of patterns of introgression, along with data sets of connected genes and subnetworks, yielded complex and fascinating findings.

    It’s previously been shown that the Denisovan gene EPAS1 likely helps Tibetans live in high-altitude places, and that some Neanderthal variants are associated with behavioral traits, including mood disorders and an inclination towards cigarettes.



    The new study found that, in European populations, Neanderthal genes are also linked to metabolism, iron- and oxygen-binding in red blood cells and muscles, as well as olfactory receptors. Among East Asians and Europeans, ancient introgression is associated with a GABA transporter and a neurotransmitter transporter, the study suggests. In Papuans, genes showing “a significant excess of introgression” associated to autism susceptibility and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were found.

    Especially intriguing was the finding the presence of introgressed mutations in Papua New Guineans that are potentially linked to resilience to malaria, Guoy says. These mutations are linked to Denisovan ancestry.

    NOT ALL INHERITANCE IS THE SAME

    Importantly, just because one has Densivoan or Neanderthal DNA in their genome that doesn’t mean that inheritance is going to show up in their genes in the same way. Each human population has a specific history, and ancient hominins interbred with modern humans at different times and in different places.

    “That is why introgressed genes are sometimes specific to a population,” Gouy says. “Different people can carry the same amount of Neanderthal DNA, but it can be found in different places of their genome.”



    For example: The region of the genome that may be involved in resistance to malaria among Papua New Guineans is inherited from Denisovans. These mutations are almost always found in Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians — which is why they aren’t present across the global population.

    It’s also not as simple as saying because a person with Neanderthal DNA has ADHD, then Neanderthals had ADHD. While this study points out that Denisovan and Neanderthal-inherited genes are related to health and behavior, “it remains very difficult to quantify precisely the effect of those mutations,” Guoy says.

    “What we can say so far is that some introgressed mutations have been associated to neurological processes,” he says. “We cannot know yet precisely how it will affect the health or behavior of an individual, based on genomic data only.”

    A DIFFERENT WAY OF EXAMINING GENE INTERACTIONS


    The study is based on two novel approaches, Guoy says. One allows researchers to find networks of genes showing an excess of introgression in particular populations, and the one to other tests whether specific mutations in certain genes tend to be found together in modern individuals. That clumping is known as when genes are “co-introgressed.”

    These techniques allowed them to gain new insights by examining the data from a network-interaction perspective. Gouy says that they can see their approach as complementing more traditional methods that focus on single genes, this simply allows them to take a different perspective on the same data.

    “I personally find it fascinating to see that interbreeding with other human lineages shaped human adaptations,” Gouy says. “As we were developing approaches to understanding modern human adaptations by looking at gene interactions, we realized that such interactions for Neanderthal and Denisova-inherited mutations had been overlooked.”

    The results from genomic studies need to be interpreted with caution, Gouy says. Behavior results from a complex interaction of genes and the environment — and it’s difficult to assess the full impact genes have.

    But it is obvious that the interaction between genes affects us in some way, and historically our archaic mutations have been overlooked. These played a role in human evolution and health, and more research is needed to know the full extent.

    Quote Abstract:
    Anatomically modern humans carry many introgressed variants from other hominins in their genomes. Some of them affect their phenotype and can thus be negatively or positively selected. Several individual genes have been proposed to be the subject of adaptive introgression, but the possibility of polygenic adaptive introgression has not been extensively investigated yet. In this study, we analyze archaic introgression maps with refined functional enrichment methods to find signals of polygenic adaptation of introgressed variants. We first apply a method to detect sets of connected genes (subnetworks) within biological pathways that present higher-than-expected levels of archaic introgression. We then introduce and apply a new statistical test to distinguish between epistatic and independent selection in gene sets of present-day humans. We identify several known targets of adaptive introgression, and we show that they belong to larger networks of introgressed genes. After correction for genetic linkage, we find that signals of polygenic adaptation are mostly explained by independent and potentially sequential selection episodes. However, we also find some gene sets where introgressed variants present significant signals of epistatic selection. Our results confirm that archaic introgression has facilitated local adaption, especially in immunity related and metabolic functions and highlight its involvement in a coordinated response to pathogens out of Africa.

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  3. Link to Post #362
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    Default Re: Racism

    This is where it gets really interesting. I read some years ago an apocrophal tale about J.R.R. Tolkien. The story was, that he had been granted access to Oxford's oldest records, which, apparently, was not something often done. I recall the tale as stating that he spent years down in subterranean vaults/basement areas, researching. Considering the many Ages of humanity spanning the threshold of time, back in these days, the world did indeed look like a chapter out of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Different types of humans roaming the landscape, warring, loving, living.

    Is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and associated books really a true history of some lost pre-historic time period?

    Has anybody else ever heard this story or read of it? If so, please leave a link, or expand upon the tale.

    And we are their descendants, mixed up, mixed together to become something new. Still evolving, still mixing, still changing, still growing in multiple dimensional modalities. Somewhere within this history, there is a mystery.

    Homo heidelbergensis: The Answer to a Mysterious Period in Human History?


    Cranium 5, a skull found at Sima de los Huesos and thought to be either a late Homo heidelbergensis or an early Neanderthal. (Credit: Rept0n1x/Wikimedia Commons)

    There’s a murky chapter in human evolution, one that occurs right before our species entered the scene.

    Over 1 million years ago our ancestors belonged to the primitive-looking species Homo erectus. Jump to 300,000 years ago and Earth is home to at least three lineages of big-brained humans: Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. So what happened in the intervening 700,000 years?

    There’s a wealth of research on H. erectus as well as modern humans and our cousins, Neanderthals and Denisovans. Much less is known about our Middle Pleistocene predecessors. Since the first specimen from the time span was reported in 1908 — a 610,000-year-old jawbone classified as Homo heidelbergensis — researchers have found Mid-Pleistocene fossils across Europe, Asia and Africa.

    These little-understood hominins increased in brain size, spread to new lands and hunted challenging game with finely crafted weapons. One of these lineages led to modern humans. But the details of their lives and evolutionary relationships are still slim.

    Now, thanks to ancient DNA analyses, our Mid-Pleistocene family tree is becoming clearer. But other questions remain. Above all: Were these ancestors modern enough that we would consider them human?

    Between H. erectus and H. sapiens

    Most anthropologists agree that if you traced your ancestry back about 1 million years, you’d find a population of Homo erectus. From the neck down, the creatures resembled present-day people: They had modern stature and body proportions, distinguished by relatively long legs and short arms. But no H. erectus would be mistaken for a H. sapiens. With hulking brows and flatter skulls, the species had brains about two-thirds our size: The average volume of 30 well-preserved H. erectus skulls was 950 cm3, compared to 1350 cm3 for recent humans.

    Fast-forward to 300,000 years ago and the H. erectus lineage gave rise to at least three varieties of humans: European-based Neanderthals, Denisovans in Asia and the ancestors of all living people, Homo sapiens in Africa.

    The intervening span is what anthropologists call “the muddle in the middle”. The time period is characterized by poorly understood fossils, book-ended by better-studied H. erectus and modern humans.



    Between H. erectus and H. sapiens, intermediate species existed, variably named Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis or Homo antecessor, depending on a researcher’s views. Many anthropologists just call the whole bunch Middle Pleistocene hominins, after the geologic time period 130,000 to 780,000 years ago.

    One spectacular site, Sima de los Huesos in Spain, has yielded the most Mid-Pleistocene hominin remains. Excavations there since the 1980s have unearthed more than 7,000 fossils representing at least 28 individuals dated to 430,000 years ago.

    But other, similar-looking Mid-Pleistocene hominins have been found across Europe, Asia and Africa. They appear somewhat primitive, thanks to robust faces and brows, but have skull volumes around 1230 cm2, intermediate between H. erectus and later human averages. These ancient humans had evolved from H. erectus, but they had not yet become Neanderthals, Denisovans or H. sapiens.

    Our direct ancestors were among these bigger-brained hominins spread across the Old World. But anthropologists disagree about which specimens to include in this illustrious lineage, and what to call them.

    Evolutionary Possibilities

    One view is all big-brained Mid-Pleistocene hominins — from Africa, Europe and Asia — belong to a single species, usually called Homo heidelbergensis (here, here). The lineage descended from Homo erectus and led to later humans. In this scenario, Homo heidelbergensis was the shared ancestor of Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    Others contend that Mid-Pleistocene specimens show too much variation to be lumped into a single species. This implies the global pool of H. heidelbergensis-looking hominins had already formed distinct lineages. Proponents of this hypothesis often draw the division between African and Eurasian fossils. They use Homo heidelbergensis for Eurasian fossils leading to Neanderthals and Denisovans, and Homo rhodesiensis for Mid-Pleistocene African hominins likely on the lineage leading to modern humans. The shared ancestor gets pushed to earlier specimens, such as ~800,000-year-old remains from Spain sometimes called Homo antecessor.

    But population territories were probably more complicated than simple continental borders. Groups expanded, contracted and migrated as environments changed. They overlapped and interbred. The result was that, even if there were multiple species of Mid-Pleistocene humans, they likely intermingled with each other, both geographically and sexually.

    Tidying Up the Muddle

    Recent paleogenomics work has imposed some order on the muddle. By comparing DNA differences between lineages, researchers have estimated the timing of the evolutionary splits between modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans, which took place during the Mid-Pleistocene. Using this molecular clock dating approach, a 2017 Science paper reported that Homo sapiens diverged from the others around 520,000 to 630,000 years ago, and then the sister species Neanderthals and Denisovans split 390,000 to 440,000 years ago.

    That timeline agrees with a 2016 genomic analysis of the ~430,000 year old Sima fossils — the oldest human ancient DNA yet recovered. The sequences suggest the individuals belonged to the Neanderthal lineage after it split from Denisovans. It’s safe to classify the Sima hominins as Neanderthal ancestors.

    But getting human DNA this old was a near miracle. The molecules survived because the cave keeps a cool 50 degrees Fahrenheit; they were recovered because researchers put in extraordinary effort. The scientists salvaged just 0.1 percent of the Sima genome from one bone and tooth.

    Ancient DNA won’t be found in most Mid-Pleistocene fossils, especially those from hot, tropical climates, harsh on biomolecules. Still, the dates we do have — divergences between H. sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans — provide a strong foundation for making sense of the muddle in the middle.

    Becoming Human

    Other questions about our ancestors can’t be answered by DNA. Regardless of which population(s) directly led to H. sapiens, Mid-Pleistocene hominins across the globe increased in brain size, which seems to have enabled more advanced behaviors. Compared to earlier H. erectus, stone tools made by Mid-Pleistocene hominins were more sophisticated — thinner and more symmetrical. They also hunted larger, more challenging prey including herds of elephants, horses and rhino. Killing these animals requires planning, experience and cooperation.

    Perhaps these ancestors were more human than not.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 10th February 2020 at 18:02. Reason: bold a word

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    Default Re: Racism

    Saw a documentary on an over the air broadcast, Corp.For Public Broadcasting-not PBS. The narrator and the gist of the doc was the core of all interconnected, but by mainstream politics and media not connected, health and employment as the result of racism.

    The doc showed overlapping maps showing racial concentrations, economic opportunities availability, educational expenditures, longevity, etc. and correlated the obvious racial exclusionary history of the areas of Chicago. Again, those who do not include everyone and then allocate to serve the present needs of all communities are blatantly racist.

    The author also showed the needless expenditures of a community upon disaster preparedness and showing one drill, spending up $250,000, using abandoned tenements to stage the waste of monies, showing how F***ing ignorant those preparing and funding the drills really are. Yes, they don't get it. Those funds belong to the entire community, not just those who dwell in fear and prejudice.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Lighter eyes, a trait commonly associated with Europe, did not necessarily evolve there. The evidence suggests that darker hued populations originated this innovation for reasons unknown, perhaps as a random mutation, although the environmental conditions of Europe probably allowed for its success and wildfire-like selection and distribution throughout the population in successive generations.

    Genetic analysis reveals blue eyes evolved before light skin



    Skeletal remains from a 7,000 year old Spaniard have been genetically sequenced and suggests that the evolutionary onset of light-colored eyes predates light skin. The results also gave clues to what his diet might have been like. The lead author on the paper was Ińigo Olalde of Barcelona’s Institut de Biologia Evolutiva and it was published in Nature.

    The remains were discovered in northwestern Spain at the La Brańa-Arintero site. The skeleton belonged to a man from the Mesolithic Period who has been dubbed La Brańa 1. One of his teeth yielded enough DNA to complete a genetic analysis. The results gave important clues about the evolution of appearance and diet in the region.

    Though the height and approximate age at time of death were not released, the researchers were able to determine that La Brańa 1 did not look quite how they expected. His dark hair and dark skin were not unusual, but he likely had light eyes which was very unusual for this time period. The exact shade of his eyes could not be determined, but it was clear to the researchers that they were not brown. This could very well mean that light eyes made their evolutionary debut before light skin.

    Fresh baked bread, rice, and cheese are dietary staples in Spain today, though this was not always the case. According to the analysis, he only had a few copies of the genes responsible for breaking down starch. This indicates that the diet was limited in grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Though wheat and other grains were already domesticated by this point, they were not common in Europe at this juncture. Once agriculture became more commonplace, it is likely that those who had more copies of genes allowing them to digest starch had an advantage, as they were able to consume this easily obtained food.

    La Brańa 1’s genome also shows that he was lactose intolerant, meaning he did not consume dairy products. While lactose intolerance is seen as an anomaly in some regions, it is globally and historically the norm. Many people produce the enzyme lactase early in life when they depend on breast milk, but that function decreases over time. Many people are able to produce lactase throughout their entire lives and eat dairy without a problem, but this lactose persistence is actually much more rare.

    Another male skeleton, named La Brańa 2, was also discovered by the team in 2006. Unfortunately, the DNA was not as well preserved in this second individual, which is making it difficult for the researchers to sequence. They are currently working to restore the genome and provide more information about what the earliest Europeans looked like during the Mesolithic Period.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Continuation upon the theme in the previous post today, genetics for blue eyes have been traced to a single ancestor approximately 8,000 years ago. The coalescence of ethnicity and what we now call racial groups, from previously existing brown and black melanated populations.

    One Common Ancestor Behind Blue Eyes



    By Jeanna Bryner - Live Science Editor-in-Chief

    People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research.

    A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Before then, there were no blue eyes.

    "Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.

    The mutation affected the so-called OCA2 gene, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin.

    "A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes," Eiberg said.

    The genetic switch is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 and rather than completely turning off the gene, the switch limits its action, which reduces the production of melanin in the iris. In effect, the turned-down switch diluted brown eyes to blue.

    If the OCA2 gene had been completely shut down, our hair, eyes and skin would be melanin-less, a condition known as albinism.

    "It's exactly what I sort of expected to see from what we know about selection around this area," said John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, referring to the study results regarding the OCA2 gene. Hawks was not involved in the current study.

    Baby blues

    Eiberg and his team examined DNA from mitochondria, the cells' energy-making structures, of blue-eyed individuals in countries including Jordan, Denmark and Turkey. This genetic material comes from females, so it can trace maternal lineages.

    They specifically looked at sequences of DNA on the OCA2 gene and the genetic mutation associated with turning down melanin production.

    Over the course of several generations, segments of ancestral DNA get shuffled so that individuals have varying sequences. Some of these segments, however, that haven't been reshuffled are called haplotypes. If a group of individuals shares long haplotypes, that means the sequence arose relatively recently in our human ancestors. The DNA sequence didn't have enough time to get mixed up.

    "What they were able to show is that the people who have blue eyes in Denmark, as far as Jordan, these people all have this same haplotype, they all have exactly the same gene changes that are all linked to this one mutation that makes eyes blue," Hawks said in a telephone interview.

    Melanin switch


    The mutation is what regulates the OCA2 switch for melanin production. And depending on the amount of melanin in the iris, a person can end up with eye color ranging from brown to green. Brown-eyed individuals have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production. But they found that blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes.

    "Out of 800 persons we have only found one person which didn't fit — but his eye color was blue with a single brown spot," Eiberg told LiveScience, referring to the finding that blue-eyed individuals all had the same sequence of DNA linked with melanin production.

    "From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," Eiberg said. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA." Eiberg and his colleagues detailed their study in the Jan. 3 online edition of the journal Human Genetics.

    That genetic switch somehow spread throughout Europe and now other parts of the world.

    "The question really is, 'Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?" Hawks said. "This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids."

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    The doc showed overlapping maps showing racial concentrations, economic opportunities availability, educational expenditures, longevity, etc. and correlated the obvious racial exclusionary history of the areas of Chicago. Again, those who do not include everyone and then allocate to serve the present needs of all communities are blatantly racist.
    Fear and hate will not provide the human family with a viable path into the future. This is a time when we must work together to overcome some pretty hefty issues, from broken governments and ancient political conspiracies to elite excesses and the equitable distribution of planetary resources. The competitive "winning" attitudes and perspectives that drive our economics based upon endless and bottomless consumptive greed, have driven us, no matter the origin of these emotional and spiritual causative factors, to the brink of .. something. We have a choice. Wall ourselves off from the rest of humanity, or work together. Is it every man, woman and tribe for themselves? Will that way of thinking provide us with a viable path forward?

    Quote Posted by Hym (here)
    The author also showed the needless expenditures of a community upon disaster preparedness and showing one drill, spending up $250,000, using abandoned tenements to stage the waste of monies, showing how F***ing ignorant those preparing and funding the drills really are. Yes, they don't get it. Those funds belong to the entire community, not just those who dwell in fear and prejudice.
    And this is the crux of the issue. Those who complain the most, hold the most wealth, want to separate themselves the most, exist by parasitical means feeding off of other sectors of the population. Be it through corporate welfare, government contracts or just plain ol' capitalist exploitation of labor, their wealth is derived from those they profess to hate. Their fear and prejudice, perhaps, in some part comes from that sub-conscious realization as well as the knowing that what goes around in some way, shape or form, does indeed come back round again, like an old friend, faithful to the end.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Rahkyt.

    What do you think is the real possibility that perhaps the assumption that all humans evolved on earth is mistaken?

    Could it not also be that there are races from other worlds that have blue eyes and white skin?

    I heard somewhere that the black skin races are the indigenous race, while the others are from other worlds.

    Do you think there is any truth to this?

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    What do you think is the real possibility that perhaps the assumption that all humans evolved on earth is mistaken?
    I am familiar with the stories of Aldebaran and all of the other tales of the New Age regarding extraterrestrial origin. I think there is a real possibility that colonies of humanoids from other star systems have inhabited earth and merged DNA with the indigenous hominids and also later homo sapien and that those genetic strains have become a part of us.

    I would like to see genetic evidence of such. Of the existence of DNA strands that were not present in the human family prior to the influx of extraterrestrial DNA. If humanoids from other planetary systems, like the Anunnaki, came here and were able to genetically manipulate a form of hybrid to create the human family, the evidence of that should be available genetically.

    The evidence might be in the realm of that "mysterious" time frame in evolutionary history, perhaps, between the Australopithecus and the Homo families, where the jump in cognition occurred about 2 million years ago. Or, it could have happened later, between the disparate Homo species and the differentiation to Homo sapien about 2-400,000 years ago, at which point the mental capacity seemed to expand dramatically.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Could it not also be that there are races from other worlds that have blue eyes and white skin?
    Could it not also be that there are races from other worlds that have brown eyes and black skin? Or purple skin? Or green skin?

    In an infinite creation, there are infinite possibilities, Ernie. White skin is not special.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    I heard somewhere that the black skin races are the indigenous race, while the others are from other worlds.
    And I have heard somewhere that the hair type and epidermis of "black skinned" populations are unique in the world, and that the hair of whites and Asians is more like the great apes than the "black skinned" "sub-Saharan" African population, which differentiates them from those sub-human entities and perhaps makes them closer relatives to those apes than the members of those "black skinned" races. The skin color of the great apes is also white. Your thoughts?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Do you think there is any truth to this?
    In an infinite multiverse, there are infinite variations. I do not discount anything except the reality of race as a defining distinction of the human family.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 12th February 2020 at 18:53.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Could it not also be that there are races from other worlds that have brown eyes and black skin? Or purple skin? Or green skin?

    In an infinite creation, there are infinite possibilities, Ernie. White skin is not special.
    Quote And I have heard somewhere that the hair type and epidermis of "black skinned" populations are unique in the world, and that the hair of whites and Asians is more like the great apes than the "black skinned" "sub-Saharan" African population, which differentiates them from those sub-human entities and perhaps makes them closer relatives to those apes than the members of those "black skinned" races. The skin color of the great apes is also white. Your thoughts?
    Okay.

    My thoughts are that when I heard the idea that white skin is a mutation I started thinking of other ways such a trait could be explained without resorting to calling it a mutated version of the original. It seems to me that either conclusions should not be reached until we have more data or we have to consider the real possibility that there are other worlds and other humanoids indigenous to each.

    Somehow melanin-deficiency seems ...uh... racist.

    Oh now I get it. Sometimes I'm a bit slow. Not good at such word-play.

    Turned the table on me. Nice one.

    Point taken.

    sorry

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Rahkyt.

    What do you think is the real possibility that perhaps the assumption that all humans evolved on earth is mistaken?

    Could it not also be that there are races from other worlds that have blue eyes and white skin?

    I heard somewhere that the black skin races are the indigenous race, while the others are from other worlds.

    Do you think there is any truth to this?

    Apologies to Mark/Rakhyt for interjection. Apologies to myself for discussing our starry origin as I’m aware of without being able to “prove it” in lab.

    I’m not “new age” and our origin is not “new age”, it’s not only ancient - in your terms - it’s perhaps, older than this piece of Universe.

    I can’t care less now about not being able to “prove it” since I’ve got lots of beatings, threats and my tools were taken away and I’m happy to have survived.

    But back to our origin ...please 🙏 do not attack.
    My Bodhgaya ET Event Report is out there, not threatening anyone. I’m not “CG”.
    I do fear you humans a lot , for being who you prefer to be.

    We all are translucent plasma bodies in origin. That’s “softer than unboiled egg”. There’s no “DNA” floating in our plasma bodies since DNA is coagulated fragments of information net condensed to this gravity and atmospheric pressure.

    If you break an egg and what you call “white” is actually transparent and translucent.
    It has no colour at all.

    Your plasma body likewise, has no colour unless it increases its core activity and temperature. Presence of protective isotopes contributes for any sort of “eye colour” as a result.

    Of course if you boil an egg, you may classify it as “white” and “yolk”.

    If you burry it to Earth the way Chinese cuisine does it becomes famously “black egg”. If you boil your Easter eggs in black tea or onion peels it turns the whites almost “mahogany”.

    How nice to have so many colours ?

    Notice that unboiled eggs can’t survive here on their own, once cooked their life expectancy is short.
    Black eggs can allegedly survive bit longer.


    Perhaps ..

    if all the broken fragmented information/mind/dna within us start working together can it return a piece of it self to the original yolk ?

    Scientifically impossible from eggs perspective but there’s so much we do t know about life beyond DNA, yet.


    Wish you all happy colors to your Sunrise


    🧩🌈🌸🌟

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    My thoughts are that when I heard the idea that white skin is a mutation I started thinking of other ways such a trait could be explained without resorting to calling it a mutated version of the original. It seems to me that either conclusions should not be reached until we have more data or we have to consider the real possibility that there are other worlds and other humanoids indigenous to each.
    The scientists are drawing conclusions, based upon the genetics, about when certain mutations came into existence. What conclusions about the point in our DNA timeline that these changes happened is up for debate?

    There is another article that I read somewhere about how this particular change is just one indicator for skin color and there are others. I'll find that and post it next, it will validate your point.

    I am not "against" extraterrestrial origin for anyone, how could I be? I'm a member of Project Avalon and a long-standing explorer of Creation and the potentialities of consciousness.

    I think there is something "more" to this insistence, in the New Age, that whites are not from this planet, though.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Somehow melanin-deficiency seems ...uh... racist.

    Oh now I get it. Sometimes I'm a bit slow. Not good at such word-play.

    Turned the table on me. Nice one.

    Point taken.

    sorry
    Absolutely no need to apologize. I don't take it personally as it is a pervasive phenomenon and it is not about you or I, individually. It is about assumptions and about an inordinate concentration upon a particular way of being that, by its nature, is exclusive and invalidates all other perspectives. So I do not see it as personal or exclusive to you, or any other individual either. it is systemic.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Ernie, a quote relevant to our conversation about light skin and, strangely enough, also my example from yesterday:

    Quote Researchers agree that our early australopithecine ancestors in Africa probably had light skin beneath hairy pelts. “If you shave a chimpanzee, its skin is light,” says evolutionary geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, the lead author of the new study. “If you have body hair, you don’t need dark skin to protect you from ultraviolet [UV] radiation.”
    There is always "more" research to be done. And more information to synthesize and add to pre-existing knowledge. I would be very excited to hear that extraterrestrial strands of DNA, coming from exo-planets circling other stars, have been discovered in the human genome and, who knows, that may happen. I hope it will, because I also don't believe the human family is unique to Terra. We may have to get to those planets and sample the DNA of the life there before it happens, though, but when it does, I will celebrate the findings with you and Agape. Until then, for me, Occam's Razor applies.


    Researchers have identified genes that help create diverse skin tones, such as those seen in the Agaw (left) and Surma (right) peoples of Africa.

    New gene variants reveal the evolution of human skin color
    By Ann Gibbons

    Most people associate Africans with dark skin. But different groups of people in Africa have almost every skin color on the planet, from deepest black in the Dinka of South Sudan to beige in the San of South Africa. Now, researchers have discovered a handful of new gene variants responsible for this palette of tones.

    The study, published online this week in Science, traces the evolution of these genes and how they traveled around the world. While the dark skin of some Pacific Islanders can be traced to Africa, gene variants from Eurasia also seem to have made their way back to Africa. And surprisingly, some of the mutations responsible for lighter skin in Europeans turn out to have an ancient African origin.

    “This is really a landmark study of skin color diversity,” says geneticist Greg Barsh of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.

    Researchers agree that our early australopithecine ancestors in Africa probably had light skin beneath hairy pelts. “If you shave a chimpanzee, its skin is light,” says evolutionary geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, the lead author of the new study. “If you have body hair, you don’t need dark skin to protect you from ultraviolet [UV] radiation.”

    Until recently, researchers assumed that after human ancestors shed most body hair, sometime before 2 million years ago, they quickly evolved dark skin for protection from skin cancer and other harmful effects of UV radiation. Then, when humans migrated out of Africa and headed to the far north, they evolved lighter skin as an adaptation to limited sunlight. (Pale skin synthesizes more vitamin D when light is scarce.)

    Previous research on skin-color genes fit that picture. For example, a “depigmentation gene” called SLC24A5 linked to pale skin swept through European populations in the past 6000 years. But Tishkoff ’s team found that the story of skin color evolution isn’t so black and white. Her team, including African researchers, used a light meter to measure skin reflectance in 2092 people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana. They found the darkest skin in the Nilo-Saharan pastoralist populations of eastern Africa, such as the Mursi and Surma, and the lightest skin in the San of southern Africa, as well as many shades in between, as in the Agaw people of Ethiopia.

    At the same time, they collected blood samples for genetic studies. They sequenced more than 4 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—places where a single letter of the genetic code varies across the genomes of 1570 of these Africans. They found four key areas of the genome where specific SNPs correlate with skin color.

    The first surprise was that SLC24A5, which swept Europe, is also common in East Africa—found in as many as half the members of some Ethiopian groups. This variant arose 30,000 years ago and was probably brought to eastern Africa by people migrating from the Middle East, Tishkoff says. But though many East Africans have this gene, they don’t have white skin, probably because it is just one of several genes that shape their skin color.

    The team also found variants of two neighboring genes, HERC2 and OCA2, which are associated with light skin, eyes, and hair in Europeans but arose in Africa; these variants are ancient and common in the light-skinned San people. The team proposes that the variants arose in Africa as early as 1 million years ago and spread later to Europeans and Asians. “Many of the gene variants that cause light skin in Europe have origins in Africa,” Tishkoff says.

    The most dramatic discovery concerned a gene known as MFSD12. Two mutations that decrease expression of this gene were found in high frequencies in people with the darkest skin. These variants arose about a half-million years ago, suggesting that human ancestors before that time may have had moderately dark skin, rather than the deep black hue created today by these mutations.

    These same two variants are found in Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, and some Indians. These people may have inherited the variants from ancient migrants from Africa who followed a “southern route” out of East Africa, along the southern coast of India to Melanesia and Australia, Tishkoff says. That idea, however, counters three genetic studies that concluded last year that Australians, Melanesians, and Eurasians all descend from a single migration out of Africa. Alternatively, this great migration may have included people carrying variants for both light and dark skin, but the dark variants later were lost in Eurasians.

    To understand how the MFSD12 mutations help make darker skin, the researchers reduced expression of the gene in cultured cells, mimicking the action of the variants in dark-skinned people. The cells produced more eumelanin, the pigment responsible for black and brown skin, hair, and eyes. The mutations may also change skin color by blocking yellow pigments: When the researchers knocked out MFSD12 in zebrafish and mice, red and yellow pigments were lost, and the mice’s light brown coats turned gray. “This new mechanism for producing intensely dark pigmentation is really the big story,” says Nina Jablonski, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

    The study adds to established research undercutting old notions of race. You can’t use skin color to classify humans, any more than you can use other complex traits like height, Tishkoff says. “There is so much diversity in Africans that there is no such thing as an African race.”
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 13th February 2020 at 15:20. Reason: add discussion

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    Default Re: Racism

    I have also found an article that again suggests that humanoid DNA has diverse roots, and that we did not all walk out of Africa nor do we share one single female ancestor, as the science today would suggest...

    https://www.npr.org/2020/02/12/80523...-human-origins

    Although there is no suggestion that the DNA is other-worldly, the single-anscestor, out-of-Africa meme is slowly loosing steam.

    It won't be long, if our masters allow it of course, that our off-world connections will be uncovered.

    It begins:
    Quote About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn't know existed.

    There aren't any bones or ancient DNA to prove it, but researchers say the evidence is in the genes of modern West Africans. They analyzed genetic material from hundreds of people from Nigeria and Sierra Leone and found signals of what they call "ghost" DNA from an unknown ancestor.

    Our own species — Homo sapiens — lived alongside other groups that split off from the same genetic family tree at different times. And there's plenty of evidence from other parts of the world that early humans had sex with other hominins, like Neanderthals.

    That's why Neanderthal genes are present in humans today, in people of European and Asian descent. Homo sapiens also mated with another group, the Denisovans, and those genes are found in people from Oceania.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    I have also found an article that again suggests that humanoid DNA has diverse roots, and that we did not all walk out of Africa nor do we share one single female ancestor, as the science today would suggest...
    This article did not say that at all. This is what it said.

    Quote About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn't know existed.
    I've just posted, a few days ago, many articles above talking about Neanderthal and Denisovan. Have not gotten to the other, unknown genetic traces of other hominids, but that was part of the plan going forward. All humans are primarily Homo sapien, with strands of DNA that come from the other hominid and other groups that inhabited other parts of the planet. Please see: Posts 361, 362 and 364.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Although there is no suggestion that the DNA is other-worldly, the single-anscestor, out-of-Africa meme is slowly loosing steam.
    It is not losing steam. What you are speaking about is, first, a straw man, but there are different forms of hominid that live in different parts of the world that interacted with and mated with Homo sapien, which we all are, primarily and dominantly, and who came out of Africa.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    It won't be long, if our masters allow it of course, that our off-world connections will be uncovered.
    From your mouth, to your Divinity's ears.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 13th February 2020 at 16:08. Reason: add links

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    Apologies to Mark/Rakhyt for interjection. Apologies to myself for discussing our starry origin as I’m aware of without being able to “prove it” in lab.
    No need to apologize. Thank you for interjecting, all voices and comments are welcome.

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    I’m not “new age” and our origin is not “new age”, it’s not only ancient - in your terms - it’s perhaps, older than this piece of Universe.
    I will accept your self-definition as a valid expression of your sovereignty, to define yourself as you so desire. When you say "our", of whom do you speak?

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    We all are translucent plasma bodies in origin. That’s “softer than unboiled egg”. There’s no “DNA” floating in our plasma bodies since DNA is coagulated fragments of information net condensed to this gravity and atmospheric pressure.
    Granted.

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    If you break an egg and what you call “white” is actually transparent and translucent.
    It has no colour at all.
    There is no racism, as we know it, beyond the body. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Quote Posted by Agape (here)
    Perhaps ..

    if all the broken fragmented information/mind/dna within us start working together can it return a piece of it self to the original yolk ?

    Scientifically impossible from eggs perspective but there’s so much we do t know about life beyond DNA, yet.


    Wish you all happy colors to your Sunrise
    And the same to you!

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    Default Re: Racism

    A species with two extra chromosomes cannot mate with a species with two less. That is science's most basic tenet. There are no other hominids with the same number of chromosomes as humans on earth. How did they procreate with these apes then?

    And since our own chromosome #2 is obviously spliced, it has been manipulated by some sort of intelligence, other than the source of creation.

    And since science refuses to acknowledge this particular obviousness, I refuse to believe anything else they have to say because I know their premise is faulty. Since the premise is the foundation for all the rest of their conclusions, I have to reject it all.

    I also believe that their classification and toxicology methods are biased since they are trying to prove an assumption the entire field believe to be true - that all humans are from earth and that there is no life anywhere else in the entire universe.

    Lloyd Pye comes to mindas supporting something similar.

    How do you think this argument fits into the research ongoing?

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    A species with two extra chromosomes cannot mate with a species with two less. That is science's most basic tenet. There are no other hominids with the same number of chromosomes as humans on earth. How did they procreate with these apes then?
    I'm not sure about your numbers, but I can say that apes are not the same as hominids. There is a discussion about gene splicing, which is how science currently explains the ability of different forms of humans to interact sexually and have children. This discussion about the topic is very interesting.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    And since science refuses to acknowledge this particular obviousness, I refuse to believe anything else they have to say because I know their premise is faulty. Since the premise is the foundation for all the rest of their conclusions, I have to reject it all.
    Science does not "refuse to acknowledge this particular obviousness", but what you believe or not is your choice.

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    I also believe that their classification and toxicology methods are biased since they are trying to prove an assumption the entire field believe to be true - that all humans are from earth and that there is no life anywhere else in the entire universe.
    I think rather than this being the case, evidence to the contrary has not been found nor are scientists looking, in particular, for such origins. Remember, it is only in recent months and years that ufology has gone mainstream.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 13th February 2020 at 16:30. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Racism

    In support of a link shared by Ernie above and, also, the wide-ranging implications of the interaction of many types of humans across the span of time and space to create the human family that we now consider to be a single type of being, Homo sapiens sapiens. What the article is stating, is that prior to this point there has been evidence of unknown human hominims inside of Africa. We are used to talking about Neanderthal and Denisovan, but there are apparently others as well that were distinct enough to merit their own classification.

    Early humans in Africa may have interbred with a mysterious, extinct species – new research



    One of the more startling discoveries arising from genomic sequencing of ancient hominin DNA is the realisation that all humans outside Africa have traces of DNA in their genomes that do not belong to our own species.

    The approximately six billion people on Earth whose recent ancestry is not from Africa will have inherited between 1% and 2% of their genome from our closest but now extinct relatives: the Neanderthals. East Asians and Oceanians have also inherited a small amount of ancestry from the Denisovans, another close relative of Homo Sapiens.

    Now a new study, published in Science Advances, suggests that early humans living inside Africa may also have interbred with archaic hominims. These are extinct species that are related to Homo sapiens.

    The interbreeding outside Africa happened after our Homo sapiens ancestors expanded out of Africa into new environments. It was there they had sex with Neaderthals and the related Denisovans.

    This led to new discoveries. Early genetic studies of people from across the globe had previously suggested that our current distribution was the result of a single expansion out of Africa around 100,000 years ago. But the identification of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry in modern Eurasians complicated things.



    We still think that most – anywhere between about 92% and 98.5% – of the ancestry in people not living in Africa today does indeed derive from the out-of-Africa expansion. But we now know the remainder came from archaic species whose ancestors left Africa hundreds of thousands of years before that.

    What was happening inside Africa?
    Insights into interbreeding have been driven by the much greater availability of modern and ancient genomes from outside of Africa. That’s because the cold and dry environments of Eurasia are much better at preserving DNA that the wet heat of tropical Africa.

    But our understanding of the relationship between ancient human ancestors within Africa, and their connection with archaic humans, is beginning to deepen. A 2017 study of ancient DNA from southern Africa investigated 16 ancient genomes from people alive over the last 10,000 years. This showed that the history of African populations was complex. There wasn’t just a single group of humans around in Africa when they expanded out 100,000 years ago.

    It’s a result that was supported earlier this year by a paper examining ancient DNA from four individuals from what is now Cameroon. Taken together, this research suggests there were geographically diverse groups in Africa well before the main expansion out of the continent. And many of these groups will have contributed to the ancestry of people alive in Africa today.

    In addition, it now appears that there was potentially gene-flow into ancient African Homo sapiens populations from an archaic ancestor. One way in which this could happen is for people to expand out of Africa, have sex with Neanderthals, and then migrate back into Africa. Indeed, this has been demonstrated in one recent study.

    The new paper provides evidence that there may also have been gene-flow into the ancestors of West Africans directly from a mysterious archaic hominin. The researchers compared Neanderthal and Densiovan DNA with that from four contemporary populations from West Africa. Using some elegant mathematics, they then built a statistical model to explain the relationships between the archaic hominins and modern Africans.

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    Default Re: Racism

    To understand where we are, we have to understand where we come from. In that vein, since we are Project Avalon and interested in the Human Experience, we have to take a bit of time to think broadly about topics that interest us and to use holistic methods to address the questions that divide us. Our curiosity about who we are goes down into the depths of our biology, our psychology and our spirituality and to get at our societal structures, perhaps, it is necessary to understand many different aspects of those areas.

    So in that spirit, a part of our search here will be to examine what science is saying about a number of different topics that may have some bearing upon the question. I've already begun by looking at our ancient ancestors and predecessors, which will continue, but I will also begin to look into where science currently stands in regards to Panspermia and questions of "Alien Origin", as far as that might lead us. At the very least, it is a useful exercise to understand where exactly modern science is on these issues, if only to point out how far we have yet to go.

    Of course, we are all in this together, so your input is necessary for this discussion to bear fruit and for a full record to be co-created by the members of this grand project. Thank you in advance for your contributions!



    Do We Share DNA with ET?

    If there’s life beyond Earth, the genetic code might be our common bond.
    BY DANIEL OBERHAUS

    The primary difficulty of interstellar communication is finding common ground between ourselves and other intelligent entities about which we can know nothing with absolute certainty. This common ground would be the basis for a universal language that could be understood by any intelligence, whether in the Milky Way, Andromeda, or beyond the cosmic horizon. To the best of our knowledge, the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe, which suggests that the facts of science may serve as a basis for mutual understanding between humans and an extraterrestrial intelligence.

    One key set of scientific facts presents an intriguing question. If aliens were to visit Earth and learn about its inhabitants, would they be surprised that such a wide variety of species all share a common genetic code? Or would this be all too familiar? There is probable cause to assume that the structure of genetic material is the same throughout the universe and that, while this is liable to give rise to life forms not found on Earth, the variety of species is fundamentally limited by the constraints built into the genetic mechanism.



    On Earth we have only sequenced the genomes of a small percentage of living organisms and have only recently completed the human genome. We have successfully cloned several animals, but technical and ethical roadblocks prevent scientists from doing the same with humans. If an extraterrestrial civilization isn’t burdened with ethical dilemmas about cloning, however, sending the genetic code for humans and other species may be the most effective way to teach them about our biology.

    References to our genetic makeup have been a feature of interstellar messages from the very beginning. Although the first genes wouldn’t be sequenced for another three years, the 1974 Arecibo message, an interstellar radio message sent from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, included a rudimentary bitmap of DNA’s helical structure. Designed by Frank Drake, the founder of SETI, with input from Carl Sagan, the Arecibo message consisted of 1,679 binary digits arranged as a rectangular bitmap. The resulting image depicts the numbers one through 10 and the atomic numbers for the five elements that make up DNA, as well as the formulas for the sugars and bases in DNA nucleotides, a crude drawing of a human, a graphic representation of the solar system, and a picture of the Arecibo telescope.

    Would aliens be surprised that life on Earth shared an underlying genetic code? Or would this be all too familiar?

    In 1999, two interstellar radio transmissions known as Cosmic Calls included symbols for each of DNA’s four nucleotides. To date, however, only a single interstellar transmission has encoded any genetic information.

    To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Arecibo message, the artist Joe Davis traveled to Puerto Rico to broadcast the genetic sequence for the large subunit of the ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase (RuBisCO) molecule. RuBisCO is the most abundant protein on Earth and plays a major role in converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into energy-rich molecules for plants. To encode this genetic information in a signal, Davis first considered representing each of the 1,434 nucleotides with a two-bit ID (C=00, T=01, A=10, G=11) to create a 2,868-bit sequence representing the RuBisCO molecule. The problem with this, of course, is that there isn’t enough information to use analysis techniques such as those described above by Elliott. Thus, any ETI that received this message would have no way to determine the coding schema used to create the message, which would essentially be an unintelligible mess of data.

    For better or worse, it is unlikely that any extraterrestrials will ever receive, much less understand, Davis’s message. None of the stars selected by Davis have been confirmed to host planets, and two of the target stars aren’t likely able to support life even if they do. GJ 83.1 is a flare star, a type of dwarf known for periodic bursts of intense radiation and Teegarden’s star is a red dwarf, a type of star that is widely believed to be too cool to support life unless the planet was so close to the star that it would become tidally locked, meaning that half of the planet would be in perpetual night.

    Even if there are intelligent inhabitants around any of the three “RuBisCO stars,” the odds that they would be able to interpret Davis’s message is quite low, given the lack of context or redundancy to correct for message corruption during transit. Davis was the first to admit that his interstellar message was meant more for his fellow passengers on spaceship Earth than extraterrestrials, but this stunt points the way to a promising future for METI (messaging extraterrestrial intelligence).



    In the last few decades, biologists have sequenced the genomes for thousands of species, including humans. These are effectively the “blueprints” for the species, but we are only just beginning to learn how to read the code. A sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence may have developed genetic engineering to the point where genomes are the equivalent to an executable computer program, which would allow them to artificially recreate a human and other terrestrial species in their own labs. This assumes that extraterrestrials are made of the same genetic “stuff” as life on Earth, but this may not be as large of an assumption as it first seems.

    In some ways, it would almost be more disturbing to make contact with an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization populated by fleshy, mostly hairless hominids than a civilization of eight-eyed cephalopods, but this possibility is not entirely out of the question. As the astrobiologist Charles Cockell has argued, empirical evidence suggests that certain features of life are deterministically driven by physical laws. Extrapolating from this, it is reasonable to believe that “at all levels of its structural hierarchy, alien life is likely to look strangely similar to the life we know on Earth.”

    Cockell’s argument is analogous to the case made by pioneering cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky that extraterrestrials are likely to think like us because they are subject to the same basic physical constraints. Minsky argued that we will be able to converse with an extraterrestrial intelligence because they will think like us. If all intelligent creatures are faced with the same fundamental problems (restraints on space, time, and materials) and the methods of intelligence are determined by the nature of the problem at hand, Minsky reasoned that extraterrestrial intelligences will arrive at solutions similar to our own, namely symbolic systems for representing these problems and processes for manipulating those systems that can also be described symbolically.

    It would be naïve, of course, to suggest that evolution is totally determined by the laws of physics given the significant and obvious role that chance plays in the trajectory of evolution. For example, research suggests that the probability of an asteroid impact resulting in global cooling, mass extinction, and the subsequent appearance of mammals was “quite low” 66 million years ago. It was sheer cosmic bad luck that the asteroid impacted the relatively small portion of the Earth’s surface that was rich in hydrocarbons and sulfur that ultimately choked the Earth with stratospheric soot and sulfate aerosols. In this case, the site of the asteroid impact changed the history of life on Earth in a way that could never be predicted by deterministic evolutionary laws.

    The point is that although the trajectory of evolution isn’t predictable in advance, the variety of species it produces is not boundless. This contradicts the intuitive interpretation of Darwinian evolution, which suggests that natural selection results in a “tendency of species to form varieties” in infinite number.

    On the contrary, Cockell argues that “evolution is just a tremendous and exciting interplay of physical principles encoded in genetic material” and “the limited number of these principles ... means that the finale of this process is also restrained and universal.”

    Consider, for example, the emergence of cellular life on Earth. Is the cellular form something that we might expect to emerge on an extraterrestrial planet, or would extraterrestrial organisms find a different mode of self-assembly?

    Might an extraterrestrial intelligence have a genetic code built from six or more nucleotides? It’s unlikely.


    In the 1980s, the biologist David Dreamer used carboxylic acids extracted from the famous Murchison meteorite to demonstrate that these simple molecules would spontaneously form cellular membranes when added to water. According to Cockell, this suggests that the ingredients for cellular life are “strewn throughout the Solar System in carbon-rich rocks,” which means “we might expect the molecules of cellularity to form in any primordial cloud, ready to deliver their cargo of protocell material to the surface of any planet with a waiting abundance of water.” Later experiments demonstrated that meteorites are far from the only source of molecular material that can form cellular membranes, suggesting that this mode of organization is likely common in the universe.

    Similar physical laws also limit the possibilities of still more fundamental aspects of biology, such as the structure of DNA. One of the most remarkable features about DNA is that it is composed of only four nucleotides—adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine—that can only combine in very limited ways: adenine pairs with thymine and cytosine pairs with guanine. Is the fact that there are only four nucleotides or that they combine into two base pairs an evolutionary accident? Might an extraterrestrial intelligence have a genetic code built from six or more nucleotides, and might these nucleotides be different from the four that comprise the DNA of life on Earth? This is a possibility, of course, but there are strong reasons to believe that it is unlikely.

    Adding more nucleotides to the equation increases the amount of information available to the system and means that smaller molecules can contain the same amount of information as longer molecules in genetic pools with only four nucleotides. The trade-off, of course, is that the percentage of bases that a given nucleotide can link with halves with each base pair added to the system.

    For example, in a two-nucleotide system, each base can pair with half of the bases. In a four-nucleotide system, each base can only link with a quarter of the bases, and so on. Thus, Cockell argues, “as you add more bases, it gets more difficult to find ones that are sufficiently dissimilar to make it easy for them to be distinguished when the molecule replicates,” which results in a higher rate of errors. Indeed, computer models of RNA, the molecular interface between DNA and basic proteins, suggest that four nucleotides result in the greatest fitness.

    As for the types of base pairs, research using synthetic nucleotides to expand the number of base pairs in the genetic code has demonstrated that swapping these synthetic base pairs out of the normal code or adding them usually produces unstable results. However, organisms such as bacteria that have synthetic nucleotides added into an expanded genetic alphabet have been shown to be stable under stringent laboratory conditions. The results of ongoing experiments with the many possible base pairs suggest that the four base pairs we see in RNA and DNA are optimized to meet the conditions that allow for its replication, but also the preservation of its structure.

    If the brain and its cognitive structures are in fact optimized for the embodied experience of the organism, this suggests that the thesis that extraterrestrials will think similarly to us is not so far-fetched after all.



    Daniel Oberhaus is a staff writer at Wired, where he covers space exploration and the future of energy. He is the author of Extraterrestrial Languages.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 13th February 2020 at 21:11. Reason: add discussion

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    Not much depth to this article, but it came out back in 2013, when this research was starting to shift the narrative. I see this article as indicative of the realization on the part of geneticists and a growing segment of the general populace that the history of the planet and its people may be a lot longer and more intricately involved than has been previously admitted.

    I think it is also a tacit admission that Tolkien's LOTR series and his research in the record storage facilities of Oxford may have uncovered real histories of ancient populations otherwise lost to common knowledge.

    Middle Earth on planet Earth: Prehistoric human interbreeding created ‘Lord of the Rings world’



    A prehistoric ‘Lord of the Rings-type world’ once existed on Earth with a number of different human species interbreeding and populating the globe at the same time, it has been claimed.

    Extensive interbreeding between members of ancient human-like groups is thought to have produced a number of different sub-species living across Europe and Asia between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago. Scientists say new genome sequences from two extinct human relatives – Neanderthals and Denisovans – suggest these archaic groups bred with anatomically-modern humans, and each other, more extensively than previously thought.



    The findings, unveiled at a meetings at London’s Royal Society this week, suggest interbreeding could go some way to explaining the genetic diversity of today’s humans.

    One geneticist compared the findings with the fictional world of Middle Earth in JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which sees mythical hominid species – such as dwarves and elves – living side-by-side.

    Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who attended the meeting but was not involved with the research, said afterwards: ‘What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a Lord of the Rings-type world — that there were many hominid populations.’

    Humans who originate outside of Africa owe two per cent of their DNA to Neanderthals, while Oceania populations – such as Australian Aborigines and Papua New Guineans – got four per cent of their genome from Denisovans breeding with their ancestors.

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