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Old 03-18-2010, 12:35 PM
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,109,773 times
Reputation: 3719


I'm going to briefly cover a secular example of where some recent genome mapping studies have tossed out some "established" old concepts.

Reported today on NPR. Findings to be published in, I believe, the journal Nature.

American scientists, using the latest iterations of advanced DNA genome mapping of specific, traceable genetic "markers", have re-defined the development pathways of the domesticated dog. Always known to have arisen from the wild wolf, but assumed to have been purely an eastern/Asian thing. But these scientists took samples of wild wolf populations, documented specific incontrovertible DNA sequence markers and then looked for them in global modern dog populations.

They found that, yes, the typical Asian dog breeds (notice I didn't say "species"...) did indeed advance from certain Eastern / Asian wolf populations. Logical. But they also found that the majority of other species were bred from Middle Eastern or southern European wolf populations.

This flies in the face of older assumed lineage models which were based on cultural models of human development. Of ancient writings, for instance. Not insignificantly, when this newer hypothesis was subjected to cross-correlation by other means, they predictably found further evidence in the form of other early historical writings, and then, most conclusively, in the remnant bones of ancient mummified dogs where they could extract DNA samples that corroborated with their newer databases and genetic markers which were previously unavailable.

I also note that these honest scientists have couched their interesting findings in quite conservative conclusions, versus the assertion of biased and overstated conclusions that anti-science crowds regularly accuse them of. Didn't happen here. Importantly, en-route to a more definitive conclusion, they called for more research, and detailed the study's possible shortcomings and how these might affect the current conclusions. But "the evidence strongly suggests..", as they say. And having been well-designed and laid out, it's hard to find fault with their methods or early conclusions.

Science marches on, and not according to some outside drumbeat or fervent wishes. This is how modern conclusions about lineage are reached. Pure, dispassionate, objective, hands-on science. No magic sprinkles, no mumbo-jumbo, no wishful thinking. This is how the work on the cultural advancement and spread of human civilization has been recently revisited.

Just thought you might be interested is all. Thanks for playing!
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:07 PM
Location: Space Coast
1,989 posts, read 4,495,297 times
Reputation: 2733
Thanks for posting. I look forward to reading the full article (especially since I'm a dog lover).
Oh, and nice job exemplifying the scientific process.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:03 PM
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,109,773 times
Reputation: 3719
Default A....WWwwwhhoooooooooooo......

Just FYI, here's the NPR article which I pulled off their web page.

Dogs Likely Descended From Middle Eastern Wolf : NPR

I'll find the follow-up as to here it will be formally published.

Woof woof!
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