Indian confirmation bias

In a largely fact free but obfuscation rich comment piece at The Hindu, Indian scientists Gyaneshwer Chaubey and Kumarasamy Thangaraj ask whether it’s too early to settle the Aryan migration debate. See here. No, it’s not too early. It’s game over chaps, and has been for a while. During the past couple of years ancient DNA has revealed the presence of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a in Eastern European remains dated to the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Eneolithic and Bronze Age. Moreover, the Bronze Age remains, packed in ancestry derived from Eastern European hunter-gatherers (or EHG) and totally lacking any sort of South Asian admixture, belong to R1a-Z645, which is the ancestral clade of by far the most common types of R1a in Europe and South Asia today: R1a-Z282 and R1a-Z93, respectively. And on top of that, South Asians, especially those speaking Indo-European languages, show significant admixture derived from EHG. The conclusion from this data is self-evident: during the Bronze Age R1a-Z645 became a very important Y-chromosome lineage in Europe and quickly moved to South Asia, in all likelihood on the back of the Indo-European expansion. Yet, in spite of this, Gyaneshwer and Kumarasamy make the following claim in their article.

Moreover, there is evidence which is consistent with the early presence of several R1a branches in India (our unpublished data).

Potentially powerful stuff, you might say. But hang on, what are Gyaneshwer and Kumarasamy seeing in their data that could possibly reverse the current reality about R1a? Did they find R1a in South Asian remains from the Mesolithic and Neolithic? Or perhaps they’ve uncovered South Asian Bronze Age remains that belong to R1a-Z645 and lack any signals of ancestry from Eastern Europe? This is impossible. The ancient DNA from Eastern Europe says so. That’s because pre-Indo-European Eastern Europe and South Asia were not the same world; they were world’s apart. Thus, you will never read anything like this, no matter how much ancient DNA from South Asia is sequenced:

During the past couple of years ancient DNA has revealed the presence of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a in South Asian remains dated to the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Eneolithic and Bronze Age. Moreover, the Bronze Age remains, packed in ancestry derived from South Asian hunter-gatherers, and totally lacking any sort of European admixture, belong to R1a-Z645, which is the ancestral clade of by far the most common types of R1a in Europe and South Asia today: R1a-Z282 and R1a-Z93, respectively. And on top of that, Europeans, especially those speaking Indo-European languages, show significant admixture derived from South Asian hunter-gatherers.

See also…
Ancient herders from the Pontic-Caspian steppe crashed into India: no ifs or buts
Source via Eurogenes Blog

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