Genetics and Aboriginal Australia by Brian Simpson

In the lead up to the referendum over Aboriginal constitutional recognition, every scientific paper thought to support the “long-term view” gets media coverage. Thus, attention was given to A-S. Malaspinas (et al.), “A Genomic History of Aboriginal Australia,” Nature (2016): doi : 10.1038/nature18299.
The research was a genetic study of 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from the New Guinea Highlands.

It is said that there was diversifications in populations 25-40,000 years ago “suggesting pre-Holocene population structure in the ancient continent of Sahul (Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania)” However, the Aborigines descended “from a single founding population that differentiated ~ 10-32” (thousand years ago).”
To my mind this means that the 40,000 year or even now 65,000 years’ occupancy figure must be incorrect.
They also say: “Aboriginal Australians and Papuans diverged from Eurasians 51-72 kya  (thousand years ago), following a single out-of-Africa dispersal and subsequently admixed with archaic populations.”
So, “archaic populations,” “archaic hominins” were really here first! Is there going to be constitutional recognition of the ancestors of the Aborigines? Surely there must be, in all fairness.



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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

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