Geneticist says “It is a sensitive subject… especially in the United States”

Excerpted, Martin La Monica, Science Editor, The Conversation, 2016, “Comparing black people to monkeys…”

RaceRealism » Geneticist Dr. Shi Huang: Africans closer genetically to Chimpanzees than Eurasians » Human Evolution News » 1Leading scientists of the day Josiah C. Nott and George R. Gliddon, in their 1854 Types of Mankind, documented what they saw as objective racial hierarchies with illustrations comparing blacks to chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.

Darwin’s revolutionary 1859 work, On the Origin of Species, did not discredit scientific racism but only its polygenetic variants. Social Darwinism, triumphantly monogenetic, would become the new racial orthodoxy.

Back in late November, Subspeiest.com published an article,

Africans have more archaic, ape like gene variants says top geneticist Dr. Shi Huang

The article received over 8,000 unique views.  It was our most widely read article in over two years for this website, by far.

To summarize:

On Nov. 26, Shi Huang Tweeted:

“That Africans carry more ancestral alleles (=archaic or apes) has been well demonstrated by the rooting of phylogenetic trees in Africa for both autosomes and uniparental DNAs by using the outgroup rooting method.  Biological significance of this?  Eerie silence…”

Now, Dr. Shi Huan is back, with yet another Tweet and an elaboration of his views in a Swedish newspaper, that’s bound to ignite worldwide controversy.

From FriaTider.se, (Sweden) Jan. 21,

Chinese genetics professor: Current research shows that Africans are more closely related to chimpanzees

ShiHuang2 » Geneticist Dr. Shi Huang: Africans closer genetically to Chimpanzees than Eurasians » Human Evolution News » 2Shi Huang received his doctorate from the Univ. of California… and then worked… for a couple of decades, including as an associate professor at The Sanford-Burnham Institute. In 2009 he moved back to China and has since been a professor at Central South University in Hunan. Today he has a professorship in genetics, epigenetics and evolution…

In November Professor Shi wrote a post on Twitter that garnered some attention: “That Africans have more alleles from our ancestors (= archaic or apes) has been clearly demonstrated by placing phylogenetic trees in Africa, both for autosomal and uniparental DNA using the outgroup rooting method. The biological significance of this? Creepy silence … “he wrote.

More:

The realization that Africans have more alleles from our ancestors is a by-product of where the tree’s roots are located using the outgroup rooting method, says Professor Shi told Fria Tider.

As is further outlined in the piece, Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to modern day humans. It is commonly agreed that we humans share 99% of our DNA with Chimpanzees and Bonobos.  (The precise percentage is 98.8%.)

From the American Natural History Museum (ANHM):

These three species look alike in many ways, both in body and behavior. But for a clear understanding of how closely they are related, scientists compare their DNA, an essential molecule that’s the instruction manual for building each species. Humans and chimps share a surprising 98.8 percent of their DNA. How can we be so similar–and yet so different?

“there may be alternative explanations for why Africans are genetically more closely related to chimpanzees” — Dr. Huang

Shi Huang is a fierce critic of ROoA theory (Recent Out of Africa).  He is one of the world’s most ardent proponents of Out of Asia.

AliceRoberts2 » Geneticist Dr. Shi Huang: Africans closer genetically to Chimpanzees than Eurasians » Human Evolution News » 3Until the middle of the 20th century, before the current Out of Africa hypothesis was established, scientists believed that humans originated in Asia. The perception was strengthened not least during the 1920s and 1930s in connection with excavations outside Beijing when fossils from the so-called Peking man were found…

Shi remains a supporter of the Out of Asia hypothesis. He believes that it is in Asia that modern humans have their origins and that there may be alternative explanations for why Africans are genetically more closely related to chimpanzees.

Free Times reports that they’ve seen a draft of his soon-to-be-released paper on the subject.

We have found the evidence that overturns the Out of Africa hypothesis, Shi claims.

Shi gets rather technical in his explanations.  In short, he criticizes those establishment paleo-anthropologists who are critical of  “backwards evolution.”

If there are no back mutations, it would mean that Africans are closer to the ancestors of modern man… But the back mutations could also explain the African alleles, and then invalidate the rooting and Out of Africa model, he continues.

But rather than taking what many would consider a racist or hateful view, Shi praises Africans for the extreme variation, which he sees as making them tough, resilient against disease, environmental hazards.

Africans [have] largely developed under different circumstances from other ethnic groups. This may explain why they have more genes similar to those of archaic humans than other ethnic groups.

“Africans have the greatest genetic diversity, which I believe is necessary for greater resistance to disease, better adapted to a more primitive lifestyle in an environment with more pathogens,” says Shi.

Interestingly, Shi takes a parting shot at some well-known paleo-anthropologists and geneticists.

Some poor research results have been popularized by researchers who do not realize that Africans have more alleles from previous human species,” said Professor Shi Huang.

See our related article from Jan. 10, “New study of Dali skull in China suggests out of Asia origins for Modern Humans.”  Note – a hugely popular BBC celebrity and self-proclaimed Human Origins expert Dr. Alice Roberts attacked one of Shi’s intellectual leaders for suggesting Out of Asia, Prof. Wu Xinshi.

 

Eric

Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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