National Geographic News
Photo of a Native American mounted on his horse.

Native Americans may have a more complicated heritage than previously believed.

Photograph by Roland W. Reed, National Geographic

Brian Handwerk

National Geographic

Published November 20, 2013

Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

Based on the arm bone of a 24,000-year-old Siberian youth, the research could uncover new origins for America's indigenous peoples, as well as stir up fresh debate on Native American identities, experts say.

The study authors believe the new study could also help resolve some long-standing puzzles on the peopling of the New World, which include genetic oddities and archaeological inconsistencies. (Explore an atlas of the human journey.)

"These results were a great surprise to us," said study co-author and ancient-DNA specialist Eske Willerslev, of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

"I hadn't expected anything like this. A genome related to present-day western Eurasian populations and modern Native Americans as well was really puzzling in the beginning. How could this happen?"

So what's new?

The arm bone of a three-year-old boy from the Mal'ta site near the shores of Lake Baikal in south-central Siberia (map) yielded what may be the oldest genome of modern humans ever sequenced.

DNA from the remains revealed genes found today in western Eurasians in the Middle East and Europe, as well as other aspects unique to Native Americans, but no evidence of any relation to modern East Asians. (Related: "Is This Russian Landscape the Birthplace of Native Americans?")

A second individual genome sequenced from material found at the site and dated to 17,000 years ago revealed a similar genetic structure.

It also provided evidence that humans occupied this region of Siberia throughout the entire brutally cold period of the Last Glacial Maximum, which ended about 13,000 years ago.

Why is it important?

Prevailing theories suggest that Native Americans are descended from a group of East Asians who crossed the Bering Sea via a land bridge perhaps 16,500 years ago, though some sites may evidence an earlier arrival. (See "Siberian, Native American Languages Linked—A First [2008].")

"This study changes this idea because it shows that a significant minority of Native American ancestry actually derives not from East Asia but from a people related to present-day western Eurasians," Willerslev said.

"It's approximately one-third of the genome, and that is a lot," he added. "So in that regard I think it's changing quite a bit of the history."

While the land bridge still formed the gateway to America, the study now portrays Native Americans as a group derived from the meeting of two different populations, one ancestral to East Asians and the other related to western Eurasians, explained Willerslev, whose research was published in the November 20 edition of the journal Nature.

"The meeting of those two groups is what formed Native Americans as we know them." (Learn more about National Geographic's Genographic Project.)

What does this mean?

Willerslev believes the discovery provides simpler and more likely explanations to long-standing controversies related to the peopling of the Americas.

"Although we know that North Americans are related to East Asians, it's striking that no contemporary East Asian populations really resemble Native Americans," he said.

"It's not like you can say that they are really closely related to Japanese, Chinese, or Koreans, so there seems to be something missing. But this result makes a lot of sense regarding why they don't fit so well genetically with contemporary East Asians—because one-third of their genome is derived from another population."

The findings could also allow reinterpretation of archaeological and anthropological evidence, like the famed Kennewick Man, whose remains don't look much like modern-day Native American or East Asian populations, according to some interpretations.

"Maybe, if he looks like something else, it's because a third of his ancestry isn't coming from East Asia but from something like the western Eurasians." (Read about history's great migration mysteries.)

What's next?

Many questions remain unanswered, including where and when the mixing of west Eurasian and East Asian populations occurred.

"It could have been somewhere in Siberia or potentially in the New World," Willerslev said.

"I think it's much more likely that it occurred in the Old World. But the only way to address that question would be to sequence more ancient skeletons of Native Americans and also Siberians."

Intriguing questions also exist about the nature of the advanced Upper Paleolithic Mal'ta society that now appears to figure in Native American genomes.

The Siberian child "was found buried with all kinds of cultural items, including Venus figurines, which have been found from Lake Baikal west all the way to Europe.

"So now we know that the individual represented with this culture is a western Eurasian, even though he was found very far east. It's an interesting question how closely related this individual might have been to the individuals carving these figurines at the same time in Europe and elsewhere."

291 comments
Thomas Red-Cloud
Thomas Red-Cloud

I love it how now my people are from Euro descent. Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how scientist try to deprecate my peoples word and value. We never came from Siberia nor from Europe. It is true the our people in the beginning ventured into Siberia and Into Europe, as it is described in our verbal history, but we were not Asians. I have to laugh at it. 

Dawn Laster
Dawn Laster

No surprise, they could have just asked my people and we would have told them this as well.

Mark Windom
Mark Windom

I've always felt that the Native American Population had it's roots in the western European.There are to many tales of voyages from Euroasian to the American Continent,for them all to be false.From the Phoenician,to the Jewish,to the Vikings.the later of which has finally been proven.

bofm model
bofm model

To my fellow Mormons:


Please quit trying to use this article in a desperate attempt to validate the Book of Mormon.  We don't get to decide that it means more than it claims.  I've got no problem with the claims made in the paper, including the dates.  While this article, like many others, does show that our understanding of the genetic history of the Americas is much more complicated than scientists previously thought, it does not present us with any tangible evidence supporting the historicity of the Book of Mormon.


If the Book of Mormon is true, which I believe it is, then God knows what he's doing.  Why doesn't God just point us to scientific evidence that prove's it's true?  That's a good question and a fair criticism for people to present, whether we like it or not.  I'd love to say that I have a good answer for it.


We can speculate that he's doing exactly what he told Isiah and Joseph Smith that he was going to do.  Related to the Book of Mormon and restoration of Christ's church he said "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid".


Perhaps God is letting our "wise" and "prudent" men make their case...and I don't mean the case presented in the scientific paper...I mean the case presented by those speaking both for and against the Book of Mormon in these comments.  In other words, people who consider themselves wise and prudent take results like those presented in this study and extend it to make claims unsupported by the study.  Many of us Mormons jump into the fray and claim it proves our religion to be true while many others claim that it proves our religion to be a farse.  Both of these opposing positions are extrapolations that prop-up the suppositions of the people posting the respective comments.


I don't know the mind of God as it relates to the future of scientific evidence regarding the Book of Mormon, but think about how simple it will be to make good on his words that "the wisdom of our wise men shall perish and the understanding of our prudent men shall be hid".  If the Book of Mormon is true, then God could at any time lead us to scientific evidence supporting it.  If that ever happens, and we finally figure out exactly where it took place, think about the result from both perspectives:


1.  The Mormon community, which currently supports many contradictory theories regarding the location where Book of Mormon events took place, will realize how we went to great lengths to "prove" that it was in the Great Lakes area or in Meso-America or in Baja California or in South America, or wherever.  There's no way that we come out of this argument looking good.  We've presented too much false information no matter what location proves to be right.


2.  People who think they could rely on science to answer religious questions will realize that they were wrong.  Those of them whose opinions were truly shaped by science will probably feel a little dazed for a moment, but will probably use it as a learning experience.  Those of them whose opinions are shaped more by bigotry than science will take a harder blow, but hopefully they will also take a more thoughtful view of things.


Anyways...that's only if my speculation about God's intentions turns out to be correct.  Otherwise, I'll continue to be the delusional  brainwashed, crazy guy I am now...but I'll also enjoy good science like that presented in the article above :)


In any case, to my fellow Mormons:  PLEASE quit making scientific claims that aren't supported by scientific evidence.

Crystal Nelson
Crystal Nelson

With these new, exciting discoveries and these arguments about God and science, we learn that we still have a lot to learn. God has created an interesting place for us to use our brains and grow. 

James Lee
James Lee

Complete rubbish. White people trying to re-write history once again. 

So Native Ameriacns are now "White", Egyptians where "White", Jews were "White", Hawaiians were "White", Eskimos were "White" and who knows what else.


If life was found on Mars, Nat Geo will claim that it too was "White". LOL


Fact of the Matter is, the Hebrews were Black. King James was Black, and the Israelite were Arabs.

Not European blonde hair idiots now parading in Palestine claiming "God" promise them this land. 



Jake Hansen
Jake Hansen

Have I missed something in this article?  I'm reading the comments and a lot of them don't have anything to do with the material in the article right?  Is it just me?  Mormons, etc.  WTF are these commenters talking about? 

jas stellar
jas stellar

Over the years I had a healthy respect for Nat Geo. It's stories where interesting and fun whilst being factual (mostly). Nowadays there seems to be a healthy dose of religion mixed in with some stories. Kind of kills off the fun and interesting parts. Oh and lets not forget about factual either..

Kenneth Crook
Kenneth Crook

There is not really much of a surprise here.  Considering the westward migration of peoples from Asia towards Europe over the past thousands of years.  Some of those same peoples were pushed east towards the Americas. Similar DNA in western Asia and in the Americas would be expected.

Mark Hansen
Mark Hansen

Mormons

You believe that some jews got in a boat and settled vacant land in the americas in 600bc.  This article in now way validates the book of mormon.  It very much contradicts the book of mormon.  The LDS church believes in no death before the fall of Adam, a literal adam and eve being the parents of all mankind, a literal global flood with doctrine that includes a baptism by immersion of the whole earth, etc. 

In 2014, in an essay approved by all 15 top brethren (per to Elder Snow) the church again said it believes in a global flood.  Therefore, even if there were people in the americas, they were wiped out in the global flood.  Again, this article would be irrelevant, even if you believed in evolution and death before the fall.

Seriously, quit mixing "philosophies of Men Mingled With Scripture" it goes against what you believe.  

You can't have it both ways.  If you don't believe the prophets and doctrine, you are in apostasy.  You don't get to throw out the parts that you don't like.  See the church for what it is, a giant fraud.  You have been tricked, indoctrinated, brainwashed.  Be honest with yourself.  

https://www.lds.org/topics/noah?lang=eng&query=noah

Whitney Buchanan
Whitney Buchanan

I visited a museum in Novosibirsk, in Siberia. It had a section with photographs of the indigenous, aboriginal people of that area. Phenotypically, they bore a striking resemblance to the Native American people I grew up with from the Pueblos of Northern New Mexico. My instincts suggested that they shared a common ancestry. This finding isn't surprising at all. What's surprising is that so many commenters relate this information to whether it supports the decidely non-scientific and highly questionable versions of Creation in the Book of Mormon or the Bible. Huh???

Vicki Chappell
Vicki Chappell

Umm....Is it just me? My logical noggin tells me that if this study proves the Book of Mormon to be factual, then it proves the Bible is false. This article clearly contradicts Creationism.

Christopher Kirkland
Christopher Kirkland

Those who are pointing to the 24,000 year date as evidence against those claiming this study supports a model represented by the Book of Mormon are jumping over several facts to do so.  The ancient arm bone belongs to an ancestor of ancient Middle Easterners and Western Europeans.  That much is clear from the study.  The significance is that the genome is now known for THAT group, and it happens to match what we find in the Native Americans (1/3 at least).  It clarifies what their descendants genomes should look like.  This was something not clear before. For example, there is no real modern day sample group to know what a 600 BC Jerusalemite's genome should look like.  You could try to pull some of the ancient Ethiopian Jews, or Jews from Western Europe.  But for Book of Mormon believers, that is also a tricky point because the family that the Book of Mormon refers to was from a separate lineage as Judah's tribe (they were from Joseph/Manasseh).

So in looking at Native American's genomes, we see specific traits.  Now we know some of those traits were had in the ancient Middle East because we have an arm bone that a significant genome could be mapped from.   WHEN and WHERE those DNAs mixed with the other 2/3 which came from Asia is not clarified.  In fact the article specifically says, "Many questions remain unanswered, including where and when the mixing of west Eurasian and East Asian populations occurred," but by no means did it have to happen anywhere near 24,000 years ago.  Genetic traits can be passed down through millennia with ease.

Diffusion studies are necessary to determine when certain genetic traits are introduced into a population, and when you have significant unknown bottle-necking (wars, extermination, genocide) as the Book of Mormon suggests (as well as the undisputed history of America, the Conquistadors, etc) , any data regarding apporximate dates for when DNA was introduced becomes almost impossible to draw conclusions from, even if mapping a 
significant portion of modern DNA from populations thought to be descendants.  

Louis Le Clercq
Louis Le Clercq

I'm a biological scientist and I've studied anthropology. This Book of Mormon thing you keep discussing has never and will never be part of our coursework as scientists.

We all know this basic truth: religion is a belief system usually based on some or other book, science is a knowledge system based on sound theories generated from empirical evidence that proves them factual.

People are free to believe whatever they please be it Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan... whatever you like. Scientific facts however are not something you 'believe' they are things you know. We don't believe that water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, we KNOW that it does.

If you really feel a need to reconcile religious beliefs with scientific facts, please do so with people of your own religion and in the privacy of your own home. You really shouldn't do it on a public forum designed to comment on a new piece of scientific research.

Peter Beck
Peter Beck

DNA from the remains revealed genes found today in western Eurasians in the Middle East and Europe, as well as other aspects unique to Native Americans, but no evidence of any relation to modern East Asians.


Please don't encourage the historical origin fantasies of a certain Utah religion!

Andy Brown
Andy Brown

The Continental Drift theory may explain the existence of Middle Eastern and west Eurasian genes.  I would say that the land bridge -- or more likely, subcontinents of Alaska that broke off East Asia and collided with North America (thus the tall mountain ranges) -- is the source of the straight-haired Mongol and Polynesian arrivals, accounting for the northern half of North America.  With the Americas breaking off Africa's west coast, it really surprises me no one has theorized that Middle Eastern and African travelers crossed westward, accounting for the natives in Latin America -- especially the curly-haired ones.  I've seen Native Americans in pics with facial features the same as in Mongolia, Polynesia (like Pacific Islander), Middle East, and Africa.  Yes... Africa (tho I haven't seen any as black as Africans).  I haven't seen many with any curly hair (dominant gene), but I have a hard time believing they were all recessive gene (straight hair).

Perhaps the Solutrians crossed Africa from wherever, westward into the Americas.  Maybe the ethnic mixing of Asians in the north and Afro-Semites in the south took place in the Americas once both major ethnic groups had arrived and spread out.  If that helps any.

Eric Baillies
Eric Baillies

So I was amazed when i saw this image because I own the glass negative.  Wondering if anyone might know who this person is or how I could find out more about this image? 

Richard Wadsworth
Richard Wadsworth

@Mark Hansen
One of my biggest problems with people in and out of my faith is that they take things too literally and erroneously suppose that there are no errors in the scriptures and that their view of everything is perfect.

In regards to this article. Please watch this video: (it is long but explains everything very well).
look up a video on youtube called: 

DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography


Although the video actually answers pretty much every question regarding the article fairly well I also want to address something else that you mentioned.


The kind of "mingling the philosophies of men with scripture" that you are referring too is inevitable. You AUTOMATICALLY mingle your personal interpretations and own ideas into whatever you read in the scriptures. So you have a choice to either have it mingled with ideas that make sense with science or ones that do not. I choose to do the latter. When it talks about mingling the philosophies of man with scripture I think it is referring to doing so to justify in committing sin-- but I could be wrong.

The LDS church has no official position on evolution (meaning, they dont know-- but leaders are entitled to their opinions). I personally am of the opinion that people have been dying long before Adam (6000 years ago) but that Adam was perhaps the first man with a spirit in it that was a child of God. I really dont know the answer and neither does anyone else.

I do not believe in a global flood either and I think that people who do are confused (that includes church leaders). There is no way that Noah could put 200,000 million species of animals on the ark unless it was like one of those tents in Harry Potter, or Mary Poppins magic bag. Sure, God can do anything, but it makes a lot more sense if it is looked at in another way. My personal opinion is that all the face of the earth that Noah could see was flooded and that he put all of the local (mostly domesticated) animals he could find and their predators. Leaders make mistakes all of the time.


now watch the video and let me know what you think.


Alex Hall
Alex Hall

 @Mark Hansen

Huh?

The timeline of the great flood, in an LDS perspective, far predates what the Book of Mormon relates about migrants from the Middle East traveling to and settling to what is inferred (and taught by the Church) to be the Americas. These migrants wouldn't have been wiped out by the flood, because they came long after it. The Book of Mormon also gives that other migrants from the time of the Tower of Babel, which you will recall that according to the Bible also came after the flood ;) migrated to the Americas.

That aside, your tone is unnecessarily, extremely harshly critical, and that goes for @jas stellar and @Brian Williams.

I'm also puzzled at how you posit that this article contradicts the Book of Mormon, with your citations that:

"The LDS church believes in no death before the fall of Adam, a literal adam and eve being the parents of all mankind, a literal global flood with doctrine that includes a baptism by immersion of the whole earth, etc."

None of those points of doctrine taught by the Church are mentioned in the article at all, and if you would presume to say some general or specific point of science in the article contradicts those points of doctrine, I would also presume to say that it simply doesn't matter what anyone has to say if the tone of the "dialogue" is like this.

Why? Because the only enlightenment and education anyone gets out of an angry discussion--with very rare exceptions--is that some people are angry. Set aside contention, and then perhaps people with views which might oppose yours might be inclined to do anything besides take to a fight or take to flight (away from you).

So that, surely, as you see as a well-reasoned man, even if you're right, it doesn't matter, because--assuming we're all questing after truth here--the truth doesn't do anybody any good while they're fighting.

Alex Hall
Alex Hall

@Mark Hansen Huh?

The timeline of the great flood, in an LDS perspective, far predates what the Book of Mormon relates about migrants from the Middle East traveling to and settling to what is inferred (and taught by the Church) to be the Americas. These migrants wouldn't have been wiped out by the flood, because they came long after it. The Book of Mormon also gives that other migrants from the time of the Tower of Babel, which you will recall that according to the Bible also came after the flood ;) migrated to the Americas.

That aside, your tone is unnecessarily, extremely harshly critical, and that goes for @jas stellar and @Brian Williams.

I'm also puzzled at how you posit that this article contradicts the Book of Mormon, with your citations that:

"The LDS church believes in no death before the fall of Adam, a literal adam and eve being the parents of all mankind, a literal global flood with doctrine that includes a baptism by immersion of the whole earth, etc."

None of those points of doctrine taught by the Church are mentioned in the article at all, and if you would presume to say some general or specific point of science in the article contradicts those points of doctrine, I would also presume to say that it simply doesn't matter what anyone has to say if the tone of the "dialogue" is like this.

Why? Because the only enlightenment and education anyone gets out of an angry "discussion--" (war of words, really) with very rare exceptions--are that some people are angry. Set aside contention, and then perhaps people with views which might oppose yours might be inclined to do anything besides take to a fight or take to flight (away from you). Even if you're right, it doesn't matter, because--assuming we're all questing after truth here--the truth doesn't do anybody any good while they're fighting.

Jim Rose
Jim Rose

@Mark Hansen Haters goin' to hate.....  no one cares what you think little fella.

Love,


The Brethren

Richard Wadsworth
Richard Wadsworth

@Vicki Chappell
It scientifically disproves their interpretations and notions about the bible... I had already abandoned those years ago.

It is impossible to prove that God doesnt exist or that the bible is entirely false or that the Book of Mormon is false because there are always alternate ways of explaining things that are perhaps not traditional which can agree with both science and much of what is written in books of scripture.


Brian Turner
Brian Turner

@Vicki Chappell See, that is the conundrum that mainstream christianity anti-mormons can't reconcile.   The "science" they use to dry to "disprove" the Book of Mormon actually disproves the bible.    But, they won't acknowledge such.

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Christopher Kirkland  The fact is that we now know that is was already in America more than 12,000 years ago.


See "The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana"
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7487/full/nature13025.html


"We sequenced the genome to an average depth of 14.43 and show that the gene flow from the Siberian Upper Palaeolithic Mal’ta population5 into Native American ancestors is also shared by the Anzick-1 individual and thus happened before 12,600 years BP."


So any claims of this National Geographic story supporting the Book of Mormon melt away when a person realizes that not only were those Siberian remains from 24,000 years ago, it is now tied to a person in America more than 12,000 years ago. It was already in the Americaa before the Jaradites, Lehi, even before Adam and Eve.

Tania S. Diaz
Tania S. Diaz

@Louis Le Clercq Science is not a perfect knowledge because it is based in just theories. "A scientific theory may be rejected or modified if it does not fit the new empirical findings- in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then desired...Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions." For me this last discovery is another evidence that the Book of Mormon is true.

Nathan Burton
Nathan Burton

That may be the most closed-minded thing I've ever seen written by someone who apparently calls themselves a scientist. If a recent finding is peculiarly in line with a document of disputed origin, would it not be proper to investigate such a correlation?

Besides, there are plenty of Mormon 'biological scientists' who have 'studied anthropology' who subscribe to the Book of Mormon theory. I suspect plenty of them are more qualified to offer an educated opinion than you are.

Forrest Glenn Rhodes
Forrest Glenn Rhodes

@Eric Baillies My guess is Blackfeet although there is no distinguishing designs. But that looks a lot like Glacier Park in the background which borders oon the Blackfeet reservations.

Josie McCausland
Josie McCausland

@Eric Baillies You have the original plate!  Wow.  That's a real find.  Historians and museums are always keenly interested in something like that.  The caption says Roland W. Reed, photographer.  Try contacting the author or National Geographic.  

jas stellar
jas stellar

@Jim Rose actually, it may be better for those who believe in the invisible man in the sky to keep out of scientific research and discussions. The two CLEARLY do not mix. 

Brian Williams
Brian Williams

@Jim Rose @Mark Hansen   I actually found what he said to show a very in depth understanding of both the real archaeology and mental gymnastics of people who still think they believe in the LDS church. Although, in true cult fashion, these people usually know less about their own faith than Mark here. 


So I very much care what Mark Hansen has to say, but would regard you and your bretheren with some well earned skepticism. I don't appreciate the tribalism and simplicity in your very anti intellectual response. If you don't like being talked down to, perhaps you should go spill your guts about it on fast sunday. And cry to the whole ward about how a smart guy told you off on a science website, but how you know, deeply, doctrinally, that you can't trust 'learned' people, unless of course they aren't "do dos' Like Jeffery R Holland. He went to a pretty good school ya know. 

Brian Turner
Brian Turner

@Mike Mitchell @Christopher Kirkland While your linked article is cute it in no way disproves the Book of Mormon proponents.  So, there was asian (even central asian dna) in early North America settlements?   This is no way assures that the Middle Eastern DNA link (which was substantial) in no way occurred later on, as well.   That's quite a stretch you are making there.  A 1/3 genome effect very well could have two different (or more) contributors to make the 1/3 effect.   Such analysis could easily explain why Native Americans are relatively closely related to east asians, central asians, and western asians.


The fact is the DNA evidence with the Native American link to populations all over eurasia leaves open a lot of different possibilities.    Central asian DNA in a North American sample neither proves nor disproves this.

Vicki Chappell
Vicki Chappell

@Nathan Burton But scientifically speaking, this article contradicts the idea of Creationism itself. How can a 24,000 year old bone even exist according to Christianity; therefore, how can it be proof of anything? Supposedly, the earth wasn't even in existence. And, the BOM timeline is only about 600 BC. If the 24,000 year old bone is authentic, then how does it validate the BOM story? Just trying to use some logic here.


Carson Calderwood
Carson Calderwood

@Nathan Burton How is that in line with the BOM?  It happened over 25 thousand years ago.  Too early for Jaredite and way too early for Nephite.  How do you make such a correlation?

Carson Calderwood
Carson Calderwood

@Nathan Burton This finding is not in line with the BOM because it says this happened over 25 thousand years ago.  It is too early for Jaredite and WAY too early for Nephite.  How do you say it correlates?

Steve Lowther
Steve Lowther

@Nathan Burton, I am thinking you are missing a very important aspect of science.  That is, findings must be verifiable and repeatable. 

Maybe you could enlighten us just what is in the Book of Mormon that leads anyone to any verifiable and repeatable conclusion?

Where are the pre-Columbian horses?

Where are the steel artifacts?  The steel production facilities that leave long lasting evidences of their existence?  Where are the tailings?  The slag heaps?  The furnaces that fed the needs of millions of people?

Where are the chariots?  Or perhaps even a primitive wheel used in daily work?  If this was a forgotten invention, perhaps you could explain just why such a hugely simple, but enormously beneficial discovery could have possibly been forgotten?  Are there evidences ANYWHERE that a civilization has had such  shocking group amnesia that they would have forgotten something that would have eased the heavy burden of existence?

Do you have ANYTHING besides pejoratives?

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Nathan Burton  Your Book of Mormon story of Lehi allegedly began about 600 BC. The recent finding involves a 24,000 year old bone. How in the world is that "peculiarly in line with a document of disputed origin"?

Colton Keune
Colton Keune

You must be delusional or just inept at comprehending what he said. There is zero scientific proof that backs the mythology of a dozen people on a row boat crossing the Atlantic Ocean a millenia and a half ago. It's fine to believe that. It's fine to believe in a talking burning bush, gods on a mountain, or whatever god you believe, but do not jump on every new scientific finding as "proof" for these myths. "close minded", what a joke. Says the guy that refuses to believe in any other theory but his own.

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Brian Turner "Cute" is an inappropriate response to hard science. I suggest you read and study that report from my link. In particular, go to footnote 5 from the quote I gave. That is the source for this National Geographic story. The Clovis child of more than 12,000 years ago in Montana was found to be tied to that 24,000 year old Siberian study. There is nothing being stretched because the fact is that the DNA was found in North America from a person who died more than 12,000 years ago. Whether it occurred later or not is a moot point. It was already in Montana. The only stretch that is being made is being done by misguided members of the LDS church, who are trying to use this story to somehow validate their scripture.

Richard Wadsworth
Richard Wadsworth

@Vicki Chappell @Nathan Burton

The bible is abundantly vague on most subjects, especially when it comes to creation-- which does not indicate the mode of creation but only lays out the order in which things where created (and the order is pretty perfect if you swap birds with dinosaurs.) Mostly what science debunks is peoples traditions and interpretations of scriptures and perhaps illuminates that the people who gave their accounts in the Bible or Book of Mormon were not infallible and did not know everything.

Some people are of the opinion that the Hebrew word for "day" is often used to mean "a period of time with a beginning and an end" and could be billions of years long or a few seconds.

Some people are also of the opinion that God used evolutionary processes in order to create man over a period of millions of years and that Adam was merely the first man that God placed one of his "spirit children" in. 

These discoveries would not effect or change anything about people who view things in this way if they fully accepted every scientific discovery.

I think that the more we learn things from science, the more we are going to discover that a lot of our traditions and ideas were mistaken.



If you want to understand why people feel that this evidence validates the Book of Mormon. Type this into google and watch the youtube video:

DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography

Spencer Adams
Spencer Adams

@Steve Lowther @Nathan Burton

Steve, here's something  besides pejoratives: these alleged anachronisms in the Book of Mormon have possible non-anachronistic explanations.  

(1) Horses

(a) One possibility is that the text uses 'horse' to describe an animal other than equus ferus that everyone agrees was in pre-Columbian, post-Pliocene America.  
(b) And there is some (admittedly thin) evidence for pre-Columbian, post-Pliocene horses in the Western Hemisphere: Clay E. Ray, “Pre-Columbian Horses from Yucatan,” Journal of Mammalogy 38:2 (1957), 278.


(2) Steel
There was ancient steel.  The oldest steel is a fragment from between the 18th and 20th centuries BCE in Turkey. http://www.jiaa-kaman.org/pdfs/aas_16/AAS_16_Akanuma_H_pp_125_140.pdf

(3) Chariots

(a) Some of the references to chariots in the Book of Mormon are from Isaiah (2 Ne. 12:7) or from the resurrected Christ visiting the Western hemisphere (3 Ne. 21:14).  These aren't anachronisms. 
(b) Al. 18 and 20 refer to horses and chariots being used for transportation, and 3 Ne. 3:22 puts them in a list of possessions including other chattels.  

(i) Chariots are never referred to in the Book of Mormon being used for warfare (except the references given above in (a)).  For that matter, horses in the Book of Mormon are also not used in warfare.  One would expect a nineteenth-century author of the Book of Mormon to include horses and chariots in the battles.
(ii) The chariots are not referred to as having wheels (2 Ne. 15:28 refers to wheels in connection with warfare, but again in a passage from Isaiah).  
So there is some reason to think that these were not what we would call "chariots."  They could have been sleds pulled by other domesticated animals (the Lapps used reindeer to pull sleds, for example).

So there are some reasons for thinking that references to horses, steel, and chariots don't have to be anachronisms.  

Tania S. Diaz
Tania S. Diaz

@Mike Mitchell @Nathan Burton The Book of Mormon include the story of others populations traveling to America thousands of years before, not just the family of Lehi. This is another evidence  that the Book of Mormon is true!!

.

Brian Turner
Brian Turner

@Mike Mitchell  Once again, you are making assumptions.   I never said the Montana 12,000 year specimen didn't have central Asian dna.   I'm saying the fact that modern 100% Native Americans have a genome that is approximately 1/3 tied to individuals in the middle east means you cannot rule out the Book of Mormon story on DNA evidence.   Neither can you prove it with such evidence.   Who knows all the source(s) of that 'western eurasia" dna?   All individuals admit its very complex.


This really is not difficult. 

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Tania S. Diaz @Mike Mitchell @Nathan Burton  The most ancient migration story of others is the Jaradites, after the flood of Noah. D&C 77 and LDS curriculum manuals date that alleged migration to less than 6,000 years ago. The bone is 24,000 years old.

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Brian Turner "I never said the Montana 12,000 year specimen didn't have central Asian dna." And you fail to admit that because the Clovis study tied to the source study of this article, the Middle Eastern ties that you seem to be fond of can now be understood to have been in America more than 12,000 years ago. But you keep on referring to "central Asian dna" as if you choose to ignore the dual ancestry that this article is about when it concerns the Clovis child. Let's look at the source of this story.


From "Upper Palaeolithic Siberian Genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans"
"our findings may provide an explantation for the presence of mtDNA haplogroup X in Native Americans which is related to western Eurasians but not found in east Asian populations."


Also from the above study:
"Our findings reveal that western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans."


So your suggestion of later migrations such as found in Book of Mormon tales is a moot point. The mixed ancestry of the first Americans going back more than 12,000 years ago already accounts for it. That mix came from ancient ancestors more than 20,000 years ago. Throwing in mixes from transoceanic migrations during Biblical time periods is pointless. The study that this National Geographic article is about combined with the more recent study of the Clovis child settles the matter.

Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell

@Brian Turner I am assuming nothing. The facts speak for themselves. The Clovis child of more than 12,000 years ago was directly linked to the 24,000 year old subject of this story. You need to study these two sources:


1) Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12736.html


2) The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7487/full/nature13025.html


LDS members who suggest that later transoceanic Old World migrations to America could have brought that DNA identified in this National Geographic article must face the cold harsh reality that it was already in the Americas more than 12,000 years ago.


You are being difficult in refusing to acknowledge my point.

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