Thursday, April 20, 2006

Estimates of mutation rates in humans

In this paper by J. Shea in the current issue of Evol. Anthr. mentions:

"The chronological basis for (pre)historical interpretations of living human genetic variation (thatis, mutation rates) are apparently rooted in archaeological estimates for biogeographic separation of human populations. These estimates are controversial, to say the least"

The paper is about a conference called "Rethinking the Human Revolution", and as usual talks about the need for more inter-sub (and subsub)disciplinary exchange and between archaeologists and geneticits, as evidenced by the uncertainty mentioned in the above quote, and "between European and Near Eastern archeologists working in a culture-historical research tradition and, again largely, Anglo-American archaeologists working in an evolutionary ecological one."

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