Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New Paper Relevant to the Controversy on DNA and the Book of Mormon

There is a new paper online that may be relevant to Book of Mormon issues, especially in light of the attacks based on DNA evidence. The paper is "Human Lymphocyte Antigens: Apparent Afro-Asiatic, Southern Asian, and European HLAs in Indigenous American Populations" by James L. Guthrie. It deals with human lymphocyte antigens (HLAs, proteins on white blood cells that can be classified like blood types to understand genetic relationships between groups. Guthrie's survey of the evidence suggest that Mesoamerica had significant genetic influence from non-Asian groups prior to the arrival of Columbus. Here is an excerpt:
The purpose of this paper is to point out that certain indigenous American populations have HLA alleles that are rare in America but common in parts of the world not usually associated with American Indian origins, and many of the unexpected HLAs are characteristic of populations sometimes claimed, on the basis of other kinds of evidence, to have had ancient contacts with Americans. In other words, there seems to be genetic support for the idea of ancient interhemispheric mobility. I propose that the “non-Indian” HLAs were introduced from the outside at various times between the initial colonizations of the hemisphere and the late fifteenth century A.D. I also consider other possible explanations, but they seem less likely to me. The percentage of apparently foreign HLAs averages only 7% in the populations tested so far, and this observation does not contradict the supposition that the founding American populations were overwhelmingly Asian.
Thanks to D.C. Pyle for letting me know.

1 comment:

jeff g said...

I've always wondered if maybe they could do a Y-Chromosome or Mitochondria analysis to see if this could show signs of middle eastern descent. Since the Y Chromosome comes strictly from the father, it would not be 'diluted' by other 'peoples' genes. As long as Lehi has any living descendants who are male and descended from males all the way down from Lehi, they should be able to be found. The same can be said for Sariah's mitochondria. Of course, I personally have no clue as to how distinctive middle eastern Mitochondria and Y-Chromosomes are from those of Asiatic, so maybe I'm just being stupid.