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Thread: Could Western Jews (Ash. and Seph.) descend from Aegeans and Levantine admixture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post

    I hope this is based on ancient genomic data. There's also a tweet of interest regarding the Khazars:



    A bold statement, given David Reich's track record with regards to the IE homeland, I'll have to see it to believe it. The fact that Nassim Taleb cited Elhaik's latest paper when bugged by all the folks who keep bringing up the Khazar myth (which is still very popular) suggests he doesn't have an in-depth knowledge of this issue.
    The fact that the Khazar origin of Ashkenazi Jews is still being seriously considered by academics of any sort is a pure lunacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Saw the tweet as well. This PCA is from Haber et al.'s 2013 paper Genome-Wide Diversity in the Levant Reveals Recent Structuring by Culture. The only new thing here is this:



    I hope this is based on ancient genomic data. There's also a tweet of interest regarding the Khazars:



    A bold statement, given David Reich's track record with regards to the IE homeland, I'll have to see it to believe it. The fact that Nassim Taleb cited Elhaik's latest paper when bugged by all the folks who keep bringing up the Khazar myth (which is still very popular) suggests he doesn't have an in-depth knowledge of this issue.
    Thanks for the clarification. I think I have the paper somewhere but have no memory of this peculiar PCA How do we explain such a bizarre set of clusters in this peer-reviewed paper?

    As for Taleb, it's quite amusing to follow him on Twitter. I really get where so many of the Lebanese Christians are coming from, and the confirmation bias is really tangible. We must be honest with ourselves, first and foremost, in admitting that we all have biases to a certain degree. Hopefully, however, there is an attempt to, at the very least, attentuate them, and to blunt their sharper edges through proper scientific methods. There's no doubt that in Taleb's case, confirmation bias does often venture into overdose mode. I don't get why there's a need to prove the Aramaic origins of Lebanese Arabic. Surely, it's easier to accept it as Arabic (within an obvious regional sprachbund) but distinguish it from Fus'ha, and say it's an equal sister language. What's next, some Maltese arguing that Maltese descends directly from Phoenician? In the Balkans, political and ethnic identities have operated in such a splintering manner that new languages may be born every couple of years, following the collapse of the Serbo-Croat Yugoslav dream. None of the protagonists, however, deny the proto-Slavic origins of their respective 'new' idioms. Taleb is joined by Franck Salameh on leading a de-Arabization mission. As I say, given the historical experience of Christians in the region, who can deny that new survival strategies need to be devised by local academics and ideologues? In fact, it's inevitable.

    Twitter usually acts as a kind of echo chamber but one wonders why the ideologues don't dip into respected fora such as this, and read threads like the one we are currently on? Perhaps they do, but the confirmation bias has such a strong gravitational pull that it sends them into a quite different orbit which is more comforting and appropriate for their various agendas

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonahst View Post
    What's your alternative theory to this narrative?

    Based on both the genetic evidence and knowledge of later Jewish history, I have a hard time believing their journey wasn't gradual (as in advancing from the Levant to Southern Europe, Southern Europe to Central Europe, Central Europe to Northern/Eastern Europe).
    I have neither a theory nor a hypothesis. I have scientific background and i don't like to speculate too much based on the absence of evidence. There is no particular reason why italy should be the only source. There is Provence, Septimania, Danube jews.... But we are talking about a small population of immigrants. In any case there is no direct link between pre-1096 and post-1349 population. Look, the first modern communities in England and USA were Sefaradim from Amsterdam. Can we go 200 years ahead and connect the US polish jews to them? and then what about all the syrian and ottoman jews there? I am just agnostic on this issue. We are not checking genetics of a pre-1096 or pre-1349 population but a modern one. And I cannot believe that Ashkenazim derive from only 350 people (when?).
    Last edited by eolien; 01-08-2019 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eolien View Post
    I have neither a theory nor a hypothesis. I have scientific background and i don't like to speculate too much based on the absence of evidence. There is no particular reason why italy should be the only source. There is Provence, Septimania, Danube jews.... But we are talking about a small population of immigrants. In any case there is no direct link between pre-1096 and post-1349 population. Look, the first modern communities in England and USA were Sefaradim from Amsterdam. Can we go 200 years ahead and connect the US polish jews to them? and then what about all the syrian and ottoman jews there? I am just agnostic on this issue. We are not checking genetics of a pre-1096 or pre-1349 population but a modern one. And I cannot believe that Ashkenazim derive from only 350 people (when?).
    I think that currently, the strongest case is in favor of early medieval North Italian Jewry as the predominant source of origin for the predecessors of Ashkenazi Jews.

    There is some minor evidence for few "native" East and Central European Jews joining them later on as they moved east, but the overall origin of Ashkenazi Jewry is mostly from Western Europe, and most likely, according to toponymic surnames and linguistic and religious evidence, they originate from migrants from Italy. The Italian origin of the Provence Jewry is even more significant - so if you'd like to point for Provence as a source of origin, it's more clear that originally most of it originated from Italian Jews.

    Btw, I also tend to disagree with the "Ashkenazi Jews descend from 350 people that survived a bottleneck", and I believe the number was probably more around ~2,000 people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    The fact that the Khazar origin of Ashkenazi Jews is still being seriously considered by academics of any sort is a pure lunacy.
    Never underestimate collective stupidity.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by eolien View Post
    I have neither a theory nor a hypothesis. I have scientific background and i don't like to speculate too much based on the absence of evidence. There is no particular reason why italy should be the only source. There is Provence, Septimania, Danube jews.... But we are talking about a small population of immigrants. In any case there is no direct link between pre-1096 and post-1349 population. Look, the first modern communities in England and USA were Sefaradim from Amsterdam. Can we go 200 years ahead and connect the US polish jews to them? and then what about all the syrian and ottoman jews there? I am just agnostic on this issue. We are not checking genetics of a pre-1096 or pre-1349 population but a modern one. And I cannot believe that Ashkenazim derive from only 350 people (when?).
    Why have you rejected the dna evidence of a strong Italian contribution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewid View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I think I have the paper somewhere but have no memory of this peculiar PCA How do we explain such a bizarre set of clusters in this peer-reviewed paper?
    I think this has more to do with the fact that this is a focused view of a global PCA, AJs do cluster like this in some of these. If this were a West Eurasian PCA, it would be more recognisable. I could be wrong though.

    As for Taleb, it's quite amusing to follow him on Twitter. I really get where so many of the Lebanese Christians are coming from, and the confirmation bias is really tangible. We must be honest with ourselves, first and foremost, in admitting that we all have biases to a certain degree. Hopefully, however, there is an attempt to, at the very least, attentuate them, and to blunt their sharper edges through proper scientific methods. There's no doubt that in Taleb's case, confirmation bias does often venture into overdose mode. I don't get why there's a need to prove the Aramaic origins of Lebanese Arabic. Surely, it's easier to accept it as Arabic (within an obvious regional sprachbund) but distinguish it from Fus'ha, and say it's an equal sister language. What's next, some Maltese arguing that Maltese descends directly from Phoenician? In the Balkans, political and ethnic identities have operated in such a splintering manner that new languages may be born every couple of years, following the collapse of the Serbo-Croat Yugoslav dream. None of the protagonists, however, deny the proto-Slavic origins of their respective 'new' idioms. Taleb is joined by Franck Salameh on leading a de-Arabization mission. As I say, given the historical experience of Christians in the region, who can deny that new survival strategies need to be devised by local academics and ideologues? In fact, it's inevitable.
    The way I see it, the problem is that they insist on singling out Lebanese as a distinct language and insist that it is really "Canaanite-Aramaic" but at the same time are not ready to do the same for Palestinian or Syrian Arabic (as you know, there is no love lost between people in that part of the world). You even see some using Sa'id Aql's alphabet. Of course this becomes more absurd when you know that the dialects of Levantine Arabic do not closely follow present-day borders.

    I honestly see no problem with the Lebanese rejecting Arab identity, in fact I've often argued here that Lebanon cannot be genuinely described as an Arab country. I also see no problem with the Lebanese acknowledging and taking pride in their Phoenician ancestry, this is only natural as they are bound to derive the vast majority of their ancestry from the Phoenicians (well over 80% I'd wager). But there's a huge difference between this and claiming that the dialect of Levantine Arabic they currently speak is watered-down Phoenician, pretending that Phoenicia was a unified country (which it never was), that the Galilee is Lebanese territory (you'd be amazed to see the lengths to which they go in order to justify this) or that Jesus was really Phoenician (no this isn't a joke)... If they truly wish to speak Phoenician, I suggest they start learning as much as they can about Hebrew (the only surviving Canaanite language) and more specifically the Samaritan and Ashkenazi variants as both are bound to resemble Phoenician on some level (the former because it ultimately is a dialect of Israelite Hebrew and the latter because it went through many of the sound changes that characterise Phoenician).

    Twitter usually acts as a kind of echo chamber but one wonders why the ideologues don't dip into respected fora such as this, and read threads like the one we are currently on? Perhaps they do, but the confirmation bias has such a strong gravitational pull that it sends them into a quite different orbit which is more comforting and appropriate for their various agendas
    Arguably because they wouldn't get the same ego boost if they were to post here. Echo chambers tend to be agreement clubs, AG on the other hand is no agreement club. I mean you can see it in this thread, I have my disagreements with Erik's theory but that doesn't mean I'm going to block him, which as you know is the standard response on Twitter when someone disagrees with you
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 01-08-2019 at 03:07 PM.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    I think this has more to do with the fact that this is a focused view of a global PCA, AJs do cluster like this in some of these. If this were a West Eurasian PCA, it would be more recognisable. I could be wrong though.



    The way I see it, the problem is that they insist on singling out Lebanese as a distinct language and insist that it is really "Canaanite-Aramaic" but at the same time are not ready to do the same for Palestinian or Syrian Arabic (as you know, there is no love lost between people in that part of the world). You even see some using Sa'id Aql's alphabet. Of course this becomes more absurd when you know that the dialects of Levantine Arabic do not closely follow present-day borders.

    I honestly see no problem with the Lebanese rejecting Arab identity, in fact I've often argued here that Lebanon cannot be genuinely described as an Arab country. I also see no problem with the Lebanese acknowledging and taking pride in their Phoenician ancestry, this is only natural as they are bound to derive the vast majority of their ancestry from the Phoenicians (well over 80% I'd wager). But there's a huge difference between this and claiming that the dialect of Levantine Arabic they currently speak is watered-down Phoenician, pretending that Phoenicia was a unified country (which it never was), that the Galilee is Lebanese territory (you'd be amazed to see the lengths to which they go in order to justify this) or that Jesus was really Phoenician (no this isn't a joke)... If they truly wish to speak Phoenician, I suggest they start learning as much as they can about Hebrew (the only surviving Canaanite language) and more specifically the Samaritan and Ashkenazi variants as both are bound to resemble Phoenician on some level (the former because it ultimately is a dialect of Israelite Hebrew and the latter because it went through many of the sound changes that characterise Phoenician).



    Arguably because they wouldn't get the same ego boost if they were to post here. Echo chambers tend to be agreement clubs, AG on the other hand is no agreement club. I mean you can see it in this thread, I have my disagreements with Erik's theory but that doesn't mean I'm going to block him, which as you know is the standard response on Twitter when someone disagrees with you
    Add to that Taleb and some Orthodox Levantines' latest insistence that they're heavily Hellenic by blood, which they support by ignoring the still-substantial PCA gap between Greek Islanders and northern Levantines (and by sometimes claiming that the preponderance of J2 in Lebanon signifies "Indo-European" origins). Ideologically motivated reasoning: check. Kitchen sink fallacy: check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Never underestimate collective stupidity.
    Do not think its about stupidity.
    Intellectuals tend to love the theories they've built.
    Even if you get new data, that without any doubts proves your beloved theory is wrong and your opponent's theory is more or less correct, it is still much easier to continue inventing unbelievable versions based on nothing, but not say on public "My theory is wrong".
    After someone for years argued for his theory on every scientific conference, he just would never admit himself:
    "I've worked for 20 years on a theory that turned out to be nonsense".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon
    I mean you can see it in this thread, I have my disagreements with Erik's theory but that doesn't mean I'm going to block him
    Why thank you really
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