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Thread: The term “archaic” related to admixture with H. sapiens

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    The term “archaic” related to admixture with H. sapiens

    The term archaic is used often to describe admixture of H. sapiens with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and yet-to-be-identified species or variants in the Homo lineage. Perhaps I am nit-picking here but it’s increasingly clear that our most direct ancestors co-existed in time and space and interbred with other species or populations. It’s not clear to me how one population is more “archaic” than the other when they share common ancestors. Presumably none of these species or populations were static, genetically, morphologically, or culturally. Thoughts? Are they archaic because they no longer exist except in admixture?
    Last edited by RP48; 07-21-2021 at 04:25 PM.

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    It might be a different story if some archaic Homo Sapiens lineage arose and contributed to pre-OOA populations, but the current two major Archaic ancestry streamlines speciated, so that is in my books a fair cutoff in what is truly archaic admixture.

    And it's mostly from our Homo Sapiens' perspective, since they contributed in different ways to various populations and they're so distant in genetics yet relatively recent in history when looking at the Homo existence as a whole.

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    Archaics and Homo sapiens have been separated for a long time, so they are too different. It is easy to distinguish them according to their body shape. In genetics, experts can identify which segments belong to archaic according to the density of variation.

    From D.Reich's book:
    Tishkoff and her colleagues sequenced genomes from some of the most diverse populations of Africa and analyzed their data to search for a pattern that is predicted when there has been interbreeding with archaic humans: very long stretches of DNA that have a high density of differences compared to the great majority of other genomes, consistent with an origin in a highly divergent population that was isolated until recently from modern humans.2 When they applied this approach to present day non-Africans, they pulled out stretches of DNA that they found were nearly exact matches to the Neanderthal sequence.

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