More on South Asian Genetics, with a Note on Ashkenazi Jews

Here is a followup to my Indian friend’s post on South Asian genetics. Interesting stuff, and also goes into the genetics of Europeans in some details. Good post on Caucasoid/Non-Caucasoid mixture the world over.

Robert, just as an addendum/clarification to my post above:

I’d first like to address the point I made about the genetic makeup of South Asians, including Indians:

I’m glad you appreciated my post and accepted the validity of the crux of it, especially the major point that Indians have two major ancestral components, ANI and ASI, with ANI being closest to modern-day Georgians and 100% Caucasian in genetic makeup and ASI being a ~60%-40% mix of Caucasian and ancient South-East Asian (related to the ANE component in Europeans) respectively. I also pointed out that the 40-50% of ASI that is non-Caucasian is ancient South-East Asian admixture for the majority of South Asians, and that it has nothing to do with any other source population.

However, I noticed that you mentioned something about the Australoid-like component in a minority of (lowest-caste) South and East Indians that show up on a few charts (though not the majority). It seems like you are implying that other Indian populations might also have this admixture. This is completely, patently false.

While I conceded that these isolated tribal groups in the South and Far East of India have a few genetic markers pertaining to Australoid-like populations, I carefully pointed out the fact that other mainland, Subcontinental populations have NO Australoid genetic ancestry to speak of. This includes all other Indians who do not belong to these super-small minorities that live in isolation and are composed of tribal groups and untouchables outside of the caste system.

As far as the tribal populations I alluded to earlier are concerned, it is true that some members among them share certain markers with a common ancestor of Australoid-like people, as recent genetic research has shown:

Direct Genetic Link between Australia and India Provides New Insight into the Origins of Australian Aborigines

However, this is only limited to a super-small minority of tribes that are exceptionally geographically and racially isolated with no contact with the outside world. Even these tribes have been shown to be more similar to each other than to Australoid-like populations, as has been published in peer-reviewed research:

Let me restate and clarify what the latest archaeogenetic research has conclusively shown about the genetics of mainland Indians that belong to the vast majority of castes and sub-castes in India (excluding tribals):

There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that ASI or the South Indian component in Indians is related to modern-day Australoids or even Negritos. These are the fst distances, the most widely used measure of genetic distance between populations, between ASI and other populations:

Caucasian: 0.077
Baloch: 0.08
NE Asian: 0.081
NE Euro: 0.082
SE Asian: 0.084
SW Asian: 0.091
Siberian: 0.093
Mediterranean: 0.095
Beringian: 0.116
E African: 0.122
American: 0.128
W African: 0.142
Papuan: 0.145
Pygmy: 0.188
San: 0.203
BTW, Here are the Fst distances for your perusal:

If one actually reads this fst distance spreadsheet I posted above (with data from Reich and other Harvard geneticists), it is clear that the South Indian/ASI component is closest to Gedrosia (at 0.081) followed by Caucasus (at 0.082) and East Asian (at 0.085) and Northern European at (0.086). This clearly shows that it’s actually closer to Gedrosia and Caucasus than the East Asian components. Again, the component is closest to Caucasian, Baloch, NE Asian, NE Euro and SE Asian in that order. So its closer to Caucasian populations, followed by a Mongoloid South-East Asian population, followed by a North-Eastern European population.

In other words, the ASI/South Indian component is actually closer to Caucasian populations than even Mongoloid populations, and it is nowhere near close to Australoid populations. In fact, it’s even closer to North Eastern Europeans than Australoids and closer to West and East African than the Papuan component!

We all know very well that apart from the Siddis and Makranis (exceptionally small, endogamous communities of Africans found on the West Coast of India thanks to the Arab slave trade) there is no SSA/Sub-Saharan African or Negroid genetic influence in South Asia to speak of, so the long-parroted hogwash about there being an Australoid-like component in Indian populations is nothing but hot air. It’s like saying that Indians are part Negroid, which is laughable but according to the distances, it would still be less laughable than saying that they are part-Australoid. In other words, the whole Australoid theory is utterly wrong.

Also, the South Indian component clusters slightly closer to the West Eurasian components and in particular Gedrosia, a Caucasian component. Being roughly intermediate between the Siberian and Gedrosia components does NOT make the South Asian component Australoid in any way. Especially, when the HAP South Indian component is almost twice as close to the Caucasian component than it is to the Papuan component.

I’m not saying the South Indian component is completely West Eurasian, but it’s clearly mixed between ANI and ASI with the majority being ANI. In addition, Australoids cluster closest to East Eurasians (in particular Southeast Asians) than other populations. The South Asian/South Indian component is intermediate between Siberian and Gedrosia, Siberian being East Asia, and Gedrosia being Caucasian. It is actually slightly closer to Caucasian components than East Eurasian components, therefore, the component is ~60% Caucasian in nature, as I explained earlier. In fact, that is what Reich suggested in his original paper on ANI-ASI. That it represents ancestry that is not particularly close to either West or East Eurasians, but marginally closer to the Caucasian component, hence the 60% value again.

The South Indian component is so distant from the Papuan “Australoid-like” component that its laughable to suggest any connection as I explained above. Again, as the fst distances show, it is actually the furthest from all blacks, and then Papuans — Papuans are even further removed from the South Indian component than the East and West Africans! So there is no relation to Australoids/Onge or Papuans at all. If anything, there is a pull towards East Asians, who themselves are closest to some Negrito populations but still quite far away from them.

Some South Asians pull towards East Asians like all of Europe, particularly Northern and Eastern Europe and even Southern Europe in general, with the same affinities to the same populations, because of the ASI admixture which is present in Europeans in ANE form, which BTW is also 10% SE Asian and Australoid-like according to the latest research. Furthermore, the unusually high South and Southeast Asian scores in some Europeans can be explained by shared ANE ancestry with South Asians (in the form of ASI).

I’d also like to add that Melanesians and Papuans cluster in an isolated position by themselves and are somewhat divergent from one another, while South Asians are closest to West Eurasians with a pull toward East Eurasians. All that means is that the ASI portion of the South Indian component split less recently from the ancestors of the Papuans compared to other populations and is South-East Asian in nature. In addition, any fst distance over 0.1 is still quite distant.

Also, Dravidians have been hypothesized to be Caucasoids before admixing with Asians in India. Is it not possible the Brahui are the remnants of the original Dravidian speaking Neolithic West Asian farmers? While the rest of the Dravidian speakers migrated deeper into the subcontinent, the Brahui somehow got isolated in the Gedrosia/Balochistan region but retained their Dravidian language albeit with significant Balochi influence.

As for Mehrgarh, the Dravidians of that region weren’t forever sedentary. So what I am saying is, some of them did go to West Asian regions. BTW, recently they found Indian mtdna in ancient people all the way in Syria:

If Indian mtdna has been found in ancient Syrians, then you can be pretty sure that the Dravidians did go to Iran as well.

In essence, Indians are Mediterranean Whites, with ancestry closest to present-day Georgians, with some Ancient SE Asian admixture of varying levels, based on caste + region of origin. Indians are dark due to the tropical, humid climate, high UV levels and micro-evolution and sexual selection resulting from living in the subcontinent. Also, the fact that their Caucasian component is Mediterranean, specifically, Georgian in nature, combined with their proficient tanning ability and mutation and variation specific to Indian evolution along with the ancient SE Asian admix, also gave them a unique appearance and complexion.

I’d like to conclude by reiterating the fact that the average South Asian is 75% Caucasian and 25% Asian; on 23andme- Indians score 60-95% European, and the Central/West Eurasian Caucasoid component varies from 70-95% in NW India and 50-70% in South India. Here is an ancestry chromosome painting of an archetypal upper-caste Indian man from the NW of India:

View post on

As you can see, this man is 90% Caucasian and 10% Asian, and fits right in with the genetic data above. That conclusively proves all of the points/studies/data outlined above. Now I’ll address the other two points you made.

Now, as far as the point you made regarding Ashkenazi Jews not having Negroid admixture, note how I said that their admixture was distributed between Mongoloid and Negroid, not evenly so. Anyway, here are a couple studies that support my earlier point about them being 16.47% admixed with Negroid and Mongoloid:

“Serum samples from Armenians, and from Libyan and Ashkenazi Jews living in Israel were tested for Gm (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 21, 24, 26) and for Inv(1) [Km(1)]. The Gm data indicate that all three populations have Negroid and Mongoloid admixture. The minimum amount of admixture varies from 3.1% (Armenians) to 5.5% (Libyan Jews). This admixture had not been detected by the study of other polymorphisms, thus once again underlining the sensitivity of the Gm system.

The haplotype frequencies among the Libyan Jews are markedly different from those among the Ashkenazi Jews. Surprisingly (coincidentally?) the haplotype frequencies among the Ashkenazi Jews and the Armenians are similar. The Libyan Jews have a significantly higher frequency of Inv 1 than do the Ashkenazi Jews and among the latter, Inv 1 is at least twice as frequent among Polish Jews as it is among Russian Jews.”
More at this Link:

Further, more evidence regarding the admixture of Ashkenazi Jews:
“According to Behar et. al. (2004), 5% of Ashkenazi DNA consists of Central Asian/Siberian Mongoloid Y-DNA Haplogroup Q. Y-DNA R-M17 (R1a1a) chromosomes have been detected at frequencies of 11.5% by Nebel et. al. (2004) and are of Central Asian origin with a probable vector of transmission in the Turko-Mongoloid Khazars. If we accept a proximate Turko-Mongoloid origin for Khazar Eu 19 chromosomes as was proposed by Nebel et. al. (2004), it could be argued that 16.5% of Ashkenazi Y-DNA is of Mongoloid origin. Admixture ratios for Ashkenazi mtDNA might be even higher. And of course, Negroid admixture (being approximately 1%) is negligible.”

Even more evidence:
“According to the supplementary data of Behar et. al. (2004) on low-frequency Ashkenazi mtDNA’s, they have a total of 3.7% non-Caucasoid maternal admixture, with the Negroid mtDNA haplogroup L2a being the most common at 1.8%.”

And more evidence yet again:
“I also forgot to mention that Behar et. al. (2004) also indicates that Ashkenazi Jews have non-Caucasoid Y-DNA haplogroups N and E*(xE3b), for a grand total of 6.1% non-Caucasoid ancestry (including Q). Added to R-M17, this comes out to 17.6% Mongoloid admixture.”


“The presence of three haplotypes at very low frequencies (0.3– 1.5%) in Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations (1A, 3A, and YAP1 5) may be explained by low levels of gene flow from sub-Saharan African populations. This conclusion is consistent with the observed presence of low frequencies of African mtDNA haplotypes in Jewish populations (16). Two haplotypes (1U and 1C) that are common in Asian populations (33) were present at low frequencies in Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations.
(Table 1).”

“Autosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA samples of Ashkenazic Jews occasionally reveal faint signals of descent from Sub-Saharan Africans from West, Central, South, and East Africa who belong to the Negroid race, which is typified by the Bantu peoples and differentiated from the Pygmy and Bushmen races as well as from the North African Caucasoids (white Berbers and Coptic Egyptians). The hairstyle amusingly called the “Jewfro”, sported by those rare Ashkenazim who have very curly hair of a kinky sort and don’t artificially straighten it, is a probable physical indicator of this descent.

Most Ashkenazic Jews, however, have no genetic trace of Sub-Saharan African descent. Scientific laboratory admixture tests usually show that most Ashkenazim are basically zero percent Sub-Saharan autosomally. This page collects anecdotes from Ashkenazim who did inherit this ancestry. Genetic testing reveals that some (but not all) Ashkenazic Jews from Eastern Europe descend a little bit from Sub-Saharan African black people.

Comprehensive maternal and paternal haplogroup analysis shows that a woman, rather than a man, was the source of this ancestry. (The common Ashkenazic Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b1 originated with Caucasoid or proto-Caucasoid people living in northeast Africa or Arabia. As noted above, E1a1a1 might likewise be rooted with Caucasoids of ancient northeast Africa.)”
More at this link:

And finally, the kicker, the latest study demonstrating the obvious Negroid admixture in all Jews, including the Ashkenazim:

From the abstract: “Previous genetic studies have suggested a history of sub-Saharan African gene flow into some West Eurasian populations after the initial dispersal out of Africa that occurred at least 45,000 years ago. However, there has been no accurate characterization of the proportion of mixture, or of its date. We analyze genome-wide polymorphism data from about 40 West Eurasian groups to show that almost all Southern Europeans have inherited 1%–3% African ancestry with an average mixture date of around 55 generations ago, consistent with North African gene flow at the end of the Roman Empire and subsequent Arab migrations.

Levantine groups harbor 4%–15% African ancestry with an average mixture date of about 32 generations ago, consistent with close political, economic, and cultural links with Egypt in the late middle ages. We also detect 3%–5% sub-Saharan African ancestry in all eight of the diverse Jewish populations that we analyzed. For the Jewish admixture, we obtain an average estimated date of about 72 generations. This may reflect descent of these groups from a common ancestral population that already had some African ancestry prior to the Jewish Diasporas.”

So there, that proves without a doubt, that the Ashkenazim are heavily admixed between Mongoloids and Negroids, along with certain Southern European population groups (as you well know already).

Finally, just to clarify, I didn’t say that ANE originated in Amerindians, on the contrary, I stated that “All non-Sardinian Europeans have been shown to have significant amounts of ANE ancestry due to the Malt’a boy mentioned earlier, and this ANE ancestry is related to/is the same as ASI ancestry in South Asians, relating Europeans to Amerindians and East Asians….the ANE component is composed of 45% Mongoloid and Australoid-like ancestry (similar to the distant relation that some South Asians have to proto-Australoids), and the Malt’a boy also has a proto-Australoid ASE component on the order of 10%….

This ANE component peaks in the Karitiana Indians of South America….It is also pertinent to point out the fact that ANE ancestry in all Europeans with the exception of Sardinians (who have very minor ANE ancestry) is mostly (45-55%) non-Caucasoid in nature, and does not include separate additional East Asian ancestry that is due to much more recent admixture with Mongoloids from the Golden Horde and other admixture events….

ANE or NE Asian is best thought of as very ancient Asian admixture…What this paper definitively shows (as do successive papers recently released after it) is that Europeans, especially Northern Europeans, have huge amounts of NE Asian, also known as ANE, admixture. This is because they are descended in part from an Amerindian population….What is the actual amount? Well, remember that ANE or NE Asian is made up of two components – one is Caucasian and related to Levantine ancestry and the other is related to NE Asia/Siberians and the American Indians, peaking in the Karitiana Indians of South America.”

In essence, what I stated is that the ANE found in Europeans links them to Amerindian populations because both groups have ANE ancestry, and the ANE component is composed of 45% Mongoloid and Australoid-like ancestry (similar to the distant relation that some South Asians have to proto-Australoids), and the Malt’a boy also has a proto-Australoid ASE component on the order of 10%., and this ANE component peaks in the Karitiana Indians of South America.

And it does look like Northern Europeans are truly descended in part from a population which has affinities to the “First Americans.” I say this specifically because the Siberian samples they tested actually gave a weaker result than the South American Amerindians on the 3-population test, showing that they are descended from an ancestral East Asia population that is Amerindian-like and that has affinities to the Amerindians of today. More info here:

Just a final note, caste is NOT genetically arbitrary, despite what some lower-caste Indians and Blacks and Hispanics and Europeans may claim; all the scientific evidence and data we have so far completely contradicts this notion.

In other words, castes are not arbitrary units made up by the British to divide the South Asian population — they have a solid basis in thousands of years of systematic endogamous practices to the exclusion of less Caucasian individuals.

In essence, the Hindu caste system was set up by the Indo-Aryan Caucasians to ensure that they would retain as much of their Caucasian blood as possible, and it seems like they definitely succeeded in that endeavor as well as if not better than most Caucasoids (including some European and Russian populations) worldwide, then at the very least, equal to Caucasoid populations worldwide, from the Europeans to the Middle Easterners to the Levantines to even some Northern African groups that are less admixed with Negroid populations. Here is more information on the scientific evidence that backs up the existence and validity of caste:

Caste is not ancestrally arbitrary

And always remember, if you ever come across a Hindu who looks distinctively lower caste and claims to be upper-caste, then he is nothing but a pariah pretending to be upper-caste, an exercise that lower-caste individuals frequently engage in, using a process known as “Sanskritization” the existence of which was noted by British Anthropologists during the Raj.

Common symptoms of this include: Changing the surname to a higher-caste one, adopting practices of the higher caste, and earning immense wealth in an attempt to gain a bride of the higher castes. Lots of Indian Americans are guilty of this; which is why so many Indian Americans with higher-caste surnames like “Singh” look lower caste — they are impostors, not genuine higher caste individuals (and looking lower caste doesn’t have much to do with skin color (although, as a rule, upper-caste individuals aren’t darker than brown when untanned) but with facial features, bone structure, hirsuteness, and body structure, and of course, genetics.)

That sums it up. Let me know if you’d like more information about anything. Of course, all of these studies are freely available for anyone’s perusal.

That’s all. Hope that helps you understand the complex demographics of India.

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4 thoughts on “More on South Asian Genetics, with a Note on Ashkenazi Jews”

  1. “Asian/Siberian Mongoloid Y-DNA Haplogroup Q. Y-DNA R-M17 (R1a1a) chromosomes have been detected at frequencies of 11.5% by Nebel et. al. (2004) and are of Central Asian origin with a probable vector of transmission in the Turko-Mongoloid Khazars. If we accept a proximate Turko-Mongoloid origin for Khazar Eu 19 chromosomes as was proposed by Nebel et. al. (2004), it could be argued that 16.5% of Ashkenazi Y-DNA is of Mongoloid origin.”

    R1a is a western Eurasian (causasoid) haplogroup.
    Ashkenazic r1a is now thought to likely be from an Iranian speaking group (perhaps Northern iranian) and not central Asia or Slavs as previously thought.

  2. You erroneously assume that Eu 19 is a Mongolian haplogroup.probably because it is found in Central Asia. It is more common in Eastern Europe and Syria,. Besides which, you ignore automal studies that are for more recent and accurate, using millions of markers — see the Shai Carmi Study

  3. Hey robert is this a good claim to make that south asians cant fit in the three race theory of black (australoid and negroid), white (arab,european), and mongloid (east asian) because they are a mix of all of them.

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