Web Gems, November 22, 2013

I’ve been monitoring global web responses to Raghavan et al.’s “Upper Palaeolithic Siberian Genome Reveals Dual Ancestry of Native Americans” that appear in the comments sections on Dienekes, Gene Expression and Eurogenes sites. The Web Gem Reward of this week goes to Kristiina from Finland who poignantly asks:

“I would like someone to explain me why the ancient 15k Amerind admixture in Europeans is visible but the ancient massive East Asian admixture in Amerinds is not?”

It’s remarkable that out of thousands of people who visit these sites daily and sometimes leave a sentence or a paragraph behind, only one has proved able to actually cut to the chase. Human origins research is a fertile field for a social psychologist or a cultural anthropologist who can readily observe live and in the wild how hard it is for humans to think rationally and how much our thinking is affected by peer pressure.