[ExI] The Yamnaya question

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 17:30:19 UTC 2019

On Sun, Jun 2, 2019 at 8:58 AM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> Long before your Yamnaya something dramatic happened to humans about
> 33,000BC, stone weapons suddenly got much more refined and specialized
> tools for cleaning animal skins and awls for piercing appeared, shoes
> were invented and so was jewelry. Before 33,000BC there was little or no
> art, after 33,000BC it was everywhere.
> If this change in human behavior happened because of a change in the gene
> pool then it almost certainly started in a mutation that occurred in a individual
> living in a small isolated population, the gene made the individual who
> had it a better hunter and a better warrior and this evolutionary
> advantage could easily rapidly spread through the entire population
> because it was so small. After that there would be little to stop the
> small isolated population from spreading out and becoming large, in fact
> becoming the dominate human population. But if the mutation had occurred
> in a horse centered nomadic population that ranged over a huge area it
> might have produced a few widely separated clever people here and there
> but the mutated gene would become so diluted by the huge gene pool it could
> never get a foothold.

### If you are asking about the causes of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution,
it is definitely not caused by Mendelian inheritance. It is highly likely
that genetic causes played an important role in this transition but most
likely it was due to a polygenic mechanism, with population-wide changes in
allele frequency triggered by selective processes acting in parallel on
genetically isolated populations, rather than by a selective sweep due to
migration from a single origin.

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