[Paleopsych] iSteve.com Blog Archives: Does Genghis Khan have a rival as History's Greatest Lover?

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Does Genghis Khan have a rival as History's Greatest Lover?
Thursday, October 20, 2005

    The only time I scooped Nicholas Wade, the NYT's ace genetics
    reporter, was on [9]the story that Y-chromosome analysis showed that
    Genghis Khan was the ancestor in the direct male line of one out of
    every 200 men on earth, making him roughly 800,000 times more fecund
    than the average man alive 800 years ago. Now, we have a new
    (collective) candidate: the Manchu kings that founded the last dynasty
    in China, the Qing.
    Yali Xue, Chris Tyler-Smith (whom I interviewed for the Genghis Khan
    story), et al, have a new paper entitled "Recent Spread of a
    Y-Chromosomal Lineage in Northern China and Mongolia" in the new
    American Journal of Human Genetics. Here's the [10]abstract:

    We have identified a Y-chromosomal lineage that is unusually frequent
    in northeastern China and Mongolia, in which a haplotype cluster
    defined by 15 Y short tandem repeats was carried by 3.3% of the males
    sampled from East Asia. The most recent common ancestor of this
    lineage lived 590 +- 340 years ago (mean = SD), and it was detected in
    Mongolians and six Chinese minority populations. We suggest that the
    lineage was spread by Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) nobility, who were a
    privileged elite sharing patrilineal descent from Giocangga (died
    1582), the grandfather of Manchu leader Nurhaci, and whose documented
    members formed 0.4% of the minority population by the end of the

    They argue:

    We reasoned that the events leading to the spread of this lineage
    might have been recorded in the historical record, as well as in the
    genetic record. The spread must have occurred after the cluster's
    TMRCA (~500 years ago, corresponding to about A.D. 1500) and, most
    likely, before the Xibe migration in 1764. Notable features are the
    occurrence of the lineage in seven different populations but its
    apparent absence from the most populous Chinese ethnic group, the Han.
    A major historical event took place in this part of the world during
    this period, namely, the Manchu conquest of China and the
    establishment of the Qing dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 to
    1912. This dynasty was founded by Nurhaci (1559 - 1626) and was
    dominated by the Qing imperial nobility, a hereditary class consisting
    of male-line descendants of Nurhaci's paternal grandfather, Giocangga
    (died 1582), with 180,000 official members by the end of the dynasty
    (Elliott 2001). The nobility were highly privileged; for example, a
    ninth-rank noble annually received ~11 kg of silver and 22,000 liters
    of rice and maintained many concubines.

    I've emailed Tyler-Smith to find out if he believes that this lineage
    is even more common today than Genghis Khan's. If his sample of 1,003
    East Asian men is representative of China's population (which is 1/5th
    of the world's), then 1/150th of all the men on Earth have the
    Y-chromosome of Manchu kings. Looking at his paper, however, it
    appears that his sample of 1,0003 East Asian men is not representative
    of China as a whole, but is biased in favor of the less densely
    populated far north of China. If so, then [11]Genghis Khan is still
    the reigning heavyweight champion progenitor.

    UPDATE: Chris Tyler-Smith emails to confirm that the Mighty Manslayer
    is still #1:

    The Qing chromosome was not found at all in the Han samples we looked
    at, and this makes a big difference to predictions of its total
    number. If we make the assumption that its real frequency in the
    Minority populations is the same as our measurement (about 5%) and
    that it is really absent from the Han, the total number of carriers in
    the world would be a little over one and a half million, about
    one-tenth of the Genghis Khan chromosome. Still quite impressive for
    such a recent and relatively peaceful expansion.

     [12]My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

    [15]View my complete profile


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   12. http://www.isteve.com/
   13. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/does-genghis-khan-have-rival-as.html
   14. http://isteve.blogspot.com/
   15. http://www.blogger.com/profile/5622428
   16. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/bushs-cronyism-and-nepotism.html
   17. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/mysterious-andrew-sullivan.html
   19. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/more-on-muslims.html
   23. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/new-vdarecom-column-is-nfl.html

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