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Politics has invaded the world of human fossil analysis

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And hit the journals and studies:

The study of ancient DNA has also been politicised. Ancient DNA holds clues to ancient peoples that can shed light on their migration patterns and on human evolutionary history. For example, an analysis of Neanderthal DNA in the 1990s helped determine when modern humans and Neanderthals last shared a common ancestor. And the DNA analysis of Native American remains that are over 7,000 years old (so-called Paleoindians) has helped us understand how the Americas were originally peopled. Perhaps the most well-known example of the politicization of ancient DNA studies is the long legal battle for control of the remains of Kennewick Man, which were found in Washington State in 1996. Based on skull shape—the best evidence available at the time—scientists initially inferred that his most probable ancestry was European. Local Native American groups sued to have his remains reburied without further analysis under a 1990 US federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The courts initially permitted further scientific analysis. In 2015, scientists reported that, using more recently developed tools, they had been able to extract DNA from Kennewick Man’s hand bones—and that his DNA suggested he was closely related to various Native American groups and might also have some European, Central or Southern Asian or Siberian ancestry. Although scientists would normally run such tests a second time to double-check their results, at that point a US court directed that his remains must be reburied without further analysis.

Elizabeth Weiss, “The Politics of Bones” at Areo Magazine (February 8, 2022)

Much more at the link.

One thing about Wokeness is that people don’t have to do any work. They can just air a grievance and take no responsibility for the consequences.

But that’s probably part of a larger meltdown in which Wokeness will probably end a number of science disciplines.

3 Replies to “Politics has invaded the world of human fossil analysis

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Given the sad history from Heidelberg to Java to Nebraska to Piltdown to Kenya, ideologically driven science was always the case. All this documents is that lawfare has now entered the lab.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Most “scientific” disciplines need to be ended. If this is what it takes, fine.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    It’s not about science, really. It’s about inserting your officially recognized hysterical self-interested victim group into any productive endeavor. This is how one can use collective guilt to monetize the travesties of the past.

    But getting officially recognized is the major obstacle since people have been brutalizing other people or migrating into each others’ lands for thousands of years.

    -Q

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