Category: physical anthropology

Racial Facial

Or is that facial racial?

Genes for facial shape identified in human (i.e., European) samples.  Emphasis added:

Genome-wide association scans of complex multipartite traits like the human face typically use preselected phenotypic measures. Here we report a data-driven approach to phenotyping facial shape at multiple levels of organization, allowing for an open-ended description of facial variation while preserving statistical power. In a sample of 2,329 persons of European ancestry, we identified 38 loci, 15 of which replicated in an independent European sample (n = 1,719). Four loci were completely new. For the others, additional support (n = 9) or pleiotropic effects (n = 2) were found in the literature, but the results reported here were further refined. All 15 replicated loci highlighted distinctive patterns of global-to-local genetic effects on facial shape and showed enrichment for active chromatin elements in human cranial neural crest cells, suggesting an early developmental origin of the facial variation captured. These results have implications for studies of facial genetics and other complex morphological traits.

A summary, emphasis added:

Scientists from KU Leuven and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Stanford, and Penn State say they have identified fifteen genes that determine our facial features. Doctors could use DNA for skull and facial reconstructive surgery, forensic examiners could sketch a perpetrator’s face on the basis of DNA retrieved from a crime scene, and historians would be able to reconstruct facial features using DNA from the past….

…“We’re basically looking for needles in a haystack,” says Seth Weinberg, Ph.D., of the departments of oral biology and anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. “In the past, scientists selected specific features, including the distance between the eyes or the width of the mouth. They would then look for a connection between this feature and many genes. This has already led to the identification of a number of genes but, of course, the results are limited because only a small set of features are selected and tested.”

In the current study the team adopted a different approach.

“Our search doesn’t focus on specific traits,” lead author Peter Claes, Ph.D., KU Leuven, explains. “My colleagues from Pittsburgh and Penn State each provided a database with 3D images of faces and the corresponding DNA of these people. Each face was automatically subdivided into smaller modules. Next, we examined whether any locations in the DNA matched these modules. This modular division technique made it possible for the first time to check for an unprecedented number of facial features.

The scientists were able to identify fifteen locations in our DNA. The Stanford team found out that genomic loci linked to these modular facial features are active when our face develops in the womb.

“Furthermore, we also discovered that different genetic variants identified in the study are associated with regions of the genome that influence when, where and how much genes are expressed,” adds Joanna Wysocka, Ph.D., at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Seven of the fifteen identified genes are linked to the nose, and that’s good news, according to Dr. Claes. “A skull doesn’t contain any traces of the nose, which only consists of soft tissue and cartilage. Therefore, when forensic scientists want to reconstruct a face on the basis of a skull, the nose is the main obstacle. If the skull also yields DNA, it would become much easier in the future to determine the shape of the nose.”

The four universities are continuing their research using larger databases.

“We won’t be able to predict a correct and complete face on the basis of DNA tomorrow. We’re not even close to knowing all the genes that give shape to our face. Furthermore, our age, environment, and lifestyle have an impact on what our face looks like as well,” points out Mark Shriver, Ph.D., of the department of anthropology at Penn State.

Shriver…Der Movement’s least favorite physical anthropologist (cue heavy breathing, re: DNAPrint Genomics).

In any case, this interesting work has implications for race, genotype-phenotype correlations, and other topics of at least peripheral interest to biologically-minded racialists (however genetic kinship is still fundamental and this other data, although interesting, is secondary).

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Cheddar Man: More Anti-White Race Denying System Stupidity

Der Movement isn’t much better.

Read this.  As Madison Grant would say, that ancient Briton was “suspiciously swarthy.”

The first ancient Britons had black skin, dark curly hair and blue eyes, according to DNA tests.

The ‘extraordinary’ findings were made by cutting-edge genetic tests and facial reconstruction techniques carried out for the first time on the bones of ‘Cheddar Man’ who died 10,000 years ago.

The bones, found in Somerset’s Cheddar Gorge, are the oldest near-complete human skeleton ever found in Britain and scientists said they were surprised to discover that the earliest Briton would be considered ‘black’ if he lived today.

The research suggests the first inhabitants of the British isles developed white skin later on than previously thought.

Experts also revealed that Cheddar Man is directly related to 1 in 10 people living in the UK today.

The first ancient Britons had black skin, dark curly hair and blue eyes, DNA tests show. The findings were made by genetic tests carried out for the first time on the bones of ‘Cheddar Man’ who died 10,000 years ago. The bones are the oldest near-complete human skeleton ever found in Britain

Let’s deal with the race denial in the article and the implied idea that “this ancient Briton looked ‘Black’ therefore why object to dark migrants into Britain.”

Assuming these data are correct, and further assuming that this sample is representative of the whole, and that there is an ancestral connection between the sample and modern Britons, what does it mean?  It means that the “high trust hunter gatherers” that Der Movement undergoes onanistic heavy breathing about had certain phenotypic traits not representative of modern Britons.  However, the ancestral connection means what?  Undoubtedly – and can we see THAT data please? – any analysis of genetic distance (or, better, genetic kinship) will demonstrate that this ancient Briton is genetically most similar to modern Europeans – particularly those European ethnies most strongly derived from hunter-gatherers (spontaneous “movement” orgasm at this point) – and not at all genetically similar to, say, sub-Saharan Africans.  


The ancient Briton was simply an old European with a few phenotypic traits different from what is found today. The overall ancestry, broadly defined, is similar to modern Europeans, but a few selected traits have changed, for whatever reasons (sexual selection? selective pressure from the environment as suggested in the article?) – So what?  As to where the altered alleles came from?  Mutation?  From the outside – those dastardly Neolithic farmers perhaps?  [Joke on Der Movement: were the Neolithic farmers more “White” in physical appearance than the hunter gatherers? Apparently so.].  It in no way invalidates race; simply, racial traits can change over time, and this also of course has no bearing at all on any justification for modern Britons accepting their genetic replacement by alien peoples. You know, humans are descended from Home erectus as well  – who looked quite different from non-Negro humans, and this means what?  Should Chinamen then accept race replacement by other races?  Did Ancient Chinese look exactly the same as their modern counterparts?  Why this constant search for ever more bizarre and relevant rationales for race replacement of indigenous Europeans – and for Europeans only?


Yes, I know, the time frames comparing Homo erectus and Mesolithic Britons are radically different but the principle is the same.  People today are what they are, they have ethnic interests today, genetic interests look forward not backward in time, and modern Britons have the right to self-preservation regardless of what their ancestors looked like.  

And again what about genetic similarity and kinship?  The idea propagated by the pseudoscientific frauds interviewed for this article is that the original Britons were generically completely unlike those of today – hogwash. There were obviously differences in alleles affecting certain aspects of phenotype.  And of course, there are going to be genetic changes in any population over 10,000 years.  But once again I ask this question: to which modern populations is Cheddar Man most closely related, genetically?  Is he, for example, closest to Nigerians?  Can we learn more about his overall autosomal genome rather than hearing System talking points for British race replacement?

Of course, on the other hand, all of this should bring some reflection on Der Movement and their Ultima Thule Ostara racial fantasies, and it should also bring reflection that we cannot depend on Der Movement narratives to understand what ancient indigenous European phenotypic traits were, where white skin came from, etc.

A Bit of Physical Anthropology

Let’s sink our teeth into this, so to speak.

This bit from Strom is good, although some of the genetic data he uses are somewhat dated. It doesn’t change the interpretation, which is correct.


I wonder if Strom knows about some interesting work on racial dental patterns (emphasis added):

Assuming that phenetic expression approximates genetic variation, previous dental morphological analyses of Sub-Saharan Africans by the author show they are unique among the world’s modern populations. Numerically-derived affinities, using the multivariate Mean Measure of Divergence statistic, revealed significant differences between the Sub-Saharan folk and samples from North Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the New World, Australia/Tasmania, and Melanesia. Sub-Saharan Africans are characterized by a collection of unique, mass-additive crown and root traits relative to these other world groups. Recent work found that the most ubiquitous of these traits are also present in dentitions of earlier hominids, as well as extinct and extant non-human primates; other ancestral dental features are also common in these forms. The present investigation is primarily concerned with this latter finding. Qualitative and quantitative comparative analyses of Plio-Pleistocene through recent samples suggest that, of all modern populations, Sub-Saharan Africans are the least derived dentally from an ancestral hominid state; this conclusion, together with data on intra- and inter-population variability and divergence, may help provide new evidence in the search for modern human origins.

In case there is any confusion what “derived” means in terms of physical anthropology, see this (emphasis in original):

The definition of primitive and derived characters. Primitive characters are those that were present in the common ancestor of a group of animals. Derived characters are those that are shared by only a subset of a group of animals, all descended from a common ancestor.


In other words, “derived” traits are the opposite of “primitive” traits – the “derived” traits are those that have further evolved from the original primitive state. Therefore, the work on the Negro dental complex demonstrates that Negro dentition is most similar to that of extant and extinct non-human primates as well as that of “earlier hominids.”  Thus, Negro teeth are the “least derived” from the original dental complex, they are similar to the teeth found in “an ancestral hominid state,” in contrast to European and Asian teeth that are more “derived” and, hence, more evolved and specialized compared to those of Negroes. This is mainstream science, not Nutzi or HBD ranting.

This is a remarkable finding, which torpedoes the sinking ship of race-denial and false equality.