"Brit-Am Now"-515
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2005 22:22:05 +0200

"Brit-Am Now"-515
1. Australian Desert - Reversible?
2. Palestinian DNA?
3. Does the tale of the Pied Piper reflect German colonization in the East?

1. Australian Desert - Reversible?

Study: Large fires created Australian desert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Settlers who came to Australia 50,000 years ago and set fires that burned off natural flora and fauna may have triggered a cataclysmic weather change that turned the country's interior into the dry desert it is today, U.S. and Australian researchers said on Tuesday. Their study, reported in the latest issue of the journal, Geology, supports arguments that early settlers literally changed the landscape of the continent with fire. "The implications are that the burning practices of early humans may have changed the climate of the Australian continent by weakening the penetration of monsoon moisture into the interior," Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who led the study, said in a statement. The geological record shows that the interior of Australia was much wetter about 125,000 years ago. The last Ice Age changed the weather across the planet but monsoons returned as the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago -- all except the Australian Monsoon. The Australian Monsoon now brings about 39 inches (one meter) of rain annually to the north coast as it moves south from Asia, but only about 13 inches (33 cm) of rain falls on the interior each year. Miller's study suggests that large fires could have altered the plant population enough to decrease the exchange of water vapor with the atmosphere, stopping clouds from forming. The researchers, working with John Magee of Australian National University in Canberra, used computerized global climate simulations to show that if there were some forest in the middle of Australia, it would lead to a monsoon with twice as much rain as the current pattern. Fossil evidence shows that birds and marsupials that once lived in Australia's interior would have browsed on trees, shrubs and grasses rather than the desert scrub environment that is there today. It also shows large charcoal deposits most likely caused by widespread fires, conveniently dating to the arrival of people. People are also blamed for killing off 85 percent of Australia's huge animals, including an ostrich-sized bird, 19 species of marsupials, a 25-foot-long (7.5-meter) lizard and a Volkswagen-sized tortoise. Some experts have suggested climate change caused by burning killed off these species, rather than direct hunting by human.

2. Palestinian DNA?

Palestinian Genes Show Arab, Jewish, European and Black-African Ancestry

By David Storobin, Esq.

A study by the University of Chicago found that Arab populations, including Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqis, and Bedouin, have at least some sub-Saharan African genes. Non-Arabs from the region, including Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Azeris, Georgians, and Jews did not have any African roots. [1] A possible explanation is the proximity of the Arabian peninsula to the Black African nations. This conclusion is favored by the fact that Yemenite Arabs have 35% Black African genes in their mtDNA (which passes through the mother), while others have less. Yemen, of course, is very close geographically to several Black African nations. Other Arabs, especially those far away from the Arabian peninsula, have as little as 10% African blood in their mtDNA. As such, it is possible that the African gene was merely diluted by the introduction of non-Arab (and non-African) genes to the pool when Arabs began to conquer other Middle East people after the rise of Islam. The "real" Arabs -- those who have Arab ancestors stretching beyond the last 1,400 years are actually 35% Black in their mtDNA. These Arabs are from the Arabian peninsula.[2]

Other populations that are now called ‘Arabs’ became Arabized through intermarriage and adoption of the Arabic language and culture. These people are partially Arab and partially descendants of the nations that lived in their region prior to the rise of the Muslim faith. Just as their "Arab gene" was diluted by mixing with local genes, so too the 35% of the mtDNA that is Black African was diluted and reduced to around 10%. The reduction of the Black genes from 35% to around 10% also suggests that the large majority (around 70%) of genes belonging to the Arabs outside the Arabian peninsula come from the local nations. The claim is supported by the historical fact that the original Arab population was relatively small and could not have populated a region stretching from Iraq to Morocco with such density, no matter the birthrate (and, in any event, where did the original populations go?). Both historically and genetically, it is almost definite that the Arab population intermarried with locals, including Palestinians, upon their conquest. Palestinians, however, differ from other Arabs in some ways. As the web site for Harper’s Magazine reported, one study showed that Jews and Palestinians have common ancestry that is so recent that it is highly likely that at least some of the Palestinian blood actually descends from Jews. [3] Another study by New York University confirmed a remarkable similarity between Jewish and Palestinian genes. "Jews and Arabs are all really children of Abraham," said Dr. Harry Ostrer, director of the Human Genetics Program at New York University School of Medicine, who worked on the study. "And all have preserved their Middle Eastern genetic roots over 4,000 years. [4] According to several other studies, Palestinians and Jews are genetically closer to each other than either is to the Arabs of Arabia or to Europeans [5]. A study of congenital deafness identified an allele limited to Palestinian and Jews of Ashkenazi origin (those who lived in Europe in recent centuries), suggesting a common origin. Furthermore, Y-chromosome polymorphism is very similar among Palestinians and Sephardic Jews. [6]. While current studies show a lot of similarities and genetic closeness may be used to confirm claims of both sides to Israel/Palesitne, but right now, results are incomplete and are subject to much interpretation. [7] The above statements are based on the currently available information, but may be questioned by future studies. There is a significant Christian population among Palestinian Arabs, leading some to claim that at least part of the Palestinian population (the Christians) descended from the original followers of Christ, who were, of course, Jews (they were Jews ethnically, even if they didn't follow Judaism). Despite extensive research, I have not been able to find any scientific studies supporting this claim. Furthermore, the fact that there is joint heritage of 2,000-3,000 years ago does not mean that new genes were not introduced into the Palestinian genetic pool. For one, genes from the Arabian peninsula were introduced after the spread of Islam. As part of the Arabian genes, African genes were introduced, as described above. Several studies have shown that Palestinians have a larger than usual (among Arabs) European blood. This may be explained by the Crusades and the establishment of a Crusader Kingdom in medieval times. It is highly likely that at least some percentage of the Palestinian population mixed with Europeans, either through intermarriage or rape of Arab women by Europeans, as well as European women by Arabs. Additionally, cities with significant Palestinian populations, including Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem, are sites of many Christian holy landmarks, which draw a large number of European tourists. This, too, may have played a role in the disproportionate amount of European genes found among Palestinians. In more recent times, among Palestinian Muslims, there is a significant number of people who are recent immigrants from other Arab states. Official records of the Ottoman Empire (colonial power until WWI) and Britain (colonial power from the 1920's to 1948) show that there was very significant Islamic immigration into holy land. In some years, there were more Muslim new-comers than Jewish.


(1. From Wikipedia online encyclopedia available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian, which cited: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/issues/v72n4/024771/024771.html
(2. Ibid. From Wikipedia online encyclopedia available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian, which cited: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12743242; http://foundationstone.com.au/HtmlSupport/WebPage/semiticGenetics.html; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8838913; http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50C15F83F5D0C778DDDAC0894DA404482
(3.Harper’s Magazine Web Site. Reported on 11/21/2004 at: http://www.harpers.org/Genetics.html
(4. http://www.trinicenter.com/more/Jewsarabs.htm
(5. From Wikipedia online encyclopedia available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian, which cited: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11935342
(6. Ibid.
(7. Wikipedia online encyclopedia available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian

3. Does the tale of the Pied Piper reflect German colonization in the East?
The story of the Pied Piper takes place in hameln on the Weser River near Hanover.
Fortean Times


The fairy tale of the Pied Piper seducing the children of Hamelin (Hameln in German) with his flute to follow him into the mountain seems to have a kernel of truth. On 26 June 1284, 130 children really did vanish from the town. Jürgen Udolph, a professor of linguistics at Göttingen University, has run a computer trace on village and family names recorded in Hamelin in the 13th century. They correspond remarkably closely to names found in the Priegnitz and Uckermark regions north of Berlin and to names occurring in the former Pomeranian region which is now Poland. A village called Bevrungen near Hamelin, for example, has almost exact counterparts called Beveringen (near Pritzwalk, north of Berlin) and Beweringen (near Staragard in northwestern Poland). Local Polish telephone books record names that are totally untypical for Slav cultures and are apparently derived from Hamelin: Hamel, Hamler and Hamelnikow. Udolph suggests that the children were actually unemployed youths sucked into the German drive to colonise new settlements in Eastern Europe. The Battle of Bornhoeved in 1227 had broken the Danish hold on Eastern Europe and opened the way for hundreds of thousands of young Germans to migrate from Lower Saxony and Westphalia to greener pastures in the east. The Pied Piper may never have existed as such, but there were characters known as "locators" who roamed northern Germany trying to recruit settlers for the East. Some wore multi-coloured robes like the Piper in the Grimms' fairy story and all were silver tongued. Times, Independent, 27 Jan 1998.

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