Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Uniqueness of the Finnish Race

Source: The Unz Review

By GUILLAUME DUROCHER • AUGUST 14, 2019 • 104 COMMENTS


The European peoples have long thought and felt that each of them was unique, reflecting the particularly history and struggles the successive generations of their ancestors. The cultural differences of European nations have long been known, but today, genetic science is also able to quantify just how unique each nation is from a biological point of view as well.

A paper published last year in Nature observed that most Europeans descend essentially from three ancestral populations:

European hunter-gatherers who settled the continent in the Upper Paleolithic, Europe's first farmers who expanded from Anatolia across Europe in the early Neolithic starting around 8000 years ago, and groups from the Pontic Steppe that arrived in Europe during the final Neolithic and early Bronze Age ~ 4500 years ago.

Most Europeans' ancestry can be broken down as a mix of these three ancestral populations. However, the paper adds:
This model, however, does not fit well for present-day populations from north-eastern Europe such as Saami, Russians, Mordovians, Chuvash, Estonians, Hungarians, and Finns: they carry additional ancestry seen as increased allele sharing with modern East Asian populations. The origin and timing of this East Asian-related contribution is unknown.
Hence the existence of so many amusing and tongue-in-cheek Finns-as-Mongols and Finns-as-Elves memes (in general, Elves are generally portrayed looking like northern Europeans with a dash of Oriental).

The Finns, Hungarians, and Estonians are unique in Europe in speaking Finno-Ugric languages. Most European nations speak Indo-European languages, descending from the original language of conquerors hailing from the Pontic Steppe. Genetic studies suggest that Finns are not just uniquely linguistically, but also genetically. Similarly, the Basque are the only other nation in Europe not speaking an Indo-European language and, as I have previously written, their region too appears to be genetically distinct relative to the rest of the French population.

In fact, any East Asian contribution to the Finnish gene pool long predates the Mongols and even the spread of Uralic languages in northern Europe. The scientists estimate that Siberian DNA was present in Finland at least 3,500 years ago.

The existence of a genetically-unique Finnish people has proven beneficial to humanity. A striking example of this is a study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine which "harnessed the unique genetic history of the people of Finland to identify variations in DNA that might predispose certain individuals to disease, whether or not they are Finnish themselves."

The Finns, having a unique gene pool, are much more likely to have certain genes predisposing to certain diseases. By analyzing Finnish genomes, the scientists were much better able to determine the correlations between genes and diseases. These genes and diseases are also present, albeit much less frequently, among other populations and hence the study of Finns is also beneficial to humanity's health as a whole.

Please go to The Unz Review to read the entire article.
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Related:

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