Come hear me speak in Dallas!

Bunny suit

I’ve been invited by the awesome people in the North Texas Skeptics organization to come speak to them, so tomorrow (July 18th), I’ll be giving a talk on “Molecules and myths: What anthropological genetics tells us about the prehistory of the Americas”. Here’s the synopsis:

For hundreds of years, Europeans have been trying to insert themselves into Native American prehistory, developing elaborate explanations for how their monumental architecture, art, technology, and even genetic ancestry ought to be attributed to non-Indigenous peoples (whether human, alien, or Sasquatch).  I will discuss some of the old and new pseudoscientific hypotheses pertaining to Native Americans, and how the field of anthropological genetics is rapidly demolishing these ideas. I’ll give a brief overview of how ancient DNA research is done, and discuss what is currently known about the genetic prehistory of Native Americans—and why this subject matters in our current political and social climate.


Here are the details of the event:


If you’re in the area, come out and say hi!

3 thoughts on “Come hear me speak in Dallas!

  1. A.d July 18, 2014 / 3:39 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for the past month.Good stuff on the peopling of the Americas.I took an anthro course so some of this stuff doesn’t go over my head.
    Finally someone from the field debunking the nonsense from the sensationalist headlines.I’ve visited anthro forums and it seems to attract white nationalist pushing their own agenda.Don’t get me started on the new age/pseudo fake history clown brigade who follow the same tactics of misunderepresenting,misquoting,fudging,and out right lying about studies and texts to support their agendas.It’s a common trend I’ve noticed from these camps.

    I’ve read one of your post where you mentioned how many paleoindian remains has been dna tested.I wish you would mention south america as well as they are consistent with paleoindians and modern native americans being the same people.

    Discrepancy between Cranial and DNA Data of Early
    Americans: Implications for American Peopling Perez et al.2009

    SOUTHWESTERN SOUTH AMERICA Manriquez et al.2011

    Paleoamerican Morphology in the Context of European
    and East Asian Late Pleistocene Variation: Implications
    for Human Dispersion Into the New World Mark Hubbe,1* Katerina Harvati,2 and Walter Neves 2010

    An alternative view of the peopling of South America:
    Lagoa Santa in craniometric perspective Seguchi et al. 2011

    The last two pertains to the supposed “african/australian aboriginal/melanesian” morphology of south american paleoindians which in fact cluster with archaic North Americans,recent native americans,and the jomon of japan.Throws away the false claim that they were of a different population than native americans

    There is more..

    There is another one on the dna of the chinchorro mummies but it is in spanish and the title escapes me at the moment.I have it in my hard drive somewhere.I have more questions to ask you but I’ll save those for later

    .I read you convo with that crazy guy trying to paint the moundbuilders “white caucasoids”….when will that nonsense ever go away?I’ve heard it all before from the crazies trying to put europeans here:white “caucasoid” ainu,red haired bigfoot,red haired “giants”,lost hebrews,freemasons,aryan nordic aliens,atlanteans,”white” polynesians,nd on and on.The recent trend I’ve seen is some trying to use the mal’ta childs genome to put whites here first.It never ends.Desperate and pathetic.

    Hope to hear the interview 🙂

  2. Randy Wright July 19, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    Dallas in July? I’ll pass, thank you. I did a brief stopover there one time in August, and five minutes in the 105 degree heat (what’s that 41 Celsius?) and humidity reminiscent of a steam bath left me a bit traumatized. You’re a stronger sort than I.

    What A.D. said above, and I look forward to your reporting. I’ve followed the hyper-diffusionists’ claims for several years now, and they don’t seem to realize that no maritime compass meant no successful transoceanic voyages; the Polynesians in the Pacific had a string of islands to leap frog to Hawaii and Easter Island from, but the Atlantic has a different geography. There was little impetus for colonization since the resources were so readily available in the Mediterranean and along the coasts of Europe and Africa. They could always sail essentially within sight of land. That doesn’t rule out a “one way ocean drift,” but that one would’ve had to have been shot with luck; just the freshwater requirements alone argue strongly against that possibility.

    For those with a “need” to examine the “the dark side” in the interest of objectivity, one culprit is John L. Sorenson who figured strongly in the three-part Atlantic article, “The Diffusionists Have Landed.” Sorenson is a Mormon, but his colleague, Carl Johannessen, is not; the two collaborated on a fictional “World Trade and Biological Exchanges Before 1492” whose claims have to be seen to be believed; one was insisting “prussic acid” (aka cyanide) was present in Old World varieties of beans, but was “bred out” in the New World strains.

    Others include Scott Wolter who sees Vikings and evidence of the Holy Grail in America in every hole he digs, and the promoters of video, “The Lost Civilizations of North America,” an undertaking that drew the ire of a number of high profile legitimate scientists including Deborah Bolnik and Brad Lepper.

    It probably smacks of an ad hominem attack to label those folks as charter members of the Eric Von Däniken School of pre-History, but they’ve richly earned the ridicule directed their way.

  3. Shay Simmons September 3, 2014 / 6:48 pm

    Sounds fascinating — any chance that your talk was recorded and available online?

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