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> He replied in that morose Slavic way with a long, sad disquisition about how the Bulgarian race was in its twilight, their land was being colonized by others, their sons and daughters flying off to strange lands and mixing their blood with that of alien peoples... He then launched into a lecture about how the Bulgarians weren't even native to their land

OK! I'd have a drink with that guy.

I miss having Slavic friends.

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A lot to digest and a lot of topics to comment on but I will limit myself to one of my main interests at the moment, which is whether the aborigines of Papua and Australia are in fact the last vestiges of Homo Erectus (whom they resemble). We know that Homo Erectus populated modern Indonesia so it's not a big stretch to think that they made it to New Guinea and Australia. I will probably be jailed for this thought.

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It used to be pretty commonly believed that H. sapiens in various parts of the world were the product of locally-evolved H. erectus (see "multiregional hypothesis"), but I think now the aDNA is pretty clear that the vast majority (like 95+%) of the DNA of all living human populations derives from a group or groups in Africa ~100kya. There is a substantial Denisovan admixture in southeast Asia, though! (See here: https://razib.substack.com/p/what-happens-in-denisova-cave-stays) A pretty plausible theory (though difficult to prove since we don't have DNA from either group) is that H. floresiensis descends from some H. erectus trapped on the island by rising water.

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An interesting account:

Schneider, H.J. (1992). Life in a social no-man's land: Aboriginal crime in central Australia. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative; Criminology, 36, 5-19.

Commenting (pp. 10-11) on housing built by Europeans for Australian Aborigines: "The Aborigines do not accept these houses with the result that they are usually unoccupied. Many of them have been deserted, vandalized, or even destroyed. In order to prevent the Aborigines destroying their houses, these are now prefabricated out of steelplated units. Most of the inhabitants live in self-constructed shacks made from branches or sheets of corrugated iron, erected outside of and around the settlement. They have not accustomed themselves to garbage disposal with the result that the surrounding bush land is littered with old cans, bottles, tires, transistor radios, and batteries. Rusty car bodies and unauthorized garbage dumps can be seen everywhere.... The health, education and living standards are well below the Australian average. Almost all the inhabitants are unemployed and fully dependent on social security. They just sit around in a state of boredom and hopelessness. They do not send their children to school. The Aborigines have no problem operating machines or driving cars and tractors, but they have not learned how to service and repair them. Faulty machinery is simply left where it breaks down and transistor radios are thrown away when batteries are flat. Under the supervision of whites they are able to establish a plantation or cattle station and will work there, but as soon as this supervision and instruction is withdrawn the project collapses.”

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So DNA is telling us that the papuans and aborigines are in fact homo sapiens and are not homo erectus. Then I would argue that, as we know they came directly from Africa without any adulteration, they are early homo sapiens who behaved in 1770 like early man. They are nomadic paleolithic hunter-gatherers, have limited language, no arithmetic, no houses, no agriculture, no society or civilization. They would live in caves if they were handy. Even today they refuse to live in government housing. Here is something relevant:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-tests-suggest-aboriginal-australians-have-oldest-society-planet-180960569/

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Ok, re the Indian Jātis, you may be interested in the Catholic church in India sometimes upholding local bans on exogamous marriages (and sometimes not) https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/indian-archdiocese-makes-marriage

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