The scientists have made it clear. By studying DNA, they have established that the chromosome marker labeled M130 as the evidence for the first ever settlers of modern humans who emigrated from Africa into the Asian coastal land along the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, all the way to the Australia and the Americas. The first such migrations has been calculated to be about 70,000 years ago.
This genetic study also dispells any myth about the creation of modern humans independently in lands outside Africa. In other words, there is no such thing as sons or daughters of soil in lands outside Africa from at least from the scientific view point. Everyone everywhere outside Africa is a migrant, except that some came in earlier than others.
Genetic studies have also clearly established that all modern humans came from the same source in Africa and that the differences in looks are due to local adaptations of the human body in response to environmental differences. Typically one would find darker skin in hotter climates and lighter skin in colder climates with a whole lot of intermediary stages reflecting the multitude of environmental variations in the world. Over the years human being continued to evolve with differnt genetic markers signifiying some changes along the line.
In South India among one group of Tamils, the genetic marker M130 has been found showing them as direct discendents of the first humans who first emigrated out of Africa about 70,000 years ago. The interesting thing about the marker is that the same genetic footprint is also found among certain groups of orang asli in Malaysia and in larger numbers among the Australian aborigines.This marker is present in 10% of Malaysian aborigines, 15% of New Guineans and 60% of Australian Aborigines. This confirmed the first coastal migration from Africa to Australia, through India: an evidence that could not be obtained by archaeology has been obtained by genetics.
Therefore it is clear that the first settlers in Malaysia, Indonesia and in Australia were the migrants from South India about 40,000 to 60,000 years ago.
But Malays who claim to be "sons of soil" in Malaysia had not exhibited this ancient marker as have a few of the Orang Asli discendants. One needs to remember that Orang Asli is not a single racial group but comprise more than 14 different tribes in West Malaysia alone. A few of them look very much negroid.
Malays share their gene pool with those from Yunnan of Southern China. Moreover, their skin colour is not similar to those indigenous people of South East Asia which was dark like the Australian aborigines.
On the other hand a typcial Malay's skin colour and facial features are closer to Southern Chinese. Evidently they are later day migrants, but not more than over a period of a few thousand years at the most. Today's aborigines of Malaysian forests too have extensive mixed blood as a result successive inter-breeding with various racial groups.
Technically in Malaysia, a Malay came into existence only after conversion to Islam because political and legal definition of Malay is that the he or she must be a Muslim. On this token alone, one can argue that there were no Malays in Malaysia before about 1400, which gives them less than 700 years tenancy in Malaysia as compared to the carriers of M130 marker that goes beyong 40,000 years ago. The Malays were created only after conversion to Islam started on a massive scale following a palace coup by Muslim half-brother against his Hindu Malay half-brother in the Malaccan Hindu Kingdom and subsequently through engaging war over the other Malay Hindu Kings in the peninsula then. Moreover, in Islam, no Muslim can be allowed to renounce his religion. It is interesting to note that the Malays were referred to as Islamised Javanese and not even by the term Malays in the years 1,400 by traders.
DNA Shows 70,000 Year Link
April 4th, 2008
A 30-year-old systems administrator from a small village close to Madurai in Tamil Nadu has been identified as one of the direct descendants of the first ever settlers in India, who had migrated from the African coast some 70,000 years ago.
The DNA of Virumandi Andithevar, one of the circa 700 inhabitants of Jothimanickam village, matched the white chromosome marker scientifically labeled “M130″, which is a gene found only among the descendants of the African migrants who had spread across the world tens of thousands of years ago. “This young man and 13 members of his nine-generation clan carried the same marker in their genes. It means that his ancestors in all probability settled in this village several generations ago,” said Prof. Rm Pitchappan, who led a team of scientists tracking the “M130″ DNA.
“M130 is actually present sporadically among the population along the Western Ghats and around Madurai,” said Dr Pitchappan, who heads the School of Biological Sciences at Madurai Kamaraj University. His research was part of the “Genographic Project”, a global initiative launched by National Geographic and a team of reputed scientists for unraveling the mystery of human migration. “The genetic studies carried out using M130 told us about the first human migration to India. We identified the marker of the first coastal migration in our Madurai samples. The search took us to Virumandi, who belongs to the Piramalai Kallar community, whose DNA matched M130, establishing him as one of the direct descendants of the first migrant from the African coast, who must have come here some 70,000 years ago,” Dr Pitchappan said.
Virumandi is elated with the news. “This is God’s gift to me, to be told that my roots go back to 70,000 years. They used to say that our village of 700 people had spawned from just three ancestors and I had often wondered from where and when they came. Now I have the answer — they came 70,000 years ago from Africa,” Virumandi said.
It took five years to establish the DNA link between Virumandi and the first migrants to the subcontinent. The studies also proved that though the migration to India took place some 70,000 years ago, the first settlement in the South happened about 10,000 years later.
“More than half of the Australian aborigines carry this M130 gene. The marker is also present among some people in Philippines and the tribals of Malaysia,” said Dr Pitchappan.
The Genographic Project will gather all data in collaboration with indigenous and traditional people around the world. The public is invited to join the project by purchasing a Genographic Project public participation kit. The proceeds from the sales go to further field research and the Genographic Legacy Fund, which in turn supports indigenous conservation and revitalization projects.
from The Asian Age