Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


DNA studies, Book of Mormon Studies, Douglas C. Wallace, DNA comparison, prehistoric mariners, American Amazon DNA, Pacific islander DNA


The FARMS update in the previous issue of Insights discussed DNA studies of the ancestry of cotton species as an example of how new technologies can produce both answers and interesting new questions about the ancient worid. DNA comparison also serves to identify ancestral relationships among human groups. For example, Douglas C. Wallace of Emory University has concluded from studies of mitochondrial DNA that "prehistoric, intrepid mariners" came "out of Southeast Asia across the Pacific into the Americas 6,000 to 12,000 years ago." They could have come across the central Pacific or coasting along northeast Asia, Alaska, and Canada, he guesses. Direct voyaging must have been involved since "native Siberians lack one peculiar mutation that appeared in the Amerinds 6,000 to 10,000 years ago." Specifically, the DNA signature of many American Indians of the Amazon basin is surprisingly tied to that of early Pacific islanders.