"Out of India"

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at math.ohio-state.edu
Mon Dec 2 21:40:47 UTC 1996

Girish Beeharry <gkb at ast.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> I gather from the above that some kind of principal component analysis
>has been done on the skulls and teeth of some fossils. Could anyone please
>tell us what went into the analysis exactly (what are the axes)?

This would require typing in quite a bit of material. Since most readers
of this list would be associated with universities, may suggest a
visit to your local library.

> Also, I would be grateful if the mechanisms of 'cluster analysis and tree 
> diagrams' were explained in everyday language, please. I think the courses in
> Indology don't include statistical techniques yet! :-)

In cluster analysis, the aim is to study how the different variables
or different subjects group together. The results can be displayed
as a tree diagram. Closest neighbors are grouped together
and joined to a single vertex. Something not more closely related to
some compared to the others is left as an isolated twig. Then this
process is repeated with each group obtained at this stage. This is the
kind of diagram that is found in write-ups of the `African Eve' theory,
for example.

As to the theory behind how `closeness' is measured, I don't quite
follow it myself.

It may be worthwhile if Indology courses did require a course in
understanding statistics. For example, a rank correlation test on
the different attempts to arrange the books of Rgveda in a
chronological sequence would be eye opening.

P.S. to Joe: It was ok to post my e-mail, except that I wish I had
told you run it thru a spell-checker :-).

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