[INDOLOGY] DNA and caste

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 10:26:13 UTC 2016

Thanks, Herman (and Chris?), for this reference.
Both the study and the brief reactions so far confirm me in considering
"genetics" only a parameter of secondary, derived importance depending on
social inertia (which became stronger ca. 70 generations ago, i.e. ca. 350
CE, that is, around the date of the final redaction of what is now known as
the generalized (sarvaparsada) Manava Dharma Sastra or Manu Smriti).
The real underlying parameter in the case of, for instance, the
sufficiently attested spread of Vedic culture *within* the Indian
subcontinent from 1700 BCE is to be understood in terms of memetics and
memory culture.
(I have a less complete version for those who do not read Portuguese.)
Whether the same applies to the transmission of early Dravidian literature,
I leave to Dravidologists to evaluate.
Full of questionable attributions of labels, the DNA study of Basu et al.
and the research of David Reich (cited e.g. here:
who must obviously be happy with Basu et al., are conceptually as full of
holes as Leerdam-cheese (or as a good piece of Emmental).
It is over and again going through the whole discussion about Louis
Dumont's Homo Hierarchicus (see for, in my view, a rich and balanced
criticism: Richard Burghart's *Conditions of Listening*, ed. by C.J. Fuller
and J. Spencer
*). *
Jan Houben


Directeur d’Études

Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite

*École Pratique des Hautes Études*

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

54, rue Saint-Jacques

CS 20525 – 75005 Paris

johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr



On 27 January 2016 at 21:45, Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl>

> For those interested in DNA/genomics and castes in India, see the
> attachment. I got the article from my eldest son, who works in the field of
> bio-medical science.
> Herman
> PNAS-2016-Basu-1513197113.pdf‎ (979 kB‎)
> <https://webmail.campus.leidenuniv.nl/owa/#>‎[In browser openen
> <https://webmail.campus.leidenuniv.nl/owa/#>‎]
> Herman Tieken
> Stationsweg 58
> 2515 BP Den Haag
> The Netherlands
> 00 31 (0)70 2208127
> website: hermantieken.com
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