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If the population growth rate is known, it is possible to test whether the observed frequency of a lineage is consistent with its level of variation, assuming neutrality…Using this method, we estimated the chance of finding the low degree of variation observed in the star cluster, with a current frequency of 8%, under neutral conditions.Even with the demographic model most likely to lead to rapid increase of the lineage, double exponential growth, the probability was .Not only were they non-Muslims, but the Mongol assault on West Asian Muslims societies was particularly deleterious; it is generally assumed that Iran and Mesopotamia’s relatively productive irrigation system were wrecked during the Mongol conquests to the point where it took centuries for them to rebound to their previous levels of productivity.

The pattern of variation within the lineage suggested that it originated in Mongolia ∼1,000 years ago.

Such a rapid spread cannot have occurred by chance; it must have been a result of selection.

In Russia among the Muslim Tatars and in Central Asia among the Uzbeks descent from Genghis Khan was a major calling card for any would-be warlord.

This is peculiar in light of the fact that Genghis Khan, and his near descendants, were non-Muslims!

As we do not exhibit the sexual dimorphism which is the norm in such organisms, it goes to show the plasticity of outcome due to the flexibility of human cultural forms.

Jason Goldman of Thoughtful Animal reminded me of the 2003 paper a few days ago, so I thought it would be useful to review it again for new readers (as I know most of you have not been reading for 7 years! To understand how one Y chromosomal lineage can have such a wide distribution across such a large proportion of the human race, here is a quote attributed to Genghis Khan: The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.In more quantitative terms, ~10% of the men who reside within the borders of the Mongol Empire as it was at the death of Genghis Khan may carry his Y chromosome, and so ~0.5% of men in the world, about 16 million individuals alive today, do so.Since 2003 there have been other cases of “super-Y” lineages.In 2003 a groundbreaking historical genetics paper reported results which indicated that a substantial proportion of men in the world are direct line descendants of Genghis Khan.By direct line, I mean that they carry Y chromosomes which seem to have come down from an individual who lived approximately 1,000 years ago.Observe the greater complexity of the network for other Y lineages.

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