My statement in an earlier post that I would pick mostly Africans, if I were thinking about ensuring maximum genetic variation in a small group of settlers, has evidently gotten under the skin of no small number of ignorant racist nutjobs, several of whom have, in a wonderful display of projection, been busy flinging comments on here and elsewhere to the effect that I'm a "racist" for stating what any population geneticists will acknowledge as obvious.
For the edification of such fools (and on the highly doubtful assumption that they are even educable), I hereby present a few papers supporting just this claim:
- W.S. Watkins et. al. - Genetic Variation Among World Populations: Inferences From 100 Alu Insertion Polymorphisms
We examine the distribution and structure of human genetic diversity for 710 individuals representing 31 populations from Africa, East Asia, Europe, and India using 100 Alu insertion polymorphisms from all 22 autosomes. Alu diversity is highest in Africans (0.349) and lowest in Europeans (0.297). Alu insertion frequency is lowest in Africans (0.463) and higher in Indians (0.544), E. Asians (0.557), and Europeans (0.559).
- L. B. Jorde et. al., The Distribution of Human Genetic Diversity: A Comparison of Mitochondrial, Autosomal, and Y-Chromosome Data.
We report a comparison of worldwide genetic variation among 255 individuals by using autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosome polymorphisms. Variation is assessed by use of 30 autosomal restriction-site polymorphisms (RSPs), 60 autosomal short-tandem-repeat polymorphisms (STRPs), 13 Alu-insertion polymorphisms and one LINE-1 element, 611 bp of mitochondrial control-region sequence, and 10 Y-chromosome polymorphisms. Analysis of these data reveals substantial congruity among this diverse array of genetic systems. With the exception of the autosomal RSPs, in which an ascertainment bias exists, all systems show greater gene diversity in Africans than in either Europeans or Asians. Africans also have the largest total number of alleles, as well as the largest number of unique alleles, for most systems. GST values are 11%–18% for the autosomal systems and are two to three times higher for the mtDNA sequence and Y-chromosome RSPs.
- S.A. Tishkoff et. al. - Short Tandem-Repeat Polymorphism/Alu Haplotype Variation at the PLAT Locus: Implications for Modern Human Origins,
Two dinucleotide short tandem-repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) and a polymorphic Alu element spanning a 22-kb region of the PLAT locus on chromosome 8p12-q11.2 were typed in 1,287–1,420 individuals originating from 30 geographically diverse human populations, as well as in 29 great apes. These data were analyzed as haplotypes consisting of each of the dinucleotide repeats and the flanking Alu insertion/deletion polymorphism. The global pattern of STRP/Alu haplotype variation and linkage disequilibrium (LD) is informative for the reconstruction of human evolutionary history. Sub-Saharan African populations have high levels of haplotype diversity within and between populations, relative to non-Africans, and have highly divergent patterns of LD. Non-African populations have both a subset of the haplotype diversity present in Africa and a distinct pattern of LD. The pattern of haplotype variation and LD observed at the PLAT locus suggests a recent common ancestry of non-African populations, from a small population originating in eastern Africa. These data indicate that, throughout much of modern human history, sub-Saharan Africa has maintained both a large effective population size and a high level of population substructure. (emphasis added)
From here it only takes a straightforward application of Fisher's Fundamental Theorem (which is just a fancy way of saying natural selection needs variation to work on) to see why picking Africans makes the most sense: not only do Africans have the most genetic variation*, as would be expected given an African origin for humanity, but genetic variation elsewhere is also mostly a subset of that present in sub-Saharan Africa, so for any given sample size, picking mostly** Africans is the best way to ensure that genetic adaptability is maximized.
In closing, I must say that it's funny that so many idiots should become irate at my stating something so obviously true, when the very same fools are eager to believe the latest bit of unfounded "human biodiversity" nonsense to issue from quacks and armchair speculators like Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn or Steve Sailer; why, one might start to wonder if it's the very idea that blacks aren't genetically inferior which eats at them ...
*To quote Sarah Tishkoff, "there's almost as much genetic diversity in Africa as there is in all the rest of the world." The strangest thing of all is how this reality is never reflected in the theorizing of "human biodiversity" aficionadoes; despite the fact that neighboring ethnic groups on the continent can differ by more than the Irish do from the Greeks, it's always "Africans are this" or "Africans are that" with these fools, as if all Africans have to be the same, simply by virtue of their sharing dark skins.
**The sole reason why I say "mostly" and not "only" is to ensure the sampling of uncommon genetic variations which have arisen in Eurasian populations since the dispersal out of Africa.