Refuting Racial Myths
Negroid DNA in Portugal
Refuting Racial Myths writes
Depending on region, the Portuguese have 5-10% sub-Saharan maternal lineages (L haplogroups). M1 is East African in origin, so the Central Portuguese have about 11% Negroid maternal ancestry. (Pereira et al. 2000)
The truth
Gonzalez et al. (2003), a study which Refuting Racial Myths had access to for some time, is the most recent genetic study and the one that used the largest sample. It included the samples used by Pereira et al. (2000). From Gonzalez et al, we find out that the Northern Portuguese sample had 3,3% Negroid mtDNA, the Central Portuguese sample had 6,8% and the Southern Portuguese sample had 10,6%.
Each new study that comes out presents different results, which clearly shows that the samples used are not representative of the general populations. What one can and should assume is that the Southern Portuguese sample does indeed have the highest percentage of Negroid mtDNA ever found in a European sample. As a means of comparison, the Galicians have 4,4% Negroid mtDNA and the French have 3,7%.
M1 is probably Asian (not East African like Refuting Racial Myths claims) but L3* (also known as N/M/L3) is Negroid - at least according to Pereira et al.. Refuting Racial Myths likes to forget that this last haplogroup is Negroid because it is responsible for most of the Negroid mtDNA in every single northern European population (except for the Iberian Peninsula). When Pereira et al. (2000) presented L3* as possibly Sub-Saharan, Refuting Racial Myths immediately claimed it as a Negroid marker present in the Portuguese population. When he found out that Northern Europeans also had it, it suddenly stopped being Negroid, for some reason. If this marker turns out to be Mongoloid instead of Negroid, the Northern Portuguese would get 2,2%, the Central Portuguese 4,3% and the Southern Portuguese 8,6% (making a national average of less than 2% total Negroid DNA).
What does it mean to state that the Southern Portuguese have 10,6% mtDNA? Does this means that almost 1/16 of their ancestry is Negroid? No, not really. MtDNA should be used with extreme caution to assess levels of foreign admixture. Let me explain: A woman with an African mother and a European father has exactly the same amount Negroid mtDNA as any of her children (whether she marries a white man or a black man, it doesn't matter since mtDNA is passed exclusively through the mother line).
The only real way to find out the amount of non-European admixture is through the somatic chromosomes' DNA, since every human being gets 50% of his somatic DNA from the mother, and 50% from the father.
What use does mtDNA have after all? MtDNA is extremely useful to study the migrations of populations. By knowing that the Southern Portuguese samples have almost three times more prevalence of L2 than the French samples, we can imagine that there was a Neolithic North African migration from the South of the Iberian Peninsula to France (there was also a strong North African Neolithic migration through the Mediterranean to Southern Europe, as well as one that reached Eastern Europe and eventually Northern Europe as well).

[Note: It should be expected that the Spanish Andalusia would share with southern Portugal similar frequencies of north African DNA, and a slightly lower frequency of Negroid haplogroups. However that does not happen: Andalusia only has 10,3% HG21, while France for instance has 8,7%. That is due to the expulsion of the Moors, followed by the settling of northern Spaniard colonists what was once Moorish territory. There was no forced expulsion of the Moors in the Portuguese territory.]

You can also infer that the Southern Portuguese certainly do have a higher percentage of Negroid DNA due to that same north African Neolithic migration, but keep in mind that 10% mtDNA does not necessarily equal 10% somatic DNA - certainly not in the Portuguese case, considering that the population lacks male Negroid markers.
I post above the table from Gonzalez et al. (2003) with the frequencies of different haplogroups in several European populations. Keep in mind that the Sub-Saharan markers are L1 (L1a, L1b, L1c) , L2, L3 (L3b, L3d, L3e) and N/M/L3, also known as L3* which is specific to sub-Saharan Africa, according to the very sources that Refuting Racial Myths used to show negroid admixture in the Portuguese matrilineal genetic lines.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
In addition to Negroid maternal ancestry, Carvalho-Silva et al. (2001) found sub-Saharan Y-chromosome haplogroup 8 in Portugal at a frequency of 1.1% (n=93).
Other studies have failed to detect sub-Saharan Y-chromosomes in Portugal. However, I think it may be significant that the study cited above did detect HG8 in a sample of Portuguese. Apart from Rosser et al. (2000), which found HG8 in Sardinian and French samples, and another study which found sub-Saharan haplotypes in Corsica, I believe this is the only time I've seen a sub-Saharan Y-chromosome detected in a European population.
In any event, the Negroid paternal contribution in the Portuguese is much smaller than the Negroid maternal contribution, which is to be expected if the Negroid strain was introduced into Portugal as a result of the Atlantic slave trade.
The truth
Carvalho-Silva did find one individual that had HG8 (in a sample of only 93 males). This shouldn't surprise anyone, considering the Neolithic North African migrations already mentioned. Posterior to that migration there was a brief Carthaginian presence. The next North African invaders were the Moors. Both of these invaders had a few Negroid soldiers, making it quite possible some sort of contribution to the modern Portuguese gene pool. Sardinia was under Carthaginian rule for several centuries. It should be added that Denise-Carvalho's sample use a Portuguese sample from Oporto (Northern Portugal), where there was no Carthaginian, almost no Moorish presence, and no known historical presence of black African slaves during the XVI and XVI centuries. This is yet another lead of the ancient source of this sub-Saharan paternal contribution.
The simple fact that Carvalho-Silva's study was the only one that ever found HG8 in a Portuguese sample clearly shows that the sub-Saharan paternal contribution to the Portuguese gene pool is completely negligible and irrelevant, except for people that are desperately trying to prove a ridiculously racist point.
Another thing that is completely ridiculous is to assume that the Negroid strains were introduced in Portugal (and in the rest of Europe) during the transatlantic slave trade. I'll will address this issue when I refute another one of Refuting Racial Myth's idiotic claims.
Refuting Racial Myths writes
The Negroid genetic contribution in Portugal could be something like 3-6% of total genes. Though an extraordinarily high level of sub-Saharan ancestry by European standards, this ancestry is minimal enough that it seems unlikely that it markedly affects the phenotypes of most Portuguese. But, through recombination, it's not inconceivable that some Portuguese exhibit Negroid traits due to slave admixture.
Also, the fact that levels of Negroid ancestry in Portugal apparently vary by region tells us that the distribution of Negroid genes is not uniform. If there is also genetic structure within sub-regions and social classes (as seems likely), there is a reasonable likelihood that some groups of Portuguese are greatly above the national average in their levels of black genes, and those groups might show external signs of their Negroid ancestry.
The truth
As previously explained, it is incorrect to assess the level of foreign admixture using mtDNA only. MtDNA tells us that there was foreign admixture. We have to use History, Archaeology and Genetics to unravel the date and source of this admixture. Until a genetic study is done on the somatic genes of the Portuguese, all we can do is work on what is already available (which for the time being is more than enough to refute Nordicist bigotry and racism).
If we divided the mtDNA genes by two (an incorrect way to assess the level of non-European admixture), the Northern Portuguese would get 1,7% Negroid DNA, the Central Portuguese about 3,4% and the Southern Portuguese some 5,3%. It should be mentioned that Southern Portugal represents only about  8% of the total Portuguese population, and that it was always the most under-populated area of the country. Does this seem a lot? Well, consider that using the same method, the Galicians (Northern Spain) have 2,2%, the French have 1,9%, and Northern Germans have 0,7%.
One can conclude that there is every reason to believe  - even though mtDNA is not a valid method to assess the total level of foreign admixture -, that the Portuguese do indeed have the highest levels of Negroid admixture. But where did that admixture come from? Did it come from the slave trade?
According to History, Genetics and basic common sense, the answer is: no, not really. As I already explained in my refutation of Arthur Kemp's Chapter 22 of March of the Titans,  the number of black slaves the Portuguese had, made up no more than 2% of the population. Of those 2%, roughly half would be males (thus unable to pass their genes).
Quoting Refuting Racial Myths himself
"Carvalho-Silva et al. (2001) found sub-Saharan Y-chromosome haplogroup 8 in Portugal at a frequency of 1.1% (n=93). Other studies have failed to detect sub-Saharan Y-chromosomes in Portugal."
The above means that the paternal Negroid contribution in Portugal is completely negligible, thus only 1% (the African females) could have contributed to the Portuguese gene pool. And they did, but not as much as Refuting Racial Myths would like.
Anyway, how does 1% of the population produce as much as 10,6% Negroid mtDNA in some regions of the country? The answer is quite simple: it doesn't. If you have into account that we are talking of a time when there were no contraception methods and when it was not uncommon for the ordinary white woman to bare ten or eleven infants, this makes Refuting Racial Myths' case even more desperate.
There are only four possible sources for the Negroid DNA in the Portuguese: the black slaves brought in from the XV to the XVII centuries, the Moorish rule, the Carthaginian rule, and the Neolithic.
The slaves were obviously not the source of most of this Negroid DNA. As to the Moors, this Spanish site says most of what I needed to say
"Los árabes (0,5%) y bereberes (8,8%), ni aún en sus momentos de mayor pujanza llegaron a representar el 10% de la población de al-Andalus."

[Translation: The Arabs (0,5%) and the Berbers (8,8%) not even during their moments of greatest strength managed to represent 10% of the population of Al-Andalus] 
Since Al-Andalus had about 2 million inhabitants (from 711-1250) while the Iberian Peninsula as a whole had about 5 million, 10% of Al-Andalus represents 4% of the Peninsula. The Moors did bring some black African soldiers with them, but not enough to influence the racial make-up of the general population.
The Moorish genetic contribution in the Iberian Peninsula has been largely over-rated. The truth is that there were marriages between the Moorish invaders and native Iberians. What is often forgotten is that the offspring of these marriages were always brought up as Muslims no matter how native Iberian they looked. Their descendants were - for the most part - expelled from the Iberian Peninsula after the conquest of Granada in 1492. Granada and the North African kingdom of Fez had already welcomed most of the Moorish population residing in Portugal. During Phillip II's reign, those that had chosen to remain in the Peninsula were finally expelled.

The genetic study "
Human Y-chromosome variation in the western Mediterranean area: implications for the peopling of the region" published in the "Human Immunology" (September 2001), 62(9): 871-84 provided some interesting data about the Moorish genetic contribution:
"The newly defined HG25.2 originated on a HG25.1 background. Haplogroup 25.2 is very common only in Northern Africa, and most likely originated in the Berbers of Northwestern Africa within the last few thousand years. Its recent origin and high frequency in North Africa make it an excellent marker to detect recent gene flow to Iberia and Southern Europe

Haplogroup 25.2

Moroccan Berber......71,0%

Haplogroup 25.1

Moroccan Berber.......10,1%
Note: HG25.1 + HG25.2 = HG21
As it can easily be understood, Spain actually has a smaller percentage of this North African marker than France. The Iberian Peninsula endured a Moorish presence that lasted from 150-500 years, depending on the region, and almost 800 years in Granada's case. A diminute portion of southern France was occupied by the Moors for less than 20 years.
As to the Carthaginians, they probably did leave their mark in the Spanish Andalusia, where they had colonies for a few decades. [Read about Carthage in the Peninsula at the site Lusitania]. In what is now Portugal, there was a Carthaginian army posted near Lisbon around 212 BC. Odds are that there were some mixed soldiers in the Carthaginian army, but that was certainly not enough for the level of admixture present in some modern Portuguese. It is possible that during the Roman domination, some freed slaves and some North African Roman army veterans may have settled throughout the Empire, including the Iberian Peninsula. These individual migrations were also of little (not to say completely negligible) importance.
Anyway, both the mixed Moors and the Carthaginean soldiers could never be responible for the mtDNA present in the Portuguese (since it is passed through the mother line). And so, we are left with the last option: the period that precedes all the ones already mentioned.   
It is widely known that the Iberian Peninsula was populated by North African tribes during the Upper Palaeolithic and Neolithic. [Read about the Iberian Mesolithic and Neolithic, as well as other periods of Iberian history at the site Lusitania]. These North African migrants were absorbed by the indigenous Upper Palaeolithic Iberian populations. This is actually supported by Genetics.
One thing I always criticized about these genetic studies was that the samples they use are simply not representative. Carvalho-Silva used a sample of only 93 Portuguese males. Pereira et al. used 243 individuals. The fact that each new study produces somewhat different results is a clear example as to how trustworthy (in terms of populational genetic evaluation) these studies really are. Until the scientists start using representative samples, all we are left with are suggestions produced by their results which are prone to a certain amount of error. Having that in mind, I will quote the most recent genetic study produced to date about the Iberian populations. This study used the largest Iberian sample to date and it included samples from other studies (like Pereira et al.). Gonzalez et al. (2003) presented a completely different (and yet obvious) origin to the vast majority of the Negroid DNA in Portugal and in Spain as well. Here are some of the data produced by that study:
"Anthropological remains (Kozlowski, 1982) indicate that modern humans arrived in Eastern Europe around 40.000 years ago. They most probably came from the Near East, although a more or less simultaneous arrival from North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula has also been suggested (Ferembach 1986). (...) Notable densities were reached [in the Peninsula] during the Mesolithic, mainly in southern areas, although population sizes did not increase greatly until the introduction of farming into Europe from the Near East in the Neolithic (Whittle, 1998). It has been proposed that these Neolithic farmers gradually displaced the indigenous Mesolithic hunters and gatherers (Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza, 1973)."
"When the divergence times for the European founders of these clusters were calculated, it was found that the bulk of them originated in Pre-Neolithic times, whereas those dated in the Neolithic were only around 15%, considerably reducing the Near East demic impact into Europe (Richards et al. 1996, Torroni et al., 1998) Furthermore, preliminary studies on mtDNA diversity in the Iberian Peninsula compared with other European samples (Corte-Real et al., 1996) showed greater diversity levels in Southern than in Northern European populations. (...) All the molecular data are congruent with the idea that the cultural and demic impact from the Near East in the Neolithic was very attenuated on the Atlantic edge of Europe, in particular the Iberian Peninsula."
"A high frequency of H* is the main characteristic of the Basques, considered a European Paleolithic isolate (Bertrand-Petit et al., 1995), and possibly it was characteristic of all Palaeolithic European settlers. The geographic gradient detected for this main haplogroup may be the result of a differential impact of posterior migrations on a common Palaeolithic substrate in Europe. As south-western areas were comparatively more populated than the north (Mellars, 1998), Neolithic or more recent waves from the East, where H* has lower frequencies, could have comparatively more influence in northern regions. On the basis of archaeological evidence, it has been proposed that the Neolithic in Europe had both a continental and a Mediterranean coastal introduction (Renfrew, 1987). This might explain why Portugal and north-west Africa do not follow the H* gradient, since a strong Neolithic influence on Portugal, in contrast with northern Iberia, is well documented (Marti-Oliver, 1998)."
"With respect to north-west Africa, the geographically localised distribution of matches and haplotypes of sub-Saharan African and north-west African origin in the Iberian Peninsula is noteworthy. This distribution cannot be totally explained by a historic genetic influence from the Moslem occupation (Pereira et al., 2000). During that time, the haplogroup composition of north-west Africa had to be similar to that of the present, and for this reason, sub-Saharan African L and north-west African U6 haplotypes should be uniformly distributed in the Iberian Peninsula. It has been pointed out that one of the most important demic influences on north-west African populations from the Sahara occurred around 7.000 years ago, with the expansion of the Neolithic culture that flourished at that time in the Sahara (Dutour et al., 1994). If we admit that this expansion brought, for the first time, sub-Saharan African haplotypes into the Maghreb, it seems plausible that they could also have reached the Iberian Peninsula across the Gibraltar Strait, meaning that the L haplotypes detected in southern Portugal could be the result of African Neolithic influence in this region. The Presence of U6 only in the northern Iberian Peninsula could represent the remnants of a pre-Neolithic expansion from north-west Africa to the Iberian Peninsula.
Some molecular data are congruent with this picture. The diversity value for U6 is significantly higher in the Iberian Peninsula (...) than in north-west Africa (...), a finding that cannot be explained by a recent and limited gene flow. Most probably, other undetected haplogroups also participated in this pre-Neolithic north-west Africa gene flow. It seems, however, that these African waves did not reach father than Galicia, as haplotypes belonging to the U6 lineage have not been found in other European samples (Richards et al., 2000). However, with respect to the sub-Saharan Africa lineages, the recent history of the Black slave trade carried out by the Portuguese (mainly during the XV and XVI centuries), with a well documented import to southern Portugal (Godinho, 1983), could also be a plausible alternative to explain the presence of these African haplotypes in this region (Pereira et al., 2000). To test this possibility, we compared the proportion of sub-Saharan Africa haplotypes matches between the Iberian Peninsula and north-west Africa (0,75%), with those of the Iberian Peninsula and a sample of sub.Saharan Africans from the Gulf of Guinea. (...) The percentage obtained (0,35%) is roughly half the former, and in addition, the majority of them (97%) are also shared with north-west Africa, although matches between sub-Saharan Africa and North African samples are only 0,95%. These results suggest that, although both prehistoric and historical influences likely contributed to the sub-Saharan African haplotype pool present in the Iberian Peninsula, the former seems to be more important."
"Furthermore, our results clearly reinforce, extend and clarify the preliminary clues of an important mtDNA contribution from north-west African into the Iberian Peninsula (Corte-real et al., 1996; Rando et al., 1998; Flores et al., 2000a; Rocha et al., 19990). On the basis of L1b frequencies detected in Spanish and Portuguese samples (2-3%) and those found in western Africa (10-30%), a significant influence (at least 10%) of north Africans in the Iberian gene pool has also been admitted (Rocha et al., 1999)"
"In a similar way, and discarding possible genetic drift effects, our own data allow us to make minimal estimates to the maternal African pre-Neolithic, Neolithic and/or recent slave trade input into Iberia. For the former, we consider the mean value of U6 in northern African populations (...) (16%) as the pre-Neolithic frequency in that area, and the present frequency in the whole Iberian Peninsula (2,3%) as the result of the north-west African gene flow at that time.  (...) In the same vein, the Saharan Neolithic gene flow (...) of the Iberian Peninsula (6,8%) [should be explained] as the result of the putative Neolithic maternal gene flow. This value could rise to 23% when only south Portugal is taken into account. However, if we admit a recent 10% of slave trade input into this region as historically documented (Godinho, 1983), 13% would be left for the putative Saharan Neolithic gene flow."
You can download the full version of the Gonzalez et al. (2003) study or read some of the conclusions that are available in here.
After reading the above, it is quite obvious that the vast majority of the African DNA (North African and sub-Saharan) present in some Portuguese preceded both the transatlantic slave trade as well as the Moslem rule of the Peninsula.
Someone pointed out to me that Southern Portugal had about two and a half times more Negroid and north African DNA than Galicia. Quoting another study by Pereira et al. (2000),
"Only haplotype 21 was detected presenting an increasing north-to-south frequency gradient, from 9,6% (Galicia) to 24,5% (South Portugal)." 
According to Gonzalez et al (2003), Galicians have 4,4% Negroid mtDNA, while Southern Portugal has 10,7%. Galicia was not involved in the slave trade, nor are there any records of the presence of any black  slaves in that Spanish province. This is roughly the same proportion (2,5) as the one seen with HG21. Galicians have 2,5 times less black mtDNA and 2,5 times less north African blood than Southern Portugal. This is yet another evidence that most of the black blood was brought by a north African Neolithic migration in times that preceded the African slave trade by thousands of years.
Using the ridiculous meaning that Refuting Racial Myths gives to the word "mulatto", the ancient Lusitanians were already "mulattos", as were the Visigoths and the Suevi (after all, Germans also have a few drops of Neolithic Negroid mtDNA), more so as soon as they mixed with the ordinary Iberians - something that happened even prior to king Flavius Recesvintus Gothic Code of the VII century AD.
Last but not least, it is quite obvious that the Portuguese explorers, warriors and poets of the XV and XVI centuries already had most of the Iberian African DNA. It is only logical, considering that the XV century Portuguese males and females from all classes portrayed in the St. Vincent Panels look exactly like any modern Portuguese. (Un)fortunately, this completely refutes the lies and the slander of racists like Arthur Kemp, Refuting Racial Myths and a few others.
When Refuting Racial Myths was presented this study, his remark was "Yet another proof that the Portuguese are mulattos". Apparently he didn't even realise that this study clearly contradicted both Arthur Kemp's wishful thinking as well as his own views about racial mixing causing national decadence. Nordicists aren't exactly rocket scientist material.
Thanks to Javier for all the colaboration and assistance in the elaboration of this particular page
Refuting Kemp
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